It's as if the people at NameZero knew I had a book to launch. They're upgrading their system, which is why you may have trouble accessing my home site through kathrynlively.com. If you try the actual long URL, you should get there fine, however.
Tomorrow, on this blog, will be my online book release party, and everybody's invited. It will last as long as the Stoli Vanil does, and I'll be giving away a few signed copies of Saints and another nice prize as well. See you tomorrow.
This puts the roll at 143 members now; some, of course, are dead blogs which I am going to have to jettison eventually, I suppose. Thing is, I'm not quite sure what the cutoff date should be as far as inactivity goes. Blogs inactive since last year, of course, but where should I draw the line for 2003 -- February, perhaps?
Article from the Star-Ledger talks about eBooks, but the main focus is on Fictionwise, an online eBookstore specializing in out-of-print and classic science fiction, along with works from newer, independent publishers. I'd like to get Saints "shelved" there, I'm having a time getting a listing on Amazon and BN.com.
Planning Revenge: a Performance by the Come On, Get Lively Players
INTERIOR BEDROOM, NIGHT
KATHRYN and MALCOLM are trying to sleep. It is one in the morning and in the apartment across the alley the window shades are up, the lights are on, and the occupants are hooting and hollering and chasing each other around the room in a drunken stupor.
KATHRYN: So, should we call the police now?
MALCOLM: Do we still have any Vaseline left?
KATHRYN: I think so.
MALCOLM: I could go over there and rub some on their doorknobs and railings.
KATHRYN: Do we still have that four-way emergency flashlight with the blinking strobe?
MALCOLM: Maybe stir in a bit of Dave's Insanity Sauce...
KATHRYN: I could just set it by our window and leave it on all night...
MALCOLM: ...that way if they have any open cuts on their hands...
KATHRYN: ...maybe get a life-size cutout of that Hey Vern guy and tape it the window so it's all they see every day...
MALCOLM: ...then I'll get the guitar out and practice my Ted Nugent...
KATHRYN: ...poke holes in the eyes and insert red Christmas tree lights...
MALCOLM: ...or turn on one of your Weird Al CDs at full volume and leave the house...
KATHRYN: ...somebody left a Watchtower downstairs, I could make a few calls...
MALCOLM: What's that?
KATHRYN: What's what?
MALCOLM: It's quiet now. They must have passed out.
KATHRYN: Should we call the police? They might need to be turned over, just in case.
MALCOLM is snoring.
Next week: join us for our rendition of A Blog Named Desire.
1. Postmodernism (a popular philosophy of the current day) indicates that there are as many "truths" as there are people; nothing is absolute (however, by its very nature, even the word "Postmodernism" resists definition). For yourself, what truths are absolute? Are there any absolute truths in the Universe? Ooh, I could get in trouble here, but I will say definite that God's existence is an absolute Truth.
2. Do you believe that you are still "teachable?" Definitely. I've learned more about my Faith in recent years than I did in Catholic school. So long as there are books to be read, people can still be taught.
3. To do something well, in most situations, requires study and practice. What's the most recent thing that you have done well as a result of study and practice? I'm hoping this will prove true: having learned from the mistakes made in promoting my first book, I've taken a different path with getting Saints Preserve Us launched. I hope what I do with this book will show an improvement not only in my ability to tell a story well, but also to sell it.
4. If you had the time/money, what do you want to learn how to do more than anything? Dance, dance, DANCE!
5. Those around us may often try to intervene, but ultimately each individual is responsible for the choices they make in life. Tell me about a recent situation where you had a decision to make, and those around you tried to influence or direct you. Were they successful? Was that "help" welcomed? Nothing like that has happened yet. I've been knocking around the idea of going to grad school, but finances are a problem. Malc says I should consider law school or library science, and I might just do it.
6. Things are much easier to accept when they are given by invitation rather than being forced upon us. When was the last time you rejected something because it was forced on you? How did it happen? Did you hold a grudge about it? Was it ever resolved? This was years ago. Malc has an elderly great-aunt who loves cherry cordials; I hate them, they're too sweet for me. We visited her once, and she offers some. I take one to be nice, but then she starts foisting the entire box on me. Malc's trying to tell her that it's okay, I don't need all this candy, but she's insisting I take more because "I'm so thin" (I wasn't). I leave her house with my mouth full of half-chewed cherry cordials, icky red syrup trickling down my throat, ready to spit them out on her lawn. Though, to my credit, I did make it to the truck and I swallowed them. It took three hours to come down from that high.
7. Are you the sort of person who questions everything, or are you able to accept things without someone providing you tangible proof? Six of one, half-dozen of the other.
BONUS: Ooo baby, do you know what that's worth? Yes, only $15.80 including S&H. Be sure to hit that PayPal button today!
Isn't it enough that the US Mint has me rummaging through change looking for the latest state quarter so I don't accidentally plunk it into a laundry machine? Now the nickel is getting a makeover to commemorate the Louisiana Purchase. FARK has a gallery of suggested designs, including this one, my favorite.
MyShelf.com has made Saints Preserve Us the mystery pick for May! Link coming soon.
Saints will be ready to order May 1!
The difference between being single and being married: when you're single and itching to get out of the house at 11PM, you probably hit a few clubs. When you're married, you hit Harris Teeter or some other 24-hour grocery store. That was the highlight of our weekend. I ended up taking home a box of Count Chocula, mainly out of default since we couldn't find the other two Monster cereals (I didn't realize how difficult they are to find; I suppose I've taken the Monsters for granted all these years). In all my 31 years I had never before had a bowl of Chocula, and I don't think I will again. The taste is reminiscient of Cocoa Puffs, which I can't stand. I do plan on getting the T-shirt advertised on the back of the box, though.
Are you a Catholic writer in the NE area? Do you know of one? I've been asked by an acquaintance for any information on writers in the area for some kind of program for Catholic writers in the area. Please e-mail or respond in the comments box if you can help.
...when you can boycott them for making really crappy movies. Fr. Shawn sends this link of a review of The Real Cancun, which looks basically like Jackass with bikinis and sand. I don't even think there are bikinis in it, actually, and I don't plan on wasting eight bucks and 90 minutes of my life to see for myself. I am beginning to see, though, why my friend in LA is having a time breaking into screenwriting over there. All of her scripts feature people wearing clothes. Sigh.
It was Saturday night at Skate 'N Space all over again
I'm convinced Chris DeBurgh owns stock in satellite radio. Why else would I hear "The Lady in Red" over the music system every time I go out to eat? Three times this past week alone, and it's only Tuesday!
Other songs I heard last night: "State of Shock" by Mick Jagger and The Jacksons (remember that one, from the Big Fat Sequined Victory Tour?) and "Warrior" by Patty Smyth McEnroe, which I really liked.
Shall we all pitch in and buy her some of Scott Hahn's books?
Nicole has left the building; that is, the large one in Hollywood with the lighted marquee that says SCIENTOLOGY. (I saw it on my last trip there) I recall reading that Nicole was raised Catholic, but the above link doesn't mention if she has returned to the Church. Good thing about Christ and the Faith, though, is that you're always welcome back. I wish her well.
That's how the blogging will be this week. Got hit with a large assignment at work, plus apartment hunting. The way it's going right now, though, don't be surprised to open your door sometime next month to see me, Malc, and all our furniture in your front yard. St. Joseph, pray for us.
Not all of my cathedral pictures came out well. Here are the best of that bunch.
Crypt of Juan Ponce de Leon
The cathedral was dim on the inside, the main light sources being the windows and the votive candles situated around the cathedral in various side chapels. I wish the picture of the main altar had come out well; it is a very ornate structure with a huge crucifix. Two swatches of purple cloth hung diagonally in a large X in front. I had never seen that done before.
Tomorrow, the Stations of the Cross pictures for Good Friday.
Thankfully, most of my pictures came out okay. I used a throwaway camera, because I cannot find my regular 35MM and I don't have the bucks for a digital one. If you have ever been to the historic district of St. Augustine, you'll have a good idea of what Old San Juan is like. This is where the cruise ships drop off the tourists first, for this is where the upscale shops are. I'm walking through history and I see Coach and Benetton and all the other places Ponce must have stopped for deals. Although I did enjoy the Spicy Caribbee shop, where I got Malc some Mango Pepper sauce, and The Parrot Club, where we had lunch.
El Morro Castle
These first two are views from Old San Juan. The El Morro fortress is in the background of the top photo, and on the bottom photo is a distant shot of a cemetery right on the shore.
Here is the historic gate into Old San Juan:
This door is from a home in the art district of Old San Juan. I thought it would make an interesting picture:
Monday Mission! 1. Are there any illnesses that you seem more susceptible to than others? I didn't used to get sick until I hit thirty. Now it seems I have allergy problems, with the pollen and the smoker downstairs and Krisp-Pak plant across the river spewing who-knows-what in the air. Bleah.
2. A recent poll stated that "Michael" and "Ashley" are the number one baby names in New York. (However, in Oklahoma it seems like there are two or three girls named "Madison" everywhere you go). What are your favorite boy and girl names? What names do you think are trendy or overused? If you have children, would you give them the same name if you had another chance? Malc and I have a list of names we will never, ever name our children. We'll go to Panera and overhear parents admonish their children. "Destiny, stop it. Britney Brianna Ashley Nicole, sit down!" We look at each other and swear we're going to name our children John and Mary, just to be unique.
Anyway, a little over ten years ago I knew three different people who named their children Ariel, after The Little Mermaid, so maybe that will be my overrated name. Should the Lord bless me, Ian Malcolm for a boy and Linda Therese for a girl.
3. Any current songs on the radio (or elsewhere) that you think are pure crap? Why don't you like it? Not quite the answer you want, but here's a funny story: a few years ago Malc wanted to buy a new TV. Now, when Malc goes shopping for this kind of thing, he takes forever to decide what he wants. So, for about four weeks we made a ritual of going to Circuit City. Malc would stare at one particular model for hours while I wandered the store. During this time Christina Aguilera's "Genie in a Bottle" was the big hit, and all the TV sets showed the video...over and over and over. I hate that (BLEEP) song.
The funny part of the story, you ask? Well, about six months after we bought the TV, Malc decided he didn't like it, so I took this chainsaw and...well, it was funny at the time.
4. Can you (now or in your youth) play any musical instruments? Do you still play? No. I have no musical talent at all.
5. What is the most recent self-improvement program (fitness, weight loss, learning something new) that you began? Did you stick with it? Why or why not? I started an exercise program in January and I'm still with it. I haven't lost any weight, but I've seen some muscle definition. I just need to eat better.
6. How would you look in a Hooters uniform? Like Patty and/or Selma. Seriously, I could probably pull in some decent tips, say, well into happy hour or Free Beer Until You Cough Up Your Esophagus Night.
7. Have you ever had a dream where you interacted with a celebrity (sex or otherwise)? What happened? I've had a number of these dreams, some of which are just too blue for this blog. The tamest one in recent memory had me in an episode of MASH. I was dressed as a nurse and dancing with Hawkeye at Rosie's.
Somebody pointed me to Barth's Burgery, a site where you can apparently download whole episodes of You Can't Do That On Television. I loved this show! I wish they were on DVD; aside from Pete Vere and Rush, this is one of the great all-time Canadian imports. I've tried the link, though, and can't get it to open. :-( If anybody with a better connection can, let me know.
For more nostalgia, check out the Classic Nick Page, all about Nickelodeon before Rosie O'Donnell got her hands on it.
1. What was the first band you saw in concert? Hall and Oates, the Big Bam Boom tour sometime around '84-'85. GE Smith, late of the Saturday Night Live band, played guitar. I still have the program somewhere. General Public opened.
2. Who is your favorite artist/band now? Like I have to tell you that, if you're a regular visitor. There's a list down the right-hand side of the blog, my major favorites.
3. What's your favorite song? I don't have one favorite, they tend to change over time. If I had to pick three right now, though, they would be The Beatles' "Dear Prudence," Arlo Guthrie's "City of New Orleans," and Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown."
4. If you could play any instrument, what would it be? Bass, the world needs another leftie bass like you-know-who.
5. If you could meet any musical icon (past or present), who would it be and why? Dorothy Dandridge. She seemed like a very fascinating person, though she had a hard life.
The LA Times has a name for the author of Black Dahlia Avenger, a man named Steve Hodel who pins the murder on his father. Is it the real deal or yet another hoax? This article in the LA Times has more details (you need to register).
The race is on to get the story of HH Holmes to the big screen. Holmes, AKA Herman Mudgett, AKA a number of other people, is widely regarded as the most notorious serial killer of the 19th century. He was eventually hanged for the murders of 27 people, though some believe his actual score is much, much higher. One of the film projects greenlighted is based upon the book The Devil in the White City, which focuses mainly on Holmes's time in Chicago during the World's Fair.
If you are looking for a different perspective of the Holmes/Mudgett case, you might want to consider checking out a book co-written by some friends of mine. The Devil's Rood is a unique fictional account of Mudgett's life, written in a dramatic monologue style using actual letters and diary entries from the people involved in the story. The official Devil's Roodwebsite is up on my server; it is a scaled-down version of the original site that was live when the book was published in 2000. I think there are still copies of the book available, you may be able to find a used copy somewhere.
So I'm at Amazon.com getting a copy of Little Flowers to send to Operation Soldier's Library, and I notice somebody is selling a brand-spanking new copy, unread. My guess is that she was given my book as a gift; who would buy a book and sell it unread? I wonder if I should send feedback, tell her to at least give the book a shot. The chapters are short; just read the first five. At best, she will only lose twenty minutes of her life that would probably have been wasted on a Spongebob rerun.
I could never, ever forget about food. Food is what comforts this writer after opening a mailbox full of "You're a great writer and we love your novel, but we don't want to publish it" letters. Food is what comforts this taxpayer when the tragic, final tally is revealed. Food is what keeps me from taking a hostage. It's like what Marsha (Roz from Night Court) Warfield once said, "I'll forget my mother's maiden name, but I never forget to eat."
Seriously, though, I am getting better at watching what I eat. I'm not a candidate for WLS, though I know somebody who did go through the procedure. She likes to joke that she's half the woman she used to be. Following the demise of our dot-bomb, she started the WLS Network, a support group for people who have or are considering this surgery. It is a very thoughtful site; you won't find any blaring endorsements that WLS is the only way to fly, but you will find an honest account of one woman's personal experience and detailed information on what steps to take. As for me, I think I'm going to have to learn to write on the treadmill.
Mystery lover that I am, I have always been fascinated with the legendary unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short, AKA The Black Dahlia. I've read and enjoyed James Ellroy's fictional account (which he signed for me in Williamsburg at a reading of My Dark Places, IMHO his best book), and I've seen all the E! True Hollywood-type documentaries, all of which have said the same thing and offer little new evidence. However, a new book coming out this week is supposed to reveal the killer's identity. I don't know much about Black Dahlia Avenger other than what's listed on Amazon.com, but I hope we obsessed with this case aren't being set up for another disappointment. So far I've heard theories that Orson Welles was the killer, and there was Janice Knowlton, who believed her father killed Betty. Others believe Betty's was a random killing; personally, I don't know what to think.
I've always believed this murder would never be solved, that it would be one of those great mysteries revealed to us only after we die, if God chooses to enlighten us, if by then we still wonder. That Black Dahlia Avenger is being published anonymously is especially curious. Why would he/she hide his/her name? Why wait 50 years to reveal this information when the person responsible is probably dead and unable to be brought to justice? I'm sure we'll know soon enough, then we can help OJ in his search for the "real killers."
BTW, if you're into the Black Dahlia mystery, check out BethShort.com.
Mary Walsh is a member of CWA and regular writer for the National Catholic Register. She wrote a very flattering review of Little Flowers for them, and here she has written an editorial about the pro-life license plate debacle.
"What color is God's spirit?"
"It doesn't have a color," she said. "God is the color of water. Water doesn't have a color." - from The Color of Water: a Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother
I've wanted to read this book for years, ever since I saw the author on a morning news program. Found a copy the other day; glad I picked it up.
It's the Virginia Wesleyan Yam Cam! Over at Malc's school the kids participated in a potato drop, where they had to bag thousands of pounds of potatoes for the local food bank. Malc went out in his potato baggin' clothes and rolled around in the mud with everybody else. The things I miss when I have to work a regular job.
No license for life commentary from the Washington Times about the VA governor vetoing the Choose Life plates. (Thanks, Prolife Guy) I wasn't much a fan of Governor Warner before, and this doesn't help. Even if this plate was approved, I doubt anybody would get the chance to buy it because the lines at the DMV are so damn long. There are actually people here who hire themselves out to stand in line and pay your fees so you don't have to miss work.
I also personally find it silly that groups who vocally support "choice" would cry foul at this plate, since people should have the "right to choose" what kind of design they want on their plates. Right now Virginia has over 180 plate designs, everything from Corvette Enthusiasts to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The freaking Parrothead Club is getting a plate here. What's one more plate? Virginia needs the money, I know that. If the pro-choicers want to pitch a fit, they can A) not buy the plate; or B) propose their own damn design. Use anything you want: a syringe, skull and crossbones, a picture of Barbra Streisand's face, whatever.
Better yet, let's just not have specialty plates anymore. Everybody gets one blank white plate with black lettering. Actually, two, since Virginia is a two-plate state (and they're still broke, how about that?) If you want pretty pictures, you go to Wal-Mart and buy a pack of Sharpies.
This is where I was this past weekend. My sister is finishing her tour and this was the only time I could go, and I had a great time. Wore shorts and sunglasses, toured the Bacardi plant (enjoyed the free samples), went snorkeling, and strolled through Old San Juan. I hope the pictures come out so I can post some here.
My first impression of San Juan was that it looks quite a bit like parts of Miami, only all the road signs are in Spanish. There are similar tall resorts hotels along the shore and the squatty beach boxes planted among long grass. The water is transparent and the currents somewhat strong (I was brushed up against some coral, spent hours picking it out of the heels of my hands). Did I mention the free samples at the Bacardi plant? The big disappointment was that I wasn't able to find any Bacardi spiced rum to bring home. Apparently it's hard to find here...and there.
I hope the pictures of the old San Juan cathedral where Ponce de Leon is buried come out okay - it was rather dark inside but very beautiful, as was the rest of Old San Juan (though it has become rather touristy with the exclusive shops, but I understand this is where all the cruise ship patrons are dropped off first). The one thing that really stood out in my mind was seeing a life-size Stations of the Cross display in the parking lot of a shopping mall. My sister told me the mall erects the display every year. I imagine if somebody here tried that, the ACLU would come screaming.
I'll have the direct linking corrected tomorrow. Here is the cover for Kevin Paglia's upcoming book, which I helped edit for Whiskey Creek Press. Overall, this was a good experience. I had read Kevin's first book, Exile, but I have to say I enjoyed this story more. This is not so much science fiction as it is a semi-apocalyptic story. A stone tablet, believed to have been carved by Abel, leads to the discovery of a large stone bearing an inscription only one young woman can read. Getting her to the Stone proves to be a task, with various forces of evil obstructing the path. I won't spoil the ending, but check out Kevin's site for more information. Not sure when the book is scheduled for release, I think it's sometime in the late summer or early fall.
posted by Leigh Ellwood at11:16 AM
You would think once a person hits thirty she would never have to worry about acne anymore. It's not like I eat junk food, maybe it's allergy related?
Had a great weekend, pictures to follow.
Sending a chapter of Saints to a sampler disc for a mystery convention. Hope it translates into some future sales.
Just a hint... Two things I have noticed about this place I'm visiting: there's a Subway restaurant on practically every corner, and about three times a day on TV they show a music video by this guy. Yes, it's a very interesting place.
posted by Leigh Ellwood at8:07 PM
I'm off on a brief blogging holiday. I'll be in and out over the next few days as I'm not sure I will have computer access. Don't worry, you five people who visit every day, I'm not taking off for the rest of Lent, just 'til Tuesday. I'll bring back picture, and rum.
Dean Peters at b4G is working on aggregation tool for Blogger users in order to help those of use who know nothing about XML and RSS and are therefore SOL. Check the main site for instructions, which should be up pretty soon.
Since my former employer is no longer in business, the free season tickets to the Norfolk Tides are no more. This means we must A) cough up the $800 for season tickets (see the Paypal button on your right? Hint.); or B) find a cheaper form of entertainment. I'm doing my part with the St. Blog's Fantasy League. Check it out and watch my team get slaughtered on a daily basis.
If you haven't been there yet, Gary posted a great April Fool's post over at b4G. I wish I was a bit more creative today. I have to work on the final galleys for Saints, and it's draining all my energy looking for errors I know Nihil will find later.