Friday, April 28, 2006

Dominating Google

I just finished Googling my name. (When did Google become a verb?) I was happily surprised to find that, except for the first listing, I took up the entire first page and a half of results! This is much much improved from the last time I had done it months ago, where I think I was deep on the third page.

And, upon further investigation, I saw that most of the people who have rated my book at the Fictionwise online bookstore, thought it was "Good," which is two ratings above "Poor," for which I should be happy. I spent a good half hour looking at the list of books that people bought along with mine, one of them written by a fellow Liquid Silver Books author, Trista Ann Michaels! Her book is called Genie in a Bottle.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Choices, Choices

This Week's Question:

If you were restricted to one author's writings for the rest of your life, which author would you choose? (If the author is still alive and writing books, you would be able to read those new books as they were published.)

I think that because I'm such a voracious reader, I would have to choose Nora Roberts, only because the woman produces books at an alarming rate. Anyone else, and I'd probably be limited to one book a year.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Atrocious Artist

This Week's Artist: Brett Helquist

If you're familiar with the Series of Unfortunate Events books, then you are most likely familiar with the work of Brett Helquist as well. Before Harper Collins put the obligatory images of the movie people on the covers of those books, they had the beautiful and stylistic illustrations of Helquist. His pencil renderings inside the books are just as exciting and witty, even. I really love the patterns of line he uses and envy his talent.

He used to have a portfolio of work on his agent's website, but it's not there anymore. Bummer! You can click on his name above to find out more about him, but it's mainly a site about Lemony Snicket and their books.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

April Martinez

This Week's Recommendation: April Martinez, Designer

I've been privileged to work again with an extremely talented designer, April Martinez. This is the cover she designed for my upcoming release from Liquid Silver Books. I think she really captured the light-hearted feel of the book and the characters.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Nothing Rhymes with Orange

Today's Trivia Topic: Oranges

I need to go make a special trip to the grocery store today. $173 dollars spent at Ralph's yesterday and I didn't get everything I needed! Mother-in-law and Aunt-in-law (?) are coming for dinner and I need oranges for the recipe I'm making.

From the Sunkist website:

Even though the fruit is deliciously sweet and completely ripe, Valencia oranges may occasionally "regreen" in warm weather. When the fruit ripens on the tree, it turns a bright orange color, as usual. But the warm temperatures of the season may make the skin reabsorb chlorophyll as it hangs on the tree, causing a ripe orange to look partly green.

Citrus growers want to make sure all their trees produce the same high quality fruit. To do this, each new tree they plant is grown, or propagated, by grafting or budding instead of by seed.

More than 99% of citrus flowers fall off the tree. The ones that remain become fruit.

Since the body does not store Vitamin C, it should be replenish daily for optimum health and eating citrus at the first sign of a cold or the flu may keep the illness from fully developing and help you recover faster. A medium-sized orange, for example, provides 130% of the recommended daily value (RDV) of Vitamin C along with other beneficial nutrients like folate, potassium and fiber.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Bitter End

I am at the end of my work-in-progress and am a disgruntled camper. I have typed the last sentence, but it truly sucks. Endings are so so hard for me because I really feel strongly that they must resonate. It's the cherry on top of the sundae that makes the whole read feel worthwhile. And right now my cherry is more like a lima bean. Blech.

So I'm going to start at the beginning and start revising. I have to cut about 1400 words from a 14K story, which is 10% (Right? Math isn't my strong suit.) Ten percent is a lot, especially when your characters are meeting and falling in love within the pages of the story. (As opposed to having a history and relationship already established.) Hopefully, as I revise and I go through the book from start to finish, the ending will flow. Wish me luck.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Snakes? Why'd It Have To Be Snakes?

Question of the Week: Suppose you were casting Raiders of the Lost Ark and Harrison Ford couldn't play Indiana Jones. Who would you cast instead?

I'm thinking maybe Matthew McConaughey. Or Aaron Eckhart.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Blue Dogs Aplenty

I displayed a work of mine last Wednesday (see Sidewalk Art post) that was a copy of George Rodrigue's "Grow Me Something, Mister." This week, I decided to show you some of his real stuff. Although he is also famous for his Cajun motifs, I prefer his whimsical blue dogs and the variety of settings and costumes he puts them in.

Clockwise: "A Faster Breed," "Takin' Care of Business, and "PC Blues."


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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Get Your Alka Seltzer

This week's recommendation is a restaurant. We just got back from a few days in Lake Tahoe and really enjoyed the buffet at Harrah's. My son adores buffets, so after asking around, we were sent to the one at Harrah's, an easy walk from where we were staying at Marriot's Timberlodge.

The Forest Buffet is on the eighteenth floor of the hotel and a lot of the tables have a breathtaking view of the lake. On the evening we went, it was snowing and had been snowing for a few hours, so the vista was like a winter postcard. The food was delicious, too. I especially liked the ginger honey chicken, shrimp cocktail, and prime rib. Their Korean style barbeque ribs were fatty, but the kids raved about the mac and cheese. Unfortunately, the desserts left a lot to be desired, but by then I'd eaten so much I didn't have much room left. Next time I should take the stairs so I can justify the bingeing!

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Pen is Mightier

I love pens, so when looking for a topic for Trivia Monday, I found a bit of interesting information about quills.

* As far as writing instruments go, the quill has lasted the longest, over a thousand years.

* Because most people are right-handed, the outer feathers from the left wing of a bird were favored because of the way they curved away from the hand.

* Most commonly used were feathers from geese. The shafts were more flexible, allowing the ink to flow freely with light pressure. Swan feathers were more pricey. Crow feathers made the best fine lines.

* Quills only lasted about a week before you needed to replace them.

* The term "penknife" originated from the special type of knife needed to sharpen your quill.

Cool, huh!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Losing It Book Cover

Extra Extra! Here's the cover for my newest book! No release date yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Got a rejection this week from Woman's World on a story called "Tire Trouble." Unfortunately, someone else apparently beat me to the premise of a female mechanic. Grrr. My timing with them hasn't been so great lately. I keep submitting stories just a little too late. And now they have no stories from me in the queue, so I'd better get cracking!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Body Ink

This Week's Question:

Do you have any tattoos? If not, where would you get one and what would you get?

I don't have any tattoos. I don't see myself ever getting one, but if I did, I'd get it somewhere where it wouldn't be seen in public. I think that if I went to a fancy affair and wore something somewhat skimpy, I wouldn't want it to show.

I found this picture of a phoenix tattoo that I like, but I would want it much smaller.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sidewalk Art

Hello, I'm back! I apologize for the long absence. Illness, vacation, and out-of-town guests all combined to make it difficult for me to blog. But, I've returned.

Wednesday is art day and I have posted a picture of a work that I did myself with the help of my son and two cousins. It's a copy of "Grow Me Something, Mister" by George Rodrigue, one of my favorite artists. We did our tribute using chalk pastels on the sidewalk in front of my house. Unfortunately, someone rode a bike or something over it before I got out there with my camera, so you may be able to see tracks through it, but hopefully it still looks cool.