5 Really Good (And Not Even Lame) Reasons You Should Read Renegade

If Buzzfeed and Thought Catalog have taught me anything, it’s that people love lists. I mean, they love lists. So, in honor of the release of my very first novel, here is a very fabulous list with five crazy compelling reasons you should read Renegade by L. A. Wilcox (a.k.a me). Enjoy, my fine friends.

1. The story takes place in 1770, just before the American Revolution – and ‘Merica.

Can we just take a minute to talk about how bad-a the American Revolution was? I’m sure my fellow God-fearing, eagle-loving Americans will agree – but in case you do not bleed red, white and blue, please watch the following trailer of The Patriot and join the party.

Wicked sweet, right? Good. Moving on.

2. There’s romance. Duh.

Seriously, when was the last time you read any good book and thought to yourself, Man, I’m so glad that novel was zero percent romance. NEVER. Let my fictional romance fill the lonely void in your life today.

Exactly, Mindy. Exactly.

3. I wrote it.

I’m not trying to say you should read Renegade just because I wrote it. I’m trying to say that you should read Renegade mostly because I wrote it. I realize that this may be a difficult concept for you selfless readers out there, so I decided to include this handy flowchart for your convenience.

Public disclaimer: I am not, in fact, a narcissist. This is me trying to be funny. Did it work? No? Okay…

4. Renegade revolves around a time traveler, and 9 out of 10 professionals agree that time travelers are the best kind of people.

Okay, maybe they’re the best kind of people because they aren’t exactly real people. Minor semantics, people! This is a time traveler story like none other, because it hinges upon the idea of personal talisman for intra-era transportation. Trust me. Dr. Who’s got nothing on Andrew Simmons.

5. Renegade is cheap. Like, 90s CDs at Hastings cheap.

$3.99 – that’s it. And don’t lie. You know you spent more on a Starbucks frap this very afternoon. I’m in college, so I get being broke as a joke. And like Honey Boo Boo, a dolla’ does in fact make me holla’, which is why Renegade won’t break your bank.

Anyway, moving on. You know you’ve stumbled across a real steal here, because Internet lists never lie. Duh. To grab your copy of Renegade, head over to Amazon! Not a Kindle fan? Renegade will also be available on Nook very soon, or you can always grab a paperback copy here. If you’re still unconvinced, follow these parting instructions:

1. Read items 1-5.

2. Repeat until convinced.

P.S. If you are a blogger and are interested in doing a review of Renegade, shoot me a comment below!

P.P.S. For information about the sequel – that’s right, I said SEQUEL – like Renegade on Facebook and join the conversation on Twitter using #ReadRenegade!

P.P.P.S. I’m done now.

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The Stages of Job Hunting, As Told by Game of Thrones

1.  Stupid Ambition

Job hunting? Please – I’ve got this one, guys. My strategy? I’m going to apply ONLY for insanely prestigious positions that are totally out of my league – like the White House. Yes, I’m applying to the entire White House. Go big or go home, right? I’ll just throw together a quick resume tonight. ‘Aint no thang.

 2. Denial

 

So what I didn’t get that resume written? There’s still ten weeks until graduation anyways. That’s basically forever in college years. Busy, I’m too busy enjoying my last days of freedom – a.k.a. being a worthless tub of lard. I’ll start working on that cover letter right after this season -I mean, episode – of Game of Thrones.

3.  Mild Anxiety

Boy, the weeks are really flying by, huh? It’s fine. No really, it’s fine. I wrote my resume, sent it out to a few places. It’s only a matter of time now until I get a call back. Everything will be fine! Really…

4. Waiting

It’s been four weeks. WHY HASN’T WENDY’S CALLED ME BACK?!

5. Despair

 My mother was right. I should have joined the debate team. Do you think I could add professional reviewer to my resume? I did give New Girl five stars on Netflix, after all. No? That doesn’t count? Then leave me to drown in my Ramen noodles – oh, parting is such sweet sorrow.

6. Redemption

You have done it, my friend. Oh, how victorious a day! For you, corporate warrior, have conquered the dreaded phone interview. YOU ARE NOW EMPLOYED! Go. Take your rightful place upon the throne. For you, dear friend, are now a ruler. A ruler of interns.

The One Where Laura Pierces Her Own Ear

Once upon a time, in a singularly angst-filled moment of spontaneity, a young maiden so decided to obtain a second ear piercing from an enchanted shoppe named Claire’s. I am she and yes – my definition of rebellion is an ultra tame piercing from a store that caters in Hello Kitty and Glee apparel. Haters gonna hate. Anyways, I was on the fence about the whole thing, staring through the Claire’s window like a pedophile.

How much was this going to hurt? Like shot-at-the-doctor or bullet-wound? But wait, should I really let pain deny me this rite of passage? Did I even want another piercing?

I probably looked like SNL’s Kaitlin at the mall…

Kaitlin

Seriously, you have to watch the video.

Then I saw a little five-year-old girl walk in with her mother. The worker hoisted her into the chair, threw on some gloves and shot two little diamonds effortlessly through her fatty earlobes. She didn’t bat an eyelash. Alright. If this toddler could muster up the courage, then so could I. I was a nineteen-year-old woman, dangit.

So I did it.

Yes, it hurt. Yes, I made her count to three. No, I didn’t cry (much). Still, it was the crowning glory of my freshman year. Those two little gold studs stood for independence, unbreakable autonomy, and untouchable sass. Word. I felt cool, I felt confident…

And then they grew shut.

Two and half years later, I couldn’t even wiggle a post halfway into that vanishing freckle of a hole. Totally lame, right? Try as I might, I could not shove that blunt post through my ear, and the sass started to slowly slip away. This would never do. I would simply have to repierce them.

Myself.

“Are you sure you don’t want to just go get them done at Claires again?” asked my roommate, Kasey. At least one of us has some sense.

“Positive. Why should I pay $20 for something I can do myself?”

Those are words to live by, folks – but not this day.

As any true 90s girl would do, I looked to The Parent Trap for inspiration.  Candle. Check. Needle. Check. Earring. Check. We decided to make one last-minute substitution: lemon out, almond soap bar in. Fortunately, one hole needed only the sharper end of the starter earring. Bam. Piece of cake.

Then came the right ear.

Our friend Andrew was in the living room, having no part of  my shenanigan. With my roommate staring in horror from the bathroom door (ready to hurl at any moment), I tried desperately to just shove that post through with raw, blunt force. No luck. I would have to use the needle. I ran the needle through the flame of my Paula Deen candle, Hallie Parker style, and poised to strike. Slowly, I pushed the needle’s point into the invisible opening. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Swollen and ticked off from previous attempts, my ear was having none of that. Defeat was inevitable.

“It’s okay,” said my roommate, walking away with a pat on the shoulder. “You can just have one second piercing. It will be cool.”

That did it.

Something snapped inside. Teeth gritted, muscles clenched, I shoved that needle all the way through.

With shaky, panic-stricken hands, I pulled the bloody needle out, grabbed the earring and shoved it in like a champ. My battle cry (i.e. choice words) flooded the apartment. Finally, after snapping the back into place, I zombie-marched into my roommate’s room – lifeless, void of emotion.

“Did you do it?!”

I just threw my arms in the air, Rocky style.

Rocky

“Good girl! You don’t look so good. Do you need a hug?”

I sort of crawled into this awkward fetal position hug. We stayed like that for a while, until the hot, throbbing of my ears demanded another dose of icing.

“Get this girl some painkillers!” cried Andrew, rushing around like some wartime medic.

After several varieties of painkillers (taken simultaneously, of course) I returned to the scene of the crime, pictured below. If you’re of the squeamish variety, you should just scroll to the end. Really. There’s a dash of blood.

photo (10)

It’s been three days now, so let’s skip to the Q and A portion, shall we?

Q: So tell us, Laura, was Annie Parker overreacting in the film?

A: If anything, she was under-reacting for the sake of PG.

Q: Are you sure you aren’t just a wuss?

A: No comment.

Q: Do you wish you had just gone back to Claire’s?

A: Sometimes, but then I remember I have an awesome story.

Q: Do you recommend this method to others?

A: NO. NO. NO. DO NOT VAN GOH YOUR EAR ON MY BEHALF.

Q: In the end, was it worth it?

A: Ask me in 3 months.

Q: Laura, you are just so brave. Can we get a picture?!

A: Absolutely!

photo (11)

The evil risk of infection had been overthrown by one foolishly courageous heart. Oh, how the people rejoiced! And so it was that the fair maiden and her glam-tastic golden studs lived happily ever after.

The End.

7 Questions College Seniors are Tired of Hearing

1. What do you plan to do after graduation?

I’m sorry, could you repeat the question?

2. Now, what are you majoring in again?

No, Grandma, I’m majoring in public relations. No, that’s not like DHS. No, it’s also not wedding planning. Or politics. Yes, of course it’s a real major! You know what, just tell everybody I Tweet for a living. I can live with that.

3. What big city are you heading to?

What a minute. What’s wrong with right here? Why am I moving? Do I have to move? Is it mandatory? Whose going to help me pack? How am I going to afford this move? What are this? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

4. Are you and so-and-so getting married?

If so-and-so and I do decide to get married, can’t you just find out from Facebook like all of our other marginal acquaintances? Come on, bud. Know your place.

5. What exactly do you want to do with that degree?

Smoke it. Seriously, what do you think I’m going to do with it? Try my hardest to find a job, like all the other bajillion recent graduates living at home with Mom and Dad.

6. Do you have a back-up plan?

Wait. Should I be offended by that?

7. Are you ready to be done?

 Okay. This one never actually gets old because YES I AM SO READY TO BE DONE.

Stuck in the Middle

Nobody’s favorite part of the movie is ever the middle, because the middle is something you sit through begrudgingly for the big payoff – the final battle, true love’s kiss. The middle is when you slip out to pee, answer your mother’s nagging call and grab another popcorn because ‘Merica. The middle is dull. The middle is blah. The middle is perfectly passable.

If the film of my life, I’m entering the middle: almost through with college, no wedding on the calendar, no buns in the oven, no dream job to run to and no future in some trendy metropolitan. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing. But where is the life ABC Family amd romcoms promised me? You know, hip young twenty-something in a refurbished loft with a glamorous job, decked in high-end fashion (at a discount, of course). I have no refurbished loft, I work at a museum and I shop at Target.

What gives?

If my life were recorded on VHS, I could simply fastfoward through the days of penny-pinching, indecision and slurping Ramen noodles in the car. I could trade all the confusion for premium cable, real leather and a solid sense of self. I could even leave behind past failures, as unsalvagable as my Craigslist furniture. Best of all, I could shed adolescence without a single growing pain and cut straight to the happily-ever-after dance sequence.

But I wouldn’t.

What good is a glass slipper if Cinderella never even danced with the prince? Who would have cared if Frodo finally returned the ring were it not for 10 grueling hours of butt cramps? So what if Clark Griswold makes it to Wally World or if Harry Potter defeats the one who must not be named? Would it even matter that Romeo and Juliette died if they had never (way too quickly) fallen in love to begin with? Without the middle, does the story even matter?

The middle is either everything or nothing to you – and that makes all the difference.

Every mundane moment of every regular day will someday be your greatest treasure. You’ll look back and tell your grandchildren (or seven sweater-wearing cats) about life as a broke college kid, shopping at Target and working at some museum while living in a second-rate apartment with no overhead lights. Now, I don’t know what you’ve got planned for 2014, but I know what I’ll be doing. I will be cherishing today, tomorrow and every single ordinary day in this short but wonderful life.

Because someday, I know I’ll give anything to be stuck in the middle again.

The 6 Stages of Final Exams As Told by Harry Potter

1. Denial

Finals? Hahahahaha! Please. I’ve still got an entire week left. Do you have any idea what I can accomplish in that short amount of time? Seriously, there’s nothing to worry about. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna’ go paint my nails like little zebras.

2. Anger

Okay, it’s not like I’m mad about finals or anything, but seriously? A comprehensive test? How unfair is that?! And it’s worth, like, 96 percent of my grade. I’m too mad to study. School is so stupid. No, everything is stupid. LET’S START A REVOLUTION!

3. Procrastination

I’m just gonna’ go over to Tiffany’s for a quick study session. I always do my best work in groups. Oh, and Jennifer, Michael and Josh will be there too, but we’re definitely gonna’ get stuff done. Definitely…

4. Cramming

Okayokayokay. Two hours left until the test. I have four Redbulls in the fridge, and I. can. do. this. No need to panic. No need to panic. NO NEED TO PANIC.

5. Apathy

You know what? I don’t even care. 200 question multiple choice? Come at me, bro.

6. Recovery

Student down, STUDENT DOWN! The road to post-final recovery may be long and troublesome, but that’s why God invented Netflix and Nutella.

P.S. Enjoy this post? See what else you’re bound to love here!

11 Clever Last-Minute Costumes

So, Halloween is just days away, and you’re totally unprepared. No costume? No problem!  You don’t need a lot of time (or money) to pull together a creative get-up, thanks to the Internet. Whether you’re going solo, as a couple or with a group, I’ve got you covered. Here are 11 clever DIY costumes you can put together in less than 24 hours. So sit back, let loose a sigh of relief and get inspired.

1. Medusa

Medusa

Just raid your little brother’s closet for a few toy snakes and wear your bed sheets like a toga. Bam! Costume complete.

2. Carl from Up!

Up!

Proof that a few balloons and a trip to the thrift store can work wonders.

3. DumbleDora the Explorer

DumbleDora

Punny and confusing! All you need are some bright accessories and a noteworthy beard.

4. The Hanging Chad

Hanging Chad

You’re basically guaranteed to be the only hanging chad at the party.

5. Fifty Shades of Gray

Fifty Shades of Gray

Clever, cultural and creative. What more could you ask for?

—————- Couples Costumes —————

6. Google Maps

Google Maps

For maximum impact, be sure to play “God Blessed the Broken Road.”

7. Gotye

Gotye

This one’s all about the bodysuit, folks. Seriously. Your birthday suit is not a costume.

8. Mr. and Mrs. Fox

The Foxes

If you’re too cheap (or short on time) to get stellar fox masks, just print off a coloring sheet online. They’ll get the gist.

————— Group Costumes —————

9. Tetris

Tetris

No matter how many friends you have, there’s always room for one more.

10. Mario Kart

Mario Kart

Can you ever go wrong with Nintendo? No. No you cannot.

11. French Kiss

French Kiss

C’mon. It’s brilliant, and there’s nothing more to say.

Even if you didn’t find a costume, I hope you’re feeling inspired. Just in case you’re wondering, I did not include my own costume on the list (though it was cheap and a DIY) as I’m keeping the element of surprise on my side. If you have any ideas to add, feel to share them below. Otherwise, happy hunting! I’m sure you’ll find that perfect costume in no time.

Is Romance a Dying Art?

Every so often, when I’m looking to unwind, I throw on my Frank Sinatra Pandora station and let the smooth kings of croon carry me away. But then, the other day, a truly captivating song struck my fancy. It was “A Kiss to Build a Dream On” by Louis Armstrong. As I listened carefully to the words, it got me thinking about a few things, namely romance. But first, have a listen for yourself.

Now, let’s slow it down and look at those lyrics.

Give me a kiss to build a dream on,
And my imagination will thrive upon that kiss,
Sweetheart, I ask no more than this,
A kiss to build a dream on.

Give me a kiss before you leave me,
And my imagination will feed my hungry heart,
Leave me one thing before we part,
A kiss to build a dream on.

Have you ever heard anything so charming in your life? If you’re a twenty-something like me, probably not. It’s not exactly news that modern music doesn’t carry the same love-struck chord that it did in the fifties, but just how far have we strayed? For comparison sake, let’s take Britney Spear’s newest hit, “Werk B****.”

You wanna hot body,
You want a Bugatti,
You want a Maseratti,
You better work b****.
You want a Lamborghini,
Sip martinis,
Look hot in a bikini,
You better work b****.

Maybe I don’t actually want a Maseratti. Maybe what I really want is old-school, heart-felt romance. Maybe I want Louis Armstrong. Long gone are the days when love was enough to pay the bills, and now it’s all about “jet planes, islands, and tigers on a gold leash,” or so says Lorde. Of course, marvelous love songs still exist today, but they’re seldom chart-toppers. They say that pop culture is a mirror to society, and if that’s the case, then doesn’t this deficiency of affection in mainstream music say something about us as a whole?

Lyrics

Of course, no romance is better than hollow romance. What I’m talking about is an outpouring of affection rooted entirely in genuine fondness and respect for another person. But if we did actually receive that grounded, all-in romance, would we even know what to do with it? It all reminds me of an episode of Sex and the City, where Carrie begins to feel smothered by all the grand romantic gestures of her new boyfriend. I think she sums it up best:

“We accept Tasti D-lite instead of real ice cream, emails instead of love songs, jokes instead of poetry. It’s no wonder that when faced with the real thing we can’t stomach it. Is it something we could learn to digest or have we become romance-intolerant?”

TextLove

A recent article by the Huffington Post suggests that the root of unhappiness plaguing Generation Y stems from a long history of unrealistic expectations. While that’s probably true, is it possible that just this once, in regard to romance, that’s not the case? Could the problem actually be that reality is quite simply coming up short? Or, as the article suggests, are we twenty-somethings stuck in a world of Ryan Gosling, romcom-fueled unrealistic expectations?

S*#! Students Say Part II

As you may recall, I wrote a post in May called S*#! Students Say, chronicling the unbelievably stupid and completely true things I’ve heard students say around campus. Shocking stuff, right? Well, now that the fall semester is upon us, it seems like the perfect time for the long-awaited sequel, don’t you think? I agree.

In the first post, I asked for your craziest quotes, and you delivered! Three of today’s fabulous quips came from readers, so props to those of you willing to share your s*#! with the world. Keep it up, and thanks for reading! As a final reminder, all of the quotes are real and free of fabrication.

So, without further ado, I give you “S*#! Students Say Part II.” Enjoy.

***

Sorority Girl: Hey, Jessica! Psssst! What’s the plural of moose? It’s meese, right?

 ***

Stereotypical freshmen girl (to boy beside her): My goal is to learn everyone’s name by the end of the semester!

Boy : This is a 200-student lecture.

Freshman:

 

 ***

From SaraAnneThinks:

Girl: If I were a beard, I would be that guy’s beard.

Guy: If you were a beard, I would shave you.

Girl: Well, I wouldn’t live on your face!

 ***

Girl: Were you on royal baby watch?!

Me: No.

Girl: Ugh, I was. I absolutely lost it when the prince was born. I mean, I cried for like a good ten minutes.

Me:

Stupidity

***

Embarrassment to Womankind: That assignment was SO hard.

Friend: Oh gosh, I’m sorry. Why was it so hard? Did he not explain it or anything?

Embarrassment: He did. It’s just that we had to find the slope.

Friend:

 ***

From Jim:

Guy: So your an English major. Right?

Girl: Yea, that’s right.

Guy: So are you going to be a teacher when your graduate?


Girl: Oh no, I want to be a neurosurgeon.

Guy: Wow, that’s really cool. So your taking pre-med stuff in addition to your English major?


Girl: No.

Guy: No? How will you become a neurosurgeon?

Girl: Probably never will, I just like to set my goals really high…..

FacePalm

 ***

Typical White Girl at Starbucks #1: Guys, I’m gonna’ treat myself today! Hmmmm. What should I get? I know it’s like SO bad for you, but I’m gonna’ get a cheese Danish.

Typical White Girl at Starbucks #2: That’s disgusting!

Typical White Girl at Starbucks #1: Gross? It’s a pastry with cream cheese in it. How could that possibly be gross?

Typical White Girl at Starbucks #2: Oh! I thought it was like real cheese.

Typical White Girl at Starbucks #1: Emily. Cream cheese is real cheese.

Typical White Girl at Starbucks #2:

Karen

 ***

From Robyn:

Girl #1: “I didn’t like that movie so much. The abortion scene grossed me out.”

Girl #2: “Abortion? You mean where she had a C-Section?”

Girl #1: “Whatever. I mean, like, what’s the difference?”

 ***

Have you heard some s*#! around campus? Then share your most craziest quotes in the comment! Who knows? There may just be a part III in the future. And of course, as always, for more laughs at the expense of others, be sure to follow my blog!