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Showing posts from 2011

the plot genie visited overnight

and hey! maybe, perhaps, this stupid problem with these stupid people might be solved. I think we might have a Gordian knot which means a simple solution! Time to destroy a character, change a time-line, and maybe insert some scenery.

Suddenly they're no longer stupid people--they'll transform into beloved characters. And the stupidity in the story turns into something akin to cleverness (at least for this minute)

This THIS THIS is why I write. Hours of boredom punctuated by moments of pure terror clarity. **

Scuse me. Got to get back to work.
___________________

**the first time I heard that "hours of boredom punctuated by seconds of terror" I was doing a ride-along with a cop for an article; I was writing a portrait of a cop's life for a magazine. I thought she was amazingly insightful. Heh.

well. ..I Like It

No, more than that. I love my Kindle Fire. I cuddle it to my bosom and call it sweetums.

My kid's response: "it's perfect for a 42-year-old lady." Can anything sound more insulting? He explained that he wasn't being dismissive, it just really is perfect for that particular demographic. Mom. (And could he just point out that I'm older than that? So really I've peeled away the years with this purchase. Yes, he could.)

No Kindle for him.

I keep reading these snarky reports about how unresponsive it is, how clumsy and thick and awful. I have yet to see a problem, so now I'm starting to feel a bit like a boho who wandered into a classy party and asked for a Bud Light. I don't have the savoir faire to understand the intricacies of a real electronic device. I have no tricks to make it sing like a well-tuned instrument. Although I do check the free apps every day.

And then I remember what people in my unenlightened world do to regain our sense of self-w…

Contest over.

The winner only had one entry--unlike Casey or Joanna (they had about a dozen between them!) Congratulations hotcha12. You're the winner of the contest!!

Only a matter of hours now.

Hey, couldn't you use thirty extra bucks for that last minute shopping? Don't you want some fun escapist fiction? The answer is of course! Yes! So enter my contest. I'm telling you, it's easy-peasy. I think I'll end it at ten p.m. tonight because that's about the time I start falling asleep. I love the random picker I found. No more nagging a kid to pick a number.

Some people (CW, for instance) have entered over and over. You can too. 


THE CONTEST!

I'm giving away a $30 gift certificate to Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) plus three Summer Devon titles also winner's choice. And if you live in the US, you can even choose paper of the books in print. I'll send your hard copies to you -- You'll have to wait until after Christmas though.

Entering is easier than pie (which isn't that easy unless you do a graham cracker crust)
To enter, you can:
1.  Leave a comment in this blog. Below this entry works fine.
AND/OR
2. or yo…

at the bottom of the pyramid

I'll call this issue the Eifersucht-glück effect because German is always best for these things. 

It's that stab of envy you feel at someone else's gain. It's the exact opposite of schadenfreude. (joy at sorrow vs. sorrow at joy)

Someone else achieves something great, and eventually you might get to a real-ish "hurray for you!" point... But before that, there's the inevitable sense of hey, wait, what about me? That's mine. Even when it obviously isn't yours--and it's equally obvious the lucky/smart person deserves the good outcome.

Here's the thing: no matter how clear it is to you intellectually that the lucky/smart person deserves this, the Eifersucht-glück effect will kick in (unless you're in the throes or after-glow of a major achievement yourself, then you can skip this conversation altogether. Chances are you're not here anyway--you're busy achieving, not reading dumb blogs).

Eventually the E-G effect must resolve or y…

SBD after these messages from our sponsor

Message 1. Have you entered the contest yet? Easy to do. Easy to get multiple entries, too. ENTER THE CONTEST, and yes, that's shouting. I'm adding a megaphone of bolding, too.  Win $30 and more Summer Devon books than you ever dreamed possible.

Message 2. We just got a review for House of Mirrors from Queer Magazine Online. Reviews come so slowly these days, which is fine in an age of endless shelf life. Just funny that in a world where everything has sped up, reviews have slowed down.
It's a good review--as in not just positive (which makes reviews wonderful) but also well-written. I mean how could you not like lines like these?

This is a wonderful, unusual story with delightfully complex characters, many of whom I grew to admire and love. The carnival world is a perfect setting for this engaging story, challenging us to think about reality versus illusion; it's an eye-opening look into the hardship and camaraderie of life on the road for carnival entertainers. …

Romantic Times says. . .

Things to do list

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1. figure out a way to tell everyone on the planet that Bonnie and I hadtwo books in Rainbow Rewards 10 best  historicals. The Nobleman and the Spy tied for third and House of Mirrors is honorably mentioned in seventh place.

And Molly Winter listed one of our books in her top ten for the year.

2. get better numbers at Amazon and Samhain so that I can tag "best-seller" on my name. Actually, I have had best-selling books at Samhain before -- but this one hasn't made it yet. And I wouldn't really add that tag.

3. shake this godforsaken mind-set in which I check stats at Amazon and Samhain or look for reviews online. This sort of behavior leads to bitterness and frustration or elation and giddiness. None of these condition are ideal for #4 . . .  

4. write a goddamn book.

I'm telling you there is no happy coexistence between the promo mind and the writing mind. They exist in different realms. I hereby shed the promo-brain, all that glittery goo is out of my ears to b…

I know how I got that idea

And you will know too, if you go to Delilah Devlin's blog.
ALSO another chance to win books!
Plus! If you don't go to the blog, and no one comments, and I end up all alone, sitting here (and there) in the dark, whining again, I will track you all down and eat your cookies. I can't eat the ones sitting here because they're reserved for a school sale. Drat.

FYI I currently hate TinyLetter

That is all. I feel a white-hot, passionate hate. Hate. Hate. Hate. And to all newsletter subscribers:  I'm sorry about the bad links and then the gibberish in the second attempt at correcting the link.

Hate.

Unnatural Calamities! Out today and of course, a contest.

I'm going to lift this from my newsletter, but just to be mean provide a tiny incentive for you to sign up for my newsletter, I'm going to remove the recipe. (Subscription link is on the right.)

So about Unnatural  Calamities....HEY! It's on sale today and when Samhain puts out a new book, they reduce the price. So if you want a copy at a lower price, now's the time to buy.

I'm very fond of this story and hope you enjoy it too
Updated:I fixed this link. Every single dang link in that newsletter didn't work. The recipe is fine though.


She has a deft hand with banana flambé…and a touch that sets his body on fire.

Janey knows all too well she looks a wreck. What hard-working chef wouldn’t, operating on three hours of sleep? Stuck in a dull Connecticut town, taking care of her beloved niece, Rachel, Janey spends her days
looking for a job and her nights working high-end catering gigs.

Just her luck, she runs into Mr. Perfect two days past her designated laundr…

The newsletter article

Remember when I got all like that? **  I grumbled about the freaking holidays. Gah.

Here's the newsletter containing the article that I mentioned, all about our fabu Christmas tree. My piece is the third or fourth one down and the tone is fairly chipper. I should actually read what other writers have to say in the newsletter.

First I have to finish destroying this heroine. I think she's going to have a really horrible fall off a roof.


______________________
** Me neither, but not because I didn't read my blog (your excuse). It's because I take off when bad moods strike. Years of practice and I'm getting better at dumping the depressive. Run away! run away!

Yay!

The first review for Unnatural Calamities is out. It's a fairly positive review, but it might be true that Summer Devon is losing the smut. Hey I still like the tension, it's just I don't write the pages and pages of sex as often.***

Maybe she should get back in the habit because, damn, one of the comments shows that the review seems to have chased off a potential reader.

The review does have some good quotes. Here's one:
The secondary characters are funny, delightful and interesting.  I would like to see more of them. Unnatural Calamities is a great light read, perfect for an afternoon escape when you want to laugh.

 I should put up one of those quizzes no one ever answers.

Should Summer Devon get back in the saddle and remember she writes fun smut? Should she at least put the same number of words of sex in each book so people know what to expect? Are you annoyed when an author's focus changes from book to book? 
________

***Except I forgot: this book was wr…

Post-Event Progress Report

The leftovers are almost gone, thank you god. One last slightly soggy piece of pumpkin pie for breakfast and we're done. The turkey soup doesn't count because it's a whole new food.

SBD Seal Team Six

It's only a vague opinion, not a strong one -- but I didn't entirely trust the author. When it came to descriptions of battle and training, I had no issue because
1. I have no idea what he's talking about
2. Those parts are straightforward and technical.

Some anecdotes are harrowing, and others--like about the guys who're sleep deprived--are pretty funny and harrowing. And I loved the description of training as a sniper, but not so much about his personal experience of it because..... well, see that first sentence.

I think my disbelief comes from his family's strong response to his portrayal of his stepfather.  Maybe I'm naive, but I tend to believe the family is correct and Howard might have exaggerated or worse. The monster he described would have had to face some consequences to his actions. I mean nightly beatings with a belt? And no one else in his family apparently even talked about this harsh treatment? Doesn't ring true.

So that semi-belief that h…

Damned .... and hello! hi!

A week? What have you been doing all week?

Me? Not much. I'm reading Chuck Palahnuik's book, Damned. About four chapters in, I'm enjoying it. Four words to describe the book: obscene, funny, silly and gross.

I'm waiting for Thanksgiving stuff to start up, for all my boys to come home.

Ho, ho, ho! It's seasonal blah time. Hey, it's a real relief to understand that disliking a time of year that warms the heart of many people --> is not a sin. I do not need to watch and love Christmas movies. I don't need to worry that I'm missing some essential portion of human experience. Okay, maybe I am, but that's fine. I think because my kids are older I don't need to put on a show of a time of year that strikes a funereal chord for me. Christmas = loss, death, shredded hopes....unless I ignore it and then it's about routine, which is great.

I wrote an article for Samhain about my Christmas decorations. Yes, it was all true and for a time it made me h…

Blissful ignorance

Every now and then I think it would be a good idea to get more heavily involved in various online communities. I'd learn what readers are hungry for and attract new readers to my books.

Then things like this pop up.

The only way Aleksandr could get that bent is if he spent time reading what other people said, then answering them, then reading their answers. I bet that if I tried to interact with fans and readers, I'd end up in a huff too. Or mocked or something. Maybe even (oh, God) ignored.

I kind of want to dig around, figure out who said what when and who's right and who's full of shit. Why is this person so offended? What kind of dreadful, hurtful things have people said? Why? What? Who are these people.

I probably will just scratch my head and wander off to do something else instead of getting caught up. After a few years of internet life, I've finally figured out that the whole trainwreck thing can be interesting but leaves a layer of something like scum (l…

You can win That Cover! in print.

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You get the story too!
Goodreads Book Giveaway Irrational Arousal by Summer Devon Giveaway ends November 23, 2011.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter to win

a connoiseur

I've been to enough funerals lately that I feel I can begin to critique them.

I don't like the ones with lots and lots of God. It starts to feel like an infomercial for the church and Jesus rather than anything to do with the dead person. The Catholic service doesn't bother me because that feels like ritual that is part of the process. It can go on a bit though, that's for sure. Lots of time to flip through the prayer book, look at the stations of the cross, count the flower arrangements. 

The one yesterday was a Christian denomination I don't know at all and the pastor? reverend?  really seemed to know the dead guy. He told funny stories as if he'd been there. Turned out he'd never met him. So the pastor/whatever was a good actor. Smarmy though. And he kept stopping to drink from a green container. Okay, that startled me at first because I'd sort of thought it was the thing that held Phil's ashes.

When I was a kid, the lady who took care of me w…

before you self publish. . .

Consider the publisher. See what even a lowly epublisher--a good one--can do for you....here's a list.
Your publisher should:

1. Get you a reasonable cover. They know what sells (Or they should.)***
2. Find reputable review sites for you. There are a few that won't do self-pubbed books.
3. EDIT the story. Revisions, copyedits, final line edits. You ought to get a few pairs of eyes on that thing and a good publisher does that for you.
4. Maybe get some translation rights for you.
5. Put the book up at third party vendors, including a couple that don't do the self-published thing--although that keeps shifting. I wonder if Fictionwise is still closed to self pubbed authors with fewer than 10 books?
6. Did I mention the edits?
7. Promote you. Sure you have to promote yourself, but they generally have a presence on the web and elsewhere. Conferences and so on. At the very least, you'll find a few tweets and whatnot from your editor/publisher about you and every little bit …

a word for that

I didn't know there were words for different sorts of arguments until I had kids and debate was included in their education. My formal education is spotty, thanks to the dirty hippies.

Anyway. I was trying to describe someone who visited forums (fora, right?) of groups he loathes just to argue with them and then is considered part of their milieu. Guilt by association I suppose. But I want a word for that sort of guy, other than troll.

My favorite example: someone my parents knew (knew about? I wish I could ask 'em)  hated communism and would go to communists' gatherings to heckle them. So when the OSS came along and marked the license plates of all the people attending the meetings, guess who got hauled in as a Commie Sympathizer? I wish I knew the whole story. I can only hope he got as much grief as my parents did back in the day. During the fifties, they and their friends got the evil eye from the gov't in part because they went to Moscow during WWII -- at the behes…

it's baaaaaaaaaaaaaack

The television is babbling at us. The computers are all running. The lights are on. We have taken off our knit caps and jackets. Power, o, power -- I will never take you for granted again. It's been a few hours but I still get a thrill when I flick a switch and the darkness is banished by a really bright light.

Still no school tomorrow, but we can handle that. Yup.

Here in my home town

The storm was Saturday and we have no power
no school this week
no telephone
no one coming to clear the road--with the wires lying across it
no idea when the situation will change. Sometime today they'll tell us when to expect power again.


The good news is the people staying with us (we have a fireplace and gas stove so our house is a better place than theirs) have a chain saw and so we can clear brush.

I'm in the library pining for a cuppa coffee, but if if I give up this spot, I'll have to break some arms to get access to an outlet again. Naw, it's not that bad -- yet.

I should write a novel instead of kvetching. Okay.

some 99 cent titles by me

A bunch of my titles are el cheapo! It'll cost less than a dollar to buy one of these Summer Devon/Kate Rothwell books. Cheaper than a tiny cup o' coffee. Less than a candy bar (well, some candy bars).

Seducing Miss Dunaway A romantic novella set in the 1880s
Strong-willed Miss Mary Dunaway had a plan for her future and she would stop at nothing to reach her goal of working with the poor in London. She was even willing to ask a gentleman, a stranger, to help her.

Twelve years later, the same gentleman reappears in her life. Although he doesn't seem to recall her, she remembers every detail of the kisses they shared. The attractive Lord Fellington apparently sees her as the saintly, nun-like matron of the foundling asylum. Very well, she made her bed and now she lies in it, alone. 
Irrational Arousal That guy you glanced at…the one you thought was so gorgeous. What do you do when you’re suddenly seeing what he’s seeing, feeling what he’s feeling, and it’s all hot, swe…

Linda and I are visiting Marie Treanor's blog today

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It's shapeshifter week at Marie's place. Go on over and comment today and you might win a copy of our book. I know, everyone and her uncle is doing book give-aways, but seriously. Do this anyway. Do it for the kids. **

Speaking of those kids, last night I posted a comment on facebook that has gotten immediate and heartfelt responses--a lot of disbelief from readers, too.
Stop the presses; stop all of the presses everywhere. No, this is not a false alarm--it is the real news deal. One of my kids, one of my boys, put a fresh roll of toilet paper on the roller without being asked. AND he threw the old cardboard tube IN THE TRASH. You all carry on with your lives. I'll be over in the corner of the bathroom, gazing at the miracle, weeping with joy.
Kind of amazing how much snark it has raised.  Ha, ha, ha.

Wait. Not really. The disbelief and snark in the responses make perfect sense.

So does my enormous pride.




______
**Every new year's eve, my sister would pick a theme…

Yay! Look! It's in PRINT

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I asked people (mostly fellow writers) what sort of contest should I hold for this book going into print. The conversation never got past the Is It The Worst Cover Ever? And then I learned that some people -- sane, happy, clever, intelligent people** -- really love the cover****  Hmm.

I'm basically informing readers who like my book('s cover) that they're goofballs. Okay, we can all agree that's not a good idea. And just because I think butt-genie when I see it, doesn't mean there isn't room in the world for butt-genies. It's certainly a nice enough butt, though it does make me wonder about a man who would wear a hard-hat and nothing. . . .  

All right already. Jeez. Can we please get past the cover? I really like this story, got it? It didn't go over well with Sarah at SBTB (my take-away quote from her review is something like "the story isn't as bad as the cover.") But I really, really like the story. I had fun writing it and I got a bi…

sbd I meet a wall banger

Maybe it's the perpetual state of annoyance in which I'm currently inhabiting. . .
I met a book that pissed me off.

I tend to stick with books, even the ones that annoy me. Lots of people point out that life is too short for bad books. They're right of course, but I can read all sorts of books that only show a spark of life because somewhere along the line I lost the ability to get annoyed.

And then I met Emily Giffen's Something Borrowed. I probably should stick with it for a little while longer just to see if I can get past this stuff, but at the moment, I want to stomp on it and throw it against the wall and then rip it into shreds.


Is it badly written? Not at all. Is there a dead baby? Nope (thank goodness I've gotten past the dead baby prohibition. When my guys were little, I Could. Not. Bear. Them.) Dead animal? No. Gratuitous rape? No. Obvious deus ex machina? Not so far.

It is the Best Friend Diss.

I'm not exactly a loyal-through-the-years friend. I do…

Anachronisms.

Which word is older, "okay" or "hallway"? How about "kibosh" or "string quartet"? Do you use the word "hello" correctly in your historical writing? I wrote an article about words that are newer than you thought (okay, than I thought) and words that are older than you'd (I'd) guess.

The article is over at Leah Braemel's blog.  Go read it, comment and you can win an ebook. Go on! So far, your chances of winning are 100 percent!! (as in, no one's commented yet.)

I can't stop reading Sookie Stackhouse books

Curse you, Harris! Curse you, library! Curse you, Kindle! I had been warned. They're like peanuts--no, those have nutritional value. They're like cheeze puffs. Eating one just leaves you wanting more and more.

I thought I don't like vampire books. I'm sick of the undead. No way will I be drawn in. I forgot I'm an addictive personality when it comes to cake, coffee and books. I will consume all there is until there is no more.

I eat and read quickly. munch munch munch.  These are easy, fluffy and reasonably fun.

I have to say that the Sookie of the first book was the best part. She was interesting and upbeat even with her meh life. Lately (I'm on book five) she's turned into a standard sort of heroine you find in these books, although the way she smiles when she's frightened is kind of nonstandard.

Pretty? check
Men falling all over her? yes (though they do seem able to exist outside her sphere. The one terribly dependent one was only terribly d…

The Nobleman and the Spy giveaway

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HEY LOOKIT! Our book is out in print, so we can give away copies. Go on, click the link; it's easy to get one.
Goodreads Book Giveaway The Nobleman and the Spy by Bonnie Dee Giveaway ends October 22, 2011.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter to win

stuff

My aunt died last night. Other people, the ones who knew her well, will have more to say and I'll shut up and listen. What I knew is I loved her house and she had the best taste in the family. Unerringly perfect taste. When we were young, her kids talked to her as if she was stupid. When I tried to talk to my mom like that it didn't work. 

She wasn't stupid, not by a long shot.  After the kids grew up, she went back to law school, became a public defender and was a hot ticket. And then, after she retired, she went to work with kids. Page four of this link has a short interview with her. See? This is a death that diminishes the world.

My life isn't affected much, so no need to express sympathy. Too bad I'll never see her house or clothes again or hear her express her blunt opinions which were sometimes odd,  but often held great zingers.

Mostly when I think about her, I think of her house, which shows up in a bunch of my dreams. Most of those dreams are me, sittin…

Top Vac

In a house full of males (four of them), I spend some time trying to lure them into some appreciation of housework. Since I'm uninspired by the work myself, I'm no great shakes at getting them to help without boatloads of whining on all of our parts. But as I vacuumed just now, I realized I've gone about this ALL WRONG.

In fact, the whole world has approached this without the edgy verve and lust that men can give inanimate objects. Time to inject some testosterone into the world of vacs.

I propose that vacuums---henceforth only known as vacs because that sounds sort of like a Three Letter Acronym and we all know how men respond to them--anyway, all vacs must be seen as sleek beauties. They need to be sexxed up. There should be talk about horsepower and the joy of a good run (session?) with the vac.

Someone needs to produce a whole show, a la Top Gear. There's be backlighting, classical music, and slo-mo footage as the Vac of the Week is brought in, and some British guy…

put a sock in it, Rothwell

I was watching the ad for dog food--the one where the dogs wear protest signs around their necks. I clearly don't watch enough television because I paid close attention. There's that sign around some dog's neck that says "Ban by-products" oh, whoa, no, no, no

WTF? Huh? Dogs freaking love by-products. Hey, no, I'm serious here. Give them a choice between a steaming pile of guts and a pile of the green veggies they're showing in that ad and . . . well, damn. Why the hell don't dog owners notice that their dogs are essentially disgusting creatures and perfectly fine that way? How come those people got to force the dogs to abandon by-products when their happiest dreams consist of rolling in partially rotted animal bits?

I was ranting out loud, for God's sake. Complaining to the snoozing dog about an ad for dog food.

That's when I understood I needed to get out of the house, and maybe fetch a life from somewhere.

So now I'm at La Paloma, loadi…

Just when I was about to fret . . .

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Check out the interview with me over at All Romance Ebooks. My elongated face is my fault. They told me what size they wanted and I didn't check carefully enough. That photo doesn't look like me anyway. It's six years old and it has been a long six years--for my face anyway.

In other news, I missed SBD. I should go visit Rachel's place to talk about Frankie, because I love Frankie but I haven't yet. I read all the Naomi Noviks way too quickly and now my arms are tired from flying around Europe, China and Australia. The battles blended together and Laurence started to get on my nerves (although I think he's finally figured out that he's adhering to a system that will never appreciate him or his best friend. And might not be the best of all possible worlds after all.)

I really should learn to space out books in a series better, but . .  . oh well.  I eat too fast too.

A human hamster video

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from the Vermont wedding. With music! And big, big balls!


movie and games by Andy

Open your mouth, gift horse.

A really nice review for Gentleman and Rogue. 

Except now I'd like a review or two for Claws on Silk or Seducing Miss Dunaway or some other title.

I'd also like all these people--the ones I begged to come home, the people I missed so much--to stop taking up so much space and air.

AND while I'm working on that sort of yes, yes, no, no thing, I want my present again--the lovely gift that I got for my birthday and then returned because it was too expensive for a toy. (A tablet.)

I swear to god, I don't know if it's harder being me or living with me. I'm currently rife with first world white lady problems. I suppose we should all be grateful I'm not whining about my manicure. (I don't have one so I have to put that subject on hold for now.)

And now that I've finished the Naomi Novik series, I want another book or ten that'll grab me like that. She's going on the list of autobuys none of whom are putting out books at the moment. Briggs? Bourne…

NOT me

Someone contacted me privately to ask if I was the one who had such a hard time with Ellora's Cave. She'd heard from someone else that I had a major beef with them and she wanted the deets.

Huh? No, not me.

Maybe she thought I was unhappy because I asked for the rights back on a book (Thank You, Mrs. M). I wanted the book back because it wasn't selling there. (and okay, I don't think Blush does that well--that is a rumor. A RUMOR. Which is the sort of thing I'm trying to quash here.) And yo, hey, damn--who knows if that story will ever sell anywhere? The book has no sex and an odd structure. It's not YA and it's not plain old adult. It's probably doomed everywhere.

Back to that email. After I read it, I figured I should make a public announcement, and what better place than my blog?

I have no problem with EC. I've liked my editors. I like the fast communication. Every email I've gotten from Raelene is clear and professional. They pay every mont…

happy birthday to meee; I'm a hundred and threee

Tomorrow, actually. This is a big birthday--not for me so much as for my kid who was born on my birthday, twenty-one years ago. Here's what I always say about my kid and by god it NEVER GETS OLD** because it never is untrue: He was the best present I ever got and the hardest to unwrap.

I remember holding my little dumpling, that tiny wonton, in the hospital thinking, "when he's a grown-up, at 21, I'll be so old."


I was wrong about two things: he's not a grown up and I'm not old. Old is about 15 years older than I am at this moment and that has been true since I hit 15 or so and felt like an adult.

So this is a big birthday for the kid and the first birthday we're not going to bug him or even see him--I imagine because he plans to get skunked. He requested we not join him for the big day...not in a rude way. Actually he was extremely polite about it, as is proper for a (near) adult.

It's a long shot from the days when we used to celebrate our join…