Monday, March 31, 2008

Kelley Eskridge: Executive. Novelist. Screenwriter.
Lesbian Go-Go Dancer.

Yes, you read that right! Skiffy writer extraordinaire Kelley Eskridge is now a bona fide go-go dancer at a lesbian nightclub in Seattle! And for a 47 year old woman, that's kinda hot!

I missed this news from my West Coast pal because she sent the email to an email address that I long ago abandoned to penis enlargement advertisements...which, in retrospect, has a certain kind of irony, considering the subject matter of this post. Upon my monthly checking of this account, I saw the email from Kelley. After falling over dead from awesome, I decided I had to pick myself up and share this, because this is about the coolest thing I've heard in weeks.

Kelley's dancing at a queer club called Neighbors on Seattle's Capitol Hilll ('natch!), at a regular dance party called Hot Flash Dances (I love this!), held on alternating Saturday nights from 5:30-9:30. Hot Flash, as the name would imply, caters to those of us who are no longer 20-something baby dykes. (Yes, in fact there are - GASP! - dykes over 40 who are still hot and looking to meet women for some fun without having to resort to Craigslist. Who'd a thunk it?)

Anyway, Kelley's dancing the first Saturday of every month, starting April 5th. If you're in Seattle and you are of the female persuasion (ladies only!), go cheer her on.

By the way, her go-go dancer name is Lucky and she does accept tips. (No, I'm not making up that part.)

Go, Kelley! Shake that thang!

* Oh, what I could have done with this as a publicist...sigh!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Congratulations to client Kelly Gay for being an RWA Golden Heart finalist in two categories!

A shout-out to my client Kelly Gay, who learned today that she was chosen as a finalist in two separate categories for RWA's annual Golden Heart Awards. The 2008 Golden Heart Award honors the best in unpublished romance manuscripts of 2007. Winners of the awards will be announced August 2nd at the RITA and Golden Heart Awards Ceremony to be held at RWA’s 28th Annual National Conference in San Francisco, California.

Kelly was nominated for two different manuscripts: in the Paranormal Romance category for her manuscript Bedknobs and Broomsticks; in the Young Adult Romance category for her manuscript Blighted.

Congratulations, Kelly!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A More Perfect Union.
Yeah. This guy? He gets it.

If you haven't had a chance to listen to this yet, do yourself a favor and take the time to listen to it now.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sir Arthur C. Clarke, may you rest in peace.

Truly heartbroken over this.

When I began working at Del Rey Books, I remember being absolutely stunned that I had now become the publicist for two of my childhood idols: Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke.

As a child, in second and third grade, I used to sneak their books home under my school uniform, stolen out of the library of St. Phillip the Apostle School. We were only allowed to read books that were deemed appropriate for our age level, but by the second grade I was reading on a high-school senior level and the paucity of books available for second graders frustrated me. Until I learned that I could climb just high enough to reach the eighth graders' books. At least, I could reach as high as the science fiction shelf. Asimov. Bradbury. Clarke. It was an interesting way to learn the alphabet. I'd tuck a few under my blouse, take them home, read them, and then return them. I don't know that any of the nuns ever caught on.

I still laugh when I remember Ellie Lang's instructions to me when I took over for her at Del Rey: "Remember, Colleen. It's always 'Sir Arthur' when you talk to him."

Although I only ever spoke with Sir Arthur once by telephone, we began a fairly frequent email correspondence, one in which he regularly regaled my publicity department with tales of the late great Pepsi, his one-eyed Chihuahua. I remember also thinking what a tough old bastard he must have been to insist on continuing to scuba-dive even after being confined to a wheelchair with post-polio syndrome.

Late on the morning of September 11, 2001 - just after the second tower had collapsed and all the phones had already stopped working - the very first communication we received at the office was an email from Sir Arthur, asking if everyone at Del Rey was okay, sending his best wishes and, in typical Sir Arthur fashion, quoting Winston Churchill's famous speech:
Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
Somewhere I think I still have the print-out of that email.

Ad astra, Sir Arthur. It was an honor working with you.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Writers on writing synopses.

Poking head out of hiatus to point you toward Joshua Palmatier's LiveJournal, where he recently completed the Plot Synopsis Project, wherein he asked about a zillion published writers to post about his or her synopsis writing techniques. Good stuff here for those of you cringing about how to go about writing your own plot synopsis.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Temporary Server Error 502, we hates you!!!

Apologies to anyone who may be trying to reach me by email today. Both of my Gmail accounts seem to be locked in a mysterious Temporary 502 Server Errors. This has been going on since early this morning. I don't know when it's going to clear up, but if you're a friend of mine or a client and you need to reach me today, your best bet is to text or phone me. Sorry!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Food Court Musical: "Can I get a napkin, pleeeeeeez?"

For fans of Buffy's Once More With Feeling ("They got the mustard ooooouuuuuuut!") and those among you who just plain love whimsy. Treat yourself; watch this all the way through. And I dare you not to smile. :-)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Where the deer and the antelope...hey, wait just a minute!

I was in the office today doing office-y things and my colleague, who shares the office space, started singing "Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play..." and I was humming along for some reason and then I sat straight up in my chair.
Me: "Hey, wait a minute!"
She: "Hmmm...what?"
Me: "They can't."
She: "They who can't what?" [clearly confused]
Me: "Deer. And antelope. Ya know, play. They can't play. At least with one another."
She: "Colleen, what the hell are you talking about?"
Me: "Antelope! There are no antelope in North America."
She: "What? Yes there are!"
Me: "No, there aren't. They're indigenous to Africa and Eurasia."
She: "Well, why would the put them in the song if they didn't roam with deer and buffalo?"
Me: "I don't know, but I know that no deer or buffalo ever played with an antelope in the United States. Unless, like, they were all in a poorly organized zoo."
She: "I'm sure there are antelope in America."
Me: "Have you ever seen one?"
She: "Yes! Near where I live!"
Me: "Dude, you live in Jersey."
She: "Oh, yeah. They were at a safari park."
Me: "Let's Google it!"

**** fifteen minutes later ****

Me: "Ah-HA! I was right! There are no antelope in America!"
Other Colleague Standing in Doorway: "What are you two going on about?"
She: "Antelope! Ya know, where the deer and the antelope play?"
Other Colleague: "Do they?"
She: "Do they what?"
Other Colleague: "Play. Do they play?"
Me: [deep sigh] "NO! There are no antelope in America!"
Other Colleague: [ blink blink ] "What about pronghorn antelope?"
Me: [ blink ]
She: [ blink ]
Me: [ Googling furiously ] "AH-HA! Pronghorn antelope are NOT REAL ANTELOPE!"
Other Colleague: "Well what the hell are they?"
Me: [ putting on nerd hat ] "They are antilocapra americana; literally: the antelope goat, unrelated to any species of true antelope."
She & Other Colleague: [peer over my shoulder]
Me: [continuing to be annoyingly nerdly]: "They are the only surviving member of the Antilocapridae family, dating back to the Pleistocene era. Also, they are the second fastest land mammal in the world."
She: [ blink ]
Other Colleague: [ blink ]
She: "Hon...you need to date more."

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Imaginary balls, or Why your own mother is more normal than you may think.

Over at Editorial Ass, Sekrit Editor Moonrat shares a touching moment with Mom. (Try not to be drinking liquids when you read this.)

The charms of Wikipedia.

Great essay by Nicholson Baker in the New York Review of Books:
The Pop-Tarts page is often aflutter. Pop-Tarts, it says as of today (February 8, 2008), were discontinued in Australia in 2005. Maybe that's true. Before that it said that Pop-Tarts were discontinued in Korea. Before that Australia. Several days ago it said: "Pop-Tarts is german for Little Iced Pastry O' Germany." Other things I learned from earlier versions: More than two trillion Pop-Tarts are sold each year. George Washington invented them. They were developed in the early 1960s in China. Popular flavors are "frosted strawberry, frosted brown sugar cinnamon, and semen." Pop-Tarts are a "flat Cookie." No: "Pop-Tarts are a flat Pastry, KEVIN MCCORMICK is a FRIGGIN LOSER notto mention a queer inch." No: "A Pop-Tart is a flat condom." Once last fall the whole page was replaced with "NIPPLES AND BROCCOLI!!!!!"

Spielberg to launch social networking site aimed at folks wanting to share paranormal experiences.

Um, doesn't he have enough hobbies?

Monday, March 3, 2008

A lame-ass excuse.

I was going to write up a link round-up but I don't feel well. In fact, I haven't felt very well all day. So, this is my official lame-ass excuse: I'm sick and going to bed early. G'nite!

A wee correction to today's PW announcement.

A friend alerted me to the fact that Publishers Weekly ran a mention about me in their People column today. Unfortunately, they got my background info wrong and I wanted to correct that. I do not have twenty years of publishing experience; I have just over ten.

I have more than twenty years total in the book industry, however, which includes my time as a bookseller and bookstore marketing & events manager. But that's not the same thing.

Just wanted to clarify.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Caught in the act.

For the ten years that Stinkyboy the Cat has lived with me, he has refused to drink water out of a bowl. Ever. For any reason. Upon pain of death. This has led to many a snicker from friends, all of whom inevitably comment upon how well-trained Stinky had me.

I tried everything. I bought one of those fancy drinking fountain thingies with the filter to keep fuzz out of the water. He stuck his paw in it, flicked it around disdainfully, glared at me and walked into the bathroom where he sat on the sink for an hour until I caved. I tried a decorative rock fountain, a suggestion from a friend whose own cat seemed to like hers. He dropped his catnip mouse in it and walked away. A vet suggested putting brightly colored stones at the bottom of the water bowl; he said that sometimes cats have difficulty with depth perception in water and cannot "see" the water in the bowl. Stinky reached in, flipped out two of the stones onto the floor and then proceeded to hockey-puck them around the hardwood floors for the next three hours.

It was hopeless. I resigned myself to 3:00 AM treks to the bathroom to give my cat a drink of water.

Now, weirdly, my friends who have done cat-sitting for me swear that they have seen Stinky drink out of a bowl. I am always astonished to hear this and somewhat skeptical. And then I get anxious. What if Stinky just didn't drink any water while I was out of town? OMG! What if he was destroying his own kidneys out of spite? And then I would leave the water running when I left town. And then my cat-sitters, of course, being sensible people, turned off the faucet and politely waited for my gypsy cab to the airport to depart before making that little swirling finger motion by their temple to indicate my sad-but-amusing breach with feline reality.

Yesterday, as I was getting coffee fixings together in the kitchen, I was vaguely aware of a cat in the room. I say vaguely aware as there was not yet any caffeine in my system and I am akin to the walking dead when I first get out of bed. As the coffee was dripping in the pot, I heard the tell-take slurp of Buddy-Cat drinking out of his big red ceramic water bowl. I turned to him to have one of those pointless one-sided conversations that only the truly insane - or unattached dykes - seem to have with their cats and was shocked to discover that it was in fact STINKYBOY at the bowl! I stood perfectly still and watched him drink water out of a bowl like any normal red-blooded American cat. This went on for a good three minutes.

And then I cleared my throat.

"Ahem." I said.

Stinky stopped drinking and stood absolutely still.

"A-HA!" I declared.

Stinky turned, looked at me, eyes as big as basketballs. I'd caught him in the act. He knew it and I knew it. The jig was up!

...until I found myself crawling out of bed this morning at 3:00 AM to give Stinkyboy a drink of running water from the bathroom faucet.

Oy.