Thursday, January 31, 2008

BACK OFF, buddy

So yet another armed services guy is on the phone with my kid.

This time I am not going to yell "he's got asthma" in the background like I did when the Marine called a couple of months ago. That just embarrasses the kid. But this guy has been pumping my boy with questions about his post-high school plans for five minutes--I can tell he's an expert at getting kids to talk. Andrew's said more about his future interests than I've heard for months. And I'm holding back the scream of HANG UP, DAMMIT.

Oh. The kid did finally politely get off the phone, with something along the lines of sorry, not interested.

Me: why didn't you just say no thank you and hang up?
Kid: I don't want to be rude. He's an army rep I see around the school.
Me: He visits?
Kid: He's a nice guy. Plus I knew it would drive you crazy, so I'm totally okay with talking to him.

off script

Lots of OMIGOD he's so brave posts because he doesn't let the conversation go the way it's obviously supposed to, but I say that's not the point. Montel Williams, who has a habit of getting Self Righteous, doesn't get pissy for once because he knows he's not the story. That's what I like. Pay attention to his words, not him.

Thursday Thirteen--Amie Stuart

Sometimes I have ebook writers for my Thursday Thirteen. Sometimes I feature NYC names. Today I have both in one package.

Amie's a hot writer and has books with Black Lace and Liquid Silver. She has four books with Kensington Aphrodesia. Only one is out so far--along with novella in an anthology.

I admit it, I h
aven't read her books. But I've read enough snippets and I've read her blog and know enough about her writing to push her stuff onto my TBR pile. That counts eh? OH look, she's got some a free read, too. (Uh oh. Curse you PBW, the tbr pile is not happy.)

This picture of Amie was taken during RT after major partying. Not her fault that she has that Laura Bush glazed eyeballs thing going on.

Thirteen things about Amie Stuart by Amie S, also known as Celia:

1. I won't use a Microsoft wireless keyboard because I can't stand the way the keys feel. Matter of fact, I can't even type if I have fingernails because they're so strong. It doesn't hurt but it's damned close.

2. I've been divorced almost four times longer than I was married. And I've been with my hairdresser long than I was with my ex-husband. I like her lots more and she makes my hair look good. That's the longest relationship I've ever been in (with a man). Maybe I should be writing lesbian erotica LOL.

3. I used to BE a hairdresser. We are a weird and strange breed--I suppose it was good practice for being a writer (also a weird and strange breed!)

4. I am one of ten (known) children--this includes steps, steps of steps, adopted family siblings and halves. I've only met nine and one is only two years older than my oldest child. (there are five adopted children in my father's family and four of them are twins. The youngest are 4 the oldest are 40)

5. I hate my name--I was named after a soap opera character. Her name was Amy and she was married to Bob on ...oh hell I can't remember but later on Bob married Lisa. I always liked Lisa. And Amy died.

6. My name was a last minute change (literally the day they went to court to finalize my adoption) and I thank God for it. The alternative is much worse--I should know since it's my middle name.

7. I am a STAUNCH cat person. I blame my mom. She had this poodle...UGH nuf said. I have three cats and I want more. It's sad, really and I love them as much as my human children. More maybe seeing as how they tend to not talk back and leave wet towels on the floor.

8. I attended my first Weight Watchers meeting at about age 8. It was dark and filled with old people. I was scared.

9. I ate AYDS(? AIDS??). You know, those candies that got pulled off the market after AIDS was discovered? Yeah...I ate them. They rocked.

10. I kill lawnmowers. Seriously. I used to have to pull my car in the back yard and jumpstart the lawnmower.

11. I own a drill/electric screwdriver and a saw. This year I want a weed eater and a leaf blower (and a new set of electric hedge trimmers because the kids broke mine). I love Lowes like some women love Macys. And I know how to install light fixtures.

12. I once went four years without dying my hair. It was sad because unlike Kate Rothwell I have a TON of premature grey. I found my first grey hair in my late twenties.

13. I haven't been on a date in over six years and I write erotic romance for a living. Now that's irony. =)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

trivial pursuit du jour


I'm going to get it all chopped off. 28 inches at least, probably saved for some kind of hair donation thingy. So what to do after that? A buzz cut? Curly locks/ Hair coloring and perms? Red? Yellow? Black? I've never done any hair dying and this will be a boredom coloring. I can live with my six or seven grey hairs--they've only recently shown up and are still kind of interesting--but the rest of the brown stuff is dull and boring.

Around here nearly every last West Hartford mom goes for subtle blonde highlights. Tasteful and chic. Should I give in, like Claudia has been begging me to do?** Or maybe a nice jet black with violent violet highlights is the answer. I'm tempted to make a statement but I'm not sure what hair actually says. I could get the pats logo shaved into the side of my head like the kid down the street. No doubt what he's trying to say.

The last time I got a major chop job, maybe ten years ago? I had a firm jawline. Not so much now. That's got to mean something in the styling thing, but I'll let the professional tell me what is good and right for my age.

Oh. The hairdresser person says no, not today. Okay. So much for that momentous occasion. Now I'll go make oatmeal instead.

**she says, oh, Kate, get it cut. You look like a peasant from the old country.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

ebooks don't die

Learning Charity just got a cool button, too. <--That's a link to the review. The novella's been out almost two years and still gets reviewed now and then. Ebooks do make for a different sort of world what with them books not going out of print. I like it.
A check-mark goes in the credit column for ebooks

UPDATE: and yowza, would you look at that, Learning Charity just got another review. Interesting!

I betcha part of the reason a review shows up two years later is the ebook world's terrifying backlist--there are dozens and dozens of new releases every week.
I'd say that's a mark in the debit column for ebooks.**


**This list I'm drawing up ( courtesy of Bertie Wooster) is strictly from the writer's POV.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hot Dudes

Via Teresa Bodwell:
Vote for your favorite Austen man. Pretty fun way to advertise the shows. Includes dating profiles of Jane Austen's guys. I picked the best toady** evah! I could.

**Mr. Collins, duh== although Mr. Thorpe was tempting. The actor is way too handsome to really be Mr. Thorpe.

look what we got

Who's Your Daddy got this from Romance Junkies. I don't think the actual review's up yet, so no link. Yet. Should say "OUR book rated five blue ribbons" because it's me, Lyn and Alexis. I hope RJ doesn't mind me putting up a bit of the review:

Each story is unique, witty and told with enough heat and emotional tone to keep readers engrossed in the pages. Kudos ladies, WHO’S YOUR DADDY? is an insightful thought-provoking read and a wonderful book to add to your keeper file.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

SBD, free read (with free whine.)

jeezuz, I'm sick of panic attacks. What a pain in the ass they are. Due to some fine biology (and I think not so much something nasty in the woodshed) I'm getting a minimum of one a day which means a lot of my time is spent observing the panic rise and fall blah blah blah. No point in attempting to do anything but hang out in the bathroom or run on a treadmill. I can't work or read because any thinking is polluted. Except I can listen to PG Wodehouse. He's my man about now..... /end whine, I hope.

So Scott Adams who's funny and insufferable, but mostly funny, goes on about his free book and how lots of people read it, but that the truth is, giving it away didn't help him sell his other books. Anyway, from a promo marketing point of view, his free book experiment thingie didn't work. He has an MBA so he knows these things. Or maybe it's some kind of computer science degree and I'm wrong about the MBA.

I'm finding is that many of the free books in my life are as good or better than the pay-fer items, yo, I would PAY MONEY to read them. Seriously, I felt guilty not paying for something like Ember.

Here's the thing. Sometimes other writers send me books. I feel guilty when I read them and I love them. I feel guiltier when I read them and don't love them. This free thing has some strings attached, I guess. I wonder if that's true for people who aren't writers? Would they have the same sensation of mild discomfort?
Or maybe that last PA is still echoing around and that makes everything straight out of that Doors song, "when you're straaaaange, no one remembers your name."

Anyway. I've found another one you can read for free and probably ought to because Sara Dennis is a strong writer. (Good thing I don't go by covers because that one gives me the willies.)

Anyway, I'm betting
this will be another book I'd pay to read (I didn't when it was out, but I didn't know it existed. I've envied admired Sara's writing for years but she was using a different name). Problem with free books in a serial form? Chapter three is days away from showing up. This could be a real true problem for anyone with immediate gratification needs.

Luckily Bam's got a free book, too, Darragha Foster's Eventide. I haven't started that one yet. Oh, and there're all these books all over my floor and under my bed and ebooks on my computer. . . .

Hey, check it out. Sara's interesting in building some sort of non-erotic ebook resource list at her website. Looks like a good endeavor. Have a manuscript that's not hawt? Look at her sidebar.

I have to go run on the treadmill again and curse the gods of heredity. Bad blood line.
update: I should never try to post whilst panicking. I'm going to go take out the redundant lines, I hope. And maybe make it make better sense.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

hey look at this!

Bettie Sharpe rocks ....
and not just because she's a great writer, an actual FNV. She made a very cool button for Dean who won a contest here.

It's such a cool button that it makes me want to hold another contest. February, maybe
Maybe I'll make it a title / back cover copy contest because I love those things and they're a great way to practice writing:
1. blurbs
2. query letters
3. sucknopses. (in which you try to keep a perky style while giving away key plot points)

Why should I care about you , my fellow rioters getting some practice with these skill sets? Because Bettie did my button as part of a play it forward thing so now I'm tagged it. She refuses socks and says I should continue to support "wobbly baby deer writers" (I love that phrase)

Attention: any baby deer in search of real guidance should head over to PBW. Also learn to hold very still so you blend into the landscape. (that's not so much for the rioters as for any real bambis who might happen by)

There. Played forward.

in which I figure out it will never work

Oh, damn.

This phrase at tumperkin's place "fierce authors" caught my eye.

It's a great phrase and I nodded along and I agree. Impassioned, fierce. That's what readers want. That booming back-beat sort of music--nothing wispy--directed and intense that moves your belly. Stories with boiling hot action, anger, hunger...intensity. I'm reading those books and I can feel that word fierce in everything, from the plots, characters to word choices.

That isn't me or my writing. At my very best, I approach EF Benson's pace.

There are only so many slots for the wispy stuff. Please, fate, don't make me have to go back to writing magazine articles again. I really like writing fiction.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Today's post

I'm somewhere else again, today, blogging about Red Haired Heroine Remarks (aka RHHR, code for WTF? comments about stories.)

Part of my wroth week series.

Heh. I forgot about it being wroth week. Any suggestions for next week's sin? Maybe greed and it'll be a 3000 calorie chocolate recipe a day.

Sloth is nice ...mmmm. Naptime. That will be a week with no entries.

Some day I might try for a blog like PBW, with useful facts and ideas. Or maybe not.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

paranoid? me?

A visit from the SEC?

I never check my stats but for some reason (a very specific reason = really bad bit of writing I need to change and am avoiding), I did tonight. And someone from the SEC spent more than ten minutes looking at four pages.

Why would anyone from the Securities and Exchange spend a single second here?

The socks? Are they interfering with our economy?

Because I don't sell a lot of those guys. Nope. And I don't make a cent on them, either. And the ladies don't make more than a couple hundred at most. Even someone from the IRS would have nothing to complain about, nosirree.

Also hello to the reader from Finland.

UPDATE: boy two thinks I should reassure my reading public that I am not attempting to smuggle narcotics in the socks. For some reason he thinks that the SEC might be worried about that. I think we're both not clear about what that particular government agency does.

I know all about the census bureau and the bureau of standards--that's where my bureaucratic parents worked.

Thursday Thirteen--pairs of socks (booties, actually) and stuff

See entry below. See pretty, pretty socks. And rugs. (which aren't tough enough for plain floors). And bags.

These are the same batch seen from two different angles.

Buy socks from me.

Thank you.

Here're some pots. They aren't for sale, but I like them and the socks are on the floor next to them so why not?

My sister made all but one brown cup and casserole and the stuff up on the far upper left. Also the big metal lid to a wok--> not hers.

OH. damn

So I've been selling socks for my ladies for five years. You'd think by now we'd have the basic communication down. Words like big, little. Yes, we manage. And they may have never learned the English words for colors but I can fake enough Bosnian for colors so we get by.

But the word CUFF is still not there.

I had an internet order from a wonderful person and the only thing she wanted was 24 pairs of CUFFED socks. Not booties, socks. Socks with CUFFS as show on that page I linked to above. Simple, eh?

I made the mistake of trying to do this over the phone instead of drawing little pictures....silly silly silly Kate. Five years (actually ten) of miscommunication should have taught me something.

I went to pick up my order to ship it off just now.

24 pairs of booties.

So. Anyone want to buy a pair of booties? $12 a pair plus shipping?** Also, because I felt so bad, I picked up a couple of rugs and some bags. I haven't paid for any of it yet, but eventually all these damn socks are going to haunt me.


Maybe once I recover from the barrage of thick coffee, strange smoked meat and borek shoveled into me, I'll post pictures. For now I have to lie around and groan. And whimper.

they make great gifts. Just ask anyone who's ever gotten a gift for any occasion from me over the last ten years. Or, no, wait. Don't ask them. Ask Hilary Sares.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Today's post

is over at Samhain.

It's all about authors stealing teh wacky.

These random pictures don't make sense unless you go read that. Yikes, I look bad in that picture of me hugging Esther (I was snorfling, the sniffling/laughing one does on these occasions).

I didn't even put in the part where my husband-to-be went jogging with his sister hours before our wedding and got lost in Rock Creek Park. Surely someone's written that one into a rom-com?

And, yes, if I were to do it again, I wouldn't wear that frou-frou dress. The hair was bad enough. Gah.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

SBD--grammar ??? edition

A few questions.

1. what's it called when a book is in first person and second person? Does it have a name? FSPPOV (First Second Pornographic POV)?
example: you greet me at the door, your double-d breasts jiggling with excitement.

2. When you make grammar mistakes on purpose because you don't want to sound elitist (the "whom" issue) is it really a mistake? Is there a name for that kind of error, other than dialect?

3. If you're consistent about a mistake throughout a book. a lot spelled alot for instance, can it be argued that it's not a mistake but rather a stylistic choice?

4. What kind of a bad comic strip name is General Butt Naked? Did the guy really answer to it? He's now an evangelical type, but they can still be kind of nasty. Maybe he no longer lops off the thumbs of anyone who calls him that to his face. Seriously, is there an offfical title for names that are stupid jokes? Ima Hogg-ian humor?

Happy MLK day. We're going to go read Letter from a Birmingham Jail and watch the speech. First we're going to find some coffee.

the seven things meme

Bettie Sharpe (who will be famous any minute) gave this one to me.

1. I worry about yelling at my kids because I grew up with a shouter parent. So every time I start, I turn it into a humorous event--I go over the top, so all involved end up laughing. ha. ha. Discipline around here sucks. The "wait until your father gets home" thing I swore would never happen, happens. He doesn't shout. He just looks at the kids with thin lips and they crumple. If necessary he speaks to them in a low, tense voice. (and sometimes I wonder if maybe shouting isn't better.)

2. I miss the denim/corduroy jacket I lost eight years ago--actually I'm pretty certain it was stolen. Every time I go into a store, I look for a version of it. I don't think I'd buy one, but I still look. Also I look for the cutest pair of baby shoes and I most definitely won't be buying them.

3. When I was 14, I went to Denmark with one of those exchange programs (The Experiment, it was called. Heh. Based in Brattleboro VT.). When I got home I knew I was going to move there so I studied Danish and ate a lot of ham. I've forgotten all the Danish I learned and haven't been back since. I didn't go back to Denmark two years later when I returned to Europe because I was afraid it wouldn't be as wonderful as my memory of it. I tend to do that--not return to places I've loved a lot.

4. Back then I traveled often, and frequently I was on my 0wn (on that first trip I went from Denmark to England and then to Brussels on my own. I look at my own 14-year-old and wonder WTF were my parents thinking? And why would they spend that much money on that sort of thing? I sure as hell wouldn't, even if I could.)

When I was sixteen I went to Germany with the same program. I spent a semester in a German Gymnasium (high school) and then. when the semester ended, I traveled on my own. I managed to book a German tour to Prague--which was in the Eastern block back then--and then I went to England and Brussels again. I was gone 4 months. Like I said, WTF? Mom? Dad? If they weren't dead, I'd call them up and ask. Hello? Dudes? WTF? No, no. I never did and never would have because they didn't need to know how stupid I actually was back then.

5. I spoke German well. I have forgotten just about every word of it and can't seem to learn any more languages. Back then I went to Europe (England, mostly. Once I went to take care of a sick friend), the USSR, the Caribbean and other places ...

And now it's basically impossible for me to get my ass to New York City, which is less than two hours away.

It's all too neat, too obvious, so those gods are punishing me for something. Gotta look back and pick out the moment of hubris. Although of course the language thing is probably middle-aged brain. It's clear that that some language chemical usually turns off when people hit a certain age.
Heh... see? I say I don't believe in a personal god yet I take things like this personally.

6. Speaking of hubris, I think I know how to garden and cook, but many of my plants die or don't bear fruit and my cooking often languishes in the fridge for days after I made it. I'm beginning to suspect I'm not as good as I think I am. Also I used to knit a lot and no one wore the sweaters I made. Hmm.

7. It's almost 11:30 am and I'm still in my pjs which were the sweats I wore last night while running on the treadmill. In other words, I need a shower, badly. This doesn't bother me as much as it bothers the people around me. When I eventually get dressed I'll wear the paint-stained jeans and the sweater I pulled from a refugee donation bag four years ago. I am absolutely right to be the mother of boys. Perhaps there is a personal goddess and she's protecting my never-born daughters. Yeah, stereotyping. Sue me.

And while you're at it, consider yourself tagged, eh? Good! Let me know where you put up your seven things. Put a link to your blog, or you can put them in the comments below. I wish cheryl would come back and give me seven things. Like how's Sirius doing.

oh for god's sake

I really do have an unhealthy and rather BORING obsession about not recommending friends' books.

Screw it.

I liked Sam's book. I mean Sam Winston's book Zombie Jack. It was fun and fluffy (which is my idea of a good time) and I want to read more in that funky, MIB world she's built. Okay? Fine.

And now I have to go back to the eight RITA books. ...... pimp......friends.....

I really hate that. And I know you know what I mean because it's all over the interwebs: vizzz The cliquey types who only talk about how brilliant their friends are. They can't Admire Themselves, because that would look seriously conceited. No looking in the mirror and admiring how gorgeous their hair and eyes are, but if someone else, one of their good, mutual admiration society friends, happens to mention it, okay. And they also associate with just the prettiest, best people. Their BFF are the best writers.

I've always tried to avoid books by people I know just because of that. And the whole quid pro quo thing. The reviews over at Amazon that mention lists of friends' titles, I mean it. Don't get me started because, hey, it's wroth week here at Casa Kate.

But can I help it if I happen to know a lot of people who write good books?

A couple of days ago, I couldn't restrain my glee when I saw that Dee and Sharpe had books out. And listen, I didn't know Dee for the longest time. She happened to answer when I wrote a drooly fan girl letter about Bone Deep. And then I answered that note and I ended up sort of pals with Bonnie Dee. Damn. I'm not giving her back, but now, when I write about her, I'm worried about that clique thing.

Okay. Enough with the rant and onto the book I am not going to talk about. (not by Dee or Sharpe this time) I stayed up way too late--past 1 am--caught up in a book written by one of my writer pals, but I mean it. I am NOT going to pimp it. I absolutely refuse.

So I'll just say "yeah, what she said." Except I didn't find Brianna that annoying. (May gave me an occasional pain but I'm still hoping she ends up with a story..)

Friday, January 18, 2008

fun stuff

How to be romantic.
Includes all the standards
Here's Chocolate:
Chocolates are not only romantic, they're complimentary. When you give a box of chocolates to your beloved, it says, "You could pig out on this tub of lard and bloat out to three tons, but you'd still be the apple of my eye." It doesn't matter if it's true -- it's the message that counts. But the real reason to give your loved one chocolates is because any loved one worth her salt will turn right around and offer you some. It's a win-win no matter how you look at it. Buy her a red one shaped like a heart, and you're in like Flynn.

Oh, so many great links over there. Go back the main site and you'll lose at least an hour's work looking around--guaranteed or your money back!! [found by way of SBTB]

ranting about THAT again? the "get a life" edition.

Forget envy. For the week ahead, the featured sin will be wroth, which is a wonderful word. Wrath is pretty, wroth is just elegant and a good old word, too. Love the writhing factor.

From Merriam-Webster
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English wrāth; akin to Old High German reid twisted, Old English wrīthan to writhe
Date: before 12th century: intensely angry : highly incensed : wrathful

WROTH entry number one:

Do you know what I bloody HATE? Writing contests, as in contests for writers. I already mentioned the fact that I entered the Suzannah (opened to pubs!) and got rotten scores, including 45 out of 115. That means that the judge gave me many, many, many ones. She only gave me two fives and both of those were for having a neat manuscript. The rest? Mostly ones (on a scale of 1-5) with a few 2s.

Low scores don't set off the wrath. Yo, I think no one gave me over 78 for either of the two manuscripts I entered--no, I really don't know what I was thinking, either--and the remarks were mostly useless to me (some good catches, of course).

But excuse me? WTF is the point of that all bottom scores, all the time scoring? What's with laying into a fellow writer like that? Unless I'd written something that was so rotten she couldn't understand the action, something that had been run through babelfish twice, why give that sort of score? And I got the impression from her comments that if she could, she would have given me zeroes.

And also. It's time to face the truth about how much I hate most competition. Living in a house of boys/men, it's a given that competition can, and will, take place. Who can eat fastest. Who can belch loudest. But that's a kind of creative contest. This was a dreary attempt to try for something. Was it to get in front of the judges? Huh, I doubt it. I can write letters on my own.

Why did I enter? I can no longer recall. I guess I missed the days when I could shovel manuscripts into contests. I guess** I forgot about how just before it sold, Somebody Wonderful got the lowest score in an entire contest. I mean the lowest score in every category--historical, contemporary, etc. Let me just repeat myself redundantly: It. Got. The. Lowest. Score in the Entire. Goddamn. Contest. That judge, also published, said things like the setting was horribly unromantic.

I got these scores back a few weeks ago, and thought, okay, I can read that one set of scores without going ballistic.

Nope, can't.

I think maybe it's the money that creates much of my wrothy-rantish response--the "you can't write your way out of a damp paperbag," doesn't set me off--at least not for long. It can't, after all this time in the world of putting my stuff out there. I'd keel over or quit by now.

BUT, yo, I paid for that?

Also, hey, since I'm on a wrothful fit, what is with me still giving a damn about this contest--or rather, giving a damn about it again? First time I looked at it, my friend had just died which meant I had some perspective about what's important in the world. Now I'm still in mourning, but can overreact to stupid stuff. Back to business as usual.

Seriously. I'm putting energy into ranting about this when I could be wailing and moaning about real rejections? Or maybe using the great entries at Bams to make my next author persona? Or maybe finishing the book that got a 45?


To sum up.

At the moment, I'm judging the RITAs and the GH and soon I will be judging/coordinating something or another in our fundraising local contest, but I swear, this is it.

I'm over you, contests.

I'm through foisting my random opinions on other people. And forget any more random opinions by people who aren't in a position to buy my manuscript and/or know less about writing a good story than I do. Yes, it's true: I know about writing! I know how to write stories!

Don't make me pay to have you tell me otherwise. (errm, you get the point of that sentence right? Or should I run it through the translator again?) You have to be a reviewer or buy my book if you want to give me that amount of crap. Or whoops--forgot! Editors, agents and crit partners I trust may also lay on the hypercritical shit. Seriously, with a list like that who needs to depend upon the cruelty of strangers?

Next up...sometime today I think, the bio.

I better write something else for this blog. This entry is repetitive and dull and could use some major polishing [2 out of 5 overall--because I never, ever give ones.] but, by god, I'm not going to bother, so I want to send it down the page ASAP. Just had to get it out of my system.

** yo, judges scoring this entry. The repetition of a phrase at the start of two consecutive sentences can be intentional. It's even a rhetorical tool for argument. anaphora?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen--things about SAM WINSTON

I'll be back in a bit to post pictures and whatnot. Got Things to Do first. Done

Thirteen Things You'd Never Guess About Sam (Dude. I might have guessed #1, except the part about Jimmy Conners.)
by Sam Winston...who lives in an elegant house in France, which doesn't seem fair to the rest of us, but I don't see her feeling bad about it.

1) She can understand pig Latin, so watch what you're saying in front of her. One night, during a dinner, Jimmy Conners was talking in pig Latin to his friend, and they were talking about the girl sitting in front of them. But instead of letting them incriminate themselves like any smart cookie would have done, she stopped them right away with a glare and a 'Ithaguykithaganithagundithastandyithagoo." She also added "Jithagerk", which is why she's probably not married to a tennis pro now and looking like a sun-wrinkled prune.

2) She can fall asleep anywhere, anytime, and once fell asleep during a photo shoot - the photographer didn't realize it because she was wearing sun glasses. She needs a good seven hours sleep a night, or she's a zombie.

3) She's good at breaking into houses because she's always leaving her keys behind. So far, she's climbed over roofs, into windows, up ladders, and onto balconies to get back home. She can also pick locks, jimmy windows, get into locked cars, and hotwire engines. All this because she has no brain when it comes to keys. However, she's a genius at losing them...

4) She can lie about just about anything, making up the wildest stories. Her husband and kids know this, so explanations about the circus losing all its elephants on the main road to explain her tardiness fall on deaf ears. She loves to tease the telemarketers when she has the time, and she never answers a survey truthfully if she can possibly help it.

5) Professionally she has worked as a maid, a pizza hawker, a sales girl, a waitress (for two nights) a model, an artist, a writer, a journalist, a substitute teacher, an English tutor, and a translator. She's also groomed and exercised horses, babysat dogs, and helped out with the wine making when she lived in Bordeaux. (Well, she worked on the conveyer belt like 'I Love Lucy', separating the grapes from the leaves, sticks, stones, and mice.)

6) She's not at all afraid of snakes or mice, or rats, or most creepy crawly things. But spiders make her scream.

7) When she was a kid, she would only eat peanut butter and red beans. Now she eats everything and anything, so when her kids were born finicky eaters, she just shrugged and said 'They'll grow out of it,' which they did. She's also a darn good cook, but she hates cleaning up the kitchen afterwards. In fact, housework is not her thing.

8) She collects the French rugby man calendars. OK, maybe you could guess that. But she keeps the old editions in her bookcase and plans to frame them some day - when she's old and gray and in the nursing home. She figures she'll get more visits that way.

9) When she was in school, she was on the gymanstics team. But she hurt her back in a dive off a high diving board and had to keep still (no running, bending, or twisting around) for over a year. She was so poor, she could't afford to go to a doctor. But, seeing as how incompetant the doctors were in St; Thomas, it probably saved her back. It's fine now. She keeps it in shape with yoga.

10) When she was a kid, she was very shy. She grew out of it when she had her own kids and she had to stand up for them.

Her real name is Jennifer Macaire, and Jennifer writes kids books (as well as non erotic books for adults, BTW) , so you can understand the need to keep Sam and Jennifer apart. Her husband thinks Sam is cooler than Jennifer. Most people do, actually. Samantha is wild and wears short skirts, high heels, and red lipstick. Jennifer is a jeans and tee-shirt gal. Sam hates to cook and would rather go out to eat. Luckily for the family budget, Sam is restricted to the computer for writing her erotic books, and she is never allowed to use the credit card.

11) She can play the guitar, the flute, and the piano. She can also play golf. And she likes to play mah jongg and bridge.

12) Her husband taught her how to drive and how to play bridge. She's pretty sure that after that, nothing can tear them apart.

13) She's dyslexic and ambidexterous, and she hates filling out the letter codes at the end of blog posts - it usually takes her three tries. She can't remember phone numbers, and even gets her own wrong most of the time. She has a cell phone but never uses it. She doesn't like telephones, but loves getting e-mails, and she can argue for hours about politics with anyone on any side of any political party. In her last life, she was an anarchist. Now, she's just an iconoclast.

Hmmm. That cover, says Kate, thoughtfully rubbing a muttonchop Errrr, Ummm. ... I wonder if Bam or SBTB has seen it.

Go to Sam's website and find all of her covers and books and whatnot. And you might as well visit her blog that occasionally features polo pony photos and a garden to die for.

I think this week's theme of Kate's Envy (next week we'll feature Sloth or Greed. Yay!) includes Sam's Garden.

UPDATED: Omigawd! I just opened my copy of Zombie Jack (I haven't read it yet) and here's the first paragraph:

Chapter One
Rainy Days and Mondays

His arm fell off, again. The first time it happened, he’d been holding a heavy suitcase. The suitcase hit the ground with a loud thump, his hand still gripping it. He hadn’t felt any pain. After all, he was dead. Two seconds after his arm fell off for the first time, a woman noticed and let out a horrified scream. Without thinking, he grabbed his arm, first having to pry his fingers off the suitcase, and fled.

Now that's a Worthy of Amie First Paragraph. You can read more here. I can't read the rest because I have work to do, dammit. But I'm dying to know [heh. "dying to know" zombie humor] how she'll make this guy hot, when he's already cold. Yo, if people can make bloodsucking vampires sexxxxxxy. . why not?

another update: Ah. He doesn't remain a limb-dropping zombie through the whole book. Oh well. So much for any "keep the tip" jokes.


updated X 5: ***
What about poor Jennifer? I asked. So she changed her TT to squeeze in another name.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

If I'm going to pimp.

first, it would be nice if I didn't hit send before I'd written the damn thing.
second, I should pimp La Summer.

On the right side, there's a long list of books--a really long-ass one. One of hers is there. Yay, Summer!

Only here's what I don't get--Summer won some reviewer ecataromance prize a while back but when I search her name at that site, there's no mention of it there. I know I didn't dream it, I have the "U IZ A WEINRE" button. Or I did at some point. Uh oh.

I get email!

question from a blog reader/pal:
Don't you get tired of pimping the same group of writers over and over?

not really!

Remember, keep the cards and letters coming.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Bonnie Dee and Bettie Sharpe both have books out at Samhain this week.

Here's how good those two are:

When I pick up one of their books (or really, my laptop, since we're talking ebooks) I do NOT have the following response (stolen from ferfe's blog)
“I’m in a lonely, angry, bitter place.” ~ Anthony Bourdain upon being presented with fries at a restaurant that he deemed better than the fries he serves at his Restaurant in NY.

When I read their books, professional envy doesn't exist -- because I get too caught up in the story.

Once I'm done reading, all bets are off, though.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fry and Laurie

Facts so often get in the way of a good moral education (this was produced before creationism became all the rage over here...) ah, the things they teach in schools these days.
Stolen from some lefty blog or another. Atrios, I think. Aren't F and L young and adorable?

SBD---reinventing Kate and Kissing

Today is All Kate All the Time except here. I've posted two unrelated entries and neither of them at my own blog. No, here we have lots of snow.

So go read about tangled, dancing, mating tongues at total Ebound (I'd say it qualifies as a real SBD)


Enter a contest to invent my next name and bio at Bam's. Win a book from Summer (and Lyn and Alexis)

You will note those aren't suggestions. If I wasn't lying in bed, watching the snow fall and listening to the little whimpers of happiness from my children, I'd look up the grammar on that. Interlocutovable or something--the official structure of an order. Whatever it's called when you don't leave someone a choice.

If I don't get enough comments, I'll step up to threats. You've been warned.

It's fine if you get zero comments at the home (blog), but when you go out in public, all dressed up, you want to look as good as possible and that means people not ignoring you. Or so I hear.

Friday, January 11, 2008

notes to self

possible blog topics for Bam.

Ten A Day! How to write and edit at least ten pages every day (remember to point out not the same ten pages)

Organizing! An essential for every writer! (???:hypocrisy as heinous a mortal crime for writers as plagiarism?)

Exercise! The writer must maintain peak physical health. Healthy body, healthy imagination. [note to self: kids to remove clothes piled on treadmill, push 300 lb object blocking family room into back corner ??? husband: too early to consider freecycle?]

Jump Start That Start! Write a winning beginning.

Positive Attitude! A must.


The Joy of Being Published! There is some joy, really. Make list ...??? other pubbed.

Rejection isn’t Always Bad News! Read between lines of the rejection letter.

The Sagging Middle. Cut the fat

Beating the procrastinating bug!


Learn to Love those Rejections! What You Can Learn from a Rejection Letter, or two or ... (?? self: must one write thank you notes to rejectors?).

Writer's Block. doing anything but write (e.g. cleaning the toilets, at least the people you live with enjoy the benefits of WB)

Working From Home (mention important stay away from kitchen when rejections pile up.)


Blocks in the Path to Success [??? boyz: Why is damned treadmill still there?]

Ten Pages a Day? Don’t Forget to Have a life!! (??? self: why such a high and arbitrary number, who the hell really does it every single day?)

Sucky Starts, Moribund Middles, Flopping Finales

Recovering from the Form Letter Rejection. (??? offenders don't deserve to be stapled to the wall, pelted with paperclips?)

Who the Fuck Wants to be a Writer Anyway?

Recipes (Killer Chocolate Cake, muffins)

who's right? who's wrong?

when it comes to the Cassie Edwards Event:**
Nora's right. Jenny's right. Selah's right. And, of course, Shannon's right. And you can go find them on your own because by god, I don't have time to link. I have to work. I spent too much time babbling pontificating at Selah's

Speaking of taking up space in other people's blogs. I'm supposed to guest blog at Bam's place on Monday. Those kinds of bloggingses at other places are sort of a balancing act of promo and informative. You don't want to look as self absorbed as usual (at a personal blog like this, self absorbed is the name of the game) on the other hand, isn't the point to sell books? Maybe? What is the point?

How do I talk all about my writing without talking about me, me, me or my books? What would you write about in such a post? I'll give away a copy of the new novella (actually the whole anthology.) I could write all about giving away books.

** updated to add, the boy is right too: When it comes right down to it, who the hell cares? Why aren't there any brownies in this house?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen--tangible manifestations of love

No authors lately. They're standing me up, the bassets. I'm haunting Diane Farr but until I nab someone, here's a different Thursday Thirteen...13 physical manifestations of love.

1. first and foremost (along with an explanation of what the hell I'm talking about): J's bathrobe. The night my father died, we all gathered around his body to say adios. When it was time to leave, I discovered that I couldn't drive. My brother drove my car and me to his house. I stayed there, awake all night, throwing up and watching movies. My sister in law loaned me a bathrobe. I think it was blue.

All I truly recall is that the bathrobe was warm and soft and it held me all night long. And slightly delirious with panic and/or grief or whatever, I thought this is love. A bit of cloth wrapped around me is love. God is love, therefore this bathrobe is God.

It was the closest I'd come to religion for a long time. But that sensation lingers now and then. When I look at some objects, I see love. Maybe not directed at me, maybe not in the object's essence, but it's definitely there. Hi, God!

okay, only 12 more Objects O' Love.

2. My teacup that my sister made and gave to me. Not the ones portrayed here. But the one next to me is made with the same care for her craft that means I won't burn my hands when I hold it and the rim fits my mouth perfectly.

3. My teapot that my sister made
and gave to my mother and that I nabbed when Mom died.

4. The lamp that my sister made and that my husband has glued together a few times. My sister, apparently, is one of the major goddesses of my objective religion. Also I really do have a lot of her pots. She's been a potter for a long time.

5. Every card my kid has made for me, duh. Kind of obvious, but just because something Screams I LOVE YOU doesn't mean it's not real. Subtlety is not required for this exercise.
Even the cards they made under duress count. I'm looking at the list of "100 Things Mom is Less Loathsome Than" which is on the table next to....

6. The wrist weights that Aya repaired with a stapler.
I don't know why that's on this list. But it just kills me that it was that so easy to keep the things together, and she just grabbed them and did it.

7. The wood that Mike chopped. He's not often around when we have fires, but he still chopped the wood for us. Of course, he might not realize he's missing all those fires, but he'd probably do it anyway. He makes pancakes every Sunday and I'd say more than half the time he doesn't get a single pancake. Makes them anyway, that creature of habit.

8. The dog chewies that are under my feet. My dog stores her goodies near me as if I'm some sort of dog bank. She trusts me not to munch on her rawhide chews or her beloved tattered Pink Thing (man, that thing is ugly). Could it be that she's even sharing? Naw, let's not get too sappy here... but everyone knows, dogs = love. Almost as obvious as number five.

Huh. if bathrobe=love=dog, then dog=bathrobe? I think I need more tea. Hold on a sec.

Okay, back again.

9. The books on my shelf that other people wrote.
Written with love and I don't just mean in the dedications. When I read the books, I get to share it even if it wasn't done for me.

10. The nearly finished thank you notes to the Auntie Meg, Uncle Andrew and Aunt Vivian etc. Hey, the intention of love counts, maybe. And I think it's taking them so long because, yeah, they're stalling because it's a chore, but also they try to get it right and as funny as the notes from Uncle Andrew. Poor fishes won't make it if that's what they're striving for.

11. The Christmas notes from U. Andrew.
Mike scanned and saved them, they are that good.

12. A card made by Cathy--this is a cat staring at a Christmas tree. I have most of her cards framed because they are Art. Seriously, the pine cone one next to the cat is also amazing. If I get less lazy maybe I'll post them. But it won't be today because I'm lazy today.

13. This computer on my lap.
It's loaded with letters and emails and bookmarks that could knock you over with the real thing if you thought about it long enough. Also it's keeping my legs warm, which is nice.

And here is the great thing--the part I really like: I can see every one of these objects from where I'm sitting. (except J's bathrobe) The other cool aspect? I don't have to own the things that were produced with love or provoke ...evoke, induce?...the response, or even see them again to know that it's love (bathrobe, again).

Okay, the tea turns out to be the kind that's icky when cold, so I'm going to go microwave it. I'll head into the kitchen where, by golly, there will be another list I could make. But I won't. Except there is a great painting of beets by Junko in there, not to mention some amazing refrigerator magnets we've gotten or made over the years.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

holy crap

This laptop has a built in camera. Who knew?

if I get bored later, I might brush my hair or take off a few layers and try again. I'm wearing three shirts and a sweater because it might be warm outside but it's flipping 50 degrees in this house.
I stink at first lines and at back copy, so of course I always look for good ones so I can feel...what's the opposite of schadenfreude? Schadenangst? Schadensorge? Envy?

Over at her myspace journal Amie Stuart's posted the first line of her WIP:

To his friends and family, he was Will; to everyone else, he was God, as in "Please God, don't kill me."

I read it and wonder, hey, is plagiarism so bad? Will anyone notice if I steal it? I'd change it a bit.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

hair products III

I found a product that's made my hair stronger. After stalling out about mid-butt, my hair is even growing longer again.

My hair is shinier and less frizzy than it's ever been and I'm shedding a lot less and I'm convinced this conditioner is why.

So what? you ask. What's the big deal? Or if you're Beth, maybe you're thinking hey, this could be good.

And for you bored people, it's not like I'm obsessed with hair products, okay? I think it comes up maybe once a year. This isn't just about the hair, though.

Because also--and this might not be a coincidence--I have had many cravings for oatmeal. Mmm Steelcut, flake. Give me oats. You can ask Charli--we had a discussion about it, even.

I bought the stuff from the local pet store because my neighbor Judy uses it for IDS (itchy dog syndrome). I thought damn, Roger her Pup's not equine, but it sure does make the his coat look good.

Really good and it doesn't smell bad either. And it did fine things for my dog.

Aaaand the instructions do mention human use. That means I'm not the only one walking around tossing my mane.

Monday, January 07, 2008

meanwhile, over at the real bitches

the dirty word....plagiarism. And the worst kind--the "can't be bothered" lazy sort.

SBD--promo, fromo, gromo, tromo, promo

Summer has a new release today.

This is the hawt infertile lurve story. Probably the only smut story with an infertility theme out there. I really like this story I wrote because....ummm. I do.

Direct Deposit is an e-novella in an e-anthology called Who's Your Daddy with Summer, Lyn Cash and Alexis Fleming. I love Lyn's take on the conversation that got this started. It's not so far off the mark, only there were more rioters early on.

I think her blog entry is way more fun than this particular SBD which is in dire need of some cheerleader smilies or maybe more and better coffee (new year's resolution: cut back on the coffee. So far, bleargh). Rah, Rah Rioting!

Here's yet another link to the anthology.
AND HERE is my SBD for the day: Go on, buy our book.

Complain to Lyn if you hate it; write to me if you love it.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Back to some usual bloggage. . . Ember's done

It's safe to go over to Bam's place and start the book because you can get the whole thing read and not have to wait and wait and ... PHEW.
Thanks, Bettie.

thanks guys

I was taken aback by how much it hurt because Cathy hasn't been part of my daily life for years. I felt sort of like a fraud in a way when her death is referred to as "my loss" ....until I started thinking about how silly it is to get possessive about loss. If portions of grief were possessions, nine tenths of that loss would belong to Christian and people like Hildegunde. I'd be doled out a minuscule share.

Anyway, beyond that silliness, I can only imagine how people who saw her ever day and took care of her feel now.. Probably pretty exhausted and kind of blessedly numb for now--I remember that.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

nearly back only slightly morbid

jeeebus, I forgot how much like a vacuum grieving is, sucking up everything in its path. My friend had been sick a long time so I thought I'd done that pre-death grieving thing. But Cathy was too much like herself. Funny, cranky, stylish...just very Cathy.

When my mother was old and I was driving her to a funeral I asked So does it get any easier? Do you get used to your friends dying?

She said no, it gets worse. Each new death brings up all the others.

I haven't found that to be entirely true except that one similar death recalls others--so when Mom died, it reminded me of Dad's death. I think the answer to avoiding this grief thing is to either have very, very large groups of friends, or keep all of your friends and relations in separate compartments, never let them meet each other--and don't let them cross busy streets or breathe foul air. It helps to make sure they're all much younger and healthier than you, too.

Or maybe the answer is to only have online friends. When you hear about someone you've met online dying, you're sad, but it's not nearly so devastating.

I've read all sorts of stories about how real pain means real life and pain and real love and reality is all so very worth it. Right now I think I'm in the mood for a story about a person who's hooked up to a Pseudo-Life Simulator tm and is just fine, after all. Eventually the person dies and that's all right, too. They clean out his simulator, refurbish it and sell it and what the hell is wrong with that?

* * * *

Actually the very best thing to do to alleviate some pain is to get the scores back on a writing contest--the Suzannah--and get 45 out of 115 (on a scale of 1-5, the judge gave me almost all 1's, except for the mechanics). Reading her comments and scores sent me into a total ranty rage. Very clearing of the deck, is good old anger. Thank you, judge! She signed her name, too. Much braver than me. I'd never do that if I gave someone a shitty score. She's published, but I looked her up and I have more books out than she does so neener, neener.

* * * *

I didn't go to Cathy's funeral. I should have, but the thing is..... The thing is, I didn't. She was always pretty tolerant of my weeniedom, no recriminations that she always was the one to call or write. I have a few friends like that who are strong and tenacious and I'm grateful for them, Leslie.

I did go see her finally before she died. Not enough, but that's the theme this week: never enough. Last time I saw her in October (I was visiting yet another sick friend in the hospital) she said she wanted a foot of my hair**. I said I'd throw in about twenty of my pounds, too--she needed them. I wish I could have handed over a couple of my years as well. Assuming I'm not careless in traffic.

**It was going to be a trade. She was going to give me an ounce of her style. She had oodles of panache. A flair for clothes and accoutrements. Not flashy, or designer. Just ... right.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

How to Help Your Husband Get Ahead read in a fruity British accent a la Lucky Jim

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

play time--what's YOUR slogan?

Stop. Go. Kate Rothwell.

Enter a word for your own slogan:

Generated by the Advertising Slogan Generator, for all your slogan needs. Get more kate rothwell slogans.

The boy is done with the college applications. Now I'm doing financial aid applications. = Sucks.