Sneak Leak

Happy post Thanksgiving!!! I hope you all had a great holiday. As Alisha mentioned I was in O’ahu, Hawaii and I had a much needed break. I worked every day except for Thanksgiving but it felt different doing it on the deck of our beach rental.

Thanks to Alisha for writing such an ah-mazing blah-g while I was gone. I have to say, I saw her before I left and while she always looks stunning, she did seem more at ease. So I can vouch for the authenticity of her joyful ending. Yay office elf!

I also want to thank you all for your honest feedback regarding the title for Phoenix Five. The tribe has spoken. Most of you are not fans of the title. Soooooo I am in the process of tearing out my highlights trying to find a new one. Which I will certainly run by you before I commit. You did seem happy with the little teaser I posted so I am going to give you more.

In the (nameless) novel there is a letter from the mysterious person who leaks these journals but I’ll save that for the book and skip right to the first entry. This is from Sheridan Spencer. She uses a screenplay-type format because she is obsessed with acting. ENJOY!

Tuesday 9.6.11


A classroom stretches out before us. SHERIDAN SPENCER, an alluring freshman, sits center row, center seat. Poised, she click-starts her pen and writes.

Morning One as a Noble High freshman did not involve a lot of hand-holding. Like, none, in fact. Which was fine. It’s just not what I’m used to.

One might assume I do well in new situations because I channel celebrities for confidence. Like, right now for example, I am pretending to be Blake Lively. But if I’m being totally honest, which I am, first days are hard no matter how famous you act.

When I (as Blake) arrive someplace new I’m greeted right away. I’m given a tour of the set and offered a Dr. Pepper on ice, no straw. My trailer is decorated to my exact specifications; boho-chic and stocked with Original, Tropical, and Tart-N-Tangy Skittles. But this morning? Notsomuch. The only rainbow I tasted came from the Lucky Charms burp I tried to suppress at the Pick and Flick. (That’s what everyone calls the pick-up/drop-off curb.)


It happened as I watched the taillights on my dad’s 750Li disappear into the morning fog. I was standing with my very best friend, Audri Dunsing. She always rides with me because we live in the same gated community and…well, more on her later. The point is we were just standing on the Pick and Flick because we didn’t know where to go yet. I guess we could have followed everyone else, but we were kind of stunned because our middle school was tiny and this place is huge. Anyway, it’s raining and I’m trying to open my zebra umbrella. Backpacks are bashing into us and it’s total chaos. O’course, that’s when Audri gets a whiff of my burp and decides to shout:

Ewwwwww, Sheridan! Digestive tract issues much?

I managed to apply more Russian Red lipstick, which helped me hold on to a bit of Blake. But not enough. I was seriously mortified. So I go: Sick! What is that smell? while fanning the air all innocent. Then I fan-smacked some older Blair Waldorf–type in the neck.

Sorry, it was an accident. (Me.)

You’re the accident! (Her.)

Remember those old cartoons where the coyote runs off a cliff and freezes in the air? It isn’t until he looks down and realizes he’s in trouble that he falls. Well, that’s kind of what happened to me when Blair and her friends started laughing. I realized I wasn’t really Blake Lively and my confidence took a dive—whistle sound effects and all. Which turned me back into me: Sheridan Spencer, future star of the screens, including but not limited to TV, film, computer, and tablet. Current blooper.

Anyway, I pull Audri off the main path and onto the grass lawn—which is huge, by the way. As big as Spencer BMW (my dad’s dealership), which has, like, hundreds of sedans and SUVs, and I go: Thanks a lot, Audri!

O’course she starts speed-blinking and I know exactly where this is going. Yes, I have a stronger stage presence than Audri. (I’ve played leads in Wizard of Oz, Wicked, Annie, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Hansel and Gretel, High School Musical, The Little Mermaid, Grease, and six holiday tributes to the birth of Jesus.) But when it comes to fake crying? She’s the best. Our old drama coach called her Meryl Weep.

Why did you call me out on that burp? (Me. Not letting it go.)

Sniffle, sniffle. I’m sorry. (Meryl.)

She took off her signature blue-framed glasses, jammed them in the pocket of her Lucky Brand denim jacket, and wiped her wet cheeks. I rolled my eyes.

Watch those tears little freshman! (Some random blond guy.)

He had choppy layers and blue eyes like Niall Horan from One Direction. But zero of Niall’s charm. I’m guessing from his rounded shoulders that he underdelivered on stage presence too. Anyway, after the tears comment he said: I drove the convertible. If you make it rain I’m going to stuff you in my trunk. Then he jingled his car keys in Audri’s face the way my mom used to do with the twins.

What was that for? I asked after he left.

Audri shrugged and put her glasses back on.


Whatever Zero Direction meant about the rain, he was right. It’s been pouring for hours. The good news is there have been no further embarrassments. The horrible news is that Audri and I don’t have a single class together. Not even lunch. And so far no one has made any effort to meet me. Maybe tomorrow I’ll channel a more approachable blonde like Reese Witherspoon.

Ms. Silver just gave us the ten minute warning. So far she’s my favorite teacher. All we’ve done is write in these journals. She wants us to fill these pages by the end of the year. She swears she won’t read them. To prove it she gave us these leather cases with locks on them. She said she’d flip through the journals at the end of the year to make sure they’re full but that’s it. All she cares about is getting us away from computers. I’m going to record everything and eventually adapt these memoirs into a one-woman show. I can’t wait to tell Audri so she can do it too.

OMG! So the guy beside me has been scribbling furiously in his journal. Hold on. I’m gonna peek.

OMG! OMG! I side-eyed him at the exact same time he was side-eyeing me. It was a simultaneous side-eye. I smiled my eyes into narrow crinkles (like Blake’s). I must look fetching in my Russian Red lipstick because he got all nervous and looked away. And it looks like he’s drawing hearts!

Are his hearts for me? Is he even cute? I want to peek again but—

The bell.

To Be Continued…


 Thoughts??? Do you like it so far?

Since my shoutout was illegible last week I am going to do it over. Also I am posting a special guest in this week’s Chihuahuawatch. I saw this guy in Hawaii and he was begging me to make him a star.



Guest Post on The Office Elf Blog

Hi all. 🙂 Lisi’s away on holiday for a few days and I’ve posted a guest blah-g over at
The Office Elf!

Lisi will be back with her usual blah-g post next week!

xoxo ❤


Tic Talk

I’m BACK! Thank you Mark at the Genius Bar (Fashion Island) for fixing my laptop yesterday. It was only gone for one day but I swear I had phantom pains. I kept looking at my monitor expecting to see my festive desktop and it was dark. You want to know what the problem was? My question mark key wouldn’t work. I had been too busy to take it in so I had to keep cutting and pasting previous question marks and it was starting to drive me insane. But thanks to Mark I can do this again ????????????????????????!

    Random note: I can’t stop eating Cherry Passion Tic Tacs. I want to but I can’t. I’m starting to feel sick from them and I can’t control myself. The good news is these Tic Tacs are making me Tick Talk. So I am going to leak a page from Phoenix Five. Which, by the way, might end up being called something else 😦 My publisher thinks the title sounds like a Sci-Fi series.  What do you guys think?

The following is the forward I wrote for the book.


Nickel-colored storm clouds skulked above Noble High like timid freshmen.  Summer break was over. Notebooks were blank, sneakers were clean, destinies unknown. The seventh annual back-to-school downpour was all anyone could accurately predict.
Older students, and even some teachers, claimed the rain was really evaporated tears from terrified ninth graders. Because along with obvious “first day” stressors like; outfit regret, humidity hair, lame locker location, crush blushing, classroom confusion, lunch tray collisions, and loser abusers, Noble High students were expected to make like Microsoft and Excel. ‘Achieve or Leave’ was their unofficial motto; the Harvard of High School their unofficial name.   

Ranked number one in the country for nearly two decades, the prestigious institution was the reason most families stayed there. Without it, Noble would just be another drive-thru town off the I-95; a weed in the Garden State.    

Not that it would ever come to that. Scandals destroyed schools and Noble High didn’t do scandals. Yet in 2012, sometime over Labor Day weekend, that changed. Students returned from vacation to find copies of stolen journals propped up against their lockers. Journals written by five freshmen. Journals no one was ever supposed to see.     

Now the clouds over Noble High will rain tears, not just for one day, but for many months to come.


If I find myself flush with holiday spirit I might leak an actual entry after Thanksgiving.



Momentarily Lost

Hi friends. Temporary bad news to report. I’m having technical difficulties with my computer, which the Genius bar has taken hostage overnight. I feel a little lost without it and have had all this free time today. Cuh-razy.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a new Blah-g post and… A LEAKED PAGE OF THE PHOENIX FIVE!!!! Thanks for being ever understanding and stay tuned…



Read ’em and Write

As many of you know I am on a major deadline. Thankfully, I am surrounded by supportive and understanding people. But their understanding only goes so far because, well, they don’t really understand what it’s like to write all day. So in times like these when my brain hurts and I’m in need of encouragement, inspiration and improvement I turn to the very things that got me into this mess. Yup, books.

The following is a list of books I have downloaded and turn to every time I need support. I highly recommend them all.

Write-A-Thon: Write your book in 26 days (and live to tell about it)   By: Rochelle Melander

Because I have crazy deadlines and I need to know it’s possible.

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression    By:Angela Ackerman & Becca PugLISI

Because I DETEST cliche and have run out of ways to describe insecurity.

Stein on Writing  By: Sol Stein

Because he does a GREAT job explaining the basics of great writing. He uses tons of examples. And it’s always inspiring to hear how others are doing it.

How To Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors Edited by: Shoshana Evers

EW!!!!!! I swear, I am not a perv and I am not writing Fifty Shades of Grey but my new book is called The Dirty Book Club and I squirm every time I have to go there so…

Deep Sleep Every Night (audiobook) By: Glenn Harrold

Because I am stressed and this hypnosis thing really works.