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Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Step Away From the Netflix


I share a household NetFlix account with someone whose movie tastes are WILDLY divergent from mine. Last night I was in the mood to watch something and all the suggestions that came up were based on his ratings of 800 or so movies. So we finally separated our ratings and queues, which still left me looking for a movie. But first...I needed to input a few ratings to get the ball rolling. That was last night. Less than 24 hours later I have ratings for 1504 movies and counting. Now I'm kind of obsessed with it. And annoyed that a lot of the movies I've seen (bad martial arts movies, for example) are not in Netflix.
Seriously, where is Loren Avedon's King of the Kickboxers? Filmed in Thailand with Billy Blanks of Tai Bo fame, the always reliable Don Stroud and Sherrie Rose?
Where is the terrific Disney adventure The Fighting Prince of Donegal? Ii think I saw the movie on the Sunday Disney show at some point but I remember it being full of derring-do. I like my historical shows a little darker these days--I can't believe tonight is the second-to-last episode of Game of Thrones for the season--but at the time, it was terrific.

So many blogs, so little time

I admire people who can blog day in and day out. Clearly, I don't have that discipline. But I really like browsing the blogs. I found this one, Historical Tapestry, by accident and it's going to be a place I hit up often:
One of my long-time projects is a historical mystery and part of the problem is that I can't bring myself to just ... make stuff up. I have been researching it off and on for several years now, and the section of my bookcase devoted to research is not several shelves deep, with Welsh-English dictionaries, books on weapons, books on food, books on clothing. You get the idea. Reading this excellent blog will be another excellent way to fritter writing time away. Because you know, there can never be too many ways to avoid actually sitting down and writing.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Yes--the return of shameless self-promotion


Mark Satchwill, my partner in crime at NoHo Noir, has been sick for a few weeks so various artists have been filling in for him. Joanne Renaud stepped in for him today, and the illustration is fantastic.
The story's a long one for me, more than 2000 words, mostly because to get to the part I really wanted to tell, I had to explain some things.
And of course there's a place where I switched character names. The CMS we use on the patch.com site is pretty wonky and I don't have administrator privileges so I can't go in and fix things.
This story is a result of a character rebelling against fate. I'd planned to kill Mary off and right up to the last moment when she's discovered, I fully intended to do that. But then, I just couldn't. And now this whole mother/daughter thing is happening.
One last detail. The artwork you see behind the characters? It's real art that's on the walls at the offices of CAA (Creative Artists Agency). Someone put a photo of it up at Flickr, which is where Joanne saw it. Is it not the ugliest piece of corporate art you've ever seen?
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the story.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Death of a Magazine

I killed my baby today. At least, that's what it felt like. Joy Sillesen and Joanne Renaud and I first conceived the magazine Dark Valentine in a mall somewhere between Joy's house and our apartments. It was the first time I'd met Joy f2f but we bonded instntly.
We hammered out the details over pasties and pear cider in Glendale and a few months later, Dark Valentine was born.
The incredible Sarah Vaughn put together our website, with Joanne Renaud consulting and Joy and I chiming in on the doowahs. (I was the one who suggtested stylized loteria card images for the logo.)
We conceived it as a quarterly but after we began publishing, we realized we could fill an issue a month. That was briefly considered before we all came to our senses.
I knew some of the writers and artists who contributed to the five issues we published but many were new to me. That's one part of the experience I wouldn't trade for the world.
There were others.
Nothing is ever wasted.
Thanks for your support.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Times have changed...

Well, I'm not telling you anything you don't know, or even anything I didn't know before but here's the thing. I'm writing a story for an anthology that's themed around the events of 9/11. The stories have to take place on that day or immediately after. And as I write, I'm realizing that all my references are anachronisms. At one point I had a Lindsay Lohan reference relating to my 12-Step narrator. But of course, ten years ago, Lindsay Lohan was a fresh-faced little kid.
I had also referenced YouTube and realized--YouTube wasn't launched until 2005. What did we do without it?
So now I'm checking everything.
I just know something is going to slip through.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Another Publishing Milestone to Look Forward To!


On June 12, Mark Satchwill and I will have completed 50 NoHo Noir stories. That's around 55K of words, more or less, which is longer than any other work of fiction I've produced.
We were originally hired for a three-month trial period but our editor, Craig Clough, told us he was onboard from story one. I've been given a free hand to go off on whatever fictional side streets I want. I am somewhat restricted in language but that's forced me to be more creative.
We're now doing two stories a week. If you haven't checked out the stories, here are the links:

Happy Endings--Saturday

Wanted--Sunday

A Publishing Milestone!!

Today I received my first royalty payment from Smashwords. Very exciting. I'm about to go spend it. (Yes, it's not exactly six figures. More like four--if you include the cents.) It was really exciting though.
I've become addicted to my checking my stats. L.A. Nocturne is my best seller, followed by Fairy Story. That's true of the kindle editions as well, although Fairy Story, for some reason, is selling better on amazon.uk than the other books.
I've put L.A. Nocturne and Just Another Day in Paradise up for a member giveaway at Library Thing, and that give-away ends next Saturday. I'm thrilled that more people asked for the titles than there are copies available. Now if they'll just do reviews.
My offer to readers still stands. If you want a copy of either L.A. Nocturne or Fairy Story, I'll be happy to furnish the Smashwords coupon code. And if you like it, would love for you to say a few kind words. If you don't like it, well, don't feel you have to spread your opinion around. :-)