Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Buy this book!

Desperate and young, Jillian Moore did something she knew would one day come back to bite her in the A**. She’d posed nude. For money. Years later, and on the fast track to a successful career, she’s still haunted by her mistake. She can’t help but wonder when her past will catch up with her.

Samuel Steele is not short on female attention, but the women who warm his bed pale in comparison to the fantasy he’s created of the seductive temptress in the painting hanging prominently in his bedroom. A fantasy that has ruined his once-satisfying sex life. When he discovers that her exact likeness works in his building—works for him, in fact—things get interesting. Perhaps there’s hope for his sex life after all…

Read an excerpt here.

Click here to purchase.

For more information on the author, visit her website.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Buy this book!

SALOME AT SUNRISE by releases today from Carina Press!

It’s not nice to piss off Mother Nature…

Bryton Haruk sets out on a suicide mission to stop the bloodthirsty Skullmen from terrorizing the war-weary Land of Eldwyn. Consumed by guilt over the death of his wife, Bryton seeks revenge and reunion in the afterlife with his lost love. His purpose is determined, his bravery unmatched, until the queen casts a spell to save Bryton from himself.

Salome is that spell. A bird-shifter, she can harness the earth’s breeze and take the form of a beautiful, innocent woman. Her challenge is to harness Bryton’s pain and guide him to peace. She entrances and irritates him, tempting Bryton from his mission. Even as he gives in to the passion between them, Bryton insists on mounting a solo attack on the brigands’ compound, and Salome fears her love won’t be enough to save him…
Celebrate Summer Solstice.
Salome at Sunrise from Inez Kelley and Carina Press.
Seize the day.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bugz

Dear Bratty Friends,

I'll bet you though I was gonna blog about bacon. Well, I'm not gonna completely let you down:


The one in the middle is Bacon and Cheese flavored, just so you know. Although, the one on the far left, Salt N' Vinegar does intrigue me. These are, after all, my FAVORITE chips:

So salty, so sour, so good! And after that, a good bit of chocolate and a nice Shiraz or a glass of Merlot and you've got a helluva meal!

Don't forget the crickets though!

You see, I'm doing research on my alien frog species book and what do frogs eat? Well, really, I mean, when you get down to it, what do they eat?



Holly: Well, the thing about a black hole - its main distinguishing feature - is it's black. And the thing about space, the colour of space, your basic space colour, is black. So how are you supposed to see them?
Rimmer: But five of them? . How can you manage to miss five black holes?
Holly: It's always the way, innit? You hang around for three million years in deep space and there hasn't been one, then all of a sudden five turn up at once.


Ha, sorry. Just reminded me of that Red Dwarf quote....anyway.....

So what frogs eat are bugs, people. Bugs. And on my alien world, the frogs are little bug farmers. Mmm mmm good!

And what else might they eat? Fish eggs and water fly eggs I suppose, and perhaps some algae. The Aztecs also ate water fly eggs, so that's not too gross. And fish eggs of course are a delicacy, if you've had your tastebuds ripped out with a backhoe IMO. But WTH. Frogs most likely have a different take on what tastes good. Kinda like my cat.

If you know what I mean....














Man, I am just all over the place today. But hey, it makes my brain happy!

Love,


Bratty

Friday, June 11, 2010

Recently watched

Dear Bratty Friends,

On Weds. and Thurs. evenings I watched an indie film, Man Push Cart.


It's the first film by Ramin Bahrani of Noruz Films and it tells the tale of a young Pakistani man who makes his living selling coffee and donuts on the street corner in the wee morning hours in New York City. In some ways, it is a haunting film, in others, it's damn frustrating. If it were a book, it would be shelved on the "literary" table. Literally, for it refuses to answer those most basic of questions as we are told ALL books and movies should. More importantly, the hero doesn't actually conquer his demons, and just when you think things are about to get better, they actually go from bad to worse! This is not your typical hero arc, nor your typical overcoming inner demons in order to leave a better man at the end of the movie.

That said, keep in mind overcoming inner demons is always a matter a increments - or at least it seems to be in real life - and you'll be fine. The film does deliver a small but barely palpable redemption to the viewer at the end, but don't let that put you off. Rent or buy it yourself and see how those that think outside the box deliver a movie that keeps you wondering without following the standard storytelling ABC's (or D's for that matter).

Happy viewing!

Love, Bratty



Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Books to read!

Hey all,

Just got back from an utterly fascinating East Wenatchee city council meeting, which thankfully ended just a few seconds before 8:00 p.m. Casting about for something with which to PURGE my brain, I saw this tweet on Twitter:

davidjwilliams 
two weeks after its release, THE MACHINERY OF LIGHT enters a second printing! http://bit.ly/9LZzSy

So, I thought, why not check it out?

Haven't heard of the three-book sci-fi series but it looks right up my alley. And I may have a few days worth of time on my hands near the holiday to read. So.....what do y'all think?

The Mirrored Heavens is Book #1 in the series.
The Burning Skies is Book #2.
And he's just released The Machinery of Light, Book #3.

I smell a movie deal here, and I'm not even 100 percent sure what the books are about! I'm thinking it's a robot saves the Earth story, but I could be wrong. We shall see.

Has anybody read them?

*drools*

Well, anyway, good night and good luck! And happy reading!

Bratty

Saturday, June 5, 2010

2010 Garden pics

Howdy all,

Thought I'd throw some current garden pics your way. These shots are from today, June 5, 2010.



A thick row of bushy carrot tops....



Some beet greens. They will eventually be beets....
Neat little potato rows. Man, look at all that work! Sure glad I don't do it! Those are grapes hanging over the fence. I went through the gate today on the left hand side of the photo and looked at my neighbor's motorhome. More about that later...


Sage that is flowering. Very purply!



Chinese pea pods. For some reason, this photo will not show up correctly. They really don't grow sideways. The pea patch is under Reemay row cover to discourage birds from nibbling on it.
Spinach that has gone to seed. Once it does, it gets bitter tasting and is not good to eat. One can, however, save seed from it for next year.


Incipient raspberries....we await their ripening impatiently.


Some sun flowers. Not tall enough yet to tower over us, but they will be very soon, assuming we get the heat instead of the rain - since it is June!
Leeks that we didn't eat that have gone to seed. They will form little puff balls at the top. White multi headed flowers that contain the seeds and are so pretty like little pom poms.
Here's the pea patch and my sister's leg, I do believe.

That's it for now. More progress will be made, if there is sun and lack of harsh winds and cold nights that is....

Good eatin' to ya!

Bratty


Friday, June 4, 2010

Recently watched


For some reason, I thought that watching Waterworld with Kevin Costner would help me write my froggy sci-fi novel. Well, nothing could have been further from the truth!

While it had a very mild ecological post-apocalyptic message, it wasn't as central to the plot as I'd been hoping. It mainly seemed like a vehicle for Kevin Costner to get his ass all up on the screen again.

And speaking of Kevin Costner, he came to mind as I was watching another movie a few weeks ago: Avatar. Honestly, I don't see how anyone could watch Avatar and not think of Dances With Wolves which Costner made in 1990.

But unlike Dances with Wolves, and Avatar, Waterworld did not garner big U.S. support (it did all right in Europe however). I have to say I agree with some critics who say it was largely a Road Warrior type movie with lots of water.



I personally didn't care for Avatar all that much. I'm probably the only person the planet, but for me, the second you mix flying dragons (or whatever they were) with sci-fi, it lessens the whole sci-fi aspect and hands the story over to the Fantasy realm. Now, I do read some fantasy, I'm not anti-fantasy, I just don't like my chocolate mixed with peanut butter, if you know what I mean.

Personally, the movie could have been more terrific if it had focused more on the sci-fi aspect rather then the Dances with Wolves stuff. But then, I also think the Matrix started out with a beguiling helluva premise that then deteriorated into a shoot-em-up. Oh well. Most movies do these days.


And BTW I must say I was very intrigued by the concept of "Portu-Greek" as a language in the film Waterworld. I think that's a smashing idea!

Also, the fact that the Mariner would call out and ask what language people spoke before he held discussions with them.

As the Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians song says, "Something Shakespeare never said, was 'you've got to be kidding'" and in the same vein, something they never did on Star Trek (take your pick, TOS, TNG, DS9, etc.) was just freakin' ask people what language they spoke before they interacted on them.

To me, that shows 1) their utter reliance on that universal translator device, and 2) how lazy people become when technology does the job for them.

End of soap box!

More later,

Bratty

P.S. Dennis Hopper who played Deacon had all the best lines in the movie! R.I.P. Dennis Hopper!

Well, l'll be damned. lt's the gentleman guppy.       
You know, he's like a turd that won't flush. 
Golly gee. A single tear rolls down my cheek.




Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Good rules to know ....


Saw this post on the Editing Circle blog by Jacqueline Lichtenberg who often writes at Alien Romances, another good blog to follow. In this particular post, Lichtenberg is discussing story ideas and what to do with them:

"The professional does something different from what the amateur does only in that moment after the self-indulgent personal story has burst into consciousness. The professional takes the personal story that erupts from the subconscious and traces it back to its roots in the archetype that runs that professional's own personality."

Thereby, she argues, making it into a "universal" and "salable" story rather than a "self-indulgent" story.

Now, she doesn't care if the mechanism you use to get to the archetypical root of the matter is Tarot, psychology, astrology, Joseph Campbell, whatever. All she cares about is that the story is externalized -- I think that is exactly what she is getting at here, no? - rather than an internalized narrative.

Does that work? I think so. I was always mystified by her insistence that authors "externalize" their stories - thinking WTF does that mean, I'm supposed to vomit it out? - but now I think I get it.

Make the small big. As above, so below. Microscopic becomes/shows how it relates to the macroscopic.

She goes on to say:

"If you don't like that esoteric approach, read a lot (hundreds) of biographies and autobiographies, learn sociology, psychology, anthropology, archeology, etc etc. Actually, it's a good idea to have a solid grounding in all these anyway, but Tarot and Astrology do provide shortcuts and for some people clarification. For others, they are nonsense. The point is that somewhere inside the amateur and the professional writer lies something totally personal, absolutely unique, the purest definition of Identity, which is at the same time also completely universal, utterly common, the purest definition of Society."

See what I mean?

If not, here is more:

"The Art of storytelling lies in showing (without telling) the reader/viewer how the uniqueness of a character traces back down into the subconscious, deep, deep, abstract, theoretically, ineffably, to that divine spot in Creation where we are all the same."

Love the reminder of show vs. tell Jacqueline!

And you know, the best sci-fi has always done that. Talk about how we are all the same, no matter if we are aliens or humans or beasts or experiments or genetically enhanced or technologically advanced/interfaced. Good stuff, if you can get it!

Oh hell. She kinda lost me here though:

"The juxtaposition of Celebration and Safety -- exuberance and relaxation -- the simultaneous experience of these two opposites is exactly analogous to orgasm. That's why the end of a book is called a climax."

Ooh kayyyyy! That makes perfect sense. (Not!) She and I have not been reading the same books, have we? 'Cause in the books I've read, an orgasm is quite clearly an orgasm and nobody is talking about celebration and safety!



Here's one other nugget for you to contemplate:

"Remember subconscious can not be taught, but it can be trained. It has the intelligence of a dog."

I wonder what the Buddha would make of that?



He would however, wholeheartedly agree with these statements:

"'You can not give Wisdom as a Gift.' You can't tell someone a fact and transfer your wisdom into their heads."

Like the finger pointing at the moon. The finger is not the message, nor the goal, though it is often mistaken for such. One must follow the path, not the finger.

Perhaps part of my problem is that my reality has always been a little bit different (okay, a lot different) than most everybody's around me. How can I take what I think/believe/see and make it universal? Oh, stooping to the poor readers needs? Moi?

Observe thyself, Buddha said. Lichtenberg tells you to observe others, but observing others may in fact be a waste of time according to the Buddha. (Though I have to say that a Libra/Libra combination can sure teach you a lot about yourself, and others as well. Specifically how you relate to others, what you think you want from them, and what, exactly are you willing to do with your own power to get what you want.)

Since I'm still working on that, I'll let you know later! I'm still largely a mystery to myself. (Libras are awfully lazy folk, even about their own navel gazing!)

Lichtenberg puts it this way though - how you will know when you're done gazing/observing and ready to rock 'n roll:

"You will know you have a viable commercial property when you find a self-indulgent, personally inspired IDEA connected to an Archetype which you have seen expressed in your outer-reality in several ways recently. When that happens, it means the universal consciousness is engaged in the issue and ready to listen to what you have to say on the subject. When you have a MATCH between the archetype you have discovered and the subject a lot of people are engaged in, you have a commercial property."

I used to think of that as synchronicity.

Hunh.

Well, she then goes on to say that the artist is one who has learned everything he needs to know about a subject and then forgotten it. In other words, "attained" to knowledge. My question to that would be, don't you have to go back through the process of remembering it in order to explain it to your audience then? 'Cause if you don't isn't it all in danger of becoming "self-indulgent" prose?

I wonder....

More later,

Bratty

Recent reads:

Howdy all,

I just finished this book by John Vornholt: Mind Meld



Thought it was a great read. I see he has written about 16 ST novels, most of them TOS or TNG but also I thought he'd written a DS9....will have to check into that.

Anyway, I was not familiar with his work until now. I'll have to check the stash and see what else I have. Also enjoy Uma McCormack and Kirsten Beyer, FYI.

This particular book had a lot of tension, which was good, and you spent a lot of time following the characters around, but it wasn't boring. Perhaps because the two main POV's were both Vulcan! Spock and his little niece Teska were on Rigel V when....

Well. You know. Trouble happens! For what it's worth, Kirk plays only a minor role in this novel, which is nice, and Bones gets pretty feisty (the Tribbles are his idea!).

Anyway, I recommend it if you are looking for a good weekend sci-fi read.

Now, back to my WIP. Well, one of them anyway.

More later,

Bratty



Oh, BTW, I Googled "bratty" and up came a TV Trope wiki on bratty teenage daughters. Funny how accurate those drawings can be.....