Archive for January, 2011

Okay, I’m just gonna admit up front…this blog post is just an excuse to gush about TWO GLORIOUS THINGS THAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK:

1.) I finally got to devour Beth Revis’ sparkling debut, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE…

Cheers!

2.) And I finally got to imbibe copious amounts of Butterbeer at Universal Orlando’s WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER.

People waiting in line for a taste of Butterbeer, AKA Frothy, Scrumptious Elixir of Delirium

Naturally, my photo-journalistic account of said pilgrimage may be lacking in quality and objectivity, but you hafta admit you’re feeling a Gringott’s level of trollish jealousy just looking at these pics, right?

Yeah, I thought so.

On our flight, Amber began reading AtU. Elder and Amy's story hooked her right away.

Staying at THE HARD ROCK HOTEL was worth it. Steps away from the Park.

Our first night, of course we had to take in the sights at THE HARD ROCK CAFE and the hotel. We were total diva poseurs…

Amber, Brit, Me, and Caron

By the time my head hit Hard Rock’s luxe feather pillows, I had not only fallen in love with Orlando’s WIZARDING WORLD, but I’d also fallen head over heels for AtU’s male lead, Elder. I digress, but…this Hard Rock photo of Kings of Leon’s Caleb Followill reminds me of Elder. Both guys are sweet, smoking hot, slightly damaged front men. Never mind that Caleb rocks a rhythm guitar and Elder leads an intergalactic expedition.  Pfff…why quibble over minor differences? Contact with either of them equals a mind altering experience.

Is this bolted to the wall? Lemme just tuck Caleb into my suitcase...

On our last day in the park, we hit the pavement and explored every corner of Hogsmeade. Lemme say, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and Universal’s Harry Potter park have something else in common. Revis’ book and HP park are expertly crafted, lovingly designed to entertain.

Delicious Wizardly Fare at The Three Broomsticks. No value meal corn dogs here.

Turning the last page of AtU felt a bit like leaving Hogwarts for the last time. I’d been enchanted, transported to another world–one I was heartbroken to leave! I can’t wait to return to Orlando and I can’t wait for Revis’ next book!

One last pic before we leave...

In short, I highly recommend enjoying a Beth Revis book with a side of Gryffindor.

Hungry for more? Try this recipe for Hogsmeade Butterbeer. It’s about as close as you can get to the real thing!

Binge!

I kinda hate New’s Years resolutions.

They’re just so ubiquitous–so many people make them and break them. And blog about them. It seems like overkill for me to blather on about my goals. I mean, they’re so much less interesting and shiny than yours!

Last year I eschewed resolutions in favor of a Writer’s Revolution. Here’s the challenge I laid out for myself and my writing friends: 

In 2010, my goal is not to get an agent and publish a book. My goal is to grow and learn enough to write a book worthy of esteem, a book worthy of the best agent and the most discerning publisher. I take this oath as a sacred trust, and I shall toil until my manuscript shines like the sun and lays waste to the spurn of rejection.”

I’m happy to say my revolution was actually successful. By focusing on improvement, I was able to write a not-so-horrible book . And that book snagged me my agent. 2010 was a great year for making new friends in the industry, learning from them, and forging ahead. Today, I’m on the cusp–very soon that not-so-horrible book will be released into the wilds of publishing. Am I excited? You bet. Come what may, 2011 is going to another year of growth.

But I wouldn’t trade 2010 for anything.

It was a very good year.

Hungry for more?

Try my homemade Chocolate Lava Sauce. You’ll need more than a few spoonfuls on hand to get through all the pints of Haagen-Dazs you’ll scarf down while hunched over the keyboard this year.

Chocolate Lava Sauce

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

2 Tbsp. cocoa

2 Tbsp. light Karo corn syrup

2 Tbsp. vanilla

1/4 cup cream

Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a medium saucepan. Bring to a gradual boil. Do not scorch, but allow sauce to boil for two minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Allow to cool slightly.

Binge!