Tag Archives: author blog

Meeting Agenda

Here was the agenda for my meeting today…NO JOKE!

I)       OSU Email is the preferred service.
A)     Checking you email
1)      If you have your OSU email forwarded to another account always check your SPAM/Junk folder.  There are no excuses for missing an email because it was in your SPAM/Junk Folder.
2)      Employees of the University (GRA, GTA, GAA, or fellows) need to check your email at least once a day, Monday through Friday.

In addition to checking your email please read the email thoroughly.  If there is an attachment you might want to consider opening it and reading it.
B)      Responding to an email is just as important as reading it.
1)When there is a question posed to you in the course of an email please respond
2) If something is asked of you, please make sure that you reply to this email.
3) In certain circumstances an email will be sent to you directly from the Graduate School asking for your response. Under that scenario please respond immediately and copy Darla and me.
II)     Deadlines
A)     Graduate School and Registrar-Their deadlines are beyond our control.  If you miss their deadlines we will do anything for you
B)      Internal Deadlines- These are written in places like the Graduate Handbook.  We also send reminders concerning due dates.  When you fail to meet these deadlines you may think that you are in the clear, but in reality they will be taken into consideration for things like funding.
III)   Registration
A)     The windows to register open months prior to the start of the next term.
B)      Please register when your window opens.  If you are waiting for your TA assignment then please register immediately after you receive the assignment.
C)      When registering for Independent Study, remember to register for the correct course (5193=MA/MS, 7193=pre-candidacy PhD, and 8999=post-candidacy PhD).  A failure to register for the correct class post-AU13 leads to your Independent Study Proposal and Update being marked as incomplete.  This harkens back to reading your email.
IV)   Degree Requirements
A)     Know them, they are located in the handbook
V)     Excuses
A) Do not make them. They are usually ridiculous, without merit, and no one wants to hear them.

New Year’s Resolutions

I know it’s been a while and quite frankly I suck as a blogger. My life is not interesting enough to share because I’m too much of a hermit when compared to normal people. So, in order to start the year off right, my first blog of the year will be about my new year’s resolutions. You can bet that blogging more will be on it! HA!

1. I will read the books I have instead of buying more.

Unless, I absolutely need it.  I mean there are some series that you have to buy to keep up with. I may have 50 free books I’ve gotten from conferences and events, but I need to read the new Kim Harrison and the new Ilona Andrews. I just have to. No one would blame me for that. Their release dates are already on my calendar. I can’t just ignore the little pop-up on my email. That would be rude. Sheesh!

2. I will not disparage myself with self-deprecating statements.

Ugh! This is going to be a hard one. I’ve lived the last 35 years thinking horrible things about myself and verbalizing them in a funny, snarky way. I’m good at it. They come out of my mouth without thinking. Changing the way I think about myself could prove to be almost impossible with all the ingrained low self esteem I’ve been carrying around since puberty. However, my husband has been given permission to call me out on my bullshit if I slip up. Oh, this should be fun! Does anyone know a good divorce attorney????

3. I will blog on a regular basis.

I am bogged down with school, work, and writing but I have to make time for a regular blog every week. I know all of you have been completely starving for my words of wisdom and funny anecdotes. Who am I to deprive you?

4. I will learn the cello.

This one may be more complicated since I don’t actually own a cello but I thought I’d give it a go. You have to toss in a throw away resolution or there’s too much pressure.

5. I will exercise on a regular basis.

I HATE EXERCISING! HATE! HATE! HATE! I don’t think I can get my point across enough. I don’t like to sweat. I don’t particularly like to exert myself in a physical way. I only really believe you should run if someone’s chasing you. And, I don’t want to spend my entire life in a gym because I would have to work out 2 hours a day, 7 days a week just to make a dent. (Wait, does that count as a disparaging remark? Shit. I don’t even know. I didn’t say it. It was in writing so I feel like it doesn’t count. So there!)

6. I will graduate with my master’s from OSU.

This one’s in the bag. I already filed for graduation for spring semester 2014 so I’m really just including this one to pad my record. LOL!

So that’s it, kiddies. I would include be nice to my fellow man and some shit like that but that’s simply impossible and sets me up for failure.  This is going to be a great year! Happy 2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Best Laid Plans

The Golden Anidae is only 9 days away so here’s a freebie! This little short takes place from Dean’s perspective over  a scene in Midnight Ash. MidnightAsh2_850This consists of strong language and has not been professionally edited. Read at your own risk.

The Best Laid Plans

“There’ll have to be a change of plans,” Pat said as if his perfect little world wasn’t falling apart.

I understood the slight tick at the corner of Pat’s eye.  It was almost imperceptible but I knew Pat, knew what to look for.  Pat wanted to kill something, anything that moved to keep the Blushing Death safe.

“What plan?” the dangerous little mouse squeaked.

Danny glanced over at her with guilt written all over his face.  Stupid pup. She could eat Danny alive.  Her face flushed and the soft grey of her eyes swirled with anger, tugging at my insides.  The room filled with her, the soft floral, feminine scent mixed with the rich spiciness of her anger.  My cock hardened along my thigh as her scent permeated my brain, registering something deep in my synapses that I didn’t understand.  My wolf wanted to leap out to meet her, to run with her.  I fought to hold back my beast and keep control.  I had reacted to her like this from the first and it took everything I had not to rub up against her and mark her as mine.

Dear God, what is she?

She glanced over at me, her grey eyes churning with a secret. With a wicked smile on her face, that glint in her eye was as if she’d imagined something horrible in her mind and got satisfaction from it.  I liked that devious and predatory grin.  My wolf knew it for what it was, dangerous, protective, and mine.

Pat reached out and touched her, sliding his cold, dead hand against her cheek.  Something inside me wanted to rip that hand off. It didn’t make sense. Pat was my friend, had been for decades.

The Blushing Death jumped at his touch and my wolf was glad of it. Quicker than either I or Pat saw, she’d drew her knife.  The Blushing Death would never be a victim. She’d kill everyone and everything before she let that happen and I was glad of it. Humans didn’t live long in our world but then again, she wasn’t merely human.

Pat reached out, slow and cautious, touching her again. She dropped the knife but I could see the reluctance in her gaze.  I wished it was my hand on her cheek, wished I was comforting her.

Damn it!

Janey . . . I missed Janey.  That was all. I was lonely, so lonely.  Dahlia Sabin wasn’t mine.  She was Pat’s. My wolf growled deep in my being, arguing with my brain. She may be Pat’s but she would never be Danny’s.  That much, I knew for certain.  No matter how much that boy wanted it to be true, she would never be Danny’s.

“There’s something else?” Pat asked her.

“Later,” she said, turning to face the rest of the room with her shoulders back and her chin high.  That woman was every bit an Alpha and my cock throbbed at the thought of testing her.

“What’s the change in plan?  What’s the plan period?” she snapped, sliding that long silver blade back into it sheath.  I could read the tension in her body and something in me ached to ease it.  She caressed the blade as she would a lover, taking comfort from the weapon and her own sense of determination.  The Blushing Death was no shrinking violet and my cock twitched, imagining her fingers wrapped around my hard length, squeezing my shaft with the same tenderness.  My beast paced back and forth inside me like the caged animal it was, growling through my mind.  I was stronger than this.  I was stronger than whatever was tugging at my chest and riling up my beast.

“Alex and I had intended to confront the board in the Lebensblut New York offices to come up with a compromise,” Pat said with more words than needed. Too many words could get a guy in trouble. “I’d hoped we could stop this before it started.  Make amends somehow.  Now, I’m afraid we’re too late. We’ll make an appeal but I’m afraid that Dahlia needs to be protected.”

She was stiff, her hands balled into fists at her sides as if she wanted to punch everyone in the room. I couldn’t blame her.  Pat was heavy handed but he knew what he was doing.  She took a deep breath and forced her shoulders to relax.

“Okay.  I’ll need protection,” she agreed.

Before I could hold it in, I laughed.  Out loud. The raucous sound was so foreign, I startled myself.  Pat’s eyes were wider than dinner plates and I could almost see the wheels turning in her head.  She’d surprised everyone.  Including  me.

She and Pat both glared at me but I didn’t care.  I couldn’t remember the last time I’d laughed.   It felt good.  Better than I remembered. Who was this woman? My heart raced in my chest and what I could only describe as fear churned in my gut. She’d made me feel things in the last five minutes that I hadn’t felt . . . ever. Not even with Janey.

“Is something amusing, Dean?” Pat hissed.  His jaw was tight and his tone clipped as he glared at me.  I didn’t care.  I enjoyed the light feeling in my chest and even the fear.

“You said she was unpredictable,” I answered through strangled laughter and sunk back into the couch, relaxing.  I liked her more than I knew was good for me.

Fantasy Football…ARGH!

I’m going to tell you a little secret. I live in Columbus Ohio and I don’t really like football. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone. I might get run out of town. This town lives and dies by OSU Football. That is our “professional” sports team. I’m not saying this because the payers are paid or anything, merely because this town treats it like any NFL team.

I’ve grown to accept that on Saturday’s between August and January, I’m watching football in one form or another and maybe even attending a game or two. I’m married and we all have to sacrifice for our spouses. But I was blessed because Sundays were relatively free of football. That is until this year. 

Ross was encouraged to be on a fantasy football team by one of our friends who has just plummeted to the bottom of my shit list – that’s right! I’m talking to you Mark Aaron! Sunday afternoons have become one game after the other as Ross stares at his “board” and watches his points compared to someone else.

The worst part of all of this, is that he’s got me watching that damned board too. I can’t help it! I have to win. I don’t have the personality to lose graciously and I won’t allow Ross to lose either. First, he has to beat Mark Aaron simply for ruining my Sundays. I feel that’s just fair. Second, I didn’t marry a loser! And finally, I wouldn’t tell him this but if he wins maybe he’ll join next year too and stay out of my hair on Sunday afternoons. We are incredibly unproductive when we are alone together. I might be able to get shit done!

RT2013

Am I the only one not concerned with fame?

I don’t care that you’re famous.

If you’re an ass, you’re just a famous ass and I don’t have time to deal with that.

If you have fans (and don’t get me wrong, I’m totally jealous), but at least pay attention to them and don’t treat them like their shit. If they want to take a picture with you, smile and say “sure, that would be great!” Also, don’t hide who you are. If you started out as self-published, acknowledge it and embrace it. Be proud of where you came from. Yes, now you have a very VERY lucrative publishing contract but own up. You started out as fan-fiction, stole someone else’s characters and wrote a very subpar set of novels that the general masses adore. Own it!

Maybe its me but I can’t respect a person who doesn’t acknowledge who and what they are, the work they’ve done, and tries to be something they’re not.

As an author, I strive to be better every day, to make my characters as real for my readers as I can. I’m not going to lie. I’ve written some shit in my day, unabashed shit but I know that and acknowledge it. I learn from it and and develop not only as an author but as a person taking the good with the bad. I feel that most of us who are in the business for a while want to be proud of our work and we understand that rejection, development, and tears are all part of the process. If you catapult to stardom without the benefit of failure, you lose something. You lose the ability to be humble, thankful, and grow.

I realize this is a little late considering that RT was in April but better late than never…right?

WordPress and the Static Page

All i want is to have the blog show up on the blog page! Why is this so difficult? I know I created the blog page first and the static site second but I just want it to show up on the blog page in addition to the widget at the edge of the page.

ARGH!

I have requested help from a friend and she thinks I’m nuts. The following conversation has transpired between me and said friend:

me
i hate websites
1:08 PM
me
i hate wordpress
1:30 PM
FRIEND
Why??
I think I’m decent at wordpress
Do you need help?
me
yes,
i have a blog and i’m turning wordpress into a static page to move my website over but i can’t move the pre existing blog over to the blog header page
ARGH
FRIEND
what format?
me
i have no idea
I have to go to a meeting in a few
FRIEND
What is your website now?
me
logon is XXXXXXX password is XXXXXXX, play around if you wish.
my current website is suzannemsabol.com so i’m trying to move all that crap over to wordpress and make it better
FRIEND
On wordpress?
me
1:38 PM
FRIEND
Where is the old blog?
1:41 PM
1:42 PM
FRIEND
Am I missing something? When I go to the wordpress site and click on “Blog”, I see 5 posts
Are you trying to get them so they appear on the body of the page and not just as links in the sidebar?
1:44 PM
me
yes
because that list of 5 posts should be on every page
2:30 PM
me
i might cry
on a better note, the meeting was fairly uneventful
2:39 PM
FRIEND
That list is on every page?
I feel like youre hallucinating these issues
2:45 PM
me
no, its a widget
it posts on every page
This is the conversation I just had and we are now both frustrated! *SIGH*
And yes, i really do talk like that.

Reviews and Comments…BOOOOOO!

Okay, so we all know that goodreads.com is a book review site…right?

I had to read the Higher Education ? for my Higher Education Policy class and honestly, I had to put it down a few times to regain perspective. When I started to feel sorry for the way faculty were portrayed in this book, I took a step back and put the book away. If any of you don’t already know, I work at a major Big 10 University and am up to my neck in faculty and their self-centered bullshit every damned day. So, while reading this book, you can imagine my unease when I started to side with the faculty in this author’s arguments. After finishing the book with a bad taste still in my mouth, I wrote the following review on goodreads.

Higher Education?: How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids—and What We Can Do About It
by Andrew Hacker, Claudia Dreifus
7097994
Suzanne M.’s review Jul 12, 13 · edit
1 of 5 stars
Read on July 11, 2013

Working in Higher Education, I have a unique perspective on the issues presented in this book. On many points, they present valid concerns. As in any industry there are those who take advantage of the system and those that work tireless for their chosen profession. Categorizing all faculty into the former grouping is unfair. The condescending tone of their arguments and the lack of statistical data make their arguments hard to back up, making them seem angry and petulant.

The authors of this book also make wide generalizations regarding the functioning of universities. I’ve found {from my own baseless observations – LOL} that most faculty (as the author is) rarely understand the actual administrative processes or the reasons behind them. So to make accusations about the appropriateness of spending is a spurious assumption, riddled with holes.

Hacker bases much of their observations on Ivy League institutions. As many aspire to emulate these universities and colleges, the reality is that the actual number of students attending those institutions are minuscule compared to the greater college going population. How does this relate to the actual problems facing higher education? This book also ignores one of the fundamental issues with higher education today. The students and the parents.

If someone is looking for an accurate and representation of higher education and the problems plaguing us, this is not the book.

Now, as some of you may notice, I commented more on the tone of the book than the actual points the author made. Although I agree with the author’s concerns in most cases (our higher education system and K-12 system does need a hard look) – not necessarily the solutions, I commented mostly on the tone of the writing and the unsubstantiated assumptions. The author states that he and his co-author did not do statistical data collection to back up their conclusions but instead contacted colleagues around the country to gather their information. The anger that came through clear as a bell in their writing and voice made it seem more like the author was angry at the system for personal reasons than some higher purpose or championing the rights of students. The authors of this book also spent a great deal of time on college athletics (without doing any research…might I add) and basically condemned the entire practice, suggesting that perhaps college athletics should be dissolved altogether. Not once did the author take into account that sometimes, an athletic scholarship is the only way some kids are able to go to college. That was very aggravating.

A day or so goes by and then I get an email from goodreads. Someone has commented on my review. What?!? I was very excited and went straight to goodreads. I rarely post reviews (mostly because I can’t be bothered or don’t have the time. The book has to either be fantastic or suck big donkey balls for me to post an actual review), so when someone commented, I was ridiculously excited to see what they thought. Then I opened goodreads and read this…

message 1: by Peter Jul 13, 2013 03:58am
Peter I haven’t read the book and wouldn’t dispute your characterization of it, but it’s clear from where I stand as someone who studied the history of higher education for his Ph.D. and then taught in three institutions that higher education is led by people who are intent on preserving their privileged status at the expense of students and taxpayers. The fact is that the reality of education for too many students does not come close to the stated mission of the institutions they attend. As a result there needs to be an open national discussion about higher ed with the hopes that new leadership emerges and institutes needed reforms.

Okaaaaaay. So, here’s the thing. I wasn’t making a political statement. I didn’t even really discuss the state of higher education today and all the flaws in our educational system (cause believe me, there are quite a few). It was a simple book review. If you haven’t read the book…maybe you shouldn’t comment since you DON’T KNOW WHAT THE HELL YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT! If you want to have a political discussion or a policy discussion, goodreads isn’t the place for that. Also, if your first statement is that you haven’t read the book on a book review site, that should be your first clue to not hit “post”.

Shenanigans @ RAGT

Hi Peeps! I know I’m a day late and I’m truly sorry but I had an economics midterm last night so I’ve been stressing about that for the past week. After that fiasco was over, I engaged in an epic binge session consisting of Wendy’s spicy chicken and some cookies. Immediately following that and the last half hour of Real Housewives of Orange County (the drama is ridiculous), I went promptly to sleep. I won’t lie, I might have snuck in like 15 minutes of million dollar listing. I <3 Frederick! Seriously, if he wasn’t gay and I wasn’t married, I might stalk him…just a little. My brain, however, had too much exercise and use yesterday and decided to shut down all on its own.

Sooooo, now that I’m back to the land of the living for at least a day – let’s talk about my weekend. It was Lori Foster’s Reader/Author get together in West Chester Ohio. For those of you not from Ohio, that’s a suburb outside of Cincinnati. There’s an Ikea which is all you really need to know. And yes, I did take time out on Saturday to hop over to Ikea and get some things. Cause that’s how I roll. 

Anyway, I drove down on Friday night after work. Which was nice to have a little quiet time to myself. I’d consumed 32 ounces of water throughout the day, then a biggie iced tea on the road. This proved to be a mistake. When I hit 275 (Cincinnati’s outer belt), the traffic stopped because of an accident and the waiting game and the pressure on my bladder began. And honestly, if you can’t drive in a straight line, I don’t think you should be behind the wheel. But I digress, forty five minutes later, I walked into the lobby of the Marriott bouncing up and down to keep from leaving a puddle on the floor.

I stepped up to the counter and said “I need to check in and where’s your restroom?” The kind lady pointed behind me to where the restrooms were located and I took off like a shot. Running down the hall in a dress and espadrilles, I wasn’t looking back. I couldn’t. There wasn’t time. The receptionist asked my name as I turned and ran down the hall. I yelled back at her across the lobby. Classy…I know. 

After check in and registration, I only had a little while before the book signing. So I trekked down to the lobby again and set up. They stuck me in the corner at a rounded table with three other others who wrote erotica. I can’t remember any of their names. Shit! I should remember this, we sat together for two whole hours and talked about orgasms and laundry. This is bad. So much for my networking skills. Anyway, after about fifteen minutes, an author at the next table arrives. Now, I only mention this because she was dressed at a viking.

You read that right folks! She was dressed as a fucking VIKING! Furry hat, horns and all – very Brunhilda-esque.

Hitting on her and garnering quite a bit of attention, was our favorite cover model – dubbed in previous years as Skeezy Bastard.

Several friends and I named him this because he hit on all of us and every woman at the bar. He asked poor Amanda if she was sharing a room and if she would like to share it with him. When one of us shot him down at the bar, he moved right on down to the next one…literally. *Sigh* Good times. Skeezy Bastard hit on a lot of women this past weekend, and by late Saturday, he wasn’t being picky in his selection of women either. 

Tiff, Eva and I ended up going back to the room after that and having a good old fashion slumber party with lots of giggling and crude jokes. 

Saturday, was pretty uneventful. Tiff left so Eva and I were left to our own devices which is never a good idea. We holed up in our room and worked, giggled, and drank. Also, never a good thing. After consuming an entire bottle of wine by myself we headed down to the bar where Eva sucked down 3 tequila Sunrises like someone was going to take them away from her and I had this:

 Image

 

I have no idea what was in this thing except for the nerds at the bottom. It took Eva to explain that it was supposed to be gravel – you know, like in a fish tank. Not my finest moment. And three, count them, three Swedish fish. It was delicious and STRONG! I watched the bartender make one for someone else and said:

“I don’t even care what’s in that but I must have one. This shit is happening!”

We made jokes about Skeezy Bastard, talked about writing, and made friends with the bartender – who by the way, remembered us from last year. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I like to think it just makes us AWESOME!

I drove home Sunday morning, hung out with my husband then we ran over my glasses with the car. Yep, so that was fun. On top of dropping my phone in the zoo’s public toilet a few weekends ago, my expenses for ridiculous shit has skyrocketed. Lug in the nonsense with the Slanty Shanty and we can just call it a day. UGH! I have yet to replace my glasses. I feel like its summer time and I can just use my prescription sunglasses instead until I get new ones. Its worked so far. Also, I haven’t replaced my phone (dubbed the pee phone this weekened by Tiff- Thanks Tiff!) since it’s kinda working with a new battery. I don’t want to talk to anyone anyway and if its important, they’ll just email me.