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Showing posts from April, 2011

Grass free gardens

After spending most of the day planting, the idea of a grassless front lawn is something I can get behind. That's right, no lawn. Yeah, eat it grass! Actually, I like grass, but I do not like having to constantly weed out the chickweed, dandelions, farmer's weed and various other invaders. I am a fan of ground covers like creeping thyme, blue rug juniper and forget me nots. The idea of not having to mow all the time is quite appealing.

Grass Free Gardens
Today I planted petunias in pots in front of our house. Put some lemon balm and bee balm in the brier patch area and a bunch of herbs around out veggie garden. Parsley, marjoram, spearmint and rosemary. We put kale and swiss chard in the veggie garden and planted Russian sage on the side of the house where we had taken down all those awful hedges. We also bought a pretty bot for the rock harden and I put vinca and red spike in there. Of course this will all evolve over time. Right now everything is small and will grow over the …

Thursday's Thoughts

Earlier we had a tornado warning here in NJ. Now it is lovely and sunny out. Mother Nature is on a strange trip with the weather this spring and my heart goes out to everyone in the South. The devastation is awful and I have no idea how they will all dust themselves on and move forward. God Bless.
I finished reading "Rum Punch" by Elmore Leonard. I enjoyed it, but it was weird. He is a very unusual writer. There were sentences I would have never deemed allowable, but then again, he has his own way, his own voice. I will read more of his works in the future for sure. My next read is "A Moveable Feast" by Ernest Hemingway. I read about it recently and while I am not a huge fan of his, I read The Sun Also Rises and it was okay, to read his memoirs of being in Paris during the 1920's intrigues me. This also helps me stick to my plan to alternate my reading of fiction and non-fiction.
I need to find another area rug for our living room. Once again, furniture has been…

What am I doing?

Writing. As always.My query letter has not been chosen for the workshop or answered yet, but that works for me. It actually gives me time to keep plugging away and working out my kinks. Bookends blog had a great post about making your query one paragraph or less. I am hoping to work on that later this week. If I can do that, hell, I can do anything ;-)
Here is something I have been pondering, what is the draw of a woman being a virgin in romance and erotica? A novella I read, which was not that great, had every single female character be a virgin and of course, beautiful. There was no virtuous reason as to why they were virgins, it was never even discussed. It was as if each writer, which was female mind you, felt it was best to have the female protagonist be untouched by man. Until their hero came along with his strapping bod and gorgeous face and brilliant mind to ravish the for the rest of their days. Now, I can see if I was writing Christian romances, both hero and heroine would n…

Plagiarism Abounds

The cheek of some would be authors is astounding. Apparently a writer named Christine Phoenix decided to lift not just a paragraph but pretty much a whole passage, if not more, from author J.L. Langley's novel "With Love".
Here is the whole story. Thank you TeddyPig and Vacuous Minx and for making this public so communities of writers could pass it on.
This is not something to be taken lightly. We writers work hard and the last thing anyone should do is rip off our work and call it their own. Sure similarities can happen and it does, but blatant, word for word stealing is a disgrace to the craft. Shame on you Miss Phoenix.
Happy Easter and no more rotten eggs!!
Cheers! MissFifi

Random Pretty Things

A lighthearted post? From moi? But of course!
Lovely necklaces from Lisa Leonard Designs.
Great graphic pillows by Fresh Line Illustration.
Marie Larkin creates interesting dolls that would be terrific art pieces around the house.
Some of the display pieces from Bella Cottage are so fabulous.
Everyone can use a linen dress for the summer and Daisy Fairbanks has wonderful vintage styles.
And for an interesting read, check out The Chap'sManifesto.
Cheers! MissFifi

The Wire in the Blood

It felt good to vent yesterday. Everyone needs to complain and rant about insignificant and significant things from time to time. Helps clear the mind really. Of course I am not railing against authors personally. I just do not believe I have to fake being a fan of someone's work because they are bestsellers or popular. Nor do I believe I have to read them, enjoy them or fear to critique them because everyone claims them to be second coming. I have no interest in Stephenie Meyer or her 'Twilight' series, but I certainly do not wish her any ill will.
I have just begun watching the ITV series Wire in the Blood. The main character, clinical psychologist Dr. Tony Hill, was created by author Val McDermid. She calls her work Tartan Noir a clever title which I love. A real hard core crime series could be an interesting addition to my must read list. I am curious to how someone puts together an intense crime story and not show the hand of the killer ahead of time.
Cheers! MissFifi

Are you a New York Times Bestseller?

And if not, why not?
The following post is going to be construed as jealous, snarky and bitter.
I don't care.
It should be construed as someone perplexed by the whole "list" crap. Sort of like all those award shows, that to me, they mean nothing anymore.
I have read books, and now for the sake of pissing off enough people, in the romance genre that are touted as being a #1 New York Times Bestseller. I recently read an excerpt of one and nearly gagged myself with a floor lamp. The plot was mundane, the writing was a fourth grade level and yet, this woman was fortunate enough to have a huge following and a great career. Good night and God bless.
Clearly sales volume counts, not quality. Sure, sure I knew this. I am not an idiot. Marketing and PR is what it is all about and when you sell a million books, you count. And so you should. You have worked hard. But don't expect me to like every book up there. Some bestsellers that did nothing for me are 'The DaVinci Code&#…

Ramble, ramble

I just came across these cool shed/house/yoga studio/writer spaces by Kangaout of Austin. Texas. I would love a little backyard cottage or shed where I can go write for a few hours. Plus it would be nice to surrounded by my gardens and all the birds. Le sigh.
This is the BRIGHTEST WHITEST kitchen, I have ever seen.
Misspellings Ahoy! They happen and can be a nightmare. One of the most common I have come across is using 'through' for 'throw'. A few posters on blogs, most likely writing in haste, do not even notice, but for some reason it is irking me like crazy.
Stair storage ideas.
Inexplicably I have gone back to my bounty hunter story and changed the title and started to edit it once again. What is really weird about it is I feel the character's voice coming out much stronger and I am feeling more confident about doing the query letter. Go figure.
With the storms in our are, rain and high winds are fun, our basement has a little flooding so the dear hubby is curren…

Roses and Rum Punch

Ever since I have hit a very funky, weird and despondent mood, I have been thinking about planting roses. I was warned off of them by a friend and fellow gardener who promised that those beautiful flowers will bring pestilence, disease and destroy all others surrounding them. Did I really want to commit to the upkeep of something that potentially could just wilt away? Or would I rather stick to flowers that were hardly any trouble at all? Decent points really, but then another friends suggested roses saying how they make a garden look elegant and grand and that there are many disease resistant varieties out there now. The truth is, I love roses. Not for weddings or Valentine's Day, but rose bushes and roses that trellis. Roses that remind my of my grandmother and where I grew up in New Jersey. What I have noticed is that when you look at most landscaped homes or garden, there is very rarely roses. They are not just the quintessential English garden flower to me, they represent why …

Self-reproach is fun!

Hell = Query Letters
Another rejection has made it quite clear that I need to stop soliciting, start reworking and get it to Query Shark pronto. I had intentions to work on my query today, but life gets in the way and that is what I want to talk/vent about. Most authors would say you should be able to write with distractions around you. I have and I do most days. A special needs dog means whining is an indication she needs water, to go out, a hug, to play or some other request she cannot get to herself. Laundry, dinner, gym, whatever has to get done, has to get done. Writing becomes sporadic, choppy and then block can kick in. Sometimes the distractions help with a story line, but I admit that I wish that I could go away for a week, to a cabin in the mountains or a shack on a beach, unencumbered. All I would have to do is eat when I want and sleep when I want. Other than that I get to write non-stop without interruption. Who is to say if this little fantasy of mine will ever come to fru…

Writing is like a Cat O Nine Tails

The keyboard, pen, pencil, chisel and stone are all instruments of destruction in a writers hands. There are times we weave a story, smile, think it the greatest thing since sliced bread and then POOF! A smack across the face, blood on you back and you are lying in a gutter covered in vomit while holding a bottle of Charles Shaw.Okay, my dramatic arch is far reaching, but in many cases, a writer will be sitting at the same desk reworking that query or synopsis wondering what the hell have they have done for the past two years. That's right. Take me for example. What have I got to show except one poorly written romance novel which may or may not be revisited one day, about five rejections for "Cleaning House" my futuristic thriller and almost 85,000 words written for my other novel in progress.
Welcome to self inflicted torture, the dungeon on the right is ready for you.
"You Will Never Publish A Word" by Nina Badzin pretty much sums up my personal fears and excit…

Reading Nooks

Books are one of my all time favorite ways to entertain myself. I am currently on the fifth book in the Thursday Next series, First Among Sequels and yes, my obsession with that series has never waned so bravo Jasper Fforde.
One thing I have always coveted is a reading nook. Granted, I am happy to curl up in one of my wing back chairs and read. But the idea of sitting on a comfy window seat, reading by natural light, oh heaven indeed. Apartment Therapy has posted some reading nooks and while not all of them are window seats, I really love the idea that most readers want to be cocooned in literary bliss. To have a designated area where one can indulge and read books, magazines, whatever, is pretty fabulous.
Cheers! MissFiFi

And they just keep coming

Not all authors are overly sensitive just like not all reviewers are failed writers taking their ire out on the published author. But seriously, what is with all the author melt downs of late?
Sylvia Massara went into a snit fit when a reviewer at Book Binge, did not love her book. Nothing personal, she just did not enjoy the character and explained what she disliked about the story. No shocker here, this happens. We writers will not move everyone's heaven and earth. Now please, understand that and do not bash the reviewer. Unless there is a personal attack and someone insults your or your family, there is no reason to get upset. What the author should do is thank the reviewer, realize it was not their cup of tea and rest assured there is an audience out there for the book.
Words to the wise - The internet moves fast my friends and can help make or break your career. Can the emotions before you fire off a nasty response. You never know who is reading these blogs. Any publisher, agen…