It’s Halloweenie

emo-goth Because damnit I just love this photo.

I’m over at NAS today talking about God–sorta.  Don’t get too bent out of shape, this is after all, ME we’re talking about LOL

I have five copies of Raine Weaver’s HOTTER THAN HELL to give away.  Leave a comment over at NAS to be entered to win!

In other news, I know I’ve been neglecting the blog but there’s just not much to blog about soooo I haven’t.  By the way, if you have a Q for Gentle Writer, drop me a line or post it here.

Looks like I’ll have at least one kid for Halloween, and I’m happy to report that tomorrow is his last football game.  Can I get a hell yeah?  While he’s out trick or treating, I think I’m going to work on finishing up the kilzing of the dining room so I can at least get the living/dining room painted by Thanksgiving–God willing and the creek don’t rise!

Geez!

It’s like really really dusty in here! *sneezes* REALLY DUSTY! Yes, once again, I’ve totally fallen down on my blog duties but here I am to dutifully tell you that I’m blogging at SFC today about writing, the green eyed monster and steampunk.

While I haven’t technically been — technically HELL — I haven’t been writing at all. And I accepted Kait Nolan’s writing challenge which started Friday and which I’ve done not a damn thing about. I keep thinking about all those pages I need to “make up” and I feel all squirley. What can I say? I have poor impulse control.

Saturday was choir choir choir–#2 son’s choir teacher wants him to try out for All City and All Region and so he went to part of a clinic they give to help prep the kids. THEN I had to rush him to the HS for the school’s cluster concert which was super-cool. They get all the elementary choir kids (from schools that feed to the hs), the choir kids from both jr. highs (that feed to the hs) and then the HS choir together. The elementary kids sang, then the jr. high and hs kids (girls then boys) and then the hs kids sing–but this year a former student returned and sang for us too. He’s currently in college and being wooed by opera companies all over the world. Cool huh? I mean you don’t really think about your kid becoming an opera star — and i won’t even pretend to get opera but it was still cool. And those high school singers are JUST AMAZING!
#1 son said he had a blast but we were both exhausted!

Speaking of poor impulse control….I ordered books last week. It’s all Twitter’s fault.
Picked up ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS (JT ELLISON), CRASHED (WASSERMAN), LIAR (LARBALESTIER), & THE FACE OF DEATH (MCFAYDEN). Also pre-ordered: SOULLESS (CARRIGER), SKINGAME (AGUIRRE) AND FIRE (CASHORE). And if that weren’t bad enough, my grocery store had re-stocked since my last visit. I got the last copy of SHADOWFIRE (VIEHL), CHOSEN BY DESIRE (PERRY), and THE FURY (PINTER).

I also picked up and finished Heather Gudenkauf’s THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE last week during the football game. It was … interesting. Good. Solid. Interesting. Also, obviously, hard to describe LOL While I do like some lit-fic, it wasn’t quite my usual fare and I’m not sure why. Honestly, I think it was the writing–the story was done in 1st person present tense from 3-4 POV’s and then 1st past or 3rd past from the last/main POV and while I’m usually very flexible about stuff like the POV(s) a book is written in, this time it just didn’t sit well with me. *sigh*

Anyway…what are you buying? What are you reading? What’s going on in your world? I kinda feel like I’ve fallen off the face of the earth a little!

Leaving?

NEVAH!

No seriously, a conversation at SFC sparked a comment I felt was blog-worthy. *blows the dust off the blog*

TANYA SAID: You can’t remember the last time you read a romance? And you just said before that you’re not writing one either. So is this a shift? Are you leaving us, Amie?

And I’m totally not being a pouty bitch or anything when I say, possibly 😀 You see, I have learned the hard way, to NEVER say NEVER. And you know, this is NOT the first time the subject of not writing romance has come up–as it pertains to me. Don’t get me wrong. I love romance fiction, I cut my teeth on romance fiction but hello *waves* it’s not the only genre on the planet people. A couple of years ago I mentioned something, here on the blog, about not writing romance and Maya Banks asked me what I wanted to write. At that time, I didn’t have a clue, but in the world of writing, a couple of years is a VERY LONG TIME! In the last three or four years not only have I written erotica and erotic romance, I’ve dabbled in paranormal romance, futuristic/sci-fi urban fantasy — and why in God’s name is it EVERY FRICKEN TIME I set out to write an UF it has a sci-fi slant to it?? WHY???? ANYBODY? BUELER?? — I’ve dabbled in YA and I’m currently playing in Southern Fiction … which yes deserves to be in caps because, hell, it’s SOUTHERN fiction Y’ALL! 😀

Yes, as a writer you have to be true to yourself and true to the genre you’re called to write but I also believe, as writers, we do ourselves a HUGE ASS disservice when we burrow down in our comfort zone and order in Chinese. As writers we never stop learning, honing our craft, pushing ourselves to be better–or at least, I believe we shouldn’t. And while it might seem kind of backwards, I believe we should never stop challenging ourselves, we should NEVER set limits on what we can do. We should never say, “I’m just not going to master such and such skill.” Because you will. And here’s the kicker….once you master Skill A, ideally you’re going to be a better writer and as a better writer, you’re going to try bigger and better and harder things–some folks call them plots. Eventually you’ll run afoul of SKill B or Skill D….and guess what happens? You eventually master it. And then what happens? Along comes Skill F…and on and on and on.

Or am I the only fool who does this crap?

Yesterday Afternoon….

Yesterday afternoon my dad called to tell me that my grandmother, who I hadn’t seen since my mom’s funeral, passed away.  They lived in upstate NY and she’s been very sick for a long time–dementia and she spent the last ten days or so in a coma.  Dad’s having pretty major surgery on Friday so I won’t be heading to NY.  My grandmother was one of five children and the oldest.  Her father had already burried three children and his first wife by the time she was born.  They said grandma was so tiny and fragile she wouldn’t make it and so they kept her in a roasting pan right next to the stove to keep her warm.

Obviously she lived.  😀 And now she’s in heaven with my grandfather and my mom.  I’m thinking that’s a pretty good place to be.

I’m over at NAS today chatting

Various and Sundry

First off, my good friend and fellow Heroes lover, Scooper recently lost everything in a house fire including all her books.  If you’re interested in helping out, you can find more information at Book Binge.

Second, Allegra Gray is guest blogging at NAS today and giving away a copy of her current release.

Third….you can see pictures of the tree here.  I have no idea what caused it to fall–I can only assume it was too top-heavy since there was no bad weather or high winds!  And those are branches not an actual tree but they took up about half the back yard. Luckily the roof isn’t damaged and we only lost power for about two or three hours.  The electric company dudes were fabulous–coming out in the middle of the night to … ahem… hook us up!  My brother showed up around 8:30 this morning with a chainsaw, a lawnmower, an edger, a ladder, and his friend and the tree is gone.  Well mostly.

Stayed up last night to finish FADE by Lisa McMann–it was really good but not as good as WAKE (IMO)–and reader beware (for those of you bugged by this sort of thing) the books are third person PRESENT tense.  The story and writing are so good that, after a while, I didn’t even notice, but I know how some peeps feel about the use of Present Tense.   Going to try and finish Sunrise of Fallujah tonight if I don’t fall asleep in my chair — heeh!

And last but not least, my Grand Pimpin Poobah book trailer is up at Ann Aguirre’s.  You can see it here.

Otherwise it’ll probably be a quiet Fourth for us.  I hope everyone is happy and safe out there!

PS Look what Katiebabs sent me!

mofo-mus

Randomness

ham-turkey2

Yes, that is a real smoked turkey he’s sitting on (and his name is Ham :D)

***

Dear BelleBooks,

Why can’t I order your books from Borders.com?

***

From Publishers Marketplace:

Chelsea Campbell’s debut THE RISE OF RENEGADE X, pitched as KING DORK meets The Incredibles, in which a sixteen-year old boy’s plans to become a professional evil genius just like his supervillain mom are derailed when he discovers the dad he never knew is actually an irritating, good-deed doing superhero

Kristen Landon’s THE LIMIT, in which kids are suddenly being taken away to special workhouses if their families exceed their monthly financial spending limit imposed by the government; one boy feels secure with his parents spending patterns, but all it takes is one fatal visit to the store to push his family over their limit– and to change his reality forever

I post that because I once asked a friend of mine what would have happened to us if we hadn’t discovered RWA and the rules of writing “romance”?  How much more daring do you think we would have been? How many more rules would we have broken (and not worried about breaking)?  How many more chances might we have taken with our writing?

I pose the question, not because romance or RWA are Evol, but because I think if you’re not stepping outside of your reading comfort zone, you might have a hard time stepping out of your writing comfort zone.

***

Have you ever read something so gorgeously written that it kinda made you want to cry because you’d never do anything half so good?

The story, on the loose now, raced through the community like an unbridled child.  Rumors climbed over backyard fences, skipped from street to street, romped down the aisles of Wal-Mart, tumbled through the Laundromat and cartwheeled through the park.

*sigh* there it is…and then this two paragraphs down:

Later, on one would give much though to the path the news had traveled, but more than a few would be amazed at the speed with which the story sprinted past the city limits, jumped the river, galloped over eigh counties and dashed across the state line. (Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts Pg 101)

***

Otherwise, all is quiet in the Bitch-Cave.  I’m off to send Dee some pics for my video for Ann Aguirre’s contest. The end of the month is upon us and I can unequivocally state that I failed to meet my writing goal. Lucky for me, I don’t care.

***

Taken from a recent conversation with a friend and posted w/their consent…

DEAR AUTHOR…PLEASE DON’T:

…EVER write an entire romance novel in present tense.

…speak directly to your audience. NO 2ND PERSON unless you’re a damn good writer and know without a doubt that you’ll be able to instantly earn the right to address your readers directly. Otherwise, cut it out. Don’t pretend you know me well enough to talk to me like we’re friends.

…develop stylistic crutches. -ing words and participal phrases are at the top of this week’s bitch list.

…use commas like a stripper uses glitter. They have a very real function. LEARN IT.

Hahaha….commas….stripper…glittah!  Here’s a few of my own:

…Info-dump. I WILL mock you.  And then I will toss your book across the room.

…Stop in the middle of a fight scene to tell me stupid shit that has absolutely NO relevance to fight.  It’s worse than info-dump. It’s info-dump on crahk.

…Stick an “H” in your characters name.  I think JR Ward trademarked that and even if she didn’t, we all know from whench it cahme.  Stohp Ith.

Oops

So yesterday morning I get up and I’m schlubbing around the house, dragging tail because I took a Claritin at 4 AM and went back to sleep. Oops.

I fill my coffee cup and notice all three cats hovering on the table. This is where their food bowl is. We don’t use the table; it’s acts as a “stuff” magnet…you know, where everyone throws their stuff?? And if the food is on the floor, the dogs will eat it–I check, “Yup,” it’s got food so why the hell are they hovering like a pack of hyenas?

Who knows. Who cares. My head hurts and I have a KILLER day ahead of me.

Off to work I go and, yup, it’s a killer day! I come home and son #1 is hovering in the kitchen. We chat and sure enough one of the cats is sitting on the table making all kinds of noise. WTF?!?! There is FOOD in the BOWL (and apparently not only did Ham get into it with Nat but he also got into it with the chihuahua! Keeping mind Ham is 18 pounds, Nat is 7 pounds and Lola comes in at a measly 5).

#1 walks over to the bowl and says, “You have food– der, hey mom, look!”

And he holds up a bowl full of DOG FOOD!

I’m over at NAS today asking what you’d do for d*ck and giving away books! So stop by!

June Writing Challenge Check In

So…….Dennie, Jackie, Melissa, Raine (I know you got waylaid by edits)…how’s it going with the writing challenge???

I’ll admit these first few weeks of having the kids out of school have really not done me any good.  Yes, I’m making excuses because I’d rather do anything than edit (more).  Shall I talk about my sinuses?? heeh

Anyway I sitll have about 100 pages to write and about 12 days to do it in.  OR I blew my wad on May and there’s nothing left *ggg*  No seriously, I have middle of the book itis and a bad case of I dont want to edit.  Both of those coupled with my patented “It’s Summer and It’s Hot” Whine.

Would you like cheese with that?

Ok so how’s everyone else doing?

Mind the Squirrel Now

First off, Lynn Viehl has a LBLI2009  (Left Behind and Loving It) reminder up. If you’re interested in participating, awesome! (Jen I’m looking at you…Alpha, Beta, Gamma etc…come on. Be a champ.  Pony Up.)

Anyway…about a month ago I was driving back from Home Depot with Kevin (that’s #2 son for those of you who forgot) and there was a squirrel in the road.  Now daddy alwasy said don’t swerve…just brake. So that’s what I did but Mr. Squirrely didn’t swerve fast enough and got himself squished.  *sigh*  I felt bad.  Kevin felt worse. Refused to even look at me but I tried to talk to him (he’s kind of sensetive).

We pull into the garage and I”m still talking but I’m starting to get a little tickled because I”m giving my son grief counseling over a deal squirel.  “Son, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to kill him.”

Son, “Sniff.”

“Dude…it’s okay.”  I’m still getting tickled, then I think up the perfect line.  “The squirrel’s with Jesus now.” And start laughing.  “Sorry…I didn’t mean to laugh.” And I laugh some more.  And Kevin still won’t look at me.

Just then Elvis (#1 or He who is taller than me), comes out and asks what’s wrong, and I get the giggles and say, “Your brother’s upset because I killed a squirrel and I tried to tell him– ” *snort* *face twitch* “–the squirrel’s with Jesus now.” *howling*

#1 is laughing too and Kevin says, “That’s not funny!”

#1 says, “It’s just a squirrel,” then goes around the other side of the car to talk to his brother.

I pat Kevin on the back and say, “Honey it’s all right.  Mr. Squirrely is with Jesus now.”  *more laughter* but now Kevin is out of the car and shoving his way past his brother to stand in the driveway with shaking shoulders because…he’s laughing.

Soooooo yesterday Kevin and I are on our way to Game Stop to exchange a game and I’m turning the corner and there’s a dead squirrel.  I swerved, not wanting to run it over–because it’s okay to swerve if they’re already dead, see?!

And Kevin goes, “Thanks for respecting the squirrel.”

“Your welcome son.” *snort*

So, what’s new in your world?

Sunday Snippet

Zoe gyrated in her whore heels while she scanned the bar, looking for her next meal.  Anyone looking at her would think she was an irresponsible, drunk college girl out for a good time in a bar filled with the hip, the cool, the high…“adults” who worked hard and blew off steam by snorting (cheap) coke and drinking premium booze.  Truth be told, the so-called edgy people around her were dismayingly similar to the edgy people in Atlanta, and New York, and L. A. …that was to say, not edgy at all.  But very stupid and definitely careless.  It made finding a meal that much easier if you weren’t picky, and your feet didn’t hurt.

Truly, she missed the good old days when healthy humans hadn’t been so hard to find and they’d had communion at home as a family; they said their prayers and drank to the goddess and her consort.

Zoe waved at Peter, glad he’d joined her on the evening’s hunt.  Maybe he’d have better luck than her.  She really hated feeding from someone who was high, so much so, she’d almost rather feed from a homeless person.  Coke made the blood bitter and left her with the shakes and a terrible headache; whiskey just made the blood a little sweet and gave her a buzz, which wasn’t so bad, but so many were crazy or drug addicts.  And there were worse things than coke to ingest — blood-born diseases like Hepatitis and AIDS.  Both incurable in humans and vampires alike.  They’d lost almost a dozen children just two years back thanks to tainted blood.

If it wasn’t for Peter, she’d head back to Europe in a heartbeat.   Forty years they’d been bound together as husband and wife and hunting for younglings for Lucien.  The Cabal hadn’t seen fit to bless them with children, which was fine considering the current difficulties involved in finding good, clean blood to drink.