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Showing posts from November, 2005

I blogged TWO other places.

1. For left-wing ranty politics, please click here. Be warned, it's on the dailykos site and sometimes that place is just too far over the edge--and ....er....I might have been influenced by the tone. Kate eyes ferfe nervously. Actually the only interesting part is a link to this story.

2. For a continuation (or perhaps the repetition) of the discussion of romance** as Rodney Dangerfield please click here.


More than enough Kate in the blogosphere, I'd say. I just got back from Bosnia and the ladies did NOT want to hang around long so we ended our day early. We went to an apartment, had cups of kill-me-now coffee and I came home as soon as I could. Now where did I put that bottle of TUMS?

____________

** check the comments, particularly Bookseller Chick's.

well, it's one way to train the family

Thanks to Ari for the link to this auction.

The woman is scary. Do not cross her. Do NOT leave anything lying on any tables. (I'm talking about the woman running the auction--not Ari)

the WINNER IS. . .

brace yourself, sock lovers. . .

SAM!

A poignant slice of life--Can't get more poignant than wishing you weren't so different from your sisters. Slice of life? Line o' ants fits that bill. Click on the email thing on the right corner, Sam. Supply your footsize and tell me if you want a book too. Oh, and I'll need an address.

Robyn's entry would have been perfect, but the word-count went over 100.
Cheryl's also fit, but she has socks and anyway, she claimed it wasn't a real entry.

Heck--as usual, all of the entries were great. A round of applause! And the judge gets some chocolate.

****


Speaking of poignant, it's sort of piteous to think that my former guest the PIL will soon move out of the heavily drugged love stage. . . Or at least that's what these people say. Here's what I say: I'd buy stock in a company that produced Lurve in a nose spray.

****

and shark scribbles, too bad you're too late, because that really is poignant and a slice of life-…

why it works, SBD

It's all endorphins.

I'll bet I've said it before: romance can help what ails you. Everyone else has said it. Every conference I go to has a big name romance writer speaker who talks about the most horrible moments of her life with the climax of her speech being How Reading/Writing Romance Helped Her Through It.** We're all sniffling along with her and then uplifted at the conclusion. Yowza, talk about endorphins. (Not to mention the buzz brought on by sharing common experiences)

I was just yammering about Depression. and Embarrassment. those downers that we can revive with no effort. Sometimes it's like yawning. Just recall an incident and bang! you're in that state of mind vividly. (ever noticed that about certain words? Say "yawn" aloud and I bet you'll yawn within minutes. Say the word "lice" aloud and your head itches. I've never had lice and I have that response. Weird.) Anyway, those negative emotions are so easily accessed...we…

The Contest is Ending and Kate Does Depression

Only 13 entries? That is pah-thet-ick. But quality not quantity counts.
HEY go on. You have til midnight to enter.

* * * *

The Thanksgiving crowd is gone. I got a long email--half apologetic, half amused--from my niece who'd brought along the PIL. Next time the niece visits, she's going to bring along a friend who's never petted a dog or a cat. Can you imagine?

I'm not so sure Sooz the 70 lbs neuroto-pup is a good place to start pet patting, but that's between the niece and her friend.

Our dishwasher is relieved that the extra people are gone. The kids are in mourning. I did love having extended family here. They're such good extended family, too. My siblings have done a wonderful job with their kids.

* * * *

I'm grey, grey, grey. Glomming onto anything that is hopeless or sad and being very November about life. I'd like to give a miss to being a depressive, thank you. I'll take a cheery attitude for ten, please, Alex.

I wish I could use all this brain che…

Burp

We still have guests. Nieces and nephew and a niece's friend. The friend is young PIL**. It's been a long time since I've interacted with one of these and I must say, I'd forgotten what a bore they can be.

You'd think that a romance writer would be more sympathetic. Heck, I should probably sit the girl down and interview her. Does your heart actually beat faster when you see your adored one? Do you think of the object of your desire when you first wake up? Can you see anything interesting and not immediately think of how you're going to relate it to her? (they're PILLs**)

Fact is, I rarely see our houseguest. She's usually hiding in her bedroom IMing the object of her desire or talking to her on the phone. We're talking deeply, deeeeeeply in love. The guest has missed a couple of meals because of this obsession. She panicked when we went to the movie theater and discovered she didn't have her cell phone--turned out she did. And of course, part way…

schedule

Today's schedule--preparing for guests

1. Begin vacuum entire house.
2. Stop vacuuming when reaching boys' room because of huge mess on floor that they did not clean up even though I asked TEN TIMES over the last few days.
3a Begin to clean mess.
3b. Get mad and discouraged, leave vacuum cleaner in boys' room and decide to clean bathrooms instead.
4. Get wet cleaning shower stall, remember that I need shower.
5. Forget all towels still in laundry.
6. Walk, dripping and nekkid into bedroom.
7. Scream when dog puts cold nose on butt.
8. Dry off with clean unfolded bit of laundry.
9. V. cold from having no towel. Get dressed and make more coffee to warm up.
10 Check email.
11 NAG PEOPLE TO ENTER MY CONTEST.
12 Realise still need to pick up special order 28 lbs turkey from store closing early. Realise out of norvasc--contemplate fact that norvasc (newest of the godawful high blood pressure medications) sounds like some kind of missile treaty. Realise still need fair number of groceries. Wo…

Today's Blog Find

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She gets a number of comments so the blog's not an undiscovered treasure that might bring out a possessive streak in some weirdos.


Hey, speaking of fab finds, what's the problem? You know you want those socks.Enter the contest, already.

enter if you dare.

1. contest ends a week from Monday . . . I mean November 28, because it's nearly Thanksgiving and we're going to have a bunch of people here. Three cousins and one cousin's friend will stay with us. On the big day we'll also get another family coming over. Lots of people and have I started to clean my house? nope. Will I? maybe. No refugees this year. I don't know anyone new any more.

2. maybe while I'm cleaning the pit of doom, I'll find the Billy and Blaze tape and will include that as part of the prize. It's read by David Cassidy. I have no idea how it ended up in our lives, but it's sure to be a collector's item fetching huge prices on ebay. Yours, if you enter and win the contest--and I find it. Don't forget you'll also win the Bosnian Socks, which now come with an informative pamphlet.

3. More rulz when I think of them. Void where prohibited by law.

TWO HUNDRED!!

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Yep, this is the 200th post.

I have to drive around the greater Hartford area and then act as a Stern Overseer, sitting in an empty house with no internet connection.

That means you'll have to write this post for me. Make it a poignant slice of life** and less than 100 words. You might want to look at some of my previous back cover contests and maybe I'll even include links to them. Later.

In the meantime, here are some photos to inspire you. Extra points if you incorporate all four.



Write a good one and I'll send you sox. And maybe a book.

This might qualify a contest even, but I'm too tarred, tarred, tarred to pimp a contest. Maybe after the Day of Endless and Bizarre Errands (one includes the use of Vaseline tm), I'll go around to other blogs and push this as a real contest.

____________________________________


** I think we can agree that Beth's belly dancing boy qualifies. Billy Elliot with a spangled crop top and finger cymbals.

Private Life Check In

I'm printing out manuscripts. We're talking about half a box of paper, hundreds of pages, nearly three reams. Holy shit, I sure am a chatty person. My main emotion about the mountains of paper is embarrassment. Who are you to use up those natural resources? What makes you think your work is worth a minute of an editor's time? Naturally this is just a stage. Later on, when those editors send rejections, my outrage will be directed at them.

I'm telling you, the writer's lot is one of ego inflation, ego deflation and other really silly bits of torture, mostly self-inflicted.

Speaking of torture devices, have I mentioned my printer is 13 years old and cranky? It jams every 20 or so pages just to remind me who's in charge. I have to dissect it, fish out scraps of paper, reassemble it and then reassure it I love it. I do, too. HP Laserjet 4P, my fourth favorite baby.

As the stuff clunks out of the machine, I turn over and read random pages and immediately see how I coul…

eye rolling

The kids recovered from their temporary insanity. They felt the need to scream "SKILL CRANE" . I dunno. I suspect the moon was full.

I hid from them and read blogs. Right blogs, left blogs, black blogs, white blogs, big blogs and little blogs, par-tay blogs.

And now I'm the one who's insane.

From Bill O'Reilly to a standard vegfemPETA blog, everyone knows what's Good for This Country. And the other side? NOT TRUE AMERICANS. Nope, only if you're [fill in blank] can you be considered a TRUE AMERICAN. Guess what, Bill? A bunch of the people of San Francisco are truer Americans if only because they get the point--it's okay. We're all in it together.

a true American is on welfare
a true American joins the military after high school.
a true American works two shifts at the Colt factory then quits to join a cult.
a true American works 80 hours a week.
a true American owns three homes.
a true American knows all three verses of the star spangled banner.
a true Ameri…

my kids

They are driving me crazy. Pure up the wall and over the edge.

Time outs all around, but the longest one for the woman blithering quietly in the corner, yanking out tufts of her hair.

more veteran's day

I figure the best way to celebrate (and avoid work) was to actually read about what it's like to be a soldier so I wandered around that Operation Truth site a while.

I found blogs and other sites....and here's the summary: It's usually a really, really crappy job.

from one blog about the current war:
Counterinsurgency operations (COIN) present tons of challenges, not the least of which is how they complicate the moral calculus of killing.

A Soldier who fights in a high-intensity war against a uniformed enemy can confidently assume that every enemy soldier is a combatant, a threat, someone whom it's morally permissible to kill. That's why Soldiers don't fire warning shots; instead, they aim to "put two in the chest." People downrange are to be killed unless they surrender or become incapcitated.In contrast, a Soldier who is part of a security force in a situation where his mission is to protect the people and where a non-uniformed enemy hides among the pe…

"It sounded like a typewriter"

That's what a veteran said about the bullets hitting the side of his lander during World War Two. He didn't realize what the tapping was until a couple of hours later--which was just as well because he had to wade ashore through the rain of bullets.

It's Veteran's Day! Or Remembrance Day or Armistace Day. . .

To celebrate Veterans Day, here's a short list of sites run by veterans and/or soldiers' families that aim to make the troops veterans -- and not casualties.

bring them home now.

operation truth, advocacy

[note to anyone visiting twice: I took down one site devoted to collecting air tickets for military on leave because it had no activity after 12/04--not because it was pro-Bush policy]

veterans for peace

iraq veterans for peace

military families speak out

I'm supposed to be writing

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Instead I'm thinking about the blog post I'm not going to write. No, no, stop me, I beg my computer Don't let me rant.

I lose readers when I rant. People email me to say, "I want to read your books but your political POV puts me off. I'll never read your stuff now." I understand that--hey I can sympathize with it.

Here's what I want to post but I know is inappropriate, alarmist and overwrought, not to mention so left-wing it makes my teeth hurt.

Chemical warfare[warning: link has graphic images],torture, secret prisons. Who's the bad guy again?

To stop myself from obsessing about this and getting to work (not to mention not posting this damned entry in a romance rioter blog, Teresa) I went looking for reassurance that we're really not a Bad Guy. First of all, the above methods seem to be seriously stupid actions in the circumstances--not the way to win the hearts and minds of a country we "liberated" and want to retain as an ally. But the re…

cold rain and a synopsis and more self pity

November in New England ... Feeeeeeeel my pain.

When my hard drive died, it took all my synopses with it. I mean honestly--who remembers to back up synopses? The agent wants to send out a book so I have to write another five pages or so about it. Oh lordy lord, I dislike producing a synopsis under normal circumstances but I know this means I'm going to have reread this book.

Can't I do something more palatable instead, like clean the boys' filthy bathroom with a toothbrush? Or the other task I'm avoiding -- trying to reconstruct the lost 200 pages of another novel.

Skip the second project. I'd much rather just grab the toothbrush and bleach and start scrubbing the grout. (I think an application of bleach behind the boys' toilet produces some dangerous chemicals. Seriously--ammonia and chlorine bleach? Didn't they use that in the trench warfare of WWI?)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Got a minute? You can go wish Teresa Bodwell happy birthday. You have to click the link to "Visit Teresa's LiveJournal" because it doesn't seem to have its own direct link. Hmmm.

Happy Birthday, TB.

Possessive ...Hey, that's my air you're breathing

Okay this is an astonishingly stupid quirk that has to go. We're talking a character flaw that I shall now reveal to the world.

I feel possessive of** the blogs I visit.

I'm adding booksellerchick to my list of blogs . . . and as I went swooping by to pick up her address I noticed that suddenly other people are visiting her and I think, hey, wtf? This is my blog. It's like going to my neighborhood Indian restaurant that was sort of quiet and suddenly there's a line waiting to get in.

Except it is nothing like that. I don't have to wait for a table--and the more people who contribute to a discussion the more interesting and livelier it gets. I know this. And the the wtf response doesn't last (well, at least until I notice that my blogger is over posting at other blogs and not at mine).

Never mind that it's not really my blog, that I don't really know the blogger and what the hell difference does it make. Just because I got to read Beth before most of the res…

SBD what is it with the food?

I think it's funny that bookseller chick and Candy and everyone else is doing food. I'm going to jump on the ice cream wagon. Candy got all shy about the analogy but nawwwww. . . Why not take it all the way to the coffee and biscuits?

what I'll eat:

John Gardner = a thoughtfully prepared and rich meal. Say...something with complex cheeses and home-made pasta. Traditional but with lovely twists. Can't gulp it all down at once though.

Annie Dillard=just like John Gardner only made with green peppers and I really don't like green peppers much.

Judith Ivory or Laura Kinsale= one of those chocolate cakes that's so rich that you moan through every bite but don't want to eat the whole cake at once.

Standard Category= twinkies. Sometimes NOTHING ELSE WILL DO. You can wolf one of these down and not even moan about the wasted calories. but don't kid yourself into thinking it's always homebaking.

Really Good Category= twinkie-like sometimes it is home baked and the …

silver lining to the death of a computer

When you go to the back-up disks, you find old stuff you forgot about.

Here's a short story I wrote years ago. It was published in a now-defunct literary magazine and it's not romance. [eb--you've read it already] It won an award.

I loaded another short story at my website, a more recent one. That one is romance.

This hunting down and displaying old stories is almost like fun--I'm looking for my other short stories so I can put them on my site. I can't find my very favorite about a compulsive liar and her patient husband. It wasn't my best short story, but it was the first thing of mine ever published for cash** It appeared in the Monocacy Valley Review, yet another defunct literary publication. (I have the touch, eh?)

.
** Twenty-five dollars.

even more depressing than a dead computer

I finally finished reading Dude, Where's My Country?

Yeah, Michael Moore can be annoying. Scratch that--he is annoying. But if he's correct about even a single one of those accusations. . . even if the accusation is only partially correct . . .There are far worse things than being annoying.

The drive for money and power are apparently the only motivators for Bush and Co. What ugly souls they must possess.

Do I believe it all? I'd go look at the rebuttals that are plastered all over the internet, but just now I can't bear to read another sentence about the issue. Maybe later.

Ugh.

* * * * *
oh and this is the best answer ever for Cheney's love o' torture:

"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile."
- Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon to Berthier 11 Nov 1798, Corres., V,…

The Long Day of Reconstruction

Jennifer--Watch out for that little stick. My once fabulously reliable fujifilm stick somehow got corrupted. I spent hours trying to work with it and it's really fried says the tech dudes.

Yeah, the hard disk isn't wiped, it's corrupted. I called a data recovery place and they said they'd do it for about $1000 a gigabyte, and just recovering one story would be about 400. They explained it's like reconstructing a shattered mirror, and they have to hunt around for the bits of things. The place I talked to does a lot of reconstruction for blue collar crime--cool junk.

Anyway, I sob in gratitude to the editors, my agent and crit partners who've emailed back copies I sent out to them. I'm reconstructing that way. I'm going to put everything in gmail again and I'm going to just have to corrupt--hmm, smash into pieces?--my poor boys by putting my stuff on this computer again. (I found one of them reading one of my stories on this computer and stopped sending…

bye-bye hard drive

bye-bye several hundred pages of stories, a couple hundred email addresses, photos of my family, every single work in progress I have.

I'm now going to take the hard drive out and put it in the freezer. My husband says that sometimes works. Wotthehell.

sob.

In the meantime, the boys will let me share this computer. They're scared of me just now so that should work out well.

Hard Drive Death Rattle?

Maybe.

We have the blue screen of death.

We have the expensive call into Dell Software types to make sure it's not Windows XP messing with my mind. (I did my blogging at the belfry while on hold.) Don't bother to ask: of course I haven't backed anything up this week.

This is the fourth time in two years I've had a laptop go south. Have I learned anything? Not enough, apparently. I might have lost 30-60 pages this time,** depending on whether or not Linda has the copy I sent her. That doesn't beat my old record of 80 pages of the unfinished Someone To Love going ffffffftttttt.

Damn. I don't haul the damn computer around any more. I treat it with kindness, consideration and a light touch. I keep it well stashed and away from boy and dog abuse when I'm not using it. Apparently this is not enough for Mr. Dell "OOooo She's lookin' at me funneeeeee" Inspiron Laptop.

I can't work. I might as well do Doug's meme. Lyn Cash's meme, really. Ms…

advice for you nanowriters

1. Read this. (An absolute must)

2. And this.

3. Maybe my extremely basic romance writing advice at Amazon? Only slightly outdated. *

I could add some other great sites, but I won't bother because pbackwriter has the best lists around. Go on, check them out if you absolutely must, but keep in mind there's only one really vital piece of advice for people turning/churning out ten or more pages a day:
JFDI. **
GET THE HELL OFF THE INTERNET (that includes email, bub) AND WRITE.

______________________________ * included mostly because it's a pitch for me me me.

**just fekking do it.

it's the grammar that got me

Scooter Libby's book is getting a lot of attention just now. There are some interesting pieces of it posted here and there and this is one bit all over the internet that has people screaming and racing for the hand sanitizer.

"At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest. "Scooter--Let me give you some advice. I've been looking at erotica venues so I can tell you that most places won't take mss. that contain bestiality. Those publishers your ex-bosses love to hate? They won't be into this book, man. It's waaaaay too much for them. And worse than doing it with animals is the ten year old madam. No pedophilia, dude.

Make her eighteen and under-developed, okay?

How do you arouse a bear with a stick? I mean if it falls asleep yeah, it'll wake up if …

Bosnians Today

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I get to drive someone to the hospital after class. Oh joy.

Only a couple more days of Ramadan and then it's PARTY TIME! Bajram! Yowza! A couple of the ladies tell me that they gain weight over Ramadan. I think the three days of steady partying can't help.

Ramadan is going but . . .

Christmas is coming. Don't your nearest and dearest want lace, sox, mittens, purses or rugs?

Here are pictures. (blogger is refusing to load more than two)

Ordering information. NOTE: The socks are now $14 a pair, not $12.
It takes the ladies about 6-7 hours to make a pair so this is still cheap--too cheap, but what're we gonna do? Can't charge more, unless you live in Manhattan and are used to paying $24 for a pair of sox.

Bye!


is it sick that I think this is really, really funny?

Ladeezman and kickass43 do the IM thing.

Tchah. No respect for the office.

Reese's cups, Almond Joy, Kit Kat Bars, Snickers

Hershey's Chocolate Bar, Hershey's with Almonds, Hot Tamales, Baby Ruth, Krackle, Three Musketeers, Mounds, Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Pops, Twix bars, Double Bubble gum, Jelly Bellies, Gummy Bears, Froot by the Foot. . . that's what I recall seeing dumped out on the couch. I can't go check because it turns out the bags have been hidden from me and the dogs, thank goodness.

Today I moan at RU about the subject. Whine, whine, whine. Now I think I'll go write a novel about life, death, love, family, war and other more interesting subjects than diet. Not than food, mind you. I don't think there are many more interesting subjects that actual food. It's people interacting neurotically with food that can get dull.

signed,
The Fat One