Monday, February 28, 2011


Hey, everybody.  Hope everyone's weekend was as good as mine.  Be sure to join us tomorrow for Music to Make Write to featuring Elena Solodow.

Saturday was my 29th birthday.  My wife and I spent the weekend in Manhattan, KS.  We took in The Cats vs. #21 Mizzou (we won,) ate a ton of Chinese food, and perused the local shopping areas.  We were going to go out to the the college bar district and drink "soda" and act like we were younger than we are, but decided to get some rest and turn in early.  The bars get loud, and I really didn't like the whole idea of going out.

And if you believe that... I've got some acreage by the ocean here in Nebraska that we HAVE GOT to talk about.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Fun with Prefixes

I've updated the first blog challenge post with the answers so you can see which was my quirk, secret, lie, etc.

Today I thought we'd celebrate on of the best prefixes ever made... Ker.  Sure you know ker from the fictitious number kerbillion, which you may have heard like a kerbillion times already.  However, it is also a great for onomatopoeias.  

Don't believe me?  Alright.  I want you to close your eyes (probably should wait until after the next sentence though.)  Now imagine you walk up to someone and slap them across the face.  Seems violent and unimaginative, right?  Okay close your eyes again (again, waiting might help.)  Now picture you walk up to someone, slap them, and shout out, "Kerpow!"  Pretty awesome right?  Okay, now close your eyes one more time and scroll down.  


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Crusdaer Challenge #1

Imagine my excitement when Rachael posted our first Crusader Challenge this past Friday. Now, imagine my disappointment when we don't even get to sack Jerusalem. Oh well, perhaps next week. Here's the rules:

In 300 words or less, using the words "bloviate,” “fuliguline,” “rabbit,” and “blade” tell us:

· one secret

· one lie

· one interesting quirk

· one annoying habit

· one of your best character traits, and

· one of your favorite things in the whole world.

Here we go(I will use a list in order not to bloviate):

-I love Duk Bok Gee (despite having the word duck in it there are no fuliguline type meats in the dish.) (thing I love)

-I bite my nails when I'm bored. (habit)

-My sister has a psycho pet rabbit named Terrence. (lie.  I don't even have a sister.)

-I have to sleep with a fan. The sound of the fan blade puts me to sleep/helps me focus.

-I always root for the underdog teams.
(+ character trait)

 -I have eaten a dog's heart
(secret.  shh! I was in Korea.)


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Music To Make Write To Guest Starring Jen

Salutations and Welcome to another edition of
MTMWT!  This week Jen from unedited has 
graciously agreed to stop by and share some of her favorite writing ditties.

Okay so I'm not much a music knowledge type of 
gal, nor do I listen to a lot but when I do I 
replay over and over again. There are moments 
in my writing where I'll hear a song that 
resonates for my main character and I can only 
write when it plays.

Anything by a Fine Frenzy, my personal favorite
being the last of days. This is perfect for 
when I'm starting a clean slate. I imagine 
myself sitting in a field of flowers with a 
notebook and the wind sweeping my hair in the 
powerful gusts. 

Animal by Neon Trees always gets me when I'm 
down or in a rough patch. Put that on and I'll 
be dancing around the house with my main 

Last but not least is Saturdays by Holly Brook.
I have no reason to like this song except to 
say the melody is toxic!  
Thanks for the fun!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Odds n' Ends

Greetings and happy Washington's Birthday.  A warm welcome to all the crusaders passing through.  The wife and I have been sick so if I haven't stopped by to refollow, that is why.  I've also been putting in applications for school districts in the area, and it's tough work convincing people to let me around kids.

Tomorrow Jen from unedited will be stopping in to share some of her favorite jams.  If you would like to be a participant in a Music to Make Write to feature let me know.  

I thought it might be fun to close by letting you diagnose my disease.

-a feeling I can only describe as if someone drained all of my blood and then put back like a pint and a half.
-upset stomach
-a third arm


Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Word

Dear Merriam Webster Types,

It has come to my attention that with the interwebz has come the ability to create new words and introduce them into society quicker than ever before.  Therefore, I give you my newest creation:

Burnzo /b-urn-zoh/ *noun* 
1. an insult resulting in emotional scalding and humiliation in front of all of your bros.

proper usage:
bro:  Man my back hurts from all of that work today.
Chris Phillips: Your mom's back hurts from all that "work" today!  Burnzo!
bro:  Not cool, man.
Chris Phillips:  Way cool.  Burnzo.

synonyms: dis, burn, zing
antonyms: compliment, praise

Thank you for your consideration.

Your Pal,
Chris Phillips

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rally Capz!

First off I want to thank everyone who voted for me in the 100 word sentence contest.  I came from behind and have padded my budget for birthday "soda."   

It got me thinking about rally caps.  For those of you unfamiliar to the idea, a rally cap is a baseball cap worn inside out when a team is down.

For Valentines day the wife and I took a 3 hour trip to Manhattan, KS to watch K-State take on #1 KU (Aren't I romantic?)  Our season has been a letdown so far and we weren't expecting much but a long drive home.  

Early in the game KU took a 5-2 lead and we looked very craptacular.  I cannot stand KU (they are like the Yankees) and they've beaten us 42 times out of the last 45.  

So, as kind of a joke, I put my hat on as a rally cap and yelled out "Rally Caps!" with about 17 minutes to go in the first half.  Then all of a sudden we had a 10 point lead.  Every timeout I passed my cap around so everyone could touch it and I touched the bald head of the man behind me...
The rest is college basketball history.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Music to Make Write to Guest Starring Candyland

Today in the studio (I have decided to refer to my blog as a studio here so I sound more legit and/or hip!) we have Candace from The Misadventures in Candyland to share a few of her favorite writing type jams with us. 

1) Men are all the Same by The Used
This song isn't my favorite by The Used but one random Sunday drive, after hearing it about a billion times, it gave me the ending to the WIP that got me agented. The part in the middle where the music climaxes, explodes, then fades to the sound of a skipping record track just before the sound of glass breaks through was everything to me. I nearly crashed the car. And now when I hear it, I see my ending like a movie in my head. Crystal. Clear.

2) Different by Acceptance

These guys are no longer a band, but this tune sounds like the perfect soundtrack for my MC when she feels like she's on the outside of it all.

3) Swept Away by Flyleaf

Despite some of the overtly religious wording (which don't bother me,) the music and screaming sound exactly like what I imagine my MC to sing like. Strong, yet feminine. Gritty, yet beautiful.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

I made all you lovely bloggers out there an ecard.  Jibjab won't let me send it or embed without paying so I had to make a picture card.  Have a great day.  Come back tomorrow for Music to Make Write to with Candyland.


Friday, February 11, 2011

A Final Plea


Dearest Friends,
Look at that photo.  Do I not look happy?  I do don't I?  That picture was taken a year ago on my 28th birthday.  I look happy because I'm drinking "soda."  In order to win enough money to afford "soda" for my birthday at the end of the month I need to win Elana's 100 Words contest.  Please go HERE and vote for #2.  If you don't my birthday will basically be ruined.  I am currently down 3 votes so I need 5-10 to win it.  We are going to pull off the greatest upset in blogger history!  Put on your rally caps!

Proper Rally-cap Wearing Procedure: 


Thursday, February 10, 2011

ROTFbot and Meme Generator

Have you Ever thought to yourself, "self, I would like to be able to write crap across funny pictures but I don't know how."  Now there is hope, even for you.  

With ROTFbot you can add text to pics from your computer or pics from the interwebz.  Here is one of mine.

Have a good weekend!



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

To the dude who plead out this morning, 

Your Pal,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Music to Make Write to Guest Starring Renae Mercado

Good Morning and Welcome to yet another edition of Music to Make Write to.  This week I've invited Renae Mercado over to share some of her favorite writing songs with us.  Renae is the only person in the bloggosphere that I actually know.  We taught second grade together for two years and played on the same bridge team together (she cheats I tell you!)  Okay, maybe only one of those is true, but if she did play bridge I'd check her sleeves is all I'm saying.  Little did I know at the time that she was also a gifted YA writer.  Without further ado, here is Renae with her jams:

I love the idea of sharing the music that inspires us and have enjoyed reading what inspires others.  So when Chris asked me to choose up to three of my favorite songs that I listen to while writing I thought no problem.  Then I went to my play-lists and quickly changed my mind.
I have so many favorites and what I listen to completely depends on what kind of scene I am on and the mood I’m in at the time.  So I looked for the songs and artist that showed up more than once. 
  1. Sweet Sacrifice by Evanescence
This song was a huge inspiration when I wrote FATAL BEAUTIES.  The main characters have a warped sense of how they view the world and this song helped set the mood for me.
  1. It Is What It Is by Lifehouse

Just about anything by Lifehouse works for me.  This is by far one of my favorite groups.  Every play-list I put together has at least one of their songs if not more.
  1. All I Need by Within Temptation

I thank my obsession for Vampire Diaries for this one.  Love that series and the music is amazing. 
I could go on but Chris did limit me to three so there you go.  Thanks for letting me stop by Chris!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Odds N' Ends

Congrats to the Packers for winning the Superbowl last night!  Congrats especially go out to Jordy Nelson, a true K-statriot, and leading receiver for Green Bay last night. Ben Roethlisberger is now 2-2 on sexual assault allegations to Superbowl wins for those keeping score at home.   

If you haven't already visited You're Write. So Long as you Voted for Chris. and voted for my sentence (#2) please do as I am getting killed over there and do not want to spend my birthday sober (prize money goes to fund my trip to beautiful Aggieville, USA)

Janet Sumner Johnson has a good series about cliches.  Here is a link to the last post.  Links to all posts in the series can be found at the bottom. 

Go here if you want to be a part of the 2nd blogging crusade.  I'm not completely sure all the details, we are either going to be pillaging other blogs in the name of God's will in search of gold for the pope, or it is like an ongoing blogfest where you build connections with other bloggers in your area.  Still not sure.

Please check back tomorrow for Music to Make Write to featuring Renae Mercado.


Friday, February 4, 2011


I was driving west on I-80 this week, trying to make it to a K-State game.  My wife had asked me to drive (my least favorite thing ever.)  The sun was looming at the perfect angle to scald my retinas slowly over the hour stretch before I turned south in Lincoln.  The visor doesn't stay put and the plastic mirror cover on that side has snapped off so that it is actually more distractinghaving it down than glaring into the yellow dwarf star in front of me.

I found myself stuck in the speed lane behind a semitruck hauling a flatbed.  The flatbed held two steel girders that extended over the back end.  The girder on the bottom was larger than the one that sat on top of it. 

I thought about how my eyes burned.  I wondered where old people got those sunglasses that covered their entire faces.  I wondered if I would need a pair soon and if Obamacare covered enormous visorshades.  Then another thought popped into my head.

What on God's green Earth does anyone need with two steel girders of varying size?  Maybe a large L shape... for Lincoln!  Who orders only two?  Really?  What warrants such a steel girder emergency that allows this moron drive in the speed lane going 60 miles per hour? 

I wondered if maybe a building in Lincoln was in disrepair and needed renovating.  I imagined the conversation to have gone something like this:

The office of Bob, the City Planning Director.  Stan, his trusty assistant director sits in a chair stage left.  Both have intent looks as they stare at a blueprint of the community building.  It is in disrepair.

Stan:  The roof of the community center is kind of caving in on the East side.
Bob:  Hey, you're right.  We'll need to fix that right away.  Any thoughts?
Stan:  What we need here are some girders.  Long ones, but one should be noticably smaller than the other one.
Bob:  Good call, Stan.  Let me place an order.
(Bob picks up the Red Phone that all city planning offices have.  Dials number firmly.)
Girder Salesman:  Hello
Bob:  Good day.  I need to place an order for some girders.
Girder Salesman:  Go ahead.
Bob:  Very good, sir.  I need two steel girders.
Girder Salesman:  Just two?
Bob:  Yes, and make them different sizes.
Girder Salesman:  Okay.  We'll have those out on Wednesday.  It is kind of an unusual order to only get two so we will have to have our driver use the speed lane and go at least 10mph under the limit right in front of Chris Phillips. 
Bob:  Sounds great.  Thank you. 
Stan:  Now I see why you get to be the director.
(They high five and then talk Husker football.)


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mere Formality

Hi there!  I am  a finalist for the 100 word sentence contest at Elena's blog.  If you get a chance go to You're Write. Except when you don't vote for Chris Phillips. and cast your vote.  If I win I will get $38 and all proceeds will go to pad my drinking budget for my birthday later this month (good charity huh?)

Vote #2!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Music to Make Write to Starring Alex J. Cavanaugh

Last week we began a new phase to MTMWT by having Tracy share her top 3 writing tunes.  Today I'm handing the blog over to Alex J. Cavanaugh (since it was sorta kinda his idea.)  Take er' away Cap'n Alex!

"How about doing some writer features? What song inspires them and why?"

I made that comment two weeks ago. Little did I know Chris would take me up on the suggestion – and request that I be one of the first!

What song inspires me? I’m one of those authors who prefer to listen to music while writing and editing. The pounding of the drums, the intricacies of the guitar playing, the passion in the vocals – it all contributes to mood of the setting. The right piece can propel a scene from flat and lifeless to energetic and alive. With music, I feel the moment!

I have many songs and artists that inspire my writing. I like the pounding energy of In Flames. I like the melodic emotion of Redemption. With some bands, it’s the album as a whole rather than individual songs.

Chris gave me permission to select up to three, but I’ve decided to go with just one.

There’s a key scene in my book, CassaStar, that changes the main character’s path. The moments leading up to it are rapid-fire and chaotic, which the pace of this song matches. It’s the intensity and agony of emotion in this tune that evoked the proper mood for the climax. I needed this song to get me through the scene, as it was the most difficult the write.

To capture that moment, I used Stream of Passion’s Street Spirit:

Thanks, Alex!  If you want to be an uber awesome guest blogger like Alex, feel free to email me at clp3333(at)hotmail.  Also be sure to pick up a copy of Alex's debut novel CassaStar, info and linkages below.


CassaStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh

Science fiction/adventure/space opera, Dancing Lemur Press LLC
ISBN Print 9780981621067 eBook 9780982713938 

Links to purchase:

To pilot the fleet’s finest ship…
Few options remain for Byron, a talented young man with a troubled past and rebellious attitude. Slated to train as a Cosbolt pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth and begin a new life. Much to his chagrin, Bassa, the toughest instructor in the fleet, takes notice of the young pilot. As war brews on the edge of space, Byron requires a navigator of exceptional quality to survive. Bassa must make a decision that could well decide the fate of both men. Will their skills be enough as they embark on a mission that may stretch their abilities to the limit? 

“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He’s experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Currently he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.