Friday, October 29, 2010

Yay for kitties!

Oh no! I almost missed National Cat Day!

(probably because it's also Steve's birthday)

Jama Rattigan is celebrating Kidlit Kats at her LJ today, so I wanted to join in the fun and post my own kitty photos. (Because I don't do this enough already, right? Heh.)

In my house, it's National CEDRIC day!

Happy kitty in a box

Mysterious kitty in a box

Kitty squirming in the arms of uncombed human who forgot to stage a more flattering photo for this special event!

All right, my kitty-loving friends -- time to post your own photos!

[Cross-posted from Livejournal]

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Advance reader's copy (!!)

Agent Jenn received hers last Thursday. I didn't get mine until yesterday morning when my neighbor brought over the misdelivered package. The wait was long and cruel! But now I finally have it in my hands.

Bear with me, friends . . .

This is what geeked-out newbie authors do when they get their ARC. I had to see how it looked "faced out" on my bookshelf. It sure feels nice and cozy to be snuggled up next to Neil Gaiman. (rowr!) Actually, there's good company all around.

And here's a peek inside. Eeeek!

I hope to share the entire jacket with you soon. :D

[Cross-posted from Livejournal]

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Five -- TV detective shows I wish you would watch with me!

1. Law & Order UK -- Okay, I'm mostly watching this for Jamie Bamber and Harriet Walter. Still, it's a good way to get my British police procedural fix.

2. Luther -- Idris Elba was fantastic as a highly entrepreneurial (& extremely sexy) drug dealer in The Wire, and I've always wanted to hear him use his native accent. The fact that he's starring as a police detective makes it all the more enticing. (And he'll be working with Jane Eyre! Heh.) However, I hope the show doesn't go over-the-top with the DARKNESS and TORMENT. (I get too much of that with Wallander.)

3. Sherlock -- Saw this in England during the summer. It's brilliant. Watch it.

4. Fringe -- (Does this count as a detective show? I think so.) Great start to the third season, though my heart broke a little last night. I KNOW many of you are watching this, and I want to discuss it with each and every one of you!

5. Castle -- Just when my husband decided to give up on this one, it seemed to get better. Hmmm . . . Despite the fact that we never see Castle's old/new girlfriend and now have a new PlotDeviceBoyfriend! for Beckett, this season has been consistently clever and entertaining.

In other news, my poem is featured today at Maurissa Guibord's Haunted House Tour. I'm not a poet, but this little piece demanded to be written nonetheless. By commenting, you could win a copy of Neil Gaiman's Newbery-winning The Graveyard Book! (One of my favorites!)

Happy weekend, everyone!

[Cross-posted from Livejournal]

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Photo recap

Last Wednesay, Steve and I flew to Phoenix and stayed at the Intercontinental Montelucia. He attended a conference while I furiously worked on revisions.

Our room at the Intercontinental boasted this view of Camelback Mountain. Such a beautiful resort!

I didn't work every minute of my time there. In fact, I enjoyed a facial and pedicure (see shiny purple toes!) and spent some time by the pool.

On Friday Steve's parents picked us up and took us back to their place for a very relaxing visit. This is a shot of Steve's adopted "little sister" Ashley, who despite getting on in years (& being blind in one eye) is still very spry and affectionate.

[BTW, on Saturday afternoon we saw The Town, which was very good, but I would have enjoyed it so much more without the constant talking and texting of all the people around us. FOR SHAME, PEOPLE! Why do some folks think the movie theater is their living room? *rage*]

Perhaps the most exciting event of our trip was when our plane pulled out of its final approach to DFW. After several minutes in a holding pattern, the pilot announced that there'd been a malfunction warning on the landing gear, but we were safe to land anyway. For some reason, I did not panic, but it was strange to see three firetrucks zooming toward us as we hit the runway (with only a weird bobble to the left). The passengers cheered as we landed, but only fifteen minutes later they were grousing about missed connections. I was more than happy to wait for maintenance to pin the nose gear before we gated. Then again, we had a longish layover to OKC. (Apologies to Facebook friends who were already subjected to this story!)

I was thrilled to find this book waiting for me when we got home. My work-in-progress is set in a college based on Newnham at Cambridge, so this semi-autobiographical (?) novel published in 1901 will be very helpful. And I just LOVE old books!

Check out the gorgeous frontispiece and title page. The novel is fascinating to read, but some of the sentimentality is cloying. For example:

To both girls that walk was memorable, as the opening chapter in a volume which was to become even more helpful than the dearest of their silent friends, the books that both loved so passionately, to which their talk so often turned. They were turning the first pages in the book of friendship, the most absorbing of all books. (39)

This excerpt is rather mild compared to others, but I still treasure the book for the amazing wealth of detail on the college and student life in the early twentieth century.

Now . . . back to work!

[Cross-posted from Livejournal]

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Five -- it's FINALLY October

Back to the usual randomness . . .

1. Maurissa Guibord's Haunted House Tour 2010 begins today! Creepy tales and prizes will be featured throughout the month of October. Do check it out -- if you dare!

2. Don't forget to nominate your favorite Children's and YA books for the 2010 Cybils. (I must add this to my 'to-do' list immediately.)

3. I recently re-read I Capture the Castle and couldn't resist reviewing it for Book End Babes. Oh, how I love this novel! Have you re-read anything wonderful lately?

4. I've finished a draft of my manuscript. (!!!) It's rather ugly in places (I mean, REALLY patchy and frequently ridiculous), but I still count it a decent start at 76k words. Since I tend to underwrite first drafts, I fear the final product will be the longest thing I've ever written.

5. After I get back from my workout (bleh) I'm going to celebrate and unwind by watching last night's Fringe and Vampire Diaries, perhaps also indulging in an instant viewing of I Capture the Castle on Netflix. Tomorrow it's back to the salt mines as I return to the beginning of the ms and start revising. (I really want to get this to my crit partners by the middle of the month.)

What are your plans for the weekend?

[Cross-posted from Livejournal]