Friday, September 30, 2016

Resurrecting Sunshine: Teaser and Cover Reveal

So I got an ARC yesterday, waiting for me when I got home. And I am very excited to read it. Here's why...

Lisa Koosis is MEGA talented. I first met her when I did my first ABNA contest and she was supportive, but also quiet, peaceful. One of those people who just seems very nice. But she is also a bit shy. Slow to jump into shenanigans. Never, in—what is this, 8 years ago? Never loud or aggressive or rude. And also never flashy or showy. I think that may be the trouble. She has been a top runner in several contests over the years, but I think she's been a bit timid about formal querying, and she hasn't gone the self-publishing route because I believe she knows she is to reserved for that sort of promoting.

So here I have in my hot little hands, her first book that is going to be sent out into the world. And I just want to give it a little amplification. I can be noisy. I can shout. I can get excited and tell all of you. For day I am just teasing you, but in a couple weeks we will be back here with an author interview so you can get to know Lisa a little better.

From Goodreads:

At seventeen, Adam Rhodes is famous, living on his own, and in a downward spiral since he lost the girl he loved. Marybeth stage name Sunshine was his best friend from the days they were foster kids; then she was his girlfriend and his band mate. But since her accidental death, he's been drinking to deal with the memories. Until one day, an unexpected visitor, Dr. Elloran, presents Adam with a proposition that just might save him from himself. Using breakthrough cloning and memory-implantation techniques, Dr. Elloran and the scientists at Project Orpheus want to resurrect Marybeth, and they need Adam to "donate" intimate memories of his life with her. The memory retrieval process forces Adam to relive his life with Marybeth and the devastating path that brought them both to fame. Along the way, he must confront not only the circumstances of her death but also his growing relationship with the mysterious Genevieve, daughter of Project Orpheus's founder. As the process sweeps Adam and Marybeth ever closer to reliving the tragedy that destroyed them, Adam must decide how far he'll go to save her."

Comes out Saturday!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Culling of the World

So I read a blog piece this week that got me thinking. I know. That's dangerous. But it was about the moments in history where something, natural or man-made, causes a sudden fast drop in human population. Things like the Bubonic plague, typhoid Mary, the Spanish flu. But also World Wars, land wars in Asia, and natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis.

Well this article pointed out with the HUMAN variety, there was always an ostrich.

Lemme esplain... No, is too much. Lemme sum up...

First you have to watch this Blackadder sketch about the Ostrich that started WWI.

The point is world conditions can get to a point where ONE LITTLE THING will set off a stack of Dominos. The ostrich. But the more important thing is everything needs to be poised... the Dominos stacked.

And the article noted how we are poised right now... just like that. The xenophobia trickling across the globe, the hike in natural disasters making everyone nervous, the world seen in real time because of cell phones. It isn't just the US. This is the stuff of Brexit and Putin's Imperialism, it is girls disappearing in India because nobody cares to keep them safe, it is rainforests converted to grazing land because profits matter more than air. But in the US is is the hate rhetoric, cops shooting innocent people, corporations buying our government.

It's frightening. When I think about my kids and whether they will ever have kids—what will their world be? Will a natural disaster on the scale of an asteroid or the supervolcano just wipe out everyone? Or will it be the more subtle allowance of companies to poison our water so we all die slowly? Or will there be a revolution because we live in a country divided between nationalism and populism?

So what will be our ostrich? Any ideas?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Bloodtype, Curls and Balderdash

Erm... In otherwords, an update post, but I am doing some very large-ish new things.

Look--I am sunshine!!!
Eating for my Bloodtype

So in the entirety of my time blogging, any time there is a “start” (year, school year, whatever), I have announced I am starting a diet. I follow Weight Watchers, which is a good one as these things go, but in the entirely of the time I've been blogging, it has done me not one spec of good... Well a spec here and there, but quickly regained specs those were.

I've managed to not gain anything in about 2 years, but prior to that I gained weight rather quickly. As “exercising in my spare time” became “writing in my spare time” my seat got wider and wider (Butt + chair = writing taken too far—more butt does NOT make for more writing)

And the fact is, those Weight Watcher attempts through this—crikey, 7+ years—have not been bad attempts. I mean I really tried. So I needed to shake things up.

Now I am not a person who was thinking about anything extreme. I am particularly averse to low-carb suggestions. I mean I will take the “no processed crap” or the “avoid white stuff” (sugar, flour, rice, bread) as legitimate, but giving up fruit makes no sense at all to me. So I resisted.

And then I found validation.

See... I had seen the Bloodtype diet discussed, most notably from our friend Jessica Bell who happens to share my bloodtype. And types O and B (and to some degree AB) are supposed to be carb-avoiding paleo eaters, my ancestry, as denoted by my genetics and manifested in my bloodtype, has geared me to be a pescatarian—a fish-eating vegetarian... And Jessica felt so good... and I've seen her recently—in May, and she LOOKS so good... And this whole genetics and what we process best rings so true to me—I am fully half Scandenavian—of COURSE fish is what I am geared for. In the mean time I CAN have those carbs (the good ones).

Now there are good and bad foods in all the lists, and I have not remotely begun learning them all. Like all legumes are not equal—I am best with black beans and should avoid chick peas, for instance. But I am trying to make the transition to not eating meat. It says OCCASSIONALLY poultry. But not the mammals. I am reserving that poultry thing for when hubs cooks—we only eat together two nights a week and he is willing to do one night veg or fish, but not both. I bought some frozen ahi steaks so if he has a burger or something, I will have an alternative, but I can eat a little chicken.

I noticed though, this weekend, after nearly 2 weeks of very little, he made it, then wasn't home so I had it both nights, then I had Kerrytown Bookfest so he made Sunday dinner too (turkey tacos) and it was all WAY too much. That quickly my body is reacting negatively.... like it sits heavily in my gut, not wanting to leave...

If anyone else is interested in investigating eating to their blood type, this is where I have been going.

Embracing the Curly

About 18 months ago I noticed the under layer of my hair had ringlets. I was curious, so I gave myself a trim and realized without the weight, the next couple layers up were ALSO sort of curly. So slowly I've been talking to my curly headed friends and learning about how, instead of fighting them, I can actually make them a little awesome.

So this is where it is at the moment... not as fuzzy, bit more curl
So September 1, as with the other change, I committed to REACHING FOR the Curly Girl method. I am not there yet. It is a conditioner-only (conditioners have enough of the washy stuff for anyone with non-oily hair, and curly, by definition, tends to dryness). I've only washed my hair 3 times this month, and this week, for the first time, I am going to try to go all week. I will probably stick to that until I run out of shampoo because I am unbelievably cheap.

The other tricks are leave-in conditioner, and some people use a curl definition product. And then a couple tricks like “plopping”--which is, after putting in the leave in conditioner, turning upside down and letting your hair sort of fold into a t-shirt which you then wrap around your head for a significant part of drying—the idea is it allows the curls to dry without the hairs' own weight pulling the curls out. [Plopping video]

I'm liking it so far—my upper layer has gotten a bit curlier and I am not even doing all the stuff yet. (like with the diet) I'm doing part of it and trying to LEARN.

For instance today I figured out that my hair has 3c curls underneath (tight spirals) and 3a on top (bigger curls) (it was 2b on top before I started—just some wave), and I have low porosity, which means it doesn't absorb stuff (not conditioner, not water) as well, so if I deep condition, I probably need heat to really get it in there. The recommended products are different depending on these things.

So probably 90% of you don't really care about all that, but it has been satisfying to find something about myself that instead of trying to change away from, I can instead dive farther into. If that makes sense.

And Finally, the Writing

So my August short story is mostly done... I need to wind it up. But I HAVE started my September short story. Last month was psycho-thriller. This month is definitely sci-fi—much more so that my Parallels entry. I didn't manage to get Medium Wrong queried because I am a gutless wonder with no self-discipline. Or something. But it is still on my list.

And I am plotting about three different things to see what sticks for my November plan... I haven't written a whole novel this year and it's scaring me. So I want to go in with what is closer to a real outline. Maybe I will even story board it.

So how is everyone else doing? Did you start anything new with the new school year? Do you think it will stick?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Have You Got The Time?

Hallo, fine peoples! And Welcome to Insecure Writer's Support Groups first Wednesday meeting...

This month the question is How do you make time in your busy schedule for writing?

And you know what? I'm not sure. So let me tell you a story about what WORKED initially—the FIRST time I made time. I was so clever...

See, as my kids reached middle school, first one, then the other, fired me from their nighttime routine. More specifically, they were more interested in reading on their own than together. The first time it hit was right about the time I started writing fan fiction (the end of 2005). I took a bath each night, and began taking a notebook... but suddenly I had an extra 45 minutes for my bath in the fall of 2006... And three years later it happened again... I'll tell you what. Ninety minutes you never had before is a GENEROUS amount of time to write in when it has no other earmarks as to what it is for...

Sadly, a couple years ago I had the steam knocked out of me... I tried to do too much and got tired... and had a few letdowns and felt disheartened. I took up a few TV shows I love. And I decided I needed to read more... and I do more puzzles in the bath... and my writing time has been gobbled away. I write some, but I need to pick that time again to write DAILY. Because this is NOT working.

So sorry I have lost the answer... Maybe you should go read what some OTHER people are doing to find a better solution!!!

Also... The Memory of Things is out... This beautiful book was written by my good friend Gae Polisner. It is set in the immediate aftermath of the twin towers falling and has totally rave reviews from very impressive people. Gae's books are literary YA--the sort that make it into classrooms for thoughtful discussion. I received mine yesterday, so if you need me, I'll be reading.