Posts

Showing posts from June, 2008

SBD--go read Elaine Corvidae

see post below.

Exile's Burn**has echoes of Firefly but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that in my book. (heh, book).

I need coffee.

UPDATE: I wrote to EC after I started the book and she wrote back:To answer your questions on your blog (and I should do this in the comments section, but I can't for the life of me remember my blogger account name and password right now), I had a very specific set of reasons for making EB free. The initial idea came to me in a dream (which is incredibly unusual for me--I never dream about stories), grabbed me, and wouldn't let go. Unfortunately at the time, I had too many deadlines for paying work to even contemplate taking on a project I didn't have a contract for. What to do?The answer that came to me was to serialize it by posting a chapter a month for free. Even I could find time to write a chapter a month, and since I read a lot of excellent free stuff on the web (particularly web comics), this was my chance to give something ba…

the free read neurotic response

I'm trying to be like PBW, but when I read really GOOD free reads, all I can think is

1. damn, damn, damn, I should be paying for this.
2. if something this good is free, then what chance do I have with the stuff I'm writing and I want people to pay for.
3. what's wrong with this that it's free.
4. there's nothing wrong with this and it shouldn't be free.
5. at least charge me a dollar or two. Let me assuage the guilt that you put so much work into something I'm getting for FREE.

....and all of this takes away from my pleasure at finding a great read that I didn't pay for. Right now I'm reading Exiles Burn and I was only a few pages in when I started doing my list from 1-5. I saw the poser cover and had great hopes the book would suck and I could avoid the guilt and fretting, but no. So far, it's excellent. Damn.

some planets must have aligned because

Whoa, dude. All three boyz want to go see WALL*E.

They have never, all three of them at the same time, wanted to see a G rated movie. In fact for the past decade or so, the older two have rejected movies based on a squeaky-clean rating.

Rotten Tomatoes has a firm grip on their world and it says 98% approval. That's good enough to overrule the horrible stigma of a G rating? That's what it takes? This power must be used for good and I wish it would expand into other parts of life. ["broccoli gets 89% approval rating! And George Bush Sr hates it! that's good 'nuff for me"]. I hope the movie's worth the hype.

aw damn

I don't want to go running. You can't make me though I wish you would.

Well, heck

I waded through the blogs and websites and still don't get what happened with NCP and Somers. It might remain one of those WTF things forever.... or at least a week, which is the same thing in interweb time.

Here's what I do know: once again, I am reminded I should appreciate the epublishers I've dealt with. I get paid on time, any disagreements are dealt with professionally and quickly, communication is great. Sure there is drama out there, but, yo, this blog is all me me me me me.

So.

Thank you, Total E-bound, Samhain, and Ellora's Cave. (and you, too, Rob) You guys are professional and you rock.

Hubris. Asking for trouble. Ack. I'm going to hit publish and then immediately go look for some wood to touch.

Department of WTF? (An oft changing post)

How can a publisher use the first few chapters of an author's story in an anthology without her permission? And here's the original source .

Why would NCP want to do that? It all makes no sense. None.

And now I'll have to read dear author and the bitches for a few days and plow through all those outraged comments to figure out the whole story. Is it a case of plagiarism by publisher? I've never heard of that one before. An original case of copying. No, sounds like it's more of a case of misuse. They had a contract, but I can't imagine any contract that reads "we can use your chapters any way we want without asking you first. And don't count on getting to finish your own story."

My theory, based on ignorant conjecture, is that it's a case of a terrible break-down of communication and not a matter of cheerful, knowing screw-age of an author. That second scenario would be even dumber than miscommunication and I'm giving them the benefit of t…

Thursday Thirteen--Happy Chocolate Pudding Day!

Mike's basic recipe:
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate.
splash of vanilla.
Whisk this together--well, you can't whisk in the chunks of unmelted chocolate, but you get the idea.

Cook, stirring constantly, over medium to medium high heat. This will take several years--or it'll feel that way. Don't stop stirring and don't turn the heat too high. Once it starts making volcanic blopping bubbles, turn down the heat and cook (stirring! never stop stirring!) for another minute. Eat hot or cold or warm the way it is or with one/some of the THIRTEEN VARIATIONS.
1. chocolate chips sprinkled on top . They melt a bit. Yum.
2. a couple of teaspoons of butter added after you take stuff off heat. Stir it in. I don't think it adds enough to be worth the extra calories, but some people like it a lot.
3. A couple of teaspoons of Kahlua
4. Or a tinge of mint (I say bleh, but some people like it.)
5. Grand Marnier
6. use a tad less corn starch or …

nothing much

It's done. The school is over. Now the oldest just needs to find a job or a life or something. He'd be happy to spend the summer playing WOW on his new computer but I don't suppose we should let him.

Speaking of not having a life, I'm reading more than I'm writing. It's mostly non-fiction at the moment so I can pretend it's research. I read Bloody Business, a history of Scotland Yard. (never mind that I don't have any Scotland Yard in any of my books**) It consists mostly of descriptions of a lot of episodes of murder. Makes sense. Although some of the segues are bizarre and bits of history are skimmed over, it's an okay read. Nothing very dense or requiring Deep Concentration which is fine with me. Not scholarly.

I want to read an autobiography of Walter Dew, an inspector who's mentioned a lot on Bloody Business.. The autbiography's called I Captured Crippen and I found a few copies online ........ starting at about $600. Okay, right. I order…

how many of you

have sent an email to the wrong person? You know, typed in a first name, figured that you only had one on the list, hit send and stupid mo-fo-ing outlook filled in the address and sent the email to the wrong damned person?

I've done that about five times in the last year and that's how long my email program has decided it knows what I mean when I put in a name without an email addie.

Please make me feel better and tell me you've done it too.

thank you.

things or stuff

The second graduation did include the "today is not an ending but a beginning" line. Mike called it, which means he wins a million dollars but only if he comments below and since he doesn't read this blog, he's gonna remain dirt poor and never even know what he's lost. Such a shame.

I've had insomnia for a couple of weeks now. I fall asleep and then wake up about two and that's about it. Chronic insomnia can have some advantages. When one finally dozes off between 5-7 am, the dreams are beyond amazing. I remember that from the newborn stage of parenting.

Last night I was thinking about a stalled story as I tried to go to sleep again. I dozed off and the plot showed up in a technicolor dream with a great solution. Unfortunately it means that the story no longer qualifies as a romance, but maybe it's time to move to something new. I got a perfect ending in my sleep or what passes for sleep these days. and that's positively biblical. Joseph, right? He…

I bet I knew about this but spaced out

a while back I wrote an extremely short review of Zombie Jack and I said I wanted to read more of the world Sam had invented. I'm in luck because ....look! Book two is a free read.

So much for getting more work done. Eh, the place is infested with boys anyway.

Oh, man. All those speeches. So many of them.

Summary of all those hours:
1. Be! Be all that is possible to BE!**
2. Give back to the community that has raised you so well.
3. Remember when you were shy freshmen? Look at you now, you accomplished, articulate individuals. 3a. But don't get cocky.
4. Reach for the heights! Within yourself and out in the world!
5. Don't settle for less than the best in yourself!
6. Throw out mayonnaise that been out in the sun for more than four hours!
7. Be the butterfly!
8. Control the butterfly!
9. Be aware of the butterfly and do what you can to change its course!
10. Live every day to its fullest and that means get off the computer occasionally!
11. I won't detain you much longer [clapping]
12 I'll wait until you stop playing with that beach ball.
13. Give back to the community but make sure you embrace the whole wide world! Don't stay here and think you've got a real education.
14. Whatever your path, don't forget your roots!
15. Service! It's the only thing that matters!
16. S…

talk amongst yourselves

Yessiree, I regularly go to to those blogs that get enough traffic so there really is chit chat when the blogger steps away. You all just talk about whatever you want, okay? Feel free. Read any good books lately? I just finished a Julia Quinn I liked with an only semi-tortured hero. I guessed his Big Secret pretty fast, but that's just fine.

In a few minutes I'm going to go to a fifth grade production of six episodes--two hours depicting American history from Jamestown to the end of the American Revolution. My son will play John Smith and then, to make up for getting such a huge part in the first episode, he'll be a silent Wampanoag. He's going to be the one in the back in a green teeshirt. They always put him in the back because he's the tallest kid in his class.

Tomorrow night, high school graduation. The night after, elementary school graduation--no wait, it's not called graduation. Ascendency? Bridging? Flying up? Ceremonial acknowledgment of a change from …

Yes... I am Aware of All Internet Traditions

Image
This is one of the best:
A never-live horse is beaten dead at a political site. Within hours of posting, it's new and mentioned in about 17 blogs. And by the time you read this, it's old.

I love it.

(Should be passe by tomorrow.)




broken bread photo from juniperimages.com and they can tell me to dump it any time.

SBD--a series going off the rails?

So I just finished listening to the fourth Odd Thomas book by Dean Koontz. I like Odd. He occasionally goes off on tiresome riffs about good and evil and it's all so very clear-cut in his world. He's no liberal, I can tell you that. And so people are clearly in one camp or another. But with his sense of humor and self-deprecation, it's almost impossible not to like that character. Even when he goes on and on about how horrible we all are today and how we didn't used to be so bad ....., nosirree. And sounds like an old coot who's forgotten about Nazis and the existence of slavery and other oppressions our forefathers invented.

It was annoying when all the monks and nuns were uniformly saintly (in Brother Odd). But now I think the religious stuff going to get worse.

Do I borrow the next book when I can see what's coming? I think I see it's as clear as the evil that lurks in any character who has yellow eyes. (if he's got yellow eyes, he's a bad 'u…

Winners!

Last Lin-day. And here you go, her winners.
Thanks again for letting me hijack your blog this week. It's been fun. :-)I put all the commenters' names into the lucky St. Augustine hat and had the DH draw two names: 1) Winner of the choice of my ebook backlist is Sam.2) Winner of a signed copy of either What Mattered Most or Truth and Consequences is Tracy Macnish. Sam can check out http://www.samhainpublishing.com/authors/linda-winfree to take a look at my ebooks. If she'll email me her choice and format preference, I'll get it to her ASAP.
I'll need Tracy to email me her snail mail addy and her book choice.

HEY, YOU GUYS.... ASK HER QUESTIONS

don't make this look like a ghost-blog. Better go flog the blog....gack.

Fun Friday – Q & A

You know what Shakespeare said about the best laid plans? (wasn't it mice and Burns? Are you going to make me go look it up, Winfree?) Well, they often go awry and mine have. Or rather, my lack of organization killed them. I’d planned to show you pics from our recent trip to St. Augustine, but I seemed to have, er, misplaced my memory card to my camera.

So . . . how about a Q & A day? You leave questions for me in the comments area, I’ll pop in throughout the day and answer them (if Kate’s blog doesn’t decide to hate me – sometimes it won’t let me comment), and tonight I’ll choose two winners from this week’s visitors, for the choice of an ebook from my backlist and the choice of a signed copy of one of my print books.

Sound good? Get to askin’ questions, then!

decisions, decisions

Do I buy an audiobook or a hard copy of Sedaris's new book? I'm guessing audio because in Dress Your Children in Corduroy and Denim the 6-8 black men story aloud is so much better.

In other news, I've finished a draft of a story except I don't know how the hell it ends. I just lopped off the last 10K because I didn't think it worked. That's a danger of weeding a story. You prune the roots too much and the whole thing falls over.

Thursday Thirteen -- more about Linda

actually it's all about the world and people she's invented.
Thursday Thirteen: Tidbits about Linda Winfree’s Hearts of the South series.

1. There wasn’t supposed to be a series. It’s all Tick’s fault. He insists on being in everything.

2. Speaking of Tick, his name started out as a joke between me and a former writing partner. We cowrote a really long, really bad novel. I’d send her emails with “tick tick tick” in the subject line when she was behind on writing. It evolved into a character name.

3. Throughout the books, there are references to real events in the DH’s law enforcement career. It’s usually buried in dialogue overheard by other characters

4. Some of the deputies’ names come from combinations of names from my DH’s former law enforcement colleagues. The real-life guys think it’s hilarious.

5. I wrote the books out of order. This tends to make my editor (and me) crazy as I try to make sure the timeline fits.

6. I didn’t name the series. My CP Carol did.

7. Chandler Count…

Linda again

Yeah, you know there's no way I can add to the moon pie / RC list. Yum.
Wacky Wednesday: The Weird and Wonderful Things You Could Hear And Eat in Southwest GeorgiaWhen I went away to college (all the way to the University of Georgia in Athens), people thought I talked funny. Turns out, it was the lexicon I brought with me from deep South Georgia. Hey, people talk funny here! And they eat some weird stuff here. I have not eaten everything on this list. My dad ran a meat market and it’s a wonder I eat anything. So what unusual phrases might you encounter if you visited Albany, Thomasville or Valdosta?1)Fixin’ to: meaning, “I’m about to…”2)“He’s his daddy’s eyeball.” Means the same as “apple of his eye.” 3)“Y’all come go home with us.” Courtesy invitation extended as you’re leaving a gathering. You don’t really expect them to come go with you…but you have to ask.4)“What do you know good?” The old-fashioned sowega (that’s Southwest Georgia, y’all!) saying for “What’s up?” And what weir…

Lin Again

I'm still attempting "y'all" in a Brooklyn accent, Esri. "Y'wahwl" Thank you for that one. If we can nail that accent, maybe we should try for Aussie. "Y'aaale"

Today Linda is not whining about the weather. I'll take up the slack on that: a whingggeparty because they shut down the schools again. Bleh.

I keep trying to load Winfree's cover and blogger is thumbing its cybernose at me. You should just go look at the Sammy's link below, okay? AND COMMENT HERE, when you can, even though Blogger's not sure it wants you to. Don't let it win the fight and leave a comment. Beat Blogger; Win books.

Southern Heat: Sizzling Snippets from Memories of Us by Linda WinfreeWow, it’s hot—100 degrees in the shade here. It’s heating up over at Samhain Publishing, too, with the release of Hearts of the South book five, Memories of Us. Here are a few hot snapshots from Linda Winfree’s latest release, due out today.
1)Celia at a sex-toy party?…

Lin Later

Image
First.....LOCAL TERRRISTS!

SBD--Linda Winfree takes over

Speaking of Southern heat (which Linda will be) it's about 93 degrees and I just got the call from the school phone tree: the kids are getting out of early. The four of us will cram ourselves into the small air conditioned spaces of our house and probably get on each other's last nerve licketty-split. Yay!

Everywhere I've gone this morning (both places) people have moaned about how we're in New England and it's not supposed to BE like this in New Englandeven though it does this every year. They expect snow days here, but not heat days. None of the old schools have air conditioning. Lucky it's just an early release and not a non-starter day. Because if they keep adding on days due to heat, those kids'll be in there through September.

Okay. Now it's Linda's turn. And so turn your mind away from hot, sweaty northerners and think about hot, sweaty southern men.
Mmm-Mmm Monday: Reasons to Love the Southern HeroIf he’s been Raised Right, he’ll be loyal and …

my man, the pimplemeister.

Mike went to ASM** last week and a couple of science blogger types visited his display and wrote about his research.
Nature
and
New Scientist.

Pretty cool.

Thing is, he's never gonna be really famous because he does his research to teach. End results are way secondary in his world. So it seems to me (and what do I know? answer: not a lot) that every couple of years people say That's a REALLY cool project and companies sniff around and wonder about his work. . . but he's Only Doing It for The Kids, so they lose interest.

**American Society for Microbiology. I had to ask.

Oh, Hey

Today's my anniversary, I mean our anniversary. Twenty-three years of marriage and, yes, I was a child bride.

We're going to celebrate by washing the dog (me), grocery shopping (him), going to another muthaeffing endless kid concert--seriously, it's going to be three hours long. No violins and yet no air conditioning.

I don't even get to snark about the lack of gifts, flowers, cards etc because I completely forgot, too.

PARENTS!

Fashion alert: On the look out for the gift that embarrass your girl so much she won't leave the house in em, thus rendering it (the gift) completely effective? (but hmmmm .... not made for boys) How about a pair of abstinence pants?? Don't forget to take the survey.

h/t disgracie.

sigh

Great speech, Hillary, but damn. Your generous, whole-hearted endorsement leads to disappointment for snarkers everywhere. Time to abandon the deranged narcissistic crackpot image that was pretty funny.

Okay. . .

Just once more, for old time's sake. (Eat your heart out, Gloria Swanson....and thanks, Doug)

and my bmi is nearly okay, too

hey, I've lost 44 pounds over the last couple of years. Only another 15 or so to go. Okay, 20-25 if I wanna be svelte. I've never been svelte, except for about six months when I biked constantly and did crew. Maybe I should try for it again.

Friday whine 'n' work

This is a day I am grateful for word processors. I'm just about done with a first draft (of yet another historical that won't sell. That'll be four now. FOUR full manuscripts that don't sell. Damn, I'm tired of this job)
Anyway,
Here I am, nearly done, and I realized that a particular plot point doesn't work. No matter how I twist it or work it, it's going to make the heroine look TSTL. So today I"m going to rip it out. I'll just grab the ugly flowery head of that plot issue, and pull on it and the whole root system will come right out. And then I'll go back in and dig out anything that mentioned the subplot.
The sad thing is, I don't think the story really suffers without it. So why was it there to begin with?
Hmm
Could that be why I'm not selling my four historicals? FOUR FULL MANUSCRIPTS. and several lil ones.

Okay, only one was completely polished, out and thoroughly rejected. But still. That's a lot of words.

And this was supposed to …
I don't like emotion in politics and I really, REALLY fear patriotism and nationalism. After the hundreds of stories I heard from refugees, I don't trust those emotions to produce anything good. The "it can't happen here" thing doesn't cut it.

But boy howdy, patriotic is how I felt tonight when I listened to Obama. I've decided that's okay. There were no enemies in his speech. And it wasn't that we're supposed to be better than anyone else ("America as the last best hope" aside) it's that we're supposed to be better than ourselves.

Yeah, okay. Good.

PS. Another sign I've been reading too much Pratchett ...because I thought, Whoa dude, Obama is CARROT!

water bottle lips--NOT from The Onion

It's real newz . . . . Wow.

Am I the only one who thinks this is funny? Do those of us who are snickering deserve to be labeled mean bitter old biddies?

huskies

Yesterday I dragged my neurotic butt to a parent's orientation of my kid's new University.

New buildings, fine landscaping. It's an impressive sight all clean, modern and efficient. I couldn't figure out how'd they get so much money? I suppose it's the house that basketball built? I have no clue.

Considering the university is processing 3K new students, they are brilliant for using this kind of orientation. They have groups of five hundred Freshmen trooping through. Scared new punkins won't face long lines, huge crowds to get signed up for classes and they have two days to get all the questions answered. They herded us parental units beautifully.

Yet something was missing in that shining city on the hill. When I got home, I realized. No dogs. I saw miles of sidewalks and there is a terrible absence of dogs and not enough babies or toddlers. No cats, either, come to think of it.

Sprawling, gleaming universities are fun to visit but I wouldn't want to live t…
thank you for visiting us, Leslie and Eric. We love you.
A lot of the reason last winter sucked for me was Cathy died (last winter really REALLY sucked for her)

But yesterday I bought a copy of Bark! and there are two pages of her drawings along with a little photo of her with Keely. It's a pretty spread--The woman had talent. I have decades of her hand-made Christmas cards to remind me.

Best of all, the pictures bring back how she did managed to enjoy the heck of the measure of life she had, even as she coped with years of illness.

Cathy and her pup are on pages 52-53 May/June issue of Bark! Worth the price of admission. Though why I couldn't get a copy of the May/June issue until the very last day of May is disconcerting.

RIP to Rx

I've been off the mind meds for a while now. They stopped working for me last fall and when I tried new stuff, it twisted my poor brain into a knot. Damn that was a long, hard winter. Long.

But I have a new batch--a brand that just got approved this spring. It's just like some old stuff but better, smaller, faster., fewer side effects. OR maybe it's just a way for the company to keep raking in money, now that the old brand is going generic.

The new brown bottle is sitting in the row of brown medication bottles, next to my daily two blood pressure meds and the various tranquilizers, and the antibiotics that I used to have to take before going to the dentist that I can't bring myself to toss.

Despite the fact that I'm trapped in a maze (at least it's my maze and not designed by some rat scientist) and I still have crazy-as-a-loon episodes, I've put off taking the new stuff for another few days. And then another. I got it more than a month ago and it's all s…