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Showing posts from December, 2005

awwww. .. .Is it Cute or Cruelty?

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best cat picture of the week.

Poor, poor pitiful me.

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Reasons:

1. The Flirtin' Fir.

It sings, wiggles, bobs around (the marabou feathers add a lot with a kind of drifting effect) The star on the top -- slightly wonky off to the side --lights up. So do the bulbs all over it. And the ones on the base. The song is "Santa Baby" lithped in baby talk. We can get one phrase "Santa Baby" -- the rest is grating, high pitched gibberish. The boys press the on button to listen and try to figure out the lyrics. Often. **

The pink high heels. The random pink string. The glittering green cloth body. The not-quite-on-key horn accompaniment.

Thank you, L. I know where you live.


2. That puzzle.

1,500 pieces. The boy seems to be doing it. He's just messing up all the pieces I've turned over. I hate puzzles but I can't leave them alone.


3. YOU people.

I'm extending the contest a day or two. Granted, the entries I've gotten are pretty high quality, but more would be good.

Come on, ya lazy lubbers. If you don't enter, I …

Dear Me

Dear People Who Sent Me Christmas Cards,

You know who you are.

I know who many of you are. I don't know all of you and I wonder how you got my address.** But I won't worry about that until you send me pictures of yourself nekkid. Right now I like the Santas and whatnot. I'll just say:

1. I love Christmas Cards. Or Holiday Cards.
2. Don't expect one from me, because apparently I'm incapable of sending them.
3. Thank you.

XXOO

Kate

________________________

**Or if you really meant to write to me. One of you said you loved my books and listed a title I don't recognize.

I should not be so nice to you

So very many of you have NOT ENTERED MY CONTEST. But here. I've got a flipping halo over my head and will share anyway. Make this AFTER ENTERING THE CONTEST.


I made the best chocolate pie. Ever. It had a pint of heavy cream in it. There were a coupla cups of skim milk, too. I invented it and will now share it with you because I'm just too great.

Make a graham cracker crust. (Standard crust: 1/4 butter melted, 1 sleeve graham crackers. Maybe a bit of cinnamon and sugar. Grind up or have kids stomp on ziplock bag carefully. Press into pan with your fingers. Don't lick em while you do this. Gross. Bake in oven for about ten minutes)

Use Oreos instead of graham crackers if you're feeling decadent. Or if you have a food processor, add some chocolate chips to the graham crackers.

Filling: Usually I just make ganache and pour it into shell and that's that. But I wanted more filling because I had a bigger pie pan and I wanted something that wouldn't freeze up so hard. gena…

Over at Bitches You Get Romance Covers Gone Wildly Bad

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What could be worse? How about truly wonky holy depictions? There are plenty out there but just in time for the holidays really skeeeeeery natitivity scenes. Here's a goodie, literally. Marshmallow Mary and Baybee Jesus! Give us smores for the holidays.

Disclaimer for Bill O'Reilly: I love creches. Yeah, we weren't exactly Christians -- we weren't much of anything. But when I was a kid, one of my favorite people in the world was Christian -- and she made creches out of clay. She made one for me and told me how to set it up. I loved the fact that the little manger would stay empty, everyone in the scene sitting around waiting, until Christmas morning. Then . . . ta da! The little lump depicting Jesus would appear. (They were very small creches)

Almost forgot:ENTER THE CONTEST or I'll turn our thermostat down to 50. Don't make my kids shiver in the cold!

yet another version of Summer's cover

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It's different from this one. Can you see the change?

No capital L in Futurelove!


HEY YOU--ENTER THE FLIPPING CONTEST or I'll eat those chocolate truffles and probably get adult onset diabetes or something. Boy, won't you feel bad then.

Bah

What? Being festive means you can't enter contests? What's the matter? Afraid Bill O'Reilly might think you're not Christmas Enough if you get competitive?

Enter my contest and enter Lori's too. Hers is actually useful--it's all about gift giving. Kind of Martha Stewart on the cheap.

To add to the incentive she's also throwing in a prize. Whoever has the best list, as picked by the elves at the RU Blog, will win two of the following: Get Bunny Love by Kathleen Long, Lady of the Knight by Jackie Ivie, Unlaced by Kristina Cook, Love is All Around by Lori Devoti or Prince of Frogs by Barbara Plum.

A Biographical Contest

I've been interviewed a few times and have gotten to blather on All About Me. . . and during the interviews I even told a version of the truth.

What a mistake, a waste of paper and bandwidth. Oh, how I wish I'd thought of this method instead. I should have asked the public to come up with my biography instead-- a la Liz at blondsense: Bugger. I can't seem to link to the memories, which are the best part. Does this work? (Yes! thank you, Liz)

You post a comment with a made-up, as in fictional, memory of you and the subject. It can be anything you want. Good or bad, it has to be fake.

IF this were a group blog, I'd definitely aim it at someone else.

I'm tempted to make you all post memories of you and Candy or maybe you and Doug. **

Heck, why not. . . Make it pg-13 at most, please.

Pick one of the players: Doug, or Candy and write a memory. The best one gets socks or mittens (I have a lovely pair all picked out-- my Fredneckian friend never identified herself in the last s…

the stranger sex

Me: So why are you using a heating pad on your knee?
DH: It hurts.
Me: Yeah, but you've been using the pad every day for almost a week. Maybe you should call Marcy the Wonder Doc.
DH: I'm going to see the physical therapist on Friday.
Me: Huh? But I thought we couldn't do that without a referral from Marcy.
DH: She gave me a referral last week.
Me: Wait a sec. I thought this only started a few days ago. How long has your knee hurt?!??
DH: A while. Started more'n a month ago.
Me: Why didn't you say anything?
DH: You didn't ask.
Me: [cursing and snorting]
Me:So tell me, darling, how's your elbow.
DH: fine.
Me: Your head? Your neck? Your foot? Your heart? Your stomach? Your liver? Your--
DH: okay, okay.

It could be a response to my not-feeling-well style: broadcasting medical updates every few hours. ("I still have a headache but now my throat isn't hurting.") I think it's more that he's a stoic=silly goof. We have to guess from his thin lips or his occ…

no, no bitches today

I have to figure out helium use in the future, okay? I'm busy. At least I stopped trying to write fluff and am working on another story about a lost person. Whoopee!

I can't manage to bitch, so here's the cheesecake.

Crust 1 9-ounce box chocolate wafer cookies
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
7 tablespoons hot melted unsalted butter

Ganache 1 1/2 cups whipping cream (I have better luck with heavy cream, don't know why)
20 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup KahlĂșa or other coffee-flavored liqueur

Filling
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons dark rum (or Kahlua! Hey, it's for Beth, right?)
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder or coffee crystals
2 tablespoons ground whole espresso coffee beans (medium-coarse grind)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract2 teaspoons mild-fl…

Suisan's meme

Turns out I really love to do these things. I wonder why.

Seven Things To Do Before I Die:
1. The stuff I do every day. I like it.
2. Go back to a tropical place.
3. Go on a long bike ride, even though I'll be on my ol' granny bike.
4. Get more book contracts.
5. Develop some more interesting ambitions.
6. Okay--I'll go for something standard. Write an excellent book that has staying power.. and, duh, that's a best seller.
7. Win the lottery and give away almost all of it to complete strangers.

Seven Things I Cannot Do:
1. Exercise regularly for more than a couple of months before the routine falls apart.
2. Be chirpy in the morning.
3. Sing a tune when other people are singing a different tune. Rounds are out.
4. Give up certain harmful addictions.
5. Skate, ski or anything that requires a good sense of balance.
6. Stop reading blogs.
7. Find a reasonable plot for this book I'm writing.

Seven Things That Attract Me To My Spouse (or Significant Other, Best Friend, etc.)
1. He is fun…

The evil stroller

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I dredged up this story when I read Bookseller Chick today--she talked about strollers as The Enemy. Yes, I, too, have loathed a stroller.

When I was preggers with boy 3, my friends got together and bought us a fabulous jogger stroller. It was used, but just barely. A primo machine. It sort of looked like this, only more stripped down. That thing was nimble and super fast--made for athletes so it didn't have a handy little basket underneath or brakes.

Know where I'm going with this already?

The boy was born in February and I soon discovered that the fab stroller actually worked in snow, unlike any stroller I'd ever owned (and by boy 3, I'd owned a lot of those things. I hated driving and we lived downtown in a compact little city. Could walk everywhere to anything).

One day, the baby and I dropped boy 2 at preschool and walked home. He fell asleep so I pulled the stroller onto the front porch. As I turned to put the key in the door lock, the stroller, that nimble lil thin…

Today's Fab Blog Find

by way of The General, Fafnir. Yes it has a big chunk of left wing political posting, but if you don't like that, don't give up. Slide down for another entry. It'll be worth it.

The email I sent this morning (from a winter wimp)

Hi School People,

This is the second time in the last couple of years you guys have decided to hold school when there was a layer of ice on the ground. Personally, I'd much rather haul the kids through snow than over this stuff. We live a block from school--my kid fell four times and I fell twice (ow, ow). More seriously--as we walked, a car stopping too fast at the corner of A___ and F___ slid and almost jumped the curb.

Now I'm going back to school to take a change of clothing to him because he got thoroughly soaked when he fell . . . but before I slide out of here, I thought I'd whine at you some: Cancel school on ice days. Please. I know the world doesn't look particularly menacing when it's just icy rain and not lots of the scenery-transforming white stuff, but believe me, it's a scary place out there just now.

limping back to school (by car this time),

Kate Rothwell

Summer Devon's second book

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Two things about Summer's new book:

1. It's going to be available earlier than I'd expected--January instead of April.

2. It's got a cover. I really like it--posers, major man-titty and all. The mood fits a moment in the story, too.

I whined about another, earlier cover the art people sent me because I thought the posers' limbs were bizarre and both figures floated over the couch. (What is with that, anyway? is it matter of shadows?)

anyway. . . here's the new one.
The art department didn't tell me to stick my opinions where the sun don't shine. They didn't even politely ignore me. They actually changed the cover and anchored the characters on the couch. I think they're even going to change it again because the title doesn't have a capital "L". They caught that. I didn't.

I have to get a review copy to send to Mrs. Giggles because she inspired the story. Besides, she hasn't savaged Summer yet. ("Savage Summer" Now ther…

writing

I don't like one of my character's name so I went hunting for a better one. I found two great tools.

This one actually helps with the names. Sort of.
here are the first four entries:
Aaron - ugly but hung like a horse, prone to belly button fluff.
Able - totally useless.
Adam - not very bright and not very pretty, has almost mastered hygiene.
Adrian - usually short and very horny, watches cartoons

update: to prevent the appearance of a sexist blog, I'll also lift the first four women's names:

Abby - agony aunt, always willing to explain about your confused sexuallity.
Ada - blue haired, smells of wee.
Adie - quiet and shy, but when you get to know her .. quiet and shy.
Adrianna - eats like a horse yet incredibly scrawny, her girlfriends all hate her.

I just downloaded Babylon's little free tool and have been playing with it (messing about with translating into German, Swedish, Spanish and French--all in the same cute little window). So far I think it's great. We'll see…

ohhhh the weather outside is frightful

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Walking to school rituals. . .

We sing every morning as we pass the giant tacky snowman ball in front of our neighbor's house. Inside the globe a manically grinning snowman family stands around under blowing white stuff. "Let It Snow" is written in christmasy font on the front of the snowball. We must sing. Too bad we don't know the lyrics.

A few houses down, Boy 3 and I pass the head-bobbing lit-up reindeer doe. More than a week ago I made the mistake of pointing out that it looked like a cat tossing up a hairball. Boy 3 must now make HURK HURK sounds as we pass that.

I love Christmas decorations.

This morning we added another ritual to the walk. We turned the corner and for the second day in a row, a blast of wind hit us. Whoa momma. Since the temperature is hovering at about 5 degrees, this is a big event. We yelled "Oh LAWSY!" yesterday and we did today, too. I feel sorry for the Hurricane Katrina evacuee who's staying across the street. he might have…

Does this scare the bejeebers out of you?

It should give you the kohlrahbis. Patriot act, my eye. Chunks are downright unpatriotic for a country that values personal freedom. I can't find a mainstream source about how political protestors are going to be shoved into special areas from now on--that's another fun aspect of the act I've seen mentioned on less reliable sources. And that protects us how?

When I was 16, my mother, her old Russian teacher and I visited the Soviet Union. We broke off from the tour group to visit a family my mother knew. When I started to say something in the apartment hallway, everyone at once made hushing sounds. My mother even put her hand over my mouth. Later on she explained that the family might get in trouble if it became known they had American visitors. . .

Right now it's too easy to imagine a scenerio like that in this country. Neighbors encouraged to turn in neighbors who have "foreign looking" people visiting them. I find that prospect far scarier than a bunch of Qu…

forget the politics, just check out the prose

The most breathtakingly snarky start to a political diatribe I've ever read.

Look, I'm going to make this simple. As simple as I can possibly make it. As simple as the laws of physics allow. I'm going to venture into the madness of the primitive mind, and make it "Dumbass Republican**" simple. I'm going to travel to far-off mental realms, and bring back a map to the Fountain of Simplicity. I'm going to board the U.S.S. Really Fucking Simple, and snag you a seat at the captain's table. I'm going to go to the Republic of Simple, and bring you back a T-shirt. I'm going to call up the Home Shopping Network, and buy you a goddamn Clue at the special sale price of one hundred thirty seven dollars, which is a good deal considering that they have less than two hundred cases left at that price.I am going to journey past the Singularity of Stupid that has lodged itself in the shared cortex of the planet, fighting the demons of Mental Craptitude that seek…

Some Days You're Music Hall, Some Days You're Not

Damn, I wish I'd saved my nub rant for SBD. Perfect one, huh? Anyway, the bitches have the subject of the nickname (Love Nubbin Jolie Pitt) settled. I'm using that phrase first chance I get. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll get sued and that'll give my book some fab publicity.

Another Attempt at SBD: romance schmomance
( or, I'll pass on the gothick, thank you)

I'm writing a book instead of cleaning the house. But my poor characters are going down, down for the third time.

I strive for more PG Wodehouse. ‘I believe there are two ways of writing novels. One is mine, making a musical comedy without music and ignoring real life altogether; the other is going right deep down into life and not caring a damn…’

I want musical comedy. I strive for fluff. I believe in dark and light, but I prefer producing fluff.

Usually I can shape the same reality into any number of patterns. Even non-fiction romance can be messed with. Hey, I had the opportunity to observe a chunk of a marria…

An XXXX website ..warning, contains images!

Go on, click on the thumbnails. They're work-safe. No, I'm really not trying to get you fired.



* * * *

Huh?
My boss called to say we're getting some new refugees--Turkish women.

I tend to scan the news for wars and unrest because I know that we'll be getting some in a year or so. And sure enough, we've gotten Darfur/Sudanese, Somalians, Liberians, Afghans, and, until a couple of years ago, Bosnians. But Turkey? Are there kurdish people there, too? because from my hazy knowledge of this stuff, kurds tend to be unpopular in a lot of places, kind of like Jews.** I assume they're not Jews because some group?? Jewish Family Services?? is extremely active (and amazingly good at their work) in this area and more likely to step in to help.

Something happen in Turkey in the last couple of years? I guess I better go google.


____________________________

**I was a kid in DC, back when a synagogue near Connecticut Ave had a big sign that read "SAVE SOVIET JEWRY" Some…

don't eat somosas before bed

dream one--I went to Arkansas to help Mrs. H with her kids and she didn't want to see me. Another woman, I think it was Bronwhine, met me at the door. She announced we were going to a Harry Potter movie and that after the movie, she was driving me to England. Got to love dream geography.

dream two--an editorial assistant at a publisher called to tell me that there was no point in ever submitting to them again; they were cutting many of their authors. Oh, yes indeed, I was most definitely cut. I forgot to ask her if they were going to even publish the book I'd sent to them and they'd already accepted.




[insert big-ass space, indicating big-ass change of topic, here]


There is a whole lot of talk on the liberal blogs about this.--transportation of dead soldiers. I tried to imagine being one of the dead soldier's parents and I don't think I would feel outrage at the mode of transportation--where else could they put the corpses? It would be the boy's senseless death tha…

we's tough 'round here.

from today's Hartford Courant:

"It's pretty routine," West Hartford Town Manager Barry Feldman said. "If we can't figure out six inches of snow in New England, we all ought to move to Augusta, Ga."

I love Mr. Feldman. Seriously. The guy produces the best town council notes I've ever read. I'm going to start a Barry Feldman fan club (and I plan on remaining an active member even after I move to Augusta, Ga).

8 boring things about a rahthah boring day . . today

1. At 5:30 am, not a flake had fallen.
2. By 6:30 am, the schools had closed and there were at least two inches. (Now more'n 12")
3. I still haven't shoveled outside--inside, yes. Some of us still need to learn about taking off boots before wandering around the house.
4. What's with Children These Days? I have to shove boyz outside to play. I toss out the tobaggans and tubes. Lock the door. Scream "GO SLEDDING" through the keyhole.
5. That plastic shrink wrap stuff for insulating bad windows is extremely cool. It is kinda trashy for this neighborhood. . . Yet another advantage.
6. Boyz reappear within an hour, suffering from computer withdrawal.
7. I want more coffee.
8. Before I grind the beans, I will blast windows with brand new hairdryer. Dual purpose: gets windows smooth and drives boys from computer room. This window treatment makes me think about the past, too. That's always fun.

My Kids' Current Favorite Comic

http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantITP/ootscript?SK=253

( . . . and they love Harry Potter too. Love is not blind in this case.)

Dear Miss Manners

So here's a poser: You rat out your neighbors to an invading army--in fact you are the one to knock on their door with the soldiers behind you. You are directly responsible for your neighbors losing their home, their possessions, their freedom, their two sons who are still missing. Because you marked them as "enemy" (the wrong religion) the father is taken away, stripped, beaten and left for dead and ten years later is still something of a limping basket case. The rest of the family spends three years in prisons and then another five in refugee camps.

Skip ahead. . . Peace has come to the land. You still live in your house and the now ex-neighbors return to your town. What do you say when you see the father wandering around their old homestead--the house was burned to the ground, and the farm now belongs to one of the invaders?

"Hey, hello! How ya doin?"

Yup. You actually go up to the man and put out your hand to shake. Too bad the father can't really shake ha…

I blogged at Romance Unleashed

something of a whine of course.

* * * *

random thing:
Study Links Bake Sales, Weight Problems I mostly like the headline.


* * * *

R-(or X?)ratedrandom thing:

'k. I just read another historical romance (mainstream, as in not advertised as erotica) that had a long description of the guy's "manroot". Color, size, shape, texture--everything was dwelt upon in great detail. And for the woman? She had a "slit". Ha. Didn't even rate a delicate hued flower or tuna-scented lovenest.

And anyway, here's the thing, the vagina is the one part romance rioters go on about. "tight velvet sheathe." Granted, it's part of the package and plays a big role in those graphic love scenes, but since we're talking female pleasure and the female audience for romances, shouldn't there be excruciating detailed scenes starring the clit? Or at least a passing mention of size or something? Something more than "nub" What a word. Nub. (TMI-time: I've been…

dog

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I missed that Thursday thang

PBW and Monica marked Blog Against Racism day. So did Beth ("Please don't be a racist.")

For anyone who thinks that it's not a real issue these days, here's an article to help change your mind. Dang, I hope GAF takes its business elsewhere. Lovely if Walmart lost 50,000 dollah for obvious idiocy.

Chances are

Okay, so, what the heck kind of parent would name his/her kid "Chance" or "Slade"?

I've been sorting books in my house (moving them from plastic bags into cardboard boxes) and have discovered TWO of them feature heroes named Chance. What were those babies' parents thinking? Don't they know that every kid in elementary school is going to have at that little darling: Fat Chance! Slim Chance! Gack.

Even if the third graders don't take the bait later on in life, how do the parents come up with the names in the first place? Oh look honey, the little guy looks just like a slab of rock. Let's call him Slate.

In romanceworld, parents are always giving questionable names but they're not as bad as paranormalfantasyland where the parents just adore apostrophes. Ka'oht' Ton'k. Spe'w Fo'orth. K'la Onde R'cks

The absolute worst parents exist in spamville. I've looked through my undeleted spamfiles to bring you some of the best.…

map time

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I keep seeing these things all over the blog world so I want one too. I just have to figure out where to put the little sucker.

In the meantime, I'll plop it down here. You can be the first and add yourself. I'm going to go to Jason's blog and look at his gorgeous photos of graveyards.


damn, now that's some FINE rejection stuff!

I'm quite the rejection letter connoisseur, and I must say I've been getting some good ones lately. I won't make the mistake of posting an editor's letter here again. Let's just say that the content of the letter is as good as the feedback you might get on contests.

It's more of a revise-this-and-we'll-look-again letter. And the stuff the editor points out? Wow, she's right.

Huh. She ought to do this editing thing for a living.

No, I'm not being a brown-noser. I happen to know that this nameless editor would never look at my blog. It's just kind of cool that sometimes a rejection is extremely useful--great advice from a professional for no cost, other than a moment's (or an hour's) sensation of "aw, damn".

I'm fond of that story, so chances are I'll actually get around to doing what she suggests. Some day. First I have to re-write all the crud I lost when the lap-top crashed. When that doesn't work, I'll have to cra…