Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's not your fault, Mischa


Mischa, it’s not easy, when things don’t go your way,
the economy tanked, you lost your job, and you just want to play.

It's not your fault the dialogue on The Beautiful Life sucked ass,
But at least honor your contract, show up on time, have some class.

Now you may just want to give up or drown your sorrows in drink,
but first let's hear what a few of your special friends think.



Lindsay says things will be okay, she's been there done that,
Hot pants help, so do smokes, and don’t forget your hat.

Though, try to avoid faux lesbian romances,
They don't seem to help much with Hollywood chances.


I’ll always be your network sister, says Ashley with a frown,
just look at me after SNL, I was the laughing stock of town.

Now I'm famished (starving really), but at least I've found success,
which is so much more than I can say for my sorry sister Jess.


Audrina slurs, try MTV, you're welcome to crash at my place.
Jumpsuits help, plastic surgery too, have you seen what they've done to my face?

Alas, I have one more idea. Didn't Ashton Kutcher produce your show?
Did it cross your mind you could have been punked? What say you camel toe?


Mischa, stop all your sniveling, things truly aren't that bad,
I'm a wreck, my show's a mess and my kids have a d-bag for a dad.

But here I am, I have eight kids, which is more than I can say for you.
Pull yourself up, dust yourself off, it's time to start anew.


Listen here and listen hard, I’ve had some meltdowns in my day,
Shave your head, kick a car, spiral downward in a grand display.

And then when you're good and ready, get extensions and "modest" clothes,
People expect so little from you, they'll love your new craptastic shows.

So raise your glass to Mischa, she gave it a nice little try,
At least they didn't kill you off, but I guess this is goodbye!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Modern YA Writer's Handbook Vol. 2

We're back with more riveting writing tips from The (forever trunked) Modern Socialite's Handbook. Lucky for you guys we're recycling (Loretta, aren't you proud?) our old material and turning it into some truly really obnoxious writing tips. Here it goes...

The original excerpt:

While some may believe that knowing how to make an entrance is a socialite’s most valuable skill, I've found it's much more useful to know how to make an exit. Whether you’re stuck talking to some loser guy whose sole redeeming quality are his remarkably groomed eyebrows or you’re stuck at yet another boring charity event with a name like Lick Lyme Disease or Obliterate Alopecia, every socialite needs to know how to make a graceful exit. After all, who wants to be stuck wasting time at a dull fundraiser when you could be dancing on tables at Apoth├ęke?
--The Modern Socialite’s Handbook

Your writing tip for the week:

While some may believe that knowing how to start a story is a writer’s most valuable skill, we've found it's much more useful to know how to end it. Every ending, whether it's at the close of a chapter or the last line of the book has to leave the reader wanting more. A true writer knows how to make a graceful exit. After all, you can write a killer first line, but what's the point if your reader finishes the chapter and decides they'd rather be watching Gossip Girl?
--The Modern YA Writer’s Handbook

So, how about you guys, do you make an effort to end every chapter like it's your last? How do you keep your readers wanting more? Or maybe you really think that it's all in the first line? Can't wait to hear what you think in the comments.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Have you ever had one of those days?

You know the days where the kids (or boss, for those of you who are gainfully employed) are exhausted and screaming. The days where your most exciting hit via StatCounter is from someone searching "sexy Lisa overalls." The days where you're pretty sure that the odds of your agent calling you with a book deal are hovering right around your chances at winning Powerball this week.

Yeah, we're pretty familiar with these types of days and the end result is usually a phone conversation between Laura and I that goes a little something like this:

Lisa: Waiting sucks.
Laura: Yeah.
Lisa: I just want to do something drastic.
Laura: Totally.
Lisa: You know, like delete the blog. Just out of spite for publishing in general.
Laura: Uh-huh.
Lisa: And then maybe set fire to my laptop and throw it through the nearest window.
Laura: Absolutely.
Lisa: Have you done any research about the whole North Korea plan? I really think that if you get stuck in one of their prisons for a year or two, it could really help our chances. And then we can tell those snooty Ling sisters to suck it.
Laura: Oh yeah.
Lisa: Wait, are you even listening to me?
Laura: What?
Lisa: Is that Glee I hear in the background? Are you watching "All the Single Ladies" AGAIN?
Laura: Um...
Lisa: I hate you.

And then I'll see a post like this from JessJordan crowning us Word Nerds, and I remember exactly why we spend so much time blogging. I remember that there are people (who aren't related to us) who actually read our blog on a daily basis. I remember that you guys believe in us.

And that totally makes our day. So, thank you!

And now we must pass along the Word Nerd crown to a fellow nerd. It was a really tough decision because we have lots of lovely and deserving nerds in our lives (thank God), but in the end it had to be Sarah With a Chance. With Twitter updates like "There's something about watching Jason Bateman on a Sunday night that makes the coming week feel exponentially less depressing," and blog posts written by her WIP this was kind of a no brainer. Go read her blog and follow her today. You'll thank us for it.

Word Nerds UNITE!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fabulous Friday

It's been quite a week over here and we've learned a lot...

1. Our writing friends are made of win. We've had three (almost 4) writerly friends score kickass agents this week. Proving our theory that we're friends with some of the most talented writers EVER. Big congratulations to Katie and Steph! More on the other two amazing writers next week when they're ready to make announcements.

2. Our writing process is weird. For our WIP, the unfortunately named Unclaimed Baggage, we've broken the book into five pretty distinct sections. Our process has been a little different for this book in that we're writing a section and then sending it over to our amazing beta reader for feedback. I know we're breaking some cardinal rule of first drafting by doing all this editing amidst writing new words, but it's really working for us. I think by the time we finish up this first draft it will be ready to send to Mayjah Agent. Ooh, we have a long way to go, but I really can't wait to see what she thinks.

3. I love craptastic TV, but even I have my limits. Turns out that both Melrose Place and TBL (The Beautiful Life) are too craptastic even for my tastes. Does this mean I'm getting old or that Mischa Barton is the worst actress ever? I'm just not sure anymore.

4. Gregory Hines is a really famous tap dancing actor. Laura unintentionally named one of the characters in our book after him, and yes, she is indeed the blonde sister. Our beta reader was all, "Um...you know that you've named your detective after a famous actor from the 80's right?" We're thinking of switching his first name to Duncan. Just for fun.



5. I'm terrified of flies. It's too traumatic to post on the blog, but suffice it to say that I got a karmic bitchslap for making fun of Laura and her spider phobia.

Have a fab weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

8 Legged Randomness

So, I hate spiders. My husband thinks I’m ridiculous, but it is a very legitimate, very real fear. Much like Tyra Banks’ fear of dolphins—although a fear of dolphins is a little easier to live with considering they’re pretty easy to avoid, no? Spiders? Not so much.

It also doesn’t help that I seem to have a sixth sense for spotting spiders. If there is one in a room, I will find it. This is both good and bad. Good because I like to know I’m in a spider-free zone. Bad because if I’m home alone, that means I have to do the killing.

Last week, I spotted the biggest spider I’ve ever seen crawling around my family room. Lisa thinks I’m exaggerating, but it was seriously the size of my palm. And substantial. Not just a daddy long legs looking thing. It had meat on its…er bones. After unsuccessfully trying to convince my one and a half year old to kill the “bumblebee” (she thinks anything that crawls or flies is a bumblebee), I had to get up the nerve to kill the thing before it got away. I threw a book on it and left it for my husband. And that was that.

But then…another one of the SAME spiders crawled on out yesterday. After spraying buckets of Raid at the tarantula like thing, I began to panic. What if there was a nest of them? What if they were living in my furniture? What if one crawled on me or Lydia, forcing me to have to knock it from her? [Editorial note from Lisa: She really did think every single one of these things because we had to discuss them over and over and over again. She wouldn't even sit in her family room because she was convinced there was a nest in the couch. Girlfriend is CRAZY. Crap, I'm still not pulling that off, am I?] So, I did what any mother would do to protect her child, I called the Orkin man.

After having a 45 minute heart-to-heart with Joan (a grandmotherly sounding southern woman of Orkin), she’d thoroughly convinced me that I needed seven $99 ultimate spider elimination sessions over the course of a year. She shared that her son had suffered a spider bite as a child and had to be on heavy-duty antibiotics, still has nightmares about the incident and even sports a scar from the bite. Terrifying. So, it was decided. I needed to shell out $700 for Orkin people to come into my home, search out nests (using state of the art technology) and rid my house of spiders.

Hubby did not agree.

So we settled on a $135 local bug man who knocked a few webs, sprayed some stuff along the baseboards and told me to wait three weeks. Worse than waiting, if I see a spider over the next three weeks, I have to let it live. Apparently, it will walk in the poison and bring it back to its nest to kill the others.

Oh, and instead of flushing the Raid drowned spider, my husband put it in a bottle for me to show bug man. He confirmed the specimen as a Wolf Spider. So there, Lisa.

P.S.
I was just reminded that this is supposed to be a blog about writing and pop culture, so, um...killing spiders is like editing your work, scary, but necessary. See, it even rhymes! Happy, Lisa?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Modern YA Writer's Handbook Vol. 1

OK, so remember that first novel we wrote? The one that's been exiled to a very, very high shelf? Confession time - I opened the document. I refuse to reread it (just too painful), but after skimming through a few pages I was pleasantly surprised. It's not all bad.

The single best thing about The (doomed) North Shore has got to be The Modern Socialite's Handbook. It's a fictional book we used within the context of our story to provide tips and quips to our characters. It's random and sort of fun, a lot like us actually.

The good news for you guys is that it turns out advice for socialites can easily be adapted for writers. Who knew?

Here's the original from The North Shore:

Shopping is an essential skill every aspiring socialite must master. While you might be tempted to rely solely on a personal stylist, a true socialite actively creates an image for herself that is communicated through her wardrobe choices. Bottom line, you need to know how to shop for yourself. Whether you opt for the understated elegance of Jackie O. or the over-the-top glamour of a Hilton, you must be consistent, and most importantly, it must be a style all your own. Remember, nobody likes a knock-off.

--The Modern Socialite’s Handbook

And here's our adapted version:

Voice is an essential skill every aspiring writer must master. While you might be tempted to imitate other successful authors, a true writer actively creates a voice for herself that's communicated through dialogue, word choices and overall tone. Bottom line, you need to put your own mark on your book. Whether you opt for the understated elegance of Marcus Zusak or the over-the-top snark of a Gossip Girl, you must be consistent, and most importantly, it must be a voice all your own. Remember, nobody likes a knock-off.

--The Modern YA Writer's Handbook

So...you tell us, how did you find your voice?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tell the Truth about Teaser Tuesdays...

So every Tuesday I end up having this debate with myself - should I post a teeny tiny snippet of our work?

On one hand, I love getting little mini-critiques from our readers and if there are any editors surfing our blog, I would love for them to get a taste of our writing.

On the other hand...It makes me a little nervous. I mean, how much is too much?

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments. Authors, do you post teasers on your blogs? If yes, do you ever get worried about posting too much? If no, why not? Agents/editors we'd love to hear your perspective as well and feel free to comment anonymously if that makes you more comfortable.

Really interested to hear your take on all this.

Monday, September 21, 2009

And you thought YOU were having a bad day?




Have you met Jessica Simspon? She's having the worst day of her life every. single. day. If you ever wake up in the morning and think your life is total crap, remind yourself of these five things that are slowly killing J. Simp.

5. The sister who started off as a mere tagalong is now legitimately more famous and successful than she is. OK, if there's one thing we know all about, it's sibling rivalry. Ashley Simpson's success (?) on Melrose Place is the equivalent to Stacey deciding to write a book, cranking something out in a week and getting a major book deal in an overnight pre-empt while we languish on submission for the rest of our lives. And I don't care how much you love your sister, that would suck.

4. Her stylist hates her. Seriously. Most of the headlines about Jessica lately involve her totally fugly clothes and the fact that they make her look like she's gained 20 pounds. Jessica, did Ashley generously hire your stylist for you? Does she snicker loudly whenever you show up in a stylist approved outfit? One word for you, SABOTAGE. Look it up.

3. The only time Jess is on TV is for Macy's commercials. And they're terrible. She wanders around asking Kenneth Cole how to open doors and telling Martha Stewart to speak English when she uses the word ambiance. It's tragic.



2. Everyone always breaks up with Jessica. First Nick Lachey, next John Mayer and now Tony Romo. It seems that J. Simp is always having her heart broken publicly by some d-bag or another, and the paparazzi stalk her each and every time monitoring for sweatpants and break-up weight. And on top of all that, imagine having to wake up in the morning and find out that your loser ex-boyfriend started dating this. Ouch.

1. A coyote ate her Daisy. Or as Loretta said, "Maybe a dingo ate her baby." As if things couldn't get any worse for Jess, a coyote ate her dog IN FRONT OF HER. For a while she held out hope that the dog would be found alive (Because coyotes so often just take the dog and try to raise it as their own. Seriously, Jess?), but alas, the search has been called off.

Dear Universe, please give Jessica a break. Yes, she's blonde and she's tried to hawk everything from cheap looking hair extensions to horrible fake tanner, but she does not deserve this. No one does.

And dear readers, remember that you might think you're having a bad day, but Jessica Simpson surely has you beat.

Happy Monday!

Friday, September 18, 2009

PG-13 Friday

Three completely unrelated and totally random things we've learned this week:

1. Our blog has a PG-13-rating.

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

The first time we took the quiz we got a solid R-rating which was sort of hilarious because we're two of the biggest prudes on the planet.

Laura and I were laughing so hard we were crying last night when we were talking about how teenage girls love bad boys and one of the bad boys in our book used to smoke. Of course we made it VERY clear that he quit because we just couldn't stand the thought of young adults reading our book and thinking that smoking was cool.

We might as well have put him on the patch and had him give a lecture about what Cancerous lungs look like, but we're actually OK with that. We are many, many things. Edgy is not one of them.

2. A questionnaire for potential mom friends would be extraordinarily helpful for screening purposes. Now that preschool is back in session Jack is meeting new friends and some of them are asking to have play dates. Now the thing about preschool play dates is that it's also a mom date too, and sometimes (OK, usually) it doesn't go smoothly.

Like that time when crazy germaphobe mom said she'd never put her kids in childcare because she was worried about them picking up bad habits. The entire time she was talking I was blithely watching Jack body slam her son on a bouncy toy. News flash lady, if you're looking to avoid bad habits, play dates with my kids are probably NOT the best idea.

Or the time when Jack and his bestie locked someone's daughter in a closet and the mom told his preschool teacher who then separated Jack and his evil twin into two different classes. You're killing me lady, the number one rule of play dates is that what happens on play dates, STAYS on play dates.

Anyways, here's a little quiz for moms that might rule out any future awkwardness on play dates:
  • Are you comfortable letting your children play unsupervised?
  • Are you comfortable drinking wine with your children present?
  • Are your children poorly behaved and are you clueless about disciplining them?
  • Do you have other interests aside from your child and/or scrapbooking?
  • Do you regularly watch Bravo or the CW?
If you have answered "no" to more than one of the questions above, thanks for applying, but we won't be able to do that play date. Ever.

3. We have a new music inspired D-Bag-O-Meter (patent pending). Based on Kanye's heinous outburst at the VMA's and Josh Groban's hilarious cameo on Glee, we've created a brand new D-Bag-O-Meter.




It's just too perfect. Kanye and Josh are both exceedingly talented individuals, but Kanye takes himself WAY too seriously.

Seth Meyer's commentary on SNL's weekend update sums it up perfectly, "And really, Kanye, it's just a Video Music Award. They don't really matter. Just to give you a word of advice, if you ever see an old lady holding a 'World's Best Grandma' mug and you think you know a better grandma don't slap it out of her hand."

Kanye, you are such a D-Bag.

Meanwhile Josh Groban was freaking hilarious on Glee. Who knew that he's both uber talented and not afraid to make fun of himself? Awesome. Quintessential non-douche.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Three Random thoughts on all things gay

1. I'm on the look out for a gay best friend. I mean, Kathy Griffin's got an army of gays who worship her and Rachel Zoe has her beloved Brad. I want a gay boyfriend to take me shopping and tell me how fabulous I am. Is that so wrong?

At first I was a little freaked out by the dad at preschool drop off who was scoping me out. I may be old, and I may be a mom, but I know when someone is eying me. And this guy was totally checking me out. Yesterday afternoon he finally struck up a conversation and to my surprise I felt the teeniest, tiniest flicker of gaydar.

I took a closer look at his horn rimmed Prada glasses and perfectly tailored suit and suddenly realized that I'm way too lame to have a gay boyfriend. Let's face it, I do 99% of my shopping at Target and plan my hair appointments around weddings and major events. I'm so unfabulous it's not even funny.

But this was a possibility I'd never considered. A gay dad.

A gay dad to have playdates with. A gay dad to drink wine with as we critique other children's ensembles at the playground. A gay dad to whisper catty commentary to at tiresome preschool events. A gay dad to expose my kids to an alternative family at a young age so they realize that families come in all shapes and sizes.

Heaven.

I realize that the gay boyfriend of my girlish fantasies is based soley on stereotypes and WAY too much Bravo TV, but a girl can dream, right? Now, I have no idea how I'll figure out if my new friend is actually gay, and man it sure could get awkward if he thinks I'm flirting with him, but you know what? That's a chance I'm willing to take.

2. Huge round of applause for Glee's portrayal of a conflicted gay teen last night. It was just so well done. Gossip Girl attempted it with their outing of Eric last year, but that felt so melodramatic and fake. Glee managed to make the moment ring true amidst the musical stylings of the Accafellas and a totally random (and awesome) appearance by Josh Groban. Bravo!

3. We need to remember to choose our words with care, as Kiersten reminds us in this thought provoking post. Whether you're an aspiring author, a mother or just a human being please read this and remember to think before you speak.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ghostwriting

One of the most interesting things about writing as a team is that oftentimes you forget who wrote what, and sometimes neither person can remember writing it at all. It's actually a little creepy.

But we have to admit that we love those moments when we go through and reread our work and find little gems that we'd forgotten about completely. We think we added this paragraph in our most recent revision of The Haunting of Pemberly Brown, but neither of us can remember who wrote it.

This was what my parents didn’t understand, what I could never explain to my stupid shrink. When I lost Grace, I didn’t just lose one friend, I lost all of my friends. In fact, I’d pretty much lost my whole life. It was like a giant pair of scissors had come along and neatly snipped my life in two. There was now a distinct before and after. Before Grace died and after Grace died. I still hadn’t figured out who I was in the after Grace. For a while there, it was looking like there wouldn’t be an after Grace Kate at all, but I’d decided to stick around. For now.

Do you guys ever do this? Do you write something and almost can't believe they're your words when you read it again? Post an example in the comments or even just your favorite line from your WIP.

Can't wait to read them!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tell the Truth Tuesday...

It's Tuesday and here are my five truths:

1. I'm sort of over Chuck. I know, I know, Chuck Bass is a legend, an icon, and probably one of the only legitimate reasons anyone is watching Gossip Girl, but he was a little too squinty on the season premier last night. Also, the writing wasn't quite as sharp. Honestly, I spent most of the episode resisting the urge to scream at Vanessa to brush her mother chucking hair.

2. We broke up with StatCounter. I'm not sure if it's a permanent break or the break you take right before you get married, but we definitely needed some time apart. We were spending way too much time obsessing over him. We didn't go crazy and delete the code or anything like that, but I did have my husband change the password to series of letters and numbers that we'd never be able to guess on our own. Today we're feeling strong, but I'm sure by tomorrow we'll be begging for the password and drowning ourselves in Edy's Slow Churned.

3. Stephen King still scares the shit out of me. I'm reading Just After Sunset and I can't put it down. I think the key to his stories is that they're not only scary at a superficial, I've-got-a-serial-killer-chasing-me-level, but they're also terrifying at a deeper, my-baby-just-died-of-SIDS-level. Bottom line, Stephen King is the master and reading his words make me want to be a better writer.

4. Unclaimed Baggage is good. Seriously. It's tell the truth Tuesday and we never lie on TTT. We're closing in on 30,000 words and getting ready to send the next chunk to our beta reading ninja. Very exciting!

5. Sometimes on a beautiful day, when the right song comes on the radio and I've got all the windows rolled down in my car, I remember exactly what it feels like to be 17-years-old. I remember being dizzy with with the knowledge that something new, something life changing could potentially happen every single day. I remember my biggest concern being whether or not my outfit made me look hot. I remember wondering if today would be the day the hot nerdy guy in my AP World History class would finally pass me a note. And sometimes, I remember everything so clearly that I forget that I've got a couple of car seats strapped into the back of my car and that this year there will be 31 candles on my birthday cake.

These moments are exactly why I love to write Young Adult books. Because deep down I'm still freaking out about that time the captain of the football team winked at me in the hallway and I'm still worrying about whether or not I'm going to get my French homework done in time.

How could we ever write anything else?

Monday, September 14, 2009

And the winner is...

It's release day for Elana Johnson's interactive eBook, From the Query to the Call. And as an added bonus every person who purchases From the Query to the Call gets a query critique by the Query Ninja. You can see what you might get by clicking on the brand new Query Ninja Blog.

As for our contest, the winner of a free copy of From the Query to the Call is Christina Lee! Congrats Christina! Your copy is on it's way. Enjoy!


STFU, Lisa

It's Monday and if you're anything like me, you're probably feeling a little blah, a little annoyed with the world and dangerously close to cutting a bitch for a bite of her bagel. Oh wait, maybe that last one's just me. I've been off carbs for a few days and I'm starting to go into withdrawal.

Anyways, I know this is flirting with STFU, Parents territory, (Did anyone else have to look up what STFU actually meant or am I the only one out of the loop here?) but you know what? I'm totally ok with that because I really think this will make your day just a little bit brighter.



It's a rare moment of sibling affection between Jack and Mia. I actually debated about posting this because I'm concerned that no one will believe me anymore when I tell all of my horror stories about these two. I blame Stacey for being such an amazing photographer.

Happy Monday! May your hope tanks be full, your Twizzlers fresh and your Prosecco chilly.

P.S. Just because I'll probably never do this again, here's one more of Mia....And for the record, the wings? 100% her idea. She refused to take them off the entire day. Typical.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Things we've learned this week...

1. Major Agent represents another Major Agent! Do you hear that? It's the sound of worlds colliding. It's a little surreal a. That Catherine Drayton is our agent. and b. That Nathan Bransford, the guy whose blog taught us pretty much everything we know about publishing, is one of her clients. Anyways, huge congratulations to Nathan on the sale of his debut novel Jacob Wonderbar.

2. Even when you don't want to write, you should just write. I really, really didn't feel like working on Unclaimed Baggage this week. I mean who has time for actual writing when there's StatCounter logs and e-mail to be refreshed? But last night I sat down and spent a couple of quality hours with Sarah and Emily and I'm so glad that I did. When I write I'm reminded of why we started this whole crazy journey in the first place and that makes me happy. So, even if the thought of opening that word document makes you want to scream, just do it. You'll thank me later.

3. You should never, ever make rice crispy treats with stale marshmallows. They turn out like little rectangular bricks. And theoretically when one of your children decides they're disgusting and opts to throw it at their sibling, the brick like texture of the crispy treat will leave a mark. Just as an FYI.

4. You can never watch too much Glee. I've watched the pilot three times and now I've seen the second episode twice. Just can't get enough. My favorite line so far is, "This is where our daughter or gay son will sleep." How about you?

5. I'm officially obsessed with this blog. Laura discovered it and sent me a link and it's my secret desire that one of my obnoxious mommy posts will be featured. The guy or gal behind this is an evil genius.

Google search of the week: Circumcision Bet. We're the number one search result. Good. Times.

Comment of the week: From the hilarious JessJordan upon learning that we've never watched a single episode of Joss Whedon's masterpiece, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Oh my dear. Ohhhh my dear. This is not good. Not good at all.

*rests hand against wall for balance and tries not to faint*

You haven't seen the t.v. series of Buffy??!!?!?? This must be remedied now! Seriously, Joss Wheedon (spelling?) is the king of snark. (Except, um, try to ignore the 90% lameness that was season one; it's still kind of adorable and it serves at least some purpose.)

Alright. I can see what's happened, and if it's gotta be me, then it's gotta be me.

*sneaks in through back window of LiLa's house (yep, you live together for purposes of this comment).*

"What the--"

"I come in peace."

"Listen, stalker girl. I don't know what you're on, but I'm all jacked up on egg whites. Don't make me taebo you into next century!"

"White flag!"

"I'll smother a *itch with that white flag. Hoozah!"

"Bloggger. JessJordan! Don't kill! I come bearing Buffy!"

"Hmm. Well. As you can *clearly* see, I'm watching Bravo."

"And after that?"

"After?"

"Yeah, once the show's over."

"No, see you don't get it. I'm watching Bravo. Not a show. The network. I break only for Glee. Got no time for Luke Perry and his sideburns!"

"No sideburns, at least I don't think. Just funness to the tenth times ten with a smartly funny bad ass chick. And hot/funny vamps."

"Hmmm. I'm still not sure. You should probably go-- Wait ... Do I see Twizzlers in that bag?"

Jess, I have to admit, I'm temporarily off carbs, so if you came to my window bearing Twizzlers I would 100% let you in, even if I was in the middle of the new (and trashtastic) Melrose Place reboot.

Have a fab weekend everyone!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Are you a wannabe query ninja? Do you like free stuff?

If you answered yes to either of those questions, please read this post. If you didn't answer yes, well, um, wow this is really awkward. I guess you can still keep reading? Or you can just leave and never come back. Your call.

Elana Johnson is a query ninja. Without her help we never would have had such a kickass request rate when we started querying The Haunting of Pemberly Brown. Girlfriend knows her stuff. Did I pull that whole girlfriend thing off? No? OK, moving right along...

Because Elana is fabulousity personified she has agreed to give away a copy of her new eBook From the Query to the Call to one lucky reader.

You can get 5 entries. Here's how:
1. Leave a comment on this post.
(or)
2. Tweet/Facebook/Blog about her ebook today.
(or)
3. On Saturday.
(or)
4. On Sunday (by midnight, please)
(Finally...)
5. Leave us another comment on this post, telling us how many entries you have total.

Use this to tweet: From the Query to the Call, an ebook by @elanaj comes out on Monday, Sept 14! Click here for all the details: http://tinyurl.com/lgfh8a

We'll announce the winners on Monday.

And just in case you're doubting Elana's abilities, read this for a little preview of her pitch magic.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In which the query ninja rips apart our pitch for Unclaimed Baggage

I'm sure most of you guys know Elana Johnson, but what you may not know is that she's a query ninja. No seriously. She's been known to help aspiring writers write kick ass queries and many of the people she's helped (including us!) have landed an agent as a result.

She's also written an amazing eBook called From the Query to the Call. This book has tons of information about how to write a killer query and approach agents. Every aspiring author needs to read it. Now. Or when it's available on Monday. Whatever.

For those of you who have never experienced Elana's magic, behold:

Here's our original pitch for Unclaimed Baggage. Not bad, but definitely could use some work, right?

Here's Elana's commentary:
It all began in a hospital bed, where sisters Emily and Sarah were forced to do most of their dreaming. (I’m left wondering what “it” is. You know? I think this would be a better hook if it were turned around. Like: “Sisters Emily and Sarah are forced to do most of their dreaming together—from hospital beds.” Or something like that.) Emily is sick with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and to survive the endless rounds of chemo, the constant pricking of IV needles, and the annoying Make-A-Wish volunteers, the girls plan a trip. They call it “Into the Mild”—an epic trip to Europe: 1 year, 2 Eurorail passes and $3,452 (I think this would be witty and clever to make it $3,456, cuz then it’s like 1…2…and $3,456. You see? Or maybe that’s just the total math geek in me coming out.). All they need is for Emily to get better. (I wish this were stronger. Maybe like, “If only Emily could get better.” Maybe?)

But (I don’t like the “But” here. I think “So” would work, or just nothing at all.) when Sarah finds herself at a brand new boarding school with parental instructions from her parents to “focus on something other than her sister,” she plans to do exactly that.

Just not at school. (ooh, nice! But… I might change “Just” to “But” now that you don’t have that “But” up there in that other graf.)

She refuses to stick around to (and) deal with her bitchy roommate or the snotty kids whose families have known each other for generations. Instead, she’s got (has. “Instead, she has a one-way…”) a one-way ticket to London, a monster backpack and a crazy idea that this trip will somehow fix everything. (I want to know a bit more about this “everything.” I want to know what needs fixing. Her emotions? You sort of elude to that in the next sentence (which totally rocks, BTW), but I’m not sure. Her worry over Emily? The separation anxiety she has over leaving her sister alone in the hospital? So will the trip somehow make her forget that her sister is dying? So maybe like, “…she’s got a one-way ticket to London, a monster backpack and a crazy idea that this trip will somehow help her forget everything.” Or “…that this trip will somehow erase bad memories.” Or “…that this trip will somehow make her life less sucktacluar.” (Okay, that last one was a joke. But isn’t sucktacular a great word?) And yeah. I think that ending just needs something more.)

Too bad airlines don’t check emotional baggage. (Brilliant. Bloody brilliant.)

And here's the final product:

Sisters Emily and Sarah have never been afraid to dream big even when they're stuck dreaming from a hospital bed. Emily is sick with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and to survive the endless rounds of chemo, the constant pricking of IV needles, and the annoying Make-A-Wish volunteers, the girls plan a trip. They call it “Into the Mild”—an epic trip to Europe: 1 year, 2 Eurorail passes and $3,456. Plans have been made, bags have been packed, they're just waiting for one thing - Emily's remission.

When Sarah finds herself at a brand new boarding school with instructions from her parents to “focus on something other than her sister,” she plans to do exactly that.

But not at school.

She refuses to stick around and deal with her bitchy roommate or the snotty kids whose families have known each other for generations. Instead, she has a one-way ticket to London, a monster backpack and a crazy idea that this trip will somehow keep Emily alive.

Too bad airlines don’t check emotional baggage.

SO...
Not bad, right? Want to see what Elana's mad query skills can do for you? Stay tuned for information on how you can win a free copy of Elana's eBook, From the Query to the Call.

LiLa's Guide To Cyberstalking

Cyberstalking is a hereditary skill in the Roecker family. Our mother, "The Regulator" Roecker, has been cyberstalking before Al Gore even invented the internet. Whether you want to know how much your frienemy paid for their beach house or you're interested in finding the best deal on flights to Vegas, The Regulator is your gal. Conversations with her typically go something like this:

LiLa: Hey Mom, I just found this adorable sweater at J.Crew. It's on sale and it's got these adorable ruffles.
Regulator: *typing*
LiLa: I'm thinking of buying one to wear with that navy dress.
Regulator: Do you mean the merino ethereal ruffle cardigan? I hope not because it's ridiculous to spend $88 on a sweater, not to mention the fact that those ruffles would probably add 10 pounds. But if you insist on making the purchase, at least go with the ruffle pink. By the way, did you see that Southwest is having a sale on flights to Vegas?
LiLa: *click*

But here's the thing, cyberstalking is actually a really useful skill for an aspiring writer. It pays to know all about the agents and editors who are going to be reading and potentially acquiring your work. So, for those of you who weren't blessed with a hacker for a mother, here are some tips:

1. Get creative with Google
OK, anyone can just google an agent or editor's name and come up with some relevant hits, but you'll find some more obscure and potentially more interesting information by doing a google blog search as well. Also try googling the person's name with NYC attached (or whatever their location might be), this may pull up Twitter accounts that have been set up under aliases. Or google just their first name and the agency/publisher name. Don't be afraid to try random combinations and check out this amazing two-part post on the QueryTracker blog for great tips on how to be google ninja.

2. Use writer's forums to your advantage
Writers are a catty, gossipy bunch and there are a number of websites like QueryTracker.net, Absolute Write and VerlaKay with message boards that can give you the low down on agents, editors, response times and success stories. Most of these boards have search functionalities embedded within them so you can easily find information on your victim. Also, make sure you check out all the comments writer's have left under specific agents on QueryTracker.net. Lots of interesting tidbits of information there.

3. Play the Kevin Bacon game
You know, that game where everyone in the world is like 7 people away from knowing Kevin Bacon? Same goes for publishing professionals. If you know of one editor/agent who's on Twitter, check out the people who they're following. Guarantee you'll find other editors, agents and writers that they like and respect. Likewise for Blogger profiles and Facebook.

4. Put yourself out there
Don't be afraid to participate and network a little. Granted, there are some lines you shouldn't cross (many agents/editors reserve Facebook for personal, not professional use), but following an agent or editor via Twitter is typically a great way to learn more about them and potentially even interact. Weekly events like #kidlitchat at 9PM EST every Tuesday on Twitter and AgentQuery/VerlaKay chats are a great way to not only learn more about publishing and that dream agent/editor you're currently stalking, but also to meet and interact with other writers.

OK, so that's cyberstalking 101. Happy stalking...er...researching and feel free to leave your own tips and tricks in the comments.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

9 Reasons why 09/09/09 rocks...

9. Stacey's giving away a $50 Poochie Prints gift certificate, click here to enter. (FYI, the little girl in the orange dress holding up her art work is Lisa's daughter Mia. Yeah, on top of being an amazing artist Stacey also takes amazing photographs.)

8. In China, 9 is considered a really lucky number. So 09/09/09? A really lucky day. Throw us a bone here, we're grasping at straws.

7. According to Yahoo!, "Any grade-schooler could tell you, for example, that the sum of the two-digits resulting from nine multiplied by any other single-digit number will equal nine. So 9x3=27, and 2+7=9. " Really Yahoo!? Any grade-schooler? I guess I was sick that day. The article continues, "Multiply nine by any two, three or four-digit number and the sums of those will also break down to nine. For example: 9x62 = 558; 5+5+8=18; 1+8=9. Sept. 9 also happens to be the 252nd day of the year (2 + 5 +2)...Loving 9." Kind of cool. Right? Right?

6. The Beatles: Rock Band comes out today. No, we're not "gamers." The last video game controller we held were old school Nintendo ones when we were playing one of 50 illegal games on a single cartridge our dad bought from some sketchball neighbor. It was created in Japan, so all the text was in Japanese. We still thought it was really cool and used to show it off when friends came over. Yeah, we're old.

5. Apple is hosting a top-secret iPod event today. Now that Lisa is a born-again Mac user (Laura, your resentment is delicious), she's up for all things Apple. Plus, top-secret= bad ass.

4. Apparently it's Good Energy Day and, thankfully, I stumbled upon this interesting little video created in celebration of it. According to the person who created this video (who may or may not be bat shit crazy), NASA is taking a picture of the earth today at 9:09 am. The idea is that if everyone thinks a good thought at that moment the earth will glow a little brighter? Um, yeah...you be the judge. I guess, it doesn't hurt to think good thoughts though. And, am I the only one who thinks this video is off the charts on the unintentional comedy scale?



3. It's Hugh Grant's birthday. I wonder if he'll celebrate with a hooker? Okay, kidding, kidding. That was a low blow. Sorry Hugh. Happy birthday though. You're in some of my favorite movies of all time including Love Actually and Notting Hill. Say what you will about Hugh Grant, he does the bumbling English guy better than anybody.

2. It's Republic Day in North Korea which means it's yet another prime opportunity for Laura to get her ass over there and get us a book deal. I mean let's just say theoretically that Laura got herself arrested for walking around in a United States flag bikini and a tiara (of course) on Republic Day and ended up in a North Korean jail for a few months. I'm sure Bill Clinton would bust her out eventually and we'd wind up with a sweet book deal. You're welcome, Laura. If you guys notice she's absent from the blog, you'll know why.

1. Glee premiers tonight! And it's going to rock. Hard. Set your DVRs.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday to LiLa - The party continues!

Are you sick of us yet?

If not, please go check out our interview over at The First Novels Club.

And if you are indeed sick of us (can't really say we blame you), go there anyways and browse the amazing interviews with authors that have actually published books. You know people like Becca Fitzpatrick, Kimberly Derting, and Maggie Stiefvater.

It's total writer porn.

Happy Birthday to LiLa!

One year ago today we wrote our very first blog post. We've reposted it below in celebration of our blogiversary. Current day commentary is in red:

And so it begins...
It all started with a late-night conversation on Sunday July 27th, 2008. Two sisters, bored (quasi) housewives and a dream of making a living doing what we love - reading and writing. 2 hours later (you should see our phone bills...not pretty) we had an idea for our first novel. A brilliant idea, in our most humble opinion. [Unsurprisingly, this idea was not brilliant. It was, however, relatively easily executed. Point one for the naive aspiring authors]

We started with an outline (because we're anal like that), and a week later we were writing our first chapter. And here's the thing...it was easy. [Does anyone else have warning flags going up at this point? Um, yeah, writing a first draft when you don't know what the hell you're doing is definitely easy. Convincing anyone else to read it? Not easy.] I would write a chapter and e-mail it off to Laura, she would edit and then write the next chapter, always trying to one-up me. And now, a month-and a half later, we're putting the finishing chapters on our first draft and getting ready to send it out to friends and family for some serious editing. [Ok, we all know we're obsessive and write relatively fast, but this is ridiculous. Keep in mind we had no idea what showing versus telling was a this point, so we basically had 55,000 words of witty inner monologue with some scattered dialogue for good measure. But at least we were sending it out to friends and family to edit because they're totally qualified, right? Oh. My. God. Any aspiring authors reading this, please learn from our mistakes. We were idiots.]

So, we're either literary geniuses who write amazing, best-selling books in under two-months, or we completely suck and don't yet realize it. Keep reading and find out...[Oh God, does anyone really need to keep reading to figure out the answer to this question? We were a couple of delusional, wannabe writers who thought it would be easy to get a book published. And at first I was tempted to say that we completely sucked. But here's the thing. We didn't suck. Not completely anyways.]
***
So, THE NORTH SHORE was a complete train wreck. We wrote it in 3rd person without knowing you couldn't change POVs every other sentence. It was supposed to be a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice (how original!), but we stuck so close to Ms. Austen's plot that our retelling sort of fell flat. Not enough conflict, zero twists and no turns, Ms. Austen may not have needed that stuff to make her writing work, but we sure do.

We fondly refer to THE NORTH SHORE as our 55,000 word writing exercise. We needed to write that craptastic book to learn what not to do. But here's the miracle, back when we submitted to agents there were a surprising number of them who saw promise in our writing. They were able to look past all the cliches and adverbs and see our voice and maybe a tiny bit of potential. These agents gave us pages of feedback and we had lots of "Oh crap, you mean adverbs are BAD?" moments.

We could have given up, in fact, after all of those rejections we probably SHOULD have given up. I'm sure we even thought about it for a second or two. But here's the thing, when we started writing together we found something that we didn't even know was there. We discovered that while we still had a lot to learn, we really loved what we were doing. We had a passion for writing and maybe, just maybe if we could figure out a way to learn from all the feedback we'd received we'd be able to write a book worthy of an agent and publisher.

So, we started over. New idea (our own this time, sorry Ms. Austen), new genre (chick lit was so OVER) and a new perspective. We'd finally figured out the difference between showing and telling, we avoided adverbs like the plague (well, we tried anyways...) and we even found some writer friends who were willing to read our manuscript and provide real feedback.

And you know what? It worked. We wrote a book that we were proud of, a book that landed us our dream agent and a book that's currently being read by editors. But here's the trick, all those rejections did more than just teach us how to write, they taught us how to revise. They taught us how to accept feedback gracefully or at least with the illusion of grace. Those rejections taught us to be real writers.

And we're still learning. We're still getting feedback and figuring out new and creative ways to incorporate it into our writing. We're still perfecting the art of tension and pacing. We're still working hard to write characters who jump off the page, characters who grow and change throughout the course of the story. We know now that we'll never be done learning and we're excited to start the next leg of our journey, hopefully with an editor in tow.

Anyways, Happy Blogiversary Lisa and Laura Write! It's been one hell of a year, and we can't wait to see what the next year will bring.

Thank you to all of you who have been there with us every single step of the way. We have to say, it wouldn't be nearly as fun without you guys!

XOXO,
L&L

Friday, September 4, 2009

For the love of God, have you watched Glee?

OK, so I heard all the hype about this show. I figured it must be pretty entertaining. But I was wrong. So wrong. I just watched the pilot and this show is made of all things awesome.

So please, stop doing whatever it is that you're doing right now and go watch it. You will not regret it, and I know you'll be glad you watched the pilot before the second episode premiers on September 9th at 9 PM EST.




You're welcome.

P.S.
Have a fabulous long weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

You asked, We answered...

Thanks for the fabulous and somewhat random questions guys. We've had a lot of fun coming up with our answers. Enjoy!

From the esteemed Joanna:
Mr. Big, Aidan, Alexander P. and Berger are stuck on a desert island with you, with very little clothing (of course), food and water. After piling all of the rations (except the clothes) together, you realize that you only have enough food and water to last TWO people for a whole month.

Now, the desert island has a few coconut trees, but you have to be tall to get them. There is fish in the ocean, but you have to be wily and agile to catch them and mean enough to smack their heads against a rock. There may be fresh water somewhere under the sand, but you have to be such a downer that you're willing to dig that low. And there are a few animals on the island, but you have to be smooth enough to talk them into submission.

Who do you kill off to survive???

PS--The TWO people can't be both of you, so for this exercise, LiLa = one person.

The first to go is obviously Alexander P. I mean it's not like he can draw his way off the island, and imagine how nasty he'd be without his cigarettes. *shudder*

Next to face the wrath of LiLa will be good old Berger. Smell ya later buddy. You simply can't break up with people via post-it-note and expect to survive on a desert island. Just doesn't work that way B. Thanks for playing.

Now we're getting to the hard stuff. The eternal debate: Big or Aidan. Honestly, I feel like this would have gone a completely different direction if they never had made that gawd awful movie where Big publicly humiliates Carrie and the best he can do to apologize is copy some sorry ass love poems into an e-mail. LAME.

And then there's Aidan. When I think of Aidan I think of him fixing up Carrie's apartment, building things out of wood and carrying a baby in a bjorn. All very useful skills for island life.

Smell ya later, Big. Hope Aidan can figure out how to make a comfy bed out of those palm trees! In the meantime we'll all dine happily on coconut milk and Lisa can kill the fish. She can be a real bitch when she puts her mind to it.

From the fabulous Jenna Alexander:
Ok, imagine you are in hell. The real hell not just editing hell. Flames are flickering around you... what music is playing on the KHLL station?

Stars Are Blind by Paris Hilton. This song has the power to lure you down into the depths of hell and kind of make you want to stay. But then after a few minutes of the song on repeat, your ears will start to bleed and you'll be begging for mercy.

Either that or anything by Alanis Morrisette. Laura insisted on listening to the CD on one of our vacations growing up and everyone had to suffer through, "Isn't it ironic, don't you think?" about a million times. When in reality nothing in the entire freaking song is actually ironic. Our parents had the patience of saints.

From the vacationing JennyMac:
Is working/writing together something that makes your relationship as sisters better or more taxing at times?

Definitely better. We (and by we I mean Lisa) tend to get a little snippy when the writing isn't going exactly the way we'd like, but by and large writing together hasn't really changed anything between us. I'm tempted to say that it has made us closer, but I don't really think that's true. We were already this close, we already spent obscene amounts of time on the phone, the only difference is that now we can pretend it's a career.

And who makes hotter shoes: Choo or Louboutin?

Louboutin ALL the way. Those red soles are made of all things excessive and hot.

From the novel Frankie Diane Mallis:
You are now equipped with your own personal soundtrack-a mysterious machine that plays music whenever people see you coming or going. What song is playing when you enter a room? What song is playing when you leave?

Coming: Dancing Queen by Abba (because who doesn't love Abba?) But please realize, when we enter to this song, it will also be accompanied by syncronized dance moves that appear completely unrehearsed, like we just naturally move like we're in a musical. It will kick ass.

Leaving: I Will Survive (the Enrique Inglesias version), joking, joking, it's got to be Gloria Gaynor. This song rocks. Hard. When this song comes on at weddings, even non-dancers will dance. It's a song that brings people together. Rock on.

From the naughty Rebecca Knight:
Okay! Boff, Marry, Kill. Out of these three guys, who would you boff, who would you marry, and who would you kill?

1. Robert Downey Jr. - Boff (he's boffable)

2. Jackie Chan - Kill (we like a challenge)

3. Taye Diggs - MARRY (think of how beautiful our babies would be!)

From the fashionable Christina Lee:
I am too busy enjoying some of these questions. Ok here's my lamo one: Who is more of the extrovert/introvert of the two of you?

Lisa is definitely the extrovert. She's loud to the point of being completely obnoxious or hilarious. Depends on who you're talking to. Laura is pretty shy, but comes out of her shell once she's gotten comfortable with people.

From the hair obsessed ElanaJ:
Would you submit my name for What Not to Wear? kthxbai. :)

Only if you promise to invite us to the fabulous after party where your new look is exposed for all to see. Oh and find out if Clinton secretly hates Stacey. We think he might.

From the Twizzler deprived Sarah:
If you guys were famous for something (other than writing, which it goes without saying that you will be), what would it be?

I keep telling Laura if she would just get herself locked up in a North Korean prison for a few months, we'd probably score a book deal AND our own talk show. Consider yourselves on notice, Ling sisters.

There are secretly three of you, aren't there? Lisa, Laura and...??

No secret, there is a third sister, Stacey, who is 1,000 times more talented than Laura and I combined. Check out her website and enter to win a $50 gift certificate for her amazing designs here.

Your book is about to be made into a TV movie, starring Lindsay Lohan and hot new actor, Spencer Pratt. Which of you is sobbing first? Who pulls the other one off the ledge? Oh, and I forgot to mention. About the TV movie, Heidi is directing and serving in the capacity of music supervisor.

Holy &^%*! Our book is going to be a movie! With Lindsay Lohan and Spencer Prick...er..Pratt!?! Does this mean we get cameos on The Hills!?!

Ledge? What ledge? This means publicity, US Weekly montages and an invitation to the VMA's. We are SO in. I think you forgot that we're total idea whore, sell outs. As long as someone remembers to wipe the white crust from underneath LiLo's nose, we're totally on board.

What book do you secretly (or not-so-secretly) wish you'd written?

We wish we'd written Speak. Laurie Halse Anderson is a goddess.

From the serene Miss Tess:
Which one is Lisa and which one is Laura?

Laura is the dishy blonde. Lisa is the sensible brunette.

And, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?

Twizzlers and movie nights sans kiddos.

From our only male reader (unless you count our dad) Ryan:
Damn, there are a lot of good ones already. Let me go with something that might be a little obvious. Would you want to read a book that is based on mythology instead of reality, and takes place before the world as we know it came to be?

Um...no. But we also thought we'd hate TV shows about vampires and books narrated by the Grim Reaper or riddled with demons or girls who can travel into mystical realms. Honestly, if the book has amazing characters with interesting stories to tell, we're usually sold.

From the inimitable Katie:
Since SF is apparently calling herself Super Fly now, I'm thinking I'll be Killer (as in Kee lah). So what are y'all?

Um...LiLa? Seriously. We like that name. Don't make us think of something catchy, we suck at that. Remember how mad Little Ms. J got when we tried to dub her and P-Clo as Purple J? And then I called her the Divine Ms. J which she claims is a tranny name. Titles and nick names are just not our forte. Can you think of something for us? Ooh, and while you're at it come up with a better title for Unclaimed Baggage, ok?

From the hottest piece of Sass we know:
How'd you all get started? I'm relatively new to you blog - and blogs in general - so give me the nitty gritty. How do two sisters say "let's write a book... together"??!! I have a sister, hence all the !s and ?s

You can read the whole random story here. But really we were just a couple of desperate housewives with a lifelong love of books and a secret desire to write the next Gossip Girl.

From the mysterious sunna (she's really not that mysterious, but her blog picture is and if you haven't checked out her blog you really should because she's highly entertaining):

Argyle or stripeys?
Stripes. We love all things striped in all their unflattering, pound adding, glory.

Rare or burned?
Rare.

Paper or plastic?
Plastic. (Did you hear that loud thump? That was the sound of Earth Mama Loretta fainting dead away. Don't disown us, L!)

What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
I'm sorry, we simply cannot answer this without knowing if we're dealing with an African or European swallow.

From the uber informative jessjordan (seriously, check out her SCBWI posts):
If LiLa could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

This is SO easy. Obviously our superpower would be an odd 6th sense for knowing whenever anyone is reading one of our manuscripts. We'd get a little tingle on the back of our necks if an editor was reading and loving it and a quick zap if they hated it. We wouldn't even need the Hope Tank anymore because we'd already know. Good times.

From the girl-who-just-typed-the-end, Weronika:
Hehehehe. I want to hear all about how you met your hubbies and their proposals. :) The romantic side of it all.

Ok, it would take way too long to type up our proposal stories, but they were romantic, and lovely and involved sparkly diamonds.

But the really interesting story lies in the fact that both Laura and I married high school sweet hearts. How cheesy is that?

And if that isn't bad enough, Stacey also married someone from our high school only she was in 6th grade when he was a senior in high school. Oh and did I mention that he's my husband's best friend? Oh and Laura's husband is my husband's brother's best friend.

It's a tangled web we've woven over here in Cleveland. We're pretty sure that our parents put something in our orange juice growing up.

From the extraordinarily wise storyqueen:
Can you give us a little insight into how you guys write...I mean, there are two of you.....and how do you solve writerly disputes?

We start off by writing a very detailed outline that includes everything from character traits and development, to plot points of each chapter. Then Lisa writes the first chapter of the book sends it to Laura. Laura edits Lisa's chapter and then writes the next chapter. We keep going back and forth until the book is finished.

As for writerly disputes, they're sort of rare, but they do happen. Usually someone feels much more strongly about the issue than the other person, so we've both done our share of giving in gracefully.

Potato chips or French fries?

French fries! Ideally dipped in a Wendy's Frosty. Yum!

Ask us anything, we dare you!

Ok, people, it's Thursday. Hope Tank levels are hovering right above "E," and my dear daughter kept me up half the night last night. Bottom line: I got nothing.

But my tragedy is your treasure...or something like that...I'm really tired, ok?

So today, in honor of my sleep addled brain, you can ask us ANYTHING. Seriously. We have anonymous comments, take advantage. We promise we'll come up with an answer to all of your crazy ass questions and we'll post our answers tonight. We can't promise our answers will make any sense, but we can promise they'll be entertaining, and does anything else really matter? I thought not.



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I always knew this day would come...

Five years ago when I found out that the baby growing inside of me was a little boy I knew things would get complicated. You see, little boys come with equipment that I know nothing about. In the Roecker house we were all about sugar and spice and everything nice. Frogs, snails and puppy dog tails? Um...ew. We simply did not do puppy dog tails in Roecker land.

After the birth of my son I was in completely uncharted territory. There was the initial circumcision and then the re-circumcision (bet you didn't even know that existed, right?) a year later. And lately it's been his obsession with his..er...junk that is supposedly completely normal in a 4-year-old boy, but makes me feel like I'm taking a very small deviant to the playground.

Most recently Jack started peeing standing up, which apparently is a really cool thing when you're 4-years-old. And right around the same time he's developed an abhorrence for underwear. Please let the record show that I do force him to wear underwear during the day, but at night I'm tired and he puts his own pajamas on. As a result, he's usually going to bed commando.

Anyways, it turns out that all of these things, all of these experiences have been leading me to one inevitable moment in my life. It's been chilly around here the past couple of nights so we've broken out the warm pajamas for the kids, you know the ones that zip.

Do you see where this is all going now?

Jack did his typical Jedi-mind-wake-up move this morning and told me that he wanted breakfast, but first he had to go to the potty. I fell back into a dreamy sleep for a minute or two, but as soon as I heard the howl of pain I knew exactly what had happened. We had our very own There's Something About Mary moment. Jack had zipped his junk.

I jumped out of bed and unzipped it, and so far, I've spent the rest of the morning explaining why we can't put a band-aid on his junk.

Damn puppy dog tails.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: Unclaimed Baggage

Remember when the idea whore was totally (and randomly) inspired by Into the Wild a month or so ago? Have you been on the edges of your seats ever since then waiting to figure out what the hell we could possibly concoct that has any relation to Into the Wild? No? Well, whatever. Here it is:

***

“Emile Hirsch is so hot,” I remembered saying with a sigh, popping another piece of popcorn in my mouth and trying not to notice the way the glare of the TV reflected off of Emily’s bald head. I’d never have admitted this to her, but it was almost easier when she was wearing the horrible Rachel wig. She didn’t look like my sister with it on, but at least she didn’t look like she was dying.

“Yeah…isn’t it just amazing how this guy went out into the world to find himself? He let go of everything just to have these tiny little moments of truth, you know? And then there are all these people helping him get to Alaska. It’s just...” she furrowed her brow, the loose skin on her drawn face crinkling, “it’s beautiful. You know what I mean?”

“Yeah beautiful, aside from the whole dying alone in a VW bus thing.”

“Well, duh. I mean the whole idea of it. We could totally do our own version of Into the Wild.”

She had that look in her eyes. The same look she got when she came up with her brilliant plan to sell Girl Scout Cookies on eBay, and most of our customers ended up being perverts who should have been on Dateline’s “How to Catch a Predator.” Or the time when she decided we should ride our bikes to Six Flags while our parents were at work, which turned into a 30-mile ride of shame, complete with wet t-shirts, bike helmets and honking horns.

I knew that look. It was the look that usually ended up getting me in big, big trouble.