March 31, 2004

Bathroom Lovin' Out Loud

My writer's group met last night at Anne's house. I read that bathroom LERV SCENE I was whinging about in an earlier entry. It seemed to go over okay. THAT'S A RELIEF. I thought it was working which is usually when my writers' group leaps up with sticks and beats me to death. So. I was nervous.

I know that sometimes my internal landscape is so powerful and real to me that what I write is a touchstone for me -- the actual writing may SUCK THE GOAT, but it is for me and me only an access road. SO I read it and am transported to my powerful internal landscape, ZOOM! And then I dance around and make out with myself and pet my own hair until even the cat can't stand to be around me. That's when my group coughs discreetly and points out that it sucks. I get why --because that particular scene can't be a touchstone for a reader who doesn't share my internal landscape via a vulcan mind-meld or serious hallucinogens.

I HATE that ugly realization that the scene is not a scene yet -- it's just a series of key words that puts MY mind in a place/character/emotional state that is real and vivid because it already exists in me, whole and lovely. It is SO vivid I don't realize that the vividness I am responding to is the internal landscape, not the words I have written about it.

That's why writing groups are good---they keep you on the straight and narrow. They are bad because sometimes Jill doesn't come and then there is sure to be no canolli.

Posted by joshilyn at 9:07 AM

March 30, 2004

Blog on Blogging

Lily says I have to BLOG MORE. I have to BLOG EVERY DAY or she will come kill me in the head with knives as I sleep. I think she is serious. She is tiny but mean.

I have been blog crawling, and I think I will come up with ten rules for Blogging that I will follow assiduously so as not to cause the people who are nice enough to visit my site to commit suicide.

One rule will be, NEVER mention laundry. Trust me, laundry is the kiss of death. NO ONE wants to read a blog that begins "So I did really a lot of laundry today. Started with towels, and you KNOW I did those babies on hot because ooooh-wee, towels get germy. Don't you think towels get germy? Then had a bad time because I forgot to put the bleach in the whites...."

No, it's not a good rule--too specific. You could blog about laundry, if, for example, you find a great big alive possum with 500 repugnant squirm-babies all hissing at you from your lint bucket. You just can't blog about your USUAL laundry. Maybe rule one boils down to this:

There is a BIG FAT difference between a public diary and a private one.

The LEAST interesting blogs are the ones that do not realize this.

Strangely, the MOST interesting blogs are ALSO ones that do not realize this.

The Train Wreck Blogs. You just can't bring yourself to look away.

Posted by joshilyn at 1:38 PM | Comments (1)

March 28, 2004


I just got back in EVIL parents had this HUGE dish of gummi bears and M and Ms sitting out beside a two pound box of godiva chocolates, and these rolled fancy tube-shaped cookies, and hershey miniatures in little dishes in EVERY ROOM OF THE HOUSE, and ZAPP'S, and a huge vat of butterfinger ice cream ... I've been completely off processed sugar for months, eating all fresh and natural and veggie-riffic, so I had to get tough with them. I yelled, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE, YOU KNOW I AM OFF SUGAR, GET THIS CRAP AWAY FROM ME!!!!!

But of course they could not understand what I was saying. Because my mouth was full.

Posted by joshilyn at 6:22 PM | Comments (3)

March 24, 2004

Not feeding the least of these

GAH I was working like MAD til the DOORBELL interrupted me. A little pink-cheeked couple with that freshly-scrubbed-down-with-bleach look were at the door. They really wanted to come in my house and tell me about Jesus. They were Yankees, and bless their hearts they did NOT speak Southern.

What I said: Aw thanks how sweet of ya'll, but I work from home, so you have caught me at work! Oh really? How nice of you to invite me, but I have a home church and I am very happy there. Thanks! Have you got a tract or something you would like to leave me? No? Okay, well you can get nice tracts off the internet! Okay well, thanks! Thanks Ya'll! Thanks! Oh that's so interesting. Thanks. Oh, you don't say. Thanks. ETC


What they apparently heard: I want to stand out here on the porch with you and defend my religion, and hear why yours is better, and learn all about why I am probably going to hell for being a Methodist.

I REALLY prefer the Jehovah's witnesses. They just give you the Watchtower and go away.

Posted by joshilyn at 11:32 AM | Comments (3)

March 23, 2004

Hipster Mama Glasses

At the pool the other day I met a mom with a daughter the same age as my son. She was carrying a hardback lit-fic book so I struck up a conversation. Plus she had that Former English Major patina I can spot from very far away. I can pretty much spot it from space.

The piecey too-hip-for-the-PTA haircut and the chunky shoes and the type of glasses she wore sent up "I READ THINGS AND AM SMART" rays that are as visible to a fellow reader as the bad smell lines that come off Pepe Le Pew's butt. We readeresquers are a sub-culture. I decided. We have SEKRUT SYMBOLS.

I have MANY coded subculture-approved outfits -- If I blow out my hair wear a V neck black knitted not-quite-sweater-not-quite-shirt thing with the correct cut of faded jeans and extremely expensive black loafers, then people in my subculture look at each other wisely and nod and say "writer."
This chick at the pool was wearing orange.
So. Editor. Obviously.

UNFORTUNATELY I had not put my costume on. I had put on my other one. The I AM A MOMMY one. The one I call FRUMPERELLA. Slouching-Through-Kroger-Wear. I had to TELL her I was writer.

Thank GOD my highlights were fresh or she never would have believed me. *grin*

Posted by joshilyn at 7:19 AM

March 21, 2004

Conjunctivitis or Manga?

That's my dilemma on this fine bloggy morning. I could yammer with equal vim about either. Or should I just cut and paste in one of my better Xander-from-Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer Slash Fics?

Just to be absolutely clear, THAT WAS A JOKE.

Although yesterday while googling (or no, yahooing actually) online writers' groups, I found an e-mail list with THOUSANDS of subscribers --and it was completely devoted to Xander-Slash. *boggles* Really? you say. Yes. Really.

Posted by joshilyn at 8:46 AM | Comments (1)

March 20, 2004

Katie, could you bar that door?

Today I am spiderman with a Singer, web-crawling all over looking at art quilts. I used to sew. You can not possibly believe how bad at it I am.

SAMPLE: I made my mother-in-law quilted placemats with little pieced cats sitting by teacups. This was YEARS ago. I told her never to wash them as they would immediately fall into chunks, so she keeps them in a drawer and politely sets them out when I come to visit. Last time we were down, I was looking at one and I said, "Oh no! Look I sewed this cat's tail on upside down," and she said, "Those are cats??"

AND YET... I have been having these WEIRD urges to start a sewing project. I told my quilting friends this, and those reprobates only encouraged me to sew. I hope I am not pregnant. I hope I am not needing to be medicated. I especially hope the urge goes away for the sake of perfectly nice fabric everywhere that does not want to be hacked up into uneven chunks and sewed haphazardly together like some vomit-colored bride-of-frankenquilt.

Posted by joshilyn at 8:50 AM

March 19, 2004

sex or violence

Yesterday my friend Sara Gruen had to kill some people. Just a couple. But she liked 'em. Meanwhile, I was watching my people have sex in a bathroom.

Honestly? I might rather have been Sara. My novels always seem to get fraught with sex and violence, but its often more fun and usually easier to write about the violence. You can chart violence meticulously, and the aftermath is always interesting. Meanwhile, if you chart sex, it reads like a biology lesson, and the aftermath is always finding your pants.

Truism: You never realize how much sex you have put into novel until the day you know your mother is reading the MS.

Posted by joshilyn at 6:37 AM

March 16, 2004


MY PRINTER has its eye on a new career -- it wants to become a COMPLETE PIECE OF CRAP. It is very close to achieving its goal. It is inserting extra blank pages at random and making the edges of the paper CURL like the ends of 50's girl hair.

I need a new one. *cuss cuss* Ask me how interested I am in spending a bunch of money to replace my POS printer....go on, ask.
*waits while you ask*

Posted by joshilyn at 11:04 AM

March 14, 2004

Elizabeth Osborne is a Complete Genius

I am having "Elizabeth Osborne is a Complete Genius" engraved on my left buttcheek. I just am.

I had to go get an "author photo" taken for the book jacket and like every human being on the planet, I ALWAYS hate pictures of me. There are pictures of me on this very website that make me want to crawl under the sofa and live with the dust camels. So I went to see Liz, a photographer friend of mine from the way back back. Elizabeth Osborne is a total and complete raving genius extraordinaire, which won't all fit on the one butt cheek or BELIEVE ME, I would tattoo it there. She managed to make me look like a grown-up with a real hair cut.

Look---Here 'tis.

Also I get to put a big fat CHECK by one thing on my to do list. So now all I have to do *checks list* is...

1)Do all Line Edits
2)Write Second Novel
3)Successfully Raise 2 Children to be Kind, Happy Adults
4)Make Supper
5)Drink the rest of this Shiraz before it goes bad.

eep. Better get right on that. I pick 5.

Posted by joshilyn at 6:59 PM | Comments (1)

March 11, 2004

*pant pant*

Today I am supposed to be working on line edits.

Line edits, by the way, are when your editor sends you a copy of your MS that she has marked up with a pencil to show you exactly how many times you have written "breath" when you really meant "breathe." Then you go in and put e's on all of them. You have probably used "breath" to mean "breathe" a humiliating number of times for a person with a masters degree in English. Actually, twice is a humiliating number of times, and you are so far over twice you can not discuss it. Someone might ask you, "So how many times was it, really?" And you won't say.

All this BREATH for BREATHE makes you realize just how OFTEN you, as a writer, tend to update the reader on how well or poorly and with what sounds or intonations your characters are processing oxygen. The breathometer. The people in your head sure seem to SIGH and EXHALE excessively. They snort and puff and gasp and inhale sharply, and one of 'em even freakin' whistles.

You begin to wonder if you ought not off the whistler NOW, here in line edits, where you still have the luxury of changing things like THE WHOLE PLOT, like for example who lives and who dies --- or rather, as you would put it, GASPS THEIR LAST BREATH, except probably sadly truly really you would say GASPS THEIR LAST BREATHE. You begin to wonder if you have a complex. You realize you probably do, because why else would you CONTINUE to RELENTLESSLY refer to yourself in the second person???

*blows air out nose like an exasperated horse*

Posted by joshilyn at 11:43 AM

March 9, 2004

Undersea Sulkers

Did you know ELOCUTE is actually not a word? I mean, you can use elocution obviously, but you can't make it act as a verb. If you put it into SPELL CHECK, spell check says you probably mean EELPOUT. Eel? Pout? Eelpout is a word?!?!? I was so happy to find the word eelpout I should have left it alone. I had to go look it up. It's a stupid noun. Bah. I SO wanted it to be a VERB. "Veronica eelpouted her way through the last half of the party."

Posted by joshilyn at 5:34 AM | Comments (4)

March 8, 2004


I have converted to the south beach diet in an evangelical wild-eyed rabid fanatical way. I seriously want to print reams of poorly drawn tracts filled with bad grammar and threats of hell aimed at anyone who doesn't eat exactly like the SBD tells you to eat for the REST OF THEIR LIVES. I want to go door to door and pass these tracts out, preferably taped to the top of big grilled chicken breast salads coated in balsamic vinagrette. I THINK NOT EATING ENOUGH SALMON BROILED IN PESTO SHOULD BE A HANGING OFFENSE.

I was having dizziness probably associated with hypoglycemia probably associated with living on fat-free sugar with sugar sauce with a side of sugarysugarsugar. NOW I AM MIGHTY.

Phase one is a BAD PHASE that causes 200- 250 dollar a week grocery bills YIKES, and also it's a little too "LOW CARBY" to be terribly healthy I think. I say avoid it like plague. But phase 2 is FINE, it's WONDERFUL, it is all about whole grains and leans meats and olive oil, it won't even feel like a diet, and phase three is just -- living. and I FEEL so good. And my body looks great and does what I tell it to do. And my skin is more resiliant and luminous AND MY HAIR IS MORE GLOSSY AND VIBRANT. AND ALL I DO ALL DAY LONG IS LIE AROUND EATING SALMON IN PESTO AND HAVING SEX WITH HOTHOTHOT OILED CABANA BOYS WHO PEEL ME GRAPES BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT SBD IS ALL ABOUT AND IF YOU DO NOT GO ON SOUTH BEACH RIGHT NOW FOREVER YOUR TEETH WILL FALL OUT AND YOU WILL DIE TOOTHLESS AND WEEPING IN THE STREET WITH NO CABANA BOYS! NO CABANA BOYS EVER. *pantpant*

Posted by joshilyn at 9:08 PM | Comments (3)

March 7, 2004

And yet again....

More entries needed to test stuff. I'm going to write a bit more this time so that I can check wrapping and see just how wide this blog will actually be. I can tweak the width, but it's nice to know your starting point.


Mr Husband, yet again

Posted by joshilyn at 6:07 AM | Comments (2)

March 6, 2004

Test Entry

This is a sample entry into the the newly created Web Log.

I hope this works as intended.


Mr. Husband

Posted by joshilyn at 10:05 PM