Friday, January 30, 2009

Losing Count

Yay! A contract in the mail for April's issue of True Romance. I think that makes...22??

Monday, January 26, 2009

Being Prepared

Change light bulbs too high for me to reach...Check
Fix switch in kitchen so lights work...Check
Turn valve on furnace to "on" position for heat...Check
Swap Queen-size bed for Full size bed...Check
Do lots of laundry...Check
Buy 42" flat screen TV...Check
Get rid of old cabinet...Check
Buy bookcase...Check
Assemble bookcase...Check
Stock with myriad of books currently littering floor...Check
Clean up patio...Check
Clean out refrigerator...Check
Clean out pantry...Check

Probably a million other things to do...but good enough for now.

Tomorrow I'm getting a new car. Oops. Sorry. I meant a new face.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ye Olde Silver Lining

As a public service to myself, I thought I’d assemble in one coherent little speech the benefits I’ve observed thus far from giving up cigarettes.

It goes without saying, of course, that the health benefits are plentiful. (Contrary to what nonsmokers believe, smokers are not ignorant in this regard. Many of us have deep-seated, very complex motivations for continuing to smoke in the face of all the evidence.) Anyway, so let’s skip the physical aspects and get right to the rest.

1. I no longer worry about running out of cigarettes which, extrapolated, means I no longer worry about stopping to buy them on the way to an engagement. (Corollary: I don’t worry about having to stop on the way HOME either.)

2. When I arrive at a restaurant, I no longer immediately scope out all possible smoking venues. (Corollary: I also don’t have to pre-plan the timing between cocktails at the bar and being seated at the table, nor how I’m going to politely excuse myself after dinner to duck outside.)

3. Not smoking opens up the dating pool by wide margins.

4. In public, when I’m sitting next to a stranger, I don’t have to worry about offending him or her with the scent (stench?) of cigarettes from my clothes. (Although, let the record show I’ve always LOVED the smell of smoke—stale or otherwise. Even an overloaded ashtray doesn’t gross me out.)

5. I don’t have to feel like the marginalized second-class citizen California has made smokers into.

6. By not purchasing cigarettes, I can save enough money to pay for an additional week-long vacation per year.

7. In order to keep my mind off smoking, I busy myself with chores around the house I may have ignored before.

8. It’s a fascinating lesson in proving to myself that I can be modestly successful at something I didn’t think I could achieve at all.

9. I'm allowed to have cosmetic surgery. (Just sayin.’)

Having listed the above, here’s what I miss about smoking:


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Reflections On A Milestone

Okay, confession time. I’m feeling overly-saturated by the news coverage of the inauguration, the pre-inauguration and the pre-pre-inauguration. Don’t get me wrong—I’m all for celebrating the occasion on which the first African American takes office. But (to paraphrase Peggy Lee), is that all he is? The first Black president? I, for one, am hoping for much, much, more!

Like, I’m hoping he’s as bright, thoughtful, and serenely confident as he appears-- whether he’s green, black or purple. To get all caught up in his ethnic heritage is, to me, disrespectful (besides being only half-accurate). It vaguely implies that perhaps his color is the ONLY reason he got elected—like, the American electorate finally got hip enough to accept someone other than a white man. As though you could have substituted ANY African-American candidate this season because—whew, thank God, America’s finally ready for it.

No, it wasn’t timing. And, in my humble opinion based on nothing but gut instinct, our country elected the MAN, not the African-American...and THAT’S what the celebration should be about.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Name That View

Give up? Okay, I'll give ya a clue. There's wagering involved, but the place isn't owned by Indians (um, that sounds politically incorrect, but they ARE called Indian casinos, right?). Anyway, after a long, long, weekend spent avoiding cigarettes (meaning, I went NOWHERE and stayed away from the computer), Ann called on Sunday, suggesting we hit a movie.

Okay, I said. (Yes! I can sit in a dark theater without threat of giving in to the evil smoking demons!)

But then, as I primped in front of the make-up mirror, I heard the Real Housewives of the OC in the background and the bitches, I mean LADIES (hey, will someone tell those chicks that putting a hat on your head doesn't make you classy?) were at the racetrack.

Ding ding ding!

Quick call to Ann.

About an hour later, we traded a darkened theater for The Derby Club in Ventura, arriving in time for a late lunch and the 5th race (on which I won a medium longshot Exacta thankyouverymuch!)

I love it when a last-minute plan comes together.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Just An Observation...

When I take my mortgage payment to the bank, they practically throw a parade...

(See, this is precisely the kind of post that Twitter's good for.)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Signs I'm Over-analyzing

If it were humanly feasible (and it probably is, I just haven’t tried hard enough), I would eat from the moment I woke up in the morning till the moment I laid my head on the pillow at night.

No bullshit.

Moreover, in a perfect world, I’d consume nothing but junk food—a lifetime smorgasbord of nachos, fries, chex mix, and cashews, minute by minute, hour by hour.

Of course, I’d be as big as a modern-day zeppelin, and my arteries would need a case of Liquid Plummer, which is why, alas, I restrain myself. Yes folks, I do. Every day of my life, I count calories, I eat Lean Cuisines, I skip meals—I DEPRIVE myself.

But at least with the whole food thing, there’s no saying: “I will NEVER eat again.”

Unlike with the whole smoking thing.

Knowing the difference makes quitting a lot tougher.

I mean, no matter what—I’ll ALWAYS be able to eat another donut. Eventually...even if it’s far off in the future.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Blogless in Simi

Geez folks, I don't know what's up these days with my blog. Mostly, I just can't think of a topic worthy of more than one line.

Like this:

Try for a cool way to discover new musicians in your preferred genre.

Or this:

If you miss being able to phone the time lady to get the right time, go here

But I'm also having trouble stringing words together.

Like this:

Blah, blah...literary vs. genre fiction...blah, blah...the difference.....

Do you suppose it's too much oxygen to the brain?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Not Your Mother's Pravda

I did my morning Internet run-through a few minutes ago, starting with The Drudge Report. Dutifully, I clicked on the headline about how the world is heading for a new Ice Age because, after all, I'm nothing if not hot and cold on the whole climate change issue. Global warming...Ice Age...It's all a toss-up, isn't it? Anyway, I figured I'd check out the latest doomsday prediction.

Naturally, I was quickly distracted by yet another headline on the cover page, this one titled "Hollywood Stars Disappear As They Try To Lose Weight."

Sign me up! I LUVS me a series of before and after photos of ridiculously thin movie stars! So I click on picture after picture, slightly nauseated by the standard set by our society for "beauty." And saddened for these ladies that they live this way.

But then I'm distracted yet AGAIN.

I'm reading this where...??

In PRAVDA? As in...THE Pravda? The one in Russia?

Sure enough. Only I'm reading the English version.

Okay, so when did we f-up the Ruskies with our tabloid-style version of journalism...?

Friday, January 09, 2009

Every Culture Has Its Pancake

Think about it.

Mexico...has the tortilla
France...has the crepe
China...has that mung bean thing, better known as moo-shoo

And Norway has LEFSE.

This holiday season, being of Norwegian heritage, I had a hankering for some, which led me to Google which led me to Mrs. Olson's in Minnesota. Clickity-click and bam! Minutes later, a supply of lefse was winging its way across America, headed for ME.

So what is lefse, you ask? All you really need to know is that it's made from potatoes. (I mean, seriously. Potatoes. What could be better?) To see the process, click here. Traditionally, you throw a little butter on it and maybe some sugar. Me, I added some cinnamon to the mix. Mmmmm. Plus, one day I found my self without store-bought bread, so I tossed a bunch of shredded cheese into the center of a slice and guessed it...a Norwegian quesadilla.

Hey, don't laugh. This morning I stumbled across this darling lunch place called The Lefse House, located in (of all places) Alberta, Canada. Look what I found on the menu!!!!

Norwegian Nachos ~ $ 8.95
Crisp flatbread chips covered with
your choice of cheddar or gjetost
cheese, with sour cream, salsa,
and chives.

Okay, am I in heaven or WHAT? Norwegian Nachos, for God's sakes! These people are friggin' BRILLIANT! (And why can't I turn of the italics???)

Crap. Now, I'm hungry and I've exhausted my lefse to do some more clickety-clicking. And the italics is driving me crazy.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Read 'Em And Weep

Stumbled across these sad, sad, statistics on the blogs of Agents Kristin Nelson and Jennifer Jackson for 2008.

Queries Received

Nelson -- 35,000
Jackson -- 6,500

Full Manuscripts Requested

Nelson -- 88
Jackson -- 10

New Clients Signed

Nelson -- 2
Jackson -- 6

I'm not even gonna bother doing the math. Y'know...come up with percentages and stuff that'd really make my eyeballs bleed. The numbers kinda speak for themselves.

Now let's look at my submissions for the year, shall we? (Get ready: this could be equally scary.)

Looks like I sent out 16+ queries last year--a mixture of one-page letters and partials for both Leftovers and Lights! Camera! Love! From those, I got four requests (3 for partials, 1 for a full). Considering most "experts" say you should query 100 agents before giving up on a project, I'm thinking I should, um, amp up my efforts for 2009 (although, based on the above agent stats, you can forgive me for feeling like why bother.)

Sigh. That's why this biz ain't for the weak-of-heart, boys and girls.

*Sidenote: (I also submitted and sold about 10 stories--averaging about 35 pages each--to True Romance last year, so I'm not quite the slacker I appear. Ha.)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Blog? I Own A Blog?

Oh, yeah. That thing on the Internet. My blah-blah-blog.

Kinda reflective of my blah-blah-life (as of late). I mean, COME ON. I didn't even drink a COCKTAIL on New Year's Eve. What sort of start to 2009 is THAT? Sad, I tell you. Simply pathetic. Don't get me started on the rest of the New Year's weekend. It wasn't pretty but for very different reasons.

In news of a more positive light, I'm still in the running over at Karen Tabke's first line contest. How fun is that?

And in smoking updates...well, let's just say it's been over three weeks since I had a cigarette at work and leave it at that, shall we? (Practice. This stuff takes PRACTICE.)

As for New Year's Resolutions.......are ya kiddin' me?