Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Lola's Moving Castle



Hello Friends,

*blows dust of this here bloggity-blog* *taps mic screen*

Hi. I've missed you. You sure look pretty today.

I know it has been a shamefully l-o-n-g time since I've done a blog post. I keep tabs on most of y'all on The Twitter, where I tend to spend my online social time. But I felt kind of sad about this poor neglected, lonely blog. 

It's just that it's been a helluva crazy 2014 and there hasn't been time for blog posts. 

(And I REALLY don't have time for one right now either, except...) 

I wanted to let you all know I miss you. 

And to fill you in on the crazy stuff happening in my life, WHY I haven't been around.

I'm still writing books. 

Except, well, not much in the last couple months...because...

... we are in the process of moving 5 states away to my beloved Charleston, SC. (hence the "Lola's Moving Castle" title) 


We put our house up here on the market and sold it and bought a house down there. Well, the closing date on both ends is not until July 25th, but everything is under contract.

And, friends, if it could go wrong, IT HAS.  

And we haven't even closed on the house(s) or moved yet. 

First major glitch was finding out our seemingly perfectly functioning, 9 year old septic system failed our buyer's inspection. And a new one costs $20,000. Okay. Rolled with that punch. But ALL the qualified professionals in a hundred mile radius are booked for months and can't do it in time for closing. Can't do it until mid-autumn! Not to be deterred, I found The Most Expensive Company In ALL The Land and cried and sweet talked and badgered and begged them and coughed up MORE coin... and a new septic is being put in as I type. There's a big backhoe and a gaping maw in my front yard. Fun times. 


Lots of other monkey wrenches, but lets skip all of them and skip to the MAJOR wrench: our buyers (smartly) had a Radon test done with their home inspection. Radon tests are not often done around here. Not mandatory or even suggested. The home inspection came back great, as we expected it would. The house is in excellent shape. BUT, holy mother, our radon test failed! 4 times the "acceptable level". I didn't know anything about Radon, but OMG, now I do.  Radon guy is coming this Monday to fix our toxic levels of Radon in our house. The cancer-causing radiation gas that has unknowingly been in this house we had built 9 years ago, this house we've been raising our daughter in since third grade. Yeah. That caused a lot of full-on sobbing. And there's nothing I can do to repair any damage it may have done to us. And it's an easy, one-day job, under $2,000 to have fixed. I'd gladly have paid 2k to have the air pump put in IF I KNEW. (so, to be clear, I'm not upset about paying $2k to have it fixed, I'm upset we've been unknowingly living in it)

(PLEASE GET YOUR HOME TESTED FOR RADON. It is a silent, odorless, invisible killer. It is cheap to test--they even have DIY kits at your local hardware store--and if you have high levels, it is easy and relatively inexpensive to have a pro fix it and have your levels way down to almost zero. It's in every county of every state in the US and most countries of the world. You don't have to have a basement; your home can test high on a slab or crawl space. Your home can test high even if your next door neighbor just tested fine. It can be at your work, schools, etc. Please. I don't want you to ever feel the way I felt when we found out we've been living with it for almost ten years. Most cities make us have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detecters, but not radon tests, which makes my heart hurt now that I know. I will be testing all of us for lung cancer--chest x-rays-- on a regular basis now. I can't stress enough how serious this is. So many tears just thinking about it. Please PLEASE get your home tested asap.)

Speaking of tears, but HAPPY tears, our daughter had her senior prom in May, and graduated high school in June. I'm so proud of her. And next month, in August, she leaves me forever to go off to college and become an adult. ALL THE TEARS.

 
senior prom


So, anyway, in three weeks we move. I'm hoping nothing else major (or minor) goes wrong. (what could possibly go wrong with the movers and all our stuff on a semi-tractor-trailer loaded by strangers and driven by strangers across country???) (*guzzles more Pepto* *tosses back a handful more Tums*) (did I mention that the mover's estimate was $22k?!?) (did I mention I'll be driving 12 hours down with a kid, 2 dogs, and a very nervous cat in my car to get to the closing down there, while my husband stays up here, in an empty house, to do the closing up here and then he drives down?) (how much do you wish you were me right now?)

The good news is we love the house we bought down there. It's 7 minutes from the beach. 15 minutes from downtown. It's on a pond with jumping fish and chirping frogs and pollywogs. We call the house "Froggy". We love the area. I've lived there before. Charleston (and her beaches) has always been the city of my heart. So, all this pain will be worth it. 

I hope to be back to writing full-time in September. 

Let me know if you'll be coming to YAllFest this year. I'll be there. I'd love to meet up!

How are YOU? Read any good books lately? Write any good books lately?



Love,
Lola 
Monday, October 28, 2013

Cover Reveal!!



Hello Friends,

I'm super excited to reveal the newest cover of my friend (and likely yours too) Christa Desir's newest book, Bleed Like Me from Simon Pulse (Fall 2014 release). 

First, here's the blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Amelia Gannon is overwhelmed. Her parents are pre-occupied with her high-needs adopted brothers, her best friend is more interested in bumming cigarettes than bonding, and her job at the hardware store feels more and more like a life sentence. She finds an escape in troubled new guy, Michael Brooks. He's obnoxious, possessive, and addictive. Gannon lets him insert himself into her life, and Brooks is just as addicted to her as she is to him. Swept into an intense relationship, their passion ultimately becomes dangerous to them both.


You're intrigued, right? Want to see the cover? Okay!





Want to know more? Go visit Christa's blog and you'll find some insider scoop on her characters.
(Oh, and you can to add it to your TBR pile on GoodReads here.)

CONGRATS Christa!!! I can't wait to hold the finished copy in my hands and then place it in my bookshelf right next to Fault Line


Love,
Lola 
Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: October Edition (part-1)


Hello Friends,






Happy October! And Happy Hump Day....which means it's time for a What's Up Wednesday. (sign up at Jaime's blog and join us)


What I'm Reading:
I've read so many books since I last posted, so I'll just list a couple highlights:

NIGHT FILM: Wow, what a ride. And also, man, did she get lucky with her publisher, because even the quality of the paper they used to print her book is thick and glossy and lush. (the hardback weighs a ton)

THE BITTER KINGDOM (the final book in Rae Carson's Fire & Thorns trilogy):
What a satisfying ending to this YA fantasy series. I loved all 3 books. Sad it's over.

What I'm Writing:
I'm still tinkering on the pre-writing, the nailing down of of the slippery thing that is my SNI, which will be my Nanowrimo project (and is the SNI I've mentioned before) 
(if you want to be buddies on the fun that is Nano, my name on the site is: the-sharp-pen). 
I've been doing some free-writing and research and collecting images on my Pinterest Board (called 'Nano Project') for inspiration. And I've made my playlist. 

What Inspires Me Right Now:
I always fin this category to be the most difficult, because EVERYTHING inspires me. Leaving the house, travel, taking a walk, nature, movies, hanging out with friends and family, going to museums, art (viewing and creating), music, reading, people-watching, magazines, pinterest, phone conversations with friends, the news, pamphlets, cheering on fellow writers (and them cheering me on)...literally everything. 
But, I suppose if you're looking for specifics on this SNI, I'd say the images in the pinterest board I mentioned above inspire me. And this song:



What Else I've Been Up To:
Well, I don't want to talk about the Government Shutdown and how that is has a stranglehold on my family and household. So, moving on.
We've been doing a LOT of college visits because our daughter is a senior in high school. (Holy shiz) 
And I've been working on going and cooking mostly vegetarian and organic. Except when I'm snarfing down yummy pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting....and meatballs. And PopTarts. Okay, I'm mostly failing at it, but I am trying. 
And I have my house all decorated and spookified for Halloween.
And I've been reading and critiquing LOTS of fulls lately. 

Okay, that's far more than enough about me. Now it's YOUR turn...
What's Up with YOU??

Have a marvelous week! xoxo


Love,
Lola 


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What's Up Wednesday






Hello Friends,



*Waves* I hope this finds you all having a marvelous end of your summer. 
Here's what's going on in my world, WUW-style. 

WHAT I'M READING:

To be honest, I've started reading a bunch of books this week and quit most of them. I guess I'm in a bit of a reading slump. But since my last post (a couple/few weeks ago) there have a been a few books I made it through and LOVED:

CHARM & STRANGE by Stephanie Kuehn (a small YA book that packs a big quirky punch, told from a male POV...and I won't say much else about it, because it's unique and I don't want to ruin the surprise of it.)

The DREAM THIEVES by Maggie Stiefvater (lovely prose, as you'd expect, this second book in the YA Raven Boys series was also a nice adventure. This was an ARC (THANK YOU, Sarah Goldberg), but you'll be able to get it in mid-Sept., and I do recommend this series.)

84, CHARING CROSS ROAD by Helene Hanff a very charming little NF book first published in 1970. It's a thin little book of letters sent back and forth for 20 years between Helen, a free-lance writer and avid reader/book lover living in Brooklyn NY, and a book dealer in London during wartime and well beyond (late 40's-late 60s). It's a  very fast read, full of humor and serious book love and man, did it gave me ALL THE FEELS. No wonder it is still in print after all these years. I highly rec.



WHAT I'M WRITING:

Well, I've been so super busy this week I haven't had time to write anything except notes in a notebook (for I am getting ready to start a SNI in earnest), and so nothing big to report here. But, I *am* excited about this shiny new idea. (it's the same SNI I've talked about, the one I was trying to put off while I SHOULD be working on revisions. And I have put it off---though not done as much with the revisions as I should've, due to being way too busy lately---but now SNI's time has come. And so, starting next week, I shall  go forth and write shiny new words!) (but also, I will be working on revisions.) (maybe.) (slacker Lola is a slacker)

WHAT'S INSPIRING ME RIGHT NOW:

THIS SONG. OMG THIS SONG. This will be The Song of SNI. (FYI, it isn't on spotify, sadly)





What's up with YOU? How was YOUR WEEK?


Love,
Lola 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Quickie What's Up Wednesday





Hello Friends,



“What’s Up Wednesday” is a fun weekly meme started by my friends Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk.  WuW is a easy way to post on Wednesdays with four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. You’re invited to join us if you’re looking for something to blog about, a way to let your blog friends know what’s been going on with you. You can link up each week at Jaime's blog.





WHAT I'M READING: 
Since last week's WuW I read: 
A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness. (LOVED) 
MIND GAMES by Kirsten White
and Re-read: 
THE WAR OF ART by Steven Pressfield (a favorite of mine and I highly recommend to all writers, along with BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott)
And one of my favorite books 100 YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel García Márquez


WHAT I'M WRITING:

To be honest, I didn't get as much as I'd hoped done last week.
I revised about 7-8 pages of one project and maybe 2 pages of another. 
And that SNI that I've been trying to ignore? I mostly ignored it. No new words, but I confess to thinking about it more than I should. (I need to be thinking about the above projects and how to make them everything they need to be). 
One of the things I keep thinking about is how to tell the story in an interesting way by playing with its structure. (and my recent binge-watching of LOST is only exasperating that desire.) (what could possibly go wrong?)

MY GOAL THIS WEEK is to focus hard on writing my 2nd draft of Backwards Book. I'd like to knock out a couple chapters of it, at least.

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO: 
I've been busy. But when I've had time to relax I've been binging on watching the TV show LOST. Lots of friends on Twitter told me I had to. So I am. I finished season 4 last night. And all I can say is: HOLY SHIZZBALLS. What a ride so far!
(if the series ender ends up explaining it was all a dream, I'm gonna be pissed.)  


WHAT'S INSPIRING ME RIGHT NOW:
This song works on so many levels for my southern gothic backwards book. 




What's up with YOU? How was YOUR WEEK?


Love,
Lola 
Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's Up Wednesday






Hello Friends,





“What’s Up Wednesday” is a fun weekly meme started by my friends Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk.  WuW is a easy way to post on Wednesdays with four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. You’re invited to join us if you’re looking for something to blog about, a way to let your blog friends know what’s been going on with you. You can link up each week at Jaime's blog.




What's up? 

Here's 'what's up' with me this week for What's Up Wednesday:

What I'm Reading: For research purposes I read STIFF: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. It was surprisingly entertaining and even funny, as well as educational and fascinating.  

I also read and critiqued 2 full manuscripts for friends. (both excellent!)


What I'm Writing: I'm still revising the same two projects, and flirting with a SNI. Due to a crazy busy holiday weekend, not much got done on any of them. 
BUT, I have BIG goals and plans for this week! Progress will be made and shown under this heading next week, pinky promise.


What Else I've Been Up To:  I ate my weight in cherries and fried green tomatoes this week. The fresh produce this time of year makes me happy. I suppose I need to take some extra hot yoga classes this week to counteract. 

What's Inspiring Me Now: 


Also: I am giving away a copy of THIS IS W.A.R. by Lisa and Laura Roecker!! Please ENTER HERE.  



What's up with YOU? How was your week?


Love,
Lola 
Saturday, July 6, 2013

♫ THIS IS W.A.R.: The Playlist (& GIVEAWAY) ♫




Hello Friends,








Today I have a couple of very special treats for you.

   1) I get to share Lisa and Laura Roecker's (rockin'!) playlist for THIS IS WAR!
   
   2) I'm giving away one copy of THIS IS WAR to one of you!


I know all of you know the gorgeous Roecker sisters...


I die. Look at them! They are The Pretty AND super sweet AND they have great taste in tunes! 


and I hope you know all about their brand new novel, THIS IS W.A.R., hot off the presses onto bookstore shelves everywhere! 




 This is not a story of forgiveness... 

The mystery of their best friend's murder drives four girls to destroy the Gregory family. Emily Thorne would be proud.



Everyone at Hawthorne Lake Country Club saw Willa Ames-Rowan climb into a boat with James Gregory, the Club’s heir apparent.
And everyone at Hawthorne Lake Country Club watched him return. Alone.
They all know he killed her. But none of them will say a word. The Gregory family is very, very good at making problems go away.
Enter the W.A.R.—the war to avenge Willa Ames-Rowan. Four girls. Four very different motives for justice and revenge, and only one rule: destroy the Gregory family at any cost.


Exciting, right?! 

But what you probably don't know are the songs that inspired them while writing THIS IS WAR. 

I absolutely lve this diverse playlist. Every single song.
Their playlist sets the tone of their book perfectly. Very soundtrack-ish-able.

So go here, to their Hypster Playlist made just for YOU! •♪♫•*¨*•. 


DO YOU WANT TO WIN A COPY of THIS IS WAR? (i KNOW you do!)

All you have to do to enter is leave a message in the comments of this post, telling us which of the songs in their playlist is your favorite. +1

That's it. 

But, you can also earn extra entires:

+2 Follow Lisa and Laura on The Twitter: @landlroecker 
+3 Tweet link this post and giveaway (incl. our @handles)
+1 Follow me on The Twitter: @LolaSharp 


*Contest ends at 11:59 p.m. Tues., July 16th.
*Leave all the links (to your tweets, etc.) and your email address (a way to contact you if you win) in the comments below.


Lisa and Laura Roecker are sisters-turned-writing partners with a passion for good books, pop culture, and Bravo programming. Not necessarily in that order. A prepubescent obsession with Lois Duncan and their mother's insistence that they read Men Are Just Desserts inspired This is WAR. The sisters live in Cleveland, Ohio, in separate residences. Their husbands wouldn't agree to a duplex. Cyberstalking is always encouraged at lisa-laura.blogspot.com and @landlroecker on Twitter.



Love,
Lola 

May your pen be mighty

May your pen be mighty

About Me

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Lola Sharp
My name is Lola. (I'm not a showgirl) Yes, L-O-L-A Lola. It's the least of my worries. Let's move on, shall we? This blog is mostly about my misadventures on the journey to publication and beyond. My passion for lush prose, quirky characters, art, music, literature, performing arts and anything creative will be a major theme here. This journey of mine will not always be pretty. Much like rubbernecking a train wreck, I know sometimes you just can't help but look at the carnage that is often my life. So strap on your neck brace, helmet and 5-point harness and come along for the ride! Licentia poetica.
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"Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth."

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