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Monday, June 24, 2013

Falling Off The Face Of The Earth


I can't believe I'll be in Santa Fe in one week! Ack! The kids are still not done with school. Isn't that ridiculous? Thanks to snow days tacked onto the end-of-the-year schedule, we are still going until Wednesday. It makes me sad. We really only have two months of summer vacation!

And I plan to make the most of it.

We are starting with a trip to Santa Fe, then visits to Newport and Vermont. Natty is doing her first sleep-away camp to the mountains of western Mass this summer. And Cristian is doing a fabulous community service camp to New Orleans for two weeks. (And then driver's ed camp. Gulp.)

I will try to check in when I can. But I think I'll be falling off the face of the earth for a while. Which is not such a bad thing. I've been massively spring-cleaning this past month, and I think it's time to "spring-clean" my career. Although I honestly don't know what that means. But maybe I'll figure it out by the end of the summer.

Then I can write that back-to-school essay "What I Learned Over Summer Vacation"...

We'll see. :^)



I hope all of you have a wonderful summer. If anyone needs to get in touch with me for emergency purposes (finding hot beardy guys on the Internet, etc), email me!

Happy Summer!
Penelope

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Happy Weekend!


Natty's best bud is having a birthday party today, and I got to play with flowers. I made her two table arrangements, using flowers from the store and lots from my garden. Fun!

I am in the midst of having a Canadian Mountie reading extravaganza. I'm plowing through the whole Canadian Mounties series by Kate Bridges, and I just finished #4, The Proposition, which I LOVED! These stories are packed with sweet moments, sexy times, and a lot of romance. Yippee!

Hope everyone is having a swell weekend,
Penelope

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day


Happy Father's Day!


This is one of my favorite photos of Carl and Natalie. Carl is fully decked out with his fly-fishing gear. And Natty is right there with him, wearing a sequiny skirt from Justice For All.

Typical!

Hope everyone has a great day.

Love,
Penelope

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Coming Soon: "Adult-Like" Trends In Fiction


First we had...

YA = Young Adult


Now we have...

NA = New Adult


Coming Soon!

These just keep getting younger and younger and younger----

PTA = Pre-Tweenie Adult (8-12)

DLAA = Dresses Like An Adult (elementary school age)

ALAA = Acts Like An Adult (toddlers)

BFA = Baby-Faced Adult (newborn)

SCPA = Single Cell Pre-Adult (aka, embryonic stage)

and finally...

PTMAA = Potential To Make An Adult (sperm/egg)



And, in the other direction----

PMLCA = Pre-Midlife Crisis Adult (30s)

EGDA = Everyone's Getting Divorced Adult (40s)

IPWISA = I Pee When I Sneeze Adult (50s)

IHWOMWA = I Have Wrinkles On My Wrinkles Adult (60s)

NOWTRAYA = No One Wants To Read About You Adult (70+)

DA = Dead Adult



And some extras...


SIA = Super Immature Adult

HA = Horny Adult

BA = Billionaire Adult

PTBATBRASOVA = Pretending To Be A Teen But Really A Sparkly Old Vampiric Adult (aka, The Twilight Effect)

AA = A-hole Adult

MRAA = Motorcycle-Riding A-hole Adult

AYDWAWTRAA = Angsty Young Dingalings Who Adults Want To Read About-Adult


Ah, the joys of youth.

Feeling old,
Penelope

Monday, June 10, 2013

Swedish Meatballs For The Win!



Some mini reviews...Ready! Set! Go!


1. Temporary Position by Scarlett Parish

This was my first read by Scarlett (aptly named for Scarlett O'Hara). We met on Twitter, and now she sends me emails with headings like "you festering cock-knocker"(what does that even mean?). This quickie was well-written, has that awesome British flair I love, and was smoky-sexy hot. It's a menage, and one of the men is Swedish. He spends half the story whispering naughty things (that are not translated) in Swedish. It totally works. You have no idea what he's saying (just as the heroine doesn't), but you know it's something naughty. Great way to build up the sexual tension in the story. Loved that!

Grade: A

#SWEDISHMEATBALLSFORTHEWIN

2. Skin In The Game by Jackie Barbosa

I don't like football, I don't love contemporary romance, but somehow this story worked for me. The heroine is a super smart-sports analysis gal, which is a very cool combination--I love smart and sporty together. The hero is a football star with an injury, who returns to his hometown to coach the high school team. This was a very engaging story. Barbosa did a great job developing a believable romance between these two characters, incorporated just the right amount of football (not too much, not too little), and gave the reader a satisfying HEA. I heartily enjoyed this one.

Grade: B+

#FOOTBALLISSEXY

3. Don't Bite The Bridesmaid by Tiffany Allee

Just finished this last night. It was my kind of vampire story...nice and light, not too heavy with the politics, and lots of sexy chemistry between the old cranky vampire hero and the young whipper-snapper human heroine. Fun read!

Grade: B+

#VAMPIRESHAVEBALLSTOO

4. The Sheikh's Last Gamble by Trish Morey

Typical, but charming Harly with a-hole billionaire and spurned lover with the secret baby. I found this quite entertaining. There are a few little twists and turns you don't see with most of these books. One of the better quality sheikh books I've read (I can't believe I just typed that sentence).

Grade: B

#HARLYBALLS

5. The Warlord by Elizabeth Elliott

An oldie, but I didn't find it to be a goodie. I DNFed it at the half-way mark. Read like a trying-too-hard-to-be-Julie Garwood knock-off.

Grade: DNF

#COPYCATBALLS



That's it, folks! Hope you all have a great week. I am thrilled that my cough is slowly getting better, my poison ivy has dried up, and I passed the kidney stone. So, things are looking up!

All my best,
Penelope

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Medical Update



Patient: Penny Watson

Lungs: Bronchitis, severe cough. Sounds suspiciously like a seal barking. Or a walrus mating.

Back: Shingles. Symptoms include feeling like sharp ragged chunks of glass are stabbing her back. Patient intermittently cries out "Ow!" OH MY GOD!" and "Help me!" (Doctor's note: amusing).

Head: Large crusty patch of poison ivy on back of scalp. Extremely disgusting and off-putting.

Brain: Mentally incapacitated by numerous asinine physical ailments.

Mental State: Not "playing with a full deck" if you get my meaning.

Diagnosis: 85-year old woman trapped in a 46-year old woman's body.

Treatment: Vodka, watching horror movies on the syfy channel, and snuggling with weenie dog.

Concern: I'm worried body parts may start falling off, signalling the commencement of the zombie apocalypse.



Here's hoping that everyone has a healthy weekend! (Ow! OH MY GOD! Help me!)
Penelope



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Things I Learned From Penny



According to the 19 thank-you notes I received from Natalie's 4th grade classmates (following a presentation I did about LUCY THE WONDER WEENIEthese are the Things I Learned From Penny...

1. "it can take awhile to get the pictures to mach the story" [SIC]

2. "I learned there are two ways to write a book, pantsing and plotting."

3. "every single word has to count"

4. THANK YOU FOR THE CHAPSTICK!

5."if you self publish you do all the work yourself"

6. "My mom wrote a book and she got it published by a company" (this one is the equivalent of "my mom is better than your mom")

7. "I love the saying 'puke out the story'--I think that's really funny."

8. "The lip balm smells so good!"

9. "editing a few words can make the story better"

10. "I really liked how you used Natalie as your advisor"

11. "I think I will publish a duck book."

12. "I learned when you write picture books it can take a long time because you might have to erase things."

13. "I like how Lucy has a licking problem."

14. "If Lucy could talk she would say thank you because you got her famous."

15. "I like how you take Lucy to the groomers and people go crazy."




I was extremely impressed with Natalie's class. The kids were smart, inquisitive, and enthusiastic. Fun!

Hope everyone has a lemony licky day,
Penelope

Monday, June 3, 2013

Welcome To The Hierarchy



Many years ago, I attended my first writer's meeting. I was chipper and excited and raring to go, a typical newb. I knew nothing about the industry. I was still working on my first book, and trying to get the hang of POV and conflict.

It didn't take long for me to figure out a very key component of the writing industry.

The Hierarchy.

It wasn't just a group of like-minded women (and a few men) sitting in a room, supporting each other, offering advice.

It was a room divided.

The published vs. the unpublished.

The agented authors vs. unagented.

The romance writers vs. the erotica writers.

The print authors vs. the digital authors.

It never occurred to me, as a newb, to assign value to these things. Was a digital book less "valuable" than a print book? Did an erotica writer have less value than someone writing romance?

But I could see that these things were extremely important to many of the authors in this group. To the organizations we belonged to.

Perhaps because I started as a reader--a voracious, obsessive, 5-book-a-day reader--my viewpoint was totally different.

As a reader, I cared about one thing.

Do I like the book?

I didn't care if the author had an agent. I didn't care if the book was cross-genre. I didn't care if the writer was a man or a woman, self-published, made the NYT best-seller list, won an award.

Do I like the book?

I didn't care if it was a debut novel or the author's 27th book. I didn't care if the author had a website, or a Twitter account, or was fat or thin, or bitchy or nice.

Do I like the book?

Readers don't give a shit about the hierarchy. They don't give two shits about the hierarchy. Only the industry cares about the hierarchy.

Do I like the book?

The authors, and agents, and editors, and publishers, and publicity departments, and booksellers, and writing organizations, can carve us all up and assign us our niche and decide who has value and who does not.

But the readers--the ones who buy the god-damned books, the ones who belong to a book club, and recommend their latest fun read to the check-out girl at the grocery store, the ones who are the reason why we all write in the first place--don't care about the hierarchy.

Do I like the book?

That's all they care about.


Liking the book,
Penelope