Friday, September 30, 2011

Orbital Drop

So one of the highlights at the Worldcon in Reno last month was meeting the Orbit Publishing team. While listening to their presentation, I could tell that they're delving into ebooks and ebook marketing in a new and refreshing way. One of the features I especially liked is the program they have called the Orbital Drop, in which each month they give away certain ebooks for $3.00 a pop in any format you want. It's one of my new favorite places to get ebooks. Check it out:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Accidents happen

When you get a fortune cookie that says "something unexpected will happen at work or school next week," what do you think of? Me, I think of fun and surprises like a big bonus check or my daughter winning the spelling bee even though she is an average speller. I have been focusing on the power of positive thinking and energy.

The most unexpected thing to happen at work or school this week, however, was my 10 year old son breaking his collar bone while playing flag football. The timing was not bad because I could take a few days off work to help him. So was I being too optimistic with my outlook on my fortune? I'm not sure. There have been plenty of good unexpected things as well, like that same son starting band the day before he broke his collar bone so he has something to do while he can't play soccer.

When we have prophecies or fortune's or predictions in our writing there are good and bad things that can come from the same events. It just depends on how they come about. I'm trying to remember that in my new project. Would my characters see an unexpected turn of events as good fortune or bad and how would they react to it?

In my life I hope for the good and handle whatever comes in the best way I can. I'm pretty sure that I'm not unique in this outlook to life.

What was your best fortune cookie lately?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Like or Dislike?

I am currently reading One True Thing by Anna Quindlen. I'm about half way through. The basic premise of the story is a young woman who has a successful career and a boyfriend who she's been with since she was a teenager puts her whole life on hold to return home to care for her mother, who is dying from cancer.

The main character, Ellen Gulden, is not immediately a sympathetic character. In fact, at the mid-point I am just beginning to see some redeeming qualities in her. Yet, I have been hooked from the beginning in spite of not necessarily liking Ellen, which made me wonder if the main character can be an unlikable person and the reader still enjoy the story.

I compared my experience reading One True Thing with another book I started reading recently - Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. I only made it a quarter through that one. All of the characters were so much without any redeeming qualities I couldn't stomach it. At one point I asked myself (aloud, yes, sometimes I talk to myself), "Why am I wasting my time reading this crap about these worthless people?" And there it ended, though I did read a summary of the book and concluded I had made the right decision to stop where I did.

Both books are critically acclaimed. But I've had very different experiences with each. Although One True Thing is more heavy subject matter than I typically like to immerse myself in, it is very real and well-written, whereas Freedom to me was very snarky and false, even misogynistic.

I'm curious to see as I finish One True Thing how I will ultimately feel about Ellen Gulden. But, one way or the other, I care enough that I will finish.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tis the Season

We turn to Fall this week, and thus a slew of new TV offerings. I've tried in recent years to not take on too much new programming. Hubby and I really only have 1-2 hours of free time in the evening once the kids are in bed, and I do have a novel I'm trying to finish.

But, I can't give up couch cuddle time in front of the tele with Hubby, so if we're going to watch, I want it to be downright entertaining.

After reviewing the Fall TV preview issue of EW, I have a few new shows I want to check out. I'm willing to give them 2-3 episodes to hook me in, or they will be cast off.

Here is my short list of those that perked my interest:

Once Upon a Time: A drama series mixed with fantasy featuring some of the best known fairy tale characters trapped in the modern world, unbeknownst to them

Grimm: Another fairy tale angle, but intriguing - a cop show that uses parallels from favorite fairy tales in its cases, with writers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

New Girl: A sitcom starring Zooey Deschanel about a girl who moves in with three random guys as they all try to figure out what direction to take in their life. Could end up being a "Four's Company", but I like Zooey and think she wouldn't attach to something really bad.

Terra Nova: The Spielberg produced futuristic family among dinosaurs drama makes me nervous, but I have to watch at least the pilot. The preview did not impress me, but I'm still hopeful.

What will YOU be watching this Fall?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Jim Hughes

Lost a dear friend yesterday after his struggle with cancer. Jim Hughes always knew how to laugh and more importantly how to make others laugh. There were times where he'd have us practically busting a gut from his jokes and his impersonations. He would do this impersonation of a backwoods Virginian (including eating possum and such) that would have be crying with laughter. He had impeccable taste in music, and he and I could talk Beatles/Clapton/etc. like very few I've known. Aside from his fun quirkiness, he is one of the kindest people I've known, and the service he performed for my family and countless others can never be repaid or forgotten.

I'll miss you, my friend. Until we meet again . . .


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Are You Ready for Some Football?

If you haven't noticed, football season is underway. Whether you're into college, pro, high school, little league or all of the above, it is all around us.

Watching hubby shout at the TV tonight as the team of his alma mater gave up a lead and ended up losing by one point made me pause to think about the emotional connection we have with sports and on a broader scale, the different ways that people react to winning and losing.

Strangely enough, I can't recall reading any books where the plot centered around sports, but I have seen plenty of sports themed movies. In both the real sports I follow and in fiction, I tend to prefer the underdog. It's much more fun to me to root for the one who is not expected to win. Even better if they're not considered to have a snowball's chance in Hades.

Here is a list of some of my fave sports themed movies (the first that come to mind):
  • Rudy
  • Jerry Maguire
  • Rocky
  • Remember the Titans
  • Caddyshack (tee hee)
  • The Bad News Bears
  • Space Jam
  • Brian's Song
  • Karate Kid
  • Seabiscuit

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Recycling the Hunks

New teen staralicious Thomas McDonell brother to author Nick Mcdonell just debuted in "Prom" by Disney. Does he remind you of anyone?

Like this fellow Mr. Johnny Depp in Don Juan DeMarco. Maybe its just me =)

There is a point to this little display. I'm struggling to pinpoint my hero! I've started a new project and I have a dastardly villain, a spunky heroine with red low lights in her hair that match her fiery personality, a pseudo hero (beautiful and flawed), but the elusive Pimpernel of the plot it still hiding. I can't seem to find him. So I'm going to spend some more time reading about my favorite heroes and see if I can channel a younger sexier version of an old favorite.
Hey, if Disney can do it, why can't I?