Friday, February 29, 2008

Stoopid Flu, or Super Flu?



You know, I have yet to talk to anyone I know who isn't sick. My son's teacher was sick, and just got better this week; my parents are sick, to the point my father actually took a day off.

Prepare for the apocalypse. Hell hath frozen over.

My voice is mostly back, but so is the fever. Yay. Added to the fact that I made a mistake in my current WIP that requires rethinking some things (no worries, Dusty's helping me figure it out), and it looks like I'm taking another day off.

Dare I say it again?

Yes. Yes, I do.

This sucks.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stoopid Flu, Part Deux

Yesterday I sounded like Roz from Monsters Inc. Today I'm power-whispering. The kids are thinking of declaring it a national holiday: Mom Can't Yell Day.

When I say this sucks.... well, okay, I can't say that. But I can whisper it.

This sucks.

Sigh.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Stoopid Flu and New Release Day at Samhain

Needless to say, the next two days are probably a wash. Yesterday I played around with getting my ARC ready for Lulu; today I just threw my hands up in the air and said, "The heck with it. I sound like Roz from Monsters, Inc. I'm resting today."

Dusty could actually hear my coughing while he was in the basement and I was in the family room. He came upstairs and asked me if I wanted to take Robitussin. I started to say no, but he was already in the medicine cabinet checking the label. I drank it with a smile, because he called my older son into the room to witness my reluctance to "take my medicine". Smart, sneaky bastard.

So, I'm curled up under a blanket, pretending I actually worked today when all I did was order some ARCs from Lulu.com of Wallflower.

On a brighter note, today was release day from Samhain, and one of the books I was waiting for came out. I picked up Untamed Heart by Ally Blue, and while I was at it, Into the Mist by Maya Banks. I've finished Untamed Heart (I'm a fast reader), but haven't started Into the Mist yet.

I liked Untamed Heart, but, sick as I am I don't feel right putting my thoughts down on it. Let me come out of the drug haze, and I'll post my thoughts on it. And I'll do Into the Mist at the same time.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Confessions of a Runway Addict

I adore Project Runway. I sit there on the floor, folding my laundry (no joke), and wondering what the hell the judges are seeing that I'm not. Because usually they pick a winner that leaves me going, "Huh? WTF? But... didn't you see that other outfit?"

Project Runway is the only reality TV that I watch (although, I have to admit, recently I've been feeling myself getting sucked into Make Me A Supermodel... Damn you, BravoTV! I actually voted to save Ben last night). I have watched the reunion show three times now, and I have a few things to say:

1) I'm not entirely sure why everyone thought the reunion show was boring. Admittedly, no wine was spilled, no one was really dissed, and Heidi's bangs made her look like a sheepdog, but, still. I thought it was kinda nice that most, if not all, the designers treated each other with respect. To me, it was refreshing to see (would-be) professionals acting... professional.

2) Ricky. OH, sigh, little Ricky. I actually like Ricky. He's not over the top (design wise, anyway), and it seems to me he's got some learning to do, but looking at the It's Sew Not Over challenge, I think he's got potential. I love love love his red swing dress, and voted for him on that basis alone. Damn thing moved like a dream. It was the only outfit out of all the ones I saw that made me think, "Damn. I want that dress!" I thought putting his hats on his models was a "signature move", something to distinguish himself from the others. (And Christian, honey? Lose. The. Prints! I had to bleach my eyeballs afterwards to remove the stains.)

3) Is it just me, or were Rami and Chris really... um... close? Exactly how much closer did that last challenge bring you, again?

4) Elisa has forever earned the nickname "Inter-Planet Janet" in my mind, and from what I've seen on other blogs I'm so not alone.
All in all, I liked Season Four, and for once think ALL of the designers have the potential to go further in their careers. I look forward to seeing who the judges pick as the winner, since they've managed to surprise me a few times. I'm pretty sure the winner is Christian or Jillian; however, my personal fave had to be Chris. His collection, to me, was dramatic and chic.

Oh, well! Two more weeks and I'll know!

For those of you who are fans of PR, check out this site: Project Rungay. I run to the computer Thursday mornings just to see what TLo had to say about the show. I usually laugh so hard I wind up choking on my morning tea.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled writer's block.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Wallflower Excerpt Posted!

I'm finally done edits on The Wallflower, and I have to say the process was a lot less painful than I thought it would be. And today, I got to pick what excerpt goes up on the Samhain site! Yay!

I've posted an excerpt here on my website; enjoy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Commercial Break...

I'm trying to stick to a schedule of writing a blog post once a week. That day of the week tends to change as I think of what I want to write, but sometimes... it's a stretch.

This week, nothing is coming to me. Not on the two manuscripts I'm working on, and nothing for my blog, either. Totally and completely stumped. Heck, I'm having trouble fixing one phrase that's wrong!

Feh.

So I'm working on the FLE (Final Line Edit) on Wallflower and reading a few ebooks to refresh myself. It happens sometimes, especially after pushing myself so hard to get Sweet Dreams (formerly Beta Testing) out the door before the spring thaw. Add in the fact that I'm working on a collaboration with one person and something for the Menage anthology (I've never done a menage before but I've read enough to think I can do it), and neither has anything to do with werecats...

I think my brain has exploded. I warned you all it would some day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Am SO Not Martha Stewart

I have plans to put some gifts into the Samhain basket for the RT Convention in Pittsburgh this year. For the paranormal gift basket, I'm putting in some jasmine incense and a small incense burner; for the large basket, I'm sending in beautiful sterling silver tiger's eye drop earrings that I lust over and plan on ordering for myself.

So I bought the incense burner today, and it came in a lovely silver tube that I thought, "Gee, I bet I could make something with this!"

snicker snort

Yeah. Right.

So I took off the gluey logo paper that was on the front. Too bad I couldn't get the glue itself off.

Lightbulb!

I have textured cardstock paper from one of my eldest's school projects! Let's wrap it in that!

Okay, that worked. Mostly. It stuck to the tube, I can tell you that!

So I finish wrapping the lovely silver and glue tube with the lovely black paper, and realize two things:

1) The edges of the black paper are stark white, which looks pretty crappy;
2) On the evenness scale of 1-10? I hit about an 8. Slightly off center.

Oops. Crap.

Lightbulb!

I'll unwrap a christmas bow and viola! Instant ribbon!

Unfortunately it looked like it had been attacked by my cats, but hey! I can make it work! Right?

snicker snort

I finished my lovely ribbon edges and realized two things:

1) I could still see the white edges down the long side of the paper, because the ribbon only covered top and bottom;
2) It looks kinda like a pipe bomb.

I can fix (part of) that!

LIGHTBULB!

Black magic marker along that white edge, and viola! It blends.

Unfortunately, I nicked the rest of the paper in three spots. Shiny black magic marker spots on matte black textured paper.

Dusty peeked over my shoulder and said. "What is that? A pipe bomb?" Then Dusty got that LIGHTBULB! look on his face and added, "Why don't you drill a hole in the top and have one of the incense sticks sticking out, then it will really look real!"

Needless to say, the pipe-bomb-incense-thingy will NOT be making an appearance at RT this year...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Wish Me Luck

Remind me to always follow my instincts when it comes to my writing. I had a different idea in mind when I first wrote Beta Testing, but I thought I couldn't work it out due to different things that I had planned for future stories. After discussing it with Dusty (and a false start on the new direction that took me a little bit to shake off) I decided to go back to the original idea after Angie offered me a revise and resubmit.

So I turned in the revised Beta Testing yesterday, only it's not called Beta Testing anymore. It's called Sweet Dreams. I'm hoping the new direction I took with the story works out. If not, then
I can't say I didn't give it my best shot, and I'll be happy.

The new direction didn't fit the old title at all. The new title fits like a glove.

On a lighter note, just after I sent it off, my last beta reader got back to me. He'd found two spelling errors four other people missed.

Sigh. I had to laugh, knowing that Angie will see them and probably sigh, too.

Oops.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I Learned Something New Today

I don't like fruit in my cottage cheese.

*shudder*

My Dog Was Houdini In Another Life

I have a bull terrier mixed breed (i.e., "mutt") named Precious. We got her at the pound when she was about a year and a half old. She was found wandering the road, and someone brought her in. She'd obviously had puppies, and was fond of people. All of the ASPCA people loved her.

She sat in a cage for three months before we got her, because her face looks too much like a pit bull's.

She's sweet, friendly, kind, allows my kids to climb all over her and hug her whenever they want. All she does is sigh and look at me like, "Puppies. They're the same no matter the species."







Isn't she sweet?

But, considering what I know Precious is capable of, why was she in the pound for three months? Her escape artist skills are incredible!

We have to keep her on a nice, long leash when she goes into our back yard, or she gets into the neighbor's yard. She'll dig under the fence until the hole is big enough and she gets to go exploring. She actually broke a peice of fence off to get out.

So we put her on the leash. She can almost reach the fence, which is great for chasing squirlies and bunnies, but can't get out.

Or so we thought.


She manages to somehow, without opposable thumbs, unhook the leash from her collar and take off happily into the sunset (which, thank God, usually isn't that far). When she's not somehow removing her leash, she's tying intricate knots in it that requre we crawl under the deck, cursing under our breaths, and wondering how the hell an animal without hands can tie something like that.



Let me show you:

We've managed to solve (we hope!) the leash off the collar thing. Now we have to figure out how to solve the Incredible Knot-Tying Trick she seems to have learned.

How many times did she have to jump over the leash to twist it up like that?

I'm telling you. Houdini.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Why Black?


I've been reading some things on the internet recently about website and blog design, since I do all my own stuff. Specifically, the colors that are used on your websites and blogs, and why you use them. And I started wondering, will people understand why I chose the colors that I did?
I am a paranormal romance writer. It's one of the reasons I chose the orangey-gold eyes as my "icon". Are they wolf's eyes? Cat's eyes? I'm not sure myself, but they fit in with my paradigm, so I'm good with that. But, why the black? I'm not a goth-type writer. I tend more towards a touch of humor, perhaps a little mystery, and relationships where it's okay to laugh in bed with each other. I noticed that some of the writers who put out material similar to mine have lightly colored websites and blogs, with romantic pictures of flowers, men and women, or flowers near/on men and women.
Huh. And I thought, should I change my stuff to be closer to what seems like the norm?
Nope.

Why not? It's simple, really. It has to do with two things.

1) I am a migraine sufferer. I know I've mentioned it before, especially when one hits and knocks me on my ass for a few days, leaving my characters wondering where I've taken myself off to. But because of those migraines I can't work with bright, shiny computer screens. I find that, if I keep things dark on my screen, by the third day of the onset of my migraine I'm able to get back to work. If things were shiny and happy and bright it would take me a lot longer. In fact, in the past I've stupidly assumed that because I didn't get the sharp sensation of shards of glass entering my eyeballs every time I glanced out of a window that I could sit for a few hours and play video games or read on my computer, usually in the white with black lettering that Adobe, MS Reader and .HTML books come in.
I was wrong. So, so wrong. Dare I say it? Painfully wrong.

2) Eye strain. I spend a lot of time at the computer, and for some reason I find bright white pages can trigger said migraines (along with stress; stress is not good). I get headachy within an hour of staring at black and white pages, making it impossible for me to work. Because of that, I have MS Word set to the blue background, white lettering option unless I'm in edits. If it's blue/white then I can't see Angie's comments, which might be why I missed some of the twitchy lips and eyes.
Oops.
I know those are somewhat selfish reasons for why I chose the colors that I did. I've seen a lot of beautiful web sites done in soft, glowing colors that I envy and want for my own. But let's be honest. I design my own website, put up the pictures, edit and update information on a bi-weekly to monthly basis. I will spend a few hours getting it just right, rather than mostly right, because I want you to enjoy what you're seeing without having to worry that I've put up something not quite right or just plain wrong.
And, after a bit more research, I discovered that black may be... well... the new black. Taryn Blackthorne, Linda Winfree, Sherri L. King, Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward... well, you get the picture.
And since I'm not at all fond of the sensation of Godzilla attempting to rip his way out of the top of my skull while I heave in a bucket, black it is.

Favorite Quotes

"I had the right to remain silent, but I didn't have the ability." Ron White

"So let me get this straight. You want me to kill the little guys, kill the big guys, crowd control those I can't, buff the team, debuff the boss, keep myself alive, AND keep you alive, all while waving a stick and dressed in a towel?" - Anonymous Role Playing Gamer

"I think that statue over there is a statement on modern life. The statement is, "Well, shit." - Varric, Dragon Age II

"Why is it all claws and guns? Can't we piss off a fuzzy planet? Still dangerous, but hey. Bunnies." - Joker, Mass Effect

"Last night, I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and thought to myself, "Where the heck is the ceiling?" - Dilbert


"Aim at the high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally you'll hit the bull's-eye of success." - Annie Oakley

"It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly." - Flemeth, aka The Witch of the Wilds, Dragon Age 2

"The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.'” - George Carlin

"I hear there's a wild bridge tournament down the street. And you know Bridge. It's a lot like sex. If you don't have a great partner, you'd better have a good hand." Barry Weiss, Storage Wars

"You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." - Marcus Cole, Babylon 5, "A Late Delivery From Avalon"

"I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Malcolm Reynolds

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

“If you think you can or think you cannot, you are correct.” - Henry Ford