Saturday, January 30, 2010

Got stuff Done Today

Okay, today was a results day. I'm POOPED! But I was well enough, and the truck was running, so I went to the town that had the printer and GOT THE CALENDARS!!! Also Express Mailed the registration for RT and several other business necessities. For those of you who are Posse members, this means on Monday I can mail you your calendar. WOOT!!!

Copy edits arrived. Those and writing are necessary on Monday. But it's okay. Progress is being made. YAY!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And Sometimes I'm Wrong

Sometimes I'm wrong. It happens.

But sometimes I'm right. The trick is figuring out which in the midst of the action.

I am currently in the middle of making major life decisions. Part of this involves deciding what it is I actually want. Who am I? What do I want to do? I've actually made it to being a grown up. What do I like about who I am? What would I like to change? CAN I change it? Some habits are VERY ingrained. Some things are physical and while biology and physics are somewhat mutable, there are certain things (oh, like gravity for instance) that just aren't.

Then you deal with other people. They have free will. You don't GET to change them. Lord knows there are plenty of people who'd LOVE to change me. I wouldn't want to go along. I'm sure they'd feel the same way if I wanted to do it to them. And honestly, I don't want to change anybody but me. But I do get sick of trying to "get along" and stifling whole sections of my personality just so I don't have to deal with the hassles and friction with others. A good friend of mine says "So don't." But it isn't that easy. Because of said friction. There are folks who just love conflict and a "spirited debate." I don't. I pretty much just want to be left the **** alone to do what I want so long as it doesn't hurt anyone. I mean, seriously, what difference does it make whether or not I put on make-up on Saturday? Or wear a goofy hat? Why the bleep should anyone care? I love hats. I didn't used to feel self-conscious about wearing them either. But where I am now, other than ball caps and cowboy hats, you don't see people in hats. I wore one to Wal-Mart the other day and I got to hear snickers all over the store.

I probably shouldn't care. And yet I do---to a point. Which I suppose is my problem.

Another problem---Compromise is not my best thing. Never has been. And sometimes compromise isn't even possible. If it is a choice of up or down there is no compromise. You just have to pick one.

So, decision time. What do I care about? What do I want to do? Who am I? Am I okay with me, as is?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pet Peeves

Okay, everybody has them. Little things that drive you NUTSOID. The dufus who is texting while you're on your date. The guy who takes a call at the movies or in church.

Mine is speakerphones.

I HATE speaker phones. If you put me on one, I will find a way to hang up as fast as is humanly possible without being so rude as to rupture the relationship. There are people I no longer call because they have started routinely putting me on speaker.

I understand that it is convenient for the other person. I understand that if they HAVE to do something with their hands (like driving) it may be necessary.

Don't care.


If you can't talk, tell me. We'll do it later.

DO NOT put me on speakerphone.

If I call, I am planning on a private conversation. You and me. Not you, me, and everyone else in the room. I can't know who will be there. There may be things I want to talk about that I trust a female friend with (like oh, say, menopause or the possibility of hooking up with the cute guy that's seriously younger, but not nearly as young as the one that was younger than my son) that I would NEVER talk about with their husband or next door neighbor in the room. If you've got me on speaker I'll be absolutely mortified. And they'll feel perfectly justified about chiming in to the conversation. Or they'll be mortified too and try to be quiet.

And I believe in actually paying attention to the person you're talking with anyway. I will admit that I occasionally am guilty of trying to do two things at once too. But it's rude, and I'm working on it.

Besides, speaker phones echo. Some more than others. But they echo. And it's ANNOYING.

So, that's mine. I'm practically rabid about it.

What's yours?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Insomnia strikes again.

Insomnia struck again, despite the fact that I actually didn't do any of the things my doctors advise against. I know I'll pay for it later. It did, however, give me the chance to work on the plot of the murder mystery and do a little research. So I suppose it's not so bad. Now. 3:00 or so this afternoon my opinion may change.

RESEARCH -- ah yes. There are a number of people who've approached me who think writing is "easy." In some ways, yes. In others, no. Accuracy counts. Your readers expect (and deserve) it. Since nobody knows everything, you have to research those things you don't know.

For example, the villain of the piece will capture someone and keep her drugged. He is a psychiatrist, so he's an MD and can actually prescribe meds. So then I have to find out (a) what would he be likely to use; (b) the effects (short and long term); (c) withdrawal symptoms.

Also, part of the book takes place in New York in April of 1996. So, I will need to look at news reports from that time period to find out background information, weather, etc. I will probably have to learn a lot more about New York as well, the subway system, streets, architecture, etc.

You don't actually wind up putting a lot of what you find out on paper. (Slows down the plot too much.) But you have to know it, so that when you do describe something (say a brownstone), you have it right, and in the right neighborhood, so that your (thinking positively) readers from New York will go. "AHHHHHH." Not "Bullshit."

And it's tricky. Because a lot of times you don't know what you need to know until you need to know it. Occasionally at 4:00 a.m. when you have insomnia. (Such as the research for Blood Song, the first book of our new series, when I needed to know the size of the trunk of a Lamborghini Diablo vs. a Ferrari). The internet helps, but a lot of times you wind up needing to do paper research as well.

Okay, enough of the lecture. I have to go to the day job.

Be well, be happy.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Shannon Rose

Okay, am busy outlining new story. Sometimes I don't need visuals. The visuals in my head are so clear that there's no point trying to find a face or build to trigger the ideas. Other times, a story will come BECAUSE of a picture. The character of Celia and her world dropped on me pretty much whole because of a photo I saw (and bought) at a con. In fact, the art was so spectacular that our publisher is having the same artist do the cover of the book. SO cool.

But I digress. I have my new story. It is a mystery. It is plotting itself out nicely. But I found I really needed images of the characters to look at.

The hero was easy. He is a somewhat harsher looking version of a VFA (Very Famous Author) who shall remain nameless (although I may have a contest to see if you can figure it out if the book ever gets published). The heroine was trickier. The closest I've been able to come to it is a young Audrey Hepburn. But the tough guy, that was a given. An older version of Jason Statham. I've now pulled the appropriate pictures from the web and have them in a file to use for inspiration.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

So Exhausted

So tired. Amazingly, bone crushingly weary. Stupid too. I actually slept long and well last night. But the flu hasn't completely let go of me yet. I still have congestion, and this stupid weariness. It is also starting to kick in my asthma, which is no fun either.

ANYWAY, I'm not terribly coherent this morning, so I'm just going to ramble and roll with it.

First, talent neglected atrophies. I used to be able to paint and draw. Not brilliantly as I'd like, but well enough that I went to college as an art major briefly (dropped out). ANYWAY, I decided to try to include something special with a gift to a couple who I am friends with. I decided to do a portrait of Jim and Shannon based on photos from the web. I failed. Miserably. The talent is just gone. Depressing. If I make a huge effort and time investment I may be able to recapture some of it. Or maybe not. But I don't have a huge amount of time to invest, and my energy needs to go into the writing and making a living. But I mourn the loss of the ability I used to have. It might not have been an "A" talent, but it was a solid "B" and now it's just gone. Sigh.

Had a rather intense dream the other night. I was on a boat (speed or motor boat, I couldn't see it, but we were skimming across the ocean). In the distance to the right was one possible destination. But it was surrounded by not one but 5 tornadoes/cyclones, circling and menacing it like a pack of dogs. They weren't exactly sentient, but they were almost aware, and hugely, viciously terrifying at the same time that they were oddly beautiful. We turned left and headed toward a different island (tropical, smaller, but populated.) It had a tornado coming for it too, but we were coming in after it, and it was smaller. The boat captain assured me that "this one will be no problem. We'll go here." We did and it was fine. But I worried about the people on that other island.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Interview and SCHTOOF

Okay, had the big interview. I would LOVE the job. I could do the job. Seriously. It's up my alley. Unfortunately, I don't think the interview went nearly as well as I'd like. In this job market you need to "hit a home run." I think I got a "double." I could be wrong. I hope I'm wrong (in the positive direction, not the negative thank you.) But there's nothing I can do about it. What's done is done.

Flu is almost gone except for a lingering cough and some head congestion. I know I have to keep taking the meds though. If I don't I'll relapse. Or it will go into bronchitis or pneumonia---neither of which I need.

Oh, and I've decided what I'm going to do with Shannon Rose. Those of you who've been regulars will recall that Shannon Rose was created when I tested the efficacy of "burn phones."

WELL I have a new book idea that needs a protagonist. I do believe that it will be she/her. She will be the surviving twin. Her sister, Sharon, did not fare so well. Very intense idea. Sort of a thriller I think. We'll see. Right now I'm trying to force myself to just write up the notes and a bare outline of the idea and not get tempted away by the siren song of the new idea when I have things I need to finish and more edits headed my way come Tuesday.

ANYWAY, the flu thing had me down and out for a week. NOTHING much got accomplished. This is a bad, bad, thing. I was already behind on stuff. Now I'm inundated. One thing I HAVE to do is laundry. Either that or buy more underwear--which I already did when I was coming down with the flu. So definitely laundry.

Also have to pay a couple of bills that have moved into the critical category.

But life is good.

DUMB question of the day. This is the second issue on which President Obama has called in previous presidents to do something. Previously he called in former President Clinton and BOTH former President Bushes. But he has never, nor does anyone else mention former President Carter. Former President Carter who if I recall correctly has been hugely instrumental in Habitat for Humanity which is all about relief and housing, and works internationally.

I find that sad.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Good News

Off work today. Recovering from the flu.

Good News! Big telephone interview for a great job in Denver on Friday afternoon. I'm being very good and doing my research on the program and the people. I'm printing it off and reading it in bed. Figured I'd post while the printer runs.

From what I've glimpsed thus far, very impressive. Let's hope they'll be just as impressed with me. ;) At any rate, I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, the ACTUAL CORRECT PART for the truck arrived. Come Thursday the beast will be properly repaired. ("And the peasants rejoiced." [an old 'Home Improvement' reference]).

Okay, back to it.

Friday, January 08, 2010

The Edits are DONE!

They are done. They have been e-mailed to Cathy. I have a gazillion more things I should do today, but I'm fried. So there is a good chance none of it is going to get done. But I'm happy. Because THE EDITS ARE DONE!!!!!



Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Worked at Day Job. No Writing Accomplished.

Alas, I'm fried. No writing accomplished. Must get up early and complete edits tomorrow.

But a kitty picture to brighten the day.
Onyx. He was Algonquin's mate and a very dominant male. I still miss him.

And this is Tibbs, my current alpha male cat and the household equivalent of Ceiling Cat. :)

Monday, January 04, 2010

Spent all day on Edits.

Spent all day on edits to Siren Song, book 2 of the new series. Tired. So tired. But good progress was made.

For those who asked, Blood Song is the story of Celia Graves. The back cover copy reads as follows:

Bodyguard Celia Graves plies her trade in a world where vampires roam the alleys of Tinseltown and movie stars openly practice witchcraft, where street corner psychics have real powers and cops use memory enhancement spells on witnesses. An ordinary human, Celia relies on street smarts and charmed weapons to protect the rich and famous from mortal and supernatural threats.

She's landed a pluml job protecting the prince of a small but politically vital nation while he tours Los Angeles's least savory hot sopts. But what should be a routine assignment goes badly wrong: Celia is attacked by a master vampire and knows she is about to die.

To her shock, Celia wakes on a cold metal table in a university lab. Celia Graves has become an Abomination, neither fully mortal nor fully vampire. Her "master" is hunting her, to destroy her or finish what his bite began. She's accused of murder, and the cops aren't sure whether she should be locked up or stsaked. And theen there's the demon she glimpsed during the vampire attack . . . .

Struggling to cope with her new powers and trying not to terrify everyone she meets with a flash of fang, Celia reaches out for help from her once (and future?) lover, a powerful mage; his warrior-priest brother; a handsome werewolf who keeps his lupine nature concealed from the world; an elderly clairvoyant; and one trustworthy cop.

Celia Graves has three days to save the world, her sanity, and her soul.

(Oh and guys, I'm not positive, but I think that Cathy posted the first chapter. Check the parraoddity blog off of our website.) (If I'm wrong, post a comment here and I'll see what I can manage. ;)

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Okay, I'm Away From the House

Okay, I'm away from the house so no pet pictures today. BUT, I think I can post the cover of the first book of the new series. I hope. We'll see.

I think it really rocks. Seriously.

I am in the throes of edits on the 2nd book in the series. "Siren Song." They should be finished by the end of this week I think. Assuming, of course, that I minimize my computer socializing. LOL

Anyway, I wanted to show it off. Hope you're as excited about it as I am.

Oh, and I'm getting ready to work on the newsletter. Is there anything in particular you'd like to see?


Friday, January 01, 2010


Okay guys! I'm going to EPICON in New Orleans in 2010. You need to come. Really. Really really.
And now I'm going to try something new in the blog. Loading photos. (Yeah, I've tried before, and failed. But I said I'd try to load pet pictures so here goes!)

The above are Lucky the Wonder Dog before she was completely grown up. (Yeah, she grew some more.) And Algonquin. Al lived with me for somewhere between 18-21 years. (My son and I argue about exactly when we got her. But she had a good long life for a pussycat and was much loved and queen of the household for a very long time. She was the mate of Onyx, the cat I had for about 15 years or so, who is pictured in the black and white shot of me nuzzling a black cat that used to be my ID photo on the blog.)

Tomorrow I will give more shots of my pets and (with your permission) those of yours who sent photos to me by e-mail.


Okay, JUST finished printing up the master for the calendars for the posse. I will be taking it to the printer/copier place when the truck is available to travel.

It was hard work folks, and it probably doesn't look as professional as it could. But pretend you're impressed when you see them because I tried REALLY HARD. It was fun, but I'm pooped.

For the record, I have a really great auto mechanic. He's fair, reputable, and doesn't charge an arm and a leg. It is not his fault that small trucks are not (pardon the pun) big in Texas, so getting parts is a pain in the patoot. Nor is it his fault that (ahem) the truck is question is not as young as she used to be. (Are any of us? I mean, really!) The fact that he wasn't willing to pass off an inferior part is a big good on him. I am grateful. Oh, I'm impatient. But I AM grateful.

ANYWAY, I've been very good. I did my exercises, cleaned house, did the calendars, etc. I think I may call it a day at this point. Because it's a holiday, and I'm pooped.