Posts

Showing posts from August, 2006

yes, I know it's everywhere

Bettie Does a Fine SBD Post

Yeah, what she said.
. . . I'm not saying I haven't savored a few books with tall dark and tormented heroes in my day, but there is such a thing as taking it too far. Some of these black-leather wearing, Harley-riding, long-haired, emotional cripples sound just like the guys I see milling around outside the local leather bar at 2 a.m. Whatever those hardbodied, leather-clad wanderers are looking for, I can guarantee it ain't a petite, feisty blonde heroine with aquamarine eyes. See what I mean about camp?(And the one comment** by Kimber too: There ought to be a moratorium on heroes named (or nicknamed) Devil, Demon, Damien, Lucien, Lucifer, Luc, Lion, Lyon, Hawk, Raven, Rayne, or Wulf. These used to be what the hero's HORSE was called.) ______

**I wish I could erase my lameness. Hey, I can. That's good. It'll make me look mysterious instead of "ooo! me too! yah! [whine about rejections!]"

Last Week's Scuffle, Point/Counterpoint

The last word in the Forbes magazine career woman bushwa, brought to you by Blonde Sense:


Point: Don't Marry Career Women
Counterpoint: Don't Marry An Asshole.

By Michael Noer, Forbes Magazine: not reprinted here with permission.
How do women, careers and marriage mix? Not well, say social scientists.
By Jaye Ramsey Sutter, J.D. BlondeSense How do women, careers, and helpless men mix? Not well, says this little black duck.

Guys: A word of advice. Marry pretty women or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blondes or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don't marry a woman with a career.

Gals: A word of advice. Marry handsome men or ugly ones. Short ones or tall ones. Blonds or brunettes. Just, whatever you do, don't marry a man with no sense of shared responsibilities.


Why? Because if many social scientists are to be believed, you run a higher risk of having a rocky marriage. While everyone knows that marriage can be stressful, recent studies have found professional women are more …

It Never Ends

After my first book came out, my brother sent me a list of things I'd gotten wrong. Anachronisms, he said.

I tossed his list without reading it.**

The damn book was out. Printed. Done. If he'd sent the list earlier I would have feverishly pored over it and looked up each of his claims. But the book was finished and I could only tut tut sorrowfully and send him a surprised thank you note.*** The book was out of my hands and I couldn't do anything about the mistakes I might have made.

The other day I bought an ebook. I immediately saw a typo and, because I know the editor, I sent her a heads up. Shall I tell you about other mistakes? I asked her.

The fool said sure.

Four long emails later--one of which contradicted one of my earlier assertions about a particular detail--and even I'd had enough of me. But that isn't the main point.

I don't know if she'll use any of the notes I sent her but frankly the thought that she might tell the writer to change these things giv…

Hell in a handbasket, take five

Unbelievable. U.S. Citizens kept out of their country. Keep in mind they have not been charged with any crime. They just want to have a lawyer present during the second interview the FBI is demanding.

As Glenn Greenwald says:
. . . what possible authority exists for the Bush administration -- unilaterally, with no judicial authorization, and no charges being brought -- to bar U.S. citizens from entering their own country? And what kind of American would favor vesting in the Federal Government the power to start prohibiting other American citizens from entering the U.S. even though they have been charged with no crime and no court has authorized their exclusion?

sure! [your name] here! no reasonable offers refused

Image
Mind you I haven't read the book but that's okay with me. It looks good, I like the prizes, and the viral blogging is an intriguingidea. I hope it works for Singh

I am participating in a blogging experiment hosted at dearauthor.com. To enter the contest, put up this blurb, image, and trackback and you are entered to win the following prize package.
$200 Amazon gift certificate
Signed copy of Slave to Sensation
New Zealand goodies chosen by Singh
ARC of Christine Feehan's October 31 release: Conspiracy Game

You can read about the experiment here and you can download the code that you need to participate here.

SLAVE TO SENSATION
Nalini Singh
Berkley / September 2006

Welcome to a future where emotion is a crime and powers of the mind clash brutally against those of the heart.

Sascha Duncan is one of the Psy, a psychic race that has cut off its emotions in an effort to prevent murderous insanity. Those who feel are punished by having their brains wiped clean, their personalities and memo…

SBD blahs and rambling

I was going to write about To Say Nothing Of the Dog, but I'm not in the mood. I think I'll point out Doug's cool contest instead. It'll give you something to aim for. Condoms or books. Good times.

But really, the book is a treat and I don't know why I hadn't read it before. It's Wenlock, Wodehouse, Wilde and Prachett cleverness. And the story is fun too.

The dogs** and boy 3 and I are huddled in bed. Another chilly rainy day? Another? And school starts on THURSDAY? We're mourning the end of summer by watching cartoons. Soon we will get up and get more coffee (me) and eat a chocolate chip cookie (him).

This erotic thesaurus I'm flipping through****--still doing research for the class--claims that the word "cock" for male bits was only used from the 17th century on. Hmmm. Paula points out: "Shakespeare refers to a 'combless cock' in Taming the Shrew. I always figured he was going for the double meaning."

Who's right? Paula…

no, thanks anyway, Kate. We know the way out.

Leslie says how can I spy on your life if you don't blog?
Life. Don't talk to me about life--really, you might as well ask Marvin.

Summary:

--I'm mired in stage 4.5 of PBW's Stages of Writer's Life

--I'm recovering from the guilt of not even taking my kids to Goddamn NEW YORK this summer. NEW YORK is only 2 hours away. And no Boston, either. Maryland? Ha, it is to laugh. I really wanted to go. Instead my kids will go to school with square eyeballs from all the tv/computer time they did instead of having a life. And it's all my fault.

-- I have an online class starting week after this (with Ari) and I haven't even gotten the first class organized. We've got tons of material though. No, really. And I'm not just saying that to reassure anyone who might have signed up.

--Last week I went to the doctor to figure out stomach stuff which probably same old stomach stuff. Boring.

--I want to read fun stuff, like Doug's book.

See? That's why I'm stayi…

undefined

Image
nice purple-y thing I got from Cataromance for Learning Charity. I am happy. I'd be happier if I could recall how to play with the Summer Devon webpage, but we can't have everything.


Now about curmudgeon. I called my oldest friend** a curmudgeon and she flew into a huff. Not because she disagreed but that's a label for a man.

Neither of us could think of the right name for a woman. I see a curmudgeon as gruff and sarcastic and (this is probably not a true in any dictionary, but it's in my definition) intelligent. Think of the reclusive writer in that Field of Dreams movie. I can barely remember the movie (I liked the book better), but I know James Earl Jones played a curmudgeon.

Biddy? No, that's a fluffy headed old critter.
Bitch? Not necessarily an earned role. You can be a bitch from about 12 on. You can't be a curmudgeon in your twenties. You can be one on training until you're in your late fifties. Or at least 15 years older than I am at any given tim…
Image
Happy BirthdayAimless Amelia Elias
Lady Amelia Elias.

see comments for explanation.




Left:sealand, next year's hot tourist spot. Above: its seal, which will henceforth be embroidered onto all of Lady Amelia's undergarments. Even the teeny thongs.

today

I guest blogged at Kris Starr's place. I wrote a whole fascinating entry and somehow I erased it. When I started again, I lost the will to rewrite it so did something else. So I've already blogged twice. And my stomach hurts again. Grr.
An Important Question:
Traditionally, curmudgeons are male, right? What is the (traditional) female equivalent?

Even my Subconscious is Pathetic

Last night's dream: I was trying to get a guy into bed. I had almost succeeded too. He was nearly naked when he noticed that the wall near his bed was dirty. He said we might as well wash it.

I gave up, got dressed and went downstairs to a writers' meeting instead, where I ate too much chocolate cake. And I think at the meeting I lied about seeing my book in Walmart. **

* * * *

To make up for yesterday and today's whingy posts, here are some words of wisdom and/or inspiration, lifted from another blog.She got those words from a friend of hers, so I think it's all okay in the end. Also, it's a really old entry so that makes it even more okay, right?


The Power of Google
May the Internet be with you.
And also with you.
Let us surf.

Valentine's Day
"If you're with someone, give them a little extra squeeze on Monday. If you're not with someone, squeeze a stranger. A total stranger. Squeeze them tight so they can't get away. When the cops arrive, squeeze them…

bombshell SBD

Not very clever today and the rant is familiar to anyone who's spent more than ten minutes paying attention to the book business.

Time to say adios to bombshell! Byeeee! You and Flipside and Precious Gems and Candlelight are all up in category heaven now. Y'all are up there, perhaps looking over the lists of reason given for your failure. My bet is that the actual stories aren't really on the first page.

Yet another casualty of the quest for a Consistent Predictable Product that'll attract the dollars--jumping on the trends du jour.

It's enough to make one wish to be a scientist or something--or some sort of profession that builds on what came before rather than just produces random chaotic surges to attract the market herd.

About now I take back everything I ever thought or said about literary fiction. Yes, I know bottom lines are involved with those publishers and that they're probably all the same big monster publisher umbrella operating under many, many names, …

Better Luck Next Time -- I'm Too Good

Hooo--baby! I consider this a meme, started by this astoundingly narcissistic womanwho was then mocked by this beautifully sarcastic one. I think we can and should all tell the world why we're Just Way Too Good for Average (Wo)Men. Sorry buddy, you just don't measure up to the Wonder that is Me.

1. My eyes. They're not just brown. They're pure unadulterated brown. A fluke of nature, but hey, Paris Hilton didn't earn her beauty either.

2. I can ride a bike. I'm talking about only two wheels and yet I don't fall off (or rarely, anyway) My ass isn't too large to fit on the saddle. Sadly many women today [at least 60%**] don't bother riding bikes. If you never mastered the art of staying upright on a bike, well, maybe you can console yourself by finding one of those loser women who also don't know how.

3. I don't want to have any more children. All those younger women have uteruses [uteri?]tick-ticking so loud you can't hear anything else in th…

Why I'm Happy

First Reason:Learning Charity won at the Reviewer’s Choice Awards at Ecataromance . I didn't even know it was in the running. Ever since I've hopping up and down and yapping like a small, exciteable dog. Yah! Me! Yah! I'm teh best! Yah!
Lyn Cash won too! Yah Lyn! And a lot of other people, too! Yah us! Yah everyone!

Second Reason: Writer Judith Merkle Riley wrote back to me. I'd tracked her down like a drooly fan girl.

my note to her [edited somewhat to remove drooling nature]:
Hi Prof. Merkle

Ha! You are the author. I can see a touch of the Vision of Light in your University photo!

Anyway, have you gone out of the fiction writing business? I'll (reluctantly) stop waiting for your next one if you have. Heck, Margaret Mitchell didn't owe the world anything once she finished her single book. You don't either. I just sort of hoped. . . .
her answer [edited not at all]:

The three Margarets are being re-issued, including The Water Devil, which has Never Before Seen Prin…

Attention RWA!

Image
If you're on the committee planning the conference, please do consider this spot for a future convention. Love Land is inspirational! (though perhaps not for some who write inspirationals.)

Heck for anyone planning a vacation, forget Disneyworld and head out for Love Land. Children under 12 are free (but only allowed in when accompanied by an adult).

Warning: If you click on the slideshow at the article, make sure:
1. you work for a Museum of Extremely Kitschy Art
or
2. your boss isn't standing behind you, watching over your shoulder.
Below is one of the more subtle images.


A bit of the article:

" 'Love Land' is a theme park, about the size of two soccer fields, located in the north of Cheju Island [Korea]. And it's crammed with soft porn memorabilia -- statues, photographs and sculptures that seem like something halfway between a post-modern version of those temple phalluses and a Jeff Koons installation -- just more trashy, if that's possible.

Salacious Disneyla…

Thursday Thirteen -- things I won't miss about summer (the season)

1. teh sweat

2. He reached for her, all tenderness gone -- Maaaaaaaaa. Will you get me a bagel?

3. She moved, restless -- Maaaaaaa! It's my turn and he won't get off the computer.

4. The electric bill from air conditioning left on in empty rooms. Or full rooms for that matter.

5. Badminton. I might miss it a bit.

6. Being informed at least once a day that my soul has been sold in exchange for some kind of weapon or meat product in an online game.

7. Damp towels. There will still be damp towels in the world and they will still collect in piles on bathroom floors, but not quite as many.

8. Poison ivy

9. Wearing [shudder] a bathing suit.

10. New York publishers closing down on Fridays. I want to get my rejections more quickly, thank you.

11. The plants that look like poison ivy.

12. Summer brain. Mildewed, sluggish and prone to shut downs without warning.

13. The guilt of not providing wholesome and educational summer activities for the boys who are chained to the computers.

correspondence

One possible reason for editor cancellations at conferences.(I think I'll cross-post this bitchiness at MySpace. . .)

Dear Editor X,

Thank you for taking the time to read over my manuscript The Vampire Family. I know it's been several months since we met in New Jersey. You'd asked for a full and I wanted to take the time to make sure it was in the best shape possible before sending it on.

Thanks,
Writer A

what she didn't write: notice I spelled your name right? Most people don't since it's so ethnic and all. I want you to see that I'm a serious-ass writer because I double-checked your name and I go to conferences. On the other hand, I hope you've forgotten about the butter pat I dropped on your lap at lunch when I was leaning over you, trying to drag your attention away from that other writer so I could pitch to you. True, it wasn't a real pitch session. And I only had five pages done when I pitched it. See how fast I can pull these things out of my butt…

Tsk! You readers!

Did I lose you with the me me me whining in that blog entry? Are you all so fed to the teeth with summer reading that you can't recommend a good book for my friend L, who needs one?

Shake off those blahs and give up some titles. She doesn't read too much sex (I doubt she's read a Summer Devon), she likes characters with depth. . .The last book she liked was Time Traveler's Wife. Maybe I'll bug her tomorrow about other books she's liked, but don't let that stop you. We're in a hurry here because summer ends in a couple of weeks.

Come on, y'all! Make up a summer reading list. (Meantime I'll be hanging around waiting for you and for the laptop to catch on fire. Ah, Dell. )

Leslie? I think you might have similar tastes. So? Name names.

Updated to include more Books L likes: She likes the book Bel Canto, she likes Anne Tyler books with quirky character. (Ha! Maybe she should try Louise Erdrich for heavens sake. Although she did say that the last Patricia…

and so . . .

Turns out a person who can't do real work can play with promo! I found the password for my MySpace account again. Soon the entire internet will be completely jammed with Kate Promo. Enraged Internet Users will come tearing after me with lanterns and pitchforks. I'll run into the woods and crouch in the underbrush frantically search for wifi signals to erase my tracks. HooooooooooooooWWWWWWWWWwwwwwwwl.

SBD, really whiny writer edition

Image
I can't get time to write. Which means I can't get time to read because when I don't write, I don't let myself read. Stupid rule, but it seems organic at this point, as in I pick up a book, start to read it and think "Oy, you can do better" or "Oy, you'll never be this good" and either of those leads to "You know you'll never improve if you don't get the pages done."

When I get my ten pages a day done, I can let go and live. When I don't even manage 1.5 pages a day, my Writer's Angst hangs around like fug from a smoking room, polluting the reading, writing and parenting worlds. I haven't done ten pages in months. MONTHS.


Portrait of the Writer in Summertime

Writer's Guilt isn't the only block on the reading just now. I can't seem to manage anything longer than a blog post and some of those longer blog entries are too much for my flea-brain to comprehend.

But enough of my whining. No, really, I mean it for on…

The Pure Promo Winner . . .

is Deb F!

I got a lot of entries and unless you tell me to bug off, I'm putting the email addresses in a list that I have yet to use but plan to someday organize into a "notification of publication" list. No chat, no selling names. But do let me know if you want to opt out and I promise not to sulk.

cheryl--I did get your entry but the boy picked Deb F's number. Sorry. (How's Sirius? Any more cute pictures?)

PURE PROMOTION (with prize)

I just finished writing this for anonline yahoo group run by Michelle Pillow and Mandy Roth.

I hit send and decided that if I open this to their readers, I should open it to everyone, right? So here you go, a Gift Just For You:

1. an example of a typical promotion done by an e-book author for those of you interested in learning such promo tactics.

OR

2. a chance to win a prize.


Here are links to four excerpts from Summer Devon's four romantic erotica novellas:
Learning Charity
Invisible Touch
Futurelove
Perfection

Your task is to find the answers to these three questions**:

1. What is Charity's employer's name?
2. Name one way Bonnie tries to communicate with Jared.
3. How did Bryan's arm get injured?

AND when you have the answers, email me at the address below.

THE PRIZE: I'm asking you to do some work here, so I figure you deserve a chance to win a five dollar gift e-certificate to Samhain Publishing as well as a copy of Learning Charity, my Samhain story. Email your answers t…

I Heart P-town and other randomness

although that p-town abbrev. is probably for people who are in the know, like my next door neighbor. Provincetown sounds more respectful from us occasional tourists (I think I was ten last time I went there).

Mostly I love the beaches and the bay and the gardens because they're nearly free. I'll love the restaurants and shops after we win the lottery.

Oh, and the people watching. You have to love the clothes and the people in the them or you're just dead. Muscular and not so muscular guys in leather bikinis--eh, not always lovely. But how could anyone not adore seeing a 6'5" transvestite in a yellow and green polka dot dress with matching yellow shoes and purse, a gorgeous wig and a huge smile puttering along on a sunny yellow moped? The sight is contagiously happy.

I read an article about the good old days, when people other than the superrich could afford to live there, when it had real theater and real art. I'm glad I hadn't known Provincetown before becau…

see you later

We're gone til Thursday and leaving a behind a housesitter so don't get your hopes up, all you burglars. (Also leaving dog who has her hopes up. She hates it when she sees bags by the door.)

We might not stay the whole time because damn, turns out to be expensive on Cape Cod. Who knew?

My SBD is ummmmm. er. Well, it was going to be about shape-shifters stories (I recently wrote one) but ever since I visited the zoophile site it's just too odd.Okay, so I already blathered on about it at Doug's and SBTB's yet it's still a whole new and strange world. It presents a slope that's so slippery it's dizzying.

Any straight people go through this when they first realized the reality of gay sex? I was pretty old -- in middle school. maybe even high school. (A sign of my age. I mean back then it wasn't a general topic) At first I was squicked, and thought there can't be that many of them, right? It's too gross and they're must be weirdos who aren't…

Speaking of Political

I posted over at dailykos about how hard it is to be So Damned Popular. I know, I know. It's a rabid dog frothfest over there on occasion. Must be why I visit the place.

We have house-guests. Shhhh. They're sleeping or maybe they're watching television. I like houseguests who don't mind when you wave goodnight and wander away. I hope they don't catch the grunge we've had.

UPDATE: Skip the politics at dailykos and read this diary--a primer on publishing. He defines midlist, backlist etc.. I don't know who this guy is but he seems to know what he's talking about.

and on a slightly different note. . .**

Image
What happens when you don't show up to collect your Rita?




h/t Sandy









** It is still about RWA, so not completely different.

It's alive!

Image
Again.

Jan Butler replied and lots of people have responded to her response. **

Anyway.

One my pals (who didn't say so, but I'm guessing she doesn't want to be named) pointed out in an email:

Well, at the risk of being attacked. I agree with her on some points—most specifically that I do think in the never ending quest to get books hotter and hotter, good writing is being pushed to the side. IMO a lot of the books being touted as the next great thing and getting buzz just aren’t that well written—it is becoming about body parts. In the long run, I don’t see how that can serve the romance genre well. It’s not the sex I object to, but so much emphasis being put on it that other things (craft, emotion, etc.) seem to be suffering.

I respect Jan or whatever her name is for standing up for herself though. She has a right to her opinion, she voiced it and now she is sticking up for her right to do so. I think that is good.

Part of my reponse to my friend:

See, you're talking about …

slacker

I like that word, slacker. It just has a nice feel or rhythm in the mouth. drawn out 'ssssssslaa' and then a quick tough end 'ker'

Right.

It's the heat, officer. That's why the house looks so used, the blog and writing are ignored, the contest entries aren't touched. The children's eyes are turning into rectangles because of the hours of computer/television time they're putting in. I wonder if slacking is occuring all over the heat-stricken zone. I bet productivity on the East Coast has gone to hell.

But look, I'm achieving despite myself. [promo alert!]Bam likes the latest Summer Devon even though--as she points out--it has all the depth and heaviness of a souffle. Hey, Many of Us enjoy souffles now and again.

I really like the review. (It's a B and Summer refuses to acknowledge anything less than an A++ ). Bam really does think about books, which is a big compliment to writers.

And despite the heat, I'm actually doing work, sort of. Nothing…