Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Publishing news

I found out today that my writing bud Paul Genesse sold his first book! Five Star Publishing (a small press) is publishing the first book of the Iron Dragon series called The Golden Cord. It's coming out in hardcover late 2008. This is such good news for Paul, and I'm so excited for him. Although, I have to admit ... I can't wait until the day I announce I've sold a book. Hell, at this point I'd like to sell another frickin' story. I really don't want to be a one-hit wonder.
But this is not about me. Three cheers for Paul Genesse! We can say we knew him when.

Embracing my inner geek.

Instead of going to a movie to "celebrate" the rejection I received yesterday, I bought two CD's: The When Harry Met Sally soundtrack and All-Time top 100 TV Themes. Listening to the latter brings a smile to my face. It's broken up into 2 discs; here's my breakdown of the first one.

Six Feet Under: Haunting, yet lively. The only part of this show I saw was the last five minutes of the series finale on YouTube.

Sex and the City: Jaunty. This sounds like 1962 to me. I feel like I need to be eating off of pink-and-brown plates.

Ally McBeal: overplayed. Nice tune but it's too mainstream for me.

Will & Grace: I hear this and I see Jack. Just Jack! He went to Illinois State University, ya know.

Everybody Loves Raymond: Understated. I've really only ever watched this in reruns.Somehow the theme doesn't fit the show.

Frasier: Funny tune. Kelsey Grammer wrote and sang it, I think. I miss that show, sometimes. Niles ruled.

Friends: Jesus, talk about overplayed. Uck. Fast-forward.

Late Show with David Letterman: Interesting. I don't think I've ever really listened to this before. The world is divided into the Leno's, the Letterman's, and the people who are asleep. I am a sleeper.

Mad About You: This makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I think of late high-school and college. I took a break from moving out of my last college apartment to watch the series finale. I still think about that episode sometimes. I wouldn't mind owning it.

Melrose Place: I didn't actually watch this much. I do remember that some bars had "Melrose Mondays" where they had drink specials while the show was on.

Beverly Hills, 90210: I watched this show before it was cool to watch and I stopped right after they began college.

Law and Order: Jeez, what can I say about this? So iconic. I don't think you'd have to try to hard to watch an episode of L&O or one of the spin-offs for 24 hours straight. Somewhere there's an episode playing right now.

Northern Exposure. Fun song. I didn't watch this show very much, but I seem to recall there being a hot doctor. Every drama needs one.

The Simpsons: Another iconic theme. If you're not in the mood for L&O you can watch The Simpsons. I like the "Lisa plays the sax" part the best.

Thirtysomething: I was too young for this show. I can't remember if my mom watched it or not. The only thing I remember about it is people fighting alot.
For some reason this makes me think of that show with Claire Danes, her name was Angela, she kissed Jared Leto and her best friend was a drunk ... "My So-Called Life." Now there's a show.

Full House: How embarassing to admit I used to watch this show. Even more embarrassing is admitting I used to like it. I need to rent The Aristocrats to see Bob Sagat be crude.

21 Jump Street: Two words: Johnny Depp.

L.A. Law: Very 80's. Don't remember much about this show.

Pee-Wee's Playhouse: I can't listen to this without seeing a seedy porn theater in my head, which isn't really fair, but there it is.

Perfect Strangers: Ah, Balki. Who didn't like Balki? That guy was one of Tom Cruise's friends in Risky Business.

Growing Pains: Big smiles with this one. I may have had one or twelve Teen Beat pictures of Kirk Cameron on my wall back in the day.

Moonlighting: Nice tune. My mom and I used to watch "Moonlighting" and "Remington Steele" when I was an impressionable youngster.

Who's the Boss: More smiles. I was a huge fan of this show. I so wanted to be Samantha Micelli--a girl that could beat up a boy but lived in a kick-ass house.

Miami Vice: This is about as '80's and you can get. Synthesizers, drumbeats, horns. I liked that show, too. This makes me think of Don Johnson testing cocaine with his tongue.

Night Court: Loved this show! I especially liked Bull.

The A-team: I didn't watch this all that much, but I need to make Ken listen to this. I bet it'll make him smile. Then I can say, "See? It was worth twenty bucks."

St. Elsewhere: Now we're beginning to edge into the shows that I was a bit too young to really get into. Any show that has Denzel Washington and Howie Mandel as alumnus has street cred, though.

Cheers: Oh, this makes me feel safe and happy and sad inside all at the same time. I watched this show alot. Another iconic one that everyone one knows. "How I Met Your Mother" did a play on the "Norm!" business at the end of an episode a few weeks ago.

Knight Rider: Ah, Kitt. I remember this being so cool but I bet if I watched it now I wouldn't be able to stop laughing. Is David Hasselhoff still huge in Germany?

Cagney & Lacey: Didn't watch this at all. Didn't this play around the same time as "Kate and Allie?" I'm too deep in the nostalgia pool; I've lost all perspective.

The Greatest American Hero: Now, I did watch this. Around 1981, which would have been first grade for me. That I still know the words to this theme song speaks highly about the spong-like qualities of the young human brain.

Hill Street Blues: Didn't watch this, but I remember mom and dad watching it. Hearing this song makes me think of dark, rainy streets and big Ford cars. Was that the opening montage of the show?

Dynasty: Didn't watch this at all. I get this show and "Dallas" mixed up in my head. "Dynasty" had Joan Collins and "Dallas" had the whole "Who shot J.R." business, right?

Magnum, P.I.: Tom Selleck with a 'stach. He's got nothin' on MacGyver.

The Facts of Life: Aww, yeah! I remember there was an episode in one of the later seasons where Tootie loses her virginity. There was a little "This episode contains adult themes" thingy just before the episode, and of course my mother walks into the room just in time to read it. "What was that about?" she says. I give her the TV guide, because even though I know I don't want to have this conversation. She looks at the descriptions, decides I can watch it, then proceeds to leave. It wasn't as bad as it could have been; at least she didn't want to have a Meaningful Conversation about it afterwards.

Diff'rent Strokes: There was an episode of this where the older sister washes her hair with NYC rainwater and it turns green. Good times.

WKRP in Cincinnati: I remember watching this show a bit, but I was young enough that I didn't get the jokes about sex or drugs. Come to think of it, I didn't get this show at all.

Taxi: I think my dad like this show. We've been in the "3 stations to choose from" era for the second half of this disk, which is probably why I remember the themes even if I don't really remember the show. Odds are good that I've seen at least one episode of all them at one time or another.

Dallas: Ah, here it is. Yeah, still can't tell the difference.

Fantasy Island and The Love Boat: I'm combining these two because last Friday night Ken and I were bumming around the house, and at 8:00 he says "Fantasy Island Love Boat!" and I say, "What are you talking about" and he says "That's what you watch on Friday nights. At least, I did when I was a kid." and I say, "Yeah, that sounds familiar, but I don't remember it being on Friday nights." Wasn't on ABC?

Soap: Billy Crystal as a gay guy. Love that. I remember my mom watching this sometimes and I didn't get some of the jokes. Although, I did understand the whole soap-opera-satire business about it. My mom watched a lot of soaps, so I was totally down with it.

Eight is Enough: Too young for this, really. Or maybe we didn't really watch it.

Three's Company: I liked this show a lot as a kid. Sometimes I watch "The Class" now just to support Jason Ritter (that's Jack Ritter's son).

Wonder Woman: Didn't really watch this. It makes me think of Underroos, though. Remember those? I remember really wanting a set of "She-ra" Underroos.

Charlie's Angels: Didn't really watch this, either. Nice touch with the narration throughout the theme, though. Because we're too stupid to remember the conceit of the show from week to week, right?

The Muppet Show: Awww, yeah! Huge favorite of mine as a kid. I'm playing this one twice. Okay, three times. I loved the hecklers--I always forget their names--and Animal and Gonzo and ... hell, I loved it all. It's muppetational!

Alice: Watched this sometimes. Mel's diner, baby. Mel's diner.

What's Happening!!!: Never saw this.

Laverne & Shirley: I remember watching this alot in reruns. When I went to camp in second grade I told people I like Pepsi and milk. They never made me prove it, thank God. When I first started dating Ken, he had a murphy bed much like L&S's in the living room of his studio apartment. Yeah, I was totally creative and called it the "Laverne and Shirley" bed. I think in my friendships I tend to be the Laverne.

Okay, that was completely awesome. What rejection? I'll do the second disk some other time. The laundry is calling to me.

Monday, November 27, 2006

another one bites the dust

Got a rejection today for the "Love and Sacrifice" anthology. I'm really sort of in love with this story, and I'm bummed it didn't make the cut. Never fear; it's going out to F&SF tomorrow. John Joseph Adams is going to be sick of me by this time next year.

I'm sort of in a depressive funk now. I'm going to work on my book and let my characters do horrible things to the bad guys. That'll make me feel better. Probably won't keep any of it, but it'll be cathartic.

I have tomorrow off. Maybe I'll treat myself to a movie. I've been wanting to see The Departed, and that might make me feel a little better. Much more constructive than cake.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

visiting the vet

So yesterday we took Morgan and Kahlua to the vet. Morgan doesn't mind the trip so much; it's being cooped up in the carrier that pisses him off more than anything. Kahlua, on the other hand, wets himself every time he gets shoved into the carrier. Yesterday he even pooped while he was on the examining table. Poor kitty. We discovered Kahlua has an infected tooth--one of his front fangs--that has to be pulled. He has to have blood work before he can be cleared for anethesia, then there's the actual extraction and antibiotics. I'm about to make my vet's Christmas a little be merrier, I think. It's pretty infected, so I don't want to wait until January. He could get septic or something, and that would be bad news. Next Friday I'm taking Bailey and Moonshine for their visits, so perhaps I'll schedule Kahlua's extraction while I'm there. Maybe they could give me some kitty valium to give him for the trip.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


So it turns out I know why the bad guys are the bad guys in my book. All the Powerful people, see, are underground, see? And the Powerful Mafia types are even more underground than the normal Powerful people. But the Mafia types want to "come out," as it were, and show the world how great and Powerful they are, and are gonna use our hero to do that. Of course, once they're out, they're going to rule the world. Mind reading, telekinesis, and alchemy for hire? You bet they're gonna take over. And, of course, our hero's not going to let anyone mess with the Powerful people's way of life.

Which brings me to the question: wouldn't the government really like to have a Powerful person like that on staff? Hmmm. Maybe that would be a subject for a future book ...

I have to say that right now, I'm not in a festive frame of mind. I have to work the next five days (it's my holiday to work, rah-rah-health-care) and so Ken and I aren't really celebrating with a turkey dinner. I think we may hit the movies tomorrow night, and maybe find a chinese restaurant to eat at. But still, it's the season, so here's a quick list of what I'm thankful for:
warm house
good friends
all five senses

Now, I'm gonna go work on da book.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


It occurred to me that it was hypocritical of me to put other people's full names on my blog and not my own. So I have made the leap. Hopefully no weirdos come out of the proverbial woodwork.

On an unrelated note, yesterday I smashed my right forefinger in the walk-in refrigerator door at work. It hurt like a bitch, but today it is merely bruised and only slightly painful. Hopefully my nail won't fall out.

Today I ate three pieces of Chicago-style pizza. I think I may have gained five or so pounds. Tomorrow, I'm going to the gym for cardio and weight-lifting. I'm also going to write and get some laundry done. If I'm feeling perky enough, I might even vaccuum.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another love note from F&SF

This one is better than the last one, maybe:
"Thank you for submitting "Mark of a Woman," but I'm going to pass on it. There's nice writing here, but this tale didn't grab my interest, I'm afraid. Good luck to you with this one, and thanks again for sending it our way."

Did ya see that? "There's nice writing here"? Oh, yeah. I'm da woman. Off to find another market, and then maybe write a bit on the book. I think I'm about to catch my second wind.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I think my book is officially dead.

Remember how I said I was doing an experiment with this book by writing it without an outline? Yeah, well, I've discovered that I need an outline. Not only that, I need details about everyone's past, as well as their motivations. So I've learned that I need to have plot outlines as well as character outlines.

How did I come to this conclusion? Just before WFC, I got to the point of my story where the bad guys kidnap the hero. This should be a really exciting point, right? I should not be able to wait to start writing the climactic dramatic scenes. But I find that I'm dreading writing it, because I don't know exactly who the villians are and why they're doing what they're doing. Oh, sure, I know they're part of an Underground-Mafia-type-outfit that's out for the protagonist because he's the only Powerful person of his generation that can use all four Powers, but other than that, I got nothin'. Actually, now that I read it, it's not so bad. Maybe I'm depressed about the book because I figure my word count, at best, is going to be 50K. I consider it a YA book, so that's a decent word count, but still. It seems kind of wimpy. I dunno. Maybe I just need to put it aside for awhile and come back to it once I've done a decent outline and character backgrounds.

One could look at this as a waste of six months. I choose to look at is as a lesson learned. Also, this means I'm free to start working on my short story goal.

Sometimes this whole writing business overwhelms me.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Slimy Sundays

Today has been a perfect Sunday:
1. I did a few loads of laundry, which was enough to make me feel productive.
2. I didn't shower. I tell myself this is so my skin and hair can replenish their natural oils, but really I'm just lazy. I love being lazy on Sunday.
3. I baked a batch of Rocky Balboa cookies. I'm entering the 21st Annual Chocolate-chip cookie contest at work on Friday, and this is one of many practice batches. I tried a Rocky Road cookie with mini-marshmellows and walnuts, but the marshmellows stuck to the cookie sheet and the spatula, so they sort of fell apart. The look horrible but they're yummy, so I named them the Rocky Balboa cookie. You know, "ugly champion" cookies. Yeah, I thought it was pretty clever, too.
4. I took a nap around 4 p.m. Naps on Sunday run a close second to not showering on Sunday.
5. I finished one book and started another.

And that just about wraps up my day.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


In all the hullabaloo I forgot to mention the gem that awaited me when I returned from Austin: a rejection from Realms of Fantasy for "Mark of a Woman." Bah. It's off to F&SF tomorrow. Oh, and Kelly Y: I'm sending your goodies tomorrow, as well. Be on the lookout.

new links

I've posted tons of new links (see left). They're for all my new writing buds I met at WFC. They've got cool sites; be sure to check them out. If you find yourself not included, and you consider yourself a cool WFC-writing-bud, let me know, and I'll throw a link up to your website or blog. We all rock.
Oh, and Holly: thanks for the shout-out and link on your blog. I can't wait to get to know you (and all the LJ crew) better.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bloggin' from Austin

Okay, not really. Ken and I are back home. I would have blogged from Austin, but the fucking hotel the convention was at didn't have free internet! Anywhere! Dirty bastards. We paid for one day, but I didn't have time that particular day to post properly, so I'm doing it now.

My con experience was better this year than last year. For one thing, I knew a few people, so I was able to mingle a bit more, and that in turn introduced me to more people. I only felt like a talentless-hack-poser a few times. Once I reminded myself that I had read plenty of books from people there that I didn't particularly like and that there's room in the publishing biz for all our voices, I got over myself. I met lots of writers-on-the-edge-of-discovery, a few established writers, and a few agents. It was a great con. I'd like to attend two or three conventions next year. I might have to stick to the regional ones. WFC is in New York State next year, which would be cool, but ... we'll have to see.

Friday night was particularly fun. One of my writer friends, Paul Genesse, has a short story out in the anthology "Furry Fantastic." It's his first pro story, I believe, and he had a space in the autograph room on Friday night so he could sign copies for people. It just so happened that most of the people who were going to pick up copies dined together, and so after dinner, we went to the autograph room and caused a scene. Rachel (a girl I had pretty much met just before dinner) and I ran up to where Paul was sitting and starting yelling, "Oh, my God! Is that Paul? Paul Genesse? Oh my God! Can we have your autograph?" Rachel went one step further and said "Will you sign my chest?" Paul's friend Patrick said, "Dude, your story changed my life. I was going to kill myself until I read "The Mob." Paul's neighbors got a kick out of it, and he was suitably embarrassed, so it was all good. Somebody had better do that for me when I have a book signing. Get your Sharpies ready now.

One of the established writers I got to meet was Steven Brust. You know, the dude who writes the "Vlad Taltos" novels. I only spoke with him briefly, but he seemed like a nice fellow. I caught kind of an "aging hippie" vibe from him, which I didn't really expect. I've actually e-mailed him about writing a few times in the past three years. I was able to reference that so I didn't come across as a huge geeky fan girl. Now that I think about it, though, maybe I came across as a huge geeky fan girl stalker, which may or may not be worse.

My writing goal is to finish the first draft of the book by the end of the year so I can write short stories next year. I'd like to write one a week and submit everything I write. Gotta make a name and reputation for myself, you know.