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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Rant City

The horror the horror! I'm reading it all over the internet (in places like Bam's beautiful blog**) and it is just silly. All of the sudden people are scared to death of teenaged sex and teenaged love. It's as if TS is a newly discovered disease and we have to do all we can to stamp out the insidious, horrible thing.

Excuse me?

As the mother of teenagers, I'm not ready for them to be boffing anyone. But:
1. It hardly matters if I'm ready or not.

2. What's the deal with acting as if it were gross? (I mean honestly, don't you guys remember--that's PARENTS having sex that's gross.) Underage sex has been around since long before Romeo and Juliet and the whole idea that it's Unnatural is going to get more than the teens in trouble. The entire society is going to suffer.

It's not so much discouraging sex that I hate. That's fine with me as long as people encourage sublimation, masturbation, keeping them busy or other constructive methods. But people can't seem to stop there.

And now authorities are stepping in to stop the young'uns, using The Law. Okay, okay makes some sense because some parents of teens are entirely uninterested and God knows we don't need any more unwanted babies or abortions or diseased or dead teenagers. But somehow the idea that cops and lawyers are way into this age of consent thing (in matters other than abuse and child porn) is scarier than the image of grandparents boffing because it turns a private matter into something public. And it's fundamentally unfair ageism--they're being punished for natural reponses because of their age? Some people are ready for joyous, loving sex at 15. Others are a disaster with sex at 30.

The law stuff = complicated and potentially evil in the wrong hands.

This part is easy. What we don't need:

We don't need to go back to the dichotomy of good girls/bad girls any more than we need to have the You're not a Man Until You Screw a Girl nonsense. The pressure of sex sex sex is happening in their bodies and they don't need dumb messages from the outside world.

For God's sake, don't tell them Sex is Evil. It's fun, dammit! It's wonderful! Even for (some) teenagers! Stop saying it's across the board Unnatural and Just Icky for young people.

This "Before 18 Sex is Just Horrible" attitude is not going to help anyone, not for the ones who go at it like rabbits, not even the kids who buy into the attitude. They're supposed to undergo a full abrupt shift. What happens when they turn 18 or get married, depending on the grown-up in charge's perspective?

All of the sudden something that has been treated as horrendous will overnight turn lovely and appropriate? You wake up one day Mature Enough To Enjoy it At Last? Hmm. Well, maybe it does work for a lot of them. I don't know and I bet now I'll hear from people who kept their virginity until their marriage night and it was great. For them. Don't you decide that has to work for everyone else, okay? Including your own kiddies. You don't want to be sitting around waiting for AIDS test results with them because you knew they'd be "strong" like you were.

Sure, teenagers make stupid, tragic mistakes, but to try to stop them USUALLY can only be done in constructive ways. Sure, go on talking at them about how serious it is--as long as you make sure they're protected from disease and other disasters.

Bah.

I find the whole "underage sex is gross" trend nearly as depressing as the slutty Barbie doll clothes [have you checked out the toy aisle and seen what that woman wears?] and, worse, grown ups who dress little girls like street-walkers and teach them to do butt and hip-wiggling come-hither dances when they're tiny. I mean LITTLE girls, not the girl/women whose bodies have actually awakened and for whom it's a natural thing. Eventually they're going to dance like the rest of us. Might as well teach them not to fall on their faces--not that they're doing something wrong.

(edited a bit after I had coffee)
_____

** You'd bet right. I'm a suck up.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Somebody Wonderful again?

Just got a note from the ex-agent. The Spanish rights are sold. So that's Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch.

I wonder why the books appeals to those particular groups? Interesting.

some days. . .

I swear it takes a long hard cry and then a Barbara Metzger. No one can do it like Barbara Metzger and I wish someone would give her a contract that let her do it in her best style (trad regency) Heck, I need them to let her play with the language again.

Cath, I wish I'd kept better touch but I will. Though honestly, you might not want me in person. In the Victorian novels they clasp hands and weep and turn pale and maybe swoon. I race to the nearest bathroom--or moan about it.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

UH OH!

I'm supposed to chat somewhere online in a half an hour (yes, another chat. I'm an attention whore plus masochist. [note to self: There has to be an EC in there somewhere.])

And I have no idea where to find it. I tried googling without a lot of luck.

I love romances and more, Gia's note said. I did find this http://www.loveromancesandmore.com/** but there's no sign of a chatty place. Hmmm.

UPDATED: It might be here. If this is it, might be tough because yahoo's been so horrible lately. I see Bonnie Dee's been by to chat. Not bad!

Hey what is with yahoo? Why is it so sucky?

UPDATED 2: TOMORROW. The thing is tomorrow. January 28. Sunday. Right. Never mind.
______

**you think I'd remember them--they gave me a Golden Rose award a couple of years go. Ingrate Kate.


Please join me for a chat
(yes, another chat, but it's the last one, I swear)
Sunday Morning 1/28, at 11 a.m., yahoo willing.**

**I know, I know. Tacky. Does it count as less tacky because I've picked up the habit and am now muttering "Insha'Allah" every time I make plans? And I feel a little insecure if I don't?

and I would like to direct your attention to the wonderful new system for bookstores in the comments section. I think Sam and I will share the patent on this one. But I get more money because she wasn't serious.

Forgot a couple
Book of My Hands=crafts
Book of My stomach=cookbooks.

Wonder where the mystery/thrillers would be filed?

Updated: Come on kids, play along at home! Raise and/or settle questions like:
"Would the book of my blood be a search for a person's ancestors (Roots would be filed there) or where we'd find Anne Rice's work?"

hot pix

This is me in the newspaper. Wasn't I the cutest thing in the world? I believe I thought so. Wild that they put in our address. Just shows that I'm very, very old and from a very, very different era.

and this is me older.
Awww. My auntie took that picture

I don't have a punchline. Just wandering around my computer trying to clean things up.

Margaret's doing far better. She's awake again.

I wonder how many people will wander over here because of the "hot pix" title. Heh.

Friday, January 26, 2007

nuisance BoML

I just finished writing another book that I don't think my agent wants. It doesn't fit any particular group (maybe Nocturne? On an off day?).

I don't do the book of my heart thing, but I keep having these books that refuse to go away. Not really books of my heart, more like books of my liver (BoML).

We're not talking passionate longing to write a masterpiece. This is a matter of detoxing the system so maybe I can get a happy, fun historical or a smutty romp that'll sell. I don't think the BoML are precious important works of art. I don't think they're any better than my usual sit-down-and-come-up-with-something-on-deadline sort of writing. In fact, I suspect they're worse. They're simply noisier than the other books.

There's still one lingering and it's the dopiest of them all. I can't figure out how to get the whole thing to work, but it won't go away. Usually the only way to figure these things out is to write them down, so I'll do a rough rough draft, as many pages as possible in a day. And that's that, damn it.

I mean it.

Once I get this Alzh/Schiz book done, I don't want any more liver trouble.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Another Reminder

Feeling rotten about missing my chat last night? Assuage that guilt! Try again tonight.
9 pm EST noveltalk

It's your chance to find out if I get to make an ass of myself again!

Last night someone named Susan showed up and said something nice about my books. I said, aw thanks, it's lovely to hear good things because, see, it can be tough on the ego being a writer.

I asked her if she was trying to be a writer, and she said yes, and I think I even gave her a couple of tips or something equally mortifying along the lines of "don't give up, it can be hard to get published!" I can't recall what, exactly, because those chats go fast.

Turns out it was Susan Meier. Yeah, she's a writer: she's published 28 books.
Oh. Ah.

Beth is excused tonight because she has put in her time. She can do something more fun tonight, perhaps drink something with six ingredients and a frothy top.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Talk to Me.

finally Bloooger's letting me post.
I'm going to put up the same note I'm frantically sending to every group I belong to:

CHATTING WITH SUMMER
Tonight I'm going to go over to Romancejunkies at nine p.m. EST
http://romancejunkies.com/chat.html

and tomorrow night it'll be noveltalk, same time.

http://noveltalk.com (I'm listed as Kate there)

Eeeiiiii! It's been months and now two in two nights? Why don't I know how to plan my life?

Don't answer that.
or wait!
Do answer it in detail! Tonight or tomorrow. Please come visit me!
You win books, and not just mine. I have a Jackie Ivie I might be giving away. or a Lori Devoti. . .I have to take a good look at my shelves.

* * * *

Bam's put up another review of a Summer Devon book. This is the novella that's in Taming Him with Kimberly Dean and Michelle Pillow. She liked all three, especially the one by Kimberly Dean.

ha, and it turns out I'd read Fever in ebook form! Linda loved it and told me to get it so I did. It was great.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

it's that time again.

I hope you'll be ready to play the State Of The Union Drinking Game! at 9 tonight (Maybe not you, Amelia. You probably still haven't recovered from last year's game and should stick to SOTU bingo.)

Members of all political parties can play, btw. And you can keep it simple. Just take a shot every time you see Nancy Pelosi applauding. I won't be participating. I plan on reading a chapter of Thud! to my kids. Terry Pratchett beats GWB I'm afraid.

boxes under the bed, more personal blathering

The boxes are cardboard. When I'm feeling virtuous, I pull them out to vacuum the dust, and sometimes I look through the books to see if there's anything I should stick on the bedside table.

There's also a box of jeans and other clothing--all stuff that's way too small for me.

This morning I was looking for something to wear and yanked out the box of clothes.

I tried on a pair of jeans that I couldn't button last September. They fit fine, a little loose. So I tried on the corduroys that I couldn't even pull all the way up my legs in September. They fit, too. And the khakis and the other blue jeans. Every pair of them FIT. Apparently that's what thirty-two pounds down will do for me. I was blown away. Just like I don't notice when I'm fat, I don't notice when I'm not fat.

Wow. How could I not see the difference? But I really don't. When I got downstairs, wearing the now-loose jeans, I hefted the unopened 25 lbs sack of dog food and told the very interested dog, "look, I've lost more than this. Holy shit!"

I didn't open the sack, so she lost interest--but I'm still amazed. How in the world could I have been carrying that on my body and not really notice when it went away? We're talking completely unsensitive to slow-changing body patterns here. I bet I'd make a great lobster. The heat would go up verrrry slowly and I'd be humming cheerfully to myself right til the end when I turned bright red.

I'm making some extra coffee to celebrate the empty box. When I lose the next 30 lbs, I'm buying new clothes.

Monday, January 22, 2007

stuff. a little bit of SBD

Warning to My kids: Don't read this unless you enjoy the idea of therapy.

I've been stopping by Bam's review of Revealing Skills and we've discussed the theme of powerful hoo-hahs and noted the lack of magic wands wielding similar powers. **

As soon as I finished writing RS, I read three stories with magic, potentially deadly vagina (no, not teeth. More like they dispensed Wicked Killer Orgasms) and now I can't find them because they were ebooks and naturally the laptop of doom--damn you, Dell--lost them. I can't find the stupid titles, either.

So PART ONE OF my SBD is what the hell are the names of those stories? They're published by Samhain, EC or Liquid Silver since I don't think I've bought any other books lately. . .oh blast. Fictionwise. I forgot they have all sorts of publishers.

PART TWO of SBD: And why aren't there more dongs of destiny/death? Maybe because because dongs = death is too much like some real life situations? Can anyone think of a story in which a male can make pleasure nearly deadly?

______

**okay, I've also been stopping by to visit and admire her praise.

* * * * *

Unrelated to DeathSex, but related to writing. I'm definitely going to have to get better at world building. I've read PBW's** links--she and her links are providing most of my education lately. I even have an idiot's guide to world building (nearly all of it, anyway. The dog of death chewed about a quarter of it away back in her chew-it-all days. Real title: Writer's Guide to Creating a Science Fiction Universe. [true confession: it puts me to sleep])


I have a strong idea of the world and the systems of magic, but when I edit, I tend to chop away anything that looks like backstory or explanation and that's a mistake. The problem in Revealing Skills is that the two main characters are basically clueless. Heh. Problem? more like convenient reason not to go into too many explanations. I loathe explanations in stories. But obviously (more than one person has noted this) I better improve my magic and rules and worlds.

Nice to have a specific task when I start my Magic Wand story.

No, no, I'm not writing that. At least, not now.
_______

**UPDATE: speaking of PBW, you have to read this.


* * * *

Oh, Christ. Mrs. Giggles is over there talking about how she's reading more Summer Devons because of Bam's recommendation. Eeeiiiii. If she hates them all and writes 04 reviews of 'em, I'll blame Bam. I sent Mrs. G Futurelove, the only one I thought she'd like -- based on years of studying her habits and reviews. Actually when it first came out, I thought she'd like Somebody to Love, but it's just as well she didn't read it. (Araminta does a bit of self-sacrificing and that's Mrs. G's least favorite act by any female character. Hmm. Does she mind males who do it? Another double standard to explore: Sex organs and Sacrifice.)


* * * *

Even more removed from SBD. Margaret is improving. Antibiotics help. Is this good? For me, sure. For her, I'm not so certain. I'll find out after they wake her up. (At this point it's medication keeping her asleep for the breathing tube.)


My poor dog. Call the SPCA on me, please. Put me out of my guilty misery. I put her out last night at nine. At FIVE AM, I stumbled from bed and didn't step on her. (when the husband's in town, she sleeps on the floor by my side) Uh oh. The Poor Thing. She was huddled on the mat outside, looking more than pathetic.

If she was one of the kids, she'd tell me all about how miserable she was and go on and on about what a rotten mother I am--until eventually, I would tell her all right already, I'm sorry and okay, I can't do any more apologising, so please knock it off.

No, she came in and was delighted to see me. She still loves me and thinks I'm wonderful. Result? I'm still feeling guilty and apologising.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

pimpin'

Go! Enter a worthwhile contest for once.

1. It'll help some food-prep challenged people
2. You may win a real cook book. Look around and you can find something hardbound and fancy-ass and Doug will have to pay for it. He promised.

So far the only recipe I've come up with:
open box of cereal
pour cereal into bowl
add milk or yogurt to bowl.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

See here, Margaret

A selfish request: For god's sake, get better. I haven't told you about the dream involving salad. And I have a funny snarky story about your neighbor.

You know those little ads in the newspaper that are addressed to dead people? "It's been ten years. and we still miss you, Timbo." The urge to talk to people who aren't operating on the conversational level is hard to resist. Hey, if dead people read the obits, maybe sick people read the internet? (Even the ones who can't stand computers.)

* * * * *

Updated: Still searching for female curmudgeon. If she does pull out of this, the last time I talked to her a few days back the subject came up again--we were still looking for a word that we think doesn't exist. It can't be beyotch or bitch because those are too firmly negative in her mind (if she's still there). The word needs to connote a female with sharp sense of humor, okay?

Friday, January 19, 2007

promo and rocks and condoms

Hey look! Someone finally reviewed my book.

The book hasn't been real popular. As one pal said** the book "sold as well as frozen dildo pops at a church luncheon. (And actually I think the pops would do much better.)"

Funny thing is I knew Bam was going to review another Summer novella because there's a picture of Taming Him at her site, but then whoops! there's a review of Revealing Skills.

__________________

**about her own book. I'd identify her but she might not wish to be associated with the remark.


* * * * *

As part of a promo kick, I've been doing interviews. And since I'm writing as Summer, people keep asking me about my Sexuality. So here are two stories of My Sexuality that are actually not about my sexuality, but try to convince my parents of that. Don't bother, they're dead.

I showed up when my parents were in their mid-40s and figured they were done with the kid thing**. My parents were so hands-off, they left me for long weekends, starting when I was about 14. And they sure didn't talk to me about sex, never ever.

Except twice.

SEX STORY 1.

I was in a field with my boyfriend and we were running backwards. I am a klutz and I fell. I landed on a rock that hit my crotch, hard. Ow. I think even bled a bit. It hurt enough that my parents noticed my discomfort or maybe I told them. Anyway I eventually confessed: "I was messing around with Eric and I fell on a rock and hurt my-- er, myself."

They took the matter very seriously, which they tended not to do (six kids and you get kind of casual). They even made an appointment with a special doctor, an ob/gyn, for the next day.

The doctor ushered me into her room, examined me. After the exam, she told me that I would be fine, but did I want to talk about "the rock"?

"It was a rock in a field," I said. "And probably the heel of my shoe because I landed funny. I didn't think I needed to go to the doctor but my dad--"

"I think we need to discuss the fact that you probably need some form of birth control," she interrupted me impatiently.

I said, "Oh, that. I'm okay. My boyfriend's dad works at a clinic." I'd been sleeping with the guy for about a year and I had been fitted for a diaphram, but I didn't bother to tell her that.****

It only occurred to me long after the fact that none of the adults had believed the rock story. It was true, dammit.

SEX STORY 2.

The parents went away for a long weekend. Friday afternoon, Gretchen, her boyfriend and I were watching television and Gretchen got bored. She went through her boyfriend's wallet and found a condom. Hilarity ensued as he tried to get it back. We ended up ripping the package open and using the condom as a water balloon. The boyfriend got mad and left, I think? I can't remember that part.

I slept in my parents' bed until they got back. It was not a great weekend because I think Gretchen and I fought about something (we usually did) and I lost one of my favorite earrings.

The night they got back, My Parents called me into their room for A Serious Talk, something they almost never did.

They both watched me as my father held up my earring. "Whose is this?"
"I've been looking for that," I said. "Thanks!"

A long uncomfortable silence followed. My father held up half a condom wrapper. "We also found this. Can you explain?"

And I did. I told the truth. Would you believe me? I don't think my parents did either.

__________

** You can imagine how truly hands-off they were when my two younger sisters showed up. The girls had been my cousins but then their mother died and we got them. Oy. Poor chickabiddies.

****I was insanely lucky that the boyfriend knew about that stuff because I sure didn't. Sex, yes, I knew about that already.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen mistakes in an article

there we go--the ladies. A pretty good article. I like it.

He's right. It IS pathetic that I'm the first thing that pops up when you want Bosnian rugs. And he's also correct, Fatima is adorable. **

Enough with the positive.

Here's what he got wrong:
1. He mixed up Fatima and Remzija's stories, somewhat.

2. Fatima has two daughters (her son died) and she lives with her daughter and son-in-law, both of whom have low-paying jobs. She's doing better than many most of the other women I know. Her other daughter is still in Bosnia. (and actually I got her story wrong. I thought she came here by way of Germany and she didn't.)

3. She is not sarcastic. Very occasionally ironic, but not sarcastic. Snark is not something she likes, except perhaps about herself and her bad memory. She doesn't mock anyone else, even me, and I've done a lot to deserve mockery in her presence. (We've spent a lot of time together)

4, maybe. I could be wrong, but I think Fatima is only 58. I don't think she's snuck in any birthdays.

5. Her husband did end up in a camp.

6. He's still alive. Not at all a happy guy and his hands don't work very well because they were bound for years (I think they were kept bound for two years? I'm not sure. The reporter is also right about the language barrier.)

7. Her whole farm wasn't burned down, though parts were.

8. Remzija has a son, too. I think she was pregnant when everyone in her family (all of her friends and relations except her toddler daughter) was killed. Her son is not doing well, in case you were wondering.

9. My name isn't Othwell.

10. The profits go to whoever makes the stuff and I deal with more ladies than Fatima and Remzija. He met at least one of the other ladies, too.

What does he mean rudimentary website? bah. Okay, so it's crappy, but rudimentary? Right, I'll put this one in a "harumph" file because he's not acually wrong. I guess.

11. It's Nilofer, not Nolifer.

She's my coworker, which he didn't mention, but then again, he didn't talk about where she worked, so I'm not sure it's a mistake.

12. It's Lynne with an E not Lynn Williamson--and I barely know the woman.

13. I don't have cleaning services mentioned. God knows I'm not bonded or insured for that kind of thing. I simply suggest that maybe people want to hire the ladies.


Back in my feature writing days, getting names wrong was an offense punishable by much yelling and considerable mockery. Facts were bad to mix up, sure, but NAMES? Holy Mother of Associated Press!

He got the gist right, and that's what counts in the long run. A long run = a week or so for that paper.

I don't know if he noticed how hard it was for the ladies to talk about their experiences--maybe you have to know the women under normal circumstances to see how tense they were there. I think one-on-one, they have less of a problem talking but this was in front of a big bunch of people.

Could I talk to a bunch of strangers about the worst nightmare experiences of my life? No goddamn way. Who wants to cry while everyone's watching? And who wants to answer those questions? I know it wasn't Fatima or Remzija's idea of a fun time. That's probably why I care more about the tiny mistakes than I would normally****. This is such a Big Deal to skip over lightly. Eh, I suppose that's true of any news story that doesn't show up in Sports or Entertainment sections.

BTW even one-on-one isn't so great for all of the ladies. Another woman who was there backed away when he tried to talk to her alone. I know she has a dreadful time with her memories. Anyway I wish he'd pointed out how brave they are to talk to a crowd about this stuff. Not really a mistake, I suppose.

I'm not working with the ladies at the moment. We have some young people from Azerbaijan.
_________

** If you want to see a picture of Fatima, click on the top "Hartford Advocate" banner (which as we know, isn't what that doohicky is called in the newspaper world. The banner is the list of publishers editors etc). It'll take you to the front page and there's a picture of her on the left.


****See, normally, I wouldn't care because I know how easy it is to get little shit wrong. . .Except about names. Did I mention names? Sheesh. That's 101 stuff.

True Love

So my husband's in Seattle Portland (Doug was right. The husband drove between the two cities twice! Ugh! Winter!) and of course he visits Powell's--a required trip for all tourists.

And instead of looking for mysteries, he heads straight for the romance section to see if he can find my books. He called me up to give me a report.

We're talking real deal here: he was even willing to carry this book with this cover around the store. (He was looking for his sister to show it to her. I doubt he bought it--there is a limit.)

She's a loyal SIL too. Apparently she has the Dutch copy of Somebody Wonderful sitting out in the open. (Hey, I didn't know what else to do with them so I sent copies to random relatives. I still have a couple. Anyone want one?)

OHhhh. And last week I found out SW is being translated into Italian. Yahoo!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

proud of our local idiot crooks

Trainwrecks may be gone, but while looking for the ladies in the Advocate (no Bosnians yet) I did find this great weekly feature of local trainwrecks.
here's one from the article:

There’s something charming about a repentant thief, though we wonder about the wisdom of being simultaneously as good and as bad as Richard Corlette reportedly was. Corlette, 41, allegedly grabbed a woman’s pocketbook from her car last week while she was shopping at Sophia’s Plaza in East Windsor, the Journal-Inquirer reported. However, the woman saw Corlette as he took the pocketbook and got into his own car, police said. As he was trying to drive away, the woman opened his car door, took back the pocketbook, and said, “You gotta try harder than that,” according to police. He apologized, saying he needed the money, and drove away, police said. The woman took down his license number and police tracked down Corlette at his Windsor Locks home. As if he hadn’t already said enough, Corlette then admitted what he’d done and was arrested, police said. He was released on $2,000 bond.

Monday, January 15, 2007

hey it's SBD!

Listen, I don't have much to say, but we need to get our routine back on track, right? SCHEDULES are SACRED. There are kids all over my house. They don't seem to understand how important it is that they not be bugging me on Monday, silly guys.

Happy MLK Day. I'm thinking of something appropriate to MLK day but I can't. Discrimination? How about the whole Millenium Black thing--where the author's race seems to matter more than the books she writes? That seems sort of. . . bizarre. I frequently see occasions when the author chooses to highlight her race/employment history/background to help sell books. ["ex-FBI agent!" seems to be the most common one] But to go the other way? Change the book to fit a niche without the author's consent? Nope. It might not be traditional discrimination, but it sure is not kosher.

* * * * *

I'm rereading things because that's what I do when I can't work or concentrate. Just reread Truly by Mary Balogh. I was reminded of Ohhhhh how I hate this particular plot device: a person manage to repeatedly hide their identity from someone who "loves" them.

Give me a secret baby rather than a secret like that. Drove me nuts in Princess Bride, too. How come Buttercup (and what a drip she was) couldn't identify Westly, twice? (when he grabbed her and when he gave the big ol' cry of anguish) All that bushwa about True Love. Ha. Wear a mask and the True Love doesn't get it's you?

Except. I love Truly, and I love Princess Bride, for that matter. But this is supposed to be about books, so anyway, I love the book. I wondered why I had kept it on a shelf (instead of a box) and decided to read it to find out and then ended up getting caught up in it again. Yah, we have the spunky heroine and the conflicted hero, but I luuuuuuurrrrrve them even though I've read a thousand versions of them. Maybe because I believed the conflict was real and her spunk (and what a word) was necessary for her existence. I even bought into the idea that he really had to hide from her. Heck, I even forgave her for being a hussy, a particularly stupid move in that repressive world. Oh, did I mention the world? Balogh creates a terrific portrait of Wales. I don't get why there aren't more books in that setting.

Balogh has written a couple of other books with one character masquerading as two and successfully deceiving the person who's supposed to be the True Love for most of the damn book. This is the only one I can stand--and I more than tolerate Truly. It's on the keeper shelf. I hope I can write a story as stirring some day. **


**(only I hope I'd get a better cover. It's one of those step-backs that's embarrassed about being Clinchy inside. I say go for Clinch or go for Good Taste. Don't hover apologetically.)

I guess the real world came to visit too often

All that's left at Trainwrecks.
"Sorry, folks, but Trainwrecks is gone and it's not coming back. Some deeply disturbed people with an irrational fixation on this site decided that stupid photo montages, libel, and obscene anonymous comments just weren't enough, so they decided to take their little hate campaign into the real world. And since their information came from gossip and bad detective work, they didn't exactly hit the right targets. As anyone might have expected, the people who suffered the most were not even involved with this site.

Once it became clear that the people posting at Heaven Nose were willing to cross the line between a one-sided flame war and real-life harassment, our web host decided enough was enough, and we agreed. This site wasn't important enough to us to be worth having innocent people harassed at home and work. We're done."

No, I had NOTHING to do with it.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

rambling ramble and selling socks

What happened to trainwrecks.net? Someone finally get fed up with them?
I did find an interesting blog to read whilst surfing around, trying to find out about some old trainwreck issue.

If anyone reads the Hartford Advocate, there might be an article about my ladies sometime soon. We had the big event this evening. The ladies sat in the spotlight and talked about their lives while Lajla the Magnificent translated. It's so obviously difficult for the ladies to do this in a big crowd...I want to thwack some of the people asking questions. Right longside the head. Jeebus.

And I caught someone trying to tell R she should try to work toward forgiving the Serbs. Sure, she should--anyone who's read any advice column on the internet knows that "hate only hurts the hater," but Christ on a cracker, who the heck has the right to give advice like that to R? She'd just finished telling the crowd how the Serbs marched into her village one sunny day in June and killed every single person in her life except her daughter. Every. Single. Person. She. Loved.

I can't begin to imagine and I don't want to and I sure don't want to tell her how to lead her life. Especially not someone who has the strength to keep on leading any kind of life at all after that. Talk about clash of cultures.

I always end up feeling rather pissy after we do these sorts of events. About 3-5 times a year, I end up going to these things, so it's not like a routine event. You want to help them? Give them a goddamn job, buy all their goods, and stop telling them you feel their pain. Heh. As if I'm any better.

I guess anger is a reasonable emotion--just ask R--and there's no one else around to direct it at.

Some day soon, there will actually be someone coming to ask way, WAY scarier questions at an events, like "who's in charge of all this sock selling?" The ladies never make a lot of dough, but still, today with the basically uninterested reporter lurking, it felt sneaky.

And yeah, it's rather strange that we pulled Lajla aside and asked her to point out that the ladies make the rugs and socks to maintain their cultural identity (hey, it's true. Kinda).

I have zero interest in actually trying to set up something more formal, but I suppose if they get well enough known, and we sell enough of their goods, there will have to be more official records kept, etc.

Ugh.

I'll only do that stuff for pay--I've had a business before. I was a partner, and we hated it. Right Leslie?? We loathed it. I think all three of us did, but some of us are still not in communication after that experience. UGH.

And if I get paid, then the ladies will get a penny an hour for their work, instead of the huge 2 cents they make now.

Triple Ugh.

Hey, seeeeeee, L? I can whine about dumb crap even after spending a few hours listening to war and death stories. That's what ten years will do for you. Ten years and good old drugs.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Internet Changes Everything

Here's a fun new profession. I can't wait to read the first romance with either a hero or heroine who's a professional RP (Reputation Defender).

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I blogged about contests

I blogged over at Samhain. I like that blog. So far people are doing a great job of avoiding too much promo (except on Samhain release days, of course. Go Ari!)

Tonight I was supposed to go to a fundraising event for one of the boy's school. I took the opportunity to flip out instead.

I think I'd rather have gone to the Pond House. Prettier views there. (Actually I did manage to show up for about ten minutes. Long enough for the other boy I had to drag along to wolf down a few brownies. So that was good.)

I don't know if any of you guys do panic, but it's seriously overrated as a hobby.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

cop-out

THE CONTEST IS ENDING.

Now what? First I tried to find judges. No go. I thought about using the boys, but some of the hotter ones. . .uh, nope.

Then I tried to be a judge. No wonder no one else wanted to sign on for the job.

I'm not as nice as Doug who gave all of his winners copies of the book.
I've decided to make it a game of chance. I'm dividing the entries into two groups, snark and hot, and number them, and pick a number from a hat.

annna SAYS


"Boy three will now yell out two numbers and the winners are. . .



CORNDOG FOR SNARK
and
CRAZY IN ALABAMA FOR HEAT"

so click on my name up in the right-hand corner and email me with your snail mail address. I'll make sure you get a copy of Taming Him!!

Or, if you'd rather, I'll send you another Summer Devon ebook or a Kate Rothwell novel .

opposite

If you want a dose of "ooooo, I wanna be that person" visit this blog or this blog. Not only do they live in wonderful places (rural France, on a sailboat in Hawaii) they relish their worlds. And there is the fact that Paul Theroux loved Wood's book. Wow.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Dear Trainwrecks

Dear Trainwrecks the website (tm),

Never mind the fact that you mock people's pain, that you shine a spotlight on the strangest corners of the internet and make sure we all have bad dreams about adults who are just trying to lead their happy, quiet existence -- in diapers.

No, what I resent is that you go out of your way to make sure I spend hours following threads and reading stories about and by people I'd cross the street to avoid. I find myself worrying about these strangers who've left their husbands for the fourteenth time and who are drinking themselves sick, again.

You've wasted hours of my life making me follow threads of threads and forcing me to find out what happened to various traumatic polyamorous break-ups caused by sex-changes or the introduction of more playpals. You pointed out that there might be such a thing as woman sperm and, by golly, two hours later I finally got to the part you were talking about. Because of you, I missed my kid's bedtime--I had to find out about a woman who missed her kids because she worshipped a fictional character just a little too much. I had to look at the shrines she set up. I'm just a little bit sadder now.

[have I got five paragraphs yet? no?] I can't believe that you made me bookmark your page so I can check it to see if someone's finally left some good snark about Casey, whom I adore so much I've almost considered sending him an alarm clock and some jamba juice, whatever the hell that is. I have work to do, trainwrecks, and you stop me from doing it. When my husband says it's time to go to bed, wink, wink, I say no, not yet, I have to discover what happened to Dooce's lawsuit. And what about her husband, anyway? Because of you, tw, my own life will soon be a trainwreck, I'm sure of it.

Thanks very much, I don't think, for making me nearly as foul-mouthed and small-minded as Mr. Pickles, whom I suspect is really a woman because she frets so much about breastfeeding twins.

So, what do I win?
Never mind! I can see I won some snark about my multiple posts ["two!! jeebus, what a self-centered bitch"]. That is the absolute best someone aiming to for that 2006 Annoying Award can hope for.

And then there's this, which as Zombie points out, is a real gift. Imagine how impressive it would be in the flesh.
I'll do SBD later. I have to go out and do Bosnian things.
It's time to say goodbye to Cass. It's been months since he blogged, so it's not a huge surprise. It always sounded as if he insisted on having a wonderful time much longer than most people could. **

I'll miss him.

_________
**not really a comprehensible sentence, but I can't think of another way to put it at the moment. Sue me.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Update

Never did get pumpkin spice latte. I did get baklava (from Fatima) and now I'm drinking champagne (not from Fatima).

I didn't get any champagne on New Years and I needed it for luck.

There. Aren't you glad you checked in?

Sure you are, because now you can go enter the flipping contest. Or at least read the entries.
Hey speaking of contests, Doug, I won't pimp your contest** until you enthusiastically promote mine, dude.

__________

**I have grown to love that Kenney artist. I want his Art in my life. Now. Even more than I want the pumpkin spice stuff. Want want need need. Or maybe I want want need need the last of the pineapple upsidedown cake Mike made as part of his campaign to keep me from losing too much weight. It makes him nervous for some reason.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

lazy

I ran around gathering refugee crafts today. Run, run, drive, run. My day = dull
Yours any better?

The radio thing didn't happen after all, and tomorrow I'll go with all my rugs, lace, mittens, socks, hats and whatnot to meet the lady so she can do a better job of talking about the refugees, I hope. The radio interview will air Friday the 12th.

I'll meet the lady in the building we--and everyone else, I think--call The Democrats. Why? Because until five or six years ago, this building was the headquarters of the local Democratic committee. After they cleared out, there was still the name painted on the front of the building, but the sign has been gone for at least three years.

It's kind of like the habit of naming housing developments after the landscape that was destroyed to make the houses, "Meadowglen" "Shady Forest" (When we were looking for houses in Maryland, we quickly learned that the good communities usually had undistinguished, dull names and one should avoid names that evoke brooks and fields and prettiness). Kind of like that, but more charming.

All of the sudden. .. I feel like Beth, in that I am being attacked by a food craving at an inconvenient time. At this moment, I want--no, I NEED--a pumpkin spice thingie from Starbucks and I want it so much I might go downstairs and shake out a bunch of nutmeg, cinnamon and mace to sniff because we don't have any pumpkin pie spice.

I've not done any writing today and I won't tomorrow. How about you?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

time for a Bosnian update.

Remember S, the Bosnian who had some sort of sudden brain malfunction? She's been in a nursing home for about a month. I still don't know what went wrong with her.

Neither do her neighbors and good friends, including her best friend, her sister-in-law (the only adult survivors of their family).

I thought at first it was a language problem. But the nurses didn't seem to know what was going on either.

Now I strongly suspect that once she stablized, the health care system did not bother to spend the money on tests to figure out if she had a stroke or an aneurysm. She has no money and is on state aid. She never did take the citizenship exam(and was one of the students who actually studied for it and seemed to care) and there's no way she ever will. She responds to her name but not much else. She's been in a series of state nursing homes--at least three. I can't figure out why they move her. I have no right to demand what's going on and anyway, her sons don't return my calls.

What's going to happen to her when her state aid expires because she's not a U.S. citizen? Refugees are a different kettle of fish from immigrants, but even they have to eventually become citizens or become illegals. I guess she's a prime candidate for form N-648

The woman has complained about headaches since the day I met her, several years ago. She was on high blood pressure medication, but I know her medical plan was for shit. She's the one who had a horrible toothache in March, an infection for god's sake, and an appointment to see a dentist who takes state aid about it in effing JUNE**. She was intelligent, a gifted craftswoman and wonderful. I'm pissed off this happened to her.

Speaking of high blood pressure, mine ratchets up when L, the child psychologist tells me stories about the hoops her patients and she has to jump through. She usually gives up trying to get paid to treat foster kids, who are the ones who need her services most. That's another day's rant.

Okay so now the good Bosanke news.
My sock site attracted the attention Lynne, the person who's in charge of this place. We may get to show the world the socks, lace and rugs--and we just know that the world will snap up these goodies as if they were Britney's missing underwear up for bid on ebay..

Lynne is going to be on the Faith Middleton show tomorrow. I hope she mentions the ladies.

AND YOU? Enough ranting about this stuff. YOU go enter the contest.

___

** I thought it was April or May but she didn't get the tooth out until June. She was going to do it herself but they (whoever they are) told her they wouldn't pay for any damages if she did to herself--or that's what she thought they said. . . Reality is often lost in translation though.

Monday, January 01, 2007

wylie, not kylie

Oh, for goodness sake. You're too freaking POLITE, WYLIE KINSON. **

If I get your name wrong (twice) you're supposed to say, "yo, beyotch, I'm going to be more famous than you some day. And when I am, I plan on calling you 'Kathy.' All the time."

Sheesh.

Now everyone must go enter the contest. Make it a New Year's resolution that's easy to keep.

______

**She didn't say a word. I finally figured it out, several days later.