Friday, December 30, 2011

Why I'm Not Here

My wonderful border collie, Sox, is dying. She's deteriorating every day, but I haven't reached that horrendous edge where having her here is harder than her being gone. It's killing me that I have the power to hold her life in my hands. That one decision from me makes her gone from us forever.

She's the first dog that I've had in my adult life. And the stories I could tell you about how amazing she is will have to wait until the overwhelming ache subsides when I think of her, healthy and out of pain.

So this is where I am, and I wish I weren't. But doesn't everyone when this point comes?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

I Know It's Old, But . . .

I really needed a laugh today. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Strange Craziness With a Side of Links

Okay. I know. I'm sorry. I still haven't finished my post about the end of my 'Possum Queen Reign. But it's hard, you know? An entire year as Roadkill Royalty. That's hard to give up. So look for that post coming soon.

In the mean time, I wanted to share some wonderfully bizarre happenings. First, this coming in under the not-so-wonderful-but barely-bizarre category, I found another stinkbug in my underwear drawer. This one? Alive. What the hell is it with my underwear that apparently fascinates stinkbugs to no end? Wait. Don't answer that.

I'm also still playing stinkbug chicken with The Man. I think he might still be winning. It's hard to tell.

And last month I participated in The Greatest Scavenger Hunt The World Has Ever Seen. Sponsored by GISHWHES and Misha Collins. Natalie Damschroder and I got to be on the same team, but they split us up from Megan Hart, Misty Simon and Vicki Smith. I think Misha knew we'd be an unbeatable combination. Thank you Megan for finding the hunt. It was jolly good fun!

They have a schwag shop where you can buy souveniers from this year's hunt. I'm partial to the Bacon Babes calendar if anyone's still looking for a Christmas present for me. (Though no one ever got me the ninja-breadmen cookie cutters I asked for last year.)

So, what strange craziness has been going on in your life?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hostile Takeover of My Zumba Class

Yes, I escape once a week and do Zumba. Yes, that is extremely suburban housewifey of me. Don't worry, it's part of my cover.

Actually, I love dancing. So this is right up my alley. The last time I was there the ladies were wondering if they should set up a pole so I could do a full on pole dancing routine.

Unfortunately, our instructor has absolutely no rhythm. None. Whatsoever. It drives me insane. How can you teach dance moves if you can't even stay on the beat? So every time I go, I have to curb my super villain instincts to do something like this. (Starting at 57 seconds in.)

I don't think it would take much to instigate a coup in the class.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Open Letters to the Craziness at Chez Quinn

Dear Possessed and Dying Toy That I Can't Find,

Stop playing your death knell every time I come in to the dark living room at six thirty in the morning to turn on the light and scaring the bejeezus out of me. Your warbling is freaking me out. Either show yourself so I can put you out of your misery or JUST DIE ALREADY!!

Sincerely Yours,

Dear Feral Cat,

Quit storming the damn house! I will not let you in no matter how many times you try to dart inside. I'm not a cat person and you're making my limping fifteen year old dog insecure since she can't run you off. Keep your mangy ass out of my house!

Yours Truly,

Dear Youngest Urchin,

Stop asking me what something means and then halfway through my explanation try and drown me out with I knows. I understand you're only four, but it's driving me crazy.

I love you! xoxo

Dear Upstairs Toilet,

Will you just do your damn job and flush consistently already? You're driving me bat-shit-crazy with the plunging every damn day! Just frickin' flush right!

Yours Respectfully,

Ahhhhh, now that I have that out of my system I can tell you what I really came here to tell you. My Reign as the County 'Possum Queen has come to an end. Sorry if that announcement was too abrupt. Maybe I should have eased you into it a little, but, alas, I'm one of those rip-the-band-aid-off-and-deal-with-it kind of people.

Anyway, it happened early last month, but it's been a little too hard to talk about until now. I will give you the entire run-down of that sad day later this week to give you time to adjust to the news.

Until then, tell me what craziness you'd like to address with an open letter.

Monday, December 5, 2011

And Now for Something Amazing

Perhaps my favorite Christmas movie is Holiday Inn. I'm a huge Fred and Ginger fan, and the combo of Fred and Bing Crosby and Marjorie Reynolds is irresistible. I was originally looking for this dance number from Holiday Inn to post, but embedding was disabled. (Which is why I posted the above astounding routine instead.)


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Just In Time for Your Holiday Shopping

I'm opening a new store. It's called The Angry Villager, for all your torch and pitchfork needs. Because really, who doesn't need a pitchfork and torch supplier?

The Angry Villager houses a handsome array of torches from super flammable straw to reusable metal.

Pitchforks with handles fashioned from several different materials will be available for your enjoyment. From traditional wood to light-weight fiberglass, and many styles in between, you'll always find just what you're looking for. We even have a room just for tridents if your angry mobbing turns to underwater warfare.

We can handle bulk orders to outfit you and your angry mob with express and overnight shipping.

A knowledgeable staff member (ahem, me) will be on-hand to answer your questions and help you select just the right torch or pitchfork for your immediate need.

Heirloom pieces will be available for special order. Monogramming is extra.

Novelty merchandise will also be for sale at The Angry Villager soon.

Including the Angry Mob playset.

So shop now and shop often. Operator (uh, me again) is standing by to take your orders.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Wollman Test of Reality

About three years ago I posted a rant. (Don't be so shocked. I can rant if I want to!) In that rant, I referenced an article I'd read in Reader's Digest many years ago. I think I was around fourteen years of age when I read it, and it made a lasting impact on me.

I got some of the details a little mixed up, but the message was clear. In life, is this a problem or an inconvenience?

Well, a wonderful woman left a comment saying she was looking for the same article and if she ever found it, she'd let me know. I had looked for a while, but came up empty. Well, Maureen contacted me today saying she found the original article. And here it is, very appropriately on Thanksgiving, in all it's glory.

The Wollman Test of Reality

Go and read it. You won't be sorry.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bizarre Conversation In The Back Seat

Oldest Urchin: Look, Mommy, there's a Mini Cooper. That's your favorite car!

Youngest Urchin: Speaking of Cooper, did you know I like to dress up like Alice Cooper?

I'm not making this up. I mean, really, how could I?

image from

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm Very Busy Avoiding Right Now

I'm avoiding my w.i.p. Behold how seriously I am avoiding it.

I vacuumed the ceiling fan in my kitchen. Which led me to discover that the ceiling in my kitchen is rather dirty. So I began washing it.

The ceiling.

In my kitchen.

I stopped halfway across it and realized. . . *ding* . . . I'm avoiding my story. So I climbed down off the ladder and promptly began vacuuming the floor. And doing the laundry. And reorganizing the bathroom linen closet.

All of this is better than staring at my computer screen and agonizing over this story and how it's so generic and muddled.

So now I have a half torn apart linen closet, half a clean kitchen ceiling and half the house swept, but no forward momentum on Brass In Pocket.


I have lovely ideas for my other stories, vying for my attention. But nothing to fix the mess I made of Brass. And no idea of what's prompting this avoidance.

So now I need to decide if I should put it away for a while and work on something new or continue to run my brain through a cheese grater as I fight with the tinkered mess that is chapters one through three of my w.i.p. (There are many more chapters, but I'm too linear to go there.)

What's a deranged girl to do?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank You


Thank you, Veterans.

Thank you, active duty military.

My father is a Vietnam Veteran. He spent thirteen months there, most of it in the jungle. My paternal grandfather was a World War II Veteran. He fought at The Battle of the Bulge. My maternal grandfather was a World War I Veteran. He lied about his age and enlisted at age 16.

Long time readers of my blog know that I send care packages to soldiers stationed in combat zones. I get the addresses through the website It's a very worthwhile organization.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the brave American men and women, past, present and future for their dedication, service and sacrifice.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

This W.I.P.

is kicking my ass right now. Which in reality means that I'm kicking my own ass. Since it's my story.


I think I need to log some time in my happy place.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Playing Stinkbug Chicken

A few days ago, a stinkbug made an appearance in my bedroom, crawled to a high spot out of my immediate reach, and has apparently decided it's now residing there for the winter.

I've been keeping my eye on it, and can satisfactorily report it hasn't moved for days. So I've left it alone because there have been too many other things on fire around here to deal with. Things more important than a stinkbug setting up house on my bedroom wall. Yeah, we've had some major shit.

Anyway, I happened to mention the stinkbug to The Man.

me: "Have you noticed the stinkbug in our room?"

The Man: "Yeah."

me: "Are you going to kill it?"

The Man: "Are you?"

me: hmmmm

And that's when the game of Stinkbug Chicken tm began. Though I'm not sure that The Man actually knows he's a participant in my new form of entertainment. But I believe he is beginning to suspect.

So here's how I'm playing. I make a comment about the bug to see if The Man will be the one to break down and dispose of it first. Only, I can't actually ask him to do it. I can only bring his attention to the bug in interesting ways. For example.

me: "You know, I think I'll name the stinkbug in our room, Ralph."

The Man: bushy glance from the corner of his eye: "Is that so."

me: "Yeah. It seems he'll be staying awhile and if he's going to see me changing my clothes, I figured he should have a name."

The Man: "How do you know it's a he?"

me: "Because it stares at me so intently when I get naked."

The Man: "Yeah, that seems logical."

Oh, he's good.

So it's a stalemate right now, but I haven't cracked yet. As long as Ralph stays put, that is. He's perched on my side of the room, so if he goes mobile, I'll be the first to be infiltrated.

Though, truthfully, if that thing starts flying?

Game over.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Remember Those Hello Kitty Doms?*

If not, let me refresh your memory.

One For The WTF Files

This was the first entry in my WTF category. If you choose to peruse that section of my blog, please do so at your own risk.

*shameless ploy to pass off a re-run, as my mother is still visiting from Montana.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Snow? Really?

So I was driving to the Oldest Urchin's school Halloween party. Okay, Fall Festival. Damn PC bastards. But at least she gets to dress up and have a costume parade.

Anywho, as I'm humming along to Englebert Humperdink, that nerve grating sound interrupts my smooth, easy listening station. Yes, it's a severe weather alert. And what does it tell me? More rain? (as if we didn't suffer enough in Central PA during hurricane season.)

But no, it's not more rain. It's snow. They're predicting anywhere from six to ten inches.

Yes. Six. To. Ten.

It's not even November yet!

So I'm really thinking Apocalypse. Good thing I stored up on all that good stuff and built a bunker when I thought I was turning into a chrysalis.

What have you stored for this early winter Armeggedon?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

NJRW Conference Recap

So I went to the NJRW annual conference. It was a nice time. Got to be a grown up for almost two days. That was a tough facade to keep up, let me tell you.

Heard some pretty good workshops, talked with some writers, but my heart wasn't really into it. Which annoyed me. Yes, I annoy myself quite often, thankyouverymuch. I was sick and strung out on cold medicine the whole time. I drove three hours to get there, ate lunch, then sat in several hours of workshops. Not a great combination.

Then there was dinner, which was interrupted by the fire alarm - which at least didn't happen at four in the morning like last time. The fire fighters arrived and gave an all clear. (It was just poor planning in the set up of the buffet by the hotel.)

Next, I sat in an awards ceremony where I didn't know any of the authors in the competition. After that, the bar, with slow service, but good friends.

Up the next morning to do breakfast, workshops, lunch, workshops and a three hour drive home.

Pretty exhausting for how I was feeling, but worth it. I learned a few new tricks, found out that I'm already doing certain things right, and spoke with some different writers. Which is nice to get to do. As writers, we're definitely a different breed.

So how was your weekend?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The 3 Rs: Writing, Rummaging & Ridiculousness

So, okay, those are the 3 Rs here at Tongue In Cheek. They may not necessarily be your three.

Anywho, here we go.

Yeah, pretty much nonexistent right now. The oldest Urchin has started up again with what brought her down last fall. And of course, every crazy test the doctors could think of was done to her. So they're at a loss as to what else to try. They just say inane things like, "Stay the course" and "A thousand points of light" and get me so irritated that I switch around all the things in their exam room while we're left alone waiting. Yeah, that's right, search for those tongue depressors. Search for them!

Ahem. Sorry.

I've also been sick for the past week, so my drive is not what it should be. Getting out of bed takes so much effort that opening and editing a wip is more than I can stand right now.

But, I'm leaving on Friday morning for the New Jersey Romance Writer's conference. If I ever look up the directions on how to get there, that is. I attended two years ago, and found it worthwhile. Even though the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night at the hotel. So hopefully going to the conference will get some of my writing mojo to return.

I am a rummage sale junkie. I love a good rummage sale like stink bugs love Victoria Smith.

Whilst arriving early to a particularly good one late in the summer, I eyed the crowd. They were a feisty looking bunch. Frazzled moms with fidgety children, little blue-haired ladies with huge shopping bags made of recycled plastic (you know, the ones with the sharp, pointy corners), unkempt, overweight, sweat pant wearing men with stringy comb overs.

Yes they were a well seasoned, yet motley crew of hard core rummage maniacs. This is the kind of crowd where the little old ladies will run you over with their wire baskets-on-wheels as soon as look at you. The unkempt men will use every body odor available to them to clear a section they want. And the mommies will sic their little mucus encrusted darlings on your ass before you can say viscous liquids.

Hard. Core.

All they needed were some eye patches, peg legs and a touch of scurvy, and they'd be the masters of the Seven Seas.

So as I walked down the sidewalk, eyeing the line of competition, and receiving the hairy eyeball in return, I busted out my best professional wrestling announcer voice and yelled, "Let's get ready to RUUUUUMMMAAAAAAAGGE!!!!"

Everyone gave me a lot of room after that. I owe all my psychological warfare tactics to the sea monkeys.

No, that last section wasn't the ridiculousness. Sheesh. This will be some random ridiculousness.

I found a dead, dried out, cracking apart stink bug.
In my underwear drawer. EEEEEEEEWWWWW! Alright, that was more like the "What's Grosser Than Gross" jokes that permeated the early eighties. (You all remember those, right? What's grosser than gross? Finding out your brother's scab collection is missing after eating a bowl of Cornflakes.)

My Reign as the county 'Possum Queen is soon coming to an end, and I'll need to attend the Moonshine and Fried Possum Carnival in the first weekend of November to hand over my crown of taxidermied 'possums with rhinestone accents to the next queen. Ahh, the memories I'll be taking with me after this year of excitement. If you haven't accompanied me on the journey and missed it, check out the 'Possum Queen category to the right and catch up on all the 'possumy goodness this year has wrought.

So I'm off to get my annual haircut today for the writer's conference. My hair is ridiculously long. It reaches my waist in the back. Time to get a few inches off.

So tell me. How are your writing, rummaging and ridiculousness going?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sue Gourley Book Give Away

The talented Susan Gourley is giving away a copy of her book The Keepers of Sulbreth at The Romance Studio. Though it's at The Romance Studio, I'd consider this more of a straight fantasy. Either way, the book was fantastic. The unique way she incorporated the magic used in her world was awesome.

You can read an interview with her from my Author Interview segments where she discusses the second book in the Futhark Chronicles. Not only that, but she aced the sea monkey S.A.T. portion of the interview to boot!

So go check her out and consider buying her books. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Was I The Only Person

Who watched this show? I'm pretty sure it came on after Land of the Lost in my area.

Even creepier than Mr. Pufnstuf. Amirite?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Adventures With Alice Cooper

I always know I've crossed some line of propriety when I get no comments. Apparently taxidermied squirrels bizarrely frolicking for eternity (or until the moths and dust mites decimate them) crosses that line. Who knew?

Anywho, to my new readers, let it be said that I blend pretty well into my suburbia, doing the stay-at-home mom thing, even though I'm a gnome (see picture to right). I don't walk around wearing Metallica concert tee shirts and ripped up jeans, smoking and drinking a 40 on my front stoop.

Yes, I ride a motorcycle, which I haven't been out on in forever, but other than you, gentle readers, and a few others in my inner circle, no one knows that I do. I was a teacher for a decade before I stayed home, and I teach Sunday and vacation bible school. (It's all in an attempt to lull the defenseless masses into a false sense of security.)

So when I tell you this story, you'll know how crazy it really is.

Two weeks ago the Youngest Urchin was driving me out of my gourd with some revoltingly innocent video that I've completely repressed so that I can go on living a fruitful life. But at the time, it was boring into my brain and laying eggs. Suffice it to say, I made the move to have her choose some different viewing fare. We went to the video cabinet (yes, we still do videos), and she decided to choose a Muppet Show tape I had in the way back.

Now let it be known to one and all, I adore the original Muppets I grew up with. They are truly awesome and I revere Jim Henson as a creative genius. The only reason this one was shoved to the back is because it was the Vincent Price/Alice Cooper tape. The Oldest Urchin is a sensitive little soul who gets frightened easily, the Youngest Urchin? Not so much (read down towards the end and you'll see what I mean). But she was a little too young for it when I relegated the video to the back. Well, the Youngest Urchin starts pleading her case in her four year old terms.

"I love it, Mommy. I'm not afraid. I'm big. I like it now."

To which I replied, "You've never seen it."

The debate went back and forth, and in a fit of self preservation so that I didn't have to endure one more hearing of the other offensive video, I caved. It's the Muppets, for crying out loud. How harmful can it be?

So I put it in and the Youngest Urchin settles down to watch. Well, Vincent Price she could take or leave.

But Alice Cooper? He made a huge impression.

Urgent calls from the living room begin.

"Mommy! Where do we keep our capes?!?!" (A big scarf tied at two corners)

"In the dress-up bin."

"Mommy, Mommy go back! Alice Cooper is talking to me!"

Never before did it cross my mind that my four year old would ever utter those words.

So now Alice Cooper on the Muppet Show is her favorite. She pretends to be him. I hear her warbling Welcome to My Nightmare from the back seat. Her Barbies are now the ghost and monster band from the first skit. She wears her cape wherever we go. And when a well meaning adult smiles and comments how she's such a great super hero, she turns and replies, "I'm not a super hero. I'm Alice Cooper."

I just smile and nod as I lead her away from some stunned little old lady who looks at me askance.

Ahh, such is the life here at Chez Quinn.

So tell me, what's going on in your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Squirrel Boxing

Yes, squirrel boxing. Taxidermy style.

Apparently, some time around the 1930's it became popular to mount dead squirrels in a boxing ring, wearing trunks.

These coveted works of art are difficult to find, but they came to my attention because a gentleman in my area listed one for sale on Craigslist.

For $250.

(That's with the ring.)

Upon further investigation, (because, really, how could I not) it was found that there's no limit to what taxidermied squirrels can do.

As such.

Or even more lethal, and my personal favorite.

So, what is it that you would have your taxidermy squirrels engaging in? (And yes, they even have them doing that.)

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I want to go ride my motorcycle.

But I can't.

Damn hip.

Sigh. See it there, gleaming in the sun? Like a panther that had a toxic dose of raidation. Ready to burst out of the gate in a split second.

Ava Quinn, contemporary western romance, cowboy romance, contemporary western romance novels, funny blog, contemporary western romance author, Ninja motorcycle, humor blog,

Man, do I need a ride.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Love Parkour

And this man is a master. Though with my new dodgy hip, I'll for sure never be. (not like it was very likely in the first place.)

One of my heroines uses parkour in her vigilante work.

This jump actually made my butt pucker. Wait for it. Yours will too.

So tell me, are you a parkour/free running fan or does it repulse you?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

All It Took Was A Pinched Nerve

Yesterday I somehow had the fortune (bad or good, you decide) to get a pinched nerve in my hip. What an experience it is. I've never had pain so intense that it made me want to vomit before.

That was bad.

And we needed groceries. So The Man had to do grocery shopping on his own. (We usually go as a family to share in all the bliss that is grocery shopping.) I offered to drive one of those Hoveround carts, but the Man wasn't having it. I really wanted to drive that thing, too. Which The Man knew. Which was also why he wasn't having it. He knew I'd wreak havoc at the local grocery store on that bad boy. Especially since I haven't been out on my motorcycle in about two months (but that's a post for another day). And he really didn't want to end up in the paper tomorrow.

But the good part is that I was forced to sit. All day. And without much guilt because I was in too much pain to do the laundry or the dishes or clean the kitchen or make meals or Zamboni the toys to clear a path through the house or any of the other ten thousand things I'm usually doing. So without the guilt of neglecting my domestic engineer duties, I could write.

And write I did. I popped the steroids that I needed to take, managed the pain the best I could and finished up the edits on the chapter that has been plaguing me for what feels like forever. I'm too embarrassed to reveal how long in actuality I've been working on one stupid chapter. Suffice it to say - long time.

I sent it out for crit, even though it's not totally where I want it. The pain was actually thwarting me a bit in my thinking. But I feel very accomplished.

So now some heavy duty "do not operate heavy machinery" pain meds await on the counter to knock me into oblivion for the night.

And this is the lesson that I learned today. All I need in order to sit and write is blinding pain. Which, as any author knows, is what writing really is.

"There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

Until next time when I wake from my drug induced stupor, citizens.

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Latest Obsession - Sideburn Art

Yes, the art of the sideburn.

Since time immemorial, men have cultivated the sideburn.

Over the millenia, sideburns have transformed and garnished male faces in many different ways.

As time marched on, More and more ways to incorporate the sideburn came to light.

But I believe the double threat of the mullet/sideburn one-two combo is just not playing fair. (Especially since my regular readers know how I feel about mullets.)

There are many famous sideburn sporting men. For example who could forget The King and his spectacular set of seventies sideburns? Muy Macho!

How about Spock's pointy ones used as a counterpoint to his pointy ears?

And how could I have a post on sideburns without a nod to the contemporary master Hugh "Wolverine" Jackman?

Now some men can go a bit far with their sideburn statements.

But, admitedly, there are a lot of different statements to be made with a well planned sideburn.

It takes a confident man to make a statement with his facial hair. So, to all my male readers out there, don't miss out on this purely masculine fashion opportunity. It's yours for the taking.

And ladies, vote in the comments for your favorite sideburns. I know it's a tough choice, but don't worry, I won't make you defend it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Skunk and Parties and Irene

So The Man checked the basement for a skunk. His preparation was a bit like Tallahassee when he went looking for the last box of Twinkies left on the planet.

He grabbed an implement of destruction that resembled a Garden Weasel, and descended into the deep dark cellar. He came back a few minutes later with the "all-clear", but it's an old dirt floor basement with lots of places to hide. I'm not truly convinced that there isn't a skunk still skulking around down there. Which will make going down there in the future oh so much fun.

So in true Oldest Urchin birthday party fashion, something to thwart me occurred. Namely Hurricane Irene. Our house is not a good place to have ten 2 to 7 year olds confined, playing carnival games, but alas the weather was too bad to have it outside like I'd planned.

But I survived it. Along with her first week of first grade. So with those hurdles leaped like a capital T in a single bound, I'm now on to working on my wip faster than a rolling O. (Anyone remember where those phrases came from? Bonus points to you if you can guess!)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Carny Part Deux Railroaded By Skunk

So, I was going to report about the Fireman's Fair, but there really isn't that much to tell this year. We had lots of people come and enjoy it with us. The antique tractor parade was as quaint as usual, and the food was awesome- especially since I didn't have to cook any of it.

But new developments must be reported upon.

I'm terrified that a skunk is in our basement.

Yes, you read that correctly.

We woke up at about five this morning to the smell of skunk. I figured one got hit on the road out front and, considering it was the oldest Urchin's first day of school, that I would have to deal with disgusting, smelly road kill as we waited for the bus. But when we trudged down to the end of the driveway at 7:50, there were no bloody, flattened, carcasses to be seen. Which, as anyone knows, is a source of great rejoicing.

It's been windy here today, and I expected the smell to dissipate quickly. And most of it has.

Except at the side porch.

Where the only access to our dirt floor basement is located. With its doors wide open and a fan blowing up the stone steps.

I am a-feared that the smell is emanating from there.

I've reported my suspicions to The Man, because as repeated frequently here at Tongue In Cheek, at Chez Quinn the disposal of animals falls directly into Man-land territory. (Okay, there was that one carny fish incident and oh, the dead uber-mouse where I took matters into my own gloved hands, but for the most part, Man-land.)

So I will now have to update you with the skunk report once things get checked out. I'm sure you'll be waiting with bated breath.

As will I, citizens.

As will I.

Friday, August 19, 2011

First Carny Report

I truly am in denial. The oldest urchin starts first grade next week. I've been running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to do all the back to school necessities and jam in as much summer as possible.

All at the same time.

And in the midst of my self-created chaos I realized something. I didn't report back on the backyard carny action. How rude of me!

It'll have to be a quick preliminary run-down.

First and foremost, I'd like to thank the family man who expanded my vocabulary the very first night. This wiry fellow with the motorcycle boots and stringy grey goatee toured the midway with his arm around his Harley Mama as his two delightful little girls fought and whined down the middle of everything. He sported a delightful tee shirt. In that neo nazi lettering, you know the font, it harkens back to WWII Germany, read the following words: crotch cannibal.

I'll leave the Google search to you.

The fried cuisine was exquisite, the carnies were wonderfully colorful, and the rides were sufficiently amusing. More details to come. For now, I'll leave you with my musings from last year, in which I defiantly proclaim that There's A Lid For Every Pot.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Iowa Knows How To Do It!

Okay, I'm still reeling from my four day carny extravaganza. But here is something to tide you over until I can recover and get back to you with my full report.

At the Iowa State Fair they are making deep fried butter on a stick. I kid you not.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Carny In T Minus Two Hours

And I'm all a-quiver. In less than two hours I will be dining on all things carny. Not only that, but I will be in hill-billy-watching hog heaven. Although it's not as educational as the Moonshine and Fried Possum Carnival where I was crowned as the 'Possum Queen for the county, but it'll still be one helluva hoe down.

And the food! If it's deep fried and you can shove it on a stick, it will be in my hand.

Now, it won't be all fun and games for me. I'll need to put in a royal appearance. Do the glad handing and the photo ops, as per my contractual obligation to the Pot Bellied Processed 'Possum Products corporation. I will be wearing the taxidermy crown for at least one hour. Good thing it's not as hot as it has been.

So I will hopefully be watching all the crazed rednecks, carny operators and their significant others as the carny takes off full blast in my back yard.

Ahhh, life doesn't get any better than this.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Alright, Who Here Knew . . .

That Ricardo Montalban was such a cool customer?

I mean, he was Kahn. (KAAAAAHN!!!)

Are you feasting your eyes on that magnificent mullet? And I don't need to remind you, fair readers, of the Merits of the Mullet.

But I really only saw him as Mr. Fantasy Island with the white tux, hanging out with Tattoo.

Not Mr. Suave.

Or even the man of rich Corinthian leather of Chrysler Cordoba commercial fame.

But dang, when he was young he was fierce! Did any of you know that already? And if you did, why didn't you clue me in?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Okay, One More Re-Run

Here I thought things would settle down for me. Silly me. So here is one more re-run for the summer.

And then it will be carny time!! The time of year when the fireman's fair erupts in my back yard and for four days I eat all things deep fried and stuck on a stick.

Here's your re-run for today. Two things to know. It's one of the longest posts I've ever written. And I've sprayed expanding foam in all the runs and haven't seen a mouse in ten months. Hooray for science and expanding foam!

So here it is.

The Dead Mouse Disposal Saga of a Reformed Horror Flick Junkie

Read at your own risk.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Possum Queen Swimsuit Competition

Yes, gentle readers, it's here.

The 2010 'Possum Queen Swimsuit Competition. Now, if you're about to eat, please be sure to choose 'Possum the other white meat, sorta- and stop back a little later. I wouldn't want to be responsible for any stomach illnesses due to the viewing of the following pictures.

With that thinly veiled warning in mind - let's get started!

Bib overalls were a popular choice that day, but SaraLee really pulled them off with her mullet combo.

As always in our scrappy little county, we had some do-it -yourselfers. With a bit of duct tape and a whole lotta ingenuity, there were some stunning pieces. But none so stunning as this creation. BerthaLynn really went all out, didn't she?

Some of the judges/carny ride operators seemed pleased with the results too.

Darlene almost walked away with it with her Baywatch tribute.

So I knew I needed to bump up my game. I gathered my courage and decided I'd go . . . Topless. It was a little risque, but I thought it was tastefully done, don't you?

It seemed to please the judges, because I was crowned later that day.

Robert Sullivan  /  AFP - Getty Images file

Not only were bathing suits abounding, but love was in the air. A lovely couple met the first evening of the County Moonshine and Fried 'Possum Carnival at the swimming hole.

By the final day of the three day festivities, after much careful thought, they decided to take the plunge right there where they first met.

In the end, a good time was had by all.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One Last Re-Run


The oldest urchin's dress rehearsal for her play is tonight. Then she has three performances, finishing on Sunday. After that, I should have a little more time freed up.

But until then, here's a sage warning in the form of a re-run.


Monday, July 18, 2011

My New Addiction

So apparently I have a slight addiction to the show Phineas and Ferb. It cracks me up.

But more importantly, I've come to realize I have a crush on the Evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Heinz, to me.

I don't know if it's the bulgy eyes, the crazy hair, or the stylin' lab coat, but there's just something about that man.

Or maybe it's our propensity to love evil.

Could be all those huge "inators" he builds. He's definitely a hands-on evil genius.

Though, being forced to be a yard gnome as a child didn't hurt his chances with me either.

So, you tell me. What is it about the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz that makes him so gosh darn irresistible?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hit the Ground Running

Well, since we've gotten home from camping, the youngest urchin has had her birthday. She is now a four year old. Not sure how that happened. The family party is Saturday. I've been cleaning up from camping - laundry, putting away all the camper/ing stuff, laundry, trimming the lawn, laundry, cleaning the house, laundry, baking and wrapping, laundry. . . You get the picture.

Next week the oldest urchin is in a play. Dress rehearsal Thursday, performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So there have been lots of rehearsals so far and then every day next week. So I'm doing a lot of mom-taxiing.

I need to learn how to write with noise in the background. I might be able to get some words on screen if I could stop being so darn distractible. Currently, I've been doing a Dr. Frankenstein on chapter one of Brass In Pocket. We'll see if I like the results.

So do you write with music on in the background? Can you write anywhere? Or are you like me and need a quiet environment to get your thoughts down? Inquiring mind would like to know - mine, that is.

Until next time, citizens!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

New On The Ninja

Check out the new sticker I put on my motorcycle. I couldn't resist it.

Ava Quinn, contemporary western romance, cowboy romance, contemporary western romance novels, funny blog, contemporary western romance author, Ninja motorcycle, humor blog, zombie response team

The color doesn't show up well in this photo. It's actually the same Kawasaki green as my cycle. Here's another one of the whole rig.

Ava Quinn, contemporary western romance, cowboy romance, contemporary western romance novels, funny blog, contemporary western romance author, female motorcycle rider, humor blog, Ninja motorcycle

We made it back from camping at the shore on Friday afternoon. I'm still beat.

No major incidences to report, and sadly, the damn carny goldfish is still alive and well. And most definitely in cahoots with the sea monkeys.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rummage Re Run

Here is a re-run from August 10, 2010. It's really Secret Confession #4.


Ahhhh, beautiful, beautiful rummage.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sea Monkey Re-Runs

Yes. You heard it here first. Today's re-run is brought to you by sea monkeys.

The on going battle of the sea monkey horde that has infiltrated my bath tub is an epic saga of Atlantis proportions.

Let me take you back to September 14, 2009 for another installment of . . .

Rise Of The Sea Monkeys And Other Stuff (stuff stuff stuff)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer Re-Runs

Ok, so I'm going to be guilty of this again. I'm swamped with craziness for the next week, and then Chez Quinn is going mobile the week after that, camping at the beach for a week. But, dear readers, I could not leave you stranded without serving up some specimen of surreal zaniness that is my specialty.

For you long term, hard core Tongue In Cheek readers, this batch of re-runs will hopefully serve as a greatest hits tribute. For the newly initiated, enjoy! But beware this disclaimer. There are sometimes when a barf bag may become necessary at some point.

Without further ado, I take you back to June 3, 2010 and The Merits of the Mullet.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Yeah, It's Confirmed

Got a call from the doctor at 10:15 last night. Blood test results are in, and it's definitely Lyme Disease for the oldest urchin. He believes it was caught early enough that there shouldn't be any lasting, long-term effects. She's been on the antibiotic for almost a week now, and the fever finally broke a few days ago.

I worked this weekend. 1 p.m. til 9 p.m. Friday night, 8 - 4:30 Saturday, Sunday and Monday. I was scoring assessments of the most disabled students in the state. Chained to a computer in one cubicle among many in the cubicle farm, watching children take tests. Many of whom just shouldn't be taking them. I'd like to chain the politicians who drafted and support No Child Left Behind to those uncomfortable chairs and watch hour after hour of severely disabled children grappling with assessments that mean nothing and cost those children much. Let alone the tax payers.

I signed a confidentiality contract, so I can't go into detail, but suffice it to say, many of those tapes can be harrowing.

I kept hoping for an exit like Neo got from Morpheus in The Matrix. Embedding was disabled, so I couldn't post it here.

Unfortunately no such escape was provided. The best I could do was declare Monday Hawaiian shirt day. But apparently no one else got the memo.

Oh well. At least my hula girl shirt was a hit.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lyme Disease? Really?

Ok, so last week it was Nursemaid's Elbow. This week - Lyme Disease.

The oldest urchin, who is six, has had a pretty high fever since Sunday afternoon. I finally got her in to the doctor this morning and his hypothesis is Lyme Disease. As if the little urchin needed anything else this year.

As you may or may not know, to check for Lyme disease blood must be drawn. When she heard that, the eyes got wide and teary, but then she took a deep breath and said, "That's okay, Mommy. I'm an old pro at this."

That's when my eyes got teary.

So she sat on my lap like she usually does for blood work, shocked the nurse by telling her it was a tourniquet that was being stretched around her arm, and then tried valiantly not to move or cry during the procedure.

She was the bravest little toaster that ever was.

So now she's on an antibiotic for the next twenty-one days and the fever has still not gone away. What a way to start her summer vacation.

And the youngest urchin has upped her terrible threes game by a power of at least ten in protest to all the attention the older one is receiving right now.

Ahh, chaos. Lovely, lovely chaos. And I'm still not getting any writing done. I wonder why.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Just Call Me Helga

I finally got a new bathing suit last night. Ever since the wardrobe malfunction on the beach last summer, in which I issued a public apology to the inhabitants of that section of Rehoboth Beach, I've needed a new one.

Well, I got one last night.

It was a family affair, so you can imagine the unadulterated joy it was to bathing suit shop - which I hate - with The Man and Urchins in tow. I basically got the one that I could tolerate and called it a night.

So I now own a bathing suit with leopard print. Grey and black toned leopard print. I've never owned a leopard printed anything in my life. (I heard those gasps of shock, but believe it, leopard print ain't my shtick.)

It also has cups of steel. I kid you not. I could knock on these knockers and hear a resounding ~BONG~. I feel like I should be sporting a helmet with horns protruding from each side and wielding a spear as I descend from Valhalla.

If only I could work it like Bugs bunny, then at least I'd know I looked good.

But alas, I fear I wear it like Helga, the opera singing warrior in my old favorite video game Clayfighter.

I originally was trying for some rockabilly style. It has that vintage pinup vibe about it. Here's a picture. It doesn't show the cups that well, but you get the idea.

I may add little gun barrels to the center of each cup just to give a nod to the Austin Powers Fembots. We'll see.

Speaking of vintage pin up girl style, if you haven't checked these guys out, you're no hep cat of mine. I love their designs.

So, any bathing suit disasters you'd care to share with the rest of the class? We're all ears!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gotta Have Some Soul

I just needed a little vintage R&B tonight. Add a little Soul, and this is what you get.


And this song always takes me back to that night I was underage and on the dance floor in a bar down in Delaware. And that's all I'm saying about that.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Nursemaid's Elbow. Um, Yeah

So my newest medical terminology that I've acquired is, "nursemaid's elbow". What is nursemaid's elbow, you may ask? Well, let me tell you a little story.

The following story is true, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Dan dant dant dant.
Daaan dan dant dant daaaaaaaa!
(Dragnet theme song, in case you were wondering)

Time: early Thursday afternoon - fifteen minutes before kindergarten bus arrival.

Place: Chez Quinn backyard

Suspect: Oldest Urchin

Dant da naaaaa,
dant da nant na naaaaaaa

(Dragnet theme continued)

The oldest Urchin bursts into the kitchen where I'm cleaning up lunch and doing dishes, shouting for me to come quick.

I remove myself to the yard and observe the three year old lying in the grass crying. As I help her up, I get the fragmented and most likely, highly polished version of what happened from the eldest of the urchins.

She fell. Older urchin grabbed her arm to help pull her up. Much crying ensued.

There being no other witnesses to the altercation, I try asking the three year old- who is crying profusely. Which is actually very uncharacteristic of her. Through the tears and around the blowing of the nose I get, "Sissy pulled me."

I settle the youngest on the couch with an icepack on her arm and some tv to soften the blow and take the eldest out to the end of the driveway to put her on the bus.

When I re-enter the domicile, The crying has stopped, but younger urchin is very pale. I proceed to examine the arm. She can wiggle her fingers, though making a fist hurts, she can move it, but wails and immediately begins crying again when she bends it. There are no marks on the arm or swelling. Tylenol and liberally applied ice packs are administered.

Symptoms don't change for several hours. That evening I call the doctor's office. There are no appointment openings, but the nurse takes down the symptoms and says she'll tell the doctor and call back. Within fifteen minutes I get a call from her requesting that the subject come in immediately.

Diagnosis: nursemaid's elbow. One of the lower of the two bones in the elbow joint has come out of its socket, causing extreme pain whenever it moves. The doctor was able to pop it back in quickly and less than thirty minutes later the youngest urchin was back to her crazy rambunctious self.

And that is only one of several extremely crazy things that have happened over the past four days.

Hope things aren't quite so exciting at your house.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

For My Classically Trained Readers

It's a little known fact that I played the violin for many years. (You never would have thought they had gnome sized classical instruments, but they do. The Eastern Deciduous Woodland Gnome Orchestra is a highly respected institution. But, alas, that is a post for another day.)

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is an oldie but a goodie that's been around the internet for a while. Yet still just as hilarious.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Grilled 'Possum Memorial Day BBQ

What Memorial Day weekend is complete without a barbecue? And as your reigning 'Possum Queen, I'd be remiss in my duties if I didn't remind y'all about the interesting and economical choice of 'possum for your grill!

Here's the "before" version -

And here's the "after".

Now, doesn't that look delicious?

Don't forget to stock up on all those yummy 'possum sauces and things. I'm sure your local grocer has plenty of these on the shelf for this holiday weekend.

So, to make this Memorial Day unforgettable, run right out and get a mess of 'possum - the third white meat, sorta*.

*copyright Pot-Bellied Processed 'Possum Co. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

From Krass to Class

Okay, okay, stop calling in. (That means you, mother.) I'll move on from those Krass Bros. commercials. (But they really did explain a lot. Amiright?)

So in an attempt to purge the memory of those commercials from your brain without poking your eyes out, here is a wonderful song that Ray Charles covered titled You Don't Know Me. It's such a beautiful, emotional song. One of my favorites that he's ever recorded. Here is an early live rendition.

Enjoy. And please accept my humblest apologies if I inflicted any lasting damage due to your viewing the Krass Bros. spots.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Well, This Explains Some Of It

When I was a kid growing up just outside of Philly, I loved these commercials. I still do. They're hilarious.

(The hair is definitely typical of the area in the eighties!)

Click 'em if you dare!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Back From Retreat With Goldfish Emergencies

My writing retreat was awesome. The new place is fantastic. Getting together with my writers group for three consecutive days was absolutely phenomenal. Three days of writing and eating and laughing and eating and writing and laughing some more. Though, the fifteen fire trucks that came the first night for the industrial dryer fire was not so fun.

I was able to complete my writing goal and talk to friends. It always astounds me how amazing it feels to be with like-minded insane people. There's quite a comfort in that.

So whilst I was away, The Man had a good time with the urchins. On Friday night, they attended the eldest urchin's school May Fair. And yes, carny goldfish were obtained. Over a hundred dollars later to outfit the two dollar slimy things, and one has the gall to up and die last night.

Our neighbors, wonderful people that they are, didn't blast my head off with a shotgun when I knocked on their door at 10:30 at night to ask for a bucket of water. Seems our water is too hard and has raised the ph of the tank to intolerable limits. They were all asleep, but her father-in-law was still up. So here I come, tromping through the rain, up to the back door in my pajamas, garden clogs and a rain poncho to ask for a bucket of water because they have a water treatment system installed.

As I'm filling said bucket, he proceeds to give me the down-and-dirty-nitty-gritty of her side of the family. He must have spilled every family secret they had in the time it took to fill up a bucket. Apparently I have one of those faces. You know the one, the "let me tell you every embarrassing thing that's ever happened to our family now that I've known you for 45 seconds" face.

Yeah. That one.

It was all, this daughter died in a car crash and we buried her on her graduation day, and this son-in-law cheated on this daughter and ran off to Kentucky, and I had my gallbladder out and the little wife had her lady parts removed. And the whole time I nodded and made concerned noises at the appropriate times, all the while thinking - For the love of all things holy will you fill faster!!

And after all that I endured, the little fish bastard went and died anyway.

So then there was the morning after fall-out with the urchins. They have been so excited about the fish. Everyone within a sixty mile blast radius has heard about getting these fish. I cringe every time I take them to the store because each and every unsuspecting clerk gets to hear the tale as they scan our items at a faster and faster rate of speed.

So the dang thing died. There was much gnashing of teeth and renting of garments that morning. I was severely chastised by the oldest urchin for its impromptu burial at sea (I now know how Obama feels). Explicit instructions were given on how I must find a mini coffin to lay the fish to rest in as well as schedule a family viewing instead of a watery burial in an undisclosed location.

And I know these little cretins disguised as harmless fish are in league with the sea monkeys. Their tank has clouded up in under an hour. You know what this means. The sea monkeys have already infiltrated. Mark my words.

The Man just shakes his head and adds chemicals. But I know. It's a portent of watery sea monkey doom if ever I saw one.

So, if you haven't already guessed, this post, which I began at eight a.m. and am finishing now at 9:15 p.m. is the only writing I've gotten done since getting home from retreat.

Ahh, retreat. It seems like a distant memory. *sigh* Well, there's always next year.

How was your weekend?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I've Begun My Overpacking

Sing with me!! It's the most wonderful time of the year!

No, not Christmas. Or back to school.

It's time for my writer group's annual writing retreat! We have a new venue this year in a galaxy far, far away. Okay, it's Pittsburgh. (But really, same thing as far as I'm concerned.) And therefore, I have no idea what to pack. Will it be cold or warm? (Tauntuan or Hoth?) Will I want comfy sweat pants or get-down-to-business jeans? Will the weather be nice enough to go write outside? Will I need a sweater? Will there be Sand People to battle? The possibilities are endless.

One thing is out of the over-packing equation, though. We won't be going out for drinks, so I won't need to pack anything for that. But, that outing was replaced by an inning. A pajama clad cocktail hour. If only I had Hugh-Hefner-like pj's, I would rock that thing. But alas, I have flannel.

But the wardrobe is not the sing-along-with-me-roof-bustin' exciting part. I get to go for three days and just


Yes, you read me correctly. Write. It's an all meals provided, no urchin taxiing, sea monkey battle-free zone. All I have to do is show up and write my little heart out. And paint my nails. (That's usually my major goal of the weekend, anything over and above that is gravy.)

So, any big plans coming up for you? Have you ever gone on a retreat? Do you suffer from the same over-packing affliction as I do? Tell all. Operators are standing by to answer your comments. Thanks, and have a nice day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

To The Roller Derby!

I may be taking my next field trip tonight. Where to? Why, the roller derby, of course.

The Harrisburg Area Roller Derby (or H.A.R.D.) is having their recruitment night this evening.

Now who to try out for? The Nuclear Knockouts? The Fallout Femmes? I think I may be leaning towards the Atomic City Rollergirls. Mainly because their colors match my motorcycle.

Roller derby - not to be confused with Rollerball, which used motorcycles, so you know I had to be interested in that too.

I have to admit, I didn't know much about roller derby before a few days ago. So, what was an ill-informed twenty-first century gnome to do? Duh. Wikipedia! (You thought it'd be a trick question, didn't you?) Anyway, here's what wiki has to say:

Contemporary roller derby is an American-invented contact sport with roots in sports entertainment. The game is based on formation roller skating around an oval track by two teams. Points are scored when the designated scoring player (the "jammer") of a given team laps members of the opposing team;[1] hence offense and defense typically occur simultaneously.

So the jammer gets flung forward around the track, trying to get past the opposing team as they block and try to get their jammer past first.

This is definitely a full contact sport.

These gals have spunk, style and stamina. What's not to like? I just hope they'll give me a tryout, even though I'm only three foot nine (with the pointy hat).

And besides . . .

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

It's just not Easter without Peeps. And they're made right here in PA! Enjoy!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Megan Hart Precious and Fragile Things Author Interview

Today I'm welcoming Megan Hart to Tongue In Cheek. She's a multi published national best selling author and more fun than a bucket full of sea monkeys. She's here to talk about her newest release Precious and Fragile Things.

Author Bio:

I was born and I lived a while, then I did some stuff. Now I mostly write books and things.

Thanks for agreeing to answer some interview questions about yourself and your new book.

You’re welcome!

So, what is your new book about?

My latest novel is called Precious and Fragile Things.

He’s not about to let her leave.
And she cannot stay.
Gilly Soloman has been reduced to a mothering machine, taking care of everyone and everything except herself. But the machine has broken down. Burnt out by the endless days of crying children and menial tasks, and exhausted from always putting herself last, Gilly doesn’t immediately consider the consequences when she’s carjacked. With a knife to her throat, her first thought is that she’ll finally get some rest. Someone can save her for a change.

But salvation isn’t so forthcoming. Stranded in a remote, snowbound cabin with this stranger, hours turn to days, days into weeks. As time forges a fragile bond between them, she learns her captor is not the lunatic she first believed, but a human being whose wasted life has been shaped by secrets and tragedy. Yet even as their connection begins to foster trust, Gilly knows she must never forget he’s still a man teetering on the edge. One who just might take her with him.

Can you share an interesting behind the scenes tidbit about your latest story?

There’s a scene in the beginning of the book in which the heroine throws her kids out the car window in order to protect them. I wanted to be sure it worked the way I wrote it, so I...threw my kids out the car window. (Someone was there to catch them, but it can be done just the way I wrote it!)

What is your favorite part of the story writing process?

Being finished!

Writing can be such an isolated enterprise. Yet, I’m sure there are people who have helped or guided or inspired you along the way to becoming a published author. Could you tell us about one of them and how they helped you?

I have to give credit to Susan Gourley, who I met at the first writing conference I ever attended. She introduced me to Central PA Romance Writers, and was my first crit partner. I learned so much working with her!

Now for the S.A.T. portion of the interview:

Fill in the blank –
If I were a villain, I would have __________________ for minions to deliver my wrath because _______________________. (And remember, sea monkeys are already spoken for. Mostly)

mutant centipedes - because I dreamed about them last night and my skin’s still crawling!

Sea Monkeys are to _______________ as zombie stinkbugs are to _______________.

Peanut butter

Please tell us where we can find out more about you and where we can buy your books.

Thanks again for stopping in!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The 'Possum Queen Low Down

I'm over at Susan Gourley's blog giving the low down on all things Possum Queen. Go on over and check it out!

If you missed the original postings here at Tongue In Cheek, here they are in all their possumy glory.

As The New Reigning 'Possum Queen . . .

Roast 'Possum Recipe

Thanksgiving 'Possum Leftovers

Delinquent 'Possum Queen

Diversified Possum Uses

In other news, I'll be having another author interview on Friday. The wonderful Megan Hart will be here answering questions about her writing and her latest release, Precious and Fragile Things. And yes, she will be answering the sea monkey SAT portion. You don't want to miss that!

Until then, Citizens!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ahh, Zombieland

Whilst at the zombie prom as part of the zombie response unit last month, Misty Simon's husband made me aware of the movie Zombieland. Misty's enthusiastic endorsement was also key in my checking it out.

All I can say is, Yowza- it's awesome. Definitely in my top five all time horror cult classic list. It hasn't bumped Evil Dead off the very top, but it definitely placed in the top five ranking.

I adored Columbus's lists and Tallahassee's quest for the last remaining Twinkies on Earth. Just gory fun with a small side of Bill Murray. You can't go wrong. I have to say, though, that I was annoyed with the cheap plot device to force an all out zombie mowdown at the end. They could have gotten the same thing without making the heroine, who up until then was smart, make the dumbest choice ever and need to be saved. It was cheap, but really, in a horror movie, you come to expect the writer to have the girl become too stupid to live.

In that vein, just think about the obligatory naked-hot-chick-who-just-gets-done-having-sex-getting-whacked-by-the-bad-guy trope. Even Hitchcock used the make-the-woman-be-dumb-at-the-end-so-I-can-have-one-last-scary-scene in The Birds. Click here for the scene

But, shockingly, I digress. Zombieland. It's good stuff.

Speaking of movies to see, I've found one that I must see. The last one I HAD to see was Ninja Assassin. I expected no plot, lots of action and special effects. Pretty much what I got in all its slasher, kungfu goodness. They must have had tankers full of fake blood on set to supply the amount that was used in the film. But now. NOW! There's this -

Oh you can bet your bottom zombie that I will see this in the theater. Plus it has the actor that played Bones in Star Trek 2009. He is fantastic.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Funky Friday

It's Funky Friday, people! Time to get the Funk out. So here for your viewing and listening pleasure are the Ohio Players. (And more importantly, I needed to move Skeletor down. Every time I opened the blog, he'd startle me.)

How about some Hollywood Swingin'?

In other news . . .

I'll be interviewed over at Susan Gourley's blog next Wednesday, giving the full low down on my 'Possum Queen journey as a part of her A-Z challenge.

The weather is getting warmer, and I still haven't gotten out on my motorcycle yet. And people ask what pushes me towards villainy. Silly people.

The weekend is coming! I'm ringing it in with funk and villainous plottings. So you know it's situation normal at Chez Quinn. What are your weekend plans?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

This Is Me Now

Except add laser beams shooting from my eye sockets. And Death Rays blazing from my finger tips.

My Super Villain plans are back on the barby, baby!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Vicky Burkholder - Prime Time Author Interview

Victoria has lived all over the universe. She looks human - for the most part - but when she starts writing about characters being able to move things or flicking fire from their fingertips, or changing the course of rivers, people tend to get a little freaked out. She found the one guy out there in the universe who loves her for who she is. They've been together forever and raised four wonderful (now) adults. She has served on the board of directors for several RWA chapters. Her writing career includes work as a technical writer/editor, a stringer for the local newspaper, and an editor and copy editor for four e-publishers. At various times in her life, she has been a teacher, a secretary, a short-order cook, a computer specialist, a DJ, and a librarian. She currently has books with Captiva Press, Ellora’s Cave, and Draumr Publishing She can be found at or

Thanks for agreeing to answer some interview questions about yourself and your new book.

Thank you for having me.

So, What is your new book about?

PRIME TIME is a futuristic romance that takes place on the moon. In the dark corners of the Lunar habitats, Deena has safety and friends. In the light—danger lurks. To find those responsible for the death of her parents and the disappearance of her friends, she must join those who work in the light—if they’ll let her. After all, they’re Techies. Jake has every advantage of a Techie. Head of an elite security force investigating the Utopia drug, he is certain the pushers are the Porters. He needs to find a way to integrate with those who work in the dark, but Techies aren’t welcome. Deena and Jake must put aside their differences and work together against a common enemy—a threat to both Techies and Porters. Along the way, they discover love doesn’t care where you come from, and evil has a long reach.

Can you share an interesting behind the scenes tidbit about your latest story?

Actually, the most interesting part is that it’s not all that new. It was published once before, but strictly as an ebook, by another publisher. When they closed down, I got my rights back and my new publisher immediately picked it up and put it out both as an ebook and in print. I am so thrilled to have it out as a paperback book that I can actually hold in my hand.

What is your favorite part of the story writing process?

Creating new and exciting worlds. That’s why I love to write fantasy, science fiction and paranormals. I get to create no only the characters, but entire universes. My second favorite part is writing “The End”.

Writing can be such an isolated enterprise. Yet, I’m sure there are people who have helped or guided or inspired you along the way to becoming a published author. Could you tell us about one of them and how they helped you?

To single out one person wouldn’t be fair. I’m going to wimp out and say CPRW – Central Pennsylvania Romance Writers. They encouraged me, helped me critique and edit my stories, held my hand when I needed holding, and kicked my butt when that was needed. They are a great writer’s group and extremely helpful to writers of all levels.

Now for the S.A.T. portion of the interview:

Fill in the blank –
If I were a villain, I would have ___________ for minions to deliver my wrath because ____________. (And remember, sea monkeys are already spoken for. Mostly)

fire breathing flying horses (Pegasus) because they’re my favorite fantasy creature (besides dragons), and I collect Pegasus statues.

Sea Monkeys are to __________ as zombie stinkbugs are to_______________.

kid’s aquariums
zombie response team weapons (hey, whatever ammo works!)

Please tell us where we can find out more about you and where we can buy your books.

At my blog sites: ;

And my books can be purchased through Captiva Press (, Ellora’s Cave (, Draumr Publishing (, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Aarons Books (the small bookstore where I work –

Thanks again for stopping in!
Thank you for having me!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Previet! Roller Skating and Vicky Burkholder

Previet! I was checking out my Blogger stats (which can be very addictive to my inner math geek. Graphs and statistics and oooooh pie charts!) And apparently last week I had more views from Russia than the United States. So, priviet, my new friends! That's my best guess on spelling hello in Russian.

I also had a crazy spike one day on my number of views line graph. Apparently at high noon on March 28th I had seventy-four views. Crazy.

But enough about that. The oldest urchin was invited to a roller skating birthday party. She has never roller skated. She did so for the first time last night. With me.

It's been years since I was queen of the rink. Way back in the eighties, I was a skater. I could do a million laps, then take a break for a Slurpee while playing Centipede in the arcade. Nothing like a video game that's controller is a ball. Sigh, they just don't make 'em like that any more.

So in honor of my misspent youth at the roller rink, I give you - Double Dutch Bus.

Ahhh, good times.

Speaking of good times, tomorrow will be the next author interview! Vicky Burkholder will be here to answer questions about her newest futuristic romance release. Come and check it out and see how she fares on the SAT sea monkey portion of the interview!

Until tomorrow, citizens!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happy Music and Sea Monkeys and Authors-Oh My!!

The Sea Monkeys have begun to warble their war chants from the depths of my bath tub again. And we all know what that means. (If you don't, you may want to check out some back posts over on the right side of the blog. Just pick the Sea Monkey category. It's been a long war.)

They began their germ warfare last week, and I promptly lost my voice. I've been without it ever since. No amount of gargling will bring it back. So, I've decided to turn the tables on them. In addition to my chemical assault on their lair, I've taken a page out of Desert Storm's military tactics. They blasted Van Halen at Sadam's palace at all hours of the night. I'm blasting my happy songs at the Sea Monkeys.

Songs that get me pumped up to kick some sea monkey butt. You know, the ones you wish you could turn the volume up to 11 on the stereo. So turn it up as I blast these water dwelling parasites back to the sewer!

Got My Mojo Working - Muddy Waters
This clip is 7 minutes long, but worth it to watch to the end when Muddy starts dancing with his harmonica player. Priceless!

Long Live Rock - The Who
This is my favorite band. I've seen them in concert four times and loved every experience.

Are You Gonna Be My Girl - Jet

There's lots more where those came from. But I digress.

I wanted to thank Sue Gourley, Misty Simon and Natalie Damschroder for coming over and doing interviews. Go get their awesome books!

I have two more author interviews set up for the coming weeks. Vicky Burkholder, author of fantasy and fantasy romance will be here next week. Then in about two weeks, once she gets back from RT and settled in, Megan Hart, best known for her erotic novels, will be here to run the gauntlet of questions, including the Sea Monkey SAT portion.

But now back to the important part. What happy songs would you blare at a Sea Monkey infestation? I need to diversify my playlist, so leave me suggestions in the comments!

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