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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Back in the Olden Days OR How I Sound Like my Mother

 
Today I was making lunch for my daughter.  I asked if she wanted pudding in her lunch bag.  She said yes in a mumbling fashion because she was busy playing Mario Kart 8.  I said something like, "They didn't have these when I was your age."  She said, "They didn't have pudding?" because she really was listening.  I said, "No, they had pudding.  You had to make it yourself.  Then you could put it into a cup and eat it."  She said, "Oh," because she isn't really impressed with that.  I said, "They didn't have a lot of things you do when I was your age," which makes me feel like I'm 95 and about to hit someone with my walker.
(I decided my walker would have little sharp pointy things on it and maybe a sword blade I could pull out from one of the handles.  Picture an emo goth walker.  I may wear leather at that age.  When you're 95 you get to wear whatever you want.  It's the law.)
I was reminded of what my mother said when telling me to clean my plate.  "There are starving children in China," she would say, "who would love to eat that."  (Which led me to look for something on Bing and I found this website, which is funny: Starving Kids in China.  Really, it is funny.  I swear.)  I don't think I've ever said that to my daughter.  But I have said, "There are poor people with poor kids who don't even have one stuffed animal, much less bags and bags of plushes you don't even play with."  (Yesterday we were looking for Christmas lights and I found a box with bags of stuffed animals in it.  I'm not even going to look in the bags.  They're going straight to Goodwill.  In fact, I'm going to stop writing this and go put them in the Explorer.)
There.  I'm back.  It's two days later, but I'm back.  I still feel old.  I catch myself saying some of those mother phrases that I hated when I was young.

It makes me think of things Mom said:

1.  Always wear clean underwear in case you're in an accident.  (I would think that would be a moot point if I was in an accident because I'm pretty sure that the clean underwear would no longer be clean.)

2.  Did you flush?  (I have to say this at least twice a day.  That's irony.  Then I forget to flush and don't let Cressy find that out.)

3.  If it were a snake it would have bitten you.  (I wish it was a snake just for a change.)

4.  When I was your age... (I have said this five times in the last week.  After the second time I said I started keeping track.)

And finally,

5.  Bored?  I was never bored at your age.  (Because back in the old days there was only one TV channel, an old cardboard box, and sticks to play with.  I have to threaten Cressy with making her clean something or making her eat broccoli, which is going to backfire on me one day soon.)

Anyway, back in the old days...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Observations on Dieting OR OH NOES, NOT ANOTHER DIET BLOG!

So I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, which is usually rich material for blogging.  Last week I looked at the appointment on the calendar and then looked at my scale and thought, "I should go on a diet."  Then I looked at HIM, the man to whom I'm married, and said, "You should go on a diet, too."  HIM looked at me and said, "But why?  Why me?"  I said, "Because I have all the power."  HIM said, "I'm leaving you until you stop dieting."  (Most of that conversation was really in my head.)  In my head I yelled back, "AND I'M TAKING ALL THE HALLOWEEN CANDY!"  Then HIM screamed, "NOES!  Don't take all the Halloween candy!  Please!"  Then the whole imaginary conversation denigrated into what my version of Pulp Fiction should have really been about, because I went on a diet and my brain immediately broke.
Observations:

1.) Dieting sucks.  I walk by the Halloween candy every day.  My daughter, who got a ton of candy, doesn't really eat it much.  (So not my daughter.)  I'm not even talking about the yucky candy like the dum dums or the gummy bear package.  (I don't know which sick bastard gave her a package of pretzels but I hope he got TP'd.)  She's not eating the Snickers bars or the Three Muskateers bars, or, horrors of horrors, the Reeces Peanut Butter Cups.  I don't know who could not eat the Reeces Peanut Butter Cups, but they must be a zombie.  Therefore I've come to the conclusion that my daughter is a zombie because she won't eat the Reeces Peanut Butter Cups.  (Conversely I'm sort of proud of her.  When she wants something she gets it, but mostly it's good just when she feels like it.  There's no eat the candy until she pukes, unlike how I was when I was ten years old.)
2.) I'm sick of salads after seven days.  I'm not even eating them more than once a day.  This was the menu for the week.  Brekky muffin with poached egg.  Green leafy salad for lunch.  Yogurt snacky poo mid-afternoon.  Regular dinner with low carbs.  I've lost six pounds in one week but I hate it.  I want to barf if I look at a poached egg again.  I want to smother everything with cheese, lots of cheese, mounds of cheese.  Salads suck.

3.) HIM is a cheater.  Not the kind where he goes off and finds wild women, but the kind who cruises past the vending machines at his work.  (What I imagine he says to the vending machine: "Hey, baby, looking good with G4.  Give me that chocolate nougat yumminess.  I have a few extra quarters.")  I don't work there, you see, and he knows I don't work there.  Plus I can't tell the people he works with to watch him to make sure he's not diet-cheating.  (That should be shortened to di-eating.  Get it?)  But hey he eats his brekky muffin with the poached egg.  (I added spinach, mushrooms, and green onions to it, so it wasn't completely bland.)  Then he does his lunch.  By the time he gets home he's ravenous.  Then I go to bed and eats all the Cheezits in the house.  HIM sucks.
4.) The half gallon of vanilla ice cream in the freezer that's been there for about a month is calling my name like a diabolical fiend from the realm called Diets Will Fail!  "CAREN!" it calls.  "We need you to eat us!  We taste good!  We're vanilla-y good!  We will melt in your fat mouth!  Come to us!"  Leftover ice cream sucks.

5.)  Watching television is pure f**king torture because I've come to realize that those sponsors know exactly when to play the food commercials.  Arby's.  Hardee's.  Red Lobster.  All of them, criminals. This is what they say: "Look, here's our super ultra fatty food that you must eat, b*tches!  You want it!  And we have mounds of cheese, too!"  I bet they have a group of fat testers who tell them stuff.  "Put the commercial on right about 8 p.m. when all fat people are wavering dangerously.  Make sure the cheese is dripping and there's bacon on everything.  Play upbeat music.  Make eating fun, delicious, and sexy."  TV sucks as much as dieting.  (I tried sticking to the kid's channels for Cressy, but you know what, you can salivate over an Easy Bake oven commercial.)
6.) Exercise sucks.  Right now I'm doing walkies.  I walk for 30 minutes a day.  I walk my ass off.  So I get home, sit down, and then I can't get up.  What the he-ell?  And my hips hurt.  What do my hips have to do with walkies?  Is this some arcane sign of old age that no one filled me in on?  Walkies suck.  Old hipbones suck, too.
7.) I need to interject something about the cat we adopted recently.  Splotch was a free range cat, i.e., someone lost him or dumped him.  He was that way for years which is why he wants lots of love and LOTS OF FOOD.  I call him Hoover Cat.  Hoover Cat weighs 15 pounds now and the vet has told me that Hoover Cat needs to loose weight.  However Hoover Cat wants to eat...everything...now.  So I decided I have to hide the food from Hoover Cat.  One would think that Megaroy, the other moron cat, would have lost weight, but somehow Megaroy has gained a pound too.  I always think it's a big laugh when the vet tells me that my cat(s) are fat and need to loose weight.  It's not like I don't have to listen to that from my doctor because, oh, yes, I do.  Now I have to listen to it from the cats' doctor, too.  This sucks.
In conclusion, everything sucks.  I want a cheeseburger.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

On Writing OR Who Knows What Fat Woman Will Say or Not Say?

 Every once in a while I get a letter from a reader who says something like, "I liked your book...but..."  The but is usually in reference to something I did wrong.  I do make mistakes.  Of course I make mistakes.  Every writer makes mistakes.  It doesn't matter how many people go over the manuscript because the mistakes will still be there.  A recent typo from Deadsville: The man came out wearing a flowered shit.  We all know that most people don't wear flowered shits.  I hope that most people don't wear flowered shits.  I've never personally seen a flowered shit.  It's possible I will never personally see a flowered shit.  In any case, it was supposed to be flowered shirt.  I actually caught this one when I did my first run through.  I even posted it to Facebook because if I can't tease myself, who can I tease?  So I thought I fixed it.  Then I gave the manuscript to my first editor, who also caught it because it hadn't been fixed.  Somehow I neglected to fix it.  I gave it to my other editor, who missed it, because she's human, too.  Then my husband and all of my beta readers missed it.  (Or I missed that my beta readers caught it and then I didn't fix it...again.)  Then I missed it again on my final read through.  So it came out in the ebook and someone commented on Facebook how hysterical it was that I had left it in.  (I could pretend at this point in time that I did it on purpose, but I didn't.)  So it's fixed in the paperback copy but I haven't gotten to revise the electronic copy yet, so it remains there, a testament to flowered shits everywhere.
Okay then, my mistake.  My bad.  However a letter from someone said, "I liked Deadsville but it had all these misspelled words and words used incorrectly."  It was the "all these" part that got me.  I want to know where I went wrong.  Give me an example.  I can see some homonyms possibly happening.  It's possible I used a word incorrectly.  (I'm sure there's a few in there.)  But why would someone write to an author, say that, and then flounce away without giving a few examples?
I read quite a bit myself.  I do catch typos in books, but it doesn't really bother me.  Poor formatting irritates me more.  Occasionally plot details annoy me.  I remember reading about a character who had acquired a Cobra.  (A real Shelby Cobra, not a replica, or the Cobras from the 2000s.)  Then the character threw something into the backseat and I went, "Oh no they dint."  But did I rip out a nasty email to the author and chastise her authoric impropriety?  No, I did not.  It was an honest mistake and not worth emailing the author at all.  (Besides which someone probably already beat me to it.)  Every once in a while I hear someone lambasting The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (You can see why they cut the name down for Hollywood).  In the original novel Crusoe strips down (some argument about how much he stripped) swims out to the wreck of the ship he came on, and then fills his pockets with biscuits.  (Nekkid and without pockets being the problem here.)  But no one is complaining that this error on the part of the author makes Robinson Crusoe less of a classic.  (And I'm not comparing myself to Daniel Dafoe in any way.)  My point is merely that authors make mistakes.
In any case, when I do get a letter from a reader, complaining about mistakes, and they name the mistakes, I usually politely thank them, note the errors in my big list, and make sure I know to correct that in the next revision.  I may not be able to correct each one right away because it takes a little bit of time to come back to the revisions.  I'm just about wrapped up with all of my backlog.  I have three more books to do.  Dial M for Mascara, Missile Rats, and The Life and Death of Bayou Billy.  These are my worst selling books, so I've taken my time on getting back to them.  I usually offend people when they read Bubba and then they buy one of these and expect Bubba, so I warned people in the description of Bayou Billy, but for some reason, people aren't reading the whole description.
This is truly ironic because I think Bayou Billy's plot is the best one I've ever come up with.  However, in the end of the first chapter is where I usually lose most of my readers.  If you've read it, you know what I'm talking about.

I don't mind people telling me they didn't like something I wrote.  Thank God we have the right to do that, but it's the mixing up of grammar and objectivity that bothers me.  English is hard enough as it is without throwing in the susceptibility of people to believe that if they think it is so, then it must be correct, and worse, it must be the only one that is correct.  This is what is called subjectivity.  When an editor tells me, for example, that I cannot use italics for when my characters are thinking, I'm inclined to ask, "Why not?"
And now I'm denigrating into the realm of Let's-Break-Rules-Shall-We?

I recently got a letter from Mark Coker, who is the CEO of Smashwords, about an event that was ongoing, and I wrote back to thank him for his efforts on behalf of indie writers.  If it were up to mainstream publishers, none of the indies would have a voice, much less one that people want to argue with.

Okay then, I now shall dismount from my high horse and go back to writing Bubba and the Ten Little Loonies, for I have rules to break and grammar to fracture into teensy weensy wittle pieces.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

All Bevill Ebooks on Sale!

Yup.  Everything is on sale.  If it isn't free already (Bubba and the Dead Woman, Veiled Eyes, Sea of Dreams, The Moon Trilogy) then it's $.99, so grab it quick.

Of course, I will say that Bayou Moon is not published by myself, but by Macmillan, so I can't reduce the price on that one.  Sorry.

My list on Amazon here.

My list on B&N here.

My list on Smashwords here.

And don't forget to search for C.L. Bevill on iBooks or iTunes because they're all on sale there, too.

Don't forget that you can give ebooks as gifts, too!