Monday, October 31, 2011

Sookie Stackhouse Says Happy Halloween Y'all

taking HitGirl's order

w/ the Last Airbender and my Alcide (she's wearing plaid under there)

sweet dreams from Maleficent
Oh my gawd ya'll, it's Jessica Brody as her character!
(To everyone who's waiting on emails/crits from me, I'll be back soon! Just in the middle of moving and student deadlines.)

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Gray Car: On Being Out As A Writer

I'm infinitely proud of my CP Juliana Brandt for hosting her very own blogfest!  I'm not surprised it's dedicated to celebrating each other as writers - Juliana is an incredibly supportive and positive writer.

The first week's question asks: How do you broach the subject of being a writer to other people who aren’t authors?

I live in L.A.

Everybody is a writer.  Even the actors (try to) write.  Even big-time directors "really want to write."

In fact, disclosing that I'm also a writer has a surprisingly beneficial effect of telegraphing my poverty-ridden status quickly and efficiently.  It signals to other writers that I'm not a viable money lender, to my a capella group that I'll be wearing a suspiciously similar dress for this upcoming concert, and to everyone else that my gray car is actually white.

Hey, car washes are not cheap in L.A.

On a serious note, I never introduce myself as a writer.  When people ask, "What do you do?" they mean for money.  When I was in The Biz (yeah I said The Biz), I didn't call myself an actor until I made money doing it.  (Good thing that happened really quickly, or I would have been a "um, nothing" for a long time.)

So I tell people what my money job is.  The writing might never come up at all.

The only people I actively avoid talking about writing with are my boyfriend's family and my father.  Old school Chinese who live by "show me the money."  I have no money to show them, but they're welcome to ride in my gray, I mean white car.

Those folks rarely ask about my writing anyway.  It's less than a hobby, like biking.  It's a shameful frivolity not worth mentioning.  I prefer it that way.  Their negativity and insulting comments are better left unsaid.  (We already know you don't want to write in a Chinese family.)

As Sinclair Lewis said:

It is impossible to discourage the real writers - they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write.

Besides I have you guys.  That's all I need. :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oprah, Lesbiebers and 7 Posts You Don't Want To Miss

Thank you Ani at Anime's Musings and Alexis at Alexis Bass Writes About Writing.  I've been looking forward to this award for months!  

Goal: highlight previous posts in the superlative categories below.

Most Beautiful: Anti-Acknowledgements or Why You Don't Want to Write In A Chinese Family

Most Helpful: What Oprah's Book Editor Told Me 

Most Popular: June/Gay Pride Music Crush of the Month: Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber (apparently I'm not the only one...)

Most Controversial: A Barbie for the Ladies, with Poll (only 18 more days to decide once and for all...)

Most Surprisingly Successful: Top 3 Things Well-Meaning Bloggers Do That Drive Readers Nuts

Most Underrated: Does Every YA Fantasy Heroine Need to Be Bad-Ass?

Most Pride Worthy: The Vow of Silence (featured ninja post at Ali Cross')

I'm passing this on to: my co-vlogger from Boba 4 Eva Krispy and Alz at A Nudge in the Right Direction

and thanks to:

from Nutschell at The Writing Nut

from Joy at CATHARSIS

My previous post for this award: All My Women Boyfriends (and 7 Random Facts)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October/Filipino-American Crush of the Month: Dante Basco

Happy Fil-Am Month!  In case it wasn't obvious:  I Love Filipinos.

Because I'm a round-eyed Asian, people thought I was Pinay.  I learned hip-hop by watching the Flips in middle school.  (And from MTV's The Grind.)

This month's hawtness is Dante Basco.  You see, we were supposed to talk on the phone and fall in lust love.  But he lost my number.  Here's what happened:

When I was a bright-eyed young actor starting out in Hollywood, I attended an Asian American award ceremony.  Afterward, I accosted Ang Lee.  Then I saw Dante.

It was like the Beatles coming to America.  My mind started chanting, "Ru-fio. Ru-fio."

I watched Hook like 20 times as a tween.  Now dreamboat Rufio, my future husband (after Keanu Reeves), was standing there in a suit.

I ran up to him and gushed and preened and you know what he did?  He asked for my number.

Do the Pinoy got game or what?

So of course I gave him my cell phone, landline, all three emails, home address, social security number and date of birth.  And pin.  Just in case he needed money to call me.

photo credit
I mean, could you say no to that smirk?

And he goes, "My name's Dante, so you better pick up when I call."

Okay that doesn't translate well in writing, but it was very smooth.  Trust me.  I was like, "Okay *giggle  I will *giggle any time of night is okay ."

After sleeping with the phone under my pillow for 3 months and my door unlocked in case he wanted to drop by, I finally accepted the truth.

He had lost my number.

photo credit
"My name's Dante, can you help me find Sophia's number?"

Clearly, Dante has been trying to find me.  So good readers, if you see Mr. Basco, please direct him here.  (My boyfriend has already been apprised of the situation.)

Dante, you owe me a phone call.

Thanks for all your suggestions for September's Book Crush of the Month.  The winner is Damon Salvatore from the Vampire Diaries.

*This (only slightly exaggerated) account happened YEARS ago - no disrespect to Dante's girl!  It was very sweet of him to entertain a fan.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Top 3 Things Well-Meaning Bloggers Do That Drive Readers Nuts

Do you want people to read your blog and comment?  Make it easy for them!

These are the Top 3 Things Well-Meaning Bloggers Do That Drive Me Readers Nuts.  

1) Word Verification on Comments

Why This is Annoying:  Unless you're Dooce, your blog isn't going to get that much spam.  This just adds another hoop for readers to jump through.  (And who can figure out what that upside-down word is anyway?) 

What the Big Guns Do:  You know those book blogs with 1397 followers and 68 comments on every single one of their reviews?  You know why they have so many comments?  They make it easy for their readers.  One click and you can move on.  This encourages people to comment away.

In the 4 years that I've had 5 different blogs, I've gotten ONE spam comment.  I'm still playing Little League with my under 200 followers, but even the Big Guns don't pain their readers with extra steps.  If you get - gawd forbid - ONE spam comment in your 4 years, just delete it.  Not that big of a deal.  

2) Partial-Feed for Readers

Why This is Annoying:  Avid blog readers subscribe to hundreds of feeds (I do).  The way we get through them all is by going quickly through our reader (I actually try to read every single blog).

Your followers don't have time to click through to every post. Please.  Make it easy for them. 

What the Big Guns Do:  In the last 6 months I've written to four blogs asking that they turn their full feed on.  That's how much I want to read your blogs.   Blogs with followers in the thousands replied yes.  Only one blog I've written to declined, but I guess they get a free pass since the god of writing advice Donald Maass is one of their bloggers.  Even then, I only click through when the link looks really good.  Instead, I spend my time reading your blogs with the friendly full feeds.

(I click on all of Donald Maass' posts.  He's a genius.)

3) Responding to Comments In Your Own Comments

Why This is the All-Time Most Annoying:  In essence, you're expecting your readers to hang around your blog, revisiting your posts day after day just to see if you've responded.  

Avid bloggers like me comment as much as possible.  They can barely remember whose blogs they last commented on, much less which post.  After a while, readers think you don't really care about their comments and will just stop.

What the Big Guns Do:  There are several work-arounds I've seen and I'll do my best to give you the pros and (mostly) cons of each of them.  Remember, I'm describing ease of use for the commenter, not the blog owner.
  • Blogger: there is an option to subscribe to comments by email or in a feeder.  Who the heck wants to subscribe to a comments feed?!?
  • WordPress: same option to subscribe, which ends up with a cluttered inbox full of other people's un-related comments and I have to log into my WordPress account to in order to unsubscribe once I finish reading the one response to me.  Highly annoying.  
  • Disqus: a little unwieldy to sign up for and link all your logins, but once you've set it up, it will email you comment responses to you and you alone.  Not a bad option.
  • Intense Debate: same as Disqus but easier to sign up for.
All of these still keep the conversation on your blog, which is a sneaky way to drive more traffic to you, but this is too selfish a tactic for me.

My Work Around: Commenting back.  Simple.  Respectful.  Supportive.  And shows other people that you care about what they have to say on their blog too, not just your own.  Sometimes I'll tweet the other person my response.  Email if it's a longer conversation.  The rare instance I comment on my own blog is to answer a question that other readers would want to see the answer to as well.  

The bottom line is - keep the conversation going.  It's a back and forth thing.  Make it easy to be your follower.

*These tips apply to regular ol' bloggers, not professional bloggers who earn substantial income from blogging.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I'm a Featured Ninja

I'm the featured Ninja at Ali Cross' Dojo today!

Check out my technique: the Vow of Silence and find out why I rarely never talk about my writing.


In other news...

YA Confidential has an epic giveaway that I hope you don't enter so I can win just kidding no I'm not.

Monday, October 3, 2011

In My Mailbox #4

hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren inspired by Alea
It's time to thank some giveaway hosts!

  1. After Obsession (ARC) by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel from Carolina Valdez Miller
  2. WinterTown (ARC) by Stephen Edmond from Adventures in Children's Publishing
  3. Wildefire by unfairly good-looking Karsten Knight from Brenda Drake


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