Sunday, March 30, 2008

SPNA March Madness, Regional Championships!

Regional Championships are open for voting.

This one is the hardest yet! Make sure you go over and vote for your favorite Supernatural episodes!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Looking Forward to April!

The weather teased a little in the middle of the week, then promptly got cold and windy again. But I'm hopeful it will recognize that next week is APRIL and will accommodate. Just a little. High 60s is good. The only thing I hate more than the end of a season is skipping seasons.

But there's more to look forward to in April than weather:

A Better Car Situation

Getting the new car fixed, and also getting the old car serviced and detailed, just in time for...


The New England Chapter of RWA is holding their annual conference on the 11th and 12th. It's been two years since I've been to any kind of con, three (four?) since I hit this one. They always do a great job, and I'll be seeing one of my best friends. I plan to hook up with my cousin afterward, and stop by Patriots Place in Foxboro on my way home.

Almost more importantly...

The (Temporary) Return of Good TV!

I'm sooooo jonesing for a fix. The gap because of the strike was hard, but it made this gap even harder. I can't wait for Numb3rs, Scrubs, LOST, Samantha Who?, and, of course, Supernatural to come back. Even though it's for a (way too) short time, it's better than never!

April is also a launch into...

The Return of Good Movies

There have been a few things out recently that I wanted to see, but when the time came, I wasn't interested enough to actually leave the house. A few April movies change that: Leatherheads primarily, and definitely Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and a movie that JUST came to my attention: Street Kings. Dude! Keanu's back! It's been wayyy too long, and though the movie is the kind I usually just rent, it's also got Amaury Nolasco, so I might just head to the theater!

April also means soccer (Number One started this week and has two to three games a week through May! Number Two starts next weekend); my chapter meeting, at which I will do my Pirates Guide writing workshop; Number Two's birthday (and she never wants a party! I am so blessed); AND a Chippendales show. I've never been to one, only a knockoff called Men at Work, so I'm looking forward to that.

And you know what? May looks even better!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ups and Downs

First, the ups:

It's Megan Hart's birthday!

I'm lucky I sent her a gift and card early in the week, because I talked to her multiple times today, even discussing some adult entertainment in celebration, without putting together that TODAY is the actual day.

Anyway, all is right with my world now. It always feels off between December and March, until we're the same age again.

The Supernatural Sweet Sixteen voting is going on right now! Scroll down a little bit for part one and part two. I thought things would be more difficult, but it was actually easier for me this round.

I got something good in the mail today, and took care of some things that I expected to be really slow but weren't. I wrote 1300 words on my new novella, "Letting Go," scheduled for release later this year, and did some revisions on Behind the Scenes that should have me done with all the major changes. Now it's just tweaking all the references to stuff that's no longer there, or different.


Now, the downs. I wish the ups were as high as the downs were low.

In the "PIA but unimportant in the face of things" husband got hit by another driver (sorry, his CAR got hit) a few weeks ago. Our body shop is backed up so that's not repaired yet. Last week I backed into our neighbor's parked car an messed up the rear bumper. While the estimator was here today, I was standing there looking at the car and noticed some scratches. And more scratches. And MORE scratches, with a big crease over the rear tire. It's like someone squeezed a shopping cart into too small a space, and dug the paint off the doors and quarterpanel all the way down the side of the car. That repair is going to cost twice as much as the bumper! Poor car.

In the "the car totally doesn't matter category," the Iraq war has now done its job on my family. I found out my cousin was killed on Saturday. All-too-common story, roadside bomb. He was a medic, too, which for some reason always seems worse.

He's a second cousin and I haven't seen him for about 17 years, I think, but I looked at his oh-so-familiar face and remembered babysitting him when we were kids, and my heart broke. I can't imagine the pain his mother and sisters are enduring.

I shall say no more, lest I break my no-politics rule for this blog. I pray for everyone over there, and everyone who has loved ones in danger spots of any type.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Head Slap

My mind is a sieve.

Way back in this post (or the equivalent, very same post on LJ or MySpace), I started a contest.

And then I never announced a winner.


So, Marilyn! You win! E-mail me which book you want, and if you already have them all, I'll earmark a copy of Renegade for you in July.

So sorry for the delay!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Yay and Wow!

Congratulations to all the Golden Heart and Rita finalists (official list to be posted here tomorrow)! I feel bad for my friends who didn't final, but joyful for the ones who did.

According to Mrs. Tinkles, Round Two of the Supernatural Tournament is a doozy! Lots of ties going on! She's extended the round, so go vote! Links are here.

I turned in my novella, RENEGADE, today. Inspired by the hit song (featured at the end of the Supernatural episode "Nightshifter"), it features two, heroes, and the woman who loves them. More to come on that soon!

Monday, March 24, 2008

SPNA Update, Studio Diva, and TV Roundup

New rounds are open in the Supernatural March Madness tournament! That link will take you to the main journal. For voting, it's probably easiest to go to the schedule and see what's open and what's closed. But read all the posts to see which episodes have fallen by the wayside so far. (Nooooo, not "The Usual Suspects"!!!)

Have fun! I am, despite the Solomon-like choices with some of these.


Okay, all you readers out there? Get ready for some super fun! Make all your favorite authors jump through hoops to entertain YOU!

Check out The Romance Studio's Studio Diva (the second link takes you directly to the Studio Diva info), which will be ongoing from May through August. You can win some cool prizes, and so can the authors!

You can also be instrumental in directing the program. See how here.


As frustrated as I was with the AMPTP over the writers strike, I have to admit, the studios have done a fairly decent job managing the schedule. When Supernatural went off the air again, LOST was coming back. We got Jericho overlapping with The Sarah Connor Chronicles. And now that LOST and Jericho are going away again, the first post-strike shows are starting to air.

Still, we're hitting a big lull, at least as far as the show I watch. I still have How I Met Your Mother and Miss Guided, but that's about it.

Some thoughts:

Miss Guided

I watched it 'cause Judy Greer is made of awesome and deserves her show to succeed, and it's very funny and sweet. The put-downs aren't overwhelming, there's balance, and the VP is hilarious. And the characters are more complex than the stereotypes they represent. The cute guy the protagonist loves actually deserves it!

Kyle XY

Overall, I really enjoyed the season. For those passionate fans who Google the show and find my comments, let me repeat: I really enjoyed the season. The overdone voiceover seemed to back off a little bit, or I got used to it and it stopped bothering me. The relationships were still the high point, even as the adventure aspect dropped a little. I especially loved Josh and Andy.

I have to admit, though, the finale left me cold. Okay, Lori and Declan I can live with, even though all my sympathies are with him. I can accept that not EVERY thread has to have a totally happy semi-ending. (I'd like Kyle and Declan to have more interaction then, m'kay? Thx.) The thing that bothered me the most, though, was Amanda's abduction. Foreshadowed heavily, all very dramatic and duhn duhn DUHHHHHN!, but pretty stupid.

Theory 1 (the one I first thought when the show aired)

Latnock says, "It's time to introduce ourselves to Kyle" and then kidnaps his girlfriend? To what ends? First, you see if someone is willing to do what you want them to do. Then, if they aren't, you threaten something you hold dear. If they waver but don't give in, you threaten harder. Last option is to actually follow through on the threat. It's called escalation.

Theory 2 (the one I just thought of, that makes more sense but not much)

Brian loses his creation, is told to go away, and instead of doing so, lashes out by taking away something Kyle holds dear. More logical because there's at least some motivation behind the action. But still, to what ends? What does Brian hope to get by abducting Amanda? It won't bring Jessi back, Kyle doesn't know where she's going. It won't get him in good again with Latnock. If Adam is right about who they are, they'll be appalled. Even if Sarah's more right about them, they aren't likely to appreciate a stranger being pulled into their politics and their secrecy revealed.

Theory 3 (in the interest of completeness)

Someone else entirely?

Regardless, I'm interested in seeing the premiere of the next season and finding out who did it and why. And how Kyle will handle it, as it causes him a dozen different problems.


So despite fans' best efforts, this show isn't going to make it. I'm a little sad, but I won't miss it. I really enjoyed season 1, and season 2 has been well done, but I think they went a little too big with it, losing sight of the individual stories that made season 1 so compelling.

The conspiracy is frightening, because I can see it as possible in real life. Much more possible than direct invasion or a new Hitler taking over the U.S. (as has been suggested lately with the new gun laws being debated).

And I'll miss Skeet Ulrich, who I just discovered. I hope he and the actress who plays Heather get something for next fall. They have talent (even though Skeet didn't act much different than he did in Miracles).


Looking forward to April and May for a whole buncha reasons, now!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fail. I Mean, Supernatural March Madness is Upon Us!

So on March 19, which isn't that long ago on the calendar, really, Gail mentioned that she wanted to do a Supernatural bracket tournament with the show's episodes, modeled on the NCAA. She asked me to pimp the tournament and I heartily agreed.

And I've failed.

I've had her LJ open on my browser for four days, and never had enough time to post about it here. So now I'm doing it, and it's kind of late.

But not TOO late!

She has the rules posted here, explaining how she set up the brackets, etc.

The schedule is here.

Since each poll is only open for two days...

Results for SPNA East, Round One

Results for SPNA South, Round One

As of right now, voting in SPNA West, Round One is still open (though the schedule says it closes/closed 3/23 a.m.).

As is SPNA Midwest, Round One. Hm. Maybe not. Maybe she's closing them AS I TYPE THIS. That would be weird.

ROUND TWO is definitely in play, as it opened today!

East is here.

South is here.

Have Fun!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mary "LOST" Me

In the comments to the last post, Mary said Locke must be #6, which reminded me I was thinking about some other things and then I just had to post them here, instead of just a really long comment there. :)

I agree with her that it seems to fit that Locke is the last of the Oceanic Six. But then that leads me to wonder how on earth it was decided who would go?

Sun is obvious. She'll die in three weeks if she's not off the island. (Which means they will be rescued in less than three weeks! They're jumped three island days between the last two episodes, so we might see that exodus this season. Finale, maybe.

Jack is also logical. He wants off, and if there could only be six, he'd feel he was the strongest candidate for getting back to them, to get the others.

Kate is not so logical. She knows she'll be arrested as soon as she's back to civilization. She's not even the best candidate for taking care of Aaron, assuming Claire couldn't. I can't imagine Claire letting her son go, and definitely not with Kate, who wouldn't even pick him up when he was fussing. Why wouldn't Claire want Sun to take Aaron, given that Kate would be on the run or going to jail? If Claire dies, why would ANYONE, including Kate, decide to give her Aaron?

It's all so delicious. LOL

Sayid's and Hurley's status as Oceanic Six make me think there's no "decision" made at all. Why would they go instead of letting some of the women or weaker men go? People who were desperate to get home. Like Juliet, or Desmond.

There's got to be some complicated situation going on that leads to the future we've been seeing. I can't imagine a mass death, and of course there's reference to going back, that they need them, so we know that's not likely.

The future timeline bothers me a little, too.

Sun's would have occurred about 7 months from now, maybe a little less, since she didn't seem to think she was in simple labor and was frightened about what was happening.

Hurley's would obviously be much further, after he'd deteriorated. Unless he'd deteriorated and then got better.

Ditto Jack. In Kate's future, Aaron looked about 2 years old, and he spoke pretty well. So did Jack have his drunk-beard issues before that, or after?

Going back to the island seems like it's going to take place waayyyy in the future. How long will that translate for those left behind?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

So the Bad

Please understand that by "bad" I don't mean bad. Smallville is bad. Sitcoms featuring hot, exasperated wives and fat, sloppy, idiotic men, neither of whom have any redeeming characteristics, are bad. This isn't that kind of bad.

No, this is the kind of bad you get when a show is written and acted so well, they make you love the things you hate. They make you, oh, totally not mean it when you swear you're going to stop watching if they kill Charlie.

On to the bad...

The first bad thing.

This is the one annoying thing. The network and Damon/Carlton are partly to blame because they announced Harold Perrineau's (Michael/Kevin Johnson) return to the show last summer before/at Comic-Con. I didn't mind that, really. I like him and am really glad he's back. My thirst for good TV, which hasn't been able to be satisfied by actual TV to the extent of my need, has led me to read speculation and mild spoilers, so I'd seen some people guess that Michael was the man on the boat. Which, again, was fine. I didn't mind fulfillment of that guess.

What I did mind, quite a bit, was ABC's promos touting the return of someone we never thought we'd see again. DUDES! One of your executives told us at the TCA or whatever they're called, right before the announcement at Comic-Con, that he was coming back! So we TOTALLY knew we would see him again!

Bad thing number two.

Last week, they had a really tearjerking, poignant, heartfelt ending, when Desmond and Penny connected, and things all came together from flashbacks and the bits of the present. Their exchange..."I'll find you"..."I love you"...was perfect. And I was so sure the bastards were going to have him drop dead like Fisher Stevens. I wanted to run to LA and hug them when they didn't.

But I knew they wouldn't do it two weeks in a row. I kind of figured out that Jin's flash was a back. The whole panda thing was out of place. The phone was older, too big. And Sun's desperation for him to be there was too intense. So the whole episode I was expecting his death, as much as I held on to hope that he wouldn't die. Of course, as soon as he told her he'd never leave her, I knew he wouldn't have a choice.

HEY! Darlton! Stop freakin' killing my favorite characters!

Bad thing the third.

WARNING: Speculation ahead.

I think Juliet is pregnant. Please, please, don't let it be Ben's baby. I don't even like the idea of it being Goodwin's, but that's the only choice we know about, right?

About Other Stuff that's Not the Bad

The Oceanic Six

Jake, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, and Sun. Jin obviously not. Did you notice that his gravestone had a date of September 2001? So they lied about him, too, and said he died in the crash. I wonder if he really dies, or somehow gets left behind or something. The grave marker could be only a marker.

I'm soooo intrigued by the story of the Oceanic Six and wonder how far they'll get on the path to going home this season.

Ben and Aaron don't count as part of the Six because they weren't on the plane--or weren't passengers, anyway. Aaron was technically on it. So the last person who is part of the six is the person in the coffin from the end of last season. Someone who suffered a far different fate as one of the Six, it seems, given the empty church at the memorial "service."

I wonder if the Ben in Sayid's flash-forward is really Ben, or his not-evil twin or something.

My biggest question is...this future that we're seeing. Is it unchangeable? I sadly expect that it is. But that makes me really hope the final season will occur after all these flash-forwards, and they'll go back to the island, and it will be an even bigger adventure.

I'm almost unhappy we have to wait so long to get there.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

In the "Oh, Please" Category

My attention was just called to this article.

It basically says that more girls and young women use the Internet than boys do. On the face of it, that's interesting, but not surprising. Granted, I interact with more women than men, and most of them are working in an industry that requires Internet proficiency.

But the article states that "New research suggests it is time to rethink the stereotypical net user as a pasty-faced male geek in Joe 90 specs, or the furtive spotty teen looking for zeppelin breasts online."

Hel-LLO! When did we establish that stereotype, 1980? I was using the Internet in 1992 to get information for my Cleveland Browns Backers newsletter. I'm no supermodel, but I've never been pasty-faced, and I've always used the Internet more than the men in my life.

But I've also been an aberration in most generalities, so okay, let's assume they're right that the Internet "began as an almost exclusively male preserve."

The article gets worse. It focuses most of its statistics on social networking, at least in the first half of the article, and says “Girls use the internet for gossiping and finding things out about friends and people you know. Boys use it more for useful things like games."

Oh. My. God.

First, when was playing games ever a better, more constructive thing than personal interaction?

Second, I'm pretty sure there is a lot of research and other kinds of activity going on, so the focus is bogus.

The article states that YouTube users are primarily men. I have no idea how they think they know that. They don't cite a source, just quote a couple of users. Perhaps YouTube accounts require that info, but how do they know it's true?

Some of the other stuff, later in the article, about women not enrolling in IT education programs, etc., is more substantial and harder to argue, but that's a very different subject. And making money via programming is a lot different from making money via usage, so saying women are gossiping but not making money is completely wrong.

One of the commenters to the article said (paraphrasing and inferring) "who cares about social networking, all the users are in peer-to-peer sharing, and that's all males." I don't think it's any better to indicate that boys mostly do illegal stuff on the 'net than it is to say girls mostly gossip.

My initial righteous indignation is wearing off and my argument is starting to get wispy, so I'm going to stop here.

It's not too late to enter my contest! I'll draw a winner at the end of the week.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Too Much Time

So today is that annoying day when we turn our clocks ahead an hour. I admit I'm not thrilled with the new timing. I like it lighter later, but not darker earlier. We just started walking to the bus stop in daylight when it gets dark again.

But regardless of when we do it, I realize the same thing every year: We have too damned many clocks.

Two in the master bedroom. Plus three or four watches, though those move rooms, especially if they are being worn.

One alarm clock and one computer clock in Number One's room.

One alarm clock, one computer clock, and one wall clock in Number Two's room.

One in the main bathroom, one in the Daddy's.

One in the living room, a wall-mounted grandfather clock that is usually not running because a) we forgot to rewind it, or b) Number One stopped it to play cello (the ticking messes up her timing) and never restarted it.

None in the dining room! Oh, wait. My laptop is usually on. That has a clock.

A ridiculous number in the kitchen: microwave, stove, and telephone/answering machine.

Three in my office. An Audubon bird clock that now sings the wrong songs at the wrong times, no matter how often I adjust it, and which will now be an hour off for seven-plus months because it's too much of a pain to rehang it. My computer clock, which resets itself but is often slow. And my little travel alarm. No, wait. Four, because my fax machine has a clock. So does my iPod. Five.

Two in the main family room: The VCR and a Cleveland Browns wall clock that is at least 15 years old, maybe 20. Then the clock over my husband's desk, and the clock on his computer.

Oh, we should add the other two iPods and three cell phones.

That's 31 friggin' timepieces in one house, for four people! No wonder we're always stressed! There's always something telling us how much time we don't have left.

And today, we have even less.

Okay, I know it's boring to read a list of clocks. You probably skimmed this post. But be honest--it made you think about how many you have, didn't it? Be honest.

How does your household compare to mine?

You know what? Let's make it fun. I'll give a free download of one of my books ('cause I don't have any paper copies left) to the person who posts the most number of clocks in the comments of one of my three blogs (I post this same post on Blogger, LJ, and MySpace). So give us the rundown!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Supernatural News

It appears that the woman with Lilith at the end of the last episode of Supernatural was Molly Brown (I think that was the name), who was on a wanted poster earlier in the episode.

In much, much bigger news, Supernatural was renewed for a fourth season! Woo hoo!

I have a feeling I won't be blogging as much in the near future. I have a novella due this month (RENEGADE, featuring two of the hottest men, in fiction...inspired by two of the hottest men alive. Good men, wanted by the law, seeking help from a heroine with her own secrets. Big ones. I hope soon she'll tell me what they are.).

I also must dig deep into the edits of the book my agent rejected last year, because she finished the book I sent her and has notes on that one. And I have some thoughts on revising another book and giving it new life. And I have a novella due in May.

So, yeah, I'm busy. I won't disappear, I promise, but don't expect much for a little while.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Quote of the Day

A father and young daughter are playing Clever Endeavor.

Father (reading clue): "I get turned down a lot."

Daughter (making guess): "An author."

She must have a mother who's a writer. :)