Friday, December 16, 2011

☆✩ Whobilation ✩☆



Hello Friends,



Happy Holidays, my beautiful friends!


I'm sorry I've not been around lately (except for the briefest of pop-ins on The Twitter). I've been beyond busy, as I am sure you've been as well.






Still...
I have missed you. 


book trees make me happy :)


So. I've been busy.




After completing Nano, I donned my elf hat and commenced with getting my  badass festive on. 






I finished all my Christmas decorating by the first week of December (I only did 5 trees this year, but still, I decorate THE ENTIRE HOUSE, inside and out, front and back, upstairs and down, bathrooms, hallways, bedrooms, even the garage.). And, last week I finished gift shopping and card writing and card sending! Not bad, yeah? 


yes, this is our main tree this year.



Not everything is wrapped yet, but some things have made it under the tree (as you can see above). (true, more things in bags than wrapped, but hey, a girl needs time to party, too, right?)
(And there has been much partying on the weekends! And much more to come.)


Oh, that reminds me! This:




Lola's Grinch Punch



Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons water
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 15 drops neon green food coloring
  • 1 liter bottle lemon-lime soda, chilled
  • 1 bottle of sparkling wine, chilled
  • 2 cups of vodka, chilled
  • 2 pints vanilla ice cream

  • Directions: 
  • (do step 1 the night before)

  • 1) In a large saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved; remove from the heat. Stir in milk and extract. Transfer to a bowl; cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  • 2) Just before serving, transfer milk mixture to a punch bowl. Stir in the food coloring, soda, sparkling wine, and vodka. Top with scoops of ice cream. Serves: 15-20 drinks








Yesterday, whilst wrangling dust bunnies and pine needles in preparation for our up-coming Whoville Whobilation complete with Roast Beast (aka prime rib), I found myself doing what I oft do when doing such unfortunate chores: 
losing myself in various nooks and crannies of my grey matter, pondering sundry thoughts of a meaningful and meaningless nature.

As my brain in December is wont to do, I began thinking about the last 12 

months and my dreams for the next 12 months...


Man, I am blessed. However awful my childhood was, the universe sure made up for it. My little fam is healthy, happy and financially stable even in this economy. We've given generously to charities we feel passionate about, and I love that we are consistently able to do so. 
The house is festive and sparkly, the liquor cabinet is well stocked, and Santa's bag is chock full of wish list goodies for all. 
And, most important, our home is love-filled. Somehow my husband puts up with me and loves me. Like, LOVES me.


And, damn, I love him, too.


2012 is the year I will finally query. 
FIVE novels and I've yet to query.
But, I felt no need to rush. I wanted to work on my craft. I wanted to let each story have the time to be told the way I wanted to tell it. 


Finally, finally, finally, as of this month, my asthma is under control.
Oh, I need to pick up my refill of asthma meds at the CVS.
And maybe I should pick up another bottle of scotch, just in case. So many of our friends drink scotch. And vodka goes fast too. 
I like vodka.
I love champagne.
Oh, I better get more champagne for New Year's Day.
NY's Day is also my husband's birthday.
Do I have enough gifts for his birthday? Yes, I think I do.
I always worry about that, because, you know, people with birthdays near Christmas always get gypped. 


Then somewhere between scooping the cat box and rearranging faux snow around a tablescape, my thoughts took a random and weird turn, as thoughts often do...


I love my cat. Which makes me a cliche of a writer.
I really do love her though. But, dude, her cat box reeks. 
And she's fat. Maybe if she ate less she'd make less stinky stuff.
She needs to get on that.


I wonder if that toad my husband accidentally weed-whacked (and we used cornstarch to stanch the bleeding before releasing) lived? 
Did he make it back to his little toad abode and make toady love and toady tadpoles?
Man, I hope a hawk didn't swoop down and eat him. 
I wonder if hawks think toads taste like chicken?

I really need to get a pedicure, this polish has been on since Halloween.


Silly dogs want to go outside again. I know they only want to go out so they can come back in therefore earning a treat. They've trained me well.
*lets them out*
*digs in box for two treats*
I bet these taste nasty. They look vile. 

Then again, they eat 'treats' out of the cat box.
*gags a little*

 Oh! I know the PERFECT way to kill that character! He will die choking on his own vomit. *thinks on how that fits into the plot better*

Plots are hard.
I hate reading books or watching movies and noticing gaping plot holes. I mean, I LOVE LOTRs, and have read and watched the movies a million times. But...





*loses concentration while noticing a HUGE dust bunny under the entertainment center* 

I should write a story about killer dust bunnies that eat dogs who eat cat turds.

And, really, I wonder if that toad lived. I hope he did.





And so my thoughts go.


One minute you're scooping cat poop and the next you have a spark-- an idea waiting for you to wrap words around it, make it breathe, live. Suddenly you are scurrying for a pen and paper, or your laptop, the need to write urgent.


Twisty magic, that. 





Note, this is my last post until after the new year. Thus, no matter the holiday(s) you celebrate, I wish you all the very merriest. 


(saying 'merriest' reminds me of this beloved quote: "of all the Charlie Browns, 
you're the Charlie Browniest." :)






I wish you much peace, happiness and love!







Love,
Lola 



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful





Hello Friends,








Happy Thanksgiving!


To ALL of you, American and otherwise, I am sincerely grateful for YOU.


To those of you doing Nano and still aiming for your 50k, YOU CAN DO THIS. It's not too late to put up epic word counts and finish.

And for those of you/us who've crossed the finish line, CONGRATS!  




Love,
Lola
Monday, November 7, 2011

Deep In It...and Winner Announced!



Hello Friends,


1) This is going to be a quickie because I'm deep deep DEEP into my Nano-WIP.


whooping!




2) Sorry this took so long (see #1), but I finally have a winner for Hilary Wagner's  THE WHITE ASSASSIN (Book II of The NIGHTSHADE CHRONICLES)...
...


and the winner is... *drumroll*...


 Claire Hennessy !!! 


CONGRATS Claire!


(Claire, please email me your mailing address and I will send it out right away.)



3) The lovely Karen Hooper's debut book, Tangled Tides, is coming out later THIS MONTH! You can pre-order it (here). (I may have already ordered one :)




4) Because I think it's funny:






5) Thanks for putting up with my random posts posted randomly. 


I hope this finds you healthy and happy.





Love,
Lola 
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

NANO Prep Tips Lola-Style



Hello Friends,


So, today I thought I'd share how I prepare for NANOWRIMO.



Even if you aren't participating in Nano, some of these tips may still be helpful for you in carving out the sacred daily writing time we all need more of, especially when we have busy families and jobs and such.


I won't talk outlining-type prep work (because, HAHAHA! *wipes eyes*), but if you do want info on how-to-plot-for-Nano may I suggest the blog of the lovely Alexandra Sokoloff. In fact, she's been doing a series specifically on nano-prep-outining, but her entire blog is filled with plotting and structure tips. 




My tips are also useful for when you are on deadline.


Before I commence with my tips, the most important thing to Nano-success, to ALL writing success, is COMMITMENT.





Okay, let's get on with it. Gird yourself...



Lola's Nano Preparation Tips:

 1. Do a HUGE grocery shop this weekend. STOCK UP! 
(3 dozen eggs, check. 5 loaves of bread in freezer, check. 10,088 frozen pizzas, check!) Stock up and utilize your freezer. If you are in charge of feeding a family, find some super easy crock pot recipes and stock up on those ingredient. Buy the veggies pre-cleaned and pre-cut, or do so yourself NOW. 

While you are at it...
        
 2. Stock up on your writing beverage of choice (coffee, soda, tea...whatever, AND the sugar and creamer you may need). Buy WAY more than a month's supply. Ditto for your favorite writing snack.  


3. Have the local pizza (etc.) delivery on speed dial. 

4. Get spouse/family/friends on board. You will need their support. (My husband will often bring home take-out dinner or take our daughter out for dinner and bring me home a meal...a meal which he quietly shoves under my writing cave door.) 
If you're married with children, get your spouse to bring home dinners and help extra with the kids. (if you have little ones home with you, buy some new little toys, movies, books, crayons, etc. NOW, and whip them out when you need some quiet time. Consider hiring a teen/senior helper.)



Friends and family need to know that unless their hair is on fire, to please cheer you on SILENTLY from a distance (aka leave you alone!); chatty visits, phone calls/texts etc. will have to wait until December 1st. You will be sequestered, MIA. Hold them (and yourself) to it. (make sure you make it up to them later, by spending time with them and thanking them for their support.)


        
5. Spouses/significant others/roommates should be pre-warned that it is possible (probable!) that your personal hygiene and grooming will decline substantially during the month of November. (all the more reason they should LEAVE YOU ALONE with your computer ;)



(*sniff* do I reek? Yes? *rubs on more deodorant, shrugs, goes back to typing*) (where's that scrunchy that isn't all stretched out??) 


(remember that shopping trip where you stocked up on supplies? Yeah, make sure you bought extra toothpaste, deodorant... and some cleansing wipes.) 

 
6. Get your nails done and hair cut/colored NOW, pre-Nov., or be prepared to wait until Dec. 1st. 


7. Preemptively CLEAN YOUR HOUSE and do ALL LAUNDRY like a mad person. START NOW. 
Then every few days during Nov. try to zip through and whirl-wind clean the hot spots (kitchen, toilets, quick vacuum). If you live with someone, try to enlist their help to do more than their share and you'll make it up to them another month.

DO NOT HAVE/ALLOW ANYONE OVER in November. You won't have time to entertain them and likely the house will not be up to company standards. 
Which leads me to... 

8. DO NOT host THANKSGIVING  (for those living in the States) at your house this year!! Go to your parents/in-laws/siblings/friends/restaurant. The amount of time it takes to clean for company, plan your menu, shop for the menu, cook, entertain, and then clean afterwards is death to your goal... not an option.


It's a wonderful day to spend with your family and friends you've been neglecting, so spend the day relaxing with them. 
(And then get RIGHT BACK on track the next day! Make sure you family understands that Thanksgiving was a one-day hiatus and now you still have to finish out your month of hardcore writing. They can have lots of time with you in December.) 



9. I make it my goal to write 2,000 words/day 6 days/week. The 7th day is for errands, chores and spending time with loved ones...preferably outside, in the fresh air and sunlight.

If I know I won't be making my goal (like Thanksgiving day, for instance), I 'bank' extra word count AHEAD of time. I will do 2,500-3,000/day for a few days before the day off.
I also try to do this (banking extra word count) a few times early in the month to have some 'savings in the bank' for a 'rainy day emergency', in case I get sick or something unexpected comes up. 

(I mean, if I get a last minute invite to a front row at Incubus/Kings of Leon/etc. concert,, I'm not gonna say no. Duh. I'm gonna ditch that ms like 4 day old stanky fish.) (So bank as many extra words each day as you can!) 

10. And this may be the most important tip: BACK UP YOUR WORK EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! Have a plan NOW of how  you will accomplish this. And have extra flash drives/hard drives ready now.

For those doing Nano this year, I know the Nano-site doesn't have the buddy list functioning yet (grrrrr!), but when they do, you can buddy me at: 
the-sharp-pen

What are YOUR plans for November? If you are doing Nano, what are YOU doing to prepare? 

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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