Saturday, April 25, 2009

Making Banana Chips and Useless Scenes

I have one of those dehydrators that Ron Popiel used to sell on television. The husband loves beef jerky and we've made tons of it over the years. He's going on a camping trip next weekend. One of those where they have to hike two hours up a freaking mountain to get to the lake and campsite. You only take what you can carry in your pack, so we've been shopping for dehydrated food and making jerky. The husband mentioned that banana chips would be a good food to take and we remembered that Ron Popiel used to show how to dehydrate fruit on the dehydrator.
Sounded easy enough. Off to the store to buy a big bunch of bananas. I sliced them and placed them on the trays. A couple of days later I had little brown circles of leathery chips that didn't even taste like bananas. Figuring I must have done something wrong, I repeated the process, this time soaking them in a mixture of water and ascorbic acid to prevent the browning. They didn't get as brown but the result was much the same.
So, I went to the grocery store and to see if I could buy banana chips in the bulk food section. After brutally murdering two bunches of bananas I bought the chips for $1.46 a pound. I'm pretty sure that's less than the cost of the bananas I ruined.
Oh, and yesterday I wrote a two page scene. Then realized that it was totally useless and had no place in the book. Threw that away too.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Look Over There ===>>>

That's the cover of my next book, Let Sleeping Dogs Die. The Husband came up with the title, so now I owe him or something. This isn't the original cover the publisher came up with. The first one they sent to me showed a dog laying on his/her back -- like a dog playing dead. It was very cute and I didn't think it looked like a dog that was actually dead. Still, we decided we didn't want to incur the wrath of any dog lovers who might misinterpret the cover, so they changed it.
This cover is actually more applicable to the story because, of course, I don't kill any dogs in the book, only humans. Actually, only one human in this book.
Anyway, I like the cover and I hope it encourages people to pick it up.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Another Fine Mess

OK. Here's what really happened. I wrote a book. I liked the book, thought it was pretty good. Queried a whole bunch of agents with the book. Got a lot of requests for fulls and partials, but ultimately no offers. When I get rejected with personal comments, I try to learn from them. Unfortunately, the comments for this book were scattered. Some loved the character but didn't think the story was strong enough. Others thought the plot was great, didn't care for the character. One liked everything about the book but didn't think it was right for them.
On top of all that, the book was about a woman who is a Deputy U.S. Marshal working in the Witness Security Program. Right after all the rejections, the TV series In Plain Sight debuted. Which of course, featured a female Deputy U.S. Marshal working in the Witness Security Program. There wasn't a lot of other similarity but still...
So, the book set on the virtual shelf for a while. Then I decided to rework the entire book. Using some of the characters and some of the plot elements but adding a lot of different stuff -- like paranormal elements.
I've deleted a lot of stuff, reworked some of it and I'm in the process of putting in some other stuff and trying to make sense of it all.
I'm now at the point of hoping I can find the "fine" in the "mess".
But I'm really having fun with the paranormal elements.

Friday, April 17, 2009


It's exhausting me. The lightning fast tweets on #queryday are difficult to keep up with unless I devote my entire day and attention span to them. So, I'm just going to check in occasionally and wait for the blog posts that will summarize it later.
Meanwhile, I'm determined to get through some more revisions today on Chimera. And I really need to do something about that growing pile of recycling that has taken over the tiny square of counterspace I've allotted to it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Website Woes

You may have noticed over there to the left that I have a new domain. I didn't want a new domain, but I stupidly forgot to renew it in January and some other Liz Wolfe snapped it up. Who knew there were so many of us? To further confuse anyone who might go to the former site, the other Liz Wolfe is also a writer. At least that's the impression I get. Her website is a blog where she answers questions. I'm not sure where the questions come from but whatever.
So, now I have a new domain. No problem. But, I can't get my freaking pages to upload. I've been fighting it for a couple of days and I'll probably have to break down and ask The Husband for help today. Or call GoDaddy.
I know it's just that I'm doing something wrong but it's so irritating. And honestly, the only problem with asking for help is that I hate to feel stupid or incompetent. Even when I am. but it's either ask for help or waste more of my writing time trying to figure this out.
I'd rather be writing.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I logged into Twitter just now and found a bunch of tweets about #amazonfail. It seems that Amazon has a 'policy' where they don't rank certain books THEY consider 'adult'.
Here's their letter about it:

"In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.

Hence, if you have further questions, kindly write back to us.

Best regards,

Ashlyn D
Member Services Advantage

It seems that they have a weird idea of what's "adult" and what isn't. For example, A book of over 600 photos of Playboy centerfolds is ranked. Also, some romance novels with very explicit (hetero) sex scenes (I know, I've read them) are still ranked. Also the book "A Parent's Guide to Preventing Homosexuality" is still ranked. But classics that deal with homosexuality in a positive way are unranked. Gay romance where there is NO sex is unranked. Even "Heather Has Two Mommies" is unranked.

You can sign a petition to protest this policy here .

I will NOT be purchasing anything from Amazon until they stop this stupidity.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

So much for...

My intention to blog more regularly. And they were the best of intentions. Really. I have (excuses) reasons, good reasons. OK. Maybe not. I could promise to be better, but seriously, who would I be kidding?

I have been writing. Mostly descriptions for fireplace accessories. In case you ever wondered, there are thousands of styles and finishes. No, I didn't think you have wondered. Neither had I.

But, I've also been writing on the next book int he Skye Donovan Photographic Mysteries series. This is the first book I've sold on proposal, so I was a little worried about it. Could I duplicate the same humor? Could I write it at all? Evidently, I can. It's rolling along, and I have another four months to turn it in, so I'm not terribly worried.

And the Paranormal Suspense is still simmering on the back burner.

And then there's more fireplace accessories to write about.

I better get busy.