Listen to the Mustn'ts, child, listen to the Don'ts.
Listen to the Shouldn'ts, the Impossibles, the Won'ts.

Listen to the Never Haves, then listen close to me.
Anything can happen, child, Anything can be.

-Shel Silverstein

Friday, March 30, 2012

Warning: Not Sunday Approved

All is quiet on the rejection front...in case you wondered. What can that mean? Dare I dream?

My mother (who you would have to know to appreciate the fact that she even read my book in the first place) finished reading my book in three days and took me to lunch to discuss it. The first thing she told me is that--even though she couldn't put the book down, she couldn't bring herself to read it on the Lord's day because of the...salty content. Um...thank you? Ha, ha, ha. The sad thing is, I worked really hard to clean it up. I guess you can take the girl out of the Navy but you can't take the sailor out of the girl!

The second thing she did was sympathize with my characters and discuss the controversial ending of the book. Score! In a big way.

Needless to say, I am very happy with the feedback. Now that she is done, I have turned the book over to Ben for a read. I saved him for last because, as my husband, what he thinks matters the most to me. After one chapter, he doesn't think it's salty enough. Hmph. You can't please them all.

Today I am going to be getting our yard ready for grass seed and attending a home party for some sort of essential oils. I'm hoping I can score some oils that will help me drop 50 lbs, de-salt and win the lottery. What say you? Is there such an oil? I hear it's called frankincense.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Survived My First Rejection

My blog today comes to you from the heart of Zion, Illinois, where the gas stations have never heard of a “Big Gulp.” I am literally in hell—my dark, aspartame mother and I have been forced apart. I think I might die.

But, nevertheless, today is a glorious day! I am proud (honestly) to have received my first rejection. I am happy about this because I survived it, unscathed. When I told Ben, he said, “Gee, I would say I’m sorry but I’m sure it won’t be the last one you get.” Now, you in bloggerland might think that wasn’t a very nice response but it was exactly what I needed to hear. We are keeping it real, yo. However, when he asked if I was rejected because of the two errors in the first chapter that my mom found AFTER I sent the pages off…well, that was a little uncalled for.

**Said errors have since been fixed and will no longer be a factor in said rejections here forth **

I have 7 more to go with this round of submissions. But alas, I am disappointed that none of you have participated in my CONTEST from Friday. I will still accept entries!

I must go, I have a full day of boring meetings but leave me a note and let me know how you are doing, say hi, let me know what kind of contests you would like to see, what kind of blog topics interest you and I will try to accommodate. Share the love.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Rejection Contest…Let it Begin!

On Wednesday I submitted my first 8 agent queries. And then I threw up a little. And then I created a Pintrest account. Although I can sort of write a book and kind of figure out how to embark on the road to publication—I am NOT smart enough to figure out Pintrest. Would anyone care to elaborate and explain it to me?

I digress. I want to celebrate the next step I have taken. When trying to get published, you hear horror stories of the number of rejections you no doubt will receive before anyone takes your book seriously. How long did Stephanie Meyer’s TWILIGHT sit on someone’s desk? Or Stephen King?

It is depressing.

On the flip side, you hear about those lucky suckers that get picked up overnight. I have a feeling I will be in the category of those that sit on people’s desks and still never get published. I don’t have any delusions that my book is so wonderful that people are going to be pounding down my door for it. But, I am excited to take the journey and see if I can make it to the other side one day. That’s all I’m after.

So, I have decided to celebrate my rejections with book give-a-ways. Who’s with me? Leave a comment and place your bets:

1) How many of the 8 queries I sent out will reject me?

2) How many requests for full manuscripts will I get from the 8 I sent?

*hint—8 and 0*

The closest to the number on both questions without going over will win a signed copy of THE SAVAGE GRACE by Bree Despain. Spread the word to all your friends and relatives who love books as much as you do!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Thing-2 turned 8 years-old yesterday. She had an amazing birthday party on Saturday, much to the torment of her mother. The chocolate cake was sinful--the one from Costco, you know which one I’m talking about. Don’t pretend you don’t. (And no, I didn’t hide it in the trunk of my car, and eat it in a closet—it’s not like it was CUPCAKES!)

Anyway, the cake looked great going down.

Not so much when it was puked onto my brand-new carpet 6-hours later *sighs*

Se la vi.

I had to run 4 miles yesterday to work off the cake chubbies. Was it worth it? Ohhhh yeah.

Does anyone else out there run? Do you have any tips for me? My sister Tara has thrown down the gauntlet and I am trying to train for a Half Marathon in July. What a joke, right? That’s what I thought. The only way the race would be fair is if all the other runners had to strap a 100-lb bags of flour on their backs and run alongside me.

Being fat is so unfair sometimes.

But look at the bright side—no one expects much of you so you can hide cupcakes in your car and eat a Costco sheet cake and order the Super-Size combo meal with the Diet Coke and all people will do is roll their eyes and say, “Figures.”

Ain’t life grand?

Happy Eating and Running Everyone!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Winners and a Sneak Peek

The moment of truth has arrived!

And the winners, selected by random drawing out of Thing 2’s homemade pottery bowl/mug/paperclip holder gizzy…

Jonni – signed copy of EVERNEATH
Tara - $15 Amazon Gift Card
Brenda - $10 Amazon Gift Card

Tara and Brenda, watch your email accounts for the Gift Certificates. Don’t delete them!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered and are now my new friends! I’m so glad to have you along this journey with me. And never fear, I will have a lot more give-a-ways coming up…including a signed copy of Bree Despain’s THE SAVAGE GRACE, her final book in the DARK DIVINE TRILOGY.

So, my friend Kaylie (who I am totally crushing on in a completely plutonic way at the moment) reviewed my manuscript and got her comments back to me this week. I am so excited to start working on my revisions. But I’m also overwhelmed. It’s hard to put work into something so massive and then have to go back and fix all your weak points because guess what…they are weak points for a reason. Because, um, if I didn’t suck at certain things I would have done it right the first time, no? Exactly. Nevertheless, I printed off my book and I’m digging in.

Someone tell me again why I thought this would be fun?

I thought I would leave you with a section of the book that I read last night and thought to myself—hey, that wasn’t total crap! So, here it is, hope you enjoy it…

He last saw her the day of the funeral, and it unnerved him how much she’d changed. The scene at the cemetery never left him—Austin letting Cameryn sob into his shirt, Dayne’s dad keeping his wife upright, people gossiping and jockeying for position. Macoy could count on one hand the number of people who loved Dayne enough to be there. Everyone else just wanted a front row seat to the Greek Tragedy of a Young and Untimely Death. The wailing, the grief, the god-awful smell of lilies and roses, heat beating down on the casket, the 8 x 3 cement prison hidden with crappy synthetic grass. Alone, those things were bad enough. Together, they crushed him. He found a tree to lean against for support. Survival. The tree would get him through. Even after everyone but the family had gone, he stayed melded against the bark, unable to move. Cameryn saw him then. She marched over, pausing just long enough to narrow her eyes before her hand struck his face.

“Couldn’t you at least pretend to cry? This is all your fault!”

Long brown hair whipped him in the face as she turned on her heel and stormed to the mortuary limousine. The accusation, finally verbalized, echoed through the hallowed grounds. Her black-nylon clad leg tucking itself inside the car was the last thing he saw of her.

Until tonight.

Have a great St. Patty's Day Weekend everyone. I will be hosting Thing 2's birthday party so I'm sure whatever you're doing will be better than that!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sprinklers and Attempted Murder

How was everyone’s weekend? Ours was eventful. Saturday my awesome family helped us to install our sprinkling system, which may or may not have involved 2 quarts of Coleman Fuel and a small fire. We aren’t completely done, but its progress toward having a yard and feeling civilized again.

Then, on Sunday, Ben almost killed our little doggie with a rock to the head but, much to his chagrin, she is doing fine. Thanks for all the well wishes and casseroles.

What did everyone else do this weekend?

Tonight is the launch party for Bree Despain’s THE SAVAGE GRACE at Kings English Bookstore…don’t forget! Also, there are only four days left to enter the contest. Find out how to enter HERE

Have a Happy Tuesday everyone!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Great Cupcake Heist of 2012

I am more than happy to be back from my tour of the South. I missed my family and my Pipster and didn’t accomplish much of anything other than gaining chub. But the weather was fabulous and the flowers were in bloom. It gave me spring fever like mad.

Part of blogging is putting yourself out there in the world and exposing your deepest, darkest, most embarrassing secrets. Here is mine for the week. I have a weakness for the Cupcake shop in Columbia, South Carolina.

During one of our breaks during the day, I got in my rental car and ran to the shop. I bought 4…count ‘em…cupcakes. After I bought them, I realized everyone at the office would want some too and I was too cheap to buy some for everyone. So, I hid them in the smugglers hatch of my car. Then, I drooled over their chocolaty, sugary goodness all day. I had to wait until we were back at our hotel and all my coworkers were up in their rooms before I snuck back down to the car and retrieved my spoils. I went back to my room and made myself sick. It was the highlight of my trip! Please tell me I’m not the only one that pulls fat tricks like that. Somewhere deep down you’ve done something just as despicable, right? I will assume yes.

Now for Housekeeping issues:

The Savage Grace by local author Bree Despain launch party is Tuesday, March 13th at the Kings English. Is anyone coming? I’d love to see you there.

Also, I am going to the SCBWI conference in Boise April 20-21st. Is anyone else going to attend? Let’s make it a party!

The contest for Amazon Gift Cards and a signed copy of EVERNEATH is still going on. So far the odds are in your favor—Lili, Tara, Jonni and Jen are the only entries I know of so let’s step it up. I’m getting a complex! Spread the word, follow my blog, Friend me on FaceBook or follow me on Twitter…OR post something on your own pages to tell people about my blog then leave a comment telling me what you’ve done and viola—you are entered.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Traveling South

I can’t think of anything worse than flying. Who’s with me? There is something about being herded like cattle, condensing everything you own into one ounce containers and a 2 foot suitcase, shoving your hips into a seat that is two sizes too small and being stripped of all your rights, including your God given right to go to the bathroom. What is it about being trapped that makes you need to pee? I feel violated—itchy and dirty coupled with constipation and a burning desire to call a therapist when it’s all over.

This week I am traveling to South Carolina and then up to Tennessee for a lengthy series of painful business meetings. The only redeeming part of the trip is that I will be able to spend some time writing. And I get to sleep in a King Size bed all by myself. Not that I look forward to that. Not at all. What I do look forward to is some Steak N Shake and Fried Green Tomatoes. Ahhhh, the South.

I finished Catcher in the Rye—it was very good so thanks Em. My book of choice on the trip is Cassandra Clare’s “Clockwork Prince”.

Has anyone read her works? What did you think? I think her books are amazing but don’t take my word for it. Does anyone else feel stupid recommending books to people? I think books are so personal, they speak to each of us differently depending on our experiences in life and who we are as people so when you love something, it’s possible…and probable…that someone else will hate it. And if you recommend it—then you just feel stupid, right? I feel that way about writing too. It’s so intimate that it’s hard to open your writing up to others and rip open your chest, ready for an attack. But alas, my skin is growing thicker as we speak…or is that just another layer of fat. It’s so hard to tell these days.

Anyway, don’t forget about the Contest. Awesome prizes, all you have to do is follow me on this blog, friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter or post about me on your own Social Media of choice. Just leave a comment to let me know what you did to enter. Prizes will be given away March 16th so check back!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Contest, Dr. Suess and Catcher in the Rye

As promised, we will be having a Give-A-Way to kick off my blog! The point is to create a following, so all you have to do is follow me on this blog, friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @caballou. But what if you already follow this blog or we are already friends? No problem. Just post a referral to me on Facebook/Twitter or on your own blog. Leave a comment to let me know what you did to qualify for the contest. I will draw names out of a hat (very official). Winners will be announced March 16th.

The prizes?

• Signed copy of Brodi Ashton’s awesome debut novel—Everneath
• $15 Amazon Gift Card
• $10 Amazon Gift Card

With the housekeeping out of the way, on to today’s post…

A Big Happy Birthday to Dr. Suess today. Is anyone going to see the Lorax or go to IHOP for their Green Eggs and Ham? Thing 2 (That would be my youngest daughter) celebrated at school today with a Read-A-Thon. When I went to the classroom all the kids had made Cat in the Hat-Hats with their names on them.

Thing 2 spelled her own name wrong. And by spelling it wrong, she wrote a swearword on her hat. It was a proud moment for me. I wept a little inside.

Yesterday I started reading Catcher In the Rye for the first time because I was verbally flogged by cousin Emily for not reading it.

Verdict? I’m only half way in but it is making me laugh out loud and the voice? Forget about it. The voice is amazing! I love what Holden said about a good book—how it makes you wish you knew the author personally and could call them on the phone. That is so true. No wonder my phone is ringing off the hook…or something.

I started wondering. What else have I missed out on in the wonderful world of literature? I need to know because I need lots and lots of books to read if I’m going to successfully procrastinate my writing and keep Amazon in business. I want to compile a list for everyone so please share.

My favorite book is “Of Mice and Men”. I read it the summer before 7th grade. It was so edgy and honest. It made my innocent little eyes burn (yes, I was sheltered). I love books that tell the truth and bring out the uncomfortable and unspeakable.

What about you? What is your favorite book of all time and why?