Friday, June 29, 2012

Spreading The Phineas And Ferb Love (my post at Criminal Element)

Since it's Friday, and someone might question how much cartoon watching you're getting in this weekend...

Here's my post at Criminal Element, where I make the case for Phineas and Ferb. Just in case you need to justify your tube time (you don't, but there's nothing like a four-point checklist to silence the critics, no?).

Happy weekend, all.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What's Your Pet Peeve In Kid Lit? (Writerly Wednesday Post)

Today, I'm being lazy--I'll send you over to Sleuths, Spies and Alibis, where I talk about my biggest pet peeve in kid lit.

Come say hi, and tell me what writing you think is criminal...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Where I Surf In My Imagination (Monday music with Jack Johnson)

I've always wanted to surf--doesn't it look like such fun in this video? But I'm a little bit of a chicken, plus not so athletically inclined. But it's on the ol' bucket list. Maybe I'll work up the courage to learn someday.

How about you? Any skills you dream you had?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Writerly Wednesday: A Great Resource For You Fellow Crime Writers

Ever wonder how an autopsy is done or how to lift a fingerprint?

Us crime writers need this sort of information, and not all of us have been arrested (at least I hope not) for murder. And we all know that those TV crime shows get it wrong half the time.

So check out this cool pocket guide to crime solving methods up on Lee Lofland's website. It has all the gross stuff on there that you're afraid to Google.

And for those of you who really want to get your crime on, check out the Writer's Police Academy. Man, I want to go...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Music: I Have The Touch, And Dated Movies

We watched Phenomenon this weekend, and this oldie by Peter Gabriel came by which I thought I'd share. It's still good, though I was surprised by how dated Phenomenon felt. Not sure why.

Have you ever watched a movie or read a book that showed its age in a bad way?

Friday, June 15, 2012

For Your Reluctant Reader: Manga and Comics

In case you're a reluctant reader (like me) or know one: here's a great SLJ list of manga and comics for all ages. Monsters vs. Kittens sounds like my kind of book...

Happy weekend reading!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How Writers Stay Motivated (Or: The Best Ray Bradbury Story Ever)

This is my cat Xena. I know, I know--I'm not supposed to blog about my cat. But I'm doing it anyway.

She's not much of a lap cat. Xena likes to hunt and gather, and kill cockroaches when they invade our house (I love her for that).

But last year, I had a killer deadline for Double Vision. The manuscript was due in just over a month, and I was also in the process of selling our house (read: keep it clean and evacuate with cats at a moment's notice).

So my best time to write ended up being around four in the morning (I still keep this habit for first drafts now, believe it or not, so no need to feel sorry for me or anything). The minute I sat down to write at o-dark-thirty, Xena would jump on my lap to make sure my butt stayed in the seat until the kids got up three hours later. She's pretty awesome, no?

For even more awesomeness, read this letter by Ray Bradbury on how he wrote Fahrenheit 451 (hat tip for the scoop to Debbie Ohi). It's much more inspiring than my cat story, I promise.

How do you stay motivated, writerly friends?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

On Favorite Heist Movies and William H. Macy

It's not the first time I've talked about heist movies and how I dig them here on the blog.

What's not to love? Over at Sleuths, Spies and Alibis, it's all about the heist, since fellow blogger Diana Renn's YA novel TOKYO HEIST is out this week. It sounds like a great book, right?

My favorite heist movie has to be The Maiden Heist--William H. Macy is just brilliant in it. I think it's the Robin Hood factor that gives heist stories their great appeal--taking back what belongs to you (even if it sort of doesn't), and sticking it to The Man (who doesn't want to do that, especially on Wednesday?).

Tell me: what's your favorite heist flick or book?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Are You An Impulsive Book Buyer?

Confession time: I'm a little bit of a cheapskate. Okay, so maybe I'm a big one. I don't like to spend more money than I have to. Maybe it's a Dutch thing, I don't know.

So when it comes to my book buying, I usually have a List of Planned Purchases. And I try not to drift too far (given that I'm cheap and all). But then there's that pretty book cover I pass on my way into the book store, or the book recommendation from a store clerk, or that evil bargain section with good mysteries and thrillers. And I always end up buying more books.

I'm not alone in my off-the-list buying--according to this Publishers Weekly article, 60 percent of children's book purchases at indie stores are impulse buys. That's a lot, huh?

How about you all? Do you plan your book purchases, or prefer to be wooed in the store?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ricky Gervais and Elmo, Your Monday Celebrity Lullaby

As I'm still recovering from the misery that is a jetlag, I thought I would share this celebrity lullaby.

Elmo and Ricky Gervais--pretty cool, huh?


Thursday, June 7, 2012

For You New YA Readers: 5 Fundamental YA Mysteries (my post at Criminal Element)

While I was off to Holland, one of my articles went live at Criminal Element. It's a list of five fundamental YA mysteries--great if you're new to YA, or want a short stack of books to find out what's happening in YA mysteries.

Check out the article here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On Vacation and Brownies Worth Traveling Across The Globe

I'm back from vacation!

Holland was beautiful... Among other things, I went to the Van Gogh museum and was awed, saw my sister get married to her prince, ate lots of fries with mayo, and also this brownie with homemade ice cream.

It tastes even better than it looks (as you can tell from my expression). I highly recommend you travel to Wijlre in the Netherlands for it, really.

And now I'm cautiously catching up with what's happening on the internet.

Did I miss anything?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Music: Flying to The Moon

This is an oldie, but don't you love it anyway? My grandma was a huge fan, so I always think of her when I hear Sinatra.

Happy Monday, all...