Monthly Archives: October 2009

Fantasy Man Friday

Happy Friday, everyone! What a glorious day (so far).

Today is my baby’s 18th birthday. Okay, so he isn’t really my baby, but I love him like my own. It’s hard for me to believe that the chunky little baby I carried on my hip the entire summer I was fifteen is now the lean handsome young man he is today. Not to get all sappy on ya’ll, but I don’t think I could love him more if he were my own child. He’s a great kid and I just had to share a little of him with ya’ll.

This is my baby with his girlfriend. *sniff*

Bryan2Bryan

Okay, on to Fantasy Man Friday. No, I wasn’t letting you all ogle my handsome nephew. Hmph. As his nanny, I consider it my sacred duty to protect him from females. Unfortunately, his girlfriend got him at school and as much as I protested, the school board wouldn’t let me follow him around to protect him. Darn it! Just kidding. She’s a sweet girl and they’re cute together.

On that note. Today’s Fantasy Man…sheesh. This was a difficult decision. There are so many men and so little time! I think I know who to use. Here we go:

towelman

How’s that? It’s a shame we can’t see his face, but we can console ourselves with the rest of him. Ahem.

Happy Friday,  ya’ll and if I’m not around tomorrow. Happy Halloween!

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Filed under Family, fantasy man friday

Writing is Like the NFL

Brace yourselves, this is a long one, but I think you’ll enjoy it 🙂

It should be no surprise by now that I’m a major NFL fan. I wait for football season like some kids wait for Christmas. To be more precise, I wait for the Saints to play.

I’ve been a Saints fan since I was a child. I grew up with this team and while I spent most of my youth with no idea what the team colors were, or what our emblem looked like (you have to realize, our games were ALWAYS blacked out), I knew that this was my team. Bobby Hebert, the Cajun Cannon. Pat Swilling, Dalton Hilliard, Reggie Jackson, Sam Mills. These were names bandied about through my developing years.

So, you’re probably asking yourself ‘Is she ever going to get to the point of this post she tricked me into reading?’. Why, yes. I am 🙂

After all of these years as a football fan, I’m now writing and suffering through all the ups and downs writers go through. There’s the normal hair-pulling-my-characters-are-driving-me-crazy-and-I-can’t-sleep phase of writing the manuscript. This is what I would compare to training camp. This is when all of your players show up and start doing their thing, building a strong team for the upcoming season.

Then there’s the oh-my-God-I-finished-I-finished!-what-do-you-mean-I-have-to-edit-it? phase when the manuscript is complete. This is comparable to preseason. You’re putting your players out there for the world to see and critiquing them on their performance. If they suck, you cut them. The same with editing/critiquing your manuscript. You’re weeding out what doesn’t work and finding replacements for what does.

Followed by the what-the-blue-blazes-do-you-mean-I-have-to-send-it-to-someone? phase which is when your manuscript is ready for submission to an agent/editor. This, of course, is after the I-have-an-agent-pitch-and-I-think-I’m-going-to-puke stage, but that passes relatively quick since most pitches are no more than 15 minutes. To me, these two stages are the regular ups and downs of the NFL season. Your team is out there, they’re doing their best to win and they suffer through growing pains. They’re losing one week, winning the next. Just like the pitches you’re tossing out to the editors and agents you meet with. Then comes the win! Someone wants to read a partial or a full of your manuscript. It’s scary, it’s exhilarating.

After all of these stages of writing, editing, editing some more, pitching, and submitting, then it’s time for the waiting phase. You wait and pray. Wait and pray that those agents or editors will like what you’ve read. Finally, this is followed by one of two outcomes: you get either the we’re-sorry-but-this-doesn’t-fit-our-needs rejection, or you get the holy-hell-you’re-so-getting-published acceptance. I personally haven’t reached the second stage yet, but that’s okay. It’s a process. So this final phase I’m going to compare to the Superbowl. *cracks her knuckles*

On one hand you’ve got your manuscript. On the other, you’ve got your agent/editor. These are the opposing teams. Your manuscript has battled its way through rejection after rejection. It’s bloody from all the editing you’ve done. It’s bruised around the edges from scenes that have been tweaked so many times it really should be on injured reserve. The day is here. The editor/agent is looking over your work. The outcome has you sick with nerves, edgy with anticipation. You want it so badly you can almost taste it. And then-

Well, I don’t know what happens in your own Superbowl. I just know that whatever the outcome, you’ll either feel depressed or jubilant. The point is, the teams who go to the Superbowl play the next season. They can’t give up and neither can you. Writing is a sport. It’s a sport with one person against many and only through diligence, training, and lots of bruises can you get to the top.

So, did I totally lose you, or did the analogy work? I loved it myself, but then I’m sometimes called strange.

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Filed under Football, Inspiration, publishing, rejection, Writing

867-5309

As I was driving home yesterday, this song came on the radio. I was young when it came out and there was nothing I loved better than singing the words to every song I heard. It’s only as I got older that I realized just what the hell was going on in these songs.

Seriously, if you go back and listen to the music you loved as a child, you might be surprised over what exactly is going on. I distinctly remember re-listening to George Jones’s ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’. I was in my teens and I’m just listening to it and then I thought…’Holy crap! He’s dead! WTF?’ Okay, we didn’t have WTF when I was a teenager, but I’m trying not to be too vulgar.

‘867-5309’ is another song I had to really listen to in order to figure out what was going on. Um, do you routinely go into raptures over a person whose name you got off a bathroom wall? This instantly makes me think of ‘Dumb and Dumber’ when Lloyd is in the bathroom at the truck stop and sees the note about being in that particular stall on that date and at that time and no one other than Sea Bass shows up. Yeah. That’s lovely.

Don’t even get me started on the  um, self-pleasuring songs. ‘Going Japanese’, ‘She-Bop’…ick. It makes me feel dirty to know I sang along with these songs while having no idea what they meant.

One of my favorite stories growing up, was about ‘Lady Marmalade’. My sister was maybe 5 or 6 (way before I was born, mind you) when this song came out. Like any kid, she learned the words and sang them all the time. This probably wouldn’t have been a big deal since most of it is in French, except my grandmother spoke Cajun French. She nearly had a heart attack when my sister went waltzing through her house singing ‘voulez-vous coucher avec moi?’. She immediately turned to my mother and demanded, ‘Do you know what she’s saying?!’ My mom, not knowing a lick of French had to admit, no, she didn’t know what that meant. My grandmother (which still kills me to imagine her saying this) told her ‘she’s asking if they want to go to bed with her!’. Yeah. Ma-maw wasn’t too happy about this.

Granted, current music isn’t innocent and there’s a lot of music I wouldn’t want my children to listen to if I had them. What really gets my goat, are the Kid Bop CDs. I don’t know exactly what’s on these things, but if they’re using songs from the pop charts, it can’t be good. I don’t really want to see kids going around singing about ‘My Humps’ or something similar. Oh sure, let the kids sing a song about drug addiction. Why not? Ugh.

Rant over.

So is there any song you listened to growing up that shocked you when you heard it again as an adult?

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Gearing up for NaNo

As most of you know, NaNo begins on Sunday. It also just so happens, that my beloved Saints don’t play until Monday night. I think they did this to make sure I got a little writing done on the first day of the contest, because they know I wouldn’t be able to concentrate while they soundly trounce the Falcons (at least I’m praying we soundly trounce the most hated Falcons). Sorry for those of you who are in our division and just might happen to be Falcons fans. I hate the Falcons, the Bucs, the Panthers (though not as much as the other two cause c’mon, Jake is a home boy!).

Sorry, got sidetracked. Anyway, NaNo starts on Sunday and I can hardly wait. I’m so ready  to write! I don’t think I’ve ever felt this anxious going into a book. I took Jessa Slade’s plotting workshop through the FF&P chapter and let me tell you, that lady helped me tons. I never thought of coming up with a motto for my characters, or actually working out their issues before hand. I was a total pantster prior to that class.  This will be my first story thought out before writing. I’m not sure how I’ll do, but I’m hoping it’ll come together and be the best thing I ever wrote.

I’ve even gone so far as to find pictures of my characters. Just a few things to give me inspiration during the grueling month ahead. My heroine is a shadow fairy. An assassin who’s ready for a break from killing. My hero is a demon/vampire halfling who’s trying to redeem himself in the eyes of The Veil by exposing and turning over his former associates. So, this is what I have.

Meet Noelani Fayard:

Noelani2

And here’s Malachi Cromwell:

Malachi1

With inspiration like this, how can I possibly go wrong? Don’t answer that!

I’ve even got a few songs to put me in Noelani’s mind-set: ‘Blood on My Hands’ by The Used, and ‘Oblivion’ by Mastodon. Then, for the book theme: ‘Forever in Your Hands’ by All That Remains. No sappy love songs for me!

So how about you other NaNo’ers? Do you have pictures for inspiration, a playlist set? I saw someone is working on a storyboard (I’m jealous cause I so don’t have the ambition to do that). What methods are you using to get through NaNo?

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Filed under Inspiration, Muses, Writing

A Head Full of Words

I have a little problem. I use far too many words when describing something, whether it’s talking or writing. Um, I’m sure none of you have noticed this. Yeah, right.

I’m not entirely sure (see, I used a filler there) where this tendency comes from. It isn’t like I sit around thinking, ‘Hm, I wonder how I can fill up a lot of empty space with useless words.’ I’m going to blame my mother and college though. Yeah, that sounds like a good plan.

In college, you’re required to write reports, essays, and all kinds of weird crap that doesn’t mean anything in the real world. I learned very quickly that if I used a lot of flowing, formal words, my profs gave me better grades. Oh yes, they loved my essays and reports because I explained everything in minute detail. This doesn’t seem to be helping me in my ‘writing’ though. I’d grown so used to giving my opinions and impressions on subjects, that I’ve loaned that characteristic to my characters! Ick!

Then, add my mom to the mix. Yes, mom. It’s partly her fault too. Oh, she didn’t make me write book reports (okay, there was that one time when I made the mistake of telling her I was bored one summer). No, I picked up a lot of my histrionics from her. She of the ‘when I die…’ warnings. Then there were her catch phrases: ‘I died a thousand deaths!’ (I’m not kidding. She used to say this a lot.) and ‘I like to have died!’ She’s a bit dramatic. It’s hilarious, but it rubbed off on me.

I’m going to try to take a fresh look at my stories (my first MS and my second) and hope I can cut a lot of the crap out. I treated them with kid gloves, I think. I don’t mind wordiness, so why shouldn’t everyone? Er, no, that’s not the right attitude. I want to be published, so I have to bend like the blade of grass. Ohmmmm.

On a different note: I read um…let me think…I read Deep Kiss of Winter (had to pause before Gena’s story so I could re-read Enslave me Sweetly and Awaken Me Darkly before reading her contribution to DKW), then I read Darkness Unleashed by Alexandra Ivy. I started on Child of Darkness, but I couldn’t get into the story. So, let’s count: 4 books from Friday night to last night. Not bad, except now I don’t have any new books!!

That’s the end of my Monday morning complaining. Geaux Saints! They nearly gave me a heart attack yesterday, those naughty boys. I was screaming at the television, pouting when we were behind, and using a lot of choice words. Yeah, it was a great game, but I don’t appreciate the grey hairs it gave me.

Happy Monday, folks. Let’s hope it passes relatively quick.

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Filed under Football, reading, Writing

Fantasy Man Friday

Yes! It’s another Fantasy Man Friday and it’s also a gorgeous day. After the terrible weather we had last night, the promise of a new beginning was fulfilled. You know I’m not going to go straight to the wickedly hot man I’ve found for you today. I have to do my regular ramble 🙂

Yesterday when I got home from work, everything appeared normal (other than the whipping winds and torrential downpour). The animals were all snug inside, or so I thought. After being home for an hour, I realized I hadn’t seen one of the cats. Ty is 11 years old and crankier than that old man who yells at you for playing your music too loud. She normally comes out of her hidey hole a little while after I get home so she can go outside and stalk the evil pigeons and doves in our yard. She didn’t come out.

I tore the house apart looking for her, but didn’t find her. Then a thought occurred to me: what if she was outside and had been hit by a car, or picked up by the dog-catcher, or got her ass beat down by that mean stray in the neighborhood? Panic set in. I’ve had this grumpy, evil cat for a long time and I love her although everyone tells me that’s a distinct impossibility because of her personality. I called for her and by calling, I mean whistled. She always comes running when we whistle, but she didn’t show. I had to leave home for a meeting, but I almost didn’t go. I wanted to find my kitty!

We got home about an hour and a half later and she was sitting on the porch looking distinctly pissed because she was outside while wet stuff fell from the sky. I was never so happy to see her mean little face in my life! Regardless of her warning growls and yowls, I hugged her several times through the night. Ty is back home safe and bitchy. I couldn’t be happier!

So, on that note, let me dazzle you all with today’s offering.sexy_men_08

He’s a very dirty boy who needs to be washed. Um. Yeah. So Happy Friday, folks!

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At the Movies

Going to start this post off with a bit of ‘bad’ news. I just received a rejection from one of the editors who requested a full of my first manuscript back in September. The rejection went something like, ‘While I think your premise is pretty solid, I’m afraid it just doesn’t meet our needs at <name>’. Oh well, hell. Okay I think that’s somewhat good news, right? That the premise is solid? Or is it the premise is solid and the plot is weak? Meh. Okay, enough about that. I’m forging ahead here, peeps.

So while I was brushing my teeth this morning (that’s usually my thinking time), I started thinking back on the movies I love that other people either hate, don’t get, or aren’t interested in and wanted to share them with you. I know you’re all utterly fascinated by my likes and dislikes, so I’m feeding your needs. Worship isn’t necessary, merely your admiration 😉

First on the list: Kung Pow: Enter the Fist

This is a stupid movie. I admit it, but I can’t help myself. It cracks me up like nobody’s business. I frequently find myself (when talking with my equally sick humored nephews) saying, ‘THAT’S A LOTTA NUTS!’ or ‘You may now refer to me as Betty..meh-meh’. Ahem.

Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Not only does this movie have some amazing music (I’m a closet ABBA fan, don’t tell my metal head friends please!), but it’s got awesome lines! ‘Are you telling me this is an ABBA turd?’ and ‘Benice has left her cake out…in the rain!’ Wonderful movie. One of my absolute favs and trust me, I could put all the other wonderful drag queen movies on this list, but I’ll refrain from doing so (Flawless, Kinky Boots, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, etc.)

Drowning Mona

This is another one of those movies with great lines. I LOVE this movie. Let’s see which line I’ll use…’You know, I was always told when life hands you potatoes, you make potato salad’…’Yeah? Well life handed me a big pile of $&it, what am I supposed to make with that?’…’$&it salad?’ Priceless.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I don’t see this movie as much as the others, but it still manages to intrigue me when I do see it. It’s just such an interesting concept. What do you do if you could have selective memory and pick and choose which memories you want to keep or those you don’t? I wouldn’t say there are great lines in this movie, but it’s a great movie as far as I’m concerned though no one else I know agrees with me.

The Meaning of Life

Some people are offended by this movie. I tried watching it a few weeks ago with my brother and his fiance, but um…okay. It didn’t work. I know it isn’t everyone’s cup o’ tea, but I love it. It’s got some of the best lines ever. ‘Shut up, American. You Americans, all you do is talk, and talk, and say, ‘let me tell you something’ and ‘I just wanna say.’ Well, you’re dead now, so shut up!’

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

This is a great, great movie if you’re a Shakespeare fan. It’s…just wonderful. I could watch this movie all the time. You’re viewing Hamlet’s ‘madness’ through the eyes of his friends and while they’re at it, Rosencrantz (played by the awesome Gary Oldman) is discovering the laws of physics! Priceless.

The list could go on and on, but those are my top ‘other-people-leave-the-room-when-I’m-watching-this’ movies. Are there movies you love to watch but everyone scatters when you suggest it? Have you seen any of these movies and hated/loved them?

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Filed under humor, rejection

Ghost Lab and Ghost Stories

Back again, folks and I’m feeling better. Just a little sinus infection combo cold thing (at least that’s sort of what the doc said. I never really pay attention cause he has pretty eyes).

Anyway, last night I commenced to watch Dirty Jobs. I love Mike Rowe. He’s got such a great sense of humor and hello! that voice! So I watched Dirty Jobs and after it was over, picked up Alyssa Day’s ‘Atlantis Rising’ to re-read it when I saw this show called Ghost Lab. Now what I found really interesting, was they were at the Haunted Mortuary in New Orleans. This is a place I’ve heard of over the last couple of years, but haven’t visited yet.

I’m the kind of person who really does believe in the paranormal in terms of spirits, ghosts, etc. and as much as I’d love to go to the Haunted Mortuary, or House of Shock, or 13th Gate, I haven’t done so. I need to remedy this. Except part of me thinks, ‘Girl are you out of your ever-lovin’ mind?!’ Yeah. But that isn’t the point!

This Ghost Lab goes around all over the US to prove/debunk paranormal activity in some of the country’s most haunted houses/places. I’m thinking…this is pretty cool. I’ve got to see the next episode. Which was Tombstone. People…watching some of the things that went on in those buildings and the graveyard of Tombstone gave me the creeps. I’m talking at one point, I had actual tears in my eyes. It might’ve been me staring at the screen so hard, but I think it was a hint of fear. Ahem. But you know what really creeps me out? The EVPs. I think this is called electronic voice phenomena and it’s downright freaky.

I’ve heard…gah, so many stories growing up. My mom talks about a house she lived in that was once a plantation home in town but was converted into apartments and how one Christmas Eve, it sounded like a party was going on when no one was in the house. My aunt’s current home has some weird crap going on in it like shadows moving, banging on the walls, doors shuddering and trying to open. In my current home, for a while after my stepfather died, my brother’s stereo would turn itself off and on. I’m talking go from complete no power to on and playing a song, then shutting itself off after a couple of minutes. I always thought it was a clock alarm, but no. It was a little crappy radio that you had to manually push a switch to turn on. Then there’s the feeling you get walking down the hall, like something’s waiting for you. Yeah. Is it any wonder I freak?

So how about you guys? Do ya’ll have ghost stories to share? Do you even believe in ghosts? Have you seen Ghost Lab?

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I’m Not Dead Yet

I’ve been a Monty Python mood lately. I guess I have a lot of ‘moods’, lol. Rocky Horror, Monty Python, Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Le sigh. The Holy Grail is one of my favorite movies ever. I frequently want to walk around the office with a bell saying, ‘Bring out yer dead!’ but everyone would look at me funny.

I actually feel like the walking dead today. Kind of fitting since next week is Halloween. I took some cold medicine last night and it knocked me on my ass (pardon my French). Today I’m kind of here, but not really. I’d have loved nothing more than to stay home in my jammies and sleep, but we don’t get sick time at work and I’m saving my vacation time for the RT Convention in the spring. Yeah, I’m that determined to go.

I couldn’t even get worked up this morning when I got an e-mail from my brother-in-law who was crowing about beating me in fantasy football. It was a very close match up between us. If only Eddie Royal could’ve gotten one more touchdown on a kickoff return. Gah. I’d have loved to beat that man. He’s got a beastly team (which is probably why he’s not allowed to play in our other league). I know. We’re horrible, but we’re serious about our football.

I’m rambling. Sorry! So before you guys call the cart in, I just want to remind ya’ll that I’m not dead yet. In fact, I think I’ll go for a little walk. I feel happy! I feel happy! I feel- <bonk>

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A Conspiracy

Last week, I saw someone blog about e-books, vooks, vs. traditional books. I put in my two cents, but since then I’ve given it a lot of thought. Now, I’ve read e-books, but only in novella format. Reading a 400+ novel on a computer screen *shudders*. It isn’t the book, but the format.

First of all, with my job, I spend 8-9 hours a day staring at a computer screen and that doesn’t include the time I spend writing in front of one. The few times I’ve attempted to read a longer novel on the computer, my eyes start watering, straining, headaches form, and I have to put it down. This is why I suspect the e-book format was born from a meeting of evil masterminds. Yes. You know who they are. Optometrists!! They’re the ones behind the e-book phenomenon. Just think of all the people who’ll need glasses, contacts, and corrective surgery after spending hours and hours staring at a computer screen to read a novel!

Okay, okay. So it probably isn’t part of a conspiracy. I’m all for people reading in any format they can get because to me, reading is one of the greatest joys a person can discover. Without the written word, we would’ve never stretched our imaginations enough to send a man to the moon. Encourage others to read. If it means having a kid sitting in front of a Kindle because it’s a novelty, it’s better than them sitting in front of a video game for hours on end.

Speaking of reading. I’m determined to pick up Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter’s book today. I have the intent of getting only that novel, but I know I’ll walk out of the bookstore with four others. I can’t help it. I’m helpless before my addiction!

So peeps, are there any books you’re looking forward to with bated breath? I’ve got a list of books that aren’t coming out until November (which is KILLING me). Anyone?

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Filed under Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole, reading, romance books