Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Spousal Conflicts--how much influence should he have?

**UPDATE** The husband told her to go for it! He now has my respect. I'm sure he'll sleep better knowing that. *gg*. I can't wait to see if I'm right and she sells. You heard it here first, folks!

I know a writer who's been striving for years to get published. She's an outstanding writer. In fact, when I first met her she was so many light years ahead of me I thought for sure she'd get there first.

Yesterday she got her umpteenth rejection and I pointed her to a new, mainstream publisher who I felt she'd have more than an excellent shot with. She wrote back that she couldn't submit to them because her husband wouldn't approve.

Apparently, the publisher's pagan name runs against her husband's religious beliefs. Her husband's. Not hers. This is not a religious publisher. It's a mainstream one. As far as I know it has no ties whatsoever to any religion. It just happens to be named for a pagan harvest ritual (I'm sure you all know who I'm talking about). So, where's the beef?

Am I wrong to think her husband shouldn't have a say in who she submits her romance novels to? It's not like she's selling to Satan's Mark Ltd.

Would you let it stop you?

PS -- would you pagans out there refrain from submitting to St. Martin's? Just wondering.

Monday, February 27, 2006

*Wiggle Bounce Wiggle Bounce*

I just took five copies of Layover up to my local bookshop. As far as I know, this is Layover's first stop in a brick and mortar store!

I can't stand it I'm so excited. Now if only I can keep myself from popping in to see if it has sold.

*bounce*

Why Porn?

When considering the various genres I could write, instead of asking myself why erotic romance? I'd rather ask myself why not? In fact, why not has become the question I ask myself about just about everything. It's a much more useful question than why because why can be a possibility killer, but with why not the sky's the limit.

Simon Sheppard (thanks, Suns!) has written a good article about the reasons a writer might choose the sexy path, and it made me remember my favorite reason for doing so (aside from the fun factor): because sex is a communication tool and it feels incomplete to me, as a writer, not to include it in a story about love.

When two people are falling in love and having sex for the first time, can there be a more fearful moment? Every insecurity you've ever had about your body and your soul rises to the top and lays out there on your skin. Rarely do you feel so vulnerable and exposed. Except for maybe public speaking and death, I think having sex with someone who means the world to you (even if you don't know it yet) is one of the scariest and most momentous events in your life.

How can a writer not explore such a huge part of being human?

We all remember the first time we had sex, particularly when the sex we had was with an important person. It's a life changing event. For many, it's the moment when they really felt grown-up. It's a right-of-passage and carries a heavy responsibility, with heavy penalties if something goes wrong.

To close the door and assume the reader knows what's going on in your character's heads at such a crucial moment is, in my opinion, a cop out. The reader will only know what they personally would've felt, not what your characters felt. And the raw language of erotic romance is a metaphor for the raw emotions being experienced.

We all know that what we do with our bodies affects our souls and our emotions. So, if people ask how can I write that stuff, I say, how can I not?

Why not write erotic romance?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Writer's Tools and a Well, This Sucks

First, the Well, This Sucks: I had eloquent and heartfelt responses to the My Space comments (as well as a warm welcome to Bethany) and Blogger ate it.

Don't get me wrong, I love Blogger. Most of the time. But it has its bugs (which are fewer, thank God, than Bravenet). Suffice to say I'm feeling the worldwide love and the security of The Bats, and am very thankful Bethany found us too!

Now on to the Writer's Tools.

I'm sure ya'll read Miss Snark. I do. And I find most of her advice to be the sort of been-there-done-that stuff I've read for years. But this link is important for all writers, at any stage of their careers. I even think non-writers, or relatives of writers would appreciate it.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard of a writer struggling for decades to get published, only to have it happen when she loosened her knots and did what this post tells you to do.

The only bit of advice I'd add to it is: keep searching for your editor. She's out there. It's your job to find her.

Friday, February 24, 2006

I Need My Space (but where is it?)

When I first started writing, we had one computer. It was downstairs in the husband's office. The children were still little, and home alot, so I got used to writing my books in the short snatches of time I could grab between crises.

Eventually it became apparent that I meant business, so for my birthday, I bought myself a computer and set up an office in the sitting room off the master bedroom. This worked great--except when my late-into-the-night hours kept the husband awake. But we worked it out and for the next few years, this is where I did all my writing.

Then I got published and bought a laptop. By then the husband's second computer became unreliable and he commandeered my desktop. My office sat unused and unappreciated for several months while I tapped away on my laptop in the living room. I began to feel almost guilty about not using my wonderful office. After all, it was mine! I'd painted it citrus orange and decorated it the way I wanted--much to the husband's angst. This was my space. My space. But I no longer used it.

So, a few weeks ago I moved everything back upstairs, bought the wireless-keyboard-from-hell, and set up shop again.

Did I write there?

Not much.

Suddenly my space had become a stranger to me. I didn't feel comfortable. It's on the north side of the house and gets no natural light. I felt isolated (which, oddly enough, is what I need to write) and pretty soon it took every ounce of willpower I possessed to even go in there and open up Word. I much preferred to take a nap on my sofa, in the sunny living room.

So, this morning I trotted the laptop back downstairs to my cushy leather chair by the window, and suddenly felt inspired again. It's not a chore to write here, in a pretty room with the sun streaming in. And I've got my uber responsive built-in keyboard to tap.

Took me long enough to realize what was bothering me!

What about you? Where do you write? Have you had the same spot for years or have you migrated around like me?

Do you need your space?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

American Idol: The New Variety Show

I've been trying to figure out what got me so freakin' hooked on American Idol this year. It's the first year I've followed from the beginning to the middle, and I'll definitely make it to the end this time. But why? Why this year and not the last four?

I finally figured out it was the sheer variety of powerhouse talent. Each of the top contenders brings a different voice and a different style to the stage, and each is as compelling as the other. I want them all to win, with all my heart!

They remind me of me and my friends--the different voices and styles we bring to romance. No one's better, no one's worse. Just different. And we all need to stay in the game because it makes the show more compelling, makes the emotional investment deeper--makes us want to see it through to the end and relish a happy ending for all.

I just love the contestants! Never before has a wider range of everyday people been showcased. Here's my top three from each category:

Men

Taylor Hicks--the guy blew me outta my seat from the get-go. He's original, he's mega-talented, he is music--in it's purest, lushest form.

Elliot Yamin--this boy has some serious pipes. You'd never guess that voice would or could come out of that mouth. I was up in my room when he started singing and nearly fell down the stairs to get to him. He's not easy on the eyes but money can change that. I like his Smokey Mountain Bumpkin appeal. Hell, I want him to win just for his name!

Ace Young--while a little too George Michael for me, I recognize his talent. He's eye candy on a stick, and he can sing. Awesome name, too.

In a perfect world, I'd like to see a tie between Hicks and Yamin. There's no way I could choose. I think Ace will get a contract no matter what. In fact, I think they all will.

Women

Paris Bennett--how can you not be crazy for this pinchable peach of a chica? She's got everything a star should have--in spades--and few singers, dead or alive, could perform the songs she can.

Lisa Tucker--WOW! And she's just sixteen. Sixteen! She reminds me of a young Whitney Houston.

Katharine McPhee--arguably the best set of pipes but not as well-rounded a performer as the others, that I can see. But that can be learned. I'd vote for her as the top female because Paris has it in the can already and Lisa's not far behind.

*fangirl squeal*

I can't wait to see how it all plays out!

Who are your picks?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tagged By A Starr

9 lasts:
last cigarette: five minutes ago :(
last beverage: iced coffee
last kiss: last night
last movie seen: The Exorcism of Emily Rose (video) King Kong (theatre)
last phone call: to Verizon, for fiber optic line installation (yay!)
last cd played: Wild Horses, Rolling Stones
last bubble bath: a verra, verra long time ago
last time you cried: April 18th, 2005

8 have you evers:
have you ever dated one of your best friends: no, unfortunately
have you ever skinny dipped: yes, quite fortunately
have you ever kissed somebody and regretted it: yes, the lousy rotten bastard!
have you ever fallen in love: yes, the lousy rotten bastard!
have you ever lost someone you loved: too many times
have you ever been depressed: yuppers, the lousy rotten bastard!
have you ever been drunk and thrown up: yes, but never again

7 states you've been to:
1. Washington
2. New Mexico
3. California
4. Maine
5. Alaska
6. Hawaii
7. Despair

6 things you've done today:
1. got up
2. wrote this blog
3. fed child number one
4. deflected child number one's foul mood. Score!
5. drank iced coffee
6. decided not to hang myself from the nearest tree

5 favorite things in no order:
1. Diet cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper
2. writing
3. napping
4. a brisk, sunny day
5. laughing

4 people you can tell [almost] anything to:
1. Terri Z.
2. Lynne W.
3. FabDame
4. My dog

3 wishes:
1. to retire to Lucerne
2. to stay published forever
3. to get menopause the hell over with

2 things you want to do before you die:
1. smell a new baby grandchild
2. make it smile

1 thing you regret:
1. The lousy rotten bastard!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Band of Sisters

This! Christine got me to thinking about my crit partners and writing friends and the trust we have in each other. It's extraordinary, really, when you think about it.

Here are these women I met online several years ago. Back then, they were only a name on my computer screen--and an anonymous name at that. Yet, their words drew me into their worlds, made me like them, made me trust them with my own words.

How the freak did that happen?

I suppose it all began with trust on my part. Trust in women in general. Trust that we were all there for the same purpose--to learn to write for publication. Yet, there are aspiring writers out there who'll undermine you, ones that'll plagiarize you or rip you off by pretending to have connections they don't have. Ones that think it's a competition and that helping you will somehow hinder them. They're few, but I've run into them.

But the women in my circle realize that in helping others, they help themselves. They learn more that way and pay it forward. And in helping each other so freely, in taking each others work and analyzing it as carefully as if it were our own, in caring for and investing emotionally in each other's success, we've built a Great Wall of China of trust.

When I hand over a manuscript for critting, I know with unshakeable certainty that nothing in this world would make them steer me wrong for their own gain, or for any other reason. In fact, I don't even think about it. It's simply not a worry. That fear doesn't exist for me. Additionally, when we have disagreements, I don't go off worrying that they're dissing me behind my back or plotting my downfall.

And this translates into every other aspect of my relationship with them. No matter what I ask, be it personal or professional, they would address my concern with the care they'd take for themselves, or their dearest loved ones. And they'd never rat me out *gg*.

Do we talk to each other every day? No. Every week? Uh, nope. Every month? Sometimes not. But it doesn't matter. The relationship is there and it ain't going nowhere.

Now I can begin to relate to sports teams and army platoons and the concrete bonding that takes place, of intimately knowing someone's strengths and weaknesses and protecting them both with the ferocity of a mother.

We have each others' backs. For someone as solitary-natured as a writer is, that's a beautiful thing. I wish it on everyone.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Amazon Adventure

I'm considering making a sidebar of my Amazon rankings just for fun. But until then, I noticed yesterday I finished out the day at about 34,000 alongside Jackie Collins (copyright 1971 *gg*) and Debbie Macomber (2002). Of course, I was also listed with The Bipolar Advantage and Managing 12 Volts: How to Upgrade, Operate, and Troubleshoot 12 Volt Electrical Systems. Interesting bedfellows to say the least.

Does anyone know how these rankings work? I mean, if I were 150,000 and then one person bought the book, would that catapault me to 35,000?

Whatever. I'm working on a more interesting blog post for later. Just wanted to stick this one in here for morning fun.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Betty Neels, The Holy Bible and Me

Okay, I've been warned to stay away from the Amazon Sales Rankings. They'll drive you crazy I've heard. Updated hourly, they tell you how well your book is selling on Amazon.

This morning I noticed I was ranked 93,597, so out of idle curiosity I clicked on the number. It took me to a link that showed the other books in my selling range. I was wedged firmly between A Guide to Inclusive Therapy: 26 Methods of Respectful, Resistance-Dissolving Therapy and NEKOMAH CREEK. Never heard of them BUT, another book on the same page was S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders.

Cool!

Others included: Damsel in Green (The Best of Betty Neels) (a VERY famous romance writer), and The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Red Letter Text!

Whoa! Pretty darn good company if you ask me. And, now I can say Layover is as popular as the Bible! Who needs a spin doctor? I've got Amazon.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Saturday Somnambulance

After I first wrote Layover and submitted it to the critiquing Bats for a roasting, Bron--one of our Aussie Bats--asked when I was going to do the sequels "Legover" and "Rollover". Yesterday I realized that the true sequel to this book should be "Hangover".

Man I'm strung out from this experience. I've got an endorphin hangover from seeing it the first time, a testosterone hangover from my tech boys reading the dirty parts outloud in a bar the other night, and an alcohol hangover from the subsequent party.

This old bat can't take much more. *gg* Hopefully will be back to blogging by Monday.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

My Word(s)!

So I'm sitting at the cashier's desk last night when my cell phone rings. I know it's one of my daughters, and I prepare for some lame excuse she's made up to call me at work. What I hear instead is a squeal, "Your books came! Your books came!"

OMG. So soon? And it's my brother's birthday! I squeal too. Co-worker's heads fly up.

"I'm opening the box."

(I suspect she'd already done that 'cause only a second goes by before she says, "Oooooh! Did you see the back? Did you? It has the cockpit on it!"

No, I'd had no idea what the back looked like, and assumed it would be plain black. This piece of vicarious info thrills me. I glance at the clock. Five thirty. "Bring it up as soon as Daddy gets home." I hang up the phone and squeal again.

Sharon, my co-worker, says to the others. "Her book came."

No way can I sit still now. And the clocks have stopped! The husband is never going to get home. This is torture! My co-workers start teasing, "She's like a kid in a candy store."

Finally, a customer walks in and just when I'm finishing up with him, child number one appears in my periphery and slaps a book on the counter.

For a moment, everything stops. Everything.

There it is.

I pick it up. It looks gorgeous. The cover picture is softer and more elegant in print, the lettering has a dimension that's lost on the computer screen.

I open it. And the first thought that smacks me is: My words.

These are my words. MY words. my WORDS.

MY WORDS!

I hold it over my head and do a little dance. Press the pages to my nose and sniff.
Co-workers gather and form a ring around me. I check the words again.

They're mine. Yup. Yup. My words.

Sharon is a tough, sarcastic broad. She calls me "Smutty" as in "Hi, Smutty!" or "Smutty's here!". She don't take no shit from no one. Right now, she's tittering like a fan girl. We're giggling. She's feeling my excitement and when I offer her a book, she races over to her purse for the money and a pen. And she buys my words.

My words.

MINE!

I spend the rest of my shift in a gooey haze, fondling my book, checking to make sure mistakes were corrected. And reading my words in print for the very first time. They look different in print. Somehow better. More sturdy. More forever.

After a while, it hits me that I'm a professional. My words were strung together well enough to be in a book--just like Jenny Cruisie's were. Or Nora's. Or any other author I've admired over the years. I'll be in the same bookstore as them. I'm part of a larger picture, and it's awesome in the truest sense.

My words. And they arrived on Robbie's birthday.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

In Memorium

 

Both the books you added your technical expertise to have been published. Are you tickled severely?

Happy Birthday, ya big ape!

Love forever, Olive Oyle

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

While I Was Sleeping - A Happy Valentine

The nicest things always happen at naptime.

Out Of This World (awaiting title approval) has been contracted by EC!! Numero quatro is in the can, people!

*squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

In Defense of The Cliche

You know what? I love cliches--older ones that've fallen into disuse, that is. Against all the writing rules I've been taught, I pepper my stories with them, and, like the piquant spice, they work.

They work because they're true. And isn't truth-telling what writing is all about?

Besides, I'm older now and I've discovered that many of the cliches of my youth can be doled out to the younger set, who've never heard them. And when they hear them, they laugh! Because comedy is also built on truth.

For instance, in Layover, I have Kira thinking about Jack: can I kill him and make it look like an accident? Can't tell you how cliche that was when I was a kid. I considered striking it out but left it in because that was precisely what she was thinking. And every single critiquer highlighted that sentence with an "LOL".

Of course, you can always take a cliche and give it a little twist. Instead of being so hungry you could eat a horse, you can be so hungry you'd eat a moose, or a water buffalo. And that makes it even funnier.

(Little aside here: It's after midnight and my daughters are talking to each other in their sleep! Something about grandpa. Wish I had a tape recorder going)

But I like it when a smile lights a room like a sunrise, or a kid running with a stick will put out an eye. It's comforting to be reminded that all's well that ends well, and that even though this is the worst of times, it's also the best.

Let's hear it for the cliche! They've endured for a reason.

What about you? Do you use cliches in your writing? Do you avoid them like the plague, or do they give you the warm and fuzzy feeling that tomorrow is indeed another day?

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Ten Celebrities I'd Shag - A Meme

Numero uno - Jim Carrey. No one else can make snot pour out of my nose because I'm laughing so hard. Might make for a messy session, but whatever. I'd sell my children to do him.

2) Bill Murray. Same reason, only with him, it'd be a golden shower.

3) Viggo Mortensen - because the contrast between his real self and Aragorn fascinates me. He's kinda nerdy and snortly in real life, but he can play angsty intensity.

4) John Cusack - smart, sexy and discerning with his roles. Also a damn fine writer. Might consider a threesome including his sister, Joan, too. We don't see enough of her.

5) David Wenham - he was the physical model for Coop Masterson, my Federal Air Marshal hero in Coffee, Tea or Lea? Faramir was my fav character from LOTR. Loved how he struggled with his dark side in the movie. In short, he did it for me completely.

6) King Kong - yeah, the big ape got to me. So what? It's not like anything's ever gonna come of it.

7) Dennis Quaid - I've always been a sucker for that shit-eating grin. Baby, come to momma.

8) Kevin Kline - brilliance on a stick and a hot body to boot. Adored him as the Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance, and as Nathan in Sophie's Choice. He was also great in A Fish Called Wanda.

9) Oh hell, Cary Grant. Who wouldn't?

10) Stuart Townsend - incredibly adorable, wonderful eyes, and one of the few male actors who doesn't seem to mind his S.O. is more famous than him.

Who would you shag?

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Layover is in the EC Ebay Store!

Buy it here!

I cried when I saw it listed.

Hey, there's a time to be strong and there's a time to be a sap. Just call me Sappy.

Woooooooo Hooooooooo!!

LAYOVER is out!! LAYOVER is out in PRINT!

For interested purchasers, it should be available at Amazon, or Ellora's Cave within the next three weeks! I just ordered my author copies and will come in here to describe the sensation of opening my FIRST PRINT BOOK when I get them.

Now, it's off to down some motrin from all the backflips I did. *gg*

Thursday, February 09, 2006

So, How About Those Mets

I'm fresh out of ideas folks. Can't think of a thing to blog about, so, gonna say sayonara until I can think up a worthy topic.

If anyone needs me, email me. Otherwise my nose will be buried in the WIP until further notice.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Wednesday Already? and Pennies From Heaven

Man oh! Mid-week and I haven't blogged at all! Worse, I can't think of a blinkin' thing to say today either.

*a minute passes*

*another minute passes. Followed quickly by yet another... minute.* (guess who said that)

One topic that I've always wanted to discuss is the Pennies From Heaven stories you read in Dear Abby. Over the years, I've collected many stories from friends and aquaintances who believe their deceased loved ones have contacted them. Many of these events occurred at the time of the loved one's death--which was unbeknownst to the receiver of the "visitation" at the time. A grandmother tucking her granddaughter into bed for the last time, a face, a touch on the arm, a mother's voice...The list goes on.

Personally, the day after my brother died last April, I believe he came to see me. Alone in the house, I'd just laid down for a nap when my dog's tail started wagging, thumping against the floor as if someone had come into the room but she was too lazy to get up and greet him. A ferocious watchdog, she'd never done this before in her life. Other small signals that it was him followed, which I won't go into here because they'd mean nothing to you, but I became convinced he was truly there.

Previously I'd had dreams following deaths in the family, but never something as tangible as this visit and never when I was awake. It wasn't something I had been watching for, or even consciously wishing would happen. So it made a believer out of me, and opened the door to exploring the more spiritual side of life.

What about you? Have you had contact with a loved one after his/her death? Do you believe such communication exists or do you belive these are subconscious events?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

(dis)Comfort Foods

Today I had pasta with ketchup. Don't know why, except it was there and I suddenly wanted it. When pregnant with child number one, I ate it all the time. Thought about it all the time. Craved it. I don't think I've had it since then, until today.

It's one of those foods FabDame and I ate as children--she had it with wagon wheels and I had it on twists. Others included pork-n-beans with cottage cheese, grilled cheese with grape jelly, and apple and cheese sandwiches on WonderBread.

I also loved cling peaches with sour cream. FabDame preferred canned pineapple to peaches and I never understood why. Still don't. I think she also liked fruit cocktail (correct me if I'm wrong, oh Fab One).

When I got sick, Mom made me white rice with brown sugar, butter and milk, and Dad always went down to the Dairy Barn to get me black cherry soda. Those were rare and coveted treats.

Then there was Grandma Toast. Out on the High Plains of Clovis, New Mexico, where we summered with the grandparents, my grandmother would rise at dawn and butter some sour dough bread. She'd stick it in her cast iron stove for I guess about 40 minutes on low heat, until it got as hard as Melba Toast. Then she'd put the pan on top of the stove and we'd snack on it all day long--usually along with some homemade jelly.

Is there anyone else out there who's eaten Frito Pie? A sort of faux Mexican lasagna made with layers of Fritos, cheese, chilified meat and pinto beans. It was salty, fatty, and it set in your stomach like concrete. In short, heaven on a Fiestaware plate.

How about you? What are some of the more interesting foods you ate as a child? Do you still eat them now or are you glad those days are over?

Ann Looks Like...

The Google game of typing your name and a phrase is always so fun and informative! Here are my latest results:

Ann looks like a million dollars, before taxes, while the rest of us only depreciate

Ann looks like a Ruby that has fallen on tough time and was forced to whore herself.

Ann looks like an Afghan Hound on crack. Plus she is outdated because she tries to model herself after Marcia Brady. ...

Ann looks like a sex change operation gone horribly, horribly wrong

Ann looks like a man and dates dogs

Ann looks like a slut for running into Jack's arms before Kong even hits the street. (Granted, it's a long way down...)

Ann looks like the typical girl next door.

Ann looks like a lump on a log, isn’t she supposed to be smart?

Ann looks like she’s being a little aggressive with that “salute,” don’t you think?”

Ann looks like she died of food poisoning and flopped over into her bowl of soup.

Ann looks like an ostrich!

Ann looks like Nicole Kidman? Does anyone else think so?

Ann looks like the softhearted type. You could get lucky.

Ann looks like some kind of reindeer or something

Ann looks like everyone in Des Moines. But when the moon is out, she commits unthinkable acts

Friday, February 03, 2006

Multiple Births

Loosely plotted a new novel this morning, began chapter one and am building steam. It really is an incomparable feeling. It's been a while since I started something completely new, completely cold. I tend to write in twos--one fresh idea and then the second story evolves from that.

I'd finished my final pair and had been letting a storyline fertilize. This morning it formed a zygote.

It seems most people tend to write in triplet. I write twins.

What about you? Are you a single, a twin, a triplet, or more?

Quizilla Cheat

Cool and eerily accurate test. Whoa! And yellow happens to be my favorite color too!

YELLOW
Yellows are motivated by fun. They are inviting and embrace life as a party which they're hosting. They love playful interaction and can be extremely sociable and persuasive. They seek instant gratification. YELLOWS need to be adored and praised. While YELLOWS are carefree, they are quite sensitive and highly alert to others motives to control them. YELLOWS carry within themselves the gift of a good heart.

YELLOWS need to look good socially, and friendships command a high priority in their lives. YELLOWS are happy, highly verbal, easily bored, and crave adventure. They can never sit still for long. They choose friends who, like themselves, refuse to allow lifes boring details stifle their curiosity. They embrace each day in the present tense. YELLOWS are charismatic, spontaneous, positive, and can be irresponsible, obnoxious, and forgetful. When you deal with a YELLOW praise and adore them, take a positive, upbeat approach, and promote creative and fun activities for and with them.

Okay people! Gimme the praise. Make me feeeeel the adoration!

Anybody? Anybody??




What Color Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Random Thought

In link-hopping this morning I discovered there are still people who are adamant about the need to know someone to get published.

I have to ask, then, why aren't they out there getting to know that someone? Make it happen, people!

I'm NOT in the mood for whiners today, so I think I'll just sit here and write and wait for the nice man to bring me my groceries.

Man School

WINTER CLASSES FOR MEN AT THE LEARNING CENTER FOR ADULTS

REGISTRATION MUST BE COMPLETED BY Monday, Feb. 13, 2006

NOTE: DUE TO THE COMPLEXITY AND DIFFICULTY LEVEL OF THEIR CONTENTS,
CLASS SIZES WILL BE LIMITED TO 8 PARTICIPANTS MAXIMUM.


Class 1
How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays --- Step by Step, with Slide
Presentation.
Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 2
The Toilet Paper Roll --- Does It Change Itself?
Round Table Discussion.
Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3
Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat and
Avoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub? --- Group Practice.
Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 4
Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor--
Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.
Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5
After Dinner Dishes --- Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink?
Examples on Video.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM

Class 6
Loss Of Identity --- Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other.
Help Line Support and Support Groups.
Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

Class 7
Learning How To Find Things --- Starting With Looking In The Right
Places And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming.
Open Forum .
Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8
Health Watch --- Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health.
Graphics and Audio Tapes.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 9
Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost --- Real Life Testimonials.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined.

Class 10
Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks?
Driving Simulations.
4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.

Class 11
Learning to Live --- Basic Differences Between Mother and Wife.
Online Classes and role-playing .
Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined

Class 12
How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion -- Relaxation Exercises, Meditation
and Breathing Techniques.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 13
How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy --- Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries
and Other Important Dates and Calling When You're Going To Be Late.
Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies Offered.
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 14
The Stove/Oven --- What It Is and How It Is Used.
Live Demonstration.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.

Upon completion of any of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to
the survivors.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Ah Ha Moments

As a postscript to the previous entry:

Several years ago I learned what's probably the best lesson about this biz. I had turned my first novel into a screenplay and had used the Internet to research production companies that might be interested in developing it. Basically, I ignored the powerhouses and made a list of the smaller companies owned by movie stars. One of them was Bonnie Hunt, who at the time would've been perfect as my heroine.

One of the pieces of advice I'd gleaned was to call them on the phone and make a verbal pitch to ask permission to send something. Talk about scary. But I did, over the answering machine no less! Would you believe a couple of days later the phone rings and it's them! They said "Sure, send it along!"

So I did and that was the last I heard of it, but the point is, it's that easy. As my sister said "There's no mystery to these things." You call, they call you back. Or they don't. They're in the business of saying "yes" because they don't want to miss out on a good thing. It really is that simple. And realizing this made me much braver in my quest, and more willing to just do it.

Ann Through The Magnifying Glass

With her eloquent and uncommonly usual good sense, Diana refutes the commonly held belief that you need to know someone, sleep with someone, or be a celebrity to get published.

Sheesh. Every writer I know--and I know alot--is an unknown schlepp who wanted to write, so she joined a writer's group, wrote, submitted, got rejected, wrote again, and kept on submitting until she sold. Why is this so unbelievable to some people? Is it because it involves hard work and concrete perseverance?

I think maybe it is. Writers and other artists aren't commonly thought of as savvy business people. They're thought of as dreamy, flakey, quixotic and eccentric. I'm not saying we aren't all those things *gg* but unless there's steel under those magnolias, we ain't going anywhere fast.

I read a really good quote the other day but can't remember where. It had to do with money (success) and how it doesn't change people, rather it frees them to release more of their true nature.

I wonder if this happens with writers and artists. Once we achieve a certain level of success, are we then freer to display the dreamier, flakier, quixoticer and eccentricer parts of our personalities? And if so, is that why we're generally perceived that way?

Personally, I'm much more willing to display my personal habits now that I'm published. It's like now I have justification for the naps, the unfocused gazing, the incoherent mumbling and inability to concentrate on what's happening in the room. In some ways it seems those "flaws" have been magnified in my personality because now I'm more free to indulge them and less embarrassed to be caught at it. But in reality, they were there all along.

In being so open about myself, am I unwittingly endorsing the stereotype of the flakey artiste, when, in fact, it took a shirtload of hard labor just to get this far?

What about you? Has your truer self been magnified? Do you think it's a good thing, or a bad thing?

Did you sleep with someone to get published? Or did you do it the other old-fashioned-working-girl way? Let's dish.