Dude, Where's My Muse?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Books

Well despite the fact the new mail guy is horrible (and apparently didn't show up with any mail yesterday), a surprise managed to make it through to me today.

I have for review...wait for it...

The first two Sweet Valley High books!!!

Apparently they're updating them and re-releasing them. These two come out April 8th. Call me geeky but I'm excited since I've never ever read the series. :o) So yay, more books for the review pile.

What's everyone currently reading? I'm reading Mark Henry's HAPPY HOUR OF THE DAMNED. Great Urban Fantasy, with a high gore factor. Its interesting to read. Next up is, hmmm I'll have to check the list again, but I think its Maggie Marr's series set in Los Angeles. Should be fun!

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posted by Lis at 3:14 PM 2 comments

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hockey

Change of pace on the blog today, let's talk hockey. Or specifically almost playoff hockey. The Oilers are almost, almost in...at least they are at the moment. Hovering achingly close to the 8th and final playoff spot. I'd find it ironic if they were in and say, the AVS weren't. :o)

They're playing Minnesota tonight in what should be a great game which is of course on PPV so I'll have to listen to it online. Should be good though. I have to admit Penner has quickly become my favorite Oiler (well, with Raffi out anyway) with Stoll and Pisani a close second, not too mention Garon and the now playing great Rolli!

So if you watch hockey, how excited are you that the playoffs are JUST around the corner and who are you hoping makes it?

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posted by Lis at 4:43 PM 0 comments

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Flatline

I'm seriously thinking my creativity has either flat-lined, gone poof, taken a vacation or a mix of all three. Or more like paralysis caused from playing the waiting game. I'm nowhere near as patient as I used to be. Probably because I'm down to the last two fulls out right now, and before I sub that partial (bites lip to keep from making comment on the exorbitant prices at canadapost, that a partial is going to cost like $5 less than a full ms to NYC...) I might want to make a few little changes here and there... if the ones with the full pass.

So the ones with the fulls right now are brand new agents and really don't have a lot of sales or anything and I keep checking out the verla kay boards to see if anyone else has heard back who subbed around when I did. One's had the full a month via snail and I think the other one's had it a little over a month, via email... so I'm seriously trying not to hit refresh constantly on the business email... really... don't believe me? :o)

All my other projects have sorta ground to a halt, including my trying to blurb the nocturne pitch. You see, I don't think I write as sexy and as alpha as they want, but my horoscope this year said to take all opportunities that are thrown at me and this is an opportunity so... we'll see.

And if all this wasn't fun enough, I'm fighting an on again-off again cold that refuses to go away. It does for awhile then comes back.

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posted by Lis at 4:54 PM 1 comments

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Joy of the Post

Canada-post that is.

Can you feel my sarcasm? Really??? Because you absolutely, super-dutley have to.

So, when we left off, Friday I had to go pick up a parcel at the post office. Except I couldn't get down to the post office (you know, that pesky don't drive bit and all) so Saturday afternoon once Dad got off of work and had something to eat he swings me by... to see that instead of being open till six, oh no, today they've decided to close early. *blank eyed stare here*

That brings us to Sunday when I go finally and pick it up. Ring bell, new girl comes out of the back and goes to get my package which when I look at is was shipped FED-EX and suddenly became expresspost once it hit Edmonton. I have no clue... really...seriously... because had it stayed Fed-ex it would have arrived THURSDAY (notice the day before I got the notice) and saved two trips to the post office.

The same new mail guy again today (where oh where is our regular post woman?) Anyway, mom yells down he's here (at 6pm mind you, 7 hours later than the normal time) and it looks like he's jamming something in the slot. I go out and check the mail and surely, he's shoved an envelope that isn't meant to fit the small regular mail slot. After much wrestling I take it out to see its in a clear canada-post envelope apologizing for the damage to the envelope which must have happened in transit. Bah! Then when I check the customs form on the back it says 2 books and since they're review books, much anticipated review books picture a happy happy smile... till I get inside and realize there is only ONE book. Brief email back and forth with co-author of said book to realize co-author #2 just sent one and it must be a typo.

But can this please, PLEASE be the end of my post office headaches for awhile yet?

Oh and if you don't think fate has a sense of humor, another agent request. For a partial. SNAIL MAIL...
posted by Lis at 6:38 PM 3 comments

Saturday, March 15, 2008

White Stuff

Two days ago, things were melting. You could see the dirt in the garden, it even looked like some of last year's pansies were beginning to make a comeback. Then came yesterday, when it snowed. Now everything is blanketed in white, everywhere you look is WHITE.

I think this is mother's nature joke since I bought another *mumblemumble* packs of seeds this week.

Annoyance of the week: new mailguy who won't bother to bring parcels (ala, a book in an envelope) to the super mailbox. Oh no, he gives you a pick-up slip to which you have to go to the shoppers drug mart postal outlet, stand in line while the 2 girls/guys/whoever behind the counter have to tag-team every task (apparently they don't realize wow, two tills equals we could both have one...) Thursday night I spent 32 minutes in line to pick up a book. And I got another pick up slip yesterday. That's 3 in a week.
posted by Lis at 3:16 PM 1 comments

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What To Do, What To Do

I'm in a bit of a writing funk. Not exactly stemming from last week's 3 in 3 days fiasco, but that didn't help either. Trying to figure out what to work on next. I've been dabbling all over the place. Started a couple different YAs, including a spin-off of CS but I don't want to get too deep into that one and besides, main character X sorta stopped cooperating.

Then there's the second YA with the urban fantasy tone. I love the idea, I just can't get it down right, so it obviously needs more baking time. The third YA idea, while its something I know... might not appeal to a lot of people. Then dad suggested I really write what I know, but who wants to go that dark about a teenager spending 6 years being harassed daily at school by kids and a handful of teachers? So yeah... not really wanting to go there.

EHQ is having a nocturne editor pitch next month. I do have a manuscript I've been working on off and on for the last 2 years that could fit, I'm not sure its as 'sensual' as the guidelines say but I can try to bring the heat level up I guess. Remember, a few years ago my RS was rejected because my hero wasn't sexy enough... and then I got hit with a new idea for that when I read the info on the pitch, but all I know so far is the heroine and I'm not sure she's typical nocturne material.

So as you can tell, I'm pretty well all over the place with really no clue what to write or do at the moment. I'm staying away from the business email because I don't want to start another run of passes, even though I just checked tracking this morning and the last full was only delivered yesterday so unless new agent C is super duper fast, there shouldn't be anything there yet.
posted by Lis at 11:33 AM 0 comments

Friday, March 07, 2008

Its That Time of Year


For seeds!

A lot of places are starting bring in their seed displays (of which I sometimes admit to drooling over lovingly lol) It all started in early February when I made my first seed purchase of the season. A pack of seeds for beautiful blue nemesia. If you haven't grown nemesia before, they look similar to snapdragons but they tend to have larger heads and the ones I had last year had an amazing fragrance. So this year I went out looking and found the blue seeds.

Monday, we went to Holes (local greenhouse) and I went perhaps a little seed crazy. 8 packages, but who can resist petunias that have flowers 4-6 inches?? Polar White Zinnias? (They'll look lovely with another all white flower and the blue nemesia, unless I go with the paintbox nemesia I had last year...decisions, decisions)


Here's a sampling of some of the seeds I bought.

The first one pictured is Malope Strawberries and Cream Mix Seeds Large flowers which are good for cutting. This easy to grow, vigorous plant carries beautiful 7.5cm (3") blooms in shades of crimson, rose and pink, together with white. It's an excellent cut flower too! A colourful alternative to Lavatera. HA - Hardy annual. Height 75cm (2½')

I thought they reminded me a lot of lavatera which I love.

This is the nemesia. Aren't they pretty?


And for the first time, I'm going to try and grow sweet peas. I found a bunch that are for containers or only get knee high and are free standing, so I decided I must try! :o)

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posted by Lis at 11:29 AM 2 comments

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Comes in Threes?

Someone tell me Rs (or as I like to call them now, passes) come in threes. Monday brought a pass on the full from one of my top three choices. She sent a nice letter, complimenting the story but mentioned a few points I can fix up to take the manuscript to the next level. I think its my favorite pass ever actually.

Tuesday brought the pass on partial (1st three chapters) from the agent who'd had it since November. She liked the story, called Chey delightful... but... still a pass.

And today brings a form R from a third agent who had the first 100 pages. No comment on the story. Or why she didn't like it... just... the usual form.

I still have three fulls out...but I'm hoping my stats get better, or I at least get a few days break between now and the next one. I think I need chocolate...
posted by Lis at 12:04 PM 1 comments

Monday, March 03, 2008

WLG

From the Worlds Longest Game facebook group:

We are still short of our 500,000.00 goal and in order to get the piece of equipment we want we need to reach that goal. If anybody can get the message across to work mates, friends or corporate would be a big help to have them log on to the web site and give. thanks
Here is the youtube link of the game...
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=6SirJ9BWnUU

by the way, the website is http://www.worldslongestgame.com
posted by Lis at 3:15 PM 0 comments

Blog Tour: Christine Norris


"The Crown of Zeus" by Christine Norris

Read An Excerpt Online
Genre:

ISBN: 1-59998-556-X
Length: Novel
Price: 5.50
Publication Date: February 19, 2008
Cover art by Christine Clavel

Which is worse: Having to start life over, or being eaten by a Minotaur?

The Library of Athena, Book One

Thirteen-year-old Megan Montgomery's world is falling apart. Her father's promotion means leaving her whole life in New York behind. She finds herself transplanted to a huge, lonely manor house in the English countryside, with no one for company but the distant staff. Her new school only adds to her misery—neither the girls nor the teachers seem to like her.

Then Megan meets three girls who actually talk to her instead of about her, and at first she thinks things are getting better. But the girls seem more interested in the strange rumors that the house is haunted. Desperate to make friends, Megan invites them to sleep over for the weekend.

A discovery of a cryptic poem, a key and a diary written by the builder of the manor—an eccentric archaeologist—turns the sleepover into a treasure hunt. Clues lead the girls to believe the Parthenon holds a great secret—and suddenly they find themselves sucked into one man's version of Ancient Greece. The only way home is to find an object thought to be mere legend.

If they survive that long.

About the Author

Christine Norris is the author of several works for children and adults. She spends her time divided between her writing, substitute teaching, and caring for her family of one husband-creature, a son-animal, a large dog whose greatest achievement is sleeping in one position for an entire day, and a small feline who is very adept in his position as Guardian of the Bathtub. She also works at English Adaptations of novels translated from other languages.

To learn more about Christine Norris, please visit http://www.christine-norris.com. Send an email to Christine at risseybug@aol.com or through her MySpace page, at http://www.myspace.com/christinenorris.

EXCERPT #2 (Cross-promo)

“Can I help you?”

“Ah, yes.” Megan squared her shoulders and tried to stand up straight. “I’m Megan Montgomery. I’m a new student and this is my first day. They said I had to report to you.”

The woman shuffled through the papers on her desk and pulled out a manila folder. “Yes, of course. The girl from America. Well, come in child, don’t lurk in the doorway. Please sit down.”

A thick burgundy rug muffled Megan’s footsteps as she walked to one of a pair of high-backed chairs in front of the desk. She tried to look graceful as she sat down.

“Welcome to St. Agatha’s.” The woman gave a smile that reminded Megan of a cat who has just found a juicy mouse. She folded her hands on the desk, sat up straight, and looked Megan in the eye. “I am Miss Spencer, the headmistress.”

“Nice to meet you.”

Miss Spencer nodded. “Since you are from America, you are probably not familiar with our British education system. You are thirteen, correct?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Megan had never really called anyone ‘ma’am’ before, but Miss Spencer looked like someone who she should. “I’m in the eighth grade.”

Miss Spencer’s smile widened a bit, but it was still a smile that looked put-on for company. “It’s ‘yes, Headmistress’. And we don’t have ‘grades’ here. You are in third year.” The headmistress picked up the file and walked around to Megan’s side of the desk. “I’ve looked over your transcripts, and everything appears to be in order. But I must warn you, Miss Montgomery. Here things are going to be much tougher than they were at your old school. This institution is a tradition among many families from all over the world.”

“The world?” Megan asked. “Do their families all move here so they can go to school?”

Miss Spencer laughed like a parent whose small child just did or said something cute and silly. “No, no, of course not, dear. Some, like you, are day students, while others live in our dormitories. We pride ourselves on turning out the finest young ladies. To that end, you will be taking more subjects than you are used to, including Latin.”

“Latin?” Who speaks Latin?

“Yes. As well as Music, Math, World History, Science, Literature, Philosophy, Geography and Art. You will also be in a House.” She flipped open the file. “I’ve placed you in Whitmore. Your House contains about twenty girls from each year. Your Head is Professor Livingston, she teaches History. If you have problems in school, academic or personal, go to her. Each house also meets twice a week for tutoring and study.”

“I see.” Megan’s stomach felt as if it would drop out of her feet at any moment. All those classes, plus forced study? Megan had held her own at her old school, but she wasn’t exactly a straight-A student. I’m in trouble.

“I notice you played hockey at your old school as well,” Miss Spencer continued, oblivious to Megan’s nervousness. “You might try out for the House team. It’s one of the best in the county. If you enjoy horses, we also have an exceptional equestrian team.”

I’ll run right out and sign up for that. Not.

She handed Megan a piece of paper. “Here’s your schedule. I suggest you get to class. The late bell is about to ring.”

Megan took the paper and looked it over. “Thank you, Headmistress.” She slung her bag over her shoulder and walked to the door. She wondered what would happen if she just kept running, right out the front door.

Megan’s first class was Literature. She found the classroom and opened the door. A stern-looking man with slicked back dark hair turned and stared at her with small black eyes.

“May I help you?” he drawled. His pasty face wore a look of utter distaste, as if wondering who dared interrupt his class.

“Uh, yes sir. My name is Megan Montgomery. I’m new.” She handed him her schedule.

He glanced, sniffed, and handed it back to her. “Ah, yes. Very well, take a seat. And do not be tardy to my class again.”

Megan felt her cheeks get hot, and thought about telling him that it wasn’t her fault she was late, but decided against it. She found a desk at the back of the room and took out her textbook. From one of the desks to her right she heard a snicker.

“Miss Montgomery?”

“Yes, sir?”

“Do not expect special treatment because you are new. Or because you are from America. I expect you to keep up with your classmates.”

“Yes, sir.” She slumped down into her seat and tried to make herself as small as possible.

The rest of Megan’s first day was much the same. The classes here were certainly different than at her old school. For one thing, students were expected to stand when they gave the answer to a question. Her teachers were not “Mrs. or Mr.” but “Professor.” Most of them were very strict, and demanded much more than her old teachers.

Her schedule was packed. The first day alone she had World History, Intermediate Math, Latin, and Philosophy in addition to Literature. Most the teachers referred to her as “The American Girl” several times before remembering her name.

They all piled on the homework.

At lunch, she sat alone, because of course she didn’t know anyone and no one offered to sit with her. And she saw the pointing and whispering that went on; most didn’t even try to hide it.

Megan tried to hold it together, but it was hard to ignore the fact that she was on display like some kind of freak show. She picked at her lunch, unable to eat, and sympathizing with every new kid she had ever seen at her old school.

I want to go home. She meant to New York.

After school, Megan stood on the front steps of St. Agatha’s, waiting for her ride home, wondering how much a one-way ticket from Heathrow to JFK cost. She was miserable and had a ton of homework; her backpack felt like it was going to rip her shoulder off.

She shifted her bag to the other shoulder and watched a group of six girls clustered nearby. She had seen a couple of them in her classes, and was pretty sure they were in her year, but didn’t know any of their names.

She watched out of the corner of her eye as they whispered intently between themselves and took furtive glances in her direction. Megan couldn’t hear what they were talking about, but she sure knew who. Just like at lunch. Don’t they have anything better to do?

She allowed this to go on for a few minutes, appearing oblivious to their whisperings. Finally she had enough. She whipped her head around and marched over to them.

“Excuse me.” She walked right up to the tallest girl. “Is there a problem?”

Three of the girls turned bright red, took a few steps back, and slunk away, their heads down, leaving their three co-conspirators behind.

Proper English girls don’t gossip, do they? Megan gave a wide smile that dripped with sugar.

“There’s no problem, is there, girls?” the tall one said in a flat tone, still toe-to-toe with Megan.

“Well, I think there is.” Megan’s smile was gone. “You’ve all been giggling and talking about me behind my back. Care to share?”

The girl licked her lips. “We were just wondering…”

“About what? My accent, my shoes, or my hair maybe?”

The girl pushed a lock of her straight black hair behind her ear, unfazed. “Ah, no, actually. We were wondering about your house.”

It was Megan’s turn to step back. “My House? Oh, I’m in, uh, Whitmore, I think?”

The girls giggled. Megan felt like she had missed the punchline of a joke, and her cheeks burned.

It was the girl with short brown hair and glasses who replied. “No, not your academic House, your house. You know, where you live?”

Megan lifted her eyebrows, confused. “You want to know about…my…house?”

The third girl, a pretty blonde with loose, shoulder-length curls, pulled her Burberry purse up higher on her shoulder. “You do live in the big manor house on Knapford Road, right? The Paragon?”

“The Parthenon,” Megan corrected. “What about it?” It wasn’t the conversation she expected, but she was kind of happy they were actually talking to her.

The dark-haired girl pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes, also seeming to choose her words carefully. “We wanted to know, you see, er, whether or not you’ve seen anything…anything strange since you’ve been there?”

“What do you mean, strange? Like African artifacts strange? Or like bad decorating strange?”

“Oh, no, nothing like that,” the second girl said. She pushed her thick glasses up her long nose. She gave a furtive look. “Like ghosts. Unhappy spirits roaming about the halls at night.”


Buy link: www.samhainpublishing.com/authors/christine-norris

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posted by Lis at 12:01 AM 2 comments