Sunday, August 28, 2011

Win my new book--Awesome August Blog Hop!

Posted by Melanie Jacobson at 8:29 PM 50 comments
You want something from me, right? That's why you're here from the Awesome August blog hop?

And it's a good thing I have something to give you! One of the very first giveaway copies of my new book Not My Type! Whoohoo!

It's super easy to win.

1. Become a follower of this blog
2. Leave a comment telling me one thing you're thankful for

Why option #2? Well, Not My Type is about a hardheaded girl named Pepper who is forced to write a thank you note every week as sort of a "life therapy," and so she does it . . . with a grumble. But the thank you notes work an interesting magic and before she knows it, she's in the middle of a brand new life adventure even though she was sure she was over the hill at twenty-three. (You can read the first chapter HERE). Since each chapter opens with a thank you note, I thought it would be fun for everyone to drop off their thank yous, silly or serious, here in the comment box. Voila, you're entered. Suh-weet.

This blog hop runs through Wednesday night at midnight, so be sure to enter before then! The winner will be notified by e-mail.

Now that you've entered my contest, come meet all my other blog friends and see what fun things they are offering!

Awesome August Blog Hop Participants

1. Tristi Pinkston, LDS Author
2. Karen Hoover
3. Michael Young
4. Kristy Tate
5. cindy Hogan
6. Julie Bellon
7. Margot Hovley
8. Laurie Lewis
9. Mandi Slack
10. Melanie Jacobson
11. Joyce DiPastena
12. Renae Mackley
13. Debbi Weitzell
14. Donna Hatch
15. Carolyn Frank
16. Marsha Ward
17. Stacy Coles
18. Bonnie Harris
19. Danyelle Ferguson aka Queen of the Clan
20. Diony George
21. Lisa Asanuma
22. Susan Dayley
23. Christine Bryant @ Day Dreamer
24. Stephanie Humphreys
25. Ranee` Clark
26. Tamera Westhoff
27. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
28. Heather Justesen
29. Rebecca Talley
30. Jennifer Hurst
31. Aimee Brown
32. Cheryl Christensen
33. Rachelle Christensen
34. Imaginary Reads
35. Andrea Pearson

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Crazy, Stupid Good

Posted by Melanie Jacobson at 7:55 PM 17 comments
The fun of being a movie goer is that if you sit through enough mediocre movies, you'll stumble into one that's worth the price of admission. Or even the price of popcorn. Which is what Crazy, Stupid Love is. Totally worth it, I mean. Even the popcorn. It might even be worth the cost of the babysitter, popcorn and admission.

I'm saying it was good.

As a movie goer, I loved the acting. Ladies, I'm going to show incredible restraint and out of respect to my husband, I will limit my Ryan Gosling comments to this: he can say so much with the tiniest quirk of an eyebrow. Steve Carrell is in his Dan in Real Life groove here, which I love. And the babysitter is awesome. And Julianne Moore is as good as always. I didn't love the oldest kid, but beyond that, actors=great. Emma Stone: exceptional.

But as a writer, I especially loved this movie because the characters are so well-developed. One of my biggest pet peeves in storytelling is when characters are forced to do something that makes no sense for their personality so that the author can ratchet up tension or complicate the story. But if it's not something the character will actually do, it's super distracting to me. Example: I'm a highly skilled international jewel thief in the middle of a major heist. Oops--forget to turn the cell phone off and now it's ringing. Trouble!


Grrr.  Of course a character can make mistakes; it just drives me nuts when they act against type. The character and writer both lose credibility with me and I lose the pleasure of escapism.

One of the things that I loved about this film is that even though at one point the characters are thrown into a situation that would never, ever happen, it didn't distract me at all because the characters were so consistent. I believed their reactions even though I didn't buy the premise, if that makes any sense at all.

To sum up: Go see Crazy, Stupid Love. I kinda think I might want to go see it again. That's a good movie.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Brain dump

Posted by Melanie Bennett at 11:20 PM 10 comments
And here's how you know you're a writer. I went on vacation and wrote TWICE as much as I usually do in a day. And I count that as a GOOD vacation.

Why, yes, I am a barrel of laughs and an amusing travel companion. Assuming you're not married to me. And that if you are, you WANTED to take care of our three kids way more than usual.

Assuming that, I'm a vacation delight.

I read lots on vacation. When I think back on all the uninterrupted reading I got to do, the feeling I get is the one I think the pirates mean when they talk about their timbers getting shivered.

I had three fights with my sister today. I'm wrong every time and I still get in there and swing. I wish someone could explain our dynamic because I don't understand it. It baffles my husband. My brother, in one of the middle of our squabbles today, said to my sister about me at one point, "She's being passive aggressive. Ignore her." And also about me at another point, "She's being a nerd. Let it go." But she wouldn't. Which I'm sure is exactly why I kept it up. I think I'll have no choice but to write soon about siblings who behave like this so maybe I can figure it out.

Finally, name a great movie or TV series about a writer. I'm in the mood for one all of a sudden. My favorite is Stranger Than Fiction but I'm open to other ideas.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Posted by Melanie Jacobson at 6:52 PM 2 comments

Okay, I'm SUUUUUUUUUUPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPERRRRRRRRRRR overdue to announce the very first giveaway copy of

NOT MY TYPE: A Single Girl's Guide to Doing It All Wrong
Are you ready? And the winner (according to is:
Michelle Fish
Hip hip HOORAY! I'll be in touch as soon as I get copies of it in my hot little hands!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

First things first

Posted by Melanie Bennett at 8:25 PM 3 comments
I'm obsessed with Project Runway. As in I wish Tim Gunn lived in my closet or was maybe a miniature real live human Christmas ornament I could hang on my tree.

I'm really kind of obsessed with any reality show where people have to be good at something (I'm judging you, Big Brother, oh yes I am) but this is especially true of Project Runway, probably because there's a majorly creative element that you don't see in a straight up singing show (I love those too, though.)

Anyway, a few days ago I stumbled across something that tickled me as both a writer and a blogger, which is a recap blog by previous Project Runway contestants, all of whom I remember and (mostly) enjoy (not you, Laura Bennett, Mistress Meany Pants of Stuckupington).

Five former contestants from different seasons weigh in on each episode and it fascinates me to see what each of them focuses on and how they communicate it. Most of them blog exactly like I remember their personalities being on the show, except for Mychael Knight (Mr. Atlanta Urban) who comes off differently than I would have expected. The differences start with their titles, when all five of them are blogging the same episode but range from "When the Sheet Hits the Fan" to "Project Runway 9 Premiere Episode Recap."

And then you move to the opening lines. Some go for more of a fact by fact summary and some are clearly trying to entertain you. Check out the opening lines from each blog:

Peach Carr starts this way: Well, kids ... time to take a shot of pity-party mouthwash and rinse out the bad taste that the Season 8 Project Runway finale shocker left in your mouths.

But Mychael Knight starts this way: I'm baaaaack! This time as a spectator of this fascinating fashion menagerie of "Project Runway," I finally get a chance to be on the administering end of the comments, thoughts and constructive/creative critiques.

Nick Verreos starts this way: Gather your friends, uncork the red wine, get some crudités and put your best skinny jeans on

And then you've got Laura Bennett: The season starts out with a sort of designer speed dating where we get a quick meet-and-greet of 20 potential contestants.

And finally Johnathan Kayne: Ladies and gentlemen, start your sewing machines and get ready!!!!!!! "

See? Totally different voices from the very first sentence. Laura's lucky I stuck around after her boring first sentence but she ended up making some interesting points. Peach is the one I'd most want to share a couch with to watch this on the DVR. Nick is who my coolest friends would hang out with. Johnathan (from the dramatic spelling of his name all the way down the line) is just trying to dang hard. And Mychael? Meh.

I sometimes judge a book by it's cover but I always judge a book by it's first paragraph. My husband buys his books almost exclusively based on that criteria. He says the master is Chuck Palahnuik. (Yes, I'm too lazy to Google the correct spelling. SORRY.)

But I can't go forward with a story until I have a great first line. It can and often does change later but those are the ones that are burned into my memory because I just loved them so much when they came to me.

From The List: I needed Matt Gibson in a bad way.

From Not My Type: A handful of mayonnaise makes a decent projectile in a pinch.

From Belles and Beaux: There's gross and then there's gross.

From Twitterpated: The rolled up yoga mat bounced off of my roommate's head with a satisfying thwack.

That last one will change, but see what I mean? I love a great first line.

Hook me, baby, and I won't even fight it when you reel me in.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Posted by Melanie Jacobson at 12:19 PM 1 comments
Thanks for all the preorders of my new book, everyone! The winner of the $25 Amazon gift certificate is Desiree Recendez but I'll be drawing a winner on Thursday for the copy of the book. Stay tuned!

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