Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #23

Thirteen Reasons I'm Happy Today

1. My horoscope says I'm getting money tomorrow.

2. It's almost SuperBowl Sunday--close enough to anticipate, far enough to savor.

3. This week seems like a much better week for my friends than last week was.

4. Emergency Bootsquad meeting tomorrow!

5. Lost returns tonight.

6. One of the spoilers for Lost said that someone we thought was dead in the season finale in May isn't. Until the show airs, I can hope it's Charlie. :)

7. Lost has eight episodes in the can! Just in time for everything else to be gone gone gone...EXCEPT:

8. Supernatural, which returns tonight for it's final four-episode run.

9. Discussion about why the network switched episodes 11 and 12 around indicates that last episode, "Jus in Bello," is very, very good.

10. Tonight I get to watch TV and relax with shows I know I love and can't wait for, which means I get:

11. Sam's hugeness, Sam's hands, Sam's dimples, Sam's emo hair...

12. Dean's masculine vulnerability, Dean's hands, Dean's eyes, Dean's no-way-I-have-emo-hair-that's-why-I-keep-it-short hair, and...

13. Winchester brothers. *sigh*

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Release Day

Yesterday was release day in the world of home entertainment. Typically, books, music, and DVDs are officially released every Tuesday.

This is not your typical release announcement.

Because Patry Francis is battling aggressive cancer, she's not able to promote her book. So over 300 authors, including some very big names, are doing it for her.

I'm not a big name, nor am I part of the official effort, but I'm completely blessed at the moment, and it's not that hard to do a little favor for someone who needs it. So check out her website, blog, and buy here if the book interests you.

Since Francis's book appears to be one that explores the darker side of real life, how about the opposite to balance it? We all need balance in our lives--I keep telling everyone that.

Jody Wallace also had a release yesterday. A retelling of the fairy tale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," her book is bound to be as delightful as her trailer (see below).

I haven't read this book yet, but knowing Jody, it's sure to be full of snarky humor, my favorite kind. Her website is here, her Writer & Cat blog here (yes, the cat blogs), and the book can be bought here.

Happy reading!

Let It Glow

Forget snow. I mean, yeah, a little accumulation of fluff would be preferable to today's icy rain, if that were the only choice. But at this time of year, I'm always desperate for light.

Some of it is practical. It's not that safe to let my eight-year-old walk to the bus stop in the dimness before sunset (on the rare days I'm not with her--and even when I am, I'm wearing my black leather coat, hardly a safety feature).

There's also the litter thing. My living room has well-placed lamps ideal for reading or visiting, but it totally sucks for cleaning the kitty litter that gets scattered on the floor. In the morning, by the time I get to it, it's light enough that I open the front door and get a perfect illumination of every grain of clay. But it gets dark around five, which is too early for the post-dinner box usage. So when I clean up, I can't see anything. It's very frustrating.

Some of it is mental. In the winter, come 6:00 I'm ready to shut everything down. It's night time! That's not work time! It explains why I seem to do so much more reading in January than any other time, and why I don't balk at working at 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. as easily in the summer.

And some of it is physical. I know I'm not the only one who has light issues. My mood is noticeably grumpy right now, and I'm craving a day of sunlight so I can smile again, but I'm not actually depressed, as I know SAD sufferers can be. And the depths of the dark winter make the long, warm summer nights so much more enjoyable. But right now, I feel like I'm just hanging on. I am not worried that I won't be able to, but I'm really tired of trying.

So, let it glow, let it glow, let it glow!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Shout it!


Ignore the "fandom" and "fanfiction" catalyst of that post. Just kind of latch on to the central idea, 'kay? The part around the naughty words in capital letters. :)

I had kind of a weird dynamic growing up. I was born in 1970 so, of course, was parented in the midst of the feminist movement. My mother wasn't an activist. She was a single mother (by the mid 70s) who became an executive vice president, a copywriter-of-the-year nominee, and a successful small business owner out of necessity and because she was smart and talented. She was a truly superb role model in that regard, and she raised me to be the same, to believe I could do anything I damn well wanted to do.

Never once did she tell me to hide my light under a bushel (in fact, she used the phrase a lot, as in DON'T DO IT). She never told me it was inappropriate to be proud of yourself, or to talk about your achievements (though bragging should be avoided--there is a difference). And yet, she did the exact opposite.

It wasn't her fault. Her generation, I think, was caught between the era of the little woman and the powerful woman. They worked very hard to be the latter, but had decades of the former force-fed to them, in insidious ways. Again, it's weird. My grandmother was a single mom. She worked for the FBI. Her mother worked in a shoe factory and was more independent than any other woman I've ever met. And yet...and yet...

My mother walked the walk, she talked the talk, yet she still sent the message, via words and actions, that her remarkability should be ever unrecognized. That everyone else was more important than she was, did more important things, had more value in the world.

A great deal of it was the DoFor Syndrome. She had to always do for others first. Her stuff, her needs, always came last. Some of that was single motherhood, but it had a side effect of making us think she didn't value herself. I always believed she didn't, and I hated it. And I've fought guilt my whole life for not being that way.

And boy, am I not that way. Ask my family, my friends--I do not come last. I make the sacrifices for my family that are necessary, but I still do the things I want to do. My needs never go unmet.

So I think my challenge is to keep the kids from absorbing the wrong message from that. I don't want them to cross over into selfishness, to take self-focusedness to an extreme. I know that's something I could can easily do, and I have to remain aware of it and keep it in balance.

Yeah, that's the most important thing I want my kids to learn from me. Balance.

Anyway. Shout it, Kali. And accept your applause.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Random Entertainment

I'm reading the Supernatural season one companion by Titan Books. They did a fabulous job with the Firefly books, I wish they'd done better with this one. It's got great content, but is in, like, eight-point type.

Remember the episode "Bloody Mary"? And how, at the end, Dean's eyes bled? I always questioned what his secret was, where someone died, and my friends always explain it away as having to do with Mary (his mom) or people he couldn't save in the course of his job, or something. But in this book, Eric Kripke says there's absolutely a reason behind it, he knows exactly what it is, and he'll reveal it someday. But he won't likely refer back to "Bloody Mary." He says he wants people to go back and watch old shows, after the series is over, and see pieces that relate to later things.

Well, I feel vindicated. :)

New episode this week! Wheeeee!


We saw Transformers this weekend. Good flick, but I get so irritated. The writing was pretty solid in the beginning, but it fell apart at the end. I mean, "let's hide the cube in a city populated by innocent civilians?" WTF? Where's the logic in that? And when I can visualize, 100%, the director saying, "now climb out on this ledge for no good reason, because it will look a lot cooler than you being in the middle of this nice flat roof," the moviemakers have failed. They were lucky they engaged me so perfectly with the Qatar scenes. I liked Shia, didn't care for the chick, though I liked her character a lot. There was just way too much body awareness, it distracted from her acting.

I also watched Idiocracy. I had fairly low expectations for that one, and boy, did it live up to them. Still, I laughed frequently and evenly enough to watch the whole thing. There were some nuggets in the story that were good, though the trappings failed miserably, IMO.


There's something that keeps happening, that every time, I think, "Man, I've got to remember to blog about that!" and then I get on here and, of course, fail to remember to blog about it.


Last week was a very sucky week for me and several of my close friends. There must have been some kind of universal convergence or something. Most of the stuff was, luckily, not catastrophic, though for some of it, that's little consolation. So here I am, putting out a public request for an un-convergence this week. Or, at the very least, a reverse convergence. You know, one filled with only good things.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Supernatural, TV Ears, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Tom Doyle (who?)

Supernatural has a new trailer! Check it out in my widget (in the sidebar). I know it doesn't display the whole widget in my too-narrow sidebar, but you can see the whole video screen. Or you can watch it bigger here. Dean!

I can't waaaaiiiitttt!


I was reading Parade magazine yesterday, and I found something I think I might need. I'm a few years from 40, but my hearing is already giving me problems. When I started exercising regularly last year, I started getting extremely frequent tinnitus. I assume it's because of the iPod usage. Chronic tinnitus is a type of hearing loss, so it's unlikely to be reversible. I'm not noticing any overall hearing difficulties, but I do find myself straining to hear the TV, especially at night when I watch shows with guns and soft-spoken gunmen. I have to keep the TV low so it doesn't keep my kids, one of whom is directly above the TV, awake.

But I dunno, investing in something like that feels like an admission I don't want to make.


Also in Parade was an interview with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who has a movie out soon. It was a weird article that seemed to care more about his relationship with Mary-Louise Parker than the movie, and it mentioned his two episodes on Weeds in 2005 but not his 11 episodes in Supernatural. I know that's because Weeds is where he met M-LP, but still. I was going to say it was more reminiscent of People than Parade, but People would have mentioned Supernatural. It also didn't mention The Watchmen, which he is filming right now. Next door to the Supernatural set.


You've got to watch both of these, even if you're not a Patriots fan. The song is hilarious, and it's slightly different in each one.

I assume it will be updated again.


Lots to do today, which is why I wrote this post last night. :) Let's see how well that "save as draft" stuff works...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Best Weekend of the Year (so far)

Yesterday was a long day. I got up at 5:30 for a 7:00 a.m. soccer game for Number One. They lost, 2-0, but she was happy to be back on the field and didn't really care about the score.

Then we had a tournament for Number Two. Four games, best record wins. It was very exciting. All of the games were good, but there was one team that really topped all the rest. They won their first two games 6-0 and 6-1. We won ours 5-0 and 8-3 (They actually only scored 2 goals on us, but the scoreboard was broken and displayed scores like 22-57 so the ref must have screwed up the counting). Then we played each other and tied, 3-3. We won our last game 9-0 and they won theirs 7-1. The winners are determined by a sequence of things:

  • Best record (we both had the same record, 3-0-1)
  • Head to head (we tied)
  • Goals Differential (maximum of six goals)

It's the last one that killed us. Without the maximum, even with the scoring error, we played better and should have won. But because it maxed at 6, they got the first place trophies. Not that it mattered, really. The trophies were all the same size. :)

I know, I'm terribly competitive. And really, all of the above isn't important. What's important is that our team played amazingly well for a group that hasn't played together since early November. Some of them have had player development together, but not all. They passed well, supported each other, played keeper without complaining (one of our regular keepers couldn't do the tournament), and overall showed vast improvement as a team. They were complimented by other coaches and had a great time.

After the tournament we went out to dinner with family, and then my SIL and I went to see 27 Dresses. It was full of clichés, some of which drove me insane (like the put-upon sister versus the selfish, indulged, thoughtless sister, and the character out to do something self-serving that will hurt the other character and they fall for them and don't want to do it anymore but it happens anyway and the other character hates the first one). Overall, though, it was very enjoyable. There were subtleties, partly in the writing, partly in Heigl's subtle performance, that saved her from being unsympathetic and annoying. Ed Burns was pretty wooden, but his character surprised me at the end, and...well, I have to be honest. No matter how clear the outcome of a plot like this is from the first minute, I dig every minute of the resolution.

And Cyclops is a helluva kisser.

I also watched two episodes of Numb3rs and three of Private Practice last night. Which meant, yes, that I went to bed at 2:00 a.m. and slept (kind of) until 10:30.

It's kind of crazy, really. Not the sleeping part, the TV part. I'm tired of crime and medical dramas. Really, really tired of them. You couldn't pay me enough money to sit through CSI or Grey's Anatomy nowadays. But these two are two of my favorite shows. Yeah, Colby's arms have a lot to do with it, but Numb3rs is so well written and acted, with such emotional undertones. And Private Practice is similar. It's not perfect, of course. I'm getting annoyed with Violet's obsession with Alan, and Addison is a bit too abrasive and harsh for me, but otherwise the chemistry is great. I really believe everyone (besides Addison) has been friends for a long time. Dell is my favorite, I think, but I love them all.

Unfortunately, Numb3rs is over and I only have three episodes of Private Practice left to watch. I'm glad there are signs that the writer's strike could be over soon.

Then, today, the Patriots beat the Chargers. They weren't flawless by any means, but they tightened the screws when they had to and outscored San Diego, and that's all that matters. Now, on to the SuperBowl!

Before the game, CBS's opening had an orchestra called E.S. Posthumus playing a song called "Unstoppable." It reminded me of TSO, orchestral rock, and it was perfect football music. Not only did I find (and buy) that song on iTunes, I found (and bought!) the NFL on CBS theme song, also by E.S. Posthumus! I almost bought an entire album (it will be awesome writing music!) but I'm saving my gift card balance for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I'm keeping it in mind, however!

The nicest thing about the game was that we all watched together. Or, well, "watched." J was on the computer and watching over our shoulders. Number One was bribed to watch the first quarter with us, then decided she was more comfortable downstairs than in her desk chair doing essentially the same things (listening to music and playing Sudoku on her phone). But we were all in the same room, interacting, and that's always nice.

So it was a great family weekend, one full of excitement and happiness. How was yours?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Crazy Head

Did you ever have so much to do that you can't wrap your mind around which thing to do first, and it feels like you're spinning in mental circles? That's how I feel right now. So I'm blogging. Like that will help.

I had a weird dream last night. Actually, I have weird dreams every night. I haven't written fiction, really, since the end of November. And when I'm not writing fiction, my brain vents the creative backup in vivid, powerful, tiring dreams. I'm talking full-color, full-action, full-plot dreams.

I don't remember most of last night's, except for this one part. I was in Utah, and following some people as we drove somewhere. I was driving, I think, some kind of open Jeep-type vehicle. My Jeep matched the colors around us--the pinkish tans of the buttes in Utah. The sky matched, too, everything a swirl of color in the late afternoon sun.

I looked to the left, and there was a curve of UFOs banking through the vast sky next to us. I think about four or five of them. The undersides of the ships made me think of the undersides of horseshoe crabs. Then I looked back at the road, to see if the people in front of me had seen the ships, and the road was curving. I wasn't.

So yep, we sailed over the edge. Into vast, miles-up nothingness, in a heavy car. But my kids were in the car, I think, so of course we weren't going to crash. Also of course, it wasn't that easy. First I was heading toward a road on another butte, and was going to land on it, and I knew we'd survive. But then, defying all the laws of physics, our trajectory changed. That kept happening. I'd see someplace we might safely land without dying, and tried to steer toward it (as if turning a steering wheel in a heavy Jeep in midair is going to do anything). And then we'd shift again, like the updrafts were strong enough to lift us and whirl us in another direction. Then we were over a city. There was a park, but nope, we got moved. Eventually, as we came down, I slowed us by being outside the car, apparently holding it, and I stuck my foot out to "trip" over a row of white lily-like flowers, which brought us down and kept the wind from blowing us to a less safe spot. Then I set the car down on the sidewalk.

Boy, was I pleased with myself! It was a nice, light landing, no one was hurt. They also didn't seem to notice my feat, however, and the whole thing together is pretty easy to interpret, I think. I am in control of my life, however outside forces try to change my trajectory, and where I land may not be the original site, or the best site, but it will be good nonetheless. I will be triumphant.

And no one will care.

Oh, well.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

All and Sundry

Not a very accurate subject line, as sundry is an indeterminate number, but I'm tired of calling it random thoughts. :)

I saw this yesterday. There are also articles here and here.

Now, I don't have anything to say about Indianapolis Colts fans in general. I'm not going to paint an entire group of people with the colors shown by the few classless members who booed a 14-year-old girl who didn't deserve it. Every team has jerky fans, as well as awesome fans. I think it's nice of Patriots owner Robert Kraft to honor her before the Patriots game this coming Sunday, though that's a bigger deal than the actual booing was.

Really, the only thing I have to say is that I admire Anna Grant for the aplomb she showed, both in her laughter at the time the booing occurred, and in her responses in the media afterward. She understands what being a true fan is all about. Good for her.


I can't say the Supernatural comic book series has been that great a success. The art didn't appeal to me, the story was weak (though, to be fair, I find that to be true with comics in general--there's just not enough space, I guess, to plumb any depths), and nothing that happened really sticks in my head except that Peter Johnson made a mistake with the Impala (which he is fixing, according to this article). I didn't even get the last issue of the run.

But look what's coming!

I looked at the inside sample pages, and it was lots of blood, not my favorite part of the show. But it's much more about Sam and Dean than the Origins comics were, and that I like. So I'm looking forward to checking it out.


The WGA strike is showing some signs of nearing an end. Not really close to an end, of course, but they are signing more and more individual deals, and the DGA is holding the same line with the AMPTP, who is facing losing TONS of money, so it can't last too much longer. It can't end soon enough for me (except, you know, if the writers don't get a fair deal, then it would be too soon), especially with only four Supernatural episodes left. I just rewatched the first 8, and I am seriously floundering without the show.

In the meantime, I do have some other shows I've been trying.

Private Practice
Yes, I know it started months ago. I've had 8 episodes sitting on my TiVo for...well, for months. I finally watched the first two episodes last week and enjoyed them. They both made me cry, which I don't want to keep doing, but I liked the dynamic among all the characters, the comfort level between actors, and the feel of the show. It has potential.

Kyle XY
Not a new show for me, of course, but just returned to the schedule. I liked the premiere, though it didn't wow me. Not only am I still not enthralled with the voiceover, it's spreading to other shows, making it seem even more annoying on this show, for some reason. One thing I didn't like was the feeling of finality. I watched the preview for upcoming episodes and they look good, I like the direction of the show, but the first episode really should make me eager to see more, not ready to turn off the TV and go to bed. I'd also like Matt Dallas to eliminate the gee-gosh crooked smile and sheepish look from his repertoire. Kyle has matured and grown a lot, and dealt with some pretty intense stuff, and that just doesn't fit anymore.

(In case my anonymous commenter returns to yell at me for not liking the show, I do like it! It's very good and I will continue to watch it.)

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Definitely my favorite new show. We watched the first two episodes last night. I got made fun of because at the end I commented on how well they fit the 1999 parts with the movies. The look was similar, grainy film, similar lighting, etc. But I also thought the casting was great. Lena Heady, despite the impossibility of the actress's age, is perfect. I love Thomas Dekker. He's got a lot more talent than was apparent in Heroes. And, of course, I love Summer Glau because of Firefly.

Now, this show made me want more immediately. I have a vague theory about Cameron (the Summer Glau character), and her relationship with the future John, and how she became a robot. I like the storyline, and all the little pieces (like the ex-fiancé and the problems generated by time travel). I'm sad that there are only going to be seven episodes more.

I do wonder, however...the show is kind of a lead-in to the upcoming film that's supposed to be after the apocalypse, with John Connor played by Christian Bale (not a bad choice, IMO). The movie's release date is listed as June 2009, which gives us two seasons of the show (strike notwithstanding). So does that mean it won't continue after that? Is it supposed to lead us right to the apocalypse (now that the time travel has negated the timeline of T3)? Perhaps that's best, as a dragged-out storyline is never good, and there isn't much elsewhere to go with it. But that's not how networks generally operate.

As for the rest of TV:

Chuck "comes back" for one night next week. Numb3rs ends tomorrow. I have no idea when Reaper and Samantha Who? will air their last two episodes, or when Scrubs does their last five. Supernatural and LOST come back on the 31st, for 4 and 8 weeks, respectively, and after that, I guess I'll be giving my Netflix subscription a good workout.

That's okay. I'm way behind on movies, anyway. And I can always use the time to write. :)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Random Friday

I can't believe I've had nothing to post all week.

Which is more boring? Nothing new for five days, or a post like this one? (Feel free to comment anonymously *g*)


I recently did some research on dryers. A Consumer Reports article about efficient clothes drying mentioned that clothes should not be completely dry when removed, and should be removed promptly. Most care tags on the clothing itself also says remove promptly.

Why? It just gets stuffed into the laundry basket for a couple of days.

(I also don't like the idea of parts of the clothing being damp. I have mildew paranoia.)


Titan magazines has problems. A few years ago, I subscribed to the LOST official magazine. They had my money for, like, three months, and I didn't get the first issue. When I called, they said my subscription would start with the second issue. Annoyed, I canceled immediately.

So now they have a magazine for Supernatural. A friend got me a subscription, weeks and weeks before the first issue was released. But I didn't get it, and neither did she. She finally called, and they said the same thing. Second issue for me, third for her--they had no more first issues available. I ended up buying us both the first issue at the bookstore. They had a ton of copies.

I don't get why Titan is more concerned with their distributors than their subscribers. It's not a cheap subscription ($32.95 for six issues, which is $1.50 less per issue than the cover price of $6.99). And we're guaranteed buyers. Plus, if you make us happy, maybe we'll buy copies of other show-related magazines.


Anyway, I got issue one earlier this week, and issue two today. It's pretty good. Lots of interviews and behind-the-scenes stuff. I don't know what the strike and halt to the show's production will do to the magazine. Hopefully it won't last much longer.

Two tidbits of info:

1. Eric Kripke would ideally like to end the show after five seasons.

2. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is (was?) shooting The Watchmen right next door to SPN.

And BTW, if you don't know yet, Supernatural returns to TV on January 31 and has four episodes to air before it gets removed from The CW's schedule as of February 28.

Yes, let's all sob in sorrow and also be delighted that we get more new shows than most anything else that started in the fall.


The Patriots play tomorrow night! Can't wait for Number Two to watch her first playoff game! I swear, she's a bigger football fan than her father and I put together. She's recording Super Bowl X (we're about to have XLII--that's 42). We had this exchange the other night:

Me: Whatcha doin', hon?

Her: Watching the Baltimore Ravens losing season. I want to see why they fired the coach, Brian Billick.

Me: You know, they wanted to interview Josh McDaniels for that job.

Her: The Patriots' offensive coordinator?

You don't need to know football, I don't think, to get the significance of that conversation. How many 8-year-olds know the names of assistant coaches? And 8-year-old girls, at that?


Looking for an exciting, adventurous sci-fi romance? Check out the latest Hunters for Hire book from Cerridwen Press: Danger on Xy-One by Vicky Burkholder.

I've read this book, and it combines heart-pounding adventure with unique secondary characters and the kind of romance that develops naturally, without contrived conflicts and irrelevant obstacles. The worldbuilding is especially solid, without being dry and dull, as can often happen in SF. Give it a read!


We got a new kitten yesterday. Her name is Baby Girl, and Number Two won't let us change it. I can't fight her--it's her cat. She won't let me call her BG, either. But I can't call her Baby Girl! It's so silly!

She has adjusted very well, though we're mostly keeping her in Number Two's room, since she was spayed on Wednesday and needs to be kept quiet. Also, because Frisbee is furious. You haven't heard such growling since the original Exorcist. She's furious with all of us and feeling very neglected. Poor demon cat.

Maya, aka Box Cat, and BG are getting along fine. Dolly, aka Dumb Dog, hasn't noticed her existence.

Yep, that's my friendly household!

Monday, January 07, 2008


It turns out, even before the strike, TV wasn't that compelling.

Early last year, I spent every night watching TV. That kind of continued with the Dark Angel and Gilmore Girls DVDs in the summer, but when fall hit, I was bored. There was one show that I still felt was great, a few that made me want to watch before they accumulated many episodes, and some I just had to drop. I still haven't watched much Bionic Woman and no Private Practice yet. I weep for the return of Supernatural, and I'm looking forward to Lost and The Sarah Connor Chronicles. But I'm not eager to turn on the TV, not even to rewatch Supernatural, which I did at least three times each episode last year.

So what am I doing instead?

Sometimes I'm working. Sometimes I'm reading blogs and entertainment info (much of it strike-related) online. But most of the time, I'm reading.

It's nice. Quiet. My kids are in bed, my husband downstairs on his computer. I have a dog and two cats in the room with me, usually one on my lap, and I'm completely relaxed. It's something I'd been doing less regularly since I got into TV on DVD, and I missed it.

I think I mentioned that my TBR pile was very low, and between my brother, my husband/kids, and some generous friends with gift cards, I was able to build it back up again. I go to start a new book and stand in front of the shelf, giddy with choice, many of them books by friends or people I know.

One of those is Deep Magic by Joy Nash. I met Joy years ago, I think first through the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal chapter of RWA. I judged her first Celtic paranormal historical, Celtic Fire, in a contest, and even though I was already not reading historicals anymore, generally speaking, I really liked her entry. I met her in person a while after that, and when I went to speak at her chapter and we had dinner first, she was talking about the book and I recognized it!

Anyway, I haven't read Deep Magic yet, but I know it will have the same blend of rich worldbuilding, intense emotion, and heart-pounding action as her earlier books. You can check it out here.

So, what books are you looking forward to? What's drawing you to the armchair in the silent living room, under a warm kitty, with a yummy beverage steaming beside you? (Or, you know, the equivalent. :)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Told Ya!

You Are 50% Left Brained, 50% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

(Actually, I think I mentioned this in a comment on someone else's blog. But if you read that blog, I did tell ya! :)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

An Easy One, and Total Vindication!!!

I had a weird dream this morning. It was very vivid, and very intense, and I remembered all of it but couldn't post until now. Let's see if I still remember.

I was an employee for a pipe fittings company, and Joss Whedon was the owner. He was very particular about his molds, and there was one size we just couldn't find anywhere. Then we got married. I wasn't really myself in this part of the dream, I was an unmarried younger woman.

Then it changed. I had a flat tire. Since my friend Megan also had a flat tire (on her flatbed truck) and the repair person was supposed to go fix hers first, I went over there. But I didn't call first, and she had company. No, not that kind of company, it was a female friend hanging out. I was all embarrassed and stuff and insisted on not intruding, and went outside to wait. From that point on, Number Two was with me, and she kept asking why we had to wait, how much longer, etc.

Pipe fittings company = Don't Look Down by Suzanne Enoch, in which the rich hero was in the middle of acquiring such a thing. I finished reading that last night.

Joss Whedon = Firefly Visual Companion, Volume 2, which I started reading last night after I finished the other book.

Getting married = Hel-lo! He's Joss Whedon!

Flat tire = No idea. Possibly represents feeling stalled.

Megan's house/friend situation = I have ideas but discussing them here would make me too vulnerable and you'd all feel uncomfortable with the view into my psyche. Psychologists among you probably can figure it out. :)

Waiting = Number Two "got" a kitten for Christmas. We went on Monday to pick one, and did, and I filled out the paperwork, but they didn't get back to us until last night, so she was already bummed about waiting. It turns out there was already a hold on that cat, so we have to go back Saturday and see if they have a new crop of kittens. Number Two is not thrilled with the wait.

You know, some night I'd like to just sleep without dreaming.


Today, while running all over town doing stupid errands that were only half rewarding, I listened to Pottercast. They got Jo Rowling on the show, and she talked about a lot of great tidbits and factoids. One thing they discussed was whether or not Harry is a horcrux.

She said for convenience, Dumbledore said Harry is the horcrux that Voldemort didn't intend to make, but that the description is not accurate. A horcrux is intentionally made--which is what I've been saying all along! \o/ Vindicated \o/

She also said the process to create a horcrux is a series of spells to prepare a vessel and split the soul. Since Voldemort did not prepare Harry as a vessel to house a piece of his soul, and since the rebound of the avarta kadavra curse tore Voldemort's damaged, vulnerable soul accidentally, and the fragment went to Harry as the nearest place where it would be safe, rather than being placed in him--it all amounts to Harry being something that's never been before, and never had a name, and is therefore NOT a horcrux!

I heartily advise any Harry Potter fan to head over to Pottercast and download a couple of episodes. It's great! 130 and 131 are the ones with Jo.

With the exception of the bank, post office, library, Sears, and grocery store, and checking my e-mail, I have done almost nothing so far today. Starting 2008 off slow, I guess...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Dissecting 2007

I intended to do this in several different posts, and that's just not working out. I do not want to drag 2007 into 2008, so I'm dumping it all here. You may want to spread out the reading over a few sessions. :)

Recent Movies

I saw I Am Legend, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, and P.S. I Love You around the holiday. I loved them all.

I Am Legend had some flaws. There was a major thread they dropped the ball on, which was really important. I didn't care for the ending, though it wasn't at all surprising, and because there was no romance involved, it didn't bother me as much. Will Smith's acting was amazing, the hints that his hold on sanity wasn't as strong as it seemed, combined with his determination and his pain. The filming was masterful, with most of the special effects and the editing done in such a seamless, taut way that tension was never lost. We learned the backstory in a clever manner, too.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets was better than the first one, I thought, and the first one was pretty darned good. I love smart writing about smart people. The humor was excellent, and Riley still rocks the theater. Some spots at the end felt a little rushed, but Ed Harris was there, so who cares!

MaryF was right about needing tissues for P.S. I Love You. I'd have liked a little advancement of the symbolic hope at the end, but otherwise I don't think I have any complaints. Complex relationships, solid acting--the fight scene at the beginning had to have been filmed late, they were so comfortable with each other--and a happy ending equal a satisfying experience.

Looking Ahead, Movie-Wise

Some of the trailers looked even better than what I just saw.

Wall*E, about a robot left on Mars for 700 years, looks adorable.

Hancock, featuring Will Smith as a dissolute, destructive superhero

Mad Money is one that can go either way, from an amusing adventure to a ridiculous disappointment, but I'm looking forward to it regardless.

There were several others, and I can't remember them or find their trailers to bump my memory. I'm very excited that Juno is finally opening locally this Friday.

2007 Top Entertainment

Top Books
I gave 14 books a perfect 10, not including those I read as critiques before they were published. These were:

Seventh Key, Evelyn Vaughn
The Medusa Prophesy, Cindy Dees
Natural Born Charmer, Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Death Masks, Jim Butcher
Innocent in Death, JD Robb
Blood Rites, Jim Butcher
Coyote Dreams, CE Murphy
Dead Beat, Jim Butcher
Proven Guilty, Jim Butcher
Avalon High, Meg Cabot
White Knight, Jim Butcher
How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 Days, Susan Grant
All Through the Night, Suzanne Brockmann
Creation in Death, JD Robb

Top Movies

I saw 17 movies on DVD and 30 in the theater. I know! Thirty is a lot! There would have been more DVDs if it hadn't been for the Gilmore Girls semi-marathon, as well as Dark Angel and a few other TV shows. The movies I gave 10s to are:

Eight Below
POTC: At World's End
Ocean's 13
National Treasure 2

I also gave 9s to the following:

10 Things I Hate About You
Music & Lyrics
Live Free or Die Hard
Bourne Ultimatum
I Am Legend
PS I Love You

See a theme? I like comedy, I like adventure, I like hot actors. LOL

Top Television

This includes those I saw on DVD as well as live. The 10s are:

Kitchen Confidential
Gilmore Girls, seasons 1 and 4
Supernatural, season 2 (three was an 8, but after the last ep I’ll bump it to 9)
Jake 2.0
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Lost, seasons 2 and 3 of Gilmore Girls, the fall season of Numb3rs, and the end of season 2 of Prison Break got 9s. I'm dying for Lost to start again, and I don't miss Prison Break anymore.

That Goals Thing

I met all my goals!


I lost 15 lbs. What? You thought I said my goal was 50? Oh, you must have misheard me. I said fifTEEN. That sounds a lot like fifTY.

Dining Room

We have a few little things left to do, but the transformation is technically complete.


I exercised 301 days this year, one more than my goal. I only skipped more than two days in a row once, and that was my birthday/Christmas Eve/Christmas Day.


This one's a little trickier. I read, in their entirety, 107 books. I also read parts of 56 books, with a total page count of 2471, which is a little over 7 books at of 350 pages. (I went as high as page 139 before stopping, and as low as the first page. The most common reason for stopping was boredom.)

So that's only 114, right? And my goal was 115. But I also critiqued 12 full books, all of which are either published, sold, or submitted. That right there would be enough, but I also critiqued 21 other chapters (mostly in partials) and read 10 short stories, some in an anthology, some for a contest, plus 6 Golden Heart entries, plus75 magazines. I think I overwhelmingly met my goal here.


Officially, I wrote 302,546 words, of which 25,182 were nonfiction (paid work). That falls 47,454 words short of my goal. But I think between the GabWagon and here, I've probably written three times that, and since the GabWagon is 100% related to writing, if I add that with what I've written here about writing, I'm sure I'm well over 350,000 words. Plus business e-mails and IMs could count, too. Since there is no "prize" for achievement, I'm just going to say I did it and leave it at that. :)

What DID I Do in 2007?

I started doing freelance nonfiction and editing/proofreading early in the year. I'm not going to add up the number of projects I did--it's several books edited/proofed, several articles written, lots of bios written, many more advertising pieces proofed.

For fiction, this is what I did:

  • Finished writing Unbreakable
  • Edited Under the Moon
  • Wrote Rebuilding Forever (published in July)
  • Revised Unbreakable
  • Wrote Hummingbird
  • Revised Color of Courage
  • Wrote More Than You Know

Pretty good year, I think.

2008 Planning

I'm not setting goals this year. I do, however, have plans.

I will continue exercising, and will exercise 2.5 hours a week. I need to increase my intensity and time for each. I think doing a 45-minute workout three times a week will be more effective, for example, than walking for 15 minutes twice and using hand weights for five minutes three times.

I will continue to track my weight, and hopefully lose more, but I know if I put too much focus on it, it will backfire. So I plan to make small changes in an ongoing, long-term effort.

I will keep a list of the books I read, movies I see, and TV shows I watch, but I'm not compiling all the info I did in 2007, with notes on what I thought about them and such.

And I'll keep track of my writing, both nonfiction and fiction, but since I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen tomorrow, never mind the rest of the year, I don't want to set full goals. Some of the things I plan to do, in the absence of outside influence (like contracts):

  • Revise Behind the Scenes
  • Revise Hummingbird
  • Revise More Than You Know
  • Write sequel to The Color of Courage
  • Write sequel to Under the Moon
  • Start first book of Victory series
So there you have it. Everything you didn't care about regarding my 2007 and 2008. :)

How did you do? What are your plans? Share!