Monday, February 25, 2008

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner


Here is a cute picture of my daughter and her boyfriend. He was just up visiting her and she was quite impressed with his culinary prowess. He made her a dinner of Salmon and Caesar salad. He even made the dressing and the croutons from scratch. Personally, I didn't know you could make croutons from scratch. I thought they grew on a crouton bush or something.

So here is the thing. My daughter is coming home for a visit next month and I'm sure she will be hanging out with the boyfriend quite a bit. I should invite him to have dinner with us . . . Hmmm, should it be the usual Hamburger Helper or perhaps one of those chicken dishes that you slather with cream of mushroom soup and some cheese . . . Hey, if I'd spent the last eleven years cooking dinner I wouldn't have thirteen books to my name. (And technically to my pen name.)

Perhaps we'll just take him out to dinner instead . . .

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

100,000 words and counting

It’s been another interesting writing day.

As it turns out I should have paid better attention in history class, or chemistry class, or both. I’m to the point in my novel where I need to write about explosives that would have been available during the Middle Ages. One phone call to a professor at a combustible materials lab, and suddenly I’m researching black powder, and more specifically how people would go about making saltpeter. Which by the way is a sort of gross process involving things I’d never willingly touch, like dung heaps.

(I’d never heard of saltpeter until I watched the musical 1776, which I still love, but it has the effect that whenever I say the word ‘saltpeter’ I break out into song: “Well, we will not make saltpeter until you send us pins . . .” Just one of many good songs. But I digress.)

So anyway, I googled, “Making black powder” which gave me many sites to link to, and in all probability put me on an FBI possible terrorist list.

Ahh, the joy of writing.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Why I shouldn't stay up so late.

I'm a night person, I really am. (You may have already noticed that many of my blogs are posted during hours when all normal human beings are asleep.) If I'm behind on a manuscript . . . which lately has been, um, always . . . then it's easy for me to stay up into the a.m. when I should be sleeping.

Lucky for me, my dear husband will get the kids up and ready for school. Well, sort of anyway. The last time I stayed up late, when I went to pick up my daughter from school she was wearing her gray stretchy pants with the black and cranberry design along with a lavendar striped sweater. And her hair wasn't combed. Yeah, this is pretty much your basic white trash uniform.

I have told my husband upon these sorts of occassions, "Dear, if I should die, I want you to remarry. And let her dress the children."

I really need to get to bed earlier.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Why Authors Shouldn't Use Pop References

You can't help but feel bad for Britney Spears. We've been watching her self destruct for over a year now. Is there anything she hasn't done? Any low the paparazzi haven't captured? Even her trip to the hospital--how many days ago was that?--is still making headlines. One can't help but wonder what went so horribly wrong in her life. Was it a nervous breakdown? mental illness? drugs? perhaps the way the paparazzi pursued her like she was the last deer of hunting season?

I don't know. I just hope she gets better.

But it brings to point why authors shouldn't use pop references. You see, it takes a long time to write a book, then even longer for it to be edited, printed, and sent to the stores. Revenge of the Cheerleaders has only been out for three months, but it was written almost two years ago.

I have a scene where a bunch of cheerleaders are discussing whether they have what it takes to win an American-Idol like contest, even though they won't be performing a song that they wrote. Back then when I had a character say, "You don't think Britney Spears got where she is because she wrote her songs, do you?" Well, the sentence had an entirely different meaning.