Thursday, October 29, 2009

Funny Bunnies

Remind me never to go to Sotheby's. I lost the second eBay auction. This time, the seller's 2 cents worth sold for 23 cents. However! My experiment was not a total waste of time because while I was preoccupied with searching for alternative ways of coming up with new story ideas, I came up with a new idea on my own! This does not surprise me at all because I usually get my best ideas when I'm not trying. The creative part of my brain often behaves like an obstinate toddler. If I distract it with something shiny or noisy, more often than not, a little nugget of inspiration will slip through the cracks.

So, in conclusion, boys and girls, buying ideas off eBay isn't really necessary. In the future, I'll stick to more traditional methods like eavesdropping, consulting my Magic Eight Ball, candy binges, and exploiting oddball relatives.

For now, all I can tell you about my new story idea is that it involves rabbits. While doing some wascally wabbit weesearch, I came across these funny bunnies.


A real life Furby!
I believe this is an anti-social cottonball.

Cute or creepy? You decide.

Be afraid, children. Be verrrry afraid.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pimp my bookcart

Hurry! The 2009 contest ends October 31st! Go here for contest rules.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Gifted muse for hire?

Kids and adults ask me all the time where I get my story ideas. I’m pretty sure any writer will tell you that ideas come from all kinds of places. I believe that I have some kind of invisible antenna attached to my head and it’s always on high alert. It scans conversations, crowds, text, music, thoughts, and even smells for story seeds. Some seeds end up being rotten and never sprout. Others produce droopy, lackluster results. But once in a while the antenna will pick up on a story seed that quickly becomes a bean stalk. It takes on a life of its own –reaching, twisting, blooming.

In just ten measly minutes of surfing eBay this afternoon I found listings for a magical treasure chest, a Snoopy shaped potato, a bottle of air, and tater tot earrings. Any one of these items could become the seed for a story.

I can’t say why, but I found this listing’s simplicity and honesty rather refreshing:

Sheet of paper with a red “one” on it

(And in case you’re wondering, his other auctions featured numbers 2-5. I’m not sure if he takes custom orders so if you’re partial to numbers 6 or 7, you might be out of luck.)

If I’m still not feeling inspired by the plethora of oddly shaped corn flakes or haunted dolls for sale on eBay, I could always take my chances on the “gifted muse for hire” (item # 320434007570). For a mere $50 an hour, I can enlist the services of a muse and she will help me find new ideas.

But $50 is a little steep for my budget. Instead, I’ve decided to give a guy who's selling "his two cents" a shot at my next story idea. Bidding started at 2 cents. The auction states:

I will be happy to give you "My Two Cents Worth" here's what you do...
1) Buy auction
2) Send me an email with anything you would like me to comment on
3) I will send you "My Two Cents Worth"

If I win, I’m going to ask what my next book should be about. Right now, I have the winning bid (7 cents). If this guy works out, in the future when people ask me where I get my ideas I’ll be able to tell them I buy them on eBay.

I’ll keep you posted…


Criminy. I was outbid. It seems the going rate for someone's 2 cents is 17 cents. I'm going to give it one more shot. The seller has relisted and the auction ends in 4 days.

stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October Book Signing Event

After a looong and laaazy summer, it's time for me to get back to work!
I will be signing books at an Educator Appreciation Event on Saturday, October 10th from 11:00 am to 1:00pm at the Barnes & Noble in Saginaw.

If you just so happen to be driving along Tittabawassee Road in Saginaw this Saturday, please stop in to say "hello!"

Friday, October 2, 2009

And the winner of the cross-marketing book contest is....

Boni Ashburn for her HUSH LITTLE DRAGON entries! Congratulations, Boni! The world's only instant pets will be on their way to delight and entertain you and your family very soon! When your Sea Monkeys hatch, please do let us know if they grow up looking like this: This amazing Queen of the Sea Monkeys was painted by the incredibly talented artist Travis Louie.

And now for my favorite Sea Monkey cautionary tale…a few years ago my 4 adorable nieces were raising their own frolicsome colony of Sea Monkeys, and just like the advertisement claimed, these “most adorable pets” were bringing smiles and laughter and fun into their home.

That is, until tragedy struck on Pancake Sunday.

For some inexplicable reason, the pancake making ritual is one that never grows old with young children. My bright-eyed, hungry nieces were gathered around the hot griddle watching the flesh-colored batter bubble and rise, when adorable niece #3 - pictured here in disguise to protect her identity-

knocked over the bowlful of happiness that was placed in an ill-fated location on the kitchen counter - just inches away from the electrified skillet.

If you think you know where this story is headed, you’re right.

The idyllic Pancake Sunday scene took a very ugly, horrifying turn as dozens of innocent Sea Monkeys popped and sizzled and steamed on the hot griddle. Amid the screams of my young nieces, several futile attempts were made to save the tiny victims with a sticky spatula, but of course, it was too late. They were cooked…or grilled, if you will.

The Bisquick and Brine Massacre story is legendary in our family – likely to be passed on for generations to come. So, it’s true. These playful pets really can, and do, bring smiles and laughter into your home.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest!