Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I Got a Rock

Yes, yes, Halloween. Once my favorite holiday. Now basically just another day, as very little is done here to celebrate it. They don't even have the kids wear costumes to school. Depressing.

And I have a headache. Bleh.

I do have some bits of news and stuff, though. First, I sold a vampire novella, Day of the Dead, to EC! I'm really excited about this one, and it is especially appropriate to announce today, as it is set on the evening of Dia de los Muertos. I have managed to combine, in one erotic novella:

Dia de los Muertos in general
voudou rituals (and Baron Samedi)
public sex in a cemetery
grave robbing
a well-preserved corpse ala Medgar Evers
lots of Spanish curse words
and, of course, Starbucks caramel frappucinos.

So I'm pleased, although the story will probably not have a fall release date. :-)

What else? Did I mention I have a headache and am grumpy? I had a whole big post planned but I cannot remember what it was about or what my evil plan was.

Oh, my next EC release, As the Lady Wishes, written with my lovely CP Anna J Evans, comes out in a few weeks and has a cover. Or should I say, Iz on ur book, wearin mah undeez:

You know, since I once had the worst cover ever (and you guys know what I'm talking about), I find I'm much more philosophical about the process now. Which is nice.

And, while I moved past the point in the wip last night, I'm still wondering if anyone knows anything about wells, especially dry ones? If you pour water into a well that's gone dry, how fast does the aquifer absorb that water? I imagine pretty damn fast, which is why I just sent some guys down to tie up and remove the mutilated corpse in the bottom. But, you know, if anyone else has any dieas that would be good. I spent like an hour when I could have been writing, reading alternately dull/kooky websites about wells. (Dull being the gov't sponsored ones, kooky being all those Y2K alarmist sites that are still around. My favorite mentioned the need to drill a well in secret, because your neighbors might report you, but how they'll change their tune after New Year's Eve and be begging you for fresh water, when it's a commodity others will murder for ala the Adam Ant-starrer World Gone Wild. Which, he was actually not bad in if memory serves. Cute butt, too.)

And I guess that's it for now. Happy Halloween/Samhain, everyone!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

If it's Tuesday...

...I must be blogging at the League. This week we're talking about titles here.

Monday, October 29, 2007


So I went to Tesco this morning, and was greeted by huge "Merry Christmas" signs and aisle after aisle of Xmas decorations, food, candies, etc. Yes, since there is no Thanksgiving here to "officially" kick of the season, they start whenever they like. (Actually, the Xmas stuff started appearing last month, but today was the first day they had the aisles set up and the wrapping paper etc.)

See, stores over here run out of shit. REALLY early. You cannot shop last-minute in the UK. There will be nothing left. The first year we were here, since we didn't have our own place until 23 November, we were stuck. We looked online. I found a website that had a great selection of Angelina Ballerina stuff (Princess was way into AB at that time).

It was December 14th. The store was closed until mid-January. So their employees could have a Christmas holiday. Admirable, but, um, stupid and irritating. A TOY store that closes for the entire Xmas season? Ooohkay.

Anyway, here's my point. We've started our shopping here. We've picked up several things for the girls already (of course, Faerie's birthday being December 8 forces us to move fast anyway). And I'm hunting around for myself and the hubs, as well as various Stateside folks who, let's be honest, could buy their own gifts because it's all cheaper and better there anyway. But I digress. (Sorry, I am irritated, because I spent several fruitless hours Saturday night trying to locate anyplace in the UK where I could buy Frye boots online, and came up zeros across the board. Grrr. I want those boots!)

I have come across some gems to share, though. I must own this. In fact, that website is filled with awesome.

Also check out these, which are a little bit of cool I've decided is worth the price.

I'm also looking at gifties for the hubs, which this year will include a pair of cufflinks. One thing I do love here is that men are much more likely to wear cufflinks, and I love them. I think they're so sharp (so much so that all but, I believe, TWO of my heroes [by which I mean that I write] wear them regularly. And one of those has the excuse that he rarely wears shirts, because he is a Fae warrior.) Anyway.

Here's the (sort of) point, which I fear is lost in all this gushy girly drivel. Hubs and I were looking at cuff links in Harrod's. There were many, many there with diamonds or cubics or whatever, which the hubs eschewed. I asked why.

He said, "Men shouldn't sparkle."

And that is why I love him.

I've been tempted to write a pinky ring on one character, but something always held me back, and I think that's what it is. Men shouldn't wear watched with floating diamonds or diamond-encrusted bezels. Men shouldn't wear big rocks. (I will accept, and hubs agrees, a tiny diamond as the "12" on a watch face, or on an otherside unadorned tie pin.) But something about it just feels...showy. Men shouldn't need to draw attention to themselves like that.

(This does not include various items in chunky platinum, titanium, or silver. I love unadorned chains around men's necks--especially the lumpy kind that hold dogtags--and rings are generally fine too. I like jewelry on men, even bracelets if they're thick and plain enough, or if they're spiked black leather. But nothing sparkly. Nothing attention-grabbing. A man's presence should command attention without it.)

And tose are my shopping thoughts for the day.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Oh, all sorts of things

*big sigh*

The awesome Book Bitches reference in a recent post this article in Time about the outing of Dumbledore. Which, yeah, it happened like two weeks ago, so what? I've been busy and in the doldrums. I am now, by virtue of having been repeatedly annoyed over the last day or so, not in the doldrums any longer.

So the gist of the article is, if JK Rowling planned to keep Dumbledore's sexual preference out of the books, she never should have told anyone, because it's shameful that he wasn't allowed to be the Hollywood Montrose of Hogwarts. How dare he not swish about the castle at night dressed in pink tulle? How dare he not, in any conversations with his students, slip the fact of his homosexuality out in conversation? Because nothing is more appropriate in a discussion between Headmaster and student than revelations about buttsecks.

No, no. According to the writer, in denying Dumbledore the chance to turn Hogwarts into Big Gay Albus's Big Gay Wizard School, Rowling has given us a bad gay male role model. And of course he's right, because everyone knows the following facts:

1. The only defining characteristic of a gay man is his gayness. It MUST be always first and foremost in any examination of him, and he must react to all situations by waving his hands in the air and squealing.

2. A dignified gay man is a disgusting and pitiful character, because he has not allowed his inner Judy Garland out to play.

3. The sexuality of teachers can and should be an open subject for discussion among teenagers and preteens. It cannot be kept secret, no matter what sex they go to bed with, because keeping one's bedpartners private is apparently silly when dealing with adolescents.

4. The idea that an elderly gay man may not be actively having sex is terrible.

Whatever. Personally, I don't really care, because the sexuality of the aforesaid elderly man never interested me, just as the sexuality of none of my teachers ever interested me. (Except Mr. Reims, our eighth-grade gym teacher, because he was very handsome and we did wonder if he was gay. He had highlights, you see. And, y'know...Mr. Reims. But rumor also had it he was getting it on with the female gym teacher, whose name escapes me. Anyway.)

You'll notice I've added Tionna Lee Smalls's blog to my blogroll. Go visit her. She is the rockinest.

I'm in German!. Okay, sort of. The book is in English, but it is available on both Amazon Germany and Japan (be warned, the Japanese one doesn't really load well without the Language Pack thing.) But still, hee! I thought that was so cool!

My buddy and fellow Deliciously Naughty Writer Sherrill Quinn has a new EC release, Demon of her Dreams! It's her first EC release aside from a Caveman antho story, so go check it out!

I forgot...our untitled wedding story at League of Reluctant Adults is complete! And AWESOME. So go read it again here, and suggest a title for it, too!

And that's really all I can share, although I swear I intended to link to something else today too...I'll come back if I remember what it was.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh, blah

I've been blah lately. Blah blah blah.

Actually that isn't quite true. I've been working. When I'm not working I'm blah.

The new project, which I hadn't intended to start the day after I finished The Demon Inside, just sort of...started itself, and now I'm just over 20k words in. Progress is slower than I'd like, but it's still progress, right? I also think I have come up with the perfect title: Unholy Ghosts. I Googled it and while it has been used, that was fifteen years ago. So I feel pretty safe. (I'll do a technorati search as well just to be sure.)

I'm pretty excited about it. I'm having fun. Most of the characters speak in this sort of street patois that I'm having a good time with. And I figured out a way to have the Red Baron make an appearance! So. Cool.

Also, you must read this. (Warning, mildly NSFW. There's no photos or anything, but the subject matter is Adult.) Hysterical. Tionna Lee Smalls is the best advice columnist ever. Save Miss Manners, because I adore Miss Manners.

I think kiddie TV is frying my brain. With Princess of for half-term it feels like even more kiddie stuff has been happening here than usual. Also, Faerie decided at 4 am this morning that she was awake and wanted to play. I convinced her to cuddle in bed for a while but she was too wriggly for me to get back to sleep. So I's tired. Which means I probably won't reach my word goal today, which is 2k. It's 2k every day. I'm averaging about half that, which sucks. Sigh.

AND, if you have a mo, trot on over to my cp/wp Anna J Evans a very happy birthday! Wheee!

How is your Wednesday?

(Oh, and btw, those who commented on Monday, I could NOT get the comments to come up yesterday for some reason, so I wasn't able to reply, so sorry.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


As I mentioned yesterday, we're doing a little round-robin wedding story this week in honor of Anton's wedding. I've posted the first part, hopefully leaving my fellow Reluctant Adults plenty of room to get their creepy on (we're improvising the whole thing.)

So go check it out, and make sure you keep checking back the rest of the week to read the whole thing!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Go sign the post!

My buddy and fellow League member Anton Strout got married yesterday--devastating the local female population, I'm sure--and Mark Henry took charge on the Lague blog today and posted a little, ah, video Valentine for Anton and his bride. So go check it out, and make sure you leave a comment!

Also check back every day this week. We're doing a round-robin writing experiment, a short story about a wedding. Of course, I get to start it. I am imaginationed out, folks. I am working so hard on my shiny new WIP, and trying to come up with a new title for a novella I did (grr don't get me started), and thinking about edits for The Demon Inside, and...oh, sigh. Let's just say, I'm having a hard time coming up with something paranormal wedding-y that doesn't involve bizarre sexual rituals and blood. Which I'd be happy to do, and probably Jill too, but four days of sex scenes veers off into teh porn a bit, I think. So I'll have to come up with something this afternoon, something that won't leave my fellow Reluctant Adults in the lurch as far as continuing the tale.

The hubs and I finished watching Season One of Heroes yesterday. A bit sad, that was. And can I just say, the scarred, severely dressed, stubbly Peter Petrelli of the future was damn hot. I dig Peter anyway, but...wooh. I'm a bit worried about Season Two, we've been hearing it's not as good. Anyone watching?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Living in Fear

Lots of things scare me. Flying. Oompa-loompas (seriously). Being trapped. The film The Changeling (watch it for Halloween). I don't particularly like spiders or water. I am made irrationally nervous by slugs and the idea of space travel.

But you know what really scares me? Plagiarism.

Not being plagiarised myself. That doesn't scare me because I'll cut a bitch. But the idea of plagiarising someone else, accidentally. It terrifies me. Sometimes I write what I think is a particularly pithy sentence. Almost instantly, I think, "Is that really mine?" And then I have to Google it. (Like this sentence, for example--a sneak peek from The Demon Inside!: Starting a fight with a Gretneg was never a good idea, even if that Gretneg was staring at [character name] as though [] was the only glass pipe in the crack den and it had been hours since [] last fix. [Yeah, I removed pronouns and identifying articles, so what? You'll have to wait to find out who it's about.] Maybe not the greatest sentence ever, but I like it. And immediately googled about five variations of it. Which, if someone's monitoring my internet usage, um, it's research I swear.)

See, I read a lot. As I'm sure do all of you. I have books I've read over and over until I've memorized them. I've had books I've read over and over until I've internalized them. How do I know something isn't creeping in? How do I know the line I just wrote isn't some long-forgotten-by-my-conscious-mind line by someone else?

I'm pretty confident at this point. I think after you're written for a while you get past that sort of thing. As my own voice becomes more clear and I grow more confident, I also become far more certain that what I write is mine, and only mine.

But the fear is still there, always. I can't imagine anything more horrifying than having someone recognize my words as actually coming from someone else. I can't imagine my reaction as being anything other than tears of shame and horror and the desire to remove every trace of the work from anywhere it's ever been, hide, and apologize profusely.

I like to think this is because I'm a rational person who cares about writing as a process, as a craft.

But maybe that's just me.

A few announcements:

Blood Will Tell has received 4 1/2 kisses (our of five) from Romance Divas!

"This book has everything a reader could want–scorching hot sex, captivating plotline and explosive action. Ms Quinn writes a wonderful story with a sensuous, confident hero and strong, independent and resourceful heroine who is his match."

Read the full review here.

Juno Books is doing a fun werewolf contest here. Identify some excerpts from wolfie books, win free stuff. (Yes, I'm sure you got that when I said "contest".) Anyway, give it a go! Contest closes October 30.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I'm stuckI'mstuckI'mstuck! BLAAAH!

I'm about to start Chapter Seven, and since I had to turn my old Chapter One into Chapter Six, because my CP didn't like my Chapter One (and I thought not enough happened in it either), I've written a new Chapter One that I'm not sure I like, and I hate it when it feels like the whole freaking project is just falling down around my ears! And I thought it was good and now I think it stinks.

This is why I can NOT take time away from a project in the first half. I totally lose it all and I don't feel like getting it back.

(Oh, and yesterday's post was #300.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Eighth Wand is released!

Okay, well, Blogger won't let me upload my cover image, but Eighth Wand is releaed today at Ellora's Cave!

Buy it here.

The tarot card Prudence finds at a Wiccan Beltane festival promises passion, travel, and the end of a stagnant, dull situation. She has no idea that the card's prediction is about to come true in the form of Royd, a warrior of the Fae on Earth to retrieve the eighth wand of his people's lands, stolen from them by Prudence's grandmother.

Royd wants only to take the wand back home, until he sees Prudence and is instantly captivated by her vibrancy and life. Together they must fight to send him safely back with his prize, but perhaps in Prudence he's found something just as valuable…and just as hard to lose.

Chapter One

The problem with the women of the Bright Moon coven was that they insisted on doing outdoor rituals without shoes on. Prudence knew it could be worse. The thought of going skyclad—naked—filled her with horror.
But now the circle had ended and Prudence, unable to find her sandals, was picking her way through the woods to find fuel for the bonfire while pebbles and sticks scraped and poked her feet.
Good thing it was Beltane and almost summer. She couldn’t imagine doing this at Samhain in the October chill. They better have the fire ready before the ritual then. If she was still in the coven.
Ignoring the large logs she couldn’t easily carry, Pru filled her arms with smaller sticks. One load down. She’d head back, drop these off and—
“Where is it?”
Pru gasped and spun around, dropping the sticks. One of them landed squarely on her poor bare foot.
“Ouch! Damn it, shit!” She stepped forward with her good leg, reaching down to hold her injured foot, and fell over. Something sharp stabbed her in the shoulder. “Ow!” Struggling to sit, she glared at the man standing a few feet away. “You scared the crap out of me.”
“Enough games. Where is it?”
“Excuse me?” The sun had almost set. All Pru could see of the stranger was his shadowy outline, large and solid. Blue-black highlights shone in his hair where the last rays of light came through the trees.
She’d thought he was one of the men from the ritual. It seemed she was wrong. She would have remembered those broad shoulders and that thick, long hair.
“Where is the wand?”
Those rays highlighted the clear lines of some impressive muscles as well. Prudence rose from the ground, her fingers curled around one of the thickest of the fallen sticks. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You lie.”
“Hey! Who do you think you are?” Brandishing the stick, Pru started inching her way backward, feeling carefully with her toes to make sure she didn’t trip. “If you want a wand so bad, you should have come in time for the festival and bought one. All the booths are closed now, it’s time for the bonfire.”
Something else flitted through her mind, but she ignored it. So she’d found a tarot card earlier, so what? The eight of wands didn’t mean anything to anyone, really. Of course, it had meanings—travel, all-consuming passion, freedom from a stagnant situation—but finding the card meant nothing. The man couldn’t possibly be talking about that.
Could he?
“But you have been near it,” he said. “I see it in your aura.”
“Don’t look at my aura, that’s private.” Had she ever uttered a stupider sentence? Probably not. Not even “Of course I can eat a whole gallon of ice cream at once”.
At least she’d stumped him. He stood there staring at her—she could feel his gaze on her skin—for so long she almost managed to edge all the way out of the clearing before he moved.
He must have moved, anyway. One minute he stood opposite her, the next—the next he loomed over her, his chest only inches from her nose. Damn, he was tall.
And just as well-built as he’d appeared at first. Slim, but defined. An intricate black tattoo decorated his entire chest, snaking over the expanse of muscles, hiding his nipples. She couldn’t make out the pattern—wings? A chalice of some kind?—but she could smell the earthy scent of his skin and see the thin leather cord wrapped around his upper arm.
Heart pounding, she forced herself to look up. A brave woman, a strong woman, would look him in the eyes, and brave and strong was what Prudence knew deep down she could be.
So she met his eyes, those black holes set deep in the man’s sharp-boned face. Her mouth fell open. Somewhere in the back of her mind she knew the brave and strong woman didn’t gape at men like she’d never seen one before, but it was impossible to stop herself, not when her entire body leaned forward as if she could climb into him and never leave.
It wasn’t simply how handsome he was, although she could honestly say she’d never seen a man as striking. Something in his eyes…called her. Promised her something. She couldn’t explain it any better than that, even to herself.
“Your aura cannot hide, even if your words try to,” he said, and his voice poured over her like spiced wine. “Where have you hidden it? If you give it to me now, my people may not seek revenge. If you delay—”
“I told you, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She yanked herself away, struggling as if he held her physically. “Leave me—”
He grabbed her. Despite the warmth of the evening, goose bumps erupted on her skin. He might as well have given her an electric shock. His sharp intake of breath echoed in her ears. He tilted his head. “Beltane.”
“Sex crawls across your skin. You have not had a man in a long time. Too long.”
“Now that’s none of your business! How dare you—”
He ignored her, instead loosening his grip on her arm and sliding his hands up her skin, so lightly it almost tickled. He’d spoken of her aura. Now she could almost see it too, as if he touched it and not her skin. Despite her anger and irritation, she shivered. Her nipples, bare under her loose gown, hardened and poked against the thin fabric. She was certain he could see it, even if he somehow couldn’t read her reaction in the way her breath caught in her throat.
Dear Goddess, what was happening here? Why weren’t any of the other coven members coming to find her? The sun was only a thin, bright line of gold on the horizon, barely visible through the trees. Darkness wrapped around them, darkness and the stillness of a forest on the edge of night. Didn’t they notice she wasn’t there?
Hell, didn’t they at least need the wood she carried?
She swallowed. “How dare you speak to me like that.” She’d meant to sound forceful. Instead the words came out in a rush of breath. She sounded like a young girl trying to talk to her first crush.
“I propose a trade,” he said. “I need the wand. You need a man. Why not allow me to pleasure you in exchange?”

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

We're discussing queries this week here.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

In Which my Nervousness makes me Rude

So, got back from London a few hours ago, had a great time. Went to Harrod's, saw this tacky-ass statue of Diana 'n' Dodi and marvelled at how Mr. Al-Fayed managed to use his own face in most of the decorating. But we got some food there, and ate it in Speaker's Corner, then headed for Selfridge's, which was more fun than Harrod's and had a small selection of American food. I now have enough canned pumpkin to get me through the holidays. And eggnog too! Yay!

Unfortunately, we'd dressed for cool weather and it was fairly warm. We were sweating, especially since the Tube was extremely crowded and it was sweltering down there. I took off my sweater and realized I was, well, a bit smelly from all the sweating. Eep!

So we had some time before the show we were going to started--The Woman in Black, which was pretty good--and hubs wanted to go to the Murder One bookstore on Charing Cross Road, so we did.

They have a romance room there. And in that romance room was an entire bookcase of Ellora's Cave books--the only ones I've found stocked in the UK. YAY!!

A woman was shopping. A lovely and friendly woman. We laughed about the books. We chatted. I gave her my name. And--I still can't believe this--I was so excited to have found the books, and to have met a nice person who actually thought it was neat that I wrote them, and so worried about being smelly or seeming pushy--I forgot to ask for her name. I gave her mine, and wrote it down for her, but I totally did not even ask for hers. How rude! I felt--and still feel AWFUL. I tried to go after her but she was already gone. It bothered me all through the play.

So, nice bookstore lady, if you've Googled me and found me, please email me or leave a comment! I'm so sorry!

I have an enormous blister on my pinkie toe from all the walking, but we had a great day, except for my awful stupid loserness.

I probably won't post tomorrow, as I am seriously behind on my WIP and need to jam. So this is my Monday post. It's just a little early.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Read This while I'm Gone

We're heading up to my MIL's in a few hours and will be back on Sunday. While thanks to the magic of BlackBerry I'll still get my emails, I probably won't respond unless it's fairly urgent, especially tomorrow when we'll be in London.

So, I've been wanting to talk about this book for a looong time, and here it is. The Church of Dead Girls by Stephen Dobyns. I've mentioned it a few times, but now that fall is here I decided it's time to blog about it.

I love this book. Seriously love it.

In the main it's a fairly humdrum tale, really. A few girls go missing in a small Northeastern town. But the book itself is so much more than that. It's about secrets, and how we never really know what's happening in other people's houses or in their heads. It's about how quick we are to mistrust even people we consider friends. It's about how little it takes to turn good people into bad ones.

It's a slow book. After an absolutely knockout opening--one of the few books I've ever picked up in a store that completely hooked me with the very first sentence--we get a lot of stories that seem to go almost nowhere. It's not boring or unecessary, though. Dobyns builds his universe carefully and draws us in, so by the time the first girl goes missing, about halfway through the book, we have a very good idea of where we are and what kind of place we're in.

It's not really a mystery in the pure sense. I figured out whodunit as soon as we met that particular character, and I think anyone with sharp eyes will see the clues Dobyns plants. It's not really a thriller either. And it's not horror.

But it is a very atmospheric tale of suspense. It's a very, very spooky book, and genuinely spooky books are treasures when you find them.

Go read it (if you want to, of course), and tell me what you think.

And have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Axing the Ladies in Charge

So, in a move stunning in its ignorance, Warner Brothers has decided not to make any more films with female leads. Specifically, apparently, superhero films with female leads.

You may have heard about this elsewhere--the article showed up on Newsarama Sunday night, and I've seen it mentioned in a few places since then, but I didn't se eit until Monday night, so I'm blogging about it so there.

Now, on the one hand I see their point. WB took a nice big hit when the Catwoman movie bombed. Elektra didn't do well either (and not without reason--the concept of the film was fairly kick-ass, but the film itself not great.)

I don't think the decision is based on ignorance as in sexism, but ignorance as in, why don't you assholes make some good movies with women in them, dumshits?

Take Catwoman (please). I would have been all over a good Catwoman film. I love Catwoman. When I heard they were making a Catwoman movie the hubs and I were both pretty excited. Then we heard Halle Berry had been cast. Well, that's fine. We didn't think she could play the sort of reckless bad-girl sexiness of Catwoman, but we've been wrong before.

Then we heard her name had been changed to Patience something. Um... (I should mention here that Princess's middle name is Selina specifically because of Catwoman. So this was An Issue in our house.)

Then we saw the costume. That horrible, T&A, shredded THING. And our hopes for the film dropped into our feet and stayed there.

Now, let's see. Did the movie bomb because it had a female lead, or did it bomb because it completely alientated fandom and pretty much women in general by turning one of our tough, kick-ass girls into shredded leather cheesecake? Because it had a stupid, pointless plot with holes the size of Hummers? Because it was badly acted? Because the dialogue was laughable?

I know what I think the answer is.

And the Elektra film was more of the same. Jennifer Garner, (who I actually really like) was not well cast as Elektra. Just not. The film was not great. It had a great concept, but somewhere between concept and execution things went badly awry.

And now, instead of saying, "Gee, we totally fucked around with the basic concepts of those characters when we changed them from books to films, maybe next time we should try sticking with it and see if that makes a difference", they're just giving up. Which means the Wonder Woman flm won't be made, which I honestly don't have as much interest in now that Joss Whedone's not doing it but would have fricking camped out for tickets to see if Whedon was doing it.

Stuff like this really pisses me off. Why do all films with women in them have to be fatuous chick flicks? (And I do enjoy some chick flicks, but come on.) Why do they assume that's all women will go see? Women, are we giving this impression of ourselves? Why don't we try something else? Why don't we give Warner's the impression that since they don't want to see us in front of their cameras, they won't see us in front of their screens, either? Why don't we raise a big stink online, and write letters?

No movies with female leads, indeed. Whatever, Warner Brothers. I hate you now.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Giving some writing tips today at the League of Reluctant Adults blog.

Monday, October 08, 2007

In which I am Stupid

So I went to the grocery store this morning, as is my wont, because we needed stuff for dinner, and...I guess I don't have to explain why I went to the grocery store, do I?

But I felt all clever as I made my purposeful way down the aisles (I dislike grocery shopping, so tend to push my cart in front of me like a weapon in a desperate attempt to get in and get out quickly). We've probably got enough toothpaste left for the rest of the week, but I thought, "I'm going to be on top of things today!" and bought more. I remembered to get myself more razor blades. I got more diapers even though we have about half a package left. I bought more juice mix for the girls. All in an attempt to be a Homemaker, someone who knows instinctually what's happening in every little corner of her domain and is On Top Of It.

So, after grabbing some actual food, I headed to the self-service checkout aisle and rang myself up, scanned my bonus card, reached for my ATM card...

Oh, no.

I cleared out my pockets before I left the house and somehow the card came with the receipts. So I had to call the woman who supervises the self-service checkouts and explain it (of course, she's not the woman I usually see in the morning). She was very nice about it but still. My favorite part was when she clucked and worried that my frozen foods might go bad in the ten minutes it would take me to get home, grab the card, and head back. Um...they're french fries. I'm not worried.

But this is what happens when I try to be efficient. The world hits me with the dumb stick.

What else happened this weekend? Started a new book, excited about it. Did a few little edits on Demon Inside, which is now ready for those of you who volunteered to beta, so email me and let me know you're ready too. It's not perfect yet, but it's ready for critical "does this make sense without having read the first book" eyes. Read "Heart-Shaped Box" by Joe Hill. Very, very good, but he does seem to suffer a little from his father's "short sharp ending" syndrome. I still recommend it, though. Some scenes were extremely creepy.

And I guess that's it. I need to start writing down my blog topic ideas again. My mind is like a seive these days.

Friday, October 05, 2007

A NYR Book (and a couple of questions)

I know it's been a while since I did a New Year's Resolution book. I have been buying and reading, I just haven't gotten around to posting about them. But, to be perfectly honest, at the moment my brain is fried, and I couldn't think of a blog post, and I have been wanting to post more about books I enjoy (I'm thinking I may do a once-a-month series on my favorite novels or something, at some point), it is.

I grabbed this book at Borders in Bristol simply because it's advertised as a Gothic novel, and I love gothics (gonna write one, too, when I'm done with my next UF.) Not only was it advertised as a gothic, but it includes witchcraft, alchemy, remote viewing, missing persons, and a big spooky mansion. Which made it a must-try for me.

The result? Pretty good. It wasn't quite as scary as I would have liked, and I don't think it really qualifies as a gothic. It's more of a drama/mystery. (In a true gothic, there is a mystery from the past which somehow relates to or causes the mystery in the present, which puts the protagonist in some kind of danger.) While this does occur in this book, I felt the danger to the protagonist was largely his own fault--and it happened very late in the book.

While I'm still a little confused as to how the computer stuff in the book worked, I did enjoy it. Mostert is an excellent writer--a few sentences almost literally took my breath away. I never really came to like the MC but I was interested in him and that was enough.

But what really atracted me was the atmosphere. I didn't get such a sense of creeping menace as I like, but it's a very lush book, one you definitely want to curl up with somewhere soft on a rainy day. Not a great book, but definitely a good one.

So give it a try, if it interests you, and let me know what you think. You can buy it or read other reviews here.

And two more quick things. I have need--don't ask why--of some recommendations for rap music. The kind about urban sprawl and guns and hos and stuff. Anyone?

I am having an absolutely miserable time trying to name my next heroine. I know all sorts of things about her and her story but she refuses to have a name. Which is odd for me because characters usually name themselves before I even know what they look like. Any suggestions? Any good name sites?

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Faery woke up screaming at 3 am, I went back to bed around 3:15 after she went back to lseep, I couldn't sleep, I got up and


First draft: 85,131 words. I imagine I've got another 1-2 more to add in edits because I know at least two minor plot holes I have to plug.

Oh, it's done! It's finally freaking done, after 10 weeks of work (not to mention several weeks of planning and false starts.)

Now I can start the next one. :-)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Nobody's going to do it for you

So as I come up for air, on my last free day this week (because tomorrow is Faerie's first day at nursery, and I will be holed up here on the couch finishing The Demon Inside, which I expect to have done by the time I go to bed Friday night pleasegods), I wander around the internets. (In between bouts of inspecting my daughters' hair. She's home again today for a final delousing.)

Everyone and their brothers are gearing up for NaNoWriMo, something I've never done or cared about, and actually think can be counterproductive (yes, Anton, I'm running with it). I mean, if you want to do it and enjoy it, that's fine. But you shouldn't need that kind of encouragement to write a book. You shouldn't need bells and whistles and pistols firing at the starting line and constant vigilance to get your book done. You should have the discipline to do it no matter what month it is, and you should remember that NaNo? Not a prerequisite to writing. So many people seem to have it in their head that NaNo is some kind of official thing. It's not. There's no prize for the winner (No, don't use "NaNo winner" on your queries). It's just a website, just an idea some guy came up with. You don't need to come up with the idea for your book in July and wait until November to start because that's the time to write.

I'm just very uncomfortable with the idea of encouraging people to think certain conditions need to be in place before you can write, that it has to be a particular time of year or you need to chart your progress or whatever. You know what you need in order to write?

*an idea
*a writing implement

That's it.

So don't get the idea in your head that NaNo is the only time you can write a book, because that's preposterous (see? I can use big words).

I don't think NaNo is necessarily a bad program. But I don't think it's the be-all end-all either, and I think it can harm new writers. (Also, 50k words is not a novel.)

You know what else you need? A sense of your own story and what you want. I've been having some issues with this lately. You know that as a rule I don't give writing advice. I certainly don't think I've reached the level of skill and fame that means people would want to take my words to heart.

But you know what? There's another reason I don't give a lot of advice, and it's this: Nobody can do it for you. Nobody can give you the secret of writing good characters or strong stories. Nobody can tell you how to make your story work. Nobody can tell you what story you should be writing (obviously, with some exceptions, because your editors can tell you whatever they want, but we're talking about other writers.) Show up somewhere--a writer's forum, an email loop, a blog, and start saying things like, "How do I make this character work?" or "How do I get people to want to read my book?" and expect that you'll get an answer like, "Write it well."

There is no magic bullet for writing. There's no puzzle box or computer that will spit the words out in perfect order and create sympathetic, quirky, adorable characters who also do martial arts or whatever it is you want. That's not going to happen. You have to do it yourself. And I'm tired of seeing people give that advice--or giving it myself--and getting pissy replies in return, like "But that doesn't help me. I want to know HOW."

The answer to that is the same as it is for every other writing question. Read a lot. Write a lot. Write the story you want to write. repeat quite a few times. Nobody is going to hand you the golden key, you need to work hard and find it yourself. So if you're going to ask other people to basically do your work for you and then get pissy with them when they take time away from their own work to try and help you, bugger off and stop wasting both of our time.

Damn, I'm grumpy today, what's up with that?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I've announced my winners for the Pimp the League contest on The LRA blog, and posted too!

Remember, if you didn't win this time there will be PLENTY of other chances. PLENTY. Trust me.

Monday, October 01, 2007

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

Or, my weekend in review.

First, I had just gone to bed Friday night (actually Saturday morning) when Faerie woke up and started crying, so I went into the kitchen to get her a drink and ended up knocking an empty beer bottle off the counter. So, while everyone slept, I was hunkered down in my underwear in the kitchen trying to clean up bits of broken glass. Fun!

Saturday we decided to head down into the hinterlands (otherwise known as "the further away of the two towns within an hour's drive that offer semi-decent shopping") because everybody needs stuff. The girls both need new winter coats, and really, clothes of all kinds. They're finally outgrowing everything we brought with us, even the stuff we bought too big. Plus, I'm still on the lookout for shoes and jewelry for my Christmas party dress. Plus, hubs wanted to look in the only decent DVD store we know of, which is there, and he also wanted to stop in to the comic shop there and see his buddy who owns the place. (I love the comic guy. He's the nicest man. And he's already promised to stock Personal Demons, so, yay. Anyway.)

Got there, immediately found an adorable coat for Faerie. Yay! Went to comic shop, yay! DVD store...closed. Not yay. Where are we going to buy DVDs now, because they're silly expensive everywhere else.

On our way out we popped into the Vdaphone store. Hubs has been bugging me to get a cell phone. I hate cell phones. I don't really like talking on the phone anyway, and I get irritated when people call my cell just to chat. I'm out, doing things. I don't want to converse!
But I'd agreed. Fine, I'll get a phone. Turned out they were doing some sort of special, so for the price of their cheapest calling plan, I walked out with...

A BlackBerry. Free.

Wheeee! I'm such a technophobe, I really am, but I love my little BlackBerry! It has GPS! It has a tiny QUERTY keyboard! I can check my email on it! Woo-hooo! I never have to miss emails again, go me!

So that was all good. yesterday we decided we're going to head into London on the weekend of Oct 13th for a little shopping sans kiddies, which we're excited about, then we got the great idea to see a show while we're there, so we booked tickets to see The Woman in Black, and I am practically peeing myself with excitement. Can't wait can't wait, wheee!

And then the hubs gave the Princess a shower and discovered she has head lice.

The shame.

I'd never seen lice. I always pictured them like horrible little maggots, squirming in the roots of people's hair (ugh, my scalp is tingling and itching as I write this. Hubs and I did thorough checks on each other last night and found nothing, but...*shudder*) They're not. They're just little brown bugs, like gnats without wings. And they're so common here. We get those notes home about lice from her school almost every month. But until now, the Princess escaped unscathed. Now...I'm a terrible mother.

I never had lice. I'm totally creeped out, and we kept her home from school today so I get to go to Tesco and buy a comb and whatever we need to eliminate them, does anyone have any suggestions? Anyone else ever dealt with this? Any Moms who can give me tips? Anyone who might be, oh, a pharmacist and my brother who doesn't reply to his emails but might read here once in a while, have any advice?

Please, anyone, share your learning with poor me! I feel horrible about this and my poor baby with her itchy, bug-ridden head. (Okay, it's not quite that bad, she doesn't have a serious infestation or anything, but...ugh.)