Monday, August 31, 2009

I'm Not an Anti-Dentite

So I went to the dentist this morning. (Can you believe they have their own schools? *grin*) My teeth are so clean, it's killing me, because I want so very badly to drink coffee. Before my appointment, I dropped off the 4-yr old and did some typing at Panera Bread, where my WiFi was moving at the speed of, well, me jogging a mile:: very, very slow. I did accomplish two pages of work before hitting the dentist. Now I'm at loose ends before heading back out to pick up the boy.

Unlike other authors I know, I can't write willy-nilly, whenever I get a spare moment. I immerse myself in the story and need time to read, write and create. I'm going to write this week like my pants are on fire. But don't worry. I intend to post a new review on a series I watched over the past few weeks. It was way fun. If you like fantasy and don't mind bastardized versions of great fantasy fiction, stay tuned for my take on Legend of the Seeker (drawn from Terry Goodkind's The Sword of Truth series) tomorrow.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Piece of Reese's Goes A Long Way

There really is nothing better when you're craving some peanut butter sweets. I've been munching while typing. A no-no, but I can't seem to help myself.

I finally gave my work-in-progress some love today. Amen. The story is coming together, even though it's not following the loose outline I put together for it. I distinctly remember trying to get my hero and heroine to escape from the villain unscathed, yet my hero is bleeding badly and unconscious, saved by the heroine. What the heck? How am I going to fit some romance into this scenario when he's passed out?

Munch, munch--that's me snacking on the above-mentioned candy. Ah, the sugar is making its way into my brain. Inspiration!!! They can actually have conversations and get to know one another better while he recuperates. Bingo. Then when she's not sure why she can't stop thinking about him, and he's pushed beyond the arousal he can endure, magic happens!

Wallah! Crunch Crunch Crunch

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

That @#@%!!! Muse is Just Killing Me

I don't really find Thalia amusing. She's the muse of comedy. My own personal muse--I'm not sure of his name, and yes, it's a he (he's very annoying and has me thinking about sex all the time)--has been driving me crazy lately with a plethora of ideas.

Normally when I'm working on a project, I get a thought here or there about a future project. But lately I've been bombarded with ideas about any and all sorts of things. A fantasy story about elves and wizards and doorways. A romance about gargoyles who aren't gargoyles. A romantic suspense in which the heroine is a serial killer (and don't get me started on the problems in THAT idea.)

I just want to finish what I'm working on. That's it. Then I can get to the other million projects I have on hold. Currently, I have two romantic suspenses I'm editing, the first chapter of three separate and much asked for works by readers, and the new idea of Dawn Endeavor, a follow-on to my Circ series.

Now if this friggin muse would just tone down his help from shouts to whispers, then all the voices in my head would quiet enough to finish my WIP. And by voices in my head, I mean that in a non-literal sense. Really.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Supernatural Countdown

Yes, I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to television. I'm a dork to be so excited by the return of fall TV and new episodes, but I can't help it. My favorite show, Supernatural, premiers September 10th on the CW.

The show is about supernatural happenings, hence the title, in which two brothers take part. It doesn't hurt that they're good looking, but the real treasure of the show is watching the relationship strain, grow, tear, and rebuild as they search for their father, hunt the darkness in the world, and fulfill the destiny each brother is burdened to bear.

Fangirl? Yeah, I should be embarrassed to say that I am. But I really don't care. Just 19 more days until the premier. And counting....

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hitting the Hot Spot Today

I'm whining about grocery shopping at Hitting the Hot Spot Today. Come on over and share your two cents.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Hair Has It

You've heard that the eyes have it, er, or is that the "ayes" have it? Either way, today, the hair has it. Yes, after four months, I went to get my hair cut once again. Gone are the days when my bangs bothered me so much I cut them myself. (Disaster, truly.) I hit the salon, said hey to Amy, and am now much happier, and a tad darker.

The whole hair metaphor really hit me today. My stylist colored and rinsed, washed and cut. Dead ends left, inches fell off, leaving me feeling lighter and prettier. Able to do more, because I felt better about myself. If only I could cut away the dead ideas and fluff and color the new ones so easily...

I always feel better and more productive when I look nice. Staying at home with my kids, I've grown lazy when it comes to sprucing up. But you know, that adage, "dress for success" really works. Mentally, at the very least.

Now if I could take out the rest of the crap littering my house as easily as cutting my hair, I'd be really happy. And don't get me started on my teenagers.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

NCD: A Disease

You read that right. Not OCD, the well-known Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have something different, something that should go away within the next 5000 or so miles, I hope.


Even since purchasing our (read, my) new car this past Saturday, I've been disinclined to park near anything resembling another automobile. At the grocery store I parked way far away from cart stalls. At home, I caution everyone to tread gently around the vehicle. And I've warned the teenagers to watch their backing up skills if they see a hint of white in the rearview.

My children may not drink anything but water inside the car, and I almost had a heartattack yesteday when I handed my four-year old a package of fruit snacks.

Mother looking crazed around the eyes: "Don't spill anything."
Small boy, looking as if he needs to spill something: "I won't."
Mother still worried: "I mean it. You can't drop one gummy fruit snack, not in this heat. The thing will turn sticky in a second."
Boy using naughty face to give Mother heart attack: "I promise. I'll eat them all. Really."

I checked. He ate them all. And he didn't mark the leather interior with his shoes. And the car still smells new, though I wonder how long that will last.

There is, however, some loose grass on the floor mats. I'll definitely have to vacuum that up. A few spattered bugs are drying on the front bumper and windshield. The horror!

I know, I'm sounding more like I suffer from OCD than NCD. I figure I have a few weeks of constant car vacuuming and washing before I lose interest in total cleanliness. Slacker that I am, I just can't maintain that frenzy for more than a month. To bad my NHD--New House Disease-- lasted only a few days. You should see the piles of dust now gathered over the house. So sad. Ah well, back to my work in progress.

Monday, August 17, 2009

District 9 Movie Review

District 9, produced by Peter Jackson (LOTR fame) and directed by newcomer Neil Blomkamp. Rated: A++

District 9 is one of the best movies I've seen in years. It conveyed a message without being preachy, and showed a side of humanity we normally like to sweep under the rug, while it also showed us the glimpses of redemption of which man is also capable.

The acting was stellar, full of names not many folks would recognize. The star, Sharlto Copley, got the part in large fact because he's friends with the director. He seemed so real I at times thought I was watching a newscast of live events. The movie just felt so real. The hero's more of an antihero, the villains both stereotypical and yet not. The fight for arms, for freedom, and for truth all converge in this movie to make it a powerful story that not only entertains, but will stay with you long after it's over.

The special effects were also first rate. The Prawns, as the aliens are called, looked real. I liked the fact they couldn't be mistaken for human, or that the entire story takes place, not in the USA for once, but in South Africa, where apartheid has had a large part in the nation's history--overt irony that makes its point with a subtly that's both sad and funny.

This movie is rated R, and is in no way suitable for young children. It's violent, has frank language and adult themes. And if you fall into the "adult" category and haven't seen it, you're missing out. What are you waiting for? Go out and see District 9. You won't be disappointed, unless you're looking for useless drivel, slasher violence and the requisite naughty teenager sex. Then, you'd better stick with the notorious Jason Vorhees and Michael Myers. Ironically, Michael's preview, for Halloween II, showed in the theater right before District 9. Go figure.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

So Tired...

Spent all day yesterday OUT. From 8am to 1pm I tarried in Atlanta buying a car. It's loaded and came with a kick-*ss rebate. Unfortunately, we had no trade-in because of a car wreck. But now we have a new car with terrific gas mileage.

After a long trip coming home, we (the husband and I) then hurried to clean up and meet friends in downtown Augusta. Dinner at the Boll Weevil, a terrific place to eat on the Riverwalk, and then on to watch a sold out show of Ed Turner and Number 9, a Beatles tribute band, playing Abbey Road. Here's a peek at some of their work. They were AWESOME and raised a ton of money various charities in the local area.

Alas, the show was over four freakin' hours long and I was dead tired at the end. But it's a new day and I'm awake and aware. As promised (to myself, at least), I'm heading to check out District 9. Because tomorrow is a brand new day. All the kids will be in school and I'll be back to the grindstone, typing madly away with a cup of coffee at hand. I'll post a review of the movie later.


Friday, August 14, 2009

The Zen of Done

Ah, that "hmmmm" feeling of satisfaction. I recently finished two editing projects (on which I offered my two cents) for two friends of mine. That sense of responsibility is now gone, and I'm once again free to procrastinate working on my own stuff. Er, I mean, to get back to work.

With my littlest guy ready to hit pre-K on Monday, that means I have this weekend to ready myself for a return to normalcy. I've become quite spoiled. Now that my kids are old enough to attend school, I find myself writing better in the mornings/afternoons. The old days of writing late at night hurt my creativity for the next day. I need my sleep. And though I can never be classified as a morning person, I thrive on caffeine and my keyboard after eight a.m.

Now I need to use this weekend to purge myself of the need to put things off, to see District 9, and to avoid all and any bookstores until I've completed two major projects, each of which is only a third done. Once I'm finished those, I can return to a few items for Samhain and Loose Id I've been tossing in my crowded, disorganized mind.

Ah, the joys of scheduling, and the wonders of being "done."

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What are You Looking Forward To?

A book? A movie? Your kid visiting from college? School starting?

Me, well, school has started for the kids, except for my son, who's in pre-K. He starts next week, so I'm still not quite "there" yet as far as being able to work. But there are several things I'm looking forward to, besides getting back to writing.
  • Getting a new car to replace the one that hit a deer, and hoping the deer stumbled to safety but not counting on it.
  • An new idea for a series for a contemporary romance hit me last night. I'm looking forward to writing that.
  • New books by Christine Feehan (Dark series), Gena Showalter, Jayne Ann Krentz, and Nalini Singh (Psy series)
  • District 9, a new movie coming out (produced by Peter Jackson, of LOTR fame) about aliens hovering over South Africa. Looks stellar and is getting much buzz
  • Getting back into shape and breaking bad habits. I didn't snack last night after dinner. Yea for me.
  • Finishing my current WIP
  • The cooler temps and football season (I love the commercials)
  • Halloween. Yep, I'm thinking about it now
  • All the horror movies that go with Halloween
That's what I'm looking forward to. But I know I've probably missed a few more good books coming out. I'll have to check my romance magazine again for upcoming release dates.
Chow, and happy Wednesday

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

GI Joe Movie Review

Late last night, I went to see GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. I was a fan of the cartoon as a kid, and thought that maybe the movie would prove a pleasant diversion.

Pregnant pause.

Wait for the DVD.

On the plus side, it's entertaining if you don't mind constant action, the basic good guys versus bad guys standard plot, an actor way too young and ill-suited to play the character of Duke, and a lackluster romance between two pivotal characters. The special effects are stellar, however, as are the creative uses of technology (not scientific, but fantastic) proposed in the movie.

Bottom line, the acting was okay, the plot okay, the effects terrific, the casting so-so. But the fighting was superb.
**This is not a film I'd take my 4 or 5 year old to, just because it's so darned violent and there's a bit of sexual innuendo in a few scenes.

Overall, I'd give it a C+.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's Baaacccckkkk

School has started. It's official. The first grader was all smiles, the teenager one unhappy camper. God bless education!!!

I'm not sure why, but the daily schedule of school puts me in a happy place. Not because I have room to breathe, but it's as if I'm the one in school. My brain warps into this demented timetable freak and I actually get more work done. My imaginary deadlines work much better under such imagined stricture. Go figure.

The house is even clean. A miracle at that. Balls of dog hair no longer assault me as I walk through my living room. And the layer of caked dust atop my ceiling fans cried when I wiped it away.

So here's to more progress this "semester."

Yee haw.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Newsletter Contest Winner

Congrats to Judy Cox, this month's winner ebooks winner!!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

No, Really?

How plausible is it that this woman has more than two arms, really? Unless you're reading a futuristic or paranormal romance, you're going to register this chick as having two arms and a lot of friends behind her.

Yeah, obvious. But after an in depth conversation with my friend yesterday, I realized how incredibly problematic--read implausible--my next novel is turning out to be.

I've been pushing the envelope lately with books about characters in polyamorous relationships. The Circs I wrote about had to be that way, genetically constructed to respond to their own kind. But in my latest urban fantasy, for lack of a better description, my heroine gets "tagged" by four "alien" hotties. Yeah, 4. Except she's human, mostly. So how is this going to work?

The idea sounded kinky and interesting at first. But I don't want my heroine walking bowlegged by chapter three. Nor do I want the real relationships between her and her new "family" to be mired only in the physical. She has to fall in love with her hero, and maybe her hero's best friend, because of certain circumstances due to the hero's heritage. But the other guys? The extended family? I think I'm going to change some things.

Which brought me and my friend to laughing tears at the thought of some of the books we've read and tried writing. A big reality check with erotic romance publishers has to do with safe sex issue. And you know, I get it. Condoms aren't necessarily sexy, but I have a hard time reading a contemporary romance anymore when the heroine has no thoughts of STD's or conception when having sex. I don't read or write about adolescents, so excusing the heroine's stupidity due to youth isn't cutting it. Nowadays, the hazards of unprotected sex are pretty hard to miss.

Then there's the book where the hero and heroine go at it all night long. Hello? Unless he's from the planet Insatiable, a human male protagonist is going to need real recuperative time to get himself back in the mood. Marathon sessions between the sheets don't work for me either. Come on, let the lady have a breather. And does the couple (or group) really need sixteen orgasms before they feel replete????

Or how about the woman who takes on a family of brothers, yeah, all six of them, due to some blackmail/kidnapping plot? She's forced to accept them all while plotting ways to escape between bouts of sex. But by the fourth chapter she's totally in love. Huh? With that much sex going on six ways to Sunday, how is it she has the time or energy for emotions? Does great sex really equal true love?

So yeah, I'm fixing my book before it becomes a circus, or crazy orgy, as the case may be. I love erotic romance because of its play with both the emotional and physical aspects of love. But sometimes I have to remind myself to keep it real. Kind of. My heroes will still be alpha, my heroines spunky. But not every woman is a size 2 and not every guy looks like George Clooney. Unless he's a Clooney clone, then that would work.

:) Marie

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Jekyll....It's Killer

Another hidden gem of a series I recently discovered...Jekyll, a 2007 BBC production. It's a clever take on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. There are only 6 episodes of apparently only one season. But it's engaging, with a great plot that keeps you watching, waiting to know more.

Check it out...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Keep It Down, WAY Down

Well, helloooo there. Been a while since I've posted anything of substance. And thank you, LD, the theater was fun.

I read a blog today and it directly related to my recent difficulties, namely frustration, rants, and what to do about them. Today I read a copied email, sent from a NY bestselling author back to one of her fans. The fan made public this private email, wherein the author commented on some issues with one of her editors/publishers. Nothing too specific, but the message read to many like sour grapes.

I haven't listed the author's name, nor her editor or publisher, because I don't want to perpetuate what was in fact a PRIVATE correspondence between that author and her fan/reader. However, the fact of the matter is that anything in print or digital media can and probably will be found at some later date. And the author, though quite circumspect in describing her difficulties with an editor who thoroughly rewrote her book, didn't come across as sympathetic to many. To me, sure. But hey, I'm an author. I've been lucky to work with professional and courteous editors, with the exception of one particular group.

And that group, in a nutshell, is the reason I was very quiet last week.

I've been indoctrinated (not brainwashed), to believe you praise in public and castigate in private. I've had many, MANY issues with a particular publisher I've worked with in the past. But to blog about my issues or send notices to my reader group about them doesn't sit well with me. My business issues are private, as are most of my personal ones. Do you really want to read about my problems/bias toward certain people I work with? Or would you rather just read my work? I doubt very many people out there care whether Marie Harte has any issues with RWA, religion, writing groups, the military, politics, etc. Wouldn't you much rather take a sneak peak at the new Circs I've been toying with? Or the urban fantasy I'm writing?

Just like the actors or actresses I enjoy watching, I don't particularly want to hear about their problems with their agents and production companies, their politics or religious views. I want to watch them act. I have enough on my own plate to take on another person's problems. I feel sorry for the Jackson family, for the Gosselins (Jon and Kate plus 8), and for the myriad entertainment personalities going through public break-ups, but I don't really want to watch those particular trainwrecks.

I'd much rather revel in television and movies, books and magazines. Entertain me, don't depress me. And so last week, going through a stretch myself, I kept mum about my issues. Yes, I did write several blistering messages and posts to get the toxic anger out of my system (and God bless my husband for listening and nodding at appropriate moments), but then I deleted each message and post from my computer. Negativity simply begets more negativity.

Unfortunately for the author I read about, I feel for her, but I also wish she hadn't put her trust in another person who would share her private message so publicly.

To that end, I won't complain about my own work woes (that in the light of today seem so very small :)

Lucky, lucky you