Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Why Blog?

Oh, I know. I am preaching to the choir in here—all of YOU get it! You are among the Blogosphere ROCK STARS, practicing this divine art day in and day out, but I've recently had a couple reminders that not everybody gets it: one courtesy of READING the THINGS, the OTHER courtesy of me fumbling around in a social network that I have not yet mastered.


Confusion Defined

I saw several blogs, maybe three weeks ago on whether authors needed blogs to sell books. There was some decent advice mixed in, but I think, frankly, they were addressing the wrong question, because the relationship is not as direct as that sentence would lead us to believe.

The second case was me fumbling around on Goodreads, stumbling into a forum to have a conversation about books... who did I seek out? Writers, of course. But... not knowing the system, I 'searched' for writers and stumbled into a group that I THINK is younger, and REMINDED me of talking to the ABNA folks about blogging, only more so. There was a conversation about 'how to go about publishing' with the usual 'well there is this and that self publishing' and a couple—blah blah blah 'publisher' and a single suggestion of 'I think you need an agent'. I was singularly IMPRESSED with how GOLL DARNED MUCH I HAVE LEARNED in the last year... thanks to you.


Running With It

(not the scissors this time)

The Missing the Point Point: *cough*  If you are blogging to reach readers and convince them to buy your book, you are either ALREADY FAMOUS or delusional. No, I don't mind either one, but I just need to be REALLY CLEAR. Readers do NOT LOOK for blogs of DEBUT AUTHORS. People who WRITE may FIND AUTHORS and then become curious to read their books (it's happened to me--I've read some of YOUR books) but non-writing readers are not going to go about it that way. DO NOT BLOG TO REACH READERS.

You can blog to CONNECT with ALREADY readers... this is a very good plan, I'd say... very nice for an author website to include a blog. I've seen suggestions of telling where book ideas came from, telling some little bit that is more PERSONAL (though warnings not to overshare—especially to consider your genre and how compatible YOU and your GENRE are in the reader's brain) that readers might not find elsewhere, giving a little process on where you are on the NEXT books... Go for it. Just know the only people reading are either there because they ALREADY read you, or because they are ALSO social networking.

The way you increase book sales by blogging is by expanding that 'on the ground' force... the BUZZ creators, the people who get to know you over months or years, who end up LIKING you well enough to follow through on such things as: “if you go into your local book store, will you make sure my book is there and email me if not?” or “Here is my book tour schedule, if you are in the area can you please show up so I don't sit there looking like an idiot?” or “My book is coming out Saturday, will you please Tweet, facebook share, and include on your blog?” The more people willing to answer YES to those questions, the better your chance of not flopping. You are NOT finding BUYERS, you are finding Co-Marketers.

And I would argue you SHOULD blog for your karma. This blogosphere will help YOU, so when you succeed, you should blog to help the writers who come behind you. They really could USE your wealth of knowledge.


The Not Getting It Point

I don't know HOW MANY blogs I've seen with three or four posts, all about the book. HELLO—you are shouting into NOTHINGNESS. I saw the MOST FABULOUS post yesterday—it is a few weeks old, but you need to see what Maureen Johnson has to say on the matter. It is a FALL DOWN funny read, but her main point is that all of YOU are people. You heard me. You are NOT a figment of my imagination, no matter HOW MANY times you tell yourself you are. What that means for ME, is I can't just talk AT you, I have to talk TO YOU. I need to listen to what you say and respond. I need to visit your blog and comment on what YOU have to say. Bloggers who fail to see this will not get their loyal following.

Now I know people who blog for DEEP relationships and don't go searching down lots of followers—and I totally RESPECT that—they STILL follow, comment, and interact with the dozen or so blogs they ARE connected with. They GET that it is two way, and are making a decision (usually about TIME) that they will only do what they can do well... Not everybody can keep track of 400 blogs and still be a superstar *cough*Elizabeth*cough*

But no matter WHAT you need to get that this process is interactive. Sure, Nathan Bransford has never once responded to me. You know what... You look like that and let me picture you naked, I will probably read you anyway... erm... actually... I read Pub Rants, Janet Reid, Editorial Ass and the Rejectionist too (all women)—NONE of whom to I expect responses from. I also read Nicola Morgan, who just manages to say helpful things pretty often, but I don't comment... as one of 700, I don't feel obliged... but for those of us with followers under... maybe 500, definitely those under 200... the comments keep us going. You want comments... you comment.

BUT THE PERK!!!!

And I can't emphasize this enough—by reading, (feeling obliged to comment, feeling compelled to share) I have managed to LEARN A TON about this publishing industry, the world of BOTH WRITING and GETTING PUBLISHED that I never would have gotten from a book. I probably couldn't have gotten it from an individual, even though there are masters at it. It just HELPS to see things a dozen different ways. There are freaks (and I include myself here) who even learn better by TEACHING. If I have to articulate something (like today) I manage to grind it into my head far enough that I never forget it.


AND THE EVEN BIGGER PERK!!!
(and the MAIN reason I personally blog). I LIKE IT. We should do this because we enjoy it. Otherwise it SHOWS and it is hard to sustain.Listen to Maureen...  HAVE MORE FUN!!!

I blogged once before about HOW to blog, and I don't think THAT has changed, but I think there was the piece missing on WHY to blog... so now you know.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mind is Still Missing!

[Whereby the Tart tries to tie up loose ends without finding them *cough*]

Where I Write

Late last week I could SWEAR I found a blog asking where people wrote and to post about it by Friday then to go THERE and put a link ON Friday... I thought it was Editorial Ass—it is the kind of thing she would do... but I don't see it. Am I making this up? Did anybody see it?

If in fact I am NOT making this up, I would just like to share... about 80% of my writing happens right here. Oh, I know... it looks pathetic and like the only bathroom in a house where people really could use two or three, but until I am rich and famous, this is just how it is... My writing desk (aka: the bathtub) (and yes, that is also a hard lemonade waiting for me... got to keep the gears lubricated...)



Mr. Tart's Milestone

On Sunday my hubby finished his CNA course and got a little certificate. He still has to sit the state boards for it, but the class part is done. He enjoyed the class. It seemed like very nice people both teaching and in class with him. I also have a FABULOUS character idea (a scapegoat—the person BLAMED if you will) for the Armageddon novel I have planned. (Health care workers are easy to pick on, as they are on the front lines).

Anyway, Mr. Tart, former punk rocker (you can tell here, right?) was very hesitant... always... about ANY training. He hasn't had a great deal of confidence, but he loves this. He's a natural caretaker, and will make a great nurse when the time comes. He still has three more prerequisites, but hopefully this time next year he will have applied and we just need to wait for his name to come up.


Alyse Carlson

I had an email chat with MY EDITOR yesterday (she is fabulous). She wrote suggesting a couple pen names, but I asked if it was okay if I used one related to my grandmas. I specifically requested Ally Calrson, but also showed her my options... She wanted me to either go with Alyse Carlson or Sylvia Olsen... I chose Alyse Carlson, as that was I was originally thinking. I'm not terribly concerned if people pronounce it wrong... If I am in a situation where people are using it for my name, I will probably request to be called Ally ANYWAY, and Alyse is more clearly my grandma, so I have my dedication in line...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Guest Author Denise Verrico

Hello friends!!! And here we have it! The long awaited blog! I apologize to Denise and all of you for my tardiness on getting it posted—I will leave it up partway into tomorrow to make up for it… how’s that?! I love the take that Denise has on these paranormal creatures… fresh and innovative! But I should let Denise tell you about it!

And without further ado… Welcome Denise!

~~~~~

Hey, what’s with this vampire obsession? Well, for me in started back in the early seventies when I was a little kid and a fan of Dark Shadows, a Gothic soap opera. No, I wasn’t around when Vlad the Impaler lived, but I’ve been around awhile. Vampires were scary, but they were the ultimate in cool to me, kind of like a dark super hero. This was long before they were teen idols. Vampires were smarter and better looking than zombies, didn’t have the hairy factor and time of the month issues like werewolves. Who wouldn’t want to live forever and have super powers? I didn’t want a vampire boyfriend; I wanted to be a vampire. Of course, I also wanted to be Mary Poppins and a veterinarian.

I was a weird little kid. Masterpiece Theatre was one of my favorite things to watch on TV. Like other girls, I played with Barbies, only mine were cast as characters out of Tudor court dramas. Going the mall with Ken was nothing compared a good beheading. I’ve always been into the whole politics and intrigue thing. A lot of my favorite books are historical fiction. I love Mary Renault’s books about Alexander the Great and Robert Grave’s Claudius books. When I started my vampire series, Immortyl Revolution, I drew on my love of history to create characters from many different cultures and periods. Writing about vampires gives me a chance to throw them together and see what sparks fly. When I hit writer’s block, I always go back to the research, because I find inspiration. At one point, I was reading a lot about India. This led me to create a tantric vampire cult in the Chief elder’s court which figures very prominently in my third book in the series, Fearful Symmetry.


Being into biological science, I really wanted to make my vampires into biological beings rather than the undead. I did keep a lot of the traditional qualities, but I really wanted to approach them as people with a unique mutation. Taking this tack, I gave myself what if questions. What if a rather ordinary young woman had to deal with not only this weird physical condition, but also a society with ancient customs?

I deal a lot with the physiology and psychology of the vampire. To me they are a predatory animal with an intellect and a range of emotions. Some of them revel in the bloodlust, others view it as an inconvenience, and still others see it as a divine gift. Rather than saying I have good vampires and bad ones, I would say there are better and worse individuals among them. I really try not to just write off a villain as “evil”, but give him or her an agenda that makes them act as they do. Likewise, my more sympathetic characters have their warts and sometimes do nasty things.

I enjoy humor and my heroine, Mia, has a rather acerbic but funny outlook on things. One of my characters, Philip was an Elizabethan actor and is very loud and witty. A rule of thumb for me is, when I hear too many violins playing, it’s time to crack wise. I always liked Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I found the series to have a perfect mixture of humor, horror, drama and even pathos.

I spent a lot of years kicking Cara Mia, around, before I really sat down and got serious about writing it. A lot of that time, I was learning about writing and doing research. The world building took time to evolve, becoming a culture based on an amalgam of ancient cultures. I started with four characters in search of a story. Then I started reading about Biotechnology. I thought, “Hey what if someone tried to figure out what gave vampires immortality and super strength?” That led me to think some vampires would want to profit from this. And wouldn’t there be the traditionalists who would abhor such an idea? Now I had my story.


Seven hundred pages later, I discovered I had a series. I sent out a few queries to agents, but didn’t get too far. A cross-genre book can be a hard sell. Cara Mia has a strong sci fi component for urban fantasy and is bloodier than paranormal romance, although it has romantic elements. I edited the book down to around three hundred pages and targeted small presses who published sci fi and fantasy. I sent out two queries initially, mentioning that I’d already written a second book and started a third. Both publishers asked for more and then passed with suggestions. Two more queries went out. Lisa Smith from L&L Dreamspell requested more pages and eventually the entire manuscript. They offered me a contract and Cara Mia came out in January of 2010.
Working with a small press has been a positive experience for me. I like the personal attention and input I have on things like the cover design. Book two, Twilight of the Gods will be out this fall.

Cara Mia is available in trade paperback and multi-format e-book online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders and Fictionwise. Author-signed copies can be purchased through my sites:
http://www.deniseverricowriter.webs.com/
http://www.immortylrevolution.blogspot.com/

You can follow me on Twitter and at my Facebook fan page, Immortyl Revolution.


DeniseVerrico is a New Jersey native who grew up in Pennsylvania. She attended Point Park College, in Pittsburgh, where she majored in theatre arts. For seven seasons she was a member of The Oberon Theatre Ensemble in NYC with whom she acted, directed and wrote plays. Cara Mia, is her first novel. Denise has enjoyed vampire stories from the time she was a little girl and a fan of the Dark Shadows television series and Chiller Theater. She enjoys reading non-fiction and fiction of all kinds, particularly historical fiction, thrillers, sci-fi, fantasy, manga and graphic novels. A roller coaster fanatic, she can often be found climbing to heights of three hundred plus feet and plummeting downward at speeds exceeding ninety MPH. She currently lives in Ohio with her husband, teenaged son and flock of seven spoiled parrots.

SNAFU, My Bad

I am supposed to have a GUEST today, but had a crazy weekend and so didn't notice until last night that I only had part of what I needed for her post.  As she wasn't apparently sitting my her computer WAITING for my emergency, I still don't have stuff... MY FAULT.  I should have double checked it was all there earlier.  I will get it posted when it's all here.  In the MEAN TIME, I will leave you with a few of my favorite things...

First we have the CHOCOLATE, dressed up like I like (shiny and sparkly)




 Then we have rules I can live with....












And finally, somebody to keep things working around here...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Motivational Moat

Watery Tart: Hello?

TAUNTING FRENCHMEN: 'Allo?

WT: You there, can I talk to the motivational master?

TF: No! Now go away!

WT: But I'm on a desperate quest for motivation! I need his help to find it!

TF: Well I'll ask 'im, but I don't think 'e'll be very keen. You see, he's already got some!


And there we have it... I can SEE the motivation from across the moat, but I can't GET there, and the motivational minions will do NOTHING but taunt me!

My OWN motivation seems to have petered off... Even the writing is hard right now, possibly because I can see I'm ready to just finish Kahlotus Disposal Site and it will be short of 50K words at this iteration, but STILL, just finish the darned thing, right? But for some reason I can't get going. I had one REALLY good day this week, but mostly it's been just a few hundred words here and there.

The eating is the same as it's been for months... mostly good, moments of bad, weight flat... better than gaining (especially in a birthday week, I suppose). A big thunderstorm interrupted one of my walks this week—couldn't bring myself to do the elliptical instead.

I am in the home stretch for June, so I think I can get back to it. It is also the last weekend of my husband's class, so from here one out, keeping my routine will get easier again. I guess it is just BACK TO IT... I have little enough left to write, that I'd REALLY like to get done this weekend, then THAT particular thing can be off my list.


July Anticipation

We also have a couple EXCITING things coming in July. The Burrow is starting a blog (Burrowers, Books, and Balderdash)—about once a week, I will be posting something THERE. On that day I'll be sure and post something HERE linking to where I am, but I'm really excited for you all to get to know a couple of my fellow Burrowers.

July I will also be seriously writing my Cozy Mystery first draft—the pace isn't as fast as the WriMo, necessarily, but it also needs to be a lot cleaner. My deadline isn't until the end of December, but I have rounds built in for feedback and the rewrite/edit thing. I think that's especially important for this first one. I will want them all fabulous, but the plotting of mystery is a lot tighter than what I normally write, and the line between too much and not enough information for readers to 'solve along with the sleuth' is a lot narrower-- to walk it, I will need that feedback and reworking time, so I am trying to have draft one done by mid August.

So here we go... Have a great first weekend of summer, everyone!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Great Sadness

You are time-traveling back to Wednesday, and this is a downer, but one of the things I try to do here, is PROCESS, and so here, on my birthday, there is something I need to process before I can really get past and enjoy tomorrow's (yesterday to you) little party. You see, my little community has been hit with a tragedy.


The Event

On Monday in Virginia, three teenage girls and their mother, visiting Virginia for A Future Nationals Field Hockey Try Out were victims of a horrible string of circumstances. Some unknown obstacle (probably another car) caused a Toyata Corolla, driven by a 20 year old young man, to veer into their lane. The driver of the family SUV, age fifteen, probably had never encountered such a driving obstacle. It's not her fault—nobody expects somebody to drive into their car. She then veered off the road and the car flipped over several times, landing on its hood. The mother and youngest daughter were killed. The fifteen year old driver has a punctured lung and a broken arm, and her fourteen year old sister has a hurt foot. The driver of the other car has minor injuries, and whatever bastard STARTED the string of events drove off, probably entirely unaware of the devastation left in his/her wake.



The Connection

This family is from Ann Arbor. The older two daughters attended middle school and have played softball with mine. Their dad assistant coached next to my husband for three years until his skilled daughters decided to play on travel teams... or switch to field hockey. The middle daughter is my daughter's age and though they are not particularly close, they are friendly, and have many common friends.

I just can't imagine the devastation this family has been submerged in. This dad has just lost his wife and youngest child, and now faces single-parenting two teenaged girls, who are undoubtedly feeling all shades of grief, guilt, devastation... The family is a long time Ann Arbor family, so are interconnected every way we turn. They have cousins, best friends, teachers. Everybody is grieving.



Grieving Middle Schoolers

Some people have more practice at grieving than others. There is a Facebook page dedicated to giving love and support. I would NEVER try to tell someone how to feel, or in the midst of crisis, correct how they try to help—or discount what they need to think to feel better. But middle school girls are unequivocally bad at this. They say things like “Everything happens for a reason.” Now a belief system might support this, but when somebody is grieving, it is possibly the most unhelpful thing that can be said... LATER, if something good has come (though in this case I can't see how) THEN it can be said. There is a lot of 'God wanted her to be an angel'. Makes God seem pretty darned selfish, if you believe this, but... it is the coping of 12 year olds. I just wish I could filter it, as I don't think they know what helps them might hurt others.

I don't think anything can be done, but I can definitely see some need for families to have pets and great grandparents, so they get practice with grief before a young life is stolen far too young.

My daughter was very quiet much of yesterday, but last night we ran some errands together and she finally opened up. She is amazing—her empathy is clear. Her concerns legitimate—not that there are illegitimate concerns, but sometimes she leans toward drama—not now. But she is a little older than these classmates of the young girl killed, and we have some practice with death at our house. She clearly feels the worst for the girl who was driving—the idea of being in a position of blaming ones self for the death of family members, even when it WASN'T her fault—she can see how the processing might go that way—she can see how she would feel if it were her.



My Wonderful Community

http://www.annarbor.com/news/friends-remember-ann-arbor-mother-daughter-killed-in-car-accident-in-virginia/
I learned about this first through a fellow writer mom whose kids went to grade school with the family, so I have watched from early. I just want to say, I am awed. This community where I so often say reality never comes sure knows how to pull together in a crisis.

The facebook group I mentioned has 1200 members. In two days. It was started by a friend of one of the girls—not sure which girl, but it has spread like wildfire. Yesterday (Tuesday, since you are time traveling) there was an email from the middle school principal... a gathering at the middle school for the elementary, middle and high school communities... cards and letters collected, grief shared, counselors on hand. School's out, but the crisis centers on these school communities and they came through. The texting system, the phoning system, the facebook system. Nobody is alone.

None of this helps the family, particularly—except that they don't need to ever have the painful encounters of nobody knowing. They may be overwhelmed with the outpouring—their lawn is covered in flowers, a banner of sorrow, letters... but those girls will never have to say to some unknowing person, “didn't you know?”

I was ten when my dad died, and this is not trivial. Not having to explain to a classmate, 'my dad died in a car crash last summer' might have saved me a lot of awkwardness my 5th grade year. It's not much, but it helps.

The outpouring of support is amazing. I only hope somehow it turns into a reasonable flow. I fear it may be too much at once, or peter out when it's still needed. I wish for this family to find healing, but I know how long that takes to even begin. And so, whatever your belief system, if you could just send a little love to a broken family from Michigan, I know it would help.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Burrowing Birthday

So I am posting at a time that it is NATASHA'S birthday in India (and a THURSDAY!) and my birthday in the states... yesterday this time, plus 2 hours, it was Jason's birthday in the Pacific Time Zone and MINE on the east coast... I like how we overlap like that...

I've LEARNED this week, that I also have a new blogger friend Leigh with a birthday today (the 24th today, not the hour remaining of the 23rd)... So we are having a BIRTHDAY PARTY!


I've decided, based on the vast experience I've had *cough* that Cancers are particularly fond of having a NICE LONG birthday celebration... typically measured in weeks, but sometimes in months. It may have SOME root in liking to be at the center of things, but I think it is ALSO tied to just liking a really good party.



A Little Reminiscing

When I was REALLY young, birthdays were a little rough... a summer birthday, as a kid, means no cupcakes at school, half your friends away when it is party time... it is a let down of sorts to pass the milestone in absence of a grand fiesta... maybe that is what the 'making up for it' is about... But my grandparents, and later my parents, had a lake cabin, so I grew to appreciate 'a few friends to the lake' instead of a BUNCH of friends to the house.

About the time I hit high school though, I decided my extended family was fabulous (not that I hadn't known earlier, but family + one or two friends was PERFECT)...

I think my favorite birthday was my 16th—not a sweet sixteen, but a family party to which I convinced my crush to come... My mom bought a whole bunch of crabs (my favorite food) and it just was very nice...

Through college it seems birthdays were no big deal—I was barely home from school for summer, Oregon being on a quarter system... but when I got to Portland after college, and proceeded to live with my best friend for a while, we took up the habit of throwing EACH OTHER birthday parties (she is just a week later than me, and really GETS that a birthday should be a nice grand event...) I really miss her this time of year... The hubby never HAS gotten it...


The Cusp of Gemini Bond

Look what I found!
I was an adult before I really knew anybody born closer to my birthday than... say the 26th or 27th... I know lots of July Cancers, and TONS of June Geminis, but that Cancer/cusp of Gemini... I just didn't run across too many. I STILL haven't run across that many, but every last one of them I meet (other than the children, who probably just aren't there yet) are writers... compelled... possibly unnaturally. We are ruled by the moon both as ruler and sub-ruler, which means our fingers are on the emotional pulse of... pretty much everything... we feel big, we emote... but instead of getting all dramatic about it (as we would in the LAST deconate of Cancer under Leo's influence) we want to COMMUNICATE about it... I love that blurb that suggests rather than Gemini mediating the cancer emotion, instead CANCER gives the creativity to the Gemini intellect.  They are the letters and numbers... Cancer gives it STORY.

I think there also runs a slight detachment to all this drama we are documenting—we are part of it as historians and recorders, not propagators... I've never seen Natasha or Jason fly off the handle... Oh... Natasha can get irritated, but THAT is just that Indian culture encourages directness—it tends to be things that irritate me, too, but I have that instilled “if you can't say anything nice...” thing going on... But we aren't the CAUSE of the drama... none of us (oh, sometimes I annoy—I am just a little too... much... but I say that is other people being hypersensitive). Still, we note it... we turn it into story fodder, or blog meanderings... Our emotions are very real, but in the form of WORDS.


So now that I've projected my personality onto my Burrow mates because I think I'm right... LET'S PARTY!!!!!


We need some beverages...

I can offer you microbrews, fruity rum things (or fruity rumless things if you prefer), ritas, or the champagne fountain.


Some music...

We've got a fine tropical beat to encourage the LIMBO!



Some boys to dance like I like... (don't ever let them tell you the Tart doesn't like anything classy!--Oh, I know they'll try, but this guy is doing BALLET!)

Though I wouldn't want you to think I had limited range...





And a little truth or dare.

EITHER:

1) tell YOUR most memoroable birthday or
2) Streak down the hall in the buff...

Hope you all have a FABULOUS day!

Guest Author Tasha Wright

 As regular readers know, today is MY BIRTHDAY!  And to keep me from having to do an exorbitant amount of work, I've got a GUEST author today to tell us about herself and her book.  I love reading these author's bios and seeing how it plays into their work, and I feel quite a lot of affinity for Tasha's approach... maybe you can spot it.  Anyway, WELCOME TASHA!

~~~~~

My name is Tasha Wright and I am an author currently signed with Passionate Writer Publishing Inc. I am the author of When a Tattered Past Catches You and soon to come, Carelessness of the Heart. My passion for writing comes from the idea of creating lives and causing chaos! In my personal life I do my level best to avoid any type of drama and unnecessary ordeals. However, that’s where my writing comes into play. I have the ability to live out things that go on in everyone’s mind. But, because of life and consequences we never get the chance to live those thoughts out. Lol


I create a range of characters. They are all different. They are mild mannered, wild, intelligent, care free! No one character is the same. When I write my characters somehow evolve into their own being. Some way they jump out and they’re born into my work and in each book you will fall in love with, hate or become strangely fascinated with them. I currently began writing for an online literary soap with Writer’s Inn. You check out all my work on m website, I always love to hear from my readers:

http://authortashawright.webs.com
or become a Face Book fan: search under Author Tasha Wright


Inspirations to writing

My inspirations to writing are actually my Grandfather, Johnnie Henderson. He always strived to obtain everything out of life and that is something that I have always tried to mimic from him. I lost my grandfather when I was sixteen years old but I have never lost sight of the things he instilled in myself and my bothers. He has always told us to never live by what other people may think of us good or bad. Always do what makes you happy! Those words have allowed me to conquer my GREATEST dream in life and that is having the opportunity to publish my books. He is and always will be my Inspiration to writing!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Guest Author Trish Silver

Hello fine readers! When you're a Watery Tart, and have a reputation for getting naughty, people will get ideas, and so I have a little optional blog for you today... Guest author Trish Silver has sent a very steamy sex scene, which I have decided to post, in addition to her alternate blog, but in a WHITE FONT, so to SEE IT you will need to highlight it. As she was willing to share, I thought it was very fun for those of you you that are so minded, but as not everyone wants to run across words like THRUST accidentally *cough* I figured this was a reasonable compromise... I feel honored she wants to share it with y'all, and I KNOW there are at least a few of you who really love this stuff, so thank you, and welcome Trish!

~~~~~

Why I Hate To Blog

Blogging seems too time consuming and nonproductive. In my limited experience, no one seems to ever leave a comment and that to a writer is devastating. Why blog if no one reads it?
I’m an unknown author who has just written her first great American novel. Everyone thinks that their novel is the best and is going to be the next big Blockbuster. I actually think that my new romance novel, “When I Remember Love,” could very easily be adapted into film, it’s the new modern day “Love Story.” By the way, I even have a songwriting team…more about that later. My book is about a talented pop-star who tries out for a reality talent show and meets the love of his life before the finale. They marry quickly and begin their journey through the music industry together. You will find out what’s like to live with a major celebrity and have access to a backstage pass into the exciting world of a Superstar. I even dare to write about a married couple that has a HOT sex life.  With a lousy economy, studios closing at a rapid rate and me being an unknown HOT author (that’s the comments that I get from my fans…yes I do have fans), I’m a bit reluctant to blog often. However, I hired a virtual assistant, and she has ordered me…I mean requested that I blog. So even though I hate it, I will try to make it interesting and maybe, just maybe, you will comment and I will not be so pessimistic.

Trish Silver
www.trishsilver.com


 I decided as my blog to give you one of my sexual scenes from my book, “When I Remember Love.” My novel is a beautiful love story between a married coupled who are in love. Aidan tries out for a reality show much like American Idol and Jenna is his musical agent’s, Vanessa, niece. They fall in love at first sight at a mystery lunch and marry quickly. Aidan becomes one of the biggest musical performers in the world, and you will learn how fame comes at a huge price! I write outside of the box and my main hero and heroine go from love into life. You will laugh and cry, but mostly you will fall in love with these two amazing, altruistic, characters that came to me in a dream. Please visit me at my Website: http://trishsilver.com and listen to my songwriting teams beautiful music that has been written for this book. By the way, this scene has a Parental Rating…No Children Under 18 Are Allowed To Read This Blog. Enjoy! 


And Now for a Hot and Spicy Sex Scene! HIGHLIGHT if you want to see this content! *waggles finger*  (and no reading if you are on heart medication)

      Aidan was anticipating the private time that he would be spending in his dressing room with Jenna at the end of the concert. After a performance, his adrenaline was pumping vigorously, and he needed his wife to release his pent up desires.
      When they walked into the room, Jenna kept telling Aidan how wonderful he was and how his fans loved him.
      “The only one I was honestly trying to make an impression on was you. Did you really think that I was that good?’
      “Yes, baby, I actually thought you were awesome.”
      “I should take a shower, I’m all sweaty and …”
      “Don’t take a shower. I love your scent.”
      She held his face and kissed him intensely. Aidan’s body pushed her back against the wooden door. He pinned her to the door with his hands.
      He stared into her eyes and said, “Say you’re mine and only mine forever.”
      “I’m yours forever and for the rest of our lives.”
      “That’s all that I want to hear you say.”
      His mouth traveled to her lengthy swan-like neck and planted tiny kisses there. Next his mouth moved down to her shoulder making minute circles with his long pointed tongue. He entangled his hand in her flaxen hair, as he raised his head to meet her eyes once again and forced his mouth fervently against hers. He thrusts his tongue deep inside her mouth, and she accepts it eagerly with the exhilaration growing deep inside her body. She wants him to make love to her and tells him so.
      Silently, he kneels down to slip off her black lacy thong. Her hands are weaving through his thick wavy dark hair and her nails are digging into his scalp. He feels no pain, because the passion has erupted within him. He stands and stares at her, his fervent desire burns in his eyes, as he removes his clothes slowly. She follows his lead and takes off her outfit too.  Then he grabs her around her slender waist. 
      “Do you want me to pull out before I come?” He whispers.
      “No,” she labors to breathe.
      He smiles and lifts her up, using the door as leverage.
      Jenna’s legs wrap around him instinctively and forcefully. He guides her onto his rigid erection and thrusts into her deeply. She grabs his firm buttocks and says, “Give it to me big boy. God I love your large cock deep inside me.”
      His full lips are on hers again, her hands cupping his backside.
      He whispered. “Come for me Darlin’.”
      As she arched her back on the crest of her orgasm, a sudden vibrating knock on the door startled them. “We’re locking up and leaving in ten minutes, Mr. Price.”
      Under his breath he hissed, “Get the fuck out now.”
      “Stay with me, Baby,” Jenna said breathlessly and continued grinding against him.
      He clutched her tighter as he sensed her legs beginning to buckle, and they slid down the door to the floor, a mass of intertwined limbs. He thrust into the depths of her heat, losing himself in the fire that had ignited within him. Somewhere on the edge of his consciousness, he heard her utter tiny sounds of satisfaction, which sent him tumbling over the edge to ecstasy.
      They lay on the floor, gazing into each other’s eyes. “I love you Darlin’.”
      “I love you more.”  


*fans self*

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dirty Dozen Blogfest

First off, HAPPY SUMMER SOLSTICE and WELCOME TO NAKED SEASON!


Okay, on to the blog...

Alex Cavanaugh is hosting a Dirty Dozen Blogfest where we are all giving our favorite twelve all time movies. And, I'm sure quite unintentionally, I've learned something.

The books I've loved tend to be dark, torturous things... the TV series I've liked best have been a bit twisted (X-files, Twin Peaks, Lost) but the movies I love, are largely FUNNY. Now why would that be? My analysis has concluded that it's because while I love a dark or twisted movie, it is only good for 2 or 3 watches because the dark or twisted thing being unknown is part of the appeal and it is not all that interesting anymore. FUNNY movies become sort of a part of you—you remember lines that you quote to other people to test who is ALSO in the club of being a fan for that movie... (or maybe this is just the nuts I hang out with). Books and TV shows, I don't tend to consume over and over and over, with the notable exception of Harry Potter, which has both humor and several layers of story... and like the movies I love, I have portions memorized and have bonded with others over it.

So without further ado...

12) The Brothers Grimm. Compared to the rest of my list, this is an odd inclusion because it is relatively newer and so far as I know, just was not that big of a deal, but I adore it—the fairy tale gone wrong—the con men getting sucked into having to REALLY do what they claimed they could do but never had... I adore Heath Ledger as Jacob the 'believer'. It just mixes a lot of things I really love in a story, and I think because of the fantastical piece, I can watch it over and over.

11) The Thing. I think the brilliance here is you take the closed room murder idea and give it a Lovecraftian 'evil alien that's been hiding in the ground' twist. It isn't terribly different plotwise from Alien, but I think the monster that can take on the appearance of anyone it touches adds fabulously to the tension.

10) My Cousin, Vinny. Marissa Tomei MAKES this movie. “Oh. You blend.” *snort* She is divine! I like the premise and the set up, and I like the interaction of Joe Pesci and what's his name that used to be Herman Munster as lawyer and judge respectably, but this is her movie.

9) The Birds. I love Alfred Hitchcock. I am a much bigger fan of psychological fear and tension than horror—I don't want to see the blood and gore, but Hitchcock has such skill with giving us the heebie jeebies with only a minimum of actual gore, and this is my favorite of his. (My daughter is even a fan).

8) Animal House. This silly tale is a classic, but it happens to be a classic that was filmed at the University of Oregon. My freshman year, my dorm mates and I used to enact scenes from it on our way to and from parties and this movie that would probably be too typically American for me worked its way into my heart.

7) Grease. This gets placement because I think everyone needs a musical that sort of is an important life place-holder. Grease came out when I was in 7th grade-right at the age girls start really paying attention to pop culture. Some of the girls in my neighborhood and I used to try to start the soundtrack exactly at the same time so we could get it outside in surround sound (before surround sound was a term) but we never succeeded.  I think it was a nice ease out of 'pretending', too--we could sing and act like we were just singing, but in your head you could hang onto youth just a little longer.

6) Lord of the Rings. This is me giving in to larger than life movies. It's a great tale—honestly one of few stories that I think was done better on screen than as originally written (because while Tolkein wrote a great tale, he was also a wordy prude). I admit Viggo Mortenson played no small role in selling this to me... hummina hummina! (wouldn't kick Eomer, Faramir, Boromir or Legolas out of bed either...) Yes... a fine collection of eye-candy. I am putting the trilogy here, though if I have to choose a favorite, it is the second.

5) It's a Wonderful Life. I love this tale of doubt and redemption. It is actually how I like my literature—a moment of crisis, a dark meandering, and discovery that the answer was in you all the time—what better story is there than that? We watch it as a family every Christmas—one of few traditions we've managed to create.

4) My highest ranked non-comedy. Gone with the Wind. The first time I saw any portion of this my mom was watching our new colored TV. I was about seven and we'd only had a black & white before that (even though families with more money had had them for a good ten or fifteen years by then). I walked into the living room and my mom was crying—I looked to the TV and there was Scarlet in that red dress Rhett was making her wear. I didn't understand but was completely absorbed. All through my childhood every time I would stumble across it, I was then sucked in to the end, though I think I was eleven the first time I saw it in a theater, start to finish.

3) Young Frankenstein. (Frahn-ken-steen) I love Gene Wilder and the rest of this fabulous cast—the zaniness of Madeline Kahn, the sublime Peter Boyle—overlaying the ridiculous on this dark tale—the innuendo. FABULOUS.

2) Princess Bride. I ordered this with a video club thing when my daughter was about three and had NO IDEA what a treasure it was. I think it is the most quotable movie of all time.  Very fun story, but the WORDS!  (I love words--especially put together really really well).

1) Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail/ Life of Brian. I am putting these together, though they could easily consume both first and second place, but the reasons I love them are so incredibly overlapping, and the Monty Python sub-culture relates to both. I love inane silliness committed with a British accent. I watched Holy Grail with my kids a couple weeks ago and kept saying, “Oh, this is my favorite part... no wait, THIS is my favorite part! Oh, no—I love this part. Oh my god, this is my favorite part. I start giggling the minute the credits about the moose start rolling and giggle all the way to the end. Life of Brian, similarly—actually Life of Brian has a BETTER ending.

*whistles* (listen here)
“Always look on the bright side of life.”




So there we have it... my Dirty Dozen favorite movies...


In Other News

I have guests for the next two days, but starting tomorrow we have our streak of Burrow Birthdays. Jason is the 22nd, I am the 23rd, and Natasha/Rayna is the 24th... all right in a row, starting the moment Gemini roles into Cancer. I've had a long theory about this being a spot where the sensitive, emotional Cancer feels compelled to do the Gemini COMMUNICATING about it. I've thought a great deal about this placement ever since meeting Natasha and realizing there was a person on the opposite side of the world who looked at the world in a more similar way to me than any person I've ever met elsewhere. Then again, we were both born on Thursday, on top of almost the same day. Anyway... since I will have guests tomorrow and on my ACTUAL birthday, Thursday (the day it should happen, after all) I will be throwing a little birthday party... Speaking of parties... Don't forget if you want to win a critique, to go back and leave a comment on the Tartiversary comments!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Daddios

I have a full-up day in order to make things relatively nicish [wish I could aim higher; it just seems I can't] for my husband's father's day. I picked up the chairs and umbrella we took to the Block Party last night, and I need to finish up the dishes and such... clean the bathroom, finish laundry, walk to the grocery to buy some over-priced steaks... feed the children that slept here... yeah, it's a pretty full plate.

But I didn't want to have the day pass without wishing all you dads out there a really happy father's day! You know dads make a big difference in the lives of their children. They come in all flavors and shapes from critical and demanding, to the never-serious playmates, but any dad who is present and engaged is a-okay in my book.

Some dad's are terrific role models:

Others not so much:

Some might try to help you out of a bind... or into one...

And though most are flawed, having them in our lives makes them better!










Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Afraid to Look

So while I don't think EVERYTHING is yet going badly, I noticed a bad habit crop up this week, that has me vaguely worried. I only weighed myself TWICE other than weigh in day. Now I know if you are doing a program diet they TELL YOU only once a week, but in my 30 years of dieting experience, it is my experience that if I WEIGH every day, I keep from letting it get out of hand... YES, weight goes up and down, and you get a feel for what is normal and why, but you DON'T, if you weigh every day, have more than about 2 really stupid days in a row.

I don't think I am yet at stupid days exactly--in fact my weight is microscopically down (-41 from starting point--half pound below my low), but I AM having some challenges.



Day Job Stress

I need to be a little obtuse here, as it IS a public forum, but suffice it to say, while I HATE micromanaging, I probably should have been doing it and my boss is getting some crap for my having NOT. This is compounded by ANOTHER person having FAILED to tell somebody “they are asking why you are doing this” (to the person I should have been micromanaging-when said person was out of MY view, so I didn't know) and instead gossiping within a different part of the department. THREE of us fell down on what we should have done, but I am going to be stuck picking up the pieces.

It's very stressful to fail somebody you respect. Even more so to feel like you failed because you believed the best in human nature—that others shared your work ethic and loyalty (the idea that I should have said "where were you?  What were you doing? Seriously?  But I should have). There also seems to have been some common sense missing, but I suppose part of MY common sense comes from people who used to work above ME gossiping about how it goes, and I'm not really a gossipy gal.


Summer

And then the kids are ending their school year—not me. I work year-round... And I always feel just a little jealous of people who get that cycle... with starts and ends and a break in between. I wanted to be an academic at one point, before I understood that in reality, it is only the TEACHING part that is cyclical—summer is just as busy or more so, because it is the intensive research time. Anyway... I LOVE this season, but it is also one I fight the little green-eyed monster just a little.

Hubby's Class

My husband is doing nursing prerequisites. Once he is done, he will apply for nursing school, which is an EXCELLENT fit for him. My cue that this punk rocker has a good heart was that he nursed his mom through cancer 22 years ago—but in all this time he has lacked the confidence to DO IT. Finally, after getting laid off almost 2 years ago, he decided to give it a go. He took his math.  He took some biology.  Well this spring he has been doing a CNA course (NOT certified nudist assistant, but certified NURSE'S assistant) and he really likes it--first patient contact, but it is ALL DAY Saturday and Sunday. Normally HE has family duties weekdays and we SPLIT on weekends. But right now, I have FULL ON family duties on weekends WITH NO CAR. You see, we only have one, and he had to go too far to either leave it with me, or have me drop him off and come home.

So today I need to WALK to buy the father's day gift (which I at least finally remember what he'd LIKE!), do laundry, clean the bathroom, then prepare for our neighborhood picnic... where I will proceed to drink too much beer and embarrass myself, as I do each year.


ON THAT NOTE... the neighborhood picnic last year was my first 'outing' among people I KNOW as a writer—there were a couple following my blog (which made me feel totally NAKED!--I know... ironic I should mind, ne?) but I talked to the neighbor who introduced me to my first 'published author' acquaintance (the woman who said 'they are rejecting you because it is 200K words'--THANK YOU honest feedback!) So I am THRILLED to be able to tell them this year that I have a publishing contract in progress!


Okay... Nuff on Excuses... BACK TO IT!  I am ready to yank the eating plan back on track!  (erm... after the block party)



And More Pleasantly...

I had a moment of maternal pride last night. My son, done with 6th grade... asked if he and a few friends could go to an Ann Arbor tradition called 'Top of the Park'--on campus there is a stage (band some nights, movie others) food booths, ton of activity--all family friendly... we made it VERY clear this was going to be RARE for our 11 year old, but he was going in a group, AND his sister (15) would be there with her boyfriend and a couple of HER friends.

He went. 'The Boyfriend' drove him. His sister showed him where I'd pick him up and what his friends meant about where to meet them. Then about 9 he calls (pick-up was scheduled for 9:30). “Mom, can you come get me now... thunder storms, yada yada.” (apparently a weather warning had come through)  So I did.

Did you know two minutes after I got him, his SISTER called his cell phone to make sure he was okay and wasn't going to be caught in the storm? She is normally TERRIBLY self-centered, and I was so pleased she was concerned enough to make sure he got to cover okay.  We had asked her just to keep an eye out, but she told us they wouldn't be there the whole time, so I wasn't sure if she'd even known about the warning).

It's nice to get periodic evidence that you haven't completely failed at creating caring offspring.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Welcome Guest Author Sindee Lynn!



Hello, fine friends!  Welcome to FRIDAY!  Just a warning... only about 36 hours to get those Father's day gifts in order, so HURRY!  And NOW, back to our regularly schedule blog.  I am thrilled to welcome Sindee Lynn, who seems to have found a Tart-worthy hunk for her book cover---YUM!  I'm sorry I left the Pacific Northwest if he is gadding about!  But I should let Sindee tell you about it!  Welcome Sindee!

~~~~~~

Author Pic.JPG
 Author Blurb: My name is Sindee Lynn and I have known I wanted to be a writer since the old age of 13. Growing up my love of reading was nourished by my aunt who used to bring me bags of Harlequin Romance novels when she came to visit- back then they had the almost cartoonlike characters on them. Living in a small town where you had to have a car to get from point A to point B reading was my escape. And man did I become a world class traveler. By the time I turned 14 I had been to Italy, France, several Mediterranean Islands and to almost every state in the US and Canada. Those books are still at my childhood home today on a shelf my uncle had to build for them because he was tired of them being all over the house... lol.
 
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31gitU8XW7L._SS500_.jpg
Book Blurb: Prince Syrian is waiting to take his place as the next King of Vampires when he discovers that his human donor has been cheating on him with his cousin. His father, to prevent bloodshed, sends Syrian away to Washington State to handle negotiations for a vampire family out there. While there Syrian finds himself in need of blood and sex. He’s on the verge of what’s called blood lust – meaning it’s been a while since his last real feeding. So he goes to the donor database he helped create and finds Jenna James. Now Jenna has given up on the idea of a vampire ever knocking on her door in need of blood and sex. It is after all the reason why she signed up for the program. Being with a vampire has been her secret fantasy for years. But it’s been four years so she’s pretty much made up her mind not to renew her donor card until her doorbell rings and on the other side is her fantasy
Places to purchase my book: Prince's Donor

It’s tough working full-time, having an active teenage daughter (school cheerleader & competition cheerleader) and attempting to become a published author. It means there are a lot of late nights spent writing and revising... well let me clarify, a lot of late nights spent writing and revising and then re-writing and revising some more. Even now as I sit writing this blog I’m finding it hard to believe that my book is on a tour of any kind let alone a Virtual Book Tour where I have the ability to reach so many new potential readers without even leaving my bedroom. It’s great. Like right now, nobody even knows I’m writing this blog in my night clothes, curlers, fuzzy slippers and headphones listening to DJ Khalid’s All I do is Win ... oh well now I guess you know. Oh well you may as well know this is how I do most of my writing- in the comfort of my bedroom in the most god awful clothes imaginable. It’s how I wrote most of my first book so I say why mess with a winning combination.
Getting published has been a long time dream of mine but it almost didn’t happen. As a matter of fact the very book I’m on tour with had just been rejected by a very well known e-book publishing company. I had gotten all the way to the end of the process, they had my manuscript in hand for over two months. Me being the optimist, I believed that to be a good thing. But then they told me I had too much back story and recommended I resubmit after a revision. The concept was fresh and they felt it would be a wonderful story after a few changes. And I had considered it seriously... I mean I have been reading books from this site for years and they have some awesome authors and their editors are writers as well. So they must know what they’re talking about right? Well just as I was about to settle in for yet one more re-writing session one of my good friends called and told me about Passionate Writer Publishing (PWP). She stayed on me for over a week until I finally sent the initial submission. Within days I heard back from them asking for the full manuscript. I couldn’t even muster a little excitement. After all I had just gone through this process. Well when the next email came I was plenty excited because it was an offer to publish. I didn’t know who to tell first. So I sent a mass text message – how modern is that? Lol. And the journey began. It’s just the beginning on the road to my lifelong dream... where’s that you ask – to be beside my romance idols like Diane Palmer, Nora Roberts and my absolute favourite, Sherrilyn Kenyon – The New York Times Bestseller List. I hope their ready because I am.

Guest Author Links Archive

I am pretty sure I will keep having guests, but I didn't want to delete links completely from my sidebar in case people want to find them, so I figured a post with past guests archived was the best compromise. Thank you to all the authors who have shared their work and experiences with my blog readers! I wish you all success!

2010 Guests
April 15 - Lee Libro
April 20 - Nedyne Shorts-Nettles
April 23 - Melody Dempsey
April 29 - Lillian Brummet
May 6 - Omegia Keeys
May 8 – Lily Oak
May 12 - Jo Davis
May 13 - Lloyd Kaneko
May 17 - James C. Wallace II
May 24 - Margaret West
May 31 - David Fingerman
Jun 4 - Katie Salidas
Jun 8 - Karen Kotslivy
Jun 18 - Sindee Lynn
Jun 22 - Trish Silver
Jun 23 - Tasha Wright
Jun 28 - Denise Verrico
Jul 6 - Louise Wise
Jul 15 - Elizabeth Spann Craig
Jul 20 - Ami Blackwelder
July 27 - L.E. Harvey
Aug 3 - Diane Griffin
Aug 17 - Mike Dolan
Aug 24 - Douglas Corleone
Aug 27 - INTERVIEW WITH BESTSELLER HARRY DOLAN!
Sep 14 -Liz Crowe
Sep 21 - Walter Knight
Sep 23 - Wayne Farquhar
Sep 28 - Merideth Cagen
Sep 30 - Cherish D'Angelo
Oct 8 - David Fingerman
Oct 19 - Robin Cain
Oct 26 - Alex Cavanaugh
Nov 12 - Russell Brooks
Nov 16 - Allan Russell
Dec 14 - Mark Sadler

2011 Guests
Jan 23 - Denise Verrico
Mar 1 - Book Blitz: My Father's Colors
Apr 21 - Russell Brooks
May 10 - Rebecca Carlton
May 16 - Douglas Corleone
Sept 6 - Janet Oakley
Sept 20 - Lynn Rush
Sept 29 - Enid Wilson
Oct 4 - Liz Crowe
Oct 10 - Ciara Knight
Oct 27 - Helena Soister
Nov 15 - Jessica Bell
Nov 28 - RaShelle Workman

2012 Guests

Dec 7 - Ian Healy
Dec 13 - Patrick Freivald
Dec 16 - Stacy Gail
Dec 30 - Christine Murray
Feb 22 - Catherine Stine
Mar 1 - Cherie Reich
May 16 - February Grace
May 24 - Jessica Bell

June 7 - Vic Caswell
June 14 - Jay Mims
June 20 - Roland Yeomans
June 25 - RaShelle Workman
June 27 - Laura Eno
July 10 - Mary Walters
July 16 - Denise VerricoJuly 24 - Liz Crowe
Aug 8 - Carol Kilgore

Aug 17 - JL Campbell
Sept 7 - Christopher Allen

Sept 13 - JK Coi
Sept 18 - Leigh Moore

Nov 20 - Alison DeLuca
Dec 6 - Stacy, Sasha & Anna

2013 Guests

Jan 31 - Stacy Gail


The spots brave enough to host yours truly...

Alex Cavanaugh: Getting Naked
Rach Writes:
Erica & Cristy
Ian Healy
Rosie & Charity
Mar 14: 3-Way with Deb and Barb!!!
Authors Promoting Authors

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dog (Cat) Blog (Awards)

First I need to remind you IT'S THURSDAY!!! WAHOO!

And so what we really need on a Thursday is ALWAYS a little nakedness and a little delusion, but I also have gotten a couple blog awards recently and want to be sure to pass them off before they get completely lost in the abyss of my mind.


Things I Say to My Pets that I would be MORTIFIED if anybody knew...


Meow? Who says that?


Puddy tat need a drinky winky?

Do you have to go puppy potty?  Are you Mr. Puppy Potty?

Who's a good boy?  He's so NICE!

Hey da pooder doodikins!
(or the variation) Hoo da doo pooder doody

Look adatummy!

The Joel Song (we sing this on walks)
Joel Bowl, Billy Billy Bowl, Billy Billy Bowl Joel Joel
Joel Bowl, Billy Billy Bowl, Billy Billy Bowl Joel Joel
Once there was a silly willy dog, and his name was Joel B Bowl
He was such a silly nilly dog, and we called him Joel B Bowl
Joel Bowl, Billy Billy Bowl, Billy Billy Bowl Joel Joel

Everybody need their tummy rubbed!

Everybody likes their butt scratched!

Oooooh!  Mister itchy bottom!  Does that feel good?


So there you have it.  If you tell anybody, I might have to kill you.



And On to BLOG AWARDS! WAHOO!

Before I dive in, I want to give a disclaimer... while every award I GIVE is deserve, there are surely dozens I SHOULD give, that because I do things last minute, I have neglected... so I apologize for flying by the seat of my pantslessness, because worthy blogs will surely be forgotten.

The first one I got was from Mari. The Sugar Doll Award is for blogs (bloggers) who just cheer us up. Mari also broke the all-girl tradition and I LOVE that (always like a man in drag) So I would like to award it to:

Sugar
Erica
Alex
Jessica
Ezmirelda
B. Miller who would surely find this too girly, except that I am also awarding it to Alex.

Still... all these people cheer me up, between regular commenting and just being fabulous!


The next award, called the Awesomous Maximus, was given by Will.

And I would like to award it to:

 Karen Gowan. Karen is doing it all—sometimes funny and personal, sometimes helpful, sometimes promoting OTHER bloggers—and she is totally successful at it!

Natasha/Rayna It always feels just a little like nepotism to give Natasha an award (being my fellow Burrower and all), but she also has the varied content, is extremely interesting, and offers a perspective a lot of us don't get elsewhere.

Jan O'Hara who manages the UNIQUE trick of being useful and funny at the same time! Most of us have to pick our poison on any given day. Not Jan. She does it all.

Simon Larter I just discovered Simon recently, but I think maybe he is another of my twins, though of course I maintain my stake as the EVIL twin. But between digressions, bizarre behavior and good beer, I'm pretty darned sure he would be a fine asset to the Naked World Domination movement.


The third blog award is called The Versatile Blogger, and has a few rules that come with it:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award. Thank you Ezmirelda!

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

*  I speak slowly
*  Contradictions please me. I like any evidence that life is complicated.
*  I first became a nudist at age 2 (I didn't like wet pants, so I just removed them)
*  I was once a gymnast (it's why I'm so bendy)
*  I've been known to cry at commercials
*  I secretly watch soap operas (the ABC ones via YouTube)
*  I got the best toys award in my Freshman Dormitory (I think the Crisco Twister pushed me into top spot, though frozen hotwheels definitely get an honorable mention)

3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (though I think I'd feel funny choosing a full 15 and not choosing everyone...)


Falen (especially Friday when we hear first from the dogs and then get FABULOUS made up words!)
Cheese Boy
Talli Roland
Creepy Query Girl
Killer Characters
Elizabeth Mueller
Will-Fatherhood and Other Common Terrors
Ted Cross
Charmaine-Wagging Tales


4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.




And then one (probably of many) that I was negligent on last time I did this. Journey Support is from Erica: The support award—and I would LOVE to give this to ALL of you, but I am going to award it to the early batch—people who I found early who helped me get my bearings and are STILL around and supportive.

Elizabeth
Jan Morrison
Natasha
Mari
Helen


So there we have it... Thank you to all the awarders, thank you to everyone who has been FABULOUS, and I'm sorry to people I KNOW I have forgotten!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Contagious

You won't hear me say it very often, so you maybe ought to mark the calendar, but Mr. Tart was right. Joel was itchy because of FLEAS! I've been scratching since I heard—I can't shake the feeling they are ON me... You see, the fact is though... that he has been itchy for... a month or more? Must be more, as I think he's had 3 baths and we don't do that at home more than about every other week at most... But ONLY NOW—Now that I KNOW—am I itchy. And it won't stop.

I get that way when I see swarming ants on TV, a really big spider outside (a really big spider inside spikes my adrenaline and throws me into fight or flights, so that is probably the only way I evade THAT one).

Does this have to do with being ticklish?

I mentioned this on my personal facebook profile, so of course my considerate friends add LICE to the mix.--now I'm not just itchy, but shuddering. I mean... ick.

[and here the editor would like to note:  The EVIL Tart has been  awakened... we don't see her much--you probably shouldn't encourage her.  She's quite as insane as the other one, but possibly dangerous.]
Evil Tart SMITES your warning and carries on!


How is it we pass along these sensations in absence of the actual stimulus? Can we USE IT?!


BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

The second scary book I read (right after The Shining) was Amityville Horror. It was one of those paperbacks with the pressed texture in the cover... you know what of? FLIES. I thought that was a FREAKING TERRIFYING book and I'm willing to bet the shivers from feeling those blasted flies on the book played no small part... that was one of the first signs of the house being haunted.... flies. They could hear them and couldn't find them. They would see ONE. They would see a COUPLE. Then something was covered in flies.

You SEE the build?—something has an eerie feel, then it keeps reappearing as a theme, each time bigger. Holy crap, I keep shuddering just remembering and I was 12.  I can't even LOOK at the stupid book cover... (note though, that I am making YOU)

Stephen King does it in The Shining with both Jack (all work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy) and Danny (Redrum). But I think the use in Amityville Horror strikes me so hard because... a fly, so what? I mean hearing voices and speaking in tongues (or whatever the explanation for Redrum is) isn't normal stuff. FLIES are normal (if repulsive). But add to it 'off season' and it becomes ODD. Just that. Making an ordinary thing ODD, makes it so the reader gets more and more creeped out, each trime they see it. That is the key... the reader isn't just READING it, they are FEELING it.



What Other Emotions Can We Manipulate?

(So long as we're being evil and all...*shifty*) Longing? I've seen it with both longing for a person and a place... a lost dream—any emotion that can be heightened by a memory, really, which makes it a useful device for romance, chick lit, ALL of the darker genres. I've seen it in Sci Fi—it is different in a way—Ender's Game and the game he keeps trying to beat—we feel his obsession—he keeps coming back to it. That is handy there, as Ender isn't a kid who seems very NORMAL, so making us feel his feelings was a necessary step, and possibly one of the reasons Orson Scott Card has a broader readership than a lot of Sci Fi.


And Why be So Rotten to our Readers?

Because we CAN! BUWAHAHAHAHA Okay, and maybe so the triumphs our characters finally manage are ALSO felt—because being touched is what so many readers really CRAVE (and they can get TIRED of touching themselves). I guess it is all about truly engaging a readership and we need to tap emotion to do it.


But... Can't you tap emotion... NICELY?

NO! And stop asking! *squishes evil Tart back into her box*  Honestly, I think you CAN. I think truly TOUCHING scenes tap emotion, but oddly, so does humor. I am, to this day convinced that the KIDS books I read that I loved so much I wanted to read over and over and over were because they were FUNNY. That is what a kid story offers the parent... The Series of Unfortunate Events and it's thirteen volume grammar joke—BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I LOVE those books, and it's not because the story is so great... but it is TOLD SO WELL!

But really, my favorite genius at this is JK Rowling. Her discussion of the Dursleys and their insistence on 'normal' when everything around them is going haywire had me sold right from the beginning... but then so did the tears at the end of chapter one... Harry, the boy who lived.

She uses simple language and the EXTREMES of our emotion-- me giggling madly at the owl fest behind Vernon's back, and this orphaned baby—the tale of his parents' death... the contrast is amazing...

So how do all of you try to tap the emotion of your reader—suck them in so they don't just see it, but send them a shiver, or a tear, or a literal LOL? Any plans?