Posts

Showing posts from November, 2007

grrr, standard edition

I wish someone would come pick a fight with me.

I'm in the mood and I could use the blog traffic to prove I can do PR. No one sez the attention has to be positive, dammit.

Hey, look at me, I'm an ASSHOLE works.

THURSDAY THIRTEEN--Jackie Ivie

Image
Jackie has more energy in her pinky than I do in my entire bod. She is what my high school pal would call "a craaaaazy woman!"--you have to say that in a voice filled with awe and envy. Things happen to Jackie Ivie. She is a grandmother but probably the hottest one on the planet. Handsome men she's never met walk up to her and suggest she spend the rest of her life with them She's what a romance writer is supposed to be: bubbly, gorgeous, exuberant and slightly intimidating. Or maybe that's just cause she's tall? Also, she's a really good artist.
Thirteen Things about Jackie Ivie by Jackie Ivie:
1 - I live in Alaska. All that sunshine in the summer and all that that warmth, and the scenery - and I'm telling you Alaska has no equal. Here're a few truisms. This time of year...: The break of dawn is something like...11:30 a.m.If a tree starts moving, it's connected to a VERY large moose.Studded tires are legal in mid-September until mid-Ma…

Speaking of Sharpe

Check out thiscool charity auction she's doing for Ember. It'll help people and you'll get to do that read-through thing versus the drip....drip....
Own a whole copy today!

What I Want Doesn't Change from Year to Year

ring ring
caller id: The Overlords of Publishing
me: I've been waiting for you to call back. Good job on Lofty and Sharpe, but you haven't done anything about the other requests I made.

OOP: We have misplaced the list.

Me: Yeah? Like those two publishers that have lost my manuscripts? Three manuscripts gone. Do you know in four years, two have gone astray at the large place that shall not be named but has had two names in during the years they've--

OOP: Look we don't have a lot of time and we are so very tired of whiney writers, so unless you have--

Me: Okay, here's my list. You'll get these people fresh contracts asap. Got a pencil ready? Okay. Nancy Butler, Megan Frampton, Myretta Robens, Nonnie St. George--

OOP: Wait. They write quiet books with practically no violence or sex and absolutely not a vampire in sight.

Me: You're right. No vampires. Plenty of tension, though. Tension should be enough for some books. Not every book has to move at the same breakneck …

several things

Huh. Blogger keeps sending me my old posts via email. Maybe it's trying to spit them out.

Vote in the contest. Now.

***
Yesterday I screwed up. I left a comment meant for a particular post not only at the wrong post but the wrong blog. But this made me wonder... could one guess what blog a comment comes from? I can think of a few places that invite a very particular sort of response:

1. That's way more than I want to know about snot or viruses. Get back to butts, okay?

2. LOLOLOL, oh you're so wonderful when you're horrible. {{{grovelling}}}}

3. But once you've got that mousetrap attached to the nipple, is it possible to add a little electricity?

4. No, don't hold back. Why don't you tell us what you really think about South Florida drivers?

5. 1980s mantitty again? You're too good to us.

can you match the (pretend) comments to the blogs? Mistress Matisse, SBTB, ferfelabat, Miss Snark, Doug-----but jumbled. Which goes where?

***

Also an update from someone who ha…

some more pimping for free events

Have you read more of Bettie's story or are you waiting for the whole thing? I suppose either way works, as long as you do eventually read it.

If you're getting into this creative writing shtick, go check outPetunia Happenstance's Reboot contest. It's funky, it's interesting. You can Win a pretty book.

You are aware that PBW features the best free advice / news / John and Marcia snark but it's nice to be reminded that she's out there.

Any more fun contests and events out in the world? Authors wanna pimp your contests? Go ahead.

Vote in MY contest (below) so some lucky talented winner will get a fine array of valuable prizes.

The contest is over

Did I say when I was going to JUDGE the puppies by the 24th? Huh? Did I? It's tough! You guys are too good. And it's come to a eenie meanie minnee mo thing. So I'll post the four and you pick the winner. Remember, the contest was A Big Secret and points for 400 words or less and for not SAYING exactly what the secret is. Bonus for babies.

I found it hard to resist Doug's entry, but it came in at 419 words. And I rooted for Jesus Mary and Joseph but I figure one per author. I know I said as many entries as you wanted, but that's because I want to read them.

I love how perverse you people are.

#1
James looked at me and, his deep blue eyes never wavering, and said, "I have a secret."
My mouth went dry. James had always been the one for me. My heart mate. My destiny. Searching for him after he left town had taken all my time, money, and energy. Now that I found him, I wasn't about to let him go.
"You're married. Is that it?" I managed to keep my…

shhh, it's okay

On Thanksgiving day I had to go buy last minute cheese. There I was standing in line at the Overpriced Fancy Grocery store, when a woman walked into the store. As she passed the flowers and the checkout line at least three other women in the line (they knew each other.) began to vent.

Omilordyinheaven, you'd have thought the newcomer had come in the store naked. Or maybe holding a bloodstained knife. No one over the age of ten should wear them was the nicest thing the group had to say. **

The woman walking past wore Crocs.

This isn't the first instance of Croc-hatred I've witnessed. I don't have a pair, but here's what I know about them. They're shoes. That's it, just shoes. But for people who care, they are a crime that should carry a large penalty. And those who insist on wearing them shall be cast out of society and scorned. Maybe be forced to sport a big lime green C on their chests?

I save my vitriol for important things, like the shoes at the bottom of th…

Thursday Thirteen Reviewer Mel Gallopavo

Image
Meleagris Gallopavo specializes in book reviews.

MEL SPEAKS:

You'll note that many of my favorite books are vegetarian cook books. Seriously, with all the stories you hear about corporate poultry farming, who wouldn't want to try a little tofu?
Anyway, I'm not much of a writer myself, but I know what I like. Here are thirteen books I've encountered lately These works range from the inspired to the obscene.

First a note about books for young people: There are many, many children's books devoted to saving the turkeys this time of year. I love these stories. Let me just make it clear: Mel. Loves. These. Books. Too bad the spirit of the oatmeal or soap turkey, as illustrated in A Plump and Perky Turkey, doesn't linger past grade school.

Though I applaud these stories, most of the books ignore the underlying tragedy of the turkeys' plight.

Sure, go ahead and mock their battle for survival. Run, run, run, terrified turkeys. ha. ha. ha. Nice illustrations, though.

1.Ten…

Contest Etc.

Thanks for the book recommendations! I know they're great reads because I've read just about everything you suggested except the Tiffany Aching books. Yay! Something new to pick up. Uh oh, this time of year, it can't be for me. I do hope the boys don't mind yet another a Greyhound bus** Christmas present.

I resented the hell out of To Say Nothing of the Dog because I'd just finished writing a manuscript about a time travel bureaucracy when I read it. And Willis's book is so good, and funny and Wodehousian--so much better--I had to hate it. (It did make me go back and try to read JKJ's Three Men in a Boat again. Nope. Still can't stay awake for that book)

Speaking of good reading, go look at the entries. THE CONTEST IS STILL OPEN. And pity the poor fool who has to pick the best three. Make it more difficult by adding more great entries, eh? Contest ends in a few days! Work on it! Do it! Write it! Four more, three more, two more....

Then you guys have to pic…

Since Summer Still Sells

Image
Summer has to think this Kindle thing is good. Look, a couple more of her books are up at Amazon again. Good! Yay! Bring them all on!

Kate isn't selling at the moment, and she is aiming at NYC. That market is getting scarier by the minute, so she's terrified by the Kindle thing. Eeeiiii, says Kate. Yet another reason for them to say no to me. There're always more reasons to say no! So many changes and a general shaking up and publishers scurrying around in fear. They'd want to avoid printing more books by mid-listers.

This is when I'm glad I'm two different people in the writing world. I only wish I was real enough to be marching--not scurrying--with the giant rat.

I hope Eddie, a stagehand striker in NYC, doesn't mind if I use his rat photo.

But listen, this important: Did you know there is some guy who rents rats? Yes, a man makes his living renting out inflatable rats to striking workers. The rat represents management, see. (Mike was appalled. I guess he is …

SBD--end of the Ankh Morpork road

uh oh.

I'm nearly done with Terry Pratchett, as in I'm running out of his books. Astoundingly, I am NOT done loving those books. Even though, duh, he's got repetitive character types (Cynical, corrupt, weary sergeant with the uncorrupted heart, naive but powerful young male, all-knowing, mysterious, cynical puppetmaster, petty stupid gods, etc.) I am not annoyed by any of them.

I can't remember ever managing more than five books by an author and not getting fed up with him or her. Either style or repetition got to me. Not the author's fault, for heaven's sake. Books aren't supposed to be read like that. Total Glomming is unnatural! It's like hearing one person's voice droning on for days and days and days. I think I did manage a Total Glom with Heyer but petered out when I got to her mysteries.

But anyway. You'd think Pratchett--especially Pratchett with his winking, obvious author's intrusions and his footnotes that require me to find my gla…

good stuff

Image

happy goddamn friday

I broke a record today. FOUR REJECTIONS in one day. Now that's a record I hope remains unbroken. For me and for any of you, too.

Do you know what I did in response to those rejections? I have a system and I followed my system. I stopped work, ate chocolate and sent out four more queries/manuscripts.

Today even the choccies were bad. They were almost worse'n the rejections. It was crap left over from nutrisystem box.

This writing life is no fun today. I think I'll go to the library and suck in some words instead of spitting them out.

two more random alerts

both of these are old biddy sorts of info. Doesn't mean it isn't valuable, okay? One doesn't sneer at the wisdom of Mrs. Cosmopilite.

ALERT ONE: Freecycle is great. I just got a month's worth of nutrisystem diet stuff from someone who'd ordered it and decided she didn't like it. **

this leads to:

ALERT TWO: Nutrisystem food, at least the batch I picked up the other day, is Horrible. Thank you, Sue! I'd wondered for a long time about one of these diet plan thingies. I'm too cheap to buy and this was free so why not?

This stuff tastes worse than cardboard and I should know because I eat cardboard every morning (13 grams of fiber!) and rather like it.

I'm probably going to freecycle (ahhh, new verbs. always a fun way to torture language purists) this big old honking box of meals. Maybe it'll make its way slowly around the Hartford area, down a dinner here and there, until everyone who ever thought about ordering this crap is . . . satisfied. No wasted …

I missed thursday and here it is, Friday?

My Thursday Thirteen author files died with the reformatting. The gap between how organized I thought I was and the actual truth is deep, wide and scary.

I knew I'd have to reformat the damned new computer. I thought I'd gotten everything off. I'm down a couple of synopses and a lot of emails and I suspect the latest draft of at least two books. Not really that bad because nothing is close to finished at the moment.

So authors! Kathy Love and a few more of you out there. Write to me. And other authors, you, too.
Why do you want us to write? asks Selah.
Oh. Right.
I like featuring authors every Thursday. I've had
Leigh Wyndfield
Shirley Jump
Charlene Teglia
Bonnie Dee
Jackie Kessler
Flo Fitzpatrick
Julie Cohen
Rob Preece
Sandy Blair
not in that order (and maybe more)

Here's what I want: Writers who have more than one or two books out there. I like having a mix of print and ebook authors, well known and Relatively Fresh New Voices.

Why do I want authors with more than one or two bo…

2.5 things

one about you
one point five about me.

1. yes, please enter the contest as often as you like, within reason, whatever that is.

2. my current favorite song is Ruby because the lyrics are about empty headed love and it's got that catchy refrain. Also it's short and anything on Guitar Hero III that's short wins my vote.
2a. This fave provides more confirmation that great depth isn't part of my personality package. My first confirmation came when I went to art museums with my mother and looked forward to the cake in the cafeteria more than the art. I enjoyed the art and sometimes (like during a big Gauguin show) I forgot about the cake. But not for long.

why haven't you entered the contest?

What's your excuse?
Well?
You might write 400 words about WHY you WON'T enter the Contest. Or you could enter the contest.
Any minute now I'll design a button that'll knock your sox off. Hey, and I will give away Bosnian Sox. Even Bam doesn't do that. Heaven knows I have enough pairs of 'em.

so LOOK!
You'd win:
* a pair of Bosnian Sox
* a book with a Big Secret in it (I have one all picked out) or one of mine.
* $20 to spend on more books with or without big secrets.
* A gorgeous e-button declaring you are a champion pro writer.

cleared to do lite exercise

I am celebrating. Note to self: never again whine about exercise. At least not for a week or so. Plus the month-long headache is gone. I am standing down from code red. (The doctor said, "Call 911 if you get a headache. Call 911 if your chest hurts. Call 911 if someone looks at you funny...Okay, now let's check that bp again. Huh. It's gone even higher. I wonder why that is?" My bp was at 200/113 at one point. Generally lower than that, but not enough)

I think I'll do one better than Homeland Security and step all the way down to code chartreuse, a sort of yellow green. Mostly yellow and not green. My green days are over. Ahhhhh, salad days behind me, days of nothing but salad ahead....

unforgivably bad writing

warning, a political thingy. Also, it will make your jaw drop. I'm serious.

The poem that showed up in Pakistani school booksspells it out.

Officials claim it was just an amazing coincidence.

Here's the start. See if you can figure out allllll the first letters of the poem's first lines. If you can't guess the secret behind the rest of the excrescence, and you want to, go ahead--read the whole poem at the BBC link above. Be prepared to feel ill, laugh yer ass off (or perhaps applaud?) I guess it's a success as a work of art because it's guaranteed to have an effect on most peeps.
THE LEADER by anonymous Patient and steady with all he must bear,
Ready to meet every challenge with care,
Easy in manner, yet solid as steel,
Strong in his faith, refreshingly real.
Isn't afraid to propose what is bold,
Doesn't conform to the usual mould,
Eyes that have foresight, for hindsight won't do,
Never backs down when he sees what is true,
Tells it all straight, and means it …

sbd--as usual, a whine

Dear Publisher,

If you're going to publish historicals, for God's sake hire someone who knows the time period to look at the manuscripts. Seriously. I'm not a member of the Historical Know It Like the Back of My Hand** Force but I've been reading your books and finding mistakes that even someone who's read a couple of non-fiction history books years ago can pick up.

No, I'm not asking this for me. Potatoes in the wrong era never turns a book into a wall banger for me. But you must know Those People Are Out there and They Care Deeply, especially about those Regency set books. Take the time to appease them, for there are many members of this Force and they will buy books from the good publishers and trash the inaccurate ones all over loops.

Look at it from their point of view. If that world is real to them, then when the mistakes are jarring, they'll be pulled out of the place and they'll resent paying for something they consider shoddy. A person who cares a…

headline news

Loyalty is Considered Key in Heroism.

now there's a fluff veteran's day piece. But it explains why the heroic cynical loner is the more intriguing character. Someone who works against his natural instinct is more interesting than someone who jumps in like the family dog. Not that I think pack animals are no fun, but there's less thought involved.

On the other hand, for hero, you can't beat that Tom Hanks character. So never mind.

Which sort of character do you prefer?

And do you find yourself a sexist about it? In other words, is the concept of a loner, damaged male more interesting appealing than a loner female? I think I used to be wary of those damaged women, long, long ago, but then the Gratton** Grafton's character came along and so did all those other tough female cynics. And what works in mysteries trickles down to romance. It goes both ways, of course. (As soon as one mass-market trend successfully hits a particular subgenre, it'll work its way over to ano…

forget Curmudgeon

Image
and even Baroness pales when compared to my new title**--the one I'm stealing from Beth:

Foul-Mooded Generic Citizen _______ **or maybe she pales when she realizes she's lost her knickers and has been impaled.

aha, news alert

I should have known from the tone of the NPR thing that Mailer was dead. I didn't listen long enough to figure that out. Bye, Norman Mailer. Thanks for the Village Voice. Other than that? Dunno.

two minutes in the car with a curmudgeon (in training)

Radio announcer: our guest is mumbledyIveforgotten noted expert on Norman Mailer . . .Mailer was really the very first literary celebrity. I suppose it could be argued that Ernest Hemingway was, he became famous and learned to use the limelight.

Me: First? Bullshit! What about Dickens, eh? His tours of America? Ha! Or Mark Twain and his white suits? You’re full of shit.

Radio: ...Mailer invented a new form of literature, combining the creativity of fiction with non-fiction.

Me: Oh you are so full of it. It wouldn’t hurt to know some history of the trade, ya moron. Those Victorian papers could make a break-in sound like a death scene in an Opera. Why don’t you do some research, you—

Kid in back seat: Can we please listen to music? It's too early for this.

Thursday Thirteen--Leigh Wyndfield

Before we get started with this week's author, housekeeping.
1.ENTER THE CONTEST. I mean, honestly, just because the current entries rock doesn't mean you should give up. I'm counting on you--don't make my numbers look bad in comparison to that Bam.

2. Speaking of Bam, chapter two of Bettie's book is up. Go get hooked.

I've only read the first couple of chapters of one of Leigh's books--I've got another on my tbr pile and it's rising to the top. I know I like her style because I want to read more of that first story (tough shit for me, it' s not finished, yet) but that's not why I'm putting her in. I'm doing it because I flipping like her. I've even talked to her on the phone and she's got this glorious southern accent--and she's funny for other reasons, too. Here's why she's up today of all days: she had TWO BOOKS out last week.
Overachiever.
Two For the Money at Loose-Id
and
Desert Heat at Samhain [okay I like 99.9 …

Signs You're Becoming Too Picky

You stop reading a book less than a chapter in when the author uses the words "tup" and "aye" several times on the same page. Maybe the next contest should be whiny nitpicks?

(Sign #2: You Give Up on a Book when a main character looks in the mirror so the author could jam in physical description. Whilst in heroine's POV there are words like "lovely, silken mane" "deep hazel orbs" etc. Maybe that one doesn't go under the heading of "You're Too Picky")

But no, it might be more fun to do a Early Signs That Indicate You Might Love a Book contest. (Sign #1: the author makes sly, tiny reference to a movie that lasted two weeks in the theaters and that you loved)

Go ahead and enter my other, real contestbut seriously, can you think of anything that you know will be an instant turn off or turn on for you as a reader?

work, work, work.

Early Signs That Indicate You Might Hate a Blog -- sign #1: blogger makes obvious attempts to gather …

okay, we can stop holding our breath

yeah, the end of the contest

It will end the end of November. So you have to enter by, ummmmmm November 24 so I can put up finalists and let you pick. By then I will have nabbed a judge, figured out a system, decided how to do it, I hope. Even if you don't enter, read them because there are good ones already. Yay!


. . .and I wasn't going to do the LWRanting thing, but this is too good, because anyone, right or left, might wake up at 2 am and try to figure out WTF? Is Reese being subtle? I think he or she is an Onion writer who got bored. Being gay has nothing to do with gay sex, dammit.
I'm currently straight out of Harriet the Spy. Remember the old lady who lounged all day in bed until her doctor told her she had to stay in bed all day? She was out of there like a shot. My doctor said I can't go running until my blood pressure's gone down, and now all I want to do is go running. I'm not out like a shot yet, though.

I read some essay a while ago.... hmm. Do we call blog posts essays? I think not. If you don't get paid or school credit for it, it's not an essay.

Okay I read this thing a while ago that said that Harriet was gay. The gist of the thing was because Harriet was sort of a slob and wore the same clothes over and over she had lesbian tendencies.

Now I can't find the damn thing. But here's what I know: If usually not giving much of a crap about clothing is the main indication of lesbianism, I don't have a straight bone in my body.

Combination post! Rioting AND LW Rant

Naw, I won't bother reprinting. I mean someone else has gone through all the work and I got nothing to add, so just go look at Lisabea's blog post about Suze Brockman.
okay, here:
Summary of Suzanne Brockman statement:
what part of love don't you understand?

Summary of the information in the post:
Suzanne Brockman is wonderful.

don't forget to enter the contest--link on the right. (Yeah, too lazy to even link the contest.)

PS Bettie Rocks

and while you're over looking at Bam's old contests, which really are fun (see my promise at the link on the right?) read the first chapter of Bettie Sharpe's story.

Actually if you were me, you'd wait the ten agonizing weeks for the whole thing to to be out because you'd hate that drip....drip....thing with serial stories that hook you. Instant gratification in necessary when it comes to a good book. If you were me, you'd have the attitude of screw you, Charles Dickens.

At the end of a single chapter, I keep hoping the rest of the book will magically appear. This book by Bettie hooked me good.

OR maybe you could email Bettie and beg her for the story? Offer her riches; offer her writing contracts (and feel free to throw in my first born child with your offer. He's stealing his brothers' halloween candy and causing much unhappiness.)

And has Carrie announced the title of her coming Kensington book yet? I'll go see if it's up at her blog. . . .

WRITING CONTEST FOR NOVEMBER

[standard writerly whining removed.]

I love writing contests. Over at my old blog, I used to run a fifty five word contests and "compose the back blurb" from photos and, yes, indeedy, it was much fun.

But I'm not going to reinvent a contest this time; I'm going to Steal One. Welcome to November's
UNTIL THE RETURN OF BAM
WRITING CONTEST

Here's the deal:
Go look at Bam's old contests.

You enter 400 words or less. If you put in 500 words I'll know and I'll leave you up but you probably won't be a finalist. We're not all about the rules, but there might as well be some way to eliminate the thousands of entries we'll get.

Heh. Once I ran a Best Reviews contest no one entered and I kept opening up the thing. First it was romance reviews. Then anyone could enter. Then it was fine, go lift something from Amazon. I don't give a f***.

Bam hated WIP things (um, oops. I didn't notice that rule once) I say if it stands alone without a sense of wtf…

THURSDAY THIRTEEN....SHIRLEY JUMP, finally

Image
HOW many weeks have I said I'd feature her? (Don't count, it's a rhetorical question.) Anyway, she's a gracious, funny best-selling author, and we like her. The word gracious sounds snotty. Friendly and warm--that's better. And the fact that she's attractive isn't relevant, but it's true. I'll have to go dig up a photo. In the meantime, here's a cover.
Her first book was one of the first romcoms I read and I thought, hey, this genre will take over the marketplace! I love fluff and this is fun--who can resist a heroine in a banana suit? The genre isn't taking off as I'd hoped (I finished writing my first Flipside the week the line closed) but Shirley is flying high. That's good.

She has a couple of books coming out too.

13 Things About Shirley Jump by Shirley Jump

1. I cannot pass a shoe department without stopping to look. My children have taken to attaching me to a leash when we go to the mall. My husband has threatened to affix blind…

is it sad or a relief or both

me: I'm sorry I've been such a drag for the last week.
kid: I didn't notice any thing different.