Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
You can read the whole thing HERE, but here is the end quote which I will now tattoo on my left shoulder...
"...I have to hand it to author Samantha Winston - My Fair Pixie is splendorous laugh-a-minute affair that is so naughty all over the place and so unexpectedly tender at other places. This is simply fabulous fun from start to finish. Love it, love it, love it!"
Well, actually, I'm really pleased she liked it. She has reviewed another book of mine a few years ago and didn't like it - but you know what they say - no publicity is bad publicity. (Or do they say something else?) At any rate, doing a little happy dance in the rain here (well, until Mrs. Giggles reviews another book and gives it a 02, lol. You know, life is short, so I will dance to a good review while I can!)
1: Princess Shari gave a very unladylike curse as her private spaceship, the SS Marissa, hit a zone of turbulence due to a small, magnetic storm.
(The Frog Prince from Planet Marecage - Ellora's Cave)
2: The centaur was dreaming again.
(Paradise Earth II Revelations - Changeling Press)
3: He had blond hair, bleached almost white by salt water, and turquoise chips for eyes.
(Virtual Murder - Loose Id)
4: The nurse in charge of freezing my molecules inserted a glowing needle into my arm and had
me count backwards from ten.
(Angels on Crusade - Cerridwen Press)
5: The Scottish landscape rolled by.
(Battle's bride - Loose Id)
6: Steele heard a steady thumping first.
(Time Tracker - Loose Id)
7: “Your bath is ready, my lord.”
(Diamina - Ellora's Cave)
8: Darla Rooderville stared at her best friend in disbelief.
(Darla's Valentine - Simon and Schuster or Ellora's Cave)
9: The dangerous part was next.
(Renegade Aquarius - Ellora's Cave)
10:Agony unlike anything he’d ever felt tore through his body.
(Llewellyn's Song - Ellora's Cave)
11: Mitch stared at his huge cock.
(The Phallus from Dallas - Ellora's Cave)
12: What does a five hundred year old, incredibly cultured male vampire want?
(My Fair Pixie - Ellora's Cave)
I was thinking of getting business cards for Calderwood. I want to stress the fact that e-books don't pollute. No trees are killed, no fuel is burned transporting the books, no chemical inks are used...but if I order business cards made from paper and shipped from the US, I'm polluting.
I thought I'd send these virtual business cards to the Calderwood authors so they can use them in their e-mails or print them out themselves. What do you think?
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Time to get to my TBR pile, starting with Summer Devon's book. (Review next week!)
Also in line are two Terry Pratchett novels: Soul Music and The Truth, and a Colin Bateman novel: Turbulent Priests.
So think of me curled up in my chair (or reading on my computer) while the clouds darken the sky and sheets of rain pour off my roof. The trees are wet and shiny, the flowers have shredded like crepe paper, and the dogs sit next to the door and sigh loudly, wet paw marks showing that they've been outside this morning. Last night the electricity went off twice, but came back on before we had time to find the matches to light our candles. Bright puddles greeted me when I went outside to take the garbage out this morning, and my yellow roses have lost their fragile petals to the driving rain.
But I bet it makes all the seeds I planted grow!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
I've bought a new hat every year since I can remember. It can be straw, or cloth, or a cap, or whatever. Last year's hat was a floppy red cloth hat. The year before it was an even floppier pink hat made with woven yarn, and the year before that, it was a straw hat with a green ribbon.
My new hat is chic.
Is there something that you do that marks the begining of summer?
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
But after the flowers I planted grow, this will be a mass of bright colors (I made sure to add marigolds to the seed mix - if nothing else grows, they will, lol.)
Then today, I started to mow the lawn in the back, and since I can't start something and not finish, I finished the whole lawn, then weedwhacked, trimmed, weeded, and cut the nettles under the fig tree. Now I am again covered with nettle rash and bug bites, and looking forward to another night tossing and turning...and itching. But doesn't the garden look nice?
Monday, May 21, 2007
Passport - The US only accepts machine readable passports now, so Tony needs to get a new passport. It takes two weeks.
Plane Ticket - He has to pay a 100 euro penalty in order to change the date. I hope he can get a flexible date, because the passport can take longer than 2 weeks.
My daughter and I are going to the states on June 22, and I checked our passports. They are fine.
I missed my plane once. (overslept)
Twice I arrived very, very late, and the plane was held up while I dashed to the gate.
Once the plane was already on the runway, and they stopped it and let me get on. (At a small airport)
Once the radio wasn't working and everyone had to get off and get on a new plane.
Once the brakes didn't work, and we had to wait in the airport while they got fixed - and they we watched as they took off and landed our plane three times in a row.
Once we had an emergency landing. We ditched the fuel, turned around to land back at the ariport we'd just left, and there were eight fire trucks driving along the runway as we landed.
Once we had a bomb scare and everyone was taken off the plane by policemen with machine guns and dogs, and we stood on the tarmac a distance from the plane while the police emptied the baggage and the dogs sniffed everything.
Once I was in a brand new plane. It was for a short flight from Paris to London. I was reading a newspaper, and it said that the plane I was in had been taken off the long distance lines because it did unexpected barrel rolls. I asked the stewardess if that was true, and she said "Yes, so don't unfasten your seatbelt."
Once I met a man in the plane, and somehow he found out it was my birthday. (I think it was when I was filling out the custom's form with my passport.) He asked the stewardess to get me a peice of cake with a candle and a glass of champagne while I slept. When I woke up, she brought it to me. I was really touched.
The man was from Brazil. I didn't speak Portugese and he ddin't speak English. We had some trouble communicating, but this is what I found out. He was coming to Paris because his son had been killed in an accident. His son had been working on a construction site in Paris. I knew a Brazilian woman who lived in Paris, so I called her when I got to the airport and I took a taxi with the man to her house. She took care of him during the time he was in Paris. She took him to the Brazilian embassy and helped him get everything organized. She made sure he was never alone. Before he left, we had dinner together and he gave me a good luck charm.
I still have it.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Aspiring writers everywhere will miss her wry comments, Snarkisms, Snarklings, and Killer Yapp. (And George Clooney. Whatever else you can say about Miss Snark - she has good taste in men!)
I'll miss the cocking of the clue gun, but I suppose that if you go through the archives, she's probably answered every question there is about finding an agent. She will leave the blog up, so the archives will be available (thank you, Miss Snark!)
I like the fact that she managed to remain anonymous in the small workd of publishing. (How did she manage that?) I think she might have had secret agent training...
And I loved the contests (so many talented people read her blog) and I found new friends in the comment section (waving to Bernita, Orion, and many, many more.)
I will miss checking on the 'nitwit of the day', and hearing about Killer Yapp.
I can't imagine anyone taking her place!
Goodbye Miss Snark!
I can understand the short lived part. After three days with three dinners, two lunches, a play, and a party, I'm feeling decidedly run down. The butterfly's colors have faded, she can hardly move her wings. And I drank a bit too much wine last night, so this butterfly is looking for some Alka Seltzer as well.
I'm not a social butterfly by nature. But I do have fun at parties and I love having friends over for lunch and dinner. I really do love stopping in for a cup of tea and chatting with my neighbors. But it takes a lot out of me. Last night was lovely. I met interesting people at a famous writer's house (Jeanne Champion) and listened while Ms. Champion read passages from her latest book She gave me a copy, so my TBR pile has just grown another inch.
Yesterday afternoon I had a wonderful 'girls' lunch with Andrea, Corinne, and Anne Marie. I made crab quiche and salad, and Corinne bought her famous cheesecake. And before that, I had a dinner in Paris, a party in a nearby village, a family lunch, and my daughter was in a play!
Tomorrow I'm taking my son to the airport. His visit is already over. It was a whirlwind of lunches and dinners, and already it seems like a dream. I wanted to sit down and talk to him, and hardly got time to do that. I suppose today we'll have some time. (I hope). Social butterflies must make terrible mothers.
I am going to take my wings off, fold them, and put them away.
And find some Alka Selter.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Truth is I'm not that smart!
The participation rules are simple:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote. Here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog.
(Optional, what do you mean, optional?)
So here are my five blogs:
Chez Flo (chroniqeuses sans tabou!) A very interesting blog by my friend Flo, who loves to chat about politics, movies, and things happening in France and the rest of the world. (plus it's in French, so it really makes me think as I have to read slower and translate it, lol)
Kate R (I think we were twins separated at birth, but that's not why I picked her.) She's just cool and always has something interesting to say.)
Doug - if Doug doesn't make you think, (and laugh) then nobody can. :-)
Rhian has such a cool life and meets such cool people, that I wish I could switch places with her for a couple days (weeks, years, lol!)
John Nez - artist, illustrator, and all around nice guy.
And I could easily go on and on, and post all the blogs I have linked on my side, because they all make me think, laugh, and wish they were my neighbors so I could drop by for a cup of tea and a long chat.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
(Love that word, lol.)
December chimed in saying she loved the tortured hero, and I have to admit, that to a certain extent, so do I. (Heathcliff, anyone?) However, there are tortures and tortures, and Bernita is right when she says she'd like to see more heros with a problem past who turned out to be perfectly normal. Hallelujah! I have been thinking the same thing.
I was thinking that because my daughter is in seventh grade. (12) Age of rampant hormones and trying to learn all about algebra and human relations at once. Suddenly words like prostitute are heard at the dinner table, as questions come from left field. What is the difference between a prostute and a whore and a bitch? my daughter wanted to know today at lunch. Turns out several boys in her class have started calling all the girls whores. My first reaction is anger - who called my daughter a whore? I will knock his new teeth out. Then I realize the kid is 12, like my daughter, and probably is having the same sort of identity crisis and vocabulary crisis to go along with it. And all these kids come home with tragic looks on their faces. "Mom, so and so did (said) this to me!" And it's a Drama each evening, and each day they start anew. High drama in the junior high. I admire the teachers who have to navigate the teens through this difficult period.
And the drama often reminds me of the tortured heros and neurotic heroines I sometimes come across in books. The hero who can't stop insulting women. The heroine for whom every set back means a torrent of tears. I think it's because romance heros and heroines tend to be young.
Sometimes, as with my daughter, I wish they would grow up though.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
We met at the polo club. I watched him play the first weekend, but didn't get to meet him. He broke his arm the next week, and so I got talk to him. Well, sort of talk. My French was limited to 'left, right, and fall down'. His English was what he'd picked up in highschool. (Actually not so bad. And we didn't fight for YEARS - I'd start shouting in English, and he'd look at me and say, Doing de doing de doing." His imitation of a mad American. )
Happy Birthday Stef!
Andie, Stef, and me at the polo field in Deauville. It was cold that month!
Stef with our daughter at the cross country course this year.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Saturday, May 12, 2007
The funny thing is, I don't remember having allergies as a kid. Then again, I was always sick with a sore throat or earache, and according to my doctor here, it could have been allergies. When I lived in St. Thomas, there wasn't the same sort of pollen, so I never noticed. The worst was when I was in Argentina one spring. I had terrible allergies and spent most nights chugging down cough medicine, thinking it was bronchitis.
Now I know what it is, (I have the most common of allergies - grass pollen and tree pollen.) and I have my miracle pills. They take away the sneezing, the earache, the sore throat, the runny eyes and nose. Amazing. They also make me feel as if I should be sleeping, or if I AM sleeping, and all this is a slightly fuzzy dream.
I am wondering if I can get any work done today. Yesterday I had to drive my daughter around, and I was terrified I'd fall asleep at the wheel. I fell asleep at nine last night, and dragged myself out of bed at ten this morning (it's a weekend, I can do this, lol.) But I feel like I'm underwater. My head is both clear and yet fuzzy. The allergy pills are probably too strong and I should get some....*snore* ...............
..........*huh?* Oh, where was I?
Yes, new allergy medicine.
That's how I feel. I can keep an idea in my head for about two minutes. It's very frustrating.
And I keep yawning.
OK - time for some More Coffee (Have you sever seen anyone with coffee tremors who kept falling asleep?)
I also got a request for a full from my query and sent off the wrong manuscript. (not entirely wrong - I sent off an earlier version when I had the corrected and perfect version ready. This will teach me to keep all my versions in the same folder.) I debated about writing back to the agent and explaining, and then thought, what the hell, it's only a slightly less perfect version. And then my mind skipped to other things.
I'm beginning to think that these pills aren't so bad after all. They don't let me worry.
I can't concentrate enough to worry.
Anyhow, if the agent I sent the full to is reading this blog, please be advised that there is a slightly better version available, where for example, I got rid of that silly typo in the second chapter that made my hero's dog glow instead of growl.
My mother reads my blog. She called me from the US to tell me I've misplaced another modifier.
Hat's off to whoever spots it!
I won't correct it. Yes it makes me look like a ditz - but it's funny.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
On the left is a bare wall. It was like the wall facing it - covered with ivy. We removed it. Now we have to do the other side. Ivy is pretty, but it has a bad habit of not knowing when to stop. If we let it, it will take over the world. There is a rabbit hutch under the ivy just behind my flower bed. It's a little brick hut, and very cute, but you can't see it any more.
And what happens when you finish working on the garden? You go inside, lol. Well, it was getting very hot and buggy and the grass and nettles were in our clothes and itching. So we didn't hang out in the garden going 'ohhhh!'
We do, however. Here are some pictures of my sister, my daughter, and I hanging out in the garden on a summer night.
Oh wait, that's Versailles!
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
1.Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
Eight things about 'Moi'!
1. I'm a Leo - that says it all.
2. I'm also the Chinese sign of the Rat. Talk about a shock to the Leo, lol. The rat part of me keeps my feet on the ground. The Leo part of me snobs the rat. They always bicker.
3. Leo likes loud music and parties, rat hates noise and fuss. Luckily Leo sits on rat when we go out, and we usually have a great time. Rat sulks.
4. The Leo in me insists that the house be clean at all times. The Leo also insists I get a maid. The rat in me just passed out. Thrift is the rat's middle name.
5. I clean my own house. The Leo in me wails 'At least wear gloves so you don't ruin your manicure!' The rat snears.
6. The Leo in me loves jewelry. The rat in me hocks it whenever we need rent money. I bought two pearl neckaces for 15$ each. The Leo in me was horrified. Only 15$? They must be fakes. I hocked them for 60$. The rat in me sang all the way home. Leo sulked.
7. One of my cashmere sweaters got a hole in it. "Throw it out!" cried Leo. "Wear it to gym," said the rat. I wear it to my gym class. Leo is secretly thrilled.
8. Leos and rats both like good food. They seem to agree that chocolate is next to Nirvana. At least they got Something right!
Wyn, Doug, Kate R., John Nez, Bernita, December, Lyn Cash, & Seeley!
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
This morning it rained, but it's lovely and sunny out now. My daughter is playing with Auguste, who has a favorite toy. (An eviscerated soccer ball) He runs after it, grabs it, then tries to sneak it into the house. He's not very good at sneaking. One method is to run as fast as he can (with his short stumpy legs he doesn't go very fast!) and try to rush into his dog crate. But the door is too small for the soccer ball, and he always gets stuck, which gives us a chance to swoop in and grab it. (And throw it back outside.)
Here is Auguste running into the kitchen. You can see the hallway where my son leaves his running shoes, and where my daughter tossed her rollerblades and backpack. The blue bed is the dog's bed in the kitchen fireplace. Can you spot the picture of my husband and me on our wedding day?
My daughter throws the ball back into the garden - Auguste is ready to go get it!
Monday, May 07, 2007
His first move will probably be lowering taxes, starting with those of 'big businesses' and helping the wealthy. This will spark resentment and make any other changes he has in mind more difficult. His next move will be to try and appease the youth of France - (over 75% of the 25 and younger voted for Segolin Royal because of her platform on new jobs.) He will probably make some sort of law about the working contracts, which give experience (but not jobs) to young job seekers. What he will need to do is abolish them completely, but I doubt he will. The universities will be watching him closely, as they have demanded more independence, and he has promised to give it to them.
He will try to break up the strong French unions. In that, he will fail. He will also try to install what he calls a 'minimum service' law, to insure service during strikes (he's already afraid of the strikes to come.) But unless he mobilizes the military, like they do in the US, he won't get far.
He will raise the cost of alcohol and cigarettes to pay for his tax cuts.
He will try to raise the price of diesal, will fail, and will raise the price of gas. He will say it's to help combat global warming, which is one of his rallying cries.
He will scuttle the 35 hour work week, and will probably make a wage freeze. My husband says he will not send troops to Iraq, but I can predict he'll send one of our warships over to the Gulf to 'help out'.
He's a very smart guy, and I can't stand him, but I'm willing to wait and see. France needs a financial makeover in order to open the market so that the young can get jobs. Unfortunately, Sarko will not help there. France's institutions are frozen by cronyism, and the rich help the rich, while the public sector is completely overblown and rusted shut. No one can get in or out.
We have a great educational system and wonderful healthcare, and I doubt that will change. But it might be harder for immigrants to get jobs, the young will get more and more dissatisfied, and there will be a few years of 'thin cow', as the French like to say.
But maybe a thin cow will be more lively and stronger than the fat cow we have right now.
So what are a few strikes?
Good Luck Sarko!
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Click on the link above. It will take you to a small video showing a big glass box perched on a pillar in Clichy, Paris.
I found this on Verilion's blog. (she lives in Paris! Quite a co-inkydinky, as my friend Patty likes to say!)
Anyhow, here is the game.
What would you do if you came upon the box?
(I would climb in it, and start shouting, "Beam me up, Scotty!!")
What would YOU do?
Saturday, May 05, 2007
She has an interesting interview up with a best selling author.
The best selling author is telling Kate that her success is owed to LUCK and to BRANDING.
All sorts of images came to mind.
- A hefty cowgirl being singled out of the pack, tossed to the ground and branded with a red-hot iron. 'Romance Best Seller!' - Right on her plump rear.
- A woman wrapped in shiny cellophane, with heart-shaped pink labels advertising romance stuck in strategic places, a bright smile firmly pasted on pink lips. (not too much lipstick - we said romance, not erotica.)
- Betty Crocker. (All right, silly, I know, but whenever I think of branding I think of Betty Crocker. This time she's not holding a cookbook, she's holding a romance book, and she's wearing rhinestone festooned glasses.)
After the images came to mind, my mind (in typical Sam fashion) rebelled. I've always been a good girl striving desperately for a 'bad girl' image, lol. What? Branded? And you can't express any opinions? And you must be careful not to project any other image except that of your books??
(Already I'm starting to feel schizophrenic - I write erotica, mainstream, and YA fiction, science fiction, high fantasy, contemporary, urban fantasy, historical and paranormal...what on earth kind of brand would I get? I'm guessing it won't be pink and heart-shaped.)
I have strong opinions about things. I'm also open minded and can be swayed by a good argument. I love a good argument. But that's not the point of this blog. You can't really have a good argument on a blog - you can only post your opinions, get misunderstood, get into hot water, and decide it's better to stick with recipes by Betty Crocker.
But the best selling author did have a point when she insisted on having a good image. I just suppose that the last thing I want (sorry) is to be branded as a romance writer. It's too limited for me. For one thing, I do many things better than writing romance, and other things are more important to me.
I put so many things before my writing that it would really bother me to be branded. Think of me as one of those old steamer suitcases which has traveled all over the world, and has stickers in all sizes, shapes and colors from everywhere, in different languages, all over it. That's more like it.
As for the LUCK part - well, that's out of my hands, isn't it?
Kate R. has told me that while I'm mentioning her blog, I better mention her Flipping Contest - so here it is: (click HERE) Now run along and enter her flipping contest!
It sounds pretty easy - just ask her for any of her books (except Taming Him, which I've already read Anyhow) and then post a review of it on your blog. (Good, bad, or whatever.) I like Kate's writing, so this is a contest I will actually Enjoy, lol.
Friday, May 04, 2007
I have a confession. When it's sunny and the weather is lovely, I have to be outside. Or if not outside, doing something active. It's like I'm solar powered - the sun comes out and I move!
The house is spring-cleaned - all except for the kitchen. I've saved it for last, and will take it apart this weekend (when hubby is not around to see the mess, lol.) The garden is mowed, the flowers blooming, the birds singing...So I suppose I should be sitting down and finishing the two books I have to finish. And today it's cloudy, so I will try and work on them.
I sent another query out. I haven't heard back from anyone on any of my queries. I've sent out partials and fulls - but no news. Yesterday I sent a query directly to an editor who told me to go ahead and query her with a proposal, so I sent off 'In the Cards'. We'll see what happens!
What is a proposal?
It's what it sounds like. It's getting down on your knee, looking imporingly at the one you covet, and saying 'Here I am - do you want me?'
In the book world, it's usually comprised of a synopsis, a chapter by chapter outline, and the first three chapters (more or less) of the book. I sent off a 'blurb' synopsis (with hook) and a detailed synopsis with the beginning, middle, and end plotted out to show what would happen, when, and why. I sent the first five chapters, because they're short, and they end in a logical place.
Hopefully, the editor will like the proposal and tell me to go ahead and finish it. She'll either offer to buy it outright, or wait until it's finished. But at least it will give me the push I need to sit down and finish the story! It's all in my head. Now I have to sit and type!!!!
Thursday, May 03, 2007
I just mooched 4 Terry Pratchett books - (I LOVE his Discworld series). I mooched a Colin Bateman, a Jennie Crusie, a Stephanie Bond, a Janet Evanovitch, (funny!) and a Dick Francis and an Ian Rankin (mystery books).
So Book Mooch has been a great experience so far.
Daisy mae just wrote and said she stumbled on a BookMooch scammer though. A guy listed bunches of books, mooched a bunch of books, then took his listing off and vanished. Bad Moocher, Bad!
I am going to clean up my bookcase in my bedroom, and my kids' bookcases, and will have a lot of new books to list. I'm sorry I don't ship to the US - it's just not worth it - might as well just buy the book from a used books bookstore. :-(
I saw a couple of my books floating around on BookMooch - that was fun. And Clean Reads had the drawing for Horse Passages - I'll have a drawing too when I get to the US this summer - I have a bunch of books to giveaway, so stay tuned for my July Giveaways!
OK - off to the gym!
Have a great day!
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Today I have two English lessons, and I'm hoping to get some reading done for Calderwood Books. Our slush pile is building up again and we have two full manuscripts to evaluate as well as two full rewrites to look over. Our editor has six books on her plate right now, and we're slowly finding our limits as far as how much we can manage at once! Luckily, we love to read!