Friday, October 27, 2006

Zip a dee do da, zip a dee ay, ...

Just heard from the e-pub editor re my novella:
"I'm pleased to ask for the full manuscript of THE COLOR OF PASSION for further review."
W000-Hoooo and a whoop de do!
*dance, dance, dance*

However (yes, there was a 'but'), she wasn't happy with the ending and suggested I change it. And you know what - I am. Frankly, I wasn't convinced it was a good ending either, but I didn't want to make it too 'pat', to 'Hollywood'. But Hollywood is what she wants so Hollywood is what she's going to get.

My mother is in town visiting so I'm officially on 'blog vacation'. (I'll leave the blog-every-day event to you, TL.)

'til November...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Poem - In the Wild

In the Wild
by Wylie Kinson

If you can’t find me, it's because I’m not there
I’ve gone to a wild place
where answers are found like plump grapes on a vine
where someone will tell me what it’s all about
explain the dark mazes of my mind

When you look into my eyes, what do you see
my soul, your dream, our destiny
If I could tell you what lurks in the mists
what monsters or flowers or music exists
where we embrace ourselves in luxury and riches
ride white elephants, and tame wild camels
and eat scones and cream like a social group of bitches.

I find myself in a predicament with no easy explanation
Keep looking
but the promises I give are like dandelion feathers in the wind
I know your fundamental being
You won’t give up on me
Forever striving for the inhuman state of monolithic morality.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Score card,.... good night

Getting my arm up on the desk to type isn't like having a dagger plunged into my shoulder repeatedly, so I guess it's safe to say the worst of the tendonitis is over. Percocet is evil. I say this on good authority, having been stoned for the better part of 5 days. My state of mind also explains the rather snotty rant I posted on the other day on the banality of television.

In other news. I've decided to keep a running score on my blog regarding my failures/success in writing. An affirmation of sorts, to remind myself that writing is a hard business, but at least I'm trying. So here's the first scorecard (and I must do this quickly before tonights Percocet kicks in):

Published works: two short erotic stories - Bella Fiore, The Cavern in the Green
Rejections: ALL of the children's stories I've ever written/sent (the list is very long)
Completed: The Color of Passion, Nonsuch Beauty
To Market: The Color of Passion, Nonsuch Beauty, one children's story My Scary Pet Snake
Agents: Two queries currently out
WIP: pirate story - 10%, novel 1- 15%, novel 2 - 10%

And so,... um,... z z z z z z z z z z z z z z zz z z z zz z zz zzz zzzz zz z zzz zz zzz zzz zz zzzz zzzzzzz

Monday, October 16, 2006

Studio 60 (Warning: this rant may offend...)

I was shocked to hear that ratings for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip were poor. I've watched this new NBC show since it's premier last month and having nothing but praise. The story moves along very quickly, the acting is suburb and the writing SUPERIOR - at least next to most drivel on the boob-tube. Apparently - the demographics are wrong; they're missing the 18-35 year old coveted market and are instead getting the 'over 40's.
I find it a sad commentary that we as a nation/s (pointing accusing finger at both US & Canada) continue to give credit to brain-wasting shows like 'The Bachelor', 'Survivor', and 'Two and a Half Men', and that God aweful Tyra Banks show which doesn't deserve to be mentioned, while critically acclaimed, well-written, INTERSTING programs like Studio 60 and Friday Night Lights are facing early cancellation. And why don't the studio execs give these programs more than 2 or 3 weeks to find an audience? Why the rush to hit the delete button.
But here's my biggest peeve: studios purposely put a winner against another network's winner in effort to win the night. Can't NBC be satisfied with winning say... Wednesday and Monday, let CBS have Tuesday and Thursday? I hate that Grey's Anatomy is up against CSI. Who cares who wins? The audience doesn't, that's for sure. This isn't welter-weight boxing-- it's television. Entertain us! Let us have good programs on all the networks!! Stop duking it out and just find the BEST SHOWS for all the time slots. I don't give a toss which network is winning, I'm certainly not loyal to any one network, and I'm positive I won't watch a new program just BECAUSE it airs on a specific network.
Attention studio execs - get over yourselves. Let we-the-viewers have our Grey's AND our CSI. Let us 'sophisticated viewers' continue to watch WELL WRITTEN shows like Studio 60, Arrested Development, Friday Night Lights, and all those other Emmy winning shows y'all cancelled because of poor ratings. Just because they're not in the top 10, doesn't mean they're failures. Just because the 18-35's aren't watching, doesn't mean your advertisers aren't getting theirs money's worth. Hell - us over 40's have a hellava lot more discretionary cash to toss around, so perhaps you need to do your jobs and get better quality, more sophisticated sponsors. YEAH! The *trailer-park residencees might LOVE watching 'Hope and Faith', and the viewer numbers might be out of the park, but that crowd is hardly going to run out and buy the BMW being advertised. Or the expensive brand of cat mooch.
Rant complete. Thank you.
*No disrespect to anyone residing in a trailer park ;D

Oh, Woe is Me...

Calcific tendonitis. Ouch! It sounds painful because it is. And I have it. In my right shoulder. Makes typing, mousing, lifting arm on to desk veeeeery uncomfy. Can't write (much). Mousing with left hand - very awkward. Typing mostly with left hand - very slow.
But the blog must go on...
Saw Mary Jo Putney on Saturday at the Toronto Romance Writers meeting. She was absolutely terrific - great speaker, charasmatic, down to earth, interesting person. I won one of her older books in a raffle (The Bargain) and found myself completely tongue tied when she was autographing it for me. Oh - the things I wanted to say! I had a whole mini-speech in my head about her gift for Regency voice, how her long distinguished career serves as a role-model for us newbies and how I appreciated the opportunity to hear her speak at a 'chapter' meeting... Oh, I wanted to gush! But all that came out was "I really liked 'One Perfect Rose'. And 'The Wild Child'. You write really good. Um - thanks."
OMG - what a moron! I'm supposed to be a writer and I say the most inane, grammatically incorrect drivel EVER! Embarrassed!
'kay - it's taken me almost an hour to left-hand type this and my shoulder is screaming with pain for sitting in such an awkward position.
*swallowing percocet*

Friday, October 13, 2006

"Nonsuch Beauty" - to market, to market!

The manuscript for 'Nonsuch Beauty' was submitted to an e-publisher last night. This means obsessively checking my email for the next 4-6 weeks.
IMO, this is the absolute hardest part of being a writer; sending your hard work, heart-and-soul bared on paper (or in this case, an electronic file) to a stranger. Giving such power (they can make or break your spirit with one form letter) to an anonymous name in cyberspace is incredibly nerve-wracking. You promise yourself that a rejection won't hurt, won't get you down or stop you from writing, but it's a really nasty experience that can potentially throw you for a loop. I recently sent a ms to a good friend to critique and in her reply, she used the word 'ok'. I couldn't get past it. OK?! But 'ok' just isn't good enough! It ruined my day, made my stomach churn every time I thought about it. I wanted her to say it made her cry, that she understood my heroine's pain, completely bought into the emotional fragility of the situation, -- but she used the word 'ok'. Here's the irony - When I read her email again the following day, I realized she didn't use 'ok' to describe the story, but in reply to my nagging her about reading the storyLiked it!? NO!! I wanted her to LOVE it!! - as in "The story - ok!" Then she said she 'liked it'.

Score: two manuscripts out, zero replies.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Dude, please!

Compelled to share this little gem:
I was listening to the news on the radio the other day and the newscaster, reporting on North Korea's latest nuclear hijinx, refers to their fearless leader as Kim Jong TWO, instead of Kim Jong Il. I laughed my ass off. DUH!

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by fellow Chippewa author Jose Bogran (sorry, no accents on the correct letters but I have NO idea how to apply them!)
Anyway - here are the questions I am now obliged to answer before tagging other unsuspecting folk:

1) One book that changed your life: This is REALLY hard because so many books influenced me at different times of my life. Going way back, I have to give props to Carolyn Keene because the Nancy Drew series was the beginning of my love affair with books. The first 'adult' book I ever read was Sydney Sheldon's 'Rage of Angels'. I was about 12 and absolutely fell in love with non-kid lit. There was no going back!
2) One book that you’d read more than once: I read 'Lord of the Rings' (and The Hobbit) when I was a teenager and again as a 30-something adult and I confess they were two profoundly different stories. The symbolism was completely lost on me as a 14 year old! In the romance genre, the only book I ever read twice was Jude Devereaux's 'Knight in Shining Armor'.
3) One book you’d want on a deserted island: Oh, this is easy. I would take the complete unabridged version of Encyclopedia Brittanica. Hmmm... technically, that's more than one book isn't it, but the question is vague so that's my answer and I'm sticking to it.
4) One book that made you laugh: Frank McCourt's 'Angela's Ashes' made me howl with laughter. The part when the boy gets sick after his first communion and is upset because he threw-up God? Hilarious!!
5) One book that made you cry: 'Angela's Ashes' again! Also, 'Knight in Shining Armor', Alex Hailey's 'Roots' and Danielle Steele's 'The Promise' (I read it when I was 16 and it was the first book that ever brought tears to my eyes).
6) One book you wish you’d written: Anything by Margaret Atwood. My God, she is brilliant.
7) One book you wish had never been written: Can't think of one out of any books that I've read. Sure, there are many books out there that stir up controversy, but hey, if you don't like the topic, don't read the book!
8) One book you're currently reading: Just finished Kate Mosse's 'Labyrinth' and Minette Walter's 'The Devil's Feather', so now I'll try *looking at sagging shelf behind me* Reay Tannahill's 'The Seventh Son', or maybe Sarah Dunant's 'In the Company of the Courtesan'. I like to mix up genre's, history vs contemp. etc...
9) One book you’ve been meaning to read: Anne-Marie MacDonald's 'Fall on Your Knees' and Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged' and 'The Fountainhead'. Someday...
10) Tag five people: Of all the busy busy busy people I know, I'm going to tag fellow author - TL, my fab editor at CP - Jana, incredibly hilarious Peter, and mysterious, generous, uber-popular Kay.

Oh - and while you're here - please click the sidebar ads!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Off the Bookshelf

Finished two books over the last week and these are my general thoughts:
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse - it's been compared to The Davinci Code but don't believe it. It's not better or worse, just very different in terms of it's presentation. TDC was so fast paced the reader barely had time to catch a breath. Lab took it's time, switching between two related stories taking place 800 years part. It was much fuller than TDC, but not as much fun. It was historically accurate, which in itself was frightening, because it addressed religious differences -- a disturbing parallel to today's killings 'in the name of God'. I highly recommend Labyrinth, but be prepared to be shocked at our own dark Christian/Catholic history. It's a story that won't leave your head quickly.
The Devil's Feather by Minette Walters - (it just occured to me that both of these authors are British. No deep meaning in this, just an observation.) I've always liked Minette Walters. Her books are classified as mysteries, but she offers a sophisticated level of human psychology, drama, and darkness that puts her far beyond the likes of Agatha Christie or Dick Francis. Her novels don't tend to get wrapped up in a final scene - there are no Hollywood endings, and The Devil's Feather is no different. This can be a wee bit frustrating (hey, who doesn't like the answer sheet?), but Minette Walters respects the intelligence of her audience enough to let us figure out our own conclussions based on the obvious and subtle clues she drops along the way. A very very good read.

Idle Musings, Thanksgiving

Why does Paris Hilton pose for every picture with her pelvis jutted forward? I always feel sorry for whomever she happens to be standing beside for having to put up with Paris's dirty hipbones poking them in the tummy. If it were me, I'd give her a little shove because you know she'd tip right over backwards. ROTFLMAO!!! Ahhh, the images running through my head...
And does anyone really care about Jennifer and Vince breaking up? Really??
And why is perfectly good newsprint wasting space on the supposed-upcoming-any-day-now nuptuals of Tom and his robot bride?
And going back to Paris, do we really need to know where she went clubbing over the weekend? Is this relevant? Is it news? Why do people give her so much attention? Do you think the residents of Paris, France will unite to change the name of their fabulous 'city of lights' to avoid association with that dirty, low-class, untalented chit?
They should.
Can you tell I just caught up on the weekend papers?

Thanksgiving (Canadian style) was an awesome event. We drove way way way up north, about 5 hours, to one of the most beautiful places on this earth. Vibrantly colored trees, mirror-surfaced lakes, craggy rock cuts with veins of quartz and granite glittering in the autumn sun, and the long empty stretches of nothingness reminded me how truly wondrous the Canadian landscape is. Made me wish I was a painter instead of a writer. I would have loved to commit those visions to canvas.

It was our first visit to Widgawa Lodge for Thanksgiving and though we knew our hosts and one other couple, the folks we met made for a truly memorable experience. Our new-found friends included the owner of a chocolate shop (my new bff!) and a gent who is currently running for mayor of his home town (I'd vote for him in a heartbeat!). Amongst the Canadians, there was a Scot, an Irishman, a Bermudian, and an Englishwoman. Though it sounds like the beginning of a joke (and they all walked into a bar...), it was a lovely international gathering of friends and family brought together to give thanks for our good fortune.
Of course, it goes without saying that it was a three-day cocktail hour punctuated with a healthy dose of laughter, games and fresh air (not necessarily in that order).
* Private message - Mel, we did miss you!! *

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

This Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving - my third fave holiday of the year. We're driving north to Widgawa Lodge to catch up with some old friends, eat lots of turkey and enjoy many cups of Bermuda Black Rum. I'm hungry thinking about it. The four-plus hour drive to get there, no so excited about. Just hope the children can't outscream the volume of my ipod. (Adding ipod to packing list). The colors are at their best - the maples are showing off their flaming reds and golden oranges - so it should be a scenic delight. Of course, the kids will miss the beauty of nature as they'll likely be staring zombie-like at the DVD player. Ahh, technology.

In writing: Lucy's Island, the short I just completed, has been retitled "Nonsuch Beauty". Puzzled? You won't be once you read the story. Of course, first I have to sell it, then wait for a publishing date, ... In other words, the title will remain a mystery for a good 2 years!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Lucy's Island - FINI !

Just wrote the final paragraph of "Lucy's Island" - finally. This story has been in my head for a looong time and I thought it would flow onto the paper without any problems, very quickly. As I stated in previous blog entries, "Lucy's Island" was supposed to be a short short (that means a really short story - about 3000 words), a simple exercise in dialogue between two people whose relationship is unclear. But ah, not so. The more I got to know these characters, the more I wanted to flesh them out, make them real, explore their backgrounds. I yearned for them to be able to reveal their motivations and inner feelings, something very difficult to do using dialogue alone -- at the risk of sounding contrived and unnatural. After many weeks (ok, months) of tweaking, rewriting and changing the storyline, I ultimately created an 11,000 word monster that I'm not sure has any relevance in the publishing world.
Now I've got to come up with a better title...