Saturday, November 28, 2009

Random Ramblings

So, lots of little things to tell.

First, I find the term preggers extremely annoying. It bothers me. I can't help it.

Now on to other things. I'm a little sad because it's time for my Ninja to go into hibernation for the winter. We had some pretty nice days last week while I was sick, and I didn't get one last ride in.

Speaking of Ninjas, I am desperate to see the movie Ninja Assassin. Not because I'm under any delusion that it will have anything close to a plot or character development. No, only because it will be a bloodbath of martial arts gory goodness with a cool-assed knife on a chain. It takes me back to a guilty pleasure of my youth. Kung Fu Theater. Every Saturday afternoon one long ago summer, while the family was laboring outside, I'd sneak away from my chores and absorb in mind, body and soul the craziest martial arts movies out of Asia from the seventies and eighties. Blood spatters, flailing arms and subtitles. Ahh the thrills and chills of youth.

Moving on. I seem to dream up odd heroines. Either they're sliding under a tiny table in a honkytonk when the hero approaches in a panicked attempt to hide, they're being abducted by aliens while wearing a sock monkey hat, they're losing a bar bet, they carry brass knuckles, they'll provide only name rank and serial number to the hero, or they're terrified of animals, and their mates are wolf shifters. I'm not sure where they come from.

So, any quirky heroines, guilty secret pleasures or eighties flashbacks you wish to share? I'm all ears.

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Evil Streak

This is the song that never ends,
It just goes on and on my friends,
Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was,
and they'll continue singing it forever just because...

This is the song that never ends,
It just goes on and on my friends. . .

Ok, you get the picture. Have you ever entered a time loop where your life just keeps going and going the same way in a continuous loop of endless days?

No writing going on at the Casa de Quinn. Just an endless round of tissues, mucus, doctors, coughing and exhaustion. Then lather, rinse and repeat.

I have no voice at this point. So calling for help is out of the question. I'd blame the sea monkeys, but I just don't have the energy. But they'll get theirs in the end. I've got grandiose plans for a huge chemical attack in the near future. At this point, I'm one illness away from becoming a super-villain. I'm already dreaming up my costume. Think leather.

Once my voice comes back, I'll be developing my evil laugh. I've set up a session with Dr. Horrible's vocal coach.

Until next time, citizens.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

2010 Gig and Harlequin Horizons

So here I am, determinedly ignoring the sea monkey revolution underway in my bathtub. Those little s.o.b.'s will get theirs when I'm not so overwhelmingly tired and busy.

I had some good news. When I went to the New Jersey conference, I met some nice women from the Valley Forge sister chapter of my writing group. I hung out with some of them at different times over the weekend, and Carla Kempert, a very cool person, mentioned to the vice president, who's in charge of scheduling speakers, that I had done a presentation on women's self defense (Inserting Realism into your Kick A$$ Heroine). They were interested and contacted me. The VP remembered me from the conference, mainly because I had introduced myself to her as the reigning Possum Queen of my County. In spite of that little tidbit, I am scheduled to give the presentation at their April 2010 meeting.

I'm pretty excited. In one of my former times in this life I was a teacher for a decade. I miss the actual teaching part, the rest of the b.s.? Not so much. So I'm looking forward to doing a little teaching again, even if I break out into hives and have to renounce my Possum Queen throne.

In other news, much of the romance writing world has been abuzz with the news about Harlequin lending their name and collecting profits from a vanity/subsidy/self publishing venture. I have a feeling there is a much bigger picture here. I believe Torstar, their parent company, (who is losing money in this economy hand over fist except for Harlequin) probably set this project into motion and told the people at Harlequin to make it work. As long as it remains a separate branch from the rest, I see no problem.

Unfortunately, they are entwining themselves in the new venture and not keeping it separated like they originally stated. The most egregious part being that they will include in form rejection letters information on how to publish with HH. Not cool.

RWA has stated that "Harlequin Enterprises no longer meets the requirements to be eligible for RWA-provided conference resources". I'm not sure what other steps RWA will be taking, but I doubt Harlequin will care. I believe that only the membership will be affected by the decision, though I'm impressed that the Board acted so swiftly. I'll be interested to see what the RWA fallout is over this news.

I'm pretty sure Harlequin won't give a rat's ass. The formation of the "self publishing arm, Harlequin Horizons" is a good money making venture for an ailing parent company. Time will tell if it's a good business move.

This song's for you Harlequin Enterprises.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Jump Around

I've been working on two wips, for real, and two others off and on. And I've gotten stalled on all of them at about the two thirds done mark. I've been very linear in my writing. And now I'm stuck.

Then like a bolt out of the blue to illuminate the idiot, I realized I didn't have to write the story from beginning to end. This chimp can jump around or work from back to front.

Now, I've heard it before. It's not an original idea I came up with as I signed to my keepers to ask for more bananas. (no wonder I can't win the sea monkey war.) It just hadn't clicked with me yet. And now it has. So I'm jumping around the last four to five chapters of Shifting, trying to get up some momentum.

So I leave you with a flashback -not quite to the eighties, my usual decade for the flashback- to commemorate my new writing plan.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Throwing the Book at the Wall

Get ready for a semi-frank discussion of genitalia. If you think this is not something you want to read, click here for a sea monkey rerun.

I was reading a book yesterday, shocker, I know. It was by a NY Times best selling author, or so the cover declared. I was enjoying it, not totally engrossed, but it was a pretty good read. Then I came to the first sex scene. There were some of the typical formulaic things that the main players must be endowed with, but I could still buy it. Then the hero said something in mid coitus that made me snap the book shut, and I haven't picked it up again.

There are certain things that can jar me out of a book, especially during the hot and heavy scenes. I write pretty steamy, some erotic romance, some just higher heat levels. I'm also the first to admit that I am not the best writer in the world. But there are certain words that I just can't get behind. And it's probably not the ones you would think. I am a fan of the c word as used to describe female anatomy and have used it in my writing. But if I see the word mons, I will, nine times out of ten, stop reading right there.

Describing genital areas as furry or fur covered will also stop me dead in my tracks. I'm just not down with that image.

Repeating why the hero and heroine can't get together over and over throughout the story will get me to stop reading, too.

So, are there any standard phrases, words or situations that will get you to close the book? Do tell!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Now for Something Completely Different

I had known that NPR was doing 50 Great Voices this year, but was inspired by this entry on the blog I May Have Been Born Yesterday, But I Stayed Up All Night *sends a salute in Kameron's virtual direction* to make a pick of my own for inclusion in the NPR celebration.

I've been kicking around doing a post on this amazing singer for a while, and this was an easy opportunity to do it. Yma Sumac was born in Peru and is said to be the only known person to have a voice with a five octave range. It is also believed that she had no formal musical training and couldn't read music.

Here is some rare footage of Yma accompanied by my favorite song of hers - Gopher Mambo.

I also think Freddie Mercury and Bing Crosby should be included on the list. Because, really, how can you pick just one?

So how about you? Who do you think should be included in 50 Greatest Voices?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

So jury duty was an interesting little slice of heaven. I'm glad I experienced it, but not as glad as I am to have it be over. Geez Louise do you get to see how the other half lives. As the inmate who tries to spread new lingo around the prison my best friend works at would say - The guy who was on trial was Ca -ra-na-zy!!

Okay. Enough of that. I'm working on turning a corner here. I'm trying to psych myself up to get to a new level of commitment on actually finishing a manuscript and getting it published. I don't know if I'll be able to make myself get to that level since I mostly want to quit. I need a new mindset, take myself and my writing seriously. Put away the doubt and nay saying that I do with regularity and give this a serious shot.

And that's the most terrifying part of all.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Didja Ever Have One of Those Times . . .

when it's a damn good thing that your Man keeps the guns locked up or else without a doubt you'd be in the paper the next day?

Maybe Chris Rock has the answer.

And on top of it all, my jury duty starts tomorrow. At this point, I say fry his ass whoever it is. Next case.

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