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Friday, March 30, 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, March 29, 2007

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 because life interfered and now I feel strange about just dropping in. Why? Dunno.

1. Kara Lennox
2 Rob Preece
3. Hula Doula
4. Genuine
5. Elsewhere (ok, I still visit her)
6. Maili
7. Evil Auntie Peril (the funniest, most frighteningly articulate person on the planet)
8. Jennsylvania
9. Arp
10. Cora (and she visits ME so that's really a crime, or etiquette breach.)
11. Paula Reed (though I hear from her anyway)
12. Robin (even though I got the NICEST CHRISTMAS CARD EVER from him)
13. mommy needs coffee (although I just went over to see)

and about a gazillion others.

The closest reality-based experience to the blogging social life I can think of is being a regular in a bar. Companionship without the responsibility. When I worked at a bar, some people would show up every week for years--and then suddenly stop. People would comment on it for a week or two but that's about it. Ex-regulars' disappearances didn't rate a little plaque or goodbye ceremony, heck, no one went looking for them. (Although for the 2 or 3 daily guys, yeah, Donny the owner would have knocked on their doors. Fubber, definitely [or maybe he was Fubbah--Boston accents meant I was never clear on the existence or non-existence of the "R"].).

I'll add links later. First I have to go add 5,000 final words to a story. Yay! They all have to be hotttt. Boo!

Monday, March 26, 2007

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, static....more static.... "are you still there?" static... static....bang the phone on the desk for fun then hang up.

2. Tell everyone you finaled even though you didn't. Be indignant about it.

3.
Make up a category..."I, Nell Dip-Hiswick, would like to announce that I'm a finalist in the Erotic Traditional Contemporary Category."
The others are on her myspace blog.

3. Bronwyn finalled in the Golden Heart. About flipping time. Next year or maybe the year after, I expect to see her final in the Ritas. If she doesn't then I'll know it's all true what they say about those contests.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

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 begging a couple of friends.

Okay.

A = Ghost of A Chance by my pal, Flo Fitzpatrick, published by Kensington in 2004 as a Zebra Romance

Flo writes:
For the record? Nathaniel is an African-American male - mid-70's.
Kiely, the heroine, is white- early 30's.
Rafe, the hero, is Hispanic - also early 30's.
Lida Rose is a white female - mid-40's.
Billie is a white female - mid-70's.
Don is a ghost - and if the soul has race or ethnicity after death I think we're all going to be damn surprised.

Attention, editors. Buy books by Flo. Thank you. I want to read more.

B = Rock Star by Roslyn Hardy Holcombe.
Roslyn is African American, the book is published by Genesis, which is an AA imprint (hmmm, I looked the publisher up and found a lot of gossip. Uh oh)

Anyway, back to the book.

An Amazon reviewer wrote: ROCK STAR is a very nice love story that delves with the dynamics of falling in love with someone who is in a high profile position and the complications of living in a small town where everyone knows your business. The characters were very well developed and the issues involving interracial dating were realistic. The message of love in any color was beautiful.

Callie is black
Bryan is white
so. . .HA!
Read more about Roslyn and her books here.


BOOK C = Kisses to Go, by Irene Peterson, another Romance Unleashed author, and this is a Zebra book, in other words a mainstream romance.

The heroine is white and from Jersey, as in New Jersey. It could be argued Jersey girls are a race apart. (Callie isn't even as outrageous as Irene, though.)

The hero is named Ian and I think of Gaelic names--Bridget, Ian, Sean, Siobhan--as sounding very white. Maybe I'm wrong? Anyway, my blog, my call, so neener, neener.

The hero is white, British and his dialogue Very British-y. There is a secondary character who's a tall, black drag queen--the heroine's best friend. She's** one of my faves, actually.

________________________________________________

**Irene refers to the character as he, but I was taught by a strict friend to always refer to a drag queen in full dress as she. I'll bet it's one of those Rules that she/he enforced because she/he likes Rules, especially about etiquette.

Okay, went to look that up and on wiki (stop wincing, it's an okay source for popular culture. Sometimes.) it says:
Most drag queens prefer to be referred to as "she" while in drag and desire to stay completely in character. Some performers may be offended if they are referred to as "he" or by their legal name while in character. Drag performer RuPaul is one of the few exceptions to this rule, as he seems to be completely ambivalent to which pronoun is used to refer to him. In his words, "You can call me he. You can call me she. You can call me Regis and Kathie Lee; I don't care!"

Friday, March 23, 2007

If I knew how to do a screen save


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.
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 were airborne, [name]'s leg cramped. The persistent attendants would soon fill the aisles with food and drink carts. If he wanted to stretch his legs, he'd best get out of his seat now. He cleared his throat, expecting his seatmate to turn to him, realize he wanted to get past her and let him leave. Instead she remained seated. . . he had to get her attention somehow. He coughed again, a little louder. A little more importantly.

No matter how much leg room there was in first class, it was never enough to get his large body into the aisle without causing the other person to move out of the way. . . A small sound, a sniff, came from the seat next to his. From the corner of his eye, he saw the first tear slip down her ...cheek.

Oh, Lord! She's crying!

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 stalked. His gaze never wavering, Bryan moved closer again, and then again. Each time he came closer, Callie backed away until finally she abruptly fetched up against the counter. Bryan brushed gently against her, sending tremors through her whole body.

“Bryan, what are you…”

“Shhhh.” He gently took her face between his hands and leaned forward, pressing his lips against hers. “Open for me, baby,” he murmured insistently.

When Callie felt his tongue licking delicately at her lips, she couldn’t suppress a gasp, giving him the access he craved. He softly caressed her tongue with his own, trying desperately to keep the kiss tender. It was all he could do not to eat her alive, but he knew that he could easily frighten her off if he weren’t careful. If he was to have any chance at all with her, he would have to temper the fierce desire raging through his body. Even as he realized this, he couldn’t resist the urge to press his body into hers; he had longed to feel her against him for so long.

After a moment’s hesitation, Callie moaned softly and gave Bryan even greater access to her mouth and body. She wrapped her arms around his neck and her tongue followed his back into his mouth. She could feel electrical shocks everywhere her body touched his, and couldn’t resist prolonging the contact.

Her response heightened Bryan’s own pleasure and he began devouring her. His tongue caressed the roof of her mouth and he inhaled her moan of pleasure. His hands slipped down to her hips, pressing even closer, until suddenly he realized that the kiss was exceeding the bounds of decency permissible in her parents’ kitchen. He moved his hands back to her face and broke the kiss, looking down at her lovingly.

“Callie, open your eyes,” he commanded. his raw voice so roughened by desire that his whisper was barely intelligible. Callie looked up at him dazedly. Her lips were swollen from his kisses and Bryan strained under the almost superhuman effort it took to resist the urge to take up where they had left off. When he was certain he had her full attention, he continued, “Callie, I’m not playing with you.”

Then he released her and moved slowly away.

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."

He sat down in a seat closest to the pit. He looked calm, but sad. "Has he ever spoken?"

I smiled. "Not to me. But he likes my dances. He's applauded for them. The man obviously has taste."

Nathaniel mused, "Funny. I've heard rumors for years that his spirit haunts this theatre. Never really believed it. Never really believed in ghosts. But today when I saw you staring into the balcony? Well. Guess one is never too old to change one's mind."


I couldn't help glance over at Rafe."Mind telling a few others that?"

Nathaniel smiled, then Lida Rose's voice called out,"All right! Break's over. It's time to dance."

I climbed out of the pit with Nathaniel's able assistance, then hoisted myself onto the stage and waited for the cast to gather. "Okay, troops. Nothing new right now. I want to review the Gambler's We number, then give the guys a short break and work with the dancehall girls on the Headin' up the Brazos dance."

We danced for the next hour. I didn't get another chance to check out the railing of the balcony. Nothing hinted of another presence though, so I decided Don had called it quits as to watching rehearsals. At least for today.

I made it a point to ignore Rafe as much as I was able. That was not too difficult from the physical standpoint since I had to spend most of my time patiently teaching the Humble boys the steps they'd learned the day before. Rafe, of course, caught the moves the minute I showed them. From an emotional standpoint, I was all too aware of his presence.

Why the heck had Billie gone on the other day about how Rafe was crazy about me? It was like the old lawyer's trick about getting a jury to think about what the attorney wanted them to. Tell them not to think about elephants and guess what's the only thing on their minds?

I glanced down at Billie, smiling serenely at me from the audience. And knew there was an elephant just behind my right shoulder.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

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


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 discrimination that makes one...a tad oversensitive and prone to seeing it everywhere. When I say one, of course, I mean me. I can't speak for anyone else. By God, that's one thing I've learned.

nose, grindstone.

___________
**Annie Hall, in case you don't remember. Seeing racial slurs where none was intended, where, in fact, race wasn't even remotely an issue.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

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 thing. How come you writers didn't want to take part? Karen, do you know the answer to that one? I only had TWO people say they were willing. It was supposed to be fun and creative, not trotting out the old chestnuts about race. I want new and more interesting chestnuts.

Okay, enough ranting. I haven't even had coffee yet, so I'll have to go back and fix most of the grumpiness and missspellings later. As usual I reserve the right to tinker with the blog.

The Answers!
BOOK ONE: The author Bobbie Cole. She's white, the characters in the selection are white and straight. The book is called Leaving Mama. Want to read more? It's over at Samhain.

BOOK TWO: Ann Christopher, the author, is black, the characters in the selection are black (well, we don't know about the Johnsons) and I didn't ask you about orientation because by then I decided it was not the question of the day (they're mostly straight). Just About Sex is an RT Top Pick by the way. Harlequin Kimani imprint. Go buy it and have fun.

BOOK THREE: I cheated. That's an unpubbed many-times rejected one of mine. What can I say? No one else would play. It's a manuscript that contains every romance cliche ever invented, only they're plausible to a degree (I say they are). Janey is white. Rachel has a black grandmother on her father's side.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

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 before.

She rummaged through the drawers. Damn. Today was laundry day. To be perfectly accurate, two days ago was laundry day. She yanked on sweat pants with holes in both knees. Her slumbering sheep pajama top would have to do as a shirt. She found the pair of ho-ho-ho Christmas socks and finished off the outfit with her red clogs.

Smiling at Rachel she said, “Okay, lead me to the car and I’ll be fine.”

Rachel eyed her. “I don’t know if I’d describe you as fine, but Coach says if we’re late the first day we’ll have to do an extra twenty laps.” She held out the Porky the Pig travel mug. “Here. I even made you a cup of coffee.”

Bless the child’s heart. So what if Rachel’s idea of coffee was slightly brown warm water? Janey kissed her niece’s petal-soft round cheek, and took the cup.

Rachel fished around in her swim bag [description of physical stuff].

“Okay, sweetiepie? Am I fit to be seen in your presence?”
“Well, okay, Janey. But listen, you still look kinda demented.”
“Pick your fights.“ Janey muttered her mantra.

In the battered old Toyota, Janey hummed a tune. Damn. Gilbert and Sullivan again.
Rachel, that overachiever, had signed up for another special interest: a Gilbert and Sullivan group. They were doing some show about pirates, but Rachel had borrowed every CD of every other operetta from the library. Janey had nothing in particular against Gilbert or Sullivan except that their tunes stuck like peanut butter. The one about the modern major general currently jammed her brain circuits.

As she drove, she glanced at West Farmbrook, Connecticut’s architecture, genuine New England houses jammed up against their neighbors, a showy and strange mix of McMansions. She enjoyed the hodge-podge of centuries and countries. An Italian villa stood next to an English half-timber which was next to a hacienda which was cheek-by-jowl with a pseudo-castle.

At night the houses were lit from below with floodlights as if they were monuments. A display of weird turn-of-twenty-first century taste. The lights were off now and Janey admired the first beams of the early autumn sun.

Next to her, Rachel sang quietly. Janey grinned at her. By the time they pulled into the parking lot of the indoor pool, both of them were belting out, “I’ve information vegetable, animal and mineral.”

“Honey, remind me to bring a Walkman and maybe some Wu-Tang tomorrow.” Janey waved to Rachel and, with a yawn, staggered over to the grandstands for a nap.

She’d gotten less than three hours of sleep the night before. Beth had promised the catering stint would end by eleven, but the woman had been desperate and would have promised anything to lure Janey into serving for her.

Janey suppressed another yawn and once again thanked her lucky stars she had declined Beth’s occasional offers to become a business partner.

As she flopped down on the aluminum grandstand, Janey took a covert sniff at her forearm. She could smell the flambed bananas she’d helped prepare -- what a dumb idea for such a big crowd.

She could also still smell the cheap white wine she’d poured down her front and her hands as she’d frantically filled the little plastic cups. A thirsty bunch at last night’s event. She pulled off her leather biker jacket, actually her ex-boyfriend’s jacket, folded it into a haphazard pillow and lay down on the bleachers humming, “I’m called Little Buttercup.”

Two more hours of rest and then she’d haul Rachel to school, take a shower, and get herself to the temp agency. And fend off calls from Beth for at least two days. Janey needed the rest, and that night she needed to get to the laundromat. The temp agency tended to frown on its workers heading out to office jobs in flannel pj tops.

She gave one more huge, audible yawn, sucking in the warm, humid pool-scented air, and fell back asleep.

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’s still smoking. That’s why he can’t get it up.”

Gerald’s chest puffed out. “I am not—”

Simone quickly held up a silencing hand; if these two got started again, she’d never make her lunch appointment. Hurrying to her desk, she sat and pulled up her appointment calendar on the computer. “I have some time a week from Thursday, or I—”

Loud, angry male voices on the other side of her closed office door broke the peaceful silence. Simone and the Jacksons exchanged puzzled glances and then turned to the door as it crashed open. A large, strange man surged through it with the force of a tsunami hitting a beach. Simone’s wide-eyed assistant, Freddie Reynolds, scurried in after him, wringing his hands and mouthing sorry to Simone. The Jacksons emitted a joint frightened squeak.

Alarmed, her heart thundering, Simone leapt to her feet and watched as the man stalked inside and surveyed his surroundings with all the arrogance and authority of General Patton storming a hill. Well over six feet tall, he wore a charcoal suit with red tie. [some physical description removed]. Broad shoulders tapered to a narrow waist that gave way to endless legs. With his sharp, severe features he looked like his name should be Lucifer or, at the very least, Damien.

Simone braced for the worst. He didn’t look like a murderer, but these days who could tell? His glittering, disdainful gaze slid over—and dismissed—the Jacksons in the little seating area in front of the windows, the coffee table with lit lavender aromatherapy candle, and the overflowing bookshelves. Simone had always loved her cozy little office—she liked to think of it as a living room where she and her clients could settle down and talk like old friends—but at this invasion the khaki walls suddenly seemed too close, the office four sizes too small.

Finally he turned to her and she flinched as if a sniper had drawn a bead on her forehead. She couldn’t see any weapons on him but, again, who could tell? Squaring her shoulders, she waited. If he planned to kill her, she at least wanted to go out standing tall and proud.

“Can I help you?” she demanded.

His lips curled into a sneer. One hand lifted and she realized for the first time that he held a copy of Queen City magazine, the glossy monthly for which she wrote a column. “D-Did you write this crap?” He flung the magazine at her and it skidded across the desk.

The low, deep baritone of his voice, as dark and rich as hot fudge, startled her, as did his stutter. She opened her mouth to answer, but before she could Freddie hurried around to her side of the desk. Behind his tortoiseshell glasses, his eyes glinted with what looked like equal parts fear and anger. Always faithful, he flung himself in front of her, pushing her back. “I told you to get out of here,” he cried, [physical description removed]. “Before I call the police.”


The man stared at Simone, never deigning to look at Freddie. “Call off your attack dog,” he told her. “We don’t need the police. I’m a lawyer and I’m not about to do anything to get myself disbarred.”

Reassured, but also annoyed, Simone stepped forward until she and Freddie stood shoulder to shoulder. She put her hands on her hips. “What do you want, Mr. … ?”

“Greene. Alex Greene. I want to talk to you.”

As yet unmurdered, Simone began to feel a little braver. She raised her chin and glared up at him. “Normally when people with manners want to talk to me, they call for an appointment. If you’d done that, I could have told you now isn’t a good time.” She waved a hand. “You can see I have clients—”

The Jacksons, their mouths open in identical astonished Os, leaned forward on the sofa and nodded, apparently happy to be both still alive and included in the action.

“—and I have a lunch meeting with my lawyer. So you can make an appointment—”

Greene snorted, which Simone did not take to be a good sign. “I’m not leaving until I say what I came to say. Five minutes.”

Freddie moved toward the door. “That’s it! I’m calling 9-1-1 right—”

“Wait, Freddie.” Unwillingly intrigued, Simone studied Greene for a moment. “Go ahead,” she told him. “You’ve got something important to say, go ahead and say it. To all of us.”

The Jacksons, heads bobbing in agreement, scooted to the edge of the sofa. Freddie crossed his arms over his chest and stared down—or, rather, up, since Greene towered over everyone—his nose at Greene.

Greene’s lips thinned, but then he smiled crookedly, revealing the long deep grooves of dimples on either side of his mouth. “Fine,” he said. “I want you to know that I do not have a tiny, ah, member.”

Simone and Freddie exchanged perplexed glances. Simone’s overwrought brain could not process this announcement. “Member … ?”

Greene’s mouth twisted with disdain. “I’ll go a little slower so you can keep up, okay? Why don’t I give you a few synonyms you might recognize? How’s this: phallus. Here’s another one: manhood. Why don’t I try another complete sentence for you: my penis isn’t tiny. Far from it.”

Everyone in the room but Greene gasped in shock. Freddie’s gaze shot to Greene’s groin, as did Krystal Jackson’s. With a great effort, Simone kept her eyes on his face and ignored her burning cheeks. “Congratulations. Now, if that’s all …”

Greene came to the front of her desk, planted his hands on it and leaned down until he was eye level with her. Out of the corner of her eye, Simone saw Freddie arch his back and crane his neck, the better to study Greene’s butt.

“I’m just getting started,” Greene told her.

Simone fumed for several seconds, weighing her options. Greene was about a foot taller than she was and easily twice her weight. She’d never force him to go if he wasn’t ready. Nor did she want to call the police. Maybe if she heard him out he’d leave and she could go to lunch.

“Freddie, why don’t you walk the Jacksons out and get them scheduled for their next appointment? I’ll be fine.”

Huffing, Freddie looked Greene up and down as he hustled the reluctant Jacksons out. “I don’t think this is a good ideee-a,” he called as they disappeared down the hall
.
When they were gone, she and Greene squared off, glowering at each other across the desk. “What do you want, Mr. Greene?”

“I want to look at the little pseudo-scientist who writes crap like this”—he waved a hand at the magazine—“and gets paid for it.”

Furious, she snatched up the magazine and flipped it open. She’d had just about enough of this nonsense. “I’m a psychologist, Mr. Greene.” She jerked her head at the far wall, which bulged with her various degrees and certifications. “I went to graduate school at NYU, and I have a license just like you do. I’d appreciate a little respect.”

“You’d have to earn it first.”

Somehow she resisted the strong urge to hurl the magazine back in his smirking face. Finding the page with her monthly column, Just About Sex, she held it out to him. “Why don’t you tell me which letter is so offensive, and then at least I’ll know what you’re talking about?”

“That one,” he said, pointing.

Dear Dr. Simone, she read to herself, I have a big problem. Well, actually it’s a small problem. My boyfriend, “Alex G.,” has a small penis. Really small. Really, really small. I know size isn’t supposed to matter, and it wouldn’t if he was good in bed, but he’s not. What should I do? I’m really crazy about him and he’s a great catch—a handsome, successful lawyer. [description removed]
Signed,
“Nikki H.,” Unsatisfied in Cincinnati

Simone paused to look up at Greene. “Can you hurry it up?” he barked. “I don’t have all day.”

Balling up her fists so she wouldn’t take a swing at him, she jammed them on her hips. Even highly trained professionals had limits, and he’d pushed her way past hers.

“So sorry, your majesty,” she snarled. “It may surprise you to know I don’t have all my columns memorized. I wrote this months ago. Can I finish now?”

He grunted and crossed his hands over his chest.

Dear Nikki H., she’d replied,
Well, I won’t pretend this isn’t a serious problem, but I do have some suggestions. Why don’t you try watching some sexy movies together and showing him what you like? Also, there are several wonderful how-to manuals out there. I’ve listed some on my website. Role-playing can also help—you can do to him what you’d like him to do to you. Have fun! Be adventurous!

Please don’t be too hard on poor Alex. Imagine how humiliating it must be for him to have a small penis, especially in this day and age, when there’s so much emphasis on sexual prowess. Always remember that a small penis can be a major sore spot on a man’s ego, so you’ll want to be gentle with him. But with your loving help and encouragement, I’m sure you and Alex will soon enjoy a more thrilling sex life. If none of these suggestions help, you may want to find a therapist. Good luck!

Simone tossed the magazine down. “Well, I don’t see what the big problem is, Mr. Greene. The names are changed, so I don’t know how anyone would know it was you, and anyway—”

Greene’s face twisted in on itself, collapsing and contorting like a smashed soda can. “That’s just it!” he roared. “She didn’t change the names! Her name is Nikki! My name is Alex! Everyone in town knows it’s me! The only thing she didn’t do was include m-my address and phone number!”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, oh! My friends have been ragging me ever since this crap hit the newsstands the other day, but I’ve just been ignoring it. But today my partners and a couple of secretaries at the office started in on me, and I decided enough is enough!”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, oh! Don’t you people fact check around here?”

“This isn’t the New York Times, Mr. Greene.”

“Yeah? Well, what are you going to do about this?”

The reason for his fury now painfully clear, Simone decided she could forgive him his rudeness and arrogance. Her therapist’s instincts kicked in. A man’s ego is a fragile thing, after all, as delicate as blown glass. Maybe she could help him through this difficult time. Moving aside a file on her desk, she picked up the book beneath it and clutched it to her chest.

“I can understand why you’re so upset.”

He started, his frown disappearing.

“I’m sure we both wish your girlfriend had tried to solve your problem in a more private manner, but at least she’s opened up a dialogue—”
Greene’s mouth dropped open.
“—and I’d like to help. Here’s an advance reading copy of my new book. You can have it for free, of course. I’ll be happy to autograph it for you.” She held the book out to him and he took it warily. “I think chapter eight could really work wonders for you and Nikki.”

Blinking as if dazed, Greene looked down at the book, where her face smiled up at him from the cover, and read aloud: “Sextasy: Dr. Simone’s Guide to a More Satisfying Sex Life.” He looked back up at her, his chin still on the floor. “You cannot be serious.”

She smiled encouragingly. “It’s natural to be embarrassed, but you can work through this! This is a very common problem—”

“I don’t think you’re hearing me.” Holding the book overhead, he dropped it on the desk with a loud thunk, ignoring her surprised, outraged squeak. “I guess they didn’t teach listening at NYU.”

“Now wait a minute—”

Freddie’s head poked in the door. “Everything okay in here?”

“No!” Simone and Greene shouted together, neither bothering to look at Freddie. “Freddie, I need a minute,” Simone snapped, glancing at him long enough to see his brows creep toward his hairline as he spun and walked off down the hall.

Greene didn’t miss a beat. “Nikki is not and never has been my girlfriend. She was a woman I had occasional sex with. When I ended it, she got pissed. That’s why she wrote that little letter. Revenge. And I do not have a small penis. And I’m great in bed. I can do two fishes. One night I made Nikki come four times. That’s why she was so upset when I dumped her. Okay?”

“‘Two fishes?’” she said blankly.

Disgust passed over his features. “You call yourself a sex therapist? Maybe I should lend you my copy of the Kama Sutra so you can educate yourself a little. And you can keep your little how-to, pseudo-science manual.”

Suddenly she remembered. The two fishes position required a man with an exceptionally long penis. Simone felt her cheeks flame and her pulse drummed with anger. When had she ever met such an arrogant jerk? Nikki, obviously, had had the right idea in dealing with this idiot. All Simone’s training and professionalism flew out the window. Something—everything—about this man rubbed her the wrong way, and it was her solemn duty to the women of Cincinnati to take him down a notch.

Tapping her index finger to her lips, she tilted her head to the side. “Wow. This is worse than I thought.”

“What is?”

“Well, in my experience, lovers are like soldiers. The ones who really see the action don’t need to brag about it.” She stared pointedly at his groin, which was covered by the flaps of his jacket. “So I guess your member is even smaller than I’d suspected.”

Greene leaned over the desk again and smiled that same crooked smile. His leering gaze swept up and down over her body, lingering on her breasts, the tops of which he could surely see through the white lace camisole under her peach suit jacket.

“Baby, there’s one sure way for you to find out how big I am.”

Ignoring the strange and unwelcome fluttering in her stomach, she laughed without humor. “Well, as tempting as your little”—she looked at his groin again—“and I do mean little—offer is, I think I’ll pass.”

He shrugged. “Your loss.”

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 sheets of rain, wasn’t much bigger than I was, and she was dragging her left foot and trying to hold her left arm to keep it from swinging wildly. Signs that she’d had a series of strokes were more visible during bad weather, and I knew by the look on her face that she was in pain and that I must’ve looked like some homeless drug addict she felt forced to visit.

All the while our mother was having a nervous breakdown of Biblical proportions in the middle of the road about fifty feet in front of me.

It wasn’t my fault the casket fell out the back of the friggin’ hearse. But as the old ditty went: I’m not the engineer; I’m not the one who rings the bell; but let the damn thing jump the track, and guess who catches…?

Hello! Aw, man—Mom’s gone bye-bye.

I stared at her as she wailed, willing her to get off the rain-slick highway. Subliminally begging her to stop ranting and just climb back into the damn vehicle until I could formulate a plan to get the dead back into the hearse with the living’s cooperation.

Mom was on her knees, squalling like a banshee, alternately raising her fists to heaven and beating her breasts while cursing God for putting her in this predicament. The bright, blue pantsuit she’d so carefully chosen the night before was plastered to her skin, and her wet hair made her look like she was wearing a metallic, silver-gray ball cap.

“She’s losing it, Jilly,” Shari said, blinking against the rain. “Do you really think you should be sitting there? I mean, I know Gran is dead, but…still.”

I made room for Shari under the umbrella, which I’d grabbed right before we left when Dad, the inveterate Weather Channel watcher, said Minnesota was going to get rain during our trip. Then I took another hit off my joint and passed it to her, automatically from force of habit pushing down her good, right arm and forcing her to take the joint with her left hand, telling her as she sat uneasily beside me not to let my doobie get soaked.

“Not like Grandma Violet is gonna care.” I felt a good buzz creep over me like a chenille blanket, enveloping first my legs and butt, then my back and shoulders, eventually collaring my neck and warming my ears.

“Wonder why Gran chose to be buried in Minnesota rather than next to Granddad?” Shari asked for the umpteenth time since we’d left Oklahoma the day before.

My voice was gravely, making me sound like I’d been stoned much longer than ten minutes. “Probably just to deliver a last fuck-you to her children for putting her in a nursing home during her last six months. Who knows?”


What I want to do

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. The "Doesn't Fit Our Needs At This Time, But We Wish You The Best Of Luck Placing It Elsewhere." crap we get daily in our email.

Why am I doing this? I got an email from a friend. (yes, she is still my friend. I'm too old to be entirely self-righteous about gooberish talk) saying she didn't read AA books because they weren't about people like her so she had trouble getting into the stories. I pointed out that she told me she liked my books and in my latest book, people turn into animals. But then I thought this would be a fun way to see if she's right or talking out her butt. I must say I hope I get some great "oppressed in society person" book and everyone guesses it's AA and it turns out to be a scifi set on the planet M'Don'ut.

I've already emailed a couple of authors and if they say no thank you, I'll go back to writing about the things my dog chews up.

Edited to add unrelated self-pimpage: HEY! Summer Devon has a four penii review at Doug's place!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

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





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 is too short to lie awake worrying about strangers' idiocy. I barely have enough time to address my own personal nonsense.

What is with the spacing in this damn blog?

rambling about selling AA romance

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 if you're not part of the culture. Thing is, this kind of club atmosphere exists, no denying it, but there are a whole lot of Christian readers so it works for that genre probably more than AA books, right?

And this is going to be about getting more readers. I know Monica and others write about this all the time. but I haven't seen any clueless white writers go for it. . ..so

If I were an undiscovered AA writer, I'd want to make myself open to as many readers as possible, while at the same time, make sure my readers who ONLY read AA books knew I was there. I'd want a Somebody To Love cover for my book. Okay maybe not that picture (which I think is pretty but meh), but one that doesn't show the exact genre. The back copy has absolutely NOTHING about the fact that it's a historical. (I'd go find a copy of the book and write it, but I'm lazy)

The only sign at all that it takes place in another century is the word "historical" on the spine.

I'd want to mostly belong to groups that celebrated universal romance themes and no subgenres mentioned.

Sure, for support and love, I'd want other AA groups. But publicity? I wouldn't avoid them--God that's too craven--but I'd look primarily for others. Yeah, I guess I'd want to go mostly underground. (shuddering at that particular reference) Not because I would be ashamed but because by golly, I'd want to sell as many books as possible.

Once I got established, hooked enough readers to get some good contracts, I'd insist on Gorgeous AA male torsos blazing across my covers. Heh.

Is it fair to my community? Nope. But I bet that's what I'd want because I'd want to reach beyond my community. I'd tell myself that a beautifully written love story featuring AA hero/heroine hitting the bestseller lists does more for race relations than all sorts of pious speeches. (And once I got buckets of money, I'd be sure to give some to these people. and maybe to be local, these guys.)

Weigh in, AA writers. Please don't bother point out that I'm a racist (even though I have an AA sister). I might be, but I'm working on it. **** And anyway I declare the conversation to be about How To Reach A Wider Audience--as it usually is with writers.

________________________________________

**I KNOW that's not what AA books are about, but that feels the way they're being marketed. It doesn't really matter if that's not the plan or the intention of the publishers. If that's how the market perceives the message, then that's the message that counts. Anything else doesn't sell books.

**** Think of it as a sort of "innocent racism" rising from not having a similar life experience and not knowing how different the world is from another POV. I have had some experience with this, actually. I spent most of my life a normal size. Then a few years back I hit 210 pounds. Talk about changed interactions. Not the same as racism, but I think I got a taste of discrimination.

Okay, I've changed my mind. If I am racist, tell me, but explain exactly what I'm missing. (Be warned that I might explain what I think you're missing). If Karen pops by, I promise not to latch onto only key words, okay?

Friday, March 16, 2007

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.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

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. A house you've liked okay for ten years suddenly looks shabby and unpleasant. You consider knocking out a wall to bring in more light. No, don't bother with builders, I'll just do the sledge hammer work on my own.

6. You find yourself backing out of messy rooms and closing the door more often. Screw it. Let them live in a sty. You don't have time for the lectures or the cleaning or the fretting.

7. Some of those rooms include bedrooms, dining rooms, family rooms, bathrooms and kitchens.
In other words, the whole house.

8. You consider chopping off three feet of hair with nail clippers. Hey the choppy look might be kind of cool again. Where's uncle andrew when we need him?

9. You buy beauty products that you used to mock. Lip liner. Foundation. You pay full price for them, too. (but it's at Walgreens so we're not talking a scary bill. We're talking MILD midlife crisis)

10. You consider a two piece bathing suit even though you didn't even wear them when you were a teenager.

11. They're tankinis. Remember? Mild.

12. You have lots and lots of lurid dreams about men you haven't seen in years or men you've never met. The dreams usually end with you taking a train back to a home you haven't lived in for decades. No, I don't know what it means, it's just a sign, okay? Hormones? Chocolate right before bed? For the purposes of this list we'll go with hormones. And we'll point out that waking up from those dreams isn't much fun.

13. You reassure your teenaged kid that the ups and downs he's feeling are perfectly normal and, as you talk, you realize you're reassuring yourself. Good thing too because as per number 3 and 4, he's not listening anyway.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

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, ellora's cave, erotic stories"] [/head][frameset rows="100%,*" border="0"][frame src="http://home.comcast.net/~summerdevon/" frameborder="0"][frame frameborder="0" noresize][/frameset][/html][!-- m --]

The address thing in there is the problem (Blogger hated my html so I made the brackets different) ANYWAY, When I change the address to the webpage that I moved to, it doesn't work. I lose the css stuff. Gah! Thank you! Help! Please! Ack!

I think I'll just have to go through ALL the html and try again?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

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 won't have cats because we don't truck with those animals round here. (I do, but no one else does. Stereotypical menfolk live here.)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

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 next on the agenda. Change bag, vacuum, plot historical with vaudeville acts. That means the 20th century. Naaaaaah.

5. Oh! I'm reading You Can't Win. An interesting and cool book but I'm not sure how much of it I believe...talk about unreliable narrators. Doug was talking about them, anyway. Autobiography always have unreliable narrators I say.

6. Maybe I'll only do numbered entries from now on.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

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 hasn't sold yet but will once she does, I'm buying her books, every last one of them. And this gives me a chance to push her survey about romance readers. Go fill it out.
6. Beth Ciotta. She is just too nice to ignore. (Fun book, too)
7. Sahara Kelly. Wrote a snarky little remark somewhere (I can't recall where) and I ran off to buy a book. And then another.
8. Bonnie Dee. Yet another writer I found somewhere online and I've forgotten where but that's not the point. It was online, dammit.
9. Lynn Viehl. She might be famous for her lots o' print books, but I found her through her blog.
10. Charlene Teglia. I think I know about her because she came to visit my blog and said nice things so of course I had to buy her books, even though she doesn't have me listed on the side of her blog, but then I don't have her listed either. Hey she uses obscene words for penis! In her books! (a small in-joke. Very small. Joke.)
11. Samantha Winston. We're practically the same person so I had to.
12. Nancy Lindquist. Her online notes to a Samhain group were funny--on purpose.
13. Daisy Dexter Dobbs. Also funny, whether writing notes or books.
oh and
14. because I just got a note from her at myspace, AM Riley. Another writer who should be famous by now.
siigh ...
15 Amelia Elias, even though technically she doesn't belong on the list because I met her in person first (Dallas, TX. At the RWA conference filled with Mary Kay reps. AE stood out because she had more energy than any other life form there.) But still.

Hmm. I can see why we decided we spent too much money on books. There are actually a whole bunch more, like all of the romance unleashed bunch, but it's not called "thursday gazillion." I might make links later but I'm not holding my breath on that one. (I did the easy ones that are on my computer, but am too lazy to do them all)

OTHER THIRTEENS:

Doug scares the shit out of us with his tools.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

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.

Monday, March 05, 2007

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 maybe "What the hell are you doing in the dog's POV? Huh?"

Except I like the dog's POV. I want to know what it feels like when you're a dog and someone yells at you and you have no idea what's going on. And I want to feel the embarrassed butler's response when the besotted lovers start necking on the divan. I mean we've had the besotted lovers so long, let's get a break from them, hey?

Who became Romance Riting God and decided this was the way it had to be? but that's what the contest rules demand--I see it on the forms when I judge. That's what the editors probably notice, too. Maybe. Certainly the series romance editors must notice the POV thing. I remember going to a talk where a writer mentioned she was the first to put in the hero's POV in the Harlequin/Sillhouette line she wrote for. Before her, all books were strictly third person limited to the heroine. (Or so she said.)

OOOOOooor maybe this is yet again one of those stupid things based on something a famous writer did a few years back, so now we all have to do it.

Another example. We abandoned the word "said" for action tags.

THEN: "Okay," he said
NOW: He moved across the room and touched the doorknob before turning and nodding. "Okay."

And now when I read a book written a few years ago, every "said" jumps out at me. I want the word to go back to being invisible. I liked that old life.

Who started all this, huh?

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. Strange to hear Jim "Harry Potter" Dale reading another story. Oh, blast. I went to get a link and can see that, of course, there are a bunch of other Peter and ___. Now I know what Dave Barry's been up to.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

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 watched them. Years ago, the doctor who did mine insisted on showing me the film of my guts. Full color and I could see the smoke rising. Omigod, it was the scariest movie since Psycho. And the dude was so proud because he'd just gotten the camera. He did another laparoscopy on me a couple of years later and was clearly disappointed when I refused his offer to show me the movie. I'll wait until it comes out in paperback. (I guess that would be the bill?)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thursday Thirteen things I have to do today

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 dinner yourself."

12. Pick up fixed laptop (curse you, Computer Trades Unlimited. I was so looking forward to launching it off the deck and buying one that actually worked)

13. Finally remember wet clothes in washer, consider running them through again (it's been a day . . mold?) but shove in dryer instead.