Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Still Happily Lost in Lost Girl

It's Tuesday morning, and you know what that means - my Lost Girl recap for last night's episode Arachnofaebia is up at Heroes and Heartbreakers.

Check out the tense clip below and then head on over for the recap!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Jersey Girl Went to Texas...

I went to Texas. Seeing that in print makes my eyes squint and my head tilt. It's weird. Innocuous, Out of place. Me. In Texas, which always sounds in my head in William Shatner's voice from Miss Congeniality: TEX-ASS!!

I went to Texas because, as I *may* have mentioned before, I was a finalist in the West Houston RWA Emily Awards in the romantic suspense category. This is the first time I've finaled in a writing contest and I wanted to enjoy the experience to the hilt. Since I came home a winner - I did!

We made a weekend of it, the four of us: historical romance writer Vicky Dreiling who had pushed me to enter the Emily in the first place, myself, my conference wife Anne Baker, (who brought me this great push me button that says things like "Go for the gold! But not in a mean way! Go for it in a character-building way!" and the magnet to the right, which I think we all can agree is deliciously apropos), and Harlequin writer Kristi Gold, whose North Texas accent had a blast with my Jersey ears. We laughed, we talked, we ate and drank and talked about the publishing business and writing and then laughed some more. Good friends are the things that get you through the hard times - but it's a blazing joy to have good times to celebrate with them too.

Emily Pin
The members of West Houston RWA were utterly warm and welcoming, rolling out the Texas and romance hospitality all at once. I had such a lovely day among them, meeting new people, talking about romance, and pitching to agents. Such warmth and instant camaraderie is a unique aspect of romance writers. We're not perfect and any time you get a bunch of women together, the claws almost always will come out eventually whether in private...or, with us, usually in print. But on the whole, the support and generosity in the romance community is one of its finest and most enduring traits.

I love to fly. I love being above everything, as though the whole world has stopped, all the dramas that fill my life pausing while I'm in the air. I love having the unknown ahead. When I drove through Ireland in '99, I didn't even have hotel reservations anywhere.Wherever I landed was where I stayed (made for some interesting nights, I'll tell you). There was a freedom in that, fear sometimes, utter and total panic once or twice, but excitement and liberty above all.

The trip out

I haven't flown anywhere for a few years now, but this short trip to Houston was enough to spark my wanderlust. I'll be in California this summer and Arizona after that and I can't wait to get going.

World's above

Sure, I dread those evils of flying we all live with these days: the boarding and the squishing and the bag fees and the dark thrill of being crammed into a tiny metal tube and propelled into the air 30,000 feet above the earth. I actually love take offs and landing, the thrust of power, the success of wheels touching down again. Once I'm settled in my seat and the window shade is up and the air is clear to the horizon - ah. There's a whole 'nother world up there.

Still, I could never be an astronaut. My rampant imagination would work overtime on all the ways I could die before ever breaching the atmosphere and I'd hyperventilate at the first glimpse of a space suit. But when I'm on a plane, I fully understand the passion astronauts have for space travel, the driving need to return to space almost from the moment they land. It must be an extraordinary thing to look through one of these tiny windows and see the entire world laid out before you in celestial banquet.

There's an oil platform...somewhere
I had the rare treat of being able to meet up with a wonderful Internet (and now real-life) friend that Sunday. She drove us down to Glaveston and the Gulf Coast in seriously crappy weather and we had a great time babbling away to each other. Our sunny moods defeated the cold and cloudy day and we parked and walked along the shore line as I snapped shots with my reluctant Canon camera until in desperation, I finally reverted to the phone cam. What an absolute treat it was to see a visit a new body of water and pick up unique rocks and shells, like I was a kid again at Sandy Hook.

I went to Texas. And I won the contest. And I saw the Gulf. And it's not even March yet. Who knows what else 2012 has in store for me?

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lost Girl at Heroes and Heartbreakers

Remember how I said that I was totally obsessing on the new (to the U.S.) series Lost Girl? No? Come on! It was just last week!

Well, someone noticed (ahem) and now I'm the official recapper for Lost Girl over at Heroes and Heartbreakers. I've been dialed in to the H&H web site since its debut as it celebrates romance (yay!) in all genres, sub and otherwise, but doesn't limit itself to novels alone, looping in great TV shows (Downton Abbey!) and movies too. It's a fantastic forum community and I'm thrilled to join its staff of bloggers.

My first recap post went live today and you can find it here. Please head on over and take a read even if you're not into Fae and succubi and hot werewolves (what's wrong with you?! ). Lost Girl is ably filling the gaping hole in my television life left by the lack of Whedon, and I'm having a fantastic time with the recaps.

I hope you will too.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Coping My Way Through January

The month of January is tough. It's long. It's dark. It's pissy. For me, it's full of doctor's visits and medication renewals and wondering exactly how long I can get away with not taking down the Christmas tree. Here are a few coping methods I developed this year to get to that glorious day of 31.


Justified (Tuesdays at 10 PM on FX): Justified is back. All hail Elmore Leonard, Graham Yost, and Timothy Olyphant.When the cold open of the season opener is a Boyd and Raylan fistfight in the Marshals' office, I know it's gonna be a banging season. But then, when is it not? The dialogue feels particularly sharp this season and I can't tell if that's the writers hot on their game or if those are the pieces lifted from Leonard's new Raylan novel. As long as it this fast and furious, I don't think I really care either way.

Lost Girl: (Mondays at 10 PM on SyFy):
An urban fantasy show, newly imported from Canadian, about a orphaned succubus named Bo who was raised by humans and has suddenly discovered the world of Fae to which she belongs. Divided into Light and Dark fae factions, Bo remains Switzerland while filling the gulf between sides (and her wallet) by acting as a PI. I am totally hooked on this show. The writing is sharp and funny and Bo kicks-ass with the best of them. This is the closest I've seen a show get to a Whedonesque oeuvre without blatantly copying it. Yeah, it's got some dodgy CGI and Bo and her wiseass sidekick Kenzi wake up with perfect hair (so shiny!and such lovely braid combinations!), and polished make up, including what may be the heaviest eyeliner application I've ever seen, and I grew up in the 80s... in New Jersey. But I'm loving it all the same.

Definitely Not Chris Martin
The pub that serves as neutral ground between the fae factions is called The Dal Riata. I wrote one of my first Celtic history papers in Oxford on the Dal Riata migration. Super major points. Plus there's a hot werewolf and I am totally into his voice. Yes, his voice, all low and rambly. No, I'm not lying. (OK, the tat on his back is totally hawt too). And the man to wolf transition in the second episode was sizzling. Since I'd missed the character's name in the first episode, I took to calling him Not Chris Martin (NCM) because he reminds me of Coldplay's lead singer, and now it's stuck.

I love me a good back story. The murky mystery of Bo's intrigues me and I also really like that, for once, the will-they-or-won't-they manufactured sexual tension between Bo and NCM is out the window in the very first episode. Hey, she's a succubus. The woman needs to feed...


Train: Drive By.
I love Train's songs. Either they're full of pep and jaunty lyrics or they're beautiful love songs whose words break your heart into tiny, erudite pieces. Drive By is their latest single; I downloaded the day it was available. It's a song about a one-night stand that quickly turns into something more. The minute I heard the chorus I was sunk:

Oh I swear to you, I'll be there for you
This is not a drive by-i-i-i-i

Just a shy guy, looking for a two-ply
Hefty bag to hold my-i-i-i-i-i-i-love
When you move me, everything is groovy
They don't like it sue me,
Mmm, the way you do me
Oh I swear to you, I'll be there for you
This is not a drive by-i-i-i-i

Seriously, I'm bopping in my bed as I write this. They had me at "groovy." 

Daughtry: Renegade.
Daughtry fills a certain slot in the rock oeuvre, namely the one Creed left behind with Scott Stapp and is still scrambling to reclaim now that he's back in the fold. Whenever I hear a Daughtry song, I think of the expression on his face the moment he was cut from American Idol several years ago (I saw the news clip; never ever watch the show). He was so shocked, so completely dumbfounded that he was being cut. Yet, that was likely the best thing that could've happened to his career. He's had a cavalcade of hits and even tho they sound, to me, like variations on a theme, I enjoy the fact that at least there's not an auto tuner involved.

Renegade is the first Daughtry single I've bought. From the hard-driving rock beat, to the stinging lyrics, to the barely restrained, vibrating compulsion to get the hell outta town and get on with it, I am in.

Don't you wanna feel like a rebel?
A renegade on the run?
Real live wire in the cross fire ridin' shotgun

Not talkin' 'bout a deal with the devil

I said nothin' about sellin' your soul
But call it what you will
If you start to feel out of control

Here we go

Can you hear the sound of the turnin' wheels?

Burnin' the road like it's never been donec
I'm breakin' out of this town like a renegade
So baby, get ready to run

Don't have any time here left to kill

Don't wanna go down like the settin' sun
So let's break out of this town like a renegade
Can't wait another minute, I'm right here ready to run



Multi-Grain Peanut Butter Cheerios
No, you read that right. Peanut Butter Cheerios.

When I was a kid, I used to drag the Cheerios box around with me (honey nut, natch). A few years ago in the Weehawken apartment, The Mother laughed to see me doing it again. Hey, comfort is as comfort does. To this day, one of my Dad-dad's running gags is to ask if I'm having Coke with my peanut butter and Cheerios for breakfast. Finally, I can say "yes" and not be a smart ass about it (although I fail to see the fun in that.). Plus, they're GOOD FOR YOU!

I've been noshing on this wonder of modern culinary science at the day job office and if you threw in a small carton of milk and an afternoon nap, it'd feel like Kindergarten all over again. Yum-my

After last year's endless snowfall, to have a blizzard on Halloween and 60 degrees on the first of February in New Jersey is nothing short of - well, screwy. It's really screwy. But we're loving it, and I'm breaking out my lightweight shirts and soaking up the Vitamin D while it lasts. In related news, I anticipate having another head/chest cold, say, within a week.

Got any not-so-secret ways of coping with the January blues? Lay 'em on me. One randomly chosen commentator will win a book to wile away the ever-fleeting winter hours and a candle to light the way in case the power goes out.

Disclaimer: January did not pay for this endorsement. Neither did Train, Daughtry, Justified, Lost Girl, or Peanut Butter Cheerios. Though I'm willing to talk terms with Raylan and/or Not Chris Martin. Call me.

Disclaimer part deux: All images courtesy of Google Images.