Monday, April 30, 2007

random links and no sbd

Ohhh baby! Pup porn props.

And boy1 made me watch this interview. Jon Stewart is too a journalist. Anchors and rporters (or maybe I mean their producers) should watch it and learn: Stop worrying about the image and do your goddamn job. What is your job? Big hint: It isn't about you.

sbd later but first

I TOLD you I knew the gay agenda.

Here's photographic proof, stolen from pam's house blend

Saturday, April 28, 2007

three home truths

home truth: a fact that is usually disagreeable, painful, delicate. an important truth that is unpleasant to acknowledge (as about yourself)

1. I am not sorry to see Ed, Edd and Eddy go away. I find the colors of their mouths disturbing. I still like saying buttered toast, buttered toast the way one of them does. The kids hate that.

2. I am a rotten housekeeper and not a particularly good cook. The cooking is better than the keeping. I might have been an okay cook at one point, but the grind of cooking seven days a week for picky eaters has destroyed any desire. I am fairly sure my husband thinks he can do both better than I can. I'm sure he's right about the first, not as certain about the second.

3. I spend way too much time on the internet. Way, way. And I'm not as sorry about it as I should be. Especially not when I find < [interesting website to be inserted later because right now I'm off to create another dull meal] >great things < /a >like this.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

life is good

at the moment here's why:

Ten more easy pages, done
PBW dedicated a whole post to me.
melted chocolate and banana moosh is yum.
Deans Beans coffee and it won't keep me awake
Mike's reading Dave Barry to boys

Hello! I came to say I must be going

Every couple of years I get a version of Athene. Not wisdom, unfortunately. A whole story SPROING! pops into my head fully dressed for the party and checking its watch because I'm too goddamn slow. I have to get it down fast before the characters get bored and wander off. So I'm writing like a maniac.

I did post elsewhere. Learn all about porn! Or pron as we experts call it, because we can't type worth shit when we're in a hurry.

Also, you know that thing about LOL spitting coffee you owe me a new monitor ha ha ha? I really did have to swallow a too-hot mouthful fast this morning as I read Doug's blog. It was the Jerry Lewis one that burned my throat, curse you Doug. I got an 18.

Be back soon. Maybe tomorrow. Or if I run out of words, I'll come over here and whine, whine, whine like a hungry mosquito

Monday, April 23, 2007

can it get any more obvious?

world's tallest tower planned for Chicago.

rude joke about at last understanding why beth loves her city so much. or maybe something tried and true about "where do we insert the batteries?"

Sour Spirited SBD

Last night I had an unusual bout of insomnia so, after plotting a couple of my own books, I moved over to other people's stories and did some post-story work on them. Mind you, the only books I could think of are the ones I love--those are the ones that stay with me. So I was basically taking these favorite, finished stories and trashing them. I blame what might be the onset of menopause or just plain pissant attitude. Take True Love and add the everyday wearisome habits of people and ta da! you have True Life.

Beau Crusoe: In truth the author wrote a sweet, short epilogue that didn't make it into the book. I won't reproduce it here, but I wonder if Carla Kelly has it posted somewhere? A letter that makes reference to their trip to the island. The epilogue got cut because it seemed too real, or so I imagine. I'll go look for it after I finish this evil post.

Right. Last night, I had James go after the spirit once too often during an important dinner party. Or maybe Susannah made the mistake of serving crabs and James, in the spirit of the Wodehouse character, Lord Worplesdon, cracked. He picked up the lid of the platter said "Crabs! Crabs! Damn all crabs!" and stalked out of their lives. ('never again to return to the bosom of his family')

I had Mick and Edwina from Ivory's The Proposition up next. She corrected his speech so many times, he started speaking completely incomprehensibly just to annoy her--he made up a language and she went bananas trying to research it. Eventually and they gave up on communication although their sex life didn't go south. That would be too hard to imagine.

You get the idea. I think I did a couple of Balogh books. Easy to do An Unlikely Duchess because I liked the duke and I found Jo one of the most annoying heroines ever. Eventually Jo threw something sharp at Paul and didn't miss. He had enough. He moved to the country and took up raising peacocks because in truth, he missed her and the birds' yowling reminded him of Jo.

I did a couple of mainstream books, but I fell asleep eviscerating Balogh's A Secret Pearl.

Go read these books because they're wonderful. And do not think of this post when you do.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

I need a life

I dreamed someone at H/S called me and asked me to write two inspirationals. I did and sent them off via email. Then, as I started to reread them, I realized the books were crap. Horrible! I called the office immediately and tried to get her to dump the emails, but she refused.

The whole time I was talking to her, I watched a lion try to get into the house to devour us.

What a nightmare. huh. Lions? inspies? maybe I'm having some kind of Christian guilt thing.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

online writer's online presence

I'm talking

Nothing to do with fun.

Anyway, we talked about that a bit today at a rioter's meeting. Interesting topic as usual, although nothing new came along-- and interesting that something repetitive can still be kinda fun to talk about. (New ways to say same old things is what we do for a living, after all.) Most of the talk is usually about constant Web Presence stuff. Blogs, webpages, and whathaveyou.

But it's the one shot deals that really make a difference, perhaps even in the long run. My theory is that for sales of a book, a single great review by a picky reviewer is better than anything, even a month's worth of carefully thought-out blogs.

The cool thing is that with epublishing, you can see the effect of some actions TA DA! Right Away. So when Mrs. Giggles rated Ann Wesley Hardin's book a keeper, Ann could see a nice surge of sales--and on top of that, that kind of review helps with the ol' professional image. AWH's seen as a writer of good books and not just a clever blogger.

Contests too, maybe help, though the cause/effect thing isn't as clear. Linda pointed out that Learning Charity's doing pretty well. [quick! look before it goes away!] The book's been out for a long-ass time. Could that blip on the screen be because Summer is a finalist in the Passionate Plume? **

An interview? Dunno about that one. I haven't done one in a dog's age--although I was mentioned in RT a couple of months ago, but not as Summer, I don't think she was even mentioned? (I wish I'd seen it!) And it was a paragraph about me, not my books. I'd rate that about as worthwhile as blogging, if we're talking publicity. Any of you ebook writers seen any results directly related to an interview? Or maybe one of those chats?

Heck, I think I know the moral of Today's Tale: if you're blogging simply to get book sales, it's probably easier just to enter contests and bribe reviewers.

Well, well. Shannon just got a good review from Mrs. G too.

**Talk about unscientific conclusions--LC could have been on that particular list a long time. Linda's the first person to point it out.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I forced him outside. First real spring day! "What'll I do?" he asked.
"I don't know. Play, dance," I said, shoving him out the door. "Run. Write a poem. I don't care-- just go outside."

This is a poem 'bout nature
Its main exports are fruitbats and glaciers
For me it has no allure
Guess I'm just immature
Still don't see what's so great about Nature.
good news: that was definitely ground water in our basement. I wasn't taking my shoes off to play in black water (code for sewage back up). Not pretty, but not hideous.

bad news: that was definitely ground water splashing around our basement. Not a penny from us, said the insurance company. So sorry. Not.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Pulitzer prize for feature photography

Renee C Byar's tough but lovely photos of a mother and child. Cyndie French defines hero.
(knocked me right on my ass but that has to be in part because my baby's 10, too.)

Thursday Thirteen--Recipes I use (or witness)

I'll cheat and steal some of my own.

1. Easy flan recipe. (celiac approved)

2 another chocolate cake (just like yesterday's recipe, but less complex. also good for celiacs)

3. My way too healthy healthy fruity muffins. (NOT celiac safe)

4. Best scones, says Jon F and maybe even Karen. Maybe. Someone liked them, anyway.

5. Alton's lemon meringue pie. With a tad more cornstarch. (don't do the crust and you got a good celiac one)

I'm realizing mostly desserts and not a lot of regular food here. That regular stuff I just cook, see. No recipes needed. I cook dinner every damn day and I'd go nuts if I had to look at recipes all the time. (besides. box' o' pasta. Add to boiling water. Cook until tender) But I'll write a couple down. Two easy uses for fake crab:

6. mix flaked crab with lemon juice, salsa, chopped up avocado. Yum. Cilantro and cumin if you have them.

7. crab with peanut stuff--all mixed with cooked linguine. Standard peanut sauce:
cider vinegar (because Darcy didn't like balsamic) some brown sugar, tamari, and warm water--or if you're not lazy--chicken broth, sesame oil, lots of peanut butter. Crunchy peanut butter is better. Lots and lots o' chopped alot ginger, sesame seeds, garlic and cilantro. Skip whatever you dislike, including fake crab. Except best not to skip the liquids or peanut butter is impossible to use. Mix sauce and add to fake crab and linguine. Also add whichever of these you like: chopped tomato, cuke, more ginger, slightly cooked carrots, etc.

8. whipped cream in a can. Shake can vigorously, hold UPSIDE-DOWN over someone's mouth. Don't allow any part of mouth to touch dispenser. Press nozzle sideways until person makes grunting protesting sounds. Very popular here. Should have won an award there. (check out the other recipes. Very tasty stuff.)

9. Left over pasta (we used to have a lot but now boys eat more). Use left over chicken and veggies or chop lunch meat and tomatoes up. Grate a lot of cheese. heat pasta slightly. put in cheese Add dressing of balamic vinegar, (or rice wine vinegar if you use wasabi)
plain yogurt/mayo mix (you decide ratio. Mike = all mayo. Me =all yogurt). Sometimes fun to add mustard or wasabi, depending on what else you're dumping in. Also might want to add whatever herbs you have growing in the garden. We usually have pathetic parsley and oregano (presto! Italian Noodle Salad). Sometimes rosemary is good, sometimes it tastes terrible. (yo, remember to take a little of the nearly-finished salad out, mix it with questionable flavor in a bowl and try it first. Don't dump strong flavors without testing) Do not forget the cheese.

10. Bitter-Argument Birthday Tuna Casserole (long story.) one can tuna, one egg, one can mushroom soup, one onion chopped, lightly cooked, two cups cooked elbow macaroni. A lot of grated cheese. Yellow cheddar is favorite. Mix, making sure there's some leftover cheese to sprinkle on top. Cook until sort of set. Maybe 35 minutes.

11 Salads. Start with romaine because it's usually cheap. Add dried cranberries, walnuts and feta (yawn. standard) and some kinda vinegar based dressing. Another salad: add orange bits (not slices too big) and nuts. Dressing of Trader Joe's orange muscat vinegar. Ooo I love that stuff. Maybe good with ginger, but I haven't tried it yet. Have tried dried coconut but I was the only one to eat it.

important part of any salad recipe:
ALWAYS WASH THE BAG STUFF even when it says it's been washed three times! Mike the Microbiologist does a food lab with his students and reports that the bagged salad, the baby carrots and the bean sprouts (especially the bean sprouts) usually have way more disgusting bacteria than the raw hamburger.

Sure, the salad and baby carrots might not have had a lot of bacteria when they were washed three times, but it's impossible to make them impressively bacteria free without cooking or maybe Clorox. So a few bacteria are sitting in those bags, bored out of their minds. What else is some e coli gonna do for fun? Soon you're back to high happy numbers. Wash the stuff.

12 Back on topic. Homemade chocolate pudding. 3 Tablespoons corn starch. 3 oz cooking chocolate, 1 cup sugar, 2 cups milk. Combine and stir, stir, stir, stir, stir, stir over medium heat until it boils and keep cooking for another minute. Eat hot or cold. Some people put some butter in there, but meh, not necessary. Chocolate chips on top are nice.

13. Aya's recipe: Take everything out of the refrigerator and try combos. Bring on peanut butter, ramen and grape jelly. Don't forget the lettuce, frozen peas and left over pizza! Slice an orange or apple or onion for decoration and to impress the cousins. We miss Aya!

13a okay, a real one because as far as I know, Aya is the only one to consistently eat Aya food. We all try a bite now and then and it's often good, but. . . .well okay a tried-and-true Party Food: Blue cheese (yum) cream cheese, chopped dried cranberries and walnuts. Mix and mush them together (I like to use my nice clean hands). Form into a ball and roll in more chopped cranberries and walnuts. Serve with almost anything.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

old blog blues

No more water and it's not raining at the moment. Even the drip, drip, drip from trees and gutters is finally silenced.

Today is "Face Wet Cardboard Day."

I was looking for something in my old blog (the beginning of a story) and started reading the entries. Crap, I was happier and funnier a couple of years ago. How's that for depressing?

And it's not just the thought of soggy, stinking cardboard boxes and their soggy, molding contents making me believe this, I swear. Here's what's gone: confidence that another big book contract is on its way, as well as the happy ability to jaunt around the country.

Today is also apparently "My Name Is Margaret Day." (from the story beginning. No, really I am so not that character. Ugh. Self-pity time is officially over.)

* * * * *
My sister and I are exchanging emails--she's in VA and fretting about VA Tech. Also, she went without electricity for four days (she went to the library to check emails and the gym to take showers.) And here's the thing. We both have the same response.

my email to her: That VA Tech thing is horrible, just horrible and so stupid. (My second response after shock is "imagine something like that occurring every day for four years and you've got life in Baghdad" Typical liberal.)

she wrote back something like (edited a bit): I don't mean to minimize the tragedy of the college killings, but that is the kind of random violence that innocent people in Baghdad live with every day. And when people at the post office were going on about the inconvenience of two days without power, I wanted tell them it has been over three years for the people in Iraq and it is all our fault! I have been saying that to everyone I talk to. Nice to hear it from someone else for a change!

Yo, I mean it about the self pity. Pretty much done . . . for now. But I'm not reading that other blog again, except looking for the recipes. Mmmm. Chocolate cake

And maybe the uber-romantic story of Mike's proposal.

And once all my kids are out of Middle School? (four years) I think I'll go back to read this kind of thing to remind me how rotten the place is.

Monday, April 16, 2007

and it's raining again.

report from the flood area

Still pumping out water six hours later.

Have landed on my butt (warning: tile floor slippery when underwater) twice. Giant sploosh and waves result.

Have not broken the neighbor's pump, though seriously overheated the thing.

Feet have turned permanently wrinkled and pink because no leak-proof boots on premises.

Have abandoned footwear.

Haven't heard from husband. (update: heard from husband. Response= properly sympathetic. Arrived home bearing lunch meats.)

Have forgotten to close basement door three times and have been joined by happy dog in basement lake three times.

She splashes and drinks! yay!

Have ascertained insurance will probably not cover this.

Am fairly certain all wallboards will have to be replaced.

Am wondering why we use so many cardboard boxes for storage.

Seriously craving a drink--and tea won't do it.


Hey, look what I got in my mailbox last night! happy gloating

And speaking of promo, you can still go vote for Summer Devon here.

I love these little button thingies. We have some trophies around the house (mostly teeball trophies which hardly count as achievements. All three boys spent most of their teeball time staring off into space and scratching themselves.)and I'm not sure what to do with them. These buttons, I can post them on my blog, stare at them and occasionally pat (or kiss) my computer screen. So pretty! And no need to install a glass case in the dining room.

Hmm. I think I have to kick my spring-break boys off the other computer because I could swear I had more of these beauties. The Golden Rose, for instance.

Oh no! oh shit! first I have to go pump the basement. It's #&*# raining again. We'd borrow the sump pump from the neighbors but they're using it. I have to use buckets and the nearly useless shop vac. UGH.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Over at dailykos I'm in the mood to be all political on your asses, as AE says.

Actually I don't think of these sorts of issues as political, yet. They will be, of course.

The theory of cell phones signals wiping out the bees sounds bizarre and like something created by a cranky member of the anti-technology movement, but there is some mounting proof (or do I mean "mounting evidence". Hey, the basement's flooding, okay? It's enough to back up the cliches).

The two big questions:

1. If it does prove true, how much fighting against the huge cell-phoney bucks will it take to get changes made? Courts! Lawyers! Motions! Etc! Will the dragging-their-asses-through-courts process end before or after we lose most of our food supply? Naturally any change would happen after Bush--and if another big business prez comes into power after him, well, bye bees. Heck, would enough convincing proof be collected in time to present the case to the courts? (that would be question 1a.)

2. And if it isn't true, what the hell is killing off the little buggers?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

the newest apple product

Boy one says MADtv is not usually funny. This clip must be the exception. Predictable but still good.
(Thanks Joanna.)
what the hell has happened to the top of my blog?

post orgy

Scene: the dining room.
Empty 2-liter Coke and Sprite bottles. Four large pizza boxes, several near-empty bags of different flavors of Doritoes. Crumbs of M&Ms, Rice Krispy treats, the last tray of peeps, violated (they must have been desperate!)... No tree-peeps after all, Rachel. I was looking forward to that, too.... Pencils, dice, crumpled pieces of paper. Scattered books about Dungeons and Dragons.

My oldest, a junior in high school, had a party until the ungodly hour of 10:45 last night. It only ended because I offered to drive the other four boys home and they didn't want to bother to walk. Otherwise, who knows? Eleven? Midnight?

I swear, sometimes I worry that the kid should have more danger in his life. Where are the sex, drugs and rock'n'roll? Why do I almost always know where he is? Should I fret that he worries about his grades? (God, yes, to that one. He worries too much. Maybe if I worry about his worrying then it'll take help siphon off some of the overload in the fretsophere.)

Jeepers, Beav, when I was his age, I lied and drank and smoked pot and spent illicit nights with my boyfriend. (Note: lying whilst engaged in denial is best with a steady gaze) My parents went away and I had a huge party that ended when my brother (Andy's father) came over the next day and tossed the last of the party goers out. Hey, at least we quieted down when the police came prowling around.

Sometimes I worry about when the other shoe will drop. Hell, when will the first one? But most of the time???? Usually I light a candle at my parenting altar and pray that the other two will be like their brother. I kind of doubt it. How many parents are lucky enough to raise three nerds?

Friday, April 13, 2007

speaking of liberal

win a year's worth of ice cream if you guess when Gonzales steps down.

I mean even if you're a Gonzales supporter . . . a year's worth of ice cream? Ben and Jerry's? Might be worth taking a shot at a guess.

another nephew

This is his myspace space.
With actual music listening pleasure!

My siblings and I have produced 13 offspring, and what a bunch of liberals they've all turned out to be. Okay, it's a little early to diagnose the two-year-old or his sisters who are ummmm. errrr, six? and maybe (oh God, I should know this) 8? Damn.

Back to what I know about Andy, the relative in the spotlight:

Andy's my older brother's kid. He's not one I know as well as the others I've featured, at least not in his current adult stage. When he was a kid, I saw him at least once a month, spent holidays with his family, took care of him while his parents went away, helped him produce a video for school, was amazed by his SuperHero PingPong Table Scenerio of Creativity, turned him upside-down and blew on his stomach, that sort of thing. He was one of the funnier kids, ever, and I've met a lot of funny kids in my life.

Now I'm going to go hunt for his sisters. . .

Thursday, April 12, 2007

If you read the blog. Even if you don't.

Thursday Thirteen--things I'll do instead of RT

right now I'm fretting because an ex-boyfriend wants to meet for coffee and that just makes me fret.

The rest of the list:
1. Reread Vonnegut as a private wake. My kid got me Slaughterhouse Five for a present. Or so he says. He bought it a few months ago and forgot to give it to me. It's in his room somewhere and I can't enter that place because of the floor is festooned with magic cards and 12 sided dice.

2. Read every one of the adventures of John and Marcia.

3. Not read or write another word about Imus. I've been doing both. Naughty, naughty. You can't take away the chocolate eggs, though. I ate 'em.

4. Write a short Summer story to sell for a fabulous sum to [name of publisher here].

5. Make a keynote speech to my family about the most inspiring moment of my writer's career OR the terrible low point out of which I had to drag my butt. Note to self, have theme include how I overcame adversity or, even better, helped someone else do it. (Nothing about being fired by an editor. that's just depressing, not inspiring--unless I make up story about being hired by editor's boss.)

6. Overcook the baby carrots and pour too much balsalmic vinegar on them to imitate many of the meals I've eaten at conferences. What? I like them cooked that way.

7. Go visit other people's blogs -- the ones who're at RT -- and jeer at them for drinking too much, partying too hard, having too much fun, while I'm writing, which is our real Career, after all. And I'm way too into being a Writer to allow RT to interrupt my precious routine. I have work to do. Being a writer is about actually writing, not doing a poor job of networking.

8. Feel sorry for myself because I'm not drinking too much, partying too hard, and having too much fun.

9. Stare out the window at the sleet and snow and say "damn you, you fucking snow! It's fucking April!" out loud when the kids aren't home. Scold the kids for using bad language when they stare out the window and say the same sort of thing.

10. Hide from the kids because they have all of next week off and I have no plans for them. None. Hiding doesn't count.

11. Be inspired by Corn Dog's photo montage and do something creative with the last batch of peeps.

12. Get dressed up one night in party clothes, walk around the block or maybe visit the local Starbucks. Hand out business cards and maybe autograph a free copy of one of my books that I'll bring along. I don't have my own book marks but have Teresa Bodwell and Linda Gayle's bookmarks. I'll hand them out to dogwalkers and/or baristas too. Go home and go to bed.

13. Make my husband stay up late in bed talking shop with me even though he's never read my books, doesn't know any of my editors' names, doesn't like romance and doesn't read blogs by editors, agents or anyone else. Force him to get up early and fetch me a cup of coffee from downstairs because I'm am just not up for breakfast with crowds of overeager young faces. That last's sort of standard in our lives, actually. Good man!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Speaking of Obits

Here's a line from one:

"Sara Katherine Petterson Brouillard, 55, of Castine passed peacefully at Eastern Maine Medical Center on Wednesday, March 21, 2007, following a brief, courageous battle with cancer and a long and aggravating marriage to Paul Brouillard."

Paul wrote it. From the article about the obit--The fact that the obituary made some people smile, or even laugh, is something Brouillard says his wife would like.

second sign of the apocalypse this week

Any of you have a clue before this week that Don Imus was so very important? He's heading the news all over the fricking place. Forget the war, we have some guy who was hired to act like an asshat jerk acting like an asshat jerk. At least with Britney or whatshername who died, they did something out of the ordinary.

I wouldn't mind if the earth opened up and swallowed Don Imus, or at least all the news stories about him.

I do think it's funny that he's talking about how much humiliation he feels. Not enough to actually learn humility, naturally.

Pfah. I swore to the idiots on CNN this morning that I, at least, wasn't going to talk about this. They didn't appear to hear me, but maybe you will. So if I mention him again please put me in detention or take away my chocolate eggs. Deal?

UPDATE: Actually I'm almost glad he got the publicity because now we get to listen to the Rutgers coach and she's cool. (The bit about basketball? and even her own personal final four stuff? kind of takes away from the real message.) I hope she gets as much air time as Imus.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Trendy Moi SBD

Suddenly it's all the rage to read obits. I've ALWAYS read them. My mom worried about me because I liked them, but honestly the good ones are great mini-biographies, a snap-shot of a person's life, often without a lot about his death.**

Usually the whole death subject is skipped over, except when there's a "brave battle against cancer" or some other disease. The ones from other centuries are always on about "she bore her long illness with Christian fortitude" I swear, if I get one of those horrible long term diseases? There will be nothing about bravery. It'll be "she took as many drugs as possible to not feel any pain or fear, and went bellowing and complaining like a coward." Bravery is severely over-rated.

Once at a party, I got into a discussion about the obits with another fan, and the guy informed me that "died suddenly at home" is code for heart attack or suicide. If the subject is under 35, we assume suicide, unless the mourners are supposed to contribute to a medical foundation that is searching for cures for a sudden-death sort of illness.

Usually we obit afficionados have to guess about cause of death. Not in the case one of my all-time favorites obits from years ago. A guy died of AIDS back when people didn't talk much about AIDS and he wanted to make sure the whole world knew exactly how he died. His obit made it to the front of the Frederick News-Post. (I think. Or maybe just the front of my brain? I know I contributed to his AIDS related charity of choice just because of his obit. I wrote a note to his parents saying I didn't know him but wished I had and how he seemed wonderful. I didn't send it--I didn't tend to send the impulsive notes I wrote in pre-common-email days. )

Okay, enough with the morbid stuff.

The best obits are real descriptions of the person. I don't think they're the ones written by professionals. My guess is the best ones are written by the people themselves or maybe a good friend. Relatives seem to want to list how many, many relatives are mourning the person and what a loss they feel. I don't want to hear about the mourners. I want the person who shuffled off to get one last say.

I like the details that make you feel like you know the person, and even might have considered her sort of a pain in the butt. (like the guy whose obit stated that his signature line was "so how about them sox?" every time there was an uncomfortable silence.) Even all the lists of organizations make you wonder, what the heck did he do with those Elks and Moose? Did he show up for the special dinners or was he there every week? Why did he want the mourners' money contributed to a Little League team? Is that his idea or his family's?

My husband claims I'm morbid. Sure, I am--but that's not why I read obits. There, in a few paragraphs, is everything a person did and accomplished and cared about for all the time they had on earth and what's more of a celebration of a life than that? Occasionally good reading, too.


**The older ones went on about cause of death with some gusto.
Here's one from Longtown, near Cumbria England in 1807
A more rapid series of calamity in one family than the following, we have seldom heard of - a few weeks since, in the course of a single week, the whole of the rising family of Mr Harding of Ringan Hills near Brampton, consisting of two sons and as many daughters, were swept off the stage of life by the ruthless hand of death. This disease was an infectious fever, introduced by a servant newly come to the house, who had just recovered from that disease.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Peeps Day!!

Peeps perched, ready in microwave.

Peeps after a minute or two.

Peeps are currently in the freezer but we have no pix. Also no pix of peeps that were beaten with a stick until flat.**

Tomorrow: Take your Peeps to Work Day.

Also at least one chocolate bunny is earless. A successful day all around. Except for the lemon meringue pie. It didn't set right and I made it for company. Too much lemon juice? Not enough corn starch? Boy one says just shut up about the pie.

**Note: all images borrowed from Peepblog. Our camera's not working right.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

On the other hand, A M Riley has a new book out!

There are some genres I don't particularly want to read. I'm tired of m/m stories--read too many in a row perhaps? And fairies. Had enough of them. But Riley -- I can't seem to get enough of her stuff, and her work features both. I like how she does fairies in the gritty city setting [say those three words aloud. It's fun.]

I suspect Riley could write about virgin vampires who have secret babies with alpha cowboys [to pick on subgenres that give me the pip] and I'd want to read it.

doom and gloom

You know how people are always predicting the end of our civilization when they read about Single Moms ** or Gay Marriage or Dogs Living with Cats? This is the kind of article that makes me wonder if the end [of our society] is nigh. A guy is arrested for feeding the poor.


**quick quiz: Who said this?
Right now the failure of our families is hurting America deeply. When families fall, society falls. The anarchy and lack of structure in our inner cities are testament to how quickly civilization falls apart when the family foundation cracks.
Hint: It was in reference to the television show Murphy Brown.

Friday, April 06, 2007

sometimes it pays to google yourself

I just ran across a website I didn't know about with an award I'd never heard of and there I was!


I love those best. I don't put a huge stake in contests, but I occasionally enter them because I can and because the tension is kind of fun when you're waiting to hear if your entry made it to the top three. But this is one I didn't enter. (at least I don't think I did?)

Which means someone else put put my story up there. Yay again!

Makes my day.

happy Twinkie day!

segue-free posting requires numbers.

1. On this day seventy-seven years ago, Twinkies tm were invented. Spongy plasticy gooey goodness Ohhhhh but only imagine my sorrow when I learned that they really are baked. All those years I "knew" twinkies were somehow made with brown chemicals to look baked. They're just regular old mass produced cakes and nothing space age after all. I blame those horrible people at the food channel who reveal the magician's secrets. The plastic guy who hosts that show--he's definitely not baked. Gah. It's enough to make me want to bite the heads off some peeps. soon, my pretties.

2. Speaking of peeps or food moments that make you lose faith, I saw some cocoa peeps at the drug store. It's a sad world. Cocoa might make those things edible.

If the kids eat them they can't be employed properly, the way peeps meant to be used. Peeps in the microwave! Yes! It's a good idea to make a small hole in the peep's plastic unless you don't mind explosions of goop all over your microwave. More interesting than just swelling but what a mess. If you do the peeps without a hole, make sure you have the camera running and send me the video, please.

3. I finished the dragon thing today--and whoosh. Off it flies to the editor. Usually I have a beta read-through period but my readers apparently all have lives. Silly women. Of course paranoid writer (redundant phrase) that I am I'm sure they all back away critting my stories because they're sick of my stuff. It's nice to be predictable, anyway.

4. I hate my stomach. Really, really tired of it.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

top three signs of spring

1. The pile of dirty snow at the Waldbaum's parking lot has shrunk to the height of a tall man (It was building high)

2. The sleet currently pelting us has more rain than ice in it.

3. the huge ice patch in the backyard has turned into a huge mud patch. No need to go look. The doggy foot prints all over the kitchen reveal the truth.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

just noticing, okay?

So don't start with the Osama Bin Kate stuff. Here are some headlines from the news.

Terrorist confesses to planning 9/11 attacks

Iran TV shows "confession" of British sailor

Amazing what quotation marks can do.

more food

when in doubt about what to put in the blog, skip the angst and post the recipes, that's my motto. Yep. Today, anyway.

I made this for our gluten-free neighbors. Yum. Unfortunately our gluten-free neighbors don't eat enough so we still have some lurking in the fridge, calling in its rich seductive voice. Eeek.

scary cheese cake
2 cups half-and-half
16 ounces cream cheese (neufchawhatever it's called works)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1.25 cup sugar
4 eggs
15 ounces part skim ricotta cheese
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 teaspoons lemon peel
2 teaspoons vanilla

in a littel bowl, combine sugar and corn starch

in big bowl beat cream cheese and ricotta for a long time, maybe five minutes.

slowly beat in sugar and cornstarch mix

then add eggs, half-and-half, lemon juice and peel, and vanilla

bake in foil-lined springform pan for 1 hour and fifteen minutes at 325. Let sit in oven for 1 hour. [note, you can skip the foil and use a partially baked cracker crust instead, but I didn't have any gluten-free wafers or crackers for that. If you go for the cracker crust, add some lemon peel to it as well.]

Refrigerate and serve when chilled. Strawberrries and whipped cream on top are a good way to disguise how ugly the cake can be when you manage to get it out of the pan and the foil, but not very well.

Monday, April 02, 2007

A day late but still worthwhile

Writers. They're what's for dinner.

these and many, many more questions

Personal: will this work or is the computer switch (back to the old system) be as rotten as the misguided switch away?
Did changing providers (back) actually make a difference about the reliability of my email?

What are the chances that the next book I pick up will list yet another bunch of lame-o questions on the back?

Am I at last grateful to one of my publishers (no name here) that doesn't allow authors to use questions on their back-cover copy?
Will the next back cover mention the beating of her restless heart?
Will it ask us if the hero might learn to see the error of his ways?
Was it ever in doubt?
How do you make people want to read about characters they don't know?
Why do editors think it should be questions?
Is it because they are as clueless as I am about writing back cover?
Have questions about the characters always been so stupid or have I only recently seen too many?

Eternal: Will the dog stop barking? Please?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

For the record

Sap is rising. I'm having a very good time writing stories again. I'm putting this in the record so I can recall this as a red letter day when the black letter days pile up. Huh. My pal Margaret told me a different story about red letter days. I'll have to get back about that one. She said something about stones and the Romans. Luckily she's still around so I'll call and ask.

Anyway, this writing stint has some the drawbacks--real world is in the damn way. My kids talk to me and interrupt plotting. Every writer and/or kid playing Let's Pretend knows that one, but it's been a while since I've been so absorbed by the internal story. I'm trying to be polite but oy . . . I do not know and I do not care where your shoes are. I have someone to kill off, toots. Don't make me throw a ten-year-old into the death scene.

Dragon story is just about done, too. I can get started on the dead stuff again. Yay! I just need to throw in yet more heat, Angie. huffa huffa.