Monday, July 31, 2006

SBD Books I won't read


Matt Christopher sports books are the only thing I can think of.

Text books about physics or math. I kind of like biology text books.

Oh and maybe I won't read any Animorph books because I grew to hate. Them. A lot. Boy 1 bought the first 30,000 of them. They were everywhere. Everywhere. I picked them up. I read them. Until. Everything I said. And wrote. Was like this. Everything. Just the style. Drove me. Nuts.

Otherwise, I read anything.

In fact I can't stop myself from reading signs on posts or from taking leaflets from people handing them out on the street.. Walking down the street took a long time when I lived in Boston.

Bill Clinton called us today

and so did Dan Malloy and Bridget someone. Those were the robo-calls. The boys picked them up because I refuse to answer the phone now. We got three live humans, too. Them we could say "already voted. bye," and hang up. (We did too. Absentee. We might be here on the eighth after all, but a month ago we thought we wouldn't be.)

I WANT THE CONNECTICUT PRIMARY OVER. This is a goddamn PRIMARY--five times they called us today. I've never felt so hunted. Did I mention I don't answer the phone any more?

Yes, today is Kate Gets All Steamed Up Day ... I'm still rankled about my 45 minute wait for my luncheon companions. Boy, did I get steamed when those biddies didn't show up! I left a stiffish sort of note with the hostess for them that said call me, please.

I went out to my car, drove ten feet and realized. . . oh shit.

The restaurant I thought was the Olive Garden was, in fact, a restaurant that looks exactly like the Olive Garden but is something else and is right next DOOR to the Olive Garden. Oh. Ah. No wonder why that place had decent music on the loudspeakers.

The upside to this is that in the past I have warned these people not to give me too much responsibility (this is the CORW group. I'm on the board because I raised my hand at the wrong moment) and in good writer's fashion I didn't just tell them the reason why, I showed them as well.

Another consolation. The restaurant(s) are located in a town miles and miles away. I'm never going there again. Ever.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

falling down on the job

I was going to go to RWA attendees' blogs and fill their comment area with pointless notes (idea copyright Abby Godwin) but I didn't get around much.

I did manage to get to Kris Starr's today, and Arianna Hart's a couple of days back. Hmm. Maybe I'll do a better job at Megan Frampton's. Or maybe I'll give up on outlasting the heat and turn on the AC.

Friday, July 28, 2006

second place!

Arianna called me from ATL to tell me the news (thanks, Ari!). Perfection came in second. The call was almost as exciting as the news--my first contact with an official ATL'r. Unfortunately I couldn't hear her very well, so we had to hang up before I could hear anything interesting.

Wow. Three hundred forty two

that's how many people came by my blog daily this week says sitemeter. I know why: Thank you, Jan Butler.

Of course I had this huge audience and what do I do? Post pictures that even I can't make out of dirt and weeds. It's almost as if I wanted to drive everyone out of here.

Hey, wait a sec guys! Lemme drag out blurry pix from a big old snowstorm we had months ago.

. . . .

Huh. Where'd everyone go??

update. I've been waiting for a chance to post this picture and I think today's random entry fits. I wish I could remember where I stole found it.

Really, isn't that the first thought you have when you see way-buff bods? Okay, maybe the second thought.

Pure prejudice, of course.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Thursday 13, continued, more photos.

Dogs! DOGS!

My dog, the neighbor's dog, the neighbor's friend's dog--and he's today's star! A PUPPY! Pretty much the cutest most mellow puppy ever, he's from a Louisiana shelter. Dude. He came to visit for a few days. . .but is home again.

Okay the rest of my TT photos of Random green things growing in my back yard. I have no idea what these guys are. I know what they're not.

See last vine picture: Evil Rotten Vine of Itching and Pain.

I have the toxic chemical spray for that stuff and I'm not afraid to use it, except when the dogs are around, I guess.

Thursday 13 pictures from around the place featuring BLURRY FLOWERS!

Okay tell me what numbers 1, 2, 3,4 are and win something. Not sure what, but identify the plant and be a Winner!

1 It's a rotten picture, but it's some kind of scraggly bush that has tiny pink flowers. None on it just now.

2.They're purple and pretty. Only a couple of inches high. What are they?

3. I grew these purply-blue and yellow guys from seed. I have no idea what they are because we lost the packet. I know they're annuals.

4. Yellow flowers! Volunteers!

5. Another blurry flower! Purple!

6. Crystal Palace I grew from seed.

7. Bet you didn't know Hosta could be killed. I was surprised.

Hmmm Pictures 8-13 aren't posting. but just squint at these photos and you'll get a fair approximation of what they look like. Add dogs and you'll get the picture--and you'll know why the hosta died.

blogger's being a pain in the tuchus

I think my Thursday 13 might have to be a Friday 13.

Friday already!?

The passionate ink chapter will hold its award ceremony tomorrow and I'm up for an award. I'm not getting it--I'm fairly sure they would have contacted me if I were. But still, it's something to think about from afar, a small connection to ATL. I like that.

When I was a finalist in the RT awards, I knew long before the actual ceremony that I hadn't won. They'd contacted the winner weeks before the conference. Too bad, because that was the only way I could justify going to RT that year. Didn't happen.

Right. Back to trying to post photos for Thursday 13.

If you're not busy at 9 eastern time tonight, stop by I'll be there for a chat. It's not Featuring Me (it's not featuring anyone in particular) but I think I get to give away a book.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

staying behind parties!

I'm going to keep this post on top for a while. . .

PBW is doing workshops.

Lucy Monroe is having a week of blogging and prize give aways. Some ridiculously good prizes.

Abby Godwin points out we can Feel Like We're There at this blog.

Anyone else doing anything? Let me know. I'll list it. In big Bold Writing.

And then I'll come over and be one of those party guests who hang out by the drinks table and complains about how the popcorn is stale and the music is too loud. No party is complete without a kvetcher!

sadistic genius.

okay, I'm laughing. But it's a sick laughter. I mean life as a toddler is hard enough but to make 'em cry on purpose?

The pictures make me cringe. I spent too many years trying to figure out how to get crying to stop. Ack! Stop! Please! Here, I'll rip out my fingernails if it will make you to stop!

On the other hand I never made a cent when they howled. This woman's probably doing just fine with her crying pictures. And just think of all the kiddie photographers who spend hours trying to get the darlings to stop howling. They are now cursing her. Why didn't they think of this?



I'm blogging in sick today. Stomach. Ick.

Just as well I'm not in Atlanta. Much easier to lie around moaning and snoozing at home. Of course in Atlanta no one would accuse me of being the most boring mother on the planet and ask me to play badminton every 10 minutes.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Thank you Stephen and TB

Your comments remind me that sanity has intelligent voices, too. (To read them, see the post below. Both left and right comments.) Now I can go make french toast and argue with my kids instead of some invisible specter of intolerance. Goodie.


Update: Nora Roberts agrees which is a relief, too.

Not that I think the powerful should throw around their weight or influence around arbitrarily. . . well, not unless I want them too.

.. . and I'm trying very very hard not to squeEeeal like a 13-year-old at a Good Charlotte or Green Day concert because Nora Roberts visited my blog. It's not working.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Jan R Butler in RWR

I imagine the shit'll hit the fan soon. Got to admire a woman who's not scared to stand up for what she believes in (even if she does call me a shrill minority**, a member of a fringe group and can't tell the mind-boggling difference between pedophilia and homosexuality).

RWA can--indeed, must--do better than ignore the issue. As romance writers, we ought to combat unreasonable assaults on love. We've taken stands on racially mixed marriages. We should be speaking out again about any consenting, loving adult relationship. Demonizing a group of people because they have meaningful or even sexual relationships with the same sex? Romance writers know better. How many romances are have been written about love conquering the rules of society?

Butler says Enough is Enough, and I have to agree. We can no longer allow legitimate love to be seen as shameful or we're culpable in its repression and that's a venial sin for a romance writer. We're absolutely the wrong group to be undermining any sort of true love.

I have a strong urge to push Ms. Butler down that slippery slope that exists only in paranoid minds. But I think stronger, better writers will do it in a more reasonable manner.


**You know what? I think I share one thing with Ms. Butler: Moral Absolutes really are nice to have and to hold. No wonder so many right wing people are happy. I did the live and let live thing for a lot of years. Naw. Now when I see Wrong, I rip off the sweats revealing my silver lame costume with the interlocking letters KRISP across the bosom, pick up the keyboard and become. . . [cue dumda dumda dum dummm! music] Kate the Righteously Indignant Shrill Person. I have absolutely NO doubt about the fact that I'm right, er, correct in this issue.

Ack! I can't stop picking at this letter! I need a life! I need someone else's life! Jackie? I"ll take yours, even with the dogs.

what I'm talking about above--the letter in RWR

I've cut out bits here and there but the gist is there. I don't want to cut too much because she's a good writer (other than the actual thinking/tolerance part) and it's bad idea to ignore that fact.
. . . romance isn't about just any "two people" celebrating "love in its many forms." Organizations such as the Man-Boy Love Association would certainly refer to themselves as celebrating love "two people" (or more) finding love in one of its many forms" . . . while they actively promote pedophilia.

Think RWA can't go down that slipper slope? Think again. Under our present definition, we cannot exclude such "love stories" under the category of "romance". We, as a culture, seem to have forgotten how to say "enough is enough," but RWA can--indeed, must--do better than that. . . .

And, please, spare us the arguments about "censorship" and "inclusiveness." Preference for "one man, one woman" stories represents what RWA has always claimed is romance's target demographic: college-educated, married, middle-class, monogamous, and moral. . . .Only in recent years has a vocal (translate: shrill) minority tried to drive RWA's focus off that path, under the guise of "broadening its horizons." But refusing to define romance according to the parameters it has held for centuries doesn't "broaden" anything . . . it only starts us down the aforementioned slope, and once we're in that slide, heaven help us.

There's an old saying, "Go home with the one who brought you here." What brought romance fiction to its present level of success is a collection of decades' worth of one-man, one-woman relationships stories, in all their richness, variety, and power. RWA should be the first to endorse that, rather than attempting to placate fringe groups trying to impose their standards upon the rest of us. If anyone's in danger of being "censored" here, it's believers in "what comes naturally": one-man, one-woman romance. We in RWA owe it to ourselves not to let that happen. Jan W. Butler

I'm Going to hold some sort of Left Behind Pity Party

Kimberly is having fun, PBW will be. I want to, too, eventually.

(_ Party!

In the meantime. . . on with today's rant: feedback with no commentary. Turns out it drives me nuts. I keep asking myself why did this story get some "poor" ratings? Could it be because it's too rough (it is rough), or there's no sex, the worldbuilding and systems could be improved, it's nothing but catharsis, the characters are flat, or the story structure's off? Could it be the reader thought it might be like the other Kate Rothwell stories and was disappointed?

I wanna know the why in these ratings and by gum, I'll find them. Do you get where I'm going with this?

When someone says ick but doesn't provide details I look for reasons. The story might be fine and tidy and even gorgeous, but I'll never know.

Truth is, I'm not actually looking at the story because I know better than that. The solution for this kind of crazy-making is simple: Avoidance. Don't go look at the page and don't reread the story. Unless I want to do some more work with it, the story should be outta my life.

I was just up at fictionwise for some shopping and made the mistake of clicking on my own story. I won't again.

OoooOOooo I hate the mystery factor of this kind of rating. Useless to me!

Friday, July 21, 2006

It's my Genre, I Can Say What I Want To

I wrote a send up of Erotic Romance at AAR and a reader sent me a basically polite note saying "if you hate and disrespect the genre that much, why do you write it (as Summer Devon)?"

Hate it? I love the stuff. I get a huge kick out of it. I buy, read, critique and write romantica. But that doesn't mean I think it's beyond mockery. For one thing, there's a lot of really bad/derivative stuff out there. (Calm down, Summer. Not you, usually, I hope. Or anyone else reading this. And anyway, even it is you, Summer? What do you care? You have fun.) For another thing and this is more important to me: The moment anything moves into the unmockable zone, it's dead. It's just . . . Cliff Notes. **

And actually, for my third and final thing [why purple? why not?], I'm feeling pretty secure about the genre these days.

I had a Chaucer professor who was kind of a flake. He said that the reason people could get away with mocking religion during Chaucer's time was because their belief is rock solid. In other words, they had no doubts and it's only when you get insecure that you clamp down on mockery or satire as disrespect.

Like I said he was a flake, so I don't know if he was stating a commonly held scholarly belief but it sort of makes sense to me on a personal level.

If someone attacks something you care about but have deep doubts about, the instinct is to snarl and protect yourself and those tenuous values. If it's something you have no problem believing, you smile and nod and stay polite enough to outsiders. If another insider mocks it, you laugh without reservation. Outsiders aren't as funny because they lack basic respect. But in the end, it's not worth bothering with them.

Back when I was first writing romance, I would justify it to non-romance-writers as Real Writing. Now, pfah. I don't need to. It's held up fine without my justifications and if people like this dude (thank you, I don't think, Fiona) want to be patronizing chin-chucker about it, doesn't hurt me or the genre.****

It's like what I say to my kids: I'll explain a joke, but only if you ask. If you don't like it, don't whine to me. I'm busy enjoying it myself and don't need company.


**See? Therefore I mock it because I Care. Kind of the "I hit you because I love you," sort of argument but works for me. I've been reading some BDSM.

**** And actually now that I've managed to drag myself all the way to the end of Carlson's deep-dicking RT article . . .okay, damn. Well-written and funny and kind of mean. And they say bloggers are jerks. Meh, it's his right.

shhh! kids?

I have a headache. It won't be a pretty sight if my head explodes--not to mention you guys would have to clean up the mess. So please take the double chocolate chip cookies outside for your lunch and then maybe play badminton for the next couple of months.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Thursday Thirteen -- random how tos

1. Write a book review

2. Go pro with writing (followed by "how to stay pro" etc)

3. Trash your own career

4. Pick, pluck prepare your own chicken.

5. Make a chocolate pie (you have to go down a bit to get the recipe. I can't figure out how to link to my own old articles)

6. Make really yummy bread pudding.

7. Reduce a wanna-be tough guy teenager to a puddle of "awwwwww" (show him this and eventually he will crumble)

8. Help offset the climate change you produce if you're a traveler.

9. Prepare for a horse show. . . and as Doug points out, in the comments here.

10. Write a romance novel (this one's by Teresa Bodwell. Yesterday's post has a link to mine.)

11. NOT accidentally plagiarize

12. Write a love letter (eh? "neatness counts")

13. Break up in a civil manner.

Tell me about your thirteen and I'll add you here.

Trish asks some really important questions.

Doug gives us nightmares. Ugh.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

scintillating secrets to semi-success!

Actually it's same old stuff everyone says. My longer version is the quicky article on getting published over at Amazon that I wrote when I was still feeling like a gazillion bucks about the Somebody books.

The shorter version is two familiar words: Write it.

In the end it doesn't matter if you have to use charts or graphs or just the inside of your head--it is a matter of getting your fingers on the keyboard or around the pen and keeping those fingers moving until you're done.

Okay, that's it. . . the not-much-of-a-secret: Forget Inspiration, Write the Damn Thing.

But we can always use some good links, right? Here are the ones that did me a world of good:

One of the best links for links. You don't have to go farther than this for articles about every subject from your outline to your query letter. Charlotte Dillon should be proclaimed a Romance Writer's Living Treasure. I hearby declare it!!


If you're too lazy to go out searching for advice, then Donna Caubarreaux can help. Sign up for her writing tips and she'll send you links to articles every day. (You can find the about spot halfway down her page.) I used to read all of the contest alert stuff she links to, too.

I pay my bucks to RWA but Charlotte, Donna and my personal writing goddess Linda I. are the reason I'm published in rrromance. (okay, and the NJRW conference too.)

I'm published in non-fiction because that's far easier work to find. Little newspapers are always looking for free-lancers. If you can:

keep to a deadline
write English that 12-year-olds can understand
know or learn how to do reasonable research/interviews
comprehend that there's more than one way to approach any story

you can have a badly-paid job for life! ** Or eventually the credentials to do better-paid but perhaps more boring newsletter sorts of projects. Or maybe a job on one of those New York magazines that pay ten thousand an article. It doesn't hurt to know the difference between writing hard news, feature stories and editorials or how to write a kick-butt ledes--on the other hand, from some of the stuff I've seen, that knowledge isn't essential after all.

Okay. You still want more links for the secret of success? Go to PBW and look at her lists. I'm not doing more. I don't want to be responsible for anyone not getting those 1,000-3,000 words written today because she had to cruise around the internet instead.

When you have time, PBW's got great links about self-editing and world building and about a thousand other amazing connections to fun.

Just don't blame the links when you look up and see your writing time is gone because it's more fun to reading other people's inspirational articles than typing your way through some of your less inspired chapters or the story about the dog food factory scandal.


** I didn't have a degree in any kind of writing, but I was nervy and I was willing to write a couple of sample pieces.

five hundred AND release day

Today's release day!

Yippee! Come on down, Summer, ya hussy.

Later on today Summer's new novella will be up on that main page link.

Invisible Touch is light for sure and I just noticed it was called "romantic comedy" over at ellora's chat. Heh. Funny part is I wasn't writing to be consciously funny.

Here's something else big happening at the moment: this is entry number Five Hundred for the blog. Seems this somehow Important though I have no idea why.

I planned on being helpful somehow, but instead I'll do you a real favor and show you where the actual helpful people are.

Do you want to know Summer's Secrets of Success? Not to mention Kate Rothwell's Secrets? The reason for Kate and Summer's amazing writing career? The career that is skyrocketing into ummmm. . . something that's not much like a skyrocket but not as dead as our old Camry?

I shall reveal all.

But that's later on because first I must feed the kids and get rid of them and get my new batch of kids (I'm babysitting for a pal today. No refugees this month and, man, I miss the ladies!)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Enough To Cheer Me The Heck Up

A nice review for Futurelove! Awwww. Thanks Linda L, whoever you are.

Futurelove is a delightful read full of spice. Candy is such a spirited girl that keeps the pages turning. Her mother is enough to drive anyone to drinking but when Candy is near Collins, sparks skyrocket. Collins has ‘please help me’ written all over him that makes him sort of irresistible. Not to mention when for the first time he begins to feels arousal. The interesting dialogue between the two holds the readers attention. Ms. Devon crafts a read that spins with such wonderful yarn. The well-developed characters add a great addition to the story. With a man stuck in the past and a woman searching for her future this tale is a sizzling romance that fizzes completely. This story is a hoot and this reader enjoyed every minute of it!

what do you listen to?

Suisan and jmc brought it up. What kind of books do you listen to on tape/disc? What will you refuse to turn on?

I usually do kids books because I don't want to wear head phones and I know that an Elmore Leonard's casual "fuck dis" won't get blurted. It's not that I care. The kids are usually Deeply Offended by bad language. (They know what's due to them and a mother who listens to obscene words is reason to dial 1-800-894-5533.) We get our tapes from the library so we're not up on the very newest but still. . .

Some books I like on tape:
Simon Jones reading Bartimaeous
The woman who reads Septimus Heap (I can't find her name! Dang it!)
Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter
Tim Curry reading the Unfortunate Series. . .I didn't much like these books until I heard them on tape and got off on the way Handler plays with language--Actually Tim Curry reading anything, even when he hams it up too much.
Lynn Redgrave reading Inkheart
Nathaniel Parker reading a Colfer book.

GROWN UP BOOKS I can listen to with kiddies around:
Any PG Wodehouse read by Jonathan Cecil or Alexander Spencer. I don't like Ian's Carmichael's Bertie, though. Too comic-actor.
Phyllida Nash reading Heyer.

Simon Brett read by Simon Brett--although the language can be iffy.

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's missing RWA

Not those lil steroids that have pushed me over the edge.

But LOOK! It's Abby Godwin to the rescue. What fine plans she offers us Left Behinds. And the next time a moan goes out over one of my various loops [Oooo! There's too many interesting fun things to doooo! I don't know which dinner I should attend! I am sooo looking forward to seeing everyone] I'll break open the bank and spend the money I saved for Nationals on a drunken spree. Good thing I'm an easy drunk.

I think I'll start spreading rumors** about the RITA/GH ceremony before the event and look even more prescient than PBW.

Here we go:
The big show will feature a Gone With The Wind theme. People will be offended.


**Based on no knowledge other than the location and the fact that people tend to be offended. But no matter what horrors the Big Show presents, it will be hard to beat last year. Woowee! And no, I wasn't there, either.

what's all this I hear about 'roid rage?

I'm perfectly sane and happy. It's just the rest of the world has suddenly turned into a bunch of nitwits. Why do these kids think they need to talk to me all the time? How come everyone in CT has forgotten how to drive?

Maybe it's the heat or something.

SBD when holes loom large

I'm listening to a book on CD. It's a romantic suspense and I don't know if the author has done her research but she's got me. I believe her world of drug lords and kidnapping, although she could use a bit of editing. Some repetition, but generally . . . Wow, it's impressive and extremely clever in a lot of places. Except where it's not. Then I'm ready to drop-boot the book across the room (except it's on discs and they belong to the library)

It's one thing when characters act like dimbulbs fairly constantly. But when they're focussed and bright and yet overlook obvious shit? What the hell? If the author is smart enough to make that world and those people, she could at least make their flaws less obviously dangerously stupid.

The hero is the heroine's son's father even though the h/h haven't been together for years. The hero is helping the heroine rescue the son. He doesn't know the kid is his. I don't much like the hidden kid thing, bugs the shit out of me, but sometimes I'll let it fly. I can even forgive the hero for being an unobservant fool--although just barely. He can do math. He could at least look at the kid and think. . .hmmm.

But the one I'm ready to write off is the heroine, which is too bad because she'd done a fine job of fighting the natural TSTL instinct of most heroines in danger who feel they must act like proud independent gits even if they have no idea what they're doing.

Here's what she's done right:

-Found professional help and groveled to get it? Yes
-Fought her huge chunk o' romance heroine pride to do what has to be done? Done.
-Squelched her feelings about breaking the law? Yes.
-Just done what the more experienced professional has asked her to do without a lot of bullshit? Check.
-Not asked a lot of dumb questions at the wrong time? Check.
-Figured out his nonverbal clues and followed them? Yes.

In other words, for once the heroine is helping instead of undermining The Operation. Except with this shit. Oh, can't tell him the truth. It's obvious because they look alike but oh nooooo can't tell him the truth.

He keeps saying, "I know you got a big secret. You need to tell me everything. What's the big secret? Hey, whatcha hiding from me?"

Her latest response? She seduces him to change the subject from the Big Truth. ** (Ho hum. The screw scene wasn't anything better than Summer writes and I wanted the two of them to stop and get back to the suspense. Which is way, way, way better than Summer writes. Except when it glaringly isn't.)

My guess is some bad guy is about to reveal The Truth to the clueless hero because the father and the son sound practically goddamn identical in some descriptions. If she doesn't tell him about the kid before they march into the Mr. Big Bad Guy's place, I'm hoping Mr. BBG blows them all up. Get those TSTL breeders out of the gene pool.

Don't get me wrong. The book is a lot of fun (except I can't listen to it with boys around) and I'm with these two until the end. I just might hate them by then, is all.

UPDATE: ha. Less than two chapters later, she spills the beans. I can go back to rooting for their survival--that is if he manages to Forgive The Big Lie in time to avoid doot-brained behavior.

** It could have been worse. They were also killing time and distracted themselves while they waited, so it wasn't a what the hell are you two doing? the kid's in trouble! scene. As in this timeless example: a great Purple Prose Parody of Hero and Heroine Standard Response to Great Danger. Here's a hint: Great horniness.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Tonight at 8-9

Right now I'm squabbling with Boy 3 who is Entirely. Unable. To. Entertain. Himself. Ever. Ever. Ever. Gahhh.

will you play a game? no

will you go down the street and watch me in the vacationing neighbor's cute little pool again? [note: we have permission] maybe later when the sun isn't as strong.

can you think of anything for me to do?
other than the legos, reading, or thousands of other suggestions I've already made, I'd say clean your room.

can you think of anything else for me to do?
bug your father.

will you do a puzzle with me?
no, but I'll be glad to get one down for you.

. . . . etc.

Could be worse of course. At least my boys are done with this stage of life (photo sent via email by Leigh and several other people. No idea who the kids are. Or rather, were. As the email said, "A child's last day on earth".)

At 8 tonight I'll be squabbling with yahoo at samhaincafe. It's email, not chat.

I'll give away a Summer Devon uploady sort of a book. She doesn't have anything in print yet, unless you count the plain 8.5 x 11 paper flimsy spiral bound ARC of Learning Charity. You can have that if you want, even if you don't show up at the chat. Email me about it.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

a winner, and not just because she cared

Snarky Cindy used lemur, lemur poop and lemur fingers. What can I say? She took boy one's direction "use the lemur" to heart and we like that.

Quite frankly, there is Lemur poop in the world that is more interesting than this dreck you call a novel. Luckily for you the newly discovered mouse Lemur has freaky ET fingers or he'd type an 'Ode to Lemur Poop' that would hit the best-seller list, be optioned for a film and win a score of Academy awards and thus, end your miserable career as a ... what again?


Cindy! The image is yours. Unfortunately I still can't seem to load photos so you'll have to go into the past to save your lemuriffic snark button.

updated later and . . . HEY, it WORKED. Never mind going back in history, Cindy!

Friday, July 14, 2006


Scene: local small grocery store

guy--mid-thirties, maybe. Jeans, tee-shirt. Actually pretty cute.
me--mid-forties. Work-out clothes of sagging cut-off sweats and baggy tee-shirt, complete with sweat and sweaty uncombed hair, hideous bright red-stage poison ivy on both arms.

Brief friendly discussion about fruits and veggies and rain. He stares at my arm for a minute.

guy: That poison ivy? It looks itchy. [he doesn't point, but he doesn't need to.]
me: It's actually much better now. Unbelievable, huh. [wipes sweat from forehead on short sleeve, realizes how gross this is, quickly turns away to haul up three gallons of milk]
guy: Wow, you're strong.
me: yah but smell isn't everything.
guy: [actually laughs. Heartily.] So you wanna go next door for coffee or something? I'll buy.
me: I have to get to work and pick up some kids. Thanks, though. That's really, um, nice of you. Um, right! bye! [practically runs to the front of the store]

I wish L was around to help me analyze situation. She's a psychologist so she'd help me figure out:
-What the hell drugs was he on?
-Why did it take me until he laughed at my lame joke** to understand that he was trying to pick me up? Am I that out of the social interaction schtick?
-What do you call someone who has a fetish for rashes?

** actually it's my husband's lame joke, in that he always responds to that remark with that comment. Always, always. If he doesn't, I worry.
Other autoresponses for him:
But if you comb your hair right, it won't show.
I know you are but what am I.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Thursday 13 Rules. . when you should stay quiet

I was going to do something about gardens but I can't find the camera and I want to take pictures of plants and make you guys tell me what they are.

In honor of some dumb, not offensive, but not particularly bright posts I've made lately, some rules about when not to post. Most of these are written with an eye at AAR and other spots where you might find bright readers who enjoy engaging in tussles.

Do not post:

1. When you haven't had enough sleep. Your message makes you look drunk.

2. When you're drunk. You come across as dopey.

3. When you're dopey. Remember dopey in this case should equal dumb, literally. How can you tell if you're a dope? You don't understand the gist of the other messages.

4. When you really, really care about a subject--so much you can't imagine the other person's point of view.

5. When you're irritated by your 9-year-old. Chances are you've spent too much time together by then and you're going to come across as a 9-year-old. You're turning. . .into. . .one. Oh GOD, please make me a grown-up again.

6. When you're too hot, too cold, hungry or thirsty.

7. When you've just fought with your spouse.

8. Sometimes, when you've just had sex, run three miles or won a big prize. If you're feeling like this is the best of all possible worlds and you're chirping in on a long line of posts about woe and the misery of life, stay out. They don't want to hear from you. You'll be lucky to escape with your life.

9. When you're feeling jealous because someone just had sex, ran three miles or won a big prize and is holding a "Yippee! ME!" Thread. You'll get pity but they'll all be rolling their eyes at the spoil sport. You know it.

10. When you are a troll looking for nastiness, stick to the political sites. Places like cutenessoverload people are way out of your league. They'll trample you to dust.
Or worse, totally ignore you.

11. When you really should be writing a rant in your own blog rather than posting a twenty page manifesto using someone else's bandwidth (although I don't mind, really. Come here and tell me all about it.)

12. When all you want to talk about is how great your new kitten/book/baby/husband is and the subject of kitties/your book/babies/husbands ended several days ago. Time to find a new board to haunt.

13. When you're a writer who wants to gain readers for her books.

I've bolded the numbers of all that currently apply to me.

Get your best 13 here:
Suisan has some amazing horsey 13'ers. It's another world, those animals.
Doug has some sex advice from a guy.

* * * *

NOTE: I cut the anonymous comments only because I was getting so much spam. You can still post on the left side if you want to bug me without telling me who you are. Feel free.

Send me your snark by tomorrow. I have maybe three entries. Looking good for you, Cindy.

Note three. I have great pictures but the blogger is refusing to load them. Damn blogger. DAMN.

13 Later, but first . . .George F Will ?!

My grandfather and both of my parents were shrunk to shadows by the time they shuffled off. My mother was reduced to less than an infant--she couldn't talk, smile, move.

This is one of the most elegant pieces I've read about the people lost in dementia and what we survivors owe their memories. I don't always read GFW and I don't ever remember thinking holy cow, thank you, Mr. Will. I did this morning. I read it in bits and pieces but in the end, the article feels like a blessing. A mitzvah.

Released from Aging, Restored to Clarity.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I KEEP forgetting to tell you

More promo, but really, this kind of stuff can be fun. Win forty prizes! Truly! (And unlike some 20-digests-a-day loops, the samhaincafe is not overwhelming.)

Here, go look at Angie's page to check out details. I'll be messing around tomorrow on the historical day, promoting Learning Charity.

AND On July 16 from 8-9, I'll be featured on the samhaincafe loop with Linda Winfree, another Samhain writer. We'll be playing--or fighting with yahoo.

I plan on giving stuff away. Not the chocolate. I'm needing that just now.

Oh. Hey, look at that.

Right there on the Coming Soon Page at Ellora's Cave -- Invisible Touch.

Wow. I have a fan to thank for letting me know. Um, ya might want to put something up at your website, oh clueless author? Janean said, only in a more polite fashion.

She's right. I'm off to mess with the Summer website again, a touch-and-go situation (because I forget how to play with the various softwares and must relearn each time I update.) and pray that the excerpt and blurb will be okay.

Update: It's up. The font is wrong, the left margin is screwed up and I gave up on posting an excerpt . . . but, by god, it's up. Now I have to send a whimpering email to Bec the Webpage Wonder so she can save me from myself.

Another update: an editor confirmed that the release date is a week from today, July 19.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


cheryl b's baby, I mean (see comments in post below). You too will turn into overcooked noodles looking at him. Good God. I want to hold a little meatloaf newborn again. I want to hear the tiny squeaky settling in noises. He's so, so . . . sigh.

I swear the hormone rush from looking at photos of cute babies is far stronger than the ones produced by photos of the washboard ab grown up cuties. Well, okay that's often true, anyway.

So why haven't scientists hooked up women's brains and done experiments about this kind of thing? Shots of naked men vs. naked babies. I bet they'll see a lot more bright lights going off in the brain receptors when a baby or toddler flashes across the screen. I'm talking strictly visual stimulus. Give me a description of holding a man or holding a baby and chances are I'll be way more interested in the former. Depends on the writer, of course.

Okay. You can't have Cheryl's Sirius--you have to go make or adopt one of your own. But you still can get a button. The contest is closing Friday. Why Friday? That's when SBTB's have their contest, of course.

boinga boinga blog hopping and babbling

I think I've learned one effect of prednisone in me: Insomnia. Wheee! I never have insomnia any more so this is sort of fun.

Monday, July 10, 2006

An Attack Ad

I can't decide if Ned Lamont's latest ad is a good or bad idea. I like it, but I like Lamont (and I like silly things). I bet he's going to get majorly sick of remarks about his coffee.

It's true that all the mailers I get from Lieberman (and I get lots) don't really have to do with issues I particularly give a damn about. Lamont is a millionaire! He's not One of Us! seems to be the biggest theme.

What do you think of the ad?

SBD delayed adolescence catching up with me

SBD A--Self absorbed: a SBD about me me me me me and not some other writer's damn book.
That's because when I think about books, I tend to write about MY books. I spend more time with MY books than anyone else's.

All the cruising around the political world is taking its toll on my writing. The characters aren't getting preachy and Ayn Rand--it's not that bad. They're just getting obnoxiously unable to put up with any kind of shit. They're smacking down anyone who looks at them funny a la those testosterone blogs that are out there.

Thank goodness I'm not doing this my everyday world. My family wouldn't put up with it and neither would I. (I'm waiting for 'roid rage though. Ended up on prednisone for the stupid never-die poison ivy rash)

This smack down stuff is just in the current romance. I just wrote a scene in which the hero made a simple (though thoughtless) remark and wham! The heroine gets all snotty and backs the hero against the tree and tells him what exactly she thinks of that kind of stupidity. No big misunderstandings in THIS book. Nosirree. They tell each other ex-act-leee what they think.

Speaking of misunderstandings and problems that have to do with politics--but have nothing to do with books--is that I'm spending money on things like this.

questions to self:

Why wear a shirt that makes no sense to anyone who doesn't read the stupid blog?
And if you have to wear the shirt, why do you roll your eyes when people ask you to explain what the heck it means?

Actually I don't roll my eyes, but I don't do a particularly good job of explaining. "I kinda like the kitty," I say. "And I think it's funny. Heh." Weak laughter.

I don't add that I love the Scotty Show even though it can be offensive as hell and insulting to our president and the press secretary of the United States of America. I'm doing snotty delayed adolescence but I'm not very good at it yet.

SBD B--Adolescent Intolerance: My kids are showing signs of it just now. When we parents do something stupid and they smack us down AND never ever let us forget. They can't believe that anyone that stupid could exist much less pretend to have some judgment over them.

I just read a book where the heroine runs away and gets lost in the woods. The hero rescues her. Less than a day later, she's running away again. Into the woods. Where she'll get in trouble. Again.

The heroine is strong, interesting, kind and brave. But by making the same serious mistake twice, she has made it onto my list of I Hope She Dies book characters. When it comes to life and death situations, when a romancelandia character does something stupid more than once, they're Dead To Me.

If she'd been a hero of course I'd have let her get away with excuses. . .I suppose the real life adolescent double standard is that if a kid makes a mistake, he's learning. When a parent does it, they're hopeless doots and should be put of everyone's misery.

Yeah, sounds about right to me--and I'm a parent.

And the whole ADD thing? Isn't that sort of adolescent too? Cause this post suffers from that, too. . . wander, squint briefly at a subject, wander, squint, wander, squint. . .

* * * * * *

See now in real life, you can't keep up impossible standards of an adolescent, right? I mean not for very long because it gets too hard to give the Cut Direct to such a big chunk of the population. Now wait a sec, did I just say an accidental hello to a mortal enemy who once upon a time caused me great pain? . . . Leslie and I learned this one, eh, Ms. Leslie?

Speaking of this, I think I'll accept this person's strong straight-forward apologies because no one else seems to be answering;

JJ Massa, whatever. No one died. It's okay and someone else will make a bigger fool of herself/himself any second on the blogosphere. You will now say three Hail Marys or three repetitions of the Writer's Creed and it will never be mentioned again. Whatever "it" was.

Wait a sec. . While we're in a chanting mood, let me just light a candle here and pray that the next idiot won't be me.

Friday, July 07, 2006

no, that's okay, I'll find you anyway

First Karen and then cap'n dyke shut down shop and set up elsewhere. Neither bothered leaving me a forwarding address. I had to go find them on my own. Good thing I'm socially backwards or I'd take it personally.

Was it the spoon balanced on the end of the nose (rub the spoon first and tilt your head ever so slightly) or the carrot sticks up the nose trick during formal dinners that made you leave without saying goodbye?

Summer's Complaint

No, not poison ivy again--though thanks for asking. Yeah, it's still torturing me. I'm a weenie when it comes to physical discomfort.

Today's whine features Summer Devon.

She gets basically pretty good reviews but a lot of people complain Summer writes too short**. Yeah, but **** when I write them longer? Stuff other than sex and sexual tension creeps in. Plot, other characters, food. I try doing the uber-sensual thing with those bits (you'd think food would be easy, for god's sake). I try inserting the sexual awareness/tension into other scenes, like say, riding the subway--ooooo the way the train shakes your whole body and the sound overwhelms your other senses and . . . Summer turns into Kate and has an immature, inappropriate giggle fit or falls asleep.

The damn writing is a hokey pokey process: I write the scenes, I pull them out. I shake 'em all about. I usually produce a lot, and then dump most of it out because it doesn't seem sexy enough.

Oh, kvetch, kvetch, moan. It flows naturally to an extent, but after that, it feels like I'm adding Hamburger Helper to the meal and I don't want to dilute the meat heh heh heh.

You other smut/sensual writers out there, do you find it easier or harder to write consistent heatt?


**hey, at least you don't pay a whole lot for the short stuff. Learning Charity is only $2.50.

****You can always spot a newbie author dealing with criticism. The "yeah, but" line followed by an explanation gives her away. Yeah, but I've been writing for a gazillion years and I still find myself explaining what I meant.
No, girl. It Truly Does Not Matter what you meant. It matters what they read, and if more than a couple of people read it that way? It matters even more--to the point you might want to pay attention.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

scritcha scritch

FIRST: Enter the contest, win the prestigious button.

Win the right to display the lemur and instantly become the envy of your friends and enemies. Own the lemur. Love the lemur. Be the lemur (phrase copyright boy 2, who might take it personally if we don't get more entries. That's right. Ruin a young boy's confidence in his budding artistic skills. Bitches.)

onto today's whine:

damn global warming! damn poison ivy! It's on my face, too, right next to my eyes. eeeek. I'll wait until it's entirely bothersome before calling a doctor. So far it's not bad.

Speaking of toxic vegetation, I entered the purple pen parody contest at AAR. Took about five minutes to write the thing and now when I visit the site (and I keep doing that), I am reminded that just because I wanted something to look slapdash doesn't mean it has to be done slapdash. Tchah, basic writing 101 refresher course.

Oh how I hate poison ivy**. On the plus side, the rash on my arms grosses out the boys, which is worth something.


**kind of cool PI facts from this page where I stole the photo. (And who can resist the fascination of octopus blood pressure?):

Poison-ivy sap and its urushiol are basically harmless to everything but us.
Deer, goats, horses, cattle, and many birds eat the foliage and fruits of the poison ivy plant. Flea beetles and armyworms chew their leaves, unaffected, says John Meyers of North Carolina State University. These parts are loaded with sap. Humans, though, are a different story. Eighty to 90 % of adults will get an allergic rash. All it takes is 50 micrograms (less than a grain of salt) of urushiol and at least a two-time exposure.

The human-blistering agent (urushiol) in the sap probably has no value to the plant’s survival: an accidental byproduct. Poison-ivy sap evolved as a gooey aid for injuries and a weapon against disease. The resinous sap helps heal plant wounds and may slow growth of infection-causing fungi and bacterial spores.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Know of any Good Contests?

I wrote about contests in today's RU. It looks like a straight promo post, but that's because those happen to be the only contests I know about. Can you tell me of other writers' or publishers' contests that I can add?

I was going to put in the Venus Press contest, but it looks like people are grumbling about VP over there. (btw, the long piece at that blog about Dara Joy will cause writerly nightmares for weeks. Sounds like she's gotten herself into a world of trouble. Ugh.)

Anyway, writers' contests are a great way to get free goodies. It's fun to play and I've discovered a couple of great writers through contests--and got some coffee once too.

Don't forget, there are some things better in life than books, coffee and money. You can win this fab button, designed by a 13-year-old with more computer smarts than most of us will ever have.


I turned it on because someone has been carpet bombing old messages with this kind of stuff:

Są bardzo nie grzeczni i korzystają z każdej nadarzającej się okazji bypokazać Ci świat erotycznej rozkoszy. krainę wiecznychorgazmów podejrzyj ich w trakcie uprawianiaseksu i erotycznego uniesienia. seks mamuski Czekają właśniena Ciebie.

Dozens of spam bits and most of them having to do with sex, naturally. I think.

Monday, July 03, 2006

your assignments

1. Bron's doing a wiki-thingy about history for romance writers. It has potential to be extremely cool. Check it out. And add to it.

2. Fling some snark at me, would you? Cindy did a good lemurick snark but you don't want her to walk away with this very attractive button? Sure, it's no SBTB title, but then very few things are, says Baroness Knickersnatch.

3. If you're Amurican, read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. (and don't feel bad. I'd forgotten that the B of R was the first ten Amendments, too.) Particularly note Amendments One--especially the bit about freedom of speech and the press -- and Four** . Thank you, and Happy Independence Day.


** The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, emails, phone calls and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. okay so I changed it slightly but really . . .

Sunday, July 02, 2006

boy two comes through

Boy two knows his adobe photoshop. We're impressed, aren't we?

Not particularly, says Boy one.

UPDATED: Now we can read it.

And the contest is ON because Suisan already entered (see previous post's comment). A fine entry too.

1. Email me (address at the top right corner) your entry. Try to make them pg-13 ish because boy 2 is now invested in this contest and will be reading the entries. He points out that the middle school bus language isn't close to pg-13. Okay, fine, bad words are okay. Too many references to sex make him act like a goober.

2. Best to make it a general sort of snark rather than directed at a specific person. On the other hand, another silly snark war would bring me traffic. Okay, but make it a famous writer so when she comes to defend herself I can get all excited that she came to MY blog.

3. Boy 1 suggests that you must use the word Lemur in your entry. I say you get extra points maybe.

More rules as I think of them. Maybe I'll try to coerce the Real Bitches (Candy and/or Sarah. Or Bam) to be judges. Or maybe Monica.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Two Contests (One is REALLY good)

PMS, too much testosterone, whatever your excuse. You have some wicked snarling response deep inside you. Don't let it out unless you have an audience.

Let that reader or writer know just what you feel. One or two long sentences that can go along the lines of "You wouldn't know a good book if_______"
or "You have all the sensibilities of ____________"
Snark welcome. Sincere insults, not so much.

The best one gets a lemur also-ran biggest bitch title button as soon as I figure out how to make a good one. Anyone out there like making buttons?

The deadline is sometime next week. I'll let you know when. If no one enters I'll keep the lemur and post him every day until I drive you all off or someone finally posts a good bitchetty shut up Kate post that'll qualify as a winner.

* * * *

A lot of writers have big hyped contests for "win autographed cover flats!" or "win these bathsalts I got for Christmas and am allergic to!"**

When Jes Trapp devises a contest, she does not mess around. Here's a contest that will allow you to WIN FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS (half for you, half for your favorite library or school).

Here's what she has to say about it (lifted from the RU blog)

An event I dreamed up as a way for romance readers to connect with each other and push themselves to read more. Those who qualify will be entered to win a $250 gift certificate to the bookstore of their choice along with a matching donation to a school or library they choose.

Participates sign up here: A message board allows readers to keep track of the romance books they have read, and they can also make comments on what they liked about the books.

Go on. Sign up you lazy people! GO!


**when I had my "Pamper Yourself" contest a gazillion years ago, I gave away brand new bought just for the contest products. Okay? So you know I'm just, er, pretending about this part.