Harley's Blog has moved!
harleymay
Happy New Year to all you lovely people who subscribe to my blog!

With the New Year comes a new blog. I don't plan on doing this every year. :)

Please come visit www.harleymay.com

Blessings to you and yours in the New Year!

Sarcasm is not a defense mechanism. It's a state of mind.
harleymay
After commenting on a friend's facebook status, Keli, you know her, she does the blonde blog with me, she pointed out that some people might not understand I was being sarcastic when I said something about locking my children in a closet.

Keli understood my humor, but suggested I add a little parenthetical *wink wink* or "Just kidding! You know I wouldn't do that. :)"

I think the more appropriate action would be to clarify when I'm not being sarcastic. Facetiousness: I love it. I live it, breathe it, eat it, and bathe in it. I can't get enough of it. “Really” and “Seriously” will now be my non-facetious indicators. Here are some examples:

Frank Ferri is a satirical god. Seriously.
Here’s another:
Frank Ferri is the funniest man alive. Really.

See how that works?

Here’s a good example of my sarcasm:

I want to make out with Frank Ferri.

Now, I really think that this should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. I really don’t want to make out with Frank Ferri. Outside of his published work I have no idea who he is. He could be serving 10-15 up at Attaca. He could be a farmer with 8 children and a little misses expecting a lovely number 9. He could have horrible bad breath. He could have lovely spearmint flavored breath. He could be a preacher, porn star, cross dresser, I don’t know. The point is, try to use some common sense as to whether or not a happily married mother of 3 would want to make out with Frank Ferri or not. Please.

http://frankferri.com/

How to Tackle PTA Uber Moms
harleymay


Yesterday was crazy. I packed and loaded up the car with kids 2 and 3, then went to the oldest's Stone Soup day at school. We left straight from there to pick up the husband and trek our way to the Thanksgiving place. The first and second grade dressed like pilgrims and Indians and made Stone Soup, which tastes like feet, in case you're wondering, as their Thanksgiving party. When I got there, the first grade teacher pulled me aside and pointed out a second grade uber mom.

"Today is her birthday. We are preparing a suprise and cake in the other room. DO NOT LET HER OUT OF THIS ROOM," she said.
Being an uber mom myself (eye roll) I can appreciate showing another mom thanks and took my job quite seriously. I felt like a snake eyes super agent spy. (My life is boring and I have to make it interesting somehow. DON'T judge me) Then I started to wonder how I would detain her if she did try to leave. Would tackling her be too extreme? What would be a good explaination for tackling her?


"I cannot get enough of your perfume."
"Man, that eye liner is amazing. "
"They've got really nice carpet at this school, don't you think? Here..feel."
"There was a bug....I had to get it."
" I really like you, can we be friends?"

The spy in me didn't let a scenario go by. I felt adequately prepared for every outcome but she stayed put...like she should. I've probably freaked her out now.

Going Bovine
harleymay



All sixteen-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school - and life in general - with a minimum of effort. It's not a lot to ask. But that's before he's given some bad news: he's sick and he's going to die. Which totally sucks.

I loved, loved, loved this book. I’ve been a Libba Bray fan for years. I bought this book anticipating I’d enjoy it, but Going Bovine far surpassed my expectations. Bray’s characters are beautifully written, deep and eccentric. I love Libba Bray’s descriptions and would  read the same one over and over again. It was like taking a bite of something yummy and not being able to stop at just one bite.

 

The book didn’t read as quickly the Gemma Doyle trilogy, but I mean that in a good way. I’d literally have to stop reading and think about what just happened. Libba Bray is so creative and paints such a specific and detailed world you can’t help but be transported. In one scene, I wanted to dip my toes in the crease of the book and sink into it.

 

I’m always impressed with authors who can write a first person perspective of the opposite sex. Cameron read exactly like a teenage boy and I felt like I knew him.

 

The only other author I’ve known to write well in the first person the opposite sex was Wally Lamb in The Hour I First Believed.

 

I’d be curious to know if any men out there have read Going Bovine and their take on Cameron. Was he a realistic and believable teenage boy to you?

For those of you interested in the fictional first meeting of Libba Bray. Read what my mind has created here http://howmanyblondes.tumblr.com/

Book Reviews
harleymay

I think it's time to do one. I believe I will review Libba Bray's Going Bovine.




Afterward, I'll review RJ Anderson's Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter.

This is the North American Cover                                                       This is UK/AUS/NZ Cover
                                                                                                                    (I kind of prefer it)



Knife CoverFaery Rebels: Spell Hunter Cover





















I'm putting it in writing so that you, all 3 of my readers (sorry Mom, you don't count), will hold me accountable. You will have it by this Friday! Ambitious? Yes I am.

I'm also planning on participating in NaNoWriMo. I have 40k+ in my manuscript now and with the NaNo's added 50k, I should be close to completing the first draft. After it's completed I don't want to look at it again until after Christmas. This might push back my January deadline for query sendouts - no, it WILL push back my January deadline for query sendouts, but I don't want to send something yucky out.

January holds many wonderful things such as my birthday (not so wonderful the closer I come to 30), my regional SCBWI conference in Miami and the one in New York. At the very least, I'll be attending the one in Miami and am very excited about it but would loooovvvvee (really love) to forego Miami and fly to New York. Highly unrealistic but a girl can dream, right?
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Mama Writes
harleymay

Twitter is a great tool. I’ve connected with a lot of brilliant aspiring writers, agents willing to give advice, book bloggers, and cheerleaders for writing. One feature I enjoy is the ‘litchat’ or ‘writechat’. Tweeters (writers) discuss different topics, ask questions, and answer them. I love listening in and learning.

 

Recently, I asked a question geared toward the woman in the chat, particularly the moms, wondering how other Mothers found the time to write. With small children ages 6, 4, and 1, I have difficulty finding time and energy for it all.

 

Most of the moms that replied were more than encouraging. One woman wrote “Bless you for even trying” I felt elated with their writing suggestions.

 

I did ask for their help and should have been prepared for advice I did not want. One woman wrote. “Motherhood is a time when it might be better to not attempt another career ... unless you have nannies.”

 

I love that we live in a free country where we can have our own opinions and express them. I wasn’t really offended by what she said, but surprised. This was a woman, a writer-published one at that-recommending I not write while mothering. Really?

 

Let me write some notes in the margin for a minute. I consider myself a stay-at-home mother and I’m so thankful for that privilege. It truly is a gift, in my opinion, to stay home with my children and have this time with them. I have the utmost respect for working mothers. I don’t see how you work a 40-hour week, come home, take care of your husband, family, and home. Kudos to you. No, not kudos-peanut butter Reeses cups to you. (Unless you’re allergic to peanut butter.)

 

Back to the writer’s comment, I realize she wasn’t advising me not to write, but not to attempt another career. Which, in today's world is opening a whole can of conflict considering all the full-time working mothers out there.

 What if I took the career aspect out of it altogether? Are you still advising me not to write? What if I were a pianist? Would you advise me not to practice? What if I were an artist? Would you advise me not to paint? A dancer? Should I stop dancing? Do you tell all these mothers to put one of their loves on hold for 18 years? Reading is a great love of mine. Do I give up reading? Should I get a nanny for it?

 

A lot of my short stories are based on things I see as a mother. Writing them down helps me process things. I realize she was coming from a desire to help, and I did ask for advice from all the twitterverse and should have anticipated all every opinion imaginable, but I respectfully disagree. My family will always come before my writing.  If there is a way to balance (and I believe there is) I plan on learning how to do it and do it well.

How many blondes?
harleymay

In order to help my friend start blogging, I concocted this idea. She and I write the blog together and title it How Many Blondes Does It Take To Write A Blog?

I'll still do this on my own but when you get a chance, take a gander at

www.howmanyblondes.tumblr.com

Go on, all 3 of you.

Here is Keli                                           She captured this lovely moment of mine. 
                                                                 We like our girls night and she likes 
                                                                 embarrassing me.









Things I Learned at the U2 Concert
harleymay

1.)    U2 got paid. I’m just saying. Raymond James Stadium on Friday, held 70,000  people. Supposedly more people than were at the Superbowl. Here is the stage they built for the concert

 




It was 90 Feet High. The cyldrical video screen in the center weighed 54 tons. According to the BBC News the cost of each stage is from $24 million to $32 million. It take 120 trucks to cart it from show to show. It was an incredible production.

2.)    Muse didn’t play nearly long enough. I would’ve paid what I did JUST to hear them. They were awesome. I just wanted more.

 

3.)    When sitting next to people who start smoking marijuana, try not to look guilty when the police take them away. I have my Southern Baptist upbringing to blame, er thank, for this. I don’t lie well at all and hate getting in trouble. If I do something wrong or am in the vicinity of wrong-doing it’s all over my face. I’m desperately afraid of trouble by association. Especially since I don’t know how the police saw them. The pot smokers and I were cordial and they offered me some, which I politely declined. All this worry was completely unnecessary. I try not to judge, but as they were being taken away I couldn’t help but feel like they wasted an already awesome experience. So, stay in school kids. Don’t do drugs. All that stuff.
 

4.)    I went with a friend and her boyfriend, who is Scottish. Scottish people are very difficult to understand. At the end of the evening I’d figured some of it out, but overall, for both being English languages, there was a language barrier. They do say lovely things I’d never think of like “We’re going up and down like a fiddler’s elbow.” Who wouldn’t want to hear that?
 

5.)    Scottish people get really excited when they meet other Scottish people and are even harder to understand after that.

 

6.)    A group of girls a few rows behind us were going crazy for Bono. I mean like, crazy. We didn’t have the best seats, but they reached for him as though they were on the field. At one point I thought they were going to throw their panties at him. I’m not saying he’s not awesome, but he’s like the Pope of Rock and Roll. You don’t throw your panties at the Pope. I don’t care who you are or what you believe in, it’s just wrong.
 

7.)    When walking back to your car with your friends after the concert, don’t step in a bed of fire ants.
 

8.)    Don’t whine about stepping in fire ants.
 

9.)    When your friend’s Scottish boyfriend (who you already have trouble understanding) says, “ Efood ike, Ai cood eave yu overme oulder an curry ou the est oo e ay?” Don’t just nod and act like you understand. What he said was “If you’d like, I could heave you over my shoulder and carry you the rest of the way?”

Now if you’re like me, you might envision Gerard Butler in all his 300 glory carrying you as though you weighed nothing more than a twig. This was not quite so chivalrous. It was more like, “Let’s see how dizzy I can make her as this great exodus of people watch as I spin her butt around in the air.” Not nice. Funny? Maybe. But not nice.

     

 

Overall, it was a fantastic experience and I’d do it all over again, pot paranoia and all.

 

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In case you missed this...
harleymay
If you've not visited the website.

http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/

...you need to. Typically, I find pregnancy pictures a little more than cheesy. This, however, says nothing but classsy.





http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/2009/09/12/the-prize/

A formal hello
harleymay
As a blogging novice, I feel like I've got this massive game of catch up to play. Almost everybody and their grandmother is doing it, nay, everyone and their DAUGHTER is doing it. Me? Brand new. I plan on sharing interesting things I find. Clever day-to-day observances. Hopefully, GIVEAWAYS (don't tell me you aren't excited) and finally, book reviews.

I'll read anything. Normally, I pour through a book in a few days. I'm restless if I start it and can't finish it immediately.

Until, that is, I started my manuscript 2 months ago. I've started 3 books in that time frame have not been able to finish one of them. It's not that they aren't engaging or my type of book, but I couldn't get more than 2 chapters into them. I felt unfaithful to my story. I feared immersing myself in someone else's world while still so engrossed in Penelope's would cheapen the process. This could also be why I'm so ravenous to finish Penelope and send it out. I miss reading.

This isn't my first attempt at anovel, but Penelope is 'the one.' I know it in my bones. I'll keep you posted.

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