Archive for November, 2012

My crack-squirrel brain refuses to believe I have a cable modem and Scrivener will download in seconds. It insists I blog while waiting. Which means Scrivener downloaded before I hit the space key after the word ‘brain’, but since I’m here….

The hubs paid for Scrivener. Ain’t he a peach? We went through the whole “I have everything I want” speech about my upcoming birthday before I admitted I was gonna buy Scrivener for myself. I do that-buy my own junk. I guarantee you, though, that I would’ve backed out and not bought it if he hadn’t, because I’m like that, too. I would’ve said to myself, “You don’t need that. Word works fine.” Then the hubs said, “That’s perfect. I wanted to get you something that would help with the writing, but didn’t know what.”

Yeah, I think I’ll keep him.

So… Imma go play with Scrivener, but I’ll leave you with this game and hope I’m able to make it entertaining. Please do feel free to leave your own list in the comments.

Lord, I just asked a participatory question on my blog. What’s the world coming to?


Rules: Answer the questions with titles from your bookshelf. It is much harder than you’d think.


How are you?
Dead Until Dark

How has your day been?
Beauty’s Punishment

What are you wearing right now?
Skin Trade

What are you listening to right now?
A Rush of Wings

What do you see when you look to the left?
Tudor England (textbook)

What kind of weather do you have today?
The Strange Theory of Light and Matter

What are you doing this weekend?
Tempting Evil

How are you spending your Christmas (or other midwinter celebration)?
You Watch Too Much TV (HA! Lisa!)

What do you hope to find under your tree?
The Wolf Gift


Yeah, I sputtered over the last one.


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Holiday Tradition!

I love the holidays. Here’s why:

Decorating for Christmas took me about twenty seconds–which is the time it took to move my Charlie Brown tree from the top of the dresser in the bedroom, where its been since LAST Christmas, to the tv cabinet in the living room. Okay, so add twenty more seconds because I used the sleeve of my hoodie to half-ass dust before I took the picture. No, I’m not kidding about the tree being in the bedroom all this time–or the hoodie part. No, I don’t know why the hubs put the tree on top of his dresser and left it there. Am I complaining? No way, because I didn’t have to climb into the attic and find it. There’s also a strand of snowflakes that hang permanently over my sun room doors. 

Ignore the cobwebs. I’ve never denied that I am not Martha Stewart.

That strand of snowflakes was a major source of frustration one Christmas, so once they were untangled and tempers were well and truly frazzled, they found a permanent home right there. Yes, I’m serious, they hang there year-round, and no, I have no intention of ever taking them down. The string will have to rot and fall apart for me to consider moving them from where they are, so, *BOOM*. Decorating over.

It doesn’t hurt my feelings that we don’t do more than this anymore, but I do miss the sight of my daughter’s face lit only by the lights on a tree. After my divorce, she and I would decorate our tree in whatever way struck our fancy at the time. At first, it was the same family heirloom type ornaments, then we started to change up. One year we had a white tree with black, silver, and blue ornaments for our favorite hockey team. The last time that little four-foot tree was decorated, it had purple lights and, I think, larger versions of those aggravating-ass snowflakes. The whole idea of the “whatever” tree confused my now-husband at first, but he gets it now. For the last two years we’ve had the Charlie Brown tree and I rather like it. It’s simple and to the point. Which is, to me and always has been, that it doesn’t matter what your tree looks like, it’s the feelings behind it.

It doesn’t matter if you have a metric ton of money and a nine foot, real tree with all the trimmings. It doesn’t matter if it’s a beat-up little white tree with purple lights–only pretty when it’s lit and the room is dark because they’re Halloween lights and the cords are black. It doesn’t matter if it’s some old $10 Charlie Brown tree, as long as your family is in the same room, gathered around that stupid little tree.

It’s “up” now. My job is done. Well, except for figuring out how to prank the child this year. A few years back, I blew up two six-foot yard penguins in her room. It’ll be forever hard to top that one. It’s tradition. Mom must prank the child at Christmas and fill her stocking with candy dispensers of any animal kind that “poop” chocolate.

One last tradition that we hold as sacred as it gets is “Santa’s Cookies”–and by Santa’s I mean mine. Pepperidge Farm White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies. Not the soft kind, the crunchy kind. I forget what their name is, but it’s easier to remember by what they are and not what their name is, and if they’re not in this house my daughter will flip her shit and go buy some. That has been a tradition since she was born and if we don’t have those cookies on Christmas Eve, everything is just wrong and I won’t have that shit, either.

I love the holidays.



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Thanksgiving Thanks.

I’m thankful for dinner with imperfect in-laws, because they gave me my imperfect-but-perfect-for-me husband.

… the two dogs asleep on my bed and the one outside, guarding the fort.

… the ridiculous cat under my chair that one of the dogs–obviously NOT as asleep as I thought– keeps whining to get to.

… the trickle of fish tanks in the house. And the koi ponds outside.

… the bird that really is asleep.

… the hubs, who, like the bird, really is asleep.

… my daughter who will be over later, who will stay the night and tomorrow to help me eat way too many leftovers and crack on reality tv while the hubs is at work.

… an excuse not to obsessively check e-mail and just pretty much enjoy the day. Just as you should, too.


When you get a second later on, go see Victoria Schwab. She’s got a contest running for a sweet, sweet prize and will donate $1 to charity for every comment between today and SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25th at 9PM EST. Then make sure you watch her vlogs, especially this pair. She cracks me UP.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody in the US. (The one person in Indonesia–wha?–who keeps visiting the blog… I dunno if it’s still Thursday over there or not, but have a good Thursday.)

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Lena did it. Go read her version of this first, ya hear me?

I know, I already posted today about the uber-agent rejection, but I have leisure to post again and I hardly ever have time these days to sit and just be, so deal.

And I’m actually gonna be serious. This time. Don’t get used to it.

Putting Faces to Characters ~AKA~ The Next Big Thing

What is your working title of your book?

An Ordinary World/Ordinary World. It’s part of a planned series, tentatively, The Luce Series. Luce means ‘light’, but I was told is also means truth and understanding, or a window into such, and I’ve always found that an amusing concept for the name of a secret club for vampires and other supernaturals that have to hide who they are from the real world. I’m weird. Don’t judge.

Luce, the real deal at Royal and St. Louis. Photo courtesy of MOI.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

To be honest, the story itself is older than dirt. I had the one character, Esteban Marquez, already in my head when I visited New Orleans for the first time. Then I saw this cool-ass building on the corner of Royal and St. Louis and he proclaimed it home. When I got back to Georgia (boo), the idea for the other main took on life because of my cat. This series consists of the untold–to anyone but my writing partner, and even she doesn’t know everything–story of what happened when they first met.

The whole idea, though, is that these guys have such relatively mundane lives. I mean, I wrote the two mains for so many years that they just went on with day-to-day things and grew and changed, and it was just… the way it was. Sure, one is a vampire that has to do some really vicious stuff, but he still has to place liquor orders for the bar. Sure, the other is a leopard shifter, but he still wants to go to college. So, while we see them as supernatural and, yeah, they get into real paranormal shit-storms, it’s “normal” and “ordinary” for them. Lien, a sixteen-year-old leopard shifter, at the start of the story, would rather ignore the fact that he can change into a melanistic leopard anytime he wants. He meets Esteban, a vampire, who he’s supposed to stay away from, and well, he just can’t stay away. Along the way, in books to come, he figures out that life with Esteban becomes “ordinary”. It might not be what Lien wanted at first, but there it is. It’s his life. It’s not awful–though in book one, it was horrible–it’s not strange for them. It’s just… different.

Isn’t that the way it is with everyone? Everyone has a different definition of “ordinary”, no matter how fucked up that “ordinary” may be. Some things aren’t black and white, and sometimes all it takes is one person–pun intended, as you will see–to make it “ordinary”. And perfect. For them.

What genre does your book fall under?

Urban Fantasy. Maybe Dark Urban Fantasy, I’m not sure. One of my mains is only sixteen, but it’s not YA by any stretch.


Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Esteban Marquez is easy. For me Vincent Perez always has been and always will be Esteban. Granted, Este would never in a million years allow his goatee to become so unkempt as in that picture. Este is a five-hundred-plus year old vampire, who, depending on his mood, will say he was twenty-five or thirty when he was made. He’s from Merida, Spain (which really doesn’t exist that I know of-there’s a city in Mexico called Merida, though) and has a permanent set of non-retreating fangs that brush his lips when he speaks.

I know, right? *whew*

A long time ago I had the perfect pictures of Vincent that fit so well. Lemme look. Ok, here you go. This is the only one I can find. Not perfect, but we have his velvet jacket and all …

Lien is harder. How can you find a pic of someone with hair like spun rubies and the face of an angel. Or would that be the face of a half-fae leopard-shifter (shh-that’s a plot secret)? I’d like the reader to choose how they see Lien based on the book, where Vincent as Este is a no-brainer. He looks just like him. How about Esteban’s wife, Nita, instead? That’s an old pic of Sophie Marceau and its always worked well.

You know there had to be monkey-wrench *somewhere*.


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I suck at pitches. Next question. LOL!

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m old-school. I believe in agents and Big Six (Five? Four?) publishing, and yet see the wisdom of smaller press, too. *shrug* I’m hopeful, but in the end we’ll see.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

The one I just finished took six-nine solid months for a first draft. It took another six-plus for revisions/edits because I have a day-job from Hell, which made the final project look nothing like the first draft. And I do mean NOTHING. Book two is currently sitting at 3k after a couple of weeks. Just because I’ve written for twenty years doesn’t mean I knew how to write a novel. It was a bitch, yo? I spent a lot of that first book learning–like everyone should–so I’m hoping this one will go faster.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Adrian Phoenix and her Maker’s Song series. I don’t write in first-person and neither does she, and we both also have multiple POV. When I found her work it was such a rush. (no pun intended this time–if you get the pun)

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

That’s tough to answer because I don’t think it was any one thing. I’ve always wanted to move to novel length, but I think you have to reach a point in your life where you’re ready to do something like this, because this shit ain’t no joke. I was ready, and finally said, “Ok. Let’s do this. Out of the hundreds of people who live in your head, who do you love the most?” And the answer was my Luce-verse. I eat, sleep, and will die, New Orleans. The choice was easy.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The mains are male and most of the characters in general are either gay or bi-sexual and they make no excuses for the fact. Neither will I. They’ve often told me they have enough to worry about–like staying alive–than the gender of the person they love. (And there isn’t really much smut involved in my writing. There’s a fairly graphic rape scene in one book and a bit of the *bow-chica*, but no *wow-wow*.) Mostly, I think readers might like how real they are in spite of being supernatural creatures. They’re idiots and funny sometimes, but they’re also smart cookies. Some can kill with a glance, but they love with all their hearts.

And it made one beta reader cry. *fist-pump*

How about I just show you this?

AN ORDINARY WORLD takes place in New Orleans. Esteban Marquez, having dispatched the former Master of the City, now rules with the tenuous approval of the Vampire Council. However, all is not going as well as he planned. Someone wants to take what the five-hundred year-old vampire has won and the hub of his newfound power, the supernatural consortium, Luce–bound to him through preternatural power and blood– is recovering from an attack. Esteban is wounded and searching for answers while dealing with the mundane chores of his authority. Luce is healing, but not quickly enough to go unnoticed.

Lien, the wayward sixteen-year-old son of a leopard shifter king, is hell-bent on having a normal life in spite of his father’s stance on tradition. He wants college, parties, friends, maybe even a boyfriend; his father just wants him to stay home. The one word about vampires in the pard handbook says “NO” and Lien is good with that… until he wanders beneath Luce’s balcony and becomes the final, irresistible push that upsets Esteban’s precarious balance of power.

Something that could heal Luce and Esteban’s damaged strength is something–someone–he does not have; a One–one shifter meant for one vampire. Esteban may have found him in Lien. If only he had faith and his wife would stop interfering. If only Lien would believe that a One is not just another faerie tale. Lien’s decisions will save Esteban’s life, and cost Lien the lives of everyone dear to him.


Ok, serious-time is over. Ain’tcha’ glad? I’m not good at this stuff. I write. I don’t know anything about platforms or branding or anything else. It hurts my brain to think about it. So, here’s to spreading the misery.

Lisa Kessler – because I have always loved to torment her.

El Farris – because I hear she’s working on a new project.

Sinead MacDughlas – because I can.

Anthony Richer – because I like to torment Yoda, too.


Hop to it.


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Yeah, THIS!


I heard *snif* from the agency *snif* and they said no.


So, I ate all the FOODS to fill the empty void that’s inside of my SOUL!


My shattered, shredded little writer’s dreams…

*poof* All gone.


And I took a headache powder or five to dull the *PAIN*.



Are you kidding me? You GUYS! I’m kidding! Gosh!

I was politely rejected, with only a semi-kinda form rejection. Ok, so it was probably a form rejection, but at least it was actually addressed to me.

Geez. You guys should know me better than that. Yes, it was my dream uber-agency and my dream uber-agent…*littlesnif*… but…

They didn’t leave me hanging and for that I’m very thankful. All this ‘no reply means no’ stuff these days *blah*. I was happy to get a quick answer, no matter that it was a no.

But it was funny to gather up all that junk food to take the pic, even if it was a bit of a fail because that’s sugar free puddling in the pic.

Who eats that shit and what is it doing in my house?



Ok, so I did eat the Zingers.


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With a sprained thumb. Blame the puppy that’s not really a puppy anymore. Tell me that’s not dedication. Ok, so it’s not. The scene in the forefront of my day involved a character who hasn’t been a meanie in quite some time and he liked being his old wicked self, so he wouldn’t shut up.

Starting this book has been tough…

Oh, shiny. I just finally noticed where you put tags on posts. *hem* Sorry. Like I know what tags are for, anyway.

It’s been tough because I haven’t been in love with it. I think I at least *like* it now, because I had fun today.

It’s been tough because I’ve been spending a fair amount of time reading publishing blogs–some of that stuff can get disheartening, yo. The rules have changed so much since I started writing all those years ago.

It’s been tough because of the crickets chirping in my inbox. Disheartening. Yeah, that, but go big or go home, bitches. Namaste.

It’s been tough because the big 4-5 is looming. I don’t feel that old, dammit.

And I’m out of Zingers.

It’s been tough because for a little while I forgot what makes me so happy about this stuff. I remember again. I’m grateful.

I’m still obsessively checking my inbox and phone watching, but I’m grateful.

Now, where’s the ice? My thumb is killing me.


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Because submission and outlining angst just won’t be the same without Zingers.

Even Lily is depressed for me.

In the time it took to post those pics, I’ve eaten half the pack.

It’s for reasons like this that writer’s get “Writer’s Ass”, I’m sure of it. It’s not because we don’t exercise, a lot of us do–not me, for the record. It’s because we sit around stuffing chocolate in our pie holes in order to trick our brain into releasing those feel-good endorphins because we feel ALL the feels and there’s not a billion other writers out there with their spleens laying on the floor, begging to be noticed.

Nope, not at all. It’s just ME.

Tonight it is, anyway.

Until I go check Twitter and find hundreds upon thousands more.

Then I’ll just eat another Zinger. While the three-pack lasts, anyway.

*looks at the empty pack*



If Saint Francis, patron saint of writers, is listening… dude.

Please, I humbly ask, let someone buy out Hostess and keep making Zingers. 


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