Bitten on the Ass

No, not me. Although, I was going to come here today and rant. Then I was asked a question and I decided the rant probably shouldn’t be aired in the way I had originally intended. I know, I’m being cryptic but I can fix that by telling you a story.

I belong to a number of Yahoo groups. Authors who complain a lot tend to catch my eye. One author in particular who, in the past couple of years, has complained about eBook publishers and stated that self-publishing is the wave of the future, who has  complained about editors wanting to change her work, who has complained about various clauses in contracts, reviews and reviewers, and rejections of her work. I’ve seen her gripe about a lot of things.

Well, the other day an editor asked me what I knew about her. The editor had seen lots of promo by this author and rather thought the author must be big at another publisher. I told the editor what I had seen on the loops. And I was a tad more specific than I am here.  Then the editor said she was curious because she had a submission from the author. My first thought was that if this author was so big at the other publisher why was she subbing to my publisher.

At any rate, this author’s rantings in the past may have come back to bite her on the ass. I’ve posted numerous times in the past (most recently in the PASIC chapter’s newsletter) about how things you say on the internet can come back to bite you on the ass. I’m not 100% positive, but I rather think this author just got chomped.

So my rant for today isn’t really a rant anymore. See, this weekend I spent a lot of time visiting blogs I’ve never been to before.  I wasn’t happy. I wanted to come here and remind people of all those rules for blogging that you see across the internet. Like not having music that auto plays on your blog or website. This one should should be pretty obvious. Not everyone likes the same music. The blog owner may think it’s cool to show people what she’s listening to or give people a sense of who she is by making them listen to the song on her iPod. It’s not cool. It’s not a good idea. It’s kinda childish IMO but don’t take my word for it. Go read all those Do’s and Don’ts lists where they all state: Auto play music on your site – don’t do it!

I was going to rant about all the excerpts I see posted on blogs. Edited excerpts from published books. Excerpts with the use of TWO instances of WAS in the same sentence and SIX instances of WAS in the same paragraph. All those WAS’s equals a story written in the passive voice which is basically a no no, something an experienced professional editor should have caught and asked the author to fix.  I realized there are a lot more publishers out there now whom we can add to the list labeled “Has Shoddy Editing.”

I had my snarky remarks all ready to go for those blogs on a tour with comments on moderation and no one in sight to release the comments. I had even snarkier remarks for Live Journal blogs that show you a COMMERCIAL when you try to comment. Oh, unless you pay for Live Journal. Rumor has it that the pay customers over there don’t subject their commenters to the commercial. Maybe I should show those people all the pretty WordPress blogs I know. If I’m gonna pay for a blog, I think I’d rather pay domain and hosting and have my own blog like this one here where I can change the template and plugins and where commenting isn’t hard to figure out.

Seriously, I don’t get the Live Journal thing.  Commercials on comments. Sheesh.

I’m not really ranting. I’m not snarking. I was going to. But that editor asking me about the author reminded me that stuff you say can come back to haunt you. So I’ll  just flush my snark. It’s not worth it. For one, because everything I wanted to rant about won’t change. There will always be bloggers who don’t understand the music thing or the commenting thing. And I don’t think Live Journal’s commercials are going away any time soon. Neither do I think that publishers with shoddy editing will all go away and authors who think those publishers are amazing will remain as well. More than just love is blind in this world, don’t ya think?

Tossing the snark into the dumpster and just heaving a sigh and shaking my head is what I’m reduced to because I need to follow my own rules about what not to say on the net.  Luckily, you don’t even need to comment on this because I know my demographic and I know that most of you (more the bloggers than the authors but some authors get this) feel the same as me on these issues.  We’ll just have to heave a collective sigh.

And now, my Monday Marcus to ease my disappointment at not ranting.

So beautiful. I love a man with the top button of his jeans undone…

Have a great Monday everyone!

Nosy

I’m surrounded by nosy people.  Some nosy people I don’t mind.  When my kid looks over my shoulder and says, “Whatcha doin?” I don’t mind.  When the neighbor in the building across from us has her mom over for a visit and the old lady sits in the window all day long staring into my house at Rott…I mind.  So if my immediate family wants to know what’s up, I find that sweet. When the neighbors, landlord, and other relatives poke their noses into things, I find that intrusive.

Am I alone in this feeling of being intruded upon when relatives come over and have to look at my bed and my bedroom? Or when the landlord has to come over with his handyman so he can look around while the guy is working? Or when neighbors come onto my porch to peer into my windows? My bedroom is my space. I don’t want anyone in it except the person I sleep with or my kid. I may rent the place where I live but it’s my home even though someone else owns it. And the set of stairs leading to my porch only goes to my porch so unless I invited you over or you have some kind of important business with me, you have no business on those stairs or on my porch trying to peer through my blinds or screen door.

I would love to hear from others about this. Do you get annoyed by nosy people? Nosy neighbors, landlords, and relatives? Do you not like people in your bedroom? I seriously don’t like people in my bedroom. This one totally gives me the creeps. The thought of people I don’t know well staring at my bed makes me want to hurl. Please tell me I’m not alone in this!

Anyway, moving on to non-neurotic topics…I have a very pretty Marcus for you this Monday. He could look at my bed. Or jump in it. Heh.

Go on now, tell me your worst nosy tales and while you’re at it, have a great Monday!

Hairy Grannies

What’s the deal? Have you looked at the spam on your blog lately? Mine is filled with ads for photos of hairy grannies. That has to be the most bizarre thing I’ve ever heard. I mean, I know there is every kind of fetish imaginable out there and hundreds of thousands of websites that will indulge those fetishes despite how extreme they may be. But c’mon. Hairy grannies? Who gets off on looking at hairy grannies? And just exactly what IS a hairy granny?

I’m starting to think maybe I just don’t want to know. It’s gotta be something bad. Like gross bad. Like pervert bad. And I wonder at the grannies who let people photograph them. What self-respecting granny does that? Are they all Photoshop images? Like Worth1000.com? *shudders* God, I just need to delete those spam comments. I’m getting visions of some pretty bad stuff here.

So despite the hordes of kinky spam comments I’m likely to get by talking about what’s in my spam folder, I just had so many of them that I had to mention it. Don’t think I’ll ever understand the kink though. LOL

Well, it rained all Sunday and Sunday night. I can handle the rain. I like the rain. What I don’t like is being the only building on the block whose sprinklers come on at 7 am when I am leaving for work. I can’t get to my freaking car without walking down the alley, out to the street, and around the corner. The entire sidewalk between buildings and down to the street sidewalk is flooded. The grass verge and the stepping stones to get to the curb are all flooded. The sprinklers are going nuts spraying water everywhere. If I want to get to my car I either walk the equivalent of a block and a half or I get drenched.

When I saw the water going, I checked the buildings on either side of us. Neither of them had sprinklers on. I looked down the street. No one had sprinklers on. Just my building. The mother effers. Grrrr. First it’s parking wars and my neighbors who disobey all the association parking rules, now it’s the fucking sprinklers. I swear it does not pay to live where I live and have a vehicle.

I swear, I’m like a magnet for this sort of BS. I mean, how many of you have to deal with shit like this? I live a Murphy’s Law life, seriously. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. And I’m so not going into the Big TV debacle. Oh, no. But as I’m writing this…the damned thing is still not hooked up. This time Rott’s excuse has to do with Sony’s paperwork that says you need to install some software first and once you do, they can peek into your TV and see what you’re watching. Rott flipped out, howling about the privacy act. *sigh*

You all have to be having a better time of it than I am. Your December has to be better. I mean, none of you are stuck in the middle of a Christmas short story that you can’t finish, are you? You’re not having parking wars and sprinkler issues and expensive new TV hullaballoos, right?

It’s just me. My life. No one else could have this kind of existence, could they? God, I feel sorry for you if you do! It’s enough to make you want Alzheimer’s.

In order to combat these horrid feelings and the hairy granny visions, I need to gift myself with a Marcus!

Oh, yeah. Click on that and check it out full size. Yummeh!

Now, before I toddle off to work, don’t forget that you need to comment on each day’s post at LexValentine.com’s blog in order for a chance to win a book. I’m giving away books every day through Christmas.  Today’s book is my EPIC Award finalist Insolence. It’s the story of best friends (M/F) who discover they’ve been in love with each other all along. And there’s some kink in there to help things along. 😉

Have a great Monday!

Where’s My Cold?

Apparently, the only cold I have is the one in my head. Yes, after three years without a single cold…I got one. It was rather inevitable since everyone in my office has had it, people rarely stay home, and if you ask them if they have a cold, they tell you they aren’t sick. It does kinda give it away that they are hacking and coughing and blowing their noses and can’t hear on the phone cause their ears are plugged, but nonetheless, I have had people tell me they aren’t sick and then proceed to start coughing and sneezing. What can you do?

The worst part of my cold hasn’t been me being sick. The worst part is that I gave it to Rott. He’s not a good sick person. He gets angry about being sick. Things go bang, crash, boom when Rott is sick. And then I feel uber guilty. Not that I meant to give it to him because of course I didn’t, but I do live in the same house. I guess I shouldn’t have sat in the recliner and fallen asleep thereby spreading my germs around the living room for him to ingest. I’ll just keep to myself the fact that he could have woken me and told me to get the hell to bed and away from him. *sigh*

Now, the other reason for this title is that it’s November. Hello? Turkey Day is just around the corner. And what temperature do you think it was here yesterday? 82. WTF? That’s too hot for me. Where’s my winter? Where’s my cold? I want 68 degrees so I can put on a coat, wear a sweater, and not start sweating at 1 in the afternoon! I freaking hate global warming. I swear it’s half the reason I got the damned cold. The temperature here in SoCal cannot make up it’s mind. Hot, cold. Rain, wind. Dry, wet. This fall has seen record breaking heat waves. 107 in October? 102? This isn’t right. I want my cold.

Well, if I must have hot, then I’ll settle for Marcus. His kinda hot is always welcome with me.

Click on that to see the full-size image. Oh, baby. Now that is a very welcome heat!

I’m gonna take myself off to work but before I do, you can check out my Lex Valentine blog to see six sentences from my latest WIP, a sequel to Rock My World that released on Friday at Ellora’s Cave. There’s also a post there called Back to Back about Rock My World and my Veteran’s Day release Honorable Silence. I’ll be at Castles and Guns tomorrow and I’m also part of Eliza Gayle’s Naughty November. If you like naughty excerpts, you’ll want to check out Eliza’s site.

Have a great Monday!

Political Me

I don’t do politics. Anywhere. Those of you who know me, know this is true. I don’t like the arguments that come of talking politics nor the flame wars that come of posting a political discussion. I leave the politics to those who actually can handle the heated comments…people like Jester. Jester calls a spade a spade and is unapologetic about doing so. He can handle a political discussion on his blog, on his radio show, on Twitter, and face to face. I, on the other hand, prefer not to be embroiled in the glories of debate.

Until today.

See, I have questions. Questions about our culture and our government. Questions that juxtapose what my mama taught me is right and what is wrong up against what my father believed with his whole heart.

Lemme backtrack a minute and tell you about my Dad.  He was born in the Philippines. Came here when he was 14 and became a citizen. He refused to speak his native dialect with his relatives because he was an American citizen and the native language of the United States is English. He fought in WWII. He believed that the government of the United States of America was the best government in the world. After all, if he didn’t believe that, he’d never have risked his life in the jungles of New Guinea during the war.

Now my Mama had very strict ideas about right and wrong. She was the most fair person I’ve ever known. She saw no color nor sexuality when she looked at you. You could have a police record a mile long and she would not judge you by it.

So why the family history? Because yesterday a federal judge lifted the stay on his decision that struck down Proposition 8. Same sex marriages can begin taking place in California on August 18.

How this ruling fits in with my background goes something like this:

Everything my Dad believed about the greatness of our nation has now in my head become pitted against my Mom’s teachings about right and wrong.  You see, I have this project, it’s a same sex story set in the military. A Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell story. My characters live in California. I could change my plot and marry them now that the stay is lifted. But since one of them is still in the Air Force (the other one is former USAF) it would impact the story in a huge way. And it’s made my thoughts political to the point that I’m here spewing them on my blog.

If my characters married – and believe me, they are the types who would want to be married – they would have to hide that marriage because one them is an Air Force officer. How fair is that? It’s not. And it angers me.

A federal judge gives them the right to be married in this state and yet they can’t reveal that to their employer? Not revealing it to their employer means they can’t partake of the benefits that other married couples in the military have. And the fact that this arm of the federal government won’t acknowledge gays to the extent that they have to hide their private lives and go without the benefits military spouses have angers me and calls into question my father’s belief that this is the greatest government in the world.

What I’m going to do with my characters and how I’m going to end this novella is something I need to ponder now. Part of me really wants to make a statement by inserting the issue of marriage and gay soldiers’ rights into the book. But as I said at the top of this post, I’m really not that political. The fact that this injustice pricks me will probably have me mentioning it in the story. Whether I let it change anything in the plot is a toss up.

Essentially, my guys are who they are so I suppose it won’t change much in the story to mention this topic in passing. But I’d like to keep my raging sense of injustice out of it and I don’t know if I can do that.  I wish the military would just step up to the plate and deal with this. In the right way. The fair way. The fact that they don’t is an ugly, ugly mark against those men and women who put down their lives for us every day.

My mama would be so pissed. And I guess I am too.