Hop Hop Hippity Hop

April 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

Write
April 20, 2014

“Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were—
Flopsy,
Mopsy,
Cotton-tail,
and Peter.”

Page from a Peter Rabbit calendar. I have it taped to the wall of my office.

This is the opening line from The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. I learned to read from the Little Golden Book edition of this story. But it was after hunting down and flipping through the little pages of the original version, written AND illustrated by Beatrix Potter, that I was inspired to start writing.

My copy of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit." As you can see, this is one well- and oft-read book.

My worn, tattered copy of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.”

This beloved children’s author led the enchanted life. Check out the trailer for this exquisite, under-the-radar biopic, Miss Potter, starring Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor. You can see how Potter’s little woodland creatures were very real to her. And they got her through some tough times.

Here’s to the imagination and all of the wonderful life that springs from it.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Sunday Evenings are for Mad Men

April 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

Bliss
April 14, 2014

When I first heard about Mad Men and all the rave reviews, my reaction was “a show about a bunch of smoking, boozing, sexing, chauvinistic, high-powered ad executives from the sixties? No, thanks.”

Then I Netflixed the pilot, and it was all over.

Turns out I get a perverse pleasure out of watching expecting mothers smoke cigarettes and toss back glasses of wine. I mean, pregnant women don’t get to do anything anymore. No cocktails, no pain killers, no cold medicine. Is this some sort of punishment for post-sixties liberation?

Screwdriver, inspired by AMC’s Mad Men Cocktail Guide. I even used fresh-squeezed orange juice. Yum!

Screwdriver, inspired by AMC’s Mad Men Cocktail Guide. I even used fresh-squeezed orange juice. Yum!

Haven’t we all had those moments where liquor at the workplace seemed like a really good idea? I can’t tell you how many times my frazzled boss has emerged from yet another hour-long teleconference, wishing I had a flask hidden somewhere in my desk drawer.

As for the sexism, well, some of that really hasn’t changed much. When my girl Joan has to stoically mask her face after her intelligence is insulted or swallow yet another instance of her authority being undermined at the whim of a male superior, I empathize one hundred percent. Because something similar usually happened to me just last week.

Then there are moments like these, from the Season 7 Mad Men premiere:

Weekend Reading: After the “Captain America” Daze

April 7, 2014 § 2 Comments

Read
April 7, 2014

CaptainAmericaTWS

I saw the Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie this weekend and loved it so much it has ruined me for other movies for a while. So this is the perfect time for a “what I’ve been reading” post.

Finished Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

SugarDaddy

Loved it. Gave it 5 stars on Goodreads. I read on Kleypas’ website that this book was a finalist for the RITA Award “Best Novel With Strong Romantic Elements”. I’m assuming it wasn’t considered straight up romance because the story was also about the main character’s journey out of the trailer park and becoming head of the household at such a young age. And more than one man played a role in her development. I really love the Strong Romantic Elements category.

Currently reading Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas (the creator of Veronica Mars) and Jennifer Graham.

VMarsBook1

If you were a rabid fan of the TV show like I was, you will really enjoy the first novel. It picks up right after the movie ends and has all the favorite characters plus some surprises. Well-written with the same snappy dialogue, too.

Am listening to City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments by  Cassandra Clare.

CityofBones

Why have I never tapped into this audiobook thing before? Seriously! I’ve been listening to it while I drive, while I press clothes, while I do yoga! It’s so great!

What have you been reading?

 

 

Bring the Coffee, Hold the Blue Jeans

March 31, 2014 § 5 Comments

Write
March 31, 2014

I feel a road trip coming on.

A lot of things are competing for my money this year, so my goal is to make it to the RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference in San Antonio this July as cheaply as possible.

The topic came up when we met for dinner and drinks after seeing the Cesar Chavez movie.

"De Colores" is on my mind.

“De Colores” is on my mind.

Martha drives to San Antonio to visit family a couple times a year. “We’ll rent a car and either get a room at Lackland or stay with one of my sisters.”

“And bring our own coffee,” I said. “You know I have to have real coffee. No instant vanilla-flavored nonsense.”

“And no blue jeans.” Martha said. “Because it’s hot hot hot in Texas in July. People will know you’re from out of town if you wear blue jeans.”

“What do the cowboys wear?” I asked, because I was picturing, you know, something like this.

Deep in the Heart of Texas #2

Deep in the Heart of Texas #2

“At night, when they go dancing, they’ll wear jeans. But during the day, it’s shorts and flip-flops. So for us, tank tops, shorts, and sundresses.”

Good thing I got that exercise bike.

“Because as soon as you get up and go outside, you start sweating and your hair blows up,” Martha said.

Don’t I know it. Check out my big hair from the Atlanta, Georgia RWA conference last year.

1RWA13_Poster

“So we’re talking five ways to rock a messy bun or ponytail time,” I said.

“Get that hair up and off the back of your neck, that’s right.”

“Oh, and bug spray,” I said. “Lots and lots of bug spray. I get one mosquito bite and the entire back of my leg swells up.”

“Me, too,” said Vic. “There’s supposed to be some kind of natural coconut oil mixed with something else repellent that works better than DET.”

“We need to look that shit up,” I said.

I feel a road trip coming on.

Big Cat, Little Cat

March 24, 2014 § 4 Comments

Bliss
March 24, 2014

Courtesy of Netflix.

Image courtesy of Netflix.

I’m doing this Sunday night movie routine (until Mad Men returns on April 13th, that is), and this Sunday I watched the 1966 classic Born Free.

Because I love animals so, I crooned and blubbered through most of the movie.

For some strange reason, after the movie was over, my two cats acted restless and hungry, even though I had already fed them their dinner.

So I said to them, “Go on out and hunt down your own food. If Elsa the tame lion can do it, so can you.”

FieveltheLazyLion

That really didn’t go anywhere.

Weekend Reading: Veronica Mars and Archie Comics

March 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

Read
March 17, 2014

Sunday morning I did 25 minutes on the exercise bike even though my neck hurt so bad from sleeping on it wrong that I was approaching nausea. Afterwards I threw my fists in the air and yelled “I’m the king and queen of the world!” One of my cats looked totally unimpressed. The other one just looked disturbed.

Not excited. Not impressed.

Not excited. Not impressed.

I hardly did any reading this weekend because I was binge-rewatching Veronica Mars episodes in prep for the movie release (I am one of the Kickstarter backers). I did lots of reading-adjacent activities, though, such as pre-order the first Veronica Mars novel after watching the movie. Yippee! The stories continue.

I ordered some Archie graphic novels because I just found out from Women Write About Comics that the story lines have gone all progressive including interracial romance and a gay main character!

I am super stoked about this. I devoured Archie comics as a kid, much to my mother’s dismay. She did not appreciate it when I went to her asking her to buy me Betty’s bikini and Veronica’s boots and Josie’s jeans.

She got a real kick out of Sabrina’s Aunt Hilda, though. Hm. I wonder why.

Putting It Out There: I Entered the Pitch Madness Contest

March 12, 2014 § 1 Comment

Write
March 12, 2014

I decided to enter the Pitch Madness contest run by Brenda Drake, so I called in my Hot Tub Readers to help brainstorm my 35 word pitch.

PitchHelpMargaritas

After the bribe of food and drinks at Nob Hill Bar and Grill, I read off a couple of my ideas. On one of them, I already had the first 24 words, but needed the final phrase that would explain the “entrance into the extraordinary world” with sufficient mystery and vagueness. I brought out 3 examples of log lines from books and movies that I liked (the phrase in bold is my emphasis).

“Orphaned, penniless, Jacob Jankowski jumps a freight train in the dark, and in that instant, transforms his future.”
— From Goodreads for Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen

“Cassie Robichaud’s life is filled with regret and loneliness after the sudden death of her husband. She waits tables at the rundown Café Rose in New Orleans, and every night she heads home to her solitary one-bedroom apartment. But when she discovers a notebook left behind by a mysterious woman at the café, Cassie’s world is forever changed.”
—From Goodreads for  S.E.C.R.E.T. by L. Marie Adeline

“A hard-partying high school senior’s philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical “nice girl.”
—from IMDB for The Spectacular Now by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (screenplay) and Tim Tharp (novel)

I was looking for a phrase for my pitch that was along the lines of the phrases in bold from the examples above.

Then Dia threw out, “Deals with some ish.”

We all loved it. But we all agreed that we couldn’t really use it for a pitch.

We’ll see next week if what we came up with made the cut. There were over 500 entries in Pitch Madness, and 60 winners will be picked, so the competition is pretty stiff.

If I don’t make it, it was still a great experience. It’ll just be back to the drawing board.

Well, actually, it’ll be back to the bar first.

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