November 29, 2007

Who's Custer?

I'm still without a computer, but I snagged my grandson's again for a little bit.
I'm being asked who Custer is in my new novel, Custer and His Naked Ladies...maybe this will help:

...The policemen were reaching for their third donut when their radio squawked and they had to go. "Don't be afraid to call us, Gracie," Marshall said as he quickly finished his coffee. "We don't like these guys anymore than you do, and I sure don't want them to get too comfortable here. They might never go home."

On his way out the door, he stopped to pet the old yellow dog that was now wearing an orange bandana.

"Mom, who does that dog belong to?" Glory asked after the two policemen left.

"Custer? He thinks he belongs to all of us. He walks us all to our cars when we leave, and patrols the apartments at night. But first, he was Nadine's. Then when she died, he moved to Rudolf's. When he died, he went to the Asian cook who lives on the corner."

"Oh, so he belongs to Junco?"

"No, she died so he moved to Mickey's. Most of the time no one moves him, he just gets up and moves himself. He seems to know when someone isn't coming back."

Glory gave the dog a leery eye. "I think that dog is bad luck; if he showed up on my porch, I'd shoot him."
Now, about those Naked Ladies...

Order your copy today from all the usual places. Distributed by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and others. $15.95, iUniverse.

November 25, 2007

Do not buy this writer technology!

My memory of ever having a computer is beginning to fade. I think I had one, but I'm not sure. Last night, around two, my phone rang. No one was there. Was it my laptop trying to contact me?

Seriously, this situation has become ridiculous. How long does it take to put in a new wireless switch? Meanwhile, I've got stacks of books that I pre-sold waiting to go out to readers and all the addresses are in my laptop...oh, wellll...

I guess I'll try to figure out some of this technology I've got around here. Some of it from three Christmases ago. I should have a tee-shirt printed that says : Do not buy this writer any more technology for Christmas! My brain can't handle anymore confusion.

Or I could do some Christmas shopping. Mostly, I buy people books. I'll even send out a few of my new novel (Custer and His Naked Ladies) to family members. Their addresses aren't in my laptop, so I can get to them. For the men, there is a lot to chose from this year. You can sure tell it's an election year!

November 24, 2007

Zenn there yet?

Since I am STILL without a computer, I plan to finish my new novel on yellow legal paper. I'll have it copied at Kinko's (about 5 copies should do it).
I'm sorry I couldn't post the green turkey dressing story. Maybe next year.

Writing tip- document everything, even if you think you'll never need it. If whatever you're writing is any good, someone will want to look at it. If whatever you're writing is bad, everyone will want to look at it.

Green writers- Do green writers drive green cars? If so, Rick Mercer (The Mercer Report) says Canada has one called Zenn (I love it already) that runs on batteries, is totally quiet, and has zero emissions. I hear it's about $12,000. At the rate our money is going, it'll probably cost us a little more. But think of it! No gas! No lines! No standing outside in the rain while we're getting robbed by a gas pump. If I were due for a new car, this one would be at the top of my list. Did I mention it was cute? I know I always say to buy American, but buying Canadian is the next best thing. Our neighbors to the North are like family anyway.

My '97 red Blazer (the small version) only has 45,000 miles on it, so I won't be trading in for a new car anytime soon. All of my friends are driving BMWs or Mercedes, so I'm beginning to look really eccentric. I don't care; especially at the first of the month. My little car has been paid for for years and I hope I never have to buy a new car because car payments have always made me cranky.

November 21, 2007

Where's John Wayne?

Thanksgiving- This is time of year I miss the girls the most. The women I wrote about in my Turtle Trilogy were based on real characters--my mother and her sisters, and their mother. The story in Free Pecan Pie and Other Chick Stories about the Thanksgiving when my Aunt Pat stirred spinach into my mom's cornbread dressing is true. If I get my laptop back, I'll post the story for you.
With Custer and His Naked Ladies, I say goodbye to the women I so admired when I was growing up. And with them, I say goodbye to writing about the other members of the family. Some of them may have been sweating my writing career. When I was a kid, I used to sit on the floor in the corner and take in all the family secrets--no one paid any attention to me--I was just a kid. Well, the kid has a very good memory; I just never had any intention of writing a tell-all. So now, I'm done. Everybody can relax, ha.
My latest novel, a romance, is set in the Northwest, and has all new characters. It's only a quarter of the way finished, so the outline is nearly as big as the book. So far, I'm calling it Ralph, but that will have to change. I don't want to open the door to a lawsuit!
My husband is cooking the turkey tomorrow, so I guess I should at least pick up the recording stuff so he can get to the table. We're alone for the first time this year as our little family is spending Turkey Day with the other side of the family, so we are cooking a teeny-tiny turkey that will cook really fast. We plan on spending the time we save playing with our grown-up toys. Dick, a hobby woodworker, is making a new cabinet for our TV, and I'm going to play with my camcorder. It's hard to find time to do the fun stuff nowadays.
I wish you all a very happy holiday. Let's all say a prayer for our troops tomorrow, dear Fellow Americans.
I know the rest of the world is disgusted with our president (and probably with us, too), but they should see the situation from our side. The pain is almost unbearable. Everyday, we get another dose of news about how corrupt our president is. There seems to be no end in sight. We may never know the details of how a man with no integrity and fried brains managed to steal the presidency TWICE, but it makes me very afraid for our future. Does gullibility necessarily have to come with goodness? I hope not, because we are a good people. I know that. At the same time, what if it happens again; how will we ever survive? Some of us don't know how we'll survive the rest of the year, much less beyond that.
Well, where's John Wayne when we really need him?

November 20, 2007

Living On a Rocky Beach, Surviving Arthritis

STILL no computer. I plan to swing by the store later today and lay a wreath on the counter where it was last seen. I'm out of mailing labels, bookmarks, business cards, etc. Yikes!

Meanwhile, I've introduced a new booklet titled Living On a Rocky Beach, Surviving Arthritis. It's available on my regular website (that www thing that I'm not supposed to mention). Ya'll don't buy one yet--I haven't got a way to produce it until I get my computer back. My putting it on my site was an act of optimism. I am so to two weeks, they said!

The writers strike is still on--and I've decided that's a good thing. So far this week, I've heard promos for three shows that sound really sleazy.

Catalog humor:
On a sweatshirt: Librarian--the thin line between you and the CIA

November 16, 2007

Audios, Amigo!

Audio- I'm still without my Warrior. How many years has it been? While I've been waiting, I've been recording some sample pages of Custer and His Naked Ladies for you to listen to. I'll post them on my regular website when I get my laptop back. I'll post them here, too, if I can figure out how!

I love doing the graphic part of marketing, but the techie stuff is difficult for me. Right now, I'm trying to edit the pages I've put onto my Boss Br-600, and I have to take each step one at a time, each time, as my brain was calibrated to write novels, and it doesn't retain anything with numbers readily. Each time , I have to get out the instruction book and start from scratch. I keep a candle on my desk to light before I attempt any Boss function. Have mercy! Later!

November 11, 2007

Smoke those salmon!

11-11-07- I've lost count of how many days it has been since I saw my computer. I suppose it's in California somewhere...that's where head offices are on the west coast. Except for Microsoft. Those guys are too geeky to know there's no sun here...something like novelists. If it weren't for this loaner, I would truly be in a straight jacket by now. I'm thankful for it, but it doesn't have the graphic programs I need to design bookmarks and other book materials.

Anyway, I hope my Warrior is getting some sun, because there sure isn't any here. I kept busy the last few days by watching the pork belly futures, but there are no stock reports on Sunday.

At least, there is no footage of OJ's trial, either. I'm so sick of that guy. There aren't enough gingersnaps in the world to make me watch CNN while he's still on.

Custer and His Naked Ladies- I'm working on the audio of the first pages of my new novel on my Boss BR-600. I'll put it on my website when I get it done...hopefully sometime before the Arctic ice cap melts. It has really been tough, especially since I've never been good at multi-tasking, and Boss has more buttons than a French officer's uniform (and, yes, I have seen a French officer, we even danced).

Writing tip- Please know your crafts if you are writing about them. Whoever told those Madison Avenue types that they were so special they didn't have to know a crochet hook from a knitting needle (in the Charmin ad) or that you should never run from a bear (in that cereal ad)?

Gotta go-Smok 'em if ya got 'em-- salmon, that is...this is the Northwest, ya know!

November 09, 2007

Pork bellies and ginger snaps

11-09-07- Dear friends,
It seems that I go through a computer everytime I write a book, and this time was no exception. This last book has thrown my computer into such spasms that it has had to be sent back to the company from which it came--I'm told it may be gone 2 weeks or more. This message is being sent courtesy of a family member who has graciously consented to loan me his laptop so that I may check my messages.

I have now been without my Warrior for 8 days. My eyes no longer focus from watching the numbers on pork bellies go around and around the bottom of my screen on the financial channels. I have no pork bellies of my own--I can barely stand pork chops on my plate. But it's either pork bellies or OJ (whoever told the networks we care about that guy?).

More than one more week to go. When I do get my laptop back, I have a lot of work ahead of me, as I did not save the latest edits on my new novel to a disk because I thought the problem was fixed. How dumb was that?

Which leads me to my writers tip for today:
There are two mantras for writers that must never be ignored:
1. Back up! Back up! Back up! and...
2. Reboot! Reboot, Reboot!

Writing green- Have you changed the bulbs in your office yet to those energy saving ones? You know, the ones that look like curly fries...I hear they save a ton of energy. We're in the midst of remodeling here, so I don't have them yet, but I will soon.

Custer and His Naked Ladies- Those of you who pre-ordered your copy will be getting them sometime next week, as my shipment is due in Monday.

November 01, 2007

Decorate those dust bunnies!

©Joyce Stevens, 2006
You saw this coming, right?

Order now!
Custer and His Naked Ladies
by Janelle Meraz Hooper

When her husband unexpectedly dumps her, Glory boards an Oklahoma-bound plane at Sea-Tac Airport. On her way to the ticket counter, she takes the framed photo of her husband out of her gym bag and dumps it--frame and all--into the nearest garbage bin. She has wasted too many years on a man who doesn't want her, and her biological clock is beginning to pound like a powwow drum. iUniverse, $15.95

Email your name and address to me and I'll send you an autographed bookmark!

11-01-07- Okay, let’s get on with it. Organize those shopping lists. Decorate those dust bunnies under the bed. Dye those roots on your hair. Christmas is coming! But we still have some time for a blogger chat...

Writing tips-
Take a break- If you’re between books, and feeling burnt out, take a break. I learned this from Elizabeth Lyon (A Writer’s Guide to Fiction). I always tended to think I was being lazy if I wasn't writing. Now, after my fourth book, I’m realizing that it is a good idea to take some time off to recharge my batteries.

Writing green- scan your research from books and put it in a folder. Then, copy it to a disk. Piles of paper printouts are wasteful and can get lost—causing us to reprint the information—that we then lose again before the writing project is finished.

Quote du jour:

“The first time I met Karen Nichols, she struck me as the kind of woman who ironed her socks.” Dennis Lehane. Prayers for Rain, courtesy of Elizabeth Lyon, author