Thursday, December 27, 2007


Cathy just received the February issue of Romantic Times and WOW, did it make us bounce around the room! The nominees for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards were listed and not only was HOWLING MOON there under Shapeshifter Romance, but TOUCH OF MADNESS also made the grade in Contemporary Paranormal Romance.

The thing that astounded me the most, though, was that we’ve been nominated for a CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD in Paranormal Romance! Woo!

Holy CRAP!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas/Happy Yule/Joyous Hannakkuh(sp?)/Happy Quanza sp?)

Or as my son sometimes puts is -- Happy International Gift Giving Holiday.

I am a Catholic Christian and thus, I went to Midnight Mass. I also have my own personal tradition of singing out "Happy Birthday to You" with Jesus as the birthday boy. Weird, I know, but it works for me.

This afternoon I have been invited to friends houses. Other friends have called, and family, many of them worried that I would be depressed and lonely today. I appreciate their concern, but Christmas isn't really one of my big holidays. I'm more into Thanksgiving and Halloween, even the 4th of July. Which is why I went to visit my son on the Thanksgiving weekend instead of now --- that and hoping that I might be able to get to Illinois to visit my parents, for whom Christmas is a big deal. But that didn't happen. Probably going to have to be a spring visit.

Mostly I've been curled up with the furbearers (4 cats and 1 large dog) for a four day holiday that has let me rest and try to recover. For those of you who haven't been here, my health has been doing it's bad thing again, and I'm working to head off some trouble at the pass. Chronic stuff that is bothersome, but not life threatening.

Oddly, (or not) my animals all know when the health is iffy. They train assistance animals to do that, but mine have always just known instinctively. And when I need rest, they make darned sure I get it---even going so far as pinning me down to the bed and hooking their claws in the mattress so I can't move when they want me to rest. Pushy, but effective. And since they seem to know it a little before I do, I've started paying a little more attention, so that I stop BEFORE I keel over.

As I've said before, I'm in the middle of my midlife crisis. It has hit, predictably enough, at 48. I'm trying not to let it rule me, but I have to admit, I want things to change. I feel like the old Queen song -- "I want it all. I want it all. I want it all, and I want it NOW!"

I do believe I can make the changes I need to, once I decide what they are and what I DO want. (Right now I'm mired down in what I DON'T want). But it will take time, will, and work. It always does.

On a completely other note (C# perhaps), I have been thinking about regrets.

Regrets are poisonous. First. You can't go back in time, you can't change what has happened. Second, what you did, and the consequences of it, have changed who you are and who everyone it affected is in unpredictable ways. If, indeed, you are even remotely happy with who you have become, it is in part because of what you did. In fact, I believe it is our mistakes and our regrets that teach us the harshest and most indelible lessons. The "I'm SOOOOO not going back there" kind of lessons that we need to progress as decent human beings. But dwelling on it, and regretting, can keep you from learning the lesson and moving on, and leave you mired down in a morass of stinking, smelling excrement that only makes you feel progressively worse about yourself.

Does that mean I am not sorry about anything I've done? Hell no! I've screwed up more than my share and hurt people badly in the process. There are times when I want to scream because I'm STILL and will always hurt over things I did to myself and others.

For example, without getting too specific. If I could I'd make a broadcast announcement something along the lines of: "Deno Russo, I realize it's been almost three decades, but I'm still REALLY, REALLY sorry, I was nineteen, drank too much, and was generally an idiot. I hope you forgive me and that you've had a wonderful life since then. You deserve it. Oh, and happy birthday." In the hopes that the said Mr. Russo would, in fact, forgive me. If he even remembers me, which is problemmatic since it has, after all, been almost three decades and I probably didn't mean nearly as much to him as he did to me. (Cruel truth, but truth nonetheless.) For all I know, he's happily married to a Playboy Bunny and living the high life. Or, more likely, just living a regular, ordinary life. Which is no bad thing.

And there are other things too. Most of them I've apologized to the people who got hurt for. Many of those people have actually forgiven me. But if I think about them too much I realize it's easier to forgive others than to forgive yourself.

Still, I kind of go along with the famous person (who I can't remember the name of, so can't accurately quote) who said they'd rather regret what they did than what they haven't done.

There are things I haven't done (yet) that I want to. But I've achieved a remarkable amount of what I've wanted in life. Oh, I haven't travelled to the exotic places I thought would be cool. But as I get older I realize I LIKE being home with my animals. A lot. I do better with trips of 4 days to a week. Longer than that just wears me out and I miss the critters and the comforts of home.

I look at the wall where I've posted the covers of the novels we've written and I just blink sometimes. It's real. It's really, truly, REAL. There are people out there who actually care about my imaginary friends, who honestly want to know what's going on and going to happen next. That is so flipping COOL I can't even tell you. I mean, things and realities that were only swirling around in the recesses of my brain are actually achieving their own reality in other people's (is that the correct plural possessive? I don't know. A copyeditor I'm not.) minds.

So I sit here writing this before I get ready to go have dinner and shoot pool and am thinking (1) should I even post this? (2) Will anyone even read it? It's rambling pretty long, and to anyone but me is probably wretchedly boring (except maybe Deno, but the odds of that are so long I'd be better off buying a powerball ticket.)

Anyway, tomorrow I go back to work. I like my day job. The people are cool. The work is doable. Yeah, I'd like to be independently wealthy, but I'm not. So if I've got to work, it's a good place to do it. But I wish I had more time and energy to write. And I wish I were living in the city again.

There are people who love the rural/farm/ranch life.
There are people who love small towns.
There are people who love urban areas.

They are not the same people. And that is okay. It takes all kinds to make a world. I am still, despite everything, and urban kind of gal. That I am living in a small town is a problem for me. Yes, there are wonderful advantages. Ask any of the people who love small town living and they will expound on it for hours. They will also tell of the horrors of urban life.

I, alas, do not agree. Living in a small town is. . . okay. It has served its purpose in my life. I suspect I will be here a while longer. But there are a lot of things that are crazy-making for me about small town life; and things I can indulge in my personality in the city which are just too too TOO "weird" for a very-conservative small town.

I miss my eccentricities. A lot. I miss it being completely unremarkable for people to have multiple piercings or wear goth or vintage clothing, hair color not found in nature and tattoos. I miss there being LOTS of men with long hair and/or facial hair, and people not being weirded by my wearing a leather biker jacket even though I'm a middle-aged woman. I miss shooting pool and eating at Chipotle's. I don't want to have to iron my jeans to have a crease or risk being thought slovenly. I'd probably still be very conservative at work. I work in law. It's a conservative business. But I miss the sheer, rowdy LIFE of the city. If I wake up at 2:00 in the morning I'd like there to be something for me to DO besides go to the convenience store and buy gas.

And I can't say most of the above out loud in public right now because it would honestly insult the hell out of the people here. They would read it as an indictment of the lifestyle they hold dear. These are good, kind, people who honestly care about me and worry about not only my life but my immortal soul. (They take that last particularly seriously, I may add). I don't want to hurt them. I would (see previous paragraphs) REGRET it. But there are times when I just want to stand in the middle of the courthouse square and SCREAM my frustration out because there's a good 3/4 of my personality that I'm stuffing down just to get by. And I honestly don't know how much longer I can do that. Which means that things could get very . . . interesting.

Stay tuned.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Holly Happydays

Hi Guys!

Holly happydays! I am officially off work at the day job for the next four days! WOOT!!

Don't get me wrong, I like the day job, but I am SOOOOOO pooped. And I've been having symptoms, AND I need to write, AND I need to get the website redone and up, AND the house is a pit. But mostly, I need to rest and hope to get my health back on track.

Also, I'm in the throes of my midlife crisis. So I need to figure out what the @#*$( I want to do with myself.

I'll let you know how it all works out. Right now I just know that I'm wanting to liven things up in my life. Enjoy a little more, be a little funky and creative with regard to my personal life and not just the writing. The problem is, this is a VERY conservative small town. Funky is not looked upon highly for middle-aged women. At ALL. But I want it. So, we'll see what I do, where and how far I go.

Wish me luck.

And hopefully I'll make real progress on the writing.


Sunday, December 09, 2007



It's the holidays. How did that happen?


Okay. Let's see. Book is progressing. Right now I'm working with Cathy on the standalone. It's been a little tricky, but I think we've got it now. The one I was working on is still chomping at the bit, so I hope to get back to it soon.

Had a great visit with my son. It was good to see him. Don't know what I'm going to do for Christmas. Maybe just stay home with the animals. I um, kinda, um, well OVERSPENT. OOPS.

(Not like anyone else does that at this time of year or anything. LOL.)

Got the cover for Touch of Darkness. IT SOOOOOOOOOO Rocks. As soon as I remember how to post it I will.

I'm sorry that I haven't gotten the website updated yet, but I HAVE gotten the photo and it is in process. It's just that real life keeps intervening. My employer actually thinks I should WORK for a living. Who knew? (Apparently my creditors, but let's not go there, hmnn?)

I'm in the throes of my midlife crisis. I don't know what I'm going to do about it, but I am DEFINITELY in the throes.

WELL, I'd love to go on (and on), but I wanna get going. So, LATER.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Loyalty, Practicality, and Doing the Right Thing

I try hard to do the right thing. Unfortunately, I find that a lot of the time I have a really hard time figuring out WHAT the "right thing" is.

For example:

I was at a conference a while back. On panels. On more than one panel, over and over again books by one of my friends/acquaintances (who is one of the best people around and catches a whole lot of flack she doesn't deserve) were being ripped.

The problem: (1) I want to be loyal. (2) I want to be honest.

Some of the criticism was right in line with my own views. But I'M not the author. It's her playground, her rules. And honestly, if you don't like it, vote with your pocketbook--move on. Nobody REQUIRES you to read them. I honestly don't get the vitriol.

Same conference, different panel, I'm trying to explain how our books are kind of cross-genre, genre-bending. It's not that we are putting down any one group, we just aren't necessarily a good fit there. Again, don't like the books, don't buy them. No problema. Not everybody likes the same stuff. Which leaves more of what I like for me.

OH BOY OH BOYOBOYOBOY! You'd've thought I shot someone's Granny or kicked their puppy dog. Apparently there are RULES folks, and there are people who BELIEVE IN THOSE RULES! Thou shalt write what I tell you to dammit. You 'vil write it and you VIL LIKE IT!

Um, uh . . . no. Not so much.

I know there are tropes for every genre. If you write genre fiction, you have to at least acnkowledge they exist, and you risk offending fans of the genre if you stray too far from them. BUT (and I'm talking a BIG, FREAKING WORLD CLASS BUT HERE) YOU GET TO. Just don't portray it as *INSERT GENRE HERE*. For example, I (IN MY OWN OPINION) do not consider our books classic romantic fiction. We have too much violence, not enough angst (usually). I mean, we have a BODY COUNT in our books for heaven's sake. There are people who have alternative lifestyles and actually ENJOY them. There are also people who are happily monogamous and straight. Because, from what I've seen of real life, both groups exist. There are also people who are screwed up from almost every walk of life. We write some of those too. Now, we are marketed in romance, and shelved in romance in some stores. We are also marketed as fantasy and urban fantasy and shelved there in other stores. Neither offends me. But I think that the fantasy readers are probably confused by the romance level and the romance readers are frustrated at the violence.

I don't think you can make everybody happy. So I/we just write the best books we can and hope that people like them. I'm not deliberately offending people. But it is how I see it.

But I actually have had people in the part of the country where I now reside who have informed me that they are really worried about the state of my soul because of what I write.

Um. Well. Hmnnn. Thank you? I mean, I'm glad you care. But if you've actually read the books, you know that they're pretty much parables of good versus evil and, while evil puts up one (pardon the expression) hell of a fight, good wins.

And, another, final, example. As an author you get asked to read (LOTS AND LOTS OF) books by other authors to give cover quotes. This is a nice thing to do. It can really make a difference for the other author. And if the book is good, WHOO HOO, you betcha. But, um, what if the uh, um, book . . . sucks? I mean, REALLY sucks as in "I threw the damned thing across the room hard enough that it knocked the painting off of the wall" sucks? You want to be kind. You want to do your friend a favor. (And you may someday want a quote of your own---and karma, my friends, can be a bitch.) BUT you owe the people picking it up based on your name honesty. And I don't lie for sh**. AND I don't have a lot of time. Deadlines are perpetually looming, threatening to take over my life. So, in self-defense, I've taken a risky stance and am not doing cover quotes when I'm on deadline. (Since I'm practically always on deadline, that means I'm not doing a lot of cover quotes. Which may mean people won't do them for me.)

Okay, I've ranted long enough. I've gotta go anyway. The books, my friends, do not write themselves.

Best always.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Returning FINALLY

Okay guys, I haven't posted since SEPTEMBER and it's um. . . mid-November. Can you tell I've been having tech problems? Been BUSY much? LOL.

Let's see.

FenCon was fun. The signing with all the other authors was fun. Day job has been HUGELY busy.

My phone is being a PITA. Small appliances are being a PITA. My computer is being a PITA. Do we see a trend here? Mainly it is because of something y'all are NOT going to believe, but it is true. So at the risk of sounding nutso, I'll tell you:

ONCE UPON A TIME I was a 14 year old kid. (It's been a while, but I really was a kid once, LOL). I was hormonal and moody (typically) and mad at my parents a lot (gee, really?) and one day I went for a walk. This huge storm came up. I hid out in the door to an apartment building and watched the lightning, etc. until it was pretty much past. Then I decided to walk across the parking lot to the church across the street to call my folks and tell them I was okay. (The storm really had been that bad!) Got halfway across the empty parking lot and BAM. It felt like I'd been hit on the head with a tree limb. I even looked around to see what hit me. Well, what hit me was a bolt of lightning! Had a headache for 3 weeks. And now I have some residual electronic sensitivity that acts up particularly badly when I'm stressed. I am particularly bad with telephones/answering machines (before they were made redundant by voicemail), irons, printers and some of the game systems, but anything electric is fair game. Oh, and I can't wear a watch. From what I gather, this is not completely uncommon in people hit by lightning. It is, however, a nuisance.

Um, I'm behind on everything because of it. Still writing, but the tech guy REALLY needs to work on the computer. The website redesign has been postponed to the point where my very patient but reaching the end of her rope partner is suggesting we hire it out. BUT I SHALL PERSEVERE the book will get written. The computer will get fixed. LIFE WILL GO ON!


Later kiddos.


Monday, September 03, 2007

Open Mouth, Insert Foot, Chew Vigorously

OY! Cie here.

Okay folks, I am who I am, what I am, and the product of my background.

In addition, I occasionally have all the social skills of a rabid skunk.

That said, I do get to have opinions. Sometimes even unpopular opinions. In fact FREQUENTLY I have unpopular opinions. But that doesn't mean there is malice aforethought. It doesn't mean people don't get to disagree.

I am a middle-aged, white (almost to the point of glowing in the dark) American of mixed ancestry on one side and Irish heritage on the other. I was originally from a small town in the middle of farm country. The town was (and is) VERY conservative. I, generally speaking, am not. (Which is a whole 'nother set of issues for another day and another post.)

ANYWAY, I was on another author's forum, and they were talking about one thing and the thread went in another direction, to "Why aren't there more black/African/African-American vampires?" And I posted the following:

I'm sorry, but I just don't see it as prejudice that there aren't more black vampires. It's just a tenet of the world. And truthfully, I think ANY author would get so much stress in our current socio-political client if they wrote a black main vampiric character. There are authors who've done it (Cathy and I included), but it's a real risk. No matter what is done, it's "wrong" to somebody. If the character wasn't flawed they're unbelievable. If they are, the author has to be desperately careful HOW they're flawed or they will catch he**. In this series it would be the same thing as happens with the rest of the characters only so much worse, because there would be inevitable accusations about prejudice. When I think how violently people react to Richard and Nathaniel and multiply that, it makes me absolutely shudder. Maybe I'm being chickensh** and unfair, but that's how I feel. In the USA at this time race is still a hot button.

And immediately people took this to be prejudice on my part. Um, WHA? That is SOOOOO not what I meant. Hell we DO have a black vampire -- Carlton in the Thrall series is black. But that's not the point. The point is that there are people who will attack viciously enough and assume the worst enough that I, for one, was given pause and had to really THINK about writing that character. There ARE cultural differences. I've run afoul of them more than once in real life. Hell, I'm running afoul of cultural differences that are not based on race every day having moved to Texas from "up north." Acknowledging that it could cause a problem doesn't strike me as being prejudiced.

BUT people took it wrong. Someone basically snapped that an author wouldn't have to study a "culture" that blacks and whites are no different. So I added the following post after.

Absolutely. But that doesn't mean that people won't argue about it. In fact, there are people who are always determined to argue about everything. We all bleed red. In the end people are people. But culture differences do exist and viva la difference. Because if everybody was the same life would be deadly deadly dull and there'd be nothing to read about.

So, I guess what I'm asking is, was I offensive? I really didn't mean to be. Truly. But I suspect anything further I say or do will only make things worse.



Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Muse is a Fickle Wench

My muse is a fickle wench. I say this because, I will be cruising along, writing well, and suddenly POOF. Nada. Nothing. We come to a screeching halt for no reason that makes sense to me at all. And in the background, another story altogether jumps up and begs for attention.

Um, uh, love ya, but NO. I've got this DEADLINE, and um. . .

But nope. Not one idea or word will come on the story I SHOULD be writing, and the other one just starts to blossom.

Now part of this is just a siren song of distraction. Am I really dedicated to the work enough to finish?

But part of this USUALLY is that I've gone astray somewhere in the pages just before the stop. If I take a day or two, explore other things and come back I can usually see what the problem was, fix it, and move on. USUALLY. Sometimes, though, I just have to walk away for a while -- IF I'm not on a deadline.

In the time since I finished up Touch of Darkness the Muse has been particularly flighty, sending me from one project to another. Maybe it's because I'm actually CAUGHT UP and can do what I want right now. THAT won't last however, and I DO want to finish SOMETHING.

So wish me luck. Let's hope she settles down soon.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Writing is Thirsty Work Sometimes

Greetings and Salivations. (Yes, I really do mean drool.)

I'm feeling somewhat silly and spacey. I got the galleys in. (WHOO HOOO!!!!) On time. Found a couple of funny boo-boos and a couple of not-so-funny ones. One of my favorites, instead of Samuel Adams DARK beer it was Samuel Adams DANK. I suppose it would be the perfect beer for a Goth to drink in a cave or dungeon. In another one a sentence got turned around so that instead of the sweat from his mug falling on the bar, he did. (That Sam Adams Dank is one TOUGH beer. Not for wusses!)

ANYWAY, I need to focus on writing, and on doing the website (the goal is to have it revamped by the end of September.) And the promo items, etc. Instead, I'm all over the place. I burnt myself out badly doing Touch of Darkness for one thing. For another, the health has been wonky. I'm having symptoms I haven't had to deal with in years. BLECK.

Hopefully my head will clear soon.

In the meantime. Drink up. [Grin]

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Grumpy, Complaining type stuff you may want to skip.

Blah, blah, blah.

Hi. I have a bad case of the—you guessed it—blahs. Nothing is really wrong. It’s just I’ve been stuck doing STUFF this weekend. You know what I mean. STUFF like, ooooh baby, working on getting all the viruses off of a laptop because they hadn’t updated or used their Norton for two years, and galleys, and cleaning house, and laundry, and repairing a hole in the wall, unplugging a stopped drain. . . STUFF. None of it is bad. All of it is useful and necessary. But it doesn’t really provide inspiration for my weekend. And it doesn’t make for an exciting blog entry.

Also, Lucky the Wonder Dog is being a POOP today. I love the dog. But she is a BIG dog with a LOT of energy. And if I miss walking her either morning or night I pay for it because she’s just that restless. Unfortunately, I’m not as young as I used to be AND it’s been @#$&* hot. (Okay, maybe everybody else doesn’t think it’s THAT hot, for summer, in Texas. But I do. So sue me. GRUMP GRUMP GRUMP.) So anyway, I missed the morning walk. And she’s being a POOP. But now she’s being a poop in the back yard for a while. And I am going to write to improve my mood.

Rather than bore you all more, I will try to cheer myself up.



Thursday, August 23, 2007


OK, it's early morning and I'm feeling. . . odd. I had a very important nightmare last night.


Yeah, important. You see, nightmares for me generally pretty directly address my life and my future with just terrible wicked symbolism. Also, from Biblical times and beyond nightmares and dreams have been among the way God nudges his people. So I take some of them pretty serious. Not all. But you can usually tell the ones that are just indigestion from the ones that have meaning in real life (if you can just unravel the symbolism).

I realize that probably makes me sound like a lunatic. But there you go.

SO, I'm trying to unravel the symbolism and NOT forget the details this morning. Thus far, I'm making slow progress on it. I do know that some of what I've uncovered isn't exactly flattering. It shows my faults in all their hideous glory. Oooh baby. Just what I wanted to look at. (NOT. But then again, I probably should. I am TRYING to fix the suckers.)

Maybe I'll go look on a dream site and see if any of the symbolism they talk about helps.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Clearing Some Confusion

OK, I re-read yesterday's post and would like to clarify something. Heather Osborn ROCKS. She is the editor that replaced Anna Genoese at Tor. We are looking forward to working with her. BUT based on logistics (she's new, she hasn't had a chance to read our entire backlist what with getting broken in and all) we are having Anna freelance edit the Sazi and Thrall books while Heather will be doing the stand alone and future stuff. (Assuming, of course, they WANT future stuff. I mean, Lord knows we HOPE so. . .) ANYWAY, no slight was meant to her. Heather is our esteemed editor as well. We work fast enough that there is plenty to go around.

NEXT -- we discovered that someone had pirated our stuff and posted it whole on a website. (SHAME on you!) Now folks, I know that books aren't cheap -- especially if you're a reading junkie like yours truly who goes through a lot of them. But PLEASE, that's what the library is for. That's what borrowing from your buddy with a promise that you REALLY REALLY REALLY will give it back undamaged is for. Or, if you're a little more flush, what used bookstores are for. Pirating is not only illegal, it's mean to your favorite authors. It steals the profit right out from under the book. This means that not only do we not get paid (bad enough) but that there is no sales record with the publisher, which lowers the books profit which may impact whether and how much they're willing to risk another book by that author. Please please PRETTY PLEASE don't participate in this.

At least we were in good company. Really, the biggest names in the business were up there. I suppose I'm flattered.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Newslettery Post/Simultaneous With Myspace

Hi guys! I am writing this bulletin because. . . well. . . because.

The draft of Touch of Darkness, the final book in the Kate Reilly/Thrall series is in the hands of our esteemed editor, Anna Genoese. We made it in ON DEADLINE. (WOOT!)

Cathy is working on the first draft of a stand-alone novel which is the next book due under our contract. It has a seriously cool premise and everyone we've talked to about it has been very excited to see what we can do with it. (And no, I'm not giving any hints yet. LOL)

The galleys are here on Timeless Moon. (This is the Sazi book with Aspen Monier as the lead female character). So that's first up on the plate for yours truly.

We are also working on completely revamping our website. At this point we're getting permissions for some of the content we want to include (like photos, banner, and so forth) and are brushing up on our web building skills. (That have grown a little rusty with disuse). But since Cathy and I are both very "hands on" types, we're actually kind of excited about having the chance to create it exactly (we hope) the way we have in mind. Wish us luck in pulling it off. When the time comes (which won't be for about a month I think) I'll send around notice and ask y'all to take a look and give me some feedback as to what does and (le sigh) doesn't work.

We're also looking at some promo items, but that's still in process as we wait for permission on some of the artwork we want to use.

FINALLY, Upcoming events:Cathy and I will both be going to FenCon September 21-23, 2007. For information on the con go to we will be part of a multi-author book signing on Saturday, October 20, 2007 from 11-2 or 3 at the Hastings in Stephensville, Texas. I'll send out more details when we get closer to the date. In the meantime, anyone who wants autographed copy of books by Cathy and I can call and order them from the Waldenbooks in the Sunset Mall in San Angelo, Texas. We periodically go in and sign their stock. The phone number is 325-949-7040.

Well, that's it for now. Hope you all are well and happy. Keep reading.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007


At last, long last, I slept most of last night. Oh, I got up once in the middle of the night, but that's IT. Otherwise I actually got REST. No night terrors, no tossing and turning. Halle FREAKING Lujah.

Can you tell I was getting tired OF it as well as tired FROM it?

Writing is going reasonably well. Since I'm not the one on deadline right now I'm doing things like working on an updated website, advertising and promo items, cleaning the house, AND writing. But that's okay. It all needs to be done.

And right now what needs to be done is getting ready for work and walking the pup.

See you later.


Saturday, August 11, 2007


Remind me not to send e-mails when I wake up at 3:00-3:30 in the morning.

I am not tactful at the best of times.

When I'm suffering from insomnia is SOOOOOO not the best of times.


The thing is, I didn't mean to sound cranky. I didn't mean to sound possessive. I honestly don't care so long as the name changes.

I'll need to apologize. Again. Because I was a jerk. Again, again.

I do wish I was sleeping better. Just not. I've gone back to doing what the people at the sleep disorder center were telling me more faithfully. Thus far it doesn't seem to be helping much. At least it's just the insomnia instead of night terrors and sleepwalking.

I hate night terrors. REALLY hate em. However, I have to admit they are VERY useful for when you're writing horror. Because boy oh boy can you get that ole creepy vibe going after a few mights of coming half-awake to blood-curdling fear. You betcha.

Tonight I should sleep well though. I've been working my body VERY, very hard all day so that I will basically collapse when the time comes and hopefully sleep. Because on the days after a sleepless night I have significantly more pain than usual. I don't like pain. I also don't like taking things for the pain, even over-the-counter stuff isn't good for you if you do it too often. So, I try not to.

ANYWAY, I'm going to head out now and draft my apology. Ugh.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Ding, dong, the draft is done. The draft is done. The draft is done. Ding, dong, the dreaded draft is done.

That's right friends and neighbors. I got through it. I sent it. It is in Cathy's hands awaiting changes.

During the last pass I caught one big boo-boo. On one page Kate is ahem, exhausted and weak-kneed from having too good of a time, so that she sends Tom into the shower first. Two pages later she's fully-showered, dressed and wanting him to hurry up with his shower.

Little things like that usually happen when you're working on a book in too small of chunks of time, too far apart. You can re-read up to a point, BUT if you don't have much time, you only go back a page or so to get the flavor, and you wind up having missed something. Frustrating. But there you go. At least we caught it.

But be kind to your authors---and not just us. I mean it. Despite the best efforts of the writer, the editors, the proofreaders, the galley folks, things slip through. They just do. ESPECIALLY if it's a really good story and you get caught up in it. You're reading, not proofing. You don't mean to, but you see what is supposed to be there, not what is. The only cure is to let the blasted thing sit for months and look at it with completely fresh eyes. Which would be lovely, but isn't possible when you're on a tight schedule.

I swear I don't know how other folks do it. I mean some of these people are MACHINES, pumping out almost a book a month CONSISTENTLY over the course of years. I can do a book in a month. Hell, I can do one in two weeks if I have to. But CONSISTENTLY? Without rest. And without losing quality? Um, no. Not so much.

ANYWAY, I have a challenge for you. I found a typo in the back end of Touch of Madness while I was looking up something to make sure I didn't contradict myself in Touch of Darkness. Somewhere toward the end there Bryan becomes (ever so briefly--as in I HOPE just once,) BRIAN. FIND THAT TYPO.

Who knows, if you do and quote the line and page # in the comments I may dig through the shelves of goodies and reward y'all with something small. IF you hurry. As in, contest ends at midnight on August 8, 2007 (which is the deadline for us to submit Touch of Darkness to the publisher, so I know I'll remember the date. :) )

Have fun folks.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Editing Mode:

I am editing Touch of Darkness (the Finale in the Kate Reilly/Thrall series) prior to sending it to Cathy. Editing my own stuff is best performed when I am in a really bad mood. Editing Cathy’s stuff is better when I’m not quite as angry much more logical. When I’m feeling mean and brutal I can be too hard on anybody else, but it’s the only time I don’t like my own writing at all and can make really harsh changes that may be needed. Now there are times that I hate my writing and wonder if I’m any good and get all depressed, but that is SOOOOOO not editing time either. Because THEN I would just give up and delete the WHOLE FLIPPING STORY. No, on depressed days we back very carefully away from the keyboard.

Today I’m not in as brutal a mood as I could be, but I’m okay, and I’m on deadline, so I can’t wait anyway.

Gotta go.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

After these messages. . .

Cie here -- I'm pooped. I'm in the middle of the finale and I'm pooped enough that I had to take a few minutes and take a breather. Then back to the action.

In the meantime, I stopped on a couple of forums I visit and did a little browsing around.

I discovered that RWA had stirred up a hornet's nest (again). Okay, first, let me say that I am not currently a member. I lapsed, and while I miss my local chapter (RWA Online) I was not happy with some of what went on in a previous administration and didn't renew. I've been meaning to sign up again, but honestly, I've been procrastinating, and also looking at it critically to see if it was a membership that was going to really do something for me.

That said, I've noticed something and I want to blog about it. I am especially willing to do so since there doesn't seem to be much traffic going through here right now and I can clear my thoughts without inviting open warfare (I think).

There seem to be two sore points that keep coming up (over and over and over again).

First -- sexuality, sexual content, erotica.

Second -- E-publishing.

There are people who firmly (VERY firmly) believe that explicit sexuality has no place in romance. There are other people who (JUST AS) firmly believe that explicit sexuality is a valid part of romance. Never the twain shall meet. So you have those pesky issues come up like visual standards for ads and covers being displayed where some folks are going "We have to keep it G to PG-13" (To use movie labels everyone is familiar with.) and others are going R is appropriate, maybe even X.

My personal stance: People have sex. If people didn't have sex there wouldn't be people. It's how we breed. It is also a wonderful way to express love, intimacy, affection, and a whole lot of other really positive things in an ongoing relationship. Romances are relationship books with people. Now, I admit. I don't personally read erotica. Not my thing. Nor do I want to write it. (I'm sorry, FOR ME it just feels too much like "Insert tab A into slot B repeatedly. Add moaning as needed.") But it is a valid art form that has been around since people started writing. Heck, there are probably some explicit cave paintings somewhere. You're not going to stomp it out, even if you try. I'm not exactly a prude, (as you can probably guess from our books), but our sexual content is about the top end for me. More than that and I get embarrassed. There are times when I really wish I could just write the old "fade to black" where they go into the bedroom and you KNOW that they're gonna, but you don't have to go into a detailed description. Just insert a chapter break and start the story again in the morning with them smiling and satisfied. But there are other people who not only write it, they love it, are good at it, and they have a huge fan base.

MORE POWER TO THEM. I don't believe in censorship. I do believe in the rating system, and in parental responsibility to watch out for what your kids are getting into, but I'm much more worried about graphic violence (again, our books are at the high end for me) and GRATUITIOUS violence and sex (and sexual violence) than I am about one, two (or more) committed people having a good time with each other in the bedroom.

Now, I'm not too worried about contests. First off, we tend to write stuff that is borderline to the point where people have a hard time categorizing us. So we're not likely to qualify for the big RWA awards (just my opinion. And if I don't re-join we definitely won't. We would both have to be members). But I do think that it is probably going to be difficult for an erotic romance to compete against its more conservative and mainstream brothers. I think a separate category would be in order. BUT that's my personal opinion. I know people who believe mainstreaming is the way to go. I just know that if I was judging the erotica wouldn't stand much of a chance because it makes me uncomfortable and I don't generally read it. Is that fair? Maybe not. Heck, even probably not. But judging is subjective, based on if you like the book.


On to E-publishing.

I said in a panel (taking liberally from something my co-author had mentioned) that IN MY OPINION (Note the all caps. My blog, my opinion. You don't have to agree. Hell, you are free to disagree) Comparing E-Publishing to Traditional Publishing isn't just comparing apples and oranges. It's comparing apples and CATS.

Because of the low (not nonexistent, but comparatively low) overhead, E-publishing can take risks that are simply not feasible for print publishers. They can experiment with shorter (or longer) lengths, unusual content, etc. Print publishers can't do that as well for a number of reasons. Two that spring to mind are (1) COST. Yo, they're in it for the money. It's a business. They have to have enough sales to pay for all that paper, shipping, advertising, etc. They're not going to take a huge risk on something that they're not SURE has the potential to pay them back. (2) TIME. E-publishing can go through the process a bit quicker. It usually takes 1-2 YEARS for a book to get through the print publishing mill (note the usually. It CAN take less -- or, God help us, MORE, but we're going with an approximate average). Trends that are HOT right now could be cold, dead, and long buried by the time a print book sees the shelf. It means that they will likely be more conservative in their choices so as not to wind up with a complete DUD that drags down their profit margin.

There are GREAT e-publishers and e-authors. There are CRAPPY e-publishers and e-authors.


There are GREAT print publishers and print authors. There are also CRAPPY print publishers and print authors.


Stuff I think is crappy you might love. And stuff that you love, I might think is crappy.


Because it takes all kinds to make a world. And there is something out there for everybody if they're willing to look. This is a GOOD thing. So, if you're into inspirational--WHOO HOO--GO FOR IT. If you're into erotica YIPEE KI YI AY--Again, go for it. I will continue to read my middle-of-the road with suspense, some romance, a little mystery.

Now, back to the big fight scene with its (non-gratuitous and hopefully realistic but not TOO graphic) violence.

Y'all have a good day.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Almost time for Goodbye to Katie.

Okay, last week’s post got lost in transit for Divas of the Dark. I'm going to try to cross-post again, but we'll see if it works.

This week’s post will, hopefully, reach you all finding you happy, healthy, and ready to read all kinds of schtoof.

Cathy is back from the conference. She learned so much, so fast, that we’ve spend the past week having detailed meetings to go over it. WHEW! Good stuff, but heavy on the volume.

I am about to go into the big finale of the Thrall series. I have written everything leading up to the last build up of the battle scene. It’s funny I feel. . . odd about it. I’m happy, I’m nervous (Can I really pull this off? I want it to be really, really good. Yes, I know Cathy’s edits will make it better, but I want to make it spectacular before it even gets edited.) I’m also kind of sad. When this book is done these characters will have had their story finished. Yes, there will be others, maybe even others I like as much as I do these. But I’m really, seriously fond of this group. Probably because, in many ways, they’re a lot like me.

No, not the werewolf/vampire thing (I do NOT vant to suck your blud sank you veddy much). But having a hard time expressing your emotions, worrying about your family, having control issues, being Catholic. All of these things I can relate to.

No, Kate is not me. Not even close. But of all my characters thus far, she’s probably the person I relate to best. I’ll miss her. I’ll miss Tom, and Mike, and (heaven help us) Carlton. I’ll miss Kate’s brothers (though they drive me almost as crazy as they do her), and a bunch of the minor characters.

I know, it sounds weird. It sounds like I’m almost talking about real people. Sometimes, I swear, it feels that way. There are people who the characters are putty, to be shaped, reshaped, and ordered around. That’s not how it works for me. My characters are people, with minds, wills, and behaviors (frequently frustrating behaviors) of their own that sometimes drag my well-planned plots into new, unexpected, (and sometimes unwelcome) directions. For me, writing the story is like running into an old friend and having them tell you everything that’s been going on in their lives. It feels as if the story will keep going on, even if I’m not watching it any more.

So, I’m feeling a little elated, a little worried, and a little bit sad. Because, while the Sazi is an ongoing series, where old characters can pop up at the oddest time, the Thrall series is a limited one. It always has been. Three, maybe four books were planned from the beginning. (It’s 3 now). I like limited series. It gives the whole story arc a beginning, a middle, and an end. But I’ll be sad to see them go.


Saturday, July 14, 2007


Okay, last week I posted here and at Divas of the Dark. I sounded. . . jaded and cranky. I really didn't mean to. I was trying to actually give decent advice about getting ahead of the game to new authors. I think the fact that I am just pooped and in pain affected the tone more than it should have. My apologies.

Cathy is at the conference. She is busy, working her butt off, but it sounds like she is also having a very good time. I'm glad.

I'm writing. The book is coming along. I'm finally getting closer to the end of the first draft. It felt like I was never going to get here. I've discovered that the middle of a book is sometimes very hard for me. I just feel like I'm slogging through a quagmire with no end in sight.

I'll finish the first draft, then I'm going to beef it up. THEN it goes to Cathy and to the editor. Time is becoming critical, but I'm keepign a positive attitude.

Gotta get back to it.

Take care.


Saturday, July 07, 2007


Ah, sweet mystery of life. One day/week, my technology is working fine. The next I can't get the @#$(&@#( computer to do what I want to to save my life. Le sigh. Le great, big, heaving, highly irritated SIGH.

ANYWAY, I'm posting this simultaneously here and (by sending it to Cathy with a pretty-please) on the Midnight Divas' blog.


I'm working on Kate3 a/k/a Touch of Darkness. I'm not as far as I'd have like to have been. I'm running out of time (bumping up against the deadline. Still looks OK, but it will be closer than I'd like. I'm a "get it in early" kind of gal not a last minute, stress me to hell and back type.) I'm not going to RWA in big part because I need to get this baby DONE.

See, that's one of the things aspiring writers don't think about.

Their first book, their baby, the one that hooks the agent (crossing fingers), publisher ("Please, dear God, please"), and (hopefully) the readers can take them YEARS to write. They polish, critique, re-polish, fuss and suffer over practically every word until it's perfect. They desperately hope it will "break" them into the business.

But what if it does?

YEAH! YIPPEEE!!! WOOT!!!! Joy ensues.

UNTIL they find out they have to write a sequel, or another one. In a year, OR LESS. And that the baby they "finished" isn't. Not really:

(1) There will be edits. ("Dear Author. The secondary character John sucks. Flat as a pancake. Either beef him up or get rid of him. Love Editor. PS you need another subplot and to up the romance.");

(2) There will be copy-edits;

(3) and galleys.

All of which will be due in short order after you receive them, which will inevitably be when you are trying desperately to write like a lunatic on book 2 and are hitting the point of desperation because you don't write nearly as fast as you thought you did.

AND there is marketing and publicity, the conferences they will need to speak at, deliver goodies to, and meet (hopefully) their newly rabid fans (or soon to be rabid fans), booksellers, distributors, and reviewers at. Oh, and there's sending out those review copies, and doing signings and on, and on.

I'm not complaining. I LOVE THIS BUSINESS. I extra-special-especially love this business because I have a co-author who takes care of a lot of those things, and graciously splits the rest of the duties with me. Because I swear to you on a stack of bibles, koran's, torahs, talmuds, and any other holy books you want to drag out from the library that I would likely completely collapse under the workload without her. (Come to think on it, I owe that woman chocolates, a bottle of rum, or both.)

But it is very easy to get a little bogged down in the workload.

Which leads to yet another reality check.

It takes a while for you to make "real money" in the publishing business. Yeah, I know, Rowling has more money than the Queen. But for those of us toiling in the trenches, it takes a while. Because there are expenses (which, fortunately, can mostly be written off of taxes), and taxes (self-employment taxes are vicious). So the day job is a necessity for a long time and panic is the norm as the deadlines loom.


Life, the universe, and everything.

Yup, you heard me. Because as soon as there is a deadline life will (almost inevitably) intervene. Whether it is a brown recluse bite (Cathy), a house fire (Cathy again), a black widow bite (me), or a death in the family (a mutual friend who is also an author), life isn't going to conveniently come to a halt because something is due.


Am I saying a person shouldn't pursue the dream? HELL NO! Besides, it wouldn't do a bit of good. For an awful lot of us, writing is a compulsion. We couldn't stop if we wanted to and WE DON'T WANT TO. But unless a person wants to be a "one hit wonder" I would strongly suggest that they think about putting down the first mss long enough to write the SECOND one, and maybe even a THIRD before they send it out. It'll save them a load of stress and headaches. Because publishers have no sense of humor about missed deadlines. To them it's a business, and they expect the writers to act like professionals.

Okay, off of my soapbox and back to the mss.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Attempts to Blog

I have been ATTEMPTING to blog, and comment on blogs and generally be technologically savvy and market and all that good and happy stuff to stay in touch while I'm writing the draft to Touch of Darkness (the final installment in the Thrall series) and @#*$(&#$ it anyway I haven't been able to get it to work until now. Which is a day late for when I was supposed to blog for the Midnight site. Le Sigh. Le BIG HEAVING PAIN IN THE @$@#$ sigh.

Ah well, the book is going pretty well. I'd love for it to go faster, but that's not my style.

Still, I gotta go and try.



Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Greetings and Salutations

I don't know if anybody is even coming by here any more. I'm not sure whether that makes me happy or sad. I like the friends I made here, but I need someplace to dump my baggage as it were, and who wants to read that? I miss Jim, and Yo, and. . . oh well. I'll write. Either people will come by or no. It's my own fault anyway, because I haven't been blogging nearly as much as I should.

ANYWAY, let's get off THAT depressing subject shall we?

Lucky the Wonder Dog is being a poop. Frustrating that. I need to get her a new harness because walking her with a collar is SO not working. Payday cometh. I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

The cats are all happy and well. This is a good thing. I don't know if you guys go to MySpace, but if you wanna, you can go look at the pretty pictures.

I am not going to RT after all (at least not for the whole thing. If I can get away, I'll come up for the signing, but no guarantees on that.) Personal stuff. Not fun. Ah well. Life is what it is.

Good news is, we've got plans for books through 2009. There is a new Tony Giodone adventure on that list for those of you who have been looking for him (you know who you are!). More good news is we won a RIO for Touch of Evil -- against Sherrilyn Kenyon and Katie McAlister!!! (OMIGOD!) The fairy book is coming along nicely, but slower than I would like because the body is being uncooperative.

Our editor extraordinaire, Anna Genoese, has left Tor (she will be doing freelance stuff, but is not actually working for them full time any more.) This caused major upheaval as we tried to figure out what the heck (if anything) we were going to do in response. In the end, we are happily staying put.

James is doing well. He is happy in Denver and doing well both at his job and his second job doing videography. I am proud, happy, and miss the heck out of him. (I do not, however, miss the additional laundry and housework--go figure). I hope to go visit him sometime this summer, but I don't know when because there is a possible tour and stuff going on with Tor regarding Touch of Madness. (Buy this book. Buy this book--Subliminal and not so subliminal messaging to all readers--BUY THIS BOOK). I'm seriously proud of TOM -- and if you thought Kate was having a bad day in TOE! WHOOOO boy howdy have things gone downhill! Besides, it has one of my favorite secondary characters of all time. Carlton ROCKS.

I am still losing weight. I have no idea what size and weight I am right now. I'm wearing elastic waisted and drawstring stuff for the moment until things are a little more stable. This is a good thing and is probably in response to the hormones getting right again. I even have a libido again. (I know, I shouldn't mention that in a public forum, but it's such a SHOCK.) I'm not entirely happy with the way I look, but it's getting better. I do know that men are starting to notice. Some of them are even the men I want to notice. Unfortunately, most of them are not. In fact, one of them was SOOOOOOOO much a not that I was really seriously unhappy. I know, I should be flattered no matter who pays attention. But I can't help it. I wish I were a better person. I'm not.

For example. I am not interested in men old enough to be my father, or who are actually OLDER than my father. Really. No thanks. Too weird for me. I don't care about their money, or their car, or . . . whatever. There is an EWWW factor I can't get past.

Now is this fair? I mean, would I object to being the older woman to a sweet young hunk my son's age? I dunno. Maybe. It depends on if we had things in common and if he got the creativity/writing stuff. But I would be more likely to try it than give a chance to an older guy.

Completely unfair. I know. But I can't seem to get past it.

Actually, I would probably completely weird if I got one of the sexy cover model types. I would keep wondering what in the hell he saw in me.

Not that it is an issue in the current location. VERY small town, very few unattached males, none of them interested in me or vice versa--except for a little flirting and the one offer that I wasn't interested in.

OKAY, enough of the personal stuff. I gotta take care of things anyway. The puppy is hungry, the kitties think they should get fed first, and I probably should eat too. And then there's the writing. Yeah. I do need to do some of that.



Thursday, March 22, 2007

Frustration (I'm Whining. You May Want to Skip This)

I'm frustrated. Very. VERY frustrated.

1) Lucky the Wonder Dog is being a major pain in the ass.
2) I've screwed up my bookkeeping.
3) I've been working mega hours at the day job to fix #2.

But right now what I'm frustrated about is Lucky the Wonder Dog.

The other day she slipped her collar, got out of the fence, and wound up in a fight with a (presumed) raccoon. Wound up at the vet getting healed up.

Since we couldn't find the collar we hauled out the harness I use for walking her and have been using it for everyday.

Came home from work today to find she'd chewed through the harness, escaped the fence, and was running loose.

Bought a new collar. Decided to take her for a walk so that she'd be calm inside tonight. She slipped the collar and was not cooperative about coming back. I finally caught her playing with a pair of the neighborhood tomcats. Of course this is at night, after a full day of work, when I'm already tired out of my mind and symptommatic.

I love the dog. Normally she is a good and cooperative dog. She's been responding to training better. But today she was a disobedient little shit. I don't dare leave her outside now when I'm not here because of her Houdini act. You see the streets here are relatively busy (it's a small town, but people drive fast and don't pay much attention. I can't tell you how many dead animals I've seen that have been run over), AND she doesn't like bicyclists. I don't think she'd deliberately hurt anyone, but the kids on bikes don't know that, and she could certainly scare them enough for them to wreck. Which is WHY she is tied, and behind a fence. (Insert vehement swearing!) I also know that there are folks around this area who actually put out poison to kill "stray" animals and/or would use a bb gun or "whatever it takes". They really don't hesitate about it. It makes me crazy and scares the crap out of me. I don't know what I'm going to do.

I'm worried about her. I'm worried about me. I'm frustrated because damn it, I'm trying and she KNOWS better and life is currently SUCKING anyway so I don't need any added frustration.

The only good news--and it is VERY good news, is that we won the Reviewer's Choice (RIO) award for Touch of Evil with incredibly stiff competition (Sherrilyn Kenyon and Katie McAllister among others). I am writing. I am trying not to let everything get me down, and this helps. But tonight, honestly, not as much as it probably should.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Pat's

Happy St. Patty's Day to all who celebrate it! For fun I did the google search that Debra Parmley suggested. I put in "Cie needs" and got:

(From An Phoblacht [Sinn Fein Weekly] no less) CIE needs a hike in investment not fares. I think I'm a little insulted. I do not have "fares"! Although frankly investments would be good.

BTW for those of you who are (or aren't) interested:

1) Lucky the Wonder Dog is recovering from her run in with what I am assuming was a racoon. She'll be on antibiotics for a bit, and we'll be making sure not to delay the rabies renewal, but she's okay, with just a few scars to show she's tough.

2) Howling Moon is doing well. If you're having trouble finding it on the shelves, feel free to order it from the Waldenbooks at the Sunset Mall in San Angelo, Texas. They have autographed copies of it (and all the other books in both series) available. Of course if you DON'T want it, then. . . well . . . PHOOEY ON YOUEY!

3) Cathy and I will be going to RT. I'm still up in the air as to whether I'm going to make it to RWA. There are people going I really would love to see, but it's a bit pricey to do both. So I'm dragging my feet and pondering a bit.

4) Whatever happened to Deno Russo?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Wong Foo/Julie Newmar

Hi Guys!

Last night I watched To Wong Foo, Thanks for everything. Julie Newmar. It was a fun little movie. Who knew that Patrick Swayze would look so good in drag? His jewelry was utterly FABULOUS!

I needed to lighten up things a bit. The body has been acting out considerably. I did something seriously stupid that I have to fix financially. (Actually a couple of things, and they're significant.) My uncle died. One of my dear friends is suicidally depressed. All in all, a nice, fluffy comedy was just what the doctor ordered.

On the other hand, the books are going well. I have people and animals who love me, and the errors I've made ARE fixable.

Someone wrote quoting the blog too. They want me to send them what I've written of the post-chick lit book I referenced. Made me smile that did. Unfortunately, because of other obligations, there is nothing yet to send. Still, I do WANT to write it--even if it may never find a home with a major publishing house.

Ah well, such is life.

I do hope that things go well this year in the career. Keep your fingers crossed.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Euphoria and Things I Shouldn't Talk About

Hi Guys! I'm posting both here and on Blogger. I am EUPHORIC today. First:

Okay, this is not something other folks usually make a fuss over. I mean, let's face it, most of us have indoor plumbing now. But mine has SLOWLY been getting worse and worse and finally I just CALLED THE FRIGGING PLUMBER. And now it WORKS PROPERLY. (Insert Hallelujah Chorus here.)
(Space and time to sing. . . "For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! For the Lord God omni. . .")
Secondly, I did a painting. Just a fun honest-to-God screw around and enjoy myself painting that, if it worked will go on the wall, and if it doesn't will go the way of all things. BUT IT WAS FUN!! I even FINGER PAINTED part of it! I can't tell you how long it has been since I just relaxed and let myself do a painting for the sheer joy of it without angsting over all of the realism and details, and it's a gift and what if it doesn't turn out, and oh CRAP I can't do this any more. (I was never better than a B talent, but there are times when I've fallen to an F- due to lack of practice and TENSION.) But I DID IT! It is entitled "Chocolate Bed Spins" and while it didn't turn out the way I originally envisioned it, I don't even care. Because I had fun--something I've kind of forgotten how to do over the past few years.
Haven't heard from James in about a week. Hope he calls. I think he's probably fine--I know he's been busy. But I LIKE him, and I love him, and I like hearing from him. SO SUE ME--I'M A MOM DAMMIT!!! I do find the irony of this exquisite since I now know EXACTLY how my mother worried about me. Karmic justice at its finest.
Oh, and they've finally got the thyroid meds right. You know how I know this? (1) My hair isn't falling out. (2) I don't feel like a barely animated corpse. (3) My skin isn't so dry its cracking. (4) I'm not swollen, bloated, and looking something like Bhudda without the good disposition. (5) I HAVE A LIBIDO. (6) I'm losing weight.
Holy crap--I have a libido. I haven't had one of those in. . . well, not since the thyroid went totally wonky a LOOOOOOOOONG time ago. This is, of course, a mixed blessing. It is good that I am getting healthier. But there is not, shall we say, a wide selection of available men in the small town in Texas where I currently reside. Also, it is a small enough town that everybody knows EVERYTHING about everyone else and LOVES to talk about it. No, dating here would be a BAD THING.

Well, the dog is fussing. I have to get cleaned up. Have a great day.


Saturday, February 03, 2007

New Blogger/Taxes and Valentine's Day

First, I am now on the new Blogger. We'll see how it goes. I don't much like change when something else has worked reliably for me for years. It's like the new Windows Vista. Maybe it'll be a wonderful thing in a year or two (after any bugs have been worked out) in the meantime I'm a little whiny about a big change.

Taxes -- I believe in them. I pay them. But I HATE HATE HATE getting ready for them. I've been a very bad and disorganized girl, and it is going to cost me a FRIGGING FORTUNE which I HATE HATE HATE, mostly because it's my own blasted fault. Sigh. Still, I'm scheduling a full day (preferably one that is warm with sunshine when the puppy can be outdoors and not distracting me) to get them DONE and off to the accountant. WISH ME LUCK!

Valentine's Day -- I posted an opinion here, tried to copy it over to MySpace and wound up cutting and pasting instead. (Don't ask.) ANYWAY, I'm just bummed at the pressure being put on people acting like they have to spend a fortune and get the PERFECT thing or they will never love or be loved again and they will look like idiots. What ever happened to "It's the thought that counts?" Isn't it just good that they thought enough of you to put out an effort? I mean, it's a cheesy manufactured holiday anyway. SO LET'S GO FOR THE GOUDA AND CHEDDAR! Give me a 6' hot pink Gorilla with a big red bow clutching wilted flowers and a box of (probably melted) off-brand chocolates; or maybe a hand-made card with REAAAAAAAALLLY bad poetry; or maybe an amateur singing telegram ("You really got your best friend to DO that?") with silly lyrics. Or maybe just tell me you love me, and really mean it.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Greetings and Salutations

Guten tag.

I'm getting ready to write on the fairy book again. I've been moving more slowly than I'd like on it, but I think (I HOPE) I'm on the mend.

With regard to life, the universe and everything: James is doing well. Don and Cathy have almost got everything back together after the house fire. (UGH--major sympathy for them!). YO HAS A BOOK OUT!!!! WHOO HOO!!! I'm behind on my paperwork. The puppy is responding well to training (I'm doing it based on what I've been watching from "The Dog Whisperer" and have read and seen elsewhere. I haven't completely screwed up the elbow (only moderately screwed it up.) I still need to spend more time on Myspace, but haven't done it. And so on.

Basically, life is just being ordinary. What a wonderful relief. :)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Weird Ramblings and a Rant or Two

Weird Ramblings and Ranting
I mean because actual ramblings would be... like... boring... seriously.

Okay, I would like to start with a couple of weird quirks. Have you ever really looked at some of the things we say as "turns of phrase?" I mean, "baited breath," what? Their breath smelled like worms and stink bait? EWWWWW. Or how about "It cost an arm and a leg?" Graphic violent content -- and WOW aren't those prosthetics amazing.

On to the next -- I have a problem. My dog eats cell phones. Actually, not the whole phone. No. Just the soft chewy BUTTONS.. Which makes operating it. . . interesting. I try to remember NOT to leave it lying where she can get it. But I am occasionally careless and a doofus, particularly when I am late to work, or exhausted from work. (The day job, not the writing. Writing does not have health insurance and is oddly energizing until you've done it for twelve hours straight and your body is locked in the keyboard sitting position. But I digress. . . )

Item third -- Cathy and I were talking about writing. (Co-authors occasionally do that, but don't tell anyone.) The discussion brought home something that has been occurring to me more and more lately. There is this HUGE difference in perception from the person you are in your twenties to the person you are in your late forties AND MOST OF THE TIME YOU DON'T NOTICE IT because it was so gradual. My mother told me once that you spend your entire life feeling like you're the same age and everybody else keeps getting older. (Particularly the kids. The biggest shock for her? "When in the heck did my GRANDBABY get old enough to have a baby?") ANYWAY, I'm having a hard time. For example, text messaging? I don't get it. Why? I'm serious. I've zoned out in meetings, planned my days, nights, and book plots while someone droned on (and on) about things I didn't care about. But I still don't think that is nearly as rude as texting would be. Also, it DRIVES ME CRAZY that texting has created a culture where spelling is completely irrelevant and grammar sucks. And it carries over, into blogs and forums and (from what I have heard and read in critique spots) holy **** people are actually submitting MANUSCRIPTS like this? I don't think I'm a literature snob. I actually don't LIKE most 'serious literature.' But basic grammar and spelling are important to me. I like being able to actually read a book without an interpreter and massive brain farts.

Item fourth -- What IS it with people creating malware? WHY? WHY? You don't even KNOW me and you're picking on me. For CRYING OUT LOUD (another phrase -- see second paragraph above) all I'm trying to do is run a bit of a blog, stay in contact with my family and friends, do a little basic research and marketing, and write the books. AND YOU @#@#(&@#$ have polluted things to the point where it is difficult bordering on impossible to do any (let alone all) of the above without layers of protection. Let me put it this way. YES I believe in condoms and safe sex. NO it does not FEEL the same. YES I believe in all of the protective software. NO I don't enjoy having to scan every time I turn around or risk losing my life's work.

Anyway, I want to do some "friending" but I haven't done it (even though I know it is a great marketing strategy and gets my name out there) because I've had to reformat my computer twice, clean it of viral crap more times than I can count, and I'm JUST LOSING PATIENCE WITH THE WHOLE THING.

THERE, I got that rant out of my system. I feel much better. Now I need to go out and live my real life.

Take care.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Go Rory!

I love hockey. I love hockey because it's kind of the blue collar underdog of professional sports. The salaries aren't (on the whole) out of the stratosphere. The season is long and grinding with a lot of games. The violence got out of hand for a while, but that was years ago. The lock-out sucked, but they've gotten past it. The new rules were an adjustment, but I do think it helped bring the game back from the brink of extinction, so I'm cool with it.

So, for the all star game there was a movement to get a "grinder" a mid-level player who just works his butt off into the game. Since it's fan voting, it was possible (even easy apparently) to tinker. Even though computer auto-voting wasn't legal, it happened in a big way. Rory was the recipient.

SO the league tried to tinker.

I'm thinking that was stupid. They had this big publicity phenomenon going on. The folks cared enough to rig the votes. If a presidential election can have dangling chads, I don't see why Rory can't play in the damned game. I mean, really!

Monday, January 01, 2007

I still love Blogger


OK, I'm on MySpace. I'm blogging (as much as I ever do). But I missed Blogger. I LIKE Blogger. So I'm probably going to be very schizoid and post both places. Different blogs too. Go figure.

Fey book is coming along. I need to write faster, but at least it's moving forward. I'm going to do a bit of writing today, but also I'm going to get rest. I've noticed that being exhausted to the point of slurring my words does NOTHING for my creativity. Go figure.

I've been working through some of my issues again. As with everybody in the world, there are things I just have a hard time with. Learning is never a straight line progress. It's up and down. Lately, I've been down. But it's the new year and I'm coming back with a vengeance. RAWR!

Found a book I've been missing. This is way cool as it is out of print and now hard to get hold of. It's called: Go For It and it's by Dr. Irene Kassorla. I refer to it as "the cheerleading book." On those occasions when I've been at my worst and most depressed this and Tony Robbins CDs gets me back on track.

I know, I know, people make terrible fun of the whole motivational industry. I also know there are people who have spent WAY more than they could ever afford on going to repeated seminars and "coaching" etc. But the fact of the matter is, this book and those CDs really do work for me. When I'm stalled and can't get moving, these two things get me energized and moving in a positive direction. So I recommend it in moderation. It's like alcohol. One or two drinks will relax a normal person and not hurt them. More than that and you could get trashed and wind up with a hangover and/or serious consequences. Use with caution and wisely.

ANYWAY, they work for me. Enough so that I've actually recommended them to other people. (Who it hasn't worked for, sadly.) I even loaned out my copy of the book to somebody who needed it [twice]. Sadly, both times they promptly lost it, leaving me without a copy. I'd pretty much resigned myself to having to go through one of the book search groups to get it [at a painful price probably] when POOF, it showed up on the used bookshelf in an antique shop in the dinky town where I live. I grabbed that puppy and RAN to the cash register.

Well, I actually have the opportunity to sleep in. The dog is back inside having "done her business." So I'm off to bed.

"Adios, au revior, auf weidersein. Good night." (CHALLENGE -- NAME THAT QUOTE)