Monday, August 29, 2011

It's Official: I Have a Multiple Personality Disorder

I found this fun site called I Write Like You plug in a sample of your writing and it tells you what famous author you write like. I have no idea how this works. It's great for those days when you have so much to do that you're overwhelmed and don't want to do anything.

So I plugged in both Blowout and Merrily We Roll Along fully expecting to see Erma Bombeck. Instead I got

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

I have no idea who David Foster Wallace is. Was he funny? Did he write like a middle-aged housewife in support hose?

So I thought I would try something else. I plugged in Charity and I got:

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Didn't he write horror? I had no idea that my criticism of celebrity charity was in the horror vein. That's far more critical than what I had to say.

So then I try Frankie, Squeeze My Rubber Duckie only to get:

I write like
Cory Doctorow
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

I never heard of him either, but a search on Wikipedia - as a college student I am obligated to warn others that Wikipedia is not recognized by any college or university as being reliable which really I don't care about other than it makes it a pain to not use it in my essay bibliographies - reveals that Cory wears a red cape and goggles.

So then I plugged in And then shall many be offended and got:

I write like
Dan Brown
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Score! Although it's interesting that my rant is similar to a multi-bajillion selling author. Interestingly, it's the only blog post that made me money. Hmmm. Similarities? Maybe I should write more raving lunatic rants.

I thought it would be fun to ask Aunt Madge to do this too and she got:

I write like
Chuck Palahniuk
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Which made her reply - "With a name like Chuck there's bound to be something wrong with him. He should write me for advice." I pointed out to her after looking him up on trusty Wikipedia that he was the author of Fight Club and that he's been called a nihilist to which she replied that she didn't know what that meant. When I explained that according to trusty Wiki it meant "without purpose" she stomped away, muttering under her breath.

So I decided to go back to me and I posted an excerpt from my book Roses and Daisies a charming inspirational love story about a heartbroken woman who runs away from home.

I write like
Stephen King
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Yes, the master of horror and the second one on the list. When I plugged in another of my chik lit novels it came back to Lovecraft. Is there something in the universe trying to tell me something?

Okay, so I thought I would try one of my juvenile fiction novels.

I write like
Anne Rice
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

The vampire lady long before Stephenie Meyers.

Okay, so it's determined that for some reason I like horror. What will it say to my middle grade book "Witches Brew-ha-ha".

I write like
J. K. Rowling
I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

Really! Really! The richest writer in the world! I am dancing. I just need to send that one out and wait for the money to pour in.

Virtual Blog Tour

I have reviewed Sleight of Hand by Deanne Blackhurst. To read this review and others go to Views From Hobbit Hole.
                                          Sleight of Hand by Deanne Blackhurst Review

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

From the Annamaniacs Files 2005: Blowout

In keeping with this vacation theme I have going because I can't go on vacation and everyone I know is, I'm posting this from my files. I wrote this back when I had a career, or the beginnings of one. A weekly humor column, a novel about to be published, the money to go further than my back yard. Hope you enjoy and please leave comments. I'm trying to break the World Guiness Record for most comments posted to a blog. I only have about two billion more to go.


Warning: Shameless plug ahead!
I was heading south through Montana, on my way to a booksellers convention in Salt Lake City to promote my first novel, “Roses and Daisies”.

Not that I actually had a book to sign. It’s not due out until October, but I was kind of like a trailer in a movie theater — “coming soon to a bookstore near you. The sorrow, the hilarity, the romance, the mystery – don’t miss it.”

Shameless plug over, now on to the rest of the story. Hey, by the way, does anyone else remember that guy on the radio who would tell “the rest of the story?” No? Never mind. Hey, does anyone else remember Rosanna Danna saying “never mind?”

Montana, for those who have never been there, is lots of rolling hills, some mountainous roads, and a few small cities, which are like hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of miles apart.

The speed limit in the US is 75 miles an hour. That translates to about 200K to you and me.

Warning: do not go through the Chief Mountain Bear Buffalo Something border. You will spend three days just driving through mountains until you finally reach the I-15 and realize that you’re only fifteen minutes from the border. You might as well be one of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness for forty years.

So after I reach the I-15, I’m happily speeding down the road, singing at the top of my voice when I suddenly smell burning.

Not like Smokey the Bear burning. No, this was the kind of burning you smell just before your car explodes.

I look at my gauges, remembering last year and being stranded in the middle of nowhere in Ontario with an overheated car, and then suddenly I feel something and I see a hubcap rolling merrily down the road ahead of me.

When I pull over I discover that my left front tire looks like licorice strings.

So I go to my trunk, unpack everything, find my jack and pull out my spare. I bring them to the front of my car, and I look at my jack, and I look at my car, and I realize:

I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.

I do not have a cell phone, and I do not have AMA this time around.

On to plan B.

Stand by my car and look as helpless as possible.

I think it must be hard to see helpless on the side of the road when you’re pretending you’re Mario Andretti. That must be why so many cars whizzed by me so fast all I could see were colored streaks. They could envision themselves getting past the checkered flag somewhere in the distance.

Eventually a man and his teenage son stopped across the road and came over to help me. And a few moments later another man stopped. He had managed to see me but he had been Mario Andretii-ing too fast to stop, so he had dropped out of the race and managed to turn around.

He parked his car a little down the road to warn other motorists that we were there.

I have always, in my travels, found people who were willing to help me whenever I’ve had car trouble.

I seem to have car trouble a lot.

Which means I get to meet a lot of nice men. None of them single and looking like Brad Pitt — I wouldn’t be that fortunate.

It turns out my spare was flat.

It had to be flat because life can’t be easy and I’m involved in this.

Fortunately I was only five miles from Great Falls. A miracle when you think that the towns are all hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of miles from each other.

So I drove at 25 miles and hour (as I promised my rescuers) and made it to the city where I found a place that put air in my tire although that task wasn’t quite as easy as it sounds. You would think that places that service trucks would have air hoses.

Yes this is me with my red car and the flat
driver side tire. Only I didn't get the jack on
and my hair was longer, and I'm a girl.

They don’t.

After a trip to the junkyard to get a replacement tire put on my rim and two hours later I’m back in the race.

What’s that? I think I smell something burning.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

From the Annamaniacs Files: Merrily We Roll Along - 2001

This post was first published in 2001. Children's ages have changed since then. They tend to do that.
We went on vacation this summer.

And I see your eyebrows raise. “So?” You might ask.

Let me explain. We went on vacation this summer, and we have seven kids.

Okay, now that you’ve picked up your eyeballs and put them back in your head, I can tell you more.

Two vehicles, seven kids (plus a couple of extras on the trip there) and two drivers.

I learned some things from this experience.

Make sure the sliding van door is completely closed before you allow someone to lean against it while you go 100 kilometers down a highway.

The trip from Kelowna to Golden is twice as long as the trip from Golden to Kelowna. I don’t know why this is. It’s the same road.

If I start to feel sleepy and headachey while speeding down the highway, stopping for a nutritious lunch for long term energy, is not going to fix the problem. I need a coke, a chocolate bar and aspirin. With that combination I can leap tall buildings in a single bound.

From now on I will not trust my sixteen-year-old daughter with the map. She found a bug on it. So instead of picking the bug off like any normal human being would do, in an effort to get the bug off, she rolled down her window, took the map, hung it out the window, shook it, and watched it fly into the windshield of the car behind us. My first thought? We’re going to be fined several thousand dollars for littering. And if someone finds an Alberta/BC map on the highway, it is not mine. I know nothing

Even I, who loves heights (been parasailing) and has never suffered from sea or air sickness, can get slightly nauseous in a six seater recreational plane. By the way, it was so cool when the pilot played chicken with the mountains. I can’t wait to go up again.

Teenagers think that a great way to spend a day with the aunt who has a beach house, is to rent movies and watch them all day.

No matter how I try, I cannot hide from people who want to take pictures.

While renting a condo, young children are required to repeatedly jump on the floor above other residents’ heads. Once you are in a cabin with no one beneath you, jumping is no longer required.

When going to the Enchanted Forest, beware of cute little houses that two-year-olds can get into but anyone much bigger can’t. She decided that she liked living in the three bears’ house. She liked eating baby bear’s porridge. She sat in baby bear’s chair. She wanted to sleep in baby bear’s bed. She was not coming out. No matter how much we huffed and puffed.

Kelowna is scarier to drive in than Calgary.

Even though slower speeds are posted on mountain roads, you still must drive prairie speeds. You just have to learn how to take the turns on two tires.

Under no circumstances can the bag holding my 8 year old daughter’s coloring supplies and books, be buried under 300 suitcases. I will not be able to survive unless she has her coloring supplies while riding in the car. It doesn’t matter how much my husband complains about unpacking the van and repacking it. He is not the one driving the vehicle she is in.

If you send three teenagers up a mountain so that they can ride mountain bikes on the way down, one of them will require rescue services.

At one point we rented a two bedroom cabin. It was charming. It was darling. I spent time furnishing it in my head. For myself. No one else. Not one child. Not even a husband. Just me, me, me. I dreamed about where my computer, stereo and TV would go. I imagined my collections throughout my little home, undamaged, unbroken, safe from harm. I pictured myself snuggled peacefully in front of the fireplace, reading a book, or happily engaged in my sewing room, or at my computer working on my 100th best seller.

And then someone would scream.

I kept telling myself “this is the last vacation with all of us. From now on they start moving out. That 17 year old is out the door next summer. The 16 year old is not far behind her. I only have 16 more years of family vacations.”

I will survive.