Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm a liar and people still reward me.

This will be a Two Part Post.
Part One:


So, first I need to reveal a little something about myself I didn't reveal in my previous post.
Logic has never come naturally to me.
This was especially true in my childhood years. Every event was just another crazy adventure in:
~Amanda Land.~ 
I'm sure this is probably true for most writers. But I thought this would help explain my post. By all accounts my last post was completely true except for one lie. If some things seemed far fetched to you, remember it was my teenage interpretation. Yes, I had a WILD imagination.


  • QUIRK: Yep, I talk to animals. Present tense. I also talk to inanimate objects. Sadly, objects and animals don't always talk back. I guess they have a tendency to be shy. Before high school I would swear to you they DID talk back. Though...lots of things talked to me. But that's a whole other post-
  • I was a member of the FFA. And I did just join for the animal aspect but I enjoyed it thoroughly even if I was the only "tree-hugging", "*salad-shooting" member surrounded by red-meat eating farm boys! ;)
  • ANNOYING HABIT: (according to my parents collecting animals is a less than redeeming quality) Yes, I had two roosters-named Bonnie & Clyde- though I swore one was a girl until she started crowing. I had a goat named El Gigante that we lived in fear of. (Big horns) I had a lamb named Cheecotah who was very forgiving when I was learning the fine art of shearing. And yes, I actually did have a duck but sadly, his time with me was so temporary due to a friend's terrible wolf dog, that I don't remember his name. Dogs, cats and rats don't even complete the list! Guinea Pigs, MICE (wow, did you know they breed like friggin rabbits?!?!), a sparrow, gerbil, hamsters, fish...and the infamous rabbit. LIE: But I have NEVER OWNED A COW.
  • Since the majority of my animals were brought into the family on the sly or rescued from a terrible fate, I was met with the stink eye when I said I wanted a rabbit to show at the fair. This was the reasoning behind the goat and lamb. And of course it was educational since it was through school...but unlike the other FFA students when showing farm animals, when I was approached by a potential buyer for my critters I replied with, "Step away from the GOAT." My parents knew the animals were for keeps.
  • SECRET: I caught a "wild" rabbit. These rabbits were at a public park where they were fed by humans and this particular rabbit was very much with child. So she was pretty slow. There was a sign at the entrance of the park that I chose to ignore, something along the lines of: Please Do NOT take rabbits off premises. 
  • Maybe it was the combined trauma of being captured and having a thunder storm the same night that caused her to go into labor and scatter miniature rabbits all over the bunny enclosure. And mama bunnies have this weird quirk where they feel like eating their babies will protect them from outside dangers. Mama bunny: "Quick my darlings! Back into my tummy before the lightening strikes you all DEAD!" Of course when my young, teenage mind beheld this scene these factors did NOT fit into my logic. No, my logic went more like this: BLOOD! STORM! Obviously this can not be an ordinary bunny! Obviously this is a psychotic, homicidal, cannibalistic, MONSTER BUNNY! (I won't torment us any more with scary, scary bunny pictures. You're welcome.) I think this is one of my BEST CHARACTER TRAITS, my lack of normal logic, because who wants to be normal?? But my family would probably rather see it fit into ANNOYING HABIT CATEGORY.
  • So I will put this into my BEST CHARACTER TRAIT: Yes the rabbit bit me. And even though I knew being bit by this MONSTER RABBIT on a STORMY NIGHT could NOT end well for me. I also knew I couldn't let those little guys meet the same fate as their siblings. All moms are gifted with this character trait, I know, but my maternal instinct is strong to a fault. I protect anything that can not protect itself. I even save spiders. I always root for the underdog. And I save all the small mammals who fall victim to big mammals even when I know it is hopeless and even though I know I will spend the next day or two stressing over how to keep it alive and get attached and then cry when it inevitably dies. Damn my freaky strong maternal instincts!!
  •  Finally, come on, who doesn't love a big mug of hot vegetable stew with soy nuggets on a crisp fall evening??? It is one of my FAVORITE THINGS!
Part Two:
Ok, since I made Part One freakishly long and the likeliness that anyone is still reading this is slime how about we leave Part Two for tomorrow night?
Sound good?
I thought so.

*"salad shooter" was a lovely nickname given to me by those red-meat-eating-farm-boys because I was a vegetarian. Which to them meant eating only salad, grass and the bark off trees. Which meant, ahem, diarrhea. Get it? Salad Shooter. Told you it was a lovely nickname. I'm so lucky.

Monday, February 21, 2011

1st Crusader's Challenge

Rachael Harrie at Rach Writes has given us Crusaders a challenge. In 300 words or less, we must tell:
“• one secret
• one lie
• one interesting quirk
• one annoying habit
• one of your best character traits, and
• one of your favourite things in the whole world.
The post can be in any format, including poetry (for those poets among us), but must include the random words, “bloviate,” “fuliguline,” “rabbit,” and “blade” (tee hee).”

Obviously this is how Rach gets her sick kicks! Lol!

The Night of the Were Rabbit
Duhn, duhn duuuh

I really hate to bloviate but I, Amanda M. Milner, talk to animals. In high school I was a member of the FFA -Future Farmers of America-though I just joined for the animals. I never did any farming. I had two roosters, a goat, a lamb, a cow, a fuliguline and of course dogs, cats and rats.
My best friend had a rabbit-a fancy, flop eared kind. She entered it into the county fair & desperately wanted me to show a rabbit with her. Oddly, my parents weren’t down with me getting a rabbit.
No problem. I talk to animals. I could get one of the wild ones down by the dam. So by the dim light of the setting September sun we snuck onto the grounds and within minutes I had me a plump brown rabbit. The same night a thunder storm shook our house & I heard strange noises coming from the bunny enclosure. What I saw in the flash of lightening disturbed me greatly. Blood glistened on the bunny’s white whiskers. And around the cage were small fluffy balls, miniature rabbits.
My heart raced.
Food & water after midnight.
Bright light…Oh My Gawd! The lightening!
It’s a Were Rabbit!!
Maternal instinct kicked in, I couldn’t leave the surviving little guys in there with that thing. They looked too much like babies. I took a deep breath & opened the cage door. I grabbed the 1st one without a problem. But when I went for the next one crimson teeth flashed and sliced into my arm like a blade. Talking to her didn’t help. She wasn’t an animal, she was a monster. And she had just infected me. Now, when the harvest moon rises, an urge so powerful overwhelms me.
Carrots, potatoes, radishes.
I hunger for them.
Preferably in stew form.
So, if in the orange glow of the Harvest Moon you hear the death cries of root vegetables, you might suspect a Were Rabbit is near.
Or it might be me.
~So, one of these fun facts is actually a lie. Can you guess which one it is? I bet you're wrong. ;)

*Super Creepy Bunny

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Crusaders & Bloggers

I swear I haven't forgotten about you! My poor 6 year old had dental surgery this morning and we just got home. He is feeling pretty miserable so I probably won't get around to visiting and following until later this evening.

On a lighter note I did get to witness my youngest high as a kite. It was equal parts disturbing and hilarious! He had a lot of fun until they had to take him back. Apparently attempting to stand and falling on the pillows I spread around the holding room is endless amusement when your six and stoned.
My baby: "It's soooo weeeiiiirrd." *giggles*
Me: 0.0 "Wow, I just flashed forward to your teen years! I don't think I'm going to like it."
By the time the hygienist came to get him we were both giggling uncontrollably. She probably thought I bummed some of the good stuff off my kid! Lol!
☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺
I'll start doing the rounds again tonight!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bernard Pivot Blogfest

So I discovered this fun little contest while I was visiting my fellow Crusaders. See how easily distracted I am? I have well over 100 blogs to follow and here I am adding to my list! Heehee. Anyway, Nicole over at
One Significant Moment at A Time is putting on a getting to each other better contest to celebrate hitting the 500 follower mark. (wow!) All we need to do is answer this questionnaire made famous by Inside the Actors Studio.

1.What is your favorite word? Awesome. I may use it too much.
2.What is your least favorite word? Gah, I have a few and I find it difficult to even type them:P Ok...moist and titty and the "F" word.
3.What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Music and the beauty that surrounds us.
4.What turns you off? Screaming children.
5.What is your favorite curse word? Hmm, Fish Paste! Courtesy of Sponge Bob. No, 'shit!' slips out quite often.
6.What sound or noise do you love? Laughter
7.What sound or noise do you hate? Fork vs Plate *shudders*
8.What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Super Hero or a Surgeon (I know, same thing)
9.What profession would you not like to do?Telemarketer
10.If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? It does and 'Welcome Home'

Wee! That was fun!

Making Phlegm Work for You and A Book Giveaway

First off I want to mention this contest giving away an Arc of The Liar Society, a book I am anxious to read. If I am lucky I won’t have to wait until its release date. Go over to Jill Scribbles blog and enter to win. Maybe you will be the lucky one. (Poo on you) Better hurry, contest ends tomorrow!
                On to my phlegm. I have a cold. Not a terrible one, just a run of the mill cold consisting of but not limited to: pressure against my facial orifices (oddly from the inside out), itchy eyes, tickly throat and infestation. You know, that obnoxious white trash green guy who thinks he can just go ahead and make himself at home in people’s lungs.
                Anyway, I am on day four. Last night I was popping cough drops like they were my kid’s Valentine Day candy and I woke this morning feeling like a menthol breathing dragon with acid spewing from its nostrils. (Yea, you like that image? Your welcome.) I stumbled for the tissue box but before I reached it I became alarmed by this lump on the roof of my mouth. ‘Oh my God, what the heck is that?’ I pushed it with my tongue and it fell. Apparently my un-dissolved cough drop affixed itself there and conveniently dispersed little droplets of menthol down my throat throughout the night. Clever! I might be on to something here! Aaaaand I have sort of gone off on a tangent here. I forgot what the point was. *checks title of post*
                I was in my car, taking my kids to school when I felt a disturbance in my tummy. I pictured the menthol and acid mucus engrossed in an epic battle at the bottom of my otherwise empty stomach. My gag reflex became instantly alarmed. You see, Gag, thinks the best solution is to just rid the stomach of such offenders. I protested. Enter Post Nasal Drip. They both took turns flicking my uvula.
I swallowed hard.
Gag and Drip went down kicking and screaming.
Oh wow, that was disgusting.
I dropped the tykes off and was thanked for not vomiting in the car.
As I drove off a thought occurred. Well, more like a scene played out:
My inner therapist is in his leather, wing-backed chair and I am lying on the couch. I have just told him (yes, my inner therapist is a stereotypical older man) what I’ve so kindly told you.
                “Mmhmm, okay, hmm. And how does that make you feel?” he asks. I tell him. “Most interesting. Now tell me more, dig deeper.”
So I dug deeper. And ignored the growing look of disgust that spread across my therapist’s face.
I dug deeper still as he pressed his fingers against his lips as to suppress the urge to vomit. After all the guy is in fact me and I tend to be overly expressive. When I finished I looked up at him expectantly.
                “That was, how shall I put this, vivid. Vivid and grotesque,” he said. I smiled. “So, how can we use these colorful details to better your characters’ experiences?” he asked.
                “Well, I guess I can give greater detail to when my character is sick.” Wasn’t that obvious, I thought.
                He sighed. “Yes, but I was hoping you’d think a little outside the box.”
                “I’m sorry. The only thing that comes to mind is Taco Bell.” My tummy gurgled.
                “That is ‘Outside the Bun’ you ridiculous moron,” he growled. “I am deeply embarrassed for you.” He rubbed his fingers against his temples.
                “You ARE me, JERK!” That’ll show him.
                “You’re right, I apologize. I am a jerk.” He smiled at me and I felt as though I was bested, but I wasn’t sure how. “This is what I was hoping to get from you,” he continued. “Think of other circumstances where someone might feel relatively like you do now.”
                “You mean, like when I am nervous. Or super stressed. Or maybe heartbroken. Or if I had a huge fight with someone I care about…? Right?” I checked his expression for approval.
                “Yes, good, good.” He nodded then leaned forward. “If any of these things are pivotal to the plot and journey of your character the reader needs to deeply connect. It is your job to paint these emotions on the page so that they leap out at the reader in all their glory and vivid grotesqueness. The reader must feel what your character feels. And since the vast majority of readers have yet to be involved in an epic battle where the fate of the world rests on their teenage shoulders, it is also your job to make these feelings somewhat relatable.” He smiled as he watched the light bulb turn on over my head.
                “Ergo my acid snot belly,” I said excitedly.
                “Exactly.” He tapped my chest and instantly dissolved into myself.
Back on the road I reflected on two things. First I was thankful I didn’t cause a fiery crash and was still on course toward my destination. Second, everything that happens to me, however insignificant, can be used to better my writing. This, of course, is not a new revelation. We, as writers, have been told this before. But I usually concern myself with the happenings of others when looking for inspiration. I’ve been told it can be helpful for my writing to keep a detailed journal. Yet I never got around to it. My life is boring. It didn’t seem relevant to the exciting life of my characters.
My phlegm story was my EUREKA moment.

*So, am I the only one that took having an acid snot belly to realize the relevance of journaling?
*Can anyone else tell me about an event that could help the reader connect with your MC?
*Was anyone deeply disturbed by my descriptions of mucus? Too bad, you read a post that had the word phlegm in it! Lol! Just kidding. Thank you for reading.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

It's a Crusade

And here is the push I needed to start my blog. I remember Rachel Harrie's first Crusade and I wanted to make sure I had a blog to join for her next one. I foolishly convinced myself I would have more time to create a fantastic blog. Silly me. Here's my blog, less than fantastic but in time for the Second Crusade! Hooray!
So the Crusade is Rach's ingenious creation to help other bloggers build up their platform. They all come together in this crusade to follow eachother, join in other blogger's contests, comment on their posts and of course take part in the Crusade Challenges!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hello Blogger People

So...I'm new. I've been rolling the idea of starting a blog around in my mind for quite a while now. But I'm a master procrastinator and a bit of a chicken. I was terrified of the idea of thinking up things to blog about on a regular basis and even more terrified of having people see these things I think up. I've been reading other writer's blogs and they all seem much more knowledgeable than I, have great guest interviews and put on 'epic' contests. I write novels. The cleverness evolves through the fabricated world and lives of my characters. Novels are generally longer than a typical blog post. But, I started to notice I was the ONLY person in the UNIVERSE that didn't have a blog! I felt so ALONE. Here I was, feeling so current being on Twitter, belonging to an on-line writers group, attending WriteOnCon, mastering Facebook...I mean I AM the go-to person for social networking and searching Google in my household (hey, its a house of seven!). But I discovered that I was quite mistaken. So here I am. A blogger. Beginning my writer's platform.