Seven Facts.

“It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.”
~Lucille Ball

The wonderful and super talented Julie nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award – thank you so much, friend! – and I figured today would be a great day to post about it. WATERCOLORS has officially become the newest member of Query Land, which means I really need to think about something other than inboxes, synopses, and writing. Speaking of writing, though, you all should check out Julie’s blog, because it’s one of the best out there!

Now, on to the award! I’m supposed to share seven facts about myself and nominate fifteen others to do the same. As it so happens, I think you all are lovely, so instead of picking specific people, I’m opening this up to everyone.

My random facts …

1. My college graduation gift was the coolest thing ever: a trip to NYC to attend the Daytime Emmy Awards (back when they were held at Radio City Music Hall) and a fan event with one of my very favorite General Hospital actresses. The Emmys were actually on the same day as graduation, and we almost didn’t make it there in time, thanks to torrential rain causing a power outage on campus that delayed commencement and a drive to New York that took twice as long as usual. Once we did arrive, though, it was an amazing experience. Nine and a half years later, I still smile every time I think about it.

Daytime Emmys

2. I will drive completely out of my way to avoid the interstate. I don’t care if it means the trip takes an extra half an hour … if it means not having to merge onto the highway while cars simultaneously zoom by in four different lanes, I’m all for it.

3. After finishing SANDS OF TIME last year (ha, so much for not talking about writing … that lasted long!), I treated myself to a customized necklace that says “follow your whisper.” That phrase plays a very important role in the book, and I loved the idea of sharing it with my main characters. Now that I’m finished WATERCOLORS, I would love to get something to commemorate that story, too. Perhaps a bracelet with one of Eden’s lyrics?

FYW Necklace

4. When I was a senior in high school, one of my favorite teachers asked me to be the student coordinator for a community media symposium he was organizing. It involved a lot of work, which I loved, and a speech in front of 200 people, which I did not love. My heart was skittering a million miles a minute, every sound in the room seemed amplified as it pounded in my eardrums, and I’m pretty sure my hands shook the whole time … but I did it, and it really was a growing experience.

5. I am a proud bunny mommy. It’s been almost a month and a half now since I adopted Jasper, and I absolutely adore him. He’s really starting to get comfortable here now, and it’s such fun to watch him explore his home. He loves to give kisses, “binky” around the room – his happy dance where he runs, jumps, and twists at the same time – and he always bops my hand with his nose when he scampers by. His new favorite game is hopping over my legs, running around to my feet, and then hopping over again … and again … and again. He’s my furry little love, and I’m so lucky to be his Ma.

Jasper Jellybean

6. I don’t watch too many television shows, but when I find one I love, I can’t get enough. My newest favorite is Madam Secretary. I look forward to watching it every week and am crossing my fingers that it does well enough to be picked up for a second season.

7. I always keep the blanket Gram crocheted for me nearby. It sits on my desk chair during the spring and summer, and on my bed in the fall and winter. She was working on it for me in the months before we lost her, and my aunt was sweet enough to finish it up. I love keeping it close to my heart, because that’s where Gram will always be, too.

Blanket

Your turn – share three facts about yourself in the comments!

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A Confessionary Tale.


“People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I confess that: although I’ve been working feverishly on WATERCOLORS and have been looking forward to some downtime for the past few weeks, now that the first draft is officially finished (!) and I’m not at my writing desk this morning, I already miss my characters.

I confess that: I didn’t think I’d be much of an audiobook person, but thanks to an awesome app for the iPod, I’ve become a huge fan and now love listening to books as much as reading them.

I confess that: I’m super disappointed today, because instead of visiting my friend and her sweet daughters, I’m stuck at home with what seems to be the beginning of a sinus infection. Really bad timing, body.

I confess that: I’ve become totally addicted to Shark Tank this season and would happily watch it all day if possible.

I confess that: everything else fell by the wayside when I was in my must-finish-this-draft frenzy, so now my non-writing to-do list is about seventeen miles long.

I confess that: I check the long-range weather forecast every morning, hoping to finally see some 70s, and am crossing my fingers because it looks like Friday might be the time.

I confess that: I click on over to my inbox way too many times per day.

I confess that: Rita’s Water Ice has only been open for a month and a half and I’ve already been there five times. Oops?

I confess that: I recently bought myself a new beaded bracelet from Emme Rylan’s etsy shop and an awesome purple purse. Because sometimes we have to treat ourselves, right?

I confess that: I’m jealous of everyone going to Washington DC this week, since last year’s Cherry Blossom Festival didn’t actually have many blossoms.

Your turn! What do you confess?

Pinteresting.


“A dream collage is pictures of your goals. It is like your future photo album.”
~Bo Bennett

Hello. My name is Shari, and I’m addicted to Pinterest.

Somehow I’ve managed to resist the pull of that wonderful, time-stealing vortex until recently, but last week I decided I really, really wanted to create boards for my books. I’ve always been a very visual person – when I write, the scenes kind of play out like movie reels in my head – and bringing the stories to life in another way sounded like such fun. Characters, settings, details and nuances that are woven into the fabric of their worlds … it is seriously such a blast to add them all. Does it serve a purpose? Maybe not. But maybe so. Just looking at the pictures deepens my connection with the characters. It takes the two-dimensional page and ups it a notch. It lets my imagination grow wings and fly free. I’ve found it to be especially helpful with my WIP. Each morning now, before I start writing for the day, I take a few minutes to look at the pictures, to close my eyes and see my characters living and breathing their Nashville love, and it does wonders to transport me from Pennsylvania to Tennessee and also to Portsmouth, Eden’s hometown. Yes, I am spending way more time on Pinterest than I should in the evenings. Yes, I am falling down that rabbit hole along with everyone else who’s a member of the site. But also, yes, it is such a joy to picture these worlds that, in ways, only live in my head. Some people might think it’s goofy. I think it’s fabulous.

Here are some snapshots into my characters’ lives:

Reflections of Me, Dear Ellie, and Mine to Love:

ROM/DE/MTL

Sands of Time:

SOT

Watercolors:

Watercolors

Fellow writers, anyone else create boards for your books? And who else is addicted to Pinterest?

Six.


“When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.”
~Stephen King

If you heard a squeal of happiness yesterday at approximately 10:30AM Eastern time – or perhaps it was more of a cheer – chances are it was coming from Pennsylvania. From the general vicinity of my desk. From my mouth. Because that’s when I reached those always bittersweet words: THE END. When I first wrote them back in June, I was misty-eyed. When I reaffirmed them yesterday, I was smiling from ear-to-ear. My major round of revisions? FINISHED. And the icing on the cake? I came in more than 2500 words below my goal. That makes for one very excited writer. The final chapter of this book was my favorite thing to write, ever, and even though I was so ready to wrap up edits by the point I reached it, yesterday’s work was still a joy. That’s what this manuscript will forever represent to me: pure, unfettered, unequivocal joy. I’m taking a week-long break while we head to the shore for vacation, but to be sure, it won’t be far from my thoughts or heart.

And now (this is a complete non-sequitur, but I must post this quickly so I can finish packing), a “six things” meme, which I was tagged for by the wonderful Megan.

1. What is your favorite movie quote and why?
Is it cheating if I choose a quote from the film adaptation of a book? I positively adore the following, from The Help: “Go to New York, Ms. Skeeter. Go find your life.” Skeeter is one of my all-time favorite characters. The way she stands up to societal stereotypes, the way she breaks down walls through her writing and through her determination … it’s an inspiration. She tells the stories she can’t not tell, and she reminds all of us writers to never, ever give up. We must find our lives. We must create them.

2. It’s back to school time. What was the best year you had in school? What made it so great?
You know, I’m really not sure if I can pinpoint a single year. I honestly enjoyed so many of them. Junior year in high school was an incredible amount of work, but I loved my AP English Lit and American History classes. I learned more in that English course than in any other. I adored my senior year in high school because of all the extracurriculars I was part of, especially being on the steering committee for our school’s Involvement Day (where regular classes were cancelled, a plethora of speakers came to speak to students about a variety of causes and volunteer organizations, and everyone got to choose which sessions they attended) and acting as student coordinator for the district’s media symposium (even if it meant giving a speech in front of over a hundred people – talk about nervous!). Going further back, I loved sixth grade – candlelight hour, creating “bare books” with the first graders, watching Voyage of the Mimi, and more – and going forward, I also loved my senior year in college.

3. Is there special something you do every day (journal, Skype someone, take a walk, etc)? What is it?
Write, write, write. That was a shocker of an answer, huh? I also go for a long walk when the weather is cooperative. And, um, does playing Candy Crush count?

4. How do you get blog ideas?
Well, obviously a lot of my posts revolve around writing – sometimes they’re updates on my own process, sometimes they’re reactions to things I’ve seen or read elsewhere. Beyond that, I try to balance it out with other topics and generally just write whatever I’m inspired to discuss.

5. Has anybody famous ever followed or mentioned you on twitter or another social media site?
Yes! Several General Hospital actors and actresses have responded to comments – they are amazing at being in touch with the fans – as well as some of my favorites from American Idol. There are also some fabulous authors who followed me back and who I chat with – so fun! And then there’s Kristin Chenoweth, who answered me twice within the span of a day. To say I was excited is a gigantic understatement.

6. Describe your perfect Sunday.
Writing, reading, walking, and watching a handful of old I Love Lucy episodes … unless we’re talking about a summer Sunday, which would also include swimming and take place seaside.

Your turn: answer one (or more) of the questions in the comments, please!

Short & Sweet.


“There are four basic food groups: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate truffles.” ~Unknown

Popping in from Revision Land – my home for the next seven weeks – to thank the lovely Theresa for sharing this Super Sweet Blogger Award with me. Much appreciated!

supersweetbloggingaward_thumb-300x165

And now, the questions:

1. Cookies or cake? Cake, preferably chocolate or red velvet … unless we’re talking about Thin Mints, in which case I’d have to go with cookies. Hey, how about a Thin Mint flavored cake?

2. Chocolate or vanilla? C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E. Though I will say, I just had a Vanilla Bean Frap from Starbucks for the first time and really enjoyed it.

3. Favorite sweet treat? This one is a toss-up between Boston Cream pie, Banana Fudge popsicles, and a dairy dessert called Grasshopper that my family sometimes makes.

4. When do you crave sweet things the most? Is “always” an acceptable answer?

5. Sweet nickname? None that I can think of, really. Can I substitute one of my characters in instead? Remi’s father calls her “Pumpkin.”

Your turn: what’s your favorite dessert? Favorite sweet recipe?

Sunday Musings.


“Her dreams linger in the space between beginning and end.”
~Unknown

The lovely, insightful, super-talented Megan was kind enough to share the Very Inspiring Blogger Award with me. Thanks, chica — you’re the one who’s so inspiring! As per the instructions, I’m sharing seven facts about myself and tagging … well, instead of the requisite fifteen bloggers, I’ll just send this along to anyone who wants to participate. Each and every one of you is a starburst of inspiration for me!

1. I never used to have springtime allergies, but apparently that’s changed in recent years. The entire area (and, judging from the forecast prediction maps, a good portion of the country) is blanketed in a powdery yellow film, and my sinuses are not happy. Go away, pollen, so I can be outside for more than five minutes without getting a pulsing headache and dry, itchy eyes.

2. No exaggeration, I’m the lightest sleeper ever. I was awake for nearly three hours last night (this morning?) because of the incessantly chirping birds. Eventually I gave up on blocking them out and dove back into Sarah Pekkanen’s THE BEST OF US instead. Nothing like a great book to shut out the noise.

3. I didn’t get my driver’s license until a few weeks before my eighteenth birthday – and even then, it was only because I needed it to commute to college. My mom and I were in a pretty bad car accident when I was fifteen (we were stopped for a red light when a car came flying over the hill at 65mph, slammed into us and sent us into a traffic light pole, and then drove off half on the sidewalk), and it totally turned me off to driving. I’ve long since gotten over that, but to this day, I’m still one of the most cautious drivers you’ll ever meet.

4. One of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had was working at the 6ABC Thanksgiving Day parade. I got to escort the Disney World float and then watch the rest of the parade from the press area. It was completely surreal to be part of the celebration I’d watched on television every year since childhood, and as an added (awesome!) bonus, I also had the chance to meet Kelly Monaco, who was a special co-host that year.

5. When I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian or meteorologist. My passions obviously changed over time, but I’m still fascinated by the weather and would love to take a course in meteorology someday.

6. The written component of my college senior thesis had to be twenty – thirty pages. Mine was fifty-nine. At least I’m consistent with my tendency to write a lot?

7. I used to want a Southern accent. Now I live vicariously through my characters who are Southern, dropping in a “y’all” and a “bless your heart” into the pages of my manuscripts. And yes, I may occasionally use those phrases in real life, too. Gets me some interesting looks up here in Pennsylvania. Ha.

Your turn — share a random fact about yourself!

Versatility.


“I keep myself content by doing lots of different stuff and make sure that my next role is completely different to the last. I just enjoy the versatility of it, the challenge of doing lots of different things. It keeps the job interesting.”
~David Thewlis

So … I had every intention of doing a post today about how great it felt to jump into edits for MINE TO LOVE last Monday. About how rejuvenating it was to take two weeks off and return to my desk with a (slightly) less emotional heart and (much) more objective viewpoint. About how it’s been a joy to visit with my book-babies again. About how much fun I’m having posting a sentence from the manuscript on Facebook each day. About how different the process is this time around, how willing I am to immediately cut words if they aren’t absolutely necessary to the story. About how the lessons I learned while revising DEAR ELLIE have already come into play.

And then I spent five and a half hours straight practically glued to the computer today – the most successful editing day yet, but also one that made my eyes bleary and my neck/back/shoulders feel like an elephant had been sitting on them. So, instead, I’m going to do this fun Versatile Blogger post. I was tagged by Sylvia, Heather, and Tuere – thanks, ladies! – and am passing it along to all of you. Tell me something random about yourself in the comments, or post seven facts on your blog and include a link. Please? (Or, as my MC’s little girl Ellie would say, “Pretty please with a cherry on top?)

1. Forget about Disney World – in my eyes, Ventnor, NJ will always be the happiest place on earth. We spent time there every summer when I was a kid, and though we vacation in other shore towns now, Ventnor will always have my heart.

2. Speaking of Disney, I might be the only twenty-eight year old who’s never been there. I know, I know, there’s just something not right about that. Savannah, GA is the farthest south I’ve ever been. Hopefully that’ll change sometime soon.

3. As of August 16th, I’ll have seen Kelly Clarkson in concert fifteen times since she won Idol back in 2002. You could say that I’m a dedicated fan. :)

4. I have a list of potential names for my future children, even though their father (whoever he is) appears to be hanging out on another planet these days. Come on already, Prince Charming. I’m ready to meet you now.

5. My senior thesis in college (“Journalistic Objectivity versus Patriotism in Times of War”) only had to be thirty pages long. It turned out to be fifty-nine. You’re all shell-shocked, I’m sure.

6. I’m currently obsessed with China Glaze nail polish. It’s like the stuff is completely chip-resistant.

7. Give me an afternoon to spend in any store and I’ll almost always choose Barnes and Noble. I am determined to see my books on the shelf there one day.

Your turn! Share a random fact or two!

Have You Ever?


“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
~Harriet Tubman

Have you ever …

– Had a group of fictional people feel as real to you as the friends you talk to on a daily basis?

Notebook

– Struggled through a few rough writing days, where the words simply refused to flow with ease and instead insisted on being stubborn, only to have them followed up by a frenzy of typing that catches even you completely off-guard? Amazing what can happen when you let go and simply follow the characters’ lead. 2154 words today? Kinda makes me want to jump up and down.

– Laughed out loud while reading a book because the author – and character – is so witty?

– Been SO IN LOVE with the beautiful weather (happy spring!) that you rolled down the car windows, turned the volume up on Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” and sung along like you were actually at her concert?

– Made a new friend who quacked you up (ha!) with his antics?

Duck

– Cried from a television show? (I’m looking at you, General Hospital, and your beautifully sad scene with Patrick and Emma yesterday.)

– Helped work the merchandise table for a singer whose music is like a ray of sunshine?

Rachel Platten

– Resolved to turn an insanely frustrating experience into something motivating? And cheered yourself up by buying three new nail polishes “just because” and for no reason more?

– Bought movie tickets almost a full week before the film’s release day?

HG

– Cheered out loud because you won a Scrabble game?

– Admired and felt inspired by Mother Nature’s beauty?

New Hope

Me, too.

11 Things.

“To dare every day to be irreverent and bold. To dare to preserve the randomness of mind which in children produces strange and wonderful new thoughts and forms. To continually scramble the familiar and bring the old into new juxtaposition.”
~Gordon Webber

After an adrenaline-filled writing week that included one especially frenzied day (flash of inspiration for a scene that doesn’t come into play for another two-hundred pages or so – I never, ever write out of order, but this was positively yelling at me to be told), two new chapters, and a scene yesterday that almost made me cry with happiness for my MC (and with sadness because it’s going to be brutal having to bring her world crashing down), the plan is to actually relax a little this weekend. And what better way than with the “11 Things” survey that’s going around the blogosphere? The lovely Hope and Sylvia both tagged me, and I’m looking forward to answering their questions.

But first, as per the rules, eleven random things about myself:

#1: I am a total early bird – my definition of “sleeping in” on a weekend is 8:30, but truthfully, I’m usually awake somewhere closer to 7:30. In the past fifteen years, there have been less than five times I’ve slept later than 10:00, and those were after events like weddings or concerts.

#2: My nails are always polished. ALWAYS.

#3: My first concert was the Spice Girls, back in 1997. It was before the days of buying tickets online – you had to go to an actual Ticketmaster outlet – so my mom and I camped out in Strawbridges’ parking lot for something like three hours to be at the front of the line. The show sold out in under twenty minutes, and our seats were way up on the second level and across the arena from the stage, but I was beyond excited to be there. And when the group had their reunion tour four years ago? I didn’t think twice about buying third row seats. It was one of the coolest experiences ever.

#4: I purposely set my novels in cities or towns where I’d love to visit or move. It’s such fun to live vicariously through the characters.

#5: There’s a permanent dent on my right shin from an accident five years ago. Being the epitome of grace, I somehow managed to slam right into the plastic sidebar of a suitcase. My skin turned about four different shades of purple, it took weeks before I could walk normally again, and even though the doctor disagreed, I swear it was fractured.

#6: Scarves are my favorite accessory, and my collection of them is a bit out of control.

#7: I never went to summer camp as a child – just wasn’t my cup of tea.

#8: My writing desk is seashore-themed. Along with framed pictures with people who inspire me (family, friends, and my two favorite authors), there’s a lamp with ocean waves and seahorses, a starfish-shaped decorative dish, and a plaque with a seashell and dream quote. Makes me feel like I’m working by the coastline every day.

#9: I have total baby fever and cannot wait to have a little one of my own someday.

#10: I have a phobia of flying and won’t set foot on an airplane. Cars and trains all the way!

#11: Red pandas and polar bears are my absolute favorite animals. The Philadelphia Zoo has a few of them, and they are seriously the cutest ever.

Now on to Hope’s questions:

#1: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? Airplane phobia notwithstanding, I would love, love, love to visit London. There’s something very compelling about it, and it’d be such fun to see all its famous sights and places. Now, if only a cruise company would offer trans-Atlantic trips…

#2: In 5 years you’ll be… 33. By then, I hope to be a published author, happily married, and a Mama. Nothing would make me happier.

#3: Coffee or tea? Gingerbread lattes all the way! I also need to try Starbucks’ White Chocolate Mocha, because it looks D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!

#4: Celebrity crush? Gotta go with my GHers – Brandon Barash and Jason Thompson are the definition of adorable.

#5: Accomplishment you’re most proud of? Having written three novels in the past two years (working on my fourth now!). Writing is a part of my life that feels as natural as breathing, so it’s easy to take it for granted sometimes, but when I stop and think of where it’s taken me, I can’t help feeling a little proud. No matter where this journey goes or what path it takes, those book-babies have changed me for the better.

#6: Favorite food or restaurant? JoJo’s in Ventnor, NJ. So many special memories of family vacations at the shore include that place, and it’s always a treat to go back now.

#7: What is your guilty pleasure? Does it make me totally lame if I can’t think of any?

#8: Tell something you can find in your purse at any given moment. My wallet, car keys, tissue pack, antibacterial hand sanitizer, lipstick, and a mini writing journal.

#9: Favorite Disney movie? 101 Dalmatians. My mom took me when I was a little girl – it was the first movie I ever saw in a theater – and that will always make it special.

#10: Favorite meal of the day? Dinner.

#11: What language do you wish you spoke? I can speak a bit of Hebrew, but I’d love to be fluent in it.

And Sylvia’s:

#1: What was your first job? I was a consultant at Arcadia’s writing center for three and a half years and enjoyed every minute. If we’re talking post-college jobs, it would be a production assistant at WPVI-TV, Philadelphia’s ABC affiliate.

#2: What’s the best place you’ve traveled to? Atlanta! I spent almost a week there during the summer of 2009 and absolutely fell in love with the city. It has a charm and energy that’s indescribable. Fingers crossed for a return trip sometime soon.

#3: What’s your favorite color? Any shade of turquoise, but especially aquamarine.

#4: What’s your most prized possession? Oh boy, this is hard – not sure I can choose only one! All my pictures, an overflowing box of lunch notes that my mom wrote me every day when I was in school, a blanket Gram was making me before the horror of last year, and autographed books from my favorite authors … yep, definitely impossible to narrow it down.

#5: When’s the last time you danced? It’s probably telling that I have no idea, huh?

#6: What time do you wake up in the morning? 7:00-7:30 during the week and 7:30-8:30 on the weekends.

#7: PC or Mac? Currently a PC, but she’s on her last hurrah and I have my heart set on a Mac for the next laptop.

#8: Share your favorite recipe. I don’t have the recipe typed up, but it’s my Gram’s chicken soup. My mom carries on the tradition now, and it’s seriously my all-time favorite food. So good.

#9: What’s the last thing you bought? This! “Believe in magic” and “Tell stories” right next to each other? Could it be any more perfect?

#10: How did you come up with the name of your blog? I actually didn’t. My awesome friend Amanda created the blog for me as part of a Hanukkah gift a few years ago, and she’s the one who titled it that. I owe her a million, because this blog has become a treasured outlet over the years and has introduced me to some wonderful people. Truly, I can’t imagine not writing it now.

#11. What’s your first memory from childhood? Hmm, I don’t know if it was the first, but I remember my parents taking me to Sesame Place when I was three. I was really shy as a child and wouldn’t go up to Big Bird or Cookie Monster for a picture. My mom had to go with me!

Okay, your turn!

#1: What’s your favorite quote?

#2: Who’s your role model and/or mentor?

#3: How many places have you lived, and where is your favorite?

#4: Have you known for years what you want to name your children, or do you believe that you have to see the baby first before deciding?

#5: What’s your dream job?

#6: What’s your favorite book? Why?

#7: Would you ever consider adopting a child?

#8: Have you met any celebrities?

#9: Give me a tour of your ideal home – where is it, what does it look like, who lives there with you?

#10: Have you ever had an experience (or several) that’s truly defined who you are?

#11: If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Tag, you’re it!

* Caitlin @ Bold Choices & Colossal Dreams

* Caryn @ Caryn Caldwell

* Megan @ here i go with all my thoughts

* Kate @ Kate’s Place

* Lauren @ Perfume and Promises

* Sara @ Travel & Tunes

* Erin @ Travel, Eat, Repeat

* Rachel @ Wordstream

* Kristan @ Writing Dreams Into Reality

* Kaitlin @ Creative Writing Major

* Katie @ Yearnings and Learnings

Okay, this may be the LONGEST BLOG POST EVER. It was super fun, though! Link me to your own 11 Things or leave an answer to some of the questions in the comments section!

Q&A.


“I never learn anything talking. I only learn things when I ask questions.”
~Lou Holtz

After spending more time editing lately than I thought was humanly possible – seriously, how is it that each subsequent round takes even longer? – my brain has decided that it needs a break from anything writing-related for the rest of the day. That means, instead of a normal post, y’all get a Q&A today. I remember filling out surveys like this all the time back in college, usually over on LiveJournal, MySpace, or Facebook, and figured it would be fun to do one on the blog, too. Here we go…

1. What is your favorite month?
Is is strange that I’ve never really had one? Different months are special for different reasons. April is when spring really starts to blossom, July is filled with the kind of summer memories that make you feel like all is right with the world (well … not this year, not by a long shot, but normally), and December is overflowing with all the love and light of the holiday season. Really, each month is great in its own way. How’s that for a non-answer to the first question? Ha.

2. What is the best candy to get while trick or treating?
As a kid, I always used to eat the Nestle Crunch and Kit-Kat bars first. Now I’m a fan of Whoppers and candy corn, and often grab a bag during the after-Halloween sales.

3. What kind of pen do you use?
The better question here would be “what kind of pen don’t you use?” For as long as I can remember, I’ve been one of those people who writes with a myriad of pens – every color of the rainbow, every kind of ink you can imagine. In fact, I distinctly remember my 11th grade AP History teacher teasing me about writing my notes in a lime green pen that was so bright-light he couldn’t understand how I could even see it. I liked using different colors, though. It helped me study. Today, I use those different colors in my writing journal. Each story gets its own. So does each character. It helps me to literally see their personalities as I work.

4. You go to a new Italian restaurant. What is your go-to order?
Same thing as my go-to order everywhere: plain pasta. Go on, laugh at me. Most people do.

5. If you could choose to have any celebrity’s hair, whose would you choose?
Hmmm … Megan Ward (for a shorter style) or Laura Wright (for a longer style). Ooh, or maybe Ellen Pompeo, especially when her hair’s all wavy. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a superpower that could give us any length and style we want at any given time?

6. What’s your favorite board game?
Scrabble! Hands down, it’s the best game ever.

7. What’s your favorite television show for each day of the week?
Monday – Dancing with the Stars
Tuesday – Dancing with the Stars
Wednesday – X-Factor
Thursday – X-Factor, Grey’s Anatomy (though this week’s episode upset me so much that I’m tempted to boycott from now on!), and Private Practice
Friday – Does General Hospital count, even though it’s daytime and not primetime?
Saturday & Sunday – HGTV (especially Bang For Your Buck!)

8. Do you read newspapers?
Yep – sometimes online and sometimes the hard copy.

9. Would you tell everyone the name of your baby before he/she was born, keep it a secret, or not choose until after they were born?
I have had a list of names for my future kids for years now, though recently there have been some new additions to the possibilities. I think I’d like to wait until the baby’s born to find out boy/girl – except that must be SO difficult, when the little one is growing inside you and you have the option to know ahead of time – but either way, I’d keep the name a secret until the baby arrived. How fun must it be to announce your son or daughter’s name?!

10. What was your major in college and did you end up using it in your career?
I double majored in Print & Video Communications and Elementary Education, with a minor in Arcadia’s Honors Program. The journalism degree is important for my freelancing, and even though the type of writing isn’t the same, I think it comes into play with my novels, too. It sounds corny, but I really believe that the more you write, the more experience you have, and the more you grow. I may have switched from writing news articles and broadcast commercials to crafting characters and storylines, but the love for it is still the same.

Your turn! Answer one – or more – of the questions in the comments, or link me to a Q&A post on your own blog!