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Showing posts from March, 2010

ahhhhhh, yay.

This is our first formal Gentleman and the Rogue review and I've checked it a few times. I like it THAT MUCH. It's gotten a lot of hits, I notice.

Many were me.

I hope I never get used to people loving my/our books. I hope I also get a chance to really find out if it's possible to get jaded by positive attention.

Thanks for pointing me in that direction, jmc!
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see this stuff?


It's what you buy when you have the frizzies. Instructions for use are: Dispense 2-3 drops into palm, then spread between hands to form a thin layer. Gently smooth over hair surface.

Nowhere on the bottle does it say "shampoo."

NOWHERE.


See this person?

What several things strike you about her? Here are the correct answers:

1. She has a lot of hair

2. She's not wearing her goddamn reading glasses.

3. She looks like the sort of person who'd be confounded by simple things.

When this person not wearing glasses runs across a mysterious little bottle, she doesn't think "I better get my glasses to make sure this shampoo before I get in the shower and dump much of a bottle (approx 300 drops rather than prescribed 2-3) on my head."

No, she doesn't.

She takes the bottle into the shower, dumps a shitload, nearly the whole small bottle's worth, onto her head and rubs for about a second before she realizes there's something wrong.

Yessiree, s…

interview with the bod

me: okay, I've given you some coffee, bowing to your need for decaf, let's go sit and have a talk.

body:

me: I think you need to decide which physical imperfection you want. Your current forays into two extremes is just unfair. You can't have it both ways.

body: huh?

me: Pick one. Dry, wrinkled skin or pimples. Not both.

body:

me: And the hair. Frizzy, fly away or greasy. Not both.

body:

me: And you can have either PMS or hot flashes. Irritability or ..... irritability. Okay, maybe that one doesn't count.


body:


me: And about the sleep thing. Either insomnia or exhaustion.

body:

me: Okay, fine. Ignore me, I'm used to it. But.....oh, for God's sake. Would you look at that?

body: huh?

me: You're ignoring me. I can't get anywhere with you. I'm going to have a talk with the weather. Maybe I'll have better luck . . . . Excuse me, weather?

weather:

me: I see you're trying to do too much here and I think you need to pick one season or the other. Rain or snow.…

about that cant. . .

We have gotten a couple of reviews for The Gentleman and The Rogue and one person wondered if the slang we used was real.

Yup.

I fished all the phrases from this great book.

I recently also bought these volumes online. The good thing about this slang dictionary is that it has the dates of usage listed. Trouble is---as Erastes (who frequently shows up at this site) pointed out---you have to know the phrase you're looking. Can't go looking for a common word (something like"leg") and find its various nicknames.

But that means I have an excuse to just sit and flip through these things looking for fun words.

Jeez, I love this stuff.

The fabulous cheesy** ad featuring my middle boy

He's the one with the mustache and top hat. Not a bad guy so much as misunderstood.


_____
**cheesy and it's for an ice cream store. ha...? get it?

Puppy Love

You know one of my favorite things about parenting? And, for the record before we begin, I'm not being snarky.

It's that you can be utterly proud and heart-warmed by something you KNOW is not just worthy of your huge response. OR that if one of your friends went on and on about that same sort of thing (and they will) your first urge (before you remember) is to roll your eyes.

But it doesn't matter. At all. Because we're not talking about thinking here. This is pure emotion.

When that kid first smiles or poops in a potty or writes a cool story on his or her own, your heart will swell with so much proud love, you almost topple over--all that, even when you know that this is something just about every person goes through. It's just such a cool thing about being human. Or maybe it's not just part of being a person. Maybe tiger mothers, watching their young pounce on bugs, just like tiger cubs have done since the beginning of time, have that same incredible surge of…

sbd hunger games

I got this as an audiobook from the library. I listened non-stop over the weekend, on bright sunny days working in my garden, cleaning up the house, so I don't know if I was operating in the proper sort of atmosphere to have the story work right. Anyway, the horrific situation the main characters were in didn't grabbed me by the throat any more than a reality show does, which is, of course, ironic, since that's what their lives were.

Basic premise: you got 12 Districts under the control of a decadent Capitol and every year, the districts are forced to send two people (1 boy, 1 girl, all kids aged 12-18 are eligible) to go fight to the death for public entertainment.

I got to say it was the reality show bits that gave me the willies more than the death--maybe because they felt familiarly creepy. I'm not fond of those shows so I wonder if the story would have had even more of an emotional connection/clout if I got caught up in them and knew them well.

The other bits ....…

here's what I am worried about

I'm slogging through a story, 25K words into it and it's not coming together. I had a brief rant over it yesterday and one of my two crit partners who've been complaining about the meh story suggested I take a break and write the book of my heart.

I have no book of my heart.

At the moment I don't seem to have any particular books at all--not even of the liver or brain or kneecaps. I sit down and write because that's what I'm supposed to do. Then I end up with a slog, apparently. Soggy slog, a bog of chapters.

So do I keep slogging, waiting for the book to appear?
Do I take a break?
Take another walk? It is absolutely gorgeous out (no, that isn't the issue.)

I'm used to this sort of thing happening temporarily. Heck, everyone I know who's written more than a couple of books gets this condition eventually. But my boggy brain fizzle has been going on since about the middle of my last Bonnie cowritten book. I had to force that out. Luckily Bonnie was there t…

about the errors.

Someone sent a sympathetic note saying tough luck about the mistakes so it must sound like I'm upset.

Nope. Not at all. Stuff happens and compared to what I did to my garden yesterday (sorry, strawberries) this is nada. I haven't lost a minute's sleep. I haven't lost ten seconds sleep.

I'm really mostly interested in how to address that sort of situation. Truly there should be a protocol.

And also? Getting huffy would be ridiculous because those are exactly the kinds of mistake I'd make -- that I do make all the time. (Except in this case I didn't which is nice for me).

Oh, oops

So let's say you have a blurb/back copy for a book and a kind reader points out that there are glaring historical issues with the copy. (and really, a very kind reader since he/she didn't blast it all over the internets.)

The issues are only with the blurb, not the book. Trouble is you've put those particular paragraphs all over the webs. Every. Where. You. Can.

Do you.
1. Go back and change the very few places you can change....very quietly. Don't say anything and post correct info henceforth.
2. Go back to the various groups you've visited and say "HEY, yeah, we got that wrong. Here's the right way. And not to look defensive or anything but it's not like that in the book. No really!"

It's not a life or death issue, barely worth a groan and eyeroll. But it's interesting only because the times I've seen public corrections by authors they tend look defensive or nit-picky or both.

So that's why it's worth writing a post about--tryi…

New BOOK! and other stuff

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Bonnie and I have a new e-book out today! Yay! I like the characters in this one, particularly Jem. And that Anne Cain cover. Nice, eh?


You can find the book here.

and an excerpt here.

blurb:

A lad from the streets meets a lord of the manor...

When CrimeanPeninsular War veteran Sir Alan Watleigh goes searching for sex, he never imagines the street rat he brings home for one last bit of pleasure in his darkest hour will be the man who hauls him back from the edge of the grave.

A night of meaningless sex turns into an offer of permanent employment. As Sir Alan’s valet, Jem offers much more than polished boots and starched cravats. He makes Alan smile and warms his bed. Just as the men are adjusting to their new living arrangement, news about a former soldier under his command sends SirWatleighAlan and Jem on the road to save a child in danger.

The journey brings them closer together as they travel from lust toward love. But is Alan's love strong enough to risk society discoveri…

about that lamb post.***

see what I'm talking about?


-----------
***This is the post I mean.

?? for other mothers of males

do your kids touch each other? all the time? while shrieking unintelligible insults?

do they absentmindedly break everything they touch? just bending or twisting or picking at an object until it's dead? then do they abandon that object in a part of the house where it doesn't belong?

when do they stop?

I've been telling myself for almost two decades that they're going to outgrow this stuff. I just spotted the oldest (19) fiddling with a pen until it broke, then drop it on the piano.

They will stop eventually, won't they?

dialogue

I'm having a hell of a time writing these days. For once it's not outside forces conspiring to make my life miserable.** Here's the sort of dialogue I have with myself when I sit down to work.

me: what's the use? It'll be dreck and I'm out of good ideas anyway.

myself: Shut up. You've been here before and the only way to get past this is to ignore yourself and just write.

me: But we just reread the thing we're writing and it's stupid. Not just badly written but STUPID. POINTLESS. And no one's buying the stuff I already wrote. I mean we love Thank You Mrs. M and no one is buying it. No one.

myself: Would you concentrate on the work at hand? What comes next in that scene with Billy? write it. And please shut up unless you have something useful to say.

me: Fine, all right. But can I just say, it's pretty cool that I know this is a temporary sort of situation. But um ... could you take a moment and reassure me? Please? Maybe tell me that we're p…

remembering a time of grace

only that's not the word I want. Something less celestial and more down-to-earth -- most definitely the opposite of the silence of the lambs.

A zillion years ago when my friend Rosemary (really my sister's friend, but I could borrow her) was alive, but sick, I went to England take care of her. It was early spring and she wasn't up for much---she was being zapped by radiation at the time. My job was to hang around the house and....umm...hang around. I cooked food I ate and she didn't. She didn't complain and mostly wanted to be quiet and listen to books on tape.

Not very difficult work for me.

She lived in the country in a house called Dairy Cottage, one of the greatest spots in the world. Her house was walking distance from fields, sheep and barns. We're not talking about the wild uncivilized country we get around here. Her world had mud and artists but was still a tidy place. I bet it's now all suburban--then it was country just next to a village.

I visited th…

My sister sez go vote.

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Have you met my sister's pottery yet? You can go see it here.

(The picture on the left is part of my collection of her pots, a Rosemary Zorza vase and cup, a Kevin Crowe casserole, and a bunch of vitamins and pills--and matches for our stupid stove.)

This isn't about her work but she's still connected to pottery in England, so this matters to her..... Here's a note from someone else in the US who also cares:

There is a major price in England called the "Art Fund Prize," and it awards a £100,000 prize to a museum or gallery, based at least partially on online voting, and anyone can vote. The facility that is currently in the lead is the recently restored and expanded Bernard Leach Studio in St. Ives, England. They have done a magnificent job of restoring the studio, and have expanded it on adjacent land to provide exhibition space and an educational facility for potters. My recent BFA grad Kat Livesey (who was featured in the Ceramics Monthly Undergraduate Sho…

stuff

1. I just added this blog to my goodreads feed. I'm not sure how I managed to do that but woo, cool.

2. My dreams have been so vivid lately, I want to go to sleep to catch the latest.

3. 1 part cranberry juice, 1 part oj, 10 parts water--> I've been drinking that for years and the kids all laugh at me. And now it's apparently all the rage; I paid $3 for an 12 oz bottle of some healthy stuff at Whole Foods that tasted just like it.

4 . for anyone still interested in the crap car, the car I bought by accident, the car that Gene Weingarten loved and wrote about more than once, the car that made me famous, and then made every man who's ever read or written smut--and every woman who hates the term smut--despise me. . . . . We got the title for that very car a couple of days ago, and in big letters across the bottom of the title are the words MILEAGE EXCEEDS MECHANICAL LIMITS. We can guess at that meaning.

5. My baby's voice is cracking. It's funny and we all laugh…

Her First Published Book

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Looking for a new sort of historical? Here's Lorelie Brown's book, Jazz Baby, set in the 1920s Prohibition USA.


In the world of illegal speakeasies, Kate Kirkland has her life running smoother than a Model T. Maybe moving the family bar into the basement wasn’t the best choice for her alcoholic brother, but Kate’s making them a living—until a local gangster tries to expand his territory. Right into her bar.

Luckily Micah Trent, her handsome and too-suave bootlegger, is ready and willing to offer her a helping hand. If Kate can bring herself to accept it. Since sharing one sensual dance to seal their deal, she can’t ignore the delectably wicked way he makes her feel.

Micah is keeping secrets of his own. He’s a Prohibition Agent, sworn to shut down the gin mills and distilleries that keep illegal booze flowing. Kate’s speakeasy is next on his list—right after he uses her as bait to catch the gangster hunting her.

But even if Micah and Kate can maneuver their way through the gangster…

New BOOK!!!

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coming soon, to an online bookstore near you. (This is actually the first book we wrote together. )

Cover by Ann Cain, who must have read the book because these guys look just about right to me.