Monday, April 28, 2008

Rockwell Is In The House!

Hostile Takeover is being released today by Liquid Silver Books. It's been a while since I had something published by them, so I'm really excited. I'm a little apprehensive, too, because this story is edgy for me. We're talking dubious forced consent, and that's something that sticks in a lot of people's craws. So, if you're one of those people, stay away from Hostile Takeover. If you dig that kind of dangerous fantasy, grab your credit card and click here.


Monday, April 21, 2008

My Deadline Looms

Due to a tight deadline on my latest story, I am taking a week's vacation from my blog. Tune in next Monday to my regularly scheduled programming. Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, April 18, 2008

Artist: Gustav Dore (1882-1883)

Doré (right) was a French artist, engraver, illustrator and sculptor who worked primarily with wood engraving and steel engraving. Above is a representation of his "Andromeda." But the really cool thing about this is that you can order this work of art and have it installed in your shower, or wherever!! Renaissance Styles has a collection of artwork that you can have converted into tiles. If I won the lottery, I'd SO get a copy of Botticelli's Birth of Venus.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Green Thumb

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.

Last week I listed three plants that should quake with fear should I ever put them in my cart to buy. However, I'm not completely herbicidal. I can grow some things (besides mold).

1. I have a houseplant that is doing nicely, a Dracaena Cane.

2. My brother-in-law gave me a Schefflera bonsai tree several years ago. It's still alive and kicking.

3. I have a fig tree. I leave it alone and it gives me fruit. Nice trade, if you ask me.

(Disclaimer: These are not photos of my actual plants.)


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. My friend Anna J. Evans features Man Meat every Monday on her blog. If you ask me, the world can always use manly eye candy. So, here's my version...

Behold. My manly package is so beautiful that even as I rest in repose it must be lit artistically from above and framed by my hands.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dana Tagged Me

1. You’re feeling: Tired. Went to work at 4:30 this morning, on my feet for 8 hours.

2. To your left: is a TV tray table with a mug full of pens, a container with gum, dental floss, a calculator, post-its, a baby name booklet, paper clips, an iPod cord, and the remote for the fan.

3. On your mind: Requesting a transfer to another Starbucks location. I need to work at a place that has a set-up more conducive to my height, but am really loathe to leave the crew I like so much. But I don't want end up filing another worker's comp claim and going through physical therapy for my left arm--and shoulder this time!

4. Last meal included: salad and leftover pork ribs.

5. You sometimes find it hard to: not get seconds.

6. The weather: Gorgeous.

7. Something you have a collection of: State quarters.

8. A smell that cheers you up: Citrus

9. A smell that can ruin your mood: Sour milk

10. How long since you last shaved: a few weeks ago. I'm Asian and my leg hair is extremely fine.

11. The current state of your hair: A mess and most likely smelling like coffee.

12. The largest item on your desk/workspace (not computer): The mousepad

13. Your skills with chopsticks: Expert. Been using them since I was a child.

14. Which section you head for first in a bookstore: Bargain books.

15. Something you’re craving: Tommy's chili fries

16. Your general thoughts on the presidential race: Not happy with my party's candidate, but downright terrified of the other's.

17. How many times have you been hospitalized this year: Zero

18. Favorite place to go for a quiet moment: The bathtub

19. You’ve always secretly thought you’d be a good: Editor. Or, if I had been Caucasian, a Brady Bunch cast member. LMAO

20. Something you’ve eaten too much of lately: You name it.

21. You have never: Smoked anything.

22. You never want to: outlive my children.

23. People I’m tagging: Chloe Devlin, TL Schaefer, Dawn Halliday


Monday, April 14, 2008

Story: A Kind Stranger

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 get the most from this, 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: "A Kind Stranger" by JoAnn Bennett from the April 14, 2008 issue.

Tagline: Dr. Laura's handsome new patient had a story with an unexpected--and happy--ending!

In A Nutshell: A man injures his hand while helping a stray dog. While getting stitched up, he relates the story to the (female) doctor and they hit it off. It ends up that the dog he was helping belongs to the doctor!

Teaching Points: In my class, I caution you about giving your characters lofty professions because Woman's World stories aren't about jet-setters, millionaires, etc. They're about your average Joe and Jane. However, this story had a doctor and a lawyer. Go figure. But I can easily see why they didn't reject it. It was a great story.

Woman's World Standbys: Dogs (especially one from the pound), a small town.

Best Part: This story took me by surprise with the plot twist about the dog. I didn't see that coming at all. Loved it. And the anecdote about the dog's name was very cute as well.

In My Humble Opinion: "I met those deep brown eyes, now flashing a teasing twinkle at me" Hmm. It seems odd that someone can meet someone's eyes. I would have written something like, "My eyes met his deep brown ones, now flashing a teasing twinkle at me." Or, "Our eyes met, his flashing a teasing twinkle at me."

Discussion Question: What is strange about the placement of the story's climax?


Friday, April 11, 2008

Artist: Unknown

I don't know who photographed this picture. I got it from But I thought it was beautiful and reminded me of that movie, Brigadoon. It's such a romantic movie. If you've never heard of it, here's the blurb.

A mysterious Scottish village appears for only one day every hundred years, though to the villagers, the passing of each century seems no longer than one night. The enchantment is viewed by them as a blessing rather than a curse, for it saved the village from destruction. According to their covenant with God, no one from Brigadoon may ever leave, or the enchantment will be broken and the site and all its inhabitants will disappear into the mist forever. Two American tourists, lost in the Highlands, stumble upon the village just as a wedding is about to be celebrated, and their arrival has serious implications for the village's inhabitants.

If you like romance, rent this movie. Watching Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly dance together (even if it's on pretty cheesy looking sets) is magical.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday 3: Brown Thumb

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'm not the best gardener. Some plants I've managed to do well with in my yard--hydrangeas, mums, freesias, gerbera daisies. Others I routinely kill. Here are three species that are doomed if I put them in my cart at the nursery.

1. Marigolds - The people at the nursery always insist that these are a cinch to grow. Ha! Not three days after I plant these, the flower heads just drop off, like I took a guillotine to them.

2. Cymbidium - My grandmother gave me a very healthy cutting from her plant. Right now hers has like two dozen blossoms on it. Mine tried to survive for going on three years before finally giving up the ghost.

3. Impatiens - These are supposedly easy to grow too. Not in my yard.

Are you a botanical serial killer? What are the names of some of your victims?


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Sexy Man Overload

In the mood for some hottie guys? Check this out. It takes, literally, sixty seconds.

100 Sexy Guys in 1 Minute

But what's with that goofy hat? Sheesh.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Love Is: Edible Paint

Love Is is a feature on my blog in which I offer ways to add a dash of romance to your life. Who couldn't use a little more romance? I sure could!

Pudding cups in various flavors work as a great alternative to commercial body paints. Each person gets one cup of each flavor. Use the pudding to finger-paint your lover. When you're finished painting, you have to lick off your artwork. Then it's their turn to do the same ... or you can try painting each other at the same time, but that gets messy.


Monday, April 07, 2008

How'd They Do That?

My son sent this to me and it totally freaks me out. It's an Internet magic trick and, for the life of me, I can't figure out how they do it.

I had to turn the sound down because it was already creepy and the sound effects just put me into "Have mercy! I'm only an ignorant human who doesn't want to know about stuff like this" mode.


Friday, April 04, 2008

Artist: Deborah Tidwell

I blogged this artist's work a long time ago and recently revisited her website. To my delight, she has added some more paintings to the gallery. Here is one that I really identified with. It's called "The Find." Who among us hasn't found something cool at the beach? I really love the ordinaryness of her subjects. They seem like real people to me. If I owned a beach house, I'd totally hang this on the wall.

If you have a beach house with an empty wall and want to check out Tidwell's work, click here. Have a fantastic weekend!


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thursday 3: Kitchen Tips

I love to cook, so here are three handy tips you can try in your kitchen.

1. If you need thin chicken cutlets, try this. Using tongs, hold a boneless chicken breast that has been frozen for 15 minutes perpendicular to the work surface. Cut through the chicken to make two even cutlets.

2. Noodles, spaghetti and other starches won't boil over if you rub
the inside of the pot with vegetable oil. (I haven't actually tried this yet, but if it works, I'll be a very happy camper! I can't tell you how many times I've had to clean pasta water off the stove.)

3. Use a pizza cutter to cut your brownies.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Manly Thoughts

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. My friend Anna J. Evans features Man Meat every Monday on her blog. If you ask me, the world can always use manly eye candy. So, here's my version...

"Oh, ho! I am pharoah! 'Walking like an Egyptian!'

Ha ha. Fortunately, I am manly enough that I can sing silly songs from the eighties, wear clothing in ridiculous ways and not feel self-conscious. Because, hey, you're looking at my manly bod and tattoo anyway. HA!"


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fool's

Last year we were in Lake Tahoe for a ski trip. We arrived on April first. After dinner, my youngest son, B, and I returned to the hotel early. My hubby and elder son wanted to do a little shopping. When they returned, I told my husband that B had sprained his ankle while crossing the street and probably wouldn't be able to snowboard that trip. My husband just about freaked out thinking about the money he'd paid to rent the equipment, for lift tickets, etc. We let him believe it for about two minutes. It was hilarious.

This year I wasn't feeling so creative, so I spent a little time searching for some good pranks and I'm going to do the following to my family:

1. Insert a raisin in their toothpaste tube.
2. Stuff their shoes with cotton balls.
3. Color the milk with food coloring.
4. Sew their underwear together so when they pull out one pair, all of them come out of the drawer.

Got any pranks planned?