Thursday, January 31, 2008

Why is the Song, Loser , Running Through My Mind?

Soy un perdedor.... I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you kill me.... Well, you all get the idea....

So, missed my out date on Raskin’s Wings and the first word I could think of starts with a big fat F....

Not that one... well, okay, that one, too.

Failure: Breakfast of Champions

January was like a friggin’ brick wall for me... I swear it was. Every time I thought I was making progress some other stupid thing took my attention away from where it needed to be...

In the last few weeks I’ve run across posts by other writers, such as Tena’s fond farewell at In Her Write Mind, telling us that blogging was getting in the way of her work and so, she’ll be back but not until the work is done...

Josephine has been covering her meeting with uber agent, Donald Maass (cue choirs of angels singing), and her first post made me giddy... for a second, and then I realized, yes, this blogging thing really does scratch my itch... worse still, I’m not even under the delusion that this blog will be adequate platform to attract readers – if I thought that, I’d watch my mouth a lot more.

I could give you a list of reasons why the novel is not complete... I have them, believe me, and yet, I fit in time to puts around on the computer... so obviously, I was not so busy that I couldn’t have done it, or at least done more. And yeah, I did a few productive writing things this month. I submitted my pitch, jacket copy, etc for Moonrat’s awesome contest, which brings me one step closer to query ready.... I sent out two things on submission.... I put myself out there a bit more than I was... but the novel is not done and that was the priority...

(Pssst.... are any of you worried that I’m calling it quits?) I’m not. Can’t do it – I’ve gained far more from blogging than any other avenue of writing improvement, so no, I’m not calling it quits. I’m not even calling it hiatus, though I probably should. I stayed largely away from blogland this week and did a bit more writing and a lot of soul searching.... I abstained from Nathan’s Attempt To Bring Down Blogger, for God’s sake, I must have been serious... By the way, I missed most of the whole anonymice sniping about critique over there, but I still think Josie, JJdebenedictis, and a few other selfless writers from that thread should get standing ovations and bloggy kudos just for the effort. I know Josie was a bit miffed by the results there – but, for what’s it’s worth, most of the commentary I read was posted by people who wanted and appreciated the effort.... (okay, caught me... I read it, but I didn’t comment and return a million times)

The other thing I did this week was run across an old friend at myspace. How that happened I have no idea, but he was about my favorite person in the world back when I was twenty... we exchanged a few emails and the like and all of that’s nice, but what it really did was remind me of me at twenty... (gee, a little narcissistic, am I?) I should re-phrase this in case he’s reading, a side effect of talking to him again was being reminded of myself at twenty – I’m very happy we touched base in the here and now. Anyhoo....

At twenty, I thought I knew everything... now I realize that I know very little in the grand scheme of things.

At twenty, I used to say, ‘I just want to be worshipped, is that too much to ask?’ – I was only half kidding... now I think that would just be creepy... *shivers*

At twenty, I wanted to be a writer... never with grand plans of million dollar advances and legions of fans, I just saw this great future where my days were spent at my word processor (see how friggin’ long ago that was?) and afternoons or evenings out with friends... I’d have time in the day to drink coffee and read at my favorite place (I had one of those in my head, too) and I’d make up for it with long sessions of writing through the night......

I still have that last one – that’s why it sprang so readily to mind... at twenty I knew I wanted a family, but it was an abstract thought and not a reality in my little ‘I’m going to write for a living even if I have to live on saltines’ fantasy... they are obviously a part of the equation now and don’t really allow time for afternoon coffees, or writing through nights without payback the next day... but still, it’s largely the same in my little noggin and I think I owe it to myself, nearly fifteen years later than I thought, to really aim, really give it a shot.

Failure is not a problem. Failure does one of two things – it either makes you stronger or it defeats you... I’m not the second one. I know I’m not, I just don’t have it in me to lie down. I’ve made a lot of great progress over the last fifteen years, in my life and in my writing... if I hadn’t started my family over ten years ago, well, I wouldn’t be here – in any sense, I wouldn’t be able to write with the depth I’ve attained through my own experiences... it’s not the only way to achieve depth, but it’s not a part of the journey I’d give up... it’s also a path that makes the writing harder.... for a bevy of reasons that any working mother can explain.... add to it the fact that there’s no guaranteed paycheck and you have a job no one else takes seriously on top of everything else... Will that make me quit? No. I told you earlier, I’m not a quitter... this year is starting really rocky for me, it’s been a rough few, and I don’t know how long I’ll be able to give this my full effort without going back into the workforce for the paycheck... because that’s a consideration, too...

But whatever else happens, I’ll finish this one and I’ll start on the next... now’s the time to do it in earnest... so I just wanted to let you guys know, I haven’t abandoned blogland... I will be around, if less frequently... I will post, when I can get to it.... I’m still here – just a bit quieter.

Okie-dokie.... if you made it all the way to the end of this long and rambling little purging of mine, thanks for the ear... keep up the hard work, and I’ll stop in to visit when I can.... Take care guys.......

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bloggy Breaks and a bit of fun

Hi All,

Sorry it's been so long since my last post... hopefully I can make it up to you soon, with something a bit more thought provoking or, at least, an explanation for my absence...

In the meantime, amuse yourselves with a few words from


Hee, hee... seriously, that was one of the best videos I've seen in a long time...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Not My Baby!!!!

I’ve seen whole series of blog posts and articles lately that discuss writing as an author’s baby... This is not a new analogy and it’s not an altogether bad one, either... the creation of a novel is a very long and difficult journey and I can see how an author will come to love their work and words in an overpowering way...

When your love for your words, though, gets in the way of the story it’s time to decide what exactly it is that you’re doing... I’ve seen editors discuss how an author, whose word count is double what is reasonably feasible, refuses to cut even one single syllable from his monstrosity... yes, they’re his babies, but we’ve all met kids that were monsters... (Liar! You have too!)

So here, for your pleasure, amusement, and perhaps legitimate ponderings, are the top ten reasons ...

Why My Novel Is Not My Baby

10. I can’t edit my children. I’ve tried and they’ll have none of it. Besides, if I chopped off aspects and pieces of my real children, people would frown on it... if I didn’t do it with my fiction, editors would run screaming in the night... or send ‘Dear Writer’ rejections...

9. I have never felt the need to make my children more active.

8. If we could ‘plot’ our children, no one would ever become a bum or miscreant, and then what the hell would we write about?

7. I have never yet felt the need to raise the conflict on my children... parenting is conflicting enough – I would prefer it in passive voice if I could pick it (see reason number 9)...

6. No matter how wildly successful any of my novels become, they will never love me back.

5. I’ll tell you right now, there will never come a day when I think a sex scene might spice up my kids’ lives, not when they’re forty, not when I’m dead... I shall refuse to admit I even read such stuff so they can walk through their ultra cool lives without the need for a shrink.

4. I will never stay up nights worrying about when my novel will get her ass home.

3. My novel may someday spawn sequels, but it will never give me grandchildren... okay, that’s not a guarantee with kids either, but I’ve got a better shot there.

2. There is no trauma in my novel that I can’t fix myself... it is completely up to my writing, craft and work ethic to turn my fiction into the best story I can tell – if only that were true with children... what wouldn’t I give to be in full control over their health and well being.

1. I might joke, but I would never sell my kids... No one on the planet has that kind of money...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Getting Naked With Josie - er, umn... I mean posting my entry...

As some of you may have noticed, Moonrat is holding a competition that you can learn about: here and then updated, here and here.

Josephine Damian has bravely posted her entry for open comment on her blog, which she commented somewhere or other made her feel naked... so I thought I’d be, gulp, brave enough to do the same. Comments and crits are welcome – I’m closing in on query time so anything that helps me tweak is always appreciated.

The following is my entry for Raskin’s Wings, my middle grade novel.


Why Benny is the only boy who can see Raskin remains a mystery, but helping the wayward fairy to win back his wings may just earn them both salvation.

Back Cover (133 words):

Raskin is not your average fairy. His affinity for mortals gets him in trouble more often than not, culminating in his being clipped as a punishment for his crimes. Now he’s in a race against trolls and a fairy on a power trip to right his past misdeeds and win back his wings.

Benny Sherman doesn’t need the hassle. First, he and his mom are crammed into Grandma’s overcrowded bungalow after his parents’ separation. Then he’s forced to attend Catholic school, where every day promises to be as much fun as church. Meeting a wingless fairy in need of his assistance isn’t likely to help him fit in and, if he had to be caught up in such nonsense, why couldn’t he at least get cool creatures? Instead, Benny gets girly fairies!

Jacket Copy (353 words):

When Raskin’s impetuousness leads him to trust one mortal too many, he has no idea it will mean the loss of the Tuatha De Danann, or his own wings. Recovering the talisman before it falls into the hands of trolls is his only chance of regaining the kingdom’s forgiveness, but how can one fairy hope to accomplish such a lofty goal without wings or magic? Raskin’s journey takes him across the ocean and onto the path of the only boy who can see him.

Benny Sherman’s sixth grade year is heading in a less than stellar direction. His parents’ separation forces Benny and his mom to move in with Grandma Sicola, where play dates are unheard of and chores are expected. Rounding out the series of changes, Benny is sent to St. Michael’s Catholic school – he can’t even remember all of the prayers, how can he fake being a real Catholic all day long? His mother’s preoccupation with her new job means that Benny needs to navigate his surroundings on his own... but it’s not all bad, new responsibilities come with an exciting independence the eleven year old has never known.

While fleeing from Branaugh, the neighborhood miscreant, Benny and his buddy John find themselves falling into a fairy den, where they come face to face with Raskin and his companions. When Raskin realizes Benny can see and hear him, the fairy is convinced that the boy is meant to help and, more than that, he’s a balm to the fairy who has missed human companionship more than any of his magic. Once the boys determine that they are neither dead nor hallucinating, they agree to bring the fairies home and aid in their search, but keeping the whole thing secret means alienating friends and a whole lot of creative lying. If they can outsmart the troop of fairies trying to thwart Raskin, stay away from the nefarious trolls, and retrieve the talisman, Benny’s life can go back to normal...

When the trolls set their sights on the boy rather than the fairy, Benny steps into more danger than he bargained for...

Author Bio (word count: rather short, but I can puff it up with a little creative fibbing ;-):

Merry Monteleone has been weaving stories since she was a small child, though persnickety adults often referred to it as ‘fibbing’. Most of her fiction is set in the Chicago land area, where she grew up and is now raising her three children. Raskin’s Wings is her debut novel.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Contest, and Challenges, and Blog Posts, Oh My!!!

Moonrat – Where it’s at!

First, I have to point out a contest that our dear old moonrat is hosting. Moonie, also known as Editorial Ass, is hosting a contest to win a tee shirt with a Robert the Publisher gem of the winner’s choice. For those of you unfamiliar, go check out her blog, it’s fantabulous. The first contest is to write up your own jacket copy, author bio, and back cover copy, as you would for your publisher if your novel was accepted for publication... it’s a great exercise to zone in on your pitch, for those of us getting ready to query, and it is being a judged by an editor so it’s a nice opportunity for the aspiring masses...

She has a secondary contest for those who don’t have a book or are already with a publisher to write her an ode in iambic pentameter... you can enter both contests just for shits and giggles, if you prefer...

On to My Own Silliness:

I have no prizes, except pride in a job well done.... okay, there are no prizes. My last post was a meme and I tagged Travis Erwin, who had already completed the same meme and therefore declined... sorry I missed your original post, Travis (bad blog buddy). And I told him in comments that I’d come up with another just for him... ‘cause I’m evil that way... but on thinking about new memes, I decided a Writing Challenge would be far more fun...

Here’s the skinny:

Write a satire for your blog. It can be on any topic you like, and can be written as essay, news story, what ever mode you prefer. If you need an example, Stephen Parish recently posted a satire of his own volition that was a pretty good play on Swift’s A Modest Proposal. You can also look to The Onion or things of that nature for a good example... and if thoughts fail you, just get sarcastic.

It’s open to all; I’d love to read them. There’s no judge, no voting, and no prize, but it does make for a nice break to get to read a lot of creative, humorous writing by your friends in blogland, so pass it on to anyone who might want to play. If you drop me a link or let me know you’ve posted, I’ll drop by to visit and later put up a post with links to all the great satires floating about...

So, Travis, this one’s for you... It’s not a meme, but I think you might enjoy it anyway.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Well, What Did You Expect?

Shelly Bryant tagged me for a meme some time ago, and I’m finally getting around to the post... The question is, what do I expect from this blog? This is a bit different from the general, ‘why do you blog?’ question, which I’ve answered a hundred times... it poses the query in a slightly different light: what do I expect to get out of this blog, on these topics, that I wouldn’t get out of a blog on underwater basket weaving or the many uses of Peruvian shoe leather for someone with a fetish... okay, see that last one might key you in on something... as it did, me – though I consider this my professional writing blog, I obviously don’t treat it as professionally as I should – given the fact that I’m writing middle grade fiction... fine to add the off color silliness if I was a regular adult writer, but it’s probably not a great thing for someone writing for children.

So what, if anything, do I expect from this blog? I’m still pondering this, really. I don’t expect to use it professionally, except as a networking tool to meet other writers and publishing professionals. Obviously, if blogging will be a platform in my novel writing, I’ll need to build another blog that’s solely kid friendly – or at least pg-13. I don’t expect a publisher to come knocking down my door with six figure deals because they fell in love with my silly little blog... that’s not going to happen and I don’t treat my writing here with the same seriousness that I treat my fiction, so it’s really not a goal...

So, what the heck do I expect? Nothing. (see, you read all this drivel for a nothing answer, how’s that for an annoying blogger?) I don’t have any expectations here. What I’ve gained from blogging is another question, and its answer is diverse and ever changing, but mostly it’s a connection to other writers on topics that touch and affect us... But I didn’t expect that, I don’t hold that as an expectation... I don’t earn, or actively seek, money from this blog. I don’t promote this blog, other than being on technorati, which was more to be able to tell who linked me so I could say thanks...

I like a lot of things about blogging, but I don’t hold any expectations for this particular blog. Maybe it’s a learning curve to my author site, whenever I get around to that one. I have ideas for a professional author’s blog and, honestly, not a lot of the content I include here would make it there. Not because I don’t like what I’ve posted but because an author blog would be geared toward my readers, and this one is just me, relaxed, uncensored, and talking a lot about books and writing... okay, sometimes my kids make it into the post and occasionally a moral, because I like that kind of thing.

So there you go – no expectations. I am an aimless blogger. I’m supposed to pass this one on to five other bloggers... oy. I think, Stephen Parish, Mary Witzl, Josephine Damian, JJDebenedictis, and Travis Erwin... If you’d like to pass, I understand, but I’d also love to see what your expectations are.

Okay, fellow bloggers, as I have none, I know I’ve met my expectations... how about you? How does blogging serve you or detract from your writing? Are you an addict or a social blogger... could you stop at just one?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Writing the Children's Book... a point of pride

I recently found the blog, Editorial Anonymous, written by a children’s book editor. It’s a great blog, as you’ll note it’s suddenly appeared on my blogroll for editors and agents, and I’ve been having some fun reading through past entries that I missed.

I submit to you a link that the YA and children’s writers among us will find hysterical, or disturbing, or both... I have to give credit to Editor Anonymous, because I found the link on one of her blogs on how not to get published.

Strong Bad Writes a Children’s Book

While the little video is pretty amusing, I have to say it’s not altogether off of what *some* people, writer and otherwise, think it is to write children’s fiction... On another blog I made mention of the fact that so many of us start out with the statement, “I never intended to write children’s fiction. I always thought I’d write (insert more impressive genre here).”

I’ve actually said this, typed this, thought this... and yes, I am hanging my head in shame, but I’m not the only one who should. The more I read and studied children’s writing and publishing, the more I realized how truly asinine these statements were. And now that I’m here, a little way up the road on my writing learning curve, I realize exactly why it is that my novel, the one that most spoke to me, the one that most needed telling... the one whose characters invaded my head until I got them down on the page – and haven’t left yet, the filthy little buggers... This novel is the one I had to tell for a reason, and my audience is more important to me than the literary elite could be – they are kids, jaded and wide eyed and all stops in between. They are future readers and current dreamers. They are important, more so than any other audience might be to me at this point in my life – not because the writing is easier, let me tell you, it’s not... but because the idea that a ten or eleven year old will pick up my book and feel something, turn pages, take the story with them when the reading is done, and, hopefully, pick up another book shortly thereafter... well, that’s a thrilling thought. That ten year old might write a book report about my novel, and it’ll never appear in The New York Times, but it might be hung in a grammar school hallway with sticky tape, and that would be pretty good, too.

Point, point, oh, yeah, my point:

Middle grade might be my permanent writing calling. I wouldn’t have said so a year ago. I was chomping at the bit to get this one out of my system and get back to adult fiction... with my simmering plot that’s been waiting in my journal since before the journey of Raskin’s Wings even began... and then something changed. In me, around me, or maybe I just heard my muse a little clearer... because suddenly this thing became THE book, not the one to get out of the way, but the one to savor and hone and bring to the best form possible so that at the end of the day, when submissions go out, I know it’s a book I’d want to watch my kids enjoy... and then the ideas, the plots the characters that readily drop into my mind to work on in the future... they changed, too... two series grew out of nothing for, of all things, early chapter books... because they did... maybe it’s because I’m engrossed in my kids’ reading, and notice what I find lacking or what they would enjoy more of... maybe it’s because I skipped children’s literature as a child, and I’m so enjoying it now... maybe it’s just the type of writing that really does suit me. I don’t really know... I know what the next novel is, though... middle grade historical.... how the heck did that happen?

That’s my journey from there to here. I didn’t set out to write children’s because I thought it would be easier... I can’t believe people actually do this, but they apparently do... that’s a whole other ball of wax, too... I don’t know why anyone would want to write a book that was looking for something easy to do.... you guys are mostly writers that stop in here, do you find this terribly easy?

Will I always write middle grade or various age ranges in children’s... the truth is, I don’t know. Maybe I will get that backburner plot out eventually... Maybe I won’t... But if I do get back to adult fiction at some point, it will not be because I want to be a real writer... I’m pretty impressed by children’s authors – right now I’m just hoping to build a career among them.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ode to Anti Wife!!!!!

Okay, this took me far too long, but here it is:

Anti-Wife’s Ode

To the tune of Stairway to Heaven... if any of you don’t know the song, kindly remove yourself from my blog...

There’s a blog that’s secure
When life gets a bit cold
Anti Wife writes of her past and present
In her Mini Mouse bows
Her dog, Belle, sits quite close
She brings readers the insight they came for
And she writes of her past and her present.

Posts that touch one and all
When there isn’t a cure
Eloquence at her loss had us weeping
She can speak of a book
With a fervor that brings
Vivid pictures of stories unbidden.

Her opinion is set
For this life she has zest
And her story is never deceiving
In her posts, we have seen
In’tresting Christmas trees
For her blog all her readers come looking
And she is a wonder.

For her humor you’ll swoon
And you’ll come back quite soon
Anti-Wife has deep thoughts for each season
Posts of men come and gone
As you laugh along
We search for hap’ly ever after.

If you want insight why don’t you go
And check her out now
Read about her life and things she’s seen
There are nuggets there to make you sigh
And some in good fun
Whatever topic it is she’s on
It’ll make you wonder........................

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

What's in a Name?

For those of you confused to suddenly see me posting as ‘Merry Monteleone’, wondering where the Jelinek went, and unsure why I would do such an odd thing... I figured I’d explain... For those of you who couldn’t care less, just ignore this post and come back tomorrow.

Jelinek is my married name. When I first started this blog I was still freelance writing and I decided to use my legal name in order to link it later as I built my business, etc. etc. As time went on, I found that the freelance writing was taking so much time away from my fiction writing that I had to make a choice between the two. I decided, obviously, to run full steam with the fiction for as long as I could feasibly go without an income... (I can’t do it much longer, but that’s another story)

The name Jelinek remained as my signature for two reasons:
1) I had already met a number of bloggers and made a few contacts who were visiting my blog on a regular basis and it seemed like a hassle to change it and confuse people.
2) I’m lazy.

The time had come for change... well, mostly I’ve been seeing over and over that if you’re using a pseudonym then you should use it everywhere so as not to confuse perspective agents and editors.

I always wanted Monteleone to be my byline for fiction. I still, even after eleven years of marriage, identify with my maiden name more fully. It’s mine. It’s where I came from and therefore a part of who I am. Besides, Monteleone translates to Mountain Lion – how cool is that? My full name means, Happy Mountain Lion, and I didn’t even have to make it up!!! Does anyone else get a picture of a cartoon mountain lion in a top hat doing a little dance? Maybe it’s just me...

Jelinek means ‘Little Deer’ in Czech, which is fine and good... Mountain Lion’s better, but ya know, Little Deer beats ‘light bulb’ or something...

So there ya go. It was a decision I had written in stone in my head anyway... I wanted to see my work in print long before I ever met my husband, and he’s not exactly supportive of my writing, so I don’t think his name should go on the side of something that’s mine... after all, Jelinek was already given to my three greatest creations and I think that’s pretty fabulous...

January Check In and other Odds and Ends

Book Club Blog
The book club blog is ready to get underway at Shelly Bryant’s blog – you can find the first post announcing the book right there (it’s The Man Who Walked Through Time for those of you who hesitate to follow linkage).

The first discussion will kick off in mid February, so if you have some time and like to discuss literature, I hope you’ll check it out.

Submission Progress

After careful consideration, I decided to suspend all queries and submission until early February. Many of the agents and editors I’ve been reading have talked about the landslide of submissions in January, both due to the time off and Resolution writers... I just thought it was counter-productive to send anything out when I knew they’d likely be overwhelmed already.

I did submit one piece, but kicked myself later for it... we’ll see what happens there.

Novel Progress

Yay, me!!! I’m speeding along and really, really enjoying these revisions... well, better than when I was banging my head off the keyboard trying to find my lost voice... Anyhoo... If I keep it in high gear, I think I’ll make my end of the month deadline on it. Beta Readers beware, this is such a heavy revision that there will probably be typos and things in the copy I send you... I’ll try my best to get them out, but it’ll probably take a few weeks away before I’m really focusing on the nitpicky things again.

Well, there you go... Comments a plenty, voice away... What do you think of the name – was it a good choice to change it here or do you think I should have just opened a new blog for that? What are your choices for writing names? Is it your birth name, pen name, married name? Is it something you thought much about or not really at all? And how’s the writing going?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Horoscope Meme - All About Me

Silken tagged me to do this horoscope blog and, as it looked like fun and I was tempted to try it out when I saw it at Mrs. Parker’s Blog a few days ago, I thought I’d give it a whirl.

The rules are simple. Below is a list of each of the twelve months. Copy paste your birth month into the beginning of the entry and then tell your readers which of the descriptions are accurate – the blogger can simply highlight the affirmative or give an overall explanation... as those of you who read me know that I’m long winded, you can guess which you’re in for here.

All About Me:


Attractive personality. – I hope so... I like it, but then I don’t often have many conflicts with myself... then again, if a friend described me as having an ‘attractive personality’ I would likely assume they were calling me ugly, so maybe I should say no to this one....

Sexy. – It depends on who you ask. Was I sexy after ten hours of labor? Was I sexy at three in the morning smelling of infant spit up? Was I sexy wearing very icky nursing pads? I think you’d have to have some weird fetish to answer yes to any of those... but there is probably someone out there with a weird fetish, so... I think everyone feels sexy at some time, but that’s a blanket kind of sidestepping answer... I would give a yes, but, hey, wouldn’t we all?

Affectionate. – Again, depends on who you ask... if you’re annoying me, not so much. With my kids, all the time. With my dog – she’s 70 pounds and thinks she’s a lap dog, so what does that tell ya? With my husband – see the annoying line.

Shy and reserved. – Yes and no.... ha, aren’t I an enigma? I hate public speaking, it’s on my list of things that I have to master when I’ve actually got a publishing deal – because I know I’ll need it but right now the writing’s far more pressing... I was painfully shy as a kid, somewhat outgrew it in teen years, and most people that know me would never guess shy... but I still clam up and get self conscious around large groups... even smaller groups if I don’t know everyone.

Secretive. – I can’t tell you.

Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic -Yes, yes, and yes. I don’t like being lied to and I have a problem lying... this is not some great moral attribute on my part, my mouth simply works faster than my brain. Seriously, I will say things that most normal people would keep to themselves, it just pops out of my mouth. I attribute this to a sieve problem... most people have a filter between their brain and their mouth, I have a sieve... usually I can keep the things that are going to be hurtful from getting past my teeth, but whatever I’m thinking is flashing across my face anyway. Generous, overly... I will hurt myself financially to help a friend or family member out and have, for most of my life. Sympathetic, see generous, what do you think?

Loves peace and serenity. – I do actually, and I cannot stand drama, but I tend to get more of that than peace and serenity.. I’ve wondered, too, what I’m doing to attract that, because I’d like to stop.

Sensitive to others. – Yes

Loves to serve others. – Yes, but this is kind of a self serving thing, too. I love to cook, more because I like to see people enjoying what I’ve made them than because I actually love the cooking process...

Easily angered. – Would you be surprised if I said Yes – Definitely Yes, I have a hot temper, but I’ve learned to control it a great deal with age... for instance, I haven’t winged a plate at anyone since I was a teenager.. I’m so not looking forward to my kids hitting their teens.

Trustworthy. – Yes

Appreciative and returns kindness. – I try to be but sometimes I’m not as good at sending out thank you’s and such as I should be... I do try to return kindnesses when I can, though.

Observant and assesses others. – Overly, I tend to get a snap impression of people I meet fairly quickly and I’m usually pretty accurate.

Revengeful. – YES – shocked, are you? I am actually, enough so that I’m glad I have too much of a faith in Karmic justice to actually act out on anyone... It takes me a great deal of time to get over slights and backstabbing and when I do forgive it’s more a case of letting it go for my own well being than it is a means to fix the relationship. I should probably add a disclaimer here: not the kind of revengeful that would hurt someone physically... for instance, when someone’s really done something rotten to me in life, if I were to write a character of them, the character wouldn’t get killed or anything, they’d just be overly jerky and might get an std or something.

Loves to dream and fantasize. – Yes – I call this living in my own head and when I turn it to creative pursuits it’s a great plus, but I have to be very conscious of this daydreamer aspect, because it can lead me to feel like I’m accomplishing something when I’m really just being lazy.

Loves traveling. – Nope. There are places I’d like to see, but overall I don’t like to travel

Loves attention. – Okay, is there someone who doesn’t like positive attention? Seriously

Hasty decisions in choosing partners. – Yes, but hasty isn’t always wrong, either.

Loves home decors. - Not so much... There are quirky things I like in my own house, but I’m not one of those people who reads home decorating magazines or anything.

Musically talented. – Not even a little bit!!! I love music, listen to it all the time, but I can’t play or sing a damn thing without causing myself and others great pain.

Loves special things. – No, I hate special things with a passion... what gives them a right to be so, so, special.... Seriously, what does this even mean? (Side note, they left ‘sarcastic’ off this list, but obviously the answer there would be ‘yes’)

Moody. – Yes.... I can be.

Okay guys, below you’ll find the list of the months below with all of the attributes. I’m not going to tag anyone, but I’d love to read yours if you do one, so drop me a link in the comments if you post.

JANUARY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Ambitious and serious. Loves to teach and be taught. Always looking at people’s flaws and weaknesses. Likes to criticize. Hardworking and productive. Smart, neat and organized. Sensitive and has deep thoughts. Knows how to make others happy. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Rather reserved. Highly attentive. Resistant to illnesses but prone to colds. Romantic but has difficulties expressing love. Loves children. Loyal. Has great social abilities yet easily jealous. Very stubborn and money cautious.

FEBRUARY: Abstract thoughts. Loves reality and abstract. Intelligent and clever. Changing personality. Attractive. Sexy. Temperamental. Quiet, shy and humble. Honest and loyal. Determined to reach goals. Loves freedom. Rebellious when restricted. Loves aggressiveness. Too sensitive and easily hurt. Gets angry really easily but does not show it. Dislikes unnecessary things. Loves making friends but rarely shows it. Daring and stubborn. Ambitious. Realizes dreams and hopes. Sharp. Loves entertainment and leisure. Romantic on the inside not outside. Superstitious and ludicrous. Spendthrift. Tries to learn to show emotions.

MARCH: Attractive personality. Sexy. Affectionate. Shy and reserved. Secretive. Naturally honest, generous and sympathetic. Loves peace and serenity. Sensitive to others. Loves to serve others. Easily angered. Trustworthy. Appreciative and returns kindness. Observant and assesses others. Revengeful. Loves to dream and fantasize. Loves traveling. Loves attention. Hasty decisions in choosing partners. Loves home decors. Musically talented. Loves special things. Moody.

APRIL: Active and dynamic. Decisive and hasty but tends to regret. Attractive and affectionate to oneself. Strong mentality. Loves attention. Diplomatic. Consoling, friendly and solves people’s problems. Brave and fearless. Adventurous. Loving and caring. Suave and generous. Emotional. Aggressive. Hasty. Good memory. Moving. Motivates oneself and others. Sickness usually of the head and chest. Sexy in a way that only their lover can see.

MAY: Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

JUNE: Thinks far with vision. Easily influenced by kindness. Polite and soft-spoken. Having ideas. Sensitive. Active mind. Hesitating, tends to delay. Choosy and always wants the best. Temperamental. Funny and humorous. Loves to joke. Good debating skills. Talkative. Daydreamer. Friendly. Knows how to make friends. Able to show character. Easily hurt. Prone to getting colds. Loves to dress up. Easily bored. Fussy. Seldom shows emotions. Takes time to recover when hurt. Brand conscious. Executive. Stubborn.

JULY: Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people’s feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. Dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. Always broods about the past and the old friends. Likes to be quiet. Homely person. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Prone to having stomach and dieting problems. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

AUGUST: Loves to joke. Attractive. Suave and caring. Brave and fearless. Firm and has leadership qualities. Knows how to console others. Too generous and egoistic. Takes high pride in oneself. Thirsty for praises. Extraordinary spirit. Easily angered. Angry when provoked. Easily jealous. Observant. Careful and cautious. Thinks quickly. Independent thoughts. Loves to lead and to be led. Loves to dream. Talented in the arts, music and defense. Sensitive but not petty. Poor resistance against illnesses. Learns to relax. Hasty and trusty. Romantic. Loving and caring. Loves to make friends.

SEPTEMBER: Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to point out people’s mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves leisure and traveling. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.

OCTOBER: Loves to chat. Loves those who loves them. Loves to take things at the center. Inner and physical beauty. Lies but doesn’t pretend. Gets angry often. Treats friends importantly. Always making friends. Easily hurt but recovers easily. Daydreamer. Opinionated. Does not care of what others think. Emotional. Decisive. Strong clairvoyance. Loves to travel, the arts and literature. Touchy and easily jealous. Concerned. Loves outdoors. Just and fair. Spendthrift. Easily influenced. Easily loses confidence. Loves children.

NOVEMBER: Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.

DECEMBER: Loyal and generous. Sexy. Patriotic. Active in games and interactions. Impatient and hasty. Ambitious. Influential in organizations. Fun to be with. Loves to socialize. Loves praises. Loves attention. Loves to be loved. Honest and trustworthy. Not pretending. Short tempered. Changing personality. Not egotistic. Take high pride in oneself. Hates restrictions. Loves to joke. Good sense of humor. Logical.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Kick Off the New Year with the Book Club Blogs!!!

My friend, Shelly Bryant has graciously offered to host the next book club blog on her site. Some of you may have joined us for the book club discussion here on Patricia Wood’s Lottery in December. That was the kick off to, hopefully, starting up a regular book club on blogs around the internet. It’s open to anyone who likes to read and discuss literature with other readers and writers. You are more than welcome to jump into any discussion that interests you and host if you’d enjoy picking and discussing a book on your blog.

Shelly’s first post on the upcoming book club can be found here

She’s given four choices to her blog readers, and left the decision of what we will all be reading together up to a group consensus. The four choices are varied and look outstanding, so drop by her blog and put in your vote.

For those of you unfamiliar with Shelly’s discussions, I can say they are among the most intelligent and thought provoking literary discussions I have ever had the privilege to take part in, both online and in person. Shelly is a poet who is very well read and highly educated, and she teaches literature to third and fourth year university students in Singapore... as if all of that wasn’t enough, she’s also great fun and nice to boot.

I’ll be joining in and I hope to see all of you there!!!