Friday, February 29, 2008

Viva la Escher!

(With thanks to the Lovely Cats for the title of this post!)

Today seemed like a good day to fill y'all in on what's been going on in my life this last month. It has become very (Very) surreal.

See, I got feedback from my editor about the novel. She loved it. She loved it so much, she doesn't even want revisions. She just wants to get it published. In January, which was the absolute first available slot.

And I ended up with a professional agent, at the recommendation of the FAE (who, I suppose, is now to be known as the FE ~ which is appropriate because she is indeed Friend Extraordinaire, even if she is no longer my agent or my editor.) Said new agent is helping me with the proposal for the next book. And is also representing me for my nonfiction as well.

Because I have yet another nonfiction that I have contracted for. That is due August 1st. And will also be coming out early next year.

I have also gotten a gig writing two reviews a month for a local e-zine. And they are paying me. To review boutiques and salons and shops and cafes. Yep. To shop. And drink coffee. And get my nails done.

Then there is the fact that I will, for some reason that is still boggling to me, need not one, not two but three different web sites (not even including Pobble Thoughts.) And actually have professionals working on two of them!

So, I have the sweetest writing gig EVER, two publishing houses, two editors, a webmistress, a webmaster and an agent. With two books on the shelves, two more due in less than a year, and another in the works. Most days, it's life as usual. Then there are days like today when all this really hits and my world goes a little cockeyed because it is very, very surreal. I have people, for God's sake!

How the hell did I get here?

All I can say is Thank You! and hope She hears me. Viva la Escher.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Right to Offend, Part 3

Here, in my postings and on my blog, I am very open about my faith, my religion. Hopefully, I come across as being devout and yet accepting of other people's faith and religion ~ or lack thereof. When questioned about how I can be both so completely, the answer is easy for me:

We. Don't. Know.

That, my friends, is why it's called faith.

This is a very, very difficult thing for me to admit. Because I know I will see my father and grandfather again. I know there is a higher power. I know there is more than just this life.

And I don't know. None of us do. No matter how strong our faith, no matter how deep our convictions, no matter how much we know ~ we don't. We trust. We believe. We have faith. We don't know.

We don't need faith that the earth is round. There's a reason you never hear about someone having a crisis of gravity. Faith isn't necessary for me to believe my broken nail will grow out again. These are things we know. However, until we die, none of us know what happens next.

There are reports of people who have had near death experiences ~ or even death experiences ~ who speak of an afterlife. There are also reports of people with very similar experiences who speak of nothingness. I have friends whom I love and, more importantly to this conversation, respect, who believe Very Differently than I do. Some believe that I am going to hell for my beliefs, for the way my faith manifests. Some believe that I will go to heaven but am in for an incredible shock when I get there. Some believe that once we die, we die and there is nothing left to us but a corpse. And who am I to tell them they are wrong ~ or they to tell me I am?

Because We. Don't. Know.

And that's a scary thing ~ without faith. With faith, it's not so scary at all because even if I'm wrong (although I obviously don't believe I am), I have faith that there's something and it's good. So, I'll admit, albeit with a deep swallow and a deeper breath, that we. don't. know. One day, we'll all find out. Until then, I'll have faith in what I... know and allow you to have faith in what you... know.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Poll Question

Generally speaking, my life has been a series of more or less random events that have led me to where I am. There have, however, been one or two moments that have been truly pivotal. The ones that interest me the most are the ones that could have been so innocuous, such a non-event at the time they happened. We're not talking about my hospitalization at seventeen, my father's death, my divorce or even moving to go to a private school at fifteen. Those were BIG. Those were supposed to be pivotal. The interesting ones are the little ones. The ones that could have just slipped by...but didn't for some reason.

Question ~ What little moment ended up changing the course of your life?

Pobble Answer ~ I was flipping through a catalogue one day because I was bored. It was for one of those shops that sells upscale yet kitschy stuff. There was a silver, rectangular paperweight etched with "What would you do if you knew you would not fail?" For the most part, I am not a fan of motivational sayings or affirmations. In my experience, they are used mostly for manipulation and to set unrealistic goals. This time, though, I remember thinking "Hm, that's kinda cool" before turning the page. Only it stayed with me. And stayed with me. What would I do if I knew I wouldn't fail? Well...I'd finish the book. I'd submit it. I'd take steps to becoming a real author, not just someone who wrote for herself and her friends. Finally, I realized, yeah. That's what I would do. It took a couple months to get everything in order yet eventually, I finished the book, I submitted the book, I took the steps to become a real author. Since then, the only paperweight I've found reads "What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?" This doesn't have the same weight for me. We don't attempt when we have the knowledge we won't fail. We do. And I know, had this been the phrase on the first one I saw all those years ago, it wouldn't have changed my life. It would have just been another little thing in a catalogue. But it didn't. It read the way it read. And here we are. All because of some pretty kitschy paperweight.

Your answer...

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Daily Male Beauty

Michael-in-Norfolk has a lovely routine of posting beautiful men every day on his site. He names them "Monday Male Beauty" "Tuesday Male Beauty" etc. You get the idea. (Needless to say, I am a regular visitor to Michael's site!) For as beautiful as most of his men are (with the caveat that some just don't follow my taste in men), none of them are as beautiful as the male beauty I get to share my life with.

Daily Male Beauty

(Gotta love the "Pobble, are you really taking this picture?" grin. Yes, Lithus, yes I am. AND I'm posting it!)

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Dribs and Drabs

* White Chocolate Covered Popcorn. Oh. My. God.

* I am almost always about three steps away from agoraphobia. Sometimes they are big steps; sometimes they are little. It's rarely more than about three steps. I have gotten a gig that requires me to leave the house, introduce myself to strangers and shmooze. I'm loving it at the same time I'm hating it. Go figure.

* It's never a good thing to underestimate Rex's daughter. Never.

* I dislike the word "never." Unless it's the only word applicable. As in when one underestimates Rex's daughter.

* BioSis and I have designed a greeting card. On the outside it reads "Your own petard." On the inside, it reads "Thanks."

* Jon Stewart is fucking hysterical. The Web Pundit will make you think. Really hard.

* After watching the Web Pundit, it is best to have tea and cookies. Or white chocolate covered popcorn. O.M.G.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Poll Question

So, I'm rushed for time today but I don't want to miss a Sunday Poll Question when it's only the second one back. Thus, I'm kinda stealing something from GNightGirl (thanks, Lori!) because I don't have a lot of time to be creative. Last week, she asked her readers to write their own obituaries if they dared. I won't go quite this far and ask you to write a full obit (I'm rushed for time, too, afterall) but I will ask you...

Question - What would you like your epitath to read? If you could choose what gets written on your tombstone, what would it say? (And feel free to add as much to this as you'd like; you want to write the full obit, go right ahead. If not, just the epitath is fine.)

Pobble Answer - I have known for a long time that I wanted to die at 86 years old because I was shot by a jealous wife. And please note, I say nothing about the age of the wife. ;) I have also known I wanted to have an obit that was either a mile long or left out HUGE amounts of information because it was too long to write. And my epitath? I'd like that to read "It Was All True." Let it mean whatever you'd like.

Your answer...

Those are Pobble Thoughts (with some help from GNightGirl.) That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

No, No...Read *MY* Mind

I've been tagged by an avid, if unlinked, reader. He's unlinked for reasons he understands. ;)

But here's the tag: Give three reasons why you blog. Tag three other people.

Cool. I can do this.

Reason the First: I'm a writer. I love it. I need it. My blog gives me a place to write beyond what publishers and editors want. This is where I can be creative, boring, interesting, mundane, introspective or outrageous.

Reason the Second: It works as a journal. This is where I vent, process, be excited, be totally honest and unfiltered.

Reason the Third: The social aspect of it is great. It's like getting to sit around at the coffee shop and talk all night. I have been challenged, made to think, supported, contradicted, disagreed and agreed with. And how does that suck? The question seems more to be Why don't people blog? ;)

To the tag...

1. Krystal
2. Speaker for the Bread
3. D-Man

If y'all have the time and/or inclination.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday Poll Question

Remember these? For those of you who don't or who weren't around when they were a regular fixture, welcome to the return of the Sunday Poll Question! Every Sunday (or most of them anyway) I will ask a question. It may be funny, thought-provoking, inane or deep. There is no right answer; only your answer. And mine, of course, because it's not fair for me to ask a question and not give you my answer, too. Knowing me, I do expect them to have a political bent over the next several months. You've been warned. As always, respectful debate and disagreement is encouraged and welcome. It starts getting snarky or disrespectful and I will delete your comments. (Although for the record, this has never happened with my regular readers. Still, I feel it's only fair to spell out the rules ahead of time, 'cause that's how I roll.)

And away we go...

Generally speaking, I am pretty liberal. I'm not the most liberal person I know ~ and generally, I'm more liberal than not. However, every now and then, I surprise people.

Question: What is the topic where you tend to surprise people because you feel, think or believe a way that tends to deviate from your "normal" patterns, political or otherwise?

Pobble Answer: Immigration laws. See, I happen to believe the only place any of us has a right to live is the country of our birth. No other country is obligated to take us in. Every country has the right to secure its borders however it sees fit; keep out whomever it chooses to keep out; and deport anyone who hasn't or doesn't respect the laws of their new, chosen country. I may disagree with a country's immigration laws. I may think it is unconscionable for a nation to keep out left-handed red heads. I do, however, believe that a country has the right to keep them out. And yes, this also means I believe that a country has the right to deport anyone who is unwilling ~ or even unable ~ to conform to the laws, expectations and mores of the country. Again, I may disagree with the laws, expectation or mores ~ however, I support a country's right to impose them on immigrants. If a person does not want to conform to their new society, perhaps that new society isn't where that person truly wants or needs to be in the first place.

Your answer...

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A Peek Inside

Last night, when we got home, I noticed someone had put a couch out in front of the dumpster. This morning, someone had moved the couch about three feet over. Later this afternoon, the couch was yet another three or four feet further away. Lithus mentioned that, at this rate, it would get moved to the landfill. To which I replied "No, it's on its way to LA to break into the business before making a run for the border and sipping margaritas on a Mexican beach." Then I proceeded to riff for a good two or three minutes on the dreams and goals of this couch.

If this is the weirdness in my head that I'm willing to share, can you imagine what's in there that I keep to myself?

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Writing About Writing

Wolfgrrrl tagged me. It's been a great way to spend the morning. Unlike most tags (which I dearly love anyway) it made me think, it made me go slowly; it made me write, not just answer.

A note to $$, Rose, CrackerLilo and the Lovely Cats ~ if you've got the time, I would be fascinated to read your answers as well. I guess that means I'm tagging you...but not really. Just curious.

And now, without further ado...

What is the last thing you wrote?
Fiction ~ the first paragraph of the new novel; Nonfiction ~ a proposal for a new book

Was it any good? Fiction ~ I think so. I was a little surprised to be writing this one now so I was worried about it. But the scene came to me in the tub and it's a good hook. Nonfiction ~ we'll know after pub board!

What’s the first thing you ever wrote that you still have? Unfortunately, I lost most of my earliest writings in the divorce so probably the initial scenes for the novel I just finished. Interestingly enough, I do still have some of the Lovely Cats' writings from high school. And no, I can't be bribed.

Write poetry? Gack, no.

Angsty poetry? Not since high school (ttg) and even then, not often. I have always been more of an essayist. Although, again, I'm sure the Lovely Cats can vouch for a couple bad poems from my past.

Favorite genre of writing? Fiction ~ I am most comfortable with romance. Nonfiction ~ I love writing essays.

Most fun character you ever created? A wonderful woman named Elaine. She's an agent and delightfully over the top. Gets to say things such as (after grabbing a random server and ordering an espresso and being reminded he wasn't their waiter): He's a waiter. I don't care who he belongs to so long as he brings me my coffee.

Most annoying character you ever created? Lizza. Sadly enough, she is the heroine in the book that includes Elaine. I'm probably going to have to find another place for Elaine to live because Lizza just annoys me with her whining and bitterness.

Best plot you ever created? For a short story ~ the main female character is going insane and never knows if she's going to wake up in a New York City apartment with her actor-lover or her house on the Cape with her banker-husband.

Coolest plot twist you ever created? I can't tell. Buy the book. ;)

How often do you get writers block? Temporarily, as in "Gack, I don't know what comes next; think I'll go take a nap instead" probably once a week. That soul-sucking, can't remember how I ever wrote anything before, have no clue why I claim to be a writer, the others must have been a fluke BLOCK block, has only happened a handful of times. It's a horrible feeling, though.

Write fan fiction? No. Generally speaking, I enjoy giving my own characters life. Even when there are characters I wish I written or think I could add to their lives, they are already there and have their own lives. Who am I to force them into something?

Do you type or write by hand? I write long-hand most often (am actually transcribing this!) but will occasionally find myself typing madly. Generally, though, I write it all out and then use the transcription process as a chance to do some editing. At first, I used my fountain pens but the cartridges get expensive when you're writing hundreds of pages at a time. Flowing ink is a necessity, though, so now I'm fond of the Pilot G-2.

Do you save everything you write? I save the finished product of everything I write. I may delete a scene or a paragraph but the finished (or unfinished) product gets tucked away somewhere.

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you have abandoned it? I don't really ever consider a project abandoned. Even if haven't come back to it recently, I might one day.

What’s your favorite thing that you’ve written? A short story entitled Revenge of the Brunette. I wrote it for my friend, Coffee Girl, while she was going through a rough patch. It took about an hour and a half but there's something about it that I really love.

What’s everyone else’s favorite story that you’ve written? The novel I just finished.

Do you ever show people your work? Professionally, sure. I have to. Personally, there are only a handful of people who get to see/read what I write before it's ready to go to the professional folks. And then there's the blog. :)

Did you ever write a novel? Why yes. Yes, I have.

Ever written romance or teen angsty drama? Romance is my genre. I've been told it's closer to chick-lit but I'd rather think of it as trashy romance.

What’s your favorite setting for your characters? My characters come to me already living somewhere. I just roll with that.

How many writing projects are you working on right now? Five. Two fiction; one nonfiction; an article for a local paper in which I have a monthly column; and a script for a friend who wants to do a children's play with some local kids.

Do you want to write for a living? And give thanks every day that I do.

Have you ever won an award for your writing? In terms of what this question is really asking, no. However, I have books on the shelves of stores, novels in copy edits and a monthly column in a fun, funky newspaper. That's award enough for me, thankyouverymuch.

Ever written something in script or play format? My Dear One asked for a couple of scripts for horror movies he wanted. I guess they turned out okay. I learned I don't write B-horror movies well, though, because in romance, there's a lot of talking. Not so much in B-horror. The script I'm working on now is an adaptation of The Emperor's New Clothes so it's not really mine.

What are your five favorite words? I don't have them when it comes to my writing ~ although I am fond of Wolfgrrrl's" Here. Is. Your. Pay. Check." (spelling changed for nationality difference.) ;)

Do you ever write based on yourself? Not specifically but I think all of my characters have parts of me in them.

What character have you created that most resembles yourself? Probably David, from my first full novel. He's a hopeless romantic at heart but has a difficult time showing it. I'm better at showing my romantic side ~ but that's because I'm more willing to work on it than he is.

Where do you get your ideas for your other characters? Everywhere. Some are amalgamations of people I know; some are based on people I know (I know great people for loosely fictionalizing!); some say things that I overheard walking through a grocery store. Nemeria and Teach gave me a sweatshirt that reads "Be Careful or You'll End Up in My Novel." That pretty much sums it up.

Do you ever write based on your dreams? My dreams are too bizarre to be anything but my dreams.

Do you favor happy endings, sad endings, or cliff hangers? I like happies. Even the stuff I write that has a cliffhanger or vague ending points to happy in the long run.

Have you ever written based on an artwork you’ve seen? Every Edward Gorey makes me want to write about it ~ but I never have.

Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write? I am. I admit it.

Ever write something entirely in chatspeak? I don't even chat in chatspeak.

Entirely in L337? Hm...considering I'm not even sure what this means, I'll go with no.

Does music help you write? When I'm writing fiction, no. I ignore it, at best, or find it distracting, at worst. With my nonfiction, it is very helpful.

Quote something you’ve written Ugh... Tough but here we go. An excerpt from "Revenge of the Brunette":

I’m from
Philadelphia originally. Okay. That’s a lie. I’m not. I’m from Allentown. But who the hell wants to be from Allentown? Remember the Billy Joel song? The really depressing one? He gave the place more credit than it deserves. Now, I know everybody thinks their hometown is too small, too conservative, too stifling, too whatever. But mine really is. So I tell people I’m from Philly. What difference does it make out here in L.A. anyway. I haven’t been back in years.

My earliest memories of my sister are her looking at me and asking “Why are you the way you are?” I must have been six or seven. I couldn’t have been eight because we still lived in the apartment on Vine Street. I would laugh and twirl and run off from her like it didn’t matter.

My earliest memories of my mother are her stroking my hair as I tried to hide the tears on my pillow. Only once my sister couldn’t see, though. Her hearing wasn’t a problem. Even then I could cry silently. Mom would stroke my hair, brush it away from my face and pretend not to notice the wet on my cheeks. “You go right on being just who and how you are, Little One.” Her voice was strength tinged with sad. She was a brunette, too. She died six years ago. I was living in New York and went back for the funeral. By that time I had learned not to cry at all, silently or otherwise. My sister looked at my dry eyes and asked “Why are you the way you are?” The next day, I twirled away, all the way out here to the West Coast, like it didn’t matter. My sister lives in Allentown. She’s not from Philadelphia.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.

Friday, February 01, 2008


I hate when I let a friend down. Even when it's not my fault, my doing, or under my control in anyway. It sits in my gut like oozy lead. By the 18th, the situation will be past and I will feel okay again. Until then...

I hate when I let a friend down.

Those are Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.