Monday, October 31, 2005

I hear fake people

So I'm sitting here enjoying the quiet house. Kids are out glomming candy, husband is out drinking spiked cider on the neighbor's driveway. I'm all alone as I am most of the day anyway.

Why do I like it so much?

Maybe because I'm never really alone. I swear I know how that kid in the Sixth Sense felt. Only instead of seeing dead people, I hear fake people.

When you mix in family, dog and friends - gasp! real, blooded things - the stimulation reaches torture level sometimes. Yet, there are moments when I desperately need companionship. When I begin to feel subhuman because of my hermit existence.

But for the most part, I crave solitude like a drug and have to be careful not to sink into total disconnect. It's scary how easily that could happen. Just tonight child number two asked me to be alert and interactive when her friends arrived and not my usual glazed-at-the-keyboard self. How sad is that?

Bippity boppity BOO!

You're an unwashed old lady surrounded by cats and a phone that never rings!


Now that's as creepy as it gets.


Cindy Boo Who

A Delaware woman who killed herself was left hanging in public for more than 12 hours because people who saw the body mistook it for a Halloween decoration.

The woman, 42, hanged herself from a tree on a fairly busy road, state police said. It was not until hours after neighbours first saw the body hanging at breakfast time that the police were called.

"It looked like something somebody would have rigged up. They thought it was a Halloween decoration," local resident Fay Glanden told the News Journal newspaper of Wilmington.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Feels like home but doesn't smell like it yet

**Update** Ha! ha! ha! I found code to make a static slideshow and will be loading pics. I have to post them to the blog first to get a file path, so if you see some funky stuff this afternoon, just get down and boogy with it.

Well the move over here took about twelve hours. I've brought over the journal entries I feel reflect The Best of AWH and put them in proper order. There's only one more thing I'd like to do and don't know if I can, yet. I'd like to make a slideshow of pictures up there where the skywriter is. Anyone have any idea how to do that? I've downloaded Picasa and Hello and haven't found any info in there. But it seems like a doable idea.

Watched Psycho with child number one last night. She was appropriately freaked at the appropriate freaky moments and informed me it was a well-written movie. I'd never really looked at it that way before *forehead slap* but told her she was right. It is well-written and well-acted. Before last night I'd always watched and appreciated it for the pacing. And it remains a favorite mostly because of the "creeping chill" factor.

*stretches and looks around*

This place ain't half bad. What do you think of my new tagline?

PS - it's not too late to vote in the Uzbekistan Idol contest!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Under Construction

This blog is under construction. Feel free to peruse my past posts, or visit my website!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Friday Feature Presentation

Friday Feature Presentation : Uzbekistan Idol Contest.

Don't miss it!


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Whistle stop at Beauty Junction

As promised I'm going to report on two incredible and amazing new beauty products that actually deliver the advertised goods!

Can you believe it?

It's true!

These products actually do what they say they're gonna do, and do it well!

First up: Crest Vivid White, day and night.

These two toothpastes come packaged together. You use one in the morning and one at night. Have to say that together, they work as well as White Strips but without the fuss. Simply brush, flush and sparkle! About six bucks.

Drawbacks: none

Secondly: L'Oreal Dermo-Expertise Wrinkle De-Crease with Boswelox.

This product claims to be a botox replacement. It's a serum you use on your face day and night.

Can you say WOW! The best part is it doesn't freeze your muscles into a mannequin mask. Instead it relaxes them so your expressions are still there but aren't quite as dramatic. The result is youth in a jar. After a week my frown lines are fadin' fast. About twenty bucks and very worth it.

Drawback: tastes like stomach acid. Apply after the lovin'.

Update: Still hopelessly devoted to my T3 Tourmaline hairdryer. That thing rocks!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Isn't is romantic?

My good buddy Kris Starr got a chain letter. Here's an excerpt:

Find a man who...
calls you beautiful instead of hot
calls you back when you hang up on him
will stay awake just to watch you sleep.

Wait for the man who...
kisses your forehead
wants to show you off to the world when you are in your sweats
holds your hand in front of his friends.

Wait for the one who...
is constantly reminding you of how much he cares about you and how lucky he is to have you
turns to his friends and says, "...that's her."

Okay, maybe I'm a complete lame-o in the romance dept., but I want to be hot dammit. I'd much rather be hot than beeootiful. I really don't want anyone to watch me sleep, either. That's just creepy-stalkerish. Besides, I drool, snore, chatter and have even been known to howl. I am indeed a strange bedfellow. It's the voices, I tell you! The voices.

Kiss my forehead? Um, no. A little too "Oh Daddy" for me. Gimme a big wet slurpy one on the smacker. And don't you dare show me off in my sweats. Holding hands is ok. But I'd rather have an arm slung over my shoulder.

Saying "...that's her". Now that's cool. Although I might get a little paranoid at first.

To me a romantic guy is simply someone who laughs at my dumb jokes, gets a kick out of my books (and practicing what's in them), likes talking to me and basically just digs having me around.

What about you? What's your idea of romantic?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday Feature Presentation: The Lord of The Smokerings

The last time I tried to quit smoking, the world had just experienced the phenomenon of The Two Towers. In celebration of both monumental feats, and to chronicle my struggle, I wrote this parody.

Now that The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe is coming out...

The Lord of The Smoke Rings Episode I: The Smelly Ship of the Nico-ring

A great dread has fallen upon the land. The wrinkled eye of Philip Morris peers across the waste, seeking quitters and those who haven't yet started. The black lung wizard - SalemMan - has fallen under Philip's smell and has used his mighty powers to construct a cigarette factory in the hinterlands. Amassing a vast army of precancerous organs to destroy anyone who won't suck a cig, he has sent his nine accursed smokeringwraiths to sniff out the most cancerous smoke ring of all.

One Smokering to fry them all. One smokering to fill them. One smokering to addict them all and in the darkness, kill them.

In a safe, happy, smokefree keep far away lives a tiny bat who has unwittingly brought the evil weed of despair to her cave. For Philip Morris' reach is vast, and the smoke ring which has lain quiet for centuries, is about to awake and seek its master.

Batbo Battin has no idea of the smoke ring's power. She plays with it, thinking she can quit any time. Because when she has her smoke ring, no one can see her - they're too busy coughing and tearing - and Batbo thinks that's pretty funny.

That is precisely what SalemMan wants her to think.

Gandalf The GreyFace convinces Batbo to part with the smokering, foisting it onto her clear chested niece, Fraidy, and telling her if she doesn't throw it into the Ashtray Mountains, someone else will - maybe even Legless TobaccoLeaf, or Arrogant son of ArianScorn. Fraidy won't have that, nosirree, so she hustles off with Scam Gangrene for an adventure the likes of which you've never seen.

Despite her better judgement, Fraidy does end up with Legless and Arrogant and a handful of other losers including Gimme, who suffers stunted growth from smoking as a child, and Bored O' Me - the insolent prince of Groandor who needs a smoke so badly, he's willing to kill for it.

Fraidy: "Scam, it's getting heavy. I can't do this."
Scam: "What's getting heavy?"
Fraidy: "The smokering, you doofus. I need to inhale it."
Bored O' Me: "Give it to me, shaftling. I'll bear the load."
Arrogant: "No, I'll bear it."
Bored O' Me: "No. I will."
Arrogant: "No, me!"
Fraidy: "I can't stand it! I can't stand it! I must do this alone!"
Arrogant: "You can trust me."
Fraidy: "But can you trust yourself?"

A moment of silent awe

Arrogant: "Fraidy, I would have gone all the way with you."
Bored O' Me: "Not if I got there first."
Gimme (aside): "Can we kill the freak and make it look like an accident?"
Legless: "Leave it to me. I'm sElfish. We have powers."
Gimme: "Too bad you have no legs."

Arrogant's Dream Sequence:

TarWench of ElderLung: "Sleep, my love. Gather your strength. You shall be Nonsmo-King. It is your path."
Arrogant (mumbling): "I shouldn't be Nonsmo-King. But I want to."
TarWench: "You must."
Arrogant: "But the toxic gases of my father flow in my veins."
TarWench: "Never fear. I shall suck the poisons out of you with a gentle kiss."

Arrogant awakens with the DTs. At his side is CO-Wins, the beautiful but deadly lady of RoamingHand.

Arrogant: "Uh oh."

And so, the black cloud of doom wheezed across the Marches. The Smelly Ship disbanded, with Fraidy and Scam on the dark path to Mordor, and Arrogant, Legless and Gimme running and running and running. Oh yeah, Gandalf GreyFace bought the farm.

Legless (whispers): "There goes Arrogant listening to the rocks again, pretending to know what he's doing."
Gimme: "Yeah, the brown-noser."
Arrogant (rising): "Someone's coming. Hide!"
Gimme: "Wish I was coming."
Legless: (giggle)
Arrogant: "Shhhhhh."

A stunned moment as a great, stinking army thunders past

Arrogant: "Just as I thought."
Gimme: "Dorks..."
Legless: "And they've got Murky and Flippin."

The Dorks spread like cancer, some in the service of Philip Morris, some of the traitor SalemMan of Blistergard. They hung out on streetcorners, overrunning nursing homes and elementary schools, forcing cigarettes on young and old alike until even the smokeringwraiths coughed and choked on their demonic steeds, hacking and spewing their filth across Middle Earth. But through it all, Fraidy and Scam trudged onwards, with nothing but Elven Llamas to eat. One dank night, they sensed a third party in their midst...

Scam: "Look! What is that?"
Fraidy: "Glum."
Scam: "Me too, you durn whiner. But who is it?"
Fraidy: "Smeargol."
Scam: (slapping Fraidy on the back) "You must be choking on the Llamas, Mistress Fraidy. I knew those sElfish folk were up to no good. No good at all."
Glum: "Dude! Want a fag?"
Scam: "Get away from us, ya fairy! We're not that sort of folk!"
Glum: "Precioussssssss."
Scam: "Flock this Mistress Fraidy. I didn't sign up for no funny business."
Fraidy: "Scam! Scam! Come back!"
Glum: "Guess it's you and me, dudette."

Deep in the bowels of Smirkwood, Murky and Flippin stumble cluelessly about. Having escaped the Dorks - who wanted to shred and smoke them - they're at a loss over what to do next. And they're hungry... and cold...

Flippin: "Here. Let's chop down that tree and build a fire at least."
Murky: "I dunno, Flip. A minute ago it winked at me."
Flippin: "Are you daft, man? Trees don't wink!"
Murky: "Well, that one did. I saw it with me own eyes."
Treeweird: "That you did, boy."
Flippin: "Wha?"

Chop chop chop *screeeeeeeeeeeee* THUNK

Murky: "Now you've gone and done it. Who's gonna march on BlisterGard when the war begins?"
Flippin: "Well you might ha' told me there was to be a war!"
Murky: "Do I have ta tell you everything ya nitwit!"
Mysterious White Man (from behind): "Boys! Silence!"

The Globbits turn, wide eyed...

Murky: "Bless me. He's back."
Flippin: "And awfully white lookin too."
Mysterious White Man: "You think? Darn it all! I tried everything - blush, eyeshadow, hair dye..." Falls sobbing

Murky (glaring at Flippin): "There there now, Blandalf. It's not like you can help it."
Blandalf: "It's the chemo. It washes me out."
Murky: "O' course it does. There there."
Blandalf: "Arrogant's going to laugh at me."
Flippin (stifling a snicker): "Now who would do something like that?"
Murky (wiping an eye): "No one's going to laugh, Blandalf. Besides, the Smelly Ship was disbanded. We don't know what became of any of them."

A scuffling in the woods...

Arrogant, Gimme and Legless: "We're here!"

Much hugging, back slapping and muffled mirth upon seeing Blandalf.

Arrogant: "We must run to RoamingHand. King Thalidomide has fallen under SalemMan's smell."
Legless: (sulk)
Gimme: "You can't hold it against him, Legless. He didn't know what effect he'd have on you all those years ago."
Blandalf: "And I have new powers now that I've been irradiated."
Legless: ( perk)

Blandalf points staff ZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzap

Blandalf: "Stand and run, Legsofass."
Legsofass: "eeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyooooooooooore."
Gimme: "At least I have someone to ride now."

In the Halls of King Thalidomide, Wormtongue has constructed a massive, multi-armed Hooka. Stoked with powerful black tobacco - fresh from the farms of BlisterGard - the Hooka puffs out smoke for hours on end, filling the vast keep with noxious fumes. Gray-faced and drawn, King Thalidomide sits listlessly, uncaring of the raging death occurring in his lands and in his house, unheeding of his niece CO-Win's pleas. SalemMan has released the Dorks in blighty numbers, instructing them to wreak havoc at every turn. The end of Middle Earth is nigh. RoamingHand needs a savior, and needs him quick.

Fraidy: "This is some bodacious weed, man. Where'd you score it?"
Glum: "I have sourcessssss."
Fraidy: "Most excellent."
Scram (crashing through the brush): "Don't inhale it Mistress Fraidy! Don't do it!"
Fraidy: "Scram! You came back!"
Scram: "I couldn't stop myself, Mistress, the road goes in a giant circle. We'll never make it to the Ashtray Mountains at this rate."
Glum: "I know the way, dudes."
Fraidy: "You must take us."
Scram: "Hush. What's that?"

Yet another army advances...

Glum: "I'm history."
Fraidy: "Get back here, Glum."
Scram: "Let the fairy go. Look a' what's coming."
A manly voice from behind... "Bind them."
Fraidy and Scram: "Whaa?
Manly voice: "I am Pheromone - younger and better looking brother to Bored O' Me."
Scram: "It's Gimme you'd be wanting then."
Fraidy: "Shut up, Scram. We never saw your brother, Pheromone, and we don't know who the skulker is that's following us, either."
Pheromone: "Liars. You just wait til we get to Groandor."
Fraidy: "But we have to go to the Ashtray - "
Pheromone: "You'll go where I say you'll go!"
Scram (whispers to Fraidy) "Sounds as if Dad liked Bored O' Me better."
Fraidy: "Nevertheless, all is lost, Scram. The longer I have the smokering the weaker I grow. We'll never make it now."

On the road to Groandor...

Pheromone: "So then, Da says why can't you be more like Bored O' Me? and I says, Because I'm better looking dammit. And younger too. I have qualities. And Da says, qualities my a$$.. So you see what I'm up against, Fraidy. You must give me the smokering."

Fraidy's eyes roll back in her head.

Scam: "Can't you see what a burden it is?"
Pheromone: "I can't see beyond my inequalities."


Scam: "Smokeringwraiths!"
Pheromone: "Not to worry. We sprayed for them last week."
Scam: "Fat lot o' good it did you, too. Where's Fraidy?"

Fraidy climbs the battlements. The smokering's power has taken over. With a trembling hand, she offers it to the wraith...

Smokeringwraith: "Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."

Fwap, whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, thunk. The smokeringwraith is smoted.

Fraidy: "Must. Have. Cigarette."
Scam: "No Mistress Fraidy. I must have my soliloqy or this damned movie won't end."
Fraidy: "Have at it, Scam. Not that you'd have anything of interest to say after 6 hours and too much popcorn with fake butter."
Scam: "See, in the stories of old, people quit smoking all the time! They did it on their own. Cold turkey! Surely they felt weak, betrayed. Maybe they wished the burden hadn't fallen upon them. At some point, they wanted to start smoking again. I figure, they must have made a choice to stay smokefree. They held onto something..."
Fraidy: "Like your neck?"
Scam: "Something bigger than themselves. There's clean air in this world, Mistress Fraidy. There's clear lungs and phlegm-free laughter."

Another moment of silent awe

Fraidy: "Thank you, Scam. All it took was one short speech from a simple garbageman to cure the world of its ails."
Pheromone (kneeling): "At last we understand each other."
Fraidy: "You mean we can continue our mission?"
Pheromone: "Not on your life, Fraidy. I didn't know Scam was a garbageman - have you seen the kitchen? Oy Vey...."



Thursday, October 20, 2005

Daisy Dexter Dobbs Googles

Here I was, wondering what the heck to blog about today when Triple D supplies the best fodder ever.

*rolls up sleeves*

This is what she got by Googling my name and a verb:

"Ann wishes”

Ann wishes there were more pest management classes (Like, Parenting 101)

Ann wishes her parents were "normal" (Apparently Google can read minds)

Ann wishes that she could have a life like the other kids her age (*chin quiver*)

Ann eats”

Ann eats carrots and develops telescopic vision (Radial Carrototomy?)

Ann eats poor Octavius in three bites (three-and-a-half)

Ann eats chicken eyes in Thailand (FabDame does not have the pics to prove it)

Ann dreams”

Ann dreams of someday becoming a Playboy Playmate (Especially after watching The Girls Next Door. Yeah. My idols)

Ann Dreams of being in a giant orgy with her co-workers (Uh...uh...oh boy...hmmmm. Who told??)

Ann refuses”

Ann refuses to look up or do anything but eat (and bitch)

Ann refuses to admit she lied, was mistaken or just plain screwed up (no comment)

Thank you Daisy!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Say Yes!

So at my neighborhood party Friday night everyone made a big deal out of me. I was carrying my bookcover purse and someone noticed it and all of a sudden there was this huge crowd around me and they spent the rest of the evening talking about it.

It was wonderful.

I guess the bookcover purse finally made everyone realize this was for real. One of their friends had achieved an almost impossible dream. It could happen. To me or to them.

I'm not above loving being the center of attention, but as I reflect on the evening, it wasn't about me. It was about a group of middle-aged people reviewing their lives and taking stock of their own dreams and whether they still had a chance to attain them. To them, I represented the answer "Yes."

You know what? I like representing the word "Yes." For a little word it carries a helluva lot of weight. It sounds nice when you say it too.

In the early days of the quest for publication I had an online friend who had been a smokejumper and written a book about it. One of the lessons he taught me was to follow up on every opportunity because you could never know where it might lead. So I try to say yes as often as possible. After all, where would I be if I'd said no to my fencing friend when she asked me to write a book with her? I doubt I'd be here. And here is the most wonderful place of all.

Say "Yes" today. Come on. You know you want to.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Men Don't Leave

Do you all remember that movie? Jessica Lange. 1990.

Since 1996 three important men have left my life. My father, and both my brothers. All three have died.

I'm a private person. I don't enjoy exposing myself on the Internet. But anyone who has read Layover's dedication, and those who know me closely, are aware of these losses.

Today they hit me hard.

There's something about a man's special brand of love that's simply irreplacable. It's what I write about every day. It's what women crave even while they complain that it's somehow not enough. Let me tell you, when it's gone, you realize how 'enough' it was.

But that's not the purpose of this post.

The purpose of this post is to celebrate that kind of love. Not to mourn its absence.

As you all know, I've just submitted a new story to my editor. My younger older brother (follow that?) helped me so much with this book. He was a private pilot and owned the high performance airplane I feature in the story. Through his personal experience, I was able to 'live' what my characters lived. I even flew with him in his plane (though he lived 2,000 miles away) and felt many of the things my heroine felt. My brother read the pertinent passages in the book and approved them before he died. So, completing and submitting that story was a landmark for me. Even though I knew he would never see it.

He showed his support for me in this manner. He supplied the facts I needed. After I sent him the passage, he called me and said, "I liked it. I laughed. It had a cadence."


I embrace that word. It's the best compliment I've ever received.

My writing had a cadence. In effect, it was music to his ears.

He got it.

And that was the thing about him. He always got it.

So today I missed him and his ability to get it.

Men, don't leave!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Oh those amazing animals

There are two birds pecking for food in the rain gutter atop my house and the dog is out there growling at them. You should see the look in her eyes. I imagine it's the same look that was in that dumbass python's eyes before it decided to swallow a six-foot alligator.

Did you all read about that?

Guess alligators aren't at the top of the swampy foodchain anymore. Apparently, pet pythons are being released by the bushel in the everglades and they're goin' for the gators. Kinda ambitious if you ask me, especially when there are so many cats, dogs and small children lying about. And they wouldn't rip a hole in a python's gut while it tried to digest them.

Of course, it would've helped if the python had remembered to crush the gator first. I wonder if this instinctive knowledge has been bred out of these "pets". Or if a hand raised python is just accustomed to having dinner served already dead.


Now back to the WIP.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Going The Distance

Just got word a couple of minutes ago!

GOING THE DISTANCE will be the title of a three-author, print anthology with Jaci Burton's HANDS ON, Shannon Stacey's TWICE UPON A ROADTRIP and my COFFEE, TEA OR LEA?

I can't tell you how flippin' excited I am to be in a book with these talented women. We all started out together as unpublished hopefuls and here we are in PRINT together!!

This is the highlight of my professional year.

*Available Spring of '06*


Saturday, October 01, 2005

More pieces o'me

Shamelessly stole this idea from Shannon Stacey:

7 things to do before I die:

1) Frolic with Killer Whales

2) See a tornado

3) See the Northern Lights

4) Walk the Great Wall of China

5) Visit Bungay, England, where my father was stationed in WWII

6) Drive the length of Route 66 in a red ’66 Impala (with white interior) and stop at every roadside attraction.

7) Live abroad – preferably Lucerne

7 things I can do:

1) Hold my own in a fencing bout

2) Draw faces so detailed they look like photographs

3) Write books

4) Make people laugh

5) Cross one eye

6) Play the piano

7) Tell time without a watch

7 things I can’t do:

1) Make a garden grow (and God knows I’ve tried)

2) Cartwheels

3) Sing

4) Make small talk

5) Tolerate stupidity

6) Listen to the radio

7) Waste money

7 things that attract me to a man:

1) A humorous outlook

2) A stubborn streak

3) Commonalities

4) An appreciation of me

5) Good posture

6) Initiative

7) Eyes, eyes, eyes.

7 things I say most often:

1) Are you going to finish that?

2) I’m working!

3) Gonna get in the shower

4) What now?

5) Takin’ the dog on a walk

6) I love you

7) Deal with it.

7 celebrity crushes:

1) Jim Carrey

2) John Cusack

3) Sean Penn (yeah, yeah, I know.)

4) Christopher Walken (what can I say?)

5) Johnny Carson

6) Robin Williams

7) Bill Murray

Labels: ,