Saturday, October 31, 2009

Random Thoughts About Halloween...

  • The most terrifying costume trend of the evening had to be the tweens dressed like 80's workout queens. Those shiny leotards and leg warmers were far scarier than the bloody nurse or the scary clown. Am I really old enough to have kids dressing in clothes that I once wore?
  • If you're old enough to have a cell phone with a Lady Gaga ringtone, you're too old for trick or treating.
  • I always get stuck handing out the candy, but this year I was prepared. I had my down coat, a chair and Sarah Dessen's Someone Like You. Good. Times. This is my first ever Sarah Dessen book, and damn, I'm loving every second.
  • Halloween in Ohio smells like burning leaves and melted chocolate. Sitting on my front step watching all of the kids in costumes run from door-to-door as their parents reminded them to say thank you from the sidewalks was kind of amazing. Sometimes I'm sad that I've traded my three-inch city girl heels for the ballet flats of suburbia, but tonight with my wine and my book and a lawn covered with red, orange and gold leaves, I was content.
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trick or Treat?

If you're looking for a nifty trick check this out. But don't get any ideas about turning it into a bestseller, Meg Cabot already called dibs on Twitter.

As for a treat, well stay tuned. We're working on something that will either be epic or mildly entertaining. TBD.

In the meantime, check out the fantastic discussion going on about Blogiquette in the comments from yesterday's post. I'm not sure if we should be honored or embarrassed that the comments are more insightful than the post itself. We'll go with honored.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blogiquette

A little over a year ago when Laura and I decided to start a blog, we had no idea what we were getting into. For the first few months our only readers were our Mom, our two best friends and our sister. It was pretty pathetic.

But then somehow we started to network with other writers and bloggers and all of the sudden we met some really cool people. And then as we began reading and commenting on more blogs, it occurred to me that there are all sorts of unspoken rules that govern the blogosphere. Now, months later, I'm sick of living in silence. It's high time we begin to document the Rules of Blogiquette.

Here's what we've got so far:

  1. The Golden Rule of Blogging: If someone comments on your blog, you must reciprocate by commenting on their blog. It took us FOREVER to figure this one out. Uh, yeah, we're a little slow like that.
  2. Don't Blog Angry: Or at least not all the time. Ranting is fun if you're anonymous, but if you're an aspiring writer (or really, an aspiring anything) you're going to scare people off if all you do is bitch and complain about rejections. Our rule is: Don't worry, blog happy. And if you don't blog happy, you'd better blog funny. Deep stuff.
  3. Do Unto Others: You know the drill, it's probably not the best idea to write nasty things about other people. That kind of stuff almost always comes back to bite you in the ass. Be honest, but treat people with respect.
  4. Stalking is Encouraged: OK, who doesn't love seeing a new address come up in StatCounter? We see cyberstalking as an honor, not an offense. Of course the judge and jury may rule otherwise...
  5. Be Consistent: Whether it's content or just the regularity with which you post, make sure you're relatively consistent. No one likes random more than Team LiLa, but we don't mess with our posting schedule. We're here five-days-a-week. We may not have anything interesting to say, but we'll be here. Consistency over quality, that's our motto. Man, that really doesn't sound good.
Now, we may break a rule or two (or three) here and there, but for the most part, we try to be good little bloggers. Although, I'm sure we're missing some really obvious, crucially important Blogiquette rules. Post yours in the comments.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Facebook Makes Me Feel Dirty...

Ok, so team LiLa is dangerously close to creating a Facebook Page. Laura and I both have pages now under our married names and it's actually sort of a nightmare. I can't stop myself from logging on because I just have to know what the random people from high school are up to on a day-to-day basis, but some of the updates are so disturbing I feel like I need to shower after reading them.

Things I don't need to see in your Facebook Status:

  • Details about your current medical conditions, including (but not limited to) stretch marks and/or visits to your psychiatrist.
  • Random lyrics from songs in the 90's. Sadly, I already remember that Vanilla Ice was too cold without your daily reminder.
  • Pictures of you or your spouse giving birth. Does this really need an explanation?
  • Photos of your children dressed in Ed Hardy. That's child abuse. Your kids are too young to know they shouldn't be dressed like that in public.
  • How much beer you've consumed in the last 24 hours. Keep it to yourself. Haven't you heard the term "private shame?"
  • References to "getting back in the saddle" after giving birth. Come on people! Have you no dignity? Are there no details too personal? It's just wrong. WRONG.
Here's the big question for all of you aspiring authors out there: For those of you with Facebook accounts that you use for professional purposes, what the heck do you post? Laura and I are a little terrified of outing ourselves on Facebook because we'll get a mix of random high school frienemies and fun writer friends following us, and while our close friends and family know that we're aspiring writers, the rest of the world does not.

Hold us.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

She's Leaving Home...

I'm supposed to be writing and I really am writing between lots of procrastination breaks. Anyways I fired up my iTunes for some inspiration and this song came on and it was just so perfect. It just IS the book, you know? Don't you love it when the right song completely transports you to another time and place?

Ok, I'm going to get back to it before Laura cancels my WiFi. Enjoy.


Tell the Truth Tuesday: Random Confessions

1. I love cleaning. I know, I know, it's weird, but I love cleaning my house. I put on my iPod, crank up my favorite songs and just start scrubbing. Back when I was gainfully employed I used to have someone clean the house every other week, but now I do it myself and I'm finding it to be sort of therapeutic. My friend once told me that she loved to clean because it's one of the few that provides immediate, tangible results. I love that. I work hard and my house is clean. It's all very zen.

2. I don't hate yoga. I've always been a yoga hater. I'm inflexible, I hate the smell of feet, and I never felt like I was getting a real work out. But then my friend talked me into a power yoga class and I sort of love it. It's relaxing and lovely and I feel like a new person when I leave. So, I'm officially a reformed yoga hater. Namaste bitches.

3. H1N1 scares me. This whole frenzy with people waiting hours in lines for vaccines, the 60 Minutes piece and the rumor that a child died on the table in a local doctor's office has me completely freaked out. I keep having flashbacks to The Stand. Terrifying.

4. I'm a fangirl. After hearing rumors that the Glee cast might tour I've decided that I'll do everything in my power to get front row tickets and wear a Glee t-shirt purchased that very night. Wow, that's a whole new level of Gleek.

5. I haven't been reading lately. I'm half way through this book and it's really not interesting or engaging and yet I feel compelled to finish. Absolutely brutal. I hate it when I get bogged down in a book I don't like because it prevents me from reading something else. And yet if I stop reading I'll always wondered what happened. And I'll feel guilty. Annoying.

Ok, so now it's your turn. Spill your guts in the comments. You know you want to...

Monday, October 26, 2009

We're Bringing Catty Back

After all those good vibes we figured it was time for us to return to our usual catty programming. And thanks to an Us Weekly Breaking News Slideshow entitled Lindsay Lohan’s Face: How It’s Changed, I’ve been inspired to rhyme. Thank God no one cares enough about me to create a slideshow with crappy photos from my past.

(Editorial note from Lisa: Just wait till February 21st when it's your 29th birthday. You are going down)


Your debut included freckles and a normal-looking nose,

your red hair was to die for (despite a studded choker that blows).
And then you went for highlights, heavy on the chunk,

and covered up your freckles with some heavy duty gunk.

Your snout appeared more chiseled, your body did as well,
you got to pose for Cartier and were feeling pretty swell.

But your luck began to run out, things quickly headed south,
all photographs that surfaced featured a slightly open mouth.
You went back to basics, and dyed your hair dark brown,

you even tried a spray tan, not sure you’ll live that down.

Now your lips are looking juicy, shaped permanently in a kiss,

light pink is not their color, though I’m not quite sure what is.

Some lament the loss of Lindsay, the red-headed girl next door,
but let’s take some time to warn her of what could be in store.
Oh Meg Ryan, I’m so sorry. Girl from the show Las Vegas, why? Just why?

Save yourself Lindsay, cease the injections, let’s please see eye to eye.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Instant Karma Already Got You

It's the last day of good vibe week over here and we have to say that all the good vibrations seem to be paying off. The hilarious Sarah With a Chance scored an agent. Ok, fine, this happened before good vibe week, but still. Did we mention that she also scored a very rare photo of us? She's like a Canadian paparazzo. Next up, Scott Baio's archenemy Jamie Harrington just announced that she landed an agent on her Twitter. And finally, we got wind of a couple other authors who have some exciting news, but they made us promise to wait until next week to share.

If you haven't already been spreading the love you've got one last chance to pay it forward with our final challenge: Go buy a book from a debut author. You could check out Hush, Hush or may we suggest pre-ordering The Body Finder or The Naughty List? There are so many good books out there, just go buy one, or two, or three. Support your fellow authors!

Thanks to everyone who participated in our week of good vibrations. We've had a blast meeting new people and watching our friends succeed. Can't wait to see what all these good vibes have in store for us. Fingers crossed it's not a karmic bitch slap for that Jessica Simpson post.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spread the Love, Write a Review

I'm guessing about 99% of the people who read this blog also read books. For the record, this is a totally scientific fact calculated based on two assumptions:

1. Stacey is the only person we know who doesn't read books; and
2. The rest of you are literate.

Ok, there's a point to all of this, I swear. Theoretically all of you have read a book lately, and maybe it's even a book that you really enjoyed.

So, here's your challenge for the day: Blog, Tweet, or leave an Amazon review for a book that you've read and loved. You may not think that authors have time to read your comments or reviews, but they often do. And even if the author doesn't end up reading, someone else will and maybe, just maybe they'll buy the book.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Good Vibrations, Stampfel-Volpe Style

Holy. Crap.

Good Vibe week just got taken up another notch by the fabulous Joanna Stampfel-Volpe.

Take a look at the comment she just left on our original good vibe post:

The first 10 people to query Joanna Stampfel-Volpe tomorrow (10/21/09) will get a full query critique as long as they state in the first line of the query that they read about it on LiLa's blog! Keep spreading the good vibrations people!

So, let's go readers! Clean up your queries and hit send. Joanna is the best of the best. She is a true advocate for aspiring writers and she's willing to invest a lot of time and enthusiasm in the lucky authors she represents. Bottom line: She rocks. Hard.

Thank you Jo, for helping us spread the good vibes this week. You are amazing!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Something is in the air...

Good things are happening. Ok, maybe not to us specifically, but to fellow writers and friends. And when good things happen for people we care about, they might as well be happening to us because it's pretty great seeing people you know and love succeed.

So, in honor of good things happening we're declaring this good vibe week on our blog. Come back every day for a new task (suggestion?) to spread the love. You know you could use the karma.

Here's your first challenge: Do something to support an aspiring writer. Comment on a blog you've never read before, offer to critique a query, be supportive of your peers.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dude, we broke the book...

Things were going just swimmingly with our WIP Unclaimed Baggage/London Calling/She's Leaving Home. Well, aside from the title ADD.

Pieces of the book were clicking into place like magic, and we were happy little aspiring authors. We loved our WIP. But then last week, the shit hit the proverbial fan. It was a little bit like moving in with the love of your life and finding out that he never picks up his dirty underwear, and insists on watching sports 24/7 totally preventing you from getting your daily dose of Bravo. Er, you know, theoretically.

Anyways, we heard back from our beta ninja that the section of the book we'd just written needed some serious work. Well, she didn't say that exactly, but she did make a few compelling observations that lead to us overhauling the last 20,000 odd words.

Nothing like an honest critique to make you feel like a complete hack.

The truth is, we're a little OCD when it comes to our writing. The second we get a good, solid critique from one of our trusted readers we see the book as broken. It's lame, I know, but we can't help it. When there's something off about our work the only thing we can think about is how to fix it. We literally can't rest until we've resolved whatever issues came to light. This probably explains how we managed to turn a 65,000 word manuscript into an 85,000 word manuscript with a dramatically different central mystery in two weeks.

We're crazy.

Now that we've fixed the part of the book that was broken, we have about 20,000 words left until we type "The End." And they're going to be tough words. We know how we want to wrap things up, but we have no idea if it's going to work or not. The ending has to be perfect. It has to be satisfying and realistic. It has to do the book justice. We're terrified of mucking it up.

So, how do you guys get over your fear of breaking your book? Do you just write it out and hope for the best? Or do you wait until you have the perfect vision to put pen to paper?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Don't Stop Believing

I give you...the OTHER Roeckers...

When Laura approached us to write a guest blog in honor of Lisa’s birthday, we weren’t quite sure where to start. So the Regulator (aka Mom), did what she usually does to get inspiration: a Google search. After typing in the words, “Lisa + Cameltoe + Tivo + Justin Bobby + Glee + overalls” she was brought to Fox’s Intranet and hacked her way in. Then she stumbled upon this gem: an unedited version of the original Glee Trailer. As you will see, some of the scenes were eventually cut.


Happy Birthday to our Dancing Queen. Aren’t we all lucky Lisa chose to write instead of dance? And just so you know, we will NEVER stop believing in both of you!


*A special thanks goes out to our dad for his unwillingness to edit as he filmed us in our early years. Without him, we never would have access to countless ballet recitals, random footage entitled "Girls Goofing Around", 20+ years worth of Christmas mornings and family vacations full of our trademark "squirrel" look. There's nothing like documenting those awkward tweenage/teenage years. Especially when there's a little something called "The Rippr" that can transform those moments into humiliating blog birthday posts!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Time to play the guessing game...

So, tomorrow is the big day for Laura's crazy-ass-surprise-blog extravaganza. I still have no idea what the hell she's up to, but I have a few theories.

1. She's arranged to have Justin Bobby personally create a Happy Birthday Vlog for me. She needed to use the Rippr software for editing purposes because she didn't want K. Cav's sandpaper like voice to ruin the audio.

2. She bought a star and named it after me. The Rippr program is actually a satellite that took a picture of the star and e-mailed it to her. Come on, admit it, you've always wanted someone to buy you a star, right? No? Just me? Crap.

3. She's created a PowerPoint presentation using only the most humiliating childhood photos of yours truly for your viewing pleasure. And Rippr is what she thinks I'll do to her skinny ass after I've seen it.

Ok, now it's your turn. Share your best theories of what's going down tomorrow in the comments. If anyone gets it right I'll send you a package of Twizzlers.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

D-Bag-O-Meter: The Scott Baio


Dear Scott,

I loved you in Charles in Charge. Admittedly, I spent most of my viewing time coveting Nicole Eggert's crimped hair and snazzy fashion choices, but I also took the time to admire your dimples and tight jeans. Overall it was 3o minutes of bliss every week.

Sadly, things took an unfortunate turn when you decided to do a VH1 Reality Show a ways back. While it might have seemed like a good idea to revitalize your career with some quality reality programming (after all, look what it did for Britney!) Scott Baio is 45 and Single was a really bad idea. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it, because I did, but the show sort of highlighted the fact that you're...um...how can I put this delicately? You're bat shit crazy. I'm no Ari Gold, but I can't imagine that being a semi-washed-up, bat shit crazy 80's star does much for your career in Hollywood.

However, none of this really makes you a d-bag. I mean, you definitely showed some d-bag tendencies on the show, but overall I have to say I found you charmingly neurotic. Sort of like a better looking, unintentionally funny Larry David.

And then you went and got yourself a Twitter account.

Things seemed to go downhill at this point. You started saying some pretty disrespectful things about our president and getting pretty agitated with the response from the Twitterverse. And then somehow you ended up in a massive Tweet-off with writer Jamie Harrington. You can read all about it in her hilarious blog posts here, here and here.

It all started with some fun and games with you claiming that you're totally in charge of your finances (Did you see what I just did there? Hilarious, right?) and then it somehow ended with you accusing Jamie of attempting to destroy your family, followed by a threatened lawsuit. Yowsa.

So, Scott Baio, my friend, you really are kind of a d-bag. You're taking yourself very seriously and threatening to sue people for absolutely no reason. Personally, I think it's kind of awesome and entertaining, but it also reeks of d-baggery.

Kisses,
Lisa

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

13 Reasons Why...We Love HUSH, HUSH!


In honor of October 13th, HUSH, HUSH's release, we've compiled a list of thirteen reasons why we're a little obsessed with this book.

13. Becca not only has fabulous taste in shoes, she's also got great taste in literary agents. At least we think so...*ahem*

12. HUSH, HUSH has the best book trailer. Ever. Hot angel falling from the sky. Lightning. Hot angel falling again. It doesn't get much better than that.

11. Have you seen the cover of this book? (Hint: the answer is YES, we posted it above. You're welcome.) It's a work of art. Seriously. And let's face it, the people who tell you not to judge a book by it's cover, usually have really lame covers. Just sayin'.

10. Writer porn. Watching Emily Meehan, the editor for HUSH, HUSH, gush about the book is incredible. She knew a good thing when she read it and she simply had to have the book. This is the stuff dreams are made of, well, our dreams anyways.

9. Vampires are so last season. Becca is about to do for angels what Stephanie Meyer did for vampires. Get excited.

8. More writer porn. Becca's road to publication is a pretty amazing story. If you haven't already checked out her blog you've got to get over there. She's always giving away free stuff and sharing snippets about life as a published author.

7. Sexual tension. Becca's book is full of it. As you read, you remember what it's like to be a hormonal high schooler crushing on the bad boy who's just out of reach. So basically, the book takes years off. Kind of like Botox only without the needles.

6. HUSH, HUSH leaves you begging for a sequel. And, we're all in luck because Becca's working on CRESCENDO as we speak! Gotta love a series.

5. Unlike us, Becca has a way with titles. First HUSH, HUSH and then CRESCENDO? What will she come up with next? Ooh, I know, maybe a new title for our WIP? Please?

4. Becca is pretty much the nicest person ever. You might want to hate Becca because she's written an amazing book and you're totally jealous, but it's impossible. Way back when we were deciding between agents, Catherine passed along Becca's information so we could get a feel for how she works with her clients. Becca was so enthusiastic and friendly and has turned into a great resource for us as we ride the submissions roller coaster. Becca rocks.

3. If you haven't noticed, HUSH, HUSH is getting a lot of well-deserved buzz. Just check out these mailers Simon and Schuster sent out. Um, yeah, they may be the coolest things we've ever seen. We're NOT scrapbookers, but if we got our paws on one of those, we may just get out the old glue gun. Well, we would if we had one.

2. Have you read the reviews? People are LOVING this book. Click here, here and here to read all about what other (more qualified) reviewers are saying about HUSH, HUSH.

Drum roll please..

1. The number one reason we love HUSH, HUSH is because of a little character named Patch. He's dark. He's mysterious. He's extremely well-written. Oh and he's hot. He's pretty much Jordan Catalano with wing scars and you know how we feel about Jordan Catalano. The scenes with Patch in them will take you right back to high school when your life revolved around stalking the hot, totally unattainable, slightly dangerous guy who sat next to you in Biology.

So, if you haven't already done so, do yourself a favor and buy HUSH, HUSH. This way when everyone starts talking about it you'll have something to contribute. You can thank us later.

Congratulations Becca and happy release day!

Monday, October 12, 2009

O Motivation Where Art Thou?

My motivation to write is MIA. Laura sent me new chapters for London Calling on Friday. I read them, loved them, went out of town for the weekend and haven't been able to open the document since.

This can't be good.

Thankfully I've got a few theories about what might have happened.

1. Ever since I got back from this amazing trip to Italy with my husband, I've been having the worst time focusing. Oh and there's this politician that I made out with after a town hall meeting. Whenever I sit down to write my mind just wanders and I end up thinking about how amazingly hot I looked when I met my husband for drinks in Rome.

2. My husband decided to take on this second job as the director of a high school glee club and he sings all these really catchy songs that I just can't seem to get out of my head. All the singing and the dancing makes it pretty much impossible to write anything. Not to mention the fact that he's been flirting with this crazy ass guidance counselor and I'm faking a pregnancy in a desperate bid to save my marriage.

3. The real truth is that I live in this fabulous apartment building and the other night I woke up to the sound of sirens and it turns out that my landlord was found murdered in the pool and I'm a prime suspect in the investigation. I'm sorry, there's just no way I can write when I'm 99% sure that my neighbor is working as a high-end prostitute.

4. I may not have mentioned this before, but I'm an FBI agent that works on creepy cases that totally gross most people out, and I have this uber hot partner who's got this crazy dad and a couple of weeks ago I visited another dimension. So, every time I sit down to write all I can think about is this message that I got in the other dimension that will supposedly save the world. Oh, and my uber hot partner.

5. These new guys moved to my town. They're brothers and they're totally cute, but I'm starting to think something is a little off about them. They freak out whenever they see blood and all of the sudden wild animals have been killing young girls in our town. Needless to say, the entire situation is more than just a little distracting.

Is it clear what's keeping me from my writing? Someone needs to take a sledgehammer to my TiVo.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Frisky Friday

Well, it's been quite a week over here, and as always there are some riveting take aways....

1. It's all about the hair. We had friends over last weekend and we (and by "we" I mean the boys) were watching the Big 10 Network (Yes, this is a real network. And yes, our TV is pretty much tuned in from September to December. Depressing, I know.) when they had a commercial featuring one of their "newscasters."

Husband: Man, she's hot.
Me: Seriously?
Husband: Yeah, you're just jealous.
Peanut Gallery of boys: *Laughing*
Me: Um, no, not jealous. I'm fully capable of admitting when a woman is hot, but she is not hot. She has blonde Barbie hair and a really good body, which provides the illusion of hotness.
Husband: She's hot.
Peanut Gallery of boys: She's ok...(Clearly not sure whose side to take. I'd like to think they were also skeptical of her hotness, but didn't want to humiliate my husband.)
Me: See! They don't think she's hot either. Megan Fox is hot. This girl is a sorry ass sports reporter on the Big 10 Network.
Husband: She's the only good thing about the Big 10 Network.
Me: *dramatic sigh meant to communicate that the only action he'd be seeing that night was on the Big 10 Network*

In retrospect I should have responded with, "Then for the love of God why are we watching the Big 10 Network?" but it didn't occur to me at the time. Ah hindsight, you are a fickle bitch.

Anyways, fast forward to Monday morning when my husband sends out an e-mail with headshot of this girl to prove her hotness. In an effort to prove the point that she was only hot because of her hair, I called in my resident photoshop genius.

So...hot or not? I'll let you be the judge...

2. Secrets destroy sisters. There is currently a post in our blogger drafts entitled, "TOP SECRET: OPEN AND DIE." My dear sisters made me swear on the lives of my children that I wouldn't open it. Clearly, they know me too well and for the record I hate them. Tune in next week to see what happens when the youngest Roeckers hijack my blog. Yeah, that's right. I just called it MY blog because in spite of recent events I'm the oldest and I'm in charge.

3. We're in the home stretch...sort of. We had a major breakthrough in London Calling last week and just passed the 50,000 word mark. Only two more sections to go until we get to type "THE END." But here's the thing, we're a little scared to finish this one. Sure, we already have about a million ideas about what we want to start next, but we're going to miss the journey we've taken with these characters. This book has required more research than The Haunting of Pemberly Brown and even though we're usually allergic to research, in this case it has allowed us to live vicariously through our characters. So, even though we're beyond excited for Major Agent to read this book, we're also kind of dreading the end.

Yeah, we're total drama queens. Deal with it.

Well, that's all we've got this week! Have a fabulous weekend and don't forget to visit next Friday to witness my public humiliation on this here blog. Good. Times.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Modern YA Writer's Handbook Vol. 3

I'm so bitter about this surprise that Laura has planned that I couldn't even write last night. That's right I'm slacking and I'm blaming it all on Laura.

In the meantime here's some more writing tips adapted from The Modern Socialite's Handbook.

The original from The North Shore which is currently collecting dust on a very, very high shelf:

As a socialite, one of the most important skills you’ll learn is how to distinguish between new money and old. Even if your family just hit the Powerball last year, there is no reason for you to run around reeking of noveau riche. If you’re striving for socialite status, it is imperative that you carry yourself with a certain level of class and style. Of course, you can’t just look the part, you have to have the right connections. As with everything else in life, if you ever want to see your name in boldface on Page 6, it’s all about who you know.

--The Modern Socialite’s Handbook

The writer's version:

As a writer, one of the most important skills you’ll learn is how to promote yourself. Even if your book is destined to win the Newbery, you must learn how to network and convince others that your book is worth reading. If you’re striving for bestseller status, it is imperative that you carry yourself with a certain level of class and style. Do not make the mistake of spamming friends with obnoxious messages about your book. You can’t force it, you have to let connections happen organically. As with everything else in life, if you ever want to see your name on The New York Time's Bestseller List, it’s all about how you promote.

--The Modern YA Writer’s Handbook

And just so you know we're taking our own advice. Over the past couple weeks we've been interviewed at three different blogs. Go check them out if you're not already completely annoyed with us. And for the record we really need to update our author photo, Laura. My bangs somehow ended up parted in the middle Peggy Olson style. Not good.

So, what are you guys doing to promote your work? Anything fun or creative? All we've got is this random blog and a dream, so we'd love to hear what else we can be doing to get our names out there.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rip this...

It all started with an idea (not mine, but here's a hint, it may or may not involve other members of our family) to take over the blog on Oct. 16th. Sounds simple. Um...no.

My timeline for the past 24 hours is not pretty. It involves spending all yesterday at my mom and dad's house, having all day turn to all night (slumber party!), loading something called "The Rippr" onto my computer (and praying it wasn't a virus), staying up till 3 in the morning, swearing...a lot (this is a freaking !?*$-show, a HUGE cluster-$!*%), waking up at 6 in the morning in the same clothes from yesterday and still being nowhere close to finished.

But we are not quitters. Come hell or high water the surprise for Lisa will air on the 16th. And for the record, this was not my idea. But, I will admit, it's a good one.

Stay tuned...

~Laura

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tell the Truth Tuesday: This is my life

Back when I was a teenager I was planning on being a cool mom or maybe not being a mom at all. In my twisted little 14-year-old brain motherhood seemed like a really long babysitting job without the $5-an-hour paycheck. Instead of getting married and having kids I was going to drive a Porsche Carerra and live in a fabulous loft in an even more fabulous city.

And here I am.

Living in Cleveland, Ohio with two kids who humiliate me in public on a daily basis. (Today a fellow mom at the library helpfully informed me that my son was pelting other children with blocks. Good times.) I drive an SUV with a third row of seats for carpooling purposes and a DVD player to keep the kids quiet on long drives. It's about as close as you can come to a minivan without actually driving a minivan. That's one line I'm not willing to cross.

Yet.

I'm reading a discipline book called 1-2-3 Magic that forces you to do this horrible count down routine to get your kids to calm down. So I'm that mom in Target screaming, "That's ONE, Jack!" manically pointing my finger to the ceiling as my son rips open candy bar wrappers with his teeth.

This is my life.

I might look like the stereotypical suburban mom dressed in ratty yoga pants with screaming children, but I've got a dream. When everyone goes to sleep at night and the house is silent except for the hum of my Mac, I get to sit down in front of my computer and live an entirely different life. The frazzled mom is replaced by a confident writer.

This is my life.

And then after I've spent a few hours writing, blogging and watching only the trashiest of television, after I feel like I'm more than just the person who changes diapers and breaks up fights, I creep upstairs and kiss my gorgeous children goodnight.

This is my life.

Monday, October 5, 2009

D-Bag-O-Meter: A.C. Slater



Dear A.C. Slater,

Yes, we know your real name is Mario Lopez, but you'll always be Slater to us. I wish I could say that we remember your Save By the Bell years fondly, but that would be a lie. You sported a horrible curly mullet and your romance with Jessie Spano gave us the chills. And not in a good way.

True D-Bags are hard to come by. Yeah, they need to look the part (easy-peasy, just look at Kourtney with a 'K' Kardashian's boyfriend), but they also need to act the part (in Scott's defense, he seems to be sticking around as daddy).

A.C. (aka Albert Clifford), you definitely look the part. Your perma-orange spray tan, your horrible hosting gig on Extra, your proclivity for removing your shirt and your freakishly good dance moves on Dancing with the Stars all combine to make you a Grade-A Douche.

And Al, (not to quote Paul Simon or anything, but can we call you Al?) you most definitely act the part--you cheated on your wife of like 45 seconds, Dorito's girl Ali Landry (who seems to be bouncing back quite nicely, for the record) and allegedly did the same thing to your Dancing with the Stars squeeze, Karina.

But the icing on the proverbial cake (pun intended) has to be the picture above. Did you really order a birthday cake that showcased your so-chiseled-they're-gross-abs? Put that away. Seriously.

Shirtless, smooth dancing cheaters who order cakes with pictures of themselves sans shirt? D-Bag-O-Meter-no-likey.



Better luck next time, Al.

Kisses,
L&L

Friday, October 2, 2009

Flatbread Friday

Did I mention that I'm back on carbs, because I am back ON carbs. I had this cheese flatbread thing after spin class this morning and it was heavenly. Anyways, it's been an interesting week in LiLa land, as always. Here's what we've learned:

1. Project Runway is a lot like publishing. Last night there were these two guys who partnered up to make designs for Macy's and they were just so pleased with themselves. They kept going on and on about how they were the best partners ever. They were completely convinced that they were going to win and even Tim Gunn raved about their designs.

Their little Hope Tanks were overflowing.

And then after the runway, they were eviscerated by the judges. I think Michael Kors even said that their tunic looked like it had an attached lobster bib. Ouch.

We can totally relate, aspiring fashionistas. While there's been no mention of lobster bibs, we have been sufficiently humbled by the submissions process, and we just wanted to take a moment to remind you that it's all subjective. So lobster bib or no lobster bib, keep on designing dudes. And remember, one man's lobster bib is another man's "beautifully crafted bouquet neckline with pleating." (Thank you J.Crew.)

2. Laura has obscene amounts of willpower. You guys, I've tried EVERYTHING to get Laura to divulge the StatCounter password, but she refuses. It's horrible. Last night she resorted to reciting the list of hits we normally get on a day to day basis like a little bedtime story. La Grange, IL; Cleveland, OH; Chagrin Falls, OH; Okolona, MS; Auckland, NZ; Oceanside, NY; Oceanside, CA; Atlanta, GA; Washington, DC, Decatur, GA; Edmonton, CA...it was like a little lullaby.

I still hate her.

3. Everyone should be watching Modern Family. Seriously. Get on over to Plot This and watch the first two episodes. You'll thank me later when I make jokes about "Why the Face!?" and you actually understand them.

4. Our writing friends continue to be made of win. Please visit Sara's blog and congratulate her on her fabulous new agent. We are beyond excited! Stream Pirate is a really special book and we can't wait to see it on bookshelves.

5. Laura has a secret. And if you know me, you know that this isn't going over well. At all. She's hijacking the blog for her nefarious purposes on October 16th and she won't tell me anything about it. Nothing. I've decided it must be one of three things:
  • She's writing a book of poetry without me (backstabbing bitch);
  • She's going to publicly humiliate me with another one of my prom pictures (backstabbing bitch);
  • She's writing a tell all, Mommy Dearest-esque book about our sisterly relationship (backstabbing bitch).
The only acceptable secret for her to have from me at this stage in our lives is that she's booked a one way ticket to North Korea and is finally going to get herself incarcarated so we can sell a freaking book and she wants to keep me in the dark so I'll be able to show genuine surprise and anguish for the cameras. Now that's a secret I can get on board with.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"Hello, my name is Lisa..."

"And I'm addicted to StatCounter."

The room choruses, "Hi Lisa!"

"Well, it all started innocently enough. We thought it would be great having StatCounter on our blog and website to see how many hits we were getting. But then we went on submission and soon I started showing signs of obsession."

I twist my hair and stare up at the ceiling, completely unable to make eye contact with the other members of the support group.

"I started checking the hits on our sites every five minutes, around the clock. My finger was constantly hovering over the F9 key, praying for a hit from NYC. That high of seeing an editor on your site, well there's nothing like it."

I start twitching a little bit just thinking about the thought of an editor pouring over our blog because they're thinking of making an offer on our book. Oh god, it's just so good. I take a deep breath, trying to find the strength to continue.

"So, a couple weeks ago you might remember me saying that I had my husband change the password on the account, so I could stop checking, and it wasn't a lie. He did change the password, but after 24 hours or so, I couldn't stand being in the dark. I was just sure that our logs would be riddled with hits from NYC, so I started furiously typing in every password that my husband might potentially use. Kid's birthdays, anniverseries, I tried everything and eventually got locked out of my account. Left with only one option I had StatCounter e-mail me the password and you know what? That tricky bastard never changed the password in the first place."

Tears are coursing down my cheeks now and the air in the room is thick with tension and sympathy.

"Now that I had the password again, I was back to checking every five minutes. I lied to Laura, pretending that I wasn't back on the Stats. But eventually she figured it out. She knew the bags under my eyes could only mean one thing and when she tried the password, she found it unchanged. I begged her not to tell anyone, to let me continue checking, but she soon grew tired of my endless bitching about little to no activity on our site. She couldn't take the depression over the lack of NYC hits, so she changed the password and the e-mail address on our account."

My head is bowed in shame, I can't believe that I'm saying these words out loud. Revealing the true depths of my addiction for all the blogsphere to see.

"It's been 24 hours since my last hit, and I'm feeling good. I'm not going to lie, I've tried to crack the password multiple times, but that bitch must have used something completely obscure because her anniversary and Lydia's birthday and name don't work. So, I'm clean. For now. And I'm taking it one day at a time."

I give the room my best Meredith Baxter Lifetime Original Movie smile.

The room bursts into applause and Laura walks up to give me a hug and a small pin commemorating my first 24 hours without the Stats.

It's the first day of the rest of my life.

P.S.
I'm back on carbs.