Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween is Coming! OR Let's All Get Drunk and Smoke Pumpkins or Something

Scary things happened this week:

HIM fell off the ladder.  (Why he was on the ladder was a whole different story.)  Somehow HIM ended up falling off the ladder and then landing on the ladder.  I should have stopped to take a picture but I wasn't thinking of posting it at the time.  (Later I would regret it, but you know how these things go.)  So here's a diagram for hilarity's sake.
All righty then.  Let's get to the dissection of the funniness and traditional teasing of the HIM, the man to whom I've been married for 29 years.  As you can see he's on the ladder in the correct way and one hand was holding on.  Now I did not personally witness the event.  I was on my computer and I heard a boom, crash, and a girly scream.  (It might have been curse words.  HIM doesn't remember cursing.  It sounded like cursing to me, but I was somewhat too alarmed to take notes.)  When I rushed out to see what had happened, he was lying on his back on top of the ladder.  On top.

And thus we have a mystery.
So after ascertaining that HIM was all right (Which I did.  I already said I didn't stop to take a picture.) I was like, "WTF?  How you could possibly land ON TOP of the ladder?"  And might I mention that the ladder in question isn't a light ladder, like it might be inferred in the picture.  (The ladder is a husky ladder.  It shops in the women's section.)  No, it weighs thirty pounds or so and would pretty much eff things up if it landed on top of HIM.  (HIM would have been whimpering if HIM had still been conscious, but if the ladder had landed on top of him, HIM would have woken up in the hospital.)

Well, HIM laid on top of the ladder for a while, looking up at the sky, trying not to move, and I hovered asking things like, "Do I need to call an ambulance?" and "What hurts?" and "Get your sorry up ass or I'll kick it?"  (Well I didn't really say the last one and it wasn't really a question.)
After HIM got up and went inside (One of the neighbors came out to see what had happened and offered to call 9-1-1, but HIM didn't seem to be bleeding from any orifice and he did stand up by himself.) I got him some ibuprofen (which I believe to be a gift from the gods at least once a month) and asked him, "What the hell happened and how did the ladder end up below you?"  (HIM was teaching the ladder a lesson.  Yeah.)  I was trying to figure out how the ladder twisted in mid-air while HIM was falling.  The basic laws didn't really seem to apply in any scenario I could envision.

HIM said something about scrapes on his ankle, shin, bruised ass and head.  Apparently his tuckus made a connection with one of the rungs and left a rung-sized bruise there.  I just couldn't picture it in my head.  (The fall, not the bruise.)  So here's another diagram.  HIM couldn't just fall off the ladder in a typical way.  No, the ladder slipped out from under him.
Unfortunately HIM could not fly.  One can see from this picture that gravity is making a point.  If one is up in the air, one will not hover like Wile E. Coyote and flap one's arms.  (I secretly wanted the coyote to get the Road Runner at least once.  And did anyone else think it was weird that Wile E. Coyote had all that money to buy stuff from Acme but he couldn't buy himself food?)  (Just me, right?)
There ya have it.  Things not to do before Fat Woman needs to write a blog.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Aimlessness OR When I Started This Blog I Had Nothing

So we've got spider webs and a graveyard in our front yard.  We've also got a fog machine and a dozen spiders with google eyes and sharp pointy teeth.  What does it all mean?

Yes, it's election time again.  Also Halloween.  But which one is really scarier?  I ask you.
Here's where I get to slam both nominees.  Haha.  I love the First Amendment.
Oh NO!  Fat Woman has her bamboo pad out and it could get ugly!
Someone should probably take it away from me.
But I can't leave Hilary out.
I'll tell you what is scariest.  We've got a mess of trees in our yard and the leaves have been falling for weeks and the trees don't look like they're even halfway done.  I'm not sure what we'll be doing with the leaves but it won't be pretty.  On the positive side we have woods behind our house and it's now a giant compost heap.  Will the neighbors blab on us?  I don't think so because they do the same thing.  In fact, the neighbors who blabbed on us about the tree house (Tree house I, we mourn ye) tromped across our yard to dump their crappy yard waste in the woods behind our house.  It makes me somewhat vindictive.

Tree house II is prepped for house building.  We are reusing the walls from Tree house I because I was too lazy to take the walls down before, which is serendipitous for us.  It is possible that we won't be able to use those walls because I tossed them from the platform while dismantling Tree house I, because I was ticked off that I had to dismantle Tree house I, which is part of the reason my back now hurts.  One day when Cressy is ready to graduate from college, we'll finish her tree house.

And finally, here's who should run for President:

Monday, October 22, 2012

More Mysteries of the Moron Cat

The moron cat, in case you don't read my blog, is my daughter's cat.  I was bamfoozled into acquiescence last Christmas in a bold move involving HIM and my daughter.  The result was moron cat.  Don't let the name fool you.  He really is a moron.  I believe I proved his level of intelligence in previous blogs.  This cat growls at garbage trucks driving by on the street.  (Well, he's inside because he's an inside cat and outside he would probably die instantly because of his little, itty, bitty teensy, weensie brain so I suppose it's okay for him to growl at the garbage truck, because in most cases it isn't coming after him, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't know that.)  (My cousin thinks I'm being mean to the cat.  Don't tell the cat.)

Moron Cat, er, Megaroy is at least part Maine Coon Cat, which means he's developing into a large cat.  I have come to the conclusion that the cat is an alien sent to spy on us.  I have a complex reason for this, which I will explain at length because it's funny and I need to blog about something.
I had the exact same theory about another cat we owned, for a slightly different reason.  I will explain, for I am in an explaining mood.  (Run-on sentences may be involved and also wretched, dramatic changes in thoughts, as well as the equilateral definition of a three pointed figure.  Whatever.)

Cat no. 3, whom we picked up in Germany, was a feline named Mifawnwi.  (I like weirdness in everything.  Really.)  After we got another cat in Texas where we had moved after Germany, she decided that she must pee on everything.  She especially peed on things on the floor.  If HIM left a shirt on the floor it was sprayed by the special eau de cat cologne.  The carpets were favored targets.  We tried everything.  Extra cat boxes.  Special anti-pee sprays.  Finally I put tile down everywhere in the first house we owned just to keep her from peeing in the corners.  Then she died.  I think the tile broke her little heart.  Also she had some kind of cancer.  Poor cat.  However I can come to the conclusion that she was secretly an alien sent to spy on the human race because of the sheer amount of urine capacity she had.  (It's my belief that she had extra organs meant to massively produce urine in order to mark all the corners of the house.)  Her alien reports to the mother ship must have been odd.  "The fat one likes a lot of ice cream.  Plus she dances to old eighties tunes in her underwear when no one is watching.  I was hiding behind the potted plant.  Must go and pee now."  Anyway, definitely an alien cat.  (I'm 99% sure.)

Megaroy is like cat no. 6 in our lives.  I had managed to be cat free for a bit because I put my foot down while Cressy was an infant.  But then Daddy started in with his secret agenda, and manipulated our daughter into massive treason on a feline basis.  Ta-da.  Megaroy.

Well, Megaroy seems to view litter boxes as a challenge.  An empty box is a wrong box.  So not only does he pee in the box (This is good.  This is exactly where we want that to happen.) but then he poops in the box.  (You might be thinking, "What is she complaining about?"  Yes, pooping in the litter box is good.  Very good.  But Megaroy doesn't just poop.  He poops and then he buries for a half-hour straight.)  He poops.  I mean he POOPS!  In massive, smelly piles.  We have two litter boxes in the house for one stupid cat.  (I watched the Cat From Hell guy and he said one cat = two boxes.  Anyone with a funky goatee, tattoos, and a guitar case full of cat toys cannot be wrong.)  The size of poopage isn't the problem.  It's the smell.  OMFG, it smells that bad.  If I am downstairs, it will waft from upstairs and pollute the entire house.  (I have considered a gas mask.  I have Yankee Candles everywhere in the house and Febreeze calls me up when they're trying out a new aroma.  Well, they don't, but they should.)

So my sister sez "Change what you feed him.  Also use X cat litter."  I did.  The cat eats almost any kind of dry cat food.  I never had a cat before who preferred dry food.  The smell of the cat poop did not change.  Then came the next challenge.  Scoop the poop daily.  When the cat was acquired the then-seven-year-old agreed to all tending duties.  (This did not work out.)  I said, "I'm not doing it."  And the detail reverted to HIM.  Therefore HIM began to scoop daily.

Megaroy took this as a personal challenge to his catlihood.  No empty boxes in the house.  I would think he would herniate himself in some fashion based on the way he tries to fix the empty-box-no-turdliness.  (Which is the reason I think he's related to the other cat.  Only an alien cat could produce poop at a moment's notice.  My apologies to any offense to non-pooping aliens.  Seriously.)  I think Megaroy could aim his poop, too.  I don't want to tick him off.

Thus came the next step in conquering the cat poop smell dilemma.  I bought this:

Can I point out the key phrase on this box?  Yes, I will.  "Stops odors instantly".  It doesn't say, "Maybe we'll stop some odors" or "Only non-smelly poopy odors will be stopped instantly".  No, it says: STOPS ODORS INSTANTLY.  Instantly.  Hahahaha.  It does not stop odors instantly.  In fact, I don't think it even made an impact on Megaroy's poop.  This is false advertising.  What fricking odor did it stop instantly?  The scent of freshly cut daisies?  Recently sprinkled baby powder?  I don't think so.  (And may I mention that the cat pictured on the box doesn't appear to be happy.  He does not.  Ask any cat owner.  He's saying, "Fuck you.  My poop is going to kick this litter's ass."  He is.)

Undeterred I went to the store yesterday and I bought this:

I'll point out the pertinent words.  Fresh Step EXTREME.  (They heard about Megaroy.  But they forgot to call me.)  It has CarbonPLUS tm for Extreme odors from Urine & Feces.  See.  Totally for the cat in our house.  We'll see.  We WILL see.

I got the 25 pound box to the front register at Target and when I put it on the conveyor belt as it was the last item in my cart, it became apparent that there was a big cut in the bottom of the box.  How I did not notice this before, I do not know.  How did I know there was a big cut in the bottom of the box?  When I put it on the belt, kitty litter burst out and went everywhere.  It went on the other items.  It went on the floor.  It went on the belt.  It went on the person standing behind me in line.  (She was very nice about it.  I was so embarrassed.)  It went on the clerk.  It was like a rainbow of kitty litter, except without the pretty colors.  (Quick someone call Tidy Cat and suggest rainbow colored kitty litter.)  I stood there with a haunted expression on my face.  What does one do when one's box of kitty litter has just exploded at the check-out lane?  I thought about screaming, "It's kitty litter confetti!  Let's party!" but my heart wasn't in it.

Anyway, they went and got me another box and all was well.  The cat is trying it out right now because he can't NOT poop in a fresh box.  I think the people at Target have me on their "special" list now which is too bad because I luv Target.

The things I do in order to write a blog...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Miscellaneous Meanderings of a Fat Woman

This week in review:

1.  Tree House I was busted by unknown neighbors who squealed to the City of H'ville who sent a zoning department officer to say things to me.  He wasn't mean.  Tree House I was pulled down the next day.  I glared intermittently at the neighbors and entreated them to kiss my tuckus.

2.  I have decided to fill that side of the house with tacky lawn ornaments.  I have order 12 pink flamingos, 1 three foot high, plastic Santa Claus, two reindeer, a three foot tall tin man who is guaranteed to rattle fetchingly in the wind, three dog statues where the dogs are all sniffing each other's asses, and a gnome who is mooning the world at large.  We also have plans for an old toilet and flowers, which was thoughtfully suggested to us by one of my readers.  (Thank you!  It's a lovely suggestion.  I will be posting pictures soon.)  I have also got my eye on a five foot tall Easter Island guy statue thing and a Tiki god.  I have a book on how to carve my own totum pole, but I'm not sure if I'm willing to go there, yet.  (Spring Break project.)  (Today I got a package from the mail lady.  She is entirely too perky and smiley for a woman who has to do her thing through rain, snow, and dog chasing.  And it was my mommy friend, Rebecca, to the rescue!  She and I think alike.  I will post the picture of what she sent because it fit into my thinking.)
I placed this gnome squarely where they would
look out the window and admire it.
3.  Tree House II is under construction in our back yard.  Today I poured concrete into the footers.  That effing tree house won't be coming down unless the Mayans were correct.  Does everyone know that they make concrete that you don't have to pre-mix.  In fact, the stuff sets up in fifteen to thirty minutes.  Believe me, you have to work fast.  Does anyone know how to get concrete out from underneath your fingernails?  (If anyone asks, I'm saying it's a special Halloween look and concrete was involved with dealing with my new, special neighbors.)  (Okay, is anyone going to comment that I don't seem to get along with my neighbors?  Well, I get along with some of them.  The ones who don't let their dog poop in my yard, tell me that it's my fault their 13 year old daughter lied about me, and the ones who don't complain about a perfectly good tree house.  That narrows it down.)
It may not have three trees around the corners but it's going to be
way cooler than the all the other tree houses.  Plus it's going to
be purple, pink, and red.  Cressy choose the colors.
4.  This is probably the most important part of this blog.  Bubba and the Mysterious Murder Note (Thanks again to Amy Douglas Croft, who probably isn't any relation to Lara Croft) is almost done.  I should say that the draft is almost done.  (That's the hard part for the non-writers.)  I have likened writing a book before to vomiting.  It's true.  I have made the comparison.  It's like I vomit it all out and then go back and fix what's wrong with it.  Like in chapter 2 when I forgot that someone was supposed to do that thing or in chapter 17 when I forgot that the villain didn't do that other thing.  Then when I've polished it up the best that I can, I let my husband read it.  Then I re-read it.  Then I send it to my lovely and talented proofreader, Mary, who is a gem and thankfully catches 99.9% of my boo-boos.  To more specific, I expect I'll write THE END on Friday or Saturday.  I love how I can do that.  It makes me so happy that I immediately melt into a pool of warmed over goo that smells strangely like Hershey hugs and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.
There.  I drew the skull myself.
I love the Bubba covers.
5.  That, of course, leads me to why I have to go to the doctor next week.  Having recently moved, and recently ranted about it at great length, I had to find a new doctor.  Turns out that the doctors down here don't seem to want new patients.  Or maybe they're just very picky.  I do not understand.  I had to call down a long list of approved doctors, only to find that they weren't accepting new patients until November or December or some distant point in the future that the person on the telephone couldn't possibly be persuaded to share with me.  Then when I found one, I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork that the doctor would look over first and then possibly accept me.  (I thought about taping on a photocopy of Raquel Welch just to see if he was really paying attention.)  (Little does the doctor know that he will be an endless source of blogging information.  Haha.  The writer gets her revenge.)
Hi everybody!  Do you want a shot in the butt?
Well, okay then!
6.  Later this week I must have a teacher/parent conference.  I'm not really looking forward to this because I have to say some bad things about the stupid computer that the school district foisted off on all the children.  (The one they issued to Cressy isn't unique, I'm sure.)  I'll be damned if I know what's happening in Cressy's class and I want to know.  But I can't find it on the computer because the stupid, bleeping thing doesn't really work that well half the time and the other half of the time it's slower than my 486 from fifteen years ago.  I seriously have the urge to pick the netbook up and bang it against a wall, even though it does not actually belong to me.  ("$1000 for it?  It was totally worth it!")
In addition to my issues with doctors, contractors, neighbors, and
OCD, I must have issues with teachers.  Uh-oh.
All right.  Enough meandering through the tulips of my life.  Back to Bubba before my brain makes that horrid bleeping noise that the computer makes right before it crashes.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ranting, Ranting, Ranting OR Yes, Let the Ranting Begin

Recently, we started to build a tree house for our eight year old daughter.  Yea!  Treehouse-ity goodness.  We were pumped.  We built until our little fingers got blisters and then we went back for more.  Cressy participated.  Mostly she said, "Mommy, put the board there," and "Daddy, the screw doesn't go into your finger."  Hey, supervision at its best.
There it is, in construction.  You can see the potential.
You can also see the windows of the neighbors
who squealed like little, pissed-off, noisy, obnoxious
piggies to the Zoning Department.
We got a platform up.  We floored the platform.  We started building the walls.  we bought actual windows and I put one up.  (I know it's a little out of order, but it looked cool.)  We put a trap door in the bottom.  We put a slide on it.  We put a climbing wall on one side.  We were about to finish the framing of the house when the boom dropped.
You see, one of my new neighbors felt it was necessary to complain to the Zoning Enforcement Officer about our little tree house.  No, they didn't come over to our house and say, "What the heck?  You've blocked the view from our side window, you putz, we are outraged."  Or something perhaps a little more politically tactful.  No.  No, they just complained to the City of H'ville.  The Zoning Enforcement Officer came over and knocked on the door.  His name is Jeff.  Jeff was pretty nice about it.  (My mommy friend suggested I draw little squealing pigs, so I tried but I like the animated gif for that commercial a whole lot.  Too bad it doesn't do sound.)

Look, here's a gif with a tree house in it.  I can't help myself.  I'll draw something later.


The rules of the city weren't as nice.  If it has a roof, it's a no-no.  If it's in the side yard, it's a no-no.  If it's over 30 inches I think it's a no-no.  I am officially confused and pissed off.

It's a tree house for the kid.  We built it so a herd of elephants could dance on it.  I swear by all the power of Fat Women everywhere.  The New York City Rockettes could get down on that thing.  Does anyone really think that we would build a tree house that was incapable of supporting our child and possibly visiting children?
It wasn't like we built this.  And
we could have totally
built this.
Okay then.  I just finished taking out my anger on the tree house and sending scorching looks over to the neighbor in question.  (Jeff said it was anonymous but I have suspicions, especially since the people kept glaring out the windows at us.  That's always an enjoyable experience, having your new neighbors glaring out the windows at us.  You'd think they didn't have anything else to do except glare out the window at us.)

So then I had to tell Cressy.  She was upset.  She was really into the tree house.  We could build the tree house around back but there aren't trees back there that are good enough for the tree house and the two trees that are, have poison ivy vines on them as thick as my wrist.  (Not kidding.  HIM just shuddered.  HIM is horribly allergic to poison ivy and has to go to the doctor if he just looks at it.)
Or this.  We could have
built this.
With twenty stories.
Cressy would have loved it.
Therefore I have to talk to the building inspectors tomorrow and ask about permits, but the zoning guy (Jeff) said we couldn't get one if it was in the side yard.  But if it had rails on it and no roof, it might be okay.  (More confusion from me.)  (I'm sending out waves of confusion.)

In any case, that side of the house is a big blank gray wall.  No windows.  Just a chimney.  The only people who can see it are the neighbors.  I'm thinking big purple flowers on that side with yellow polka-dotted middles.  I'm thinking flowers the size of Volkswagen Beetles.  It's a BIG wall and there isn't anything illegal about painting your house the color you want it to be.
This will be on the side of our house facing the neighbors.
Pretty soon the neighbors will be wishing they had not complained about the tree house.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bubba and the Mysterious Murder Note

Coming soon.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Pegramville…
Oh no!  Bubba’s got problems…again!  For months, Pegramville and Pegram County have been relatively peaceful.  But then there’s the “attack” of the Pegramville Murder Mystery Festival, organized by none other than Miz Demetrice herself.  Who knew people would make fun of the murders that happened in their own town?  To add a spoonful of hot pepper to the mix, the local judge has just announced his run for the gubernatorial seat of Texas, and The Purple Singapore Sling has a new persona, causing all kinds of confusion, chaos, and commotion.
During the midst of the festival madness, Bubba’s truck has broken down, and he’s found a cache of original car parts.  One of the boxes contains a lost soul’s plea that may be as old as the antique truck, “If someone finds this note, then I have been murdered.  My name is M—.”
And you thought small towns were boring…

Monday, October 8, 2012

Zombies attack Or Halloween Again! Also Winners of the Name Bubba Contest!

  We're gearing up to Halloween AND the season premiere of The Walking Dead.  What can I say?
So I started playing with animated gifs.  Who knew it could be so fun?

I luv zombies.

Zombie Attack Pictures, Images and Photos
Let's see if it works.

It does.  I'm so happy.  I could go eat some brains.
white zombie ~animated Pictures, Images and Photos
Now I'm just messing around.
Onto the winners.
First the runners-up.  If I list your names then make sure you email me at clbevill@clbevill.com
with your correct email and the format you want your free copy of the fourth Bubba in. 
(B&N Nook, Amazon Kindle, or Smashwords of your choice.)
These will be sent out as soon as the novel is up and published, which looks like
it will be around Christmas.  (Ish.)
Let me just say that this was very hard to pick because there was so many good ones.
There were some that genuinely made me chuckle.
Thank everyone who made suggestions and thank you for being Bubba fans because I wouldn't be
writing if it wasn't for the people who take chances on indie authors.
In no particular order, the five runners-up:
Deb Pidcock Oakley for Bubba and a Passel of Cadavers
Carl M. Hames for Bubba and a Note of Mystery
Morgan Welch for Bubba and the Perplexing Pegramville Paradox
Donna Brown for Bubba and the Matter of the Mysterious Murder
Lioness at kookie1708 for Bubba's Murder Mystery Festival's Murder Mystery.
And the winner of the contest is:
Amy Douglas
Bubba and the Mysterious Murder Note
Congratulations Amy!  I'll be sending you an email soon for your details.

Let's all do a happy dance.
happy dance gif Pictures, Images and Photos  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Part 4 - OR How Much Longer Can She Blog About This Trip?

The third day of the trip I did not have any major malfunctions.  (R. Lee Ermy wasn't there, either.  Okay, I'll wait for you to think that one through.  I'll give the younger ones a clue.  R. Lee Ermy is an actor who plays a lot of drill sergeants.)

The hotel did not blow up.  The other shoes I had did not break.  I did not get food poisoning.  I was crossing all of my fingers and toes.  (Which made it hard to walk.)
This was in the restaurant looking down at me
as I ate.  I was reminded of the Scooby Doo
episode where Captain Cutler ran
around in a glow in the dark diving suit.
Scooby Doo was no where to be found.
(Get it?  Sing the song in your head.)
What does this have to do with the blog?
Not much, but I'm on a roll and my
brain won't stop my fingers typing.
I had a morning session on Maintaining and Sustaining Authentic and Appropriate Voice Throughout a Piece.  This was more work than I had previously anticipated.  For one thing, some people were expecting me to talk about the author's voice versus the character's voice.  Also I challenged them to do something they wouldn't normally do.  There were quite a number of people in the class who did not want to write in another person's perspective.  In fact, they wanted to argue about it.  One of the biggest things I wanted to argue about was when another author or fellow presenter said, "Write what you know."  I do not agree with this, but I learned something about how to refute this.  I say, "Find out all you can about something you don't know and then write about it."  I do it all the time.  And my naysayers just said, "We know," in a nasty way.  Do I get it right?  Not all the time, but it's a learning curve.

I also did a session with Alma Katsu, who is much perkier than I am.  You can tell by the picture.
It was pointed out that I look like I'm about to pull out a bazooka
and shoot the person taking the picture.  Totally not true.
I would have used a tank.  But only a really cool tank.
There was also a woman's panel session, where I got to sit between two skinny women and I'm pretty sure I looked like a giant blue blob.  Hey, I stood out.
Maybe I need to check with other panelists next time on clothing choice.
Then I ran out and got some presents for Cressy and HIM, the man to whom I'm married.  Cressy requested a sea shell because she knew I was at Virginia Beach.  Unfortunately the gift shop at the hotel did not sell sea shells by the sea shore.  (I couldn't help myself.  It just popped out.  It was karma.)  So I walked to the beach and found a tourist shop.  I was wearing my tennis shoes because they didn't have a massive failure.  I bought pretty sea shells.

Later that evening I got to go to a party!  Yea, party!  The nice people who picked me up at the airport had a party at their house and the conference people arranged for rides for those people who needed them.  (Me!)  We went to the wrong house at first.  (I'm glad they didn't answer the door because it turned out that they weren't invited to the party.)  Then we got to the good place, with all of the wonderful food and wine.  (They had beer, too, but that didn't interest me.  Somewhere HIM just went, "What?")  As a matter of fact, I want to say something about something the nice lady served.  There was a plate of homemade biscuits next to a plate of Virginia ham (I think) and this was next to a cup of melted butter with a brush.  So you split your biscuit in half, butter it and put some ham on it.  OMG, my veins just coagulated.  So yummy.

And what a cool house they have.  I told my daughter about it and what my daughter was most impressed about was the spiral staircase.  (Apparently her parents are ignoramuses for not buying a house with a spiral staircase.  What were we thinking?)

Unfortunately I had to leave early because I caught the early flight the next day.  I was so pooped that I only took one picture.  This was the escalator into hell at Atlanta International Airport.  Who knew you could make an escalator that long?

Look.  If you peer closely enough you
can see little hellish demon imps.
Look closer.
See.  You just had to look closer.
And also wait for me to play with
my bamboo pad.
Anyway, the flights were on time.  Everything went well.  Delta did good.  No one threw up.  There was a First Sergeant sitting next to me on the flight from Atlanta to Huntsville who looked very uncomfortable.  The poor man was about six foot five inches and he did not fit into his seat.  (Good thing it was a short flight.)

I got copious hugs from both daughter and husband and all was well again.

Back to writing Bubba 4.  (Name to be announced very soon!)


Monday, October 1, 2012

Part 3 - Who Hoo! I Have Arrived.

I was so happy to get to Norfolk I fell on the ground and kissed it.  Well, I threw a kiss at it.

Yea.  Norfolk is actually pretty small for an airport.  And the Hampton Roads Writers group had someone to meet me.  Wasn't that nice of them?  I actually cannot snark about someone being nice.  It's a rule.  I can only snark about mean or unfair people.  (Fortunately human nature gives me a lot of material.)  So after seeing Banana man (see part 2- the man with the bungied banana, which sounds slightly obscene.) I got to the bottom of the escalator and the nice people even had a sign with my name on it.  (I felt like a rock star.  Or at least someone who got their head patted too much as a child.)

I can only say nice things about these people who picked me up.  They were friendly and welcoming and they gave me a ride to the motel!  Plus they bought me dinner!  I won't say their names because I don't want to inadvertently embarrass them but I hope that if they ever come to Alabama they will let me know so we can take them out to dinner.
The view from my room.  Did I mention I'm
afraid of heights, especially from tall,
spindly buildings like the Eiffel Tower or the Space
Needle in Seattle?  Haha.  Can't get my
tushy up there anymore.
On to the motel.  This place was pretty good sized.  It's a Doubletree Inn about a half/mile from the beach.  I could see the ocean from my window, although it looked a little cloudy.  Everyone was so danged friendly.  I was thinking to myself, "If something interesting doesn't happen soon, I will have nothing to blog about."

That evening I sat in on a session with a literary agent who was letting people read their first two pages of their works.  (They had signed up previously.)  Then comments and discussion followed the readings.  Let me tell you there was some very nice material there.  I was particularly impressed by a young woman's sci-fi/fantasy story, although I think I would have called it urban fantasy.  (I'm going to kick myself for not remembering her name later.)
Based on the reaction of all the writers, this is what the literary agent
looked like.  Jealous, who me?
Okay, but the literary agent (from a reputable agency) looked about 12 years old.  He wasn't really, but I felt old.  He was probably in his twenties, but based on what he discussed, he might have been in his thirties.  Poor man.  He was the one all the writers wanted to attack.  I hope he remembered his bullet proof vest.  Seriously, he was mobbed every time I saw him.  (I had an urge to ask him what he thought of indie authors but I never did get to speak with him.)  The conference had actually nabbed three literary agents, as well as some very cool authors, poets, and reporters, so everyone was hopping.

The next day I listened to Rick Mofina give a keynote address.  Then some critiques of the first ten lines of peoples' works.  The panel had all the literary agents in it, plus the two big writers, Rick Mofina and Patricia Hermes, who writes historical YA.  Honestly, I thought the literary agents were a little too nice about the works.  I don't think they wanted to hurt anyone's feelings.  Then I went to a session by Alma Katsu, who has two very interesting paranormal/urban fantasy/dark fantasy/hard to describe novels out.  Talk about a lady who is straightforward and hard hitting.  She had a lot to offer and I was happy to listen.
This is the convention center next to the hotel.
It's like Thunderdome, except with glass.
I did not see Tina Turner or Mel Gibson.
Then my shoe broke.  Yes.  One of my favorite little half-boots that went amazingly well with my outfit broke.  These boots are really old, but I loved them.  I'm going to bury them in the back yard.  The shoe guy said he couldn't fix them.  I was going down the stairs and my ankle did a little twist.  (Thankfully no damage to my ankle.)  Then something went pop.  I was doing a little drag, walk, shuffle and realized there had been causalities to the area of my footwear.  I took a picture because I wanted to kibitz at HIM, who told me not to take another pair of shoes.
I loved these little half boots.  But they served valiantly.
Then they died.  At the wrong time, but they died.
I'm burying them with full honors in the back yard.
So I did my breakout session wearing tennis shoes.  Fortunately it was a long dress and people probably thought I was eccentric.

I asked the front desk if they had glue and they said no.  And there wasn't any close by stores.  (HIM also told me I should rent a car in case something happened and I needed it.  So I guess we're even on the not-bringing-the-extra shoes thing.)

As if I wasn't nervous enough about the presentation.  The nice lady who arranged my presence at the conference had said there was a lot of interest in my breakout session "How to Epublish and Make Money," or something along that line.  More accurately it should have been "How to Epublish and Try to Make Money," because I couldn't guarantee that anyone would make money.

It was pretty much a full room and it was a big full room.  Later on I realized a couple of the bigger authors were present too, otherwise I would have been really nervous.  The big points were editing, proof-reading, formatting, cover design, and publicizing the work.  Upon further reflection I realized that the class could have been a set of five classes, because it's a lot of material to cover.

The feedback I got after the class was positive, which is just as well because I don't remember much of the class itself.  I was honest with them about my numbers this year and how much I'll probably make as an author.  I think that impressed them more than it should have.  It's really hard to tell writers that once you make the indie decision you're going to have to work your ass off.

Of course, HIM had to contribute to my nervousness by sending me a text.  It said, "Cressy's running a fever."  This, of course, made me freak out.  Then he qualified it by adding, "It's 99.1."  There was not an option to fly quickly back to Huntsville, slap HIM in the back of the head, and fly back to Virginia Beach, so I had to just go out in the lobby and call him back with basic mommy instructions.  "Did you give medicine?  Have you called the school?  Has she thrown up?  Is there any copious amount of blood?  The name and address of the urgent care center is on the Doc Find website, bookmarked on my computer.  I also pointed the building out.  It's open 24/7.  If she runs a fever over 102 degrees she needs to go there."
This is the Veteran's Memorial in Virginia Beach.
It would be a fitting locale to bury HIM, whose
text privileges should be revoked.
Then I made fun of HIM throughout all of my sessions and sometimes in-between sessions.  I got a lot of mileage out of poor HIM.  He had mommy detail and it had taxed him sorely.

Part 4 in  few days, which shall be, I promise by my computer's eternal keyboard, shall be the final segment, for I have blathered enough.

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