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Thursday, May 31, 2007

HEY there's an amex ad

that has a song from Spinal Tap in it. heh.
stop messing around
you know what I want
gimme some moneeeeeeeaaay

the things we do to avoid work

I'm sitting at the dining room table, trying to write. I'm playing with a ruler instead. Inspired by Beth, I just measured my hair.

one bit was 37" long, another 34". The hair I yanked out was only 23"

Back to plotting.

Thursday Thirteen--13 things I want

Check it out! I finally have something official looking


Thirteen Things I want

. . but probably won't get. Pathetic Sigh.


1. A Nora Roberts bobblehead doll



2. A contract with my pal Blunder.



3. A kitten



4. A puppy.



5. A slot on the NYTimes Best Seller List.



6. A better singing voice



7. Lunch in NYC with my favorite group of writer pals.



8. A contract with Rose Hilliard. Or Laura Cifelli. Or Hilary SARES, for God's sake. sobbing



9. Visits from Aya and Naomi at Thanksgiving again. And anyone else who wants to come, LR.



10. My kids to stop fighting with me and each other about computer time.



11. More interesting ideas for this list.



12. A piece of really good chocolate cake, RIGHT NOW. THIS MOMENT. With fudge frosting.



13. A good ending for this damn story I'm writing. Ugh.


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



Wednesday, May 30, 2007

three meme

a Meme from Doug. I love not having to think for blogging.

Three Things That Scare Me:
1. The stories I hear from the refugees. Yes, it can easily happen here. Don't kid yourselves, Amuricans. No one is immune from insanity.
2. Weird viruses that make you bleed from your eyeballs
3. The IRS. I have no reason to, btw.

Three People Who Make Me Laugh:
Boys 1-3

Three Things I Love:
Boys 1-3

Three Things I Hate:
1. Middle school
2. The local understaffed post office
3. GWB, even more than one and two combined and multiplied by a gazillion.

Three Things I Don’t Understand:
1. Math of any sort beyond the level of oooooooooo fourth grade when anyone asks for help, I go instant d. in headlights.
2. The fact that advertising works. I mean "ring around the collar" must have worked or they wouldn't have run that campaign for so long.
3. The bread machine that sometimes worked but often didn't, even though the measurements, timing and processes were identical. Now in pieces at the bottom of the deck

Three Things On My Desk:
1. Huge piles of paper and books from a kid's report
2. A broken wooden ninja sword
3. A magnifying glass from the compact OED

Three Things I’m Doing Right Now:
1. Lying in bed. Yay!
2. Drinking coffee. Yay!!!
3. Thinking about doing laundry and getting ready for work. Meh.

Three Things I Want To Do Before I Die:
1. Get beyond the stupid brain glitch and travel again
2. Have fun
3. Run a five K

Three Things I Can Do:
1. Write stuff
2. After all these years of teaching illiterate people English, I can draw pictures of obscure things. If you're playing pictionary, I'm your woman.
3. Pick up handfuls of worms without shuddering

Three Things I Can’t Do:
1. Math, see above
2. Run with any grace or dignity
3. Read Henry James without falling asleep

Three Things I Think You Should Listen To:
1. Your mother, except after she's had too many cocktails or bong hits
2. The mockingbird that has a nest in our back yard. That is one noisy bird.
3. I'm still liking gnarls barkley

Three Things You Should Never Listen To:
1. Brain worm songs, like American Pie or that eminem song about goes around. Damn, that sticks to the grey cells.
2. A speech by GWB. Read it. Listening is too painful.
3. Heck, speeches by almost anyone except a character in a play. I swear to god, why people can't just write it down. Talk, talk, talk.

Three Things I’d Like To Learn:
1. Any dance other than the macarena, but that would requiring learning the left and the right.
2. A cure for middle school misery.
3. How to properly train a dog.

Three Favorite Foods:
1. Chocolate
2. Good indian food with that squeaky cheese. Paneer? I'll look it up later.
3. Fresh bread--except from that damned machine. Who needs machines anyway? (it's just that it's getting hot and I hate to heat the whole kitchen)

Three Shows I Watched As A Kid:
1. The Brady Bunch (I know)
2. bugs bunny
3. whatever the siblings wanted (us: brother +13 years; sister +9 years; brother +6 years; me; sister -8 years; sister-10 years. So. What does this have to do with TV? Plenty. I watched a lot of Sesame Street with the younger ones and whatever the hell they picked with the older ones)

Three Things I Regret:
1. Waiting for things. I've done that a lot. Me and John Mayer (Oy, another brain worm song!)
2. Not enjoying road trips--sometimes not tolerating them. It's put a big dent in my marriage and made me a less good mom. Seriously. Field trips? Forget about it.
3. The standard "not seeing enough of people or expressing my lurve for them before they die" sort of regret that most people over the age of 40 experiences. Live and don't really learn.

Tag! You're it, unless you don't want to be.

Monday, May 28, 2007

SBD, standard precoffee "kids books are better these days" rant.

Mike's back. He went to a conference most of last week. What did he bring back as Welcome Home Dad whadja bring me gifts? Three-foot-long wooden ninja swords (of course one is already broken). Every now and then he drops the responsible dad thing and acts like a good male idiot. phew.

Segue into Let Them be Idiots.

The books I had as a kid...been thinking about that ever since I hauled out Nobody's Boy and reread it. Pfah. He's kind of a dull dude because he (unlike a lot of other characters) is A Good Boy.

The other book I loved back then was all about a bad little girl who (because she's so bad) is shrunk to a teeny thing and has to fly around on the back of a goose. I think it was actually a few books but damned if I can find the titles. Maybe it was Norwegian? Someone tell me the name of the book, okay? Please? Thanks.

Anyway.

She couldn't just shrink, like William Joyce's George. No, the shrinking was punishment so she could Learn and Turn Good. All the damn books had the kids turning from Evil to Good (or, like Stuwwelpeter, merely punished**). I get the idea that any worthwhile book has the main characters grow and change. But kids in most of those old books change according to an adult's ideal--and the ideal was far less interesting than your average bad kids. Even their lives were less interesting. I mean the goose girl books--I loved them because of the parts when she was clinging to the back of a goose and getting to fly around with them. Not the parts where she Learned Lessons and certainly not the part where she went back to being a normal girl. Bah. Even great ones that are still popular, like The Secret Garden, have that DO YOU GET IT? push it in your face thing going.

Judging from the books my kids bring home, at last someone decided the story is at least as important than the message. Or maybe it's that authors don't need to belabor the point? Or maybe there are just more choices out there? I bet the moral police still write books that pound the message.

The general decline, hell in handbasket "the world was better when________" schtick doesn't apply to kids' books. They're better. One of those duh things, right, Els? But it really is brought home to me when I read Nobody's Boy to myself and then pick up The Bromeliad Trilogy to read to my kid. Now I'm going to go find my copy of Five Little Peppers....

_____________________________________

** I went to Amazon to find Struwwelpeter books and found this review with a Terry Prachett quote "...it was much earlier than that when most people forgot that the very oldest stories are, sooner or later, about blood. Later on they took he blood out to make the stories more acceptable to children, or at least to the people who read them to children rather than the children themselves (who, on the whole, are quite keen on blood provided it's being shed by the deserving. That is to say, those who deserve to shed blood. Or possibly not. You never quite know with some kids.)"

Friday, May 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen--words I like

yeah, so it's Friday. Sue me.

I was going to make a list of 13 things Aya left behind (smoke from fingertips, joke money grabber, insta-snow, bits of film, Pocky candy, silicon paint kit, a printer...) most of it on purpose.

But sticking with this week's theme of "I'm Too Lazy to Get Off My Butt" I don't want to wander the house looking for the various Ayaesque things. I'll just sit here and think of words I like the sound of. Not the meaning in particular--just words that are fun to say aloud.

1. Liquid
2. Apocryphal
3. Languid (must like those L words)
4. Snubnose
5. Template
6. Juicy
7. Whisper
8. Onomatopoeia (sort of standard likeable word)
9 Tenderloin
10 Swedenborgian
11 Osteoporosis
12 Silly
13 Momentum

Is ding-dong really a word? I like that one too. So? Which words appeal to you? ("appeal" is a good one. And which has a nice wind to it.)

Hey! Does anyone have a job or internship for a film type? Aya's done with school and looking. She showed us her senior projects--bunch of cute little movies. Also she's a good artist, like her mom, so she does killer story boards.

Here's yet another thing. Enter the contest. Win the big bucks gift certificates!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

why I'm not here

the reasons:
big pile of mulch
sick kid
niece visiting (hi Aya! Congratulations on graduating! Yay!)
the big HUGE pile of mulch and the dog that eats it
dog vomit

I realize that the pile of books I listed on my last entry were books I've mentioned here before. This is because I glanced from my computer to the same shelf I always look at. Considering there are bookshelves in every room of this house, that's just sad or lazy or both.

Okay, I shift away from that shelf and look across the room at another. I spot a book that I loved as a kid is Nobody's Girl by Hector Malot. I don't see Nobody's Boy by the same guy, but I loved that one too. I suspect they're the sort of books that don't hold up over time. Victorian moosh, you know. Damn, I had a lot of Victorian books back then. These were translated from French, I think.
Oh. Ah. another reason I suspect they might be too soupy is that I located this picture on this website.

ta da! there we go--two more titles that are pretty obscure. I can't recognize any other books from where I've parked my butt. I'm not getting up to look, so two will have to do it.

Oops. I take it back. I am getting up. I'm being summoned to take the temperature of the sick kid. It only counts when I do it--he wants witnesses when it goes over 102, and who can blame him. The only good part of feeling like crap is the awwww poor baby bit. I can manage that for a day or two anyway.

Monday, May 21, 2007

SBD Sort of Obscure Books

Jennie has created an experimental meme: The Little-Known Favorites Meme. Rules: List and describe three of your favorite books that other people might not be familiar with. Then tag five people. See, easy!



I was going to steal the meme from jmc and it turns out I was tagged. The deal is I list three books I love that aren't wildly popular. Most of the books in that category were popular at one point, but are just passe.

An Episode of Sparrows (and a bunch of other books) by Rumer Godden. She could explore sentimental issues without getting overly sentimental.

EF Benson, the original Snarker. Everyone knows his Mapp and Lucia stuff, but I like some of his other stuff too. The Freaks of Mayfair is a good one. When he wrote seriously, he did get all Victorian moosh. I read An Autumn Sowing but only because he wrote it. Noble self sacrificing in that case wasn't my cup of tea. He's better when he doesn't try to write about truly good people.

The Colors of Snow by Kate Fenton. The Big Secret is badly dated and silly. Meh. But I still like the book.

The Big U by Neal Stephenson
and
Moo by Jane Smiley Two funny books about universities. Big U is dated because of technology stuff, just like Tea with The Black Dragon by RA MacAvoy is. But I still love 'em for the characters.

Once again, I'm flogging RA MacAvoy. I want you to go read her stuff, okay? Same with Judith Merkle Riley. Just go find their books and read. Grey Horse for MacAvoy is a fine start. A good strong heroine written when they were far rarer.

Oh, only three books? Okay, I'll just pack up this copy of You Can't Win by Jack Black (not that Jack Black) and go do some work.

This is a meme I'm going to pass along. I usually don't.
Doug
Bookseller chick
Beth
Megan Frampton
and
Lyn Cash
Please feel free to ignore me.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

It's organic!

It's tiresome to other blogs.
But good God, people, I can't be grateful I'm not posting Mrs G's contest so I'm setting the bonsai generator that Fester sent unsuspecting.
Bad, happy little monkey that everyone is now posting the link to a blog expecting something new and find out that everyone is now posting Mrs G's contest so I'm setting the link to ignore things like to point out it's just links to go to a blog expecting something new and interesting friends...
Bad, happy little monkey.


The above is what comes out when Bonsai Generator works this entry over:

It's tiresome to go to a blog expecting something new and interesting and find out it's just links to other blogs. But good God, people, I can't be expected to ignore things like the bonsai generator that Paperback Writer posted.

And I'd like to point out that everyone is now posting Mrs G's contest so I set the standard.

And you should be grateful I'm not posting the link to the cute little monkey that Fester sent to her unsuspecting friends. Bad, happy little monkey.
**
_____________________________________________________________
**okay, since you insist. This photo or, if that doesn't work, go to this link and scroll down to the wordless wednesday #8 entry

Friday, May 18, 2007

how I tune out my children

My informative, non-whiny post is over at the passionate prose blog.

other news:

1. I take back the other prize and award Theresa Meyers with the 2007 Professional Writers Response to Adversity. Maybe she can put that one on her resume?

2. I started a fire (in the fireplace) because I will not turn on the heat, dammit.

3. No, no! Stop sending me emails. You can't make me interview my characters in public.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

This Week's Award Winning RWA Drama

The judges are unanimous: Duh. No contest. Triskelion publishing and RWA.
The judges roll their eyes and have already left the fake walnut conference table to go to the bar. They are in need of a few stiff drinks. They award secondary prizes to the following:

Most comprehensive posting of the whole Trisk/RWA Drama:
the Ja(y)nes present both sides and let you decide. (go down a bit to see the various posts about it. They've already moved on of course--to the subject of books, of all things. tchah. )

Best response to general blog drama meltdown:
as usual, the award goes to Mrs. G's latest drinking game.

Most nightmarish story, ever . . . and her own low-key presentation underlines the horror (lifted from dearauthor.com):
Theresa Meyers, President of Blue Moon Communications, and author of The Spellbound Bride, related this tale:

My book was contracted to come out in print with Triskelion and would have been in bookstores in less than two weeks. There were multiple signings scheduled with Borders and Barnes & Noble, ads placed, I had gotten media coverage, high reviews from multiple sources and had spent a considerable amount in printing ARCs and excerpt booklets for massive mailings out to booksellers and bookclubs nationally. It was the bookstore who was to have my first signing that called me to tell me they couldn’t order my books for the signing and that I might want to contact my publisher. I did and that is when we all found out via email that the company had decided to restructure.

While I understand that Triskelion, like any business, needs to protect its bottom line and that a healthy Triskelion will ultimately be better for ebook authors all around, I am disappointed that in my case the book didn’t make it to the shelves so close to its release date.

She's "disappointed"? Not insane? Not homicidal? She's got be presenting the professional front--that's her job, after all. I can only hope she has a good voodoo doll or two and a lot of stick pins.

Omigod. I actually had a nightmare last night that echoed this story. I went to a signing and had forgotten to edit the book in time (figures it would mostly be my fault). The nightmare is just not that bizarre, okay? Stephen King gave my kid nightmares about clowns. Some people watch "Night of the Living Dead" and dream of zombies.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

three whine time

1. When it comes to promo, no more first-person notes from characters. No, I mean it, just stop. Let the damn book speak for itself or if you have to have a blurb, fine. No more letters, unless the whole book is in first person. And if you do interviews with your character, good, but keep them private unless we've already read the story. I want the STORY to tell me about the people in it. Dammit. Unless it's your blog, then sure, it's your right, I suppose. Maybe.


2. Why do I find everyone else's over-used word but never my own? Why? Why? Why? I use the trick of going backwards. I read aloud. And yet every time I look at something I've written, I find another repeated-way-too-often word. Solution: never look at my own stuff again. (I don't usually...I was hunting for a section to post in a contest)

3. When it comes to romanceland's male stomachs, we need something new. I mean, wash board stomachs. When was the last time you saw a washboard? Huh? And six pack abs. And flat hard belly. Not that I can come up with a better phrase, mind you. I guess the solution is to stare at a fit male stomach and figure out something new.

I admit.. my first response to this picture is, breathe, dammit! Are those breasts? And where's the hair? And what's going on over at the edge there? Ribs? Yikes. The longer I look at this impressive belly, the scarier it gets. How about Under his taut skin, his muscles were almost as defined as the segmented body of an ant, his ribs like the bug's lil legs. Nice belly button, though.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Oh John! Oh Marcia! Oh Boy!

Paperback writer has the best deal** on the web, ever. Your own downloadable copy of John and Marcia: The Novel Crash Test Dummies with notes. Read it and weep with laughter, or maybe cringe with recognition.

____________________________
**management requires me to say second best deal. My contest yada yada yada.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The two contests.

HEY! It's time to pimp again. Get back here, you guys. Enter the contest! Win gift certificates! Spread the virus. You can win up to sixty dollars.

Just click on the link, enter the information you find there (you can even copy/paste if you want) in your blog and there you go. ta da! There's a chance to win thirty.

See? I don't just whine

I got a note from one of the contest types, thanking me for judging her entry. I went back to my notes to see what I'd written and the answer is, not much. Her entry was particularly good.

I reread it and realized that a lot of my favorite reading lately has been unpubbed stuff. Hey, just because I make fun of some of it doesn't mean much. I make fun of my kids and they're perfect. Even if they do know the origin of "safeword." (They do and my husband doesn't. Great. Kids are educated about SM in school maybe? Mike has got to start reading some EC or at least my stuff. . ..)

Anyway.

Some of the writers I like and you won't read for at least a year are the contest entries, Doug's stories, Carrie L's novel, and I'm waiting to read Bettie's. And my crit partners like Su and Terry and all I can say is I get lucky early, y'all. Ha.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Hey! You!

We were in Marshalls in West Hartford over near the fake flowers. I was the one trying to find twin sized sheets that weren't pink. You're the lady who was trying to talk to her mother but losing it. "Think about it, Ma. It's not gonna work. That's the wrong color for your house." and "They're completely not what you need. There should be more than one anyway."

Your Ma was old and shuffling and out of it. I could hear that frustration in your voice and I recognized it and knew I'd sounded the same way, trying to reason with someone who's not operating on the same plain (or is it plane? are we on a big grassy thing or in a crowded cabin?) Anyway. I could hear something familiar in the way you bordered on the edge of losing it with that old lady.

I remember lots of trips with my own doddering mother. And I so wanted to go up and touch your arm ...

....and yell hey, LADY, SHUT THE FUCK UP. The woman's going to be dead any day. Just tune it out if you have to. Don't let yourself be caught up in the moment because there are going to be so few good ones if you try to bring her back to straight thinking. Just look at that sweet old befuddled face, accept what you see and say good bye to what you knew as Ma. She's gone and no amount of reasoning (patient or impatient) and nagging will bring her back from Gaga-land. . .
And here's something else unbelievable but true: some day you'll even miss the loser of a dodderer that replaced her. You'll feel bad later on, after she shuffles off completely, when you hear echoes of your useless annoyance.

Happy goddamn mother's day.

Friday, May 11, 2007

thanks!

I'm getting a kick out of the reviews. Daisy wrote a great one.

I'm so relieved. Bettie is back in business AND my codpiece of cliche [-2] doesn't outweigh the good play points.

Here are a couple of my successful plays:
[You have earned the Chalice of Chutzpah, +5 Hit Points]
[You have earned the Helmet of Hijinkiness, +12 Hit Points]

still, I do have to face . . .[You have become lost in the Fjords of Fiznuckin', -9 Health Points]

final score:
I'd seriously pay to read a Bettie review.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday Thirteen--contest drinking game

I was going to do something like a suspense romance drinking game but then realized that lately most of my reading has been contest entries. LOTS of them.
A list about my list:
a. I probably do some of these things, too. So do a lot of published writers. Some of these will take me out of a story, others I barely notice.
b. None of these is based on your manuscript. It's based on yours and about 7 others. I've seen all of these.. . . errors? habits? in multiple manuscripts. Otherwise, I'd be guilty of an indiscretion which would get me kicked off every contest loop, ever. hmmm
c. Enter my other sort of contest--the one where you might get money, not give it.

The Romance Manuscript Contest Judge's Drinking Game


1. We get a description of the heroine as she looks in the mirror. 3 gulps

2. Someone sneers, smirks, laughs or scowls words, as in "Look at me," he smirked. 1 largish sip

3. The heroine, to display her independent or feisty nature, tosses her hair. 1 sip in a historical, 2 in a contemporary.

4. The heroine, to display her independent or feisty nature, raises her chin. 2 sips any genre.

5. The chin is pert, rounded or (yes, Cary Grant.) dimpled. 4 sips.

6. To bring us back to the moment after some backstory, character shrugs at the end of a thought. 2 sips.

7. For a first-time entry into any contest ever, there is a backstory dump in the first three or four pages that takes us out of the present moment and tells us all about the past. 1 sip

8 For a second or maybe third-time contest entry (numbers 7-8 are guesses on my part, okay? Right?) there is a backstory dump after the first three or four pages. 4 sips

9. The entry opens with weather. If it's a historical, the weather is bad and they're on a terrible road in a badly-sprung carriage. (copyright Linda, but hey, I've seen it too) half a mug or martini glass, depending. 3 sips for the historical.

10. The hero says something horribly unpleasant, mean, sexist and/or accusatory to the heroine 3 sips

11. She either waaaay over-reacts 4 sips
or doesn't seem to notice it was a jerky thing to say 1 full glass.

12. He is, in fact, a jerk. Likely this is to show he is alpha . . . or maybe the writer has a horrible life and men treat her badly? 1 glass for 15 page entries, 2 glasses if the entry is 30 pages long, a full cardboard wine dispenser of it's a published book contest and you feel you ought to read the whole entry.

13. The heroine, to display her independent or feisty nature, stamps her foot. If it's historical, she must be wearing a thin dancing slipper. 2 sips.

13a. The heroine, to display her independent or feisty nature, stamps her feet, flings her hair and raises her chin. 1 glass.
The spoiled beautiful bitch (former or would be lover of hero) nemesis of the heroine does this. 1 top shelf mixed drink, your choice.

I left out plenty of others like overuse of repetitive adverbs, characters who are introduced so the hero/heroine can have a revealing conversation and who are never shown again and don't appear in the synopsis.

My list is way too long, which means I need to say no to contests for a while. People pay good money to enter contests for advice, not unpleasant snark. No, you have to get PUBLISHED to get that kind of fun.


Doctors are just as scary as the rest of us.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

yikes

crappity! Crap! I can't find the rug Fatima made that I borrowed to take pictures of to put on the website. . . . Did one of you steal it? Well? I promise, I won't be mad if you confess now. Guh!

answering the meme

First, a word from our sponsor: ENTER THE FLIPPING CONTESTS.

A lot of my 8 things are about other people because I'm dull, but here you go.

1. My grandfather invented the x-acto knife. Sundel invented the damn thing and I think it even says so at the official website. Sunny (and I hear he was something of a mournful grouch) was an inventor all his life. So there, Louise.

2. Louise, my cousin (actually my mother's cousin) was US poet laureate** and in interviews has said her father did.. . The story I've heard is that my grandfather invented it to be a surgical tool. It didn't work well for that because it was impossible to clean well and Uncle Danny was probably the one to suggest marketing it as a hobby tool.

3. but I don't really know the exact details because I can't recall any conversations with my grandfather who was senile by the time I noticed him. I do recall conversations with Uncle Danny--Louise's father, who was much younger than Sunny. Danny was wonderful and told great adventures about a pair of fleas****. I don't remember talking knives with him. And my mother was a useless source of information. Unlike 90 percent of the world, she hated to talk about personal matters or herself. I am more like my father--and he either had an amazing life or lied like a dog. Who knows? (see #6).

4. I make pretty good scrambled eggs and that was the one thing my mother could cook, too.

5. Rothwell, England was once known for its forced rhubarb and I can always grow rhubarb. Must be in my genes. Everywhere I've lived, I've planted it and I end up yanking out rhubarb plants because they end up taking over a lot of space. Of course that could be the nature of the plant. My husband recalls using rhubarb stalks as weapons when he was a kid.

6. Have I ever told you that as a kid I lied a whole lot? I bet I did. It was a defining characteristic. One of my kids is also big on telling stories that are based on air. I wish he could learn from my mistakes, but then again, it took me a long time to learn. And sometimes I forget. Not often though and probably not any more often than anyone else and they tend not to glorify me any more No more Walter Mitty.

7. I have no arches. Flat flat flat feet. They usually work fine though.

8. I'm about as lazy as a person can get without actually turning into a vegetable. I love lying in bed thinking about my dreams which I almost always remember. I have to force myself to exercise, but lately I've been doing a pretty good job at that. I've lost almost 40 lbs and can now run two miles (ugh. but why? why would anyone want to?) That's two miles on a treadmill. In the real world, it's probably a mile. My flat feet hurt afterwards.

Consider yourself tagged if you want to be. I'm not going to tag anyone because--remember number 8? I'm lazy.
________

**Yes, I read and love almost all of her poetry. No, I doubt she reads my stuff. God, I hope she doesn't.

****oh crap. I can't remember the fleas' names. This is going to drive me nuts, again.

Monday, May 07, 2007

SBD reiterating repetitively again

Today, it's The List.
I had no hand in creating most of these items.

A. First, the awesome contest. It's hip, it's viral, it could be worth sixty dollars to you. Enter it.

B. Now the list of romance drinking contests. Please use these games wisely and do not, for god's sake, blame me for the hangover. I'm talking to you, Amelia.

1. Mrs. G's Paranormal Romance Drinking Game
2. Mrs. G's Regency Romance Drinking Game
3. Smart Bitches's Paranormal Romance Drinking Game
4. Smart Bitches's Contemporary Romance Drinking Game.
5 Random romance Novel (or "Nove") Phrases Drinking Game. A mere hint of a game.
6. Andygrrl's Mystery of Udolpho's Drinking Game. (and the rest of the blog is worth a look, too)
7. Miss Marple Marathon Drinking Game (it's sort of like a book, right?)
8. Random unrelated to any sort of reading Drinking Games.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

oh BOY!

Mrs. G has a new paranormal romance drinking game up.

Yes, this is perfect. From the URBAN FANTASY SECTION:

There are a vampire and a werewolf love interest in the same book - 6 sips.
Heroine has sex with one or both under the influence of some horndog spell - 8 sips.
Sex apparently augments her powers - 11 sips.
And gives her special new powers - 12 sips.
Hero wants to impregnate her because their baby will be special - 16 sips.
So does the bad guy. To impregnate the heroine, that is - 17 sips.
By Book Four of the series, everyone is either shagging or wanting desperately to shag the heroine - 26 sips.

I love them romance drinking games! I'm off to find more. Didn't Darla do one about Scottish romances? (Mrs. G has more)

Official Have I Got A Deal For You

It's official because I've got the updates put in and thus made it easier for you to use!

THERE ARE TWO CONTESTS! Both end JUNE 19, the day Revealing Skills comes out in print.


For CONTEST ONE, you don't need a website or blog. You can just email me or post a comment. (although if you do have a blog or website and you did post the review, I'd be grateful. Unless, of course, you compare the book unfavorably to horse manure)
For CONTEST TWO, you need a website or blog. (This is a change because, as someone pointed out, anything else is too spammy)

CONTEST ONE: Review a book and be put in a drawing to win a thirty dollar gift certificate from Barnes and Noble, Amazon or Samhain, your choice.
Here's how it works: I'll send you any one of my books. See the list below. You then write a review and put it in your blog or somewhere online. If you don't have a website, you can post the review in my blog under comments or email it to me. (my email address is on the right side of the page under OTHER PAGES WHERE YOU'LL FIND ME)

You hate the book, well, I'll survive. And you'll be put in a pool to win a gift certificate ($30) at Barnes and Noble or Amazon. The only book not included in this offer is Taming Him.


CONTEST TWO: Announce this contest--along with a link to this blog--on your blog or website, alert me and show me the link, and I'll put you in a drawing for everyone's favorite, a THIRTY DOLLAR! gift certificate for Barnes and Noble, Amazon, OR Samhain, your choice.

Don't forget to give me an email address/snail mail address for CONTEST ONE and/or a link for CONTEST TWO

That's not so complex, right? And for the first one, you also get a free book by me!

To reiterate (literally "repeat in another color"):

1. Get a free book by Kate and or Summer and write and post something about it ("I loved/hated this book by Kate and/or Summer. You should/shouldn't buy it and read it because_____. Don't ask me to send my copy, because this one happens to be an ebook and we don't share our ebooks.")

Be put in a drawing pool for a THIRTY DOLLAR GIFT CERTICATE.
You have to write something that indicates you at least looked at the thing, for heaven's sake. Also I reserve the right to lift really good comments from your great reviews and the right to use author calming visualizations if you post how and why you loathed the book. Either way you'll be entered in the contest--and the winner is picked by random drawing.

AND/OR

2. Post this offer on your site or blog Send me a link to your post and be put into yet another drawing pool for another THIRTY DOLLAR GIFT CERTIFICATE.

Do both and be put in both pools.



Here're the books you can review--I've linked to descriptions of the titles:
by Kate Rothwell (both are print books)
Somebody Wonderful
Somebody to Love

Books by Summer Devon
Only ebooks, although I do have one meh paper copy of Learning Charity. Revealing Skills will be out in print--but the book is released the day the contest ends so...um, no, only ebooks unless you pick up a copy of Taming Him or, maybe, if you beg me prettily, I'll send you Taming Him. But you must be eloquent.

at Ellora's Cave:
Perfection
Futurelove
Invisible Touch

at Samhain:
Learning Charity
Revealing Skills

And here's one more by Kate,a rather peculiar ebook That's here, at booksforabuck, a great place, btw. Go Rob!

Have I left out any details? Let me know.
And don't forget to LET ME KNOW (and give me the appropriate information) if you're entering!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

a break from the contest for AWESOME BOY

Boy Two says Make another post about me because I'm awesome.

He is, but I can't find a photo on this computer. I'll put one in later.

IN THE MEANTIME!

Here's his post.

AWESOME BOY!

And how come you all didn't comment on his AWESOME POEM? And guess who picked the labels for this post.

Friday, May 04, 2007

the best selling author speaks

this is pulled from a couple of emails and my imagination...

My good friend and I are at different stages of our writing, even though we started at about the same time. I'm getting some work, chugging along, but I haven't had a New York contract for a while. She's a best-selling author with books contracts lined up for the next four years. I asked her once why she thought she was doing so much better. She told me then and tells me now. One word...no, two words. the first one

LUCK

the second
BRANDING.

She is very, VERY careful about her public image. She doesn't want her name associated with anything that isn't directly linked to her books or with romance. And she doesn't publicly do anything more political than, say, Brenda Novak's contest. She is a wonderful person and I'm not just saying that because I want her to give me a quote on for a book some day. (She doesn't want to be associated with erotica so she won't do Summer)

BSAF: I see you're doing it again.

Me: What?

BSAF:
Getting political. Remember the anti-fan letters you got when you posted on dailykos and announced it in your blog? At least two former readers wrote to say they were disappointed in the fact that you associated with a hate group. [ I looked back and found three "you're too political" notes--not counting Erika because she posted on my blog with her name (not in a email to me) she engaged in conversation and was writing to say she wouldn't be reading--so she wasn't a reader yet.]

Me:
[after some more huh? what are you talking about?] Oh, the m/m stuff. Right. But that's got something to do with romance writing. And besides, Nora Roberts weighed in on the subject.


BSAF: You are SO not Nora Roberts. She could probably poison pussy cats and not lose many readers.

Me:
Pussy cats?

BSAF:
Maybe not kittens, but pussy cats, yes.

Me:
So what do I do? I have to do something.

BSAF:
So you write a polite, professional note, privately, to the editors of Romantic Times. You don't go all over the internet dramatically declaring you're not advertising with them.

Me:
But....but...

BSAF:
You think you'll ever get another 4.5 Top Pick from them again? Think again.

Me:
But...But..

BSAF:
There is no point in making any enemies. Plus BRANDING, girl. BRANDING. You want your name to be associated with romance, fun, laughter, hot sex. You don't want to people to associate Kate Rothwell or Summer Devon with Cranky Letter Writer. BRANDING.

Me:
But Cindy Cruiger and Amelia Elias get away with it.

BSAF
: Who?

Me:
Never mind [sorry Cindy and Amelia]

BSAF:
Well anyway, it just doesn't show the world a very polished image

Me:
I'm not polished. I figure that's my charm.

BSAF
: . .

Me:
What about my "Have I Got a Deal For You" contest? What do you think of that?

BSAF:
Amateur but cute. If you are going to do it, you should be better organized and do it on a grand scale, like Nalini Singh I have to admit I wouldn't do it. It looks like begging.

Me:
It is begging.

BSAF:
You really think you should pay people to read your books? I thought the idea was they pay you.

Me:
I hope that'll come eventually. Anyway, it's too late to cancel. A couple of people have signed up. [side note, you have to tell me you're doing flogging or I can't enter your name in the contest] I think you're probably right about the whole branding thing. It's probably too late for me [it was when I hit forty and started shooting my mouth off everywhere] but maybe I'll post this stuff so other people will think twice before going all over the internet expressing loud-mouthed opinons. BRANDING!! Hey do you mind if I use your name?

BSAF:
That's not funny.

Have I got a Deal for You

So now I'm sort of stymied about how to Flog my Books.
How about you help me?

I'll send you any one of my books. Even the out-of-print one by Kate (Somebody Wonderful)--You then write a review and put it in your blog or somewhere online. You hate the book, well, I'll survive. And you'll be put in a pool to win a gift certificate ($30) at Barnes and Noble or Amazon (updated to add Amazon because I'm thinking I might put this in my blog there. Heh) or Samhain, your choice.

The only book not included in this offer is Taming Him.

If you put this offer on someone's site or your own, show me and I'll put you in a drawing for everyone's favorite, a THIRTY DOLLARS! gift certificate for Barnes and Noble, Amazon, OR Samhain, your choice.

That's not so complex, right?

Here's the deal (repetition is good)

1. Get a free book by Kate and or Summer and write and post something about it ("I loved/hated this book by Kate and/or Summer. You should/shouldn't buy it and read it because_____. Don't ask me to send my copy because this one happens to be an ebook and we don't share our ebooks.") be put in a drawing pool for a THIRTY DOLLAR GIFT CERTICATE.

AND/OR

2. Post this offer on your site or maybe on another site (as long as it's not spammish because I don't want to get in trouble. This is not a chain letter.) Send me a link to your post and be put into yet another drawing pool for another THIRTY DOLLAR GIFT CERTIFICATE.

Do both and be put in both pools.

There. That's sixty dollars I was going to spend elsewhere.

UPDATED: Forgot the end date. Contest ends be JUNE 19. That's the day Revealing Skills comes out in print. Updates will be added as I realize mistakes were made.

UPDATE TWO:
Here're the books you can review
by Kate Rothwell (both are print books)

Somebody Wonderful
Somebody to Love

by Summer Devon-- only ebooks, although I do have one meh paper copy of Learning Charity. Revealing Skills will be out in print--but the day the book is released is the day the contest ends so...um, no, only ebooks unless you pick up a copy of Taming Him or, maybe, if you beg me prettily, I'll send you Taming Him. But you must be eloquent.

at Ellora's Cave:
Perfection
Futurelove
Invisible Touch

at Samhain:
Learning Charity
Revealing Skills

...now why did I think I had more Summer books out? This is interesting. Am I missing something? Grey cells. Just yesterday I swore to someone I had seven Summer books. A dragon one just got accepted at Samhain.

I did forget a Kate book. It's a peculiar ebook. That's here.

feel the edge of doofusness

I engage in two kinds of activism
1. the indignant yelling and carrying-on type with the self-righteous quality of pure anger.

2. the "er, um, okay" type. We're not talking horrible cognitive dissonance here. Just a case of slight awkwardness.

That second is the event or action that I doubt will make a difference, might even be counterproductive, feels silly . . . and I wish I didn't have to, but it's the only thing I can think of to do. It's usually political, occasionally personal.

Examples:
Get out the vote calling when 60 percent of the calls end in hang ups.
Way back in the day, learning how to do civil disobedience properly ("allow your body to go limp").
Raising my hand when an overly earnest person asks "who in this room cares?"
Going and talking to someone who's unfairly earned public censure--even though that person is unpleasant and smells bad.
In other words, standard liberal (or, from what I understand, Christian) stuff.

The slight unease I feel takes me right back to the time when I had to look to other people for my piece of the clue cake [don't blame me for the phrase, blame the damn bitches who also put my lovely lady trunk in my head.]

The current action is a non-event. Not nearly as embarrassing as holding a sign at a candle-light vigil. I'm backing out Romantic Times ads until this whole m/m thing is cleared up. And I just turned down a chance at a partially sponsored ad. This isn't right up there with dressing up as a bloody victim of a war--hey, I was young, okay?--but it has the same kind of errr umm feel to it.

I wouldn't be doing this if Carol Stacy hadn't written that unpleasant note to Lauren B. Blast it all.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

bats over romancelandia and school

Of all the blow-ups exploding on the blogs, I find Carol Stacy's response to Lauren B to be a blow-up in itself . . . as in the most disheartening--and my vision of RT is blown up. Heck, I love the magazine and the gloriously silly, fun event (that I've never been to). But UGH.

1. We'll take your money but we won't treat you well and we think you're wasting your time because our readers don't like your stuff--comes across as bigotted. Not to mention dumb--she doesn't seem to know many of her own readers. It's clear that most of the m/m readers are hetero romance-reading women, in other words, the people who buy Romantic Times.

I say the other two batfuck [copyright jmc] crazy moments are just entertaining.

2. Kathryn Falk at Karen's. As far as I'm concerned, KF can be whatever she wants. She's too colorful and eccentric and just out there to keep down. I'd hate it if she stopped being Kathryn Falk. (Same with Karen being Karen, btw. So of course she had to gleefully take KF to the woodshed . . . and show her something nasty. I'm all over Cold Comfort Farm these days.)

3. And Tony at SBTB--if it is Tony--is too over-the-top silly to take seriously. The gomba. Unless the bitches disappear. Then we better notify the police to search his caddy.

Okay, bring on the next round. Punditry is more fun than writing. Speaking of which, I have a letter in today's Courant. yappity yap, yap, yap

OH, please play pundit. Tell me if I'm just out of it and this is perfectly normal:
First, a note: I love our public elementary school. Love, love, love it--it's better than the private school I went to as a kid.

So every year there's an auction and dance event fundraiser. We usually don't go--kind of expensive and I'm kind of rotten at that sort of event.

The silent auction stuff includes some high-priced fancy goods, like a weekend in someone's beach house, a full dinner catered by a good cook of a parent, that sort of thing. Last year, the only time I've gone, I won a lot of beer. [raffle not auction] So you know you're not going to hear me complaining about a public school fundraiser with alcohol.

However...

This year, the auction included a botox treatment. No, really.

If that showed up in a book wouldn't you think, no flipping way. Nuh uh the author is exaggerating. My response was what the heck kind of community is this? 90210? When I tried that omisweetbejeebers that's wild! on the various people from the school, I got blank looks. One woman said she bid on it. Kate = foot in mouth. See why I don't usually go to these things?

They just don't get it OR maybe I don't. Maybe my version of off-the-wall-only-in-too-wealthy-appearance-obsessed America is outdated. Maybe botox is mainstream? I hear the treatment went for about $100. Hmmm, now that I think of it. I have these lines between my eyes. Maybe I should get some poison jammed in there. . .

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

another fray

I wrote something at dailykos about Lauren Baumbach's icketty experience at the RT convention.
(see Lauren B's blog for the full story.)

here's a first

Every now and then a romance writer snaps. She has her fill of bad reviews (sometimes it just takes one good snark) and, with a mighty cry of pain, she uses her blog or someone else's, to assault critics or the reading public in general.

Someone like Karen is always there to jump into the argument and inform the writer she's a moron.

Today we have apparently have a cover model going over to the dark side.

Is there a single word that describes trying to kill your professional image by flaming the very people you want to attract or buy your books?

Come on, guys, there must be. Idiot doesn't count. There has to at least be a good acronym.


And another thing. (updated because jmc is absolutely right. I got the phrase that pays wrong. Sorry Jen)

For most of my life, I've restrained myself because I didn't want to be A Mean Nasty Bad Person and because I didn't want the police knocking on my door asking a lot of nuisance questions about threats I've made.

I hereby declare that I will now let loose and say anything I want about anyone because I have discovered the secret. I know the two phrases that will give me immunity from the law and from God's wrath.

I'm praying for you and
God love her. Bless her heart

So I can say "That Susan is a big fat whore cow, God love her, bless her heart. I want to blow her up into a gazillion tiny little pieces, stomp on the pieces and then use every one of them to fertilize my garden, but I'm praying for her."

Thanks for the insight, Tony and my pal, the anonymous Southern Lady!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

God, I'm so easy now

Years ago I worked on a magazine and then a newspaper for kids. Here's how long ago it was--all of our press releases came by fax.

I'd be ready to fax some writer background on a story and the thing would start buzzing and whirling and I'd stand there cursing the PR idjit who was clogging our only fax machine with trash when I had work to do. Our recycling pile (or was it trash back then?) was scary big and 99 percent of it was from that fax machine. (Although when I first got there to the magazine faxes were on that stinky fax roll paper. Ugh. [And that's what my machine still uses.])

If we didn't have a lot of news or needed inspiration, we might look through the stack for story ideas, but most of the time? Outta here without a second glance. It still amazes me that people spent their time and effort sending those things out.

Today I got my first press release as a blogger, and instead of hitting delete I got excited. VERY excited. It's Harlequin. I love Harlequin. I wanna write for Harlequin. If I do this will you look at my story? Please?

Heck, yah, John, Mulligan, I'm delighted to put up your press release. Naw, wait, that's too long. But your letter, to me! And my name spelled right! Yes. It has the big news anyway--I like that first stat.
Con amour all the way!


Dear Ms. Rothwell,

It's springtime, the season of birds, bees, and cologne/weightlifting/
highheels/shortskirts... et cetera.

Some highlights from The Romance Revolution:

~ 55% of women and 41% of men have said "I love you" in the hopes it
would lead to sex.

~ 64% of men and 72% of women "want more romance" in their lives.

~ 86% of those surveyed believe it's "cool to be romantic".

In honor of the season, Harlequin's will issue its annual Romance
Report this Wednesday, whose findings tell us what we already know:
America is a nation of romantics. This year's report, The Romance
Revolution, took the romantic pulse of American men and women,
interviewing about their hopes and perceptions on the state of
America's art of love.

Because of your blog coverage of Romance Lit, I've attached the
report's press release, scheduled to go on the newswires tomorrow. I
hope this brings a little springtime steam to your page, and if you
want any more information on the report, drop me a line and I'll get
right back to you.

Con Amour, I'm sure.

John Mulligan

* * *
Thanks John! I won't include the phone number you included because that's rude.

late sbd: next time someone whinges about posers

Lesson for today: The covers of the past can help remind us that there are worst things than posers.

Sometimes there's just nothing . . .The title. I'm sorry I can't add anything better than that.


Any closer, ya smirking lout, and you can kiss that chin-cleft goodbye




Her champion what? Hey?


camarilla

I use refdesk.com as my home page. It's a fine resource, though I'm guessing the founder is connected to Matt Drudge (same last name, connects to Matt's page, the default news page is breitbart, which labels itself conservative.)

Anyway, I don't know if the guy running the page has any say over Word of the Day but look at today's. Heh. I'd never heard of the word so I got my day's education before 8 am. What's more I particularly appreciate today's usage. Hmm maybe it was yesterday's (today is stymie. Pfah) Still true today unfortunately.

camarilla
Definition:
(noun) A group of confidential, often scheming advisers.
Synonyms:
cabal, faction, junto
Usage:
The people thought the war was for a righteous cause, but in truth, it was the brainchild of a greedy camarilla that hoped to profit from it.