Friday, February 26, 2010

Your Writing Soundtrack?

What's with the pic, you ask? I just googled "girl listening to music", and when I found that one I just had to share it. That's the subject of today's post. Music.

This is a new one for me. I've been listening to a lot of music while I'm revising my projects. Music with words, people, WORDS! Not just the Soundscapes Channel (tm) on my cable TV. ;)

When I'm drafting, lyrics usually distract me from the words that I want to fill an empty page with. Right now, none of my projects are in the drafting stage, and while revising my urban fantasy, I found myself listening to music I thought my MCs would like. This novel has four distinct pov characters, and music--instead of being distracting like it is while I'm drafting--actually helped me to bring out their personalities more.

This is a pretty recent phenomenon for me, though I did experiment with non-instrumental music while revising STRINGS, listening to a lot of Gogol Bordello and Nina Simone. A weird combination, I know, but it worked for me.

While writing my urban fantasy, each character had such a distinct personality that I got more out of a soundtrack I love but hadn't listened to in a long time--not since I put it on my phone, of course! I know, I am sooo hi-tech. It's the Shortbus Soundtrack, a movie by John Cameron Mitchell (of Hedwig and the Angry Inch fame. Adults, check Hedwig out if you like rock and roll and issues of identity all wrapped up in one glam package), which has so many great songs by artists I'd mostly never heard of before. It was the perfect compliment to my MC's various tastes in music.

Funny how I never appreciated music for helping me to create personality as well as mood, but it's definitely working.

Do you find this is true with your writing?

My current problem is figuring out what kind of music Evie likes. I'm not exactly sure. I've only just realized how important it is for me to know. But what kind of music does a 17 year old girl these days listen to? Especially one who's a little brainy and thinks she's boring, but with a stubborn streak. I don't know where to start. Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Work in Progress... Thursday?

I know, I know, I said I was going to spend February reading.

I did read Hush, Hush, and Evermore (and the Hunger Games and half of Catching Fire again), and I started a number of other books. I just haven't finished them yet. I even read a good chunk of Percy Jackson 4 yesterday on the streetcar. It's pretty good, just like the others, and the stakes are higher this time around.

The thing is, I just haven't been compelled to devour a book in a while. (Apparently, Suzanne Collins has ruined me for all other books. ;D )

Not to mention that I keep having these ideas, hearing these voices, thinking of plot revisions. First it was for my urban fantasy, which I just finished a third draft of.

Now it's EVANGELINE. Based on some recent feedback I was mulling over, last night I finally came up with a way to bring some of the elements into play earlier. It's going to be LEGEND... wait for it... DARY! LOL.

Most importantly, my passion for a story I was about to give up on has been rekindled. Which is a good thing, right? Eh, I don't really know anymore!

After I finished grad school, during which period I barely read for pleasure at all unless a new Harry Potter just came out, I promised myself all I'd do was read books. I went through a period where I rabidly caught up with series I loved or books I'd heard great things about. Then one day I had an idea. And I started writing. That idea didn't wind up going anywhere--not yet, anyway--but it got me back on the path. That's how I know I'm a writer. Though books were my first love, writing is my true love.

Sure, keeping yourself well-read is important, but if the muse strikes, is it more important to listen to her? I mean, this is why I started writing in the first place--yeah, I've read good books, but I've also read a lot that frustrated me or let me down in the end. I want my books to be someone's favorites someday. The kind of books that inspired others to become writers. Not that I want a fandom, or anything (although reading fan-fic would be kind of awesome). I just want to bring great stories to life and have others enjoy them. So I'm juggling three works in progress right now, hoping that one of them will be the first I share with the world.

Which is why my tbr pile comprises an entire shelf in a huge bookcase. Those stories aren't my "babies". I'll neglect them as long as I need to in order to care for my own. And when my babies start giving me headaches again, or I'm at a point where I can't work on any of them yet, my tbr pile won't have gone anywhere.

I made a promise to myself to read more books this year, but getting my novels ready to query has always been my first priority. And frankly, I find working on three works in progress to be less draining than investing hours in a book I wind up wanting to throw across the room.

What say you, world?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tempting Fate Part II: Son of a Norn!

Do you knock on wood? Avoid walking under ladders? Do you have little rituals for luck?

I guess I'm a pretty superstitious person, because I do. And sometimes I think I even jinx myself. Like when I was talking about tempting fate the other day.

As if things weren't bad enough with this cold I wished upon myself (that just will NOT go away, ugh), I dropped a jar of peanut butter--plastic, 2.5 pounds, net weight--on my big toe. It immediately turned purple and it's literally howling in pain. What? You can't hear that? It's deafening, I tell you!

Obviously, I brought this insufferable toe pain upon myself by bemoaning my sickness on the interwebs, thereby poking a pointed stick, possibly covered in marshmallow goo, at Fate. How else would that jar of peanut butter have slipped right out of my hands and onto my toe? Is there a saint to pray for to keep from losing my toenail? Should I light some candles?

Are you superstitious? Do you believe in jinxes and self-fulfilling prophecies? I'd love to hear about it. (Lordhavemercy, I'm so out of it this morning I just spelled prophecies with an F. *insert eye-roll here*)

Anyone else battling Nyquil addiction, er, I mean, this staggering headcold, too? ;)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Magic Under Glass Cover

Still feeling under the weather, but I wanted to share this:

Magic Under Glass has a new cover. I'm just about to order it online!

Read more about the cover change here, here, and here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Read Any Good Books Lately?

Here's the problem.

I've got all these great books at home waiting to be read, but I don't know which one to read first. So I offer to you my very first blog poll. (ta da! It's in my sidebar.)

I'm still fighting off stuffiness from this cold, so I haven't been doing much reading, and I know I should finish these books, but for some reason I've been straying back toward my urban fantasy. I think what's scaring me is that there are so many of them all of a sudden, when I hadn't been reading for a while. Now it's like they're ganging up on me, crowding around begging to be read first. So I figure if I tell them to get in line and wait their turn, they'll simmer down a little. But I need an outside opinion.

Tell me which book you think I should read first:

Soulless, Gail Carriger

Fire, Kristin Cashore

The Maze Runner, James Dashner

4th and 5th Percy Jackson Books, Rick Riorden

Just read Catching Fire again

Or tell me in the comments what you've been enjoying lately.

My poor, neglected books thank you in advance. ;)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tempting Fate

So I made it all the way through Mardi Gras without getting sick, only to succumb to a head cold yesterday. I must have tempted fate, bragging about how how I got my government mind control shot--er, I mean flu shot--which kept me healthy all winter long.

A few weeks ago (maybe it was just days, I don't recall when exactly. The sickness, she confuses me) Roni over at Fiction Groupie wrote a post about coincidences. Specifically, contrived coincidences.

Sure, coincidences happen in real life--that's why we say life is stranger than fiction. But just because something could possibly happen if all the stars aligned, it doesn't mean your reader is going to buy it.

I agree with her wholeheartedly about contrived coincidences that help your characters out. That just smacks of authorial intrusion and tip-toes into deus ex machina territory.

But what about "coincidences" that serve to keep your characters from their goals? Will you tolerate a coincidence with nasty results better than one that helps the protagonist?

Can people--and thus, characters--really "jinx" themselves by thinking they've almost reached their goal?

More importantly, can this device be overused just like the good coincidences to the point that they also feel contrived, too much like authorial intrusion?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Forewarned, I'm full up to my eyebrows with Sudafed and Emergen-c, so it might take me a while to respond. ;)

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Elana J's Pay it Forward Query Critique Contest!

Just in case you haven't heard, YA author Elana Johnson is having an amazing contest on her blog. Click here to enter or read on for more details:

Here's what you can win: A query letter critique.

By whom?

By one of these top five literary agents!

1. Kate Testerman-Shafer of KT Literary (critique will be posted on her blog, Ask Daphne)
2. Michelle Andelman of Lynn C. Franklin Associates (my fabulous agent!)
3. Mary Kole of Andrea Brown Literary Agency
4. Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary Agency
5. Joanna Volpe of Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation

Worth entering? You decide. But if you win, one of those agents will be helping you out with your query letter. And who better to do that than the people who read hundreds of them?

I mean, seriously.

In addition to that, FIVE more winners will win a free copy of my eBook, From the Query to the Call, which outlines in great detail how to write a query letter (and other things). All winners--as with all buyers--get a free query critique by me with this eBook.

As if that weren't enough, FIVE more winners will win a package of my all-time favorite writing tools: the super-sticky, super-size Post-it note. I love those things. They're 4x6-inches, so you can really take notes in the middle of the night and stick your scribbles to your laptop.

I'd enter just for a chance to win Elana's e-book! Be sure to check out how to enter on Elana's blog. She also links to other contests bloggers are having--Shannon O'Donnell and Shelli Johannes-Wells-- so there are plenty of chances for you to win! Good luck!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Abby's Awesome Book Giveaway!

Want to win your own copy of Fallen? How 'bout The Dark Divine? Both books, plus a $10 B&N gift card could be yours!

Just head on over to Abby Annis' writing blog for your chance to win.
1. To enter, you must be a follower. Just make sure your smiling face is among the happy group there on the right and leave me a comment on this post. +1

2. If you were a follower before this post +2, new followers +1.

3. Post about this contest on your blog, Twitter, or Facebook +2 (total +6 if you do all three). Leave me links with your comment.

4. Add this contest to your sidebar. +2

5. And since everyone is dying for some flying monkeys (Thanks, Tere ;)), receive an additional 10 entries for writing a poem or short story, of any length, incorporating flying monkeys somehow. You may post it as a comment, or on your own blog. Just be sure to leave me a link, so I can read it. :)

Contest ends Friday, February 26th at midnight PST.

In honor of her blog surpassing 100 followers, I'd like to dedicate this haiku to her:

Though winter chills me
Abby's contest makes me glad
Like monkeys that fly

Okay, I told y'all I was a terrible poet. Maybe now you'll finally believe me. ;)

Signing off until Ash Wednesday, y'all!

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Oh. My. God. Y'all.

Finally, the third installment of The Hunger Games has been revealed!

Isn't it beautiful? *gazes up with dopey eyes* It'll be release 8-24-10, so get your amazon pre-order in now, lol!

Yes, I know I'm thirty and this is a YA series, but I've possibly gotten more joy out of Collins' Hunger Games books than any other series I've read recently, YA or otherwise. Her style has definitely inspired my own writing, especially recently. What does it say that I've got a teetering tbr pile of books, but all I reach for when I want to relax in the tub is The Hunger Games.

Okay, so maybe it's not relaxing, exactly, but it's so easy to immerse yourself into her writing, so it has that escapist appeal I look for in a bathtub read. ;)

I knew it had been optioned, but this USA today article confirms a wonderful rumor I heard:
"Collins is finishing her screenplay of The Hunger Games, the first book."

Sweet. It's already got a bare-bones imdb page, too.

Whose work has been inspiring your own lately?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to be a Hero, Saints Style

Saints went all the way, Saints went all the way!

You should have seen the parade yesterday for Lombardi Gras--or Dat Tuesday, whatever you want to call it. People came from miles around just to lay eyes on their heroes with the hopes of catching throws from Drew Brees and the boys. (#60 is the Saints' center, Nick Leckey, isn't he cute? I like my guys big and burly, lol) The whole city closed early to allow everyone to either see the parade or get home. All because the masses wanted to thank our boys for winning the big one for us. Marching bands played Saints songs and even the Marine Corps Band "got crunk". Everyone at the parade had a blast despite delays and strong winds and low temperatures.

But people who didn't go to the parade weren't so lucky. It stopped traffic for miles, took people hours to get home, apparently even delayed flights out of Armstrong when a van carrying some pilots was "accidentally" misdirected. The crowds were bigger than any Mardi Gras parade I've ever seen, to celebrate what was "just a football game".

Only don't say it was "just a football game" too loud.

See, to the people of New Orleans, it wasn't just a little game. The win means more than just a year's worth of bragging rights. It means hope and maybe some empathy from the rest of the country who don't know why we stay here in this city full of murderers and hurricanes.

Okay, tangent over. To make a long story short, this got me thinking of my writing--everything seems to boil down to that lately.

How can we as writers create heroes that the masses will love? Will adore, will endure horrible traffic and biting winds just to get a look at them?

Well, as the Saints have shown, everyone loves an underdog, especially when they work hard to surprise everyone. (There's a difference between surprising the reader and acting out of character, though, so be careful)

And it doesn't hurt to have a few devoted fans who stick with you through thick and thin. (Like a trusty sidekick/best friend/loyal steed)

Hero authority, Joseph Campbell emphasizes that a hero does more than just conquer the problem, he returns to society to "bestow boons on his fellow people."
Boons, beads, whatevah! ;) (Your hero needs to share what he's learned with his society or else his legend will never be passed down generation after generation)

In The Power of Myth, Campbell says heroes are necessary to "pull together all these tendencies to separation, to pull them together into some intention." I've never seen so many New Orleanians get so excited about a parade before. This was more than just a good time, it was a chance to show their thanks, no matter what part of the city they come from. (This is why most heroes are also good leaders. People want to do things to help them)

There are lots of lessons the Saints can teach us about being heroes, but I'm too exhausted to figure them all out right now and someone just sent me an email saying there's a Saints cake in the lunch room.

Mmm, cake. Thanks, Saints. Y'all ARE heroes! ;)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Dear Lucky Agent" Contest at GLA: Kids Novels

Get your first 100-200 words ready, folks!

Guide to Literary Agents is having a contest! This is the second of a series of contests on GLA, and this time, they want YA and MG novels. Their guest literary agent this round, Jennifer Laughran, is with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. If I recall correctly, Ms. Laughran is a New Orleans native, so she must be in a very generous mood since Sunday. ;)

To be eligible to submit, I ask that you do one of two things: 1) Mention and link to this contest twice through your social media - blogs, Twitter, Facebook; or 2) just mention this contest once and also add Guide to Literary Agents Blog ( to your blogroll. Please provide link(s) so I can verify eligibility.


First place: 1) A critique of 25 pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) A query critique from your agent judge. 3) Two free books from Writer's Digest Books (I will give you several choices and you pick the books your want).

Runner-ups - second and third place: 1) A critique of 10 pages of your work, by your agent judge. 2) One free book from Writer's Digest Books (I will give you several choices and you pick the book your want).

Great prizes, huh?
Good luck to all who enter!

Monday, February 8, 2010

And The Winner Is... very lucky. ;) They are going to be the talk of their town when they get this box full of goodies. (And thanks, AP, for the pic of the amazing Tracy Porter, lol)

And what a celebration it's been here in town. It might as well be Ash Wednesday out there, the French Quarter streets are so trashed. A tree next to the POLICE STATION is covered in toilet paper. Vigilant, as always. Last night I witnessed an impromptu parade of Saints fans heading down the Avenue to the quarter to celebrate. Seriously, the neutral ground, where the St. Charles streetcar usually runs, was packed with people headed downtown. This morning I got in to the FQ only to see people leaving Barely Legal. At 9AM. Wow. I'll have some coffee with my debauchery, thanks.

It's been pretty surreal. Welcome to the Who Dat Nation, y'all! We're glad to have ya! (And glad Miami temporarily suspended their open container law, lol)

I'm actually kind of relieved the game is over, since now we've got over a week to keep on celebrating. Wahoo! (Of course, this means my husband's nephews and their friend will be here this week. Eep!) I'll try to get some parade footage on my phone and see if I can post it here, but I'm still trying to figure that thing out. It's smarter than I am, ya know.

Okay, enough stalling:

And the winner is:

Tricia J. O'Brien at Talespinning!

Please email me your address and I'll try to get your package out by the end of the day Tuesday to be sure you have your goodies before Mardi Gras day rolls around. Lucky you!

And to everyone else, just 'cause y'all don't usually celebrate carnival doesn't mean you can't start! Especially with this nasty winter I know most of y'all are having. Celebrate and eat and drink like Lent is about to start! (Of course, once Lent's over, there's the Easter crawfish boils, French Quarter fest, Jazzfest, Summerfest...)

Party on, y'all!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Throw Me Something, Sistah!


Not only do I get a weekend full of sunshine and carnival AND the Saints in the Superbowl, my blog has now reached 100 followers. I wish you could all be here in NOLA for what's going to be a weekend that will probably be one of the biggest parties OF ALL TIME. For serious.

But since you can't be here, I'll send Mardi Gras to you!

One of my very lucky followers will receive a box of Mardi Gras throws and other NOLA goodies (CC's chicory-blend coffee, carnival themed notecards, etc.) by random selection. I'll reveal the winner on Monday, but until then, there are plenty of ways to earn extra points.

Simply commenting below will earn you +1

Post about this contest on your blog, or link in your sidebar, or tweet, +2 (+6 if you do all three)

Post about how you want the Saints to win the Superbowl, +4 (had to throw that one in there, lol)

And if by Monday I have 110 followers, I'll select two winners instead of just one. 'Cause that's just how I roll. Also, if you could add up your points in the comments I'd really apprecate it. (Because I'm probably going to be hung-over on Monday and won't want to think real hard. Thanks in advance.)

So let's get this party started! Throw me somethin', Mistah!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Gimme, Gimme!

Everyone loves book giveaways as much as I do, right? ;)

Well, here's a great one from young Steph Bowe, at her blog, Hey! Teenager of the Year.

In celebration of my birthday, and reaching 500 followers, I am giving away another three-book prize pack! No theme this time, just some favourite books - The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, Paper Towns by John Green and Liar by Justine Larbalestier! This competition is open internationally, and closes on February the 14th. Get your entries in quick, and spread the word for extra entries!

So if you'd like to win these great books, get on over to her site and enter to win!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fight Blogfest!

Mornin', y'all! So I sort of forgot about the fight blogfest post I had scheduled yesterday morning, but a burning question was just killing me. Thanks, everyone, for your input. It's given me a lot to think about.

Okay, so this is from my current wip, Parallel. There are some actual action scenes, but I prefer a good old argument any day to an action fight. The fight scenes from Parallel are pretty long, anyway. This is an urban fantasy, not a YA, so it's a little different than the other novels I've posted snippets of. It's a little weird and racy, but I like where it's going.

In this scene, Mel has left the rest of her team to search out a powerful witch she thinks can help them stay hidden from the Divided, evil demons intent on destroying the world (what did you expect evil demons to do, lol?) When Mel finds this witch, she gets much, much more than she bargained for.
And, yes, the other character in the scene is who you think he is. ;) In case you were wondering.


Lying back, I start counting the minutes until Rana's return as the warmth of her body fades from the sheets. I listen to the sound of the insects, the lemurs in the jungle searching for mates, and see my lemur, the one I brought back from death, only the lights of his eyes from the same branch. When the chill makes me pull the blankets tight, I realize I’m not alone.

“Who’s there?” I call, forcing my voice to sound fiercer than I feel here without my Rana. “Show yourself!”

“It’s only me, Mel."

Anubis appears from behind the curtains at the foot of the bed.

“What are you doing here?” I ask, my voice a hushed scream.

He raises a charcoal brow. “I could ask you the same thing.”

“Forget it. I don’t have to answer to you.”

“I know you don’t." He shakes his head, disappointment evident in his black eyes. But what do I care for his disappointment? He never treated me half as well as Rana has in just the one day we’ve been together.

I get up, wrapping the silk sheets around me in a modest toga. “So are you going to tell me why you’re here?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” he asks, his look incredulous. “I came to make sure you survived your little joyride through the nexus. It took me hours to try to track you, but there was no sign of where you’d gone.”

I try clumsily to cross my arms without losing my grip on the sheet. “Way to have some faith in my abilities. I survived just fine, thanks. In fact, I’m better than I was before. Rana showed me how to tap into the power of the nexus point, just like she does. She can see them, too, you know. I’m not alone.”

“Mel, you were never alone,” he says, stepping closer. I back away and his face becomes a funerary sculpture. “If you won’t think of me, think of your friends who worried about you. It was Georgia who presumed where you’d gone.”

Georgia. “I guess she knows me better than I thought,” I say, avoiding his eyes. “Better than you do,” I add in a whisper.

“Mel,” he murmurs as he scoops me into his arms with supernatural speed, “that’s only because you haven’t given me the chance. I want to know you inside and out.”

“By binding me to you?" I practically spit the words at him, struggling out of his grasp. He lets me go with a sigh and I fall on my ass, sheets tangled around my legs. Anubis leans down to offer an apologetic hand up, but I stand up on my own, leaving the sheets in a mess on the ground. He stares at my naked body, covered with red marks, the signs of Rana’s love. I drop my arms to the sides so that he can see, unashamed of that love.

“As if she’s done anything less,” he says after an awkward moment of silence.

“What does that mean?” I tap a bare foot on the ground, hoping he’ll get to the point, but that just makes him angry.

“It means she’s enchanted you,” he says with a shake of his jackal-eared head--even the ends of his black hair shiver with pent up anger. “Look at yourself, Mel; naked in the jungle letting some old witch paw all over you. What’s she done to you?”

I pick up the sheet and press it to my chest. “I made a deal. After I’ve paid what I promised, she said she’d teach me to trap a demon.”

His eyes are cool slits. “And you think she’s telling you the truth?”

How can he stand there and say such things about my sweet Rana? The nerve! He’s just taking out his jealousy, trying to trick me into leaving her. “She loves me,” I insist. “She wouldn’t lie to me.”

“It’s obvious that there’s no reasoning with you like this,” he says with a disgusted sigh. “Please, Mel, just tell me you’ll call on me before she makes you do something you’ll regret, or worse, that gets you killed.”

Killed? That’s a laugh. I’ve never felt so safe as I do when she’s around. “Rana would never do anything to hurt me. I told you, she cares for me; she doesn’t want to own me like you. Now go and leave us in peace.”

He stands his ground, folding his arms across his chest. “I’ll go,” he says, not looking as if he actually will. “But it’s not possessiveness that brought me here. I was worried about you.”

“Maybe you’re just jealous.”

“Jealous?!" His nostrils flare and the heat of his rage wash over me. Retreating from him, I back up so far the backs of my knees hit the bed and buckle. I sit, shocked into silence. Black light radiates from his skin, shining like the surface of an oil slick in the sun. “Jealous? I am a god, mortal! Gods are never jealous!”

“You mean like your father?” I shout, interrupting his rant. I just wish he’d go. I can smell Rana on the bed and long for her return. “I never cared for you, Anubis. I used you, to see if being with you would give me the extra strength I needed to get here. It was worth it.”

“I don’t believe you,” Anubis says after a moment’s silence. “You are a complicated and selfish woman, but you aren’t cruel.”

“Believe it or not, it’s the truth,” I lie. I want him gone. He makes my head hurt, makes me forget the color of Rana’s eyes. The scent of his musky skin threatens to drive Rana’s smell from my memory. “Now will you leave?"

Anubis’s high chin sinks and his eyes close. “Go to hell,” he says, all his anger spent. He fades into the shadows.

I hug my knees to my chest and shiver in the bed, wishing for my Rana to come home to me soon.

When she finally does return she smells of alcohol and sweat, but I don’t care. I only long to hear her voice again, to be consumed by her love. I don’t even want to think about Anubis.

Soothed by Rana’s voice, I snuggle into her, kissing her like I’m a toddler. As intent on forgetting about Anubis as I am, I don’t ask Rana where she’s been, or even think to ask if she enjoyed her trip through the nexus. Instead, I let her hold me close. She’s humming a little lullaby. Rana caresses me until that feeling of security, of absolute safety, returns. But I can’t sleep. The bright, unblinking eyes of the lemur stare out of the night, howling for a mate who will never answer.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Where's Your Breaking Point?

So it's getting closer and closer to Mardi Gras day and the city is charged, electric. Add in the fact that Louisianians from outside Orleans parish and football fans from everywhere else are coming in to watch the Superbowl this weekend, and it's getting a bit congested in my little city.

The party atmosphere is pervasive-- everywhere but the roads, where tensions run as high as they always do, only there are twice as many of us. And I'd need to get on the streetcar at 7:45 to get to Canal St. before the Griswolds* slow everything down. The closer it gets to Fat Tuesday, the harder it gets to cross Bourbon, and if I want to get home quickly, I have to. It's enough to make you want to scream.

So I understand the people who decide that staying in town through Mardi Gras isn't worth it. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who live in the French Quarter, and frankly, if I did, I'd seriously think of leaving town, too. A lot of Griswolds treat the Quarter like it's their own personal toilet, or whore-house, or sleazy motel-room--during carnival and the rest of the year--which would definitely drive me crazy if I had to come out of my house to find someone passed out in their own vomit on my sidewalk. That would be the straw that broke the camel's back.

This and my recent post about Hush, Hush got me thinking about a topic that's been pretty popular on writing blogs lately--

Where is your breaking point? As in, what makes you quit reading a book? How much will you put up with just to find out how a book ends? Will lackluster plot/characters/style keep you from even caring how it ends at all?

I don't care if the reasons are shallow or profound, because there are plenty of shallow reasons that I've left books unfinished. I used to hate to read the classics because my dad had old versions with very small print that very close together. Honestly, typeface is one of the biggest detractors. Second is wimpy heroines, and third would be that nothing of interest is going on. I've never actually thrown a book across the room, but I've definitely wanted to.

So tell me, my dear bloggers. Where's your breaking point?

Tune in tomorrow for my Fight Scene Blogfest Offering!

*slang for tourists, alternatively called "tourons" by some, as in Clark W. Griswold, the most famous touron of them all