In Praise of Comfort Stories, Edited

I’ve been thinking about comfort stories.  They’re like comfort food, warm and familiar with no surprises, just more of what we already know we like.  As a writer, I’m not interested in writing the same story again (I have a very short attention span), but as a reader, I devour Dick Francis and Rex Stout and Georgette Heyer, and my repeat watchings of Leverage and Person of Interest have no end.  I’ve watched Big Trouble in Little China so many times, I can recite the dialogue ahead of time.  And yet, I go back again and again. Continue reading

Cherry Saturday, December 9, 2017

Today is International Anti-Corruption Day.  Yes, the irony is strong in this one.  It’s also Vet Day, Pastry Day, and Christmas Card Day.  Any of those are better.  Which means I should take my dogs to the vet, give them cookies, and then write my Christmas cards,  

But it’s going to snow and I have a lot of work to do, so maybe just the cookies.  Although I did get a great “Do Not Bend” rubber stamp for my fancy-schmancy Christmas cards.  Hmmm . . . 


Exploiting You Again: Last of HQ Hardcovers in the Crusie Store

Remember last year when we did the signed edition thing in the Crusie Book Store?  Mollie just put the last of the signed Harlequin and SMP  hardcovers in there (that’s a drop down menu on the page, there are more than just Strange Bedpersons).  Mollie is usually pretty swift on the shipping (ask those who bought last year), but it’s the Christmas shopping season and evidently everybody is ordering online which means the shipping services are swamped, so be warned.   Continue reading

The Argh Ink Book Club: Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather

Welcome to our discussion of Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather.  We can talk about anything you want, but especially:

Susan: Best protagonist or best protagonist ever?
Teatime: Is a batshit crazy antagonist that compelling?
Belief: Not just the power of belief in this story, the power of belief in all story.
Gift-giving: The complexity of exchanging (or just giving) things of value (or not so much value).
The movie: Good adaptation or bad?

Or whatever else you want to talk about. 


This is a Good Book Thursday: Haul Out That Holly or the Symbol of Your Winter Solstice Celebration

Thanksgiving is over, it’s officially Christmas time.  Yes, I know not everybody is Christian, but if you think Christmas is a religious holiday, you haven’t been to a US mall lately.  Haul out that holly, damn it.  You get hot chocolate and sugar cookies with it.  Also, a good book; you get GIFTS at Christmas, let’s make them read-able.  There are things to be wary of: Mistletoe is poisonous, the Christmas tree used to be used for human sacrifices, and your relatives probably watch Fox News, so it’s the Australia of holidays, full of amazing beauty and exciting people and stuff that’ll kill you..  See here for a complete explanation of how our bastard holiday evolved.  I can see why the nudity fell out of favor in New Jersey, it’s cold here at Christmas, but at least it still involves a lot of liquor (“Get the egg nog, Marge”).  

So whatcha reading?


Writing an Alpha Hero in the Age of the Dickhead

I have a problem with the Alpha hero and it just got a lot worse.

You may not have noticed this, but there are a lot of powerful creeps out there–Weinstein, Rose, Moore, Franken (break my heart, you bastard)–and a lot of people pointing out that “good-old-boy” does not mean “molests women and children” (and men, just ask Terry Crews).  So of course  now is when I wander into Alpha hero territory, and I’m trying to figure out how to do this because “Alpha hero” often means “Dickhead,” especially the ones from seventies who did a lot of “Whoops, sorry, I though you were a whore and that’s why I raped you” stuff.   Sarah Wendell, quoted here, says of Alpha heroes, “Not only are they super powerful, controlling, authoritative — and also often shirtless — they take care of everything.”   I can go with that definition, it’s the “let me force myself upon you because your body is something I deserve” that makes me want to kill them all.   Yeah, if you touched her without a go-ahead, you’re a Dickhead.

And now I’ve written myself into a situation where I have to write  a Dickhead an Alpha hero. Continue reading