Anybody Need Encouragement?

psst. Guys. Over here. *waves* Do you see that?? *points and nods while doing the Running Man*


GUYS!! According to that GIANT WHITE BOX THERE, I'm at goal. The goal I set for m'self back in January-!!

[::does a little dance that I copped from Cherie Priest::]
[::shakes it::]
[::shakes it::]
[::dances a lil more::]
[::pops and locks it once for good measure::]



Can you tell I'm STOKED???
yeah.

So, even though I'm not actually done with this last third of the book, and even though I'm gonna hafta recalibrate that word count goal, I'm feeling pretty encouraged. So encouraged, in fact, that I thought I'd spread it around a little!

If anyone out there could use a little encouragement, here's a fantastic little mantra I picked up from Chris Guillebeau's The Art of Non-Conformity blog:

A 4-Step Encouragement Mantra for the Journey

  1. I can do it.
  2. I could always have a regular life somewhere.
  3. But I’ve chosen a different path.
  4. And I won’t give up.
Pretty awesome stuff, right? Let's get goin' on these goals, y'all! w00t!

It's My Party And I'll Write If I Want To

So, it's my berfday today! Huzzah!

Yep, it's dark in here, especially on my berfday. [Thanks to deviantart's Chatterly for being so damned gothic.] Cheers! *chinks together black flagons of bitter stout* 

So, in honor of the day that brought forth into the world a dark, dark soul, I'd like to gather all of you into the dark with me for a moment. (No, you canNOT haz flashlight. Flashlights are for wussies.) Here. This might help with your transformation. It'll only hurt for a minute:




But no berfday is complete without cake. So here's some classic cakey goodness:

Okay, f!ck cake. No berfday is complete without PREZZIES. You know what mine is? I worked late Friday nite and all day Sunday on freelance schtuff so I could have the


MOST FUNKTASTIC DAY EVER TODAY!

Because that's the berfday present I've given myself. One entire day of unfettered freakin writing (well, that, an LED keyboard so I can finally haz not just letters on my keyboard, but glowing letters, and the game Alan Wake. Can I get a w00t w00t?) 

So, off to unplug, drop my last Concerta and get to writing. I'm not finished with this MS like I'd wanted to be by this date, but I'll at least make some progress on this sucker today. I'll check in later to post the word count.

So happy day, my temporary darklings! Enjoy it!

Ooh-it! Ooh-it! That's Progress, Baby!

Dudes. Check this out:




Holy shitake mushrooms. I'm in the 90 percents, y'all. Ninety percents! (Mind you, I'm ONLY beginning the last act of the book, though scenes are blocked out all the way until The End, which means I'll have to recalibrate the word count goal. Probably end up being 125K in the first draft - wayyy too long. But that's what revisions are for).

Meantime, I'm celebrating that milestone. That sucker's mine. And it's golden. And you know what helped me get to it this week?

1. Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek" on repeat. Hypnotic, resonant, perfect for headphones n' writing.

2. Concerta. God bless mind-focusing drugs.

3. The Alliterative Allomorph, who challenged me to pay attention to my daily word counts. (Okay, so I only started yesterday. But at 2,045 words, it was a banner day. Thanks, Jessica!)

4. Steinbeck's advice to writers:
It is not so very hard to judge a story after it is written, but, after many years, to start a story still scares me to death. I will go so far as to say that the writer who not scared is happily unaware of the remote and tantalizing majesty of the medium... Y'ALL. Steinbeck was scared. There's hope for me!!

5. The daily routines of famous writers:
Of Kafka: It is rare that writers of fiction sit behind their desks, actually writing, for more than a few hours a day. Had Kafka been able to use his time efficiently, the work schedule at the Institute would have left him with enough free time for writing. As he recognized, the truth was that he wasted time. Y'ALL. Kafka wasted time. There's hope for me!!

6. Alan Rinzler's blog, which is just always chock full of helpful schtuff.

7. Stina's awesome blast of sunshine directed my way, in the form of a blog award, which I got to choose! (Thanks, Stina!) So, I'm choosing this one, and blasting y'all with its rays:

So, I officially bestow it on each and every one of my followers and friends. No, really, take it! It's yours. I'm serious! Now go and spread some sunshine with it :) Have a productive weekend, y'all. I'm planning to :D

GOAL!!

This month's blog chain topic, courtesy of Danyelle (already answered so diligently by her, Laura, and Lydia) is about goals. Of course, my ultimate goal at present is to write THE END on the MS. Which would so totally feel like this:

 She shoots, she SCORES! Ha! (No World Cup image for you >:-D)
But you can haz this image from Deviantart's oscarsnapshooter.

But, alas, that goal feels more like this:

Deviantart's p-3e took this pic of that poor, forlorn little goal. Sigh.

That's because DAMMIT! I'm facing down some heavy scenes - and sometimes my goal of finishing this got-damned story seems SO far away (ay-ayy-ayyyy), that it barely stands at all. This goal's all cracked, canted and chipped, forlorn and sagging...sorry. (My melancholia's a chattery sumbitch, isn't she?). Anyway, the upcoming scene's fulla some major, crunchy psychology, scuffed with action and glimmering with a handful of oily, eel-y secrets and, oh yeah, a demon. Which sounds like fun, but is, yanno, a bitch to write.

Sigh.

But thanks to everyone's words of support yesterday as I whined and wrung my hands (thanks, guys! SO needed that!), the word count continues to rise, and I'm working pretty hard at writing despite the doubt-hounds. So maybe a better goal would look something like this:

 Aptly titled "Goal Within a Goal" by salari

Yep, that's a goal as spotted from the fraying net of another goal. For me, this perfectly represents the stages of writing. Just work toward one goal, but keep the next goal in your sights. I'm gonna keep trying that, y'all.

I'm also going to remember that the writing process is whacked out & loopy, rather like this:

from aniboom.com

So that's my other goal this week. To remember that writing is so subjective that no one's ever an expert. Including me. I just have trust the process.

What about you? Got a goal this week? Yeah? Let's hear it!

Time Keeps On Tickin...

My husband has this pet peeve that involves one of my quirks. (Okay, he has several, the man's a saint for sticking around, etc.) Anyway, the peeve is how I constantly misjudge how long it'll take me to finish up a piece of writing. Not because he's anxious for me to finish, mind you - mainly it's because he's anxious to get. Out. The Door. and he's waiting on me.

Most times, he's waiting for me to finish up a press kit or a bit of copy for a brochure, or to polish, say, a pitch letter. Him: *jingles keys impatiently* Me: I just have to tweak this release. Just gimme five minutes. Five minutes.

TWENTY MINUTES LATER

Him: *sighs through his nose*
Me: *typity-typity-type-type-type* Almost done...
Him: *removes Kyle Busch cap, sets keys back down, knows he's not going anywhere*
Me: *guilty glance in his direction* No! Seriously, I'm almost done. No, I am. Really. Just five more minutes...
...

Thing is, I don't mean to take so long. Really, in my head, it only takes me, like, an hour to write up some copy. But in the real world, that hour is more like three hours, forty minutes.

And that worries me about my novel. WHY do I take so long? WHY do I write so slowly? And this chestnut: WHY do I feel like everyone else is freakin LEAGUES ahead of me? Because I do. I feel like other writers are just swimming away with their novels, already on their, like, fourth, while I plod through my second.

Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

I'm trying to finish this thing up. I am. But I know just how far I have to go. And as I work through this draft, I'm trying to remember Lilith Saintcrow's Permission To Suck Method, which hopefully will help me get this f!cking draft done. (Quoth the Saintcrow, "Don’t worry about whether the writing is any good. Right now that’s the least important fucking thing on the planet. The MOST important thing is sitting down and getting the sh!t out, so that you can see where you are and correct your aim if you’re not where you want to be." Nice, right? Easy, right? Turns out, not so much. SILENCE, you Inner Editor! Silence!)

I'm also hoping Scott G.F. Bailey's approach to the sagging middle (basically: First Act=What happens, Second Act=How the characters feel about what happened [using internal conflict as a way to avoid the sag] and Third Act=The resolution) will help me finish. I'm using it as a general three-pronged approach to noveling as a whole:

1. Get the story down (first draft, i.e. what happens)
2. Layer in the psychology (second draft, i.e. how the characters feel about it)
3. Apply polish (third draft, i.e. tightening sentences, using precise language to better effect)

I'm still struggling with number one, y'all. Since my subplots heavily involve my character's secrets, I keep trying to figure out all of their psychology in this initial draft, which slows the whole freakin process. Somebody please help me remember that I just have to get the story DOWN first. Nailing the deeper psychological subtext/subplot comes NEXT. (Zoe, please remember that you don't have to get all the subplots right in the first pass. Got it?)

Ugh. I feel like my "wants-to-have-already-written" self is at the door, jingling her keys. And my "just-give-me-five-more-minutes" self is bent over the keyboard, feeling the pressure, thinking I can get it done in five minutes when my process is such that it takes, yanno, five HOURS.

Why does it take so long, dammit??

What Helped Me Get To It Today

Don't forget to pop over to Danyelle's today to read her entry on goals. Okay. (#seguefail) Today I'm about trying to be the writer I am and not struggle so with the process. And you know what helped me? Something overheard on the Psych Central blogs:

Do what you can.

Want what you have.

Be who you are.

Amazingly simple, right? Not sure why those words helped me today, but they totally did. Turns out I can only do what I can (who knew?). I'm still working on wanting what I have - which includes a mostly-written MS (hey, I'm working on craft, no need to want what might be in the future, a la an agent or pub contract) and a pretty cool freelance gig (got a ton o Simon & Schuster press kits to write, yip!). 

As for the third tenet, I'm always who I am these days, which is a nice perk of settling into your 30s. You know what also helped me today?

Tell me you aren't snarfing. Sigh. This is what I'm telling the next person who asks me where I get my ideas.

Making the Ordinary World Disappear

So, I'm anxiously awaiting my copy of THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin. Yes, it's a vampire novel, which I'm sorta sick of. But with crazy reviews, (including one from King, who says it "makes the ordinary world disappear" and TIME Magazine's "the vampire is scary again") I had to order it. I hope it's worth all the buzz.

So what, exactly, makes the ordinary disappear while you're reading a novel? For me, it's detail, depth and resonance. And how do we accomplish that? For me, it's being able to see people, really see them, and then translating what you understand into unforgettably real, unforgettably flawed, and unforgettably interesting characters. Preferably, ones who make terrifically bad decisions from time to time.

Here, in part three of the author's Amazon podcast, is Cronin talking about plots and people. And this is where I think he nails it, when it comes to making a story utterly engrossing: that plot and character happen simultaneously. As he puts it, "plot is a collection of decisions the characters make."

Which is a HUGE relief for me to hear, since I'm worried that the plot in my current horror novel is so character-centric. But what I hope makes the MS  interesting hearkens back to a question Cronin asks (same podcast), which is, "What are the characters not telling anybody?"

I love this, because this is what drives my character-centric story forward - every one of my main characters is harboring a secret. Figuring out what they're hiding and how they use their secrets, what those secrets compel them to do in the midst of high emergency is what, for me, harbors the conflict, the mystery--it's what juices the book.

After all, as Cronin puts it, "knowing a character's secret ignites their humanity." Awesome. So what about you? What in the writing world gave you some extra confidence this past week? A particular book? Something an author said? Also, what books are you anxious to get your hot little hands on this week?

Things That Helped Me Write Today

This is what helped me get started today:

EDIT: I suspect this guy's links might help with the ol' productivity, too:
http://www.rockyourday.com/


So what helped you get it done today?


EDIT a DEUX: Here's the result of my early afternoon writing sesh:


77537 / 85000 words. 91% done!

91 PERCENT, y'all!!

Productivi-tee

So. Distracting myself is a self-preservation tactic, right? Right. Blogging, blogfesting, surfing and, yanno, obsessively spot-steam-cleaning my living room carpet are all things that keep me from facing down the MIND. numbing terror that is any WIP (big ol' fear of failure here, folks). And I'm pret-ty darn good at distracting myself.

 My distracted brain looks a lil something like this piece of digital art aptly titled DISTRACTION by GraphicStreetRacer.

Just a moment ago, my sidebar was chock full of blogfest goodness. Which was part of the problem. I gotta get this MS done, y'all. It's why I've been REALLLYYY behind on commenting, posting & blogfesting; I gotta get it DONE I tell you.

So, it is with great sadness a big ol' rebel yell warrior whoop...thing, that I say goodbye to the blogfests I'd planned to participate in this month (and possibly the whole summer) - and that includes my own. 

I'm officially canceling the Cognitive Dissonance Blogfest on June 28.
Sorry, everyone who graciously signed up! :( I'm still, yanno, blogging n stuff - just not 'festing.  Cutting back in other areas, too (see: obsessive spot-steam-cleaning).
 
I know my blogfest was to be in celebration of my birthday, but I'm hoping the cheers & beers on that day will be because I've written "The End" on the draft. To get me there, I'm pulling out all the tools in my arsenal, i.e. coffee, the Kaizers Orchestra standalone player, and the

It's this ridiculously simple timer from that Write to Done guy, and it's awesome, especially for blowing through some CWSwORP-style timed writing exercises.

So check it out and go get some writing done! Because it's all about facing the doubt-hounds

 Image courtesy of SexyMarshmallowMan

that nip at our confidence and finishing what we started - with 60% LESS distraction! And we can do it, y'all. Watch; I'll go first. *waves, then unplugs for the rest of the day to wrap up Chapter Eighteen* 

See Here, Now

Writing is seeing. I came across this tidbit somewhere and, being me, promptly forgot where. But it stayed with me: Writing is seeing. It's seeing, y'all!

But seeing isn't easy...

We all know writers are observers. But it's not just a matter of opening your eyes. It's a matter of seeing past things, getting at hidden machinations, understanding the context of what's unfolding before your eyes. Say you're trying to capture a scene that recalls a childhood summer. Sure, you have to see it in your mind's eye. (Duh.)

But the trick is to understand WHAT elements to focus on (sandy sandwiches? Your mom's big old laugh rippling across the beach?). Also, HOW they're evocative (The texture of the sandwich's sun-softened, tepid, kinda nasty cheese? The chink of ice settling in your mom's Tab soda glass?)

And, finally, WHY that specific element captures enough of a truth to resonate with the reader (sandy sandwiches representing the freedom from school lunchtime? The near desperate way mothers would finally relax--now that the fathers were all safely back in the city and, yanno, unaware that it probably wasn't Tab soda in her glass?).

 Clearly, Deviantart's blindedangel knew how to see. Look at how evocative this is.


Get it? It's all in what you see -- and then what you spot behind what you see. Of course, the second half is the ability to get it down right, and that takes, yanno, writing chops. But seeing is the critical part, I think, because
...Seeing is believing.


And verisimilitude is what makes a story come alive. See?

Caturday Wisdom


Man, as soon as I hop over to icanhazcheeseburger, I spot this pic front and center at the top of the page. What makes it even MOAR snarf-worthy is that I was looking for an image that would capture how I feel at the moment.

And how do I feel at the moment? Powered-down, because I've put in the writing time this afternoon and now it's time to quit and go live for the day - EVEN while the right ending to this one scene I was working on continues to elude me. See, I can quit guilt-free since I know my seething little box of horror'll be there when I get back (toldja; that image nailed it). How do I know this? Silly minion, THIS is how I know:


75314 / 85000 words. 89% done!

That's about 2K more words written inside of one afternoon - an afternoon that comes hot on the chapped, ugly cracked heels of YESTERDAY, in which I was sure my muse had abandoned me forever. But I powered up the MS anyway this afternoon and, lo and behold, I touched 75,000 words, y'all! Now that I'm a measly 10K words (10,000 words! Gasp!) from meeting goal, I can safely stuff my evil muse back into the box for the day - knowing it'll be there when I get back - and go enjoy my Saturday shenanigans.

So where do you store your muse?

I think I'ma keep mine in that thar cardboard box, right under my desk. *kicks it and laughs at Grumpy Muse's angry shuffling inside* 

Now go store your muse and then enjoy your weekend. DO put in some time today. But DON'T spend the whole afternoon endlessly tweaking Chapter Eight. (Trust me on that one.) Put the muse away instead and go live a little. It'll be there when you get back. One caveat (and there's always a caveat, isn't there?): Be sure you do get back to it, even on the weekends (yes, I'm looking at YOU there, with the tee-shirt), so you don't forget where you stashed it. Cheers!

Stranger than fiction...


See that ugly sucker? Yeah. Turns out it's a giant coconut crab. And it's not alone:


 Mmm-hmm, not sure if I'd be smiling. Fo realz. I'd be looking around for a flamethrower. I hate crabs. You know why? Cuz they look like fucking spiders. OF THE SEA. (And yes, I've seen giant spider crabs. Giant fucking 'bamas.)  I'm talkin' flamethrowers, y'all. Flamethrowers. 



Anyone else having a did-a-chick? dod-a-chock? moment?
Oh, and these photos came from THIS blog.


Anywho, apparently these crabstrosities are all over the southwestern Pacific islands...which was NOT great news for Amelia Earhart, turns out. (Like, gross.)


But you know what bums me out? That horrifying creatures such as those do not exist naturally in my imagination. No. I have to WRACK MY BRAINS to come up with the good, shamblin', scary ones, while trying EQUALLY hard to NOT be DERIVATIVE. (But I'm not bitter. No.)

So imagine my chagrin when I happened upon the pics of those suckers. Sigh. IMAGINE the freakin' horror stories I could come up with if such creatures populated my brain. And even scarier, imagine the SITUATIONS I could create.

Unfortch, scientists are thinking that Earhart met her end in one such horrific scenario. Alone, hungry and desperate on an uninhabited island, yet only 300 miles from her destination. Oh, wait. She wasn't alone. She had her navigator.

AND AN ENTIRE ISLAND FULL OF THOSE FREAKIN' BONE-EATING CRABS.

Night, y'all.

Ultimate Interview - with Jessica Bell!

GUYS! Guess what? It's time, y'all! It's time! My Ultimate Interview Contest, held to celebrate reaching 100 followers, was all about featuring one awesome writer/blogger in an interview - with questions asked by (and linked to) other bloggers. Y'all gave some GREAT responses and also helped me pick the winner, which was extra helpings of awesomesauce all around.

So, without further ado, I'm excited to welcome said winner, Jessica Bell, whom we all know as the riotous


Yep, that lovely lass is our own Alliterative Allomorph, who, besides being the winner of the Ultimate Interview Contest, also lives in Athens, Greece (how freakin' cool is that??) after growing up in Melbourne, Australia. The offspring of two gothic rock musicians who took her along as they moseyed between Australia and Europe, Jessica is also a helluva musician in her own right.
Her ability to write music soon stimulated an enthusiasm for literature that blossomed during her years at Latrobe University and ensuing career as an editor. In 2007, Jessica left her post at an English language teaching publisher to go it alone as a freelancing writer/editor who works for Cengage Learning, Macmillan Education, Education First, Pearson/Longman and Signature Manuscripts. In addition to her freelance and musical projects, Jessica is also working on a novel and a memoir while she seeks agent representation for her novel, DEAD IN THE CORNER OF MY BEDROOM. 

Her other hidden skill? The ability to come up with some intense freakin questions! Hers was the winning interview question, which went a lil something like this:

Q. Have you ever gotten sexually excited after writing a love scene and then acted upon it?

A. Well, I’m sorry to have to break it to you, but the only love scene I wrote ended in the female protagonist finding out that her husband was having an affair, so unfortunately by the end of that scene any arousal was dampened. (boo!) But I will admit to getting in the mood before writing the scene (I’ll let your imagination fill in the details) … well it’s gotta be realistic, right? Hahaha, sorry, is that a disappointing answer? (Boo! Again!)

[Zoe interrupts to say that the "boos" are Jessica's, not mine :D. Although I'll give it a "dammit!" because I was hoping for some saucy stuff!!! *hauls mind, dripping and stinky, out of the gutter*]

Okay, folks! The rest of the interview questions come courtesy of the bloggers whose questions got the highest response in my contest question poll:

Q. From Roland Yeomans at Writing in the Crosshairs: When the room is dark and your heart says 'give up', whose voice do you hear next, and what does it say?

A. My mother’s. Through all her difficulties surviving benzodiazepine withdrawal when I was a kid, she still managed to drill ‘If there’s a will there’s a way’ into my head practically every day. For a mother who was never in the right frame of mind, she did a pretty damn good job of pushing me in the right direction. Yes, I strayed for a while, but eventually pulled myself together. So I guess my mother is responsible for both my rebellion and getting my priorities straight. She was an awfully brave woman, and she is living proof that if there’s a will there’s a way. If you knew what she went through, you’d understand, but it’s a REALLY long explanation.

Q. From Shannon Messenger at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe: Orlando Bloom - sexier as a pirate or an elf? (and why?)

A. You’ve got to be kidding me. I don’t see any sexual attraction to him whatsoever. As a pirate he reminds me of an ex-boyfriend of mine - obviously ‘ex’ for a reason. As an elf, he reminds me of a wannabe metal head too embarrassed to go whole hog with the black make-up. I’m a Johnny Depp gal from a very young age :) - from the age where I would stick socks in my top to impress Mr. Depp, who was pinned up on my wardrobe.

Q. From Lydia Kang at The Word Is My Oyster: Who would you NOT want reading your shiny new novel?

A. LOL. Um, my ex employers. I don’t say very nice things about them. But that’s totally my protagonist’s opinion, not mine! (wink wink)

Q. From Courtney Barr at Southern Princess: Is there any subject that disturbs you so much that you WON'T write about it? If so, why?

A. Not that I’m aware of. I haven’t tried to write anything disturbing to that degree. Mind you, I’m having difficulty with my memoir at the moment because I slip into a state of depression I just don’t want to be in. I think my memoir is going to take a VERY VERY long time. My memoir is primarily about growing up with a drug addicted (and rock musician) mother and how her addiction and eventual never-ending drug withdrawal basically prevented me leading what most would call a ‘normal’ childhood. Hate going back to that place. But it is a very interesting story and I hope that one day I can get it done. [Zoe interrupts again: damn I want to read that! Sound like one compelling story. Kudos to Jessica for being brave enough to face it!]

Q. From Justine Dell at...Justine Dell: Tell us about the time when you almost gave up.

A. Um, regarding writing? I haven’t yet. I’ve been pushing myself for five years now, and I’m still determined. But I did almost give up living when I was a teenager and wanted to be free of my mother. But I could write a whole book about that (probably why I am), so you’ll just have to wait till I get published. Can you wait twenty years? LOL

On a happier note … Who wants Zoe to answer these questions as well? A show of hands please … Ok, let me count … Wow, Zoe, looks like there’s over a hundred hands here … :D

[Zoe's comment: uh...I'mma get back to y'all on that one, lol!]

But there you have it! Some really awesome interview questions + a whole rack of awesome bloggers = so much fun! Jessica, thanks so much for stopping by (that golden flash drive's in the mail tomorrow I SWEAR, lol)!

Also thanks so SO much to everyone for participating - this was one of my favorite blog moments, ever. So thanks for becoming followers and supporting my blog - I'm truly humbled and grateful. Remember, folks, keep payin' it forward - you never know what lonely writer you might comfort with a comment :D Thanks!!

HOUSEkeeping--!!

Crikey. LOOK at this place! *grabs dust pan, broom and a bucket of cleaner, starts humming "two hours of pushing broom..."* Okay, all Roger Miller aside, wouldja look at this mess! After the cuh-razy party that was my 100 Followers Contest, I gotta get this place in shape! You know why??

Because the awesome Jessica Bell, 
a.k.a. The Alliterative Allomorph,
is coming over tomorrow!! 

That's right! The winner of the Ultimate Interview Contest,
she'll be answering some CRAZY questions
on my blog tomorrow. 

OMG - grabs armfuls of empty beer cans, pulls streamers from hair, shoves chairs back under tables, tears toilet paper from that one tree outside...

Wow. This is gonna take a bit more work. Which means I'm gonna make like my mum and kick all you kids outside so I can get some WORK done! Outside, y'all. Out! *points to the back door while giving y'all the hairy eyeball*

Now THAT is one hairy eyeball. Ahem.

Okay, okay. I hear ya: "But there's nothing to do outside!" (I'm not a mom for nothing.) Here are some links to keep you occupied until the fabulousness of tomorrow's interview and guest feature with Jessica. Enjoy, then be sure to mosey on over here to read Jessica's answers to some off-the-wall questions. On to linkage:

First, it's Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog Time! Don't forget to stop by Laura Diamond's blog today to read her take on identifying and then nailing those important goals.

Next, since I'm all a-struggle with my own goals, I found Steve Pavlina's blog posts on self-discipline to be marvels of productivity.

I also found Wyrdsmith's blog today. Some great posts, y'all.

And, finally, get thee to toplessrobot.com, for ultra-awesome-why-can't-I-be-that-cool stuff like a Ghostbusters proton pack backpack. Yes, I'm serious.

And, oh yeah, if those don't do it for ya, there's always THIS:


Dudes! 81 frikkin percent, yo! Turns out, being largely unplugged from the blogosphere means, yanno, I actually get the words down. Sweet! But I WILL be back tomorrow to post

Jessica's Ultimate Interview!

So be sure to stop by. See you then!