Showing posts from October, 2005

Still no Joy, Suisan

I made a half-hearted attempt to find the word JOY, but my search thing didn't do seem to find any and I don't want to make a full-hearted attempt. I'm skeeered I never use cheery words like joy and I just don't want to know that I'm such a curmudgeon. I suspect, but do not wish to have this confirmed. HOWEVER I did find another VERY COOL MEME at BSChick's place. She was writing a SBD entry and I bet she didn't even know she was inventing a meme. Check it out: You take titles and arrange them into sentences . You see, I’ve always believe that Harlequin Presents covers can be used either to a.) make one weird blackmail note, or b.) summarize a whole new plot for the upcoming month. To do this one must first collect six Harlequin Presents. For our example we’ll use the six that came out for the month of November: Pregnancy of Revenge by Jacqueline Baird The Italian Doctor’s Mistress by Catherine Spencer Bound by Blackmail by Kate Walker Disobedient Virgin

The stage I loathe (about writing)

I'm going to stop haunting the pundits' sites and just scan the headlines for a time. I have to focus and riot--the holidays are coming along any minute and nothing happens around here when they strike. Just now I have three things sitting on my computer. 1. A book that's closest to done but that I'm fairly sure I loathe. I think. This is the standard stage for many writers and I'm not very worried--though I despise this one more than usual. Someone pointed out (rightly) that is very much like my first book, Somebody Wonderful. DAMN! A one trick pony. That's okay if you write profound works of art but if you're a fluffster, no way. It might be okay with the numbers but not with what passes for my writer's soul these days. I want the book out of here. 2. A book that's a lot of fun to write. It's got an drunken sot of an heir (Little Lord Fakeleroy as Hilary put it), a hero who has panic attacks and is a liar and turns out to be something of a t

small world of little interest

Yesterday I made a passing reference to Fitzmas to a friend. Her response was. . . Huh? I ran names past her. Fitzgerald. Libby. Wilson. Plame. She recognized Plame--or maybe by then she just wanted me to shut up. And, thank goodness, she knew Rove and Cheney. This is a well-educated savvy person I was talking to. A voter who actually reads those circulars the League of Women Voters sends out at election time. For a moment I thought heck, it's like the RWA fiascos. Whenever I talked about RWA with my Real World friends they'd say So? Who gives a shit? And I have to agree. Yah, it's really nothing, isn't it. No point in going on about the whole sad saga of the Definition of Romance. The great Inspiration and Erotica writers' schism. For maybe a second I thought that. But then I had to tell her write this down-- I have a list of sites to visit to learn more about Rove, Libby and the gang. Most of the sites are unbiased, like Fitzgerald's. The implications

Happy Anniversary, Sigmund

Dr. Ruth, you weren't. From Seattle Times by way of blondesense: 2005 . . . marks the centennial of Sigmund Freud's theory of vaginal orgasm. Freud's idea didn't cause a revolution in our understanding of the cosmos, but it did set off a debate that rages to this day. . . Freud proposed that female pleasure and orgasm should center on the reproductive tract. He was aware that many women experienced orgasm through a small but ultrasensitive organ known as the clitoris but dealt with this by declaring such orgasms "infantile." Any woman who didn't transfer her center of sensitivity to the vagina he labeled as frigid. It was the idea that launched a thousand fake orgasms. Sex research has shown that about 95 percent of men nearly always have orgasm from intercourse while only about 25 percent to 30 percent of women do. Another 30-some-odd percent of women never have orgasm from intercourse, and a middle 30 percent to 40 percent report having them someti

it's way too cloudy

and normally I wouldn't blog about weather but I swear, if it rains again, I'm going to jump off the roof--into one of the rain-barrels. (We have rain-barrels made from 50 gallon olive oil barrels. They smell lovely when you unscrew the lids. Didn't really use them much this summer.) Teresa, see how good I'm being? Not a word about Harriet's withdrawal. Nothing. And nothing about Fitzgerald or Rove or Miller or anyone. Zipped lips and fingers. How about them White Sox? Ummm. Oh, what the hell. The celebration of Fitzmas: Tacky, Shameful or Funny? mommm Saved by the bell pathetic cracked voice of Boy 2 (aka The Actor) who's summoning me. He's home with a mystery fever, poor fish.

Your call is important to us

Please hold. We hope you will enjoy a link mocking Fox News while you wait for our regularly scheduled blogging. more at this site (via dailykos). If Fox News Existed Throughout History For the appearance of a Fair and Balanced blog I might heap scorn on NPR tomorrow.

forget avian flu, forget wilma, forget taxes

This is really depressing. I know all about book-stripping--I learned about the vile practice at a too-tender age because we roomed with Gavin the Bookseller. Knowing the truth doesn't make reminders of its details any less grim. Bookseller chick makes a rainy Monday even more cold and cruel. It’s strip or die, really. So last Thursday, we stripped nine boxes of mass markets to clear out the bins: fiction, romance, science fiction/fantasy and mystery. No one was safe. Each box holds approximately 48 books, so around 432 books were stripped that morning. The rampage continued through this week as more product arrived. Those were 432 books that never saw the sales floor. I would like to assure you that each title was represented somewhere, that there was at least one book on the shelf and one in overstock, but in the end I can’t. I’m really not sure. Towards the end we were just guessing.

messages: a Smart Bitches Day thing

Give it up. Some of you are good at it. Most of us are not. I'm talking about sending the message of peace, love and understanding via romance. I don't mean actually take out the love. You better be good at the love. What I mean is take out the tagged-on MESSAGE of this stuff. I'm thinking of the historicals with the PC women and the misogynist alphas who come to love and worship strong women in general (in other words become feminists rather than simply fall in love). Some people, like Laura Kinsale or Judith Merkle Riley can do this stuff. The transformation is believable because it's an integral part of the man's character to be able to change. Other romance writers seem to be putting in that twist to make their readers or editors happy rather than having it be a realistic important part of the plot. At the end, the rough tough pirate goes from ravisher to teddy bear--but that's only to fit the need for PC and because the heroine doesn't really want to l

if I were a few decades older. . .

I'd take my crotchety old lady self down to NYC and join these ladies (found at blondesense and other spots): ** This past Wednesday in New York City, there was a civil disobedience conducted by " Grandmothers Against War". They are the same older ladies called "Grandmothers for Peace" prior to the launching of the War in Iraq.This courageous group of grandmothers ages 65 to 90, went to the Recruiting Office in Times Square, to enlist in the Armed Forces under the rationale that "we lived a long, prosperous life and by enlisting we can relieve some of our young soldiers from Iraq and give them a chance to live just as we lived". As they arrived at the Recruiting Office, the recruiters didn't want to enlist old ladies in the Armed Forces, so they locked the entrance door and hid behind their desks. The grandmothers rang the doorbell repeatedly, but the marines were too scared to show their faces. The old ladies thought: "if they are so scared

Come on you guys, lay off Judy

Oops, didn't mean that kind of lay off**. I mean get off her case, buzzard face. The woman's been misunderstood: she was just upholding an ancient and honorable yellow-journalism tradition, war mongering. Used to be the publishers were the ones who did the job. Remember your high school history? Sure ya do. Remember the Maine! highlights of the SPAM war: . . .the papers had been painting in lurid detail the horrors of Cuban life under oppressive Spanish rule. The Spanish had confined many Cubans to concentration camps. The press called them "death camps." Wild stories with screaming headlines -- Spanish Cannibalism, Inhuman Torture, Amazon Warriors Fight For Rebels -- flooded the newsstands. Newspapers sent hundreds of reporters, artists, and photographers south to recount Spanish atrocities. The correspondents, including such notables as author Stephen Crane and artist Frederick Remington, found little to report on when they arrived. "There is no war,&quo

I go for a drive and what do I see?

Naw, not really What I really see is far more painful--more rain. Connecticut Welcomes You. Bring Your Own Sump Pump Photo from here. (Yellow dog makes me look right-wing. I love him.)

Tour of Kate and Her Mind

OUTER CRUST: BRAIN: BRAIN BISECTED divided in the midsaggital plane: THE RIGHT CEREBRAL HEMISPHERE: [note the rear leg action] THE LEFT CEREBRAL HEMISPHERE: [note front leg action] Questions can be directed to Medulla Oblongata c/o the brainstem:

and these guys are even more like sheep

All of the sudden, Bush-bashing is okay. Facts that have been true for years -- FACTS, mind you, not opinions (a lack of WMDs in Iraq) -- are now okay to blare all over the front page and condemn on the editorial pages. Is it because people have grown more afraid of the current administration's path? Naw, they're less afraid of the repercussions of saying this stuff aloud. I read this Washington Post article : "As Colin Powell's right-hand man at the State Department, Larry Wilkerson seethed quietly during President Bush's first term. Yesterday, Colonel Wilkerson made up for lost time. . ." (yeah, you have register to read the rest but go on. The Post has good stuff, like Gene Weingarten and the Invitational on Sundays) and part of me was saying well, I'm glad you're finally stating the truth as you see it, Wilkerson, and that whole business of "my loyalty is to the country, not to the administration" is very noble. But why did you wait un

Golly, they really do follow each other! (do I mean "one another"?)**

A year or so ago, the cry went out. "Erotica! WE NEED EROTICA." Publishers must have all recently read the same report about another potentially profitable market because everyone's trotting off in the same direction: Warner Books announced a new Latino fiction line, Solana, which will publish six trade paperback titles a year, beginning in early 2007. They're looking for "established or emerging authors" of commercial women's fiction aimed at "Latinas who are immersed in the American mainstream while maintaining ties to their culture." Their first title is "B" as in Beauty by Alberto Ferreras. Submit to associate editor Adrienne Avila. (from Cindy Myers ) I know a lot of you have watched these herds of publishers moving as a group one way and then setting off down another path. I've only been paying attention for a few years. Anyone care to guess about the Next Big Thing? YA? Because of Twilight ? . . . Naw, already there I t

Still recovering

from our teeny-tiny Katrina. The curbsides are covered with duct-taped rolls of carpeting torn out of basements. There are HUGE piles of trash and soggy furniture. The town is doing bulk garbage pick up for free--usually they charge $20 a load. On Sunday, a fire truck stopped by and pumped out the next door neighbor's basement . . .I didn't know they'd offered that service, but most of the people in town do, apparently. I'm still passing the trucks everywhere--the fire guys and home owners watching water gush out of a hose into the gutter. The official stand-around-and-drink-coffee fire guy (the one assigned to watch the others work) at the neighbor's house said the five stations in town had done over 400 houses. It's probably more than 500 by now. After making sure there's nothing valuable, we're tossing the boxes that got soaked. I don't even want to know what was in them. I don't want to feel bad about the old baby clothes and other stuf

Kate Does Not Work Well With Others**

Whoops. The letter was from an editor who did not like seeing it on my blog. The correspondence can only be quoted with permission. I didn't have permission. I did take out the name of the editor and publisher beforehand, but I got an angry note about it--which I won't quote because I can be taught. The fact is that I'm not good at remaining silent about subjects, even when I should be. . . I used to apologise for it, but I think I'll stop saying sorry because it's not going to change. I'm 5'5", have brown hair, and am not as diplomatic as I'd like to be, but that's part of the package. People don't apologise when they are uncoordinated or have a limp. Hell, yah, if I step on your foot with my particular limp, I'll apologise for the pain, and I'll try to be more careful next time, but that's as far as it goes. It's genetic. I blame my mother who also just came right out and said what she thought, too often. Usually, it'

What's wrong with this cover?

it's a trick question. I really, really like this cover. These people are having fun. No angsty staring off into space, no groping at each other with heads thrown back and bosomsses (his too, of course) heaving. There's physical contact, yeah, but it's not designed to show off any swelling bits. And at the same time, the cover's not ashamed of being a romance. Pink! Red! People who are in looove! (one wishes his hands under his chin showed up better..they're getting lost in the red gooey fog--makes him look armless) Admit it. When you look at the cover, you smile back at them. And since I'm already pimping the book (I swear all I do is whine and pimp these days) I'd like to point out that Yolanda has a contest going with a seriously wicked good prize .

aww, no one likes a rat

Yeah, well, I should have suspected that even a nice fluffy rat wouldn't fly in the world of shapeshifters. Those guys have to be MACHO animals--wolves! panthers! eagles! A carnivore of some sort. My shapeshifter is also a lazy party dude. Until he's forced to be a rat to escape, he's only used his ability to take on forms as a parlor trick. Here's my latest rejection: letter removed because I didn't have permission to post it. I have to say I don't get why anyone would worry about it being on the internet--seemed like a reasonable sort of a rejection to me. The gist of the problem (which I'm confident I may discuss) is that smaller shaper shifter animals usually don't work for erotic fantasy.

unhappy SBD and ADD girl

I don't think I can celebrate SBD because for the last month I haven't finished a single romance. I've been reading other genres mixed in with lots of contest entries. A couple of unpublished partials I've read are better than many of the published romances I've started and put down. Are you Listening, LINDA W ? I'm talking about you. (And you, Linda I, but you know that already.) Anyway, the books I've been reading are Life of Pi (and that's because it's on tape) and I'm dipping into a couple of non-fiction books that I can randomly open and start reading. I don't even miss the central looove relationships and HEAs. I sure hope this is just a stage I'm going through. Most of this putting-down-the-book isn't the writer's fault. I started Megan Frampton's book, A Singular Lady , a lovely traditional Regency with just the right kind of crisp and witty trad regency language and a promising plot, an appealing heroine and hero-

sick..and funny

I don't know who Frank Lesser is and I'm too busy to hunt around on his website (I am, dammit. Can't you see all this writing I'm doing?) But I'm not too busy to watch a couple of his ....political....videos. Lie Girls--good time girls who'll spout the party line. The commercial. And the Bush child left behind. Flora, the obnoxious third twin . (People leaving remarks at the review site called her stupid and whiney. Uh, yaaAAaahhh. Duh.) Once I've churned out my ten pages, I'll go back and watch Lesser's Pleasure Boat Captains for Truth and maybe read Paul Gauguin, Passive Aggressive Artist.

stopped sucking water to get sucked into play

I see a fair number of little plays**, but I don't usually relax enough to adore them--I worry too much about the actors missing lines or the point is too belabored or obvious . . . . I must have been in a mood. I was charmed by this one-- Floyd and Clea Under the Western Sky. The romance wasn't entirely believable, but I thoroughly believed in the love, even if I wish it had stayed platonic--there's only a hint that it doesn't. It's funny because I can see the flaws (if I'd written a character that got in a car with a guy she'd just met, everyone would at once label her TSTL. And some of the moments were glossed over or just didn't seem plausible. The plot often seems very familiar**** I knew what was going to happen.) but I just don't give a damn. I loved that thing. I loved the songs (and I don't even like country western)...particularly the ones that don't have to do with the relationship. That burntangel @ aol is a classic. Now I wo

Today's Fab Blog Find

by way of Doug. This guy catches small (and momentous) bits of life beautifully. Back to bailing the basement. Avast, laddie! Solid ground is in sight! Take heart...Tis only gallons away now. . .

poor bonnie

It is RAINING. And FLOODING. And we went outside and did a sun dance so now we all smell like mud and wet dog. I bet Bonnie's got that rain problem. She also has another flood happening--me going on about mother's milk in her blog. Every now and then and I channel some demented Le Leche League Mom. Thank dog I didn't do that when I was nursing--or I hope I didn't. (Leslie? Please. Tell me I wasn't so bad?) There is nothing more annoyingly self-satisfied than a nursing mother with a fat contented baby. Something about the chemicals, I think, convinces her she's The Best Mother on the Planet with the Best Baby ever Born**. If I'd had a colicky baby, I'd face-plant a mother like that. And later on, those mothers will know their toddlers are f*cking geniuses and are goddamn perfect. The smug mothers are right, of course. The toddlers are f*cking geniuses and they are perfect--and mind-numbingly adorable as well. Thing is, nearly every toddler on the pl

Today's Blog Link

Which comments came from the real Miers and which from the parody? Uh. I guessed one wrong. . .very scary.

Mostly about Weather In New England

Someone around here must have said something to piss off the gods because this rain is starting to feel personal. Anyone have any goats or virgins we can toss into a storm drain in lieu of a volcano? It's clear we must appease a higher power. I think my sinuses are mildewing. Ewwwwww. I'm knee-deep in edits and a leaking basement so I'll just pimp yet another contest. It's easier than Doug's but less lurid . . . maybe. Here is your chance to win a $25.00 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble. All you have to do is complete this sentence: “I know romance readers are smarter because . . .”** To enter just add your comment here. update-- I moved this post up because it's the only one that'll show blog visitors a good time. (speaking of which, is it really illegal in Florida to have relations with porcupines?) _____________________ ** The question ought to be who or what are romance readers smarter than? It's like those ads. Now! 25% better clea

Katrina AGAIN?

I admit it--I'm having trouble staying awake at work. So I was reading this piece about 42 people who've left the government and noticed how many who were fired (or quit in disgust) had been in charge of the infrastructure of our country. Here's one of them: Mike Parker: In early 2002, Parker, the director of the Army Corps of Engineers testified before Congress that Bush-mandated budget cuts would have a "negative impact" on the Corps. He also admitted to holding no "warm and fuzzy" feelings toward the Bush administration. "Soon after," reported the Christian Science Monitor , "he was given 30 minutes to resign or be fired." In the wake of the devastation caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Parker's clashes with Mitch Daniels, former director of the Office of Management and Budget, can be seen as prophetic. Parker remembered one such incident in which he brought Daniels, the Bush administration's budget guru, a piece

I Lied About Not Posting

I got this from Dailykos**. This guy might have been my relative. From an obit in the Chicago Tribune: " Theodore Roosevelt Heller, 88, loving father of Charles (Joann) Heller; dear brother of the late Sonya (the late Jack) Steinberg. Ted was discharged from the U.S. Army during WWII due to service-related injuries, and then forced his way back into the Illinois National Guard insisting no one tells him when to serve his country. Graveside services Tuesday 11 a.m. at Waldheim Jewish Cemetery (Ziditshover section), 1700 S. Harlem Ave., Chicago. In lieu of flowers, please send acerbic letters to Republicans." It's not the Republicans part that makes me laugh and wish I'd known him. Make it "letters to ____" "Democrats" or "the newspaper" or even "zoo keepers." It's that the guy was always ornery and always cared. Even on his way out he still gave a damn. ______________ ** bet you thought I was going to get all outraged a

I want my $30 gift certificate

So I'll pimp Doug's Bad Sex Writing contest. He gets all complex and involved at his website--goes on about ENTs**--which must have skeered off the usual suspects. Here's what you do for the New Sex contest. 1. Write bad smut. You want it to be as bad as (or if posible, worse than) these bits 'o smut. 2. Make sure it's 200 words or less. 3. Post your smut at Doug's site where his ten-year-old will NOT read it. 4. Wait for your prize, which will be better than sox, even. ________________ ** I'll have you know that I can say otalaryngologist. Can't spell it. I know about the word because Boy 1 had ear tubes at age 11 months. He had the operation over his mother's dead body--so I must be a zombie which explains a lot, especially tonight.

Goedhartige geweldenaar

If you go to this page and do a CTRL + F search for "Rothwell" you find my Dutch title. I wish someone would tell me what the blurb says. The page can't be copied so I haven't tried dropping it into a translating program. The cover consists of a couple of people gazing over a very non-New York City landscape. I must say I'm way disappointed that the hero and heroine are viewed at a distance and seem to be fully clothed.** Almost as tasteful as the original. Practically an inspy cover. Babelfish translates "goedhartige gelweldenaar" as "goedhartige violence ear" and that's promising. Update . Oh boy! Linda managed to load it into Babelfish--here's the translation: New York 1882nd Michael McCann is a police constable of the type of harsh bolster, blanke pip. The muscular ier is thus not too beroerd a poorly looking save woman, who has a scratch herself by in a lane in closely has been floated. Michael take care of themselves concernin

so MUCH to do

First: my meme from Candy. I cannot afford to ignore a summons from one of The Bitches. The first time I noticed this meme making the rounds a few weeks ago, it was in a bunch of blogs devoted to infertility. . . Hmmmm. 1. Delve into your blog archive. I'm going to go to my ORIGINAL blog for this. Talk about devotion to duty! 2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to). From, the post was titled Contest FAQ and Official Announcement Post 3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to). "I'm thinking The Creepy, The Funny, and The Moved Me to Tears Categories, with one grand prize winner from all the categories getting the sox and a book." 4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions. Ponder it for meaning, subtext or hidden agendas… I used to have contests all the time, usually 55 word entries. I loved them--the entries were wonderful--but I had to nag people to enter, and then I had to remember to mail off the prize

going to New Jersey soon.

gonna be a dental floss tycoon. Anyone else going to be there? NJRWA? There's a book signing on Saturday, I think 4-5:30. If you're in the area, come by and I'll give you a piece of chocolate. See you Sunday or Monday.

Today's Political Speech (or am I just ferfe baiting?)

Brought to you by Al Gore. Keep in mind he's a politician, ferfe, so we can't hold him to the same standards as journalists.... So come on, admit it: he comes across as more intelligent and awake than Bush.

Copying from Monica's blog--but I'm so loving the covers

Lee Goldberg's cover : "you lookin' at me, asswipe?" The people who designed that had a good time. It's so ... so ... yeah. At the link above you'll find some great quotes about the actual book. Including this one: "Goldberg made me smell his armpits when I was kid, never took me to the arcade when he said he would and once, just once, refused to let me borrow his Knack album when I really, realy wanted to. Fuck that guy. It's a rollicking good time!" --Tod Goldberg And then there's Monic a's cover . Yes, the model knows she's gorgeous, but I'm betting she's not entirely vain 24/7. Do the covers actually reflect the stories inside? Uh. I don't know yet. I do know I'd pick up these books to at least flip through them. On the train I'd hold them waaay up so my fellow passengers could get a bit of glamour in their humdrum lives.

two things today

1. Happy Release Day, Shannon!!!! 2. I have to get to work. The mail Briana mentioned is a story that needs revision. Lots of work--pity me. I think I'll drag the laptop outside to work on the deck. Skip the pity.

They're OUT THERE...Power Blogging.

Several editors and agents I've talked to have said that they have no interest in reading a single unnecessary word on the computer. They prefer hard-copy for their leisure reading and won't do any fun-time reading on the computer because they are sick of the thing. Okay, then, I didn't have to be careful.** I could mention Hilary and Briana (who has stopped by come to think of it) and Emily--and all those professsssional types wouldn't see a word of it. I reasoned that the only people reading my blog who don't post are my brother-in-law [ hi, Andrew!] my neighbor [ yo, L! ] my pal from high school [ eb! dude! ] my Frederick friend [ 'sup Leslie? Thanks for the coupon ]. And then the people who do post--most of them are returning the visits I make to their blogs. It's coffee hour with the neighbors, usually with unspiked coffee even. Come as you are, no need for stilettos. Amiable 's enough and those authors who use the blog to sell themselves are foo

I'm somewhere else today

Over at Romance Unlimited . I guess I'm so damned good, they want more of me over there. Or maybe everyone else is busy. Kids are home today for Rosh Hashonna--currently watching a History Channel show about Wyatt Earp. Educational, they tell me. I hear lots of talk of bullets and shot guns. Did Earp wear a bulletproof breastplate? Do we care?


Anyone remember the scenes in Fahrenheit 451 when the citizens are told to be on the alert for convicts? I can recall them searching for Montag in a nightmarish sequence--they track and shoot some poor schnook. Here's an interesting variation of that Citizens Helping Big Brother scene--only I think this instance is kind of cool--as long as any "FACTS" are relevant and ARE TRIPLE CHECKED. Dang, it could be a nightmare for anyone if misused. But the questions they ask seem relevant. They don't ask if she got drunk at the Senior Prom and threw up on her date--they ask about her legal career. This is most of the email I got** Dear MoveOn member, This morning, President Bush nominated Harriet Miers to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court. Miers is a long-time political appointee, campaign counsel, personal lawyer and Bush loyalist who has never served as a judge. Ex-FEMA Director Michael Brown taught us that vital national positions m

evil time wasting websites.

1. Beth's evil website. Bizarro ebay auctions. Wow. 2. Not really a place to mess around. It's more " drop by and be amazed by the name ". Who got drunk and named that typhoon? 3. Amy's hanging with the wild animals at the local watering hole in Botswana real time. Yo. Elephants. Get outta the water, you're mucking it up. No more checking for Zebras--I should be working. Maybe I'll celebrate SBD later, but I'm not sure. Cruising those ebay auctions took up a lot of time. And restraining myself took a lot of effort....ohhhhh, I want the manly carrot and Uncle Bob's glass eye.


I'm chugging along, already in the fourth chapter of a historical. Here's the weird thing: I have no idea what year this book takes place. DAMN! I don't think I've done this before. I mean it'll be the decade I'm fond of, the 1880s. (I think I like those years only because I've read a lot about them.) My characters wake up every morning and they don't know what the hell year they're in. Has a president been assassinated? (Garfield '81) Is there finally train service between their town and the city? Has the fountain pen been invented (1885)? Has the last guagga died ('83)? Have Allan Pinkerton and Gregor Mendel died yet? ('84) Can they buy Ladies Home Journal (first pubbed '83)? They don't know anything, those poor characters. I've given my hero panic attacks. I figure I ought to use the experience somewhere, right? He's got post-traumatic stress disorder, naturally. Can't have a hero who just has panic attacks for n