April 14, 2010

FTK has MOVED: Please to Update Your Bookmarks!

Faster Than Kudzu is dead. Long live Faster Than Kudzu!

Posted by joshilyn at 6:32 AM | Comments (1)

The Winners of the Last Yellow/Orange/Green/Waspy 3Q Contest

No worries. There will be Salmon and Brown book give-aways, of course.

RNG says 18 and 4 – CONGRATS!

18) Count me in, please. --- Posted by Jerri Hernandez at April 11, 2010 10:21 PM
4) I'm in love with the main characters name. Posted by pam at April 11, 2010 7:19 PM

Please send your snail addy to my in box and I will have Ms. Mcfadden hook you up.

Posted by joshilyn at 6:30 AM | Comments (1)

April 13, 2010

The Tuesday Redirect

Tuesday is my Five Full Plates day, and I almost wish this essay was HERE so I could put it in Especial Pet Favorites. It's about our new I DARE YOU challenge where we force ourselves to step outside of our comfort zones. But it can’t be here. As the Best of my Beloveds know, there are unspoken rules here on FTK that I put into place when I realized my then 12 year old niece was reading it---things like not mentioning my reproductive system in ANY context and not calling people Bathroom Wall Sailor words. Heh.

My niece is now sixteen, but I have kept these rules anyway, operating under the theory that OTHER people have twelve year old reading nieces. On 5FP I feel less conscious of these rules, and in today’s entry I broke about 5 of em, So. You have been warned. DO NOT CLICK THIS if you want any sort of decorum.

Also, remember the contest to win a signed copy of GLORIOUS is still running, go to the entry BELOW this and comment to enter.

Finally, a Best Beloved who particularly liked the tale of Boggart’s most recent perfidy sent me a link to this, which Boggart thinks is hilarious, and I think is grounds to get off on Justifiable Catricide:

humorous pictures
More Lolcats

Posted by joshilyn at 5:38 AM | Comments (5)

April 11, 2010

3Q with Bernice L. McFadden (And a Contest!)

Bernice L. McFadden is the author of six critically acclaimed novels, including the classic Sugar and Nowhere Is a Place, which was a Washington Post best fiction title for 2006. She is a two-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, as well as the recipient of two fiction honors from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA).

I remember reading SUGAR soon after it came out and being so caught up in its aching, bittersweet web---I loved it. She has new book out now. It’s called Glorious, and Publisher’s Weekly gave it a standing rave, calling it “powerful” and “triumphant.” I can also tell you that if you use the LOOK INSIDE THIS BOOK feature on Amazon and read the first chapter's string of tantalizing What Ifs, you are going to be hooked. I certainly am.

I nabbed her for a 3Q interview, and she graciously agreed to provide two signed copies for those who dare to tread the Cruel Waters of the Random Number Generator. All you have to do to enter is leave a single comment, and let math do the rest. I’ll unleash the generator on you brave optimists who comment before Tuesday at Midnight, EST. Full rules, perma-stolen from Mir, are over on Want Not.

JJ: Tell us about Glorious.

BLM: Glorious is an extraordinary historical novel set against the backdrops of the Jim Crow South, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights era.

The story opens on a hot, steamy July 4th in 1910 as “The Fight of the Century” comes to an end and Jack Johnson becomes the first ever African-American Heavy Weight Champion of the World. This event sets off a series of violent, racial eruptions around the country and in the small town of Waycross, Georgia, the life of a young Easter Venetta Bartlett is forever changed.

Glorious follows the life of Easter Venetta Bartlett, a fictional Harlem Renaissance writer whose tumultuous path to success, ruin, and revival offers a candid portrait of the American experience in all its beauty and cruelty.

It is a tale woven with historical events and figures of the time. Langston Hughes, Carl Van Vechten, A’Lelia Walker, Nancy Cunard, Marcus Garvey, Horace Liveright and many other historical figures make appearances throughout the story. In many ways, Glorious mirrors my own journey from an unknown writer to published author. The story is as relevant today as it was fifty years ago.


JJ: Your main character, Easter Bartlett seems to have a lot in common with you. You are both female authors. How are you different/alike?

BLM: Our differences are few. Easter was born in the late 1800's and in Waycross, Georgia. I was born in 1965 in Brooklyn, New York. What we both strive for is happiness. We're driven by the idea that art and love should transcend race, religion and gender.

JJ: I know you are an an "organic writer,” ---someone who writes their way into a book instead of working from an outline. Can you talk a little bit about your process and what you thought the book would be versus what it became?

BLM: My stories, Glorious included, come to me in phases and in phrases. I might be washing the dishes and all of sudden a monologue will start up in my head. This often goes on day and night for days. This is when I know a new story has found me. I have never had to search for a story or an interesting character - they always find me. With Glorious, I was sitting in my kitchen having a cup of tea when, I suddenly felt the presence of two women who I will contend until the day I die, were the spirits of The Harlem Renaissance Writers, Zora Neale Hurston and Nella Larsen. By the time I finished my tea, I had twenty pages of information that would become the prologue for Glorious.

THANKS, BERNICE. And good luck Best Beloveds...I can tell you cryptically, and while wearing pink socks, that this will be the last 3Q and RNG contest ever to be seen on this website, so. Make it count!

Posted by joshilyn at 5:08 PM | Comments (62)

April 9, 2010

The Friday Redirect, Now with Prizes!

Today I am over on Five Full Plates, and happy to be back blogging there. You should make the clickies on that link, because over the weekend we are running a contest. You can win a signed ARC of Backseat Saints!

Posted by joshilyn at 7:30 AM | Comments (2)

April 7, 2010

Mouthical Mystery

There were five toothbrushes on the floor of my office this morning.

Two were mine---one from my bathroom and one from my travel bag. One is Scott's, also from the bathroom. One is a free toothbrush that was given to me at the hospital along with a travel tube of something called "Sparklebrite.” One is a mystery toothbrush; like our beloved and much fought over Lawn Fork, it has appeared among us unexplained. Unlike our beloved and much fought over Lawn Fork I have no intention of running it through the dishwasher a couple of times and using it. Both are pointy utensils that go in one of the main face holes, but somehow a fork from the lawn can be cleaned and anthropomorphized and used, and a toothbrush absolutely cannot. Maybe because people commonly share forks---even with strangers when you consider restaurant cutlery---but very seldom share toothbrushes.

Here my husband interrupts: You say that, but every time I look at you, you have my toothbrush poking out of your face.

Me: I know! I am sorry...I forget which one is mine.

Him: *Darkly* The. Hot. Pink. One.

He HATES it when I use his toothbrush. He sees me use it and he brings home two fresh ones and makes me pick which color I LIKE BEST so I won't use his and then I forget. Last time he got me a color that he thought would help me remember. Hot Pink is not a very MANLY color, ergo the pink one must be mine. It failed. It is not so much that I think the hot pink one is HIS. It is just that I forget the dark green one is NOT MINE. You see the distinction?

Because he does not.

ANYWAY, this morning, when I went to brush, BOTH our toothbrushes were gone, so I assumed Scott had pitched them because I had POACHED again and he would bring home fresh ones. I dug the two out of my hospital bag and brushed, and LO, an hour later, I found them along with our original brushes on the floor of the office. Also the mystery FIFTH brush. Only the children's toothbrushes had been spared.

I called Scott: Honey? Why are there all these toothbrushes on my office floor?

Him: No clue. But Schubert was sitting on one of them.

Me: Lying down on, you mean? Or sitting up on? With his butt?

Him: Sitting up on, with his butt.


Him: It was mine. Don't you wish now you knew which one of the five actually WAS mine? So you could maybe...NOT USE THAT ONE?

Except there was static on the line so I did not really hear that last part.

I gathered up the toothbrushes and hurled them all out on the theory that a cat butt had touched ONE at a MINIMUM and I would sooner use a toothbrush from the lawn than from a litterbox.

Luckily I had a new two pack from a recent trip where I forgot a toothbrush altogether and had to buy some, and I went and managed to find those and gave my teeth a nice post lunch brush. Not half an hour later, who do I meet in the den?


Yeah. That’s my latest toothbrush, clutched in the maw of the Boggart-Cat, aka The Seed of All Evil. I suppose the residual mint helps him mask the sulfurous stench of Hell on his breath? Or perhaps it is revenge because I mention Bagel and Schubert by name in the latest version of my bio, but chose to pretend that he does not exist?

I have to admit, watching him GNAW at my personal bristles with the slaver-fangs he keeps in his fetid gob hole... I can FINALLY empathize with Scott.

I want my OWN toothbrush, thanks.

Posted by joshilyn at 12:07 PM | Comments (24)

April 6, 2010

Insert Title Here

Hello, I have decided to live! I actually bloomed back to life late on Sunday, and I considered writing a mildly blasphemous but sincerely-intentioned Easter post about He is Risen, Hallelujah, and so have I, but freakin’ Mir beat me to it, and what else have I got, really?

I can tell you the obvious: I feel much better and Scott is a treasure. In fact he is THE VERY BEST ONE. And also, you, Oh My Best Beloveds...You are the very best one, too. Thank you all SO MUCH for the emails and comments and kind enquiries. Scott read all your notes and comments aloud to me in the hospital. You guys are so nice. The shriveled black prune-claw I keep in my chest cavity to push the blood around may have pittered in what could have been an emotional response. I can neither confirm nor deny.

To answer you here, but not to be too gory or detail-y, the anemia was masking a host of underlying problems. Medical professionals will blanch to hear my hemo dipped to 5.7 at one point. All very life-threatening and exciting. One quick collapse and an emergency hysterectomy later, I am declared to be on the road to complete recovery. I appreciate that you care enough to worry, but I have no cancer, I had no cancer, just a buncha benign crap and it is all gone now and here, a week after surgery, I feel BETTER than I did in the entire month of March. Seriously. Scott is having to make stern eyebrows at me and say SIT DOWN AND RECOVER, WOMAN.

I went to my doctor for a post surgery exam yesterday and my FIRST question was, WHEN CAN I START WORKING OUT, so, that tells you where my stupid head is. Of course, my second question was, WHEN CAN I HAVE A GLASS OF WINE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY?? She said “As soon as you are off all pain meds, even Motrin.” No one here will so much as blink in surprise to hear that I haven’t had a pain med since. Unless you count a really nice Old Vine Zin.

Sorry for the long silence, but, gah I had nothing to tell you. Sample blog titles from entries I could have posted last week:

Solid food: Friend or Demon?

In Which I Go Down the Stairs! And Sit Up! IN A CHAIR!

The Great Feather v/s Foam Debate

WHY DID NONE OF YOU VOTE FOR SHANNON DOHERTY! GAH! AND KATE IS STILL IN??? (Yes, long title, but good LORD, does no one else who is bedridden and desperately watching Dancing With The Stars own a pair of EYES? Or a PHONE? Or a SOUL?)

Narcotics Are Delicious!

Fun with Soups

New Nicknames We Have Given the Dog

Digression: Although, to immediately re-digress how one can even call this a digression is beyond me. This is hardly a POST, how can I DIGRESS from the topic of having no topic? Oh, well, apparently I can. ANYWAY, last night when I was ready to make the exciting move from sitting up watching TV to lying down sleeping, Bagel had melted into the place on the bed where my feet wanted to go.

Me: Aw look, I hate to move him. He is at that gelid puddle stage of asleep, where except for the faint rise and fall of his chest he might was well be an inanimate object. I wonder what he is dreaming?

Scott: That dog is not dreaming. That dog is not anything-ing.

Me: Not true. He is changing oxygen to carbon dioxide. I can see him doing it.

Scott: You are correct. But he isn’t doing anything else. That dog is currently The Anti-Plant.

I laughed so hard I almost popped a stitch. THE ANTI-PLANT. It is my new favorite name for Dogly. /digression.

I have also abdicated all responsibilities over on Five Full Plates for the duration of the ORGANIZATION challenge; one cannot spring clean from one’s bed. My closets are as clotted and ruined as ever, and I hardly think a post about how I cleaned out and tidied my abdominal cavity is appropriate, considering that REALLY all I did was sleep and let my excellent surgeon clean out and tidy my abdominal cavity.

If only I had a CLOSET surgeon to do THOSE while I sleep. Oh well, I don’t, so I will just say, Lemon Out, the world is tidy enough, Amen. We begin a NEW challenge next week---one that makes my heart excited in a way that Lemon Pledge and clean shelves cannot----next week. I will tell you about it over on the Plates this Friday. Whee. See you then, if not sooner.

OH okay....I did have a HUGELY inappropriate conversation that ABSOLUTELY goes beyond the purview of Things I Feel Comfortable Discussing in Public, so I absolutely should not repeat it. BUT. I am going to----as long as we can ALL immediately pretend I did not, and we all agree to never reference it again. Agreed? Agreed!

I was bewailing LENT to my friend Jill. I’m a liturgical sort, and these things matter to me. Lent, especially, is often a good time for me, focus-wise. Last year it was this really rewarding experience. My church did a thing called The Lenten Challenge where I committed 12 hours a week to community service, fellowship, study, and growing as a person. Being me, I threw myself wholly into the community service, fellowship, and intellectually-based study while completely neglecting to do even a molecule of introspection. Whee!

Me: Oh JILLY, I missed the whole Lent. Not only did I not do the Lenten challenge, but I didn’t do a thing. I mean, at the very least I could have given up dessert to try to focus myself on what matters, but I gave up NOTHING.

Jill: Not true! You gave up your UTERUS! And you liked it a lot more than you like chocolate.

HA! I love her. I am going with it. I gave up my uterus for Lent. Glorious Easter is come, pass the post-holiday discount Cadbury eggs.

Posted by joshilyn at 12:10 PM | Comments (55)