Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Porn Hacks are USEFUL hacks

I am not certain this post will have anything to do with that title, but I just used this sentence in chat and it struck me as funny.

Oh, and kilts rock! Or, as my friend Sierra Dafoe added, "Especially upside down." Hmmm.....Johnny Depp in a kilt. Dang. Most men from Kentucky would NOT look good in a kilt. I have a feeling that Depp could pull it off.


okay....I could.

Okay, another thought--if the camera adds ten pounds, then what does that mean for naked men shots? I mean.....ouch. Yes, the Johnny Depp in a kilt converation did lead to that train of thought. Don't ask me how.

Is there anything that is potentially more satisfying than a late night Doritos and beer fest while online? Not in my book. Of course, my book is not only vastly casual, but developed around things that are bad for me. Allow me to point out for the record that Johnny Depp would NOT be bad for me....kilt or no kilt.

Speaking of which, I don't find the concept of circus dwarves very conducive to erotica at all. Don't toss out such odd things in chat, Lesli and Bibsy. That's just.....gross.

For some reason, the fact that the William Shatner roast is playing as I write this blog and steal these snippets from chat is just way too appropriate. All I have to do to kill my mood is to imagine Captain Kirk in a kilt. Eeeeeeeeeek.

Yeah, so, okay. I'll admit it. I'm fighting the urge to bitch about the anthology, or discuss politics, or go into a football rant. I'm fighting the urge to overwrite another chapter of my curret WIP, and I'm fighting the urge to blog about my horrible holidays. So instead, I'm discovering a way to preserve some of the better chat comments for posterity. So you see, when my fellow DD writers go on about being useless hacks, I was able to say that Porn Hacks are USEFUL hacks and voila! Blog topic.

Florida sucks. Go Vols....beat Penn State. Notre Dame shouldn't show up in the Sugar Bowl. Go Wake Forest! Go Boise State! And if it comes down to a choice between a gator and a nut, I'll pick the nut any day. *grin*

Ohio State 38
Florida 17

Monday, December 25, 2006

Bah Humbug, Humcat, and Humpeople

Here I am after a brief, obligatory holiday absence with probably the worst mood swing I've ever experienced. Whatever happened to "Peace on earth, goodwill towards men?" Did it just bypass my family?


Without going into details, allow me to just say that when grandparents can't bring themselves to experience the joy of their grandkids on freaking CHRISTMAS there's something wrong with the equation.

Aside from that, I had a very nice time, thank you. What did I get for Christmas you ask? New deadlines, new cover art, and a new story idea. AHA! There IS a Santa Claus, Virginia! All you DD members get ready: I'm posting the rest of Darkshifters as soon as I get this last bit of editing done and then I have a NEW novel in progress that I am VERY excited about!!!! Mwahahahaha---I only have 19k of it written so far, but whew! *grin* It's quite different.

Okay, okay--all other commentary aside--Happy Holidays from a confirmed old pagan and have a safe and happy new year: oh, and put your money on Ohio State for the national championship. Florida is toast.


And no, there are no centaurs in this story.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sopping Kittens, the BCS, More Deadlines and Lake Effect Snow

Wow. Does that sum up the merrye olde month of December or what? Let's tackle all those topics in order.

It's very rare that I will interrupt one task to begin another but a little while ago, I had no choice. One of the kittens jumped on my lap and I promptly said, "Shoo! Time for your first bath!" Now all four kittens are exhausted, damp with little spikes in their fur, and all smell like lavender. Maybe later I'll succumb to the serious pampered cat imagery and give them all ribbons.


The BCS. What can I say except -- it sucks! Give us a playoff PLEASE~! Despite the fact that I don't consider Florida the number two team in the country (and by the way, thanks USC for screwing up and giving it to the BCS in the butt--winning me twnety bucks in the meantime!)is there any other fair way to determine the national champion? Really? Yep, you're right--a playoff is the ONLY way. Let the kids play it out on the field. Don't be douchebags longer than you have to.

More deadlines????? Huh????? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Say it isn't so! It's not fair! I have to have a life too, right? I have to think about doing something other than typing on this damn computer!!!!!!!!!

WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! (Obligatory whine over.)

Lake effect snow---please get here in a hurry. Keep my troublesome relatives from driving across town to criticize my new house and remark condescendingly, "Well, you certainly haven't gotten a lot done in here since LAST time." Of course not, you bag of bile. I'm trying to get my work done so I can PAY for it! Gimme a break, why don't you? Jesus Christ.

Whew! Break over! Installment number two tomorrow.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Mashed Potato Wrestling

Okay, so I'm not a nice person. Everyone knows that. At the most, I am also not exactly coherent. I just woke up after my first bit of sleep in three days. I've had way too much to do and not enough time to do it.

At any rate, there are lots of bars in my town. It wouldn't be a normal American town if there weren't. The biggest bar in town is called the Mill. The Mill is a fun place, with loud music and *special events* like wet T-shirt contests and other sexist extremes. The last was jello-wresting. The manager of the Mill, who is an acquaintance of mine, said that once is enough. After scraping dried jello off the dance floor for two months, he's fairly well-convinced that he will NEVER have another jello wrestling contest.


The other night I was tending bar and the usual late-night bored single males came in. These are the guys who are forever on the quest for women, don't care WHAT they have to do to get them, and despite small obstaclez like personal hygiene and complete ugliness, are always optimistic of 'gettin' laid.' They asked me if I knew what was going on at the Mill.

I told them it was mashed potato wrestling.

After the guys took off, full of culinary glee and excitement, the others in the bar (who now could laugh freely) and I discussed the ramifications of masked potato wrestling.

First off, what would you do with the condiments? Would grated cheese, sour cream, and bacon bits be offered as projectile weapons?

Second, which would be easier: lots and lots of Hungry Jack boxes or fresh potatoes? And if they were fresh, how would you mash a kiddie pool full of them? Would it be like stomping grapes for wine? Would you need butter and milk? What consistency would be best for mashed potato wrestling? Soupy or fluffy? We went for soupy and Hungry Jack. No one wanted to think about mashing a kiddie pool of potatoes with their feet.

For the matter, what should mashed potato wrestlers wear? One piece or two-piece? T-shirts and shorts?

(Allow me to interject an ewwwwwww here) The vote was for bikinis. I pointed out that guy mashed potato wrestling would probably be more interesting, but the bar regulars didn't seem wrapped up in that.

So, if any of you ever wondered what I do with my creativity while I'm working in the *real* world, let this be a lesson to you: not only do I take my laptop to write during the (rare) slow periods, but I lead intellectual discussions with the creme de la creme of Lancaster bar society. The vicious circle of Dorothy Parker? Child's play! Nothing competes with the Fariview Culinary Misdirection Society!

*phone rings*



"This is Dusty. What in the hell are you doing telling people we are having mashed potato wrestling here tonight?"

Some people just can't keep up. It's no less than an intellectual travesty.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Whew! I'm finally making progress on a whole bunch of projects. My writing time has increased from an hour a day tops back up to five, so I'll be cranking out some serious words over the next few weeks. Of course, that's going to be tempered by a novel I have coming out in January.

"The Reckoning of Asphodel" is set to be released at the end of January by Aspen Mountain Press. I'm very excited about it, but I'm also kind of apprehensive. I know how to blast the publicity route for book promotion, but I'm not really sure how to throw this over the top. Obviously, people have to hear about the book before they'll be tempted to buy it.

(Please buy it)

If it goes well, then I have a home for the other seven books in the series. If it doesn't go well, er....I'm sort of screwed.

So, soon I'll figure out my promotional plan and then I'll hope for the maturity to stick to it. So far, that hasn't exactly worked but hope springs eternal. Maybe I'll actually do it this time.

(waits for the snorts of laughter to subside)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The DD Holiday Project

Okay, rants aside--

I've come up with a holiday project that some of you might like to help out with. I have a friend from my writing critique group that is currently stationed in the Middle East. He's stuck there with only three or four books, and only has access to romance novels. Granted, there's nothing WRONG with romance novels (says the porn hack) but I don't think a bodice-ripper is what most military folk want to read.

SO--hence "The Idea"

I've suggested that our writing group send our buddy a couple or three used fantasy or sci-fi books. Since they're used, he can leave them there when he's redeployed and other soldiers can enjoy them as well. Allow me to extend the same offer to you guys who aren't in my writing group--email me privately and I'll spill the details.

Let's make someone's Christmas better who's far from home and in a dangerous situation! As a person with 6k+ books in her library...and living room...and bedroom....and precarious stacks in the hall....and under the kitchen table...AHEM!...I can certainly spare a few to give someone else an escape from their own particular reality.

Call it my good deed for the year. Ho. Ho. Ho.

Cyber Sniping Punks and the Consequences

I'm so tired of snipers.

Boy is it ever so easy to leave snide-ass little comments from the relative safety of cyber-land. This week has been particularly foul, with little barbs left for me all over the web--my websites, on boards, even here. Let me explain my new policy on cyber-snipers for you all so that there are no misunderstandings.

First, if you're going to start a war be sure you've got enough ammunition. I hate beating up on the helpless--it gives a girl a bad reputation--kind of like clubbing baby seals. If you consider your stockpile and come to the conclusion that it might be little short, take my advice: don't start anything.

Second, a hypocrite's hat is comfortable for some. If you wear one around me, be prepared for me to knock it off. Hypocrisy is the last resort of the weak. Try to avoid it. If everything you say is snide, then you're not a friend. Don't cower behind that title--that is hypocrisy.

Third, you will not catch me in a good mood for at least two months. With five different projects coming out in the first three months of 2007 I don't have time for petty little bullshit.

Fourth, if you can deal with the consequences, bring it on. In other words, no whining. I'm tired of giving people my opinion and then having them whine about it. If you can't deal with what I think, then don't put it out there.

Now then, in direct response to all the smartass comments I found over the past week:

1)--hate email from the sexist pig--NO, I am not a man-hater. I am merely convinced of my own innate superiority over people who think that testicles is a mark of you

2)--another 'you're going to hell' comment --Thank you very much, but I think I'll leave the decisions of my ultimate disposition in the hands of whatever higher being there is, rather than allowing you to consign me to hell.

3)--my brother-If it makes any difference, your opinion of my writing doesn't really matter to me. I get PAID to write, beotch. I didn't have to buy my term papers, thank you very much.

4)--member of my crit group--You know, I realize that it is the mark of the very young to makes themselves feel better by running someone else down. Unfortunately, it would be difficult for you to do that--you have a hard enough time accepting honest criticism as it is. And, as far as that goes, anyone who worries more about the glory and less about the project hasn't got their priorities straight.

5)--random website poster--cut it out, shit for brains. I know who you are. You don't amuse me, you mental midget.

Anyone else want to play???? Consider yourself duly warned.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


--is a word. Irregardless is not. Despite the overwhelming compulsion around these here parts to start off ponderous sentences with the phrase, "Irregardless of how you feel--" it is STILL not a word.

Think I'm annoyed? I am. I had an editor reject a short story of mine today with the phrase *irregardless of the fine quality of your writing style...*

So tell me, pig, exactly HOW did you become an editor anyway? Hmmmm? It certainly didn't evolve from your stellar grades in post-graduate English studies, did it? Regardless of your pedigree, you obviously are misemployed.


So the new house deal is SLOWLY creeping to a conclusion -- allegedly.
I'll beleive it when I see it. All I see right now is LOTS of boxes. Oh, and very active cats. Did you know that, regardless of how you try, you can't prevent a cat from trying to see what's inside a closed and sealed box?

More interesting news--my daughter broke up with her psycho-pig boyfriend this weekend THANK GOD. Regardless of the fact that he called her cell phone NINETY times in TWELVE hours this weekend to harass her, she decided that a long-distance relationship with a psychotic stalker boyfriend was an undesirable thing at the moment.

Thank you, gods. I might have to light a fire or two to celebrate, regardless of the forest fire woes ongoing in other, less damp parts of the country.

And then, regardless of what anyone else says, my mother-in-law is extremely annoying.

Get the point? Irregardless of whether you do or not, I did. *grin*

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Angst and Drama

For those of you who don't have teenaged daughters, let me enlighten you to a few pertinent facts.

First off, everything goes on hold when she's breaking up with her boyfriend. This includes school, moving, and social life.

Secondly, there's nothing unusual about getting 85 calls on her cell phone in 12 hours--ALL FROM AFORESAID FORMER BOYFRIEND.

Third, it's nearly impossible to hope for some sort of restraint upon her mouth at any given time.


The tragedy!

Romeo and Juliet is one of my least favorite Shakespeare plays, mostly because I could never relate to it. Shall we say I now have an interesting character study stomping around in her room upstairs.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Totally Nuts

That pretty much describes my world right now. I have so much going on that I can't get anything done. I wake up every morning with an ambitious list of things to get done that day and by the end of the day everything is done half-ass--not well at all. It totally--TOTALLY sucks.

Once upon a time, I was an organizational goddess. I'm serious. I could sit down in the morning and crank out my 15-20k per day before cooking dinner and straightening my house. Now?

I'm lucky to FIND my damn computer.

I'm hoping that things will settle down soon (and I'll get moved into my new house while negotiating the current saturation of high school daughter angst in my home) and I'll be able to meet my deadlines.

Yeah, right.

In other news, I've been on a rejection roll lately. *sigh* The only thing that hasn't been rejected in the past few weeks is my stupid Master Card.

Okay, I'm starting on a new leaf today. I'll get back to my faithful blogging habit and jerk my schedule back onto track if it KILLS me (and it probably will). At that point, I might be able to polish off the COUNT THEM-- one two three four FIVE deadlines I have coming up in the next -- COUNT THIS TOO -- 15 days.


Screw it. I'm having a beer. Later.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Vacation? What vacation?

Yes. Allegedly I took a vacation. Want to hear about it? Only I could take a vacation that was so vastly ... well... NOT a vacation.

To start off with, we decided to go to the mountains. I love taking my annual fall pilgrimage to the Smokies. Since last Monday was my birthday *sob, weep* we drove down through West Virginia and Virginia to the eastern border of Tennessee where we'd rented a cabin for a few days in the Smoky Mountains National Park. The drive was gorgeous--the leaves were in peak color, and even though the weather was rainy and a little chilly we didn't really care.

Yep. You guessed it. Hot tub. How else was I supposed to recover from the carnies?

So, we stocked up on wine and snack treats and settled into the hot tub for a relaxing evening, completely unfazed by the high wind advisories posted for the mountains. After all, usually those things were meant for the peaks and not the comfortable valleys of Gatlinburg, right?


Can you say 106 mph winds---sustained --- for about six hours? How about no power for three days? How about hot tub becomes cold tank of water? Ever hear a tree fall on top of a tin roof? Not a pleasant sound, particularly when you're trying to scramble down a tight circular stairway into the lower level clutching a bottle of Moet Chandon White Star and a relish tray of crab and shrimp. *sigh* There was precious little sleep---or anything else --- that night. Happy birthday to me. Of course, it was rather invigorating drinking 45 dollar a bottle champagne straight from the bottle in the pitch dark while listening to what we christened *Hurricane Carnie* bashing against the rocks outside.

It was their REVENGE I tell you--Revenge of the Carnies~! Not content with ruining my week before, they sent some lowlife, carnival barker-instigated voodoo curse after me! Wanna know how I know?

When we emerged into the dawn of the next morning, there wasn't a single damn leaf left.


Damn those carnies anyway.

Friday, October 13, 2006

And the word for the day is....


Three days and counting until the fair is over. At the moment, the score is carnies: 489; mscelina: 2.

It was freaking cold last night--less than 30 degrees farenheit by the time the fair closed so there were LOTS of people in the bar. it wasn't until I started to count down my cash register that I realized it was Friday the 13th. Could there be a more appropriate day? Not in my world. After all, despite my avowed skepticism on the validity of Friday the 13th being bad luck, so far in my lifetime the only thing unlucky about Friday the 13th has been a string of execrable movies bearing that phrase in the title.

*looks around for a dude in a hockey mask*

At any rate, suffice it to say that the only unlucky thing about the day so far is the temperature. I'm the kind of person who likes to ease into cold. The day before yesterday, I spent a good hour in the basement of my new house while the tornado sirens went off. Today? Flurries.


All I have to do is make it through this weekend, and then on Monday I find myself in the Smokies sitting in a hot tub, drinking beer and watching leaves fall for a week. Not a bad birthday present overall. I already scheduled a horseback ride up Clingman's Dome for Tuesday, at which point the hot tub will become a medical necessity. It's been at least four years since I was well enough to ride, so I anticipate paying dearly for the treat.

Today, however, things are a little bit different. Today will be spent preparing for the final push to end fair week. Tomorrow I'll have my regular football crowd in addition to the carnies, and then Sunday--oh blessed Sunday!-- my regulars and I get to watch as the carnies pack up and move out. *does the happy dance*

I can't wait.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Carnies Are Winning

Ack! They're everywhere! Aside from being subjected to potentially the worse aggregate dental history ever, I have to draw the line at carnie inundation. They're in the bar from 12 noon until 2 am, taking breaks from their rides and games and gulping down PBR and Jack Daniels at astonishing rates. It's totally bizarre. For our regulars, it's a field day. They sit in their customary chairs, discussing the genetic potential for some of the specimens that stagger through the door with terrible accuracy. For example:

"I've never seen teeth like that on a human being in my life. His front teeth are coming out of his gums at such a strange angle that you could stack dominoes on them."

"I wonder what drugs his mother did in the sixties to cause that to happen?"

(Celina, behind the bar, sighs.)

"We should ask him. Whatever she did, we want to make sure that we never take it."

"Maybe it was Agent Orange?"

(Celina, behind the bar, rolls her eyes.)

"So is he a midget, or a half-midget?"

Truly frightening.

In other news, next week I'm headed for the (hopefully) carnie-free Appalachians. Usually, my annual fall trek involves a University of Tennessee football game, but this year I have to go during the week. *pouts* Of course, it will be peak season for fall foliage, so I'll at least be able to have a couple of good hikes and get some great pictures. I'll share them when I get back.

Oh well. Only the thought of my vacation is keeping me going. I have to go get ready for another 17 hour day at work now. After all, the carnies must get their booze. *sigh* Maybe I'll be able to salvage my sanity somehow, but at the moment I think the carnies are winning in their insidious plot to drive me crazy.

Time for a new strategy. *grin*

Friday, October 06, 2006

Confusion in the Ranks

Rank of course is being used in the broadest sense of the word. Darn those carnies.

At any rate, I received an interesting email today from a *fan*. I'm using the term very loosely, by the way. In this email, I was informed that the aforetosaid *fan* was *shocked and horrified* at the *blasphemous* way I changed Greek mythology *which is taught in our schools* to a *pornographic piece of crap.*

I was surprised by the crap too. I thought I'd created pornographic art. At any rate, to continue---

I have now received my first assurance from someone other than the priest who baptized, christened, and confirmed me that I am going to hell. Would you care to see my response? *evil grin*

"Dear (fill in the blank)

I was intrigued by your email. Allow me to point out for the record that I remained quite faithful to the original myth of Eros and Psyche, which was written by Apuleius in his collection of stories "The Golden Ass." As he was a Roman living during the second century A.D., you'd have to address any issues of blasphemy to him. I can assure you, by the way, that "The Golden Ass" is not taught in American primary schools. The novel is sexually explicit without my assistance.

I would be interested, however, to discover how you slapped a *pornographic piece of crap* label upon my work. As you are obviously someone who is offended by erotica, how did you manage to get a copy of my work? If you paid for it, then you are a hypocrite. If you didn't pay for it, then you are a thief. If neither applies to you, then you did not read it and you are a liar.

Thank you once again for your enlightening and ridiculous email. I sincerely hope that boil on your bottom is lanced soon so that your mood may improve. Have a nice day!"

Gee. I feel all important now. I think I should drop a line to J.K. Rowling, the proud author of the world's most banned books, and tell her that I feel her pain. I have a feeling that the email is its entirety will be posted on Isabelle's Mythos Erotica website. Actually, I'm going to create a whole new PAGE for it---if for no other reason that it amuses me.

Okay. Back to the bar and dealing with carnies.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I am apparently a professional multi-tasker at this point. Picture my workdesk at the moment. The desktop pc is stacked with windows: blog, author chat, im chat, wikipedia, my website, and messenger windows.

Oh, and College Football News. Can't forget that.

On the left of the desktop is the laptop, open to the latest story I'm cranking out. I have a roast in the oven, laundry in the washer and dryer, a cat on my lap and the phone to my ear yelling at the roofers to get the hell over here and fix the (%*^#)%(#^ leak in the ceiling of the back bedroom.

Only rarely do I type something in the wrong window. The messenger windows are apt to foul me up quicker than anything else---well, that and my inability to pay attention to what I'm doing. So far today, I've managed to crank out a good 6k on two different projects so I've been fairly productive. *sigh*

Oh, about the carnies. Yep, they are out in full force now. Carnies everywhere. For some reason, when the tornado sirens blew last night the carnies decided they'd rather die in the bar than in their RVs. It was an exodus of oddities streaming across the road that first alerted me to their sinister intentions. Up until that point, I was considering which bottles of booze to take into the cellar with me.

Needless to say, I was immediately so busy that I would probably still have been mixing drinks as the tornado blew me to Oz.

We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Invasion Update

They're getting stronger. The back end of the fairgrounds (basically across the street from where I live) looks like a used RV sale. The influx of bearded, strange-looking people of both genders in teetering on the edge of ewwww. Overnight, the most popular beer at the bar went from Bud Light (allow me to state for the record that I don't really consider Bud Light a beer) to Pabst Blue Ribbon (they still make that shit?).

Surely, these are the unwashed masses that the Statue of Liberty warned us about.

Last year during fair week, one of my cats ran away. Impy is an escape artist. He opens refrigerators and closed doors. He also can open the casement windows. One morning I got up to find the cat gone and the window wide open. So, I walk the street in the pouring rain calling my cat and completely certain that he'd been run over by a car. It was like something from Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Then, I walked by the carnie campground.

As I yelled "Impy!" I saw a grey head poke up from halfway through the camp. (28 pound Maine Coon in case you're interested) He was getting fed by a carnie! So he takes off, running toward me and I rescued him in the nick of time.

This year, I've tied all the windows shut.

At any rate, the bar staff at the Fairview is currently outnumbered 300-5. I think they're winning. *runs off to call in beer order, including 20 additional cases of PBR*

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Terror in Ohio

If nothing else, I'm a compulsive complainer.

The next two weeks are devoted to the fair in real life. The fair normally doesn't affect me. I could give a rat's ass about rides that don't involve speeds of 90 plus miles per hour. Amusement parks, fine; fair, meh.

Unfortunately, this year the fair affects me. The name of the bar I work at: the Fairview. (Hint--the name is literal) That means that for the next two weeks, we have 28 bar shifts that are all Saturday nights. It's huge--both time-wise and money-wise. I'm looking forward to the money.

I resent the time.

Sitting down last night and trying to tweak the schedule, I realized that I will have to work 12 of the 14 days. TWELVE--translated, that's 72ish hours depending on how long it takes to close. All of those 72 hours I will be tormented by carnies. Have you ever served drinks to carnies? Holy crap---those people can drink and most of them spend the money they SHOULD be using for dentistry work on alcohol. It's scary. They are scary.

For the most part they seem like nice folks. That's not the point, though. The point is that my bar is the only bar within walking distance. They are ALL at the Fairview.


I am desperately trying to avoid the Austin Powers line about carnies and cabbage here. Unfortunately, the line is true. They do smell like cabbage. After a couple of hours, they smell like cabbage that's been steeped in whiskey for a few years. Not the most pleasant of smells, I assure you. The regulars won't come in while the carnies are there. Hell, I don't blame them. We're one day in and my back is already killing me. I won't even mention my feet. But then, I stop and consider the daily deposits I'm making in my bank account and I don't hurt as badly anymore. *grin* Ain't that amazing?

At any rate, I've been taking notes behind the bar about carnies. I have a feeling that a carnie story is in my future. A nice, ghoulish tale of horror on the midway.....hehehehe. So, for a while at least, stay tuned for daily carnie updates. Could life be any more interesting than this?


Monday, September 25, 2006

Inconsistency--Writers and Publishers Both

Today is an odd sort of day. I feel like ranting. Seriously ranting.....

*considers options*

Fair enough. This is my blog, after all, and I can rant if I want to. RANT WARNING! RANT WARNING! THERE IS A HUGE POSSIBILITY THAT SOME OF WHAT I WILL SAY WILL OFFEND YOU.

Another e-publisher folded today. *sigh* Naturally, this is one that I have had stories accepted by. So, this morning, out those stories went in the fruitless endeavor of trying to find a new home. I'll sit here and wait the inevitable rejections, while my laptop grows fuller and fuller....

Oh well. At least I'm positive about it.


Inconsistencies abound everywhere. Prime example? The anthology project. Yesterday, It occurred to me that the people who have posted their rewrites are (a) the first ones to post their original stories (b) the ones who critiqued EVERY story in the first drafts and (c) the people who seem to have had the most input. It occurred to me today that since that group included the world-builders and that at this moment we are sitting at over 60k, the anthology is neither dead or gasping out its last breath. I mean, jesus h. christ! If you're going to commit to a project, just FUCKING DO IT. Five thousand words--how freaking hard is it to do?

*pauses for breath*

But, what am I thinking? It's not like I have anything to COMPLAIN about. *bats eyes innocently* After all, there aren't a lot of commitments upon MY time so it was easier for me to complete my obligation to the group. I mean, no one in their right mind would think that meeting my writing schedule, running my antiques business, going on buying trips, xapnding my antiques shop, meeting deadlines, doing rewrites for deadlines, promoting released books, buying a new house, packing the old house, recreating from memory not ONLY said anthology piece but ALSO the second book of a contracted three-book series, dealing with an angst-ridden daughter and settling my mother's estate would BE TIME CONSUMING, WOULD THEY??????

Life intrudes. That's part and parcel of being a writer. Deal with it. If you have a deadline, meet it. If you have an obligation, fulfill it. In short, if you agree to participate in something, be mature enough and respectful enough to pull your weight. Otherwise, all you're doing is holding the rest of us back. *shrugs*

It boils down to your choices, in the long run. Do you choose to follow through on what looks to be a good opporunity to get your work published? Or, do you choose to allow your own lack of discipline to hinder you in that? Do you choose to sit down for a specified time every day to write, or you do choose to allow the must to 'just come to you'? Face it: writing is hard work, and it comes with a series of hard decisions to make as well. You don't think my writing interferes with my day to day activities? Of course it does. I choose to keep to my schedule. Ten years ago, I chose to keep to my social life. Ten years of productive writing life lost to sheer laziness and a predilection for nightclubs.

That's the major inconsistency that is the theme of this rant/blog. Pick a course and stick to it. Otherwise, you're really nothing more than a dilettante, pretending to be something you're not. If you're a writer then by god WRITE. I've said before in this blog that all artists have a selfish streak, a loner streak that causes us to withdraw from the world around us while we wrestle with a problem. And....yes: even actors have it; trust me. It's not easy trying to get into Ophelia's head, let me tell you. A writer, just as much as a painter or a composer, is a solitary beast. Our creativity may be sparked from without, but it derives from within. We require solitude to pull it out of us. Along with that solitude, however, must come discipline. Once, I was compelled to write an idea down. Now I compel the idea to be written---a fine distinction, yes, but a distinction nonetheless.

My work is up and down. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it sucks. There is inconsistency within what I do.

But, at least I do it.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Man, have I been busy. I've been too damn busy to blog. That's scary. Let's get you guys updated on my latest work---should be good for a laugh if nothing else.

The anthology story is going through a final polish and I expect to post it tonight at the Dragon's Den. It's much tighter now (at least, I think so) and the story has a better flow to it. I think I've managed to solidify Quodas and Mneston as characters and I am enjoying a new dynamic between them.

Book Two of the Shequanti is having to undergo a new revision. Somehow, after I lost 15,000 words of a 30k manuscript I replaced them with 22k. Yep....WAY over sized now. *sigh* only me.

Killed off a new Elf today. I let him hand around for half a chapter before I impaled him a la Vlad Dracula and had an arthroscorpio devour him....while still alive. MWahahahahahaha!

I'm so mean.

Hmmm.....actually wrote 3k on Darkshifters today. As soon as I get my pressing projects done, I'll have to jump into that with both feet. Unfortunately, my time may be pressed ever more than usual between now and the holidays.

YAY! I'm buying a new house!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll have pics for you guys soon. In case you couldn't tell, I'm VERY excited.

Went to a three day auction this week. I spent a grand on antiques and couldn't tell you a single damn thing I bought. Okay, that's a fib: I bought two dining room sets for 70 bucks.


I also bought a toy brass bed. The kitten has appropriated it in the misguided belief that (A) anything new is hers (B) I would ever allow anything remotely looking like a toy in my home and (C) that I won't notice. The other cats get slapped if THEY try to nap on the brass bed.

Oh! And a news flash---I've outlined a new Mythos story. Looks like Pan will have his say after all. *grin* Anyone waiting for the Queen of the Hive? It's outlined too. Hehehehehe.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Revenge of the Plagiarist

You all know that plagiarism is my biggest pet peeve as a writer--it ranks just about up there with googling my pen name and discovering that someone is selling unauthorized downloads of my book. It's thievery--plain and simple. Today I cruise into my writers' critique group and discover that one of my compatriots in the Dragon's Den has been moved up from third to second place due to the fact the the WINNER of the contest stole someone else's work and posted it as her own.

And took off with 1500 bucks I might add.

Give me a fucking break. How dishonest do you have to be to realize that plagiarism is STEALING? Holy hell! It makes my ears steam to see something like that. Not an attractive look, by the way, red hair and steamy ears.

In a related topic, more e-books are showing up on Ebay. How freaking wrong is that? About two weeks ago, I googled my pen name and discovered that someone was offering FREE reads of my book. FREE READS? Ha! Wasn't free when my attorney got ahold of him. As writers, all we have is the copyright and good faith. If we're lucky, we have a publisher or agent who looks after that stuff for us---but that's all! Once again, let me just say this: if you consider yourself a *writer* because your purloined material brings you benefits or either glory or money, cut it out. If you plagiarize, youre not a writer; you're a thief. If you purchase an e-book download and then sell copies of that download for personal gain, you are also a thief. A HUGE thief. As such, you should be prosecuted (and will be by this author) to the fullest extent of the law. Unlike most people, I have a passing fancy for attorneys. Trust me; you DON'T want to go there. Really.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Strange Days

Ah, yes, things are definitely odd these days.

First off, Bibsy---reserve me room in the boat. I'll bring the special potion, you bring musical cds and jpgs, and we'll get drunk and argue Mozart. This rain is driving me bonkers. The sun?!? Please???

Secondly, despite the computer snafus of yesterday, I'm managing to get some good work done. I've replaced 7k of the lost book (still crying over that) and begun my anthology rewrite again. Maybe I'll catch up in a day or two.

Thirdly, I have fans!!!! FANS!!!! Can you believe that? It's totally insidious but funny too. I never thought I'd be in the position to have fans, although there was that stalked when I did theatre in Key West....

Fourthly, I finally figured out how to finish Darkshifters. I've discarded what now? Ten or eleven outlined endings for the second half of the book. But now.....*evil grin* ..... I know exactly what to do. I'm blocking out two hours a day for Darkshifters despite my time constraints. All I have to say about it is......(Dan, fill in the blank)

Fifthly, the kitten has gone to the vet. :( Poor little Asphodel gets all of her feline maintenance today. She cried so hard when I left her. Poor kitty. (runs to remove all the tiny-claw-marked curtains)

Finally, I'm actually in a ....good mood. Huh? How is THAT possible? *scratches head* not a clue. But--it's true! I might actually be accidentally nice to someone. Funny, funny, funny.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Not in the mood to play today

This is such BULLSHIT. I just lost almost 15k from the second book of the Shequanti and I have no damn idea why! How is it possible? I wasn't online--hadn't been online for hours. I ran a virus scan -- nothing. No spyware, no viruses, no Trojan horses--my laptop is pristine (as well it should be for the money I fork out on security) but the ENTIRE document vanished while I was working on it. Now I have a ghost copy of 20kb written in squares and circles, and another version of it that has two words on it.

Page 1.


Naturally, I have most of it backed up. But, I've written 15k in two days that are NOT on the flash memory stick and it's gone, gone, gone. I was writing the CONCLUSION of the damn book when it disappeared.

*kicks coffee table and yells an obscenity*

You know, SOMEBODY up there could give me a freaking break! My time constraints this week are so heinous I don't really have the ability to dismantle my laptop looking for 15,000 invisible words. Granted, some of those words aren't necessarily nice ones but they're still MINE. Give them back!

The kitten is staring at me curiously. Her head is tilted to one side and she's looking at me as if I lost my mind. Maybe I have. Maybe if I restart my computer for the fifteenth time that document will reappear. The annoying thing about it is that every time she tilts her head, the bell on her little collar rings. (Yes, I broke down and got her a collar with rhinestones and a bell on it when her short story was accepted for publication. If nothing else, it serves as a cat alarm. I don't even have to leave my desk, I can just yell, "Asphodel! Get off my curtains!")

*takes a migraine pill*

Guess I'm off to rewrite two days' worth of work.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Of Graveyards, Trespassing, and Those Dreaded Zeroes

I'm thinking.

*Don't hurt yourself trying to get down to the comments section to tell me what you think of that opening.*

I've actually been thinking a lot lately. I have my eye on a house across town from where I'm at now. It's a Victorian bungalow, three bedrooms, exquisitely maintained and perfect for my antiques (yep, priorities, priorities). What I really love about it though is that it backs up to a graveyard.

I love graveyards. I love the expanse of history and human emotion that plays across them, and the older the graveyard the more I love it. There is a graveyard in Dayton, Ohio called Woodland Cemetary that is probably one of the loveliest places I have ever been. I used to go there on my afternoons off with a notebook and write--always sitting next to a pair of forlorn graves from the 1880s (the couple had died within days of each other, tragically young) because I fancied that they needed someone to come see them. Then, of course, when I was a youngster I used to break into the Bell Cemetary in Adams, Tennessee quite frequently. For those of you who don't know, Adams is the home of the Bell Witch. *grin* Breaking into that cemetary took balls of steel, because I'm not talking about the public, pristine, clinical cemetary on the main road. I'm talking about the old, overgrown, hidden family cemetary about a mile from the road.

Yep. Trespassing.

You had to climb an eight foot tall iron fence with pointy tops, drop to the other side, cut across several cornfields (quite icky in late summer when the stalk were tall and "Children of the Corn" suddenly didn't seem like quite as stupid a movie), then hike through the woods, following a dry stream bed, until you found the graves. The gravestones leaned precariously, gleaming under the moonlight that filtered through the trees, and once you pulled the weeds back you could read the weathered names carved into the stones.

That was the high point. The low point happened every two or three times and that's when the owners' dogs realized we were on the property. Ever fled in terror through a cornfield at 2 a.m.? I don't advise it.

At any rate, I love this house. For one thing, it has built in bookcases! That means I can take my books out of storage! Yay! The second story has that steeply gabled roof, and I found a room that will be perfect for my study.

(Of course there's a window overlooking the graveyard. Duh)

Add to that a big bay window for my cats and I'm in heaven! Of course, the downside of all this is that I also have to think numbers. Numbers SUCK. Particularly BIG numbers. I'm not very comfortable with zeroes before the decimal point, I might add. *shudders in horror* Oh well.

My goal is to be in the new house by the holidays. For some reason I have this Americana bullshit Happy Housekeeping image in my mind of having my whole family (except for my younger brother, of course) gathered around my table for one big, happy meal---before the fighting starts. *Grin*

Can't help being a realist. At least I cook a mean turkey.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ot Derad Saw I

*hint---I was dared to blog backwards. Let's see if it works*

Skcus adirolf. Llabtoof evol I wonk uoy. Etirovaf ym si raey fo emit siht. Esnepsus tub gnihton. *nirg*

Ysae t'nsi siht, yaw eht yb.

Ygolohtna eht rof yrots ym no gnikrow ev'I, noonretfa siht. nettirwer ti fo flah tuoba evah I. noisulcnoc tolp xif ot gnipoh m'I dna retcarahc eht yfidilos ot deen I. SadouQ ylralucitrap. Lanoisemed-owt eb ot reh tnaw t'nod I. walf retcarahc a sdeen ehs. pilerah a ekil gnihtemos ebyam.

Hguone s'taht eoph I. Od ot gnitirw laer evah I. *nirg*

Lost Cause

I'll never catch up. Never. There's no way. This last trip to Tennessee has knocked me smooth off-schedule on everything that I have backed up for the next few months.

Did I mention that I sued my brother?

I've had the absolute worst week, tortured with a migraine that so far has lasted six days. I got NO writing done save for jotting down notes for plot developments; I got NO edits done, NO contracts out, NO internet work, and NO emails.

I had 76 unanswered emails and all of them (well, except for my daily horoscope) have to do with business. I think I'd be a much happier writer if real life would just leave me the heck alone! I mean all I WANT to do is sit in my study and work!

Never works out that way. Today, I redid my antique shop (it was getting a little boring) and now I'm combining an internet publicity blitz (book comes out Thursday--doh! kind of crept up on me) and rewriting my anthology story and PRAYING that edits for something else don't come in anytime soon. It's hard to do rewrites after you slit your wrists.

*sigh* On a more positive note, my decision to remain a non-Buckeye fan was reinforced this weekend when the students at OSU promptly proved that their parents were wasting their money by setting couches on fire all over campus in celebration of the win over Texas. Over THREE HUNDRED fires.

Come on already, you idiots. Couches are for sitting, not for burning! What's wrong with celebrating a win the way we do in Tennessee? Get drunk and talk about the upcoming run of the table~don't torch furniture to prove a point! Holy hell---if you don't know how expensive COUCHES are then you obviously don't need to be in college.


Get away from my couch with that lighter. I don't hate your team; I just feel no need to root for them. *grin* After all: why associate myself with a group of fans whose collective IQ is about 20?

Go Vols. Oh, and by the way---for the record: Florida sucks. The only good Gator is a pair of shoes....or maybe a fritter.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Latest Elven Demise

I just had to share this one. As you know, I've been killing off Elves for about 1.5 million pages now, but I thought this Elf death was hellaciously funny.

Okay, so the Elf (one I REALLY don't like but haven't been able to kill in 7 books) trips and FALLS off of a tree branch and breaks his skinny little neck.

MWAHAHAHAHAHA! Remember--anyone who can sell a story about a cross-dressing dwarf can make the world buy into a clumsy Elf.

Liesen. RIP. September 1, 2006.

Good Days

Some days are just better than others. You wake up and think to yourself, before your eyes are even open, *Wow. Today's going to be a good day.*

I kind of felt that way when I woke up this morning. Granted, I didn't want to wake up. But, for a change, the cats were all quiet and contented, the beat of the rain against the window was soothing, and I basked in a feeling of warm contentment.

Then I realized why.

Football! Yep! College football is BACK! Today is the day when my team is still undefeated and the hopes for the season are high. We can beat anyone~~and will. *grin* (and for all you Florida fans, I'm listening to *Rocky Top* at the moment and just waiting for you guys to get to Neyland Station. mwahahahaha)

Of course, the downside is that I'm not in Knoxville, cheerfully boiling brats in beer to get ready for tailgating tomorrow. Noooooooo.....I'm in Ohio. One of my other personalities (the one that pays bills) tends bar for every Ohio State football (except the one I'm getting dragged to next month) so today is cook food for the party day.

But in Ohio.

Let me tell you a bit about the bar. It's an old school neighborhood bar, open since literally the day after Prohibition ended. It's got those old-fashioned glass-doored coolers set into polished oak doors and a clientele that's almost as old during the day. I love the old regulars. Some of them had their first beers in the bar when they were sixteen and we were still fighting WWII. Their stories are great--so great that I've been compiling them and working on a story about them called "The Sunday Morning Regulars." It is, make mo mistake, a dyed-in-the-wool Ohio State Buckeye bar.


Only now there's a bartender who's a single spot of orange behind the bar, the transplanted Tennessee Volunteer who argues football stats with fellows old enough to be her grandpa. That's about the only time I yell *Bullshit!* at an old codger waving a ceegar and talking about the good old days of Woody Hayes. Some of them probably went to school with Knute Rockne.

At any rate, there's also a younger, really hardcore crowd too. The owner is in his fifties, his son just turned 30, and of course there's me. *grin* I can find a football fan at the funeral parlor and they show up to squawk at me about my allegiances. The trick is to blend the two without a pair of dentures getting knocked across the room.

But get this: apparently the bar has been getting phone calls. *Hey! Is that chick from UT tending bar there during the Ohio State game?*

*Celina is tending bar for every Ohio State game.*

*Cool! Are you doing anything special for the game?*

*We're running drink specials and having a tailgating party.*

*Do I have to make reservations?*

Power. Aint't it grand?

So today I'm preparing food for 50 and tomorrow is the first Ohio State game. I hope it goes well. I even pass a sparing thought that maybe, just maybe, I might root for the Buckeyes tomorrow. But then, at 5:30, everything changes.

Tennessee versus California on ESPN--two top 25 teams knocking heads in Neyland Stadium.

Rocky Top, you'll always be
Home sweet home to me.
Good old Rocky Top
Rocky Top Tennessee.
Rocky Top Tennessee.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Reality Intrudes

I can't find a rhythm. I can't keep an even keel. Everything, once again, is thrown into chaos by phone calls from Tennessee. Allow me to state for the record here that my younger brother is the primo idiot of the South. Jackass.

It boils down to me having to make another trip to Tennessee. Usually if I take a trip to Tennessee at this time of year I end up in Neyland Stadium watching a game. Not this time....noooooooo.....I get to be tortured by having to stay in Clarksville. Are you fucking kidding me? Jesus.

I will promise you this, however--when I get down there I am going to kick my brother's ass. Hard. Moron.

It would be much easier to keep to my writing schedule if I could just write---for some reason, that doesn't seem to be happening. I have so much to do at the moment that writing becomes a low priority. Blogging doesn't count; I spend no more than ten minutes a day on it and it helps to open up my mind. Oh well. At least back home I can use all those sleepless nights to get some work done. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't hate going back there so darn much. That and I have to fly -- the DH can't get time off from work - so I'll be trapped without a car the whole frigging time.

*sigh* Someone shoot me.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Episode II--Attack of the Cats

Yep. You guessed it. Begun, the curtain wars have.

Not content with shredding human flesh and cat toys, the kitten (aka the antichrist) has instigated war against all of the curtains in the house. Yesterday, I put up my new silk moire curtains in the bedroom. Last night, I took them down. I'm considering pasting newspaper over the windows.

Stupid cats.

Last weekend, I got an antique piano. It sits downstairs against the wall, and never has fewer than five cats lounging on it. This morning at 2 a.m. I was awakened by noises even Beethoven could have heard. It appears that Muggle, my escape artist cat, has not only learned to open shut doors, cabinets, the fridge, the freezer, and dresser drawers but now has added *lifting piano tops* to his formidable skills. He promptly demonstrated said ability by walking across the keys.

Four times.

Currently, the battle for the cat treats is ongoing. So far, the only cat who has any chance of getting a treat is Impy.

He's asleep.

The others are pestering me. I have waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much to do today to be stuck in the middle of a George Lucas-esque epic battle. I'll either have to dissect these little bastards with a lightsaber or go to the bar to write.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Selling Out

It's totally not fair.

I've sold out. I've compromised my artisitic ideals and have agreed to write a story that I have absolutely no interest in the subject matter. It's total bullshit, but I couldn't help myself. I want to keep the ball rolling and get more stories out there, but if I have to write something more *commercial* in order to get my other, more original stories accepted is it worth it? I mean, granted publishing is a business, but isn't it better to set trends than to blindly follow them?

I have no idea. The ideas I had are apparently quite wrong.

It's a shame to get disillusioned at my age. I always thought that as a fiction writer I could follow the dictates of my imagination. Apparently, my imagination is too *out there* for a commercial public. I mean, what the hell? I write what I would like to READ--and I'm not THAT weird in my reading choices.


*goes off to research more werewolf bullshit*

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Weirdass Parade

Okay, we all know that bartenders see people in their absolutely worst condition. Last night I was treated to a never ending revolution of Lancaster's oddball population.

First, there was the wannabe comedian.

No, I'm serious. That is his goal. He was depressed because his comedy act didn't go well at the coffee house open mike night. I understood why when he told me that his act consisted of reading excerpts of "Foreign Affairs" and then commenting on them. His key phrase last night, apparently, was 'cognitive dissonance.' It was with a remarkable amount of restraint that I informed him that in Southeastern Ohio, people are not likely to laugh at a routine that they have to translate.

He punished me for this comment by sitting at the bar until close and practicing his routine to himself. To everyone else in the bar, he looked like your average psycho talking to himself, but I distinctly heard the phrase 'cognitive dissonance' an average of 40 times an hour for 3 hours.

Then, there were the carnies. The local fair is being held in a northern town of our county and the carnies are allowed to park their RVs at the fairgrounds which are across the street from my bar. No problem. However, I had one come in last night and say without preamble, "I'm looking for my roommate."

Blank look. "Okay. If it's not these guys then I don't have him." (There were two others in the bar, including the cognitively dissonant comedian)"What's his name?"

"I don't know."

"You don't know your roommate's name?"

"He goes by a nickname."

With difficulty, the eye roll was restrained. "Which is --?"


Allow me to submit for the record that *O.J.* is not necessarily a reassuring nickname.

The thought process went as follows: carnie, staying at the fairgrounds, drinking at a bar, and NOT the one across the street. I picked up the phone, called the closest bar, and managed to find a carney named O.J. sitting at the bar drunk.

Go figure.

Then, my favorite late night regular came in. This gentleman is probably about fifty, an African American factory worker who looks like he could play football for the Packers at the drop of a hat. He's quiet, keeps to himself, and tips me very well -- plus we've had a five-month-long argument about football that we both enjoy. At any rate, at 2 a.m. a gay couple came into the bar to buy carryout beer -- with one staggering and the other obviously the long-suffering DD. All of a sudden, the drunk one staggers up to the regular and slurs, "I rememberrrrrrr you. You saved my life a few weeksh ago --"

Funny enough save for what happened next: he leaned over and kissed the guy on the cheek. Mike (the regular) was so surprised I thought he'd fall off his barstool. He probably would have then killed the guy, but I burst into uncontrollable laughter behind the bar and it distracted him. The DD hustled his boyfriend and 12 pack of Bud out the door, and I went into the walkin cooler and laughed until I cried.

So, the moral of this story is? Whoever it was I pissed off last night during Happy Hour, who went home and called every drunk he knows to come and torture Celina at the Fairview -- Jesus Christ I'm sorry! Whatever I did I'll never do it again! I PROMISE! Please don't ever do that to me again -- my delicate nerves can't take it.

I'm way too cognitively dissonant for that.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Isabelle's Contest

Hmmm.....I see some new people. Don't forget, those of you directed to this blog by Isabelle Spurrier, the brat of erotica, that you must comment on the blog to be eligible for the contest. Unlike Isabelle, who tends to like flattery, I have no problem with you saying what you really think. It's very easy to get offended if you read this blog.

Consider that fair warning.

On the other hand, it's also fairly easy to be entertained. Enjoy!

Kitten Torture 101

Okay, we all know the kitten is whacked. Seriously whacked. I mean, she likes to swim. Now I'm convinced that my whole *Kitten is the antichrist* entry from a while back is more accurate than I care to admit. She's developed a new regimen of human torture and is getting quite experienced at it.

For example, she now expresses love with love bites. Cute, right? Not at freaking 5 am it isn't! Every night, I am awakened by the sensation of tiny teeth piercing my skin in the dark. *Purr, purr, purr, chomp, chomp, chomp.* Barring throwing the little thing at the wall (which has crossed my mind) there really isn't a way to break her of the habit.

Her favorite sleeping place? The laptop--when I'm working on it. The mouse pad -- when I'm working on the desktop. The bathtub ---empty, full, or not. The cutting board when she thinks I'm not looking.

THE WASHING MACHINE. Barely avoided a nasty series of events there.

So now here I am trying to meet these vicious deadlines, and I have a kitten swinging from my ankle. Literally. I'm sitting in a chair with my legs crossed and she is swinging from the claws and teeth embedded into sweats, socks, and skin.

Nice kitty. Does this mean that Armageddon is going to happen in the kitchen?

Oh, and by the way, I like this template better. Pink is SOOOOOOOOO not me. *grin*

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Hell of a Time to Quit Smoking

I am a bona fide moron.

I haven't smoked in two weeks. Most of that was being sick, granted, but I was holding out hope that I was finally over the last three cigarettes a day thing. Hope springs eternal, or so they say.

Bullshit. That fond wish lasted until yesterday. Until yesterday, I had a life. Until yesterday, I had open spaces on my schedule. Until yesterday, the craving hadn't hit me yet. Everything was grand until I checked my email.

Then I almost passed out.

Not only did I get rid of the new erotica series, BUT I sold Asphodel. Do you realize what that means? It means I am GETTING PAID TO KILL ELVES!!!!!

As soon as that thought hit my mind, my fingers twitched. I darted a look at my schedule. I have 15k to write by Friday. I work Wednesday night. Now I have to reformat not one, not two, but EIGHT 150k plus books from Wordperfect to Microsoft Word -- via Wordpad -- and save them to .rtf files. Then I have to make my rounds on the readers' loops, do some promotional work, maintain my websites, get some editing work done, work on Darkshifters....

My fingers twitched again.

That means I'll have to forgo sleep, chugging endless pots of coffee and curtailing my social life in an effort to meet all these deadlines! That means I'll be even MORE sleep deprived than usual by Saturday. That means my mood will deteriorate even further.

Twitch. Twitch.

Wow!~ I have to update my websites and get ready to plot out a new, bigger promotional strategy. I wonder how many of the readers from the loops I already frequent will make the switch to non-erotic high fantasy? Is it possible? Man! I'm going to have to KILL myself to get enough word of mouth interest out there!


I frowned. There was no beer in the fridge. The cats were already gnawing on my shoes, hoping they would miraculously transform into Little Friskies. The dust bunnies floating across my hardwood floor were large enough to challenge the Doom Bunny for supremacy. Obviously, I would have to plan my strategy carefully or I'd never survive the week. The dustbunnies were easily handled: I called someone to come clean my house. The beer and cat food, however, posed a more serious problem.

I would have to leave the house. Although I could survive off of pizza, I wasn't certain that it was a habit I needed to encourage among the cats. So, I grimaced, threw on my shoes, and got into the car.


Question: why are there always cigarettes next to the checkout lane in grocery stores? That's so not fair! Standing in line with a case of Rolling Rock and a twenty five pound bag of Little Friskies and a twelve pack of canned food, the cigarettes were calling to me like sirens on the rocks.



Oh well. At least the nicotine enabled me to meet my first deadline. I'm off to try and hit the second one.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Random Trains of Thought

Okay now that the gloating is over, reality sets in. Doesn't that suck? I get to change my bio now---I am a professional writer. Someone has BOUGHT my book. How do I know? Customer review.

She liked it. *grin*

At any rate, now that the first one is out it's time to turn my attention to the next ones. Just that quickly---isn't that odd? I have about 60k to get the Shequanti series done and maybe half of that to get Darkshifters done. I also started a new project---*sigh* --- a paranormal piece without either Elves or sex in it. Of course, I thought it was a short story but it's starting to look a little long. Duh. On top of that, I am putting the finishing touches on the pirate story and I think there's a FNW tonight.

Yay! I can write again!

In other news, apparently the kitten can swim. Two of the last three days she's ended up in the bathtub and she's very angry when she gets taken out. Damnedest thing I've ever seen---she smells perpetually like shampoo now. None of her relatives like swimming. Hell, they don't like baths. Perhaps the feline gods have relented enough to grant me one cat that won't throw fits when it's weekly bath time.

Gripe of the day: people who vaunt their professionalism but then aren't professional enough to take criticism. Hint of the day: dude, I do my best not to start a critique with "This sucks." However, it would behoove you to LISTEN to what I say instead of tooting your own horn and hoping it drowns out my words.


Gripe of the week: hypocrisy. Hint of the week: If you preface a comment with "My best friend is *insert minority* so I -- " then you usually don't get it at all. If you blast someone without knowing their background and life situation, you stand a good chance of gnawing on your foot for hours. This seems to have been a mantra in celinaland this week---I've had two or three run ins with the omniscient.

*sigh* I remember when I was omniscient. Fortunately, I reached my tenth birthday and realized I really wasn't.

Not so good news: apparently there is a possiblity that the artifical disc will be recalled. exactly do I turn mine in for a refund? What do I get in its place? And who pays for it? I guarantee you there will be serious hell to pay in Ohio if I find out I have to have further surgery and a fusion. SOMEBODY will more ways than one.

News flash from the good side: Friends are awesome! Whether online or in real life, friends totally rock! I realized that last night when answering questions at my release party (my fingers are still sore) -- wow, do I have a great support group set up among my fellow writers. What makes it even better? It's even more fun to be supportive of them--

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Midnight and Mysticism

There are specific days I will remember all my life. The days that my daughters were born. The day I got my first lead role in a union show. The day that my first script was produced. The day I got married. The day I quit being married. The day my mother died.

And today.

Today will rank as one of those days. Today, my first story is released. Oh, there will be other days like today (at least three that I know of) but today is the first. Today I get to call myself a *published* author for the first time. Wow.

Oh, sure, I've had short stories and poems published before. For free. Starting today *grin* I get paid.


Granted, the increase to my checking account will be minimal. The increase to my self-esteem has the potential to be substantial. The purported risks to the same are even higher. Scary. Is that any reason for me to still be awake at 1:33 am EST?


What happens if they hate it? What happens if the reviews SUCK? What happens if I read it and find a typo? *GASP!* Oh, horrors! What shall I do?

Get drunk. Duh.

As I sit here in my study looking out the window, the dimly reflected light of the stars illuminates a southern Ohio night. The trees are silhouettes of ebony against a sky of black and the constellations dance slowly overhead. I fix this picture in my mind and know that I will remember it for the rest of my life. The silence....the warm sultriness....the faintest smell of the sunflowers that line up against my fence like sentinels in a cemetery...and I realize that this is the last time I can sit here in my own private world where my words affect only me and the poor unfortunates that are trapped in the Dragon's Den with me. At some point today, those words will reach someone else, someone I don't know, someone who knows nothing more about me than the words I place for them on the page and the characters I bore for them to love or hate. Wow. That's almost humbling.

Then again, this is me. Screw humility. HURRAY! All of you naysayers out there who've scoffed at me with your condescension and your snarky comments and your snide nitpicking---go to HELL! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I won! Pfffffffttttt to every slush pile I ever occupied.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Wow. What a couple of days! It's getting a little wild around here. There's lots of promo chats, readers' loops, and general nerves twitching around these here parts....well, and a little irritation too. You know me: I have to be irritated about SOMETHING. Today I'm annoyed because I don't have time to write.


However, I am having a lot of fun chatting and pretending like I'm not about to pee myself with nerves. I don't think anyone believes me.

To top it all off, I'm still freaking sick. You'd think after a couple of hundred bucks, a course of antibiotics with pills the size of leeches, and cough syrup that tastes like the ass of a two-week-old donkey corpse that I'd feel better. But.....NO; I still feel like crap. The parental unit wants me to go back to the doctor -- HA! I see no need to enrich a geek when he didn't help me the FIRST time.

At any rate, other than that life in celinaland is pretty good. Tomorrow is the big day. *deep breath* The chances of me getting any sleep tonight are slim to non existent. The chances of me having VODKA, on the other hand, are QUITE good. *deeper breath* This is MUCH scarier than I thought it would be.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Wow. I've been serious lately. What in the hell is up with that? Once upon a time I was pretty darned funny. Now I'm actually thinking about stuff and commenting on it like I know what in the hell I'm talking about.

So not cool.

I discovered today why this blog is called *Elf killing and other hobbies.* It's because I have a cat named Elf. Elf is normally pretty cool. He's the runt from the litter before last that I bottlefed and who sat on my lap pretty much the whole time I wrote Asphodel. Now, he's a little bit bigger...okay, too big, to do that so he complains a lot.

Or gets even.

Today, he got even in a big way. He pulled my new laptop bag out of the allegedly cat-proof closet, dragged all my paperwork out of it (thank god the laptop was otherwise occupied at the time) and curled up in it. Then he went to sleep.

No problem, right?

Wrong. The kitten decided that playing with my papers was fun. The best place to launch herself upon said papers was from the top of the laptop bag. Then, she could skid across the floor and do it all over again. Elf took exception to being used as a springboard. With an unearthly howl, he leaps out of the laptop bag, swats the kitten across the room , takes the strap of the bag in his mouth and runs for his favorite hiding place.

The bathtub.

I was running bath water.

SPLASH! Cat, laptop bag, what few papers I had left in it, cough drops, medicine, house keys, and money all end up in five inches of warm, lavender scented water.

Thanks a lot, cat.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Not Quite So Normal Day

Today is a strange day. I'm lying in bed with my new laptop checking up on all the day's events.

To start off with, I'm sick. I actually went to the doctor yesterday, and he actually lectured me severely and put me on antibiotics and about the nastiest freaking cough medicine I've ever had. I actually took it BACK to Walgreens and paid another 3 bucks to get flavoring put in it. Now it's only marginally nauseous. Bubble gum with a kick.

Then yesterday, I got my lawsuit settlement. Oh joy! I get to wallow in the happiness of being temporarily well-to-do, then I get to write a whole bunch of checks and lose it all in a week. Oh well! At least I got the laptop out of it.

Then, I watched the news. I watch the news every morning. I am, as they say, a news junkie. Yesterday, I laughed all day long about Maurice Clarett getting busted again (if you don't follow football, you won't know who he is) but today there's not a lot to laugh about. Thank god someone was able to bust up the terrorist plot in London! However, by the same token, it does make me wonder a bit about the 11 'students' at Montant State from Egypt who 'disappeared' en route to school last week. Something tells me that they didn't get them all.

Aside from that, I'm having a hard time convincing the kitten that attacking fingers moving quickly on the new laptop is NOT a good idea. She's a little stubborn, so it might take a few days. In a bit, I'll transfer all my web stuff to this computer and leave the desktop for my writing! Hurray!

*cough, cough*

Time to take more medicine and turn on CNN.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

There is a God--a mscelina prayer

Thank you, divine being. Thank you for the gifts you have bestowed upon me, the poorest of your daughters. Thank you for allowing me enjoyment, regardless of the realities I suffer under. Thank you for your generosity, for letting me survive the summer. Hell, I'll even thank you for my cats.

There have been times when I doubted your existence. There have been days when I stared up into the broad expanses of the heavens and wondered if you were the greatest scam of all times. I even had that nightmare when I was a kid--you know the one, where I thought every other living creature was actually a robot and I was the last of the species? I'm not thanking you for that one -- it was too traumatic.

Just this time last week, everything looked bleak. I was trapped in a hell of television's making, forced to watch baseball highlights and steroid test results from the Tour de France on ESPN. I thought my personal purgatory would never end; it seemed to stretch before me like the yawning chasm of Dante's infernal pit.

But now, now I am redeemed! Joy has reentered my life! Every day dawns with new hope, new dreams, and new excitement! I don't feel like myself; the depression is gone. And at last I realized that you have brought me to this state. You, in your mercy, have granted me a reprieve! And I am grateful, groveling almost on hands and knees with tears of joy in my eyes. I recognize that my reprieve at the moment is merely play; practice, almost, and not the real thing. But just the appearance of it has brought me a reason to continue living -- because I know that you will relent and reward me when it is time.

Which actually, if you think about it, is September 2.


Thank god.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Contemplation of the Artistic Ego

Yep, I'm starting to get nervous.

First off, I'm not very comfortable with self-promotion. (Pauses until the various fountains of beverages stop spewing on monitors over three continents) No, seriously. I know I have to get my name out there. I know I have to post excerpts, run contests, and do all of that stuff. Trust me; it's been drummed into my thick skull on many different levels.

I'm just not comfortable with it.

Artists have egos. That's a given. Ten years in the theatre taught me that, along with the unfortunate reality that the ones with the largest egos generally don't have a reason to be that proud of themselves. For example, I was doing *Guys and Dolls* at summer stock. The lady who was playing Adelaide had a gorgeous voice and really nailed the part. Unfortunately, she also thought she was a size three. The last thing you ever want to see in this world is a 160 pound soprano cramming her cellulite into the same outfits that the Hot Box girls wear. Not that 160 is that bad of a weight, but when you're 5'1" it's a little, well, overwhelming. Nothing anyone said could sway her, not even the costume designer who'd been in the business for 30 years including numerous Broadway shows and a stint at Disney. The soprano got so offended at the costumer's argument that she turned her into Actor's Equity for keeping her waiting TWO MINUTES for a scheduled fitting.

I then promptly turned her in for exceeding the union-specified makeup space by six inches.

Nothing that I have done in my artistic career was ever quite good enough. If I designed and built a set, I saw only the flaws when the curtain went up and the audience applauded. If I played a major role, I dwelled on the dialect lapses or the awkward movement as opposed to the moment when I felt the emotion I was supposed to portray and got a response from the audience. The same thing applies to my writing: never, never, never, have I produced a story that I absolutely KNEW was the best I could do.

Ergo, my problem.

Some of the other writers I know are geniuses at self-promotion. Some of them are annoying about it. Last week, I read two excerpts back-to-back. One was written by a friend of mine (Sierra Dafoe) and was outstanding. The second was written by a writer I do not know -- and before I could stop myself I was mentally critiquing the piece. Everyone has typos, but after hearing this woman self-proclaim her genius for a few weeks I was appalled that there were several spelling and grammatical mistakes in a piece she posted to PROMOTE said genius. Also, there is a fine line between artistic writing and hack writing. Sierra is a master of writing in a beautiful way; when I read her work I can visualize it just like a movie.

The other excerpt I didn't WANT to visualize.

*sigh* So here am I, caught between the Scylla and Charybdis, trying to muck my way through my own attempts at promotion without compromising my own, harsh views on my art. Is it art? Is it fun? Can someone see what I'm trying to show them? Does it make sense? Most important, can a reader pick this up and lose themselves in MY world for a while? Now I'm facing the realities of throwing my work out to an unsuspecting public. Now there are things in my immediate future called REVIEWS.


A very wise person once said to me that the only artistic reward evolves from great artistic risk. It doesn't matter if you're writing the great American novel or erotica or fantasy or an epic poem. Every artist takes some sort of risk; the great ones never play it safe. In order to survive it, you have to have a fairly healthy sense of self-esteem. I've never been afraid to challenge myself or to defend any direction I've taken over my life. But, for some reason, this feels like one of the biggest risks I've ever taken as well. We'll just have to wait and see if I manage to survive it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

You Won't Believe This...

...but I'm killing Elves again.

Dangnabbit! All I want to do is finish Darkshifters! I wasn't planning on getting back to Asphodel until THAT was done. But noooooooooooo .... the stupid muse wants me to work some more on Elf- killing. So, is it any wonder why my new website is called Shoot The Muse? for those of you interested. If I can figure out the html, I WILL have a muse shooting gallery. I figure it's only fair; when she interferes with my writing schedule, all I want to do is cap the bitch.

At any rate, I managed to kill and Elf in a fairly original way this morning. *grin* Not content with just eviscerating him, I disembowled him and had the enemy cart his guts around on a pike. Not original, I admit it. I actually stole it from history. Unfortunately, that was the fate of the Princesse de Lamballe in the French Revolution. They were a little more gruesome about it though; they made an artisan who worked in wax do a death mask of her decapitated head ( who later became Madame Tussaud for those who want to know) AND they stopped to have her hair done before they took her to the palace so Marie Antoinette could see her.

I wasn't that cruel. I just had his intestines draped over a pike like a flag.

So, at any rate, I appear to do be done with all of the other writing assignments I've given myself and have returned for the time being to my first love--the slaughtering of Elves. I am considering adding a new lethal creature to my lexicon of Asphodel critters too, but I haven't decided exactly what yet. I was passing fond of the anthroscorpios (which, Dragon's Den folk, I stole and put into our anthology monsters) so I don't know if I can actually supersede that.

Who am I kidding?

Although, if you really think about it, I don't need a critter more deadly than the ones I already have. Man is apparently the greatest monster in any fantasy world -- although orcs might come in second -- and it's hard to create a mythological monster with more cruelty than that.

Vive le resistance!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Lost in Lancaster, But Slotted Just the Same

I don't belong in middle America. I'm not certain where I belong, but I know middle America is NOT it. I've been giving some thought to this lately. Maybe a cabin in the middle of some BIG woods? But, then it would have to have internet access.

Over the last week, I've found myself getting involved in political discussions. You have to realize, this is usually something I avoid. I consider my BS in political science an unfair advantage. It's very easy to have an opinion, it's not quite so easy to back it up.

Folk around here are one of two things: die-hard, Roman Catholic conservatives or really pissed-off dyed-in-the-wool liberals. I count as neither. I am an independent moderate.


Let's try that again. INDEPENDENT MODERATE.

In other words, I think radicals whether on the left or the right are wrong.

Think about it: I'd venture to guess that out of 200 million people plus about 198 million people are actually moderate. That's probably a reasonable guess. Let me ask you this: how many of you vote for the President of the United States according to what party the candidate is in? Me? I vote on the person. I do admit to casting one vote for Ralph Nader a few years ago, simply because I didn't care for the other two candidates.

I mentioned that the other day and got this response: "Why throw your vote away?"

Excuse me? Throw my vote away. Um.....I didn't. I expressed my opinion on the two *major* party candidates and exercised my constitutional right to vote for whom I chose. Granted, I knew when I cast the vote that he wouldn't win. The United States has been crippled by the two-party system for entirely too long.

So let me see if I have this straight. Unless a person casts a vote for a Republican or a Democrat, it's considered wasting your vote.

Right. Wouldn't John Adams be pleased to hear about this?

I'm considering throwing more things onto my plate. I think it's time for a new grass-roots organization that will work to topple the two-party system and all of its inherent prejudices? Pro-abortion and anti-guns? have we got the place for you! Think we could balance the budget by RAISING taxes and CUTTING spending? Welcome to the group! (That's how I get my budget to balance...jesus christ, how hard can it be?) Think that it's possibly time for the United States of America to elect an official based on THEIR opinions and not the party lines?

Hmm....I may be onto something. It's practically guaranteed, however, that I will NOT be basing the offices in this town. I was called a Republican the other day because I mentioned that I thought it was stupid to change commanders-in-chief during a war.

A Republican? Me????

ROFLMAO! Yes, I'm so Republican that I frequently do protests in favor of gay rights.

Absolutely freaking ridiculous. Don't label me because I have an opinion that's different than yours, asshole. My upbringing, my background, my ideology are different than yours--that doesn't automatically toss me into a compartment labelled "Republican". Trust me. I used to confess my pro-choice marches to my priest when I was in college and still a Catholic.

So, at any rate, I think I mught just have to consider starting this organziation. I think I'm going to call it "Common Sense. com"; perhaps a good slogan would be "Where you don't have to be as asshole to have your opinion heard." Then, we'll show up and protest important things, like *hey, where's the corn dog booth at the fair?* or *hey! why can't I chew gum and walk at the same time* or ....

"Hey, why can't we have a President who isn't trapped in either a Conservative or Liberal pre-pasted suit?"

Think about it. *evil grin* Another website to maintain.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Amazingly enough, things are starting to crank along. Edits are now done for the second book of Mythos, the anthology stories are coming along nicely, I'm waiting for edits from JWP, and the new website is actually growing instead of exploding. Believe me, that's progress!

I started working on Darkshifters again. Hopefully the progress will extend to it. I'd like to see it finished in the next couple of weeks. The new manmeat submission went off to Changeling; we'll see if they like it as well as they liked my first one. Now I get to develop a marketing strategy and all that fun stuff.


I have to admit, it's all harder than I thought it would be. If I were a juggler I might be able to coordinate all of these different balls a little bit better, but as it is I must proceed with the few organizational skills I have. I wonder how much of this 'real' authors have to do? I mean, granted, JK Rowling probably doesn't have to make guest appearances on readers' chat loops but the whole marketing stuff has got to be a pain.

Not that Harry Potter requires marketing.

My normal daily schedule has been adapted to fit these changing needs. Instead of writing for my normal six hours in a row, I'm having to break those hours up now with other, more tedious details. This keeps me up much longer than usual (as if that's really possible) and my mood has swung accordingly. Now that my semi-annual bout of bronchitis has kicked in, sitting at the computer has become more of a chore than anything else.

*cough, cough, hack, -- reaches for the orange juice*

Oh well, at least my house is clean. I stocked up on groceries so I won't have to leave the house unless I go to the doctor, which is looking like a probability. Everything is set, neat, and organized so that I can hit the ground running.

*shivers with fever and reaches for the blankie*


Optimism is overrated. I'd much rather curl up in bed with a book someone else wrote than work on my own stuff. But then, I have to remind myself that discipline is the greatest tool a writer has. Back to the keyboard.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Human Nature

What a misnomer. Human nature. Do those words really belong together in a phrase? Somehow I don't think so. Over the course of this weekend, I've been subjected to some strange examples of human nature. Somehow, most of them don't seem either human or natural.

Example #1: In the small, southeastern Ohio town where I live, a man was arrested for running a puppy mill. In a tiny two bedroom house, that he no longer occupied, the Animal Protection officers and police confiscated 51 puppies, 12 breeding dogs, 21 cats and a skunk. I will not describe the condition of the house; suffice it to say that the house is now condemned. As are the animals freed from that hellhole. They are too unwell and malnourished to be saved. Human? Not hardly. Natural? Anything but.

Example # 2: Last night a group of young adults (yes, I backspaced over the word 'kids') came into the bar. They were with a University Habitat for Humanity group and were in the area building a home for a family displaced by fire. That cheered me up --- until....they began to discuss, in loud, condescending tones the shortcomings of the people they were helping -- how fat, ugly, smelly, et cetera the family was. Okay, so they weren't perfect little sorority and fraternity members like the kids who helped them, but what kind of help was it? Turns out, the HFH group is having a contest between the frats to see who can provide the most assistance over the course of the year. They weren't helping from any developed social conscience, but so that their fraternity would win.

Example # 3: Late in the evening, a wedding party showed up: bride, groom, groomsmen and bridesmaids all still in their wedding finery. I must admit; that took me aback for a minute. What newlyweds would want to be in a bar at 2 a.m. on their wedding night? At any rate, since they pulled up in a limo I had no qualms about serving them. Somehow, in the course of 30 minutes, the newly-married couple got into an argument. It ended at 2:36 in front of the now-locked bar, with the bride riding away sobbing in the limo and the groom screaming obscenities after the car as it went down the street. I have high hopes for that wedding, gotta tell you.

Today is one of the slow, painful days. Everything hurts physically; my kindness to my employer has gotten the better of me. I've worked too much this weekend, working shifts that I originally said I would not do. it's one of those days when I lie around the house and think about things. Today, however, that physical reaction to a hard week was superseded by an intellectual one. I got a phone call from a friend this morning who was in the bar last night, and he dismissed the HFH incident and the bridal party incident as "human nature." What in the hell is so human about that? Doesn't that dismissal, in and of itself, indicate that we, as humans, believe that "human nature" allows us to be cruel? Permits us to be insensitive? Encourages us to satisfy our own impulses without thought for the consequence that has upon others?

Look at all the atrocities in our world today. Think about the lives lost, the futures wrecked, the suffering caused by the concept of "human nature." I suppose, if you want to get technical about it, humans are carnivorous beings. We are predators, designed to be hugely successful at it because of a posable thumb and the capacity to problem solve. Perhaps cruelty is human nature if you think about it that way.

It's very easy to judge, isn't it?

Of the 85 animals rescued from that miserable, unair-conditioned hovel, only 9 will be alive tomorrow. I'm going to the animal shelter to put my bid in to take one of them home. That's my response to "human nature." I'm not even going to be picky about what animal I take. I'll end up with the one least likely to be adopted, the smallest, the sickest, the most dejected, the ugliest. I'll bring it home and introduce it to my pets, take it to the vet, give it food and water in a currently messy but inherently clean house and teach the poor thing that not all humans are like the one who tortured it. Some humans don't have "human nature" as a crutch.

And in the end, that might just be a good thing.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Ramifications of the Do Not Call List

English is a complicated language. I know it. You know it. Everyone apparently knows it save for telemarketers.

Recently I switched away from satelite providing all my services (phone, internet, cable) and returned to a land line phone based system. The reasons? A: I'm really damn tired of my cable bill going up every two months when it's already ridiculous. B: I like to work when it's raining. and C: Because the local provider REALLY pissed me off. As soon as I got the new phone number, I placed it on the national Do Not Call reegistry.

I get enough phone calls from the people I owe money to. There's no need for someone to call me to get me to spend more money.

At any rate, this morning the phone rings at 8:15 a.m. Being a preternaturally light sleeper, of course it woke me up. Since I tended bar last night, I'm thinking it's GOT to be an emergency of some sort. No one in their right mind who knows me would call me before noon the day after a closing shift.

"Good morning, I'm ****** from AOL. I'm calling to -"
"I don't care." Celina is in her full-blown rude state despite being groggy. "Not only it is freaking 8 am, but I work as a bartender AND I'm on the Do Not Call Registry."
"Oh. I'm sorry. Let me double check that against my records."
"Dude, double check away. Write on your little list that regardless of what great deal AOL wants to offer me, I'll drop them as my internet provider if they EVER call this number again."


(this would be the spot for the purple smiley guy insertion, Dragon's Den folk)

Yesterday morning, it was this:

"This is an automated message for Edward P. *****. If this is the correct number, please push one. If this person is not available, please push two. If this person is no longer at this number, please press three -"

It was the THIRD time for that phone bot in a week. The first two times, number three was pressed. Time number three, I waited for the HUMAN number to return the call. That was ugly.

Monday morning much the same, only then it was roofing. Satruday night at dinner time, we got the infamous outsourced replacement windows telemarketer.

Okay. Elementary English time. "Do Not Call". Let me break it down for you.

Function: verbInflected Forms: did; done; do·ing; doestransitive verb 1 : PERFORM, EXECUTE2 : COMMIT verbal auxiliary —used with the infinitive without to to form present and past tenses in legal and parliamentary language —do business : to be engaged in business activities (as soliciting sales); specifically : to engage in activities sufficient to subject a foreign company to the personal jurisdiction of a state —see also DOING BUSINESS STATUTE

In no way; to no degree. Used to express negation, denial, refusal, or prohibition: I will not go. You may not have any.

call ( P ) (kôl)v. called, call·ing, calls v. tr.
To say in a loud voice; announce: called my name from across the street; calling out numbers.
To demand or ask for the presence of: called the children to dinner; call the police.
To demand or ask for a meeting of; convene or convoke: call the legislature into session.
To order or request to undertake a particular activity or work; summon: She was called for jury duty. He was called to the priesthood.
To give the command for; order: call a work stoppage.
To communicate or try to communicate with by telephone: called me at nine.
To dial (a telephone number): call 911 for help.
To lure (prey) by imitating the characteristic cry of an animal: call ducks.
To cause to come to the mind or to attention: a story that calls to mind an incident in my youth.
To name: What will you call the baby?
To consider or regard as being of a particular type or kind; characterize: Let's call the game a draw. I'd hardly call him a good manager.
To designate; label: Nobody calls me a liar.
To demand payment of: call a loan.
To require the presentation of (a bond) for redemption before maturity.
To force the sale of (a stock or commodity) by exercising a call option.
To stop or postpone (a game) because of bad weather, darkness, or other adverse conditions.
To declare in the capacity of an umpire or referee: call a runner out; call a penalty for holding.
To indicate a decision in regard to: calling balls and strikes; called a close play at home plate.
To give the orders or signals for: a quarterback who called a poor play.

You know, it took me all of 30 seconds to get those definitions from -- HOW FREAKING HARD IS IT FOR THE COMPANIES OUT THERE TO FIGURE IT OUT? What good is a Do Not call registry that doesn't work? On top of that, if I'm working online and a telemarketer calls, causing me to lose whatever I was working ON I tend to get a little annoyed.

Of course, there's no one to blame but myself. After all, telemarketers couldn't get me on satelite....could they? Well, they COULD technically, but only if the sun was shining.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bleary-eyed and coffee driven

Wow. yesterday was a long day.

I'm looking at my *to do* list and trying not to get discouraged. Although I did manage to finish the anthology story yesterday, I'm at a loss as to what to accomplish today.

I know I have to work on the website. *looks glum* God I hate that.

I also got my cover art for Goddess' Revenge last night! Woohoo! Wanna see? I like it. Okay, okay, I LOVE it, but that's just the ego-driven part of me. Wonder if I can print off a good copy and frame it?

Of course, I do have to concentrate on edits from the proofers at some point today. Maybe that'll be what I should do next.

After I get back from the vet....darn cat.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Update number Two

Whew! Finished the anthology story, clocking in with a final word count of 13,589. Damn. There's still a lot of tweaking to do to it, but I'm reasonably pleased with it. It comes to a natural conclusion for this anthology, doesn't screw up the world, and is a fairly good leaping-off point for future projects.

Now, back to the website.

Update Number One

Managed to rebound on the anthology story. I'm now sitting at 11k again and steamrolling.

Tried to work on my website. Just saw Sierra's revamped version and it made me jealous. Mine still looks like crap.

And, par for the course, I realized when I saw my author bio on the Changeling website today that I'd actually posted the wrong damn name. You have to be pretty stupid to do that.

(Guess who wins Idiot of the Day honors?)

Aside from that, I did manage to get dinner in the oven. Now I'll be able to eat a hot meal while still plugging away on Mneston.

If Life Is Like A Box of Chocolates...

....then why in the hell do I always end up with licorice?

I think my brain has finally, officially fried. This morning, in an effort to be "productive", I made out a 'to do' list for the week. Within ten minutes, the whole damn thing was nullified. Let me give you a sample:

*Celina's To Do List*

1. Finish anthology story. (I then promptly scrapped another 6k from it and started all over. Glutton for punishment)

2. Work on website. (I then realized that I now need TWO websites--one for me, one for the porn hack)

3. Finish edits. (Still waiting....)

4. Clean house. (what? this cesspool that is nothing but a huge cat toy? Ha! As if....)

5. Get Darkshifters finished. (looks around for muse, kicks her in the rear, and watches her scurry away to the closet)

6. Get all critiques done. (yeah, like I'm going to be able to do that before I finish my own anthology story. Why is the word count going BACKWARDS on it anyway?)

7. Create promotional plan for GR. (uh, do I spell that again? p - r - o - m -...)

8. Get football plans set at bar. (wait a second....I have to work too?)

9. Impy to vet. (fucking many felines do you know that get allergy shots because they're allergic to cats?)

10. Dentist appointment on Thursday. (great. another 300 bucks so he can hurt me. geesch.)

11. Get landscaper to --

*phone rings*

Celina: Hello?
Dana: hey! What are you doing?
Celina: Don't even think about it, Dana.
Dana: What?
Celina: I'm too busy. Whatever you're going to ask me, I'm too busy to do it.
Dana: What makes you think I'm going to ask you to do something?
Celina: You always ask me to do something.
Dana: *laughs uncomfortably*
--long pause--
Celina: Well?
Dana: Well what?
Celina: *sighs* What do you want?
Dana: Well, you know that the festival is this week.....
Celina: NO. Absolutely not.
Dana: You don't even know what I'm going to ask!
Celina: I am NOT working extra shifts this week. I have too many deadlines.
Dana: But I fired a bartender...
Celina: I don't give a rat's patootey. Tend bar yourself.


11. Get landscaper to --

*phone rings*

Celina: Leave me alone, Dana! Goddamnit, I said NO.
Attorney: Uh, Celina ...
Celina: Whoops! Sorry, Andy!

*fifteen minutes later*

11. Get landscaper to --

*phone rings*

*....and rings.....*

*....and rings....*

Get the picture? I forgot what I wanted the landscaper FOR. I think it's something to do with the green stuff that is knee-high in my front yard.

12. Get new erotica book finished and off to Vikky...

It was at this point that I collapsed in helpless laughter. Suuuuuuure, I'll be able to get all of this done, right? If nothing else, I'll chronicle my list of failures in this blog this week. let's see where ambition and reality actually meet.