Seven Random Things

So that vixen (and mega-talented author) Lauren tagged me…

Seven Random Facts About Me:

1. I have two stuffed penguins on my bookshelf that I use as bookends. I ran out and bought them after I sold to Ace (which is owned by Penguin). Why yes, I am a dork.

2. There’s a noche buena tree outside my office window, known as a poinsettia in the US.

3. I like cheese / vegetable sandwiches grilled with coconut oil.

4. I try very hard never to plan anything beyond the bare minimum, such as getting plane tickets. This includes plotting of books.

5. I just finished my proposal for Doubleblind and Killbox, Jax books three and four. There are few things I hate more than trying to figure out what happens in a book I haven’t written yet. Bucking the process in this way makes my brain hurt.

6. A manicure always boosts my confidence.

7. I like going places by myself.

Now I’m supposed to tag 7 people**: Bettie, Carrie, Ella/L, Gwyneth, Lainey, Lorelie, Michele

**I don’t care if you’ve done similar memes before. If I can do it again, so can you! Ping me in comments so I can check yours out, once you’ve posted it.

Easy Meme-age

So Carrie Lofty tagged me with this meme, and it’s an easy one, so I’m gonna do it. I know everyone is dying to see what my desktop looks like. So without further ado…

Lessee, what else am I supposed to do? Oh, explain my desktop. Well, I like the picture, and I can’t have naked men on my screen since I have children wandering in and out. I keep my computer desktop pretty clean, along with my office. I find it hard to work when I’m surrounded by clutter, and that goes for my desktop too. About once a week I delete stuff and sort all my e-files to the folders where they ought to be (music, Word, pictures, and such).

Here’s how you play:

A. Upon receiving this tag, immediately perform a screen capture of your desktop. It is best that no icons be deleted before the screen capture so as to add to the element of fun. You can do a screen capture by going to your desktop and pressing the Print Scrn key (located on the right side of the F12 key). Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V).If you wish, you can “edit” the image, before saving it.

B. Post the picture in your blog. You can also give a short explanation on the look of your desktop just below it if you want. You can explain why you preferred such look or why is it full of icons. Things like that.

C. Tag five of your friends and ask them to give you a Free View of their desktop.

D. Add your name to this list of Free Viewers with a link pointing directly to your Desktop Free View post to promote it to succeeding participants.

List of Free Viewers:
iRonnie, Thess, Rebecca, Knoizki, Beng, Tina, Rachel, Alice, Julia, Darla, Carrie, Ann

I tag:
Cora, Ciar, April, L, Devon

Some of you astute souls out there may have noticed that my desktop theme is part of my new blog template. Right you are! I spent most of last night redecorating around here. What do you think? I was going for something more streamlined, and I’m quite liking this.

EDIT: Woohoo! Problem solved. Cynthia Eden’s husband, Nicholas, who is as handsome as he is brilliant, troubleshot (is that a word?) my template, and the inline comments look just as good as the rest of the template.

So how do you like it? I think it’s sleek and tasty.

Tag, I’m it

Total number of books I own:
I have a couple hundred books in paperback form. I used to have more, but just before we moved out of the States, our downstairs flooded, and I lost ten years worth of books. We had a whole library down there. Go on; you can cry. Lord knows I did.

I have another couple hundred ebooks. Does that count? I think it does. I actually prefer ebooks because I love the instant gratification. I hate waiting a month for Amazon to bring me something I desperately want to read. By the time I get it, I might be in the mood for something else!

Last Book I bought:
Pretty sure it was Dionne Galace’s Skin to Skin.

Last Book I read:
Honestly, it was Good Touch. I busted my ass last week (and the week before), getting it ready to pitch, so it’s all I’ve been reading lately. My current read is Hunter’s Moon by Lori Handeland, but it’s irking me because I don’t have Blue Moon. I hate knowing other books have come before, and I don’t have all the info.

Five books that mean a lot to me:
1. Sunshine by Robin McKinley
This is the first book that convinced me vampires don’t always suck. I’m not a fan of vampires (hell, I thought Interview was a pretentious pile, that Louis needed a good bitch-slapping, and LeStat should’ve been staked), but I loved this book in ways I can’t even articulate. It’s the only book in a long, long time that I could’ve turned around and read again, right after finishing it. And I never do that.

2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
I read this book to my kids before bed until just recently. And then they started reading it back to me. It means a lot for obvious, squishy Mom-reasons.

3. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
This was the first sci-fi title I ever enjoyed. Before, I had only been exposed to dry, technical junk that bored the crap out of me. But hello, this was wry, funny, inventive and wonderful. It opened a lot of doors for me. And now, knowing there shall be no more comic masterpieces forthcoming from Mr. Adams, this becomes even more special, touched by bittersweet.

4. Aristoi by Walter Jon Williams
For me, this was a courtship novel. When I was first talking to Andres long-distance, we had limited ways of sharing experiences. Reading books and talking about them was one thing we could do together. He recommended this book, so I bought it and read it. And it was wonderful. But what was more wonderful was talking about it with him, discussing the concepts, and why they resonated. It was like getting a tiny piece of the way his mind worked.

5. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
I cannot read this book to this day without crying. The reasons behind it are just too personal to share. But it has a very special role in my story Seven Days. If you buy Boundless, I bet you’ll sniffle a little bit too.

Tag 5 people:
Lauren Dane, Carrie Lofty, Lainey Bancroft, Erica Ridley, and Jeri Smith-Ready.

Finally, be sure and stop by the SEx blog to enter our contest. You could win this decadent, delicious bath set.

And come back here tomorrow for an extra Boundless contest, okay?

8 random things about me


Lainey tagged me, so here we go.

1. I have a heightened sense of smell…

2. …and a black thumb.

3. Before I put on an item of clothing, I smell it. This is a habit picked up in college when I didn’t do my laundry as often as I should have. I still do it because I love the smell of clean clothes. And y’know, it never hurts to be sure you’re not about to put on something funky that wound up in the wardrobe by mistake. Note: this doesn’t apply to undergarments. I trust those are clean if they’re in my drawers; I’m not weird enough to sniff my own panties.

4. My favorite perfume is CK Escape.

5. I once dyed my hair pink on purpose.

6. I hate answering questions, particularly stupid ones, and yes, there is such a thing; I don’t care what your teacher told you. There’s a special circle in hell reserved for people who ask you something, don’t listen to the answer, and then ask the question again five minutes later.

7. I camped out for Prince tickets in my misspent youth.

8. One thing I miss about the States is canned ravioli. No, I’m not kidding.

I’m not tagging anyone. If you wanna do it and you read this, feel free. Otherwise, I shall subject nobody else to this me-me-me meme

Bonus post – Get to know me better

Ordinarily I don’t double post because it makes me feel like a lack-life wanker, but since Bam asked me to do this, I must cooperate.

So here we go.

What is in your refrigerator right now? On your bedroom floor? On your nightstand? In your garbage can?

First, I would like to say this is one fucked up invasive question. Duh, my fridge has food in it, I have kids to feed. Four kinds of juice, two kinds of milk, three kinds of cheese, two bottles of wine, iced tea, a lone Coke, carrots, salad, apples, kiwi, yoghurt, a roast chicken, steamed rice, sushi, butter, flavored butter (one with chipotle, one with Italian herbs), two kinds of jelly, sliced ham, strawberries, and all kinds of condiments. I have nothing on my bedroom floor except a cat. This is subject to change. My nightstand has… my Ipod, a bunch of DVDs, and about a hundred books. No joke, they’re piled up three feet high in a single stack. I use the wall to balance it. Not toppling this pile when I am hunting a book is a professional-level skill. My trash? Are you kidding me? Nothing. The maid took it out earlier.

Look at your feet. Describe what you see there.

Bare, short, and sun-reddened. These are a peasant’s feet. I don’t wear shoes unless I’m forced to.

When you think of your childhood kitchen, what smell does she associate with it? Sauerkraut? Oatmeal cookies? Paint? Why is that smell so resonant for you?

Pickles. Every summer my mom would bring in an assload of cucumbers from the garden and we’d spent forever and a day canning those mofos. I can’t get sweet pickles here and I miss them.

You are doing intense spring cleaning. What is easy for you to throw out? What is difficult for you to part with? Why?

Nope. Not happening. My maid comes three days a week and she would be way pissed if I started messing around with her cleaning supplies. The woman does a sterling job and I am not about to rile her by infringing on her territory. However, I do throw out junk mail and food containers. I almost never part with books — they have to be electrician-sweaty-ass-bad for me to donate them or give them away.

It’s Saturday at noon. What are you doing? If you’re eating breakfast, what exactly do you eat? If you’re stretching out in your backyard to sun, what kind of blanket or towel do you lie on?

I’ve been woken up by a kid or a cat. It’s probably a cat. Nine times out of ten, I will have a mixed Siamese kitten biting my nose and crying piteously because he’s lonely. His name is Don Quixote (Don to his friends) and he is way needy. He wakes me three times a night to pet him, wailing his heart out because he needs my attention RIGHT THEN. He’s worse than a baby because he can jump in bed with me and nip me. Depending on how tired I am, I either get up to make a big ole country breakfast (pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs) by 10 or I tell the kids to eat cereal and leave me alone for another hour or two. No sun for me, I’m scared of the skin cancer.

What is one strong memory that has stuck with you from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?

When I was eight, my mom sent me to a neighbor lady with some cookies. I delivered them and then bent down to pet her dog. Big English sheepdog went postal on me and chewed half my face off. The neighbor lady then got a wet dishtowel and SENT ME HOME. I showed up at my front door bleeding all over. My dad was asleep (he worked midnights) and my mom was out with my sister. I wake my dad and he almost shit his pants. He rushed me to the hospital, where it took 32 stitches to sew my face back together. I remember being strapped to the operating table watching them sew my face back together. Needle in and out of skin… they strapped me down because they couldn’t anesthetize my face, as it was close to my brain and I was small (or something). So I felt it every time they sewed my face back together. (Yes, I have a fear of needles.)

The worst part of all that? I wound up looking like Bride of Frankenstein with a bunch of black stitches starting at the corner of my eye running down to my upper lip. And the next day, it was square-dancing in gym class. I begged my mom not to make me go but she said I was fine and sent me off to school. See, you had to have a boy partner you for that and the fookin’ boys got to pick. Nobody picked me and I had to dance with the gym teacher, Mr. Rawlings. *sniffs* Everyone comfort me now. As to why it’s lasting… well, duh!

You are getting ready for a night out. Where are you going? What do you wear? Who will you be with?

Hm. It might be with my whole family, the whole extended family or just my husband. And we’re probably going out to dinner, a party, or to the movies. If it’s one of the first two, I wear my Liz Claiborne slacks, a sparkly top that shows some boobage, and my favorite perfume, CK Escape. Not big on makeup because I have good skin. For the movies I wear old jeans and one of Andres’s shirts cos it’s dark, who’s gonna see me? (I could run with the JR Ward brand-dropping thing: Then we get in our Infiniti and we roll to Fogon do Brasil and order some Bailey’s Irish Creme while checking the time on our matching Piaget watches and wait for our friends to roll up in their Mini…)

There, I’m done. You guys feel closer to me now? Group hug? Anyone?

Odd Friday

Looking for a man? I can totally hook you up — and they can’t run away either. Check out these prisoners of love, just waiting for you. Did that pique your interest? You can find your soulmate here.

Seriously, I don’t mean to sound snarky. My imagination is running wild. Some of those bad boys are looking mighty good, I must say. All they have to do is read, workout and dream about women they can’t have. Maybe a mousy, repressed academic type contacts an inmate doing some research, yeah? Turns out he’s a hardcase who came from the wrong side of the tracks, but he can’t resist our girl. Damn but I love me a rough, tough bastard who talks with his fists to other men but is oh-so gentle with his woman. (For this reason I loved Marv from Sin City.) They fall in love through letters… and then he gets out… (swoon!) I could totally write that.

So Lainey tagged me with a “6-10 weird things about you” meme, and what better way to round out Odd Friday? (In celebration of odd, ya’ll should read the “Odd” series by Dean Koontz. I love Odd Thomas.) Anyway. Here are the weirdest things about me.

10) The TV show Sightings did a study on me.
9) A psychic once told me I’m a lightning rod for the paranormal, but she didn’t know the half of it. I can tell when I walk into a building whether something otherworldly lives there.
8) I can put my right foot behind my head, but not my left. Only double-jointed one on side?
7) I’ve been run over by my own car when no one was driving it.
6) I’ve seen dead people. Dean Koontz is right, they don’t speak. At least the ones I’ve seen haven’t.
5) I grew up in a haunted house.
4) It’s not safe for me to touch a Ouija board.
3) In 1997, I died for twenty seconds. It didn’t take.
2) Once when I called a spirit and asked for proof of its presence, every crystal candle holder in the room shattered.
1) I’m afraid of clowns. The summer after my freshman year in college, I got a job at a service station, intending to be a clerk. They gave me a costume instead and sent me to grand openings to entertain children and pass out balloons. As a clown.

Almost forgot, this is meme stuff is viral, which means I am supposed to tag four people. So Jacqueline, Michele, Cora and Terri, work your weirdness!

Author’s note — I no longer mess with the paranormal. As I have two lovely children, it would be reckless and irresponsible to invite things into our home that I might not be able to banish and that might harm them.