Showing posts from January, 2010


I can breathe again. And this morning I talked to someone who didn't say "god, you sound awful ," as we conversed. Tomorrow is my youngest baboo's birthday and he'll be a teenager. He's been one in body and mind for a while, of course. And he's been taller than me way too long. But. A teenager. He didn't even NOTICE that tomorrow's his birthday. I had to point it out. I wonder if I hadn't how much time would have passed before he'd say, "heeyyyyy wait a second.. . . What date is it again?" Then the next boy birthday is in about a week. Busy times. But not nearly as busy as it was almost 13 years ago. Thirteen years. God. I remember sitting on the hospital bed. Leslie was there. I was thinking I couldn't make the two mile trip from the hospital to home without dying. And back at home there was a toddler and preschooler waiting for me. And my husband had 1.5 jobs at the time, both about an hour from our house, and so he was

fed to the teeth with winter

We're being pushed around by the weather. My favorite place to write, La Paloma Sabanera is too cold when the wind blows like this. I'm off to Borders instead. I watched the guy across the street try to ride his bike to work, wrapped up like Ralphie in a Christmas Story (fyi, I liked the movie ok, but I didn't think it was The Best Thing Ever. Useful common imagery there though) He peddled very very slowly. I think the wind was too painful on the exposed 1 inch area around his eyes. Also peddling on snow must be tough. Like sand, maybe, but damned if I'm ever going to find out. I'm not tough or crazy, like the guy across the street. The dog refuses to go out alone--she must think I'm going to close the door behind her and keep her out there, suspicious bitch. But there's still heat in this house and I still get to use a car (instead of walking to the bus stop and waiting) so I'm not truly whining. All right, all right. I am. But what I mean is. . . it


Yesterday was lost in the fog of yet another cold. Productivity is at zero levels due to swamp activity in my head. This winter is absurd and in response, my immune system is on strike. And what do dreams about biking mean? I'm always getting lost and peddling up hills when I dream of riding. Do I need more exercise? duh, yes, but I wonder if the dreams reflect my body's cries for help. And dreams of artichoke hearts must signify something. That can't be random. Artichoke flowers are obvious symbols of ummmmmm prickly love? Melted butter? I should go see what Doug is up to. I probably need to get back on a strict regimen of checking a couple of blogs and stop with this twittering. That's what's giving me the colds. Not enough vitamin D and too much time on twitter.
The least sexy sex book ever written: The She Devils by Pierre Louys. Seriously makes much of Literotica look like, well, literature.

SBD what I want

I'm reading a bunch of category romances and I need something to counteract them. Some sour to go with the sweet. I think a book like Perfume would do the trick, except I read that already, maybe as long as 20 years ago now, but I'm not ready to read it again. How about a good hardboiled cynical detective? Anyone got one? I'd like some fluff in it though. An early Spenser would be good---pre-Susan Silverman. Except I've read them all. And Dexter would be good too, except I've read those as well.
I have another freaking cold. Damn you, Massachusetts, this is your fault.

attitudinally challenged again

When you have the attitude of a snotty teenager and the body of a pudgy 50 year old matron, when you open your mouth, people tend to think you're trying to be cute. I mean the soooo unattractive kind of cute. The kind that's not at all funny, but pushing too hard to be. Those people don't realize actually I'm trying to tone down the immature responses and have been since I had my first kid and realized shit, I'm a Mom. Smart-ass might look as out of place on me as a Laura Ashley pinafore but that's all I got in my closet. (smartass, I mean. I did manage to get rid of my last Laura Ashley when I was in my 40s and I miss the cheery floral prints.) Mutton dressed as lamb isn't bad enough, now someone has accused me of not respecting My Genre (smut) mostly because I'm calling it smut. It's true I do feel a twinge of guilt. On the other hand, geez, guys. Lighten up. It's supposed to be fun, right? Escapist, yes? It's not supposed to change civi

Why I accomplish NOTHING

I wake up at 7 feeling organized, with a list of things to do before 9 am pay bills finish reading/scoring contest entries finish writing my part of latest story and send manuscript back to Bonnie. start a load of laundry actual activities look for glasses to read bills. get distracted by a letter I forgot to open, found in pile of bills. look for coffee reheat coffee look for glasses again sign on to pay bills check email twitter facebook Kid missed bus! needs ride look for keys give ride upon return home, look for coffee reheat coffee sit down with bills again.....can't see look for glasses It's 9. I'm done. Good news, I did find the glasses again.

Buy five and we'll donate five to ................

I remember this happening after Katrina and the tsunami Everyone in the world, from the elementary school kids to the car dealer, raised money for the catastrophe. And while I'm all for awareness of it, after a while, the theme of give-give-give makes it seem like a hot fad and maybe that makes the fast march to indifference come even faster. I'm giving, don't get me wrong. Giving is good. It's the whole "be part of MY GIVING ATTEMPT!" And I'm not complaining that I'm sick of the whole "donate now!" thing. I'm more worried. I recalling how soon it goes from "donate now" to the public sort of cynicism about the people trying to jump on the bandwagon. The "For every car you purchase we give $100 to the Red Cross" sort of thing seems to gum the big picture, not make it clearer. (The big picture being what on earth should happen with/by/for these people? when? by whom?) I'm not sure what the answer to this dump

New Cover!

The book will be out next month, I'm pretty sure.
Of course I have something to blog about. The trouble is lately I've learned discretion. No, what I've learned is that 1. what I have to say can usually be summed up in couple of sentences and that's what twitter's for 2. I can always find someone out there saying what I mean better, only better, faster, funnier. 3. I'm making cookies for a kid's play--we sell beforehand to raise money for .... for....something. The boy's Einstein in Picasso at the Lapin Agile...such a change from the time he played a weather element. So as for the blogging, meh, I don't have time for this. 4. Also I'll be waking up the eldest to take him out to learn to drive stickshift again. And speaking of 3. people saying what I mean, only better and 4. the crap car.... have you ever read Gene Weingarten? At the risk of sounding like a fan girl with a slightly creepy obsession**, I will repeat myself: the man's good. I hadn't paid much attention to his writing other tha

In which I get to the bottom of a plotting and character problem

I looked back at old entries in to this blog and realize that I have had a cold, bronchitis and/or sinus infection since November. No wonder my stories are filled with unpleasant people acting like jerks.

crappy car update

Tomorrow the guys go down to DC to get the car. ( Scroll down a bit to see it. ) It's an important enough occasion, Weingarten even mentions it in today's Washington Post (online. S croll down a bit to see it) The day after tomorrow,the fight for the santa poop begins. I want it. The car's new owner, boy1, also wants it. The boy is right, I had no idea about who or what Mr. Hanky Poo actually is, but now I do understand because unfortunately he's shown me the video. And even if I hadn't known, ignorance doesn't mean I should be deprived of something gorgeous. . . . Ergh. South Park, ugh that video. I'm rereading that short mention in the Post. See that bit about me as a saucy wench? I like that, a lot. Good thing I'm not going to DC. I'm currently going through 3/4 of a box a kleenex a day and I look like a rabbit--not a cute one you see scampering through the garden. I'm one of those laboratory rabbits, way pale except for the pink n

Check in after the workshop

I've copied this from an email I just sent out to a writing group. Once you get into workshop mode, that kind of babble fest brain, it's hard to stop talking. The best part of today's synopsis workshop was an exercise I hadn't done before: 1. Ask someone read your synopsis. For God's sake, shut up. Don't say a word to them, just hand it over and let them read in peace. 2. When they're done, ask them, what is this book about ? Get that description in a few sentences--one if possible. If they don't get what it's about--the central conflict-- then you'll know you have to work on your synopsis. 3. If they do know what your book is about, yay! Write down what they say, gussy it up, and you've got yourself a hook. That was an experiment we did at the workshop today and it seemed to consistently help a lot of people. The problem with synopsis writing is we're so intent on being interesting in our writing, we tend not to state the

basic craft stuff: the synopsis

I'm doing a presentation tomorrow at the Glastonbury library. It's only a fast one--and then we'll do critiques of synopses. Anyway, this is one of the things I wrote for it. Not really a hand-out but here you go anyway. I'm handing it out. Hit the High Points in a Synopsis. "Get creative!" "Stick to the basics and don't get cute with your synopsis!" "It's important to show off your fresh, new voice whenever possible!" "Stick to the point and don't worry about voice!" "Narrative structure only!" "It's ok to include a bit of dialogue!" "Introduce your characters in a special section first!" "Don't divide it into sections!" Everyone has a different idea about the best structure for a synopsis, but I found some agreement about what each synopsis should include and that is: BASICS: You must show the plot (including the end), the core conflict and the charac