Tuesday, April 25, 2006

You Go, Girl!

One of my friends is having a very good month!

Leslie Dicken kicked off April with a bang when she was notified that her cool gothic romance, MARK OF THE MONSTER, finaled in the historical category of the Golden Heart contest. (This was no surprise to those of us who know of her Phantom of The Opera / Gerald Butler obsession.) As if anyone could blame her... have you seen that man in a kilt?

Then Leslie got the news than an ISBN number had been issued for her soon-to-be-published e-book, THE PRICE OF DISCOVERY, written by her sexy Science Fiction alter-ego, Jordanna Kay. For those who are wondering, an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is the unique identifier that proclaims to the world of book buyers and book sellers: ‘Hey, look! I’m published! Buy me!’

But yesterday was probably the best day of all, because Leslie was offered representation by Nephele Tempest of The Knight Agency . Getting a literary agent is hard work, people! All those aspiring writers, all those unpublished manuscripts piling up on desks and clogging up briefcases… getting a reputable literary agent to notice yours is a miracle!

Unless you’re a good writer. Like Leslie. In the three years I’ve known her I’ve seen her talents, her determination, and her self-confidence grow by leaps and bounds. I have no doubt she’ll be receiving more good news soon, in the form of a sale to a major New York publisher.

I’m so proud of you, Leslie! You go, girl!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What A Cute Little Pecker!

Oh, you thought this was going to be a naughty post, didn’t you?

Nope, not advertising Cialis or Viagra or ways to make yourself more manly… just wanted to share a fun experience I had the other day.

Isn’t he cute?

I was out for my morning walk when I found this baby red-headed woodpecker lying on the sidewalk right in front of me. He eyed me curiously but didn’t try to get away, and that’s when I noticed one of his wings didn’t look so good.

I could’ve left him there to be stepped on, eaten by one of our many neighborhood cats or swallowed by a black snake (we have a lot of those, too), and I’m sure that’s what many people would’ve done, under the mistaken belief that once you touch a baby bird its Mama will reject it because she’ll smell the humans on it. That's an old wive’s tale, as birds have a poorly developed sense of smell. And just how was the Mama Bird gonna manage getting Baby back up in the tree when the little guy obviously couldn’t fly?

So I picked up the little red-headed fledgling, tucked him into my shirt to keep him warm and took him home. I spent a good part of the day digging worms and listening to him sqwawk – no problem with his lungs, apparently. He was adorable.

But, in the end, I called a local Wildlife Rescue agency and they offered free veterinary care for his little wing if I turned him over to them, so I did.

I miss the little guy, but as several of my friends pointed out, for a brief time I could proudly defy my own gender, and claim my very own 'Woody'. :-)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Dirty Job

Isn’t this a great cover?

Says ‘death’ and ‘funny’ at the same time, which quite frankly, made it irresistible to me. I’d never read Christopher Moore before, though I’ve since learned he has quite the bizarre backlist of twisted tales. Practical Demonkeeping and Bloodsucking Fiends are next on my to-be-read list, but for now, just let me tell you a little bit about A Dirty Job.

It’s weird. Seriously weird, more than a bit wacky, filled with a cast of strange characters and ‘laugh-out-loud-witty’ dialogue. I have no doubt whatsoever that Christopher Moore smokes some quality stuff, because nobody could come up with plot twists like his if they were thinking straight. Don’t get me wrong, folks – it works. It seriously works.

The general plot is that a mild-mannered guy with a major inferiority complex gets chosen to be the Grim Reaper. (Not the only Grim Reaper, mind you, but one of many.) I won’t go into all the details, but you can see how a situation like this is ripe for some weirdness, and Moore does not disappoint.

I had my doubts about a seven foot tall black man named Minty Fresh (who wears nothing but green), being a believable agent of Death; I had to pause and regroup when the Squirrel People were introduced (reanimated souls in the bodies made from various dead animal parts, dressed in period costumes); and I have to admit to some serious cringing at the repeated use of the term ‘f*ck puppet’ (i.e., the mistresses of wealthy men who exist only for facials, manicures, plastic surgery and well, f*cking). His rather degrading segue about the agent of Death being unable to retrieve one of these ‘puppet’s’ souls after death because it -quite literally- resided in her breast implants, seemed a bit much.

All that aside, I really enjoyed the book, and I admire anybody who can not only laugh at himself but make me laugh, too. Suspension of disbelief is hard to do, but this book was a level above that. I not only wanted to suspend disbelief, I was willing to bungee-jump in it. Every time I came up for air, I plunged right back in.

Wherever my soul resides, I sure hope it won’t be hard to find when the time comes.

Thank God I don’t have breast implants.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Look, Ma... I'm normal!

Don't you just love it when personality tests confirm everything you hoped for? I tend to be a bit leery of them, only because it's far too easy to 'slant' them your way if you don't feel like being honest. I, however, am honest to a fault (which is reflected in the results of my personality test). Woohoo!

Your Five Factor Personality Profile
You have high extroversion.You are outgoing and engaging, with both strangers and friends.You truly enjoy being with people and bring energy into any situation.Enthusiastic and fun, you're the first to say "let's go!"
You have high conscientiousness.Intelligent and reliable, you tend to succeed in life.Most things in your life are organized and planned well.But you borderline on being a total perfectionist.
You have medium agreeableness.You're generally a friendly and trusting person.But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.
You have low neuroticism.You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.
Openness to experience:
Your openness to new experiences is medium.You are generally broad minded when it come to new things.But if something crosses a moral line, there's no way you'll approve of it.You are suspicious of anything too wacky, though you do still consider creativity a virtue.