Thursday, March 29, 2012

New: Take Her By The Heel now up at Nontrue

I've had a lot of bad sex in my time. I've also had some fantastic sex, but since I've written enough erotica to give Rick Santorum a heart attack three times over (yes, Mr. Santorum, women like porn), I thought it was time to give the other side its due.

Before you read Take Her By The Heel, keep in mind the following: I absolutely wrote a character based on actual people. Any resemblance to men living or dead is completely intentional.

And a piece of unasked-for advice: Skinny dip at night. Feel a guy up under the restaurant table. By all means, sit in the back row of the movie theater and make out during terrible movies, and learn how to unzip a zipper quietly. Put a big blanket down on the sand before you start getting crazy at the beach. Sand in sensitive areas is no fun. And above all, give as good as you get. Especially if you're sleeping with me.

This is the GTA version of "Dance Hall Days," but it's still awesome.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Unexpected Goose; Why I've Got No Balls

Unexpected goose
in the backyard
shouts at the garage


Perhaps its goose positioning system went awry. That would explain why it was standing in the middle of a residential area with no water in sight. Why it found my garage so offensive, I've no idea. It is an ugly garage.


The Rumpus' Sugar (identity now revealed; I long for the days of anonymous masked superhero writer advice columnists again) had a saying: Write Like A Motherfucker. They emblazoned it on coffee mugs. At first, I was all, "YEAH! I'M GONNA WRITE LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER!" And then I petered off directly after that.

For some people, having big balls is the way to go when it comes to putting words on paper (or the screen, more accurately). Personally, I've always wondered about the whole testicle thing. I mean, how do men walk around with those things hanging there? It's this extra bulk that I don't understand. Don't get me wrong; I love balls. I find them extremely sexy. I just don't think they'd be comfortable.

I'm not sure how this turned into something about genitalia. Let's go back a bit. In both a literal and metaphorical sense, I don't want big balls. I don't want to run at the screen with a jackhammer and carve something bold. I don't want to blaze the truth of my existence anywhere. I don't, personally, want to be my own superhero.

This is how I like to write:

I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountaintop, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten -- happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.
                                                                          -- Brenda Ueland

For years, I've felt like this. I enjoy writing when I'm quiet and happily putting the beads on the string.

So, here's the deal. There's a lot to learn about writing. I say "learn" not "know," because unless you're Mark Twain or Flannery O'Connor or Shakespeare, you will never know anything. And there's a good chance that even Misters Twain and Shakespeare didn't know as much as they'd like us to think. That Ms. O'Connor, however, was a helluva writer.

I haven't been keeping up on everything on the interwebz for months now. Too much "information." A real overload. Self-pub, e-pub, traditional pub, marketing, this one's got a new book, that one's got a new collection, this editor says this, that agent had this advice. I think I'll just keep on stringing beads, and maybe when I'm done, I'll have a necklace about on par with the construction paper garland I made for our Christmas tree in first grade. I'd be pretty happy with that.

PS What you should really take away from this is that I like balls. I REALLY REALLY LIKE BALLS.

PPS ;)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

For A: In the piney woods, the dream stag awaits

For A.

My girl, my girl, don't lie to me. Tell me where did you sleep last night?

Also, this:


Is that not astounding. Do you not want the deer to dip its head and swathe you in its branches. You do. Because that is what we all want in our dreams. While we are stroking the soft ears and feeling the blood in its veins.

I have no gypsies for you, A. They prefer to wait, to watch beyond the stone wall. For you to come out alone. There is more dancing inside their wagons than you can know. It will be all right. They have slippers for you, already made, with your name. They are made of winter light. They will dissolve in summer, but not if you wear them in the shadows.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Recording: My Entry Into the Nine Days of Madness

There's a belt with a padlock on the end of it, perfect for swinging against men's skulls. Just wrap one end around your fist, feel the weight of the lock, hanging there, waiting. Waiting.

Waiting for you to read Recording, the fifth entry in Chris Allinotte's 9 Days of Madness. My swing of the belt.

It's criminal how good the stories have been so far. Criminally insane.

P.S. If you don't like this one, just wait. I've got one coming out soon about my clit. I'm not kidding. And men, you better know where it is. Not mine, specifically. But as a general rule, you ought to know your way around your lady's private parts. WE WILL DRAW YOU A MAP IF NECESSARY. And Jesus Christ, is it necessary for some of you.

Those gentlemen who are smiling smugly right now, having pleased the ladies whose knickers they've got into, I salute you. Thank you so much. Believe me, the favor will be returned.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

9 Days of Madness; Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Chris Allinotte's 9 Days of Madness begins another unsettling round next Sunday. As part of the line-up, all I can say is: No more happy pills. We're taking a trip to the dark side of the psyche. So drink your juice, Dolores, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

For a list of my fellow incarcerated, click on the link. To those about to descend into the depths of Madness, I salute you. (it's not a very polite salute; sorry)


Book review: Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus-- Age-old bets, orphan magicians, and a competition whose outcome is determined in a very disturbing manner all within the colorful, imaginative, and highly detailed world of The Night Circus.

Celia Bowen is left with a note pinned to her coat at her father's place of employment, and soon, the little girl's tragic beginnings are left behind in a cloud of strange, magical and often painful education. Meanwhile, her father's associate is busy plucking a boy from an orphanage and training his own magician, but little Marco's education is vastly different.

When both are ready, they join the Night Circus, a public venue in which to pit them against each other. A traveling circus imbued with magic in its very fabric, the two work in relative obscurity, for many years not even knowing who their opponent is. When their identities are revealed, the competition becomes something else altogether. And when they finally realize how the game is ultimately won, events take on a singularly tense, and heartbreaking, tone.

This book generated a lot of buzz last year, and I can understand why. The scope of imagination here is second-to-none, and it was easy to get lost in the Circus. The story itself somewhat meanders at times, and the cast of characters was intriguing and mostly well-drawn. I think I would've enjoyed this book far more if I had ever been able to let go of the disconcerting feeling that I was reading a rough draft. The writing seemed unfinished, choppy, and often left me unfulfilled. In fact, I would be more at ease with the ending if the overall presentation had been tighter and more polished. As it was, I add the ending to the list of unsatisfactory aspects of this book.

Overall, an incredibly imaginative journey with much to recommend it, but I was disappointed with some key aspects. (however, I do recommend you also check out the reviews on Amazon, as I seem to be in the minority when it comes to this book)

Friday, March 9, 2012

5 Things

Five Things About Me Even Though NOBODY ASKED:

1. I was just told to watch my language.

2. I would get a Pinterest account (oh, I mean, "ask for an invite") but it would just be everything on the Bloggess's Pinterest.

3. When I really want to relax and waste time, I look up wallpapers. Currently it's this:

But I'm looking for something new. Preferably with a cat. Or a scene of apocalyptic destruction.

4. Whenever somebody says that something is missing and maybe someone stole it, I automatically go into freak out mode and wonder if I stole it even though I know I didn't, and I've never even shoplifted anything in my entire life.

5. I pulled a giant swollen tick off a dog today, then found more ticks and pulled them off, then got grossed out and had to leave (it wasn't my dog).

Bonus Thing! My friend just lent me her brand new season one Blu-Ray of Game of Thrones, and I'm about to have a GoT marathon. WINTER IS COMING, SUCKAS.

*I just changed "bitches" to "suckas" because someone just told me again that I should watch my language. I'm about to get pissed off, bitches. Really motherfuckin' angry, you know what I mean?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Scenes From A Dog Show

It's that time again! The annual Detroit Kennel Club dog show was held at Cobo Arena in downtown Detroit. This year, I went with fellow groomers and my dearest B. Here's a few things we saw:

 B chats with a 4 month old Borzoi puppy -- this pup absolutely stole all our hearts. 

 Tammy, meanwhile, makes friends with an Azawakh, an Egyptian sighthound not yet recognized by the AKC. 

 It's hard work, winning all those trophies: German Shepherd Dogs, my favorite.

Channel 4 news woman. Aaaand... enough said.

 French mastiff. Bully breeds love to lie down like that!

Amanda and a rescued French Bulldog. 

If I had a white standard, I'd do the same thing. :) 

A lot of pics turned out blurry; the dogs move fast. Didn't buy much; the number and variety of vendors has decreased considerably over the years. I do love to play a game, "Which dog would you take home today?" and my answer is: The one-eyed pug, Marley, from Pug Luv Rescue here in Michigan. What an absolute sweetheart! A lot of rescues were there, including Guardian Angels, who had two pit mix pups -- one of whom, Dodger, could be Eva's brother! That was tough to walk away from. But we know we can only save so many.

(and yes, it was worse when we realized we could name him Wally, and then we'd have our Wall*E and Eve!)

Please adopt your next pet. And if you'd rather not do that, then make sure you are buying from a reputable, quality breeder, such as the folks at your local dog shows. Quick Tip: Don't buy from an ad in the newspaper. That's the realm of puppy millers and backyard breeders. Yes, all of them.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Long Post is Long: Perfume, Book Review, and Puppy!

I've been remiss in blogging lately. Like, in two years. I cannot dedicate myself to it, not when time is so unbelievably restricted. Right now, I have approximately two times per week when I can write, and both are for about two hours. Not without interruptions, mind -- laundry being done, dogs in and out, texts from work, etc.

I recently discovered that my favorite novel of those I'm writing -- there are those of you who just laughed so hard -- only stands at 16,500 words. And it's not even a connected 16, 500! Well. That just about took the wind out of my sails. Whenever I read that someone's typical timeframe for writing a novel is three months (the number I hear most) or six months, my stomach clenches. Based on current calculations, I'll finish this novel in another nineteen months.

At least I can say that I've got four short stories coming out within the next four months. Go, me. And there are, oh, twelve unfinished shorts on my hard drive right now (all backed up! I know everyone remembers the Giant Devastating Total Crash of last year; I've learned my lesson). Sometimes I work on one, and in my secret heart of hearts, I believe it's a Hugo winner. I believe it could appear in Asimov's. I believe it could be one in a collection that rocks the world. And then I look down and see my forearms streaked with deep scratches rapidly becoming light scars, and I think I'll always be a dog groomer.

By the way, that four hours per week is not always well spent. I spent quite a bit of Thursday's session just staring out the window, wondering if the hawk I saw last week would appear in the same tree again.

This was supposed to be a post filled with reviews! All right, here goes:

I'm a perfume addict. I adore tiny sample bottles of perfume from small companies, often scents that are made to order and by a single person. But one thing I've found too often in the micro-perfumery world (I just made that up) is that the scents are too heavy, with bases too oily (*cough*BPAL*cough*). I like a clean, pure scent, nothing cloying.

And then I heard about CB I Hate Perfume over at Art of Darkness (one of my very, very favorite blogs). The scents had intriguing names, but I've been fooled before by a name. Still, "Wild Hunt"? And... are you ready... "In The Library"? MUST. HAVE.

I ordered those two, along with "Lavender and Tea." The verdict?

New favorite perfume company. By a longshot. Lasts all day -- and my job is hairy, filthy, sweaty and gross. They're also quite what one would expect, based on the names. "Wild Hunt" has a bit more grassy scent than loamy, damp earth, but still, if, like me, your favorite place on earth is deep in a shadowy forest on a cool morning, you're in luck.

If your other favorite place is in a book store -- preferably a used book store; oh the smell! -- then "In the Library" is your scent. This somehow perfectly smells like the pages of a well-loved book. I swear, I smell like a book when I'm wearing it. Paper. Slightly aged. With a hint of leather. Warm. Maybe musky, in a bookish way.

Lavender and Tea is my favorite of this lot, though I switch every day. It's not flowery at all, perhaps because the tea notes temper the floral.

My co-workers are an exceptionally honest lot. :) They tell me I don't reek, and the scents are nice. So there you go. I've got my eye on a few other scents from CB, but they'll have to wait until the funds are secured. Could be 2013, at this rate.

Book review time:

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes was a title I'd been hearing about for a while. I follow Angry Robot on Twitter (the publisher), and it sounded intriguing and as if it was doing well. It's a gritty, noir-ish story about a woman who's been animalled -- that is, much like in the Golden Compass, she's got a spiritual animal companion tethered to her. Unlike TGC, the only ones who receive an animal are those who've committed murder. Doesn't matter if it was a mistake, an accident, if you were high, if you did it to protect yourself... Kill someone, get an animal.

Of course, those who are animalled are ostracized (heh) from general society. Zoo City is a slum in South Africa where the zoo's (as they're called) live. Our protagonist is a rough-around-the-edges girl surviving in this new world with her Sloth, trying to earn a living with her special skill. Did I mention that all zoos possess some sort of special skill? In her case, she can find lost things. Can't remember where you left that blasted stuffed dalmatian your kid adores? Call her; she'll follow the psychic thread and find it.

It's this skill that gets her involved in the disappearance of a young pop singer, one half of a brother-sister duo that's topping the charts. She's never tried to find a lost person before, and the whole situation is shady, but the money's a big draw. So she's drawn in to what eventually becomes something far more dangerous than she ever bargained for. She's also got a kinda-sorta boyfriend who just discovered his wife may not be dead after all, and a lot of bad attitude. Sassy, this one.

The story was gritty, as I said, and fast-moving. The writing was solid, and there was enough adventure for two novels. Which was also kind of the drawback: the book's divided into two parts, and though, in the end, all the threads are neatly tied, it felt like two different stories. Something jarred about the second half, and I couldn't quite get past it. Still, I've got no complaints overall. A very enjoyable read, with extremely timely detailing and excellent "research."

And now, a picture of Eva, who is four months this week:


We loves her.

Next week: We start puppy class! A fun, frolicsome time in which RS demonstrates her extreme level of competitiveness by showing up to class with the entire syllabus memorized and her puppy already knowing everything! Seriously, I've been teaching her everything we're supposed to learn in class. So we'll graduate number one. Because that's how I am. I HAVE TO WIN. EVEN IN A CLASS WHERE THE PRIMARY GOAL IS SOCIALIZATION AND LEARNING TO SIT.

You just know that she'll rampage all over the place in class and not do a damn thing I tell her. It'll be a total embarrassment, and we'll be banned from ever going to future classes. That, or Number One! No middle ground for us!

Long post is long. Thanks for reading, all one of you. ;)