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Sunday, April 30, 2006

a good scents passage

I was out back, breathing in the smell of flowers -- wisteria, lilacs -- and caught some odd plant-or-dirt-based scent that took me straight back to the backyard of the house where I grew up, a place I haven't set foot in decades. Yeah, aroma and the memory of scent all pretty damned amazing...and I think nearly impossible to describe vividly with words.

Maybe Perfume does a good [wildly exaggerated, gruesome] job.

Can you think of a passage or a few words that brought at least the memory of a scent right back to you? Can you write one? This is when I feel like a romance writer. "light flowery scent" for the heroine? "clean musky scent" for the hero. Ho-goddamn-hum--and, hey, what about the musk? Someone once pointed out musk will gross out some readers. Doesn't gross me out. I like the way people smell. Stale sweat isn't always great, but a slightly unclean human? In bed? I love it. Umm 'shrooms. I think I'm more European than American when it comes to this body scent stuff.

Don't look at me like that...I don't mean cabbage soup garlic reeking body scent. Just a whiff...oh, never mind. Write something now.

Show me.

Can you describe something like a scent? Maybe one of these?
a leather glove ("Sniff the Glove--Tap's finest!"),
the radiator heating up for the first time in the late fall,
a baby who's just spit up breastmilk that hasn't gone sour yet,
a kitchen two hours after bacon and coffee have been wafting around,
the clean ozone scent of someone who's come in from outside in the middle of winter,
brake fluid on a person's hands.

Hmmm. Are those phrases enough? I doubt it.

I bet Beth could knock this one out of the park.

my current favorite line from a review of Summer

From a review of Learning Charity (at Just Erotic Romance Reviews where there are two reviews, both giving 4 out of 5 stars):

The sex scenes in this story are more background to the character development and interactions.

Yes! That's the point. I can't tell if the reviewer is pleased or disappointed, but I'm happy.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

wisteria watched will bloom

Maybe if you click on the photo you'll be able to see the drunken happy bees working the vine.
I have some seedlings I need identified. I'm thinking I'll post photos of them later and beg you all to tell me what Boy 3 and I planted.

Friday, April 28, 2006

my day

Shove winter coats into cardboard boxes

Do Laundry

Do Dishes

Find frozen chicken at bottom of freezer to defrost for dinner

Reinvent a modern civilization with mixed mythic overtones. (check copy of World Building for Dummies)

Wash the dog

Get defensive and insist you visit this fine spot [found via Andrew Tobias]

* * * *


speaking of invention, Beth... I'd promised to put it into the next book: yesterday I invented a mixed watermelon alcoholic drink that was vulva pink. I called it a coochiefruit. Today I've decided that's cheating-- so it's out.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

compensations

even if I have to give up my greatest indulgence, there are still plain bagels, toasted, with a thin layer of butter . . . and there's the wisteria out back of course.

Here's why I suck at chats

1. I type too slowly.

2. I snark and don't put the appropriate smilie by it because I forget they are there.

3. There's no way I can promote my old books well because by the time they're published I've moved on. Off-loaded the characters** and picked up new ones. There are always questions about "which of your heroes would you want to be stranded on a desert island with" and I have no idea.

4. I'd much rather discuss bizarro tangential things--although coochiefruit is breaking the sound-barrier. I'm not forgetting that, Beth. You are so, so very doomed. Write that litfic. Win the Booker prize, I dare you. I don't care how much it'll cost me -- the person handing you the prize will whisper coochiefruit. Or whichever phrase du jour that has the greatest chance of turning you into a quivering whimpering pile of blancmange. On stage, on camera. In front of the queen, God Bless Her -- although if you don't hurry up and write, it'll be in front of the king.

__________________________

**The only character I haven't dumped is Araminta. Because so many people have given me grief about her, I've thought about her . . . and can't see how she could have been any different. I mean, sheesh, the woman had a role model of a milky simpering weak but loving mother. Of course she's not going to be straight-forward ball-breaking bitch. Poor thing has no idea where she fits in the world so even though she had mountains of love as a kid, she's not going to be as confident as a dutchess. On the other hand, she has survived and so can't be a typical middle-class Victorian spinster. oh, blah blah blah.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

CHAT TONIGHT (Wednesday)

Please, please, please, come say hello. It's a real time chat thing with Summer Devon. Here's the official announcement thing.

Chat tonight at 9 pm EST at http://www.noveltalk.com Summer Devon will join us to discuss her new novella for Samhain Publishing.Door prize: one lucky winner will receive a copy of Perfection and a second lucky winner will receive a copy of Futurelove. Moderated by Kathy Boswell.

To find the chat, scroll to near the bottom of noveltalk's homepage and find the link. Or maybe click here?

I was hoping to get the lordhighpoobaheditor of Samhain there--I figure you guys would be more interested in finding out about a publisher than another writer--but she has to go sing with some fishes or something tonight.

stuff

A few weeks ago I forgot to lock up the work building after class. Today we had a short session and I locked myself out of the building. Oops. The weather is gorgeous so I enjoyed the longish walk to the housing office for the key.

The guys there are unfailingly polite, which is extremely odd. I mean, I'm used to getting guff for doing stupid things and they just tut tutted, smiled and offered me a ride back to the building. Dragon (that's his given name. I think it's Polish? Emphasis on second syllable.) even sympathized. No, wait, you're supposed to call me goober. I walked both ways and now don't feel I need to go to the gym, which is nonsense. I do.

Not really to do with exercise, but . . . Seven months is a long time. Just saying.

I wrote a scene last night whilst listening to Rhapsody in Blue and, boy, is it pretentious. I blame Gershwin.

Summer's gotten two good reviews on Learning Charity.

I'll put in a bit of each :

Summer Devon has impressed this reviewer beyond words. With a talent that goes beyond the usual, she has penned a short but very delightful read that will make you sigh with the beauty of two people finding what makes life worth living. Learning Charity has placed Summer Devon on my list of favorites, and will find itself on my April recommended reads list. I applaud this book and its author. Thank you Summer for such a fantastic read !
--Shay at http://sensualreads.net

Learning Charity is not your average run-of-the-mill good-girl-gone bad story. It is a novel full of hopes and dreams, and yes, even erotic love scenes. What touched me the most was the patience that Eliot showed to Charity at her most vulnerable. For that fact alone, I instantly loved him. Charity was the perfect heroine for this story because, even though she had no other choice but to sell her body, her spirit wasn’t broken and she still had hope. Learning Charity by Summer Devon is a delightful, quick read that I enjoyed very much. It made me smile, laugh, and become teary-eyed . . .
--Talia Ricci at http://Joyfullyreviewed.com

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I still don't get it.

I've been reading about Millenia Black's situation [UPDATE: That blog entry is gone. Maybe I'll erase this one if she asks me to!!] and I keep trying to understand it from the publisher's POV. (Read about it here and here .)

Here's what I know: It's all about the bucks. So if that's true, then the bucks must be in AA literature and that's why they're pushing her to change her characters from white to black. Hey, money in AA literature is good!**

Hmmm. If more bucks is not the reason then I don't get the publisher's thinking. And I wonder--would they do this forced niche thing to a Latina writer? (Is Latina the word we use now?)I wish a recognized Latina writer would check into the conversation and put in her two cents. I've read on various loops that editors believe that black writers can't write white characters. Or maybe that editors think readers don't believe it. Huh? It all strikes me as utterly bizarre.

I can sort of see the argument that someone from the dominant culture (white) couldn't accurately portray a subculture (pick any one) without some research. On the other hand, any family or circle of friends or workplace is a culture onto itself -- and any writer can invent that world.

I'd be more outraged it I wasn't so danged confused <-- my new motto. another update. Outrage Accomplished at last (phew! and ta! da!):

The desire to compartmentalize--it's about money and so I can't get too worked up. Publishers will do what it takes to tap any market they recognise.

However pushing any writer into writing for a market based purely on her race/ethnic background, her age, her job, her sexual preference, her geographical location, her eating habits--is just gross.

______

**My take is money going into any books = good. Even books about Christian vampire mafia gangs posing as SEALs.

wisteria watch, day whatever

2 pictures from this morning. .. It's been raining for days.
Could that be why the wisteria's taking so long to pop open?
and when it does, the blossoms lose their bunchy goodness and look kind of . . .scrawny.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

shhhhhh

Don't tell my husband: The dog is on the bed.

Ha. See if he read my blog he'd know about this deep dark secret, this illegal event. He's been away at a conference (coming back today) and it just happens. One minute the dog is curled up on the floor, and I'm snapping my fingers a lot and calling her and the next minute she's not on the floor any more. I don't let her go on his side of the bed and I'll wash the covers. He'll never know. Heh.

We went away too -- the boys the dog and me. It was a week off from school and we were supposed to go to New York City but middle guy said his stomach hurt. A couple hours later it was better and so we all jumped into the car and took off for an inn that let you have dogs.

It was a mixed bag.
Pros: We could hear spring peepers. The lake was lovely (but too cold to swim and with no access to boats we could ummmmm....look at it. And throw stones). We played on swings. We got out of our little maze.

Cons: The 3 boys couldn't share the king size bed easily--it took some hostile negotiations to work out who'd go where. The couch pull-out was worse than most couch pull-outs and one side of it was missing springs. If I rolled over, the mattress would start to collapse. The dog couldn't sleep and so announced to me that she had to go out every couple of hours. That meant I had to go out too. A long night. Boy 1 woke up at 7 am and announced that we were going home, NOW.

So we did.

No one said they were miserable so I'll call it a success.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

How about this?

1. Go to Angie's blog.
2. Follow the directions.
3. Win books.
4. Play with her bizarre smilies.
5. I recommend the bananas. They ARE not boinking. They're playing horsie, okay?


This post stolen from Shannon. Ha! Today I'm batting 1000 in stolen linkage. Nothing new to see here folks, move along.

God lovest hym

Stolen directly from Bron. For everyone who ever had to slog through a Chaucer course--you know you walked around with that voice in your head that whole school year. Here's a chance to live it again, only even funnier.

Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog.
Fyghten togeder we dide, this valet and ich, in Rethel-toune whanne the Frensshe layde waste to yt to letten the Prince Noir from crossinge, and in the melee we were scatterede from the hoste, and we two dide runne like eye makeupe on a televangelistes wyf.

more brilliance:

Top X Serches in Myn Networke
10. John Gowere swyving a donkey
9. woolen hose
8. discounte ale
7. Kent
6. Macrobius for dummyes
5. howe to thinly veil acquaintences as fictional characteres
4. arabic numerals
3. readynge %(%(%ing chancerye hand
2. Sheene palace dynnere guest listes
1. Katharyne Swinford nude

Friday, April 21, 2006

yes, it's depressing

Donald Maas goes over these numbers in at least one of his books, but Anna's entry is right out there for all of us to see and weep over.

If you've seen a link to Anna's entry everywhere, there's a reason -- it's a good post. I'm joining the "you must read this" club.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Thursday Thirteen -- random books

Oh blast. I did it once with the template and lost the post. I'm just going to list them, okay?

THIRTEEN BOOKS I CAN SEE FROM WHERE I'm SITTING (slouching really. butt in chair, feet on bed.) along with random comments about them. There are about ummmm 75 books on the shelf.

1. An Inconvenient Wife, Megan Chance. Most definitely NOT a romance. Good book...dark.

2. Envious Casca, Georgette Heyer. A mystery, never did finish it. Anyone want it?

3. Four-Gated City, Doris Lessing. I know I read it years ago and I loved it. Now I can't remember a thing about it except that the main character is Martha. I think.

4. A Few Green Leaves, Barbara Pym. A sad one. I like Pym's others better, before she had to get grim to suit the trends of the time.

5. Uncle Dynamite, Wodehouse. I always have one of his by the bed for comfort food.

6. Into Thin Air, Walter Kirn. Still haven't read it. Poor Kirn! The book was published just before 9/11 and it seems to be all about salesmen who spend most of their lives on planes. Outdated a month after it came out.

7. Jed the Poorhouse Boy, Horatio Alger. Rotten writer. My aunt had a lot of his books and I got them when she died. I don't know why she liked them and I don't know why I do, too.

8. Dear Enemy, Jean Webster. The follow-up to Daddy Long Legs. Fun book I'd read as a kid and saved for my kids. They have no interest in it. Amazing how current it feels.

9. Nickled and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich. I read the article in Harper's, maybe? Never read the book. I think it was a present for the DH who will probably also never read it.

10. A Captain Underpants book, Dav Pilkey. Kid left it in here. I get credit for not throwing it away.

11. The Shortest Way to Hades, Sarah Caudwell. A mystery by an elegant funny writer. I love her stuff just for Hilary the narrator.

12. Five Weeks to Winning Bridge, Alfred Sheinwold. DH's book and there's no damn way I'll ever read it, even if he begs.

13. A Way To Die, Victor and Rosemary Zorza. They were family friends and I loved them. That's why I have their book--not because I'll ever read it again. I did read it once.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

OH, and Doug's book

is great.

All sorts of creatures hopping around in there. I had a bit of trouble keeping track of them (hey there can be a lot of names in any story but at least you're usually dealing with one or maybe two species). Eventually the story took over and I stopped fretting.

I'm going to read it again to make sure I keep my birds separate and because it's the kind of book that'll reveal something new, a missed joke, maybe -- on another read.

isn't it pretty?



Wish I knew how to add this thing to the side. . .

Sorry No Bands played

Yeah, it is kind of a bummer, J. Your book came out and you expected something...sacks of admiring letters, the adulation of at least a few people.

She expected her life to be transformed once she got rid of the UN and joined the ranks of the PUBBED. Nothing much happened-- and nothing much will when you're one of the many, the middle, the midlist! If you don't get any joy out of the writing part, forget the whole thing.

Here's something that does change. TODAY'S WISTERIA PICTURES. I got some AA batteries yesterday whilst the boys and I did birthday shopping. (Husband's gifts: frisbee, badminton set.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stuff

I missed SBD.

Thank you for the great recipes for chocolate cake, but the husband doesn't like change and actually wants the box mix cake we usually make around here for boy birthdays. I didn't argue.

During the 20 gazillion years we've been together, one of our worst fights was about his birthday and food. For his fortieth birthday I asked him what he wanted for the special birthday dinner and he said tuna casserole. I said no, how about something fun? He said no, really, that's what he really wanted.
recipe: (and I don't have to look it up)
1 can mushroom soup
1 can of tuna
2 cups cooked noodles
an egg
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (plus more for the top)
maybe some onion spice if we're feeling adventurous.

I don't like it much but it was something he liked so I made it for regular dinner now and then but ...GOD! NOT FOR HIS BIRTHDAY.

It took me the better part of an hour to realize it was HIS birthday. Now I usually make the goddamn tuna casserole on HIS birthday. [if I were an inspirational writer, I'd put in something here that makes the reader understand how this is actually a story about true love...I'll work on that.]. Oh, and part of the fight was about the line he always uses "I happen to like sticking with the same old thing. Like the same old wife." I still hate that line.



Speaking of hot romance, Learning Charity comes out at Samhain today.



--"listen, dude, ask for that 'hot tuna dish' again and I'll sock you."






* * * *


UPDATE: Shannon's Twice Upon a Roadtrip is a finalist in the contemporary category of the RWA's chapter Passionate Ink contest. I read that and realized I'd forgotten to brag: Perfection is also a finalist (novella category).

wisteria

Day one, buds not open yet. (Why no close up? the camera batteries are dead so I had to use a cord attached inside the house. )

Logan let me do a close up of him though.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

you read it here!

You found the link here, anyway. (and I found it at The Stranger)

The Gatorade Bottle = Sexual organ = more than a coincidence. When it shows up at Snopes ("False. It is only a coincidence") We'll know it's time to look for the next big scandal.

note to self

Stay alive for at least five or so days so that you can see the wisteria out back bloom. Take a picture.

do I owe you?

I mean have I put your blog link on my sidelines? do you want me to? email me.
Happy Easter. Joyful Passover. Yowza Spring.

Friday, April 14, 2006

tooting one's own horn

This one's not really promo, it's more announcing good news.

When a person's first book comes out, she tends to mention it in every conversation she holds.

Okay, I'll reword that to be more honest. When my first book came out, I tended to mention it every conversation I held. It was the firstborn, the new experience of being An Author. The whole giddy ride that is pretty cool first time out.

I almost had to jabber about it, even though I knew that no one else was going to get as huge a kick out of the news. I got over it and now if I sell a book I tell my friends and maybe post here or at my website. I don't go running around the internet world grabbing people and shaking them and yellling HEY! LOOKIE AT ME!

So now someone I know has a great contract. BIG, big numbers, enough work for a couple of years, and the topic came up -- should she bother telling people? Should she sit on the news? Where're the appropriate places to talk about it? The inappropriate ones?

If, after that exciting rush of the first book, you keep talking about "my book" and "my publisher" and "my editor" and "my agent" everywhere, even if you're just passing time, the nearly-but-not-quite-pubbed and the waiting-for-new-contracts, aka between books pubbed are going to think "shut the f^^^ up, okay?"

It's the new mom and the new baby syndrome. There are other mothers and other babies out there in the world but first time out, you're allowed to think Wow! Holy shit this is amazing! And yes, you're allowed to be in love with that baby, but LISTEN to me: if you talk about your fourth child the same way as long and in such excruciating detail, we're going to
--no longer think it's endearing
--ignore you until you leave and then maybe laugh at you a little
--search your house for drugs

So where can you babble on and on and on about your brand new fourth baby and your fourth book contract without coming off as a prat? Here's what I think:

--your blog, of course. No one is forced to come to the blog. It's your space. You might want to hold off on sounding like an advertisement just because it might lose you readers, but heck you can do whatever the hell you want there.

--your newletter (thanks to PBW)

--your writers' organizations (also thanks to PBW) like local RWA chapters.

--your yahoo loops, but only ONCE or TWICE (and maybe again when the book comes out)

--in an interview.

--you belong to a group blog?....There too, maybe? Sure, why not? Depends on the tone.

--in a bar at a conference with your friends. Maybe even with strangers after a couple of drinks. But not constantly through the whole conference and not even constantly that whole bar-visit. Nope.

Anywhere else? I don't think so. You can't go on and on in other people's blogs unless they bring up the subject of fourth books. You can't go on and on and on your yahoo loops after your initial announcement. You risk the making a lot of snarky people .... snark. Believe me, it isn't pretty.


What do you all think???

update: PBW claims to be crabby and suspicious yet is, in fact, lovely (although I don't suppose there's any reason those three can't exist together).

I asked her this question and she said (in her own blog) "Here! Congratulations!" [no, but I wish] and then later adds, "We have a kind of a sisterhood-in-the-trenches thing that non-romance writers don't enjoy, and we know the amount of competition you just beat out."

duh.

I can play that game too.

excerpts....

my first book

I'd put in an excerpt from my second book, but I don't like the one on my site. Maybe I'll look for another one.

my first ebook (published with Rob -- it's cheap! Ooo, reminds me that I have to get over to his site and buy some more ebooks. More more more. And Moonlit and bygrace publishing too. I Must Buy Those Books. More. Books.)

Summer's books (they're romantic erotica so don't read if you're underaged or disgusted):
Futurelove

Perfection

Charity (hmm. Not sure about that one)


Whole short stories by Kate

A whole short story! (It's an old link to my webpage which is badly in need of updating)

Another whole short story! (another old link, different story from the same page)


You know who's a good writer?
That Beth. I haven't read her books but the images she creates in her blog are stronger and lovelier than ummmmm errrrrrr. ...the dying crab apple tree out front ?. . .umm images of other strong and lovely things?

She's good.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I blame promo

NOT mine.

I'm talking about effective promo by other people.

I'm talking about the evil loops like novelspotters and romexcerptlink and cataromance.com and I mean sneaky people like Dorine Linnen and Lena Austin and allll the others who go on loops and post a chunks of ebooks and all of the sudden I'm clicking along, ordering the books and then whoops, I've done it again:

Uploaded more books than I need. My credit card is in shock and my pdf file is exhausted, its little tongue is hanging out. It's supposed to be my word processing program that gets worn out.

[shaking my fist at the skies] Damn you, other authors!

mark my calendar with two small circles

Today marks a personal first.

THIS

(a specific strip , so I'm not talking real reading) forced me to use a pair of






THESE

Son 1 and the husband wear glasses all the time. They had a hearty laugh at my moaning.

But still, it marks the end of an era. I used to have better than 20/20 vision. Can I read this? Yep.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

easter recipe

Here it is! The ultimate Easter cake made with Cadbury eggs.
Hear that Bill O'Reilly? In your "Easter is Under Attack" campaign ... you got someone on your side.

(thanks to blondesense)

96 questions

It's citizenship exam time. We memorize the questions and answers by repeating them over and over. I draw charts and whatnot but mostly it's memorization. Do the refugees know what it means? Dunno.

I print out the questions and answers. There are a few blanks and I fill them in, hesitating now and then. Who knows what the answer will be when the ladies in question take the exam? It's at least six months before they can get an appointment. . . So what do you guess will be true in, say, one year?

11 Who is president of the United States today?
14 Who is Vice President of the United States today?
27 Name the two Senators from your state. (CT)

scary one:
89 What kind of government does the United States have?
The answer they give is Republic . . . but. . . will I have to cross that out and write Empire?

I'm pretty sure I know the answer to number 37 and it will be true for a long while:
Who is the current governor of the state you live in?
Unless she does something spectacularly stupid, Jodi Rell.

A few years back I didn't know a lot of these answers. Now I probably mutter them in my sleep.[executive! judicial! legislative!]

What are the three branches of gov't? (hint: look up)

How many voting members are in the house of representatives?

What was the 49th state added to our Union?

What are the first ten amendments to the Constitution called?

Name one of four rights or freedoms guaranteed by the first amendment.

Want to know the answers to these and other 4th grade questions -- about 1/3 of which you've no doubt forgotten? Check out pages 61-66 in this pdf document.

Okay, time to go to work.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

oh and look.

I won!
The guy's full of balogna, of course. In ensemble pieces, individual players should never get full recognition. Any elementary school band director can tell you that. (You can go ahead and yell at the violins though.)

Damn, I love that thread like a brother.

With Friends like These . . .,,, or, Just Weird** (and not so interesting. Sorry)

I actively sold my books -- I sent out ARCs, did a couple of interviews and a couple other standard authory things. But I cannot seem to push friends' books. (and I'm not doing such a fabulous job at pushing Summer's books either. I guess she doesn't feel like she's me?)

Occasionally someone will say something like "I want to read a western!" and I'll recommend Teresa. Or once someone mentioned they really like zany first person and I said try Flo. Someone moaned about a lack of witty Traditional Regencies and I said check out Megan.

But those are the exception, not the rule. And I don't just barge into conversations about Under-rated Authors and start gushing on and on about their books, the way I did about Pamela Britton -- whom I don't know.

Part of this is based on a version reality: I might have the urge to announce that I LOVE THIS BOOK, but my name is there on Amazon and ack, I know I know her and I know she knows I know her and . . .what about the books she writes I don't love? What happens when I love a person and don't like her books? Anyway, I decided to not write any more reviews.

But THEN I decided that was stupid and I am making a big deal over little potatoes. I wanted to mend my ways but turns out I'm stuck in this peculiar potatoes mode.

I recently joined an online group that is very firmly in the "you will write reviews for your friends--we must support one another" camp. I dutifully went to Amazon and wrote a review -- it was pretty easy because I think the book is good.

I couldn't hit send.

Here's the sick part: If she'd been a total stranger? I would have been there days earlier, writing that review.

Aaaaack!

Part of the reason I can bellow across the boards about Bonnie Dee and A M Riley (two e-book writers I've read lately) without any prompting is that I have not had correspondence with them. I wouldn't know them if I ran into them on the street and I don't know their favorite recipe for tomato sauce. So it feels okay to say I like their books. I know my reaction is not tainted ( a word that's been severely tainted, thank you Jon Stewart) by my fondness for them.

But honestly, I need to label this a neurosis and Work Past It. Maybe I'll start by putting a friend's cover here.

Little steps.

Here: I enjoy Ari's fun books--they're escapist treats.

That didn't hurt, did it, Kate? I really like her book that's coming out tomorrow, Sable Flame, but it has a Poser cover and the guy's torso scared the bejeebers out of me. . . oh dear. I was doing so well, too. Ari's prolly thinking with a friend like that. . .

I need more practice.

_____________________

** I wrote a note in AngieW's blog that was downright bizarre and that got me thinking about this again.
and WHY CAN I NOT SPELL WEIRD? it looks weird no matter how I write it.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

coming out from under the covers

Okay, the world's still here?
Time to drink another beer.**

You? Need to go look at the world's most concise lineup of blog comments. Summed up. Ever, ever. Beyond meta, into Art.


________________________

**The "another" was just added to make the rhythm of my Poetry right. I haven't had one yet. Here's the saddest part. I like beer, but I don't love it. When are you all going to come round to take care of these for me again?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Oh My God...duck and cover

There's been so much bad news for GW Bush. How far would he go to distract us all from the leaking-Libby story?

Or for the less cynical : How far is he willing to push his middle east agenda. Please, please not this far. Read it.

And then if you have any ideas**, share them -- how do we stop him? Letters and protests didn't do anything last time.


_________________

**and I mean legal ideas. Unlike GWB, I respect the law.

cook offs

First it was scone versus scone.

Now we should have someone test out the tomato sauce versus tomato sauce**. Of course the tests will have to wait until July or so. You need real tomatoes for this kind of contest. Not those pinkish globs of insulation foam from the supermarket.

Heh. I bet I'll win again. My competitive nature reveals itself and I blame the food channel.

Speaking of which, damn, but I'm sick of reality shows where every week someone gets kicked to the curb. Die! reality shows Die! I'd even rather watch Bonanza or Lost in Space on that dreary reruns from yesteryear channel. I'd even rather edit the four pages I wrote when I was in a zombie state. That's how much I hate "Vote 'Em Off and Then Interview the Victims [Camera Three Closer. We Need to See the Lights Glistening on Those Tears]" reality shows.

But getting back to good things like scones and tomato sauce. . . Doug, I'm reading and enjoying your book. Woot!


__________________________

** me, from the comment section of Sam's blog, slightly edited: The best way I've found to make tomato sauce is to bake the tomatoes (and olive oil and onions and garlic with a dollop of wine) uncovered at about 325F for a longass time -- stirring every now and again -- that really makes it thicker. Then you take it out of the oven and puree or hand blend it, depending on how chunky you want it. And the best part of making them is pre-baking -- sqqqqueeeezzzing the tomatoes to get the seeds out. The boys will actually help me with that.

100 bottles of beer on the wall

sixty actually.

I won them at a school event's** raffle last night. Ten six packs of beer from around the world (though I noticed one of them is Mike's Lemonade).

Here's the uh oh part: I'm the only one in the family who drinks.

It's going to be party time with some friends real soon, I think. And maybe later, after the grim husband clears out, I'll take a picture of the display of beer and the cooler they rode in on. It's pretty damned impressive.

_____________________________

** Don't fret, it wasn't held in the school. It was in a fancy-pants park restaurant. crab and satay and cute little eggplanty hors d'oeuvres and circulating waiters. This is a fundraiser for a public school, mind you. I swear I will never get used to this corner of the world.

Friday, April 07, 2006

poor pitiful kate

My books have been translated into Dutch and Portuguese and I never ever got to see either copy in the flesh as it were, and NOW they've dropped off the face of the earth. I've googled them like crazy. Nada.

Sob.

My one and only clinch cover. The entire story takes place in NYC -- and look at that cover! Now do you get it? Don't you see? I NEED that book.



My pal in the Netherlands is looking for this one for me, (click here and then do a search for "Rothwell") without any luck. It's not in any bookstores anywhere, although someone left it somewhere via bookcrossing.
That story is also set in NYC with a bit in Minnesota.
Oh, how can the gods of funky translations be so cruel?



IF anyone manages to track down a copy of either of these books, I will send them a pair of Bosnian socks. (MM laughs bitterly. Sure she will. . . . Just you wait, mm! One of these days . . .)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Thursday Thirteen plants that I'm growing.

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen plants from seeds that anyone can grow

by a brown thumb



1. Nasturtium

2. Big boy tomatoes

3. Parsley

4. Basil

5. dandelions

6 forget-me-nots

8. marigolds

9. johnny jump ups

10. pansies

11. cilantro (never stays alive very long though)

12. delphinium

13. carpathian harebells

The pansies and johnny jump ups and blasted dandelions are out in the cold dirt. The rest are seedlings all over the house. oh, and the list of things I can't seem to grow from seed is much longer.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
Norma

Joan,

http://volcanicsacrifices.blogspot.com/ (I love that blog name)

Chicadee

Doug!

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!




Tuesday, April 04, 2006

global warming

My local proof:
The huge piles of snow in the back of the parking lot near the library usually don't melt into patches of sand and dirt until the middle of April.

They're already gone. The librarian said they were gone sometime in March. And we had plenty of snow around here this winter, more than enough.

Monday, April 03, 2006

More SBD, really.

. . . but I didn't write it.

Writing goddess Linda did. Btw, she finally sold! Details later, if she lets me. I put a little comment after the elements I've included in my stories -- most of them, please note. No flashing dark eyes, except maybe I think I had a dawg like that oncet. I had a half moon parrot when I was a kid. It really truly did have flashing eyes. Coolio thing.
okay so...

Linda wrote:

Editors always say they want "fresh, original voices," but how do you know which elements in your story are stale and overused? What makes a manuscript or entry stand out above the rest? I judge many romance contests every year, so I thought I would share some of the elements I see over and over again. I think when we write we tend to fall back on what feels comfortable and familiar. We've probably all come across these elements in favorite books, so perhaps we unconsciously slip them into our own.

I'm not at all saying you can't successfully include these elements in your story and make them fresh, but be aware that they appear to be cropping up with great regularity and predictability.
[emphasis added by Kate]

• The Stumbling Heroine: Our heroine trips and the hero catches her, frequently "against the hard wall of his chest," as a contrived excuse for them to feel that first attraction.
[check--current ms.]

• Variation on the Stumbling Heroine: Heroine twists her ankle, providing convenient excuse for the hero to pick her up and carry her. [yes, in the ms I'm writing now. Same scene. First page.]

• The Electric Handshake: Hero and heroine shake hands and feel a bolt or tingle of electricity shoot up his/her arm. [kinda]

• Variation on the Electric Handshake: Hero or heroine hands something to the other and their fingers brush, resulting in the tingle/electricity. [sure. hey, I've felt it myself. I'm just writing what I know...]

• The Wayward Lock: Heroine sees a strand of hair fall across the hero's forehead and her fingers itch to brush it back (an impulse she, of course, barely restrains). [absolutely--no itching, however]

• Done-to-Death Descriptions: Flame red hair and emerald eyes; eyes so dark they were nearly black; rippling muscles. [probably those muscles.]

• The Argument in the Rain: Cliché of the hero and heroine having a fight with rain and thunder in the background. [rain, no thunder]

• Saved from the Clutches: Hero rides in just as heroine is about to be sexually assaulted by bad guys, who usually have bad breath, missing teeth, wet lips and stilted accents. [she forgot the laughter. they always are laughing, those jolly, happy bad guys. I think I've done it.]

• The Big Misunderstanding: Hero/heroine sees heroine/hero kissing somebody else and storms off without ever thinking there might be something else going on. [yeah, me, but not for more than a page or so]

• The Horrendous Ex: Ex-girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband who is so catty or mean that hero or heroine ends up looking stupid for ever having gotten involved with them. Ex-girlfriends or wives are usually high-maintenance money-grubbers. Ex-boyfriends or husbands are usually abusive.

• "Oh My Gosh, He's My New Boss!" Hero and heroine have a chance encounter, sometimes sexual, frequently temperamental, where for whatever reason names and details are not exchanged. The next day heroine comes to her new job/new apartment/etc. and finds that the guy she had sex with/argued with/etc. is her new boss/doctor/neighbor/etc. [yep]

• "No Marriage, No Money": Relative dies and leave heroine with money, house, etc., on the condition that she finds someone to marry within a short period of time.

• The Whacky Family: Heroine/Hero has eccentric family she/he loves but knows is an embarrassment. Frequently includes a grandfather named Ezekiel or Jethro or some other countrified name and a crazy but well-meaning aunt who wears loud clothing/big hats, etc. [yep, doing that now. (as Flora Poste says 'Worst fears realised. Seth and Ruben too.')]

• The Big Shoot-Out: Hero or Heroine gets shot (or stabbed) trying to save the other one. The problem here is that you know they're both going to live (it is a romance after all), so is it really suspenseful? [done that.]


First appeared in the March 2006 issue of CONNections, newsletter of the Connecticut Romance Writers. Permission to forward with proper credits.

slightly SBD

well, it's about romance sort of. Kinda.

Lots of contests happening just now. I haven't entered any (I've been judging like crazy though)so I feel like I can say the following without being accused of demonstrating bitterness:

Contests can suck the big one. One judge is a creep who hates all books set in [your time period/city/nation] -- and you lose. One judge doesn't know that "was" is actually an okay word to use on occasion -- and bye bye prize.

For all of you guys who won or are finalists? Good for you. Wow! Great. YIPPEEE!
Now. Go away.

For the rest of you, here's the start of Lori's song:
"Contest losers, yes we are…doo dah…doo dah…We should head out to the bar…all the doo dah day….”

Once you've hung around that bar for a while, you can get creative and compose more lyrics. Feel free to get insulting about the judges.

And while I'm being negative? That ad with the actors dressed up like doctors talking about some cholesterol medicine whilst striding around an ivy covered campus? I loathe it so much I can feel the hatred at the back of my eyeballs -- ow!

not SBD yet

Why is kiddie fear so much worse than adult fear? I recall being very young and terrified of the wail of fire engine sirens. I have no idea why, but when I heard one nearby, I'd have to lie flat on my back and not move, or I Would Die.

I swear the level of fear I sometimes felt as a kid would probably only be reached today if I were in a serious car accident or a guy pointed a gun at me. Do you all remember feeling that level of fear or was it just me?

Today's depressing post brought to you by a rather cute Bunny Cujo entry by Lori in the RU blog. (But I thought Sandy had the bunny? Oops! give away again....)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

HEY A CONTEST!


I forgot to post about this one and it's good. you can win a

FIFTY DOLLAR GIFT CERTIFICATE TO AMAZON!!

Go over to RU and find out more.

You only have to identify one author and one pet per row of shots. Shouldn't be too hard. (I thought you had to peg every one of them.)

Here're your first hints:











This is me






This is my dog.


Prescience


I know we're all tired of Dick Cheney's hunt.

But dang! The boys are watching old Monty Python episodes and I wandered in during the 127th Annual Upper Class Twit of the Year sketch.

The bunny hunt part. Good god. It's...it's...DICK in the LEAD!

impressing the impressionable

Here's what I do that seems to impress the heck out of people (thus proving some people are easily impressed)

compost with worms.
sprout beans for umm. . . bean sprouts.
make bread and pizza.
spin wool and knit.
raise seedlings.

The thing is? Nothing on that list, except maybe the spinning (and perhaps more advanced knitting), takes more than a few minutes to figure out. And the neighbors across the street have had me pegged as an Earth Mother because of it.


I have them pegged as wealthy yuppies because they:

have a gorgeous house (that they decorated themselves).
know about wines.
know how to maintain their possessions so they (the possessions) don't look shabby. No, that is NOT snark. They don't have coffee cups rolling around in their cars, even the seven year old one.

Okay, so what easy-to-learn skills do you have that would convince the neighbors you're a [fill in the blank]?

I think skills like knowing how to expertly cut and snort coke counts if it creates a role for yourself.