Friday, September 28, 2007

Who Pays?

So reading this article on Gawker got me thinking.

The article, for those who don't want to or don't have time to click and read it, is about "going Dutch" on dates. Specifically the first few dates. And whether it's okay for a man to expect a woman to pay for her own dinner on a first date. And whether women should expect to have their meals paid for. And if it's about men being cheap or women being empowered. Or whatever.

I haven't dated in some time, and when I did...well, frankly, I pretty much never did. Not your typical dinner date, anyway. I'd usually hung around with a guy for some time before we really went out together. Or we'd already kissed, or whatever, and so were dating. Usually we were both so poor that whoever had money would pay. But we were also barely in our twenties and spent most of our available cash on beer.

But even then, if it was a date-type evening, I never considered paying. When my boyfriend would say he wanted us to go out to eat, we both took it for granted he would pay. When we just decided to go out on the spur of the moment we'd go dutch, but a "date"--he paid. (Unless I took him out for his birthday or something.)

All of my heroes in my books pay. For everything. This has a lot to do with them being richer than Croesus, but I admit, it's also because I think the man should pay, at least in the beginning. He's the one doing the inviting*, he's the one doing the seducing, so he pays.

And the way he asks always indicates he's paying, too. Not "Why don't we go out to eat?" but "Let me take you out to dinner" or "Come on, I'll buy you dinner." And my heroines don't argue with that. Sometimes they may think about not turning down a free dinner, but, oddly, power struggles in the relationships of my characters are never financial (I say "oddly" because it's only just occured to me). Not one of my heroines feels she's less independent and strong if she lets the man pay. They make it very clear that he's buying dinner, not her body, (not stridently; the topic is never discussed, it's just clear) and that they expect to be treated and spoken to a certain way and that's that.

Perhaps it's because my heroes, however criminal their other activities may be or no matter how coldly they may order the deaths of their enemies, are gentlemen.

Or perhaps I'm a totally clueless dinosaur and should be shot for betraying womankind.

What do you think?

(*the person who does the inviting should pay. This is the only exception to the "men should pay" rule. But then, I don't believe women should ask men out, either, and the reason is because if a man's not man enough to take a chance and ask you for a date, maybe he's not man enough period. I've asked a few guys out over the course of my life, and it's never worked out. It sets a precedent, I think, where you're the pursuer and he gets to sit back and let you do it. It makes them overconfident.)


I'm over at The Book Bitches guest bitching about Jackie Collins, come on by and say hi! The Bitches are awesome fun, and they did a little interview with me as well (below the first post).

I did an interview at Rachel Carrington's blog about my Publishing series, so check that one out too!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

We Have Nothing to Fear...

...but fiery death at 13,000 feet.

See, I've been gently encouraged by more than one person to attend the Romantic Times convention next year. And I really, really do want to go. There's parties. There's a bar. There's a book signing that's huge and takes place two weeks after Personal Demons will be released. There's a bar. There's lots of writers. I'd get to stay in a hotel room. With a bar.

But I'm terrified of flying. And I hate flying. And this particular journey would require a stopover, which brings my total travel time, from leaving my door to arriving in Pittsburgh, to something like 16 hours. And did I mention I'm afraid to fly?

I do it. I've done it. But the older I get the more scared I get. And intellectually I know it's safe and blah de blah. But I can't help thinking I'll be unlucky. I hate being a person who doesn't do things they want to do because they're afraid, but...really, isn't it a bit reckless, a bit irresponsible, to take such chances, just so I can dress up in fun costumes and drink and sign books, when I have two little girls and a husband who need me?

I am on the horns of a dilemma.

Not to menton the cost, which is not insignificant. $450 for the con itself. £300 for the flight, which translates to about $600. Another $600 or so for the hotel room. Not to mention food and cab fare and souvenirs and regular shopping (in AMERICA!! My Wendy's and Mountain Dew bill alone will probably be staggering). Add another, say, $500 for promo items and stuff I'll need to take with me, plus who knows how much for becomes wearying. And I could spend all that money and end up dead, which is not an appealing prospect.

So I'm thinking. I'll probably keep thinking for the next few months.


--Our good friend, commenter KIS (Kirsten Imma Sael), has made a sale to Samhain.

--Our good friend--who some of you will recall from Miss Snark's place--Sha'el, Princess of Pixies, has sold her Pixie book to Drollerie Press.

--Our good friend, commenter V95, was injured in an accident a few weeks ago. He's okay, but recovery is slow, so spare a thought for him.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Go read it here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Unredeemable Sin?

When I did my post about heroes hitting women, Milady Insanity commented on livejournal that there is in fact a worse crime for a hero to commit than hitting a woman. Rape. Rape is the unredeemable sin.

Or not.

Because as we all know, men have been redeemed from it countless times. The most famous case is of course Luke and Laura from General Hospital back in 1981. I've spent some time hunting but can't find any other examples online, although I know there are, because I remember reading an article about it a few years back that cited more recent cases.

So why is that? Is it because we can believe a man might only rape a woman once, but once he starts hitting, he'll never stop? If the hero hit the heroine because he loved her so much he couldn't help himself, would that be any different?

"Forced seduction" is fairly popular still, as far as I know. Yes, the difference there is that the heroine always consents, even if it's at the last second. And I'll be honest. I don't see anything wrong with it. As I said before, and will keep saying, we sometimes enjoy things in books that would horrify us in real life, because books are safe. We can experience our less savory fantasies vicariously, and I think that's a good thing.

But I also wonder if I personally would be able to get past an actual rape in a book--not a forced seduction, but an out-and-out rape. I don't think so. I just don't think it's a storyline that would work for me. Not having rape in the storyline--again, yet another reason Demon's Triad will likely garner an X rating. The rape in that book is of a man, not of a woman, but it's rape just the same, and there's a particularly twisted reasoning behind it. Boy did we have to be careful writing and editing that scene, especially because of the identity of the rapist (you'll have to read it to find out.) It's a very, very dark book.

But I'll be honest. The scene worked. And we actually discussed writing a sequel where the rapist is redeemed but neither of us really had much of a taste for it. Redeeming the rapist not only from rape but from various other crimes simply didn't hold much appeal. Neither of us thought it was possible to do in one book.

What do you think? Is there any way you'd read a book--a romance, I should specify--in which the hero was a rapist? In which the hero raped the heroine? Or would you throw it across the room? Do you think such a book could even be published today?

And in other news, I had a great time on Saturday with Miss Caitlin Kittredge, who was gracous enough to listen to me drone on while I had her trapped in my car for hours. We drove to Cornwall (STUNNING) and went to the Museum of Witchcraft, which was fascinating and gave me a whole bunch of cool ideas. And now I feel all fired up and excited again, which is great because my enthusiasm has been flagging of late, what with the aborted Caveman attempt and all sorts of little projects on my mind. I'm refreshed again...even if I am having trouble again with my new Caveman tale, which I fear may not have the right voice for EC.

Anyway. That's basically it for the moment. I have some fun stuff for Wednesday. I think it's time we start having fun here again.

And I'll be blogging at the League tomorrow about when things go wrong...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Manic Friday

Oh, what a busy busy morning.

Started off just fine. Then my dress for this year's Christmas party arrived (remember, the big fancy one my husband's work throw every year? I found a faboo dress ON SALE at Fairy Gothmother online. Wheeee! Shiny burgundy silk, the kind that looks black when the light hits it right, I am so, so jazzed. I am also on a serious diet again. I've lost almost three pounds in the last week and a half, so doing well.)

I figured I had just enough time to open the package, but of course once I SAW it, I couldn't resist running upstairs and trying it on--at least the top (it's a two piece.)

Then Princess lost a tooth, good ecause it's been loose for a while.

I was running a little late thanks to the couture oogling and the tooth-hole examining and the convincing Princess it wasn't exactly a good idea to take the tooth to school, because what if she lost it and so couldn't leave it for the tooth fairy, when she suddenly said, "We were supposed to take our little sisters to school for pictures today!"

It's school picture day.

And my children, although (thankfully) clean, look basically like they've just rolled out of bed--Princess's pigtails are uneven, Faerie's hair isn't brushed. I grab the brush and wipes for her little face and haul ass, we were supposed to be there fifteen minutes before!

Then I waited for half an hour to get the picture. (Her school does pictures of kids with their siblings before school, which is nice of them.) Of course, I didn't bring anything to clip Faerie's hair out of her face. Also of course, they while away the waiting time by running around like loons, so by the time out turn comes Faerie is sweaty.

Picture turns out okay. But it's 9:30, and we need to be at Faerie's new preschool at 10:30 for an hour-long "adjustent visit". And I have to take a shower.

Rush home. Call hubs to tell him what lazy and irresponsible parents we are, that we forgot school picture day. Shower. Can't resist trying on skirt for dress. Looovely. Dry hair.

Go to preschool, all goes great! Yay! And it's picture day there too, so Faerie gets hers taken. Photographer loves her, she won't stop posing. Like, head to one side, big smile, shoulder forward posing. It's hysterical. We finally get a straight forward shot, adorable, of course.

Come home. Try on dress again, this time with crinoline. Wheee! Dress does not need hemming with crinoline and heels! I can spend the money I saved on jewelry.

And that's been my morning. And I don't know what I'll make for dinner still.

As far as work goes...last night I decided to scrap my almost-half-finished Caveman story and do something else. I thought the heroine was adorable and the set up cute but it just wasn't working. BUT, I'm waaay excited about the new one, it's already at around 5k, and I expect to have it finished in plenty of time. So out of my 40k words in just over two weeks goal, I have completed, um...about 25k. Not bad. Of course 5k of that is useless, but still.

And the day is flying by. And that's it.

Oh, except, I'm putting together a FAQ for the Stacia Kane site. I know you guys don't like having to do this (judging by the tepid responses it gets) but if you want to ask a question for the site please do! Can't have a FAQ without 'em!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Wow! I got such a lovely response yesterday, and everyone seems to like my little magnets so much! Very exciting, especially since I designed them myself and came up with the catchphrase all on me own.

So, I'm extending the little mini contest. Pimp the League, and specifically me (mentioning how cool and funny I am and especially how you can't wait to get your hot little hands on your very own copy of Personal Demons when it comes out) and you're in with a chance. AND, I'm pretty sure I'll be giving away more than one magnet. Because y'all seriously blew me away with how enthusiastic you were. (Unless you were just faking it, and inside thinking, "She expects us to get excited about a dumb little magnet? WTF? Cheapskate. Guess I'll say something nice, but...sheesh." In which case...ow, that was mean!) a fit of dorky excitement, I created something else. Check this out:

It needs some tweaking--I'd like the image to fill the entire clockface but there doesn't seem to be a way to do that on CafePress--but I'm pleased with it. I think it might be a fun prize giveaway at some point, which is the important thing.

And speaking of the League, Mark Henry is over there today, probably being hysterical, because that's what Mark does (hysterical as in funny, not as in, um, running around flailing his hands and crying like a girlie.) Oh, and the League has an RSS feed now, and it's synidcated on livejournal too, that's here.

What else? The Eighth Wand is on the coming soon page at EC! It's listed as a Tricks or Treats antho story rather than Torrid Tarot, but I'm sure they'll fix it as soon as they're awake over there in the US. Lol, I'm jinxed when it comes to those listings!

There was something else, too, and I don't remember what it was, but it was another updatey kind of thing. What sucks is, as much as it's exciting to have news to share, it's probably not as interesting for you guys who comment (and the hundred or so every day who don't, shame on you). So I guess I'll reserve Mondays for those posts (I'd do Fridays but I don't get as many comments on Fridays.) I don't know what I'll talk about this Friday, but my next big post will be about rape and forced seduction, and the heroes who do those things.

Watched Miller's Crossing again last night. I love that movie so much.

And it's officially fall here--although we didn't really have a summer. The temperatures have already been down in the 50s here, and even lower up north, like, freezing lower. Fall is my favorite season, hands down, I love the warming food, I love the bite in the air, I love the colors, I love it all. And this year hubs is taking Thanksgiving and the day after ff work, so we'll have a proper holiday.

Is it fall where you are? What are you looking forward to about fall?

Oh, and raise your hands everyone who thinks OJ has a snowball's chance of getting out of jail this time. *hands firmly in lap*

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pimp me out, baby!

Yes! My inaugural blog over at the League of Reluctant Adults blog today, on the subject of: Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys, or is funny the Rodney Dangerfield of Speculative Fiction?

And I'm offering a prize, too! My book doesn't come out until April, but I'm still a giver.

It's a magnet!

What does it say? "The Yezer made me do it." What does it mean? The Yezer Ha-Ra is the Hebrew name for that inclination in all of us to do evil, to hate ourselves, to succumb to our desire to sin and create new sins, to give up on life, to dwell on bad memories, etc. In other words, the Yezer Ha-Ra is the Hebrew name for our personal demons.

So don't forget to pimp us out, and be the first to get a magnet! Trust me. As David Ogden Stiers said in Better off Dead, "Everyone's going to have one of these."

So pimp us on your blog and link to my post, and you could be the proud owner of the very first item of Personal Demons merchandise. That's bound to be worth money, folks.

See you over there!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The League of Reluctant Adults is Here!

Five urban fantasy writers who don't take themselves very seriously. Four incredibly talented writers,

Anton Strout
Jill Myles
Ilona Andrews
Mark Henry

And me!

Check our supercool website out here! We'll be blogging every week about all sorts of different topics, and on weekend we might have some cool publishing interviews and nifty things, too.

I'll be blogging on Tuesdays. Hopefully that will hide the drabness of my blogs, because those other four are some seriously funny people.

AND, if you blog about us, or plug us in any way, make sure you let me, or any one of us know--our blog is here. Plug us and be entered to win an ARC of Anton Strout's February release, Dead to Me,, which looks seriously awesome, even if Anton is a Neil Young fan (gak. I just threw up a little bit.)

So come check us out, and please stop by on Tuesdays so I'm not the only one with nobody responding!

And the best part?! I get to play with BOYS!! It's a group with BOYS in it! Yay!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007

What's he wearing under there?

Oh, how I hate writing about men's underwear.

See, here's my problem. I'm just plain wierd.

For some reason, although I know men in the real world wear underwear, and although I don't find anything about men's underwear intrinsically unsexy, I have such a hard time including men's underwear in sex scenes. Or even regular scenes. So I often write heroes who don't wear any.

But that's kind of gross, isn't it? I mean, if you think about it, not only would a man with no underwear be risking all sorts of zipper injuries, but all sorts of, um, fluids and such would get all over his pants.

This is the same reason I rarely write women who don't wear undies. C'mon. We've all seen the trainwreck that is Britney and her love of ungracefully exiting from various automobiles, thus flashing us her stubbly ladyparts. Am I the only one who looks at that and thinks, not only is it just tacky, but...eeew! Her dresses must need some serious cleaning after every wearing.

(Yes, I realize this is a disgusting post. But you know what? I'm just this brave, to tackle the unpleasant little topics.)

The problem with men's underwear is that it's only sexy if it's somewhat prim. A man who wears little tiny undies just seems like kind of an egotistical jerk, really. But neither is it especially appealing in a sex scene to have to talk about lifting the undies up so that, um, they won't catch on anything when they're tugged down. Removing ladies' panties is simple, they slide right off (or are torn off, which is always nice in a book when it's not your own panties, probably expensive and specially purchased, which have inflamed the man to such a point that he needs to destroy them. Sexy in real life, too, believe me, but not as much fun after when you're thinking, "My favorite panties!" or "That's forty bucks down the drain.")

And there are so many lovely ways to describe ladies' panties. (I love the phrase "ladies' panties".) They're scraps of silk and lace, or just plain silky or lacy, or even triangles of silk, or sweetly cotton if you happen to be writing a heroine who likes more basic undies--but cotton panties don't tear easily, be warned. I had a few velvet pairs once, which was fun, and would be fun to write about. Women's panties slide under a man's fingers.

Men's? I dare you to think of a sexy phrase to describe men's underwear. They're utiliatarian. At least, they'd better be, because what kind of manly hero wears silky panties? Even silk boxers feel a little twee for a fully grown man, like he's hiding not only those (under his clothing, see) but some sort of nanny fantasy as well. Men's underwear is cotton. It has a thick elastic waistband. Thick elastic on pretty much anything just isn't sexy. It is not sexy to write about pulling away a thick elastic waistband.

But really, men should wear underwear. Their bits dangle. They need support. And nobody wants to see exact outlines against the fabric when a man sits down. That's just creepy. Not to mention those pesky fluids. And those treacherous zippers.

So what do you guys think?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

And now for something...

Sorry I'm updating so late. I could be all cool and say it's because I didn't want to stymie further comments on the violent hero post (which is partially true--keep commenting if you're interested), but I admit it. I've spent huge chunks of time today trying to work, watching Beauty and the Beast with the Faerie, and obsessively checking for updates about the Led Zeppelin reuinion show, and trying like hell to get onto that damn registration website (still no luck, it's crashed.) The hubs is a HUGE Zephead and I'm a pretty big fan myself, so we're aching to go. Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Also, working a lot. It hit me with terrifying clarity earlier today that to reach my end-of month goal I need to write approximately 40k words between now and September 30. Which will very well turn into more, as I've had a flash of inspiration regarding Demon Inside, which I'm very excited about and may well add another 10-15k to the ms.

See, I'm not really a detailed plotter. As you know, I come up with a plot and then I have some stepieces and there we go. I have a new setpiece to add, which I think will be really cool and set an appropriately creepy tone going into the very creepy finale. Yay!

And what else? I have another taboo post planned, which should be fun. You guys are the best. And I'm terrible. I've been neglecting all of you lately, because if I'm not posting or replying I'm wrestling with either a toddler or a WIP. Give me another couple of weeks. I promise once all this stuff is off my desk I'm taking at least a couple of weeks off, and so will be around more.

Oh, and...

1. Yes, I changed my picture. I think this one actually looks like me, so I'm pleased with a picture of me for the first time in years. Not thrilled, as it isn't perfect, but pleased.

2. In the process of building content for the Stacia Kane site. Anyone interested in having some fun, and coming up with some interview questions for my characters?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Can a hero ever hit a woman?

Any woman?

Is it ever justified?

I should confess something here. The EC novel Anna J. and I wrote, that comes out in January, will most likely garner an X rating in part for this reason--violence against women. Sexual violence against women, specifically (but not limited to, and not rape of a woman.) It's not the only reason, but it is part of it.

When two people get off on violence, on hitting and being hit, is it wrong for them to hit each other?

How about if the woman is only of average physical strength but the man is particularly strong? (This isn't the sitch in the EC book, I'm just thinking out loud here.) Is it worse if, say, your superstrong vampire hero punches a woman, as opposed to your average guy?

How bad does a woman have to be before it's "acceptable" for a man to hit her? Just bitchy? Evil? Really evil? Mutilating puppies evil? I'm not talking about spanking or whipping or any type of ritualized BDSM play. I'm talking about hauling off and punching someone.

See, my immediate response--which I firmly believe is the response of every right-thinking person--is that it's never right. Men should not hit women. Only the most low-down, no-good type of worthless man would hit a woman.

But then the writery part steps in. And, okay, the slightly kinky part too. Maybe there is a situation where he could. Maybe there is a way to make it work. Maybe there's even a way it could be sexy.

Because what is violence but the triumph of emotion over reason? Emotion out of control? And high emotion is sexy. It makes the heart pound, the breath quicken.

The problem is, it's a very, veri fine line to walk. Most people would immediately see the man as lesser. Not a man. Certainly not likeable anymore. Not appealing. And then there's the old belief that when a man hits a woman once, he'll do it again. (Personally, I don't believe it's true 100% of the time. A large proportion, sure. But not 100%.)

This is an awkward thing to even write about, because I certainly don't want to sound like I condone or approve of domestic violence in any way, shape or form. I wouldn't like to be hit, and I don't know that I could ever forgive a man who hit me, or how long if ever it would be before I trusted him again (this is assuming it's my husband, where just walking out and ending it isn't an option.)

But I don't live the kind of lives my characters lead, either. My life isn't full of danger and intrigue and violence anyway. My husband isn't a vampire or a demon or a witch, or anyone for whom violence is a regular part of life. He's just a man. A very appealing one, but a man nonetheless.

Does it make a difference if violence is an accepted behavior in the society which the hero inhabits? Forty years ago, we thought almost nothing of seeing men hit women in movies. The "she slaps him, so he slaps her, then they kiss" scene wasn't uncommon (it wasn't in every movie you saw, but it wasn't uncommon.) I believe James Bond hit a couple of women in his sixties incarnation. I'm pretty sure there are others, too. Cary Grant hit Leslie Caron in Father Goose, and I still adore that movie.

Does it make a difference if she hits him first? If he then justified?

See, I guess part of me thinks it wouldn't bother me that much to read it, if it was done right. Because novels are novels; they're not reality. Much as there are still "forced seduction" novels out there to provide women with (let's be honest) a safe way to experience a rape fantasy (and I'm not saying this is the only reason, but then, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with rape fantasies either. I fantasize about all sorts of things I'd never want to do in real life), is it possible that the use of something like that--and we're talking one hit here, not a crazed beating--might be worth exploring, if only to demonstrate high emotional intensity? To give a bad boy a reason to reform? To give a heroine the upper hand?

What do you guys think?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Am I an emotional cripple?

(Wow, it feels odd to not be blogging about publishing on a Friday, it's been so long! The summer series is over; no more interviews, no more posts. I'm sure I'll keep blogging about it on occsion, we're just not doing it regularly anymore.)

So someone on one of the message boards I'm a member of posted a question the other day, about emotional intensity and sex scenes. The gist of it was, if a man is in a very low, unhappy place emotionally, is it taking advantage of him for the heroine to, ah, take a tip from Marvin Gaye?

I was frankly stunned that this was even an issue. perhaps if the situation had been reversed and the heroine was the one feeling terrible (you see how sexist I am) I *might* have felt a little differently. Maybe. But my response on reading it, and still is, "Huh? But getting laid makes people feel better."

This is a MAN we're talking about here. And it's not like the woman is some total stranger who got him drunk and molested him, she's his romantic interest in the story.

But everyone else seemed to think it would be better to have one or both of them stop things, and wait until they were in a more centered place, which bugged me a little because hey, emotionally traumatized sex = hot sex. I wrote a scene in the PD sequel the other day that, hopefully, will scorch your eyeballs, but without the emotional content--specifically raging, screaming fury--would be rather humdrum. It's not even a particularly long scene (although it's not short). But it allowed my heroine to explore some new depths in herself. It allowed my hero a chance to show how well he knows her and how he feels without actually having to utter any of those potentially embarrassing words he's too scared to say.

Does he take advantage of her in that scene? Well, yeah, I guess he does. He could easily have helped her by talking, or offering her a pillow to hit, or inviting her to go for a job, or even a shoulder to cry on. He didn't have to sneak up and start putting his hands all over her in ways he knows she particularly likes. Maybe a less selfish and oversexed type of man would have done any or all of those things.

But I think it would have omitted so many of the clues buried in the scene. I think it would have made him far too wholesome. He's a guy. He wants to have sex. He thinks, "Hey, she really needs to feel better right now, and I bet some sort of physical activity would help...say! I have an idea!"

Who wants to waste all that good emotional uproar on ice cream, for fuck's sake, and then have sweet, rational sex the next day? When you could have your characters brutally use each other instead? No contest, at least for me. Why have them smile when they could be devouring, why have them be tender when they could be desperate?

No, it's not right for every scene, obviously. But it seemed to me that in worrying about "taking advantage", the writer was losing an opportunity to really strip her characters to the bone. Which in large part is what sex scenes should be about. Yes, it should be hot, and not every scene needs to heal traumas or create new ones--sex for sex's sake doesn't bother me if I like the characters and they're hot together--but a chance like that doesn't come along very often.

Not to mention the fantastic opportunities for conflict represented by sex like that. Imagine that scene, where she's worrying she took advantage (silly, but whatever) and he's afraid he revealed too's the stuff dreams are made of, IMO.

But I admit it makes me wonder if I'm some sort of sociopath, in that taking advantage wasn't even on my radar here.

Monday I want to go more into this, especially relating to that ultimate taboo of taboos--hitting girls.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

All kinds of stuff. And green poo.

This is the cover for my Ellora's Cave "Torrid tarot" series novel, The Eighth Wand, which will be released October 17. Pretty nice, I think. Especially considering the vague description of the tattoo I gave them, the artist did a splendid job.

So. Tanks to all who enjoyed the hubs' guest blog. He was too shy to come back and reply to everyone's comments, but he did read them. And yes, we have talked about writing something together, and I', pushing for it. As soon as I finish even half of the other stuff on my plate.

Rather than being flat-out blocked, I'm currently at that point, on the crest of the hill, where my WIP seems like total mush. The characters don't feel right. The story seems dull. I'm frantically checking and re-checking to make sure I haven't left any plot threads unchecked as we get ready to roll into the climax. It feels like I've been writing this book for years.

And of course, the world is conspiring against me, too. Today is the Princess's first day back at school, which means the Faerie is beside herself with boredom. She's gotten very used to having Big Sis around to play with. And so have I.

Plus the blogosphere decided to go crazy. Publishers are folding, fights are breaking out, plagiarism accusations (which I believe are well-founded) are flying around, along with wild, delusional rants about optioned television shows and furious posts in ALL CAPS.

(BTW, a TMI aside--in the middle of writing this I had to stop and change Faerie's diaper, because she smelled. Her poo was bright green. I'm not exaggerating. It was a bright spring green--actually rather a pretty color. Of course I panicked and googled "green poop". You'd be surprised how much comes up when you Google "green poop". Anyway, turns out it's probably the grape Kool-Aid she's been drinking--my Mom sent us a bunch of packets and the girls have both been guzzling it the last couple of days. So purple Kool-Aid=green poop, as confirmed by several online stories.)

Anyway. All this excitement is good for amusement but not so good when trying to actually write. Add to that a BBQ last weekend here and a day spent trying to recover from said BBQ and you can see why my wordcount has slowed to a crawl.

But I shall push on...

In other news, RWA has added my publisher, Juno Books, to their list of non-vanity, non-subsidy publishers, which means Personal Demons is now eligible to enter the RITA for 2008. I may do that.

I'm also trying to get together a list of independent bookstores--BookSense's list is apparently somewhat out of date. Anybody know of any stores, or where such a list might be available?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Special Guest Blogger: My Husband

So…you’re sitting watching TV and you glance over to your loving wife who has this look of serious concern on her face. She’s been a little quiet and withdrawn since you got home from work tonight. You’ve tried to give her some space wondering if she just had a bad day. But now it’s later in the evening, and things appear to have worsened.

You wonder if it’s the TV show you’re watching. You wonder if it’s the dream you told her about starring the nubile young co-worker (Note: Yes, he actually did tell me about it.) You wonder if it’s the credit card bill that just arrived that gives tell-tale details about just HOW much money you’ve spent on comic books this month. You wonder if it’s the effect all those cream cakes re having on your mid-section.

You wonder…you wonder…

You cautiously move in closer, wondering if maybe she’s found that stack of magazines featuring the Japanese women who like the black PVC and red lollipops that are hidden behind the shoebox in the closet. Maybe she’s spent this week’s entire food budget on Grey Goose and cranberry juice and she’s trying to think of a good way to tell you. Maybe she’s had bad news earlier in the day that she has yet to share with you. Maybe she’s pregnant. Maybe she’s on lithium. Maybe she been carrying on with half of what’s left of Lynyrd Skynyrd and she’s trying again to remember which kid is theirs.

You nervously clear your throat in an effort to catch her attention as her expression has now moved from serious concern to pissed off angst.

But she’s not catching your movements. She didn’t notice the *ahem* and she didn’t notice the *sigh* and now you REALLY start to worry…

Is she trying to find the way to tell you that it really isn’t as big as she said? Is she trying to figure out if that body buried in that field will decompose before the cops find it? Is she remembering that first kiss and how she should have stuck to her guns and commented on the garlic? Is it terminal? Is it divorce? Is it homicidal? Is it clowns?

It’s all or nothing now….her expression has moved to fervent grief. She looks like she could pick up a bat and start swinging in a kill them all, let God sort them out kind of way.

She’s chewing on her lower lip. She’s clenching her teeth. She’s fidgeting in her seat.

Her toes are wriggling. Her ice blue eyes are narrowing.

You look over at the kids, and silently ask them to wish you luck as you break the lock off Pandora’s box and brace yourself for the onslaught.

“Honey,” you say, trying to find the courage and the breath for words, “what’s wrong? You’ve looked off all night. Like something is bothering you?”

She turns her head to look at you. Dead in the eye. She’s showing teeth. She takes a deep breath.

And then,

only then,


“Ohhh….I’m stuck on a f***ing sex scene and I can’t figure it out. I mean, I know where this is going and I know what I want them to do but I…just…can’t….get…it….right.”

“Are you sure?” You ask, not believing what you are hearing.

“Of course,” she says, still smiling. “What did you think it was?”