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Showing posts from March, 2007

heh heh heh . . . damn you doug

Turns out I really like really perverse fan fic.

Jealous? God yes

So look at that. Episode 237--Jes's books are shown on the Colbert Report. It's her lovely cheesy covers that they adore. But they're not Harlequin, Stephen!

from Mike's least favorite source, wikipedia:After the break, Stephen decided to create and submit cover photos to Harlequin
Enterprises
given their interest in replacing the staid images based on fantasy with more realistic men.Time to pretend I'm a good mother--again? Didn't I do that a few days ago?

Thursday 13 sites

HEY Cheryl B! Duh. Of course I remember you.

How's baby Sirius??

Cheryl's remark about visiting and lurking is one of those bloggy things. You know, the blogs you visit and get to know and feel like the bloggers are actual friends.

It's funny how easy it is to set up a rhythm of visiting blogs and then pppppfff it goes away. Like the habit of exercise, it feels permanent until it ....isn't.

I guess that's what RSS is about but I haven't managed that yet. Anyway, clicking over is easy, but Cheryl's right, for some reason it feels odd if too much time has elapsed. Like writing thank you notes or something--it starts to feel like an obligation that was once something fun.

Strange new world of posting and response etiquette. Anyone found a book on this yet? Competent Commenting and Other Bloggly Rules of Conduct: How to Be a Blogger's Favorite Visitor and a Visitor's Favorite Blog.

Anyway, here are 13 sites I used to visit all the time and then . . .stopped b…

my neighbors in the news and other fun stuff

If I were these robbery victims, I wouldn't have called the police either.
A couple blocks from here, some guys learn why neighborhood watch can be a pain in the butt.

Also, I am reminded why reading craigslist is fun. Not a savory entry. (entree?)

lazy SBD

1. Beau Crusoe is a very good book. Read it.

2. Yesterday was The other Call day. Rita (for published books) and Golden Hearts (for unpublished mss), the big name awards for Romance Writers. Or so Romance Writers think. SBTB and Dearauthor have already put up their rants about it. I might act like yeah, I agree, no big deal, but if I ever got that call, I'd be pretty flipping happy. I didn't enter this year, so I wasn't waiting by the phone.

I like what Jes's ideas on how to cope with the pressure:CONGRATULATIONS RITA FINALISTS!!!The Rita is very fun, I think. I'm excited for the winners especially my friends who are in the running and I always love the ceremony.

But... for the rest of us...well, you know... sometimes Rita Day is not so fun.
. . .here's a little list of things you can do to liven it up a bit...

1. Call people... announce "Hi, this is XXX from the RW"....static, static..."I'm calling to tell you that you are a" ...static, stat…

The Answers to ABC

Dean and others seem to think I Knew How this was going to turn out, but no, not really.

I was surprised to discover AA Romance is almost exactly like any other category romance. In fact, I had a harder time messing with book C to hide the nationality/race than any of the category AA books I ran across on the web. (For those who don't know--category means books put out by publishers like Harlequin. Kimani is their AA line. Another word used to describe the type of books is series romance)

I messed around with a lot of books, but only put up the ones people sent me or I had permission to post. Of all the romance genres, historical is hard to hide, obviously, and paranormal is harder still. Erotic romance isn't so difficult, just those overinflated ummmm senses are always at work. It's amazing to me that people in erotic romances manage to get through their sex-free days without exploding, what with those hyperactive senses on high alert.

Tchah, you guys. I had to resort to beg…

If I knew how to do a screen save

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I'd take a picture of the fact that MY blog showed up on USAtoday, thanks to Jane at DearAuthors.

I wrote "MY name showed up on USAtoday," but um, no, that's not really true because my name is misspelled. Hurry! Look! Before it goes away! (It was on the first page for an hour or so.) I am so impressed with myself.
update: And I'm impressed with how many people know how to do a screenshot.
Thanks, CD and Amie. http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/default.htm The question on my mind: does the 15 min of fame rule count if they spell your name wrong? I think you're allowed overtime play for that.

BOOK C

You know how to do this. Guess the race of the author. Guess the race of the people mentioned in the excerpt. If you want to guess in the comments, feel free and you can even decide to be anonymous. No fair cheating and googling. Last book of the day. Hmmm. I've removed a lot of passages. I hope the author forgives me. It's good writing, but the blog is crappy at long passages.

[on an airplane]
She didn't overflow. His own shoulders edged over the back into the gap between the two seats, but she fit neatly into the plush chair. As he smoldered in silence, [slightly ethnic name removed] smelled her perfume intruding on him. A soft scent, slightly floral, but clean and not overdone. At least he wouldn't hae to endure an overpowering stink for the length of the flight!

. . . He settled back, feeling the rush of the powerful engines as the plane lifted off the runway.

The woman beside him let out a soft keening sound, one of pain, he thought. Or fear. How annoying.

Once they we…

BOOK B

You know how to do this by now. Guess the race of the author. Guess the race of the people mentioned in the excerpt. If you want to guess in the comments, feel free and you can even decide to be anonymous. No fair cheating and googling. One more book for today and then I'll tell you who wrote what on Sunday and the race of the various people. All people, btw. (In case you care--all of today's books are contemporaries, one was released as an AA and the other two as mainstream. Interesting detail du jour--I tried to make a vampire book I found into an unrecognizable/generic contemporary romance. Impossible to do for any length longer than a few paragraphs. Teeth were always glinting or breaking out.)

Bryan walked slowly into the room with his usual loose-limbed grace, his eyes intently focused on her own until he was within touching distance. Callie, her own eyes widening with alarm, moved nervously away from him. Though she’d never experienced it before, she felt she was being s…

BOOK A

You know how to do this by now.Guess the race of the author. Guess the race of the people mentioned in the excerpt. If you want to guess in the comments, feel free and you can even decide to be anonymous. No fair cheating and googling. I'll be back with two more books later. Boy stuff now.


I pulled my focus back to the scene at hand. We finished the blocking rehearsal, then Lida Rose called for a five-minute break. I lowered myself into the orchestra pit to see if Jed had enough toys and water.

"Kiely?"

"Hi, Nathaniel."

His voice was too quiet for anyone else to hear."You saw him, didn't you? I couldn't help but notice your attention wasn't completely focused on stage."

I wanted to say no, and avoid sounding crazy, but this man had been Don Mueller's friend. I felt like I owed him something."Yes."

"Is this the first time Don, um, has made an appearance?"

"No. At least I'm pretty sure I've seen him before this.…

in the meantime, a little something to depress you

No time to load stuff because the three feet of snow in our part of the world is melting and turning into two feet of water in our basement.

Sandy, deciding I wasn't grouchy enough, sent this link:
Borders to close half of its Waldenbooks.

Later, gaters

more books at you

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I'm going to go write a few thousand words (good news: Summer has a new contract! yay! bad news: book isn't done yet) and maybe run on a treadmill--but then I have at least three books to post. You can guess anonymously or be brave like Dean, who guessed right, by the way.
Speaking of making a fool of oneself in public: Allow me to share my "Jew eat?"** moment du jour.

I wasn't getting replies from AA authors and I was getting annoyed. "It's because I'm white, isn't it. And I made that dumb stink over at Karen's. That's why they're not writing to me!"
It took far too much stewing and snarling before I realized: 1. they may have lives. 2. it could be they just don't want to bother with a relatively obscure blog. 3. it could be that my STUPID email server rejected their messages. 4. it could be they didn't get my messages because of my STUPID email server. Anyway...
There's something about spending days talking about discrimina…

Duh

I had a good rant all set.

For God's sake, people, I was going to say. You're willing to talk til you're blue in the face (yet another race, heh) ranting about authors, books, but when it comes to the actual READING THE DAMN BOOKS, you have nothing to say? It isn't about reading is it? It's about striking poses and carrying on with self-righteous indignation. Soapboxes and high horses--but when it comes to the books, you don't actually give a damn. You don't want to deal with anything but boring old nonsense.

But then Karen pointed out the obvious.
Now you know that the only problem with this is that readers won't want to guess, just in case they're wrong... People hate feeling stupid in public.

Ah. Oh, right. Sometimes I forget that feeling stupid in public isn't a common condition and that people actually try to avoid it.

Well, okay I just hope you read those anyway. I might do this again, if I ever get any more books. I had fun.

Just one more thin…

BOOK THREE--c'mon you guys. .

PLEASE READ THIS FIRST
And then you tell me. Guess the author's color--gender, too, if you want. And what about those characters? No fair cheating -- no googling, no telling if you've read the book already.


Rachel, far too cheerful, yelled, “Swim starts today, Aunt Janey. Hey, get up! It’s already 5:15.”

Janey pushed off the quilt and groaned when her bare feet touched the cold linoleum floor. She scraped her hair from her eyes and squinted toward her niece. “See? I’m up. Now begone, you misbegotten crook-limbed toad. I gotta get dressed. Five minutes. Less, I swear.”

“I know you were working late, so I’ll just wait here.”
No point in protesting when young Rachel got that tone.

When Janey found out she had her 14-year-old niece full time, her friends with kids all gave her the same piece of advice: Pick your fights.
This was not one of them.

She yawned and staggered to her dresser while Rachel watched from the doorway. Janey’s feet still ached from standing around for hours the night …

Book Two--it's a long one! (heh)

PLEASE READ THIS FIRST
And then you tell me. Guess the author's color--gender, too, if you want. And what about those characters? No fair cheating -- no googling, no telling if you've read the book already.
I have one more to go...I'd like more if you have 'em! I hope the author doesn't mind. I changed ONE word in this excerpt.

Chapter 1
Satan’s minion stormed into Dr. Simone Beaupre’s office right before lunch and, with no prior warning, blew up her life.

She’d been sitting in her leather armchair, finishing a fifty-minute session. Her middle-aged clients, Gerald and Krystal Jackson, sat on the sofa, facing her. Simone closed her notebook and recapped her pen.

“We’re making progress, Krystal, but I think maybe next time we’ll focus on why you’re still so hostile toward Gerald now that we know his impotence is tied to his heart disease.”

Krystal shot her husband a malevolent sidelong glance. “We don’t need another session for that. I can tell you why I’m so pissed off. He…

I'm Doing Them As I Get Them: BOOK ONE

PLEASE READ THE POST BELOW THIS ONE
And then you tell me. Guess the author's color--gender, too, if you want. And what about those characters? I'd say gender will always be easy but what about color? species? sexual preference? favorite flavor of ice cream? (Last one doesn't count--it's one of those author in-jokes, sort of)

I'll tell you title, author, etc tomorrow. NO FAIR GOOGLING!!

From the start of the book:

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 that 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.

My older sister, Shari, who was walking toward me against she…

What I want to do

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I'm inspired by Karen Scott's blog... only instead of the Author Speaking, I want the books to speak.

And I want to expand our horizons. I want to post book selections with any possible references to race (or species) blocked out. I want to see if people guess the race of the characters.

It's a way to discover possibly new authors after all. Can't be bad.

So if any author out there wants to send me a first few pages of her book that's PG13 (although I have an exception in mind)--the excerpt, not the book--and doesn't mind me messing with anything that would give away the race/species, go ahead. Tell me where it's published and shelved (if it's paper). I might be asking for trouble but that's fine. I love reading bits of other people's work. Trouble is that my email has been sucking lately so if you don't hear from me, blame email. And I might say no for my own random reasons. After all it isn't often we writers get to wear the other shoe. …

last post of the day

My husband thinks I should delete that last post. He says why the hell do you put that stuff on there? (I shouldn't have shown it to him.)

ANYWAY so we'll go back to the whole niche/segregation publishing thing, shall we?

T pointed out that the publishers might well be pushing the whole growing Latina romance subgenre onto its own shelves. (She'd know--she's considered the genre)

I wonder how writers who sign on with those lines feel about that. Or how they'll feel when the shelves with their books aren't near the mainstream romance section since I don't think it's grown large enough yet to merit its own section.

I love my family

My boys, my husband.
I love them a whole lot, every last XY of them, and wouldn't trade them for a gazillion trillion dollars.

squirrelly but lucky despite that,
Kate

on the other hand

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I loved this cover. I bought the book in part because I liked the cover so much. (edited: I had a Monica book there, and I loved her cover, but this is the one I bought because of the cover.)

Sigh.

Okay so from now on, every damn romance will sport a purple minerva press cover and only the writing may sell the book.

No wait, then good romances would be overlooked by fools who won't read the genre.

Right. So each book published will have a smiley face or a frowny face on it, depending on the end of the book.


my next book cover

edited to add more acceptable covers: Literary books with no plot--face with question mark above 'em Mysteries--faces with X's for eyes. Cookbooks--faces taking bites out of relevant cuisine
Phew. Glad that's settled.

But really, I shall seize control my own part of the universe and I hereby decide to see the avoidance of AA books as a "not being a member of the club thing" (see previous post) rather than racism. I have decided this because life i…

rambling about selling AA romance

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I changed the title. I keep changing the contents because I keep changing my mind. Sue me.

Karen is doing a interesting bunch of interviews and discussion about AA Romance at her blog. I keep weighing in, though it's clear to me that I should keep my mouth shut.

I was blathering along about how I don't judge by genre, and I look for books by writers I like or that have good reviews when I suddenly realized that I haven't read that many reviews for AA books.

hmmm

Is that because they're there and I just skip over them? Where are those reviews? Well, well. Could I be a closet racist after all? (I'm always looking for signs. Got to stay on top of this sort of thing.)

I know some people see AAs like inspirationals, which has its audience built into its genre**. I can't help it, I see a kind of "keep out" sign with inspies. [edited to remove small rant about inspies that has nothing to do with my point] I see it as a club for Christians and there's no point…

Hey!

Samhain has RWA recognition. Go Samhain! Yay Crissy! Whoopie!

The important question, of course, is what does this mean to me, me, me? Answer: Nothing much. Nothing I write is RITA stuff. I suppose the editors will be swamped under more submissions now. (Although I think they're temporarily closed to new stuff. I think. OOooOOO the blog as rumor mill.)

It's very cool, though. The epublishers are making their way into the ranks.

the best advice about addiction and love, ever

Mistress Matisse and Candy hit that one out of the park. It fits so many relationships I've witnessed. (Not been a part of, thank you gods of attraction.)

Thursday Thirteen--signs of a mild midlife crisis

I went over to the thirteen site to see if I could pick up the code like Shannon "who used to visit and say hi" Stacy and others have. I really like that automatic Put Your Name Here thing. I couldn't find the little box thing quickly and decided I've had enough of struggling with code for a while. Almost all the words I've written this week have had brackets around them.

1. You try on something in a color you're supposed to avoid. Back in the 80s someone told you you were an autumn and should never wear orange. You buy at least five orange things.

2. You stop cursing the convertibles that go too fast down your street and start looking at their make.

3. You say random things at supper time. The point is to see if anyone notices you're not making sense. They don't.

4. You continue to say random things before and after supper. Still no one notices, so you slip in a few outrageous things. Nope. Heh. This is fun. It becomes a hobby. You try it out in public.

5…

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh

Okay, so who knows about webpublishing? Anyone? Anyone?
I've spent days and DAYS on this damn thing and I have at last gotten summer.com reloaded (yay!) but only for the moment (boo!).

Summer's old server is going away, and there are a bunch of addresses in the html that are apparently connect to that server. I figure that means I should go in and change the address to the same sort of thing. When I substitute the new web address for the old, all the purdy stuff vanishes. Pop. CCS gone. Or is it CSS?

weeping

Does anyone know anyone who'll do this piddly stuff? Not the fun creative design, just figuring out where the noob messed up.

more weeping.
is it too early for wine?

Next post will be daisy-bright sunshine, or that's it. No more posting until you get a better attitude, young old lady.

updated
well, since you asked here's the section I'm having trouble with:

[html][head [title>summerdevon.com[/title] [META name="description" content="romantica, ell…

kvetch city

I spent hours yesterday trying to figure out how to move summerdevon.com over to my nice, new, cheap host. And hours trying to figure out why my email at my not-as-nice, new, cheap online provider is bouncing like one of the tiny superbouncy superballs that our dentist hands out to kids. (Our dentist has the best balls.)

We're getting as cheap as we can without actually sacrificing any of the luxuries we have come to view as necessities (copyright, Andrew Tobias)

Back to shifting webpages to the new place, I still don't know how and I have frigging Front Page, which assumes I'm a dummy (hello, says microsoft!).

And ummm, it's not cold, so that's good. Yup. (It's clouding up, though.)

So why aren't I posting more often, you might ask?

Because the posts are lame and because you guys are all drifting away (cause, effect?). Snivel, sniff. My audience is shrinking and soon I'll be Aunt Emmeline in the corner talking to myself (Mating Season, PG Wodehouse), but I …

numbering makes it easy

1. I dreamed that I went to a vaudeville show and I wanted to take notes so I could include facts in a book. I didn't have any paper or pen, so I had to try to memorize the facts. The show was in a huge auditorium and very few people were in the audience. Management was giving away gloves and handkerchiefs. The show consisited of lots of stilt walkers and trained dogs and a baby singing Poor Little Buttercup. I did a pretty good job memorizing, huh.

2. If it doesn't get above freezing today we will be angry and resentful and probably pick fights with each other.

3. A boy and I are still in bed and it's past 9. That's because Mike is at work and when he's not around to tell us to get off our butts, that's what we do. We're watching the history channel and noting that Keith Carradine looks old. Criminal activities! Oh boy! Train robbers.

4. I have no idea why any one of these points is worth blogging. Maybe because blogging doesn't equal vacuuming, which is …

sort of breaking news

Anna Genoese is leaving Tor. No more spotting her at RWA conferences--she was always fun to spot at conferences. Bah.

Thursday Thirteen--writers I found online

I'm liking the Romance Unleashed blog this week. Yesterday's "nearly useless advice" was good. Jes's was my favorite: "Never, never use the same word twice in a sentence." It's almost as good as Strunk's, "avoid the beastly adverb."

Back to the matter of Thursday 13.

The publicity thing is going on again, as usual, blah blah blah. The questions at romance-worth-killing-for boil down to one: is it worth the time it takes from regular writing to have an online presence?

Here are writers who've sold at least one copy of their books because they have an online presence. More than just a rumor that they sold that one copy, because I'm the one who bought it.

1. Shannon Stacey. Not that she needs my help, the biddy.
2. Lyn Cash/Bobbie Cole. a co-conspirator from the online world.
3. Ann Wesley Hardin. Now that Mrs. Giggles says she's a keeper, she'll do great. Right?
4. Kris Starr. another co-conspirator
5. Bronwyn Clarke. Okay, she …

my nephew's new blog

I wonder if A's saga of three days in the airport is gone along with his old blog that's lost forever, but here's a new place. Yet another relative to marvel at. He's the son of this sister.

I can't get over the fact that I'm related to these people. Seriously, Osbert, I must have been a good dog in that previous life.

SBD, spoiled by The Rules

This probably goes with the romance unleashed/romance-to-kill-for thing. Miss Information. But it's a rant so I'll make it a SBD and then I get to say hey at Beth's.

Multiple POVs are happening in every damn book I'm reading (no romances at the moment) and the truth is they're not badly done. Sure some of the shifts are fast, but you can easily figure out by context etc whose head we're in. The trouble is I've been beaten by the romance world rules, and rule number one is We Are In The Heroine Or Hero's POV Period. No one else. And we are told we are supposed to stick around for a long time. Even a chapter, dammit.

Anyway, no one told this to these authors of YA and kids' books. So when I read, I see the rules being broken and then I'm pulled away from fantasy land.

I hate that this crapola standard intrudes in my reading. I have the automatic "uh oh! you shouldn't be in that boy's head! He's not important in this story." or m…

Lies, etc

1. When I was a teenager, I worked for part of a summer as a tourguide in my home town, Washington, DC. I had a spiel and I was a good girl for a while. But then. . . okay, so I told a group or two that the Washington Monument was leaning a bit. Built on a swamp, don't you know. I didn't bother with the high water mark lie. Pfah. Everyone did that one. I stole the leaning one, but I had a couple of others I'd invented. That's the one I remember because everyone saw the way the monument leaned after I told them that. Only to a few people, okay? And yeah, I do feel kind of guilty.

2.We at Romance Unleashed are doing a cross-talk act with Romance Worth Killing For. It's all about rotten how-to-get published advice we've gotten, and are happy to share--or something along those lines.

3. A review of Taming Him at Romance Junkies. 4.5 stars, no lie.

4. I'm listening to Peter and the Starcatchers. I got the disks from the library for the boys and am now addicted. St…

Huh?

If you've seen the play "Breakfast Lunch and Dinner" could you please report back to me. I need to know what the hell happened at the end. I mean are we talking death or something?

Not a spoiler, I promise you. Because I really don't know and I don't expect you will either.

Mind you, I have no problem with experimental theater ('scuse me theatRE) but I have to have my Experimental Theatre Hat on. I didn't and why would I? The play seemed just like any sitcom sort of an event until the middle--boom. There we are with allegories and symbols and all the rest. Or so I guess.

I'm glad I went because I need to get out of my mass-market rut now and then.

Other news. There isn't much except I'm whining a lot in the real world. Ugh.

Details or, as we in the whine trade call it, TMI:

Someday soon I'm going to beg for someone to pump me up like a bicycle tire and set my insides on fire. Hey, that's what those endo procedures look like. I've watche…

Thursday Thirteen things I have to do today

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1. Write TT even though it officially died.

2. Find out when Boy2 had last tetanus shot for overnight school trip form.
3. Make annual doggie appointment and remember to ask why Soozee's canine is partially brown. She's a partially brown canine, but the tooth thing is funky.
4. Write ten pages of smut while trying to track down the elusive agent.
5. Consider buying this book despite the Book (and Other Frivolous Items) Moratorium because I like the cover and the boys like Lemony Snicket. I sometimes do, too.
6. Pick up Boy3.
7. Pick up Boy1 who's taking make-up exams, poor fish.
8. Drop off Boy2 (he'll get the school bus home, but has after-school activities) after picking him up because he missed the bus
9. Pick up Boy2 after activity.
10. Make boring dinner of noodles because boys won't eat much else.
11. Tell family "Ok, you don't like what I feed you, tell me what you do want. And, no, 'chocolate cake' isn't an option. Oh, better still, make din…