Archive for December, 2008



What Stace had to say on Sunday, December 28th, 2008
The Coming Year

Well.

So here we are, all in our places with bright shiny faces, ready for 2009, right? RIGHT! And 2009 is going to be a great year, really really really. I can feel it in my bones. No more whining about the Year That Ate My Happiness; we’re all about the 09, now.

And what a way to start the year, because I have several announcements to make, and a bit about my schedule–which includes (gasp) appearances!

So. Here’s an announcement, first of all; a pretty big one. The hubs and I have booked our tickets, and are moving back to the US in April. There are a number of reasons for this, which I won’t go into, but suffice it to say we’re very excited about going home. England is a beautiful place, and I will always be grateful that we–especially the girls–had the opportunity to live in another country, but we’ve been here for just over three years and it’s time to go home.

However. This does mean that for essentially the entire month of April I am going to be unreachable. My BlackBerry contract runs out in March; I had really hoped to extend it another couple of months so I can still get my emails, but I can’t guarantee it.

The good news about this, though, is that in April I *will* be at the Romantic Times convention in Orlando, and should be signing some books.

So. My schedule for the year is basically as follows (don’t worry, I’ll update throughout the year as well):

Jan-March. Regular schedule; I have to finish the third Downside book (which I hope to do by the end of Feb) and obviously we’ll have some moving things to keep us busy, but I will keep everyone informed as we go along.

April: Moving. We’ll be spending a few days in NYC, which I am incredibly excited about (I’ve never been there) as I already have plans to tour the Del Rey offices and have dinner and drinks with my fantastic editor, to meet up with my agent, all those fun things. Whee! And then we head down to Miami to visit our friends and family down there; we can’t wait to see them all again.

Then I’m attending the RT convention in Orlando, April 22-26. As of now I’m not doing any panels or “official” events save the booksigning on Saturday the 25th. BUT, on Thursday morning, from 10:30 to 11:30, Team Seattle (of which I have been informed I am a “satellite” member, which tickles me to no end and makes me feel all warm and gooey and loved), including me and a few other technically non-Seattlites, are doing a Club RT event, with fun and a seriously kickass prize, so you will NOT want to miss that; come hang out and talk with us!

May: Traveling; hopfully visiting friends and family in TX.

Summer: Hopefully buying and settling into new house in time for girls to start school with everyone else. If anyone knows any realtors in or around the Alpharetta/Marietta/Cummings area north of Atlanta GA, please let me know. We aren’t sure we’ll be in the market for a house but we’re hopeful. :-)

September: Dragon*Con! I will definitely be there; I have no idea as yet what if anything I will officially be doing there, but I will definitely be there, and it would be great to see any of you there too!

October-December: Don’t know.

I am also currently in the process of building a new website, and I’m really excited about it. It’s a long slow process, ugh; writing website content is horrible, really. All this stuff all about me and my books. It’s weird. I always feel like I’m coming off as a lunatic.

It does mean, too, that I am going to be doing some new FAQs. So if you have any questions you’d like to see answered there, go ahead and ask them. I’m willing to pretend they’re “Frequently asked” if you are; it will be our little secret. :-) And of course I’m trying to come up with other stuff, bits and pieces that might interest people about the books, that sort of thing. I also plan to have a couple of pages on the business of publishing and maybe a bit about writing as well; we’ll see. And one thing I’m very excited about and I think will be way cool, but it’s not ready to be discussed yet.

I’m building the website for now at staciakane.net (no, there’s nothing up yet.) Once it’s been launched I’ll be directing the staciakane.com domain name there, so either address will get you to the same site.

The December Quinn site will not change, and I haven’t yet decided if I’ll link to it. Probably not, though.

I’m also considering building a blog into the actual site, but I’m not sure. Copying-and-pasting my posts from here to livejournal (or vice versa occasionally) isn’t a big deal, but I don’t know that I can keep up with comments posted in three separate places. Not sure what to do there, really. I may end up letting Blogger go dark. Again, that’s up in the air at the moment, and I’m open to any thoughts.

We’re making some changes at the League of Reluctant Adults, as well! More on that later but it will of course be a hoot, whatever we do.

Um…I think that’s it for announcements for today. I will post the Big News as soon as I can, and I’m hoping to have release dates for the Chess Putnam books starting with Unholy Ghosts within the next few months. Which is to say, I hope the release dates are scheduled and I can announce them soon, not that the books will actually be released in the next few months. But that would be fun, wouldn’t it? Sigh.

I believe that is it for the moment. Like I said I’ll keep everything updated as we go along.

What Stace had to say on Thursday, December 25th, 2008
A few holiday pictures

Just a couple of shots, from last night’s present-opening extravaganza!

Hope you’re all having a lovely holiday!

What Stace had to say on Thursday, December 18th, 2008
Odds and Ends

Well, folks, this is my last scheduled blog post until after the new year. I’m officially going on hiatus until then. Unofficially, of course, I’ll still come back and post if I have anything to rant about or share, but I’m not going to be sticking to my regular schedule for the next few weeks. Too much going on, both for me and for you, I imagine.

One of the things I’m going to be doing is working on a new website. I’ve narrowed it down to a couple of layouts/designs, and need to pick one and get started. It’s a little–okay, a lot–scary, because I’m going to be doing it myself (I had planned to pay to have one designed, and still hope to at some point, but for the moment I just can’t quite justify the expense, and since I’m not sure exactly what I want anyway…sigh.)

So, does anyone have any suggestions for what you’d like to see on my website? What do you like to see on any writer’s website? I’ll have excerpts and release dates (what release dates I have, anyway, which isn’t any at the moment, sorry), and FAQs and stuff like that. But I’m trying to think of other fun features and things to put in there. I do have one thing planned which I’m not going to share at the moment, but if it goes well it will become a regular feature and should be pretty cool (at least I think so.)

Another thing I may do–something I’ve been thinking about for quite a while–is switch my main email from the December account to the Stacia account. Right now emails sent to Stacia get forwarded to December, and I may switch that. Because Stacia gets more email.

And also…because I’ve been thinking of phasing December out entirely.

See, here’s the thing. In another corner of the internets, I mentioned–quite without thinking–that I haven’t written any new erotic romance in over a year. And it kind of hit me a little later that day, that that was correct. I haven’t written any new erorom in over a year. Accustomed to his Fangs was the last December release for at least some time; I don’t have any new erorom ideas percolating. It’s not really where I’m focused these days.

And I’m not really sure what that means for me or my career, honestly. But at some point, unless I start writing erorom again–which is entirely possible, I’m not saying at the moment that I never will, just that as of now I don’t have any real plans to–there’s no point in keeping my erotic romance pen name.

So I’m not really sure what to do about that. I imagine it’s something I’ll make a decision on in the next few months; I’m not worried about it right now. But it is a concern for me, or rather, it is something I’m thinking about.

And on a totally different note, hubs and I were very interested to see the Broward County PD has now officially closed the Adam Walsh case, and declared Ottis Toole to be the guilty party. We’re not really sure how we feel about this, given that Toole has long been a suspect but has also long been doubted as The Guy.

And here’s the thing. Of course it’s not bizarre for us to be interested in the Adam Walsh case–really, who among us who were children in 1981 doesn’t remember it? But we have a particular interest in it, which is a little chilling. See, while in 1981 I was safely tucked up in the suburbs of St. Louis, the hubs was living in Davie, FL. And the Sears from which Adam was taken was less than fifteen minutes from his house. And of course, hubs was the same age as Adam. And, in fact, just a day or two before Adam was stolen from that Sears, hubs’s Mom had taken hubs to that exact same store–and left him alone in that exact same toy aisle while she did her shopping. Kind of chilling, isn’t it?

I know, it’s hard to remember now that there was a time when parents used to leave their young kids unattended in the toy aisle. But they did, all the time. We used to stay in the car, too; I have lots of memories of reading in the car while my Mom ran into one store after another. Nobody thought anything of it, or worried about it at all; it was perfectly normal. Whereas now… It’s a very sad commentary on what the world has become, isn’t it?

On a cheerier note…I got my coat back from the dry cleaner’s today, thus ending my weeks of substitute-coat misery. (Remember, I fell on my ass in Tintagel mus?) My coat is nice and clean, and they fixed the rip in the lining too. Yay coat!

And, BFF Cori sent us a package, which arrived today, so we now have the entire first season of The Big Bang Theory on DVD. This makes me very happy, because I adore this show. Yay DVD!

And I guess that’s basically it. I keep thinking I had another topic to bring up today, but I don’t.

So I will be here, but only sporadically (the good news is this means I can spend more time *visiting your blogs* than I normally get to have), and if you have any thoughts or ideas or suggestions for my nifty new website–which I will NOT be using GoDaddy’s horrible WebSite Tonite program for, thank you very much–please, share them! I’d love to hear what you guys like to see in a website.

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone, no matter which one you celebrate. You all have made my days brighter over the last year, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your comments, emails, and thoughts. Mrs. Giggles did a post on her blog not long ago about my blog readers, and what a great variety of clever, cool people I have (no, seriously, she did!) and I can’t agree more.

What Stace had to say on Monday, December 15th, 2008
Sigh

I was going to do another post about the RWA today, specifically focusing on their stated purpose, which is “…[to] support the professional interests of its more than 10,000 members…” and “…to help its members pursue a career in romance fiction…” (which is a bunch of bullshit, is it not? Since they have no interest in helping ALL of their members pursue a career in romance fiction, only those who write romance without that dirty sex stuff in it) and on their Code of Ethics, which, in light of the new RITA rule, is a total and complete joke.

Check this out (it’s the middle “principle” of ethical conduct an RWA member should exhibit):

“RWA members strive to treat fellow members, RWA staff, and others with respect.”

There’s also one about adhering to RWA’s bylaws, to which I no longer have access since I decided last year to stop throwing my money away by giving it to them as “membership dues”. Last time I read the bylaws they didn’t allow discrimination, but my memory could be faulty. Either way, I hardly see telling writers who qualify for PAN that despite qualifying (by earning over the minimum “professional” amount–in other words, RWA considers PAN members to be professionals and thinks they should be treated as such), they’re still not allowed to enter the RITA, respectful. Or honest. I certainly don’t think the rule belongs on the same website as the words “integrity” or “honesty”.

Oh, members are also not permitted to engage in “conduct injurious to RWA and its stated goals”–that of helping members pursue careers etc. etc. Seems to me that the new RITA rule is awfully fucking injurious to a lot of writers’ career goals, and that that might be something a group of those of you who retained your membership in order to “change from within” might be interested in looking into–why not get that change started now? Why not DO SOMETHING from within the organization?

There are disciplinary actions in place, you know, designed to deal with violations of the Code of Ethics.

I’m just thinking out loud here.

See, here’s the thing. I know I’m actually blogging about the RWA when I said I wasn’t going to. But there’s something I realized a while ago, and it’s something I think is worth sharing with everyone else.

The RWA is a writer’s organization–at least, it’s supposed to be. Membership is not obligatory for success. It’s a nonissue. The RWA board is made up of writers. Not agents. Not editors. Not anyone who makes any decisions as far as your career is concerned.

You do not have to be an RWA member to get an agent. You do not have to be an RWA member to get published. You do not have to be an RWA member to have a long and successful career.

The RWA is a straw man. So many writers are, I think, a little afraid of speaking out against the RWA. And I understand it, I do. We all hear so often that editors and agents are reading blogs and paying attention to our conduct, and that if they get the slightest whiff of us behaving unprofessionally we’ll be blackballed. No more contracts for us! We’re done.

But it’s not true. Not at all. The RWA has NO power other than what writers give it. None. And while I’m sure most agents and editors are happy to attend RWA events and genuinely enjoy them, I really don’t think they’re going to leap to defend the organization as a whole and decide writers who speak out against the disrimination in the organization–discrimination against paying members who have done nothing wrong except write the word “cock” a few too many times in their books–are Bad Eggs, unprofessional attitude problems they don’t want to deal with. In fact, I imagine it would be extremely difficult to find an agent or editor who actively CARES what anyone says about the RWA; and I bet you’ll find one or two agents out there who represent writers who are also epublished, who are just as angry about this on behalf of their clients as I am on behalf of friends of mine who are hurt by this.

The RWA is NOT the publishing industry. They’re not. They’re just a group of writers. In the past they have gotten together AS WRITERS and done some good things–forcing Harlequin to give up rights to pen names, for example. But they didn’t do that as Publishing Movers & Shakers. They did it as writers. Because that’s all they are.

They don’t make decisions about your career. The board members don’t spend their days on the phone with agents and editors discussing in what direction the industry should go. CEOs of publishing houses do not have them on speed-dial to ask them for advice.

In other words, speaking out against their shameful discriminatory policies is not going to get you blackballed from publishing. It just isn’t.

The only reason they have ANY power, any at all, is because their members give it to them. And by saying that I don’t mean the RWA is like Freddy Krueger, gaining power from fear and becoming stronger and stronger with every scream (well, okay, maybe I do mean that a little.) But what I really mean is, they are powerful because you give them power in numbers. If the RWA was comprised of fifty people nobody would give a shit what they did (well, a lot of people still don’t give a shit what they do, but you know what I mean). But because they’re so large, they have power. Because they tell people they’re there to help and advocate etc. etc., and people believe it, that gives them power. Because they have somehow managed to spread the propoganda that belonging to the RWA is an important part of having a professional career in romance writing, a lot of people join believing it–and stay even when they’re not sure what they’re getting out of it.

But their scope is so limited. The RWA has power over the RWA’s members, and that’s it. Not over any individual, not over the industry as a whole. They just don’t.

So don’t be afraid to speak out and insist that the RWA–which is your organization, and you should have a voice in it–account for itself. Insist they live up to that Code of Ethics. Insist they start treating their members equally according to their own rules (PAN members are RITA-eligible if they released a book in the last year, period.) Insist that they represent ALL their members, not just the ones of whose books they approve.

You do not answer to the RWA. They answer to you. Without you they’re nothing. Make sure they know it.

What Stace had to say on Friday, December 12th, 2008
RIP BETTIE

*cries*

What Stace had to say on Thursday, December 11th, 2008
Hey readers! Guess who thinks you’re tacky and stupid and unimportant?

Our old friends, the RWA.

Well, to be fair, it’s not the entire RWA by any stretch. Just the ones who make the rules.

These women; the RWA board. (Although to be fair I don’t know if the President-Elect or the District Heads have any say or not.)

Published romance authors all of them–in other words, people who depend upon YOU for their living–who have nothing but contempt for readers who enjoy reading ebooks, particularly erotic romance ebooks. They think your tastes are too lowbrow; they think the books you enjoy reading are garbage; they think the fact that you prefer (often [but not always] less expensive) environmentally sound and convenient ebooks means you aren’t really reading books. They think what you like is low quality. Beneath them. They think you are obviously not capable of recognizing good writing or good stories. They think you’re rabid, filthy onanists who spend all your free time slavering over porn and wearing out batteries or giving yourself carpal tunnel.

And they are determined–DETERMINED–to see that the books you enjoy will never gain any sort of respect, because such books are no-good crap. And your opinion matters not one bit to them. They are going to make absolutely goddamned sure that you realize how nasty and gross they think you and your tastes are. The fact that you might enjoy them? The fact that you might find it difficult to read books because the print is small and you can make it larger on your ereader? The fact that you live in a small house and don’t have much room to store books, so you buy ebooks instead? Perhaps you’re an environmentalist. Perhaps you simply are a fan of certain ebook authors. Or maybe you just enjoy reading really hot explicit romances.

The RWA board has one thing to say to you: Fuck off. The books you like are shit. (Okay, that’s two things. But still.)

Do you wonder what’s brought this on? How I know that the RWA board–people who sure want you to buy their books–thinks this way of you?

I’ll tell you why (like you thought maybe I wouldn’t.) I might have mentioned this before, I don’t recall exactly. But there was a new rule added to the RITA contest this year. This rule was NOT given to the general membership for voting; it wasn’t even mentioned to the general membership. No one was warned it would be in there. It was simply sneaked in under the wire, because the RWA board didn’t want to openly discuss it–they didn’t want to take any chances that RWA members might hear about it and point out what a disgusting and contemptuous way this is to treat paying members of an organization, and the fans of those paying members, or readers who simply like ebooks.

These are the RITA-specific rules:

“Books entered in the 2009 RITA contest must:

Have an original copyright date (printed on the copyright page) or a first printing date or a first North American printing date of 2008.

Not have been previously entered.

Be mass-produced by a non-Subsidy, non-Vanity Publisher in print book format.

Meet the requirements for the category in which it was entered.

Be a work of original fictional narrative prose.”

On other words, no ebooks allowed. Only mass-produced books, books with print runs, are good enough to enter the RITA.

The purpose of these rules, in general, is to ensure the contest is fair; but more than that, rules about non-vanity, non-subsidy publishers are there to make sure RITA judges don’t get snowed under by a flood of self- or vanity-published, unedited books. In other words–deliberately inflammatory ones–to make sure they don’t get snowed under by a bunch of crappy, poorly edited books.

And apparently ebooks qualify, in the eyes of the RWA board, as crap.

That’s right, readers? That ebook you read that touched your heart and made you happy? That kept you on the edge of your seat? That made a long train journey more enjoyable?

The RWA board thinks it’s garbage, and you’re a dipshit for enjoying it.

It’s possible right now that you’re thinking, “But that just means the RWA board doesn’t consider epublished books really published, right? Isn’t there another contest for unpublished authors? Maybe this is ebook discrimination, but in a different way; maybe they’re not saying ebooks are crap, just that they don’t consider that ‘real’ publishing. Which is bad, but, y’know, not quite as bad as telling a whole bunch of readers that the RWA board thinks the books they like are shitty.”

And that might be a fair assumption, except epublished books are not eligible for the Golden Heart contest for unpublished writers.

See here:

“The Golden Heart contest is open to writers who have not accepted a publishing offer from a non-Subsidy, non-Vanity Publisher for a work of original fictional narrative prose of 20,000 words or more by the contest entry deadline.”

See? It doesn’t say anything there about a book not being considered “published” if it’s an ebook.

And to further clarify, RWA’s President, Diane Pershing–a woman who wants you to buy and read her books, remember–had this to say:

“The phrase “mass-produced” as it pertains to the RITA contest, is intended to define eligible books as those that are produced in sufficient quantity by the publisher to be offered for sale to the trade (booksellers and librarians) at standard discount rates and returnable.”

So there you go. The RWA thinks its dues-paying members who write ebooks should not sully their precious fucking RITA with their dirty, substandard books. And because those books are dirty and substandard it stands to reason, then, that people who LIKE those books are somehow themselves dirty or substandard. Ms. Pershing thinks you’re an idiot, in other words, with bad taste in books. You don’t know what romance really is, according to her; you wouldn’t know a good story if it bit you on the ass (although, don’t say “ass” around her because that’s one of those filthy words.) Your tastes are crap; you are incapable of judging the quality of a book or story, and she wants nothing to do with you (oh, except, of course, hopefully buying one of her books! Because you need her help to learn what a real book is, you see; hopefully one day you’ll wise up and learn that what you like isn’t good enough.)

This is bullshit. This is the biggest pile of bullshit I’ve ever seen in my life.

Why is anyone standing for this? Why the hell are epublished writers still paying dues to this organization that clearly thinks they’re a bunch of useless hacks? And why the hell would romance writers, women who spend so much of their time feeling forced to defend their genre to snobs of every other genre, turning around and being such insufferable, unapologetic, discriminatory snobs themselves?

And seriously, why does anyone bother being an RWA member? As I’ve said before on numerous occasions, aside from the local chapter meetings (which I gather some people enjoy, but I still think you could organize a good writing group without the RWA sticking their lousy noses into it), the RWA offers NOTHING. It does NOTHING. I can quite honestly say that being a member did not advance my career one iota. Not one bit. It did nothing for me, at all. The RWA provides not one bit of information that cannot be had online anywhere else for free.

As it is? It seems to me paying dues to the RWA is like having a store tell you they won’t hire you to work the register because you’re (too short/too fat/blonde/black/a woman/a man/Asian/insert some other offensively discriminatory adjective here) and then continuing to do all your shopping there.

Any other market or group or whatever in the world would react to this type of discrimination with outrage. Any other market or group or whatever in the world would not countenance this type of discrimination, period. “Some are more equal than others” isn’t permissable anymore, not in this day and age.

Now, I know I’ve said before that readers don’t need to care about the RITA. And I still feel that way, to a large degree. But this isn’t about the RITA itself. It’s about the books you love, and how a group of writers of other books has gotten together to tell you they don’t consider those books to be worthy of their time or their awards, and that as writers in the genre you read, they think you ought to be toeing their line and reading what they want you to. They think your judgment is bad; they think you and your favorite books suck, and you can all fuck off.

I am hugely, HUGELY offended by this, and you should be too. Because what the RWA board is saying, very clearly, is that they do not want members who write ebooks, and they do not consider readers who enjoy ebooks to be readers they are interested in. They don’t want to give the books you love awards; they barely tolerate authors you love as members. They do not want to invite the writers you love to signings or events. They don’t think the writers and stories you enjoy are worth their time or effort; they think you have bad taste and are not particularly smart.

And what’s particularly funny about that is, this is the same group of writers who not only have never bothered to learn anything about epublishing, but who STILL cannot figure out how to define “erotic romance”. WRITERS. WHO DON’T KNOW THE MEANING OF BASIC WORDS. Who after three or four YEARS still haven’t figured it out. They don’t want to have to give awards to erotic romance, because remember, they don’t think books with sex in them are “real” romance; they think you erotic romance fans are just dirty, filthy consumers of dirty, filthy porn, and they want nothing to do with you. (Wow, that definition thing inspires a lot of confidence in their ability. Is that like a professional violinist who can’t find F-sharp?)

Oooh, this pisses me off. I am so glad I let my membership lapse. I had actually considered entering the RITA this year, but I’m glad I didn’t, because I will never, ever give the RWA another penny of my money until they change this shameful policy.

What Stace had to say on Monday, December 8th, 2008
Party pictures

Two of them show me in the little velvet jacket I took along to keep warm, one of them shows just the corset. Two of them show the hubs, one does not. In two of them I look okay, in one of them the hubs and I both resemble zombies. Two at the party, one after back at the hotel room–the red shoes at my feet are not the ones I wrore; I wore low-heeled black suede boots. The top one is my favorite; I think I actually look like me in it.

If anyone cares, my waist in that corset was a little under 25 inches.

Today’s post is below, so scroll down. Feel free to comment on the pics–if you’re going to–in the comments to the actual post, rather than commenting 2x. Um, if you were going to, anyway.

What Stace had to say on Monday, December 8th, 2008
Oh, boy, what a day

Today is my little Faerie’s birthday. She’s four. I’m not sure how I feel about this.

That sounds kind of weird, but I don’t mean it to. See, Faerie is my baby. My baby. The last baby I’ll have, seeing as how I recently turned 35 and have always said that’s where I’d draw the baby line. Not to mention that I had some issues with contractions etc. throughout my pregnancy with her, and have had two c-sections, so another pregnancy would probably not be a great idea anyway, especially as I tend to have lovely big babies (Princess was 8lbs. 6oz. the day after her due date; Faerie was 7lbs 13oz two weeks before hers. Keep in mind I am very small.) One of these days I’m going to try and dig up the pics we took of me a week or so before Faerie was born; I was HUGE. Anyway.) So, while I readily admit part of me really wants to have another baby…it’s not going to happen. We’re done.

So it’s fairly hard/weird for me, to see my baby get older, and know that’s it. We will never need diapers on a regular basis again. We will not keep a supply of onesies in our house; we’ve been debating how much longer we’ll keep the stroller my dad bought us when I was pregnant with Princess and has now carried both girls longer than I did. We have a crib in the garage we won’t be putting our children in ever again. No more big wobbly heads, no more big baby eyes.

Sure, there’s a real upside to that. In our last we’re-sad-no-more-babies chat, hubs and I spent some time discussing the great things about Faerie turning four. I’m 35, he’s 36. When we’re forty the girls will be old enough to leave alone in the house for short periods of time during the day; we’ll have some freedom again. By the time I turn 50 both girls will be out of the house, at college (fingers crossed lol). Fifty isn’t old, and we’ll be totally independent again, able to go anywhere anytime. I have a career I love and can focus on more and more every day; hell, next year Faerie will start school and I’ll be alone at home all day, and will be able to write solidly instead of killing myself to get 2k words in by one am so I can get at least six hours of sleep. I’ve lost all that weight, I certainly don’t want to get pregnant now and have to start the whole process all over.

All good points. And not even the complete list of good points. But there is still part of me, will always be part of me, that hates these birthdays, that wants to add another birthday to our family calendar, that has a very hard time dealing with the idea that my childbearing years are past me; that part of my life, the pregnancy and baby part, is over. And yes, I’m sorry if this offends anyone–I have actually known people to be offended by this although I cannot for the life of me understand why–it hurts that while I have two fantastic little girls whom I adore and wouldn’t trade for anything, I always wanted a little boy, and I don’t have one and never will.

None of which changes the fact that my baby is four today, and she is beautiful and smart and funny and adorable, and everywhere we go people smile at her because she is the most charming little human who ever lived (save only her older sister, of course.) Today Daddy is taking her to McDonalds for lunch; he takes Princess for breakfast every year on her birthday (she loves it and so do we; he’s really proud of creating that little tradition) but Faerie isn’t a big breakfast eater so we’ve decided to do lunch for her, as we know she’ll actually eat that.) It’s her first year of doing McD’s-with-Daddy, so we’re excited about that. And we have lovely gifts for her, and tomorrow we’ll put up our holiday decorations–we decided when she was born that in order to prevent her b-day from being overshadowed by the holidays we would hold off on decorating until after.

So happy birthday to my sweet baby; and if I’m a little maudlin today please forgive me.

In other news…

Bettie Page has had a heart attack and is in a coma. Please send your positive thoughts and energies to Bettie; she means a lot to a lot of us. (Yes, I have twice attempted her hairstyle; what girl like me hasn’t? My face isn’t quite the right shape for it, but it didn’t look awful. I’m tempted to try it again now that I’ve lost so much weight, actually.)

And…oh, dear. I’m not going to provide any links, but remember back in September ’06 when that poor girl decided the way to get her book sold was to encourage strangers to spam the acquiring editor? And how it backfired hugely, and the editor found out about it and was furious, and it was a big old mess? Yeah, someone is trying it again–different person, different editor, different house, but same BAD BAD BAD idea. Dude. This is probably the surest way I know of to get your book rejected. EDITORS ARE BUSY FREAKING PEOPLE. THEY DO NOT HAVE TIME TO SCROLL THROUGH AND DELETE A BUNCH OF SPAM ABOUT YOUR BOOK, OR WORSE, OPEN PHYSICAL LETTERS ABOUT YOUR BOOK. THIS IS SO UNPROFESSIONAL IT MAKES ME HURT INSIDE.

I don’t know. Maybe I should link to it. I don’t want to do to this girl what happened when the last one appeared on Miss Snark, but then, let’s face it, I don’t have one-tenth the readership our beloved Miss S had. But still. I get the impression the girl in this case is very young. I dunno. Someone should tell her to cut that shit out immediately though.

It’s just such a BAD idea. So, so, so bad. I know it’s tempting, but seriously, y’all, make sure everyone you know (none of my readers would ever do anything like that, I know) that while this may seem like a clever and fun idea, it is NOT. (Not to mention, there is no way you could possibly get enough letters and emails sent to even come close to swaying an editor.) Editors aren’t stupid, and they aren’t for fricking sale.

Grrr.

What Stace had to say on Thursday, December 4th, 2008
A few things

(Yes, some of this is copied from my post at the League today; sorry to those for whom it’s a repeat.)

First, a bit of shameless drive-by promo: I’m doing an interview and chat-type-thing today at Bitten by Books, so come on by and say hi, ask me inappropriate questions, call me names, whatever you’d like to do! The interview will go up at 8 am PST, and I’ll be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, which you can use to BUY BOOKS. BOOKS, got it? No DVDs or CDs, no spatulas or bracelets or whatever. YOU WILL BUY BOOKS. (Lol. Of course you can buy whatever you like. But it would be nice if you bought books.) Oh, since it runs 8 am PST to 8 am PST, I will have to come back to announce the winner on Saturday, and I will be away when it actually ends. Sorry.

Second, since buying Chinese Democracy, we’ve been listening to it almost constantly–mainly because we are very lazy and will just leave the CD playing over and over in the car until we can’t stand it anymore. I am pleased to report it’s really grown on us. It’s still no Appetite, but it’s pretty good overall. It has hidden depths.

Third, as I mentioned above, tomorrow night is the Xmas party. And of course we’re supposed to get snow and rain and all that miserab;e crap. Keep your fingers crossed it dowsn’t happen, because I’d rather not freeze to death with my shoulders bare. And again, yes, I will post pictures as soon as I can.

Oh! Good news! (Well, for me, anyway.) UK iTunes has finally gotten at least a little bit of its butt in gear and I was able, this weekend, to download a few Pagans and Lazy Cowgirls songs. Yay!! (Of course they didn’t have the Lazy Cowgirls’ cover of the Straw Dogs’ “Reborn”, which sucks because that is a GREAT song, but it’s something anyway.)

But here’s another question about iTunes. Why do they always have lame crappy “new” versions of songs? I had a desire to download some cheesy 70s rock–stuff like that song “Brandy (You’re a fine girl)”, you know the one I mean? Which is totally nerdy and amusing to me. But the only copy iTunes has, is not the original version. I don’t know for sure if it’s the actual band, but it’s been remastered or re-recorded or something, and it blows. This has happened to me several times now. I am not happy about it.

Oh, and one final thing. Go read this post from the lovely and clever Janet Reid. Take a deep breath, and read it again. Nod wisely. Take it to heart. Get on with your day.

What Stace had to say on Monday, December 1st, 2008
Leave your hat on

So. So so so so so.

Finished (almost) line edits for Unholy Ghosts over the long weekend, which was awesome. I love edits; I think they’re so much fun. And it’s made me even more excited aboutthe book than I already was, and I have ohsomany plans for its release (date TBD.)

This sort of (but not really) ties into something else. Well, several things. Almost.

First, I was reading Empire magazine earlier. I hardly ever read Empire anymore. It used to be really good; lately there have been errors galore–shit people writing about movies really should know. Like the time they claimed it was the Jerry O’Connell character in Stand By Me who threw up blueberry pie all over the people at the pie-eating contest, when everybody knows it was Lardass who did the vomiting, in a cunning revenge plan. And you know, a movie magazine should not be making that kind of stupid mistake, especially not when at least two people would have had to read it. There was another one, too, but I don’t remember what it was. I think it might have had to do with The Breakfast Club. Anyway.

They did an article about this new movie with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, which is going to be kind of like Heat but about John Dillinger. And they had some pictures of Depp and Bale and several other men, in costume. Which included hats.

Why, oh why, did men stop wearing hats? They look so good. So sharp and sexy; tough and sophisticated at the same time. But it’s nearly impossible to find a man in a hat these days–and by “hat” I mean a real hat, a fedora or a porkpie or a snap-brim, not some fucking baseball cap. Baseball caps can be just fine, say, on an actual baseball diamond, or when doing work outside in the sun; I will never forget watching the hubs and my roommate (who was my ex) putting up plywood over the windows (hurricane coming) at our house, both wearing baseball caps. It was quite pleasing to see, I admit. Especially since they were both sweating profusely (summer in South Florida, remember.) While I hovered around, bringing drinks and taking advantage of the fact that not only am I a girl, I’m a petite girl, and thus was of no use at all to two men, both of whom stood over six feet (and, uh, still do of course), when it came to drilling holes in the walls and doing heavy lifting and stuff like that.

Sorry, I digressed a little bit there, didn’t I? My point is, I wish men still wore real hats. One of my favorite bits in the book The Way You Wear Your Hat–which is an awesome book, btw–was the discussion of Sinatra’s many hats, and how he loved them.

So I want to do something for hats. I think when I have signings and stuff I’m going to bring along special gifts for men wearing hats. I seriously doubt I’ll get any takers, but it would be cool, wouldn’t it?

This weekend is the formal Xmas party for hubs’s work, so looking forward to that. Last year only one or two other women beside me actually dressed up; I have no idea why, considering that the men were all in tuxedos and it is a black-tie affair. I seriously considered dressing down this year, and possibly wearing something where people could actually see my legs. But my conscience refuses to allow it. If my husband is in a tuxedo it is inappropriate for me to be in a dress I might wear just as easily to the mall or something, and all the Cosmo articles in the world about making accessories “dress up” your look fail. Formal is formal. So I have a skirt (which requires a crinoline–luckily I own several) and a corset with a ruffle at the top, and I am ready to go. (Yes, I will post pics as soon as I have them.)

And there are two other cool bits of news!

First, Mark Henry–my fellow Reluctant Adult and great pal–has unveiled his new website!! MarkHenry.us is a treasure trove of fun stuff, music, little lists and funnies, info about Mrk and his (awesome) books–make sure you check it out, and be ready to spend some time! It’s as full of zombie goodness as an all-night Romero film festival.

AND. This Thursday, December 4th, I’m going to be spending the day over at Bitten By Books, chatting and answering questions and generally having fun. My event starts at 8 am Pacific and runs until the same time the following day (although as I have the party and have to leave my house Friday morning for it, I’ll have to come back to get to any comments I might have missed on Saturday). I’m even giving away a prize–a $25 Amazon gift card. They’re lovely over at BBB, and it should be a good time, so make sure you come by to hang out! (I will post this again on Thursday.)

And that’s pretty much it. Thanksgiving was okay but the turkey was dry; I tried something new and it was Not Good. But we watched our movies and hung out with the kiddies and generally enjoyed ourselves, so it doesn’t matter. And, as I admitted in the comments to my previous post (on blogger), I don’t really like turkey much anyway, so no big loss.

So, to sum up:

1. Empire is not as good as it used to be.
2. Men should wear hats.
3. I am dressing up properly on Friday.
4. Mark Henry’s new site rocks.
5. I am hanging at Bitten By Books on Thursday
6. Cooking the turkey upside down for the first hour or so is the best way to get a juicy turkey.