We Mock That Which We Don’t Understand

I’ve another project underway: a novella free-read to be used as a sample of my ebook files. Sounds easy for a writer, doesn’t it?

Sure, except I’ve never written fiction shorter than 75k in my life. How the *&%$ do you people do this?

T-Shirt, gone. Band, happy.

I’ve known some authors who just rock at self promotion. I’ve known others who would rather stick their tongue into a poo-flavored light socket than self-promote. I myself have long been a wallflower in the second camp. I suppose that’s why the source file idea makes so much sense to me: it’s about as behind-the-scenes as it’s possible to get.

Meanwhile, I watch Almost Famous a lot. The last time, a particular scene jumped out at me. If you haven’t seen the film, it’s “a think-piece about a mid-level band, struggling with their own limitations in the harsh face of stardom.” (He’ll wet himself, har har.) After a good show, the band, Stillwater, is back stage flying high, when their manager surprises them with a box of their first t-shirts freshly arrived from the record company.

They’re all stoked until they see the picture on the shirt:  Russell Hammond, the lead guitarist, owns the foreground alone. Everyone else has been shunted into the background, their faces and forms blurred out. This strikes a match to lead singer Jeff Bebe’s always-smoldering jealousy of Russell.

The scene plays out thusly:


Russell Hammond: Can we just skip the vibe, and go straight to us laughing about this?

Jeff Bebe: Yeah, okay.

Russell Hammond: Because I can see by your face you want to get into it.

Jeff Bebe: How can you tell? I’m just one of the out-of-focus guys.

Russell Hammond: Here. Take it. Let’s take a good look at it, all right? See, you love this T-shirt. It lets you say everything you want to say.

Jeff Bebe: Well, it speaks pretty loudly to me.

Russell Hammond: It’s a T-shirt. Do you give a shit about a T-shirt?

Larry (the bassist): I’m just hungry, man. Let’s just go out and find some barbecue or something.

Jeff Bebe: I’m always gonna tell you the truth. From the very beginning, we said I’m the front man, and you’re the guitarist with mystique. That’s the dynamic we agreed on — Page, Plant, Mick, Keith — but somehow it’s all turning around. We have got to control what’s happening! There’s a responsibility here.

Russell Hammond: Excuse me, but didn’t we all get into this to avoid responsibility?

Jeff Bebe: I can’t say any more with the writer here. (Gestures toward William, our hero and POV owner)

Russell Hammond: You can trust him. Say what you want. He won’t write it.

Jeff Bebe: I work as hard, or harder, than anybody on that stage. You know what I do? I connect. I get people off!  I look for the one guy who isn’t getting off…and I make him get off. Actually, that you can print!


The scene, naturally, always makes me think about promotion, since Jeff is such an attention-ho, and they actually designated marketing roles for each other. Then of course I have to try to apply the “guitarist with mystique” tag to promotion styles I’ve seen, and I came up with a list:

The Russell Hammond: the guitarist-with-mystique type (aka the “You might hate me but I’m still very talented, therefore relevant” type)

The Jeff Bebe:  the attention-loving frontman (aka “The D-bag, and when I say D-bag, I might also mean diva” type)

The Paris Hilton: the Oops-everyone-accidentally-on-purpose-look-at-me type

The Rush Limbaugh: the agenda-laden shock-jock type

The ObiWon Kenobi: the talk-softly-carry-big-stick type

The Martha Stewart: the militant-self-promoter type

The Kanye West: the public-train-wreck type (followed naturally by…)

The Taylor Swift: the all-honey-no-vinegar type

This could go on a while; it’s fun, and bears examining, I think. Would adding “style” to a plan make it any easier for us don’t-go-into-the-light types?





I Gnaw, Right?

I feel all sorts of vindicated now.

See, Mel? I’m not the only one.

Hot Christmas Item


Things To Do In MN When You’re Not Dead

Okay, so after a not-long-enough sabbatical from all things writing/editing/interwebs related, I’m back briefly to report in.

ISSUE: Bored and Boringability

I’m not bored, really, though I’m starting to get there. Much has gone on at home to keep me away from interwebby things, which is good, because every time I go near Google Reader and see the mountain of queued TeleRead messages, that old keep-up-with-the-technology stress kicks in, hardcore.

We won’t even talk about the number of unread email messages I have right now, either — I’m wading through them as I can, but I’m slow.

Meanwhile, I’ve done a lot of thinking (and a lot of sleeping). Some long-term goals have been set, and some short-term ones. I’ve a project in the works that I won’t talk about because I’m not 100% sold on the idea yet. It’s a bit different than what I’m used to doing. There’s a need for it, though, so we’ll see what happens.

Otherwise, I’ve not much else to report.  I’ve got boringability covered. =)

Dangit, Hulu

One of life’s little mysteries… Why does this make me laugh my head off, even after I’ve seen it 40 times?


Remember that whole thing a couple weeks ago about the pickled rhinocerous snot? Well, late last week, that flu’s big brother arrived, seeking revenge. We lost the fight in a most spectacular fashion. I’m still not 100% yet and trying to get caught back up, so the blog got put on the backburner (again).

In other news, I was feeling nostalgic and had to necro this one…

I’m Not Dead

Really, I’m not. 

I did, however, make a dreadful mistake on Easter. I actually uttered the words, “No one’s had that horrid flu at our house yet.”

You can guess the rest, and I refuse to post when I feel like pickled rhinocerous snot. If I can’t come up with a topic better than “Why naps should be mandatory,” I figure it’s time to seize yet another opportunity to shut up. 

In other news, yesterday I had one of those days when I was so desperate to get things done that I actually disconnected from our router network to block all distractions, and I got so much done I scared myself. (Editors, I’m sorry for the current state of your inboxes. If you have to throw stuff at me, at least throw like a girl.)

Otherwise, there’s not much else to report. Just editing, editing, production, editing, with a few time outs to fail Battery on RB2 drums. God, I hate that song. It’s the only thing standing between me and the endless set list. (dejected sigh) I could pass it if I scaled it back to medium, but I refuse.

Actually, that just gave me a book idea. It opens with our heroine walking up to a famous drummer and bonking him upside the head with a plastic kick pedal.

I like it.

Proof of Life



Worst Blogger of the Year Award

Worst Blogger of the Year Award


I felt like giving myself a little reward today, and here it is! Isn’t it made of teh awesome?

I’d like to thank my kids, for having so much homework. I’d also like to thank the production system overhaul for frying my braincell and making me everything I am today.

Then there’s the need for sleep. It’s really the best friend a girl ever had in Suckland. Somebody get me a tissue.

And of course, I’d be nowhere without line edits. Without you, I’d be blogging all the time.

I know I’m forgetting somet—Hey! Stop the orchestra. I’m not done yet.

OH! Documentation! You are my everything. Even though TMZ caught you snogging a blurb while I was off in Canada adopting starving submissions, I love you, man. This is for you. Have your attorney call my attorney cuz I don’t think this was covered in our prenup.

Oh my God! They think I suck! They really think I suck!



Okay, so maybe I’m overtired, but every now and again, a little sarcasm is food for the soul.

Have a good weekend, everybody.

Chuckle At Own Risk

New rule:

The words chuckle, grin and nod (or any conjugation thereof) may not be used more than once per book. Less than once, if possible.

Why, you ask? Well, writers, please open your ms file and use the find feature to show how many times you’ve used those words. Add them up to get the actual number, and insert your total into either of the following sentences:

I’ve just flushed ______ chances for characterization straight down the toilet.

I’ve just given an editor ______ reasons to reject my submission.

I could go on to explain that this is a chronic and widespread epidemic, about how stage directions cause global warming, and how garbage tags are for pussies…but I won’t.

Just please abide by the new rule, and editors everywhere will thank you.