Author Archives: Andi Marquette
[banner courtesy of Women and Words' own awesome Jove Belle]
Hiya, peeps. Just a reminder that over at my OTHER haunt, Women and Words, we are gearing up for the massive mondo crazy outta control nutso wild major-ass book giveaway we do about this time every year. We call it…
TWELVE DAYS. Book giveaways for TWELVE FREAKING DAYS. No, I am not even close to making that up. TWELVE DAYS, people. Because we are crazy. And fun-hogs.
NOTE: we are heavily weighted toward lesfic and feminist fic across genres. Romance, erotica, mystery, thriller, sci fi, spec fic, paranormal. So if that’s not your bag, well, happy holidays anyway. If it IS, well hot damn, c’mon down and join us on December 12.
The Hootenanny is scheduled this year from December 12-23. Plenty of time to see what goodies we’ve got going on.
AND we’ve got some publishers joining us for giveaways on several days or ALL the days. Those include Bedazzled Ink Publishing, Blue Feather Books, Bold Strokes Books, Bywater Books, Cleis, Sapphire Publishing, and Ylva Publishing.
LORDIE! I’ve done got mahself a case of th’ VAY-PUHS!
So. Can we expect to see you dropping by for some Hootenannying? Hope so.
Happy upcoming week!
Hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful beginning of Hanukkah. Share the luv!
I saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Thursday night. Technically Friday was opening day, but anymore, you can catch premieres the night before and that’s what I did. I had the idea that if I went to a later show on a Thursday, I might be able to avoid the crowds of ‘tweens and teens.
You can laugh now.
So I saw this movie in a theater full of ‘tweens and teens, many in large groups (i.e. they came together in groups). Stuffed with ‘em. and I think I was probably the oldest person in there (shut up) and the only person who had come alone. And, as expected, before anything got started, everybody was yakking and texting and Facebooking and whatever the hell else people do these days because god forbid you actually stop using your smartphone for a few seconds (don’t get me started) and engage with the people SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO YOU.
They continued to talk (albeit more quietly) during the previews, which were geared toward this Hunger Games crowd. Young, hip, beautiful people in movies like the forthcoming Vampire Academy (okay, so I want to see it and yes, it’s based on a book) and what looks like a cool dystopic take on Frankenstein.
And then the movie began. I was kind of dreading it at this point, because I was young, once, and I remember being an asshat every now and again at the movies, so I braced myself to try to ignore whatever asshattery would erupt from the surrounding crowd of moviegoers in which the average age was probably fifteen.
Surprise, surprise. Every single person in that theater was thoroughly engaged by this movie. We laughed at the humor, exclaimed at the things that were awful to watch, and at the end we applauded. All those ‘tweens and teens then set to work talking to each other about the movie and the book on which it was based. And, I’m sure, texting all their friends to tell them to totally see the movie.
And it got me thinking about stories.
Every now and again I ask readers and colleagues what they’d like me to blog about in an upcoming piece. This week, I’m addressing a question that a reader on Facebook posted to my “YO! WHUT SHOULD I BLOG ABOUT?” question.
That question is: “When you edit for others, what do you find most challenging?” Thanks, Joan, for posing that.
I think I’ll answer this question by first explaining a bit about how I edit a project. Once I have the project in my email box (because that’s pretty much how it works these days — if you want a trip down history lane, ask me how to do hardcopy editing), I download it and here’s what happens. . .
Okay, maybe not THAT. Heh. But you never know. Anyway, let’s continue.
I’ve been working on a scene in my latest romance that’s been really difficult for me to write. Why?
BECAUSE IT’S GOT SEX IN IT.
Now, before you freak out and think I’m all kinda prudey or something, chill, friends. Not the case. The sitch is, writing sex scenes is difficult. Let me amend that. Writing GOOD sex scenes is difficult. Or perhaps I might even mean EFFECTIVE sex scenes.
And this scene has been a pain to work on because it involves a lot more than just a “do me now” kind of scenario. These characters have a history, and it’s a hell of a lot more than just sex that’s involved in this scene. There’s a lot of emotional stuff going on, and some unpacking of baggage. Not all sex, obviously, is like that in romance or erotica. Which got me thinking about the different types of sex scenes and how to approach them as a writer.
So I came up with some questions to ask yourself when you’re writing a sex scene or thinking about writing one (and no offense to M/F or M/M writers; some of this is a little more F/F specific).
(Heh. Read on to see the questions)
Well, peeperas y peeperos! It is officially Day of the Dead today (November 2; if possible, go catch a festival/procession) and I have the WINNERS! Yes, you’ll notice the plural. I just LURRRRV drawing extra winners, ermahgerd! So the following people have won a signed print copy:
And don’t worry. I have a tendency to give books away at other giveaways, too. I just love sharing the luuuuuuuv.
Also, if you see your name on this list and you have not received an email from me, check your spam filter.
Thanks, everyone, for coming by and commenting and thank you so much for your patience on this one. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy your ridealong with Chris and the NM posse.
Hi, kids! JUST IN TIME for Día de los Muertos AND Halloween!
You want a signed print copy? Well, howsabout you leave me a comment on this blog? When you fill out the contact form, make sure you use a working email address. Don’t worry. That address won’t show up in the comment. DON’T post your email in the body of the comment. I’m trying to save you from evil spam-bots, which I’m sure look just like those creepy metal spider things that get into your belly button like in The Matrix.
I’ll do the drawing at 12 PM EST November 2 (that there is the actual Day of the Dead, All Soul’s Day). I’ll post the winner’s name on this blog, at the top. I notify within 30 minutes of drawing the winner, so if you’re the winner posted here and you haven’t heard from me, check your spam filter.
Happy Halloween and good luck!
Oh, and don’t flip out if your comment doesn’t appear right away. If you haven’t commented here before, I have to approve it. Part of my anti-spam measures (I’m saving you from THE MATRIX, people!). There’ll be a lag in the evenings (US time), since I, you know, sleep. But I’ll get you in once I’m up and functional on the mornings. Thanks.
Today is the two-year anniversary of the death of my best canine buddy, Taylor.
I grew up in a household where there were always dogs, and those dogs were always part of the family. They lived primarily indoors with us. I know there are people out there who just don’t “get” the animals in the house thing for whatever reasons. That’s fine. But I’m not one of those people. Taylor was my constant companion for over 14 years, and my guru in many ways. She was a rescue dog, but not from a shelter. I found her sitting on the side of a New Mexico highway one July day after I’d been camping at Mt. Taylor (hence her name).
I pulled over because most dogs out there — Rez dogs — tend to look like they know where they’re going and what they’re doing. And they’re certainly not sitting on the side of the road. I got out of my car and she watched me, but she didn’t bolt. I got within about twenty feet of her and I crouched down and said: “C’mere. Come on.” And I beckoned at myself with my hand. She got up and very slowly came toward me, kind of slinking, ears back (she had HUGE ears — they earned her the nickname “Batdog”) and tail between her legs. I held my hand out so she could sniff my fingers and she did. She sniffed for a few seconds and then decided I must’ve been okay, because she got closer and literally climbed up into my lap and licked my face.
I took her to the vet the next day for vaccinations. She was in bad shape. Twenty pounds underweight, tapeworm, and dull, icky fur. I told the vet I was hoping to find a home for her because I didn’t have a place where I could keep her. I was living in a second-floor apartment in a historic building in Albuquerque at the time. The vet looked at me and smiled. “She already found a home.” She told me that when Taylor had put on some weight, in a few weeks, to bring her back for checking. Damn that vet. She could tell that Taylor was already settling in.
And sure enough, at the end of the summer, I’d moved to a place where I could have Taylor. She’d put on weight (she was 55-60 pounds most of her life), we’d gotten rid of the tapeworm, and she was starting to be okay around me and other people. She and I spent most of the summer at a friend’s house, where there was a fenced yard, until I found another place. And that fall, we went to doggie training school. I worked with her every day on the things we learned in class. Taylor was part shepherd, and shepherds are working dogs. So she liked having tasks and things to do. After graduation (Taylor was summa cum laude), we spent another few weeks on “distraction training,” which involved large groups of people and dogs and putting your dog through his or her paces. The object was to get the dog used to being around groups like that and focused on you and you only.
I continued distraction training for weeks afterward. I’d take her to Albuquerque’s Old Town and put her through her paces amidst tourists. She went to work with me on campus several times, and would sprawl out and snooze under my desk. She’d also go with me late nights to the public radio station where I volunteered and hang out with me while I did a world music show. She went to the airport (this was before 9/11) to get used to escalators and a whole other slew of people. I traveled with her all the time in the car, and she was very good at that, too.
And slowly, Taylor blossomed into her funny, wise, diva self. She was a joy to have around, and we got to know each other so well that all I had to do was look at her and raise an eyebrow and she knew it was time to go for a walk and she’d jump up and go to the door and wait. As she aged, she became more talkative (I think she had some husky in her) and would yowl and carry on to let me know when she was excited or pissed about something.
Other times if she was pissed at me, she’d give me doggie “stink eye” until I was appropriately contrite. Or, if she was REALLY pissed, she’d do what I call “stink back.” She would sit and make sure I was looking at her and then she would deliberately turn her back to me and ignore me for a few seconds. Then she’d look back over her shoulder to see if she had my attention. If I hadn’t asked for her forgiveness, she’d do more stink back. So I’d have to say, “Oh, T! I’m sorry!” And then she’d relent.
And she loved it when I noodled on my harmonica. When I got it out, she’d get excited and she’d sit up and stare and start “warming up.” Kind of a “rowr rowr rowr” thing. I’d play a few notes and she’d do some more “rowr rowr rowr” and then I’d start just playing whatever and she would burst into howls interspersed with “rowr rowr rowr.” It was hilarious.
She used her paws for attention, too. She’d come up and put her paw on your foot or, if you were sitting, your thigh, and she’d pull at you to pet her. She’d also put her paw right across a newspaper or magazine if you were sitting reading it. And she’d do a “Bambi eyes” expression so you couldn’t be mad at her. She was also a practical joker. Once, when we were hanging out with someone who had a shih tzu, Taylor figured out which toy was the other dog’s fave. It was this fuzzy squeaky toy that the dog carried everywhere. So Taylor waited until the dog went into the kitchen with the squeaky toy. Taylor followed. The other dog had put the toy down and was trying to convince its owner to give it a treat. The dog was not paying attention to the toy, and like a freaking fox pouncing on prey, Taylor jumped on the toy and raced out of the kitchen. The other dog just stared after her, stunned. I followed Taylor into the living room, and Taylor had hidden the toy behind a pillow on the couch. She looked at me and I kid you not, she SMILED. I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. Eventually, I gave the toy back to the other dog, when Taylor wasn’t looking.
I’ve been thinking about all of those things today. I still really miss her and no, another dog has not entered my life. I did become a regular donor to another no-kill animal shelter, and at a recent event in New Mexico, I donated all proceeds from sales of my books to a local no-kill shelter. I’m a believer in rescue animals, and in rescuing animals. So yeah, I’m a softie. But Taylor changed my life for the better, and I try to help other animals when and where I can. I don’t have any interest in bringing another dog into my life at the moment, but I suspect that eventually, Taylor will send a dog because I still have things to learn.
So to all of you who knew Taylor, I’m glad you got to meet her. For those who didn’t, I hope sharing these tidbits about a remarkable dog who gave me more than I ever thought possible lets you see a bit about who she was and why I miss her so much.
Thanks for hanging out with me a bit today. Happy Saturday.
Hi, all –
I’ve been thinking more about characters, and how to inject authentic regionalisms into yours. That is, how to make a character sound and act like he or she is a product of a specific place and culture.
To that end, I read journalist/writer/speaker/all around awesome woman Caitlin Kelly’s blog today, and it seemed to resonate with what I’ve been mulling. Her latest blog is about defining “New York-ism.” That is, what defines someone as a New Yorker? And then she lists several things that New Yorkers might say and do, and the reasons behind them. Go have a look. See what you think.
And keep reading, if you want to see where the hell I’m going with this.
Well, the day is fast approaching when the fourth installment of my New Mexico mystery series will join us. Looks like next month. In the meantime, I’ve made an excerpt available for you and yours.
Hey, all –
Whew. The first Left Coast Lesfic conference came and went, and wowzers, what a blast! Before I get into the overview, I just want to profusely thank Sapphire Books for putting this event together; all the authors and readers who participated; and the host hotel and staff: Casitas Laquita.
And thanks to Luan, the book vendor who came down from Oakland!
People. We held workshops and panels right out by the pool. How much more awesome could that be? Everybody was relaxed, having fun, and engaged. Because of the mellow atmosphere, it felt like a writing-themed vacation, and I can’t tell you how great that was. Here’s hoping for a repeat next year!
Also, the silent auction (which included things like wine and book gift baskets and some more RACY things) raised nearly $500 for the local LGBT community center, which worked with Sapphire Books to help pull this event off. THANKS, everybody, for your generosity!
Here was our workshop setting:
Why, yes. Yes we DID enjoy ourselves.
But we also did some WORK.