I am, I said


I am, I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair
I am, I cried
I am, said I
And I am lost, and I can’t even say why
Leavin’ me lonely still

I am single-minded.

Others might use different words. O-C might come up, for instance, if someone knew me really well. I don’t suffer from Monk-levels of neuroses, but I definitely have my quirks.

For instance, with comments? I like to have even numbers on my comments at all times. Unless, of course, the comment ends in five, in which case, it’s all right. Don’t ask me why. But if the number ends in nine that bugs me, and I’ll have to comment myself in order to bring it up to the next set of numbers. 29? No way. Gotta be 30. Same with 19. Bugs. Me. But 15 or 25? That’s fine. I can let that go.

I also can’t post my own comments back to back. If I think of something else to say, or I notice I accidentally missed someone who commented before me, I have two choices. I can delete my own comment and re-write it. Or I can wait for someone else to comment. If it’s a pressing need, I do the first thing. Otherwise I just bide my time.

Another instance, I fiddle with paragraphs on my blog until they look just right. I delete words if I wind up with a widow. (One word by itself on a line) I’m driven slowly insane by owning two different computers. If it looks awesome on my Ibook, it’s probably fucked up on my desktop downstairs. *headdesk*

(I know, right? I’m… quirky).

Anyway, back to being single-minded. In some respects, this is a good thing. It gives me the ability to cleave to a project until it’s finished. It gave me the determination to stick with writing, no matter what anyone else said, or how grim my prospects looked.

But in other ways, it’s not so good. Because say I fix on a need to do something (whether it’s buy new shoes, open a bank account, get a cat, hire a publicist), then it’s all but impossible for me to shift gears until I get that one thing taken care of. It preys on me. I think about it. I try to figure out ways I can get this thing done to the exclusion of all else.

Everything doesn’t hit me like that, though. I mean, I can say, “We need milk and eggs,” without immediately fixating and trying to scheme ways to get milk and eggs at midnight. So I don’t know what the trigger is: why I obsess over some things and not others.

For instance, when I decided I wanted this blog redone… my web designer had a personal issue, and said there would be some delay before she could get to it. I totally understood. I’m not a heartless harpy. But the thing is…

I. Could. Not. Wait.

Once I made up my mind I wanted a new design, I fiddled and fiddled until I figured it out myself. I couldn’t write, suddenly, because I was thinking about my blog template. How could I fix it? What could I do to make it look better? Was there any way I could do it myself?

I hate waiting on other people. Does that make me a control freak? It’s not that I mind paying to have work done; I just hate having stuff out of my hands. And I hate not having it done right when I want it. I don’t particularly like what that says about me, but I own it.

Being a mom means multi-tasking. Y’all know that, I’m sure. It means checking homework, reading books, looking at projects, checking supplies, making dinner, and what the hell did the dog do now? Given my single-minded bent, this is often hard for me. I have one thing on my mind and I don’t honestly give a shit about the 1000 other things that need to be taken care of. Why? Because I work in a linear fashion. I don’t make lists, but if I did, I’d want to work through them in order.

The older I get, the more weird shit I see in myself. (I’m starting to like Neil Diamond, for instance. Gawd. One day, I might be rocking out to Engelbert Humperdink in my polyester double-knit jumpsuit. Sigh.) I don’t go around touching light posts or washing my hands compulsively, but I think I’m definitely west of normal. What about y’all? I can’t be the only one with weird habits. So spill it!

really random

I must give QB credit where it’s due. She knows what she’s talking about when she said all I have to do is mention Charles Dera and people will come. Just from her comment on my blog, I’m getting hits from tons of Charles Dera searches. Weirdly, my blog is on the third page when you Google Charles Dera.

Just so his fans don’t go away mad, I present the following as a consolation prize. He’s kinda hot, right? Funny, I had no idea who he was, but after QB mentioned him I did some searching. He’s apparently like Fabio, only he’s a really dirty boy. I guess he’s making the jump into porn. I suppose it’s not a far leap from letting people take pictures of your erect penis (which is a real monster by the way) to actually using said penis professionally.

That said, I’m afraid I don’t really understand the fascination with cock. At least in a pictorial sense. When I look at a naked man, my first impression isn’t, “Wow, hawt.” Instead it’s more like, snicker, giggle, chortle, look at that plucked chicken. I’m about to be sexist, so if you’re easily offended, go make a sandwich. Just us now? Good.

I think naked men are funny looking. I really do. Now I like what their body parts can do for mine, don’t get me wrong. It feels real nice, yep. But to look at? Not so much. I like pictures of shoulders, chests, manly backs, even asses, but as for wanting to peruse Penis Monthly to see what’s out there, (oh, that one’s crooked!), not so much. In fact, you can translate that to mean: I will never be interested in looking at dick-pix. Their dangly bits are just too absurd.

Oddly, I don’t have the same response to naked women. Maybe that’s a sign of my innate sapphic tendencies, but I find women’s bodies graceful and lovely with their curves, their softness, and their hidden mysteries. That doesn’t mean I’m ready to hump a woman just from seeing her picture, but seeing her naked doesn’t set off junior high giggle fits either.

Uhm. Where was I going with this? I dunno. It’s random Tuesday. That means this post probably didn’t have a point, except, possibly: naked men are funny looking.

random tuesday

The mind is a strange and wonderful thing.

Right now I’m plagued by cats. I have two that I love very much, but Sunday night, I had a dream that we adopted a third one. A poor little stray turned up outside our door and I couldn’t resist it, so we took it in. The tiny thing was terrified and immediately scuttled off to hide. We didn’t trouble ourselves over it, we assumed it would come out for food and water when it felt safe.

Only in the dream, it never did so, and we all just …forgot about it. This isn’t something I would really do in real life. I don’t think. Or is my subconscious trying to tell me that I’m utterly self-absorbed? That I’d allow something small and helpless to be harmed, not through intentional malice, but through neglect? This disturbs me. When we found the little kitten, a few days later, hiding in a drawer, it was terribly malnourished and dehydrated. I was panicked by this in the dream and frantic to get the animal to a vet. I woke up nearly hysterical and asked my husband where the baby kitten was. Our cats are around seven months old and are not tiny kittens anymore by any stretch. He gave me a strange look and then I realized we don’t have a third kitten, and I haven’t nearly killed some poor helpless animal with my indifference.

I was still feeling the effects of this all day yesterday. I can’t say why, except the sensation haunted me. Yesterday was Children’s Day (like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day) here in Mexico, so we took the kids out for dinner, and then we bought them new bedroom furniture. It’s very smart, all sorts of staggered storage — you know the kind, where the bed, desk, and wardrobe are all combined in one space-saving piece? Anyhow. We’d met at Mundo E because my husband didn’t want to drive all the way home in the rain to collect us, so we took separate cars. He asked if I wanted to call a cab so we could ride in the same car going home, but I wasn’t keen on hiking four blocks in the rain to the taxi stand.

That meant my daughter and I drove home by ourselves. Typically, the guys beat us because my husband drives like Mario Andretti. This time, we got there first, and as we pulled up alongside the house to open the gate by hand (my remote is broken), a cat ran past. It looked just like one of ours and I got worried that he’d escaped somehow. My daughter immediately panicked. Fighting the effects of the bizarre dream, I went inside to check. Our two cats were sitting in the window watching for us, so it wasn’t one of them.

We bought them from a vet just two blocks down. There were three of them. One had already been purchased, so we bought the last two kittens. They are mixed, all the pretty coloring of Siamese cats without the overbred temperament. So it occurred to me the cat I saw might be their brother. Perhaps someone in the neighborhood adopted him and he got loose?

Last night it poured buckets. I heard that poor lost kitty crying, loud and plaintive. He sounded terrified. I went out into the rain at least five times, looking for him. The local policeman who guards our block finally asked what I was searching for. When I said I heard a cat crying, he asked if it was one of mine. I had to say no, and I’m pretty sure he thought I was crazy at that point. Gringa loca roaming around in a thunderstorm.

Such impotence is heartbreaking. Now, in the sunshine, I don’t hear the cat crying anymore. I want to believe it’s because he found his way home, but I’m afraid he may have been run over or worse. Isn’t that the worst feeling in the world? Knowing someone (or something) needs you, but you can’t do anything about it? Sometimes you can sense those pivotal moments where you should have acted and didn’t, where you might have made a difference if you’d taken a different path. Now I’ll always wonder if I should have chased that poor cat around the corner instead of making sure our two were safe inside. Would I have caught him? Would he have trusted me or would he have run? I thought nothing could be worse than listening to him cry during the storm, not being able to find him, but not hearing is bad too. Because I don’t know what happened and I never will. Is that the worst thing of all? Not knowing?

random tuesday

random link — Looking for a new web template, but don’t have a lot of money to spend? Well, I think I may have an option for you. Check this thing out. My non-technical mind boggles at how they achieved this. A new template every time you refresh it? Generated randomly? Theoretically, with a little patience, you might stumble across a very cool template, which they explain how to use for your own site, here. I could see how this would be an easy way to make (or update) your own website. Keep clicking until you get a design you like, save the code, and then start tailoring it to your needs. Maybe add a few pictures and a header… how cool is that?

random update — After much contemplation, conversation with my husband, and consideration of your sage advice, I’m now writing Touch and Go. I’m supposed to work up a series overview soon. I gather that’s like a synopsis for each book? But how long? A page? Two? Three? I’ve never done anything like this before, and given the fact that I don’t write synopsises… synopses? WTF-ever. Before I write a book, I’m not sure how I’m going to manage this. If anyone has experience with this kind of thing, please guide me, I’m begging you.

I’m so excited about this series for reasons I probably shouldn’t discuss yet. If you’re really curious email me. Otherwise, I don’t have a lot to report. Falling is still on submission in NY with various editors, and Touch and Go is flowing really well.

random searches — Here are some random ones that made me laugh or made me go “Huh?”

plot holes + Nora Roberts
Why did that lead to my blog? I’m pretty sure I never discussed that.

gerard butler – naked butt – images
Well, I can’t blame you for trying, but I don’t have any.

banana sucking contest
What a great idea! For my next context, I’ll make the entrants take a pic of themselves sucking a banana and post a link to the image in comments. No? Maybe not.

sperm props for Poser
WTF? What does that even mean?

hilary sares likes submission
Uhm. I hope this means she enjoys someone’s manuscript, and not that she has a crazy stalker looking for BDSM fan-fiction about her.

random endorsement — Monk. I love this show. Just finished watching season four on DVD, and the love story they’ve written between Adrian and his deceased wife, Trudy, is one of the most poignant I’ve ever seen on television. In most series’s, I would be impatient for him to have a love interest, but I’m not sure I could accept it if he had one, now. He’s Trudy’s man, and it doesn’t matter that she’s gone. He will never, ever stop loving her. *sniffs* I’m getting verrklempt just thinking about it. *waves hands* Talk amongst yourselves.

And the winner is…

Wow, when you’re trying to keep quiet, it becomes a chore! I thought of at least five posts I wanted to make, but I refrained because of the contest. You’re going to be hearing a lot from me in the next few days.

So Guide is out. I put a link in the sidebar, so people can find it. Now the blog can return to its regularly scheduled yammering and ranting.

Mrs. Giggles has already reviewed it (what a sweet lady!) and I feel blessed that she gave the book a 70. I didn’t realize she dislikes chick-lit type books, but I did send her a copy. She expressed interest in my work a few months back, so I hooked her up when the time came. My only comment on the review is this: I’ve never read Bridget Jones or watched the movie, so if I wrote something similar, albeit with hotter sex, it wasn’t a case of emulation. You know what they say about monkeys, typewriters and Shakespeare (not that Guide qualifies as any such thing).

I know you’re all eager to find out who won the 50 bucks. So without further ado…

AMY S, COME ON DOWN!

I need an email from you, ma’am. You won the loot and a copy of Guide, so contact me using the button on the upper left in the sidebar. Let’s descend on Amy’s blog and congratulate her!

There’s a lot more coming this week, but for now, let’s celebrate Amy’s win and Guide’s release. If you read it, be sure to email me and let me know what you thought. See, I have some openings for fangrrls and they get excellent perks. I could also use some haters to provoke the fangrrls. This is a ground floor opportunity with infinite potential (and it doesn’t involve MLM or Tupperware!) Drop me a line, you know you want to.

PS – QB is totally right about blog karma. As soon as I posted the winner to this contest, I got an email from Jason Sizemore of Apex Digest, saying, “congratulations, you’ve won the slipcase edition of WETBONES as part of our Temple: Incarnations promotion.” From this, I extrapolate, hey, I won a free book. Sweet! Thanks, Michele! She pointed me toward Temple in the first place.

Contest! (revised)


After a three-year dry spell, Ellie would settle for Mr. Warm Pulse. Ash thinks he just wants some peace, but Ellie makes him want a piece of her. 30 days, no strings, what could possibly go wrong?

As advised by QB, now in charge of online publicity as I don’t know my ass from a hole in the ground in that regard, I revised this post. The contest celebrates the release of my book, The Average Girl’s Guide to Getting Laid. Read the first chapter here. You can buy it on April 17th from Loose Id.

CONTEST!

Here’s the picture. Told you I’d pick something with a monkey. Now for the rules. To enter, just write a caption and put it in comments on this blog post. Funny is the goal, but any caption will do. No new posts while this contest runs, as I want to be sure every interested reader has a chance to enter. I think a week is ample. For a second entry, blog about the contest sometime during the week, and then post “I blogged about it!” along with a link to your blog in the comments. Simple, right?

At contest close, I will write down all the names of those who entered (and write a second entry for everyone that blogs about the contest), put the names in a bowl and have my son draw the winner on April 17th. People who blog about the contest will have a small advantage, but not a huge one because even if you have ten blogs and post about it one each one, you still only get one extra entry.

Prize is a $50 Amazon gift certificate and a free copy of Guide. Wanna write some captions? Ready, set, go!

random ideas

random link — Out of ideas? Try this thing. I hit it about four times before it came up with: fugly cat tempted through Tokyo. And I think that says it all, don’t you?

random update — Thing are moving fast with Laura. She e-mailed me and said she only found two things I need to tweak in FALLING. While I do that, she’s working up her pitch list. Once I get the revised manuscript to her, we’ll be ready to start pitching to editors. That’s light speed, ya’ll. I’m awed by her efficiency.

Two nights ago, I was talking to my husband in bed about my opportunities and my writing situation. I mentioned I was really excited about Laura and that I was sure she was “the one”. He laughed and said, “I’m glad you’re over your breakup with Michelle, honey.”

We both giggled, but there’s a vein of truth to that. Making the decision to leave an agent is huge, even if (s)he isn’t selling you. Sometimes, a perfectly good agent just isn’t a good fit for your personality or your material, but once you’re signed, you feel that same fear of leaving that you might feel in an unsatisfying relationship. You have the same fears: well, if I leave, what if nobody else ever wants me? It’s definitely worth it to look for that better fit, though, and being “single” isn’t quite as scary as I thought it’d be. I was unrepped for about two months while looking at my options and I sold a number of projects on my own. That’s a nice feeling, but it’s a better one to know I have a skilled professional in charge of my career again.

random endorsement — I know this is old news to most of you, but I live in Latin America and Heroes just started here on March 7th. I am totally in love with this show. I’ve been playing the song Eyes by Rogue Wave obsessively ever since I first heard it. Blanket apology: if you happen to be chatting with me on messenger on Friday night and I suddenly run off after typing “HEROES!”, I’m sorry, but I gotta go watch it! Fridays at 9. <3 Love it.

random tuesday

random link — I hope you’re braced for dangerous levels of cuteness. I bring you this thing because authors are all supposed to have a cat that they ramble about. If you don’t (maybe someone in your house has allergies) click until you find the perfect kitten, and then you can blog about your fantasy feline friend. You’re welcome.

random update — Got an e-mail from Agent L, who reports that her colleague liked Guide so much, she read it three times in the last week. Yes, I know, Guide is already sold, but Agent L is perusing a number of my books. I’m still waiting for news on one submission, and I’ve been invited to write a book for Liquid Silver for their Terran Realm urban fantasy line. I’m putting that on my plate along with everything else. After a lot of thinking and some wise advice from Carrie (which I chose to disregard), I’m tackling My Valentine next.

My Valentine is the sequel to Guide, starring Darnell Valentine and Maya Hanoush. I’m scared of this book, ya’ll.

Darnell is black, but I get him better than the heroine. I picture him looking like a cross between Kadeem Hardison and Mario Barrett, but with short dreads. He and I will do okay — he’s a stockbroker and a computer geek. Never had much luck with the ladies until recently. Now he imitates the other players on scene, but it’s not really him, and he’s been in love with Maya since they were 16.

Maya is way outside my experience. I have her look figured out — cross between Shakira and Norah Jones, but she’s tall, almost six feet. She’s mixed Hispanic-Middle Eastern descent, and she has a rape in her past. Maya lives in NYC in the aftermath of 9/11, so I can’t imagine what she goes through on a daily basis. She’s an attorney, working for a big firm, but I don’t think class limits the pain and discrimination you experience. She does pro bono work on the side, in private, helping battered women. Anyway, I’m gonna cowboy up and brave this thing, though. I hope I write it as well as Ann and Olivia, my marvelous Loose Id editors, think I can. If you have any advice for me, I’m all ears.

random endorsement — I’m gonna share another guilty pleasure with ya’ll. I’m a secret Ashton Kutcher fan. He’s like Keanu, only he’s goofy-cute instead of being a block of wood. Funny thing, almost any movie I pick up that has him in it turns out to be better / funnier than I thought it would be. I made fun of Dude, Where’s My Car when it came out, and then I watched it. Uhm. I’m calling it a cult classic. No, you can’t ask how many times I’ve seen it.

Anyway, I watched My Boss’s Daughter last night and it was 100% funnier than I thought it would be. It wasn’t a lame romantic comedy at all; it was instead a screwball comedy (and I love those!) If you want to laugh, check it out. Where else can you find an owl on crack?

And that’s it for today. I’ll close with a random quote:

“I discovered that rejections are not altogether a bad thing. They teach a writer to rely on his own judgment and to say in his heart of hearts, ‘To hell with you.'”
— Saul Bellow

random tuesday

random link — Hello, boys and girls. This link is going to help you a lot. It’s not just for authors; it will work for anyone who needs a crappy excuse for why they didn’t do something. Here are some gems.

    “Charlton Heston forced me to destroy Bill Clinton.”
    “Jesse the Body was visiting my trailer.” (And you know you don’t take off on Jesse the Body.)
    “I was teaching my child how to clean our AK47.”
    “I was busy fidgeting.” (I like that one.)

random update — everyone said it was crazy, everyone said it wouldn’t work, but I’m 13K away from finishing this thing. By my current estimates I should finish on Thursday. Yesterday was a long-ass day for me. I wrote 7K (yeah, you read it right), and then at 11pm I waded into Guide for the bazillionth time and did some more comma wrangling. I had to get it done or I’d have thrown off my writing schedule for today. The other option was putting it off until Thurs/Friday but my editor said she needed it Friday, so I cowboyed up and got ‘er done. It was almost 2 when I crawled into bed, though, and I’m tired as hell. Anyone tells you writing isn’t work, you punch em in the face.

random pr0n email — Got another funny one, this time from Annabelle. SEXUALLY EXPLICIT — old school cartoons fuck like wildebeests. Really? Awesome! I hope they have some Granny / Sylvester the Cat videos. And I always wanted to see Porky do Elmer. My dreams have at long last come true.

random endorsement — I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I saw Music and Lyrics over the weekend and I liked it. Hugh Grant imbues the role of aging popstar with an incredible amount of charm, and Drew is not her usual perky self. In fact she’s downright neurotic, but it works on her. It’s a happy two hours of mind-candy, and it doesn’t make you think too hard, but it’s clever and funny and cute, and it breaks a number of rom-com conventions. For instance, there is no courtship per se. On one occasion, Hugh tells Drew she looks “mangy”. I died laughing. If you like your rom-coms on the quirky side, this might surprise you.

And th-th-th-that’s all folks! Back to the grind for me.

random tuesday

random link — Feeling guilty because you haven’t updated your blog in a while? Here’s a way for you to give your readers something to ponder and the best part is, it involves absolutely NO work on your part. That’s right, just click here. It will ramble in a way that makes you homesick for your grandpa Claude, yeah, the one who used to pee behind the barn when he thought nobody was watching. Just cut and paste and you’ll have a masterpiece that will leave your readers going WTF in a special way.

random update — I have a lead on some exciting news, but it would be premature to discuss it. I’ll say more when my ducks are in a row or my evil plot comes to fruition, or maybe my ducks will have fruit. Who the hell knows? I’m on a 5K a day writing schedule right now and I’ve sort of lost touch with reality. I answer e-mails when I remember I have e-mail, but again, my blog-hopping presence will be diminished until I spank this bitch of a book and call it Mommy. Please remember that I love you all. *blows kisses Eva Peron-style* Don’t cry for me, Argentina, but I want some real tears from you, Portugal.

In other news, I found Bham over on Literotica. Has Bam finally gone around the corner to crazy Cellie fangrrl and is now writing Black Dagger fan-fic? (Nope. It’s a story about black cop doing a white girl hard. Actually it’s not bad as far as a dirty smut goes. I kinda like the pure nasty raunchiness of the last line.) What was I doing finding crazy shit on Literotica when I’m supposed to be writing?

Look, a duck!

random endorsement — C’mere, lemme tell you a secret. When I’m feeling all girlie, I watch Return to Me and just snivel over the way David Duchovny loses his wife. He’s adorable in this movie, I’m talking ’bout give you sugar diabetes sweet, and Minnie Driver is cute too. Sure, it’s pure syrup, all the stuff of soap opera meets Hallmark Presents but I love the hell out of it anyway.

I also can’t get enough of the Scissor Sisters. I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ is almost hypnotic. What’s not to like about a dude in tight pants singing in falsetto? Maybe the tight pants are why he sings in falsetto. Anyway, they remind me of the BeeGees or even ABBA, but WTF, they’re my guilty pleasure, along with Baskin Robbins Love Potion #31 and Manimal reruns. Hey, that show was years ahead of its time. He could turn into ANY animal. Shut up.