Monday, November 30, 2009

tum te tum


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Geeking Out

I really FlashForward but I'm way behind on watching it because I like it watch it with Cam, who has been too busy to spend time with his old mom. I turned on the episode called The Gift last night and geeked out too much to watch it. This episode has a special guest star called Mark Famiglietti, who I've mentioned in this blog before I think.

I did a show called Young Americans almost ten years ago and he played a character called Scout. My friend Mark Andrew Beachy was his stand in and we all spent some time goofing off. The same television show also featured Kate Bosworth as Bella. Kate later went on to play Lois Lane in Superman Returns. She was also a pleasure to work with and I had a nice talk with her father about what it's like to be the parent of a child actor who is just moving up to the next level. But I digress.

Anyway, there Mark is in FlashForward, putting me one degree from FlashForward, which is a game I definitely like to play. Then I see Alex Kingston (Doctor Corday on ER) in the same episode, who played Professor River Song on Dr. Who, which made me squeal with delight because I love that show so much. (I love David Tennant as the Doctor. I don't even know if my heart is strong enough to watch him die to make way for the next Doctor soon. It preys on my mind. Ridiculous but true.)

I had to stop watching the episode at that point. I couldn't pay attention to the actual plot. Le sigh.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

In which someone is surprised

I sent a query letter to an agent at the beginning of 2008 then went to work on another project. I know you're supposed to query widely but I get easily confused and wanted to do one person at a time. A couple of months later I got a request for a partial, which turned into a request for a full, which I sent in August of 2008. Then nothing. I sent a couple of status checks, the first after six months I think, maybe the second after a year, and never got a response.

My boss who is a New York Times bestselling author, said that much time without an answer is a no and another agent said something similar. I was planning to query again, more widely, once things settle down a bit. I have enough anxiety over buying this house (did I mention we found mold on the ceiling yesterday when we took Chris to look at it?) and doing NaNoWriMo (still need 6000 words to finish) without adding the stress of querying.

Imagine my surprise when I got a response to my query. I really didn't expect anything after all this time. The agent said they were conflicted over my manuscript. They liked quite a lot of it but in the end weren't passionate enough about it to think they could do it justice. A very nice rejection and now I can move on without feeling vaguely guilty that there's still a full out there that someone might want.

Sometimes closure really is all it's cracked up to be.


Wordle of my NaNoWriMo 2009 Project so Far

Scott Westerfeld offers up some terrific advice in this post about using word clouds to figure out which words you might be a little too fond of. (For me I know I use the word so too much and awkward shows up in this manuscript quite a bit.)

I made this image using I couldn't fit the whole thing into my image manipulation program but it says Sierra at the bottom of the image. She's my protagonist and is in every scene, so her name dominates. Other characters are her best friend Mika, her boarder Mike (I know, too similar, working names only), her friend Puff who lives on the neighboring farm, her horse Maya and her mom. Loads of m names but that's temporary. She has a head injury after being trampled by Puff's new horse Spazmo, hence the word head showing up a lot as well as doctor.

You can make your own word cloud using this link:

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Trouble in Rat Paradise

We have four pet rats, which seems to be our magic number. They live in a big cage in the hallway right outside of the room where I spend all of my time (they're not in the room because my light annoys them) where they get company from people walking past and talking to them and where they can easily be taken out to play. Unfortunately they're all in ill health right now. Rats are very susceptible to cancer since they're descended from lab rats and one has mammary cancer. Her name is Master Chef, she is our oldest rat at about two and a half (I think) and she is the last remaining of the three sisters we had. Her other two sisters passed away about a year ago, both from cancer.

We have a little brown hooded rat called Calliope, who will be two in April I think, has been sick from pneumonia and is just getting better after a course of Baytril. Her cage mate Strawberry had the same sickness and is also just getting better. She is maybe about a year old. Her buddy, who we got at the same time, is called Raspberry and is extremely ill with lung cancer. So ill that we almost put her down last week as she was gasping for breath. But then she recovered and seems to be stable. It's very difficult deciding when it's time to put them to sleep. We don't want to do it while they're still happy and interested in things going on around them but since they mask illness (to keep predators from grabbing them) they can go from appearing to be okay to being in severe distress in a matter of hours. When Mass Hysteria died from lung cancer we had waited maybe a day too long and she was panicking because she couldn't catch her breath. It was awful and we don't want to put anyone else through that. So we watch and we wait and we hope we're making the right decisions.

Today everyone seems good. They've all been happy and very interested in the smells wafting upstairs. When we had dinner we gave them a huge chunk of turkey which they went nuts for and dragged into their purple house. They've been snacking on it ever since.

Enter George, our ginger cat, who has been a bit weird and spooky since Titan, our senior citizen cat, passed away from diabetes earlier this year. George has mostly grown up with the rats and doesn't hassle them. He's hell on insects and saved me from a yellowjacket once (I'm allergic and was home alone - he caught it, killed it and ate it, shaking his head at the flavor) but he's good about leaving the rats alone. The first set we had with him the house, Paws and Karma, were champion boxers and boxed him in the nose, teaching him to watch but not touch.

We offered George some turkey but it's smoked and he didn't seem to care for it. In fact he took it out of his bowl in order to eat his dinner. But he must have decided the rats had a different flavor turkey because I heard a tremendous clang and he came flying in here with his tail and back fur puffed out, all wild eyes and guilty expression.

We really don't want him to get the idea that it's acceptable to fix things out of the rat cage and eat them. Who knows where that might end. Hopefully the big noise will help reinforce the look but don't touch policy but just to be safe we took the turkey away from the rats, who were all extremely disappointed. In fact if looks could kill Strawberry would have decimated the household. A biscuit substituted but not very well.

Happy Thanksgiving to all from all of us.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Blowing an audition

This poignant post by Wil Wheaton reminded me of every time I've failed at an audition. In general I'm pretty good about not fretting when I don't get a role. As long as I've done my best I know the rest is out of my hands. But I have badly blown an audition and a couple of times I've been a little distracted and not done as well as I wanted to.

Years ago I went to an audition at Ford's theater. It was for the Christmas Carol I think. I knew someone who got in for an audition and I called and was told they were only seeing people who had agents or were union or something that I wasn't or didn't have at the time. I told them I knew they were seeing those people because a friend was auditioning and had the same credentials I did. So they said I had a lot of balls and gave me an audition time.

And when I got to the building I started thinking about how Lincoln had been killed in the theater and I felt this weight of the history and I couldn't stop thinking about how horrible it must have been for his wife and all of the theatergoers and the other actors and that's all I could think about. Then when I went in to do my monologue and I blanked. It's the only time I've ever blanked.

They let me start over and the same thing happened, at the same spot in the monologue. So I made up a crazy story about how my kid had vanished from day care and had been found a block away and I was still shaken from worry and I burst into tears and I turned down the chance to try again and I left and they never knew that I did some real acting in my panic over screwing up.

The other problem I've had is when I'm trying out for something and the writing is bad. I auditioned for a film a few years ago that went on to be very, very big but the part I was reading was just awful, all as you know Bob and I couldn't give it my all because I kept mentally rewriting the lines. As I told someone at a different audition, if I were a worse writer I'd be a better actress.

I'm not sure if there's a moral to this story. If you think of one do let me know.


Post and Run

November has trampled me in its path, leaving me unprepared and way behind. I still have fifteen thousand words left to go for NaNoWriMo and only a week to do it.

I haven't gone shopping in a couple of weeks so we have no food in the house, much less food for Thanksgiving.

I did manage to find a house, make an offer, then a counter offer and I signed the final contract today so if all goes well with inspection I'll be even busier soon as we pack and get ready to move.

Maybe February will be all peaceful and settled?


Monday, November 23, 2009

Courtesy of Cullen

I was just discussing the plot of my NaNoWriMo project with Cullen, trying to figure out a plot point, and he suggested amnesia for my protagonist. Naturally I rubbed my hands together and said, "Yes, and then we can switch babies!"

So he pointed me to this epic Asian drama. Enjoy.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

The Prisoner

I'm still watching the original Prisoner, trying to get through a couple of episodes a day to get them all seen before they vanish from On Demand. I'm currently watching Hammer Into Anvil, which is brilliant in its cat and mouse ways.

Psychological warfare of a sort is a popular motif in entertainment and it's easy to get it wrong. I did the play Angel Street years ago, which the movie Gaslight is based on, and that was kind of uneven, if fun.

This is just diabolical. I wouldn't want to mess with Number Six. I also wouldn't want to be anyone Number Six speaks to in this episode as they're all endangered.

In other news I signed a disclosure today for the house we've put an offer on. I guess the seller needs that before they can even look at our offer. How do they know where to send the disclosure if they can't look at the offer? I don't know. The world of real property is bursting with paradoxes.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rossum ads

These Rossum ads are brilliant.

Canceling Dollhouse before Summer Glau's episodes run is like hiring a master chef then closing the kitchen before she cooks a single meal. Ridiculous.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reminder about my saving money blog

If you haven't looked at my saving money blog, found at, recently you might want to take a peek. There are lots of posts about free things right now, including free recipes for Thanksgiving, free meals for kids at Boston Market, a free one year weekly meal planner and a free download from the Pixies. That's all from just the last week or so.

Hopefully you'll find something useful like the fun, free Thanksgiving papercraft link.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Not a good sign

We went to look at houses again this weekend. We were meant to look at seven but one went under contract and one had scary dogs so we didn't go in. They were wearing muzzles, which I actually found more disconcerting than if they hadn't been. To me if a dog needs to be muzzled there's a problem I don't want to deal with. Plus I don't even want the responsibility of the possibility the dogs would get out while we were coming in and out of the house. The owners have had the house on the market for more than 180 days. I wonder if they wonder why the house won't sell. Hint - people should be able to come inside and take a look around.

Then we saw one that was nice but kind of small and reeked of cigarettes. Cullen was coughing by the time we left so that was a bit of a drawback. The fireplace was nice though and so was the deck.

Then we saw one that was very nice with a huge deck and gorgeous landscaping but up some very steep, slick concrete steps with no banister, which was a bit problematic. Not problematic enough to mark it of our list but something to think about. And no real basement, just a sort of dugout space that was very hard to access, which was a pain because that's where the circuit breakers are. I can't imagine going out in the yard, unlocking the coffinlike doors, dragging them up and open, going down into the spooky low ceilinged dank cellar every time you blow a circuit. It would be annoying as hell. On the plus side there were all new appliances and paint.

Then we saw one I was very interested in after seeing it online. It's similar to the one we put an offer in on and lost but in better shape, also thirty five grand more expensive. It was very nice but with crazy carpets, wood paneling and the kitchen looked like the appliances were left over from the forties when the house was built. Also there's a basketball court that takes up kind of a lot of the back yard, which is kind of weird.

Then we saw a house that was in horrible shape. It was filthy and reeked of animals. I mean filthy. I've seen crack houses when I worked on shows like the Corner and they were in better shape than this place! We didn't even go upstairs because the downstairs was so awful and we could see that the walls had been smashed in up there. I'm wondering if someone had a "we're being evicted so let's trash the house" party or if bears and rhinos had moved in.

The next one had a gas leak, the second house like this we've been to see, and was also in horrible shape with broken windows, ruined hardwood floors, etc. It's depressing to see these houses that used to be nice in such terrible shape. There's no way you could get regular FHA funding for these homes as they're not insurable. I guess you'd have to have cash and then get to work rehabbing them. Replacing the drywall isn't even that hard but man, the smell in some of these places is just overwhelming.

So that was our weekend. How was yours?


Saturday, November 14, 2009


Check out this auction.

You had to put down 1500 bucks deposit so if you were the lucky winner all you had to do was go to the ATM and bam said the lady!


Dollhouse fan?

Are you a Dollhouse fan? Bummed out because the series has been canceled? Me too. Here's a little something to make you feel better. This is the website for the Rossum Corporation, which owns the Dollhouse. You'll probably enjoy this blurb from their contact page:

If you find yourself in less-than-desirable circumstances, if the world appears to be closing in on you and you don't see a way out, don't despair! Our work here at Rossum is to help you resurface. You may have unexpected options.

I like the use of the word unexpected...


Thursday, November 12, 2009

A little trampling won't do you any harm

I'm wildly behind in NaNoWriMo, for the first time in a long time. This morning I was more than six thousand words behind. But then I wrote about 2500 words, the most I've done so far this year. How did I manage it? I trampled my protagonist.

I sent her into a field of horses just as one new one came through the fence and into the smaller field, where it got into a fight with her mare, trampling my protagonist in the process. This after she lectured a younger girl on the dangers of the horse. Now she's in hospital with a concussion and half her hair shaved off.

Tomorrow she'll discover she's been kicked out of a contest she badly wants to take part in. Heartache! That ought to be good for a few hundred words right there.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Beat the Drum Slowly

Jeri Smith-Ready wrote a poignant post and linked to Drop Kick Murphys video for Veteran's Day last year, which you should go and read and watch now.

Saki died on a battlefield in the Great War. His last words were "Somebody put out that damned match."


Monday, November 09, 2009

May you have an intersting life

Looking for a house has certainly been an interesting experience. Not necessarily good, but definitely interesting. Right now Freddie Mac has a home for sale in Maryland that pretty obviously caught fire. Sadly I can't link you as searches all have the same URL but trust me, it's interesting.

We put a contract on a house last week but even though the house had been on the market for more than a month suddenly there was other interest in it and someone else beat us to it. Kind of bummed out over it as we looked at a couple of times and had some pretty serious plans for it. On the other hand I wish the new owners luck with the extremely creepy closet in the dining room which was obviously used to house chained and tortured children whose souls still lurk waiting for their next victims.


Sunday, November 08, 2009

Some awesome images

A sign in Amsterdam (I believe.)

Some fleeceflower in the shape of a creepy alien that likes what it sees.

Somebody's neighbor Totoro

And finally, a mobile home salesman. Not an image, a commercial.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

It's hard when you're misrepresented

Just ask this guy. It happens to him all the time.


Friday, November 06, 2009


My PT/INR is back up again, at 3.9, which might explain why I feel so craptastic. Luckily SyFy ran a Dr. Who marathon today, which my DVR thoughtfully recorded for me, which should make me feel a bit better. I've got one of those chills where you're cold and sweaty at the same time, which seems to defy the laws of nature, but still occur.

Cullen is off camping so I expect his group will be slaughtered by either a mysterious creature or a maniac with a complicated family history. Isn't that what happens every time a group of college kids go camping?


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Paper Town!

Did you read John Green's fantastic book Paper Towns when I told you too? If so you'll love this story.

Obviously the town was put there by Nerd Fighters.

Cam's theory is that CADIE, Google's AI that achieved consciousness on 4/1/2009 put it there. Maybe she lives there!


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Trailer for Caprica

I'm very interested in this upcoming series. One of my favorite screenwriters is working on it.


Monday, November 02, 2009

Not off to such a great start

Day two of NaNoWriMo and I've got fewer words than I had on day one last year. 2008 I had three thousand plus words the first day, which was nice. This year I have 2700 on the second, making me about a thousand words behind. Tomorrow I'm meeting with my lender and then taking Cam to the doctor so I'll be lucky if I write anything. I think maybe a trip to the laundromat is also in order, although I've no idea how to squeeze it in.

I did find this awesome poster today, which is a reproduction of the same one that sparked my interest in the Pony Express when I was a very young girl.

I've always been intrigued by the fact that they wanted kids under 18. Today I do believe you'd have to be OVER 18.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

How Did You Spend the Day?

I had trouble sleeping last night and was up until nine this morning. Then I slept on and off until three, at which time I started watching the V marathon, which I had DVRed from the SyFy channel and wrote a few hundred words for NaNoWriMo.

This year I'm writing about a reality show. I've got only the most vague idea of plot, characters or anything else. But that's kind of the fun of NaNoWriMo, right? I never know where I am when I start or where I'll go and I always end up somewhere interesting.