Monday, February 27, 2006

I've got something to say...

It's better to burn out...than to fade away...
I wonder sometimes if people get the (pop) cultural references I throw out or if they just think I'm nuts and bits of nuttcase-ness just dribbles from my mind without stop. Probably a little of both.

I actually got up at a decent hour today (before 8 AM!!!) and I've been fairly productive. Got the Prize Bucket all updated, a bit of my third floor space cleaned off, a bunch of books ready to mail and I'm about to head off to the post office to actually mail them. Then home and some writing.

Oh. And I ate some cereal. Oh's ®. I love those! I have to make a special trip to Meijer's way down Preston Highway just to get them. They stopped carrying them at any of the grocery stores near us. Tony was smart this time though...he suggested I buy two boxes. Hehe. I think I even like Oh's ® more than poptarts. And that's saying something.

Enough about food.

If I can get a 1,000 words in quick enough today, maybe I'll even work on the curtains for the bedroom (you know, the ones where I bought the material to make them, like, 4 months ago...).

I still have to mail a filter thing to my sister, I just haven't found a box big enough yet. (So, Pam, if you're reading this, it ain't on it's way yet. I'm trying to find a box.) The darn sucker is big.

Friday, February 24, 2006

May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their armpits

I'm really, really, really starting to hate college students. They start their partying on Thursday at UofL (what, they don't have classes on Friday? I don't know.), which means, invariably, drunk students stumbling home at all hours of the night. Some nights it isn't too bad. Tonight has been a real active night, including one poor fellow (hear that with sarcasm, please) being cajoled along to his house (which ish thataway...right?) a foot at a time. Holy moley sweet pete! He was like 5' 1", even I could have carried him there!


I love the old houses here in Old Louisville, but I hate the inconsiderate college students. And before anyone wants to yammer on about, "oh, you did it too," let me just tell you that no, I did not. I hammered my way through college in 3 years. I hated beer and I never did much partying. And even if I had, I was w-a-y more polite than these kids. I didn't yell around the dorms at 3 AM and I certainly wouldn't have done it in a residential neighborhood.

Yeah, yeah, get off my high and mighty horse.

Still, I'm wondering if there's such a thing as a noise activated sprinkler system...

Deviant isn't isothermal

I get just the most bizarre spam in the world, and lots and lots of it to boot. The title of today's post comes straight from the subject line of a spam email. I'm afraid I can't tell you what the spam is about, since I didn't click on the link (spyware being what it is and all), but I can tell you that deviant really isn't isothermal at all. Nor mesothermal. But that's another story.

I've been trying and trying (well, not that hard, but definitely at least one trying worth) to work on the Camilla piece. 2 1/2ish chapters done. Went from third person to 1st person, present tense, and now I think I need to really go to first person, past tense. But mostly I'm just not feeling it. Figures, since it's likely the most marketable of my current crop of ideas.

I think I'm going to work on Abigail. Her pigtails are twitching and she's got that look in her eye like I'd best be on about it, she's getting impatient, darn it. And the Miss Twitchell's are getting anxious too, it's really time to get this story on the road. And it is a great deal more fun. There'll be some gooky nasty monsters in this one and some delightfully precocious fairies (the Miss Twitchells not withstanding). Camilla's just got some teen angst she's got to deal with. I think she can wait just a bit. She needs to get her wardrobe straightened out first anyway; I'm not sure she wants to go out in public like she is.

Not to mention I need to do some more research before I work on that one. I'm not all that familiar with New York, having only been there once, and my latest contact with the City being solely through novels like the Gossip Girls (and if that is real life, then by god, I don't know what to do anyway).

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sleep, perchance to...sleep some more

Today I was a slug,
giving in completely to the lure of my bed
and the tangle of sheets and dreams

Disconnected from the outside world
with only the rumble of traffic buzzing past my window
to remind me of my connection to others

Floating, formless, in an in-between place
half-awake, all-dreaming --
wrapped in a cocoon of forgetfulness

Monday, February 20, 2006

Back again, and again and again

Listening: One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (House Rent Blues) by George Thorougood
Writing: Abigail v. Camilla?

Having a small conundrum. Which thing do I work on next? Abigail or Camilla? MG fantasy or YA general fic? (And, of course, Serious McElvoy keeps popping up in my head, but I've got to silence him for right now. Don't really have any plot planned out there. Need to at least go with a book that I generally know what's going to happen in)

The Camilla piece (as yet untitled) is likely the most marketable and is (arguably) going to be easier to write. But poor Abigail has been sitting on the shelf for so long. Agh. Her story has changed so many times, but I've finally settled on the big points, so she doesn't have to wait any more...but she probably should.

Neither have a bit of a thing to do with vampires. Sigh.

Yesterday, I got an email from yet another new author whose new vampire book was just bought. That makes a total of, let's see...5 recent releases/newly picked up books (High School Bites, Boys that Bite, Eighth Grade Bites, braced2Bite, and one other one I can't think of the name of) that share a bit of a name with mine and some small plot points. Yah, yah, the market is flooded. I swear, I'm changing the name of mine. That's probably not enough to save it from bad timing though. I'll probably just sit on it for a few years and refresh the cultural references and try it out again, unless the agent it is out with now is interested. Bad timing. Heh. Incredibly bad timing.

Okay, going to work on my next vampire-less book now.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Numa Numa. That's all I have to say. Old news, I know. Just got brought to my attention again by a post somewhere. Good thing, I'd been trying to find it so I could show it to Tony. What the heck does Numa Numa mean anyway?

There's supposed to be a big storm brewing. Not sure when it is going to hit. Hopefully either way before or after Tony's supposed to be getting back. Don't want another canceled flight. :-(

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Things that piss me off

Yep, this one is going to be a non PC message. Things that annoy me. That make me mad. The big ones. The little ones. And yes, before you say anything, I am in a little bit of a bitchy mood (lucky Tony, he's not home, and no it isn't about him, just feeling that way generally). And yes, I know and acknowledge that generalizing large groups of people is not "right" or PC (but the PC police can go...well, I'm sure you can guess where they can go). Anyway.
  1. Rude people.
  2. Mean people. They really do suck.
  3. Sorority girls with their high pitched carry-for-a-mile voices and incessant giggling. This used to be just a dislike, but now, after living RIGHT NEXT DOOR to some Sorority girls from Hell, it is an active hate.
  4. Fraternity boys. Especially drunk ones. Actually, is there any other kind? Evidence would suggest no.
  5. When the kitties ignore me for no apparent reason.
  6. Dirt under my fingernails
  7. Books that exist for the sole purpose of trying to get you to NOT read a different book. "Huh?" you are saying to yourself. "That makes no sense." Yes! I know! But try telling that to the Christian fiction publishers that publish anti-wizardry tracts! Just because someone reads Harry Potter does not make them a satan worshipper! AGH!
  8. Narrowmindedness.
  9. Smarmy people. I do actually love the word smarmy and I can roll that one around on my tongue for hours, but smarmy, not so much.
  10. People who litter.
  11. People who are rude for absolutely no reason. And then I get mad at myself, because I freeze and can't think of a proper comeback until sometimes days later.
  12. The people who make spam. And viruses. Shoot them. All of them. Die, spammer, die!
  13. The whole Israeli/Palestinian conflict. All of it. Ditto the whole Danish prophet cartoon thing.
  14. And while we're on that...any person or persons who use religion as an excuse to do something to someone else. I don't even care if that something is a "good" thing. Does that make sense? It's late. Anyway.
  15. Interstitial advertisements online.
  16. When my Internet connection slows to a crawl for no reason.
  17. People who cut you off in traffic or, even worse, those people who pull into the right hand lane just long enough to jet past a bunch of other people. Hey, unless you are a) pregnant and actually delivering a baby or b) rushing to the hospital because some part of you is spurting blood ... WAIT YOUR TURN.
  18. What the Internet has done to punctuation and capitalization for an entire generation of people (of course, that's written as a fragment, but hey, it's in a list, so it is part of a series)
  19. Reporters who think that Cheney accidentally shooting someone, or Britney driving around with her baby in her lap are BIG NEWS.
  20. Movies that bill themselves as comedies or romances and then have some huge tragedy happen at the end. Think City of Angels.
  21. Reporters/News Organization that throw up HUGE coverage any time some blonde cheerleader-type is kidnapped or killed but seem to care less if they don't happen to be blonde or white or whatever.
  22. Political correctness. Politics. Pretty much anything to do with politics, other than The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (because he just kicks ass). Not that I can watch it since we canceled our cable, but still.
  23. When the wind blows a piece of hair in your eye and you can't get it out.
  24. Not being able to go to sleep even though you're really, really tired and can barely keep your eyes open.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

And the horse you rode in on

Wow, I'm so tired again. Toothpicks-propping-the-eyes-open kind of tired. Partly because I dropped Tony off at the airport around 5 AM this morning, though I did go back to sleep when I got home. It just always takes me awhile to drop off. Too many things going on in my head.

Tony's not back until Friday. Tonight is the 3rd St. Association meeting (of which he used to be president...for a month). It's at our house so I've been making cookies and things all day. Tomorrow I have to take the car in for scheduled maintenance. Then Friday Insight is coming to hopefully fix our dreadfully slow Internet connection. Somewhere in there I need to fit in going to the doctor and returning some stuff to a bunch of different stores. And writing. Of course.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Did I mention...

Did I mention that Tony's home! He's actually home! Yippee! I know, I know, I should be used to the guy (15 years together this year...and our 9th anniversary coming up), but now that he's started this new job, he's traveling once a week. For now. Hopefully that won't go on for too long. I think the cats are starting to forget who he is...

Kidding. Mostly. They are fickle little beasts.

He was in Chicago this week, Chicago again next week (or is it Toronto)? Then there's going to be two more London trips and a bunch more Chicago trips. I think they'd really like us to move to Chicago/Deerfield, but this girl ain't goin' up there. Too cold. And too boring (in Deerfield, anyway) or too expensive (Chicago). There's no way we could afford a house like the one we have here in Chicago.

I'm too full to sleep

We went to a dinner party tonight (co-workers of Tony's) and now I'm still too full to sleep. I ate too much dessert. Ugh. Eric makes one heck of an apple pie.

I've also been tossing and turning over my whole agent debacle. After hearing back from the one agent (you know, the "loved it, but there's already a flood of vampire stories out there" -- not that I blame them, there is), I e-mailed Knuckles (I know I should call him Dan...after all, we've only ever "met" in e-mail, but I just love that nickname. Besides, I love his sense of humor and feel like we've been friends (albeit long distance ones that have never met in person) for ages), who liked the bits of my book that he's read, to ask about his agent. So I e-queried his agent and heard back right quick...he wants an exclusive read for 30 days & send the ms out right away. Yippee! Except that I still haven't heard back anything from Rebecca or Nadia.

So I duly e-mailed R and N for a status update. Heard back amazingly quickly (they must have been literally sitting on their laptops). N is going to get back to me by Monday and R said it was up to me, but she hadn't had a chance to look at it yet.

Tony says it's a no-brainer to send it to the fellow that's asked for the whole shebang vs. someone who only has a partial and hadn't even asked for it at that and I have to agree, even though R has been on my top 5 list from the start. So I just now emailed her back with my response after tossing and turning over it for a couple of hours. Way past my bedtime. Edward, Dan's agent, is high up on my list too -- after all, if he "gets" Dan's books, he'll hopefully get mine. Even my upcoming (i.e. unwritten as yet) novels are always going to have a comic edge. That's just me.

You can't be this short (4' 11") and be serious.

Well, unless you're Napoleon. Actually, scratch that. Unless you're a guy. Short guys tend to have complexes. That's why all short women wind up married to tall men. Really. Have you ever met a short woman married to a short man? Other than, like, the little people from the Wizard of Oz? (wow, how un-PC is that?)


I am concerned with the whole market-flooded-with-vampire stories thing. It seems like everyone got the same idea at the same time as me. Not that there aren't always vampire stories, but there are a slew of them coming out right now and in the near future.

Of course, mine is a bit different being that it is told from a prospective vampire's point of view and vampires are something she's used to and not afraid of (her parents being bloodsuckers) and she has to go to vampire lessons and have vampire homework...but it really isn't a vampire novel. It's more about her journey, her crushes, her teen angst about growing up...The only blood is at a blood bar (would you like that straight up or on the rocks?) and there's no gore at all. So I hope someone will be able to look past the fangs and see the bildingsroman elements. Hehe got to use a word from my college days! Look, ma, my English degree wasn't for naught!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Ah, well

Well, I heard back from one agent with an encouraging rejection (be that there is such a thing):
This is so much fun and I am crushed not to sign it up. We did a little research on teen vampire books (which I'm happy to share, though I imagine you have quite a sense of the market) and I'm afraid the consensus is that there are just too many out there or coming soon. I don't feel confident enough to lead you into a crowded market. I wish you all the best of luck with this and won't be a bit surprised to read about the sale of THIS BITES. If you ever write another teen novel, I hope you'll consider us again.
It is my big fear, actually. There are just a slew of vampire stories out there. Ah, well. Sending it off into the ether again and starting work on my next book (Abigail Adams, Queen of the Fairies). That's just the tentative title, of course.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

King Henry and his enormous codpiece

King Henry's armorSo, one of the many interesting things we saw at the Tower of London was a suit of armor originally designed and built for King Henry the VIII (yes, the one who got rid of all those wives, the scummy fellow). My first view of the suit of armor was upon turning a corner, where all I could see was the backside, which was copious, to say the least.

The comment, "Yikes, that must have been one huge knight," had just barely left my mouth when I turned the rest of the corner and was presented with it. IT. The most enormous projectile codpiece you've ever seen. The picture really doesn't do it justice. It stuck out a good 5 or 6 inches from the suit of armor, kind of shaped like a bullet...or rather, one of those martini shakers shaped like a bullet. It was frigging HUGE.

The funny thing, for me at least, is that nowhere on the display makes any mention or allusion whatsoever to this huge protuberance sticking out from the suit of armor. No family-friendly description of traditional armor styles, no slightly off-color remarks about Henry's opinion of himself (which was obviously quite, er, big). Nothing. That made it even funnier. It was like the huge pink elephant in the middle of the room that no one would talk about, but everyone was starting at.

Especially the kids. I pitied the poor mothers trying to keep their placid mommy faces intact as their four-year-old would point and ask "Mommy, what's that?"

And there is, in fact, some historical significance to the codpiece. It all dates back to a visit by King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn to a Duke in Bologna. It seems the Duke was sporting a particularly large, um, codpiece. Large enough to make the Queen jest "Be that thine codling or art thou glad to see me?" And large enough to make King Henry tell his tailors, upon return to London, "My codpieces must compare favorably to Bologna." Other sources site his case of syphilis as a possible reason for the enormity of the thing, but I suppose we'll never know for sure.

Things that make me happy...the little ones

  • The little snort-y, snore-y noises that Grace makes when she is sleeping
  • Harley lying (or is that laying?) on his back, his belly (and everything else) out for display, and a look on his face that says "I'm just adorable, aren't I?"
  • Puppies, especially when they tilt their heads to the side
  • Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo (when I was 8, I thought it was the smell of my little sister, but I've since learned that it's actually the baby shampoo that smells all of peach-y goodness)
  • That sweet spot I sometimes hit when I'm cuddling with Tony and my head finds the perfect spot on his chest and his arms are around me and everything is just perfect
  • Cake. I'd be more specific, but really, I just love cake
  • Staring into a fire (but not in an arsonist kind of way, more like a moon-ey, romantic kind of thing)
  • Little kids in big floppy hats
  • Office supplies (yeah, yeah, I know, it's a strange affliction, but at least my sister shares it -- we're both gaga over Staples and Office Depot)
  • The ever-elusive perfect sentence -- when all the words just come out right. If it happens on the first shot, so much the better.
  • Did I mention cake?
  • When someone gets what you're writing about
  • Taking off your socks and shoes after a long day
  • A really ice cold glass of water when it is blazing hot outside
  • Finding a chair that actually fits me and allows me to put my feet on the floor
  • Tony's morning hair
  • Silly, sappy movies that end happy (yeah, yeah, I know The Piano was a good movie and Brokeback Mountain is good for me to see for my social awareness and whatnot, but give me an old Doris Day flick, darn it, I want to feel good about my entertainment sometimes)
  • Re-reading an old favorite and discovering something new
  • Cats purring
  • Little kids playing Pee-wee football wearing those way-too-big uniforms and fumbling the ball all over the place
  • Filing the last piece of paper away (could a genie please stop by my house and file all the rest? Pretty please?)
  • Checking things off my list
  • Typing (doesn't even have to be anything specific, I really do just like to type. Hey, I never said I was normal. I miss my old manual typewriter. I called it George and the clickety-clack of it always relaxed me.)
  • Napping on the couch with a cozy fuzzy blanket

I suppose that's enough for now. I should actually be sleeping, but I've got that know, the one where I know Tony is coming home tomorrow so I just can't seem to get to sleep no matter what I do.

So...tag. Kim P., Pam, Terry, Saundra...whoever's reading. What makes you happy? (and if you're someone I didn't mention, and you're actually going to post your list, please do leave a comment. I'd really like to know what makes you happy. The little things. Not the big ones.)

Monday, February 06, 2006


I got the strangest letter in the mail today. A parent wrote to me (not e-mailed, but actually wrote a letter) asking that I please not award their daughter any more free books. ?? I won't, per the request, but isn't that odd?

The Pain Journal

I recently read and reviewed a book called The Burn Journals, a true life story about a boy who survived after lighting himself on fire when he was 13. But this isn't about that book. I swear I should start up a Pain Journal for myself:

Woke up with sharp pain in left hip and stitch-y pain in right calf. Small knot of stabbing pain in upper right back near right shoulder blade. As per usual. Large desire to roll over and go back to sleep interrupted by two wrong number phone calls and guilty feelings of being a bad host (mother-in-law in town). Brushed teeth, awoke fully when saw horrifying visage in mirror reminiscent of Medusa on a bad hair day. Took first pills of the day, pet cat after being vocally reminded of her existence. Repeat petting. Cross fingers and check e-mail.

Anyway. I'm going to go take a much needed shower now. And then? Who knows. Perhaps I shall take the world by storm.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Well, I gotta say that Sarah Mlynowski just plain rocks! Besides being an awesome author with a wry wit, she's also just an awesome person! I don't want to jinx myself, so I won't say any more, but everyone reading this -- go buy Bras & Broomsticks! You won't be sorry anyway. It's a totally fun book.

In other news...

Tony is finally home and making dinner (he's always on the go, that one). Tonight is cottage pie (or, kind of shephard's pie, except we're using hamburger...which makes it cottage pie, but I still like to call it shephard's pie, I dunno why) and homemade biscuits. It's his new thing -- he's trying to perfect them. Which means he's on the phone with his mom, who learned how to make biscuits from his dad's mom (Tony's grandmother, if you're following all this), who made the best biscuits ever (I've been told). He's perfected his fried chicken (fitting, since we're in Kentucky now), so he's moved on to biscuits.

And...he's going to make me a belated birthday cake tomorrow. Caramel. Have I mentioned lately how much I love this man?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Tony Stranded...

Tony was supposed to make it home tonight, but he's stranded in Chicago. They canceled his flight and he may or may not make it on to the 9 o'clock one (since everyone from his flight is trying to get on that one). The next possible is tomorrow morning.


I'd drive to Chicago, but it's at least a 4 or 5 hour drive to somewhere I've never been, and by the time I got there and we got back, he'd have been here already on a plane. Sigh. I was so looking forward to him coming home tonight.

I did get some good news earlier today. Sarah Mlynowski kindly read the first bit of my novel (she wrote the funny and witty Bras & Broomsticks) and liked it and is going to refer me to her agent. So I need to get it all together and send her agent my MS next week. That's a good thing. Haven't heard anything from the other two agents I sent to (even though it's pretty much creeping up on the time "limit" they post as their usual response time. But that's all relative, since I did send off the info during the holidays.)

Things I need to remember to write about: King Henry's enormous codpiece, things I learned in London, and time.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Well then

So, I duly delivered Tony to the airport and he is on his way to Toronto (for a day, and then to Chicago, and then back home on Friday). Which means that it is 6:30ish and I'm internally debating about whether or not I just kind of want to go to sleep. Isn't that sad? I had ramen noodles for dinner and I need to finish critiquing a manuscript and I need to start work on some code changes to the site and I need to...blah-de-blah-di-blah. But mostly I'm tired.

I'll try at least and get some of the coding done. At this point, I think it would require the least thought. Maybe. Some of it.