Jennifer Chase Analyzes The Grinch

I’ve been following award-winning author Jennifer Chase’s blog for quite a while. Most of the time she offers extremely helpful psychological insight that I usually end up earmarking for future use in one of my own books or stories. Recently, however, she posted a gem about the psychopathology of The Grinch. Below is an excerpt:

The Grinch. A criminal who tried to destroy a town but instead found rehabilitation and a chance to choose a different life path. With my interest in criminal psychology and Christmas just about a week away, I thought I would have a little fun and take a look at this character. Can we figure out what made him want to commit these acts against his neighbors? Can we peek inside the mind of the Grinch?

Now, the Grinch certainly is not as evil as some of the villains I have crafted for my novels, who rape and murder and terrify entire communities with their acts. But, the text shows he is guilty of breaking and entering, identity theft and burglary among other acts. Not petty charges, to be sure, and laid out wonderfully in this attorney’s blog post.

Hilarious, right? Read the rest of the post HERE. Happy Holidays everyone! And let’s hope the next time I post, my pants won’t be three sizes two small, like The Grinch’s heart!

Jerks & Irks LVI: 7 Things I Hate About The Holidays

I’ll be honest. I have deep-seeded, therapy-requiring reasons for hating the holidays. Still, there are things that don’t help. Here are just a few I could think of off the top of my head.

  1. Any commercial featuring a sleek sedan adorned with a giant red bow. I’m looking at you Lexus. Let’s just say 0.0002% of the US population actually receives a shiny new Lexus as a Christmas present – that’s the percentage of those commercials I want to see. Of all the TV I watch, of all the commercials I see, only 0.0002% of them should be “luxury cars make great Christmas presents” commercials.
  2. Ugly-Sweater-Themed Everything. Parties. Casual Fridays at work. Doggie play dates. Holiday television commercials. It’s even bled into social media. And for the love of everything sacred and holy, there’s even an Ugly Sweater Run. As in, a marathon where the runners don ugly Christmas sweaters. I can’t.
  3. My favorite TV shows having to revolve around Christmas just because. I get that sitcoms have to do this, but does last week’s CSI really have to include Santa Claus AND a reindeer? Does it? DOES IT?!?
  4. Glitter. Glitter on the ornaments. Glitter on the decorations. Glitter on the Christmas cards. Glitter on the clothes your relatives wear to dinner. Stop the madness! As my hubby-pants always likes to say, “Glitter is the herpes of the arts and crafts world!”
  5. Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas. Just be happy someone is being polite and offering you a sentiment, regardless of whether or not it is technically appropriate. On the other hand, don’t go around saying “Merry Christmas” to people hoping you offend someone. That doesn’t seem very jolly to me either.
  6. Don’t Take the “Christ” of Christmas with X-mas. This one irks me every year because I’m a big fan of educating yourself before you take a firm position on something and almost no one seems to do that anymore. The “X” in X-mas is actually derived from the Greek letter Chi, which is short for the Greek word for Christ, and has been used as shorthand for Christ by religious scholars and scribes for, I dunno, EVER. I don’t even enter this argument anymore. I don’t have the energy. Can you pass the wine?
  7. Talking about my writing at holiday dinners. This is a fairly new one for me. At Thanksgiving a few weeks ago, I had what I thought was awesome news. I’ve been invited to write a short story for an anthology being put together by Joel Mark Harris. He’s an author/screenwriter; the film adaptation of his novel Neutral Territory won 7 awards and 15 nominations at over 20 film festivals worldwide. Perhaps I mumbled this information. Perhaps I didn’t say it with confidence. Perhaps I wasn’t clear about the opportunity. But the question I was met with was, “And what will you be doing?” And I wanted to crawl under the table. I have more good news for Christmas dinner. Locked and loaded. But I hope there’s room under the table after I yell, “Fire in the hole!” and deliver it, once again, to a table full of people who don’t seem to understand me at all.

What do you hate about the holidays? Do you love the holidays? Care to convert me? You’re welcome to try! Leave a comment!

Friday Feature: ME!

It’s been a while since I’ve taken over some corner of the internet. I missed it. I’d like to thank JM Kelley for having me over at her blog. Other than the opening questions, she had so many personal ones to choose from, it was hard to answer only five! I tried to keep it light and interesting. Here’s an excerpt:

Who are you and why are you here?

I am Jordanna East, an independent author-publisher of psychological thrillers and owner of two cats both named after food. I am here because screaming out of my living room window that I published a book and have another one on the way doesn’t seem to be working. I thought I might try some internet exposure. It’s quieter and the neighbors don’t complain as much.

If you ever get arrested, what will be the crime you’re charged with? 

That’s easy. Murder, mitigated by temporary insanity. I’m thinking road rage or someone in the express lane in front of me at the store has more than 12 items AND is paying with a variety of small coins.

Want to read more? No problem. Click HERE to read the complete feature!

Jerks & Irks LIII: I Didn’t Have A (Witches) Ball

Some of you may have noticed that Events tab up there. I’ve been busy this month! Two Saturdays ago my town held its annual Book Festival and I shared a table with the South Jersey Writers Group and last Saturday, I shared a space with fellow author Kristin Battestella at the Witches Ball in Mount Holly, NJ. I have one more event this month (this Saturday), and following that, I plan on posting a three-part series enumerating what I learned from each event. It promises to be super informative. But for now, I’m going to rant about my crooked wig and whale-tail.

It all started with the rain. It had been raining for days here and had also been forecasted to rain on Saturday. The Witches Ball was all but guaranteed to be canceled and rescheduled for the following Saturday. So I got it in my head that I wasn’t going. I didn’t prepare my supplies, choosing instead to work on my short story and read Headhunters by Jo Nesbo. Great book, by the way. Then I woke up Saturday to blinding sunshine and a scattering of rainbows. The clouds eventually closed in (delaying my preparations a bit longer as I still thought it was going to rain), but the event wasn’t canceled and I was left scrambling to get my life together. That’s when tragedy struck.

The email Kristin sent me that contained my parking pass and instruction sheet was gone. I had deleted it accidentally while we were chatting. I was forced to go to the ball blind. When I arrived in the town, I flagged down a cop and he told me I should have gotten there earlier, which I would have known had I had my instruction sheet. I asked him where the vendor parking lot was. He gave me detailed directions…then told me that the vendor parking lot was now blocked off and probably full anyway. I looked at him like he was mad and he looked at me with confusion. Then I parked in the free parking lot…which was five blocks away. Next I went on a recon mission to find Kristin, without my heavy supplies, thinking that if she was too far away, I would just go home, defeated by the universe. I stopped at the Information Tent and inquired about the location of Space 11. They told me their map only went up to Space 8. I looked at them like they were mad and they looked at me with confusion. What do you think they put in the water in this town?

Anyway, Kristin ended up being not far from the Information Tent, so I trekked back to my car and gathered my stuff. And here’s where the fun begins. The event required participants to be in costume. All I could muster was a fire-engine-red-wig, heavy makeup, and a black shirt and pants with a black and red shawl. It was cute-spooky. Anyway, the pants were a little loose. No big deal, until I started lugging my tiny collapsible dolly loaded with my supplies, folding chair, and card table through the crowded streets. My pants kept sliding down, showing the crowded streets of Mount Holly, NJ my black thong undies. (At least they matched?) The wind had also picked up and kept knocking my poor wig askew. It took me FOREVER to get back to our beloved assigned Space 11 because I had to keep stopping to hike up my pants and straighten my fake tresses. And the moment, the exact moment I straightened said tresses, the wind would blow again, the wig would sit crooked, strands sticking to my lipstick, and getting caught in my eyelashes, etc. It was just a mess. Probably, the jerkiest, irkiest  day I’ll have all year.

And after all that, it started to rain all over my beautiful Blood in the Past paperbacks a mere two hours after I got settled and I had to pack it all up and haul ass back through the crowd to my car. Oy.


Jerks & Irks XLVI: My Special Insomnia

Sometimes it takes me forever to fall asleep. It’s often quite irksome. Sometimes I’m not even trying to actually fall asleep; I’m just trying to get comfortable so I can read. But if I’m not comfortable, if my mind isn’t at ease, I can’t read. And that’s also quite irksome. Take a look at what I go through…

  • I get in bed. My sheets are twisted. Hubby doesn’t use the sheet, so I’m on my own straightening it. I need to make sure it’s right-side-up before I can even begin to relax. Same with the blanket I use. Yes, Hubby-pants and I use separate blankets to accommodate our different sleeping styles. We’re utter weirdos that way.
  • With the bedclothes straightened over me, I lie down on my left side, make sure the pillow is between my shoulder and my face (that’s very important), and read. If I’m beginning a new book, I have to read the first few sentences several times because they just don’t “take.” My mind just won’t “accept” them. It’s odd. By the time my brain finally decides to play along and put the words together to form sentences that make sense and tell the beginning of a story, I have to pee.
  • I return from the bathroom and repeat my ten minute wrestling and rustling with the sheet and blanket. If Hubby-pants is in bed also, he calls over his shoulder something sarcastic like, “Do you need help?” or “Are you okay?” He doesn’t mean it. He hates my sheet. He laughs in the face of my nightly sheet-struggles.
  • I read a few chapters and my eyes begin to heavily protest reading further. Fine. I turn off my Kindle, set it on the nightstand, and turn over…twisting the mother-flitting sheet. Dammit. I readjust them. Now I’m awake. I reach back and grab my Kindle. Read a page or two. My mind gets tired again. I turn the Kindle off, leave it where it is, and close my eyes.
  • That’s when it happens: The perfect scene/line of dialogue/short story idea/novel premise/subplot/etc. I roll over in a tsunami of sheets and scramble for my phone. I enter a quick note into my notepad app. It makes next to no sense because of autocorrect. And because if I don’t type it quickly my mind will make it disappear. I go back over my notes and correct/fill in the details. I sigh a sigh of satisfaction. Then straighten the #%*&ing sheet again.
  • I’m really tired now. I don’t want to read. I don’t want to jot anymore notes (unless something really brilliant hits and I just absolutely have to). So I just lie there. And my mind wanders as I shove my pillow between my shoulder and my face. Why are pillows rectangular? Is it just so two of them neatly fill the width of a bed? Because they could just as easily be any other shape. Who picks the shape of anything? Remote controls should be circles. Too many things are rectangles. When I’m rich, I’m gonna have a bunch of circular things. Circles are so organic. Not like organic food, but organic spiritually. Organic food is so expensive! Organic strawberries are totally worth it though…


I honestly can’t tell you when that mess actually stops and sleep actually begins, but that’s the story of my own special insomnia. Care to tell me yours?

Jerks & Irks XLV: Scumbag Medicine

Are you guys familiar with the Scumbag Steve Memes? They originated with a young, scumbaggy kid standing in a doorway, his stupid designer cap on backwards? The caption demonstrating just how he’s being a scumbag at that particular time?


Well, these memes have evolved into various people and items, with scumbag-like qualities, but still donning the ridiculous backwards cap. Like this:


Anyway, for those who don’t know, I had a seizure last week. I’ve been put on an anticonvulsant/anti-migraine medication where my only form of breathing seems to be yawning. And that’s not all. If I had more patience, I would create a meme with a picture of my new prescription drug bottle, rocking the requisite backwards cap, with the caption: Scumbag Medicine: Might Make Birth Control Ineffective, Can’t Take While Pregnant.

Then I’d make a second meme that read: Scumbag Medicine: Not Safe to Unborn Fetus, Not Safe to Quit Taking While Pregnant.

Dude! What the hell! Dear pharmacy people, make up your minds! You’re really limiting my options here! And setting aside the whole “to procreate or not to procreate” issue, I’d then make a third meme with simply the image described above and the Stephen-King-novel-long-list-of-side-effects in teensy, tiny font. Some of my favorite side effects?

  • Mental problems. Such as confusion, trouble concentrating, memory problems, taking a long time to craft a blog post. Okay, so I just made that last one up, but it definitely says “Mental Problems.” I’m a writer. I have enough mental problems…
  • Depression, suicidal thoughts. Again, I’m a writer, so…
  • Broken bones. Wait, my bones might just spontaneously break? That sounds like an awesome story prompt. Too bad I’m having trouble concentrating…
  • Mental changes, such as decreased alertness. You mean I’ll finally stop checking my Amazon sales rank? Score! (This probably won’t happen, so go buy my book so I won’t be disappointed later. Kthanks.)

In conclusion, I would like to point out two hilarious disclaimers at the end of the list of side effects that accompanied my prescription.

  1. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of the side effects, even though you might go blind (I added that last part, but it doesn’t make it any less true).
  2. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. For a complete list call the FDA or these people in Canada, that is, if your fingers aren’t tingling too badly (okay, I added that last part again, but tingly hands and feet is still a real side effect).


Jerks & Irks XLIV: WLC, WTF?


The World Literary Cafe used to be my jam. I learned about it through Facebook/Twitter and spent hours on there a week, poking around. I stalked the forums and learned about new authors and releases. Then I found my favorite feature: A list of all the members’ Facebook Fan Pages, with the goal being for everyone to go down the list and Like everyone, receiving Likes on their own page in the process. Everyone gets mucho Likes. Everything is mucho bueno (I don’t speak Spanish, can you tell?)

And so it went and it was awesome for a good, long while. I even blogged about it. Then something changed. That plague of a practice that began on Twitter infiltrated the WLC Facebook Likes arrangement. You know what plague of a practice I’m referring to. The one where someone follows you on Twitter, you follow them back, then they promptly un-follow you. Sneakily and quietly. And you’re left following their selfish-ass for the rest of eternity, retweeting their witty remarks and news of success, none the wiser.

And this is what WLC is slowly becoming. I lingered right under 500 Likes FOREVER. Every time I would reach 500 or 501 I would get so happy. Blowing noisemakers, tossing confetti, buying celebratory cupcakes and dabbing icing on my cats’ noses. Then BAM! The very next day, I see my page sitting $hitty (the opposite of “sitting pretty”) at 499 Likes again. WTF, WLC???

I put celebratory cupcake icing on my cats’ noses, people! They hate that! I can only get away with doing it but so many more times before they eat me in my sleep! And there’s freaking confetti in my curly hair that simply WILL NOT come out! All because you couldn’t stay a while, get to know me, see how frickin’ funny I am, possibly buy my book… Wait, who threw that last part in there?

Anyway, World Literary Cafe is still my jam. I still poke around. I still naively like the Facebook Fan Pages of the other members. But I gosh darn REFUSE to buy any more celebratory cupcakes and I’m keeping the confetti aside for a more verifiable milestone.

Are you a World Literary Cafe member? Have you witnessed this atrocious practice? Have you bought my book, yet? Dammit, seriously who keeps throwing that in there?


My Global Malfunction

I’m about to share something with you guys. Something that few people know about me.

I suck at geography and I suck bad.

When I was little, I came down with the chicken pox right when my class was learning US and World Geography. It was a very mild case of the chicken pox, so my grandmother kept me home a little longer than she needed to so that I didn’t get it twice.

I missed a whole lotta geography.

Fast forward to the present. To my Hubby-pants’ teasing jokes, cock-eyed looks, and exasperated sighs. Well, all of that culminated to head a couple of weeks ago. In the space of 24 hours, I said the following stupid things:

  1. We were talking about Pablo Escobar. Me: “Columbia. That’s in Cuba, right?”
  2. We were watching Defiance on the SyFy channel. Me: “Why do the characters keep saying ‘down to Antarctica?’ Antarctica is the North Pole, isn’t it?” (Side note, this led to a rather amusing argument about how, if there wasn’t an actual land mass at the North Pole, then why did people start the rumor that Santa Claus lived there.)

I don’t remember the order in which these two gaffes occurred, but one of them made Hubby-pants order me to put on my shoes and we went out right then and there to buy a globe. We found an adorable little, 6-inch, desk globe. On sale! Isn’t it cute?


Speaking of globes…Wherever you are on the globe, you can now add my upcoming novella, Blood in the Past, to your Goodreads ‘To Read’ Shelf! There’s a button right over there >>>>

Only FIVE more days until RELEASE DAY!

Jerks & Irks XXXVII: Gym Brats

I don’t usually broadcast the fact that I’ve gone to the gym. I don’t “Check-In” on Facebook. I don’t post pics on Instagram. I don’t have a Foursquare account. But today, wooo boy, today…Today, I have to share. Because the gym brats were a’plenty.

  1. I arrive at the gym. I’m about to enter the locker room and a girl younger than me is on her way out, facing downward toward her phone. I don’t alter my course. (I have a firm policy against adjusting my path for people not paying attention. They deserve to get bumped into, I’m sorry.) She does one of those “Excuse me!” deals, all sarcastic like it was my fault her face was berried in her iPhone. She then proceeds to sit on the bench of the Lat-Pull machine…and make a phone call. Ugh.
  2. I jump on my favorite stationary bike. The lady to my right is pedaling along when her friend stops by to chat. And chat. And chat. Am I the only one who doesn’t think the gym is comparable to happy hour? Seriously, these two broads were drowning out the episode of Castle I was watching on my phone. Ugh.
  3. Turns out “Excuse me!” chick knows the lady on the bike to my right AND her chatty friend. They proceed to workout together, never more than a stone’s throw from the bike I’m currently riding. And by “workout together,” I mean hover around one particular machine for ten minutes and gossip it up before moving on to the next machine in their farce of a circuit. Ugh.
  4. I’m done on the bike. My ears hurt from turning up the volume so much on my phone so I could hear Castle over the chatty din. I enter the locker room to switch out my phone for my iPod. I’m greeted by a large woman with what seems to be all her worldly possessions on the counter where the complementary blow dryer is. She’s on the phone while blow-drying her weave. I didn’t know that was possible. Not blow-drying a weave, talking on the phone while operating a blow-dryer. She has her young daughter with her. Both of them are eating from a large bag of potato chips (obviously counterproductive at the gym, yes?). The little girl runs away, spilling chips everywhere, including in front of my locker. The mother scolds and spanks the child repeatedly. The child screeches. The mother yells. No this isn’t awkward at all. Ugh.
  5. I head to the activities room where the group fitness classes are held. It’s empty, of course. I like to do my workouts in there because it’s private and there are plenty of dumbbells in my preferred range and they’re all on one rack. On the gym floor, you have to hunt them down and you still may end up working out with something too heavy or too light. Anyway, today was an abs day. I’m on my little mat doing all my zillions of types of crunches. Who else is in there with me? Some ballet couple erotically stretching each other out right behind me. Then they start their routine and use up every spare inch of space in the studio. By “every square inch,” I mean getting their twirl-on so close behind me that I could have tripped them without really moving. Their little show prompted onlookers. Which is great for them, but I’m just trying to do my crunches. Ugh.
  6. I head back to the locker room. I’m greeted by a new person blow-drying their hair. A stark naked person. No towel. No underpants. Nothing. Stark naked, bent over, blow-drying. I have no words. I went home.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes this (hopefully) one-time exception to the I-don’t-brag-about-going-to-the-gym rule.

Oh and be sure to check back on Wednesday when I blog about whatever it is I decide to blog about and announce the date of my Cover Reveal for Blood in the Past!

Jerks & Irks XXXVI: 50 Shades of Writing Advice?

Just when I’ve finally decided to stop hating all over what people have read and enjoyed…decided to embrace 50 Shades of Grey as a catalyst for people reading more than they have since they were forced to read Lord of the Flies in high school…I found this out:

E.J. James is publishing a writing advice guide. Sort of.

Cue *facepalm*

Yes, I know it’s technically a journal that happens to contain writing tips and advice in it. And I know this news broke a while ago, but I was too busy explaining why I won’t read your book and I totally forgot to complain about this new development.

To be clear, I’ve never read 50 Shades of Grey. I did, however, read the reviews. Many of which contained excerpts. And I was unimpressed. The kicker? I don’t have any formal literary training. I went to school for Biology. And I was still unimpressed. What might that infer? Hmmmm?

So for little ole’ E.L. to come out with a journal that includes “professional advice” is just baffling. How baffling? Allow me to paint you a picture.

E.L. James Publishing a Writing an Advice Guide is Like…

  • Lindsay Lohan Opening a Rehab Center
  • Joan Rivers Preaching About Aging Gracefully & Naturally
  • Paris Hilton Giving Resume Tips
  • Taylor Swift Singing About Healthy, Long-Term Relationships
  • The Duggars Advocating Birth Control

Oh, and the title of this project? 50 Shades of Grey: Inner Goddess.

Maybe Ms. James simply has a great sense of humor. I mean, she’d have to in order to name her journal/writing guide after quite possibly the most annoying aspect of her books, right?

*This is not an April Fool’s post. This is really happening. Heaven help us all.