Friday, February 29, 2008

Artist: Howard Pyle

Thinking about mermaids yesterday and needing a work of art to display today prompted me to Google Search mermaids. Here is a simply gorgeous painting by Howard Pyle (1835-1911). It's called The Mermaid and is on permanent display at the Delaware Art Museum.

Again, I wish I could look at this in person. I imagine the colors are even more haunting close up. I love how he depicted the foam, an important part of Hans Christian Andersen's story about the little mermaid, although I'm not convinced this is necessarily that mermaid. You can feel the poignancy of this couple's embrace, the impossibility of any lasting union between them.

Just for fun, fill in this blank:

When I look at this, I want ____.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday 3: Inklings

There's a popular meme called Thursday 13 in which every Thursday you make a list of thirteen things. I did this for a few months, but I don't have time for thirteen! So, I whittled it down to Thursday 3.

Everyone has interests. As a writer, I sometimes get to indulge in those interests when I write. Here are three subjects that will probably someday get incorporated into a story of mine somehow.

1. Fans -- I think they're so elegant and romantic. A fan played an important part in the movie A Good Woman, adapted from an Oscar Wilde play. I see myself creating a world in which fans are used for more than just cooling yourself off.

2. Swords -- You can't get much more phallic than a sword. I've always loved swashbuckler movies, and master swordsmen are dangerous and disciplined and make delicious heroes. In Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series, the hero Joscelin is deadly with a sword. He's not bad with his knives either.

3. Mermaids -- I actually have a few chapters of a mermaid story and someday I'll get back to it. But The Little Mermaid was a favorite story when I was a little girl, and I used to pretend I was a mermaid when I swam. And remember that movie Splash with Darryl Hannah and Tom Hanks? Loved that!


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Recipe: Pecan Shortbread Bars

I recently needed to make a dessert for my scrapbooking group and didn't want to go to the market for any ingredients. I dug this recipe out from my To Be Cooked File and it was fabulous. (The recipe originally came from Everyday Food Magazine.)

Pecan Shortbread Bars

1 cup chopped pecans (I ALWAYS *toast nuts before using them in baking. They taste 1000% better.)
1 cup (spooned and leveled) all-purpose flour, plus more for preparation
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup cold (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides.

In processor, blend flour, sugar, butter, and salt until moist clumps form. Add pecans; pulse 2 or 3 times, just to incorporate.

Press dough evenly into the bottom of prepared pan (if dough is sticky, dip fingers in flour). With a floured fork, prick dough every 1/2 inch. Bake until lightly golden, 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool 5 minutes in pan. Use foil overhang to lift shortbread from pan onto cutting board. With a serrated knife, carefully cut warm shortbread into 18 bars (6 rows by 3 rows). Remove from foil; cool bars completely on a rack before serving.

*To toast nuts, bake 'em at 450 for a few minutes, but watch them because they burn easily.


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Joke: A Chance Rendezvous

A man is in a hotel lobby. He wants to ask the clerk a question. As he turns to go to the front desk, he accidentally bumps into a woman beside him and as he does, his elbow goes into her breast.

They are both quite startled. The man turns to her and says, "Ma'am, if your heart is as soft as your breast, I know you'll forgive me."

She replies, "If your penis is as hard as your elbow, I'm in room 436."


Monday, February 25, 2008

Quote: Anonymous

This is an ad for Adidas, so I don't know who wrote it, but my friend, Dana, recently called my attention to it and I thought it was immensely inspiring.

Think of a goal you've always thought was impossible for you and then read the ad.

What goal did you think of? What baby step could you take TODAY that would help you achieve it?


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Artist: Caitlin of Rebound Designs

Form and function. This is art and bling. I adore this artist's work. Her purses are all made from real books. It takes her 8-10 hours to make one purse. If you have a book of your own that you would like made into a purse, she'll do that too. Maybe someday when I have a hardback release, I'll take her up on her offer!

She also has this nifty little pins with naughty quotes on them. She's inspired me to take that idea to a new level, since I'm a crafty girl, myself.

To browse her site click here.


Thursday 3: A Man's Man

There's a popular meme called Thursday 13 in which every Thursday you make a list of thirteen things. I did this for a few months, but I don't have time for thirteen! So, I whittled it down to Thursday 3.

I recently sold my story Hostile Takeover to Liquid Silver Books. I'm very excited to have something new available there. It's a push-the-envelope type of book, quite a bit different from my usual light-hearted fare. The hero, Rockwell, is as alpha as they come, and if you've read my other stuff, that's unusual for me.

This is a picture of Clive Owen. I can easily see him playing the role of Rockwell--lean, sophisticated, dangerous (in more ways than one), and capable.

So here are three alpha traits for Rockwell:

1. He's more than willing to pound the hell out of another guy. Or two.

2. He's fiercely protective of his woman. If you hurt her, you're dead.

3. He is...extremely aggressive in bed. His libido is off the charts. If he sets his sights on you, like he did on Fiona, you may as well just sit back and enjoy, because he doesn't like taking no for an answer.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Recommendation: The Tongue Untied

Recently, I needed to find out what you call those "ing" phrases. For example,

He pointed at her, laughing at the whipped cream on her nose.

I was trying to explain to another author that they had too many of these types of phrases, but really hated the idea of calling them "ing" phrases. I come to find out at this fabulous website, The Tongue Untied, they're called participial phrases. If you ever have a grammar question, this site is fantastic.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wolfie Answers

Short post today. I have a bladder infection.

1. Wolves have a sense of smell that is 100 times greater than that of humans.
2. They howl for many reasons, one of which is to locate each other.
3. I can't believe that their territory can cover up to 100 square miles. That's a lot of scat and urine marking that has to be done!
4. They can crush a thigh bone of a moose in 6-8 bites. Yikes.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Canis Lupus Factoids

I haven't had a trivia quiz for a while. Since I just finished my latest book, tentatively titled A WOLF AT HER DOOR, I'll pose a few questions about wolves.

1. A wolf's sense of smell is
A. 20 times greater than a human's.
B. 50 times
C. 100 times

2. Wolves howl to
A. locate one another
B. pass the time at night
C. flush out prey

3. Wolf packs in Alaska can have territories that range from
A. 25 - 100 square miles
B. 100-500 square miles
C. 300-1000 square miles

4. The wolf has very strong jaws, able to apply 1,500 pounds of pressure per square inch. How many bites does it take to crush a moose femur?
A. 1-2
B. 6-8
C. 8-10

I'll post the answers tomorrow.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Artist: Gregory Panjian

This beautiful sculpture is called Dance of the Heart by Gregory Panjian. You can buy it here. It's hard to appreciate sculpture on the Internet because you can't see all the sides. Still, how can you not appreciate that very fine gluteus maximus? It makes you just want to grab it. If I owned this piece of art, I think that eventually you'd see that his butt was very shiny because I would have rubbed it so often, like one does with Buddha's belly.

Have a fantastic weekend.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wet Man Haiku: Matthew McConaughey

Oh, to be that board
Clasped between those manly legs
But what's that? ...Shrinkage


A Novel of Epic Proportions

If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you know I was recently hit with a nasty flu bug. While I was down, I passed the time reading this massive book, World Without End, by Ken Follett. It's a sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, which I enjoyed very much over a decade ago. This book is similar in scope and takes place two hundred years later, but in the same setting: a cathedral in a town called Kingsbridge.

If you like heavy books, medieval times, intrigue, compelling characters and historical accuracy, you'll like both these books.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Two Down, Two to Go

Hooray! I have finally finished the second book in my Ellora's Cave Be-Wished Series, tentatively titled A WOLF AT HER DOOR. I can't wait to hear what my editor, Mary Altman, has to say about it. I have no doubts she'll find a way to improve it. She's so excellent at that.

I can't believe how free I feel. I've been putting off so many other things because I wanted to finish this book, and now I can finally get to them. I plan to write several Woman's World stories, catch up on scrapbooking, examine my website with a fine-toothed comb and start redecorating it.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Story: Purrfect Match

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. :) If you truly want to learn, it's best to have a copy of the story in front of you. (And no, I don't get a kickback for pimping the magazine here!)

Story: "Purrfect Match" by Lisa Weaver from the February 4, 2008 issue.

Tagline: Kylie knew that Gypsy was the cat for Trent; and Trent knew that Kylie was the woman for him.

In A Nutshell: A reporter visits an animal shelter while doing research for an article. A volunteer there is a girl he grew up with. She convinces him that fostering a cat would be a great experience to write about. When the cat doesn't take to his new home, he calls his friend for help and they catch up where they left off.

Teaching Points: This story takes matchmaking to a different level. In this story, the matchmaker sets up the guy and a cat! LMAO. So, if you need a story idea and took my online class and have that list of plotlines, look that over and see if you can tweak any of them in a unique way.

Woman's World Standbys: Pets! WW publishes a lot of stories with animals in them.

In My Humble Opinion: I object to the phrase "cat parenting," believing that parenting is something one does in regard to children, no matter how much you might love your pet.


Sunday, February 03, 2008


I thought I'd inform those loyal few that the reason I haven't blogged is that I have the flu. I'll be back, but I just don't know when. Carry on without me!