Sunday, September 30, 2007

Three Things I Know Now

1. THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER -- When you're growing up, you wish you were grown. When you're grown up, you wish you were still a kid. If your hair is straight, you dream of curls. If you've got a head full of curls, you dream of sleek. Brunettes wish they were blonde. Blondes wish they were blonder. Every wishes they were natural redheads (they're a dying breed, you know). But the bottom line is, you have to play the hand you're dealt and there are three unchangeable facts: your age, your height, and (unless you're willing to go under the knife) your cup size. The sooner you learn to love the unchangeable the better.

2. FOLLOW YOUR PASSIONS -- All your life people will expect things from you. Your parents want you to be responsible, studious, and college-bound with a professional job down the line. Your friends want you to be cool, hang out, and try things that maybe you're not sure you want to do (whether it's drinking at a party or joining the chess club). Your teachers have expectations. Your coaches have expectations. Everyone does. But the only person whose expectations matter are yours. You have to trust your instincts and follow your dreams, or you'll wind up living someone else's life.

3. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE -- This is the most important lessons anyone can learn. If you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything. Some call it "The Secret" or the power of positive thinking or visualization. But the bottom line is, believing leads to doing. Everyone has doubts, sure, but you have to push past them. Others have overcome worse odds in the past, you can overcome yours in the future. Have faith in yourself. Success will follow.

That concludes our public service announcement.

OH. MY. GODS. (Dutton) May 2008

what I'm reading A HUNGER LIKE NO OTHER by Kresley Cole (deliciously dark)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

What I didn't know then...

It's pretty simple:

Boys tease you if they like you.

I know! It's true! Sure, people told me that and I poo-pooed it (because I thought they were just trying to make me feel better), but it's honest-to-God the truth. It's something in the male DNA or the testosterone or something, but they love to tease girls. The more they like you, the more they'll tease you. Especially if you react to the teasing. Why? It keeps you thinking about the guy. If he teases you, you're aware of him. If you think he's being mean, then you hash about it and dissect it and wonder what's up. Well, mission accomplished for him because he is now on your radar.

I wish I'd known this. I mean really known it was true.

It started in kindergarten when J.C. wiped his finger paint on me. I told him to stop, but he kept doing it. Little did I know he liked me. All I could focus on was my new red jumper that my grandma from New York sent me now looked like a used smock and I was gonna get in troooooooouble! Stupid J.C. Then, at lunch, he sat next to me and poured his milk on my sandwich. What an idiot! Of course, I cried and Mrs. Eagan got me a fresh sandwich from her kitchen and told me, "J.C.'s teasing you because he likes you." Yeah, right. He was teasing me because I had just moved to the south from Boston. Well, that's WHY I thought it. But you know, looking back at the memories...I'll be dog-gonned, he did like me 'cause he tried to hold my hand on the playground. Paint me surprised.

Then, in second grade, J.D. came all the way across the playground and pushed me off the seesaw. I fell in the dirt and tore my tights. (Again, with me destroying my outfit and getting in trouble.) But Mrs. Strother told me he liked me and was just playing with me. The strong-willed little animal within me, sought him out and pushed him back. Then, my cousin stepped in to defend my honor and challenged J.D. to a "duel." The next day at recess, they made paper/cardboard swords and had a duel over my honor. (Are you laughing? I am, just remembering this!) My cousin was triumphant and J.D. was defeated swiftly by the Reynolds Wrap over the cardboard sword. Of course, in the end, J.D. bought me a cookie at recess, asked me to a dance and then kissed me on the cheek. So, wait...he really did like me?

In sixth grade, the guys in my class all decided that they would declare "war" on the girls. Suddenly, they were shooting rubberbands and paperclips at us and popping our bras. Whenever Mrs. Gilchrist left us alone, the room turned into downtown Baghdad. The boys would chase us around and snap our bra straps and then whap us with the flying office supplies. Some girls would cower at their desk and beg for mercy. Others would fight back, being almost as aggressive as the guys. Not me. I wanted to cry. (What? I was 11 years old!) Why? 'Cause those paperclips rolled up inside paper launched by rubberbands hurt like blue-blazing Hades! This one guy in particular, C.S., seemed to enjoy using me for target practice. I was convinced that he hated me with the passion of a thousand suns. A point proven when he maimed me so badly that my bra strap broke and I had a red whelp on my arm. (Imagine this'd be on Larry King or something with the 11 year old being arrested for assault! LOL!) So, what did brainiac me do? I told on him. Yeah. Not a smart move. That ended the teasing...and his apparent "like" of me.

In tenth grade, I might have caught on a little more to the inner workings of the male mind, but I still wasn't convinced about this whole "I tease you because I like you" thing. On the basketball bus one night returning from a game (I was a cheerleader), I somehow got into an arm-wrestling match with L.O. that resulted in him literally holding on to my wrists, arms and hands all the way on the hour plus trip. Now, I had a massive crush on him, so any contact was heaven for me. But I thought he literally was staving me off. Holding me away. Then, why not push me away instead of holding onto me over the seat of the bus. Hmmm...if I'd known then what I know now, I'd know that he liked me because he was teasing me. Duh!!

And, it happened at work yesterday! Not in a romantic-like kind of way, but a good friend kind of way. A co-worker was giving me crap about something that was close to my heart and I got really offended by it. Being the consumate professional that I am, I told him that he had really offended me and hurt my feelings. Then, I get an e-mail from him that said:

I was only teasing you because you and I are such good friends. I didn’t mean to offend you in any way. You are too nice and sweet! You know I would never intentionally hurt you in any way. You are a mega sweety!!!

So wait...he was teasing me because we're good friends? DOH!!! Why didn't I see that? 'Cause I was being a silly girl. We're still silly, even when we're "grown up." Go figure!

Any of you have any experiences like this? Do you think we'll ever learn?

Marley = )

writing as Kate Harmon
May 2008, Puffin Books

Currently carrying around Simone's Leaving Paradise in my bag, but haven't had time to read lately. I will, though!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What I know now....

is that it is okay to say, NO, every once in a while! I'm not talking about the peer pressure kind of no. I'm talking about taking on extra responsiblities. I'm still not great about it. I'm constantly taking on extra work for myself even though sometimes my head is already about to explode.

I've always been like this. It isn't so much that I like helping out as much as I just want to see it done right, so I do it myself. Even if that something means reroofing the house. Okay, maybe that's extreme but my husband has started locking up his tools.

I couldn't wait to turn 16 and get my first job. I was a cashier at a hardware store. It was a great job and I had tons of fun. But they soon realized that out of the gaggle of teenagers they had hired, I was the most responsible (Trust me, this wasn't saying much!). So I soon got the honor (I use this term loosely because there was no raise involved) of becoming the weekend bookkeeper. This was in a time before the huge superstores like Lowes, Menards, and The Home Depot. Most weekend mornings I was surrounded by over sixty thousands dollars, mostly cash. I think about it now and realize the owner must have been out of his mind to trust a sixteen-year-old with all this responsibility.

But I was cool because I got to sit in the office for three hours to finish the bookkeeping and talk to my boyfriend on the phone while doing it. Unfortunately, it also meant that I had to be there EVERY single weekend, Saturday and Sunday both. I can remember going out practically all night and still showing up for work at 7am. Somehow I never collapsed into a pillow of cash.
Anyway, as you can imagine, working every freaking weekend when you are in high school gets very, very old. I missed out on tons of events because they would never let me off. I practically had to give up my first born to go take the ACT test. But it was all good, right? I mean think how great this would look on my resume, think of all the money I'm making, and I'm building a great work ethnic, right? Wrong. I blew all the money before I even got to college. I had the POTENTIAL to get in all kinds of trouble because I was working with older teens from rougher schools, and nobody really gives a crap what's on your resume when you are sixteen.

Then, to my ultimate horror, my mother booked a ten-day trip to Hawaii. I told her there was no way I was going. I couldn't, who would keep the books? The hardware store would surely crumble if I left for ten days. Once she realized that I wasn't going to cave she agreed to let me stay home with my my face...behind my back she called my boss and told him I was leaving for ten days.....
I wanted to hurt her. Such was, and most of the time still is, our complex relationship. My boss told me that he wasn't sure I would have a job when I got back and I was devestated. It tainted my trip. Okay, maybe not that much, once I met that adorable blond on the beach. I had ten fun-filled days that I will never forget (it was my last family vacation). And guess what?

I had a job when I got home. Now that I think back about it, I realize what a jerk my boss was for trying to ruin my vacation. He knew he couldn't find another employee as loyal as I had been. I started speaking up more when I got back and soon after I left for college. And shockingly, I don't think my life is any better for taking on those extra worries during a time when I should have been being totally irresponsible. Okay, I was a little..........

So, if I could go back and have a chat with sixteen-year-old me, I'd tell her to quit that stupid job and keep bumming money off her parents. I'd also tell her to steer clear of Tim, but that's a whole other post entirely! :)

What I'm reading.. Back Talk by Alex's divine, and I'm not just saying that because I want her to read this!

Revenge of the Homecoming Queen, OUT NOW!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What I Didn't Know Then...

Hey guys,

Do you know that song, "Everyone's Free (to Wear Sunscreen)" by Baz Luhrman? It was taken from Mary Schmich's Chicago Tribune column about what she'd say if invited to be a commencement speaker for the class of '97. It's a recitation of some of Mary's wry advice set to a cool beat. You should download it if you've never heard it.

Anyway, it has some great advice -- one of my favorite pieces being :

"Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. "


My friends and I never realized this in high school -- that we were at the peak of our energy levels -- and things were so ripe with possibility. Sure, when you get older the possiblities are there, but you have to work so much harder to generate the energy. ;) I'm just saying you don't see a whole lot of 70 year-olds pulling all nighters to work on a project, or partying until dawn.

So enjoy your strength and energy and realize how beautiful you are. Don't accept what others tell you you are -- be what you will be. Enjoy yourself -- don't nitpick about the things you don't like about yourself! Everyone has them. Realize that you're great the way you are.

I guess that's what (in my 30's) I'm beginning to learn. If only I'd known it back then...
Do you know that song? What advice stands out for you?

Hugs, Beautiful Peeps!


Heather Davis is the author of
Never Cry Werewolf
Coming from HarperCollins in April 2009

What I'm reading: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (Dark faeries, a hot human protector, and intrigue) It's great!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Time Flies (Even When You’re Not Having Fun)

We continue our High School Series with What I Know Now That I Didn’t Know Then--about life in general.

For me, that’s a piece of cake. I yawned and dozed and daydreamed through much of my teen years.

And then, it seemed, all that changed. Lots of aspects of life started to interest me--including some of the subjects I'd slept through in school. I developed a deeper appreciation for tradition and family and doing-things-because-they-were-the-right-things-to-do. And the result was that my life turned into a speeding train.

Time flies (even when you're not having fun).

How I wish I could have some of that staring-into-space downtime back because I could fill it ten times over! Oh well, good thing the results on a “How long are you going to live?” quiz that I took last week came back as giving me sixty more years!

Tell us: how is it for you? The yawning lion or the speeding train?

* * * * *

Instead of “What I’m Reading” this week, you get my mug shot! In order to update my blogger picture, I had to post it here first...


Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie, January, 2008
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Less Is More When It Comes To Guys

As a girl with a long and illustrious history of crushes, this was one of the hardest lessons I ever learned when it came to guys. It involves going against every instinct and emotion roiling through you when you like a guy. But, if you take this lesson to heart, the attention of the man of your dreams will be much, much closer. Here's the lesson:

A pretty simple lesson, right? The less attention you pay to a guy, the more attention you'll get from him. Trust me, this works.

I learned this lesson in college with the guy I was severely crushing on. We hung out with the same group of friends (ah, the theatre department) so we spent a lot of time together. I usually spent a lot of time focusing on him. Listening to him. Watching him. Talking to him. Dancing with him. And what did all this focus get me in return? Nothing. Nada. No interest whatsoever. I would eventually get so upset and fed up with him ignoring me that I would turn around and (try) to forget him. This usually involved ignoring and avoiding him. Inevitably, he would strike up a conversation, charm me, and I'd be right back in the throes of the crush.

Well, I got so tired of this yo-yo ride that I decided to do a conscious experiment. One night, at a party we were both attending, I decided that I would ignore him all night. I was still completely crushing on him, but I would push my feelings aside for the sake of my experiment. I spoke to everyone but him, walked away when he approached, and generally treated him like a leper. (Not in a mean way, I swear.) Sure enough, before the night was over when was chatting me up, teasing me, and flirting with me. Success!

If I could go back in time and teach my teenage self one thing it would be this: there is nothing a guy finds more attractive than a girl who isn't interested. (Okay, Steph, that and big boobs.)

Anyone have a similar experience?


Dutton Children's Books, May 2008

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Then and Now...

I guess one thing I've learned since I was a teen is that it's not true that high school boys "only have one thing on their mind"... I don't know where this comes from. I mean, sure, hormones are raging, etc... but a lot of all the frenzy surrounding sex comes from boys' friends -- not from inside them.

All boys think about sex -- that is true. (And girls think about sex, too -- btw!) But, boys are capable of deep love and intimacy, of developing bonds that go beyond teenage movies where boys make fart jokes and try to get laid.

Whenever I've written a teen hero, I found it easy to remember boys I loved -- who meant something more than fumbling around in the back seat of a car. They were three dimensional people with a lot on their minds and so much life ahead of them.

Anyway, boys are capable of deep feelings -- not that all of them have the emotional vocabulary to express them, yet -- and I think this often gets overlooked.

So, what do you think? Do boys get a bad rap?



Heather Davis is the author of
Never Cry Werewolf
Coming in APRIL 2009 from HarperCollins

Friday, September 21, 2007

Do guys ever REALLY change?

I spent the week wracking my brain trying to figure out what exactly I know about guys that I didn't back in high school. I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't think I know a whole lot more than I did when I was a teenager. What I do know is that guys don't really change much. Let me give you some examples and see if you agree with me.

1) They still think bodily functions are the funniest thing on the planet.

2) They still like girls with big boobs.

3) They still only pick the movies where stuff gets blown up, or where the lead female has big boobs, or both.

4) They still eat like pigs and manage to stay remotely healthy.

5) They still dream about being (or are) firefighters, cops, bull fighters, or porn stars.

6) There's just something about a guy who smells good, no matter how ugly he is.

7) They still don't know quite what to say when we cry.

8) They still don't understand the volatile nature of our female friendships.

9) They still don't pick up their clothes.

10) They still make us laugh like we did before we had mortgages and sick kids. And that's why we keep them around!

So, do you agree?

What I'm reading...The Second Virginity of Suzy Green by Sara Hantz



Revenge of the Homecoming Queen, OUT NOW!

Monday, September 17, 2007

High School Guys: What We Know About Them Now That We Didn’t Know Then

Today's title is actually the theme for this week here at the Buzz Girls' Blog, and I can promise it's going to be fun!

I'm up first...

Up until I was in about 11th grade, I pretty much felt invisible around guys. Like I wasn’t pretty enough or funny enough or smart enough to stand out in a crowd, so why bother? I’d just hang back with my friends (who pretty much dressed in the same bland and oversized clothes) and watched the world go by.

The thing was, I had been going to school with many of the same kids for years, and guys had never paid particular attention to me before…so my thought was, why should they now?

What I was overlooking was the simple fact that we were all changing, and I was paying them new and more notice, whether I was showing it or not. I mean, wow, that formerly chubby guy was now football buffed. That twerp who sat beside me in sixth grade was a head taller now--and WHAT a head! And the guy with the locker above me actually needed to shave…

So this is what I bring to the table to girls in high school:

You may feel invisible, too. But guys totally notice you. Even the ones who look right through you and pretend not to know you’re alive. Even the ones with popular, fashionista girlfriends. Even the shy or geeky ones (especially the shy and geeky ones). Even the exchange students or the guys who “just transferred here for one year and can’t wait to go back”.

They are looking. So know it. Run with it…play with it…have fun with it. Who cares if you’re not the prettiest or the smartest or the funniest? You’re YOU and that in itself is fabulous. And like I said, the guys are noticing.

As a matter-of-fact, here’s a few checking you out right now:

What I'm Reading: The Second Virginity of Suzy Green by Sara Hantz


Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie, January, 2008
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Required Reading: The Chosen

Of all the reading that I had to do in high school, The Chosen by Chaim Potok stands out as one of the few that I actually liked. As a student at a very white bread high school this story with two Orthodox Jewish main characters was a real eye-opener. Here is a blurb shamlessly stolen from Wikipedia since I am still without internet:

The Chosen is set in the 1940s, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City, New York. The story takes place over a period of seven years, beginning in 1944 when the protagonists are fifteen years old. It is set against the backdrop of the historical events of the time: the end of World War II, the death of President Roosevelt, the revelation of the Holocaust in Europe, and the struggle for the creation of the state of Israel.

The Chosen is a story of the friendship between two orthodox Jewish boys growing up in 1940s Brooklyn. Reuven Malter, the narrator of the story, is the son of a writer and scholar who follows modern methods of studying Judaism. Danny is the genius son of a Hasidic rabbi, whose people live completely within the bounds of traditional Jewish law.
They meet for the first time as rivals in a baseball game between their school teams, that turns into a spiritual war.

The characters include:

Reuven (Robert or Bobby) Malter, a Modern Orthodox teenage boy. Smart, popular, has a head for mathematics and his father wants him to be a mathematician when he grows up.
Daniel (Danny) Saunders, a Hasidic teenage boy. Brilliant with a photographic memory. Interested in psychology, particularly Freudian psychoanalysis. Feels trapped by Hasidic tradition and particularly his role as next in line to succeed his father as Rebbe. He really wants to be a psychologist.
David Malter, Reuven's father. Talmudic scholar, teacher, Zionist. Considered a heretic by fundamentalist Hasidim.
Rabbi Isaac Saunders (Reb Saunders), Danny's father. Rabbinic sage and tzaddik. Rebbe (spiritual leader) of a Hasidic sect, which role is dynastic (passed on from father to son). Moved his congregation from Russia to the United States before the Communist Revolution. He is against a Jewish nation-state.

While the story is taking place, many references are made to outside events, including World War II, the Holocaust, and the founding of the State of Israel. Potok reveals the reactions of different groups to each of these events.While the story is taking place, many references are made to outside events, including World War II, the Holocaust, and the founding of the State of Israel. Potok reveals the reactions of different groups to each of these events.

As the story ends, Danny visits Reuven on his way to Columbia University, his Hasidic locks shorn and his clothing up to date. Reuven has definitely decided he wants to be a rabbi, and is going on to study at a yeshiva. Danny tells Reuven that his younger brother Levi has taken his place as Reb Saunder's successor, while his own relationship with Reb Saunders has completely changed. "We talk all the time now," he says with a smile. Danny is finally set free, and Reuven and Danny taste profoundly the pain of life and the consolation of deep friendship.




Dutton Children's Books May 2008

Friday, September 14, 2007

What were my teachers thinking?

This has been a hard topic for me. I have literally wracked my brain for novels I read for high school. I am not kidding when I say that I am POSITIVE we didn't read any. I remember reading The Outsiders and Johnny Tremain, but those were both in middle school. The only thing I ever remember reading in high school is lots of short stories. High school wasn't THAT long ago, and I'm positive I would remember if any novels were assigned. They weren't. This makes me very angry now that I realize what I missed out on. Of course, I wouldn't have appreciated any of them back then, but still, I should have been forced to read some classics. I browsed the web site of my high school in full I'm-so-going-to-write-an-angry-letter but was happy to see that there are now required readings lists full of names like Austen and Fitzgerald. It's nice to know that today's teens are being forced to read these books even if they don't appreciate it. Okay, I'm done.

One of the short stories that we read always stuck with me. It literally made me sick to my stomach when we read it, and to this day, I think the teacher who assigned it wasn't quite all there. Anyway, it was called THE LOTTERY by Shirley Jackson. It is based in a small town that seems very quaint and lovely. Everybody knows everybody and they aren't shy about lending a hand to help their neighbor. It sounds like the kind of place where everybody wants to live, right? Oh, wait, I forgot to mention that once a year they put everyone's name in a box and pick out the winner of the lottery. But you don't win money in this lottery. Oh, no, you get stoned to death by your friends and family because they think that the lottery is what keeps order and properity in the town. And you thought where you live was bad...

A few years ago, I stumbled across a movie on Lifetime based on the short story. The story line still made me sick to my stomach, but Dan Cortese was in it, so I stuck it out. I do love me some Dan. UPDATE: In an ironic twist of fate, I just found out that today is Dan's birthday! Happy birthday, Dan Cortese, you hottie!

Has anyone else read The Lottery or seen the movie?



Revenge of the Homecoming Queen, OUT NOW!

Books I read this summer:
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro

The Dream Factory by Brad Barkley & Heather Hepler

Beauty Shop for Rent by Laura Bowers

Disenchanted Princess by Julie Linker

The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

The Celebutantes by Antonio Pagliarulo

The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney by Suzanne Harper

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Fowler

You had me at Halo by Amanda Ashby

Ninety Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper & Cecil Murphey

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (again)

And I know there were more that I can't remember!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Before High School Musical, there was....

High School Reading!

Where to start with this topic. I loved so many books in HS. Whenever a brand new school year started, I would literally tingle with excitement because of all the READING I would get to do for school. Yes, I was a nerd. No one liked me very much :)

Let us begin:

A SEPARATE PEACE -- I loved this story of friendship between two boarding school stayed with me for years.
THE PEARL -- this story of what happens to a poor fisherman when he finds a precious pearl is the quintessential "Be careful what you wish for" story
GONE WITH THE WIND - Enough this day one of my favorite books.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - Like Heather, this is one of my faves (BTW, ADORABLE kitty, Heather!)
MIDSUMMER'S NIGHTS DREAM - my fave Shakespeare ever.

...and I cant't think of any more now, but there were many many MANY that I loved.

- Revenge of the Homecoming Queen
- Eclipse
- New Moon
- The Edification of Sonya Crane
...and again, I know I'm missing a bunch. These were the ones that stuck in my head.

I would love to hear your reading lists!
Dona Sarkar-Mishra

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Harper Lee and....

Hey guys!

This is a hard topic for me... There were so many excellent books I read in school -- it was really hard to choose just one. So, I'll pick two that deeply affected me and many other readers.

In college, one of my favorite books was Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Talk about a study in the senses. The language and imagery are gorgeous in any language. Check out the movie, too -- it's amazing.

One of my favorite assigned books from high school was Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

This was Harper Lee's only book, yet it has affected generations of readers. It is a study in social justice and personal responsibility. If you haven't read it -- put it on your list and then add the wonderful film version starring Gregory Peck to your Netflix queue.

And speaking of Harper...

Welcome my new arrival Harper -- named for HarperCollins and of course, Harper Lee. Isn't she adorable? Now if she'll only let me get some writing done...


Heather and Harper

Heather Davis is the author of
Never Cry Werewolf
Coming in April 2009 from HarperCollins

Harper is the spoiled kitten sleeping in the closet on top
of the guest towels instead of in her cat bed.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Favorite High School Assigned Reading

When I think back on my high school assigned reading, there are two good experiences that come to mind: Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and Willa Cather’s My Antonia.

It is a tribute to my 9th grade English teacher that I liked A Tale of Two Cities because I had a let’s-just-get-through-this attitude. But her love for the book electrified the class discussion, and by the end, I would have told you it wasn’t half-bad!

I believe it was 11th grade when My Antonia landed on my desk.

I thought it would be dull as dirt (look at the cover, okay?), but to my surprise, the story and the characters grabbed me. I read ahead and finished way before I "had" to, and couldn’t wait to get to class to see what other people--and the teacher--had to say each day. But unfortunately, I ended up being the biggest fan in the classroom.

Still, I wondered if I hadn’t crossed a threshold, that from then I’d “get” the required reading books, and understand why the school district had assigned them. Okay--not true. I went on to be bored with the rest of them. (At least until years later, when I re-read some.) Which in hindsight, gives me even greater respect for My Antonia.

Did anyone else read My Antonia or have a required reading story to share?

Books I Read (and also enjoyed) This Past Summer:

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Paper Hearts, Debrah Williamson
Revenge of the Homecoming Queen, Stephanie Hale
Not a Happy Camper, Mindy Schneider
There’s a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going To Hell, Laurie Notaro
Honk if You Hate Me, Deborah Halverson
Skin Deep, E. M. Crane
Lean Mean Thirteen, Janet Evanovich
The Undomestic Goddess, Sophie Kinsella
You Had Me at Halo, Amanda Ashby
Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature, Robin Brande


Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie, January, 2008
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009

Saturday, September 08, 2007

College Game Day...and Other Decisions

Well...summ'ah's ov-ah. Wah. But the good news about summer's exit is the entrance of the beautiful fall weather, college students heading back to campus, and FOOTBALL! Yes, I'm a college football fan. Love this time of year! The sites, sounds, smells of the campus and the gridiron.

Since my SORORITY 101 books are about college students, I find that I read more stories and do more research on today's college students. My characters are away from home for the first time, meeting new friends, making new choices, and being responsible for their decisions. Not too different from real college students, right?

For instance, take this new college student at a particular Boston university. He's in Boston for the first time, has his U-haul full of his worldly belongings and he's on his own, making his own decisions. Only...this was not a particularly good one.

He made the mistake of taking his gigamonic U-haul on the "No Trucks" Storrow Drive which runs next to the Charles River here in town.

Hmmm...not a very good first decision. He opened the top of the U-haul like it had gone under a giant can opener. Oops! Guess he didn't see the sign on the overpass...

Yeah, that wasn't gonna go through there. (Good thing he's going to college to get some smarts in him, eh?! LOL!)

Then, there was the inevitable backup in traffic...

And this on a Saturday when a lot of people were in town for the Boston College vs. Wake Forest football game and Storrow Drive is a huge feeder road towards Chestnut Hill. Again...oopsies!

Well, hopefully this student's next what classes to take or what frat to pledge, will turn out more productive and without a hefty ticket from the Mass Staties and a feature on Channel 4!

Hope everyone has a wonderful, blue-skyed Saturday. I'm off to a University of Alabama alumni event to cheer on my beloved Crimson Tide as they take on the Vanderbilt Commodores. Roooooooooooooll Tide!!!

Marley = )

Sorority Rush Begins...May 2008

writing as Kate Harmon

Monday, September 03, 2007

“Lost” in Labor Day!

You’ve heard of Casual Dress Days? The Buzz Girls are having a Casual End-of-Summer Week. Some of us are at the beach, some are finishing up edits and chapters, while some of us will post (but probably in our jammies). And then next week we’ll be back with a new theme and all new posts.

In the meantime, I’ve got a fun little quiz for those of you who watch the TV show, “Lost”. I spent a week on Oahu this summer, and my travels included visits to several of the places where “Lost” films.

Here are three photos with some hints. (You might want to try clicking on each picture to make it bigger).

Number One:

I think this one is pretty easy for those who watched Season 1 and 2. In particular, Kate and Jack were doing “something” here when Mr. Eko appeared from some trees below, carrying the wounded Sawyer…

Number Two:

This is a structure from Season 2. Mr. Eko and Charlie were last seen working on it. What is it?

Number Three:

I’m pretty sure this hill has been used for numerous shots, including a Sayid-led group charging it to get a radio signal. But the scene that stands out the most involves Hurley, Charlie, Jin, and Sawyer, and a surprise discovery of beer...

Anyone want to take some guesses?

Happy Labor Day!


Tina Ferraro
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie, January, 2008
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009

Saturday, September 01, 2007

There be covers here!

I'm so pleased to share the covers for my first two books that will be released together in May 2008! I'll be writing under the pen name Kate Harmon...isn't it cute, young and hip?

Without any further they are...

I just love them! Hope you love them, too...and will pick them up!

Marley = )

What I'm reading: HOW TO RUIN MY TEENAGE LIFE by the fabulous Simone Elkeles