Archive for November, 2007

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What Stace had to say on Friday, November 30th, 2007
You don’t bring me lotion…anymore

And that’s a good thing.

They’re all out there now, you see. The magazines loaded with “holiday gift ideas”. I’ve been avoiding them, for the most part, because I rarely bother to read magazines of any kind anymore. (And even when I did, the only one I bothered with regularly was Maxim, and the British Maxim sucks. Seriously. Take out all the ironic humor and fun, add a bunch of naked women and some seriously shitty attitudes).

But yesterday I was thumbing through Skye magazine, which comes free every month with our cable and is usually tossed unread. They had a little article about the Dr. Who Christmas episode though so I took it out of its plastic wrapping and opened it.

And there it was. The “Buy for Her!” article. And what were half of those gifts?

Frigging lotion. Bath kits. Environmentally correct body salves made from guano and recycled tea leaves or whatever. Make-up kits. Excuse me, but anyone who buys me any of those (who buys someone else make-up? How do you know what colors to get? Maybe they’re like me and have sensitive skin?) will get a polite thank-you and my undying secret contempt.

Okay, maybe not that harsh. It is the thought that counts, after all, and people who know me will tell you, honestly, that I have more fun buying gifts for others than I do getting them. Foreals. But seriously, lotion? Why don’t you just hand me a card that says, “I don’t know you at all”?

I blame a lot of this on the idea that gift cards are somehow impersonal. I can tell you, though, a bookstore or Amazon gift card tells me you know me a lot better than a basket full of Jean Nate, because being able to get some free books=my idea of Best Holiday Ever. Gift cards may be impersonal, but let’s face it; so are those “What to buy for Her/Him/the Boss/your neighbor” articles. Just like a few years ago when Amazon promised overnight shipping for Father’s Day gifts so they’d be there in time–but only offered it on the items Amazon apparently thought were appropriate Father’s Day gifts, which included golf equipment but did not include Wolverine graphic novels. And nothing I could do would get those gifts in time, because they’d set the days before FD aside just to ship golfing equipment, plaster ducks, ties, coffee table books about sports, etc.

Lotion is a bad gift. Most women already have a ton of it, because every year somebody forks it over for some holiday. Women who use it have a brand they already like. Women who don’t aren’t going to change because somebody gave it to them for free. And honestly, although I am probably the least easily offended person I know when it comes to matters of gender, I think it is a little offensive, because the implication is there’s nothing I–or any other woman–enjoy more than spending hours in the bathroom. When in fact I enjoy quite a lot of things more.

I’m tired of being told pampering myself involves bubble baths and cloying fragrances. When for men pampering themselves means playing golf or doing cool stuff with their car or reading or whatever. You want to pamper me? Cook. Or, y’know, diamonds are always good too. :-)

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, November 28th, 2007
Um.

Um. Um um um.

I am stuck.

I don’t even have a blog post for the day, so let’s do this again. You suggest a topic. Give me something to write about.

I do have a few little things to share though. Remember a while ago, when I blogged about chandeliers etc. made from human bones? Someone over on Livejournal payed a visit to an ossuary in the Czech Republic and posted some pictures. Amazing. Check them out here.

One of my favorite books from my teen years, Pamela Des Barres’ I’m With the Band, was apparently reissued a couple of years ago, and I had no idea. The hubs and I went to Bristol yesterday and I found it at Forbidden Planet, so yay! Just as much fun as I remember it being, too.

Because I was away all day and struggling mightily with Unholy Ghosts (groan), I failed to respond to any comments on my last post. But really, what could I say? You’re all geniuses, with all sorts of nifty info right at your fingertips. I am proud you bother to read my blog.

What else? Hubs and I rewatched season one of Monk while he was off work (Thurs-yesterday, today was his first day back) and really enjoyed ourselves. I am tired. We’ve had a couple of dr. appointments because of Princess’ flat feet (inherited from the other side of the family, ahem, as everyone on MY side has aristocratically high arches) and they are giving her some prescription insoles to help strengthen the muscles in her ankles. It won’t change her feet but it will hopefully help her ankles to stop wobbling.

And that’s it. You see how dull I am. Sorry. Hopefully by Friday the floodgates will have reopened.

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, November 27th, 2007
Tuesday…

And that’s my day at the League of Reluctant Adults blog. We’re talking about cliches.

What Stace had to say on Monday, November 26th, 2007
What do you know?

A response to my metrics over on livejournal got me thinking.

The comment alluded to the famous “horse-head-in-the-bed” Godfather scene, but didn’t menton names. It occurred to me then, not only do I know the owner of the bed’s name–Jack Woltz–I know the horse’s name. It was Khartoum.

Just like I know Ashley Wilkes’ real first name was George. Just like I know Doc Brown’s time machine needed 1.21 gigowatts of energy for the flux capacitor to work.

I also know the name of Nick and Nora Charles’ dog (Asta–perennial crossword puzzle favorite). I know Captain Queeg’s full name was Philip Francis Queeg. I know the Millenium Falcon made the kessel run in less than 12 parsecs. I know the man who shot President Garfield was named Charles Guitaeu, and that he said in court, “Your Honor, I confess to the shooting of the President but not the killing.” Typhoid Mary’s last name was Mallon. The Beatle’s first drummer was Stu Sutcliffe. Amylase is a digestive enzyme in saliva. There are almost 300 different germs which cause the “common cold”, which is why there’s no cure for it–it’s not one cold, it’s hundreds with the same symptoms.

And I’m boring you with all of this because I find it interesting, how we remember things. Test me on some of the stuff I learned in high school and I have no idea, but I can tell you that defenestration means falling out of a window or triskadekaphobia is fear of the number 13 without batting an eyelash.

Why do we hold on to some bits of knowledge and lose others? Not even always more interesting bits of information. But some things seem to stick in our heads, and stay there.

What bits are you holding on to?

Unholy Ghosts

New Words: 5,641
Total wordcount: 64,649
The Good: Oooh, men getting all protective and angry! New information makes pieces get closer to fitting together!
The Bad: We might have caught a bad guy! And we’re about to watch him get the living shit kicked out of himself.
The Gross: None at the moment.
The rampant drug use: Just regular addictions.
Location: Drug den, car, behind a messy desk, on a lawn
Downspeech: “Ain’t gonna see me, sweets. You just keep him by the building.”
I Hate My Work: This is going to be way too long, or way too short, you couldn’t pace a book properly to save your life, you talentless hack.

What Stace had to say on Saturday, November 24th, 2007
This should have gone in yesterday’s post

Unholy Ghosts

New Words: 9k or so, throughout the week
Total wordcount: 59,008
The Good: Woo-HOOO! Big makeout scene! A sex scene (they made me do it, knew I wouldn’t be able to resist)
The Bad: Oh, dear. We’ve totally hurt someone we care about. Also, bad guys hitting people and killing people.
The Gross: Dead person left in Chess’ bed.
The rampant drug use: a banned pill found in a tunnel full of dead people.
Location: Bar, rainy streets, Lex’s place, Chess’ place
Downspeech: “You ain’t count on no rules to save you, Chess. You oughta know that. Don’t know where your head was.”
I Hate My Work: You’re never going to get all this tied up, you’ve written yourself into a corner, you suck.

What Stace had to say on Friday, November 23rd, 2007
Just a short one

and very late. Both girls were in school this morning, and the hubs is off work for a few days, so we headed off into a nearby town to do a little shopping. Of course we bought nothing but it was nice to be out on our own anyway.

Had an okay Thanksgiving. Being sick didn’t help. But we had turkey and all the trimmings, I made pumpkin pie, and we watched our Thanskgiving movies.

First was Planes, Trains and Automobiles, after which we had a long discussion of the genius that was John Candy, with analysis of our favorite Candy films.

And then…L.A. Confidential, which is one of the greatest films ever made. There is no limit to how much I adore this movie. Every performance in it is perfect. The plot is amazing. The look of it, the dialogue, everything. And freaking Titanic beat it for Best Picture. I’d love to know if that movie still holds up as well as this one. I bet it doesn’t.

And now we’re watching Raiders of the Lost Ark.

What are your Thanksgiving movies? Which John Candy film is your favorite?

What Stace had to say on Wednesday, November 21st, 2007
I never do this, and I hope I’m not jinxing myself…

But since I did a longer post yesterday than I planned (stupid woman!!! I saw her car this morning–she’d back in to her spot. HA!), and I’m reaching a pivotal scene in Unholy Ghosts so really want to get back to it, so…

I’m going to post a snippet.

I’ll probably remove it after a day or two, but here it is. Keep in mind this is a first draft, please! :-)

****Sorry…you missed it.****

Oh, and…Tionna has done it again.

What Stace had to say on Tuesday, November 20th, 2007
In Which my Bad Mood leads me to behave in a most unmannerly fashion

First, I posted at the League of Reluctant Adults blog, about what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving.

So here’s what happened.

It’s raining today. So after I picked Princess up from school we’re walking along the gravel road that serves as a parking lot, and we’re sticking fairly close to the cars because there’s a lot of puddles and I’d rather the girls not get their legs and feet wet (we’re all wearing raincoats.)

There are two cars left to pass before we get to ours. The first is a red minivan kind of thing, and the woman who owns it is loading her kids in. All her kids are standing in the fairly narrow space between her car and the blue car next to it, beyond which is mine.

We wait, but she sees us and steps back a bit so we can pass. At which point, Blue Car Woman starts backing up and almost runs over Princess.

I yank Princess back. Blue Car Woman has stopped. I yell, “Hey! You almost hit my child!”

She sits there another minute, then rolls down her window. So I say it again. “You almost hit my child, were you even looking where you were going?”

She says, snippily, “Yes, I was.”

Me: “Well, you weren’t doing a very good job of it, because you almost hit my child.”

She: “Do you drive a car?”

Me (who knows good and damn well what inspired THAT little comment, and it has to do with me not pronouncing “can’t” as “cahn’t”: “Yes, I do, I drive every day, and I certainly know how to use my mirrors. This is a school, you fucking moron, you need to be more careful.”

She starts to say something else, but I say, “Oh, fuck off,” and turn away. So she pulls back into her spot. I wait for her to pull out. She is apparently waiting for me to walk behind her, as if I’d give her another shot at my kids. Finally she rolls down her window and I say, “Are you going to go, or what?”

And she–I still can’t believe this–crinkles up her snotty little face and says, “Are you going to stand there, or what?” Yes, that’s right. I was mimicked by a grown woman.

It goes a little hazy there. I’m sure I told her she should go because I wouldn’t walk behind her car again. I suspect I called her a fucking bitch. I know I told her all she’d needed to do was apologize, and she should be more careful in future.

She started to pull away, yelling something unintelligble about how I should wash my car because it “looks disgusting” (it’s RAINING and has for days), to which I gave her the finger.

I’m not proud of it…but if I had to do it again I probably would have been even nastier. I cannot believe she almost hit MY child with HER car and had the nerve to act as though something was wrong with ME for saying something to her about it. What if she had hit her? Should I have let that go too? It’s a school parking lot, you need to be careful. My daughter was in a white raincoat.

Grrrrrr…

Unholy Ghosts

New Words: 5,205 (in three days or so again)
Total wordcount: 50,002
The Good: Remembering someone else thinks we’re brave gives us the strength to be brave, aaaw.
The Bad: Library stalkers, terrified in pitch darkness.
The Gross: Decaying bodies in a tunnel
The rampant drug use: a little speed, a pill or two
Location: Library, platform of the train to the City of the Dead, tunnels under the regular city
Downspeech: Hardly any speech at all—I’m a little worried about that
I Hate My Work: You’ve tried to make this taut and scary, but everyone’s going to hate it, aren’t they?

What Stace had to say on Monday, November 19th, 2007
I Should Not be Blogging Today

Seriously, I shouldn’t. Because I am in such a bad mood. I mean, the kind of bad mood where you start to not care what people think.

I’m in a bad mood because both the kids are sick now.

I’m in a bad mood because I’m getting sick now.

I’m in a bad mood because it’s Monday.

I’m in a bad mood because I got no new words made yesterday.

I’m in a bad mood because it’s cold.

I’m in a REALLY bad mood because nobody’s beaten the fucking New England Patriots yet, which is a huge pile of shit, and yes, videotaping other teams’ practices IS cheating, you shitheads.

Mostly, I’m in a bad mood because there are some people on this planet who fucking refuse to think, speak, or write logically about anything, who refuse to use their brains, who insist they know everything about places they haven’t even been or industries they haven’t worked in or whatever the fucking topic of the day happens to be, and I’ve had enough of it, and I should seriously probably get offline before I start cussing them out.

You know what? Some things relating to your life, are not my fucking responsibility. If you fuck up your life, that’s your problem, and I resent that I’m supposed to step in and help you or hold your widdle hand and tell you yes, it’s awful those big bad people are being so darn meeean to you. When if you’d just done what you were supposed to do in the first place, you wouldn’t be having this problem.

Today’s post was supposed to be about art, and creative arts specifically. This stems from a conversation my husband and I had, ages ago, which I believe related to the whole “Hannibal” movie Jodie Foster refused to be in, which I know I’ve mentioned here before. Because Jodie Foster said Clarice would never do what she did in that book, and I got all irritated, because how the fuck would she know? She didn’t create that character. She interpeted it.

Actors may be artists. I suppose they would be, in the same way that a dancer is an artist. But not quite. Because while I consider dancers to be creative artists, I consider actors to be reactive artists–they interpret what is already there. They didn’t write anything. They didn’t create a world in their head. They simply took someone else’s work and added a face and voice to it.

In other words–and this was supposed to be a longer post but let’s just get to the fucking point–without writers, there would be no movies. No TV shows. No plays. Nothing for actors to do but sit around, improv, and irritate people with their childish demands for attention and their self-created drama.

Behind every award-winning performance in a film or play or tv show, there is award-winning writing. Or at least, writing of such a caliber that the interpreter of it can win an award. Without those words to say, the actor wouldn’t know what sort of person they were being. Without that speech being written, there is no performance of it.

So sign the petition, because without writers the world would be a much less rich and interesting place.

What Stace had to say on Friday, November 16th, 2007
New Release!

“As the Lady Wishes”, the first of (so far) two EC novels my lovely cp/wp Anna J. Evans and I wrote together, is released!

Here’s the blurb:

After escaping an abusive marriage, Lila Hayes never dreamed she’d fall into bed with a tall, dark and domineering man like Arthur. He’s a stranger, he’s cocky as hell, and…he seems to have emerged from the painting on her wall. From the second she feels his touch, Lila knows she’s found the lover of her wildest fantasies.

Arthur of Sefyll is an ancient Druid, a man cursed for thousands of years to grant the wishes of those who summon him from his enchanted rest. He’s had enough of serving mortal whims, until he spends a night satisfying Lila’s every carnal fantasy and losing his heart in the process.

But soon, the new lovers’ happiness is threatened by a monster from Lila’s past and a horror from beyond the grave.

Now Arthur and Lila must convince sexy Sheriff Sam Walker to succumb to his desire for them both and help them form a mystical threesome. Wishes are no longer enough to keep Lila safe. Only the love of two special men can save her life — or maybe just as importantly, mend her heart.

Very exciting, especially as this book was actually my very first EC sale, and tons of fun to write.

Buy it here.

What else? The edits load is lightening a little bit–the first round is done on Personal Demons, and Megan is not a therapist anymore! She is now a Counselor, with a PhD in Counseling Psychology instead of the MA she had before. Lookie there.

Everything else, still editing. I’ve only managed a little over a thousand words on Unholy Ghosts (as you will see by the pitiful metrics), which is grr but hopefully by tonight I’ll be able to get cracking again.

Princess woke up at 4 this morning sobbing because her ear hurt. Oh yes, the Ear Infection Fairy decided to pay a visit to our house last night. Poor little thing, I gave her some Calpol (baby aspirin, basically) and tucked her back into bed, only to learn around 7 that the ear hadn’t stopped hurting and she hadn’t gone back to sleep. I feel like the Worst Mother Alive, despite the fact that Wednesday night Faery woke up at 1 with a cough, and I stayed on the couch with her all night, propped up so she could lay on me in a more upright position (and woke up with a crick in my neck for my troubles). So Princess stayed home from school today and we went to the doctor and the bookstore, because little girls with ear infections get a new book. It’s a law.

Tomorrow I will be posting an incredibly amusing interview with Caitlin Kittredge over at the League of Reluctant Adults blog, you should be sure to check it out.

And Monday we will be discussing writing and art here. Which sounds boring but will hopefully be fun.

Unholy Ghosts

New Words: 1,121 (in three days, thanks to being slammed with edits)
Total wordcount: 46,797
The Good: Oops, looks like somebody has a real heart!
The Bad: Still the bad, bad evil magic man.
The rampant drug use: Speed
Location: on the beach
Downspeech: None, really, but there is some idiosyncratic Puritanesque speech: “Thou saw things thou did not want to see again.”
I Hate My Work: Why can’t you write the next scene? Why are you so dull and unimaginative? You’ve done this whole thing all wrong, haven’t you, you idiot.



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