Friday, July 29, 2011

Please Don't Eat My Shoes!

My dogs are not happy with me. I've been featuring cats on here, and they are insulted. To make sure they don't eat my shoes, I'm offering up one of the cutest videos I've seen on YouTube. Here it is, I hope Cujo and Sugar approve!

Do you have a dog? Cat? Other? Does your pet ever let you know in uncertain terms that you are neglecting them because it's been two whole hours since you last scratched their head? No? You must not have a Dachshund!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

NASA, gibberish, dogs, and fun!

I want to do a mash up today, a bunch of links. I won't say there'll be something for everybody, but I hope there will be something for you. Enjoy!

Did you know NASA and space travel is responsible for some great technological advances?

Can you read gibberish?

The band Journey has been around 30 years. Their biggest hit "Don't Stop Believing" came from actual advice, and has inspired many of us to reach for our dreams. They were recently spotlighted on CBS Sunday Morning.
Official Journey website:

Love dogs? This blog is for you:

Doggie fun:

Have a happy hump day!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Don't Look,It'sThe Romance Section!

I spend a lot of time in my local library. I like writing there because it’s not home (no dogs, phone, or housework), and because I see all those books and my mouth waters at the thought of having several of my books on those shelves (I have one here—Snoopy dance. OK, calmer now). My favorite table at our library is beside the paperback romances. Perfect, huh? It’s also a learning experience. It seems romance is still a yuck worthy thing for a lot of folks.

Picture it, the library patron starts down at the mystery section, works their way past science fiction/fantasy and westerns through fiction. And then they find themselves in front of a bunch of books with a little heart sticker on the spine. And they edge away like they just saw somebody scratching themselves in public. Romance fiction is apparently the modern version of the leper colony. If the books are the lepers, what does that make romance authors? The virus in our society?

So many folks seem to think romance is easy to write, formulaic, cheesy, unrealistic. I’d like to address these ideas, working backwards.

Idea I:
Romance novels are unrealistic. I am really sorry to burst your bubbles, but fiction is unrealistic. No matter if it’s mystery, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, mainstream fiction, literary, or romance; it’s not life. Fiction isn’t life. I you read a novel that started with a guy getting out of bed going to pee, showering, farting, brushing his teeth,, getting dressed, making coffee, drinking coffee, taking coffee with him, going out to his car, getting in the car, complaining about the high cost of gas…Are you bored yet? Fiction, in any format isn’t life, it’s a prettied up, exciting, fun place to be. If it hits too close to real life, it bores the crap out of us.

Idea II:
Romance novels are cheesy. Why? Because it has a happy ending? If that’s cheese, then I must be a mouse. I’m a sucker for cheddar, and endings where the girl gets the boy, the mystery gets solved, and the long lost brother comes home. It’s a simple story? Have you actually read any romance novels? I’m sure there are some cheesy romance novels, just like there are cheesy mystery novels cheesy horror novel, cheesy literary novels. Cheese is an easily spreadable substance. But the majority of romance novels, like the majority of the mystery, horror, and literary novels are not cheesy.

Idea III:
Romance novels are formulaic, by which I suppose means written to a formula. Like the three-act structure? The one used by all moviemakers? Or is it that genre formula, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl? How about dead body shows up, detective questions everybody, red herrings sidetrack him/her, detective finds him/her facing down the villain, villain goes to jail (or dies). Or a character is introduced, things happen, more things happen, nothing changes—but there is lots of description (literary)? Formulas are not the enemy, formulas can be a structure to make the novel understandable. They speak to our subconscious. Mystery readers read because they know the mystery will be solved. Adventure novels lead the adventurer back home. Literary novels offer the reader a specific experience. Romance readers know the couple will get together in the end. There are unlimited ways to get from point A to point B, no matter which type of fiction you read. But Readers have certain expectations, and if they don’t get what they want from the book, they’ll be mad. I would be. If I read a mystery that just stopped without nabbing the killer, I wouldn’t buy any more of that author’s books again.” Formula” is really a shorthand way of saying a reader expects certain things. Like you expect when you order a stake, you’ll get a section of beef.

Idea IV:
Romance novels are easy to write. Many times this idea comes with the line, “I think I’ll write one myself one weekend.” To which I say, Try it, sucker. Just don’t come running to me complaining. And before you ask, no I will not write your amazing/perfect/guaranteed-best-seller idea and split the profit. Ideas are the easy part. It’s the writing that’s hard. Plus, I have enough ideas to last me several lifetimes. Sorry.

So, what do you think, romance novels, a good thing or the scourge of the literary world? Do you hide those romance covers when you read romance? Have you ever tried writing a book?

And so we don’t get too serious on a hot Monday morning, here’s a video for your enjoyment:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cat or Dog? You Decide

Now available from Acme Pets, the Cat/Dog or is that Dog/Cat. Either way this new animal solves that age old problem of do we want a cat or a dog? You don't have to choose anymore!

Do you think this is an authentic video? Are you a cat person? A dog person? Hate animals (but then, you probably haven't read this far).

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

They were funny then too!

I'll be you didn't know i had a time machine. Ha, lots you don't know about me.

Today we are going to hop in my time machine and go back in history. Have fun!

funny pictures history - MOUSTACHE BATTLES
see more Historic LOL

funny pictures history - Ah, Good Sir...
see more Historic LOL
funny pictures history - There's a thin line between  bravery
see more Historic LOL

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Like Your Genes

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA, for short) is the basis of life on planet eart. DNA is the code, the blueprint for living beings. DNA is reported in the news, discussed on TV shows, and has the power to convict or clear criminals. But what is DNA?

By the mid 20th century, science knew that traits were passed from parent to child. What science didn’t know was what was exactly how that happened. Something must tell the organism if it is supposed to be a chicken or a frog or a beauty queen. Something tells a human body if they are to be blonde, brunette, or redhead. But what?

In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the double helix form of DNA. They had just found the blueprint of life. They got a Nobel Prize for this.

DNA is made up of four nucleic acids (from which DNA got its full name deoxyribonucleic acid), adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. These nucleic acid form pairs and attach to a “backbone” of sugars and phosphate that holds everything together. These ingredients form the famous double helix of DNA.

Every cell in your body contains DNA. Each tiny piece of you carries your entire blueprint. Through a marvelous and complicated sequence of events, a cell in your big toe knows it is not supposed to be a liver cell.

I know it’s complex. But life is complexa. Are you happy with your genes? Would you like to change them? Do you want to learn more?

If you want to know more, here are some good resources. There are many more. Google away, my friends. Google away!

Have a great week!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Not What I Expected...

As I was working on my latest manuscript, I really needed some input. Since there was nobody around, I thought I would just have to wait. Then I saw this cute kitten, and thought, hey, why not? So I started reading aloud, putting all my energy into the intonation and really getting into the story. The kitten’s reaction wasn’t what I’d hoped for.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

End of an Era, Beginning of Another?

Last Firday the Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off for the final flight of the Shuttle program. Tears were shed, jobs were lost, an era came to an abrupt end. I’m lucky enough to have seen most of the space program in action. It was a glorious time in history. And unless something changes soon, I fear that it’s over.

Some would say sending ships, especially manned ships, into space is a waste of money and effort. I can’t help but think those people are either too young to have experienced or have forgotten the wonder of the Mercury and later Saturn space programs.  They don’t remember the indescribable thrill of seeing a live, grainy image of a human being walk on the moon. If you see that, if you really remember that, you know that NASA and the space program is about more than just space. The space program is about a dream. It’s about reaching far beyond our little world, our little lives, our little concerns to something bigger, greater, more wonderful than anything here on earth. If you remember, you know that we, as humans, are richer and happier when we are reaching for the stars.

I hope with every fiber making up this self that there is another program to replace the Shuttle. That we keep the dream alive.

Today is Nikola Tesla's birthday. Living from 1856-1943, he held hundreds of patents. Edison invented the light bulb, Tesla figured out how to bring this new technology to the masses. He was an amazing man, who  believed in the potential of space travel and even attempted to communicate with whatever is out there in the universe.

His legacy continues.

Friday, July 8, 2011


E\verybody’s up in arms over a recent verdict. Whatever your—or my—opinion, it’s a done deal. Being a little different (shocked, huh?) this has me thinking in a different direction.

I heard years ago (after another controversial verdict, actually, that if a jury can’t understand the science they will disregard it. Like DNA evidence, for instance. This blew my little mind. But then, I’m a science person. geek, nerd, whatever. I love me some science. My, not in the least humble, opinion is that the lack of understanding of basic science by the majority of the US population is affecting our entire culture, not just verdicts.

Now, since this is Friday, and I’m really, really happy to see the weekend coming, I’m not going to bore you with the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) lecture I’d planned. Instead, here’s a video. And it’s not boring. I promise. Money back guaranteed.

Without further ado: 

Thanks to Kristen Lamb for suggesting the video!