Faster Than Kudzu is dead. Long live Faster Than Kudzu!
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.
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:
Iâ€™m going to SIBA this weekend! On the one hand, I am going to see a ton of folks I REALLY like that I usually only see on book tour. On the other, I am going to talk in public aboutTHE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING, a book I have not yet talked about much in public. I am feeling my way still about how to talk about this book. It stills feels very close to me. I feel a little NAKED discussing it, and wonder if it will seem odd if I do my talk in a parka. With a veil. I am swinging back and forth between â€œREALLY pleased and excited to see all these peopleâ€ and â€œready to vomit in my shoes out of sheer nerves,â€ with a stop in the middle for â€œhoping HARD that I donâ€™t screw up.â€ By that I mean, I am hoping I do not PONTIFICATE or forget to say the things I really want to say or say them poorly or, well, hrm. Screw up covers it.
While I am SIBAing, Scott is taking all our babies to visit his mom, and I am going to stay in town with Karen. Staying with her is always an adventure. Our friend Renee Rosen calls Karen â€œPig Penâ€ ever since she had Karen come to stay with her. She discovered Karen crouching in the rubble of what used to be a perfectly organized bathroom and swabbing her armpits with Reneeâ€™s personal deodorant. The LAST time I went to sleep over at Kaernâ€™s house in order to make it to an early book event, Karen went to check the sheets on the guestroom bed while we were on the phone. There was a small silence and then she said, â€œNo oneâ€™s been here to stay over, so theyâ€™re mostly clean, except for maybe a little bit of bird crap. Do you mind sleeping in just a little bit of bird crap?â€
Shockingly, I minded.
Iâ€™m making Karen sound like a SLAVERING DEODORANT STEALING BIRD POO COVERED HUN, but she is SO not a Hun of ANY kind. Sheâ€™s actually lovely and more fun than a bag of kittens. She has a teeny INNER Hun though. VERY teeny. Minisculeâ€¦and looking at her, you would never guess it. Karenâ€™s feet are SO tiny I swear she had them bound to be able to wear all the shoes off the sales rack which are ALWAYS size 5 and a half.
She has a matching tiny little head (perhaps she bound THAT, too,) and delicate, narrow shoulders, and yet I think she thinks of herself as a muscle-bound trog-troll, stamping down the forests as she passes. (YOU KNOW! Every American woman on the planet should go buy really nice stationary and send the major networks and all fashion magazines notes that say â€œTHANKS FOR THE BODY DYSMORPHIA! IF YOU NEED ME I WILL BE BUYING DOVE PRODUCTS!â€
She IS a TV Hun, though. She is threatening to TIVO Gossip Girl and make me actually watch it. Like, ALL OF IT, not just a few scenes. Last night I stopped by her place, and she made watch the parts where this one boy on the show---the thick-lipped one with the waxy skin and low forehead who looks like the magically attractive love child of an ape and a Last-Days-of-Rome sybarite --- tried to date rape one female cast member after another. Two thwarted date rapes in the FIRST episode is really quite a lot of thwarting. After attempted victim number two, a teeny tiny pixie-faced blonde who I call â€œthe chirpy Brooklyn goodness sisterâ€ was able to fend him off, I fully expected to see him attempt to ravish a dyspeptic kitten and be firmly and effectively rebuffed.
I can't quite figure out the message...Is the message that we should hate him? or love to hate him? or SAY we hate him but secretly love him???? Is he a pure villian and two attempted rapes in the premier later, we are not spupposed to like him at all? Or are we supposed to say,"AH BUT he is such an INEFFECTIVE rapist! Perhaps he has a secret good non-raping heart so he ALLOWS 80 pound girls and bunnies and butterflies to escape his would-be-pillager's clutches! HE CAN BE REDEEMED!!!!" It's confusing. And...icky. Maybe a little more confusing than icky, but only a little, and only because the actor playign him is both talented and charismatic, so its hard to write him off as a stock baddy.
I have to say, that sybarite boy may have me agreeing to watch the show after all. He has some serious acting chops, and he is very â€¦ interesting to look at. I like looking at him in the way I like looking at work by Escher. It shouldnâ€™t work, but it DOES. The best thing ever said, about ANYONE, EVER, was said about him by Television Without Pity:
â€œYou can either be raging hot, or you can look like Jimmy Fallon with a chromosomal abnormality, but you can't have both. He refuses to make up his mind, and it's crazy-making.â€
Amen, oh Pitiless Ones. I so wish I had written that.
If it wasnâ€™t for my desire to look at him more, I would consider skipping the show altogether, and just READING about it. I recently discovered that I quite enjoy reading about shows I have NO desire to watchâ€¦My friend Lydia does RECPAPS of reality shows, and I donâ€™t watch any of those. I followed HER following the Amazing race, and I can honestly say I have never even seen the COMING ON of that show. I think I am the only person in America who is entirely innocent of the workings of SURVIVOR, but I LOVE to read Lydiaâ€™s fraught and hilarious Episode Summaries SO MUCH. I intend to myself to a season of NOT watching it yet still knowing everything worth knowing by following her blogâ€¦The first installment, entitled, Survivor China: Episode 1 Recap: China is Wet, can be found here.
I should watch GOSSIP GIRL just to be able to blog about it, but ALAS, Iâ€™ll never get off a line as good as that TV without pity one. I feel defeated before I have begun. Meanwhile, I am NETFLIXing shows from the Sci Fi channelâ€¦Dresden Files, anyone? WHY YES PLEASE, double scoop of Harry with vanilla ice cream, thanks, so WHO AM I TO JUDGE? You may have your reality motes and your O.C. replacement motes, unjudged, if you let me keep Harry for my eye-beam.
Speaking of beams in my eye, I like looking at the guy who plays Harry Dresden for an entirely DIFFERENT set of reasons than I like looking at that boy on GG.
Letâ€™s just say I find the guy who plays Harry to be â€¦scenic.
Or, to put it more succinctly: yum.
I left the beach and drove over to Foley last night for a library eventâ€¦SO super fun. They made BETWEEN the county-wide read for the adult summer program, and so this was a party with chicken salad finger sandwiches and cookies and drawings for door prizes. Foley library has a new events room, but they gave out free tickets for the event to make sure we would fitâ€¦and we didnâ€™t. They finally printed up more tickets and moved us next door to the civic center. It was REALLY cool.
I was HOPING to get to see my devil friend, Frank Turner Hollon. Alas, when he is not writing mindblowingly excellent books, heâ€™s the prosecutor for ..I think WALTON county? And yesterday was a court day, when, I assume, he prosecuted ALL the crime that happened in Walton from February 11th, 2003 to the present. That took up most of the afternoon. He came over to the Foley Library on his dinner break, but before I arrived he had to go back for the evening session to try and put away Waltonâ€™s lone prostitute.
When he got to the library, he saw this parked outside:
So, being HIM, he went in and told the librarians that this van had been seen at my events before---that this radical group often showed up to protest my heathenism and rampant potty mouth. By the time I arrived, the librarians had the police on speed dial and were ready to rumble. I went up to the podium to speak and saw his business card sitting there with a note on the back that said, â€œI bet now you wish youâ€™d worn a bra.â€
HE IS A DEVIL.
But my favorite devil.
Another neat thing---this woman (weâ€™ll let her remain anonymous but she had a GORGEOUS Welsh name) came up and got BETWEEN and I signed it for her and she seemed kinda --- quiet orâ€¦she wouldnâ€™t meet my eyes. It was a slightly odd vibe. She had a hardback copy of gods in Alabama in her hands that she had brought from home, but she didnâ€™t give it to me to sign. I meant to ask her if she wanted me to, but there was a bit of a crush and right after I signed Between for her, she left the table. Fast.
After the crowd died down, she came back, blushing, and held out the copy of gods to me and said, â€œMy husband says I have to get you to sign this one, too, even though I didnâ€™t get it here. Is that okay?â€™
â€œOf course!â€ I said.
â€œItâ€™s funny --- I wanted to check one of your books out of the library because you were coming, but because of the county wide read program theyâ€™ve all been checked out and thereâ€™s a wait list for them. But I was not going to buy your books. I was so sure I would completely hate them. Then I saw this one at the Salvation Army for 50 cents so I got it, and once I started I couldnâ€™t stop reading it until I was finished. I loved it.â€
I started giggling â€“ thatâ€™s JUST so COOL, and now, see she has Between and it just made me feel good down to my shoes. I wanted to ask her why she thought she would hate them, but once again she escaped almost immediately.
It was a neat moment, though.
so far this beach week I have read and heartily recommend:
Keeping Faith Jodi Picoult
Everything's Eventual by Stephen King
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
This Sunday, I will be on a Georgia NPR CALL IN radio show called Cover to Cover. It runs at 8 PM eastern time. The toll-free number to call during the program is 1-866-RADIO GA (1-866-723-4642)
If you are not IN Georgia, you can listen to it live from the site linked above via The Magic of the Internets (!!!) and call in, just the same.
It works a little like a BOOK CLUB â€“ they say what the book for the month early, so if you have not read Between, Georgia yet, then it might be a LITTLE on the spoilery side. They donâ€™t reveal huge twists but they talk pretty freely about characters and whatnot. If you HAVE read Between, then allow me to say:
1) My LORD but you are GORGEOUS today --- that color really brings out the NOBLE PERFECTIONS of your knife-like cheekbones, and
2) if you had a question you wanted to ask me about Between or the Kudzu or writing or whatever, this would be a fun time to call and ask it.
I have been on this program before for gods in Alabama, and if you want to see how it goes, you can listen as they keep it archived here
As an aside, simply because it is up on the cover to cover site, may I just say I do not like my color author photo? I KNOW I have mentioned this before. But it looks a LITTLE like I am getting ready to try and sell you some prime real estate. Just sayinâ€™.
ALSO, in AUGUST, I am going to be at the MISSISSIPPI WRITERS GUILD 2007 Writerâ€™s Conference. Yaâ€™ll come, too.
LASTLY, today, as you may or may not know, is NATIONAL TAKE YOUR DOG TO WORK DAY! SO basically this means Bagel â€“ who ate Something Evil last night and has been trying all night and into to the morning to emit it as a gas --- is going to be poisoning the air in my office all day long, as Scott said being shut in the car with the fumes he is putting out might cause blindness.
WOOT.COM has a cheerful little song about it!
They did not show Panâ€™s Labyrinth out here in the sticks, because they had to have Blades of Glory showing on three screens. Which, YAY for Will Ferrell, he makes me giggle and snork, but can we please have a screen for Pan? JUST ONE? Will would not begrudge us, I feel certain.
I could have waited for DVD, but I wanted to see this on a BIG BIG screen SO badly, I drove 45 minutes through rushhour traffic to midtown Atlanta. Totally. Worth. It. Itâ€™s like a dark and brutal Narnia for grown-ups, hard to watch sometimes because itâ€™s set in Spain in 1944, Francoâ€™s Spain, not too long after the revolution----not a gentle land of butterflies flowing with the milk of human kindness. Itâ€™s a hard and violent film, and I do not mean the over-the-top slo-mo beheading 300 style of violence. I mean it is a coldly and accurately violent, NOT for childrenâ€¦ but with grace notes of such loveliness! Oh! My wizened raisin of a heart grew three sizes that day, and Iâ€™ve been thinking about this movie and the nature of Faith and the idea that greater love hath no man than this etc, on and off ever since.
Understand, I am not a snibbetty art-house film gal. I donâ€™t like to wear black berets and talk about French Existentialist in the imagery over post-movie chai lattes. I do not think popcorn is passÃ©. NOT A HIPSTER, me. When I see movies, I like things to explode. I am not averse to a car chase. I like it when the new James Bond takes his top off, very much I like that, and I am not ashamed. Lord, thatâ€™s a pretty man.
My Netflix has the following things Qâ€™d up in right now, at the top:
Running With Scissors,
Snakes on a Plane
Lady in the Water
Season 2 of The Office and
Season 3 of Doctor Who
So. Pretty mainstream fair. I say all this to sayâ€¦
GO SEE THIS FILM.
At the very least, follow the link above and GO SEE THE TRAILER. Then you will want to see the film.
DOWNSIDE: Just as the previews ended and the movie itself began, the guy RIGHT behind us hollered, â€œALICE! ALICE,â€ in the scream-whisper so BREATHILY LOUD he sounded like a man with extreme laryngitis trying to flag down a departing bus. If the busâ€™ name was Alice.
Alice came and sat down with him, earning my eternal loathing, and he spent the rest of the film Proving How Very Smart He Was (and here, you understand, the subtitle reads: Trying To Get Laid) which involved TELLING ALICE THINGS in the same voice you would use to try to have a conversation at a noisy Tapas bar.
â€œ Now see those woods, Alice? This part was actually filmed in South America, not Spain, which I think had to do with budgetary concerns. And that actress is South American, not Spanish, so thatâ€™s why HER accent sounds so different from everyone elseâ€™s, if you are listening closely which you cannot really do because I wonâ€™t shut up. Ever. I cannot shut up because smart people know the difference between South America and Spain (One is a COUNTRY, Alice, while the other is bigger than a country! Alice!) I must explain these things so that you will come to understand the most important thing about smart people. Which is, of course, that smart people have enormous johnsons. I am smart, did I mention? Thatâ€™s a logical syllogism, Alice, do you know what a logical syllogism is? No? Would you like for me to explain it to you? Loudly? So you can hear me clearly over the movie? Because after all, Alice, they are SPEAKING SPANISH and people are just reading the subtitles ANYWAY so we might as well have a good if totally one-sided chat about production values and the type of lens that was used to achieve that amazing LIGHT IN THE TREES effect that would be so touching if I would allow you pay an iota of attention to it. But first, let me share everything I know about camera lenses while on screen beauty and terror are merging and the whole rest of the audience WOULD be held spellbound if only, dear Alice, you would get up and go have hot love with me behind the popcorn bar in the lobby. Would you like to? Before the rest of the people in the theatre rise up as one and stone us both to our sad deaths with their Jujubes?â€
We got up and moved down the row, but THEN there were tall people ahead of us so we had to peer between the heads. As the movie progressed, the ongoing narrative of The Wanker was joined by OTHER noises of the shushing variety. Unfortunately, the Wanker had an EAR disorder which did allow him to hear the word â€œSHHHHâ€ though it was hissed at him a total of nine times. Then the sounds of other couples and trios and singletons getting up and moving to the other side of the theater began.
By the time we came to the midpoint, there was an invisible line running down the center of the theater. On one side of it was Wanker and Alice, and on the other was everyone else. Yes. Alone. LITERALLY every person on the right side had gotten up and moved left, so as not to disturb their Important (one-sided) conversation. I never heard Alice speak at all. I hope she was MORTIFIED, and I WISH she had had enough spine to get up and move and join us.
Alas, she did not. BUT! I hope that after the movie was over, Alice gave him a cool handshake and went home in her own car and changed her phone number, and I hope that was predictive female behavior, and I hope furthermore hope that he NEVER gets laid or a girlfriend and dies alone, old and still toothlessly yammering when the rest of the people in the home are trying to watch Game Show Network, and he goes to his eternal reward having never had the opportunity to breed a fresh generation of movie talkers.
Mission One: Lamp
Status: Failed Utterly.
Lame Excuse: I went to three stores that had lamps and looked at MANY and rejected them all the basis of being stupid or ugly or too expensive or wrong for the room or---well most I rejected because I was not able to TELL how it would look. I didnâ€™t find a lamp I could PICTURE there, belonging and perfect. Then I came home and got on the internet and looked at about 70 more lamps and rejected THEM all for the same basic reason.
At one point, Scott caught me waving my arms and making sprouncy hands at the corner, as if SUMMONING the shape of a particular lamp that would BELONG and live in HARMONIOUS BALANCE with the space.
He said, â€œIs that helping?â€ in SUCH warm and patronizing â€œthereâ€™s my darling little mental patientâ€ tones that I had to whack him in the leg with my shoe. Hard. Today, he came home with a TRANSITIONARY lamp he got at Wal Mart for 12 bucks. Here it is:
I can replace it, he says, as soon as I am capable of choosing a lamp.
That means never.
I have decided I love it. I LOVE MY TRASHY 12 DOLLAR WALMART FLOOR LAMP, YOU HEAR ME?
The globes are FROSTED PLASTIC!!!! Every time I look at them, I want to eat a pudding cup. Not the good JELLO kind from your grocerâ€™s refrigerated section, either. The HUNTâ€™s MYSTICAL PUDDING CUP, you know, the milk free type that does not have to be refrigerated and can be stored in a pantry for up to nine years and then safely consumed. Itâ€™s just that kind of lamp.
For the anal rententive among the FTK regs â€“ YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, I offer the names of the books stacked closest to the NEW LAMPâ€¦these stacks are what I just read or what I plan to reread or what I am reading now:
THE EVIL B.B. CHOW
THE FOUR LOVES
A bound galley for a book that is not out yet, called GARDEN SPELLS I have not had a chance to read it yet, but it sounds good.
UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN --Borrowed from Karen, sitting out so I will remember to return it to her. Under that is another books of hers about the care and feeding of African Gray Parrots.
The other stack, the smaller one, contains
WHAT I LOVED
(the two above were birthday presents from my UK Publisher. I am reading What I Loved right now and it is FLOORING me with its beauty)
Mission: Get Dog Enrolled in Anti-Naughtiness School
Status: Failed Failed Failed
Lame Excuse: Spent too much time LAMP shopping? Heh. Going tomorrow.
Mission Three: Sit in front of my computer, reading my spam and laughing until I snork coffee out my nose.
Winning Spam: Titled, â€œHey to Joshilyn!â€
Opening sentence was, â€œEver dream of having a larger more thinker peniz?â€
Not particularly, no. Although, NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT, I wish penizes in general, as a â€¦species? Is that the correct word? Could be just a LEETLE more thinker. I would worry less about my daughter entering puberty. Alas, Senor Peniz tends to be a LEAPER who does not care to look first. The impetuous rascal. I am not saying he doesnâ€™t have his good points, but I would never accuse of him of committing philosophy.
LASTLY, On SUNDAY I went to the FABULOUS indie kids book store, LITTLE SHOP OF STORIES and I want Maisy to go LIVE there. I meant to get her a PRINCESS PUPPET for her birthday before I left and FORGOTâ€¦.GAHâ€¦because Bethany Jackson, one of the interpreters who REALLY helped me on the research for BETWEEN showed up and we got to nattering. Only downside to this club was, I began to hate where I live. Every time I go to Decatur, or Fairhope, or Oxford, I begin to hate where I live.
When we moved here, it was the country. Now we have Chili's and traffic and less and less goats every day. I freakin' hate Chili's. No, thatâ€™s nto true. Itâ€™s GREAT to have Chiliâ€™s in the airport when you want a big cocktail and some Texas Eggroll things. But not by my HOUSE. Now we have lost all our little family owned eateries and the woods around us are being leveled to put up ugly 400K houses that look like saltine boxes and have no trees. I have not seen a snake in my yard in two years now. When the SNAKES are leaving, OH My Best Beloveds, you must begin to plot your own slither out.
BUT ON THE OTHER HAND. I like my house, Wal Mart Ho Lamp and all. Scott likes his JOB . I like my little plot of woods and my crick and I LOVE my church family and I love my friends here. So. It isnâ€™t easy to uproot and leave all that.
But Decatur breaks my heart. It has all the little SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS that real people who LIVE there own, and all the women in this MOMMIES WHO READ book club seemed like MY kind of people. My WEIRD got way loose and I was very much myself with them. I was very----perhaps TOO --- comfortable. YOU, best beloveds are USED to my weird. It gets out here all the time, but I try to keep it on a leash, albeit a long, loose one, when visiting with people I just met. One likes to be polite.
AND YET! Whenever I do stuff in Decatur or Fairhope I get this HOMEY feeling, like I amâ€¦among my kind. Itâ€™s very restful and appealing, and OH how the weird likes the chance to run loose.
Ah well. Weâ€™ll see what happens.
So, itâ€™s almost time to RE -DO THE WEBSITE, oh best beloveds, and I need your help.
If you go look at the SPLASH PAGE or any page with a banner, you'll see the art/colors is/are all based on the covers of my first two books, BUT! Between comes out in PB in a little over a month, and it will have a NEW COVER, And thne TOGWISS will escape into bookstores next year. SO. Thatâ€™s FOUR covers and if I keep trying to add integrated bits of cover art eventually the banner will degenerate into a mish-mash of vomitous slag.
My web designer (aka my good friend Jill) says I should QUIT with the cover art already, and get some sort of OBJECT or group of objects that is somehow an ICON for my work or REPRESENTATIVE of me as a human. Um. Yeah. Dead pets banner, anyone? I didnâ€™t think so.
I canâ€™t think of anything. I am not a VISUAL person. I am a language person.
I like the IDEA of the Black Eyed Susan. The Black Eyed Susan kinda sums my work up in a weird way----Itâ€™s southern, it has bold, cheerful colors, itâ€™s got a strong female name, but OOPS! Itâ€™s been punched in the face. Thatâ€™s my odd blend of humor and violence in a way, although it is actually an image in my friend Annaâ€™s novel, and MAN it made me sit up and say YES.
But without the WORDS, the black Eyed Susan just looks likeâ€¦ a nice daisy.
I need an OBJECT or image that combines those bold, fun colors with something JUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUST a little bit EDGY about it. People who read me expecting only sweetness and humor often take my novels as a punch in the face, so I want it to be more accurate than a drift of darling flowers, you know?
ANY THOUGHTS? Other things my books seem to have in common---Kudzu, Rural v. Urban, Redemption, Identity, Vicious Aunts, and people who get murdered in Alabama (Oddly enough, Iâ€™ve never killed anyone in another state, and Iâ€™ve never written a book where someone didnâ€™t get murdered in Alabama. Even in Between, set entirely in Georgia, you hear about a bar fight across the state line that ended in manslaughter charges, and in TGWSS they leave Florida and go into Alabama before they shoot anybody.)
Secondly, Iâ€™ll be adding a REVIEW page with my press clippings, but should I ALSO add an FAQ? If so, what questions do you think I need to put on there? Because if it is left up to me I will use the questions that ARE most frequently asked by my WEIRDO REGULAR KUDZU READERS (Yes, I AM looking you. Yes. You.) and the FAQ will look something like this:
Q: Why do you sometimes call Mr. Husband â€œThe Yeti?â€
A: Because of AimBall. Duh.
Q: How can you be a professional novelist and make so many homophone errors, you moron?
A: Shut. Up.
Q: Is anything creepier than roaches?
A: No. Well, men who wax come close. Butâ€¦no.
Q: You are the greatest novelist EVER BORN, and you are so VERY PRETTY when you stand up straight and brush that hair out of your eyes, but did you HAVE to use the Very Bad F Word so many times in gods in Alabama?
A: Aw thanks Mommy! And Yes. I did.
And I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s the sort of thing people who are NOT regulars here might WANT that sort of an FAQ. SO.
PLEASE BBâ€™s, in the comments, put links to images you think seem like they are FASTER THA KUDZU LOOKING or just write down ideas of things that might work----keys? Maps? LEAVES? Alive dogs? Aunties? MONKEYS IN STRAW HATS???? WHAT! and any questions you think should be in an FAQ. I will big fat hairy owe ya.
Rigth now, me and The Yeti are off to the Biltmore.
YAY FOR SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE! And the coolest part is, I know I will see at least a couple of you guys there. *waves to d*
To Love: The fabulous Deb Richardson interviewed me over on Create a Connection. I am so sleep deprived I messed up the timeline of MY OWN LIFE thoughâ€¦I wrote the story that had Arlene in it in Chicago, not the first part of the novel, and I wrote the second novel in Georgia, too.
Smoke crack much? You ask.
And I reply, Shut yer Pie Hole, I DO NOT. Much.
To Not Love: I found STITCHES in my dogletâ€™s former man-parts. Whoever did the surgery to make him UN-PUPPY-ABLE forgot to remove the METAL STITCHES. It looks like he has little bits of barbed wire threaded through the skin of his dangly bits.
YES! I know I have had the dog two weeks and am JUST NOW NOTICING, but I am NOT a bad dog owner. Ask yourself, â€œHow much time should a person spend up close and personal, inspecting their dogâ€™s testicular area?â€
If you answered ANYTHING other than, â€œZERO time,â€ please seek help.
Yesterday Bagel turned over for a belly rub in the back yard, and the sun REFLECTED off the silver wire so that his former testicles GLINTED at me in a bedazzling manner. So I looked. You would have looked too. And HOLY CATS, there was all this WIRE hidden. POOR guy. That CANNOT be comfortable. SO itâ€™s back to the vet today.
To Love: Odie the dog. *hat tip* to the esteemed Lady Snark for the tip and PSâ€¦ do you think Miss Snark is a MAN!??? Like, if YOU truly wanted to remain anon, right, why not take on a stiletto wearing, poodle owning, FEMALE persona and have everyone thinking you are Janet Reid, When REALLY the whole time you are one of the boys at Writerâ€™s House. It would be SO VERY Crying Game!
To Love: Miss Snark and Not just for the link to Odie.
To Love again: All the Iâ€™m a MAC, Iâ€™m a PC commercials. They just get BETTER. And they WORK in an insidious and influencing manner. I am beginning to want a MAC.
To Not Love: The Commercial where all these people experience WONDER AND AWE and say WOW. New baby? WOW! Sunset over mountains? WOW! Halfway through the commercial, I got the point. That they were going to show me a PRODUCT that was WOW in the end. Then the product was VISTA, the new Windows operating system that has already been SO perfectly mocked by the Iâ€™m a MAC, Iâ€™m a PC guys in â€Securityâ€ that I though to myself. â€œThatâ€™s really not even HALF as wow as the deer in the guyâ€™s yardâ€¦â€
To Love: The New PAPERBACK Cover for Between:
To Love: I will be at Southern Voices this weekend. Scott is going WITH me so thatâ€™s always BIG FUN! Hope to see you there!
I have bowed to peer pressure from Karen Abbott. SHE MAKES ME DO STUFF. But no one else answers the phone by saying, â€œOh Dude, My Dudeâ€ instead of HELLO when she sees it is me on the caller ID, so I have to do what she says. Friends who will custom craft a greet for you must be preserved.
SO because she is the boss of me, I am trying to create a MY SPACE page. TRYING is the operative word here. I canâ€™t work it and so far my only friend is TOM the FAQ â€˜bot. ALSO, my My Space Page is very uppity and independent and a BIG LIAR who says things about me that are not true.
Right now it says I am a single and I do not want kids when actually I am married and it is about ten years and two kids too late for that last decisionâ€¦.Basically my My Space page is not really MY space yet. If it was a puppy, it would be pooping on my floor while chewing the heel off my black boots and it wouldnâ€™t even glance up or PAUSE if I screamed, NO NO NO.
SERIOUSLY â€“ if you KNOW how to change the SINGLE and KIDS options on the profile box, can you SLOWLY and CLEARLY explain it in the comments? Use small words.
I like the cut and paste message so did not change it. It sounds so HOPEFULâ€¦.
â€œFind me on MySpace and be my friendâ€ is the techno-geek equiv of â€œDO YOU LIKE ME I LIKE YOU CHECK ONE BOX I HOPE IT IS THE YES BOX!â€
I am going to put up songs I like JUST AS SOON AS I LIKE A SONG and books I like and movies and TV and more pictures and do a SHOCKINGLY ugly background that looks like multiple toddlers threw up
Rabbit Annieâ€™s Parmesan Peace Pasta onto purple velour and I shall also have links and maybe even GAMESâ€¦ just as soon as I can learn to work it well enough for it NOT to say I am a single. And a baby hater.
LAST but NOT LEAST, I have to tell you about CAPTAIN RAY and I hope he doesnâ€™t mind being called THE LIBRARY FAIRY. Or CAPTAIN RAY. Both of which sound like a disturbing person who may or may not be wearing hip boots, and thatâ€™s not him. Really. Ray is ALL KINDS OF THE AWESOME, and he did something really cool for his local library that was ALSO really super cool for me, personally. I practically got misty. Itâ€™s something YOU can do too, with my books or with ANY book you LOVE BEST and think needs to be out there and more availableâ€¦You can read about his
secret captain good fairy doings on his blog.
If you canâ€™t be my MY SPACE FRIEND because you canâ€™t work the menus EITHER, you COULD go to his blog and thank him for being so groovy in his comments. And maybe say, â€œNice Boots.â€
UPDATE! Helpful John explained in an email HOW TO CHANGE the married thing...YAY!
Okay, this is cool---I heard from Cat Taber, the veryveryvery fine actor who read the audio version of gods in Alabama. Sheâ€™s set up her own website which has all this SEXY FLASH. In film clips you can see stuff like Cat being SUPER MEAN to Reese Witherspoon in Just Like Heaven, and in AUDIO you can hear a chunk of her reading the STUFFING out of gods in Alabama.
BUSINESS: If you won memes, I WILL get to the post office before January is over. PINKY SWEAR. But I am slow, slow like the way you cook Chili, only less gassy. Wow. THAT Metaphor sure got away from meâ€¦ ahem. Beg Pardon. I am SO tired. Been up working since about 1:15 this morning.
TOGWISS has decided to violently come together for me in a weird way that has me bolting upright in the middle of the night and heading down to tip and tap and poke and dab at my poor keyboard all through the hours when sensible people are dreaming about being mermaids and singing Johnny Depp off ships and then tugboating him off to a deserted island to feed him on Sushi and coconuts and ask him if he wouldnâ€™t like to put on just a TEENY bit of eyeliner and dance around waving a cutlass---- Yeah. That one got away from me too. Iâ€™d best shut my cakehole.
My beloved friend Lydia had a video go VIRAL on YOU TUBE a bit ago. Sheâ€™s a homeschooler and sheâ€™s set up a program where kids come to the library every week and do a book report. Her daughter, Sadie, is only TWO, but she does a book report because she canâ€™t stand to let her older brother Benny get all the glory. It's hysterical...little SADIE got HECKLED!
There are two videos posted â€“ you want to scroll down to the SECOND. There is a transcript below in case you do not speak toddler.
Run go seeâ€¦
Killed by my regularly scheduled events over here---I will catch you up soon--- but in the meantime, you have to go read about Butt Paper.
Donâ€™t give me that look. You have to.
The writer is my best friend on Godâ€™s green earth, by the way. Dan is her husband. Benny is their son.
It is. Everyone has it. No one is in school, no one is at church, and the Charmin sits unmolested on the shelves of Publix, for no one will leave their beds to come and squeeze it.
Me, I have decided it is the consumption, and I am going to go to a sanitarium and get as emaciated as any Milan-Banned Supermodel as I breath Swiss air for supper, lunch and breakfast. I shall cough red into a lace hanky JUST like Nicole Kidman in that Baz Lurman film and fall off a swing and die in a swirl of petals. I AM SO BORED OF MY HOUSE that car pool line was kinda fun yesterday. Because car pool lane was not my sofa, my office chair, or my bed. Which are all the exciting places I have visited in the last week.
In other news, I think I feel better.
Today I WILL be LEAVING THE HOUSE briefly. Very exciting. Iâ€™m scheduled to be on Atlanta and Company for the book club discussion of BETWEEN, GEORGIA. If you live in the Atlanta area, tune in to 11 alive at 11 AM and then if you wanted to be SUPERNICE you could come back here and say kindly things to me.
Sample kindly things you could say, if you are having trouble thinking of any:
1) No, honey, it didnâ€™t look like Holly Firfer was recoiling in terror from your plague every time you spoke! And when they came back early from commercial and caught the P.A. hosing down the sofa with that stuff, I REALLY think it was just air freshener. Sure the can SAID â€œIndustrial Bleach with Lysol,â€ but I think thatâ€™s the name of a spring flower â€¦yeahâ€¦.thatâ€¦that grows in obscure meadows.
2) Flat hair is IN this season. You say â€œLimp and vile from illness,â€ but girls are over America are IRONING their hair RIGHT NOW trying to make it fall in JUST those exact kinds of greasy strings. Also in: Corpse pale skin, watery eyes WITH dark circles, and glazed expressions.
3) You absolutely did not sound like Harvey Fierstein in Torch Song Trilogy. You sounded like a DOVE, a COOING MELODIOUS dove who, yes, okay, might have just smoked 4 packs of unfiltered Camels, but A DOVE ALL THE SAME.
ANYTHING in the above vein will do. Shine me on, people. I have CONSUMPTION, okay?
In other news, I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING THIS CREEPY IN MY WHOLE LIFE. Wait for the intro to finish and the menu to load, then try clicking â€œHave some funâ€ on the right end of the menu bar, but be warned, â€œHave some funâ€ here means â€œInduce some night terrors.â€ OR you can avoid night terrors by clicking on the PLAY THE GAME option and I promise, you will NEVER SLEEP AGAIN.
I am waiting for the worms to turn on that one, I tell you. The STEVEN SPIELBERG-Y music does NOT help --- in fact it makes it worse. SOON an ominous cello will creep in under the warble of more cheerful instruments, and when those hungry little scissors run through the ready supply of VISA cards, they will go right after baby toes and my own personal eyeballs. I KNOW IT.
I SWAN I am going to have to go become an advertising exec because they NEED someone to stand around infecting people and coughing up blood and saying, â€œNo. Oh honey, no. Not the scissor thing. Really. Justâ€¦.no.â€
Ever since I had my guest spot over at Literary Chicks I've wanted Mr. Husband to upgrade my Moveable Type. Lani and Co. have the latest greatest MT, SO late-n-great that Jay Allen himself said that the new MT makes BLACKLIST obsolete, and I got to use it while guesting and got all drooly and charmed over its easy interface and bells and whistlies...Whoopsie. Did I just geek out? Yes. I did. Pardon ME! My Inner Egbert is showing. Ah well. ANYWAY. Thanks to a monstrous spam attack that rendered my web site virtually unusable, I HAVE IT NOW. Cackle! I should probably send Thank you notes.
While I was so sorry to hear of the small flaccid-ity problem that sent you to my site to tell other folks about the great source for willy-fixing meds you found CHEEP SO CHEEP, I am heartened to report that your ceaseless clamoring has resulted in a new MT for yours truly. I am duly grateful. Please, enjoy the fruit basket.
Like that. Only I'd have to write 7.9 MILLION of them to get all the URLS that were going up in that pink gelid OCEAN of fine canned Hormel Meat Food Product.
HEY! LOOK WHAT MY NEW VERSION OF MT CAN DO!!!! It can do the thing where the LONG part goes UNDER. I'll talk about Beth Ann Fennelly and why I love Beth Anne Fennelly and the myriad perfections of Beth Anne Fennelly after the jump, and I MAY even snatch up pompons and run around shrieking BAF! BAF! BAF! FOREVER! RAH!
Okay. No Pompons. Let me just say....remember that whole thing about I am dead inside? No? Put "I am dead inside" or even "I don't like songs" into the SEARCH function on this blog. See also, "I don't like nature." To that litany of soullessness, let me add, I don't much care for POETRY.
98% of it leaves me icy, icy cold. Corpse cold. TUNDRA cold. I've had a twenty year love affair with The Novel, and I am almost faithful about it. Sure, I slip off under the bleachers with a thematically connected cycle of short stories every now and again, or I'll meet up with a hot "Novelistic" narrative non-fiction at a seedy motel, but MOST days, I deface the walls of every public rest room I visit with my hot pink mini sharpie, writing, "Me + Novel, 2gether! 4Ever!"
So you know I don't mack on the poets much. NOW OF COURSE, there are exceptions. Auden brings me to my knees. You aren't human if you don't like Emily Dickinson, and I am told e.e. cummings gets a bad rap these days, but I SHAMELESSLY LOVE HIM, his grudgeful i's and his hookers and his dreadfully overexposed little red balloon man with the incessant whistling. But really, that's about all the poetry books I like enough to BUY and OWN and keep on my ACTIVE REREAD SHELF. Until Beth Ann Fennelly.
I got stuck hearing her read at a lit fest a year or so ago, and after thinking, "Oh dernit, I am about to be in the same room with POETRY and yet there IS NO BAR," sat there so enthralled I think I drooled a little bit, and then went and bought both her second book of poetry and a non-fic book she wrote. Then I hung around her for the rest of the conference like an enormous poem-groupie. sadsadsad.
I just heard her read AGAIN in Decatur. Blatantly walked into her panel, squatted in the back, listened to her read, was blown even MORE FARTHER AWAY and then snuck out the door in the break before any MORE poets could perpetrate verse. Partly I fled because---ahem, see above. I don't like poetry. But also partly in case they were wonderful, too. I can't go around CRUSHING ON POETRY like a schoolgirl. I have 30 novels in a stack I am dying to read, DYING! DYING! so much so that when I finish one I can't decide where to go next and hover over the pile anxiously pawing and sorting, unable to commit. I can't start LIKING POETRY all Willy-Nilly here in my dotage. SO. But Lord I like that BAF's stuff. It twists around on itself and is funny and is by turns charming and arresting and hopeful and bleak and sly and lush and dirty and smart. It is never senselessly beautiful, a peeve of mine. Beauty with purpose. All things with purpose. Go read it.
I followed her around some more in Decatur, and there was this moment, where a SOLID LITTLE CLOT of writers were standing in a bar stairwell, and a long troop of people were heading down the stairs past us. We were chatting, and this girl came down the stairs, trip-trap-clip-clop, a regular looking girl with flipped hair and nice jeans. She casually glanced at our group and then leaned conspiratorially over to Beth Ann and said, "I like you best." Then she went on, trip-trap-clip-clop. "Thanks," Beth Ann said to her back.
Karen and I fell out. It was so PERFECT. It was like this girl had taken the crowded, wide stairwell at a glance and, with her discerning, wise eyes, immediately picked Beth Ann Fennelly as the ripest peach, the single bruise-less banana. "I like you best," she said, the way you or I might say "Nice shoes," and then trotted on to see who she liked best in the room at the BOTTOM of the stairs.
Ah well, I can't blame her. I like Beth Ann Fennelly best too.
TODAY I AM HEADING TO SIBA! As you MAY RECALL, gods in Alabama won their novel of the year, and so I get to go to Orlando and have lunch and make a speech and a get a PRIZE. I am violently excited. After tomorrow, I will officially be AN AWARD WINNING NOVELIST. You know how they always put DESCRIBERS in front of the word novelist... critically acclaimed or bestselling or award winning. NOW I get to be a part of club three. TRA! And then also I say, LA, as a bonus.
because I am serving up today a Huge, Disgusting Full Fledged, Self-Pitying Whinefest!
First of all, my arrest was a squib on the BookSlut blog. Which....I have to admit I had a fangrrl tittery response to that. ("I'm on BookSlut! I'm on BookSlut!" like that.)
Right after I finished being tittery, though, I had to have big dumb stupid girly cry about it. Because remember what I said about, NO MATTER WHAT, just being arrested makes it looks like I DID do something wrong? Yeah.
BookSlut says, "Novelist Joshilyn Jackson (Gods in Alabama) was arrested and jailed in Austell, Georgia, and we can all rest easy. Jackson's crime: having her maiden name on her Social Security card, and her married name on her driver's license. In other words, being a remorseless criminal monster out to destroy America."
Now granted, I AM "a remorseless criminal monster out to destroy America." No one is denying that for a second. BUT, the small fact that I DID NOT actually have my maiden name on my soc card and my married name on my drivers license has been forgotten. Not just by BookSlut. Friend after friend has said to me in casual conversation, "I can't believe you got arrested just for not changing your name." And I say BUT BUT BUT As soon as the SS office TOLD me that was the case, I went and FIXED it. Lawfully, Obediently. Long before they punitively canceled my driver's license. I complied. Like a good dumb dog. AND they arrested me anyway.
And then my friends say, "Well that wasn't really clear (Which it was!) and anyway that's not really the point. (But it is!)
They are focusing on Injustice the first -- which is that this crackdown is causing a relatively law abiding citizen ...
(I say relatively because, Best Beloveds, I was speeding.
When the officer pulled me over he said: Why did I pull you over?
and I said: I was speeding. Heh.
And he said: Yep.
And then he waited a sec for me to say the obligatory: Please don't give me a ticket and PS did you happen to notice I have enormous, mighty cleavage? smilesmilesmile
But I didn't say any of that. Not because my cleavage isn't mighty. Oh NO!
I didn't say it because... I WAS SPEEDING. Actions have consequences. I was in the wrong. I deserved the ticket. The end.)
....to be carted off to jail, but IT WAS THEIR PAPERWORK MISTAKE. Not only is it ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY that any person MUST be carted off to jail if their "papers aren't order" (which is insane) but I was jailed even though my papers WERE in order.
See, the whole idea is well these laws protect us law abiding citizens, because they are designed to weed out illegal aliens and therefore catch the bad terrorists. And some gardeners.
So have your papers in order, like a good dog, and nothing bad will happen to you. That's doesn't seem terribly "RA RA PERSONAL FREEDOM YAY AMERICA!" in the first place. But, it's actually worse.
I had my papers in order.
I was the goodest of good dogs.
AND anyone who doesn't think anything bad happened to me
1) Must have $1,500 bucks lying around they were thinking of using to light their smokes or eating like a fresh crisp salad
2) Should try being marched down the busiest street that runs through their small town in handcuffs
3) Did not see that freakin' jail house toilet.
(To be clear about #1 -- I don't mean bail. That's a WHOLE ANOTHER 1,000 I had to lay out, but I will get that back when I show up for court. It will cost me just under $1500.00 bucks OVER and ABOVE the bail, and I won't get it back. And SURE if I had infinite time and resources I COULD MAYBE sue the DMV and get it back, but I could incur several more thousand in legal fees and still lose as the DMV does this all the time and can't really be expected to cover the costs for every single little wrongful arrest they cause...So.
I am just paying it. I can't take hours away from my children and my work and gamble MORE legal fees on the hope that the the system that CAUSED MY WRONGFUL ARREST is going to own up to their responsibility. I would like to point the DMV to my little YEAH! I WAS SPEEDING! I WAS WRONG! MY BAD. I TALE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THAT BAD CHOICE! paragraph above, but the DMV, you understand, is just going to buy an even LOWER cut blouse and maybe bounce a little on its heels. It is NOT going to say, OOPS! WE WERE IN THE WRONG.)
I've been told that I'm overreacting and missing the point of my own arrest. Many of my friends have already forgotten that I did not actually do anything wrong, and are focusing on the fact that if I HAD done the wrong thing, it would still be huge overreaction to arrest me. People are telling me the bigger point is more important.... The bigger point being, that with these new laws, a soccer mom can be pulled over for speeding and arrested because "her papers are not in order," and that this should not happen in America.
BUT! I'm being told that the fact of my innocence is ONLY an important distinction to me, my mom, and my kids, that only WE care that I did not ACTUALLY DID NOT BREAK THE LAW they arrested me for breaking.
I beg to differ. It makes a difference, actually, because NO ONE, not even the most patriot-act adoring safety first sort can say to me "Oh ! BUT! These more stringent measures are not intruding on good dog citizens, because IF you had had your papers in ORDER this would not have happened to you and AMERICA is SAFER this way. So get your papers in order."
I HAD THEM IN ORDER. They arrested me anyway.
You could have all your papers in order, and they could arrest you too.
Welcome to the new America, where you can be arrested if you screw up your paperwork....or if your friendly, local government does.
Did you know the QUILL NOMINEES came out? TIME TO GO VOTE.
I was most especially excited to see what has been with NO question my favorite this book so far this year, Water for Elephants up for the Quill in General Fiction. If you haven't read that yet, GO READ IT. Immediately. Do not pass go. Do not collect Franklin Mint coins. Hie thee to a bookstore!
OH! AND! My main manly gunplay man, Michael Connelly is up for the mystery/suspense/thriller award with The Lincoln Lawyer. Which DUDE! that was an easy vote since 1)It may be my fave Connelly book EVER and that is saying something because I love me some Harry Bosch. And 2) the Quills FOOLISHLY and WRONGFULLY overlooked Lee Child.... Otherwise that could have been a dilemma. Of course, Connelly IS up against Arthur Conan Doyle, who practically INVENTED deductive reasoning. Tough call, BUT last I heard, Doyle was still dead and doesn't much care if wins a Quill.
GO VOTE! It's fun, and just flipping through the nominees, even in catagories I didn't vote in, added to my READ THIS list. Do you know I've never read Harlan Coben? How did I not do that? And I am DYING to read The Stolen Child now.
WHAT ELSE!. Oh, I did a fun fast flip interview with the Trashionistas. They sent me an ICON! Which I think is a link. And I have NO IDEA what it looks like. I am just going to HURL the code they sent in and hope it the graphic doesn't turn out to be PeeWee Herman in a weenie bikini. Ah, living dangerously...
Well, that's cute!
OH! Speaking of ICONS, remember I was whining yesterday that 3 Questions should have a little graphic or icon? WELL YOU GUYS ARE DARLING! I have already been sent TWO very cute possible graphics/icons. LA LA LA! THANK YOU! I think we should make this an official contest.
You have til the end of the week to whup something up in Photoshop or Paintshop Pro, a header or icon I can use on the 3 questions days on the blog, yes? Be sure and steal the background color so it MATCHES. Let's say get them in by MIDNIGHT YOUR TIME FRDAY. I will post all of them (or at least all of them that do not feature PeeWee Herman in a Weenie Bikini) on Saturday. OR if ya'll are all freaky-artsy-madmen and we get BUNCHES, Scott and I will narrow it down to our five or six favorites. If I can FIGURE OUT HOW, I will post them as a POLL and you can VOTE!
There are TWO POSSIBLE WINNERS. The popular vote winner and the icon I actually use. These may or may not be the same icon. And I may or may not use ANY of the icons. The winner OR winners get a book on tape of gods in Alabama and one of my brother's mondo-cool little foxes. Which I am getting stingier and stingier about. SO. Get one while you can.
AND I plan to go to the Post Office next week, so if you are waiting on mail from me, keep waiting, patriently, in a Kevin Costner "If you build it..." sort of way. Your package WILL come...
That title makes NO sense. I am NOT pregnant. But I FEEL like the rabbit. I.E. Dead. O! Best Beloveds, but I have been sick. sicksicksicksick. Too sick to be expected to make sense in my titles, thank you. Came off tour and my immune system crashed like Ricky Bobby. Did I mention I've been sick?
Saturday activities included, and were pretty much limited to, taking in small amounts of juice and then giving that same juice back. I missed the Deaf-Blind Awareness Dinner---I am SO sorrowful over that one. On Sunday the most exciting that happened was I injested and then KEPT some juice. After I alerted the news media, I teetered off to church, tottered back home, and fell into my bed. Later, I rose up and feebly tapped out some e-mails, watched Law and Order re runs, played a litte World of Warcraft, then went out the back door and crept under my deck for a double secret kissing assignation with Marc Price, better known as The Guy Who Played Skippy Handleman on Family Ties. Okay, I made that last thing up. OR, if I did not, I at least hope for Skippy's sake I was no longer contagious.
That's about it for my weekend. I KNOW! MY LIFE! IT IS SO FILLED WITH THE GLAMOR! YOU HAD BEST STEP BACK.
Today I may attempt coffee and actual productive behavior. When I think of my TO DO list, all the things I let slide while on tour, my book deadline, the Driving Tour of Georgia... I want to go back to Stomach Flu land. There, I am not expected to do anything but attempt juice and then feel sorry I did. I comfort myself over the wasted days by noting how Saturday pretty much forced me to log all the "spend time praying for merciful sweet death to take me" that a To Do list like the one I am facing necessitates. SO! At least I can put a check by THAT.
I have SO MUCH to catch you up on I don't even know where to start, although in retrospect, I already DID start, and I cleverly chose to begin by recounting the gory yet dull details of a two day stomach flu and slandering a perfectly nice celebrity from the 80's. Hrm. Yeah. Remember, I'm a professional writer. Don't try this at home, because Skippy may have good lawwyers.
Tomorrow I think I am going to tell you how to make a 90 minute flight last 13 hours. THAT was a fun day...
I also want you to know that you can get Marc Price (and a BUNCH of other folks) to call your friends for $19.95. Getting him to meet you under your deck is probably considerably more expensive....
Oh dudes, my dudes. I have so freakin' much to tell you my head is going to pop off, but I have been holed up with my friend Tog-wiss, and he is COMPLETE!!!!. INDEEDY, he is WHOLE and has a beginning, a middle AND now an END, even. Three days ago I tippy tapped out the sentence have been waiting to write since I typed out the first one---I always know how my novels will begin and end, it's the GETTING from one to the other that present the PROBLEMS. VERY satisfying moment. BUT!
My editor has this GREAT idea (and by "great" I mean, "pass the Jack Daniel's") that I should send her Tog-wiss before I leave on tour so she can see where I am going with this new book, and so I have entered a state of permanent gibbering fear. I called her up a few days ago, before I was done, but I was CLOSE, you know, and when she said HELLO I shrieked, BUT YOU KNOW IT'S A ROUGH DRAFT RIGHT YOU GET THAT IT'S NOT COMPLETE BUT REALLY A DRAFT? A ROUGH ONE??? And she said patient soothing sane editor-type things about how she may have seen a rough draft or two in her day and promising faithfully not to look at Tog-wiss' more awkward chunks and say "Wow. I thought this girl could write, but I see now I need psychotropic drugs."
Then AFTER that conversation, I have thought of SEVERAL extended metaphors, about one a day, to explain that Tog-wiss is a rough draft, and then I have these almost uncontrollable desires to call her up and extend those metaphors for her, extend them ALL THE WAY, beyond the limits of sane extending, until they snap. Like, yesterday (or the day before, it's all running together) I had to call her and explain how a plot point had to be PURCHASED by the imagery and previous plot points in the first half, but that I had made discoveries in the second half, and would not have time to go back to the first half and REVISE THE MONEY IN to PURCHASE all of the later plot points, so it was like parts of the second half read as SHOPLIFTED AND UNCONNECTED but I DID KNOW WHAT THEY COST and I SWORE AND SWORE and I would I WOULD go back and PAY FOR THEM.
Her: So, what you mean is, this is a rough draft?
Me: Yes! Yes! It's a rough draft!
Today I am already fighting urges to call her up and say, "You have to understand that Tog-wiss has morning breath and tufts of unruly hair sticking up and is standing around a dirty kitchen in his underpants, scratching his hairy belly. AND TRUST me these are not, like, FANCY Armani boxer briefs. These are the threadbare tighty-whiteys he still has left over from college. NOT. PRETTY. SO I am trying to knit the Togster a tatty robe to throw over himself before I mail him off to you, and I WILL get the robe on, okay, before I mail it, but HE IS NOT GOING TO BE DRESSED NICE YOU GOT IT?"
She will say: So, what you mean is, this is a rough draft?
I will say: Yes! Yes! It's a rough draft!
Tomorrow's metaphor is going to involve possums and how they can't get across a road but if I had time to revise they would not be POSSUMS anymore but SPEEDY UNSMASHED BUNNIES.
Let's all take a moment to reflect back on what the word GREAT meant in the second paragraph, shall we? Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh, Jack. It isn't JUST for breakfast anymore.
Here is ONE thing I have to tell you, and then I have to get to KNITTING THAT ROBE.
YESTERDAY I went to a press lunch for
The Decatur Book Festival And I had a VERY good time except I was so PUKE-LEVEL nervous I am sure I came off like the world's hugest goober. I am usually good with the public speaking, enjoy it, the more chatty and intimate the better, but
Michael Connelly and Emily Saliers were there. Yeah. I was not funny. I was not smart. I was breathless and blushful and made Mr. Connelly sign and embarrassing number of hardbacks of his that I purchased on the way because I do not OWN any of his hardbacks because he is my VERY! FAVORITE! AUTHOR! to listen to in audio format so I save him up for car trips and in fact I have THE NARROWS on CD right now to take on tour as there are several driving legs and I cannot wait because OMG but I loved THE POET and NOW HARRY BOSCH will go after The Poet OH OH OH!!!! etc etc---maybe you think this was my internal monolog, and WOULD TO GOD that it had BEEN internal, but no. I FELT THE NEED TO EXPLAIN TO HIM. And then I explained exactly what actors do the best job on his audio books (Len Cariou FOREVER!!!!!) and how I had to read his earlier books with MY ACTUAL EYES, said it like this was a HARDSHIP, God help me, because they FOOLISHLY only did abridged and I HATE to listen to abridgments and then, mercifully, one of the organizers darted me and dragged me off to tag my ear before Connelly called the cops.
Honestly? He was very nice. And he kept being DRY and FUNNY like a PERSON. Very disconcerting, for him to be a person. One does not expect it of one's idols. Of my three favorite MANLY GUNPLAY WRITERS, I have now met two, (Lee Child is t'other one I met) and BOTH have been people. All I need to do is a drive by meet and greet or even a drink (before the war) with Dennis Lehane and have him be nice to have a PERFECT manly gunplay trifecta.
It did NOT help that Emily Saliers was there. If you've ever dug into my essay section and read
How to get killed and/or lose your sense of identity in Atlanta then you know I have been an Indigo Girls fan since the WAY back back. I used to drive all over Georgia, Athens to Atlanta and back again, to see them play in various bars twenty years ago, before anyone knew who they were. SO. Yeah. It was like that. I have been her fan SO LONG I was mercifully UNABLE to babble directly at her. I could hardly speak at ALL. BUT I stood by her in the group picture and she put her arm around me and I am going to crop out everyone else and blow it up and put it on my wall and draw hearts and sparkles and diamonds all around the frame and stencil in letters that say JOSHILYN AND EMILY! BFF!!!
I'm just cool like that.
TOMORROW I will post the B4B finalists. Angel is SUPAH SPEEDY!
You know how on author websites sometimes they have a NEWS section where they tell you whatever thing is happening with the books and all? It is always the GOOD stuff, of course, because who puts their saddest days forward on their own website...
Can you imagine visiting your favorite author's website, and in his NEWS section seeing that he has posted, "Today, the New York Times said, "Dear Lord who keeps publishing the priapic prose of this overblown writing weiner-head!" Not two hours later, my Bookscan numbers have plummeted so low that no pulse of sales or even....sale...really... can be detected! I shall be in the bathtub working out an extended metaphor wherein the shiny narrow loveliness of a razor's edge is compared to the tongue of a dark Jessica Alba-esque angel licking seductively at my carotid artery. Should you need to reach me as I soak in the bubbley waters, fear not! I'll be answering email via my plugged in electrical laptop. I sure hope I don't drop my plugged in electrical laptop into the tub with me as I answer the consoling e-mails of 500 of my closest colleagues (and ex-wives) who are not sure if I have seen the Times yet and who have cut and pasted a few choice lines for me because they "feel so bad for me, and don't want me to hear about it from someone who loves me less," jovial ha ha! Here's hoping I don't drop this toaster in, either!"
Yeah. Me neither. We don't do that. If the NYT says the harshest thing in the universe about you, you REMEMBER IT, forever, and the last thing you want is to write it down on your OWN homepage to remind you into perpetuity every time you go to update. There are plenty of people out there dying to tear you down...why help, you know?
My friend Lynn was recently coaching an aspiring writer who had a GREAT day --- she got an offer of representation from a DARN GOOD agent. She told her writing group, and was stunned when a member got up and left in a huff. Another friend of mine here in Georgia was offered her first book contract last month. A woman we both know---a good writer in her own right, quite frankly ---- looked her right in the eye and said, "This is unfair. I write circles around you. You're just lucky, That's all it is. Luck."
Well, yeah, luck. Luck is ALWAYS a factor in a competitive industry, but you can;t use it to dimiss the ten years my friend spent selling short fiction to DARN good and competitive lit mags, learning her craft, and writing a first novel that didn't sell.
I understand the jealousy, too. It's such a difficult industry to break into, and I spent a good seven years watching writers around me get tapped while I was writing books I felt were as good as anything out there. I had to REALLY struggle to not get "slotty." You know "slotty thinking?" It's where you feel like there is one slot, and it is morally and rightfully yours, and every time you see another writer succeed, that was possibly YOUR slot they took, so you slow burn inside with bitter embers, and it makes you do and say ugly, hurtful things, and since we are what we do, eventually you become ugly and hurtful.
I've watched other writers get eaten up that way and I didn't want to become that person. I've learned to approach this business like a Scrabble game. When I play Scrabble, I play the board. I don't care if I win or lose, which is unusual for me, I am very competitive. But with Scrabble, for some reason, all I care about is the numbers. If I don't break 200 I am SO MAD. If I break 250 I am pleased and charmed and feel I have won. If I break 300, I am going to the Olympics and dance around and cheer. This allows me to be happy for the other person if they do well, too. Not that I hand them any triple word squares on a platter, but my winning (breaking 250), can happen even if they also win.
I try to be the same way about writing. There are no “slots.” There is only the best book I can write, and the work, and doing all I can for it. It lets me be happy for other people while still trying my hardest and not losing my edge and my will to succeed. When you run into SLOTTY folks (and you will, no matter what business you are in) the best thing you can do to think of them with kindness, because I have stood on the edges of that way of playing the game, and it is an awful place. No one can be happy there.
I think I don't have a news section because I don't want to activate the slumbering slottiness in the breast of another. Sometimes I keep good stuff to myself, stuff I am REALLY happy about, because I feel awkward tooting my own horn...LIKE, 4 really good things have happened that I wanted to tell you, but I sat on them because IT SEEMED LIKE A LOT OF THINGS TO HAPPEN ALL AT ONCE, and I don't want to turn this blog into an exclamation point studded THE WIONDERFULNESS OF ME perkfest just because I have a really good week.
SO I want to tell you ONE though, because, well, this one kinda means a LOT to me. With Between, Georgia being tapped as the number one BookSense pick for July, you know a large percent of my having a career at ALL has come from the awesome support and word of mouth and handselling I get from independent bookstores. Well, SIBA is the Southern Independent Booksellers Association, my homegrown cotton-infested fried green tomato indies, and they have awards they give out every year, and gods was nominated for best fiction. So were 40 or so other dern good books, and then they went to the initial vote to narrow the catagory down to the shortlist, AND ....AND PEEP THIS, oh my peeps I'm VERY pleased to be shortlisted with two other amazingly fine books, and winners will be announced June 19th, so I am sitting here with my fingers crossed praying REALLY REALLY hard that I will not not not fall into the trap of being slotty if I lose and also avoid the OTHER trap of being an unendurably pleased butthead if the heavens open and the angels come down and by some miracle or another I happen to win. Cross your fingers with me?
Late last night, I was staring blankly at the television, just putting the old brain into a peaceful alpha wave state, Scott ALMOST asleep beside me, when a commercial I really like came on. There have been some commercials recently that seem better that the SHOWS I am watching----Mac and PC, I still have big love for Mac and PC, but my favorite commercial is the the one where the Honda Element meets the crab on the beach, and the crab tells the Element, "I pinch." Here is the long version.
Well what came on last night was an edited version, with no tongs, no backwards walking away. It's just the Element, telling the crab all the things he can do, how he takes the surfers around, and they change inside him, and he can carry their boards, and how whatever his kind of flooring is, you can get the sand out easily... No matter what he says, the crab says, "I pinch."
I don't want to say I had an epiphany. That may be overstating. Let's just say that I was Gobsmacked by Truthiness. I AM THAT CRAB! I AM THAT CRAB AND THAT CRAB IS ME! I PINCH!
Of course I had to wake Scott up immediately and tell him. He was less than pleased.
Me: I am the crab who pinches, that's me, that's me!
Him: *Mumbles* You are the crab who needs lithium.
Me: I PINCH! *pinching*
Him: AH! *wakes up* I WAS the crab who was sleeping.
Me: NO, YOU ARE THE HONDA ELEMENT!
Me: Because the Honda Element does all this STUFF, see, thing after thing after thing. The Honda Element can do ANYTHING.
Him: Well then. We should get a Honda Element.
Me: NO! THAT IS SO NOT THE POINT!
Him: I think HONDA would say that was the point.
Me: Well, then, I want an orange one. But SCOTT, the key thing here we are realizing together is that YOU ARE THE ELEMENT WHO DOES EVERYTHING AND I AM THE CRAB. I PINCH.
It is true! I AM the crab. I DO pinch. And that's ALL I do. I am a one thing person.
Scott can do ANYTHING. I don't just say this because I'm head over toes for the boy, I say it because HE CAN. He can learn how to do ANYTHING he sets his mind to, and learn to do it competently to boot. He's never going to go to the Olympics for any ONE thing, but he is Jack of any trade he chooses. Now me, I am basically incompetent at every area of life---I get so focused on the one thing I CAN do that whole MONTHS pass without me looking up, I am in constant danger of wandering into traffic, I trip over dust motes, I cannot find the vacuum or my own underpants and I have no sense of time or decorum, I live 90% of my life in my head, telling myself stories and trying hard to find the exact right words to tell them to other people...That's pretty much my day, and it is so like the day before it and the one after that I can't tell them apart.
I LOVE my days, don't get me wrong, life is sugar on my tongue most times, and I have seen people on TV who literally can't do ANYTHING, not ONE thing, so they have to go on Big Brother or The Bachelor instead of getting on Project Runway, or, you know, having a job. I should be GRATEFUL, both that I have this one thing I can do, and that I coincidentally I LOVE to do it.
But. Come the revolution, Scott is going to be a lot more useful to have around. Scott will have the electricity back up and running and will have organized a squad to check our stores of vital medicines and weaponry while I am still walking thoughtlessly around, banging into walls and wondering if any useful Scottlike person is going to get a printing press running any time soon, and that and eating up all the dark chocolate cherries will be my contribution right up until the time I go trit-trotting haplessly into a minefield and explode myself.
Me, I am not terribly useful.
SO. My new theory is...there are two kinds of people in this world, crabs and Elements. I'm a crab. Scott is an Element. I think Elements are better. I can't see a case for Crabs, although maybe that is just my natural and balancing self-loathing, which we all agree is a wonderful thing for me to have, lest I become thoroughly unendurable. Remember the sock puppet? Yeah. So.
Scott of course, defends me and my fellow crabs by extension anyway, and says that most crabs want to be Elements because they ARE crabs, like curly haired girls want straight hair, while straight haired girls get perms.
Today in comments I am taking a crab v/s Element poll.
Which are you?
If Crab, what is your skill? (Example: I pinch)
Which would you rather be?
I'm reading four books.
I have a funny (if somewhat dead) red head by my bed.
Evil Toddler Killing Polygamists are in the kitchen, propped open face down so that I am sure the borrowed spine is being BROKEN and I keep meaning to go in there and BOOKMARK it and close it so it is not damaged and then forgetting. HEH.
Cornelia Read's first novel graces my restroom. (This one I'm slowly eking out to myself simply to enjoy the language---it's a reread, obviously, since my utterly sincere slavering fangrrrrrrl blurb is on the back cover).
Part DEUX of Karen Abbott's MS is in my office. I'm reading THAT for writing group AND!
I just found myself opening my falling-to-chunks copy of Pride and Prej, which is the literary equivelent of Mashed Potatoes and Mother's Biscuits. Nothing quite comforts me like the acid wit of Dearest Jane.
Usually I read at MOST two books at a time, but just now I can't remember what I am reading. I can't remember to blog. I think I've eaten nothing but 7 MILLION organic almonds today, because I keep realizing I am hungry, and then I go to the kitchen meaning to get something to eat, and then I notice the spine on that book breaking, but it;s all the way over in the breakfast nook, so I grab some almonds, and head across the kitchen, and then I stop because I realize what HAS to happen NEXT and next thing I know It's an hour later and I am back in my office feverishly typing with nuts in my teeth and I remember that I did not close the poor breaking spine of the Evil Toddler Killing Polygamists even though I was JUST in the kitchen, and hey....I seem to be hungry.
Why so blue, Panda Bear, you ask? And by "blue" you clearly mean "mentally ill." WELL! I am DRAFTING all this week, LORD HELP ME, DRAFTING, which I HATE. And all the books are because I get that vague burny itch to put my eyes on some text that isn't stinking of FRESHNESS, some actual polished revised and re-revised text, and I am so clinically NOT OKAY IN MY HEAD that I ignore the open books in every other room in this house and pull down and open one more. DRAFTINGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!
As a bonus, I am SURLY. I keep threatening Scott with HOOKED INDEX FINGERS.
DIGRESSION: It is a long standing conceit in our marriage that my hooked index fingers are DEADLY DEADLY NINJA-weapons, and HE KNOWS!!!!! that when I make them at him, he is SUPPOSED to go leaping backwards, shrieking like a big girl, but he always forgets and I have to say HELLO! YOU ARE BEING THREATENED WITH DEADLY DEADLY NINJA WEAPONS, DUDE and then he says, "oh. right. help." in such a a BLAND voice that MANY TIMES I have been forced to kill him and bury him under the scuppernong vine tree just to remind him how VERY deadly my hooked index fingers TRULY ARE. And yet the very next time I bring them out...
So. I am reading five books. I have officially added Jane. I'm scattered, smothered and covered, BUT NOT CHUNKED, thank the Lord.*
Oh yesyesyes, I am drafting. HATEFUL HELLISH PUTRID VILE DRAFTING. I would rather be REVISING. I would probably rather be ON FIRE. But no, I have to draft because without this hateful part I have nothing to revise and without anything to revise I don't have a book, and without a book, I CANNOT MEET MY DEADLINE. Remember deadlines? Yeah, me neither.
FINGERS IN EARS AND ALL TOGETHER NOW WE SAY, "LA! LA! LA!"
Beneath the shrieks and the manufactured hysteria that I am producing here in my hysteria factory so I can BLOG instead of DRAFTING or starting to read a sixth book, do you think I sound...inappropriately cheerful? Maybe I secretly AM cheerful. Or maybe, I am delirious because this office has no oxygen left in it. I USED IT ALL UP.
NO! LOOK! I AM COMPLETELY CHEERFUL. GAHHHHHHHH! What is WRONG with me? Seriously? Why is it that PRESSURE makes me start to bubble and foam, but the underlying foaming agent is...not lye soap, as previsouly suspected, but rather....PLEASURE? I can tell that beneath my surly and put upon and WHINING and hysterical exterior I am ... pleased.
There's a beast in me who likes to WIN, who WANTS to do nine impossible things before breakfast because doing SEVEN impossible things is for potzers. Seven is for dilettantes. Seven is for people who need oxygen to LIVE, and here I am frothing up my entirely oxygen-free office like your own especial pet anaerobic nightmare on STEROIDS. YAY!
I shall now go draft more. And maybe get some nuts.
*If you are not from the 25 mostly Southern and midwestern states that have 'em, I should explain that Scattered Smothered and Covered and yes, even Chunked is how you can order your hash browns at Waffle House (AKA La La Waffi'el AKA Chez Waffla). But if you order hash browns there at ALL you are crazy. Because they have grits.
Oh Best of all Possible Dude-y Beloveds....through non-nefarious means, I will this by this evening, if all goes well, come into possession of a slightly used but still perfectly legible and charming Advanced Reader Copy of Between, Georgia. For those not in the know, Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) are softback versions of a not-yet-released book that is sent to booksellers, to reviewers, and to hoped-for-blurbers as a way of trying to get word out about an upcoming title.
These are very expensive to produce. People sometimes hook copies of them and sell them on e-bay, and I don't mind when I see the used ones for sale, because they have done their job. USED means the reviewer or bookseller or hoped-for-blurber has READ the ARC, so who can possibly begrudge them for selling it? BUT! I of course purely hate it when I see the ones on e-bay that brag that the ARC is BRAND NEW! The spine has NEVER BEEN CRACKED! Sometimes, in an Alanis Morrisette rain-on-wedding-day version of irony, the e-bay seller mentions in the description that cover says "not for resale" in big puffy letters on the cover.
Of course, I wish even the people who sell the READ ones would wait until the book is actually released so that ARC collectors would be the ones buying them, not my personal actual posse of folks who personally and actually like my work and might, you know, personally and actually buy it when it released if left alone but who in the interest of not being able to wait to snap an ARC off ebay wthout realizing or caring (because it is not their problem after all, they just want my next book, a fact which in and of itself makes me want to kiss them on the mouth) that the successful sale of these virgin copies encourages MORE sales of virgin copies which means LESS and LESS copies actually being cracked and read by, oh, you know, reviewers and booksellers who might like it and get the word out to potential My Posse readers who would then ALSO buy the book upon its actual release and give me a chance at keeping my job. (A good contest for the ARC might be "The first person who can read the previous sentence aloud without the need for a inhale WINS, and a bonus million dollars if you followed it...")
ANYWAY...To say the above in a third of the words: It hurts to see NEW! UNCRACKED SPINE! ones up for grabs ESPECIALLY before the book is even out, because the ARC print run is very small, and every unread copy is a lost chance at a review or a bookseller who loves the book and will help readers discover it.
The point being, and YES I HAVE ONE! One of these copies that HAS done its rightful job will come back into my possession from a kindly source who knows I wanted to have a copy to use for a prize for YOU, yes YOU, OH MY B. of A.P.D. B.'s.
APPROPOS of this conversation, but NOT what I am going to do with this stray ARC that I shall soon have in my greasy palms, here's
bestselling author Laurie R. King's well stated take on the selling of arcs here , and there is a good discussion of ARC selling by readers and reviewers here.
More ARC tidbits: Rumor has it Stephen King's publisher is going to release his newest ARC with a plain white cover that says NOT FOR RESALE in big red letters across the front----they would put that cover on in lieu of putting the REAL cover on, in the hopes that, well, it wouldn't be resold. I'm interested to see how that works. I don't think it's a viable solution for writers who are not already household names, butI'm still interested to see if those show up on e-bay.
I wish they would make King's cover say in the huge red letters, "Gentle Reader, if you love this author, please do not purchase this version on ebay or a used bookstore. Please buy the actual book! THANKS! BIG KISSES! MWAH! MWAH!" *grin*
I THINK I read this in Publisher's Lunch, but I can't find the source to confirm and link OOPS, so hopefully we can count this as gossip and not plagiarism. I try to only plagiarize, as you may recall, from my own personal aunts.
SO, IF the ARC comes through IWILL be posting a RATHER FUN CONTEST for it that my friend Lydia came up with. I will post the contest FIRST THING in the AM, and probably run it through until Monday. ALSO I hope we'll have B4B winners this weekend...This is a slow and sleepy month, I guess, everyone is outside basking in the springly pollens and canoodling.
Meanwhile, here, I would love your take on the selling of virgin ARCs before a book even releases. Do you think I am a wanker to mind? Really? A hypersensitive wanker, or just the plain kind?
There's this kinda....odd guy I know from conferences and signings and whatnot, name of Sonny Brewer. He's a novelist. There's a story about old Sonny on the front page of the New York Times Style page thanks to writer Warren St. John's deep appreciation for ODDNESS. You should go read it. Really.
I know it seems a little pot-and-kettle for me of all people to call someone ELSE odd. At the Alabama Writer's Symposium this weekend, a man came up to me after my talk and reading, handed me a copy of my book to sign, and as I scribbled my name and best wishes to him, he layed a gentle hand on my shoulder and said, "You ARE in therapy, right?" When I laughed and said, "Oh, goodness me, no," he took his book and backed away slowly, looking more than a little alarmed. ALSO, just after a brunch where I consumed 4 glasses of tap water on the rocks, a friend stopped me as I headed to the parking lot and said, "Better pass Karen the keys. I don't think you're okay to drive, hon." I apparently send off natural crazy-slash-drunk vibes even when dead sober and at my most earnest.
So when I say soemone is ODD...well, I like to think there's a certain amount of CACHE there, you know? What on earth is the odd man's bizarro? Answer: Sonny Brewer. He's old school southern genteel crazy, part of a wild Alabama tribe of writers I call The Fairhope Posse, and if you are getting the impression that I have more than little fondness in my heart for the man and, indeed, the whole posse, you are correct.
Here's a typical Sonny story: He had a problem with his sewage system and a yard full of horror and everything had to be dug up and drained and patched and put back. In the middle of the process, he noticed the new wet concrete mortar collar for the sewer drain pipe was exposed. The whole yard would be shoveled back on top of it as soon as the concrete hardened, and Sonny got himself a stick and leaned down into the hole and did this:
He said he though a buried chunk of concrete whose sole purpose in life is to hold the crapper's pipe in place was a fitting monument to him.
Sonny Brewer KILLS me.
**CORNELIA just pointed out that this is my 500th blog entry. Yowza. In 500 more I'll be a millennium. Or something.**
I am now about 3/4ths of the way through her (^$$_@ archives. For your own job security, do not visit this website. You will nevernevernever get out of it.
My friend Karen now closes our morning phone conversation with "Call me later for a virtue check. Don't click your link to Miss Snark." A virtue check is when we drop trou and measure the comparative word counts of our MSes. (MS = short for Manuscript) Because it's all about quantity, baby. Size MATTERS, and only people whose MS is SHORTER than your MS will tell you otherwise. SO we set a time for the virtue check and then I say OKAY! V.C. LATER! NO MISS SNARK! Then I get off the phone, and I MEAN to open MS word but my finger SLIPS and hits netscape and UP pops my browser and BOOM! I click on the link to Miss Snark and I am NEVER. SEEN. AGAIN.
I tell myself it's fine because I am LEARNING THINGS! Samples:
1) There is a cocktail called The Woo Woo. Vodka, Peach Schapps, Cranberry Juice, No garnish, in a rocks glass. I double dog dare you to order this cocktail and see if ANYONE knows what a Woo Woo is. TRIPLE dog dare you if you are a man. Any man who is able to order a Woo Woo with aplomb has NO need for word count. I take it on faith his MS is HUGE.
2) The Isaac Asimov Short Fiction contest had some VERY earnest entries that could have WON The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. I simply must quote you a few of my favorites. These are actual entries, and for once, the typos contained within them are NOT mine. WELL CRAP! I meant to just post three or four but I started reading them (over at Miss Snark's)again to choose and went into hysterics and so here are 90% of them.
Out of the dark void came what looked like a giant rabbit followed by small rabbits which had looked as if they had undergone a mutation with three ears and 2 tails. They discovered they were on Rabbitania.
Weston was known for the firm but genital hold he had on his men. It was one of the reasons he was chosen for this mission over six other equally qualified men.
Freddy was in the habit of staring at Beverly's legs as they peaked from her Susie Wong slit dresses. She had a dozen of them.
"Something must have happened, since it's not like her to come back naked and not aware of anything."
He groped in his trousers and came up with a dirty piece of trash which I thought he'd just throw away.
"Stand slow!" a voice rang out with hollow ubiquity.
When I thought of the poetics of such a confrontation in the blackness of eternity, I laughed sardonically, in a dry voice, to myself.
"Good morning, Anna, Lovely maid," Logo said in a soft voice bowing slightly, "How nice to see your structured form again today."
The two naked bodies, which were lying beneath the satin sheets, were no longer the people whom everyone, who was anyone, knew whenever reality was in existance.
"Oovil snetch," he growled in his mind.
My shouted words were lost in the damp chill, and my legs were already beginning to bale out, filling my shoes quickly.
The willowy king stood tehre with his usually sick disposition. From the faint light in the hallway, his yellow glaring cat eyes pointed at him.
Kildo threw his waning arms around the large granite boulder.
Miles looked deep into those clear blue eyes who's debts were infinite.
"Be good," he called after her as he bit back the tears in his eyes.
Sudenly, all the eyes in the room rose from their fixed positions on the floor to stare at him.
Mona was on the liquilounge, her dark eyes pouring over him like warm jello.
John wasn't at all surprised at the transformation of his body into what he believed were light waves.
Fearless, as he was dumb, he walked over to the edge of the ship.
"Are the shields contoured to the ship" the computer asked breathlessly.
The universe is a vast region of deep mystery steeped in antiquity.
"Do you want to come over and have a gunfight?" I asked. He seemed a bit loath to answer.
They were human in every way but they owned the necks, heads, facial expressions were that of a chicken.
"Ejaculations aside, that's one hell of a package to swallow!"
Of course, his eyes couldn't help but embrace the pool in front of them.
Jake was not a man to show much emotion, but he found himself supressing the urge to smile out loud.
Ashala's head felt like vermicelli slowly slipping off the platter of her sholders.
A pool of surpressedd sweat started building under his forehead.
Kincaid was an older man with sparse grey iron hair.
And he was damned attractive physically, too. When she looked at him she felt...unusual.
Instinctively, without thinking about it, he grabbed the woman and hugged her and then gave her breasts a couple of playful pinches. "Commander please," she said as she blushed and began yodeling.
He gazed at what appeared to be an invisable column coming from an infinite distance.
Onion oil! I couldn't imagine anyting worse than a daily bath in onion oil.
He was tall, thin and bony, like a cadaver trying to remember something,
what was it? oh yes! I'm dead, I shouldn't be walking around like this.
There would not be many more darknesses before Lyra became a guardian,
and if sheh was going to keep hes promises that she would still boil boldy
as a guardian, she might as well practice.
Talan gestured at the controls. "Overheating of the glycgroms in the thermoperamulator. You know how it is."
She is powdered, painted, and tearful, playing again one of her greatest rolls.
The man spoke a foreign tonuge to them which they followed with out question.
The faces of the children were tear stained and pained Zone Paw to move on.
Are you going to go up t her and say, (you have to pardon me I'm form another planet, Let's get together for a life spand.)" The dwarf came back strongly.
"Marry me my beautiful moonlight Luna to this sun-born, non-stop make and viola!"
It seems occasionally events occur which had they not happened no one would
imagine they could.
It ws a planet spinning around Proxima Centauri, an Earth like planet covered with an average of two miles of water.
On Nov. 29, 2083 the object wold hit. It's antimatter would interact with ordinary matter on Earth and there would be an explosion with the incredible force of 1000 megatons. New York City is doomed!
I have so many responses to that last one. INCLUDING but SO not limited to:
OH NOES! Well, if NEW YORK goes, perhaps we can all escape to RABBITANIA!
Or mayhap you prefer:
OH NOES! Well, if New York goes, at least we can count on the dwarf coming back strongly!
Of course, I am also learning how to CORRECTLY query so I can get an agent....oh wait. I guess I have mostly learned that I did it correctly back when I was doing it. BUT SHE'S SO FREAKIN' FUNNY. And I like getting a peek at what's going on in New York, you know? I live in a place so NON New York that MY NEIGHBOR OWNS A PIGLET. And this is not some CITIFIED fancy Asian piglet with a bow and a leash. This is a meat pig. It comes with GRITS as opposed to IRONY. In fact THAT particular piglet has probably already DONE BEEEN EATEN and there is a whole another piglet by now. Glory Be.
ANYWAY. Today, this afternoon, I leave for every Southern writer's Jerusalem... Monroeville, Alabama, where Harper Lee spawned and then came to fruition and penned The Greatest Book on Earth without EVER mixing a metaphor like spawning and fru-itting. See also: Truman Capote. I'll be speaking at the Alabama Writer's Symposium. Monroeville would be PERFECT if only it was not in a dry county. Forewarned is forearmed, and I am personally forearmed with EVERYTHING you need to make a Woo Woo, including a shaker and Karen Abbott (fellow writer and certified mixologist.)
Back to Miss Snark...TALKING about her, I mean, NOT going to her blog. I cannot go to her blog. All I have packed so far is five pairs of shoes and some underpants and I SWORE to my editor I would mail her this essay thing before I left and right now the draft reads so DRY that I suspect my OWN CORPSE got in a time machine and showed up yesterday to write it.
And ANYWAY, I am now on January 15th, 2006 in the Snarchives SO I need to SLOW DOWN and SAVOR the last bits before I am OUT of Snarchives and I... MUST. REVISE. TERRIBLE. DRY. CORPSE ARTICLE. MUST. POST THIS...BLOG. THEN...PACK...mu....um....Mu..s...t *clicks link to Miss Snark.*
I started thinking about all-the-dogs because An Alert Reader sent Miss Snark a letter quoting something I said about openings in an earlier post (an even more Alert Commentor told me about it!) AND LET ME IMMEDIATELY digress.
DO NOT follow the above the link to Miss Snark's blog. Lord, I'll never see you again. I've tried to write this entry for two days now and for two days it's gone like this:
1) Open blog file
2) Read the part I already wrote ("I started thinking about all-the-dogs because An Alert Reader sent Miss Snark")
3) Realize I need to make the words "Miss Snark" a link.
4) Open a browser.
5) Hit Miss Snark in Book Marks to cut and paste the address out of the browser.
6) Read Snarkives for an hour.
7) Realize I have NO MORE TIME TO BLOG and am actually already behind schedule for the day.
8) Say a bad word.
9) Read the Snarkives for another half an hour anyway.
That site is like two of the three most popular types of crack --- to be perfectly clear, it's like the addictive drug kind of crack, and ALSO like the kind you fall into during an earthquake that sucks you permanently down and you are never seen again. It is NOT AT ALL like the kind of crack that only plumbers used to sport but that now seems to come standard on every teenaged girl in America and LORD I just want to go to the mall and let Maisy pick out a toy for her little friend's birthday extravaganza without having my eyes assaulted by a steady barrage of rump cleavage. IT IS NOT PRETTY. Standing up, even the most emaciated girls look like their hips are a globulous scoop of ice cream sticking out of the too-small dwindley sugar-cone of the pants. And when they sit and the pants GAPE open I think little bits of silt and plaster and passing buglets must be getting in there. Kids today! I tell you! In my day, cokes cost a nickel and I didn't keep catching glimpses of the half-patooties of total strangers. Good times. Good times.
Did I digress again? ANYWAY, It is an awesome site, ESPECIALLY if you are a writer. If you aren't a writer, it's probably less endlessly fascinating because you lose the NAVEL GAZE factor and you don't have that WOW THIS IS A SHOCKING AMOUNT OF USEFUL INFO ABOUT PUBLISHING COMING STRAIGHT AT ME WITH NO BS feeling that writers experience. It's so freakin' funny, I think even non writers might get sucked into the Snarkian Vortex.
I started thinking about all-the-dogs because An Alert Reader sent Miss Snark a letter quoting something I said about openings in an earlier post, and as you can see from above I spent WAY TOO MUCH time over there (considering all the various deadlines I have LOOMING up at me all fanged and slavering and eyeballing me like I was a meatball sub and they were one of the last three left on the island...)
I am not going to get through this to the dogs. I keep haring off on dreadful DIGRESSIVE trips to over-extended metaphor-land.
Anyway. I love Miss Snark, even though she would not love me back, I am realizing. Miss Snark would never ever be my agent because she has a "don't kill even fictional dogs" clause standard in her contract, and once, talking with my editor about the Wayne's Dog Buddy scene in gods in Alabama, my editor said, "HEY! What is it with you and dogs? Chapter four here in BETWEEN is not exactly a love poem to dogs either..." and looking at the mounting evidence it seems like I might have it IN for the canine set, and yet I quite like dogs. And dogs generally like me back.
Jamie Lee Curtis: Did you kill dogs in your book?
Me: Yes. But zay ver ALL BAHD!
NO dogs are being at ALL harmed in my WIP, I PROMISE although maybe I should PUT a dog in that gets obscenely pampered to make up for the dogs of my past. That's the ticket! I will stick in a nice, lovable mutt that gets snacks and wanders through rooms on his way to nap, pausing to be lovingly petted and exclaimed over, and I can work it out so all of the main characters mention a time or two how much they TRULY do enjoy the smell of a nice clean dog or how a dog is a handy jogging partner or how a dog once saved the life of their child and maybe one character can have a funny recurring thing where he speaks faux Elizabethan English to his dog and gives it rapturously poetical nicknames, like, he could say, "Come thou, beloved blamed-for-all-my-farts, and prithee taste the fine moist kibbles I have scattered for thy delectation." Or he could say, "Oh Butt Smeller to the Stars, how glorious for one such as thou to live in a time when so many butts hangeth out of the pants..."
I'm JUST SAYING.
Tomorrow I will tell you about all the dogs I've loved before, starting with The Nose Poodle and ending at Hobbes. AND I have told the Haiku contest judge to be decisive by tomorrow! SO. WE HAVE A LIMERICK WINNER, but he/she/it has to wait for the winners to be announced, SO sorry, because the haiku cannot seem to be wittled down from a final 4 that are so very perfect, each in their own ways, that it may come dowen to an eenie-meenie-miney-mo type solution.
ALSO re: Nose Poodle. Can't we forget the pink socks? HAVEN'T I the last 900 times when I have said "tomorrow I will tell you..." Actually ended up telling you within a few days? IS THERE NO LOVE? NO MERCY? NO CLEAN SLATED FORGIVENESS? I beg of thee, release the forever lost tale of the pink socks to the cosmos...
HEY -- this is the last day to get your entries in to win a little fox doll figurine. Scroll down and get poetic, those comments close on MONDAY at around 6:30 PM EST.
I have been so hip deep in this novel I am writing that I am DREADFULLY behind on real life and church commitments and friends/social life and blog and pets and prepub work for Between that just considering my to do list makes me want to hole up like up like Greta Garbo, except without the part where I am an internationally adored A list movie super star. Does it count if you hole up and no one cares? If a tree holes up in the woods...well. I suppose most trees do. Never mind.
ANYWAY, in lieu of whining, I decided to post a couple of INTERNATIONALLY THRILLING pictures that have gathered in a file called "Things I should blog about." And then I can delete the picture files from my hard drive and IF I am clever I can put "clean old files off hard drive" on my monster to do list, and THEN I will have an item to check off and that, my friends, is very satisfying. The way I love lists verges on the unholy. Sometimes? When lists see me coming? I suspect them of rustling uneasily and whispering "BAD TOUCH! BAD TOUCH!" to each other.
SO, let's see what we have here, eh?
Anne Glamore (the blogess behind Tiny Kingdom sent me this shot of my book slumming on a whole another continent....
She said, "Just thought you'd get a kick of seeing this picture of your book. I took it at the Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi-- it was in the gift shop.
Most of the other books were about the Maasai Mara and Serengeti. It took us 46 hours to get back from Nairobi, so your book is really at
the other end of the world!"
I've never been to Nairobi, and there goes gods in Alabama, jetsetting about like Paris Hilton while I am stuck here like last week's Nicole.... But it didn't stop there.
The fetching lass modeling the book is my sister-in-law's sister's daughter which makes her.... My second niece-in-law twice removed? Anyway, she's in a bookstore in DUBLIN. And so is my novel. DUBLIN! In IRELAND, origin of AT LEAST 95% of my genetic make-up. But have I ever been? No. AND YET! My jet-setting trampy BOOK is there, macking on red-headed boys and discovering dark beer.
I'll be sulking in my room if you need me....I want to be alone...
SO, I watched A History of Violence, and I stand here, boggling that the academy passed this one over. *boggleboggle* How did Cronenberg not even get the NOM is what I am asking? HOW? How did no one notice Maria Bello being note perfect or Viggo Aragornsen knocking it out of the park? MARIA BELLO IS THE SINGLE MOST UNDERAPPRECIATED ACTOR WORKING IN THE U.S. TODAY. How is this woman not noticed as she turns in Streepian-level genius performance time and time again? HOW? I think she is TOO good. I think people don't realize it's HER because she's a strange and generic kind of gorgeous and such a powerhouse actor that her pretty face can be ANY pretty face. At least it can the way she uses it. She's so subtle and so fine.
William Hurt did get a nod for best supporting actor, and he SHOULD have. I've watched Hurt endure rolls in LOST IN SPACE and DUNE, grinding his teeth and deadpanning his lines to the point where I kept calling Scott in to check and make sure he was not, in fact, clinically dead. His starched ducal collars in DUNE especially should have been embroidered with the words "Forgive me. I really need the money." It was easy to forget what a fine actor I always thought he was when he apparently gave up "having facial expressions" for Lent 8 years ago, and never realized Easter came. But in this movie he not only rediscoveres facial expressions but his voice! His wonderful voice! In every LINE, Hurt had honest-to-God INFLECTION. All of a sudden I was back in the 80's and early 90's, when the man appeared to have a rich and meaty soul behind his eyes. WELCOME BACK, MR. HURT! I HAVE MISSED YOU!!!!
You should watch the movie.
WARNING: It's graphic. It's SO graphic, in fact, so unflinchingly explicit in its sex scenes and its mercifully briefer but even MORE explicit violent moments, that only the sheltering mantle of art keeps me from putting the word "porno" in front of the word graphic. Let's put it this way: If aliens from another universe watched this movie, they would come away with both a veryveryvery clear understanding of how we make our babies and a good idea of what we might look like if they squoozed us in their giant crab-pincers until the gooey middle parts came out. Yikes.
And look, I've written an explicit sex scene or two in my day, and I've been even more explicit in the violent scenes, and I had good reasons and the imagery in the scenes was needed for thematic reasons, and I feel that was VERY MUCH the case with A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE...however. There comes a point in every woman's life where she stands musingly in the kitchen doing the dishes and wondering, "Could a person ever REALLY see too much opf Aragorn's butt?
There is a moment in Violence where this question is answered, and with a resounding YES. You also see REALLY too much burbling chunks of hot brain dribbling out, but admittedly, a LITTLE of that goes a long way.
I also want to say when I read the reviews, time and time again, the ambiguity of the ending was harped upon...Um, what ambiguity of the ending? I thought it was so clear you could have safely made a windshield out of it. But of course, in the deepest corner of my shriveled prune of a heart, there is a hot pink pulsing nodule where lives undying a mighty faith in redemption, a belief that there is no place so far from love that love can't find you and make you whole, that nothing else in this illusion-filled and transient world matters, that E. M. Forster meant so much more than ONE thing when he said, "only connect," and so I watched the movie as I watch everything----through the lens of a belief so strong it approaches absolute zero and is the defining fulcrum upon which my life bounces back and forth like a teeter-totter.
The critics say "ambiguous" because another person might interpret the ending a compeltely different way, but that person makes me sad. And PS? Is dead wrong. Tra la!
Today is my birthday. Yarg. Whose idea was THAT?
I am ignoring it. My thirties are grinding inexorably away, and I am not interested. I have a friend who says I am not old, but she is cheerful, and perky, and only 33, so she needs to shut up.
Me, Morosely: I am getting perilously close to 40. Scott is now ONE YEAR from 40, and I am only 1 or 2 years behind him, depending on how you count.
Cheerful Perky Friend: Isn't his birthday two days before yours?
Me: I SAID it depends on how you count. One or two years older, give or take 363 days...
Cheerful Perky Friend: You know, they say that what with all the strides in nutrition and health and whatnot, 40 is like the new 30.
Me: What's the new 25? I want to be THAT.
Cheerful Perky Friend: I betcha 41 is the new 25! Look what you have to look FORWARD to!
Me: BLAH! Maybe with a big heaping helping of Plastic Surgery and a personal trainer 41 is the new 25....What's 42?
Cheerful Perky Friend: Oh, never you mind. Someone will have drowned you for sulking LONG before you hit 42!
I am not celebrating today. I am POUTING. I LIKED 37. It was a GREAT year and I feel I deserve ONE day to mourn it---Try not to drown me.
I WILL celebrate though, I promise, once I get over myself. Which could happen ANY SECOND (Provided I stop reading that Anne Rivers Siddons blurb aloud at bedtime and then hugging myself).
Later in the week I am slated to go eat WAY too much really good Cajun food (this place has crabcakes as BIG AS MY HEAD!) and have one too many pink drinks with my writing group. Some other friends are taking me out on Friday, and I will finish up on March 10th when I go with Karen to drool like a pervert over---no wait. Allow me to rephrase. I mean, when I go to gaze bedazzled while committing at least one and maybe two of the seven deadly sins---no wait. Let me rephrase again. While I go to sit decorously and feel intellectually stimulated by the fine acting of Mr. J. Depp in The Libertine.
HAVE YOU SEEN THE COMMERCIALS???? All HOLLOW EYED he looks, with pounds of hair, telling me in a snide accent that I am NOT going to like him. Oh, Johnny. As if.
ALSO! My parents and mother-in-law gave me checks, and I am going to blow ALL MY BIRTHDAY moo on extravagant LAMPS for my redone OFFICE which, with the exception of having my grandmother's creaky brass table lamp squatting like a homeless dog in the middle of my floor (as the ONLY light source, might I add, unless you count the SUN) has been completely redecorated to revolve around and highlight my RENE VAN DEN NESTE painting SPACE CAT GOES AIR BOATING IN THE WASTELANDS that NO ONE BUT ME AND SCOTT cares for. As opposed to the Rene Van Den Neste Chick in a Ginormous Blue Hat (holding bonus iconical SPACE CAT TWIN!) painting that everyone likes.
Blue Hat Chick is currently gussying up my Schubert-stromped, toy strewn, public living room. I was going to do the office around Blue Hat Chick, but I decided I don't want to have to explain my love for SPACE CAT to anyone who comes in my living room. In my office, I can love Space Cat all unmolested and with my taste unchallenged. Also, say what you want, but putting Space Cat in my office makes him TAX DEDUCTABLE. And he cost more than BHC. Go, Space Cat, go!
I have never drunk Clamato.
This is because the name led me to suspect there might be clams in it. CLAMato. Like clams + tomatoes. The name spooked me. I was actively AFRAID to drink Clamato, even though the very idea that there would be a beverage ACTUALLY made out of CLAMS and TOMATOES is so patently SILLY that fearing it is akin to fearing that the cedar chest where your husband stores his sweaters is chock full of murderous pirates.
It's not that I think about Clamato much, but last night, yacking with Mir on the phone, we were discussing new Diet Black Cherry Vanilla Coke and why it is not as good as Diet Cherry Coke but still infinately superior to Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper. See, to me, Coke is not really a flavor. Flavors COME from something in nature.
Lemon flavored things come from lemons, like that. But you don't find COKES growing in the wild and emitting coke flavor. Coke is as neutral as your favorite black loafers---goes with just about anything. Even peanuts go great in a coke. So if you want to put black cherry AND vanilla in coke, it's like red and yellow with black shoes----you are still fine. BUT, Dr. Pepper IS a flavor. In fact it is a blend of 23 different fruit flavors according to the The Highly Unofficial alt.fan.dr-pepper FAQ and when you add black Cherry and Vanilla to TWENTYFREAKINTHREE other flavors, it is one too many. I could have allowed the good Dr. to add Vanilla, or even just the cherry, but 25 flavors and your single soda is edging awfully close to territory that has already been righteously peed upon and claimed by Baskin-Robbins.
Mir and I whipped ourselves up into a hysterical frenzy over what flavors are actually in Dr. Pepper (you don't want to know, trust me, but one my FAVORITE of her guesses was "Thumbs"). Then I put forth my 25 is too many flavors theory, and she said, "Yeah, really! Why don't they go ahead and throw in some CLAMATO while they are at it." Which made me snort Diet Cherry Coke out my nose. (Helpful Aside: Diet Cherry Coke is the best soda in the unverse, but running it over your sinuses is not the most pleasant way to experience it.)
I was laughing myself sick. I said, "You know, I used to be afraid of Clamato because I thought it was made out of clam juice and tomatoes, HA HA HA! CLAM JUICE! AND TOMATOES! IMAGINE! HA!
Mir: Um, it IS made out of clam juice juice and tomatoes.
Me: Get real.
Mir: I always THOUGHT it was.
Me: Can't possibly be. It's just a bad name for off-brand V-8.
Mir: I know! Let's ask WIKIPEDIA!
Guess what? IT IS WORSE. It is tomatoes and DRIED RECONSTITUTED CLAM JUICE. GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Sick, I tell you, SICK. I'm befoozled and horrifed to the point that I think something in my cedar chest just said "Arrrrggghhh, Mateys!" Hand to God.
PS: Considering my mental illness number, I think I deserve a little pat for not naming this entry "You Say ClaMAYto, I Say ClaMAHto."
LINKS FOR GOODNESS SAKE
Mir is taking a walk. <--go read that, and then you will know why I say, "Dude, you should throw money at her. No, not because she is making her G String into a little basketball goal. PERVOS. Because all the cool kids are doing it. And because it is a good thing and a right thing. Also tax deductable. HUZZAH!
LINKS FOR WORK:
The new trend is COMMERCIALS for books, kinda. Here are two, in two different formats. One is one is actual text from the book, read by the author and animated, and the other is more like an MTV music video that had a baby with a movie trailer. Very different approaches. Take a little LookSee, will you, Oh My Blessings? Both are pretty cool, but which approach do you like better and why for? I am THINKING on doing something along this line for my next book, since my brother is a professional artist slash computer animator...
NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT READ THE OTHER COMMENTS before commenting with your reactions!
I will follow up on this and tell you my opinions later I SWEARSIES---(and speaking of this, we are ONE STEP away from full Exotic Robot Sex Tea story time. One of two things that needed to happen before I could tell the story has happened.) I want to wait to tell you my complete opinion until after I hear your input. I will say this: While Southern Gothic is my favorite, I can't read southern when I am drafting---it screws with my voice. Lighter literary contemporary book club fare is my reading drug of choice, and by this I mean, given a stack with Life of Pi, Ulysses, Stranger in a Strange Land, and Tripwire in it, I am dern well going to read all of 'em. But. I will read Life of Pi first. Then Tripwire then Ulysses then Stranger.
AT LEAST one out of every two books I crack is contemporary literary/commercial fiction (with quite a lot of it being Southern if I am not drafting). AT LEAST one out of every five is some form of cop/lawyer/detective book, preferably of the Lee Child/Dennis Lehane school of manly gunplay. Over the course of a year, though, I do read VERY eclectically, settling down with at least a book or two in every genre but pR0n. SO, though one book is in a genre I read much more frequently then the other, I am a potential reader/target audience for both books/advertisements. If you watch them and respond, please say if YOU are the target audience for either or both, and how LIKELY you are to read in that genre, whether the vids make you want to choose this book in particular or not...
LINKS FOR FUNSIES
Alert Linker and fellow blogger DebR of B4B fame sent me THIS LITTLE GEM.
If you upload a picture of yourself, it matches you with celebrities who look MOST like you. Here is the picture I uploaded:
My results prove that yes, Virginia, digital imaging software CAN smoke crack:
BRITNEY? Are you KIDDING ME? BRITNEY IS NOT EVEN MY CELEBRITY STYLE TWIN! MY CST IS NIC! *harrumph*
DebR's results are here, and may I say, I think some of HER twins look more like me than MY twins do. I've been told many times I am a bit Drew Barrymore-ish, but no one, alas, has ever accused me of looking like Kira Knightly. May I ALSO just say, I WISH I looked even a SPECK like my number one match, Milla. I think she is about one baby step from being Helen of Troy. She could launch at LEAST 983 ships. Ah well. It is FUN and terribly flattering to be told which supermodel you look MOST like, if not actually LIKE. It is just as true that I look more like Pluto than any of the OTHER planets, and more like a ball peen hammer than OTHER tool. And YET! When Pluto and a ball peen and I go get a peaceful drink together, we are never mistaken for sisters. If you follow me.
IF YOU PLAY, post a link to your MATCHES please. I wanna see.
DISCLAIMER: A lot of the real name and top 1000 reviewers on AMAZON.COM are useful barometers of whether or not you will like a book, because if they give a book 4 or 5 stars, and you look at all their reviews and see they have also given three books you REALLY dug 4 or 5 stars AND have heartily panned that book that made you so mad you stopped reading 50 pages in, glued all the pages together, put it on a stick and now use to kill only the ugliest and most poisonous looking bugs as punishment for its imagery, then you have found yourself a good screener who can help you find the books you LIKE. And Amazon's top reviewer, Harriet Klausner, is starting to show up on book jackets as a blurber. How cool is that? BUT THAT SAID---
The anonymous posting of reviews can allow for some HIDEOUS things to be perpetrated. I remember running across one book with about 20 HORRIBLE reviews, all of which were written by people with plain, regulation, two syllable American names (Diane and Larry and Jenny and Johnny). The reviews all had the same "voice" and tendency to break the "i before e" rule and they all started by saying it was a bad book and then worked their way into speculations about the author's parentage and probable mental disorders and claiming to know the true secrets of the her highly deviant sex life. Um. Yeah. And THAT's not a bitter ex-boyfriend.
Have you ever read Bel Canto? This is a book that had me on the floor, screaming in mingled pain and ecstacy as its myriad perfections set my heart and my brain on fire simultaneously. It's like a Haven Kimmel novel in that reading it makes you wonder why you bother writing when a perfect book already exists and everyone should just sit down and shut up and read Bel Canto over and over, no new books needed. Ever. Thanks. I don't see how you can be human and not love this book. But hey, I guess it could happen. I didn't really like WAR AND PEACE, and I have it on good authority that you can go to hell for that. I don't know WHY I don't like it. I admit it is superbly written and structured and great literature. But I won't be rereading it. It left me dead dead cold and dead. It's a mystery. SO. I suppose somewhere someone with otherwise general good sense could NOT like Bel Canto. I guess. I mean, it is POSSIBLE, in that philosophical "if it can be imagined, then somewhere it exists" way.
If you haven't read it, go read it. Because the review below won't be as funny if you haven't. IF YOU HAVE READ IT, then I present to you this Amazon reviewers take on it:
Title: JAPANESE GUYS ARE HORNY
Entire Review: THIS IS A BORING NOVEL ABOUT TWO JAPANESE GUYS WHO TRAVEL TO SOUTH AMERICA TO BANG OPERA SINGERS AND FREEDOM FIGHTERS IN THE VICE PRESIDENT'S MANSION.
HAHAHAHHAHAHA. If I were Ann Patchett, I might want that somewhere on the jacket. That's just AWESOME. In a strange way I can’t quite articulate, this review captures EXACTLY what classics in 30 seconds (and performed by bunnies) would be like if the bunnies turned their pink, irreverent eyes upon Bel Canto.
gods in Alabama has only gotten three or four bad reviews (out of like 45 or 46, SO THAT IS A GOOD AND CHEERFUL THING because, you know, you worry yourself sick about this stuff because it’s like Bird Flu, what can you DO. Nothing. Bird Flu and Bad Reviews shall either come or not come, and it isn’t like the “Will the FILTHY litter box cause my fastideous cat to choose to go poo in somethign else, anything, really, as long as it is clean and rectangular, like, say, my empty firewood basket or my left-open underpants drawer?” because if you DID worry about it you would have to go clean out the little box or at the very least go upstairs and close the underpants drawer, and WHO WANTS TO DO THAT when you could instead produce an ulcer by not understanding what’s going on with those diseased chickens in Malasia and wondering when that ONE ex boyfriend that you REALLY did wrong back in high school will figure out that the name on the cover of that book he saw in Sam’s Club last week really is actually you, yes, you, that same girl who made out with his best friend TWO DAYS before the official break up and again not ten minutes after, and he’ll run so fast to Amazon to write TALENTLESS HACK!!! AND SLUT!!!! under the name ANNABEL or A READER that he’ll leaves a smoking track behind him....DEEP BREATH)
ANYWAY my favorite of these is the one that says, “Not much about gods and not much about Alabama, but an awful lot about sex.” HEY! WAIT A SEC! There is a LOT about gods, and there’s so much Alabama that Alabama is practically a character! Maybe this reviewer just skipped ahead to the dirty parts. AND YEAH, OKAY, FINE. Maybe, just MAYBE, that last part is justified in that they probably didn’t have to do a LOT of page skipping to FIND dirty parts (SORRY MOM!) But my narrator is after all a former tramp turned celibate, so her relationship with sex DOES get a lot of play...as does my narrator. RIMSHOT! (SORRY, MOM! SORRY!) SO OKAY! I FESS UP AND ADMIT THE TRUTH OF THE LAST PART, but to further refute first part, Iwould like to point out that a lot of the sex took place WITH small g” gods and IN Alabama. *grin*
My all time favorite Amazon review is of Fanny Flaggs "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe," a book I have read probably 10 times and will read with pleasure at least as many times again, should I live long enough. Just love it. I don’t remember the whole review, and I bet it is gone now, but the title was, and here I reproduce it from memory BUT EXACTLY with the weird caps completely intact and the reviewer’s own:
“Lesbians are NOT OK for the youth of america!!!”
I’m not sure what this has to do with the actual BOOK, but as a stand alone sentiment, I couldn’t agree more. I prefer to feed MY lesbians to the hardy and superstition-free youth of Wales and Scotland. Science has proven if you feed AMERICAN youth on lesbians, you tend to get Wendigo.
Do you know about woot-dot-com? My friend Kevin "Okay, I'll Go Too" Wilson alerted Scott to it. Every day, WOOT has a thingy for sale, only one thing, only a certain number. And they are usually TOYS of the sort that cause my beloved's heart to go pittery-pat-pat: Digicams. Video cards. Joysticks. Boomtubes. It doesn't seem like a site that would attract me. Heck, I don't even know what a boomtube IS. Scott goes to actually SHOP, and according to HIM, you can find some good deals indeed if you check it at midnight and make all speedy with the mousey. But me? I go for the text. The copy. The content. The BLOG. I want to know who writes it so I can send them a package of chocolates shaped like little handbags. BECAUSE THAT IS HOW MUCH I LIKE THAT PERSON. Just go read the hilarious launch event FAQ and see if you don't have the urge to send chocolate handbags, too.
Of course, based on the Gender Genie I suspect the WOOT blogger is male. Not because Gender Genie says the blogger is male. Quite the opposite. I loaded about 10 different entries in there and the Woot blogger registered as VERY likely to be female, every time. But then Gender Genie thinks KUDZU is written by a man, so, on the basis of "Gender Genie is a dork to keep calling me a man," it can't possibly be right about the WOOT blogger. (Dear person in the back with your hand raised, Please be quiet. I am a scientist, and my logic is positively SPOCKIAN in it's incontrovertableness. Thank you, The Management.)
If the WOOT blogger IS male, he probably wouldn't appreciate the perky delightfulness of the little handbags... until of course he TASTED them, at which point he would hide in the closet with the whole box, making smacking noises and mentally elevating the handbag-sender to the rank of food deity. Post mouth-ecstacy-frenzy, he might come to ask why such marvels don't come in some less-humiliating-for-boys-to-be-seen-with shapes, like race cars, say, or little tiny Dewalt power drills. The handbag-sender might slip down a peg or two, but no lower than demi-god or angelic flunky. Because no matter how you shape them, those things are AWESOME.
Today at Faster Than Kudzu, I seem to be playing a little game where I try to make as many long hyphenated word chains as I possibly can. If I am, unbeknownst to myself, playing that game, I suspect I am winning. I am going to try to control myself, but no promises. The "-" key has a strange appeal today. A glow, if you will. An attractive quality, as if it were secreting Tap-Me Pheromones. I am helpless before it, as witnessed to by the word tap-me, which in retrospect ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT NEED TO BE HYPHENATED.
To finish with MORE LINKS (The title is demanding it. The title feels like the "-" key is sidetracking me from linky love and sucking up all the attention. LORD, but Personified Text is TOUCHY. GET A GRIP, PERSONIFIED TEXT! Maybe it isn't ALL ABOUT YOU.) allow me to point out that by tomorrow at midnight, it will be too late to get in on this month's BLOGGING FOR BOOKS CONTEST. There is no time for lollygagging! RUN, FORREST! RUN!
What a lovely showing we have for this month's contest! I believe the complete list of entries follows; but if you entered and you're not on the list, I'm a moron and you should leave a comment pointing that out.
Here are your superhero-themed writings!
1) Disownership Manual by Georgia of odious woman.
2) Climbing the Walls by Elisson of Blog d'Elisson.
3) Superheroes by Magnolia of The Good Stuff.
4) Superheroes by Cathy of Cathy's Cul-de-Sac.
5) Playing With Boys by f-i-n of sunshine state.
6) Creatues of the Night by Robin of A Little Bit of Me.
7) Four Years Ago Tonight by Edgy Mama of Edgy Mama.
8) 57 by Rainbow Mama of Somewhere over the Rainbow.
9) Is the cape required? by Amy of Excrutiating Minutiae.
10) Who Will Save Us Now? by Sleeping Mommy of Sleeping Mommy.
11) Then a Hero Comes Along by poopie of poop happens.
12) The Downside of Saving the World by Holley of Mean Teacher.
13) Which Superhero? by Patti of Writes For Chocolate.
14) SHOUT It Out! by Deb of Red Shoe Ramblings.
15) September 11 by Karry of The Smiths in Florida.
16) A Hero of Sorts by Vicki of Outside In.
17) The South Needs Savin', Too by Becky of pith, marrow, and coffee spoons.
18) Aquaman?!? by Alex of A Bunch of Random Stuff by Me.
19) SWOOP, Unmasked by Jamie of Selkie.
20) Heroes Aren't Hard to Find by Ash of ashvegas.
21) Who's Going to Save the Day? by sp8cemunky of Livejournal.
I will have the list pared down to seven finalists by... um... soon. By Wednesday at the latest. Maybe sooner. Oh, the suspense!
Okay, my friend D-Jay Linkmeister Linky-Link (AKA Jay) sent me THIS NEWS-ISH STORY
Well, FIRST, the most obvious and important thing we can take away from this? WIENERS seem to give one a richer, glossier pelt! The perfect thing to combat dry winter hair! I wonder if wiener-shaped tofu sticks work? I am roaring full steam ahead on my latest health-nut-and-whole-grain train. If ONLY Tofu-dogs didn’t LOOK like plank-shaped cave-fish that have lived in darkness so long their eyes have not only grown over but been SUCKED BACK into their skulls and re-absorbed into the BRAIN.
Digression: OH! SPEAKING SIMULTANEOUSLY OF WIENERS AND CREEPY ANIMALS... I was talking with my friend Mir (subdigression: peep her cool site re-design) about this DOG named WEENIE on a kiddy show called OSWALD. GO LOOK AT HIM.
That dog gives me the screaming willies. Because, think about it. His FACE is on the hot dog part. You could LIFT THAT WHOLE SECTION OF DOG right of the bun and have a legless, pulsing, dogheaded meat-thing, all barking and pink and squirming. And then flopping around in a blind panic would be this pasty-white STEAMED AND LEGGED BUN. UGH! UGH!
Nightmares, that dog gives me. /digression.
Back on topic--- Jay feels VERY strongly that this means my next book should be titled:
Because It Was Hurt, and Because We Had Wieners
Which would be a fabulous title, assuming Imaginary Potential Reader had seen the Little Foxes news story and read either the Stephen Crane poem or Joyce Carol Oates’ book and ALSO come by this blog often enough to clock my endless and ongoing idolization of Joyce Carol Oates.
PS my friend ANNA has MET JCO and that completely FREAKS ME RIGHT ON OUT THE DOOR. Because JCO is the tiniest bit fictional to me in the same way that the Grand Canyon is fictional. I have seen pictures of the Grand Canyon, I have seen BOOKS by JCO, but these things are not ABSOLUTE PROOF of existence. If you follow me. See, it’s possible that the Grand Canyon is done entirely with CGI, and it’s ALSO possible that the novels of JCO appear whole and perfect at astonishly regular intervals on the desk of whatever editor has made a deal with the cosmos to be gifted in such manner.
By the way! This week here at Faster than Kudzu it is Vicious Cruelty Week. I shall tell all my KIMMI stories. Including but not limited to…Kimmi Meets Canada, Kimmi Hearts Goats, and In Which Kimmi is Vanquished by The Mighty Prong. SO there’s THAT to look forward to. Also I am working on a SEKRUT PROJECT and I am failing miserably! HUZZAH! If things do not turn around for me, next week I will probably ask for your help with THE SEKRUT PROJECT. It is SECRET so I will have to make a mailing list of somesuch, WHICH I NEED TO DO ANYWAY. I will see if I can’t come up with a cool prize or whatnot.
HEY! MAYBE THE ARCs WILL BE READY! (!!!!) If so you could win a signed ADVANCE READER’S COPY of my book!
Remember when I showed you my most beautifulest cover ? Here. Look at it again.
And remember I asked you to figure out what was reflected in the REARVIEW mirror?
See, I was thinking it was some sort of FLOWERED VINE or BUSH, but then in comments, David Gray made it seem very plausible that it was actually a chunk of the car.
But we were both wrong. My friend Jay BLEW THE IMAGE UP and then did that CSI-style computer wizardry thing and where they ZOOM IN on a teeny piece of an image and clarify and then ZOOM IN MORE, lather rinse repeat. After several hours in the lab, analyzing, he could make out what it was quite clearly.
What’s the subliminal message THERE, huh?
In other news, you can thank Shawn Box for THIS little treat. You know... people with a mental illness number THAT high always make me feel pretty dern good about treading water in the just-barely-over-my-head portion of the crazy pool.
My friend D-Jay Linketty-Link has been trolling the web again, this time to prove that there IS such a thing as a pointy headed nose viper. THANKS, JAY! YOU’RE COOL, JAY ! I WILL NEVER ASLEEP AGAIN! JAY!
I feel like I could have gone my WHOLE LIFE without seeing that and been PERFECTLY FINE. So of course I had to share it with you. If only to ask…what is THAT GUY’S mental illness number, huh? I don’t think I can COUNT that high. Guys like him do make me feel pretty good about ME, even as I am giving the entire neighborhood colon-blasting cookies and having a sudden and uncontrollable urge to LEARN MACRAME so I can inflict HANGING PLANT BASKETS or every hapless relative I possess. Compared to NOSE VIPER GUY, I’m like the poster child for brain-wellness.
OKAY, now the crapulence. It is squatting on my house like Joyce Carol Oates if she was NOT a well-respected and famously prolific author. More like if she was a crop-blight. More like if Joyce Carol Oates could split herself into seven hundred THOUSAND tiny pieces and each one was a starving locust. (DIGRESSION: I kind of suspect that Joyce Carol Oates CAN split herself into seven hundred thousand pieces, but if I am correct, if she can? In her defense, let me say that none of the pieces have scissoring, cruel mandibles that they use to ravage the crops of peaceful villagers. JCO’s pieces are ALL much too busy WRITING NOVELS. Seriously. That woman can turn out a novel – and usually a darn GOOD novel – in less time than your speediest Granny can knit an afgan. Even if the granny was hopped up on crank, just ONE tiny slice of JCO could KICK HER BUTT.)
OH! Another digression --- This is BAD SCIENCE (sorry, Kim) but oh well. I have here used SQUATTING and JOYCE CAROL OATES in this entry without any of the other trouble words. I am going to watch this entry to see what manner of foul spam it attracts! Which will prove…NOTHING. Because I have no control post with JUST squatting and another with just JCO, but it WILL entertain me and MAYBE even keep me out of bars.
Okay the bad crapulence is this: Remember the whole thing about we JUST MOVED and I am in my DREAM HOUSE and I am happy as whole crowds of clams? Yeah. Well. Three weeks later, the company decides to shut down its Atlanta office. Heh.
If Scott wants to stay in his industry, we have to do A BAD THING that starts with M and rhymes with Prove and I am SO VIOLENTLY AGAINST IT I won’t even say it out loud. But we would have to go to one of four places:
1) Earthquake Central.
Pros: My good friend Jill lives there! HI JILL.
Cons: SO far from my family, HUGE cost of living increase, FILLED with grain-and-nutburgers who will encourage my inner food lunatic until I am living on macrobiotic tofutti-creamcicles.
2) Murder Capitol USA
Pros: Close to Family. Still the South. Julietta is there if she can stop macking on her new hot architect for fifteen minutes and remember she's my friend.
Cons: HELLO? MURDER CAPITOL OF THE USA???
Pros: Near Disneyworld, a chance to FINALLY really become bi-lingual or at least raise kids who are (it’s shameful NOT to speak at least two languages) and also, Christian Troy MIGHT REALLY EXIST!!!!
Cons: Far from family, Roaches as big as your head, and Christian Troy
MIGHT REALLY EXIST!!!!
4) THE CESS PIT.
Pros: The only Pros in the CESS PIT are the hookers. I am not going. I HATE it there. I would sooner pick the rinds of bologna from the TRASH of my NEIGHBORS than go live in this hateful hateful crapulent place.
Cons: Who cares, I am not stinking moving there the end.
So. I have NO IDEA what will happen next. And I hate that because I DO SO enjoy the illusion of control. But oh well. Tra La La!
Look!!! This appears to be me, rolling with it.
D-Jay Linkmeister LinkyLink has struck again, sending me this hard hitting hard news story from the hard edged hardniks at the Chicago Sun-Times. THIS IS MY OLD NEIGHBORHOOD! The second year we were married, Scott and I LIVED in Oak Forest. Batman never came to any of MY parties. I’d be irked, but hey., when you think about it…more cake for me.
ADDENDUM or How to Correct Your Wife Correctly
I just got this e-mail from Scott, my husband, who knows I am geographically challenged to the point of mental deficiency and likes me anyway:
Actually, we lived in Oak Park. Prior to that we lived in Forest Park.
Oak Forest is well south of where we lived.
PS - You're hot.
So point the first is that we lived NOWHERE near the cake-hungry BatLoon, and point the second is that I am HOT! *PREEN!*
No no, wait, that's not point the second. Point the second is that I am NOT hot, but SCOTT thinks I am! *PREEN! PREEN!*
No, wait, dernit, that's not it either. It's this: His e-mail is like a TEXTBOOK PERFECT wife correction. He sent it to ME instead of publicly pointing out that I had no idea where in or around Chicago I lived for several years, and then he ends with a compliment that makes me think he is not of the opinion that I am a total doofus, or anyway at least he thinks I am a HOT doofus. So now I feel very cheerful and great and like macking on my husband instead of embarrassed and poopy and like smacking on my husband.
Go thou, husbands of the universe, and do likewise.
I have become addicted to a blog about one couple's war on infertility. I can not miss it. I get up in the morning, pour myself a cuppa, and while my prodigious amount of e-mail that either offers me highly addictive anti-depressants by mail OR tells me how I can get myself a larger penis via the STRETCHMASTER PAINTHOUSAND is DLing, I go read this blog. If she hasn't put up an entry I feel rather put out.
I will give you the url in a sec, but....
WARNING: she is bleak, she is bitter, she is profane, she is EDGY(and by this I mean she has ZERO sentiment and 17 zillion metric tons of passion), she is the angriest person I have ever read, she uses 'scrutiatingly bad language so it's not a blog you can read out loud with the kids in the room. (When she DOES have her child I imagine this will change. Nothing like having to say to your mother-in-law "OH! UM! Jr's first word is TRUCK, he is just having a little problem pronouncing his TEE AITCHES," to clean a lady's mouth up hehehe. Not that I am speaking from experience or anything. *cough*.)
She's also one of the funniest, one of the brightest, and some of entries put me on the floor weeping and some of them make me laugh so hard I barely make it to the bathroom. And WOW the girl can WRITE. She's astounding. She's amazing. Reading her is a BIT depressing because she is a pure raw natural fount of UNENDING talent, and she doesn't even think of herself as a writer or DO anything writing related.
It's like seeing Michael Jordan on a playground b-ball court where you are KILLING YOURSELF practicing to try and get a shot at the minors, and having him say "Oh I play a little ball yeah. but I'm not, like, going to make a CAREER out of it." It makes you boggle. If she would organize that blog into Creative Non-Fiction (as we must all call memoirs these days in acknowledgement of the the high LIE FACTOR) she could make 70 squidzillion dollars and thus fund as many rounds of fertility treatments as it TAKES and then fly to China and adopt 20 or 30 siblings for him/her. AND she could sell the book I bet because CLEARLY this is a woman who will not let a little rejection STOP her when she has a serious goal.
I wrote her and told she was a writer.
She wrote me back and said she wasn't, she was just an angry miscarrying person.
I told her that wasn't a very good job, and PS she was CLEARLY a writer.
She wrote me back and said OKAY CRACK SMOKER! in the kindest possible way.
By now she has filed my e-mails in the "mentally unstable stalker" file and gone right on being brilliant and SO undiscovered that not even SHE realizes she is The Voice of Her Generation.
Oh well. If you go, DO NOT MISS the June 17th and June 30th entries. Boldly HIT THE ARCHIVES. If you want to laugh until your appendix pops out your nose, surf the section called PEOPLE WE HATE.
I have to say -- if you are easily shocked and offended or if you are squeamish about medical procedures OR most especially if you are my 13 year old nephew who sometimes reads this blog---Don't go clicking that.
The house, not the guy. The guy is our realtor, Jim. My GUY beloved is weilding the camera and does not appear. But the little squidget in the sundress IS beautiful Maisy who is barely two.
If you HATE it, this would be a good time to LIE in the comments. Because I will hear no besmirching smears against my one true love. *tromps off to make out with house.*
I have a friend named Jay who moved to Arkansas and now sends me links to BIZARRO news stories. He says these two things are not related. *looks skeptical* Jay is the SURF MASTER and if it is inapropriate, unpalatable, hilarious and bizarre all at once, HE CAN FIND IT. And if he can find it, he sends it to me. I have been TRYING to make him do a LINK OF THE DAY blog, because my LORD he sniffs out TRAIN-WRECKS! I mean you can not LOOK AWAY from these news stories.
Here is the one he sent me yesterday, and if you do not go read it, the rest of this blog entry will make NO SENSE AT ALL. Plus, its just....astounding. So make like Rikki-Tikki Tavi! Run and find out!
Jay: *Sneeze Sneeze Sneeze* I'm having a sneeze attack. Which, if I pass out, would be about as bad as a caesarean, apparently.
Me: Do not trouble me with your nose issues. I am very terribly busy and important. Currently, I am searching for "man mows his testicles off in bizarre lawn accident" articles to send to you as a THANK YOU for the SELF C SECTION article.
Him: The strongest man in america is a woman in mexico.
Me: And he is clinically insane.
Him: Every time Gig (Editor: Mrs Jay = Gig) complains about childbirth henceforth, I shall say "How bad can it be? A 5 ft tall mexican woman gave herself a c-section without anesthesia!"
Me: Yeah, tell her that. That will get you laid, betcha.
Him: Also, big mega props to the dad for going out drinking when his wife is due and not coming home until after she's been in labor for 12 hours, performed a c-section, passed out, come to, ruined a sweater, and sent the six-year-old for help.
Me: Yes, it's nice work if you can get it..... Hint: You can't get it.
Him: Hey, this swill's not going to drink itself!
Me: You do not have the resume, my friend. you can APPLY, but trust me...never gonna happen.
Him: I bet he was pissed if it was his sweater.
Me: BAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA *snork* *choke* *gasp* OH MAN! HA! That line deserves a prize. Also! You just wrote my blog entry for tomorrow! Hurrah!
Him: Really? I been trying to break into the blog for months!
Yes. Really. See Above.
A friend of mine (short story Guru Gal Wendi Kaufman) sent me a link to an ASTOUNDING site...
Is there some beautiful sweet something you ate in your childhood, and when you think of it, does your mouth flood with the salivations of love, and do you long for it, but then do you sink into the deep sorrowfullest well of deep sorrows, because it is no more?
Well, except it probably still exists. It PROBABLY DOES. And if it exists still? If any little someone somewhere is still making it? YOU CAN FIND IT AT HOMETOWN FAVORITES.
I admit---I was skeptical. I did not want to feed false hopes. But. I tried their search engine anyway....and....and....They have chocolate babies. THEY HAVE CHOCOLATE BABIES. *weeps uncontrollably* THEY! HAVE! CHOCOLATE! BABIES! Which I have not tasted since 1982. And which to my mouth are the very taste of my childhood.
Happy Hunting, and I hope they have your memories in stock...
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.