Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Actually, not diving into the chocolate is ideal for a chocoholic masochist, but that's not the point of my post today. In the interest of keeping up the choco-mojo today, I submit a short wishlist:
Vosges Black Pearl Exotic - I mentioned this briefly during my Royal Chocolate post. I tried a nibble and became infatuted. The full bar was a bit cost prohibitive, but I'll look elsewhere for this spicy delight.
Vere Cayenne and Cacao Nibs - I've really developed a taste for chili and chocolate and would like to give this one a try.
Thornton's - A Brit friend plans to send me a sampling of these sweets, by which she swears. We'll see if I can cuss up a storm as well. ;)
Green and Black's Hazelnut and Currant - I keep walking past this one at Bloom. I want to whittle down my other G&B bars before I get more.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Make a list of important things to do today. At the top of your list, put 'eat chocolate.' Now, you'll get at least one thing done today. - Unknown
Through the Dark - Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael
Myc and Shayne are two of our more popular authors. They specialize primarily in M/M, though Shayne has also written and published het romance. Since coming to Phaze, they've given us seductive vampires, gentle werecats, outrageous space captains, crafty cowboys and daring dominants. With the exception of a few futuristics, the works have been contemporary in nature, but Through the Dark turns back the clock a few centuries to Elizabethan England - where the wolves had freer rein.
This is a very suspenseful story, offset nicely by the dark setting and passionate sex scenes. It's been hinted that a sequel is forthcoming on this one, too, which will be good news for M/M readers. I like the historical aspect of this story, too. We don't have too many historicals, and I've always been fascinated by the Tudor eras. You might not feel too much of its presence here, but I'd like to see historicals come back in a big way.
My Life as a Concubine - Robin Glasser
In a way, this book is a left turn for Phaze, but in some ways it could be a U-turn. When we launched in 2004 we had (still have) a title by Robin Slick called Three Days in New York City. This is a terrific book - laugh out loud funny, endearing despite the theme of the story, and a best seller that earned Robin some well-deserved attention...hopefully more than that if the stars align. Fast forward, and a new Robin joins us with a laugh-out-loud story that is reminiscient of Three Days in certain ways, yet is its own story.
In reading the book, I have to wonder if the story is really a roman à clef. Like Three Days, this is a first-person tale and one wouldn't blame the reader for thinking so. Anyway, the title might lead some to think this is a story of a woman thrown into a harem, but it is actually a modern (cautionary?) tale, full of humor and poignant observations of the opposite sex. Would be great to find success with another Robin who can tell a good story.
My daily thought arrived in the e-mail today:
Keep it [your soul] then in patience, in love, in gentleness, in kindness . . . For these are indeed the fruits of the spirit . . . And remember, a kindness sometimes consists in denying as well as granting those activities in associations with thy fellow man. - Edgar Cayce Reading 5322-1
We need more patience, love, gentleness and kindness. I need it at home, and at work, and with this cyberwork I do. I'm sure there's plenty out there for everybody, but I would imagine some of us can't see it for the snark. While I would agree we are not all immune to criticism, but to want to thrive on just being ugly for the sake of being ugly isn't healthy. It's why I limit my blog reading and participation in romance groups, not because I'm anti-social, but I like to keep my spirits high. Besides, I have too much to do. I should be blogging here right now.
But there are days you see something and you smile. On one romance board I frequent, the daughter of Shadowrose's publisher made a post and was responded to with gentleness and kindness, by authors from different houses as well as Shadowrose. I don't know much about this house, only that the owner had been gravely ill. I can sympathize somewhat, having kept a vigil in spirit while Dad underwent his transplant. I think this post is the beginning of healing between TPTB and the orphaned authors of that house. Hopefully, there will be an amicable solution there. To have some kind of communication, regardless of content, is a good sign.
It should also serve as an example to anybody else considering getting into the eBook game. If you intend to start a house, HAVE A PLAN. If something should happen to you, have a contigency prepared where another can slide into your place seemlessly and carry on the business. It almost didn't happen where I am. When my predecessor left, we had no access to artwork, we didn't know the release schedule, and we didn't know if she'd contracted other works aside from the ones she mentioned at RT Daytona. Good thing she did, too, otherwise I wouldn't have known to contact those authors. What could we do? We had two choices: watch the ball fumble offsides or pick it up and run. I chose the latter: I set up a schedule, contacted authors, created artwork, edited works, and got them out there for sale. I'm still running with this ball, but you know what will happen if I fall? Somebody will come up from behind and take it, because I made that plan.
If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, everything goes to the next person with all the files clearly marked. I just hope I don't have the laptop with me when I'm on that bus.
Monday, April 28, 2008
I could detect a faint aroma of ginger on the wafer-thin bar, but it's in the taste where it is present clearly. Even biting into the bar, I got that initial "bite", and as I let the chocolate melt the flavor came through nicely. Chewing the bar outright won't give you the same sensation, however, this is chocolate for savoring. Next paycheck I'll have to make a return trip to try the rest of the NewTree varieties available. If I get past those huge chocolate caramel apples at the shop. Oy.
Ginger, Maryann, or chocolate? What Would Gilligan Do?
The Gilded Cage - Tilly Greene
This story has an interesting history. IIRC, Tilly had sent a companion story, The Leather Bride, to Phaze for consideration as part of the Fetish HeatSheet line. It was delightful story, but I felt it needed a bit of expansion to really bring out the plot and characterization, so I contracted for a regular release. Leather, which is set in the fashion world, was well-received, and Tilly went on to write a second book along similar themes - Taming Marie Antoinette.
That one did well, too, which prompted us to approach Tilly about a print collection. To round out the fashion trifecta (a story in New York, a story in Paris...), she sent along Gilded, a BDSM romance set in London. Is it hot! There are toys and piercings and things I didn't realize existed in here - it's the perfect anchor to the collection, which also launched this week as Hot Couture.
Endless - Wendy Stone
Wendy is a rather prolific writer, exploring different corners of the map. With Phaze she has an historical, a fantasy romance, and a contemporary short. Endless is another contemporary, and a bit of a departure from others we've done. The meat of the story concerns the end (?) of a romance and is sprinkled with progressive flashbacks of the relationship portrayed. Readers will argue whether or not the ending is HEA, but in a way I think it is. Depends on how you look at things. I liked this story because there is an element of originality that sets it apart from other things we've done. Readers have said they want more of the romance, and I think this fits the bill.
Seduction's Fiery Touch - Penelope Russell
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Thursday Thirteen - Why I Rejected Your Book
I don't like rejecting manuscripts. I'm an author myself, I've felt the disappointment of receiving that thin letter back from the agent/publisher saying thanks but no thanks. In my rejections I try to be as polite as possible, but I don't offer details. This is because I don't want to say one thing and have the author read another, nor do I have time to banter over semantics ("You published XYZ but you won't contract mine?" That sort of thing.).
Nevertheless, duty does call for me to do so at times, and authors still ask, so here are thirteen possibilities as to why I had to regretfully pass on your work. Mind you, eight times out of ten the quality of the work is not a factor. I've passed up on some great works.
1) It's not erotic. Phaze publishes erotic romance, not inspirationals. Readers want the naughty bits as often as possible. If I receive a 100K word book where the only sex scene is in the last two paragraphs, and if there's no place to put more, chances are I'll pass.
2) It's not romantic. While we do have a few erotic titles that aren't necessarily HEA, the works had some merit or some element that I thought might appeal to our readership. Overall, however, our readers like the heat and the romance. If I don't find the right balance, and I can't see a way to make the balance, chances are I'll pass.
3) It's plotless smut. I'm at the point where I can tell with some synopses that I'm going to open a work that might as well be titled Dear Penthouse. Works like that do well in certain markets, but they just don't resonate with our readers.
4) It contains one of our taboos. Underage Nazi hero necrophiliacs humping dogs while showering golden on their sisters...ah, no.
5) You used a priest. Sorry. You can take the girl out of the Vatican....yada yada. This is my personal squick, and I just can't let it pass. It's not you, Father, it's me.
6) We've done it already. It came to pass not long ago I had to turn away a nice piece, because we already had two very similar stories. It was a very tough decision to make, and while I'm certain the work was written without knowledge of the previously published works, I had other factors to consider. Now, I might be more accommodating if such a situation happens again, it will depend on the climate.
7) We did it, and it didn't work. We consider most genres of erotic romance. Unfortunately, some genres don't do well as others. This puts me in the awkward position of having to turn away works based on the presumption that we won't see a good ROI on them because of the genre. It's a part of publishing I don't particularly enjoy -- the business end.
8) It's too short. We have a word minimum. We ask authors to acknowledge that. If you send a work under that count we are either going to reject or, if I like it, ask that you lengthen and resubmit.
9) It's poetry. Yes, we do have one title of verse for sale. All in-house authors, just something done for fun. Otherwise, unless you're sending something to Alessia for a Coming Together volume, we will not consider entire poetry books.
10) It's copyright infringement. I miss The X-Files, too, but I'm not publishing your Mulder/Scully humpfest because I don't want to get sued.
11) You didn't format it correctly. I will say this, I'm not the stickler my predecessor was where manuscripts were concerned. If she saw a margin out of place, it was going back. Me, I'm more relaxed, but if I receive a 60K word book done entirely in some cutesy flower script, it's going back.
12) It didn't "click". The catch-all reject. Your work could be extremely well-written. Good characters, good dialog, etc. But there might be something there that I don't think would work for us. Maybe the story didn't excite, or maybe the sex didn't arouse me. Maybe the work is just too long or too short for the story. In the case of too short, I might send back for a revision. For a work over 150K, I might consider sales potential.
13) Blame it on intuition. Mind you, my intuition isn't always 100%. That's all I have to say about that.
This said, I'll close by saying don't be afraid to ask a publisher or editor to clarify guidelines. Remember, publishers want to read works. Publishers stay in business because of authors; we're not here to feed on egos and gleefully dash hopes. What you have written is very good, it's just a matter of finding the right fit.
I've mentioned this on the Phaze Authors loop and few private boards, but my father is in need of a liver transplant. About a week or so ago he was approved for the transplant list, and I settled back for what I thought would be a long wait. Turns out they may have one for him, and he's being prepped for surgery now. Truthfully, I'm not sure how to feel right now. I am happy he has this chance for a second life, but then I think that the liver might not be suitable, or his body might reject it. Then he has to get through the operation...just too much to think about. I'm just trying to stay positive and let things fall according to God's, or whatever cosmic will makes the Earth turn.
I won't divulge any more until I know more, but as anxious as I'm feeling now there may be more than one chocolate review today.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Overall, though, I like the flavor. It doesn't have the bitterness of other darker chocolates.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
It almost seems like overkill, but after sampling the chocolate I must commend the fine folks at Lindt for an unusually delightful confection.
The outer chocolate "shell" has a fine sheen, with each square noticable printed with the Lindt and Sprungli crest. At first bite, however, the bar is deceptive. You get the creaminess of the mousse first and can sense the solid dark giving away as you bite down, as though the square would crumble. It manages to stay together, though. But if you're like me and you nibble, you'll wonder where the rest of the flavors come to play.
Bite too deeply, and you might experience a rush of thick cherry filling. It is subtle, more sweet than tart, but the outer shell breaks easily in your mouth as you continue the square. You'll be nearly done savoring that flavor when you detect a warming on your tongue. There's the chili. It's not as pronounced as Moonstruck's chili bar, but it provides a spicy finish that doesn't overpower the other flavors. This seems like a good confection to go with a bold red wine.
Once you consume chocolate, chocolate will consume you.- Unknown
Pentacles of Magick: The Burning - Elize Gayle
This is the second of a four-part series I contracted with Eliza. The first, The Bonding, is out now and doing very well, and it is our hope that we will bind all the stories together for a print release. The premise, of course, centers around a quartet of brothers connected to a mysterious deck of Tarot cards. Each brother, cursed with the burden of a dark magick, must find his soul mate to relieve the curse and help destroy that which seeks to destroy them.
I've always liked Eliza's style - she writes up sexy heroes and brash heroines with whom readers easily become enamored. I like, too, that we can finally incorporate some metaphysical titles in our catalog - we don't get many incoming. I know other publishers have whole lines of stories where each title is a Tarot card, or a Zodiac sign, or a Chinese astrological designation. I understand that the idea is to entice the reader to enjoy one and be tempted to purchase all of them. That's something we strive to achieve with our themed HeatSheet line (the history of those later). However, when I took over I didn't really want to jump that bridge, and figured there were plenty of other objects we could use. Case in point...
Making Magic - Jade Falconer
I want to create a special line that didn't necessarily copy what other publishers are doing. After conferring with my top ladies (ladies on top?), we came up with the Urbans, stories set exclusively in a metropolitan setting. The authors picked up on the concept rather quickly, and many are in the works. Right now we have Angeleque Ford's Take Me As I Am (Detroit) out, which is a wonderful African-American M/M tale. Angeleque said it was her first attempt at M/M, but reading it you really can't tell. She took to the genre easily. When I first read it I could have sworn that was her forte.
Forthcoming we have Jamie Hill's Giving Chase (Seattle), James Buchanan's True Hollywood (Los Angeles), and the pictured, Jade Falconer's Making Magic (New Orleans). By some interesting coincidence, the first four Urbans are M/M stories. Not quite sure how that happened, but the Urban line itself won't be restricted to M/M stories. Jade's in particular is a paranormal tale as well, though much of that content steers toward paranormal theory than vamps and shifters. One might argue it's more metaphysical than paranormal, and I might agree. I do think, though, it will be nice addition to the line.
As for my contribution? Why, Why, Zed? is still in the works. More than likely it won't be til 2009 before it's out. Dare to Dream will come first, and YYZ - as I've nicknamed my Urban - will contain some Dareville elements, namely a guest appearance or two. YYZ, of course, is the code for Toronto's airport, and the name of the best rock instrumental ever, regardless of what the Grammy folks think.
Monday, April 21, 2008
The taste of chocolate is a sensual pleasure in itself, existing in the same world as sex. - Dr. Ruth Westheimer
Oh, and an update on the bacon bar: I had another piece and didn't experience any problems. I'm guessing the first reaction was either a gastronomical adjustment or an odd coincidence. Choc on!
Lockdown - Augusta Li and Eon de Beaumont
I've wanted to expand our offerings of yaoi for a while now, particularly stories with cover art that corresponds to the genre. Until this point we had only two yaoi shorts. One was part of our Snuggler line, which received the requisite non-yaoi Snuggler cover, and the other was part of the Phaze Fantasies series. Lockdown is the first of two yaoi shorts we have coming from Gus and Eon so far. It is a very short read but true to the genre as I have read it, so we'll see if we can reach this unique readership. M/M fiction (gay romance for women) is perhaps our best selling genre, and I'll be curious to know how they react to these offerings.
Charlotte's Secret - Marc Nobbs
We have a few male writers at Phaze. I tend to think of them as our underdogs. They write so well, but some have acknowledged the struggle to be heard in a genre dominated by women - readers and authors. Secret, I think, is a rather romantic story that will appeal to erotic romance readers of either gender. I can't recall how this one came to us - it might have been submitted as a Coming Together piece but somehow made its way to the regular calendar. However it got to Phaze, it's here and Charlotte's Secret is open for business.
Spring Training - Alessia Brio and Will Belegon
If you read the predecessor to this story, you'll be familiar with the main cast. However, where Double Header took on a light tone at times and sizzled with unapologetic menage sex and fascinating toys, Spring Training is presented with more serious issues. There is more suspense in this installment, a few scenes of violence, and an ending that implies extra innings will be played. I've asked if there will be more to this series and received a non-committal answer. I suppose if the muses strike Alessia and Will we will see more of Andrea and her men. If not, I know we haven't heard the last of this amazing writing duo.
Friday, April 18, 2008
As an aside on the Vosges Bacon Bar, a while after sampling that I got a Ged awful stomachache. Might have been I wasn't used to taking on that radical a flavor combination. Will try it again sooner and hopefully that past unpleasantness wasn't related to enjoying the chocolate.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I like the texture of this bar - it is smooth and doesn't immediately come off on your hands if you hold it too long. If you're looking for a dark that isn't too far off the scale, this is a good choice.
Chocolate is cheaper than therapy and you don't need an appointment. - Unknown
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
It's common knowledge that in addition to the 20 jobs I juggle that I am a mom, and usually I have care arranged for these events. This time, though, the stars just didn't align. Mom must stay home with Dad since he's made the transplant list, and they need to be on call. The in-laws have to be elsewhere to tie loose ends on an estate to which they are executors. And the hubby...well, we won't go there. Tyke is three and 2/3 of the way trained, but it's not enough to boost Dad's confidence to be a solo parent, if only for a few days. I tried the Seinfeld logic on him: Thursday and Friday she's at pre-school, so he'd only have the night time then. Saturday, he could get a sitter to help, and Sunday I'll be home. It's not so much four days as it is really twenty minutes. He didn't buy it, so here I am while hundred of other romance authors get to pitch books and rub up against cover models. Sigh.
What's worse, Rush is in Jacksonville tomorrow night, playing there for the first time probably since Moving Pictures or Signals. Had I enough warning, I could have flown down for the weekend. My parents live there, they could have watched Tyke for a few hours. So, I must console myself instead with trying to purchase a second row seat for Bristow. If I can't pitch to Kensington this year, I'm going to sit eye level to that which God blessed Geddy Lee.
Yes, I'm bummed, but I don't blame my family. Things happen, and there is next year. Orlando will be easier to handle since I do have family in Florida willing to help out. We hope to go south stronger than before, and perhaps talk Piers Anthony into doing the Saturday signing under our banner since he's not far away. Honestly, how he could turn down a room full of women is beyond me.
The Philly Book Festival, however, is still on. In the meantime, Phaze has a new giveaway on site, the text of which is below.
Enter Our 2008 RT Giveaway!
This year at the Romantic Times convention in Pittsburgh, Phaze has offered a pink rollway bag filled with all sorts of goodies for one lucky attendee. Signed books, relaxing bath salts, a bottle wine and other treats...it's our way of showing appreciation to our readers! If you're attending the convention, be sure to stop by the Phaze table at Club RT and meet your favorite Phaze authors. Help us celebrate the release of Artistically Bound in paperback, which is set in Pittsburgh.
If you aren't going to RT this time around, don't worry. You can still win with our special online RT Giveaway. We have a treasure trove of Phaze goodies to give to one lucky winner, including autographed Phaze books, gourmet chocolate, and an iPod Shuffle containing audio files of Phaze book excerpts, Phaze author podcasts, and songs with titles corresponding to Phaze book titles. The RT hit parade includes:
Spellbound - Siouxsie and the Banshees
Come Together - Beatles (for the CT series)
Fascination Street - Cure
Moondance - Van Morrison
Wicked Game - Chris Isaacs
Cruel to Be Kind - Nick Lowe
Dancing in the Dark - Bruce Springsteen (upcoming Phaze title)
Heat Wave - Martha and the Vandellas
Private Dancer - Tina Turner
Dead Man's Party - Oingo Boingo
Dare Me - Pointer Sisters
...and much more!
To enter, simply send an e-mail to us at klively (at) phaze (dot) com with RT GIVEAWAY in the subject header. One winner will be drawn at random, and your information will not be sold or distributed to third parties. Whether you are attending RT or not, you can enter this giveaway. As this giveaway contains material of an adult nature, all entrants must be over the age of 18.
Deadline to enter is April 30, 2008. A Winner will be drawn on May 1. Good luck!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
In the beginning, the Lord created chocolate, and he saw that it was good. Then he separated the light from the dark, and it was better. - Unknown
Monday, April 14, 2008
A Crown of Stars - L.E. Bryce
Bryce's works are rather unique to the Phaze catalog, and quite popular among our M/M readers. There is a lyrical quality to the prose that stands apart from some of our more category offerings. Description is always lush, and characterization and dialogue impeccable. I could imagine many of these books easily playing on a movie screen. Crown is the sequel to My Sun and Stars, a continuation of the author's Rhodeen epic that extends into a new generation of warriors and lovers. A concluding third book is on the way.
My Deepest Love: Zack - Marie Rochelle
I like Marie's books because she writes about real people, colorblind people who struggle with real issues and try to do what's right despite what society thinks. Zack is the first of a series about the Drace brothers - a close-knit family previously sworn to bachelorhood, but slowly finding their defenses crumbling at the feet of some wonderfully attractive ladies. Zack is written to showcase the first story of Zack and Traci, yet sets up for future stories, so fans of interracial romance should enjoy all of them.
Sacred Spots - Selena Kitt
This is part of our OZ HeatSheets - stories of otherworlds, be they different planets or different states of mind. Spots, you'll find is more contemporary than other titles we'll offer here, but it shouldn't divert the reader from enjoying the short, sizzling story. Selena came to Phaze via the Coming Together series, and will be sticking around for a while with her own style of sophisticated erotic prose.
Enslaving Heaven - Michelle Houston
This is a first for us: a Sapphic, BDSM sci-fi piece. We've done lesbian, we've done BDSM, and we've done science fiction, but not all together. Some might it's a damn sight tastier than chocolate and peanut better! I believe this had been submitted originally for a theme sheet but was contracted with the provision to lengthen the work. The result is a powerful story of one woman's struggle to accept a new role as dominant to the slave she reluctantly purchased. I do hope this title does well; I have a tendency to cheer for the underdog, and while F/F doesn't bring in the sales of M/M, I do believe there is a market for it. We'll be here when the market finds us.
Wednesday we'll have a special release to coincide with RT Pittsburgh.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
This bar was a bit disappointing to me. The chocolate was fine, but I guess I was expecting a bigger corn crunch than the thin, almost undetectable layer of corn flakes that was overpowered by the chocolate. I suppose with bars I must come to expect the little bits are just that. For bigger crunch, I'll have to find the proper bon bon or cluster.
Friday, April 11, 2008
The local organic market had a sale on Endangered Species Bars - picked up a few along with a Vosges Bacon Bar (new to the store, I've been wanting to try it - what luck!) and a Lindt Creation Bar of chocolate, cherry and chili filling. Sounds like an erotic novel set to flavor. More on those as I try them.
Research tells us fourteen out of any ten individuals likes chocolate. ~Sandra Boynton
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Do not worry as to whether you are fat or thin. Worry rather as to whether you use your body, mentally and physically, as an expression of thy ideal. - Edgar Cayce Reading 308-8
I am the typical American woman, forever obsessing about my weight. Before I got pregnant, I had been on track to losing a fair number of pounds, only to see them a few hundred of their cousins come to stay on my thighs for the next three years. I haven't crested forty yet, but there were times I felt much older. My diet was poor, I didn't sleep, and I didn't particularly care what I looked like. It took a visit to my osteopath to kick my lazy ass into gear. When somebody tells you that you could be on dialysis in five years, it's time to do something.
The Weight Watchers, I find, is the best program for me for losing weight. I've tried just about everything else - the shakes, the pills, starving - and nothing else does the trick. Though I haven't stepped on a scale in a while, I can feel the difference it's made. My black jeans, previously tight around the guy, now fit with some wiggle room. I also find I am less likely to order fried food when we go out. My first goal had been to drop twenty before Romantic Times, but unfortunately I've had to cancel that trip. So maybe in 2009 I'll come to the Orlando convention in full fairy clubwear. Half the person I was. We'll see.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The light aroma of lavender was the first thing I sensed on opening the wrapper. Unlike other bars, Dagobas appear to be divided into sticks rather than squares, making it a challenge to divide the bar in fourths. Since I've been good on WW points today, I decided to splurge on half the bar (normally I take a half ounce at a time, I find the allotment satisfying).
I didn't know what to expect here, how well the lavender and chocolate would pair. It's not bad - I sort of feared an aftertaste akin to accidentally swallowing perfume, and though the sensation of lavender lingers in my mouth after each bite, it doesn't distract from the enjoyment of the bar. The blueberries I don't find to be too prevalent a presence. They are intermittent bursts of flavors that explode and quickly fade. I enjoy the texture and flavor of the chocolate, though, and look forward to trying the other three flavors I purchased. Don't know if I'll pick this one up again. Lavender does have its health benefits, but I might just leave it for my hand lotion.
Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you'll get one thing done. - Anonymous
Of course, in some variations of this game you can only picked deceased people, and there follows the inevitable debate on whether or not Jesus is "dead." So I purposely leave Him out of these things. We'll meet up for wings and beer one night.
But, in the interest of interest, here is my list - living or dead. Geddy's not on here because I, ah, other plans for that.
Frida Kahlo - just a fascinating human being
Dorothy Parker - the reason I became a writer
Dick Francis - the reason I became a mystery writer
Andy Warhol - a complex individual who managed to balance his faith with his lifestyle in his own way
Eleanor of Aquitaine - lived an amazing life, being queen of two countries at two different times; she'd kiss and tell
St. Teresa of Avila - her writings had helped me once
John Lennon - always wanted to meet him, and I'll bet everybody else would too.
Betty Short ("The Black Dahlia") - maybe we'd finally get to find out who killed her
James Ellroy - I know he wants to know, too; besides, I've met him and he'd be a cool guest if he and Eleanor don't end up in a fist fight
Groucho Marx - just because
A bowl of ziti, a crate of gin, and I think the cops would be there around 11.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
“There is good sex and there is bad sex but chocolate is always chocolate.” - unk.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
I'm not much of a red drinker, but the Claret is sharp on my palate. It is spicy and possesses a latent warming quality that paired nicely with the mild swiss spread and crackers I had with it. Though I imagine it would go better with a nice steak. Maybe tomorrow.
Friday, April 4, 2008
I almost didn't buy these. I found a bag for sale at Rite-Aid. I normally associate Russell Stover with childhood holidays - we'd visit my grandmother in Louisville for Christmas, and my Aunt Doris always made much of having Russell Stover samplers, as though Whitman was a poor relation (looking at their site, I see Russ and Whit have merged since then, though they still haven't touched Hershey's in domestic sales). Being a kid, I could never tell the difference aside from the white boxes replacing the yellow gingham ones. That, and my uncanny ability to always select the dreaded jelly bon-bon.
So I see Russ has gone upscale with a "Private Reserve" line. I'm thinking, hoo-hoo. Somewhere in Kansas City is this secret vault where the good stash is, and after years of having to choke down syrupy cherry cordials I finally get to eat like the grown-ups. It's pretty good. I'm tempting to try out their other flavors.
Today's chocolate kiss: Russell Stover actually started out in the ice cream business, selling the Eskimo Pie.
Why you ask?
I don't really know why I picked the name. It isn't indicative of a writer's blog, yet in some ways it is most appropriate. I caught the catchphrase on an episode of 30 Rock, while flying home from Portland after EPICon. I don't watch the show, but I figured it out in the twenty minutes I did see on the flight. A female character on the show (playing the part of a sketch comedy actress) had gained a bit of weight in the off season, and a writer suggested the "Me Want Food" catchphrase to exploit. It's pretty much predictable from there: actress says no, does her own thing, it flops, she uses the phrase, she's a hit. Indicative of my life? Probably.
Anyway, now you know where the name comes from, here's why I picked it: Me Want Food. Serious, I'm hungry. I'm Sicilian, we were born with utensils in our hands. My first words were, "Pass the salt." I love food, and it loves me back so much it never wants to leave my body.
So in December, after carrying around post-baby weight for three years, I decided it was time to love different kinds of food. I'm on Weight Watchers now, and so far it's proven effective. I had hope to show off a skinnier me at Romantic Times, but it appears I won't be going (more on that).
One advantage to this program is that I don't starve. Me Want Food, and Me Get Food. Only instead of reaching for Little Debbie snacks I'm peeling oranges at my desk. Instead of Buffalo Wings I'm having leaner meats and salads. I eat what I want, only in moderation, and I don't deny myself a few pleasures - case in point, watch for Today's Chocolate.
So if I'm feeling brave, I'll post pictorial progress. No bikinis, so don't get excited.
Best, The Saint
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Moonstruck is based in Portland, Oregon, which was the site of this year's EPICon convention. Nice city, but I didn't stay long enough to enjoy it. Had a few bottles of Rainier at this great place called Le Bistro Montage (try the SPAM Mac, and be warned, it's a loud place) and met a truck driver who educated me on the life of "Lot Lizards." I'm calling it research and plan to write off that dinner.
I picked up six Moonstruck bars at a gift shop and have been enjoying them a half-ounce at a turn on weekdays. I expect to see my supply depleted soon, but luckily they have a shop in Northern Virginia and I'll refill in July when I visit.
Today's chocolate quote: "I never met a chocolate I didn't like." - Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis)
Best, The Sinner
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Today's chocolate kiss of wisdom:
"Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar in four pieces with your bare hands--and then just eating one piece" - Judith Viorst
I used to enjoy blogging. Quirky clips daily. I'd be found in Google under the most unusual phrases (nude Elimidate comes to mind), and I came to foster a number of online acquaintances as a result. Of course, I experienced the burn-out as well due to a number of events. Childbirth, moving, work, nursing, dieting, writing...now editing and publishing. Now that I have managed to bring some of those duties under control, it's time to be me again.
Which me, though? It is not widespread, but it is commonly known among certain circles that I write under two names. There are reasons I had kept it quiet in the past, but recent climates have encouraged me to come out of the writing closet and reveal my two sides (not faces, mind you). I wrote sweet things as one person, spicy as another. In the last two years, one of my personas had to take a backseat while the other tackled duties I hadn't intended for myself. In some ways it was wonderful, in others not. In 2008, I decided both halves needed to strike balance in order for me to remain whole. While I was at it, I needed to let readers know I am still alive, so here I am.
Made it through that last post. Great! It's going to be easier as we move along. Promise.