Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Cemetery Project

I can't remember how I found this site, but I thought I'd share it with you just the same. It's a place where you can view the gravesites of famous people. You can view them via category (artists, explorers, US Presidents, etc.) or search by name. This is where Michelangelo is interred. Pretty snazzy, huh!

Anyway, for those so morbidly inclined, here is a link for The Cemetary Project by Michael Reed. I imagine his man just tours cemeteries wherever he goes. What an unusual hobby.

Do you have an unusual hobby?


Monday, July 30, 2007

Story: You've Got Mail!

What follows is an analysis of a Woman's World story with suggestions/observations for people who want to sell stories to WW, peppered with some personal opinion, too. :)

Story: "You've Got Mail!" by Rosa Lee Jude from the July 17, 2007 issue.

Tagline: Andrea hadn't considered dating in years--but sometimes love finds us in the most ordinary places...

Woman's World has been publishing some pretty good stories lately, if you ask me. This was one of them, even if the title was jacked from the movie I, coincidentally, watched just last night.

Using confusing email addresses as a way for the hero and heroine to meet was something I haven't seen before in a WW story. The humor throughout made me smile.

Best Part: You didn't tell me that new jeans need their own laundry, too. Oh, man. I fell for Tom right then.

In My Humble Opinion: Creative spelling of names is a pet peeve of mine, so I didn't care for the name Calleigh.

Grade: A


Friday, July 27, 2007

Artist: Diane Millsap

This artist has painted many pictures of the French Quarter, but this one was my favorite of all of them. It's called Rain on Royal Street. The bright colors seem to capture the vibrancy of the area which I visited seven years ago.

Oddly enough, Millsap was born in Southern California, which is where I was born and where I live now. If you're interested in more of Millsap's work, go here.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday 3: Pop Goes My Heart

Here are three movies I've seen lately that I enjoyed.

1. Apocalypto - I have to say, I'm not really into human sacrifice, but this was a movie that entertained and surprisedme, something I always like in a movie. As a writer and an analytical person, I can usually predict what's going to happen, but Mel Gibson kept me on my toes. Although I did wonder if he has a thing for piercings, because everyone in the movie seemed to have one or more. Did the Maya really do that that much?

2. Ratatouille - I really had a good time at this movie. I laughed a lot. I loved Peter O'Toole's voice. The only thing that gave me the willies was when the groups of rats swarmed into the kitchen.

3. Music and Lyrics - Hilarious from the get-go. That music video almost made me wet my pants. It was so right on for an eighties video. Great character growth for both thehero and heroine. Loved the pop singer character whose name escapes me now. Something with a K... And the music stayed with me after I left the theatre. I would buy this movie.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Haiku: Nature Is Cruel

It occurs to me:
Salmon are always orphans.

No, I'm not on drugs.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Happily Ever Aftering

I started a new blog/website that I hope readers will enjoy visiting. It's a blog that's kept up by characters in my book, Losing It. The idea is to have a sort of ongoing epilogue that readers can visit occasionally to see how Ben and Charlotte are doing. If I get ambitious, I may do it for a few of my other characters, too.

If you've read Losing It, you might enjoy going to Finding It. Let me know what you think. :)


Monday, July 23, 2007

Story: The Girl Next Door

What follows is an analysis of a Woman's World story with suggestions/observations for people who want to sell stories to WW, peppered with some personal opinion, too. :)

Story: "The Girl Next Door" by Tessa Ireland from the July 3, 2007 issue.

Tagline: It was a good thing Abby didn't watch where she was going...

This was a darling chance meeting story. Abby accidentally collides with a guy in the grocery store parking lot. He’s new in town. Abby, the heroine is just the right mix of confidence and self-doubt, worrying that Drew thinks she's a clutz.

Surprise: Their conversation is interrupted by a “rival” woman, which is a nice surprise. There aren’t often antagonists in WW stories.

Lesson: Don’t include backstory unless it plays a part in your story. Here, Ireland takes a short moment to explain that Abby’s ex’s parting words were, “Sorry, I’m not looking for the girl next door,” which not only ties in with the title, but, as you might expect by now, is also mentioned in the last line of the story. (It looked like being the girl-next-door-type wasn't so bad after all.)

Lesson: Slip that physical description in where you can.
She took in his blond hair and blue eyes and…
Drew took in Abby’s freckled nose…

WW Conventions: down-to-earth names (Abby, Drew, Jason, Justine), he’s a vet (WW loves animals), small town setting.

Best Part: She was about to put the key in the ignition when she noticed unfamiliar items in the passenger seat: a briefcase and a baseball cap. This cracked me up. Abby gets into the wrong car...his car, of course.

In My Humble Opinion: I thought Justine, the vamp, was a little over-the-top.

Grade: A


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Artist: Albena Vatcheva

This painting is called Fish in My Hair. Here is what the artist, Albena Vatcheva, says about her art:

My paintings present...Egyptian, Indian, African influences, Art Nouveau, the fairy tales; inspiration from the stained glass windows, from the Greek and Arabian mythology, but above all POETRY TENDERNESS AND LOVE – the matter that unites and creates.

I can see all of that in this painting. I love how the eyes extend beyond the face. I'm so uptight that if I ever painted people, it would never occur to me to do that, and yet it's so beautiful. I also like the wispy lines throughout that make me feel like she's above the earth, perhaps a benevolent goddess.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday 3: Old Guys

Like I said a couple of weeks ago, Thursday 13 was to much to keep up with, so I'm going to try Thursday 3. :D I have a limited amount of time and if I eliminate 10 things from the list every week, that's a good thing.

So, this week I'm listing three "experienced" actors that I love.

1. Peter O'Toole - I love this man's voice. He used it so wonderfully in Ratatouille as the character Anton Ego. I also remember him vividly in the 80's miniseries Masada in which he played a Roman general.

2. Kirk Douglas - Of course, he played the title role in Spartacus. I needn't say more, but I loved him in The Man from Snowy River, where he played two roles (twin brothers.) I don't remember what he said during an awards acceptance speech, but I do remember he made an impression on me as a man who has loved his life and despite his stroke (?) is determined to enjoy what is left.

3. Mickey Rooney - He's a teddy bear. I wanna hug him. Did you know he was the voice of Kris Kringle in the Christmas special, Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town? Most recently he was in Night in the Museum, that flick with Ben Stiller, which I enjoyed.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday Word Play #2

Thursday Thirteen was too tedious to keep up with, so I am retiring that from my blog. Now, every Wednesday I'll post ten words to which you can respond to with the first thing that comes to mind. I got this meme from Unconscious Mutterings if you're interested. She posts new lists every Sunday.

There are no right or wrong answers. Don't limit yourself to one word responses; just write everything that pops into your head.

Partner ::
News ::
Foam ::
Paycheck ::
Me ::
Eight ::
Dairy ::
Exciting ::
Hockey ::
Socialite ::

My responses:
Partner :: desk
News :: media
Foam :: bed
Paycheck :: now
Me :: Jane
Eight :: ball
Dairy :: fridge
Exciting :: love
Hockey :: stick
Socialite :: debutante


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Red Handed

You gotta love editors. Truly! I got edits on my Caveman story and I'm so grateful for Mary's intuitiveness and skill. She nailed me in several places where I needed nailing. I swerved into purple prose in a few places and she's reeled me in, thank goodness. I wrote a strong hero for three fourths of the book and then allowed him to become TWTL. TSTL is Too Stupid To Live. Cristoforo was Too WIMPY To Live.

I will be forever grateful to Mary for saving me from what probably would have been many bad reviews calling me on it. Hopefully I've come up with a solution that will work.

So, once again, if my book comes out to sell oodles of copies, it will due in large part to my Wonder Woman editor Mary Altman of Ellora's Cave. She is so good at honing in on the problems and holding me accountable.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Haiku: Fabric Medley

My Starbucks apron:
mocha, syrup, milk splashes...
a green scratch 'n sniff.

I'm at the Romance Writers of America Conference until next Monday. Struggle on without me. :) LOL


Friday, July 06, 2007

Artist: Todd Horne

I can't believe it's Friday again so quickly! Still, the good news is that it's Art Day at my blog.

This painting is called "Bottle for One" by Todd Horne. His work reminds me a lot of Jack Vettriano's, which is why I like it. The figure in it intrigues me. I want to go talk to him. I want to write his story down. I think his clothing is very sexy and nostalgic. Why do you think he's drinking alone?