Monthly Archives: December 2012

Mortification Monday

Warning! This is a sad one.

July 17, 1993

Dear Diary,

It started off as any day except no writer’s camp. I stayed home. Mu mom had been up with my dog all night. He was having problems. My mom called the vet and made an appointment. I let my dog Baron outside for a few minutes every hour. Or at least tried. After two hours he wouldn’t move. I worried, panicked, and was upset. My mom came home shortly and then took him to the vet. When they got back my mom was crying and Baron was limping really bad. My mother sat me down and explained what was wrong. Baron was going to die. He had bone cancer. I cried as we dragged an old sheet and fed him cookies. I cried in his fur and hugged him. Nothing I did would prepare me for what was gonna happen. 

My mom called my dad at work and asked him to pick up my sister. They came home at almost 4. I spent time with Baron until they came home. My dad and sister came home. When my mom broke the news to my sister, she started crying, So did my dad. She wanted to know who would share a birthday with her and play with her. Tears streamed down my face. We took pictures and said our goodbyes. My parents drove to the vet with baron. It was different without him. This morning my mom called the vet. Baron had passed on.

Love, Danielle

July 18, 1993

Dear Diary,

This morning when I awoke I realized that never again would my dog Baron wake me up with his wet nose or lay on the floor next to my bed during storms. It’s good to remember the past but nothing will change the fact that I miss him. We’re gonna get a puppy sometime. No other dog will ever be like him. I loved him. I still do. There’s a hole in my heart where he was. I cried myself to sleep last night. We are in our van for our spur of the moment trip to Jacksonville, FL. My dad’s idea. Had fun. Shopped.




Baron was a German Shepherd. He was an amazing dog. I named him after my grandmother’s German Shepherd, Baron, when I was three.

Me, age 7ish with Baron

Me, age 7ish with Baron

Leave a comment

Filed under middle school

Inspiration Playlist Volume 1, Track 8 “Beast and Dragon, Adored”

Today’s inspirational track comes from the band Spoon, off their appropriately titled album Gimme Fiction.When I listen to “Beast and Dragon, Adored,” I am reminded about what it’s like to return to my WIP after I’ve been away for awhile. I opted to take the last half of December off writing to let my story marinate for awhile. I’m anxious to return my characters, but in the meantime I’ll be rocking out to this track.

the beast and dragon, adored
you been gone so long
where you been for so long
I went to places unknown
rented a room
and i forgot my pen
shook my twin
and I had to find the feelin again

now all I need is a crew
one that can act as if
one that can slay on cue
and sneeze and sniff
uh-huh alright
I’m going back to the water
been landlocked too long

Leave a comment

Filed under music

Bad Poetry Friday

Note: this is a blatant rip off of Elizabeth Bartlett’s “Charlotte, her book” but I still love this one to pieces.


Untitled (1996)

My  name is Danielle sometimes people

call me Char or Danielle or Danny

depending on whom I’m with

and once at camp I showed everyone my fanny


I eat half-cold suppers

and one or two percent cow juice

I’m always in a hurry, I forget

things and expensive stuff I lose


I run on a cross country team

and play girls softball

I daydream in right field and

my favorite time of year is fall


I’m cold all the time and people

yell in my ears. death I fear

I’m sad a lot and depressed

and at night I fall asleep to my tears


I wish a great many things

that never will come true

my name is Danielle, you can

call me stupid and hate my shoes

cause one day Danielle will be gone

Leave a comment

Filed under poetry

Wednesday roundup

It’s winter break ya’ll and I’m on vacation. And by vacation I mean sleeping in my childhood bedroom, fighting with my sister, and reverting to my 17-year-old self.

In light of anything profound, here are some things you might like to peruse:

Sean Beaudoin (You Killed Wesley Paine)   Tells you how not to get published.

While you’re at it, check out the “Dudes of YA” spread.

Or take a look at 2013 YA Cover Trends

Or see how all the “Best of 2012” lists stack up

Publisher’s Weekly





See you next week!

Leave a comment

Filed under best of

Mortification Monday

We’re going back in time to the summer of 1993 when I was Writer’s Camp. I never said my writing was good.

July 12th, 1993 

I awoke early. 5:59 a.m. Excited. Anxious. Nervous. Face it, I was having second thought about writer’s camp. Thoughts and questions rolled through my head. Would I know anybody? What were the other kids like? Were the teachers going to be mean? Well I found out my answers. I made lots of friends, found people I knew, I even made friends with my principal’s daughter. We wrote a draft and interviewed each other. The cookies were okay, but the juice…GROSS!!!! Last time I drink the juice here. The car pool in the morning was okay except I’m the only girl. We made it to CHS in 15 minutes. Wow! CHS is huge! I found K5 and 6 no problem. My name tag was picked up and I chose my seat next to Mrs. Welbon. Roll call and pairing up came next.

At the end of  school camp I said goodbye to my friends and climbed into my carpool. I was dropped off at my house. Home at last.



July 13, 1993

Dear Diary,

For the second time I woke up early. 6:19? I again was nervous. And upset. My carpool didn’t come until I left at 8:45. I was furious. We took a field trip to the pier. Safety Harbor. It was great. the others saw a manatee. We wrote stories when we got back. Juice and cookies are grosser than ever. My mom picked me up from W.C. I got a t-shirt. It rained this afternoon.




Writer’s Camp is like a journalism immersion camp for middle schoolers put on by the Pointer Institute. Only a handful of kids were chosen from each middle school in the county.

Leave a comment

Filed under middle school, writing

Bad Poetry Friday

This is a classic from my 7th grade diary.

Untitled (1994)

I dance in the dark of the night

among the shadows and


The wind whispers

my name.

Leave a comment

Filed under middle school, poetry

The importance of keeping a journal

I’m not good at keeping track of things. Nor am I good at saving my stuff. I’m not a hoarder, I’m a purger. But somehow, after countless moves and new cities and well, life in general, I still have all of my childhood journals.

Well, not all. There are a few that disappeared along the way (probably for the the better), but I still have 17 of them document my transformation from a dorky sixth grader to crazy-ass teenager to dorky adulthood.  You may have seen some on Mortification  Mondays (some being more mortifying than others) or even the stuff I showcase on Bad Poetry Friday.

I don’t know who bought me my first journal nor why I started keeping one. Certainly I had nothing to say except about what boy I liked, but I’d like to thank Past Danielle for doing that. Why? Because rereading these embarrassing crushes and confessions brings me back to my young adult self. I can easily tap into that teen angst and despair just by rereading an entry. I can either cry tears of laughter (the underwear story) or remember a painful memory I had managed to bury (a future post).  They provide inspiration and motivation.

A lot of writers, particularly YA, kept journals. I think the most vocal about it has been Meg Cabot who went on the create the crazy popular Princess Diaries. Perhaps the secret to her prolific career is right there in those middle school notebooks.

If you didn’t keep a journal as a teen, you’re not screwed. There’s still time to keep one now. Or to go back and write down memories and feelings because you never know when they might come in handy. These days I don’t keep a journal like I used to. Twitter and Facebook had replaced that need to document mundane details on paper, but I still carry one around now. I use to write  down ideas or bits of dialogue that might come in handy, or books to read or my to-do list. Each new manuscript has a book that corresponds to what my life was like at that time of writing it. It’s a great resource even if the only person who can decipher anything in it is me.

Did you keep a journal as a teen?

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

Mortification Monday


Dear Diary,

Let’s start with Monday. I had a softball game. Tues- my sister had a softball game. I stayed home and did homework. I read and watched TV, Wed- I acolyted. I hate it and couldn’t get the candle in. Today is St. Patrick’s Day. We went to Arrigotos for dinner. Two girls asked me if I like Jimmy. I said yes. Krystal and I think he likes me. Krystal asked me weird questions today. I went to the orthodontist. Yesterday was Jimmy’s birthday. He skipped school. On Monday I had to sit behind Lisa F. She smells.





Dear Diary,

My life is a mess. I asked out Than L and he said no. I think I’m over Jimmy. Krystal has been acting strange. Jimmy and I are like best buds. I chew gum at school. Tomorrow we leave for the cabin. Tracy says I’m a major flirt. Brooks H. says I’m a bitch. I’m mad at mom.





1. Well my crush on Jimmy had to end sometime. I first mention I like him on February and proceeded to crush on him hard for six weeks before giving up and asking out Than L, who if I remember correctly was in 8th grade. But a crush for 6 weeks in 7th grade is pretty epic.

2. I love that I think I’m so badass for chewing gum at school.

1 Comment

Filed under middle school

Inspiration Playlist Volume 1, Track 7 “Fiction”

Today’s inspirational selection comes from the English indie band XX off their new album  Coexist. It’s not necessarily about writing, but about creation and the melody is rather haunting, making this song one of my preferred songs to write to. Actually both of their albums, Coexist and XX are perfect and moody for those introspective scenes in your manuscript.

Fiction, when we’re not together
Mistaken for a vision, something of my own creation
I wake up alone, with only daylight between us
Last night the world was beneath us, tonight comes, dear love
Were we torn apart by the break of day?
You’re more than I can believe, would ever come my way

The video isn’t the greatest. The are some annoying screaming fans in the background, but you get the idea.

Leave a comment

Filed under music

Bad Poetry Friday

* I feel like I should note that this is not about an actual one night stand but about a guy I met a Disney World when I was 16 and on a youth group retreat. I think the only action I got was sitting next to him on the Haunted Mansion ride.

Untitled (1997)

One night stand man

Borrowed my heart for a joyride

In the land of magic

I tried not to be shy

But the feel of your hand on the small of back

My shoulder

My ass

Pulling me closer

I was hypnotized by the spell in your eyes

While you looked past my soul and at my body

I guess my inner beauty was blocked from view

And I kissed you with underlying passion

Excuse me while I trip on my pride

While you smile at my insecurity

But I still feel you hand on the small of my back

My shoulder

My ass

Pulling me closer

To tell me what I want to hear

Daylight came and stole my shame

You left me your number for inconvenience

And a broken heart

I left my youth in the night

Along with my common sense

Leave a comment

Filed under poetry, writing