Review: Sock Monkey

Two years ago, I was having an awful day and wrote this post. I’m having a non-awful-but-really-busy week, so I went looking through the forty-nine draft posts I had stashed away and found it. So here’s an old book review for you. The first paragraph is dated, but after that it’s all sock monkeys and sock monkeys never go out of style:

It’s a helluva day. A candidate I used to respect is hatemongering while the country desperately needs leadership, forty percent of a retirement account just disappeared, and I have to go to the blood doctor this afternoon and he’ll probably take me down a pint. None of this is fatal to my life and happiness, but you know how some days, the world just closes in on you?

Thank God for my pal, Meg. You remember Meg, she’s the one who sent me the great parrot book by Arne Svenson. Well, she mailed me Svenson’s newest work, Sock Monkey, and it’s Valium in a book jacket. Continue reading

The Kit Cake

Lani sent me the step by step pictures of Sweetness’s Kit cake. She used Wilton fondant because that’s what I had, and paste food coloring I think. She should really be doing this post but Lucy March evidently doesn’t do food how-tos, unlike Argh which will do anything because we are completely undisciplined, so here’s Lucy’s “How To Make A Kit Cake” in pictures:
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Random Sunday

Today’s Random Sunday is brought to you by the Apple iPad because I WANT ONE. But I can’t have it. I have to finish the galleys and the first Liz and my essay for BenBella before I can start slinging that kind of money about on random electronics, but it’s hard to concentrate because I WANT ONE. I want one with the burning passion that Light reserves for everything she wants, which is everything. I, at least, am focused on one thing, while Light eyes the blue bunny pen, the wildflower seeds, chocolate chip cookies, Luigi’s lemon ices, and the bag I’m making for Krissie, none of which she can have and all of which she yearns for. When she is told no, she gives this little moan, not a whine, more like a short keen. Then she sees something shiny and moves on. But I am fixated. It doesn’t help that every magazine that arrived at the house this week had a full page ad for the damn thing on the back cover. It haunts my dreams. I WANT ONE. But I can’t have one so moving on . . . Continue reading


I’ve been swamped here and not paying attention to Argh or, it turns out, my crochet equipment. Here is my brand new bamboo-handled crochet hook:

And here is the hag from hell who’s responsible for the desecration:
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Vince’s Place, Revised

So you talked me into a fire place on the comments which means the shower had to go off the bathroom outside which actually works (although cold as hell in the winter, I’d think; fortunately southern Ohio winters are only bitter for a short time). So, happy now, Argh People?

I also added his grandma’s couch, aka, a “snuggle couch.” (See Bob’s discussion of the snuggle couch on He Wrote, She Wrote. Is that site still around?)

Vince’s Place

I’m big on houses. I’ve been criticized for that (“Why are there always houses?”) which I don’t get (do they write John Irving and say, “So about the bears . . .”?) because I think the places people live say a lot about them, the places they choose to live (if they can afford to choose) and the things they put in the places they choose. Plus houses are a huge metaphor. Continue reading

Trade Paperback Reissues: The Covers

St. Martins, the best of all possible publishers, is reissuing the first six solo novels I did for them in trade paperback format. This is nothing but good news, but it did lead us to someothing we’d never really worked at before: a series cover concept. That is, even though the books–Tell Me Lies, Crazy For You, Welcome to Temptation, Fast Women, Faking It, and Bet Me–are all very different, they still had to look as though they came from one writer with one sensibility, mood, and style. Therefore we had to come up with one type design and one layout/concept that could be tweaked so that each book had a cover that represented the story (not illustrated it, conceptualized it) while keeping a coherent overall look. In other words, we needed the same thing but different six times.

Sure, piece of cake. Continue reading