Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Birthday and Happy New Year!

No, it's not my birthday. That's October 8. I'm a Libra: diplomatic and urbane, romantic and charming, easygoing and sociable, idealistic and peaceable. Sounds just like me. (Perfect, right? Not like the Libra negatives:indecisive and changeable, gullible and easily infuenced, flirtatious and self-indulgent, which cut a little too close to the bone.)
But it's MRMR's second anniversary, which makes this blog a Capricorn:practical and prudent, ambitious and disciplined, patient and careful,humorous and reserved. (The dark side of Capricorn says pessimistic and fatalistic,miserly and grudging, but my idealistic Libra self won't pay any attention to that. My husband is a Capricorn, by the way. Pity me.)MRMR---two whole years of me nattering on and on on the Internet. Amazing. Or something.

So, it's time to celebrate the New Year and this portentious anniversarial event with the promised naked men and a contest. What's your sign, baby? How true are its attributes to you? Do you read your horoscope every day? Do you believe in the Zodiac or think it's a bunch of B.S.? I'm reading Gallileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel right now. When Gallileo discovered new heavenly bodies, it didn't only just affect the Catholic Church and its earth-centric teachings. All doctors in Gallileo's time were well-versed in astrology, as they needed to cast their patients' horoscopes and mix up their medicines 'at the right time.' With new stuff in the sky, they had to throw out their charts and start fresh. Just another reason to be grateful to live in the 21st century and get our drugs on demand in the drive-thru instead of waiting for the moon to be in Venus or wherever.
One commenter will get some things from my romance stash, and a book thong made with my very own romantic---if clumsy---hands.
Happy New Year (and happy birthday today, Terri)! Party all week long and check back on January 7 when I announce the winner and ponder the wonders of the universe without a telescope.
New Year's Day is every man's birthday. ~Charles Lamb

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tis the Season

Sitting under the mistletoe
(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),
One last candle burning low,
All the sleepy dancers gone
Just one candle burning on,
Shadows lurking everywhere:
Some one came, and kissed me there.
Tired I was; my head would go
Nodding under the mistletoe
(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe)
No footsteps came, no voice, but only,
Just as I sat there, sleepy, lonely,
Stooped in the still and shadowy air
Lips unseen - and kissed me there. ~ Walter de la Mare

Lots of Christmas kisses! Have a great holiday! I'll be taking some time off for good behavior (yours, not mine).See you next on December 31, when I celebrate the second anniversary of mis-named Maggie Robinson Means Romance. There will be a prize! Virtual champagne and cake and confetti! Naked men!

What are you asking Santa for this year? Do you have a favorite kiss you'd like to share to make us all dreamy?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wrong Number

I hate the phone. For somebody who considers herself a communicator, who talks to the public all day long, who actually worked for New York Telephone for a year, I am surprisingly shy. When I come home, I don't answer the phone. I've turned into my grandmother, who grew up without a phone, and always viewed the instrument with considerable suspicion. Convinced that someone had died or wanted to sell her something, she wouldn't answer it, and this was in the day before voice-mail. Who knows what opportunities Granny missed?

We just got new phones for the house, as the Caller I.D. conked out on the old ones, like an Etch-a-Sketch that had lost its magnetization. Numbers were unrecognizable and when I missed a call from my son in Florida, I knew it was time to head to Wal*Mart. I do talk to my kids---quite happily and frequently---but for most of the rest of the world, I'm incommunicado. Shoot me an e-mail. Send me a letter. Knock on my door if you have to. Just don't call me up and expect me to chat. I may get The Call and never know it, LOL. And don't even ask about my cell phone, which is never charged.

I'm a changed woman from my high school and college days, when I'd talk for three or four hours at a stretch. About everything. About nothing. I still love my friends, but I'm giving them a Christmas card instead of a Christmas call. My kids complain that they always have to call me, and it's true. As the perfect mom, I don't intrude on their lives. When they're bored or want something, they've got my number.*g*
I wonder if I've turned off the phone because I'm so steeped in the nineteenth century. Love letters played an important part in Mistress by Mistake. Now, a love letter---that I could live with.
Phone-phobic or chatterbox? Do you text? I don't do that either. I will be calling my oldest daughter Sarah on December 13, her birthday!
If The Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Me. ~Song title by Jimmy Buffet

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Word Up

I used the words "miasma of evil' the other day to describe the rather unsubtle aroma and ambience that was to be found in one of the rooms of my house. My husband was impressed and challenged me to use it in one of my books, where I promptly told him I already had.

I had great English teachers who made us memorize all sorts of fancy words that one rarely has a chance to use, and after all these years, they seem to be bestirring in my brain. My current heroine is a writer, and here is her situation:

She felt an enormous pit of emptiness, which she would only dig deeper when Edward came tonight. And he must come. If he didn’t---

Well, she’d simply go on. Alone, alone, alone.

My, but she was being maudlin. Positively lachrymose. Lugubrious. Sepulchral. She spent much of her time with a dictionary handy trying to broaden her vocabulary for her novels. One had a duty to educate one’s readers after all.

Most of us don't read with a dictionary handy, though. What do you do when you come across an unfamiliar (obscure, recondite) word or phrase? Do you skip it, look it up or try to figure it out on your own? What's your favorite fancy/weird word?
I like the word "indolence." It makes my laziness seem classy. ~Bern Williams

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cup of Bitch to Go

I used to wake up and bounce out of bed with a smile on my face. I still wake up, but my bouncing and smiling days are over. I am such a bitch in the morning. Don't talk to me. Don't interrupt me. Let me get my breakfast and leave me the f*** alone. Somewhere below I posted my morning routine, but I neglected to add that my sunny self does not appear until rather late---10:30 A.M. in fact, when I must (wo)man the circulation desk at the high school library. I am sweet as sugar then, because lots of kids need to be smiled at.

My poor husband has only recently discovered he married a BIM (no BO, just Bitch in Morning). Our schedules have changed lately, and he actually gets to see me before I put on my lipstick and my smile. Poor guy, he wants to talk. Fat chance. I want to drink my tea, read my blogs and write.

For the last book in my Courtesan Court Trilogy, Mistress by Marriage, I've decided to use my crankiness as a plot point. What happens when opposites DO NOT attract? Nothing good so far. My heroine Caroline has been banished by her husband to live on the most infamous street in London. How they patch up their differences is as yet unknown, as I am a Pantser-Plus. But it's going to be fun to figure it out, and maybe I'll learn how to manage my own marriage a little better. (For a sneak peek of the new WIP, you can read the first few paragraphs here.)

Yes, I finished writing Mistress by Mistake yesterday, almost 4 months from the date I started.
93,175 words. D-U-N. Yahoo!

Beauty or Bitch in the A.M.?