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Free books and vampires

Hmm, maybe that should be “Free books, and vampires,” since I am not giving away vampires for free. Not for money either. To be clear, there will be no giving away of vampires whatsoever.


Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

Apparently I will be going through these vacation photos FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, so I’ve decided to reverse the order of the posts I had in mind. Instead of Galapagos recaps and then a book giveaway, I’m doing the book giveaway now. As in, right now. First up is ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis. You have 1 week. Ready, set, go!

Also, this morning I learned that the miserable itchy bumps I got in the Galapagos were not in fact heat rash. No, they were a much more ominous sounding ailment: Polymorphous Light Eruption. In plain English that means “unpredictable shapes/lumps/yucky things that explode on your skin thanks to the hot hot sun.” Awesome, no? Another nickname for PMLE is “the vampire disease,” since it technically means you are allergic to the sun. Great. Couldn’t I just sparkle instead?

Bon voyage

I believe that translates roughly to, I’m going on a cruise next week, see ya, suckahs!


See, when we did Disney World two years ago, Andy realized that vacations in the Gulf/Caribbean are cheaper in September. I like to call these our “hurricane specials.” Sure, you risk getting rained on every day (at best) or dying in a tempest of epic proportions (at worst). But hey, you save $300!

(Also: no kids, ’cause they’re back in school. That might be worth more than the money.)

As promised, this blog will still be rocking the suburbs while I’m gone. The lineup has expanded, so there will actually be a post every single day next week! None of my M/W/F junk. (Weird. I’m a better blogger when I’m not even here…)

So anyway, stay tuned, and please show my fabulous friends some comment-love, okay?

And hey, maybe if you’re really, really good, I’ll send you a treat. Something like… most thoughtful comment of the week wins a book? What do you think?

Light miscellany

For any writer who needs a pick-me-up, check out how difficult the road to publication was for Jane Austen. I had no idea!

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Sweet Sy is giving away cute jewelry at her blog. Head on over to her post about aspirations and enter for your chance to win!

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Last night I found out I was accepted to the week-long Writer’s Workshop run by the Kenyon Review. There are a lot of reasons I want to go (learning, networking, “vacationing,” etc.) and only one thing holding me back: the cost. It’s not prohibitive, but it sure makes you do a double-take. Like, is this really worth it?

But I think the only way I can answer that is by going and finding out for myself.

I did resort to a shameless sidebar plug in the hopes that a philanthropic literature-loving sugar daddy will stumble across my blog and decide to donate. More realistically, I’ll just hope that the Google ads get more interesting to folks. Even more realistically, I’ll start saving.

(Also: if anyone has attended this workshop, or one similar, and has any thoughts, I’d love to hear!)

Happy birthday to me! Congratulations to…


Sorry, Albert, no Snuffles. :(

Everyone else — friends and strangers alike — thank you so much for coming to my site and participating in my little birthday game! I had a ton of fun reading your answers and putting them into my mad libs. Yes, I wrote it, so this should be interesting. I’ve filled in Mary’s answers below, but feel free to substitute your own and/or make up new ones.

Once upon a time in a (1) tree far far away, there lived a young woman with big (2) clouds. But when this (3) pretty girl graduated from school, the pressures of money and people’s (4) puppies led her to put her dreams on hold and seek employment. She went to work for an (5) email who she knew was weird from the start, but she ignored her instincts, telling herself that she shouldn’t be so quick to (6) read. Unfortunately, her instincts were right, and the guy turned out to be even more of a (7) mug than she imagined! After one (8) nanosecond she could take no more. She quit and moved into a humble (9) schoolhouse with her (10) second cousin-in-law twice removed. There she began to launch her career as a (11) baker.

Ten years later, she was a superstar in her field. She was even awarded the (12) Pulitzer Prize! That night in her acceptance speech, she said, “I’d like to thank my mom, my dad, (13) Jesus H. Christ, and surprisingly enough, my old boss. If he hadn’t blown up at me for (14) answering the phone, I wouldn’t be here today. Thank you!”

Of course, a few journalists found out who this old boss was and he became an overnight sensation. All the hate (15) kitties he received really made him think, and soon he turned over a (16) fluffy leaf. He hired a new, friendly manager for his company and devoted all his time to the Save the (17) Notebooks Foundation. He even sent the young woman a (18) leaf to thank her for (19) walking his eyes.

From then on, they all lived (20) politely ever after.

Mad Libs Contest Giveaway Thingie

Update: Hey, folks, anyone can enter! You don’t have to be a regular reader. I was looking forward to all the random answers from all the random people. Consider it a birthday present!

Entries will close sometime tomorrow afternoon so keep those comments coming!

Alright, folks, today is the day! In honor of my birthday and inspired by the generosity of Twenty Four at Heart and Pseudonymous High School Teacher, I am giving away a $20 Visa gift card and a book of Mad Libs.

(Unless Albert wins, in which case he wants Snuffles. Even though he already has two…)

What do you have to do to win? Just leave a comment to this entry, filling out the word list below. One comment will be selected at random and announced tomorrow as the winner. One entry per person, please.

If you have any questions, email me (khoffman at gmail.com). Otherwise, GO!

1. noun
2. plural noun
3. adjective
4. plural noun
5. noun
6. verb
7. noun
8. unit of time
9. type of building/place
10. familial relation (e.g. wife, cousin, uncle-in-law)
11. profession
12. award (real or made-up)
13. religious figure or deity
14. job-related task
15. noun
16. adjective
17. plural noun
18. noun
19. verb
20. adverb

Thanks for playing!

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