Wednesday, January 31, 2007

the bad the good the bad the good the maybe

the bad news: we're supposed to have the coldest temps in 3 years. considering that last year we had temps that were at least 50 below zero that's saying a lot. okay, that's a lie. not sure what the lowest temp was last year, but our high Sunday is supposed to be -3.

The good news: I'm heading to Florida Monday. yee-haw!!!

The bad news: I'm not going to be gone long, and it will still be pretty nasty when I get home. hoo-haw.

More good news: The Pale Immortal sequel has been moved to December 2007. I've always heard December is the worst month for a release because December shelf space is for big names. But does it matter as much if the book is a paperback? I'm thinking it probably doesn't, and I'm thinking December might actually be a good thing considering all the traffic bookstores get in December. The book does have a title, but I'm not going to mention it until the cover is done. It's just too far in the future to mention a title yet. I should have a cover in a couple of months. I emailed the revised manuscript a few days ago.

Some possibly good news: I'm trying to talk my daughter

into blogging here while I'm gone. She's actually thinking about it and seems a bit intrigued by the idea, so I'll keep you posted on that. her concern was content and feeling she had nothing to blog about. i felt the two obvious things would be the book trailer she made for me and her band. or she could do what i do and talk about whatever is on her mind that day.

and about that...

i've had a lot of things going on that i can't talk about on my blog. That's been extremely frustrating. my blog is therapy, dammit! but anyway, for the past month or so i haven't been myself and that's partially because almost everything on my mind isn't bloggable. the good news is that i'm learning to keep my mouth shut. i put together a couple of posts that i actually never posted. gasp! i think that's a first for me.

heroes and villains

I missed the first two episodes of Heroes when it started this fall. I tried to watch later episodes, but couldn't engage. Caught the final before-holidays episode and I was hooked. I even put the return date on my calendar so I wouldn't miss it. So now I've seen two new episodes and I can understand why I lost interest early on.

What works: The main story arc is fantastic. That's what keeps people coming back. Acting and characters are good.

What isn't working: Heroes is all about the mini scene. Since I write that kind of ADD fiction, I'm particularly interested in what works and what doesn't. It isn't enough to just cut up the scenes - that won't be enough to keep people glued to the screen. The main problem with Heroes is that many of the mini scenes don't drive the plot forward, and are almost filler. You also have mini scenes that are lies. They end on some breathtaking image of imminent danger, but when we come back we find there was no danger.

This criticism could be premature. Heroes is still on my calendar and I plan to watch at least a few more episodes.

Monday, January 29, 2007

memories of snow

jason at the clarity of night has been busy digging through the attic. He recently put together a short piece called YESTERDAY'S WINTER where he layered one of his haunting poems with old home movie footage. It blew me away.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

rejected blog posts

not much going on around here. i've had several ideas for blog posts, but keep tossing them. here are a few of the boring rejects:


Dear Mister Pharmacy Man,
Please give Anne Frasier any drugs she wants.

Yours truly,

Dr. Coathanger


the new tires suck.


will put it aside for a few days, then do a final proof and polish.


light hit a lamp base at a weird angle and i noticed some smartass had written SHIT in the dust. i plan to don a Hazmat suit and clean house.


if you leave a massive ad comment on my page, you will be deleted. i'm not talking about people i know, and i'm not talking about some bit of advertising along with something else. i'm talking about those comments that are the most blatant of blatant. like buy my book. blurb. cover quotes. price. link. giant image of book.



i'm really enjoying two CDs.

William Elliott Whitmore's SONGS OF THE BLACKBIRD.



Friday, January 19, 2007

who is kristin blackmoore?

i'd forgotten about this blog until yesterday.

i started it in september 2005 to go with the proposal i sent in for the pale immortal sequel. my idea had been to keep the journal as i wrote the book. the proposal was accepted in april or may of 2006, and the blog was never mentioned so i just let that idea go. but last night i switched it to the new blogger and spiffed up the colors. kristin blackmoore is one of four main characters in the sequel, but she's less obnoxious in the book. i don't think i could get away with a character this obnoxious. she would alienate too many readers. oh, and an interesting aside about the name -- i didn't know stephen blackmoore at the time!

who is kristin blackmoore?
new blogger and firefox seem to be having a problem, so the blog might not even open.

edit: problem solved. i had to remove the giant photos. :(

Thursday, January 18, 2007

what art movement are you?

thanks to jennifer jordan at human under construction for this one:

You Are Pop Art

When it comes to art, you're definitely not a snob.
You can appreciate the mainstream aspects of culture, even if you need to twist them a bit to make them your own.
Whether you're into comics, retro pinups, or bold colors, you embrace what's eye catching and simple.
As far as most other art goes, you consider it a little too elitist and high brow for your tastes!

and while we're at it:

You May Be a Bit Borderline...

Your mood swings make a roller coaster look tame!
When you're up, you're a little bit crazy...
And when you're down, your whole world is crashing
Scary thing is, these moods can change by the minute!

well, duh:
Your Career Type: Artistic

You are expressive, original, and independent.
Your talents lie in your artistic abilities: creative writing, drama, crafts, music, or art.

You would make an excellent:

Actor - Art Teacher - Book Editor
Clothes Designer - Comedian - Composer
Dancer - DJ - Graphic Designer
Illustrator - Musician - Sculptor

The worst career options for your are conventional careers, like bank teller or secretary.

Monday, January 15, 2007

it's that time again

time to reevaluate the blog. i've been cutting back while feeling guilty, but less time at the computer is simply something i have to do. so please forgive me for not leaving comments on your blogs, and for not posting here nearly as often. i think my biggest concern with blogging is the increase to an already sedentary lifestyle. combine that with getting older, and it's not a good thing.

on the writing front:

right now i'm working on a light edit. In the process i've come upon some things I want to revise, so this is going to take longer than i thought. a couple more weeks, max.

i've written 6 books for Penguin/NAL. Those were all two-book contracts. This current project is the last book of my most recent contract. a new proposal can't be submitted until 30 days after book 6 is approved. i'm guessing that puts us at around april 1 for the earliest possible submission date. I don't have to send NAL a proposal unless my next idea is a suspense with a paranormal element. if i decide to write a suspense with a paranormal they have first look. at that point they can turn it down and i can go elsewhere, or they can make an offer that i can accept or turn down. however i can't accept a lower offer from another publisher.

i've been toying with the idea of writing a book i've wanted to write for several years. it's something i should probably write without a contract because that would allow me more artistic control and also more control over my life during the project. the downside of that idea is no income. so i have a lot to think about, and a lot of decisions to make in the next several months.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

memoir haiku

just for fun~~

leave a memoir haiku in the comment section.

(this post will remain at the top of the page for several days.)

from the uterus

bitter ink is my blood type

tales of darkness come

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

good news and bad news

i'll start with the bad:

the Pale Immortal sequel has been moved from October 2007 to January 2008. I know it's only three additional months, but I was already concerned about readers having to wait until October for a sequel. The October date had always been tentative, but last I knew there was talk of moving the book to August or September. the weird thing about release dates is that i've never been informed when there's been a change. i always have to ask. it's probably because the dates are always shifting. the january date isn't locked in yet, so i could end up being bumped again.

the good news is that my new editor just finished reading the sequel and really likes it. in other good news -- I don't have much to do in the way of an edit. Add a couple of scenes and polish.

Monday, January 08, 2007


from Smithsonian Magazine, January 2007:

"The faces are "right out of central casting," says Mark Michaelson. For a decade, the graphic designer collected old mug shots -- he got them from a retired cop in Scranton, Pennsylvania, from a file cabinet bought at a Georgia auction and stuffed with pictures, and from eBay -- until he had tens of thousands."

read entire article:
Arresting Faces

spend hours viewing Michaelson's amazing collection of archived photos:

Least Wanted

today is the first day of the rest of your shitty life

i swiped that title from Hulles. later i'll elaborate on why it seems somewhat appropriate, but today i wanted to point people in the direction of chasing windmills, a daily web video series. If you want to see Common Good Books, Garrison Keillor's new St. Paul bookstore, or if you want to catch a glimpse of Hulles himself, check out MICROSOFTY. delightful all the way around.


chasing windmills

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Suspicious circumstances by sandra ruttan

just released!!

Suspicious Circumstances is a fantastic police procedural by debut author Sandra Ruttan.

my take:
"Secrets and lies, new murders and old, all unravel and unwind within the pages of SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES to create a complex and compelling crime-fiction debut. Sandra Ruttan has a keen eye for description, a wonderful ear for dialogue, and an acute instinct for the nuances of characterization."

A suspicious death.

A missing baby.

A corrupt police department.

When a man shows up in reporter Lara Kelly's office with a video that
appears to show a woman falling to her death, Lara is intrigued but
suspicious. The man claims he went to the police, but that they refused to

Under pressure from her editor to use the video to build a story about the
incompetence of the local police captain, Lara gathers enough evidence to
print a story about a suspected suicide.

Detective Tymen Farraday, the newest cop in a precinct plagued by scandal,
is ordered to investigate and discredit the reporter if necessary. When
potential evidence is stolen and Lara is attacked, Farraday is forced to put
his grudge against reporters aside and work with the journalist to solve the
murder while trying to protect her from the killer.

Just when they think they have the evidence to arrest a suspect, two more
murders turn the investigation in an unexpected direction.

The guilty have already shown that they'll stop at nothing to protect their

In a town where one person holds all the power, not even the police can be

And the prime suspect isn't the only person Lara and Farraday need to worry

What People Are Saying

"SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES has to be one of the most satisfying mysteries going that grips the reader from beginning to end."
- Clive Cussler

"..there is never a dull moment. It's a hard book to put down."
- Tony Hillerman

"Sandra Ruttan's SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES is crime fiction with booster jets--a white-hot blazing ride sure to slam you down some of the darkest, twistiest back alleys that ever corrupted a small city's secret heart."
- Cornelia Read, author of A Field of Darkness

"Sandra Ruttan's Suspicious Circumstances soars. It is complex, exciting, and elegant. In musical terms, it's listening to Bach. I'm in love with Lara Kelly, the smart, strong, vulnerable protagonist. Her detective lover better move fast or I'm in there. A gripping adventure, a large cast of marvelous characters, and twists that follow turns. Read it. You'll love it too."
- Robert Fate, author of Baby Shark

"Sandra Ruttan has graced the world of psychological thrillers with this fast-paced, absorbing tale, fraught with corruption, murder, mistrust, a number of unconscionable villains and two exceptionally likable protagonists, all craftily entangled in a delightfully twisted plot. Sit back and be prepared to get lost in this riveting story, because you won't want to put it down until you've turned the very last page."
- JB Thompson, author of The Mozart Murders

"Suspicious Circumstances twists and turns and twists again, leaving the reader breathless and unsure which end is up. And that's just the beginning. Ruttan's deft touch intrigues and satisfies, making her a powerful new force in the mystery field."
- JT Ellison, author of ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS (Available Nov. 2007)

order from amazon

sandra also has one of the coolest blogs. if you think i talk about anything, you haven't hung out at sandra's enough.

sandra's joint

Sandra Ruttan had her first newspaper column at the age of thirteen. She studied journalism and communication theory before focusing on special education. She spent several years working with children with learning disabilities while completing a creative writing diploma. Sandra is co-founder and submissions director for Spinetingler Magazine. Her short fiction has appeared in Crimespree Magazine, Spinetingler, Demolition, The Cynic and Flashing in the Gutters. She lives in western Canada with her husband, two dogs and too many cats.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

pass the tape

i'm not sure i'll ever learn to censor myself. something happens that reminds me that i really need to watch what i say here, but as time passes i begin to slack off and the awareness begins to slip. so i've done it again. yes, i said some nice things about adrian mckinty's book Hidden River, but I also foolishly said some things i shouldn't have said. nothing big, but still things a writer doesn't want to hear.

I did find out that Adrian has a new book coming out in March called the Bloomsday Dead. It's already getting great reviews. The mass market paperback of The Dead Yard was released in December. I'm going to definitely pick up a copy.

From Publishers Weekly

The Dead Yard--

Starred Review. McKinty's literate, expertly crafted third crime novel, the sequel to Dead I Well May Be (2003), confirms his place as one of his generation's leading talents. Five years after taking down a powerful Irish mobster, Belfast-born mercenary Michael Forsythe has a new identity and the chance at a new life, courtesy of the FBI. Unfortunately, while vacationing in Spain, Forsythe's thrown into prison after a soccer match between the Irish and the Brits turns violent. Forsythe faces extradition to Mexico, where he's a wanted man, unless he cuts a deal with a gorgeous British intelligence agent, Samantha Caudwell, to infiltrate an Irish terrorist cell called the Sons of Cuchulainn. Based outside Boston and led by a pair of fanatic ex-IRA members, the SOC vows to ignore the IRA's current cease-fire and to attack British targets in the States. Once again, Forsythe goes undercover, entering a shadowy world of subterfuge and deception. McKinty possesses a talent for pace and plot structure that belies his years. Dennis Lehane fans will definitely be pleased. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

speaking in lowercase

About nine years ago I came down with some strange viral infection called wedon'tknowwhatthefuckitisandyou'reshitouttaluckbeotch. The best way to describe it is to say it was similar to mono or lyme disease. This whateverthefuckitwas got in my neck, shoulder, arm. I was really sick for 3 months, weak and dumb as hell for another 6. I could read text, but most of the time it made no sense to me. I couldn't understand movie plots or follow simple instructions. I would get confused and forget what month it was. Whateverthefuckitwas left me with permanently damaged muscles and nerves in my right shoulder and neck. I've been to about 30 doctors at last count, and tried every kind of treatment, but there are some things doctors can't fix. I usually tell people I have arthritis because it's just easier.

Over the years I've learned tricks to avoid triggering a cycle. Most of these involve avoidance. Riding or driving a car is the biggest trigger. I try to limit car time, and never go on long trips if I can avoid it. (I got brave and went to Milwaukee a few years ago and it took about 3 months to finally have a pain-free day.) Another trigger is typing. I got a laptop which really helped. Add to that a mouse i trained myself to use left-handed. I thought about voice-activated software, but I don't think I could write like that. I learned if I could reduce my movements, even small ones, it helped. That's why I don't capitalize. I'm typing this in Word, so it capitalizes most things for me. Blogger doesn't. When I started blogging I realize the only way I could do it was to not use caps. I can say I've been much better over the past two years. I also think moving to a warm place will help, because I always get better in the summer - sometimes to the point of forgetting I even have a problem.

Anyway that's way too much information and the story behind the no caps.

sharpen your brains

a new short fiction contest at Clarity of Night!

from Jason:

"Whether you're an old friend, or new to The Clarity of Night, welcome!

Now that the curtains of winter are settling on the world (at least where I am), perhaps you need a creative spark to keep the fires warm. You've come to the right place!

Using the photograph above for inspiration, compose a short fiction piece of no more than 250 words in any genre or style. Send your entry to me by email at jevanswriter at yahoo dot com before 11:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 10th (Eastern Time, United States). I'd prefer attachments formatted in Microsoft Word or Word Perfect, but if you have something more exotic, you can paste the text into the body of an email. Each entry will be posted and indexed."

read more about it:

Silent Grey

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

view a clip of evil dead: the musical

"Deadites" Join Musical Fans In Audience For Broadways' "Evil Dead"
from NY1 News
December 27, 2006

The Canadian import "Evil Dead: The Musical" based on the 1980's horror cult classic is demonizing a whole new fan base off-Broadway. Our Clover Lalehzar has the story.

Twenty-five years later, Sam Raimi's horror film "Evil Dead" remains a cult classic. The scenario is rather familiar, involving five college students who venture into the woods to spend a weekend in an isolated cabin. Instead, they unwittingly set off a horrifying chain of events that starts with uncovering a Book of the Dead. The original film and its sequels have a devoted fan base called "Deadites."
evil dead

Monday, January 01, 2007

one book

after reading several lists of favorite books, i couldn't help but think about my own list even though i tried to stop my thoughts from going that direction. i finally settled on picking ONE BOOK that really stuck with me. that book is Adrian McKinty's HIDDEN RIVER. what i find odd is that i haven't seen his name on anybody's list, and i've never seen mention of him or his books. maybe i'm looking in the wrong places. i googled him and couldn't even find a decent book image to swipe.

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Irish author McKinty follows up 2003's acclaimed Dead I May Well Be with an outstanding and complex crime novel that should appeal to fans of hard-boiled Celtic scribes such as Ken Bruen and Ian Rankin. Alexander Lawson, a down-and-out ex-cop with a heroin habit, had been a rising homicide detective in Belfast's Royal Ulster Constabulary when he was abruptly transferred to the drug squad. He soon gets caught stealing heroin from an evidence locker and resigns in disgrace. A Scotland Yard cop named Douglas, convinced that the story doesn't fit, vows to discover the truth. Then, in Denver, an old girlfriend of Lawson's, Victoria Patawasti, winds up dead. After the slain girl's father receives an anonymous tip that the police have arrested the wrong man, he persuades Lawson to investigate. In the States, Lawson's first stop is the nonprofit environmental agency where Victoria worked. He finds that she discovered major discrepancies in the agency's banking accounts, and suspects that got her killed. Lawson goes undercover, taking a fund-raising job at CAW (Campaign for the American Wilderness), where he gets an inside look at slick owner Charles Mulholland and an even closer look at his wife, Amber, a beautiful young seductress. As the action intensifies, Lawson comes up against a deeper, hidden case. This is not only an expertly crafted suspense novel but also a revealing study of addiction.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.