Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I’ve Died and Gone to Mayberry.

So yeah, I know I said I was “taking a break” and all. Well, the truth is I was dealing with a bit of a crisis, namely that guy I’m sorta married to but not allowed to talk about online’s new job . . . the new job he got over an hour away . . . the new job I had a week to find a new place to live and pack and move for. Yeah, I know. Give me a cape and call me SuperChick.

While I’d like to say I was taking a vacation or enjoying a spring break, in reality, I disappeared because I was neck-high in newspapers and cardboard boxes.

The good news is: it’s done . . . I’ve moved. Day three and things seem to be going smoothly. The bad news is: I’m not quite sure where I am, or if I’m even on planet Earth anymore.

Seriously. I’m living in this Utopian Neighborhood . . . with a Main Street . . . and a post office . . . and activities and walking trails and pools and parks . . . and children who walk to and from school. No . . . I’m not talking about the CITY I moved to . . . I’m talking about the NEIGHBORHOOD. LITERALLY. The neighborhood.

I swear. I’ve even actually met The Neighbors. I keep waiting for apple pies. It’s like, this crazy, surreal Stepford world where kids can play in the street and Moms talk on the corners and the Dads pull into the driveway at 6:00 pm sharp. There are Tyson chickens, and golf bags, and mommy groups, and people who share their kid’s play equipment…

If I didn’t need groceries, I’d never have to leave . . . like, ever. Well, there isn’t a bookstore . . . but it wouldn’t surprise me if we got one soon. There’s still storefront space available.

And yesterday, I was completely minding my own business when I heard this strange sound. It was music, but it wasn’t coming from the TV; it was coming from outside. So I walk over to the window, and there, in the street, is . . .

An Ice Cream Truck.

A freakin’ ice cream truck with music, and these little kids all running out of their houses. I just stood there; staring in utter disbelief . . . I think I’m stuck in 1954 or something.

It’s a crazy world, I swear it is.

So the good news is I really like this whole Stepford neighborhood . . . I even kinda dig the ice cream truck. My neighbors seem like really cool people, and I really can’t imagine a safer, more convenient place to live. It’s creepy, but I like it.

My house is great—a lot of storage space and windows. I have a great big kitchen that I’m actually thinking about cooking in. (I know, right? That is nothing short of Miraculous.) At this point the only downside is that it’s two-stories, which means stairs, which means after four days of moving/unpacking my calves are about to kill me. The good news is I’ve been sleeping pretty well the last few nights.

So it looks like I’m back, at least for now. I have to say, though, if I’m ever unaccounted for for more than two weeks, please send help. It could mean I’ve been re-programmed . . . blonde, and wearing an apron with trimmed with antique lace, and saying things like “Sure, honey, whatever you need . . .” and . . . Ew. Just send help fast. Please.


Monday, March 10, 2008

What's In A Name?

Do you like your name? Do you like it now, but way back when not so much? I think everyone kind of goes through a stage where they hate their name and wish it was different. As a kid, maybe?

So to be honest, when I was in the fourth grade I wanted to be a “Dominique.” I even went so far as to sign in as “Dommy” when I was playing computer games. I don’t know, I just thought it was a beautiful, elegant name.

Professionally, I’ve kind of changed my name. Leigh is my middle name. In real life, most people know me as Erin; in publishing and internet life, Leigh. I kinda like it that way. I mean, I’m getting used to answering to both . . . of course, I’ll answer to anything, pretty much.

Still, at one time I just *hated* the name Erin. And I think in third grade I tried to become Erin Leigh “Ann.” Don’t know about that one.

Now there are all these fun name generators on the internet. Like my “Spring” name, for instance, is: Iris Garden Spirit. Apparently my Internet dating chat room name is: Cutelegs53. (I don’t think I wanna know where the 53 comes from.) My leprechaun name? It’s Underpants O’Farrell. What about my turkey name? Freaky-Crazy Beak. My pirate name is Captain Ladies Beard, which is kind of . . . I don’t know. Ew?

My elvish name . . . so I can brandish my sword with Orlando Bloom: Alatariel Numenesse. (Sigh.)

But my favorite name of all time is my exotic dancer name. Apparently you’re supposed to take the name of your first pet, and add it to the name of the first street you lived on.

And so . . . should this whole writing thing not work out for me. I can always become . . .


Tiffy MacGregor

The good news is, if the writing thing *does* work out I can live vicariously through my characters: Wrenn, Zoe, Olivia, Reagan . . . you know, whenever “Erin” or “Leigh” just doesn’t cut it.

SO . . . What did you try to change your name to as a kid?
What are your crazy names?
Exotic Dancer: First Pet plus First Street Name

Leave your names in the comments (also at myspace)!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Most Random Post Ever…

Okay, so it’s been a week or so and I feel like I should post something here, if only to get that whole embarrassing “cheese incident” lower on the page.

I don’t really have *too* much to say except that I’m fairly busy these days. I’m working on a new book, and add that to like, the hundred websites I check daily and well, you know what I’m saying.

I did finish Alyson Noel’s “Saving Zoe,” which was just, so good. I really had a hard time putting it down, and read it in three or four days (which is incredible since I’m writing and teaching and still have that thing called a toddler ruling my life). I love how there’s this whole world of YA fiction that I didn’t realize existed…. I’m reading a lot of books by new authors lately, and I’m so excited about it.

Yes, the Twilight books are still on that list. I’m so behind on the whole Bella and Edward thing it’s not even funny. I mean, I don’t even know who Bella and Edward are, and that’s like, pathetic. Bite Me. Ha! Get it? Bite Me? It’s a vampire book . . . No? Okay. Whatever.

I must say that I’m *SO* excited for the Project Runway finale. I can’t wait to see what Christian has done, because his designs blow me away.

And finally . . . my horoscope for today, which says: You see possibility where others only see disappointment—make the most of it.

And I have to wonder, isn’t this true of all writers/creative people? Because when you think about it, we write and write and write and send out dozens of letters until someone bites . . . we may get neurotic and depressed and totally bummed out, but at least we keep going (even when others are saying it’s a complete waste of time or get a “real job”).

No, I’m not a big fan of horoscopes (unless I really like what it has to say), but yeah, overall I do tend to see the silver lining—always hoping for the best.

I’m a Gemini, by the way, and this is supposed to be a great year for me financially. Specifically it says: Money will definitely be coming your way and will greatly influence your personal beliefs, dreams and philosophies.

Don’t you just love YA Fiction, Vampire Books, Project Runway and Good News? Me too!

~Love, Leigh~