Friday, June 30, 2006

if the SBTB don't come through with a title, I'll grant one

the lemur again because he is so unnaturally cute

I'll give Candy and Sarah til tomorrow and then I'll mess around and make an online button or something using the lemur with 'tude.

It'll have something to do with a bitch of a writer/reader in honor of the long week of snark, antisnark, metasnark and antimetasnark. What a long week.

And then I'll give the button away to some deserving person. Probably the one person who bothers to be blogging on a holiday weekend. The one OTHER person, I mean. Or maybe I'll forget to do it and eat too many hamburgers. Oh, hey, I still have a whole lot of beer, too.

UPDATE: FIVE minutes later Sarah SB posts. FIVE MINUTES. Clearly I have the bitches running in fear. Heh, fear me, bitches.

THE most embarrassing

Share your worst email moment.

Chances are it was the wrong person seeing the wrong email, like the time you wrote a letter complaining about your editor and sent it to your agent without noticing you'd cc'd it to the editor in question (this did happen to a friend of mine.)

So what the heck--your newly-ex-boyfriend already saw that note about the size of his penis you meant to send to your best friend--why not tell us about it? The note, not the penis, although feel free to discuss that.

I decided this could be interesting after reading Lauren Dane's comment a couple of posts down.

My moment: the goopy note I sent to my husband . . . and everyone else on my email list. My bosses. My family. Everyone.


why did I put this picture here?
Because I flipping like it.

The picture exudes major cuteness and attitude from a newly discovered lemur that just wants to be goddamn left alone.

You don't like it then go click on the exploding head video or something. [Blast you, Doug--you're the one who posted that stupid video, right?]

the article about the newly discovered lemurs.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

summer's new cover and the story of a goober

No, I don't know the release date. Yes, I actually do like this cover.

the goober story:
I got the cover yesterday while I was on the phone talking to another writer about her story, which is part of an anthology I'm working on.

Oh sweet jeeebus, as we talked, my stomach sank.

Her story features a heroine who occasionally disappears, literally. The heroine in Invisible Touch also has intermittent visibility problems.

I hadn't made the connection because frankly, the stories are so very different. It didn't occur to me that it could be a problem. I mean I've known about her story for months now, and this Summer story for even longer. It never crossed my mind that maybe she should know . . .ummm. I errrr. probably should have told her about my story? Uh oh.

As soon as I hung up from the conference call, I composed a long apologetic email about how I really should have said something, but it didn't occur to me and oh, I'm so sorry. The email was headed "bless her heart, she's sweet but not that bright." (The author is Southern and had explained the proper usage of the "bless her heart" during the conference call yesterday. )

I waited.
I fretted.
Not a word from her yesterday. Nothing today. NOT A WORD of response.

Oh, no, she is so pissed off, she can't even bring herself to write to me. What have I done? A fine writing relationship broken up because I was an airhead!

I finally went to see what could have been offensive in the email. and saw. . .I'd sent it to the other writing partner but hadn't sent it to her. Oh heavenly crackers, just what I need: more proof that I really am a goober.

Bless her heart, she's sweet but just not that bright.

Right. Maybe it's not that funny, but my stomach still hurts from laughing, okay? Or maybe you had to be there with me, waiting, fretting, constantly checking the email for her answer.

Thursday thirteen. 13 things I got wrong

1. I didn't really want girl babies. Good thing too.

2. I should have visited the parental units more often.

3. I should have gone to Israel with Joan instead of going to Camp Rim Rock.

4. The article I wrote years about a murderer could have rocked if I'd overcome my wimpiness and interviewed the 88-year-old surviving girlfriend.

5. I should have written up the notes from all the interviews of D-Day survivors. The article was canceled so I didn't and now I can't figure out where I put the notes.

6. I should have interviewed my dad the way I did my regular interviews.

7. I should have kept up the dang piano lessons.

8. That test I took about 30 years ago--shouldn't have cheated.

9. I should have insisted Gretchen sell me her John Lennon and Yoko Ono signatures (with scrawled drawings) that she got from the Moskowitzes when we were 10. She lost it, but that's her list.

10. I'd done more spectacularly stupid things in my life so this list would be more interesting. If it's in the past, I wouldn't care, right?

11. Getting drunk that one time. Eeewww. Yuck.

12. Oh, the time I stayed at Hannah Beck von Rath's house--I should have done a better job of looking at the art and less of the restless teenager thing.

13. Wasted time, still an ongoing concern. hmm. I suppose rereading books counts? Or umm...reading silly threads?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Definition of success

The newly published author thinks** Yowza!! I Have Succeeded As a Writer!

But then she quickly discovers that people expect her to write and sell MORE books. Okay, that's nice dear; what's next? says the unimpressed world.

And so she goes on a search to discover what on earth constitutes success. Using her knowledge of the published person's secret handshake, she goes straight to those who know these things.

"Five books," is a standard answer. "Once you've got five books out, you're considered established."
"No, more like ten," a well-established author corrects.
"Hell, I've got 25 out and I'm still struggling to get contracts," grouses another.

I think I got my answer today and it's out in the open for anyone published or unpubbed to see. When your worries match PBW's, you can consider yourself a success: Paperback Writer worries about a legacy.


**I vaguely recall thinking this--for five minutes or so.

* * * * *

I know you're dying to know so I'll tell you. Yes, it's raining again hard. Gah.

But I think I can consider myself a success as a blogger because Colin McEnroe actually answered my fan-girl post. Swoon. Figures he'd live in The Rising Star city itself.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

tuesday's boring

To a local columnist:

Every day and (in nearly) every way I love you more and more. You are teh bomb and I think West Hartford needs to put up a "Proud Home of Colin McEnroe" sign. Maybe instead of those flowers at the end of the Park Road exit?

Actually you might live in Avon or something, but I still say we should claim credit for you.

It's not raining.

Monday, June 26, 2006

be afraid

by way of doug,
by way of erin,
mr. toast shows us the downfall of Western Civilization. Playboy women = Barbie but with even less crotch definition. I'd say "not work safe," but you tell me: what part of this picture applies?

Click on the picture. Make it larger. There is NOTHING DOWN THERE.

my characters are boring me SBD WAS going to be something else

I was going to go on about Mary Balogh's tendency to have a character pretend to be two different people and sleep with their clueless love interest as both people which is a plot device that nearly makes those books wallbangers (and I love MB. She respects her characters, even the ones that don't really deserve her kindness). As a device, it's even more hellacious than the Misunderstanding that can be cleared up with a good long conversation.

but oy, the only writer I can snark is myself. Omifreekinggaaaaack. I do not respect this current crop of inventions. My characters! The people are dull! They are putting me to sleep! I don't know how to get away from their evil boringness! ACCkkkk. Even if I put them in danger, and then double the danger and triple it--boring!

Here's how bad it is: the anonymous passionate whiney writers are far more interesting than these civilized people in my story.

I hate them! (The characters) I want someone to tell me how to make them less boring. Help. Help No, forget telling me. Forget my growth as a writer and all that. Just wave a wand and whammo, they're no longer ZZzzzzzzz material.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I blame the rain

1st thing I did wrong: not follow my own advice and avoid blogs that make me roll my eyes.
2nd thing: pay attention to people who are clearly in pain and venting.
3rd thing: answer them with anything other than "I'm sorry you're so upset."
4th: use my own name. [stupid author behavior! STUPID]
5th: expand here:

Listen. I know from unpopular girls. I was one right through 11th grade (when I figured out I didn't really give a damn. Who cares what other people think? And suddenly I had some friends.) Cliques don't acknowledge the presence of non-members.

Here's the test in person:
You see some people standing in a circle talking. You walk up. If they drift away, or if they keep on talking even after you say hello--without saying hello or smiling--you're dealing with a clique. Hello to all you chic playground moms! See you in the fall, although you probably won't see me because I'm invisible.

Here's the test in a blog:
You disagree the owner or her friends? Oops, your message is erased. You don't understand the topic? You ask questions and are ignored. . .See? Pretty easy tests.

The bitches are equal opportunity bitches. All are welcome to snark and defend themselves and never have I ever seen any post dumping. Eye rolling? Sure. But they can take it as well as dish it out. Just check out some of the back and forths with people they disagree with. Back and forths. As in conversation.

There. I'm done. Unless I can think of some other way to traipse around the internet and trash my career. Any suggestions? Leave them below. I promise not delete them.

and he says he's trying to cut back on politics, too

How come Doug gets all the interesting reader mail?

whinging and what a dull topic

I did it yesterday at RU about rain. Goes double today. There's some earnest rain at the moment--none of this piddling meh drizzle.

What's the weather like where you are? And don't tell me You're One of Those People who hardly notices the weather and it never affects your temperament. I'll snarl and rip your head off. Unless you live in southern California where there is no weather to notice, and where I couldn't reach you anyway.

mike is in kitchen making pancakes. He just shouted out the door oh for crying out loud, stop, STOP.

Friday, June 23, 2006

chew it up then spit it out

For most of the last decade, the "s" word for our kids has been "shut up" not "shit." But then, to prove a point about something, two of the kids did the "you shut up, no you shut up, no you shut up" back and forth for a wicked long time. They get into again occasionally so now I don't hear those unheated doofy exchanges any more. Shut up is no longer a phrase that ellicits a gasp around here. Is that good? bad? mixed, probably

But maybe we should follow that "no you shut up" example and take this guy's advice about one word ** that is never spoken here by any of us, old or young, human or dog.

The N. Word.

We do not say this word. We will occasionally say fuck and shit (accompanied by an absentminded "no, stop saying that" from an adult) and other sorts of nasty words, but rarely insulting words and never, never, never the N. Word. Maybe we could render it less potent by using it? That's the guy's advice:

If you say the word 'nigger' enough times, then like every other word you repeat, it becomes just an absurd collection of meaningless sounds, stripped of any emotional baggage (Love strippers. Hate emotional baggage) . . .

When I was a kid, I got called nigger. I hated it. But then, one day, something happened. I stopped being a nigger. (Punched somebody hard) That was a long time ago. And I stopped being offended by the word "nigger" a long time ago, too. Because I stopped believing in magic a long time ago. . . .

The longer you chew the word nigger, the less flavor it has. Just like bubblegum.

I considered this for a while and decided that if our family had black members in it, this would make sense. I'd want to decrease its power to hurt my kids. But since it's not a weapon used against us, no point in blunting its sharp edge around here. We'll stick to the "no you shut up, no you shut up" since God knows we're a bunch of talkers.


** It's dailykos, but it's not really political


magarita mix
triple sec
chocolate sauce

Yup. Got the supplies for the Last Day of School party.

The final bell of the year rang (actually more of an annoying buzz) and the screaming kids could be heard a block away. . .

Thursday, June 22, 2006

note to an author responding to a rotten review

If you can't be like Kim take these steps instead:

1. Write your response. Delete it. No, it doesn't matter that you think your response is funny. It will contain at least a seed of bitterness that makes you look like a goober.

2. Focus on one of Monica Jackson's Author Calming Visualizations. Hmmm. Can't see it at that link but there should be references to it all over the place. I chose to go outside my species for my visualizations. Here's my favorite: I call it "Messageboard/Blog Regulars Go Wild and Stampede Because of One Teeny-Tiny Stupid Remark by a Newbie Author."

3. Remember one of the basic author's truths as revealed by PBW: The words "Your constructive comments are truly appreciated" translate to Oh, blow me.

Thursday Thirteen--Summer Ambitions

I never have high expectations. This summer I hope my boys:

1. buy at least one (but no more than two each) ice cream things from the truck that plays "It's a Small World After All." Way more obnoxious than the Good Humor truck of my heyday, but it's still tradition.

2. play Ghosts in the Graveyard in the Flander's front yard at least four times.

3. at least try home-grown tomatoes and other summer fruit. All three of them are terrible about fruits and veggies.

4. wave sparklers, writing their names in cursive, and not put out anyone's eye or drop the hot sticks on the grass.

5. swim more than 13 times using the over-priced pool passes we got.

6. not get splinters in their bare feet.

7. sit on the porch and read by their own volition--and remember to put the books inside when they decide to eat popsicles and sit under the sprinkler instead.

8. see a summer matinee movie and exclaim about how they forgot it's still daylight as they come out of the air-conditioned dark.

9. catch fireflies in the back yard (and bring them into the house to show a parent and oops, there goes the firefly and there goes the dog to eat it).

10. speaking of the dog, wash her using the garden hose. It's been done with mixed results and very, very wet kids.

11. NOT say "I'm bored" more than four times in a 24 hour period.

12. not step on a slug or if they do, at least please God, not so it goes between the toes.

13. still get a kick out of setting up the tent and camping in the yard because I'm not camping anywhere else. (and not being awakened by the garbage trucks before five am if they do sleep out back)

bonus point: If we do go to NYC and meet Megan for fun, they do not tell me to shut up in front of anyone in public.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

If flan is too much work. .

and you want a goopitty** sweet bit of food.

put a half handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a bowl.
nearly melt them in the microwave.
add one sliced banana to nearly-melted chips
put back in the microwave for 5-60 seconds, depending on your idea of banana-moosh heaven.

remove from microwave, stir.

optional: add frozen trader joe raspberries for their contrasting cold firmness and slightly tart flavor. Do not thaw them or they get everything too wet.

If the resulting dish is too ugly for you (and yes, it is ugly) use spray whipped cream to cover it all.

If you want to get ultra-sophisticated, you can splash in a bit of some kind of fancy-ass liqueur. I haven't done that but sounds good, doesn't it? And if you don't think this dish contains enough calories, I bet a spot of butter or heavy cream heated with the chips will remedy that problem as well as add un peu richness.


**gloopy for you cogniscenti out there

why I have sweetened condensed milk in the pantry

image stolen lifted from the internet. But it looks like the stuff I make, only mine doesn't usually flip out of the pan as nicely.

Yowza, flan = easy and good--the world's best comfort food. Hardest part of the process is carmelizing the sugar.

Preheat oven to 400 F

Mix these things in a bowl:
3 eggs
1 can of sw. condensed milk. NOT EVAPORATED MILK, ya goobers! You can use the skim version of SCM, by the way--if it makes you feel better about yourself. Makes no difference to the taste.
3 cups regular milk (we use skim because that's all we have)
2 tsp vanilla which I always seem to forget but it tastes okay anyway.

Melt 1 cup sugar til it's brown and way too hot. You have to stir it the whole time! Don't walk away! Just put the cup of sugar in a heavy sauce pan, turn on heat and stir, stir, stir. If there are any lumps? You're not there yet. Be patient. Stir, stir, stir

Pour molten lava sugar carefully into a mold (I spray-fat the pan first), coating the sides of the pan with the sugar and then pour egg stuff carefully onto sugar gunk.

Put mold into shallow pan of water (water should reach at least halfway up the mold) and bake for about an hour. Your flan should be golden brown and mostly set. Not completely set is okay because it'll keep cooking after you take it out.
Refrigerate if you have patience.
Before serving, flip onto a big plate. Scoop out the caramel glaze that doesn't drip out with the flan.


there are lots of variations of this--with a lot more eggs and funky goat milk. This is easy and yummy. Celoni, who taught me this recipe, puts drained canned madarin orange slices on hers.

Monday, June 19, 2006


1. I'm getting sick of the dumb active x thing on my blog page. What's with that? Why won't it just take my word for it and let the issue go?

2. the bushwa over at Karen Scott's place? Not a lot of interesting arguments put on the table, mostly just indignation. But Karen in a huffy snark is fun. A couple of the nicer writers I know (and that's not snarky, Charl) are worried about the whole sense of writers vs writers or vs readers--the whole kerfuffle feel of it--but I don't think these flare-ups leave a bad taste longer than a week or so.

3. I don't buy the argument put forth that e-books all have rotten covers. Check out I Nefertiti at Loose Id, pointed out by Bam. Yummy! And I like my Learning Charity cover even if Bam thinks she's got a big head and weird hands. I think that was also Bam. I'd go look but I'm too lazy. Threaten me if I got it wrong, okay? Better still, leave a lot of posts about what a bitch I am. I want some traffic to this damn blog and I see that Karen got over 48 posts about that whole Changeling Press thing.
UPDATED: Weird. I'd posted something like this remark at Karen's (using the same examples because damned if I'll go look for nice covers though I know they're out there) and it appeared about an hour later. Maybe Karen's doing some kind of holding the messages to make sure there are no death threats in them?

4. I made hot fudge sauce that's turning into a staple here. Luckily the husband, who runs five miles a day and has a fast moving metabolism, is the one eating most of it. Easy easy:
can of sweetened condensed milk,
couple of teaspoons corn syrup (that seems to help make it hard when it hits the ice cream),
3 oz of unsweetened cooking chocolate.
Some water to make it the right texture for you. Heat it all up. Add some vanilla. Use on ice cream. Yum.

5. I can't help thinking of Doug's recipes that are so complex. He can just bite his b'sarillo if he thinks mine are red neck unsophisticated.

6. Do you think insulting his recipes or assuming he'll look down on mine will create a stir here? and give me some of them sanctimonious posters racing to his defense? One can only hope.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Two of My Kids Write Stories Together

So tell me. Should I worry?

The Start To a Short Story by Alex (who is bored) and Andrew (who is avoiding studying for a test)

Let me get one thing straight. I always wanted to be a potter. I’ve always thought that I could do much better in that vocation than say, oh, a tyrannical sorcerer. I’ve always enjoyed the quiet life. True, I’ve also enjoyed inflicting serious pain in others. There was that time I bit that other boy’s ear off in fifth grade. He gave me a look that I didn’t like. So I bit his ear off. When I was young, my mother died in a tragic accident. I was aiming the goddamn crossbow at my father. But I got him with the second bolt. This kind of thing just comes naturally to me. As a result, I was cast out onto the street, with no job and no parents. They broke my crossbow, too.

My name is Nathan Hands. If I had friends, they might call me Nate. Or, perhaps Handy. Until I would have killed them for being unsatisfactory companions. If I was in a good mood, I might just have inflicted serious and extremely traumatic pain on them. Don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not lonely or misunderstood. I’m evil. That’s why I never made it as a potter. I kept trying to stuff clay down the other boys’ throats. After a few days at potter school, I was sent to a correctional facility for psychopathic youngsters. However, this “facility” turned out to be a façade set up by an evil sorcerer to attract young apprentices.

The early years were difficult. I didn’t learn much magic. A fire-bolt there, a ball of all-consuming oblivion there, that sort of thing. Some of the boys really took to it, though. I recall one of them cornered me, and threatened to summon a voracious nether-beast if I didn’t give him my lunch money. So, I stabbed him in the eye, and took his lunch money. Sorcery is ok in the proper time and place, but I prefer pointed objects made of metal in a pinch. Eventually, all the other boys at the school were dead, incapacitated, insane, or banished to the nether hells. I noticed this when the line for lunch got much shorter. It struck me as odd at the time; I hadn’t killed that many of them. They must have killed each other without me. Pity about that…
I was sent to the headmaster’s mansion, near the edge of the school grounds. It was there that the evil sorcerer revealed himself to me, and informed me that I had won an apprenticeship under him. Initially, I didn’t want to be his apprentice. I simply wanted to be a potter. However, his argument was very persuasive. For a split second, he moved every single molecule in my body independently of one another. It hurt quite a bit. I decided to become his apprentice. It was that, or die in the most painful way imaginable. I’d been his apprentice for about three years when this story begins.

In that time, he had unlocked my creative side, and I had devised literally thousands of ways to kill people or to inflict massive pain. This was partially thanks to my master’s large army of people who got paid to stand around, and have our rage vented on them. No point wasting perfectly good underlings with that kind of thing. There was also the myriad of adventurers, questers, do-gooders, and heroes who tried to kill my master. These attempts, whether made by experienced questers or insane men with sticks, inevitably failed.

Of course there was this one hero I don’t like to think about. This hero was pretty standard: tall, handsome, square jawed, muscular, in armor, riding a big horse and carrying quite a large blade. His apprentice was around those lines, only more so. The hero was killed, of course. But the apprentice was able to escape. That was my fault. It is my job to take care of the apprentices of the heroes. However, I failed to do so under extremely embarrassing circumstances that still keep me up at night. My master was less than pleased. It is shortly after this incident that this story truly begins. It begins, as most do, with an epic hero and an evil antagonist, facing off on the field of battle…

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Class Act Du Jour

We have another contender for the Authors Behaving Beautifully category (standards described here, sort of)

The review of Kim Holt Whitlock's book was not complimentary, but read down to her low-key fine responses. And then there's a mention in her blog, too.

Authors who interact with the Big World and get burned**? Read, learn, remember.

(okay, okay, now please shut up, say Kate and Summer)


** in other words, all of us.

WARNING politics, again.

An earlier draft of Mr. Bush's radio speech that was delivered 6/16/06:

Bush: New Orleans Iraq must know it won't be abandoned

It was important for the Iraqi people of New Orleans to know after three hundred years of existence war that "America will not abandon them after we have come this far."

I traveled to New Orleans Baghdad to personally show our nation's commitment to a our precious heritage free Iraq, because it is vital for the people of Louisiana Iraqi people to know with certainty that America will not abandon them after we have come this far," Bush said in the radio address.

The challenges that remain in New Orleans Iraq are serious.

* * * * *

OKAY, to BE FAIR, President Bush flew into New Orleans on 6/10/06 and promised to help them.

He vowed to rebuild the levees and not let those nasty congresspeople cut the monies. Actually the speech was similar. **

That's his schtick: show up for 1-6 hours and vow not to allow anyone to cut the support and the funds.

So really, the basic questions that remain are:

  1. What funds? How many generations does he plan to rob for these ten-minute fly-by promises he's making?
  2. When's he going to fly into Afghanistan and make this speech?
  3. Has he started writing his Promise to (destroy and) Rebuild Iran Speech yet?


**Glad to hear he did that for New Orleans. Seems appropriate because it's part of the actual country of which he is president.

from my dailykos diary, which also had an article from Picayune which I won't bother putting here.

Friday, June 16, 2006

wilder than I thought, or, rebels without a clue

Wait, wasn't everyone like that back then?

I keep having those moments. I figure everyone about my age--the people who hit twenty or so just before AIDS, and that's key, really--had the same experiences as I did. Turns out there are fewer of us than I thought. Or maybe many of us are now pretending it didn't happen that way because we have kids and don't want them to know the truth.

Didn't everyone my age buy good humor bars when we were kids? Didn't we all capture fireflies in bottles to send to NASA only to find out that if they ever did buy fireflies it was a decade earlier? Didn't we all try pot at some point? The RA at our dorm had a bong chart on his door, dang it. Didn't we all hitchhike at least once? Didn't most of us lose our virginity when we were fourteen or fifteen? Weren't we all involved in at least one unenthusiastic orgy? (Defined as three or more people, I guess.)

We all had to try something like 'shrooms at least once and spend the night feeling gross and wishing the colors on the Indian bedspread would stop squirming. Sure, and we all had at least one one-night-stand (Mine turned into a marriage that's lasted 21 years so far, but it was supposed to be a one night stand. I didn't learn his last name until a couple of days later when I called him at work looking for "Mike" and was asked which one? Oh.) We all went to the beach with a car load of people and ended up necking with someone whose first name we didn't know and never found out. We only stopped because the police showed up.

Come on. Admit it. You know you got too drunk at least once, too. The good thing is, you got so sick, the guy trying to feel you up lost interest and took you home. And if he was a professor? You never took a class with him even if you were interested in the subject because it would be Too Horrible to look at him. Not because of embarrassment (not in those days, not at that school) but because it's like the taste of Southern Comfort. His face gave you flashbacks to nausea.

Here's the thing: I was never wild.

No, really. I wasn't popular and I'm a physical coward. I wouldn't even jump on on the chair for PE. I got in trouble in class because I wouldn't try. (Didn't we all have to jump on the chair for PE?) But when I hear other people talk about their teen and early twenty years, I realise whoa, momma, I was some reckless woman!

Who knew? I thought I was like everyone else, only less so. Must have been art school or something. Or maybe my memory is less selective? You guys are pretending you never were idiots when you were young. Or I'm making things up?

Heh. Speaking of making shit up, I think I'll go put in one lie and you'll never know which one it is. That way I can save the shreds of my reputation, as if I cared. But the thing is, back then we all did this stuff. And it wasn't considered immoral. Really. We might have been considered stupid, maybe by older people and our smarter peers, the ones who were exceptional. Exceptional, get it? As in they were not the rule? We were normal. It was different back then, dammit.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I can't heeeeeeeeeaaaaaarrrrrrr youuuuuuu

I have my fingers in my ears and I refuse REFUSE, do you understand??? to get depressed about this biddy getting a contract to write erotic romance.Thanks, I don't think, Ms. SBTB bitches.

"They offered a huge deal and I like the idea of seeing my book on a shelf. The plot's top secret so far but let's just say I have a wild imagination."

I am so NOT LISTENING . . .

and then there are videos like this one

they make me damn proud to be an American--a "mint-powered version of the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas." The music is fun.
500 Mentos and 200 liters of Diet coke. . . = a fast snap back from misery

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

okay again

Didn't even take til Thursday. I locked myself in the bathroom for a while but I'm better now, thanks. Looking at pictures of cute Livvy helped. So did reading this commentary from my local paper.


I swear to God, I'm filled to the brim with the misery of refugees and at my busiest I only work a couple of days a week. Meeting the shells of people who've lived through wars and terror--these are the healthiest of survivors, too--would turn anyone into a pacifist. Anyone. Maybe even Dick Cheney, after some drug therapy to turn him into a human first. Every few months I've had enough. I'll be fine on Monday or I'll quit--but I'm always fine on Monday.

I don't know how Doina and others can do it 60 hours a week. I don't understand how people who do it full-time for years and years stop themselves from marching to the White House and handcuffing themselves to the fence until some idiot in charge makes it stop, or at least tries to make it stop.

Every politician who doesn't actually make an effort toward peace should be forced to meet the damned collateral damage they're responsible for and apologize face to face. No press allowed. Oh, and politicians should stop just shaking hands. They should use those hands to change some dressings on wounded soldiers. And forget fundraisers that go on til the wee hours. They should sit up all night with someone who's lost her family. Never mind the grip and grin opportunities on a weekday, they should go stand in line for someone who needs medication for a war that ended years ago and who is still so damaged he can't hold stand in that line for more than five minutes before panicking and needing to go hide.
They have to meet what they've done and live with it for a while. Lucky them, they'll get to walk away and go on with their well-established, barely interrupted lives in the country that hasn't been bombed beyond recognition.

Okay. Time to drive some healthy, happy, well-adjusted and whiney kids around.

The photos come from here. Not for the faint of heart, but hell, no one asked the people in the photos if they were up for the harsh realities of a war. . .Oh yeah. These images should cover the walls of every posturing chicken hawk pol's office.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Fine. Here is the list of orgasms and authors

Stephen did pretty well on his guesses!
He wrote

1. Moby-Dick by Hermann Melville
2. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
3. One of the Left Behind books by Tim Le Haye (they all seem to be the same to me)
4. The Well of Loneliness by Radcliffe Hall
5. Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
6. The Virginian by Owen Wister
7. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
8. The Ballad of the Sad Café by Carson McCullers

All from the unexpurgated versions, of course

ALMOST Stephen. It was actually The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by McCullers. I went for authors' most popular works, see. Oh and seven? Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Or maybe Godless by Ann Coulter, which is number one at Amazon, God help us all. (talk about real pornography.)

Anyway, no way anyone can do better than Stephen's guesses. So the other set of real answers are. . . .

1 Joy Nash--romance
2 Bonnie Dee--erotica (I think. Could be romance.)
3 Robin Schone--erotica (it's the woman's 10th? 11th? orgasm that night)
4 Karen Monk--romance
5 Summer Devon--erotica
6 Lori Foster--erotica
7 Kate Rothwell--romance

(All of the romances are historical.)

update one: Hmm. Maybe I'll go put this list on the comments section of that post so you know what the heck I'm talking about.

update two: While Stephen did a fine job of guessing some answers, I'd say FIONA did the best job of guessing the real answers.


me: Talk like a gypsy.
boy: Huh?
me: I want to enter this guy's contest on his blog and have to talk about gypsies.
boy: What about gypsies?
me: I have no idea either. [I was going to mention the Singing Tree and how annoyed I was by it when I was a kid because of the way-too-perfect heroine who had my name, but she was Hungarian. Not Rom (or is it Roma? Is that plural only).]
boy: Yeah, so? Why bother?
me: So how about you say something that makes you sound Rom. Or maybe like that guy in the movie we watched. Everything is Illuminated. I do this, we might win music from that movie.
boy: That music ROCKED.
me: Yup. I have to discuss gypsies in my blog and--
boy: Menny gurlz wish to be carnal with me.
me: Okay. Good enough.
boy: On account of my premium dancing. Haff jew seen my seeink eye beech? Hey beech! Do you know I am carnal with many gurlz? I disseminate much currency so as to be carnal with many gurlz.
me: Enough!
boy: Hey leetle broozer, do you know many gurlz--

The boy continues to use the words "carnal" and "beech" as many times as possible in a really bad sort of Eastern European accent.

He did this for a long time. We suffered for this entry, Douglas. We better win.

Monday, June 12, 2006

No, I am not going to tell you

Until at least two people post their guesses about which writer wrote which orgasm. So don't even bother to ask. Just Guess, dammit.

SBD pity the poor smut writer (not G rated)

Doug did that search for orgasms a while back--not enough people found good samples for him. But back then I went looking for some on my bookshelf.

Jeepers, how many ways can you describe a glorified sneeze?

Anticipation, growing awareness, the inability to retreat, the body seizes control. The body seizes . . . ah ah ah ahaaah TCHOO.

Stars! Falling to pieces! Seeing heaven! (Stars!) I think I'm going to go find some books, and write the orgasms. You guess who wrote which. And guess if it's marketed as erotica or romance. I'm taking out proper names in the writing selections--in case some of you have actually read some of these.

Except for the Kate and Summer stuff, I didn't actually LOOK. I just grabbed some books I had on the shelves (or on this computer). Turns out my shelves are filled with long, breathless descriptions of Basic Reproduction: Step One. Here are some of the shorter ones.

1. She clung to him as the final shattering crash of pleasure broke over her. He cried her name and braced himself on rigid arms as his hot seed spilled into her womb. . .They existed for a glorious moment as one being, entwined and complete for all eternity.

2. She bucked up against his mouth, her orgasm coming quickly and taking her by surprise. She arched against his restraining hands at her hips then came down with a jerk on the bed. Light pulsed behind her eyes. Sparks from her clitoris shot through her nerve endings to her entire body. The pleasure was so intense it hurt and she let out a high-pitched yowl then subsided into sobbing gasps.

3. At the same time another orgasm slammed through her body. A voice cried out. She didn not know who it belonged to, her or him. His heartbeat was hers, her flesh was his, the orgasm that ripped through them was theirs.

4. Suddenly he was falling, down and down, into a vortex of darkness and light. He cried out, a cry of ecstasy and despair, because he knew when it was over she would retreat from him once more.

5. Her legs clamped his waist and she gave a gruff little cry—she sounded less amazed than before. More of a purr of satisfied recognition.
Ah good. Her inner walls clutched tighter, throbbing, pushing him to the edge. He loosened his control and let himself fly as he thrust into her. The last time.

6. He exploded. His own shout was harsh and filled with satisfaction. He pressed his face into her neck, filling himself with the scent of her, holding her as close as he could manage without hurting her.

7. And then at the very second she nearly screamed aloud with frustrated need, the rush of relief crashed through her. "Oh! That's it," she gasped.

a. Unexpected Lori Foster
b. Every Whispered Word Karen Monk
c. Celtic Fire Joy Nash
d. Somebody Wonderful Kate Rothwell
e. Gabriel's Woman Robin Shone.
f. Seasons of Love Bonnie Dee
g. Futurelove Summer Devon

Friday, June 09, 2006

oh no. . . another must-read blog

Liddy Midnight's right. These crabby cows are addictive.

Not going to Long Island

I figure I should put on a dress and behave like grown up every now and then. A professional grown up! With that in mind, I'd signed myself up to go to the Long Island Romance Writer's Luncheon, a rhaaather nice event. Been two or three times and it's always interesting.

But . . . Earlier this week the grunge hit us and I'm still recovering. And okay, there's panic/phobia/whatever involved.

I have to do penance, otherwise I'll worry that I'm slipping back into full-blown agoraphobia. [It's phobia! It's an excuse based on panic! Not real! Prove you're capable of doing it or you'll end up housebound with cats! Lots of cats!] To ward off the evil walls closing in, I'll drive to a RWA meeting about 30 minutes away. I'll probably wear a dress, too.

I almost always force myself to go despite the panic. Today I don't feel like indulging in too much self-pity and self-disgust. Turns out it's kind of a nice break to let the panic win now and then.

It's just part of the territory--and really, as far as crosses go, it could be a hell of a lot worse. Diabetes, celiac disease, fear of spiders (in this house, very bad news). Yup. We all have something screwy in our systems. Except there's a chunk of dough down the drain. Now I can pay bills and do laundry instead of listening to inspired speakers and maybe sell a manuscript or two. The worst part is I don't get to hang with my cadre. Yo yo, bad news, the L Team has to get their Dunkin on their own. And I can't go laugh with Irene or Kristi. Bah. . . .

Huh. Self-pity is creeping in despite my best efforts. Time to write an escapist bit of fiction.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Thursday Thirteen Reasons I'm Personally Threatened by Gay Marriage

1. I already forget to return formal wedding invitation refusals. Do I really need more of those shoved into the wrong drawer and forgotten? And when I do remember to show up to the weddings I say yes to, how will I know which side to sit on? Bride side? Groom side? Nuh uh.

2. The bridal industry and its magazines are already bloated and this is only going to make it worse. They're going to crowd out the mass-market paperbacks in the drug store. I write m-mpb so...I'm particularly worried about this one.

3. The rental halls and hotel ballrooms—there aren’t enough to go around…I mean it’s bad enough trying to book events for baby dedications, family reunions and straight weddings. (I overheard this argument on a train)

4. Wedding showers. Who receives them? Do both people get to register for two showers? Jeepers, do we really want Pottery Barn to rule the world?

5. I got nothing but boys. I like the idea that the BRIDE’S family pays for the wedding. But what if one of my guys is gay? Scary thought that I might get landed with some big bills.

My personal threats after the wedding

6. If the lesbians two blocks over are any indication of what these couples are like when they end up doing the traditional mom/dad role thing? Forget it. Part-time working but mostly SAHM and her partner have a new baby. Their house looks way too good. They bake from scratch. She makes me—a straight mom at home—look pitiful. I just do not need this kind of competition.

7. The baby is too flipping cute as well.

8. Girl Scouts hold father/daughter dances. Which dad gets to go, huh? It can cause a lot of bad feelings inside the family and that will spread to the playground gossip. (on the other hand, maybe the extra dads can rent themselves out. There already are bad feelings about this one with the single mother families around here)

9. More divorces. Because gay marriage threatens my marriage, I’ll probably end up divorcing. I’ll want a good attorney but with significantly larger portion of the population marrying and thus divorcing, I’ll have a harder time finding one.

10. This guy on dailykos points out that we straight types will have to hook up with gay types. Who gets our house? Mike and his new mate or me and mine? Someone will have to leave. No way I’m sharing the bathrooms with more people.

11. This Baptist dude points out that homosexual and marriage are parts of the language that have nothing to do with each other. Don't we have ENOUGH words to deal with? Do we really have to come up with more? I'm still trying to get used to the word pwned. Is it pronounced "owned" or "powned"? Would it be hife or wusband?

12. Slippery slope. I don't know what we're in danger of sliding into around here but it can't be good. I'm thinking if Santorum is right about man on dog, Soozee and I will be safe for now. The three homosexual couples on our block happen to be lesbians. Santorum didn't mention woman on dog. And Ben Demenoch's fretting about box turtles doesn't worry me because I haven't seen any around here.

hey she's got her head on my lap. What's she thinking?

13. Reasons one and nine on the Baptist dude's list (I don't want to link to him again. Sorry) basically points out that Godly America and homosexual marriage don't go together. He makes it clear that it can't happen here.'s not really a threat after all. BUT WAIT. What if the couples around here decide they absolutely must be married? Will their citizenship be revoked? Will they have to go to the Godless north of Canada? I wouldn't mind if the couple with the nasty dogs (that bit my kid and my dog) go away. But who'll make that great guacoplatter at the block parties? On the other hand. . . Do we get their stuff?

Happy Anniversary to Us. Twenty one years of marriage today.
I've actually spent more than half my life with the guy (not all in wedded bliss). All those married years will mean nothing--SQUAT--if gay marriage happens. I'm not sure why. Something to do with sanctity. Forget communication and respect and laughing at his bad jokes. For a marriage to work you need sanctity, and gay marriage will corrupt our national natural sanctity resources.

I think I'll go put this up at dkos. I'm in the mood for a poll.

Good Guy

Forget the champagne, even though tomorrow our marriage is old enough to drink. Rather than just let it pass like last year, I took steps. We're going to celebrate by taking the kids to see Pilobolus next week.

but honestly?

I'm in love with husband again because he's just a Really Good Guy. His automatic response to crises that involve disease is to do research. Fire up the old internet and start reading those scientific papers. A kid friend was just diagnosed with one of those newfangled problems** and he's already on the net. The kid's Mom thinks it would help if Mike would talk to the family about what he finds, so he will.

It's just nice that he's helping them, is all. I like my husband a lot***. No matter what he does or says on this particular anniversary, including forgetting it entirely, I'm still glad*** that I married him.


** celiac disease.
***this week.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The other thing I'm printing out?

A contract from Ellora's Cave.

Summer's got another novella coming . . . no idea when, but good to know it's in a queue somewhere.

printing out partial and synopsis

I enjoy this part. There's still a sense of potential and excitement. And suspense, too: will the printer finally crap out?

I like the fact that I'm advancing My Career without actually having to do brain work. I have to keep an eye on the crotchety printer, I have to bustle around looking for the right envelope.

With epublishing, sending a submision means nothing much. Click. Click. Done. No ritual of tapping papers on the surface of the desk or hunting through drawers for good binder clips. No wasted trees either.

Okay, printing's done. Printer survived and didn't run out of ink.

Good luck to you, The Accidental Earl, a Regency title for a non-Regency book -- but "Little Lord Fauntleroy He's Not" doesn't work either. (I'm not good at titles. The other one still making the rounds in the print world is called Ratcatcher. As Emily pointed out, not a particularly romantic name.)

Now I have to do the ritual of waiting in line at the post office. That's a part of the submission process I could do without.

Monday, June 05, 2006

there is a REAL REASON

You cynic. You probably think President Bush is pushing the gay amendment to boost rotten Republican numbers, to regain the trust of his homophobic base and to get our minds off the war.

No! It's because of the War On Terror that he's trying to take this important step now. He's figured out why things are going so badly in Iraq.

I wish I could remember where I stole this...dang.
update: I got it here! And their rant is better, so no wonder I didn't want to link.


So the big controversy continues to rage elsewhere. No, nothing about covers. Not the "forced loving" one either. Not the Hershey highway of love--although that's coming close to the issue because no one mentions the santorum factor. Or the sanitary problems. Wash well, boys and girls!

here's the Big Controversy:

What does the writer do about characters' bodily functions--other than those related to sex?
Are they mayflies with no exits built in? Or do we know exactly when they feel the need to excrete?

The condom issue is pretty clear: in the age of AIDS writers are supposed to at least mention them whilst characters are gearing up for sex. If no condom shows up, somebody's got to murmur something about disease or pregnancy.

Less clear is the condom, post-use. Is it okay for the used condoms vanish magically? And hey, why doesn't anyone ever mention the fact that condoms are not much fun to use? Although that's sort of silly--how many ways can it be described other than wearing a raincoat in the shower.

There. That's my rotten SBD. It was inspired in part by this rant by Irene, which is better reading anyway.

Why am I so concerned about bodily function today? Let's just say I just filled a prescription for cipro and leave it at that. TMI.

Next up: yeast infections! What does our medieval heroine do about them?

Congrats, neighbor!

Remember my neighbor who wins Emmys? (it's on that page somewhere. I can't figure out how to link to old articles directly)

Anyway. He won again and is going to get the statue this time, along with the "goody bag." I'm planning on bribing him with a beer -- I'll go to his house with a camera and take a picture of me clutching the statuette. Then I'll post it somewhere on one of my webpages without comment. That way it won't be a lie, you know? I also hope to paw through his goody bag and take an inventory for us.

It's SBD. I'm feeling ickety so if I post I'm sure it'll be a whine. Oh boy! Something for all of us to look forward to. As Grouchy Marx says, I have to be here but there's no reason you have to stay.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Go Bonnie Dee!!

I've been ranting for people to read her damn books. RANTING. And at last Bam did--she read Bone Deep and got it.

Whew. I can relax a bit.

Yes, duh, I had nothing to do with it. But every now and then you find a book that you take under your wing and feel personally responsible for. Okay, maybe you don't--and I'm the only person who does this. Cue creepy fangirl music. (What was the tune in Misery?)

I want a big name publisher to grab Bonnie Dee and pay her lots of money and make her write lots of books for me. I've liked everything of hers I've read--some I love better than others but. . .. that's not the point. Hey, her latest one, a series of novellas is great, by the way. I think they go together just fine, thanks, a criticism I read somewhere or another. (I like the way one character from one story drifts into another story)

It's funny but I feel that strongly about writers like Teresa Bodwell, Paula Reed and Flo Fitzpatrick, and some of the other RU**ers but I know them and so can't bring myself to rant about their books, the way I do Bonnie Dee, whom I've never met. I love the RUers for who they are as well as their books and feel like I can't be impartial enough to blather about them all over the internet.

(I love Sandy Blair and Sally MacKenzie too, but they're getting plenty of attention without my help.)

Hey speaking of people who are supposed to be writing more books for me to read, where the heck is Nonnie St. George?


**I haven't read every Romance Unleashed book which is my excuse.

Saturday, June 03, 2006


My royalty statement for Somebody to Love tells me TWO THINGS:

1. Not enough of you people are buying the book.

2. Some publisher in Italy did. Mondadori publishers. Anyone heard of it?

Oh boy! Another great cover?!

I immediately started cruising around looking for it, but either it's already come and gone, or it's not up yet. As per usual, if anyone can find and buy a copy of the dang book for me, you win not only the cost of the book (duh) but a pair of Bosnian socks.

The hunt is still on for a copy of Portuguese Somebody to Love and the Dutch Somebody Wonderful. Notice I say "the hunt" rather than "my hunt" -- I gave up months ago.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Time for a new identity!

Summer's doing well, so she can maintain the course. Steady as she goes, Summer.

Kate, on the other hand, is feeling as if her day came and went. TPTB are not returning calls or emails.

Kate, always paranoid, feels that she should do something. She** is considering the standard author trick of pretending to be someone new. She likes the idea of being A Rising New Star, A Fresh New Voice, someone Filled With Grand Potential.

She'll probably slip up and reveal The Truth because she is something of a blabberer.

Pshaw, it's win-win. She gets caught pretending to be a Neophyte Awther, she can count that as publicity, right? There will a raging argument in a few blogs, she will send out her friends to defend her while remaining mysteriously silent on the subject. The message? Wrongly accused but not bitter, Kate cannot allow this to interrupt her writing. Escalating nasty fights will break out, but she will look professional because she remains above the fray. She's too busy to be bothered with the petty, petty nonsense.

No, wait. Not she won't remain entirely silent. Her website will contain a big red message message: "I would love to speak out but on advice of my Attorney must remain silent." (She will not reveal that she calls her dog Attorney.)

In fact the message draw in curious readers who will buy her books and comb through them to see if they can find evidence of plagiarism, or a defaming description of a real person. What has she done that requires legal help????

10:36 a.m. UPDATE: edited to remove distracting paragraphs

* * * * *
I wish I could present my side of the story, but on advice of my Attorney, I have decided I must remain silent.

There. Let's see if it works.


** From now on she is going to speak of herself in the third person because it seems to work for Summer.

essay about anti-gay marriage amendment

Andrew Tobias wrote it. You should read it.