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Scotty, damn it, man, I need more power!

My homepage has been temporarily shut down because I exceeded the visitors' limit for the month of May. I'm using an Earthlink personal page account, so it appears I need to find a better web host. Suggestions welcome.

I need to get a cable modem, too, especially if Victor's going to keep posting clips. Blog: the Musical had me on the floor. Keep it up!

The King is Back

If only I weren't moving this weekend, I'd be down at the Oceanfront for the annual Elvis Festival. This year it's a bit different, because "Elvis" will be performing with other acts: Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, and Lionel Ritchie.

You heard right. There's actually money to be made in impersonating Lionel Ritchie. The more I think about it, though, whomever will be singing "Brick House" with the King has the right idea. When I think of tribute bands and impersonators, Ritchie doesn't exactly top my list. I don't consider myself an expert on tribute bands, but I've seen plenty to know the good from the bad. Heck, I'd go to a Ritchie tribute show just to see if he's any good. If he can get enough people to think like me and put on a good show without screaming out-RAGE-jus every twelve seconds, he'll have carved himself a profitable niche.

Maybe next year we can Elvis to take the stage with Dark Star Orchestra (The Dead) or The Machine (Pink Floyd). Shine on, you crazy sequined diamond!

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Brunettes Prefer Life

Jane Russell slams abortion. This link offers only a taste of the interview she gave to the UK Life League; I'd like to read the whole thing if anybody can find it.

If anybody can recommend a good, not-too-expensive microphone one can use for the Mac or PC, please let me know. This would be used, naturally, for recording book reviews for a new Internet mystery radio station,

Also, if you're into keeping track of special days, TexasWren has June mapped out for you. Of special note: Oscar the Grouch's "birthday" is listed as June 1st, which makes him a Gemini. According to one site astrology site I pulled at random from Yahoo, Gemini Oscar is supposed to be "affectionate, courteous, kind, generous, and thoughtful towards the poor and suffering."

Okay. Whatever. Maybe his moon just hasn't been in the seventh house for the last 30 years or something.

Ingram Book Group, Publishing's Equivalent of "The Man"

Forwarded to me from another writer: INGRAM TIGHTENS THE SCREWS ON PUBLISHERS. Two years ago, Ingram (the largest trade wholesaler with five US warehouses) shed all publishers that did less than $15,000 in business in the previous two years. Now Ingram want 60% off, free freight, and 90-day terms (from the end of the month-often 120 days to pay). According to Publishers Weekly, some 1,000 publishers have elected to accept the new terms in order to stay with Ingram. The wholesaler is also demanding a set up fee for each title of $250 and an advertising fee of $400.

Perhaps I should say these people are publishing's equivalent of Tony Soprano. What this means is that indie publishers, like the two where my novels are available, are going to have a more difficult time getting their titles in brick-and-mortar stores, and possibly online outlets like When companies like this put the need for money in front of the joy of sharing something creative, it sickens me. It makes me want to park the truck alongside Virginia Beach Boulevard and sell my books out of the bed. Maybe I could find a primo spot by the furriers where the PeTA protest on weekends. Lose forty pounds, buy a Hooters uniform, wave a placard...

Rest in Peace

I just learned today that one of FrancisIsidore's authors, Carolyn Aish, lost her husband to a stroke. Please remember the family in your prayers. there anything they can't do? - Homer Simpson

I don't think that was an actual quote, but it looks nice with this article on how Krispy Kreme is boosting the economy.

This one's for Dylan

On Stephen Fry's directorial debut - an adaptation of Evelyn Waugh. "Was she well-known in her time?" asked an American film exec.


There's no money left to fund Reading Rainbow, but approach any network with the idea to produce a show called Mr. Personality Goes to the North Pole to Survive Marrying a Multi-Millionaire American Idol hosted by Walter "Nuclear Wessels" Koenig and you'll get a check cut. Sheesh.

Just a few questions

This will seem trivial to what I'm about to ask later, but it's been bothering me for weeks: does anybody know where Banacek was set? It used to be on one rotation of the NBC Mystery Movie series, with Columbo and McCloud (my favorite of them all). Malc says New York, I say Chicago. There's no money riding on this, so take your time.

Second, is there a patron of surgical procedures? We received word a family friend needing a liver got the call and went into surgery for the transplant, but it's still touch and go. Prayers are appreciated.

Help a starving law student

Namely my brother-in-law. He's been accepted to law school, but needs some books for his recommended pre-school reading list. Since they're still in PR, there are no used bookstores and shipping can be a pain for individual titles. Therefore, if you have any of the following in good condition drop me a line. I found three books on the list, I just need:

  • The Complete Law School Companion, Jeff Deaver
  • Bleak House, Charles Dickens
  • A Crime of Self-Defense, George Fletcher
  • The Ages of American Law, Grant Gilmore
  • The Path of the Law, Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • The Common Law, Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Introduction to Legal Reasoning, Edward P. Levi
  • Gideon's Trumpet, Anthony Lewis
  • The Bramble Bush, Karl Llewellyn
  • The Paper Chase, John Jay Osborn, Jr.
  • Law School Without Fear, Helene and Marshall Shapo
  • The Brethren, Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong

No Happy Meal jokes, please

McDonald's will sponsor the Pope's trip to Spain. Mayor McCheese, an agnostic, offered no comment.

Oompah, loompah, doopity-doo, I've got another puzzle for you...

What you get when you film a remake?

A $300 million disaster that's a giant headache.

Why not simply re-release the old flick?

We'll always take Gene Wilder over Ben Affleck.

Seriously, who knows who Tim Burton plans on casting. Years ago Nick Cage was the frontrunner, according to Ain't It Cool or some other spoiler website, but honestly I can't think of anybody who could do a better job than Gene did. Willy Wonka is one of my favorite movies, Tim, don't fark it up.

Of course, if you really want to try something wild, check out the Wonka-2112 Project. It works on the same principle as the Wizard of OZ/Pink Floyd thing: you overdub Wonka with Rush's 2112. As if Wonka isn't already surreal on its own.

The kudos keep on coming...

...only this time Karina and Rob Fabian get the credit. I just found out today that Leaps of Faith, our anthology of sci-fi stories from FrancisIsidore, is a finalist in the Anthology category of The Dream Realm Awards! In addition, I got a nom for Best Cover Art! The winner is to be announced at ArmadilloCon 25 in August.

Don't sit under the grits tree with Kathy Sue Loudermilk, and remember, when you drive alone you drive with Elvis

I've had too much on my mind this week. I've been so overstressed that I done forgot my annual remembrance of the late Lewis Grizzard, who went home nine years ago this past Tuesday. My silent remembrance usually consists of having a cold beer and barbecue sandwich, maybe hitting a karaoke bar and singing "Alimony" (well, maybe not that), and since I ate something healthy on Tuesday (thereby committing a Grizzardian cardinal sin) I'll have to make up for it tonight.

I credit Lewis Grizzard with sparking my desire to become a writer, but since he's dead you won't be to flame him with e-mail. Even if he lived today, you still wouldn't be able to do so, because Lewis hated computers. One can only imagine what he would have thought of the website I created to honor his memory (still looking for a new host). Anyway, the Thanksgiving I was fifteen I discovered a copy of Elvis is Dead... and laughed until pumpkin pie came out my nose. I had always known I wanted to do something involving writing, but this book fueled my desire to pursue writing as a career, either as a journalist or something along those lines. I penned similar, not quite as witty columns for my high school paper and became managing editor of the Jacksonville University Navigator, though in my senior year my focus shifted to fiction. However, Lewis was always my muse, and at times I felt envious for not having lived a similar life of rural, Southern innocence. Lewis's memoirs, particularly childhood anecdotes of baseball and Weyman C. Wannamaker, Jr. (a great American), paint a quaint, vivid picture I can't recall, having grown up in urban Jacksonville in the seventies. Lewis had the drama of living through the Kennedy assassination, the coming of Elvis and his rock 'n' roll brethren, and Mama Willie's fried chicken. Sure, I have lived through defining moments of history, but I suppose they pale in comparison to the things I missed. Who wants to read about my Saturdays spent in front of the television watching The Bugaloos and eating Fruity Pebbles? I know I wouldn't.

I met Lewis twice, at booksignings for You Can't Put No Boogie-Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll and I Haven't Understood Anything Since 1962. I had the pleasure of seeing two of his live performances, one with my sister and once with Malc. With Malc we arrived late because he was buying his Thunderbird that day, unbeknownst to me, and he couldn't understand my urgency that we get to the Florida Theatre. I think he understood once we were seated - Lewis looked tired then. And thin, very thin. We had already known about the bum heart ticking in his chest since birth, and this was one of his last shows before going into the hospital for yet another surgery. He nearly died, then rebounded, wrote another book, then got sick again and died. God tore up my heart and stomped that sucker flat, though I suppose I can take comfort in the fact that through everything - the drinking, the marriages, the death of his beloved Catfish - he kept a sense of humor. That and his memories keep him alive in my mind, and I can only hope there will be a smile on my face when it's time to go. Rest in peace, Lewis.

BTW, the words to "Alimony," one of Lewis's songs:

Well I'm a multiple offender at the altar of love,

I got ex-wives one two three,

I even got a bumper stick on my car

That says "Honk if you'll marry me."

I changed their names all right, to plantiff

Every time they said goodbye,

But each one left a little parting gift

For me to remember her by, and that was

Alimony, alimony,

It's the bill you get for the thrill you got

The price of matrimony.

It may sound strange, and seem a little funny

That we marry for love and divorce for money,

But after the magic is long gone, the alimony lingers on.

Now I'm sure my ex-wives conferred

With the same lawyer in the end.

'Cause each one left me without a pot

Or a home to put a pot in.

But if I ever get the urge to marry again

I'll cut out the middle man,

If every five years I give away a house

To some b*tch that I can't stand, I'd save a little...

Alimony, alimony,

It's the bill you get for the thrill you got

The price of matrimony.

It may sound strange, and seem a little funny

That we marry for love and divorce for money,

But after the magic is long gone, the alimony lingers on.

There goes the bride,

Pulling my new doublewide.

And the alimony lingers on.

Yes, it may sound like a cynical song, but if we can't laugh at our problems...

So where exactly in the Bible is 'hoo-hah!'?

"I’ve spoken at several religious conferences, and the movie they’re always showing is The Mission—which is wonderful—but they miss movies like Scent of a Woman,which is basically the book of (sic) Ecclesiastics," says the director of Bruce Almighty in this interesting article in CCM Magazine (thanks, Barbara).

...and all the fried dough you can eat, too!

New book reveals love secrets of carnies. Note to self: add mysterious carny character to next book.

From the article: [Author] Witter says there's a strict carny caste system that favors the guys who run the ball-tossing games and shooting galleries operators more than the shmoes who run the food booths or take tickets for the Ferris wheel.

Okay, so long as these carnival groupies have their priorities straight. Why settle for a plain old hot dog when you have the coiled Italian sausage with grilled onions and peppers?

On the radio, whoa-oh-oh, on the radio

Mystery Radio will soon air a review of Saints! Details forthcoming.

Blogspot seems to be acting weird today. The blogs of many of our members can't be seen for some reason.

Another Cybernovelist

Martin Roth, who gave us the site that eventually became blogs4God, has published his novel Prophets and Loss online for free. I'm trying to talk him into letting me format it for handheld readers like the Palm and Pocket PC, but we'll see. I haven't read it yet, but I'll be making a few return trips back.

A madcap adventure...

...with a wee bit of the absurd, so says Romance Reviews Today of Saints. I'll file this one under positive reviews. Thanks!

Vanity, thy name is Kathryn

For years my sister has been sending me information on Locks of Love, an organization that provides wigs for children whose hair is lost to chemotherapy. I'm reminded now because the comic strip Zits has recently started a story arc where one character is supposed to donate her hair.

You might not have been able to tell from the pictures I've posted in the past, but my hair is pretty long - the longest strand stretches down to the middle of my back, I'd say about 18-19 inches from the top of my head. The last time I got a haircut was the day before my sister's wedding, a few years ago. It grew right back, it always does. I've more hair than I really need - I could probably cover two or three small heads with what I have, I've just been loathe to part with it.

In the film The Devil's Advocate, Al Pacino calls vanity his favorite sin. It's not my favorite, personally, but it seems to be the one I commit most often. I hate getting my hair cut because I've never been able to get the style I want. I would bring pictures, diagrams, 3-D models, and the end result would always be the same: I'd wind up with this bell-shaped, Linda Cardellini as Velma in Scooby-Doo cut that I hate. The only time this didn't happen was when I was fourteen, not yet developed, and given a very short haircut that wouldn't become stylish until Janine Turner came along with Northern Exposure. I'd get poked in the hallways at school, and when I turned around I'd get this surprised look. "Oh, you're a girl."

Thinking about my friend Gary and what he's going through now, I realize this obsession with my hair is just ridiculous. It will grow back, it always does, and I suppose I could live with a style a hate in the interim.

Monday Mission!

1. This seems to be the year for movie sequels (Terminator 3, Matrix Reloaded, 2 Fast 2 Furious, LOTR: The Return of the King, etc.). Is there a movie you would like to see Hollywood make a sequel to? Doesn't every year seem to be the year for sequels? Anyway, a few come to mind. I remember watching The Player, where somebody is pitching to Tim Robbins a sequel to The Graduate. I'm thinking that would be interesting. Also, there was supposed to a sequel to Married to the Mob that was never made; I was hoping for one.

2. What movie sequel do you think should never have been made? The Spy Who Shagged Me was pretty lame.

3. Are there any books (comics, novels, etc.) that you would like to see made into movies? Who should star in it? Years ago I had read Carrie Fisher adapted her novel Surrender the Pink for the screen, and Demi Moore was attached to it. It didn't happen, but I enjoyed that book and I hope one day it will get made; maybe somebody like Helen Hunt or Sandra Bullock could play the lead.

I love Carl Hiaasen, too, but I doubt he'll let any more of his books be adapted after Strip Tease. Also, I'd love to see Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone stories on screen, but I hear Grafton has refused to sell film/TV rights. After the mess Hollywood made of VI Warshawski, I don't blame her.

4. When was the last time the you got a shot at the doctor's office? Do you prefer them in the arm or your backside? Or would you rather just take a prescription? Pills!

BONUS: Who's that girl? Lorena Alger.


Beagle makes 800-mile trek from home. I post this link because my father has a beagle who must be kept in the house. If you so much as crack open the front door, he is gone. To my knowledge, Flash has not managed to get more than three blocks away, but he seems to think it is a game if you try to catch him, so he runs farther away. I read this article and I'm wondering if Norman's owners, like Dad, never bothered to have the dog fixed. The quest for beagle lovin' is primarily the reason Flash likes to get out of the house. Who knows what adventures Norman had.

The Pious Ladies Bookmobile, run by e-pal Rae. Rae has over a thousand used books for sale at insane prices (I know Little Flowers has been drastically marked down over there). They'll ship, too. Check it out.

From my friend Kory, a few rules to follow if you're going to live in Jacksonville:

  • You must be a Jaguars fan. It is a requirement for citizenship. Also, you are either a Gator or a Nole. There are no other schools. It's better to learn that sooner than later.
  • To find anything in Jax it is required that you know where Regency Square is. It is the Alpha and the Omega: the beginning and the end.
  • Directions to anywhere may, and usually do, make a reference to "the old Pic and Save." Pic and Save has it, and has it for less!
  • The morning rush hour is from 6am to 10am. The evening rush hour is from 3pm to 7pm. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning.
  • If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended, cussed out, and possibly shot.
  • East Rd. meets West Rd. on Beach Blvd, but they both run north and south.
  • If it's 100 degrees, Thanksgiving must be next weekend.
  • Ponte Vedra is to Middleburg as oceanfront is to double-wide.
  • If you choose to live in Orange Park, or, God forbid, Middleburg, plan to leave for work at 4am and return home around 11pm. Otherwise you may get caught in what can only be described as "the world's longest left-turn lane."
  • Don't get here late and expect something to eat. After 9pm, your choices are Famous Amos and Village Inn.
  • The Landing is an interesting place. Every time you visit, there will be a whole new set of restaurants, fewer stores, and less parking. Hooters, however, is a permanent fixture. (This is true!)
  • All city council decisions must be signed off on by First Baptist Church.
  • You can't drink alcohol and see topless girls at the same time. But, if you agree to drink Diet Coke, you can see them fully nude.
  • Learn all of the lyrics to every Lynyrd Skynyrd song. Trust me on this one.
  • No matter where you want to go, you can't get there from where you other words, you can't get there from here.

Until I get everything else straightened out...

I have Saints up for sale on dutch auction via Auctions.

You'll never know what you'll find when you open your letterbox tomorrow...

My first letterboxing outing yielded two stamps! I found the Glad Cow box in Chesapeake, Virginia, and just as I was stamping the book another person approached with her own stamp, so we made an exchange. Cool!

Of course, you probably don't know what I just said. I found out about letterboxing at the last Bookcrossing meeting. Basically, people plant boxes containing a rubber stamp and pad, stickers, etc. in a public park or remote location, then enter clues on where to find the box on the letterbox website. You find the box, stamp their pad, and use their stamp on your own pad. Kind of like the passport thing the National Park service has.

Many people have custom stamps made, but I'm using a standard-issue Snoopy stamp I got from Michael's for the time being. I'd consider planting a box myself, but one must consider A) finding a place where it won't be damaged or stolen; and B) thinking of something unique to put inside for people to take. I have a ton of prayer cards I could use, I suppose. Or I could leave money.

Norfolk's big fat Greek Festival is back!

Which means it will definitely take longer to get rid of my big fat Sicilian thighs. Why does baklava have to be so caloric and so damn good?

Blogging by the book

Kat's Book Blog, in case you're curious about what I have read over the past decade. I won't vouch for accuracy, since the lists were culled from a book journal I've been keeping since the summer of 1991, and on occasion I forget to make a notation. I know there are some books missing, I just can't remember when I read them, so I don't know where to put them on the blog.

Anyway, now you can relive with me the post-high school summer Jacqueline Susann phase, the brief fascination with near-death experience stories while I worked at Bookland in Athens, Georgia, and the month I spent lying on the living room sofa reading the first eight Kinsey Millhone mysteries (that's A through H) because I is for Innocent had come out that year and I wanted to be caught up on the series. You probably won't see many lists where a person admits to reading St. Alphonsus De Ligouri and Danielle Steel in the same week, but you won't be disappointed here.

Another Ego Boos-, er, Review

This one from Murder and Mayhem Book Club: "With a cast of loony but lovable characters, [Saints Preserve Us] is the first book in a series that will leave even the most devout laughing. Cozy lovers will find this a delightful addition to their collection."

Hey, just in time for Memorial Day gift-giving. What favorite armed forces veteran wouldn't want a nice book to read? Thanks!

Okay, read this, buddy!

I know there's a way to figure out how The Flash Mind Reader works, but it's too early in the morning for me. I thought at first mouse positioning had something to do with it, but it's still getting the answers right, so maybe's there a mathematical solution.

Link from Spoiled Rotten.

Blogging survey

A letter to me:

Survey URL:

My research partner and I are professors at University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. We are conducting an online survey that examines the motivations for accessing Weblogs.

We are specifically looking for individuals who connect to Weblogs to fill out our survey. Your Weblog draws a good number of bloggers and so we are wondering if it would be possible for you to link to our survey. All we are asking is for an icon that directs bloggers to the survey URL. If you could keep the link towards the top until Wednesday, May 14, 2003, we would greatly appreciate it.

Glenn Reynolds of has given us a link and further he knows us and can verify that our survey is for academic purposes only.

Your help would be greatly appreciated and we would be more than willing to share our findings with you.

Survey URL:

Happy thoughts, happy happy thoughts

Speaking of the Pilot, a reporter came to our monthly Bookcrossing meeting, and somewhere in the hour I grew a spine and handed her my business card and told her about Saints. I plan to follow-up by sending her my book, so let's hope something good comes out of it. Authors have been profiled in the paper before, and I don't know what criteria they want. I hope the Ted Nugent angle doesn't scare them away (the PeTA building is two blocks from my house), but he's not really the focus of the story anyway.

BTW, Bookcrossing is a great site for readers who love to discuss books they have read and want to read. You don't necessarily have to "release" books into the wild like they suggest, but it's fun to find a book in the wild and record your thoughts. It makes the person who released the book very happy, too. If you sign up, tell them livelywriter sent you.

It takes a lawyer to figure these things out, apparently.

Dave Addis of the Virginian-Pilot writes a funny editorial on the California lawyer who wants to ban Oreos (boo hiss!), claiming each sandwich cookie treat is a time bomb for the thighs and heart. Well, duh! The trick is not to eat an entire bag at a time.

I agree with Addis, though: I, too, am baffled that the man is just now realizing what goes into the white stuff. When a snack food can double as tile grout, we can argue that there is room for concern, though I think banning is a bit extreme. If not for Oreo cookies, what would have inspired Weird Al to write this song?

Random thought while watching the clock...

Whatever happened to Kate Bush? Is she still recording? I loved that duet with Peter Gabriel (there's another great Gabriel video).

How about he just does some Slim Shady shiznit kind of thing instead?

Eminem won't let Weird Al make a parody video of "Lose Yourself", according to Zap2It, because the song is too personal to him. Apparently it's not personal enough for Al to parody in song, so Eminem can collect all those royalty checks.

A shame, anyway. It looked like it would have been a good video. Here's a pic of Al as Eminem holding a TV set. The parody is called "Couch Potato."

A Gentle Reminder

If you are registered in the St. Blog's Parish webring and changed URLs recently, please drop a line so we can get your code situated. There is quite a bit of confusion over whether or not to re-register, but I can moderate the ring and move stuff around, so there's no need to reapply.

Also, to you newcomers, the HTML code needs to be in your template, not posted as a regular blog post. If it's posted in the blog, the code will eventually disappear into your archives, and anybody coming to your site will not be able to follow the ring to the next site.

A Forceful Reminder

I mean it, fool!

Monday Mission

1. Who are your favorite cartoon characters? They vary, but I will say that my all-time favorite characters are Bugs and Daffy (duh), and my current favorites are Fry and Bender from Futurama.

2. Have you yet reached the point where you feel like you are from a different generation than today's youth? I felt that way when I was a youth among my own kind, are you kidding?

3. What was the first music video that really impressed you? What made it so amazing? I really enjoyed Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer video; I remember thinking how visually bizarre it was, and how different it was from other videos being shown on TV, because there were no screeching, metal-hair hands and half-nekkid bimbos wrapped around dancing poles.

4. Name a song and an era that comes to mind when you hear the word "Retro." Mid-eighties, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." Don't ask me why.

5. How has your life been affected by HIV or AIDS? I've been more prayerful for friends, regardless of sexual orientation, who are a bit "friendlier" than most.

6. Yesterday in the USA, we celebrated "Mothers Day," a day where we honor the mothers in our lives. If you were on a "special day" nominating committee, whom or what would you recommend that we create a day in honor of? This would be the feminist in me talking, but it would be nice to have a national holiday honoring a great female figure, perhaps Susan B. Anthony and/or Elizabeth Stanton.

7. Last week, we had several tornadoes tear through many neighborhoods, destroying homes and devastating the lives of the residents. How would you feel if you lost every possession you owned? Or would it matter? How would you go on with your life? Things can be replaced, memories are forever, and thought I might be distraught at losing pictures of family and such, I wouldn't be devestated for the rest of my life. I'd just be happy to be alive.

BONUS: Do you remember the 21st night of September? It was a dark and stormy night...suddenly, a shot rang out!

Participation Positives

A few more book sales over the week; I'm expecting another shipment of ten any day now to sell. Now I have to work on getting the book listed at Fictionwise. There are troubles with (loooong story), so if you would like a copy of Saints but would prefer to pay cash or check, you can e-mail me for the address or order through your local bookstore.

Special thanks to The Movie Spoiler for putting a Saints banner on the page of the movie I spoiled for his site. I won't tell you which movie, you have to visit and see for yourself. The Movie Spoiler is a great site to visit if you are A) boycotting Hollywood and looking for a way to get back at them (you get all the movie information and save the admission, which you can spend on my book!); or B) you'd like to know about a movie but, like me, you are too lazy to get up from your Internet connection. Actually, it is a fun site; spoilers are archived so you can catch up on movies you never got a chance to see in the theater and are too embarrassed to be seen renting (like Jackass).

If you get the chance to see Kenny Wayne Shepherd in concert, go! Kenny Wayne and Double Trouble opened for Ted Nugent and ZZ Top last night and they were just wonderful. Malc is more familiar with their music (I don't know anything beyond "Blue on Black"), but I was glad for the opportunity to see them live. Not to discount the other acts on the bill: Ted was his usual high octane self; I may not agree 100% percent with his views, but he puts on a great rock and roll show. No, I didn't get the chance to throw my book onstage, or any particles of clothing (shame on you for thinking that). He'll have to get it in the mail like everybody else.

This was my first time seeing ZZ Top live, and though I didn't recognize all the songs played I enjoyed myself. I have to admit, though, I was a bit disconcerted seeing them onstage. Between the long beards, sunglasses, giant glittering sombreros and ponchos (you'd have thought Liberace dressed them before the show) it could've been anybody underneath all that.

Happy Sunday. Off to see ZZ Top.

Arrive Alive

Mom sent this e-mail on eliminating the blind spot while driving. I haven't tried it yet, but if you have let me know if it works:

Sit in the driver's seat and lean your left cheek against the window and move your outside mirror so you can barely see the left side of your car. Then sit or lean towards the center of the front seat and lean towards the windshield as close as you can. Move your right mirror so you can barely see the right side of your car. In normal driving position you should not be able to see either side of your car from the rear view mirrors. This just about eliminates the blind spot.

She got this information from her insurance company the day after she nearly hit a car in her blind spot. Weird.

Shall we send him some blog archives?

Via Tim Bete, news of a new anthology of Catholic writing:

Dear Folks,

Forgive the impersonal mail here, but I am sending this note to more people even than I have brothers, which is a lotta people.

I invite you to nominate or send me material for inclusion in The Best Catholic Writing, 2004. Loyola Press will be publishing this collection in the Fall of 2004. Right now, we are making a determined effort to identify the best recent writing that should be considered for this anthology. The deadline is October 1.

What are we looking for? Send me the best writing with spiritual power and zest and fury and poetry and verve and anguish and joy that you have seen this year. It can be anything: essays, articles, memoir, rant, prayer, sermon, homily, literary exploration, travelogue -- whatever. The only rules for its inclusion in the new annual Best Catholic Writing anthology is that it be true, remarkable, and Catholic-minded in the largest possible sense. We will also consider book excerpts and yet-to-be-published writings.

Think back. Try to remember the magazine articles, book chapters, essays, op-ed pieces, editorials, and other Catholic writing that you have read in the past year or so. What struck you with particular force? Which of them should be preserved? Which were written with special skill?

Don't be shy about nominating writing of your own. And do please feel free to forward this e-mail to friends and colleagues who might have something to contribute.

Send entries and nominations right to me either by email or e-attachment or (sic) reglaaaaar mail. Or fax. Whatever.

Thanks. Prayers.

Brian Doyle

Portland Magazine

University of Portland

5000 N. Willamette Blvd.

Portland OR 97203

As seen in Minority Report

It probably won't be as fancy, but electronic ink is one step closer to becoming reality. Good points: I'm sure students will appreciate being able to carry all their textbooks in one electronic notepad. Bad points: the article alludes to "smart identity cards," which is fundy Christian for THE MARK OF THE BEAST!!!!!!!!! As if the barcodes on paperback books don't spook me enough.

They're using Google in Heaven, I know it

I want to find the man who came up with the idea of caching old sites on Google and kiss him on the mouth. If a woman did it, I'll kiss her, too. What the hey. Truepath has discontinued web hosting services, and in true Internet fashion they did not bother to inform their subscribers. At least, I never got an e-mail. This wiped out the entire Lewis Grizzard tribute site I had there for many years. Naturally my first thought was to find a new home for the site, then I realized I had no idea where to find my original backup disks (they could be anywhere). So I go to Google, and lo and behold, they had cached every page.

Now I have to find a new home for ol' Lewis.

If everybody were jumping off a bridge...

Finally managed to access this dang test. I guess I'll see all of you there. Make sure you buy my book to read while you're waiting to get out.

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)High
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful)Low
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test

If I were a tree, I would be...

An interview with moi on the Wings Press site.

He's got hunger pangs, and bloody fangs, you know I read it in a magazeeeeeeene...

Lestat is coming to Broadway, and Elton John is there. A new musical is planned, based upon Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. Anything's better than that film version of Queen of the Damned (cutie Stuart Townsend notwithstanding).

If anybody wants to try to turn Saints Preserve Us into a musical, I retain all subsidiary rights. Have your cell beam my PDA and we'll talk while they do lunch.

More Rizzo, Less Elmo, Please!

The Henson family bought back the Muppets, and all is right with the world once again. I love the Muppets, especially the Electric Mayhem and those fuzzy pink ones who sang "Mahna Mahna." Back in college we'd drink and watch that tape over and over again...good times.

I hope this bit of news means we'll see an improvement in the realm of Muppet entertainment. It will be difficult to recapture the glory of the Jim Henson days, but that doesn't mean Kermit has to be regulated to the back burner like he was on "Muppets Tonight" and that Treasure Island movie. We want the frog, give up the frog!

Some Muppet love for you:, Muppets Online, Muppet Central, and (for all you twisted people) Bert is Evil.

Win a free copy of SPU. Details below. (I swear I'll have a neat-looking button made to replace this.)

They say one way to promote your book is to use celebrity endorsement:

Frank loves my book!

Come on! Who doesn't like Frank Gifford? Besides Howard Stern? No, wait, that's Kathie Lee Gifford. Sorry.

I'll have the angel hair marinara on the clean plate, please

Win a free copy of SPU. Details below.

Next time you're in Virginia (or if you live here) and looking for a good place to eat, why not check the new Virginia Department of Health Restaurant Report site? After a few hours of sifting through critical health code violations committed at your favorites dives, that organic garden will sound better and better.

Is there a film clip of him singing this one and smoking at the Sci-Fi Awards?

Win a free copy of SPU. Details below.

Shatner's cover of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" has been voted the worst Beatles cover ever by some people (I can't keep track of everything). Funny, I didn't see anything from that horrid Sgt. Pepper movie on the final list. I would have picked George Burns's "Fixing a Hole" or Steve Martin singing "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" before picking on ol' Bill.

Participation Positives

Win a free copy of SPU. Details below.

Enjoyed a good weekend in the Outer Banks, though it rained most of Saturday. We just wanted to get away from the apartment and get a good night's sleep for once, which we did. I knocked another Pulitzer winner off by To Be Read list (Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon, not bad), and we watched Joe Nemechek take Richmond. On the upside, we found possibly the Best. Doughnut. Shop. Ever. in the Donut Express in Kill Devil Hills off Milepost 5, or 6. Thing is, you need to get there early, otherwise they sell out of everything. By early, I mean when dawn first cracks.

Plus, many more new additions to the ring: Let's Just Elope, a matrimony blog by Rosa Mystica and Catholic Nerd; Credo Means I Believe; Southfarthing Soapbox; Patrick Madrid (click onsite to visit the Envoy blog); Man with Black Hat; Vociferous Yawpings; Digital Musings; and Mixolydian Mode.

In case you decide to go off the wagon...

The Fudge Man of the Outer Banks will ship, wherever you are. Just don't ask to buy his URL domain. He's not selling.

156 Visits!

A personal best for me. Thank you so much for stopping by the blog. Please tell a friend. Tell an enemy. Grab somebody on the street and give him my URL.

The comments box contest is still going on, so consult the previous entry. You can still win a free copy of this book. Meanwhile, I need to get ready for the ground assault PR campaign: flyers in bookstores and coffee shops, etc. St. Francis de Sales, pray for me.

Welcome to the Party! Thanks for Dropping By!

After eleven months, about seven drafts, and hundreds of dollars of postage and copy fees for ARCs, Saints Preserve Us is live, baby! The eBook version is ready for purchase at Wings, and orders for signed paperbacks may be made here with PayPal and PayDirect! I'll also take checks and money orders. If you're daring, send cash. Just e-mail me for the address.

So far the buzz about Saints is good. Aside from the thumbs up at MyShelf and the review at The Romance Studio, I received a nice note from the proprietor of telling me how much she enjoyed the book. I look forward to her full review.

Now on to the real reason why you all showed up: how to win the book for free. ;-) This month I'll be giving away two signed copies of Saints. The first copy will be awarded to the person who signs the 100th comment in the comment box below. Multiple postings are okay, just don't make simultaneous posts. This contest ends when the comment box hits 100. I'm not going anywhere, but don't make me wait forever.

Today's comment question is inspired somewhat by the book: Have you ever made a pilgrimage to the grave of somebody you admired? It doesn't have to be a saint, it could have been Elvis or some historical figure. If not, whose grave would you want to visit to pay your respects? My answer: about five years ago I went to Moreland, GA to visit the grave of Lewis Grizzard. I even documented my visit on the Web. Discuss.

The second contest will run until May 15th. The winner gets a signed book and a delicious gift pack of sauces from Datil Do It:

I chose this gift pack because Datil Do It's headquarters are located in St. Augustine, Florida, which is the seat of the diocese in North Florida, where Saints is set. Also, I love this stuff. It tastes great on anything. Nothing says summer like a good book and summer picnic with some spicy datil pepper goodies. To win this contest, just send an e-mail with the answers to the following questions:

  • Who was the first native-born United States citizen to be canonized?
  • How many steps toward canonization are observed for martyrs of the Faith?
  • With which two bands did Ted Nugent enjoy Top 40 hits?
  • Kathryn's alma mater, Jacksonville University, boasts a number of renowned alumni, including her former classmate Leanza Cornett. For what is Leanza best known? (Extra consideration given to those who are very specific with this answer)
  • Think of "Jacksonville" and "rock music" and the first band that likely comes to mind is Lynyrd Skynyrd. However, there's another well-known band out there fronted by a Van Zant brother. Name the group.

From those who answer all questions correctly, I'll draw the winner from my Harley-Davidson ball cap. Now don't just stand there, dance with me, baby!

Only some random number days until Genny goes to college.

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::about me::

::st. blog's drinking game::
::Christian book reviews::
::kat's book blog::
::Catholic writers::
::e-mail:: (remove [nospam])

::author of::
Saints Preserve Us
Pray For Us Sinners
Little Flowers (reprint in Dec. 2005)

::read my free e-book::

::contributor to::
Milk & Honey for the Hungry Heart
Saints of the Jubilee
Women in the Wild

::editor of::
Adam's Stone
Birds Do It (copy edit)
Caribbean Charade
Cutter's Woman
House of Cards
Irish Magic
Keltic Dreams (copy edit)
Keltic Flight (copy edit)
Murder Plus Five
Prairie Peace (copy edit)
A Precious Jewel (copy edit)
The Queen of Candelore
Renaissance Romp
Return of the Goddess
Rite of Passage

Second Chances
Trails of the Dime Novel
Wild Keltic Carousel (copy edit)

::fan fiction::
mild language and situations in some
Beatles/Drew Carey
QL/Drew Carey
QL/M*A*S*H 2



20th Century Pope: JPII
Aqua Teen: Frylock
Barbie: Harley
Beatle Album: Magical Mystery Tour
Beatle Era: Hamburg
Beatle Film Character: Paul's Grandfather
Beatle Kid: Dhani Harrison
Beatle Song: "Yellow Submarine"
Brady Bunch: Greg
Brideshead Revisited: Lady Cordelia Flyte
British: 32.5%
Boy Band: Beatles
Canadian: 33%
Cartoon Dog: Snoopy
Catholic order: St. John Bosco
Cheers: Norm!
Christmas Carol: Silent Night
Cocktail: Bloody Mary
Dante's Inferno: Purgatory
David Bowie: late 60s/early 70s
Decade: the 60s
Disney Princess: Belle
Drew Carey Career: Human Resources
Edward Gorey: Gashleycrumb
Elvis: 50s
Evil: 18%
Foreign Language: Italian
Founding Father: John Adams
Ian McKellan: Just Ian
Inner Sexy Cartoon Chick: Wilma Flintstone
Internet Addict: 45%
Iron Chef: Chairman Kaga
Jane Austen: Elinor Dashwood
Jedi: Knight
John Cusack: John Kelso
Journal Rating: PG-13
Led Zeppelin song: Whole Lotta Love
LifeSaver: lemon
Lone Gunmen: Byers
LoTR: Legolas
M&M: blue
Madonna: Soul
M*A*S*H: Hawkeye
Monkees: Micky
Movie for Me: Forrest Gump
Muppet: Fozzie
Music god: Sting
Narnia: The Magician's Nephew
Old Movie: Citizen Kane
Parrothead: True
Peanuts: Linus
Retro Girl: Seductive Pin-Up
Rugrats: Angelica
Simpsons: Disco Stu
Star Trek: Spock
Star Trek race: Human
Store to Loot: Mega Grocer
Three's Company: Janet
Tolkien Beliefs: Conservative
Ugly Prom Dress: 80s
US City: Atlanta
VW Beetle: Black
Whose Line?: Colin Mochrie
Wife of Henry VIII: Anne of Cleves
Willy Wonka: Veruca
Wodehouse: Bertie Wooster
Wrestler: Stone Cold
Writer: Mystery

The WeatherPixie