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Saturday, November 29, 2008

okay I'm less impressed

1. The two paragraph description I wrote isn't up on the product page. now it is. Man, I could have used Monica Burns's help with that thing.
2. The formatting in the book is occasionally wonky (NOT my fault)
3. When I downloaded a sample onto my Kindle (yes, I have one) I got the whole book. It's supposed to just grab the first 10 percent, and it seems to put an extra 0 on the amt grabbed.

But still. Aside from that. It's cool.

Although one could argue it's sort of sad that I've spent so much time messing around with a book that will earn me zippo dollars. I'm also messing around with a jigsaw puzzle, and that's even more futile in the great scheme of things.

Naw, I'm not arguing either of those.

I'm going to go to bed and recover from the wild day-long brunch. The dang puzzle is still lurking downstairs, only 1/3 done. I hate those things. No wonder we only do them once a year. Except, yes, yes, there's something nice about only doing it on Thanksgiving. It fuels the festive feeling when we dump the pieces out. It's officially a special occasion! (Putting little frustrating bits of cardboard together. Sign me up!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

It's up at Amazon

You can buy The Rat Catcher on Kindle. Wow. . . . This really is going to change things in the world of publishing. Seriously. I pontificate at Amazon.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

easier'n falling off a log

Do you know what's simpler than letting gravity pull you off that log? Publishing a book on Amazon Kindle. Seriously, this is going to change EVERYTHING. It's too damned easy.

You can go buy my book there on Kindle, I think. Eventually, soon. Did I mention that damn, that's EASY. If you want The Rat Catcher for your Kindle, you have to pay for it. Three dollars. I'll post a link if and when it goes live.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING.


Here's an old Thursday Thirteen. Mel the book reviewer.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

and the chocolate pie for tomorrow.

The recipe is here. Dang, I've been blogging a long, long time.

dagnabit

So I played with the FREE STORY and cleaned it up (again) but now I can't get the pesky online server to work so I can't upload it. If you send me your email address, I'll send a version that has some typos corrected. I loathe typos. Sorry. Also I used actual italics instead of underlining in the new version. Lots of italics as it turns out.

UPDATED: Yay! New copy loaded. If you see mistakes do let me know. And yes, the title stinks and yes, the cover isn't appropriate for a fluffity romance but I don't think those count as actual mistakes, dude.

Now I'll go do writing that actually makes me some monies. No, first I'll go make the pies and brussel sprouts.

ANOTHER, WHINIER UPDATE: My great experiment didn't work. I can't keep track of downloads and emails--the counter died at about ten, and I know at least fifty people have gotten the book. That means it's okay to just send a PDF file to a pal and skip the "go to download" portion of the directions. Still, I want to get an email saying dude, I loaded your book just because I do.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanks Meljean

I think I got this right. Anyone want to read a free novel? Try this. Here's the deal: If you do download it, let me know. Email readingyourbook@gmail.com. That's the payment--telling me you took it because I want to see if anyone does.

No, there's no cover. I figure I could put one on eventually and I won't use posers. Maybe a tasteful city-scape.

SBD what to read in the doctor's office

Okay, I have a novel put into PDF now I just need to load it onto websites and blogs from my computer. Any suggestions?

Today: I'm sitting with my Kindle reading some smut and I realize the woman in the chair next to me is practically breathing down my neck trying to read along. The whole point of bringing a Kindle was because I can make the font bigger so I can leave the glasses at home (which I do by accident anyway. Still not used to dragging the damn things everywhere).

I either need some way to scramble the screen or a more acceptable book. It got me thinking what you should read in which sort of office. I was in a GI Dr.'s office and it seems to me Jacque Pepin's autobiography [h/t Lyvvvvvie] or any cook book is perfect there. I'd have to save the smut for the OB/GYN. Oncologist? Well, I'd say Mary Roach, but that's just rude and uncalled for on my part. Okay, fantasy works for any doctor's office. Seriously.

EDITED TO ADD: Definition of SBD - Smart Bitches Day. For further explanation, click this sentence. Is that you, Leslie?

Uh oh. The spotlight is shining on the moon; the wolves are baying; the phone just rang. It's time to get a boy.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

en garde


This is what boyz do Friday nights and Saturday mornings. (hey, not my idea.) The good thing is it's inside because holy jeebus it's cold here....brrrr.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My new facebook group

How To Promote Your Book if You're an Introvert, Socially Inept, Disorganized or Simply Modest

I started it on a whim and now I'm remembering how badly I do promo and how nice it is to KNOW that and not fret about it.

On the other other hand, I'm promoting the heck out of this group and doing a fine job of that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

and now for something completely different

over at the dearauthor thread that didn't die for a long time**, Angela James, who knows these things, says that Bonnie Dee doesn't write erotic romance.
???!!
Huh. That might be true of some of Dee's books, but others....what more could she do to push them into the E part of the E R world? Can't see it happening without pushing the story over the edge of romance into erotica. (Countess Takes a Lover is the one I'm thinking of, but I can pick out a couple of others)

In my little world this proves once and for all that what constitutes ER must be subjective, because Angela James knows what she's talking about and I think I do too. The Supremes knew it when they saw it, and so do the rest of us. Thing is, a sense of titillation is all it takes for some**** and others (usually people who've read nothing but smut for days and days--I've been in that boat******) require a lot more hammering and nailing to consider it hot.

I would go see if there is a list ("to be considered erotic romance, at least 45 percent of the book's content must be concerned with actual boffage, 20 percent devoted to tension. Subplots, eg anything unrelated to sex, may only take up 20 percent. The following words must be used at least once.") but I don't think I could take that list seriously as gospel anyway. Subjective is always more interesting, anyway.

That is all.

_____
**I'd link to it but there are almost 300 posts and only a few have to do with what is erotic romance. With a spectrum of heat set up. Yeah, I do like that spectrum. But still I'm not going link because I put in a few comments and look stoopid.

**** even I'm inconsistent within my own systems...some days I think that scene in Lord of Scoundrels where he removes her glove in a cafe is hotter than about 80 percent of the stuff published at literotica.

******* it makes me seasick after a while. I don't know how editors can manage.

I'm warning you now

Here are three things they don't warn you about when you become a parent:

1. Every time your kid grows and changes, you lose someone. That old kid is gone and the new one is great and all, usually, but you don't get to hang onto the sweet lil thing you love. Luckily, memory is a wobbly thing, and so the pain of losing that old punkin is no big deal except occasionally when you run across a photo or drawing or something. (Maybe this is why I don't take so many photos--selfishly trying to avoid loss. I thought it was because I forgot how to use the camera.)

2. Memory is worse than wobbly actually. It's rotten as wood that's been left out several years. There are about a thousand moments when I know I made a big effort to take a mental snap shot. I promised myself
I won't forget how it looked and felt when the kid saw his first [fill in blank {no really, please fill it because it's blank}].
I won't forget how sweet that moment was when he [blank].
I won't forget how much it hurts to push out a 9 lb watermelon.
These vague memories are sort of there, but without much strength. That last one is a classic and why we have more than one child, of course. Anyway. You know how you will always remember when and where he spoke his first word, or took that first step, or something momentous so why bother to write it down? Unless you only have one and you have a great memory, chances are you're going to forget in about a month or so.

3. Memory is not so faulty when it comes to reliving your own past. I already figured out I was going to be living through school again, but now one of my kids is having trouble, nothing horrible, just a bit of extra help needed. That was my story, I think. How I hated meeting with teachers and parents and having them figure out that I lied and dodged work because I thought it was easier than doing it....Holy shit, I'm right back in middle school, the place I loathed more than anywhere on this earth.

There is a definite upside this time. It is kind of nice seeing that the teachers aren't always out to get the kids, that they sort of want to help. And I can see now the grown-ups involved are amused and tolerant more than angry. And that when a parent says she'll love you even if you fail a course, she's not just trying to make you feel better. But still. Ugh. Sometimes it's best to let the dead past bury its dead. School keeps digging up my corpses.

Monday, November 17, 2008

my judge escaped

So I called in another judge. Literally. Dragged her out of her car where she was waiting to haul us both off to exercise.

"Look," I said, and showed her the picture.
"Listen," I said, and read the entries.


She liked them all, and I expect she wished I'd gone across the street and nabbed the Republican** as judge.

At last she picked LYNN'S. Yay LYNN! You now have Bosnian Socks. I just need to send them to you. Email me your address (again, please). Thanks!

_____

**After all, he is the Arbiter of Good Taste on our block. Both husband and wife are, but the husband is on the board of the town's historic preservation committee bushwa, thingy. Whatever

They are extremely New England Tasteful and are all about proper restoration and subdued good taste. They used to make snarky remarks about my kids' toys in our yard. So one night I planted two pink flamingos on their front lawn with a bad taste manifesto attached to them. I told the neighbors that if they took down the flamingos, we suburban terrrists would escalate our attacks next on the list: a toilet made into a planter. They kept the flamingos up for weeks, and another neighbor put santa caps on them. The flamingos, not the Republicans. Have I ever mentioned how much I love my neighbors, every last one of them? Except the ones with the dogs from hell.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yeah, that.

I read Goose Girl and Austenland and went on a search for more, much MORE Shannon Hale, and found this in which she explains exactly that which I've been trying to say, only she's much less snarky (except about poor Plum, I suppose) and much more articulate about it. Thank you, Shannon Hale.

About the contest that 2-3 of you are waiting eagerly to see: I have to grab my judge and peel him from his computer to read the entries to him. So I'll post results tomorrow because now I'm going to go order more Hale books. Damn them for not showing up the minute I hit "buy" ..... God, how spoiled I am by ebooks.

--Plum Savage

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another blog

well, um, yeah. Another group blog. But this one will only for That Summer Person. It's time she got her own gig with no politics, no silliness, no boys. It's all about her writing. We'll see how long that lasts. Good thing Summer isn't a very interesting person so her books will have to be featured. I mostly joined because I'd love to have my name associated with Bonnie Dee who will be big any day now, yessirreebob. And now I have to go buy books by those other people. First I have to finish the Marie Treanor who is also an autobuy these days. So far, no let downs from her.

Oh and did I mention my three new autobuy authors? Vivien Dean, Pepper Espinoza and Jamie Craig (Jamie's the first two combined). I'm kind of sick of m/m which they sometimes feature (truthfully I'm kind of sick of romance) but their writing is fun. I found all three while judging and now I love them like I love cake, which is quite a bit. Even more than ice cream. OH and damn! I have to read Carrie Lofty's book too! Hey! yeah!

In the meantime I'm GOING TO RUN THE CONTEST UNTIL SUNDAY! Seriously, enter it. I'm getting impatient with all you non-starters WHO WILL NEVER EVER WIN SOCKS----yes, genuine Bosnian socks!--unless you enter. Go for it.

If boy2 wins, he gets almost anything other than sox. Judging will be done by someone who's impartial, so isn't me.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

this cries out for a finer caption

Aya sent me this page from the Boston paper. Sorry if you were going to put it in your blog, Aya. On the other hand, the more places this Art is posted, the better. It deserves an audience. Anyway, what label would you give this shot? It deserves better than "A Landslide? Says Who?" I mean we're obviously talking wave for one thing.

Here. Let me crop. That might be easier for you to give this picture words that are worthy of its awesomeness. Caption, description and/or snark, your choice.

Whoever gives the best caption gets a prize of some sort. I'll decide soon what it'll be. Look for updates.

Weird how pleased McCain is. You'd think in a campaign full of snarls and grimaces they'd find something in which he looks less chipper. Or maybe being buried in a sea of disembodied Obama heads is just what he's been longing for.

Click on the photo to see details.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

and no, it won't help if you turn the main character into a dragon

Really, I wasn't whining in that last post. It was a "huh" comment.
But this is more terrifying, even if it is way more fun. From 30 error messages you never want to see. They're all great. This was the only writerly one in the bunch. I do like "your mother is coming upstairs" message. Click on the image to make it sort of bigger.

failing friends in the business

It's interesting to have people assume you've reached the peak of your career and are on the downhill slide. I'm talking about other people's perception. (When you feel that way, it's not interesting; it's just horrid.)

It's rather like watching others respond to your demise. You stop existing entirely. In case you're guessing, this is about me, btw, of course, naturally, as usual. I'll switch off the you now.

Anyway, some of the people I considered friends haven't got time for me and I completely understand it. I might be bitter, but that's not my only response (and the bitterness tends to set in when I'm feeling bad about me and my writing so I expect even then it's about me, not them so much.) I get it: It's a variation on the Pratchett thing: personal is different from important.

If you have only so much time in your day to interact with people, you want to talk to and email the ones who'll be of some benefit to your career, particularly when your career is writing, where public image is a big-ass important thing. (back to the you, but I ain't putting this part in first person, thanks) Spending energy on someone you perceive as a has-been doesn't give you career rewards in any sense and might even put you in the same slot. It could be contagious.

So anyway, I definitely understand the POV of the former friend. And there are no hard feelings. Really. No feelings at all, in fact, except when I'm lonely and depressed, which I'm not at the moment, thank you God.

I only occasionally fantasize about when I do get that big break, I see myself giving specific people the cut direct, the distant puzzled smile. I'm sorry, I know I've met you. What is your name again?

Naw, I won't do that. Not because of the whole business mentality of "don't diss anyone--it'll bite you in the butt." But because I can imagine I do the same thing. I don't see me doing it, but I bet I have.

I certainly see me gushing at people I think of as successful. I think it's genuine admiration on my part, but when does admiration end and brown-nosing start? And if those writers never sold another book, or those editors get fired, or those agents fold up shop, would I dismiss all the advice they'd given me in the past? Stop stopping by their blogs to see what's going on? I hope I wouldn't but eh. Who knows? I can't imagine dismissing people like PBW just because damn, they're funny and clever no matter what the Big World thinks of them. Gush, gush.

UPDATE. Oh, and to anyone reading this. I'm not talking about you, you silly person. (you're visiting, right? Bringing grapes** and flowers to the friend in the nursing home.)

__________
**We don't do that here, but what is it with bringing grapes in Britain? I see that in novels all the time. Why grapes?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

interview with a PITA

I swear to god I have an anti-muse living in my head. Shannon Stacey often interviews her muse, maybe I could serve an eviction notice on the anti-muse.

me: dude, go away

am: you and what army will make me? And by the way? Your face! [odd that he sounds a lot like one of my kids--pick a kid, any kid]

me: Hey, maybe this will banish you. I have here an email from my agent who says she loves the first few chapters of this story and wants to see more.

am: so? what makes you think I'm gonna shut up enough to let you write LALALALALALALALALALALALA and by the way? She's just one person. What does she know. This story is stupid.

me: [whimpering.] What will it take?

am: Bribe me and maybe I'll go away. I accept promises of chocolate and procrastination.

me: please, please, just let me finish this scene. I've been stuck on this scene for hours.

am: only if you immediately twitter afterwards. Make it about politics so you lose more readers. And by the way? Have you noticed how grungy your floors are? Aren't you ashamed to live in a house with those floors? Oh and by the way? You haven't blog-hopped in hours maybe you got a reply to that comment--

me: Okay! okay! I get that I need to make some sort of sacrifice to you. Here's a chocolate chip cookie, now shut up and let me work.

am: [munch munch munch.] Good. but, hmm, where's the milk? And by the way? Isn't it time to make more coffee? You better or I'll make you TIREDER. And by the way? This interview looks like crap. Put in some spaces would you? And by the way? I've picked the phrase I'm going to make you randomly throw in every single thing you write today. Have fun picking it out when you go back to edit. If I ever allow you to edit.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

snarling

Usually this happens with weather. "Warm enough for ya?"

Today's issue? Just guess. No really, go ahead. It won't be hard.
First person asks me.
My response: Yeah! Sure did! I voted. YAY!
Second online nagging
me: Yes! I did it.
Third nudge: Okay, yes. I did.
Fourth: Yeah.
Fifth: [shrug]
Sixth: It's not really your business.
Seventh: Fuck off.

Ready to be done. Ready to think about something, anything, other than this election. I didn't even get a sticker so I can't get my coffee or ice cream. Although now it looks like Starbucks is in trouble with that. Go on, all you slackers. You can get your free coffee too.

Monday, November 03, 2008

series to the nth degree, an SBD

I hadn't read Joanne Lindsey** before. That's the problem. SO NOW I'm listening to a book that's part I dunno, 170? of the Malory family on tape. The whole thing is hysterical, but I'm not sure it's not supposed to be.

If I'd come across some of these characters who were in past books, I'd probably have a perk of interest. Hey, good to know Uncle P is no longer being held hostage in the carribean and Uncle J made it back from his trip to rescue his father-in-law from pirates, I'd think.... instead I'm WTF? Don't any of these people just raise and enjoy sheep?

What we got is a huge extended noisy family consisting of all the romance cliches in the world, sitting down to dinners with each other. It's as if the oceans of fictional earls dukes and barons all showed up at the house of parliament--no at Almacks--at once. They all are standing around drinking bad lemonade and discussing their adventures as spies, pirates and rakes.

I just got to the part where a man discovers that the young woman who rescued his daughter is also his (unknown) daughter. And what do you know, someone else pipes up with Hey, that's just like Uncle B, who found his unknown son with a tavern slattern in the Carribean.

Every single woman is gorgeous. Each is the most beautiful woman ever, EVER. We're talking a whole busload of fiery eyes, breath-taking figures....it's amazing anyone can breathe when they sit around talking about their kids, what with all the oxygen they suck from the air.

All the men are handsome and command attention when they walk into a room. Not to mention with the flock of alpha males like this, they're constantly getting into fist fights. I imagine the (glorious, strikingly gorgeous) women in their lives would rather they just pee on the furniture to mark their territory than give each other black eyes and concussions. Many concussions. After a while it starts to feel like they're all about 3 years old and I'm longing for some old ugly nanny (please, don't let her be even remotely attractive) to walk into the room and box their ears and warn the next idiot who growls or snarls that he's going to get a time-out and no pudding for you, my lad.

For the sake of the servants and anyone in the neighborhood who wants a peaceful life, these ex-pirates, buccaneers, and rapacious captains of industry should avoid family reunions but it seems like they can't stand staying away from home. They all fall into one anothers arms, eat big meals and have fights and discuss what happened to B who was sold into slavery and found her love in the arms of a rescuer who turned out to be the son of someone's ex-lover's and a disguised duke or earl or barn. I'm exhausted and this is the first time I've come across the clan.

Actually I expect the author has fun with this stuff. I mean she seems to occasionally see that she's got a load of loony on her hands and plays a bit.

Okay, don't mind me.

I'm grouchy because other problems with the book. A flock of inaccuracies. I hate it when my prissy history-police-being is roused, There are too many bits like "he made his illegitmate son his heir to the title" in there. Shut up, I say to that little history police voice, who cares if the ladies don't get up and retire after dinner? What do you give a damn if the unmarried ladies boink with only a passing thought to their reputations? Would you stop worrying about a woman who wears her hair in a braid like a school girl? It looks good that way, okay?

But once it gets roused, my history-police-being is as rambunctious as any pirate-spy-earl-ravisher in this obviously intentionally goofy version of history. Here I am, a reader who just wants to just lie back and enjoy the story, but Victoria (no, wait, it's an earlier setting. I mean George) keeps coming to mind.

And did I mention the overly-touchy, impulsive to the point of TSTL heroine. No? Never mind.

____
**I don't usually name names unless I'm confident that the author is question is doing beautifully with sales and, anyway, no one will pay any attention to my whining. I think Lindsey's sales are just fine, thanks

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Voters, get your free ice cream on Tuesday. I expect the line at Ben and Jerry's will be even longer than the one at the voting precinct.

Our trick-or-treater was determined to be Sarah Palin but didn't want a paper mask. And there were no SP masks available. Anywhere. None. Nope. Every place we looked had at least a couple of Hillary masks and we did find some Mitt Romney and a Bill Clinton. But no Sarahs anywhere.

Yet we didn't see a single Sarah come to our door and we had about a gazillion people show up. Okay, maybe only a few thousand. My theory is someone is hoarding those damned masks.

He settled on being an igor instead. The sideview with the pillow/hump makes him look like a depressive.

I'm not off to a great nanowrimo start. How about you?