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

Cherry Saturday, November 25, 2017

Today is National Parfait Day.  

par·fait: pärˈfā/  noun
Okay, sure it’s pretty, but it seems kind of authoritarian to me.  It must consumed in those layers, in that order.  Give me a hot fudge sundae that I can mush together to get all the flavors.  (I may just not be classy enough to eat parfaits.)


This is a Good Book Thanksgiving: You’re Gonna Need a Break Today

For those of you lucky enough to live somewhere where this holiday doesn’t happen, count your blessings.  I vaguely remember my family’s Thanksgivings before I got old enough to escape–lots of booze, leftover turkey, and yelling with football playing in the background–which I escaped by going into my bedroom, a book in one hand and pumpkin pie in the other.  For those of you stuck with it, tune out the relatives and get a good book.  

Christmas, The Downside

I’ve been staying home and writing, but today I had to hit the grocery and the pharmacy and the craft store (skull button) and I was brought up once again by the true horror of the season: Christmas music.  The stuff is insidious; I found myself singing along to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”  I probably looked like one of those animatronic elves, nodding my head mechanically as I searched for a good skull for my Day of the Dead project.   Thank god, it wasn’t “Santa Baby.”  I listened to four different versions of that sucker while writing “Hot Toy.” Never again.  Okay, I’ll listen to the Etta James version because she can do no wrong, but that’s it. Continue reading

To Chapter or Not to Chapter

My distaste for chapters is well-known, but I always comply.  This time I’m thinking maybe not.  Nita takes place from Tuesday very early morning to Sunday morning.  I was thinking about going with Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday as headings to break up the book because that would help keep people oriented to the passage of time, especially since it’s a timelock plot (Nick has to become the Devil at midnight on April 2).   One problem, “Tuesday” would be 52,000 words. (It’s a long book.).   Sunday will be about 2000, so it’ll even up a little, but still, that’s a long first section, over 200 pages.   What do you think?

Nita’s Soundtrack, Revised Nov. 2017

One good thing about finally knowing the whole book, I also know the soundtrack, not just the songs that sound like they belong, but the songs that actually inform the different acts and plot moments.   Taken together, they make an odd playlist, but as background music for the book, they’re a help to me for  mood and character. They’re basically the aural version of collage, a tool that helps me stay on track with the world and the people in it that I’ve created, not meant to be a work of art. Continue reading

The Argh Ink Book Club for December: Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather

For those of you who want to play and have never read Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather, you’re in for a treat.  For those of you who have, let’s wallow.  We can talk about belief and commercialization and gift-giving and  how really insane bad guys can make a book move like the Hogfather’s sled.  And all the other stuff.   There’s a movie, too, which I’ve never seen but have somewhere on the DVD.  Tis the season, let’s welcome the Hogfather.

We’ll start Dec. 1.  That gives us two weeks to reread and/or watch.