Thursday, July 31, 2008

Burn, Baby, Burn

Mountain, meadow and fence


I did it. It's taken me two days and an entire pack of 10 count disks, but I've managed to back up all my files, burn down my pictures and all my ebooks, and save my music downloads. OMG, what a job! *_* I'm glad I did it though. Now I won't have to worry about losing anything should my computer suddenly kick the bucket. And for the love of Pete, I'm storing all my disks in one small space so I know what's what.

I'm still browsing for a new laptop, and sad as it is, I'll probably end up going with another Dell. Well, Dell is ok, but I'm none too thrilled about being tossed headlong into Windows Vista. Oldest has it on his laptop and I am not impressed at all. They really should've gone back to the drawing board with that one. I wish I could rent a Mac and give it a test drive to see if it's something I'd want to stick with, but I have no idea where I could do that, or if it would even be possible.

On another note, I'm back writing again. I added 2k to my old futuristic piece last night. I'm going to see it all the way to the end then print it up and look at what I have. It may need a lot of work, but since it's a first draft surely something good can come from it, especially given what length it is? We will see...

Oh, events! Alexandra Ivy has an interview over at the Midnight Moon Cafe today. It's hot stuff, so be sure to check it out! Also, on August 4th, I have an exlusive interview that will be available only through Ann Lory's newsletter. Be on the lookout for updates about that. I'll post again on the newsletter's release day.

And...it's nearly freebie time again. I'm still playing around with ideas for a new free download to add to the MMC this Halloween, and from now until August 15th I'm running a poll here on the blog (scroll down and look at the sidebar on the right) and at the Cora Zane yahoo group to choose a theme for the story. I'm considering everything from shifters to contemporary, so take a look at the list and cast your vote. Votes will be added up from both the blog at the CZ group, so make your voice heard. ^_^

Off for now, I hope you all have a happy Thursday!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sorting Through Folders

01 - Brume


My computer has been on the fritz, so last night I began organizing stuff on my laptop to burn to disk. I truly didn't realize just how much junk I had accumulated on this thing since I bought it. Aside from the massive amount of pictures, I found a fair amount of story ideas I'd given the old "fifteen minutes of fame" trick, as well as a handful of books that I'd written near to completion but never made it to the finish line.

Midway through my oraganize-athon, I paused to read over a contemporary I'd started ages ago. I hated the story when I was working on it - probably because there are no fangs or fur in it, to be honest - but going back through it, I discovered the beginning is clean as a whistle. Hmm.... I dragged it to the desktop, because I'm about halfway through a full length book on that one, and it's pretty good. I think I might tap away at it here and there just to see what happens.

On Sunday night I did a brainstorming session for a full length paranormal/fantasy romance single title. I wrote the first scene, which would probably be half the first chapter, and I see a lot of potential and possibilities in the storyline. In other words, I'd have to plot the bejeezus out of it to make sure it didn't end up all over the map. So maybe that's one to just tinker around with and write notes and snippets to compile until I get a concrete idea of what to do with it. It's definitely a keeper; it just needs focus.

Overall, of my old projects, I spared 4. It slims down the "to-do" list tremendously. I'd like to finish at least 1 of these by the end of the year. Hopefully my laptop will last that long. Here is what it looks like when the screen is fritzing:

DOES NOT COMPUTE

I don't know if it's truly the ribbon cable going out or what, but it's damn annoying. Of course, my warranty expired this past April, so it's going to cost me bigtime if I end up taking this thing to Dr. Bulldog. :P Just in case, I've been browsing laptops. Please last until Santa comes, my precious...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Weariness and Mondays

The Rebel


Today has been one of those days... To put it all into perspective, it's one those days that if I woke up hungover and never remembered it happened, I'd be all the better for it.

Hubby went to a new job this morning, and sometime around noon, he calls home and asks me if I knew where his s/s card is. "Uh, yeah - it's in your wallet." Or at least, that's where he usually keeps it. But no. Not today. Not when he needs it. So that was my early mission this morning - tear the house down top to bottom looking for his s/s card. During all this, mom calls me two or three times. I keep trying to tell her the signal isn't strong enough on my cell because I'm inside but she is going on about the waste management company who won't pick up her trash. I give up the hunt for the s/s card and go outside. It's a blazing hot 102 degrees, but what the hell... I listen to mom rant about the waste management folks giving her the run around about garbage pick up.

The skinny on that: Mom is supposed to have garbage pick up. They won't bring her one of the green cans. So, she went and bought a black one, but they won't pick it up because it's black. Sooo, mom has to take the trash out of the can, put it in her truck and drive it across parish lines (from her parish into mine - and for those that ask what the hell is a parish - it's the equivalent to a county in other states). Apparently it's illegal to take the trash across parish lines even though it's the closest garbage dump to them. I'm really wondering for who this could really be illegal/a problem for. More than likely the bastards who won't pick up her trash, due to funding or some fine they'll face if it's ever found out people are having to haul their trash out of the parish, but then I'm digressing...and in a bitchy mood to start.

Mom calls and complains about the whole situation to the WM people, and the lady tells mom they don't have any of the green cans to give out - that there is a waiting list for trash cans. OK. So today one of the distributors from WM calls mom and says she needs to come and pick up one of the cans - they have it for her. Since she lives at the edge of the parish mom asks - will you be there when I get there? It's a 35 minutes drive. He assures her he will be there. Lo and behold, the effer is gone when she arrives, and she goes around back of the facility knocking on the back door. What does she see when she's back there? A GARAGE full of the green trash cans. Remember? They don't have any? They're all on backorder. What a load of -

So anyway, no one shows up and mom goes back home with no trash can and thus the cycle begins again. She called in a complaint which is really all she can do, but then after the fact she calls my house to rant me into it.

Meanwhile I'm getting roasted in the noon day sun to listen to this, Hubster is texting me to find out what I've found about the s/s card, and Mini is standing at the door yowling at me because the neighbor's puppy is jumping on the screen door trying to get in the house. ARRRRGG! I finally go in the house, and tell mom that I can't hold the signal - which is true. We hang up, then I turn around and threaten beasts and children to stay back from me before I end up with a set of fresh, if not very interesting set of roast rumps for the supper table tonight.

I finish tearing the house to smithereens and find hubby's s/s card. Where was it? Why, at some point in time hubby put it in my purse!!! *blood pressure check* I call him back at work to let him know I have it, which I have to go back outside to do, and by this time Mini is storming the gates (front door) "Mimi, I'm HUNGRY!"

Well, it's is 1:30 after all, so I go in and make this thing of shells and cheese (macaroni, yo) and grilled chicken breast and voila! Eat, children! Oldest comes out of his room for the first time all day and he's complaining because of some such thing with his friend. "I love you, honey, but please come back when you have real problems, yes?"

After lunch, I thought things would settle down and I could actually sit down at the comp a while and do something other than go to a page and have to walk away from it, but by then the mail lady comes up and honks the horn. *sigh* OK. Well, this actually turned out pretty good, because I had three packages for me. One of them was from Babyland. Woohoo! An early birthday present!



Mini kept dragging me to the toybox on throughout the day, although I was trying to put back some of the mess I'd dragged out looking for hubby's s/s card. I ended up finding this box of 64 crayons with the sharpener in it. Once I did, Mini wanted to color. But by this, he means he wants me to color. I'd dragged out all these coloring books from the supply shelf and so we went through them, and I colored with him for about an hour. By that time I was ready to do something for myself for a while. Of course Mini doesn't understand this and has the tendency to make me feel like a dirty dog for wanting a bit of free time. So, I took the new cabbage to his room to dress and photograph, and he played with trains at my feet.

By around three, I went back to cleaning up all the mess - despite Mini's protestations - and started pulling out things for supper. I decided spaghetti would work because it's fast and I already had ground beef thawed to cook with. I had no idea hubby was getting off work at 4:30 - it seems the job has changed hours on us. They begin work an hour earlier, so they can get off work an hour earlier. Makes sense to me. But I didn't know that, and I just had the spaghetti drained when hubby pulls up in the Jeep.

He's tired; he's grungy. He goes off to take a bath, Mini chasing after him. And I don't know if it's some psychic connection, if it's that whole electricity - aquarian thing but the minute that man walks in the door I SWEAR the phone starts to ring. Phone call after phone call until I'm ready to take his cell and flush it down the toilet. Remember when they used to joke about women chatting on the phone too much? Yeah. Ok. I take Mini out to the sandbox and still hubby is on the phone. I give him my deadly glare and he finally tells his buddy, "Hey, man, I gotta go."

"Yep, you do, before you end up sleeping at his house tonight."

We play soccer with Mini. Or rather, keep away, with one of those cheap marble- colored playballs. Know what I'm talking about? He throws sand, the neighbor's dog comes over, and things start to look up. Maybe the day will end on a high note after all...

We take Mini in, and I haul him to the tub to give him a bath. I hate sand on the floor, so while the water's running, I sweep up what got tracked in from the sandbox. Everything goes well. I'm hanging out with Mini, I'm washing his hair. He douses me with the cup until I have to wash mine.

Around 8:40, this guy around Oldest's age shows up at the door. He knocks, and hubby answers. This kid is hammered. I'm talking totally, staggering, puffy eyed, drooling shitfaced. He says, "I know your son from school. Can he give me a ride down to the bar?"

There is a bar less than a mile from here. Well, I say bar. It's one of those Louisiana back woods, down a country road by the cow pasture kind of redneck/biker places. For real. My hubby looks at this kid, who cannot possibly be old enough to drink. "My son isn't taking you anywhere."

The kid stumbles (literally!) off the property cursing and whatnot. And so hubby calls the cops. This is the same kid that ran over our mailbox and abandoned his truck in our driveway about a year or so ago. He's a known menace that creeps through peoples yards at night, was arrested for shooting one of his neighbor's dogs, and has a criminal history a mile long. And guess what? No effing cop shows up.

Sooo... Hubby calls back and this time the cop tells him someone has been sent out. Finally the cop comes and talks to hubby. While I'm putting Mini to bed, hubby has to call up to the station again - the other cop never came back! - and this time, the cop he talked to before suddenly can't be bothered. Well, what can you expect? He couldn't be bothered to do his job the first go-around either. To think, in another 4 months these assholes are going to be calling us for a police donation. Well, they can kiss it!

Hubby was so bothered by this last phone call with the police station he couldn't go to bed afterward, and I tell ya, I could've had a few things to say to an officer on the phone, but then I might be blogging from jail. :P

Instead, I sat down and did a bit of meditation, trying to center myself. However, that's when Mini wakes up crying from a tummy ache. *sigh* I've all but given up on a decent day today. Maybe tomorrow...hopefully?

At any rate, I've finally put Mini to bed (again!), hubby is snoozing, and Oldest is gaming in his room. I'm crossing my fingers the bad tide has passed. Much more of this and I'm going to have to break out the black candles.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ms. Fly Booty



Kids. They were created by the universal forces to embarrass the ever loving bejeezus out of us parents. I swear it's true. We had to do a bit of shopping today, so hubster, Mini, and I took a ride to wally world. OK. Everything went fine. Everything went normal. Then we went to checkout.

While we were waiting, I noticed this older lady in white pants and a black polka dotted shirt was in the check out line down from us. Her hair was frosted, and that's really what drew my attention, but I digress...

She ended up checking out the same time we did. By this point Mini is getting pretty restless, so I start telling him a make-it-up-on-the-spot story about a dump truck and a race car when out of the blue he points behind me and yells really, really loudly:
"Mimi! That lady has a bug on her booty!"

*_*

You could've heard a pin drop. I turned and looked - how the hell could I not? Sure enough, it is the lady with the white pants, and there is a fly on her left butt cheek.

"Yikes! Smack it, Mimi!"

I.WILL.NOT.

The cashier dies laughing. She's an elderly lady, usually quiet and a little shy, but she totally cracks up. Hubby tries to pretend he didn't hear anything. I'm trying to distract Mini who keeps peeking around me and staring at this woman's butt! OMG. I don't want to laugh, that woman has no clue. It would be rude to laugh. But how can I not?!?!

Oh, but I sooo hope karma doesn't come back to me on that one...

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Doing the Manuscript Dance

IMG_3223


I did it! My Bite is finished!

*dance * confetti * dance*

I stayed up well past 1 AM this morning working on the last chapter. I gave it up when I couldn't tell the words apart anymore, but by 6 AM I was up again and back at the laptop. I rewrote the final words this evening around 5:30 or so, then I had a chicken burrito and mailed everything off to my loooovely crit parnter.

Tonight I'll print the guidelines and format everything for sending. I need to write up a cover letter too. Hm... *makes a mental list*

I hope you all had a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sailin' On

Wallpaper of Sailboats on Beautiful Water . Hamlin Beach 2003


Virgo horoscope for July 23:
Begin new projects and let the ship set sail.


Whew! It's almost 1 AM. I've got one more chapter to go and my Bite story will be finished. A little earlier tonight I printed up the final four pages, and red penned it while watching Jumper on DVD.

The last chapter has 2 scenes, and aside from what's already on paper, I have 1200 words to work with. Yikes! Anything over that and I'll go beyond my word count limit. That's the cruncher and it should be interesting to see how it all plays out.
I always hate to have to go back through back chapters to shave down the story. Just when you thought you had something the way you wanted it, ya know? :P

Anyway, that's where I am right now. It would be so cool if I could get this finished and out the door by the weekend. *knock on wood* My aunt and grandmother and coming in from TX, and I hate having a hot project on my mind when I'm trying to visit with relatives. I end up far more distracted than I should be.

So here goes... I plan to hit this chapter hard tomorrow. We'll see what happens!

Happy hump day, everyone!

Monday, July 21, 2008

7 Pages

Sailing


Last night I shored up chapter 6, sent it out to my lovely CP, who bounced it right back to me with everything she found highlighted for easy seek and destroy. So now there are only two chapters left to go with my story. Woot! I separated them on computer, and printed them up. I knew in advance these two would need more work than any of the others, but still...7 pages. That is all that's left of this manuscript to rewrite. 7 pages.

After fixing everything CP caught in the chapter 6 draft, I took seven with me to the den with a red sharpie, my lap desk, and put in Pan's Labyrinth in the DVD player. I plucked and pruned the entire piece while watching the movie. And boy is it bloody...the manuscript! I saved maybe five lines on the first page of that chapter, and the rest of it is pretty much the same. Lots of it will be culled, but I guess that's a good thing since adding my new and improved! chapter six to the final file, I have only 1055 words to work with before I'm over my allowed limit. Whew! It's going to take careful crafting to get everything in there. The last thing I want is for the final chapter to feel rushed. I may end up having to go back through the story again and cut excess from somewhere when I get the final 2 bits in place. We'll see.

At any rate, it's coming along. I'd hoped to get this thing out by August 1st, so I'm pleased with the progress. I think when hubby gets sent out, I'll probably still have some clean up left to do, but nothing I won't be able to handle with the kids underfoot. Hubby made his calls this morning, and he's waiting for people to hit him back. He dressed Mini this morning and they've taken the Jeep for an oil change. Necessary stuff.

I'm tackling laundry today. I'm ashamed to admit I've let it go while trying to sort through this book. I've got a load in the washer now, and at least two more in the bucket in the hallway. :P

I better get to it and open Chapter 7 before the guys return. Monday, Monday... Yep, that time again. I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The End is Near!



I'm draggin' this morning. I finished up chapter five of the Bites story yesterday and sent it in to my crit partner, then printed out chapter six and started working on it. I was determined not to go to bed until I'd managed a thorough clean up, but after two rounds of going over the same chapter, I couldn't read the words anymore. I wrangled with the last few paragraphs for about an hour before I finally called it a night.

So there's today's goal: finish chapter 6. When I do, I'll print chapter 7 and start on it. There are only 8 sections overall, so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Yay! The end is near!

I've also got to somehow work in the mountain of laundry that's taunting me from the doorway. Hubby got tired of seeing Oldest's bedroom in a mess and basically initiated a strip-down of that room. Everything got tossed, or boxed and put in the shed. New shelves went up, the closet got culled. The old TV stand went and a new, cleaner stand went in. Now it doesn't quite look so much like a fungus cave...although for all respective purposes, it still is. :P Now if only he'd let me strip all the tile out of there and redo the floors....

I'd planned to paint the living room this weekend, but decided to wait until hubby takes off for Houston. It will give me something to do. Maybe by then I can have Mini's closets cleaned out and some of the office furniture swapped around. We're still planning to make my office/doll room into his bedroom so that I can take the haunted one.

At any rate, I hope you're all busy and creating those fun summer memories! Lazy Sunday... I'm off to work on my story. I hope you all have great day!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Contest Winners

that sea horse is courting that other sea horse.



Good morning, everyone!

I've pulled out my lucky hat, and the winners of this week's giveaway are...


Ann

Trista G.

and Marley!



Congrats, ladies! *confetti*

Email me at corazane @ aol.com without the spaces, and please put PRIZE PACK WINNER in the subject line. Be sure to include the snail mail address where you'd like your prize package sent, and I'll get your goodies - magnets, pins, signed author cards and bookmarks, and a bunch of other fun goodies out to you blazin' fast.

Thanks for playing! ^_^

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Date Day and Hellboy 2

Black swallowtail caterpillar on dill 1


What a great day! Mom came early this morning and picked up MiniBear and Oldest. I ran around setting the dishes washing, made the beds, and picked up the toys out of the den before making my way to the closet to pick out something to wear. I ended up in cut-offs and flip flops - c'est chic! - and a smocked navy shirt. Hubby took the windows off the Jeep, so at the last minute I ran back in the house and grabbed a hairband and a pony tail holder. I don't like hair flapping around my face.

We drove up to Ruston and watched Hellboy 2 - what a fun movie! It starts out with John Hurt telling Hellboy (as a child) about a golden army created by fae/goblin folk in order to destroy humans. But, the army was automated and felt no remorse so it killed everything and anyone - men, women, children. And the fae/goblin king split up his golden crown, which is needed to control the army. The king's son decides he's had enough with what humanity has done to earth, etc. so he sets out to bring the pieces of the crown back together to summon the sleeping army and destroy humanity.

I loved this movie. Yes, it's campy, and a little predictable in places, but I don't care. Ron Pearlman is awesome as Hellboy, and John Hurt - well, they had me at hello with John Hurt, even though he's only there for the "prologue" to the movie. I'd watch him read the phone book and be happy with it. He's one of my favorite actors ever. I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone who might want to watch this. I'll just say there is more going on there. Luv secrets and all that. ^_^

Onto other things! I finished cleaning up Chapter 4 of my Bites story last night. I was a bit tired when I closed Word, so I'm going to read over it one last time before I jet that one off to my CP tonight. Hopefully I won't come across anything that I've missed. I'm ready to start on that track to the ending.

Tonight, in continuation of the MMC anniversary celebration, we're hosting a chat tonight at the MMC chat room: www.midnightmooncafe.com/chat . Cassandra Curtis, Tempest Knight, and I will be there, and we hope you'll drop by to say hello! Prizes will be given out, and there will also be all the usual hi-jinks! ;) You don't want to miss this chat!

My contest from yesterday is still live. All you have to do to be entered to win is post between now and Friday at Midnight! Strangely enough I've received a couple of email entries for this, so I'm thinking what with the low participation, I'll give away a prize from email entries, and a prize from those posted directly. That way I can still give out two prize packs. If enough people enter, I'll toss in a third prize to sweeten the pot. Deal? Again, winners will be drawn at random Friday at midnight, so there's still time to enter.

That's it for me. I need to grab a bite to eat before the chat starts. I hope you all had a snazzy Thursday! :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Win This Stuff

OK. It's been a while since I did a giveaway, and I got in some of the coolest, tastiest new promo goodies in today. So guess what... It's time for a giveaway.

Post between now and Friday here on the Cora Zane blog and you'll be entered to win a HUGE promo pack filled with lots of goodies - signed bookmarks, author cards, pins, chap books, and magnets. Really cool stuff! If enough people enter, I will give away two bags, so be sure to tell your friends. It doesn't matter if you've already won here before. All the names that enter will be dropped into a hat and drawn at random, so good luck!

Also, authors Tempest Knight, Cassandra Curtis - my fellow moonmaids - and I are having a rocking chat party at the Midnight Moon Cafe chat room Thursday July 17th, from 9-10 pm EST. (8-9 CST) There will be more contests and fun, so be sure to drop in and say hello!

www.midnightmooncafe.com/chat

On another note - we have had quite a day here at home. Our airconditioner went out. *_* Hubby and Oldest have been in a race since about noon to get something new in here to keep us cool. They are my heroes of the day. I wouldn't have been able to manage it on my own. Whew! Summer, summer, summer...

Have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Leaf Dragons

newse8 105



Today's photo is from webshots. I saw it in the preview images and had to check it out. What a handsome little fellow. Reminds me a bit of a Chinese dragon - gorgeous!

First thing out of bed this morning I called in to the .com and adopted a new cabbage, but it will be about 4 weeks before she gets here...which means he should arrive a week or two before my birthday. Woot! She's a collector's club edition Asian girl with expresso skin and black puff ball hair. I can hardly wait to see her. She's been on my hot list for a while now, and is just too stinkin' cute. Between now and the time she arrives, I'll be hunting for the perfect sailor suit for her.

After the rampant cabbage order this morning and after the initial cabbage "high" wore off, I checked my emails, peeked at my manuscript, then closed it again and looked over at hubby. "What are we gonna do today, babe?" His answer: I dunno.

I declared today an out of the house day, and forced everyone to go change out of their pajamas. Haha! We went to Wally world and I bought the straight-edge paper trimmer I needed. High tech stuff and all that. We also bought milk and a dozen or so other things - stuff we didn't really need. When we came home, I figured that trip would be the exciting point of the day.

Instead, I ended up chatting on the phone for a while with my crit partner, which was fun, and after that, I went back to my desk to peek at my wip again. I'd just read through the first few paragraphs of chapter 4 when I hear someone pull up in the yard. I go and peek out the front door, and it's my godfather. Yip!

The house is a wreck. After a week of hubby, oldest, and at home all day, all three of them at the same time, I have given up trying to keep the bar cleared off. Trying to keep everything spotless with them here is an exercise in futility. Seriously. I'm sure people have been committed to mental facilities for less.

However, this doesn't mean I want my godfather to see the mess. Sooo, I ran to the kitchen swept the dishes into the sink, threw away the empty 2 liter cola bottle on the counter then ran back to unlock the door.

GF totally bypassed me and went looking for Mini. LOL! He brought the little bear some peaches from the orchard. He and Mini chatted over these peaches while playing with trucks in the dining room floor. Hehehehe. GF is 80, and has no grandkids. You can see it whenever you're around him now - he's got "grandpa fever". I recognize it because right before I had Mini, I saw it in my own dad. I'm guessing it's an age some men hit when they're ready to have little ones in the house again. Whatever the case, when my dad hit fifty, he hit "grandpa mode" and I swear there wasn't a week that went by he didn't ask me if I was ever going to have any more children. This went on for about 3 years. Seriously. Dad sulking, wanting to have a little one to chase around out in the yard again. To play legos and trucks with. All that stuff.

"I'm not build like a play-doh factory, dad. I can't just squeeze out a litter of them for you at will."

He'd go home sulking. "I'm never going to get to hold another baby."

*sigh*

He'd watch Special Delivery with mom, and get tuned up over the birth of every baby. Mom would call me at any given hour, "Oh dear, your dad is watching that show again." ~_~'

Needless to say, Mini is the apple of my dad's eye; and Mini is all about it: "Come on, pawpaw. Let's go for a ride in the truck!" - or some other such thing repeated times 50.

But I digress....GF. He has hit that phase. He's ready to play trucks, and watch the kids playing in the yard. I swear, 10 years ago, I didn't understand any of this. It's kind of miraculous to watch, really. So GF and Mini have a caravan of hot wheels scattered in the dining room. I come sit in the computer chair and watch them, and chat with GF. Out of the blue, he asks, "How far is it to your mom's?"

"Oh, about 13 miles."

He sits up. "Let's take a ride out there. I want to see the new house."

It's spur of the moment, and Hubby is napping. But I tell him OK, just give me a minute to call mom. Which I do. And tell her to open the gate for us. Then I slip on my flip flops, find my purse and poke my head in the door to tell Hubby I'm leaving for a while. That gets him out of bed. "Where are you going?"

"On a cruise with Jorge." That, in case you are wondering, is the imaginary lover hubby teases me about from time to time. Hubby follows me into the dining room, and visits with GF while Oldest sets the car seat into the backseat of my Jeep for me.

I take Mini and GF to mom's. Right off, he says how he loves the house and yard. It's really shady and quiet out there. A nice neighborhood. We go in, and he and mom visit for about an hour while Mini stomps through the house - a bull in a china shop. No kidding. I raid mom's fridge while they chat (you never get too old to do that, I swear it's true), and watch The Weather Channel. For the mental stimulation, ya know.

Mom gives GF the grand tour, inside the house and around the yard. I stayed inside under the air conditioning. Heck, it's a 102 in the shade out there! I could see them walking around, looking at the plants mom has put out in the yard. Mini is like a wild horse out there, galloping around. I expected it would be difficult to convince Mini to come back home - he likes to romp at Gram's, and we can't just turn him loose in the yard like you can at mom's. We live too close to the street. But amazingly enough when they came back inside, I told him it was time to go home and didn't have to suffer through the entire apocolypic toddler symphony.

I promised him we'd go swimming when we got home. :P Mom and GF said bye, and I managed to wrangle Mini into the Jeep. He only smacked his head on the car door once with all his dancing around. *sigh* When we got back, GF stayed long enough to give me a hug then he said good bye and left. I took Mini into the house, and put him into his Nemo swimming trunks.

I'm a little sunburnt, but no worse for wear. It was a good day.

That's about all I've got for the moment. It's around 1 am Wednesday morning. I better get some sleep. I need to knock out chapter 4 today because tomorrow hubby and I are having a date day. Woot! We plan to go see Hellboy 2 at the theatres. Bring it on...

Happy hump day, everyone!

Oh! Speaking of HUMP... I nearly forgot to mention it, but I'm part of The L Magazine's Sex Issue this month. The feature runs from July 16 to July 29th. It's available online, and in print format if you live in the NYC metro area.

A few weeks ago I was asked a series of questions about what it's like behind the scenes for someone who writes erotica/romance. The result is a shorty-short interview up along side Nan Wise, The Ethical Slut - sex blogger, Wylie Kinson, Ron Jeremy, and Veronica Viscious to name a few. It's worth a look!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Sunday That Was

Over the last few days my computer has been fritzing a bit - and geez, downloading updates like crazy. I thought it must be some glitchy kind of thing. Or a patch - I have no idea. But today I found out through the lovely Leah Braemel that Windows has finally axed Windows XP and everything is going to Windows Vista. All the wacked out downloads are from Windows updating everything to service pack 3. Gee thanks for the special notice, Microsoft!!

Anyway, since I don't really have anything much to say about the weekend (I've been working on edits for chapter 3 of my manuscript) I thought I'd make a post to commemorate the wonderfulness that is Windows, and in particular, Windows Vista. Enjoy!

Computer Error Messages That We Can ALL Understand














hahahaha! I love that "It's my first day" button. I need one of those! ^_^









This is my favorite one - since it's kind of small, I'll retype it for you.
Unknown error. Windows has encountered an unknown error. The error is unknown because the guy who wrote this part of the code quit a while back and he was like really really smart and the rest of us are not really sure how this works or what to do. BTW, if you are that guy, please give us a call and let us know what to do.
Priceless. Bwahahahahahaha!!!





Fun, no?! Special thanks to hubby for sending these to me. ^_^

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Post That Was Meant For Friday

So I spent all day Friday in the Jeep and/or shopping with hubby and the kids. It wasn't too bad, I'm happy to say. I needed to go to Hobby Lobby and Office Depot, and in the process of all this, we also wanted to hit Books-A-Million, Barnhill's, Toys R Us, and the mall.

I knew it would be a long day, but I had no idea when I left the house I'd be on my feet for almost three hours straight at one point. So we took Oldest to Books-a-Million first. I planted some of my business cards in the erotic section, and omg the names I recognized on the books! Divas everywhere! I gotta tell you, that is one strange and really cool feeling to go into a bookstore and see so many names you recognize. I picked up quite a few diva books, ones by Candace Havens, Portia De Costa, Tawny Taylor, and Eden Bradley. I also picked up two books by people I'm not familiar with: Jess Michaels - a book called Something Reckless, and a non-erotica/romance by Stephen Cole called The Wereling. I think it might be a YA, but it's hard to tell.

Anyway, a huge score at BaM, and afterward we headed toward the mall. I didn't want to go in - Gymboree is having a huge sale and I know I'd get into some serious trouble there so... Hubby wanted to have a custom license plate made for his Jeep, and I convinced him to drop Mini and me off at Toys R Us.

Toys R Us is outside of the mall area. It's across the street, facing it. So, not too far away. You could walk to the mall from there if you were so inclined. Hubby dropped us off, and I turned around and there is Oldest. "No way I'm walking with dad through the mall." Yeah, well. Hubby isn't the most patient mall person, so I just nodded and told him to go browse.

Once in the store, Minibear and me went around looking through this big box of plastic trucks on sale and I got a call. It's hubby - he's placed the order for the plate and it should take no longer than 45 minutes. I told him we'd be fine, to just do his thing.

Now, I will say, at the back of my mind I knew it would take longer than 45 minutes, but I wasn't too worried about it. However, after an hour in the store, no place to sit, Mini was rightfully wanting out of the buggy - still no hubby. I called him, and he is in raving fits. They kept delaying getting started on it, and it would be another thirty minutes at the most. I figured I could keep Mini busy that long and said OK. Hubby wanted to come pick us up, but I didn't want to go to the mall - cripes, maybe I should've. At least there would have been benches!

So, hubby finally calls two hours after the initial drop off. Oldest, Mini and I have migrated to the shoe department and found one of those odd carpeted blocks for sitting to try on shoes. Hubby said he was on his way. And yes, I did detect a hint of unhappiness in his voice. Ok, he was pissed. They license plate people had basically did their own thing with the lettering and design, even though hubby asked them if the ones they were showing him as an example were WYSIWYG. Hm. Apparently they are not.

I got to the Jeep with the boys, and managed to get hubster in a bit better mood, and then risked shattering that all over again when I told him I still needed to go to Hobby Lobby and Office Depot. No problem. Hubby took us straight over there - it's on the exit we take to go home anyway, and the stores are side by side. I ended up buying crafty things at HL, then a new color print cartridge and cd labels at Office Depot. But I swear, by the time I got the hell out of there, my legs and feet were killing me!

This evening I set about making more promo bits - keychains and now I have give away disks with some of my free fiction on them. Sexy stuff. And the disks turned out great! I'll be giving some away this week at the Midnight Moon Cafe, and sending them out for RWA gift basket donations.

Speaking of RWA, I sooo want to go to tomorrow's chapter meeting in Bossier, but I can't get a sitter!! :S I'd be gone from 7 am to about 3 - hey, it's about 80ish miles oneway to Shreveport-Bossier from here. No one is willing to keep the kids that long. I still don't know what I'm going to do; if I'm going to just drop them off with the parents and be back when I get back. I haven't done that since... oh, about 1993? Anyway, I have about 6 horus to think about it. But at this point it's looking like I'll have to wait it out until next month. These folks are gonna think I'm never planning to show up! :S

Whatever happens tomorrow, I have to get the bills together and send them off, and after that I need to kick chapter 3 of my Bite story square in the ass. I want this story out of here no later than August first. I seriously need to break out my plot clinic pdf and channel some Holly Lisle. I swear, her stuff is like a print embodiment of a Drill Sergeant. Only you don't realize under the friendly tone that she is actually cracking a mega-whip over your head.

I better go for now. It's after 1 am and I'm gonna be dragging in the morning. Erm, well, it is morning - so make that dragging at daybreak. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. OH! Don't forget the HUGE 2nd anniversary blow out over at the Midnight Moon Cafe - a lot of goodies are being given away this week.

And if you have a spare moment, scroll down the blog and vote on my poll. I'm debating right now, and your vote matters!

Nite, nite!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lots of News and Tidbitty Things

Fernando de noronha



Yikes! I just realized it's Thursday. Well, rats, I hate missing time! (Cora alien abduction?) Anyway, I've spent about 8 hours of the day working on promo pieces to present in a few upcoming RWA giveaways, and to include in a couple of prize packs for the Midnight Moon Cafe's big 2nd year anniversary party which starts tomorrow.

I'm working on CDs that have my freebies on them and I'm making a template for some chap book pamphlets. Whew! Hard work! Now I just need to get to the store for a fresh print cartridge and CD labels.

I was thinking today that it's about time to write another freebie. As soon as I'm finished with my BITE story, I may have to tinker around with some ideas. Maybe a vampire story. Not just hot, but sexyhot. Yes, that's really a word, dammit. (Just don't look it up in the dictionary!) My poor vampires really haven't gotten a lot of attention from me lately. Did you know vampires sulk when you ignore them? Weird but true.

Anyway, if you'd like to have a say in my next free read - scroll down the blog and look at the side bar on your right. I've added a nifty poll so you can tell me what you'd like my next free read to revolve around: vampires, werewolves, pixies or whatever... Go. Click buttons. It's fun! :-)

Anyway, I'm making good progress on my BITE. I plan to sit down this evening and chip away at it a little more. The more I work on it, the more excited I get about the story itself. It's turning out to be sexy and suspenseful. I've always been afraid to try tying in more suspense with my books, thinking it won't always come together at the end, but this one is breaking that mold. Maybe I'm growing a bit as a writer. That's kind of an exciting prospect.

There is an RWA meeting going on in Bossier this weekend, and I'm still debating on whether or not to go. I'd love to be there and take part in the workshop, but I suppose it will break down to whether or not I can get a sitter for Mini for the day. I may just have to spring it as a surprise on mom. ROFL! Sort of a hit and run drop off of the kids. ^_^

Speaking of Kids... Mini. Apple of my eye, and Mimi's little bear. But omg, today - now I should have known he was getting into something, because he'd gotten so quiet, but anyway - I was working on my CD freebies when Mini comes up beside me and drops these brass knobs into the dining room floor. I stare at them in shock. I can't believe what I'm seeing for a minute, but this kid has taken EVERY DOOR KNOB off the entertainment center. With his bare hands! *faint* Needless to say, I was not a very happy mommy. Mini took to wailing because he couldn't keep the knobs, and here I am trying to screw the damn things back onto the entertainment center without a screwdriver. Heaven help me!

Well there is my cue. Got to go break up some drama in the den. I hope you've all had a great Thursday.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Quiet One

Geometric Reflection



I'm not usually one to rant on publishing things, but yeah, I'm a bit miffed right now. After two months of begging and pleading, contacting customer support, contacting my publisher and politely trying to handle my business, Bonding Experience still has no cover up at the Amazon.com Kindle Store.

I usually don't nut-up about stuff like that, but it's not easy to promote a book without a cover. When you try to link to it on some platforms, the "no imagine available" box shows up, or the square with the red x in it, which I'm sure is destined to result in a flood of sales.

Amazon and Kindle support have said they can't do anything about this - such as take one of the customer images I've uploaded and promote it to the "no image available" box like they do with probably 90% of the other product images on their site. Conveniently enough, their "sales help guide" states the importance of having an image up with your product to give it a boost.

I'm thoroughly frustrated with this, and think it is hardly an out of the way thing to ask to have my cover up with the book. The thing is I'm not in charge of who uploads my books at Amazon, and so until Amazon makes it possible for authors to come in after the fact and add their images to replace the "no image available" logo, I have to take what I can get. It shouldn't be this way.

I have wanted a Kindle since they came out, but I can say for certain I won't be buying one until this issue is fixed. Book covers, Amazon, for the author's sake. Show us you care. It's not such a major thing to ask.

On another note, (now that I found a link that's working) I've been following the story about the new and improved! death cult Apocalypse people who are hiding out waiting for the 2012 Mayan end of the world:

http://news.aol.com/story/_a/thousands-expect-apocalypse-in-2012/20080706152409990001

I tell ya, I am fascinated by the idea of time running out. I've read about the Mayan calendar ending in 2012, but I was of the understanding that time would simply start over. Sort of how our calendar runs out every year in December and we start again in January. I think of it sort of as Mayan roll over minutes. But that's neither here or there. *_* I'm certain there is a kick ass fiction story in there somewhere, I just know it, so fantasy writers: chop-chop! I wanna read your time-runs-out story!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Pocket Full of Sunshine

Still life 3 - A Taste of Sunshine on my Cabin


It's been a long day. Hubby has been a bit grumpy lately. I think he's bored and ready to get back to work, poor thing. As it stands, he's been helping around the house, playing with the kids, and saving the universe on Guild Wars to stay busy.

I've been using every spare moment I have to get my Bite polished. I sent off that second chapter to my crit partner last night. I'm going to reprint and work on the next section tonight, clean it up as much as I can. I need to cut at least 3k off my story to meet the guidelines, and I'm wondering where I'm going to trim it from.

On another note, I have an interview coming up in The L Magazine on the sixteenth, and on the 11th, the Midnight Moon Cafe will be kicking off a week long anniversary party. Woot!

That's about it for me. It's been threatening rain all day, and my net connection is toodling along at the speed of fart. :P Off to go check on Mini. He and hubby are out back splashing in the pool. I think I'm gonna go join them.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Sunny, sunny day

_mg_8314-2


I'm taking a little break before I have to pull up the second part of the chapter I've been cleaning up. I've been editing it for a couple of days now, and I'm trying to get it together to send off to my crit parnter. So far so good.

I worked to a stopping point yesterday afternoon, and went outside for about two hours while I talked on the phone. I am soooo sunburnt today. :P I was out there in my cut offs and "hippie shirt" - which is this empire shaped cotton tank top with that 70s loopy, feather print on it. Well...I now have this perfect, square tan. Two strap lines and an empire line across the bust. Har har. Hubby thinks it's damn hilarious. Don't laugh too loud, sweet cheeks.

So any, yesterday was sooo fun. I spent a couple of hours chatting with my CP, then hubby and I took the MiniBear swimming in the backyard pool. I climbed in with Mini while hubby manned the life guard tower - a lawn chair by the edge. Mini had his water ring, and three "diving squid" toys. Of course, he just wanted to hold onto the squids and ride on my back. We stayed out there about forty-five minutes, until I felt too crispy to bear another minute. It was high drama, but we managed to get Mini back in the house.

I stayed up until about two, working on my own stuff, and checking over something for my CP. Piece of cake. *thumbs up* I sent her stuff off, and stared at the screen until I couldn't see what I was working on anymore, then finally tottered off to bed.

Today will be more of the same - editing the Bite story. I'm about forty pages into editing a 100 pg manuscript. So while it's not going quite as fast as I'd hoped, it's still going. I'm not about to analyze that too much. Don't wanna whammy myself, and all that, ya know?

Oh, before I forget! A review has come in for Weirdly 2 from Cocktail Reviews.

What a great selection of weird and wonderful tales. Weirdly Volume 2: Eldritch is perfect for readers who like a bit of strange. The authors have explored many aspects of our world that could be possible—just that society tells us that it isn’t so. Who really knows if vampires don’t exist? Who can really prove that ghosts and parallel lives aren’t there right under our noses? I prefer to keep an open mind, and on more than one occasion while reading I believed that there is more to this world where we live…we just don’t see it—or have lost the ability to perceive such things for ourselves. ~ Nutty Nana, Cocktail Reviews

They rated us the whole bottle of champagne. Tres cool. For the full review, which has the book broken down by individual stories, visit www.cocktailreviews.wordpress.com

That's it for me today. I hope you all have a pleasant Monday!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Tiptoe through the poppies

France / Alsace / Kochersberg (2005/05/05)


So I got word from my crit partner about the first chapter of my Bite story I sent to her. She made a few notes, and I made a few changes then bundled it back up and sent it over to her again for another looksee. She seems to like the story and that's like, Yay! and Whee!

I read in the news today that Bozo the Clown passed away. Oh, the bygone days of my youth! :*( I used to watch Bozo every morning on WGN Channel 9 while getting ready for school. I remember one particular episode where the kids were doing the 10 cup toss - you know, they toss a ball into a cup and win a prize, and the more cups they make, the more prizes? Well, in the height of the Cabbage Patch craze, there was one morning when that was one of the high end prizes - like if you made it to the 8th cup or so. I remember thinking (at 9 years old) that I would totally bungle that one just from the pressure! I wanted a CPK so bad that year - thank goodness for old St. Nick - and I watched as this startled looking 7ish year old girl gaped at the doll when they showed off the prizes, and minutes later, her look of total devastation when she made it to something like cup 5 and missed. Good GRIEF the suspence. *heart palpitations*

Anyhoo, hubby got up this morning to take Oldest for a haircut. He drove him to Ruston, to the beauty school - WITH A PICTURE of what we wanted his hair to look like. Can you sense the way this is going already? I thought so.

Hubby waiting for ages, walking Mini around, calling me every so often like a man who paces outside of a hospital delivery room. At the last I talk to him, he promises to send me a cell phone picture when Oldest steps out. I sit through 2 phone calls from my mother, lunch, a round of laundry, two piles of folded clothes, and then the picture arrives.

I eagerly download it, and the first words out of my mouth? WT*everloving*F?!?! I shit you not, this kid came out of that place with a church lady haircut.

Oh.Yes.He.Did!!

I yowled hubby forward and backward, asking him what the heck happened, and why was my son on the way home with that haircut? I would have dragged a wench out by her Dorothy Hamil wedge and bitchsmacked her. Think I'm joking? *_*




Still think I'm joking?

I will never, ever, ever let anyone cut Oldest's hair - not ever - again! Churchlady hair...teased on top, even! Holy Steele Magnolias. *faint*

Tomorrow I've got to sit him down, trim an inch off the top so his hair will spike instead of slump over (it was supposed to be a faux-hawk!). I've also gotta cut the sides very, very close to his head so that it will get rid of that round, helmet shape. OMG, I can barely believe anyone could mess up a head of hair this bad, but oh, I have been proved horribly wrong. Oldest took it like a trooper, I must say, because I would have cried. I would have cried and hit the bottle!

Never fear though, mama will fix it. *evil eye at hairdresser* Tomorrow this vision of my son will be erased forever from my memory. I can only hope.

On another note, the editing is going well. Picking up a bit of speed. I'm still over my 15k limit, so I have to strip out a few more passages. I've cut loads off this thing so far. You know, I didn't realize until yesterday, that what is four pages typed by my prefered settings (TNR in 12/14 pt, single spaces) is something like 10 pages when I format it to double spacing. Yikes! I think this is how I keep going over my allowed word counts. Ah, well. It's easier to strip away than to add in filler. I keep telling myself this will be a beneficial habit whenever I start seriously focusing on my full length books.

So that's it for me today. In case I don't get a chance to say it tomorrow, Happy Independence Day!


UPDATED: Poor Oldest - before and after haircut shots -

Note the Peg Bundy/Churchlady Coif in the first pic!!! *_*

This first shot is the OMFG, cell picture that made me have kittens. Oldest is standing right outside the salon. You can see the Jeep reflected in the front window. We PAID for this cut!




It's okay, my baby. Mimi will fix it.
Since Oldest was going to have to wash his hair anyway, we played in some of my blue "tipping" dye.




Oldest says he likes Haircut 2.0 much, much better.


**
Today's main pic is from webshots. (It's linkied, so you should be able to click on it.)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Edit Hell and Late Day Posting

Moraine Lake Banff National Park Alberta Canada



Today and yesterday's pics are from Webshots.com. I thought I'd mentioned it yesterday, but I just reread through yesterdays post and realized the credits somehow got eated up. :P At any rate, isn't this shot just gorgeous? I've been staring at that mountain shot on and off all day. It's so gorgeous, it almost looks surreal.

I've been working on edits most of today. I have two paragraphs left I'm still tweaking this same chapter. For the life of me this thing won't go away! I'm gonna finish that up in a few minutes, then jet the whole chapter off to my fantabulous crit partner and keep on chooglin'. The next chapter should be much easier to clean up since there aren't so many characters in it. I've got my fingers crossed on that one.

Did anyone else read the news this morning about the sound the Earth makes in space? http://news.aol.com/story/_a/earths-noisy-cries-recorded-in-space/20080701161109990001

Of course, there is no actual sound in space - there's nothing to create a sound vibration up there, but I'm talking about an audible radiation signal that can be detected if you-me-aliens-whoever know what they're looking (listening?) for.

Okay, I was skeptical at first, I thought for sure if the Earth actually had anything to say it would be screaming, "Heeeeelp Meeeee!" You know, like in that movie The Fly? Apparently though, the Earth chirps, squeals, and whistles. So now we all know.

That's about it for me today. I need to get these paragraphs pared down for sending. I hope you've had a snazzy Wednesday!



Tuesday, July 01, 2008

For better or for worse

IMG_2400


Hubby is taking the boys out to the lake today. While they're gone, I'm going to haul off the garbage, run to the post office, slip by DG for a 2 litre of cola, and then come home and park myself in front of my manuscript for a few hours. Sound like fun?

Actually I don't mind it so much, although it's really hard today to give up going to the lake. It's a darn good procrastination excuse. Then again, I don't know how long hubby will be home, so I need to take advantage of the prime writing hours. I'm lucky the guys understand that.

I want to finish up chapter one today. I was sure I'd have it finished yesterday, but then I went off rewriting certain parts of it yesterday to basically make the chapter take on a completely different tone, and also fill a different need for later on in the story. OMG. Smack me with a freaking brick. Was I out of my mind when I started that? Quite possibly. I didn't realize that would be such a major rewrite, but it was - it is. Of course, I realized that after I'd cut and replaced about nine hundred words. By then, what can you do?

However, total pain in the ass aside, I do like this new beginning much, much better. There's more tension, a better understanding of the characters without the need for any globs of background narrative. The heroine's purpose is told without having to interrupt important dialogue. From a technical sense, this beginning is stronger than what I'd originally written. If only I could train myself to write those in the first place. :P

I came close to finishing off that chapter late last night (early this morning?), but I couldn't keep my eyes open after about 2 am, and shut everything down. I did do a major chop before leaving it for the night, which is something I've been watching very carefully - looking for places to snip and prune excess because my story has run kinda long.

So there it is for today - my mission. Kick this chapter around the tires, sande it down, bondo it, sand it again, until it passes for something that can actually be read. Wish me luck.