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Friday, February 27, 2009

Where Was Kate?

I wasn't just hauling the dog to the vet, I was without internet. Two days of silence. I haven't done two full days for several years. I managed to get some variety of noise though--what with television and books on tape and my own writing.

It's funny how often I check my email--like a nervous twitch. And when I got back online only six or seven of the 600 messages were anything I'd feel bad about missing. Which essentially means I spend my days hitting a button looking for messages that don't really enrich my life. I'd say time for a change but this doesn't bother me as much as it should.

In other news. . . . No. There really isn't much other news. And since I haven't been looking around at sites for squawking and carrying on, I don't know what's going on.

Mike and I took pictures of Bosnian stuff last night. So here're those pix Fatima wanted me to take. .I'm not sure what I'll do with them because I have no idea how to deal with the page and its out-of-date pictures. My things to do list is very long. I think I'll just click on the inbox instead.

OH and once again I remembered just in time for spring, that I oweSheila/ Lynne socks. I found the pair I was going to send her tucked in the To Do box.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

dog again


Good drugs help, I'm telling you. She just managed to undo the collar outside and rub her head all over some dirt.

Also in the news: I'm stuck on a story that I thought was going to slide along like it was on greased tracks. Maybe I should head back to the last story I thought was cranking along like nobody's business and then stalled out. Hopping back and forth like the Yop*** from finger top to finger top.


***One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Things To Do List


I owe people many things. Notes, phone calls, thank you letters, proofreading notes, critiques, money. I will get on that immediately, okay, maybe in about an hour: first I owe this dog another visit to the vet.

Cousinpalooza was a major hit--for me, anyway. The neph brought over the kind of person that if he breaks up with her? We'll all be srsly annoyed with him.

We ate lots of dead animal flesh and bread products.

And it is SBD so here's a standard SBD question: WTF is the appeal of hyper alpha males? Seriously. Feh. I've just listened to two books with men who didn't listen to other people before making their decisions, didn't pay attention to the woman unless they were in the mood. Otherwise they completely discount her opinion and intelligence and order her around like a servant. Dubya, who didn't really do the listening thing well, looks like a sensitive flower compared to those guys. The historicals I guess can get away with it because women weren't fully human so hey, why bother with her opinion?

Eventually some corner of his testosterone-soaked brain notices the heroine's good qualities and Yay! He finally treats her with some speck of respect. Oh boy! We're supposed to sigh with pleasure because he understands she's got some value beyond boff-itude and maybe now he'll be nicer to her? That's our big moment of pleasure? Again, I say Feh.

I've read some good books with the hyperalphadudes. Usually they were interesting characters but hell, no, not Ideal Mates. My favorite historical hero in that bumptious roaring alpha mold are the Judith Merkle Riley Vision of Light series--Hugo, the ultimate Alpha Male. His son, Gregory/Gilbert, gives him a run for his money. Holy moly, those books are fun.

Friday, February 20, 2009

stuff

I have so much to do I can't get out of bed. Paralyzed by the Things To Do list. Also, the most pathetic dog in the world spends her nights trying to get the cone off her head and the bandages off her ear. So I'm really tired.

If I take a picture of her goofy-looking condition (she had an operation on her ear) I'll post it but you might be overwhelmed by the sorrow in her eyes. No creature on earth can do pathos like a dog. They can say, "I don't understand why you did this to me. Whatever the reason, I'm sorry. Oh, how it hurts," with one small twitch of the tail.

And now you've shamed me into getting my butt out of here and to work. Clean, write, clean, cook, run on real treadmill and not just the one devised by life.

Oh, and naked pictures of me showed up in yesterday's mail--thank you Katherine. Maybe I'll post them.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday tuesday tuesday

And today is TUESDAY. Not MONDAY. TUESDAY. This whole week is going to be like this, I just know it.

Boys are home and that doesn't help sense of not knowing wtf time it is or what day or. . ..

Speaking of being awake too early, I was up and about at 7:30 this morning, and saw five Mercedes Benz waiting at a light heading east. Each car contained a single middle-aged white guy. All 5 were going into Hartford. Rich people are still out there, still going to work. My guess is they'd come OTM, over the mountain, from the wilds of Avon, CT, which is where they house the richest people, not that West Hartford doesn't try for that particular crowd. We likes our wealthy people here in CT. Who doesn't? Tax payers! Fancy restaurants! Whole Foods!

It's funny to think that those sort of guys might be an endangered species. I bet we're done with the most profligate spending in this culture, at least in my life-time. Still not a lot of signs around here, but it'll show up eventually. Yessir, I bet the party's over, even if it's all taking its time to show up at the higher income levels.

Maybe I'm wrong and it'll all come back. That would be okay too. Those guys in the Mercedes are not the people I worry about, ever, which is probably another sign that I'm a big old snob. People who are tossed from a mansion are just as homeless as the ones evicted from an apartment in Hartford.

Hey, listen. Never mind that wandering in Generalizationtown nonsense. We're ready for Cousinpalooza! Bring on the cousins! Maybe they should come early so the boys will stop asking me when everyone is showing up.

Monday, February 16, 2009

late as usual SBD

So I'm reading a book set in a clever world and containing an interesting bunch of support characters. Thing is, the book is in first person and the heroine is not nearly as smart as her world--or anyone else in it.

How can that happen? How can the author who was intelligent enough to come up with a whole bunch of cool systems and personalities not give her main character the common sense of a mosquito? Mosquitoes have an excuse. I could understand if she came equipped with a mosquito's need to feed. (Now THERE'S some shapeshifting no one has explored) but she just acts out impulse and rage and the Desire to Prove Herself. Even early Stephanie Plum looks like a genius compared to this one.

My theory is the world inspired the author and she spent more time playing with that then her character's motivation.

The pluses outweigh the minuses. I just bought the second book and I'm giving her another chance. At least there's some funny stuff in there. And maybe she'll have spent enough time with the character to see that she's an inconsistent twit. The main character must have something because everyone in the book seems to like her, even the bad guy, and they all seem to have brains. It's like having someone you respect tell you how terrifically intelligent their new friend is and let's all meet for dinner .... and then JoAnn Worley character from Laugh In shows up. (My kid was in Laugh In last summer. That's why I'm referencing a show that's more than 40 years old.)

Speaking of Ditz-brains, it's probably time to remind myself again that it's MONDAY. not Sunday. MONDAY.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

hmmmm.

Here's my book listed as the month's most popular free historical download. But how do they know? I sure don't!
Look, there's Bettie Sharpe's Ember. Go read that baby if you haven't.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Welcome to the Already Crowded Club!

No, not surprising that a lot more people are writing and hoping to get published. If you have time on your hands and not a lot of resources, it's as cheap a way to try to make money. Even the cost of ink and paper isn't always necessary any more.

Mike thinks I should start a No You Really Can't Write Campaign, or Leave it to The Pros Movement. trying to convince people that being a professional novelist is dangerous for amateurs. It'll cause um...um...ummmm Dangerous Brain Vibrations or something.

Yeah, right.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

free-online-novels dot com

Wow. I'm getting about sixty people a day from that spot (got the name wrong at first) and have been for days. I think because it's got a listing for The Rat Catcher. I wonder if any of you people actually downloading the book?

Kate And Boy: Fashion Police

newly-16 is sick in bed. If he stirs, I say, "if you're well enough to ________, you can probably go to school" As a result, he's trapped like a rat and must put up with these conversations.

me (holding Lands End catalogue points to the orange version of these.): Okay, tell me that when you're in charge, you'll outlaw pants like these on anyone older than five.

(the paper version has a cute model) him: They look good on her. Let me see that again.

me: But going out in public? In those? Did you look at them?

him (still gaping at model): Hmm?

me: You'd seriously allow people like me to wear them in public?

him: Oh, wait. They're not pajamas bottoms?

me: No, they're regular sort of pants. Capris, even.

him: Oh, ugh. Yeah, okay. Over five, they'd be shot. Although maybe not her.

me: That's good enough for my vote, I guess. They're fine for five year olds. And maybe ironic punksters-- those pants plus hair dyed to match and Doc Martens or something.

UPDATED:
Boy (upon reading this): I never said I wouldn't shoot that model if she wore those out in public. Pajamas, okay. But out in public, I would have to. I'd even shoot you if you went out in those.

me: What do you mean even me? Especially me.

Next up, a gardening catalog and maybe some talk about plants. Also I have a nice knitting pattern book we could discuss. When the boys stay home sick, they're made to suffer.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm back

Whenever a Book in Six Weeks event starts up, my instinct is to find something new and related to writing to waste time. Cheers and Jeers and Twitter doesn't cut it when it's official WRITING time I'm avoiding. So I started another facebook event. This one is sort of a mojo/ links/ words for writers. I found a poem that I thought might work for a pal who has been rejected too many times lately (not me, for once. I'm just on ice everywhere and anyway, I'm used to The Rejection) Anyway. Yes. So. I decided Everyone should get a chance to read that sort of thing.

and that group goes along with the other facebook group I started when I had another self imposed deadline. The very quiet Promo Group For Introverted, Socially Inept, Badly Organized or Simply Modest Writers. (I started whinging about how no one ever spoke up, and a member said, yo, dude. Look at the name. Oh. Ah.)

I'm not on TV tonight so don't go up and down the local cable channels looking for my face. Too much coughing. She'll reschedule me.

The big event of going on television made me go get a haircut. Listen. This is a big deal event in my life. It's nice that Janice remembered me from the last time I got a haircut which was more than a year ago. Or maybe she is just polite? She put a reddish wash on there, too. Just to kick it up a bit.

Here's the new back of my head.

I love not getting my hair cut or Done often. Like I told Nan, it's like when you let your house get really filthybefore you clean. You feel so very different. It's a marvelous event instead of something sort of mundane. And if I'm more cheerful it's because I got to yammer at Nan. I love my sister. Go buy one of her pots because in a depression or resession, you might as well skip stocks and go for nice pots.

Monday, February 09, 2009

sigh

I'm at the "what's the point" energy depleted stage so I think this had to be the flu. You know when small things like a cup of cold tea provide evidence of the basic underlying sadness of life, or, if not the universe's basic pointlessness, the crumbling decay of my inner life.

more evidence? this video ...



took me hours to recover from. They say the hit dog is okay. I don't believe them. I'm not watching the damn thing again and I'm still all soggy.
UPDATE: I was right not believe it. Not only did the first dog die, they never found the rescuing dog. At least I don't think he was pulling the other guy off for food like some Huffpostians did--only because I figure he would have used his mouth to haul away the hit critter.

I want to go back to just feeling icky. At least I plotted a pretty good book. Times like this I'm haunted by the messy, unpleasant spirit of Charles Bukowski (thank you Alex) and not one of my favorites like Wodehouse.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

stuf

1. Yesterday I spent the day fretting about the person (whom I won't out, because she said she's so very very very sorry she didn't know what plagiarism actually meant. Very sorry.) who took my book as her own. I was thinking, man, free books. Not worth the emotional hassle.

2. Then last night a local cable woman asked me to be on her show to talk about my books. Here's part of the note she sent me.

Kate, THANKS for agreeing to be on Page 1 [the name of the show here in CT. Know it? If I'm alive I'll be there Tuesday]...I look forward to meeting you in person so I can gush appropriately over THE RAT CATCHER. I saw the link..... and figured I’d take a quick look. I was hooked immediately. I would have read to the end right then and there but I was working on a project for the Bushnell and had to finish it – which I did late last night. I can’t wait to get back to the story…

So there you have it.

3. And you should thank me because I HAD called this post "you take the good, you take the bad" and then realized I wedged the song "Facts of Life" into the center of my aching head where it wasn't helping matters But I didn't write that, so you won't have it stuck in yours. You're welcome.

4. I never saw a single episode of "Facts of Life" but have seen the episode of Scrubs where they sing it often enough that I know the damn theme song.

5. Yes, that is self-pity you see. I still feel like guano. I'm going back to sleep.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

end of world put off for now

OH but listen! The CVS has books out again! Lots of them! It's okay! phew. All face out, all mass market paperbacks. Many, many lurid covers. Thank God.

I'm clutching one of the cheapie books (Colby Hodge) and ginger ale and listening to the boys thump and groan. That's good.

And if I'm counting blessings, let me add that I live in a town that has an intersection of Raymond Street and Burr Street. That's reason enough to move here.

feathers still ruffled

but the combo present for 2 boys, rock band 2 for wii, is set up and they're pretty cute messing around with it... so I'm a little less grouchy and snarling. I still don't recommend crossing my path, particularly if you're going to act like a moron.

Friday, February 06, 2009

stuff

Oh. I forgot to link to yesterday's article, a familiar kvetch about the weirdness of kissing. But there is a link in that post to the Sailor Jim post about boingy penis syndrome and if you haven't read that, you should.

Also at the above link, news of a new Bonnie Dee release. That's what I like. At the moment, I have a cold or maybe even the flu, thank you Hartford Hospital, but I plan to survive it so I can read the Bonnie Dee.

Since we're in complaining mode, Listen. I'm ready to call an army of dump trucks to haul this goddamn snow away. And then we'll bring in the flame-throwers to melt the ice layer under it. If warm weather can't be bothered to show up and take care of this dreary problem, we'll just have to do it on our own. If everyone chips in a dollar or two to pay the guys with the trucks and flame-throwers, maybe we can get started on this problem today.

I'm sitting in front of the space heater and recalling my 4 year stint as an art model (yes, smart ass, I got breaks during that time). Studios were always cavernous and owned by cheap mofos who couldn't be bothered with paying for heat. And we're talking about Massachusetts. So the teacher or artist would set up a space heater for me. Part of me would cook and the rest would freeze. During breaks I'd drink hot tea and/or do jumping jacks. I got so close to the heater, I got burned a couple of times.

Huh. Just the thought of cheerfully stripping and standing around nekkid in front of a crowd makes me weak with omigod eewwwwww. That was another person. For sure.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

who are you people?

Suddenly my blog visitor numbers have shot up. I have to assume it's because I was rude about religion. I'll settle into a dull routine and you all can drift back to your regular lives.

Before you go, how about an example of how appallingly self centered a writer can be...See below. Pain and suffering--a big so? hey! yay! I can write.

Last night I managed to get back into the rhythm of writing smoothly. Whole paragraphs instead of one word, pause, another few words, check email. etc. Here's my big writer's secret: an ER. I drove a neighbor there and hung out for a few hours.

It helped that
1. I wasn't truly concerned about the neighbor. She needed cough medicine and an inhaler.
2. The drive over woke me the hell up. The roads hadn't been plowed properly. Wheeee! Corners r fun.
3. hartford hospital didn't have internet I could connect to.
4. It did have a lot of people.
5. Including one lady who sat across from us and gave us the most evil eye I've seen since middle school. We might just have been in her line of vision or maybe she loathed us. I think the second. Having a computer screen to look at instead of her hate-filled eyes was good. My friend just coughed and dozed.

We waited three hours, which was pretty good, comparatively speaking. (Especially when you consider those roads. Accidents must have happened) I got more writing done than I had the whole of yesterday.

Too bad the ER is filled with security guards (and seriously, there are a lot. An army of 'em) and horrible germs and wickedly unhappy people--although they might be the secret to my success. I'm thinking it might be the place to get work done. Maybe a train station would work.

Anyway. In sort of related news.....

I'm thinking of writing a companion's guide to hospital ER wait areas.
Hartford 3 stars. No real decor, but the chairs aren't bad. There's only one TV. Plenty of wall dispensers with hand degermers so you can pretend you're not going to get flu even after everyone's coughed on you.
St. Francis. 2 stars. Decor's better (ie actually exists), but chairs are hard plastic. Ow. Endless wait on the 3 times I was a bystander (more than five hours.) even though we showed up at quiet time. You must hunt down foam machines.
Frederick Memorial Hospital in Maryland (based on old memories. But I did spend a lot of time there because of a job) 3.4 stars. Pleasant hospital staff. Bad chairs, but usually a less than 2 hours wait, particularly when you come in with a screaming psychotic. Foam machines not available--this was a while ago--but bathrooms surprisingly clean.

Monday, February 02, 2009

I completely forgot about SBD

and I've been reading up a storm. All those CVS books. Somehow Susan Grant's remark in my comments made the sack of books seem more like a treasure trove than a sad haul.

I dove right in and haven't come up for air yet. So far the only one I've abandoned forever is a Norah Hess. The original publication date on that one is 1978. Talk about rerererepublishing. Otherwise, the bag of purely escapist books been perfect for a long winter. And this is one loooooong winter.

Hello, more snow-on-the-way. Park your cold self on top of the icy sidewalks and the twelve foot high grimy ice/snow banks. Make yourself at home. I've got the space-heater, the sack o' books, tomato seeds on the way. I will survive.

Once the seeds get here, and time and I get to work, the house will smell like dirt and there'll be trays of tiny sprouts in old yogurt containers. Heaven, until someone knocks one over and I get The Look. It's an annual tradition.