Monthly Archives: October 2012

Just Bumping Along This Weekend


After
writing a record four blogs in three days last week, I hope no one minds if I
give myself a little break this weekend. Besides, I can share one of those
blogs with you now that it has been posted on the site I was guest-posting for.
I also have a short review to share.


First,
I took part in Things That Go Bump in the Night over on Kimba’s Caffeinated Book
Blog. My guest post is one-part writing lesson for fantasy writers and one-part
response to the uninformed (and often snotty) people who hear witch, werewolf,
or vampire book and assume ‘knock off.’ Whether you’re a writer, fantasy
reader, or just interested in how I could possibly want to read and write
“another vampire book,” I think you’ll enjoy this
one. And for those
who haven’t read Unforeseen
, be sure to enter the raffle for a free digital copy!

Remystifying the Mythology Behind Our Favorite Fantasy Creatures by Lauren Grimley 

 

VampireRomanceBooks.com


Yes,
there’s an entire site dedicated to such books (actually, quite a few sites),
which just proves the point of my guest-post from above. 
The reviewer was spot
on when she guessed that I’d been influenced by The Black Dagger Brotherhood
. Now if only J.R.
Ward could help me with the love-making scenes…


I’m using my extra time to write (okay, and I suppose to correct
a few papers). I hope your weekends will be as enjoyable!

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Wise Word Wednesday: A Head-slap from Oscar Wilde


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“What seems to us as
bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.”

-Oscar Wilde

Every now and then I find
I need a slap upside the head to remind me to put my life in perspective.
Preferably such slaps are playful reminders,
Gibbs-style, but sometimes my own life or reports of the lives
of others deal a more significant blow. Though neither are usually pleasant, I welcome both for no other reason than that they reminded me of all that I’m
am blessed with on a daily basis.

Last week one of my bosses
got to be my Gibbs. While I was moaning about the problems with my paperback
release, he gently reminded me that problems with having a book published were
pretty good problems to have. He was right. This time last year I had two books
written without one publisher or agent in sight, thirty rejection letters
littering my email account, and no real hope of any of that changing. If I had
overheard another writer complaining that her book’s release date was changed
last minute, I would have smothered my jealousy by calling her a whiny witch
under my breath. And even that version of myself ought to have been
head-slapped. Because, although her dream of becoming an author may not have
been realized, she was still a damn lucky chick, with a great family, amazing
friends, few wants and far fewer needs–something that really hit home last
night.

All fall people have complaining about the election, and I was one of them. We complained about the
abundance of campaign ads, that Facebook had suddenly morphed from a place to post cute pictures of our kids or pets to a fiery political minefield, that the debates are on too late or that they’ve cancelled our
favorite show for the night because of them, and, of course, about
the candidates. It wasn’t until I was watching the world news last night and
saw the juxtaposition of two stories, that I actually felt guilty about this
grumbling. Right after wrapping up a piece on the Presidential debate, the
anchor turned to the story of
Malala Yousafzai, a story
I’d been following for the last week, one that had touched me as a teacher, a
woman, and just a human being. It was more of a punch in the gut than a playful
head-slap.
 

Along with half the
country, I’ve been complaining about being bombarded with reminders that I have
the right, the freedom, and the privilege to vote. I was blessed with the right
to go to school, get a job, own property, write this blog, and complain about
the government and anyone else I want to complain about publicly and often
without the elegance and grace with which those from nations without such
freedoms voice their opinions. None of these blessings came to me through any
hard work of my own. I have never served in the military, run for office,
written legislation, or even attended a political rally. Unlike
fourteen-year-old Malala, I certainly have never stared down the barrel of a
gun for what I believe in. The only thing I have done, the only thing I’ll
likely ever do, is vote.

So even though I’ve reached
the point where I’m standing in Stop & Shop waiting for the intercom to add
“This clean-up in aisle four is approved by Joe Smoe for store manager,” I’m
going to try to remember not to groan. Instead I’m going to hope with all my heart that girls (and boys) 
living in other parts of the world, like Malala, one day share my ‘complaints.’ Problems with too much freedom of
speech, with too much free media, or with too many people wanting to serve
their country by running for elected office are not really problems at all.
They are the blessings of this sometimes crazy, sometimes divided, but always
free country in which we live.

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Falling Too Far?


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I am a huge fan of
holidays and seasonal decorations. This is evident to anyone who has ever visited my condo anytime
from September through January…February?…okay, I’ve been known to leave up the
occasional snowman into March. Point is, I’m not denying that I’m a sucker for
all things seasonal. I frequent the Christmas Tree Shops more than most New
England retirees and have more crates of decorations stored in my parents’
basement than, well, my parents. (They’d make me move them, if they didn’t know
who was to blame. After all, I didn’t buy myself Christmas china at the age of
eleven.)

Still, despite my
love of holidays and all things seasonal, I can’t help but think we might be
taking it a bit too far. This year, even more than in years past, it seems just
about everything has been converted into a fall flavored, scented, or themed
variety. I buy pumpkin candles in bulk, drink pumpkin spiced coffee, and
usually plow my way single handedly through a bag of candy corn (the harvest
mix, with the funky flat-bottomed ‘pumpkins’). Pumpkins are part of fall in New
England. The natural non-food-colored, non-artificially scented kind actually
grow here and are harvested in September and October. So I have no problem
getting behind a few pumpkin-related products.

But the fall frenzy
has gone far beyond that. Now there are seasonal soaps, paper towels, and even
bathroom spray. Clearly nothing says fall like pumpkin-scented poo. Except
maybe candy corn Oreos, M&M’s, or, my favorite, toothpaste. Should we
really be encouraging our children to rub sweet orange goo into their teeth?

It seems for each everyday product there’s a seasonal version. Now I’m not naive; I
understand this is how companies market and make money off people like me, who
get a little too excited over some orange coloring added to their favorite
products. Still, I wonder if they’re actually killing part of the fun of the
holidays. Certain treats and scents are supposed to appear in limited
quantities for a short time each year. Candy corn and pumpkins belong in the
fall, pine trees and peppermint in the winter, and tulips and Peeps come
Easter. When I walk into a store in March and see pink candy corn or stumble
upon pumpkin Peeps in October, I’m not excited, I’m confused. (Okay, I’m a
little excited about the year-round Peeps, but just the look of the pastel
candy corn disgusts me.) If everything we look forward to about the holidays
and the season changes are at our fingertips all year, where’s the
anticipation?

Maybe I’m just
bitter that I’m too young for the elastic waist paints that would allow me to
enjoy all these new fall-themed treats and too old to get away with using the
Halloween toothpaste. Or maybe I, like the rest of the overly materialistic
world, forgot what I really love about fall: the crunch of leaves, the smell of
the first frost, the way the sunlight seems softer, and pumpkins, real ones,
that provide us with the last punch of color before grey November skulks in.

Now, where’d I hide
that last Cadbury ‘Screme Egg’?

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Clearing the Fog

This week’s blog is just a quick update. With all the confusion and chaos of last week’s ever-changing paperback release dates, I figured I’d clear everything up and let you know what you might have missed.




First, Unforeseen was released as a paperback on Amazon, last Friday. Finally getting my hands on a copy despite a little incident with my town’s post office, I can tell you it feels awesome to hold a ‘real’ book with my name on the cover in my hands (even if it did mean stealing a copy from my mother after nearly going postal on the poor employees at my local USPS branch!). It’s been a long time coming, but to stick my own novel right beside my three dozen other vampire books was worth it.


Second, Freaky Fridays should resume this week with a post from a fellow writer and warrior extraordinaire. I’ll wait and let her explain that, but I can almost guarantee that it’ll be both humorous and moving.

Until then here are a few options to keep you occupied:

  • A short interview on Fade Into Fantasy, a fantasy book review site worth checking out
  • Unknown, the short from my series which is free today (Monday) on Amazon for anyone wanting a little taste of Alex and the Bristol Vampires

Enjoy the week!


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