Monday, January 30, 2012

Too Cute for My Imagination?

My 14 YO daughter and I have been arguing over who gets to have Channing Tatum for her imaginary boyfriend.  My husband says that's kind of hillbilly of us, but whatever. 

I am thinking that I may have to let her have this one.  He's just too damned pretty for me. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

She Cried, He Roared.

I picked up an old (10+ years) Sillhouette Something-or-Other to read last night.  It's pretty good, and I'm definitely going to finish it.  The problem is that the author used "she cried" and "he roared" about sixteen times each during one argument between the hero and heroine.  Okay, maybe not sixteen, but a lot.  Like more than twice. 

Once was enough.

I got that they were yelling at each other right away, and unless one of them calmed down, I don't think I needed to be reminded about the volume of the speaker.  I don't know if "he said, she said" would be better, or even if the dialogue needed identification...there were only two people in that scene, it was pretty clear which side of the argument each character was on. 

Anyway--just wanted to share that, I thought it was a good reminder about taking it easy on those dialogue thingys. 

Happy Monday! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jealousy, Lies and Underhanded Dealings

I mentioned a few posts ago that The Big Guy has been watching Spartacus on NetFlix.  I tried really hard to ignore what he was watching, because, really...more Swords and Sandals?  No thank you. 

Except there are all these gladiators, and if they aren't completely naked, they are running around in something that I can only describe as a cross between a Speedo and a diaper.

Spartacus is not only smoking hot in his little outift, he's the ultimate tortured hero.  I mean, seriously.  Old Job would have a hard time being any more miserable than my sweet Sparty.  He keeps getting betrayed, losing his wife, having to kill his best friend, wear a diaper in public...

Spartacus (hence the clever title), got himself stuck being a gladiator for this guy and his Skanky Ho wife: 

Dominus (the gladiator master guy) has big aspirations, wants to be important, so he's always plotting to get ahead, and his Skanky Ho wife, Domina is always trying to help him and working her own little Skanky Ho plots, too. 

Then there is this Evil Blonde Beyotch, who is the wife of the guy who double-crossed Spartacus early in the series. She has it in for him, and spends a lot of time trying to have him killed, even though in one episode they dressed up in dorky masks and got nekkid together, and appeared to be having a good time until they realized who they were nekkid with. 

Then there is Poor Crixus, who is in love with a nice little Slave Girl, but keeps having to perform for the Skanky Ho Domina.  He used to be the main champion guy before Spartacus usurped him:  

This series is not for the faint of heart.  There is a lot of nekkid stuff, and bloody gory stuff (and occassionally, the nekkid stuff and bloody gory stuff get mixed together, like the episode where a new guy got his winky cut off). 

I would never have started watching this if The Big Guy hadn't dragged me kicking and screaming into it, but now I think it's totally worth the NetFlix subscription price.  What the heck did we do before NetFlix and On Demand and Hulu, anyway?  Oh, yeah, there were those DVD things. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Getting Lukcy

I totally got Lucky this past weekend, and I just have to tell you all about it. 

Is that not the worst cover ever?  The guy on the cover is supposed to be a SEAL.  You know, like this:

U.S.Navy Seals wallpaper 1024x768

Okay, maybe it's not the worst cover EVER, but's pretty damned bad.  I've read all the Tall Dark and Dangerous books, most of them twice.  I have them on my Kindle, a few paperbacks in re-released versions, but I always check the  "B" section of the Book Rack, just because I want an original copy of Get Lucky

When I heard Suzanne Brockmann speak a couple of years ago, she mentioned this cover, and described how mortified she was when this book was released.  The hero, Luke (aka Lucky) is supposed to be the best looking guy on his team of SEALs. And the guy on that cover? Euuww. 

It's so bad that for a while, she sent out "repair kits" with smiley face stickers to people.  There is a collectors version of this book on Amazon for $38. 

And this past weekend, I found it at my used book store for $1.25.  How awesome is that?  I'm NOT selling him on Amazon or Ebay, though.  You'll have to get your own copy. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Whaaa? Where Did THAT Come From?

I may have a slight book-acquisition addiction, and always have WAY more on my TBR list that I will ever read (unless something wonderful happens and I am snowed in my house for, say, three years with plenty of food and water), but I usually recognize the books I own.

After finishing Crash Into You,

( by my very first follower, Roni Loren, Hi, Roni!) last night, I went to pick something from by book case, and front and center was this book:
Nightkeepers (Final Prophecy, Book 1)

Honest to God, I have no idea where this book came from! 
The blurb on the front is by JR Ward, which tells me that I totally would pick this book up and probably buy it if I ran across it in the used book store, or check it out from the library, or whatever...but I have no recollection of doing so. 

It doesn't have the little stamp that says I bought it at the Book Rack, and it's not a library book. 
I do buy new books, but usually new books by authors I haven't read go onto the Kindle. 

So, anyway, I'm reading it.  The first few pages have been a bit cumbersome, there is a lot of background world-building stuff going on--although, in all fairness to Ms. Anderson, I was trying to read while The Big Guy was watching Spartacus.  Which has a lot of blood and guts and very nekkid hot guys in it.

Hot guys like that, and usually even more naked.  And getting busy. 

ANYWAY; in spite of the distractions, I have gotten to the meat of the story, and I think I'm going to like this series. 
And if you are an author, and ever wondered if endorsements by other authors matter?  Yeah.  If JR Ward's blurb wasn't on the cover, I probably wouldn't have bought it, and probably would have given up before gettting through the explanations of the Mayan calendar. 

But  the arrival of this book is a great mystery: maybe a demon from the end of 2012 brought it to me, and I am supposed to read it and figure out a way to help the studly Night Keeper guys prevent the end of the world in a few months.  It's possible. 

Verrrry, verrry interesting!  (and if you don't get that cultural reference, go watch some old episodes of Laugh-In.  It was kind of the pre-Saturday Night Live).

Monday, January 9, 2012

Got a Week to Spare for Reading Blogs?

I have a son who had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) when he was 11. My fear, once we knew he would make it, was that he could lose some cognitive function. He had been accepted to an accelerated school that would allow him to skip two grades and put him in the company of other gifted kids. Well, he is fine. He's a sixteen year-old college freshman now, and hopes to go to med school when he finishes undergrad. My own little Doogie Howser.

There has been fallout from his injury. He had ADHD before the injury, and it didn't exactly go away. We were warned that he could become more impulsive...whoooeeee, was that true! He was slow to develop a social filter, and sometimes still blurts out exactly what he is thinking, without considering that talking about someone else's bodily functions at dinner with Grandma may not be appropriate. But these are small potatoes. He kept his big heart, his amazing sense of humor, and his overactive imagination. 

Anyway, it was one of those big events that changed our family:  "Before the Big Bonk" and "After the Big Bonk" is one way we mark time.

I followed  a thread through the internet the other day... a book review lead to an author I wanted to check out, which led to a blog, which lead to another blog, and I found myself here:

Being the Wife (Widow) of a Wounded Marine

And I haven't been able to escape. 

This is a blog written by a woman (Karie) whose brand-spanking new husband was injured in Iraq, and the blog is her diary, starting about two years after the injury. 

I spent a good portion of Friday evening and Saturday afternoon glued to my computer screen, reading posts (starting at the beginning), and I'm not even halfway through.  I have shed quite a few tears for Karie and Cleve, and I suspect I haven't even gotten close to the hard part (because, as the title indicates, Cleve didn't make it).  Cleve was injured by an IED and suffered an amputation, TBI and PTSD, followed by depression, addiction, sleep apnea... and the injuries were not just to Cleve.  The fallout of this shit is pretty widespread.  Karie wondered if she could also have PTSD because of what happened to Cleve.  I'm not a licensed mental health provider, but I have to say, "Uh, Yeah."

 Writers of fiction, especially romantic fiction, love to take these injuries and use them in our stories--we love a damaged hero, right? In our stories, we get to fix things. In real life, the love of a good woman isn't enough.

This girl, Karie, has more courage than I can possibly imagine--both for sticking around to deal with what happened to her husband, and for sharing her feelings so clearly with the world.  When my son was hurt, we were enrolled in a study about the effects of TBI on the family, and had to answer all these questions about how much stress we were under because of it.  I had a hard time with that--life is stressful!  I had kids aged 8, 11 and 13--there was ALWAYS stress. 

After spending time with Karie and Cleve, I can say that what we went through was NOTHIN".

What is really staggering is that what Karie and Cleve went through, and what Karie still goes through (even though I haven't read through to the current posts) is not unique.  Thousands of soldiers and their families have been destroyed by the war on terror.  That totally breaks my heart over and over.  There isn't much I can do except throw money at the problem, but thankfully, there are plenty of organizations that help families with living expenses, caregiver support, life management skill development.  It's not enough, we can't go back and undo the damage, but we can get in there and try to help. 

And pray.

And say "Thank You" Cleve, for making my world safer, and Karie, for reminding me to be grateful.