Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I Call Bullshit!

For the past few years there has been a "game" going around Facebook in which a woman will announce falsely that she is either pregnant, getting married, won money in the lottery, etc. Supposedly, these bogus posts are to catch people's attention and bring about awareness for breast cancer.


Are some of you really that stupid, or just blindly following the herd? Both are equally unattractive, in my opinion.

I have news for all you being sucked into these dumb ass games. They do NOTHING except make your friends feel like duped fools, and make them angry.

I fell for a couple of these false posts back when they first started. Now I bitch slap friends who do them. Sadly, one of my friends did get engaged recently, and it took me awhile before I congratulated her because I was wary of it being a hoax post. Turns out, she really was newly engaged.

See the problem?

These false posts:

1) make you a liar and show you to be a herd-following fool
2) make your friends and followers feel like chumps
3) cause people to get pissed at you

The next time someone wants you to do something for breast cancer awareness in this manner, just say NO, then verbally (and privately) bitch slam them into shame. 

If you want to do something for breast cancer awareness, participate in fund raising by either walking to raise money or by opening your wallet. Money, not lies, will fight breast cancer by providing funds for research.

If you want to raise awareness for breast cancer, post links to sites for research, fund raising and education.

Serious Stuff
Breast cancer is deadly and serious and deserves more respect than your bullshit posts that you're really doing because you're too lazy to fight the tide or to take the time to consider your actions. Hitting "like" and then reposting those lies about yourself is a knee-jerk reaction. So stop jerking your knee and stop jerking people around.

More importantly, those bullshit posts also disrespect breast cancer survivors, those who did not survive, and their families.  I know none of you intended to do that, so let this post be a simple learning experience for you:


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Give Me a Break, Kimmy Schmidt

Over the last several weeks I've worked my way through Season 1 of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the comedy written and produced by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock for Netflix. Because it was written by Tina Fey, I was eager to see this new series. 

Now, with it behind me and time to digest it all, I must say that I have mixed feelings about this show.

Upfront, let me say that: 



I'm a bit appalled that such a subject was played for laughs.

BUT... the series focuses not on what happened to Kimmy and 3 other women, but Kimmy's entry back into "normal" life. Kimmy refuses to be a victim of her past and sets out to start a new life in Manhattan, seldom letting people know that she was one of the "Mole Women" from Indiana.  

Bravo for you, Kimmy!

This show is really of spoof on pretentious behavior, New York, values gone awry, and prejudices. And it does that very, very well. Kimmy is plucky but very naive, almost to the point at times of causing a gag-reflex.

Still, when you push aside what happened to Kimmy and focus on the broad comedy, it's ridiculous laugh-out-loud fun. It reminded me of the very silly but highly entertaining skits of early Saturday Night Live seasons, which is no surprise considering who wrote the script.

The cast is excellent: Carol Kane (who doesn't love her?), Titus Burgess, Jane Krakowski, and Kimmy herself played by Ellie Kemper

What really fell apart for me was the courtroom scenes when Kimmy's abductor is brought to "justice." Again, something that left a very bad taste in my mouth because of the severity of his crime and how it was played, often to the point of nausea, for laughs.

The prosecution in the case is handled by the team of Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden, played by Tina Fey and Jeffrey Minor, and is a total spoof of the bumbling of the O.J. Simpson trial, right down to making the defendant put on an ill-fitting glove (give me a break). I thought it was way over written and over played and bored me to tears, and even made me angry at times. Had the court room scenes been earlier in the series instead of at the end, I would have stopped watching the show all together.

Like I said, there are a lot of laugh-out-loud moments in this show, but I'm not sure they outweighed the groans and annoyances of everything else.

And I'm still having trouble getting over the fact that kidnapping women was played for laughs...

Ask Jaycee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart, or any of the young women from Cleveland, OH, how funny their experiences were, or their re-entry into everyday life.

At least that's my opinion, and as the saying goes, opinions are like assholes, everyone's got one.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Gift or Sickness?

Recently I added an app to my iPhone that counts down to special days. I'm using it to countdown to my retirement from my day job as a paralegal. Not to the exact day, but the first day I will be able to retire. The exact day will be determined later.

It's not that I dislike my day job. I don't. I really enjoy it and the people I work with. It's a nice place and they treat us well and pay us well.

It's just that I'd rather be WRITING ALL DAY ALL THE TIME!

At a time when most people are thinking about spending leisurely days puttering, traveling, and spending more time with grandchildren, I want to be spending my days hunched in front of a computer writing like zombies are breathing down my neck.

I'd rather be no where else in the world!

Except maybe doing it at the beach or in the mountains instead of in a corner of my apartment.

It is no secret that I am a very prolific author. Even with a full-time job, I generally crank out two novels/novellas a year, with the odd short story thrown in. This is an unusual year for me. By the end of 2015, I will have completed two full-length novels and one novella for two different traditional publishers, and two novellas in my indie Winnie Wilde romance series.

That's 5 books, folks. In one year. With a day job.

And according to both professional and reader reviews, I'm doing a pretty good job at it.

I'm not saying this to brag. Really, I'm not. I'm pointing out what can be done when you hunger for something and apply yourself. If I exercised as much as I write, I'd be stick thin.

To be fair to my writing colleagues, some of the most important reasons I can produce so much is that I don't have a family to care for except for two cats, so my home obligations are minimal. My books are also contemporary and require very little deep research. My friends and family are incredibly understanding and supportive.

I'm also very jealous of my writing time, guarding it like Cerberus guarding the gates of hell. And I write pretty "clean." Meaning that I don't need to do much editing at the end, and  I don't do multiple drafts. The words flow from my brain and out my fingers as if I'm merely transcribing a movie I'm watching on the underside of my eyelids. I also work with rolling edits. I write several chapters, then go back and edit those until I'm happy with them, then move forward again. By the time I get to the end, I really only need to do one more slow pass-through editing sweep before it goes to my editors.

My apartment should be so clean, but that's another blog for another time.

There will come a day when I will not be able to keep up this pace. It's inevitable. This past long weekend I finished a manuscript and by the time I typed THE END, my hands were swollen. Not painful, but achy with arthritis. I can still type over 100 wpm with decent accuracy, but it comes at a price. I also have to do regular stretching to avoid pain in my shoulders, neck, chest, and upper back.

I often wonder when such a slow down will happen to my mind. Right now my gray matter has no trouble juggling several plot ideas and multiple characters at the same time. (BTW, I also keep good notes on my characters, time lines and series flow, which helps. But I believe that's just good housekeeping for authors.)

Next year I will only have one book under a contract deadline. The other books I write will be under my personal deadlines, which can be flexible according to my needs. I'm doing this on purpose, knowing I need to be more fluid with my time as I get older. My goal for 2016 is to complete two novels  and two novellas, but if I need to, all but one can be rescheduled.

Other authors are always asking how I do what I do. How can I be so prolific and crank out book after book without lowering the quality?

Frankly, I don't know. Really, I don't.

It's a gift, of that I'm sure. Or maybe it's a sickness? Maybe it's both. But as long as the gift keeps on giving and/or the illness goes unchecked, I'm along for the ride.

I hope all of you are too.

Okay, gotta run. I have two more novels to complete before the end of the year, and then there's that pesky day job. At least for the next 1,210 days ... but who's counting?