Friday, June 30, 2006

Hola, que tal?

Hi guys!

Okay, I have a weird thing that is bugging me.

I have always wanted to be a writer. Ever since I can remember. So I'm living my dream and it is SOOOO cool. It really is. But something has happened that is bothering me. Some of my old friends and acquaintances are acting very, very weird nwo that we're starting to have some success. Some of it could be that time and distance have taken a toll, but it's like the success has triggered a breaking point for some of these folks. I don't get it. I'm still me. Still have health problems and worry about the kid, the cats and the bills. Still can't quite stay on top of everything I need to do. Still love horrible puns and the world's worst songs. (I like really good BAD songs. Think Tequila Sheila, Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial, or Brad Paisley's Alcohol.) I want to stay friends with my friends. I don't want them to weird out. But what can I say? I can't MAKE them like me. But it hurts.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

All the News That's Fit to Print

Hi Guys! Going to the doctor this afternoon for a follow-up. The wound has healed, but I've still got other symptoms. Still, I'm healing and doing much better.

Got the edits on Touch of Madness and turned them around, so the book is IN. :) It wound up being a very intense book. I'm really proud of it. Now resting prior to moving on to a murder mystery. I'm doing it for fun, and because my mother desperately wants me to write something without monsters and without sex. LOL.

Anyway, puppy is healthy and happy. Cats and James are doing fine. Life is pretty damned good. We've been getting good book news. So I'm just going to keep plugging along.

Take care of yourselves.


Saturday, June 24, 2006


Hi Guys! LOTS better, but not quite well yet. But today I woke up actually feeling like I might seriously GET well in a day or three.

I don't know if any of you out there have had that sensation before and know what I mean. But for me at least, when I am well and truly sick to the point of "Oh shit, this could kill me" and I've been slogging through it there is one point where all the sudden it's just... better. The meds kick in, the immune system kicks in and, while you still feel bad you know that, if you do what you're supposed to, you're actually, eventually going to feel GOOD again. Not just less crappy, really, seriously GOOD. Today has that kind of promise. The trick, of course, is not to let up my guard, to still REST and do all the things I'm supposed to do. But, ahem, WHOO HOOO.

Still thinking I'm going to go to Vampire Lestat Ball. Have to work out the logistics of that and a trip to visit the family. I'm thinking that my costume will be a long black dress and cloak(usually available from any costume shop) that I will bead and decorate. The biggest beading will be a red hourglass on the abdomen of the dress and a silver spiderweb on the back of the cloak. I may also make a silver "web" veil. Sort of a salute, as it were, to the little nemesis who brought me so low. Yeah, I know, I'm weird. Live with it. LOL

Well, back to bed. I'm pooped.


Friday, June 23, 2006

The Refrigerator Test

Got this off of a Google Personality Test site. I am quoting. Loved it.

The Refrigerator Test

You will be asked four questions and you must rely on your common sense to answer them correctly.

According to Andersen Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the professionals they tested got all of the questions wrong. But many pre-school children got several correct answers. Andersen Consulting says this conclusively disproves the theory that most professionals have the brains of a four year old.

Q1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

Correct Answer
Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe and close the door.

This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

Q2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Wrong Answer:
Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant and close the refrigerator.

Correct Answer:
Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door.

This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your actions.

Q3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend, except one. Which animal does not attend?

Correct Answer:
The elephant, since it is still in the refrigerator.

This tests your memory.

OK, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your abilities.

Q4. There is a river you must cross, but it is inhabited by crocodiles. How do you manage it?

Correct Answer:
You swim across. All of the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting!

This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Life, the Universe, and Everything

Yesterday was James' day off work. Since I'm still down with the spider bite (pretty sure now that it was a black widow according to the ER doc) which is recovering nicely, (but was not an experience I would ever care to repeat!) We had long, long conversations that covered a lot of territory both fun and theoretical. I am usually so blasted busy that conversation just as an art goes by the wayside in favor of conversations with a "point" and decisionmaking. Of course, our culture, too, values activity more than "just" chatting. Anyway, to get TO the point, the discussions brought up these huge, AHA moments that give you an insight that could seriously change how you approach things and what you do. I'm so glad I got the chance. And I wouldn't have if I wasn't injured. So out of bad comes some good.

Wrote a couple of paragraphs yesterday before I keeled over from being pooped. (The meds wear me out.) They weren't great, but I discovered what was bothering me about the basics of the story and I now have a direction.

Well, I'm getting weary. The house is a disaster. I haven't been functional and upright for a week because of the injury and stuff just doesn't do itself. I hate a filthy house, so I'm going to try to shovel it out in short bursts when I have energy today. Of course, if I push too hard I'll pay for it tomorrow, so maybe I should just rest. RIGGHHHTT.

Oh 11:30 tonight it will be one week. A whole week of my life with really no production of anything. Oh well. There really wasn't anything I could do about it.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ouch Continued (with a minor spoiler)

OK, it hurts. I was not nearly sympathetic enough to Cathy. I hereby apologize for any and all lack of sympathy for what happened to her leg last year.

My son is a little superstitious. He pointed out that in Moon's Web we have a werespider and Cathy got bit the year it came out. In one of the books coming out this year we mention a werespider and I got bit. He suggested NO MORE SPIDERS! (LOL)

I'm going back to the doctor tomorrow because I'm not sure if we're treating this aggressively enough. Cathy's was treated very aggressively and she didn't wind up needing surgery. I'd like to take that path too if I can.

Anyway, gotta go.

Best wishes.


Saturday, June 17, 2006


OK guys, most of you will remember that this time last year Cathy got bit multiple times by a brown recluse. She was strong, she was good natured, she recovered nicely and all is well.

WELL... I'm a wimp. The other night I was wearing shorts, sitting on the back stoop petting the dog and talking to my son James when without my knowledge something eight-legged (not a Brown Recluse thank goodness!) decided to crawl up my shorts and take a blood sample. (OUCH!) There are several kinds of "bad" spiders in Texas. The Brown Recluse is the worst. But whatever got me was definitely bad enough. Wound up in the emergency room. The bite is about an inch-inch and a half from my crotch on the inside of my leg so that I currently walk like a sumo wrestler with hemorrhoids. Clothing irritates it. Movement irritates it. And I am SUCH a wimp. They've got me on steroids for it and I'm supposed to check back if it starts oozing or weeping. (YUCK!)

I have no idea how long this is going to be an issue, but I can't tell you how much I hate it! And it has not helped with my incipient arachniphobia.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Greetings and Salutations

Hey kids!

Let's see, where to begin? In just a minute I have to get back to the copy edits. I'm a little nervous about them. Cathy is the one who usually deals with it and I'm looking at these and wondering in some places what the copyeditor was thinking. But I will work through it and hopefully do an OK job.

Had an OOPS moment last night. A while back on one of the boards there was a long discussion about heroes and heroines that are "Too Stupid to Live." In it I made up a heroine who, KNOWING there was a serial killer on the loose who was fixated on women who looked JUST LIKE HER STILL didn't take basic precautions, had information she didn't share with the police, etc. I made it up off the top of my head at that time. I swear I did. And last night, when I grabbed a book I'd been gifted off of the shelves IT WAS THAT EXACT PLOT. No kidding. After I railed against it as an example of what not to do somebody got published doing exactly that. If I am very lucky the person who wrote it did not read my rants and get mortally insulted. I mean, my opinion hasn't changed, but I don't deliberately go out to hurt people's feelings or piss them off. (Unless, of course, they've viciously attacked me, at which point all bets are off.)

I'm seriously thinking about going to New Orleans for the Vampire Lestat Ball. So, I'm looking at costumes that aren't too much bother and might actually look OK on me. It would, of course, help if I looked a little more like Cindy Crawford or Kiera Knightly. Alas, I do not. I don't look BAD, but I do look like a short, overweight, middle-aged woman. Of course I AM one, which might be why.

Well, I've gotta go. Work awaits. Everybody have a lovely day!


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Hey Kids

Hi! Weird note of the day. Apparently PeeWee's Playhouse is coming back on the air. Never really watched it, but I remember the scandal in his personal life that got it pulled way back when. I guess if you live long enough infamy fades.

I'm down. Part of it is physical. Part of it isn't. But I don't want the blog to be a bummer, so I'm trying to make like Peter Pan and think happy thoughts.

Anyway, the draft is done. This is good. I start the edits on Howling on Monday. This is good too.



Friday, June 09, 2006

Puritan Guilt

Hi! This, my friends, is an opinion piece. It is my own. I claim it. You are more than welcome to disagree and argue because I'm not emotionally invested in it. But I wanted to talk about it and you guys get to be the audience.

According to American history (as I was taught it back in the dark ages) the Puritans left Europe primarily because of religious intolerance. They came here and set up shop during seriously tough times and worked their butts off. According to what I was told, they believed in God, hard work, and that was about it. Probably a pretty good attitude for the time since they had to do things like chop down trees, dig and plant crops by hand and carry water from distant sources. Having gone camping and carried water, it's hard on the lower back. I can see why a heavy duty work ethic would be necessary. Anybody who didn't pull their weight would be a serious burden on people already overburdened. The impression I got from my readings was that the Puritans as a people were pretty damned dour. I can get that too. My back started twinging just thinking about hauling water.

Anyway, a part of our culture is decadent and corrupt. No doubt about it. But another big part of it goes back to those Puritan roots. Americans take less vacation time than people in the other developed countries -- a LOT less vacation time. We also seem to enjoy it less. I have a theory about the reasons for this: (1) we don't stay on vacation long enough to truly relax; and (2) we don't really leave the work behind. We check our e-mails, we take and make "check in" calls to the office. Things like that. Our mind never completely escapes work mode. Recreation is supposed to re-create us as people. That we aren't doing it is leading to some serious consequences.

We're tired. MAJOR tired. (Oh how I relate to this one). Since we're always "on" we have trouble relaxing, have sleep disorders (Oh, I keep reading that we also sleep considerably less hours than our counterparts around the world, too). And this makes us CRANKY and more conservative.

We're less creative. There was a time, once upon a time, when the US led the developing countries in IDEAS. Our art was at least keeping up, maybe ahead. We had some great authors and playwrights, several Nobel Prize types, and on and on. We do okay now, don't get me wrong. But I've seen a serious decline in appreciation of the arts. If you're working all the time, you don't take time to go to movies, plays, read anything that isn't business related. When that happens, you begin to think that the arts are not important, and you start voting to cut the programs that support it in the education system.

The thing is, creative people are creative. They can't help it. If you cut out the only outlets for their creative energy adults will find a way around. Kids... kids get frustrated, depressed, angry and rebellious. They think you're denying WHO THEY ARE and saying that their needs aren't as important as the football players and cheerleaders of the world. With these actions we are telling some of the best and brightest minds of a generation that they have no worth. The strongest and angriest will act out. (Ever wonder why there is a massive drop-out rate among the highly gifted?) The others will wilt, fade into the background, their talents lost to them, and to our culture. I often wonder how much world-class Nobel, Pulitzer and other such caliber work has rotted to dust in the bottom of a cardboard box in somebody's basement, or was never created to begin with because of the insistence that everything be useful NOW.

It's not just the fact that it needs to be useful that's a problem. It's the NOW. Because sometimes when you create something, you don't realize its purpose until long after its come into existence. And sometimes its the act of creation that produces something incredibly useful, just as a happy accident. One of my favorite stories is about Post-it notes.(insert registered trademark here!) Apparently the scientist was trying to come up with a glue that would NEVER break its bond. He failed miserably, got this glue that would stick, unstick, stick again. OK friends, have any of you NOT used a Post-it note? I was a legal secretary. These things controlled my LIFE. Can you tell me that isn't useful?

I hated school. I was a social outcast for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was that I was weird. I didn't think like most people. Hell, I still don't. But at least I had art classes, and choir, where I could channel some of that energy. It really bothers me to think how many kids out there don't have that. I ache for them, and I am so incredibly sad for our nation.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Technical Difficulties

Hi guys. I have been experiencing minor technical difficulties. The city had power blips last night, and my computer was on for two of them. It is now unhappy with me. I'm going to defrag and do other maintenance things to see if it helps.

I got the draft of the book to Cathy. It was still a little short. I'm hoping (a) she doesn't think it's dreck and (b) she can beef it up. I am exhausted. I'm cauliflower. (When we reach the point that we're so exhausted we can't function we joke that we are approaching vegetative status -- where you sit and stare at nothing and can't form a coherent sentence. Bad is broccoli. Completely incoherent is cauliflower because it doesn't even have the energy to produce chlorophyl.)

Copy edits arrived on Howling Moon. I will need to look at them. But for 24 hours I am going to do stuff that requires absolutely no functioning brain cells. Because right now I'm down to two, and they're not on speaking terms.

I know I shouldn't push myself to this point. Bad, bad, Cie. But I did. It's done.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Midlife (Optimistically) Crisis

Later that same day...

OK folks. Sleep deprivation is BAD. It wreaks havoc with the body, the mind and the (drum roll) mood. Now that I got a little rest, I'm actually feeling more like myself. YES, I do have some decisions to make. No, things are not nearly as dark as they seemed. In fact, they're pretty damned good! Just thought I'd better pop by and say so!




Hi guys!

Progress is being made. Today I need to do a serious chunk though because it's still too short. Sigh.

I have been taking time to sit down and decide what in the heck is the matter with me. I'm tired, and that's part of it. But there is definitely more to it than that. Once again, I've been finding myself becoming unhappy because I forgot to integrate parts of myself into my life. You know, "All work and no play make Cie a dull girl." And I am. Hell, I've been boring myself! Time is flying, the books are going well, but there's this piece of me that is very unhappy. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the career. But I need to figure out my personal life. I stand here at a crossroads, amazed at what I have accomplished, but see most of my life as a compromise, not a creation. It was absolutely my choice to get here, but compromise really doesn't bring uninhibited joy. I need to finish this book, get some rest, and then see what I WANT to do. This is probably all a product of exhaustion and boredom.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Jim, I Have Your Answer

Jim, the 2007 RT Conference is in Houston, Texas. :)

Yolanda, have you been submitting your stuff? Any word?

Working on the polish of the draft. Oy. Goal is to send it to Cathy fully ready for her to work on by Wednesday at noon. So I have to get back to it in just a minute. But I wanted to say "HI!"


Saturday, June 03, 2006


OKAY, draft is done and I survived. I'm taking a day off, then two to polish it one more time, then it goes to Cathy for her edits. I'm pooped. Totally pooped. But it is good that it's done, and for the moment at least, I think it's a good book.

Jim -- I'll check on your question about RT. I'm not sure where it's supposed to be. Oh, and are you headed to the Vampire Lestat Ball this year? I'm thinking of going and I'd love to run into you.

Had a wonderful time at RT, but, as is sometimes (often) the case, the trip wore me out too much and the body started raising hell with me. I'm doing better now. :)

Had fun watching some videos with James. Two were from Fountains of Wayne, (Stacy's Mom and another one that has a chorus of "The sun still shines in the summertime. I'll be yours if you'll be mine. I tried to change, but I changed my mind. Think I'll have another glass of Mexican wine." I don't remember the title, but I loved it.) the third is a send up of all my favorite old 1980s videos. It's done by Bowling for Soup and the song is 1985. Oh my GOD I laughed so hard! I'm having a hard time accepting that it's been 20+ years, but there you go. Hair metal will never die. (I'm paraphrasing Jim Butcher, because I'm not big on polka.)

Have a great day everybody.