Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Best tee-shirt of the day: Every time you see a rainbow, God is having gay sex.


I measure brain activity by rodent power, and yes, I know rabbits aren't rodents but some other family, I think. But close enough, okay?

Gerbil brain--when your brain can't get off a subject and it runs on the wheel, thinking of nothing else.

Rabbit brain--when your brain hippetty-hops from subject to subject and you bounce around the house or the internet not finishing projects or check your email every few minutes.

Dormouse brain--see "Alice in Wonderland."

Today = bunny brain and I can't write two sentences in a row. I went outside to rake leaves, thought of a sentence! came back inside, found a chewed up mess the dog made, cleaned up the mess, forgot why I'd come inside, made more coffee, checked the email, remembered I needed to go find the Halloween decorations in the basement and why don't I do a load of laundry while I'm there......blah blah blah, hop hop hop.

What would be a useful and productive rodent? Maybe a hamster busy stuffing its cheeks and then hiding the loot? Yo.That'll be the kids tonight. I expect to find candy wrappers all over the house. Oh boy! and then will come the mouse droppings!

gnaw, hop, skitter, squeak.

Monday, October 30, 2006

SBD random rant

I'm listening to a book on tape--an Ann Perry mystery. The book is driving me nuts. I sort of like the characters--they're occasionally predictable, but I don't mind that. I like the fact that, though they're not simplistic, these people are filled to the brim with integrity, strength, honesty yadda yadda. Nice change from the reality of ambiguous people in the real world. I don't even mind the POV errors I keep noticing. Or the obvious mistakes the characters make.

EXCEPT I don't think I can listen to the whole thing because, even though the main characters are dandy, the author's driving me nuts. She has them all, every last one of them, closing their eyes and visiting the past when she needs to get in some backstory. They get so lost in their thoughts they are all startled when someone speaks and pulls them forward. Oops, just escaped to the vivid past which has more scent, sight, sound than this particular moment. Uh UH, girl friend. Once, twice okay, maybe. Not every chapter or so. And I wish someone had edited out the repetition of plot points too, and zapped out a few repeats of the phrase "poor creature". I bet I wouldn't notice those details if I were reading the book myself--I have the excellent Davina Porter reading it to me. **

But the above whining wasn't supposed to be the subject of my rant. Famous people I sort of know about showing up in fiction. THAT's what I was going to go on about. This book isn't rife with that, but it has Florence Nightingale in it. When I was in fifth grade, I did an essay about FN. I know FN. I mean I read at least four encyclopedia articles about her. And some kind of kiddy book that featured FN helping a collie dog named Dandy. I remember this stuff, see? Anyway, I'm sure Ms. Perry did her research too, but her version of FN isn't the one I know. Hers is pleasant and pretty.

We're not talking egregious error, it's entirely opinion. I think it's like having a cover with a faces of people you don't think matches the hero and heroine--or going to see a movie made from a book that doesn't quite stay true to your memory of the plot. But there's this big trend in historicals to be HISTORICAL. I don't like it. A mention of a name here or there, sure. Even a scene or two. But the whole plopping of a non-fictional person into a fiction plot bugs me. I'd rather read my very own new copy [gloat time] of Thunderstruck by Erik Larson. It reads like fiction but pretends? really is? HISTORICAL.

Oh and one more tangent. For the next year, our local library has shrunk from a main library with two branches to just the two branches. So for the next year, if I want to read any book that might be even remotely popular, I have to buy it. Like the Larson. Turns out I kind of like having new books and not waiting for a copy that's on reserve. It's decadent.


**Maybe another reason I'm so snarky is I have Davina Porter Envy. I want my books to be on tape and read by her. Frankly I have publisher contract envy. First thing this morning--ANOTHER rejection. Sigh. That means the book will be abandoned or rewritten, I think.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

everyone else gets the good mail

Sometimes when I read other writers' blogs, I get sorta jealous at all the attention they get.

I'm poison ivy green about this note Tod Goldberg got. That's some tasty hate mail. Not as good as Tod's response, but the crack about the middle school girl really hit home for me. Maybe someday I can get someone threatening me with a lawyer for no particular reason too.

[found by way of Karen.]

Friday, October 27, 2006

yes, of course you're sick of Rush's Michael J Fox remarks

But read this article anyway. I mean EDS is scary and I think the guy is right. Rush is insufferable a sufferer.

[article found at corrente while I was looking for their smoked brisket recipe.]

A new personal record!

I've gotten four rejections this week.

several arguments around the house

me: No, I'm sorry. It's not winter. The heat's not going on yet.
boy: Dang it, mom, look! I can see my breath--See? steam!
me: Okay, put on a sweater.
boy: I'm already wearing two shirts and a sweatshirt.
me: Where's your coat?
boy: The dog is shivering! Just turn on the heat, would you?
me: Wait until your dad gets home.
boy: Why?!
me: He knows how and I'm too cold to go bang around in the basement.

dog: prancing by door. I need to go out! whine!
me: opening door.
dog: scratching at door. woof! WOOF
me: opening door. Shut up. You're annoying the neighbors. Okay, come on in.
[three minutes later]
dog: prancing by door. out! again! whine!
me: Listen you dumb mutt, I can't leave the back door open any more. It's too cold. And no, I don't have time to keep letting you in and out of the house. Pick a place and stay there for a few minutes. . . . What's wrong?
dog: prancing by door It's a squirrel! I have to go out. God, it's on the deck! It's a squirrel I tell you. woof! out! woof!
me: opening door.
dog: aw, whaddaya know, the squirrel got away. hey it's cold and boring out here. Woof! WOOF!
winner--dog and squirrel.

character: But it's too early in the story to have sex.
me: This is erotica. It's never too early.
character: I don't even know the woman. I don't even know myself. Do you?
me: You're perpetually horny.
character: Yeah, but that's just one aspect of my nature. Where's my character development?
me: Later. During. After. Just get into bed, would you? No, hold on a sec. No need to go all the way to the bedroom. In fact, forget walking home. Let's have it right here in the office and you'll make it on a desk.
character: How about a scene just to show what a sympathetic sort of person I--
me: Shut up. Moan or something, okay? In a sympathetic manner.
character: Moan.
winner--Summer Devon.

Why I like writing--> I win some arguments.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The rejecter seems to be acting up.

I've got yet another recommended dkos diary. I don't get why this one went to the top of the page. It's just a cute little anecdote, not a major Truth (there we go with the Truth again, Doug.)

Once it hit the big time, I did tag on a moral: JFDI. Make the calls for something you care about.

Speaking of dkos, I'm tarred tarred tarred of self righteousness and anger. Sure, it's all bad but Shut UP all ready. I'm TARRED to the point that I wanna just flipping take DOWN the next person who Gets all SHRILL on my BUTT about REpugs. Sheet, yah, that's a way to win hearts and minds, ya moron, call them NAMES.

heh. Joke, sorta.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Best Blog Find of the Day for Writers

The Rejecter!
Motto: I don't hate you. I just hate your query letter.

Hmmm. Good stuff. Slightly snarky, articulate...But no, she's not my editorial assistant niece. This Rejecter works for an agent as the first line of resistance.

As one of those underlings said, my job is to find reasons to reject you.


Thank goodness Doug is making me do this so I don't have to think of a subject.


1. The minute someone says "you are not allowed to drink anything for the next X hours," you will be thirsty and will remain thirsty for X hours. Even if every other day of your life you'd never touched a drop of liquid during that time period.

2. Blog hopping is more fun than most television. Don't bother to argue with me, because I know it's a Truth, and not just an Opinion.

3. Because I said so is a feeble reason but it does bring up the subject of stupid reasons you're always giving, mom, and that directs the topic away from the original argument (you can't drink anything for X hours, for instance)

4. The fug in a teenage boy's room serves to remind us that we are merely animals. Take note, anyone who actually believes we're a species apart.

5. Pie is good. That's from the oldest boy but I'm using it because it is a fine one.

Jeez, Doug said this one was hard. Heh. Took me five minutes. Bring on more truth! bigger better stronger faster TRUTH!

I think I'll tag Megan. And maybe some other people. Suisan. Candy (ha, like she stops by), Bam
and Sam.

It's a love test so I won't go tell them they're tagged and when they don't actually respond I'll feel the depth of rejection one can't usually get outside of high school. A fine way to feel young!

Monday, October 23, 2006


Two rejections, one an okay meh--the other, fairly brutal (the editor hated my hero "the hero in particular is extremely weak and comes across as timid and irresolute. While there may be good reasoning behind this characterization, there wasn’t enough information in the first few chapters to convince readers to be able to follow his story blindly." [hmmm. hope it's okay to quote her. I've gotten in trouble for posting letters from editors in the past. But I doubt this particular editor would read this blog-- or care, for that matter. It's an articulate bit of rejection. If I were the editor, I'd be proud of it.])

I don't freak any more. I don't even feel like saying "yah? you and what army, girlie?" No reason to be offended because he's not her cup. Problem is, I bet he's probably very few people's idea of a good time and I can't seem to stop writing this sort of book. I might be dispatched to e-book land forever and ever.

And that's a harder road. I know, I know: there are lovely e-books. I've read them and appreciate them. But I wanna be back in the mainstream, dammit! For one simple reason: $$$$

There's the Respect Factor of being a Real Author, but that's not something I need or entirely buy into. Good thing too, because no matter what I write, it's gonna be romance. I've already learned I'm not insulted when people ask "when will you write a Real Book?"

Sigh. I guess I won't be waitressing this week after all but I'm leaving that hero behind for now.

Note to self: Poor damaged souls are okay as long as they're alpha.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

you'll never want to fly again

The Nephew Tries to Get to Lubbock TX.

You have to start at about midway down the page ("hour 20") and work your way up to get the full horror of 36 hours in Houston Airport.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

the only real resentment in my life

is that I can't do things like go see Leslie. I wanted to see Leslie this weekend!

I will again. I bet. I hope. Being neurotic or an invalid with vapors is so last year for creative types. And frankly, I think even back in the day they could only get away with it if they were a capital "A" Author. Lord Byron yes; Ann Radcliffe, no. (although she did eat raw meat to get that gothick edge)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Real Trainwrecks

woo boy. I was up way late reading all about Jul and Rachel.

Short version: Jul and husband were separated, perhaps going to work things out. Husband, offstage (thank god someone is, eh?) takes up with Rachel.

Rachel posts on one of Jul's friend's site. Hell breaks loose.

The whole thing was fascinating, amusing until I remembered shit! these are real people. Then it seemed as if I were pushing to the front of a fatal accident scene to peer at the paramedics at work and listen to--and make--comments like
Eeeww, blood.
Oh, that woman really should have worn clean underwear when she left the house today.
and the more we chatter about it, the more acceptable it becomes.

Heh. Of course that's what happens when they light up the disaster scene with disco lights and/or a pretty blog skin.

I feel sorry for Rachel, searching for acceptance and forgiveness in the wrong places. I get the impression she's young--she hasn't learned yet that children (and often spoiled kids at that) are the only people forgiven for spectacularly bad behavior by the ones they've hurt. Outside of family of course. Family is a whole 'nother bag of wax, as C says.

I'd feel sorry for Jul but she's massively brilliant, funny and apparently has a wonderful support system in her family. She's single, young, pretty and she seems to understand computers.


Actually I think I'm sort of jealous of Jul.

I wonder which sister (yes, I read their blogs last night too) is with Mr. Snail and I hope they're happy together . . . and holy shit. I'm doing it again. This reality/fiction divide must shoved put back in place. It's beyond uncomfortable heading deep into the skeevy zone. **

* * * *

Years ago I wrote a short story about a woman who manipulated her friends into horrible relationships and dangerous situations. She then hurried to her friends and listened to their troubles. They loved her because she was so willing to act as their counselor--in truth she want to interview them so she can get a real view of their plights for her fiction because she had no imagination but desperately wanted to be an Author.

I wrote it after I sat with a friend who had just lost her mother. I couldn't help listening to her and thinking about how interesting her words would sound written down in a story. I didn't. Use them, I mean.

At least I do it to myself too. The night my father died, I was horribly sick--many of my reflections that night were cowardly and bizarre. I thought what a great antihero way to express emotion! I did use the stuff from that night, exaggerated. I figured it was my right.


** Skeev factor aside--what if you had the accident, bled all over the blog and no one bothered to notice. That's almost worse.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thursday Thirteen--things I'm Glad I Didn't Know Before

before I got published, I mean.

later on: It occurs to me that the author of this piece is a chocolate-deprived PMSing female confronting some major plotting issues. This constitutes an emergency.
I test the stomach. Can it do chocolate?
Yes. Successful bitchmutha soothing occurs. . . .
If I had another list, say, "13 things I love about being published" I'd replace this whinefest. I don't. It's late. eleven thirrty pee-emm and no one'll read it anyway.

1. Just because I get published once doesn't mean it'll happen again any time soon.

2. The people who are unpublished are generally hungrier and more optimistic than me.

3. The glow doesn't last as long as the fretting. (But it's pretty nice...don't get me wrong.)

4. Lovely helpful people on experienced author loops are truly lovely, but they might not be right.

5. The ones who are gloomy are often right.

6. The other pubbed are probably shaking their heads at the enthusiasm of the newly first-published writers when they first post on pubbed-only loops. Some regard the new ones with affection, some with envy, some with impatience--very few have a sense that the newly-pubbed person is One of Us.

7. One of Us doesn't truly exist. Except in smaller groups. OoU, a true community, or three, or four, does happen, but not everyone is at the same stage, at least not for long.

8. Celebrating success for me, for friends and even for strangers is fun. Yet some of my unpubbed friends are not delighted and are not going to hold back their negative emotion about my success. As usual, I forgive snide remarks that are funny, but it turns out many won't strike me as humorous.

9. When those friends are finally published, they will be Friendly Again. But there will be a gap that remains.

10. The internal rift is particularly evident when I get a hot-and-cold friend's yahoo group letter announcing the newest multi-book contract. (Yah? Like I send you a happy yippee note? Truth is, I do nowadays again. I'm over it and that's nice.)

11. See, 9 and 10 were the things I knew I wasn't going to feel when I listened to the long talks by published authors about Envy and other Negative Emotions in the Trade. Ha. I knew myself better than that. I believed in the sisterhood of writers.

I still do, but not as thoroughly as I once did.

12. The books aren't available on shelves very long. Amazon is eventually your friend, as long as you don't look at those numbers.

13. The world of publishing moves at glacial speed, except when it pounces and demands faster results! Now! Immediately!

Kind of like the world of cops/pilots/soldiers = many hours of waiting** followed by a few minutes of panic.


**The phrase is supposed to be "many hours of boredom", but with writing, at least that's not true. Frustration, maybe.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

shopping fun

Got a couple, three million bucks lying around? You can have a portrait of Stephen Colbert. Genuine printed vinyl! It's currently going for the bargain price of $2.4 million (the money is going to charity).

UPDATE: The price has dropped to 6K.

details from the auction:

The portrait, which depicts Stephen standing by his fireplace and in front of a previous portrait, will be replaced with a new portrait, which depicts Stephen standing by his fireplace, in front of a previous portrait, in front of a previous portrait. At least one critic has already heralded the Stephen Colbert Portrait Series as “the equivalent of the Genius Grant, the Fibonacci Sequence, and ‘The DaVinci Code’ combined.”

What The Critic says:

While certainly not the first work to champion metastasis, assymetry, topography, decay, multiplicity, and, crucially, mischief in the quadrolinear plane--and let's not resign the vanguard to mere chronology, for Clobbmann's "Auto-Clobb" did exemplify this alchemy quite potently, and more than twelve years ago--the "Colbert" is truly, irrefutably, a masterwork: colorist in its flair, theorist in its proclivity, dadaist in its zeitgeist. If there's one painting you buy on eBay this year...

--S. Adam LeBaz, Art Critic

Unfortunately I don't have that kinda dough, so I'll just buy Bonnie Dee's latest novella.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

another word goes astray

Or maybe just finds its niche. **

I was reading my pal's draft of a hot scene and she had a line something like this:

Her heart rate shot through the roof as he pressed closer, rubbing his lightly furred chest against her ...

and I immediately saw this:




(a furry convention--click on the image to make it larger. I like the lanyons.)

** "I feel pretty and witty and gay"

Monday, October 16, 2006

a bad influence

Okay, no more episodes of House. Or at least no more when the 9-year-old is in the room.

I'm getting an MRI and when boy 3 heard me mention it, he flipped out. He just knows that I'm going to go into convulsions, my eyes are going to roll back and I will spew horrid substances and maybe need to get my heart restarted. He's seen House! So he knows what happens whenever people have MRIs, dammit.

For some reason it didn't help when I pointed out that people on that show also have convulsions/eye rolling/icky spewing when they're just lying around in bed.

"Are you going to go into a hospital?" he asked.

When I said no, it was just an outpatient thing nowhere near a hospital, he got less worried.

Forget guns and cops and volcanoes and monsters. This kid's terrified of hospitals.

SBD Sickie Reads and rambling

When a friend was dying of cancer, he stopped reading mysteries and Tom Robbins and developed a taste for Jane Austen and Wodehouse.

I read somewhere that people who are sick make up a huge audience for traditional Regencies. When searching for comfort reads, patients apparently want conversations and other small social huge midnight dramas or death or large passion of any sort (perhaps a bit of inner trauma, but no one falling from cliffs).

It turns out that I'm just like other people. My stomach has been awry lately--nothing horrendous--but I do have days where I feel invalidish. Today I went to straighten the cupboard in the bathroom where I store the reading material. I found Sense and Sensibility, a couple of Heyers, an Emsworth Collection and a Carla Kelly. To Say Nothing of The Dog is in there too. That's apparently action I can handle.

I tend to reread when sick. Which is also what everyone else does too, it turns out. There's that scene in some movie where the woman is clutching her beloved copy of an Eyre title. Damn. I'm blanking on the movie. I just recall feeling outraged because the damned illness came out of nowhere. Debra Winger. Bah. IMBD time.

later. . . Terms of Endearment. That's the puppy.

I think the Winger character adored Wuthering Heights. Meh. I loved it when I was teenager. When I was in my twenties I reread it and wondered why people put up with Catherine.

Since I seem to follow Standard Feminine Reading Practices/Patterns in my life, this might mean something about the Winger character. Perhaps the book's significance is that Winger played a woman who didn't grow up. Heh.

Never I remember she had some kids and was a pretty good mom, too. GOD I resented that movie. I think it managed to pull me in and that's why I was so mad instead of just slightly annoyed. I mean there has to be a reason for killing people off and it can't just be to make us cry or feel sorry for Shirley MacLaine.

Okay is this enough wandering around? Huh? Can I call it a SBD and get back to rereading Sprig Muslin?

Naw. I have to work. Right now! I must add sex to a wannabe Spice book. Bigger! Sex! Faster, stronger, sooner, better SEX! (Any second the call is going to go out for those trad Regencies again. You watch. Aging boomers will need their comfort reads.)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Absence is the way to go!

I figured it was mostly political, so I put up a diary at dailykos about Fred. Silly spammer.

Uncle Andrew?

You love them, they're yours. They'll be on the next plane to Santa Cruz, so help me.


5, no 4, sad things, a list of personal woes

1. Santa Claus thinks I should be whupping the boys more (well, not that he used those exact words but if I wanted to stop the dears, nothing short of violence would work).
UPDATED: never mind. Righteous fury unnecessary. SC is a Fraud.

2. My emmy-winning neighbor had Ned Lamont over to do some kind of sound mix thing and I missed him. Not the neighbor--I see him a lot. Ned! I didn't get to see Ned! I forgot to wander by to borrow sugar at the right time.

3. My stomach. Bleh.

4. Every single tomato in the garden, even the green ones, have been nibbled by squirrels or woodchucks. I was gathering them in for the coming frost and ended up hurling them against the shed wall (a satisfying activity, actually). Can't toss them in the compost because then next year's garden will be filled with thousands of tomato volunteers. THOU-ZANDS of them.

5. Two out three boys require new winter coats and boots and (if I take pity on them) snow pants. See, Suisan? New England in the fall=splendid beauty. ...Winter=brrrrrr misery once the joy of the first few snows has passed.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

boyz at work

step one: stand on either side me and take turns intoning in deep impressive television announcer voices

boy 1: Kate Rothwell, her mother was a block of cheese

boy 2: Kate Rothwell, she is terrified of mimes

boy 1: Kate Rothwell, her left eye is a raisin painted to look like a right eye.

boy 2: Kate Rothwell, she believes babies come from a mine in Albuquerque

boy 1: Kate Rothwell, she is terrified of Albuquerque.

boy 2: Kate Rothwell, she is about to beat her children senseless.

boy 1: Kate Rothwell, she didn't know the carrot held a bomb.

boy 2: Kate Rothwell, she ate nothing but mummified pencil shavings.

me: Kate Rothwell, she's now going to hide in the bathroom. With the door locked.

step two: move on to their next victim. Their father.
step three: give it up only after they're threatened with no Friendly's Fenway Fudge ice cream if they don't shut the #(*@@# up.

ritual shut down--more borderline whining

This is a lovely time of year. Yup. The trees! The occasionally bright blue sky!

However it is also my inner shut-down period. If I was part of an organized religion, no doubt I'd have a ritual. Yahrzeit. Put stones on graves, or even have graves to visit. Instead I slightly withdraw when life's not in my face, a la kids. They don't put up with this moping crap, not for a moment.

Once you hit a certain age, there are bound to be ghosts. A lot of people I loved chose this time of year to die. This has become significant for some reason. I don't get it, but this is when I notice them most.

Took me a while to figure this out. I thought, hmm, seasonal affective disorder? but no, because I'm just fine once the holidays are out of our hair. I'm haunted now and not later. (Heh, I bet I'm asking for trouble with that line.)

Maybe if I could figure out a ritual for Day of the dead/Toter Tag/día de los muertos I'd do better--get it out of my system faster.

My mother created a ritual. She visited Medgar Evers's grave every year at Thanksgiving and brought him flowers. Her custom started the year JFK was assassinated.

She went to pay her respects to the dead president and saw he had plenty of attention. Long lines snaking past his grave. So she went looking for someone who didn't get the attention he deserved (this is Arlington National so we are talking mostly men) and found Mr. Evers.

The last time I went with her, more than thirty Thanksgivings later, she couldn't walk any more. Very hard to negotiate that hillside in a wheelchair. So I left her on the walkway, pretended I knew where his grave was and deposited the flowers at a random grave. Since she was also fairly gaga at that point, she didn't seem to notice that I'd missed Mr. Evers.

Hey, it was cold and starting to rain. And, I reasoned, Mr. Evers wouldn't mind. By then I think I understood he was my mother's stand in for all of her people who'd died. **

That year some other dead soldier got the flowers that were supposed to go to Medgar Evers that were supposed to go to JFK that were actually supposed to go to my mother's dead.

Maybe this year I could go pull out dead tomato plants and call it a ritual. Something to appease my ghosts so I can halt the shut-down and get back to life and, of course, blog-hopping.


**She never visited her family's graves--they are all in one of those huge graveyards, more like grave cities--outside New York City. You can never hold your breath driving past them or you'd suffocate and end up joining the other occupants.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

wanted: outside influence

I like working alone with the dogs. They're good company and they don't interrupt--well, not with words anyway. Working alone is blissful.

But now I need a kick in the pants because I'm faltering. I spent too much time yesterday playing with a dailykos post I wrote and today the weather is too nice.

I emailed my agent hoping she'd have some influence. Nope.

So I think I need to hire a boss. Someone who'll glare at me and at her watch when I spend too much time puttering in the kitchen. My boss will say things like "that's good, but I think you can do better/do a little more/take it more seriously." He'll have a lot of energy and expect me to keep up with his time-table. Heck, just having a time-table would be nice.

Oh, and she'll hire a custodian to take care of the place.

Monday, October 09, 2006

my prediction and whining

Amazon is apparently now dumping any reviews on books that were NOT purchased at their site--or so I hear. (I checked and my reviews are still up.) Strikes me as a rotten idea because I suspect those reviews are why most people head over there.

If this happens, then my guess is will suddenly become a lot more popular.

Of course, I was sure the moment of champagne sharing with fans was going to be played over and over and over. . .So my abilities to forsee popular culture future are suspect, eh?

UPDATED: A person who seems to know a lot about these things says you needn't have bought the particular book you review on Amazon, you just have to be an Amazon customer.

What's worse is my digestion is driving me N U T S again. Ick! Yuck! bleh. No wonder Regency dyspeptic secondary characters are so gloomy and cross.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Best and Worst

"Do they always do that?" I asked my husband and sons. "I don't think I've ever seen a ball team do that. It's sort of cool."

We were watching the Detroit Tigers spray their fans with champagne.

No one answered my question.

I said, "God, that looks like Mumm. What a waste. Still, it's kind of charming that they're celebrating with their fans."

One guy poured champagne on an abashed looking security guard. My sons loved that.

I said, "Seriously, is this something baseball guys do? I know they spray each other in the face in the locker room. Bet it hurts."

"Nope, haven't seen them do that with fans before," my husband said.

"Well you know what this means," I said. "From now on, every winning team will have to do that. Isn't it football where they have to dump Gatorade on the coach? I bet the first time it happened was a spontaneous funny event."

They didn't answer.

"You know that this rather cool unpremeditated moment will be totally scripted from now on."

Someone turned up the volume on the post-game commentary. Some poor newsguy was getting splooshed in the face.

I went on. "I bet within a couple of years there will be ads featuring this sort of moment. No wait, a couple of weeks. Slow-mo shots of this will be everywhere. We're going to see it with stirring music in the background any minute now. You watch. They're going to take a joyous unscripted second and beat it until the action becomes trite and and every drop of--"

"Hey mom? Will you shut up? Please?"

So I went off to find my computer and blog about it. Of course.

Professional sports--I hate it, usually.

* * * * *
updated: Hey, but if it makes Wendy happy, can't be all bad, eh?

I feel sorry for you

if you don't live in New England in the autumn.

Friday, October 06, 2006

it's not fair

that Bettie is so funny.

update: I'd just read about a thousand real reviews. I think that's required first.

promo time

If I could remember how to mess with my webpage, I'd put these there. Bec?
In the meantime? Here we go, a novella that came out a couple of months ago, but just live with it, y'all.

From Fallen Angel Reviews--Jen H
In Invisible Touch, Ms. Devon’s humor plus the sexual chemistry between Bonnie and Jared equaled laugh out loud fun. Following Bonnie as she eventually tries to enjoy a little naughty fun with her invisibility was a blast. It was also interesting to see how the whole paranormal event would play out, if it would have any affect on either’s outlook on their lives, and what kind of future this couple hoped to have together. And who can resist rooting against a sleazy villain? Invisible Touch is the first book in the Shrink Wrap series and if this story is any indication, I’ll look forward to reading the sequels.

From The Romance Studio--Sarah W

What a fun story! Everyone’s always imagined being invisible for a day, but in Bonnie’s case, being invisible is not all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it’s no fun at all considering every man she wants to notice her…doesn’t. Bonnie may be a bit too aware of her attractiveness to the opposite gender, but under Roland’s curse, she starts to feel the effects of the ordinary woman syndrome…being passed over by the guys we want to notice us. Luckily, Jared just happens to be a pretty good catch. It’s amusing to watch him try to understand what is going on, and it’s very poignant to see him trying to please a woman he can’t see. He suspends all disbelief to believe in Bonnie and that truly makes him a knight in shining armor. Invisible Touch is an enticing paranormal romance with a frog, a prince, and a princess, even a wizard of sorts, all tossed into a modern day setting. Summer Devon will surely have you hooked after reading this story.

Romance Reviews Today--Phillipa Ann

Ooh, the sensuousness of an invisible touch -- would you think you were crazy or succumb to the allure? Well, Jared and Bonnie succumb in INVISIBLE TOUCH, and the sparks certainly fly. To see what becomes of the rotten Roland and this sexy duo, grab your copy of this short story before it's too late!

Contemporary Romance Writers--Lettitia

Invisible Touch was a delightfully charming fast read. The sex scenes were steamy, the characters were engaging; Jared was endearing, Bonnie was a woman who went after what she wanted, Piggy was a charmer, and Roland a real slimy fellow many can relate to. The suspense took a back seat to the story several times, but all in all, Invisible Touch was a fast, fun and fresh paranormal; perfect for an hour’s getaway!

Euro-reviews--[heh, couldn't read the name of the reviewer. The roll-over ad blocked it and I can't figure out how to close it because it was in some furreen language. That's sort of fun.]

Invisible Touch is a whimsical, funny, emotional and entertaining tale of magic, life and love. It was a well written fun story that reminds us that love concurs all and good always triumphs over evil. The characters were fun to get to know and the plot was interesting and entertaining as well. Summer Devon creates a fast paced erotic love story worth reading. I highly recommend this book.

Hmmm. I can't find the others I'd put in a blogger draft (it's easier to collect them here than in my huge disorganized email files) I'll add them in if I find them, but I won't put this back into draft mode. Too hard to find them.

Now HOLD on a minute, you guys

You're making me nervous.

One person with strong opinions should not make you change your book.

IF you think it works, give me the razzberry, the bronx cheer, the Boston driver's favorite finger.

Because honestly? If the world of books paid attention to me:

4LKH, that woman who writes mysteries and has three names all of which escape me at the moment**, Tom Clancy, and a truck load of other writers would not be best sellers. Maybe a couple of their books might sell okay.

4No books would be written that contained any of the following:

secret babies
uber-alpha heroes
vampires [with rare exceptions]
Big Misunderstandings
over-priced brand-name shoes
recipes mixed with murder mysteries
woodland elves that speak with fae Irish/Scottish accents
Beautiful Evil Other Women Who Plot To Get the Hero
Susan Silverman
a hero who calls the heroine 'baby'
heroines who dress up like men and manage to fool everyone
evil guys who cackle all the damn time
many pages of hateful arguments between the hero and heroine
mysteries solved by animals
law-abiding people in harm's way who don't call the police.

Need I point out the stacks of bestsellers--adored by many hundreds of thousands of people--which contain one or more of these elements? Dammit, I love some of those books too.

4Diane Farr, Edith Layton, Barbara Metzger, Teresa Bodwell and a whole bunch of writers you've never heard of would hit the bestseller lists regularly. They don't, I don't think.

Unless you have a long-term successful relationship with your first reader (a la Stephen King), it is to be absolutely required that you ignore most of the beta reader's advice that has to do with Her Opinion--versus plot holes, actual mistakes etc.

I just read a note from a writer who said that rotten reviews were making her think about giving it up. Easy enough for anyone who isn't that writer to see that even the Biggest Names in ReviewerWorld should not make such a huge dent in a writer's thick skin. Same for first-time beta readers of all stripes, only more so--even if they do know the Top Secret Published Persons' Handshake. Bad reviews are horrible but at least they don't make you go back and trash your manuscript.

The huge exception to this absolute requirement: your beta reader is your editor, you lucky turkey.

Thank you,
Your Beta Reader


**updated: Mary Higgins Clark.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Thursday Thirteen--random first opening paragraphs

these are from books that I like, some on this computer, some on my shelves and a couple on Amazon. Book titles and authors underneath.

1. So there I was, sitting under a colorful, multi-striped beach umbrella on my grandmother’s casket in the middle of a deserted backwoods highway in northern Minnesota. Oh, and I was smoking pot. I knew it was my responsibility to get Gran back into the borrowed hearse, but I weighed maybe a hundred-twenty soaking wet…and I was indeed soaked. Couldn’t dance, didn’t feel like singing, and already had the pot on me, so seemed like a good idea at the time to just sit and watch the family drama unfold.

2. The education bestowed upon Flora Poste by her parents had been expensive, althletic and prolonged; and when they died within a few weeks of one another during the annual epidemic of the influenza or Spanish Plague that occurred in her twentieth year, she was discovered to possess every art and grace save that of earning her own living.

3. Discordant carnival music and the smell of burnt sugar, popcorn and axle grease drifted through the crisp fall air. In the dusk, the colored lights of the rusty rides shone in broken lines where bulbs were missing. Faded canvas tents housed games of chance, a fortune-teller, a fun house and freaks. Sarah walked the trash-strewn paths between booths and rides and wondered why she had come. She hated carnivals.

4."Eeeeeek! There it is again!" Meredith McKenna abruptly flew into the arms of Cristoval de Medina, her hunky next-door neighbor, plastering her ample curves against his hard muscled form. She further ensnared the scrumptious young Spaniard by wrapping her arms around his neck and her legs around his narrow waist.

5. In a city the size of New York it was easy to disappear. Or if not to disappear, to become transparent. To be seen through. The Banshee of the Clan O'Grady was almost invisible to the mourners emerging from St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Just as well, under the circumstances, he being a good three sheets to the wind and looking less like a terrifying apparition and more like a bundle of rags blown up against the walls of St. Patrick's. Uncombed hair, untied boots, his shirttails hanging half out.

6. It was my father's belief that nothing built character better than an after-school job. He himself had peddled newspapers and delivered groceries by bobsled, and look at him! My older sister, Lisa, and I decided that if hard work had forged his character, we wanted nothing to do with it. "Thanks but no thanks," we said.

7. It was during the fifth inning of a game against what translated loosely as the team from no particular location that Denny's Kelly, the shortstop, turned into a wolf.

8. Charlie Asher walked the earth like an ant walks on the surface of water, as if the slightest misstep might send him plummeting through the surface to be sucked to the depths below. Blessed with a Beta Male imagination, he spent much of his life squinting into the future so he might spot ways in which the world was conspiring to kill him--him; his wife Rachel; and now, newborn Sophie. But despite his attention, his paranoia, his ceaseless fretting from the moment Rachel peed a blue stripe on the pregnancy stick to the time they wheeled her into recovery at St. Francis Memorial, Death slipped in.

9. If you are an observant person addicted to washing your hands and face, you can hardly fail to have noticed the legend "Whitehand" imprinted on your basin and soapdish, and indeed, on every sort of crockery. Probably, if you thought about it at all, you imagined this was a trade-name, alluding to the effect of washing, but this is not really so at all. Mr. Whitehand is the kind American gentleman who supplies so many of us with these articles of toilet, and as a consequence Mr. Whitehand is rich if not beyond the feverish dreams of avarice, at any rate, as rich as avarice can possibly desire to be in its waking moments.

1o. When I was twelve years old, I accidentally substituted salt for sugar in a cake recipe. I baked the cake, iced the cake, and served it up. It looked like a cake, but as soon as you cut into it and took a taste, you knew something else was going on. People are like that, too. Sometimes you just can't tell what's on the inside from looking at the outside. Sometimes people are a big surprise, just like the salt cake. Sometimes the surprise turns out to be good. And sometimes the suprise turns out to be bad. And sometimes the surprise is just friggin' confusing.

11. “Get this thing off me!” Fanta slung an angry glare at the bartender as she plucked at the slimy, segmented tongue lapping around her forearm.

12. How easy it was to disappear: A thousand trains a day entered or left Chicago. Many of these trains brought single young women who had never even seen a city but now hoped to make on of the biggest and toughest their home. Jane Addams, the urban reformer who founded Chicago's Hull House, wrote, "Never before in civilization have such numbers of young girls been suddenly released from the protection of home and permitted to walk unattended upon the city streets and to work under alien roofs." The women sought work as typewriters, stenographers, seamstresses and weavers. The men who hired them were for the most part moral citizens intent on efficiency and profit. But not always. On march 30, 1890, an officer of the First National Bank placed a warning in the help-wanted section of the Chicago Tribune, to inform female stenographers of "our growing conviction that no thoroughly honorable businessman who is on this side of dotage ever advertises for a lady stenographer who is a blonde, is good-looking, is quite alone in the city, or will transmit her photograph. All such advertisements upon their face bear the marks of vulgarity, nor do we regard it safe for any lady to answer such unseemly utterances."

13. Scholarship asks, thank God, no recompense but Truth. It is not for the sake of material reward that she (Scholarship) pursues her (Truth) through the undergrowth of Ignorance, shining on Obscurity the bright torch of Reason and clearing aside the tangled thorns of Error with the keen secateurs of Intellect. Nor is it for the sake of public glory and the applause of the multitude: the scholar is indifferent to vulgar acclaim. Nor is it even in the hope that those few intimate friends who have observed at first hand the labour of the chase will mark with a word or two of discerning congratulation in eventual achievement. Which is very fortunate, because they don't.

a lot of ebooks because I can copy and paste, okay?

1. Leaving Mama, Bobby Cole
2. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
3. Bone Deep, Bonnie Dee
4. Wicked Payback Daisy Dexter Dobbs
5. Of the Clan O'Grady, A M Riley
6. Dina, The Christmas Whore, essay by David Sedaris
7. The Baseball Wolf, short story by W.P. Kinsella
8. A Dirty Job, Christopher Moore.
9. The Freaks of Mayfair: The Perpendicular, E.F. Benson
10. Twelve Sharp, Janet Evanovich
11. Secrets, Volume 18, Red Sage [not sure of title of novella], Linda Gayle
12. The Devil in the White City: Murder Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America, Erik Larson
13. Thus Was Adonis Murdered, Sarah Caudwell (one of the best read aloud books ever. Sob. I miss Caudwell.)

later on I'll do T13

First...I just realized something about the two books I've read recently. The part that drove me most nuts was the same in both. Things are going along nicely and suddenly something from the past rears its ugly head and the guy shoves the girl out his door with no explanation, no apologies. And really, she hasn't done anything rotten that she's aware of, at any rate.

BOTH books.

I don't recall ever reading that situation before...or at least if I have read it, I wasn't invested in the cast of characters so I didn't much care. With these people? I cared. I actually said something like "no!" or "Just stop it, you prick!" aloud as I read. I'm taking my reading seriously when I start yelling at books. Particularly when there are strangers in the room.

There is a truth about romance that I've heard repeated over and over by readers, editors and writers: the males in the books are allowed to be flawed. In fact it makes them more interesting and appealing to the reader. There's less patience with imperfect females. As I get older, I'm less patient with the males too.

So what the hell do I want? Because, hey, books about perfect people are as boring as it gets. Maybe I'm picky about my flaws? As Mrs. G says, he's allowed to be a serial killer but he better be nice (or trying to be nice) to Her. He shouldn't be hurting her on purpose unless it's for a DAMNED GOOD reason and probably one that has to do with her own good, not his. Hmm. Maybe that's it. Also? If he isn't fair or good to her, he better suffer for it, and in a big way. I want some groveling.

You guys can email me if you hate the fact that I wrote the above. You know who you are. I didn't pay to read your books so I don't get to do a mini-SBD about them without permission. Fair's fair.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Jury Duty: it's like traveling without going anywhere

It's that waiting in an airport, waiting for something to happen baaaaalooooos.
A How To Guide for Potential Jurors in CT

Sit in a big room with lots of people who don't talk to each other.
Watch Civic Duty one-oh-one movies with slo-mo flags and Appalachian Spring playing in the background.

Sit in big room with lots of people who are talking to each other a bit more--
and wait
Drink many cups of complementary coffee with powdered creamer--
and wait
Take elevators and march through corridors to smaller rooms,
following the clerk who walks too fast.
Sit in smaller room and wait and listen to names of lawyers, lawyers' clients, etc. etc. etc.--
and wait
and wait

Repeat second verse, two times from 8:15 am-5 pm, emphasis on first two lines.

Yah! They didn't want me! They said, "pfah, throw that Rothwell back into the pool" twice.
Never even got to voir dire.

Highlight of the day: Reading a fabulous novel that most of YOU can't read yet, neener neener. It's about artistic types, the sort of people who usually give me a pain in the side. Not these two, or at least not often, and even when they did, I still enjoyed them (wanted to kick them, but that's okay). Dayum, I loved reading that book. That's two unpubbed books in a row that I've liked better than most of the published books I've read lately.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


1. Call doctor, see if I can get a note to get out of jury duty tomorrow (recurring undiagnosed stomach grunge. No, not same old thing, really.)

2. Call work to point out I can't come in--going to be going to jury duty tomorrow (dr's note might not work after all)

3. Arrange someone to pick up boy 3 in case I'll be on jury duty tomorrow. (thanks L)

4. Hide in room with computer on lap, thinking about work.

5. Read Dear Enemy for the umpteenth time instead. (an ultimate comfort book. Jean Webster rocks--astounding that she wrote those books in the early 1900s)

* * * * *

Hey, good review, lovelysalome. Looks like you actually read the book....Thanks!

* * * * * *


1. The doctor only writes that sort of note for chemo patients.
2. The legal system's website says my jury number is a go.

hmm. At least they'll give me free parking and free coffee. I just did this a couple of years ago. About a week after my 'you did your duty so you get out for a coupla years off' card expired, I got the summons again. They really, really want me.