Friday, August 29, 2008

Viewer's Choice

All day today, SciFi Channel is airing a Star Trek: Enterprise "Viewer's Choice" marathon. I'm a fan, have been since day one. Sure, the show had its flaws (quite a few of them, actually) and its share of cringe-worthy moments (although nothing quite so cringe-inducing as Deanna Troi on the first two seasons of TNG). However, I love it.

I take that back: I love Trip Tucker. He's battled with Worf as my favorite Trek character, ever, and I finally decide to let them share the #1 spot.

Anyway, after perusing the list of episodes "chosen" for the marathon, I have a funny feeling there are a lot more Trip fans out there than I thought. While "Unexpected" is a glaring omission from the playlist (Funniest. Episode. Ever.), all of the other Trip-centric eps are listed: "Shuttlepod One," "Similitude," "Cogenitor," "Twilight," and "Terra Prime, Pt 2." Alas, "These Are the Voyages" also made the list, but no list is perfect.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Author Talk: Jackie Kessler

I'm a regular reader of Gena Showalter's blog, and last Friday the Author Talk segment was with AW member Jackie Kessler. I adored Jackie's debut, HELL'S BELLES, and am saving up for her other two novels. So go check out the segment, if you haven't seen it yet.

Rituals and Torture Porn

The topic of "How do you write?" comes up on AW time and again. And I don't mean the "computer v. paper" argument, or outline v. pantser. I mean in the sense of "What's your ritual?" I usually answer with some variation of: I sit down, boot up Word, and start typing.

Putting yourself into a ritual can be a dangerous thing, especially for new writers. It gives you the perfect excuse to not write. "I'm out of tea, I can't write." "The radio is broken, I can't write." "I only have five sharpened pencils, instead of six, I can't write." Chronic procrastinators know these tricks well.

I'm thinking hard about this today for two reasons.

First, a conversation I had yesterday with Serenity about procrastinating. She knows she can't read my next novel until she shows me pages of her own. Our conversation went something like this:

Her - Once my room is finished, I'll start writing again.
Me - Unpacking is a process that could take another week. Instead of saying 'I'll do this when this is done,' say 'I'll unpack an hour, and then write an hour.' Don't set yourself up to not write.
Her - I hate it when you make sense.

Don't worry, though; I don't make sense all that often. :)

The second reason I'm pondering the ritual thing is that I just put my DVD of Saw III into my player (don't judge me for liking torture porn, this series has Donnie Wahlberg!). I'm not sure why I picked this one, considering I own about a hundred and fifty movies. I wanted something on in the background for when I started writing. Doesn't matter what, because I won't really pay attention, anyway.

Actually, this particular movie might be inspirational. Evy's about to hit up a Halfie hideout and kick some ass for answers. Maybe it wasn't such a bad choice, after all.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hari Puttar vs. Harry Potter

Seriously? Warner Bros. needs to find something better to do with their time. Suing an Indian film company because they used the character name "Hari Puttar" in the title? Yeesh.

Maybe it's because I've been reading a thread on AW in which someone is super-paranoid about beta readers stealing their golden words, but wow. I don't get it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

So Much In a Week

Yes, the blog updates ended with two days left until the big move.

No, that doesn't mean the move didn't happen.

What it does mean is that Verizon-MD are staffed by ijits. We called them to order our phone and DSL service way back on August 5th. Phone was working fine when we got here (I know, because I took a call from my agent on move-in day). DSL? Not so much. After a weekend of runarounds from Tech Support and the local business office, we were told to try a different number on Monday. So we did. After an hour and a half on the phone, we're told that Someone, for Some Reason, had cancelled our DSL service.


We didn't cancel it. We certainly didn't receive any notification that it had been cancelled. So the guy on the phone set it up for Thursday (today). Out of the ashes, we did score six months free for their royal screw up. Obviously we have our 'Net back, but now my MSN and IE browsers are wonky, so I've bitten the bullet and downloaded Firefox. So far, my only real complaint is that Photobucket doesn't seem to work right. Grrrr....

But the move went well. I love the house and will be posting pictures soon (when I get this photo program thingie figured out). My new room is nice and cozy. Anya made the trip well, and she's adjusted to life in a two-story house. There's a window at the top of the stairs, facing the backyard, that she loves to sit in. The weather's been awesome, too. AC's been off since Saturday, and it gets downright chilly at night.

The new job is going well. So far, I like the staff and they seem to like me. Lots of visual stuff, which is fine by me. I'd rather reorganize a display, than design someone's table setting.

Stayed up way too late last night reading the end of a book. Good book, though. I'll review it here in the near future.

In personal writing news, the results of the auction are in. You'll just have to stay tuned. *eg*

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bittersweet and Super-Sweet

Countdown to the big move: 2 Days


In about an hour, I'm leaving for my last day of work. It's bittersweet. I've longed for this day, and still, I find myself hoping I don't cry when I leave. I worked in that store for five years, five months, and six days. I've seen changes in staff and merchandise. The fixtures and floor plan has been altered numerous times. We've even gone through three property managers. It's been a second home, a place in which I spent at least forty hours a week, with people I saw more often than my own family. No more joking with my regular customers, or asking them how things worked out.


And mixed in with that is pure candy: I received a call from my agent yesterday, telling me that a second editor has offered on my book. Which means? Anyone?


Yes, boys and girls, my debut novel, THREE DAYS TO DEAD, is going to auction. I was actually jumping up and down when I got off the phone. I called my roommate, my sister, and my parents. It's all too surreal. Something I often dreamed about, but never entertained as an actual possibility.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Endless Prologue Debate

Countdown to the big move: 3 Days


Prologues. Some books have 'em, some books don't. And until I joined AbsoluteWrite Watercooler, I never realized there was such a debate about them. That people could get so worked up over whether or not to include them, whether or not they read them, and if they really serve any purpose to the story being told.

I'm not going to argue pros and cons of prologues, reading or writing. They exist. Deal with it.

It just struck me hard today--a thread over on AW had to be moderated, because some of the members were And a little rude to each other. Over something as silly as whether or not to include a prologue.

Do what works for your story. If you think it needs a prologue, write it. You can always take it out later, if it turns out you don't. Worry about what readers might think after you've finished the novel, polished it to a shine, got an agent, and sold it to a publishing house.

Monday, August 11, 2008's Sexiest SciFi Stars

Countdown to the big move: 4 Days


So posted their Sexiest Sci-Fi Stars. Considering the simple fact that it was a reader-nominated and voted poll, the results shouldn't surprise me. But they do.

15. David Duchovny (The X-Files). Okay, this one I can agree with. In his heyday as Fox Mulder, the man was hot. He's still good-looking, but age has taken away a little of that puppy-dog adorableness I loved.

14. Eliza Dushku (Buffy, Tru Calling). Good choice.

13. Gillian Anderson (The X-Files). Meh.

12. Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica). Should have been higher on the list.

11. Ben Browder (Farscape, Stargate:SG1). Hot, but not top 15 for me.

10. Nathan Fillion (Firefly). Should have been in the Top Five.

9. John Barrowman (Torchwood). My first reaction was, "Who?" Then it was, "Really?"

8. Joe Flanigan (Stargate: Atlantis).

7. David Tennant (Dr. Who). Hell no.

6. Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica). Number One Baby!

5. Alex O'Loughlin (Moonlight). Never saw it. He's cute, but not top fifteen.

4. Allison Mack (Smallville). Blah.

3. Tom Welling (Smallville). Too high on the list, but definitely belongs.

2. Jarod Padelecki (Supernatural). Blah.

1. Jensen Ackles (Supernatural). Blah.

Can you tell Supernatural and Smallville fans read a lot of

Missing folks I would have put on the list: David Boreanaz (Angel, Bones), Connor Trinneer (Enterprise), Richard Dean Anderson & Michael Shanks (Stargate: SG1), and Michael Landes (Special Unit 2).

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Countdown to the big move: 6 Days


Today the living room was tackled, and in doing so, a stack of magazines was delivered to my bed. Mostly copies of "Entertainment Weekly," plus a few assorted cooking magazines. The cooking ones went into a pile for recipe clipping. The EW's were divided between HaveRead, MustRead, and Save. It's kind of sad that the MustRead's outnumbered the Save's, and were about fifty percent the amount of HaveRead's (which went into the trash).

Makes me glad I cancelled my subscription. I liked finding a magazine to read every Friday evening (or every other when they published those annoying double issues). But I rarely sat down and read it the same day. Usually it was a few days later. Or they were forgotten, and now sit comfortably in my MustRead pile. And on top is the most recent issue, with the boys from Tropic Thunder (which looks hysterical!).

It's all about de-cluttering. I don't need the magazines. I can read most of the articles on their website. It'll save me money when my subscription is due (I'm even getting a small refund, since I cancelled early). All in all, a good thing.


Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Blog Round-Up

Countdown to the big move: 7 Days


I think I'm one box away from being completely finished with my room (sans computer and TV, two things that won't get packed until the very last). Now I just need to take all the screws out of the wall and putty them. Also take the big, honkin' "Enterprise" poster off my wall (another thing that will wait until last, because the wide, white walls freak me out). And take down the curtain rod. And pay my car insurance. And switch over all of my credit card billing statements.

Instead of doing all that, I'm going to do a quick blog round-up. Some of the fun things I've read this week.

If you don't already watch Author Talk, it's worth checking out. Gena Showalter and Jill Monroe post hilarious author interviews, and there's a new one up this week with Vicki Lewis Thompson and Special Guest.

The ladies at BookEnds always post some great advice, but this one (posted by Jessica Faust) is worth taking a look at. Especially if you're an aspiring author on the hunt for an agent.

Here's a video segment from Kristin Nelson's Pub Rants. It's a public talk with author Ally Carter, in which she tells the story of how her novel I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You came into being. I've not read any of Ally's books, but just listening to her connect with her fans makes me want to pick one up.

There's also a couple of new Author Introductions and Author Interviews posted at Fangs, Fur & Fey. Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

:Insert Clever Title Here:

Countdown to the big move: 8 Days


So there's been stupendously good movement in the Great Editor Hunt. I don't want to jinx anything by blabbing about it now, but I'm marking today (August 7th) as the day I realized that I *will* be published.

//runs around in circles and crashes into the wall//


Have I mentioned that Reese's Peanut Butter Cups with White Chocolate are amazing? Heaven in a little bite. I've become a huge fan of peanut butter and white chocolate. I think white is more complimentary to the peanut butter than milk chocolate.

I've promised myself I would finish packing my room tonight (everything but a few things on the desk and the girl-stuff I need on my dresser). Can't dally long. I cannot believe that a week from today we'll be loading the truck. Emptying out five years worth of stuff.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Kitty Valium

Countdown to the big move: 10 Days


I had something in mind to blog about today, but it's completely flown from the reaches of my brains. Oh wait...I remember. I was going to brag about the cool cache of graphic novels/comics I'd just won off an eBay auction. Only I didn't win. It ended while I was at work, and some yahoo outbid me. *best Jack Bauer voice* "Damn it!" I hate that. Oh well. At least it saves me deciding where the seller should send it (here and hope it arrives before next Thursday, or the new address in MD).

I think my other cat, Anya is stressed out. She's been grooming a lot lately, losing small tufts of fur, and getting little scabs on her neck. The flea comb didn't find anything, so it has to be stress. Between losing Hannah last month, and all of the packing activity around the apartment, it's no wonder. I just wish I had some Kitty Valium for her.

I also wish she'd stop vomiting up hairballs in the middle of the night...on my bed....yuck.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Google-Fu and Patron Saints

Countdown to the BIG MOVE: 11 Days


So I was playing with the sequel to my agented novel (yes, yes, don't do that until the first one is sold, I know), and I realized that in the three times I mention the city's hospital in Three Days to Dead, I never actually named it or said where it was. I had to go back and check both manuscripts to make sure. The only thing I did say was that it wasn't on the same side of the river as Parkside East.

Whipping out my trusty, hand-drawn map of the city, I decided on a location. Then I needed to name it. I liked the idea of naming it after a saint, but also a saint with some meaning. Not being Catholic, I hadn't a clue who to use. Enter Google. After a couple of clicks, I found St. Eustachius. He died as a martyr and is the patron saint of Hunters. Seems to fit (not necessarily the martyr part, but definitely the Hunter part).

I do wish I'd gotten more writing done this vacation, but I packing was the priority. There's still more to do. And oh my Lord, U-Haul trucks are expensive! *faints*

Sunday, August 03, 2008

RITA Awards

Romance Writers of American have announced the RITA Award winners. When I read it, I stick to paranormal romance, but I'm excited to see Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely on the list of winners (for Young Adult Romance). It's in my TO BE READ pile (and stuck there for a while, since the box it's in is....uh...somewhere).

Yay! To all the winners.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Let's See What August Brings (and hope it's awesome)

Cuz July kinda sucked eggs.

So far we're off to a ho-hum start. We planned a white water rafting trip today, since Serenity's never been and we're moving far from any potential rafting sites. Day started with us getting lost. Friggin' Yahoo!Maps had us going in the exact wrong direction, so we got there fifteen minutes later than we should have (but we weren't dead last, so all was well).

It was a fun trip down the Potomac River, coming out where it meets the Shenandoah at Harper's Ferry, WV. Fun, but not exciting. We had one Class-3 rapid at the end of the trip. Most of them were Class-1 and 2. Two sections of just flat water that required lots of paddling. We were able to get out about halfway and swim down a section of the river. I swallowed some water on the second trip down. Hit my butt on a rock both times.

Again, fun, just not a river I'd do again unless the water was up to more Class-3 and 4 rapids. Definitely the mildest of the four river trips I've been on (elsewhere in WV, PA, and NC).

Now that I have my Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee, I'm starting to wake up. Maybe get some writing done.