Books, Books, Books!

11

I'm so bad. But we all love the badies right? Who wants to be the good guy working away to save the world when you could be the evil mastermind mucking up the good guys plans to begin with...you know, and generally not blogging...

Well I'm blaming this leave of absence (haha, see I learned something in college! $116,000-yeah that's how much I spent for four years at TU, thank you financial aide office-officially well spent!) on the fact that I am now working nearly full time! 40-ish hours a week! And who knew it was so dang exhausting? I'm ready to go back to my 25-hour-a-week days where I got plenty of writing and reading done, not didn't home with my legs quaking and not from joy...or walking around in 3 inch heels all day.

But I did have a bit of fun today. Totally had another old guy come in the store to buy a naughty book. The strapping lad of oh, maybe seventy, picked up this lovely little gem all about bondage. And in the ballsy of all ballsy moves, he walked right out of the store without a bag! All the young whipper snappers who come in to the store embarrassed about buying a Playboy obviously need to take a page from this veteran pervs book! If you're gonna buy dirty be proud about it! Hold your head up high as you're walking out with your smut!

Oh, and in totally unrelated news-and because I'm random like that-I found this awesome article from the ladies at Not Your Mother's Bookclub while doing my obligatory daily Google shuffle. It answers a lot of questions that I had about the process of book making after the idealistic making of the deal. Everything from who has to read the manuscript (in short, everyone) to the trying decision of what goes into the decision of whether it will be printed into a hardback/cloth, or a paperback. Very interesting stuff. I just wish they'd reveal who the editor was who participated in the interview. She works with YA which is the genre I writey-do in.

Here are the YA books I've read so far this summer:
The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer (HIGHLY RECOMMEND! This book follows the incidents that took place in Life as We Knew It but can be read without reading LaWKi first. I got five people at work addicted and hand sold all the copies we had in store...waiting for new shipment now.)

Wings by Aprilynne Pike: This was a very interesting story. It's not often I say that I've never read anything like this, but I've never read anything like this. Loved the mix of fantasy and reality in this number.

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz (HIGHLY RECOMMEND! I've been a fan of Stolarz since Blue is for Nightmares and this book just proves that she is improving even more as a writer. I couldn't put this down! I was left guessing the entire time! Great mix of paranormal and who-done-it-ism! And ended realistically which doesn't happen often in YA so extra kudos. The second book comes out in November. Her book Project 17 just released in paperback and I'm picking that up Wednesday.)

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare: The last part of the Mortal Instruments trilogy. Very enjoyable read and her diction is so lush and smooth that it almost sounds like poetry even when she's writing grotesque descriptions. Yummy yummy yummy.

And of course!
Being Nikki by the fab-u-lous Meg Cabot: Follows the first book Airhead as the main characters gets used to life in the spotlight. This book REALLY picks up the series and gave it a good direction to follow. The last chapters had me squirming and giggling and VERY eager to read more!!! notice the extra exclamation points! Definitely a good beach read.

I know I've read more but can't remember sadly...good thing I graduated because my memory is starting to go. Speaking of which, I've gotta go. My guitar is glaring at me for ignoring it for two days...(I can totally almost play "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz....you know...if "almost play" translated to mean I can play all the chords but my fingers still suck so I have to stop and reposition them each time...because apparently typing an 100,000+ word novel and countless numbers papers is not sufficient enough exercise to make your fingers un-sucky.)

Lots of Love,
Casey

H.A.K.A.S.

P.S. White chocolate Lindor balls are the shiz!

I'm Back!

7
Wow, it has been a minute or two since I've posted. The reason being that I totally fell off of the face of the Earth. Seriously, it was straight Pirates of the Caribbean style. Just floating along in my gigante wooden ship and all of a sudden holy crap, there was this waterfall thing that took me deep into the bowels of...finals week.

And while finals week is not, in fact the face of the Earth, it is-as I learned-the gaping mouth of hell. Complete with all nighters, gratuitous alcohol coffee consumption, books I hadn't touched since the beginning of the semester, and the random late night sobering mind clearing jogs.

But I have come out on the other side of finals week, miraculously victorious! And much more than that, it was my last finals week ever! That's because more than books and coffee and alcohol jogging; I graduated this week! I am now an official diploma wielding alum of the University of Tulsa! (Go c/o 2009!)

And you know what graduation means...
No not tacky polyester caps and gowns and tassels
It means shopping!
Which I have done lots of lately on the tab of all the family members who sent me money! (Thanks you guys! My summer shoes collection is now complete....ish)

It also means reading which I've done a lot of. Just cracked open Kiss the Sky by Farai Chideya. Who doesn't love books about wannabe rock stars? Harvard bound wannabe rock stars? Right... Plus there's a playlist for the book in the very back. What else could you want?

Other things that happened during crazy time:
-Broke camera...again
-Lied to mom for a good reason that made her cry tears of happiness on Mother's Day
-rung the Graduate bell in Sharp Plaza four times even though tradition only calls for it once
-Made a lot of cake
-Ate a taco salad and chipped my tooth so bad I have to go to the dentist on Wednesday (shudders)
-Thought I had Swine Flu
-Revised manuscript twice because I realized the first time I was more reading than revising...
-Watched 17 Again and had the earth shattering realization that Zac Efron is, in fact, a hottie
-Read 4 books instead of study
-Got 5 A's (still waiting to hear from last class) to round out my college GPA out to a yummy 3.5!!!
-Meet new baby cousin
-Rocked a fabulous yellow dress

So far the summer has started out pretty good and with the summer goal of getting hired abroad and hopefully getting a lit agent (and not going completely broke in Vegas...), I'm hoping this shall be the best one yet! Wish me luck.

H.A.K.A.S.

Casey

What was your best summer memory?

Mad for Reefer Madness!

2
Song on Repeat in my iPod...because I just found that feature...Pussycat Dolls-Halo

It's been a crazy past couple of weeks.

Work-our evil District Manager is threatening to fire my boss! Which is SO not cool because he's been with the company for like a million years and comes in EVERY SINGLE DAY. Like seriously he's there everyday. I don't know anyone who is more dedicated to that company. If evil biatch lady does get her way, our store is planning a massive walk out 70's style, complete with hip huggers and flowers in the barrels of the AK-47's at our faces. You know...if they bring AK-47's. (Doesn't even know if there were AK-47's in the 70's....)

Fun-HA! That's funny....But I've done a lot of reading which is pretty great.
Books I've read in the last two weeks: City of Ashes, City of Glass, Evermore, Stargazer, and Howl's Moving Castle (Diana Wayne Jones is the shiz...even if I-after reading the book three times and watching the anime a million-STILL don't know what HMC is about...)

Got some more revising done. I'm on a never-ending quest to eliminate 'was' from my manuscript. Down with you 'to be' words! You may be awesome when learning a new language but you are like poison ivy to the written word.

School-It's the last week of classes and that means me=no time for having life. One away from my desk anyway. And apparently me having really bad grammar.

My friends are in the same boat so we decided to spend our last Saturday of sweet sweet freedom by supporting TU theatre and going to their production of Reefer Madness. I don't know if you've seen this but I recommend it if you enjoy the likes of Rocky Horror. It was GREAT. I applaud you TU theatre and I'll be there again next weekend. Assuming my brain hasn't exploded by then.

Gotta go get changed for ballet class. I'm pada-boo-raying myself to a new physique. Wish me luck!
Casey

Holy Crap! Agents are actually people too!!!

3
I just received the shock of my life!

Now I've heard rumors of it before. Email and text message myths mostly, on the same grain as the whole Mentos and coke equals death thing, but I just found out it's really true! Agents are real breathing human beings! By some small miracle we had agents Terry Porter of Agape Productions and Flat Rock Motion Pictures, Nathan Bransford from Curtis Brown Agency, and Morgan Jenness from Abrams Artists Agency here at TU for a series on how to get an agent for all us struggling artists out there.

Naturally I requested off from work and walked my happy butt across campus dreaming of book deals and awesome tips on how to turn my writer title to that of the ever elusive Author. Notice the capital A!

And they were really nice too! While I don't have much history with the film side of things I have written a few (cough) plays so it was really interesting to hear how to about plays being produced. And I was glad to hear that there are apparently more in the works than ever as theaters are starting to present plays as well!

I got to speak briefly with Nathan Bransford who's blog rocks my face off on a regular basis. Definitely check it out if you're thinking about querying an agent. The Essentials List is just that. I'm thinking about pitching to him once I get up the kahunas to do so because he seems like a really good, professional agent and a good person.

There were a lot of folks there so I'm looking forward to the meetings tomorrow where it will be just us students so we have a little more one on one time.
Over all I'd say it was a good day.
Casey

P.S. My besty came up with a name for the two cats I caught getting it on in the shed in my backyard. Really Kitty Porn. Meow chicka meow meow!

Racism. Status: Still alive and kicking in the Midwest

7

I've worked at Borders for about a year and a half now, and before that I worked at Old Navy for two and a half years. In that time I've faced many, many bitchy customers. It's just something that comes with the territory of working in customer service. I typically just throw on my best "F*ck You!" smile, call up a manager, and go about my (un)happy way. My friends call me Teflon Master because they say nothing sticks to me but tonight something finally did and I'm not proud in saying it, but tonight I cried at work, for the first time at any job I've had. And not like pretty movie star tears, either as Meg Cabot would say. There was snot involved.

I've been scowled at, nose turned up to, outright ignored a few times but never has anyone called me the n-word. I grew up around people who just didn't do that, you know. So honestly, when I was having trouble locating a book (and a children's book at that! I really feel sorry for her kids...) for a customer today and heard her mumble it under her breath, I was stunned to the point of disbelief. I just stared at her as she stomped away claiming she would "find someone who could really help her."

I tried to shake it off, blame it on something, I hadn't cleaned out my ears today so maybe I hadn't heard her right or she was referring to the country in Africa that is sometimes mispronounced. I didn't WANT to believe that someone would seriously say that and I didn't want to seem like I was playing the race card.

She went up to the registers and continued to complain to the guy working the register. After she'd left (which thank sweet Jesus was shortly there after) I went up to talk and you know, complain about what a complete biatch she had been in normal "lets talk about our crazy customers behind their backs" fashion but the guy looked almost livid when he looked back at me. He said that she had been racial slurs and he had wanted to punch her in the face.

It wasn't until after we'd closed and I told my manager what had happened that the water works began. My manager was just as angry as I was and asked why I hadn't told her before and I said I hadn't wanted to make a scene. She and my store's GM said that if I ever saw her again to let them know and they would kindly escort her out and tell her to never darken our giant vestibule again but I couldn't help but wonder why I hadn't told them when it happened. Then I realized that I didn't want to offend her! Which had made the water works start again.

Luckily I have amazing managers at the store who were very kind and supportive and had ample tissues (Kleenex really are best!). I've heard that word hundreds of times, squirmed uncomfortably in class while we were reading Mark Twain, and seen hundreds of movies with the word being thrown around like confetti but I've never realized how truly hurtful one word can be. And not just to black people but all minorities, be that in race, age, sex, sexuality, or religion. That one word promotes hate and ignorance towards all people and it's just not right! And it's my right not to be called that! If I'm a sucky sales person, say I'm a sucky sales person.
Leave the racism out of it because my being white wouldn't have made the book magically appear!

Sadly I know that there are always going to be people out there like my crazy Bitch Lady customer. Barack Obama being elected prez didn't wave a magic racism flag over the country to make it all go away, if anything it just made those people in our country that much more aggressive but there are good people out there too and I'm going to pray for crazy Bitch Lady and focus on the positive people in my life. I've also decided that I'm going to get a back bone about these things (wonder if they have those at Wal-mart...) because by not standing up for my rights I was just proving that what she said was okay, and while I don't know what Bitch Lady had been through, I do know that what she said is absolutely anything but okay.

Casey

Seoul Sick

6
Is it possible to feel home sick for a place that was never really your home?

I've been researching schools in Japan and Seoul to apply to for next year and just realized how much I miss Seoul! And I found I missed the little funny things I never thought I'd miss, like the sound that the trains made when we were approaching a station and the automated voice announcing the name came on. Or the mountainous piles of umbrellas that would block the stairs outside the goshiwon I stayed in whenever it was raining. Or walking into the Coffee Prince cafe and trying not to squeal because it looks JUST like the cafe in the drama. Or even watching episode after episode of 우리 결혼했어요 (We Got Married) and being like "WHAT ARE THEY SAYING?....AND WHY AREN'T CROWN J AND IN SEO IN YOUNG A COUPLE IN REAL LIFE?" I miss eating too spicy dokbogi and not knowing how to order pizza. Cute, old ajumas whispering like little giggling school girls on the train, crazy permed hair and all. And most of all I miss being folded and tucked away in a crowd and knowing I didn't fit in with everyone else but knowing that was okay and that people would be that much more welcoming because I didn't.

I really hope to go back to Seoul soon. I was there for seven weeks but there's still so much more to see and experience there. I've researched working at SMOE the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education but we'll see what's the right fit. Gotta crank out a resume too, but I already have some references lined up. It's coming along one step at a time.

Last week was a week from Hades with a crazy art project and two projects for my communications class. Then we had a freak one day snow storm but I got a lot of reading and writing done, which is always good. About 45 pages into second book in Calling You series.

6 weeks until graduation!
1st woman's detective agency is super cute! I didn't know Jill Scott was such a good actress!

Sping Break '09 so far

5

I picked up a new book at work the other day. College Girl by Patricia Weitz and I've got to admit...the whole thing is like a massive case of deja vu! Because while I may be in the mid/southwest and not the northeast, or still living in the dorms at TU (thank god) this is totally my life! The story follows senior history major Natalie Bloom through her trials of love, confusion about still growing up when you're supposed to already be grown, and facing the harsh reality of graduating from college and not really feeling like you've gained much of anything (other than copious amounts of alcohol in your system and student loans). I'm only about a third of the way through but it's definitely good already. A Face Out in my opinion.

Okay, so I totally left the house this morning intending to just get my paycheck from work...and I kinda came back with a new laptop. Which, you know, happens sometimes. I still have my old one but it was on its last legs. Okay, it was down to nubs by now but she was trying. Like the little search engine that could. I'm thinking about holding a funeral service for it. Maybe a wake, really short, intimate. Only a couple of friends to properly celebrate the life and times of a good little soldier. However, this new laptop also meant that I got the full Vista experience for the first time...not much more that needs to be said about that...

After playing around with my laptop for a while I went to the zoo today with my best friend in search of hippos (come on, big bodies and cute little bear ears it doesn't get much better than that...okay I obviously watched Fantasia one too many times as a child) but no such luck. We did see the flamingos though, and as everyone knows, pink trumps all.

Naturally after a day on safari, and generally walking around in the Oklahoma sun, we decided to hit up McNeille's (awesome bar with about a million different kinds of beer) afterwards but it only made me sadder because I had been there only a few days earlier for another friend's going away dinner party.

He and his girlfriend-who totally hooked up at my 21st birthday party, you know, in between all the Cuervo shots they made me do-are moving to Palo Alto,CA because he got a job at Facebook. Which, the last I checked, was supposed to BRING friends together and not TEAR them apart. Haha, but alas, it's an awesome opportunity and I'm just sour grapes because I'd love to move to Cali.

Talked a bit about next year and now my friend and I are thinking about teaching in South Korea instead of Japan depending on the job market. We both have lots of love for both cultures-and their foods-so it's really a win-win. I just can't wait to get back to Asia. Night markets are an amazing trend that America really needs to pick up on.

So are 24 hour karaoke rooms/norebang.

And Soju.

Listening to the new Wonder Girls trilogy album. So cute! I could listen to the song Nobody forever. Or until it made my most played list on my iPod. Whichever came first...
Love,
Casey