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Showing posts from September, 2008

SBD--2? Because should it be about the books?

I have a historical I hated and I can't figure out why I held on to the bitter end. It's not about the sex like it would have been back when hawt sex in books was still hard to find and fun to read.

It wasn't the plot which was as standard as the list of ingredients on the cereal box. I wish I knew why I read from chapter one to the end. Regency set, cold hero, TSTL heroine. Big misunderstandings etc.

I want you guys to tell me why I held on but then I'd have to put up the name of the book and I can't to do that unless it's someone who's sold a gazillion billion copies and I don't think she has. But really. I could see why I'd force myself to read it if I'd paid good money for it, but it came from the library. Maybe I thought there'd be twists and it wouldn't be so paint-by-number to the very end? That had to be it. Why else would we finish books that don't grab us? WHY? Could it be all about the hooks? (picks up copy) Naw.

SBD--another all about meee

Not about the release coming up because, lordy, now I'm all in a sweat. Two bad/meh reviews. I've never had two bad in a row. Seriously, I have been very spoiled through all of my books--almost always I hit reviewers that like my stuff (and yes, that's not false modesty, that's knowing how it words--subjectively) But now, I forget that basic truth and am in the mode of Yikes! oh NO! I can't write! I'm DONE! Oh, NOOOoooooo.

And that's boring, even for me. I might hunt down the two reviews (the only two I've gotten) post the good bits, and make you have to google if you want to read the meh/ugh parts. It seems only fair.

So okay SBD is about reading as a writer. Saturday I went to a Mary Buckham workshop (and she's great, btw.) that reminded me about scene and sequel, and hooks and I'd forgotten about them. Not exactly forgotten, just not thought about them. And much as it's good to be reminded of this stuff, and shove it all into the active p…

I'm ashamed at the lack of deference shown by this blog

You know you love the Palin baby name generator. Now, even more fun, is the Palin answer generator.

Hey, you can either watch that Couric interview over and over or generate some answers that make even more sense!

a standard sort of blog entry

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happy birthday to me. I got a gazillion twitters, facebook greetings, and flowers from my sister and a box o' chocolates from Margaret. The two boys and mike and I went to Whole Foods and impulse shopped. Woulda been cheaper to go to a restaurant as it turned out, but we did get some yummy sample stuff.

I didn't make a birthday cake for the first time in years because my best birthday present ever is off at college and didn't need one from me. And I got this randomness from BOY2 who is currently my favorite boy ever because he's the one who came thru. He is zippy zen.

Come on, Shannon. Go for it.

So what if farm animals don't usually make for the sexy shapeshifter (although centaurs are all the rage in the deodorant ad world.) Make Cowbody a reality. Because you're right: Methane gas is pretty hot stuff. And bulls, whoowhee. Worked as a minotaur, right?

Yo, I just wrote one with piggy shapeshifters--they weren't heroic. I'm thinking Turkey Warrior next. Not sure how the characteristics will shift with the h/h into human form. Maybe they can encounter danger every time there's a heavy storm. (even though it's a myth that turkeys are so stupid they can drown whilst looking up during a rainstorm, it's a GOOD myth. One I'd stick with)

Now We Can Spam the Nigerians

Cortesy of Ron Wormus, by way of my brother. Who originally wrote it? I dunno.

Dear Sir:
I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transaction is 100% safe.This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and …

because it's monday. SBD.

I listened to two fluffy books this weekend, Austenland and Romeo and Julia on tape. Both were so much better than the other fluff I've been reading. I'm grateful to the authors for having a sense of humor and characters I sort of cared about. After a diet of bad bad bad bad fluff (DM, I'm talking about you. And the several historicals I've picked up lately by famous people who should know better) decent fluff was delicious. Also now that I've had a day of thinking about it, I've decided Austenland was hysterically silly and funny. I disregard reality and accept the silliness and dithering of the heroine. We do dither, after all.

I am tired of characters and books that take themselves seriously but in fact are as shallow as a mud puddle. I won't read them any more. If you're going to be that shallow, at least reflect sunlight and don't pretend to examine murky depths that don't actually exist.

So there.

The one good thing is that these are all libr…

don't worry, anon

corn dog just decided to dump the blog. She sez she's done it before. She's a woman of impulse, I suppose. There are a couple of notes from her in my comments.

Too bad all those lovely stories are off into the void. Kind of like those mandelas that the priests make of sand and then destroy.

I'm wondering about the point of blogging too. I used to have a huge audience-a couple hundred a day--and its dwindled. Most peeps would say that's the sign this blog's day is done and I should sign off.

But naw. It's fun and I guess as long as that's true, why not?

I suspect by now people get that having a blog isn't much of a marketing tool (except if you're someone like PBW. She comes off as a professional and that has to improve her writerly presence and aura) ....unless you promote the hell out of the blog and why do that when you're supposed to be promoting the books? On the loops there are people who swear agents/editors make sure you have a blog or other…

some regrets (not thirteen yet)

1. I didn't name any of my kids Walter Thomas Fairchild or Wallace Theodore Francis or William Tamsin Franklin. Initials matter and those would have been great.
2. I didn't get a cat before my husband got all anti-feline and huffy about it.
3. I didn't plant enough tomatos. Never, never enough tomatoes.
4. I didn't go for a better color blue in the dining room and I should have removed the switchplates before painting
5. I didn't sell, sell, sell.
6. I didn't finish the work I was supposed to do yesterday. Or the work I was supposed to do last week.
7. I didn't start that novel. Or finish that other one.
8. I started this list because it's a gorgeous day and I'd rather be outside.

well, that's an easy one.

Bye! There might be thirteen, but don't hold your breath. I'm my own boss and, sad to say, I'm really losing control over the crew these days. Arrrr. There be a sad lack of discipline which leads to mutiny. Maybe for TLAPD I'll overthro…

a little wallace stevens

The Emperor of Ice-Cream Call the roller of big cigars,
The muscular one, and bid him whip
In kitchen cups concupiscent curds.
Let the wenches dawdle in such dress
As they are used to wear, and let the boys
Bring flowers in last month's newspapers.
Let be be finale of seem.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

Take from the dresser of deal,
Lacking the three glass knobs, that sheet
On which she embroidered fantails once
And spread it so as to cover her face.
If her horny feet protrude, they come
To show how cold she is, and dumb.
Let the lamp affix its beam.
The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream
The New England middle-class's TS Eliot. No Latin or fancy pants education needed and yet, like TS's stuff, you end up with......huh? WTF? I've had that phrase stuck in my head all night like a song fragment. "The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream"
Question du jour: Is this A. better than B. worse than or C. about the same as having the lyrics to Dancing Queen …

two reasons to envy me

1. I just submitted a manuscript and that always gives one a lovely glow of accomplishment. Later on, I''ll open the document just to torture myself with how rotten it is and what, specifically, I should have changed before subbing that hideous scribbling.... but at the moment? Tea and crumpets, beer and skittles. Dancing in the streets.

even better:
2. I have an autographed copy of As Darkness Falls by that premier Australian Writer Novelist Knitter Person, Bronwyn Parry. MINE. My copy. GO buy your own.

SBD--two of my favorite blogs

Corn dog struck with an axe and chopped it down. Beth is just having a life. But damn, I miss them already. More than I miss the comics, more than I miss Emma Jensen's fluffy goodness. And you can't make me stop doing SBD which is about stuff I read, okay? Since I get to define it at the moment.

But le sigh.

Turns out my favorite sort of blogs aren't book review blogs or promo blogs or even kerfuffle blogs but the bits of people's lives now and then blogs. The "scene just outside the window, the weird plant I found on the walk home, the exchange I overheard on the bus" blogs. Those blogs have the rants that make me either want to say GO! YEAH or Huh, never thought of it like that. And then there are the occasional reflections on the past or the future and those make me want to weep because I'm reminded of the amazing resilience of people.

I don't have the same urge to abandon this blog because I don' think I usually put as much of myself into mine as…

No, Rubber Corn Dog, No!

Come back, Shane...Sob....

I'm listening to a book that has two jobs I've had

and I'm snorting and woofling and wheezing as I listen.

I mean, tchah. It would have taken fifteen minutes of talking to someone, or even watching them at work, to get this right.

1. Yarn shop employee There's a lot of yarn shop action featured in this woman's books. And there's also much talk about how a character has to wait and wait weeks to learn to knit because the yarn shop owner hasn't set up knitting classes and the poor woman running the shop is too exhausted to teach the classes. Excuse me? Learning to knit isn't rocket science.

I worked in a yarn shop for a couple of years and I would teach 3-10 people a DAY the basics of knitting. People who'd never been in a yarn shop before would wander in on impulse, and if I wasn't wildly busy, I'd show them how easy it was to knit and teach them how. We had grubby skeins of yarn and needles by the cash register just for that purpose. Of course we'd do that--otherwise we would have lost half our s…

Beatrice is our "pet." Do you know what she is? (I don't.,)

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I mean duh, she's a spider but what sort? If you click on the image, you'll get a fine close-up of her very hairy self.

She's been hanging around the kitchen sink for about three months taking up a fair chunk of space.

Her web is kind of odd--she lives on the window sill behind that glass vase most of the time. There's a tunnel-like hole in the web that she uses to come up now and then. I took her picture the last time she did. She has another hole at the other end and she's pretty tidy. After she eats, she drags the leftovers out and dumps them out that other end. I've taken to clearing that part of her web because the bug bits are gross.

Her web is always sort of tattered because she tries to build where we don't want her to go so we have to do deconstruction. To make up for undoing her web, I occasionally herd some of the fruit flies over her way. Yeah, Leslie, we still have the damn fruit flies.

I don't know what kind of spider she is. If you recognize …

I was going to do a Sept 11 thing

all about how as the dust settled we were afraid for the people we worked with (Muslims) and how I went out with them to the grocery store because we really did fear someone would try to harm them--especially the women in their traditional headscarves. Even though the mood was fierce and ugly, no one ever did anything more than yell a couple of obscenities. I felt relieved and proud of us Americaners.

But then I remembered that my policy is I don't do those Sept. 11 things.

And anyway, Aya just posted a new comic book online. The cover art reminds me of the old children's book stories about Tim who was always going out to sea. Edward Ardizzone illustrations. (Sorry, Aya. I know artists hate being told, hey that looks just like so and so's work. But there it is.)

Okay. I'm going to slog through more revisions and then go read her comic book.

I shake my fist at you, interwebs and adobe.

Here's the thing

I have the BONNIE DEE excerpts for this book, but they look lousy on my blog page. Too bad, because when I started messing with PDF converter and webbish stuff, I knew I'd taken on a long term challenge, and one that might defeat me. You can read this here, now. . . or wait and wait and wait

Life imitates art? One can only hope…

Elena is a by-the-script actress whose co-star, Michael, has a gift for improvisation that drives her crazy. Fighting a fiery chemistry, they work to keep their on-stage romance where it belongs—on the stage. But a year-long road tour stretches before them. How long can they keep a lid on their simmering passion?

When his left-behind boyfriend, Tom, seems withdrawn on the phone, Denny questions his lover’s faithfulness. Their once-solid relationship faces its biggest test during the long separation.

Inexperienced Gretchen is thrilled to land her first professional role in the musical, Transitions, but the pressures of performing are more than she bargained for…

Like the leaves that fall off in autumn, and the dog that scratches its fleas

heh, first title ended with "... dog scratching its fleasnring. I have no idea why I wrote that.
* * *
In which I sit myself down and ask myself some stern questions.

WHAT'S GOING TO TAKE PLACE IN LESS THAN A MONTH? I'll have a new book out.

WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING NOW? The same thing I always seem to do when I'm about to have a new release. Ranting about politics and using foul language in those rants. Thus alienating a good share of my potential readership.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? I can't help myself? And yes, okay. I can't do promo worth ......ummm beans.

IS THERE ANY UPSIDE TO THIS? It's good to know there are predictable events in life.

I MEAN ANY UPSIDE FOR KATE?No, not really.

WHAT WAS THAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU. No. There is no upside for Kate or Summer in this.

WILL YOU PLEASE, PLEASE POST BONNIE DEE'S EXCERPTS? Well. I have to write about 2ooo words to keep up with my challenge. And I have a writer's meeting with Terry and Jes at 1. After that…

Bonnie Dee tomorrow, first political and motherly ranting

I figured out why the Trig on her lap story (in the car at least twice!) annoyed me personally so much I had to write about it at the great orange satan. (Or satin as some people call it) It's just another case of if I manage this basic grown-up task, why can't s/he? And, hey, unlike Palin, I'm never going to paint myself as an UberMom** or use the boys to advance my political career....

I've been a mother for almost 18 years. And I can think of one time only that I didn't strap a boy in in--when we were driving across a parking lot. One time only. Even when my goddamn back went out and putting the toddler in the far car seat and putting that buckle over his head was agony (whoa, do I remember that) I made sure he was secure. When they screamed and struggled to get out of their seats while we were on the road (and toddlers always go through that stage at some point) I didn't give into their tantrums.

It was a simple choice. For the last 19 years, my 3 kids have…

Heh. Another video

I have fabulous excerpts from Bonnie Dee but first.....Flipping and flopping.

gotten bad reviews? watch this a few times

It'll make you feel much better.



Yeah, I know I'm putting it everywhere, but I feel I must.
Thank you, JoAnn Ross. And thank you, Brad Meltzer.

I'm all Palin'd out

I'm ready for the end of stories about how wildly horribly inappropriate SP is. Not even counting the family stuff, I'm talking about political stuff. Anyway. The Sarah Story is too much. It's like a blog kerfuffle (bloffle)--and after a while you start to feel like you need a shower. A really really long shower because for once, the stakes really matter. Give me some author acting like a big arse with her readers. Not nightmares about the people running the country. I don't want to see any more of that really, really ineffectual man behind that curtain for now.

But I still enjoys emails like this "She lives kinda near Russia so she's a foreign policy expert. I'm about an hour from the ocean. Can I call myself a marine biologist?"

So enough, enough. How about books?

I have the Good Books all lined up but I'm out of escapist trash. Got any ideas? I'm sort of sick of spies and murder in rrrrromance. If I'm going to do murder, how about a myst…

SBD-ish. Like sex only different

It's easy to find remarks about the writing of sex, people saying they find any mention of sex boring, offensive, it squicks them out, makes them feel like they're intruding in private matters--all standard complaints.

I understood their point, thought I couldn't really empathize until I started following the work of a good writer. She's funny and smart, but I decided to stop reading because she harped on a topic I thought really wasn't particularly my business or that I found interesting.

I'd read a passage and think:
Why on earth do I want to know something so entirely private?
Or, why do you think I should care about the details?
Or, close the damn door!
Or, yeah, yeah, get onto the next part. Get back to the other stuff.
Or, sure, it's really that great for you? That ecstatic every time you do this? Surely that's an exaggeration?
Or, don't you have a more interesting way to Express Love?
Or, you sure are self-righteous about this. Get over yourself.

Only …