Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mysteries of the Technology Age

Sometimes I have random thoughts. Correct that, most of my thoughts are random. Here are a couple of examples.

I noticed that many of the pay phones in my area are being removed. I'm told that's because people now have cell phones. But the pay phones bymy local grocery store get used all the time (I see the evidence with my own two eyes every morning when hubby and I go for our coffee). So what will people without cell phones do? And what if my cell battery dies, and I don't have my charger in the car? Can you do redial on a pay phone? How about *69?

All the people I have ever talked to say they delete their email spam without reading it or even opening it. I do that myself, and I get 100 or more spams a day. But if everybody deletes them and nobody reads them, then why do spammers keep sending them? Seems like a big waste of time. Are there closet spam addicts out there who spend all day opening and responding to their spam?

When an email gets lost in cyber space, where does it really go?

When you call 911 on your cell phone, but you're 200 miles away from your local area code, what 911 dispatcher are you calling?

Why won't they take empty pizza boxes in the recycle bin? They're made of cardboard.

I don't expect answers to my random questions and thoughts. Just thought I'd share.

Jasmine
http://www.skullybuzz.com
Somebody's Lover in bookstores today!

Mysteries of the Technology Age

Sometimes I have random thoughts. Correct that, most of my thoughts are random. Here are a couple of examples.

I noticed that many of the pay phones in my area are being removed. I'm told that's because people now have cell phones. But the pay phones bymy local grocery store get used all the time (I see the evidence with my own two eyes every morning when hubby and I go for our coffee). So what will people without cell phones do? And what if my cell battery dies, and I don't have my charger in the car? Can you do redial on a pay phone? How about *69?

All the people I have ever talked to say they delete their email spam without reading it or even opening it. I do that myself, and I get 100 or more spams a day. But if everybody deletes them and nobody reads them, then why do spammers keep sending them? Seems like a big waste of time. Are there closet spam addicts out there who spend all day opening and responding to their spam?

When an email gets lost in cyber space, where does it really go?

When you call 911 on your cell phone, but you're 200 miles away from your local area code, what 911 dispatcher are you calling?

Why won't they take empty pizza boxes in the recycle bin? They're made of cardboard.

I don't expect answers to my random questions and thoughts. Just thought I'd share.

Jasmine
http://www.skullybuzz.com
Somebody's Lover in bookstores today!

Monday, June 19, 2006

My "Real" Job

Last month, on a plane to Orlando, the man wearing the cowboy hat and boots sitting next to me struck up a conversation.

"Are you traveling for business or pleasure?" he asked with a real twang. (I'm starting to understand this cowboy/uniform fascination – but that's a different blog entry.)

I paused. I wasn’t traveling for my day job but ...


"Business," I finally said.

"What do you do?"

Another pause. Which answer should I give him? I chose the easy one. That is, the one that would result in fewer questions. "I'm a business consultant but I also write so I'm meeting a group of writers for a writing retreat."

"What do you write?"

"Romance," I said. Since he seemed genuinely interested, I launched into a passionate monologue about what I write, when my first book came out, and future pub dates.

After I'd run out of air, he nodded and said, "So writing is your real job."

My mouth dropped open. Then I grinned. "Yeah. It is."

I could have kissed him. When's the last time a stranger's concluded that writing is your "real" job?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

30th wedding anniversary

Next Monday hubby and I will have been married for 30 years. I know that sounds impressive, and I have to admit to being a little impressed myself. After all it means well over half my life has been spent with this man, and him with me.

When we first talked to the minister about getting married, he asked us what we had in common. Jim and I just looked at each other and smiled and told him that we both liked Mexican vampire movies. Which is to say that we both have off-beat senses of humor, and we enjoy the odd little things that life tends to throw at you.

One of our favorite TV shows is called The Amazing Race, where pairs of people, often couples, follow clues to race each other around the world. The best teams are usually people who work well together and don't let the strangeness get to them. To celebrate our 30th we've decided on our own amazing race...a three week trip around the world:

San Francisco, Tokyo, Kyoto, Hong Kong, Delhi, Agra, Athens, the Greek Islands, Delphi, Cairo, Luxor, London, San Francisco. Planes, trains, boats, and automobiles will be involved. At least 50 hours will be spent on airplanes alone.

We're leaving June 25 and returning July 16. For once I'm not bringing a laptop computer, but I will still try and post occasionally. It will be fun, exhausting, exciting, and stressful.

Rather like being married for 30 years.

Cheers,
Janet Miller/Cricket Starr

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Historical eras? What works for romance?

I've heard for quite some time that for historical romances, any time period after 1900 is not very salable (I don't think the French Revolution is, either, but maybe that's because there were too many beheadings). My husband just told me he think I should write historicals, and what era does he pick? Anything in the 20th century. Hah. Figures. But that does bring a question to mind? Why aren't historical romances set in the last century salable? Is it really that readers aren't interested? Have they seen too many documentaries on TV? Yes, I think there are certain events which hold great interest, such as the sinking of the Titanic, but what about something set during one of the world wars? Or the roaring twenties? Or the fifties (Leave It To Beaver's mom could throw out her apron and wear jeans while she's cleaning!!!)? Or beyond.

Don't tell my husband, but I'm not really going to write a historical. I am, however, very curious about what all of you think. Would you like to read more romances set in the last century? If so, what periods and why do they interest you? If not, why not?
Jasmine
http://www.skullybuzz.com

Friday, June 09, 2006

What is your procrastination trigger?

I've got a very busy two months ahead of me. Copy edits on one book, revisions on another, and 150 pages to write on a third--all before my August 1st due date (a baby, not a book!). And yet, as I sit waiting for the DHL package with the copy edits to arrive possibly today, maybe not until Monday, rather than make a dent in the 150 pages that need to be written I'm steam cleaning, blogging, and wandering around the backyard seeing if any new strawberries have ripened in the past thirty minutes.

I've been on vacation for the past two weeks, and honestly, it's like pulling teeth to get myself to write again whenever I come back from a chunk of time away from writing. I know it, I know that it will pass and the pages will start flying from my fingertips again if I can only push through it, but does that help? No. Not really. Does my husband's encouragement or my CPs cheerleading get me to the page? No. No usually, anyway.

That's why I decided to blog about procrastination today--in the hopes that when nothing else seems to work, that at least putting words down in blogger.com will start the engine running again. And for everyone else--what's your procrastination trigger?

;-) Bella
http://www.BellaAndre.com

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Guilty Pleasures

In the evenings, I like to kick back with a good book, or just vegetate in front of the TV. Yes, I'm a couch potato! There are some great documentaries on the History channel, watched one the other night about the French Revolution. Marie Antoinette did NOT say, "Let them eat cake." She was too self-absorbed to even realize her people were starving. This is what I learned. But other times, I like to veg watching something inane and fluffy. My latest guilty pleasure was "Big Love" on HBO. It's a series about a family of polygamists. Then, right after the season finale, I watched some fluffy teenage movie about a sixteen-year-old who makes up an imaginary man for her mother to date. I can't even remember the title. It was silly, but it had moments that made me smile, too. I could be doing something productive instead and I know it's a total waste of time watching this kind of stuff. Or is it? After a long day of working, it lets my mind relax. I feel myself wind down. Thoughts of what I have to do the next day aren't swirling around in my brain. So maybe being a vegetable isn't so bad sometimes.

Do you need to be a vegetable sometimes, too (please say yes so that I don't have to feel like a total flake)? And what are your guilty pleasures that help you turn off an overactive mind?
Jasmine
http://www.skullybuzz.com

Saturday, June 03, 2006

A really special evening out

I've been glued to my computer for days trying to get caught up after a week away at the Romantic Times convention, and I think my husband must have had enough of me telling him to go away. Tonight we went on a date, and it was wonderful. I wore jeans and boots and my leather jacket, stuck my hair into my helmet and climbed on the motorcycle behind Doug for a ride through the woods. We ended up at the little restaurant at the golf course in Cobb where we had a wonderful dinner and watched all the cute high school kids in their prom dresses and tuxedoes coming into the place for dinner before the dance. Dinner was wonderful, we talked and laughed and had such a great time, then we got back on the bike and took a long, slow ride through the woods, down Bottlerock Road and back through the vineyards around Loch Lomond before coming home. All in all, I was only away from the computer for about two hours, but when I came back into my office I realized that my entire perception had changed. I was remembering the changing scents as we rode through forests and meadows, thinking of the way the temperature dropped as we climbed higher into the mountains and how the light glistened off the glassy obsidian that lines Bottlerock Road. It's so easy to forget that we occasionally need to experience life in order to write about it. Tonight's little excursion reminded me of the importance of getting away from the computer and out into the world. When we come back to our desks, it's with a whole new palette of sensory colors for our books. How long has it been since you've recharged your batteries?

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