Monthly Archives: March 2008

Movie/Music Monday…American History X

 American History X (1998)  This is one of my favorite movies of all time, partly because the acting is superb, but mostly because it’s all-too-easy to see the events unfolding in this movie happening.  The subject of race is front and center in this movie, and nothing about it is easy or even palatable to watch.  But it’s real.  We watch Derek’s (played to perfection by Ed Norton) slow, insidious march toward the concept of “white is right” from the time he’s a teen.  It’s nothing overt, just offhand comments made by a father he respects and adores, but those small comments have the power to change an entire community’s fate.  We watch as Derek becomes the poster boy for the local white supremacist movement after a singular tragedy.  When he’s sent to prison after committing a particularly brutal murder, we see his slow and gradual journey from being a “white” man to simply being a good man.  The end is truly heartrending…not something that’ll make you feel good when the credits roll, but will make you think long and hard about your beliefs and your perception of the world around you.

Excellent secondary characters flesh this movie out…Avery Brooks as the teacher who really tries to help his students and his community; Edward Furlong as Derek’s younger brother Danny, who is following too closely in his footsteps; Guy Torry as Derek’s prison mate Lamont, and the man who begins to make him see that the color of one’s skin really means nothing, it’s what’s in your heart; and Stacy Keach as Cameron, the passive aggressive leader of Derek’s secondary “family”.

Interspersed with chilling flashbacks that give the characters their motivation, I firmly believe this film has the power to change perception when it comes to race…on both sides of the color barrier.  Much as I believe Jodi Foster’s role in The Accused did when dealing with what rape really means.

Neither of these movies is pretty, and neither looks at the world through rose-colored glasses, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.  If you want to watch a movie that’s timely, even though it’s a decade old, then watch this one, if for no other reason than to make yourself reconsider the people you walk beside each and every day.

On a personal note, perhaps one of the reasons this movie struck home for me so much is that I grew up in a community that was very “white”, and with teenagers not so different from Derek’s character, at least in viewpoint (not in violence).  Naysayers will state that the white supremacist ideals and personalities portrayed in this movie are few and far between.  I really, really wish I could agree with them.

Rogue by Rachel Vincent

Well Damn!!!  I was totally remiss in not outing another friend of mine, Rachel Vincent, yesterday.  I SWEAR, I thought her book was coming out NEXT Tuesday (grrr).  Soooo, with no further ado *g*…here’s the freakin’ awesome cover of ROGUE!!  I was saving my pennies to pick this and Jordan’s up next week in one fell swoop, but methinks I’ll be hitting Hastings this weekend as a birthday present to me!!

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I know that better than most. Since rejoining the Pride, I’ve made big decisions and even bigger mistakes: the kind paid for with innocent lives. As the first and only female enforcer, I have plenty to prove to my father, the Pride and myself. And with murdered toms turning up in our territory, I’m working harder than ever, though I always find the energy for a little after-hours recreation with Marc, my partner both on and off duty.

But not all my mistakes are behind me. We’re beginning to suspect that the dead are connected to a rash of missing human women and that they can all be laid at my feet—two or four, take your pick. And one horrible indiscretion may yet cost me more than I can bear.…

No One Heard Her Scream by Jordan Dane Releases Today!

Today is very exciting for me, because my friend Jordan Dane’s book releases today, baby!  Jordan’s books are pulse-pounding romantic suspense, and I’m soooo damned happy for her! 

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Check this bad boy out today!!!

So I’m stealing this from Jill Monroe’s Blog…

And she stole it from someone else’s *g*.  It’s my birthday this month (no I’m not saying which day, OR how old….creaking…ancient I am).  Anyway, I plugged the date in and got this…pretty freakin’ scary if you know me… Oh, and the last bit?  Guess when August’s birthday is??  LOL…

  

You are a spiritual soul – a person who tries to find meaning in everything.
You spend a good amount of time meditating, trying to figure out life.
Helping others is also important to you. You enjoy social activities with that goal.
You are very generous and giving. Yet you expect very little in return.
Your strength: Getting along with anyone and everyoneYour weakness: Needing a good amount of downtime to rechargeYour power color: Cobalt blue

Your power symbol: Dove

Your power month: September

The Joys of Spring Break and a friend’s news!!

So one of my bestest writing buds has great news!!  Rinda got an agent (and a freakin’ wicked awesome one at that)!!  Yeah, Rinda!!

On my end, I took Wednesday and Thursday off to sit down and polish View to a Kill one last time before I sent it in on request to Harlequin and an agent.  I’m almost done now, and in the process, have lengthened it by almost 3,000 words…obviously I needed the distance since it was written *g*!

One thing I discovered in last week’s mini-con is that the old word count rules have been tossed, at least in some cases…you know the ones I’m talking about…25 lines per page, double spaced, Courier.  Now the 25 lines per page and the double spacing are still there, but not so much on the font.  Both the ladies I spoke with are all about using Times New Roman, which significantly decreases your “word count” when it comes to computing it in that method… OR, they said to just use the actual word count function in Word…

By that I mean that View, using the old way, stood at 88K.  Now it’s significantly less using TNR (I haven’t computed it recently, and won’t until I’m done), but the computer count is at 87K, and the “old” way is at 95K…dontcha just love the vagarities of this biz *g*???

Well, now I’m off to work (blech), but if it’s as dead as I expect, then I’ll work a half-day, come back and play with the hubby in the back yard getting ready for the real arrival of spring…today it’s supposed to be gorgeous, and the tomorrow, typical Oklahoma weather slinks in…rain.  Sigh…

Have a happy Easter, y’all!!

Working on View to a Kill….

I took two days off this week (today and tomorrow) because the office is dead with everyone gone on Spring Break.  My express purpose in life is to re-read View and re-insert all the punches I pulled when I went through and cleaned it up.

Why?  Because my RWA chapter had a mini-conference with an agent and editor this last weekend, and that was one of the big things that I gleaned from them…DON’T pull any punches…  Since I have a request from both the agent and the editor for View to a Kill, I’m going to do my damndest to make sure Sara (the first-person narrator) comes through like I meant her to originally.

In the past I’ve been accused (during the contest circuit) of writing characters who are a bit unsympathetic, at least in the habits they choose.  By that I mean they smoke, they drink, and they usually have less-than-Emily-Post language traits.  Okay, anti-Emily-Post language traits *g*.  But you know what?  Those are the kind of people I’m around every day…less-than-perfect women who live life to its fullest, because tomorrow they might be deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, or someplace we haven’t even heard of yet.

Part of me has to wonder why it’s okay for our romance heroes to do those kind of things, but not the heroines.  Seriously, I’m not writing for an inspirational line, or even series, so why is it that a strong, not-so-perfect heroine is a bad thing?

I think with the emergence of the now-defunct Harlequin Bombshell line and the surging popularity of urban fantasy, heroines like mine may finally have a place beyond small press.  One can only hope!

TABT…Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh

 Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father.  As a young boy without the bonds of Pack, he tried to stifle his animal nature.  He failed…and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man, and lost his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath.  Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead.  Talin McKade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror.  Now a new nightmare stalks her-the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead.  Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the darkest secret in her heart and returns to ask the help of the strongest man she knows…  Clay lost Talin once.  He will not let her go again and hungers to possess her with a clawing need born of the leopard within.  As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past…or lose everything that ever mattered.

Singh continues blazing a trail through the bestseller lists with Mine to Possess, and with good reason.  Clay and Talin’s story is ultra-hot.  The conflict between them is heartwrenchingly valid…not something Singh cooked up to keep them at odds.  The continuing story of the clash between the changelings and the Psy is furthered in this book.  While a new reader could follow this story without having read the beginning books, I’d highly recommend it to fully appreciate the complexities of the world Singh has built.  Grab this book while you can!!!!

M/M Monday…Family Guy

 Well, it’s glorious Monday (blech) and time for a media-type review.  I thought I’d talk about another of my guilty pleasures… Family Guy.  Yes, I know it’s crass, over the top and pretty much vulgar as hell, but even as I cringe I laugh.  Kind of like BASEketball.  You laugh because you’re so horrified J.

With Family Guy, my fascination is with Brian and Stewie.  I could pretty much do without the rest of the family…to me they’re the background for the main event.  Hell, to me the wheelchair-bound cop, Joe (voiced to perfection by Patrick Wharburton) is more interesting than the rest of the Griffin family.  Same with Cleveland (the slow talking token black guy who used to be an auctioneer) and Quagmire (the so-over-the-top Don Juan it’s tragic). 

Okay, back to Brian and Stewie.  What other show could feature a martini-swilling dog and an acerbic, British-accented baby, and get away with it?  If you visit the site (http://www.familyguy.com/) you can watch clips, and one of the absolute funniest is their send-up of Al Qaeda.  Seriously funny stuff (if you’re as twisted as I am, that is).  Nothing is sacred with this show, so like I said, you cringe even as you laugh.

If you haven’t watched Family Guy yet but want to, just make sure you check your moral compass at the door and get ready to laugh-and then glance over your shoulder to make sure no one saw you do it!

Publisher’s Weekly Blogger Barbara Vey’s One-Year Anniversary Bash!

Hey all – if you get a chance, swing by Barbara Vey’s One-Year Anniversary Bash (http://www.publishersweekly.com/blog/880000288.html).  She’s giving away tons o’ books, including an author copy of my 29 April paperback release of The Saints of Midland.

Barbara is one of those folks who truly loves to read, and treats both readers AND writers with the (dare I say it??) RESPECT they deserve.  So come on over and check out what’s going on!!

Thirteen books on my TBR shelf (March update)

 Well, it’s that time again, time to revisit my TBR shelf.   

  1. Dead Man Rising, Lillith Saint Crow
  2. Double Vision, Fiona Brand
  3. The Outlaw Demon Wails, Kim Harrison
  4. Daughter of the Blood, Anne Bishop
  5. No Safe Place, JoAnn Ross
  6. Wild, Wicked and Wanton, Jaci Burton
  7. Marked, PC and Kristin Cast
  8. The Falls, Karen Harper
  9. Sugar Daddy, Lisa Kleypas
  10. Walking in Circles Before Laying Down
  11. Angel Falls, Nora Roberts (I’ve been saving this one)
  12. The Killing Hour, Lisa Gardner (ditto above)
  13. Blood Brothers, Nora Roberts (saving this one until the trilogy is complete)