Thursday, February 22, 2007

Day off

Tomorrow I have the day off because I work the weekend. This means:
1. I can stay up late tonight. ("Late" is a relative term here. I might make it until 11:00 p.m.)
2. I have to clean house tomorrow because we're getting (drum roll, please) new living room furniture delivered on Saturday! Oh, yeah, baby. Two new couches and two recliners. This of course means we have to get end tables, coffee tables, and possibly an entryway table. This also means our living room will finally look like adults live in our house.
3. I can play poker and watch "Jericho" in between bouts of cleaning.
4. I can get some writing done in the afternoon. I haven't written anything since a few days before Bailey died. Now that I'm not wallowing in misery anymore, I find that I want to get back to the laptop to put the pictures in my head on paper. (I'm going to try a metaphor here. Before, my grief was like wearing tight clothes over a blistered sunburn: constant pain. Now, it's like muscles after a moderate workout: it hurts, but only if I move the right way. I didn't phrase that well but it's pretty accurate, I think.)

On the writing front, I'm gathering opinions about the last story I finished. If all goes well, I may have some good news about it soon. Stay tuned.

My mom has arraigned a book signing for me in my hometown. A mother of a childhood friend of mine runs a gift shop, and she wants to host a book-signing for me. So I need to write a press release for the hometown paper, buy a case of books wholesale for Janice to sell in her shop, and maybe set up a photo-op of me donating a few books to the library. Oh, and let's not forget have Ken take a good picture of me to run with the blurb in the paper. Yeah, it sort of seems a bit much for one story in one anthology, but what the hell. It's a "hometown-girl-makes-good" type thing, and it's never to early to cultivate fans, I say. If anyone has any advice about the press-release, I'm all ears.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


In all the hulabaloo I forgot to mention I received a rejection from Asimov's for "Last Man Standing" on Saturday. To tell you the truth I sort of forgot about it until I saw the letter on my desk tonight. I'm going to hold onto it for a few weeks and then send it to Weird Tales. Fingers crossed!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Happy birthday to me

I'm officially 32 today! Well, I guess it's not official until 8:05 p.m., but you get the idea. I have to say this is the crappiest birthday I've ever had, with Bailey dying two days ago and all. I'm beginning to get used to the idea that she's not here. I'm not on the verge of crying all the time, but it still doesn't take too much to push me over the edge. Saturday night we went out for dinner at Red Lobster with friends of ours. Ken and I both had a fish dinner and a glass of Bailey's on the rocks. It was a nice tribute. At one point in the evening I joked that in 12 years when Moonshine passes away, drinking a glass of moonshine's gonna be a bitch. I have a feeling we'll do it, though.

Ken had mentioned maybe getting a new kitty, not right away, but ya know ... sometime. I don't know. I look at the other three cats like little ticking time bombs, and I think to myself that I can't handle going through this anguish three more times. But then I think that Bailey had 12-1/2 great years with us, and the other cats have a pretty good life, so maybe it is worth it. Sure, there's a crappy month or so when they pass ... but all the happy times before hand make up for it. I don't want a new cat anytime soon, but I might be open to the suggestion this summer.

As for birthday festivities, we went out to breakfast with friends (yum), I'm going to color my hair (I'm going to be brave and try strawberry blonde) and I think I'd like to go get a manicure. I may or may not go buy a new FM transmitter for my iPod--my old one crapped out and I really like listening to the iPod on long trips. Then tonight Ken and I will probably watch The Departed and "Heroes" on TV while eating german chocolate cake. No worries--tomorrow night after work we're going out to happy hour with some of my work friends so I'll be sure to kick back a few cold ones then.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Bailey Swails, 1994-2007

Bailey died this morning, probably of a heart attack or stroke. She was lying on the back of the couch, fell as she began to convulse, then she was gone. She was quite lovey this morning, all about getting pets and giving big purrs.

The house feels empty now.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

snow day part deux

Note the little kiddie plastic shovel. That baby set me back two bucks!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Snow. Day.

Oh, yeah! Having 10-15 inches of snow fall on your head during blizzard-like conditions pays off! I didn't go to work today--no way was I going to brave the interstate during a drifting, blowing, snow storming mess--and my manager just called to tell me not to come in tomorrow. Woooohooo! Rock on! Okay, I did feel guilty about not going in to work--one of my friend/co-workers lives in my town and made it in fine--but being told to stay home tomorrow erased all guilt. So far Ken and I have played my poker video game, made chocolate-chip pancakes and cheesy hash browns, read a homework assignment (Ken) and polished a new short story (me). We threw some chicken in the crock pot to eat tonight while we watch a movie, and I'm probably going to get ambitious here in a bit and make chocolate chip cookies and heart-shaped sugar cookies. Yeah, it sucks that I'll have to use up two days of paid leave, but Yippee! Snow days rule! I almost want to go outside and build a snow fort. Almost.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Best Survivor Ever

Last night I watched the first episode of "Survivor: Fiji." It had probably the funniest moment of the whole franchise. All nineteen Survivors were given the task of building a shelter. They have been provided materials, tools, and a blueprint of sorts.

Sylvia: (a.k.a. Middle-aged Architect Chick): This board is slightly askew, it's gonna throw the whole thing off.
Rocky (a.k.a. Young Dumb Bostonian): Askew? Ascoot? A-S-C-O-O-T?
MAC: No, askew.
YDB: If you're goin' throw around big words, ya gotta tell us what they mean.
MAC: It means not orthogonal.

Ken and I cracked up, composed ourselves, then rewound it and watched it again. Classic.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Book Review

I'm officially on the stump for Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora. I haven't had this much fun reading a book in a long time. It's like Ocean's Eleven, The Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Godfather all rolled into to one story. And the cursing! Lynch's creativity when it comes to swearing is astounding. Sure, the story lags a bit in the third act but the action at the very end makes up for it. I can't recommend this one enough. Apparently Lynch has signed a seven-book contract (This is an unbelievably huge deal for a rookie author--Lies is his first book) and so there will be six more forthcoming. Count me in.

Maybe I'll make the ladies in my book club read this when my month comes up. Mwaa-haa-haa.

Tell me about your first time

No, not that first time--I mean the first time you read a book with sex in it and then re-read the scene on purpose. There's a discussion going on on Jenny Rappaport's blog about "dirty" books we read as kids. It's such a great topic that I'm bringing it over here. The article that started it all was on
A lot of the books--Clan of the Cave Bear, Scruples, Hawaii--that are mentioned I've never read, but I've got a few of my own. My mom was into romance novels, and there were a few that, while I never read the whole thing, I did have a few page numbers memorized.

I'll start my list with the Judy Blume books. She was a one-woman sexual education machine.

Then Again, Maybe I Won't. This was one of the first books I read that had a male protagonist written in the first person. The scene that immediately comes to mind is when the protagonist gets a boner in algebra class and the teacher calls him to the front of the room to work an equation.

Deenie. This was one of the first books I read that explicity talks about masturbation.

Are You There, God? It's me, Margaret. All about periods, baby.

Tiger Eyes. I don't remember if this book talked about sex; I remember it mostly because of the horrific death scenes.

And other authors:

Flowers in the Attic by V. C. Andrews. I remember reading this book during summer vacation before my freshman year in high school. At one point (if memory serves, I was sitting on the couch reading a particularly juicy scene) when my mom asked, "Is there anything in there I wouldn't want you to read?" "No," I said, praying I didn't look guilty. She bought it, and I continued to read about Chris and Cathy, the siblings that became lovers when they were locked in an attic.

Christine by Stephen King. My dad gave this to me freshman year in high school, and I didn't look back. I read anything by King I could get my hands on.

The Chocolate War by Robert ... Cormier, I think. I don't remember what this book is about specifically--I think it's about how shitty kids can be to each other--but I remember that some parents didn't want their kid to read it, so of course I did.

I'm sure there are others, but this is a good start. When I think about it, my upbringing was sort of strange. My parents didn't really talk to me about sex at all, but they let me read pretty much whatever I wanted. Maybe they figured if I learned about it through literature they wouldn't have to have "the talk" with me. All I know is, reading has always been a huge part of my life, even as far back as kindergarten, and it obviously continues to be. One of the reasons I want to be a writer is to open up different worlds for younger readers. If twenty years from now somebody said, "I learned about sex/relationships/how cool the world could be from reading [insert wildly creative title for my four-wizard book here] in the sixth grade," I could die a happy woman. Sigh.

But enough about my internal writer angst. What "dirty" books shaped your childhood?