Monday, January 29, 2007

War of the Squirrels Podcast - Parts 1 & 2

Yessiree, dem's ninja squirrels!

Parts One and Two of War of the Squirrels from 2006's Day of the Dead show is up now. Go check it out (part 3 is still in post-production - not as sexy as it sounds, just needs a lil' "sweetening" before Andrew puts it up). For whatever it's worth, I play Myra Flato and Sheriff Lobo - sort of a John Wayne meets Elvis voice. Anyway, enjoy. You can either play it directly from the site or download it & listen to it later.

Another cool thing that has nothing to do with squirrels is that the Smoki Museum's hosting an art show of Leonard Peltier's paintings. I'm stoked & will definitely be going to see this. If you want to hear my goofy hubster and J.T. Tannous talk with Smoki curator Adam Mikos talk about the upcoming event, you can listen to the podcast here. I guess Leonard Peltier's going to be making a phone call on the opening night...should be very, very cool.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Random Bits

Finally got the title for the scooter notarized & bought a helmet yesterday. I'm gonna look like a total dork, so I think I'll be moving forward with the whole cover-the-helmet-in-fake-fur idea. In for a penny, in for a pound & all that. Oh yeah, and got some more hair dye as my lovely pink locks are fading into an odd orangey pinkness. Didn't I mention the pink hair? No? Well, here's a pic to prove it. Andrew likes this one - says I look ornery. Who me?! Never!

Finally getting started on Suspicious Circumstances after having just finished Bruen's American Skin & Maleeny's Stealing the Dragon (available for pre-order now). So far so good with SC, adored American Skin (even though it broke my heart) and enjoyed Stealing the Dragon. After SC, I've got to get to work on the TBR pile - more on that in a later post, I think.

Mostly I'm just tired. Yeah, yeah, who isn't these days. Think it's partly the weather & mostly the fact that I've just been struggling with the writing. Completed the revised first 3 chapters of the novel & am much happier with them now (and no more creepy spider dreams, thanks very much), but it's just so flippin' slow. I'm not exactly a patient person. Unfortunately, I'm also a bit of a perfectionist. The combo makes for a pain in the booty kind of writing process. It's okay, but not much in the way of fun.

Which brings me to my personal goal for this fine Sunday...have some fun, dammit! Life's too short for the whole tortured artist routine, so today I'm gonna play with words & see a movie (been meaning to go see "The Departed" and looks like today is the day). No house cleaning junk - okay, okay, a girl's gotta have some clean dishes, but otherwise I'm taking the Nancy Reagan approach and will "just say no" to toilet scrubbing, refrigerator cleaning, sweeping, mopping, etc. It's the last day of the weekend, after all. Who the hell wants clean on the weekend?!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Blogger Kinda Sux

While this looked very cool in the movie, I'm not so thrilled when my blog goes all codey/Matrix on me. For no apparent reason. At least it didn't pull the invisible blog trick...well, not entirely. On the other hand, the situation forced me to make a back-up copy of the blog during the machinations to get the poor ol' LZ Lounge back up and running. And then I found the spam lurking in some of the comments. Was it really necessary to spam me on my anniversary post?! Losers.

Another weirdness...all of the paragraph breaks are gone & now the posts read like giant blocks of grey text. Gross. 'Course, I'm way too lazy to go back and fix all that crap (read the title of the blog, people...I'm not kidding!). Ooh, wait! I think I figured it out! God, I'm such a techno-ninny.

A more interesting weirdness is going back and getting to see all the changes people made with their avatars. Mindy went from a real estate agent-esque pic to the crazy/goofy neighbor lady pic - would you really trust her to pick up your mail when you're on vacation? I think not. Sandra went from straight hair to super curly red hair to mean widdle kid with a serious 'tude. And Anne is by far the most prolific & fun avatar chameleon (though I still say the smoking baby av is the best!).

I've noticed that I have some themes running in the blog post topics. Stuff like arts events in Prescott, poetry, Coyote Radio, sporadic cleaning binges, good books, bitching about poor blog etiquette, dreams and dreaming. And oh yeah, writing and much whining when it's not going well (hello, Ethel, my sweet little nemesis). Go figure. Hey, at least I'm consistent!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Creep Factor

Woke up in the middle of a horrible dream. No slasher movie/suspenseful crap. No, it was much, much worse. I was working in an art store (it's been, what? 15 years since I've done that?) and went to ring someone out at the cash register. Only to move something and be faced with a gi-normous spider. I'm talking dinner plate size. Not a fuzzy spider, but one with a carapace kind of like a crab shell. And it had a baby. The size of a salad plate. Eeurgh, Ew and Aaaargh! The monster arachnids scampered off onto the floor several feet into the corner and this is when things went from creepifying to weird. I pulled out a color-coded chart and discovered that they were in a "safe" zone and I couldn't squish 'em. Not that I really wanted to. C'mon, those hard shells wouldn't squish, they'd crackle. Shudder. Twitch. (I'm talking about me here, not the creepy-crawlers).

The hubster would inevitably tell me that the nightmare critters are about the fact that I need to get off my ass & write. As in, Write Now, Dammit! He always reminds me of the myths about spiders creating the first written language in their webs. He might be right about why they showed up in my dream, but I could use a less terrifying kick in the pants, dear psyche. No really. Please lay off the giant brittle bugs. You're just scaring me into paralysis, so knock it off. If you promise to keep the eight-legged freaks out of my dreams, I promise I'll write my little fingers off.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Music and Dreaming

Sometimes I wake up with a song in my head. Usually it speaks to whatever I was dreaming - maybe just evocative of a feeling, an image, a thought. If I've been turning over a problem, the song can point me to the solution or to what I really think or feel about the situation. Kind of nifty.

Sometimes it's a really annoying song, but this morning I can't complain. I woke up with Neko Case's "I Wish I Was the Moon" thrumming through me - and not just a snippet, but a big ass chunk. If you don't know it, you should check it out. Here are the lyrics:

Chimney falls and lovers blaze
Thought that I was young
Now I've freezing hands
And bloodless veins
As numb as I've become
I'm so tired
I wish I was the moon tonight

Last night I dreamt I'd forgotten my name
'Cause I sold my soul
But I woke just the same
I'm so lonely
I wish I was the moon tonight

God blessed me I'm a free man
With no place free to go
Paralyzed and collared-tight
No pills for what I fear
This is crazy
I wish I was the moon tonight

Chimney falls as lovers blaze
I thought that I was young
Now I've freezing hands
And bloodless veins
As numb as I've become
I'm so tired
I wish I was the moon tonight

How will you know if you've found me at last?
'Cause I'll be the one be the one be the one
With my heart in my lap
I'm so tired
I'm so tired
And I wish I was the moon tonight

I'm so tired
I'm so tired
And I wish I was the moon
I'm so tired
I'm so tired
And I wish I was the moon tonight

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Happy Dance for Sandra!

Here's a happy dance for the Queen Canadian Firecracker, Sandra Ruttan. Go visit her. She's got awesome news about a collaboration with my absolute favorite author, Ken Bruen. I'm so freakin' happy for her! For those of you who aren't familiar with Bruen's work, you are hereby ordered to remedy that sad situation immediately (I'd rec. THE GUARDS to start with). And for those who have been living under a rock, Sandra's debut novel, SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES, is available now - my copy arrived a few days ago. Where's yours?!

That's right. I blame Canada.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Devil Wears Blech...

If I'd actually spent money on this, I'd want it back. Plus interest. There's a new DVD vending machine at our grocery store that offered a free video rental. My husband, being a total sucker, chose this as his free rental (I had NOTHING to do with this decision...I wasn't even there when he did it). He swears it was just 'cause he'd heard that Meryl Streep did an amazing job. She did. I still hated the movie and want the hour and forty-five minutes of my life back that I spent watching the damn thing. You know it's bad when you're able to accurately predict in real time what's going to happen next. My husband literally said, "oh no...she's gonna throw her phone into the fountain." Yep. That's what she did. Ultimo lameness, ultimo predictability. And the movie never did make a stand on the whole fashion industry thingie. Sure, it made fun of the fashionistas, but it never quite went for the jugular - even though the evil Miranda Priestly always did. Dear god, I'm so thrilled that Chick Lit (or Chic Lit, in this case) is dead. I just hope it doesn't go all Elvis on us and insist on coming back over and over and over again. Now THAT'S a scary thought.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Get on Your Bad Motor Scooter and Ride...

Horrible song, but I can't stop saying it. Still need to get a helmet, but in AZ you technically just have to wear sunglasses. Like that's gonna do much to keep my head intact if I should be stupid and/or unlucky enough to take a spill on these mountain roads. Love the scooter, though I couldn't get the damn thing started until it was too late to take it into to town...sheer stupidity on my part. Today is a different story, though. I'll wait until it's a little warmer & then take a ride into town, go get some work done at the studio. Need to get a little farther along on the new Coyote website (the old one is too damn cluttered), and yes, I'll be doing some work on the novel, too. I'm thinking a change of venue would be nice - plus I can get coffee that I don't have to make myself, so what's to complain about?

Here's the deal with the novel. I started over. I didn't toss everything out, but I was having a bitch of a time getting past one section & finally printed out what I had written and started again from the beginning. It seems to be working for me. Although the writing is still coming along stupid slow, at least it's moving. So now I've got a few things to take care of, and then I'm gonna get on my bad motor scooter and ride!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Flippin' Cold

It's really cold here. Okay, not ice/snow storm in the Midwest cold, but damn cold nonetheless. I wouldn't mind so much except a) I now have lots of little bits of bark and wood chips all over the damn living room floor from toting in wood for the wood stove and b) I just bought a scooter over the weekend & it's too flippin' cold to ride the damn thing. So I mind.

On the other hand, I have no excuse, zero, zip, zilch-a-rooti to put off writing. I really hate it when I'm bored with all the usual procrastination crap AND the weather is shitty, 'cause then I'm just fresh out of excuses. I guess it's time to make another mocha and settle down in front of the ol' wip and kick some writerly boo-tay. In this case, that means kicking my own ass to return to my little druggie girl and the body in the desert. I'm sure she's got some stuff on her mind that she's just dying to tell me...if she doesn't, it's gonna be a long, long night.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Little Too Close To Reality

Your Life is Like

Being John Malkovich

Swear to god. Laughed out loud when I read my results for this quiz thingie. Too, too funny. More accurate than I'd like.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Taking a Few Days Off

I'm sick. My hubby is sick. The writing is sucky. See you when looking at the computer screen doesn't make my eyeballs throb.

Monday, January 08, 2007

M.G. Kicks Major Boo-Tay

"All of this will be mine! Bwhahaha!"

M. G. Tarquini, aka The Great Ginsu Tongue, aka The Force of Nature, aka Queen Lala, aka Major(ette) Boo-Tay Kicker, has officially begun her campaign to take over the (literary) world. Mindy entered the first chapter of her novel "Hindsight" in the 21st Annual City Paper writing contest over at Philadelphia City Paper. Out of a pool of nearly 90 entries, "Hindsight" has been chosen as a finalist.

Whoo and Hoo!!! You can read her fab first chapter here. I've probably read the thing 50 times over the past several months and I still love it - read it and you'll see why.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Driving with the Brakes on

Ethel's back. I'm not happy. With one foot firmly planted on the gas pedal and the other on the brake, this bitch ain't moving and that's no way to write. Ethel thinks it's hilarious. I disagree.

I'm off to buy some duct tape to shut her up while I figure out how to let up on the brakes without breaking my own leg to do it. Sheesh. Not that I'm being a drama queen about it or anything.

Oh yeah, and the exercise bike has been calling my name. And not in a good way. In a creepy, Richard Simmons crossed with Norman Bates kind of way. I'm so not excited about getting rid of my holiday cellulite. At least I'll have Ethel to keep me company.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

TBR 2007 (the early days...)

Everybody's posting about their fave books of 2006, and my "must read" list has grown exponentially. Since I've already mentioned my favorite reads over the course of the year, I'm gonna talk about the books I'm looking forward to reading in 2007. It's a long list, so I'm just gonna do the first five today (pretty much in order of must read, for reasons important only to me).

First off, I'm a about three-quarters of the way through Tim Maleeny's Stealing the Dragon, available now for pre-order. I'm digging it so far, but I'll be talking more about this book later this year. Isn't that awesome cover art?!

Then there's Tracy Sharp's Finding Chloe, available right now over at Liquid Silver Books. I've got it hanging out on the ol' hard drive, waiting patiently for me to stop foolin' around and read it. Only had a chance to peek at it so far, but I liked what I saw (although I admit to blushing deeply at the steamy, er, sex scene - I'm a big sex scene sissy). Again, more on this when I've actually finished it.

Coming soon (January 7th!!) is Sandra Ruttan's debut, Suspicious Circumstances. I've been waiting to get my grubby little mitts on this one for way too long, and am excited to finally get to read the damn thing. It's available for pre-order now at Barnes & Noble (click on the book title & it'll take you right there!).

Sitting on my coffee table, singing a Tammy Wynette tinged siren song, is Ken Bruen's latest contribution, American Skin. It's no secret that I adore Bruen's work. The man can write dark, bloody circles around most modern crime fiction writers. Hell, he can write dark, bloody circles around most writers regardless of genre! Reading his work is always an absolute mind-blowing/expanding pleasure. I read a few pages and then set it aside - other stuff to do first, and I want to have time to really savor this one. It looks goooood.

Last, but certainly not least, is The Killing Sea, the new YA book by Richard Lewis, aka the Novelist in Paradise (he lives in Bali!). The aftermath of the tsunami that struck in 2004 provides the backdrop for the story of two kids traveling through the devastation. Raslan, an Indonesian boy, searches for his father, while Australian Sarah seeks medical help for her brother. Richard Lewis lived through the tsunami and worked as a relief worker for several weeks after the disaster struck. Oh, and did I mention that there's already a movie in the works? Yeah, looking forward to this one.

So, not by any means a complete list, but a good start for January of 2007. I'll post more of my list as I work my way through the stack.

Apropos of absolutely nothing, I had the most bizarre dream last night about internet SPAM and...grapes. Don't ask. It makes no sense to me either.