Friday, December 31, 2010


So... we're looking at Spencer Hill Press's presence at BEA (Book Expo America, in NYC in May) and thinking of upgrading to a booth.

Okay, so maybe just half a booth. In the cheap section.

But it's a booth. At BEA. Frikkin' BEA!

And I'm thinking about how we could use this to make a splash.

Party? SWAG cannons? Zener card games?

Help me out here, people.  If you were at BEA, what would catch your interest?

Hmm... maybe I should bring a coffeemaker.  And coffee, too.  Otherwise, it's just a tease.

Happy New Year!

UPDATE: Food, SWAG, and free books: sounds good.  Speaking of free books, check out the Born at Midnight giveaway on Blkosiner's Book Blog:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sesame Street

I'm at home with the kids all week, and they're watching Sesame Street right now, which is why I have time to check my email and write this post.

It blew my mind to see a True Blood parody on this show! "True Mud" is the beverage of choice for grouches, apparently. I haven't been this jaw-dropped by a kid show in a while.

I sincerely hope the preschoolers watching don't understand the reference.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Character Karma

One of the well-known clichés of horror movies is having an opening scene in which the teenagers who break the rules--drinking, doing drugs, having sex, etc.--are the first victims of the monster/serial killer/psycho.  And in action movies, children and dogs never die.

In writing, how important is it that the character "deserve" an unhappy ending? Alternatively, do the bad guys need to be punished in order for the reader to have closure?

Consider It's a Wonderful Life. Should Mr. Potter have had something bad happen to him? Did it bother you that he got away with it?

What do you think? 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ending Series

I finally got a chance to read Last Sacrifice this weekend! I wasn't disappointed, although it is a bit sad when series I love end. So, how do you think a book series SHOULD end?

Should the author wrap everything up in an epilogue that leaves no room for another book, like Jo Rowling did with Harry Potter?

Should the MC die? Although, in YA fantasy, that's not necessarily a series-ender (looking at you, P.C. Cast!). 

Should major plot arcs resolve, but the ending leave the characters in motion in the world?


I know what I'm doing with the end of Soulmate, which is Ganzfield #6.  I hope to get the draft done this spring or summer, after a revision or two on #5. 

What's your preference? And what's your favorite last book in a series? (no spoilers, please!)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Minder, um, I mean Mindful Musings

The Ganzfield books been nominated for a bunch!  Squee!

Best YA Book (Minder)
Best Paranormal Romance (Adversary)
Best YA Series (Ganzfield)
Best Secondary Character (Trevor in Adversary)
Best Couple (Maddie and Trevor in Minder)

Voting's open now until the end of the week at Mindful Musings:

Thanks to everyone who's been nominating and voting!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Xmas Week #5

by Clement Clarke Moore
or Henry Livingston

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Xmas Week #4

I've taken this week off to catch up on my reading.  Top of my TBR pile: Last Sacrifice. 

What are you reading this week?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Xmas Week #3

Very cool.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Xmas Week #2

More random fun:

Seriously, this kid's only twelve.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Xmas Week #1

I'm just going to post fun, random stuff all week. Enjoy!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Viva la Santa

(to the tune of "Viva la Vida")

I used to fly the world
Kids would smile when the ribbons curled
Now in December I roam the mall
Taking pictures at their beck and call

I hear the reindeer sleigh bells a ringing
Short, high-voiced elven choirs are singing
Be my coat, my hat, and my black boot
Coca-Cola's why it's a red suit

For some reason that makes me pissed
Some kids say that I don't exist 
Now the empty toy bag's unfurled
Cuz it's from when I flew the world

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas?

Season's Greetings? Happy Holidays? Great Solstice? Happy Hannukah? Joyous New Year? Um... whatever you do on Kwanzaa? (it is "Happy Kwanzaa?" I really don't know, but I'd like to get it right).

I'm from a Christian background, and my husband's is Muslim. When someone wished me a "Iyi Bayramlar!" when we lived in Turkey, I didn't get offended.  I took it in the spirit in which the person had said it, which was at the "Have a nice day!" level of social pleasantries. 

So, I put it to you in the comments: is it really offensive when people wish us well from within their own cultural framework? And it is really offensive for people to wish us "Happy Holidays!"--even if they don't tailor it to our specific beliefs? They're wishing us GOOD stuff, people! They aren't trying to offend us!

Just so we can all be clear on the difference, THIS is how you wish people ill:

"May your teenage daughter start dating a drummer."

"Have another piece of pie--it might be the final straw that gives you diabetes!" 

"May your job be outsourced and your house foreclosed on."

"I hope they declare caffeine an illegal drug, so you can never have coffee again."

Back in the trenches during First World War, some of the German and English troops declared a ceasefire on one Christmas Eve.  It wasn't something that the officers ordered; they simply... didn't feel like fighting. They even played a game of soccer on the silent battlefield on Christmas Day.

If they could do that, why can't we declare a ceasefire in the culture wars for a couple of weeks?

Oh, and if you think of another really good ill-wishing, please post that in the comments, too.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Tyler is one of the sweetest kids I know. Yesterday, he sent me this link:

Thanks, Tyler!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Little Opera Goes a Long Way

I just love stuff like this. It's like an attack Band, but with class.

Monday, December 13, 2010

(Dis)Membership Drive

When we first moved to back to the US two years ago, I got a 10-gallon fish tank and bought several fancy goldfish.  They became huge mutants that outgrew the tank. After we released them into my parent's pond (which is in New Jersey, so freaky mutations won't really be noticed), we bought five, normal-looking platys.

But now... now one of them has become a zombie.

Seriously, the fish lies on the gravel like it's waiting for a side of chips. I go in with the net, and it jumps up and swims away. This has been going on for more than a week, and it keeps fooling me every morning.

Ooh--maybe the kids taught it to play dead!

BTW, Ruby's Reads has a week devoted to Paranormal Schools, and she's reviewing Minder on Tuesday. Check it out! 
Ruby's Reads

Friday, December 10, 2010

Personal Vision

I do leadership training in my day-job, and in this past week I found myself part of several discussions about personal vision.

I'm not talking about New Year's resolutions or anything like that. It's not about what you want to "do." This is about deciding who you want to BE in every important area of your life (family, career, spirituality, community life, etc.), describing your vision in a sentence or two in each area, and then putting yourself on the path to BECOMING that person.

Do: Write a novel.
BE: Be a writer.

So, as we're closing out the end of 2010, I put it to you:

Who do you want to BE? 

Once you really, REALLY know the answer to that, take a look at your current life and start sculpting. Shave off the things that you don't care about so you have more time for the people and things that really matter. Devote yourself to taking the steps to actualize your vision.

I did this a few years ago. I'm now working on my sixth novel, and I have a passion for my work. I have time to wrestle my kids to carpet and zerbet their little bellies. I have a husband who still tells me I'm beautiful, even before I've had coffee.

So, over the next three weeks, instead of making a New Year's resolution, think about articulating a vision for the kind of life that would give you joy. You might never win the lottery, or make partner, or be on the NYT bestsellers list, or have Steven R. McQueen as your devoted love-slave, but you can decide what matters to you in life and put your time and energy into BEING a person who spends time and energy that way.

Oh, and Steven R. McQueen should TOTALLY play Trevor in the Ganzfield movies. *sigh*

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Aspiring authors, if you've never attended a writers conference, I strongly recommend this one:

I'm trying to fit in a trip to NYC that week (May 20-somethings, 2011) for BEA. If you're going to the conference--or to BEA--please let me know. Maybe we can hang out and talk about books.

On a weird note, I went to add "BEA" to the post labels, and the auto-correct function suggested the phrase "bear-slapping."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Moral Outrage

So much for my plans for invading/studying in Britain:


Tuesday, December 7, 2010


This is kind of amazing.  I like it not only for the cool math-to-art relationship, but also because the narrator would be an interesting character in a novel.  Actually, I think she might be Claire from Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampires.

Thanks to Gregg for the link!

Don't forget to vote in yesterday's poll!

Monday, December 6, 2010


Hi folks,

I'll be out-of-town for my day-job for the next two days. In the meantime, here's a poll for you Ganzfield readers:

Looksie Lovitz came up with the term "Masterminder" when she reviewed ADVERSARY. In your opinion, who is more of a "Masterminder?"

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fun for Friday

I'm still editing--about halfway through Half-Blood--so let me put up something fun today:

UPDATE: There's a query contest over at Turning the Page this month; check it out!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Song in My Head

Yay!  I'm done with the proof review, and the ARCs are on the way!

So far on the ARC list:

Blkosiner's Book Blog
Book Crazy
Book Vixen
Books complete me
Bookshelf Sophisticate
Cari's Book Blog
Elena's Book Café
Escape Between the pages
Everything to Do with Books
Good Choice Reading
Jenn's Bookshelves
Looksie Lovitz: Books and Wits
Missy's Reads and Reviews
Reading Teen
Reading, Writing, Raisin' Boys
Sidhe Vicious
The Wolf's Den
The Wormhole
Wicked Awesome Books

If you're not there, please contact me

I've had a song in my head all day. It's Something Corporate's Forget December:

Check this one out!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

So You Want To Be A Writer

I think I met this guy at a conference...

Thanks to Brenna Lyons over at Broad Universe for the link!

In other news, Books Complete Me has named me a "Best I've Read" author for 2010!

Thanks, Cindy, Nicole, Julie, Kendra, and Sasha! Check out the awesome EVENT they'll have starting Monday, December 6th: interviews, giveaways, and other coolness. Oh, and they interviewed Trevor for this. Yeah, *that* Trevor. Really, you gotta check it out.