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Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I've been distracting myself by blog hopping and surfing and I thought I'd share some links I've found:
"Unsent Letters" posts letters people have written but never sent. Some of them are funny, some of them are heartwrenching, but they are all amazingly powerful.
Marley put me onto author Suzanne McMinn's Chickens on the Road site - there are recipes and crafts and all sorts of goodies. It's one of the best sites I've ever seen. If you like a recipe, at the bottom there's a link to a 'printable' page so you can print them off. I've printed off about a half dozen already - snickerdoodles, samoas, biscuits, etc.
If ever you have any questions about police officers, visit Lee Lofland's The Graveyard Shift blog. Lee wrote Police Procedures & Investigation in the Howdunnit series - a book I've turned to on more than one occasion. The thing I like about his blog is he includes a lot of pictures so you don't have to just rely on his descriptions but can easily visualize the dashboard of a cruiser, or the gun he's discussing etc.
When I just want to get away, I turned to one of my favourite places in Canada - Banff, Alberta. Specifically the Sulphur Mountain webcam so I can track the snow on the mountain top.
If you've wondered where I got some of the nifty graphics I use here, try Imagechef.
A while back, Gizmo Guy sent me a link to this site. Someone has taken photos of Barack Obama's inauguration, and stitched them together so you can zoom in on specific images. It's really cool. (Or you can just go here for some fantastic images from around the world that day.)
To keep this post writing-related, do you believe that saying that there are only 3/7/20 original plots? Or did you just watch a show on television last night and said "That's just like [insert different show]" It maybe ... take a look at these tropes of various television shows.
When I just want to play with my words instead of editing them, I turn to Wordle or Word Hearts. (Just don't save your graphic or it gets posted for everyone to see. I'm not that comfortable copying my work that way. But you can still save the picture and print it off for your own use.
Yeah, as you can see, I've been amusing myself today, and not in a productive way. Ah, well, gotta put my proboscis back to the circular, revolving, abrasive rock. (Yeah, I love thesaurus.com too.)
Monday, March 30, 2009
We had an overheat light in the office but it was blowing bulbs about every three weeks. We figured it was an old fixture so we replaced it with an energy efficient florescent circle unit. They're supposed to last years and years. Or 5,000 hours, anyway. It lasted three weeks. After we spent $30 to replace the lightbulb, the new one blew within a month too. So we figured we'd change out that unit and try something different. Gizmo Guy put it in when I was away one day, it wasn't an expensive fixture, but it was dim even when it worked. Then it started causing problems and within two months we gave up. We figure it's to do with the aluminum wiring our house is wired with. (If ever you are looking at a house to buy - do NOT buy it if it's got aluminum wiring. Nothing but problems, believe me.) Anyway, we've been existing with only a tiny gooseneck desk lamp that we had to aim at the wall because it kept getting in our eyes otherwise.
Since the floorspace in our little office is extremely limited (as in there is no free floorspace), we've been looking for a wall lamp. No such luck. They're passe. The other day, Gizmo Guy shopped in his favorite store (Value Village) and came home with a 'find'. He's pretty good at sniffing them out. A Tiffany style ceiling light that he said he could rewire and turn into a swag lamp. Which he's done. (the cord's hidden behind the ceiling medallion and comes out the front which we've covered with a special wiring tube -- I deliberately cropped the photo so you couldn't see it, LOL) I know the first picture makes it look like it's pink, but it's not, it's more coral, like in the second picture. The lamp is so frickin' heavy it was hard to put up trying to hold it over your head - it took three of us to manage while GG was attaching the screws to the studs. (Boy that manages to sound dirty even when I didn't intend it to.) But now it's up and I have light in my cave once more. (Ain't it purty?)
Four really good things about it: a) the price. $15. Yup, Gizmo Guy found a real steal that day, b) because GG's wired it as a swag lamp that plugs into a wall socket, we can take it with us if we ever move, c) it's pretty and lights my office really well - it'll take up to 150 watt bulb so I don't have to squint in bad light, although we've only put a 100 watt Reveal bulb in it that is much easier to read by. My eyes are in shock. And d) it's an open unit, which means we can still use when we have to use those godawful swirly bulbs starting in 2012. Okay, I just went off on a paragraph-long rant about how I hate those things and how they don't last more than four months in this house. But I deleted it. So you can all relax now.
Oh, and I almost forgot the fifth good thing about the light. Gizmo Guy found a little dimmer gizmo so if I think it's too bright I can tone it down. Now I just need a dimmer switch unit in the bedroom ;)
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Anyway, I'm borrowing another idea for a post - this time from a post Blue Monkey did over on Facebook.
To make your band's album cover, do the following:
1 - To get the name of your band, go to Wikipedia and hit “random”
or click http://en.wikipedia.org/wi
The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
2 - To get your album title, go to Quotations Page and select "random quotations"
or click http://www.quotationspage.
The last four or five words of the very last quote on the page is the title of your album.
3 - For your album cover photo, go to Flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click http://www.flickr.com/expl
The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
4 - Use Photoshop or similar to put it all together.
5 - Post it (to FB) along with these instructions and TAG the friends you want to join in. Okay, so I'm not posting to Facebook but here. *shrugs* If you want to do it, do it, if you don't, don't. Whatever you want. I don't like tagging people.
Anyway, for my band name, I drew "Opportunity League." According to Wiki, "The Opportunity League is a national basketball league played in Montenegro, established in 2006 shortly after Montenegro declared its independence from the federation of Serbia and Montenegro. The basketball league is sponsored by Opportunity Bank."
My title comes from a quote by Katherine Porter: "You've Known it Always" (Katherine Porter) "I don't believe in intuition. When you get sudden flashes of perception, it is just the brain working faster than usual. But you've been getting ready to know it for a long time, and when it comes, you feel you've known it always."
I was really tempted to call the title "Flashes of Perception", especially when I saw the 'third' picture to use as my band cover. However, I followed the directions. So 'You've Known it Always' it is. By the way, in case it's tough for you to see, the picture is of an ice-coated chain link fence. Pretty cool, huh?
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
I've only had a few migraines in my life, but in the past year, they're becoming more and more frequent. To the point where I have to crawl into my bed, pull the drapes shut, pull the covers over my head because any light makes me nauseous. Light. Noise. Anything will make it worse. Weird part is I've been waking up at 2 in the morning with them. I've started wondering if it's a chemical reaction to something I've been eating. I had been using a sugar substitute since I started my diet, then switched to another that had less after-taste. Two headaches that week. So I switched back to the original one. Three head aches. Probably not that. Besides they started before I changed from sugar anyway.
Gizmo Guy came home from work one day and said that he'd heard a report that migraines can be caused by a weather change of five degrees. (Celsius, Fahrenheit? I have no idea, probably C) Which makes sense - I've often been able to tell the weather was going to change when I got a headache. So maybe that's it. Except that on Twitter, I'm seeing other people reporting of major headache problems this week. But they're not in my location, they're scattered around the world. So I'm doubting it's weather-related.
Talking about twitter, I'm finding it quite interesting, in fact I think it's the reason why I'm finding it hard to blog lately. Twitter just seems so much more immediate. And I've gained some interesting followers. I joked once with Jambrea from the Cafe about having taken a BDSM course for Writers as part of researching Personal Protection, and wouldn't you know I gained a half dozen BDSM followers, including a professional dominatrix. I mentioned I was rendering my video on Final Cut Pro, and two minutes later the Final Cut Pro gurus followed me offering tips every hour, along with a couple other video makers. It's interesting, yet strangely bizarre.
Anyway, even though I've had these headaches, and I've not had much sleep, I've still managed to:
- finish another set of minor edits on Personal Protection--this was a result of a question I left for Angela in the last round of edits about clarifying Hauberk's organizational setup. Can someone tell me why one tiny change, that ended up only being one paragraph change on in chapter two and another paragraph change in chapter twelve, took 7 hours to do, when other major changes (as in adding thousands of words) have taken less than a couple hours. Weird. (Oh, and I got word from my editor today that Personal Protection is on its way to be formatted ready for release. Yaay!)
- continue editing Andy's story. I added close to 10K to it this week, 3700 today alone. The first draft was more of an extended synopsis. A 48K synopsis. I'd completely written out some scenes while others I simply outlined and moved on because I didn't want to lose momentum. The 'filling' in that I'm doing in the second draft process is easier for me because I now have an idea of where I'm going and what has to be accomplished in each scene.
- As part of that, thanks to this week's editing, I have the first three chapters in pretty good shape. I'm going to let them sit for a couple days then I'll go over them once more before I send them out for critique.
- I'm pretty much done the book trailer for Personal Protection. I've been doing that in the evening when the writing fairies have flown away. I'm doing this one on Final Cut Pro which came with the Big Mac. It's like taking a Lamborghini for a drive down the block to pick up a quart of milk, but I'm having fun. Learning new software packages have become my new hobby, since my old one (writing) has become an
obsessionprofession. I'm really pleased with how it's turned out. It's quite a fun video, inspired by a tango that reminds me of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I hope to get it up next week. I only have one thing left to tweak and it involves keyframes that I need Guitar Hero's help with.
- My kitchen counter is clean. Well, okay, cleaner. It's not sparkling but I'll settle for reasonably clean considering there are four cooks in the kitchen at any given time.
- My kitchen floor has been swiffered and while I wouldn't rely on the 10 second rule or whatever it is about how long food can stay there before you shouldn't eat it, I don't feel too bad about visitors coming over the way I normally do.
- Curly's bedroom is clean. (Hallelujah) That was part of his March break assignment, and he waited until the last day to accomplish it. The upside of that? (Other than the obvious two bags of garbage he hauled out of there that I don't even want to think about?) The huge monitor that came with the Big Mac is now out of the living room and is now gracing Curly's desk. The down side of it is the little monitor he used to have is now occupying a seat on my living room couch. As is the boombox he's had for years. I wonder how long they'll stay there. I'm betting months.
- The freebie shortstory I signed up for on the upcoming Samhellion Spring Fling extravaganza. I HAVE to get that done this weekend, but so far I've been uninspired. I've come up with two separate plotlines that sort of involve spring, have written two different stories to 1,000 words each, but spring in Canada is COOL. And I want my story to be HOT. So I have to take them inside. And that's when they both spluttered out. Although, I think as I'm typing this I've come up with a possible solution ...
- I need to arrange more advertising or blog hops or something for Personal Protection. Kimber Chin, JK Choi and I have been hammering out details of joint blog hop. And I've got another arranged over on Erotic Muses, as well as one at Nikki Duncan's blog (who I discovered I knew from Candy Haven's WriteWorkshop loop). But I need more. But what? Do I need bookmarks? A couple places I've seen looking for goodies have specifically said "no bookmarks or cover flats or postcards". All righty then. How about cover ads on review sites? I'm hearing from a lot of people they're a waste of money. I don't know. I need to go through the tons of data from the two marketing courses I took last month. *sob where do I find the time* I'm also thinking I need to have a contest where you have to sign up for my newsletter. But I'm not sure where to find the people. I did a contest on The Romance Studio, and have 44 people who agreed to be contacted again, but don't really know how to add them to my Yahoo group. I want to bump the numbers up higher. I guess that takes time. And energy, because often it means chatting on other Yahoo loops, and I'm not much of a chatter.
- I want to come up with a different warning for Personal Protection. I really don't like the one that's there now. I don't know if they'll let me change it out at this late date, but I'm going to ask IF I can come offer an improvement.
- Edit more on Andy's story. I'm watching the clock/calendar tick by and seeing Samhain scheduling October's slate already. I don't want too long to go between releases.
- At the same time, I want to write other stories, shorts, novellas, etc. to send either to Samhain or to EC. I am conflicted about that one though. This one I think will have to be put off to after Andy's story is completed and submitted.
- get Gizmo Guy to finally put up the ceiling lamp in the office. Currently it's only lit by a small goose neck desk lamp and the place is just too dim. (I'd been wondering if that was the reason I'd been getting headaches, but two days ago I took my laptop into the family room where it was bright and sunny and worked there for the day. Middle of the night I woke up with the worst migraine yet, so I guess the gooseneck isn't a factor.)
- vacuum. OMG where does all this dust and hair come from? I used to blame the dog, but it's obviously just from us. Ugh!
- laundry. How can a family of four generate so much freaking laundry?
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I used to shake my head and wonder at the thumps and growls as they acted it out. Didn't GG know that he was supposed to be settling GH down and get him ready for bed? But I'm really glad I never stopped them because it has become such a favorite memory.
Now normally I worry when they announce a movie is going to be made of my favorite book. I didn't want to see the Harry Potter movies for a long time because I had some vivid images in my head of what everyone looked like, what Hogwarts was like, and didn't want someone else's visions muscling in on my imagination. So when I heard they were doing a movie of Where the Wild Things Are, I worried.
I'm still not sure about it, it's hard to judge just from a two minute trailer, but so far it's looking good. Even though my boys are full-grown, I imagine GG and I will be going to see this movie.
(And if you're wondering about Curly? He used to cry if we read it to him, it frightened him so much, he had such an active imagination.)
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
One of the things that had been slowing me down is a debate I've been having about one of the storylines. I have a secondary character who will link all the other stories together. Which, Christine d'Abo tells me, means he needs his own book at the end.
Thing is, I've always pictured this character as being gay. As I wrote Andy's story, I discovered that another character is as well, and I see them starting into a relationship. Since I don't want to change either's sexual orientation (it's a major part of their backstory and conflict) that means I'll be writing a m/m relationship which I know will have some readers turning away. That doesn't particularly bother me.
The conflict for me is: Do I wait until the character's own book to reveal his orientation and then do a sudden reveal, which might tick off readers expecting him to have a m/f relationship? Or do I borrow a page from Jo Beverly when she was writing Belle's story in the Rogues' series and weave their relationship into the other books and end the story within another book? Or do I weave their relationship into the other books and still give him a book of their own? (I don't see how that would work since the relationship would already be set - there would be no "will he or won't he?" conflict, no sexual tension...)
I toyed with the idea of bringing in a female - one character may be bi, he hasn't confided in me completely yet. But it's a tough sell to convince me that a woman would be willing to enter into a long term relationship with a man who admits he likes other men. (Having a friend in real life who discovered several years, and a child, into her marriage that her husband was gay.) I know Lorelei James did it successfully in her Rough, Raw and Ready story, but ... I'm not sure I have that skill. Yet.
As I said, I've got some decisions to make. And I have to make them SOON.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Romance Junkies just put up a review of Private Property - they give it 4.5 Blue Ribbons!
Leah Braemel’s PRIVATE PROPERTY delves into all of one woman’s naughty fantasies and promises to leave readers hot and sweaty. Mark and Jodi make a fantastic couple yet because they haven’t shared their true feelings for each other there’s a sense of insecurity which results in some very tense moments and an incredible sexual encounter. All of these characters will touch your heart in one way or another. Sam really captured my interest because he is so caring and insightful, yet there’s something very lonely about him. Ms. Braemel’s next book PERSONAL PROTECTION will be released in May 2009 and will contain Sam’s story and it looks like it’ll be another awesome read.
I'm happy dancing!
(This is my 501st Blog post, by the way. If you'd told me when I wrote that first post, that I'd be posting a review on a published book on #501, I doubt I would have believed you. Woohoo! What a ride!)
Saturday, March 21, 2009
And yes, I find it ironic that there are a few errors (centence, and incompitance? anyone) in the spelling.
And that video led me to this one, which I found funny ... Can anyone tell me if that's Simon Pegg (of Shawn of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz, and soon to be Scotty in the upcoming Star Trek movie) in the middle?
Friday, March 20, 2009
But instead of writing yesterday, I found myself glued to Twitter. (It's EVIL I tell you, EVIL!) It's not been any better this morning. I've been surfing the net. Reading people's blogs. Like Lynn Viehl's PaperbackWriter where she talks about some inventive "Out of Office" notes. Which reminded me of Steve Martin's scene in Roxanne where he has to come up with "20 something better" jokes about his nose. Which meant I had to duck over to YouTube to rewatch the clip. (Yeah, I shared it with you.)
Or Wendy the Super Librarian's blog. Wendy pointed me to the "The Hero Factory" where I could make myself into a superhero.
Of course, then I naturally had to make one for the heroine of Andy's story ...
I've got to finish this short now and get back to Andy's story. I have to ... unless someone tells me somewhere else that's fun to play. Anyone? Anyone? Buehler? Buehler?
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
But that's all it is. A draft. An extremely rough ROUGH draft. As in it's got a start, a middle, a black moment, and an end. Oh, and sex. The characters are all there, but I know there are huge spots where I need to layer them. Add more description. Flesh out the scenes in a helluva lot more depth.
In other words, it's no where near ready to be seen by anyone yet. Now this happened with Personal Protection and it took me another month, maybe, to get it to a point where I wasn't cringing when I looked at it. I can only hope it won't take me that long with Andy's story.
Trouble is, after that massive writing sprint last week, I almost feel like I'm now completely worn out even thinking about these characters. But the clock is ticking and with conference season approaching, I feel like I should just finish the damned thing and get it sent off before my editor disappears beneath a ton of traveling and submissions from conference attendees.
I think I have to remember some advice I gave Marley a while back. Sometimes it's overwhelming looking at the entire project and you panic, thinking "There's no way I'll ever finish this, it sucks, it's crap, why do I try?" I told her "you just have to pick a single scene to work on and concentrate only on that scene. Then when you're done, work on the next one, then the next one." It sounds good when I give that advice to others. Why can't I take it myself?
Oh, and one of the ways I've distracted myself today? Guitar Hero and Curly showed me these videos from a British program called "Extra" with Ricky Gervais. The first one is with Sir Ian McKellen on his acting process in Lord of the Rings. The second is of him with Patrick Stewart and a script Patrick Stewart is writing. Hilarious. Especially when Ricky asks Patrick Stewart about the narrative of the script. Some days I feel the same way ...
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
My word count has gone down thanks to a nasty migraine that hit me yesterday afternoon, I'm 'sorta' back on track today, though Twitter is being its usual evil self in distracting me. It's interesting to see what editors and agents are thinking and reading though.
I keep getting to the point in Andy's story where I think "I'll be able to type The End in the next couple of days" when I realize I need to add a scene or expand one. Hopefully soon, I'll be able to type those two lovely words. Of course that just means that the first draft is done, and then the real work of editing it and whipping it into shape starts. But that usually doesn't take me more than a month. I've really got a ticking clock in my head on it now though.
Oh, and my interview is still up over on Make-Believe Mondays so if you haven't had a chance to drop by, there's still lots of time as it'll be up all week.
I just wrote a big long rant about a book I'm reading, and how much repetition there is, but deleted it all. For any writers reading this, do you feel like now that you're a writer, you're harder on other authors? Or more forgiving? And do you feel that you can give an honest review of a story that didn't thrill you or do you worry if you give a bad review it'll come back and bite you in the hiney?
Monday, March 16, 2009
So head on over to to Make-Believe Mondays today (or all week) and read how I know when my characters are properly written. Or how I solve problems? I'm pretty sure a psychiatrist would have a field day with my answers.
Oh, and the word count for yesterday was 3045. Which means the week's total wordcount was 20966! Woot! I'm on the home stretch and I can see the finish line!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
The past week has introduced a new character, Daniel, Andy's brother. As a part of the storyline, I've written him into the relationship and several menage scenes have resulted. Which are always fun to write (although there have been times I've been tempted to buy a Barbie and a couple Ken dolls to keep track of all the body parts. Guitar Hero has one of those jointed arts figures from his days when he was training as an Animator at college but I doubt he'd be thrilled to let me borrow it, LOL. (No, he's not an animator like Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake character, he took Computer Animation at college.)
Oh, and this week's 20K doesn't include the changes I made on Wednesday after receiving and finishing my line edits for Sam's story. Not that there were many. My grammar's pretty darned good if I say so myself. But OMG Sam's story has turned out even better than when I'd originally submitted it to Angela last September. The new ending I wrote thanks to a suggestion Angela made is SO much stronger, I'm thrilled with how it's turned out!
So to give you a sneak peak - here's an excerpt for you.
WARNING: This is an except for adults only as there is some explicit language and adult situations in it.
copyright Leah Braemel
available from Samhain Publishing, May 12, 2009
The sun hadn’t yet risen when Sam waved his passcard at the card reader guarding the entrance of Hauberk Security’s D.C. facility. The front door unlocked, granting him access to the reception area.
The bulletproof doors were overkill, because that area only held the Accounting and Human Resources departments for Hauberk Headquarters, along with a half dozen empty desks for the local Close Protective Officers to do background checks or fill out reports. At the back of those sections was the executive office area that his operatives jokingly referred to as the Inner Sanctum. But the heavy steel doors he’d had designed to resemble the wooden gates of an ancient English castle he’d once stayed in impressed the hell out of potential clients.
Most mornings he would have headed into his office. But this morning he turned toward the indoor firing range and its armory. He placed his hand over the new-to-America palm vein scanner. Another device he’d been recommending his mid-level security clients start installing instead of the easy-to-fool fingerprint scanners.
Hearing the muffled sound of gunfire beyond, he opened his locker and selected a pair of ear plugs, then signed out a box of ammo and a couple of paper targets.
As it did every time he entered the range, the familiar scent of gunpowder both soothed and irritated him as it reminded him how much he missed the camaraderie out in the field. Now he drove a desk, having to get his thrills through reading others’ reports, instead of the adrenaline rush of guarding a principal himself.
Two shooting booths were already occupied, including his favorite one at the far end. Chad—-he should have guessed his area manager would be on the range this early, and… Well, well, well, instead of wearing her usual pair of baggy cargo pants, Ms. Rosalinda Ramos wore a pair of hip-hugging blue jeans. Jeans that hung low enough he could tell that she wore a blue thong and had some sort of tattoo on the small of her back. Aw, damn, he didn’t need to know that. Now he’d be thinking of taking those jeans off her all day to discover what the rest of the tattoo was and just how far down it went.
She raised her gun and fired. The shot hit directly in the heart of her target. She fired again. The second shot doubled the size of the original hole. She glanced over her shoulder, then muttering something he couldn’t hear, put her gun on the counter and bent over to fiddle with her left shoe.
Oh, mama, her jeans pulled taut over the tight round globes of her ass. An ass that begged to be squeezed. To be fucked. With a groan, he adjusted his pants, his dick firming at the thought of being buried in such a tight channel.
Ever since she’d won him in the charity bachelor auction three months before, he’d sensed a carefully hidden sensuality in Ms. Ramos. As if deep within, she guarded a slow burning ember waiting to be ignited. A fire that would set his world ablaze.
He’d been hard pressed not making a move on her the night he’d fulfilled his obligations and taken her to dinner. While he’d wanted to see if he could add a little oxygen to the fire and kick start the inferno, he’d held back. He’d had to. She was his employee after all. So instead of making a move, inviting her up to his place or pressing his case when he’d escorted her home, he’d been the perfect gentleman. At least that’s how she’d described his behavior the next morning, much to his disgust and everyone else’s amusement.
But damn, it was getting tougher to maintain his hands-off policy. That element of danger and the heat he was sure would envelop them both was too enticing to resist. If he just had the right reason to breach her defenses…if he could find some way to let her make the first move.
Rosie straightened and took two more shots. Both shots were low and outside, yet the center of the target had a good half-dozen holes from where she’d been firing before he’d arrived. Interesting, had he thrown off her concentration?
Seeing his opening, he strode over to her. His body touching her in all the right places, he wrapped his large hand around hers over the gun barrel, repositioning her fingers. Dayam, it was like holding a sparrow, her hands were so tiny.
He leaned down and nudged her earmuffs so he could murmur in her ear, lowering his voice to a whisper, “It’s better this way.”
Her pulse jumped, racing beneath his fingers. Oh, yeah, that ember was definitely burning brighter. He should have made a move that evening three months before. He should have invited himself into her apartment at the end of the evening, given her more than a chaste kiss on her cheek. He should have put on some soft jazz—-Diana Krall maybe—-pulled her against him as they danced so she could feel what she did to him.
“Thanks,” she said, her tongue darting out to moisten her lips. Did she realize she was doing that?
The scent of her shampoo—apricots—filled his senses. She always wore her hair in a rigid bun making him wonder if her hair were long or short, curly or straight. He had the strange compulsion to pluck the pins taming it just to satisfy his curiosity.
Yeah, he’d watch that hair spring free from its confines, push her jeans down—no, she wouldn’t be wearing jeans, she’d be wearing that little black strapless number she’d worn to dinner that night. Even better. He’d push the skirt up as he slid his hands up her thighs. Then he’d remove her thong and go down on her. Hell, he wanted to stretch her petite body over the firing counter right now and pound into her from behind.
He nearly groaned when her breasts brushed the side of his forearm. The heat of her body snugged up against his blasted a shot of pure lust to his groin. Dayam! If she turns around right now and sees the hard-on you’ve got for her, you’re gonna get yourself sued, boy! Or your dick shot off. If not both.
Going against the natural instinct to grind against her, he eased his hips away from hers and resettled her earmuffs back in place.
Muttering something about needing to get back to work, he whirled back through the soundproof door and tossed his earplugs into his locker. D.C. didn’t need him here—he could work out of the Atlanta office, no problem.
Atlanta. Where there were no spitfires with bitable asses to tempt him. Maybe then he could avoid future cases of the blue balls he’d constantly been dealing with lately.
Friday, March 13, 2009
I'm not a triskaidekaphobic, in other words I don't tend to think bad things happen on Friday the thirteenths any more than they would on any other day. Especially since Gizmo Guy's Birthday is on the next Friday the thirteenth - Yup. We've got a three Friday the 13ths this year - next one is up in November, so you've got some breathing room.
I did good writing wise again today - 2805 words so far, though I'm still writing, and actually it was a bit more but I cut out about 300 words because the scene was going somewhere I didn't want it to go. And I'm really pleased with that number simply because I've had to go out a couple times this morning. Once to pick Guitar Hero up at work early this morning, and another to take him out to the accountants - where he'll probably think Friday the 13th worked against him. (He was expecting a big tax refund and ended up not getting diddly. How can someone who earns less than the national poverty level not get their tax money back? How does the Canadian government expect someone to live on minimum wage and still pay the taxes we do? Honestly? I want to know! Yes I did vote, but the party I voted for didn't get in, so I am allowed to complain.)
Other than that, not much else has been going on. I'm hoping to keep up the wordcount on the weekend, though I'm not sure it's possible. Curly is home now on March Break, though we don't have anything planned other than getting him 'out there' to find a summer job. Our area has been particularly hard hit with cut backs this year - our employment rate went up 99%. Yes, that's ninety nine percent. Not nine point nine percent. It's brutal. So Curly's hope of finding employment is slim to none. Which is why he's just enrolled for another year of school - he will graduate high school this year, but since the government stopped grade 13 the year Guitar Hero graduated, his school board offers their students the chance to take another year if they so choose. Curly's going to upgrade his English and Math courses to university level, and take a co-op program that hopefully will help him decide upon 'what he wants to be when he grows up'. Something I didn't decide until I was forty eight.
When did you decide what you wanted to be 'when you grew up'? Or have you yet figured that out? Or did you get to be what you wanted and then the job market changed and you had to find a new skill or trade?
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I've been juggling writing with keeping up with Twitter. It's sort of like a giant chat room - rather like the old IRC system, except you can determine who you wish to listen in on and who you don't. I've followed a few people's links and come up with some really good ideas and infos that I can use in my writing. And it's a really good way to stay in touch with people I like and people I'd like to know better.
I suddenly realized that Personal Protection releases in exactly two months and I haven't even begun to think about promotion for it yet. Well, no, that's not true. I've arranged for some ads over on The Romance Studio, a spot for its video trailer (which I still have to make), and some ads in newsletters, but not much else. I've not arranged any blog spots the way I did with Private Property - so far all I've got arranged is an interview over at Renee Bagby's The Multiverse's Archival Chambers. I know I should be doing more, but I'm plum out of ideas. Any suggestions are welcome.
Which reminds me, I should be sending out a newsletter. I have an epilogue to Private Property I think I'm going to have put up on my website that only newsletter members will be able to read for say a month or so. I have to update my website with the date Personal Protection will be released, and I need to put up the cover, though I don't officially have the art work yet, nor a blurb, nor a tag line. It's in the works, but it's still with the powers that be. So much to do and so little time!
And while I'm on the subject of newsletters, I have 44 people to add to my list, thanks to a contest over at The Romance Studio. But on one of the loops I subscribe to there was a big brouhaha about how some people don't realize that by entering the contest they're giving permission to be added to the authors' newsletter. Then they get all shirty when they receive what they deem to be a spam and bad mouth the author. It got so bad the moderator had to intervene and tell them to play nice. Now I'm not sure what to do. Can't please everyone I know, but sheesh, if there's a contest, read what you're signing up for, people! Don't complain because you were too lazy to read the fine print.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Why did I miss posting? Because I had my nose to the grindstone, my shoulder to the wheel, the pedal to the metal ... I wrote 5700 words yesterday. I'd written 2200 the day before, and just a tad over 3,000 today. I'm feeling REALLY good about how Andy's story is coming along (which still needs a title). I'm hoping to be able to write THE END on it soon.
I was planning on writing more today, but then I received my final line edits for Sam's story, Personal Protection. Woohoo! I breezed through them and they're flying back through cyberspace to my editor. My grammar ROCKS! (As long as we don't count the dozen times I had characters 'hitching their shoulders' OMG I hadn't realized how often I'd done that. Another item to be added to the "things to check when editing" list.
And good news - Gizmo Guy has been working on my Mini-Mac. He finally disassembled it and put in a new 20gig hard drive and is reloading all the software onto the new drive. I may be able to use it again after all and not just as a doorstop. Woohoo, Gizmo Guy!
Oh, and take a look at this "Boyfriend pillow" someone's devised. Sort of ingenious. A grown-up version of a teddy bear. Although it's sorta creepy too - does anyone else think it's only one step away from a blow-up doll? Thanks for MG Braden for that link.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Um, does anyone else find it strange that a group of men who are sworn to never marry have a rats' ass idea of what they're talking about? (Guess I'm getting ex-communicated for that one.)
Okay, yes, a washing machine is great compared to the 'take the laundry basket down to the river and beat the clothes on a rock' mentality. And yes, the washing machine has come a long way from the old wringer washers I grew up with. OMG does anyone remember having to fill and empty those suckers?
But does anyone else think that we probably do a helluva lot more washing than we used to do BECAUSE of the washing machine?
Same as the vacuum cleaner. It used to be houses had wooden floors that could be swept/mopped, but now builders fill the houses with carpets because they're cheaper, and you have to vacuum more often. (Especially if you've got a dog or a cat. And let's not get into the spillage factor.)
My mother swears that we have a ton more housework to do, and more often, because of all these 'labour saving devices.'
What do you think advanced women's liberation in the last century? Do you agree with the men in black?
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Anyway, I was trying to describe the remix to Gizmo Guy when I found this video by the musician, Karl Wolf.
Gizmo Guy very much appreciated it when I shared it with him. He especially liked the girl's, um, teeth, yeah, that was it, he liked her teeth. And wondered why they showed so much of the guy when there were girls with such lovely ... teeth... (My obvious joke was about just what they were flossing, but I won't go there here.)
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Shock jock Grant Mazzy has, once again, been kicked-off the Big City airwaves and now the only job he can get is the early morning show at CLSY Radio in the small town Pontypool which broadcasts from the basement of the small town’s only church.
What begins as another boring day of school bus cancellations, due to yet another massive snow storm, quickly turns deadly. Bizarre reports start piling in of people developing strange speech patterns and evoking horrendous acts of violence. But there’s nothing coming in on the news wires. So… is this really happening?
Before long, Grant and the small staff at CLSY find themselves trapped in the radio station as they discover that this insane behavior taking over the town is being caused by a deadly virus being spread through the English language itself.
Do they stay on the air in the hopes of being rescued or, are they in fact providing the virus with its ultimate leap over the airwaves and into the world?
As for the movie's take on Pontypool? Yes, there is one only church. In fact, there used to only one gas station which I understand burned down a while back, one hall (where they used to hold dances for the teenagers -- until they had to call the cops too many times because of rowdiness), a tiny post office and a train station where they used to pile thousands of Christmas trees from the local tree farms to be shipped to Texas. There's one grocery store (there used to be two) which also houses a Chinese Food take out restaurant. But there's no radio station - heck the nearest radio station would be 18 miles to the north in Lindsay - CKLY, all country. Oh, and the movie's idea of snow storms and bus cancellations? Dead on for that area. Same with the 'strange speech patterns', LOL.
The only other significant claim to fame I can remember Pontypool having is when it stood in for a small Missouri town in a Wesley Snipes movie years back. So it's sort of interesting to see it as the title of a horror flick. But to be honest, I'm not rootin' for the Pontypudlians, I'm rootin' for the virus.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
OMG, I still think of him as this age:
The weather is much nicer than the night he was born - sunny, as opposed to the thick coating of freezing rain that covered everything and made driving impossible. Boy, there's a long story ... or actually a short one. He couldn't wait to come into the world.
Anyway, enough reminiscing ... his trip to Florida is being counted as his main birthday gift, but we did buy him a small present for him to open today. And since Curly doesn't want to go out for dinner, there's not going to be a huge celebration in the Braemel household tonight, though we will be having a cake complete with candles, as we sing ...
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Holy cannoli, I’m a published author.
And I do mean cannoli.
Let’s Dish is my debut novel, so the day I sold it to Samhain Publishing, my coworkers took me out to celebrate. At a chocolate shop. Only made sense, since they helped me do the research for Maggie’s delicious dishes. There were many, many lunches out at a little local bistro that serves somewhat upscale salads, soups and desserts. It’s a quaint little place with a back terrace and the best turkey grape salad you’ve ever tasted. And yes, turkey and grapes taste fabulous together, when done right.
I didn’t exactly steal their menu verbatim, though. I used my own ideas, spring boarding off their unique dishes. I even tried to make a couple, including Maggie’s famous white chocolate mints (easy and delicious) and lemon cream pound cake (simple and perfectly sweet). It did amaze me, though, how much of her recipes include booze. I’m not much of a drinker, but as Maggie points out, the alcohol cooks out, anyway.
But I’m a much simpler cook than Maggie. She’s a professional chef – I just write about professional chefs. So for everyone else out there who’s just a simple, at-home cook, I have a fool-proof, kid-friendly recipe that is sure to please. You can even customize it to make it Asian, French – whatever! And today I’ll share it with you:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chicken seasoning
16 oz jar orange marmalade
¼ cup orange juice
1 small can mandarin oranges
¼ cup white wine (instead of orange juice) for a more French flair
2 tablespoons soy sauce for a more Asian taste
Sprinkle seasoning over chicken breasts and brown in olive oil until almost cooked through. Add marmalade, mandarin oranges, and orange juice (or wine or soy sauce) and allow sauce to reduce for approximately five to ten minutes. Serve over rice.
Seriously, that simple. And quick! So all that time you save on cooking dinner you can spend holed up with a good book. Like…I don’t know…maybe Let’s Dish.
If you want to know more about Cate, or want to read an excerpt from Let's Dish, and Cate's upcoming novel, Another Time Around (to be released in August 2009), be sure to visit her webpage. As of this morning, you can buy Let's Dish here through Samhain Publishing.
Woohoo Ms. Wade! You are indeed now a published author! Now, where's the cannoli?
Monday, March 2, 2009
...and now I'm brain-dead and exhausted. I arrived home about an hour ago from Collingwood, where Wylie Kinson, Amy Ruttan, Christine d'Abo and I staged a marathon write-in. *Waves to JACK*
For my part, I managed my goal of 10K words on the yet untitled next-in-series Hauberk Protection book. I probably could have written more but I love to chat, especially to other writers who 'get it'. So what better audience could I have asked for than those three lovely ladies?
Yes, those are two bottles of wine on the table - one red, one white - and yes, I helped Christine finish them both off. No, I don't think either bottle affected my writing. Didn't help my sleeping either. Christine and I stayed up until 2 a.m. the first night brainstorming, we went to bed a little earlier on Saturday, and last night - well, last night my brain wouldn't shut down and I stared at the ceiling for hours before finally giving in and returning to the living room to write at 4 a.m. I think that was because after discussing my plot lines with the ladies, things finally crystalized for me and Andy's story started moving forward at an incredibly rapid rate.
It's still a first draft, and I know I'll have to go back and layer in more emotion and sexual tension, but I'm REALLY pleased with how things are turning out.
I really hope we can turn it into an annual affair - except maybe next time we could have our weekend in April or when there's little chance of being flash frozen or blizzarded. Or October - that area would be lovely in the fall.
Thanks, ladies, I had a blast.
(Oh, and if you're wondering where I sat? Everywhere. By the time the weekend was done, I'd sat at all four chairs at the table, on the chair by Amy (if you look closely you can see my laptop on the floor between the two chairs), and this morning I wrote as I was lying on the couch where Amy is sitting. Very comfy!)
Sunday, March 1, 2009
We just did too much in the Animal Kingdom; we watched a live-action musical on Finding Nemo, went to the 3D “Bug’s Life” show. (This one got you wet, farted on you, stabbed you and made you jump out of your seat as maggots popped out of the bench… it was more fun then it sounds.) Of course, the girls insisted on meeting some Disney characters.
Normally as a dude this overloads my “Cute-meter” but hey, I’m probably never going back, not without my own kids hogging all the spotlight anyways.
Experimental Project Community Of Tomorrow. There wasn’t a lot to see there, except for another finding Nemo show, which was pretty cool, and a guided tour of a hydroponic and Aeroponic garden where they bred biologically enhanced produce, I found it fascinating, I guess that makes me a nerd.
A lot of countries were represented there in village form, but from what I’ve heard, and from what I’ve seen in the Canada village, a lot of it is bad representation. I mean do we really have these things in Canada?
Nope, not that I’ve seen, but according to them…
They also had a lightshow once the sun went down but having seen Fantasmic and the fireworks display at the Magic Kingdom it seemed pretty lame.
Day Five was basically open to whatever you wanted to do. Most people headed over to Blizzard Beach, me and a few others park hopped around doing what we missed in the previous parks. By this time we had a system, whenever a parade started we hit the rides because everyone was watching them instead of standing in queue. After jumping around just about every park, almost all of us converged back in Downtown Disney and fooled around for a bit.
Apparently Disney and Harley have kind of a thing going on.
Although I guess it's better than touching Pooh. (Sorry Curly, I couldn't resist)
There’s an entirely different feel to life when you’re abroad, you’re more aware and more objective, this feeling still hasn’t worn off completely. Maybe it was because of this feeling that I was able to get to school on time the next day when people were calling me crazy for not taking the day off. Truth be told, I wasn’t really all that tired, and I was behind in my studies after all…
That’s really all there is to tell. The phrase “experience of a life-time” seems to apply. I don’t want to say it’s the best time I’ll have in my life, I do hope to one day experience love, marriage and fatherhood after all, but it will certainly rank.
That’s all well and good for a lovely week.
Thanks for sharing your experiences, Curly. And I couldn't resist putting in that photo of Curly when he was 4 eating the exact same type of ice cream in about the same spot, just a different angle. Quite a change in him, eh?
I should be back tomorrow with a post of my weekend away with the girls, hopefully a huge wordcount to report, and on Tuesday, Catherine Wade will be guest blogging about her first release, Let's Dish.