Monday, February 27, 2012

It's Those 11 Questions

I'm the last blogger on earth to get this meme.  Tagged by Nutschell (and accidentally tagged by Julie Dao when I commented on her blog, so I sprinkled some of her questions in.)

1) What’s your ultimate caffeine source?

Boba!!! 4 Life

Which I can only drink before 7 p.m.  Caffeine messes me up.  One day I would love to own a caffeine-free boba shop.  I know, I know, no one but me would drink it.

2) If you were stranded on an island, what book would you like to have with you?

One of Maria V. Snyder's, or one of George R. R. Martin's since it'll last me a long time.

3) Favorite music source? (Radio, Pandora, Spotify, CD, Ipod, etc)

Pandora and Spotify these days, though I used to get most of my new music from KCRW, our local public radio station

4) You have the winning $50 million lottery ticket. What do you buy first?

A house not in the ghetto.

(Maybe this pimp mansion that just got built next to Krispy's house.  Alz and I visited the Open House today and spied on Krispy and her sister in their backyard.  With their permission.)

5) Favorite day of the week?

Tuesday or Sunday (coincidentally those are the days local movie tickets are $6)

6) Favorite TV show?

Sister Wives

do NOT judge me

7) Movie you’re planning to watch on the big screen?

Safe House
Denzel AND Ryan - the manly one

photo of hottest man on earth from Lani's site
8) Actor/Actress you’d most like to meet?

Since Dante Basco and I didn't pan's time to introduce myself to one of my future husbands, Keanu Reeves or Christian Slater.

I would also say Jason Momoa or Joe Manganiello, but I can't breathe when I see those two men, even with shirts on.  In fact I'm having a hard time finishing this blog post with this photo ...of...humina humina....

9) Author you’d love to have lunch with?

Maria V. Snyder

10) What Disney character are you most like?

Is there any writer/book lover who doesn't answer Belle?

11) Harry Potter or Twilight?

This question is so uncool. I'm a crazy dress-up and reenact scenes fan for both.

But of course I'd say Twilight. I'm an admin of the Los Angeles Twilight Lovers Group after all.

I've said too much.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Day in the Life Series: Angela Brown

Welcome to the premiere of A Day in the Life Series!

Facebook forcing you into a fugue state with amazing vacation photos?  Social network sending you into yearlong Seasonal Affect Disorder with everyone's cooler clothes and cooler lives?

It does me!  When I first started blogging, I couldn't understand why everyone was always talking about how perfectly matched their husbands are, how charming their children, how gorgeous the vista they write in front of.

I must have signed on the wrong line.

I started this series because I'm deathly curious how people actually spend their days, when they're not raving about their perfect families and picking strawberries on the coast.  I hope it helps you feel "normal" too, and I hope you'll be next!

A Day in the Life of an Aspiring Writer 
There’s this cute little thought that writers are starving artists living off meager wages, just getting by or they are able to sit around all day seeking the muse and drinking lattes.  Well, I’m a single mom so the starving artist gig is an option I say “No” to, not when I’d have a starving kiddo as well.  So, as an aspiring writer with a full time gig, I have a bit of a hectic schedule.  But getting things in balance is worth it for me as I pursue my dream of publication.  So join me on a Tuesday:

6:11 am – The alarm blares.  Grunting, I free myself from my blankets and slap the Snooze.  Then I remember why I have it set at that time.  So I turn it off, roll – seriously, I am NOT a morning person – out of bed and commence the “Time to get up, Danielle” nag that has to go on for a bit because my daughter is even LESS of a morning person than me.  After some time of nagging and “But I’m sleepy, mom” repeated more times than I care to count, the chipmunk finally gets up.

6:30 am – by now, I’ve gotten to the kitchen and am preparing breakfast and putting her lunch together.  She finally trudges in, thankfully dressed, to eat then I hop on the laptop to check on a few e-mails I’ve gotten, mostly blog posts that have been sent.

6:55 am – chipmunk has eaten and freshened up and it’s hair time.  If she were a boy, I could brush it in two minutes flat, but she’s a girl and it requires a bit more.

7:30 am – make sure kiddo and her best bud are dropped off at their school then back home to steal a ten minute nap before I’m up again, doing my morning stretch and getting ready for work (the morning stretch is new.  I eventually want to incorporate actual exercise into this busy-ness somewhere).

This is what I wish I could do instead of heading off to work:

9:00 am to 6 pm – I’m at the paying gig with coworkers surrounded by non-inspiring Hayworth, a guppy twisting my tail in a sea of gray

Yeah, that is what I get to stare at all day.  Yippee!  Not.  I usually take my lunch during my first fifteen minute break while reading blog posts then do more blog reading at lunch and normally get too busy to take my last break of the day.  Thankfully, I have some chipper coworkers who help me with that waking-all-the-way-up process like Christie Dolley J

6:20 pm – pick up my chipmunk from her friend’s house then speed home to fix something uber-fast for her to eat.

7:15 pm – her basketball practice

8:30 pm – make sure to review her take home folder and review any teacher’s notes, follow up on homework and reading assignments the chipmunk has while she does her nightly duties.

9:00 – if we’re lucky, which isn’t always the case, we say our evening prayer and tuck chipmunk in for sleep.  Then I’m on the computer to do more blog reads, blog prep for my posts and some writing.  If I finish my blog and writing stuff before 1 am, I grab a book or pull up a book in my kindle app for PC library and read a few pages.

Somewhere between 1 am and 2 am - When I start seeing double, I finally go to bed.

Thank you so much Angela for being my brave first profile and sharing your day with us.  I'm so impressed by how much you get done and I really want to gift you with a nap.

Will you share your day with us?  To be profiled on this series, click the email button in the right sidebar and let me know!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Origins Blogfest: The Real Sam Slinsky Story

Most things in my life trace back to being incredibly unpopular.

I was the only Chinese kid among the white musical theater kids, so I was relegated to "the funny sidekick" role no matter how good my auditions were.  Good training for Hollywood.

I was the only one among the Chinese kids who dyed my hair, had boyfriends, and did musical theater.  (Now they ALL dye their hair.  Biters.)

My typical day at school consisted of fending off taunts by ugly cheerleaders and thick-necked jocks.  It was THAT cliche.

So at night when I wrote in bed, I didn't write about kids with problems.  I had enough of them in real life.  I wrote about Sam Slinsky.

My happy life makes me smile!
Samantha Slinsky is the daughter of an Austrian bodybuilder and a Czech-Chinese prima ballerina.  Her sister is a super-waif made famous by a silhouetted kiss portrait taken with and by her photographer boyfriend.

Sam's story begins on the day of the Academy Awards, which her dad is up for in Super Awesome Action Hero category.  When she opens her locker at school, paper Oscars flutter out, planted by her extraordinarily hot, tall and thin HAPA boyfriend.

The requisite mean girl walks by, livid with envy, but her snark is cut short by Sam's biting and loyal best friend.  That's right.  Sam doesn't have to fight her own battles.  She's THAT popular.

Her day goes on in this fashion, with public admiration humbly demurred.  Because Sam can afford to be humble and abashed, what with her mansion and millions and famous parents.  No wonder people like her.  She didn't have to be sarcastic and angry like me.

And wait 'til you meet her parents.  They're gorgeous and in shape and better yet, they love her.  Without her having to get all A's.  (Notice they're only 1/4 Chinese.)

This was the kind of story I liked to tell at that time.  The more stressful my own life was, the more perfect Sam's.

The thing is, it's not that I didn't want to be Sophia.  Sophia was just as cool as Sam.  The difference was, nobody knew it.  I wanted Sam's fame and popularity and public recognition.

Well, you know how my story turned out.

I took myself to Hollywood.

Sophia Chang is the daughter of Chinese-Taiwan immigrants: a computer guy who hated his job and a wacky Tiger mom, who pushed their kid to make it, on her own.

It's not a bad story.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

People of Color Reading Challenge 2012

When I'm not campaigning against word verification, I'm cyberbullying bloggers into resuming my beloved People of Color Reading Challenge.  This is the only one I've found that has a blogger of color on their team and I hope you'll sign up to support writers and main characters of color!

Level 3. Read 7-9 POC books
  1. The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
  2. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
  3. The Eternal Smile: Three Stories by Gene Luen Yang

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blogging Booboos Revisited and Great Comments Award

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

The faux pas that especially struck a chord with readers was #1: word verification.

After that post I became a one-woman rally.  If you have a word verified blog, I begged you to eradicate hoop-jumping.  Along with Jon Yang, I also got a blogger to turn on full RSS feed for wordpress (faux pas #3).

Unfortunately only 2 bloggers responded to my word verification pleas.  (Or maybe the other bloggers responded in their own comments - #2).  Don't worry,  I've given up annoying the blogosphere with my crusade.

For my one-year blogaversary Jon installed Disqus for me, which I thought would help me respond to comments better.  I sometimes regret this change - the old way was fine and actually made it easier to comment back on people's blogs.  Not everyone is registered with Disqus so I don't have a link to their blogs.

Also, when readers use the mobile site, their comments only show up with Blogger, but not on the post.

Will you let me know what you think of using Disqus versus Blogger's original platform?  I might switch back.

Now I want to appreciate the flip side - great commenters.  When I comment I do put time and thought into responding, so it touched me when Tasha Seegmiller presented me with the

It's an unfair award because I'm bound to forget somebody and sometimes fantastic commenters get busy with life.  But I want to recognize:

Coleen Patrick
Mrs. Pancakes
Krispy from A Nudge
Angela Brown
Samantha Sotto
Meradeth Houston
TL Conway
Margo Berendson
Julie Dao
Tere Kirkland
Theresa Milstein

Thank you for all your support!!


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