I am saddened to report, as many people are already aware, that Kate Duffy, editor extraordinaire, passed away Sunday night. Kate was my editor and cheerleader, and boy am I gonna miss her. I'll miss her enthusiasm and sense of humor. I'm sorry I didn't get to work with her longer. She was a strong proponent of romance--there's going to be a huge hole in this industry with her gone.
Smart Bitches has a very moving post about her here.
See you later, Kate. Rest easy now.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
A man checks into a hotel while on a business trip and was a bit lonely.
He thought of one of those girls you see advertised in phone booths when you're calling for a cab.
He popped into a phone booth in Albert Street near the hotel and found an ad for a girl calling herself Veronique, a lovely girl, bending over in the photo. She had all the right curves in all the right places, beautiful long wavy hair, long graceful legs... well, you get the picture. He copied the phone number and returned to his hotel.
When back in the room he figures, what the hell, give her a call.
"Hello." A woman's voice answers the phone.
God, she sounded sexy.
"Hi, I hear you give a great massage and I'd like you to come to my room and give me one. No, wait, I should be straight with you. I'm in town all alone and what I really want is sex. I want it hard, I want it hot, and I want it now. Bring implements, toys, rubber, leather, whips, everything you've got in your bag of tricks. Tie me up, cover me in chocolate syrup and whipped cream, anything you want! Now, how does that sound?"
She says, "That sounds fantastic, but you need to press 1 for an outside line."
It took three hours for him to get the courage to check out next morning.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I watched my first Bollywood movie last night--Jodhaa Akbar. It was a really good film, though because I did see it with my critique partners, we couldn't help but pick at it a little and do our usual version of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on it. It's the first foreign movie I've watched, actually, so of course you have to have subtitles on. But I didn't find that to be too distracting, other than the fact that they kept putting commas in where they weren't supposed to be. But I guess that's the writer in me, to notice (and be bothered by) stuff like that.
And you know me. The lead actor was HAWT, so that made sitting through the movie, even if it had been bad, a worthwhile endeavor. LOL
But in all seriousness, it was entertaining. And the costumes...! Gorgeous.
Jodhaa Akbar. Rent it.
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:27 AM
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I am really enjoying the TV show Castle. I think even if Nathan Fillion weren't in the title role I'd still like the show. (Barring that whoever else was playing Richard Castle wasn't a total dweeb at the part...) I've also been reading the book written by Richard Castle that ABC is releasing later this month.
I've commented on the book previously. It has some things that make me, as a writer, cringe a little. Like when the POV character refers to herself as "the detective". Or when there's point of view confusion (for example, we're in Detective Heat's point of view and are told "her face was set in concentration". What, is she looking at herself in a mirror?). There have been some typos in the chapters I've read so far; typos I hope have been taken care of in the print copy.
But there's also some really clever writing going on. Really clever.
With the brush cut, she could picture the boy of him on a soccer field or lofting a stick in a hockey rink. But the hardness was what Pochenko was all about now, and whether it came from doing time in Russia or learning how not to do time, the boy was gone and all she saw in that room was what happens when you get very, very good at surviving very, very bad things.
And my personal favorite so far:
The sign said they were on the Cosmic Pathway, a 360-degree spiral walkway marking the timeline of the evolution of the universe in the length of a football field. Nikki Heat covered thirteen billion years at a personal best.
That is some good writing! You want to engage your readers, this is how you do it.
For whoever's interested, the first seven chapters of HeatWave by Richard Castle (copyrighted by ABC Studios) is available at ABC.com. The book goes on sale September 29th.
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:33 AM
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Say no to negativity. We all experience rejection, and writers perhaps more than people in other occupations. But, as in other jobs, the things that don't work teach us as much, if not more, than the things that do work. And every failure is an opportunity to learn.
Take what's useful from the failure. Find the constructive critique beneath the rejection--it's one of the best ways to get past the rejection and move on. And to help you move on, have some sort of ritual. Other than curling up on the couch for a good cry...
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:38 AM
Monday, September 21, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Coming in March:
Animal attraction is only half of the problem…
Olivia Felan has a wild side, all right. Even ignoring the fact that she turns furry and feral once a month, her natural style is take-no-prisoners, full-speed-ahead, come-what-may. But when it comes to her little girl, she doesn’t take chances. So when a big bad werewolf alpha steals her daughter, Olivia will do whatever it takes to get her baby back. And in this case, that means killing Rory Sullivan.
The trouble is, killing him would mean wasting one sexy beast. Sully is all man, all cop, and as of late, half wolf. When he meets Olivia, Sully’s a little glad he stuck his nose into his friends’ business and came out with animal senses--until he gets a whiff of the chaos following her around. Now he has to decide whether he can’t take his eyes off Olivia because she’s too beautiful--or because she’s too dangerous…
Taming the Moon, book 3 in my Brava Moon series, available March 2010.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
When writing technology/technological devices into your book, be sure you use up-to-date, accurate information, and either keep the technology references obscure enough to endure a while, or allow for it to become obsolete. Cell phones, GPS devices, computers, etc. change constantly, and what is state-of-the-art when you're writing your story might be outdated by the time the book hits the shelves.
And make sure that your technology fits your character. More and more people--especially those under 30--don't have land lines. They only use their cell phones. Keep that in mind as you're creating your characters.
On a sober note, RIP Patrick Swayze.
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:32 AM
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
This is almost certainly one of those urban legends, but it's just too darned funny and something I could see some guy doing, so...hope it gives you a laugh today.
Last weekend I saw something at Larry's Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest. The occasion was our 15th anniversary and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife Julie. What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse-sized tazer.
The effects of the tazer were supposed to be short lived, with no long-term adverse affect on your assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to safety.
WAY TOO COOL! Long story short, I bought the device and brought it home. I loaded two AAA batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button. Nothing! I was disappointed. I learned, however, that if I pushed the button and pressed it against a metal surface at the same time; I'd get the blue arc of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs.
Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Julie what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave.
Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn't be all that bad with only two triple-A batteries, right? There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently (trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh & blood moving target. I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) and thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat. But, if I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised. Am I wrong?
So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, and tazer in another. The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water. Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries.
All the while I'm looking at this little device measuring about 5" long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference; pretty cute really and (loaded with two itsy, bitsy triple-A batteries) thinking to myself, "no possible way!"
What happened next is almost beyond description, but I'll do my best.
I'm sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side as to say, "don't do it, dipshit," reasoning that a one second burst from such a tiny little ole thing couldn't hurt all that bad. I decided to give myself a one second burst just for heck of it. I touched the prongs to
my naked thigh, pushed the button, and . . .
HOLY MOTHER OF GOD . . . WHAT THE HELL!!!
I'm pretty sure Jessie Ventura ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs? The cat was making meowing sounds I had never heard before, clinging to a picture frame hanging above the fireplace, obviously in an attempt to avoid getting slammed by my body flopping all over the living room.
Note: If you ever feel compelled to 'mug' yourself with a tazer, one note of caution: there is no such thing as a one second burst when you zap yourself! You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor. A three second burst would be considered conservative.
IT HURT LIKE HELL!!!
A minute or so later (I can't be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and surveyed the landscape. My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace. The recliner was upside down and about 8 feet or so from where it
originally was. My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching. My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88 lbs. I had no control over the drooling.
Apparently I pooped on myself, but was too numb to know for sure and my sense of smell was gone. I saw a faint smoke cloud above my head which I believe came from my hair. I'm still looking for my nuts and I'm offering a significant reward for their safe return!
P.S... My wife, can't stop laughing about my experience, loved the gift, and now regularly threatens me with it! If you think education is difficult, try being stupid!!!
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:08 AM
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
My friend, Sara Creasy (who, by the way, has a terrific first book due out in May) put together this video for me. I couldn't figure out how to upload it to Blogger, so just click here to view it from my website.
Pretty cool, eh?
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Today's tip is a recipe, and it's yummy! And quick and easy to make, which is a big plus for me. LOL
Chicken Salad with Peaches and Walnuts
2 large fresh peaches
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken meat
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup poppyseed salad dressing
6 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 cups toasted walnuts, chopped
Chop 1 peach into 1/2 inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Add chicken and onion; toss with enough dressing to coat. Add greens and walnuts to bowl and toss to coat. Mound salad on large plate (or in large bowl). Cut remaining peach in thin wedges and place on top to garnish. Serves 4.
Friday, September 04, 2009
An old woman came into her doctor's office and confessed to an embarrassing problem. "I do that all the time, Doctor Johnson, but they're soundless, and they have no odor. In fact, since I've been here, I did it no less than twenty times. What can I do?"
"Here's a prescription, Mrs. Harris. Take these pills three times a day for seven days and come back and see me in a week."
Next week an upset Mrs. Harris marched into Dr. Johnson's office. "Doctor, I don't know what was in those pills, but the problem is worse! I'm doing it just as much, but now it smells terrible! What do you have to say for yourself?"
"Calm down, Mrs. Harris," said the doctor soothingly. "Now that we've fixed your sinuses, we'll work on your hearing!!!"
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 9:00 AM
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
I've said it before, and I'm saying it again today. It's not an editor's "job" to correct a writer's poor grammar and punctuation. They do it because, obviously, they're not going to publish a book without proper editing. (Well, we hope they're not, anyway.) But do you want your editor's time spent adding/deleting commas and changing misspelled words? Or do you want him/her focused on the story itself, making sure it flows and has a consistent storyline?
Learn the mechanics of good writing. Then when you break the rules, at least you know you're breaking them.
Mused by Sherrill Quinn at 6:15 AM