Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2009

How To Amuse Your Co-Workers

In 12 easy steps! For this to work, you'll need an irreverent sense of humor, an audience of three or four, and a bowl of bread pudding.

1. Discuss w/co-workers the silliness of the manager's disapproval of all anti-depressant drugs and her recent scuffle over an employee's joke to offer free Prozac to two of her friends during a particularly stressful shift.

2. Decide that since mentioning brand-name drugs is cause for getting oneself hauled into the office for the People-Don't-Need-Anti-Depressants-And-They-Aren't-Funny lecture, you should change the lingo to "my non-prescription, generic anti-depressant of choice."

3. When that gets a laugh, point to your bowl of bread pudding and proclaim it your personal non-prescription, generic anti-depressant of choice.

4. Since you've just dissected the incredibly stressful morning you all lived through, illustrate your need for your drug of choice by shoveling in an abnormally large mouthful of bread pudding.

5. …

Chocolate, Tomatoes, and Annoyances...Oh My!

1. Yum. Chocolate.

2. I think I might like chocolate after all.

3. Yes, that sound you heard was the universe cracking and falling off its axis.

4. You see those gorgeous shoes? The ones right above this post? Those are all made out of chocolate.

5. Looks like I'm going to need a refrigerator in my shoe closet.

6. Hmm, but first to convince the hubby I actually need a shoe closet.

7. He can store his stuff in a trunk at the end of the bed, right??

8. It's been a light blogging week because I started working an additional position (If you're keeping track, this makes FOUR positions I work now. Oy.) in place of someone who got (deservedly) fired.

9. It's long hours on my feet (which I'm used to) and tons of lifting and bending and hauling (which I'm not).

10. Today, I needed a box of tomatoes which were inexplicably stored at the very top of a three-tiered metal shelving unit whose top shelf was so far above my head, I had to stand on tip toes to touch it with my finger …

Completely Uncalled For

Kerry Allen and I had a small "thing" today on her blog in which I inadvertently got the chorus of Electric Avenue stuck in her head. To make up for my gaffe, I posted the chorus to Macarena on her blog so she would no longer be plagued with the tune from EA.

She told me that was uncalled for, which got me thinking about a video I once saw that made me laugh. Here it is.




And, even funnier, college guys in a dorm doing the same video with one of the "players" totally unaware of the impending joke.

I Was Right! (as usual)

Long time blog readers know I have a deep-seated mistrust of goats. It's the eyes. And the head-butting. And the nasty proclivity to masticate their way through a brand new Coach handbag.

Many of you have cast aspersions on my belief that goats are mini criminals in the making. Some of you have even gone so far as to call them cute, a fact that is beside the point. Evil can be cute. Never doubt it.

Today, I bring you proof. A goat has been arrested on suspicion of armed robbery. I'm interested to see what the witnesses say at his trial.

Beware the Titanium Spork!

1. I'll be working a total of 20 hours between today and tomorrow and my current reaction is the antithesis of YAY!! WOOHOO!!

2. Still, it's money.

3. I've rediscovered my love for bread pudding.

4. This isn't necessarily a good thing, since I try to justify eating it for lunch with rationalizations like "It has raisins! That's fruit!" or "The ice cream counts as a serving of dairy!"

5. Still, ice cream is dairy...

6. Saw Inkheart on Tuesday night (Preview showing--one of the perks of hubby's job) and it was fantastic.

7. Can't say the same for the man sitting next to Daredevil.

8. I won't bore you with the details of the twenty minutes before the movie that he spent talking to my son (What adult wants to talk to a stranger's kid for 20 minutes??), but I intervened when he began a long political spiel that began with his passionate beliefs regarding offshore drilling and ended with a convoluted explanation of why we shouldn't have p…

Writer's Resource

While browsing writer's blogs, I came upon a discussion of Writer's Cafe (thanks Nixy Valentine!), a software program designed by an author to help w/all aspects of the creative process, especially organizing storyline. The website has a free trial download so I'll be giving it a whirl and seeing what I think of it.

Monday's Hit List

Here are a few announcements/opportunities for those of you pursuing publication:

1. Genreality, a blog run by a group of best-selling authors who span several genres, opened today. The authors describe their blog as follows:

Do you want to know where ideas come from? Or what a day-in-the-life is like? What about how a person can beat back their doubts and insecurities to become a best-selling author, or how to take your ideas and make tangible stories out of them?

If you want an honest look at what it’s like to make a living as an author, and how these authors get the job done, then GENREALITY is the place to be.

Get to know these best-selling authors as they share not only their ups and downs of living the dream, but tips and advice on how you can too.


2. There are several acceptable ways to handle a negative review of your work. Urging the editor to commit suicide isn't one of them.

3. Posted w/permission:

We all know the hardest part of being published is to grab the interest of an …

Contest Alert

Writer's Digest is having their annual writing contests. One of the categories is genre short stories. First place winner in each category receives $1000 and other prizes. You can find the rules, deadlines and more information here.

Come In To My Parlor

Said the spider to the fly...

(Please note that I was going to put a picture of a Black Widow up with this post. I googled it, found several that were appropriate, but just couldn't overcome my ingrained ICK response enough to have a spider pic on this blog.)

Conversation I recently overheard:

Starshine: Hey! Did you know that spiders eat their babies?

Daredevil: What?? Gross.

Scientist: Only the Black Widow eats her kids.

Daredevil: What kind of mother does that?

Starshine: A hungry one. When spiders are starving, they eat their babies.

Daredevil: That's just wrong.

Scientist: Maybe they don't eat all of them. Just one or two to fill them up.

Starshine: Hey. You don't think Mom would ever do something like that to us, do you?


Small silence ensues.


Daredevil: Probably not.

Scientist: I don't think so...


Another small silence ensues.


Scientist: Wait! No, no she wouldn't. Know why?

Daredevil: Because she keeps the pantry full of food in case she gets hungry so she isn't temp…

Tie Them Down!

1. It's only Thursday? That seems impossible.

2. This whole cram-as-many-hours-as-possible-into-my-work-schedule-and-still-keep-up-with-writing-kids-and-housework thing is not nearly as easy as it sounds.

3. Yesterday, I heard Guns N Roses newest single (called "Better") on the radio.

4. Unlike their first single from their latest album (Chinese Democracy), this song actually had potential.

5. Yanno, a hook, or something very close to it which, sadly, their first single completely lacked.

6. How does a band that gave us Sweet Child Of Mine, Knocking On Heaven's Door, and Welcome To The Jungle write a song without a hook???

7. But I digress.

8. "Better" has potential but fell far short of the mark for one reason: poor audio mixing.

9. Just like the first single from this album, the guitar overrides the vocals and the bass notes are wimpy at best with the end result sounding like something a garage band mixed in, well, their garage.

10. This is GNR we're talking a…

On The Same Page?

I found this post, listing some agent and editor responses to queries from a soon-to-be published author very interesting. :) Goes to show that you should take every suggestion or critique with a grain of salt and carefully examine whether that rings true for you.

Vileness Expelled!

1. We all know cinnamon candy is my weakness.

2. My downfall.

3. I don't turn down cinnamon candy unless it's obviously been half-chewed by somebody else and then dropped on the floor.

4. Three days ago, I learned a valuable lesson about the danger of that particular vice.

5. Three days ago, a friend and co-worker of mine informed me we were going to sample a new product we'd received--Chocolate Coated Chewy Cinnamon Bears.

6. I had my doubts.

7. For one, I'm not a fan of chocolate, and I'm not sure chocolate and cinnamon really go together very well.

8. For another, covering a chewy cinnamon bear with chocolate is a lot like covering a gummi worm with chocolate and there's no way on God's green earth I'd ever let such a monstrosity near my tongue.

9. This was, however, a chewy cinnamon bear, an item rarely sold in stores anymore and, truth be told, my favorite even above Hot Tamales.

10. I agreed to taste it.

11. Seconds later, my gag reflex kicked in and forcib…

Conversations That Make No Sense

A conversation that happened today between myself and a coworker whom I barely know.

Coworker: I heard you're going to see a movie tonight! I want to see a movie! Can I come?

Me: Um, no. I'm going on a dinner and a movie date with my husband tonight for my birthday.

Coworker: But I really want to see a movie! Can't I come too?

Me: It's a date. With my husband. For my birthday.

Coworker: I can sit behind you.

Me: No.

Coworker: I won't even say a word. Please?

Me: Wow. No. It's. A. Date. *begin enunciating words carefully since brain damage is a possible factor.*

Coworker: So I can't come? Even if I just sit behind you guys?

Me: NO.

Coworker: You know, that really hurts my feelings.

Me: I don't see how it possibly could. I'm going on a date with my husband for my birthday. No one else is invited. I wouldn't take my best friend with me, much less a woman I barely know. If you want to see the movie, go to the theater and buy a ticket. I don't care. But you …

Birthday Thoughts

Today is my 35th birthday, and while I don't feel especially philosophical this morning, I wanted to take a look at the upcoming year and jot down a few things I want to accomplish. (Naturally, the anal part of my personality refuses to allow me to make a list of anything less or more than 35!)

1. Reorganize my workspace. (This entails new office furniture, filing systems, and an idea board on the wall. Plus the hanging of my favorite Captain Jack Sparrow poster for inspiration.)

2. Develop the habit of walking the 1.6 miles around my neighborhood four days a week.

3. Work on two writing projects at the same time.

4. Get rid of all the stuff I no longer use.

5. Hang out with my kids every chance I get.

6. Get some comfortable chairs or a swing for my front porch.

7. Get to know the employees of my local bookstore by name.

8. Resist all homicidal impulses while I'm at work.

9. Oh, fine. Resist all homicidal impulses period. There. Happy?

10. Do something special with each boy each month …

Writer Beware

During my month-long vacation from writing, I invested plenty of time plowing through some of my TBR pile. I read a couple gems (like Lilith Saintcrow's Night Shift)a few ho-hums, and three absolute stinkers (Two of which I just couldn't make myself finish because, yanno, reading is supposed to be fun, not irritating).

I found it interesting that all three of the stinkers irritated me for the same reasons--amateurish mistakes, clunky writing, and an assumption that I couldn't remember anything they'd written on the previous page.

So here, for your enlightenment, I'd like to list a few things to watch for in your own writing. Should any of these raise their ugly heads in your manuscript, prune ruthlessly.

1. Telling instead of showing. This drives me nuts. Some authors refuse to show their character's emotions through dialogue, action, and body language and instead, hijack the book's momentum with a page or two of useless, heavy-handed exposition designed to co…

Regular Routine, Here I Come

1. Tomorrow, the kids go back to school and I can resume my regular routine.

2. This means 5 a.m. wake up calls to write, hustling the kids out the door to the bus, then running off to work for the day.

3. I have a revision letter from an agent for SF so that's the first project I'll tackle, though the first book in RC is already taking shape in my head.

4. Also, Katy and I will resume our posting schedule on Swords & Stilettos, so I'll have plenty of stuff to keep me more than busy.

5. The other night, a lady at Paul's table requested coffee with extra cream.

6. He was slammed, so I brought it to her.

7. She took one look at the bowl of creamer I'd brought and said, "Oh, you're going to have to get back to that kitchen and do better than that. That won't even get me started. Get going."

8. *C.J. puts on her Oh No You Didn't face*

9. I don't respond particularly well to that sort of arrogant rudeness.

10. I went back to the kitchen, found the L…

Heinlein's Rules for Writing

A fellow writer forwarded this link to me. These rules were published in 1947 and still hold true today. I believe rule #3 doesn't refer to polishing a rough draft, but rather refers to finishing a work to the point that you're submitting it and then continuing to tinker with it (without a revision letter from agent or editor) instead of beginning the next manuscript.

What do you think of these?

Boo! Hiss!

Tonight I did something I've never done before. No, I didn't run over a dwarf. I'm saving that for next year.

Think that was random? That's nothing compared to the cinematic travesty that is Spirit.

Tonight, for the first time ever, I was so completely underwhelmed by a movie, I walked out. A mere 25 minutes into the film, I just walked out.

Why?

To answer that question, let's take a look at those first 25 minutes.

Minutes 1-3: Scene opens in a quasi-black and white motif with slow falling snowflakes and a Dick Tracey meets Batman feel to the narration and ... Oh. Wait. I forgot. The first ten seconds are this weird flash of part of a woman's face saying something about how she's Death and Spirit was the only man to ever escape her grasp. I found it odd that Death should sound like a Valley Girl trying to play the role of a Serious Actor.

Minutes 4-8: Cool quasi-black and white motif continues through cemetery inexplicably full of cats and we finally see Spirit…