Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday Daydreamin'

It's storming, complete with hail, so I'm crossing my fingers that the lights will stay on...and not necessarily because of the air conditioning and DSL.

Today is the day! It's the official launch of the 2009 Blow Hard Tour.

Sommer Marsden kicks off the tour with her sexy tale of a tamed fireman. Don't miss it! Also, be sure to scroll her blog to see what yummy prizes can be won by following the tour. Not only will you be rewarded with free snippets about hot, oral lovin', Sommer has arranged a prize package to rock your socks. It's win-win!

I've included a list of tour dates at the bottom of this post for handy-dandy referencing. And make note: if you're a lover of fine, werewolf smut romance, mark your calendars and visit my blog again on April 4th for a delicious excerpt from my upcoming ebook Moonlight and Shadows.

* * * * **

So I began working on a new project late last night. I've been talking about doing this since turning in the Weirdly story. Right now it's mostly notes, scribbles, character ideas, and brainstorming flow charts that would probably make no sense to anyone but me. Nothing concrete written yet. I'm still debating if this story is the one I'm wanting to launch into full throttle.

On the otherhand, I had a second flow chart going off to the side for a potential Nocturne Bites story. I've been thinking about going in for round two and trying it again, but I've had no new ideas until now. Then yesterday, I went over to the eharlequin forums to say hi to everyone and found out there's a Nocturne pitch contest about to happen. I think the entry deadline for your blurb is April 6th?

I'm not ready to tackle a contest this year, and thankfully Harlequin reads everything submitted to them. Just mentioning that so no one will panic if they come across the contest news on short notice and don't have anything completed to pitch. I think that's a new rule - the manuscript must be complete?

Anyway, I have no idea what goes on with a pitch contest at any rate, so I've been trying to find out more about it from folks who have actually been on the front lines of battle. Hopefully someone will be kind enough to share their insight. That said, if you're entering - Good luck!

In case someone is just now hearing about the pitch contest (like me!) and may be interested in trying their hand at it, check out this page for more information about the contest: http://paranormalromanceblog.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/nocturne-bites-pitch-tips/

That's all I've got for now. I better spend a bit of time with Minibeast before I hyperventilates at my feet. *toddler drama* Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Blow Hard Tour Dates
Sommer Marsden March 31st
Alison Tyler April 1st (no joke)
Dakota Rebel April 2nd
Erobintica April 3rd
Cora Zane April 4th
Heidi Champa April 5th
EllaRegina April 6th
Marina St. Clare April 7th
Emerald April 8th
Kristina Wright April 9th
Isabel Kerr April 10th
Neve Black April 11th

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Morning After

I've been a busy bee this morning! The caffeine tweak really helps, but anyway...tomorrow is the official kick off of the 2009 Blow Hard Tour!

It will begin the begin over at Sommer Marsden's blog, so be sure to drop in and check that out!

I also received an email this morning about a fellow author in need of help. Here's the skinny:

Romancing A Cause
Help my friends from Romance Divas support a romance writer who is struggling. She and her husband have lost their home, both lost their jobs, and we don’t want them to lose hope. Be a Diva and have a ball with these awesome items. A new auction every day!

From April 1 through April 7 you can bid on print books, ebooks, writing critiques, banner creation, jewelry, baskets of soap, and other goodies galore!

All of the authors are part of the writing forum Romance Divas, and include Robin L. Rotham, Gemma Halliday, Jennifer Lewis, Kate Pearce, Jennifer Colgan, Nell Dixon, Sage Burnett, Delia DeLeest, KB Alan, Debbie Mumford, Dara England, Cassandra Curtis, Ciar Cullen, Stephanie Adkins, and many more!

If you can’t afford to bid on these items, even $2 will help. Paypal address for direct contributions is kbrunori@paypal.com

The auction can be found at: http://ciarcullen.wordpress.com/romancing-a-cause-auction/

Just for the record, someone is gonna have to outbid me for that tulip basket. Yes, sir. I'm already making room for that Jennifer Colgan book on my shelf. If you'd like to know more about Romance Divas, you can visit their website at www.romancedivas.com . RD has a wonderful FREE forum, and is consistently on Writer's Digests 101 Best Websites for Writers. I've been a member there for several years now, and give them my highest recommendation.

On to the less important things... I went to bed around 1 AM this morning after sitting through My Bloody Valentine. (1981) I watched this movie at least a dozen times growing up, and always liked it for the kinda sorta but not quite hot guy that left town but came back. Hm. Anyway, rewatching this movie at the grand old age of 33, I realize MBV 1981 isn't all that great, and I really don't think it's a "this movie is dated" kind of thing.

There's no real plot, and the bad guy was poorly incorporated and wears a gas mask/coal miner's suit, so cue the Darth Vadar respirator breathing - but only in some scenes. I don't think they had the budget to put the respirator breathing it in all of them. Or something like that. *_*

But what really stood out to me is that nothing the cops did ever made any sense. Manhandling the evidence. Not telling a soul that there's a serial killer in town. Whoever wrote the script for this movie did absolutely NO research into police procedure. None. And yet, I sat there watching this from beginning to end, mostly because I noticed a curious return of fashion with the hair and what these people were wearing. Save for the hero's chest revealing denim shirt and bandana ascot, of course. I hope to all that is holy no one is walking around in that. If the guy had a porn stache, his look would have been complete.

The movie was so bad, I couldn't stop watching it. I feel kinda dirty about that today. Ok, well, not really. I feel dirty because I know I'd likely sit through this thing all over again, just looking at the post-hippie-chick hair and vintage clothes. Actors and actresses before the huge wave of plastic surgery. I dare you to try it. Pick a movie from the late 70s, early 80s, and check out the "hot chick" and the hero in each movie. Compare them to today's Hollywood hot list. Is it just me, or has the overall look changed drastically?

Despite having movie hangover, it's been a productive day. I've taken care of a lot of things I've been putting off. Now that's done, though, I need to sit down and brainstorm a new project. Not sure if I want to do something contemporary, paranormal, or maybe even sci-fi....

Hope you all have a good Monday!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

No One Was Spared

Sweeney Todd, or whatever the title of that movie...OMFG. Even the hotness that is Johnny Depp can't keep me from going into an absolute effing coma in front of that movie.

Hubster picked up a copy today and wanted me to watch it with him. Um, pass the methylphenidate. No chance I'm sitting through a musical without falling asleep, neck cutting or otherwise. *_*

For me, it falls into the same category as Moulin Rouge. The only thing good about that movie was Christina Aguilera dressed up like Dee Snider. Oh, wait, that was the music video. Oh well, that was still the best part. I couldn't sit through the melodrama of Moulin Rouge. Zzzzz.... I twitched and turned and twirled hair until I fell asleep on the couch. True story. Hubby told me later that I'd missed out, the movie was pretty good and I should've watched it and all that. Mm...unless zombies crashed the final scene and cheerfully ate Nicole Kidman's brain, I think I'll pass.

So I got myself a new contract tonight. (Er, this morning? It's 1:30 AM.) I contracted a short werewolf story for the Weirdly 3 anthology. Woot! Now I'm free to work on a brand new project, I just don't know what. I'll probably cast around a few idea tomorrow and see if anything grabs me. I'm never truly happy unless I'm writing something, and that inbetween projects period is like the bermuda triangle of paranoia for me. "What if I don't come up with another idea?" "What if I can't do it again?" This zone is also known to drive my husband stark raving nuts. Yeah, I think I best break out the brainstorming pad - just to be safe.

Tonight I added a few random photos to my myspace. My myspace. Is that even a proper term?Bet Tom didn't think about that before coming up with the sitename! Anyway, random pictures, very much so. Some of Mini, and Pitbull, and even of my toes. Yes, indeedy. Versus Sweeney Todd, it's been that kind of night.

So now that I've killed this bottle of Aquafina, I think I'm finally ready for bed. Hopefully I won't dream of cruise ships...Nite, nite all! And happy Sunday!

Friday, March 27, 2009

My Life After BSG

So I've been trying to figure out what to do tonight now that BSG is off the air. Or at least all the episodes have been spent. *sob* Now I'll only be able to oogle Callum Keith Rennie in reruns.

Knowing me, I'll probably drag out the guitars (my bass needs restringing in a bad way) or I'll scrounge up the submission guidelines for the W3 story that I finally finished *gasp, wheeze* and send it off. Maybe both. Then again, a good friend sent me a copy of The Mammoth Book of New Erotica (edited by Maxim Jakubowski), so there's another possibility.

At this very moment, hubby is bringing home prized meat of bird (fried chicken in a box) for supper. Good thing, because I'm starving, but not so much I want to cook. I woke up with a raging headache this morning, and it's lingered on throughout the day. Headache + cooking = not a very good idea.

I'm blaming allergies for the headache. Yesterday I walked out to my Jeep and it was coated in a thick yellow dusting of pollen. Eh. Tis the season.

Happy Friday, everyone. ~_^

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thunderstorms and Paranoia

For the second night in a row, there've been horrid thunderstorms and power cuts. Last night it happened right as I was hauling Mini to bed, so of course after that he was too paranoid about the storm to sleep. Every little noise had him sitting up in the bed, "Mimi, what's that!" *_*

It doesn't help that the house is quiet as a crypt without the barage of electrical devices going: fan, computers, TV, etc. To keep him calm, I laid there and talked to him about Speed Racer *sob* for about 45 minutes. I love my little bear, but Speed Racer, I just about need a dose of Ritalin to sit through it. *twitch, twitch*

Speaking of children's programming, it should be illegal for Noggin to put Lazy Town on TV before noon. Srsly. It's bad enough my kid likes that show, but they could cut us some slack. Give parents time to down some coffee and bolster our pain tolerance before airing that hyper mess. Sheesh.

I pulled out my W3 wip last night to finish up rewrites on the very last effing scene of my story, but poof - lights out. So I ended up only able to work on it until my laptop battery went critical. Today that's my #1 goal. Come hell or high water, I am rewriting the final scene and formatting everything for winging out into submission land. Yes, yes, I know. I've been working on this very same goal for ever a week, but see, you're not allowed to remember that. Nope. *waves hands in mystical oogly, boogly way* You must forget I haven't sent this story off yet.

Today is the day, dammit.

Since I'm already on the topic of Weirdly 3, I heard via Twitter (or maybe it was Romance Divas, it all blends) that both Wild Child Publishing and Freya's Bower are looking for editors. If that's something you're interested in, you can go to the parent company www.wildchildpublishing.com and wing an email off to Marci Baun.

That's all the news I have for today. At some point, I have to make a trip to the store again. Or some such thing. I was telling hubby on the phone this morning that it never fails. I haven't need anything in particular in two weeks, but the minute we get a week of heavy rain, suddenly I have to go to the store every freaking day. Ah, life's little ironies...

Hope you have a good Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rain Rain Rain Rain

I meant to blog yesterday, but had too much going on and got sidetracked. Oldest has been working on this English report for three days and he came to me Monday night around midnight and asked me if he could stay home from school Tuesday because he needed extra time to work on it. That's kind of a weird request, but I went ahead with it since I had to take him to the clinic for his required school shots on anyway.

If anything can be said, the kid is diligent. Here it is, early Wednesday morning, just after midnight and he's still working on that damn report. Poor kid. Reminds me of the time I got saddled with an Edgar Allan Poe short story collection for a book report. Oy vey. Talk about the report that Would.Not.Effing.End!

So anyway, I had both boys home today and it has done nothing but rain, rain, rain. Ugh. First things first, we made a dash to the bank and post office, then off to the bank. Then the shots. Oldest is paranoid of needles. They've never really bothered me, but with a dentist in the family, and having grown up around a setting where it's common practice to give someone a shot in the mouth, I guess that just goes without saying. Oldest did well, though, and I'm proud of him. He didn't faint, and for the first time ever, didn't ask for me to come hold his hand. Although that's sort of a bittersweet growing up thing. :*)

Mini was sure his bubba was in there for massive surgery or something. Everytime one of the nurses stopped to say hello to him, he would say, "My bubba isn't feeling very well today. He's gotta have SHOTS!"

One of the nurses asked Mini if he wanted a shot too, since his bubba had to have one and all, but Mini just stared at her like Woman are you crazy? He had the eyebrow going any everything. Totally hilarious! OMG. Where he gets this stuff, I really don't know.

Beyond that, the day was calm and as normal. I had to run to Wally World after Oldest's appointment was over because we've practically been sitting in the dark here at home. I don't know what it is about lightbulbs, but that is something that just doesn't register on the needs list whenever I'm in the store. It's amazing how skewed that list is though. I don't really need fruity pops or Zombie Aocalpse horror-shrieking-brainfest Part VIII on DVD, and yet that's what ends up in the cart.

So I've been debating getting my tongue pierced. I've told hubby about it but I'm still not sure. I saw this cute Hello Kitty tongue stud on http://www.hellokittyhell.com/ and well...me wants. ~_~' The only thing that has stopped me from just going for it is the OMFG pain! Hole in my tongue! vibe I get from watching tongue piercing videos on youtube. Srsly. Watching that is not for the weak. I'm the friend you want to take with you to get a tattoo. To get your tongue pierced? Probably not, unless you want to end up carrying me out of there after I've fainted.

Okay, the power went out, so here I am finishing up this post hours later... I think I'll just round things out by mentioning I updated a few pages on my website last night. No major changes, just added a bit of news and a book cover. *dusts hands* Happy hump day, everyone!

Writing Adventure Group #5:

“WAG #5: Life In Motion” Sometimes it’s good to approach writing like taking a photograph with words. On the other hand, it’s important to remember that a scene is always in transition. For this week’s adventure, sit in a good observation spot and notice how the scene in front of you changes from one minute to the next. Has the light changed? The sounds? The people? What’s different now compared to when you first arrived? Is there anything you can see (or hear, smell, etc) that is changing right in front of you? Be creative and break the rules! This week is all about change!
Post the results on your blog, and read this post about the group for information on how to notify me (Nixy Valentine) so your post will be properly included in next week’s list. (Note, please include WAG #5 in the subject heading and tell me how you want your name to appear please!) Deadline: next Tuesday, March 31st.
Ok, here goes...my WAG exercise of the week:
It's early morning, around ten a.m., and Mom's yard is freshly mowed. The smell on the breeze has changed from wild flower cow pasture to the chlorophyll green of clipped grass. As yellow sunlight peeks out, dew glistens, a soft shimmer across a carpet of green. Drops of water like beads of glass on a spiderweb in the bushes. My sneakers are wet, and there are clinging green bits on the canvas. Mom has refilled the birdfeeders with seed, including the terracotta trays on the stepping stones. Now that the yard is quiet, the squirrels run tree to tree, tails flicking, curious to see what she's left out for them.

How to Join the Writing Adventure Group
Cora Zane
Christine Kirchoff
Sharon Donovan
Iain Martin
Mickey Hoffman
Marsha Writes
Jesse Blair
Aunt Sally
Nancy Parra
Jon Strother

Monday, March 23, 2009

Beautiful Daylight

Hubby is home and preparing to go back on day shift as of 5am tomorrow morning. I'm so very happy we'll be going back to a regular routine. It feels like I'm getting my days back. It's been a challenge keeping Minibeast quiet during the day, and nevermind getting all the chores done. It's kind of hard when part of the house is off limits. Writing has slacked off too, and I'm hoping I can get back to what I'd been doing. I'm at the end of a project right now, and it has seemed like no matter what I do I just can't push myself across the finish line with it. I'm just too damn tired from the crazy hours!

Today has been quiet and relaxing, so much so I keep thinking it's Sunday. Nothing at all wrong with that! I took the laptop out of the dining room and moved to the bed so I can lounge and write for a while. This manuscript is lacking two pages and that's it. Two for rewrite and polish then I can send it off. OMFG, I want to finish this thing now, now, now, today!

That said, I really should get back to work. Too, I think the guys are back from wherever they just went. Must look busy! ~_^

Happy Monday, everyone!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

BSG Fantastica

Advance notice: this entire post is a huge BSG finale spoiler, so if you can't deal with that, you might want to skip this one!
He lives! My tv crush Leoben lives! :*) For those who might be living under a rock and otherwise not know what I'm talking about, the BSG series finale was last night. I warned away my entire family, threatening bodily harm to anyone who interrupted this episode. Actually, I ended up rocking Minibeast in the recliner with him snoozing in my arms because the end came well after his bed time. So much for vicious threats. But I do try!

Le sigh.

Overall, on a scale from 1-10, I rate the ending a 7.9. I'm happy that they managed to resolve everything they did. They managed to take care of many expectations I had for the characters and civilization itself, but I must admit I expected far, far more from the Starbuck angle.

They have teased us with glimpses of her mother, her father (aka the mysterious piano player), Head Leoben, real Leoben, the hybrid, hybrid-Sam, visions of the blue ring nebula, her playing the magical cylon song on the piano(which DESERVED more explanation!)...so many other things.

I don't really understand it ending with her as an angel who merely raptures away. Was that because she was chosen? That she was not meant to be mortal? That she had other business? It was time to go find Sam or go to heaven? Maybe she had shopping to do?
It just seems strange considering her human beginnings that they didn't explain it a little more - and this is coming from someone who likes subtlty. Having her just blink away was very anti-climatic and slightly jarring in my book, but I suppose that must've been the effect they were going for.

Even so, it doesn't explain in my mind why her dead body was on Nuked Earth, or why, upon it's discovery, Leoben left her like a slab of tainted meat. Wouldn't she have something to say to him after everything that happened? Wouldn't he have something to say to her? He's told her from the beginning she has a destiny. If I'm at all honest with myself, I kinda feel like the writers/director painted themselves into a corner with Starbuck's character and just didn't know how to get her out, so they hit the teleport button.

I can only hope, what with Sam's last words to her aboard Galactica being "I'll see you on the othe rside", that he and Kara are indeed together. And I totally mean that in a story-continuation kind of way. And just for the record: No, I'm not delusional and believe the show is real. (You wouldn't believe the crazy shit I've seen on fan boards. Or maybe you would, but I'm not interested in going there.) I hope by way of story-continuation, and wonder if the show had gone on for another hour, you'd see Kara and Sam together again in one of the sequences similar to Kara remembering her childhood. If they'd have done that, I could have closed the book and walked away happy, right then and there.

About Lee, I'll say this much: I'm so effing glad he and Kara didn't end up together, and I've already stated why in other blog posts. I'm disappointed and a little surprised that Lee and Daddy Adama hugged and parted ways, though, supposedly for good.

For one thing, from the beginning of the story, there has been a misunderstanding tug-of-war relationship between Lee and Daddy Adama, mostly because we have two headstrong men too much alike to get along. Even so, through it all, there is family connection and loyalty (grudging at times though it may be). Their story is a typical example of a tight knit family irritating the shit out of each other and keeping just enough distance to uphold their own personal beliefs, to feel they've broken out of the influence of the other.

Their walking away from each other at the end was way, way outside of character for both men. Lee is too loyal to walk away from his father - EVER. And Daddy Adama is still a father who has already lost one son,and has feared the entire series of losing another. End of story. You don't just up and sever connections like that. It doesn't flow.

I actually liked Baltar and Caprica's ending (and I've never liked Baltar!). I was also pleased with Boomer, Helo, Sharon's, and most of the Final Five's endings. And I felt especially relieved to see Callie's justice come at last.

The only other thing that I really wish they had touched on, and maybe they will with Caprica and The Plan, is Daniel. That is really the only gaping flesh wound in the story that bugged me. No explanation. He's just a dead final five cylon. I'm sooo not buying that! It would have made more sense to me if Starbuck had turned out to be Daniel.

So that's the core of my BSG finale experience. I could go on for days about it, I'm sure, but I'm gonna stop here and now. OR at least until I end up in a BSG chat or gabbing over it in blog comments. Teehee. ^_^

On a different note, I've culled out a lot of folks from my Twitter account for various reasons - some that I didn't recognize (but look like marketing folk), people collectors that never post, some with posts that I just felt too uncomfortable with (and that takes a LOT for me to say that!). Others because I was tired of reading all the sales SPAM/marketing jazz/snarling/snarky bullshit.

If you think I axed you by mistake, feel free to try again. If you fall into the other category - you actually use your Twitter, add me! I've provided a handy dandy twitter button on the right sidebar.

[NOTICE: Femmebots/SPAM/marketing crawlers who add me WILL.BE.DENIED. #epicfail] This also goes for people who can't help but be complete assholes for the sake of it. I am soooo not impressed with that. *karma*

So there it is, my last BSG rant - for now, muahahahahaha! If you've posted anything on your own blog about BSG, please say something in the comments so I can pay you a visit! I'd love to hear your theories and opinions.

Over and out! *salute*

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's BSG Night!

It's been a productive day so far. I'm two pages away from finishing having the W3 story polished for submission. That is my big goal for the day. That, and watching BSG.

I woke up this morning and that's what came to mind - gotta set the TV so it auto tunes to Sci-Fi tonight. Oh yes, there will be carnage if I miss the series finale. The family has been warned.

So yesterday I mentioned that I fear Leoben will likely die. If he does this go round, it will be permanent, and I will cry.

First of all, the poor guy is just damned unlucky! How many times has he been killed in this series already? Eight, nine times? Too, he told Kara at one point that it was her destiny to deliver him to God. Ok, as batshit crazy as that sounds, he probably heard that from a hybrid and omg, I just have this fear that if they do have some God-like presence appear at the very end of the show (such as, if they all get sucked into that singularity and oogly boogly things happen, secret of the Opera House and all that blah), he's gonna die. Probably will have that whole light in his eyes, like he's seeing something important in his final moments, then lights out. Wah!

To the powers that be: Please.Don't.Do.That.To.Me. ~_~'

I'm also curious to see what happens with Sam. He's loyal through the entire series, an all around good guy, and what does he get? Vegetablized into a hybrid. If something good doesn't come of that, I'm breaking out the voodoo doll.

Ok, that's enough nerd rage for one day. (Or at least until the show airs.) I better get back to writing so I can turn this in today. Around 2, when the mail runs, I have to find a pair of shoes and make a dash to the bank. Same old, same old. By the time I'm back home the day will be rolling down hill. It's always kids and chaos here after 3 pm.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

No One To Blame

NGC 1999: South of Orion

Earlier today I got a call from my mom, and while I was talking to her, Mini came bouncing up saying he wanted a PB&J. Ok, no problem, I can gab on the phone and make a sandwich at the same time. So I'm standing at the bar with the phone tucked against my chin, spreading jelly on a piece of bread. Blah, blah, blah...then I sneeze. Big. OMFG, the pain! No, I didn't stab myself with the butterknife. I apparently pulled a muscle in my shoulder. I guess it's because I was holding my head at an odd angle when it happened. I swear, I am so effing talented sometimes I amaze even myself... ~_~'

So I'm good unless I need to sneeze (during allergy season, no less) or breathe in deeply, then the muscle catches. Hubby came home from work, so I greeted him by yowling, "Quick! Rub this wacked muscle!" He was all about it until he realized I'm in serious pain. He kneaded my shoulder blade until I couldn't stand it anymore. Tonight it's a hot soak in the tub and hopefully I'll be able to pop my shoulder. Sounds freakish, doesn't it? Well, I'm gonna try it. At this point, I can't raise my right arm over my head.

I've managed to update the Midnight Moon Cafe website with new pages, and I'll be posting more back issues of the Midnight Brew in .pdf format sometime tonight or tomorrow. I worked on my newsletter a bit, but it's not ready yet. I'm holding out in the hopes I'll hear back on a submission. We will see. On a brighter note, my story for W3 is almost ready to send. By Monday at the latest. *fingers crossed*

That's it for me today. I'm officially setting the CZ countdown to the final episode of BSG. I'm crossing my fingers they don't kill off Leoben! (But I have a sinking feeling they're going to.) I'll make a prediction about this tomorrow - if I remember to.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


candlelight drop

I noticed last night my writing calendar is filling up again. A bit of good news: Moonlight and Shadows is on the publishers finishing shelf right now. The final copy (they send for our records) was sitting in my inbox when I got up this morning. Yay! BTW, I'll be posting an excerpt from this story during the Blow Hard tour, so keep checking back.

Now that edits are done, I'm completely free to delve into something new. First things first, I'm gonna finish up this piece for Weirdly 3. Not exactly new, but it's been put aside for a while so it feels fresh. I think there are two scenes left to rewrite? Not much left at all. I'm also working on the draft for a "teasing him" story that is absolutely new. Very hawt stuff. These are tops on my priority list right now since both have to be out of here by May.

It's that time again! Writing Adventure Group day! I like these little exercises. They keep me on my toes. Here goes:

“WAG #4: Do You Hear What I Hear?”

So often, our brain filters out the sounds we hear every day, but sounds can make a story so much more concrete and help your readers feel like they’re really there in a story. This week, go out, sit and listen. (Close your eyes if that helps!) Let your attention move from the obvious sounds to the subtle ones. Try to take in the sounds you usually filter out, whether it’s voices, traffic, children, the hum of overhead lights, or whatever. Write a short description of the sounds and your experience, especially anything unexpected.

Post the results on your blog, and read this post about the group for information on how to notify me (Nixy) so your post will be properly included in next week’s list. (Note, please include WAG #4 in the subject heading and tell me how you want your name to appear please!) Deadline: next Tuesday, March 24th.

Ok, so here goes... Cora's WAG assignment #4

Quiet morning, sunny. Hubby's not home yet from the night shift. TV on in the den. The fragment of a song. Mini's watching Noggin and playing with his Cars toy laptop. Outside an 18 wheeler rumbles by on our little country road. Rattling steel. Potholes in the making. Our truck driver neighbor is returning from work. Lightning McQueen laptop says "vowel racer" and "watch for obstructions in the road".

And there you have it. Here are the links to last week's WAG exercises:
How to Join the Writing Adventure Group
Cora (me!)
Iain Martin
Nancy J Parra
Lulu - People Watching and Saving Lives
Jesse Blair
Nixy Valentine

I can hardly believe it's Wednesday, but it is. Where did Monday go? I don't even remember what I did that day. *_* Ordinarily I wouldn't mind so much, but I've got a lot to do before BSG day Friday. Better get on it! Happy hump day, everyone!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Today there is a contest going on over at the Midnight Moon Cafe blog, and the prize is a gorgeous clover claddagh bracelet. All you have to do is post a limerick in the comments for a chance ot win!

For me, it's edits, edits, edits. I've already added the dedication and I'm still tinkering with the bio. Ugh. I still like this bio, and wish I could use it. At any rate, I'm determined to take Moonlight and Shadows all the way today. Of course, I've been saying that for the past two days, but now I have only 20 pages left to look through, so this time I mean it. Seriously, I do. You just watch.

After I get that out of the way, there are a few projects I have to work on. #1 is to update the Cora Zane website, because, uh, damn...I didn't realize it's been parked like that since October. #2 is the CZ newsletter. It's coming up soon, I promise. I was kinda waiting for some news about a submission, but with the Blow Hard Tour up and coming - heehee - and the NOLA conference out of the way, I really can't put it off any longer. #3 is to do with the Midnight Moon Cafe. I've been working on the website over there, adding new pages. I hope to finish up over there this week!

That said, I'm out for now. Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! May you all get lucky, rainbow and pot o' gold optional. ~_^

UPDATED: Want to see some pictures of the books on my keeper shelf? Alison Tyler has posted pics of some of my naughty book collection. Come on, you know you want to take a peek!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Mayhem

My special place

My energy is totally zapped today, and OMG where did all the effing laundry come from? Yep, that pretty much sums up the day.

I've been in zombie mode all afternoon. At one point hubby was sitting at the dining room table getting ready to leave for the work (he's still on night shift), and he was talking to me about something that seemed pretty serious, when it occured to me I was just watching him talk. I hadn't heard a word he'd said. *_*

At any rate, I worked on edits today. I'm at the halfway point on the final round, and I swore to myself I'd finish today but I'm just too tired to plow on. Tomorrow...tomorrow, I'll finish. It's doable. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Speaking of writing things. I found this via Twitter - Samhain Publishing is looking for submissions. Read about it here: http://forums.romancedivas.com/index.php?showtopic=47840

Off to cook supper, and have a glass of wine. Not necessarily in that order. *thumbs up*

Blow Hard Tour 2009

The Blow Hard Blog Tour 2009 is coming soon!

Smut Girl, aka the fun and fabulous Sommer Marsden, has pulled out all the stops in celebration of that certain intimate artform that leaves most men shouting "Oh, oh, baby!"

Are you down to go down? We certainly hope so! The Blow Hard Tour starts March 31st, and will feature erotic fiction excerpts and/or lip smacking true stories of oral pleasure - a new adventure everyday through April 11th!

Twelve tempting tour stops include:

Sommer Marsden March 31st
Alison Tyler April 1st (no joke)
Dakota Rebel April 2nd
Erobintica April 3rd
Cora Zane April 4th
Heidi Champa April 5th
EllaRegina April 6th
Marina St. Clare April 7th
Emerald April 8th
Kristina Wright April 9th
Isabel Kerr April 10th
Neve Black April 11th

As if the lineup isn't awesome enough, Sommer has arranged an OMG prize package that is bound to rock your world!

Be sure to mark your calendars, and stay tuned for more information about the tour. We hope you'll join us for this delicious exploration into blowing hard...and loving it. ~_^

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Coming Soon!

Oh, baby, it's coming soon!

Go to SmutGirl's Blog to find out more. But be quiet about it, ok? It's still just a dirty little secret....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fan Girl Blues and the Cosmic Anvil

Hubby's working nights for the next two weeks so this should be very interesting. I may come out of this one either bald or gray, because Mini doesn't get the concept of "please be quiet". I'm so glad I have most of my deadline stories out of the way or I'm sure I'd go bonkers. It's not going to be easy to pull for writing time while Hubby's home. Mostly I'll have to keep Mini occupied so he doesn't go running in there and springing on his daddy.

On the writing front, I've gotten my third round edits back for Moonlight and Shadows and need to add in the dedication and bio. The dedication is a peach. I got that one. Lil Sis definitely deserves some props for answering all my emails for Shreveport directions. "You know," she said to me after the third email plea for directions, "If you'd COME HOME ONCE IN A WHILE you'd know if that store was still there."

I am so guilty. But at least I know what to write for the dedication!

Now for that bio.... Ugh, I so totally hate writing the bio. Is that just me? I usually copy and paste an old one because I have no effing idea what to say. I feel it should say something writerly here, something personal there. All done! But it never happens like that. If I were totally honest in my bio, I'd write something like:

Cora thinks about sex waaay too much for it to be considered healthy, so she tempers it off by writing it down on a daily basis and calling it art. She has two kids to show for this dirty imagination of hers, and when she's not thinking about sex, she's thinking about Jeeps and guitars - her other favorite forms of mental porn.

Somehow I really don't think my publisher would allow that, though.

You're Now Entering the Fangirl Zone - SPOILER Alert

Last night, I watched BSG and all my worst fears came true. If you haven't watched the March 13 episode, quit reading my blog already and get thee to http://www.hulu.com/ - stat!

They didn't jump the ship, but then I'm not really surprised. They just teased us with it like I feared (see yesterday's post for my thoughts pre-episode), and they still haven't brought back Leoben! He and Kara have had this whole destiny thing going on the entire time, and he's not in the final batch of episodes? Isn't it bad enough that he didn't get any glowing spine action in the series? Too, I thought he said the hybrid told him things, and it was the reason he came looking for her on New Caprica. Please don't let them cut him out of the final reveal!

And poor Sam. This is a very bittersweet ending for him, in my opinion. "...find a planet for Kara Thrace..." Somewhere in there he still loves his little harbinger of death. Yeah, I'm sappy like that. He's locked in his own thoughts, apparently, but at least he remembers his life before, even if he's processing it like a hybrid. It's cool, too, that Kara has stuck by him through it. (although she has attempted to shoot him in the head to end his "suffering") She's usually kinda flaky about the emotional stuff, so it's good to see that her character has grown.

I know there are a lot of folks who want to see her end up with Lee, but I just don't think they make a convincing couple. I've watched the entire series, and aside from the quicky sex, and her ties with him through Zak and daddy Adama, I don't see the real romantic connection. To me, it's like friends who had sex then woke up the next morning and can't believe what the hell they've done so they say, "Should we go out or what?" No. For the sake of humanity, please don't.

Speaking of Lee, I'm kinda pissed at him for not tossing Baltar out the airlock the minute he came asking for a position in the government for his cult. Hasn't everyone heard enough of his political aspirations already? He's like another Tom Zarek. No one wants him in office but the resident fruitcakes, but he keeps coming back anyway, and whenever he does Bad.Things.Happen. If Baltar makes it out of this show without a serious kick below the belt I'm gonna be pissed. Or seriously questioning the intergalactic laws of karma, because I swear, at this point there should be a two-ton cosmic anvil hovering somewhere in space with his name on it. 0_x

Okay, okay...one more thing and I swear I'll be done with my BSG banter for the weekend. First things first, there is a Monday 1 hour behind the scenes special on Sci-Fi, then next Friday is the 1 hour finale. It looks like it'll be action packed, but the teasers can be so outrageously deceptive. I want to know all the juicy bits, but not like in "the Ellen episode". Please not that. Ugh, I get restless just thinking about that info dump. I have no attention span for that kind of storytelling. Srsly. And for Pete's sake, who the fuck is Daniel?!? Please tell me they aren't going to drop that story arc. Cruel, cruel, people.... Oh wait, maybe Cavil will reveal that Starbuck is actually Daniel when they board the colony and go to steal Hera back. Hm....*pondering*

Congratulations! You've Now Safely Exited The Fan Girl Zone.

That's all I've got for today. I've got to break out the Weirdly 3 story and work on it a bit. And I need to tell Oldest to chill before he walks grooves in the floor from pacing. His friend was supposed to be here to pick him up fifteen minutes ago. Teenagers! ~_^

Happy weekend everyone!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Eye Candy Friday

Is it Friday yet? It is? Really? Woot!

Mini was determined to get out of bed at 6 AM, so I'm not yet feeling the Friday love. I'm prolly gonna need another cup of coffee before that happens. At any rate, I'm up and staring at the computer screen. The day will start sooner or later.

Friday is usually my errand day, but I'm planning to stay in today. It's entirely too cold and rainy to take the Minibeast out in this mess. Too, the brakes on my Jeep still aren't fixed. You just kinda have to coast to the end of the block and drift to a stop before hitting the brakes at this point. Mm, yeah, that might not work too good in rainy weather. I'm not gonna test it and find out.

Instead, I'm going to stay in and work on my submission for Weirdly 3 and probably burn down some mp3s and old smut files on disk. I burnt a disk down for Hubster, but it wouldn't play in his Jeep. So I'm gonna redo it and this time spare a few extra brain cells for the job so I remember to "burn as audio".

Tonight is BSG night! So now that they've introduced "angels" into the show, I swear to Pete they'd better not drag in the ship of lights, or no one shall be spared my Nerd Rage!1!!! I have high hopes for this episode, and I'm not afraid to say it. They need to quit tinkering around with Tyrol and Boomer and get to the meat of the story so the last two episodes aren't a cluttered info dump. Tonight I'm hoping they jump The Bucket and see if she holds together, not just tease us and leave us hanging at the last minute. Grr.

Personally, I think they should just hook Sam back up and let him have with it ala Galactica-baseship style. We only saw a smidgen of what he remembered. Maybe he knows some byway planet where they can all roost. And please, more about Starbuck? Angel, my ass. She resurrected from somewhere - let's see it - chop, chop!

And that is all. I could go on and on about BSG, but will stop myself before the point of no return. ~_^ I should really get to work. Stories await!

Have a great Friday, everyone!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shiny Thursday

mirrored skyscrapers

Oh, how I wish. It's yet another day of dreary gray weather. And cold. WTF? We had several days this past week of sunny, 80 degree weather where I was romping around in cutoffs and flip flops. Bring back the warm! *shakes fist at the sky*

I think it was Monday we were running the AC, now we've got heaters going to keep from freezing the bootah off. Is it any wonder we've all got the sneezes and sniffles. The weather can't make up it's mind. Srsly. I think after the first of the year, it should be an auto jump to summer. After Christmas, no one really gives a flying rat about winter anymore anyway. Then again, that could get complicated. I'm pretty sure at some point I blogged that the New Year should start directly after Xmas Day. *reaches for coffee*

I can't believe it's already Thursday! *counting the minutes to the next episode of BSG* I am going to have hissy fits if they don't put Leoben back in the series before it ends. I SWEAR to all that is synthetic and rubberized... He stalked Kara almost the entire series and he gives up the minute they find her corpse? WTF! Surely he's built of sterner stuff than that? Where's your devotion, Cylon? Someone reach across the bed and smack his ass for me - PLEASE. Giddyap, man! You have a destiny to chase!

At any rate, Wednesday sort of flew by, and I can't really say what the heck I accomplished, if anything at all. I worked on a couple of projects, mailed off a naughty spanking submission, built a race track with Mini, did a few housewifely things, then looked up at the clock and it was 3:30. No kidding. Looking back on it, the day was a bit of a blur.

Hubby came home from work yesterday and said, "I guess you didn't get my note."
"What note?"
"The one on the fridge."
"Um, no...apparently I didn't get that one."

He left a shopping list. Most of it stuff he needed for his lunches. Well, heck, he could've txt'd me or something to let me know it was there!

So after I finish this blog post I gotta make a run to the store. We're out of just about everything - milk, eggs, bread, Diet Dr. Pepper and coffee(gasp!!!!). Oh, and dog food - better write that down. too. Yeah, it's definitely time to shop. Before I have to go zombiefied san coffee, and we resort to feeding the dogs weenies out of the fridge. Oy vey. Bad Mimi.

Have a great day, everyone. Be shiny!

UPDATE: There's a pillow fight going on over at Alison Tyler's blog. Actually, it's a picture of my bed and sheets...and my keeper shelf. ~_^

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Latest Projects

I sent off a manuscript in early December, and assumed after a while they'd R'd it since I never heard back from the publisher. (I posted a little bit about this yesterday, but thought it might be valuable to other aspiring authors who sometime use Open Office.)

Well, two days ago I got notice about the project, and was told they couldn't open it. I think this is because I used Open Office, one of my favorite open source writing platforms. A crit partner and I were passing stories back and forth several months ago; however, she kept getting errors with mine saying they were corrupted or not compatible, etc. even though I'd sent them as .doc files.

I've since upgraded MSWord from trial/Student Edition to the Small Business version and I haven't had this problem with any other projects I've submitted. If something like this is going on when you send out submissions, update your Open Office and see what happens (there is an update available now that I'm aware of). Or better yet, pick up MS Word for Small Business or the pro version. Their Student Edition isn't worth a hill of beans. Hey, Microsoft, even Students need "track changes". Sheesh.

At any rate, that story is now resubmitted. *dusts hands* All I can do now is sit and wait. I have three other submissions floating around, and two more I need to clean up and shove out the door as soon as I can get my act together and get them polished properly. One of them is the android story. I'm two/thirds the way through cleaning up that one. I really need to just take a weekend off and finish it so I can get it out of my hair. It's unconventional, but I really like the story, so I hate for it to molder away on the old hard drive.

I got notice yesterday that the Weirdly 3 antho is still on, so I've got to shift my schedule around a bit so I'll have time to polish my story. When I heard ME had left Wild Child as an editor, I assumed (yeah, I know the saying) that the antho would be off. The piece is written, but very sketchy at this point and needs an overhaul.

First things first, I'm going to finish this full length draft while it's fresh on my mind so I can stay on schedule with it. I plan for this puppy to be rewritten, cleaned, polished, buffed and spit-shined so it is out of here by the end of summer. I have three specific publishers in mind for it. Crossing the fingers now that at least one will take interest.

Speaking of the full length story... I've been asked about it, so I thought I'd share. It's a futuristic/sci-fi/erotic romance. Alien worlds, hot sex, and plenty of romance. I love these characters and have high hopes they'll make it to print.

That's about it for me today. I need to sort laundry, sad as it is. :P Happy hump day, everyone. Scroll down to check out the current Writing Adventure Group Challenge.

“WAG #3: A New Friend”

Sit somewhere that you can watch strangers passing by. Choose someone that you don’t know, but you can imagine being friends with. Describe them in concrete terms, particularly whatever it is about them you find appealing (or unappealing!) Feel free to also write what you imagine that makes you warm to them, but don’t forget to describe reality as well!

Thank you Marsha for contributing this week’s adventure theme!

Post the results on your blog, and read this post about the group for information on how to notify me so your post will be properly included in next week’s list. (Note, please include WAG #3 in the subject heading!) Deadline: next Tuesday, March 17th.

OK here goes...

I'm sitting at the McDonald's closest to Tech campus, and I glance toward the window in time to see Mohawk get out of his shitty little car. Two foot tall hair. It's scarlet red this time, like the plumage of a Macaw. Kinda bent on top from riding in the car. I think it was blue the last time I saw him. Not a bad change. He fumbles around in the parking lot a minute, I think he's scrounging change out of the drink tray or something. He's got a new friend with him this time - short black hair, kinda spiky all over. Little nobbins all over his head. After a minute, they leave the car, a battered Celica, I think, and I watch them cross the cold gray parking lot, huddled intheir jackets, hands deep in pockets, breath frosting white on the air.

They're talking quietly when they enter, and they disappear from view while they go to order. I turn to Mini, try to convince him to eat his fries. Minutes later, the guys come around the corner carrying their food on a single tray. They sit a table over from me and Mini, and when we get up to leave, Nobbins bumps Mowhawk under the table, and he quickly tucks his foot under the table and out of the aisle.

"'Scuse me, little man," he says to Mini when we pass, and the other guy nods at us.

They smell strongly of patchouli when we pass. Possibly something else? Not my business. They're polite enough; the rest is the rest. I hand Mini his Sprite and he holds the swinging door open while I dump the tray.

Mini, the chatterbox, turns and waves bye to Mowhawk, and says something I don't quite catch. I don't see Mohawk's reaction. I take Minibeast by the hand and we head toward the door. I'm already trying to take the keyclip off my belt loop.

See ya next week, Mohawk. Enjoy the fish sandwich.

How to Join the Writing Adventure Group
Cora Zane
J Strother - Mad Utopia
Nancy Parra
Jackie Doss
Criss - Criss Writes
Iain Martin
Marsha - Marsha Writes
Lulu - Introspective Liar
Jesse Blair - SexFoodPlay
Nixy Valentine
Mickey Hoffman
Aunt Sally

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

So Much Left To Learn

I stayed up late last night working on the plot outline of the next full length project I'd like to dive off into. I now have the rough outline running start to finish, and it's about 25 pages long. I'm gonna leave it alone for a day or so, then come back to it and read through, see if any new ideas take off, any story arcs appear that can be added in. If I can't think of anything new, I'll break out my character sheets and try to fill everything in while wrapping up this other story.

Speaking of all this plotting...so much for my pantser days. I can whip up a short story in no time flat, but it takes major planning for me to get a novel off the ground. I liken it to a lead tank trying to take flight.

On the otherhand, I have a novel length wip almost ready to print up and start red penning. I made major changes to the beginning and middle, but the end is still pretty much how I originally envisioned it. This is one of those labor of love books that I started on a long time ago, but never could seem to get it the way I wanted it. After all this time, it's finally reached its intended incarnation, the poor thing. Hopefully I'll be able to release it into the wild soon.

Today I'm pulling out a finished manuscript and giving it a quick read through before resubbing it. Apparently there was an issue with the publisher being able to open it. The only thing I can figure it that they can't open .doc files created with Open Office. I think one of my Mac friends had a similar problem. So I gotta copy and paste this thing into Word (now that I have it) and reformat everything. I haven't read the story in so long, I thought I better read through it before sending it on as well.

That's about it for me today. A little writing, a little coffee, some plotting and red penning. Not necessarily in that order.

Happy Tuesday, everyone. ~_^

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Nasty Little Hangover

Oy, it was hard to get out of bed this morning. Mini kept coming to the edge of the bed, "But Mimi, you can't sleep! I want [food, drink, TV, DVD, Pokemon, insert choice toddler object here]."

I must've got out of bed 6 times before I decided it was pointless to try and sleep. I probably wouldn't have been half as determined to remain unconscious, but I didn't get to bed until after 3 AM. I stayed up entirely too late last night. Erm, this morning? But I got caught up in a story and couldn't leave it until I'd written this huge scene block I had in mind. A wrote a little over 3k on one story, and about 1k on a different story - albeit earlier in the day, yesterday. 4k overall. Snazziness and butterflies!

I have a nasty little writer's hangover today, but it's all good. I got up, took an aspirin, and before I'd even turned on the 'net, I wrote another 1k on my story. These characters are really talking to meh. Pre-coffee even. That's heavy. I think they might be my kinda people. :P

I'm officially tanked up on caffeine, althought I may need more before the day is out. Speaking of which...sugar free hazelnut lattes...

Kittie - What I Always Wanted

I went to the parentals' house yesterday and spent a few hours visiting. I wrote down a couple of diabetic recipes I could think of off hand mom could make that were really simple, showed her how to calculate the carb/sugar ratio on food packages, wrote down a list of NO-NO foods to post of the fridge, and made shopping lists for mom to haul around with her. I also calibrated dad's glucose meter, showed him how to test with it, and how to log his readings in the log book.

Ya know, it's hard to believe it happens in this day and age, but doctors just write a prescription for patients and expect them to follow the "take one pill twice a day" on the bottle and expect patients to know WTF they're doing. Dad was scared to take his insulin pills - do you take one at breakfast, before breakfast, an hour after? So here I am writing down a pill schedule for my dad. The doctor gave him NO literature about the pills or about being diabetic. Good Christ!

I swear I wrote down 8 pages of notes for mom and dad yesterday, and went over every tiny detail I could think up - just in case. It burns my tail because some of that should have been the doctor's job. It's not that I minded going over everything - but that I shouldn't have had to. What if some elderly person with no family has to go to that doctor with a similar problem? What if they don't have anyone to sit and walk them through it? That meter was a pain in the ass for me to calibrate and I have my own. The very idea is enough to make me wanna reach for a voodoo doll and pins.

On a lighter note, mom called this morning to let me know dad tested his BG himself this morning, and took his medication fear free. She told me his numbers and I gave her a big YAY! on the phone. Dad is still a bit terrified of eating, worrying he'll pick up something he shouldn't, but that's only because it's new. It's a balancing game you play with carbs and protein. He'll have it all figured out soon enough.

So I better sign off and get to work. Hubster sent me a txt a few minutes ago - he's on his way home. They called him in to the plant this morning, then he found out he's going to be working elsewhere Monday. Figures. :P

Enjoy your Sunday, everyone!

Oh, by the way - check out Tramp Stamp Barbie!!!! *cough, cough* I mean, Totally Styling Tattoo Barbie. The asshat picture above is her's truly. The Harridan Housewives Association is out to get her banned because she's such a slut - complete with tattoos. I, on the otherhand, saw that sexy little asshat and had to have her - to add to my bad idea Barbie collection!

Yes, I sent Husband to Wal-mart to buy her for me. Well, I didn't send him, exactly. He was going anyway and I had him pick her up for me, which he did. *smoochies*

Ya know, I bet Barbie regrets that Ken tattoo. Didn't she dump him a few years back for metrosexual Blaine? Boy that fling was short lived. You just don't hear about him now. I guess Ken took Barbie back. At least I hope so. Having an asshat love-target with some other man's name would kinda suck in the new boyfriend department don't you agree?

I guess the overall lesson is: Even in the land of plastic, inking names on your body is a bad, bad idea. Always think before you ink. That goes for you too, Barbie!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Unleashing the Magic

I'm finally home! It's been a loooong day. I've delivered promo, paid bills, picked up ARCs at the post office for the Midnight Moon Cafe. I ran back home to pick up Oldest so he could go grocery shopping with me and Mini. Whew!

I am tired. But at least I now have vanilla tea. I was fiending, and make no doubt.

No snazzy web pic today, but I did take a few family pictures of play day with Mini yesterday so I'm posting those. Mostly I was tinkering with my cell phone, but decided to snap a few while I had the battery power.

In the first one, we're playing int the "sand bar" in the driveway. This was shortly after my parents came to visit. I'm sitting in the sand with Mini - that little "bump" at the bottom of the picture is my ghostly pale knee. :P

At one point while I was fiddling with my phone, checking my horoscope or something, Mini said to me, "I'm gonna sit in the shade, Mimi." Ok, Bear, fine by me. There is no shade since we have no trees in our front yard. And that's when I looked up from my phone and realized I'm throwing off the HUGE patch of shade he's talking about. Har har, kid. We stayed outside for about an hour and a half. It was truly a beautiful afternoon.

Preggy neighbor dog (now our dog, see the divalicious picture to your left) enjoyed our company.

She lounged around with us, and before hubby arrived home and we all went inside, Mini and I tossed a ball for her to chase.

She hasn't learned to fetch yet, so Mini did the fetching. *lol* Diva Pup is slower than usual, I noticed, and she's starting to show her preggy-ness a little bit now. She doesn't know it, but she's getting a bath this weekend. It's hard to tell from her picture, but she's been digging holes again and she is grrruuungy. Yik.

Before taking on the out-of-doors adventure, Mini and I put together a Hotwheels Car Wash Adventure track out of building blocks in his room. (Picture below.) It looks more like an alien civilization to me, but then again, what do I know? The concept was multi-lane carwash with road blocks. BTW, one of these days I'll actually load the pictures in chronological order...

Today I drove all the promo items sent me to Beth, who met me at Starbucks. We loaded them in her vehicle, and verily she carried them up to the Written in the Stars. Yay. Then I came back to the local stomping grounds and checked the mail for the MMC.

Guess what... We now have some lovely print copies of Once Bitten by Kalayna Price. Be sure to keep checking the Midnight Moon Cafe to look for a chance to win a copy for yourself!

Speaking of books and writerly things... Last night I stayed up until 1:30 reading and writing. Rather, I should say unleashing the magic of Holly Lisle's "How to Write Page Turning Scenes" course. http://www.hollylisle.com/ Within MINUTES of reading the first chapter, I figured out how to fix the sketchy beginning of my nearly full length wip. I've worked out two plot issues, amped up the stakes, and given more meaning to my characters. I have no doubt now I can finish this wip, and make it better than I'd originally intended. Her Page-Turning Scene course passes the Cora Zane Clutz-free Test. I highly, highly recommend aspiring writers to add this book to their writing guide arsenal.

Another download I picked up recently that passes the CZ Clutz-free Test is STorYBook. STorYBook is open source novel plotting software / freeware that works on Windows based systems. I LOVE this software. I've been wanting to pick up a note card program but lately I haven't had the scratch for it. Storybook does the job - lets me see my plot tree - and it is FREE. I'm very impressed with the results, and the easy to use interface. *thumbs up*

At any rate...I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on TV...

Mini is howling from the bedroom. I think he's sleeepy. :P I better put him to bed before time runs out. BSG is coming on in 30 minutes!

Happy Friday, everyone. ~_^

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Sailin' On

A small life's start of journey

Today had been a quiet, lazy day. Mini and I have been toying around and playing all day. We built a "car wash" out of blocks, and he found some boxes to climb in while I culled my office of junk. Around 3:30 we went out to play in the sand in the driveway and my parents came over. When I saw my dad climb out of the truck, I was shocked.

"Um, dad, you're supposed to be in bed resting!"

He said he wanted to see his grandkids, and that was that. They could've called me and I'd have driven them over there, ya know? At any rate, he's still very sore but he looks much better, and has a little more color to him now.

So earlier today when I was cleaning out my office, I found an old wip and dusted off the cobwebs. Honestly, I have no idea why I never finished this book - other than my own slackassedness, of course. It's not up to my current level of writing, but it's not remarkably terrible either. Right now it's sitting at roughly 60k.

Since I'm currently between projects, I'm gonna sort through this and see if I can clean it up and maybe expand it for Samhain. I've already opened StoryBook and Holly Lisle's Plot Clinic (ebook), and between play sessions with Mini have done a little project research. I've been filling in "plot cards" to see where I stand with this thing.

Speaking of writing, I went over to http://shop.hollylisle.com/ this afternoon and bought a copy of How to Write Page Turning Scenes, by Holly Lisle. If you're an aspiring author who hasn't bought her Plot Clinic book, I give it my highest recommendation. I bought the pdf version a while back, and it's an invaluable guide suited to writers published or not. I break it out when I need it and read it in sections, and it usually helps me get over the rough patches in my manuscripts.

So now I've bought the Scenes book as well. I plan to sift through this book tonight, but probably won't start working my way through it until next week. I'll let you know how it works out.

That's it for me. Mini is sooo tired. We've romped all day, and it's starting to show. He's eating supper AND whining. Who knew you could do both at the same time! I better start his bathwater. I can tell already the little beast isn't going to last the hour before nite-nite. Happy Thursday, everyone.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Cancellation Tessellation


This morning I called my carpool partner at RWA, the RWA conference chair, and the hotel where I was scheduled to stay for the Written in the Stars conference, and I cancelled. All of it. If that is not all one great big steaming pile of suckness, I don't know what is. I'm out the conference and the money. I'd rather have just donated the funds and not have gone through this. I can assure you that.

Needless to say, I'm not feeling very charitable and happy today, so when I got a random telemarketer calling me while I'm waiting for news about my dad, you can imagine that did not go over well. Who in their right effing mind is going to "talk to someone about lowering your credit card interest rate", especially with someone you don't know who - a phone solicitor! I feel I should get karma points for not telling that woman to take a flying leap. And by the way, how many times do I have to register for the DO NOT CALL list before these people actually get it?

I'm meeting up with my carpool partner this Friday to pass off the promo items that were donated for the conference, along with other things I have bundled, and the cases of diet Dr. Pepper I bought for the Meet and Greet. On the upside, I guess I can stop worrying about that pitch...

My dad is being tentatively released from the hospital today, so there is a bit of good news. On top of the newly diagnosed diabetes and complications thereof, he has an infection in a couple of major organs. They've let him come home, albeit heavily, heavily medicated. Of course, if he so much as sneezes they expect us to rush him back to the hospital. I imagine if their health insurance was worth more than the paper it's printed on, the doctors probably would've kept him in the hospital.

Mom is still kind of in denial about dad's diabetes, thinking "he'll get over it" and "it's just because he's got the infections". I'm too tired to try and talk to her about it at this point. She'll figure it out sooner or later that diabetes doesn't just go away. I've had it since 2000, you think she'd know that by now, God love her. I'm taking the day off to get caught up on laundry and get things organized here at home. Over the next week I've got to be here in case there is an emergency. Here it is noon, and I still haven't gotten Minibeast out of his pajamas. *sigh* Is it Friday yet?

Writing Adventure Group Assignment #2:

Go outside, and sit for a minute. (This can be in your yard or garden, on a city street, in a park, in a shopping centre, where ever you choose!) Soak in everything you see, hear, smell, etc, for a moment, and then describe something that you did not notice at first. This can be anything! Just make it something that you overlooked when you first arrived. Keep your descriptions as concrete as possible!

Post the results on your blog, and read this post about the Writing Adventure Group for information on how to notify Nixy so your post will be properly included in next week’s list. Deadline: next Tuesday, March 10th.

Okay, so here goes. My writing adventure of the week:

Sitting outside on the hospital steps, trying to get a cellphone signal - stupid, AT&T. It's sunny, but the wind is cold and my fleece CareBear jacket isn't quite enough. Crushed cigarette on the ground beside my boot despite the cement ashtray/bin near the entrance. Some people...

I get up and step around the corner of the building into a patch of sunlight where it's hopefully a little warmer. The parking lot is full but quiet, the landscaped trees rustling. Nearby sounds of traffic. I look up and two people are sitting under the vestibule of a nearby building watching me, probably wondering if I'm calling someone to deliver good news or bad. Instead, I've reached hubby's voice mail. Press 3 to leave a message.

Last week's Writing Adventures:

Cora Zane - Stars Will Cry
Sharon Donovan
Adam Heine - Authors Echo
Nancy Parra - This Writer’s Life
Criss - Criss Writes
Carol - DMWCarol
Nixy Valentine
Marsha Moore - Write On!
Jesse Blair - SexFoodPlay
Jackie Doss - The Pegasus Journals

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Wisdom is Fish

It's 2:30 in the morning, and yes, I should be sleeping; however, I was laying in bed a few minutes ago, and suddenly felt incredibly yucky. Like, "I ate roadkill for supper" kinda sick. I got up, and I've since taken Tums and I'm feeling a sooo much better, but I'm still waiting for it to hit that 100% better mark so I can go back to bed.

Has anyone else been reading about the lastest discovery of water/ice on Mars and the way the ice all melted over the planet at one time, then refroze toward the equator and voila - Mars as we currently know it?

Am I the only one who's noticed scientists have gotten into an awful hurry about trying to figure out what the hell happened to life on Mars, if it ever existed there? One headline recently on AOL was/is: Is Mars potentially habitable?

I'm sure they mean, like, if we could actually breathe the effing atmosphere and not die. *_* Yeah, yeah, I know... They could go in and put up atmosphere processing stations like in Aliens (Anyone remember what happened to them, hmm?) Or, they could build domes on the planet like in Total Recall, although the idea of interplanetary construction workers building environmental controlled domes on poisonous planets don't instill a lot of confidence in me. Especially considering some of Hubster's construction buddies, and the number of dumbasses that get tossed off the job for failing the random drug tests.

I can't picture most NASA guys outside the whole number crunching realm, but I can picture a massive civilian OOPS! like one of the paper mill outages where hubby works if they hired a contractor to come in and build anything meant to house Mars "residents".

I read the lastest article about the way ice has melted and shifted on Mars over the past some odd million years, and couldn't help wondering if these amazing findings are mean to be exciting, comforting or what, because comfort just doesn't come to mind? Hey, everybody! We think Mars might've supported life at one time, but then the Martian ice caps melted and.... well, shit. Ya know? *_* Let's build another billion dollar robot to go scratch in the dirt and see what it finds.

I swear to God, one of these days we'll all check out CNN, or Fox News, whatever, and we'll see the Mars rover on an archeological dig where it has partially uncovered a set of McDonald's Golden Arches under the ice frozen Scooby Doo caveman style. Darn Martians and their greenhouse gasses. I guess they should have eaten the methane producing cows, and smelted down all their plastic McDonald toys, too. For environmental purposes, you know.

My point is, what the hell are we going to do if we put people on Mars? Drill for oil? Open a Walmart? Haven't we done enough damage on one planet? I can picture the future, when Earth is one stick away from becoming an uninhabitable rock, The Mars Presidential Resort will open to everyone privileged enough to afford a shuttle ticket to get there. Wouldn't that just be the way? Tax payers build it and pay for it, and then we're the ones left to go down with the ship. Rats!

Anyway, there are my pre-dawn, pre-coffee thoughts for the moment. Just say NO to Mars. :P By the way, for anyone that might be wondering, the clip is from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (FYI, the movie is no where near as good as the book.)

I'm off to bed again. Nite, nite all! And, hey, NASA - thanks for all the fish!

Monday, March 02, 2009

It Comes In Threes

Couple walking in Ally in Rome 2005

Oldest brought me the phone around 1:30 AM this morning, not long after I'd gone to bed. When I realized it was a call from my mother, I knew something must be very wrong, and thought for sure it must be to do with grandma. Mom shocked me with the news Dad had been rushed to the ER, and they were trying to "stop the bleeding".

No one knew what the hell was going on, and as you can imagine, that put me from groggy WTF square into panic mode lickety split. I climbed out of bed and told her I'd be at the hospital in a few minutes - twenty at the most, since we don't live that far away. I hung up and was already pulling on my jeans until hubby got up and insisted he'd go instead of me. After some quick wrangling, it was agreed, and hubby took the first shift. I stayed with the kids until Mini woke up, and Oldest was off to school. Needless to say, I did not rest at all.

I spent the day at the hospital with mom waiting for a doctor who didn't show up until I left. A string of mom and dad's friends dropped in, a minister, and a bunch of people I didn't know at all. Some of them I wanted to shoo out the door with a stick. While keeping track of dad's monitors and catheter bag, I could see evidence of just how effing understaffed the local hospital is, and I am sure the nurses were quite ready to see me go by the end of the day. Then again, I have never seen my dad look so tired and gray, and if there is anything to make you as a person feel very frightened and fragile - watch your dad cry in pain and be helpless to do anything about it. That about sums up my day.

The doctor didn't arrive to look in on my dad until around 4:30-5 pm. I'd already left to take care of my mom's errands, a few little things like pick up the mail, turn on her porch light, close the gate, let the dog out, and get her laundry in the dryer, etc. And when I left the doctor hadn't showed. Mom called me on my way home, and told me the doctor had come in with Dad's test(s) results the simple diagnosis is he's very sick thanks to diabetes. My parents were in absolutely shock, and as selfish as it sounds, I'm glad I didn't have to see my dad's face when the doctor told him. I don't think I could've made it through that.

I've suspected for many years running about dad being diabetic - he's shown a lot of symptoms like mine. But he's an impossible man to get to the doctor, and there's really no fighting that. This time though, they're not letting him go home until he gets the hang of his insulin, and they "educate him on diabetes". Teach him what he can and can't eat, etc. On Wednesday, he has to go to a specialist who will check for signs of cancer - as indicated by the massive internal bleeding. The entire mess is so surreal...almost seems like I should be writing this about someone else!

Mom is very frightened. She doesn't know how to cook for dad, and I've tried to calm her fears since a lot to do with diabetic cooking is substitution. I'm going to go through her cabinets with her and mark all the "no-go" food, and make copies of all my diabetic recipes for her.

Everything is so up in the air right now, I've accepted I may have to skip the conference this week, but hubby says to hang on because that's not a certainty yet. However, if I do, I won't even blink. Family comes first, and mom can't do all this shit by herself. I told hubby if all seems like it's going to fall through, I'll drive to Shreveport Friday morning and pass off my promo haul to one of the other NOLA Stars and cancel my pitch appointments. We will see.

That's been my day. I'm relieved to know what's wrong, but there's more ahead I'm not yet ready to think about. I guess you could call this hitting a rough patch. Supposedly it comes in threes, but I'm thinking 2 is definitely enough. For now I'm going to fix another cuppa tea and hit the couch for BSG marathon until I fall asleep. Nite, nite all.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Greens and Yellows

Leshan Giant Buddha, Sichuan, October 2008

I got notice on Friday that my grandmother's breast cancer has returned. A few weeks ago she found a lump near her armpit, and went in to have it checked. The doctor has confirmed it's cancer, and that it's also spread to her lymph nodes and her lungs. So now they are going to have to remove her right breast (they removed the left a year or so ago), but the thing is, since she has problems with her esophogus, she can't do chemo. The family is waiting for the doctors to go over her case to find out what's going to go down. No one knows anything at this point, and it is very, very 100% effing frustrating.

I'll be attending the Written in the Stars conference on the 6th and 7th, but we're already making plans on how and when we're going to make a break for TX to see her. Minibeast has seen her only once, I think. Maybe twice. We're all really stressed, and mom called me on Friday and unloaded on me like you wouldn't believe. I understand she's upset, I am too, but oy, that was not something I needed. Thinking back on it now, it's all very surreal.

I managed to turn in my first round of edits for Moonlight and Shadows on Friday, and I almost have my pitch in order. This book needs another draft before I allow anyone to look at it, but for all respective purposes, it's whole and the ideas are all there. It's the best I can do so close to the actual conference date, and while it's still very raw, I'm very happy with the outcome of the book.

When my crit partner called over the weekend, I discussed the premise with her and she agrees that there is nothing else like this book on the market right now. Hopefully, that will turn out to be a good thing. Really it's a 50/50 chance. Know what I mean? Unique concepts can either work in your favor, or be completely out there and a very hard sell.

Whatever comes of the conference, I plan to go back and clean it up, layer a bit more meat on the story here and there, and when it's prettied up, I plan to send it to Heather Osborn at Tor. There, I've said it. Writing it down instead of keeping it to myself makes it seem like a goal not to just think about, but one that must be met. My own personal crack of the whip.

On a completely different subject, the epic drama with the preggy neighbor dog has been resolved. Hubby went and talked to the neighbors today. They didn't know their dog was even preggy or even that she'd gone in heat. We have agreed to take on preggy dog, and have her spayed and vaccinated after she has her popples in a few weeks. When the puppies are old enough, the neighbors will find homes for them. So as of today, Mini has a doggie all his own. Once Oldest gets the weeds out of the back fenced in area - it's a bit like a jungle back there right now - we'll move her dog house back there. Tomorrow I'll have to go and get a doggie bed for her like Pitbull's.

I finished reading Bentley Little's The Vanishing, and honestly I can't think of a simple way to describe this book because there are so many characters, and so many individual little stories that happen with the context of one massive event.

Wealthy CEOs all go on murderous rampages and kill their families. All the men have secret physical deformities. There are animal-faced children born to some of these men, and someone has gone back and begun to kill them off. It all goes back to the California gold rush, and a legend the Native Americans believed : those that take the gold from the area near this one black hill have stolen from demons and are thereby cursed.

Most interesting of all, there are sensual yet grotesque creatures that lure people into the woods, and when they mate with them, flowers and foliage bloom. The final event was a little underwhelming, and there are quite a few questions that are left unanswered at the end because no one knows what the "demons" are, but the build up to it was fantastic. I loved the book, and recommend it to horror fans who are looking for something different.

After scratching that one off my TBR list, I've picked up two others off the TBR stack. I'm simultaneously reading Flying Modern Jet Fighters (book research) and Rimrunners by CJ Cherryh. Sometimes her books just a little too heavy for me and I give up on them, but this one looks pretty good so I'm going to give it a shot. I'm craving something a little different from the usual.

At any rate, there it is, my weekend in a nutshell. Next week will be a blur a preparation for the conference and waiting for phone calls about Grammy. Wish me luck!