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Very Long Meme All About Me

Sunday, October 30, 2005
Three screen names that you've had: puppymom, onedog, SusanC

Three things you like about yourself: My sense of humor, My easygoing attitude, and Did you know I can write? ;-)

Three things you don't like about yourself: My face, My squishy body, My laziness

Three parts of your heritage: Welsh, Choctaw, Mayan

Three things that scare you: Lizards, Scary movies, Nightmares about the deaths of my children

Three of your everyday essentials: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. You do not want to be my friend if I haven't eaten.

Three things you are wearing right now: Socks, Undies, Flannel lined satin jammies

Three of your favorite songs: Walkin' on the Sun (Smashmouth), Can't Help Lovin' That Man (Hammerstein and Kern), Ave Maria (Schubert)

Three things you want in a relationship: Humor, Trust, Acceptance

Two truths and a lie: I'm 32, I've watched porn, I adore my husband. (You figure out which one is the lie!)

Three things you can't live without: The love of my family, Warm socks, Chocolate once a month. I could probably live without the last one, but you really wouldn't want me to.

Three places you want to go on vacation: Rome, Paris, Venice

Three things you just can't do: Tell an actual joke, Keep my house clean for a week, Drive a stick shift

Three kids names: Kal-El, Apple, Coco. Man, those kids are gonna need therapy.

Three things you want to do before you die: Write a full-length novel, Be published, Watch my children grow and be happy.

Three celeb crushes: Clive Owen, George Clooney, Antonio Banderas. Not a blond in the bunch.

Three of your favorite musicians: Harry Connick, Jr, Carly Simon, J.S. Bach

Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeals to you: Thighs, Biceps, Chests

Three of your favorite hobbies: Reading, Watching movies, Cooking

Three things you really want to do badly right now: Eat breakfast, have a cup of coffee, brush my teeth (yech!)

Three careers you're considering/you've considered: Advertising, Interpreter, Forensics coach

Three ways that you are stereotypically a boy: I hate to shop, I love action movies, I lust after performance cars

Three ways that you are stereotypically a girl: I love wearing high heels, I like looking sexy, I love "beauty days" -- haircuts, massages, spa things.

Three people that I would like to see post this meme: Julie Cohen, Anna Lucia, Michelle Styles.
10/30/2005 07:02:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 2 Comments

I won!!

Back in September, Romance Divas held a Best Opening Hook contest. Seven of us finalled and our entries -- only the first 150 words of our stories -- were sent on to Nadia Cornier, who has just opened Firebrand Literary Agency.

I won.

I WON!!!

So, what does this mean? It means I need to send her DUDE. Or whatever it's going to be called. For the contest, I changed its title to DEFINITELY NOT QUITE DEAD, which I think is quite definitely lame. The Divas knew that DUDE was mine and I wanted it to compete as anonymously as possible.

I would have screamed when I saw that I won, but it's late and the kids are asleep. And I'm probably making no sense at all, so I'm going to put on my jammies and watch a scary movie until I fall asleep.

I WON!!!!
10/30/2005 12:55:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 12 Comments

So, Zombie Lust is out of the race

Friday, October 28, 2005
I'm having the best time with this! Y'all are doing all the work and all I have to do is choose. ;-)

Drop Dead Gorgeous is out since MJD is using it. But still in the running are:

Sex and the Single Zombie
Ghouls Gone Wild
Death Becomes Him
UnDead Again
Dead Serious (too funny, Cece)
A Corpse is a Corpse, Of Course
Abra-Cadaver (Julie is on a roll!)

Any others to consider? What were your favorites?
10/28/2005 08:34:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 11 Comments

Help Me Rename Dude!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005
I think part of the problem with DUDE that made it sound more YA in style was the title. There are other things I can do to make it feel less YA, too, but this is one of them. Unfortunately for me, it's been such a part of the story since its inception that I can't move past it. So I need some help.

Here's the blurb I wrote for my query to Kate:

Sabine Harper’s night started out badly – a dead man jumped out of his grave and she got chased by a vampire. The dead guy, Willem Breaux, turned out to be not so bad. The vampire, on the other hand, caused all kinds of trouble. Sabine needs to re-evaluate reality in a hurry. The Three Fates are real? Vampires exist? And a guy who may or may not be entirely dead is looking much, much better to her than any of the living men she’s ever dated.

Willem has only three days to avenge his murder, but now that he’s awakened more than a century into the future, he’s discovering that he needs Sabine’s help more than he could have imagined. And in the end, he’ll need her love more than anything else.

So, based on that, can anyone help me brainstorm a title?
10/26/2005 06:55:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 18 Comments

Well hell

Monday, October 24, 2005
It looks like I've joined the ranks of the officially rejected, folks. Got a letter back from Kensington today with a very polite "Thanks, but no thanks."

Strangely, I'm not devastated.

The good news is, I had a cute concept and good pacing. The bad news is that my style is "totally YA and not suitable for contemporary romance."


I did get a "keep us in mind for future submissions" which isn't a total kick in the pants, but it doesn't do much to take the edge off because, really, no is still no.

So I obviously didn't quite do the job right. I wasn't able to hold her interest long enough to get to the romance part which, believe you me, is unsuitable for the Under 18 Crowd Who Shouldn't Be Reading Books With Sex In Them Anyway.

Well hell.
10/24/2005 05:25:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 10 Comments

Caveat Lector

Sunday, October 23, 2005
It means Reader Beware. I had to look it up.

Anyway, I've got this question about language and if you're one of my rather more sensitive readers, skip this.

What word do you use in your descriptive sex scenes that falls between the harsh-sounding cunt/pussy, the clinical vagina and the flowery petals of her womanhood? I know there are a few other words out there, but unless I want my reader to either go "ewwwww" or double over in laughter, I'm kind of stuck. (To be frank, cunt still puts me at a dead stop before I can read on.) Geez. I feel like George Carlin over here.

I mean, there are a hundred different terms for penis, some funny, some vulgar, but why is female sex organ terminology so limited? Is it because it's something good girls just don't talk about? In childhood, we get taught the inaccurate pee-pee or just plain down there, as if it's something that should be hushed up. I'm guilty of it myself. I mean, kids will blurt out anything you teach them and did I really want my daughter talking loudly about how much her pussy itches in the midst of a yeast infection? I shudder to think of it.

So what's the answer? Do we need new terminology or do we need to somehow mount a de-ickifying campaign on some of the old words? Opinions, suggestions and "You just watch your mouth, young lady!" are all welcome. Well,a little less of the last one, please.
10/23/2005 07:52:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 10 Comments

Did I Miss You?

Friday, October 21, 2005
I updated my blogroll, so check it out and make sure you're on it. If I missed you, let me know!

Also, if you've come across any must read blogs, give me the link and I'll check them out.

10/21/2005 10:53:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 5 Comments

Karmic Brownie Points

Thursday, October 20, 2005
See? I'm reaping what I sowed from being polite to people who interrupt me while I'm writing.

1) Dd's report card -- 6 As, 1 B (in math -- multiplication is escaping her at the moment)
2) Unless she screws up tomorrow, we're on track for a full week of smiley faces!
3) Finally got ds to the barber for a haircut. Preschool photos tomorrow.
4) I Booed! 2 of my neighbors (kind of a cute progressive Secret Santa thing, but with a Halloween theme)
5) I wrote 5 more pages today and all of them hot, Hot, HOT! It took over 15 pages of foreplay, but they're finally, er, joined at the hip. Ahem.
10/20/2005 04:00:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 0 Comments

How Can Smart People Be So Dumb?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Isn't an ability to communicate effectively one of the primary markers for high intelligence?

I'm incensed over something petty, but dammit. I know I'm right!

I received a letter yesterday from the school district's gifted and talented program. "Your child, C-, has qualified as a state identified academically gifted student. We have just completed a review of student records and find that your child meets the state's criteria."

Now, raise your hand if, as a parent, you would want to know what records they reviewed and what the criteria are? Yeah. Me too.

So I read on.

The criteria are:
*Aptitude test scores (What test was this? When did she take it? How did she score?)
*Achievement test scores in reading comprehension and/or math concepts and problem solving. (Really? My kid? What exactly did she do well in? Also, see above questions.)
*Performance Task Testing for grades 3-6. (What tasks? How do you test them? And again, how did she score?)

"Qualified students meet the designated criteria in at least two areas." WHAT TWO AREAS? ANSWER MY QUESTIONS, DAMMIT!!!!!


Sela adjusts her trendy little glasses.

Is it not the purpose of a so-called informative letter, to inform? To provide necessary knowledge so that the reciever of the letter now has answers, rather than more questions? Am I misinformed, mistaken, just plain wrong about the purposes of communication? To inform, to entertain, to persuade -- even to provoke a reaction?

Well, dumbitch (who, according to her letterhead, has a PhD) certainly provoked a reaction, although I doubt it's the one she wanted. She's an ineffective toad. All that there book-learnin' ain't done her a bit of good if she's so blatantly incapable of telling me What I Need To Know!

I have gone under her over-inflated ego, er, I mean head and sent an e-mail to the woman at dd's school who actually teaches the g&t class. Maybe I'll get a useful response from her.

But you know what?

YAYAYAYAYAYAYYYYYYY!!!!!!! My kid made it into the smart kid class!!!!!!!!!!
10/19/2005 10:54:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 7 Comments

Cultural experiment?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005
If your blog is listed in the sidebar at Romancing the Blog, then Monica Jackson probably has it included in her latest post. Monica is a fierce advocate for erasing the racism from romance, not only in the content, but in the publishing and marketing aspects of the business.

She encouraged people to randomly pick books written from 10 of the authors listed and see if they enjoyed them -- without preconceptions. Then apply this experiment and see if you can generalize to say "I love/hate ALL the books written by people who are listed at RTB." Obviously, this is sophistry. I suppose it makes a point, of a sort, although it's a point made with a blunt-edge instrument. Generalities don't often accomplish much with people who are truly teachable. But I suppose there are enough close-minded folks still around that her lesson might be of some use. If it is, I wish her well.

In the comments, I noted that:
I’ve read romances by authors of many races and unless an author is deliberately attempting to inject an ethnic or cultural tone, I can rarely tell who’s who. It’s possible that I’m not reading very deeply (in fact, I’d say it’s likely) but I tend to take romance novels at face value, rather than reading for mind-bending philosophy or a cultural immersion experience.
10/18/2005 09:22:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 3 Comments

Big Doofus

Sunday, October 16, 2005
Cribbed from Jaye.

I am nerdier than 40% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Your Score Summary

Overall, you scored as follows:

60% scored higher (more nerdy), and
40% scored lower (less nerdy).

What does this mean? Your nerdiness is:

Somewhat nerdy. I mean face it, you are nerdier than about half the test takers.
10/16/2005 09:45:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 4 Comments

Big Box Mart

Friday, October 14, 2005
Just watched the funniest video clip from JibJab.com. It's about outsourcing employment to China and is a very UN subtle dig at WalMart and other "big box" stores that sell Chinese goods at extremely low prices.

I'm not a big WalMart fan. To be perfectly hypocritical about it, though, I do occasionally shop there for back to school and Christmas, plus another two or three times a year for misc. stuff. But every time I do it, I feel guilty. Yes, the low prices are nice, but if I shop carefully, I can often match them elsewhere.

What gets me are the "Made in China" labels on everything. I hate that. I hate the idea that every time I buy something made in China, I'm supporting slave labor, child labor and a regime that is RIFE with human rights abuses. My more liberal friends may sniff, "But the US is also rife with such abuses!" We're not perfect, I know. But I'm pretty sure that I'd rather live here than in China.

The video also makes a good point that every time American companies ship manufacturing overseas because of cheaper labor and costs, we're cutting our own throats. It's a vicious cycle. American-made goods cost more and because we're a cash conscious country, we like to pay less. But by paying less, we're contributing to the closing of factories and smaller corporations across the nation, thereby driving up unemployment so we have no choice but to buy those cheap Chinese goods.

The only thing I can think of to do is to pay attention. Check out labels for that "Made in China" tag. If it's at all possible, buy the one made in America, even if it costs a couple of dollars more. Hopefully, the quality will be better, it'll last longer, and you'll have the thanks of a grateful nation.

Buy American.

For my British friends, I think the UK has done a great job with their "Buy British" campaign. I know I tried to make a point of buying British while I was there. Keep up the good work.

And now we come to the end of this public service announcement. I promise to fuss about something amusing tomorrow.
10/14/2005 08:06:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 8 Comments

At A Loss

Thursday, October 13, 2005
For anything to blog about, so I'm going to post a recipe. Lame, I know, but the well is dry.

Sweet Potato and Squash Soup
AMA Family Health Cookbook

1 Tbs butter
1 medium-large onion, sliced
2 cups chicken broth, plus another 2 cups
1 ½ lbs peeled and cubed butternut squash from 1 small-medium sized squash
½ lb peeled and cubed sweet potato
2 lg carrots, peeled and sliced
1 ½ tsp crumbled dried sage
½ tsp ground mace (I used freshly grated nutmeg)
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp Tabasco or equivalent
Salt to taste

¼ cup sugar
1 cup fresh cranberries (see Note)
2 Tbs orange juice

Heat the butter in a large saucepan or soup pot. Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until softened and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add 2 cups of the broth and the squash, sweet potato, carrots, sage, mace/nutmeg, and ginger. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat until the vegetables are very tender, 20-25 mintues.

In a food processor or blender, puree the vegetable mixture, in batches if necessary, pulsing until smooth. This recipe can be made to this point 2 days ahead and refrigerated or frozen for 1 month.

Return the puree to the saucepan and whisk in the remaining 2 cups of broth. Simmer gently until heated through. Season with the Tabasco and salt to taste.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 1/3 cup of water. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves, and add the cranberries. Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries soften and burst, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly. In a food processor or blender, puree the cranberries with the orange juice until smooth. The cranberry puree can be made 3 days ahead and refrigerated.

Ladle the hot soup into bowls. Top with a spoonful of cranberry puree and draw the tip of a knife through the puree to create a decorative swirl, or pipe the puree through a pastry bag using a small tip.

Note: You can substitute ½ cup of canned whole-berry cranberry sauce for the cooked cranberry and sugar mixture. Puree it with the orange juice as directed in step 4.

Personal notes: I doubled this recipe and I’m glad I did. It was a huge hit, even with the kids, so we all had seconds.

The soup was a trifle thin the first night, so the puree sank to the bottom, but on the second night, the soup thickened enough that the cranberry puree worked very well. Don’t leave out the cranberry puree. It makes a fantastic tart counterpoint to the soup.

I did the canned cranberry thing because fresh cranberries weren’t available at the time.
10/13/2005 09:19:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 2 Comments

Just for fun

Monday, October 10, 2005
Something that just came to me yesterday. Possible Ellora's Cave fodder. No title yet.

The door flew off its hinges and Natalya Feodorovna, throwing off bolts of power and desire, stalked into the house. Her jeans were tight and low-cut and she knew they did great things for her rear end. As for her top, well, techincally speaking, a couple of strategically placed filmy scarves criscrossing her breasts didn’t constitute a top, but she didn’t care how she looked to anyone but him. If this was what it took to get his attention, then so be it. She’d parade down the street naked if he’d notice her.

The room was filled with immortals, male and female, mated and solitary. She didn’t see him, but it didn’t matter. She could smell him, practically taste him, even over the surge of testosterone that filled the air at her appearance. They all wanted her now, the silent, sacred virgin sacrifice. But all she wanted was him.

Natalya felt his eyes on her, but she never slowed though doubts suddenly assailed her. What if he rejected her? What if he made a fool of her? The society that now merely ignored her would plague her endlessly. She would go from ghost to outcast and it all depended on his word. She shook her head and a tendril of hair fell over her shoulder, tickling the top of a breast already so highly sensitized she nearly gasped.

He stood the moment before she stopped in front of him. Gods, he was tall. Heavily muscled. Scars covered his bare arms, testament to the warrior life he’d led as a mortal. One such mark bisected his cheek, drawing the skin around his left eye into a permanent glare. His hair was cut brutally short, as it had been when he was a soldier.

Time had bypassed this man. Centuries came and went, yet he remained the same. Since the moment she’d first seen him, she had known him for what he was. A warrior. A soldier. A killer. They both existed on the outskirts of the rococo richness of immortal life, yet on opposite ends. She had one opportunity – one moment that would never come again – to grasp him. The one she wanted most. The one furthest from her reach.

She halted in front of him, choked with the fear and desire that clogged her throat. She saw the challenge in his eyes and something else. Something that flared out his nostrils and made him stand even taller.

“It has to be you.” The words were a bare whisper, raw and low in her throat.

She leaned closer, reaching up to him, daring, finally, to touch him. Her palms on his shoulders felt as if they touched live flame as she pulled herself up his body so that he had to hold her or she’d fall. She wrapped her legs around his waist and he clamped her to him, his hands around her thighs, under her bottom, holding her close to where she needed to be.

She leaned in close to an ear that lay flat and neat against his close-cropped head. She let her lips trace over the edge of his lobe and whispered the rest of her secret.

“Varek, it’s always been you.”
10/10/2005 11:15:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 12 Comments

Sin City

Thursday, October 06, 2005

You know, there's something very appealing about a hero who just won't effin' die! Ok, ok. So a couple of them do, but it takes major, concerted effort. Bruce Willis? OMG. So he's getting up there. It doesn't matter. He's totally got that Sean Connery thing going on. Mickey Rourke (sp?) has never been a favorite of mine, but his character worked for me. Maybe it was the make-up. I could pretend it wasn't really him. And Clive Owen? Do not get me started. Complete 100% heroic anti-hero material. And romantic to boot. I wasn't sure about his girl (Rosario Dawson), but that line about her being "my warrior woman, my Valkyrie." *sigh* Slaughterhouse poetry.

Yes, there are problems with this movie -- some iffy editing (Hey, if I caught it, you know there are issues), excessive, gratuitous, graphic violence which is not mitigated at all by the fact that the film is shot about 80% in black and white. No really deep characters, but what can you expect from a comic book? Oh. Excuse me. Graphic novel. Elijah Wood creeped the bejeebers out of me without saying a single word.

Still, there was something viscerally appealing about this film. From the first moment, I was captivated, even when I had to cover my eyes. Theme? Redemption is a bitch.

I'm in a curious mini-Goth phase this week. All black yesterday, black eyeliner, red lipstick. More black today, more eyeliner, more lipstick, with the addition of the black nail polish I bought for Halloween. And I feel compelled to listen to angry music. Not usually a Marilyn Manson fan, but I'm just in the mood for it. This is what happens during TDYs. I get weird. Watching Sin City probably didn't help.

In writing news: Yesterday I mailed off a short story (1011 words) to Woman's World. Their response times vary from 3 weeks to 8 months, so I'll just put it in the back of my mind for now.

I wrote more in Big Bad Wolf. By gosh. I think I've got it. Finally. More writing today before ds goes to speech therapy. I had no idea how difficult it was to make the "sh" sound. Ds says it like "ts." But he's come a very long way since we started this 2 1/2 years ago and I'm proud of him.
10/06/2005 08:22:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 5 Comments

What the Hell Kind of Color is Light Cyan?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005
you are light cyan

Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.

Your saturation level is very low - you have better things to do than jump headfirst into every little project. You make sure your actions are going to really accomplish something before you start because you hate wasting energy making everyone else think you're working.

Your outlook on life is very bright. You are sunny and optimistic about life and others find it very encouraging, but remember to tone it down if you sense irritation.
the spacefem.com html color quiz
10/05/2005 12:56:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 0 Comments


Saturday, October 01, 2005
First off, thanks to all my darling friends who responded to my previous post. I don't know what I would have done without all of you in my life. Last year, you were pretty much all that helped me stay sane. I only hope that I am able to be as good a friend during your times of trouble.

And now, onto today's post.

I can't decide if I'm content or merely disconnected. I fell off the Fast Draft wagon this week and only got in a dozen pages or so. Not terribly impressive. I hope to get in some writing today.

Watched National Treasure for the first time last night. What a cute show! Imperfect, certainly, but it was a perfect action movie for kids. Indiana Jones is too gross, but this was just right. Dd got all het up and was totally sucked into the suspense. Ds bounced on the couch during the exciting scenes.

Let's see. What have I learned lately on the blogosphere. Anna is working on her mental health, Julie has abandoned the concept completely and is stalking Constantine from American Idol (he very sweetly commented on her blog and she is over the moon), Biddy is a radio star, Kristen is having fun with the "Next Blog" feature and Blogshare, Bernita Harris (not on my blogroll yet, but I check her blog frequently) has a similar sensibility to Riemannia. Cece and Vanessa are unsurpassed in snark. I love Vanessa's book recs -- there are some things in my TBR pile because she talked about them. PBW has been on a roll lately, too.

I haven't done much bloghopping lately, though, with the Fast Draft thing and some blogs I used to visit have gone ungraced by my presence for a while. I'll get back to them soon. I also haven't updated my blogroll because I think when I do, it'll be part of a much bigger revamp. I love this background, but my sidebar title options are limited. Still, I don't think I'm in the mood for a big change right now.
10/01/2005 09:08:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 5 Comments


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