Welcome to the first annual MM Memorial Day Scavenger Hunt! 10 Days, 30 Blogs, and loads of prizes! The rules are simple: At each stop on the tour you'll find a military themed picture with a word or words. Collect the words and figure out the secret phrase (HINT: It's lyrics to a song). Once you think you have the correct phrase, enter it into the Rafflecopter at any of the stops.
One grand prize winner will be selected from all the correct phrases. Use the other Rafflecopter options to enter to win one of the runner-up packages.
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!
Our stop's phrase is: NothingGrand Prize ($45 GC total)
-Kindle Paperwhite (VWF)
-$25 GC (Jessie G)
-$20 GC (Sara York)
-2 ebooks (Jessie G & BFD)
-Bad Boyfriends series ebooks & print (3 books) from Nya Rawlins
1st Place ($35 GC total)
-$25 GC (Nya Rawlins)
-$10 GC (Sloan Johnson)
-CTR & backlist ebooks from Kade Boehme
-Unicorns & Hidden Gem ebooks from Lissa Kasey
-Winner's ebook of choice from MMGoodbookreviews
-Adventures of Cole & Perry ebook from Amanda C. Stone
2nd Place ($30 GC total)
-$20 GC (Aria Grace)
-$10 ARE GC (Prism Book Alliance)
-Love at First Site ebook from Cardeno C.
-Trouble Comes in Threes ebook from M.A. Church
-Winner's choice of Felice Stevens ebook
3rd Place ($20 GC total)
-$10 Amazon GC (READing is FUN Da Mental)
-$10 GC (Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy)
-backlist ebook from Annabeth Albert
-Winner's choice of Aria Grace ebook
-Winner's choice of Andrew Grey ebook
4th Place ($20 GC total)
-$10 GC (Felice Stevens)
-$10 Amazon GC (Amy Lane)
-Undercover Love series ebooks (2 books) from Brendan Cothern
-Winner's choice of Susan MacNicol ebook
-Winner's choice of Lexi Ander ebook
5th Place ($20 GC total)
-$10 Amazon GC (BFD)
-$10 GC (Lexi Ander)
-Winner's choice of Kindle Alexander ebook
-Winner's choice of Susan MacNicol ebook
-Winner's choice of backlist ebook from Cate Ashwood
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Squish went back to school today, where she thrilled everybody with the voice of a 60 year old chain-smoking truck driver, and I actually tried to work out. By the way? You can't cough too hard when you're doing deep water jumping jacks. Ask me how I know.
Either way, we sort of had to get out of the house because THIS was going on outside, and the power went out around 8:15 and didn't come back on until about 2:30. (For those of you worried about all of the ice cream I bought yesterday--AS I WAS-- it is soft but still sound. I scrupulously didn't open the freezer once the power went down, and felt like seven kinds of fool for shopping yesterday in the first place. *headdesk*)
The power is back on now (huzzah!) and I can do interwebs again. And btw? I was heartily embarrassed to realize that while my computer may for quite a while on battery, the ROUTER on the other hand runs on electricity. You do not want to know how long I sat hitting "refresh" and wondering why Interwebs not go. *headdesk headdesk headdesk*
However, I did continue to write on battery before going to drown myself, and the best part of that is, these guys on the phone pole provided some serious entertainment talking about their love life.
"Well, I don't think she understands me."
"Does she understand your…heh heh heh heh…"
"Yeah, but we don't want to do any of the same things. You know go bowling.. You can only do so much heh heh heh heh…"
*mass chorus of "heh heh heh heh" as several men imagine sex at the same time*
I'm thinking, "You guys know that at least two of you are thinking of doing each other, right? I mean, there's twenty of you--odds are good!"
Fortunately I did not shout this out my window, because they were all being nice to me and I did not want a telephone pole dropped on my head. Heh heh heh heh heh.
Okay-- so in the excitement about Immortal (which I still love!) and the hustle about RT, and then, hello, the frickin' plague, I haven't mentioned this book in a while.
But it's out in less than three weeks…
And it's… uhm…
Well, everybody remember Nascha? And people couldn't figure out what Nascha was doing in Lights, Camera, Cupid, the anthology from Bluewater Bay?
Well this book is the reason that story was in there.
And here we get to see Nascha from the perspective of Cal, his great-nephew, who really loves him. And he needs that adorkable kid on the cover like he needs his next breath--and another fish like he needs a hole in the head.
going out today, Calladh?” Uncle Nascha sounded surprised. He’d slept in the
battered corduroy recliner the night before, and the corduroy wrinkles obscured
his face so much Cal hadn’t seen his eyes were open in the dark of the living room.
just come in from the boat dock to grab his forgotten lunch, and he didn’t
state the obvious: he was wearing his hip-waders and old slicker, and it was
five o’clock on a misty, freezing morning in February. There was nowhere to go but out.
Nascha—if I can catch enough freshwater cod, the chef at the Global’ll buy ’em
from me.” Nascha knew this. Cal worked two jobs—one was as a busboy at the
Global Restaurant and Casino and the other was his own independent fishing
business. Between the two of them, he could just barely afford the payments on Nascha’s ramshackle
beachfront house, and someone to come look after Nascha and Keir.
brother will miss you when you’re gone.”
closed his eyes. “I know, Nascha. But you need to make him take his pills
anyway.” Keir didn’t listen to Nascha quite like
he listened to Cal, but Cal couldn’t help that.Cal had set the meds out in the little weekly plastic thing,
the white for day and the black one for night. God, he hoped he’d got it right.
Adderall, risperdone, Cymbalta—ADHD, Aspergers, anxiety, OCD, possible bi-polar—it
was a powerful cocktail, and they’d gone through . . . hell, vehicles,
teachers, sheriffs, and half the kitchen to get it right. Keir was prone to
hitting things with rocks and fire when he was anxious or upset. Nascha used to
be able to deal with him, but Nascha had his own drug cocktail now, Exelon
ranking high on the list. Nascha didn’t always remember that Keir needed his medicine—morning
and evening cocktails—without Cal or
a caregiver around. He also didn’t remember to turn off the stove or take the
bread out of the toaster or to keep Keir inside the house.
he didn’t remember that Keir was no longer a little boy running down the street
screaming in a voice that would shatter glass. Keir was twenty now, with a
powerful body and a fondness for all of Cal’s fishing knives (which Cal kept
locked in the safe out by the boat), and a disturbing habit of tracking the girls
in their neighborhood.
“Cherry’s rounding the corner, yellow
dress, shows her ass when she bends over. Stop yelling, Cherry. Stop yelling,
it leads to hitting.”
fixation on girls wasn’t limited to the extremely young, but what was Cal
supposed to do? He’d told the doctor who dispensed the meds, but his only response had been to up Keir’s
knew—just knew—that his parents would
have been able to deal with Keir. His mother and father had been so capable, had such pure hearts and such
practical joy in dealing with their fractious, damaged son. But they’d gone for
a drive after heavy rains six years ago, and their battered pickup had been
washed off the side of a mountain in a mudslide.
dreams of college, of playing sports, of meeting a boy the way his mother had
met his father—all of that had gone washing down the mountain too. At barely
eighteen, he’d been left in charge of keeping things together, and part of that
was making sure Keir had his medication, and Uncle Nascha got his too. And living with that gnawing worry, every day,
from dawn until dusk, past dusk until he was just too tired to see anymore
“I don’t mean go out to work,” Nascha
said, snapping Cal back to the present through eyes gritty with lack of sleep. “I
mean go out tonight. It’s Valentine’s Day this week, Cal—don’t you have a
school dance to go to?”
So Cal was in high school now. He understood.
Nascha—no dances for Cal. Cal doesn’t go to dances, remember?” Cal doesn’t go
to dances because Cal doesn’t really like girls, he thought ironically. Yet one
more thing he hadn’t been able to talk to his parents about since their car had
gone tumbling down into the river.
was on the reservation,” Nascha said, his voice ironic too as they spoke of Cal
in the third person, “Cal could dance with the two-spirit children, and nobody
would think the less of him.”
sure, it always sounded like Mecca
when Nascha talked about the reservation, but Nascha had left when he’d been
not much older than Cal. Cal understood that Indian Gaming had improved things
somewhat on the reservation—but that didn’t mean he was a fan of all the
changes it brought about in the non-reservation
parts of the state.
just want to be left the fuck alone,” Cal snarled, feeling bad even as he did. Nascha
and Keir were hisfamily—his only family. He couldn’t afford to piss them off, because they were
all stuck in this tiny house together, and they were all each other had.
lie in bed awake sometimes, exhausted and aching because he
you just need to go dance,” Nascha said calmly, not taking offense. Just like
when Cal had been a fractious kid, losing patience with Keir because he’d been
fixating on the same damned cartoon for weeks,
Nascha had never lost his keel.
that about him. It was why, in spite of his increasing anxiety over leaving
Nascha alone with Keir, he couldn’t bring himself to put Nascha in a home
But God, he
I’ll let you know if a dance opens up for me,” he muttered, swallowing against
the tightness in his throat.
Nascha spoke sharply, and the long ingrained habit of responding to his elders
with respect crackled through Cal’s bones, snapping his spine erect and
widening his eyes.
Great Uncle.” His hip boots were clean, thank God, so he could walk across the
worn brown carpet and into the living room. The old television—36”, but
pre-flat screen, so it took up about a third of the space in the small room—was
set low, but a parade of Viagra commercials and spoiled rich women reflected
off Nascha’s face, even as he turned his attention to Cal.
listen to me. I know sometimes I forget—sometimes your mother is still alive,
and your father, bless their hearts. Sometimes you and Keir are boys and your
family is staying with me and I am so happy. But when I remember, I see what
time has made of you, and you are old before your time.”
Oh. This was the Uncle Nascha Cal had loved as
a child. The Uncle Nascha who had been young at heart, and kind, and who had
offered patience and peanut-butter-and-honey sandwiches and native stories
about the gods who fought each other while the people watched, leaving behind
mountains in their wake. The Uncle Nascha who would wander away when his
parents were having money troubles, and come back in a few days, smelling of
cigars and whiskey, with more cash than should be legal in this world.
kneeled in front of his great uncle’s chair. “It’s not so bad,” he said
roughly, thinking that it wasn’t anything, any sacrifice at all, as long as
Nascha could be like this, be the elder and the confidant and the grown-up all
should sell this house, Cal,” Nascha said, and his voice warbled, became
fractious. “The reservation would pay money for it, set up a casino and a
marina—you could make enough money to put me in a home, to take care of your
brother. You could go out and live your life.”
a deep breath, and then another, willing his face to stay stoic, willing his
eyes not to burn. “But what is my life without my family?” he asked, trying
hard to smile.
sighed. “Is that what I say to you when I can’t remember?”
“It’s what I know to be true,” Cal said, finding his feet again, remembering
who really was the grownup. He bent and kissed his uncle’s forehead, hating
himself for the brief moment of hope. “Dottie will be here at eight. She’ll
feed you both. I’ll try to get her to remember the medicine.”
was in her sixties—which was good because it made her exempt from Keir’s
pathological hatred—but she was also apparently from a time when healthy men didn’t
rely on pills to keep them tethered to the earth. She was good at keeping them
fed, at reminding Uncle Nascha he needed to use the john, at getting him out to
walk around the neighborhood, and at not taking Keir’s shit—but she was just as
likely to “forget” the meds and pretend they had no use at all. Those were the
days Cal came home to find Keir banging his hand against the wall until it
bruised and Nascha in tears because he didn’t know who the crazy man in the
living room was.
really better for all involved if Nascha, when he was bright and alert in the
mornings, could remember the medication for
both of them.
Nascha called to his retreating back, and Cal couldn’t take it anymore.
“What?” he demanded, losing control of
his voice and his composure. “But make it quick, old man, because my fish today
are buying our groceries, and right now there’s only about enough spaghetti
left for lunch.”
look of hurt followed Cal out the garage door and into the dory rocking gently
on the waters inside.
people kept their cars in a garage—but Cal’s battered blue Ford F-150 was
parked in front of the mossy lawn of the house itself. His parents had been
driving the same kind of vehicle when they’d fallen down the mountain, but Cal
had long since gotten over his fear. The truck had been cheap, and it ran, and
it was one of three reliable things in Cal’s life since that rainy April when
half the mountain had slid away and carried most of Cal’s hopes with it.
of Cal’s hopes—and his father’s only dream—sat in the little docking bay
attached to the house. The covered bay protected much of the twenty-foot dory,
and Cal hopped in with the ease of someone who had been steering such a vessel for most of his
end of the dory was flattened, to make the outboard motor effective and keep it
going where Cal pointed it, and Cal handled the craft expertly—and with great wariness.
the quiet waters of the sound, the unexpected could turn deadly. Given that
Cal’s parents had been killed by a simple drive through the San Juans, Cal made
that truism his mantra.
He navigated the boat
steadily through the mist, grateful for his tightly woven wool sweater. It had been his father’s,
purchased from one of the reservations in Alaska, and something about the small-gauged knitting of
the high-loft wool made the zip-up sweater almost waterproof—and blessedly,
things old school—he wasn’t a fan of the casinos or the tourists or the television
show, no matter how good those things were for the town. He really didn’t like all of the strange
people mucking about in the
pure vistas he’d grown up in. The way he fished reflected that. He didn’t have
a fish-finder or sonar—just himself, and his nets and his little boat.
fishing territory his father had unerringly staked out, year after year. Just
his. Cal knew the landmarks, the distance from his home shore, the line of
sight to the Canadian shore, the dimensions of the rugged slopes of Mt. Olympus
in the distance—Call knew the relation of all these things to the waters his
father fished, and he knew that within these boundaries, there would,
murmured a prayer to whatever gods his uncle prayed to—Musp the transformer,
Bluejay the trickster, and whoever else might be listening—and cast his net. Count,
breathe, putter through the black water and the mist until the cinch at the top
began to close, and stop, allowing the boat to drift while he stood, minding
the way the dory would feel like it was tipping over before it recovered.
using a smaller net, he culled the fish, throwing out the salmon, because it
wasn’t their season, and the hake because they were threatened, and hoping for
cod or rockfish in the seine net.
haul he pulled in a couple of four or five pounders, and these he dumped in the
center of the boat, knowing the dory was made to hold nearly a ton, and that
odds were good he’d never fill it with that much fish in a day.
was making a good haul, sorting carefully, his fingers and arms aching with the
work. It was good work, a part of him thought. Honest work. Somehow, when he
was out on the sound, he never found himself wondering about the scholarships
he hadn’t taken or the places he’d never seen. Somehow, on the bay, it was
cull, haul, dump--back breaking and soothing, his day continued, until he
thought he had time for two, maybe three more tries. He was just pulling the net tight, the better to cull the purse
seine, when he felt it. A force—a terrific, muscular pull, lunging from the side of the boat. The net distorted and the
dory leaned dangerously to the port side, and Cal cast about with the culling net, trying to fight
off whatever had the seine.
Something huge—gigantic, too big to be
in the sound, something that should have been in the open ocean—thrashed underneath his net,
knocking it out of his hand. Oh fuck—he floundered, draped half over the side of the dory,
trying not to lose a piece of equipment he couldn’t afford to replace.
By luck, the culling net had gotten
hung up on the purse seine, and he snagged it, pulling the seine close to him
and ignoring the perilous tip of the boat. The waters out here were freezing,
deep, and unforgiving. If he went so far as to tip over the dory, the odds of
getting it upright with him in it before he froze to death were sad and thin.
He fumbled with the net, trying to open the seine to
set free whatever leviathan he’d accidentally caught, andfound that it had cinched too
tight to open, and the weight on the transom was making the bolts creak
with the strain.
Holy fucking hell. He had to catch this
fucking fish or it would kill him.
He tossed the culling net aside,
grasped the seine net in both hands, braced his feet against the side of the
dory, and hauled.
His back, chest, shoulder muscles
popped with the strain, and still that thing fought trying desperately to
escape, trying desperately to live.
Pant by groan, Cal hauled one hand over
the other until most of the net was in the boat and the monster’s struggles
echoed against the outside of the dory, banging a hollow, pounding tattoo
across the rolling waters of the sound.
It made a sudden, frenzied resurgence,
and Cal screamed, grabbing the fishing gaff, bunching his body to spear this
fucker, still it, make it just fucking
He wrapped the net around his forearm
for stability and leaned over the side of the boat.
Oh holy God. It was huge, ugly, a
primal vertebrate, a ridge of bone on either side of its body, and a sharp, pronglike
snout—it must have been seven feet long, and oh, fuck.
The matte scales were unmistakably
no. Not one of those. I can’t sell that!
He went to drop the gaff so he could
grab the knife and cut the thing free, but it gave a seismic convulsion,
dragging him up and almost over the side of the boat. For a moment he dangled,
watching the fish submerge again, and behind him, he heard a bolt popping as
the transom threatened to burst.
It was tearing his fucking boat apart.
Helplessly, he hauled back on the net
and hurled the gaff at thethrashingsturgeon, stunning it. The gaff stayed
stuck in the creature’s skull, and he was reaching into his pocket for his
knife, thinking it was best just to cut his net and cut his losses, when the
fish gave another titanic heave.
Cal was forced to grab the net with
both hands again. The damned thing could still pull him over, even with a gaff
in its head.
For a few moments all he heard was his
own tortured breathing and the echoes of the giant green sturgeon pounding against
the boat. With a groan, deep from his stomach, clenching every formidable
muscle in his body, Cal hauled the fish over the side.
It wasn’t dead yet—in fact it threw
itself around some more, the rough scales on the top of its body ripping
through Cal’s waders and through a sizeable bit of flesh on his shin as well.
Cal’s scream and kick to the thing’s
head had less to do with survival and more to do with anger and pain, but it
wouldn’t have mattered. There was no way—not for one man—to free the fish from
the net and keep the boat from capsizing. As it was, Cal finally had a chance
to reach for the six-inch serrated fishing knife in his pocket. He unfolded the
knife and hurled it with deadly accuracy, splitting the fish between the eyes
and cleaving its prehistoric brain in two.
It continued to convulse in weakening cycles, and Cal stood
over it, panting, until it finally played itself out.
Oh hell. This thing probably outweighed
Who in the fuck was going to eat this giant fucking illegal
So much I needed to do, so much I needed to do, and I was lucky if I could focus on a movie in front of me. If I was really on my game, I could knit and focus on the movie in front of me. Holy bats, crapman, I haven't been that sick in a long time.
This morning, I was determined to feel better. I was going to be a productive citizen, come out, do my job (and I've got a LOT of shit piled up on my old computer) and get shit done.
Mate heard me stumbling out of bed, after having spent part of another night sitting up in the living room chair so I wouldn't cough myself to death, and turned on In & Out. Now yes, as a gay romance writer, I am aware of all they got wrong back in 1997 when that movie was made, but as someone who was so happy to see gay representation in the media back in 1997, I am also aware of how much I adore that frickin' movie.
It was all about being happy with who you were. There was nothing wrong with any of them. They were all okay.
So that movie makes me happy, and the kiss between Tom Selleck and Kevin Kline is still unbelievably hot (it really was!) as was Tom Selleck's affectionate delivery.
"Oh my God-- you are pure television!"
"Stop it," Tom says modestly, with just a hint of swish. But we can tell he's pleased.
My heart melts.
And in addition to In & Out, this weekend I saw Mad Max: Fury Road, Tomorrowland, The Edge of Tomorrow (a favorite), three episodes of Daredevil, two episodes of Supernatural, and three back episodes of The Flash, Rambo II, War Games, and the final quarter of the playoffs between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta.
I also read three old ghost stories-- one by Oscar Wilde and one by Edith Wharton (from a collection by Edith Wharton) and made some more headway on Rebecca.
And I even managed to knit.
So yeah-- not the most productive weekend, to tell the truth. But given that my coughing muscles are sort of screaming in agony if I so much as laugh, I'm going to cut my body a break and be grateful.
I am grateful that I feel better, that my Mate helped take care of me, and that my parents took my children somewhere so they didn't have to be closed up in our dusty old house all weekend. I am also grateful for green goop, because once again my parents tried to cook one of my redheaded children like chicken, and I am forever and eternally grateful for movies.
So is the cooked redhead--that's how she escaped the pain, with the help of the green goop, after she got home.
If you've been following me on Twitter/FB you probably know I've got con-chitis or con crud or the motherfuckin' plague. (No, Amy-- tell us how you really feel.)
I've ingested so much cold medicine at this point I've got stomach cramps. Which means A. I'm getting old, and B. Since I'm using less than the recommended dose of both kinds of medicine, I'm probably really sick.
Mate and I had a rather academic conversation about what drove me over the edge here--was it going to swim on Wednesday or taking ZB in for his T-Dap and his new Concerta prescription on Thursday. He's rooting for "Mom was doing too much too soon" and I'm rooting for "A pediatric medical practice makes a hotel in Dallas look like a recently bleached stainless steel sink in terms of germ mutation." Both of us decided it didn't matter. What mattered was that if I have another night like last night (wherein I slept sitting up in the living room while coughing so much that band of muscles around my ribs ache whenever breathe deeply, which I still can't do without coughing) I'm going to the doctors, which, if you know me, you know this is like my action of last resort. Some people are like, "Oh, a hangnail, I'm going to the doctor!" I'm like, "I can dump bactine on that and I'm not bleeding that badly." Four years ago, I fell down and probably gave my wrist a hairline fracture, and I just put up with that fucker in the pool for the next six months. Doctor? I don't need no stinking doctor.
Unless, well, you know.
I can't breathe anymore. Then I might call a doctor.
So anyway, when my mom called to take ZB and Squish out on a healthy jaunt to the lake, I was all for it. All we were going to do was take in a movie, and seriously. They didn't need to see Fury Road anyway. (I'm glad we didn't take them to see it. They're gonna grow up to be little psychopaths anyway.) But I needed to see Fury Road because AWESOME.
On the way to the movie theater, as Mate and I were debating whether I was well enough to go see it (because nobody likes to hack through a movie like a plague dog, right?) I realized I was having the following conversation in my head:
"You're not sick!"
"You're not dying! You just can't think of anything better to do. Now man up, take an aspirin, and come over here and pick me up!"
Yeah. Ferris Buehler, you're my hero. You got me out of the house and into the movie theater (where cold medicine B lasted just long enough to keep me from hacking up a lung during the movie!) And you kept me from lying on the bed instead of working, eyes open and glassy like a dead fish, wondering when my lungs were gonna stop working.
Cause nobody needs that, right?
Oh! Watch this space tomorrow-- there's a scavenger hunt that I still need the rules to, and I need to figure out wtf I'm doing. I may want to wait between cold medicines, because right now, it's pretty baffling.
Hopefully by tomorrow I'll have it figured out. Right now, I just need some ice and some water and some more Cold Medicine B.
Okay-- I pronounce it "me-mes" and my family pronounces it "meemzz" but either way you slice it, they're a fun way to communicate.
In the last couple of weeks, I've seen a few, uhm, ME-memes-- fans, supposed friends, that sort of thing, have made some memes for ME. Add to that a contest (that I still need to judge) in which people tried to amuse me with memes, and my own restless internet feed and, well…
I know what I'm doing when I'm sick.
Enjoy the ME-memes.
I know I did.
This first one was made by Rhae, who answered that age old question, "Where do all the mismatched socks go?"
These next were sent to me by my Italian fans-- bless you all. I love how they saw Deacon and Crick, don't you?
I have NO idea where I found this one-- but I adore it so much. It was on my phone, so if anyone knows the attribution, I'd be happy to post it!
This one was… well, painfully true. And I always loved that witch.
This one was on the contest that I held on FB yesterday (as was the one above, I think) and I just felt so bad for that little pug. Poor little rotter will never get to ride a broom.
I'd like to thank Rhae, my FB buddy for this one...
This one was just… well, also true!
Friend sent me this one. Also true.
Thanks, Mary my Mary. Thanks a lot.
And whoever came up with this one? It's like you live in my kitchen. Get out. Get out now. You're not doing any of the cleaning and I suspect you're eating my cookies.
Now I'm taking two Nyquil and going to bed. Actually, I should probably take two NyQuil while IN bed. That's probably safer. Night!
Big Accomplishment: Working out and having five minutes of lunch with Mate
After School Chore: Taking Squish to dance class. For once, getting there early.
Big surprise: I have a head cold, and could literally sit for hours, knit, and catch up to SPN. (Btw, I'm still a few eps behind. Nobody spoil it for me, kk?)
Most grown-up thing I did: Tell Mate I couldn't go to the concert he's presently attending, because thousands of people is too big for me right now.
Most juvenile thing I did today: bought a Starbuck's sugar cookie and ate the whole thing
Best thing I did professionally: Started back on Winter Ball again.
Worst thing I did professionally: Fought the urge to break into an FB conversation. Someone tagged me (which shows up in my mailbox--it's how I know to go to FB and tell people thank you if they've said something nice) while bagging on me as a writer. Bad. Fucking. Form. I bravely ignored her but the fact that I was tempted to reply means I'm not as grownup as I should be.
REALLY the worst thing I did professionally: Mention the FB tagging thing in public at all. I'm a little sick-- forgive me.
Best thing I did as a parent: Remembered to make my son's appointment for his meds.
Worst thing I did as a parent: Forgot I needed to make his TDAP appointment too.
Most unexpected thing: Friend is having a cancer scare-- did not expect that.
Most expected thing: Noodle night! Hurray for not cooking!
Pleasantest surprise: Reading Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca is reminding me what it was like to read romance as a teenager again. I used to love Mary Stewart and Phyllis A. Whitney-- Rebecca was like their godmother--came first and magically blessed.
Unpleasantest surprise: Just because you dodge out of the way to let an ambulance through does not mean people let you back in. Fuckheads.
Promo I almost forgot: I'm taking over the Keith Milano Facebook Event tomorrow at 1p.m. PST (or 4 p.m. EST) I'll try to have some giveaways (although swag is sort of thin on the ground right now-- all given away for RT!) and something fun to talk about. (Right now I've got the beauty of Sudafed, which I would like to experience.) Look for me HERE at 1 p.m..
Thing I'd like to do before I fall asleep: Write-- it's supposed to be my principle occupation, you know.
* A book signing (*waves*) in which I spoke to one of my idols, but she seemed very shy so I'm gonna sort of keep that private, and a WHOLE LOT of really nice fans!
* The Fantastic Day Party (I may have a headshot from that-- stay tuned!) during which all of my DSP peeps dressed up and looked dreamy and some really tremendous authors all mingled.
* A trip to Ellen's Southern Kitchen for dinner with Rayna, Kate, J.A. Rock, Wade Kelly, and Joyfully Jay (was yummy!)
* A bar conversation with Eloisa James. (Some of you just swooned, don't lie-- she's splendid in person!)
* A bartime conversation with Sandra Lake-- a new author with more chutzpah than you can pack in a suitcase. If you like het historical fantasy, check her out.
* Brunch with Jen, a fan, who apparently talks to strangers even more than I do! I adored her-- ADORED her. She presented me with some Texas Bluebonnet colored Madeleine Tosh-- I was TICKLED. Honestly, Jen reminded me of why I write, why I write people that I think I'd admire, and why I don't take the easy way out sometimes. Sometimes, we need to read about the hard way out-- even adorable happy tremendous fantastic people who bring me yarn need to read that. So Jen, remember that Cory and Quickening are coming.
* And after brunch with Jen we came back to the hotel and I said goodbye to my con buddies-- Rayna Vauss, Tere Michaels, Damon Suede and Kate MacMurray (if you don't think I'm name dropping, you need to go to amazon and see for yourself!) Also caught Christopher Rice and got to say goodbye to him-- it's been a good con for people! (I missed saying goodbye to Andrew Grey though-- :-/)
* In the middle of goodbyes, Elizabeth called me and asked me if I wanted to go shopping and out to dinner with my favorite peoples--Connie, Ariel, Nicki, and Elizabeth herself.
* We had a stunning time. Elizabeth, Ariel, and I got lost at The Yarn Fairy, and when we found ourselves, we all had the same yarn (in different colors) for a lovely stole, simply made. One of my memories, to be treasured always (and I regret I didn't catch it in a picture) is of Elizabeth and Ariel sitting on the floor of the yarn store, too eager to cast on to their new projects to even wait for a chair.
* When we were done we went to the Skecher's store, where I replaced my completely worn Stretchies (which did me proud this week!) with a lovely pair of flip-flops with memory foam. Ah, feet that breathe.
* When we were done with that, we went to Korean BBQ… Which was awesome. However, do you sense the exhaustion here?
Remember that scene at the end of The Avengers, where they're all eating Schwarma?
We're all done. Not a one of us doesn't want to be home. Goodbye, Dallas-- it's been swell, but I want to get home and start knitting some of this.
After I hug my family, of course. For about a week or twelve.
So I'm going to leave you with two things-- the first is this scene from Almost Famous.
Dreamspinner did it's Apples-to-Apples game-- went well! Damon Suede, Tere Michaels, Kate McMurray, Rayna Vauss and a lot of other people awesome people all did the Wheel of Romance-- also, went very well. But after that and lunch, we were a little tired (except Damon, who is probably still dancing) and we wanted to unwind.
So we had a drink or two, and some dinner and another drink, and we bullshitted and had a really good time. It was sort of cool-- I think they filmed the Amazing Race in Dallas this week, and today they rappelled down the tower next to the hotel. They were having that party in the bar too-- so fun times!
In general, after a lot of running around (much of which I haven't even hinted here because it will make you tired) there was camaraderie and general good will.
And on the other side of the world, Mate was making Russian tea cakes and pirogi for Zoomboy's Russia presentation and report, to sell for the annual PTA fundraiser.
I have pictures, but I missed being there in person-- a lot.
And I didn't even know how much, right? Because we're all so busy.
But today, I was packing my swag up from the swag room, and I got to the bottom of the box that arrived today. Mate had to send me some swag and my banner, and it was a big hairy deal, and I was so grateful that he could do that for me. Anyway, so I made sure there weren't any pins in the bottom of the box, and then I found my mouse.
See-- when I packed up my computer, I remembered the mouse receiver that goes in the port, but I forgot the mouse. My touchpad occasionally goes on the fritz, so the mouse was just the better way to go.
And I saw the mouse, and was reminded again at my husband's thoughtfulness, and that he had the kids today at Open House, and that I wasn't going to be there.
And I cried.
And that's when I suggested we go for a drink afterwards.
Which was probably a good call. Because geez, I'm so sorry I missed this.
I attract ancient mariners-- you know the kind? Once, working late night at McDonalds, I was one of two people in the restaurant who got to talk to Jesus Christ.
My friend runs out, high on crank, and shakes hands with the customer in the white terry cloth robe with the long beard and the piercing blue eyes.
"Hi!" she said. "My name is Carrie-- what's you're name?"
"My name is Jesus Christ."
And I think, We should probably get this guy out of here. It's very late.
So I say, "Would like like a cup of coffee, Mr. Christ?"
"No, I was just going to go through your trash."
"You should know we compact our garbage."
"Thank you, that's kind of you to tell me."
So there you go. Me and Jesus. We're solid like that.
Anyway-- I was at the ARe cocktail party which was splendid--lovely nosh and fun people and they didn't mind giving me cranberry juice and soda, because I hadn't eaten and I didn't want to get drunk.
Anne Tenino and I had to get back early, so we shared a cab with Damon, T.A. Chase, and Devon Rhodes-- and I love all these people, so fun, right? Except I'm the big girl in the front.
And the driver starts talking.
"This here, this is where they shot Jack Ruby."
"Wow! That's good to know."
The car idles at the stoplight for another minute.
"And that's the sixth floor of the depository."
"And that's the grassy knoll. Did you know about that from school?"
"Yessir, they taught us about that."
"Good. That's where Kennedy was shot."
"I know sir."
And in the background, Damon is getting very animated about planning an event with everyone in the car but me, remember me? I'm the one talking to the white-bearded cabbie with the red and white star-spangled sequined cowboy hat.
Damon says, "I can teach character classes and sex classes and point of view classes…"
And my cab driver says, "Sex classes?"
"Yes sir, we're all writers."
"What kind of writers? Like articles?"
"No sir, we're romance writers."
"And he teaches sex classes?"
"Well, we all write gay romance-- sex classes help us do our job better."
Yes. Yes I did say that to the man with the red and white star-spangled sequined cowboy hat, why do you ask?
"And you all write… gay romance?"
There was a pause.
"So, like men like to think of two girls together…?"
"That's the idea."
And another silence, and we turn into the street where the hotel is.
Then-- "YOu know, not many people know about the passage in the Bible, Mark someutz, where Jesus says God made gay people."
I'm a little non-plussed. "No, but I do know about the passage in Luke where Jesus agrees to heal the Centurion's erastes pais, which was the slave who was the male lover of a member of the Roman legion. The Centurion was frantic-- he loved his erastes pais and he knew he could be beheaded for asking Jesus for help. He said, 'Please, come to my home and see it's a good home.' Jesus didn't need to come to his home-- he knew that there was love there so he healed the slave.'"
The cab driver was unimpressed.
"Yeah, but in Mark, Jesus said God made the Uhnniks."
Me: 0.0 "Uhm, the--"
"You know, the Uhnniks? Them people who were supposed to be gay cause they were made that way… down there?"
Me: 0.0 "Uhm… the eunuchs? Cause, God didn't make those people, they were slaves who were castrated at birth."
Cab driver: "Nope. Some of them just came out that way, and Jesus said that God made the Uhnniks, and we had to be nice to them too. That'll be $17.95."
I gave him $25-- because seriously, he may have taken the wrong path, but at least he caught the part where we were supposed to be nice to everybody.
But we get out of the cab, and everybody is talking about exciting writer things, and I'm like, "Did you people… ugh… did you hear… you're talking craft and I'm talking motherfuckin' Uhnniks…"
Damon pats me on the shoulder. "That's okay dear. We all know it's going to end up in a story somewhere."