Thursday, December 13, 2007

Do you believe in Miracles?

I do. I do. I do believe in miracles. And this year, I got one for Christmas at a time when our family needed it most.

Last week, my son painted the picture you see posted above. As far as I know, he had never picked up a paintbrush before, much less exercised such skill with paints.

For any child, I'd find the painting remarkable, but this child, this budding artist too soon to become a young man, also happens to have autism. Until recently, his education has been erected on a long line of "can't" and "will never." That's the way it is in Florida--which is why we're dropping everything and leaving,even if that move breaks us financially.

If you're a doctor, teacher, therapist, or any other person interacting with persons with autism, and you believe that those on the spectrum--even the severely affected--are without hope, value, and depth of emotion, then I beg you to think again. As you approach these amazing human beings in your work, please strive to keep your "cants" and "will nevers" to yourself. Dare to presume intelligence, even in the apparent absence of it.

I have two sons with autism, and a daughter teetering on the edge. Because of them, I believe in miracles. I want you to know that my children aren't a curse. Their autism is not a scourge to be erased from the face of the planet. They aren't a hardship, although some days I moan and whine because their struggles overwhelm me, and I am terrified what will become of their lives when I am gone.

Those daily struggles are seldom about them as human beings, or their autism. They are instead centered on the battles involved in jousting with....well, educators, politicians, and health care professionals who just can't...or perhaps won't...see beyond the DSM lV to discover the capabilities of the person behind the label.

As the years have ticked by, I have come to see that these children, as strange, complex and maddening as they are, are perfect just as they came to me. They have filled my life, my heart and my dreams for the future in ways I never dreamed possible. Because of them, this world is a better place.

If you have looked at the picture my son painted, and you still don't understand why we must presume intelligence, even in the apparent absence of it, and you still can't see how important it is to leave a space open for miracles in approaching this population, then I beg you to consider another career.

This Christmas I am taking time to thank God for my children, and the little chain of miracles that brought them into my life. I hope you will join me.

May miracles breath life into your Christmas season as they have mine. May you also come to believe in miracles. Because, you see, miracles don't discriminate. They believe in all of God's children. Even the ones with autism.

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Give Barbie a Burger. Fast.

You know it had to happen eventually. When it comes to Barbie, nothing is sacred on this blog. :) But let me warn you. This picture is truly cringe worthy and certaily justifies a truck load of super sized extra value meals. :D

Friday, December 07, 2007

Submissions Call from Red Sage Publishing

From Red Sage Revealed, the blog for Red Sage Publishing:

Submissions: Linked Books and Books with Sequels

We’re looking for linked books and books with sequels for our e-books program.

“Linked books,” as we think of them, are stories with different romantic leads but with the same (or very closely connected) external conflicts. An example of this would be three couples all battling the same villain. Each couple has their own book with their own erotic romance storyline, and the romance is complete in each of these books. But they all fight the same villain throughout the linked books. Questions raised in book one might not be resolved until book two or three. These stories often end on a cliffhanger even though the romance has been resolved.

If you want to submit linked books, we’ll need the usual ten pages and one-page synopsis for the first book, but we’ll also need a one-page synopsis for every other book in the group. It would help to know if the subsequent stories are written yet, and if not, how far along you might be in the writing process.

We’re also looking for books which have built-in sequel opportunities. These books would share a common setting or group cast, but each book would be a stand-alone. One example would be a group of people attending a high school reunion, weekend getaway, or other event. Each story would follow a different romantic lead (or couple) through the event, but there’s no single unifying goal such as vanquishing a villain. The books don’t have to be read in a particular order for the reader to follow the plot. They are true stand-alones.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My Most Anticipated Book of the Year Debuts Today!

Deidre Knight continues her electrifying Midnight Warriors series, set in an alternate world where desire comes with a price...and love is the greatest risk of all.

On a mission of vengeance, time traveler Scott Dillon finds himself marooned in the past—and risks disrupting the entire universe in his quest to destroy the warrior who killed his wife and unborn child.

A never-ending passion for Scott lures Refarian medic Shelby Tyler to Texas, but the man she finds there is nothing like the man for whom she once cared. Reeling from his loss, Scott has lost himself in drinking and brawling. With her body, Shelby will lift him from despair. And with her heart, she will help him discover a part of his soul he thought was lost forever—and the devastating truth behind the murder of his wife.

A fantastic and riveting new voice in paranormal fiction.
-Karen Marie Moning, New York Times bestselling author of Spell of the Highlander

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Blurb for my Nanobook....

Well...I can only define this one as ultra sensual chick lit meets mythology. But how fun it was to write:



Fate is so unfair.

Medusa's two Gorgon sisters got to be immortals. But not Medusa. Turned out she was quite mortal. And her life? Totally unfair. Every time she almost got lucky, the man of her desires didn't just get a hard on. He turned completely to stone. Then Medusa completely lost her head over Perseus. That little faux pas landed her in Hades for all Eternity. And as a virgin, too. Well, almost.

Hades cannot face the idea of spending an eternity listening to Medusa whine about her ill-conceived fate. So he makes a deal with Medusa that she can't refuse. She can go back to earth and seek true love. She will get three chances to win a man's heart. If she can manage to do this without turning him to stone, she will not only get laid, she'll earn immortality. But if she fails, she'll spend her eternity as a mannequin in the Peoria Saks Fifth Avenue Factory Outlet, decked out in last season's seventy-five percent off designer seconds.

Either way, Hades wins.

Next thing Medusa knows she's standing buck naked in a dark alley where a group of down on their luck addicts make their homes. At the urging the troubled, but once infamous top-model/crack addict Athena Sebastian, Medusa finds herself spilling her troubles at a narc-anon meeting. "Hi. I'm Medusa. I'm a s-stoner. And I've hit rock bottom...."

Under the tutelage her new support group, Medusa turns her destiny over to a higher power (A Tantric Yoga Master) and embarks full throttle on her twelve step program in hopes of curing herself of her stoner lifestyle once and for all. But Medusa's friend Athena has her own past life ax to grind, and Medusa is the ticket for revenge she's waited an eternity for.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Quote for the...well...year, I guess!

I don't usually throw quotes up, but I love Jack London, and I love this quote. And I'm completely uninspired as far as blogging goes today.

So here it is....

"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." ~Jack London

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

OMG, Barbie and Ken go Political

OK, Barbie, do NOT make me like you.

This video makes an obvious political statement, but it's so well done that I had to tip my hat to the Plastic Princess for taking a stand for something beyond Pink Power.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Check out Fierce Romance!

Fierce Romance has a great entry today. If you've ever been insulted or felt the need to defend your genre, you'll want to give them a shout out!

I Object!

Main Entry: ob·jec·ti·fy
Function: transitive verb
Pronunciation: ob-'jek-tuh-fī
Inflected Form(s): -fied ; -fy·ing
1 : to treat as an object or cause to have objective reality

Recently, I was told by another writer who saw some of the cover images on my Writer's Gone Wild group that my writing (and my genre) sexually objectify men.

Excuse me?

I have a problem with the presumption that romance writers--and the cover models employed by their publishers--manage to objectify anyone. Even within our genre, publishers have certain taboos, and work that condones sexual victimization of any kind is one of the universal ones.

"Objectify" is a verb. To objectify another person requires an action, performed by a perpetrator. Objectification also requires a victim. In order to be sexually objectified, a victim must have been denied their right to say "no".

A minor who is forced to perform in a peep show in exchange for food and shelter is a *victim* of objectification. The young men who were coerced into sexual acts under the mantle of presumed power within the Catholic Church were both victimized, and objectified. A young boy I know, autistic and at the time nonverbal, was molested at the age of ten by a documented, same sex, sexual predator.

Nobody cared much when it happened, save the people who loved him.

This child was victimized. He was also traumatized. He was, indeed, objectified, both by his perpetrator, and by the caregivers who chose to diminish his plight in order to remove themselves from the finger of accusation. They knew this child couldn't effectively testify. Their actions told him that it's ok to suffer molestation if you're not intellectually perfect. They turned him into an object.

None of these scenarios allowed their victims the luxury of choice.

Romance writers and the amazing cover models who depict romantic heroes are not victims. Nor have they been objectified. They have trained for, auditioned for, and prepared for their careers empowered by personal choice. In return, they have been well compensated for the delightful work that they do.

To presume that they are victims of objectification demeans the very real horrors faced by real victims of sexual objectification.

End of rant.

Fire away! :D

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Red Sage Publishing, excerpts, etc.

Red Sage Publishing has a new blog, Red Sage Revealed. Hop on over and give it a looksee. If the blog is half as successful as Red Sage itself, then my guess is this will become a must read for both readers and writers of romantic fiction.

With that said, I do believe it's excerpt time.

Let's do one from Kiss of the Cerberus. But first, a disclaimer....

By reading further, you certify that you are over the age of eighteen, and that you are not offended by sexually suggestive scenarios.

Whew. If you got past that, then dig in and have fun. Hope you enjoy.:D


Dana already knew that Half-Captain Ryder Alpha waited on the other side of this door. She knew because she could smell him—his earthy musk, the lingering tang of their sex.

The memory of his touch dragged a rebellious moan across her lips.

He is Fang, she cautioned herself. Hadn’t Steph warned her that sex with Fangs left the senses heightened for hours? Blinking back a rush of tears, she raised a trembling hand, knuckles tapping tentatively on Ryder’s office door.

"Come in." Ryder’s clipped command incited a shiver. It prickled at the small of her back, snaking up her spine to tingle at the nape of her neck. Last night, that baritone voice had run thick with passion, rasping her name.

Erotic images burst into her consciousness in stop-motion frames. Broad fingers dancing over her breasts. Velvety lips trailing kisses over her belly. Hot tongue laving her mons.

I am a fang banger. Her cheeks heated with shame even as her pussy creamed with desire.

"I said, come in." Today, that voice snapped, brittle with impatience.

Dana's nipples, still raw from his attentions, throbbed in time to her thudding heart. Crushing the file containing her orders to her breasts, she forced her wayward nipples to retreat.

Pushing the door open, she thanked her lucky stars that she’d chosen to wear a costume last night. Even pinned beneath Ryder, she’d concealed her identity behind that scarlet half mask.

Angling her cap lower, she stepped through the door, offering the chin-high, half salute reserved for officers of his kind. Fang kind.

Bracing his hands on the desk that loomed between them, Ryder stood.
God, he was huge. In more ways that one. Every nerve in her body crawled as her gaze followed him upward.

Circling to the front of his desk, a half-grin played about the corners of his lips. Closing the distance between them, his pupils coiled to points, sizing her up.
"Have we met, Lieutenant?" he asked, extending his hand.

She dared not touch him. Not if she expected to maintain control. "My orders, sir." Offering the folder in place of her hand, she knew the insult her actions implied.

Snapping the file from her hand, his lip curled. "At ease, Lieutenant."
Retreating to his desk, he settled one lean leg onto its edge to peruse her orders.

Dana’s gaze skidded away from his eyes, lingering on his mouth before resting on the safer terrain of his chest.

Well developed pecs strained against the Fang trident that blazed from his black t-shirt. The three-pronged staff of Triton came clasped in the jaws of Cerberus. Unlike the trident worn by the mortal SEAL’s, Dana knew this mark wasn’t any insignia of glory.

It was a brand. She’d seen it tattooed above the taut crevice of his ass as she’d undressed him last night.

"You're a...behaviorist?" Ryder’s iced gaze rose from the folder, peering through the chestnut shields of his eyebrows.

Beads of sweat pearled on her neckline.

"Yes, sir," she murmured, pinning her eyes to the ground.

"Look at me when you speak, Lieutenant."

Rolling her irises up, she glanced at him through the protective fringe of her lashes. The sweat beads gathered, travelling in hot rivulets between her breasts.

"What does a…behavior analyst…do?"

"Were you not briefed, sir?"

"I am Fang, Lieutenant."

"I assumed…"

"You assumed considerations seldom granted this unit." He slapped the folder closed, tossing it on the desk with such vengeance that the papers fanned out, fluttering toward the floor.

She stooped, collecting what bits of her file fell closest to her feet. "If you’ll only bother to finish reading..."

"I’ve read enough."

"Then you know my mission is to identify and manipulate certain field stimuli, eliciting a predictable response."

"You’re a fucking dog trainer."

"My techniques have human applications…"

"I’m no human, Lieutenant."

Snapping her head up, she skewered him with her glare. "I gathered as much."
He stepped closer. Before Dana could counter, his hand shot out, capturing her jaw, lifting up. She had little choice than to rise, gaze riveted to his.

"You were sent here to analyze me. To train me. Like an animal."

She nodded.

"Tell me," he grated. "Did you elicit a predictable response last night?"

She couldn’t restrain the gasp that tore from her throat. "You speak out of line."

"You want something to analyze?" Clamping his hand around the thick ridge straining against the seam of his shorts, Dana’s stare dropped to his enormous erection.

"Analyze this, Lieutenant."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007


We have a VERY special treat for all of you out there in cyber-space. Tonight TKA's Tommy Newberry will be stopping by the Knight Agency chat room for an hour long chat.

For those of you unfamiliar with Tommy, also known as America's Life Coach, he is a successful author of several titles, most notably, his recent NYT Bestseller, The 4:8 principle. Tommy is a dynamic speaker who teaches a program that highlights the essentials to realistic and no-nonsense Goal Setting. An avid goal-setter himself Tommy has brought his message of working less, earning more, and enjoying greater satisfaction with the right accomplishments to thousands of individuals, families and corporate groups across the globe.

This event is a MUST attend as Tommy will not only we talking about his books, The 4:8 Principle and Success is Not an Accident, but also on how you too can start setting goals to push your career to the next level.

Be sure to stop by tonight as its sure to be an hour filled with a lot of very powerful and useful info that we all can apply to many aspects of our lives! I have NANONECK!

Yes folks, leave it to my body to find a new excuse to avoid writing. I've invented a new disorder. I'm lovingly calling it Nano-neck.
As you know, I'm trying to do the nanowrimo 50,000 words in thirty days challenge. Which, normally, for me would be a breeze. And I was rolling along fine, I really was. But layering nanowrimo on top of my Writer's Gone Wild group, my final edits for Heart's Storm, and my Seventy Days of Sweat Challenge turned out to be a bit more than my poor body can handle.

Yes, last week, I woke up with so much neck pain that I thought my head might well fall off my shoulders. And it persisted. No amount of stretching, hot showers, back rubs or motrin was going to help. So, in the end, I had no other choice. It was either spend the rest of my month in a cervical collar....or.......take two days off from writing.

Which I did. So now my nano word count is hanging on by a thread, but you know what? I'm not really concerned. I'm more concerned with having my Brava Contest entry polished to a glossy sheen should it final in the contest. So, I'm turning my attentions to that.
BTW, if you entered the Brava contest, and are waiting for the results, there's news of how the winning entries news will trickle out on the Brava novella contest board. The boards are lighting up, and its a fun time over there right now. Lots of antsy writers waiting for news...or no news...whichever the case may be.

So, if I manage my nano count, well, that's great. But if I don't? I'm writing every single day, and my average (usable) word count has grown tremendously.

If I look at it that way? I've already won.

So I'm going to relax. And continue to write every day for the sheer love of it. The things we love aren't supposed to make us sick.

No, really. It's true!

Friday, November 09, 2007

TGIF with author/agent Deidre Knight!

Come and join author Deidre Knight for a pre-release “cocktail hour” celebration of PARALLEL DESIRE’s publication!
Hosted by her e-loop, we’ll be chatting, doing giveaways and trivia from 4:30 to 6:00 pm EST on 11/9/07 at the TKA chat room!
Come one, come all and have a blast with us for a special TGIF!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I know, I risk sounding like a breezy cheerleader type with the title of this post, but baby, if I had pompoms, I'd be shaking them right now--for MOI!

I got my first contract in the mail today, from Red Sage Publishing, along with a lovely "welcome to the Red Sage family" note. This is the publisher that I targeted as my "first sale" publisher on my birthday of last year. I can't believe it truly happened. But you know what? There's no substute for

1) Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard

2) Finishing the stories I matter how awful they seem during that dreaded middle.

Nano and Seventy Days of Sweat are going well. Nothing fires up the muse like the sound of "cha-ching!"

Sunday, November 04, 2007

OMG....Barbie Got Back! :D

Ohhhhh, I have so missed Barbie bashing. What has it been now? A week and a half since I last opened fire on the plastic princess? Well damn. All this writing is making me serious and stuff. We simply can't have that. Not in my little corner of cyber space.

So, my darlings...let the bashing begin! Barbie as you've never seen her....

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Me in a past life?

Yes, I love cats. No, DH won't let me have one. But DD(aka soulmate)says this is me in a past life...and you know what? I completely agree with her!

I. Want. A. Kitty. Dammit.

End of rant. :)

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Eyes Have It

You know, I'm glad there are so many talented people who are editors. I'm a pretty decent writer, but I don't have an over inflated opinion of my precious prose, either. In fact, I flirt with writing purple. OK, forget flirting. My first drafts are so purple I could squeeze grape juice from them.

And my lovely Red Sage editor has done an amazing job of preventing me from making a fool of myself. :D

O.K. more then once, if the entire truth is to be told. Which is one of the many reasons why I adore her.

S. has this thing about eyes, and as a romance writer, I have a tendency to dwell on the same. The eyes, after all, are the windows to the soul....and in turn, the heart. So natch, they tend to occupy a good amount of space in my writing.

But after spending an evening on the phone with my editor recently, I went back and re-read some of my work with a "literal"...well...eye....toward what I was truly saying (or writing, to be specific.)

By page 100 I was cracking up. My character's eyes had dropped, shot out, plunged, raked (no, not leaves), caressed (you know, hugs from eye jelly don't do it for me) and danced (they do a mean mambo.) Hell, they all but washed windows!

Those are some talented eyes.
Since I still consider myself a lucky beginner, that's my one and only piece of writing advice. Read your work with a literal eye, and make sure before you submit it that your character's eyes don't take on a life of their own.
Now, back to the dual writing challenges...Seventy Days of Sweat and Nanowrimo.
(No, Virginia, blogging does *not* apply to your daily word count)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

In honor of excerpt!

"You want me."

Dana's fingers curled, gripping tighter around the base of her snifter and her spine stiffened. Just who did he think he was?

Trying to appear unaffected by his directness, his insolence, she swirled the amber liquid around in the glass, lifting it to her nose to inhale its fragrance. She would not turn around. Not yet. Be still, Dana….

The man belonging to that voice hadn't meant those words as any question. Instead, he threw them down in the same casual, matter of fact manner one might use to make note of the weather. And Dana didn't need to turn around to glean who it was that owned the resonant voice that had rasped those words.

She already knew.

Ryder Black. The man--no, the fang--that, if the truth were to be told, she had come here to see.

To spy on.

Perhaps even to seduce.

"Look at me," he commanded.

Nobody had ever spoken to her like that, much less one if his kind. She had come here seeking a mindless encounter, longing to feel, if only for just this one night, like a woman again. Only the satin half mask she wore had allowed her the anonymity she needed to act on those desires. Instead of the ressurrection of her womanhood she sought, his callous words had cut through her ruse, her fantasy.

Had made her feel like meat.

Dana slammed down the contents of the snifter, summoning the affront his rude comment deserved. When she finally did spin around on her barstool, she meant only to skewer Ryder Black, first with her glare, and then with a few caustic words of her own. I'll have you brought up on charges for that attitude, fang...

The utterance died on her lips before she ever spoke. She could feel her jaw dropping as she saw how close he stood behind close that she could feel the heat from his body warming her face. She had no choice but to tilt her head back, seeking the face that belonged to that immense body, that sonorous voice.

Her stare hitching upward, she could find no safe haven on which to rest her focus. To regroup.

Her gaze rode all the way from the muscled thighs straining against worn denim up to a remarkably beautiful set of icy, silver eyes. Ryder Black was composed of sinew and sin, all hard edges and musky male. The man--the fang--was huge, and though she was no small woman herself, Dana resisted the urge to cringe in his shadow.

The glare she'd meant to pierce him with retreated and her gaze fell, snagging somewhere between his belt buckle and his rough hewn jaw. Bravado fading, she tore her attention away from his broad shoulders, and clung to the relative safety of a button that was threading halfway out of its hole, threatening to open wider the collar of his white button down.

His every breath teased her with glimpses of well developed pecs and a light dusting of crisp, golden curls. Fisting her hand against the desire to reach out and help that button along in its journey, she felt her anger change into something else. Look away, Dana.

And finally, her body relented, doing her mind’s bidding.

Resting her gaze on the mirrored wall behind him, she caught sight of her own face. If she were to believe her own reflection as it stared back at her, her expression had already betrayed her. Her flushed cheeks and parted lips looked to her like a woman overcome with rampant desire.

Yes. He had spoken the truth, after all.

She did want Ryder Black. She wanted to grab him by both sides of his collar, not so much to choke those insolent words from him....but rather to free that button, ripping his shirt open, exposing his torso. Closing her eyes, she could almost hear his buttons pinging on the floor around them as she feasted her eyes on that gigantic body.

And that’s when she realized exactly what it was Immortium did to a human woman. It caused the body to act, unedited, on the mind’s hidden fantasies.

Before she knew it, the crisped starched collar of his white shirt crackled as she gathered it in her fists. On well timed yank, and his neckline was open, buttons pinging around the floor exactly as she’d envisioned.

His shirt falling open, she gasped at the sight of him.

It felt as if she were standing outside herself, watching her body take on a will not her own.

Rather, his will.

“No, Ryder Black,” she whispered into his ear. “I believe it is you who came here seeking me…”

copyright 2007/Liane Gentry Skye/Kiss of the Cerberus

It's a Plot Autopsy!

Well, it is Halloween, thus the morbid subject matter. What better time to play Texas Chainsaw Massacre and rescue my Seventy Days of Sweat manuscript before I end up writing seventy thousand plus words of pointless drivel?

I had a pretty decent idea of where Kiss of the Cerberus was going when I started, but I'm nearly ten thousand words in and my H/h have just officially met--unless you count the voyeur scene. Hello brain? This is a novella. Thirty thousand words, max. So this ain't gonna cut it.

Then, to make matters worse, I ended up with a subplot. And a villain I never expected. And suddenly, my brain is drifting off to other ideas, other stories....because you see, I'm the queen of great beginnings. I'm GOOD at beginnings. They're my comfort zone.

I've a feeling Seventy Days of Sweat is all about breaking past those comfort zones...

And this year, for me has been about buckling down and attaching middles and endings to all those great beginnings traipsing around my hard drive. Yes, there are many.

Too many.

I believe finishing the stories I've started was the right choice, because I just sold the first romance that I actually FINISHED to Red Sage. Finishing is good. Even numerically impaired moi can do this much math:

No end = no contract.

So...I've grounded myself from touching any other manuscript until I've done a plot map of this one and reached the end of my first draft. But I'm not going to write seventy thousand words searching for my story like I did on Heart's Storm.

So, its Halloween, but when it comes to writing, I've learned there really is no trick. You just plant your butt in the chair and do it. And in order to get to my treat...(the end), I'm going to have to work smarter. Which means I'm going to have to sit down and :gasp:...plot.

I'll put a photo of my plot map up tomorrow. Hold me to it. :D

And...nanowrimo starts in just a few days! EEP!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I'm Just Sayin.....

Why am I doing the happy dance?

Well, because I got THE CALL tonight.

I SOLD...ok fine, my STORY sold. :D

To my dream publisher, no less.

Heart's Storm (Formerly the Seal and the Sea Nymph)is going under contract with Red Sage for their Secret's line, Pub Date to be announced.

Now if that doesn't stoke my muse, I don't know what will!

It isn't easy being blonde (Not that I am...)

Many of you know that I've been going through a lengthy editing/revision process on my book that I describe as "teetering" on contract. The good news is that as of Tuesday evening of this week, the senior editor is happy with my one thing. Spacing between sentences. They required one space after sentences. Not the two I typically use in manuscripts.

So, no problem, right? I hit my handy dandy "?" key in Word 2007 (which I FINALLY have come to adore), and asked it how to do said alteration--you know, the easy way.

Well, according to word, there isn't a method for doing so.

I even toyed with the idea of doing a find ". (space, space) and replacing it with ".(space)". I immediately brushed the idea off as ludicrous...on the grounds that a space is null. void. Nothing there for Mr. Find and Replace to find...or replace. End of story.....or so I thought. I just wrote it off as another one of my hare-brained ideas that would only waste more time.

So, long story short? I spent the day last Sunday manually changing....Every. Single. Effin'. Space. After. A. Sentence. In. My. Manuscript.

Turns out, my hare-brained idea of find/replace....wasn't so hair brained after all.

So, kindly hand over the Miss Clairol. :)

Good news? I should be hearing whether my novella will go to contract soon. Even better? It's with one of my dream publishers. The very one I vowed on my last birthday I'd find a way to pub with this year.

So, my lovely mermaid story is now on the desk of the Managing Editor of my dream publisher. Let's hope she likes it. If not, I must say...I have learned more about writing during this process than I ever dreamed I'd know. And that can't be a bad thing.

Wish me luck. :D

Monday, October 22, 2007

Enlightening thought for the day.

OK, guys, brace yourself.

My dear friend Sven has been cracking his whip like a wild man, helping me re-discover what I lost sight of a few months after last year's Nanowrimo.

Yes, I have the golden ticket. But I have to tell you that its no where as gold and shiny as I hoped.

In fact, it's downright sobering. So brace yourselves.

The key to becoming a writer is to ......


Who'd have thought it?

Now on a more serious note, Kiss of the Cerberus (used to be called A Vampire is Forever)is singing for me. With all of the pivotal scenes for my story arc written, and the new world building done as of today, I'm going back and layering in details, and weaving the scenes into a logical progression.

Today I got bored with all the detail work, and allowed myself to flesh out the first "insert H/h love scene" entry into my manuscript. Lordy, my keyboard was smoking by the time they got tormenting each other.

And girls, lemme tell you, my hero, Ryder so effin' hot. You're gonna love him.

On an aside, my final requested edits are done for the book which has been teetering on contract with my dream publisher for the last couple of months.

Wish me luck. :D

Friday, October 19, 2007

Barbie and Ken. To Die for...

Seeing as how Halloween is inbound, I thought we might like to celebrate the country's newest undead couple....Barbie, and Ken. Now if you ask me? It's a vast improvement. I'm just wondering where I can get an undead Kelly to complete the (not so happy) family!

Day four on the seventy days of sweat challenge, and I'm only halfway to word count. Back to work with me!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Blame it on word count fatigue!

My darling DD (girl who would go probably go goth simply for the fashion statement if mom would get her a Hot Topix charge card) has brought it to my attention that I might be suffering from Barbie bashing withdrawal.

You know, she might be right. It has been a while! So, before I begin my Seventy Days of Sweat word count for today, I'm going to take a merry old swipe at the Queen of Plastic Bimbodom herself. Enjoy...and warning, not for the faint hearted. :D

Goth Barbie
Uploaded by

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

But Mom, he's GREEN.

Yes, folks, there's a comic book hero for every gal. And according to the Superhero Dating Quiz, this guy's the one for me. Now I'm as open minded as the next girl, but (ahem) green is so *not* my color. And I like my men with....gray matter. Ok, ok, I know Dr. David Banner was a doctor, and mom still hasn't gotten over the fact that I didn't marry "that sweet doctor", but this is so NOT funny mom! I know you're behind this. :D

So, guess I'll just continue writing my own romantic heroes. Take that, Mom!

Kiss of the Cerberus is now at 7,000 words, 23,ooo to go. And I'm having way too much fun. So much so that I'm afraid my novella is going to cop a tude and turn into a novel.

So far so good with the Seventy Days of Sweat Challenge. Day 3 and all is well.

Wish me luck! :) Today is actually as SANE day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Day Two, Sven Challenge

Good grief. Today is where I will begin to learn what committment to my keyboard truly means. Just a glance at the days Mommy Do (or else hear me whine) List makes me wonder where on earth I'm going to fit in a thousand words. Here it is:

Get up, pack three lunches, do three breakfasts

Help youngest son do the excess from last night's (rediculous) assignment load.

Yell at DH for forgetting to give DD her meds last night (I was on tantrum duty with DS2)

Toss three kids out the door on time

Get a shower

Go to the dentist

Do laundry, make beds, quick dust so DH doesn't think I lay around eating bonbons all day.

Phone conference with my DS1's LA teacher

Get dinner ready to go in oven. Make salad.

Pick up DD from school (make up test, teachers only do them after school these days)

Race to DS1's school, haul him to the dentist.

Race home, put dinner on table.

Do my grant writing work

Clean up (DH is good at helping with this)

Lay out clothes for tomorrow, help DS1 with humongoid homework load (dang, he has autism, what do the NORMAL kids get???)

Toss in a load of laundry lest the laundry pile from hell turns sentient.

Help DD put together a pirate costume for Spirit Week at school.

Write 1000 words.

Hmmmm....I guess a lesser woman would, at this point, jump on over to 101 Reasons to Stop Writing. Otherwise, sleep is out of the question. :D And cuddle time for DH? Let's just say those who court Sven can't find the we just write about it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Chained to the choice!

Do you think I can write 70,000 words in seventy days? Yes, I know, insane, considering I'll also be doing Nanowrimo during November. And yes, misery does love company. :) Join me for the Seventy Days of Sweat Writing Challenge and find out for yourself!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's a Bird. It's a Plane. It's BARBIE???

This was simply too priceless to ignore. Yes, girls, you truly can be the Barbie you always dreamed of, right down to the waist length, flaxen locks and yes, even the pink fashion doll window box. Go ahead. You know you want to.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

'Tis Better to have Written Badly than Never to have Written at all

What makes a great story? For me, compelling stories are defined by writing so seamless and that I surrender myself completely to the author's vision. Good writing, in other words. .

In order to become a better story teller, I've worked pretty hard at making myself a better writer. During that process, I've certainly spun out my share of bad writing. Reams of it. Sadly, most of it lay in my desk, unfinished, until last year.

So what changed?

Last year, during November, I participated in National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) for the first time. At the same time, I committed to finishing the story I started, no matter how heinous the end result of my labors.

Granted, bad writing changes nothing. Mangled prose will never leave the world a better place. The hallmarks of bad writing are glaring, common, and far too many in number.

Yet, I joyfully confess to having committed a multitude of literary atrocities during my Nano-misery last year. Shifting POV's, dueling tenses, stereotyped characterizations, yep, I did it all.

With abandon.

I also finished my first young adult, novel length project. Dear God, it was horrible. So horrible that on December 1, all but thirty-thousand words of the seventy-thousand total went into my recycle bin.

But my first draft was also finished, and "the end" was something I hadn't seen in a heck of a long time. I remember jumping up out of my chair and whooping for joy as I crossed the finish line. Somewhere through the effort of spinning out 1600+ words of prose every day, I came to realize that only my fear of failing--of writing badly--prevented me from stumbling my way to the finish line.

I also realized that 1600 words a day isn't that hard--not if you're serious about mastering your craft.

By November's end, I had a (hemmoraging) project with a great concept, that, once polished and revised, won me some seriously encouraging agent attention, a request for (still more) revisions, and an invitation to send them any other finished projects I penned in the future.

Not bad for a thirty day effort.

A casual friend of mine who is a well published novelist (and an agent) told me she'd written more than a million words of fiction before she considered herself publishable.

One. Million. Words.

That's twenty Nanovembers.

The Burryman Writer's Center has told its members a million times the secret to reaching our publishing dreams a million times. Do the work.
I'll reiterate that in my own terms.

Just write. Anything. Make up a story about your grocery list if you must, because until you type "The End", there's no diamond in the rough to polish. There's no hope of realizing your dreams.

Join me in November at Nanowrimo. I triple dog dare you.

If you do join up, and you want to friend me and follow my efforts, my site name is starmuser. And if you want to see the overview of this year's project, check out my group blog, Writer's Gone Wild. Yeah, I know. Cheap bid for members. But generally effective!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Shame upon me!

It has been brought to my (wandering) attention that I have been remiss in my duties to bash Barbie at every opportunity. Horrors! Such dereliction of duty cannot continue.

So, here we go....a concept for a New Age in Barbie dolls!

Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 14:08:27 -0400

(LA, California) Mattel announces their new line of Barbie products, the "Hacker Barbie." These new dolls will be released next month. The aim of these dolls is to revert the stereotype that women are numerophobic, computer-illiterate, and academically challenged.

This new line of Barbie dolls comes equipped with Barbie's very own xterminal and UNIX documentation as well as ORA's "In a Nutshell" series. The Barbie is robed in a dirty button-up shirt and a pair of worn-out jeans with Casio all-purpose watches and thick glasses that can set ants on fire. Pocket protectors and HP calculators optional. The new Barbie has the incredible ability to stare at the screen without blinking her eyes and to go without eating or drinking for 12 hours straight. Her vocabulary mainly consists of technical terms such as "IP address," "TCP/IP," "kernel," "NP-complete," and "Alpha AXP's."

"We are very excited about this product," said John Olson, Marketting Executive, "and we hope that the Hacker Barbie will offset the damage incurred by the mathophobic Barbie." A year ago, Mattel released Barbie dolls that say, "Math is hard," with condescending companions Ken. The Hacker Barbie's Ken is an incompetent consultant who frequently asks Barbie for help.

The leading feminists are equally excited about this new line of Barbie dolls. Naomi Wuuf says, "I believe that these new dolls will finally terminate the notion that women are inherently inferior when it comes to mathematics and the sciences. However, I feel that Ken's hierarchical superiority would simply reinforce the patriarchy and oppress the masses." Mattel made no comment.

Parents, however, are worried that they would become technologically behind by comparison to the children when the Hacker Barbie comes out. "My daughter Jenny plays with the prototype Hacker Barbie over yonder for two days," says Mrs. Mary Carlson of Oxford, Mississippi, "and as y'all know, she now pays my credit card bill. Ain't got no idea how she duz it, but she surely duz it. I jus don't wanna be looked upon as a dumb mama." Mattel will be offering free training courses for those who purchase the Hacker Barbie.

The future Hacker Barbie will include several variations to deal with the complex aspects of Barbie. "Hacker Barbie Goes to Jail" will teach computer ethics to youngsters, while "BARB1E R1TES L1KE BIFF!!!" will serve as an introduction to expository writing.

Originally posted at Planet Mike

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Changing the World, One Word at a Time

Those of you who know me at all understand that there are two subjects in this world that are near and dear to my heart. My children, who have Autism and related disorders and writing. Yes, in that order. So when the two events come together to benefit my children's peers, my head snaps to attention. When my first son was diagnosed with autism, the rate was .5 in 10,000 children. Today, that rate is recognized by the CDC as 1 in 150.

In most states, medical insurance does not cover the only therapies proven to improve autism's lifelong outlook. In most states, medical insurers incorrectly classify autism as a "mental disorder" in order to sharply cap benefits. This means it is left to families to fund their children's treatment at an average cost of 50 thousand dollars per year.

As I cannot personally attend the event listed below, I am donating all proceeds from my book Turn Around, Bright Eyes: Snapshots from a Voyage out of Autism's Silence, and my Amazon short, Imprint in the Ice to Autism One for the next six months. It's not a lot, but since I'm broke from providing for my children's overwhelming therapeutic needs, this and my big mouth is all I've got to help make a difference. :)


Writers Reading on Autism: Tales of The "Fastest Evolving Disorder In
Medical Science"

By Barbara Fischkin on the Huffington Post Blog.
The First Annual Writers on Autism reading will be held in New York
City this week on Thursday, June 7, at 7p.m. at the Lifespire Education and
Conference Center on the third floor of the Empire State Building.
Eight "diverse" -- and this reading may give that term new meaning --
writers, both accomplished and up-and-coming, will read from their published
and unpublished works which are either about autism or of importance to the
autism community. Four mothers of autistic individuals -- representing a
total of eight sons and daughters on the autism spectrum -- will read. Two
individuals who are on the spectrum themselves will also read.
With one in 150 individuals now being diagnosed with autism, those of
us who have autism -- or who are relatives or teachers or friends or
therapists or doctors of individuals with autism -- are a historic community
whether we like being lumped together or not.
Perhaps one of our responsibilities as members of that community is to
make sure that there is a body of literature that illuminates who we are: A
compilation of our very-true and not-entirely-true tales, our controversies,
our novels and short stories, our tall and short tales, our hopes, myths and
A body of work, in short, to help those who come after us understand
Those of us who are writers can do this by writing and by reading our
works. Those of us who are readers can do this by listening, asking
questions and supporting the writing of autism by purchasing books by those
who have published them.
We have, as they say in show business, a great line-up.
* Kim Stagliano, who blogs here frequently and is writing an autism
novel. She is the mother of three girls with autism and is planning on
reading her essay "Crapisode," a rendition of life with autism now
considered a classic in the community.
* John Robison whose new memoir, Look Me in the Eye: My Life with
Asperger's, is sure to be a bestseller in the fall. He is also Augusten
Burroughs' brother and writes about life in that well-known family from his
own perspective.
* Sheila Kohler, a beloved, respected and renowned New York City
novelist who will read a real-life tale about being the parent of a disabled
young woman. Sheila Kohler's latest novel is Bluebird, The Invention of
* Landon J. Napoleon, author of the classic autism novel ZigZag, in
which a young man with autism is a protagonist who defies the stereotypes
and whose every emotion we feel ourselves. A book ahead of its time and a
worthy companion to The Curious Incident of the Dog in Nighttime.
* Michele Pierce Burns, whose forthcoming book, I Love Everything
About You, was inspired by her son Danson Mandela Wambua, 8, who has autism.
Many will surely remember the writer in her days as a young actress on The
Cosby Show. More recently she has written for Essence and Ebony , has
appeared in the Autism Speaks documentary, Autism Every Day.
* Michele Iallonardi, the mother of three boys with autism and a
journalist who has written for The Autism Perspective (TAP) magazine, Autism
Spectrum Quarterly and Exceptional Parent. She was also in Autism Every Day.
* Rachel Kaplan, a matriculating student at Hofstra University, who
has autism and is traditionally nonverbal. As a graduate of Locust Valley
High School on Long Island she won a coveted writing award and, as an
acknowledged pioneer in the practice of facilitated communication, she now
types independently
* I will read too, either from my autism novel, Confidential Sources,
or from my nonfiction work-in-progress: Dan in the World: One of the First
Victims of the Autism Epidemic Grows Up, Moves On and Moves Out.
Please come. The event is free and open to the public. No RSVPs are
For more about this event please listen to Maverick Mama on Internet Radio.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Doll Face

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Excerpt Time!

After my mom finished icing the nasty lump on her forehead, she came into my room to look over my (way amazing, btw) report card.

I had already kicked my feet up onto my desk and leaned back in my chair, figuring that this one should be worth at least fifty bucks. I got six a's (gasp) and one b-. When mom's jaw dropped open (probably overwhelmed with joy), I extended my open palm toward her, ready to receive my accolades and my cold, hard cash.

Those gothalicious ankle boots I've had my eye on are so mine, I thought.

My Mom's brows knit together in a (faux) blonde slash of ire. "Kathi Jo Roberts, I thought I'd taught you better than this."

My chair fell backwards onto the carpet, taking me with it. "What? Whaddid I do? And did you just call me Kathi?"

Mom breathed so deeply that her shoulders rattled with the effort. "It's obvious, by the looks of these grades that we still have a lot of work to do."

Her pink-tipped index finger wagged before my nose. "Your head is clearly not in the right place, young lady."

Is mom lecturing me?, I wondered. My mom?

No way. I scrambled to my feet and snatched my report card out of my mother's freshly manicured hand, thinking that Gert and I surely must have gotten our stuff mixed up.

I don't get it, I thought as I scanned the grades. This clearly was my report card, and these were clearly my awesome grades that I'd busted my butt over so I could get to the Juilliard Auditions without a fight.

"Mom? I made the Dean's List!" I cried, shoving the card back under her nose."

"I know, Kathi Jo." Mom crossed her slender arms over her chest and lifted her chin. "You certainly don't have to rub it in.""

"It's Katya now, Mom. Or Kat. Anything but--brr--Kathi Jo!"

"Honey," Mom said as she reached out and clasped my hand into hers. "A new name is not going to solve your boy problems."

"Mom?" I said as I took in the blonde hair, the pink t-shirt, the maribou trimmed mules. "Maybe we should call a doctor..."

My mother reached out to smooth my hair away from my face. "Let's not fret, now, sweetie. No doctor can fix what's wrong with you. It's not like being smart is a t-terminal disease.

My knees turned to jello about then and I sank down onto my bed.

"We'll just have to b-buck up and work harder..." Mom went on.

I could see tears--actual honest to God tears--welling behind her false lashes as she spun around to face me.

"What needs fixing, Mom? My good grades? My free ticket to the Juilliard tryouts?"

My mom signed as she wrung my report card between her hands. Her blue gaze dropped like lead weights to the floor and a huge, fat tear dropped off the end of her trembling chin. "Sweetie, you'll never, ever get a date to the prom with these grades."

"The prom?" I scanned my mother's face, looking for the evidence that one of those cackles that so often marked the punch lines to her jokes was about to erupt.

The vacant oceans of her eyes stared back at me.

"The prom?" I repeated, unable to believe that my brilliant, bohemian, bizarre mother thought I'd even consider such an anti-goth rite of passage.

Not a single muscle quivered on her face. She just looked pissed beyond reason. And sad---truly heartbroken. And did I mention really, really blonde?

Cold fingers of fear began to work their way through my gut as I backed away from my mother...

Monday, April 16, 2007

See me at Romantic Times

Meet my new business cards! The text printed beneath my Logo says "Move Over Blondie, Black is the new Pink"

Yes, folks, its official. I'll be at Romantic Times, plugging my wares (books, ya'll, BOOKS) from April 25-April 29th. Hope to see you there.

In celebration, I'm posting a picture of my new business cards. I LOVE them. :)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Fashion Dolls with more to Love!

Step aside, Barbie. A couple of extra-hip dollies with their extra-size hips are shaking their bon-bons on the toy scene. Meet Baltimore's own Tracy Turnblad and her mother, Edna. The plus-size plastic dolls are modeled after the characters portrayed by Nicole Blonsky and John Travolta in the musical comedy remake of Hairspray. It opens July 20. Getting a look at her doll for the very first time, Blonsky's heart melts. "I'm a doll!" Blonsky coos by phone from her New York home. "Oh, my goodness, it's me. It's adorable. The first thing I'm noticing are the chubby hands and short fingers. That may sound weird, but I have very small hands, and those are my hands." Blonsky, 18, also praises the doll's spot-on striped wig and outfit, a look Tracy sports in the Run and Tell That dance sequence that precedes her first encounter with Motormouth Maybelle (Queen Latifah ) in a record store in the 1960s-era movie. "I'm so glad they picked that look," Blonsky says. "When I was dancing in this, I felt a lot of energy. This is Tracy in her element." Travolta, who has been made into a doll before as his character Vinnie Barbarino in the 1970s Welcome Back, Kotter, is particularly taken with this new likeness. "It is very cute," he says by e-mail after getting a glimpse. The outfit is "perfect," and he can't wait to show it to his wife, Kelly Preston , and their daughter, Ella, 7, who "will really like it." Zac Efron, who shot to stardom in last year's High School Musical, plays Link Larkin, the beau of Tracy's rival. "Having a doll of yourself is completely surreal," he says. But he praises this diverse collection as a reflection of a movie that is loaded with "amazing, uplifting messages." Blonsky also praises the doll diversity. Having grown up in Great Neck, N.Y., Blonsky remembers dragging her mother to Toys 'R Us on weekends to go shopping for new dolls - only to be disappointed by the limited selection. "None of the dolls looked different than any of the other ones," she recalls. "I think the Tracy and Edna dolls will open a lot of kids' eyes out there - especially when they are on shelves next to Barbie and the Hilary Duff and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen dolls. "Now girls will have an opportunity to pick a different doll. Because let's face it, most of us don't look like the Size 2 shapes we see on TV. You can have just as much fun with Tracy and Edna - if not even more." The dolls hit stores in July and range in height from 10½ to 12 inches. Suggested retail: $15. Singing versions of Tracy and Link (in different costumes and hairstyles) will sell for $20-$25. And you might want to hurry to beat Blonsky to the shelves. Says the young star: "I told my mother, 'Guess what everybody's Christmas present is going to be?' There is not going to be one friend or family member in my life that does not have one of these."
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Copyright 2007 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. All Rights Reserved.
04/06/2007 07:00

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Trashy Ladies

I've often wondered why I rail on Barbie the way I do. It's not like I was ever traumatized by the plastic princess. Perhaps my childhood closet career as a Barbie mutilator is to blame. Every time I got a barbie, I had to redo her into my (geeky) image. That usually involved dying her hair blue with a Magic Marker, chopping off her hair, and giving her some black lipstick. :D

Whatever the formative roots behind motives my outrageous obsession with nuking the Barbie World, I have finally fallen in love with a fashion doll.

Sort of.

Ok, fine, maybe fashion isn't quite the right word, but its as close as I'll ever come.

Courtesy of my lovely daughter (who is allergic to pom-poms thank GOD!), I present to you.......

(drum roll please)....

are you ready? :D

O.K., hang on to your hats....

Here she is. The one doll I truly MUST seen on

The Talking Trailer Trash Doll. (I've named her Lurlene).

This trashalicious darling captures a world that Barbie has only seen in her worst nightmares. She wears a leather jacket and halter top, sports a head of bleached-blonde hair complete with curlers. Yes, that's a cigarette dangling from her mouth.

Did I mention that this (ahem) lovely trashionista got knocked up somewhere along the way (again)?

So even if Barbie has never met Lurlene, there's a good chance that Ken did. I mean after Barbie dumped the guy, I'm sure he sowed a few wild oats.
Lurlene talks, too! Go ahead, press her belly button.
"Pour me a double, I'm drinkin' for two."

"Bubba Jr., get off your sister!"

Lurlene may not be well versed in the social graces, but she's well-made. She comes in the box as shown, and even includes a little baby doll from a previous pregnancy.

Enjoy your Barbie world. I'm going to go throw back a few with Lurlene. :D
As my darling diabolical spawn is fond of saying...."I LOVE EET!"
Wonder if they could make a version with stretch marks?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

You are beautiful

Beautiful. You.

Oh, yes, you are.

Stop arguing. You take my breath away.

Beauty knows no age

Beauty doesn't come in sizes

Beauty simply is

as beauty does.

You. Are. Beautiful.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Alternative Beauties

Can you believe it? Finally, a pageant that aspires to celebrate "alternatives" to our Western (Barbie-ized) beauty standard. To celebrate this new glimmer of hope for womankind everywhere, I put up a pic of the plastic princess herself with (gasp) a double chin. She's better this way, I think. :D

REYKJAVIK (AFP) - An alternative beauty pageant to be held in a remote Icelandic town will reward contestants' wrinkles, saggy breasts and other bodily imperfections and hopes to challenge Western ideas of beauty, organisers said Wednesday.
"Anyone can make the rules about what beauty is, we want to change the rules," one of the contest's organisers, Matthhildur Helgadottir, told AFP.
"We think it's just coincidence if you have big breasts. How come this is beautiful? We are trying to show how ridiculous this is," Helgadottir said.
The contest, scheduled for April 18, will be held in the town of Isafjoerdur, population 3,000, in the northwest of Iceland.
Men and women were welcome to register as contestants and while there was a minimum age of 20, there was no upper age limit.
The only other stipulation was that contestants had not gone under the plastic surgeon's knife for cosmetic reasons.
Prizes were as yet undecided but the "fun and honour" of taking part would be sufficient reward for contestants, according to Helgadottir.
Organisers remained undecided on how to rate participants.
"Maybe this (the alternative contest) is research, a way of understanding them (beauty pageants)."
The idea for the contest emerged while Helgadottir -- a self-confessed feminist -- was talking with friends in an Isafjoerdur pub.
As of Wednesday five people, three women and two men, had registered to take part.
Helgadottir remained optimistic that many more would sign up once news of the competition spread.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Barbie as you'll never see her!

Get deeper than just any old plain-jane fashion makeover and start working where it counts--on Barbie's bod! In this edutainment product, not only will impressionable young girls learn that beauty is more than skin-deep, but also these truisms will be driven home as they teach themselves the basics of plastic surgery

Barbie's Cosmetic Surgery Makeover lets you, the gamer, enhance upon Barbie's already close-to-perfect measurements; perhaps a firmer butt or breast reduction, or even a little liposuction on the hips, is in order. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can virtually enhance Barbie in many ways: from cellulite and collagen injections to rhinoplasty and tummy tucks. This CD-ROM has it all.

With a few clicks of the mouse, you can virtually enhance Barbie in many ways.
In the Surgeon Editor mode, you can come up with your own operations and perform spectacular new bodywork on Barbie. Save your more "successful" operations and post them on the Web, or trade them on AOL. There's even a Freak of the Week award for the best enhancement ideas. The game also sports TWAIN drivers so that it can interface with your digital camera, allowing you to take digital pictures of yourself to see what you would look like with a perfect body.

Both an educational product and a game, Barbie's Cosmetic Surgery Makeover promises hours of fun as you invent new looks for your favorite doll and yourself. In no time at all, you'll be on the road to a rewarding career as a plastic surgeon or a successful model and actress/actor (after your makeover, of course!).

Note: Any resulting eating disorders are strictly the responsibility of the party who purchases the game.
(not a real game. Concept courtesy of GameCenter)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ya'll are killing me this week...

And yet another Barbie Quiz from my home girl Billie.

Which dysfunctional Barbie are you?

Sorority Slut Barbie

You're the Tri Sigma whore that every frat loser knows by name. You love your hot pink tube top and your blonde streaks glow in the blacklight at all the frat parties. Chances are you've been on Girls Gone Wild at least once.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

About those authentic selves...

Dr. Phil's--wisdom, we'll call it--rolled off the lips of one of my characters so often that one of my friends has begun sending me Dr. Phil trivia. This one was, I must admit...too good not to share. :D

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I LOVE EET!!!!!!

Oh. My. Goth.

I wish, wish, wish I had created this. Barbie, as the world's never seen her. I'm stunned. This is a project worthy of--well--me!

You just have to go see it for yourself! No words, you know? :D

The Distorted Barbie

Sunday, March 11, 2007

So it's Time to Market My Manuscript

If you are a reg blog reader, then you know that I sent out a bunch of queries last month asking if some of my fave literary agents would be interested in taking a look at my book. Well freakin' THUD, man! I got hits from most of the agencies I sent out to, save for two. Good grief. But thankfully, two of them were the highest on my "I want THAT agent" list,'s all good.

Bad part is my idea that YA books are immune to the dread so not true. Three of the agencies asked for one. Another asked for a detailed synopsis, which I took from my outline. So, I spent the last five days agonizing over a three-page summary of my book. It wouldn't have been simpler if I could have gotten away with a dry summary, but all advice was--make sure it maintains your author's voice and your entire story arc. In three pages or less. Dude, it can take me that to say "it was raining. And my author's voice? Can't I just do three pages of expletives expressing how bad writing an effin' synosis sucks? ::Big sigh::: Guess not. So, this is what I've been doing for the last seven days (between wiping up barf....youngest boy got the most heinous barf bug known to mankind--we did two trips to the ER for IV's and....I swear I haven't slept more than three hours a night this week....)

So, here goes. My for a minor smooth and polish before I hit "send" tomorrow.

It's (so not) A Barbie World
A YA paranormal novel of 62,000 words

High school? Ugh. Pink Drama? Forget about it. Katya can't understand
how her dream to become an opera singer will ruin her (already trashed)
grade point average and destroy her (absent) social life. It's not
like she wants to become a brain surgeon, or (barf) a cheerleader.

"Be careful what you scoff at," KATYA's dad warns. "It might just
become a force to contend with." Now he's suggesting that Katya's
afraid to try and keep up with the elite crowd. Puh-leez.

All Katya wants is to score an audition to Juilliard and make her
escape from the mind numbing cheer mom enclave of Harmony Acres.
Should she score some suck-face time with her gothalicious audition
partner, TRISTAN, in the process? Bonus!

Keeping your head beneath the mean girl radar isn't that easy when
you have a learning disability. Katya lays low by posing (gasp) Goth
with her best friend, GERT, and the wildly eccentric cling-on boy,

Shunning all things pink becomes easier said than done when the
mysterious CANDY DEMINT comes to town hawking BEAUTOXIA COSMETICS.
When she performs a beyond-extreme makeover on Siggy's estranged mom,
all the women of Harmony Acres start going toxic. Beautoxic.

Katya is convinced whatever is sweeping her town isn't in the water.
She suspects the real culprit lurks inside the new Beautoxia
Cosmetics factory. Even Gert is trippin' on lipstick. Come Monday,
the girl has morphed into TRUDY, a veritable pink princess who has
one goal in life—spreading the news about Beautoxia to anyone who
will listen.

Now there's a new breed of pinks at Harmony High. Like the A-list,
squared. Beautoxics. Led by Candy's daughter, Niko, these girls
have killin' powers of persuasion. Save for the Goths and the short
bus scene, social castes are dropping like dominoes.

In spite of the fact that the Beautoxics have sucked in Katya's best
friend, her dad, and her (almost) boyfriend, she resolves that a
perfect face and a wicked hot wardrobe won't sway her from her dreams
of attending Juilliard.

When Trudy/Gert's usefulness as Beautoxia's guinea pig is over, NIKO
chews the girl up and spits her out like yesterday's chewing gum.
The way KATYA sees it, now, more than ever is the time for herself
and her friends to bury their heads. She plans to go on perfecting
her operatic range so she can get herself to Juilliard's last
summer session audition of the season. Then she can get out of town—
for good.

Or not.

Beautoxia is launching a viral My Space campaign that will take their
product nationwide. When Katya's mom sees what Beautoxia did to Gert,
she promises to "poke around" and see what she can find out about
Candy. By the day's end, she's become the victim of a drive-by
makeover. She has suffered an allergic reaction to Beautoxia that
has left her convinced that she's BARBIE, incarnate. Certain that
Katya's love life is in dire need of a pink overhaul, Barbie sets out
to see her daughter crowned Queen of the Prom. Or else.

Katya, Gert and Siggy realize that alone they can accomplish little.
They must pool their talents to overcome their individual
weaknesses. Together they devise a plan that should open up a can of
internet whoop-ass on some Beautoxic butt before anyone else gets

Problem is, in order to get their hands on the proof that can
circumvent Beautoxia's My Space campaign, Katya must pose (gag)
Beautoxic to appease Barbie and Siggy and Gert get a sample of the
formula out of town to be analyzed.

In the process of faking it, Katya nearly becomes charmed by
everything she never wanted to be. Tristan is certainly smitten with the new
Katya. Only when SIGGY and GERT step forward to remind her of what she's fighting for
does Katya regain the focus that helps her friends pull off their
plan. In the end, Barbie is gone and BEAUTOXIA's spell on Harmony
Acres is released.

Katya makes it to her audition still wearing her prom queen crown.
While her friends look on, she realizes how much they've overcome.
Facing her greatest fear has steered her dreams in new
directions—into places she never thought she'd go. While Katya
stands on stage singing with the boy she thought she always wanted,
she looks down from the stage to see her parents, Gert and Siggy beaming up at her.

She realizes that the Opera can wait. These are the only high school years
she'll ever have. Though she and Tristan win their early admission to
Juilliard, Katya finds that she wants nothing more in the world than
to spend time with her friends and perhaps even go on out a real date
with her unlikely knight in shining armor—Siggy.

Monday, March 05, 2007

A dead relative perhaps?

So, seems Barbie bashing isn't an *entirely* new sport. One of my dah-link compadres sent this to me--I'm told it was written in the fifties.


Barbie Doll
by Marge Piercy

This girl child was born as usual
and presented dolls that did pee-pee
and miniature GE stoves and irons
and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.
Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:
You have a great big nose and fat legs.

She was healthy, tested intelligent,
possessed strong arms and back,
abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity
She went to and fro apologizing.
Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs.

She was advised to play coy,
exhorted to come on hearty,
exercise, diet, smile and wheedle,
Her good nature wore out like a fan belt.

So she cut off her nose and her legs
and offered them up.
In the casket displayed on satin she lay
with the undertaker’s cosmetics painted on,
a turned-up putty nose,
dressed in a pink and white nightie.
Doesn’t she look pretty? everyone said.
Consummation at last.
To every woman a happy ending.

May love always rule in your life,


Sunday, March 04, 2007

So, yeah, I suck....officially!

You scored as vampire goth.. your a vampire goth, go bite something and drink some blood. ;D

Romantic goth


vampire goth.


Fetish Goth


goth geek


Mopey goth.


Pagan goth.


Raver goth.


Perky Goth


What kind of goth are you?
created with

Oh. My. Goth.*

Becky, look at her dress.

It's like so pink.

She looks like Prince Charming's girlfriend.

It's so Disney.

That's right, girls. Disney's princesses--and their resplendent gowns--aren't just for the wee set any more. Now every girl , no matter what her age, can become her favorite Disney princess on her wedding day.

Disney has recently introduced a series of wedding dresses fashioned after their fictional cartoon heroines. In a recent Wall Street Journal interview, designer Kristie Kelly says Cinderella is "classic glamour," Snow White has "sweet elegance," Ariel from The Little Mermaid has a "sultry allure" and is "comfortable showing her body," and Jasmine from Aladdin is "bohemian chic."

Now, consider this tidbit. Word up's Barbie has a new management team. With this concept pushing Disney into national fashion news , could Barbie inspired outfits for grown ups be far behind?

Gag me with a hoop skirt.

btw, if you aren't the Barbie kind of girl, you wish black was the new pink, and you haven't read Oh My Goth by Gena Showalter, please do. It's wicked delish.


May love always rule in your life,


Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Little Writing Music, Please

'S Probably because I'm still so torn up by Anna's passing, that I've taken to working on Willo-the-Wisp again. I shudder to talk *out loud* about the book, because you see, it's my dream novel--that project that I can't bear to see tank. It's the secret, angsty lit/commerical project I keep hidden on my hard drive, far away from prying eyes. I work on it during those dark days when working on the lighter fare like Stoner and Girls Gone Dead just isn't working.

I wonder how many other writers have those types of books--the secret ones they don't share for fear of jinxing the magic that insired them?

The Fray's "How to Save a Life" has been the perfect song to get me in the zone where Willow's world comes to life. It's also the perfect song to help me sort out my feelings about Anna. Maybe the yearning to work on Willow's story, which I know will take away a bit of me before all is said and done, is all part of the same process of learning to let go. Something I've never been good at.

May love always rule in your life,


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Anna's Free Now

I've never blogged on the road before, so if the formatting is hinky, forgive me. I've gotten some calls and emails regarding Anna, who was the subject of my last post.

For those of you following her heart-wrenching struggle, Anna was declared brain dead last night. Life support was removed this morning, and she slipped away a few hours later as she would have wanted to--in peace and free of pain.

I'm going not to moralize or preach, and as Anna would want, I'm going to move on in the infectious spirit of kindness that she shared with the world--and would want celebrated in her absence.

On Anna's behalf, I do want to leave each of you with this thought:

Our daughters will only grow up in a Barbie World if we continue to let them.

Please hold Anna and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

May love always rule in your life.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Barbie takes another victim

A writer should never begin a story to try to drive home a message. It doesn't work.

What's really frightening, though, is when something you wrote begins to feel prescient.

One of my characters in my book, Trudy, says something to the protagonist, Katya, which sums up today's (painful) post. "When did my choice to get pretty become a crime?"

In the context of the story, Trudy was right. Pretty is not a crime. Nor is the desire to become "all that we can be". The real crime is committed when attractive young women are encouraged by the people who love them in their quests toward an artificial standard of beauty.

I can't get my husband's best friend Pete* off my mind today--Pete, and his youngest daughter, Anna*.

Pete is a great Dad. Often, when I think of him, I begin to hum the song "Daddy's little girl". He's one of the dying breed of father who has erected his world around his love for his family. There is no boundary that Pete won't overcome to provide for his daughter's happiness.

So before you read further, understand, Pete wears his love for his daughter openly and without reservation. That loves defines him. He loves Anna as she came to him, and as far as I know, Pete has never encouraged her to become more than she is.

Like most young girls of her generation, Anna still yearned for *more*. Her Korean-American genes did not equip her with the DNA for large breasts. Pete's little girl found her flat chest ugly. She wanted to feel sexier. Prettier.

Anna already was. Pretty. Stunning, in fact.

Pete did not hesitate to help his little girl meet her dreams by funding her breast augmentation. He wanted to help his child to feel secure, happy, beautiful.

Yesterday, at the age of 19, Anna's dream of fuller breasts came to fruition...

This morning, Pete's little girl--the apple of his eye--lies in an ICU in a coma, while the tubes that keep her tied to this world protrude from every available orifice. Meanwhile her organ systems are systematically shutting down due to an adverse reaction to anesthesia. Anna's frail, beautiful body is in a race against time. Against death.

In spite of coming into this world looking like the proverbial china doll, petite and golden skinned with gleaming masses of black hair, Anna still felt she didn't measure up to the artificial standard which America uses to define beauty.

Anna was not a Barbie.

If you have a daughter, a wife, a friend, a woman who is considering plastic surgery, love her enough to drag her to stand in front of you right now. Tell her how beautiful she is. Then force her to look you in the eyes as you tell her that in this media saturated age of Photo-shopped images and surgically enhanced bodies, she may never hear about the already beautiful girls who have died in their yearning to measure up to that artificial ideal that their genetics never intended for them to be.

Tell her about Anna.

Remind her that Barbie is made of plastic and cosmetic surgery can kill.

Having experienced cosmetic surgery myself, during a time in my life when I was in no emotional state to make such life altering decisions, I can say for certain that nobody ever sat me down and asked my *why* I was taking such a risk with my life.

I was already pretty.

Nobody cared enough to ask me if I was alright inside of my head.

I wasn't.

Nobody ever considered telling me to get my papers in order and my ducks in a row, because this procedure could kill me. Sure, deep down, somewhere, I must have known that there was a risk--but at that point in my life, I'd have done anything to become one of *them*. And that yearning to look better--more perfect, more polished---more lovable---consumed my better judgement. I just wanted my straying husband to love me again.

I know how Pete's little girl felt when she asked her father for the funds to augment her breasts. She wanted the pain of not being one of *them* to go away...forever.

Its impossible to know whether the knowledge that Anna could die in her quest to become one of *them* would have chanted her fate. But if the worst should happen, and Anna should die, at least her father would have the peace of knowing that Anna not only knew the risks, and understoond them, but that she was prepared to accept them as her fate.

Pray for Anna. And then pray for Pete.

I don't know what will become of him without his princess.

*names have been changed for the protection of Pete and Anna's privacy

May love always rule in your life.