FYI for the writing clan: Transcript from last night's TT and those synopses examples I promised are up on the TT board. Sorry for the delay, I had to switch out Drefan and take him to the fixit shop. All he needs is a new fan; should I hire a bubbly 16 year old to stand around and make moon eyes at him?
Less Than Tactful:
I just told the conpiracy theorist reviewer to piss off. Tactful, no, satisfying, yes. Doubtless this will result in yet another outraged soul calling me names and tossing my books into a wood chipper, but he'll just have to stand in line. I'm tired of trying to be polite to nasty people too; from here on out the standard form "Ms. Viehl's reader mail volume prevents her from sending a personal response" letter will be sent instead.
It boggles the mind how many people want to tell me how I should write my books, or their theory on how I write my books, and now how someone else writes my books and I'm just a front bimbo. It's like they'll go crazy if they can't get their little two cents in, when in reality they know zero about me. And yet there's no big mystery here -- I love to write books and I work hard at it -- simple as that. If you like my books, great, if you don't, sorry. End of story. Move along.
Making My Week Complete:
I don't recall being more entertained by a reviewer than the one who wrote to inform me that I am either a) two writers pretending to be one or b) posing for my husband, who really writes the SF books. There was also a demand that I "come clean" about how I've produced so many books in so many different genres in so short a time, so my fans finally know the real truth.
You know, we have wonderful prescription medicines available for people like this.
Alas, I have no way to come clean. I regret to admit that I am only one person, and both my ex-
husbands couldn't write a grocery list without help, much less finish a novel. The idea made me laugh a lot, though. Honestly, there is no one else in the mix; I really do
write all these books, all by my little self. Hard to believe, yes, I know, it would be much more entertaining if I had a secret lover who wrote the SF novels while I sat around watching soap operas and popping bon bons in my mouth. Certainly would be more relaxing for me.
The insinuation that a woman can't write SF is a little disturbing, though -- aren't we past all that, or are we retro-ing back to the days when Pam Sargent had to hide behind her initials and Robert Silverberg insisted Tiptree couldn't possibly be female again? I realize the Old Boys Club is still open for business but with the average life expectancy differences, it's likely that the Old Girls will outlive them, right?
Single males will probably avoid me for a while; yesterday I won an auction for ten wedding dresses. Not that I intend to get married another time -- much less ten -- I'm going to use the material from the gowns for a couple of wedding quilts for family members. Cross my heart.
Proceeds from the auction go to Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation,
which grants wishes for metastatic breast cancer patients.
I bought Mark Kurlansky's Salt: A World History
because I didn't think anyone could write a 498 page book on such a humble subject. I was wrong. Not only does Mr. Kurlansky write a painstaking history of the struggle to obtain our favorite mineral, he taught me more about world history in this one book than I've learned from twenty or thirty others. I've been passing this one out to friends but I thought I'd give a heads up to you worldbuilders out there -- get this book, it's the most well-written and informative nonfiction book I've read in years. Right up there with Barbara Tuchman's "A Distant Mirror." And even if you're not creating new worlds, it's worth getting just for reading pleasure. Plus you'll never look at your salt shaker the same way again.
For those of you who can't get to a library, Jack Lynch has compiled an extensive list of literary resources on the net
with categories ranging from biblical lit to Feminism. He should have titled it "Links for Nonfiction Junkies." :)
My wonderfully speedy editors at Guideposts have accepted my outline for my second Grace Chapel Inn novel (was "Antiques in the Attic", currently being retitled) so I'm good to go on this one. The plot involves discovering secrets from the past through an old sketchbook found in a trunk, letters written during the Civil War and other neat things. I love antiques and mysteries so I can't wait to get started on this one.
Auction Block Jitters: Good article
at Publishers Weekly today regarding the industry's growing twitchiness over the sale of AOL/Time Warner's book division. Merging publishers are one of the major headaches pro writers have to deal with, so we're all kind of watching how this goes.
I just finished reading the AP interview with Senator Rick Santorum.
My reaction? This man needs to be fired. Immediately. Can someone do that now, please?
Sodomy laws are as stupid as Santorum, who hasn't a clue about rights, loving relationships, or families. He certainly knows nothing about homosexuality. Isn't it time we demanded dinosaurs like this guy go the way of their pea-brained predecessors? Please tell me that we are getting to that point, and soon, because I really don't want to be governed by idiots like this.
Some people (you know who you are) were bugging me for other generators to jump start the muse, so here are some more:
Instant Muse Story Generator
-- Get a protagonist, archetype, symbol, setting and theme with one click
Simple Plot & Random Story Generator
-- This one writes a little story for you
Another Character Name Generator
Writing Prompt Generator
-- Creative writing questions you have to answer. Very neat.
RPG Dungeon Generator
-- To solve that pesky problem of what sort of dungeon to put in the novel. Also has links to NPC (whatever that is), Towns and Treasure Generators.
A Rose by Any Other Name:
Found a neat name generator today here,
which uses data from the U.S. Census. You can pick male, female, or both, an obscurity factor from 0 to 99, and how many names you want to see (up to 30 at one click.) My first list (female, 20, 99 obscurity) generated these names:
1. Kiesha Campagne
2. Delinda Armen
3. Pia Byro
4. Brittni Mccahan
5. Brigid Hetling
6. Raina Donchatz
7. Alica Entel
8. Gigi Amauty
9. Kiera Chionchio
10. Enola Donne
11. Kenyetta Boelk
12. Kenyetta Chaderton
13. Jacqulyn Angocicco
14. Florance Brais
15. Eneida Evanski
17. Shonna Kjolseth
18. Gia Jakubov
20. Mariel Mondell
I'm finding more applications than mere characters, however -- i.e. the Kjolseth
sounds like a really nasty alien race, doesn't it? So do the Jakubov.
The Best Yet:
Even when the master quilter screws up
, she can redeem herself. I finished the sunshine and shadows log cabin quilt last night, and it has turned out to be the most technically perfect quilt I've ever restored. It's also breathtaking, so vibrant that the colors seem unreal (to which my camera really can't do justice.) Yeah, I'm bragging, but I outdid myself on this one. You can get a closeup look at the results here.