Wednesday, November 30, 2011

An Old Fart's Lament

Where on earth has the year gone?

It seems I was just getting used to using 2011 and now I have to upgrade to 2012.

And why is it that the older you get, the faster time flies? I could use a little slow motion these days and have completely stopped wishing it was the weekend on a Monday. It's just too dangerous.

Hard to believe I've lived so many years. They seem to have whipped by and my...er, imperfect seems a pc word...memory has lost most of them.

I'm entering a new life phase, that of an official Medicare card carrier. Sounds like a disease, doesn't it? Lol. But I'll keep working as long as I can because it takes me out of myself and while work can be frustrating, it also provides a lot of pleasure and the company of some good folks.

I wonder if time works for young people these days as it did for me? Summers seemed to last forever - and so did the school year until the next vacation. Good times and bad times, they never seemed to rush by.

This year is about to come to an end. I hope 2012 will cut us all some slack and maybe even slow down a bit. :-)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What Do You Want From Santa?

With Thanksgiving over, now we're approaching Christmas. And when you're an Old Fart, that means buying gifts for the younger fart who shares the household.

Mollie had an extensive Christmas list and I'll admit that I spoil her rotten. Although this year there are a lot more clothes among her gifts: t-shirts and pajamas which she'll like and she also needs (especially the pj's).

But adults... well, we get used to sublimating our desires as we take care of the kids. And sometimes that just kind of sucks.

So I'm curious: what do you want this year? What's on your wish list that if Santa left under your tree, you'd squee with excitement.

I dream of a Kindle Fire or an IPad. I don't have a need for a tablet but man of man, I want one. I would also kill for a Kitchen Aid mixer, a Cuisinart food processor, a new car or a 3 carat diamond. (If you're going to dream, dream big.)

Your turn.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mixing It Up

video

I have craved a stand mixer for ages but the red Kitchen Aid mixer is a little *cough alot cough* out of my price range. So I got this pretty red one that you have to move the bowl yourself and scrape the sides but hell, it's red and it works and I got to make a video for Carolyn.

I do hope a wonderful Thanksgiving was had by all.

The best part, I thought, was getting the holiday decorations out. (which Blogger won't let me post any pics. Darn.)

Anyway, Carolyn, here's the vid I promised. Now I'm going to take a nap.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanks for the Giving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the holiday that used to be my favorite but isn't anymore. My family is spread far and wide and I don't have any local "family" to share holidays with. So my daughter and I do it together (which is awesome in its own right) except...

my daughter doesn't eat turkey. Or stuffing. Or sweet potatoes. Or veggies. Or pie.

Get the feeling that this is not the Thanksgiving of my dreams?

I love to cook but with a picky eater, it's downright impossible. So I'm trying for a mix of traditional and non-traditional foods that might get eaten.

But I was thinking about it and thought there are so many things I'm thankful for this year. I'm thankful to be employed because being unemployed in this job market was terrifying. I'm thankful for my family, especially my brother and his wife who might live in Hawaii but shower us with so much love it makes my head spin.

I'm thankful for my BFF, writing and blogging partner Carolyn. She knows how much so I won't get goopy here.

I'm thankful for Ms. Lea who makes me laugh constantly and totally gets the humor. Couldn't ask for a better mini-me.

I'm thankful for all the folks who have stopped by this blog whether they've cmmented or not. It's nice to have a connection of any sort.

I'm thankful that we're here and we're sharing this brief time together. All of us. The world is a scary, fascinating place and it's nice to know there are others muddling through with us.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mea Culpa

I'm feeling guilty about the dearth of posts with my name under them.

But really, it shouldn't be too surprising because I live a boring life - one of those nine to five sort of gals, except I'm 6:30 to 3:30. I stagger home, look longingly at the bed, feed the man, clean dishes, clean me and hit the sack at a digustingly early hour.

On top of that, I'm really just a shy, timid, quiet little thing. (Couple of lies in that sentence, see if you can pick them out.) Really. I am. I'm one of those folks who does a lot of listening, or I did before I met Lori.

I never would have believed I could talk an hour on the phone. Sometimes even more. I never used the phone except to find out specific things like 'what time do you close?'. Now I get diarrhea of the mouth regularly.

There is nothing better than having a friend who has the same interests you do. I don't know that I'd still be writing if not for Lori. No one around here cares, not my work mates, not my husband. Don't mean for that to sound pitiful, it's just a fact. My sons do their best but wrinkle their noses at the romance label, lol.

So Lori and I talk and encourage each other and somehow we stumble along. I think we've done pretty good for two old farts and by the way, Lori, when's our new banner going to be ready? Hmmmm?

It Must Be The Holidays

I've gotten emails that my credit limits at three different retailers have increased times three.

Thank God I cut up all my credit cards. And all my daughter's Christmas gifts are already bought. In fact, only a certain old fart who shall remain nameless is left on my list.

I'm thinking she might like some Miss Clairol, I Love Lucy Red to cover up those grey streaks.

Hee hee.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Rewrite

Carolyn and I have started the rewrite of Letters From Greece. We're not very far along and already it's better.

I think we have to stop fighting the editing process. Dang.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Check Your Titties At The Door...

but pick them off the floor first.

So here's the thing I'll admit: since the icy hands of menopause grabbed me and has never let go, my sleep patterns changed and now I have a habit of waking up around 2 am and being up about a half hour. I've learned not to get out of bed but I also know I won't fall right back to sleep. So I usually grab my iphone and log into a couple of blogs and read what's going on.

It ain't pretty.

One of the blogs I check out is Mr. Teddy Pig. Teddy is a pretty sane voice although he can be a little reactive. He is a gay man, openly HIV+, a lover of m/m romance. And he's been furiously watching while authors of m/m romance are being outed for *gasp* not being who they say they are.

Now it gets pretty confusing from here. There is one author who claimed to be a gay man but is actually a woman who claims now to be transexual. He's been the lightening rod because he has written of his experiences as a gay man and well, he isn't one.

But there are other trans writers and adrogynous writers and writer's who claim to ride unicorns and fart rainbows. And they're being attacked/questioned/doubted about their identities by, well, apparently other authors of m/m romance.

Wait a minute. I'm sorry. What? Who died and made them the gender identity police?

And may I just state for the record that the internet is the place to find porn, viruses and people claiming to be who they aren't. I had a wonderful night a long time ago with someone who kept claiming to be Carrie Fisher. She was so pissed off that I didn't believe her but as I pointed out, Carrie Fisher would never use Princess Leia as her online name. She's much too clever for that. So shame on the faker.

By the way, I didn't insist the online CF prove who she was by showing me a picture of the abuse scars that Debbie Reynolds routinely left after burning her with cigaretttes. I'm not that kind of girl.

So I've spent the last couple of nights reading different blogs and different people with different reactions to this whole mess. I've read two writers say that they feel so harassed that they have decided to stop writing m/m romance. I've read people support the authors and people tear them down.

I was going to make a joke about Carolyn and I proving we really are old farts and therefore the saggy boobs and grey hair and all as proof. But the truth is that this really isn't funny. And I'm going to say something very serious here.

The issue the detractors claim is appropriation. A woman claiming to be a gay man is appropriating from all gay men their experience and pains. A white person claiming to be black appropriates the racist experience. My claiming to be 27 appropriaes perky breasts. (Okay, I couldn't help myself.)

Well the people out there "outing" other people are appropriating other human being's privacy. They are using high handed politically correct speech for the simple reason that they want final approval of who is allowed to write in the genre they have appropriated.

Nobody should have to answer to anyone else about their identity. To claim appropriation is to negate a person's experiences: to negate a person's existance in the life they've lived.

I saw someone on a blog comment that she was afraid to write non-white fictional characters because she didn't want to appropriate.

Oh grow the fuck up. And while you're at it, grow some balls.

Who I am and what my life is, is nobody's damn business but mine. Who I pretend to be on the big old anonymous internet is my business too. And while we're at it: this is fucking small press fiction writers you damned bottom feeders! These aren't politicians, Oprah couch sitting mega authors or even the local pastor. These are fiction writers who chose to present behind the green curtain where the steam is rising.

But but but...

Nobody reading these words I'm currently writing knows the life I've lived. Nobody knows what I've experienced, what my dreams or fantasies are or how my mind or body works. You want to look at me and see a fat, middle-aged woman with bad knees you're going to miss a hell of a lot of years of my life. Years spent fucking pretty men, years spent working in the AIDs community, years spent as a musical theater fanatic, as a rape survivor, as a single mother, as a foul mouthed bossy bitch.

You don't know me. Not really. So who the fuck has the right to define who I am?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shit Redux

We're in a quandry with our book and it's a difficult place to be.

We sent Letters From Greece out to Carina who stopped taking women's fiction and so sent it back. We sent it to Samhain who kept it for 18 weeks and then sent a form rejection letter (I personally don't believe anyone there read it).

We sent it to Musa Publishing who gave us a very unclear revise and resubmit. Unclear because the editor said the story was being told in a way that distanced the reader but since it's first person, past tense we're a little unsure how that can be fixed. And we are NOT rewriting the whole damn thing. It took us two years to get the damned thing done finally.

Sheesh.

It was so much easier with The Bodice Rippers. We knew it was shit, really funny shit but still shit, and so the rejections didn't bother us. And the rejections came with really encouraging words (people loved it but said it was unsalable) so that was easy. We self pubbed it, it sells about 5 copies a month and we're good.

But Greece is a different story. It's a stronger story, it really came from our own friendship and it isn't a romance... and it isn't shit.

Oh well. Revise and resubmit is looking like the contender right now.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Doldrums

I'm in the reading doldrums. Nothing appeals to me.

Could be because I've been sick this weekend, or perhaps I should say suffering from the medicine that's supposed to cure me. Side effects can be a bitch!

Maybe I'm just all read out. I'd been on a reading binge for several weeks.

That's why it delighted me to find a review of one of Barbara Hambly's older books on DA, The Bride of the Rat God. A rather iffy title, but behind that title is a wonderful, wonderful story and it sent me on a hunt for all the books I loved in my youth. Not only Hambly, but Barbara Michaels, David Edding, Elizabeth Moon, Georgette Heyer, Nora Lofts. Can't afford to get them all at once, of course, but I'm setting up a schedule and each paycheck will see one or two added to my e-library.

I don't know what it says that these older books are what appeal to me now. I just know I get twitchy without reading material and I'm so glad that these older works are now available in e.

Happy reading, y'all.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

And a Rant Rant Here, And a Rant Rant There

It might not come as a surprise that I'm a major fan girl of Jane at Dear Author. Or I'm a DA fangirl with my little girl crush on Jane. Carolyn saves her girl crushing on SB Sarah and together we've been known to squee in our pants over Meljean Brook and do NOT get me started on Loretta Chase thankyouverymuch.

But I am so pissed pissed pissed off at DA right now that I cannot even calm down. (And this is like day three.)

One of the DA intillektual reviewers did a post about Small Town Romances and suggested they might be *cough cough* rape fantasies for readers.

WTF? WTH? What the diddley do wop are you talking about? Say what Willis?

I like small town romance. I even occasionally like the Christian, moralistic, small town romances. BUT, and this is a big but (like mine), I do not like them because they represent my desire to have my choices taken away and to be oppressed and barefoot and pregnant. I like them because I live in a fucking city and I like to imagine that a smaller town might be a different and enjoyable place.

Many many years ago before I even started reading romance, I read an article in a magazine written by a Southern male writer about the small town he lived in. He didn't talk about lynching the nee-grows or knocking up the town ho's or how they like to spray paint the word kike on the synagogue doors. He talked about tailgate parties and community and amazing fall nights on the beach where they'd light a bonfire and people would gather.

It sounded like something I wanted to experience. Something I could imagine on days when I felt disconnected. And when I started reading romance, one of the first series I discovered was Promise, Texas by Debbie Macomber.

I don't really read Ms. Macomber anymore because she's not my style. But back then she was and I liked the books. I liked the community she created and the HEAs for everyone. Damn.... HEAs for everyone. Isn't that nice?

Nowadays I read Jennifer Cruisie and Kristan Higgans and Sarah Addison Allan. Still small town romances and still a delight to me. Sometimes they're magical, sometimes they're ordinary. But they still have that community and people have that belonging. Belonging to a place.

I wrote a small town romance once and I intend to write more. My small town is called Apple Jack, Alabama and it's populated by a whole bunch of people. (And to the crack-head commenter on DA who suggested small town romances were read by white, racist Grandma's who dream of the good old days: I hope you choke and die on your constant stream of venom. Okay, maybe not. That's harsh. I just wish you'd stop being such a fucking huge bitch who brings out my desire to crack you over the head with my flaming cross.)

Apple Jack is where my porn actrss heroine went to live with her Aunts who are both in love with the same Hispanic man. And Sugar (my heroine) falls in love with Jerusalem Cannon, my black hero. Oh and there's a best friend who is also of color and a reporter who's hispanic too and a character who has the name of my Philipina friend and there's a character who happens to be Somalian...

What? Multi-cultural? Not Christian?

Yeah... explain to me the rape fantasy in all that, you pin headed small town romance haters.

Phew! Do I feel better after this rant? Not really. But I really wanted to say this. Oh, and we haven't even addressed the rape fantasy thing. But really, we can't. because it's one of those stupid things that people say to marginalize someone else. You! Yes you! Reader of romance. I don't like what you read so I shall mock you and say that you want to get raped and you're a racist and your ovaries are raisins.

And this was on a romance blog. Now that's the part of it that makes me the saddest.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

**sigh**

Last week my little girl had a cold that kept her out of school all week. Today I can feel myself getting sick. Dagnabit!

My nano writing has already failed. The story I was working on was depressing me too much (along with my current unmedicated depression which is depressing me) so now I'v decided to revisit Apple Jack, Alabama and the world of Sugar B. She was my 2009 nanowrimo novel and although its too late to make it my 2011 nano, I'll start writing it anyway.

I sure miss those Apple Jack folks.

The site is still undergoing a facelift. The skin we liked slowed us down too much so now we're simplified. Would love to be a little more fancy for our nice visitors but right now we feel lucky to have gotten this much done. But we shall persevere.

For all of you wondering what happened to Carolyn... she's lost in edits and galley proofs. We expect to see her soon but by that time she'll be frothing at the mouth and ready to kill editors. I love it when she's like that. Makes me look almost sane.

Almost.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Housekeeping

We hope you like the new look. We're still tweaking.

Carolyn and I are getting tired maintaining author pages and this blog and all the nonsense we've been nonsensing so we're working to get this together as our everything page. Blog, links to books, excerpts and giveaways.

We'd love to know what you think. What we're missing. Is it hard to read?

And for the thousands of emails I've received inquiring about Letters From Greece... we're still waiting. Since we already facilitated the demise of publishing when we submitted our piece of shit, The Bodice Rippers, we're waiting to see what further damage we can cause.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Random

1. This is nanowrimo time and oops, we're doing it again. Well I am. Carolyn said writing and life are hard enough and I'm not talking her into making it harder. So if you're na-no'ing and need a buddy: buddy me. Lori S Green. We can compare word counts and act like a couple of teenage boys: My word count is bigger than your word count. Well, my word count has bigger words than yours!

2. We might have mentioned that our 2 year epic in the making, Letters From Greece, was finally completed at the beginning of summer. We edited and sent to Carina Press. After about 14 weeks with them, they decided they were no longer taking women's lit and so we got a rejection. We also sent to Samhain who had it 17+ weeks and we inquired on the status and got a form rejection letter in response. Personally, I don't believe they even read it.

Anyway, we've submitted it two more places and fingers crossed.

3. Lori (me) is happy to announce that Lyrical Press has accepted The Stone Crow, my dark novella about Gods beating up humans, and it will be released in July.

Why so long? You need to learn to anticipate great things, *snort*

4.

A new anthology of short stories by Carolyn, myself and s. Elle Brown (you might know her around these parts as Lea, the weird Aussie chick who has the moon pie addiction). We have it available on amazon, smashwords, B&N, ARe.

5. We got our first return on The Bodice Rippers at amazon. They didn't give a reason so I don't know if it was my crap formatting or Carolyn's crap writing. (Notice how clever I did that?) Anyway, it's crap. We'd offer it free but Amazon won't let us.

6. Survivor rocks. Just sayin'.