Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Writer's are Full of Useless Information

I had to giggle this week when one of my friends told me she could go on jeopardy and win because of all the random information she knows. Later on I got to thinking about the whole thing and had a realization that I was the exact same way. In my years of writing, my favorite part has always been the research piece. It brings to mind the movie quote from the funny yet overly dramatic Spice World(yes that is with the Spice Girls)..."Then there's the little Ginger one who's full of useless information."

Sometimes when I answer random questions or quote certain things I get "the look." Once I notice that I'm receiving said "look" I explain that I had to research it for a project once. Over the years I've looked up some really weird stuff and my novelist brain is thankful for my two favorite sites, Google and Wikipedia.

So for this project I had to research how many times the Stanley Cup has been won by the same team back to back. Oh wait I already knew the answer to that. I have two questions for my followers today. One, what is the weirdest thing you've ever had to research? Two, what was something you enjoyed researching the most.

My weirdest is what kind of damage could a hammer do to a human skull. Let me explain as my hometown nears the area where the Bloody Benders once inhabited. They have been an unsolved mystery there for years and intrigued me as a child. They killed travelers by bashing in their skulls with a mallet and slitting there throat.

My favorite was the filming process from script to screen. I used it to write a screenplay this summer about a director and his writer wife.

Let's see everyone else's opinions! If I don't get to talk to anyone before hand have a GREAT THANKSGIVING!

Holiday Shopping Tip of the Day:

The maps for Wal-mart's Black Friday are available on-line and they are specific for every store! Happy Shopping

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Latest Revision on Thomas' Query Letter

Thomas Dean
Mr. Blah Blah
With Blah Blah Blah
1234 Street
New York, NY

Dear Mr. Blah Blah,

Secrets-the dark ones-the kind that bring shame to everyone involved are always well kept. The citizens of Cherryvale, Kansas have known this for decades, covering up the facts of the Bloody Benders and the Dalton Gang. However, what happens when the secret keeper no long wants to play the game; when they feel the need to let it all out?

Alex Mitchellson, an investigative reporter from Denver, has returned home for the first time in nearly ten years. The return is complicated by obligations, old romances, and the haunting death of two of his friends. The most disturbing complication comes in a tattered yellow envelope. The letter, although very cryptic, warns him of lies that caused him to leave his home.

As more letters arrive Alex is forced to face that there could be more to his friends’ death than an accidental drowning. With each piece of evidence pointing towards foul play and the possibility of a cover up an ever increasing danger grows.

Armed with the identity of the mysterious letter writer Alex takes the final step in unearthing what happened to his friends, and why they had been singled out. His questions are answered when he discovers the Chief of Police and his own father, the town minister, are at the root of the dark and sinister secret centered around the love the two boys shared.

Black Box Confessional is a 108,000 word mystery rooted in small town fears and the traditions they value.

As a graduate of Emporia State University I received degrees in Speech Communications, Theater and Journalism. While there I won awards for various published articles with the Colligate Press, as well as having several original short plays produced.

Thank you for considering my novel, Black Box Confessional.


Thomas Dean
16228 Rolling Ridge Road
Omaha, NE 68135

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Heart of Jerseys

While in college hockey goaltender, Marek Kennedy befriends a mystery girl in a bar. Later he discovers that she is Alexandria Croughlin, also a goaltender, but not just any one, the one who has been stealing all his thunder. They form an unusual romance that defines who they are, but circumstances don't play in their favor and they go their separate ways. Five years later, Marek finds himself unexpectedly playing for the NHL team in Kansas City. Which happens to be the city that Lexi has ended up living in.

My current word cloud for my WIP, Heart of Jerseys.

Wordle: The Heart of Jerseys

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cloudya's Top Ten Reasons You Should See New Moon and All the Reasons She Can't Wait To See It

Today Cloudya wanted to give you a list of reasons to go see New Moon as she can't wait for Friday.

1.) There's alot more action.

2.)For Team Jacob you'll get to see him alot more.

3.)Edward takes his shirt off.

4.)Can't wait for the birthday party scene, it changes everything.

5.)The Volturi are going to rock.

6.)Bella hallucinates Edward. Can't wait to see how they do that.

7.)Edward leaves. It will be as if I never existed...YEAH RIGHT!

8.)Bella finds out Jacob's a werewolf. Does she attract this things or what?

9.)Laurent finds Bella mouth watering and it starts a new chain of events.

10.)Alice steals a car...Alice drives like a manic...Alice is my favorite character and I can't wait to see the crazy things she will do.

Holiday Madness-Saturday Edition

It's Saturday...are you going to your local Wal-mart? Let me give you some pointers for shopping during the holiday season:

1. If you can shop overnights, do it. Yes, you have to put up with pallets being in the aisle and less cashiers, but its quieter and there are a lot more associates.

2. If you call and ask for a the info on a specific item you are most likely going to get someone who really doesn't know the answer.

3. The management team doesn't know everything that's going on in the store all the time, so if you have a bad experience don't assume they know.

4. Don't wait till the last minute to exchange gifts. The closer you wait til Christmas the longer the line will be at the service desk.

5. Don't wait...Don't wait...Don't early.

Look next Saturday for more fun filled tips:0)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another day in the blissful paradise we call the holiday season:)

Yeap we got it...freight-tons of it. Quickly rolling is are the things that will make everyone's dreams come true for the holidays. Alot of times we store these things outside in trailers. Around one in the morning we take the extra out there. Tonight we go out and two of my associates were walking around the outside of the building holding hands. They were off work, but I asked them what they were doing and they said they were on a date. How cute! Over the years I've had so many associates meet at work and fall in love. I can't begin to tell you the number of weddings I've been invited too. I don't know why I needed to share this. Let's just say the couple made me smile. What a way to be alone, walking around the outside of your Walmart. I guess whatever works!

Countdown to New Moon!

Last year-about this time-I had a friend ask me if I'd read the Twilight series. Apparently I was one of the only people in the universe who hadn't. She informed that I would love the series and should try it. On her recommendation I did just that. I read the first five chapters and HATED it. If I don't care for a book I don't finish it. So I'm talking to my friend about it and she's like seriously get past that fifth chapter and I swear you'll love it. Then another friend told me the exact same thing. With the release of the movie I thought I would try again, so I picked it back up and read the sixth chapter and than the seventh, before I knew it the week was over and I had read the entire Twilight Saga. Well my friends were right, I loved it. I'm huge on vampire literature and so I quickly became sucked into the mania surrounding the movie.

With the release of New Moon around the week to be exact, my house is full of excitement. My daughter-who thinks Alice is the coolest thing on the planet next to Nick Jonas-is counting down the days. She's been making me quiz her about the movie and books. She proudly boosts about the many times she went to see Twilight in the theater. For her headshots in March, she wanted a set with her Alice paraphernalia. To her it made sense to do it because Ashley Greene was her favorite actress and headshots help you get to be an actress.

My son is practicing his Edward run. He keeps asking me about the baseball scene which is his favorite scene in the movie. I'm scared maybe he won't like it because there is no baseball. He asked the other day if he would be faster than Edward on his ice skates. Kaiden's favorite vamp is a toss between Edward and Emmett. He did some promotional matieral for a release party and personally he could be Dr. Cullen's son.

The Twilight mania has found the Dean home and this week we will be discussing it on our blog. First I want to know if you've read the books and if you did what you thought. It's your opinion and too each their own, but we are going to have some fun till the New Moon rises.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Writing, Dancing, Shopping and all the Craziness

Hello to everyone out there, Veronica is sleeping so you get me today(Thomas).

Well it is a new day and I have been recruited to write, which may not actually be a good thing because this means I will have written more words on here then in my novel for NaNoWriMo. Things have been crazy and it is making me more nervous than usual. The novel I wrote last year I actually wrote in the month of November so I think I should get to submit it instead of the new one, but Veronica won't let me. She keeps quoting my own words to me - "Sit Down, Shut Up, and Just Do It. No More Whining!!!"

I know she is right but wow this is just such a crazy time of year at our house, and for me in particular. I feel like there is no time to stop, in fact I am positive the same dishes have been in the dishwasher for 4 days(clean at least), there is a mound of fast food and sandwich-shop bags filling up the trash can, and of course just a total disarray of the normal tidiness of the house. You see Cloudya has had 5 ballet/Nutcracker rehearsals, along with choir, violin, guitar, a very complex president presentation and a great school performance all this week; not to mention Kaiden and hockey lessons, karate, and belt test for karate. With all of that I have filled up the car twice this week already and I am going to need to do it again before Saturday.

It is a nice change though that Veronica is finally letting the words flow, normally that is me. I have never been the one to make an outline, plot the characters course, or any of the those prewriting things. Personally I just want to let the characters go where they need to, of course I also write more of the mystery suspense style so I find it works better because I am not letting out anything too so. She has been so devoted to her comp books for outlining and character work ups that this process is really opening her up to just letting her write freely. I think I might have actually won the argument that you do not have to have every page planned in advance.

As for the rest of life, which really is only Nutcracker and getting ready for the holidays, everything is actually a lot of fun. The kids are really getting into the swing of the show, this weekend we will get the first of several 5 hour practices as they start running the entire acts and putting everything together. Still, I have to admit that I can not wait for the show to be over. It is such a wonderful opportunity for them to dance with the professional company but at the same time I want my weekends, family time, not to mention personal time back. I have a slue of movies to catch up on, cleaning that needs done, and a lot of new recipes I want to try out.

Well in a final parting I wanted to add in something in the world of retail, because I know Veronica is talking about it right now. Today I was at the store waiting for her to get done and I got to witness one of the rarest of customer personalities there is. A woman was in the toy department shopping for her grandchildren and she looked about as frazzled as she could possibly be. Evidently, Veronica had already been helping her find gifts and offering suggestions but had gotten called away so Veronica sent me to go help with the shopping task(I often get roped into helping).

Anyway, we talked about Transformers, cars, games, dolls, and cupcake makers and I showed her a few of the things that I knew had been popular with our kids that are more do-it-yourself craft things. We mulled around the toy department, I took her back to the craft section and helped her pick out a do-it-yourself messenger bag along with several other things. It was like shopping with an old friend by the time we were done, and she said THANK YOU. The best though was she kept saying that she thought she should take me to pick out a gift for myself(It was very tempting I am not going to lie). The whole experience was refreshing, and then I turned a corner and got to witness what most people are like this time of year when I ran into the mess of a customer ranting very loudly about a toy not being in stock. Sighing to myself, I looked at the poor associate trying to explain the toy was going to be hard to find anywhere while the customer continued to complain. The whole situation reminded me how a little kindness can go a long way this time of year. Everyone is stressed about things but if you can be like the grandma looking for toys and offering up presents to the people that help you even as a joke the season will go a lot better.

Best wishes to you all, and to everyone doing NaNoWriMo may your word counts grow rapidly.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


So, I haven't created a playlist for my latest novel. I've blogged in the last couple months about inspiration and the different things we use to motivate ourselves to write. Music is important for me. I listen to the same playlist the entire time I write and edit WIP. Of course I've know several of you out there in the writing world that are the exact same way. My routines are the same every step of the journey, so I don't mess with the flow of the story.

NaNoWriMo is a challenge for me. I understand that it is a the same for every writer to write that many words in one month. So here's a list of my obstacles: 1)I'm a co-manager for Wal-mart. I work 16 4-hour days. On the plus side I get 4 days off. The biggest problem is where is everyone shopping right now, because it's that time of year? Yeap, you guessed it! No, we don't have any ZuZu pets. 2) I have to develop my characters by research and planning. Detailed researching and planning 3.)The outlines can be crazy, I tell you. I outline everything. 4.) What do you mean I can't go back and edit.

Other than reason one, my husband has told me for years to chuck it all out the window and than one day when I get published I can chuck number one as well. While writing in the past week, I have been so carefree. No outline, no character development, and no editing. All my rules are out the window and quite frankly it feels wonderful. Yesterday, I struggled to hit save and close my computer, so I could go to work, because my characters were in their zone...yes, their zone. All these years I've did all this crazy stuff, before I started writing and sometimes it would take me chapter and chapters, before the characters were telling their own story. Quite frankly up to that point I forced it along. I'm proud to announce that half way through chapter one it was all them.

At this point you might be wondering what I've done for music. I've broken all the other rules right? I'm not listening to music. Instead my muse has been the television show Smallville. Yes, my friends, the CW's version of Superman has kept me pumping the last week. Previous to this week, in our house we'd decided to go back and watch all the old episodes, because we didn't start watching until season 4, so every day we go get a new disc from the video store. I have made the discovery that each episode is 45 minutes long and I can write approximately 600 words in that time. This show has absolutely nothing to do with the novel I am writing; there are no superheros, tights or flights.

Well I hope this tidbit puts a smile on the faces of my NaNoWriMo and non-NaNoWriMo writing friends.

From now til Christmas the retailer in me will be sharing a tidbit that will hopefully make either your or my experience at Wal-mart a little bit better this holiday season. Believe me through the holidays I see some funny and weird stuff. I also have my pet peeves like I'm sure all of you as customers do.

Today, my beautiful and artistic daughter had a program at school for Veterans day. They were instructed in advance to ensure that they wore red, white and blue. Of course they didn't specify that if the students wore a flag on their shirts that it would need to be the American flag. The picture you see is of a couple of the participants, who felt the need to sport their Miley Cyrus style. They went to their local Wal-mart and in this case probably mine and picked something out of her new line, which is probably not appropriate for elementary students to where. The girls in this pic don't know any better, but parents the British flag really? Don't take me as Brit hater, because I'm not, but its Veteran's day folks.

Keep smiling and writing everyone! Have a great NaNoWriMo week, I know I will!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Feverish Ramblings

Okay, so this week in the Dean house has been somewhat of a whirlwind. There were birthdays, Halloween, and a ridiculous virus called H1N1 that ran rambid. If this version of the flu had a rating system like tornadoes than it would most resemble an F5 on the scale as it had a mile wide destruction path and multiple victims. In fact the only true survivor in our home has been my husband, but did he really survive having to tend to three people hacking and running fevers over a hundred? Probably not.

Well on to more interesting things. NaNoWriMo has proven interesting with the terrorist flu striking. Right now Thomas is well ahead of me in word count which is to be expected. In the end quite honestly he will have more words anyway, he always does. My last novel finished at almost 90,000 words while he's took the cake at 108,000. Really what matters to me this month is finishing this story. Not just any story either, but one that has haunted me for the last six months. I shared with a friend this week that even in my feverish state my dreams consisted of watching my novel like it was a digital movie. I love its concept. I love its characters. Now I want it out of my head. If I don't finish it soon than I'm afraid it will haunt me longer and I will never be able to write anything else again. So this week I will work on evicting it out of my subconscious.

Thomas and I had interesting discussions about agents this week. He got another rejection letter, but we haven't submitted him for anything since May. At least they responded;it just took a while. I wonder how far down he was on the slushpile. How do you get out of the slushpile anyway? Write an amazing query letter. That takes time and practice. Good thing we are revising his, because honestly his story is great. I guess we learn a little from every rejection we get. Honestly though once he does sign with someone and really its only a matter of time, readers be warned as he's been saving all his built up agent frustration for this blog.

On to my daughter's recent news. Apparently she'll be doing some video for the new professional dance school here in Omaha. Last night she asked me if she'd get to be in front of a green screen. Seriously, this is my child. The Nutcracker rehearsals continue to monopolize our time as we get closer to show time. She also has to give a report this week on one of the presidents. She gets to use a pizza box for a prop as she "delivers" her report. How fun! The assignment should prove interesting coming from a future first lady well as long as she gets her wish to marry the future president Nick Jonas. Her latest job occupation to hit her wish list is fashion designer. At least as an actress she'll be able to accomplish this much easier as Miley Cyrus continues to take over our Wal-mart with her very interesting looking line that quite frankly Thomas would never let Cloudya wear. Today her and my son are sending birthday cards to their magician mentor, Darren Romeo. Believe it or not that is were the whole entertaining started for our fun-loving red head. She saw one of his amazing shows and slowly but surely her mind worked towards the world of entertainment. Who knows maybe this year for the school talent show she'll make an elephant appear on stage. She's cut people in half with ropes, made clothing appear out fog, and used magic to let people know she wanted to be famous. Happy Birthday Darren. Thank you for inspiring my children to entertain!

During our downtime this week an interesting question was asked, "Mommy what did you want to be when you grew up?" Wow! What a loaded question. Although my answer was simple. I wanted to be a writer. Of course I went through a barrage of other ideas like actress, oceanographer and storm chaser in the end writing was truly all I ever wanted to do. It led me to wonder not where that began, but when it turned from writing for fun to writing to be published. I'm sure when I was her age I didn't even know what the New York Times Bestseller List was, but everyday I grow jealous of the people that get on it. Maybe, that's why I haven't sent out my own query letters yet or maybe its cause honestly I'm not really ready to do so.

Last in my ramblings is the incident that occurred at Fort Hood. My condolences go out to the families of the victims. The writer in me wonders how this individual went from point A to committing such a horrible act. I'm certain that we all have something that could make us snap, but maybe not so violently. I come close every year, sometime around the holiday of Christmas, when all heck breaks loose at work and as a manager you sit back and wonder where all your perfect control went. Seriously, remember before you call your local Wal-mart to ask if we have any Zu-Zu pets in stock what the likely hood of the answer will be. Lastly, as you shop tell the associates that helped you thank you as we so often rarely hear those words.

Anyway, we're off to ballet. Sorry for the feverish ramblings, but I needed to get them off my chest. Tomorrow, we will post something entertaining about NaNoWriMo and our fun competition that has invaded our house due to it.