Random

All posts in the Random category

OMG I’m so excited!

Published January 5, 2017 by The Author

You may have noted in the past that I am a little bit of a Darynda Jones fangirl. I bugged out last year when I read and reviewed THE CURSE OF TENTH GRAVE. I haven’t been doing a lot of reviews in the last few months for reasons I talked about in my New Year post. So I didn’t really think I’d get approved at Netgalley to review the upcoming (SQUEE!) ELEVENTH GRAVE IN MOONLIGHT.

But I DID! SQUEEEEE! And that on top of the upcoming sequel to my favorite read of 2016, IT HAPPENED ONE DOOMSDAY by Laurence MacNaughton — A KISS BEFORE DOOMSDAY (coming July 2017). I’m going to be not only reviewing that, but doing some other events for it in June!

It’s gonna be a good reading year, ladies and gentlemen!  EEEEEeeeee!

dancing-book-1

Goodreads is like an animal shelter. In a way.

Published July 13, 2016 by The Author

Image-of-Cute-Puppy-and-Kitten

Goodreads is a shiny, happy place where those of us who love books can gather and make recommendations to each other, review what we read, and keep a nice record of what we want to read, are currently reading, or have read.

There are many warm puppies and fuzzy kittens in the Goodreads animal shelter.

Reviews of your own work might not be so happy. While it’s not the raving cesspool that Amazon reviews often become, there is still plenty of personal sniping and mean-spirited bullying there. I almost never read reviews unless they’re ones from people I’ve purposefully followed. Especially not for my own stuff.

There are many, many warm and fuzzy dogs and cats in this part of the Goodreads animal shelter that may not live very long. They’re sick, they might be unadoptable for one reason or another. They might bite. In fact, some greatly enjoy spreading rabies. You inevitably leave feeling terrible that you couldn’t help them all. The Goodreads animal shelter can be a very unpleasant place. You might even have rabies.

Today I was doing something I rarely take time to do, and that was read some of the Listopia lists on Goodreads. Specifically, The Worst Books of All Time. It was madness!

Take, for example, #1379, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) from American Psychiatric Association. For those who don’t know, this is a big, fat book that lists every condition that has been defined by the APA as a mental illness or other psychological condition, including things like its research, history, and list of common symptoms. If you see a shrink for diagnosis and/or medication, the chances are good that she or he is going to consult this book to narrow or expand your treatment — or they at least have a copy on their bookshelf. I have a degree and 3/4 in psychology, and the DSM III was surgically attached to my hand for about three years.

So, okay, it’s weird to see the DSM on the worst books of all time list. It’s not a particularly interesting read, I’ll give you that (although I highly recommend it as a tool for characterization!), but the worst book of all time? First of all, Why is the DSM IV   in particular so terrible? Did the APA add or subtract something heinous since the DSM III? It’s like putting the dictionary on the worst books of all time. But only Webster’s, not the OEE. I don’t think anybody thinks it’s the worst book. I think they’re probably making a statement about psychiatry. Or, they might be angry psych grad students. That’s entirely possible. I used to think about heaving it at some of my grad school professors. It’s pretty hefty.

The whole list reads like this, though. It’s obvious: people aren’t judging the style or content of books most of the time: they’re judging the imagined message, or the author, ideology, or genre. The list is full of religious books, from the Bible to books by Sylvia Browne (people on this list apparently LOATHE Sylvia Browne for some reason.) There are political books, from *makes a foul face* Ann Coulter to Barack Obama (boy, do the people on this list hate President Obama. Am I shocked? No, I am not.) Of course, they also hate Donald Trump, Jack Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, W, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, etc. etc. etc. From one end of the spectrum to the other, there is hardcore book hate.

But it doesn’t stop there. Every book that every kid in America has been required to read since print was invented is on there. Every book that has ever been #1-10 on any best seller list is on there. I kept going “Huh?” “What?” at some of the hate: I mean, CHARLOTTE’S WEB? For real? Who hates CHARLOTTE’S WEB… I mean, unless thinking about it still makes you cry 40 some-odd years later. Ehem. Every beloved Urban Fantasy, adult, YA, or otherwise, is on there. In fact, pretty much every popular YA series ever is on there. Harry Potter is on there. Books in German. Books in Spanish. Books in Hebrew. Books in Farsi. Stephen King and Nora Roberts are on there. Cookbooks were on there, especially if written by celebrities, or about whole food, vegetarian, or vegan eating.It’s just… bizarre!

But there it is. We readers area a wild, diverse, and passionate bunch! (And okay, a lot of us are bat guano crazy.) Sharing our opinions would be fascinating… if the comments didn’t naturally devolve into typical comment warfare complete with word napalm.

I must remind myself of The Rules:

Rule #1: Never read the comments. Anywhere. Someone could be talking about Winnie the Pooh and some nutbag would start a fight over it.
Rule #2: Never read the trends on Twitter. *shudder*

imageedit_3_6111984271

Freelancing. Hashtag UGH.

Published June 23, 2016 by The Author

I can’t believe I typed that. Saying “hashtag” anything has become one of my pet peeves lately, and now it’s dropping out of my own fingertips all of a sudden!

Anyhoo, it’s been a long time since I talked about my freelance  indentured servitude  career. As most of you know, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to support yourself with the income from fiction writing. Unless you are one of those lucky souls that gets a ginormous contract and becomes the beloved of a ton of fans that auto-buy every book, you have to spend money and time not only writing, but promoting, as well as have some kind of outside work to generate that money. You must be in fiction writing it because you love it, because if you’re in it for the money, the glory, or massive fame, you’re in for a shocking surprise. Unfortunately, if you’re a single person with no other means of support, that’s not going to work.

Buckle up, there’s a rant coming!

Read the rest of this entry →

Books of My Life, 31 Days of Halloween, and 30 Day Happiness Challenge!

Published October 4, 2014 by The Author

halloween-pumpkin-animated-gif13-source_06u

On the Fourth Day of Samhain, My True Love Gave to Me

Four Pumpkin Donuts (not gross, but I can’t stop thinking about them!)
Three Thirsty Vampires
Two Shuffling Zombies
And a Severed Head in a Bare Tree.

10660150_751841564886522_5848497325654354255_n

Day Three: Reach out to someone you know and praise them. Yeah, this went well. I told my mother she was a kind, funny person. This was the resulting conversation:

Mom: Are you talking to the cat?
Me: No, the cat is upstairs. And the cat is not named “Mom.”
Mom: Oh! Well, thank you, that’s very sweet. We really need to clean up down here. (Down here being my basement office.)
Me: You can’t just take the nice sentiment?
Mom: Well, that’s what I’m thinking about.

And… that’s my relationship with my mother, boys and girls. BUT I did my duty, and I’ll continue to do it tomorrow.

One Meaningful Thing That Happened to Me in the Last 24 Hours: My cat was doing her thing, being an excellent mouser, but whenever I have the opportunity, I save the potential victim if I can. Last night, I chased the frantic twosome everywhere until they had some kind of wierd Mexican standoff in the middle of the kitchen floor. Seriously. Elsie was just lying, crouched down in one corner, while the mouse sat right in the middle of the floor, staring at her. I thought it had to be dead, but maybe it figured out that if it didn’t run, she wouldn’t chase it. Anway, I took one of the old plastic bowls with holes in them we use for exactly this purpose, plunked it down on the mouse, slid a piece of thin cardboard beneath, and took it outside to the woods. I barely moved the cardboard before the mousy was GONE.

Saving a life, no matter how small, is very meaningful to me. And we always praise Elsie, as she’s always agitated and upset when we take her prey away. It’s not her fault I’m a Buddhist and a softie!

Three Things I’m Thankful For: 1.) My Cat, 2.) Books, 3.) Coffee

~~~~~~

Anyway, I did this thing I found in Entertainment Weekly yesterday, that I’ve always found interesting. (If you want to see how my favorite author of all time, Diana Gabaldon, did it, you can find it here. And yes, I have every one of her recommendations on my TBR list. *G*)

Read the rest of this entry →

The 3rd Day of Halloween and Day 2 of the 30 Day Happiness Challenge

Published October 3, 2014 by The Author

On the Third Day of Samhain, My True Love Gave to Me

Three Thirsty Vampires
Two Shuffling Zombies
And a Severed Head in a Bare Tree.

W00t!

10660150_751841564886522_5848497325654354255_nDay Two: Write down one meaningful thing that happened to you in the last 24 hours. This is a tough one. Meaningful… how? In a profound way? In a simple way? In a shallow way? I mean, my life is fairly uneventful as a rule, and profound things don’t happen often. Simple things do, like waking up in cool weather with my window still open, snuggling under my heavy blanket. That happened this morning. In a shallow way, it’s “meaningful” that I’ll be getting a pair of boots that I’ve coveted for a long time that a friend needed to sell almost brand new for a reasonable price, and I came up with the money, which I sent out today… I don’t know if these things count.

Three Things I’m Grateful For:

1. The ability to write. I may not be one of the Great American Novelists, but I feel honored that I have at least some small talent with which to tell stories and express myself.

2. Books. It’s a damn broad category, but my life would be completely bereft without books. I adore them.

3. Cheese. I love cheese.

That’s just how I’m rolling today, folks!