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Is there a new trend in anti-heroes?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005
(NOTE: Spoiler about Hunter's Moon contained.)

I'm starting to get a little weirded out.

A couple of months ago I was working through a list of stories recommended (God knows where, I've long forgotten) as "Beauty and the Beast" archetypes. I picked up a 2003 SIM called Last Man Standing by Wendy Rosnau. It was an ok story, I guess. I'm not really sure, though, because I couldn't get past the hero.


Not an undercover cop, not an unwilling participant, but an honest-to-goodness (in fiction at least) made guy.

Now, the author made a half-hearted attempt to portray the mob as a family with a bad PR problem. Shhyah. I don't think so. Murder, drugs, prostitution. Hey, I watched The Godfather. At least Puzo didn't try to pretty it up. Even if some of the characters were marginally sympathetic, you never forgot who they were. You can have a heart for the gunman who says, "Leave the gun. Take the canolis." But you still understand that this man was evil in his soul.

People are going to make lots of noises about bending the rules and thinking outside the box. But you know what? I have a box. I like my box. It's not a big box, but I've cultivated it carefully. I wander around outside it frequently, but I return to my box, my comfort zone, at the end of the day.

To me, this is a line you can't cross. Yes, I've loved heroes who have killed people. I have loved heroes who used to do horrible, evil things. But at the end of the book, in order for me to invest in the HEA, he has to stop. He can't remain at the top of a mafia family that deals regularly in everyday horror.

Now, it's possible this isn't a trend. After all, the only other book I've ever read with such a hero is a recent one called Hunter's Moon by C.J. Adams and Cathy Clamp.

Here's the thing. I think it's worth reading. It's written entirely in 1st person, but from the heroes pov. That's a first for me. The first part of the book is even rather charming. The heroine isn't that bright, but then again, neither is the hero. He is, however, possessed of animal cunning. Did I mention he's a werewolf? Yeah. Did I also mention


It's good to be good at your job. It's good to enjoy your job. Unless it's murder for hire!!!! Better yet, the hero makes a point partway through the book regarding a teenaged colleague of his. It's better the kid should be murdering people for money because otherwise he'd be a serial killer.


Now that's a path of thought I'd never explored.

I understand a number of people enjoyed this book. Like I said, I found it worth reading, but I didn't actually enjoy it. First, I couldn't get past the "I'm a murderer, come live with me and be my love" thing. Second, I never got emotionally connected to the characters. The heroine really started pushing my buttons after a while. The ending didn't seem to fit well, either, but that could be because after I realized it boiled down to werewolf hitman falls for clinically depressed doormat, the whole thing just stopped working.

Anyway, I am really hoping I don't keep running across heroes who feed off other people's misery. And continue to do it after the "I love yous" have been said.

I just watched El Dorado again the other night. Yes, I'm a John Wayne junkie. His character is a gun for hire, but a righteous one. He doesn't hire out to people just looking to make a buck, he hires out for defense of the little guy. And at the end of the movie, he's getting out of the freelance business and will likely become a lawman.

Maybe I'm a sap. Maybe I just like the way he lopes across the dusty street. But dang. That's a hero for me. He grows, he learns, he makes a change for the better.
6/29/2005 10:47:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 4 Comments

Good grief

Tuesday, June 28, 2005
You lot are no help at all. *gg*

One likes the cemetery tag
One likes the grimoire tag
One likes both
And one thinks I'm just an unusually strange person. (I may be atypical, but I don't consider myself unusually strange.)

How about a famous quote? Or does that just make it look like I can't come up with my own?

If I did, I'd probably use Dorothy Parker: "Wit has truth in it. Wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words."
6/28/2005 07:51:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 1 Comments

The business card thing is back again

Sunday, June 26, 2005
Here's my latest attempt.

Sela Carsen
Writing Paranormal Romantic Comedy

A zombie, a vampire and a guidance counselor walk out of a cemetery...
A werewolf, a librarian and an ancient grimoire with attitude...

E-mail: selacarsen@hotmail.com
Blog: http://selacarsen.blogspot.com

I took out my real name and my personal address information and added brief tags of the finished story and the one I'm currently working on.

Does it make sense? Is it funny? Or am I just too close?

And yes, I'm obsessing about this. I could also obsess about my weight, the fact that NONE of the clothes in my closet fit me, the fact that I have only EVER finished one story and didn't sign up for a pitch since NO ONE is going to take me seriously as a writer anyway because I really am just a dilettante hausfrau tapping out chirpy little stories and piddling away money on this conference.

Believe me. Obsessing about business cards is much safer.
6/26/2005 10:53:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 4 Comments

Didja miss me?

Back from my travels to the wilds of Texas. Lord, I love that state. I really do. I kind of knew how much I missed it, but I thought maybe that was just me being idealistic and romantic about it. But nope. I love it there.

So, here's the travel journal. Spent the first night in Jackson, MS. Nice town. Loved driving through Birmingham and that part of Alabama. I didn't realize it was so hilly and green.

Got to Tyler the next day just after lunchtime, unpacked, and went exploring. The first thing we did was head down to Frankston, which is where I spent a couple of turbulent, youthful years. It's also the closest thing I've got to a hometown. And what do you know? It's got an ACTUAL stoplight now. When we first moved there, it had a stop sign. Then it got a blinking yellow light. Now it's got the whole deal, green, yellow and red!

It's gotten bigger, but otherwise, not much has changed. K-12 is still in the same building, but now it has a couple of mobile classrooms added for the overflow. The Baptist church I used to attend moved to a gorgeous new building up on a hill. I hope the pastor got a raise to go along with it. I doubt it's the same man. Pastor Grover Talbert was the sweetest man. He wore overalls during the week, but a two-sizes-too-small three-piece suit on Sundays. He was also about as wide as he was tall. Thank goodness he wasn't very tall.

The Ellis's hardware store hasn't changed. I went to school with the Ellis twins. Nice boys. I remember discovering during biology one day that one of them was color blind! I just thought he had bad taste.

So, once around the town square and back to Tyler. Beautiful area. Trees, lakes, hills. And completely surrounded by towns whose populations rarely exceed 600. In a perfect world where we didn't have to find real employment, it might work.

So we trekked down to Austin after a couple of days. Naturally, we had to stop in Corsicana and check out the Collin Street Bakery, which will make a believer out of the most hardened anti-fruitcake fanatic anywhere. These are the best fruitcakes in the world, and I used to hate fruitcake. Check out their website and see if that Apricot Pecan Cake doesn't make you salivate. Since we were there, we had to buy a couple of fudge pecan pies as well as some cookies. You know, support the local economy. ;-)

This little side trip still allowed time for us to visit the Bluebell Ice Cream Factory in Brenham, Texas. I have been daydreaming about Bluebell Ice Cream since the day I left Texas and realized I couldn't get it anywhere else. Since then, however, they have expanded into the Southeast and I'm able to get my Bluebell fix even clear out here in South Carolina. My all time favorite is one they only made for a summer, then stopped -- Peach Cobbler Ice Cream. It had pieces of real peach cobbler in it, crust and all. *sigh* Fond memories.

And so we continued to Austin. Oh My God. The traffic. The torn-up roads. The people who can't frickin' drive!

My personal dream after the kids are grown up and out doing their own thing is to live in one of those adorable cottages in the historic district. Doesn't have to be Austin, most any town will do. But until that day, I'm consigned to a special level of hell known as Suburbia.

Yes dear, it's a lovely neighborhood. Look at the yards, don't they look nice. Oh good, a swimming pool and sidewalks. And I understand the schools in the catchment area are very good.

Someday this will Not. Be. Me. Until then, my kids will get the nice neighborhood, the swimming pool and the good schools. Strange, I know, but this is my sacrifice, more than anything else.

Ahem. Putting on my Big Girl Panties now and moving on. We didn't get to see much of San Antonio, but it's more affordable than either Tyler or Austin, which is good.

We ate barbeque at Rudy's -- loved the smoked turkey and the baby back ribs. We ate at Taco Cabana, which we don't have out here. We ate Chinese. And we ate a LOT of fast food, although I was very good and ate mostly salads. I managed to regain the 3 pounds I had lost, but I expected that.

I read about 4 books and for some reason, the fact that a secondary character in Christine Feehan's "Oceans of Fire" is a Creative Memories consultant made me laugh until I almost cried. I don't know why. I finally got around to reading Deborah Hale's "Beauty and the Baron." What a fantastic book!! Loved it. Another one was an old-style bosom-heaver historical set in both West Texas and NYC. Man, she put those characters through the wringer! It was exhausting to read, but the author packed in every last drop of emotion. Definitely old school, but interesting to note the good use of technique. Hated the heroine. The other book was apparently "meh" because I can't remember at all what it was.

I did get a bit of writing done. I don't sleep well in hotels -- the hard beds give me backache -- so one morning I was up at 3:30, sitting on the towel-padded toilet lid, clacking away on Bertie. I do believe this story has a far sexier attitude than my previous writing. *shrug* We'll see where it goes.

Well, off to see if I can't rid myself of a few pounds again by getting on the stationary bike.
6/26/2005 07:41:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 3 Comments

Off on holiday

Saturday, June 18, 2005
Just like the sign folks used to put out before they lit a shuck for the West:

"Gone to Texas."

Daggum. And people wonder why I don't write Westerns. ;-)
6/18/2005 04:54:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 3 Comments

Need help!

Monday, June 13, 2005
Ok, I need help. I'm trying to figure out what to write on my business cards. This is what I have so far:
Real Name
Writing as
Sela Carsen

E-mail address
Pertinent contact info

So what do I put in the ???? line?
Struggling Writer
Romantic Comedy
Zombies and Werewolves and Vampires -- Oh My!
Ask me about my Pararomzomcomnov

HELP!! I'll take suggestions, comments, insults -- anything!
6/13/2005 03:31:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 11 Comments


Friday, June 03, 2005
I've never liked the word "laving." It's too...slurpy sounding, somehow. As if the licking that is implied by this word is getting awfully sloppy and wet. Ick. Particularly in romance novels wherein the hero is "laving" the heroines nipples, breasts, and/or nether regions. More ick.

Possibly, this is because the word has more to do with bathing than licking. Bathing breasts is a fairly erotic activity -- all that slick soap and hot water and big hands and...ahem. I digress -- but licking them enough so as to actually bathe them? Lots of ick.

I have a theory about this word and its prolific presence in romance novels. Whichever author first misused the word had such a large audience of other authors that they picked it up and kept right on misusing it.

Moral of this story? Do your own research! And get a dictionary. Please.
6/03/2005 12:41:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 6 Comments


Thursday, June 02, 2005
A little pathetic. I got about a half a page done before the calls of "MAMA!!!!" came rolling in. Still, it's a start. Right?
6/02/2005 11:12:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 4 Comments

First post of the day

Wednesday, June 01, 2005
This is to tell you that I WILL be writing today.


The next post will tell you whether or not I actually did.
6/01/2005 09:19:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 2 Comments


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