Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

So what sucks you in?

I mean that in a PG way of course. I'm asking because lo around 12:30 am this morning [though it seemed like last night] I got sucked into curling on one of the sports networks.

Curling? You say. Are you serious? Why yes. It's one of those things that, for some reason, I just can't look away from.

The much maligned sport is an Olympic event which has it's origins in Medieval times. Wikipedia has this to say: The game of curling is thought to have been invented in Scotland, with the first written reference to a contest using stones on ice coming from the records of Paisley Abbey, Renfrewshire, in February 1541.

Apparently it's a game of strategy which involves sliding granite stones along sheets of ice. For some reason it effects me, DH and DD like a trainwreck. If we see it, we can't stop watching.

It might not have been so bad to stay up late and watch curling, except I was awakened very damn early this morning by characters. These are the ones who have been begging for a story for years - well, they already have stories, tons of them, but the stories need to be re-written and updated and at 6:30 AM this morning, the ring leader of the gang knocked on my brain and told me he'd finally figured out how to get the ball rolling in their universe and what I need to do to tell the tale.

So I'm up - of course I can't actually start writing because I need to go food shopping and then we're going to to try to take in an early show of Monsters vs. Aliens. Then I can write. But with all these ideas swirling around in my head, I'll probably go crazy before then. I could really use a nice, quiet came of curling instead.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Is it Friday yet? Yes?? Oh, good.

I kind of feel like this little guy looks. It's been a hell of a week on several fronts, but every time I sit down at my computer, I look over at my wall calendar which displays a picture of two blue-footed boobies for the month of March.

You just can't stay depressed when looking at a blue footed booby. You can't stay depressed when saying the words 'blue footed booby.' Even if the blue footed booby himself looks depressed.

I think the world would be a better place if there were more blue footed boobies.

After all, any creature that walks like this must be having a good time.

I'm off to get some sleep, and dream about blue footed boobies and hope that next week is a better week.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The one that never gets old

Edits...revisions...revisions of edits, edits of revisions...sometimes it seems like a story is never, ever done. There's always tweaking, even down to the final few weeks before a release, sometimes there are still changes to be made.

Now and then I get to the point where I can't bear to look at a story again. I've read it through so many times that I can't see any errors, I can't conceptualize a change, because in my mind, the story is written in stone. It's been on the page for so long, how can it be any different? Those are the edits that make me crazy - not because I don't still want to improve the manuscript, but because my creativity is all tapped out. It gets to be like watching a movie you've seen a gazillion times and now trying to picture a classic scene with a new element in it...it can be practically impossible.

Then there's this one story - the one I've just completed edits on for Samhain...this is the one that never gets old. I've read this story just as many times as I've read all the others, yet I don't cringe when I have to haul it up to the desk top again. In fact I look forward to revisiting every scene. Don't get me wrong, having to make major changes would bum me out, but I still haven't reached the point where I want to sent all the characters on a one-way trip to Siberia. With this one, adding a new scene was like finding an Easter egg on the movie DVD - one of those things that now that you see it you say, gee, that was good. Why wasn't that in there before?

It's nice to have edits that don't leave me pulling my hair out...not that they're ever easy, but sometimes they're actually fun.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

150,000 years in the making

Okay, BSG fans, spill it. What did you think of the finale?


Overall, I thought it was great. It was fast moving, poignant in the extreme and it left me with a sense that they story had been told. So many finales don't do that, so kudos there.

BUT...I was also left with a lot of questions, maybe because I'm a little slow on the uptake sometimes. Maybe you can enlighten me...

1. If Baltar is not a cylon, how come his 'ghost/angel' kept showing up? I kept saying to DH, "So Baltar has to be a cylon, right?' and he just looked at me like I was nuts. Was he there because he's the 'human' half of the equation?

2. So once Caprica Six lost her baby, Saul lost all interest in her? [I get that he had his wife back, but still, this bothers me.]

3. What the heck was Starbuck? Was she a Cylon? Why was her body on old Earth and why did her father teach her the Cylon music? How did she just disappear when Lee was talking to her?

4. How come Lee/Apollo seemed to age backwards? Was I the only one who thought he looked about ten years younger in the finale than he'd been looking? [And I don't just mean the flashback scenes to when he WAS ten years younger, I mean the ending scenes on 'new' Earth.] And what was with that hair?

5. How come they never unveiled the 'Daniel' cylon? I was sooooo hoping to find out who he was. 13 colonies, 13 cylon models...hello?

6. So 'mitochondrial' Eve was Hera? This means, humans have always [or nearly always] been part Cylon anyway.

7. I have to say, I love the 'long time ago in a galaxy far, far away' idea. Soooo much better than, dare I say it, Galactica 1980. LOL. The writers really outdid themselves by tying the whole story back to human history on Earth. Very nice work.

8. So we suppose the people who will spring up on Gaelen's island in the northen highlands will be speaking 'Gaelic'? ROFL.

9. Did we need to see Adama throwing up in the street after drinking too much with Saul? Bad form. Not necessary. Why waste the audience's time with crap like that?

10. Who's going to be watching 'Caprica'? And how come the people in the 'prequel' series have more advanced technology than the people in BSG?

11. Are you a Cylon? Apparently we all are...just a little.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I blame the daffodils

This is actually supposed to be yesterday's post, but I just didn't have any spare time yesterday to blog.

I decided it had to be the fault of the daffodils that the first day of spring began with a snow storm.

It was one of those where the flakes are big and wet and gloppy and they stick to everything. It happened, I assume, because the other day when I pointed out to DH that my daffodils had begun to bloom, he said, "That means it's going to snow, just for spite." Well, lo and behold it did. Winter basically said, "I'm not finished here yet."

I was in fact, all ready to be annoyed the whole day - BUT I have to say, winter redeemed itself. Not only did the snow not have to be shoveled, it looked absolutely beautiful on the trees. My drive to work was stunning, especially when I caught sight of a line of just-starting-to-bloom weeping willows in a corporate park. Covered with their layer of snow, they were the prettiest shade of pale, pale green. They looked like they were glowing.

So, yes, I blame the daffodils for the snow, but they had the right idea. It was a nice way to say goodbye to winter [hear that, winter? I said GOODBYE now! Be on your way, thankyouverymuch.]

Next up: Tomorrow, let's dish about the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA finale!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Non-Hero Strikes Again

I spent last night glued to a book. You might think that's a good thing, but I wasn't reading it because I loved the characters or because the writing was especially moving.

I couldn't put the book down because I was desperately hoping the heroine would kick the hero in the gonads and send him packing.

SIGH. This was a book I had heard about and have been waiting with bated breath to read because it sounded really interesting. I suppose on some level it was because I read it in two sittings - [would have been one but I had to make dinner and it was an ebook so I couldn't read while I was cooking.]

I knew going in that the hero was one of those 'arrogant bastard types' but I've read books where that type of hero redeems himself, so I kept an open mind. Alas, I was disappointed in him. He sunk to quite low depths in his quest to dominate and 'claim' the heroine and it was her humiliation at his hands that seemed to spark his falling in love with her. No time was spent on him actually discovering her as a person or becoming enamored with who she was - his feelings seemed to spring from his own remorse at being an arrogant bastard.

I kept hoping she would really hand him his head, either literally or figuratively each time she suffered for his actions, but of course, she fell in love with him instead.

I've heard men like this called Anti-heroes - the bad boys who take no prisoners in the game of love and who require a skillful and special woman to tame them, but this characters was not that. To me, he was nothing more than a non-hero. A man who fit the iconic definition of 'romance hero' - the brooding gaze and dark eyes, the impressive physical attributes, the money, the power, the self-confidence to do and say anything that pleased him. He starts out seeing the heroine as a prize to be won and he wins her by leaving her so emotionally unbalanced that she clings to him for safety when she should be kicking him in the nuts.

I just don't get the appeal.

How about you? Do you see the anti-hero and the non-hero as two different entities? Do you enjoy the redemption of the arrogant bastard and how much or how little does he need to redeem himself to become a true hero in the classic sense?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ode to DH!

It's done! My new room is finished - and let me start by giving kudos to DH who worked for 12 straight hours yesterday to make it happen.

We started about 9:00 AM, hauling stuff out of the room which looked like this:

After we cleared everything out, we painted, let it dry and then DH assembled my new desk and book shelf. Then we hauled everything back into the room and it ended up looking like this:

Today he hooked up all my cables and what not so I can use all my stuff and here I am, back in cyber world! The cats have already taken over the chair, but later I hope to evict them and actually sit down and relax in my new space. Saber has been moved to the living room - he's not happy there, though, so we may end up getting him a new bed and moving him back into the den once all my junk is properly dispersed.

Now we both need a week of rest to recover, but it was well worth all the effort.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tecnhology rocks...but...

Here I am taking a break from painting my den/home office. [Don't worry, pictures will follow shortly. I took before pics and some during pics of the room completely empty with the new paint on the walls.]

Anyway, I'm sitting in the living room with my laptop [the rest of the slackers are playing Wii] and I'm even on battery power! I'm connected via the WiFi we just had installed. Who would have ever thought back when I was my daughter's age, that computing would be this easy and this much a part of our everyday lives.

I remember back when we had to save data on cassette tapes and the only programs the computer could run were written in basic. Now I can instantly publish a blog entry with photos and everything from the comfort of my lap on a computer I can carry around in a book bag.

And yet, I still have to slap paint on the wall with a roller and a brush. Can someone explain to me why computer technology has advanced from the stone and chisel era to warp drive in my life time, and yet painting a 10 x 12 room is still an all day process?

Oh well --- and here's an update on the color - Arabian Sand...think of a box of Crayola Crayons - remember the color they use to call Flesh, and now they call it Peach?? Yeah. That's the color.

Not sandy at all.

But it still looks nice. Now wish me luck getting DH to assemble my new desk and book case.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Doing my part for the economy

Last month I kept the economy alive by dropping $250 at the vet's office. [Topper had an eye infection which required two visits to the vet and four prescriptions - two of which he turned out to be allergic to.]

This month, I'm keeping the economy alive by redecorating my home office. It's been sea-foam green for a while now and I'm soooo tired of it. Not just the color but the arrangement of furniture, the accumulation of junk etc.

So over the weekend I dragged DH to Wal*Mart and bought a new desk - it's a sleek corner model that should free up a whole wall of space. I also bought a taller bookshelf to replace the too small one I have.

My plan was to get rid of the big, bulky desk and the old credenza under the windows and the little bookcase and go with s much smaller workstation, then put a chair in the opposite corner where I can acutally sit and read, write, work on my laptop [where I do most of my work these days anyway] and relax. I'm tired of feeling like I'm trapped in the living room when I want to relax or do anything other than watch TV or watch the kids play video games.

DH shocked me by offering to paint the room! So tonight we went out and picked up the paint. I went with a color called Arabian Sand. I plan to go with white curtains now instead of the matching sea foam ones, and hopefully by Sunday I will have a whole new space to call my own!

This may mean I'll be off line completely on Saturday and Sunday, but what the heck, it will be worth it to have a comfy place to plop my butt and relax. Wish me luck! Home improvement projects are always scary at my house. Hopefully all goes well.

Monday, March 09, 2009

And the winner is...

First I'd like to thank everybody who stopped by for my blog contest. I hope you all decide to read more of GOING DEEP!

The winner of a free download of Rogue Heart is:

Debby Creager!

Thanks for posting, Debby! I have your e-mail addy and I'll be contacting you. Have a great day, everyone!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Release Day! GOING DEEP

Check out my new release at Ellora's Cave today!

Going Deep is one of my spiciest stories - and since I'm in the mood to spice things up even more - I've decided to run an impromptu contest this weekend!


I'll leave this post up until Monday and between now and then, read the excerpt below and leave me a blog comment! I'll choose ONE WINNER on Monday to receive a free copy of my EC book Rogue Theta. [Though each book is standalone, Going Deep takes place on the space station featured in Rogue Theta].

The Excerpt:

The lead male stopped, only inches from Del. His eyes smoldered and Celia stared at him, cowed by the anger in his expression.

“Are you going to defy Meydala’s wishes, Del? We do this on her orders.”

Meydala? What could she have to do with this intrusion?

“In time she will see that this will only increase our suffering in the end.”

“What suffering? Del, what’s happening?” The one he’d called Arnav reached around Del and gripped Celia’s arm so tightly she winced. The other drew a long, bone white dagger from behind the belt of his enviro suit and brandished it at Del.

“We were instructed not to harm either of you, Del, but if you resist, we will have no choice. I can spill your blood or hers. Who will cooperate better if the other is injured?”

Del and the nameless one stared each other down and Arnav wrapped his arms around Celia. Finally, Del relented. His shoulders slumped, but he held his fellow UMEs with a look of such contempt it made Celia shudder. He turned his back on the intruders then and grabbed a breather from the wall. With deft fingers, he removed the cartridge and slipped it into the atomizer.

“Del, what are you doing?” Celia’s blood pounded in her ears. Dear God, could Captain Ganesh have been right about him?

“Last time the mix was incorrect. I’m responsible for your accident and I beg your forgiveness. This time, you will sleep and wake up with no ill effects.”

“Del!” Cold terror laced through Celia’s limbs. She struggled against Arnav’s vice-like grip, but he only squeezed tighter until she began to have trouble breathing.

The other UME stepped back, tucked his blade away and made room for Del to stand in front of Celia.

“You should have run,” Del said, regret thickening his voice. “I wanted you to be safe.”

“Del, please, tell me what’s going on.” She writhed in Arnav’s grasp, desperate to break free, to find answers and to locate the man who’d left her panting his name in ecstasy a few hours before.

Del replaced the newly refilled breather cartridge and fit the device over Celia’s nose and mouth, effectively cutting off any more conversation on her part. Wide eyed, she glared at him, but he refused to meet her gaze.

“Just breathe deeply, Celia. I’ll see that you are not harmed.”

Celia held her breath in defiance. She couldn’t resist for long, though. Del brushed his knuckles over her cheek. “I give you my word, your life is my responsibility and I will not allow anyone to hurt you.”

With that, he placed a hand in the center of her chest. A deep rumbling vibration emanated from his body, through his arm and into her rib cage. The inner pressure on her lungs increased as though a two-ton weight were pressing on her heart. The sensation made it impossible for her to hold her breath, and finally, defeated and terrified, she gulped in huge amounts of the tainted air hissing into the faceplate of her breather.

Del dropped his arm and Celia sagged against her captor. Her body became steadily heavier until she could do nothing more than hang limp in Arnav’s grasp. He and his companion lifted her and carried her to the moon pool.

Celia wanted to scream. She would have panicked but whatever sweet-smelling concoction flooded her lungs left her without the will to fight. She forced her tired eyes to follow Del, who slipped into the pool, then turned to help the others lower her into the water.

“If all goes well, Del Mar, perhaps you can petition the queen to allow you to impregnate this one. I hear human females are quite willing and well skilled when their legs are spread.” Arnav chuckled as he adjusted his grip around Celia’s waist.

Del glared over Celia’s head, and the steel edge in his voice made her shiver. “Speak of Dr. Weston that way again, Arnav, and I will kill you in your sleep.”

Celia had no doubt Del meant every word. She closed her eyes to block out the heartbreaking sight of him and blackness stole over her like a shroud.


No questions to answer, nothing to buy, just leave me a comment about the excerpt, or just say hi and you'll be entered to win! I'll announce the winner on MONDAY, MARCH 9th.

To find out more about Going Deep visit EllorasCave.com!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Pieces of a writer's brain

I tend to leave half formed thoughts all over the place. My brain leaks all over any blank page I find and then sometimes I forget why I wrote something.

Case in point today - I was filling up a notebook with the novella I'm working on and I got to the last page in the book and found this snippet of something:

A strip of yellow police tape adhered to the scratched inner surface.

That's it. Just that on a page. I have no idea when I wrote it or what I was writing about. It must have been important since I bothered to write it down, but I have no idea if it ever made it any farther than this scribbled note.

I'm bummed because any time there's police tape involved, you figure the story has to be interesting on some level. Now the question is, do I save this page and hope someday to find the story it was supposed to go to? Or do I let it go, and assume that whatever the scene was either got written or didn't but that either way, it really doesn't matter?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Little Treasures

My post today is about the fun of finding something unexpected. As an epilogue to yesterday's cleaning frenzy, DH decided to rummage in the kitchen cabinets and you never know what you'll find up there.

Now in addition to our regular cabinets, we have a row of small, rectangular cubby holes on top of our cabinets. They are covered by magnetic panels rather than hinged cabinet doors. They're hard to reach, so I use them only to store those few things that I don't want to part with but that I rarely use.

DH found a container of old silverware up there, which was a good thing, because we actually could use some extra silverware. He found cookie cutters and a bag of old kitchen magnets and all the extra serving spoons I keep on hand just in case I have to do a lot of serving.

Plus, he found something that had to have been up there for more than a decade. This little bench was sitting in one of the cubbies - never found before in all my excursions up there. I wonder if a little Faerie might have placed it there?

I have no idea where it came from and I certainly wished I'd found it back when I was making doll houses. It would have been perfect on the porch of my ranch house.

In addition to this little treasure, I got another nice surprise today:

Strange New World received an 85 from Mrs. Giggles!

Strange New World, I feel, is the perfect nibble-sized read in between action-driven romantic urban fantasy romances...

I think I'll imagine myself sitting on my little bench, basking in the glow of a great review.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

I'm in Bizarro World

I have crossed into an alternate universe this weekend.

I don't know how I got here, but I know I never want to leave.

You see, as I sit here blogging, DH is scrubbing the kitchen floor!

I know! It's like...so weird. He's been on a bender all weekend - it started with a trip to Home Depot on Friday night. He came home with a can of paint and roller covers and plastic drop cloths. He proceeded to clean the stove and the microwave, then yesterday morning he painted the ceilings in the bathroom, the hallway and the kitchen.

Now, for some of you, this might seem commonplace. The husband doing chores and home-fix-ups on the weekend is practically an American institution, but in my house my husband touts himself as the 'Anti-Bob Vila'. He is not a do-it-yourselfer by any means, unless he's fixing a computer.

As he was soaking the knobs from the stove and polishing my vegetable plaques from the kitchen wall, I asked what got into him...well it was more like: "Which alien took over your body?"

He told me it was Gordon Ramsay, the F-word chef. Ever since we got BBC America he's been glued to Hell's Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares and the F-Word. He can't get enough of Chef Ramsay's explitive laced tough-love and he's suddenly realized that cleanliness is next to impossible in a home with two cats, two kids and a large dog.

I've been trying to help by staying out of his way.

I don't know how long this trip to Bizarro land will last, but I plan to enjoy every minute of it. I'm off now to write a thank you to Chef Ramsay and invite him over for dinner.