Beauty standards and cultural norms.

Well the heat wave has finally broken (for now.) and the AC at work is being replaced! *happy dance of joy*

And now that my neutrons are firing again, I can deliver on the something interesting that I promised last time.

Here it is: How to trick people into thinking you're really good looking. (warning, language and content)

The really interesting thing about this video is that, since I work in a coffee shop on a university campus, I get to see a lot of college girls. And what struck me was how similar the girl in the video looks to a lot of my customers. I have never heard our standard of beauty for young women so clearly defined.

Bleached hair + tan + heavy eye makeup +fake eyelashes = cultural norm.

At least half my regular college-girl customers look EXACTLY like that. And it got me thinking.

What are some other standards of beauty in the U.S? And are these standards common in places like Canada and Australia?

What do you think?

Air conditioner's broken at work again.

Which means my brain is kind of like this:

And my edits haven't come yet, so I'm overheated, bored and brain-dead. So I'm afraid you get kittens again.

I promise to be interesting once this darn heat goes away.

How's everyone else's end-of-summer going?

PS, The thunderstorm from yesterday left no lasting damage. Thanks for all the good wishes, everyone!

There's a storm coming!

High winds, lighting and a fire warning to boot. The Internet is down at our house, other people have lost power and Husband and I are holed up at the mall awaiting the zombie apocolypse.

(The lights just flickered. I'd better hurry.)

Here's a blurry picture of the clouds surrounding us.

If we survive, and a tree doesn't fall on our house, I'll be back tomorrow sometime. In the meantime, stay safe, East Coasters and anyone else in the path of a storm.

*hears noise*

Um... the wheat field across the road and up the hill just caught on fire...I should probably go.

See you tomorrow!

PS. I'm not in any danger myself right now. The fire is on the other side of the hill and we'll have plenty of time to get away if it comes closer. Still, it's a bit freaky...

So it's Thursday...

And not Wednesday. And I left my house at 6:30 yesterday morning and haven't been home yet, so today's post will be short and sweet.

Sometimes I need to carve out some introvert time when visiting my family, and it usually involves me on the computer watching something random. This time it was Animals Being D*cks...

Hovercat attacks! Bwahahahahaha!

And online episodes of TNT's Rizzoli and Isles.

Awesomesauce. And the series by Tess Gerritsen is also awesomesauce.

How about you? What do you do to zone out?

Monday blankness and something cute

*tries to think of blog post*

*tries harder*

Yeah. I got nothing today.

Fortunately, I have prepared for just such an eventuality. Behold! THE CUTEST KITTEN IN THE WORLD.

And now that you've forgotten all about me, I'll just sneak away quietly....

*sneaks off*

*falls asleep*

(Kitten video found at Cuteoverload. Naturally.)

Six on Saturday (or good news/bad news)


1. I want to say something about my last week at work, but all that comes to mind is "HOLY. FRICKIN. CRAP." which seems a bit vague. Suffice it to say it was 35 hours of insanity on one of the most insane weeks of the year.

2. I also work 30+ hours next week (first week of school), and I'm going up north to visit family on my day off. So brain death--and my future life as a zombie--is pretty immanent.

(2.5. Speaking of zombies, this is the most EPIC thing I've seen all month. Zombie wedding photos!)

3. For obvious reasons, blogging next week will be mostly short and silly and I probably won't be around that much.


4. I GOT A NEW LAPTOP!!!  *happy dance* I cannot even tell you how amazing that is after a summer of sharing Husband's desktop. And it's especially good news because...

5. I'm supposed to start edits next week! *happy dance x10!*  I've been praying that the edits wouldn't show up before I could replace the laptop, so the timing on that couldn't be better. And I'm excited to get back to work on House of a Thousand Dolls.  I don't really know what to expect, but here it comes, ready...

found at seniorgif

...or not.

found at CuteOverload

And finally #6. John over at Running After My Hat, sent me this cartoon he found, which is both hilarious and completely true.

found at Rhymes with Orange

Well played John. Well played indeed.

How about you? How's your week shaping up?

Songs for summer, part 2

Are you at Writeoncon?


*ahem* Moving on...

As I said on Saturday, there are two songs stuck in my head these days. This is the second one.

King of Anything
by Sara Bareilles

I love everything about this song/video: the spoon-and-fork piano at the beginning,  the sassy feel of the song and the lyrics. Especially the lyrics. Sometimes this is EXACTLY what I want to say to people.

Keep drinking coffee, stare me down across the table
While I look outside
So many things I'd say if only I were able
But I just keep quiet and count the cars that pass by

You've got opinions, man, we're all entitled to 'em
But I never asked

So let me thank you for your time and try not to waste any more of mine
Get out of here fast

I hate to break it to you babe, but I'm not drowning
There's no one here to save

Who cares if you disagree? You are not me
Who made you king of anything?
So, you dare tell me who to be
Who died and made you king of anything?

You sound so innocent, all full of good intent
Swear you know best

But you expect me to jump up onboard with you
Ride off into your delusional sunset

I'm not the one who's lost,with no direction, oh
But you'll never see

You're so busy making maps with my name on them in all caps
You've got the talking down
Just not the listening

Who cares if you disagree? You are not me
Who made you king of anything?
So you dare tell me who to be
Who died and made you king of anything?

All my life I've tried to make everybody happy while I
Just hurt and hide
Waiting for someone to tell me it's my turn
To decide

Who cares if you disagree? You are not me
Who made you king of anything?
So you dare tell me who to be
Who died and made you king of anything?

Do you have any sassy songs to recommend?

OMG Writeoncon!

I was about to post another song for summer, and I realized I forgot something very important.


For those of you who don't know, Writeoncon is a free online children's writers conference. They post videos and webinars, do live chats with agents and editors and feature all kinds of awesome writing articles. They also have forums where you can get feedback from other conference goers and find critique partners!

In short, Writeoncon is full of awesome. And it runs Tuesday – Thursday, August 16 – 18, 2011

Click here to register!

P.S. If you're still on the fence about it, I have two words for you.

Ninja. Agents. 

I wonder how many of them would fit into a Jazz?

Songs for summer, part 1

Every now and then a song gets stuck in my head and never goes away. This summer there were two of them. One is mine and one is Nisha's.

Nisha is the main character is The House of a Thousand Dolls. She makes a lot of mistakes in that book that she has to deal with in the sequel I'm currently writing. And unlike some of my other characters she's never had a song.

Until now.

(Note, I used this video because it's the long version, but if you want to see the artist singing it, that video is here.)

Here are the lyrics.

What I've Done
(originally performed by Linkin Park)

In this farewell
There's no blood. there's no alibi
‘Cause I’ve drawn regret
From the truth of a thousand lies
So let mercy come
And wash away

What I’ve done
I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

Put to rest
What you thought of me
While I clean this slate
With the hands of uncertainty
So let mercy come
And wash away

What I’ve done
I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

I’ll start again
And whatever pain may come
Today this ends
I’m forgiving
What I’ve done

What I’ve done
I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

What I’ve done...

What do you think? Any songs stuck in YOUR head lately?

Social Media Linkfest! (and a terrifying owl)

This has nothing to do with social media, but it is quite possibly the scariest thing I've seen all week. Especially the last ten seconds.



One of the things I do on my annual blogging break is work on updating all my social media sites, tweaking them, and making sure everything looks clean and neat.

It's kind of like spring cleaning for the Internet.

(Please note, I found this picture here. My house looks NOTHING LIKE THIS. And the last time I wore shoes like that, I fell into the wall.)

So here are all the places you can find me:

Facebook: I've taken the Twitter feed off of my Facebook Page, which for some reason makes the blog feed work much better. If you're on Facebook and you want to see things like contract pictures and links to blog posts, this is a good place to be.

Twitter: I'm mostly caught up on followers over here. I try to follow people who follow me as much as possible, with a few exceptions. I don't follow people who only post self-promotional posts, for example. Or people who only post shoe sale links. (And sometimes people fall through the cracks, sadly) Anyway, if you want some really random thoughts, this is where you find them.

Tumblr:  This one is new for me, and I'm still working on it. Basically, this is where I keep things I find funny or interesting. Expect a lot of pictures of faces, BBC shows and nature photos. Also sometimes books and dragons will make an appearance.

Goodreads: This is the one I'm most excited about. Someone put my book on Goodreads, you guys. Like a REAL BOOK! Like a real book-shaped book thing! And people have already marked it to-read!


So now I'm a Goodreads author, which means my blog feeds over there as well. I usually only use Goodreads to keep track of books I've read, but I'm interested to play around with the new stuff and see what I can find.

So that's me. But what I want to know, is where can we find YOU? What are your current social media sites? (feel free to leave links!) And why?

Where are you these days?

PS. I am also on Google+, but I'm not really active yet. Still waiting for it to develop a bit more...

Monday Quote

I cannot get this out of my head.

"Nobody will protect you from your suffering. 
"You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live though it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal."

Read the whole post here:  DEAR SUGAR, The Rumpus Advice Column #44

(via Janet Reid)
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Fabric art in the header by Carol Riggs.