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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mini Goddamn Deadlines

Not only does this represent how I've felt lately,
but this is the Manitou Incline.

I *may* have agreed to do this.
I reserve the right to change my goddamn mind.
One month has been frittered away due to brain mutiny. We're now closing in on July and with my *new* goddamn deadline just two months away, I feel a need to take action.

I need mini goddamn deadlines.

This week, I am gonna be in Colorado visiting a close friend. So, starting any new kind of regimen (besides trying to adjust to a new time zone) is probably out of the question. Besides, she's planning on having me do some crazy ass stuff like climbing the Manitou Incline. Oh, shit.

So, here's what I'm proposing starting the week of July 4th:

I'm going edit 4 chapters a week. 

There are currently 36 chapters to do in 9 weeks. Considering I wrote the majority of the book in 2 months, I see no reason why I can't make this happen.

It may involve me letting go of my lazy wake-ups that I've taken on since the concussion and get my bum back into my 5am wake-ups. (Shhh. Don't tell anyone, but I'm kinda looking forward to that.)

So that I keep in line with my word, I plan on posting my progress on my facebook author page. If you want to know if I'm keeping up my end of the bargain, check me out there.

This way, it's just one more way to be held accountable. ;)

What are your goals/plans? Are there any that I could help hold you accountable with?

Monday, June 27, 2011

I want to know the color of your soul, amongst other things. TAGAWARDS!

Translation: Try to be silly, dammit
The superbly funny & aspirational Lyn Midnight (of Lyn Midnight against the Odds) thought it would be an interesting test of faith er... brain power... to tag me on her blog today.  Since she just had a sooper cool interview over at Elizabeth Sogard's blog (HER FIRST EVER!), she's inspired me to follow through. 


Because I need to write something-- Lyn said so. 

I read it in that interview. 

Ordinarily, this is a bit of advice that I adhere to anyway. But my wee brain has been fried since the concussion-o-rama back on June 5th. (Though... my mind... or lack thereof... is returning and I don't think this excuse is going to pass gas-- uh, hold weight much longer. Or so I've been told.)

Anyhoo... Since Lyn is awesome, I've decided to comply. Why the hell not? Her questions alone are freakin' hilarious. 

I'm supposed to tag 8 cool peeps that I would like to know the answers to the off the wall questions that I've answered below... 

So here goes:

2. Kara
5. Gina

Tag! You guys are now it!

Crazy Questions

If you were a vampire, which celebrity would you first sink your teeth into?

If I were a vampire... would I care if I was sinking my teeth into a celebrity or the first dude that walked by? Somehow, I doubt it would matter.

Besides, celebrities live far, far away from the Soggy Marshlands of MN. It would take way too long, with way too much effort to locate a celebrity. Much less... uh, eat one. ;)

What’s your middle name? No, not your real middle name, your MIDDLE name.

The middle name bestowed upon me from my kick-ass CRITS group is Hummingbird. 

Carissa Hummingbird Elg.

Has a nice ring. Makes my short ass last name seem not so freakin' short. Nah, it really doesn't.

How about this: Seems docile and whatnot, doesn't it?  

Never underestimate the pervy power of women when they get together to bullshit. Yep, it's totally how we roll. Besides, you can't be a pompous ass about your own work when your middle name is Hummingbird and the lady next to you is Peacock. Know what I'm sayin'? Just not possible. 

You’re stranded on an island. There’s a monkey with you there, but he’s not too chatty. You also have a ball at your disposal. A ship passes by, but it’s daylight. How will you attract their attention?

Wait, wait... WAIT! Just one damn minute! There are crucial bits of information missing from this hypothetical!

A.) Did I CHOOSE to be on said island? 

The fact that we are trying to "attract the attention" of the ship implies not. But then again, "attract attention" doesn't imply -- "HEY! I want the fuck off this island!", either. I could just be, "Quick monkey, let's wave to the nice people on the ship!"

If I chose to be there, then I obviously don't care about the ship beyond the proverbial high-fiver. 

Now... If this was a LOST type deal... then, I think I have more reason for concern. There could be crazy beasties or weird people in hatches and shit like that. THAT implies "get me the fuck off this island!" In which case, I'd be searching for a way off long before said ship sailed by. Probably would have slaughtered said monkey and used his fat to light a fire on his bones. (No, not really. Yeesh, I can't even kill a freakin' spider-- I usher them outside, like the big pansy I am.)

Some balls aren't meant to be talked to.
Wait... what?
B.) What kind of monkey is it? Some monkeys are totally cool. The fact that he's not too chatty doesn't bug me. It would still be better than talking to a volleyball with a bloody freakin' face painted on it. Know what I'm sayin'? ;)

C.) What kind of ball is it? This seems important. Is it a beach ball? The dreaded volleyball? Or is it a damn golf ball? WHAT KIND OF BALL?!

D.) A ship passes by... You guessed it... What kind of ship? The RMS Titanic (in which case, I'm screwed) or is it some sort of creepy paddle type thing. The word ship implies big, so I'm going to throw out the paddle crap. 

God, I've totally forgotten what the hell we were talking about. 

Oh, right. 

Attracting the attention of the ship. Screw it, forget the monkey and the ball. 

I'd just go topless. That gets attention. Right?

What are you secretly afraid of? And what are you REALLY afraid of?

Secretly afraid of: Failure. 

REALLY afraid of: Sucking so bad that the entire universe implodes upon itself due to the awesomeness of my suckage. Ginormous Carissa Hummingbird Black Hole of DOOM!

Describe your best friend in five words.

Genius. Organized. Brave. Encouraging. Neurotic (like me!).

What’s your current favorite song? What about the annoying one stuck in your head?

Awake and Alive, by Skillet is hands down, my favorite song ATM. Not only does it resonate with my characters in Pendomus, but with me as a person. Plus, who doesn't love orchestra and metal? I mean, really!?

Annoying song: Born this Way, by Ms. Gaga. Damn thing gets stuck in my head at the most inopportune times. Probably because it sounds like every other song I grew up with all meshed together. 

What’s the last movie you watched? Was it good? (Fishing for recommendations.)


Of course, it was good. It's freakin' TITANIC. 

When it came out, I watched this sucker an obnoxious 10 times. In the theater. James Cameron, somehow managed to not only suck out my soul, but every last dollar from my wallet. 

Side note: I'm a total fibber. I actually worked for the local movie theater at the time and got in free. But even if I didn't I would've seen it an obnoxious 10 times. I've always been enthralled with Titanic. Always. 

I even gave birth to my daughter at the time the last of the lifeboats were being launched (April 15th at 12:45am) -- just 98 years later! 

Oh, my god. I'm such a geek.

About the 8

How did you meet #1?

Twitter, of course. I can't remember who "followed" who first. However, the first time Kendall's tourette syndromesque cock rants started flying, I knew we'd be fast friends. She's not ashamed to be herself and embrace her cockiness. ;)

What did you and #2 last talk about?

Critiquing stuff. Kara's a book blogger genius extraordinaire and I trust her wisdom. You should, too!

Would you want to be stuck on an island with #3?

OH! Colin's the monkey from the island question! That makes more sense! Wait, what? 


All joking aside, Colin seems like a sooper nice guy. As long as he brought cake, we'll be juuuust fine. ;)

Does #4 remind you of someone?

Yep. T.S. reminds me a lot of me, actually!  I absolutely adore her. 

What was your first impression of #5?

"This woman is hilarious!" Seriously, Gina has a fun, fresh way of speaking! If you're not following her on twitter, you should!

From 1-10, how cool is #6?

Steven's pretty awesome. I'm gonna have to lay it down at a solid 9. He needs to chat with me more to bump it up to 10, though.

Why did you tag #7?

I tagged Cherie because this woman never ceases to amaze me. She's constantly on the go... Pin her down, quick! 

Do you want to thank #8 about anything?

I want to thank Anita for her utter kindness. She's probably the nicest person you will meet. And she likes cake as much as I do. Right, Colin? ;) 

BTW- this post has nothing to do with the color of my soul. But if I had to choose... it would be black. Why? Because in order to get black, you have to use every color in the rainbow. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Let the illustrations... begin!

Thanks are definitely in order.

After sending a call out to for an illustrator, I had four fabulous people interested. Two were people who found me in the Twitterverse and two were awesome people I already had in my life. It was a tough decision in many ways and I really want to thank each of them for being interested. Every single one of them are talented and super to deal with!

Rough sketch, my ass. Look at the detailed coloration!
In the end, I made my decision based on the drawing I thought best suited the story. As it turns out, that person is one of the creative geniuses that are already in my life. The ironic thing is that I knew this guy was talented, but I had no clue just HOW talented. I am absolutely in awe of the work he put into his "rough sketch". ------------->

Don't you agree?

(No, you can't have him. I'm going to keep him busy, dammit!) HA!

Well, okay... that was rude of me. If you seriously wanted to chat with him... I can make a list.

Get you in contact. Drop a name. :)

At the moment, he's not taking any additional work, but as soon as he is: you can be the first to know.

At any rate... I want to thank each of the artists who submitted, again. You are all freakin' awesome.

Special thanks to my new evil illustrator mastermind.

May your wife not mind me monopolizing your artistic time. ;)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Facebook Snafu

Facebook dilemma
I've been on Facebook a long time. All my family and friends mingle with me there. It's where we try to keep in contact and stay up to date with each other.

Now that I've launched my platform as an author, I find a lot of my awesome twitter friends finding me on facebook.

I consider myself a straightforward person... Pretty much anything you want to know, just ask. But my facebook page is my real world. My kids photos are there. My best friends link with me and my family's all there. I'm just not sure that I want to mix that world with my new authorly world and I'm not sure my friends/family would like it either.
You know?

Don't get me wrong... It's an interesting dilemma to have. But one that makes me take pause and draw a line in the sand. I don't use a fake name, I have enough personas in my head already. I don't need to create a new one for myself. Besides, in the age of the internet, people could figure out who I am anyway. Especially if my books eventually do well.

So here's the thing...

I know I have a back log of you wonderful people knocking on my door to come in... and I don't want to turn you away. 


But I think I have to. 

I created an author fan page on facebook (something I didn't figure I needed since I had one for the Pendomus Chronicles).

For the sake of my friends and family, it doesn't feel right to mingle my Twitter/author world with my real world in that way.

I hope you understand and I'd love it if you'd go hang out with me on my author page. I'll still respond there and I'd love the dialogue. I'll try to keep the content different from that on Pendomus so they can both by dynamic sites own their own.

Thanks for understanding and I'll see you lovely people there!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Calling all artists!

Gettin' artsy with it
So... this may seem a bit out of the blue.

I need an illustrator.

Someone who's interested in doing art for a children's story I wrote last year, but put on the back burner because Pendomus took over my brain. Don't get me wrong... Pendomus is still calling, but my mental focus is still lacking.

Here's what happened: This cool book, "Go the F**k to Sleep" came out and it reminded me of this darling little thing I wrote last summer, called the Roar War. (Though there is no swearing. Drat!)

As I've said before, I fancy myself wonder woman. The universe, however, fancies me human. Pfft. Psh. {snort}

I come from a family of artists and always felt I could easily do the illustrations for this myself. BUT... I never have. (Obviously! Derka, derka Carissa!) I was on to bigger and better things. However, a new opportunity presented itself to me in the form of an "AHA!" moment.

I could totally collaborate with one of you amazing people! How freakin' awesome would that be!? Since I wasn't on twitter much before March of this year, this option wasn't even... well, an option. HA!

If you're interested, hit me up in the comments section here or DM me on Twitter.

We can work something out based on responses. Obviously, I'd like to see a sample of your work to see if you'd be meshy with my kind of crazy.

Let's do this thing!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Unexpected Muse

The past ten days have been an unexpected break from my norm. My routine is completely thrown into chaos. I haven't dared touch my WIP for Pendomus for fear that I'd royally screw something up. There are too many strings and I'm not about to tangle them. LOL!

Then, a few days ago Violeta Nedkova (also known as Lyn Midnight) asked me an interesting question. 

Does my muse have a name?

See, she was about to write an epic series of blogs featuring writers and their perceptions of their muse(s). If you haven't already, you need to check it out. Right now. Go here----> 

Oddly enough, she was curious about my muse and I was (quite surprisingly) tapped to submit something in 200 words or less. Being the obnoxious word gal that I am, I of course used 198 out of 200. :D

It was a great experience and just the exercise I needed to get my writing brain thinking again. Truly, it gave me a purpose to feel like I could still be productive. It may have taken me those two full days to do it, but I came around. Hopefully, it's mildly coherent. ;)

At any rate, I wanted to thank her SO MUCH for the opportunity to be a part of her fantastic idea and wonderful blog.

For this week, she was my muse, guiding me gently back into writing. Thank you.

(Plus, I found out she's an Avatar geek like me. YAY!)

Friday, June 10, 2011

UPDATE: Brain Mutiny.

This is my brain on concussion.

The weirdest things happen to me. I swear it.

So, uh... yeah...

Remember that brain thing I was talking about earlier in the week? Well, turns out, it's mutinied and I've been officially overthrown.

That little knock on the noggin that gave me some great insights into the long term ramifications on Pendomus... also wreaked havoc on the inner workings of my cortex.

Hellooooo concussion. 

It was one of those eureka type moments when all the weird stuff I've been thinking and feeling came into focus. I was talking with my hubby and he flippantly remarked, "Maybe you gave yourself a concussion. Hee hee."

The cracked lightbulb inside my head flickered briefly and I looked up the symptoms.

Guess what? They were talking about me behind my back!

  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head (Yep)
  • Temporary loss of consciousness (Duh, woke up on the floor)
  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog (Wait, what happened?)
  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event (Uh, why the hell am I waking up on the floor?)
  • Dizziness or "seeing stars" (Ya-huh)
  • Ringing in the ears (You mean, it's not allergies?)
  • Nausea or vomiting (Only at first)
  • Slurred speech (I don't THINK this is me, but HELLLO, concussion victim)
  • Fatigue (Damn, I haven't slept so good in weeks!)

Er, I mean, yes, I have these types of symptoms.

Of course, I called my doctor straight away. He then proceeded to laugh at me. Well, really, he scheduled me an appointment in the middle of his lunch hour... listened closely and THEN he could proceed to laugh at me. HA!

Basically, I'm supposed to take it easy. Stop cracking my head on hard objects and I should be back to my abnormal self in no time. (AKA a couple weeks.)

Thanks, doc.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Brain Mutiny.


So, after setting another goddamn deadline, I've been slammed with a monster head cold/allergies 1-2 punch. Good times.

I'm walking around in an utter brain fog. Seriously... What the heck?

Does this crap ever happen to you? 

Set a deadline only to have the universe bwahahahaha all over it. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it'll still be cool-- but dang, it's been a week of brain mutiny and I'm still not 100% on track. I'm not good with waiting.

I'm absolutely useless with "give it time".

Transformation is not a future event-- it's a present day activity

See my dilemma?

On an interesting, albiet bizarre side note, I had a Doc Brown (from Back to the Future) moment. Ever heard of orthostatic hypotension? Well, basically, I fainted. That's what happens when you mix lack of food with allergy pills and a hot bath. Sexy, right? {gah}

I wasn't out long, though I managed to acquire a bump on my head and bruise on my leg. You know, come to think of it, my brain fog was probably foggier thanks to it, too. ;)

Fortunately, my fainting spell enlightened me to some interesting ideas that I hadn't considered before.
("When I came to, I had a vision, an idea in my head-- a vision of the FLUX CAPACITOR!")


Anyway... pieces to the long term puzzle of Pendomus snapped into focus. Granted, I don't have the brain power to do anything but scribble the notes... but it's gonna be cool. ;)

So, if I seem standoffish in the coming days... it's probably just brainfogginess running rampant.

I'm working on rallying the forces and avoiding the all out mutiny.

What's your week/coming days lookin' like?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Another goddamn deadline

It's that time again.

Now that I've finished the first draft of Pendomus, I feel the need to reestablish a deadline.

What can I say, I'm a glutton for punishment. HA!

I'm in the process of adjusting, editing POVs, fixing typos, etc. I have a super - fantabulous critique group (CRITS RULE) and a few super - fantabulous friends who have agreed to critique it at as well. I'm so blessed to be surrounded with the amazing people I am. Every single person reading this thing brings their own unique perspective and strengths. It's fabulous! I want to let all of you know how much I appreciate your efforts and time. You mean the world to me.
(And by world, I mean both this one AND Pendomus!)

While I don't want to rush this process, I also don't want to sit in it forever. At a certain point, enough will be enough and I have to let it go. I could critique this sucker forever and... well, I don't want to!

So, without further ado, I give to you my latest Goddamn Deadline:

~September 3rd, 2011~

That gives me three months to the day to get my proverbial editorial crap together. Or in scooper? Maybe it's a heap? Eh, something like that.

By that day, ideally, I want to be sending out the first of my query letters to prospective agents.

So what do you guys think? Realistic? Unrealistic? Crazy?

Sooper cool? 

(Side note: the editor that's arisen in me thinks I should fix that... the artist in me says it's funny and leave it. How do I reconcile this?! HA!)

Hit me up! Tell me your thoughts. Is three months enough time for this insane, double-ended candle burner to get this sucker in tip-top shape?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Obnoxious me

So... I've been pondering this a while, but today was the final straw.

#WW and #FF madness, that is. 
(Twitter speak, for those of you unfamiliar. Google it.)

Wednesdays and Fridays, it's like a crazy baffoon takes over my good sense BUT I want to make sure all the cool peeps I talk to get a nod from me. It's a condition. Probably diagnosable.

While, I generally consider myself obnoxious... I guess I sorta would prefer it if you all didn't. A dear Twitter friend, Katja Rinne brought to my attention there's a better way to show my followly love.

While it makes perfect freakin' sense... I have an obnoxious fear of letting people down. (Where the hell did THAT come from, anyway? I blame my family. It's gotta be them, right?)

At any rate, thanks, in part to Katja... (and my cheerleader, Sherry who started me thinking on it originally) I am starting a new thing. Wednesdays and Fridays are still gonna be my nod to great people, but I'll be picking only 3 and I'm gonna be specific as to why you should follow them. Why 3? Well, because it's a fantastic flippin' number... and it's not overly obnoxious. HA!

The last thing I want to do is bombard you awesome people with my crazy-craziness.

Time for a new evolution in Twitter-speak from me. Hang tight.

Ideally, I'll be less obnoxious. ;)