Saturday, September 27, 2008

Say It Ain't So...

A powerful spirit has moved on. Kinda unreal. Sounds strange but to me he seemed like a super-human who would go on and on. Thanks to celluloid and his amazing charity work, he will.

Wow. I'm seriously going to miss his presence in the world.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

All A-Twitter!

I've gone and joined Twitter! Now ya'll can sign up for inane snippets of my daily world. How about that?

Go see!

http://twitter.com/annwesleyhardin

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rent-a-Rant

For the second time in two days, car rental customers have accused me of not disclosing some of the terms of the rental agreement. K, fine.

You didn't listen to my spiel in person the same way you don't listen to a greeting on the phone. You're too impatient to get out and go about your all important day to understand that we're giving you the keys to a 30,000 dollar piece of equipment. You're also too dumb to realize that you do have to answer some questions and prove you will bring it back before we'll surrender it to you.


K, fine.

Now, I've been in some sort of service job my whole frickin' life. I know how to defuse most explosive situations. But what I've got here, lately, is a whole different ball game.

First let me tell you how both of these men, YES MEN, accused me of not telling them A) that the collision damage waiver fee was 15.00/day, and B) that the fee for an additional driver was 2.00/day.

We have a speech. A speech. A written speech that we memorize. If we don't memorize it and recite it exactly as written, we, the agents, are responsible for any financial loss to the company resulting from that oversight. You think I don't know my speech? You think I'd risk my rent on not saying it? If you do, you're an asshole and I can't help you.

Understand?

K, fine.

But apparently I didn't recite the speech to these two men.

One year, 1500 hundred customers served the same bat speech, same bat tone, same bat time in the process. Yet for these two whiny bastards, I mean men, I didn't recite the speech.

And here's what they told me, "I know in my deepest heart of hearts, Ann, that you never told me I would have to pay for collision/extra driver"...

...giving birth in the front seat/blowing my brains out in the car/shattering the headlights/stealing the tires/keeping the car an extra day/shredding the upholstery/using it as a kitty litterbox...Wah. Wah! You didn't tell me. Nevermind that I put my signature on the legal contract while saying "yeah, yeah I know" to your speech. You didn't tell me. You didn't stop me from signing and make me understand what I was doing so therefore I am not responsible for what I did....

"In my deepest heart of hearts."

They actually used these words. Both of them.

Men. MEN!!

"In my deepest heart of hearts."

Is there something in the air? A full moon that I missed? Am I prejudiced? Sue me. No real man would say that about two extra bucks a day. Did they think I'd soften? Were they trying to appeal to the woman in me? The romance writer in me? Non. Because when that didn't work, they bullied me.

"I want this done now, Ann. Make it go away now, Ann. Get me your boss now, Ann."

In your deepest wet dreams, bud. Words are my life. Truth is my life. Combined, words and truth are something I'd probably die for.

You, young wimpy man, are a liar! Liar liar pants on fire!!! Burn bastard burn.

There.

I feel better now.

No one calls me a liar. And lives.

What punches your buttons? Do tell.

Eight Million Stories, and I've Written Six

Over at the Red Sage blog I've revealed the top-secret mind processes that spawned Bonded.

Later on this week, my editor will be blogging about the reasons she decided to publish it. And no, no bribery was involved, unless you count the fact that she had to fill me up with beer at RT 2007 to get me to understand that she wanted me to submit a story to her. Yes, I can be a dodo. And yes, I was schmoozed! I still can't believe it (the schmoozed part, not the dodo... nevermind)

Anyway, check out The story behind the story: Bonded.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Avio-a-Go-Go!

Two friends with opposing views on love have a passionate affair with the same Spanish artist, unaware that his crazy ex-wife is about to show up...



So, over the weekend we went to see Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Woody Allen's latest. It was an apropos movie for me to see at this point. I felt like I was watching an allegory of my life -- with early me represented by the prudish Vicky and, as my friend commented, free-spirited Cristina representing the real me.

Woody even got the hair colors right!

And yet, I was pleased to realize that although Cristina is far closer to current me than Vicky, there's a better balance between the dual personalities than there used to be, now that I've achieved a, er, certain age. And I was proud of myself for making the choices I have -- to bring out the Cristina while celebrating the Vicky -- and to live rather than endure.

We enjoyed the movie. It had smooth grace, gentle humor, and a sort of affectionate, if back-handed, respect for the characters as it poked fun at their angst and inability to move forward. Even the tortured, tragic artistes who existed to feel were every bit as ludicrous, pretentious and shallow as the materialistic culture they'd spurned.

And perhaps Woody nailed it. Because now I want to go to Barcelona, but not for the passion, music, food, museums, art or culture. No. I want to go to Tibidabo Amusement Park to ride on the Avio!



What about you? Are you Vicky, Cristina, or both? Would you rather ride the Avio, or Javier Bardem? Which one do you think would be more exciting?

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

An Interview!

Ten Questions With Ann Wesley Hardin

This month Red Sage Presents ... Ann Wesley Hardin! Ann has had many incarnations. After spending seven years earning university and post-graduate degrees in Anthropology, Museum Studies and Earth Sciences, she worked as a bartender, a radio weather forecaster, an environmental groundwater consultant and, finally, a novelist. A native New Yorker, she spent countless months traveling the world, and finally found a European style village in rural Pennsylvania, where she settled with her family.

Ann's story Bonded has been wowing readers and reviewers alike.

1) Did you ever think you would be doing what you do?
Are you kidding? Of course I knew. It was destiny! Don't laugh because that's actually pretty close to the truth. But that belief, as strong as it was, didn't stop me from spending years crying in my closet over the stacks of rejections.

2) How did becoming a writer change your life?
In a funny way it gave me permission to be myself, strange attributes and all. We're conditioned from birth to fit under the bell jar and some of us just don't. Getting that validation, feeling necessary, and able to contribute to society in some small way is a wonderful thing for a wacko.

3) Are there common themes that show up in all your stories? If so, what are they?
I think acceptance is probably a recurring theme. Gee. Wonder why? (see answer # 2)

4) What draws you to the setting you chose for this story?
I usually use places I've been. It's important to get the lingo right because my books are dialogue heavy. It also depends on the character. Sela, from Bonded, had to be from New York City with her bold, brassy attitude. In A Lick and A Promise, a neighborhood in Seattle called Fremont inspired the setting because the local nickname for Fremont is "The Center of The Universe" -- extremely appropriate and inspiring for that book.

5) You write wonderful sex scenes. What makes a sex scene really sizzle?
Thank you! Sex sizzles when it's all about the characters, who they are, and what they're learning while they're going at it like lunatics. I do try never to stray from my character's heads when they're in bed. That's when they're most vulnerable and the wrong word or phrase -- something they wouldn't think or say -- will be jarring and untrue. Nothing is less sexy than a lie.

6) Which comes to you first, the plot or the characters?
Characters. Like for many writers, they speak to me in some way. I let them tell me what the plot is. There's no way I could manufacture some of this crazy stuff otherwise.

7) Your story is very funny. Do you think it's harder to write comedy than to write straight contemporary stories?
Alot of people think comedy is harder to write. I suppose on some level I agree, but then, why wouldn't I? Agreeing enables me to whine, "Woe is me. My life is so much harder than any other writer's!" The truth is, comedy comes easily to me. I simply can't resist it.

8) Any plans to step out of your usual genre?
I'm starting to dabble in Urban Fantasy. But rest assured there will always be romance, and the sex will always be hot. There's no going back from there. Who would want to?

9) Of all the heroes you've created, which is your favorite and why?
Here's where I'm supposed to say I love them all. But I don't. I like them all. But they're my heroine's dream men, not necessarily mine. My dream man is brainy, sexy, alpha in his own way, and also very weird. Totally my kinda guy!

10) Will Jorge the Masseuse be making any cameos in upcoming stories?
Jorge is a man of mystery and allure. Jorge keeps us guessing...


Read the rest of the

Red Sage Newsletter

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

What Do Romance Writers Do in Their Spare Time?

Why, find hot heroes to crawl all over. What else would they do?

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