I’ve moved!

Please check out my new blog on my website. All of the content from here is over there now, including the comments and pages and everything. Huh. Can you tell I’ve been procrastinating on that whole La-No thang? :)

This is getting to be a theme around here…

Ok, what is up with the Toronto boys on Rockstar? Last year, JD Fortune was all, I’m here to win it, I’m the best, suck it. And ok, he ended up being the best, and he does rock the shizznit out of INXS’s music, but his attitude did not endear him to me in the beginning. And now, this year, Lukas Rossi, another Toronto boy, is all, I’m here to win it, I’m the best, suck it, all starting shit and making enemies with the other contestants.

That’s not how we raise them in these parts. Stop giving us a bad name.

People behaving badly

The Internet surprises me sometimes. Why is it because we only see a computer screen when we communicate online that we think it gives us permission to act like an ass?

I was really quite shocked to see a post by an author whose books I quite enjoy about how she is being treated in the blogosphere, merely for voicing her opinion. Disagreeing with a person is one thing, but to go on and call her names like bitch and c**t is unacceptable, in my eyes. As a human being (whether she’s a published author or not) would you say things like this to her face? I seriously doubt it. And I don’t really get this whole “well, she’s not nice to me online, so I’m not gonna buy her books.” crap. When I read, I look for an enjoyable, well-written story. I have a few tried and true favourites I read no matter what, and quite frankly, it’s never occurred to me to judge how they behave online to determine whether I’m going to like their book or not. I think the only exception to that would be an author who was posting actual hate messages based on race or religion or was actively scamming readers. But past that? Ppffft. I got better things in life to worry about.

And, yeah, I’ve been in the middle of a few issues myself, where I finally just walked away from the computer to keep from being a little brat and sinking to this level… like my whole lawsuit issue from a month ago. Yes, I could have pointed you all to this author’s website where she has spelling mistakes on the page she’s trying to market herself as an editor, or told you that her book was one of the worst I’ve ever read, and I was only promoting it because of my involvement in it (true or not), but what good would have come of it? It’s my own conscience I have to live with at the end of the day.

So, it upsets me when people get bent out of shape when I honestly try and help. There’s a forum I frequent daily. On it, an author promotes herself as a grammar professor. Only, she’s giving out incorrect information. And THAT pisses me off. But everytime I try and correct her, not saying, hey, you’re wrong, but actually giving citations from style guides and dictionaries, she gets all bent out of shape basically saying that I don’t know what I’m talking about and she doesn’t care. Well. Ok. Fine, don’t care, but if your whole justification is because “SpellChecker” doesn’t catch it? Uh. yeah, there’s a reliable source. I mean, I blame the entire advertising industry for the rampant misuse of the apostrophe, and I’ve seen countless books that misuse of that/which/who, so to say that one copy editor in one publishing house must be right? Yeah, I’d still rather go to the style guides. (which, actually, was my advice.) And, sure I could have been snarky, but what purpose would it serve? I posted the rule. Let other people make the decision for themselves. I don’t see the point in weakening my comments with nasty talk.

Please don’t get me wrong, I can be a bitch with the best of them. Hell, I grew up with three sisters. :) But I try and keep my behaviour online the same as if I were saying these things in person. Because, when you say them, you may not see anything but a computer screen, but there’s still a human being on the other end of that computer screen.

La-No-Wri-Mo Day 4

So, I’ve learned a few things.

1. I don’t like people to know I’m writing. I especially have a hard time writing in front of anyone… like Mr. Pink. I *should* be able to pull out the laptop and write away while he’s watching sports (doesn’t matter which one, so long as there’s grown men fighting over a ball or a puck.) Yet, I can’t. It could have something to do with the fact that I know at any given moment a giant head can descend, blocking my view of the screen and getting a little motorboat action. (You did read the post where I said I’m 12, right? :) ) But really, I just have trouble talking about what I’m doing. It’s like writing is something I have to do in secret, then, when I’m done, sneak out and go “Hey! Look what I did.” Yes, I’m wierd. Deal with it.

2. I have way too much shit I should be doing instead of this La-No. Wayyy too much.

3. I don’t care. I want to finish this book.

So, I’m gonna try and give updates, but it doesn’t look likely. I will however keep the word-count meter current, so feel free to keep an eye on that.

And just pretend I’m not writing. I’ll surprise you at the end.

The IT industry is full of twelve-year-olds

Throughout my career, I’ve edited in all sorts of industries, from tax information to legal manuals to retail flyers to BDSM stories. Right now, I work in telecommunications, and as I’m working on today’s assignment, I keep finding myself giggling at some of the words being used. Mostly, I think, because in an instructional manual, you don’t expect to see words like dongle, plenum, and smurf. I’m convinced that only a twelve-year-old would come up with words like these. And, since I’m 12 too, I giggle.

Heck, at least it’s keeping me interested in what I’m reading… There’s not a whole lot of other excitement in directions on how to install a server. Really.

 And yes, I need a La-No update. Will be posting one later today. With a word counter so y’all can point and laugh.

A La-No-Wri-Mo Chant

I allow myself to write crap*.

Ohm.

I allow myself to write crap*.

Ohm.

I allow myself to write crap*.

Ohm

* Crap that is poorly spelled with bad grammar. I can fix it later. (snicker. yeah, right.)

La-No-Wri-Mo Starts Today

I know I’ve been talking about it, but whether it was actually gonna happen was a whole other story. But today is the day I’d planned on starting La-No-Wri-Mo (Lara’s Novel Writing Month). And, today is the day I found a jump drive that had been missing for many months that has the first chapter and some sketched out dialogue bits and a synopsis of Losin’ It, which is the story I’d planned on working on for this La-No-Wri-Mo…. It’s a sign.

Now, Losin’ It has evolved considerably since I first saved it to the elusive jump drive… for one, I’m gonna switch it from third to first person. For two, my hero has gone through some serious character changes. And for three.. I’m determined to actually finish it this time.

So, I think a chick-lit, which is what Losin’ It is about to become, is at least 80K. Don’t know that I’d be able to write 80K in one month, so my target is a rough first draft of about 50K, which works out to 6 pages a day, every day for the next month.

Can I do it? Well, we’ll see. I’m gonna publically humiliate myself here and post my daily totals. Feel free to bitch me out if I’m don’t or I’m not succeeding. Maybe public flogging is exactly what I need. *grin*

Wanna join me? Post your daily totals in here too… If there’s enough of us, maybe I’ll start a yahoogroup or something.

Ok. *deep breath* here goes.

Sometimes you gotta think things through

So it was pointed out by several people that I’ve been very bad at posting to this blog (and we’ll completely pretend I don’t have another blog where I never remember to post)…. So I’m trying to improve that.

I live in a townhouse development, and, I’ll be honest, not one of your more upscale ones. For some reason  I have never figured out, our condo corporation has chosen to hire a property management company. Which is fine. In fact, I think that’s a great idea. Only, the company that we are currently with… Sucks. A lot. I’ve called with an emergency, and was told I had to wait until business hours (er, 11 a.m. when our contact rolled into work) to get a response. That did a lot of the leak in my roof in the middle of a rainstorm, let me tell you. I’ve been yelled at by our contact, and by the receptionist when she screwed up and I tried to explain what I needed. And I’ve had to mediate between the company and a utility company, because our contact didn’t seem to want to do his job.

But the latest incident in my ongoing saga has to be my favourite. We have a central area for garbage and recycling. Which is handy, because I don’t have to wait for a specific day to take out my trash. But, let’s face it… it’s our garbage. It looks…like garbage. And, in the summer of spring cleaning and garage sales, people have a lot of old furniture and other assorted crap that they throw out. And they’re throwing it on the lawn of our garbage area.

Someone got the great idea to hide this garbage area with a fence. Which, sure, it hides the garbage, and makes our development look less… trashy. (Hmm. here’s a thought. maybe the garbage area shouldn’t be at the entrance to our development. Just saying.)

But, this fence keeps the garbagemen from actually GETTING to the trash. So, the same broken appliances and furniture have been sitting there for a month waiting to be picked up. And, hell, if I were a garbagegirl, I wouldn’t want to climb a fence (albeit a three-foot tall one) just to do my job. It’s hard enough as it is, without adding fence climbing to the mix.

I stand on my balcony and laugh every Thursday when the garbage collection comes and goes, and yet, our garbage remains.

Someone tell me again why we pay this company to work for us?

Angels all full of attitude

I’m generally a fast reader… tho it really depends on the book. Some books, I am just not that impressed with, so I read fairly quickly to find out how it ends and be out of that author’s world. Others, and my favourite kind, are the ones where the author has basically picked me up by the collar, yanked me into her book and held me captive for as long as I live there. And much though I’d like to stay and settle in and get comfy, I find it hard to linger, and speed to the end because I. Must. Know. What. Happens. These are usually the books that hang out on my bookshelf until I’ve forgotten enough that I can revisit the world and settle in again. :)

Michelle Rowen’s Angel with Attitude was definitely the second kind of book. I’d show you a pretty picture of the cover, but I can’t figure out how to post pictures in here, so go to Michelle’s website and look at it there…

Michelle sent me a sneak preview of the book, and within hours, I had it read from cover to cover….er, well, pretend there were covers, since it was an electronic version. *grin* And then I got the inevitable disappointment that I couldn’t stay and live with Valerie and Nathaniel a while longer… and Lloyd. I loved Lloyd.

I don’t want to give too much away, but think fallen angels, tempter demons, talking rats and vengeful witches… and Niagara Falls… the Canadian side. :)  What I liked most is Michelle does something that I’m finding very few paranormal writers can do well… write funny at the same time. Because there’s always lots of funny in blood-sucking vampires and descents into Hell. No, really. :)  (Tho, is it odd that the ones who are good at that all seem to be from Southern Ontario? Must be something in our water.)

And, I’m happy to say that all of the Toyota Echos made it safely home this time.  I’m glad. Cuz my Toyota Echo was a little worried.

Really, tho, if you’re looking for this summer’s hot read, go pick up Angel with Attitude. I mean it. Go now. 

The Weasels are Gonna Get Ya…

Funny, it sounded so much prettier when Gloria Estefan sang it.

 Yesterday was full of revelations. I was more than a little bothered by the negative response to the opening scene of my current WIP… Normally, my response to this kind of feedback is to give up. Pathetic of me, I know, but there you go. I leave it for a while until the call becomes too overwhelming, go back, try again, then find another excuse to quit. It's a giant vicious circle.

But I got to thinking…I'm a self-admitted anal perfectionist control freak. It makes me a darn good editor, but doesn't do too much for my letting myself go and just writing a rough draft. And it's these high expectations, this perfectionist behaviour that demands a publishable quality from my writing at first draft. And it is ridiculous for me to expect that…from anyone… including myself. So what if people had problems with my first draft? Does that mean I can't fix it? Does it mean I can't make it better? No… so what the hell? 

Then I started looking at what I'm writing. The best feedback I've received was for my chick-lit stuff. (Although, I'm still trying to figure out how a poser-wannabe vampire somehow made that a paranormal, but whatever. :) ) So why do I keep pushing myself into writing something that I'm not as strong in? Why not let myself write the way my voice wants to write, in the story my head wants to write? 

Part of that is the market, but part of it is my own self-doubts, my own weasels who tell me I'll never be able to write a world that will completely transport my readers the way my favourites do. But how will I know unless I try?

  So I'm off to find weasel traps. Maybe if I can catch the little suckers and get them the heck outta here, I'll be on a better track.

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