Boyfast of Champions

It seems as though a lot of you have been experiencing boy troubles lately. Now that spring has sprung those feelings are going to intensify and have the ability to cause even those most level headed among us to spiral out of control. On March 23 Julia posted a comment suggesting a boyfast and I have to say I agree.

What’s a boyfast? If you read Bratfest at Tiffany’s you already know it’s what Massie Block suggested the Pretty Committee do when their boy obsessions got out of control. It’s a boy-free week. Time to focus on yourself, your friends, your family, and all that charity work you keep meaning to do. I’m not suggesting you delete any contacts or write the old fellas off completely. We are human, after all. I’m simply suggesting a week off. A cleanse if you will. A way to get back in control before the boys of summer come around. Because those ones are real trouble.


1. Stop taking that phone with you. It sounds insane, like, “What next? Leave a lung in my locker?” But the more it’s with you the more you’ll be tempted to text and check texts. Can you leave it in the car during that trip to the mall? If not, ask a friend to hold it while you’re together. Anything to avoid temptation.

2. Plan a full on girl’s week of fun get-togethers that have nothing to do with boys.

3. All of you get 100 points at the beginning of the fast. If you mention a boy that is NOT a blood relative or a teacher and you lose a point. At the end of the fast, the one with the lowest score has to treat everyone else to (insert awesome thing here).

4. Fact. There are a lot of clothes out there that girls love and boys hate. Boyfriend jeans being at the top of the list. They make us feel thin and comfortable but they make guys think we poo’ed our Cosabellas. Trust me on this. No matter how high the heel, they still hate them. SO BUST THEM OUT! This week is all for you. Baggy sweats? Do it! Baseball cap instead of flatiron? Bring it! And for heaven’s sake, give that razor a break. (I say a bonus point for the girl with the hairiest legs by the end of the week.)

5. Okay, relax. I have a feeling a lot of you are all mad at me now because #4 implied that you dress and shave for boys and not your own dignity. That’s not what I’m suggesting. I’m simply trying to make a point. And that is what ever decision you make during the boyfast make sure it’s for you and not some guy you’re trying to impress. There are 52 weeks in a year. He shouldn’t get all of them.

Here is the pledge Massie wrote for the Pretty Committee in Bratfest at Tiffany’s. All together now:

I pledge the following to you,

To rid myself of boys

Done and done, they are through.

I’ll focus of fashion,

Study new trends in beauty,

Strengthen my friendships,

And tighten my booty.

You won’t find me flirting,

Or talking to guys

No texting, IMing,

No batting my eyes.

I’m above that now,

Been there done that,

Time for the LBRs

To have their turn at bat.

Let them wear tight clothes

And watch boring soccer (No offense, Kristen!)

Let them laugh at fart jokes,

Let them be the stalker!

It’s BFF time

No boys, not ever.

Because BFF has a new meaning

And that’s Boyfast Forever!

(Feel free to modify the words to your own liking.)

Alright, who’s in?


Tonight at sundown until next Wednesday sundown.  Let’s ride!



Office Elf Guest Blah-g Today


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Hi all. 🙂 Check out my guest post today over on the Office Elf blog for a few ways to get your spring sprung.

Happy spring equinox!


Spice up your life

Cliques and Stones…

I recently received this letter on my Facebook page and thought it was worth addressing publicly in case any of you have had similar experiences. Also because it’s a great example of how to disagree with someone in a respectful, intelligent way.

Ms. Harrison,

Hello, my name is Judy. I am 19 year old college student studying Speech Language Pathology with a double minor in Linguistics and Psychology. When your Clique books were first released I was just starting middle school. Like the other 11 girls in my small, parochial grade school, I was an avid reader, constantly anticipating your next book release. However, I was also pale, skinny, middle class and shy–a combination that does not exactly get you many friends in an affluent, private school. Many of the pre-teen girls utilized the vocabulary used in your book. I was called an “Albino LBR” both to my face and behind my back. They also used many of the bullying tactics the characters in your book used on “Claire.” The worst one that I can still remember quite vividly to this day happened right after the release of your first book. “Inspired” by the red paint incident in your novel, girls purposely smeared ketchup all over my seat at lunch. While everyone knew it was ketchup, I was still absolutely devastated and remember running the bathroom and crying. However, I never confided in my parents regarding the abuse, especially my mother who suffered from severe depression for the bulk of my childhood. You might wonder- “Why is this former “LBR” telling me this?” Mrs. Harrison, I have no doubt you are a kind, intelligent woman. You are a successful author who has such a large fan-base of young, impressionable pre-teens. While it is ultimately up to the parent to allow their child to read your books, you have the opportunity to positively affect the attitudes of young girls toward their peers. While these books may reflect teenagers in some affluent, upper-class suburbs, the end message of at least the first few of your novels seems to be “If you kiss up well enough to the popular girls you can become popular and make fun of the girls who aren’t.” I apologize, I actually have not read your more recent books, so I don’t know if this message has changed. I’m just asking you, as a former reader and anti-bullying advocate, to please consider presenting a more positive message and thus empowering young girls to support each other in their goals and aspirations. We need all the help we can get. Thank you for your consideration and have a nice day!



Dear Judy,

I would like to start by thanking you for sharing your horrific experience with me. It sounds awful and lonely and I know it took a lot of courage for you to revisit it.

I understand why you would hold The Clique series accountable for the awful way those girls treated you. After all, they copied the ignorant behaviors of my characters and mistreated you the way Massie Block mistreated Claire Lyons. I wish you had stuck with the series so you could have seen how Claire triumphed in the face of their bullying. Ironically, she was the most confident, self-assured girl of the bunch. She didn’t have money or designer clothes or a gaggle of “beautiful” friends. She had self-esteem and courage to stay who she was in spite of it all. I’m not saying their abuse didn’t crush her. It did. She was devastated. She started dressing differently and lying to her parents so she could fit in with the so-called cool girls. But she learned quickly that in a many ways that felt worse than the abuse. So she returned to her self and stuck with people who treated her well. Eventually, the Pretty Committee recognized her strength and they all became best friends. Claire didn’t change for them, they changed for her. What if they hadn’t? Claire would have been perfectly happy with her one friend Layne and her ah-dorable crush Cam. She was the hero of the series, not Massie.

I have received thousands of letters and emails since the series began in 2003. Most of them were from girls like you who had some bad social experiences. Most of them said the series helped them understand why bullies bully (insecurity) and said they found strength in Claire and Layne. This was always my intention and I am proud of my success in pulling that off.

I am truly sorry The Clique didn’t help you the way it helped others. This is always a risk when you put something out there for the public to interpret. I hope you were able to find comfort in other ways.

If you have some downtime between classes you might want to check out the series again. Slap a speech pathology text book cover over it and no one will know the difference. And if they do, and someone makes fun of you, hold your head high and ask yourself what Claire would do.



P.S. If any of you would like to share your personal experiences with The Clique series please do so in the comments section. Sharing is caring.

Q & Eh. (I’m Canadian, remember?)

What’s that? You posted a question for me in the Comments section of this Blah-g? Something I haven’t been asked a trillion times before? Nothing to do with The Clique being turned into a movie or which character I’m most like? I’m in!

1. Q: What’s your favorite thing about humanity? (Erica Jane).

Eh: (This question makes me feel like a beauty pageant contestant.)

My favorite thing about humanity is our differences. Individually, we are jagged puzzle pieces. Our strengths and interests are all so different. Alone we aren’t capable of much. But when we come together the picture is divine.  Together we build, heal, teach, create, explore, expand and evolve. We each have something unique to offer. And for that I am grateful. My biggest fear is living in a world of people exactly like me. Yes, we’d have a lot of books and some laughs, but we’d starve and die naked in the streets by noon. Wait, there wouldn’t be any streets.

2. Q: How do you make an unlikable character likeable? (writereader1223)

Eh: If you want to develop an “unlikable” character who is ultimately a good person, show the reader what made her turn bad. Help us understand her. Why did she end up mean? You can also reveal things about her that show us her softer side.

Massie Block was a “mean girl.” Still I wanted you to like her because she was my main character. So, I showed you how much she loves animals. How evil can someone be if she cuts her horse’s carrots into lovely little stars? I showed you how insecure she was. I showed you how hard she had to work at staying popular. And I made her funny. And who doesn’t love a funny girl?

Comic book villains or James Bond bad guys can stay unlikeable. Their roles are to challenge the hero. That’s it.

3. Q: I bring around a writing inspiration notebook. It’s blank. What should I write in it when it comes to characters….plots…descriptions…etc…etc… (Starwriter26)

Eh: Nicely done. I have tons of them and they are invaluable. Think of it as a backup for your hard drive. But in this case the hard drive is your own failing memory. Write down details that you love and may want to use one day but will inevitably forget. A cool outfit you saw. Those crooked glasses your teacher wears. A hilarious pet name. An odd facial tic. A stupid conversation you overheard on the bus. A funny conversation you had with your friend. A cool invention you dreamed up. A random scene that popped into your head. The perfect title. A killer comeback…

Its the place to store all of the random things that capture your attention. Because if you find them notable others will as well. Next time you’re searching for an unforgettable detail consult the notebook.

4. Q: Are all boys pig-headed and mean and perverted or is that just high school boys? And if so when do they finally mature? (Regan)

Eh: A good friend of mine happens to be one of those males you speak of so I thought I’d get his opinion. This is exactly how the text exchange went.

Me: One of the girls asked me this question about guys and I would love a male opinion.

Him: Sure. What’s the question?

Me: She wants to know if all guys are pig headed and perverted. And she wanted to know if they ever mature. Do you want to write up the answer to this one? I think a guy’s opinion would really help.

Him: Sure. What’s my reward? (;

Me: I guess that’s my answer, PERV!

Yep. I swear. That actually went down. So yes. Guys are pervs. They are hard-wired to be pervs. They can’t help it so cut them some slack. Especially high school guys. Their bodies are seriously out of control. They really can’t help the fact that they think  about sex ALL THE TIME. What they can help is how they treat you. Pig headed, mean and disrespectful is something they can control and many of them do. Find those ones. This doesn’t change as they get older so if you find one of the good ones, treat him well.
5. Q: How can I make the most out of college without forcing myself to be extremely outgoing? Is this possible?

Eh: Of course it’s possible. Pick classes that inspire you. Get involved in things that matter to you. And find friends you admire and trust. Even if that means one person. One good one is better than ten forced duds. Remember, there are a lot of years after college. If the next four aren’t the ultimate that means the best are yet to come. School was never my thing. I didn’t thrive until I started working. We all hit our stride at different times. The best way to stay happy until then is to listen to your gut. Never force anything.
6.  Q: Was it any different writing in the POVs of male characters for The Pretenders than it was writing for gals (of both that and past series)? (Mimi)

Eh: Yes, it was different. It was soooo much easier. Boys are simple. This makes for frustrating relationships but easy writing.
7.  Q: Alphas has some of the best imaginary technology that actual inventors should take note of. If you could lug one thing from Alpha Island home, what would it be? (Mimi).

Eh: This is such a cool question. And thank you for the compliment. I would take the personal plane. Then, when no one is looking I’d stuff one of those uniforms in my bag that regulates my body temperature because I’m always cold.

8. Q: If you could put 1 new word into the dictionary, what would it be and what would it mean? (Zula)

Eh: I mean, what a genius question!!! My word would be Girafic: (adj) It means extremely tall. Hey Jenny, you need to hem those jeans. You’re not as girafic as you think.

9. Q: Have you ever felt [insecure about your body and self-conscious, especially after watching tv and movies starring girls with perfect bodies]? If so, how did you finally become happy with yourself? And do you have any advice for how I should accomplish this in a healthier way? (Maya)

Eh: I have girafic insecurities, we all do. Want to know how I feel better?

1. I work out 4 days/week. I always feel more confident after a workout.

2. I remind myself that I don’t make a living as a model (thank god) so I don’t have to look perfect.

3. I just had the flu for six days. In bed for SIX days. I could not walk, stand, function. Today is my first day back at work. I have never loved and appreciated my body more. I am so grateful it works properly most of the time. I know people who aren’t as lucky. Every time I allow myself to get upset about an imperfection I am taking my good fortune for granted, and that’s downright obnoxious.

10. Q: What is one thing that high school has taught you that you are still applying to your life today? (Lillie)

Eh: Life is so much more than the moment you’re in right now.

11. Q: I heard you just received an advanced copy of Pretenders. Would you please show a picture of you reading it in your office? (Alisha, Office Elf. FYI Lisi made me post this.)

Eh: Sure Alisha. I would be happy to.


Thanks for your incredible questions!!!