Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day, 2008

So it's been a full year since I posted anything here. As some of you know, I deliberately shut down this blog for a reason. I was being stalked, first IRL then online. I created a whole new persona and the #@*%&! StalkerGuy followed me to the LiveJournal I created under that new persona. So now my LJ is flocked and this blog is dead. I also reserved a Blogger name for the new persona but haven't used it.

Just figured I should explain why this space is stagnant after having been so alive for so many days. I might be back, might not. I hate the idea of the StalkerGuy knowing anything about me at all, but maybe after a year, he's finally gotten on with his life or at least turned his sicko energy elsewhere? One can only hope.

Stay tuned to this Bat Channel!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Memorial Day - Please Say Thank You

While you're sitting around your BBQ, drinking your beer and laughing with your friends this long, holiday weekend, try to remember that your freedom to do that is being paid for by others. Soldiers world-round have sacrified their own freedom of choice to stand up and toe the line so you and I can sit back here behind it, free and safe. As CitizenReign said in the song which won them a recording contract from Epic Records this spring, those soldiers out there dying and defending our freedom Fight For Me.

Thank them.

That's all they ask. Don't forget they're out there. Remember them. Appreciate their sacrifice. That'll make it all worth it at the end of the day.

Freedom is not free. If you can't see your way to buy (and wear each Friday) a red T shirt to visibly show your support (or are afraid Some Author Who Shall Remain Nameless might think you're hinting at a desire to be umm, "redshirted" in his next novel), please consider showing your support this weekend some other way.

Email the American Troops courtesy of ""

Email the Australian Defense Forces courtesy of this open mailbox.

Post a note on the Canadian Forces Bulletin Board.

If you have an internet-enabled way to reach the troops in Her Majesty's Service, let me know and I'll add that info to my ongoing collection. The Britons could use a "thank you" this weekend, too but I only have the snail mail addies in this post I assembled last September.

You can also stop by any of the milblogs and post a big THANK YOU in the comment threads of any posts. Try one or more of these (my top 3 favorites for milbloggers w/links to others on the milblogging network):


One last suggested "thank you" to send this weekend - thank the spouses who have willingly offered their beloved's service (by supporting their choice to serve) in order to protect your freedom. Stop by SpouseBuzz and tell the wives, husbands and SO's you appreciate their sacrifice this weekend, too.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wisting for covers, that is :)

Update: Okay, this post was written back on May 23, 2007 and I have no idea why I saved it to drafts but didn't publish it. So I'm publishing it on 30 Oct 2007--a whole 5 mos later! That'll teach me to abandon this blog for 5 mos, huh? Hopefully nothing in the below post is ...screwy. Actually I see something already: Lacey, Rainey, sex scenes. Yep, that's why I saved it off in the unsee-able archives. Good thing I'm NOT thinking about Lacey or Rainey while I work on Dicky's story, huh? :-) :-)

I just cleaned up my Amazon account--moved some stuff out of the "saved" area of my shopping cart and resigned to "store" them on my wish list, meaning I still very much want the stuff but no way, no how am I gonna be coughing up the money for them at the moment. Since the St. Louis public library systems are all oh-so-broadminded, my research is pretty much at a standstill until I figure out how justify spending more money on books than I do on food.

The ripple effect of this, of course, is that the Lacey & Rainey story needs a little tweaking in the sex scenes (not the funny ones already there--the many instances of coitus interruptus will never ever be cut, not to fear) and I was looking for inspiration.

I read a couple of books last winter, which led me to a couple of other books which...well, you know how it goes. There's always a ripple effect and you end up with 20 books you've just "gotta have" or else. I'm not getting any of them *pout* unless one or more of you wants to pluck them off my Amazon Wish List and send them off to me. My birthday's not until November (the next NaNoWriMo month) so find another excuse if you need one--I don't! I accept all gifts, all the time. Baked goods might be bartered on request, too (Evil Laugh Ensues)

At least I had fun trying to find the silly banana books for a quick review 6 mos after I'd read them. Just wish I'd written down the authors' names--I remembered the catchy titles and well, I remembered there were bananas on the covers of at least a couple of them...and so it began.

The Penis Book by Joseph CohenIt all started with an adorable little coffee table conversation-maker called The Penis Book. Yep, that's the title. Nope, it's not really about bananas. Yes, it's supposed to be a gag gift book. Or so one would hope ;-) But the real *ahem* point here :) is this was not the "banana book" I was looking for. I didn't really mind, this was a pretty funny book.

So there I was, reading through this little pocket size gag gift, stifling my chortles and snerks, gagging down my shrieks of delight at the hilarious little--erm, not really little but darling in their own way--tidbits of tantalizing tantrawannabe and I'm sure the effort had me turning nearly as red as the cover. Why wasn't I LOL at this thing? I was in public and you know, I do try to refrain from ROTFLMAO in front of complete strangers--especially while holding a book titled The Penis Book. Restraint was my mistake.

A "helpful" salesperson tried to help me (no, I won't say at which major chain bookstore this occurred; litigation may ensue ;-)) I mean this book is intended to be funny. Well, I explained I'd really come in to do some research and was looking for these other two books of non-fiction with a banana on the cover and I just got distracted. I mean, the bright red cover caught my eye and then it does, after all, have a banana and the word "penis" on the cover--two topics guaranteed to intrigue and captivate my attention, especially when combined.

She Comes First by Ian KernerOkay, salesperson beginning to be suspicious but still tries to be helpful when I give the titles. Mistake Number Two. I mean She Comes First and He Comes Next are titles that just beg further elaboration, eh? He Comes Next by Ian KernerAnd after all, despite every last claim to open-mindedness in The South, the fact is I'm in The South. A Yankeegrrl in The South. Bad combination. I doubt even Mr. Clements (Mark Twain for those of you who don't actually read books, just blogs) could have gotten away with asking about those titles.

Quickies by Tracey CoxSalesperson asks what am I researching, exactly? I explained I'd come in to check out some of the Tracey Cox non-fiction books (holds out printout of page with book covers--even "worse" than bananas on the covers, these have real men and women!!) The 3 books in my little pile on the staircase were not by Tracey Cox. I explain how I've pretty much exhausted all the shelves of non-fiction sex-related and/or self-help books and well, that's how I ended up at the rack with The Penis Book. I saw the banana and came right on over to it only to have my hopes dashed yet again. No problem, says the saleseperson, we have a computer. We can look her up. Tell me about Tracey Cox's books.

Supersex by Tracey CoxHer "super" series is actually published by DK Adult over in the UK and to be honest, I think the prices might be lower (even with s/h across The Pond) buying direct from them. Besides, DK sells the 52 playing card set version of the Supersex Deck--what a toy! Toss the cards in the air and see what ummm, comes up :) Talk about a tool for writers trying to be "creative" and non-redundant with their sex scenes!

In any event, back in the real world, after too many minutes on the new-fangled ghizmo called a computer, the oh-so-helpful salesperson has determined that no, apparently, the store's not "allowed" to carry Cox's books because the covers are "too racy" Ummm....huh??

First of all, Cox's books are non-fiction. Secondly, have we ever walked on over to the rows upon rows of racks under the signage "Romance"? Superhotsex by Tracey Cox There are oooooodles of naked bodies and "racy" poses on those shelves. Ahhhh, but grasshopper, said salesperson explains that since Cox's books are non-fiction there's an intimation that the photos on the front are real people having actual sex. Ahhh, but -sry ain't no grasshopper.

And recall, I have just quit smoking and this issue of book covers strikes....well, too close to home. I hate book covers that have nothing to do with the book's content, and hate even more that authors typically have zero input/control over their book covers--at least, non to speak of in any real way. It's up to the publisher's marketing dept. which personnel, half the time, don't even read the book!

Kiss Me While I Sleep by Linda HowardSo, I pounce on the poor salesperson: "I don't get it, are you trying to say those realistic photographs of what appear to be real people aren't really people but are fictional people so it's okay if they're on books of fiction but the same photos cannot be on a work of non-fiction because someone might think they're real??? Case in point: Linda Howard's Kiss Me While I Sleep had the foil cover shown at right (this version was from the CD/audiobook and just so happens to be off B&N's web site but puh-leeeese don't read anything into that O:-))) which title actually refers to the Hero performing cunnilingus on the Heroine while she's asleep (one of the best scenes at the end of the book, hands down--ha ha!) To say the least, I do believe this cover is just a tad bit "racy."

The "helpful" salesperson left me alone to my research. *tee-hee* I suppose I should have left the poor "helpful" salesperson alone but you know, I just quit smoking and I really needed to give someone a hard time and hey, I was minding my own business, just me and my banana book--I wasn't even leaving fingerprints or LOL. Besides, they don't even have the Tracey Cox books. Never mind whether or not they can shelve them or display them - they won't even order them! I was lucky to find just one of Ian Kerner's books--the second one, He Comes Next.

And do you know what's on the cover? A peeled banana just bared to the world for all to see. Shocking, I tell you. Just shocking ;-)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Imagine if Politics Were a Play...

Extremely talented UK-based author and Nematode Expert Extraordinaire, John Lambshead, has a discussion forum on his publisher's site, Baen's Bar, where he discusses a variety of things. One of them, naturally, is the current and yet NEVER-ending departure from office of His Toniness (outgoing British PM Tony Blair). Here's what John said yesterday on the subject:
Subject: Great Leader resigns, the masses weep
Author: John Lambshead
Date: 10 May 2007 05:11 AM

I am sitting at home watching His Toniness transported in a police cavalcade to his private jet, where he intends to travel up to his constituency in Sedgefield and announce his retirement.

Motorways are being blocked, queues backing up so the great man is not inconvenienced in any way by, for example, waiting ten seconds at a junction. He appears to be copying Princess Diana’s funeral procession.

He has gone completely barking mad. According to various leaks he is now obsessed by what he refers to as his legacy and has his massed ranks of spin doctors and PR muppets have apparently planned triumphal processions across the English countryside like Queen Elizabeth the First after the Armada.

Another story is that he intends to follow in the tradition of all fallen CIA-backed banana-republic dictators and flee to America. Apparently, it is widely believed among Blair’s people that Americans are prepared to pay silly money to hear him speak. After ten years of listening to him blather endlessly on British TV, he would be hard pressed to extract a clipped groat from the British people.
God Save us, no! Please!! Keep him over on your side of the Pond :-)
Apparently the Blessed Gordon, the Prince o’er the water, is about to be elevated by acclamation of the masses, well the Brownites, to the purple. This is going to be interesting as he is very Scottish and has a seat in a Scottish constituency. The Scots have just voted the Scottish Nationalists in as the largest party in the Scottish Parliament, another of the great leaders little misjudgements, and around 55% of the English in a recent poll wanted to scrap the Act of Union and dump Scotland (the percentage is higher among the young), another scintillating part of the Great Leader’s ‘Legacy’.

John Lambshead
Lucy's Blade

Today, John drew the following hilarious analogy between attending a play in the theater and His Toniness handing over the PM's office.
Subject: Britain's strange Alice in Wonderland politics
Author: John Lambshead
Date: 11 May 2007 04:37 AM

Britain's strange Alice In Wonderland politics continues.

Gordon Brown, our brooding chancellor, has been acclaimed Great Leader by the genuflecting masses (of Labour MPs) so he has now launched his ‘leadership campaign’.

Promotion first, campaign afterwards – said the Queen.

Meanwhile the Sky News poll shows that 86 % of what is admittedly a self selected group don’t want Brown as our new Great Leader.

Imagine sitting through a play that went on far too long. You bought the tickets at great expense on the basis of massive hype which utterly failed to live up to the reality. The script was bad, the actors fluffed their lines, the stage props kept falling over, the interval queue was too long, the ice creams poor quality and overpriced, and they slapped a ticket surcharge on you in the third act.

Your bum is numb, the actors are repeating themselves and all you want to do is go home. The curtain finally, oh thank you Lord, comes down and you start looking for your coat and gloves while the ‘star’, who looks much older than his publicity shots, insists on taking too many encores while telling the audience how wonderful he is.

Then just when you think it is all over and that they are going to unlock the exits, the bloody understudy leaps on stage, tells you his name is Gordon, and insists that they are going to repeat the whole damn thing again with himself as the star because of some agreement he made in 1995.

John Lambshead
Lucy's Blade

For more good times, buy John's newly-released book, Lucy's Blade (it's a fantasy, mystery and dark comedy all rolled into one, depending on how you look upon demons and alternate history - read a sample here) If you're in the UK and can make it, check out a book signing he's doing with Chris Dolley (details on Chris Dolley's LiveJournal)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Art Brings Life to Dead Trees

My eldest sister, the "Fine Artist" from Arizona, sent me this a month ago, about a month after the work was complete. I'm only just now looking into it and WOW, check this out.
A chainsaw artist commissioned by Mayor A.J. Holloway has transformed four standing dead trees in the center median of U.S. 90 in Biloxi into a sculpture garden, teeming with pelicans, egrets, seagulls, a blue marlin and a shark. Artist Dayton Scoggins is scheduled to complete his four days of sculpting at the end of the day Thursday, March 8, 2007. Holloway, meantime, may approach the City Council to hire Scoggins to create more works of art from other standing dead trees in the center median

Just four days to create these amazing sculptures. And with a chainsaw, no less!!

You can watch a couple of videos of the artist at work or see the "Before" and "After" photos linked off the Town of Biloxi's Your City at Work pages or read more about the project.

The artist should have gotten more than $4000 (only $1000 a tree) for this work. I simply cannot believe the detail achieved in some of these was done with a chainsaw!! I say again, WOW.

I also wish there were a better shot of the tree with the pelicans and seagulls--there's only this closeup of the pelican with a fish in its mouth, but at the top of the vertical, it appears there's a really nicely-done seagull which doesn't appear in any of the photos. Someone in Biloxi needs to take (and post to the web) some better photos. This art is worthy of it.