Monthly Archives: February 2007

What’s Going on With Me Wednesday…

As something kinda fun, I’m turfing off of something Bam and Shuzluva posted yesterday…enjoy!


What is in your refrigerator right now? On your bedroom floor? On your nightstand? In your garbage can?

In the fridge we’ve got disgustingly healthy stuff…chicken and veggies and fruit…oh, and non-fat milk. (Turning 40 SUCKS!).  On the floor, nada…I’m a “stacker” only when it’s hidden…like in my closet.  On the nightstand…Vicki Pettersson’s The Scent of Shadows and my iPaq (on which I’m *finally* reading Matthew Schoonover’s Warping of the Mind).

Look at your feet. Describe what you see there. Do you wear dress shoes, gym shoes, or none at all? Are you in socks that are ratty and full of holes? Or are you wearing a pair of blue and gold slippers knitted by your grandmother? 

Well, depends…right now, those soft, cushy, “hang around the house” socks.  Tomorrow, with work?  Definitely my 3” black slingbacks, because it’s actually been nice enough to wear a skirt to the dreaded day job!

When you think of your childhood kitchen, what smell does you associate with it? Sauerkraut? Oatmeal cookies? Paint? Why is that smell so resonant for you?

Definitely bacon, fried corn meal and eggs…that was a staple for me growing up.

You are doing intense spring cleaning. What is easy for you to throw out? What is difficult for you to part with? Why?

Stuff I haven’t worn in forever.  I’m a bit of a clothes horse, and every spring and fall I clean out the closet and donate any clothes and shoes I haven’t worn for a bit.  I absolutely CANNOT part with the cards and letters my hubby has given me over the years.  They’re in a keepsake box.  Oh, and it’s hard for me to part with books I adore…I think I’ve bought at least five copies of Robert McCammon’s Swan Song and Linda Howard’s Son of the Morning because I kept loaning them out and never getting them back!

It’s Saturday at noon. What are you doing? If you’re eating breakfast, what exactly do you eat? If you’re stretching out in your backyard to sun, what kind of blanket or towel do you lie on?

Guaranteed…I’m sitting in my fave chair, laptop turned on, and either working on my WIP or an edit or critique while hubby watches some sport with a ball in it.

What is one strong memory that has stuck with you from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?

My mom pulling me up on horseback and then galloping like hell back to the house when a massive thunderstorm was coming.  I think I was about five, and out playing in the alfalfa fields.

You are getting ready for a night out. Where are you going? What do you wear? Who will you be with?

Huh?  What’s that???  LOL.  Actually, if we did, it would either be to Costello’s or Panevino, two local eateries.  For places like that we get gussied up a bit, and enjoy too much good wine *g*.  And of course I’d be with my hubby!

TABT…The Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts

The Circle Trilogy

Nora Roberts

(Morrigan’s Cross, Dance of the Gods, Valley of Silence)

Rather than attack these bad boys one at a time, I’m gonna give it to you all at once *g*.  While each of these books feature a central coupling, they are all so interconnected I wouldn’t advise reading them as stand-alones, because you’d simply miss too much good stuff!  The concept is this:  The vampire Lilith (who’s basically the biggest, baddest bitch around) is bent on taking over not only this world, but the others beyond our comprehension.  Because of that, the Goddess Morrigan has enlisted six to form a circle that will defeat Lillith and her vampire minions…or not.

Morrigan’s Cross opens the tale by introducing our cast of characters…Hoyt, the sorcerer, Glenna, the witch, Larkin, the shapeshifter, Blair, the warrior, Cian, the vampire, and Moira, the scholar.  Hoyt is brought 900 years forward through time (to our present day), while Blair and Larkin are pulled through from the mystical land of Gaell.  Cian has simply lived that long *g*.  Morrigan’s Cross is their preparation for the war, their fusing as a team, and the romance between Hoyt and Glenna.  Dance of the Gods is t he story of their continued preparedness, their trip into the land of Gaell, and the romance of Larkin and Blair.  And finally, Valley of Silence gives us the final battle and Cian and Moira’s romance.

Now that was a very neat little summary that doesn’t even begin to do this series justice.  The characters, from Hoyt and his brother Cian (oh, did I forget to mention that *g*) to the Gaellites Larkin and Moira, to our modern-day chicas Blair and Glenna, are all exceedingly well-drawn and poignant in their own ways.  The worldbuilding is fabulous, as always, with the timeline and continuity running flawlessly from one story to the next.  Even Lilith and her pet, Lora, are compelling, in their own squicky way.  As always, with anything that Nora writes, you’ll be missing a memorable experience, with characters and a land you won’t soon be able to forget, if you pass this series up!

M/M Monday…various music and influential TV

Music:  I love iTunes.  Let me just say that up front.  I was a late baby to the whole digital music scene, probably because I refuse to download “free” music from places like Napster.  I mean, hello, these artists worked hard to get their music out there, and they deserve to be compensated for it.  But maybe that’s just the “digital” writer in me…I don’t want my words out there for free unless I decide to put them out there as such. 

Anyway, one of the things I love about iTunes is the fact I don’t have to buy a whole album…instead I can listen to a smidge of each song and see if it floats my boat.  It’s hard to get out of the “album” mindset tho…I recently purchased an entire Evanescence album, and now I wish I’d just grabbed the songs I liked.  Why?  Because after awhile, all of the songs on that album start to sound the same.  I love Amy Lee’s voice, and wanted to hook up a soulful female lead as I was working on View.  In the end, I would have been much better served picking the tunes I liked, because now I’m tired of it, and ended up turning to something grittier (Concrete Blonde).   

Yeah, I have “for sure” bands where I’ll pick up anything and everything they do (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Disturbed, Seether and Stone Temple Pilots), but I think I’m going to be a bit more selective this time ‘round.  Now I’m off to buy a few Breaking Benjamin tunes, since their new song on the radio grabs me just as much as their previous stuff has. 

Movie:  Spent the weekend watching soccer–which is as exciting as watching grass grow for me, but August loves it.  Consequently, no movie review this week, but instead, a bit of a question/op-ed piece.   

Last week on the radio, one of the local radio stations was picking apart Jeff Zucker’s (NBC Universal’s president) proclamation that American Idol was the most important TV show ever.  (Keep in mind I’ve only seen one episode, and turned it after about ten minutes…just not my gig.)  They had several great arguments about previous shows that I thought I’d recap here.   The first was I Love Lucy…think about it:  interracial couple, strong female lead (even if she was batty as hell), and it was the first show to “show” the rearing of a child from birth into childhood.  The second was American Bandstand…again, consider how influential Dick Clark was back in the day…how kids and teens would make time in their weekend to see the latest and greatest bands, the ones they’d probably NEVER have a chance to see in person.  It also brought up a ton of performers who might never have had the chance to share their music on a national scale (think That Thing You Do, on a fictionalized front).  The third I have to argue with, just a smidge, because the show still gives me the “extreme cheese” shudders…Miami Vice.  The argument was:  it was the first show “all” about drugs, began its own fashion statement, starred the musical talent it featured (think Glen Frey and Phil Collins), and was a reason to stay home on a Friday night.  All valid arguments, but that one just doesn’t pass my personal litmus test.   

For me, it’d have to be a more modern show, and one which has been overlooked by lots of viewers because it was only on a few seasons…Crime Story.  For me, this show spawned the spate of crime shows that I devour.  Law and Order, CSI, etc…all of them can trace their grittier roots to this show, as well as a kicking soundtrack.  And really, is there anyone cooler than Dennis Farina? 

So, after all is said and done, what would your show be?

Saturday drive by posting…

Just a quick pop in to say hi, and to admit my body is reminding me I’m not as young as I might have thought I was *g*.  See, my workmate Rhonda and I decided to do some speedwalking this last week.  We clocked a bit over two miles each day in about 25 minutes, which is moving pretty good, especially when you consider it was outside, walking on surfaces that ranged from gravel to dead grass.

Anyway, I was sore, but soldiered on.  By the time I got home each night, it was all I could do to pop some dinner on the table and then crash.  As I said above, not as young as I thought I was *g*!  So I figured, no big deal, I’ll just write my quick blog post at work, and then pop it up before I crash.  Yeah, right…

Anyway, we’re gonna take it a smidge easier next week, because both of us were feeling the pain, so PROMISE that I’ll have a full week of posting next week!!


What’s Going on With me Wednesday

Woohooo!  Redemption was released on Monday night!  I’m very excited, and part of it is because I can really concentrate on View for a bit, at least until my edits for Saints come in *g*.  I got 3,000 words written over the last week, and hurdled past another sticking point to me.  I’ve been angsting over this book, and I don’t angst well…I’m too damned old for it.  You know what the problem was?  Not enough action…lots of things were “happening” to my heroine, and it worked up until the point I got stuck.  What I needed to do was have her take control of her situation, and as soon as I let her do that, everything just flowed.  I’m over 52K now, and fully expect to be able to pump out my 7K a week by next Wednesday, if not a bunch more (more in tune with 15K, I’m thinking). 

As a total aside, August and I spent the most amusing Monday watching an Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations marathon.  I absolutely adore this guy…he’s definitely the kind of dude I could sit down and have a beer (or six) with, all the while eating at non-franchise places.  He has a wicked sense of humor and no-nonsense way of looking at the world that I totally empathize with.  I would be in my happy place if he and Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs got together to do a show of some kind!

TABT…The Smoke Thief, Shana Abe

Dubbed the Smoke Thief for a series of daring jewel thefts, Clarissa Rue Hawthorne didn’t expect the drakon leader himself to come to
London dangling the tribe’s most valuable jewel as bait: the Langford Diamond.  But Christoff, the charismatic Marquess of Langford, had to catch Clarissa before anyone else did—or risk exposing the entire clan to the world of ordinary mortals.  He never expected that the outcast Halfling he pursued would have a proposition of her own to save the drakon—a proposition so dangerous, so tempting, that Christoff will find it impossible to resist: to join forces with her.
 I’d been waiting to read this book for what seemed like forever, so when it came out in mass market, I snaked it!  Complex, with a fabulous hero and heroine, this story is dark, moody and sensual.  The presentation of the shapeshifting aspect was smooth and well done, with a different take on the traditional dragon.  This book reminded me, in style and wording, of older historicals; by that I mean that it’s wordy and a smidge purple, but that’s not a bad thing!  That usage brings you more into the scene, the feel of the book, than some other historicals I’ve read, that basically sound like 21st century folks in historical clothes.  If you enjoy historicals, but are looking for something “more”, then definitely pick this one up…you won’t be disappointed!

Movie/Music Monday…The Violent Femmes and Grosse Point Blank

Before we get started today, I have a personal rant…and this is probably just because I’m getting old and cranky, but since when did The Violent Femmes become so mainstream that their music is hawking freakin’ burgers at Wendy’s?  I shit you not, I was watching TV with August last night, and as the commercial is touting it’s new something-or-other burger, Blister in the Sun is playing in the background!  I have to tell you, it TOTALLY offends my not-so-delicate sensibilities to hear one of the best alternative/punk riffs from the eighties on a commercial.  Sigh.  Okay, rant officially over.  But along those lines, today’s movie post ties in nicely *g*.

MusicViolent Femmes (1982)…  The Femmes are one of those iconic bands that it does my heart good to hear.  Keep in mind that I was in high school when their debut album came out, and even though I was a good country girl *g*, I immediately fell in love with their sound and lyrics (as I’m sure many a disaffected teen did).  Never mind that the power of this album is still evident…Blister in the Sun was one of the primary songs for the movie Grosse Pointe Blank (see below), and was recently used as the theme song for the A&E show Psych (which I totally approve of, BTW, because it actually fits).  While Blister in the Sun and Kiss Off are the most recognizable songs, us old fogies remember Gone Daddy Gone (yeah, the Gnarles Barkley cover).  My fave on this album (besides Blister) has got to be Ugly.  The Femmes undeniably influenced a bunch of bands, most notably Weezer (whom I also adore), when it comes to infectious riffs, and just plain fun music.  Maybe it’s because when this album came out, the artists themselves were still in high school (and damn, wouldn’t you like THAT kind of track record?), but their lyrics ring true, and the beat just can’t be missed!

MovieGrosse Pointe Blank… How can you possibly go wrong with a movie that features John Cusak as a hit man, his sister Joan as his able assistant, Dan Akroyd as his maniacal competition, Jeremy Piven as his old high school chum and Minnie Driver as the long-lost flame?  I mean, c’mon folks…how many “romantic” movies have an unrepentant hit man as their main character?  Just the thought of it makes me smile.  So the premise is this…Martin Blank (John Cusak) heads home to his hometown of
Grosse Pointe, Michigan for his ten-year high school reunion.  He’s getting out of the biz (after becoming quite wealthy), and this is his way of reconnecting with the “real” world.  He’s agreed to take one last job (and I won’t spoil who the hit is…it’s too delicious), and attend the reunion as an extra bennie.  While he begins to romance the girl he left standing in her living room for the prom (he disappeared to join the Army), he has to contend with Akroyd’s character, who wants to unionize the world of contract killers, and at the same time foil a hit on himself, for a job gone sour in the recent past.  This is a freakin’ hysterical movie, only made more amusing, and somehow more poignant, by the balance of high school remembrances and out-and-out violence.  There are so many “wow” moments in this movie, but the two that strike me the most are the moment when, after helping Martin dispose of a body, Piven’s character takes a deep swing of his drink, extends his hand to Martin and says, “Hi, I’m Paul, and you are?” AND when Martin explains the moment of his revelation that this isn’t want he wants to do with his life any more.  This isn’t one of those movies where you sit back at the end and say “well, that was a 90-minute time waster.”  I’ll bet, if you watch this, you’ll buy the DVD, just like I did.

Freaky Location Friday…Where the Hell is Matt?

I feel like being a lazy-ass today when it comes to posting (sorry!), but I think you’ll probly like this even more than my usual fare…check it out!

 ‘Til Monday, all!

Thursday Blog Recommendation…Magical Musings

Have I got a dilly for ya this week!  Let me introduce you to Magical Musings, if you haven’t already been drawn there by their insidious coolness, that is!

This blog, like lots of the ones I visit, is about writing…but it’s so much more!  These chicks talk about everything from what’s going on in their lives to the writing existence to everything in between.  Oh yeah, and they throw in a book review now and again…kinda like I do…only something the dig.

I got turned onto this by my bud Liz Kreger (go Liz, baby…can’t wait to see your cover when it’s ready!!), whom I met years ago at a writing conference and hang with whenever possible *g*.

If you want to be amused, entertained, and learn all kinds of cool shit about writing, swing by and check these chickies out!

Word count and general stuff

Well, I’m happy to say that I popped out over 2000 words this week, which is obviously scads below my lowball target of 7K per week, but at least I’m writing again!  I *think* I got past the block that was killing me (thanks muchly to PG Forte, my crit bud from heaven/hell…depending on which part of her suggestions I’m reading *g*).  I’m hoping to really settle in this weekend and get at least 5K written.  Seems like when I can get a big chunk out of the way, that seems to make it flow better.

In my defense, I’m working on a VERY complicated edit for Liquid Silver right now, and am almost done judging entries for three different contests.  For some reason, the ones I volunteer for all seem to pop up in the Jan/Feb timeline.

Right now I’m reading the Madonna Key series, and I’m crying a little…Bombshell went under, and View is freakin PERFECT for that line.  Sigh.  Guess I’ll have to see how it shakes out…rumor has it HQ is going to be starting a suspensy line, and maybe I can plug in there.  All I know is that View DEFINITELY isn’t Nocturne.

OOOH, and I finally got my copy of RT today.  I mean, geesh, can you make a girl wait in suspense any longer?  LOL.  Anyway, it was awesome cool that Baptism by Fire got a mention as one of the best Paranormal/Sci Fi books of 2006.  Does my ego good, even if it’s not stoking my imagination on Sea of Dreams…sigh.

Well, I guess that’s it for today…see y’all tomorrow with another fun Blog recommendation!