Friday, August 27, 2010

What I Crave...

When I visit family up north, I always make one stop...



Where I live, it's a slider dead-zone. No Krystals, no White Castles. I don't know if the state legislature passed a bill that forbids either to set up shop, or if there is some kind of Krystals/White Castle treaty that stipulates they've agreed not to annex our land, but it drives me nuts. I may crave all year long, but the one weekend I get to satisfy it...hoo boy. It's like me on cake.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Baby, if You've Wondered...Wondered Whatever Became of Me

Today is the first of several 39th birthdays I plan to celebrate...basically until I die. In a few weeks I'll go around to all the social networks and message boards I frequent and change the birth year in my profiles, so we can do this all over again. Don't judge me. I plan to fight this to my grave.

Because my birthday is close to the day of my parents' anniversary (and no, it wasn't a shotgun wedding - I came two years later), we're having a big combo party at one of my sibs. Look at the title of the post for a hint. They live in a state where gambling is legal, but I doubt we'll get over to any of the big hotels. I could appease Mom with some online gambling, but I have a feeling we'll do more sightseeing around town and cake eating.

I didn't ask for anything specific this year. I received a few gift cards, which is nice since we eat out a lot and they come in handy. I've had my eye on a podcasting kit, but I recently got a headset for Skype and want to see if that will work in recording before I spend any more money. Maybe, though, I could call an expert on online blackjack who could help double my money so I can get the kit and an upgrade on software. What I really need, though, is time to finish some of my works in progress. I am about twenty thousand words away from THE END on one book, and that would be the greatest gift of all.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Coming Attractions

My husband and I were recently discussing how disappointed we were in the summer concert season. Usually we'll hit three or four concerts depending on the health of our bank account, and while we could have afforded a few shows this year, we just didn't want to go anywhere. Of course, we made the trip for Rush in New York, and friends offered us Mohegan Sun Arena tickets for other opportunities, but it seems the bands I would like to see aren't coming near us.

The Don Fagen / Boz Scaggs tour, for one, I think I have to drive to Charlotte. Larger acts that would require Candlestick Park tickets or Mellon Arena Tickets and plane tickets, and it's rare that I'll travel to see a band. Rush, no question. Only other acts I drove more than three hours to see were Pink Floyd and Paul McCartney. We'll add Sade to that list, too, if ever a tour is announced. We've been hearing rumors for months - usually if you have the album come out, it's a given the artist will support it. We'll see.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Random Thoughts Late at Night

This has been one of those days where you wish you had a do-over button. It's prompted me to make some important decisions in my life, too. Well, not necessarily life-changing, but I'm sure there's a ripple effect involved that might either take a weight off my shoulders or else come back to bite me in the butt. We'll soon see; I supposed I should wear comfy pants.

I've mentioned here before I do freelance writing and social media in my spare time (heh). I've decided to take a sabbatical from it. Yes, it means losing a steady income stream, but it's interfering with my personal writing. I have two books near completion and I can't touch them for the threat of writer's burnout. I want a major release by year's end, and that means being selfish for a bit. I imagine there will be work when I get back, there always is.

I wonder about the fate of Barnes and Noble's PubIt program with their current financial woes. This was to be their Kindle killer, and I loved the demo at BEA. Now, will it happen at all? Is it designed as a last ditch effort, or will some other company inherit it and decide they don't know what the hell to do with it?

I wonder, too, about my own future as a writer. What is the next story? Should I continue writing erotica, GLBT, this or that? Am I happy with doing things one way or should I try something new? Is news of a certain NY pub going e-only a sign of shrinking options for me, or am I ahead of the game now?

Was it wise to make that investment? Will I see a return? Am I doing the right thing? Should I get off this computer and go outside? Should I do this event? When will I be in a position to write for myself full-time? Why don't the Adwords work like I want?

Maybe I should just pitch everything into the sea and sail away, not return my calls. Would I have any?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Learning a New Game

This weekend means yet another trip up the Eastern Shore, through Maryland and Delaware, only this time we're giving the big Delaware Memorial Bridge a miss and veering on into Pennsylvania. I rather like the drive; it can be peaceful if I manage to get through the heavy traffic spots at off-peak hours. The Northern part of the shore is casino country, too, with houses in Delmarva.

But, as I understand it, they are trying to limit the number of casinos in Delaware. I don't know if it will be put to a vote or not. There is a nice looking place off US-13; it's almost inconspicuous for the lack of neon and flashing lights. Not a bit like you'd expect it to look - certainly not like Vegas. I couldn't tell you if they use Internet Slots or not over there, but they seem to be grabbing a lot of A-list performers to draw crowds.

I've contemplated a trip up to Atlantic City this fall - not necessarily to gamble but to see it at least once. Usually there are good concert draws, like Rush, but I didn't see AC on the tour list this year. So if you're looking for your classic rock and Blackjack Download fix you could wait and see or else set up your iPod to play while you're working on the Poker Flash at home.

In the meantime, I gotta pack.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Eatin' Like a Pig, Eatin' a Pig

For now, the plan is to return to Weight Watchers after the first day of school, which is blessedly three weeks away. This doesn't mean I'm going to swallow Hershey, PA in the meantime, but I'll still do my chocolate vlog, and I'll continue it afterward. My most recent contribution is the Truffle Pig review. Isn't it cute?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Eat, Pray, Drink, Read, Write, Rush

Welcome to another potpourri post, where I try to squeeze a ton of interesting (well, interesting to me) information about the glamorous (ha) life of a writer who is obviously way too busy to blog. It's been a fun and hectic past few weeks - with a vacation I adored when I didn't have to sit in a car on the NJ Turnpike, and with news on a number of exciting projects forthcoming.

First, vacation. This year we spent the majority of it in Virginia wine country, getting blot...er, sampling the best of Virginia wines. Usually when we hit the center of the state we tend to visit the wineries south of 250, Veritas, Pollak, Cardinal Point among our favorites. This time we stayed further north in Orange at the Inn at Poplar Hill (highly recommended) and tried the nearby vineyards there. Horton, Barboursville, Burnley, Keswick, and Prince Michel. Each offered at least one wine we enjoyed, and we behaved ourselves this time. I learned not to drink the entire tasting, allowing only enough for detecting the flavor and age of the wine, and we stuck to a minimum of one bottle per visit. Seriously, you should see the kitchen. We've come away from wine festivals lugging crates, only to sober up days later and ask ourselves what the hell did we just do?

Before that, though, it was Rush at Jones Beach, and Oh. My. Ged. Fifth row from Geddy's side. Not quite close enough to touch, but there was a moment when our eyes locked (that's my story) and there was magic. Finally got to hear "The Camera Eye" live and now I'm hap hap happy. Stood in triple-digit heat with the faint wisp of the ocean breeze to soothe us. Can only imagine what it must have been like for the boys in their long pants and three-hour performance.

Too bad, though, I didn't commission my Rash shirt to wear for the show. I asked Implexity Designs if they could recreate the parody design that Geddy wore that night, and they did a good job. Until the injunction is served (I kid, parody is protected in the US, I think) you can get this one at Zazzle - it's the best of the three I've seen there in search.

Speaking of Rush-like things, you are welcome to have a sneak peek at DeadBarchetta.com, which will serve as the official home of the Lerxst Johnson books. Right now, it's just one book pending release, but I will shoot for two more. I'm thinking three is good for this series, and I already have the second book planned out. I don't intend for the series to last forever, as I feel with certain mysteries you tend to run out of gas if you go too far. I petered out of Sue Grafton around N, and left Janet Evanovich at eight or nine, I forget. I'd rather not do that myself.

I did, though, commission this nice little picture of "Lerxst," and will probably have more done. I wanted to present a picture of my main sleuth, who resembles his namesake but isn't, just as I hope this comic image does. I don't know that Dead Barchetta is the type of book suited for a comic adaptation, but I do own the rights if anybody is interested.

What else? Oh, another cover is ready, this one for the upcoming Boone. I had purchased one several years ago when I thought I'd have it out with Phaze Books. Unfortunately, it turns out the book is not at the erotic level that suitable for the house. It's more a medium sensual romance, and I hope readers will accept it. It is certainly a departure from previous works. I seem to be on a cycle now where it's F/F, M/M, Hetero...and over again. So I suppose you know what to expect from me after that.

Anyway, I had that cover a while ago. You may have seen it on older versions of my site. I even had it on promo signs. Well, I lost the large files for it, and looking at it recently I find it's not quite what I want anymore. It's a gorgeous cover, yes, but the story changed. So I purchased this one made by Razzle Dazzle Designs:


I like the fantasy vibe it gives off - I've had difficulty trying to assign Boone to just one genre. It's a story, plain and simple, a lovely one, I think. The cover looks great.

And...Truth or Dare  in audio should launch this week, too. Links for that as I receive them.