Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Critique Groups

Finding a critique group isn’t as easy as I thought. There’s choices. Tons of them. For instance, I might decide to join or form a group online. It’s convenient and I can meet in my pajamas without anyone ever knowing.

There are also local groups who meet at bookstores, libraries and living rooms. These are great because you get face to face interaction, not to mention coffee and cookies.

Both venues have their advantages. My goal is to find a group I'll be comfortable with for a very long time. Anyone who is also looking to find a critique group, check out Henry Baum’s helpful article at Self Publishing Review. He lists a variety of online critique groups worth checking out.

PS: I am having trouble with the "Read More" links on my blog. They're like rogue babies who drop their full diapers willy nilly everywhere. If by chance a genius html coder wanders by, I'd be forever grateful if you could point out my errors. I may be so grateful, I'll buy you a mug that proclaims how genius you are!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Morsels - Sept 2009

The first of many morsels you may suddenly find popping up like scrumptious kernels of corn on your screen. Because you might just be scratching your head in confusion, I'll explain:

Every monday, I'll post a 300-500 word excerpt of someone's Work in Progress. It may, however, be my work in progress for awhile until I get out there some brilliant, famous personality wanders by, checks it out and proclaims the idea a stupendous success, thereby guaranteeing crowds of eager visitors to rival any shopping mall the day after Thanksgiving.

Excerpted from my novel in progress, a paranormal romance:

Working Title: The Dark and Fragile Tale of the Executioner

“I will explain this again, in terms you can understand. We’re waging a war here, not a nursery game.”

“Sir Trystan speaks true,” Luther agreed. “You are more vital to humanity than you can fathom. It is our duty to ensure you succeed in what you have been charged to do.”

And what could that possibly be? Alexandra had been wondering herself. It had to be bad considering neither of them had yet bothered to mention it aloud. Would she be called upon to kill a few bad guys, perhaps pitch herself into the nearest, burning volcano? She’d be okay with chanting a few lines out of an old book, if they just pointed out the text.

“You are here to save humanity,” Luther said with deference.

Well. She hadn’t expected that.

Jesse’s jaw slung open. “Are you for real? Humanity is just fine, thanks. Has been for many years. I don’t think my sister’s who you’re looking for.”

Luther made a sound of disdain. "You should not think. Leave that to me."

Trystan took her arm. “Luther’s old. He doesn’t know melodrama went out with men’s tights and women’s corsets.”

It was a beautiful distraction. “And you? How old are you?”

Luther answered for him. “He is seven hundred or so plus years. Deplorably, the centuries between have failed to improve his demeanor even the slightest. He remains the lowly brute he’d been when first I met him.”

“Seven hundred forty nine,” Trystan corrected. “I’ve been keeping count. Even lowly brutes can count.”

Jesse looked as shocked as she felt. Pale freckles studded his nose. He ran a hand over the top of his head. “Impossible.”

“I agree,” Luther muttered. “I’d no idea he knew any number past five.”

Friday, April 24, 2009

Some Things Just Never Change


Including the old Alma Mater:


Going back shouldn’t have to be painful but dear god, my ankles! And I thought I was fit. I guess I can never be eighteen again. I leave that up to my kids, who know how to be teenagers, snarkiness and all.


At least they had an Olive Garden, where I partook of the chicken salad and watched everyone else eat cheesy, creamy, delicious – dairy-filled stuff.

Afterwards, we moved some of my daughter’s things to the car to bring home in anticipation of her real trip home in three weeks where we will move even more stuff to the car. And I don’t say the word stuff lightly.

I’m still speechless with shock at how much she’s collected in eight months away at school. I have my suspicions about it, like maybe she’s taken one too many trips to the local Salvation Army truck.

If only we were talking a few personal items here and there. But sadly, no. We hauled scads and boxes of makeup, bags full of dinnerware, decorative pillows I’d never seen before and would very much like to burn because the thought of them seeing the inside of my house makes my teeth crawl.


You might be wondering, as I did, just where we’re going to store everything. I pondered the question on my way home as I slept away while husband Mike drove. The only answer came to me in a moment of enlightenment.

Tomorrow, we’re going to pay a visit to Home Depot and get some firewood. Believe me, I’m doing her a favor.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Excuse Me While I Faint

Susan Boyle - Singer - Britains Got Talent 2009 (With Lyrics)


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Me vs The Spy . . . ware

I’ve been having an ongoing wrestling match with husband Mike’s computer. I won’t mention when (two months ago) our duel to the death began.

It started innocently enough. I said “yes” to my 16 year old’s request to use Dad’s computer for “homework.” She denies any wrong doing. She’ll deny it to the day her dental work falls out. Nothing I tried made a miniscule dent in the flashing pop ups and warning boxes that appeared whenever I turned on what I’ve dubbed as “the entity.”

But in in the past week or so, I’ve made progressed. Before then, I thought I’d be forced to admit that I might just have to send the entity out to minds greater than mine. Of course you’d have to look no further than the neighborhood teen down the street, but I digress.

This particular spy. . . (ware) was a wily SOB. It managed to hijack the internet. You can imagine my horror when ransom notes disguised as connection errors sprang out at me from the entity’s screen. So downloading reinforcements was out of the question.

But on Tuesday night, a light at the end of the tunnel!

After much research, I’ve found the names of its executable programs. The virus, for your reading pleasure: Spyware Protect 2009


spw1 spw2

Please, try not to faint. I understand the horror only too well.

Today, we resume the duel but this time it’s me who has the upperhand. I’ll watch the Spy . . .(ware) bleed all over hubby’s desk until its demise. And when it’s done, I’ll throw back my head and laugh.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

New Tech

So I’m a big tech fan. I have hot love for really cool, gadgets even though reading all the obscure details about what they can and can’t do mostly puts me out like a worn out compact flourescent light bulb.

But even I have to wonder where I have been all my life, or at least in the last six months? Windows Live, a free – let me say it again – Free download from Microsoft, is their newest roll out of a web enabled application that combines the kitchen sink, the house. . . really the entire neighborhood of PC services you’ve ever wished on, dreamed of and would’ve sold your eighty-year-old grandmother for if you’d only had the chance.

I can go into great, flourishing detail about the things I love about it – like the blogging software that’s made my life easier, the mail application that’s enabled me to combine all my email accounts into one program, their feeds that make following my favorite sites easier and of course, calendar and online storage among many other services – but I’ll leave that up to the truly smart people, the ones who don’t go to sleep when listening to detailed gadgetry descriptions.

Of course, you might also want to check out a review or two.

And finally – the good, the bad and the wierd. Wine anyone? Or how about just a robot slave for the road:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Life & Times of a Hound

You want a piece of me? Huh?

December 2008 003_thumb

"I’m mad fierce, baby. I’m your worst nightmare. Try me in a dark alley at 2 a.m.

Yeah, thought so. Didn’t want your face ripped off."

Think I'm kidding? That cute face, those soulful eyes? Behind it all is the crazy dawg from hell.

The funny thing about terriers is that they're the most loving, touchy-feely, want to get in your lap types in the world. But man, get a stranger to come anywhere near any member of the family, including the plant sitting outside the front door in the last throes of life, and out comes the green-eyed Hulk, only browner and with teeth. True, his teeth would barely injure an ant, but he doesn't think so.

Yesterday, he went after the Rottweiler down the street. The Rott might need a counselor now. I'm going to suggest Dr. Phil.