Friday, June 29, 2007


Bought some new earrings today. I've discovered that I need sterling silver earrings or else my lobes freak out. Real gold, not gold-plate, would probably work, too. Freakish body chemistry does have its perks.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I've been out of action for the past few days due to a wicked intestinal virus. Now that my system is on the mend, I'll do my best to catch up on the past few days.

I bought three new sets of cute scrubs for work. I love having a job where the accepted uniform is basically pajamas. Apparently right now I'm in my "black floral" period. Previously I bought "colorful geometrics," and before that, "solid unisex". Ah, youth. I'm tossing out the last of the "solid unisex" tonight. I finally felt well enough to wash them tonight, so watch out world! I'll be doing the "Project Runway" walk tomorrow.

Over the past few days a cat has been wandering around our back yard. It obviously belongs to someone, because it has a collar with a bell around its neck and lets Ken pet it. This was the scene a few nights ago:
Moonshine: Spit! Hiss! Hiss! Let me pouf up my tail so I look huge! See how scary I am! Hiss! Hiss!
Kahlua: What's going on?
Morgan: Hey, dumbass, what your malfunc--Gaaah! There's a cat in MY YARD! Hiss! Hiss! Grroooowwwll! Yoooowwwlll! (Run-hop-thump, run-hop-thump) Blasted glass! Who put this shit here? Yoooowwwlll! Hiss!
Kahlua: What's going on?
Moonshine: Get her Morgan, get her!
Outside cat: This step looks comfy. I think I'll lie down right here. I'll stare at you to antagonize you more.
Morgan: Gaahh! The intruder is lying on my deck! Attack! Attttttaaaaaccckkk! If this glass weren't here I'd rip that bell from your throat! I would own you! (Run-hop-thump)
Kahlua: I think I'll lie down now. What's all the commotion about?
Humans: Calm down, cats. (To outside cat) Shoo! Go away.
Outside cat: Hmph. Guess I'll move over to this comfy spot by the window.
Moonshine: Hiss!! Hiss!!! Alert! Intruder by the window!
Morgan: You bitch! Hiss! I will show you no mercy! (Run-hop-thump) Stupid glass.
Kahlua: I'm napping now.

Good times.

On the writing front, I have a few tidbits to report. Between working this past weekend and my wacked-out large intestine, I've made no further progress on Stormy Weather. I'll get back on that horse this weekend. Perhaps I'll sneak in a few hours tomorrow before dinner-and-a-movie. I received a rejection from Realms of Fantasy for "Last Man Standing." It'll go out again this weekend. Persistence pays, allegedly, and I like this story too much to let it die. As for good news, I have been asked to submit a short story for an anthology, 4-6k, due August 15th. I'm pumped. Basically, if I write a good story, they'll accept it and if I don't, they won't. Meaning, nothing is guaranteed ... but it's so frickin' awesome to be asked. I feel like I'm actually making headway in this biz. Fingers crossed, ya'll.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Rules

1. Don't ever blog while drunk.
2. If someone says, "Here, just have one glass of wine," and that one glass turns into, like, more, you can ignore rule number 1. It's a stupid rule, anyway.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I bought the new Bon Jovi and Stone Sour CD's today. Poke fun if you must.

I just started listening to the Stone Sour one. The first song sounds like a Metallica rip-off. Hopefully it becomes more original soon.

The Stormy Weather progress bar looks misleading. I've done a lot of cleaning and rearranging. I'm working on the climax now, which will actually take the better part of the weekend since I have to work. Once I'm through with that, I'm going to go through each chapter and see what I can add here and there. I figure if I add 500-1000 words to each chapter I can bump up my word count to where it needs to be. Fingers crossed.

Monday, June 18, 2007


A rejection today, this one from Weird Tales for "Rules of Engagement." Never fear, it's heading out the door to Strange Horizons tomorrow.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


So I've finally got a moment to catch my breath and blog about the last few days.

Wednesday Ken and I attended a Cubs game at Wrigley field with a group of friends. That was awesome! We sat in the bleachers, which is first-come, first-served, so we got there a few hours before game time. We sat in the sun, watched batting practice and ate hot dogs and big pretzels. The Cubs played the Mariners, which was sort of special for Ken and I; the last major league game he and I saw was a Mariners game in Seattle during our honeymoon. Funny coincidence: Lou Penella was the manager of the Mariners back then and the Cubs now. Funny how that worked out. We stayed with a friend that lives in an apartment that's like a 10-minute walk from the Stadium, so we didn't have to deal with the El or traffic at all. Bonus! After the game I also had my first Jagermeister shot since college. Back then I didn't like it; I've discovered that my taste buds have changed. Tasty! I liked it so much I had another. I wouldn't want to sip on a whole glass of the stuff, but as a shooter it's pretty good. Who knew?

Thursday morning we walked along Michigan avenue. We didn't actually shop much; it was more of a people-watching expedition. Though, Ken noted it would make a cool two-day Christmas-shopping excursion. I wouldn't want to do that on a weekend--the crowds would make me insane--but a Tuesday/Wednesday thing could be fun.

Last night I had girl's night poker. Lots of fun, though I didn't win again. The group has really learned how to play and no one had to ask when to check, bet, or what beats what. I had joked that my kid gloves were off and that I out for blood; for some reason, though, I played more timidly than normal and came in fifth. Normally I play pretty ballsy--my theory is you might as well play hard because if you're going to lose anyway you'll be pissed if you didn't--but last night I was all off. Aggressive poker is winning poker, and for some reason I forgot that. Ah, well; then next game is July 13th. Plenty of time to get my game on. Oh, and apparently 9's were the new 2's; it seemed like most flops and/or winning hands had them. Buggah!

Today is for writing, movie-watching, and possibly swimming. I'd like to see Ocean's Thirteen today, and possibly Pirates of the Caribbean. There's a sneak peak of Ratatouille happening and if I can figure out how to score tickets, I'd like to see that, too. Once back in college, Ken and I saw three movies in one day. It was a whole-day affair; we ate meals in between each show and finished that last movie at around 8:00 or something. Fun, but I doubt we're up for it again today. Two movies in a theater is probably our maximum. For one thing, the expense; for another, the people. The theater closest to our house is sort of ghetto, and that scene can get a bit tiresome.

Tomorrow I'm making the trek back home for Father's day. I'm anxious to see my parent's face when they see the copy of the anthology.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

drum roll, please

I received my copy of Pirates of the Blue Kingdoms Wednesday. I'm still a little giddy about the whole business. It's finally real! This means I'll be storming the castles (a.k.a. local retailers) next week to try to get them to stock the thing.
In related (small publisher) news, McSweeney's needs our help. Go buy a book or three and help out the little guys.
I'll post about my trip to Chicago tomorrow. Right now all I want is a good book and a little sleep.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ego boosts

Recently I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from my Stormy Weather readers. They all seem to like the story and the characters (most of the characters, anyway) and they had lots of good ideas for how to beef up the story and shore up the plot. The best part of letting people read my stuff is seeing how invested they become in this story that's come outta my head. You know how when you and a friend read the same book and you talk about it afterward--"Did you like the guy in the place with the thing?" "Oh, yeah! Totally! And the dude, what was his name, the Mattress? He killed me!" I love that--no two people read any story the same way, and hearing other people's takes on a book is awesome. However, it's even better when you share that sort of thing with a story that's been written by one of the involved parties. When the readers see everything you've tried to convey, that's great. But when they see more than what's on the page, well ... that's the magic. It's the reason I love to read. And it's the reason I love to write. One of 'em, anyway.

Now that I've gotten all my reviews back, it's time to get crackin'. I've got back story to think about, scenes to write, a climax to deconstruct and rebuild, and villains to flesh out. What was it ... a finished, polished manuscript by September 1st? Another draft out to readers by August 1st? I think I can actually pull this off ...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Busy work

Today I'm going to go through all 201 posts and try to put tags on 'em. You know, to make searching for my rejections that much easier.

In other news, I forgot to mention that we gave away two couches and two chairs to a grad student on Friday. I was a little sad to see one of the couches go--it was great for naps--but it felt great to help out a student. Two couches down, one more to go ...

Friday, June 08, 2007

This and that

Last night I went to see "Knocked Up" with some friends of mine. I loved it! Full of cursing and crude jokes and a prosthetic vagina. The pink-eye scene is hysterical. Besides all the horsing around, the writing was good and the characters were all awesome. The dude who plays Marshall on "How I Met Your Mother" has a role and he's frickin' hilarious. I've always been a fan of Paul Rudd, and his performance didn't disappoint. He's like a younger John Cusack. If you're not going to be offended by hearing "fuck" approximately 1,547 times, go see it. I'd pay to see it again. Afterwards we drank wine and ate appetizers at a wine shop. Good times.

Today Ken and I bought a new scale. Apparently our old one under-weighed us by about 9 pounds. Yeah, it sucks. More exercise and less food for us. I refuse to give in.

I haven't written much this week. I need to sit down with a note book, answer some questions about my characters, and dissect my plot to see how I can make things worse for each of my characters. One of my readers agreed that the story had good bones but needed more meat. A project for the weekend.

Karma's a bitch

This rocks.

Oh, by the way ... this is post #200. As you were.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Chocolate-Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

During my childhood, my mom and I would cook quickie stove top treats during the summer months. I'm sure we made them during the winter, too, but I remember making things like Rice Krispie Treats and CONBC during the summer when it's too hot to turn on the oven. I made the No-Bakes tonight. I love them when they're cool, but nothing beats eating the last spoonful of warm goo right outta the pan. Nirvana.

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1 stick butter or margarine
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups quick-cook oats

Set the burner to medium-high. In a heavy pan, mix the sugar, butter, milk and cocoa until combined, stirring constantly. When the mixture begins to boil, set a timer and boil for exactly one minute, stirring constantly. (This timing is important. Boil too long, the cookies will be crumbly; don't boil long enough, you'll have to scrap the cookies off the wax paper with a spoon to eat them.) One the minute is up, remove pan from heat. Add the peanut butter and vanilla. Stir until the PB is completely melted and incorporated. Mix in the oatmeal until it's evenly distributed. Drop spoonful of mixture onto wax paper; allow to cool about an hour (If it's humid or hot they may take longer to set). Once set, peel off the paper and store in an airtight container for a maximum of two days. These cookies are best with the first 24 hours of preparation.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Peer pressure

I've finally created a livejournal account. You can find me at Friend me soon, punks.

Maybe livejournal won't be jealous if I only see blogspot on the weekends.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Today I shipped of the anemic manuscript of Stormy Weather to two readers. A third reader got the first two chapters. I'm excited because this story's been clangin' around my head for so long that I'm anxious to see what other people think of it. They're going to give me such great input that I bet I can have a really great 2nd draft by August 1st, maybe sooner. That's right, a new deadline! And then I'd like to have it out the door to agents by September 1st. We shall see.

Now that I'm waiting on responses, I can start looking at other projects. I'd like to pull out my old Gemstone Prophecy trilogy and update (read: completely change) it. I want to change the protagonist's background and condense it all into one book. That could take some time but I think it'll improve the project and make it more salable. Then I'll do the agent routine with that one.

And then after that, I'd like to start researching/outlining a sci-fi/thriller/mystery I've been mulling over for a while that has to do with AI chips and autism. That's going to take a fair amount of research and plotting. It's intimidating but you don't grow as a writer (or a person, for that matter) by doing the same thing all the time.

This is all, of course, contingent on not having any more deadlines. There's been rumblings of short-story type offerings in my future, though, so fingers crossed on that front. I'll make an announcement when/if such whispers become official.

On the exercising front, I jogged 2 miles and lifted some weights. The yard probably needs mowed, too-we've gotten a fair amount of rain in the area lately and it's best to keep on top of these things. I hate yard work. I swear our next house is going to be a condo with wood floors and a pool. Or maybe I'll just hire a hunky landscaper.