Category Archives: Random WTF stuff
Happy Friday, everybody!
I saw this commercial for Mr. Sketch Markers and I laughed so hard I practically cried. You know Mr. Sketch, right? The markers that allegedly smell like fruit? They’ve been around in this country since I was a kid. Anyway, this ad shows you how they put the smell in Mr. Sketch. It’s total Beavis and Butthead humor, but OMG sometimes that just makes me laugh.
Oh, and how about this weird but strangely cool video from Basement Jaxx for their song “Never Say Never”? It might not be entirely safe for some workplaces, so be careful. The premise is that in the future, people lose the ability to dance. So a Japanese company’s scientists develop a device to help people re-discover dancing.
In other, more serious matters, check out this blog by author Bridget Essex about how book piracy not only affects her, but can have ramifications in the lesfic community.
Y’know, I get why file-sharing sites exist. For the record, though, any copies of my books that you find out there that are not affiliated with a legitimate bookselling site and are available for free are illegal. I have not given and do not give permission to anyone to upload or download my copyrighted work for free on any site, anywhere. My publishers have not given and do not give permission for that, either. So if the site you’re on is telling you that oh, everything is copacetic and legal, that’s not true.
So if you are a fan of my work and you can’t afford it, drop me a line. Let’s chat. As my colleague Jove Belle says, maybe we can arrange an alternative to you downloading from a site that could eventually infect your device or computer with some kind of evil spyware.
So share some luv, and support this awesome community of lesfickers (writers, readers, publisher, editors, designers, typesetters) and booksellers by legally purchasing or legally acquiring (i.e. through giveaways or if you’re a book reviewer with a site) their work. Help ‘em keep writing. :D
And let’s hope that the world never forgets how to dance.
I kept thinking that I was going to do a giant “here’s what happened at GCLS,” but ultimately, I decided not to. The conference schedule is still available so you can see what panels were offered and who was on them (click HERE). The vendor layout is also available, so you can see where everybody was in the Grand Ballroom, which was the vendor room. I even took photos. You can see those HERE. And you can check out the list of Goldie finalists HERE and then the list of winners HERE.
I will say that the panels I was on included absolutely fab fellow panelists and moderators and I was extremely excited to be on them. I was also one of the awards presenters this year, along with fellow author R.G. Emanuelle. That was a new experience, but I enjoyed it immensely and considered it an honor.
So here, I’ll do a round-up of the crazy that goes into attending a conference. Some of you may remember that I did an earlier post on prepping for one. Well, here’s the bag of controlled chaos that goes into attending a con.
And I love me some peanuts!
So here we go, people. Questions people asked me on Facebook.
“What is the most crazy thing you ever did…and why?”
Gurrrrrrrl, there is no way I can answer this with just one crazy thing. And sometimes, it’s not like I planned to do crazy things. Crazy things just kind of happened. And my definition of crazy might not be somebody else’s definition. So here, I’ll share 3 weird incidents:
1. Walked across the border from San Diego, California into Tijuana, Mexico with friends one night. Went bar-hopping then came back and got caught in the middle of a fight between a group of Mexican guys and American frat dudes at the border crossing. I was the mostly sober one, so I had to maneuver a bunch of drunks through that hot mess. I’m pleased to say we made it pretty much unscathed. Why did I do that? Cuz it seemed like a good idea at the time. LOL
2. Got stuck on the island of Lesvos (Lesbos, people) for a week. No place to stay in town, so I lived on the beach instead in this cheap-ass tent I and a friend managed to score in this weird little store. After a week, I managed to catch a ferry back to Athens, but I left the tent with my friend and she went on to Mykonos with it. Why? Hell, it was Greece! Who WOULDN’T want to live on a beach for a week there?
3. Drove to New Orleans from Denver with a group of friends non-stop for Mardi Gras. It took us about 18 hours one way driving in shifts. We’d all pitched in to rent a place in the French Quarter. I slept on the floor all three nights but hey, it was Mardi Gras. Why? Two words: Mardi. Gras. :D
“Why is New Mexico “the land of enchantment”? Or really entrapment?”
Those of us who are New Mexicans really can’t explain this to someone who’s never been. Trust me on this, people who have not been. It’s the Land of Enchantment because it’s like no place you’ve ever been. It’s where the past has melded with the present in this really awesome blend of cultures and customs across high desert landscapes of such preternatural beauty that you can’t believe you’re on Earth.
It’s the Land of Entrapment because really, once you go, it’s extremely difficult to leave and when you do, you miss it constantly.
“Have you ever worn a flannel shirt with matching argyle socks and birkenstocks?”
I have, indeed, worn a flannel shirt with Birkenstocks. However, I do not wear such an ensemble with argyle socks. Rather, in the winter, I wear my Birks with thick hiking socks. And if all of y’all must know, I have one pair of Birks, the Arizonas. I have worn them for 10 years, just getting them re-soled about every 3 years. Oh, and my middle name is Hermione. (not really, but wouldn’t it be kind of cool?)
“What is wrong with people?”
Gurl, if we knew that, we’d solve all the world’s problems. I’m thinking part of it might be more legal pot and craft brewing and distilling for all. Plus neighborhood community centers that had great day care for working parents, national Hawaiian Shirt Days once a month, more telecommuting, health insurance for all, cheap higher education, and casual Fridays every day.
Would you pay $200 for a pair of jeans? Or even $50? What do you think of Crocs footwear? (There’s only one correct answer.) Who has more gray hair, you or me? I’ll bet it’s you because I dye mine. Finally, and most importantly, what is your secret? You are so much more productive than any other writer I know, by which I mean me. I want to be as productive as you are. Vitamins? A tonic? Electromagnetic socks? What?!
Let’s see. $200? NO WAY. That’s almost a plane ticket! $50? No. I mostly buy in the $30 range.
Crocs: ugh. I owned one pair once. I’ll just take responsibility for that right now. They were red. And they were good for dog walking in Nashville, because the grass was often wet in the spring mornings. But yes, they started to reek. And that’s when I put them out of my misery.
More gray hair: Probably me. I stopped highlighting my hair in 2008 because it cost too much to do that in the recession. So now I have “recession” highlights (i.e. gray).
My secret: A vitamin tonic that I strain through electromagnetic socks. It contains glitter from sparkle ponies and the hair of a unicorn.
“Marshmallows. Where do they come from?”
DO NOT THINK ABOUT MARSHMALLOWS.
“Why is the song ‘Wonderwall’ so great …even though the Wonderwall was just an old school LCD projector?”
The song is way better than those projectors because the song only lasts about 4 minutes while it took about 10 times that to actually get a wonderwall to work.
THANKS, Gallery! Happy weekend!
Yeah, yeah. I know. It’s Sunday and I’m supposed to be resting.
NOT! Day of rest? WTF? Clearly somebody who wasn’t a writer started that meme.
So here’s my tongue-in-cheek list of things that might make writers insecure. I mean, beyond the usual “OMG I TOTALLY SUCK AT THIS WHY AM I WRITING THIS IS POO” angst. As we all know, many creative-types (whether you write, paint, sculpt, do music or whatever it is) are a bit on the sensitive side. Which is actually contradictory, because we’re putting things out into the public world for people to look at, which invariably will draw critics who will smash our sensitive sides into quivering piles of angst, whether they have valid points or not. So on the one hand, here we are all sensitive about what we’re doing and yet we put it out there for lambasting. I haven’t figured out that contradiction, yet. Maybe it’s a type of sickness. Regardless, there are things that just make people who work in creative fields get their insecurities all up in a twist. These are some of them, but most of us won’t tell you that. So here I am, gossip-mongering. :D
1. Getting ready to release a book just a few weeks after a fellow writer releases a book and that fellow writer’s book is getting gajillions of accolades and everybody’s talking about how awesome it is. This makes some writers want to just quietly gather their things and go home, put on the TV and lament that they could’ve been a contender, maybe, had that other writer not been so much more awesome.
2. Blurbs on other writers’ sites that say how awesome their books are and your life is a meaningless desert of ennui if you don’t read that author’s work. Meanwhile, the blurb on your site says: “fun read, good to kill some time” or “doesn’t suck.”
3. Parties where it comes up that you’re a writer and someone invariably asks what you write and then says “never heard of it” and adds “should I read it?” To which the writer is stuck. If she says “yes, you must read my work. You’re deprived otherwise.” then she looks kind of like a douchecanoe. But if she says, “oh, I don’t know. If you’d like to, I guess so.” which then makes her look like a sad and shipwrecked douchecanoe. Although, to be fair, there are many, many writers who are brilliant shining lights in literary-land who have never been heard of at some party in a state far away. Hold on to that.
4. As a follow-up, people who say something like, “If you’re published, how come I haven’t heard of you?” Um. Maybe because there are almost 1,000,000 books published in this country every year? Nevertheless, this makes some authors start twitching about not doing enough promo work.
5. As another follow-up, somebody saying something like “how come you can’t make much money if you’ve published that many books?” At this point, you’re better off taking your sad, shipwrecked douchecanoe right into the rapids rather than attempting to explain the vagaries of the publishing world.
6. Reading “how to write” blogs and realizing that you have engaged in every single one of those DON’T DO THIS in terms of craft. At which point the writer feels cold and clammy because the book she’s just about to release has several writing no-nos in it.
7. Bad reviews that somebody forwards to you with the subject line “FYI.” (here is a pep talk blog)
8. A really super-cool cover on another writer’s book. Especially if everybody is talking about how super-cool it is. This causes some writers to immediately scrap all forthcoming covers, go home, turn the TV on, and think how they could’ve been a contender, if only they had awesome covers, too.
9. A really cool promo thing that an author does and it gets everybody talking about that author and that book while you’re still trying to figure out how to get something like “sparkle pony” into your title because you’re sure that’ll sell.
10. Hammering away on a book and you’re about halfway through when you go onto Goodreads and see another book whose plot is pretty similar to yours and you wonder if writing Godzilla into your romance will thus distinguish you from the pack.
Other than that, WRITING IS FUN, people!
Hope your day of rest is filled with happy reading, happy writing, happy happy joy joy!
Hi, gang –
Well, I’m still a bit of a Writer McCrankypants. My apologies for that. This project, as excited as I am about it, is rather stressful as all these disparate elements have to come together so that I can launch it to the best of my abilities (and then do the whole thing again with yet another project in the pipeline…LOL).
Remind me again why I do this job? Oh, I remember.
Because I luuuuuuuv it!
As I’ve been working on the project I’m about to launch I’m also finishing up a short story for an anthology. That one’s been a bit of a pain in the butt. Sometimes stories almost write themselves. Other times, they’re divas and require certain things just so, taking scenes out and re-doing them, and a whole host of other issues. This was one of those. Who knows why. It just was. I’m just about done and then I’ll leave it for a few days and go back and read it and see how it all feels.
Anyway, the past couple of months have gotten me thinking, because not only have I been totally swamped in the writing world, but also in my non-writing world. Yes, friends, writers have non-writing lives, too. Like anybody else, we have shopping, cleaning, and laundry to do (unless you’re all super-famous and can hire that out), cars to get fixed, animals to take care of, jobs to go to, family and friends to check in with and/or take care of, home repairs, doctors’ appointments, haircuts, bills to pay, taxes to do (ARGH)…
Which means for those of us who write and work full-time day jobs, there isn’t a whole lot of time for either. And that got me thinking about much larger things that maybe writers and other creative pursuit-types don’t think about.
Hope everybody’s super-groovy.
As a little reminder, in case you haven’t read it, here’s my freebie Valentine’s Day story Floral Designs.
Author Jove Belle and I are doing a 2-hour gabfest at the Virtual Livingroom this Saturday the 15th 1 PM-3 PM EST (US time). We’ll be chatting to each other and taking questions from anyone who wants to chime in. We do have a topic we’ll be discussing (JUICY, people! JUICY!) but we’re not going to tell you what it is. We’ll spring it on yuh Saturday. Here’s the rundown of what’s up at the VLR this weekend:
AT THE VIRTUAL LIVING ROOM
Coming this weekend Saturday 15th February and Sunday 16th February from 11:00 to 21:00 EST
The following authors will be discussing ROMANCE
D. JACKSON LEIGH AND LARKIN ROSE
ANDI MARQUETTE AND JOVE BELLE
CHRIS PAYNTER AND CP ROWLANDS
KATE CHRISTIE AND AMY DAWSON ROBERTSON
DK HAWK AND RRROSE
JAE AND LOIS CLOAREC HART
ANGELA PEACH AND JADE WINTERS
AJ ADAIR AND BARBARA WINKES
MJ WILLIAMZ AND PJ TREBELHORN
DIANA SIMMONDS AND J-L HEYLEN
Hiya, peeps –
Some of you know that in addition to the writing stuff, I’m also an assistant editor over at Luna Station Quarterly, an ezine that publishes spec fic (short stories) by women. They’re always interested in finding new writers as well as established, so if you write spec fic (and that encompasses sci fi, fantasy, paranormal, fairy-tale-ish), consider them as a venue for your work. If you read spec fic or you’re interested in some fine short fiction in the genre, maybe add LSQ to your go-to sites for that. You can read an interview I did with LSQ’s founder and editor, Jennifer Parsons, here.
Now, what have I been up to? Well, I’m preparing the follow-up to my novella From the Boots Up for publication in late spring. It’s a novel-length, and it’s gone through a lot of re-writing. OMG. I had a draft manuscript of it written about 4 years ago. I gutted it, re-shaped it, and sent it to my primary beta/editor who sent it back for more gutting and tweaking. I finished that and now I’m getting it formatted and pretty-fied. Or something. There’s a designer working on the cover and it’ll be going into editing and proofreading soon. Whew. So stay tuned…
I’ve also got another romance novel I’m trying to finish up so I can send it to a couple of betas. That one I’m hoping to have out in the fall. I’m also working on book 4 in my sci fi series (The Far Seek Chronicles, for those not in the know) and I’ll be starting some research for the fifth New Mexico book.
That doesn’t count the conferences I’ll be attending and events I’m helping plan. So basically, I have my work cut out for me this year. Heh.
I’ve also been interviewed in a couple of different venues recently. Ylva Publishing posted this one with me, and thriller/mystery writer Jon Michaelsen had me aboard at his blog. If you missed it, here.
And as always, you can find me at the Women and Words blogsite, where I’m a co-admin and blogger.
So hope everybody has a great rest of the week and if you’re caught in any of the terrible weather out there, stay safe.
Happy reading, happy writing!
Been a few days. I’ve been battling a winter-time nasty cootie attack that involved feeling like crap for over a week. Some monsters aren’t visible to the naked eye, but they can lay you out just as easily as a zombie or werewolf or pissed-off MMA fighter.
And when I physically feel crappy, I don’t have the creative energy to work on my fiction writing. So I spent a lot of time watching movies and paranormal shows on Netflix and basically sleeping. In other words, spending a lot of time alone without being able to write or go outside and feeling generally icky.
For me, that’s a recipe for monsters.
Not the ones in the shows I was watching or the microscopic cooties that went to war with my immune system. And not these friendly, fuzzy ones:
Rather, the ones in my head. And those, my friends, can be worse than any external monsters we might have to face.
WOO-WEE I’ve been busy over at the 12-Day crazy-ass massive are-you-freaking-kidding-me book giveaway we’re doing at Women and Words. It’s the Holiday Hootenanny, people! As an example of the out-of-control-ed-ness, here’s Day 8 for you to see.
Yeah, like that.
Anyway, I was thinking about the writing process behind writing a contemporary series, and about how time runs on two separate tracks when you’re doing that. There’s the author’s real time, and all the events and contexts that the author is living through and dealing with, and then there’s the series. I blogged about this time conundrum in a series HERE.
Here’s a quote from that blog:
Here’s what’s weird about a book series. For the characters in your books, time is a whole different construct than it is for you personally. That is, for them, a month has passed. For you, a year or two. And then there’s a lag between finishing the book and actually publishing it. So what’s been a month or two for your characters is a year or two for you. Which raises the issue: how do you keep your series chronologically accurate without having to write historical fiction every time you sit down to do another installment in your work?
Hi, all –
So, yeah. Been keeping busy with some stuff. My latest mystery will be out in a month or so. Give or take (let’s hope it’s the give). And I’m working on a few different projects at the moment. One is really causing me angst. I like the characters, I like the overall plot arc, I like the setting and the romance (yes, it’s another romance), but like any project that sits a while, it needs work.
I wrote this novel back in…um…2009-ish or thereabouts and then it kind of sat around for a while on my hard drive, drinking beer and scratching itself while watching The L-Word and Ellen over and over again. I dug it out a few months ago because I knew it was time for it to get ready for its debut.
And time to gut a few parts of it and add some other parts. For some reason, that’s proven a bit frustrating for me. Okay, it’s pissed me off. I’ve gone rounds with this manuscript and with the characters. And now it’s time for more of that.
MORE BLOG THERAPY AHEAD!