Monday, April 28, 2008

Mostly sunny observations.

As a writer, I tend to be an observationalist (is that a cool word, or what). Sometimes this leads to snap judgements, usually followed by an 'in your shoes' reflection, and eventually, the mental filing away of character tidbits.
Here's what I observed yesterday:

11:00am weather report:
currently 11 C (roughly 52 F) with a high of 17 C (roughly 66ish F), mainly sunny with winds from the north.

I went to the grocery store around noon-time and quickly determined that there were generally two camps of dressers.
Camp #1: The summer-is-here, short-short and sleeveless top/t-shirt wearers. Crocs or sandals were the footwear of choice in 99% of the cases.
Camp #2: The I'm-not-convinced-summer-is-here-yet jeans and sweater and/or hoodie crowd.

Got me wondering...

Are the folks in Camp #1 hopefully enthuastic, naive, or stupid?

That north wind was chilly and even in my jeans, t-shirt and Crocs (I went for the cross-dresser approach), the goosebumps broke out.
Maybe they didn't check the weather channel and the sun beaming in their bedroom windows gave them a false-positive reading.

Or perhaps, if they did glance at the news, they thought it would surely climb above that predicted 17 degrees (the weather man often errs on the low side).

Or maybe they were so ultra-organized that they already put all of their cold-weather clothes away for the season (in their defense,... we have had awesome, hot weather in the last few weeks).

And what about the Camp #2ers...

Are they hardened cynics, realistic, or just plain savvy?

Did they check the weather and immediately translate that 'north wind' into 'hoodie'?

Or did they simply step outside wearing shorts and halters and say, "WTF?!" and run back in the house to change?

Or just maybe, unlike their uber-organized counterparts, have they not yet dug the warm-weather clothes out of the Rubbermaids?

And what about me?
The jeans were on my bathroom floor and within easy reach. The t-shirt was on top of the laundry basket and I slipped on my Crocs because I was too lazy to bend down and untie my sneakers.

I expected to roast, instead froze,...

and didn't check the weather until I got home. ;)

Hmmm... hard to pigeon-hole people at the end of the day, eh?? ;)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Seven Random Things Meme

So... I cut blogging down to two times a week and it seems I can't even keep up with that! Pathetic...

The post I intended for this past Thursday was a meme. TL tagged me for this 7 Things Meme and these are the rules:

I must tell seven random and/or interesting things about myself. Then I have to get five blog buddies to play, too, and link to their blogs. And I have to post the rules.

This is troublesome...
I've done similar memes and I'm not sure I can come up with 7 new things, so forgive me the repitition, but I'm going to try and tie each 'thing' to writing.

1. I appeared in a popular daytime soap opera back in the late 80's. Five walk-ons, one solid line. It was fun experience, and although I was diehard fan of this show in the past, after reading the (inane) scripts, I haven't watched it since. If you watch soaps, try this: walk away from the screen and just listen. Listen from another room, close your eyes, whatever, but just listen to the dialogue and you'll see exactly what I mean.
If you're a fellow writer, you'll be shocked at what they get away with.

2. I may be 4o-something but I still feel 27. Sometimes I act 7.
When I write, I get to be all different ages.

3. Obsurity scares me.
Is this why I write?? Do I want to somehow leave a mark? Hmmm...

4. I'm prone to panic attacks and I hate myself for it. I used to love to travel, try new things, and like a true Sagittarian, would hop from one adventure to the next. What happened to me? I'm now afraid to fly and can't stomach kiddie rides at the amusement park! Just thinking about being trapped or riding on a public bus accelerates my heartbeat to dangerous levels.
It makes me feel better that I can still live through my characters :)

5. I hate housework. I really really loathe the entire process because there's no end. You just finish one task and there's another waiting. You do it all and realize you've got to start all over again from task one.
That's my favorite thing about writing -- there's a beginning, middle and end. Ah,... satisfaction.

6. I'm a horrible sleeper. I fight going to sleep, I'm restless when I do sleep, I wake up often during the night and am plagued by 'vivid-dream syndrome'. No matter how tired I am, it takes me at least 30 minutes to fall asleep once my head hits the pillow.
One reason I started writing is because during that 30 minutes, I have people talking in my head pleading with me to let their stories be told.

7. Sometimes I wish my cats could talk. There eyes are so expressive, I'm sure they'd have so much to say! Perhap explain the whole 'butt-licking' thing...
This has nothing to do with writing, except that both my cats sit on my desk while I write. Sometimes I read a scene aloud to them and they listen (seemingly) attentively. I get an occassional blink or fuzzy head butt, but I'd love to get some solid feedback!

I'm tagging Leah, Amy, m., and Christine ... and anyone else who wants to play!

Monday, April 21, 2008

No Cuttie for Wylie (again), Juno, Gone Baby Gone, Sunny Days, Blog Roundup

I was supposed to have my surgery today... the one that was postponed from March... but the blighters postponed me again! Now I have June 9th to dread.

I watched 2 movies this weekend:
Juno - a quirky, smart, thoroughly enjoyable movie that I highly recommend. It's different and delightful on so many levels.
Gone Baby, Gone - I'd read Dennis Lehane's book of the same title, so I was mentally prepared for the subject matter - child abduction. Normally, I'd stay FAR away from movies like this because as a mother of two young children, my stomach couldn't take it. But I already knew the outcome and only had to leave the room once.
Anyhoo... it's an excellent movie. Casey Affleck has definitely come out of the shadow of his big brother (Ben directed, btw) and though it has its dark moments, it a rich story with deep moral conflict. It's funny, hubby and I totally disagreed on how the main character (Patrick Kenzie) dealt with the situation in the end. (ignorant bastard - both Kenzie and my DH)
My only niggly complaint was the portrayal of Kenzie's partner, Angela Gennaro. In the Kenzie/Gennaro books (they're recurring private investigators in Lehane's books) Angie is a kick-ass no-nonsense toughie. The movie treated her like helpless girl. Grrrr.

The weather in Southern Ontario has been GORGEOUS. We went from winter to full-on summer in 3 weeks. My kids have tans, the dh has a burned bald-spot and I'm sporting a farmer's tan from the hours of yard work. Couldn't possibly stay cooped up indoors when the sun was shining so brightly and nature was greening-up before my eyes.
In other words - no writey for Wylie. (Aside from the Toronto Romance Writers newsletter, of course, which was due out yesterday... but is not, yet.)

Ah well... I needed a good dose of vitamin D having been deprived of it for so long.
How did you spend your weekend?

Before you go, I've got two places for you to check out:

You MUST go to Nicholas's blog and click on the link he provided to an Al Jazeera broadcast featuring an amazingly passionate and articulate woman who wants to bring her culture into the 21st century.

Savvy Leah has provided some terrific tips on making Google work for you. You may think you know what you're doing, but seriously, you'll learn something... Go!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

All Hail Red Garnier

Big hand claps for RED GARNIER, author extraordinaire, who just sold to Penguin/Nal. She's hit the big-time -- NEW YORK, baby!!

Congrats, Red. Remember us when you're peering down from the top of the NY Times Bestseller list. ;)

And if you haven't read our Red (hee), may I suggest the following:
Bona Fide Liar
Divine Assistant
The Devilish Games series
Or the upcoming Seven Sinners.
And those are just her EC titles. Her work can also be found at Loose Id (The Sheeman, Villain) and Liquid Silver (I Take Thee, Stroke of Midnight).

Three cheers for RED!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Nim's Island - worth it for Gerard Butler in a leather jacket!

I took my eight year old to see Nim's Island yesterday and breathed a huge sigh of relief... FINALLY someone in Hollywood made a GREAT movie for kids. It was the perfect blend of interesting story, imagination, laughs, a wee bit of tension/danger, more laughs, and Gerard Butler in a leather jacket and fedora...

Okay, that last part was all about MY needs.

Jodi Fosters 'part-agoraphobic' writer was played to comic perfection, without being OTT.
There was no overt violence, sexual innuendo, or graphic content that I'd have to explain to The Boy afterwards. It played to KIDS, and wasn't full of sexual innuendo or pop-culture references that only I would understand, as we see in so many 'kids' films these days.

Gerard Butler played a dual role -- Nim's father and the adventurer Alex Rover, who lived in the imaginations of both Nim and the writer, Alexandra Rover. The only weird thing here was he used both his natural Scottish accent while playing Alex (ah... perfection) and an awkward American accent for his Dad role (but still,... his lips were moving so that's okay).

In a nutshell: Widower-marine-biologist father and 11-year-old daughter live alone on an island in the South Asiatic Sea. Dad takes the sailboat to a reef to see some special phenomenon while daughter stays home to tend sea turtle eggs (girl is friends with the animals, her only playmates). Storm hits -- Dad's boat in trouble, he doesn't get home. Girl get's injured.

Meanwhile... Alexandra Rover is suffering writer's block. She decides to correspond with FATHER, whose article she read in National Geographic, but ends up exchanging emails with the injured and alone Nim. She overcomes her agoraphobia to get to the girl. And what an adventure she has in her travels!

Nim thinks Alex Rover is The Alex Rover, the character in the adventure books she loves, so when she finally meets Alexandra Rover, the author, a woman!, she is disappointed.

Both the girl and the author 'envision' Gerard Butler as Alex (yum) who appears to both and becomes the source of courage and strength.

If you have kids, I would highly recommend this fun movie.

Books - I read Sex, Straight Up by Kathleen O'Reilly. A Harlequin Blaze, I was able to finish it off in one sitting. A very satisfied one-sitting! It had the requisite amount of passion, pain, and sex. I saw that Smart Bitches gave it and A- and though it was enjoyable, there were a few things that bugged me about it so I'd go for a sold B.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Plight of the MANcold

There's nothing as cleansing as a spring rain! It's pouring down in my neck of the woods today and I'm glad because it's washing away all remnants of the nasty winter -- including the salt and sand they had to spread all over our roads after the countless snowfalls we *ahem* enjoyed this season.

But with spring comes the change-of-weather illnesses. My youngest, Sweetness (aka 3 yr old) has been struggling with a cold all week. Despite being a tad more tired than usual, he's not letting it bring him down -- he's still riding his bike, going to school, and being the little whirlwind of activity he normally is.

Hubby, on the other hand, has a *MANcold. This isn't your typical cold virus... it only affects grown men. In order to combat this tough Y-seeking strain of the common cold, one must take extra MANhealing measures, such as... leaning back in the chair and closing eyes after coughing. This position needs to be held for no less than five minutes and is essential in recovering from a MANcough. Gravitating to the couch at frequent intervals, especially when helping your wife put groceries away, is essential for restoring one's MANergy.

In order to combat MANaches associated with the MANcold, a scolding hot bath is recommended. My own hubby made his MANbath so MANhot that he was only able to sit in it for 2.4 minutes, and really, it doesn't matter than an entire soaker-tub of water was wasted because it was for a very good cause. MANaches are a serious thing, requiring doses of NyQuil and couchnaps whenever possible.

All other activities - playing with children, helping with dishes, fixing the lock on the front door, putting a new roll of toilet paper out - should be suspended for the duration of the MANcold.

*MANcold post inspired by my friend Tracey V whose man has experienced this horrible debilitating malady ... Video link sent by Suzanne H. Thanks ladies ;)

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm going to my RWA chapter meeting -- yes, the same one that I THOUGHT was last week, but I had the date wrong. On Sunday I'm going to take my 8 year old to see Nim's Island. I'm pretending to take him because it's a good kid's movie, but really, I'm going for Gerard Butler ;)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Second Life

Second Life. Have you heard of it?
Last night, Jon Stewart was 'heckling' a new senate committee on virtual worlds -- that's right, the US Gov't has a committee for this... and they feel that the virtual world, Second Life, may be used as a recruitment ground for terrorist organizations.
So me, being me, immediately opened Laptop to check out this virtual world.

I made it as far as orientation, where my virtual ME, Wylie Pudles (you can chose your own first name but you must pick from a list of pre-made lastnames -- they all sucked) learned to walk, drive a car, and pick up objects. I got to alter my avatar face - the degrees to which you can change features is phenominal, - change my avatar clothes and shoes, and pick a body shape. Finally, the inner tall-muscular-endowed-fashionable beauty in me emerged from my dowdy housefrau self.
By this time my LOW Battery icon started flashing so I had to shut down. Yes... it took me 2 1/2 hours to do all that I mentioned above. And I hadn't even made it off Orientation Island. I still must learn to communicate and do a few other things before I can get to the 'real' virtual world. And then, presumably, go in search of terrorist recruiters?? I'm still shaking my head over this one. What are they going to do? Blow up a virtual building?
It's a pretty complex world... both of them.

I'd be interested to know if any of you have tried it and what your thoughts are. The entire time I was in it, I had this creepy Matrix feel... or that if I was in it too long I'd magically get sucked into it.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Duke of Shadows at Six Degrees of Sexy

I'm blogging about Meredith Duran's debut novel, The Duke of Shadows, today over at Six Degrees of Sexy. Come on over...

Friday, April 04, 2008

It's official... I have a moustache.

It's FRIDAY - woo! I'm in a rockin' good mood because tomorrow I get to see Amy, Christine, Leah, Bonnie, and all the other smiling and talented faces at my RWA chapter meeting.

In case you missed it, I've got a contest going (see sticky post above). It's called 'My Date with and Angel' and I bet you're wondering why...
The hero in Law of Averages is a British rock star who's been dubbed by the media, the 'Dark Angel of Rock'.
Ah... it's all making sense now, eh? Cause who wouldn't want to date a gorgeous hunky talented musician with an accent? YUM-MY.

I hope y'all will have some fun and enter. Please? Pretty please? Imagine a photo contest with NO entries? Yup, that would be rather devastating...
I'd have to blame Bonnie, who inspired this (unknowingly) with her recent entry into a contest for a trip to Iceland. After the horrific winter we had in Ontario, I'm not sure what possessed her to enter, except maybe the lure of an active volcano? ;)

Hey, remember awhile back I blogged about going for an eyebrow wax and the spa-demon aggressively hinted that I needed my upper-lip done as well (you can read about it HERE)-- and the devasting after effects it had on my psyche despite the reassurance from my peeps, my homies, my buds, that there was no evidence of such a beast on my lip??
Well it happended again!
Same story, different spa...
I went to have my unibrow divided (just kidding... my eyebrows aren't tooooo bad) and the spa-woman-child (she was an infant, really -- all of 22) said,
"And are we doing the upper lip today?"
"Um,... no?" says I.
"Oh." she says, with the same LOOK as the OTHER spa-demon.
"Okay... if you think I need it, go ahead."
AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!! F^*King HELL that hurts!

Writing progress - yeah... no. Wrote, deleted, wrote deleted, deleted, deleted. Monday I had 37,000 words and Friday I'm down to 35,200. Sven is hanging his head in shame.

Have a GREAT weekend everyone. Don't forget to grab a camera and an angel ;)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Crazy Eights Meme

BEWARE - it's April Fool's Day! Watch your back ;)

I was tagged by Julia AGES ago (sorry, Julia!) for this CRAZY EIGHTS MEME and I'm FINALLY gittin' er dun...

8 things I’m passionate about
1 - Sweetness (aka 3 yr old) and Light (aka 8 yr old)
2 - Darling Hubby
3 - Writing
4 - JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood (yes, I do need a life)
5 - helping others through charitable giving, etc
6 - nature, our planet (though I'm not as 'green' as I'd like to be)
7 - LOST
8 - movies that move me

8 things I want to do before I die
1 - write a best-selling novel
2 - dance at my sons' weddings
3 - cruise the Mediterranean
4 - visit northern Europe, including St. Petersburg Russia, and Skandinavia
5 - attend the Oscars (doubly sweet if my novel was turned into an award winning movie!)
6 - win a Rita
7 - own/live on a big piece of forested land on a lake
8 - have the means to give away a LOT of money, at least a million dollars, to charity

8 things I often say
1 - Where are we going for dinner?
2 - Hello Mom (I call her every night)
3- One, two, three... (if my kids don't do as they're told by the time I get to 5, they get a timeout)
4 - I love you (to my kids, everyday, multiple times)
5 - 6 days 'til Lost, 5 days 'til lost, 4 days 'til Lost...
6 - In my next life...
7 - What are we doing today, family?
8 - Damn computer!

8 books I’ve recently read or am reading or planning to read
1 - Fancy Free by Shelley Munro (read)
2 - The Other Boleyn Girl (read)
3 - Night Swimming by Rebecca James (I've been planning on this one for AGES, since Mrs. Giggles gave it a 95 - a 95!! - but just haven't got to it yet. Sorry Rebecca!)
4 - Fox's Bride by Amy Ruttan (planning)
5 - Bitten by Kelley Armstrong (planning)
6 - A Man Worth Keeping by Molly O'Keefe (planning)
7 - Seven Sinners by Red Garnier (planning)
8 - The Bond That Heals Us by Christine d'Abo (planning)

8 songs I could listen to over and over
1 - Phantom of the Opera soundtrack
2 - Stronger - Kanye West
3 - No One - Alicia Keyes
4 - Hotel California - The Eagles
5 - Savin' Me - Nickelback
6 - My Immortal - Evanescence
7 - Come What May - from Moulin Rouge
8 - Four Seasons - Vivaldi

8 things that attract me to my best friends
1 - sense of humor (must be able to take my sarcasm!)
2 - good conversationalist
3 - savvy, intellectual, well read
4 - compassionate
5 - variety of interests
6 - strong personalities
7 - passionate about something, whether it be family, career or hobby
8 - appreciate the arts

I think EVERYONE in blogland has probably done this one already so I'm not sure who's left to tag... Anyone who wants to play, leave a comment and I'll visit you.