Monday, April 30, 2007

Pockets Rule

I like chick lit. Even though it's all in first person, the top books in the genre have made me more tolerant of that, and I really like the voice. Unfortunately, despite insistence from editors since the beginning that it was about voice, not content, they still put out far too many books featuring heroines obsessed with shoes. The market got glutted, and changes were made.

To handbags.

Seriously, it seems most of the chick lit I've read more recently (not that I've read that much) contains heroines obsessed with purses. Designer ones, of course. And while such a thing can be put to good use in the course of a fantastic adventure novel (Julie Kenner's The Prada Paradox), in others it means boring pages of shopping.

I don't want to read about shopping at all, never mind shopping for purses. First, I find most designer purses ugly. Second, I have no idea who most of the designers are and what makes one more desirable and worth the money than another. And finally, I don't carry one. Ever.

I hate carrying a purse. The closest I'll get is a woven Guatemalan pouch I bought on the street in DC when I worked there, and that's more like a wallet on a string, and I only use it when I don't have pockets.

I have a metal card case I got at Linens N Things for my license and debit and insurance cards (and my bookstore club card, of course *g*). It's just the things I use most often or would need in an emergency. All my other cards are at home.

The case goes in my back right pocket, which is where receipts also go when I've been shopping. Phone goes in front left pocket, keys in front right. My keychain only holds my car key, house key, rape whistle (that is now 18 year old), and Planet Fitness and Giant (grocery) membership tags. Minimization is best.

I watch women walking around with handbags that have short handles and no shoulder straps. I couldn't stand to shop like that, with only one hand free, constantly having to make my valuables vulnerable by setting it down.

With a purse, you are always at risk of losing everything. One snatch and your entire identity is gone, along with your quickest chance to save it (cell phone), probably access to your bank accounts, and who knows what else. Oh, yeah. Money. At least if someone picks my pocket, they only get one thing that may or may not be useful to them. My debit card won't exactly buy them a plasma TV.

So I will be happy when chick lit continues to morph, as a whole, and heroines maintain their outlook on life, their snarkiness and courage, and ditch the accessories completely.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hott in Orange Jumpsuits

I never did get around to watching "Hollywood Babylon" again, but will just reiterate that I thought it was a classic episode, and I loved the inside jokes. The fandom kills me. When we have angsty episodes, they complain about all the angst and wanting the boys to be the way they used to be. When they're the way they used to be, they complain that they should be angsty. *shrugs* Oh, well, every episode can't be perfect.

So. "Folsom Prison Blues." Did I miss it or did we not get any Johnny Cash? Darn.

I admit, as the episode started, I was worried. Seemed like this premise was risky. Could be really, really full of plot holes. But as far as I can tell, they managed to stitch everything together pretty nicely.

I do hate when one of them says, "Let's go over this again." Necessary exposition is fine. I like when they tell us what they know by telling each other what they know. But don't telegraph it. It's like flashing a neon sign that says, "Clumsy! Clumsy!"

Speaking of clumsy, the workers' dialogue in the beginning was very much so. Like someone tacked it in because otherwise we wouldn't know what they were doing, opening up the old cell block. That could have been done better.

But that's just nitpicking.

They had solid reasons for doing this, a reasonable plan for getting out, most of the contingencies covered. They had me going back and forth about Deacon. I figured he had to be at risk, therefore in the prison, but I had pretty much decided that the guy he was, wasn't him. I like when they keep me off balance. I'm glad he survived. I really didn't want him to die, giving Dean more guilt to carry.

I like Hendricks. He's so certain he's right, and righteous, but you can also see that he agrees with the lawyer, something is hinky about it all. He has a grudging respect for the boys and their abilities.

I like the attorney, and wonder why she deliberately lied to the FBI on behalf of the brothers. I thought at first, when she came out to her car, that she was going to hook up with Deacon. It's still a possibility, and would also explain why she bothered going to the agent to say things were strange. Trying to support Sam and Dean more subtly, since she knew she wasn't going to have to actually defend them.

Sooooo many great lines in this.

"What, are you from Texas all of a sudden?" Works as an inside joke (both actors are from Texas) but also fits perfectly in context, so the inside joke isn't very winky.

My husband laughed out loud (rare for him) at "Donuts aren't love."

I can't remember them all. I definitely have to watch this one again.

Most importantly, though...OMG, Sam and Dean were hot! I mean, orange prison jumpsuits are flattering on NO ONE. I'm sorry, they didn't look good even on Sam and Dean. But because they're so ugly, and the white socks and boat shoes so damned dorky, that the beauty underneath seemed on prominent display. I caught my breath on many a two-shot and might actually seek out some screencaps on this one.

*sigh* Can't wait until next week. CAN'T. WAIT.

Thursday Thirteen #8

Thirteen Subject Lines from Spam I Received Today
(Spam: It's Not Just For Penile Enlargement Anymore)

1. Get an Electric Wheelchair at Little or No Cost
(I'll save that in case I get tired of walking)

2. natalie damschroder Stop being bald
(I didn't know I was!)

3. natalie damschroder Now you can send eCards for no cost!
(Ha ha, I always could)

4. Adventure awaits—get your 5 Theme Park Season Passes!
(Subject says season passes--body says one-day passes...I sense a scam)

5. Get Perfect-Fit French Lingerie sent right to your
(Right to my WHAT?)

6. The Next Generation of Car Polish
(It's about time!)

7. Natalie, Home Alarm. Home Security Special Promo
(Free!* [no idea what the * is for])

8. Is payday too far away? Make it happen tomorrow
(This is for a loan! Man, they think people are stupid)

9. Rush Delivery to 408 Reservoir Rd for Natalie Damschroder
(A mystery appliance! Just what I needed!)

10. Order flowers for Mothers Day now and save
(Do they deliver to the afterlife?)

11. Red Lobster® Gift Card for You - $250 Value
(You know, if I would just take these fake surveys, I'd never have to eat at home again)

12. A $500 Victoria's Secret Gift Card for you
(That's two lingerie e-mails. I wonder if my husband is sending these...)

13. natalie damschroder Claim your Dell E1705 Nb
(Oh, so tempting)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Elena

2. Sunny

3. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


My TiVo malfunctioned on Monday (twice), so I had to watch DRIVE online last night. It was AWESOME. I still don't care about all of the characters, but the four getting the main focus are stellar.

So in the most recent episode they robbed a bank, the innocent younger brother got shot, and Mal Tully had dumped Winston and Corrina at a motel and said not to open the safe deposit box they'd stolen until they got back. She asked from where, and he said, "Your brother's last chance."

And today, Fox canceled the show.

Subsequent response whited out for tender sensibilities

Rat-fucking stinking heads-in-their-asses motherless sons of bitches (yes that means dogs) BASTARDS

Okay, so I'm not the most creative cusser in the world. The point is at least made.

I'm so frickin' sick of these networks yanking the shows I love without giving them a chance at all. How is it at all smart to invest the money they do into buying the show, paying for production, advertising it...and then replacing it with reruns after only two weeks?

Forget all those people who are now out of a job--not just the talented actors on the screen and the talented writers behind it. Dozens (hundreds?) of crew members and staff have nothing. Maybe for some it was their big chance and now they have to go back to Peoria. Others might be good enough at their jobs to get something else, but pilot season is over. Most will probably be jobless until July. Nice, Fox.

Worse is the continually broken trust. When these networks put a show on the air, they do everything they can to entice us to watch it. Season after season, show after show, the stuff I like disappears. Often the stuff I mildly like (The Class) gets a full season and then drifts away. The stuff I love--that I will go to the TV for week after week, rushing my kids to bed early so I can be there to watch it, recording it to watch over and over again--that stuff they yank immediately.

I'm like the heroines in the romances that drive me nuts. The ones who got burned once so they won't let themselves fall in love again because it hurts too much? That's me. Someone posted in the comments on a forum that they won't watch new shows anymore, they'll just get the DVD. My reaction was to scoff, because if we don't watch, there won't BE a DVD.

But I don't care anymore. They have stabbed me in the heart once too often. I will not start watching any new shows. I'll continue with the ones I already watch (I'm not going to punish MYSELF, puh-leeze!) but once they're off the air, the networks have lost me completely.

And that's SO much better, right?


Monday, April 23, 2007

Residential Revelation

Today is Number Two's 8th birthday, and while I was sweeping up kitty litter, I realized we have lived in this house longer than I have ever lived anywhere else in my life.

  • December 1970, born in England (father in Air Force). Lived there one year.
  • Approximately January 1972 (unsure exactly when) moved to Southwick, Massachusetts. Lived there about 6 years.
  • August 1978, parents split up, moved to a duplex on Orlando Street in Agawam, MA. Lived there two years.
  • Summer 1980, mother decided we should move to California for the college tuition benefits. Sold everything, packed up and flew out there. Flew back about two weeks later after she got really sick and we couldn't find an affordable place to live (no Internet then for easy research).
  • Lived with Mom's friend for short time, I don't remember how long--a few months.
  • Moved into an apartment for rest of fifth grade.
  • Sometime in fifth grade moved into Brady Village in Agawam and stayed there until end of 11th grade.
  • 1987 mother got married and we moved to North Chatham, NY.
  • August 1988 I moved to college. February 1989 mother and stepfather and little brother moved to Fairfield, CT.
  • From 1989 to 1991 I moved back and forth to college and my parents moved again. Summer 1989 I spent in Fairfield; summer 1990 was in Michigan working at Sarrett Nature Center; summer 1991 moved Jim from his parents' to an apartment in Lewistown.
  • January 1992, after graduation, lived in MD while interning at National Geographic Society. Moved back to Lewistown, PA, in May.
  • July 1992 moved to Newport, PA, halfway between my job and Jim's.
  • Spring 1995 moved to New Buffalo, PA, while pregnant (closer to my job, better apartment).
  • March 1999 moved here about 6 weeks before McKenna was born.
I know military kids move more than that, but 11 times in three years is up there. At least those moves were fairly small, because I always lived in one room. :) Nowadays, the thought of moving all the stuff we've accumulated is horrifying.

Unless I start making a boatload of money with my writing or we win the lottery (which we don't play), we'll be here a minimum of ten more years. Jim never changed schools, and I changed four times (not counting the usual moves to middle, junior, and senior highs). We came from different places, but with the same result--we don't want to make our kids move.

Though, it's funny. I moved the summer before my senior year, from a large-ish high school to one that was one-third the size. From a place where I was an outcast in most ways, to a place where I was welcomed and embraced and the brains were also the cool kids. I had the best year of my life (to that point) then, and wish I could have gotten there sooner.

My brother, on the other hand, had the extreme opposite experience. He HATED the new school and didn't get treated very well. When they moved him again midway through his freshman year, that was the best thing for him.

I don't know if being the new kid a lot, combined with innate shyness, is what makes it so hard for me to go into new social situations now. It seems likely, though I remember that move my senior year with a huge dose of sweet nostalgia. Still, it's not enough to take a chance for my kids if I can avoid it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


~ When you see this post, quote from Supernatural on your LJ.

"You're bossy. And short."

I'm not going to do a comprehensive post on tonight's Supernatural until I get a chance to watch it again, but two things I must say:

1. Classic. Supernatural.

2. About 248 inside jokes for the win!

Thursday Thirteen #7

Thirteen Reasons I'm Looking Forward to May

1. April has decided it's really March.

2. My chapter writers retreat is in May, and this year, there's a whole extra day!

3. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

4. Spider-Man 3

5. Shrek 3
(though I don't adore the series as much as everyone else seems to)

6. Memorial Day weekend

7. Soccer tournament on Memorial Day weekend
(we're reigning champs!)

8. Waitress
(though limited release means we probably won't get it here)

9. Starting a new project
(Title: Hummingbird)

10. Warmer weather, though that may be hoping for too much at this point

11. Veronica Mars returns

12. Final (hopefully awesome) shows for Smallville, Heroes, and Numb3rs.
(Though Numb3rs tends to have tame finales and Smallville lame ones, and Heroes I just don't really care about when I'm not actively watching it.)

13. Reportedly kick-ass final episodes of Lost and Supernatural.
(I have it personally from the executive story editor of SPN herself.)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

USA Today

Check it out!

A Truly Ridiculous Post

All authors have their grammatical bugaboos. Things they have a mental block about and, at the least, have to think hard about when they use them.

Mine is bring/take. I was probably near 30 when someone told me I use them interchangeably and I'm not supposed to. I was floored. I mean, I grew up with a mother who corrected every sentence. "There's cars" still echoes through my head whenever I think of "Mom" and "grammar" together. I took AP English. And got a 5. But no one ever taught me that bring/take don't mean the same thing.

I still struggle with it, though I do get the basic idea. "Bring" is action toward the speaker, and "take" is action away. But what if the action has nothing to do with the speaker?

The example that used to vex me was when I edited case management reports. The case manager would say that Medical Equipment Company X brought/took a bed to the patient. If the point of view is MEC-X, they took it. If the point of view is the patient, they brought it. But the point of view is a third party who is not part of the action. She was not at the MEC-X when they left, nor at the patient's when it arrived. I think I settled on "took."

The example that prompted this rather silly post was this:

I've been giving my husband my Entertainment Weekly magazines for his bathroom. They've been piling up because I scolded him when I found some in the trash. We recycle glossy paper. So he set them on my dresser, which is right outside his bathroom. I think he wants me to deal with them, which is just annoying.

So I was thinking that I will tell him, "When you're done with the magazines, bring them to the kitchen and put them in the paper bag by the desk."

Immediately, Vicky Burkholder's voice echoed in my head. "It should be take them to the kitchen."

My mental response? "Not if I'm in the kitchen when he brings them."

Yes, I am a smartass. My mother always said that, too. :)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Helping Any Way I Can

That's All I'm Sayin'

How evil are you?

Antsiness and Drive

Okay, so 40-degree weather with 50-mile-an-hour winds and 32-degree wind chills aren't that bad when compared to further north. I mean, does this look like spring to you? And we were supposed to look like that and escaped--didn't even get the torrential downpours they were calling for.

But come on. Even in 1996, when we got two feet of snow a few days later than this in April, it was preceded by real spring weather. We had two days of 70 degrees two weeks ago. Since then it's been rain and wind and 20 degrees at the bus stop. Number two has had three of four soccer games canceled, and she has to do fall tryouts in 40-mph wind gusts tomorrow.

Sigh. At least the rain has stopped.

But anyway, the worst part is the constant winds. My wind chimes in the carport haven't stopped rattling for 24 hours. The howls and rustles and constant movement have been making me very antsy. Like there is no calm left in me, or in my world. Ugh.

So, Drive premiered last night. I wasn't blown away, but I was hooked. The car chase scenes were great, but I have a feeling I couldn't handle 13 episodes with that much speeding fiberglass and metal (there's an old truck and an old big car, and those are metal *g*). I loved Tully (Nathan Fillion) and the new mom ("I think maybe I should have shot you") and Winston, who is played by Justin's father on Ugly Betty. There are some annoying people, though--I guess they're meant to be, so maybe it's okay.

I thought they did a good balance between revealing motivations and even a couple of "secrets" but leaving plenty to discover. I like seeing people work out clues (almost exactly they way they did in The Prada Paradox by Julie Kenner, which I just finished reading yesterday). There was plenty of action and humor and some really tense moments. A small twist I didn't see coming. A complaint that was immediately resolved (I thought the police were idiots or assholes for ignoring the abused new mother's obvious signs of being an abused wife, but when we came back from commercial, they addressed it).

Most of all, Nathan Fillion rocks and even if the rest sucked, I'd watch it just for him. I may not count in the ratings, but TiVo knows I recorded the episode, and that counts SOMEWHERE.

Overall, I'm going to intriguing as Heroes without being as annoying or many interesting characters as Lost but without the tension of the first season or the depth of the pilot...not as much chemistry as Supernatural but definitely as much humor, as well as great cinematography and decent music. Plenty of potential here.

Now, if only Fox hadn't made the baffling decision to only air 5 of the 13 episodes they ordered, before they even premiered...Firefly all over again?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Random TV Stuff

It's really funny to see the comments about this week's Lost. Over HERE we have "this is the best episode of the season...Elizabeth Mitchell Emmy...etc." and over THERE is whining about "I knew it all...clumsy writing...stupid characters acting stupidly."

Is it perfect? *snort* No. Is it as good as it was in the first season? Definitely not. Do I still love it more than nearly anything else I watch? Absolutely. I'd give up anything but Supernatural before Lost.

The whole thing about Juliet setting them up was not, to me, obvious. I was aware the entire episode that it was a possibility--but I didn't want it to be true. I thought it was great that they didn't leave us guessing, that they showed us at the end that she'd manipulated them with as much mastery as Ben has manipulated her. But to me, where she stands is still up in the air. What they did to Claire is horrifying--but did Juliet go along with Ben's plan because she didn't want Claire to die? Because she still thinks if she keeps cooperating Ben will let her go? Or because she's been fully inured in the Others' way of thinking?

The complexity is pure genius. Any issues with the dragging out of major plot points, I blame ABC for. Given the opportunity to do it THEIR way, I am confident the writers would have done a tighter job. They make mistakes--they're human, for goodness sake! They admit it and try to fix it. But then, I have to admit I may be the only viewer who didn't hate Nikki and Paulo.


I was so excited while reading Entertainment Weekly tonight that I squealed and woke up Number Two, who called me in to her room to rebuke me for waking her just when she'd finally fallen asleep. Whoops!

But I couldn't help myself. After months of eagerly checking the "What to Watch" section for a bit about Supernatural and rarely getting it, WOW.

A few weeks back I e-mailed Alynda Wheat to thank her for mentioning the show (though all she really did was tweak the fans for flooding her with post cards) and ask for some more attention--a Must Watch of the Week to start, followed by a review in the main TV section, a cover feature, and even an Obsessive Fan of the Week. Well, this week, they did the MWOTW! Dean and Sam, covering half a page! Okay, they only gave the episode a B+, and they tweaked the fans but good ("It might be too much awesome for you, Super fans..."), and made fun of two very talented actors ("'Natural high: Ackles and Padalecki work on their befuddled stares"). They still featured it! Thank you, Alynda Wheat!


I'm kinda actually depressed by TV right now. Veronica Mars isn't on until May 1. No Smallville or Supernatural until next week. Only five more episodes of both of those and Lost. Dresden Files failing to impress.

Did I mention only five more episodes? Before the desert that is summer haitus?

And worst of all, the second part of the finale for Supernatural is on the night we start our writers retreat!!!!!!

What? Did you say, "Take heart, Heroes returns in a week!"? Thanks, but I find it difficult to care much. Dunno why.


Okay, there is one good thing. Drive starts Sunday. Please check it out. It's on Fox in a two-hour premiere at 8:00 EDT, followed by the second episode in its regular time slot at 8:00 EDT on Monday. Some professional reviews are slightly lackluster, but the "professional fan" buzz is very good. Nathan Fillion deserves a hit, as does creator Tim Minear, also known as the scribe of my very favorite Firefly episode, "Out of Gas."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #6

Thirteen Reasons I Love My Mini Boot Squad

1. They love me back.

2. The level of respect from one author to another, despite the range of experience, output, and success.

3. When they critique me, they all catch different things, and they all know how to critique well, never making me feel like an idiot.

4. When I'm an idiot, they make sure to point it out. Or at least agree with me when I point it out.

5. When we get together in person, the conversation never lags, and it gets very...interesting.

6. What's said at Boot Squad, stays at Boot Squad. Mostly. Unless we blog about it.

7. There are zero negative feelings of any kind.

8. Industry knowledge is wide-ranging and freely shared.

9. "These are a little stiffer than the...ah...others."

10. "I've thanked reviewers who've given me less than 10 damp panties."

11. "That's tingle-worthy."

12. "Aliens?!"

13. "I don't like nipples."

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Great Room Swap of 2007

People have certainly taken on bigger projects than this one. Created more chaos, exerted more strongly, performed more professionally. Still, that doesn't minimize the chaos and exertion of our own massive project.

Plus, you've got to take into account that we're lazy.

Anyway, when Number One (#1) turned eight we bought her a loft for her birthday in an effort to give her more room space, because when we moved into the house she chose the smaller bedroom (due to the cool turquoise sponge painting). Number Two (#2) is about to turn eight so we offered her one, as well.

She wanted one. #1 was tired of hers. But we didn't want to just move #1's loft to #2's room because I was afraid of destabilizing it. J suggested they swap rooms. #2 cheered #1 said no way. Days of debating and deliberating and waffling ensued, but finally both kids embraced the change. J took off last Friday and Monday, days the kids had off already, and we started preparing.

Overall, it went smoothly. Both kids worked on clearing out the rooms for a couple of weeks ahead of time. That went better for #1 than #2. She even moved most of her own furniture out.

I neglected to take a picture of #2's room at the height of the insanity. Here is how it was near the end:

See all the crap on the floor? Multiply it by 100, fill in several more pieces of furniture, and you have an idea of how bad it was.

I think that trash bag on the floor was about the eighth 30-gallon bag that came out of this room.

These shots were taken Saturday afternoon (after the frigid soccer game--wind chill had to be in the 20s). On Friday #1 cleared her room out, we cleaned it and moved #2's furniture in. So where did #1's stuff go? Here:

This isn't so bad. The bed was added Saturday afternoon, so imagine that leaning against the armoire there in the middle. The rest was here:

Yeah, that's my living room. Over on the far right, behind that purple thing and the two bamboo shades leaning against the desk that's on its side, is the dog's chair. She couldn't get to it. Nor could she usually get to me, when I was there. She was in a constant state of high anxiety for a week. Which meant pacing and panting and howling at my heels. Drove me insane.

Here's what #2's room looked like Saturday night, after she had all the furniture and some of her possessions in. It took longer than it should have, because we'd tell her to box up stuff in the old room, and five minutes later she'd wander into the new one carrying, say, one purse, looking around for a place to put it. *sigh* But we got there eventually:

Then came cleaning and taping to prepare the other room for painting. #1 picked her own paint. J did not buy hole filler or primer. We just pulled out all the nails, slapped the paint up, and moved everything back in. Since we had a 7-year-old helping us, it was not the neatest job, though she did pretty well overall.


On Sunday we painted two walls, went to Easter dinner, came back and put on the second coat, painted the other two walls (different color) and the ceiling, and later went back for the second coat on the second two walls. Remember, #1 chose her own paint colors:

Monday we cleaned up, stripped off some of the paint removing the tape (tip: don't tape baseboard heaters freshly painted with latex paint when it is 30-something degrees outside. The paint will come off).

#2 I think is totally unpacked and all her laundry is put away, even. #1 smashed her finger in a TV tray today so I think she'll finish tomorrow. She's mostly done, though, and both kids are very thrilled with their end results:

Please note that it is already trying to revert to its original state. LOL We're curbing the crap this time.

#1's usual sheet, a leopard print, was in the wash. We don't have a lot of twin sheets (I usually wash them and put them right back on the beds) so I put Bob the Builder on. She freaked out when I said I was taking a picture for my blog, and put ET over it.

Me: "ET is better than Bob the Builder?"

Her (shrilly): "YES! ET is classical!"

So there you have it. The reason I left you all despondent and without witty *cough* insightful *cough cough* blog posts for, what, seven days? Or does this make it eight? :)

Next project: The Dining Room

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Logan McKnight

I can't believe I haven't posted for a whole week. I know you've all been checking daily and getting more and more despondent :), so I apologize. I have been engaged in the Great Room Swap of 2007, which I will post more about later in the week.

Today I want to talk about these:

I've said I don't like fanfiction, generally speaking. I don't read it and have never written it. But that doesn't mean I haven't been inspired by other people's work.

My favorite character in Stephen King's The Stand was Nick, the deaf-mute. I read the book for a paper during my senior year in high school, to compare and contrast the incarnation of Death with the same in Piers Anthony's On a Pale Horse, which at the time was one of my favorite books.

In the miniseries in 1994, Rob Lowe blew me away with his portrayal of that character. I'd been writing for about a year at that time, maybe a little more, and had learned that whenever something obsessed me so much, writing helped assuage the resultant clawing need. (Now that I think about it, this obsession, though short-lived, came long before Brendan Fraser. So I guess it should get credit for my first. :) )

Out of that obsession came these four short stories. Logan McKnight is not Nick Andros. Rather, he was borne of the questions that character as portrayed by Rob Lowe made me ask. More importantly, Logan came out of my desire to know someone like that.

I wrote Seeking Peace and To Heal the Soul, but didn't submit them anywhere until I'd sold Second Chance at Forever to Echelon Press. With my publisher's encouragement, I wrote Opening Hearts and my favorite, To Change a Life. These are the only stories I've written that I keep coming back to for no reason beyond the joy of reading them.

Logan McKnight is a wanderer, but he's also a fixer. He sees life differently from anyone else and as such, can offer insight into problems and needs that the person (or, in the case of Opening Hearts, the couple) cannot see clearly themselves.

I admit these stories may be partly wish fulfillment. How lovely it would be, at our lowest, most desperate moments, to have someone hold our hands, lead us through, and get us to the other side happier and more whole.

It's an unfortunate side effect that no one sees how much Logan, himself, is in need...

The very best thing about these stories? They're only a DOLLAR each!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Goals Check, March

Let's get the worst out of the way, shall we?

Dining room is on hold while we do The Great Room Swap of 2007. Number 2 is moving into Number 1's room, and vice versa. Number 2 gets the loft and the cool sponge painting on the walls. Number 1 goes back to a twin bed and along the way gets new paint on the walls and a new rug. Which means lots of work ahead of us this weekend. The kids are off school Friday and Monday, J took off work, and we're tacking the whole damned thing at once.

Net loss = 3.4 lbs. At least it's not gain, is all I can say.

I read 13 books in March and am up to 27, which is only a book and a half shy of my goal so far. No TV in March, for the most part, contributed. So did getting to some really good books. Before March 19 I only had two tens on my list. In March I added four more, plus some 8s and 9s.

8261 new words in March, some from a synopsis, the rest during revisions. I expect to tighten rather than lengthen the next project, which is also revisions of a different book, so April will likely not add to the total. I have 91,329 for the year, which is 3800+ more than goal so far. May will be a whole new book and should add three months worth of words to the total. :)

I only skipped 2 days in March. I exercised 22 days in a row (my longest streak so far). I'm frustrated, though, because though I feel a little stronger (pushing more weight on the machines and feeling it a little bit in day-to-day activity), my aerobic status is the same. I get mildly winded running up the stairs, despite continuous treadmill use. >:(

And I've developed persistent tinnitus, which I blame on using headphones every day. Am I stopping using headphones? *scoffs* I can live just fine with slight hearing loss, as long as my eyes are okay. And exercise without Pottercast just won't happen.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My Life Is Better...

It used to be, when my laptop froze, I got frustrated and grumpy and *keeked* it. Figuratively speaking.

Now, when my laptop freezes, or threatens to, I think about Sam's laptop, and Dean locking it up on

And I just laugh.

Prison Break

Okay, I admit it. I loved season one. Season two did not live up to season one, though it had plenty of moments. What it lost in tension and tight writing it made up for in characterization and chemistry. Mahone and Scofield were excellent adversaries. The plot skated the edge of the ridiculous without falling off. I was less enamored of the other prisoner subplots this time around. Sarah and Michael and Michael and Lincoln were the cornerstone for me, and where they fell short in emotion, I made up for them in my head.

Mostly, though, I wanted a positive resolution to this season and then be done. I am tired of networks dragging out shows that should be short-term, milking them for stuff they haven't got. I knew I wouldn't get it, because I knew they were already renewed for season three. And I'd heard the rumor that they were going to be back in prison. Yaawwwnnn

But I just watched the season finale. As finales go, I've seen more tense, less predictable, more shocking cliffhangers But I don't know if I've ever seen a better setup for a third season.

Lincoln exonerated/free? Check. Sarah free? Excellent. But...but...but...

Whole new consipiracy mystery? Whoa.

Michael and Alex in the same prison? Hell, yeah! Bring it on! \o/

Monday, April 02, 2007

I Am the Biggest Dork

And not in a good, Jake 2.0, solid-muscle-under-the-scrawny-looking-computer-geekiness/ hot-doctor-behind-social-awkwardness kind of way.

For months, ever since I saw it, I thought this:


was an emoticon for shock. Like, making an "o" out of your mouth, maybe slapping your cheeks a la Home Alone.

It wasn't until someone accidentally typed a [o/ and, when they were asked what that was, they said it was Sam in his cast, did I realize it meant victory in all its permutations.

See? I'm a dork.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Embarrassing Admission

I tried to log in to my bank today and they have tightened security so it's no longer my access ID and pin, they ask a security question, too. These rotate and are wide-ranging in choice, not just the usual mother's maiden name, first pet, etc. You can choose favorite musician and name of your elementary school and stuff like that.

So my security question comes up, and I lock myself out of my accounts because I can't remember what I answered.

Ready to laugh heartily at me?

The question was, "What is your dream job?"

I tried Writer. Then Author. I sat there staring at it, thinking, "Did I really say 'I'm living it!'"? I tried writer, lower case. And boom. They brought the hammer down.

That's really embarrassing.