Monday, February 28, 2011

American Idol

I thought I'd weaned myself off American Idol.
Living in France last spring we missed Season 9 and the end of Simon Cowell. When I heard about the new judges I was dubious to say the least. An aging rocker and a Hollywood diva? Come on.
And then I figured I'd PVR it anyway and DH and I sat down to watch it and were enthralled. I love Steven and Jennifer and Randy. Steven Tyler is warm and compassionate and also funny and human. Jennifer seems like a sweetheart full of determination and grit and beauty and talent. I love the dynamics and emotion of the whole thing. And Ryan. I love Ryan.
I think what irritates me about the whole thing is that my preconceptions show just how much we rely on the media for our impressions. I don't believe everything I read, not by a long way. But even my perceptions must be swayed by the headlines even on a subconscious level.
I wonder how I'd come across in the media if they followed me 24-7? TA and her husband row over who walks the dog--AGAIN. The strain beginning to show on the face of TA as she loses control in PriceChoppers. Are the children safe? Another gin bottle found in the trash--when will she enter rehab, for her own sake if not the sake of her poor, innocent babes.
Sigh. I'd look like a looney and I'm just a normal mom.

The talent on American Idol is outstanding. The voices that come out of  mortals blows me away. All those kids and adults who are pursuing their dream. The dogged determination reminds me of writing, except we don't lay our souls on the stage, we lay them on the page. And the rejection is face-to-face at an audition, not buffered by the internet or the mailman. I'm not saying the singing business is harder than publishing. I know I relate to every rejection and every desperate plea for another chance. And I listen to the judges who say 'don't give up your dream, never give up your dreams' and know they aren't just words.
I can't sing--well, I can sing, it just doesn't sound good. That's why I'm NOT on American Idol. I can't wait to see who wins this contest!  My money is on...hmm, not sure yet. They're all so awesome :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

I'm interviewed at...


I almost forgot. I'm interviewed on Katie Reus's blog today as part of her 30 Days of Danger & Secrets blog.  Check it out here.

And my Carina Press editor, Deb Nemeth, is interviewed and my books are mentioned on the Mysteries and Margaritas blog today.   

The morning has been absolutely nuts, I'm just home after shopping for big sleepover tomorrow. Anyone needs pizza, pop or candy, you know where to come.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My biggest critics.

You know, as a writer you'd think bloggers and reviewers might be the biggest potential threat to my ego, but not at all.
My lovely hubby finished the second Stieg Larsson book in record time and was casting around for something to read.
"I know," he said, "what haven't I read of yours? And can I borrow your new ereader?"
He'd read an early version of SEA OF SUSPICION (mainly to figure out if he could recognize anyone from the Gatty Marine Lab) but he's never read STORM WARNING.
Figuring I have eight RITA books to judge and he should be done in that time I happily start up my Sony and show him how it works.
(I'm halfway through book six and I think he's on page 50.)

So, the first night I'm lying in bed and I get this huff.
"What?" I know he's reading my story.
"She just took her clothes off."
I grind my teeth. "She's wet and cold and doesn't want to get hypothermia. Plus she used to be a lifeguard in Australia." I give him a beady eye.
"Would you have taken your clothes off?"
"She's not me!" I scream (and yes, you can scream that).

Two days later.
Me: "She's wearing a sports bra and big knickers."
Him: "It doesn't say that."
Me: "Yes." I grind my teeth. "It does."
Good job I start off with low blood pressure.
Him: "Oh."

So, night before last my 8-year-old son comes and cuddles up to me on the sofa at bedtime and says, "So, Mom, where do you get the titles for you books?"
I get excited as I try to explain. "Well, SEA OF SUSPICION--"
"That has a marine biologist in it, right?"
I beam.
"So that makes sense."
I have birthed a genius.
"And STORM WARNING is set on the coast and there's this impending sense of danger," I tell him.
"So what's the problem then? In the story." He quirks a blond brow over eyes as dark as melted chocolate.
"Well, this woman keeps seeing her father's ghost--"
He snorts and jumps down off the sofa, dismissing me with a casual wave of a tiny hand. "Yeah, that'd be a problem all right."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Houston Bay Area RWA's

Judge a Book by its Cover contest voted STORM WARNING one of the winning entries ... (see all the Romantic Suspense winners here).

Thanks for everyone who judged!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Getting it out of my system...

This winter has gone on way too long. I know Manitobans are stoic in their suffering but I'm so fed up with having sore eyes and no eyelashes (they freeze together and pull each other out when you blink). Nose hairs were sandblasted way back in November. I'm fed up with wearing so many layers I don't know where my skin is. I'm fed up with looking like a cross between Frosty the Snowman and Santa. I'm fed up of hat hair and flaky skin. I'm really fed up of being dragged along ice-rink sidewalks by the dog and letting out wimpy-ass screams when I lose my footing (always with someone watching). I'm fed up of crappy Winnipeg drivers not stopping at STOP signs or pedestrian walkways. I'm fed up of ten foot high snowbanks that you can't see around. I'm fed up turning on every different type of heating appliance I own, from the car's block heater to electric blanket, gas and electricity, and still feeling cold. I'm fed up of the wood-fire being a burning necessity rather than a romantic treat. I'm fed up with monochrome white followed by grungy beige and yellow and brown.

Wow--now I feel better. :) roll on the spring floods (please, not).

Monday, February 07, 2011

Song Lyrics

I'm not asking for a second chance
I'm screaming at the top of my voice
James Blunt

Do you ever find there are certain lines in certain songs that catch you every single time? 

You ain't a beauty, but hey you're alright
Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen always makes me smile.

Then there are entire songs that draw me up and focus.

I wont drink
I wont eat
I can't hear
I wont speak
Let it out
Let it in
All this pain
From within
And I just can't pour my heart out
To another living thing
Im a whisper
Im a shadow
But Im standing up to sing

OUT OF TEARS--The Rolling Stones. (This was the original title of SEA OF SUSPICION and was inspired by the song). 

Why do the street lamps die
When you're passing by
Like a hand that won't stay on my shoulder tonight
If you held me close, would you laugh it away
Would you dare the glance that I steal to stay

I'LL FIND A WAY by Rachel Yamagata

How to fight loneliness
Smile all the time
Shine your teeth to meaningless
And sharpen them with lies


Take your records, take your freedom
Take your memories, I don't need'em
Take your space and take your reasons
But you'll think of me
And take your cap and leave my sweater
'Cause we have nothing left to weather
In fact I'll feel a whole lot better
But you'll think of me, you'll think of me

YOU'LL THINK OF ME by Keith Urban

She's got an alright job but it's not a career
Whenever she thinks about it, it brings her to tears
'Cause all she wants is a boyfriend, she gets one night stands
She's thinking how did I get here, I'm doing all that I can

22 by Lily Allen

Tonight, out on the street out in the moonlight
And dammit this feels too right
It´s just like Déjà Vu
Me standin’ here with you
So I´ll be holdin`my own breath
Could this be the end?
Is it that moment when
I find the one that I'll spend forever with?


So many amazing songs--it's a wonder we haven't run out of tunes and lyrics, and yet, like good stories there seems to be an endless well that creative people draw from.

I love words. I love lyrics. I love songs. Anyone else addicted like me?