Right out of bed this morning, Mini brings in his Talking Whiz Kid Plus into the dining room and starts quizzing me with division and subtraction. Um. Hello, sweetie, Mimi hasn't had her coffee yet. Please try again later.
So I sat down to read the news and right out the gate discovered that pinup icon Bettie Page has died. So sad. One thing can be said for sure: Her life made an impact. Google (images) Bettie Page and it's amazing what you come up with. I saw a picture of her at 80 and she still looks great. I hope I'm that put together when I'm 80, but somehow, in all my flip-flops in December and ponytail wearing glory, I kinda doubt it.
Last night I stayed at the computer until I wrote the first chapter of a short story, start to finish. Sort of a merciless bootcamp sort of writing process, but then I had the entire scene in mind and I didn't want to lose it. I got through it, read it aloud and when it sounded fair, I gave in and went to bed. I'm going to work on it a bit more this afternoon and see how far I can get. I'm thinking of making it a weekend project, but we'll see how that goes.
Yesterday, (I can't remember where I read it), I came across an article that says book sales are down this year by more than a million units. Yikes! I've glutted on books this season, and I'm not backing down yet, but I can't help wondering if the downturn is in part to the fact that everyone's tightening the purse strings, or because there haven't been a lot of "gotta have it" books recently. Has anyone else noticed that? Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series aside, I haven't heard much gust and gale over a book since Harry Potter wrapped up, and Stephen King's publishers released the final book for the Gunslinger series.
I tend to like books that are more word of mouth rather than PR driven. I trust readers far more than spiel, but word of mouth books seem so few and far between lately. I decided to try and come up with a few under appreciated gems to recommend, and the set that came immediately to mind is the Haydn of Mars series by Al Sarrantonio.
Think politics, assassinations, and a race of cat-people on a terraformed Mars. It's like Dune, only My Oldest wouldn't read Frank Herbert unless you strapped him to a chair and forced him to stare at the pages ala Clockwork Orange style. On the otherhand, he devoured all three of the Al Sorrentonio books in a matter of days. That's really saying something since he usually can't be bothered.
While I'm on the topic of books, since I do get a question or two now and again about writer's guides and how to books, here's one on my wishlist this year:
I have a lot of writing guides, but this is supposed to be the industry standard. I don't have this yet, but it's on my radar. For more suggestions on what books to pick up for writers, or what writers might like for Christmas, my bff Cass has posted an awesome list at the Midnight Moon Cafe.
Moving on from book stuff.... The Christmas holidays are coming on fast, but there's still so much to do. We've got the Emo Tree glam'd out with lots of tinsel and ornaments, and oh, MORE tinsel. Unless you're really looking, you can no longer tell the tree is black. :P I haven't bought the first gift for hubby, I need to pick up a few more for my mom and dad, and I need to sort through recipes so I'll have something to take over to mom's for Xmas dinner. Devilled eggs is a must - that's expected of me, and there is much wailing and nashing of teeth when I don't bring them. So, the eggs, and I'm planning to make a low-carb, crust free cheesecake. I thought about making somekind of miracle cauliflower dish, since it would be Atkins friendly and you can pretty make cauliflower into anything - fake mashed potatoes, pizza crust. But it's looking like I'm going to need more research on that.
Oldest is out of school as of the 19th, so I've got to kind of plan around him being home as well. I don't think he'd be too thrilled if I fed him trick cauliflower and deviled eggs. He's probably expecting sugar cookies, but wow...talk about willpower to Not.Attack.Them. He may have to save that for grammy's house. I'll have to think about it before dragging out the mixer.
That's it for me. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday! Happy weekend!