Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

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Fresh Air Friday #3

I went to a school fundraiser/yard sale last weekend and left with a $1 box of floor tiles and a bag of baked goods. Last year, I bought a prom dress. I love the randomness of these things.

Also, more flowers are blooming in my yard!

The origin of Fresh Air Friday.



Book Hoarders Anonymous

fireworksSix books gone from my TBR-shelf!

Ignore the fact I just removed ones I knew I’d never read so I could donate them to my local library for their next book sale. The bottom line is that they are gone from my shelf! It’s a big step for me because whenever I buy a tattered paperback on a whim or someone hands me a box of used novels, I feel this ridiculous sense of duty to read them. One day. Or never, as the case may be.

It’s really strange that I have this habit because I’m not that way about most other things. I do major cleaning purges once or twice a year, giving away clothes or whatever else I don’t need and I don’t think twice about it. But with books, it’s different. At least while they’re unread. I keep a surprisingly small amount of read books.

Does anyone else have this problem? I’m trying to get better and I’m sure my husband will appreciate my efforts the next time we move and he has a few less boxes to haul.


Settling in…sorta

The hubs, the cat, and I have moved and are in the process of adjusting to life in a new place.

Last time we moved I posted pics of the new place because I lurved it.  This time…

Well, it’s not the worst place in the world, but it’s not my wood-floored, front porch having, charming little apartment.  So no pics.  Except for one, which shows the only counter space in my kitchen.  My mom pegged it by saying my kitchen was basically a closet with a stove and refrigerator.  Cooking has been very interesting, to say the least.

Annoying?  A bit.  But we’re saving money with this place, cash that we’re hoping to put toward buying a house next year.  I actually talked to a lender when we found out our lease wasn’t being renewed, but I didn’t want to rush the process – two months just wasn’t enough time for us to comfortably shop around for the place we’re going to spend the rest of our lives in.

I’m trying to get back into the process of blogging, but since we moved, I’ve had this feeling of running behind.  It’s like I woke up late (a week and a half ago) and I just can’t catch up.  I think it’ll be a few weeks before I’m feeling completely centered again.  By then it’ll almost be fall and the air will (I hope) have a chill and I can make a ton of comfort food without melting into a puddle in the Closet Kitchen.

I also need to get back into reading and writing, two things I’ve done way too little of this summer.

Speaking of summer, it’s almost Olympics time!  I’m not one of those gung-ho watchers, but I am a fan of gymnastics.  My own gymnastics career was short-lived, because I really wasn’t that good, so it’s fun to watch people flipping around like they’re supposed to, instead of clumsily cartwheeling on the beam and grabbing their coach’s hair to keep from falling off when the landing doesn’t go quite as planned.

Yeah, I might have done that.  More than once.  Sorry coach.

Well, that about wraps up my ramble, except for one last random story:

When hubs and I moved into our apartment last summer, there was a shadow of something in the ceiling light fixture in my office – it freaked me out because I thought it was a dead hellgrammite or something equally yucky.  I chose to ignore it.

Then the lightbulbs burned out and my husband unscrewed the fixture and took it down.

It was NOT a bug.  Instead it was…

(scroll down for the shocking reveal!)






An animal cracker. (pic source)


A freaking animal cracker.  I’m pretty sure it was the elephant.

So bizarre.

How is everyone else doing?  Anyone else planning to watch the Olympics?  Anyone else attending WriteOnCon next month?  Regale me with your own random stories!


Things I Love – Don’t Judge Me Edition

Happy Valentine’s Day!  It’s time for declarations of love and blah blah blah.

YA Highway is hosting a V-Day Lovefest, so today I admit my bizarre passion for…

Taking self-portraits with cats.


I’m serious.

Something about posing with a cat and snapping a photo amuses me to no end.  Even more so when it’s an out-of-focus or skewed photo, such as these:

Cat: I was trying to run away from her. No more pics, crazy lady!

Cat: This pic was awesome...until she jumped into it

I didn’t realize I enjoyed doing this so much until my dad asked to see a picture of my cat and I scrolled through the pictures on my camera phone.

Those, along with the ones taken with my digital camera = I have self-portraits with six different cats.

Admitting that makes me sound like a crazy cat person.  And adding that not all of them were even my cats makes me sound like I’m sneaking into people’s houses at night.  (I’m not)

So there it is.

My lame confession.

Does anyone else want to share the weirdo spotlight with me?

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My wonky train of thought starts with a paperclip and ends with Fraggles

I was checking out posts from my local freecycling group and someone was giving away a toddler bed.  The problem with the post was that the title said simply:

Offer – Toddler

Of course I clicked on it, not that I’m looking for a toddler, but I wondered if the mods had temporarily lost their minds.

(they hadn’t)

The post made me start thinking about odd things that have sold online (I’ve heard that people on eBay have auctioned an imaginary friend, a cornflake shaped like Illinois…and didn’t some woman try to auction off her virginity?)

Maybe Corn reader, Ian, can sell his freaky tomato:

And THEN (see, this is how my mind works), I started thinking about that guy, I call him “Red Paperclip Guy” who started with a red paperclip and ended up with a house.  He’s even got his own Wikipedia article!  (that means you have officially made it in the world).  I like how there’s a pic of the paperclip with the caption that it’s THE paperclip, as if anyone would know the difference.

Now, further randomness:

The how did I not know about this before this week moment:

There’s a Smurfs movie coming out next summer.

Why must every cartoon I watched as a kid turn into a movie?  G.I. Joe, the Transformers, The Smurfs…

A-ha!  On a whim I just looked up Thundercats and it looks as though it might be a big budget movie in the next year or two.  Same with He-Man.

And Fraggle Rock: The Movie, set for 2012.

Why is my childhood being regurgitated onto the big screen???

Okay, done with my freak-out.

I leave you with my laugh of the week:

Improv Everywhere’s Ghostbusters library reenactment.

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Papa, can you hear me?

^No, I’ve never seen this movie.  It’s just my clunky segway into asking, “How the heck did I forget about the Hemingway Look-Alike Contest held last month?”  I mean, not that I was going, but I always like to see photos!

What a strange, strange custom this is…

But onward, to other literary things!

Writer’s Digest has some tips on how to strengthen your scenes.  I so need to tattoo this advice on my forearm, as I am a notorious writing rambler and rarely know when to stop.

Blogger/writer Sangu is having a Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway!

Writer Unboxed has info about a “Sister and Me” contest (mega book giveaway!) – the cover of “The Last Will of Moira Leahy” is so awesome, it’s going on my TBR list.

Don’t you love it when writers go to conferences and when they come back they’ve got tons o’ goodies to give away???  The lovely ladies at YA Highway have got some books up for grabs.

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The one with all the animals

So a whale, a shark and a bear were all gonna walk into a bar together, but the bear got stuck in the car

(If there wasn’t that whole danger of being ripped to shreds, bears would make awesome frat guys.)

So the whale and the shark go into the bar, where the whale was harassed by some people sailing in…

(Um, how does one go about harassing a whale and if it was harassed, who thinks this is a good idea?) 

(not me)         

So that just left the shark, but he split after being approached by some chums from the Discovery Channel who asked if he wanted to star in Shark Week, starting August 1.

(er…lame ending, I know)

To make up for my lameness, I leave you with THIS VIDEO of a cat eating watermelon – yes, that’s right, this cat is chowing down.   A friend sent me the link yesterday and it double-rainbowed my day.  Seriously.  And did you know there are like a trillion pages on YouTube of cats eating watermelon?

Do cats like watermelon?

How have I missed this phenomenon?

I don’t know cats that eat fruit, I know cats like this one:

I’m pretty sure he’d sabotage my brakes if he had thumbs.