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Friday, June 27, 2014

On Writing OR OH NOES, Ranting May Occur

I recently finished the first draft of Deadsville, a humorous urban fantasy mystery.  That's probably my first problem; I can't decide what genre it is, not that I finished the first draft.  I think I have to call it something so that I can sell it.  Urban fantasy works best I think.  I will write a brief line about its content and you all can tell me what it is.
Tavie Stone dies and then her day just gets worse.  She wakes up in Deadsville, where deadies hang out waiting for Reapers to come and take them away to their final judgment.  However, it's taking a long time because there are a lot of deadies and not a whole lot of judging.  In the meantime, Tavie discovers that Deadsville isn't just a static place with nothing going on.  On the contrary, there's mystery, murder, and mayhem, not necessarily in that order.  What's a former living police detective to do?  Why become the Sheriff of Deadsville, of course.

It is, of course, the first in a series, and I had a lot of fun writing it.  Plus I had help.  Even my daughter was suggesting funky ways for people to have had died.  There are whole websites dedicated to weird ways that people have died.  Plus there's the Charles Darwin Awards which is great reading for individuals who can't believe how stupid people really can be.  A Facebook fan suggested the show 1000 Ways to Die, which was almost as helpful.  (Of course, the difference between the two sites is that the Charles Darwin is, barring any that slipped past Snopes, is real, stupid people doing real, stupid stuff that ends up in death.  In some cases there's honorable mentions when they live.  The other site is about a show on Spike that presents an odd death and asks the viewer if it's real or urban legend.  We've all heard about Mikey and the coke with the Pop Rocks.  The actor probably giggles about that every time someone asks.)
See Mikey likes it.  And he's not really dead from consuming Pop Rocks with soda pop.  In fact, he's an advertising executive somewhere, which is almost the same thing as being dead from consuming Pop Rocks with soda pop.  (I have an urge to go buy some Pop Rocks.)

Jeez, I meandered.  What was the point of this blog?

Oh, yes, writing.  So I wrote the book.  Now I have to edit it.  I have to get some other people to edit it.  I have to write a synopsis, which is like the curse from the mummy's tomb.  Then I have to contact literary agents in order to convince them that they want to represent my shizz in order to sell it to a traditional publisher, which probably means that I won't be published for the next five years.
I think my relatives think I sit on my ass eating bonbons.  In fact, I don't even know what a bonbon is.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I have never eaten a bonbon.  Maybe I'll get bonbons with Pop Rocks.

Okay, off to work.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Tripping to Atlanta Part II

In our last exciting episode our fat heroine was trapped at LEGOLAND.  (GASP!)  There were Legos everywhere.  In fact, the Legos were about to attack when she escaped with Pain (Pain in the Ass Man or HIM, the man to who I'm married, or the man who is incredibly grumpy when traveling.)  Having suffered the wrath of the LEGOLAND experience, we made it to the hotel, which we later learned was in the middle of the ghetto, but it was close to Ikea.

Cressy demanded to use the pool, but then said it was no fun because it didn't have a) other kids in it, b) a ten story water slide, or c) that it wasn't much bigger than a postage stamp.

The next day we went to The World of Coca Cola.

While we were waiting for The World of Coca Cola to open up and show us its colaness, we explored the Centennial Olympic Park, or where the summer Olympics were held in 1996, or the Olympics that had the bombing in it at Atlanta.  (Sadly, that's the major event that pops into my head.)

Olympic memorial or the cash cow that keeps
on giving to Atlanta.
Of course, there were playgrounds there.  Only a parent knows that playgrounds are never created the same and that each must be tried out for posterity.
Playground joyfulness!
No one can frown on a playground.
It's the law.
We also saw the CNN building.  I wanted to stop and see Jeanie Moos, who is my favorite offbeat commentator, but I was prevented.  (Security guards don't understand about my needs.  Stupid security guards.)
Of course, when I see the CNN building I think
of James Earl Jones saying,
"This...is CNN."
Now I bet you can't get it out of your head.
Onto Coca Cola World!
In front of the World of Coca Cola there was a statue of the guy who invented Coca Cola.  I think he got gypped when he sold the entire kit and caboodle to someone else for peanuts.  But hey, he got a statue.
Have a drink and a smile...
I must say that The World of Coca Cola has a serious set-up going on.  They have gauged their tourist clientele and they have them moving right along.  First there was a guy who did a funny short history of Coca Cola.  Then there was a movie which didn't really have anything to do with Coca Cola but it did use the song, On Top of the World, by Imagine Dragons, and had me humming it for the remainder of the day, whether I wanted to or not.  (I could say something about Imagine Dragons selling out to Coca Cola, but that would probably make me a hypocrite.)

Next it was on to the Coca Cola Polar Bear for a photo op.
I say they had someone in the bear suit.
HIM said it was all animatronic.
I wanted to go back to kick the bear
in the nuts to show HIM
but those pesky security guards
were everywhere.
 
We went into the Vault, which
where they keep the secret formula
for Coca Cola, and they
did a whole top secret thing
and showed us the vault and la, de, dah,
but I didn't get to see the secret formula.
You'd think they would have
flashed us or something.
There was Coca Cola art work everywhere.
Everywhere.
I was forced to be in the photograph.
Remember the camera adds 50 pounds,
no, 100 pounds.  Whatever.
We learned that Coca Cola has
sponsored Olympics for almost a thousand years.
(I may be exaggerating.)
They've got a ton of torches, so
they let the peasants hold it.
Some of those torches in the background
do not look like torches.
They look like something you'd buy at
Toys R Us or possibly
something used in an X-rated movie.
Let me tell you, The World of Coca Cola
isn't messing around with its product
displays.
The last part of the museum is going through the gift shop, and the gift shop is almost as large
as the rest of the museum.  They had stuff that was way cool.  I was forced to spend about $200 in there.  But we did get a souvenir bottle of Coca Cola.
 
Next was Ikea, where we consumed of the Swedish meatballs.  The kid had macaroni and cheese because she hasn't learned the finer aspects of Swedish meatballs.
 
We bought a bunch of stuff here, too.
The hat Cressy's wearing was from
The World of Coca Cola.  It's a polar
bear hat.  It kind of looks like
Finn from Adventure Time to me.
Finally, we left Atlanta, our wallets a little lighter, and our horizons broadened.
 
We stopped to pee here.
It needed to be said.
Then we made it home about three hours later.  There was only one minor incident where the GPS told me to go the wrong way, and Pain freaked out, whereupon I threw the GPS unit out the window (not really).  At home everyone collapsed and the moron cat complained pitifully about our absence.  In all, it is grist for my mill.

Happy summer vacations to the rest of you.  May you find the cleanest restrooms and always have plenty of toilet paper.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Trippin' to Atlanta OR I'm Going to Caption Photos Again!

Because we don't have an Ikea in Huntsville, and Ikea charges inhuman shipping charges on their stuff, I was forced to drag the family to Atlanta, which has the nearest Ikea.  But then the whole entertainment thing kicked in and I had to come up with ideas of what else to do in Atlanta while we were there.  (As if Ikea wasn't enough.  Peasants.)

The first part of the trip was subjugating myself to the whim of Pain-in-the-Ass Man, otherwise known as HIM, the man to whom I'm married.  Pain, for short, cannot breath or exist if the car is not packed properly.  As this is a battle I shall never win, I let him.  It makes him feel good that all is dressed-right-dress in the back of the Ford.  (Marriage is all about these kind of concessions.) 
 
HIM, in a rare peaceful moment.
HIM has just packed the car
and HIM is feeling Nina Simone.
No meteors approaching Earth at the moment.
So after that arduous task was accomplished I took a photo to commemorate the moment.
All for two days.  Pillows, cooler, toolchest,
luggage.  I'm surprised Jimmy Hoffa wasn't back
there.
Early in the morning we set off to Atlanta.  It was a three hour drive, not unlike a three hour tour and a cheap shot at Gilligan's Island.  (I think it should have been Mary Ann's Island.  Also she should have hooked up with the Professor.)

Passing lots and lots of kudzu, otherwise known as the plant that's slowly taking over Georgia, we finally made it to Atlanta.  (2 hours ad 46 minutes according to my new Garmin.)  Our first stop was Legoland, or the place that was guaranteed to give me a friggin' headache.  Legoland is clever enough to have put themselves into a high end mall.  While walking through the mall to Legoland, we had to stop to commemorate more moments.  I call these shots, Cressy standing next to places that I shall never shop in.
Not sure of the name of the store but it
had a giant Swarovski crystal covered
cheeseburger in the window.
It might not have been edible,
but it looked fab-u-lous.
What you don't see is the two
clerks in Versace glaring at us
because we took a pic and didn't
come in to drop big bucks
on their crap.  But hey, I got
the shot.
After trudging through the mall, there it was.  All primary colors blaring at us, letting us know not only had we survived the trip to Atlanta, the walk through the high end mall, but we had made it to LEGOLAND, home of little plastic bricks that will kill you if you step on them in the middle of the night on your way to the bathroom.

I'll tell you that Batman looks a lot bigger on the silver
screen.  Also I just noticed this is
Legoland Discovery Center,
not plain ol' Legoland.
I bet Legoland thinks the addition of
"Discovery Center" makes parents more
likely to bring their children here.
Haha.  We didn't even notice the
discovery part until after we were done.

I'll warn everyone now that I took a lot
of photos with Cressy posing.  Just saying.
I'm not sure who the Lego critter was,
but it was life-sized and Cressy liked it.
 
This is really a shot of all the Lego stuff
we shall never build.
Cressy enjoying all the bright lights
that Legoland had to have
in its place to make all the little
children happy.
I liked the shot with the colored lights on her.


The one "ride" in Legoland that involved
shooting
Lego targets and Lego villains
and occasionally each other.
There was a four-D movie that involved
shaking, buzzing seats, and rain.
Finally it did, in fact, snow.
I tried to snooze but the seat kept waking me up.
After the Legoland experience from whence few women remain sane, we went to the hotel and saw a hawk.  We also experienced the pool because you cannot go to a hotel with a pool and a ten-year-old and not use it.  Cressy was not impressed.  There wasn't a slide.

Coming soon - Part 2 of the Atlanta trippin' or how I took too many pictures for one blog.