Monday, August 31, 2009

August '09 Book Review

Handle With Care- Jodi Picoult- I didn’t much like this book. Not as much as some of the others I’ve read. Maybe I read it too close to My Sister’s Keeper or maybe something else, but it just left me irritated and mad. Just because you can kill a character, doesn’t mean you have to kill a character, Ms. Picoult. And I’m all for killing characters; I’m all for tragedy. But I don’t know. You have one disabled daughter, the second whose life is put on the back burner because of the first so the second acts out. There’s a courtroom scene. The lawyers have something going on in their life that miraculously mirrors the case upon which they’re working (Marin’s storyline/resolution was entirely unsatisfactory, by the way) and the mother characters spend a lot of time being entirely unlikeable. It just didn’t do anything for me.

Untamed- Elizabeth Lowell- Hadn’t read a good old fashioned bodice ripping romance in a while and came across this one at a library book sale so I thought I’d give it a try. And while it’s an old fashioned bodice ripping romance, I can’t say it’s a very good one. The extended falconry metaphor running through the majority of this novel was a little too over extended for my tastes. But how can you not love a novel that contains lines like “’Well, except a sword,’ he said huskily. ‘It will be quite hard but not it will not have one cutting edge. It will lie quite smoothly within your warm sheath.’” Anyway, there are two other books (that I know of) that trace the secondary characters in this book so look for those to appear here soon.

Forbidden- Elizabeth Lowell- The second in her series. I think it may be worse than the first one. These books are like the Sci Fi channel’s original movies. Totally awesomely bad. This is what Heather had to say about one of the sex scenes: “Are they having sex or taking a nature walk?” And you know what, some times I just wasn’t sure.

Enchanted- Elizabeth Lowell- The third in her series. I think this was the best of the three, which, granted, I know, isn’t saying a whole hell of a lot. There was a fire kindling metaphor that was a wee bit overwrought and an oral sex scene that made even me blush. Wondering if there’s another out there I just don’t know about yet. There was another male character who hasn’t yet met the woman of his dreams so I suspect so.

The Wild Hunt- Elizabeth Chadwick- The very first novel she wrote. It was reprinted and so I was able to get a copy. I like her books. They’re never overly deep but I like how she writes characters. Her male leads, in particular.

The Magicians- Lev Grossman- So, this was an interesting book. It's like a love letter to books like the Harry Potter series and Chronicles of Narnia and the like. References Harry Potter on more than one occasion. It's about a boy named Quentin who gets to go to magic school. The language is brilliant; Grossman is obviously flush with talent. I personally found the book to lull at some points. Not often and usually not for long, but yeah, some parts read slower than others. But it's extremely well written and entertaining. A great example of urban fantasy.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ode To The Sharpie Fine Point Pen

Oh, Sharpie Fine Point Pens, how do I love thee?
Let me count the ways.
Your beautiful robin's egg blues and emerald greens,
Your ruby reds and ink-pot blacks,
With an offering of orange the color of a setting sun,
And purple, the most elusive and highly desired shade,
To thee I bow down and pledge my eternal adoration.

The way you glide across a page,
The way you refuse to smudge or bleed,
The way you make my handwriting more lovely than before
Oh, Sharpie Fine Point Pens, all other writing utensils
Do pale in comparison to your brilliance.

A summer's day to thee I could compare,
If I didn't live in New England where a summer's day
Oft leaves much to be desired.
Flawless and radiant are you, Oh Sharpie Fine Point Pens
That without you, I can no longer imagine my world
Except that it be drab and full of despair.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

There's Good News and Then There's More Good News...


So, a while back I was blogging about my cat, Lily, who was diagnosed with a possible case of Cat Herpes. Today was our follow up appointment and I am pleased to report that Lily is not a herpes cat after all. If she had been, the prednisone they had given her would have made her herpes worse, not better. Plus, cat herpes is a virus so it wouldn't have been defeated by a round of antibiotics. It was a little experiment, the vet told me today. Since it worked out in my favor, I don't much care. The vet claimed not to be a miracle worker but since I no longer have to have "scrap cat snot off the walls" on my daily to do list, I'm not so sure about that. If she starts sneezing again, we're to call him immediately. And we will.

Also of note, Max the Wonder Schnauzer has been here six days now and there has only been one marking in the house incident. Since it didn't involve the entire flight of stairs, I count it as a win. He and Mischa have also gotten along reasonably well. They actually played nicely with each other today for a little while. Max and I had one brief argument over which one of us was actually in charge. I won. Max then decided to give Joe a hard time at one point over the weekend which ended with Joe making Max squeal and Mischa the hall monitor jumping in, thinking her dad was in need of disciplinary support.

Don't know if I've ever mentioned that about Mischa but she does have a tendency to be an enforcer around here. I have to be careful in what tone of voice I address Sebastian (or Max) if he happens to be misbehaving because if Mischa's in earshot, she takes it upon herself to keep the boys in line. She knows when dogs are misbehaving and calls them on it. She's like Peter Brady in that one episode of The Brady Bunch where Peter became the safety monitor and let the title and that nifty sash of his go straight to his head. Of course, this does not prevent Mischa was breaking into the cookie cupboard or jumping up on the counters to see if we've left any tasty morsels behind.

What else...what else was there...

Oh yeah. I finished my synopsis (click there to read the synopsis if you'd like...just know that it contains some serious spoilers.).

The synopsis, in case you're new to my blog, is generally a 3-10 paged summary of your novel. It's supposed to be written in the style of the story and contain all the major plot points and/or character development in your story. It should read like a short story and not a book report.

It's hard to do. And it's not just me saying that. I have heard from other writers who have also struggled with the writing of their own synopses (writing that makes me think of the Buffy villains in season six...Bonus points to whoever can tell me why...). So I tried. I tried a lot of different approaches. I seriously have ten versions of my synopsis. Most of them didn't make it past the first page. But version #7, lucky number seven, took.

I treated it like a lost scene from the book. It's written in the point of view of my main character, Haleine, and details how she ends up where she ends up. I think it works. The first line is an attention grabber, if I do say so myself, and I think the very last line is a pretty good one too.

I just have to hope that the publishing people who read it will feel the same.

It's funny because last week, I was feeling a little discouraged that I couldn't find the right words for the synopsis and then, BAM, yesterday it just kind of clicked. The bonus is, I'm still feeling that way today. For twenty four hours now, I've felt secure in saying that my synopsis is finished. I have a couple of minor punctuation questions I want to resolve but the content is there and I am pleased with it. At least I am so far which means that I can now move forth in my Quest for Representation and Publication.

Next up: the cover/query letter. Fortunately, that only has to be a page long which means that my latest goal of submitting come the first of September is still alive. Woo Hoo!!

Plus, as soon as I can get a submission packet sent out, that means I can once again, guilt free, turn my attention to writing Second Nature. My fans are clamoring for it. All four of them.

Hope things are going as well, if not better, for all of you, my faithful readers.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

I took a little writing detour this past week. I meant to finish up my synopsis (You know, like I've been meaning to do all year long, but who's counting, right?) but there was something else in my head that needed to get out. I needed to write something else for a little while and thus the detour.

I ended up working on a potential scene for Second Nature, the sequel to Effigy. I've been writing just random scenes for it lately so that when I do finally finish my synopsis and start submitting, I'll have a lot to work with while I wait. A lot of these scenes will probably never see the light of day. They'd be the extended and deleted scenes one would find on a DVD.

But some of them might make the cut. I'm not quite sure yet. You see, I really don't know where this story's going anymore. It's taking on a life of its own and I'm just along for the ride. It happened with Effigy and I'm reasonably happy (You know, for me anyway) with how that story turned out so I have reason to expect Second Nature will also end up in a good place but here's the thing: All the characters are just so angry. They're angry and they seem to be acting out in ways I hadn't thought they would.

If you're not a regular reader of my blog, you might be wondering how such a thing is even possible. I am supposed to be the master of my own universe, right? And I am. At least in theory. In reality, it's more of a crap shoot.

So yeah, I'm surrounded by angry, angry characters.

Not that any of them really have a whole lot of reason to be happy. If you've read Effigy, you'll recognize this as truth. And in the first draft of Second Nature, they were angry but now they seem to be feeling a deeper, darker anger than before.

They are mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore.

I don't know if I like it but, at the same time, I don't know that I don't like it. It's just...new and unexpected.

It's hard to talk about it in abstract. It's probably harder to read about it in abstract. But short of posting full on scenes, there's not a whole lot I can do about that. The abstract is safer. Less spoiler-ish and I am spoiler-phobic.

But anyway, it's made me wonder how the hell I'm going to get them back on track. A lot of the fighting needs to somehow give way to resolution and forgiveness and sunshine and puppy dog tails. It needs give way to alliance. Otherwise, things do not look promising for Team Good. This probably has Team Not So Good in an ecstatic state. I haven't looked in on them lately so I can't be sure what their scheming little hearts (provided they have hearts, scheming or otherwise...) are up to.

Yes, it's true. I've been ignoring the black hats because the heroes of my piece all seem to be free falling and trying to poke out the eyes of their compatriots on their way down. Maybe I should slip some Prozac into the water source. Or install a Valium salt lick in the center of hero headquarters.

But since those things would be, at the very least, anachronistic (is that even a word? I mean, I know 'anachronism' is a word but is 'anachronistic'?), my current plan is to ride out this tidal wave of resentment and hope I end up on some lovely tropical white sand beach, greeted by a shirtless well built sun kissed mai tai wielding cabana boy bearing a remarkable resemblance to Jacoby Ellsbury.

So I've got my arm floaties on and I am ready to take the plunge. And should it happen that I end up somewhere less desirable, I've got a pharmaceutical rep on speed dial.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Melissa Visits The Water Park

My family has a long storied tradition of road trips gone awry. It doesn't seem to matter how ambitious a road trip we have in mind, chances are, it's just not going to work out the way we planned it. The unexpected detours generally come courtesy of whatever vehicle we happen to be driving at the time. Once, on an ill fated trip to Mystic, Connecticut, our station wagon died. And I mean really died. The mechanic working on it said, "I've never seen a car so dead as this one." I think that was after he asked what was exactly the limit on my parents' credit card.

Never a good sign.

Anyway, Monday turned out to be another of those trips. Our destination wasn't anything far. We were only going to the water park because it happened to be actually warm and sunny and admission was only $12. So I piled into my mother's car along with my mother, my sister, Wendy, and her daughter (My niece, Jupiter...you might remember her from my "scenes from an afternoon" blog.). My other sister, B, and the boys she sometimes nannies for in the summer would meet us there later.

We left the house at 10am. Jupiter and I sat in the backseat and spent our time howling like wolves, chatting like monkeys and baa-ing like sheep. I'm sure my mother and sister were delighted. When we got tired of playing wild animal kingdom, I started to read a book to her.

We were well ensconced in Brother Bear's struggle with peer pressure when the "low coolant level" warning light flickered on the car's dashboard. Normally, in my mother's car, this would not be cause for alarm. The low coolant warning light had been going on and off for a good six years. This time, however, it was accompanied by an ominous sounding series of bongs (and not the kind with which one smokes illegal substances...that would've been just plain weird.). My mother and sister were watching the temperature gauge creep higher and higher. It wasn't quite at the half way mark but it was higher than it had ever been before so they decided it was time for a detour.

We pulled into the Wal Mart parking lot and my mother and sister both got out of the car and went inside the automotive entrance without a word to either Jupiter and I in the backseat. We looked at the door through which they had disappeared and then each other.

"Where are we?" Jupiter asked because plainly we were not at the water park.

So I briefly explained what was going on. We finished reading the book and then resorted to staring at the ceiling while we waited. I opened the door because my mother and sister had not cracked any windows before they left, nor had they left the keys in the ignition.

We chatted about Jupiter's recent trip to the Bronx Zoo. We chatted about riding the train to New York City. We chatted about Les Miserables and how stupid Cosette's voice is. The stupid remark was Jupiter's. I asked her if she knew what stupid meant and she said she didn't. We chatted about what she and her mother were going to do with the rest of their vacation. We then chatted about whether she was someone who enjoyed the journey more than the destination. Once I explained what that meant, we determined she enjoys the destination more than the journey.

My mother and sister returned with an automotive guy. They popped the hood and disappeared behind it. They reemerged with a gameplan, gave Jupiter some peanut butter crackers on which to snack and then went back in the store. Jupiter took the gum out of her mouth, stuck it on her leg and dug into her crackers with relish. I took off my sandals and stuck my feet outside the door. This prompted Jupiter to call me weird.

"I'm weird?" I asked. "You have gum stuck on your leg."

My mother and sister returned with a jug of coolant and another automotive employee. Together, they stood over the engine, debating their options. The automotive employee told them the water pump needed to be replaced, which was not something they could fix there.

"But V.I.P is real close and it's early in the morning," the guy said.

It was 11am. Even I don't consider 11am to be early in the morning.

"They can probably get you right in," he finished.

So we took our jug of coolant and drove over to V.I.P. My mother and sister went inside.

"Aren't you glad you came?" My sister asked me.

"Yeah," I said. "Thanks for inviting me along."

Jupiter and I stayed in the car. She looked confused as we had left Wal Mart and yet, still hadn't arrived at the water park.

"Is this the best trip to the water park ever or what?" I asked.

The sarcasm was lost upon Jupiter.

So we sat in the car while my mother and sister conferred with the mechanic and ran back and forth to find out things like the type of engine because apparently "big, metal and malfunctioning" wasn't description enough.

"Maybe you can call B and find out where she is," my mother suggested at one point.

So I did. B, as it turned out, was just leaving Wal Mart. The Wal Mart where we had just been. And better yet, she hadn't yet picked up the boys.

"Could you please come and pick us up and bring us to the water park and then go and get the boys?" I asked after I explained the situation.

So B did. We crammed into her car. I sat in one of the car seats she had for the boys. I am proud to report that I am in my thirties and yet, I can still fit my ass into a child's car seat. Go me.

So, after leaving the mechanic with a plethora of cell number at which to reach us once the water pump had been replaced, we were off. We reached the water park just before noon. The line was insane. Apparently, the entire state had decided to go to the water park to celebrate the reappearance of the summer weather. We got out of the car and got in line while B went to pick up the rest of our party.

We made camp near the children's area on a patch of grass in the sun because all the lounge chairs and shade had been snapped up by the people who had arrived when the park opened. Jupiter went swimming in the one normal pool the park has which was crowded with boys from a rec group.

The boys were playing with blue playground balls and were not overly cautious about where and how hard they were throwing the blue playground balls. One almost hit Jupiter and the three adults where we were perched on the pool's edge. My mother, who was probably a little miffed about the water pump detour, didn't take this very well.

She warned them to be careful where they were throwing the ball. When the same problem occurred a second time, she warned them that should the ball come her way a third time, she was going to keep it.

"And don't you think she won't," I said.

The ball did not come our way a third time.

B and the three boys, Bill, Harry and Ian arrived. We ate lunch, boggled at the bathing suit choices some women had made, and then got in the long line for the tubing slide. We amused ourselves by guessing whether people would tip over in their tubes when they hit the pool at the bottom. The heavier you are, the greater the chance you'll flip, in case you wondered.

After the tubing slide, we went to the cess pool- I mean wave pool. This was when the sun disappeared behind the clouds and it started to get cold standing there in the water holding a tube while Jupiter and Ian played in, on and around it. We tried mini golf next but the line was deemed to be too long so we went back to the kiddie area and the kids splashed around in the pools there.

This was about when VIP called back. They left a message saying the water pump wasn't the problem after all. It looked like it was the intake valve seal or something like that, which was a much longer and more expensive job. Which is exactly what my mother had been hoping they would say.

She got a ride back to VIP to pick up the car. Jupiter and Wendy wandered off and the boys, Bill and Harry decided to play Water Wars. Water Wars is a water balloon thing. There are two booths with slingshots into which you load a water balloon and fling it at either the person in the other booth or the rabid kids standing between the booths, hoping to catch a water balloon, or, quite possibly an innocent passer-by. It's really a big waste of resources but I dutifully helped tied fourteen water balloons and then helped Harry pull the sling shot down so he could load and fire his ammo.

After that, it was back to the tubing slide. Bill and I were standing in line, Bill ahead of me. Behind me were three kids in one of those tubes made to accommodate three people. They quickly developed a habit of running into the back of my legs. Every time they did so, I would turn and and give them a pointed look. A minute or two would pass and then they would run into the back of my legs again.

"C'mon!" they would say. "Let's go!"

I managed to resist offering to punt them off the hill into the little wading pool below.

After the tubing slide, Bill, Harry and I tried out the other slides. There are three slides that require the passenger to sit on a mat, not a tube. You also have to go by yourself. No doubles allowed. It was a new experience for Harry but he thought he might give it a go. So we each got a mat and started up the hill.

The mat was a little big for Harry and he was having some trouble carrying it so the going was slow. This was a problem for the people behind us who actually started pushing, and I do mean pushing, past us to get ahead.

Now, I had no problem with them going ahead of us. I mean, come on, we were moving at a snail's pace, but the pushing and the shoving was really uncalled for. Especially when the adults started doing it.

"Hey!" I said to one particularly irritating group. "Do you mind?"

"Oh," one of them said, looking at us. "We're going to be in a different line."

"I don't care about the line," I said, resisting the urge to call the person an uncomplimentary name. "I do, however, care about you pushing some little kid out of the way in order to get to said line."

They looked slightly abashed but the moment passed and they continued on their way.

I carried Harry's mat the rest of the way and we got in line. Bill went first. Harry was second. He was too light to move the mat himself so I had to try to help him. It was hard to do while holding my own mat and, with a great sigh, so I would know just how put out he was, the lifeguard came to help.

This reminded me greatly of the How I Met Your Mother episode where James Van Der Beek guest starred at a water park employee. It's hysterical if you've seen the episode. If you haven't, it really can't be explained properly. It's something you just have to experience.

Anyway, we all made it down the mat slide in one piece. Bill and Harry decided it was the best thing ever and immediately got back in line. B stayed at the bottom and waited on them and I went back to the kiddie area where our base camp had been set up. I ogled some hot lifeguards and reapplied my sunscreen.

At some point, B and I switched places and I stood at the bottom of the slides and watched for the boys to come out. Harry, at one point, lost his mat. At another point, he was run over by the adult slider who had come down after him. The third time, he came down backward, lost his mat and then was run over. After each of these times, I asked if he was all right. He recounted exactly what had happened but never once answered if he was, indeed, all right.

We played until the park closed at 6pm. Then we made the slow pilgrimage back out to the car with the other people who had also decided to stay until 6pm. There were a lot of people which meant there was a very long line to get out of the park. My mother's car had been deemed driveable but she didn't want to make it idle so we sat and waited. Jupiter ate everything in the cooler and then started to work on mine. My mother and Wendy decided to put some coolant in, just in case. While they did, Jupiter decided it was a good time to have a little talk with me.

"Your top is too low," she said.

"What?" I said, looking down at myself. Looked all right to me.

"It's not covering the parts it should be covering," she said.

I looked down again. Nope. Everything that needed to be covered was covered. I told Jupiter so.

"It's not covering that part," she said and poked the area to which she was referring.

"Oh, no," I said. "That part's okay, hon. Really."

Especially considering some of the other suits worn by other women. All I can say is that people's confidence is higher than one might think it would be. Or maybe should be. Some women really should not wear bikinis. That is all.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

CB, This One's For You...

So, you wrote me an angry email last night. Well, 'angry' doesn't really cover it, does it? You went up one side of me and down the other. You blasted me because I wrote a blog entry concerning you and I didn't post it on the blog you normally read (I didn't, by the way, because I was sending you your own personalized copy straight to your inbox.). You called me peevish. You called me the equivalent of an emotionally weak waste of space. You called me a lot of things. You did it to tear me and my ego down.

Well, hate to break it to you, but it didn't really work. Just thought you should know. You know, in case you'd like to think of something else hateful to say and take another crack at it. If that's true, then have at it.

What I mean to say is: Do you think you said anything I haven't said to myself a million times over? You don't think there are entire days when I want to beat my head against a wall because I can't figure this thing out? I stare at this fucking computer day in and day out, reading and re-reading what I've written, hoping this might be the time when things start clicking again and I find the one line, the one word even, that's going to further my quest to be more than the fucking wannabe that I currently am?

So while I'm waiting, I read books. I reread books because I can get inspiration from them. I watch movies. I watch television. Some times I watch reruns because I can get inspiration from them. Certain scenes in certain shows just strike me and I revisit them on occasion hoping to reclaim absent moods. I listen to music for the same reason. I write blogs because, hey, at least it's writing. I strive to be funny. I strive to find the comedic side of the tragedy that is my existence because there's nothing more maddening than to want to do something so desperately that you really can't do anything else and constantly falling short of your goal.

And on that note, publishing houses very rarely send out rejection notes that say "I hate this book. Never contact us again". The reason I know this is because I have a nice collection of rejection notes. And yet, I'm still standing. I'm still writing, I'm still trying and I'm still working toward my goal. If a publisher or an agent, or some other literary professional doesn't read my book, if they blow me off, that's entirely different than when one bane of my existence (figured that's probably what comes closest to describing our relationship right now because it sure as hell doesn't currently feel like 'friend') doesn't read the manuscript written by the second bane of your existence. You don't hope to get into publishing without the understanding that there will be rejection. Well, some people do, but I'm not one of them.

I expected better from a...well, from a bane of my existence. You're not a literary professional. You're a....well, bane of my existence. I know you got busy. I know your wife had a baby and life changed for you. But you had the book five months before your wife gave birth. I made sure you got it in plenty of time to read it before your wife gave birth because, although I do not have children of my own, I am capable of comprehending the massive commitment that is a baby. It's actually one of the reasons I don't have any children of my own.

Jam hands is another.

Anyway, I didn't expect you to keep reading after the birth of your son. I really didn't. I was sad but I was getting over it until you wrote me an email telling me how you were going to start reading Terry Goodkind's novels. Since you hadn't actually finished reading my novel yet, I was a little hurt. I wrote an angry blog about that too, in case you were wondering. The next angry blog(s) came about when you likened a section of my work to a Jane Austen novel. I was mad for a few days about that one. Got over it though because it was your opinion and just because you shared it with me didn't mean I had to change a single word.

But I changed other words. My characters now have last names because of a comment you made. It was something I'd been going back and forth on for a while before you looked at the pages, and your comment was the tipping point so everyone (Well, all the major players anyway) has a last name now. Except for Dana but he's a common born landless bastard so I think it's more interesting that he doesn't have a last name.

I completely redrafted the starts of chapters two and six because of what you said about them. I changed other scenes too. I put in more description of the cathedral, of Faolan, of Bronagh. I spent oodles of time pondering things you had said. Every time one of your revised chapters showed up in my inbox, I was filled with a nervous excitement but then the passage of time between those emails increased and were eventually replaced by emails about Terry Goodkind and George R.R. Martin and your own writing. You wanted to find a way to talk to me because you felt bad for not coming through on the commitment you made to me. And you thinking your window was talking to me about your own writing, well, that was my last straw. As you well know.

Your last straw, apparently, was me not responding to the apology email you sent in response to my last straw email. You gave me the benefit of the doubt, you said. Maybe I was busy. And you know what? I was. I had things to do. I actually had hours to work at the store. I had plans with a friend I hadn't seen in fifteen years. I had a super fun (sarcasm, by the way) afternoon with my sister where I spent hours listening to her pick on my eating habits (which is always rich coming from a fucking anorexic) and calling me names because I can wear a size two and she can't (Not that it's any of your fucking business, but those afternoons always require days before I can start being civil to innocent bystanders.). I had a family dinner. I had a class for the dogs and birthday party for my godson and a birthday party for my father in law and yet another birthday party for my brother in law. And I still had the laundry and the cooking and the dishes and the cleaning that I always have. Not to mention I had a synopsis in pieces all over the dining room table, just begging for my attention and not getting it.

This is what I initially was going to write in response to your apology email: "Read the book, don't read the book. I really don't give a damn anymore because in no universe will I ever be letting you read anything else I've written. The only way you'll ever read Second Nature is if it should happen to be published and you happen into a bookstore that happens to be selling it and you happen to buy a copy for your very own."

No offense, but it's a "once bitten, twice shy" thing. So I didn't write back because I didn't want to be snarky anymore and didn't feel the need to perpetuate the vicious circle any longer. You had every right to feel the way you did (you still do.) and I had every right to my own feelings (I still do.). But I didn't want to get into a monster sarcasm rally with you because there wasn't going to be an end to it. So I did nothing.

Which irritated you. Which caused you to go to my website. Which caused you to look at the blog on my website. Which caused you to read the "Dear John" entry which caused you to write me a scathing email.

So you're mad. I get that.

Well, guess what. I was mad too.

Your email is an example of one I would've written to blow off steam and then delete so I could write one slightly less angry. The blog in question, the blog that prompted your angry email, is an example of that too, only it didn't get deleted. But I didn't post it where you would read it because it was so laced with hurt and sarcasm and hyperbole. You didn't need to read it but I decided I still needed to feel it and acknowledge that feeling. You got the third or fourth draft where it was decidedly less sarcastic and marginally more reasonable. Although you may not be feeling that way now.

But again, I can't do anything about that now because we're in the vicious circle within the vicious circle. I'm not responding anymore because what's the point? I mean, I still feel the way I feel and you still feel the way you feel. Neither of us is going to be able to change the other's mind. I'm not going to apologize for my feelings and I'm not really sure you can come back from the absolute denunciation of another's lifestyle.

On that note: Don't pretend you know my life because you read my fucking blog. Don't pretend you have a clue how I spend my days because I wrote a blog about the books I read last month. Just because my lifestyle isn't yours, doesn't make it wrong. Just because I work only part time in some stupid crappy job, doesn't make it wrong. I have dogs I do a lot with. I do the laundry. I do the cooking (or what passes for cooking in this house) I do the dishes. I do the cleaning. I do the errands. I have friends. I have nieces. I have godchildren who have things like birthday parties and dance recitals. I have a family that's just crumbling to pieces even as I'm trying to hold it together. I have a significant other who wants desperately to move somewhere far far away from here and I know I can't stop him if that's what he really wants but I also know I can't go with him.

This fucking blog is just mask, a ruse. It doesn't tackle the serious subjects often. It's light; it's funny. I deliberately portray myself as a fool because my mother reads it and it makes her laugh. My sister reads it because it makes her feel better about herself when she reads how not accomplished I am. Hyperbole is great for that.

But don't you fucking judge me. I held my tongue for a year. A fucking year. When I make a commitment to someone, I follow through on it. If you only had a half hour, that half hour should have been spent doing what you said you were going to do. You're the one who broke the professionalism of the arrangement (I'm the one who made sure it couldn't be put back together.) and I don't have to put up with it from you. From you, I can walk away. You can do the same. In fact, why don't you run.

So, just as soon as I can get my bony lazy pathetic ass out of this computer chair, I'm going to invent a time machine. Either out of a Delorian or a phone booth. Not sure which one yet but, as soon as I go back in time and take care of life's greatest tragedies, I'm going to go back to July of '08 and politely decline your offer to read Effigy.

In the meantime, enjoy your CB time. I'm sure you two will be very happy together.

P.S...I really, really got a kick out of the totally innocuous email you sent this morning concerning HBO's casting of GRRM's Game of Thrones series. You know, the one you sent about six hours after your email insinuating that I was a peevish psycho hell bitch? So, I'm not sure which personality is actually reading this particular blog, but if it's not the right one, do me a solid, would you and pass along the message? Thanks. You're a doll.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance Top Performances

In honor of the SYTYCD finale coming up this week, I have decided to put together a list of my favorite performances of the season and include the videos where I could track them down. Overall, I thought last season was better. Katee and Josh and Twitch and Chelsea and Mark were FANTASTIC and there were so many memorable performances. This season had had their share and this is the list of the best of the best.

6. Romeo and Juliet with Melissa and Ade

5. Argentine Tango with Brandon and Jeannette

4. If It Kills Me with Jeannine and Jason



3. Gravity with Kayla and Kopono



2. All I Want with Kayla and Brandon



1. This Woman's Work with Melissa and Ade




The following are the dances I still remember from last season:

Bleeding Love with Chelsea and Mark




Beautiful with Chelsea and Mark



Hometown Glory with Katee and Joshua



Mercy with Katee and Twitch


Sunday, August 2, 2009

July 2009 Book Report

Fade- Lisa McMann- The sequel to WAKE. Still a cool book. In fact, the only thing wrong with it is knowing that now I have to wait until February to read the next one.

Sliver of Truth- Lisa Unger- The second in the Ridley Jones canon. I’d read the first one last year I think when I was befriended on myspace by Ms. Unger. It’s a pretty interesting story. I especially liked the part where Ridley produces a piece of paper and a pen seemingly out of nowhere. It’s explained that Ridley is a writer and they seldom go far without those things. I liked it because it’s so very true. Curious if there are more or will be more in the series.

If I Stay- Gayle Forman- Another of those hot young adult novels that has people buzzing. It was a very good story although I think I was left slightly disappointed because there had been so much buzz about it. I always seem to have higher expectations than I should in those situations, but still, a good strong story.

Night And Day- Robert B. Parker- The newest Jesse Stone novel. Starts off weird and gets even more so. Jesse finally tells Jenn to take a hike. Liked that part. Sunny Randall makes an appearance and we find out that she had to have her dog, Rosie, put down. I liked that part less. I mean, I don’t much like Sunny Randall, but I still felt sad for her.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince- J.K. Rowling- Had to re-read this one because the movie’s opening up tomorrow. Still love it. I think one of my favorite scenes is when the minister of magic shows up at the Weasleys’ Christmas dinner and tries to recruit Harry. And then its follow up scene when Harry relates the happenings of that conversation to Dumbledore. Some damn fine writing.

Roses Are Red- James Patterson- One of the Alex Cross novels. They’re a decent read, short chapters, pretty well paced story, just nothing that really blows my mind, although this particular novel did contain an ending twist I really didn’t see coming. I’ll probably read others that follow this book just because of the twist.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- J.K. Rowling- If you really thought there was a chance that I’d reread the sixth book and not move on to the seventh, then you’re very naive.

My Sister's Keeper- Jodi Picoult- Read this book because I was interested in seeing the movie. I heard the screenwriter changed the ending of the book, which had some people in an uproar, so I wanted to read the book so I could understand what all the hubbub was all about. Well, the book is incredibly powerful and emotional. Spent a lot of time getting teary eyed even before the ending. I was concerned about some of Anna’s narratives…like wondering if a thirteen year old would really have the depth that Anna’s narratives some times had, but she’s a kid who’s been through a lot, you know, so maybe she would. Anyway, it’s a very good book. I had the courtroom part figured out beforehand but I never did see that ending coming. I have that experience a lot with Picoult’s books…makes for interesting reading. Looking forward to seeing the movie so I can compare the two.