Paris/London Travel Question

I'm very excited to finally be able to use this gem of a passport holder that I picked up several months ago. However, before that happens I have to find a cheap trip to London and Paris.

The travel company we normally use doesn't have the best options for the time we want to go, and considering I know many LJ friends who are well-traveled, I thought I would ask you for companies or even cheap travel suggestions.

1.) Have you used a Travel Company in the past that you've liked and is also cheap, cheap, cheap
2.) Or do you have any cheap hotel, air fair suggests for traveling to Paris or London specifically
3.) And last do you have any must see things to recommend in Paris or London

Thanks so much.

There's just so much on the Internet and it's much better to hear suggestions from people that actually worked.


Slumdog Millionaire and the little movie that could

So I have a confession: as a movie buff, I rarely watch the Oscars. I have no idea why, but award shows just aren't my thing. Maybe it's because it feels like it takes hours until one award is announced, and that generally speaking you have to sit through hearing about 20 films you have no interest in just to get to an award where you know the film or actor/actress.

But funny enough, I love surfing the web the morning after to read all about them. See what people were wearing. See who won what award, etc.

And I'm so delighted to hear Slumdog Millionaire won for best picture. The husband and I went to see it yesterday before the Oscars (in a cramped, really small theater--the local movie place apparently moved it to one of the small theaters in the complex right before the Oscars, which was kind of stupid in my opinion, but oh well, I digress).

And all I can say is this movie TOTALLY DESERVED TO WIN. So, so, so, so good. And not merely because I have a little crush on Dev Patel because he's in one of my favorite BBC shows Skins, but because this movie totally rocks. Such a good love story, incredible moving performances, and the music in this was awesome (coming from a girl who rarely notices music in movies).

So YAY for Slumdog!!

And I was really inspired to read on IMDB that this movie was almost released straight to DVD, apparently because they thought it wouldn't be big enough. Almost gives you hope to know that a little movie (or say book) could make it big, even without a push from executives, a blockbuster budget, or the like.

Hollywood here we come!!!

Guess who's going to be an extra in a movie this Tuesday?

And of course The Husband--whom had to be dragged to the audition--gets a Lead Role!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, I'm officially married to an actor, how cool is that?

Emily = Actor ?

As a writer, I think all of us are on the lookout for fun research trips for our books. It just so happens that I'm writing a book now involving a girl that works on movie sets.

Getting on set of an actual film isn't that easy to do, but more and more movies are shooting in Michigan due to tax breaks film companies receive. As a result, I've been spending a lot of time on the Michigan Film Office Web site. I found out there was an extra's casting call for a wedding scene not to far from my apartment and decided to try out.

What happened turned out to be incredibly exciting as I got to go in front of a green screen and audition for a "lead role" in the scene. A great research opportunity to see in person, and SO MUCH FUN!!!!! I wrote more about the adventure at Adventure Year.

Now I'm going to have to write some more exciting books, merely to get to do these Adventures in Research.

Take the Reins releases today

Congrats to Jessica on her release today!!!

I'm very excited to read these books. Not only because Jessica is a friend, but also because I've been wanting to read a horse-related book. Almost every week girls come into my library looking for horse books, and I've wanted to see what all the fuss is about.

I'm not exactly an animal person, though I did grow up on a farm and either had a horse or lived next to a stable my entire childhood. The "non-animal" thing might stem from being thrown off my own horse when I was about seven or as a coping mechanism after my parents surprised us by telling us when we were eating a hamburger one day that it happened to be our beloved pet Ferdinand the Bull (okay, I can't believe I just shared that). Finding out you are eating your pet makes you a non-pet person pretty fast.

Regardless, I'm giving this book a shot, and hoping maybe I'll find my inner animal lover in the process.

Congrats again Jess on the release!!


Friday Five--Favorite TV Mysteries

I'm a huge mystery TV fan. I'm one of those people that can't get enough CSI, Cold Case, or crime drama. So today I'd thought I'd share my five favorite mystery TV shows of all time (if you ask me tomorrow they might change).

5.) Psych--this is quite possibly the funniest and most fun mystery TV show I've ever watched. Any show that has mysteries centered around Roller Derby, missing mummies, or an aging daredevil gets my attention.

4.) Bones--this one has slowly grown on me. I didn't like it much at first because it remined me too much of the now gone Crossing Jordan. But somehow I've fallen in love with this show despite that. And after last night's traveling circus show, I can say I'm a big fan now.

3.) Crossing Jordan--this show was the original Bones in my opinion. Centering around the characters just as much as the forensics. And Jordan and Woody's chemistry was slightly hotter than Booth and Bones currently.

2.) Tru Calling--this show every time I mention very few people have heard of it, but it was one of the best mystery shows I've ever seen. It centered around a girl that relived days in order to save murder victims. But often in order to save them she had to figure out who wanted them dead. So good. This was the very first show I ever wrote a letter to a TV station over it's cancellation. Especially because they refused to release the final episodes of Season 2 that were already filmed. Luckily the DVD version contained the lost episodes, but not knowing some of the big secrets of this show that never got revealed because it was canceled mid-season still annoys me. But i am SO EXCITED that Eliza Dushku is returning to TV in Joss Whedon's Dollhouse.

1.) Veronica Mars--this was the second (and last show) I've ever written a TV station over the cancellation of. This show was pure brilliance in every way.

So when I just saw on Sarah Dessen's blog just a second ago that there might be a possible movie remake of this show, I can't think of anything else today. I"m SO EXCITED about this possibility. I know sometimes they do screw up making movies over TV shows, but I honestly don't care. If it gives us one more chance to see Veronica and her world (and hopefully Logan--please let it include Logan if it's made), I'm all over it.

So what about you. What are your favorite mystery shows? What do you think of a possible Veronica Mars remake?

Teaser Tuesday--Stunt Princess

I posted my first ever public Teaser Tuesday post on the Author2Author blog today. Check it out here. It's for the book I'm working on this January called Stunt Princess (or Stunt Camp Drama depending on what day you ask) about a girl whose dad owns a Hollywood Stunt Camp in the mountains of California.

Here's a brief summary of the book:
Fifteen-year old Katie Markman doesn’t think anything could get worse then being forced to train her archenemy A-list actress Halley Chaplin to take over her job doing stunts on the hit TV show Jr. Super Agents. But when the one person she hates even worse than Halley shows up at Markman Stunt Training Camp her desire to have a quite, drama-free summer is shattered in an instant. Eternal bad-goy Ethan Reynolds brings more to camp than a sulky attitude, tortured family life, and a one kiss fling with Katie last summer. He might just have a few secrets of his own that are ready to bring Katie’s entire world crashing down on her faster than she can say, “action.”

And if anyone has a good title suggestion (since you guys are WAY better at titles then I am), I'm also taking suggestions. I really want a catchier title. 

And, of course, Happy Inauguration Day everyone.

2008 in Meme Form

shanasilver tagged me for a 2008 meme

1. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
An agent, book deal, and a kick-butt vacation, like no other.

2. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 31, 2008 because I was so excited to start 2009. Not because 2008 was a bad year, but 2009 just feels ‘right’ and like it’s going to be an awesome year.

3. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Growing as a writer and growing the programs at the library I work at to the highest attendance in the library’s history (and of course hearing from the kids that they had fun and were excited to read books!)

4. What was your biggest failure?
I was going to say not getting an agent, but I’m not sure that’s a huge failure. Because it means I might be finding a better fit this year. I’m trying to think positive here.

5. What was the best thing you bought?
My hot pink fleece-line pants from American Eagle. Seriously, these things are priceless.

6. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My nephew for the conversation we shared in the car last week:

Me: [rambling about my newest book]
Him: Are there boys in this book?
Me: There have been boys in all my books
Him: Yeah, but the last one seemed really girly. Like with that scene with the girl sticking hairspray to her butt so her cheerleading uniform didn’t ride up.
Me: That’s not in there anymore
Me: [Secretly really, really excited that he actually remembered something from my book that he read snippets of almost two years ago.]

And of course my husband for being generally awesome and accomplishing so much with his own publications this year! Yay for him.

7. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Certain people in my community who said some really nasty and unwarranted things about Barack Obama after he got elected the next President. But the fact so many people disagreed made me smile for how far our country has come.

8. Where did most of your money go?
Bills, movies, vacations, a new bike, Wii, and restaurants

9. What song will always remind you of 2008?
"I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry

10. Compared to this time last year, are you...
i. happier or sadder? Definitely happier.
ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner, and trust me I earned every one of those lost pounds (if only the holidays had not come)
iii. richer or poorer? richer (finally all those years of school and living on $5 an hour are starting to pay off)

11. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Relaxed and had fun!

12. What do you wish you'd done less of?

13. What was your favorite TV program?
How I Met Your Mother

14. What was the best book you read?
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

15. What was your favorite film of this year?
27 Dresses (an early one in the year, but no other ones topped it, although some did come close)

16. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Umm…I honestly don’t remember what I did. Maybe a movie? And I told someone last week I was 27 actually forgetting I was in fact 28 (oops).

17. What kept you sane?
My husband! And blizzards from Dairy Queen.

18. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Edward Norton. He just seems so deep and interesting. And of course he’s easy on the eyes. And Chelsea Handler. She cracks me up.

19. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
To not take myself too seriously (I’m slowly relearning this every year. And just when I think I have it figured out, I realize I don’t. I’m hoping this time will stick.)

20. Word you said often enough that it should have been your catchphrase:
kick-butt (can you tell by this post?). Or maybe “seriously.”

I tag anyone.

Book research

Okay, I promise I won't keep cross-posting videos from the new adventureyear  blog. But this one dealt with what you do when researching characters unlike yourself.

Plus, it involves me getting kicked from my adorable 11-year old nephew, so I'm posting here too. Enjoy!!