Thursday, March 31, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
There is a new virus spreading on Face Book. It is called "CHIKENFINGERS". It will damage your computer permanantly. If anyone sends you a file named "cute baby does handstand.chickenfingers DO NOT OPEN IT!!!!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Alright, everyone who showed interest in the Anti-Cruelty To Vampire Society--here is the badge. If you want it, you may grab it from my blog here, but please post something so that I know that you have one.
My good friend John worked tirelessly on this for three days, loosing sleep over it (lol), and he made adjustments, working on the font and so forth for this badge. I think John can take a bow on this.
So, what do you guys think? Give feedback, especially if you grab it from this post.
I'll have to come up with some rules of the society later, so that we know we actually belong to something.
Happy vampires everywhere will thank us, I'm sure.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
But you, my gentle readers/fans/fellow blogger-writers are in luck if you enjoy my writing. Here is a portion of chapter five if you wish to read it, just click on over to Lorelei's Archives.
It's a gloomy day, but I heard the robins singing their morning song, so that sort of cheered me up just a bit. And have decided to immerse myself into my work, thus I'll stay out of trouble for once. (As If that were possible!)
Have a good day, and if I don't post here in a while, don't worry. I'll be around. I know that I'll be exhausted after work, these next few days.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
“Oh, honey, look! A deer!” the wife says, pointing into a yard they pass on their way to town.
The husband looks to where she's pointing. “That's just a stupid lawn ornament,” he growls.
Well, really, what are we supposed to think? That it's a real deer or something? I live in the country and see the actual living things all the time, as apposed to the cement ones which some people think they need to buy and display in their lawn as though the things are actually passing through their yard in suspended animation. Usually there's two, a male and female. Once in a while you might come across the whole family. Well, how nice. And it's spring and the male still has the antlers. . . and still hanging out with the female.
I have a neighbor lady who lives down the road who has one—I think a male—emerging from the trees. A nice touch. I'm sure that gets people turning to take a look to make sure whether it is real or not as they head into the park with their dogs.
Remember those stupid pink flamingos? The epitome of garden ornament kitsh! What was that all about? Remember when cement geese were very popular. You know the ones that people would dress up according to the season? They'd have a pilgrim hat and brown cape for Thanksgiving on them to decorate an entry way, and then some sort of red Santa suit for Christmas, and some sort of Easter type thing. I still see a few surviving here and there. I used to work in a craft mall and had to really keep from rolling my eyes whenever someone would buy one of the outfits. I had to pretend being interested if they talked about it—especially if it was a vendor. Thank goodness those sort of went out of style.
Remember the gazing globes? These weren't quite as bad, and now they've got different looking ones. In fact I've seen some hang rather than are suspended on a pedestal. These are a little smaller, and added to a little garden they aren't so obnoxious. I don't even mind the little gnome, or a ceramic frog here or there. There's plenty of ways to decorate a lawn. Put in a flower bed, some nice shrubs, get a nice bird bath for the birds. Or go all out and put in a nice pond, with a waterfall. Sort of gets you excited about gardening, doesn't it?
But if you have to place a lawn ornament out there in the lawn think small. Whatever you do, for goodness sakes don't get a lawn ornament that resembles Moammar Gadhafi and place it in your front yard. You might get more than you bargained for. I think hunting season began on him a few weeks back. Besides, he's so butt ugly. . . like those pink flamingos.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Hello, my fine feathered friends out there!
I am happy. Happy because for 3 days straight I didn't have to wear my winter jacket! It got above 50--in fact yesterday it was mid-sixties! Three days I've gone for a walk, one in one of my husband's and my favorite places, and then today out in our own park. Just seeing, and hearing the birds again is wonderful. In fact, when we drove into White Pines the other day, I saw a bluebird. That's the earliest I've ever seen one. (the fellow above is a beautiful indigo bunting. He's actually so dark blue this picture does not do him justice!)
Earlier this week I emailed an acquaintance of mine who investigates haunted areas, and he has gotten back to me. I have not been in touch with him in a few years. He has published a few of my pieces at an on-line magazine, which is no longer up and running. His name is Micheal Kleen, and has his own site where he and others post about various true hauntings in Illinois. His blog is http://trueillinoishaunts.com/ and if you enjoy true tales of haunted places, you'll definitely want to go and check out all the stories and posts he has there. There are separate pages for just about everything, including murders, and he sure has a lot on cemeteries. Mike is also a pretty good writer in his own right and I happen to have met him at a author signing back over a year ago with another author, and bought a copy of his short tales.
Earlier today I put up a post over at one of my sister blogs Something Nebulous Within. The title is "Popularity:What It means For A Writer". I had something to say and just wanted to say it there, since this site is where I like to post things for other writers, and I knew I wanted to post this little "up-to-speed" post here on Muse today. So, if you'd like to check out how I view blog-hopping and the idea of using up so many hours in a day blogging, you may go here for that.
I realized that today is Friday. It was also payday and it was nice knowing we didn't have to go in to drive today. But next Monday we are back to the grind-gack!
I've been printing up chapters of my second book, and doing my edits that way. This is much easier for me to find mistakes, places where I've repeated myself, and so forth. Also have been reading two novels (Raven Corinn Carluk's All Hallow's Blood, and I simply couldn't resist picking up Quinn's An Embarrassment of Riches), since I've had plenty of time, could stay up longer than normal and read, if I wanted. I will post about these two book separately soon, so stay tuned.
Also, if any of you are not aware, the moon will be full this weekend, and it is closer to the earth than it has been in 18 years. This is called a Perigee Moon. It will appear 15% larger. So, if you are a Were, I'm sure that your senses have already been feeling the itch to howl. I know I have been feeling oddly both excited and drained at times. I'm hoping it rains on the fullest night, so I can get some sleep! If not, I'll just sit up and read.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
I was working in my office, which faces front, and toward the road. The distinctive low rumble of a truck caught my attention. The large brown straight truck was a signal to me: It has arrived! The book I won. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's An Embarrassment of Riches, delivered to me, straight from the publisher.
I've always wanted to read another one of Yarbro's St. Germain episodes. I still have the original paperback, Hotel Transylvania. I have the date 4/9/79 when I'd bought it written on the inside page. The pages of this poor book are yellowed, dog-eared, the binding has silver duct tape to hold it together. I loved the cover: A handsome, black-haired man kissing a woman's neck. This story was about Comte de Saint-Germain during the mid-1700's. Yarbro's St. Germain is a vampire.
Hotel Transylvania, and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro were the very reason I strove to write my own version(s) of a vampire novel in 1980. That one, of course, never saw the light of publishing.
As you understand, I loved that book to death, and used it for inspiration toward a very different book I've penned, and have not published as yet. It would be the second in my Zofia Trickenbod series, the first of which I'd self-published Spell of the Black Unicorn. In the second book, Zofia returns to her own planet, and through certain series of events meets Count Saint Germain.
St. Germain is a real person in history, a man who's life is steeped in mystery, an alchemist, he was reportedly able to "grow" gems, and would often present them to ladies of royalty as a gift. That is what I'm getting that Yarbro has done with this Saint-Germain instalment of An Embarrassment of Riches, from the descriptions I've read.
Reportedly, the real Saint Germain also was said to have discovered the ability to stay alive by using the philosopher's stone (which very talented alchemists of his time were trying to achieve, but could not), this "stone" would keep a person alive for as long as they took it. From what I've been able to dig up on the philosopher's stone it was actually a powder made through some alchemical means, and with probably difficult to attain ingredients. It was more or less tantamount to magic, from everything I've ever read about it. In every historical tale about St. Germain, he was never seen to eat anything at any functions, however, would drink from his own glass some unknown substance, mixed possibly with wine. One must wonder what was in that glass. In other tales, he was said to have been seen by people who had seen/known him 20+ years prior, and he seemed to have never aged--not even a silver thread in his black hair, and no more wrinkles, while those people had aged quite a bit. Obviously, St. Germain would have to go into hiding for a while, an reinvent himself, name himself something different, and reappear as someone new.
Yarbro has taken her St. Germain and placed him in various historical events, using actual people in history, using lavishly rich historical background and historically accurate events in all of her St. Germain tales. I think this is what sets her novels apart from all other vampire novels. This, and, of course, her style of writing.
As I've mentioned, I've read a number of things about the actual St. Germain, and you have to wonder if he didn't really find a way to stay alive longer than the normal human life-span. I've read of people claiming they know he is still alive. There are sites set up claiming this. In fact I visited a site yesterday where a novelist told of her inspiration for her tales, and of a possible link between our historical St. Germain and someone who lived in New Orleans during the 17th century (I might be off a century, I can't recall the exact dates). The story goes this man seemed to be taking "donations" of blood from the ladies until one became quite upset, screamed, and jumped out his window, claiming he was going to bite her. However, I just wonder if the vampire tale was very much embellished for the tourists.
I'm very excited about reading this book, Yarbro has been nominated for the Edgar, World Fantasy, and Bram Stoker Awards. She's been named a Grand Master of the World Horror Convention and a Living Legend by the International Horror Guild. That's quite a number of honors and nominations for any author. I'm positive at some point I will pick up another one of her books, merely because I'll be hooked on this series.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
What I've noticed in these shows are the basic murder/mystery plot. The first few minutes are used to introduce the characters who will be involved, aside from the 4 main characters. Dillon's side-kick, Chester, is played by Dennis Weaver. Anyway, the show opens up with the extras, and this is where you'll learn any motives which would make them look guilty for the murder that eventually takes place.
Although this is a western, the set up is like any murder-mystery. As in any murder-mystery, we, the viewer, can only know as much as our main characters. Matt Dillon, the sheriff of Dodge City, Kansas, must use the leads he has in order to find the killer. Often times, he has to track the person down out in the Kansas wilderness. Being a U.S. Marshall gives him this ability. Usually this person he is tracking is not the killer of the original murder in the beginning. But sometimes they have done something that will put them in jail, and often times they've killed someone along the way. Thus, you have a double-plot line, which is good for keeping everyone guessing. Misdirection is a basic key for a murder mystery. And depending upon how long a story goes, you could put in all kinds of red herrings and plot twists in to keep it interesting. Because “Marshall Dillon” was only 30 minutes long, it's easy to follow the plot line and see precisely how it is written.
What I've noticed is this is your basic plot all laid out. You have a mystery to solve. Doesn't matter if it is a murder. The mystery is what is important, and how it is solved.
You can learn quite a bit on how to set this sort of plot up by watching several of these shows. The simplicity of them helps one glean an understanding as to how to set up a very simple mystery. I've always enjoyed watching “Murder She Wrote” for the same reason, but mostly because she was a writer. I used to love watching this show because Angela Lansbury starred as an amateur sleuth and I loved her character as the mystery writer Jessica Fletcher. The plots of “Murder She Wrote” were really well done, with plenty of twits and turns to keep you guessing.
Learning and understanding how a murder plot is done, you might want to watch either of these shows. Besides, being entertained, I think you might get a few ideas for a plot all your own.
Friday, March 11, 2011
I've been in a bit of a tizzy. I had no sooner discovered the October Daye books and Katharine Kerr's new book -which I hope is a new series when I got an email newsletter from i09. The main article was a piece about Ben Aaronovitch and his Peter Grant books. The two things that caught me were that Aaronovitch has written for Doctor Who and that his Peter Grant books were compared to the Dresden books. The major differences being that Grant is a policeman not a consultant. If the Dresden and Toby Daye books are detective novels with magic than the Grant books are police procedurals with magic. They have the added attraction of being set in London - so even the police work has that exotic nature.
Peter Grant is a young policeman—the book starts with him at the point in the training where he and his classmates will be assigned to their units. He??? comes across a body under unusual circumstances and this brings him to the attention of DCI Thomas Nightshade who leads (wee, he is . . .) unit of the Met that deals with crimes involving magical and other uncanny circumstances. He is, in fact, a magician and by joining his unit Peter Grant becomes his apprentice.
I have such an appetite for this sort of book that I'm sure it will come as no surprise that I lapped it up and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm very happy to report that one of the MANY books that I received in the past week was the second book in the series so I am looking forward to getting started on that.
Yes, the beginning of March has brought a number of long expected books including the 4th book in the Toby Daye series which I finished yesterday: thoroughly enjoyed too, and the second book from Patrick Rothfuss. It is quite the tome and I have just started it. I also discovered Galen Beckett's The Magicians and Mrs. Quent—which was very entertaining—via Ravelry (the social networking site for Knitters and Crocheters).
It is like a combination of Austen and Bronte set in a world with magic. More Austen-y in tone but there is a middle section which cannot help but remind you of Jane Eyre. The second book came out last September so I am looking forward to continuing the
adventures of Mrs. Quent and her friends. The biggest news, however, is that George R.R. Martin announced the release date for the fifth book of The Song of Ice and Fire. July 12th is the date. Mark your calendars if you haven't already. I am incredibly excited about this and plan to start rereading ASAP. I hope to finish my A Game of Thrones reread in time for the premiere of the HBO series (April 17th.) If you are also anticipating this series - don't forget to tune in to HBO on April 3rd at 10 pm Eastern for a 15 minute Sneak Peek of the first episode. There is also a 30 minute "making of" show that is scheduled to air April 6th.
Link to "The Game Begins" trailer:
Man, I cannot wait for A Dance with Dragons. I hope that he has a significant amount of material done for the next book too. ASOIAF is a series that I'm very glad I got in on 3 books in. I can't imagine how difficult it would have been to read "A Game of Thrones" when it first came out and to have been reading and waiting for each book thereafter. I had no idea: I thought that the wait between finishing A Storm of Swords and waiting for A Feast for Crows was long: ha! I came in on the end of that wait. It's been a long, long time. But at least this series moves. I gave up on the Wheel of Time because it really seemed to not move. And I don't recall the characters being nearly as interesting.
Next time: possibly the second Aaronovitch, more on Toby Daye and possibly an update on the new Rothfuss.Peter Grant's blog: http://westendblues.blogspot.com/
Galen Beckett's website: http://www.galenbecket.com/gb/LatestNews/LatestNews.html
Ben Aaronovitch's blog:http://temporarilysignificant.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Well, Nosferatu was a pretty ugly vampire, I'll admit, but still. . .
When I think of all the films made, as well as books written where the vampires were staked, burned, be-headed, drowned and so forth, I simply felt sorry for the poor guy/gal. He seems to be saying "Hey, what's a vampire gotta do to get a good quick meal on the fly?"
I used to watch Bela Lugosi sweeping Lucy down to his crypt to hide her away from the men who were hunting him. Sort of a dumb idea, and if I were a vampire of Dracula's ilk, I would have found a better place to hide. He had to have known Van Helsing would know to look for him there.
Of course later on the movies which were made got a little more sophisticated, and the vampire seemed to have wised up a little more. And the old standard of the tails and tie sort of were dashed to smithereens when finally someone decided to make Dracula sexy. I mean when I saw Frank Langella do Dracula I said, "Now there's a hunk!"
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I guess I'm on a winning streak. Just wish I could win the Publisher's Clearing House. I've played it for 20 years!
Anyway, I just love Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's writing. I have what I believe was her very first writing of the St. Germain novels. It is called Hotel Transylvania I have the date of 1979 on the fly of when I bought it. The pages are yellow, brittle, and the cover is somewhat tattered and I've duck tape holding it together. I think it's like a beloved teddy bear with the eyes missing, and re sewn and so forth. It might be the one novel which I have repeatedly read passages more often than any other book.
For those of you who are not familiar with the St. Germain story, I'll give you a little bit here. St. Germain was a real person in history, and he was thought to have discovered the philosophers stone--which was to give a person immortality. A few years ago I did research into both St. Germain and the philosopher's stone because I was writing my own novel in which I had St. Germain play a major leading character. This was a second book in my Zofia Trickenbod series, which I've yet to try and continue with a different publisher (Infinity Publishers published the first in series).
But, back to St. Germain, and Yarbro's story. She has made St. Germain a vampire in her series, and even though I have not had the opportunity to read any other of her books, I've always wanted to. I'll probably read this and have to get the other books. The series is one which is not written in any chronological way, and each book, as I understand, can stand alone and we can read the adventures of this cunning man who was also accredited with being able to "grow" precious jewels, and often offered them to the ladies of royalty--which is what, from the description of this novel, looks as though he is doing.
I've tried to win another of her books about a year or so ago. I'm very thrilled that I was some how lucky enough among 25 entries (comments) over at Patricia's Vampire News.
Later today, I'm going to cash my royalty check, and for once take advantage of the sale going on at Office Max. They had a 15% sale going on--a paper bag whatever you can fit inside it is 15% off and today is the last day of the sale! So, I'm in a good place, I don't care what the weather is doing outside, I'm shopping!
Thursday, March 3, 2011
I'm needing a break and gonna get it in another week. I think everyone needs a break once in a while.
You know how you say something that's misconstrued and--well, I guess you sort of "screw" yourself because you misspoke. That happened to me today when I said something over our radio. Don't get me wrong. It wasn't a "bad" thing, I was being sarcastic and because my sarcasm has to be taken with a grain of salt--or possibly a teaspoon of salt--the guy who thought I was sort of making an indirect comment on something he'd just said over the radio took offence at it. And when I parked my bus and got off, there he was--all 6 foot and 200-something pounds of him.
Not really thinking that he'd come over to snarl at me, I said, "What's up" and he just sort of led off with the question if I'd meant "such 'n' such" and immediately I went to him, put my hand on him and told him not at all. I grabbed his arm and we spoke. He said he'd had a bad week. I assured him I wasn't making fun of what he'd said or tried to imply anything to the negative.
We all have bad weeks. I had a bad week last week. I seem to be saying things I don't mean, or things that can be taken wrong. I think it's something to do with Spring Fever. Yes. There is such a thing. I can't remember things, I can't talk right. Heck I probably can't even write right.
So, if I've offended anyone at all I'm so damned sorry. I tend to say things that some how come off as wrong and get misconstrued and I feel stupid for saying them. I know that I should just shut the heck up. Zip my lip. Say nada.
So, the guy--and I don't even know his name, if I ever knew it, I don't recall it--the student who drives one of the other 14-15 buses, he's going through it too. It's called mid-terms.
I grabbed his arm and we walked across the street together. "You need a hug," I said.
I felt his arm just sort of squeeze down on my hand as I had looped it under his, which told me he was forgiving me.
"No. What I need is a nap," he said.
We laughed and made disparaging remarks about our radios because that's exactly what the whole thing was about. Our radios go into this mode and we can't communicate with one another for a few moments--usually when we need them--the GPS system sucks.
I told him that I was glad he'd come over to me. He found out I wasn't the Witch of the North--or whatever he might have thought of me. We had rarely--if ever spoken to one another. Not even probably a "hi" at all. So, now he knows I'm a nice person, where as moments before he probably was cussing me out and wanted to rip into me for something that came out of my mouth while my brain was in a dumb mode.
So, that was a moment in my day. Believe it or not I didn't dwell on this. I took care of it. I have people get on my bus and talk to me and tell me about their day. I stop and let people cross the street between buildings on campus--all day long as I drive down Normal Road and get under way on my run.
I also was feeling under the weather and took 2 Zycams and one aspirin and hope that I can ward of whatever the heck invaded me while I wasn't looking.
So, this is my warning to all of you out there. If you are behaving strangely, can't remember things, feel like you need a nap in the middle of the day, out of sorts, irritable . . . blame it on Spring Fever.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Baseball has begun spring training in those warmer regions, birds are winging their way back to the northern states, and I've seen joggers in shorts (still too cold for shorts, I don't care!)
And today marks twenty-five years ago Dennis and I went out on our first date. Yesterday I went and secretly bought him a card and was able to place it somewhere he would find it when he got up after making the coffee. Tee-hee, that was fun. He liked it. The card on the out side said "Hello, I love you" on the inside it said "Hi, I still love you". Well, I bought it in the student center, but hey, it worked. Had a bright flower on it and everything.
We went and got a pizza so that we can just enjoy the evening.
I'm still working on the second book, which I'm nearly through again, but will put aside and wait and read through again. Want to make sure I've got anything that bothers me out, anything that seems I've repeated, or is wrong out of this one. Hard to write a sequel, because you know what went on in the last one, but you don't want to keep on repeating yourself.
Because of winter's grip on us, I've had to just come home and crash. Yesterday was no fun to drive in, but we do it. It takes a lot of focus to drive a bus in that kind of weather. Being a tad older than I was it just takes a toll on me.
So, gonna go and get in the tub and wash the bus grime off and just veg out a little.