Monday, February 28, 2011

Blog about your Dog Monday!

Lindsay at Lindsay Writes started a new series. Show us your dog or other pet on Mondays. Include lots of photos, please.

Last summer at the Long Beach Dog Zone

This is Terry, my 2-year-old-ish shelter rescue.  After scouring the internet, I found ONE dog that looks kinda like him who's a Dachshund and Fox Terrier mix.  So we're going with that.

He's not a fan of water and won't go into the ocean, but he's completely obsessed with being around other dogs, whether they want him around or not.

And yes, sometimes I call him Jacob.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Barbie for the Ladies, with Poll

What is with all you Team Edward readers?

Perhaps my new doll will sway you:

He's on the Barbie Pink Label, ladies

Not convinced yet? Look at the back:

"One word: JORTS!" - card from my Unicorn

Be honest right now:

Sophia's readers are?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What Oprah's Book Editor Told Me

Bluestocking wrote:

I’ve heard if you don’t publish by 30, you won’t make someone who’s barely clinging to what’s left of my twenties, statements like these strike fear in my heart.
As someone who graduated from Harvard when I was 20, I once feared the best was in the past...but no longer.  Let me tell you why:

In 2009 I went to the Literary Writers Conference in NYC - my first conference.  The panel that inspired me the most was Anatomy of a First Novel with Eugenia Kim, who talked about her debut The Calligrapher's Daughter.

I came up to her afterward and told her what an inspiration she was to me as a debut author who is NOT 20 years old.

Sophia the Fangirl: Everyone I went to Harvard with is already published, and I'm almost 30.

And you know what happened?

Sara Nelson, the books editor for O Magazine and former editor-in-chief of Publishers Weekly, who had been moderating the panel, jumped in and said to me:
They've peaked already!

Eugenia added:

I didn't publish until I was over *NOT 20*

(age redacted for privacy)

Ms. Nelson's quip was possibly the most encouraging thing I could hear at the beginning of my fiction career.  From that moment on, I didn't give one more thought to my classmates who took a different path than I.  They got MFAs and moved in with their parents/worked at their parents' companies until they made it.

I went to Hollywood with ZERO contacts and made a living as a film and TV actor - and hey, I had several plays and solo shows produced on both coasts.  So technically, I did work as a creative writer fresh out of college.

So pish posh to anyone who thinks us geezers have no chance. :)

I'll leave you with my favorite quote from Cindy Lauper on an episode of Celebrity Apprentice.  She said to a burgeoning country singer:

Nothing really happened for me until after 30.
 We got plenty of time, baby.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Antibiotics again?!

I went to the doctor today with my 6-day sore throat and it's confirmed: I have strep or a similar infection.

Alas, I was just on a course of antibiotics before I left that inflamed my crackly joints (I have old people's knees and hips from a lifetime of dancing). 

After the doctor's office, we stopped by the Borders in Pasadena, CA for its closing-down sale.  So sad!

more Borders sale items

Even sadder: I read on Kristin Cashore's blog that Bob Slate, the family-owned stationery store where I bought all my notebooks while I was at Harvard, is also closing down.  They've been in Harvard Square for 75 years and I used to pop in there for no reason just to browse and touch their gorgeous paper.

What is going on with the paper/book industry right now?

Hope you're all having a wonderful President's Day.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Horror & Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge 2011

After reviewing my Goodreads, I realized with surprise that most of the books I'm reading this year are paranormal/urban fantasy. My fourth challenge for 2011...

Rules: To read TWENTY FOUR (24) horror & urban fantasy novels in 2011 (24 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!)  CHALLENGE COMPLETED 10/5/11
  1. Bitten (Otherworld 1) by Kelley Armstrong (audiobook)
  2. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer
  3. Vampire Academy (VA 1) by Richelle Mead (audiobook)
  4. Stolen (Otherworld 2) by Kelley Armstrong
  5. Dime Store Magic (Otherworld 3) by Kelley Armstrong
  6. Frostbite (VA 2) by Richelle Mead
  7. Industrial Magic (Otherworld 4) by Kelley Armstrong
  8. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  9. Shadow Kiss (VA 3) by Richelle Mead
  10. Haunted (Otherworld 5) by Kelley Armstrong
  11. Blood Promise (VA 4)
  12. Spirit Bound (VA 5) by Richelle Mead
  13. Vampire Crush by A.M. Robinson
  14. Last Sacrifice (VA 6 - finale!) by Richelle Mead 
  15. The Gathering (Darkness Rising 1) by Kelley Armstrong  
  16. My Bloody Valentine by Melissa de la Cruz  
  17. Abandon by Meg Cabot  
  18. Broken by Kelley Armstrong 
  19. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
  20. No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong 
  21. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  22. Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong
  23. Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
  24. Firelight by Sophie Jordan
  25. Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1 by Stephenie Meyer, Young Kim
  26. Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel #1) by Richelle Mead, Leigh Dragoon, Emma Vieceli
  27. White Cat by Holly Black (audiobook)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

February Book Crush of the Month: Lucas Cortez

I'm a recent Kelley Armstrong devotee and I'm blazing through her Otherworld series as fast as my kindle can download them.  (I haven't been this taken by an urban fantasy/paranormal series since Sookie Stackhouse.)

I just finished Dime Store Magic (Book 3), in which I discovered my book crush of the month:

kickass wallpaper by mistymerrymistletoe
Why I love him:
  • He's a lawyer. I heart lawyers (not the ones that advertise on TV, real lawyers). They're funny, smart, assertive, and can make sure anyone who messes with you gets what they deserve.
  • He wears glasses and is geeky.  Like me.
  • He's Spanish.  I like the Latin look, oh yes I do.
  • He's a sorcerer. With a snap of his fingers, he can produce a fog that makes the ladies feel, um, nice. Among other things...
Who are YOU crushing on this month?

Friday, February 18, 2011

I'm Back With More Bugs

Of the viral kind now!

I managed to avoid catching my boyfriend and my student's colds before I left for my trip, only to be taken down by my uncle's in Taiwan.  At least the meds knocked me out for the plane ride home.  I didn't even get to finish watching Unstoppable, which is the world's best-shot, best-cast bad movie.

Here's a photo of the Taiwanese version of the Teletubbies I saw in a toy store:

Cute or frightening?

Monday, February 14, 2011

At Least There Aren't Bug Bites All Over Your Face

Foreign guys bugs are into me.

In Tahiti I had 40 bites on my body at one time.

In China the bites blew up to silver dollar size.

This year, by going to Taiwan during the freezing cold rainy season, I thought, "At least there aren't any mosquitoes."

So last night I bunkered down on the floor bed of my aunt's unheated apartment (nothing like a Chinese bed to make you wake up with a numb butt).

I slept under:

2 sweaters
1 sweatshirt
1 undershirt
padded tights + sleep pants
1 blanket,
1 sweater over my legs
1 puffy winter coat over my upper body.

Nothing was exposed except my face.

And this morning I woke up with 3 big bug bites on that face.


Mom this morning: Bugs are like dirty old men - they always go after the young ones.

p.s. I haz the internetz!  (Sorry, that's the last time I'll LOLcatz)
My second uncle loaned me and my mom his magic portable internet wand.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Taiwanese Wax Apples

I believe this is what you were talking about, Rosa?

A variety known as Black Pearl:

The Best Fruit on Earth
I coughed up the exorbitant fees for 24 hours of internet.  Tomorrow I move to my aunt's apartment, which might mean true radio silence.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

In Taiwan

Pardon the absence...internet apparently costs $40 a day here.  sigh

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sophia Plays Bella At Last on!

Comedian @KevinAvery interviewed 3 members of the LA Twilight Book Club for his new series on

Yup.  I'm in that book club.

Then Kevin donned fangs so we could reenact the pivotal "How old are you?" scene from Twilight.

Dream. Come True.

After 3 ridiculous hours of Team Jacob v. Team Edward talk, our slot was cut into a 3-second snippet.  Catch me in the beginning holding tight to Edward like a spider monkey.  (Please tell me you know that reference.)  I even got to keep the sides!*

<a href=";from=sp&amp;vid=0602207d-50f8-3fb3-44eb-e122694e8511&amp;src=FLCP:sharebar:embed" target="_new" title="Obsessed: Harry Potter vs. Twilight">Video: Obsessed: Harry Potter vs. Twilight</a>

You can also watch it at here

*That's Biz speak for excerpt of script.   Yeah.  I'm a db.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Are You Your Books?

Natalie Whipple's blog post has spurred one of mine, again.  (Okay, I kind of stalk her.)

While discussing a writer's fears even when sending book drafts to an already-procured agent, she said

We are not our books, right? Kind of?

The thing is, I am.  Or rather, my books are my inside put outside.

But the good thing about that is, even if the book doesn't see the light of day, it remains a marker to a period of my life.  When I hear a song I listened to while writing it, I can instantly see the desk I sat at; I know exactly the yearning in my heart that made that particular book breathe its first life.

Books-as-hearts are also a timeline of you as a writer.  With just a flick, you can unfurl the drafts that came before, each one a pencil line on the door jam notching your writerly growth.  The characters will still smile at you; they will not forget you.

Your books, shelved or out for query, published or rough, will hold this for you.  They will hold all of this.  And you'll love them for it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins, starring Manny the Pitbull

Manny, one of the pitbulls we fostered
1. We are on this earth because we are capable of great love.

2. Adults can still experience childhood.

3. One of the hardest things for me to learn is how to let go.  I still don't know how.  I just wait until it leaves my being on its own accord, atom at a time.

4. The secret and unsecret yearnings of man are the same: to feel connected.

5. I remember every detail, unfortunately.

6. That a new day begins is one of the best parts of my life.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a eucalyptus-flavored epsom salt bath, tomorrow my plans include working and singing and a former student's birthday party and Sunday, I want to bring back lots of yummy food from the Harvard interviewer's luncheon.

Lights Back...with Kindle!

We're back!

The 48-Hour Dark Experiment was just what I needed to cut the umbilical cord between me and Mother Internet.

While I was offline I:
  • went to a friend's birthday bowling party and had chili fries for dinner
  • had my first acupuncture session
  • incorporated my first beta round notes into my to-query project (Novel #2)
And at 1 a.m. last night when the boyfriend got home from work, he presented me with a fast-breaking/early Valentine's gift:

Displayed is the first book I bought: The Warrior's Path (When Women Were Warriors #1). Fitting, because the first novel I ever attempted started as a short story in college about female warriors.

I had decided that the Kindle wasn't worth it, but he'd already bought one for me, aw.  I'm sure I'll LOVE it once I get on the plane next week without 5 hardcovers.  I'll also be bringing pages from my critique partners, so send 'em on over, ladies!

The first social network site I visited with my Kindle?  Twitter.

How did your Dark Outs go?  And to those who are just starting theirs - you can do it!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The 48-Hour Dark Experiment

You can't make me, but you can sure join me!

Julie commented:

I want to unplug for a little while too! If you do, I'll do it with you.
You're on, lady!

I hereby declare Wednesday and Thursday the 48 Hour Daaaaark Experiment  ::Dracula accent::

Here are my highly (un)official rules:

  • If you work through the internet - meaning FOR PAY - allot the necessary time needed to check and respond to work email.  I will give myself a total of 40 minutes each day to be divided into 2 or 3 increments.
  • If email is vital to your work as a writer, allot the necessary time.  For instance, I am expecting some pages/responses from my critique partners.  I will allow myself a 5 minute check in the daytime and another 5 minute check in the evening.
  • NO blogging, reading other blogs, surfing the internet, twittering, facebooking, stumbling upon, digging, gchatting, yahoo talking, AIMing, iChatting, liking, updating books on Goodreads, hating, crying, whining, eating too much ice cream.  (Because that's bad for you.)  
  • Mine begins tonight (technically Wed) at 12:30 a.m. PDT and ends Friday 12:30 a.m. PDT.  If you join late, feel free to start your 48 hours whenever you like.

Please feel free to join in by commenting below and then promptly turning off the internet.  If you want to blog about your experience when you return, let me know and I'll link to you when I come back.

Here's to laughing in the face of internet!


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