Thursday, December 29, 2005

Edits and such

My cast is off, but my arm is still not back to normal. My husband, who broke his elbow once, told me to be patient. Patient? I am not patient! I want to be able to use my arm Now! Every day it gets better though, so I guess resting it in the sling is the best idea. I can type, but not for very long. I have three books in for edits right now: A World Between - which is a science fiction novella to be paired with Virtual Murder will be coming out soon in paperback, so we're finishing edits and blurbs for that one. I just finished Apocalypse, a book for Changeling Press, and another book, Renegade Aquarius, for Ellora's cave, both under my pen name. So I've been busy this past week. All the books arrived for edits the day after I broke my arm (on Monday) so I had to call my editors and tell them to be patient. (they are patient, lol) And now I'm finishing up here and should be done by the new year.

I'm very concerned about edits. Have you ever picked up a book and been pulled out of the story by typos and poor editing? It's hard to get involved in the tale - you spend your time wishing you had a red pen. As an author, I try to turn in a clean copy. But when you are writing you get so lost in your own story you often push everything else to the back of your mind. A good editor is essential to an author. I don't know many authors who won't agree with me. A good editor is also important to the publisher. Putting out a poorly edited book makes the publisher look bad. When I read a book and find an editing error, I don't blame the author. I think, 'the editor and proofreader should have caught that!' Because in most of my publishing companies, there is an editor who works closely with me, and then there are proofreaders (usually two) who go through the book afterwards with a fine-tooth comb and clear up any typos they find.

Also, if you read a book with faulty editing, remember this: an author rarely has access to the final edition of their own book. The book gets edited by someone else, proofed by someone else, and published without the author's final approval. The author, after the first round of edits are done, doesn't see the book until it comes out in print. So it's important the author feels confident that the publisher is doing his best to put out a clean copy.

For one of my publishers - this is how it works. My contract does not give me ' final approval' for my manuscript. After first edits, I am obliged to OK the corrections already made and ignore the editing faults with the assurence they will be corrected by my editor. My other publishers all have a different policy - we work on the book together until the proofreaders get it, and I get all the edit copies and can go through them. Which method do I prefer? The second one, of course. I'm a perfectionist and I like to think my book is going out into the world with as few faults as possible. What kind of editing process would you prefer? (which reminds me, I better get back to work!)

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas in France

I just spent half an hour typing a report about Christmas - unfortunately, the computer glitched and ate it. So I will recapitulate:

We had a lovely time with my inlaws. The new baby (my neice's son) is one month old and just beautiful. We had a great dinner, and the next morning we opened presents in front of our tree with a lot of help from a certain little puppy. We went to see Narnia, which we all hated except for my daughter, who loved it. Last news was my cousin Sara was giving birth last night to a Christmas baby - a wonderful gift to the family! And my cast is off, although I have to wear the sling and be careful - I don't have my huge, clunky cast! Yay! I go back next Monday for more x-rays, today's x-ray showed the crack was still there but healing, so I go back once more to check that everything is going all right. My husband threw his back out somehow (he has no idea how) and he's at the doctors now trying to get it fixed. He can walk around and drive, but it hurts him when he lies down to sleep, so he's tired and crabby. (I can relate, lol - no sleep and I'm an ogre)

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas!

Peace and Joy!

Friday, December 23, 2005


i added music to my sites -
anyone else use music files?

thanks for the kind words about my arm - sorry, but i still can't type!
happy holidays!!!

Monday, December 19, 2005

broken arm!

i fell down on the sidewalk yesterday and broke my arm! it's a very small, insignificant fracture, but very painful because i also twisted my arm when i fell, so i have a cast from shoulder to elbow! i only have to keep the cast for 8 days ( i told you it was a tiny fracture) and i can't wait to get it off. i never had a cast on, and when the doctor finished i told him my arm was claustraphobic and to please take it off.
i think the painkillers had kicked in then. but the cast took the pain away, so today i feel rather silly with it on. Not to mention clumsy. (my son pointed that out.)

the puppy is being a perfect angel. he looks so mischievous, but he doesn't do any of the silly puppy things most puppies do - he only chews his toys and bed, and he's nearly completely housetrained. he and rusty are almost best of friends - and i'm watching the complete series of LOST - which is keeping me glued to the TV and away from the computer!!
here is the new cover -

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Another Cover

Aplocalypse is due out in January, so I just got the cover - it's so cool, totally "kitch" and goes perfectly with the series (homoerotic science fiction)
Here is the banner.
I'll post the cover up tomorrow when I get the OK from the artist (I only have the draft for it)
Here are the titles for the Paradise Earth series:
Adam and Evan
The story is set in the far future, after earth has been destroyed first by war and then by a massive meteorite. Forced to accept the help of the Federation, proud, insular earth seethes as aliens arrive with their technology and specially adapted creatures to re-seed the planet.
The story is between Adam, a pure-blood earthling, and Evan - the man from Mars - a shapeshifter with an agenda of his own. Thrown together in the lab, and afterwards on a small island called Paradise, they fall in love. But another meteorite comes and life on earth hangs from a thread - a thread only Adam and Evan can save with their supply of Yrg eggs and Quick-Gro. Fashioning creatures from Evan's shapeshifting DNA, they break all the Federation rules.
But on another island, Cabel and Abe, two scientists who want to take over the earth, have begun develping creatures of their own--sea creatures who kill for sheer pleasure, and angels who will fly to the mainland and colonize it before Adam and Evan's children.
It's a pretty cool story and I can't wait to see the whole series together!

The series is available from Changeling Press at this URL:

"...unusual and original... A scary vision of the future in wonderful detail..."
-- Jaynie, Fallen Angel Reviews

Saturday, December 17, 2005

I'd like some sleep for Christmas....

What was I thinking getting a new puppy, lol?
My nights are now broken in many little peices, as Auguste whines, barks at a shadow, or scratches at the door. No one else really hears - I'm just a very light sleeper. But the puppy is being awfully good. No damage done - just little puddles, lol, and that I can live with, seeing the house is all tiled floor.

But I have been waking up so early every morning. It's nice. Across the street is the restaurant, Le Jument Vert, where we ate dinner last night. In the morning, they are already up too, getting things ready in the kitchen. I can see the lights on and hear the sound of pots and pans. Then there is Farmer Duval, who comes up every morning early to open his aunt's shutters and check that she's all right. (Georgina is almost 100 and bedridden, and her mind sometimes strays. She thinks there is a German hiding under her bed most days, according to Cathrine, the nurse who goes to visit her twice a day.) The delivery trucks come early to the restaurant, and on Tuesday there is the garbage truck with the three workers who always wave and call out a cheery 'Bonjour!'

The garbage men, the firemen, the police, and the postman traditionally go door to door each year for their Christmas bonus. We give about ten dollars to everyone. Some people give more, some less. They offer little calendars in exchange. The police, the postman, and the firemen have no trouble going door to door, but the poor garbagemen have to first drop off a paper with their pictures, names, and the heading "We're coming by for our Christmas bonus soon - Wishing you Happy Holidays"
This is because they are north Africans - very black and very tough-looking. Plus they don't have uniforms, only orange overalls. This year, their paper had a cheerful frame of jack-O-Lanterns around the men's pictures. It made the paper look less like a 'WANTED' sign, which is just what it has looked like these past few years. The police usually show up on a Sunday, the firemen at night, and the postman on his day off. The garbage men come during the day - around noon - with their stack of calendars and pumpkin papers.

Anyway, it's nice to see them in the early morning, they are always smiling and polite. So is Farmer Duval, who goes to the Jument Vert for a cup of coffee after he checks on his aunt. It's very dark out, so I stand there with my flashlight and wait for Auguste to finish his business (it takes a while, he has to explore the garden a bit) and I'm glad my daughter told everyone in the village we were getting a new puppy, because otherwise I don't know what the neighbors would be thinking about me, standing outside by myself so early, saying, "There now, go pee pee!! Good boy!!"

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Rusty and Auguste Act II

Yesterday I was raking leaves in the garden. At first it was hard, as Auguste wanted to attack the rake and subdue it, but he understood well enough after I told him not to do it and lifted him off the rake by the scruff of his neck about twenty times. All the while Rusty sat and watched. But when Auguste left off chasing the rake, he went over to play with her. Rusty backed up, and Auguste followed. Rusty decided this was her big chance. She led Auguste to all the places in the fence she usually uses to escape. The swing gate, the temporary chicken-wire gate, and the small hole under the fence I blocked up. At each place, Rusty stopped and sniffed around the weak spot - showing Auguste how he could get out of the garden if he wanted. I could practically hear her thoughts. "Look Auguste - see this hole? You could fit out there. Then you're free! You can leave whenever you want. And don't forget to write."
Of course, Auguste was more interested in eating the leaves than escaping, but I thought it was nice of Rusty to take him all around the garden to show him all the possible means of leaving her alone...
Today though, things are different. Rusty and Auguste discovered they liked to play together. Auguste had taken rusty's NEW toy, and Rusty wanted it back, so there ensued a tug-of-war, with Rusty lifting Auguste off the ground, the little dachshund hanging on for dear life. It became a game of tag, then more pulling, then Rusty actually licked Auguste--I think the ice has been broken. It's still not perfect. I have to train Auguste to stay in his carry-cage, and that is not easy. He has to get used to being locked up inside, and he just howls. I can't let him out until he stops for a while and calms down. When it's reduced to whimpers, I praise him and open the door. Each day the howling is shorter - today it only lasted three minutes. I left him in a good fifteen minutes though, and gave him a bit of hard cheese as a reward inside his cage, so he sees it's not all bad in there. Rusty, however, has sensitive ears and she has to go hide when the howling starts.
I just start the vacuum cleaner. The one I feel sorry for is my son, home from college and sleeping upstairs. I had to do all this at 8:30 a.m. because I have gym at 9 and I don't want to miss it...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Auguste and Rusty Act I

Auguste is just a baby. He lies on his back and sucks his toes, he pees whenever and whereever he feels like it, and he cries at night, because he hates to be alone. A good mother knows you mustn't yell at your children when they cry at night. Nor may you bring them to bed with you. So I go downstairs, lift Mr. Auguste up by the scruff of his neck as his real mother would do, and deposit him in his own bed, saying firmly, "Stay!". Repeat fifty times. Do not lose your calm, or the puppy will become scared and cry even louder. After fifty times, (well, actually more like ten) Mr. Auguste stayed in his bed.

Rusty has decided she does not like having a baby brother after all. Like most only children, our 'only dog' was used to having her own bed, her own room, her own water dish. And now this little fuzzy sausage on legs is sleeping in HER bed, drinking from HER waterbowl, and even more horrifying - it eats dog food! (there won't be any left for her!) I can see her thinking, "I hope this is a rental."

Auguste is blissfully unaware of sibling rivallry. In the garden, Rusty runs and leaps as fast and high as she can to show how strong she is. Auguste just sticks his nose in the grass and snuffles or fights with a leaf. Then Auguste notices her and barks - this perplexes Rusty - she does not bark except at hedgehogs, so she goes lookig for that dratted hedgehog, and Auguste is convinced he scared her off and is Proud.

Auguste does not like the rake. He attacks it. He also leaps on the mop and tries to kill it. He is absolutely fearless, dashing up to the garden gate when the garbage truck rumbles by, unfazed by noise or size. Rusty is timid, and watches all this with a "Look at that fool" expression. Auguste naps between bouts of energetic playing. He also hides all his toys in his bed, and this morning dragged his food dish into his bed and proceeded to fight with it. The fight ended with the dish upside down and Auguste unable to get a hold of it. So Auguste barked and growled at his dish while Rusty looked on with a pained expression.

Today I bought Rusty a new dog bed to replace the one Auguste has commandered, and also I bought her a rope toy. She is thrilled. She is lying in her new bed with her new toy, and when Auguste comes over she gives him a low growl to put him in his place. Auguste pretends not to hear and trots over to her old bed and plops down in it with a sigh of contentment. I bought Auguste a purple and orange spikey plastic hedgehog that squeaks.
They are both in Rusty's new bed. Auguste just got a spanking because he thinks he might be the boss of the house and he growled at me. A baby growl, but that earned him a swat on the butt with a folded newspaper. He took refuge in Rusty's bed, and since he's punished, Rusty feels smug and is letting him cuddle up to her.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Happiness is a new puppy

Today we went to get our new puppy, AUGUSTE (you say it Oh-Goosed) LOL, a 10 wk old
wire-haired dachhund. He's feeling a bit out of place right now. He explored the house, and has made friends with RUSTY, our chocolate Lab, but he is homesick, and if we leave him alone, he cries. (So my daughter is staying with him until he falls asleep.) He was the fattest, fuzziest puppy in the litter, and he has a very calm, freindly personality. We all adore him. (Especially Rusty, who never wanted to be an 'only dog'.)
Rusty's bed is in the kitchen, in the fireplace (that is blocked up and never worked), and she is happy to share her bed with Auguste. I ran out and bought lots of paper towels - Mr. Auguste had a couple 'accidents' since he's been here. Luckily I don't have any rugs - only old tiles - and I use white vinegar to clean with - it takes odors away.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Twins home from college!!!

It's so nice to have the boys back home again. The house seems smaller, but a lot warmer (and noisier, lol)
Sebi bought Japonese wooden swords for him and Alex to practice their Aikido with (I think that's what they call it - I have no idea really, but it looks cool)
My daughter is thrilled to have her older brothers home. The dog is thrilled.
The house is cleaned.
The new website is done (
Angels on Crusade is now available at Cerridwen Press
The blog is re-vamped
My edits for Renegade Aquarius are done. (Well, first edits, lol)
And I'm off to Paris today to see my niece's new baby!!
Hugs to all,

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Yes Virginia, Samantha does exist

I was working on my website today - I'm creating a whole new look for Samantha, and I plan to launch my new website soon. (uh huh) anyhow - I'm fiddling with links when mly daughter comes up behind me, stares at the screen, and says, "What is that person doing with your picture?"
Not paying attention, I said, "What person?"
"Samantha Winston. Who is she? Why does she have your picture on her site?"
I come back to earth and blink. My daughter is eleven. She is remarkably bright, but at the same time, she has the power to ignore everything that goes on around her for example, this summer we spent ten days with my brother and his pregnant wife. My sister-in-law was six months pregnant and it showed. Plus she went swimming, had a bathing-suit that showed her lovely big tummy - and we talked about the coming baby for nine days. On the tenth day, we were in the car, and my sister-in-law said, "The baby is kicking really hard."
My daughter, who was sitting right next to her, looked mildly interested and said, "What baby?"
"The one in my tummy," said my sister-in-law.
My daughter was thunderstruck. "What?? You're having a baby? You're pregnant?"
Silence as we all digested this. Then I said, "Haven't you been paying attention? What did you think we were talking about, and didn't you notice your aunt's fat tummy?" (Here I get a not so gentle punch on the shoulder from my SIL.) "I mean, lovely big tummy," I amend.
Anyway, it turns out my daughter has this amazing ability to not pay attention. It's not like I don't mention my alter ego at home, or talk about the publishing business or my books. At any rate, I told my daughter that I was, in fact, Samantha Winston.
"But why would you want to do that?" she exclaimed, indignant.
"Because I write books for adults and I write books for children, and I don't want them to get mixed up. I use one name for my children's books, and the other name for books that only adults can read. Is that clear?"
She nodded, her mind already elsewhere. You see, we put the tree up, the lights are blinking, and her next question was..."If Santa Clause doesn't exist, can I open just one of my presents now?"
So she was paying attention to me when I was talking to her aunt on the phone the other day and we were trading santa stories abotu our kids.
My daughter has selective hearing.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Interview with Tawny Taylor!

I loved Karen's interviews on her blog, so I'm copying directly here! For my first interview I'd like everyone to meet Tawny Taylor - a very talented author from Ellora's Cave, and about the nicest person you'll ever meet!

Sam: Tawny, can you tell us about your new book, Light my Fire?

Tawny: First, Sam, Thanks SO MUCH for inviting me to do this interview!
Light My Fire is the second book in my new Immortal Secrets series. It's a full length novel, longer than the launch book to the series, Dragons and Dungeons, which means there was more room for all the good stuff--more dragon love scenes , more gripping suspense scenes and more play in the dungeon . I'm extremely excited about this book, and am hoping readers will enjoy it as much as Dragons and Dungeons.

Sam: Light my Fire is one of my favorite songs - I even went to visit Jim Morrison's grave here in Paris - was his song behind the idea of the story?

Tawny: No, I'm afraid to say it didn't, though I LOVE that song too! Light My Fire was actually inspired by a huge chemical plant fire we had not to far from here. The fire was so huge, it lit the night sky for miles and miles around. I knew I had to write a story about a fire, and a hunky dragon fireman. The title just fit the concept perfectly.

Sam: I've read nearly all your books (I still have Sexual Healing on my TBR pile!) And I fall in love with your heros in each book! Tell me about your new hero, and why I'll fall in love with him too!

Tawny: Let me see...You'll fall for Alec because he's hot, and strong and protective, but also oh so gentle and erotic {{dreamy sigh}}. He's a dragon, an Immortal. I adore heroes who are strong--physically, mentally--but also have a soft spot for the heroine.

Sam: Cool! A dragon hero! I'm in love already! When can we read this book? What is the release date?

Tawny: The ebook is releasing Wednesday, December 7th! It's release is coming fast.

Sam: In this blog I try to give readers a glimpse of what it's like to write erotica. Do you have a story you can share?

Tawny: Oy. I try to tell everyone it's so NOT the glamorous life people seem to think it is when I tell them I'm a writer. I don't sit around in satin gowns pecking at the computer while snacking on bon-bons and counting the bazillions of dollars I'm raking in. My hubby and I have a large family, which means it's very difficult for me to find not only the time to write, but a space to write in. My little computer desk is wedged in the corner of my kids' bedroom, buried under a towering heap of stuffed animals. I discovered my poor printer had a cookie wedged in the paper feed, LOL. Kids! But that's my life. It's not perfect but it's wonderful :-D Maybe someday I'll be able to sit around in satin gowns snacking on bon-bons.

Sam: What? No satin gown and bon-bons?? LOL! Best of luck with this book Tawny - I know it will be a best seller! And thank you for taking the time to pop by and do my interview!

Tawny: Thanks again, Sam! From your lips to the book goddesses :-D

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Argentine Lover at the Romance Bookclub

Hi guys!

The Romance Bookclub is now starting the December 2005 book club features, and The Argentine Lover is the erotica book of the month!
I hope you are as excited about that as I am!
If you want to join the discussion and answer the questions I posted about the book, just follow the link below and sign up - the bookclub is free.

Please RSVP in the message boards under the erotic romance book. They want active participants. Let them know if you have the book, have started the book, and what you think so far!

I look forward to discussing The Argentine Lover with you this month.
(The questions aren't that hard - really!)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Horse Passages

I have taken off my author hat, now that I turned in my last book to my editor, and I have put on my promotion hat!
Promotion is hard. When you're little, you are sternly told 'Not to Show Off', and 'Don't blow your own Horn!' so it's hard to wave your book around, jump up and down, and do a happy dance while blowing in a brass trumpet and yelling, "My Book is Out, come and get it!" (It's the blowing the trumpet and yelling at the same time that's really tough.)
It's great when other people promote your books. That way you don't feel A) Pushy, B) Like you're bothering people C) Like an amateur - because face it, without a big promotional budget you can barely reach family and friends.
But I struggle on. I join groups, I blog, I take out ads in papers and in online sites, I send the books to reviewers, and I throw myself upon the mercy of my friends.
So, dear friends, please tell your friends and family, your dentist, your librarian, and your local bookstore owner about Horse Passages.
It's a science fiction book for teens and up. My husband who is Not a reader took it off my desk one day and started to read it. He stayed up all night to finish it.
Here is the book's site:
(I will get up and running soon)
Please visit, and plug in your kids and horse-crazy friends!
Thank you So much


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanks giving

I just finished writing a poetic and touching post about Thanksgiving and giving thanks... and the blog program crashed and everything disappeared. So I am taking the part about thanking technology out, and starting over again.

I'm thankful for my friends and family, and for those who pop in to my blog to visit. I'm thankful for the small things in life - like the dog sleeping at my feet, the beautiful sunrise I see through the window, and the churchbells that ring at 8 a.m. and not 7 a.m. like in the next village over.
I'm thankful for my crit partners who help me out, for my neighbors who help me out, and for Scott who chats with my in the morning and doesn't mind that I'm still half asleep!
I'm thankful for the time I get to spend on this good earth...and in the evening I am thankful to be able to see the stars through the window and hear my hubby's snores - (a little less loud and I'd be really thankful)
I'm thankful for the chance I have family scattered across the globe so I can travel and visit.
Happy Thanksgiving to All! I hope you have big and small things to be thankful for -
Best wishes,

Friday, November 18, 2005

writing the dreaded S-Scene

Since this is a writer's blog and I write erotic romance, I thought I'd take some time and write something useful for new writers of erotic romance. (Or at least I'd try - you never know what can be useful as everyone has a different approach to writing.)
I was chatting on the msn yesterday with a really talented new writer and she made a confession - she has trouble writing sex scenes. And then today, while blog-hopping, I saw two other authors saying the same thing. One said she made them too jerky, and the other said she didn't know which words to choose without either offending readers or offending herself.
That got me thinking back to my beginnings at writing sex scenes. The thing that held me back was thinking "My mother is going to read this." That would be enough to paralyze anyone. And worse, "Maybe my father will read it!" (Well, extremely doubtful - men read books about World War One and car racing, not "The Argentine Lover". But if I wanted my books to sell, I had to get over that, so I did. And I did it by writing as sensually and quickly as possible to sketch out the scene, and then go back and add the details. I started to work like that, and because it worked so well for me, I have continued to use that technique.
It goes something like this - I'm writing the book, and I get to a place where there has to be a sex scene, so I'll write, (the names have been changed to protect the innocent)Zach shut the door behind him. Dora spun around at the sound. She hadn't expected him to follow her. She took a step back and hit the bed. Off-balance, she tripped and would have fallen but Zach caught her. (We'll skip the dialogue, although I usually go ahead and pen that in here too)
His touch sent waves of heat through her. (Now I'll speed things up and describe the physical things they have to do in order to get naked and get into bed - )
Her shirt had buttons and her fingers trembled as she undid them. (check to make sure your character is wearing the same clothes in the beginning, middle, and end of a scene - if that morning she pulls a sweater over her head, she better not unzip the sweater when she takes it off and then button it when she gets dressed again after the tryste! - and I've see male characters unzip their pants and then button them up after, which always intrigues me and makes me wonder if the characters haven't switched pants...)
Dora took off her clothes (I'll go back and fill that in later) Zach took off his clothes (idem - depending on what mood I want - did he tear them off? Slowly push his jeans off his hips? etc.) And then the physical act - Who's on top...etc.
She lay on the bed (alright, she's being a passive lover this time - Zach - get to work...) Zach looked at her (time for some visuals) and then knelt on the bed (you sort of have to do this as a movie scene, so you don't have her lying down, him kneeling over her, and then suddenly have her sitting up and running her hands over his chest - for one thing she'd smack him in the chin with her head, and if he's further down, with his head between her thighs, for example, her arms would have to be awfully long to touch his chest. (not to mention it would be awkward)
Anyhow - once the characters have moved in the way they have to, have pretty much finished what they are doing, then I move on to the next scene to keep the story moving forward.
Zach looked at his watch and swore (men always do that - it's not a cliché, honest, lol) Dora sat up and pulled her blouse back on, buttoning it up as quickly as she could. She didn't notice she'd buttoned it wrong...
Then, maybe a day or two later, I'll go back and polish the scene. I'll add the details that make the mood. You have to use the five senses, so there's touch, sight, smell, hearing, and taste. Don't forget any of them. The lighting, the feel of the sheets, Dora's perfume,the taste of Zach's lips...And then I'll go back a third time and see what I can add to make it even more sensual or sizzling.
And that is one way to make a sex scene less intimidating and more technical. If you can look at it as a director looks at a scene through a camera, and then come back to it like an artist touching up a painting, then I think it will be easier to write the scenes that give you trouble.
At any rate, I hope this helps!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Another gorgeous cover

I got this cover from Cerridwen Press for my time travel novel, Angels on Crusade.
It's very evocative and I think it captures the mood of the story perfectly.
When you get the publishing contract, the publisher usually sends you a cover request that you fill out. I'm terrible at covers. I usually just tell the artist, "Do whatever you want - this is the story, here is an excerpt - have fun."
When you do ask for something specific, like in my Secret of Shabaz - they usually do the opposite. For Shabaz I wanted a cover that was wintery - (the whole book takes place during one winter) and I thought blues and grays or silver would look cool and fit the book. I got tropical green and orange.
For Horse Passages I specified that it was a space-cowboy sort of feel - reds, oranges, dusty, desert, cowboys, horses...I got something totally science fiction with horses with huge sparkling horns on their heads (I have no idea where that came from - not in the book - I had to Add them in edits.) All you can do is believe that the publishing company knows best, grin, and bear it. But Book Covers Sell Books.
That is SO true. My Argentine Lover had a terrible cover and I asked (begged) them to change it and they did - and sales shot up.
So you can imagine how happy and excited I was when I got this cover. It is truly beautiful.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Teaching kids the value of Money

I grew up poor. That's nothing big - 90% of everyone in the world grows up poor, and when you're a kid, you don't even notice you're poor.
So it was a surprise when I left school, became a model, and started making money. I got married young and my husband the polo pro earned enough moneyh for us to pay rent and pay our travel expenses (would you believe the polo patrons make the pros pay their travel expenses and rent)
SO...I wanted to raise my kids knowing the value of money. I was very careful about that.
One day we went to a supermarket to shop. My twins wanted some chewing gum so I gave them a five franc piece to put in the gum machine. (about 1$ - it would have bought two balls of gum - outrageouly expensive, no?) Well, the machine ate the money and refused to give the gum.
I went to the machine and jiggled it a bit, reached up under the flap to see if I could get the money or the gum. Nothing. So I went to the checkout and said, "The machine ate 5 francs, I want it back."
The check out girl said, "That's not our machine. It belongs to a private company. We let them put the machines there. But we don't have anything to do with them."
I said, "Just give me the money back and tell the company they owe you five francs."
The checkout girl refused. "Well, it's only five francs," snapped the checkout girl.
I was 8 months pregnat here, wearing my sister-in-laws old dress and my husband's sneakers because my feet were so swollen, and this lady was telling me that it was Only five francs.
I went to the gum machine (and it had wheels), so I started to push it out the door.
The checkout girl stood up and said, "Where are you taking that!"
"Home," I said. "It has My feive franks in it. I'm not leaving it here. I'll give you my name and phone number so the company representative can call me and come get his machine."
"You can't do that!" she shrieked.
"What do you care? You said this had nothing to do with your store." I kept pushing.
The checkout girl knew when she was defeated. She pulled open her cash register and ran after me. "Here! Here is your five francs!"
I took the money and thanked her.
My twins have never forgotten the value of money.
The checkout girl now knows when an 8-month-pregnant woman comes in and asks for something, she better do it or else.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Today I'm a Grape!

I got a lot of work done yesterday on my WIP - a LOT of work. Was amazed at the end of the day when I hit statistics and checked my word count. Somedays just flow like that - and the story is coming along really well.
The only problem is...It's going to be hard to work in a HEA in this story!!!! I had the ending all planned out, but it looks trite, suddenly, and a new ending came to me as I was writing, so now I'm stuck at a fork in the road. Do I make a HEA, or do I make it a Sad but Hopeful ending?
My publishing house has a Happy Ending policy, so I imagine I'll be heading that way, lol. But maybe I'll write both endings and put them both in so that readers can choose. What do you think?

I was cruising the blogs and over on Smart Bitches they had a contest - "Guess Which Title is a FAKE" (all the other ones are real) Yes folks, Harlequin Presents have paid people to think of titles like these, so I copied some down and made up one and here is the contest - guess which title I made up:

Possessed by the Sheikh
The Italian's Stolen Bride
The Ramirez Bride
The Sheikh's Virgin
Innocent as the Night
The Italian Boss's Secret Child
The Greek's Innocent Virgin
Bought: One Bride
The Future King's Bride
The Sheikh's Captive Bride
The Purchased Wife
Expecting The Playboy's Heir

Can you guess which one I made up?

It's Innocent as the Night. There is no Harlequin Presents named that, as far as I could tell with Google. All the rest exist. Honest. If you don't believe me, go to Smart Bitches and see!

And on a lighter note, I was over on Karen's blog and I remembered a story about my son Sebi (there are Lots of stories about him, lol).
He stuck his little arm out one day and said, "Mom, am I always going to be this color?"
I wasn't sure what he meant, so I said, "Well, yes, give or take a bit of tan. Why?"
He looked at me and said, "I was hoping for something a bit brighter."

This is the same Sebi who one morning dressed in purple pants, purple shirt, and purple sweater, and then was looking frantically for his purple socks. I kept trying to give him blue or white ones, and finally he looked at me and yelled, "Those are no good! Today I'm a Grape!"

Monday, November 07, 2005

my husband the polo player

First of all, I know, I should be working. And I will get back to work. Today was rather a bust because my better half otherwise known as my Hubby, was home. If any of you has ever tried to write a novel while sharing a room with a spouse, you will understand when I say it's impossible. It's not because he doesn't understand I need to concentrate. It's just that he can't be in the same room as I am without asking me questions about every five minutes. Or turning on the television, getting up and leaving the room and leaving the TV on, or standing right behind me, looking over my shoulder, reading what I've written in a very serious voice.

He wants attention. And since he's not home that often, I gave up and gave him some attention. Anyhow, as most of you know he's a polo player and travels a lot and is gone a lot, so I am thrilled to have him underfoot. Most people don't know what a polo player implies, except they have visions of very wealthy people galloping around on shiny little steeds called Polo Ponies (they are horses, really. Polo Pony is just what they're called.) But that is only true for a small percentage of polo players. There are the rich and famous, but they are not the professionels, they are the patrons. In fact, professional polo players are horse people, and like most people in the riding and the horse business, it's mostly living on a tight budget but we've been priviledged to live in some gorgeous places, and it's nice to rub elbows with the rich and famous, lol. My husband was 8 goals and now he's 5 goals. Ten is the best you can be, and minus two means you're just starting. It's a lot of fun, can be dangerous, and is gorgeous to watch if you ever get a chance, do go and see a game.

And hardly anyone believes I'm married to a polo player. Once when I was in the supermarket a man came up to me with a clipboard and asked if I would answer a questionaire. I said "Of course!" He started by asking how old I was. I lied, of course, and said 30. He raised his eyebrows, looked at my three kids, and said, "Is that your real age?" I said no, and added two more years. He still didn't believe me so I said, "Well, put down 39, it's close enough." He did, sighed, and asked me if I had any children. I pointed to my three. He put that down on the paper. Then he looked at me and said, "What does your husband do?" Well, that was an easy one. I gave him a big smile and said, "He's a professional polo player."

The man stared at me for a minute. Then he took the paper off the clipboard and tore it right down the middle. "If you're not going to tell the truth, you shouldn't have agree to the questionaire," he snarled, and stomped away, leaving my three kids howling with glee, and my face bright tomato red.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Argentine Lover

I just got news from my publisher that The Argentine Lover - a steamy story of love & polo is now available in paperback! You can get it from or major bookstores

Don't hesitate - it's a great, tender love story and it's got the famous rubber scene in it!
(You want to get it just for the rubber scene, lol)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

How not to work

First of all, I started out with the best intentions. The road to Hell, as you all know, is paved with these. I started work at 8 a.m. and at 10:30 I took a much needed break and took a long walk - it was a sunny, blustery day, the perfect walking day. So off I went - and I didn't get back until lunchtime. After lunch I got some e-mails asking me about a website and newsletter I'm helping with. So I started working on those - and websites are demanding critters. This one had me working all afternoon, but that was OK - I had to take my daughter to the dentist so my procrastinating time was limited.
Or so I thought.
On the way to the dentist office, I found a lost puppy in the middle of the road. The funny thing is - it is the second time I found this puppy - so I stopped and picked her up. But I had to go to the dentist before bringing her back to the vet (who would call her owner - her owner having an unlisted phone number). I would have taken the puppy to her home, but although I knew the person's name, I didn't know their number or address.
Anyhow. While at the dentist with my daughter I called the vet and told her I'd bring the dog right over.
And when I got back out to my car - the dog had eaten my stick shift.
(stop laughing. It's not funny yet.)
I drove to the vet's and she came and got the dog and said that the owner's insurance would pay for the stick shift, and that she would give the owner my telephone so she could call me and thank me.
All this was infringing on my writing time, you realize. My daughter and I get home, I make dinner, then decide to glue my stick shift back together somewhat so I can drive with it. So I get some superglue. (OK, now you can start laughing.) It was dark, the light in my car doesn't work, and I got superglue all over my fingers.
Now I have to unstick my fingers from the stick shift, find the top of the superglue (of course it's black) and make dinner.
And get the glue off my fingers.
It's still hard to type.
Anyhow. The dog's owner called me and thanks me - and talked to me for 45 minutes I am not kidding. I washed the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, redid my desk calendar for November, and redecorated the living room while this lady told me of her doggie woes. Seems this is not the second time the dog has run off. Seems dog runs off every day.
I somehow refrained from telling her the obvious, and listened for 45 minutes going 'hmmmm' and 'ohhhh?' when there was a pause. All this to be nice to make sure she gives me her phone number and agrees to pay for my stick shift. Patience paid off. I am invited for 'cocktails' with the runaway dog's owner - and I just have to bring the bill - I'll get a check. No need to do the insurance thing. Fine with me.
I somehow broke a nail in this whole story (not sure where - prying the dog off my stickshift maybe - or carrying the beast into the vet's office...) and 'whaaaa' it hurts *sniff* to type.
Well, I'm blogging so the pain is obviously bearable. But is it bearable enough for fiction? Will I be able to lose myself in the story and type type type without my heroine rubbing her hand or the hero blowing on his fingers all the time???
The Answer in the Next Blog Episode...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

OK back to work

I have a novel to turn in for December so I have to get cracking.
I have the beginning. I know the end. But what the Heck is going to happen in the middle??
It's a mystery I can't wait to solve. For those who wonder how to write a book, I say, 'There are no rules - Just write.' (Well, rules of grammar, rules about syntax, & rules about spelling that I usually ignore. ) There are 'outliners' who write copious notes and outlines before they start, which I do sometimes, and there are 'seat of the pantsers' who write from a nebulous idea. There are scenists, who write scenes and stitch them together, and there are characterisers (notice all these words I just made up) who take a character and run with him/her and make up a story based on that character.
Well, I've done all of the above. I've started stories from scenes, from characters, from outlines, and from nebulous ideas that struck my fancy.
But I've never had to hand in a whole completed novel in one month.
I might not be as prolific a poster for a while but I will keep you informed of progress!
Today Nov. 1st
Goal: 3,000 words

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Bits and Pieces of News

I've been busy lately. The glorious weather has something to do with it - it's so hard to stay inside when the sun is shining and the breeze is warm. We have been going on long hikes and enjoying this prolonged Indian summer. Today the sky started to darken, and according to the weather reports, rain and cold are on their way back. So I'm glad I did profit from it, as I think this winter will be long, cold, gray and dreary! Here is news from my publishing:

Cerridwen Press will release a new, re-edited 'Angels on Crusade'under my pen name, Samantha Winston. The new cover is stunning - check it out on my website, html:// under My Books - 'Angels on Crusade'.

Also, I have been updating my site and have added many things such as a teacher's guide and discussion topics for 'The Secret ofShabaz', and discussion topics for the upcoming 'Horse Passages'and 'Angels on Crusade', both coming out in December 2005!'

Angels on Crusade' is for older teens and adults.
'Horse Passages' is for all ages.
'The Secret of Shabaz' is for young adults, ages 12 and upward.

I will be participating in the annual NanoWrimo in November, checkout my website front page for further details. Everyone is invitedto participate, and it is a fun challenge for writers of all levelsand genres!

And last but not least, I am joining a YA writer's group and we areconsolidating our newsletters to make something more professionaland fun. I will be switching this newsletter over soon, details for joining are on my jennifer macaire website. The YA website is (soon to and is under construction right now. You can have a look around, but you'll have to be patient for a while beforeit's all finished!

Have a Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Indian Summer

It's been hot and sunny these past few days - today it was in the 80's - a sky so blue it looked like August in Spain.

While I love it, I'm still worried about the warming trend in the climate. Whether or not you think it's caused or made worse by pollution, you can't deny that the polar ice is melting and the weather is becoming more chaotic. With tropical storm Beta forming in the Caribbean, it's time to wonder what the next few years will be like in areas prone to storms and hurricanes.

But today all that seemed far away as we sat outside all day, wasps and butterflies acting slightly bemused, as if they couldn't get over the hot weather either, and dogs lying panting in the shade. We had drinks with friends at 5 pm, sitting outside the pony club, the kids in tee-shirts, the ponies happily grazing in the nearby pasture. My husband gave a polo clinic at my daughter's pony club today and the kids had a great time. The ponies had never seen polo sticks, but they were happy to learn a new game (ponies get bored too!) and everyone had fun and stayed much later than planned. And as we were sitting there after the game, the sun making the dust sparkle in the air and the autumn leaves falling slowly all around us like a colorful ballet, we remarked that the best thing about an Indian summer is its unexpectedness. Last week, when the rain came down in gusts and the hail rattled our windows, we couldn't predict that today we'd be sitting in our short-sleeves, watching the wasps get drunk on hard cider.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

new jeans

I'm sitting here in new jeans today. The last time I bought a pair of pants was two years ago, so this is an 'event', lol. Actually, I didn't buy these. I've been giving English lessons to two adorable children and their father makes jeans. I said I'd work for pants. I often do that - all last year I gave English lessons in exchange for ironing. I love working for what the French call 'troc'. (exchange) It's more fun than getting paid, and when you can help each other out at the same time it's even better. I have five bushels of apples I got when I helped a friend clear out an old orchard, and in exchange for watching three kids today, I got three pumpkins and three winter squash!
In Argentina a couple years ago, when the economy crashed, there was no more money circulating and everyone paid by 'troc'. People baked cakes and made pizzas for example, and brought them to a huge warehouse where other people had knitted sweaters, brought old clothes, or anything they could exchange for something they needed. And while we don't actually go that far here in France, three times a year there are toy, book, and clothing sales where you bring your old, unwanted things to the school gymnasium and either swap or sell what you have.
I wish I could get rid of my sons' old Nintendo games, but they claim they will be worth lots of money in fifty years...

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A rant about women's lib and books...

Real life and fiction are two separate things - we all know that. In fiction, women and men meet, hate each other on sight, sleep together, are separated, get back together and live Happily Ever After. It's called romance, and the formula is employed in one fashion or another in all the romance books published - from 'Forever Amber' to the latest Linda Howard book - and romance books are the bestselling books in America - keep that in mind.
But I wonder what effect all these romance books have on the easily influenced minds of young women all over America. When I hear about the teenage pregnancy rate and the unwed mother rate, and the latest story about the 23 year old woman who tossed her three children into the sea to drown, (if you do your math you'll see that she was only 17 when she had her first child) I wonder if romance books have somehow placed the reality bar too high. The happy-ever-after that these women are longing for never happens for them. They stay unmarried, on welfare, on medicaid, with kids to raise and few people to help them. If someone wants to write a realistic romance, it wouldn't be a very cheerful book.
In reality, young girls fall in love every two weeks or so, while boys just want to screw (I dare you to deny this, young men) and the results are often tragic. With the rise of formula romance books, women's lib fell back - the cult of the alpha male wiping out a decade of education and women's rights gains. Women everywhere read books where a woman's ulitmate 'happy ending' was walking up the church aisle dressed in white. The princess bride, daddy's little girl; the myth of a woman's place in life that had finally been vanquished in the sixties and seventies came back with a vengence. When I go to the US, I am shocked at how woman have slid backwards to the mentality of the fifties, where a woman's place was in her home raising the kids, and the man was superior to woman.
In Egypt right now, a woman is running for a seat in the government on a conservative ticket. This woman is speaking out Against women working, and saying clearly that according to her religion, Islam, men are superior to women. The problem with this picture is that in all religions men are portrayed as being superior to women. What we have to remember is that MEN wrote the bibles and religious law books - not women. For centuries, men have used these books as a way to control women. Now women are writing books that Millions of other women are reading. And instead of using this opportunity to empower women, they are staying within the confines that men have drawn for them.
Give me some examples of romance books (other than Gone with the Wind) that empower women? (and look how hard Scarlet had to fight and how her society looked down on her) In which books do heroines fight for equality and don't see love and marriage as the only goal worth having? In most books I read, the woman is submissive. In real life she is too. In most books I read the future is rarely discussed between couples. The woman invariably has the 'lesser' job (waitress, nanny, secretary, or assistant). Women hardly ever take control of their lives in books. Women often rely on men to help them or get them out of trouble. Women fall in love first.
Only in a romance book will a woman get pregnant and amnesiac and wander off to be found by an unmarried cowboy who is willing to keep her around (for housework? For cooking?) and they will fall in love and somehow it will turn out that the pregnant woman is not already married, and the baby will somehow vanish (miscarriage or some sort of high drama) and the couple will end up HEA...
When are we going to start writing books that empower woman and teach girls that education and ambition are good? When are publishers going to start accepting books that show women kicking the hero out because he's an arrogant and violent, and have her find someone who is intelligent, hard working, and willing to accept her as his equal?
It's no mystery that the best-selling books my erotica publisher has are BDSM - where women are submissive and the males abusive. No matter the authors try to portray the relationship as equal and loving, in reality, the relationship is skewed and demeening.
But more and more women are buying these books, reinforcing their uncounscious feelings of inferiority and need to be punished for their 'sinful' thoughts of their own sexual freedom, which often involve adultery, mulitple partners, and uninhibited sex - but these feelings are not supposed to belong to women, so they fall back on books where woman are beaten and dominated in order to put their own secrets back into their 'proper' place.
In real life relationships are often unequal.
"When," asked an English socialogist, "are women going to hold men responsible for their acts? When will they stop taking resposibility, raising their children, wahsing their clothes, cooking their meals and letting them get away with the myth of 'the Breadwinner'? When you understand that men commit 90% of all violent crimes all over the world - regardless of race, religion, or nationality, you understand that the problem is not with society - the problem is with men."
If women are going to be writing books that other women read, why not write books that address the problem of alpha males instead of celebrating them?

When will our books start being helpful for the 17 year old who has her whole life in front of her - not just a wedding?

Friday, October 21, 2005

short stories

OK - I admit, I love short stories. Ray Bradbury, O. Henry, Dorothy Parker, Saki, Kurt Vonnegut Jr, Philip K. Dick, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Shirley Jackson....I was weaned on these authors and they still inspire and influence me. Short stories are the bones and sinews of my writing life, I build most of my novels off short stories, and I use short stories as outlines and to test plots. If a story doesn't work as a short story - chances are it won't work as a novel. It might be a strange way to look at things, but some of my longest novels have sprung from short stories. If a short story has a beginning, a middle, and an ending, it also needs characters and an epiphany. The characters have to go through an arc of change - the reader too has to be moved by the story - horror, love, sorrow, laughter...all that has to emerge. What are some of your favorite short stories and why?
Mine are The Lottery by Shirley Jackson and The Open Window by Saki.

My father was dying, I was back in town, and the Chinese were hanging around like vultures trying to get his store.
"What ever you do, Paolo, don't sell to the China man." My father's voice was broken by his illness. I had to lean close to hear him.
"Don't worry pa, I won't sell to no China man." I tried to reassure him, but he was inconsolable. The thought of his beloved pasta shop falling into the hands of the 'yellow heathen' was intolerable for him. He fretted and whined all day long, and in the evening when the doctor came to give him his shots and he fell asleep, I'd go for long walks in the old neighborhood now as unfamiliar as a foreign country. Little Italy looked like Hong Kong.

From my short story 'China Doll' in 3 am Magazine

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I have to write something and I'm having a chocolate attack. I want some chocolate!!!
I've been awfully good.
Chinese noodles for lunch. A ham and cheese sandwhich for dinner. An orange and a piece of toast for breakfast...and I want some chocolate. *sob* None in the house.
Now I have to blog hop, so excuse me while I go see what's happening in the world.

Over here in France there is a choco-holic staring at her computer screen dreaming of deep, dark, chocolate. She glances outside and sees trees silhouetted against the dove-gray sky. Her dog sits up and scratches her collar, and then yawns and goes back to sleep, curling up on the tapestry pillow that serves as her bed. The wind pulls a few leaves off the judas tree outside. Autumn has arrived and there are orange and yellow leaves mixed with the green, and the wild grapevine has turned scarlet and looks like a flame on the old stone wall.

Monday, October 17, 2005

New website addy for my alter ego

Well, I think the title says it all.
Please bookmark my new website!
Thank you!

Jennifer Macaire
The Secret of Shabaz
Horse Passages...coming Dec. 2005 from Medallion Press!
Angels on Crusade...coming Dec. 2005 from Cerridwen press!

Friday, October 14, 2005


I'm a pro at procrastination. I have no idea how I get so much done. Maybe it's an art - 'How to do the most with the least effort'. I know I got that comment in school a lot - - and the word 'effort' seemed to crop up a lot. Today I decided I would work hard and finish at least three pages in my zombie book. I got up and turned on the computer. Then I took my daughter to the bus stop and went to the golf course to check on my results for the tournament I played yesterday. Posted on the wall of the clubhouse were the results: seems I won the men's group four in net and brut scores. Well...Fine. But I'm a woman. Even though Sam is a man's name. My husband was with me, and he cracked up. He'd won the men's group one (first series - he plays off a 7 handicap and went down to 5 because he played so well yesterday.) I dropped four points off my handicap (hubby says it's a scandal because my handicap is still so high - but I never play tournaments so that's normal. He turned around and signed me up for the tournament next Thursday) So I have another golf tournament coming up. And the pressure is on...I won my league yesterday. (insert huge grin)
So - back to procrastinating. I leave the golf club and decide to go shopping. Then my daughter calls and I have to pick her up from school. Then I procrastinate some more - - watch the clouds drift by -- and then take my daughter to theater class. On the way I get pulled over by the police, who are doing a routine alcohol test on everyone. I have to chat, of course, and ask if there are lots of alcoholics on the road at 4:30 in the afternoon. After that I don't even get to blow in the little balloon. He waves me on. (My friend Andrea who was stopped right behind me got to blow into the balloon. I told her she looked more like a drinker than I do. I also told her that when I saw her getting pulled over, I told the cop that I knew her, that she had been depressed, and had just seen her coming out of the bar in town. She has promised to get even with me somehow.) Anyhow - we get our kicks where we can in these small towns. It is fun, however, to know everyone.
I have been procrastinating all day. But I have to get my three pages done. So while my chicken is cooking and the virus scanner is running, and the washing machine is going, and my daughter is taking her shower...I will get back to work.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

For Maddy (or how I ended up in France)

I graduated highschool in St. Thomas and wanted to get as far away from the island as possible. The biggest, noisiest, most interesting place for me was New York City, so that's where I headed. I got a job as a salesgirl and thought I'd take a year off before going to college to study to be a veterinarian. I was so sick of school - I just wanted to live a little! Well, to make a long story short, I got fired from my job after just a month because I wouldn't sleep with the boss, and I got in a funk and cut off all my hair, dyed it orange, and went to the grand opening of Fiorucci's in NYC. (this was in 1977 - the Summer of Sam, the summer of the huge heat wave, the winter it snowed buckets - and I was walking around in the snow with boots with no toes...) And at Fiorucci's there were the Sex Pistols, fresh from England, and a ton of photographers. They thought I was a punk from England, and started taking pictures of me. Someone came up to me and asked if I were a professional model and I said no, and the person said he was an agent, and if I wanted, he would sign me up with an agency - all I had to do was come to his place the next day. I said go to Hell you pervert I wasn't born yesterday. Turns out he was a real agent, and he signed me up with Elite. At the agency I said I'd do any work they could find for me - I'd lost my job and I needed to pay my rent, so they sent me to some jobs no one else wanted, and that's how I came to work one day for Avedon, and the rest is history. He called Vogue to tell them to hire me - and when Richard Avedon calls vogue, they listen.
My ageny was thrilled - I was working all the time - but I wanted to travel and they sent my to London, Milan, and then to Paris. I fell in love with Paris, although it wasn't an auspicious arrival - in the middle of a rainstorm and the taxi broke down on the highway. But the city enchanted me, and then I met my husband...and 'voila' as they say in French!
We met in 1979 and married in 1983, and been together ever since!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Computer woes

I need a new computer. Both mine are bugging out on me; my desktop is five years old and keeps crashing, and my laptop has had its keyboard changed once already and it's acting up again - refusing to let me type the letter 'i'.
I thought maybe I could write a new, avant-guarde book without the letter 'i', but that has been done before with the letter 'e', and I can't imagine a more dreadful way to spend my time. Maybe that's what the devil has in mind for me once I get to hell - "You will write a 100,000 word book without the letter 'i', now get to work!"
I suppose if I had eternity and was warm enough, I wouldn't mind so much. That's another problem - it's getting cold and our stone house does not keep warm very well. I go through winter wrapped in big sweaters and usually wear a scarf inside, lol. Well, what do you expect? I grew up in the Caribbean!
Anyhow, if anyone can tell me about Mac computers I'd like some info - is it compatible with my word docs, can I do my website, what software do I need to work?
Any help would be appreciated!!

Friday, October 07, 2005

the Ig Nobels

(I especially like the literature prize for this year)

Dr Abrahams said the Ig Nobels were meant to poke fun at the frustration faced by scientists in their daily work.

"Their job is to try and make sense of things that nobody else can make any sense of," he said. "Persistence is a big part of it but having a sense of humour about constant failure is a terrifically useful thing in that line of work." He ended the ceremony with the traditional call to researchers around the world: "If you didn't win an Ig Nobel prize tonight - and especially if you did - better luck next year."
The winners

Physics: John Mainstone and the late Thomas Parnell of the University of Queensland, for an experiment that began in the year 1927, in which a glob of congealed black tar has been slowly dripping through a funnel at a rate of around one drop every nine years.

Medicine: Greg A Miller of Missouri for inventing Neuticles - artificial replacement testicles for dogs

Literature: The internet entrepreneurs of Nigeria, for using email to distribute a bold series of short stories, thus introducing millions of readers to a cast of rich characters, each of whom requires just a small amount of money so as to obtain access to the great wealth they will share with you.

Peace: Claire Rind and Peter Simmons of Newcastle University for electrically monitoring the activity of a locust's brain cell while it was watching selected highlights from the film Star Wars.

Biology: An international team of scientists and perfumiers for smelling and cataloguing the peculiar odours produced by 131 different species of frogs when the frogs were feeling stressed.

Economics: Gauri Nanda of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for inventing an alarm clock that runs away and hides, thus ensuring that people get out of bed, theoretically adding many productive hours to the work day.

Nutrition: Yoshiro Nakamats of Tokyo for photographing and then analysing every meal he has eaten over 34 years.

Chemistry: Edward Cussler of the University of Minnesota and Brian Gettelfinger of the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin, for settling the scientific question: can people swim faster in syrup or in water?

Agricultural history: James Watson of Massey University, New Zealand, for his scholarly study, The Significance of Mr Richard Buckley's Exploding Trousers.

Fluid dynamics: Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow of International University Bremen, Germany, and the University of Oulu, Finland; and Jozsef Gal of Lorand Eotvos University, Hungary, for using basic principles of physics to calculate the pressure that builds up inside a penguin, as detailed in their report Pressures Produced When Penguins Pooh - Calculations on Avian Defecation.,3605,1586951,00.html

Out, out, damned Spot!

I played Lady Macbeth in our school play, and I loved it. But whenever I think of that line I think of that cartoon with the dog named Spot...anyone see that?
Anyhow, I finally caved in and set my comments section to word verification. My humble apologies to the hurried and dyslexic out there. I know I have to type the damn thing at least twice to get it right - and it keeps changing every time, but sometimes it goes from Lots of letters to very few...
So there I was as Lady Macbeth, coming down the stairs in the darkened theater, rubbing my hands together and bewailing the blood - when the window that had been hung on the wall (to make the stage look like a big castle) comes crashing down at my feet. I didn't miss a line. I stepped over the window, ignored the titters from the audience, and said, 'They just don't make these Scottish castles like they used to," before continuing my speech.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Zombies and such

I'm in the middle of finishing up a book about a zombie. The idea came to me last year and I wrote out an outline (which, when I started the book, died writhing in agony as most of my outlines do, lol) The characters took over and I had to dump a whole chapter where I was desperately trying to follow the outline and my characters were gleefully messing it up. So now I'm just letting my characters lead me along. They are: Jack, a zombie, who has come back for revenge. Brianna, a private detective, who is helping jack with his revenge (and with a few other things) Dee, who owns a nightclub and offers Jack a job as a male stripper (with disasterous consequences) and Mamie Hoya, a voudon queen who just happens to have a zombie handbook for Jack. Also in the book are Ling, necromancer who works at the city morgue, his lovely zombie daughter May, and the terrible mutant Heart Taker, who can move so quickly he is invisible to human sight.
All these characters decided that my outline sucked and did their best to sabatage it, which is how I lost several characters like Charisma Finch, who I will have to put in my next zombie book, and Carlos the cop with x-ray vision...
Well, back to work!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


One of the things I love best is hiking. I'm a typical 'fair-weather' hiker though - and the end of summer - beginning of fall has some of the best hiking weather. My daughter has been a hiker since she could walk, it's nice hiking with kids who don't complain about walking. We live in a very hilly region, and that makes hiking even more fun and the views are incredible. Yesterday we hiked out of the village and down into the valley, up to the plain, towards the golf course, down into the ravine where we hunt for fossils, then up onto the plateau where the farmers are ploughing the fields for the winter already.
If you want to see photos of the hike - go to my Jennifer Macaire web blog and check them out. (then click my web journal)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Jazz concert

Last night my husband and I went to a jazz concert in the village church. To tell you the truth, we had no idea what to expect. The poster said 'Grand Concert de Jazz!' It featured trumpet, saxophone, and vibraphone; and went on to say they played jazz and afro-Cuban music. Well, I love salsa, so I wanted to go. We settled in our seats (the little church was packed, actually) and the band introduced itself - the band leader and trumpetist was very funny. (And a vibrophone is a sort of electric xylaphone, which I didn't know) Anyhow, they warmed up and started off with 'White Christmas.'
They had background music and played over it - so that it sounded just like a big band. They played things like 'The Girl from Ipanema', 'Tristiana', 'Favala', and... my mind just went blank.
Anyhow, it was nice. The trumpet player was excellent, and I love the saxophone. The thing was the 'White Christmas' intro. They hit some off-key notes and I got a serious case of the giggles and had to hide it by pretending I'd had an allergy attack. Then about fifteen minutes later, because of the damp in the church, I did get an allergy attack, so I spent most of the evening buried in my Kleenex. Luckily I was sitting half hidden behind the statue of the Virgin Mary, so I didn't bother anyone. My husband, who I had to drag to the concert, and who'd insisted on sitting right next to the door in case he wanted to bolt, LOVED the music and tapped his feet all night long to the rhythm. Two of our neighbors sat next to us, Jean-Jacques who owns the manor down the hill, and Jacques, my friend Patricia's husband, who is a doctor, and who loves music - any kind of music. I really wanted to hear some salsa and blues, but it was mostly band music. They did play 'When the Saints go Marching In' at the end, and we all went out into the night marching and clapping. It was a lot of fun, actually.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


I like rain when it falls gently on the windows and soaks into the garden, dipping the roses heads, heavy with water, and depositing sparkling droplets on the wide, water-lily-like leaves of my nastertiums. Today the air is misty with rain. The church is shrouded in a gray drizzle, I can hardly see the steeple. I'm going to go make myself another cup of coffee and get some work done while my daughter is asleep...

I got a very odd e-mail this morning. Odd because I am now on someone's mailing list I didn't expect to be on, and odd because it was a really old, bad, dirty joke. So now I have to revise my opinion of this person and wonder why I have suddenly appeared on the mailing list, and how I can tactfully get off it. Since it's a business contact, I don't want to block the mail. But since it's someone I rarely hear from, and who I can call on the phone, it shouldn't matter if I do block the e-mail. Decisions, decisions. This is the second time this has happened. I write a business letter and suddenly get put on a social e-mail list that mostly deals in bad jokes. I have a very particular sense of humor. Jokes I think are hysterical are like this one:

Rumsfeld bursts into the oval office to give George Bush the news that there has been a terrorist attack in South America and that there are three Brazilian people dead.
Bush is very upset and sits with his head in his hands for a couple of minutes, until he finally looks up and asks,"How much is a brazilian?"

Or this one:
I was asked to run a marathon. I said, "Piss off".
They said "come on, it's for spastics and blind kids.
"Then I thought ... fuck, I could win this ...

Anyway, it's something I'll have to think about.

Friday, September 30, 2005

The end of trick or treat

It's autumn and the sky is pale gray. We were outside cutting the hedge and piling brush up to burn. I'm planning a huge bonfire for Halloween. My daughter wants to have a party. It used to be that the village had Halloween here. They invited the kids to dress up and go trick or treating. That was about three years ago, and it lasted only two years
My twins took care of that. The second year they dressed up as terrorists and took all the candy from the people before the crowd of kids came. The French, not having a clue what trick-or-treating was, just handed out whole bags of candy. And the rest of the village kids (about twenty of them, all grouped together) got to each house and found there was no more candy.
I have no excuse for the twins. I also had no idea what they were up to. They dressed (one in army fatigues and one as a black ninja - both with masks and carrying water-squirt guns) and left the house before Julia did. (a small witch with a huge, black wig) The village kids milled around the village square then went off trick-or-treating - and only a very few houses hadn't been raided by the twins.
Once the candy collected, the twins went around terrorizing the small dog and goose population in the village, creating much noise and havoc. They squirted each other and the neighbor's windows, and generally made a nuisance of themselves. They probably were much less bothersome than the teens in the US - from what I see on TV they use eggs, shaving cream, and set things on fire. The twins simply took all the candy and squirted water on everything that moved.
But the mayor and the village fête committee decided that was enough, and banned Halloween. So, we have to have a private Halloween party in our garden. I have a month to plan it. And since the twins are now in college, I may even have enough candy to go around.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


I don't know anything more frustrating than golf.
Well, maybe writing. Or raising kids. Or having your car break down. OK, there are other things more annoying. But for sheer 'I want to take this club and wrap it around your neck' frustration, golf takes the cake. One minute the balls are sailing right on target, the next they are swerving right or left, or plowing through the grass in front of you.
My husband is a golfer. He usually plays off a 5 handicap. He's also very patient and has good advice. But when your ball has just taken a dive into the lake on your left, the last thing you want to hear is, "You lifted your head up."
Smiling and muttering under my breath, I tee up and swing again. This time the ball careens off a nearby tree and disappears into the rough. The rough is what is next to the fairway. The fairway is where you want your ball to go. The rough is, as its name implies, rough. And balls that fall in there usually vanish forever.
And my husband says, "You're swinging too fast. Slow down."
Slow down? What I want to do is scream. Instead I clench my teeth, smile, (after all, it must be torture for him to play with me) and I tee up a third time and hit a perfect shot down the fairway.
"Well, that's better." Hubby smiles.
I wish I knew HOW I DID THAT. But I have no idea. That's golf. Some shots are great, others are in the lake. And in two weeks I have a tournament. Argh!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

in the news this morning

I was reading the news this morning and stumbled upon this little tidbit:

"...It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Experts who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing."

It goes on to say that the US navy won't confirm anything, but a scientist working on the project is worried. My advice - don't go SCUBA diving in the Gulf for a while. (And this is another interesting bit of news that goes with this - a good friend and fellow writer works for the dive and rescue in association with FEMA. He was supposed to go to the coast, was called the day after the hurricane Katrina, and then, mysteriously, his mission was cancelled. Was it because sending SCUBA divers in would be dangerous because of the dolphins?

For more news on the killer dolphins, go to,12271,1577820,00.html

Saturday, September 24, 2005

rubbers and such

I was over posting at Daisy Dexter Dobb's blog and she was saying how some countries had funny words for things, and I remembered this story. It was pretty embarrassing so I bet some of you will think it's funny. I wrote it into one of my books (The Argentine Lover) which just goes to show that you can die of embarrassment and use the story as a whole chapter in a book someday.

My now-husband-then-boyfriend and I were in England and we needed to get a pack of rubbers. He had to play polo that day, (good excuse - he wasn't about to go buy them, the big chicken) so I went with three of my girlfriends. We found a drugstore, and I (already red-faced) leaned over the counter and in a quiet voice asked for a pack of rubbers.
The woman chirped, 'Small, medium, or large?'
As my friends were standing nearby, I was in a dilemma. Large, and they would forever be eying my boyfriend with envy. Small, and I would get the pitying looks. Medium seemed a safe choice. When the salesgirl handed me the package I had a fit of hysteria that got us all kicked out of the drugstore. In England, rubbers are the plastic pants for babies that fit over cotton diapers.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Good news and bad news

Well, the good news is my car can be fixed, so I am happy to report that I will have a car by next week.
The bad news is that my social butterfly scene has been curtailed as hubby has his car and I have none. (I have my bike, but I don't think I'm up to a fifteen mile trek this afternoon.)

I was at the gym this morning and so I'm feeling a bit stiff. Our teacher seems to think we're able to bend like pretzels. I stare at my toes. I know I can touch them (with my legs bent, crouched over...) but no! Straighten those legs! Now, grasp your ankles (huh? How about I grasp my knees?) And touch your toes. (Well, in my dreams.) She also decided that we needed to work out our arm muscles today. So now I'm sure of it - I have absolutely no arm muscles. How that lady in front of me kept turning her arms in circles when my whole back and shoulders had dissolved into burning pain I don't know. I was so jealous - she must have been sixty and had these nice flat shoulder, back, and arm muscles. I comforted myself with the thought that she must have been a farmer's wife and lifted cows all her life.

I will now go outside and admire the nicely mowed lawn. It's a beautiful sunny day, and since I have no car and my social scene has evaporated, I will try and get some work done!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Social Butterfly is Moi

Well, I've been invited to two teas and a lunch for next week, and there is a jazz concert at the church on Saturday I'm planning on going to, as well as the inauguration of the watchtower in our village (soon to be Place Jean le Gros) by a historian who is coming to give a speech at the village on Saturday morning.

It makes my desk calendar look positively busy, with lots of little colored stickers (I use them to mark important events. For example, 'gym, Thur. morn. 9 am' has a yellow sticker on it, and 'Sophie - café' has a pink sticker on it) And there is an orange sticker that moves from day to day, so I know which day we are at a glance. (Today is Wed. 21 and there is a blue sticker with '14:30 sculpture, Julia' on it, and a yellow sticker with 'English lessons, C&D')

Now the big question for a social butterfly is is, what to wear? For the inauguration at the village square, a canvas skirt and woolen jacket seem 'de rigeur', and a hat would be nice. I have a little tween cap that will be perfect. For the jazz concert, something warm, because the church dates from the 9th century and there is NO heating. A big shawl and some black wool pants would be all right. And for the teas - I will have to put on my beige skirt and wear a gray cashmere sweater and a string of pearls. Yesterday I had on my son's green army pants and an old sweat shirt - but I was cleaning house.

Oh, I forgot to mention the lunch at Lynn's house - we're planning to have a lady's get-together after the gym next week. Let's see - that should be a green sticker. And I'll be wearing my jean skirt, a pink and gray sweater, and pearls, of course.
The social butterfly is Moi.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

the two sides of my brain

I have no idea how it happened, but I started writing two books at once.
The first one is outlined down to the chapter titles and has the characters and story all plooted out, although that means nothing in the long-run - outlines tend to die writhing in agony in my books.
The other book just sort of happened as I sat down and opened a blank word Doc. It's coming along quite nicely, thank you, although I have No idea where it's headed. So far the heroine is lying face down on a gravestone after imploring the aid of a certain Capt. Black Jack, pirate extraordinaire - hung until dead aged 31.
Now the strange thing about these tow books is that both have heroes named Jack. So obviously I will have to change one of them. (Capt. Red Roger?) Oh dear. The possibilites with this name are endless.
In the outlined book, I planned lots of fun, inventive love scenes. So far the hero and heroine are not showing the slightest interest in each other. I have tried, through dialogue, to get a spark lit, but to no avail. I may have to resort to councelling, or have the heroine look elsewhere.
In the book with the pirate, he's dead, and yet his interest in the maiden sprawled across his gravestone is almost palpable. I hadn't planned on his avid interest. I should have known better - in book one the hero has only been dead for a year (oh, didn't I mention he was a zombie?) and in book two the hero has been out of commission for over a hundred being real prats about waiting, I really should have seen it coming.
Anyhow, the book I was going to send to EC will certainly end up a YA book at the rate things are going, and the pirate book that I thought would entertain kids will certainly end up at EC where there are big red warnings about not letting kids near the books.
My brain is definitely two-sided. I just hadn't realized how different the two sides were until now!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Walrus and the Carpenter

The Walrus and the Carpenter

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright --
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done --
'It's very rude of him.' she said,
'To come and spoil the fun!'

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead --
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand:
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
'If this were only cleared away,'
They said, 'it would be grand.'

'If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,' the Walrus said,
'That they could get it clear?'
'I doubt it,' said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

'O Oysters, come and walk with us!
The Walrus did beseech.
'A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.'

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head --
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

Out four young Oysters hurried up.
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat --
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more --
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.
'The time has come,' the Walrus said,
'To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot --
And whether pigs have wings.'

'But wait a bit,' the Oysters cried,
'Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!'
'No hurry!' said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

'A loaf of bread,' the Walrus said,
'Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed --
Now, if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.'

'But not on us!' the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
'After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!'
'The night is fine,' the Walrus said,
'Do you admire the view?'

'It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!'
The Carpenter said nothing but
'Cut us another slice-
I wish you were not quite so deaf-
I've had to ask you twice!'

'It seems a shame,' the Walrus said,
'To play them such a trick.
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!'
The Carpenter said nothing but
'The butter's spread too thick!'

'I weep for you,'the Walrus said:
'I deeply sympathize.'
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

'O Oysters,' said the Carpenter,
'You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none --
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.
-- Lewis Carroll

And that's what happened at the UN summit - where the US and Bolton
managed to eat up all the oysters - arms control and global warming among them.
That's what happens when the world's richest nation is run by someone with no grip on reality.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

my workspace

I'm not sure what my workspace says about me. That I'm disorganized, that I can function in a real mess, and that I love clocks and calendars, I suppose.
My favorite clock is the digital one my dad gave me this summer. I'm dyslexic, so I can't read regular clocks (I can, but I can't just glance at it - I have to take my time and figure out what side of the twelve the big hand is...) So this digital clock is great. There's one at the corner of my computer too, and I'm constantly checking them.
I also love calendars. They help keep my schedule somewhat organized. I have three calendars within view - a huge desktop one that I can scribble on, one from Rome that my friend Juliet gave me, and one from Ellora's Cave, with the 'guys' on it, and what makes it fun is that I've Met these guys, so I just love it. I also have a rugby man calander hanging in the kitchen, but that it just for looks. Also in the kitchen is a 6 mos. wall calendar that I use for the school holidays and such.
On the desk are my computer, my printer, a polo trophy full of pens, a wicker basket full of 'stuff' and my three address books. On one side is a magnetic bulletin board with photos stuck to it, an the other are three shelves; one with papers and files, one with books, and one with my floppy disks, my bookmarks, and my stuffed unicorn.
Also on the desk and in no particular order are: a CD rom about dinosaurs and some fossils, a small box of paperclips, my digital camera, a roll of masking tape, my sunglasses, and a pack of tarot cards.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Sometimes I have trouble focusing. (My kids would tell you this is untrue - they claim I have trouble focusing everyday.) But I digress...
It would be nice to have a one track mind. However, I usually find myself thinking about three or four things at once, and doing at least two chores at the same time. It has something to do with a horror of wasted time - if I sit down to write, I have to know that the house is clean (or at laest on its way to clean) the washing machine is running, the dishes are put away, and my clothes aren't all over the floor in the bathroom.
Then I have lists running though my head. Dog food. Don't forget to mail the package for Alex. My editor is expecting the edits back from Paradise Earth - ASAP. What if the hero in my next book couldn't get it up? (OK, the thought did cross my mind - but I write romantic comedy, remember) etc., etc.
That's how my mind works on most days.
And then there are the blessed days, when I can close everything off around me - the TV, the neighbor's very annoying barking dog, my laundry...and concentrate on the story inside my head. On those days, I can write from dawn to dusk. I can sometimes write twenty pages when I'm on a good day.
I wish there were more of those good days. I'm writing a book now and it's funny and sweet and everything I love...but today is one of my scattered days.
The neighbor's dog is barking, I have to help my daughter clean her room, and my car broke down so I have no transportation. The village 'lawn sale' is tomorrow and tonight there is a barb-b-cue and fireworks on the village square - so they are setting up a tent and everything is happening right in front of my house. (And of course I have to watch.)
And I just realized I was blogging.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

a timeline

(Though I didn't write this thing, it's worthwhile seeing it the event you find yourself being swayed by the GOP noise machine):

Friday, August 26 GOV. KATHLEEN BLANCO DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY IN LOUISIANA: [Office of the Governor] GULF COAST STATES REQUEST TROOP ASSISTANCE FROM PENTAGON: At a 9/1 press conference, Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré, commander, Joint Task Force Katrina, said that the Gulf States began the process of requesting additional forces on Friday, 8/26. [DOD]

Saturday, August 27 5AM - KATRINA UPGRADED TO CATEGORY 3 HURRICANE [CNN] GOV. BLANCO ASKS BUSH TO DECLARE FEDERAL STATE OF EMERGENCY IN LOUISIANA: "I have determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments, and that supplementary Federal assistance is necessary to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster." [Office of the Governor] FEDERAL EMERGENCY DECLARED, DHS AND FEMA GIVEN FULL AUTHORITY TO RESPOND TO KATRINA: "Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency." [White House]

Sunday, August 28 2AM - KATRINA UPGRADED TO CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE [CNN] 7AM - KATRINA UPGRADED TO CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE [CNN] MORNING - LOUISIANA NEWSPAPER SIGNALS LEVEES MAY GIVE: "Forecasters Fear Levees Won't Hold Katrina": "Forecasters feared Sunday afternoon that storm driven waters will lap over the New Orleans levees when monster Hurricane Katrina pushes past the Crescent City tomorrow." [Lafayette Daily Advertiser]
9:30 AM - MAYOR NAGIN ISSUES FIRST EVER MANDATORY EVACUATION OF NEW ORLEANS: "We're facing the storm most of us have feared," said Nagin. "This is going to be an unprecedented event." [Times-Picayune]
4PM - NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES SPECIAL HURRICANE WARNING: In the event of a category 4 or 5 hit, "Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks, perhaps longer. . At least one-half of well-constructed homes will have roof and wall failure. All gabled roofs will fail, leaving those homes severely damaged or destroyed. . Power outages will last for weeks. . Water shortages will make human suffering incredible by modern standards." [National Weather Service]
AFTERNOON - BUSH, BROWN, CHERTOFF WARNED OF LEVEE FAILURE BY NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER DIRECTOR: Dr. Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center: "'We were briefing them way before landfall. . It's not like this was a surprise. We had in the advisories that the levee could be topped.'" [Times-Picayune; St. Petersburg Times]
LATE PM - REPORTS OF WATER TOPPLING OVER LEVEE: "Waves crashed atop the exercise path on the Lake Pontchartrain levee in Kenner early Monday as Katrina churned closer." [Times-Picayune] APPROXIMATELY 30,000 EVACUEES GATHER AT SUPERDOME WITH ROUGHLY 36 HOURS WORTH OF FOOD [Times-Picayune]

Monday, August 29 7AM - KATRINA MAKES LANDFALL AS A CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE [CNN] 8AM - MAYOR NAGIN REPORTS THAT WATER IS FLOWING OVER LEVEE: "I've gotten reports this morning that there is already water coming over some of the levee systems. In the lower ninth ward, we've had one of our pumping stations to stop operating, so we will have significant flooding, it is just a matter of how much." [NBC's "Today Show"] MORNING - BUSH CALLS SECRETARY CHERTOFF TO DISCUSS IMMIGRATION: "I spoke to Mike Chertoff today - he's the head of the Department of Homeland Security. I knew people would want me to discuss this issue [immigration], so we got us an airplane on - a telephone on Air Force One, so I called him. I said, are you working with the governor? He said, you bet we are." [White House] MORNING - BUSH SHARES BIRTHDAY CAKE PHOTO-OP WITH SEN. JOHN MCCAIN [White House]
11AM - BUSH VISITS ARIZONA RESORT TO PROMOTE MEDICARE DRUG BENEFIT: "This new bill I signed says, if you're a senior and you like the way things are today, you're in good shape, don't change. But, by the way, there's a lot of different options for you. And we're here to talk about what that means to our seniors." [White House]
LATE MORNING - LEVEE BREACHED: "A large section of the vital 17th Street Canal levee, where it connects to the brand new 'hurricane proof' Old Hammond Highway bridge, gave way late Monday morning in Bucktown after Katrina's fiercest winds were well north." [Times-Picayune]
11:30AM - MICHAEL BROWN FINALLY REQUESTS THAT DHS DISPATCH 1,000 EMPLOYEES TO REGION, GIVES THEM TWO DAYS TO ARRIVE: "Brown's memo to Chertoff described Katrina as 'this near catastrophic event' but otherwise lacked any urgent language. The memo politely ended, 'Thank you for your consideration in helping us to meet our responsibilities.'" [AP]
2PM - BUSH TRAVELS TO CALIFORNIA SENIOR CENTER TO DISCUSS MEDICARE DRUG BENEFIT: "We've got some folks up here who are concerned about their Social Security or Medicare. Joan Geist is with us. . I could tell - she was looking at me when I first walked in the room to meet her, she was wondering whether or not old George W. is going to take away her Social Security check." [White House]
9PM - RUMSFELD ATTENDS SAN DIEGO PADRES BASEBALL GAME: Rumsfeld "joined Padres President John Moores in the owner's Petco Park." [Editor & Publisher]

Tuesday, August 30 : 9AM - BUSH SPEAKS ON IRAQ AT NAVAL BASE CORONADO [White House] MIDDAY - CHERTOFF FINALLY BECOMES AWARE THAT LEVEE HAS FAILED: "It was on Tuesday that the levee-may have been overnight Monday to Tuesday-that the levee started to break. And it was midday Tuesday that I became aware of the fact that there was no possibility of plugging the gap and that essentially the lake was going to start to drain into the city." [Meet the Press, 9/4/05]
PENTAGON CLAIMS THERE ARE ENOUGH NATIONAL GUARD TROOPS IN REGION: "Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said the states have adequate National Guard units to handle the hurricane needs." [WWL-TV]
MASS LOOTING REPORTED, SECURITY SHORTAGE CITED: "The looting is out of control. The French Quarter has been attacked," Councilwoman Jackie Clarkson said. "We're using exhausted, scarce police to control looting when they should be used for search and rescue while we still have people on rooftops." [AP]
U.S.S. BATAAN SITS OFF SHORE, VIRTUALLY UNUSED: "The USS Bataan, a 844-foot ship designed to dispatch Marines in amphibious assaults, has helicopters, doctors, hospital beds, food and water. It also can make its own water, up to 100,000 gallons a day. And it just happened to be in the Gulf of Mexico when Katrina came roaring ashore. The Bataan rode out the storm and then followed it toward shore, awaiting relief orders. Helicopter pilots flying from its deck were some of the first to begin plucking stranded New Orleans residents. But now the Bataan's hospital facilities, including six operating rooms and beds for 600 patients, are empty." [Chicago Tribune]
3PM - PRESIDENT BUSH PLAYS GUITAR WITH COUNTRY SINGER MARK WILLIS [AP] BUSH RETURNS TO CRAWFORD FOR FINAL NIGHT OF VACATION [AP] Wednesday, August 31 TENS OF THOUSANDS TRAPPED IN SUPERDOME; CONDITIONS DETERIORATE: "A 2-year-old girl slept in a pool of urine. Crack vials littered a restroom. Blood stained the walls next to vending machines smashed by teenagers. 'We pee on the floor. We are like animals,' said Taffany Smith, 25, as she cradled her 3-week-old son, Terry. . By Wednesday, it had degenerated into horror. . At least two people, including a child, have been raped. At least three people have died, including one man who jumped 50 feet to his death, saying he had nothing left to live for. There is no sanitation. The stench is overwhelming."" [Los Angeles Times, 9/1/05]
PRESIDENT BUSH FINALLY ORGANIZES TASK FORCE TO COORDINATE FEDERAL RESPONSE: Bush says on Tuesday he will "fly to Washington to begin work.with a task force that will coordinate the work of 14 federal agencies involved in the relief effort." [New York Times, 8/31/05]
JEFFERSON PARISH EMERGENCY DIRECTOR SAYS FOOD AND WATER SUPPLY GONE: "Director Walter Maestri: FEMA and national agencies not delivering the help nearly as fast as it is needed." [WWL-TV]
80,000 BELIEVED STRANDED IN NEW ORLEANS: Former Mayor Sidney Barthelemy "estimated 80,000 were trapped in the flooded city and urged President Bush to send more troops." [Reuters]
3,000 STRANDED AT CONVENTION CENTER WITHOUT FOOD OR WATER: "With 3,000 or more evacuees stranded at the convention center - and with no apparent contingency plan or authority to deal with them - collecting a body was no one's priority. . Some had been at the convention center since Tuesday morning but had received no food, water or instructions." [Times-Picayune]
5PM - BUSH GIVES FIRST MAJOR ADDRESS ON KATRINA: "Nothing about the president's demeanor. - which seemed casual to the point of carelessness - suggested that he understood the depth of the current crisis." [New York Times]
8:00PM - CONDOLEEZZA RICE TAKES IN A BROADWAY SHOW: "On Wednesday night, Secretary Rice was booed by some audience members at 'Spamalot!, the Monty Python musical at the Shubert, when the lights went up after the performance." [New York Post, 9/2/05]
9PM - FEMA DIRECTOR BROWN CLAIMS SURPRISE OVER SIZE OF STORM: "I must say, this storm is much much bigger than anyone expected." [CNN]

Thursday, September 1 8AM - BUSH CLAIMS NO ONE EXPECTED LEVEES TO BREAK: "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." [Washington Post]
CONDOLEEZZA RICE VISITS U.S. OPEN: "Rice, [in New York] on three days' vacation to shop and see the U.S. Open, hitting some balls with retired champ Monica Seles at the Indoor Tennis Club at Grand Central." [New York Post]
STILL NO COMMAND AND CONTROL ESTABLISHED: Terry Ebbert, New Orleans Homeland Security Director: "This is a national emergency. This is a national disgrace. FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control. We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can't bail out the city of New Orleans." [Fox News]
2PM - MAYOR NAGIN ISSUES "DESPERATE SOS" TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: "This is a desperate SOS. Right now we are out of resources at the convention centre and don't anticipate enough buses. We need buses. Currently the convention centre is unsanitary and unsafe and we're running out of supplies." [Guardian, 9/2/05]
2PM - MICHAEL BROWN CLAIMS NOT TO HAVE HEARD OF REPORTS OF VIOLENCE: "I've had no reports of unrest, if the connotation of the word unrest means that people are beginning to riot, or you know, they're banging on walls and screaming and hollering or burning tires or whatever. I've had no reports of that." [CNN]
NEW ORLEANS "DESCEND[S] INTO ANARCHY": "Storm victims were raped and beaten, fights and fires broke out, corpses lay out in the open, and rescue helicopters and law enforcement officers were shot at as flooded-out New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday. 'This is a desperate SOS,' the mayor said." [AP]
CONDOLEEZZA RICE GOES SHOE SHOPPING: "Just moments ago at the Ferragamo on 5th Avenue, Condoleeza Rice was seen spending several thousands of dollars on some nice, new shoes (we've confirmed this, so her new heels will surely get coverage from the WaPo's Robin Givhan). A fellow shopper, unable to fathom the absurdity of Rice's timing, went up to the Secretary and reportedly shouted, 'How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!'" [Gawker]
MICHAEL BROWN FINALLY LEARNS OF EVACUEES IN CONVENTION CENTER: "We learned about that (Thursday), so I have directed that we have all available resources to get that convention center to make sure that they have the food and water and medical care that they need." [CNN]

Friday, September 2 : ROVE-LED CAMPAIGN TO BLAME LOCAL OFFICIALS BEGINS: "Under the command of President Bush's two senior political advisers, the White House rolled out a contain the political damage from the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina." President Bush's comments from the Rose Garden Friday morning formed "the start of this campaign." [New York Times, 9/5/05]
9:35AM - BUSH PRAISES MICHAEL BROWN: "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job." [White House, 9/2/05]
10 AM - PRESIDENT BUSH STAGES PHOTO-OP "BRIEFING": Coast Guard helicopters and crew diverted to act as backdrop for President Bush's photo-op.
BUSH VISIT GROUNDS FOOD AID: "Three tons of food ready for delivery by air to refugees in St. Bernard Parish and on Algiers Point sat on the Crescent City Connection bridge Friday afternoon as air traffic was halted because of President Bush's visit to New Orleans, officials said." [Times-Picayune]
LEVEE REPAIR WORK ORCHESTRATED FOR PRESIDENT'S VISIT: Sen. Mary Landrieu, 9/3: "Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment." [Sen. Mary Landrieu]
BUSH USES 50 FIREFIGHTERS AS PROPS IN DISASTER AREA PHOTO-OP: A group of 1,000 firefighters convened in Atlanta to volunteer with the Katrina relief efforts. Of those, "a team of 50 Monday morning quickly was ushered onto a flight headed for Louisiana. The crew's first assignment: to stand beside President Bush as he tours devastated areas." [Salt Lake Tribune; Reuters]
3PM - BUSH "SATISFIED WITH THE RESPONSE": "I am satisfied with the response. I am not satisfied with all the results." [AP]

Saturday, September 3: SENIOR BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL LIES TO WASHINGTON POST, CLAIMS GOV. BLANCO NEVER DECLARED STATE OF EMERGENCY: The Post reported in their Sunday edition "As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said." They were forced to issue a correction hours later. [Washington Post, 9/4/05]
9AM - BUSH BLAMES STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS: "[T]he magnitude of responding to a crisis over a disaster area that is larger than the size of Great Britain has created tremendous problems that have strained state and local capabilities. The result is that many of our citizens simply are not getting the help they need." [White House, 9/3/05]

All in all - the elements of disaster and neglect pile up in damning evidence against a man who has never cared about the people of the United States - he has only cared about his oil business and getting revenge on Saddam Hussein.

And on a really scary note - the creepy, creepy Carlysle Company is now in charge of WMD creation in the US.
Please, Please America - get rid of this company NOW before they take over the earth.