Friday, August 31, 2007

and the wig! oh BOY

I really should Google myself more often. Another treasure. Unsentimental Splendor? Is that what that means?

I can't seem to use babelfish well enough to get ebay to work for me, but I did manage this for the text of this book:

One woman made for the adventure. And hour its adventure is he. Meeting rude the Irish policeman Mick McCann, to Timona Calverson, rich and famous photographer, is enough only little moments in order to become account that is that one the man to which it wants to donate just the heart. But Mick, persuaded that they are too much various and that they could not be happy, ago of all in order resisting them. It will touch to Timona to convince it of the contrary. With whichever means.

Famous of MarchRose: Draft of the novel of debut of the author, acclimatized in the New York of fine slid century, that succeeding is of public that has had a large one of critic, yielding endured them endured one great popolarità beyond that the RIVER Award. Its continuation is Somebody to Love (Someone to love), already published in this same necklace some month makes: however, the two novels are connect in way much limiting to you, therefore that they can independently be read without problems one from the other.

The readers of all the world have been conquered from the two protagonists of this history originate them and fascinating, than once a lot they do not belong to the world of the aristocracy: Mick is an Irish immigrant and works like policeman, Timona is intrepida a photographer-esploratrice, accustomed to decide those quickly that it wants... and now it has decided that those that it wants is just Mick! Theirs converse full of affection and irony, and the incredible dolcezza of the personage of Mick, indicated from the critics us of AAR like "the better male protagonist of 2004", renders this novel much fascinating and intriguer. An author to hold senz' other of eye for the future.

Yeah, babee! That's what I like to see.

HELP! HELP! I need someone who speaks Italian

I need this cover. The clinch!
The heroine's nearly broken neck!
The mustache!**
I neeeed this book that I didn't even know was out. It is Italian, right? I don't know which Zebra book it is--oh, yes I do the description is of Araminta.

Un amore proibito, una passione rovente
Araminta Woodhall, bella e sensuale, sogna di aprire un suo ristorante. Rifiutati i capitali del nonno, lavora in una casa da gioco in Park Avenue di proprietà di un uomo losco e misterioso. Proprio lì, una sera, ritrova una vecchia conoscenza: Griffin Calverson, ricco magnate delle ferrovie. Immediatamente la passione li travolge, ma davvero gli inattesi pregiudizi saranno un ostacolo alla loro felicità.


damn, even the instructions look great.

I can see that the auction ended a couple of days ago and I can see it didn't sell. I want the book! YIKES. Someone take pity on me. Please tell the seller I'll buy it.
UPDATED: She's listed it again. Someone bid on it, please??? Or tell me how to sign up and bid? Waaaahhhhhh
** The hero did have a mustache, but I think maybe only because I wanted to be historically correct. Ew. That Araminta is paler than he is.

more me me me, but not here.

Hey WRITERS, check out this site for promo. I think it's mostly for independent writers (i.e. self-published) but I like it so I immediately signed on and put up everything that's still sort of in print. (I left out the long-gone literary journal stuff)

I liked it so much, I even started a group there for writers who have to be authors but might not be so good at that part of the job.

Today's blog stuff is at Passionate Prose.

Does anyone read those group author blogs? Not a lot comments happen at the ones where I post.

No Comment

My email spellcheck keeps trying to turn "blogspot" into "bloodsport"

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thirteen Things about Kate Rothwell

So my Thursday Thirteen author didn't show up, silly woman! I was going to skip it, but then figured what the heck. I got someone in house. Unfortunately she's not prepared for promo and she's kinda dull at the moment.

1. I was supposed to spend the morning at the high school orientation but the kid got sick. Not me! Yay!

2. Oh wait, I'm sorry you feel bad, kid. But still, it's good that it was some yucky germs forcing us out and not me running away. Yo, Boy2, here's some water and get better by Tuesday, okay? No, you can't watch tv. Read a book. Poor lil chicken.

2a update: He's already better, he tells me, but I dunno. It's been one of those up then down then up things for the last couple of days.

No fever, or maybe very low grade, just nausea, headache and dizziness. One more day and we'll call the doctor. He did have an earache earlier this week. Could it be some sort of inner ear thing? Maybe?

3. The layer of dog hair on my cheap bedroom carpet (from ebay) mellows the too-bright red, which is the main color. I think I like it better with hair, as long as the layer is evenly distributed.

4. I just finished a rewrite of a story and it's one I don't think would ever sell, but sometimes it's just good to get those things done. Only 30k and not a single moment of sex. zzzzzz

5. Two things I remember saying the day I got married: "where's the champagne" and "you have a date for New Year's Eve, Mike." No more rejection in our futures.

6. I was wrong about rejection because then I went into writing. And given a choice? I pick clear rejection over. . .

7. . . .

8. Seven indicates dead, horrible silence. The kind you get from editors and agents who can't be bothered to even scribble a note saying "no thanks" or even "never again" Not that I'm bitter or anything. But give me a three word note ("Please go away" or "No thank you" or "I'll answer eventually") over number seven any day of the week. Even if the three words are "Wait six months." Silence means a sort of indifference beyond disliking a person's writing to not even acknowledging her basic existence. Yuck. Egos, beware.

9. I'm in kind of a bad mood at the moment. Let me get more coffee.

10. Okay, better. Coffee for me is like tea in all those British novels by writers like Barbara Pym. Anytime there's a problem, someone bustles off to make tea. I like novels like that.

11. The tomatoes are still not ripe. What's with that, anyway? But, as usual. the basil is very happy. If any of you live near me and want some, send an email.

12. Here's what I do with my excess basil: Grind it in the food-processor with some olive oil and freeze the green near-spooge flat in ziplock bags.

12a I used to do the basil in ice cube trays, but I like my slabs better. With the sheets, I can break off a tiny amount or use the whole thing, plus frozen in thinner sheets, the basil thaws faster. The sheets are wicked easy to store in the freezer, unless I forget to make sure they're absolutely flat when I freeze them. But even then, a Bam, BAM with a fist, and we get almost flatness.

12b. I used to make the pesto and freeze that but something didn't taste entirely fresh, so now I add the nuts, cheese and more olive oil to the frozen sheaves. It's the basil that's hard to find in February.

13. I have several sheets of frozen basil left over from last year. Maybe I should stop planting so much of it or start giving more to Mary and L and other people who make the mistake of visiting me in the spring. Also featured this year: Way too many tomatillo plants. They love my garden. In fact, they are most of this year's garden.

13a. I think most of my Thursday posts that aren't about writers end up being about food. No wonder I read Doug's blog so much. Foodies!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I love my chair. LOVE IT


Your email is bouncing for me, but listen: the chair is the best thing in this whole pathetic house.

I love it.

Thank you. And also because of your pushing, I called my friend at long last and lo, she lives, sort of. So thank you for two important things. (Now I just have to find strong enough medication to get there.)


NOT trisk, but beware

It's on a smaller scale but the anger of its authors is just as strong.

The buzz on lots of loops is that another epublishing company is sliding down the tubes. Apparently Mardi Gras Publishing is going down, but slowly it seems, because the company site is still up, Looks like they're even soliciting manuscripts.

Still, the word is on the loops. Here's another--toward the end. And heres's another, just a single post

If this is the end, it's not a nice wrap-up. Authors are complaining it hasn't been nice for a while.

When a company slides into bankruptcy, versus just folding tents and going away quietly, who'll help the authors get their rights back? I hear EPIC might help

I didn't even know the publisher existed, but turns out I know several people who'd sent manuscripts and were waiting for them to show up. Ugh.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Pick your Plot Romance

It worked for kids's books, right? Why not romances. Today: the historical paranormal
(choose one of the red things)

Anna/Belle/Cassandra is a lady fallen on hard times hired to be a governess/librarian/nurse for a mysterious duke/count/marquess/baron. On a stormy, moonless night (no options there, sorry. You can pick snow, hail or rain though.) the carriage she is in breaks down/is held up/falls down a cliff.

She pulls herself from the wreckage/intact carriage uninjured and decides to walk to the manor house/wait for help/ mount the only uninjured horse and rides for help, leaving the groom with the broken leg behind

As she walks/waits/rides she feels a mysterious malevolent/protective presence.

It's as if an unseen hand touches her hair/unseen breath touches her neck/unseen body just at her back makes her skin ripple

You get the idea. Eventually the hero turns out to be a vampire/werewolf/ghost-demoted god/some new creation that's a mishmash of the above.
If he's a vampire he's intense, elegant and unflappable and sophisticated.
If he's a werewolf, he's intense--an earthy animalistic dude.
If he's a ghost-demoted god or maybe the mishmash, he's intense, sad and yet vibrantly sexual. Maybe.

He's mysterious no matter what, and he tends to snarl and grow tense when she laughs or tosses her hair or thrusts her bosom or just breathes. Poor A/B/C doesn't have a chance againt his immediate need to have her with seduction/hatred that turns to love/indifference that turns to love.

Or does she??????

If I could somehow open a tree formation, that would be great. You'd be able to follow the story with him as, say, a vampire then pick options like protects humans/is bitter about humans/hunts his own kind/hunts humans/all of the above over the hundreds of years of his existence.

Obviously A/B/C is his Soulmate but what's his plan? Maybe he is determined to woo A/B/C and make her grow to love him / will take her in a forced seduction/wants nothing to do with her/wants to protect her from his own base instinct and follow the storyline fitting that hero.

What would be even more fun is make it so A/B/C isn't the automatic soulmate and have other women/men/creatures wandering the manor. So it could be the cook/groom/hussy from the village pub/farmer/farmer's daughter/local pixie might be choices for the paranormal guy's destined soulmate.

I wish I could make the tree thing work. The reader gets to make a choice, open new windows--and new possibilities for the story with each click! If it hasn't been done yet (it has to be This is the internet, for god's sake) anyway if it hasn't been done, you can take the idea but give me credit and 60/40/30 percent of the money you make.

Friday, August 24, 2007

visitors hit the road

Bye Leslie, bye Eric. Thanks for visiting. We haven't found any of your possessions yet but give us a day or two and chances are we'll find something. Heck we found Cousin Brian's skull tee-shirt just yesterday. Boys who visit us shed items. Always. Always and always, say the three butterflies. (Rules are rules is the mosquito. I can't believe you don't remember that most excellent book.)

Leslie left behind a spiffy office chair, but that was on purpose. Crazy Girl Working Inc thanks her.

Yo, guys, next time take some of these boys with you. I'm sort of sick of the way they think they can keep talking to me and hanging around and saying "mom, watch this fabulous imitation of a vampire farting." or "mom, give me high five" when I'm trying to think or read porn or write my blog. I don't even bother with writing my own stories because hehehehehe we know what kind of stories CGWI creates. Or was it CWGI?

* * * *

Tomorrow we're talking about going to visit the four-inch-long, cute-as-anything-on-cuteoverload, eyes-still-closed baby squirrel that Logan brought us. It was a fun squeaky toy that still squeaked after I took it away from him. Yeah, that was me shouting drop it, you damned dog because holy crap, the boys ran downstairs, screaming, leaving me to deal with it.

question of the day: When do the boys turn to men who'll squish the bugs and save the squirrels, or at least deal with the wildlife?

When we called the police, they said "put it back outside" which wouldn't fly with the kids. Eventually, after three calls to vets, we begged and pleaded with the people at the nature center and they gave in.** When we left the squirrel, it was waving its paws in the air and had puppy milk dribbling down its chin. Takes them a while to get used to the bottle.

Oh my lord, boy2 is here giving me a hand-waving, mouth-whooshing imitation of a smoothly flushing toilet. Boy1 is demanding that he be allowed to watch the Red Sox. Now.

School starts September 4. I will have to reread this post when I get all pseudofauxempty-nesty.

**We passed at least eight road-kill squirrels on the drive out there. I tried to explain the irony to boy3 who'd agreed to come along. He was too worried about Squirr-dawg, which was the baby squirrel's name.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

bonus for a thursday

BAM'S BOOK IS OUT. How could I have missed that? This life crap is getting in the way again? Sorry Julie, I have to put this in, too and you have to share your day with Bam.

So okay, my job tonight: buy it, point out that I've blogged it and maybe I'll be a winner. Yay!

Thirteen things about JULIE COHEN!

Also known to the privileged few as Feckless or Feckled, depending on the mood. She's from Maine but lives in England. . . Or maybe I've got that first part wrong. We met at an RWA conference -- that I remember. So does she, it turns out.


1. Between March 2006 (when my first book came out) and February 2007, I had six books published and I had a baby. (I got pregnant just before my launch party for my first two books.) I'm a little tired at the moment.

2. My first US release, MACALLISTER'S BABY (Harlequin Presents August 07) is number six on the Waldenbooks/Borders series romance bestseller list this week. Yippee!!!

3. Neither my husband nor I can tie our shoes properly. I'm not sure how we're going to teach our son.

4. I compile sound tracks for all of my books to listen to while I'm writing them. My current one includes Louis Armstrong, Guns n Roses, and Hall and Oates.

5. One time I got an autographed postcard from Peter Tork of the Monkees, but I gave it to a barman whom I fancied.

6. I base the heroes of my books after actors. The hero of my current wip is Patrick Dempsey from Grey's Anatomy. My word, is he beautiful.

7. I sent John Cusack a copy of the book I based on him. Not that I'm a stalker or anything. Honest.

8. When I was researching my Little Black Dress book SPIRIT WILLING, FLESH WEAK, about a fake psychic, I went to the local spiritualist church and also had my tarot read. I'd say I'm skeptical about the paranormal, but there were little things about both experiences that I couldn't quite explain.

a photo of the fabulous Julie Cohen (note: she labeled it "cleavage.") She's posing with copies of her book Spirit Willing, Flesh Weak

9. My husband works for rock bands so I get to go to gigs for free. This weekend I'm taking my eight-month-old son to a rock festival. Dude!

10. I try to write 1000 words a day, while my son is sleeping and when my husband takes him out for a walk.

11. I met Kate Rothwell in New York City in 2003. The next time I saw her, in Dallas in 2004, she was signing copies of her first book. There are a lot of us who met as unpublished writers in New York who have been signing our books since. It gives one a sense of achievement.

12. I've got two books out in January 2008: MARRIED IN A RUSH (Harlequin Presents) in the USA, and ONE NIGHT STAND (Little Black Dress) in the UK. Strangely enough, both are about heroines who get pregnant in the first few chapters of the book. I wrote one of them when I was recovering from my third miscarriage, and the other when I was pregnant with my son. What a difference a year can make.

13. I was born on April 13th, so 13 is my lucky number. Not that I've ever won anything off it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


1-- Yo, out there, Lynn, damn blogger and its commenting eccentricities But seriously, I need someone to kick my stories' butts into gear, and I'm not the one doing it.

2--We have guests still. Heh. Guests, can't live with 'em and have to go play with them while they're around. We just have one at the moment but we should get another in a day or two.

Who knew central Connecticut is such a hot spot? I think it's in part because I'm so rotten at leaving home. I'm the mountain, come to me, Mohammed, or maybe it's because

2.5-- central CT is a swinging hotspot.

Yowza! Hamptons and Hartford. Both begin with H, are two syllables, and are the places the fabulous people gather.

3--So do any of you have good closing rituals? I'm in dire need of one. When a book is done, when a part of life is over, when a friend moves away or something like it. I'm gerbil wheeling unless I can figure out a closing ceremony.

Maybe drinking a bottle of wine while a candle's burning and as soon as the candle goes out, either throw up or pour the rest of the wine on the ground, depending on how fast you drink. That seems ceremonial. I wish there was something I could throw off the deck.

3.25--Just noticed that #3 along with yesterday's entry makes me sound like I'm a constant tippler. Glug glug glug. If it weren't for the price of alcohol and the horrendous things it does to the liver and rest of the body, I'd consider the lifestyle.

3.75-- And then there's summer ending. I don't like that one either.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

no, I don't know

I wasn't drinking, the usual excuse for that sort of thing. I have no idea why I suddenly went all godly. I wrote philosophical but I don't think that's what I was doing. Blathersophical

I need a beta reader. Any hard-asses out there?

I'm thinking of using Leslie W's service. She's a real editor and she must not have a real life because she's doing this at the same time she's doing a more-than-full-time job. (I have no idea bout that more-than-full-time thing--only based on what I know about editors.)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Faith. Got it?

It's God theme day! We were talking about the personal God thing once again, a boy and I.

He believes, and I said Good! That can help you and be a true form of strength . . . or so I hear. . . and then later on some random thing by Corn Dog reminded me of the subject again vizzz The idea of of A God Who Knows We, Each of Us, Exist (and actually cares). Nope, I can't get there. If there is such a set up, it'd probably be too Terry Pratchett in my mind.

My practically best friend in the world believes that God is watching and that there are angels. She doesn't seem particularly Hallmark Channel about it, and it's based on a thoughtful lifetime raised in religion by a pastor dad. She has said that she can't imagine living without faith, that if that corner of her were ripped out, she'd suffer. Maybe that combo of fear and comfort is enough to keep belief alive--because it feels right, it slips into place that would be howlingly empty other wise.

That's how I, a non-believer, imagines the process in a thinking person, anyway. I think she believes I'm missing a big something essential like another dimension to my character? Maybe along the lines of being tone deaf? I'm not sure. I should ask her.

And what if you weren't raise with belief? Some people, like my boy, can install the necessary faith. I was also raised without religion, but I can't bend my eenie weenie brain around any of the necessary accoutrements. One big God? Angels? Heavenly eavesdroppers keeping tabs on my daily output of good and evil actions? Nossiree, and I saw most of that dumb movie with Nicholas Cage (actually I saw a German version all the way through)

It cannot be. I'm not denying your rafts of angels and god, but in my brain? Nope. Occasionally when I'm happy, I can feel blessed and when I'm tired I can feel put upon personally by the universe, but I mark it down to chemicals and luck.

I can't conjure up a god who gives a personal damn about personal me and I've tried. God knows I have tried. Or he would, if he existed, which he doesn't in that form in my tiny human limits.
I'm still not putting a big black X in the idea of God and I don't care what atheist Douglas Adams said. (He appreciated believers and was scornful of agnostics.) Picking agnostic not always a matter cowardice and personal safety. Just like picking believer is not always Blaise Pascal's wager--which seems to be about what you personally stand to gain or lose.

From B.P.'s Pensées: "You must wager; it is not optional... Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God exists... If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists."

See, I'm not wagering either way. I'm just scratching my head and saying huh? I don't get how it's a choice, Blaise. That part of my brain doesn't turn on. But I know that doesn't mean jack shit. The calculus section never clicked to the on position either.

Okay, I'm off to vacuum for the guest who does exist and she would vacuum for me, blast her. And flowers for her, too. Because that's what she'd put in my room. Bah. (I seem to have very high tit for tat standards.)

Friday, August 17, 2007

friday four facts about us

1. We watch too much tv. We figured that out this morning during the very spooky Penis Ads Concurrence Engorgement Convergence!** today. Maybe you noticed it too? The moment that The Streams Crossed?

CNN had a Cialis ad, so we switched over to MSNBC and there at the same moment was a Lavitra ad. Now the phamaceutical companies have enough money to make some long-winded (heh. long.) commercials and so we spent a few seconds switching back and forth and giggling. Then eventually that got boring so we went to another channel. There was Smiling Bob the male enhancement guy with the annoying whistling thing going on.

Way. Too. Much. . . and I'm not sure the confluence (streams, don't you know) is good news about our species.

2. More proof: the boys know and sing this song. We'd blame Cousin Brian but they knew it before they spent time with him.

3. We can take ourselves off the Middle School list! It was just a moment of celebration when we realized after three years of three schools that we only do two schools this year. Elementary and High. Yay!

4. We have been told not to utter the words "school, back to school shopping, backpack, notebooks etc." We've taken to clipping headlines from newspapers and catalogs and putting the clippings on the fridge.

picture stolen from here.

** trademark ballsandwalnuts.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


13 things about Rob Preece (my wrist thanks him for writing 'em)

1. Rob is the only guy he knows who actually met his wife by attending Romance Writers of America meetings (he met author Karen Leabo/Kara Lennox at a Dallas Area Romance Authors (DARA) meeting). Karen wouldn't read his books for the first year because she thought they might suck and she'd have to dump him. He, on the other hand, was smart enough to know that a guy who dates a woman who writes romance has the closest thing to a user manual. He read all of her books for Silhouette, Harlequin, Bantam and

2. Before becoming a writer, Rob worked as a government economist and high-tech product manager. He didn't realize that not all authors earn as much as Stephen King, J.K. Rowling or Nora Roberts. He's since learned, but the lesson hasn't taken yet--he's still convinced that his turn is coming.

3. When he's not writing, Rob is fighting. He's a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and also studies fencing and other martial arts. What most people don't know is that he grew interested in the martial arts because his sisters beat him up when he was a kid.

4. Rob was born in Pontiac, Michigan, but grew up in Los Angeles, California. Somehow, though, he ended up moving east--spending ten years in Maryland and Virginia before moving to Dallas, Texas. He is certain he's not the only Texan who doesn't hate people because of their race, creed, color, or sexual orientation. Sometimes, though, he thinks he's just the only Texan who votes who feels that way.

5. Rob runs electronic publishing house which has published a wonderful fantasy novel by Kate Rothwell called Last of the Mind Travelers. Rob thinks is a great place to buy affordable electronic fiction and says you should check it out. When he got his new cell phone, the first thing Rob did was to figure out how to get eBooks on it.

6. Rob writes as Rob Preece when writing paranormal/science fiction/fantasy, as Robyn Anders when writing straight romance, and as Amy Eastlake when writing mystery and romantic suspense. Most of the time his alter-egos get along, but I think they're all secretly afraid of Amy, especially mad since the 2005 Golden Heart Finalist certificate had Rob's name, not Amy's on it. (Amy says you can read "Eye of the Storm" at Only $3.99)

7. Rob has two dysfunctional pets--a cockatiel (Da Vinci) who yanks out his feathers when he wants attention and a cat (Chloe) who jumps onto the bed at 3:00 AM every morning wanting to talk.

8. Rob is working on an urban fantasy about a fallen god. He's represented by agent Caren Johnson. He's sold to Torrid Romance, AfterBurnSF, the Dark Romance Group, and especially to

9. Although he gave a workshop on 'quitting your day job' at the 2007 Romance Writers of America meeting, he hasn't quite figured out how to quit his day job with just the money he makes writing. So, he supplements his income teaching bridge at the local community college. Bridge is a great game and bridge players are great readers. I recommend this to everyone (especially those who want to pay him to teach them).

10. It normally takes Rob at least three drinks to admit he started reading romance because there was this one romance with a heroine on the cover with truly outstanding assets. He scoured that entire novel for explanations (how did she walk, did they need their own passports when she got within a few miles of the border, that kind of thing) before learning the tragic truth that book covers don't have a lot to do with what's inside. (Without the drinks it's a long involved story about a train ride through Europe, no English language books and... well you know that kind of story)

11. Rob is a top reviewer on Amazon and reviews books with as well. If you're interested in romance, mystery/thriller, science fiction or fantasy, is a great place to look both for affordable eBooks, but also for reviews of books from virtually all publishers. Rob couldn't not read books--and he persuaded himself he wasn't wasting time, he was working, as long as he wrote reviews. He really doesn't want you to tell him he's confused and he is just wasting his time reading.

12. Rob started because he figured there were other readers out there who were as cheap as he, who didn't like to pay $12.99 or whatever for a paperback. So, he decided to charge a buck. But you have to act quick--the $1 pricing only lasts for a month per book.

13. Reading right now--right now, Rob is dividing is time between reading submissions and finishing the latest (last? sigh!) Harry Potter book. It isn't his favorite, but it's definitely keeping him reading.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Another Reason

I've been kind of unhappy about the real world lately. Not my little corner of it, mind you. Just the part I visit now and then.

The thing is, when I'm there it's not so bad--the work is actually fun. But I haven't been to work for a while--summer vacation--and I think I have some sort of cumulative horror. I heard we have new Turks coming in, began to snuffle and wrote this.

A life of beer and skittles is never going to exist no matter how many people I teach the alphabet.

why I'm not typing much

The pinky side of my left wrist hurts, a spot just below the bump. No numbness yet. This is a new ache--when I type too much, I usually feel it in a shoulder or elbow. I've been doing stretching exercises but without any change for more than a week. At least it hasn't gotten worse. Any advice? Yeah, I know. Stop using the laptop. Any other advice?

* * * *

Tomorrow I have Thirteen Things about Rob Preece. He's the guy who runs booksforabuck but he writes, too--was a Golden Heart finalist . . .this year? Last year? Year before? These years run together.

Heh. Today's post features the two occupational hazards : a slack grasp on reality and a slack grasp in reality (RSI! PU!).

Monday, August 13, 2007

SBD Four things

Some day I will read a book in which:

1. the first wife, now dead, wasn't an angel or crazy or a nymphomaniac killed on her way to meet her lover.

2. the first husband, now dead, had been a decent sex partner.

3. the hero will trust women no more or less than he trusts anyone else. Or maybe he'll be a push-over nice guy who assumes the best of the woman he loves. Huh? What's wrong with leaps of faith? Huh?

4. the hero and/or the heroine won't go all noble. he or she will pursue the other person even if he or she is not Worthy of Him or Her. (SW had the two extremes and I must say even I got sick of Mick's attitude)

Unfortunately on my vacation I did not read books that included these plot points.
I did read Julia Quinn's latest, the Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever.

I also read a whole lot of Terry Pratchett and he couldn't give a flying fuck about Relationships unless it's the undying loyalty The Luggage holds for Two-Flowers. I also started a Ngiao Marsh and she's sort of like Terry Pratchett in that she occasionally revels in being Clever.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


A while back Sunny featured porn for women. Entirely work safe, Doug, sorry. (Yup, it's just what you'd expect)

And over at the belfry I put up my first note and it's whining. (Yup, it's just what you'd expect)

Sara, heads up: IRRITAINMENT should be in the glossary

I went looking for Casey Serin and his blog "I am facing foreclosure" is gone. Alas, I think, maybe.

But it led me to this article and a whole site about Casey started by Haterz: his readers who love to hate the man.

from the article:

The tension between Serin and his so-called haters has led to an unlikely situation: the very people who loathe him the most also rely on him for a daily source of entertainment.

The concept is sometimes called "irritainment," defined as: "Entertainment and media spectacles that are both annoying and compulsively watchable." (The O.J. Simpson trial in 1995 is the most famous example.)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I survived by the skin of my teeth**

We're home.

To hell with the boring real world stuff. I figured out how to blog ahead at passionate ink. I wrote the entry days ago and figured out how get it to post at the correct time. Sure, everyone else on the internet has known how to do this sort of thing for months, but come on. For some of us interwebtypes, this is earthshattering stuff. And we want to share with you how, day by day, we're learning all about how to actually post in these goddamn blog things. Content schmontent. Meta's where it's at. Unfortunately we've blown our "what we know about the interwebs" wad for the day.

Back to live action (taped earlier):
We're enjoying this first person plural thing. A little bit more about our vacation.

1. We ate lunch at a hole in the wall place in Brattleboro VT on our way home today and the food was nearly worth writing home about. We're feeling extremely hip for stumbling across Mole's. The person on the right front (purple shirt) served us our food and she made the desserts which meant we had to order a few. Our sons were very impressed that we met the person who made our food. We pointed out to them that they meet the person who makes their food nearly every time they sit down to dinner. But this was different. This was a professional who made excellent brownies.

2. Seltzer made with maple sap is an acquired taste that we've nearly acquired. The Ace hardware store sold the stuff. Sadly, for our boys--who were eagerly anticipating another educational event--the bottler wouldn't allow us to tour the place.

So we had to content ourselves with a visit to Ace Hardware (in this case, the we is U.A.). The cola tasted too sweet, like liniment said U.A. or maybe C.B--who was right. But the seltzer! Ahhhh. Chemistry.

3. We think Vermont Country Store is a very scary place.

**"by the skin of my teeth" was our favorite expressions for years and years. We thought it was funny, sophisticated and subtle. Not sure where we got that idea.

Tomorrow, back to first person singular, or perhaps we'll experiment with writing about our human lives from writing from the dog's POV?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

vacation check in

Thunderstorms yesterday meant no splashing in the lake. We hit the Marble Museum and The Maple Syrup Museum instead. I wanted to stay back. No such luck. We didn't visit the inside of the castle though. Too expensive and the one piece of furniture on the page looked appallingly tacky. The outside had a long hill which needed to be rolled down, so several boys got muddy and felt car sick all the way home.

The all-marble bathrooms in the Marble Museum.
2. Mr. Doolittle, our animated guide to the Maple Syrup Museum, who spoke in rhyme except when he didn't, quite.

Actual highlight: meeting a guy who cares deeply about maple sugaring. There's something contagious about true excitement. The boys managed to slip away to the sampling room while the man talked about how grades of syrup are determined. I witnessed Mike's fanatic streak get tapped [heh. maple syruping joke] when the man mentioned the bacteria that might or might not affect the process. But then a tour bus (!?!) pulled up and the man had to go meet it. A tour bus. There really isn't a lot to do in this area.

Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow. All four boys are begging us to stop trying to find culturally interesting** sights. They wish to opt for bowling.

UPDATE: Yay! Have discovered new weapon for the adult arsenal--When squabbling breaks out, we threaten to visit the Lint Museum, the Paperclip Museum or any sort of Historical Society. Boys stop whacking each other and retreat at once to read books or listen to music. They know we are serious for they have had a taste of what we are Capable of Doing to them.
**obviously a relative term in this context.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The wilds of Vermont

. . . are tame.

I mean look, I'm stealing wi-fi from some unsuspecting neighbor.

I think it's because we're too close to NYC. Last month we went further northeast and it was easy to escape our Fellow Man and commune with cows. No motorcycles right outside the door.

Probably we'll head to Maine next time...because as much as I whine about having to go on vacation (and shitallmighty, I do whine) I'd rather be somewhere a little less inhabited after all. Unless we're talking a NYC vacation.
What I want:
Lakes=us and an occasional loon.
Ocean=waves. Otherwise I'm not picky. I love the ocean best. Not too much traffic though, thanks.

Since this isn't the usual sort of vacation, the guys are downstairs watching some Bourne movie. Cable and DVD at a lake? Pfah.

Wait, next time, what I really want is to stay home with the dog, dammit.

I spent a while blog hopping just now and am amazed to there are still embers from the last big bloffle. Time to go vacation, dudes. Don't check to see if there's any wi-fi. There probably will be and that's not why we leave home.

Friday, August 03, 2007

be back in a week

This time we got Uncle Andrew and Cousin Brian with us. That's an improvement.

but still....ugh


I've gotten to the point where I repeat myself in dedications (for Linda, again) but I feel like I really have to write something because I resent books that don't have dedications. I always, always flip to see who the author dedicated a book to. I love secret and obscure messages. Long ones seem too pretentious. No dedication feels like the book is mass produced and not personal.

I didn't say my resentment was based on reality, okay?

Mike doesn't particularly want me to put him in. Not sure why, but okay. He got one anyway--Somebody To Love. I've already dedicated a story to the dawgs. (Perfection, which I think of it as Sniff Me.) It's out in print in an anthology so I get to draw a picture of the pups when I sign it--a bonus for me.

I was thinking of dedicating my latest book to Trader Joe's frozen raspberries--1.89 a bag--because I love those things. But isn't that worse than no dedication? It's even worse than those "To my editor" (brownnoser! You just want to sneak in more adverbs) or "To You, My Reader" dedications. OOoo even though I always think, awww, thanks, when I read it. . . truth is that's so cheating.

I ended up dedicating it to my local RWA chapter president because the woman has done a lot of work for CORWA. The thing is, I doubt she'll read the book. Do I point it out to her? Do I send her a copy and hope she looks at the dedication? Do I think of it as a form of prayer or act of charity and therefore it's the doing, and not the acknowledgment of the acknowledgment that matters? I mean there are a fair number of dedications to people who are dead, so really, it's a matter of the author's heart not the person/being/food substance named.

Okay, guys. What's the dedication protocol?

Next time, maybe it'll be the raspberries because I can draw them, too. And those raspberries have helped me lose a lot of weight.

OOooo it just occurred to me that the current book (the one to Laurie the CORW president) is a dragon book and I love doodling dragons. Listen. If it ever comes out in print in an anthology and you buy a copy and you want me to sign it with a dragon, go ahead and ask me. No, it won't be a real work of art or even maybe recognizable. But I love doodling. And if it doesn't come out right? I can just cross it out and try again.

If that doesn't work...Riiiiip, out goes last page of Bianca D'Arc's story as I try another draft of a dragon.

the last word on sponges

I asked Mike "Destroyer of Sponges" to look at the comments on bacteria, heating etc. Not for the mockery (I can manage that on my own) but for the science.

His note back about Dean's comment:

Quoted from pp 120-121 of my course textbook "Microbiology, A Human Perspective" by Nester et al, 5th ed, 2007:"Microwaves do not affect microorganisms directly, but they can kill microbes by the heat they generate in an item. Organisms often survive microwave cooking, however, because the food heats unevenly."

Terse only because he's busy grading exams. Generally speaking, there's nothing he likes better than discussing bacteria. His faves are shigella and e coli because he's worked on them. Oh boy! Yes, it's always fun to invite us over for dinner, particularly if you're serving salad, undercooked meat or anything with eggs. (Actually he's not likely to comment unless asked. But if you ask, you better really want to hear an answer)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thursday Thirteen--Bonnie Dee

I first mentioned something about Bonnie Dee on my blog here but for months before that, I'd been going around the interwebs telling people Read this book! Read it immediately, dammit!

Anyway, I wrote a squeeing fan girl letter to Bonnie Dee and now I hear from her occasionally. I even got to read two of her books before anyone else. Bone Deep remains my favorite but I feel protective and possessive about a lot of her other books, too. That means that if you hate them and tell me you do, I have to squelch the automatic response of what's your problem? There aren't a lot of authors I feel that way about, not even Summer Devon or Kate Rothwell.

Finding Home by Lauren Baker and Bonnie Dee, now in print at Samhain

I asked Dee to give me Thirteen Things about herself and here's what she had to say:

1. I love theater and have recently had a novel, “Touring Company” accepted at Samhain. I once played Golde in Fiddler on the Roof.

2. Two of my daughters just moved into an apartment together so I’ve instantly gone empty nest. When I come home, it’s weird to find everything so clean and uncluttered just as I left it.

3. My basement is nearly entirely empty as the girls took the ratty old sectional with them to their apartment. This means we get to have NEW FURNITURE and new carpeting in the basement. Yay!

4. I eat the same breakfast every morning of my life; a bowl of Crispix, a toaster strudel and exactly a half cup of Café Vienna (the super sweet instant kind).

5. I have one very large dog, one tiny 3 ½ pound Yorkie and three lovely cats. The lame-legged one, Jimmy, is my favorite. He’s chockfull of personality.

6. I come from a big Catholic family with five sisters and one brother. I’m the youngest. Only a few of my family members know my pseudonym, the others just know I write “very sexy” romances.

7. My favorite color is… Oh jeez, anything bold and vibrant from deep indigo and peacock blue to blazing red and fiery orange, also forest green and sunflower yellow. I love rich colors! Pastels aren’t real colors, although I won’t say you’d never catch me dead in them.

8. I’m very organized and quick about everything I do. When I make a decision, I stick with it, follow through and don’t allow myself to second guess or agonize over it. (Most of the time.)

9. I’m very proud of my oldest daughter, who’s finished her first year of teaching at a tough inner city school. We have more fun together than we ever could when she was young, and spent yesterday on the beach at Lake Michigan together.

10. My writing space is the sun room of my house and I love it. I can gaze out the windows at the dogs and cats running around the yard as I sit at my desk and contemplate what happens next.

11. I love movies and television dramas. I especially love to buy a dvd set of a show and completely immerse myself in the world, watching episode after episode. [Kate interrupts the interview: may I recommend Firefly?]

12. To me, sexy is a damaged man with a ton of issues to work through and maybe some not so pleasant qualities. But in real life I’d never give the time of day to a “troubled” guy. **

13. I’m generally bad at keeping up my personal blog and so I’m developing a group blog with some of my author friends. It will be called Erotic Muses and more details will be forthcoming. So far, Jayelle Drewry, Laura Bacchi and Veronica Wilde are involved.


**Kate: I love this one and I want to somehow capture the sentiment and put it on a bumpersticker. It's fiction, people!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

aya, again (or bragging about family, again)

I keep forgetting to up links to aya-chan's stuff, and she's fun, so now I will.

This is Morpha, a shortie. One of those cool morphing movies, but with pen and ink drawings. She's got an artist mom, an artist grandmom and it shows, says the proud aunt.

picture of the artist grandmom (who posed for Soyer in exchange for lessons):

This is Aya's ghost movie. No one draws a better outraged sparrow. No one.

She lists her cousins (my boys) in the many thanks part and I'm not sure what they did for the script except perhaps argue a lot in front of her. "Rabble of troglobites" and "jackanapes" seems like insults they'd use. When they get going, they tend to sound a little like text translated by google with a thesaurus thrown in for good measure. They also tend to have discussions about trees falling in forests and memories and unmemories.

I love the swimming squirrel.

These are her Harry Potter Deathly Hallow comix....that CONTAIN SPOILERS. They are pretty funny. I like "He's looking for a muffin" best.