Wednesday, August 30, 2006

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!]"

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

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 likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it. A recent study in Social Forces, a research journal, found that women--even those with a "feminist" outlook--are happier when their husband is the primary breadwinner.

Why? Because he just doesn't get it. If he doesn't get it and get to counseling, then get the hell out. You didn't marry him so you would have to clean up after him, you didn't marry him to compete about who has the higher salary. You didn't marry him because you needed to marry him. You married him for the same reasons you stay married to him, because you found someone who is your partner and who wants you to excel at being yourself. Why be married to someone who isn't willing to cook, clean, and raise the kids? Why is his job more important?

read the rest here.... [though I'd say this was the best of it]

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 gives me a stomachache -- in sympathy with the writer.

There's a glorious moment when you write THE END. And another glorious moment when you confidently type "I have solved all of your concerns" to the editor you're working with. Those are the precious times you know that writing is not like raising children or delivering the mail. With books there are beginnings, middles and, best of all, ENDS.

This is why I love paper. I can walk away from a book when I'm finished writing it. Hard enough to figure out when that moment is, what with rewrites. . . But eventually the book is not my problem any more. I hope that I haven't destroyed that moment for the ebook author in question.

There is another disturbing issue raised by the incident: Why the hell did I write the letters? Sad to say, I think it's because I'm a crank. A granny waxweather. (thanks Charli!)

I know every book has problems and I certainly don't take the mistakes personally. I am not offended. In this case, I enjoyed the book. And yet, the little issues nagged. . . .AND I think now I know why some people write the letters. The trivia is racketing around in their heads and they have to tell someone. (That word was not used until the 1900s)

After all, the writer/editor caused the dumb facts to rise up from the depths where they were buried, somewhere near the lyrics to the Gilligan's Island theme I memorized as a wee tot. Since the writer/editor unearthed the useless information, why not bug them with it?

It's like a song refrain that gets stuck in your head. Always satisfying to punish the kid who set off the continuous Rolling Stones loop in your head of You cain't always git what you waaaaaaahnt.
by singing
Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale/a tale of a fateful trip./That started from this tropic port/aboard this tiny ship.

. . . Although I guess that punishment is too cruel, isn't it.

What do you think? Assuming it isn't a big deal process (and I don't know if it is) is it reasonable for a publisher to ask a writer to correct mistakes in an ebook? Or should the choice to change be left entirely up to the writer? She put in her time on that book already. Wonder what the policy is in Ebook World.****


** Actually I saved his list thinking I'd look up what he said, just in case he was wrong. Heh. Nothing more satisfactory than proving a sibling is wrong while he's trying to prove me wrong.

*** He actually read the thing! Wow.

**** When I worked my NYC pubbed books, I was often assured that they were MY books. MY name was on them. On the other hand, humongous mistakes weren't tolerated. No editor wants to be known as the dimbo who allowed the infamous camera in the Regency--there is such a book, btw.

Monday, August 28, 2006

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

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 intriguing idea. I hope it works for Singh

I am participating in a blogging experiment hosted at 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.

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 memories destroyed.

Lucas Hunter is a Changeling, a shapeshifter who craves sensation, lives for touch. When their separate worlds collide in the serial murders of Changeling women, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities…or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.

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 or Peterkin?


**don't tell the husband because dogs aren't allowed on the bed. He won't know because he doesn't read the blog. Heh.
****The Bald-Headed Hermit and the Artichoke: An Erotic Thesaurus, by A.D. Peterkin. Best thing about the book are the illustrations.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

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.


--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 staying away from the blog. I'm the person on the long flight who interrupts you while you finally get a chance to settle down to read To Say Nothing of the Dog.

The person next to you launches into a monologue that is dull, dull, dull and consists mostly of lists of bewildering things like why she should never make lists. I am sympathetic to your plight, fellow traveler, because I am also trying to read To Say Nothing of the Dog (which is depressing me because it's so much more clever than the stories I wrote about a time travel agency before I knew of this damn book's existence.)

Friday, August 25, 2006


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 time.

So that's the reason. I've liked the names you all have provided, but they don't have the same uumph as curmudgeon. I'm SOL, is all. My friend'll have to put up with the word.


** Oldest in several senses. She's no spring chicken and she was the third person to meet me. Five minutes after I was born, my father dragged her to the hospital nursery. "See that baby?" My father pointed at me. "Isn't she beautiful?"

My friend looked at the squalling red frog that was me and she knew then that parenthood did something horrible to a person's brains. She never had kids.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Happy Birthday Aimless 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.


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?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

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 too - cops love hugs. Later, in your cell, give yourself a little squeeze as well.

The Cruelest Month
I once saw February forcefeed a diabetic a Pixie Stick.

When dealing with lesbians
So you have a problem. Just sit her down and say, 'Alright, I'm not going to beat around the bush...' Um. Well. Maybe not those exact words...

Academic Stress
Right now, I have a paper that is so on top of me, it's humping my leg. It's carrying a riding crop, wearing a strap-on, and yelling, 'Who's your Daddy?!'"

Spring Break
Well, I was going to spend spring break in an orgy of self-pity and internet porn. Yeah, two great tastes that taste great together.

French, as a language
If there was some nuclear explosion that was widespread and made everyone be born without mouths, the French could still speak.

Nerdygirl has more sagacity, much of it worthy of greeting card-dom.


** long, long ago and far, far away, my books were in Walmart. (The first one, anyway) But I never saw it there. I only know because I got a couple of letters from readers who said they'd picked my book up at Walmart on a whim.

Monday, August 21, 2006

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, all with similar corporate rule-books.

Please leave me the tiny fantasy there's a difference and that those literary fiction types tolerate more risk. Thank you.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Better Luck Next Time -- I'm Too Good

Hooo--baby! I consider this a meme, started by this astoundingly narcissistic woman who 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 the room...they don't want to have fun with their men. They want babies. Now. I'm done with babies (I hope). Loads of fun and no more big bellies. I'm a better catch. Fer sure.

4. Like those other two women (Let's call them Bizarre and Funny, shall we?) I am not on welfare. Granted, I haven't made a living wage in years, but thanks to my sugar daddy, I'm not in debt, except for this mortgage thing. More than 83% of the women you'll meet are up to their armpits in debt, but I don't even owe a car payment. Beat that, skinny girls.

5. My interests tend to be more popular with humans rather than dogs. I like to talk about books, food, people, mortgages and my aches and pains. Except for the food part, you'll find that my interests more closely match human interests. I'm at least 74.5% more human than dog.

6. I know my own worth. And it's better than you'd imagine or than you deserve. Okay, so we had a little trouble with overdraft in the checking account last week. We only pay $5 per overdraft because we have a savings account. So we're down $10. No biggie.

7. I have a credit card in MY name only. I know where to swipe the little black strip. Nearly all Third World women [at least 93%] don't even know what an ATM machine is. They'd probably use their credit card to scrap their pots or something.

Beat that list, Jacqueline. Or may I call you Jackie? As for the rest of you -- Sorry. I'm just that much better. Yes, since you asked, it is a zero sum game. There is only so much Superiority out there. Certainly only so many prime women.

** Jacqueline provided links for her stats. I would too, except I pulled them out of my derriere. Ah, and I know how to say many naughty and interesting phrases in other languages. More than you do, probably. And certainly more than 77% of American women except for the ones who speak other languages very fluently.

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 Print in English. (Yes! January 2007!) I am working on another book, but it has experienced Unavoidable Delays, as they say. Maybe in another year or so…

Best wishes,
Judith Merkle

The current big thing = Historicals Rich with Details. So this time round, her books should be mucho bestsellers.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Attention RWA!

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
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 Disneyland

Just behind the entrance to Love Land, an acrobatic, oral-sex ensemble greets visitors. It shows a man and two women -- one woman has her legs wrapped around the man's neck and looks like she's going to break her own neck any minute. The acrobatic threesome is illuminated at night, just like the other exhibits here: the nipple mountain crowned with pink nubs or the sturdy erect penises that rise up from the goldfish pond like a fountain. The sculptures are so explicit you can't help stopping in front of them with a mixture of disbelief and amusement -- even as a jaded Western tourist."

Who's he calling jaded? I'm absolutely certain that if I or anyone I know went to Love Land we'd have massive giggle fits.

link stolen from blondesense.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

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.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


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.

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? Pretty damned impressive huh? Writer A

* * * * *

Dear Writer A,

Thank you for sending me your manuscript, The Vampire Flocks. I apologize for not getting back to you sooner, but we have experienced some major reconstruction in our office space and it was temporarily mislaid. While your voice is fresh and original, I can't see a place in our line-up for this manuscript. I do appreciate you thinking of us and wish you well in your career.

Editor X

Whoops. Last week I found your envelope propping up one side of my office mate's wobbly bookcase. When I take off too much time to party in the summer, the boring asshole at the next desk gets jealous and pulls shit like that. And I mean the time off was hardly worth it--what a waste of summer. I never even made it to goddamn East Rockaway much less Amagansett. What is the point of sucking up to people with beach houses if they never invite you?

Omigod. Your book. This is such trash, I had to go find my pal Trina in marketing and read the sex scene to her in a fake German accent. She laughed so hard she gagged and just about threw up.

Please, please, forget you've ever heard of me. And if I recognize you at a conference, and I see you coming, I'm ducking into the bathroom. Do not follow me. Hey, wait a sec--weren't you the old biddy who sprayed some kind of greasy crap on my blouse? Wish I could hit you up for the dry-cleaning bill. Editor X.

* * * * *

Dear Editor X,

Thank you for returning my story, The Vampire Family. I'm delighted that you enjoyed my voice. I've signed up for a ten minute meeting with you in New England for the We Love Romance Writers Conference and I can't wait to pitch my newest manuscript The Vampire Flock (I loved the name! So original, I had to actually use it.) Oh boy! I can't wait to meet with you again.

Writer A.

You fucker. Over one year you hold onto the manuscript and you send back a form letter? And you don't even bother to get the title right? Never mind. This'll give me a chance to show you how flexible and fun I am.

Okay, on the tenth read over of your letter, I see that it might be something more than a form so I will allow myself to hope again. And we both know you owe me for that wait. Guilt. You feel guilty, I bet. And enough time has passed so you've forgotten the butter incident.

I've shoved some changes into Vampire Family--I'm hoping you'll never know it's the same manuscript. I think making the heroine a werepanther instead of a werewolf was pure inspiration on my part. Oh, boy! I can't wait to meet you again. I plan on calling you by your first name now that we're friends. Writer A

* * * *

To The Organizers of the We Love Romance Writers Conference: Due to illness in her immediate family, Editor X will not be able to attend the conference. She sends her deepest regrets.

Monday, August 14, 2006

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 Gaffney book she read the characters were too perfect and sweet. So nothing too sweet, okay? )

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

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 once. That's because I have a question for my friend L who can manage books:

She just finished The Time Traveler's Wife (which I tried to read but can't. Hop. Hop.) And is looking for another summer book. Any suggestions? She tried a Patricia Gaffney but wasn't impressed. There was one Patricia G she really enjoyed but now I've forgotten the title.

She doesn't really enjoy straight romance, but seems to gravitate towards Women's Fiction. Hmmm. Maybe I should lend her An Inconvenient Wife by Megan Chance.

Except I think she likes books with lots of Sympathetic Characters. I don't recall an abundance of them in that book. I'd try to read it again but even reruns are tough for . . . no no no, whine time is over.

Give me titles for L, okay?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

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?)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

PURE PROMOTION (with prize)

I just finished writing this for an online 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.


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

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 to

I'll pick a winner at random from correct entries tomorrow morning at 9 am . . . or when I wake up, whichever comes is first.


** all of these excerpts make me cringe and feel some nausea so don't go into detail, okay? No, I didn't include this footnote in the yahoo group promo.

Friday, August 11, 2006

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 because I'd probably be ranting about how Wonderful It Once Was instead of how great it is now.

We walked on the breakwater a few times and when I close my eyes, I hear the constant running toilet of the tide gurgling through the wall and I'm jumping from rock to rock. Or else I'm swaying in the waves--that's from swimming in the ocean. Sure signs of a successful vacation, right?

Too bad while I was off getting sunburned I missed my fifteen minutes of fame. Someone at dailykos picked up the whole Jan Butler thing and the visitor counter went crazy wild while I was away. (thanks, Kate Davies, for pointing it out.)

Speaking of Jan Butler, she wrote a note to me that was respectful and friendly. She didn't know she was getting huge numbers of notes at her blog.

Huh. So much for interpreting her silence as putting her fingers in her ears and ignoring the opposition while shouting out her opinion. I think, maybe.

I'm not going to change her mind, and she's not going to change mine. (I wrote "I'm not going to open her mind, and she's not going to close mine" but hoo-boy, righteousness gets old fast)

As long as RWA doesn't pick up the whole defining romance nonsense again, I'm done. Adios, high traffic.

I'll put up pictures of Our Vacation soon. They should be even better than the blurry dog and flower pictures for decreasing numbers. Too bad blogger won't let me put up the coolio picture of the breakwater--a hint maybe.

Monday, August 07, 2006

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 entirely human. That's when I thought it was terribly funny--hiding discomfort. Then I thought it was none of my business and they deserve consideration. At last I got to hey, they're normal even if they're not like me. That took a while, I think -- I mean to really get to the acceptance stage.

I'm sort of having the start of that response with the zoophiles. Weird. Just plain weird. Me, I mean. They're beyond my ken, but I suppose that if you're born that way, and if you really love animals [heh, heh] and treat them well . . .well. It still causes me discomfort, but I wonder if it is anyone's business, assuming the animals in question aren't being mistreated.

That's the crux of the matter, isn't it.

And that's when I remembered all the things we do to animals. Eating them seems to be one of the lesser forms of mistreatment. A little human loving is nothing compared to other stuff animals go through at our hands. I'm convinced that our strong reaction to it has more to do with our discomfort than concern for the animals. I still include me in that "our" by the way, but less than a few days ago. (BTW, I'm talking zoophile not animal rape and I do see a difference.)

After all, animals don't seem to have the same issues about sex as we do. Hey, they do it in public. If they don't like what the human is up to, there are ways to deal with it. Dolphins would drown you. Horses can kick you. Physical harm to the animal is obvious and it's not hard to judge if an animal like a dog is being psychologically mistreated. They wear their emotions on their tails and ears after all. I think it's probably pretty easy to do the whole thing badly, as Suisan points out. Sneaking up on stray animals in the middle of the night. The website seems to be pretty casual, as Suisan noticed and there aren't howto books on the subject.

Well, maybe there are books but I'm not buying them. I don't need to know any more, thank you. And no, I'm not at the final stage of total acceptance. I'm still not sure about the abuse question. But I don't feel like mocking zoophiles any more..

The big question always is What If Your Own Kid was One of Them? No, I can't see that as fairly easy to accept, not like having a gay kid. I wouldn't reject my kid but I would see if he could be "cured." And I wouldn't want a german shepherd for a daughter-in-law. And no, I'm not for man-dog marriage, okay? Never will be either. No, and no domesticated animal as a Domestic Partner for benefits, either.

I feel sorry for zoophiles who don't form loving bonds with people--and not just because they have to hide. It's such a lonely life in a lot of ways. The best part of a loving relationship is the talking...How do you share a joke with your cow?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

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.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

It's alive!


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


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 writing and quality of the story--valid to discuss when you're writers. (Hard to make rules about too, though). That's not even close to trying to decide who does or does not get to fall in love.

I think the glut problem (and slapdash writing) happens in any genre that gets popular. Isn't that what did chicklit in?

But there's more discussion of Jan and her letter at the link above. . .if you want more.


** Update: Boy one and husband were just walking past (on their way to the TV and Red Sox) and I told them that Nora Roberts had visited my blog today.

Boy One stopped and gaped at me. "Oh wow. That's amazing. I am not worthy. May I touch you? No, no, that's too much to ask. May I touch the hem of your dress? Wow," he said. "Tell me again? Who the hell is Nora Roberts?"

September cannot get here fast enough.


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'


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 strenuous. Ari and I are doing a workshop online starting September 5. I have to read books, and cruise the internet to steal quotes and ideas** for it (with attribution!!! Jeez, what do you think I am?).****

Here's the official announcement:

On-Line Workshop by Summer Devon and Arianna Hart
How to put the HOT in your erotic romance manuscript.

Summer Devon and Arianna Hart are offering a month-long on-line workshop that will make the pages of your erotic romance manuscript sizzle. These two veterans of erotic romance will cover such topics as:

The difference between romance and erotic romance.
Igniting the sparks between your characters
Building and maintaining sexual tension

We’ll help you with your specific erotic romance writing needs.

Summer Devon is the pseudonym of Kate Rothwell, award-winning author of historical romance. As Summer Devon, Rothwell writes erotica for Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing and has a novella with Pocket Books coming out this winter.
Arianna Hart has 10 novels and novellas published with Ellora’s Cave as well as Samhain Publishing. A reviewer from "Loves Romance" describes her as “. . .a gifted and talented storyteller that draws the reader in and weaves a spell around you.”

Holy crap. I just went to look and it's already listed at the Charter Oak RWA site and we only sent in the description yesterday afternoon. The Charter Oak webmistress is freaking AMAZING. Of course she lives in Seattle or somewhere that's not hit with a heatwave.

**Rioters! If you want to save the Lazy Girl some trouble and get yourself some promo too, you can send me your memorable advice or quote about erotic romance, along with your name and website address. Use the email up on the right. I think I'll steal Doug's No Exploding Universes. I just read an exploding universe scene --not a bad one, either-- last night and had a minor giggle fit.

**** Don't bother to answer. And most of what we'll post is the result of our own experience -- years of writing and rewriting and unlearning cliches and shite.