Monthly Archives: December 2013

Reflections and Resolutions

I can’t believe 2013 is almost over.

Actually I CAN believe it because I’m looking at a calendar and today is Tuesday, December 31st.

You know that saying that goes “The days are long but the years are short?” Somehow all of my days in 2013 seemed extra short.

It was a busy year as years go. I traveled to Florida, Alaska (via cruise), and to Vancouver, B.C, I spent nearly two weeks wearing a backpack and exploring the rain-soaked countries of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, and Montenegro with the husband in May.

I got an agent

I wrote two full YA novels and 1/4 of another

I finished NaNoWriMo

I started a SEKRIT PROJECT and started thinking about another

I got my first check for selling a short story and I wrote something for LITERARY REJECTIONS


I also took a lot of unflattering photos

I tried to run a half marathon but was side-lined by platar faciitis

I ate a lot of pizza

I discovered Cards Against Humanity

I didn’t win the lottery

I read 230 books. Most of them were amazeballs. A few sucked balls

I went to ALA in Chicago

I didn’t quit my day job

I dyed my hair pink again in an effort to relive 2007


I took a lot of selfies with my dogs

More shit probably happened, but I can’t remember.

Which brings me to 2014.

I’m lousy with resolutions. I never keep them. This year I vow to do only two things in an effort to keep things simple:

1) Not be an asshat. This covers pretty much everything.

2) Stay healthy.

Of course there’s a ton of stuff I want to happen in 2014, and things I want to try. Maybe I have a picture book or MG novel in me. Maybe I’ll finally sell LETHAL or SECRET HEART or something else. Maybe I’ll write THREE books next year.

If 2014 brings me half of what 2013 did, and I stay healthy and not act like an asshat, I think things will be okay.

And with that I leave you with Camera Obscura’s “New Year’s Resolution”  which has the best opening lines of a song ever:

New year’s resolution – to write something of value
New year’s resolution – to write something would be fine


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Mortification Monday

Sunday, June 4th,

It is only the fourth day of hurricane season and there already is a hurricane. We’ve had a ot of rain but Allison (the hurricane) won’t -directly hit us. I tried the Sun-In I bought yesterday.

Love, Danielle


Saturday, June 10th

School is out but I wish it was still in. Then maybe I would have some of my friends, There is an ugly rumor going around school that I I’m saying that Jennifer and Tiffani like Dwayne. I never said that but they wont listen. I’m going to call them to apologize to them if I said anything. If I did anything I didn’t mean to. I’m not that kind of person to tell other people’s secrets. Mari is mad at me because I took a picture with her camera. It was my fault. Yesterday Vanessa and I went bowling. I’m in the process of cleaning my whole room top to bottom. Today I cleaned up my side of the closet. I organized and sorted stuff. I had a softball picnic today. It was okay. I got a letter from Valerie today. I’ll write her back when I’m through in here. 2 weeks from now I’ll be at camp. Yes!! 

I’m babysitting right now. I’ve been wondering if friendship is the key to happiness. If that is true. I guess it is lost.

Love, Danielle.


Friendship IS the key to happiness. And puppies.

I am really a nerd. This entry proves it. Hurricanes and cleaning my room? It’s a wonder I ever wound up dating.

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Bad Poetry Friday

Untitled (1998)



90 pounds

17 years old

barely whole

her best friend

is the image in the mirror

and a bathroom scale

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Mortification Monday

In honor of the holidays, here’s an extra long entry in which I detail a slow dance with a boy, Forrest Gump, and how much I love middle school.  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, June 3rd, 1995

Dear Diary,

Before I go into school and the dance and my weekend. I’d like to share something- a phrase: “Your destiny is determined by your future. Our future beholds an unknown life.” As I was cleaning my room I came upon some seashells I could not bear to throw away. As I studied them I realized that each seashell is different. It tells a unique story. It has traveled from a different place. It’s mate or other half, lost at sea or in the sand. I got a letter from Valerie yesterday. I cannot believe we’re going to camp the same week. It’s been raining an awful lot. Yesterday in school the power went out for 2 1/2 hours. I left in 6th.

The 8th grade dance was last night. I didn’t go with anyone. But I did dance with someone. His name was Dwayne Carter. He and I are friends. I wanted to dance with him so I told Tiffany. She told him and then he told me he didn’t want to dance with me. Which was a lie. But as you can see we did dance. I don;t know what song, but I do know that he asked me dance. And we danced close. So close that if we were any closer it would look like we were having sex. His hands were warm and he had them just above my butt. He is my height so it made dancing easier. I rested my chin on his shoulder because that was the only place I could have it. I don’t think I really like him but I don’t know. I have mixed up feelings.

After the dance I spent the night at Jennifer’s house. I had fun. Her sister loves me as in she wouldn’t leave me alone. Jenn and I talked until 1 a.m. She taught me how to play pool and we read magazines. We also looked at yearbooks. We got ours Thursday, They’re cool. Jenn, Mom, and I saw Forrest Gump. It was so sad. I cried. I learned that Papa Dan, mom’s dad, fought in  the Vietnam War. He is depressed about what happened.

I am babysitting Travis S. I am also watching the All Children’s Hospital telethon. Even though I am tired I want to write. I cannot wait until I have a family of my own and my own house and job. I don’t want to leave 8th grade. I’ll miss all my friends like Vanessa and Rebecca and Melissa. I’ll miss my teachers, my locker, my teachers, my homework, ans my middle school. I love my life.

Love, Danielle


WTF was up with that phrase I began my entry with? It makes no sense.

Also, this might be the funniest and honest diary entry I’ve ever written.

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Bad Poetry Friday

Famous (c. 1997?)


I want to be famous

act senseless

be unruly

forget my schooling

funny how selfish I can be

can you see me on TV?

I’ll be the crazy whore

on prime time

make everyone mine

with a flick of a wrist

change the scripts

Soap Queen

Saturday Night Sweetheart

stealing the scene

and a thousand kisses

you won’t miss

an episode

of my irresistible beauty

I’ll be the one you adore

you’ll be asking for the girl you once knew

I’ll own hundreds of shoes

I’ll be rich

a bitch


I won’t make mistakes



Notes: It’s called Bad Poetry Friday for a reason




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My Favorite Favorites of 2013

All month the interwebs have been aflutter with the best books of the year list. PW has one. So does EW. And of course there was #libfaves13 on Twitter.

This got me thinking about the books I loved this year. So here goes (in no particular order)


1. Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown because sometimes we just need to shed our clothes and act out our inner tiger.

2. How to Negotiate Everything by Lisa Lutz and Jamie Temairik which is my new guide to life.

3. Black Helicopters by Blythe Woolston is probably the only book in the work to make you care and root for a teenage terrorist. The tension made me ill. Excellent and haunting on audio.

4. Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner might be the only historical dystopian worth reading.

5. With or Without You by Domenica Ruta puts the fun and heartbreak in dysfunctional family.

6. Far, Far Away by Tom McNeal is as grown-up fairy tale/ thriller narrated by the ghost of Jacob Grimm.

7. Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin because there is no better book about a secret pizza party.

8. If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizen has a heartbreaking romance between two teen girls in



9. The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau is the closest read-alike to The Hunger Games that I’ve found..

10. The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster inspired me to be better organized and to have my own Crocktoberfest.

11. You Are One of Them by Elliott Holt turned friendship during the Cold War into something mysterious and cool.

12. Doll Bones by Holly Black reminded me of Coraline by Neil Gaiman.

13. Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin is a beautiful story of an intersex boy discovering his true identity.

14. Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende had me hooked into this literary mystery/ coming-of-age story from page one.


15. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan was the most beautiful and true book I have read this year. Everyone on the planet needs to read it.

16. The Universe Vs. Alex Woods by Gavin Extence was made for fans of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. 

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight = Gossip Girl + Gone Girlrelish

18. Relish by Lucy Knisley wins the award for best illustrated cookbook memoir.

19. Nobody by Us by  Kristin Halbrook = Romeo and Juliet + Bonnie and Clyde

20. Ask the Passengers by A.S. King was another gem in a glorious year of gay ya. I still want Astrid as my bff.

Of course I read many more books than this, like 200 more (but 1/4 of those were picture books and 1/4 were audio books during my commute/ house cleaning times) and I could have picked more that I loved (or hated). All of these make great last minute gifts if you know a reader (young or old).

What were your favorite favorites of 2013?

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Mortification Monday (another late edition)

Wednesday, May 31, 1995

Dear Diary,

Let me start with Mon- I ran like 3 miles and roller bladed 1 mile. At 9:30  I got a call from Valerie my pen pal. It was so neat to hear her voice. I miss her. We’re going to camp the same week but different areas. I’ll get to see her still.

Tues- The fifth graders came to OG. I had my sister’s group. It was cool.

Wed- I got to read the part of Anne from the play The Diary of Anne Frank. I hate Karie G. She told people that I’m spreading rumors about her being pregnant. I wish I never met her. 

On Sunday I saw my cousins. It’s been 1 1/2 years since I saw them last. They didn’t even say hi to me and my sister. What jerks!

Love, Danielle

Notes: OG stands for my middle school Oak Grove.

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Bad Poetry Friday (a Saturday Special)

Untitled (c. 1998)

Beautiful girl

you act so dumb

taking pills to rid the pain

even though he doesn’t love you

I do

now alone in a hospital room

you’re dying

because of your infatuation

you won’t win him back

he prefers white trash

the more you lose

the less you have to gain

you’re going insane

Notes: This is from a breakup during the height of my anorexia

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Rejection Playlist Volume 3, Track 10 “I Don’t Love Anyone”

This Belle and Sebastian song has been around awhile but I only recently heard it on the GIRLS soundtrack (which is AMAZEBALLS) and it’s been haunting me in a good way ever since. In addition to this being perfect for the playlist, it’s also quite handy to sing to yourself in line at the post office or in Costco, especially when you are feeling all ragey and murderous to everyone in front of you.


I don’t love anyone
You’re not listening even now
You’re playing with someone
You’re playing with someone else

And if there’s one thing that I learned when I was a child
It’s to take a hiding

I don’t love anything
Not even Christmas
Especially not that
I don’t love anything


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December 14, 2013 · 9:02 am

Mortification Monday (on Tuesday)

Better late than never, right?


May 28, 1995

Dear Diary,

My sister is such a pain! She lies and tries to get me in trouble. We’re at Grandma’s house . It is fun because she is nice , we get to go swimming, and I get to see my aunt and cousin. Last night I had to share a bed with my sister and she kicked  me hogged the covers, hogged the bed, then said I was doing all that stuff. I was woken up at 7:30 for breakfast but church doesn’t start until 10:30! This is the first time we have left the kitten over night. I really don’t like Grandma’s church/ It’s small and boring. I got a lot of sun yesterday. I wore my one piece. Last night I tried on my two piece and died. My stomach is whiter than a ghost and the rest of me is red/ tan. M/4/L/ G/2/G




Notes: This is hysterical mostly because I am a nerd and my bathing suit woes. It’s funny that my sister (who is 3 years younger) and I were so mean to each other. Once she was a freshman in high school we finally became friends. 

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