Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
My husband clued me in to the newest air safety message from Air New Zealand. It is AWESOME. Enjoy.
So, my daughter (6) loves for my husband and I to mess with songs to sing to her. We take regular songs like The Itsy Bitsy Spider or Frere Jacques or Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and make them totally goofy.
Need an example?
(to the tune of The Itsy Bitsy Spider)
The Itsy Bitsy Alien came down from outer space/
He took out his ray gun and shot me in the face/
The people said “Hey! Go away!”
The alien said “meh”
And the itsy bitsy alien went back to space again.
(to the tune of twinkle twinkle little star)
Sitting, sitting little cat,
My oh my you are so fat,
Sitting on my bed so round,
What in the world was that sound?
Sitting sitting little cat
My oh my you are so fat.
We make up silly versions on the spot depending on what we see and what we’ve done that day. It’s a great exercise in rhyming and word use, as well as just a fun way to play with music.
What silly things like that do you do?
Yes, it is an admission that hurts the average author – so stand up before a crowded room and say, “Hi, my name is Kate, and I suck at all things tech.”
In this world of website and ebooks that release to the public at the speed of light, it’s hard to maintain and upkeep a site if you ae not trained in the ways of the Force. A, the Force of the HTML savvy that is.
It’s really a pain in the posterior if you need to rely on another person to do the work for you. Sure you can save up a bunch of stuff to have it put on your site all at once, or you can do it in drips and drabs at between 40-100 bucks a pop, depending on how much time the webster spends getting you updated.
Me, I suck. I was asked by Inez to change my book covers on here and have no clue in the universe how I’m supposed to manage that. (she suggested I email the covers to her and she’ll switch them out- I think that’s a swell idea. Best one I’ve heard today.)
And so, it is with a little jealousy in my heart that I see others doing what I am destined to never be able to do- my own website.
Okay, I couldn’t resist the alliteration. But I also had to share this video that was linked to me by a friend on twitter (yo, count_01!). It’s funny, it’s empowering, and it is just awesome. Enjoy!
Go on, now. Maybe not exactly safe for work, but… be brave!
Love and kisses,
Title: Cow! ‘Nother Cow!
There’s a phrase romance authors use. It’s called, “save the cat” or “save the puppy” or “save the baby”. Basically it means your hero or heroine needs to do some selfless loving act that is so sappy, even the most hardened of people will go awwww. Or at the very least, soften a bit.
I was about a paragraph into writing On The Fence and stalled a bit. I was in a chat room at the time and I said, “I need my hero to save a cat.”
There was one problem. My heroine, Shellie, had already and very clearly stated that she did not like cats or small house pets. And I liked that line. I didn’t want to delete it because it just fit Shellie and her lifestyle. It wouldn’t make much sense for the hero to save a cat when the heroine wasn’t a fan of cats! I thought over it for a minute when something sprang to mind.
Cow! –I posted in the chatroom.
From there we all started yelling Cow! ‘Nother Cow! at one another in the spirit of the movie Twister and thus! It stuck. Seriously. Am not even kidding. This is what happens when you put a bunch of women in one room who are all hyped up on caffeine and are hiding from their kids and husbands.
So for months now, anytime someone sees the word Cow! out of that chat room, you can be sure it is always, ALWAYS followed up with ‘Nother Cow!
So to keep the fun going, I have a DVD copy of Twister to giveaway to one lucky commenter. Do you and your friends have some silly phrase that’s an inside joke or something?
And because it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t: Cow!
Keri Ford writes country set contemporary romances. On The Fence is second in the Uninhibited in Apple Trail, Arkansas series.
If Shellie Chambers has to hear one more condescending comment from her mother about life or men, she might scream. She packs up and takes a trip to see her long-missed high school friend, Riley. He’ll know exactly what she needs to loosen up. But instead of the girl-chasing jock she remembers from their youth, Riley’s gone country, keeping up a farm of his own.
Riley Hamilton has settled down on a farm his uncle left to him. Not the life he ever envisioned, but after getting a girl pregnant in college and then watching helplessly as the baby was aborted, he learned the hard way it was time to settle down. Shellie’s reentry into his life reminds of his wild past and it’s a fight to ignore the tempting woman Shellie has become.
On The Fence is available for only a $1.99 from Amazon Kindle | Smashwords | Sony | Diesel | Apple | Barnes & Noble (Nook) | Digibooks Café | 1PlaceforRomance | All Romance Ebooks and Omnilit | CoffeeTime Romance eBookstore | BookStrand
For more about Keri’s books and just about anything, please visit her website: www.KeriFord.com
There’s a hawk in the Library of Congress. No, not the war-favoring political kind. The kind with wings and whatnot.
I can’t tell you how cool I think this is. I love hawks. We have hawks at our house – Cooper’s, sharp-shinned, red-tailed and red-shouldered for sure. Oh. Wait. A lot of people don’t know their hawks. Let me help you.
Cooper’s Hawk (like the one in the Library)
Sharp-shinned hawk (pic taken from my great room window. This one was less than a foot from me through the window)
Red-shouldered hawk (I used to have a great pic of a red-shoulder eating a dove in the snow in my backyard, but I can’t find it!)
And a red-tailed hawk. This one is a light one, but red-tailed hawks have many color morphs.
Some things about these hawks. First, if you want to identify whatever bird is hanging out in your trees or bushes, check out Cornell’s online identification guide. Next, on to our four. You’ll notice that they have similar coloring, so identification isn’t always easy. The first thing is size. Sharp-shinned hawks are small hawks, about the size of a large blue jay, maybe 10-14″ long. The females are much larger than the males and are often difficult to distinguish from Cooper’s hawks. The sharp-shinned hawk has a very square tail, though, where the Cooper’s has a rounded tail. The Cooper’s is a bit larger (14-20″), about the size of a crow.
Red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks are larger. Red-shoulders are slightly smaller than red-tailed (16-24″), and have distinctive red streaking at the shoulders. Red-taileds (18-24″) have streaking on the underside, but its more toward the middle and less at the shoulders. Additionally, in flight the distinctive red tail is a very big hint. Red-tailed hawks are extremely common and if you see a hawk, odds are good it’s a red-tail.
In my experience, the red-shouldered, Cooper’s and sharp-shinned all hang out in the trees. They wait for some unsuspecting bit of yum and dive bomb from above. The red-tail hawks tend to hang out across the street by the power easement waiting for a mouse or bunny to make a break across the open terrain.
I like birds in general, and I love hawks. In fact, raptors were the major inspiration for the bird-winged aliens in Twice as High. So when I saw this story, I decided to share. What about you? Do you dig hawks?
So, as usual, I am totally scattered at the beginning of a new semester. I’m teaching 4 sections this semester – 3 different courses. I need to get my stuff all settled this week so I can get back to writing.
So, in the interest of actually getting back to writing, I’m thinking about what needs work. I have several WIPs that are in various stages of completion – none more than about 1/3 done. How do I pick? I have mystery-were, which is a paranormal with a whole grab-bag of different stuff (ice fae, the mystery-were, dragons, etc.) and a bit of chase plot thrown in. I have Rio, which is pretty much erotica. I have a follow-on to Twice as High. I have Jack and Sarah, which is ridiculously hot contemporary/BDSM.
Help me. WHICH SHOULD I CHOOSE?
So my parents have this idea of retiring to Europe. It’s been pushed back a bit because my mom had a bad fall earlier this year and had to get a shoulder replacement – so they’re aiming at around a year from now.
Which means I’ll have a fantastic built in excuse for running off to Europe for the holidays. I have to – I have to see my folks for Christmas, right?
Anyway, their hunt for the perfect spot to retire (not in the US) had me poking around looking at what options are available. I found out something interesting – a LOT of Americans are retiring to other countries (not Europe) because their retirement dollars go farther.
There’s a significant ex-pat community in Mexico, a large one in India, and a number in various other locales.
There are whole websites devoted to matching people with their perfect cheap retirement option. It’s really interesting.
Anyway, so my parents wanted Europe – which makes no sense to me given that their dollars go LESS far in Europe than in the US, but whatever. Which means they had to decide where in Europe. Now, they ruled out the far north – too cold – and Eastern Europe – too iffy. They ruled out Britain, Germany, Switzerland for weather reasons. I have no idea why they excluded the Netherlands, unless they’re concerned about climate change and the fact that the Netherlands are actually below sea level.
In any case, they settled on the Med because of weather and attitude reasons. Spain, Portugal, Italy, south of France, that kind of thing. And yes, they have chosen where – I’m just not telling. Anyway, the whole thing just makes me shake my head.
And then I wonder….well, there’s a point. Will I be able to retire where I want to in the way they are? Or will I need to scrape everything together and move to Mumbai?
Late again. Though not as late as last time.
Tonight I took my Munchkin with me to give a review session for a class I teach. She totally charmed them. And gave most of them hugs as they left. One of the guys asked me if she goes up to random people and hugs them. The answer is yes and no. She will if we’re right there and she thinks they look like they need a hug. Which is, at once both alarming and endearing. She’s a lovely, sweet soul, and she hates to see anyone unhappy. On the other hand, the world can be a hard place, and I want to protect her from that. It’s what I tell my classes all the time – it’s a continuum. On the one end I have the ability to keep my daughter secure. On the other end is her ability to be independent. Every bit of independence she gains costs me some bit of ability to keep her safe. But ever bit of safety I enforce costs her some bit of independence.
In the same way, I think authors can be really protective of their stories. And their characters. We don’t want bad things to happen to them, we want to keep them safe. But if bad things don’t happen to them, how can the reader see their character arc? How will the plot move forward. So, we, as writers, have to make a trade off. The safety of the characters in favor of moving the story forward.
Similarly, once the story is done, you face a similar dilemma. Do you send your baby out into the world, where it is sure to attract some slings and arrows? Or do you harbor it, safe and warm, in the desk drawer (or thumb drive)? Again, a trade off.
I’m not telling you that you have to send your stuff out right now. Maybe you aren’t ready (regardless of whether the story is). But I do think that you need to understand the trade off you are making. Yes, your baby is safe, but it will never shine. Yes, it’s safe, but no one will ever know it’s wonder. Consider taking a chance. Sure it’s a risk – but, like my daughter, you may just find that you brightened someone’s day.
I missed my blog date – I’ve been missing a lot of stuff lately. As I mentioned in a comment on Inez’s last post, I’m totally brain dead. I’ve been fighting off whatever the crud was/is, preparing for finals (giving, not taking), teaching, and supervising the installation of my new windows (hooray!). I’d probably be doing a bit better, but the cats have decided that the upheaval in the house caused by getting ready to move means they have to do their impersonation of Fight Club when I try to sleep.
I’m considering kitty Valium. Maybe for the kitties. Maybe for me.
In other news, I’ve revived an older project that’s been nagging me, and I’ve made some progress on the mystery-were project. That’s good news, right?
In the wake of releasing More than a Man – oh, wait. Have I even mentioned that? Yeah. Launched an interesting little story I co-wrote on Dec 1.
Here’s the blurb:
Manporium. It’s where women of The Future go to buy the men of their dreams…and where twice-widowed Noelle Lytton is going to buy the third man of her dreams. Like a child crafting a Christmas wish list and checking it twice, Noelle has poured every last measure of hope into the traits she’s selected to make up her third husband. She’s checked her list more than twice, weighed it against past mistakes and future anticipations, and as she uploads her life’s savings to pay the balance, she knows it’s this man or nothing.
Sometimes things don’t go quite as expected at Manporium, however, and a bride’s wish list is, er…subject to interpretation. A man might, for example, come out smelling like gingerbread cookies and possessing extra appendages. All of which Noelle discovers as she comes to terms with the husband who, despite mistakes, is everything she wanted and much, much more.
So…what are you up to?