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Showing posts from September, 2006

Nude Blogging

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I can't think of a way to get a picture of nekkid me. Not without asking another person to take it and there's no one here who'd do it. Heck, there's no one here who has any interest in seeing such a picture much less taking it.

Fortunately, I do have a nude picture.
It's my mother. She was a nude art model too. This is a picture of her in Raphael Soyer's studio in the 1940s. (That's Raphael at the easel. I don't know who the other people are. If anyone thinks they might know, say a visiting relative, they should go ahead and click on the image to make it bigger.)

I had a couple of pictures of me that people who drew me gave me, but they were umm. kinda ugly. I don't know where they went.

Here's another one of mom.

I have another one of her that's actually on the wall. A little one. Maybe I'll see if I can make a copy of it.

birthday bread horse

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So what did you think it was?

It's just what I said: a horse made of bread for someone's birthday, as described in Joy of Cooking.

But. . .why? you ask.

Why not?

The middle sag happened after a day or two and the wooden barbeque stakes holding it together are more evident. The pretzel ears and raisin eyes were an addition, as was the bagel tail. I've turned past BBHs into french toast or bread pudding, but I think this guy is toast, as in no longer edible.

Thirteen things I love about Leslie even though she's a goober

1, Her laughter because it's contagious
2. The fact that she would eat poptarts with such a look of loathing
3. The ability to sum up a situation with one particularly trechant remark
4. the fact that she will never again never ever howl the words "not in my front yard" at me because it makes me nuts.
5. right. Yup. Pig's'll fly. On the other hand, I suppose it's good to be reminded of life's most bizarre moments.
6. Right after I had my third boy she was my first visitor.
7. Mockery that is even better than Mike's and that's saying something.
8. Switch plates and forks and other things that could be boring but never are at her house.
9. She's a cheap date. One glass of wine and she starts to laugh and see number one.
10. She always calls. Do I call her? Do I? Noooooo. She has to call. But I do know her number
11. Her work ethic even when it's dialed up to 11 = "crazed".
12. Her kid is very very cool and she doesn't try to make him any …

The Husband and I Communicate About Summer's New Cover

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FIRST let me say that I love this cover because it's so. . .so. . .very. . . I just do, okay?

From: Summer Devon [mailto:summerdevon@comcast.net] Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 12:55 PM
To: Davis, M
Subject: Fw: Pocket/EC anthologies
This is the one coming out in January (it says Ellora's Cave but it's a Pocket) Gotta love those trousers he's wearing!

From: Davis, M
Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 12:59 PM
To: Summer Devon [mailto:summerdevon@comcast.net] Subject: Fw: Pocket/EC anthologies
I think the impressive thing is that, old as I am, those trousers still fit me. I think I got them way back in my old Chippendale days…

non-acquisitive

We sweaty women at the gym were discussing what sort of luxury we liked best.

This is left over birthday stuff. I got flowers and a birthday bread horse but no presents and so I've decided this means I may buy something Just For Me without guilt. I haven't bought my self-indulgent gift. So I asked the women what they consider the perfect self-indulgent present.

Chocolate! everyone at the gym says. Not for me until I'm skinnier. Until then Food is to be declared an Enemy. I refuse a lifelong enmity with chocolate but that works just now. (Besides I had TWO kinds of cake yesterday.)
Here are the other suggestions the women came up with:
Massage
Jewelry
Pedicure
Manicure
Facial
Bath oil
Hair products
Great new shoes
Fun new clothes
A trip to a tropical island (oh, hey, maybe that one? but in february?)

Naw, I don't crave any of it.

So I came home and heated up the leftover coffee and now I'm on the back deck (which really could use a cleaning). I'm all alone. The weather is perf…

SBD sated

So Doug (talk about overkill, I'm referencing Dr D again?) has a SBD has about the overuse of dogs in romances. I can see his point but. . .perhaps he's just overindulged.

Too much of the same author--too much time with the same genre-- and it's "not that again" when someone does something as innocent as raising an eyebrow. When you spend too much time together, all the sweet little touchs you love about a writer's style eventually look faker than Geraldo R. in a war zone. (okay so similies aren't my bag).

When I want to smack that historical heroine who lifts her chin and I have to talk myself down-- What? It's just a simple chin lift. It isn't worth throwing a whole book against the wall--that's when I know it's time to get out something like litterachur or at least someone like Elmore Leonard. Last week I read Hit Man by Lawrence Block. ** Perfect antidote to any romance jag.

When I discovered Loretta Chase, I went berserk and read her ent…

HBTM

One of my PUBLISHERs sent me an actual card. My dang ebox has three emails from corporations I didn't lie to, wishing me a happy birthday. My sisters (all three) have sent emails.
I got a birthday bread horse (see Joy of Cooking) and I plan on taking myself out for coffee later. And I'll be ordering myself some presents from the internet any second now. As soon as I can find the right credit card . . .the one that's not all tuckered out.

My first year here, I didn't know anyone and I desperately missed my friend Leslie. When I mentioned it to L down the street, not only did she wish me a happy birthday, she took the baby and me out for coffee and I've been grateful ever since. She saved me from falling into a huge well of self pity that it would have been hard to climb out of.

Heck, she keeps doing that.

With the bread horse and the champagne another neighbor says she'll give me, I'm all set. Don't forget to wish my twin Doug (separated by parents and a cou…
Daily Kos, but nonpartisan. I promise you.. I'm not sure what we can do, but I know we ought to do something.

Any suggestions?

Thursday 13 Things To Sign In Books

A couple of people on some loops were in a panic because they were going to their first book signing and didn't know what to write. Here are some of the things I or my friend, B, have written. Only ... some of them aren't real. See if you can guess which four are fake.

1. Happy Reading!

2. Hope you enjoy it!

3. To [name]. You do know that this store won't take back books that have personalized inscriptions. Neener, neener

4. I hope you find your SOMEBODY WONDERFUL [<--book title] some day!

5. I'll find out if you try selling this on ebay.

6. Okay, you're gonna read mine, let's see yours. Let me know when it's out.

7. May all your dreams come true.

8. If you like this book, post a review on amazon.com. If you hate it, feel free to send me a long detailed note. But skip amazon, okay?

9. To [name], the inspiration for all of the very hottest scenes in this book.

10. To [name], who's all that and more.

11. To [blank's mother's name] Yes, I really do know yo…

world's most disgusting

I bet you thought those expensive coffee beans harvested from poop was the most hideous gourmet treat out there. Cazu Marzu is far, far worse.

A big fat thank you to my dh who sent me the email just about the time I had an urge for a snack.

stuff

A letter-writer in today's paper is convinced that the reason the gas prices have come down lately (around here they were at about 3.25 a gallon and are now 2.75 . . . UPDATE: make that 2.62. Time to fill up.) is that George Bush has asked his oil buddies to lower the prices in time for the election season. What do you think? Or better still, what do you know? Don't prices usually go down some right after summer/vacation driving time?


* * * *

A couple of people have put out calls for beta readers and I barged in, ready to do my part. And now I'm remembering what editors have told me: Don't let too many people screw with your story. Hilary Sares said something like she can tell when writers have asked for advice from a lot of people because the writing goes flat. Perfect grammar but less life. Kind of like the before and after pictures in those makeup do-overs. The before pictures are almost always more intriguing and the afters are flawless, but meh.

That worries me beca…

Arrr

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Happy ITLAPD. Don't fergit to visit, Cap'n Dyke today. (no, this wench t'aint a portrayt o' the good Cap'n)

More Prizes for SBD

PBW's are really just perfect and deserve an award of their own, but this is a fun exercise.

The Golden Potato--for the reader who, with wikipedia on the screen and the book in her hand, pores over a historical romance to hunt down the most obscure anachronisms so she can write a ten paragraph Amazon review of the book showing off her knowledge.

The I. L. Black Award--for the writer who puts the most mind-boggling anachronisms and language into her historical romance.

The Fruity Breasts Bowl--the most creative use of fruits and veggies in erotic body descriptions. Plum penises and peach boobs entries are disqualified. Also no cucumbers.

Mirroring The Masters Blue Ribbons--not exactly plagiarism. I mean look at this entry which is not really my idea. Sure PBW did it better, but we always can use more awards. Another for instance--one person can't possibly supply the world with all the black leather-wearing, blood-sucking, emotionally troubled undead books it needs.

But let's mak…

Best Post o' The Day

PBW's list of Awards that need to be established.

Who do I have to bribe to get onto the selection committee? Where do I sign up for the award banquet?

Rioter Navel Gazing..a nice change

About a year after my Somebody books were published, a not very fun thing started up--a big shift in my main emotion upon hearing that other writers got new contracts. I'd always felt pleasure at the news of new deals, but now my main sensation was bright green jealousy.

I'd learned to deal with this kind of garbage in another stage of my life. On a small scale, the new contract grunginess brought back the days of infertility. Gawd, I hated it when people I cared about got pregnant and I could only pretend to be overjoyed for them. I felt like a crappy friend back then--in part because it took me way too long to figure out that just because I felt something, I didn't have to express it, even to a very near very dear friend.

Anyway when this response to other people's deals came along, I wasn't suprised by the jealousy, and I didn't fight it, and I didn't compound the sensation with extra guilt about what a Rotten Person I Am. I certainly didn't act on it …

blogger's been hating me

as soon as I wrote a sufficiently lame response in previous posts' comments, blogger let me in. Before that I'd write long, witty notes and they'd vanish *POOF*

Consider yourselves all answered with thoughtful responses that show how much I deeeeply value the people who comment on my blog. I can't be arsed to keep battling blogger, eh?

Two things:

ONE. If you're in CT, come see the fabulous Nephew and Niece put on a show at the Glastonbury library. They're here from the big city (NY, NY) to talk about life as professional reader types for agents and publishers. The niece is excited because at long last she gets to be something more like an editor at work.

TWO. If you're a woman and you like erotica, tell me your favorite titles. I'm not talking about the ones you read for literary quality. . . I only buy Playboy for the articles. This is a favor for a friend who wrote:

Do you think you could ask your readers their opinions on the absolute hottest erotica the…

Sam I Am (Not)

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So if you follow the link, you'll see that a book that was supposed to have my pseudonym has another writer's pseudonym on it. Samantha Winston instead of Summer Devon.

Clearly someone's mixing us up. I mean there are some reasons to confuse us:

Sam was a model.
I was a model.

She's female.
I'm female.

She's a mom.
I'm a mom.

She writes smut.
I write smut.

She uses a pseudonym for her smut
I use a pseudonym for my smut.

Okay here are the differences:

She was a real model. Like really. I mean she worked for Elite. (Not sure I know what that is but it sounds impressive.)
I was an art model. They'll hire anyone.

She speaks English and French. And maybe other languages.
I speak English (after 7:30 am).

She lives in an elegant villa in France. (home of the best food, wine and scenery in the known universe [as voted by my ex-neighbor the Francophile])
I live in an aluminum-sided bungalow outside Hartford (home of more insurance companies than anywhere else in the universe. Als…

Thursday 13 Piddly details I'd change if I were in charge

1 . Fruits and veggies like tomatoes and zucchini would ripen a few at a time, not a huge crop all at once.

2. The puzzles would not appear on the comics page so I could read the comics without suddenly having the urge to solve a lame word scramble.

3. School would start at 9 am and end just before dinner so I could get some work done and make dinner without interruption.
3a. Wait a sec--change the dinner thing. A fabulous chef would come to our house every day and plead to make us dinner. ("yeah, if you insist, Morimoto. But you have to buy the ingredients. And we're tired of truffles, okay?")
4. It's a classic wish, but a good one: chocolate cake would be an acceptable main course and would beat tofu in the nutitional category.

5. My mind would not go blank if I wanted to create a humorous poem. I'd be as good as Valkyrie, as clever as Evil Auntie Peril, as sharp as Candy. Sigh.

6. Everyone I loved, liked and admired would live within a ten minute walk.
6a The dogs n…
Twenty six minutes of watching the World Trade Center and listening to sirens.

September 12

Notice I didn't write anything yesterday? Every time I started to write, it turned into "What I Remember" or "How Our Government Failed Us" or "Why It Isn't A National Day of Mourning Yet" and I'd be damned if I was going to do a 9/11 diary. Not sure why I was so adamant about it though.

I didn't do a diary about it but I had a conversation with L yesterday that went like this:
Me: I remember trying to explain to the refugees--
L: I know. I was there.
Me: No, see I went into work and no one working there was around, just a bunch of mystified refugees in the front and everyone else was crammed into a conference room in the back with the TV--
L: I know. I was there.
Me: Huh?
L: I went to work with you that day.
Me: Oh. You did? You did! I didn't remember you were there at all!!

So there you go. A 9/11 diary after all. Or maybe a Kate's Memory Sucks Bigtime diary.

Whatever. We got it out of the way.

And now I'm going to get to work and write…

do girls do this too?

what the hell is it with boys? they are MOVERS and FIDDLERS, as in they pick up random objects and walk around, breaking the random objects on the way to whichever random spot they are going to drop them. I was just swooping around the house cleaning up a bit and found:

--A remote with its rubber band missing. Why a rubber band? They've picked up the remotes and opened and closed, opened and closed them until the back broke. And then the boys have lost the batteries. Or put them in backwards so you go on a big battery hunt to replace perfectly good batteries and only figure out the problem when you go to the store and buy the AA batteries and then open up the back and . . .

--The remote was in the kitchen. The object it controls is one floor and several rooms away.

--Little pieces of paper. Randomly torn up and dropped.

--A deodorant stick that's been twisted up to its limit so it's mooshed all against the top.

--A glue stick under the couch that's just like the deodorant. …

two *huh* things before noon.

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FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF LITTLE TINY LIFE EPISODES

1.I'm watching Sunday Cartoons with boy 3 and we have to endure lots of dopy ads for things like Barbie. So there's her smiling plastic face and she's got a dog. Hey, what's that close up? The backside of the dog? and he's . . .pooping?

Holy Jebus. Barbie's special new fun-time kit includes dog, little brown bits of dog food that eventually comes out the back of the dog. No worries! Barbie has a special magnetic scooper! and a special doggy doo bin. Also works as the dog food box, too, I guess.

I so want to read the development and/or marketing notes for this one.

2. I'm in the shower, washing my hair. While rinsing, I pull out two twigs, each about three inches long. One with a leaf on it. No complete bird's nest. I think we can rule out me in the role of princess who can't manage a good night's sleep sharing a bed with a pea.

Okay, I do have a lot of hair (it's thick and, when wet, reaches mid-bu…

I *knew* this would happen

So I prattled on and on in the class (using about fifty words where Ari uses three to say basically the same thing) blah blah tension, choose the right word, tension, don't go purple but increase awareness, tension, blah blah blah.

And then I sat down to write a scene that's supposed to be brimming with tension.

Two hours later, I've got half a page and it's thoroughly meh.

More about the ABC kerfuffle

from Conspiracy Central (also known as huffingtonpost.com) ...

In fact, "The Path to 9/11" is produced and promoted by a well-honed propaganda operation consisting of a network of little-known right-wingers working from within Hollywood to counter its supposedly liberal bias. This is the network within the ABC network. Its godfather is far right activist David Horowitz, who has worked for more than a decade to establish a right-wing presence in Hollywood and to discredit mainstream film and TV production. On this project, he is working with a secretive evangelical religious right group founded by The Path to 9/11's director David Cunningham that proclaims its goal to "transform Hollywood" in line with its messianic vision.

Before The Path to 9/11 entered the production stage, Disney/ABC contracted David Cunningham as the film's director. Cunningham is no ordinary Hollywood journeyman. He is in fact the son of Loren Cunningham, founder of the right-wing evange…

from the Truly Tacky Department

I'm not watching any September 11th events. So many of them seem to be pushing for something that doesn't feel entirely genuine.

On the other hand what the HECK do you suppose the message is these people meant to send? Sick puppies.

and since fiveandfour actually asked . . .there's also this. lots of yelping about the ABC movie, which is bound to have a huge viewership now even though the one review I've read was pretty funny:

I once sat in a car forever waiting for my mom to come out of a grocery store. I thought that was the definition of "interminable." I had no idea "The Path to 9/11" was in my future.

This is what happens during 4 1/2 lonnnng hours of "Path." Terrorists talk about killing Americans for Allah. FBI and other security officials try to track them but fail. 9/11 happens.

You don't say.

This is the most anticlimactic, tension-free movie in the history of terrorist TV

Thursday 13 of my favorite pictures on this computer

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make that TWELVE of my favorites

individual portraits first
















Then group shots


















Hmm. blogger has apparently decided enough is enough and won't let me load more. I can see its point.

crickets chirp. the lights go out. I sit in the dark

heck, have I lost you all? from 500 hits a day to this?

I'm not here anyway, so neener neener. I'm off being ignored in the online class Ari and I are teaching. You can still join and pay no attention to me there, too. [cue tiny violin]

I'm reading Alison Kent's book The Idiot's Guide to Writing Erotic Romance. I'm reassured and disturbed.

Reassuring--nearly everything she talks about, I know. Much of it is covered in our course.
Disturbing--she says it so beautifully. Dang. AK has written The Book. Is there any better way to present the subject?

Nope.

I suppose the one thing we can offer is targeted advice--but not if the class stays so damned quiet.

zzzzzzzzzzz

You know what's the second best thing in life? Sleeping in. Makes for the wildest dreams.

Interpret these babies, Siggie:
I was hired to do a show for some Home and Garden network. We'd go into very classy houses and mess them up. One place had a huge marble table in the dining room. We took it out and put in a beat up old picnic bench. Sheer genius, huh? Oh and we'd put piles of books everywhere.

I sat next to a window that had a built in magnifying glass. So you'd pick up the newspaper hold it up to the window and the words would appear bigger just because of the window. Smart, but not quite there yet.

I bought some sort of chewing gum that you were supposed to chew for a while--not too long--and then shove it up your nose so you'd smell nothing but delicious (and changing) scents all day.

. . . Okay. Time for coffee and blah reality.

Thank You Candy and Other Stuff

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Thank you, Candy. When the cry goes out for aid, she's the Bitch in a Pinch. Just the sort of superhero we all need, like Framing man.


My oldest is turning 16 late September. I'm reeling around the house moaning howthfuckdidthathappen16yearsomigodhe'ssobig....

what do I get him? He says gift cards (i.e. money) but I think there must be some sort of traditional gift, other than a sportscar. What did you get for your 16th birthday?