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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Aya!


and to celebrate, a link to one of her little movie things.

and then there's Mark and the Aliens which mentions cousins and us.

Click on the cover to read more.

It does seem like we're supposed to give her gifts when it's her birthday instead of the other way around. Too bad.

Monday, June 29, 2009

tempting fate and sbd, but not really about either

Have I ever mentioned how lucky I am when it comes to family? I mean my immediate family of course boys, mike. They're the business---and the lights of my life. But I also mean the extended version--siblings, in-laws. It's impossible to do better than the group I lucked into. I love them, like them and even respect them.

Have I mentioned this good luck for me? Now I have. Thanks, Fates. I'd say thumbs up and good job for me. And now I will go touch and knock and kick wood to stop those Fates from changing their minds.

* * *
TWITTER EFFEX

Okay. Monday and it's SBD and I have a book coming out fairly soon, like in a couple of weeks. I'd put up a cover but there still isn't one. I'd put up an excerpt, but I'll wait on that. I think about all the things I'm supposed to do about books coming out, make as much noise as possible (hey, a Billy Mays shout out here! That's what we did yesterday instead of a moment of silence. We had moment of noisy babble and since there were about 9 teenagers in the house, it was quite a moment.)

I have done none of it. I'm not sure why.

Perhaps because this book doesn't fit the others? Or because I'm burned out on promo? Hard to imagine the second. I haven't had any books to promo lately. I think I'm not burned out on MY promo, just the whole noise of it in the world. I don't watch the videos or join the facebook groups, even of the writers I like.

Reading is such a private event and all that promo is so out there nothing but babble, the opposite of reading.

Almost all the twitters I watch and enjoy are basically what semi-famous people are up to and they're promoing each other and I get enough promo from that. I'm talking funny, interesting people like Sarah from SBTB and Ron Hogan and Sarah Frantz and that lot.

But the world really is not much more than pushing oneself or one's friends forward. It's almost as if watching each other and keeping track of trends has replaced everything else including reading, which is what they're supposed to be watching and tracking. I realize that it's just the cumulative noise. Each of them on his or her own is off quietly leading a life and each article is fine, but when the whole group gets together (and I follow hundreds) it's as noisy as a hen yard or a conference of any sort. squawk squawk. I'm not being superior here even if it sounds like I'm raising myself above the squawking. I'm delighted when someone so much as peeps in my direction. But it puts me off trying to wedge stuff in there. My own books, for instance. And it puts me off promo because so much of that noise is look at this! look at this! LOOK AT THIS!

Okay, okay. The other main reason I'm not promoing? I'm not sure about this book. I wish someone I don't know would read it and pat me on the back. There, there, Kate. It isn't a trivial time-waster. Wait, no. I like trivial wastes of time. I aspire to writing good ones. What I mean is I want someone to pat me on the back and say there, there, Kate it's a FUN trivial time-waster.

It would be particularly good if that someone I didn't really know read it and better if that someone was a reviewer. Who twittered about it. Look at this!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

this again?

Didn't we just do this last winter? This isn't a bad one that's stopping me from writing for long. But this time I'm writing down the recipe because you never know when you could use a good portion of useless work-stopping attitude.


Mix together
ONE bulky book with a tough unwieldy plot (possible substition of a thin book with no plot to speak of. Or both.)
SEVERAL Characters who suddenly seem familiar because Omigod you just write the same people over and over? Omigod! Why didn't you see that?
Sprinkle
a full serving of ICWSWS (I can't write sentences worth shit)
Mix
with a healthy dose of
work issues or sheer laziness .... or for more serious cases, actual illness.

Add optional family factors and VOILA!
A good portion of neurotowriter Mmmmm. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fatima at her loom

Now you know why it takes so long for her to make a rug. Every few rows she pushes everything down with a little wooden fork thing. Otherwise, it's all done by hand.
video

did this work?

video

I went to Fatima's to pick up a few sox and a rug. I took along a boy's camera to use and maybe it even worked. We shall see. I really want the video of her weaving.

Fatima just got back from a trip to Bosnia a couple of weeks ago. Her brother's bones were finally ID'd in a mass grave and she went over for his burial. She and her family paid for the trip. I thought it was one of those things international agencies paid for?

Monday, June 22, 2009

SBD sad addiction version

I've only just managed to drag myself out of Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy only to discover THERE ARE THREE MORE. Aw, man.

And now I've read the first of those. Honestly, what is it with these authors that think we don't have lives? I have better things to do than get stuck reading their books. Unfortunately, I can't recall what those better things are at the moment.

Work. Yes, okay, I'm on it, BD! I promise.

I'm not even that fond of Fitz the main character. Okay, maybe I am.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

and today's short post at erotic muses

is about Seduction Music.

Kind of sad: I have hours of "music to write by" carefully compiled and labeled. (lots of varieties of music, nothing with lyrics) and not a minute of seduction music even mentally labeled. That's what I was attempting when I wrote that. Nope, not coming up with answers.

I think I'll give it a miss, turn on some of my regular music and go to work.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

my favorite antiromance video. Although really, enough with the gnarls barkley.



Monday, June 15, 2009

bread

keep in mind that I have 3 teenaged boys to eat all this.

2 tablespoons dry yeast
-put in about a cup of lukewarm water with 1/4 cup sugar (I use the water in which I cooked the potatoes.)

once it starts to bubble (so I know my bulk yeast is still happy) I add:

-2 cups warm milk with 2 small cooked potatoes added to it (thoroughly mooshed, as in I usually use that hand held beater on the milk and potatoes) and a tad of white vinegar so it's sort of like buttermilk.

-if I remember, non-fat dry milk to add more protein (actually I should add that to the milk because otherwise it stays in little hard particles. I whip it in with a hand held beater. Of course with the vinegar added the milk is more likely to separate but it doesn't seem to affect the bread)

-2 eggs or sometimes 1 egg and a couple of yolks if I'm feeling decadent.

-somewhere between 1/4-1/2 cup butter or oil

-about 1.5 teaspoons of salt.

-other things if I'm feeling in the mood. Almost always some wheat germ. Got some cooked mooshy carrots? You might use them instead of the potatoes. Add cheese bits!

This recipe works fine without the eggs or potatoes or with water instead of milk etc.

Then a ton of flour. At least 6-8 cups. More like ten, even. I add a mix of King Arthur's white and KA's wheat but you go ahead and add whatever you want. I bet it'll work with at least some of that strange stuff you got in your freezer. That rice flour! Sure!

My mixer can't handle this for long but I try for a while, getting batter all over the top of it. Yeesh. I knead by hand eventually. Put it in oiled bowls (takes two) covered with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1.5 hours or less.

Then I divide it into greased loaf pans (it's about 5 loaves) and let it rise again. bake it at somewhere between 360-375 F for about 25-30 minutes or when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom--which after many years of baking and tapping, I HAVE YET TO FIGURE OUT. So sometimes the bread is undercooked. Sue me.

I don't think it's ever been overcooked. By the time the house smells like bread, the boys have gathered like vultures waiting for a critter to die. No way it's going to be forgotten. Once or twice I've cooked it at 400 and then lowered the heat after about ten minutes. Makes for a crunchy crust.

Eat.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

as I go through my day.....I ask myself

where are the black pants?

should I go to the RWA conference? What will I get out of it? Will it be worth the necessary drug fog? if I don't have a book out this whole freaking year, why should I bother with the conference?

if I don't go to this middle school concert, will my child be scarred forever? Will I? Why do they schedule so many concerts anyway? Who's idea is it to have so freaking many concerts?

what's wrong with simultaneous submissions and why do I feel slightly guilty now that I've pushed the submit button? I mean it's not like I didn't warn them about each other, is it? and it's not like they're going to buy the goddamn books anyway, are they?

are they?

Why is the dog ripping her fur off again? Isn't that new overpriced dog food enough?

where the FREAK are those black pants?
Why can't the kid wear khakis for the concert?
and hey, oh no, where are the black socks? Who'll help me get that black sox song loop out of my head now that it has started up?

Why can't we have leftovers for dinner? Why do I have to cook something new?

Will it rain? Should I water the new things I planted?

Who took the goddamn black pants?

Why did I eat all those thin mint cookies?

Why'm I so grouchy?

Who hid the muthafricking Black PANTS?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sure, Some idiot in production's fault

.....or not.


Okay so did you happen to notice how a while back I mentioned (but didn't moan, nossirree) that I didn't have a cover and had to use my own glamorized face for an RT ad?

I didn't want to be a troublemaker and complain but, jeebus, I couldn't help but notice that publisher was slow coming up with a cover. I felt very professional and restrained because I didn't say a word on any of my loops or even complain to my friends. Or whine at my editor.

I'd go over and check the page now and then fume a bit. Yup, the book is listed but where is the freaking cover? What is UP, people? I'd think. But not say because I've been doing this business long enough to know that whiners do not look even remotely professional.

Then yesterday I get a terse, polite note from the cover coordinator basically saying, Kate, dude, wtf? Where is our cover request form? Only he was way, way more professional than that.

Ah. Well. Oh. My. Um. Yes.

Oh you mean that cover request form that I filled out (with a lot of help, yes)...But...didn't ...send....because I thought it was Someone Else's Problem.

Do I have an excuse? It would be nice if I could plead ignorance about the process but that seems sort of unrealistic because this is my fifth book with this company.

So no. Nope, I got nothing. Ahem. I plan to have better luck with that professional attitude next time.

* * *

And just because I'm pasting it everywhere, here's a link to a great comic.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

stuff

1. My brother's okay. He decided to have a heart attack yesterday. Then he decided to find help before everything went south permanently. He had some serious blockage but they managed to put in all the stuff he needs to have the heart work again properly. Stents. The emails from the other siblings make it sound like he's doing well or at least not scary bad any more. I'd call too but there are too many people bugging him. Poor guy.

2. My email is showing signs of being a real PITA again. People are saying "didn't you get that email?" often enough that I know the email-eating goblins in the system are at it again. If you sent me something and I didn't answer, try again. I 'might not be ignoring you.

3. We picked a lot of strawberries, pounds and pounds and pounds. Now the kitchen smells like strawberries and the little spiders are walking around on the table. Got to love summer.


Friday, June 05, 2009

Fretting about a boy (not mine)

Poor kid was in a car accident and is going to take some time to recover. I think his slow recovery will be more bearable than that dreary time is for some people because he's got some good resources in his brain. Over the weekends he's stayed with us, that guy had more thoughts crowding through his head (and out his mouth) than most people manage in a lifetime.

He's one of the guys I thought of when I wrote this but, still even in his late teens, he hasn't gotten entirely far away from that magic. I hope it comes to his rescue now.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

today's note is

some Romancelandia .... tropes? truths? rules? over at erotic romances. More snarky Kate than sultry Summer, but that's okay, I hope.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

paging Toni

I've lost the email address of Toni, the person who wrote me a nice note about Ratcatcher and added "but look at these mistakes you made," and included an easy-to-read list of page numbers and the typos on 'em.

I immediately recognized a potential sucker beta reader who's also an excellent proofer. She was someone I could really take advantage of use in my life. She said sure, she'd do it and I started sending out mss for her to read and check. Then a minor disaster struck. I lost her addie in the great Email Disaster Purge of two months ago. Did I mention how much I hate Outlook? Answer = even more than I hate Windows Vista.

But no time for tangents. I have to get to work.

Yo, if you read this blog, and want to read more manuscripts, please, please, please let me know, Toni!!!

And yeah, I'd pay her.

Monday, June 01, 2009

It could be worse. ,Could be vampire, a lame SBD

First: You guys and your weather. Naturally I love those weather descriptions in comments. Sheesh. I considered going through some books and finding exquiste descriptions. But I'm lazy. Feel free to post your best weather let me know and I'll link it here.


Now: Lame SBD. My family's gone on a zombie kick--actually it's been going on for more than a year. The boys' conversation tends to include mentions of eating brains. The Zombie survival guide is on my husband's list of favorite books. I have yet to read anything other than Sam' Winston's zombie books (which I loved)**

The Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! (Paperback) is on some list of books to read.

I made a rule after finishing Seducing Mr. Darcy and Austenland I was by god never reading anything related to Pride and Prejudice again, except maybe, someday, P&P again. But this might be too funny to miss if I find it lying around the house. And I haven't sworn off zombies, yet.

The one advantage to zombies is the undead feature isn't usually a titillation factor. Jack's arm falling off (it's in the link above) is never going to seem sexy--like someone with no blood circulation is supposed to be.

That's what's so creepy about the vampires. The cold as marble blood thing relating to sex just doesn't do it for me. Good thing those guys often don't breathe because (I've learned through experience**** ) blood breathe is halitosis hell. Very stinky. Ew.

Biting though might work (for me without the blood so much because I don't flag red hankies on the left or right). Being the biter might be kind of fun. NO that is not a TMI thing about my life. It seems like a standard human response. Also pain enhancing pleasure. Not my thing, but I can imagine it. Also far-fetched but the death as ultimate orgasm also can be interesting.

Never mind. Maybe I don't mind vampires as much as I once did--or didn't until the market turned into a huge vampfest. Zombies are all over the rest of the genres. Bring on more romance fiction zombies. Let's beat them back into the ground. Hardyharharhahr. Hey you were warned. See the "lame" up there? Don't sue me.

_____
** and yes, I agree with Maili and Nadia Lee who twittered about the pal promo thing but that link was clearly promo. And now a mention in passing doesn't count.

**** you don't want to know