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Showing posts from July, 2005

I flunked the history test.

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This one is frustrating, because sometimes I thought it had an agenda, leftist? oh. Maybe right wing? Huh. . . . ... And then I got a rotten score, even with my history geek boy at hand. AND WORST OF ALL, I don't know which answers I got wrong. But you go ahead, See if you can correctly answer the questions of the How Revised Is Your History? Test.

And then there's the original test that led me into wasting hours on the internet and I curse whichever blog forced me to wander over to it. I found somewhere. Beth's place? I can't remember and I'm not going to go look for it. It's too late. And I got no work done and I have revisions to do. Bah.


The Expatriate
Achtung! You are 38% brainwashworthy, 9% antitolerant, and 14% blindly patriotic

Congratulations! You are not susceptible to brainwashing, your values and cares extend beyond the borders of your own country, and your Blind Patriotism ("patriotism" for short) does not reach unhealthy levels. In Germany…

in which truth is sweeter than fiction

I just thought as I read this that if the birthday party scene had been the climax in a novel, no doubt it would be required to be gritty and at least half the characters would be bitter, estranged or mean. Instead it's just...nice. And still fun to read.**

Sigh. AND I just love seeing again the fact that we can take the cards marked family and shuffled them til we're dizzy--and they still end up as family. There are still picnics and photo albums and kids.

If people who loathe "alternative lifestyles" (a godawful phrase, but I don't have a better one for anyone not living in the mom-dad-jr-sis unit) could see that lesson, they'd be happier and less scared. They could get on with their own picnics and photo albums and lives instead of lying awake at night and worrying about the neighbors.

On the other hand, the link might not be worth beans to you if you haven't read else's earlier blog entries.

______
** But I know I have a penchant for the amiable.

Today's Toast

Ebay's the best. Thank you, Aya

not dead yet!

My friend P is in the waiting game. A parent is ill, and has been for a few years. Setbacks, recoveries, gathering the family to say goodbye, waiting, recoveries, setbacks ... hospitals, rehab, hospitals, nursing home.

A couple of days ago, P went to a funeral for a friend's father and felt miserable through the whole thing. She's appalled to discover that when someone else's parent keeled over, her main emotion is envy. She sat in a crowd of weeping people and wished it was her parent in there. She said that the worst part is that she knows a lot of the desire to have it over and done with rises from pure selfishness.

Not exactly a fun thing to learn about oneself. Yup, I remember wishing the process would end, and feeling guilty about the desire to have it end. Bleh. Sucks, dude. But I'm guessing it's pretty common.

Now that I'm seeing someone else living it, fretting over that element in a whole tangle of emotion seems almost silly because it makes so much sens…

POVersion

I was going to keep on spouting more advanced POV wisdom, but I swear, I'm thinking the fewer of us who present trend as Fact the better the world will be . . .. Yeah, so a bunch of romance is written in deep third (deeeeeeeper'n a well) and have only the hero and heroine's POV and no head hopping blah blah blah. But hell, I'm sick of presenting it because I can imagine someone, somewhere, might jump on a new writer for some bogus rule that I repeated.

A lovely bit of omniscient opinionated INTERESTING description of a room or a person will be dumped. A heroine-looking-in-the-mirror-scene-for-description that actually works (there must be some?) will be cut. Bah.

When I cleaned out my office last spring, I came across a contest entry from a few years back. The judge's remarks were hellacious. Not unfriendly or rude or mean. . . but stupid. They did not fit the damn story. I can picture the judge scribbling notes about every single point some editor or writer or nut-j…

Learning to hush up

I'm taking a bunch of free online workshops. In past years, these have been the bee's knees. Now I'm so full of opinions that I can barely read a line of the presentation before I want to say, "now wait a moment. Where the hell did you read that rule? And what makes you think it's worth following?" I have to hit delete on various workshop emails before I write the verging-on-flame (definitely snotty) retorts.

For instance.... what is this current rage for ridding the world of "ing" words? Hmm? Sometimes the damn words are fine. People skitter around trying to avoid them and end up with long garbled sentences. Are they hoping to avoid all forms of to be? de"was" ing? Looking for signs of passive voice? That it? I'd look it all up but I know it'll all end with a headache.

Now I'm heading back to the old online workshops that I've saved over the years to see if I was soaking up wisdom of the ages or second-hand garbled tripe. Pr…

Required Rioter Reading

Thank you for pointing it out, PBW. Pat Holt's essay is wonderful--Ten Mistakes Writers Don't See. Yeah, yeah, you've read it all before. Read it again anyway.

Also from PBW--her Top Ten Signs You've Attended Too Many Writing Workshops (the link is at her site) This is the one I liked best:

9. Conned: The writing conferences you plan to attend in one year exceeds the number of novels you've written in your life.To grow as a writer, make a rule: for every writing conference you attend, you have to write and finish at least two new novels.

Hey, if you substitute "published" for write, then I really shouldn't be in Reno anyway.

ONE more word

I mean it, you romance rioters and readers. All these loops and groups -- everyone's been moaning about packing and traveling. That's bad enough. Now there are lots of cell phone #s being exchanged and plans being made.

ONE more word about how much fun you're going to have in Reno and I'm going to have a hissy fit.

You're warned.

* * *

I do want full reports once you get back.

Karen Scott! yooo-hooo

Hey KS, I write historicals that aren't set in England. They are historicals set in New York City. I was gonna push myself but figured that was tacky at your blog. Not at mine! Nossiree, that's my job around here, pushing my books in your face.
You can find descriptions of my historicals at my website: http://www.katerothwell.com And they're not even out of print yet!

See? One day I can't write worth shit, the next I'm strutting the stuff. Anyway, that's so yesterday, being down about writing. I managed to churn out three pages at the DMV today. It was wall-to-wall people at the CT DMV. Thirty folks ahead of me, lots of energetic toddlers, and muzak interrupted by a chirpy electronic voice announcing numbers. I haven't re-read the pages I wrote to see if they're any good, but considering the circumstances, I am proud of actually producing anything. Who cares if it was worth saving?**


Okay, so I'm a writer again. That means that my current depressed moo…

"Not Fooling Them Anymore" Day

Every few months, or weeks, or days -- I want to stop writing because I know no one wants to read it. I mean, why bother? And it doesn't matter who says "shut up, goober, just write the books." I can't shake the the Not Fooling Them Anymore mood. Blah. (My work is superficial repetitive junk and don't bother telling me otherwise because you're just being nice.)

Luckily today I don't have to force myself to write. I have boy dentist appointments and blood draws and a filthy house to act as a shield between me and insecurities.

I don't plan on making a habit of it. I'm not talking about Not Fooling Them Day. I can't control that. I mean the scurrying away from the computer when the insecurities strike. I can always scan the want ads or talk to one of my cubicle dwelling neighbors. Yikes. I don't care if you guys don't want to read the stuff. I'm churning it out anyway. Maybe someone will give me steady pay to shut the hell up?

A Londoner's Message To Zealots Playing the Martyr Game

Kate Johnson:Stop blowing holes in my country! It's v tiresome. There are deserty places where you can explode things, you know. The London Underground is not an appropriate place. Now, run along.

Cap'n! I cannae hald 'em!

My husband seems to have discovered a All Original Star Trek, All the Time channel and he watches them at 3 am when he's got insomnia. I've grown fond of the out-dated clunky old show. . . and now. . . .Sniffle.
Bye, Scotty. You delivered the lines with such aplomb.

Freeze right there, Mr Spock, or I'll put you to sleep for
sure.

I can't change the laws of physics!

The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.

Just before they went into warp, I beamed the whole kit and kaboodle into their engine room, where they'll be no tribble at all.

This reviewer is not as happy. . .

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The review is a couple of paragraphs of pretty good description of the basic plot followed by:

The rest of the story follows their relationship and Bryan ’s resolution of his problems. This is a light, entertaining story without a lot of deep plot, relatively interesting with predictable sexual issues, and sweet characters. It works well as an e-book.

(That's from here)

Works well as an e-book? Huh. . . Does that mean it's short? (It is.)

I wonder what "e-book" means to them. I zipped around the site and the reviews for e-books tend to have lower ratings. Is that a reflection of the quality or the expectation of the reviewers? Or both?
*
Never mind that particular review. . .Moving right along and catching the next available tangent:

I wish there was a subjective method of measuring which aspects of a book--other than the story--hold the most power for reviewers.

Let's say you don't know the author, so you can't really base future expectations on past performance…

Promoting Summer--a happy review

Title: Perfection
Author: Summer Devon
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
Publisher URL: www.ellorascave.com
ISBN: 1-4199-0295-4
Reviewer: Dani Jacquel, Just Erotic Romance Reviews
Rating: 5 /5 Stars

Bryan is a woman-magnet. Literally. His body is producing pheromones that make him utterly irresistible to women. Old, young, married; it doesn't matter, they all end up going wild for him. It's so bad that he flinches when a woman comes to close. And he certainly can't have sex without the woman acting crazed and lovesick because of that. For a while, it was okay, especially when a corporation agreed to pay him to run tests and collect those pheromones. But now that he knows there might be a way to cure his problem, he's escaped the corporation. He ends up in a diner where Allie works as a waitress. Oddly enough, she seems to be affected much less severely than any woman he's come across. And while she can't possibly be the perfect woman that will fix his problem, s…

snort

male neighbor: How's the porn writing's going?
me, slightly curt: Fine.
neighbor: So when am I gonna be featured? You put Greg in [I used another neighbor's name in Somebody To Love].
me: Maybe when you don't call it porn?
neighbor: I didn't mean your . . . regular stuff. I meant your porn.
me: Huh?
neighbor: The online book.
me: You read it?
neighbor: Yeah, of course. I really liked it.


And at that moment I understood. To him, being called a porn writer wasn't an insult. Hmm. It was the romance, the "regular stuff", he didn't like and wouldn't name--for fear of hurting my feelings, I'm guessing? I love my neighbors. No, I really do.

Cheating on Smart Bitches Day

I'm taking credit for 35+ whiny entries (PERFECT for the occasion) at the Romance Unleashed Blog contest. Hey, I'm the one ending it on a Monday, the official SBDay.

So go read "my" marvelous bitches and write your own. The winner will be picked tonight. He or she will get 11 autographed Romances to read and bitch about.

Ha, creative bitching and promo in a single post--with absolutely no work on my part. A lazy writer's dream. Does it count, Beth? Huh? Does it?

More Harry Potter Day Stuff

Actually I won't bother because Lori and I are yammering about it over at RomanceUnleashed. Ritual, hype, books, blah blah blah. Every blog on the planet is probably addressing the issue, right?

Go check it out and weigh in with your feelings. I have to go wrestle the book out of a kid's hands. His 30 minutes of reading HP are up.

update: ack! ack! I put in an HP spoiler in one of my comments below and the comment thingie didn't leave enough space (even though I did) so the spoiler is hard to avoid. You have been warned.

alas

Where have all the comments gone? Woe is me. Or whoa is me, as the big kid wrote.

cluck, cluck

Yeah, there's another flap happening. PBW, Shannon and the Squawk radio people are on it. (I'm only putting in the squawkers link because PBW and Shannon are on the sidebar. As soon as I figure out the sidebar I'll be adding more and more accurate links.)

There's a lot of angry back and forth and debate about the usual subjects with a few remarks about naked or dressed chickens.**

But one little post hit me longside the head like Groucho's duck****. dingadingadinga!

Sasha over at PBW's wrote:
Erotica and Romance are two separate genres. Very true. And they DO have their own shelves in bookstores. However, erotic romance, is just as much a romance as historical, suspense or paranormal. And in some cases, even more than chic lit. Yet, RWA has embraced those sub-genres. I have to say I am totally disappointed by RWA as an organization, and the writers within it that do not support their fellow authors in the quest for publication. Yah DUH, is all I have to say. Thank …

The Boy Picked A Number

Summer's contest is over and . . . .

gtwm, also known as Shirley, is the winner!

I don't know how she found out about the contest-- but she's definitely the winner.

She gets the basket of goodies and the download. Hmmmmm. I hope she doesn't live in the deep south. Those Linder chocolate bars will turn into sacks of melted chocolate.

how to have fun without entering contests.

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last contest for days

Last chance to win a self indulgence basket! We have your skin products,
your hot books, candles and CHOCOLATE!!

Here's what you do:
1. go to this page: http://www.summerdevon.com
2. read the excerpt.
3. answer these three questions
a. What's on the hero's arm?
b. How'd he get it?
c. What does the heroine do for a living? 4. send the answers in an email to summerdevon@comcast.net

Smart Bitches Day--extremes of the unpublished

The contest over at the Romance Unleashed blog is chugging along with everyone happily bitching about plot devices they hate in romances. Very good. Not as upbeat or inspirational as that blog tends to be, but I think some wiseassed bitchery's a good plan for most blogs.

So I'm reading a lot of unpublished work right now, judging contests. A few of the entries I read cause me . . . enormous frustration. Tonight's raging bitchiness is brought to you by the letters PM and S and entries 1 and 2:

entry 1. Hey, I've read this in another contest and it's goddamn perfect. Why isn't this person published already? How come some idiot editor hasn't spotted this story yet? Are they that booked with great stories that they keep shoving this one aside? If that's true, we're all doomed. The writer is way better than I'll ever be. She's a fucking GENIUS. DAMMIT. Get her published so I can read the rest of this book.

entry 2. Uh oh. I can say "close the t…

The President (of the RWA) Speaks

Why Define Romance?

Many RWA members are under the opinion that the definition of romance that appears on our website is the official RWA definition of romance. That definition was crafted by a committee, later brought before the board, and, in the final analysis, was added to by RWA's production manager. It's [sic] use,PR purposes. [actually this is from an email that might have been screwed up so the line might be "It's used for PR purposes"]

All of these years, while that definition sat on the website and was used by the press, RWA has actually had three definitions of romance that were used for programs and services: one that has been applied toward publisher recognition, another for the RITAs, and a third as a general mission statement.

As the genre expands and changes, as our membership grows and expects more from us, our internal definitions have been caught in the fray. RWA needs a tangible, clearly provable, non-subjective method for determining what exactl…

Oh. Right.

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We ran around on Wednesday getting Senija ready for a trip back to Bosnia for a month. I was just reminded of one reason she'd return now.

Stay well, Senija. See you in August.





whoops. This is Remiza. I keep trying to post my Senija picture, but it won't go from my computer to here. Bah. I'll try later.

sentimental about cyberspace?

That's sort of sad, as in "You collect empty egg cartons? That is really sad."

But I went back and looked around the old place. Sniffle. I mean those great FIFTY FIVE WORD BUTTONS that Hyde and Shylah made! I can't toss them. We'll have to use them again.

Bye for now, blog.

I have trouble throwing out ratty tee-shirts, too. There's one I got in Holstebro, Danmark in 1974 that I still own. It was celebrating the city's 700th year (the city was founded in 1274. Or rather it was mentioned in some letter from a bishop)

I wore that shirt a lot in 1976 when the US was going on and on about our bicentennial. I lived in DC and was just entering the extremely snotty stage of life. Well, perhaps not just entering. . .

huh.. I just maundered on about My Past at the old blog, too -- must be a moving thing.

the latest contest

This one isn't mine, but one of my books is in it. And I'm shoving the contest down people's throats big time because I told the other RU authors how much FUN contests are. "When you make people work, the results are FUN. . . No really!. . .You'll love reading the FUN entries," I told them.

So far there aren't any entries, fun or otherwise.

So here's the deal:
1. Go toTHISspot.
2. Whine according to the directions. It's easy.

Maybe you should think Beth and her Smart Bitches day. Check out her Monday entries. . . You should keep the whining really, really short.

Win this contest and you don't have to do any shopping for your beach reading. Here are all the autographed books** you'll win:

Lady of the Knight, Jackie Ivie.
Scot history with a twist...the heroine get the knives and the hero gets to wonder how that happened. Winner - Best First Book 2004 Beacon Contest

Risk Everything, Sophia Johnson
The sparks flying in the battle between Rolf and Megha…

London

Holding our breath, watching the news, sending up useless fretful thoughts and prayers. Soon we'll be waiting to see what happens next, and hoping it isn't more of the same from any side.

I've read articles about the reasoning behind these attacks and the thinking is far removed from any reality I understand. How can purposefully targetting and killing civilians further any cause?

coincidence?

1. Today Summer Devon's first ebook is released.
2. The ellora's cave site appears to be down.

Proud Political Aunt

Okay, it's political, so I should probably put it in my other blog. This one is supposed to be about writing.

I'll just post it here. Because honestly, whether you're right or left, you have to admire a kid who works hard for what he believes in.

My sister's kid, Alan, is one of the broadcasters on the July 1st show, President, Interrupted -- an analysis of the president's speech. Be patient. It takes a while to load.

Even if you support the president at least some of the comments will make you think. (Yes, some of them are as obviously propaganda as any of the president's words.)

Ha, lookie there. The one slightly negative comment was from my sister, his mom.

Disturbing but fascinating. But disturbing.

Photoshop gone wild. The photowizards are just too good.
Plantanimals.


(I got the link from Bron, bless her sick soul)

RWA, again?

If I'm going to complain when they do dumb stuff, then I should applaud when they do good stuff. This is what I hope for from a professional writers' group. Thank you, Nicole Burnham


RWA will be undertaking an a legal analysis of agency contracts, as well as the agency clauses inpublishing contracts, with an eye to educating members about what these clauses mean and how thewording in these clauses can affect authors' intellectual property rights and writing income.If you have signed with an agency in the last year, or if you have seen a change in contract terms ineither your agency contract or in the agency clause of your publishing contract in the last year, RWA would like to hear about it. Please forward a copy of your agency contract and, if possible, theagency clause of your publishing contract (this is the provision inserted by the agent into your publishing contract which states the name of the agent and how they are to be paid, and is usually near the end of the cont…

Go back two spaces...

I just posted at my old blog (http://mkate.bravejournal.com) and it's mostly about a contest. . . no, no, don't get excited. It's a promotional contest. Yeah, the prize is fine, but the contest, she is boring. For me, at any rate.

Other holiday fun, I'm trying to figure out what to do at romanceunleashed's blog for a contest and I promised to list this month's releases today. And here I always thought I hated promotion.

Fireworks tonight and for the first time in more than a decade, we'll get to go close. The boys say it's time. They can face the loud booms at last. Oh, I remembered to warn the refugees I saw last week about all the explosions they'd be hearing. For obvious reasons, firework displays freak them out. The first year I worked with refugees, I heard about the kids who hid in closets after dark every night. They came to the US and at last felt able to sleep out in the open. Then the fourth of July rolled around, a few explosions later and …

Bitchin' !! and sagacious

Can that Bec can do a blog or what?

I love my new look. Don't expect the contents to be any different but they'll sure appear more intelligent.

I used to handwrite first drafts and then type them up--they always, always looked so much more profound typed up. Maybe this will have the same effect. Slight degooberification was called for in order for me to look like a professional. I wonder if I can import dancing bananas though.