Wednesday, May 31, 2006

quotes, quotes, quotes

I have a Ned Lamont shirt, a Lamont sticker on my car and a Lamont sign in my yard.

I hate it.

This part of politics is super-cheesy** . . . Yet I have a strong need to see the backside of Lieberman.

But I need more--so I'm wandering around the internet, gathering reasons to vote for the man, not just against someone else. So I'll copy and paste some of quotes from him. That way I can convince my other neighbors to take some of these dang yard signs the local Lamont people dropped off at my house.

"War and peace are the most important stakes that your government deals with. The war says so much about what type of a country we are, our moral authority, and our priorities."

"Since my days on the urban league to teaching entrepreneurship at an inner city high school, I am committed to maximizing opportunity; we start by reinvesting in our cities- great schools, affordable housing, public transportation- and jobs."

Kid needs the computer for homework, so I'll have to stop for now.

**Those signs are truly tacky, as my blue-blood token Republican neighbor might say. Hi Greg! How're the plastic flamingos I stuck out on your lawn in the middle of the night? I haven't seen them lately for some reason . . .

Sunday, May 28, 2006

what does one DO with this stuff?

cleaning up, sort of and I've found these things:
An American flag that draped the coffin of a WWI veteran's coffin (in the 1950s). An older friend gave it to me--the vet was her dad. Now what the heck should I do with it? It's too big to fly, and I don't want to burn it. I don't want to sell it on ebay--although maybe I should. She's in her 80s now and could use the income. Anyone want to buy it?

A bunch of little girl china that I used as a kid. Much of it slightly chipped, not valuable. I can't bring myself to toss this stuff. No one would want it.

Lots of letters from a dead ex-lover. Nothing dreely, nothing Bridges of Madison County, thank God--but the guy wrote great letters. He died young and it's bad enough practically no one else remembers him. Maybe his sisters wants some of them?

Icketty paintings I made. And a couple of better ones from my mother, but there's no room to hang them up. Grey, brown, doom. We were definitely ashcan school (My mother actually studied with Raphael Soyer and was his model.)

My current inclination is to stuff all of this back into the attic crawl space and then toss it wholesale when we move to a smaller space. Maybe, if I'm lucky, I'll keel over and the kids can deal with it.

Favorites Du Jour

favorite headline--"Poll: Americans like instant gratification" (almost as good as "Poverty Creates Depression")

favorite actual story--"Doctors In Retirement Community Seeing Increase In STDs" (yeah, yeah, it's not funny for the people who've gotten sick. For us middle agers it's a relief. Not dead yet will be true.)

favorite online fiction read--" The Scheherazade Audit" I haven't finished it yet. Fun author's style--so very not romance voice (voted for best use of single word page. See if you can find it) . Naturally I will check out Doug's fiction. (Especially since he and my hussy alter ego have apparently had some kind of tryst. Who knew? Creators are always the last to know.)

More later, maybe. I have to put away the groceries that the hunter and gatherer just dragged home, the blessed angel dude.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Megan Speaks. We answer.

Megan Frampton wants to know about the nuts.

I love Abby Godwin's answer to:
You’re writing in the Victorian period; what about it interests you? And have you read any Victorian porn?

Everything about the Victorian period interests me. Nothing was as it seemed on the surface; the entire society was based on appearances. You weren't supposed to say, do, or live anything real. Everyone was completely messed up. It's a writer's dream.

I have not read Victorian porn but I'll try anything once. Where the hell would I find it? I'm guessing my local library doesn't have any. Now you have me curious.

She hasn't read Walter's memoir. The great period slang in there inspired one of my books (that's currently getting rejected everywhere).

Now I'll answer the questions assigned to me:

If you could acquire any writer’s one skill (Jane Austen’s wit, Henry James’ bombast, William Gibson’s geek-talk), whose would it be? What skill would it be?
Depends on the day of the week you're talking about. Today, with only one page done, I'd pick Stephen King's ability to write ten pages a day. Usually I'd pick Jane Austen's wit. I'd skip Henry James's bombast. Many days I'd take either Judith Ivory or Laura Kinsale's ability to write kick-ass prose that doesn't scream I'M ART, ADMIRE ME.

What made you start writing as Summer Devon?
Arianna Hart and a real grownup sort of lunch at the Elbow Room. The fancy cocktails and Ari convinced me it was fun to write erotica. She was right. I picked Summer as a name because I got The Call (really the email) from Ellora's Cave during a blizzard and remembered that someone once said when picking a pseudonym go for something you fervently desire.

If you were able to choose the ideal Democrat to run for President in 2008, who would it be, and why?
Adlai Stevenson, because he was sane. You know I'd pick someone too far left to win, ya goober, like maybe Barrack Obama or Russ Feingold. I kind of like Chris Dodd.

How has blogging changed your life?
It's sucked up hours and hours of it--mostly reading other people's blogs. My own blog hasn't changed my life much at all. For a while it was fun to run contests but once I changed bloggers fewer people entered them.

And what is your favorite kind of nut?
Almonds. They're yummy. Or my middle boy, who's just about as nutty as they come.

whining about food

2.5 days of dieting and I wonder how people keep this kind of lifestyle up for years and years.

If I'm going to obsess about food, I want to ponder questions like:

Next time I hit Trader Joe's should I go for dark chocolate or maybe some of that chocolate with bits of orange peel in it?

Should I make chicken satay or chicken enchiladas?

I do not want to think of food as the enemy.

I liked my state of nonrexia, the opposite of anorexic. I've been operating along the lines of a typical male--that is when I think of my bod, I'm about 20 years** out of date. I think hey, I'm curvy. I'm fine. And then when I see myself in the mirror it's "HOLY CRAP, who is that???"

My solution has been to not have mirrors. It's not going to work any more because of the high blood pressure and other nonsense. I'm drinking nasty stuff and eating fruit and hoping it'll make me more Aware. It has, I am, and I want to go back to oblivion.

whine whine whine.

** Actually more like 15 years out of date. This all began with boy 1. Damned childbearing.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

bitchetty--More News From Us

Summer just got word that a novel will be released December 12 at Samhain.

Summer just got a 4.5 blue ribbon rave review from

Summer has just polished off writing the first draft of a novella she raaaather likes.

Kate works a lot more hours than Summer. She spends more time doing research, rewriting, rethinking reeeeewhatever. Granted the books are longer....but still. She's sick of this writing and not getting published.

Kate points out to Summer that Somebody to Love got a 5 blue ribbon rave review from ....several years ago. And, oh. It seems to have vanished from the site.

Kate started a fad diet a couple of days ago (fruit flush thingie) not to really lose weight but to jump start a real world diet.

Kate is well aware that to lose and keep off weight it requires a change in lifestyle blah blah blah. Boring.

Kate is grouchy. Kate and Summer want chocolate.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Summer Does New York

Oh. My. Heavens.

My smut writing alter ego is going to make it into print--she's in an anthology.

and not just any anthology. . . .

Summer's going to be in a Simon and Schuster Pocket book. Perfection, the first Summer story, is coming out with stories by Michelle Pillow and Kimberly Dean.

Ellora's Cave has struck a deal with Simon and Schuster for ten anthologies and my story is showing up in the second one. There's already a link! There's already an ISBN! It's five months away from publication! Hey! Wow! Hmmm . . . it's currently doing better in sales than Kate's books. (note to self: Amazon numbers mean nothing.)

Kate rushes over to give Summer a fake hug/kissie combo and is now wondering how she could ride in on the hussy's silk kimono tails.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

other people doing it fine

stole this from twistedmonk--click on it to make it readable.

and for this morning's appertif, might I recommend jmc's list of what she learned in romancelandia? Love them lists.

The Ja(y)nes just visit Scotland's version of romancelandia. They do it at Maili's place which is evil because Scotttttish Rrrrrrrromance makes the poor woman foam at the mouth.

Carry on.

Monday, May 22, 2006

an illustration for Lyvvie's SBD rant!

DeSalvo, watch out. There's a new pirate in town.

SBD -- the last word

This is cheating because I'm not the one who wrote the excellent last word on the subject of what makes the best book. But I think I get points for recognising genius, k? EAP is one of those people who could describe eating a saltine** and somehow transform every saltine henceforth into a totally new experience for her readers forever and ever, amen.

I got the idea of shifting perfection at once because she mentions The Very Hungry Caterpillar which was The Best Book for all three of my guys. And it was . . a BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY. Oops, gave away the end.

The best books? It all depends. Changes faster than New England**** weather. It's as hard to pin down as the dang weather, too.

Personal note: It makes me wonder when rrrrromance will turn into a very hungry caterpillar book for me. I might wake up one morning and only want to read non-fiction books about the political process.


**I've already had a transforming experience with those dull crackers.--when I was preggers, I ate saltines for the first 3-4 months each time, so that's about 13 months of eating crackers. No, seriously. I ate them without stopping. They were perfect because they had no flavor. I didn't want to eat, I just had to have stuff continuously going down so stuff wouldn't come up--and I didn't have to open my mouth wide to get them in (opening too wide was hazardous). Now boring=saltines...except I ate "ines", because there was no salt on them.

****Speaking of which, omigod it looks like>>>rain. cue: Kate, screaming, runs outside and shakes fists at sky. Two flats of waiting plants weep with frustration.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

it's raining

20 percent chance, the paper said. NO way, the computer told me. They lied. It's fucking raining. Sump pump city.

harumph, Linda Winfree

I was just off posting about books I wanted because of blogs I'd read...and remembered how I'd seen some of Linda W's work and wanted to read more.

I posted my message and wondered did I get her name right? Just to make sure I hadn't spelled it wrong, I trotted over to her blog and discovered. . . .She's sold.

Did she hop around the entire internet SCREAMING HER FOOL HEAD OFF? Nooooooo. A quiet little announcement LAST WEEK.

Honestly, these quiet reserved mature types.

(I wish I could remember where I put that note about wanting to read her stuff...)

UPDATE: I forgot the WOOOOWOOOOO! Part of this entry.
Congratulations, Linda!

this is so NOT me**

I'm only posting this over here because Doug didn't notice this picture from the cute animal site.

This is a cats'n'racks photo (that's how it's described at cute overload). And to be honest, the cleavage might bring me some traffic.

**We don't have a cat. I ain't perching the 80 lbs dawg between my boobs.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


BEA and RT are this weekend, and details are trickling in from emails and blogs.

Well, fine. Have fun and party you guys. As long as you remember to email me all the most interesting gossip, I'll forgive you for going and having a great time without me. I promise not spread the gossip, too.

It's not like I don't have a life. I had a fine old time this morning. I woke up at 4:30 and went to the huge farmer's market with a couple of pals (who were more awake at that time than I ever am. They hadn't even had coffee) and we bought flats of plants. Yessireebob. I know how to live....ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Today's big mystery: At 5 am there were people LEAVING the market with cars filled with produce and plants--but the thing opened at 5. Did they do that obnoxious early-bird yard sale thing?

It's a great scene: acres of asphalt covered with trucks and huge expanses of flowering plants and rows of potted bushes. Lots of sloppily dressed people milling around. Oh, and impossible-to-avoid puddles the width of ponds. My feet are soaking. [NO RAIN at the moment! ack--wood! I need to touch wood!]

* * * *

So one of the liburrral political sites I visit is dumping comments. I've seen deleting and banning before, but usually on conservative sites. No, really, I'm not being biased--conservative sites seem less interested in dissent or anger.

It's always depressing when people go past the point of snark into asshat, but I think censorship of non-ad hominem remarks is worse. Of course I haven't had hundreds of people come by and leave angry notes at my blog -- wouldn't that be a treat . . .BUT really, you'd think John, a guy who is gay and had lived with the nastiness of some of the phrases out there, would know better than to use a cutting phrase (he calls whiny politicians "big girls").

It's almost enough to make one want to leave a GCW (goodbye cruel world) post but not me. I have too many plants to get in the ground before the rain starts again. And it will start again. Oh, yes, my friend. It will rain again. (cue hysterical babbling laughter)

UPDATE: Yes. It rained. It rains still. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeee.

Friday, May 19, 2006

No slamming readers with message. . .

My mover and shaker (hi Lyn!) has me working on a story for another anthology. This one is supposed to involve fertility treatments. No going into details, but I think all the characters' treatments work but mine. My heroine is not going to have a baby. She just can't. No matter how often Lyn pleaded with me to get that woman preggers it didn't work.

I think this is in part because of my past: We spent five years of our life trying to have a baby. We did everything -- hysterosalpingograms (and no I'm not looking up the spelling on any of this stuff), two laparosopies, blah blah blah-- up to and including six months of clomid and IUI (and if you don't know it, you don't really care anyway). I met a whole lot of infertile couples during that time and remember a few of them in particular. We ended up succeeding and I've popped out my boys since. That didn't happen for several of the people I met and who had the same infuriatingly vague diagnosis of unexplained infertility. They had to resolve the situation another way (some through RESOLVE, actually).

I remember that for many people one of the first things to go -- after the first enjoyable year or so of trying -- is sexuality for fun. PFFFfftttt goes the sense of femininity and juicy fertility--an infertile woman can get loaded down with all sorts of un-PC crappola in her brain about herself her body her sexuality. Ugh. A man, too, I imagine but never mind that for this story.

Anyway, it seems that infertility and smut just don't go together. Heh. This is going to be a Summer thing and so once the heroine comes out the other side of it, still infertile, dammit, she'll have to have fun again.

Yeah, I'm writing escapist stuff, but for the first time, Summer is working with something slightly personal. It'll be interesting to see if she can swing it without getting at all dreely. Serious Issue Crud=Smut Escapism Killer

Thursday, May 18, 2006

he's good

My nephew's blog. I'm still not used to him being an adult, but there's no mistaking him for anything else.

Thursday Thirteen again and Western Rrrromance

I've abandoned all writing and indoor tasks to address the problem of the three-foot-high lawn**. But heavy clouds threaten so this is a fast post

I'm marching into Western RomanceLandia. Because of Wendy the Superlibrarian's recommendation and Suzanne Beecher's stupid online book thing ****, I went to Barnes and Noble Dot Com and bought these books:

I Do, I Do, I Do by Maggie Osborne
Redemption by Carolyn Davidson. (This week's online romance book. I want to find out how the hero ever becomes remotely appealing as a human)

A Quick Thursday Thirteen (typed out quickly before it starts pouring again)
13 Things I Hate About Rain

1. the puddle in the basement
2 the permanent fug of damp dog in the house
3 the mold
4 the pond in the other part of the basement
5 the neighbor's sump pump that smells terrible
6 the ruined pair of sandals
7 the need to use the clothes dryer more than usual
8 the tomato plants that drowned
9 the tomato plants that didn't but still need to get planted in what was a garden and is still a swamp
10 the far too luxurious lawn and huge dandelions
11 the cancelled soccer games (oh wait, I like that says the lazy mother.)
12 the window I forgot to shut.
13 cleaning up days and days worth of dog shit. Ew. Uck. (I saved the best for last, eh?)

**I've decided the current plan of ignoring it works well. I hereby dub the lawn SEP.

****It's not actually stupid--in fact it's cool. For five days in a row, you get excerpts from a book in the genre of your choice (she has a bunch). A new book every week. I call it stupid because:
1. she never used mine even though I sent them to her
2. I keep reading the excerpts and then buying more books. I don't need to buy more books.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Big local news!

It's not raining. (Uh oh. Clouds are forming even as I write. The little ray of sunshine is official blocked.)

* * * *

And what is it about older people who take pride in their clothing? I remember that from Ann Tyler's The Clock Winder--instant tear welling. It must be some sort of archetype.

When I was a kid, my mother collected people who had been abandoned. I don't know where she found them--I think some of them must have been from my aunt's half-way house. Ma had one guy, Stanley was his name, maybe? He dressed in a suit, every day. No matter what the heat, Stanley wore a suit. He didn't go in for personal hygiene though. When I was a kid, I dreaded his stinky visits. Now when I think about him, I feel tremendous guilt and the instant tear-welling.

I know if he showed up at my door, I'd let him in and give him tea (the local version, Mr. Chadour did just that) but I bet I wouldn't invite him to Thanksgiving, the way my mother did.

Ex-ec-u-tiv, Djud-i-shal, Ledj-is-lae-tiv

Whoababbeee, am I sick of those 96 questions (pages 61-66). They rattle around in my brain like pop tunes.

I made a tape of myself chanting them, but now I can't find the tape--I might have given it to Fikreta a couple of days ago--so it's back to live action today. We've gone through the first thirty, but as the ladies say, their brains were so rattled by war they have no memory. Or so they say.

The constitution is the supreme law of the land.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Quote of the Day

Books, like paintings and sculptures and three-minute pop songs, are cultural creations, not slices of soul sent out into the market place.

--Stephen over at SBTB

SBD--go down two spaces and a want ad

It's cheating, but it's so clearly a SBD, okay? Yesterday's entry, I mean.

I think I still want recommendations in these areas:

Western Hystericals (not Georgina Gentry or what's her name. Connie Mason.)
Western Modern, with humor if possible. No, I don't mean Hank the Cowdog.
Gothic Historical and Modern. I recently read Beast a gothic modern. It was okay...I finished it and that's pretty good right now.

Here's the want ad, and I'm seriously hiring (for seriously little money) . . this arose after I thought about SBTB and the AAR thing.

Grammar Czar for proofer. Someone who knows Her Stuff and doesn't mind examining the trees and ignoring the forest. (I don't mind comments about the big picture, but that's not what I'm looking for now.) I need to have someone flag:
ambiguous antecedents,
when I give a green-eyed person blue eyes,
which word I've repeated over and over and over,
when I've had a guy sit down twice without standing up,
where I've forgotten to put in "to". (For some reason, I miss the word "to".) [note that quote period combo? For some reason it's what the epubs want. You should know that sort of thing.]
All this and more! Punctuation,
Names that change,
Spelling--I want it all, baby.
BUT YOU must also know that it's okay to have casual style -- e.g. some phrases without subjects. This is ROMANCE, not a technical manual.
Oh, and you must not mind reading smut. I figure if you're here, you're okay with it.

I have great critique partner types, but I don't have an anal-retentive proofer (they're all employed by actual publishers) and God knows I need one. I can only pay about $100 for a full-length [400 page] book, and way, way less for the ebooks--but once we hit something over the 2K advances, baby, we'll go higher.

I'll need some kind of CV or recommendations or something. I won't take your word for it that you're the best in the biz because one HUNDRED dollars is a lot in this pathetic corner of the world. I'd give some kind of test, but I doubt I'd see all the mistakes that I'm supposed to catch.

the bookstore does look nice . .

I feel slightly possessive of Samhain because I've watched it since day one (and now because I have a book there).

The new improved bookstore is pretty--and everything is on sale, including LC, which is now the cost of a coffee at Starbucks, and I don't even mean anything with foam or a pseudo-italian name--well, I suppose grande or vente coffee is kind of Italian.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Romance, Traditional Regency

Even limiting to romance isn't going to work for me. Today we're doing Regencies, and I mean Traditional Regencies, not just Regency-set historicals. This is a currently dying genre (although it'll come back. It always does.)

Speaking of death and Regencies, a friend who writes the genre told me it's the most popular type of book among those who are about to drop off the twig. I can't remember if she meant that most of its readers are dying people** or if most dying people suddenly have the urge to read TRs. I thought bleeeeech, and then decided if it's true, that's a pretty important job for a writer, for god's sake. Gives me new respect for TRs as the ultimate escape literature.

ANYWAY...these were the first romances I picked up for pleasure (I read a few H/S because I was going to write one.) They're what I grabbed when I had to face other people dying, actually. Hmmmm.

Without much more ado, and not ANOTHER WORD about death, here we go for the big prizes:


Georgette Heyer is the Nora Roberts of the genre in that her titles don't stay out of print for long (even the ones that deserve to go away) you'll usually find more than one of her books on the shelves, non-readers might have heard of her . . . and so on. The big differences between Georgette and Nora? GH has fewer books and she's been dead other-than-alive for 32 years. And she invented the modern version of her genre. (Jane Austen was the first.)

Within trad Regencies, you got the fluff and the heavy. Or at least that's how I'm dividing it.


Overall winner? Barbara Metzger. She's a combination of Heyer and Wodehouse and the best of her Trad Regencies are fluffy and perfect. She's been forced into the longer books lately and they're okay, but they're not masterpieces, little gems of perfection, the way her TRs really, truly are. Instead of souffle (yes, I know someone said that about Wodehouse. Metzger too, dammit) we get scrambled eggs. Okay, but nothing spectacular.

Nonnie St. George flashed on the scene for a moment but then the genre was declared finished(again) and so we'll have to wait for her again--and for the best of Metzger. Gah, now I'm all depressed again. Whimper. [reaches for the Megan Frampton again]

Perfect timing for the . . .


There has to be some wit or what's the point of all those drawing rooms? I think there isn't really an obvious stand-alone genius, like Metzger, but I can come up with a raft of them. These are all people who I think do their best work in the shorter form. Since I say these names over and over, I'll pick one or two of my favorite books by them.

Mary Balogh--An Unlikely Duchess (even with the annoying heroine because it read like an Heyer to me) and A Precious Jewel just because it's so ...different.

Diane Farr--Fair Game and Once Upon a Christmas. I don't know which one I like better.

I was going to write Edith Layton, who's always on my keeper lists, but I think her longer books are her best. (Some of them, though I wouldn't pick the ones that shot her onto the bestselling world.)

I like a lot of Nancy Butler's stuff too, but none of her titles are coming to mind right away.

So come on, pick a traditional Regency writer you think deserves an award. If we get energetic make up a fancy title and send them certificates of appreciation. I'm wondering if these people want some sox or something.

If you can't think of any Regency writers, how about telling me your favorites in some genres I'm almost clueless about:

A Western (In the last few years, I've only have read Bodwell and most of a Whiteside)

A heavy duty Historical Gothick (I've only read Lydia Joyce. I have to get to the Eve Silver in my pile. . .)?


** and I suppose that means us all.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

today's reader questions

Inspired by Bam and Dick Cheney.
Bam really does take car naps at work. Wouldn't you worry about people tapping on the window and scaring the piss out of you?

That's not one of the questions. Here they are:
Do you take naps at work?
Where do you manage that?

Today's Categories. Two non-romance

Mapletree is coming up with the list of best books ever--at least in the last 25 years

I can't do it. I think I can come up with the worst ever, thanks to the bitches. (My votes were Bridges of Madison County and Atlas Shrugs. God, I hated BoMC. LOATHED it. I wonder if I reread it all these years later I still would.)

But the best ever--I can't seem to manage it. I can only come up with lots of categories and plenty of leaders in them.

I keep coming back to Perfume. You'd think I haven't read any other book, I talk about it so often, so I guess this one wins. I've actually read a bunch of books that set out to be scary and usually end up kinda gross (The Closer for instance). The Silence of the Lambs didn't keep me awake. And I laughed at that Hannibal book (it was read aloud on tape). I've read a bunch of Stephen King, and he succeeds. As my son said--too late for both of us--don't read his stuff while on vacation in Maine. But for some reason Perfume is stuck in my brain. Maybe because most of the books I've read are mainstreamy mass-markety and that one was slightly literary? Or maybe because it was flat out creeeeeepy.

There's no getting around the fact that any non-fiction about ebola virus, genocide or extremist politics is far worse (or better, depending on your POV) than fiction for scary.

For the last few years I've mostly read romance. I suppose I should stick to that?
Yes, but first. . .One more non-romance category:

Academic Funny Fiction.
People keep giving my husband the professor books about life in academia. There are some good books out there. Makes sense--writers hang out at universities. It's a strange world and fun to describe.

Two of my favorites are Moo by Jane Smiley and a book called The Big U by Stephenson. I think the winner for this group has to be Lucky Jim though. Moo is a close second. Oh, wait! It has to be written within the last 25 years?
Moo wins! The crowd goes wild!

Tomorrow: Regency. It was supposed to be underappreciated authors, but I couldn't think of any new names. Honestly I better start reading all of these lists other people keep making. Add to mine, too, please.

Friday, May 12, 2006

leftie alert -- plus an advertisement

I posted over at dailykos again--this time it was about my phone service. NAS phone snooping scandal got you down? You can go far left for a solution**. (So far left even my eyes roll at some of the causes they choose to support.)

We've had Working Assets for a long time. I lurve the service and not just because they do NOT charge us when I send in the bill late--and also not just because they gave us a free year of ice cream when we signed up more than a dozen years ago.

I mostly like it because when I call them up, I get a person almost immediately and they seem to actually care about our problems. When we have had nonsense with our local service accepting WALD as our in-state provider, after a few fruitless attempts on my part, the lady from WALD said she'd contact them for me. I warned her it would take more than a half hour on hold and she said that might be enough time to finish the cross stitch she'd brought to work with her. That big wheeze about customer service--how the employees are supposed to "own the customer's problem" --I think they actually believe that.

Plus I get a kick out of the fact that two of their employees chimed in about the kos blog (one emailed me). Yeah, I know it's what they do for a living, but they obviously give a damn about their work. I love that--in a phone company? One of them pointed out that the free year of Ben and Jerry's offer is still valid. My advice is to go for it, even though B&J's really good lemon passion fruit sorbet isn't available any more. Grrrr.


**A partial solution. They rent lines from Sprint, but hey look, they're looking into that whole thing for us customers. No really. Becky, one of my new WALD Connections, emailed me with this basic answer from that page:

"the story on Sprint is basically this. Sprint is our underlying carrier for both wireless and long distance. We have been making inquiries on this for the last couple of months, ever since the spying scandal broke. [a couple of months????] After the latest news broke on AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth helping the NSA to compile a massive database of call records, we contacted Sprint again. Spring assured us they did not participate (and this is consistent with their answer in a CNET news survey posted today where they are listed as a "No"). However, we continue to push for additional confirmation.Qwest is in somewhat the same box -- Qwest Wireless also has Sprint as the underlying carrier. An important difference between Sprint and Working Assets is that while we buy the minutes wholesale from Sprint on behalf of our customers, we don't give Sprint any of our customer information -- name, address, billing info. We just give them the numbers."

More about LC

I got this banner more than a week ago from Shay at sensualreads.

SHE made it for me. Isn't it the business? Learning Charity was her pick of best read of April. (I am so going to put that point in bold. Larger font? naw, bold should be enough.)

But the truth is I started up the ol' dashboard machine to blog about this LC review, not the raving review from Shay or the gorgeous button she made.

No, I had the urge to share the B grade from Bam**, because I swear to God it is the funniest review I've ever gotten and that includes the first one from Mrs. Giggles (Somebody Wonderful got a 72--which is pretty decent for Mrs. G but at the time I thought it was a full thumbs down.)

Bam's review made me laugh out loud and poke my sleeping husband and say "hey lissen to this, honey." Worth noting:

Her description of the cover (though I happen to like that cover, so neener neener, Bam. She's my skank ho).
Her description of ho sex.

And my favorite line:
"If you're looking for a quick, uncomplicated read during your lunch hour, go for this one. Or take a nap in your car. Both are good times."

But she didn't hate the book. See?
" . . . this book was totally refreshing for me. It was like... I don't know, a can of lime Shasta on a warm day!"

Since she brought up the idea of reading LC during a break from work, I would like to point out that book costs less than a Frappuccino tm at Starbucks. Heck, for the price of one of those drinks (at least in the West Hartford center's Starbucks), you can get LC and another Samhain quickie. Fewer calories too -- and you can look like you're working while you read it on your PDA or laptop.

Okay, the plug is over. Now I have to go back to the elegant life of a rrrromance writer and pump out the damned flooded basement again.

Oh and thanks again, Shay!


**Bam just reviewed Somebody to Love too, and gave it a B+ but I didn't have the urge to post that review. I guess because there aren't goofy names for sex in it. (which brings up my big personal question--when will I be adult enough to stop giggling at words like hoohoo?)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

so? This one is easy, dudes

1. Judge Kate Speaks. . . It's all clear to me. You send someone a book when they haven't asked for it, they can do whatever they hell they want with it.

I still have to accept the fact that even after they bought the thing and you wrote "to my best friend in the whole world xxoo" they can do whatever they want with it. They bought it. It's theirs. They can rip it up and feed it to the hogs and then describe the event in their blog.

The rioter in question must smile and nod and not whine except to her 120 closest personal writing friends in a loop. The 120 friends must castigate the reader and call her horrid names. No mention of this must ever be made in public. (please see incomplete authors' behavior guide here)

This reader will not go to hell. If she makes a habit of buying books and loathing them, her misery is its own reward.

Back to the ARCs for sale on the internet.

IF she is a reviewer you sent an ARC because she was on one of your long-ass lists AND she sells your ARC AND you catch it, AND that bothers you . . . don't send her another one. That's all you can do. You might warn the 120 closest writing friends but no one else.

And the 120 aren't required to get outraged on your behalf -- it's not a creative stab in the heart. Unless the reviewer rips your book and feeds it to the pigs to boot, you're probably not going to get the little (((((you)))) huggie things.

IF she is a reviewer AND she emails you begging for a free copy of the book AND THEN (after you craftily put a little number in a corner so you can identify it) you see that copy for can request that that reviewer be cast into the Opportunist Circle of Hell -- the one where all the pyramid schemers go.

You certainly shouldn't send her any more copies.

Writing assignment: describe this circle of hell.

I had one reviewer beg me more in multiple emails for a copy of a book -- and then she gave me a crappy review. I won't send her any more books, but I don't think she deserves to get cast into that circle. I got my closest personal writing friends' (((((Kate))))) [evil names piled on reviewer] and got over it. However, if I ever catch her selling that ARC on the internet . . .

speaking of inappropriate author behavior**

I have an extra ITMFA*** button. Want it?


**This comes under the heading of public image: political, obnoxious.
***Google it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Fun at Paperback Writer

It's a blast, writing rejections in the style of a particular author.

My favorite so far is by Jules:
It was the best of manuscripts, it was the worst of manuscripts. Well, if truth be told, it was simply the worst of manuscripts.

PBW herself does a bang-up job on Parker -- I just listened to a Spenser tape.**

But the Dr. Seuss and Good Night Moon kiss offs are pretty fabulous, too.


**WHY??? WHY do I do this to myself? Just hearing the words "Susan Silverman" make me crazy and I'm not talking happy crazy. Okay, I just remembered there's a good reason: the library has a bunch of Spenser tapes in stock.

The Husband Doesn't Read This Blog

. . . but maybe someone who knows him does. Could you share this Relationship Hint with him?

Groaning and saying in a quiet, disgusted tone "Oh, God," at the casual mention of upcoming occasions (mother's day, anniversary, birthdays) --these are not the responses one looks for in a life partner.

Except, hmmmmm, this ignore the occasion response (a link to last year's anniversary) seems to have served him well. Rather than force him to celebrate, I have given him absolution on the anniversary. Hell, might as well. It's like pretending you have control over a badly behaved dog--you see she's about to sit and you yell "sit!" then it looks like you Meant That to Happen. Anyway, he is not required to remember the event this year or any other. If I want flowers or champagne, I'll buy 'em (and I plan on getting the good stuff too). I'm even thinking of making dinner reservations** . He's off the hook.

However the pained expression and the snarl at any reminder of these occasions? This must cease. Instantly.

And before anyone feels too sorry for me, I should point out that the husband makes and brings me coffee every morning.

Although this morning he brought me decaf. (I've changed my mind...feel sorry for me after all. Very, very sorry. )

**Just not sure who I should take along. I don't like going out with Martyrs.

Monday, May 08, 2006

SBD, the tan-purple spectrum (bet you didn't know they were complementary colors?)

I'm on hold with Dell as the Fussy Laptop's latest problem is explored. Lots of flickering! Unhappy with power cord! New cord not working any better! **

I'm thinking about the latest romance I just read--a thick superromance with lots of family (cute kids and ornery old dad). I liked the hero a lot. The heroine wasn't bad either -- decent, hard working people.

But the circumstances of their coming together was coincidence. Then they were being swept along by something less than fate, more like being caught behind someone in the supermarket line. The story was better than the usual H/S and the characters were more pleasant than the bickering nostril-flaring group I've read lately. Maybe that's why the h/h struck me as bland--they didn't pick up each others' scents from across crowded rooms. I'm used to the awareness of vampires after reading too many over the top characters. Nice to have characters who don't scream I hate you and threatening each other with Death.

On the other hand, having outside forces like family*** and not life or death situations keeping them apart? It's just not rrrrrromance--more like women's fiction, maybe. I don't know what I want to keep them apart, but I do know it's dreary when it's the family--not what I want for my escapist fiction, and I don't even have any stepkids. I want them to say something along the lines of Your kid and my kid hate each other? Screw that. Let 'em! It'll take a SWAT team to keep us apart, babeee!

Anyway I hereby declare this brand of romance Tan, as in a nice shade of Oatmeal. And this particular book was GOOD oatmeal, too. I really did like that hero, a beta guy with a sense of humor. My favorite. Oh, hey, tangent time: after all these years, I should be used to that label, beta. No, I still hate it (hate it. HATE it. cue nostril flare) It still makes me think of those very alpha nasty fish.

After a steady diet of purple prose, this was a nice treat. But I think I usually crave something in between. Hmmm. Maybe a nice lavender? (Just not puce.)


** Uh Oh Update: The problem is the motherboard. The port for the AC is bad. GoddAMn this computer.
This will be the FIFTH time I'll have had a major problem with my dell. At least I won't lose the hard drive this time, I hope.

*** Of course when "family" means something along the lines of the Corleones or some brand of Royalty or Space Alien Shapeshifters then we're heading into the more purple possibilities.

human trafficking
competitive autocunnilingus
rim job
underage everything possible
Steven Seagal
big tushy orgasm
daisy dexter dobbs
see previous note for explanation

Friday, May 05, 2006

I stand firm

Worf made me. I took the pledge even though I don't know who Jeff Goldstein is and I am happy in my ignorance. No, stop it. I don't want to know.

I'm almost up to post number 400. Unbelievable! Time for a look back at the blog. What have I accomplished?
A shrinking reader base. I used to get about 200 hits a day. Now it's more like 70
More photos of wisteria than practically any other blog out there.
Occasional rants that are misinterpreted, ignored or mocked (best answer to nearly any rant, I say.)

Here's a fact you may not know: I have restrained myself. Despite the internal desire to tell all, I haven't once yet described one of my recurring George Bush dreams. I have them regularly. Usually we're on vacation and meet up with George. Last night my mother and I were on a cruise and George. . . Wait, stop! I almost described that GWB dream. Phew! I need to keep the record clean. I wish I was kidding about having these dreams. I'm not.

Hey I wonder how cheryl b is. These people who don't have blogs. How's the baby?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

walk to school

9 yr old: I have a new system. I'm reformatting my days. [note: 9 yr old is a geek wannabe. he uses lots of terms that sound technical and inserts strange numbers whenever he can. He is particularly fond of statistics, many of which he makes up...okay maybe he has a career as a politician?]

me: yeah?

9 yr old: Yes, the actual school time minus the non-school events. Take art -- I like art.

me: Who wouldn't? Ms. Reid rocks. I wish I could ta--

9: So that's 45 minutes. And then there's lunch and recess and library. Those are part of the formula.

me: Wow, look at those tulips.

9: [who has never allowed any interruption, ever. He really can't --he's the third child and just as chatty as the other two.] I'm thinking of retooling the other numbers as well. I mean adding onto those numbers, but only about hmmm five point five minutes per period.

me: [barely listening. I mean jeez, it's a matter of self-preservation. All three of them can and will talk for hours, usually about esoteric topics like Magic cards.] Uh huh. Dang, look at that. I think Annie grew four inches overnight.

9: That means....hmmm. Add the four. Carry the three. Hmmmm. I guess that means I should see you about 1:30

me: Huh? What? Today's a short day? Why?

9: No, that's the day reformatted. I've got fewer school hours under this system. Haven't you been listening?

me: See you at 3:20, kiddo. Give me a kiss or I'll call you my sweet widdle fluffernutterpeanut butter pie again. In front of your friends.

9: Noooo! Anything but that! Come on, no kiss. Hug yes. No kiss.

me: Kiss too or I'll talk about baby bunnies.

9: Fine, but make it fast.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

BSC reminds us

higher gas prices = goodbye disposable income = goodbye people buying new books. Well, she didn't say that exactly, but I took it to the logical, most depressing conclusion.

In other news, it's still raining and we still don't have a sidewalk. We do have four nifty orange cones.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I'm blogging at RU

but first I must rid myself of my unclean feminine scent. Now why is that so very much grosser than masculine scent? No, no, never mind.

I need to open the windows and let the lilacs (that are about a half a foot away from me) fill the room--literally since the bush needs to be trimmed. There are boatloads of flowers on all three huge bushes. And it's been hours since I mentioned the wisteria, right? It's only about ten feet away. Oh, and there are scathes of violets everywhere--between the bushes, all over the lawn (all volunteers). Their scent is less strong but I think it's even more wonderful. The tulips are blooming but they're a dead loss as far as smell goes.

Of course it's about 50 degrees, rainy and windy, but for a moment you wished you were here, huh? (Post Kate shower I mean.)

I think I'll blog about good author practices over at RU.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Did We Piss Someone Off?

Um, Mister? Why you ripping up our sidewalk? Guy says he doesn't have a clue. All he knows is he's got a piece of paper from the city that says the sidewalk in front of our house MUST go.

Anyone else on the block is getting their sidewalk removed? Nope. Hmm. . .I'd call City Hall, but as long as they eventually put something down again, I don't much care why they picked it up in the first place.

Since I went out with the camera, I took a picture of the wisteria, naturally. Last one of the season! I think.