lydamorehouse: (Default)
 Did I read anything this week?  I'm actually not sure. I _do_ have a pile of things that I'm planning on reading, however.  Does that count?

What did I do INSTEAD of reading? I wish I knew. Part of this, I think, is getting back into the "Back to School" mode.  Mason was sick with a cold late last week (he missed school on Friday), and then Shawn promptly caught it.  So I've been doing a lot of nursemaiding.  

Ugh. Work just called. They wanted me to go into New Brighton's' branch tonight and work 5 to 8.  I probably should have said yes, but I work both tomorrow and Friday.  

Also? It's MasterChef's finale tonight.

I know this sounds stupid, but ever since Mason was very small we have, as a family, been fans of MasterChef.  It's the one network TV show we actually tune in for.  All three of us gather in the TV room upstairs and adjust the rabbit ears so that we can watch the show.  It's not even all that great. Most people would probably prefer The Great British Baking Show or Iron Chef.  Not us. We're faithful to Gordon Ramsey and his disappointed looks and rants about things that are "rawr." 

For once, too, the contestants left standing at the end are all weirdos.  There's one white guy, but he's fully tattooed, bleach blond, and heroin-addict skinny... and a super-odd, with very Italian-American from Brooklyn accent.  Currently, I'm rooting for Jason, an Asian-American guy who comes with a male partner, kind of BECAUSE he's gay (though he is one of the most cheerful people they've had on).  The other contestant is Eboni, a black woman from Chicago.  We like them all.  This is one of the few times where we won't be disappointed with whoever wins.

Skipping work for TV, though?  Probably I'm going to hell.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Shawn and I have been trying to watch the TV show "Grimm." We've DVRed it, so we have most of the episodes to date, though we haven't quite caught up yet. I WANT to like this show. I love a lot of the side characters, particularly Monroe, or, as someone (i09?) calls him, the "Pilates Wolf." He's a Big Bad Wolf, a Blutbatt, who is mostly reformed his ways, and who is an awesome enough character he totally deserves a spin-off. Because our hero, the Grim: Dull.

Dull. Dull. Dull.

As I complained on FB last night, dude has no superpowers. He has the second sight, but that's really all he's got. No grim reaper scythe, no zanpakto, nothing. In fact, in the episode that we watched last night his big ability was to bleed on to one of the big bads. Seriously. *I* can bleed.

People tell me this last Friday's episode actually involved a weapon and maybe "punched things up a notch", which it would be nice to see, because... man. Dude is also the world's worst detective. Like Batman in reverse.

But I end up watching for the side characters and because the universe of Grimm is weirdly compelling. Like, what's up with the French speaking captain? So, I'll keep watching --probably while complaining the entire time. But, hey, there's a long tradition of shouting at the TV in my family.

I've also been watching "Black Butler." I finished FMA (the 2004 version), and was thinking about starting up on "FMA: Brotherhood," but I just felt kind of burned out on Al and Ed for the moment. Anyway, I like "Black Butler"... it's sort of a creepy Anime version of Downton Abbey, with a demon butler, so that works for me. I will say though, that "His Butler, Escaping"... holy sh*t, can anyone say torture porn? Yowza! (And yet SOMEHOW there is no fan fic on Archive of Our Own yet.) Still, I find myself wishing that the story would go less into what's being served at tea, and more into what kind of demon Sebastian is, and his back story more and, like, why is the prospect of devouring little lord Phantomhive's soul worth all the hassle that little brat puts him through. I have been teased that some back story is coming (by Sebastian himself in the "next episode" teaser, but I've learned not to trust those after the corset scene... also, EEEK,), but we'll see if I'm really satisfied.

I'm about half way through Season 1, Part 2, for those who are interested. I also picked up the Manga from the library because someone I talked to implied that it was "darker" and that turned out to be untrue. It's almost verbatum to what's on the show. (Including the cut out scenes of food porn, which actually I find charming in both the Anime and the Manga. I just want more Sebastian.)

I have to say, in general, I need more information about the Japanese version of the grim reaper. It confuses me. Three shows I've watched have shinigami (aka death gods/grim reapers) in them: Bleach, Black Butler, and SoulEaters. I've only see the first episode of SoulEaters, but they seem to all be going to Grim Reaper Academy (am I right?) At any rate, I was really confused in Black Butler that the reapers seem to act as an intermediary between souls and heaven/hell (which seems pretty standard), but that there are also angels as well as demons. Is this typical of some mythology I'm missing? The shinigami seem to generally be non-partisan in that a reaper will deal with hell-bound and heavan-bound souls, and demons are clearly eaters of souls, but I am still not sure what the angel is up to in Black Butler (though I'm enjoying that she seems to be a villian of sorts.)

In other Real Life (tm) news, there isn't much to tell. Mason and I are planning to hit B&N tonight after school because one of his authors has a book out today, Rick Riordan, who has another one of his Egypt mythos books out. Mason is particularly fond of this series, even more so than the Percy Jackson books. So tonight promises to be fun for him. I was hoping to get to KSW, though we'll have to see how all that plays out.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I'm sitting at a nearby Caribou while my car gets an oil change and a tire-rotation. Of course, I overhear the guy at the coffee bar say into his cell phone: "We need to instill some Christian values into him!"

Why is my knee-jerk reaction: "Oh noz!!!"

I mean, perhaps, for all I know, the guy is a liberation theologist upset that his son/friend/brother/lover doesn't share his world view and wants him to be more Christian in that brown-skinned socialist sort of way. :-)

I suspect my reaction comes from the fact that that particular phrase seems to be one of those "dog whistles" the press always talks about. Christian values is like the Moral Majority, a phrase that has become highly politicized.

Egads, I just heard him say, "We'll you know you're going to die, and you can't take it with you. You've got to figure out how you can afford eternity."


At any rate, it's been a long time since I've posted. I should be able to be more consistant now, though. I hope. I finished two new proposals for more books in the cow mutiliation mystery series (Precinct 13.) As I've said, this series will probably never get off the ground because I absolutely adore it.

Speaking of things I love that are doomed, Shawn and I just started watching "Grimm." What an awesome show! It's like something I would write, because in the middle of all this fairy tale action we meet a Big Bad Wolf (a "blutbad") who isn't all that bad. In fact, he's trying to reform, and he's utterly hillarious. (Burn Notice fans will recognize the actor as the guy who played the crazy drug dealer/arms supplier). We're going to try to catch all the episodes because I'm absolutely certain it's not going to survive long. It's too smart with a touch of silly. That's not usually a good combination for a network show.

In other news, we're headed to Indiana again soon to see Mason's grandmother who lives there. I'm not looking forward to the grueling drive, but I am planning on downloading a bunch of podcast science fiction/fantasy stories to listen to on the way down. This is how I keep up on short stories actually, and this time they're doing double duty. I'm going to start deciding which stories to "assign" (it's always volunteer) for my Loft on-line students to listen to/read.

If y'all have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Well, I can't hang out here too long today. I've got to go check to see how they're doing on my car. Then, I'm HOPING that I'll get a chance to keep working on the short story I started, as well as re-keying "12 Traditions" which I'm hoping to sell as a reprint, AND formatting Archangel Protocol so I can send it off to the woman we're going to hire to do an e-book of it.

Life is always hopping at the Rounds/Morehouse place.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
The Internet has taught me that other people lead much more fabulous lives than I do.

I mean, according to Twitter and Facebook, a bunch of you are flying off to conferences, learning new languages, dancing the Tango, or are just plain clever.

I, meanwhile, am looking forward to a day filled with errands. Shawn has to go off to get her haircut around 1 PM. I need to change the big fish tank. Then, I need to pack an overnight bag, as this evening, I'm going to board to shuttle to LaCrosse so I can hang out with my mom tomorrow while my dad has hip surgery.

Not really Twitter-worthy, you know?

The only other thing I can report is that Shawn and I took advantage of a child-free house yesterday to catch up on "Dexter" (Season 3, I think -- anyway, the one that introduces the Trinity Killer.) We've been having trouble finding time to watch it because of the excessive swearing (and violence) and Mason's tendency to lurk just outside of the TV room. Predictably, I dreamed I was Dexter again last night. I don't quite know why, but my subconscious spends a lot of its noctural hours trying to figure out how to be a sympathetic serial killer.

As I was telling Shawn, I continue to really love the episodes of that show where there isn't so much of the killing as Dexter trying to grapple with human emotion and other baffling things a sociopath has to cope with. (Makes me think of the new Sherlock and his "high functioning sociopath!" Anyone know when those new shows will air? I'm a huge squeeing fan of the new Sherlock.)

Maybe I have a thing for sociopaths.

Fictional ones, anyway.
lydamorehouse: (cap kneeling)
So I guess that I missed seeing the trailer for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER because I had a dinner date with my nephew who was boycotting the big game. (First of all, *I* am extremely pleased that the Packers won. I'm a Wisconsin native and it's just kind of cool to see a team owned by the people of Greenbay do so well.) Jon and I watched the Cap trailer on his iPhone, but I thought maybe I missed something because the screen was so small, but, uh... not really.

Here's the link to the Official site, from which you can follow to the official Superbowl trailer.

I don't know. It's not that Cap doesn't look cool, because he does. But I was really hoping for an iconic shot, you know, a sheild toss or something... like they gave us with IRONMAN (the classic shot of him landing and then the repulsor ray image. Honestly, it's little bits like that which make me go: "cooooooooooool!")

I should write to the folks over at the Marvel movie studios and explain something quite simple to them. Comic book fans (or, at least THIS comic book fan,) is actually not as nitpicky as you think or worry. I'm used to reboots. I'll follow almost any storyline for a couple of hours. What I want from a superhero movie is a chance to see my hero do that cool stuff s/he does in the still frames LIVE. Like, seeing Nightcrawler's "bamf" in action totally made up (for me, at least,) for the fact that Kurt apparently did not recognize his own MOTHER, the only other blue skinned person in town.... But, you know, seriously, I even enjoyed seeing Gambit do his card trick, even though I wasn't at ALL sold on the guy they had playing him in WOLVERINE.

So I'd like to see:

or that moment right before he yells "Avengers Assemble" when he raises the sheild, like this:

That's kind of all I need.

At any rate, we had a fine weekend, despite missing the Superbowl ads. Saturday Mason had swimming class and then we went directly to the Sprawl where we met up with some friends who had unlimited wristbands to the amusment park formerly known as Camp Snoopy (now Nikolodean). Alas, I forgot to pack my computer, so I ended up having to make an emergency purchase at Barnes & Noble of a notbook and some paper, since Mason had two teenage girls to chaperone him. I got to sit with the other adult and chat at the Caribou Coffee which is nestled just inside the amusement park next to the LEGOs store. I was awfully distracted from writing, though, anyway. The Mall is the GREATEST people watching place, probably just shy of the State Fair. I discovered, for instance, that Goths still exist. I was really grateful to see that, since I just sort of assumed they did when I wrote Garnet and Ana.

I was also distracted all weekend by the most bizarrely overwhelming desire to write STAR WARS fan fic. I'm going to have to get that out of my system at some point, but it seriously has to stop descending on me whenever I realize I have a deadline swiftly approaching.

lydamorehouse: (Default)
I’m not used to living without a car.

A friend was able to pick up Mason and bring him home from school, but he didn’t get back to me to tell me he could until I was already on the city bus. I’m glad Jason called me back when he did, because even though I left an hour before I was supposed to pick Mason up, I wouldn’t have made it in time. I forgot how slow buses can be and how much time you need to build into arrival times.

Though, I have to say, city buses are much quieter than I expected/remembered. When I last rode the bus regularly, cell phones were just starting to be a common part of daily life. People used to spend a lot of time shouting into their phones. Now, people seem to text more, and it was much less noisy. But, I was just as happy to bail at Lexington and hoof my way back home down University.

We went off to kuk sol wan afterward, and I was really, really tired by bedtime, what with all the walking and running around.

Today, we got up early and I ordered a taxi. Let me recommend City Wide Taxi to you. The cabs are clean, the drivers are friendly, and there always seems to be someone available. (Oh, AND they take credit cards!) We dropped Mama off at the History Center and then Mason and I got off at Crossroads. I got him to class, and I started walking to University down Dale. At University I caught the 16, and then realized that it was almost 10 am and I hadn’t had any coffee yet. I decided to bail at the Border’s on University.

I forgot that they don’t open until 10 am, so I ended up having to stand around outside for a while. I took the opportunity to check on the car, which the shop said would be going for a test drive and then be done. That made me incredibly pleased. They ended up having to do a lot, so I knew the bill was going to be steep, but I’ve needed new front breaks for a while. I had them do the breaks, struts and the springy-thing that came loose and started all this trauma.

As I was waiting to get in to Borders for my coffee, a guy struck up a conversation with me. We’ll call him Orange Wolverine, because he was one of those guys who kind of over shares but is really quite harmless. He and I talked about places to buy cheap shoes and what we liked about Borders, and out of the blue he pointed to the purple tinsel Christmas tree in the window and told me he thought that purple matched my personality. Skeptically, I asked, “Is that a good thing?” Then he went on at great length about how awesome I was. Seriously. It was weirdly flattering to have a stranger tell me that I was confident and smart and personality-plus, without being arrogant. Then, he told me that he was “orange.” I said I thought that was a good, solid, strong color, but he said that he thought of it as changeable – strong, but also laid back. I could see it. Then, the door opened and he followed me like an attachment upstairs to the café. I ordered a mocha and he bought me a piece of coffee cake, which I let him do, because even though he had the vibe of being a lost puppy that had just attached himself to me for life, I decided that kindness was kindness even if it was a bit un-Minnesotan.

When the Border’s barista asked if he had a Border’s membership he said his email account was wolverine-something at yahoo. So, I asked him he chose it for the superhero or a sports team. He said, “Neither, for the animal,” and then began to wax on about wolverines and grizzly bears, engaging another woman in the queue in our conversation. I shook hands goodbye and began the long trek to Sinclair on Wheeler and Grand.

As I headed to Summit, I passed a much crazier African-American lady, who had the classic luggage/shopping carts, paced the sidewalk, shouting loudly to no one in particular. She ACTUALLY said, “You need to hop on to the satellite and turn off the police frequency!” I just nodded and said, “Yes, ma’am, right away.”

I had to smile, though. I mean: what a classic “city” experience! If there had been more than just me on the street, it could have been New York instead of St. Paul.

A half hour later, I walked into the repair shop and paid a zillion dollars to retrieve my car. Now I’m sitting ONCE AGAIN at the Discount Tire place waiting for the guys to put on a new – FREE - tire. Actually, I had to pay 16 bucks because they had to special order it, or its mounting, but that’s still a good deal.

And, man, am I happy not to be walking everywhere any more. Although, I have to say that I really enjoy a good, long walk, even in these temperatures. The sun was really bright and shiny today and I used the time to talk to myself and daydream and tell myself the sorts of stories I used to tell myself when I walked around all the time.

Speaking of stories, I had Shawn Netflix “Spartacus: Sand and Blood” for me. I have a completely unhealthy interest in gladiators, and it sounded like this cable show was exactly the kind of soft porn trash I was looking for. I have to say, I was disappointed. Shawn and I made it through the first three episodes. But, the third episode, “Legends” promises to be something it isn’t quite. What I want from my gladiator porn is awesome arena battles where the underdog rises up and flips off the establishment by winning over the sympathy of the crowd. This episode started down that road. Spartacus (not, it turns out, the real one) starts using his brains to get ahead in the gladiator school. He starts tricking the other gladiators into injuring themselves so he can move up in rank. He even does a clever ploy to earn crowd favor at a party intended to get patrons for the big battle. Thus, I got hopeful that he would use this sort of clever thinking to his advantage in the arena.

Let’s just say, it _so_ didn’t happen. In fact, despite his awesome name, Spartacus was a total DUD in the arena. My fantasies are better, alas. Plus, I’d have better sex scenes. What’s the point of being in Rome without any boy on boy action?

“Spartacus” will return to Netflix unfinished. Sads.

One thing I’m really looking forward to tonight is a private lesson at kuk sul wan. They have a deal where if you walk (or ride the bus/bike) six times to lessons, you can get one free personal training session. Mason and I live so close that it’s a crime to drive. So we’ve already earned our free private lesson. I have no idea what they’ll do with us, but it’s sure to be fun. Best birthday present EVA!

My battery is running down and they’re sure to be done with my car soon, so I’ll sign off for now. Hope you’re all having a wonderful day full of crazy people like I am!
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Today was the big day. I got up ridiculously early, considering I wasn't on until 10:30 am. BUT I had to drop Mason and mama off at school and get all the way out to KARE-11's studios to do the whole hair and make-up thing at 8:30 am.

First thing I had to do this morning was dial-up to the internet to find out what Bonnie (the hair and make-up artist) said in answer to my last minute question of -- what should I wear? Specifically, were they going to show my legs? Could I get away with jeans or did I have to dig through my closet for my slacks? She said they MIGHT pan back, so I should probably be prepared to have leg showing, as it were. In the far back of my closet I found a fairly decent pair of black slacks. (Slacks is a funny word to say, isn't it?) Anyway, Shawn had to loan me a pair of black socks and I found a pair of fairly decent black shoes. Then I had to decide on which of my million button-down silk shirts I should wear. My parents have been collecting silk shirts in every color under the rainbow for me when they go down to the Ropa in Mexico. The FAQ suggested "jewel tones," so I left the house wearing a gold shirt, but had a maroon-y/red one as a spare.

*FINDING* KARE-11 was actually much harder than it should have been. It's on Hwy 55 and General Mills Blvd. I thought I knew where that was, but I didn't trust my instincts and got really turned around by the fact that they listed their address as Minneapolis. They're actually in Golden Valley or one of those suburbs (which is what I first thought), and thankfully a nice man getting ready for a walk in Theodore Wirth Parkway explained to me that zip codes are deceiving.

The studio is impressive as heck from the outside. It's large and spaceous. Inside, it's like a weird rabbit warren... or some kind of Hollywood metaphor, because the public bits are shiny and clean and the back rooms are concrete floors, metal lockers and cables.

Bonnie, however, was awesome. She's been doing hair and make-up for twenty years and she was very much what you might expect. She chatted industry gossip about local celebrities and, if I actually watched television on a regular basis, I would totally have the inside scoop on who's the drunk, who's in the closet and all that. Alas, I had NO IDEA who she was talking about. I did, however, notice that Conen O'Brien had signed the wall of her room, which, I was really excited to see _actually_ had a star on the door.

She airbrushed me.

That part was weird. Having make-up sprayed onto my face with an airbrush was very surreal.

Of course, as I never wear make-up. I thought I looked pretty alien by the time she was done, but in a way that helped. It reminded me a lot of high school theatre, and, now, suddenly, I had a mask on... I could just go out an ad-lib.

Because despite the efforts of my publicist, they were really unwilling to tell me ahead of time what we might talk about. I suppose they wanted things to be fresh, but it was very nerve-making for me.

Anyway, after Bonnie airbrushed my face, she showed me around. The studio was empty, so she walked me into there. I'm sure you kind of have an idea of what that might look like... there's a LOT of empty space for the cameras to roll around in and these weird little alcoves that look like the IKEA show room of a kitchen, living room, and and office spaced around at different intervals. The cameras roll around on cables, so there isn't a big crew like I sort of expected from movies about TV shows. There was also no guy who said, "LIVE in 5, 4, 3..."

In the green room was the musical act, the Okee Dokee Brothers. They were super-cool. They were like 20-something slacker boys (straggly beards and slouchy postures), and I liked them tremendously. Neither of the two them own a TV, so they were pretty fascinated by the one in the room which showed everything happening on KARE-11. We laughed about all sorts of stuff and, honestly, they totally put me at ease. They play bluegrass music for kids, and I'm going to buy their album ASAP.

I went off to the bathroom because I thought I had a lot of time before I was supposed to be on (in the 4th segment,) but when I came back the intern was waiting anxiously. They wanted me micked and settled into the weird, empty living room while the third segment was running. So I sat there on a fluffy chair afraid to cough watching the host talk about back to school supplies in a different corner.

That part was where it got weird... by some silent signal everyone seemed to know when they were at commerical break (earpieces?) and the hostess suddenly appeared at my side. She barked advice at me, "Sit up! You'll like yourself better if you sit up!" and then "Look at me. Don't look at the camera!" and then suddenly like a multiple personality she shifted into hostess mode and started talking to the camera about me.... and we were ON! I was really hoping for a bigger clue, but I stuck to the things that everyone told me: let the hostess lead the interview and smile! I smiled a LOT! I never looked at the camera, and I tried to be coherent, which is all I think anyone can do.

Then suddenly it was over. And I was ushered out quickly and quietly.... and then I found myself blinking in the bright sunlight and crushing heat of the parking lot.

Very weird.

Apparently, by tonight, the show ("Showcase Minnesota") will have an archived link of the show. Actually, it looks like its already there: Sixteen Ain't So Sweet in Tate Hallaway's Almost to Die For...
lydamorehouse: (cap)
The Book Butterfly posted a lovely 10-question interview with my alter-egoon her blog, which you should check out: "Ten Tantalizing Questions with Tate". Alas, I have since learned that RESURRECTION CODE won't be out until March 2011. However, just for fun, let me reprint one of my answers as a teaser here.

"If you could inhabit the life of one literary character and dive into their world for just one day, who would you choose and why?

It’s a well known fact that I want to be Captain America from the Marvel Universe. Actually, I’m sort of surprised I haven’t gotten the casting call for the new movie. Something about my gender and only being 5’2”, I guess, I’m not sure…. ;-) The super soldier formula could come in really handy when I need to catch a bus is all I’m saying.


Also, if you missed it, there was a nice feature article in the Pioneer Press on Sunday: "St. Paul Author Introduces Her New Novel About a Vampire Princess.".

Oh, and don't forget, tomorrow about this time (starting at 10 am) I'll be _LIVE!!_ on KARE-11's "Showcase Minnesota."

Yeh, which is all just a big build-up to Saturday, August 7th, where I will be in two places at once. First at Uncle Hugo's starting at 1:00 pm, I'll be signing Tate's books for her, and then I'll disapparate and reappear at the HarMar Barnes & Noble for a reading and signing of the same book at 2:00 pm. Actually, I'm a muggle, so I'll drive like mad and probably be a little late (the event organizer already knows to expect me to be a bit tardy,) so there will be cookies and lemonade for any of you who show up precisely at 2:00 and I'm not there yet.

I'd complain bitterly about all I have to do, but, honestly, I LOVE this sh*t! I mean, what't the point of being an author if you can't do this fun promotional stuff???

But, back to reality, I spent much of the weekend cleaning out the garage with Shawn. Okay, actually, Shawn did the hard work of hosing off the roofing crud from all the stuff we had stored there, and I mostly worked on finishing painting (finally!) the neighbor's side of our fence and paiting a couple of cubbies that we salvaged from our OTHER neighbor's garbage. The neighbors to the north are moving, alas. We liked them. His name was Brad, and, though I was introduced to her, I spaced her name almost instantly, so we've been calling them Brad and Angelina for the year or so they've lived next to us. Brad works as an announcer on the radio station for the blind, and, they have an awesome dog and a very noisy (but also sweet tempered) macaw or other large talking bird. We'll miss them. Unlike I imagine their namesakes might be, our Brad and Angelina were really pleasant neighbors.

Speaking of apperating, last night Mason and I finished GOBLET OF FIRE. He wasn't kidding me when he warned me I might cry at the end of that book. Cedric! Damn, I liked Cedric. We just started ORDER OF THE PHEONIX, and I'm already worried. Things are much darker, aren't they?

My big plans for today are to finish up an article I've been working on, maybe make it to the gym (my back has been sore, and I think it's from lack of stretching,) and possibly finishing up the cubbies (which, thankfully, I covered in plastic last night so the rain shouldn't have messed up my first coat too much.)

Oh, and freak out about tomorrow's TV thing. Why did it have to be live? Taped I could handle... now my brain keeps thinking of all the swear words I'm NOT SUPPOSED to blurt out.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
According to , I write like, my writing style most resembles David Foster Wallace. I tried the analyzer several times and some scenes would get Dan Brown, while others would end with Vladimir Nabokov as a result. The one that it hit over and over again, however, was Wallace.

I, of course, being a complete non-literary fiction wonk, had NO IDEA who Mr. Wallace was. I certainly have never read a single word written by him. I'm cheered that Wikipedia says that his novel _Infiinite Jest_ is listed as one of the all-time 100 greatest novels, less so by the fact that he apparently committed suicide in 2008. I did like the quote of his, "fiction’s about what it is to be a f**king human being." Though I'm a bit concerned that his defining literary quality seems to be run-on sentences and irony. :-)

Regardless, the quiz is fun. If you're a writer, you should give it a go.

Anyway, I'm hiding out at the coffee shop this morning, because the roofers have officially descended on my house. I stopped by at around 9:00 am, and I was fairly horrified by the amount of old roofing bits scattered -- nay, MOUNDED -- on tarps all over my lawn. And the state of them. My roof, FYI, was completely rotten. It is a very, very good thing that we were hit by lightning.

God must have decided enough of this. Let's get Lyda and Shawn a new roof. Bang!!

I've been talking to people non-stop about my upcoming KARE-11 gig. One thing I may do over the next couple of days is share with y'all the FAQ that they sent along. Though I can probably sum up the most fascinating/bizarre stuff in a couple of lines here. They tell you some stuff I already knew, like jewel tones look best on TV (white = BAD), but I didn't expect this advice: "Bring props. TV is a visual medium. The more props the better." Of course, I assume in my case they mean bring a book or two to show off. However, my brain started filling in all sorts of weird alternatives: sock puppets! Action figures!

I suppose, however, I should check in at the house. With any luck the roofers will be on lunch break and I can check with the kitties and do a little of the housework I should really do.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I will be on KARE-11 on Tuesday, August 3rd for a live appearance on "Showcase Minnesota," which I think airs at 10:00 am. All I know is that I'm supposed to be at the studio by 9:45 am. It's confirmed. In fact, I just scheduled the hair and make-up person. hork-hork.*

Thank you to the one or two people who jumped in to tell me that I'm plenty cute for TV. I happen to agree with them. However, the reason I think of myself as having the perfect face for radio is because you just don't see a lot of people who look like me on TV, period.

I think about this a lot when people crow to me about how FAR we've come in terms of GLBT visiblity in television programming. Willow was gay, you know. I _know_, but her girlfriend was possibly the one person in the Buffyverse MORE GIRLY than she was. The women of the "L Word"? They wear more lipstick in one episode than I've worn in my entire life. You might get the ocassional hot-chick-on-hot-chick relationship surprise (or very special episode) on other shows, but I just don't see a lot of pleasantly plump butch women on TV on a regular basis.

I'm sure it will go fine. I got some pointers of a friend who's business it is to BE the media, and he reminded me to have a talking point, repeat it, and smile a LOT. Oh, yeah, and to keep my expectations low. He said that the host will probably spend most of *my* five minutes of fame explaining me to the audience and making it all about him or her (instead of me). It'll be over in a flash at any rate.

I did decide to go ahead an buy the professional hair and make-up person. She costs a couple of hundred dollars, but the last time I put on make-up I was in high school... or maybe the last play I performed in in college. And, frankly, I was never very good at it. This person's speciality is high definition TV and that makes her ten times worth it. I'm sure my sad attempts would look even worse under the magnifying glass of HDTV.

Things are just hopping, because I got a call from the Pioneer Press too. We scheduled my interview with them for Monday morning. That means I've got TV, radio, and newspaper covered.

I was standing in line here at the coffee shop talking to my writer friends about all this, and it suddenly HIT ME why I was getting all this attention. The book takes place in Saint Paul. And it's about vampires. That's a cute little story for a lot of local media. D'uh.

Speaking of which, though, I need to go off and get started on the proposal for ALMOST #3 and a few other writing related things.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Even though Shawn came home yesterday afternoon, Jon came over as planned and we had pizza and finished up our anime marathon, watching the final fourteen episodes of "Berserk" in which everything goes to hell. Literally.

No, seriously, the last four episodes take a sudden left turn and land our heroes in Hell, surrounded by hungry demons. Previous to that, it's a kind of fraught bromance/buddy/love triangle story that takes place in a European mideaval fantasy land. My head is still reeling, actually. It's not completely out of the blue that the demons show up -- as there are hints of a dark prophecy for Griffith, the fabulously handsome white-haired hero -- but, whoa.

There's a couple of things I want to say about the TV series that probably won't make a lot of sense unless you've seen this and/or are willing to wade through the extensive plot outline at Wikipedia referrenced above. I'll try to set up enough of what's needed, though, so bear with me.

For SF/F feminists -- this TV series is so not for you on so many levels, but the character of "Casca" (spelled with a c in the Wikipedia entry, but our subtitles showed "Caska") has a couple of interesting moments. The first time we're introduced to Caska, she kicks our bada$$ hero's butt. She's portrayed as a sword slinger without equal, with the exception of the (possibly demon-power enhanced) Griffith. No one is physically stronger or more relentlessly brutal than Guts, our bada$$ main point of view hero/antihero, but Caska is, as he says at one point, "extremely reliable in a fight. That's hard to find [in a woman, I believe he says, but the implication is _any_where.]" Yet, Caska is a real woman. At one point, she HAS HER PERIOD.

You can all chime in about how wrong I am about this, but my sense is that there's not a lot fiction involving warrior women that deal with this (in a non-parody sort of way.) Caska's period comes on right before a big battle and she simply can't cope... at least she's "not herself" as someone points out.

The way it's done in the TV series, it's not terribly "real life." She's woozy and feverish, which don't jive with my personal experience of such things (my first thought was that she was pregnant, actually), but it's kind of awesome that it figures into the storyline at all. Okay, so it's used as an excuse for Guts to get all protective and essentially have to rescue her, but, hey. The writer(s) also use it to illuminate that, you know, it sucks to be a woman warrior. You constantly have to deal with threats of rape (which are pretty constant and no doubt played up for the titilation factor, though it's pretty satisfying to see her slaughter almost anyone who tries it on) and then, on top of all that crap, once a month, your body betrays your will.

Though I tend to prefer my warrior women without weakness of any sort, I appreciated that "Berserk" allowed Caska this complexity, at any rate. At least she never had any children to rescue. Granted, she was entirely motivated to become super-warrior by love for Griffith, but, to be fair, in part, so was Guts.

The other thing I wanted to say about the TV series is that the "everything goes to literal hell" ending bothered me a whole lot less than what happens to Griffith in prison. Despite his tendency to wear lavendar capes and ride white horses, he's portrayed as an uber-masculine warrior. (Okay, he's actually pretty overtly metrosexual and we find out he's hustled a bit in his past,) BUT he's the handsome/brilliant (if devious) leader and all that. My American sensiblity is that things should sort of work out for him, or, at least, that his descent into madness/demon prophecy should involve him physically matching his bada$$ counterpart/rival Guts until the bitter end. But, that's not what happens. He's crippled by the torturer. His tongue is cut out and the tendons in his wrists and legs are slit irrepairably, so that he can no longer wield a sword or even walk without assistance.


That was just so brutal that when the hell mouth opens up, I was kind of sympathetic with Griffith's choice to sacrific his friends in order to be reborn as the demon lord because it was just HARD to see him as a wasted, corpse-like shadow of his former self.

The whole thing was pretty intense that way, honestly. According to Jon and Wikipedia the manga continues AFTER all this horrible, and, as Jon warned me the day before, this is actually sort of the "happy times." Eek.

This is not going on my "recommend" shelf, but it gave me a lot to think about. Plus, I dreamed in animation for two nights in a row, which is always kind of cool.
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One thing I forgot to mention is that Shawn has been having migraines on and off for several days again (knock on wood, she seems to be recovering), but so a lot of my franticness has been aggrivated by the fact that my partner has been pretty much down for the count.

Last night, though, she was feeling better. We're in the middle of catching up on last season's LOST, which is kind of bad timing because there are spoilers all over thanks to the new season starting this week. Still, I'm really enjoying this very much science fictional show. Time travel? Awesome. Mystical civilizations... Atlantis? Egypt/Aliens? I'm there.

We've also been watching the ocassional *cough* the Bachelor. *cough* Yes, I'm embarrassed, but there's something weirdly captivating about reality dating shows... or at least this season's. I think in some ways it's the utter artifical-ness of the thing that is part of its appeal. As a viewer, I spend a lot of time thinking, "How can he tell if she's sincere? There's a camera in the room!"

Also, Shawn was finally able to read through a proposal I developed for a new adult novel for Tate. She got through and gave me a very serious look and said, "Well, it's a solid cow mutilation story." We laughed about that, and discussed the fact that I'm a very quirky writer when left to my own devices and it's a wonder I ever sell, though (according to Shawn) I can write a proposal that can make a fairly lame story sound cool. This is why I've always thought that in another universe I would be a kick-butt marketing executive. Lame product, no problem! I'll sell it!

I did an interview (as Tate) lately where the question was: "If there was going to be a book about your life what would the title be and why?" My answer was WEIRD, BUT COMPELLING, which is the phrase my first agent used to describe my writing. I think it's also a pretty good summation of my personality.

Also, I should report that RESURRECTION CODE has officially passed the word count and become a novel. I still have a lot to do in the next week or so before deadline, but the writing is still going really well.

Anyway, speaking of, I need to go home have "a little lunch" as we say in Minnesota and get down to it.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I'm off to Normandale College this morning to talk about science fiction and give away copies of MESSIAH NODE. (MN was the first of my books to go out of print and I _way_ over bought.) After this big give-away, however, I'm going to have to be more judicious. I'm down to less than one box per title.

Shawn and I have finally caught up on the DVDs of last season's “Dexter.” I have to say that I was surprised how much I enjoyed the season finale (the wedding.)

However, “Dexter” is one of those shows that invades my subconscious. I have a lot of dreams where I am Dexter, and, before we watched this final episode, I had one rather memorable one in which I was trying to solve the conundrum of Miguel's murder, which did lead me to one very serious question: how dumb are the CSI guys in Miami, anyway?

I actually buy the way things worked out in the finale, but my subconscious thought of an important issue that ought to come up at some point, which is, when Dexter fakes “the skinner's” M.O., Miguel was already dead. You'd think that there would be some sort of physical evidence that would suggest the difference.

Then again, one of the things I find sort of refreshing about “Dexter” over the various CSI franchises is that people miss stuff all the time, which seems much more realistic than all the crimes supposedly solved by the presence of cat hair and mouse dandruff found under the victim's left fingernail. And, in the very first episode, Dexter tells us in a voice over that the unsolved murder rate in Miami is a really high percentile. So, it's not like they don't set it up.

Still, it was weird to have my dreaming mind think about this.
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Shawn and I are in between Netflix shipments, and so we were looking around for something to watch for Friday night movie night. We remembered we still had a stack of discs of Season 4 of BSG that [ profile] naomikritzer's friend TiVOed for us... well, what, years ago now? Anyway, we dug out our episode guide and figured out where last we'd left our intrepid heroes. We ended up watching "Guess What's Coming to Dinner", "Sine Qua Non," and "The Hub".

As you know, I'd been a pretty huge BSG fan since the re-imagined version came out (actually, to be honest, I'm old enough to be a fan of the original series too.) But I've always found the series to be kind of spotty. There were times I swore it off for good, but then, like a puppy, I'd come lopping back when the new season started: "Squirrel!" I finally gave up when Starbuck returned from the dead and started seeing visions about the way to Earth.

I never liked the new Starbuck. She's too... wounded(?) for me. I like crazy on some women, but Starbuck? Not so much.

Plus (and this was the real killer) Shawn got off it. Shawn can watch shows and movies I'm not so keen on, because I'm often off writing on a novel in the other room in the evenings. Me? It's kind of got to be a "family" event for me to sit down and watch something. I *could* watch while Mason is off at school, but that just seems like the height of decedance. I mean, what's next? Day time soaps and bon-bons? No, I need to write or something productive during daylight hours. That's just the deal.

But someone at Shawn's work is just about as far behind as she is, and they started talking about it. Even so, Shawn wasn't quite up for a new episode... until we ran out of Netflix. (part of why we've run out is that Mason has adopted the "Loony Tunes" disc. So we're only sending back two of our three alloted films... and the last two were complete duds. We should learn: films in French are baffling. Even with subtitles. Period.)

It's surprisingly easy to pick up in the middle. I'm not sure that's a compliment, though. As Shawn said at one point during the multiple betrayals and double-crosses, "Haven't we seen this already?" However, for me, it was nice to see Roslin and Adama finally admit they're into each other. How many seasons did THAT take? As Adama says, "About time."

My problem with this series can be summed up pretty simply. I'm not a plot monkey; I'm a character junkie. This is why I never game mastered any of the D&D campaigns I was involved in. This is why there are plot holes in my novels you could drive a truck through. Those details don't concern me unless they affect characters. BSG is character lite. The characters are important, but they're secondary to the plot in most episodies. But I don't really care much about the mystery of the Cylon God (although I did enjoy the scene in "The Hub" when Baltar tries to discuss God with the Centurian) or if they ever fraking get to Earth. I mean, all that stuff can be interesting, which is why I keep coming back, but what I REALLY care about is how it affects the characters. Thus, "The Hub" was my favorite of the three.

Roslin attempts to be less of a cold automaton and more human. In a drug induced haze, Baltar finally confesses to his grandest sin against humanity. Adama gives up his throne for the one he loves. Three wakes up and mocks both Cylon and human for being a bunch of back-stabbing hyopcrites.

Nice. A good turn, indeed.

Friday afternoon, I also narfed down three more graphic novels in the HIKARU NO-GO series (Hotta/Obata). I can *not* explain my attraction to this particular manga. A bunch of Japanese kids try to become professional GO players. There's a ghost and several rivalries, but, wow, talk about "plot lite." Yet I'm totally riveted. In fact, I almost ran back to the library when I finished the last one to get the next bunch. Go figure.

Speaking of the library, Mason was cute yesterday. He has this weird love/hate relationship with the R. L. Stein GOOSEBUMPS series. They're still pretty scary to him, but he loves to look at the covers, read the back copy, and see how long he can read the book before it scares the pants off him. Well, at the library they were de-accesssioning a bunch of "Goosebumps." 5 for a dollar, in fact. By chance I had one dollar bill in my wallet. Mason was giddy at the prospect of buying some from the library and taking them home. I let him do the whole transaction. The librarian, too, I think, got a kick out of how EXCITED he was. Then, with them tucked under his arm, he danced all the way home. Quite literally.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I'm going to keep this short because I have a bit of a headache. I drank a bit too much Mike's Hard Lemonade last night while eating popcorn and watching last season's "Lost" on DVD. Dude.

But that Sawyer guy.... hmmmmmm, yummy. Plus you slash readers out there, I have to laugh at how much this guy gets hurt. It's like the writers totally understand the whole hurt/comfort dynamic and are more than happy to exploit it.

Mason is home this week from school so my blogging may be spotty.

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