Thursday, April 26, 2012

King's Killer Crop

For some reason I've been on a horror kick in picking my audiobooks recently. Maybe I'm just missing The Walking Dead and American Horror Story since their seasons ended. At any rate, for my next line-up I've recruited World War Z by Max Brooks (ghoulish in a good way, so far), and some classic Stephen King. After all, what's a horror-thon without some Stephen King in the mix? He's pretty much required reading in the genre. The hardest part is picking what to read out of his ever-expanding list of books and short story collections. That's where the checklist below can help out...

The Complete Works: Ranking All 62 Stephen King Books by Gilbert Cruz for

Spoiler alert: topping the list is The Stand, and I can't say I agree with the choice. Personally I'd go with Carrie, the story that put Stephen King on the map. But this is a great place to start.

What's your favorite horror story? And does it come in audio? :)


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Almost Over the Hill

This summer I'll be 30. It's hard to believe, because in some ways I still feel half that age. But watching all my friends turn 30 over the past few years, one after the other (I'm the last of my line) made me face the inevitable: I'm grown up. Not growing up anymore. Grown up.

You can still call yourself a kid in your 20s. At 30, all bets are off.

When I was 20, being 30 sounded old. It made me think of crow's feet and 9-to-5's and suburban monotony. Little did I know then that when I finally reached 30, those would be the things I actually wanted. (Okay, maybe not the crow's feet. I draw the line somewhere.)

30 doesn't seem like such a big deal these days, but I'm sure I'll still mourn the death of my 20s. In what other decade can you stay out all night and still make it to work the next morning on time, without looking like a Walking Dead extra? Or dance at a wedding reception without being laughed off the floor?

At 30, you're expected to act like an adult. You're expected to enjoy grown-up things like paying mortgages and shopping for SUVs, to accept your slowly sagging skin and ever-expanding middle like badges of Grown Scouts pride.

I say all of this just to say that I have a mere 3 months left in my roaring 20s. Just 90 some-odd fly-by-night days before I join the ranks of countless grown-ups who've bravely gone before.

I have a lot to do before then. Like finishing the list of "10 Books Every Girl Should Read in her Twenties" posted by blogger Alexandra Churchill on I've read exactly 2 of the 10 books she lists--I have a lot of catching up to do.

Do you?


Monday, April 16, 2012

Long Time No Write

That title's a bit of a misnomer. It's not that I haven't been writing. I just haven't been writing on my blog. Not that I've forgotten to...every week I think, I really should write about something. But then I pick up another Writer's Digest how-to book and set the taunting Macbook aside.


This weekend I was out with some friends, and a friend that I haven't seen in a while said, "Hey, I've been following your blog." And my first thought was, People actually read that? My next thought was guilt for having ignored Fictiffous for so long, as if we had this great fling that inexplicably fizzled out. (I know what you're thinking...two months equals fizzled out? But in the land of blogdom, two months might as well be an eternity. Interest is so ephemeral.)

The problem isn't that I haven't been writing enough. It's that I've actually been writing too much. I'm already over 20,000 words into the new draft of my book, which is pretty good, considering I really only hunkered down to start the rewrite a couple weeks ago. And work a full-time job for which I spend at least eight hours a week commuting. And require no less than nine hours of sleep to function. And take care of a toddler alone most nights.

The rewrite's been a complete one so far. I haven't kept any of the original scenes. Not a one.

The story I'm writing now barely resembles the one I wrote before. I've eliminated entire plotlines and wiped several characters completely out of existence, while creating others out of thin air. I'm basically playing God with these poor characters, who are forced to hang on my every word to see where life will take them next.

My deadline is the end of May. Do I have an agent already? Haven't attempted yet. The deadline is self-imposed. If I don't set a deadline, this baby's not getting rewritten. Birthday parties and pay-cable TV are just too enticing. Without discipline, I'll spend my post-toddler evenings parked in front of the boob tube or sipping lemon drop martinis. I've had to make spending QT with the Macbook my priority.

But Fictiffous, I've missed you...can we give it another shot?