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I Am Crazy (I Think), Or, The A to Z Blogging Challenge

I think I signed up for the challenge while only partly conscious, or maybe I was sleep-surfing-the-net that day. Who knows. The thing is, I signed up for the A to Z Blogging Challenge coming up this April and going on all month long, the goal being to blog EVERYDAY (except Sundays) with the alphabet letters as blog post prompt.

Click on badge if you want to check it out!
Funnily enough, it reminds me of this slightly embarrasing experience I had when I was 8. There was a school SINGING competition (another proof of my insanity. Didn't I tell you I can't sing to save my life? Well, apparently, I made an attempt years ago, and luckily survived to tell the story. I should totally repress this memory.) Let me say that again: A school singing competition. The whole school was out there to watch me sing. Yikes!

Ahem. Back to the story: I was in second grade, and somehow my teacher convinced me to represent the class. I still remember the white dress my mom made me wear, with matching white tights and shoes (what was with the all-white ensemble?? *scratches head*). My dad coached and helped me practice at home. The song was...The Alphabet Song. It goes something like this:

A--You're adorable
B--You're so beautiful
C--You're so cute and full of charm
D--You're a darling
E--You're exciting
F--You're the feather in my arms (I have no clue what that means. LOL! ;D )
G--You're so good to me
H--You're so heavenly
I-- You're the one I idolize
J--We're like Jack and Jill
K--You're so kissable
L--Is the love light in your eyes
M, N, O, P--I could go on all day
Q, R, S, T -- Alphabetically speaking, you're okay
U-- Make my life complete
V-- Means you're very sweet
W, X, Y, Z --It's fun to wander through the alphabet with you, to tell you what you mean to me.

~end~

Take note, I jotted this down from memory, so I may have messed up some of the actual words. I can't remember who wrote the song, or where it came from. Anyway, with the blogfest challenge coming up real soon, I think I'm going to get this song stuck in my head--what can I say, I need inspiration! Hee!

Oh, and yeah, I won third place in that competition. *wink*

So, wish me luck. We'll see how well I survive this round. Anybody else doing the challenge? Are you all ready to go, or still shuffling your feet toward the door?

Queries!

If you haven't seen me around the blogosphere, blame it on the QUERY. Such a simple word, and to someone who doesn't write, it simply means a question, or an inquiry. But if you present this word to a writer, expect this:

Photo by hang_in_there
 Or this:

Photo by surlygirl
Or maybe just something like this:

Photo by libertygrace0

Luckily for me, I have my writer friends to keep me sane. And AGENT QUERY CONNECT. Seriously, you need a query critique? Get thee to their forum, now! And don't forget to pay it forward by helping others with their query. We all know that good karma is highly useful in the querying business...well, it's not to guarantee you an agent request, but to get good, constructive feedback from other writers.

Also, the fabulous and pouty-lipped Mindy McGinnis or BBC or bigblackcat97 or... (I swear this woman has a lot of names!) of Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire has a regular Saturday Slash  where she grapples with your query and chops it down with a hatchet. Minus the blood and gore.

And then of course, there's Query Shark. But only go there if you have guts. Sharks like guts, right? (Alright, bad pun.)

Good luck with your querying endeavors, my good people! I'll just be right over here, tinkering with my own query. Ciao!

Fifth Disease, Queries, Synopses, and Pirates

Strange blog post title, I know.

The past week, my daughter came home from school with red, splotchy cheeks. It had been a very windy day, and with our family history of allergies, we thought it was merely a reaction to the high content of pollen in the air. I gave her her allergy meds, and hoped it was indeed hives and nothing more. But deep down, motherly intuition told me it was something else. Still, I was hoping it wasn't a rash. A few months back, one of my friends had told me there was a rash outbreak at her preschool where she teaches, and parents were warned not to send their kids to school if they have a rash because this illness is dangerous to pregnant women.

As if I didn't have enough to worry about. Sheesh.

Call it foreshadowing, but my friend's casual remark (yeah, I was barely pregnant at the time we had the conversation, and she didn't know it then) stuck with me. So, by the third day, when my daughter's rash showed no signs of fading despite the allergy meds, I took her to the doctor.

Fifth Disease, or sometimes known as the "slapped cheek" syndrome is supposedly a common illness among children. I say supposedly common because the people I've talked to don't even know what it is, or remember having it while they were kids. The name itself sounds oddly scary, though in reality, it is harmless to children and adults who acquire it. They may get a low-grade fever, and mild cold symptoms, but the rash doesn't bother them (non-itchy) and they feel otherwise healthy. (Unless the sick child has underlying illnesses, such as an autoimmune disease, then it could be dangerous, for obvious reasons.)

Image source


BUT! For women who are pregnant in the first half of their pregnancy (up to 20 weeks), there is the risk of a miscarriage. For those in the latter part of their pregnancy, the risk only occurs if the mother and the unborn baby both acquire it. It is said to cause severe fetal anemia, and when unmonitored, can cause premature fetal death.

Cases of fetal death are rare. Still, when I read that sentence while researching, I crumpled down in the bathroom. I couldn't help it. I'm a mother, after all. The tricky part of the disease is that you don't know you  or your kid has it until the rash shows up. But the child is contagious before the rash shows up, and no longer contagious after.  So how do you prevent yourself from getting exposed?

You can't. So, as a public service to all pregnant women out there, if you think you've been exposed to this, please call your doctor and get a blood test done. There really is no reason to panic (don't be like me) but it is good to be aware. Chances are, you already have immunity, and then you don't have anything to worry about. They can also test to see whether you acquired the virus or not, and if you do have it, they will monitor your baby through weekly ultrasounds. There's a high percentage of babies unaffected by the virus even when their mothers have it. The body has its own defenses, after all.

Waiting for a blood test result is unnerving. So to keep myself from going crazy, I tinkered with my query and wrote different lengths of synopses. How's that for productivity? *high five* Don't know if they're any good, but at least I felt I was doing something other than just waiting for my phone to ring. Then this weekend, I threw a Pirate Birthday Party for my boy, who turned 4. Ah, where did the years go? This blessed distraction afforded me laughter and smiles and peace of mind. To have kids running around the house and giggling between mouthfuls of cake...it was a reminder of how good life is and can be. Despite uncertainties we face everyday, we are gifted with the knowledge that there are certain things in life we can always count on. Such as warm hugs from my little boy who thanked me for giving him the "best party ever!"



I'll end this with a positive note: I got my results last night, and while I am NOT immune to the virus, the test shows NO sign of exposure. I still need to do a retest in two weeks' time, but for the moment, I can breathe freely.

Lucky 7!

So it seems that memes have a way of finding me. I've been tagged in a Lucky 7 meme by the super cute Ashley Nixon. Thanks, Ashley! Actually, she tagged me in TWO memes, but really, I can only do one meme at a time so the other one would have to wait. :)

 
This one is thankfully easy. No hoops or loops to go through. And trust me, with my ever growing belly, you do NOT want to see me go through HOOPS and LOOPS. Heh!

Alright, kidding aside, here are the rules:

1. Go to page 77 of your current ms.

2. Go to line 7.

3. Copy down the next 7 lines/sentences, and post them as they're written. No cheating.

4. Tag 7 other victims, er, authors.

Alright, let's see what's on page 77 of my ms "Hidden".

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She’s thin and gaunt, her cheeks a grayish hue. She can’t be much older than my mother, but the difference is striking. Crinkles on the corners of her eyes jet out like spidery legs. Wisps of lank brown hair escape her ponytail to frame her long face. She takes my hand and I can feel the calluses on her palm.

            “Elsa’s resting in her stall right now, so you won’t have to worry about upsetting her.”

            Hay needles crunch underneath my sneakers. Flies hover over a suspicious-looking

********

Well, there you have it. It's not much and doesn't give away anything, really. But I'm just following rules. Now onto the tagging. *rubs hands together*

AM Supinger

Kacimari

EM LaBonte

Dean C. Rich

David Powers King

Krista McLaughlin

Mandie Baxter

As usual, if you don't want to do the meme, no problem. I'm all for democracy here. :)

Wishing everyone a great and fabulous week!!

It's A... (drumroll, please)

BOY!!



*tosses confetti*

Hooray! Hooray!

Confession: I was totally surprised. I was convinced I was carrying a girl. So much for mom's intuition, eh? *snort* I was right with both of my older kids, so I guess my overconfidence derailed me. But no matter, I AM HAPPY! And EXCITED! It's a baby boy! (Now if only I'm good at finding boy names. I already had girl names in mind, but alas! I can't use them. Hmmm...)

Anyway, as promised, we have a WINNER!! I drew out this name from the boy camp list, so

CONGRATS to MARYBK!!!

Email me at writercherie AT gmail DOT com, and let me know which prize you want: a $10 iTunes gift card, OR, a first chapter crit.

As for all of you who participated in my little celebration: THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this special moment with me. Love ya, guys! :)

Let's Have Some Fun, Baby!

Alright, people! Let's do something fun this beautiful Monday morning. Yes, believe it or not, it's a lovely day outside, and I feel like Spring's on its way here. (Ack! I hope I didn't jinx the weather :S)

On Wednesday, I'm going to find out whether I'm having a BOY or a GIRL baby (or bunny, as my 3-year-old pointed out when we were discussing it). So! Here's a little game for you with a mini-prize for fun:

You GUESS which one I'm having. That's right. We'll have a GIRL camp and a BOY camp, and come Thursday, whoever falls under the correct camp, I'll draw a winner from the names. The prize?

Hmmm...well, let's say the winner gets to choose between two mini-prizes:

Prize 1: A $10 iTunes gift card ('cause I know you all like to listen to music while writing)

Prize 2: A First Chapter Critique

That's it! Easy-peasy. Let's shake things up around here, eh? :) Happy guessing! 

Source

Book Spotlight: STIFF: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach




I'm taking a leap away from fiction, and diving into the works of my favorite non-fiction author of all-time: Ms. Mary Roach. Here is where you'll see my geekiness show through. Hee!

About the Author:

Mary Roach is the author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers and Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife. Her writing has appeared in such publications as Salon, GQ, Vogue, and the New York Times Magazine. She lives in Oakland, California.

You can find her website here.

The Book:
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

          Oddly compelling and often hilarious, Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them. (Blurb and image from Goodreads.)

*****
Ms. Roach's writing endeavors to deliver facts with humor tacked on--because everybody knows humor makes everything ten thousand times better, right? She gets into the nitty-gritty aspect of science and reality--what really happens to our body when we're dead? If you're squeamish, this may not be the book for you, though I'd still urge you--and anyone else--to give it a try. It's the kind of science writing that's guaranteed to keep you awake (no boring lectures here) and make you "curiouser and curioser". ;)

Precy Larkins's books on Goodreads
Winter's Regret: What Might Have Been Winter's Regret: What Might Have Been
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ratings: 4 (avg rating 5.00)

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BOOKS!!

Precy's bookshelf: read

Whispering Minds
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Night of Cake & Puppets
The Fault in Our Stars
The Return of the King
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Last Olympian
The Hundred: Fall of the Wents
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The Hunger Games
Wonder
The Founders' Code
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The Two Towers
The Book Thief
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
The Lost Hero
Divergent
The Battle of the Labyrinth


Precy Larkins's favorite books »