Spare time . . .? What?
Besides making quilts (if I remember how the next time I actually get an afternoon to sew) I restore antique quilts and lately, have become a quilt detective. I uncover "hidden" quilts -- very old, worn quilts that are used like batting and recovered on both sides by new tops and backing -- by carefully removing the newer fabric and photographing what lies beneath. Prior to the 60's, women often recycled their grandmother's soft, worn handmade quilts this way, so a gaudy 50's piece can often hide a much older masterpiece dating back to the turn of the century or beyond. Many hidden quilts are passed down through several generations, so a lot of people may own hidden quilts and not even realize it. If you'd like to see what one looks like, here's one
I found on eBay today that looks pretty intriguing. (In the last photo, you can see the red of the hidden quilt peeking out through the tear in the covering material.)
Michael has contracted roseola infantum, which usually only hits kids before the age of 2, and is breaking out in a beautiful rash. He's got the dose of severe irritability that goes with it, too -- my sunshine and happiness boy has turned into a snarling, vicious beast. This tops off the week for me, as I'm still trying to finish revisions, negotiate contracts, take care of my ex's house while he's out of town, and run a charity quilt auction for the childrens hospital. And whatever Michael gets, Katherine gets. So. Did a gypsy curse me, or what?
An Author is Born:
My daughter Katherine wrote her first book today, entirely on her own, and even illustrated it. All Mom did was staple the pages together and publish it here. So, making her authorial debut at age seven years three months, here is
The Book About Love
By Katherine Rose Viehl
I love you because you are my favorite little girl in the world.
So I pray to God because I love God.
And God is Jesus because he is the best guy in the world.
Because you are my favorite little girl in the world, I baked a pie for you.
So good-by all you folks.
So we pray to God so so so so so so so so so much.
So we love our country so so so so so so much.
And I love you all so much.
I love you my darling!
I love you, bye-bye.
The revisions on Jian-Shan's book are al
most done, I have about a one third of the book to finish correcting (rewriting whatever needs to be changed to fit the new stuff) and then I can print out and do the final edit. Not a piece of cake, I've got so many shifted scenes and more emphasis on rewritten material on Sean and Kuei-fei toward the end, and less on Kalen and Raven. Also, my natural inclination is to have one main romance and one secondary to provide contrast, but I changed it to two secondary as per instructions and now the story feels all wonky. And I'm tired and grumpy so I'm more inclined to grouse about it. Back to work.
If you're lucky, this will never happen to you.
Hypothetical situation: Four prospective employers offer you a job with basically the same duties. A)The first is a person you've worked with in the past and was fairly good at the job, but personally treated you with contempt, like you were dirt. B)The second is a person who has worked with a good friend of yours in the past, was pretty good at the job and offers more money, but has the personality of a starved snake and is inconsistent (as in a 12 step program is badly needed). C)The third has a reputation for being prejudiced against people of your gender and religion, but offers the best opportunity for advancement. D)The fourth is a nice person who likes you and will support you 100%, but is basically in command of the Titanic and it's only a matter of time before glub, glub, glub.
Now, given all of the above, whose job do you accept? It's up to you, but my answer would be "A" -- cheap and treats you like dirt. Why? Well, C) Starved snake is hard to predict -- the money's there, but job security isn't, and you should never work for an addict anyway. C) Bigot Boss is someone you wouldn't spit on in your personal life, so why get involved with someone like that professionally? And while D) Icebergs Ho! is a super nice person, and would be the best of all possible bosses, you'd only end up drowning together.
"A" may not be the ideal boss for everyone, especially people who are sensitive to criticism, but considering the options, it's better to go with the devil you know etc. Contempt, while stressful, can be ignored. Abuse, prejudice, and sudden unemployment take bigger bites out of you.
If you want to kill someone in a certain theater in the US, they have two second floor bars with excellent positioning, and catwalks that will definitely support your weight above the main floor. How do I know? I've only been there once, ten years ago, but the theater management company maintains an excellent web site, and their stage and house plan, as well as everything an assassin could possibly want to know (down to weight tolerances of lighting equipment and what the staff uniforms look like) is available online. There's also a five minute video you can watch that shows snippets of performances and how the staff breaks down the theater seating, the different types of stage extensions, etc. Considering that such celebs as Whitney Houston, Mick Jagger, and Natalie Cole have performed there, I find this wealth of information great for my purposes (I used it as a setting in Raven's book) but also a little scary. I was just using it to set up a pretend assassination. What about someone who used to be a Green Beret, now thinks his dog is God, and hates Springsteen or something?
Department of Homicide:
I realized last night after reading through the BioRescue proposal one last time that the double-whammy at the end is probably my best work to date, twist-wise -- simple, classic, even logical. And it hits the reader like a stealth missile. You guys remember how upset everyone got over the way I ended SD2? BioRescue might make them hunt me with torches and pitchforks. On the other hand, it is a standalone, so I wrap it up in the last chapter versus the cliffhanger ending. Does that earn me a reprieve? I'm really excited about this book, too -- the character mix is great, and I like the idea of writing from an alien POV. So, cross your fingers, folks.
Everybody, go see!:
A reviewer finally
made me happy -- my good pal Carol Stephenson's debut romance novel, "Nora's Pride" got a lovely review
from Julie Shininger at Escapetoromance.com. As it should have, it's a terrific book. Julie, you're ruining my bad attitude toward reviewers. Check out the link so you can see Carol's gorgeous cover art, too -- it's one of the best Silhouette covers I've ever seen.
I'm neck-deep in revisions again, but I'm having a hard time getting into gear this morning. My mind feels slightly crispy around the edges after hyperstreaming through the new proposals; writing them simultaneously took a lot out of me. At the same time, I feel really great about the Gamers/Mercy merger. The more the dust settles, the more I like it. My fingers are itching to write the first scene between Tya and Mercy, which should be a little like when that comet smashed into Jupiter -- plenty of fireworks visible from great distances. I've missed Cat, too. He's a serious bad boy, and while Mercy doesn't eclipse him, he's never really gotten a solid chance to show what he can do. I'm really going to have to write an Omorr book one of these days, the whole species just gets better with every story. Now back to France and my soul-wounded samurai.
One last whimper before I sign off for the day -- I really miss my blog, my books, my life -- for those who didn't read the announcement earlier, I pulled the Gamers novella from being published on my web site in March. This is not to be mean; I'm making it a novel and selling it as part of this new book deal. It may not fly; it's different, experimental, tricky, twitchy, scary, megadark in places, and all the other things that give publishers facial ticks. I wrote the replacement story, "Roomies," mainly to have fun with a few personal metaphors. It's not on the same level as Gamers, but it's a cute story, and even made me laugh out loud in a few places on the final edit.
E-mailed the proposals off to my agent, hard copies go out tomorrow, so whomp,
another deadline killed. I combined the Gamers and Mercy House novellas into one novel and scared the heck out of myself for a few minutes until it worked, and then it really
kicked in and meshed so well that it scared me some more. I did not
plan the combo, it just occurred to me that the two environments are identical, and where better place to stick a brothel than at a place where men come to recreationally kill? BioRescue was in near-perfect condition to begin with, but Rebel Ice took a little more buffing and desgregation from the original story. I'm so tired I can't think straight, but tomorrow I have to dive back into revisions. Tonight I'm taking off to study and let the gray matter regenerate. Whew.
Two proposals down, one to go. Gamers, as usual, is giving me a little grief -- probably because I just moved the Gamers Dome to Trellus-6 and threw Mercy and Cat into the mix. Rebel Ice is shaping up nicely, though, and BioRescue wrote itself. Back to work.
Rowling in it:
Not that this is going to make all the pompous literati anti-J.K. squealers out there happy (and, like I care if they are) but I had to post the following, which comes direct from Scifi.com:
"Warner Brothers announced that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has become the second-highest-grossing film of all time, surpassing Star Wars: Episode I. The combined domestic and international box-office take for Harry Potter has reached $926.1 million, eclipsing Episode I's $922.8 million, the studio said."
That's just the movie. We aren't talking books here. J.K.'s first movie made
Nine hundred and twenty-six point one million dollars.
Excuse me, I have to go laugh a whole lot right now.