Saturday, December 31, 2005

An Extra Smoking Second

Did you all know today is going to be one second longer? Yeah. The earth is hurtling more slowly and messing with our technology. At some point, I think 6pm, all our computers and such will stop, drop and roll for exactly one second to make up for the lost time.

I plan to use my extra second to smoke.

As you all know, tomorrow begins the month-long smokeout and drought. I'm well prepared with detox potions, teas, juices, sugarless candies, bamboo shoots (not for sauteeing, for shoving underneath the fingernails when I want a smoke - hey, Pavlovian training).

I'm all excited about the prospect of a new, improved me and have also given myself a "tip jar" in which to put the all the extra money. This jar will be used for such treats as : TCA peels, Hyaluronic acid (which I still have to review here. It's amazing) and clothing from my favorite boutique. I'll also use it to take some sort of new exercise class. Maybe Tai Chi or Rex Kwando.

And that's it! Wish me luck. I wish you luck in your resolutions. Ain't it great that there's always a chance for a fresh start?

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Miss Behavior Releases Today!

And I've got the perfect launch review! I don't think there's a better way to compliment an author than the comments Nannette made at the end. By the way, EC released this book in "real time". The story begins December 30th! Ain't they the cleverest? I'm so lucky.

Miss Behavior by Ann Wesley Hardin
White Hot Holidays Collection
Ellora’s Cave
Erotic Contemporary
ISBN: 1-4199-0449-3
Reviewed by Nannette, Joyfully Reviewed
http://www.ellorascave.com

Lorna is an etiquette columnist. She is flying to an important meeting and Gage is piloting the plane taking her there. It’s a small plane and she is nervous, but she bravely climbs aboard. During the flight, the engine has trouble and they have to make a emergency landing. While they await rescue, the combination of adrenaline and lust create the perfect atmosphere for Lorna to finally let her hair down. Gage is more than happy to be the man to release Lorna’s inner bad girl, but not just for one night. He’s thinking more along the lines of forever. When they are out of danger, will Gage be able to convince Lorna that he just might be what's been missing in her life?

Miss Behavior is burning hot. Gage is so sexy and gorgeous I had to take a break while reading. Lorna is one lucky girl! She’s smart, successful, and Gage is all hers. I enjoyed this story so thoroughly I was sad to see it end. Ann Wesley Hardin did a wonderful job creating a story that is sexy, witty and entertaining!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Joy To The World (she says thru clenched teeth)

The DH is home this week and between my part time job, visits from friends, jaunts to the store to spend holiday cash, orthodontic appointments and frantic household renovations I might as well hang the Out-To-Lunch sign up on this blog.

Simply can't think of a thing to say except:

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

See youse between c'niptions!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Welcome Christmas!

 
 
Welcome Christmas
While we stand
Heart to heart
And hand in hand

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Reasons Why Calvin is a Writer


Number 9

Number 10

Number 6

Number 8

Number 7

number 4

Number 5

Number 3

Number 2

Number 1

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Captions Courageous

Once in while I enter the caption contest held weekly in the New Yorker magazine. I never make it into the finals. But it's fun and it exercises my mind.

Every so often the staff feels the need to send out a bulk email reminding all the entrants that this is supposed to be fun. I guess NYer gets thousands of calls from irate captioneers asking why they didn't win. Sound familiar, all you editors out there?

Anyway, I found this little nugget buried in the bulk email. I'm going to tape it to my monitor:

Making humor is, by its nature, an uneven enterprise, even for folks who do it for a living. To be funny demands a certain kind of courage: the courage to be silly, look stupid, and, many times, not even get the payoff of a laugh. If we ever do a book about the caption contest, I think a good title might be Captions Courageous.

Since I've definitely looked stupid often enough to worry loved ones, it's nice to know I'm not alone and am, in fact, considered brave by a publishing icon. Gotta take it wherever I can get it *snort*

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

3D Inspiration

I've been following Daisy Dexter Dobb's dieting soap opera. Have you? It's got to be hard for her, to give up one of the things she loves most. Most of us can understand on some level. We all struggle with our individual addictions. Of course, some are more socially acceptable than others. No one tells someone she has to stop living her dreams through her children because their as-yet-to-be-seen psychological problems are going to cost future tax payers alot. Alot.

Yet, overweight people and smokers are considered a tax burden and/or employment liability because of possible future health issues. Our addictions are visible. And that's the only real difference. But you see how I digress? See how my writer's stream of consciousness veers off? Because I didn't begin this blog post to start a social rant on how labeling people and creating scapegoats has become a national obsession meant to deflect accountability from it's real target--yourself.

What I meant to blog about was New Year's Resolutions.

So, keep me on course here, people!

Is that too much to ask?

Thank you!

I've made no secret of the fact that I'm about to turn forty-five. Half my life will be officially lived on January 11th, 2006 if my ancestors are anything to go by. Of course, they didn't smoke. Or drink for that matter (closet wine bottles and blackberry brandy as sauce for ice cream sundaes aside).

Past, successful New Year's Resolutions for me have included but are not limited to: 1) lowering expectations while raising hopes (six years and still going strong. Booya!) 2) No excuses, no defense (five years and lovin' it) 3) No salt (four years and no bloat).

So, I figured if I could stay the course on those all these years, if I could have the stick-to-itivness required to be a published author, and if 3D could lose the weight she has and make it funny and entertaining as hell for her readers, I could do two things for the entire month of January.

Quit smoking and quit drinking.

No cigs. No beer.

I can do cigs without beer, but I can't do beer without cigs. So they both have to go together. If I can do it a month, I can do it for two.

And that's what I'm going to do. No matter what. One month. That's all I'm asking of someone who has alot of stick-to-itivness.

Will ya'll listen to me whine? I'll listen to you! Post your resolutions here. Right now. And whine with me when that clock strikes twelve.

If Daisy can do it, so can we.

How are you going to improve in 2006?

Bah Humbug!

Just found out Layover won't be available until sometime in January. I'm looking at it this way, Miss Behavior is my Christmas gift, and Layover will be my New Year's gift!

Keep that credit card out. No one's off the hook!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A Nice Way To Start The Week

I didn't even know Miss Behavior had been sent out for review!

Title: Miss Behavior
Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne, Romance Junkies
Release Date: December 30, 2005
Rating: 4.5

Lorna Merryfield’s whole life revolves around work. Even her holidays
celebration is going to be work related. Her deep down secret desire has
absolutely nothing to do with work or manners. She wants passionate sex
with a completely impractical man.

Gage Archer is Lorna’s airplane pilot. He’s read Lorna’s prudish
newspaper column and fantasized about getting the opportunity to get into
the pants of such an uptight woman. He never actually expected to meet
her though.

Lorna is horrified when she sees the size of the airplane she’s due to fly
in. It resembles a wind-up toy. On the verge of panic, she at first
refuses to fly in it, Gage reassures her that he’s never crashed and that
she’ll be safe. She’s still nervous but with no other options available
climbs into the backseat where she hangs onto the armrests for dear life.
While trying to distract herself from the bumpy ride, Lorna attempted to
concentrate on her business plan but mostly just fantasized about Gage.
Until she realized that the plane had gotten too quiet. The engine had
quit, they were going to go down. So much for Gage’s perfect record.
Lorna just knows she’s going to die and never get to experience raw, wild
passion. Once they’re safely on the ground, though stranded, Lorna tells
Gage about her regret. It’s a wish he’s only too happy to fulfil for her.

MISS BEHAVIOR is a fun fast paced story that’ll have you believing in
second chances. Lorna’s spent all her time concentrating on work and
pleasing her parents, she’s never truly gone after what she wanted. A
scary near death experience has her reevaluating her life and desires.
Gage with his motto “work to live, not live to work” is the perfect man to
help her live her desires and discover a new way to live.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

One of These Things is Not Like The Others...


This is my dog, Denali. She was messing around one day! Never know what she'll think of next.

I won't be around much the next couple of weeks. Have a self-imposed deadline and last-minute shopping to attend. However, I will shout when Layover is available, so check in once in a while!

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Sunday, December 11, 2005

While You Were Sleeping

Watched While You Were Sleeping last night with the chidren. Man I'd forgotten what a perfect romance flick that was! Lonely girl, zany family, crazy mix-ups, hot but gentlemanly hero - who could ask for more?

I loved the way things continually went from bad to worse, how the stakes got ratcheted every scene, and I especially LOVED it when Jack refused to badmouth his brother and give her one good reason not to marry him! Oh man! What a swoon-worthy moment!

WYWS rates right up there with Fifty First Dates and Moonstruck in my top fav romcom flicks of current times.

What are yours?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Stephen is King

I've been reading On Writing, by Stephen King. I haven't read too many books about writing, having always preferred using that time to write, but today I found out why it's good for writers to read books like that. Not only has he reminded me why I love to write, he solved my story problem.

For weeks I've been wrestling with how my revised WIP will end. I had no clue. Saw no path. And, as always, worried that this time I wouldn't be able to find a way.

Last night I got to the part in SK's book about looking for theme. He claimed it was there and would become visible if you let the story rest and reread it after a few weeks. Eerily, I'd let my story rest for about four weeks and was just coming back to it.

A few minutes ago I got backhanded and the end poured out as if it'd been there all along. All the minor plotpoints suddenly braided into a theme. Just like SK said it would. And the theme illuminated my path.

So much of writing is subconscious. I'd written a sentence a couple of days ago that kept stopping me as I read. It bothered me. I wondered why I wrote it, where it had come from, and I almost removed it because it veered off in a direction I couldn't see having any impact at all on the story. Ultimately I left it in because I've been well-trained to trust my process, and things can be removed any time, but they can't always be easily put back in.

Wouldn't you know that sentence turned out to be of major importance to this ending I've just discovered.

Sometimes, the magic of my job just leaves me breathless, and high, and so totally stoked I can't even find the words to express it.

Thank you, SK!

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Quintuplets

This is all Charlie Horse's fault!

Name Five Bad Things That Happened to you in 2005
1) My brother died
2) Got into a car accident with brand new car (not my fault)
3) Aged *that much* more
4) Really had to embrace moderation in all things for the first time
5) Quit job to write

Name Five Good Things that happened to you in 2005
1) Quit job to write
2) Finally met some cyber friends at RWA nationals
3) Got some really, really nice threads (and a WonderBra!)
4) Finally understood that most aspects of myself that gave me angst all these years can be explained in a simple sentence: She's a writer.
5) Found some kick-ass skin care products

Name Five people who touched you in a special way
1) My brother's wife
2) My nephews
3) My sister's brother-in-law, Steve
4) My mother's dear friends
5) Basically everyone I know

Name Five things you achieved in 2005
1) Saw the release of three books
2) Started and finished some major household renovations
3) Survived first full time job in thirteen years
4) Continued raising two fine young women
5) Dodged the mammogram machine for the fourth straight year (yes!)

Name Five things you would like to achieve in 2006
1) Write at least four books
2) Finish all the household renovations
3) Sell the freakin' house and buy something smaller
4) Think up a book NY can't resist *gg*
5) Get a book optioned by a major Hollywood studio (hey, big thinking got me this far. Why not further?)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Eureka!

I just discovered another reason I love words. Besides being all-powerful, they're also cheap and easy to replace.

Talk about an oxymoron.

~Ann, who just ripped out 500 life-suckers and wrote 1200 heavy breathers ;)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Tales From The Crypt

Am firmly entombed in the book and want to get it out soon.

Might be a while before I surface.

See youse on the other side.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Googley Eyes

Like most authors, I Google my name regularly. I like to see what's on the first page - the first impression someone might get of me. Now, keep in mind that even on a good day most authors are basically insecure. Like alot of actors, we're probably driven into publication by some ghost from our pasts. Some need for a vast voice and public acclaim. Or, dare I say, for love?

So you can imagine my distress when I found that all of the links on Google's first page are for tepid or downright black reviews.

If this were a 3D medium, my words would be twitching on your screen.

After all, my first book, Layover, was generally well received! Most reviewers "got" what I tried to say. And that's the most awesome feeling in the world. But, one thought I was weird (can't really argue with that). One, I think, must've either been drunk or reading too many books at once because the details she described never even happened in my book. And one thought I was a decent writer who had written a shitty book.

Fine. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But why on the first page of Google? Where are the glowing reviews, of which there were so many?

My mind asks: is this a good thing, or a bad thing? Are these reviews on the first page because the sites get the most hits? Is it on the first page because people are attracted by bad reviews and tend to buy MORE of the books that get them just to see what the buzz is all about?

Or is it a massive conspiracy Google has going because I signed up for their ad program and it's not generating very much income? Or even worse, did one of the Google Geeks read one of my books, look at my picture, learn about me...and...come to hate me?

Is he even now hacking into my computer, finding my really private thoughts (the ones that never make it onto the blog), my financial records, royalty statements, bank accounts, dirty pictures, secret crushes, sex toy rotation spreadsheet, nose picking schedule...

Oh

My

God.

*glances at watch*

Grasshoppah, time for you to write.

Ah. The Cosmic Voice speaks. That's all it was. The weirdness must have it's outlet after all.

I once told someone I'd die if I couldn't write. I was wrong. I'd merely be committed.

But I still wonder about Google.

Good Writing

I don't particularly like parrots. I've never wanted to own one. But This Story made me want to.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Lights, Cameras, Romaction!

Ostrobogulous has some inventive and hilarious ways to get men to watch chick flicks. I wet my pants. And not in the good way.

Simple Joys

This link is a total rip off from others, but whenever I need to be reminded of a simple way to recapture the joy in life, I watch it.

The NumaNuma Dance

Pump up the volume and get down!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Oy

Went out with friends from work last night and those beasts kept my glass full for hours. Of course, this morning I got called in to work early.

You can expect no further brain activity from me today.

I'm getting too old for this.