Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Creation Agent - Installment 4 Is Live

As those who are on Hook Me Up! already know, the latest installment of my online serialized novel, "The Creation Agent", is live on my Expanded Universes page.

So, click on the pretty icon of a universe globe/swirl/thingy on an open book (hey, it works for me) and enjoy!


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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

King of the Nerds

Or, as I like to call him, the hubs.

One of the things I'm working on, one of my WIPs, requires some knowledge of martial arts. The hubs is huge into MMA -- mixed martial arts, for those of you not in the know. I've gotten attached to it a bit myself -- hunky guys wearing next to nothing while they pummel each other into oblivion. It has a certain charm. Did I mention they were hunky and wearing next to nothing?

So, I want to ensure that my WIP has veracity. I don't want to use the incorrect style name -- don't call it Karate when it's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, don't call someone Sensei when it should be Sifu, and so on. I have Mr. MMA sitting at the dinner table with me. I figure, why not ask the expert?

Oh. Right. I remember why not now. Because the expert is going to give you all the information you need, and more. Much, much more.

"Honey, I need to have a monk running this thing. So I can have his wife --"
"A real Shaolin monk isn't married. That's in the movies."
"Okay, then what is a real Shaolin monk?"
"Well, you see, thousands of years ago --"
"Um, hon? I don't care this much. I need my hero to excel in several styles, so he's Mr. Skills."
"Well, there's infinite variety. He could go for years and become great, without having to leave Kung Fu."
"Fab. You realize I'm writing this book for real people, not martial arts nerds, right? I need styles, with names, that someone belts in, so the hero can be a black belt."
"Why does he have to have a black belt? There's plenty of forms that don't belt."
"Because regular people understand that someone who's a black belt is an expert. I don't have to explain. And what the heck do you mean by forms?"
"Well, like, he could be a master of Iron Fist."
"What's that?"
"Where your hands get so strong you pretty much have --"
"The G.I. Joe Kung Fu Grip?"
"Why would I want my hero to have this skill?"
"Because it's cool."
"Not to non-martial arts nerds."
"Then have him be Iron Body. It starts with people beating you constantly with sticks. So you end up immune to pain."
"He's not immune to pain. He needs to be in pain at some point so my heroine can help him. He's a cop, not a superhero. Besides, do you belt in Iron Whatever?"
"No. But it's cool."
"Again, to martial arts nerds, only. What part of my questions and description of my targeted readers aren't coming through?"

And so it went. I finally got what I needed from him, but it was painful, even without someone hitting me with sticks, and a lot more work than it needed to be.

Oh, and just so you know, there is an additional aspect of the Iron Body stuff that some martial artists do. It's a strengthening technique that is, frankly, horrific in an almost hilarious way -- and I've seen the pictures to prove it. The end result, however, is supposed to ensure that the man can pretty much take a cannonball to the groin and keep on going. And yes, it's called exactly what you think it's called.

I put up with the hubs because, in his own way, he's mastered this technique, at least so far as it applies in the romance department. He may be a nerd, but he's a hunky one, and when it comes to Iron Unmentionables, he truly is the king.

Iron Love,

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

What's Need Got To Do With It?

As some of you may have guessed, I like the color pink. Oh, not for everything. And I'm not exclusive to pink. I adore black, too. And various greens. And blues. But I like pink a whole lot. (Blame that on Aerosmith, I'm sure, like so many other quirks of mine.) I especially like things that are pink that, say, shouldn't be pink.

For example, I got a cute little Acer laptop for Christmas. I didn't desperately need it (anyone sensing a trend?) but they're very cool, and small and lightweight, and inexpensive (well, for a laptop) and the kicker was -- mine is pink. And, I found a pink mouse to go with it. I'm stylin', baby!

And now, now I have the coup de grace...I have a pink phone. A pink smartphone. A pink Blackberry, to be exact. A pink Blackberry Pearl to be even more exact.

Oh, yes, to be sure, I didn't need a new phone, smart or not. (Yes. It's officially a trend. Though I think the hubs feels it's more like a lifestyle choice.) And, I spent a fortune on a lime green smartphone only last year. (And the less the hubs thinks about that, the better.) But it wasn't doing all that it was supposed to be able to do, for a variety of reasons, and this one was on a mega sale and, well...the deal closer, the final push over the edge? "Before you decide," the salesman said, "let me mention that we also have this in pink." And I said, "Where do I sign?"

It's a nice phone, and it seems at least reasonably intelligent and it could truly turn out to be smart, and so far I'm pleased. It's smaller than my lime green smartphone (which was, for me, more like an average-student-phone that dressed snappy), but so far seems to be doing all that it's supposed to, and I'm not having too much trouble learning its ins and outs. And, I'm willing to cut it a little more slack than my nifty lime green smartphone because,'s pink.'s my new obsession.


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