Archive for August, 2008

They’re Off!

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

As of yesterday, I finally got all my editor/agent requests from RWA National sent off. That’s a relief. The agent requests went over a week ago, but I needed to finish a chapter for the editor request that would end on a good hook. With Youngest Son’s birthday being this week and Eldest Son moving away to university in a few days, the household has been hopping. Helping E.S. is my priority until he’s ensonced in his new home-away-from-home, so don’t expect to see much of me around here. In fact, unless something amazing happens in my writing world, I’m ducking into my Motherhood Cave until sometime next week.

Have a great Labor Day weekend, everyone!

Small Town van Gogh

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

The 2008 Lys Blues Music Awards are now on-line. Voting continues until September 21st. Canadian singer/songwriter Dale Boyle is amongst the nominees with his CD, Small Town van Gogh, which captured nods for Album of the Year, Composer of the Year, and Blues and Associated Styles.

Why am I encouraging you to visit the Lys Blues site and vote for Dale? Well, for one, I have, and I did. Small Town van Gogh is a wonderful CD, and independent musicians deserve our support! Also, I do admit I’m biased, but, as we all know, subjectivity plays a part in the creative arts, so there. As some of you who followed my old on-line diary, Trials & Triumphs, might remember, Dale’s CD features a song inspired by my grandfather, William “Duke” Procter, who, when he died in 2005 at the age of 106, was the last veteran in my province to have served in The Great War (a.k.a. WW I). Dale never met my grandfather, which to me makes the fact that Duke inspired the song, Over 100 Years, all that more poignant (scroll down Dale’s lyric page to read the lyrics).

You can listen to Over 100 Years in its entirety on Dale’s website. Click on the song title in the Listen to the Album widget on the right of the album cover, then click the Play icon and wait for the song to load. It does take a little while to load, so be patient.

I’m also quite partial to Send Monica Away, No One Lives Here Anymore, If I Come Back, and Idalene. Dale also does a nice rendition of the Springsteen classic, My Hometown.

Visit Dale’s CDs page to sample songs from Small Town van Gogh and In My Rearview Mirror: A Story from a Small Gaspe Town. You can buy Small Town van Gogh at several on-line retailers or directly from Dale’s website.

Happy Birthday Boo-Boo!

Monday, August 25th, 2008

What’s good for Eldest Son is good for Youngest Son…

My baby is eighteen today. Ain’t he cute?

Feel the Heat Writing Contest

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Mills and Boon is holding a writing contest for Harlequin Presents Modern Heat. Contest rules and other useful information can be found on the I Heart Presents blog. Winners determined by September 30th, so get moving if you plan to enter. And good luck!

You Know You’re Getting Old When…

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

…you order an ice cream cake from the Dairy Queen, you specifically said “Cindy” would be picking it up, and when you get there, “Sydney” is scrawled in black felt pen on the plastic cover (and a smiling teenager is passing you the cake). (She’s never heard the name Cindy).

…you take in your watch to have the battery replaced, say “Cindy” will return in ten minutes, and the twenty-something clerk frowns at you and asks, “Sydney?”

…you check in on American politics and realize John McCain’s wife is named Cindy, and you’re pretty sure she’s over forty, too.

…you realize Richard Gere and Kevin Costner both divorced their Cindys years and years and a light age ago…and you remember that you liked them because they married Cindys (smart men). (at the time).

…”Sydney” to you is the name of a 60-year-old skinny balding guy with red hair and glasses, who looks an awful lot like Woody Allen or that guy who got ate by one of the dinosaurs in the original Jurassic Park movie (I think while he was going to the can?), whereas “Sydney” to your sons is a hot chick in a short skirt.

…when you sign your emails, half the time you type “Cidny” and have to backspace and correct yourself.

…you’re considering taking Sydney as a pen name if you ever write YA, so you can be cool, too.

…you decide Sidney Crosby has a girly name.

Time Flies

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

I can’t believe RITA and Golden Heart time has descended upon us already, if only in the form of Judging Sign-Up. 2008 was the first year I could enter RITA, and for some reason I can’t recall I signed up to join the Golden Heart. I love judging the Golden Heart, but I don’t have time to judge both contests in one year, so this year I signed up to judge the RITA for the First Time Ever. I’m looking forward to the different process and experience.

For RITA judging, I had to select a mimimum of three categories I would be willing to judge while not selecting a category I might also enter. I’m entering Novella again this year under my pen name, so I selected four categories to judge other than Novella. I could have selected more (there are 11 categories total), but I’d rather judge the categories with which I’m most familiar.

Monday night, I went to see Mamma Mia with my BFF, who was in town all summer (and just left today). I totally loved this movie! Might I be so bold as to announce that it’s one of my Favorite Movies of the Year? It’s very uplifting—just what I need right now. I laughed a ton. Yet a scene dealing with the Meryl Streep character’s 20-year-old daughter growing up too fast brought a tear to my eye, too. Next week, Youngest Son turns 18, but he’s sticking around. Eldest Son, on the other hand, will be attending an out-of-town university as of the September long weekend. I’m busy preparing for the birthday and the departure. My BFF is only 10 months younger than I am, but had her children late. Her youngest is five. I tried to explain how quickly the teen years pass for parents, far faster than the pre-teen years. And it doesn’t matter how often you try to stop and smell the roses that are your children, the teen years speed by regardless, I think because it’s a turmolic time for the parents as well as the teens! I’ve been looking forward to E.S. moving out of the house, not because I don’t love him and won’t miss him, but because that’s how young adults learn and grow. It’s a very positive experience for him, however, after watching Mamma Mia Monday night and now it’s sinking in that he has just two weeks remaining at home, my ol’ heartstrings are sobbing. Come September, I’ll pretty much be a mess. Consider this fair warning.

MySpace for Your Characters?

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

I’m getting into a bad habit of titling blog posts with question marks, but if I can suck it up, so can you. Ain’t I a peach?

My friend (other than in the MySpace sense) and Young Adult author, Shelley Adina, has MySpace pages for each of the characters in her All About Us book series. Check out Lissa’s MySpace page (Gillian’s, Carly’s, Shani’s and Mac’s pages can all be accessed from Lissa’s Friends Space.) I do believe you or your teenager of choice can friend Shelley’s characters, too.

You know what the coolest thing is? Shelley didn’t have to create these pages, not does she have to update them. Her publisher did and does it for her. Sounds like they’re behind her, huh? And check out those gorgeous covers. You go, Shelley!

What do you think about the MySpace promotion? Personally, I think it’s very clever. I don’t think I would create MySpace pages for my own characters, but then I don’t write Young Adult novels. If I did write Young Adult novels, then I think it’s a wonderful idea. MySpace drives me crazy enough with the two sites I maintain for myself and Penny without adding pages for my characters into the mix.

By the way, I tried putting an accent grave (to the left) over the e in tres, but the instructions someone gave me aren’t working.

Plus, the instructions are for accent aigu (to the right), anyway. From now on, when I write tres, just take it for granted that you should pronounce it “tray.” With a little roll of the R, if you please, and a touch of Pepe Le Peux flair. Thank you.

Nobody Writes it Better

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Have I mentioned that several/many/more than half of the members of the 2007 group of Golden Heart finalists (the ‘007s) are opening a group blog? It revolves around a bit of a Bond theme, so we’ve dubbed it Nobody Writes it Better (I won’t blab who offered that title when we were brainstorming, but let me just say it was someone very smart, initials of M.E.)

Okay, it can be argued that Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jennifer Crusie et. al. might write it better, but we have the URL, so there.

Right now we’re waiting for quotes from designers, so no word on the launch date, but we have a placeholder page on-line, if you want to bookmark the site. And if the graphic on the placeholder site looks remarkably similar to a business card you picked up at National, that’s because it is the business card, which accounts for the “Check Site” after “Launch Date.” That said, we’re targeting the blog to readers as well as reader/writers.

We’re all very excited. Watch this space for more information, doled out as sanity permits.

Tropic Blunder?

Friday, August 15th, 2008

I haven’t found a book to recommend here lately. Oh, I’ve been reading…sort of…but nothing’s holding my attention. I can recommend a movie, depending on how you like your comedy—this one’s heavily dosed with satire. Tropic Thunder, starring Ben Stiller and Robert Downey, Jr. (whose acting I adore). It’s the story of a group of actors starring in a Vietnam war movie who are dropped into some real action in the jungle (drug trade related), but Stiller still thinks the movie is being shot (hidden cameras, yada). Yes, there is a running joke partway through that plays with political incorrectness, but overall the movie works (you know, I have to wonder if Stiller included the Sean Penn/Tom Hanks bits to detract from the potential controversy of Downey, Jr.’s character). (That’s Downey on the right).

The best performances? Robert Downey, Jr., naturally (yes, I’m a rabid fan, even during his drought), and Tom Cruise. Cruise has a small part in the film, but it’s definitely memorable and he plays it to the max. My Liege and I went to see the movie Wednesday night. That was my morning for the long dog walk (like today—I’m late getting going, and my dog is staring at me with huge brown eyes right now). After walking the dog Wednesday, I was stretching to Regis & Kelly (The View was over by the time I returned to the house), and Stiller was on. Regis blabbed which character in the movie is played by Cruise, so I was on the lookout. I told My Liege that Cruise was in the movie, and I thought he would recognize him, but the end of the movie arrived and he hadn’t picked him out. So now I’m cheesed that the ONE day of the week I catch ten minutes of Regis & Kelly post-dog walk is the day the news is blabbed. It would have been a lot more fun to watch the movie not knowing.

Anyone here seen the movie? Do you think Stiller went too far with the satire?

You know, I can’t believe I actually saw a movie on opening night. This is what happens when your children grow up. 🙂 And your husband has to miss his standing golf night due to a tournament. We actually had some couple time. Imagine that.

As for movies now opening on Wednesdays instead of Thursdays to “get a start” on the box office—what’s next, opening on Tuesday? Monday? Don’t they have to toss out all previous “opening weekend” box office counts now and start over?

When did the weekend ever begin on Thursday, anyway?

These and other questions will continue to go unanswered As Cindy’s Mind Churns.

National Sex Day?

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Only in Canada, eh?

And I quote:

Jonathan Yaniv, a computer science student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, B.C., wants to make Aug. 21 a day devoted to the art of love.

The 21-year-old is trying to get at least one million Canadians to join the Facebook event “National Sex Day 2008.” If he’s successful, it will likely be the biggest organized sex event ever.

 The Facebook group already has over 130,000 people getting ready to unzip and unwind.

Trust that Facebook. (I’m kidding. I don’t belong to Facebook, and I’ve never explored the same—before anyone goes bananas on me).

Brittany, a 19-year-old student in St. Catharines, Ont. – who requested her last name not be used – said she can’t wait to “make the best” of the informal holiday. But she added that participants should be careful.

“If you’re silly enough to find a partner just for the day, don’t be upset when you get a sexually transmitted disease,” she said.

Yes, we Canadians are socially responsible and horny.

What do you think? Should we take National Sex Day to Parliament Hill? (That’s like taking it to Congress—I think—if you’re American. Taking it somewhere in D.C., at any rate). (I knew I should have paid more attention when I was there).