For more about Allison and her books visit her website at For now, please relax and brace yourself for the occasionally coherent ramblings of Allison's mind.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

2012 Update: Weighing in on Current Events

There’s been a lot going on lately, so let’s get right down to it.
(**Editor’s note: This is not a comprehensive list, so please don’t be offended by the lack of commentary on celebrity deaths, the Edwards trial, and the NBA Draft)
“Facebook IPO Fiasco”:
I love how journalists are scouring their thesauruses to describe the catastrophic event that was the Facebook IPO. The past 20 years have featured mass genocide, multiple wars, horrific terrorist attacks, a tsunami that decimated an entire nation, another one that decimated almost an entire continent, hurricanes, wildfires, tornados, plane crashes, school shootings, high profile child molestation rings, and a global financial meltdown that’s leaving many nations on the brink of economic collapse. A man freakin’ ate another guy’s face (see below) and the media treated the Facebook IPO like that’s the sign of the Apocalypse (my money’s on the dude eating faces).
Look, I know people lost money. I know it’s looking like another example of Wall Street screwing over Main Street, but really, isn’t that par for the course by now? Are any of us really surprised by what happened? This crap doesn’t even faze me anymore. I’m much more annoyed by the new Timeline setup for our Facebook pages. I’ll be darned if I can find something on my own page, let alone someone else’s. How about using some of your new fortune to fix that, Facebook?

Phillip Phillips – New American Idol:
Wow. There’s a surprise. A cute white guy playing a guitar won American Idol.
I’m not sure why women, non-white men, and people who can’t play guitar even bother at this point.

There Really Are Zombies:
Not to make light of a horrific incident, but if you haven’t read the account of the homeless man who ate another homeless man’s face, you’re lucky. I was going to link to it, but I can’t bring myself to promote it. We’ll leave the actual details at that.
What I do want to talk about, however, is my frustration with the media and rationalists out there trying to convince me this guy wasn’t a zombie. Let’s talk about zombies for a minute.
There’s a lot of zombie lore to sift through, but in my opinion, there are three key features that characterize a zombie.
1.       They eat people.
The guy literally chewed up a man’s face in broad daylight.
2.      They can only be stopped by death.
He ignored police warnings and kept eating the man through a slew of gunshots. He stopped when he was dead.
3.      They’ve lost all mental faculties except the desire to eat people.
He turned to the cops and growled with human flesh hanging from his mouth. Then he continued eating a person until he was shot dead.
Ok, so here’s where people roll their eyes and say he’s not a zombie, he was just on drugs.
Really? That’s it? That’s your argument? I don’t care if tainted Q-tips turn people into zombies. If a guy growls and eats people to the point where he has to be killed to stop, he’s a zombie. Period. Whether it’s because of drugs, a rare virus mutation, Voodoo, or Q-tips, it doesn’t matter. You think the poor man who was attacked cares that the dude only ate his face because of some bad trip? No. He doesn’t. Sometimes the devil isn’t in the details, the devil is just a zombie.

Republican Nomination:
So our 2012 Presidential choices are Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. My question is, does it even matter anymore? Does anyone actually trust either party? Can you even articulate a clear point that either candidate supports? Do we trust our legislators to look out for our best interests instead of their own butts? Even if by some miracle they are, do we actually believe they can make any kind of difference in a system so bureaucratic most ideas never make it out of committee?
One of my favorite episodes of the Simpsons is when Homer and crew go to Washington DC and learn how laws really get passed. You need to watch it. They should teach 4th grade government classes with that show alone. Think of the budget implications. One year of studies condensed into a half hour. Plus a catchy song.
I just ranted against politicians a few weeks ago, so we don’t have to go over this again, but I don’t believe the American people are as stupid as they think we are. They’re so stuck in their career politician bubble that most of them have lost touch with the people they’re supposed to represent.
They think we’re too ignorant to vote based on anything but fuzzy sound bites and physical attribute preferences. We’re not, we just know it doesn’t matter anymore. The system is too broken as it stands to think that investing hope in one carbon copy over another is going to make a difference.
I’ll keep voting in every election, but only because I want to preserve my right to whine.

Interest Rates:
OMG! They’re low! Did you know that?? Why didn’t anyone tell me!!

And finally, in case you weren’t aware, people are suing for stupid stuff again.

Ok, so maybe politicians do have a point.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I'm Back! And Groveling

Ok, so here’s my belated thank you note.

You know how you got that candle from Aunt Millie and you suddenly realized in all the hectic craziness of your life you forgot to send a thank you note? You sent the other 12 for those house warming gifts that trickled in over the last month, but poor Aunt Millie is still wondering if you even got the thing, let alone whether it’s on your coffee table. She’s probably miffed at this point, it’s been three months now, and you feel terrible, but what do you do? You can’t just send a quick note like you did for all the others. You’ve missed that window. You need something more. At this point you pretty much have to author a groveling opus that’ll send her into convulsive sobs of touching emotion. That should work, but since you have no idea how to write that, you just continue to hold off. And time drags on. And the sentiment grows. And now you need to send your own candle to make up for it.

Well, that’s this entry. It’s been weighing on me to post for quite a while, but as time passed my options for acceptable entries diminished. I couldn’t just slap up a Dr. Fortune Cookie response to break the silence. After weeks of nothing, I needed more than a few band recommendations. The worst part is, I’ve even had ideas, just not the time to sit down and execute them.

So here we are. My groveling post of apology. Feel free to sob and wail.

There’s no excuse for my silence, but for the sake of an explanation, if there were a time-consuming venture that justified my absence, I’d guess re-writing a 350 page novel would make the list.

As some of you know, after a couple years of editing, I had finally begun querying my latest project. So far I’m ten for ten in premise interest, zero for ten in writing style fit. Apparently people don’t want to read a high concept YA paranormal suspense novel written in a style suitable for middle-aged psychology professors. Who knew?

We like lists here, so let’s highlight the three options I faced:

1. Take the delusional American Idol contestant approach to pursuing success.

“My mom and choir teacher say this is the bestest book in the world. These dumb agents don’t know a thing about writing. I’ll be back America! This isn’t the last you’ve seen of me! You’ll see! I’m gonna find that niche of APA phD’s who like YA paranormal romances and sell millions of copies! I’m gonna be huge! I’ll haunt your dreams as the one who got away!”

I’d then waste the next ten years of my life reading kindly worded rejection letters.

2. Decide there really is an untapped appetite for intriguing premises delivered in an inaccessible, detached tone. I’d then self-publish to find that niche.

“I’m gonna sell 32 books to people I know!”

3. I could bite the bullet and realize I have something special and take the hard road to make it happen and do it justice.

Options 1 & 2 would not have required a several week absence. As I’m sure you can guess, I went with option 3. So here I am. After 1 year of writing, 2 years of editing, countless reviews by friends and acquaintances, dozens of queries, dozens of rewrites of queries, more reviews, more edits, and an insane number of hours, I decided I loved the idea and characters enough to start over. So I did. Which meant I didn’t have much time for blogging.

Now I’m back. Thanks for your patience. You may not need a tissue, but I do.