Friday, December 28, 2007

I' bo-o-ored with the hol-i-days

Are they over yet?

I really like having the girlies home, because not having to take them to school means not having to get up early, which is nice. But damn am I sick of everything else. Especially all the eating. And nobody being around. It's like a ghost town here in Blogland. No emails. Everyone's busy with their families and stuff, la de freakin da.

Okay, I'm not really that grumpy. But I am ready for the holidays to end. I think part of my grump is that I'm between projects and debating what I want to do next. Well, okay, not entirely. I owe EC a novella and I'm going to start it next week. But that shouldn't take more than two weeks or so and then I need a new project, unless Something Big happens which, let's face it, is not going to happen in a day. (I would make a resolution not to constantly think I suck and be more positive but, c'mon, what fun is that? And really, who wants that? Would anyone come here to read My Big Fat Egotistical Blog? Here's a sample, so you can tell me:

Today I put the finishing touches on what is surely the Next Big Huge Bestseller, which I am convinced agents will fall at my feet to represent. Man, I am constantly amazed by how awesomely skilled I am as a writer, not to mention being such a fabulous and witty person. Seriously. All those famous writers? They have nothing on me. I won't take anything less than a million, though, because I deserve it. Later today I'm going to admire myself in a mirror for a while and then compose a poem dedicated to my everlasting glory, which I will post here for your edifiction. You'll want to come back, as my words are not to be missed, even in iambic pentameter.

See? Sucks, right?)

The actual holiday was pretty good. Seriously, my kids? Awesome. Didn't wake us up until 9 am to open presents, and even then were happy to crawl into bed for a cuddle first. And I got a Mystery Science Theatre DVD box set, yay! Unfortunately it contained two Pod People discs instead of one Pod People and one Cave Dwellers, so it will have to be returned. Even more unfortunately we will probably have to pay Customs duties on it again when it's reshipped. But hey, it's worth it.

Also, the hubs shaved off his facial hair, which made me happy. More fun to kiss now.

What else? Um. I guess that's it, really. See why I want the holidays to end? I have been sitting on my butt watching tv and doing very little else for days now. Plus, my living room is an absolute pigsty what with all the new Little People and Playmobil toys lying around. I swear those little plastic fuckers multiply in the night like bizarre shoemaker's elves. Only instead of making shoes they make more sharp pieces of plastic with which to impale human feet.

Anyway. Now we have the drama of New Year's Eve--always fun here in the UK, where they put on incredibly strange ice-dancing displays and sing depressing hymns at New Year. Seriously, you want to party it up, get somebody in to sing "Amazing Grace". Now THAT is fun. Maybe they'll have someone come in for a rousing rendition of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald or that perennial favorite, Gloomy Sunday. (Maybe they'll get "the English Elvis", Sir Cliff Richard, in to sing it. I love that. "The English Elvis". Yeah, you know who our Elvis is? ELVIS. But that's a different post.)

So there we go. Probably my last rant of the year.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Something about goals and words written and blah blah blah

So what did I accomplish this year?

By conservative estimate I wrote over half a million words on finished projects. Not counting blogs. Most of my words sold. A few I'm still waiting to hear on. One short I'm fairly certain is a no-go but I may revamp it to send elsewhere, as I'm pretty confident that if it doesn't sell it's because the voice was wrong for that particular house/project and not because the story itself sucks (I'm actually quite proud of the story.)

And one set of words I am of course still waiting for a little time to pass so I can do more editing and start subbing, fingers crossed.

I'm hoping 2008 will be a better year for me. Even-numbered years usually are better, don't know why. 2007 wasn't bad, it just wasn't great. Lots of personal stuff going on. Some disappointments and general ennui. Might have been nice to see the sun more than two days in a row throughout the year as well. I love clouds and I love rain but even I got a little sick of it this year, what with the nine solid weeks of rain we got back in June and the total lack of summer. I didn't leave the house without at least a jacket on once all year.

Projects sold this year (not necessarily written this year, but sold):

Demon's Triad (with Anna J. Evans)
Personal Demons
Eighth Wand
Day of the Dead

Black Dragon (with new material and a bunch of stuff edited out)

So, not a bad year. Let's hpe '08 is the year we all finally reach our ultimate goals.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Well...I did promise

I honestly have no idea why I photograph so badly. My features all seem to mush together oddly in pictures. I swear, I look normal in person. Even attractive. I looked very pretty that night. But on film...sigh.

Not much else happening. Gearing up for the holidays. Lots to do, work work work. The kids are both home now for the next 2 weeks--no more school. It's nice because I don't have to get up so early, but sucky because I have to fetch juice and snacks all day for two instead of just one. Oh well.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


My neighbors are vaccuming. And yelling over the noise of the vaccum. At 9:30 pm. On a school night. When they have three small children.

They are the loudest people on the planet, I swear.

I'm trying to watch House, ffs!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Feeling Festive?

I am so not.

I've been looking forward to the holidays this year but now they're here I'm just meh.

The party was good. I was hoping to have pics by now but it looks like they might have to wait. The hubs and I brought our phones to take pics but of course didn't, so we're waiting to get everyone else's in. (I've seen one so far of myself, blurry and from an awkward angle so it looks like my huge rubber face is melting. Won't be sharing that one, sorry.)

But the big thing about the party was, none of the other women dressed up. The men were all in tuxes. The women? Plain dresses. The type you'd wear for a regular night out to dinner. I, in my floor-length, corset-bodiced, crinolined burgundy gown felt rather out of place, and seriously disappointed in my fellow women. No sense of occasion, I guess. If the men are in tuxes it's a formal affair, ladies, not Business Dressy.

I just don't understand why you might not want to dress up, once a year. It really put a damper on the evening, especially when some of the women sneered at me like "Who does she think she is?" Last year a few of us were dressy. This year just me. I'm considering what I want to do for next year, but I hate the idea of letting the Lowest Casual Denominator turn a special occasion into a bland one.

But oh well. The important thing is, I got to have a nice night out with no kids, with my hubby looking all dashing in a tuxedo, and I'd lost enough weight to fit into the dress (fourteen pounds since September, go me!)

Also got a great review (4.5 stars!) for As the Lady Wishes, the Torrid Tarot story Anna J. Evans and I wrote. Suni from Just Erotic Romance Reviews said, in part:

"Torrid Tarot: As the Lady Wishes is by far one of the sexiest novels I've read in a long time... Ms. Evans and Ms. Quinn did a marvelous job of writing an enjoyable erotic tale that I won't forget for a long time to come. A definite must read."

And that's it. My blogging will probably be spotty until after the New Year (here, but spotty), but hopefully I'll be able to visit more.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hairy Men and Testosterone

I'm totally stealing this topic from Veinglory over at EREC, so hopefully she'll forgive me.

See, she did a post about hairy chests. And whether we like hairy chests or not. (My comments is there, I'm just expanding it and making it actually about writing, gasp.)

For years I didn't. Hairy chests=yuck. Perhaps some of this stemmed from a man I saw in high school, when I worked at a movie theatre. He was wearing a tank top and the man was not hairy. The man was furry. Literally. Back and front. It tufted out above the straps of his shirt and over the neckline. Supergross.

But as I age (ech), I realize...hairy chests mean something to me. And maybe they always did.

I want to preface this by saying two things: One, my husband is not a hairy man and is, of course, incredibly handsome and sexy and everything. And two, these are simply my thoughts and theories, and are not meant to reflect on anyone else in any way. I'm not a sociologist, guys, I only have a GED (damned algebra).

I think a hairy chest is aggressively masculine. Hairy men are aggressively masculine. It's why the stubble-y look never really goes out of style. All that body hair denotes something, in the deep ex-cavegirl pure instinct hormonal part of myself. A throwback, maybe. An evolutionary impulse. But a hairy man is a man. One who can win a fistfight and impregnate you at the same time, you know what I mean?

And when I was younger--and remember, this is just me--perhaps all that rampant masculinity was threatening. I saw it as gross because it was part of a scary grown-up world that I wasn't really ready to be a part of, that made me nervous and uncomfortable.

Don't get me wrong. I like a smooth chest as much as the next girl, and I'm certainly not implying that women who don't like hairy chests are immature in some way. I'm just saying what this meant and does mean to me. My physical tastes in men have changed as I aged because what I look for in a man is different now than it was, and I wonder if that isn't the case for a lot of women.

This also got me thinking about characterization, and heroes. Most--okay, pretty much all until now--of my heroes are hairless. I didn't even think about it. I just assumed, basically, that heroes and bare chests go together like Bombay Sapphire and tonic.

But I wonder if by automatically doing that I don't lose out on an opportunity to expand characterization. If hair color and eye color are part of characterization, hairstyle, tattoos, etc...if we use those to show what sort of person the reader is dealing with, why not body hair? What sort of character can we denote simply by adding a hairy chest? Does it make a difference in the way we see him? Would that suit a more emo-type hero, or a beta male?

What do you think?

**Apologies for the late hour. What a day.

***I will not be blogging on Friday, I don't think, because Friday is the Xmas party and I'll be away all day, all night, and into Saturday. But I will hopefully have a photo to post on Monday.

****We're doing a book club at the League of Reluctant Adults blog!! Go vote on which book you'd like to read!

Monday, December 10, 2007

That Jerk Named Santa

But first...

Doing edits now, a first pass to shore up the issues I had, so I can print out a full copy later.

I do love this part, discovering the book isn't as bad as you thought it was when you were writing it.

Of course, that doesn't mean anyone else will think so...

And we had quite the weekend, as I'm sure you can imagine, what with the birthday and the pox. This is just about the first chance I've had today to use both hands on the computer, but I believe the worst is ending. My poor baby's little face and body is covered in spots (although not her legs, oddly), but there seems to be a lot less itching today and her mood is much improved.

We also put up the tree and all our decorations on Saturday, always nice, while watching the Patrick Stewart "A Christmas Carol".

And we have a box set of those old Christmas specials they used to show when we were kids, the old Rankin-Bass ones. Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. (The set also includes an excrebale Frosty sequel, which sucks just a little worse than the original Frosty cartoon sucks.)

I never liked Frosty, to be honest. I remember hitting maybe six or seven before I realized that Frosty was a moron, for one thing. And there are huge plot holes. And the magic hat? Was in fact stolen. The magician didn't throw it away, his rabbit stole it, and the hat blew off its head and floated to the kids. So Frosty, far from being a charming tale for children, is in fact about a snowman of questionable intelligence and a gang of young thieves, plotting to steal someone else's rightful belongings.

And they are aided by Santa. Santa, who when he appears, never even asks the kids how they came by the hat, never even listens to Professor Hinkle when he tries to explain that the hat belongs to him. Instead he tells Hinkle that if he doesn't give up the hat, he'll never get another gift from Santa for the rest of his life. Apparently Santa doesn't even think Hinkle deserves some sort of compensation for the loss of something he needs to earn a living--his magaician's hat.

So, left with a bad tase in our mouths and viewing Santa as some sort of fat, red-suited Fagin, we watched the terrible Frosty Returns--which is too stupid and bland and irritating to even describe--and put in Rudolph.

And once again, came face to face with Santa the dick. Santa the cruel. Santa who sides with the reindeer who shun Rudolph, Santa who doesn't even consider allowing Rudolph to work for him once he sees his red nose. Imagine for a minute just how charitable and good Santa's heart might truthfully be, when he dismisses someone who's a little different without a second thought. He even says it's too bad Rudolph is mildly deformed, because he was a good flyer! Merit means nothing in Santa's world; it's all based on looks. (Don't even get me started on his blatant enforcement of slavery in refusing to even consider allowing an elf to be anything but a toymaker.)

Don't even get me started on my favorite Xmas special, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Now, I genuinely love this one--it was on again last year--but here again. Santa? Big asshole. One person in a town says something nasty about The Fat Man, so he decides nobody in Junctionville deserves a present? And they have to spend huge amounts of taxpayer dollars to build a clock to bribe him to return. Santa apparently believes he is a god who needs be appeased with sacrifice.

And yet, when we were kids, we all thought having this greedy, megalomaniacal mercenery invade our homes was a good thing. Sigh.

Friday, December 07, 2007

A Pox on My House

Faerie has chicken pox.

UGH! My poor baby is covered in spots. And tomorrow is her birthday.

Plus, my MIL is now reconsidering coming down here to watch the girls for the Big Formal Christmas Party next Friday. She's had chicken pox but isn't convinced she's immune. So we're kind of frantic and hoping Faerie gets over it quickly so she isn't contagious anymore by then. Grr!

But...I finished Unholy Ghosts last night. Of course I think the entire ending is a study in suck, but then I would, wouldn't I? We have a final word count of 81,135. A bit short, but I know I have some stuff to add, so I expect it to roll in around 83k.

I'm pleased about one thing, though. This seems to be a pretty clean draft. Obviously it needs editing but at least I've advanced beyond the "write numerous unnecessary scenes" stage. Although only going back and rereading will tell me that for sure.

So it's done. I believe it took 9 weeks total, but in actuality 8 due to kiddie conflicts. I would say now I can relax, but c'mon. We all know I'm going to be editing and thinking obsessively about the book at least a few more weeks.

Super Finished Metrics

Unholy Ghosts

New Words: 4,438
Total wordcount: 81,135
The Good: We all lived, and now we get to do drugs and have sex!
The Bad:Ghost planes, earthquakes, horde of black magicians, superevil entity
The Gross:Worms under baddie’s skin make it move
The rampant drug use:Generic pills
Location: Haunted airport
Downspeech:“ Ain’t a usual kind of night, leastaways.”
I Hate My Work: People are going to think you can’t properly finish a book, because this is so dumb. Way to ruin a great story, lame-o.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Piers Got it Wrong

You all know that I have recommended Piers Anthony's Internet Publishing site in the past, as a good source for writers trying to determine whether or not a publisher is ethical.

I want to say that, although I know some people don't agree, I do still recommend it. I said in my publishing series that you must use your head, and use Piers as one source of many, and that hasn't changed. Smoke doesn't always mean fire, but a LOT of smoke, or certain types of smoke, are still warning signs. I feel and have always felt that we are too often forced to keep quiet and let other writers leap into doom because to go public is to invite a shitstorm, and I think that's wrong (but what do we do, when it's our careers on the line).

Anyway. I still like Piers and still think his site has value.

But he got something very, very wrong in his December update, and I want to correct it here in case any of my readers saw it.

Under the listing for Ellora's Cave, he wrote the following:

"December 2007 update: they will no longer accept historicals, and I am told they are yanking them from their lineup."

This is NOT TRUE.

I have a statement from Ellora's Cave Publisher (and onetime guest here), the lovely and charming Raelene Gorlinsky, which she has kindly given me permission to pass on to you all:

"I assure you this is completely untrue. We continue to accept and publish historicals of all time periods and settings, from sweet traditional Regencies to extremely erotic historical romances. We do, however, reject a vast quantity of historical submissions because the authors clearly failed to do their research and the stories are glaringly lacking in historical accuracy."

In fact, the new EC editors' blog (which is really a great blog, btw) Redlines and Deadlines, just did a post on historicals and historical accuracy on Monday. (And I have a medieval releasing from Cerridwen in February, don't forget!)

I have no idea why someone would report such a thing to Piers, and I have to be honest--I've always thought, from reading his site in the past, that on an issue like this he would take the time to check.

It's disappointing. I wouldn't go so far as to remove him from my list of sources to check, but I wouldn't look to him for submission information, and I am (as I said) disappointed.

Unholy Ghosts

New Words: 4,675
Total wordcount: 76,697
The Good: Mystery solved. Two almost sweet moments interrupted.
The Bad: All hell is breaking loose. Bad guys everywhere. Evil spirits abound.
The Gross: Bad guy gets throat cut, that mutilated body makes another appearance.
The rampant drug use: Gotta do speed to stay alive.
Location: Haunted airport
Downspeech:““Ay, lookie be my ladybird.”
I Hate My Work: Is this actually exciting, or is it too easy and lame?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Addicted to IMDB

Somebody has to stop me. I'm actually finding excuses to look things up on IMDB. And I'm seriously wasting entire afternoons (like, um, this one) just wandering around there. Reading Trivia. Reading the discussion boards. Hopping from one entry to the next, stuffing myself full of useless facts when I should be working. (In my defense, early this morning I scrapped the 2k I wrote last night and rewrote it, so while I haven't advanced my word count past 74k [where it is currently] I have actually worked. But still. That's a pretty weak defense.)

I can't seem to stop. Hubs and I will watch a movie, or a TV show. We'll idly wonder who someone is. I'll leap for the computer...and there I'll stay, long after answering the original (trumped-up) question, reading interesting tidbits about Saffron Burrows (bisexual; who knew?) or the guy who played Carlo in The Godfather (has a crush on Victoria Gotti). Long after the hubs has finally gone to his nightly rest I'm still here, my eyes aching as I obsessively read about old movies, new movies, who's married to who...

In fact, this is a short post because I have IMDB open in another tab, and I'm in the middle of something there, it's very important research I swear, I mean, you never know what might come in handy right? Right? *bites nails, gives unhinged laugh* So I, uh, I have to go now, because, um, the Faerie needs me! Yes she needs me so...tell me about your time wasters and...I'll be back later or something.