Nanowrimo

This month is Nanowrimo. For those of you who have no idea what the fuck I’m talking about, don’t worry, you’re not alone. There are a lot of people that have never heard of this.

Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month. There is a website that engages the writing community to write 50,000 words in a single month: nanowrimo.org. This is supposed to be a way to give a writer a swift kick in the ass and get you back into gear. Ultimately, getting words on the page.

A lot of people think they have to be pretty words. Incorrect! They just have to be words that make sense. You can always go back and make them pretty. Fixing and editing, at least for me, is way easier than staring at a blank page.

Almost every year, I sit down and log in. I set my project – which for me has been four different books between 2011-2019. You can see by the number of projects as compared to the number of years how successful I’ve been.

The first, I finished but it wasn’t very good. So, there it sits in my dropbox, waiting for me to revisit and rework.

The second, was never finished. Again, still waiting on me to finish.

The third was Hereditary Magic. I FINISHED IT. And, like 10 of you read it, so there’s that.

The fourth is Residual Magic…here’s hoping. I’ll be honest though, I’m already behind in writing this one and nanowrimo was my plan to get back on track. For the first few days, usually, I’m good. Then life and work gets in the way. This year was no exception. Listen, I’m fucking busy.

Here are my stats from nanowrimos of years past:

201150,116/50,000 – Yay! This is me winning nanowrimo

2012 – Sike, I didn’t participate

201318,864/50,000 – EPIC FAIL!

2014 – Bahahaha!

2015 – Scarlett was like 6 months old. Nothing got done other than working, feeding, and sleeping. NOTHING. AT. ALL.

2016 – okay, this is it. This is the year I’m back to writing 3 books a year. 4,230/50,000 Okay, not so much.

201711,229/50,000 – I’m starting to see a pattern. However, this one was actually Hereditary Magic. I did eventually finish it and publish it, just not in this time frame.

2018 – Bahahahaaha again. Actually, I think I forgot.

2019 – Here we go. I’m off to a bangin’ start… 1,604/50,000 in SEVEN DAYS.

I should be putting words down on the page right now. Instead, I’m writing this blog because in seminar after seminar, they keep telling us that consistency and content are important to readers. Can I count these words toward nanowrimo? That would be cheating…I guess.

Guilty Pleasures – Movies

So, this is my list of movies that I can’t turn off. They may be good and they may be bad (let’s be honest, some of these are really REALLY bad) but I can’t seem to turn off these movies if I come across them in the guide. Ross understands that he shouldn’t stop on any of these if he doesn’t want to watch them, because I’m going to be in til the end.

11. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1992 (Rotten Tomatoes Score – 72%)

How in God’s name does this have a score of 72%? I have no idea how these scores work but even I can say that 72% is WAY too high. Winona Ryder is horrible and over acted every scene. Honestly, I’m not sure how Gary Oldman kept his shit together everyday. Keanu Reeves is horrible. His accent is just ridiculous. The only good person in this is Gary Oldman. I just love Gary Oldman. I could have a list of movies that I love and he’s the best part, (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; All the Christian Bale Batman’s; Harry Potter; The Fifth Element)

10. V for Vendetta, 2006 (Rotten Tomatoes Score – 72%)

This movies gets a pretty okay score on Rotten Tomatoes and I’m not entirely sure what that means but the dystopian London, the vigilate in a mask, and the creepy twist on the phantom of the opera just do it for me. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I hate Phantom of the Opera, but the Guy Fawkes mask is awesomely demented.

The bit of this that makes it borderline bad for me is Natalie Portman’s accent. Come on. It’s horrible. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not as horrible as Denise Richards attempting to speak Russian in The World is Not Enough bad, but it’s hard to listen to and really brings the creepy vibes down a notch or two.

9. Red, 2010 (Rotten Tomatoes Score – 71%

Okay, so seriously, I’m listing both Red and Red 2 in this category. This has John Malkovich as a bat-shit-crazy ex-CIA operative and Helen Mirren as former MI6 who specialized in wet works, do I need to say more. Bruce Willis is kind of a throwaway in these movies, but it’s fine.

8. Bring it on, 2000 (Rotten Tomatoes Score – 63%)

Eliza Dushku as a peppy cheerleader! Done.

No but really. Technically, yes the Clovers had a better routine at the end but the Toros were cleaner and more put together.

7. Sin City, 2005 (Rotten Tomatoes Score – 77%)

Elijah Wood creeps me out and I love it!

Although the story line with Jessica Alba and Bruce Willis is disgusting and creepy in a whole different way. Dude, don’t lust after the child you saved from a molesting, murdering fuckhead. I don’t care if she is not 18 and you’re 65. Nope. Just nope. Not cool.

6. Road House, 1989 (Rotten Tomatoes Score – 38%)

How doesn’t everyone love this movie. There are some great ridiculous scenes in this movie:

  1. Patrick Swayze practicing Tae Kwon Do in only gi pants along the river for no particular reason.
  2. Sam Elliot – just Sam Elliott. There’s no way that man was winning any fight! He was a hundred years old and clearly broken.
  3. The stuffed polar bear falling on the big fat guy (Tiny) and pinning him.

Plus, the acting was soooooo bad from people who should have known better.

5. Teen Witch, 1989 (Rotten Tomatoes Score – 38%)

For some reason, they decided to have a few musical numbers in this coming of age, paranormal movie. I’ve included the most ridiculous one for your viewing enjoyment.

Also, the medium from Poltergeist is in this movie as a witch and all I can think of every time she’s on screen is, “this house is clean” when so clearly, it’s not.

This movie is campy and typical 80’s teenage trash and I love it.

4. Red Dawn, 1984 (Rotten Tomatoes Score – 46%)

Another reel of Patrick Swayze awesomeness. This movie has all your 1980’s favorites: Patrick Swayze, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Grey, Charlie Sheen, Harry Dean Stanton, Powers Booth, and they all voluntarily signed up for this. I’m always surprised that his movie has a running time of 1 hour and 54 minutes, it always feels so much longer.

3. Bad Boys, 2003 (Rotten Tomatoes Score – 22%)

I love this movie. It’s horrible. It looks like Miami Vice and Silk Stalkings had a baby and produced this cluster of a visual. The neon EVERYWHERE is incredible. What police department looks like this? They basically took every police captain trope and said, fuck it-let’s get it in there. Tea Leoni is bad. I’m not sure why anyone hires her. She was basically the Kristen Stewart of the early 2000’s. I guess in every generation, there is one. Will Smith doesn’t age. At. All.

There’s going to be a Bad Boys 3 and I’m not ashamed to say that i’m excited to see it. Look at this trailer! It looks ridiculous. Martin Lawrence is fat and doughy, and Will Smith hasn’t aged. I’m all for this.

2. Killer Klowns from Outer Space, 1988 (Rotten Tomatoes Score – 77%)

Look at those clowns! Here is the plot synopsis from IMDB: When a small town is invaded by aliens from outer space who are capturing and killing the townspeople, no one takes them seriously. Why? The aliens all look like circus clowns, use weapons that look clown like, and all have painted on smiles. Only a few of the young people in the town realize the danger and of course no one believes them. Armed with an ice cream truck they try and rescue their friends.

These clowns capture people in cotton candy and then drink their blood through giant crazy straws. Their space ship is a giant circus tent. How could you not want to watch this? No really? How? I own this movie.

  1. Old School, 2003 (Rotten Tomatoes Score – 60%)

This movie also has some problems with older men and a much younger girl. So there’s that. However, Ross and I still quote Frank the Tank at least once a month. Some of our favorites include:

  1. You’re my boy Blue
  2. I’ll just do one
  3. Earmuffs
  4. Still holding. Still holding.

Honestly, some of the best stuff is in the commentary on the bonus features, the stuff you’ll never see or hear unless you own it. Plus, the pep rally and Vince Vaughn really giving that dance his all while Luke Wilson half-asses it is entertaining to watch.

Those are some of my guilty pleasures. What are yours?

Suzanne’s Favorite Things

Okay, so I realize I’m not Oprah and I’m not giving these things out to anyone (except myself). However, I also have favorite things and I thought you’d like to know about them. This is a public service announcement for everyone. AND since the holiday season is almost upon us, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things. In case, you know, someone wants to buy me something…just saying. #Ilovepresents #ultagiftcards

  1. Cosrx Pimple Patch

These things are AMAZING! Seriously, how have I never heard of these things before. I just wish they were bigger so that I could cover my entire face in this patch like a mask and in the morning have a completely new face. I’m not joking. Slap one of these things on a pimple before you go to bed and in the morning if it isn’t gone, it’s greatly reduced. I hear they even have patches thin enough to wear under your makeup. I don’t wear make up so but now I’m wondering if anyone would notice. You seriously can’t really see these things once they’re on.

2. Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore cleansing Mask

Okay, here’s the thing. I have no idea what this thing does to my face but it feels amazing afterwards. Yes, this jar may be $35 but I only use it two or three times a week so it lasts FOREVER.

3. Rothy’s

These shoes are comfortable, WASHABLE, and made from recycled plastics. Need I say more? Oh, they run a bit small so go up a half size.

4. Star Wars Toms

So this is my first pair of Toms. I know. I know. How is that even possible? I have a lot of shoes, mostly heels, and I usually don’t buy casual shoes for myself. I just don’t. Anyhoo, I bought these. Mostly because of the reason stated above. I had no casual shoes. And two, they’re Star Wars. I think Ross was a bit jealous. Nope, I know he was. He has to wear a particular kind of shoe for his planter fasciitis, so no fun Star Wars shoes for him.

So, there you have it. This week’s edition of Suzanne’s Favorite Things.

Missing!!

This is not a drill!

Cornelius, my office spider, is missing!

Some of you may think this is nuts, Ross sure does, but I liked having this spider in my office. What started off as a joke, became practical and entertaining. He ate the bugs in my office. Trust me, my window doesn’t close all the way and I had plenty of bugs for a spider to eat.

Now, he’s gone and a part of me is distraught at the loss of my very large Daddy Long Legs spider.

And yes, I made a missing poster. I’m all in on this thing.

Amber Ruin

We’re on a blog tour this month in celebration of Amber Ruin which is being released on 10/9/2019.

Amber Ruin is up for Pre-Sale!! Get your copy today!

Here’s the schedule so you can follow along and enter to win fun prizes!

October 1 – A Bewitching Guide to All Things Halloween
https://allthingshalloweenguide.blogspot.com/

October 2 – Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read
http://mommasaystoreadornottoread.blogspot.com/

October 3 – Books 4 Book Nerds
https://booknerdbooks.wordpress.com

October 4 – The Book Junkie Reads
https://thebookjunkiereadspromos.blogspot.com/

October 7 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, and Sissy, Too!
http://3partnersinshopping.blogspot.com

October 8 – Don’t Judge, Read
http://dontjudgeread.blogspot.ca

October 9 – Ogitchida Kwe’s Book Blog
http://ogitchidabookblog.blogspot.com

October 10 – T’s Stuff
http://www.tsstuff.net

October 11 – Supernatural Central
http://supernaturalcentral.blogspot.com

October 14 – Authors’ Secrets
https://www.tenastetler.com/category/authors-secrets-blog/

October 15 – Boundless Book Reviews
http://www.boundlessbookreviews.com

October 16 – Celia Breslin
http://www.celiabreslin.com/blog/

October 17 – Reading Authors Network
https://readingauthors.blogspot.com

October 18 – Lisa’s World of Books
http://www.lisasworldofbooks.net/

October 21 – Paranormalists
https://paranormalists.blogspot.com/

October 22 – Roxanne’s Realm
http://www.roxannerhoads.com/

October 23 – The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom
http://creativelygreen.blogspot.com/

October 24 – Jazzy Book Reviews
http://bookreviewsbyjasmine.blogspot.com/

October 25 – Sapphyria’s Books
https://saphsbooks.blogspot.com/

October 28 – JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder
https://jbbookworms.blogspot.com

October 29 – SImply Kelina
http://simplykelina.blogspot.com

October 30 – Stephanie Hansen
https://www.authorstephaniehansen.com/blog

October 31 – Fang-tastic Books
http://fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com

Memberships and Contest Scores

I finally got my preliminary scores back for Hereditary Magic from the Rita contest.

Below please find the scores for your entry, Hereditary Magic Blood and Bone Legacy, in the preliminary round in the 2019 RITA® Contest.

Paranormal Romance 1
2

3

4

5
Score4.89. 8. 6.58.   
Does the entry contain a central love story?YesYesNoNoYes
Is the resolution of the romance emotionally satisfying and optimistic?NoNoNoNoYes
Does the entry fall within the category description?YesNoYesYesYes
Did Not Finish (DNF) Reason (craft or grammar). The field will be blank if the judge did not select DNF.    

Final Score: 7.5      

Final Scores are calculated by dropping the high and low scores and averaging the three remaining scores.

If there are 3 negative responses to any one question, the entry is disqualified.

You may refer to the following information in order to determine the ranking of your score.

For the Paranormal Romance category:

            Top quarter; final scores equal to or greater than 8.3

            Second quarter; final scores from 8.26 to 7.83

            Lower half; final scores equal to or less than 7.8

Let’s talk about these and my own experiences with the Rita entries for a moment. As you can see from the underlined contingency above, Hereditary Magic was disqualified for having 3 “No” responses in a single category. The category question was Is the resolution of the romance emotionally satisfying and optimistic? The quick answer to that is of course not. It’s a series and if you solve the central romance in the first book, the series is basically over. There has to be some conflict and growth. Otherwise, THERE’S NO POINT.

There was one judge, #2, who actually got the book. And he/she is right. This book doesn’t fall within in the strict category of paranormal romance. None of my books do. That’s part of the problem.

I don’t write romance.

I write genre fiction that doesn’t subscribe to the regimented format of romance. I don’t have a happy ending at the end of each book. I don’t have the romance as the focal point in each book. My romantic entanglements are not always resolved at the end of each book. That’s part and parcel of writing series.

As a judge this year in the Rita contest, I find it disheartening to learn Hereditary Magic was disqualified while more than half of the entries I was given to judge were subpar, not just in their character development but in grammar and writing style.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that I’m no Margaret Atwood. I am very cognizant of how minuscule i am in the publishing world and even more so about how niche my genre is within that publishing world. However, I can construct a damned sentence properly…most of the time.

So, this is what it has all come down to…

I’ve been a member of Romance Writers of America now for 10 years and each year I renew my membership with reticence. What is RWA and the affiliated chapter memberships providing me? Honestly, not a whole lot at this point.

This year I paid my $99 membership fee in August to maintain the other chapter memberships through December. It will be my last year. Each year, I feel more and more marginalized in an organization where I clearly don’t fit in.

I have plenty of romance writer friends that get a ton of benefit from their memberships, and that works for them. I’m not one of them. And that’s okay. I just can’t seem to justify sinking money back into an organization that isn’t beneficial to me and my writing career. Not anymore.

This isn’t a condemnation of RWA or their contests. They do a lot of good for quite a few people. I’m just not one of them. I think that saying goodbye may be the best option for me. I have made many great friends in this organization and relish those friendships and support I have found in their company. But I must say goodbye to the organization that brought us together.

Farewell, RWA. It’s been nice knowing you.

Spiders, Husbands, & Parties

Spiders

If anyone is looking for an update on Cornelius, here it is. He is doing very well, created himself a little web in the corner in between my wall and the recycling bin. Now, This poses a problem on trash day but I’ve got that covered. Actually, I told the custodial staff that I was keeping him and now they’re checking in on him to make sure he’s still there. I’m getting everyone involved in Cornelius’s well-being.

You might say, “Suzanne, this is crazy.”

Maybe, but what started off as a joke is now something to look forward to when I go into the office. Plus, this little guy is doing his job. There hasn’t been a fruit fly to be seen since I left him alone.

Thanks Cornelius, because those little assholes were annoying. Ross commented the other day about why I was killing spiders at home and not at the office. Here’s the difference. I sleep at home and I do NOT want those little legs crawling all over me when I sleep. That’s just creepy.

Husbands

So, Ross has been out of town this week at his annual store managers conference. What this means is that I’ve been alone with Scarlett all week while he’s in Orlando. All I can say is there better be a present in his suitcase for me when he gets back. A good one too.

Parties

This Saturday I am having a party for my parents in honor of their 50th Wedding Anniversary – plus they haven’t managed to murder each other in the process so that’s a bonus. I’ve been cleaning and prepping all week. If you read the above paragraph then you realize that I’ve been doing it alone. ALONE!

I sent out the invitations at the beginning of June and received about three RSVP’s. I’m pretty sure that no one is coming to this thing and that I’m going to have a shit-ton of chicken left over. At least I won’t have to cook dinner for about a month afterwards. So there’s that.

Look on the bright side, people. No cooking for at least a week.

Amber Ruin countDown

We are at just over a month before the eighth book in The Blushing Death Series is released.

Here’s a small snippet to keep you ready. Be prepared this is adult content, a.k.a there’s are some grown up words in this snippet and if you can’t handle it, now’s the time to back out. Just saying…

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” I snarled from the doorway. I’d almost refused to come out of Jade’s bathroom, but this atrocity just couldn’t stand.

“Whatever do you mean?” Jade asked, her rich, chocolate-brown eyes wide with an innocence I didn’t believe for one good-god-damned minute. She’d done this on purpose. Also, she was a horrible liar.

“Have you lost your damned mind? This dress is Beauty and the Beast on crack!” I answered, trying to find a position where the fabric didn’t irritate the hell out of my skin. This thing was like wearing sandpaper. The lemon-yellow chiffon overlay in conjunction with all the layers of tulle, and nonsense underneath made this atrocity of a dress enormous to boot. There were ruffles everywhere and I had to tilt my body just to fit through the fucking door. There was a hoop skirt for Christ’s sakes, cause, of course, there was. Not only that, I was starting to sweat. A shiver of revulsion swept over me and I squirmed as the air conditioning chilled the sweat running down my back and the fabric turned cold and clammy against my armpit. A disgusting sensation I hadn’t anticipated.

“You don’t like it?” she asked, and her voice which was usually acerbic and, well, jaded was now sugary sweet.

I glanced around the room. Alex was lounging in a chair without a care in the world. Her hair was a Smurf blue color today and spiked up into a mohawk. She wore a black T-shirt that read ‘Meh’ in bright bubblegum pink letters. Her fingers drumming on the arm of the chair made my anger prickle higher. A smirk turned up the corner of the vampire’s elven lips. God damn it, she was laughing at me.

Brittany, the resident witch who was also standing in one of these horrifying dresses, was trying very hard to look anywhere but at me. The ruffles on her shoulders and around her chest began to float as far as that seam would let them. She floated shit when her emotions were high and whatever was going on here, Brittany knew and was edgy about it.

Niyati stood in front of the full-length mirror, her gaze returning to her own reflection as she too stood engulfed in the lemon-yellow monstrosity. “I like it,” she said without guile or pretense.

“Of course, you do, love,” Alex chimed in, her tone indulgent. Niyati liked everything because she didn’t look bad in anything. Tall and slender, Niyati’s long black hair slid down the center of her back in a silken waterfall and her dark South-Asian skin appeared almost radiant against the bright yellow fabric.

My New Office Mate

Meet Cornelius. Yes, I’ve given the spider in my office a name. I am thinking about keeping him as a pet. That isn’t weird is it?

This spider has moved in and made a home in my office. I’m debating on whether I want to start feeding him or not. How big can I make Cornelius so that I can have a giant spider as a pet.

He was already dislodged once when the custodian came in to empty the trash. However, Cornelius is spry and a survivor and rebuilt his little spider condo on the other side of the wall. My spunky little spider is in it to win it.

Not Everyone is Meant to Walk in Darkness

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