Friday, October 19, 2012

Wine for Rednecks

Quite possibly the coolest wine glass ever. Hafta thank my sister for this one:

Yes, folks, that is a mason jar. And in case you were wondering, there is also a lid. Not that you need one when you're drinking wine.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The most wonderful time of the year

I'm not talking about Christmas. Eff that. I love October, and Halloween is my favorite holiday. Why? Hmmm, hard to explain. I've always been into horror movies and stories. I was pretty much raised on them (thanks for that, Dad). I remember doing a book report on Stephen King's Christine when I was in middle school. My best friend and I used to rent horror movies (VHS!) and stay up all night watching them in high school. Creepy, skin crawling stories that have you yelling the characters to stop being so stupid and get the EFF out of there...there's just something about them. Of course, none of this even begins to cover the real history behind the holiday, which is interesting in itself. I realize I'm babbling and probably not making much sense.

ANYWAY, Walking Dead season premier tonight. Hopefully it will live up to the build up.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Blogging it

When I first started this blog, I fully intended to post a least three or four times a week. It's pretty obvious that hasn't happened! Recently I've been thinking (I know, right?) about what exactly I want to get out of blogging. Obviously, as a writer aiming for publication, it could turn into a valuable tool for self promotion and networking. Problem is, I haven't promoted my blog too much because it doesn't really have an identity yet.  Or, at least it doesn't feel like it. Why would anyone other than my acquaintances want to read this? What would I have to offer that another blog wouldn't? *cues crickets chirping*

Anyway, I'm hoping to get back onto a semi-regular blogging habit. I guess I'll figure it all out along the way...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Doing ten things at once

I haven't meant to neglect my blog, honest! Here in northeast US, however, Summer is wrapping up, school has just started and all that busy fun stuff that goes along with it. My tomatoes have all ripened at the same time, leaving me with a cardboard box full (time to do something with them!). I've canned some hot peppers, because I've also got tons of those. I'm really looking forward to the cooler, drier fall weather, because it seems like this Summer has been exceptionally hot and humid. And for me, hot + humid = little to no motivation.

My writing? I've still been bouncing around working on different projects, depending on  my mood. I'm thinking I might start pitching my shorter works, and have begun researching possible markets. Honestly, I hate querying work, though. A lot. That's probably why I haven't bothered doing anything with my shorts.

Researching markets is a job in itself. I usually start with a database like, but once I find a market that sounds interesting, I check out their site. If it's for book length fiction, I'll also check out availability + number of reviews on places like Amazon, as well as Absolute Write to see if there are any threads on that particular publisher. So what I'm trying to say, is it's time consuming!  This is what I do when I don't feel like writing.

So I've been pitching my novel, and as the rejections have started rolling in, I've gotten to thinking. I had structured the novel so that it alternates between two different story lines, because one is supernaturally themed and the other isn't, and there's a whole long story behind why I decided that (won't get into it now). ANYWAY, I'm thinking of switching back to the chronological version. I wrote a prologue that would set the story up as if the main character is telling the story posthumously, which I think would eliminate any reservations I had about tying the whole thing together. This was actually something I toyed with a while ago, but set aside. We'll see where that goes!  

Wow, what a rambling, random post! I suppose I should get some cleaning done so I can relax and get to writing without feeling guilty. Since the kids are with their dad, I have no excuse! Have a great weekend, everyone...and I will try not to be a stranger! Now, where to start...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Holy Wow it's Been a While Since I Last Posted!

I'm reading Diana Gabaldon's 'A Breath of Snow and Ashes' from her Outlander series right now. I've been working on this series for a long time, mainly because I have to be in the right frame of mind to read her work (and will go a couple months in between reading the next book in the series). She's one of those writers that goes into tons of detail and has all these little subplots with supporting characters going on. And the main plot kind of crawls along at a snail's pace.

That said, I do like the series. For those who don't know what it's about, in a very tiny nutshell: Claire, a 20th century nurse, accidentally travels back in time to 18th century Scotland where she meets Highander Jamie Frasier. The two are married for convenience, but eventually do fall in love, and the series chronicles their lives and adventures. I've enjoyed it for many reasons: 1) the main characters are so well drawn she could be talking about real people. For me, characters that are engaging is a must. 2) Historical setting. She's created a believable world. I like how she wove actual historical events into her story, and has her characters live through them. 3) Strong love story. This is where I usually get hung up--I like a good love story, but I dislike 'love at first sight and we're soulmates and ready to be married after knowing each other for a week' type stories. It's so CHEESY when that happens!!!! So yeah.

I admit I took a brief (two day) break from this book and read Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost. That was pretty much the literary equivalent to a candy bar or a bag of chips...ZERO nutritional value, but then again, you don't eat it for your health, do you?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Random Vampires in High School

So this is what happens when I'm tired and my brain is fried. I'm sorry.

What would happen if Edward Cullen had been turned into a vampire as a balding, middle-aged white guy with a beer gut and man boobs? Without the looks, does a brooding pasty-white vampire with no personality even stand a chance of getting the girl? Even if he was superfast and super strong, I can only imagine what would happen if she discovered him lurking in her bedroom and watching her sleep...

He certainly wouldn't pass as a high school student, either, so that blows the whole first meeting out of the park. I suppose he could've instead posed as a teacher, though. Then, when he chased after a high school girl, their forbidden love really would be forbidden, because he'd look like he was old enough to be her dad. Meaning he'd probably be arrested. Huh. I wonder what Bella would say...

"How long have you been 56?" she asks.

"For a long time," he says.

Ha. Doesn't have quite the same feeling as with the young-looking vampire. But when you think about it, even young-looking vampire is kind of creepy. I mean, he was probably what, like eighty when she was born? Why is he chasing after a teenage girl, anyway? Fuck that, why is he even pretending to be a teenager? Why is it not disturbing that she's making out with someone that's old enough to be her great grandfather? Is it just because he looks young?

I'm not really a Twi-hater, by the way. Just...meh. Kinda tired of hearing about it. Don't really care. I wrote this because I was just randomly thinking about the latest vampire fad, how we've gone from blooodsucking monsters to...well, pussy vampire love stories. They can be entertaining, but they're not the monsters I love.

Which brings me to Vampire Diaries (a.k.a. 90210 Vampires) which has yet another vampire who decides to pose as a high school student. And guess what? He is wicked frickin' old too. And he falls in love with a high school girl. Gofigure. I tried to watch this show. I made it through almost the entire first season, simultaneously hating myself for watching it because it was so stupid and not stopping, because for some reason I wanted to know what happened next. Sigh.

Stefan, the love interest of the main character, is a moody, brooding douchebag. But he doesn't kill or drink from people. Anymore. And they go into this whole storyline where he falls off the wagon and drinks human blood. Donated blood from bags. Dude, you're a fricking vampire, that's what you do. Was killing fuzzy little bunnies and squirrels somehow supposed to make you more appealing? Really? And you know what?

This Stefan dude is a little creepy, too. He follows Elena (main character), randomly popping up wherever she goes, and instead of thinking it's creepy and stalkerish, she kinda digs it. Cuz he's cute. Giggle. Even more creepy, is he's doing it because she looks exactly like the vampire who turned him, a woman he supposedly loved, which I don't understand, because this woman was a manipulative, nasty c*** who completely dicked him over.

I found myself rooting for Elena to like his evil-ish brother instead. Damon, the brother, was much more palatable...though still not overly original. He's pretty much the classic bad boy. Zippy, witty dialogue. Likes to cause trouble. Does whatever he wants. Not quite as evil as he wants you to believe. And much hotter than his brother.

But anyway... I just got annoyed with it. Lots of stupidity. Characters die left and right. Too much drama. Too much teen drama. And hey, that's the audience they're going for, so maybe that's just what appeals to the kids these days. (That just made me sound old...) But in the end, I was left feeling: This is not for me.

So that, in a nutshell, is my rant for the day.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Riding the wave?

So I've found that the one thing I have to do when I'm in the middle of a creative burst is to go with it. Unfortunately, that means I've gotten absolutely nothing else done in past couple days. Housework? Pffft...what's that? Go outside and weed the garden? HA! Critique for all those lovely crit partners I've promised to read...uh, sorry? I'm stuck somewhere between guilt and euphoria right now. Guilt, because I haven't done any of the things I wanted to do this weekend. Euphoria...because I've cranked out almost 10,000 words of a new novel in just three days. That in itself is completely unheard of for me, which is why I've just kinda gone with the flow. I'm exhausted. Damn, do I really have to go back to work tomorrow?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Roughing it

Ah, the excitement and the anxiety of a rough draft. I'm a mess when I'm writing a rough draft, because my inner editor is constantly breathing down my neck. Fix that, it's crap, she says. I tell her to shut it and try to keep writing...but it's hard! I'm a perfectionist when it comes to my own work, right down to each sentence. If it doesn't sit right I'll rewrite it and rewrite it and rewrite it some more. Sometimes it becomes the victim of the delete button. The most difficult thing about writing a rough draft is stifling the urge to edit as I go along.

The one thing I do LOVE about writing a rough draft is the thrill of discovery. I'm not much of a planner when it comes to writing fiction. I usually get an idea and dive in and start writing. Sure, I'll have a basic idea where I want it to go. I'll know who my main characters are, plop them in a compromising situation and make them find their way out. But I don't really know for sure how it will turn out. I work out all the kinks along the way and sometimes the things I thought would happen end up not happening at all.

Then, when I'm away from my writing, I'll daydream about my characters. (Did I mention I love daydreaming? Hey, it beats the monotony of my job, and I might as well put my brain to good use...)  I'll imagine what their personalities are and how they'd react in certain situations. They'll act out a scene in my head and get me excited about  typing the words into my computer.

Then words flow into my computer keyboard as fast as my fingers can type them and my inner editor is waiting on my shoulder, saying nope, nope, that's not what you envisioned. She'll tell me I suck and that maybe I should just go have a glass of wine and zone out in front of the television and/or read through some crazy internet message boards. So I cover her mouth with duct tape and lock her in a closet. (No, she's not a real person !)

And the cycle continues until that first draft is finished... 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Got it Covered

Haha, who knew I was talking about book covers. So here's the thing--they mean a lot. It's your presentation, the wrapping for your writing. And a bad one? It's like going on a blind date only to discover he's wearing stained clothing full of holes and he hasn't combed his hair. He MIGHT be a really great guy, but would you still want to take a chance? Would you want to be seen in public with him? Okay, enough with the stupid analogy. Point is, the book cover: It may or may not be the first thing that catches someone's eye before they buy.

I've been meandering through the websites of various small presses, thinking, maybe if no agents take an interest in my work, I could pitch to some of the small presses. Problem is, as I look around at some of their sites, I've found the books they publish have some really horrible covers. And I'm not just talking poor designs, I'm talking really amateurish looking stuff.

I don't know about anyone else, but to me that's a huge turn off. Part of that is probably my art background--I graduated from Rhode Island School of Design, and painting/drawing have been a part of my life pretty much my whole life. So maybe I'm biased when it comes to artwork. But is that really it? Some of this stuff looks really thrown together, cheesy, lame.

These are issues I see in all of them:

The layout. The font doesn't work as part of the whole piece, rather it's just stuck there to show the title. A very basic--yet essential-- aspect of graphic design is incorporating font into a piece. Look at some professionally published books from big publishing houses. It doesn't matter how big or small, or even what type of font they used--it just looks right. It works as part of a whole. A few random examples:

Another thing that really bugs me is computer generated people. I like video games and I can appreciate good graphics, but they still don't look like people. I've yet to see a computer generated person with a natural looking facial expression. So in a nutshell: I've yet to see a book cover done this way that looked good.

Does this seem too snooty or complain-y? I just think that if I had a book published, I'd want it to look good, and I'd imagine  most other authors would feel the same. Which leads me to the next thing: can a small publishing house, e-pub or otherwise, compete with big money? In other words-yes, I know most of these smaller presses likely don't have the funds for a big art department. Their resources may be limited. Maybe they just can't afford to acquire images from professional artists or photographers and have to create them themselves. Maybe they employ people who weren't formally trained in any kind of design. Maybe it's a matter of a one person art department versus several people.

That said, isn't it just an excuse? At the very least, all you need is Photoshop (even GIMP is a decent alternative...and free) and someone who knows what they're doing to create professional looking covers. I don't think finding a design needs to be outlandish in price to get something good to work with. Hell, with digital cameras and computers, it shouldn't even be an issue. I'm sure there are plenty of amateur/unknown models out there you could hire for a reasonable rate to set up a photo shoot if you wanted to use real people. You can also acquire image rights from thousands of artists and photographers from companies like Getty. Or you could inquire with artists from places like

My point is, there are so many options out there, and I think small publishing houses not only owe it to authors, but to themselves to produce professional looking covers. 


Dialogue has always been one of my stronger points in fiction writing. (wow, that sounded really conceited...) I like to keep it as organic as possible (within reason, of course), and it's been easy, because my stories tend to take place in modern American settings. Hells yeah, I know how people talk!! So as I delve into writing a fantasy type piece, this is in the back of my mind: how much will I need to differentiate/change the language without the dialogue coming across as stiff and unnatural?

So far, in the rough draft, I'm keeping it informal as usual for most of the characters, just omitting modern day expressions and words. I mean, a girl living in an alternative magical world is unlikely to use the word douchebag. Right? Right. :P I think this will work fine. I suppose I could always tweak things that don't sound good.

Then there will be a point where the girl travels to 'our world'. She may be human, but because she was raised in the magical otherworld, that life is all she knows. So imagine when she steps out into one of our modern day cities. I will then have the opportunity to contrast the dialects and expose her to modern day slang (as well as modern day inventions and conveniences), which will be just a bit confusing to her. Poor, sheltered girl.


Sunday, July 8, 2012


Went to Maine for the weekend with the kids. My parents have a small place in the north central part of the state so we hung out for a couple days--went to the lake for some fishing, picked some wild strawberries, rode the ATV, and basically just relaxed. It's in the middle of the woods, quiet, and all that good stuff. Too many mosquitos, though. Kinda nice to be without internet for a couple days too (but look where I am 15 minutes after walking in the door...). Unfortunately, back to work tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth!

Been a pretty low key kind of day for me. Too hot! It makes me feel lazy. Ah well. I did get some writing done, though. It's funny, I've been driving myself nuts trying to crank out the first draft of RM, but my heart hasn't been in it it lately. I mean, book one pretty much wrote itself. This one, not so much. I wondered if maybe I needed to step away from the characters for a while. So I started a new project in the mean time, something to take the pressure off so I can set Reaper Madness aside and look at it with fresh eyes.

This one is actually an idea I came up with a long time ago, but hadn't bothered with it because I felt like everyone was writing about this type of thing. But you know what? Fark it. I'm writing it anyway. Worst case scenario I either don't finish it or I do and it sucks. So bring it on...

 It starts like this: Meet Flora, an eighteen-year-old human girl who was taken by a changeling as an infant and adopted by a fae healer woman named Brighid. She ventures into the forest to collect medicinal plants when she happens upon a handsome young man with gaping wounds all over his abdomen who is still alive, but unconscious. She drags him back home and heals him... 

Of course there's much more to it than that, but I'm keeping the summary under wraps for now. It's completely unrelated to my other works. Instead of paranormal type stuff it's more fantasy type stuff: changelings, wyvern, tuatha de danaan, other realms...all that.  Not sure if it will be novel or novella material yet--yup, that's that panster in me talking--but so far I'm enjoying the ride. Cranked out 3K words in an afternoon without batting an eyelash, so I'd say it's a good start.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I Spit on Your Grave...

I like to revisit the cult classics every so often. This one I think is better left in the vault. Why? Let me count the ways (in no particular order)...

1) 1970's nudity. Nuff said.

2) I wasn't sure if the men in this movie were supposed to be human...or chimpanzees. They certainly sounded like jungle animals at times. I'm sitting there thinking, I've seen bad male behavior at its finest, but I've never seen or heard anything like that. Outside of the Discovery Channel, that is.

3)Matthew a.k.a. 'Forrest Gump' the rapist. Okay, I get the whole premise of this movie--woman is brutally attacked/raped by a bunch of hicks and gets her revenge by killing them. But what's up with the slow guy? Why is he even there? The other guys convince 'Forrest' to have his way with the girl, which, almost comically he can't 'finish' because they're 'watching' him. THEN they give him a knife and tell him to go back and kill her, which he doesn't do. So...he's the reason she's still alive to exact revenge.

4)Did I mention the bad acting? Dialogue was terrible. And not that I actually wanted to see someone raped, but other than the removal of clothing, there was nothing that resembled sex about it...consensual or otherwise. It was actually funny. Which is sad, in light of the subject.

5)Jeans, suspenders and no shirt. I don't remember the seventies. Was this normal? Was it just a  hillbilly thing? Deliverance chic, perhaps?

6)WHY did she stay? They might not have meant to, but they LEFT HER ALIVE, and she could've hopped into her car and gotten the hell out of there. I sure would have. But no. She stays in the secluded cabin and pieces together the torn remnants of her novel.

ANYWAY...I feel like I missed the boat on this one. I vaguely remember watching it when I was in high school, then again, a friend and I used to rent horror movies like there was no tomorrow.

I'll Rearrange Your Face!

I've noticed that my characters tend to do a lot of grinning and eyebrow raising and eye-narrowing and good old generic frowning. What gives? On one hand, I don't think it's always a bad thing. I mean, after all, people do these things in real life. And if I'm trying to give life to a figment of my imagination, they need to be doing something real people actually do. But still, how many grins are too many? Will they get stuck there? Are they just really happy people? Or is it just an easy, convenient action to fixate on? Sigh.

 File under: the things that are running through my mind as I read through the first few pages of my current rough draft.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hangin' with my bad self

So I'm flipping through the selection of new releases on demand and feeling pretty 'meh' about it. I'm beginning to think I might be getting too picky, but then I remember the last movie I watched (can't remember the title, but it took place in Wales and it involved teenagers, a couple of whack jobs, an abandoned orphanage and people dying violent deaths) soooo, yeah. Still, every title I look under reveals something unpleasant. What's this... wait, it's got Julia Roberts in it?! Oh HELL no. Dwayne Johnson? Really? Do we need to go there? It's  been several years and I still don't smell whatever the hell the Rock is cooking (or want to...). And Bindlestiffs? What the hell does that even mean? All I know is the description lost me at 'The story unfolds as they surrender their virginities to hobos, prostitutes and crack fiends'. Oooohkay. I think I'm all set.

I switched to Netflix, and yeah, we've already discussed the 'categories' that pop up {insert evil laughter here} but you know what? They don't change films often enough. And I'm not interested in sequels to movies like Hostel or the Human Centipede. I'm also kind of sick of the same old same old with horror flicks. You know what I mean:

1. Found footage! Yep, I think we need to lay this one to rest for a while. It was fine with the low budget filmmakers who were trying to be innovative and create a good story with the bare minimum. It worked with the Blair Witch Project. It worked with Paranormal Activity (the first one, anyway). Now it seems like everyone's doing them and *yawn* they're just not bringing anything new to the table.

2. Abandoned mental hospital. Word of advice if you happen to find one of these bad boys in your travels? DON'T GO INSIDE! I mean, duh, these people were nuts, of course their ghosts will be too. If I counted the horror movies  that used this as a setting, I'd be convinced that there are haunted asylums everywhere.

3. A parent (or parents) moves to the country after the death of their child( or a divorce) to start fresh. Then bad things happen. Really bad things. Half the movies I looked at had this in their description.

4. Zombies. I hate myself for saying this, but zombies really have taken over the world and I'm not sure I like it, because they make a lot of really shitty movies. I'll take Night of the Living Dead or 28 Days Later, or even Walking Dead any day. But there's just too much other stuff and most of it sucks. Even George Romero's most recent film Survival of the Dead was one big giant suckfest (A whole other rant...)

Ah, hell, I could go on, but do I really want to? I need a glass of wine...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Going to Hell? Let me Draw you a Map...

This isn't something that I've thought too much about in the past, because the majority of my writing takes place in the real world. The book I'm currently querying takes place in Providence, Rhode Island. I lived there for four years (college) and still visit frequently, so it is a very familiar place to me. In my story, I used a combination of real places and fictionalized businesses.

My current WIP is a bit different. It takes place in the 'Underworld', which is a mishmash of various mythologies, religions and beliefs about the afterlife/what happens after death. I've approached it as a geographical place that exists on a different plane from our own and twisted some of the traditional beliefs. It is an alternate life from the one lived on earth.

 Purgatory, for example, is the 'Hub' of the Underworld. It is a crossroads, the place where souls first arrive. Death, the deity responsible to bringing souls to the afterlife, has his headquarters there. There is not a single Grim Reaper, it is a profession and there are many of them. All reapers settle in Purgatory.

 Heaven and Hell are the other 'main' locations, and they contain various kingdoms, cities, landmarks-- like Hades or Valhalla.  I'd also like to incorporate mythological creatures and deities as characters. Charon, for example, ferries two of the characters down the river Lethe in exchange for a share in the goods they're smuggling in from earth.

Putting it all together is a daunting task, to say the least. I want to make it my own, and mold the mythologies to fit my story, but I also want readers to pull something familiar from it. I'm working on something that really interests me--I've always been fascinated by mythology, folk tales, and everything in between. At the same time, it has really taken me out of my comfort zone and writing has been slow. It will be interesting to see where this leads...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Coolest Game Ever

Zombies really are everywhere. I mean, who wouldn't want to bowl over a bunch of wooden zombies with an equally wooden bomb? I'm partial to the one with his brain sticking out the top of his head.

They kind of remind me of those 'Little People' I played with as a kid. Only much, much cooler.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Withstanding the Test of Time

I have been a huge Social Distortion fan since college and I can STILL listen without getting tired of them. I've seen them live a few times and can't say I've ever seen a bad show. While their newest album 'Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes' is not my favorite, they still rock. Machine Gun Blues is my favorite track on the album, and they did a pretty cool little 'mini movie' for the video:

So, if I had to pick, what would my top ten favorite songs of theirs be? Here they are, in no particular order:

1)Mommy's Little Monster
2)Cold Feelings
3)99 to Life
4)Don't Drag Me Down
5)Sick Boys
6)Story of My Life
7)Reach For the Sky
8)Ball and Chain
9)Machine Gun Blues
10)Bad Luck

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Weirdest. Dream. Ever.

Or, it's up there anyway--I've always had lots of vivid dreams. Last night, I found myself walking a path through the woods with my daughter. We came to a river, and there was this huge wooden platform attached to a bridge. It had a roof, benches, and these two guys were standing there fishing. One of them started to tell us to go around, that the bridge was next to the platform, not behind it. I apologized and felt stupid because I didn't want to bother them. Then my daughter climbed up on the platform, grabbed a fishing pole and one of the men started coaching her on where to cast the line. I stood on the bank and watched, then glanced underneath the platform. Instead of water, there was only mud. Sitting in the mud was a dirty, ratty looking teddy bear that had some kind of small green creature crawling over it...eating it. I looked closer, and it was Kermit the Frog. He was moving over the teddy bear, inching along like a snail, and then he'd stop and latch on. I was like, WTF? Then I woke up.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Very Handy Fashion Tip?

Do NOT keep any electronic devices in the pocket of your hoodie when you go to use the toilet. Murphy's Law says that if it can fall out of that pocket it probably will. And really, who wants to fish their MP3 player out of the toilet? I didn't.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I'm sooo glad tomorrow's Friday!!! So glad, in fact, that I added two extra exclamation points to the previous sentence.

 I don't hate my job, but I don't particularly love it, either. Half the time I'm like 'Why am I here?' Then I remember I have bills to pay and that nobody's interested in hiring a college educated thirty-something with no relevent job experience. Factor in that there isn't a job that I'm really interested in anyway. I mean, all I want to do is write and paint. Ideally, that would be my profession. Is it realistic? I like to think so, but then again, fifteen years (!) since graduating college and instead of having a career I'm slogging away doing mind-sucking manual labor and making fourteen bucks an hour.

Believe it or not I'm not complaining! I had children right out of college and chose to devote my attentions to them rather than focus on a career. I worked part time at a library, but spent most of my time home with them. And that's when I really honed both my writing and my art. Would I have had time to do that with a full time career? Probably not. Now, a couple years ago, necessity forced me to jump into the work force with both feet (and both fully encased in cement. ha.) So I'm feeling a little stretched thin and honestly? I'm sinking. I've never had to do it all before--work, pay bills, take care of my children & home. Somewhere I try to fit in my writing. Often my house is left unkempt. And then there's that nagging problem of the things that won't go away...I won't talk about them, though.

Wow, that really sounds depressing! I try to just suck it up, though. I mean, I could be saying to my family--to quote Peter Griffin-- "I don't have a job in the world." And that, my friends, would suck even more than the job I have now.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Facebook can suck it

I don't have anything against Facebook, I just don't feel like using it. I've got two accounts--one for 'the real me' and one for 'pretend me'. One I never use and the other I mostly lurk about and read what other people are doing. I do enjoy seeing what friends and family are up to, but rarely feel like posting anything...or even reacting to their posts. I don't care for the new layout, either. It looks like a vomit puddle of too much information...WAY too complex and requires too much effort to read through people's profiles. So unless I see something in my news feed, I usually won't bother poking any further.

What is the point of this post? *Sigh* I guess just to vent a little. I get tired of seeing how miserable people are. I get tired of posts like 'making dinner' and other play by plays of somebody's life that --I hate to say it--I don't really care about. I don't think a social networking site should be a measuring stick for how much you love your children, or whether you care enough about a certain issue, nor  should it be a means to talk trash about other people. I've seen some pretty shitty stuff posted on people's facebook pages, and all conveniently done from behind the safety of a computer keyboard. Ah well... 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Labels, genres, blah blah blah

As I finish tightening and tweaking my novel, I am also trying to figure out who to target when I submit. Reading through submission guidelines for various agents and adhering to them is a project in itself. THIS is the one part I didn't miss in the whole process. I HATE self promotion! It feels icky (<--I know, genius, right?) and goes against everything in my nature. Worse yet, my story doesn't really fit into a specific genre.

On my crit site, Scribophile, I have it tagged as "paranormal romance".A love story is central, but I'd hesitate to call it a romance. The story is more about the MC and how this 'love' has affected her life...and death...and the choices she's made. And the ending isn't quite happily ever after, either. It seems almost too dark for your typical romance...the paranormal kind or not.

Paranormal? Well, yeah. MC dies, she meets a grim reaper, hangs out as a ghost for a while,then she comes back as a zombie. Lots of paranormal stuff going on. But that's not really a 'genre'.

Zombies? Ghosts? Doesn't that make it horror?! Hmmm...I don't know? It's not really scary, and it's not really meant to be scary. It's a little morbid. The humor is dark and ironic and sometimes just silly. But scary? I think if you compared it to a zombie movie 'tone-wise'  it would be more 'Zombieland' than 'Night of the Living Dead'. And I'm not sure I'd call that horror.

Of course, while there is a sense of humor to it, the entire book isn't funny. There are lots of dramatic scenes. Tough choices. Inner reflections. You know, serious stuff.

So I'm left I just NOT categorize it and hope for the best? I can't think of an author I've read that I could compare it to as being similiar (though that is kind of a no-no in pitching, but I think it would be helpful to figure out where a piece fits). Ah brain is fried.

Friday, June 1, 2012

This Blog Design...

Well, quite frankly, it sucks. It's temporary though! I'm going to actually do something design-y. Four years of art school I should be able to come up with something. Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Soooo if I really wanted to, I still could--right?

Hopkinton State Park, Hopkinton, Massachusetts 2012

Are they trying really hard not to be offensive? Seems pretty wishy-washy for a danger sign. Like if you begged and whined enough, they might give in and let you do it. If I was younger and childless, I would totally slide down that dam.

Also note the laminated paper sign. Welcome to Massachusetts. Could you spare some change? Our state parks don't even have enough money to go to Kinkos, let alone pay for an actual sign.

Seriously, though--I do try to take the kids out for walks/hikes/biking whenever we're free and it's nice out. I absolutely love it, but I have to bribe them to go. Why is that?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Woman in Black...

I watched this over the weekend because a) I like a good ghost story b) I wanted to see if Daniel Radcliffe could take the Harry Potter out of Daniel Radcliffe...(er something). So what did I think? On a a whole it was entertaining. Not THE best movie, but it held my interest and had some good points. Let me preface this by saying that I have watched sooooo many horror movies that I've pretty much seen it all. So yes, it had some typical and cliche elements:

  •  The ghost appearances, particularly near the beginning, were just what you'd expect: glimpses from the corner of the eye, a sudden flash of movement or a shadow, emphasized by some strategically placed music. I often wondered if these scenes would be as creepy without the music. I mean, where would Paranormal Activity be without it? (which I did like by the way, at least the first one...but they relied TOO much on shock music to emphasize that the door opened by itself. Really. Just stop it.)
  • It takes place in a remote village where people seem generally distrustful of outsiders. No fooling. They told him to go home several times. But he didn't listen. If he had, there wouldn't have been a movie.
  • There's an ominous message written on the wall in the house--in blood, no less. At least the woman was kind enough to hide it under the wallpaper. Not suprisingly,, "Arthur" peels away the wallpaper and...cue the dramatic heart-jumping-in-your-throat music. It is, of course, a pivotal moment. Otherwise he wouldn't have known how crazy the woman was when she was alive.
  • The family has conveniently left behind a multitude of letters, cards and documents that explain the mystery behind why this ghost is doing what she's doing. So basically they did all the work for him--he just needed to find the bodies and bury them together to make peace for the ghost lady. (Ironically the boy's body was quite easy to find, all, "Arthur" had to do was dig in the mud a little. AND he was able to figure out exactly where, even though years had gone by and nobody else had been able to.)
  • Children are suffer cruel and unusual deaths and come back as ghosts. Evil-ish creepy little ghosts. Think the twin girls in The Shining before the tomato juice tidal wave comes down the hallway.
You said you liked it but you're making fun of it, you say!!!! Yes, well, that's how I roll. I will say this--They did a good job with mood and setting. Nice creepy atmosphere and suspense building. It was all sufficently haunted-housey. It also seemed authentic to the time period (early 20th century)

Mr. Radcliffe successfully escaped Voldemort and became a full fledged adult male--actually, if I hadn't already known he was the star of the movie, I probably wouldn't have realized who he was in the first five minutes. It would've been like 'damn, he looks familiar...' and it would've bugged me until I googled it and found out who he actually was. So YAY! I think Daniel Radcliffe really can be de-Harry Pottered.

 I did find it hard to believe that he had a child, so the father/son thing didn't really jive for me. And honestly, I don't think the plot would've been affected if they'd left out the whole dead wife thing either. YES, he was supposed to be tortured, and he did come across that way...sorta...but the movie wouldn't have lacked anything without it. There was a nice twist at the end, though (dampened a bit by the appearance of his dead wife) that I hadn't expected. I won't give it away.

So would I recommend it? Yes. If you like ghost stories, watch it. It's well done, just not overly original.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A cultural difference...or a clueless husband?

Okay, so I'm at work the other day. There's this older Vietnamese guy who works in my department, and we were chatting. He starts talking about his family, and he's like 'My wife is very fat. She's too fat. No good. Not pretty.' (I'm paraphrasing here, his English is not very fluent). Of course I didn't really know what to say to that, so I was like 'Oh no!', hoping that he didn't actually say that to his wife. Well, guess what--he kinda did. And he's like 'She doesn't care (that she's fat). She doesn't want to lose weight.' So I said to him 'Dude, in America, that is a one way ticket to the dog house.' He laughed, but I don't think he had any idea what I meant.  But seriously, he didn't think there was anything wrong with this. Now, I'm all for honesty, this something you should really say to your wife? And if you were a wife--particularly a fat one--would you want to hear it? Just sayin'...

You gotta wonder if there's something wrong

Just poking around my Netflix account. These are the categories that showed up on the home page:
  1. Scary supernatural TV series
  2. Raunchy dysfunctional animated Family TV Series
  3. Dark suspenseful ghost-story movies
  4. Cult serial killer horror movies
  5. Gory supernatural horror movies
  6. Critically acclaimed gory horror movies
  7. Violent revenge movies based on a book

Friday, May 25, 2012

Back at it

I used to blog. I blogged a lot. Then I got sick of it so I stopped.

Now I'm back! After a few years hiatus, I've decided to start peddling my work again. My writing. Way back when, some ten years ago, I wrote a novel. I started pitching that novel. I found an agent for that novel. Then nada. He couldn't sell it, so we parted ways. Undeterred, I wrote another one...but nobody wanted it. *sigh* So I took a break from fiction. I started a blog. And then I wrote columns and did reporting for a couple hockey webzines. It was a pretty cool experience--sitting in the press box for games, interviewing sweaty half-naked men...*ahem*...I felt like a true professional. But the pay was crap for all the work I did, and when my personal life went to shit, I found it wasn't enough to pay the bills. So I gave it up. That was the old me.

ANYWAY! I've written yet another novel--the first in a three book series--and I'm ready to give it the old college try. Maybe this time somebody will like me! Maybe I'm just wasting my time? Who knows. In the end, it doesn't matter, because I'm going to try anyway.