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Showing posts from June, 2007

hey, look I have a blog?!

Well isn't that interesting.

Wonder what I ought to do here. Maybe I'll post photos or something later on, after I clean the house. Maybe I'll tell you all about the nasty dog hair balls under the bed. At least as fascinating as an Ann Coulter rant.

More Politics

What’s with the endless left-wing commentary about Ann Coulter’s appearance and gender?

It’s just as bad as her nonsense--anyone who keeps harping about the Coulter's appearance is chugging down the same vile track she follows. After all, Coulter's the one who goes on and on about Hillary Clinton’s legs and Monica's weight.

I don’t want to hear about her appearance.**

She’s a hate-filled person who attacks individuals who don’t agree with her, assigning them horrible motives, mocking them, and even worse, mocking their tragedies. That’s more than enough reason not to want to watch her. It’s certainly more than enough reason to complain when she’s given air time on so-called “news” shows.****

Okay, enough maturity: Every time I see her flip her hair, I want to throw something through my television set. Which is exactly the sort of response what she craves.

I've put myself on a No-Coulter regime. I shouldn't even mention her here, but I accidentally watched her talking to…

swoon

my favorite presidential candidate answered MY question! Look, here's MY personal email announcing it:

----- Original Message -----
From: "RealCities.com" <postmaster@knightridder.com>
Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2007 5:06 PM
Subject: Your answer from Q&A Forum at RealCities.com
Dear kate r:
You recently submitted a question to Q&A Forum. Click here to
read the answer: http://www.realcities.com/mld/realcities/news/politics/qa_forum.html?forumId=3333>
Please do not reply to this email message.
This message is for notification only. Thank you
Click on the link and look for kate r in hartford, ct. I have to go bathe my temples.

Woo baby it's hot here. I blame Beth who was complaining about the heat a couple of days ago.

PoTC: AWE

What a mess of a movie. The kids loved it. I thought it was too, too much, but heck, I'll take Johnny Depp overplaying himself overplaying a pirate, any day. Lots of silly strange bits that made me think the writers should have laid off the acid. No, I don't mean the crabs and Johnny Depp losing his mind. I mean the pieces of 8 going to the 9 and the hoodoo voodoo weirdness. You know, the basic plot stuff.

Message of the movie: better to live with mayhem than with corrupt business interests (even if they run a tidy, controlled world).

I choose to see the movie as a plea for internet staying out of corporate hands. Let the strongest voices win. So? Work for you?

Fine interpretation--except that every time they had a big scene with a huge set piece, like Singapore or the rocking pirate ship, I thought so that's gonna be a ride at some Disney set up, eh? Bet that rocking, overturning pirate ship will be a ride (buckled in so you don't fall out when it goes upside down), alo…

two books, a few words and they're out of here SBD

The first book is by a sort of pal so you can forget me telling you the title.
The second is The Duke and I, a bestseller by Julia Quinn. See? I did a name for once. I don't know Quinn but I know that a little whine in a tiny blog is not going to harm her sales.

I should have enjoyed both books, but my experience with them is further proof that I'm turning into a cranky old biddy. The repetition of a word and an action turned me off. I finished them, but only because I paid full bucks for 'em. No, that's not true of my pal's book. I wanted to know what happened in that one.

I don't blame the authors entirely. Every writer has a word or two they latch onto and I think it's almost impossible for the writer to find the damn word if there's not enough time between deadline and final copy edits. Someone else has to seek out and destroy that word. Okay, sure the writer ought to see it, but she's really not the trained editor, right? Come on, work with me her…

What do these toys have in common**

1. the squeaky penguin dog toy.

2. the "change your voice" megaphone.

3. the plastic drum and mariachi set

4. a couple of the wooden ninja swords.

5. The electronic robot that beeps every two seconds exactly like a smoke detector losing power.

6. Battalion Wars video game that features "brigadier betty" and other cutsey pie characters. I think it's designed to train the under ten set to raze a village and blast cutsey pie enemies. Spooky. If you're going to blast your enemy into little bits you and they should not look like sweet lil big-eyed punkins. And I don't like the music


**They met (or will meet) mysterious ends. Whoosh! Vanished as if swept off the face of the earth. Or broken.

No, of course not. I would never be so underhanded.

head slap duh

from a dailykos conversation about transgendered people:

There is no THEM
there is only us.
Robert Coles, in his work on the moral life of children, says that this is one of the key distinctions between moral and not-moral children: The moral ones know there is no 'them'.


from the same conversation:

person one: A stubborn person with OCD can do anything.
person two: a stubborn person with OCD can do anything except stop.

I don't get it.

Angie has a post up about authors who are considering taking one of their already-published books, changing a few things and then trying to get the book published again by Samhain. Granted, the poor authors have lost their publisher and the books are gone. But these are still books that have been out and about--stories people might recognise.

I don't get it. Really, truly I don't understand what they're thinking. Someone's bound to notice and what have the writers gained? Certainly not the future business of their past readers (and probably not new readers, once the news gets out).

The whole horrible incident when someone plagiarised Nora--the story I heard was that the plagiarism rose out of a sense of desperation. The plagiarist was on a tight deadline and panicked.**

But it doesn't sound like these people were particularly panicky, just eager to find a place for their stories.

Silly goobers. For your own sake, tell the truth. Maybe you'll get a "reprint&quo…

nothing thirteen about today

last day of school! yay! we had a party at the neighbor's house! water fun! Not as cool as the party we weren't invited to, which included a moon bounce, but probably more fun because we flooded the back yard with good times.

I have nothing to add to that. I can't even make a list of thirteen things the boys will do this summer because I'm not sure they'll do thirteen things among the three of them.

I've been cruising round the internet while I waited for my stomach to stop bugging me. Over at Aunt B's I discovered that you can actually take on the Rotten Digestion Lifestyle! Pay good money for appalling symptoms. Oh boy! DIY Dysentery.

Skip the onerous nonsense of diet and exercise nonsense and get alli to do the job for you. Oily uncontrollable poop'll make you stay home or at least decide to wear dark clothes. You might want to put together an "alli-oops" kit if you actually have to go out.

Unbelievably Ugh.

Tomorrow I will take some dog pictu…

I knew her when

You know what? I am so smart it is unbelievable. I should be an editor, I'm that smart. **

I knew Linda Winfree was going to sell soon when I read a chapter or two of her unpubbed stuff. I knew Linda Gayle was, too. I was certain Shannon Stacey would be a good writer just because she's so dang funny.

Larissa I
Dionne (and I didn't even know she wanted to do Le Fiction)
MelJean
and lots of other people?
I was fully aware that they were all that and lotsa bags of chips as well.
AND
I figured this out just from reading their blogs or their emails. (Okay, I read the Lindas' fiction.)

So someone else I'd decided is going to have a brilliant fiction-writing career has just been launched on her way. Ha. I TOLD you so.

I'm always right, okay? And if I'm not it's only because someone else screwed up somehow, maybe.

In the meantime, Bron, Doug, Carrie--it's only a matter of time. See above, please. (Beth, you too, except for the giving up part)

I'll put in a link soo…
If one more person tells me how thin I am and how good I look, I will start in with the "what? you telling me I was a fat slob before? Is that what you're saying? That it? What about when I gain back all the weight? Huh? you going to tell me how much better I looked back when?"

My rude answer to their civil compliment is there, just under the surface. Any time now it'll come out of my mouth and I'll have to flee the haunts of man, like Ophelia Oliver in The Wonderful Oafter the O's are removed from her name.

SBD? sort of?

The contest is over and I posted the results in an interview with the author** over at Bam's.Let's say the little bit that qualifies for SBD is the part about how characters don't stay lodged in the brain once they're on paper.

No, that doesn't count as a real SBD report.

Okay, how about I discovered a bookstore through another website, started talking to the bookstore owner, and now we might actually get a huge buttload of Terry Pratchett books for my kid, but I'm sort of excited, too. The libraries in this town don't have a lot of Pratchett. Actually they do, but there's so much Pratchett to have.
SBD finis.

Back to Bam. Want to find out about the winners of the contest? Want to win valuable prizes? Go on, go comment there.

______________

**I really shouldn't have written it after spending the morning babbling at people. I was rather appalled with my behavior. About a decade ago, I stopped worrying about how I presented myself. It's a good thing to …

Paging Dr. Freud

Last night I dreamed my father told me said he'd give me a check for four thousand dollars if I sang a song praising Lorna Doone cookies.

So? Someone out there with a dream interpretation book?

Notes on the subject:
1. My father has been dead for ten years
2. I'm not even sure I remember what a Lorna Doone cookie is like. Crackers, right?
3. My father would not have been fool enough to ask me to sing anything and he didn't tend to give me money.

CONTEST IS ALMOST OVER

I'm going to announce the winners at Bam's place. She wants the note by Sunday, so you have until Saturday night.

Send me your Kate or Summer review or your link to a Kate or Summer review by then (or put it in the comments) and win a chance to get a Thirty Dollar gift certificate to Barnes and Noble, Samhain or Amazon.

I'd say the Pimping this Contest Contest ended last week, but I probably shouldn't. because I did say it would end at the same day as the other contest. No one says I have to pimp the pimping contest. Sure, go ahead enter it. I'll even count your entry as real.

It's a beautiful day. I'm going to go sit at the edge of a soccer field and read some smut. Yay!

short and easy and here we go

161 & 5 Book Meme from Darla
Rules:
1. Grab the book closest to you
2. Open it to page 161
3. Find the fifth full sentence
4. Post the text of the sentence to your blog
5. Don't search around for the coolest book you have, use the one that is really next to you
6. Tag five people to do this meme.

Oh jeeeeeesus. The book closest to me at the moment is the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. No, no, a thousand times, no.

Okay how about this one, wedged in next to the OED's box:
Zugibe is not on a mission to prove the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin--as, I suspect, Barbet was.

I'll post the title later. And I won't tag anyone because then I'll feel guilty, even though this is a fun one.

thursday thirteen--women I think are sexy

This is all the rage, right? Maxim, afterellen, doug--all sorts of publications are making lists.

Speaking of sex, and labeling, Mike has a theory that a person's preference should identify them, not their own sex gender (that's his other big contribution to the vocabulary of sexuality. No more use of sex to mean...sex. Gender) So he'd be a lesbian. Homosexual wouldn't work for everyone who likes men so we'd have to come up with a new one. Gay is okay. So yeah, he's a lesbian and I'm gay.

I think it's a workable idea and am ready to roll with it.

Okay, my 13:

1. Angelina Jolie. Sorry, I can't help it. I just think she is.

2. An old one from way back when, Dolly Parton. When I was a kid I thought her over-the-top hair was the business. And the nails and the boobs and omilordy lord. She was so entirely different from the women I knew. Golly! Not really sexual, perhaps, but just ....exotic.

3. My neighbor Marie. Grey hair and blue eyes are always a great co…

not doom and gloom

I was messing around bravenet, looking for mention of Amir from a few years back and found this story about something good.

It's still good. I have a follow up for that one because I saw the refugee a few months ago.
She got a job at the insurance company--in the cafeteria. Her son is going to go to college, the first person in her family, ever.

She told me she's so proud of him, she's in danger of exploding with pride.

well hell... political and personal

I didn't know Amir well, but I can sort of picture his face. He never did learn much English. I think he was one of those guys who skipped class (even though it's mandatory attendance for the first few months here) and when he did show up, he took too many smoking breaks.

But that was okay because he left the area a couple of years ago. Somehow he got permission to return to Bosnia.

Apparently he couldn't fit back in that world either. Last week he shot himself. The person who told me that also said that Amir's brother committed suicide a couple of years ago. She said that the two of them were the only members of their immediate family who'd survived the war. And that Amir still felt guilty that he couldn't save his his wife, his kids, his sister, his mother, his father. . **

Would Amir and is brother have been okay if the war hadn't utterly destroyed their lives? I don't know. Heck, maybe they came from a long line of depressives and their suicides would …

Snopes will never be able to tell us..plus extra feature: hiding from real suffering at the Hilton

Image
My friend Sally got a couple of revoltingly bad reviews and a fair number of good reviews. She didn't get many meh as far as I can tell. Sally and a bunch of other writers I know have the luck to attract passionate hatred and love.

They sell a lot of books. Do they sell even more than the pure love reviewed books? Maybe. My first book got a lot of pure lovin'

Anyway, when I read miladyinsanity's meh reviews of my books, I thanked her and then asked if maybe next time, if she wasn't going to adore my stuff maybe she could be a little meaner.

Then I decided, heck, if she doesn't want to rip me a new one, maybe we could get into one of those really putrid blog wars that make people curious enough to show up in droves to read the fight. Hey! Yes! Let's get into it and drive traffic to our sites! She didn't actually agree, but by then I'd had a glass or two of wine. I rolled up my sleeves and went looking for her. I was gonna call her names and make sure we got…

Friday

I wrote a post over at Passionate Prose today. Nothing new. (22 years old, actually)

Here's what I did this morning: get entirely lost in Hatfud trying to find the flipping Hilton. How embarrassing--I live here. The ladies were laughing their asses off and bellowing at me in Bosnian. We all felt sort of overwhelmed as we shuffled into the huge building with paper sacks of crafts (as well as their usual tin-foil wrapped packages of borek. They never buy food.). Turns out to be a big conference and they got nametags and lunch. Very posh. I grabbed a cup of good coffee and got lost trying to find my car again.

I have to go back tomorrow and that's when I'll bother to find out what the heck kind of conference it is.

has been

I finally got asked thequestion by a young writer. As a has-been NY author, now only an e-writer do you feel bitter, Kate? Are people who once sought you out now avoiding you? She was less blunt than that, way more polite, but that was the gist.

Huh?

Oh, so is that why you people never call or write?

Seriously, to be a has-been you have to have had a Top of the Trees time and I haven't really. I'm not likely too, either.

I went outside after I read that email and had a sort of reverse paperback writer moment. She reached someone's idea of the pinnacle** and went outside to drink tea. I reached someone's idea of a bottom and went outside to drink tea.

It's entirely comforting and pleasant to be reminded that except for wanting a few contracts now and then, I'm fine with who I am and what I do. Of course it helps that the weather's perfect and the climbing rose is in bloom.

____

**okay, nearly everyone's idea of a pinnacle in this business

Thursday Thirteen--plots I won't use

Some of these I tried. Some I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot-pencil. Bet you can't tell the difference. One or two I haven't actually given up on--actually I'll be working on one as soon as I finish this.

1. Guy breaks into woman's apartment to steal some letters for a friend. Later on becomes her babysitter to find out who was the guilty party--his pal or her?

2. Woman cleaning empty pool in a bear enclosure gets stuck and discovers secret passage way in the door to filtration system. The national zoo is a meeting place for spies from other planets.

3. Alpha male turned into a cat learns to enjoy purina cat chow and is almost ready to settle into the lazy lifestyle when he's turned back into a man (source? That "you shouldn't have had me neutered" joke)

4. Drab Regency companion acts as spy for her gossip-hound employer and reluctantly manages to blackmail a drunken lord.

5. Man channeling the voices of dying people thinks he's going nuts, th…

political post, sorry

Old news -- more than a week old soancient. but wow. Just...wow. This rivals his funny-ha-ha search for WMD at that correspondents dinner a few years back.

The mothers whose children had died in the war probably could not have been consoled by anything GWB had to say, but holy crap. I know and appreciate snark, but he might try something we humans call empathy on occasion. He really is amazing. Life of the party hardy har har!!

He didn't give the grieving mothers answers to their questions about his war that killed their kids, but when they were leaving, he handed each of them a presidential coin--and then told the mothers don't sell it on ebay.

No, I don't think that kind of quip is going to help them face their grief, George. I wonder who was your audience for that one? Fellow frat boys?


h/t this guy

An interview actually

Image
A series of interviews of Samhain authors at Mandy's place,. She and Michelle Pillow have always, ALWAYS been generous about helping other writers do the publicity thing. They should get some sort of service award.

The other authors are breezy, articulate and polished.



You'd think someone who wrote ad copy could manage that voice. Nuh uh, bordering on the pendantic. I blame my family. They're a bunch of nerds and the way they talk is contagious.

And judging from word count, I don't think I piled on enough praise of the Samhain. More! More!

more blogger immaturity

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So remember Chicago's plans? "Where do we insert the batteries?"

At last we have a feminine response ...Meet Beijing's Olympic Stadium** "No batteries necessary, but be sure to cleanse thoroughly after every use."








** photo "borrowed" from an AP article published today but apparently based on a 2002 study:
Some 1.5 million Chinese have been forced from their homes during preparations for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, a rights group said Tuesday.
China rejected the figures from the Geneva-based Center on Housing Rights and Evictions as "groundless" and said some 6,000 families had been compensated and properly resettled

Yeah? Speaking of "groundless" how'd you like to go home and find your family's apartment building/farm/whatever replaced by a giant vulva.

more pimping

Just call me miladyinsanity. I have your contest news here.

Lori Devoti is giving away TWO first chapter critiques from Sean Mackiewicz, editorial assistant for NEXT and Nocturne. If you are interested in targeting either of these lines or just in getting a professional critique, this is a great opportunity. And it’s simple to enter. Just decide whether Lusse from Lori Devoti's June 2007 Nocturne release, Unbound, should be brought back in another book–yes or no. And then your reason for your answer. Keep the answers short, but with a little meat.

Lori will announce the winners on her blogon July 4th, and the winners will have until August 1st to get the chapter together and to Sean.

To enter, email your answer to Lori at winacritique@loridevoti.com.
Good Luck!
Thanks!!
Lori

yesterday and the day before post will be the SBD thingies

Today is the day when I reveal how terribly prescient I am. Not.

That thing I wrote about how Samhain is going to go far? I knew about this. Kensington and Samhain have a deal brewing.

Angie announced it (Friday? Saturday?) on a Sammy business loop and then told us to keep it to ourselves. I'm still amazed that all those excited authors managed to keep their yaps shut. Actually I still don't entirely comprehend the implications and ramifications of situation so it's easy to keep my mouth closed. I wannnnnnnnna work with Hilary Sares again. She has the best sense of humor ever, and I do so love humor. No, it's not considered sucking up when the object in question doesn't see (or would that be "feel") the suckage.

Pimping friends?

I'm suddenly realizing that by not sharing the good reads written by my pals, I'm not doing anyone any favors. But I also would feel really funky talking about what a hoot** I thought The Frog Prince was. Well, unless it was part of a contest, of course.

I still read and love Bonnie Dee's books, but now that I've sort of gotten to know her, I find I can't pimp 'em any more.

Part of it is because I figure when I pimp books (or anything that'll mean shelling out money) by people I know, my credibility is questionable with the world--and with myself.

Also I'm a mom and I'm so used to hearing "But what about MY [fill in the blank]" from everyone else when I say something nice about one of the boys. That one's plain silly. I'm no Mrs G or dearauthor, so it's not like anyone's waiting to hear the verdict.

And then there's the fact that sometimes people I love write books I don't much like, and what happens then? That's th…

It's all about The Reader

in this case The Reader is me.

I hate reviewing books by people I know ("know"= online acquaintances). I rarely agree to do it. If you even notice my You Gotta Read this Book rants, I'm almost always on a book by someone with whom I've never exchanged a single email. For instance I love Amelia Elias and her voice and work, but I can't bring myself to pitch her stuff.

OH and then there's Sam Winston/Jennifer Macaire. She's someone else whose work I really enjoy--both genres. Do I plug her stuff? No. But hey, as I point out in the comments, she's got Mrs Giggles to do that.. And then there's Sunny and Kris and Shannon and Ann and Ariana and even Linda (I push her because she refuses to push herself).

Yeah, I don't get it either. Let's call it a personality glitch and move on.

I hate reviewing a book when I know the author has lined up my book for review. I mean what's the point? No one's going to believe me when she's got that gun h…

holy crap (aka *still* more? Clearly It's PIMPIN FRIDAY!)

Will you look at that? It's out already.I went make sure the cook book link worked, started cruising around Amazon and found my latest Summer is in print!! Hey! Wow!

Doesn't affect your chance to win a gift certificate or two:
The contest STILL ends on June 19. .

MORE pimping. For chocolate, I'll do anything.

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Chocolate Decadence
1 pound bittersweet chocolate chopped
1 stick (4 oz) butter
4 eggs
1 Tablespoon flour
whipped cream and raspberry sauce or orange sauce
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Butter and line an 8-inch springform pan with a round of parchment.
Melt chocolate and butter till smooth. In a large bowl, beat eggs till increased in volume. Beat in flour and chocolate until well blended.
Spread evenly into prepared pan. Then bake for 12 to15 minutes. Cake must be soft in center, will firm up when cold. Let stand at room temperature to cool, refridgerate. When time to serve, run knife around edge of cake and remove springform side. Serve in thin slices topped with whipped cream and raspberry sauce or orange sauce.
*Raspberry sauce is quite simple to prepare. Just take 2 cups of raspberries and 3-4 tablespoons of powdered sugar. Heat in a saucepan till berries are soft, and then put through a sieve. Taste and adjust flavor with either a bit of lemon juice or more powdered sugar as necessary.

Pimping for Sammy

HEADS UP! And I mean you, Bettie and Doug--and, okay, everyone else who comes by here. Angie sent this out--when I copy/pasted, weird junk happened. Funky typos are not her fault.

I think this is a fabulous way to find new writers and to bring traffic to the blog. Theirs, I mean. Not mine....sigh.

Thanks to inspiration from the Romance Divas and author Karin Tabke, Samhain Publishing is going to be holding a Best First Line contest on our blog http://www.samhainpublishing.com/blog.

Starting Monday, June 4th at 8am Eastern, authors are invited to leave the first line of a previously unpublished work (of 12,000 words or more) in the comments of the Best First Line blog post. The contest is open to published and unpublished authors not currently contracted with Samhain Publishing [damn].

On Friday, June 8th at noon Eastern, we will close the comments and no more entrants will be admitted into the contest. Only those who enter by posting on our first line contest blog post between 8:00 a.m.…