Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mystery Must-Haves

I asked the good peeps over at AbsoluteWrite, and now I ask you...

Let's say one of your friends is interested in reading a mystery novel. You have ONE CHANCE to hand him/her your two favorite novels and convince him/her that mystery is The Best Genre Ever (tm). Being a good friend, you also want to make sure they don't accidentally pick up a book that you strongly dislike (for any reason).

1) What two books do you hand your friend?

2) What author(s) or specific book(s) do you tell them to avoid, if any?

Makes ya think, dunnit?


Hey, I Remember Him!

My brainstorming yesterday lead me to go look up my NaNo from last year, and boy did I find a doozy. I completely forgot about David "Davey" Jones. His general complexion is about the same as this new guy I made up, but that's where the similarities end.

In this here blurb imma give you, Nikki Swank (I know, I know) is a PI in need of work and Davey Jones is a miracle dropped in her lap. He just showed up at her office. Check this guy out:

“What?” she yelled.

The person took that as permission to open the door. Mister tall, dark, and shirtless walked in, his keys still in his hands, breathing like he'd run all the way to the top of the building and back down again to her office. The nipple ring in his left nipple glimmered with the rapid rise and fall of his chest. His sweat-soaked hair was in his face and his loosely tied shoes seemed to be missing socks. His shorts were dirty and torn. Not impressed, was Nikki Swank. She set down her cigar and folded her hands on her desk.

“Sorry, the personal trainer is down the hall. She doesn't come in until ten, but I can call and leave a message for her if you like.”

The man paused and looked up from under his hair. He was swarthy, to be sure – his tan was very Mediterranean and his hair was pitch black – but his eyes were a very clear blue and he had sharp, hawkish features. Not bad. Not bad at all.

But he was still standing there shirtless in her office, and didn't look like he could afford her fees. He didn't even look like he could afford his own clothes. She waited for him to say something.

“This is Nikki Swank’s office, right?”

“That all depends on what you want and how much money you are willing to pay me to get it.”

“Fair enough.” He shut the door behind him and made himself at home in one of the guest chairs. Nikki waited for him to get settled. He did so, his elbows on his knees, that hair still in his face. He snapped his fingers and pointed at her. “I need you to find something for me.”

The dialogue between those two is really amusing. I'm very tempted to pick that up where it left off and keep going with it. That would leave my new guy in the dust, though. I'd feel guilty about that.

Decisions, decisions.

Today's moment of zen:
(sorry, the moment of zen comes with a commercial before it that cannot be avoided)


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This Guy Needs A Name

While I was putzing around this morning I had a thought -- this guy either needs to have some seriously razor-sharp wit, or he needs a healthy serving of sarcasm. If I make him sarcastic, it wouldn't be the watch-me-put-you-down kind, it would probably be more of a friendly teasing thing delivered with the grin of mischief. The thought of writing a witty character is really appealing, but that requires ME to be amazingly witty too, and that only happens when I'm not trying (and even then, not very often). Since I'd be trying to do it on purpose, I don't think it would work. So maybe I'll go with sarcasm.

And a name. Hooooooo-boy. This is difficult, because I can't even come up with a boy's name for my own baby (you know, in case it's a boy... of course I already have a girl's name picked out.)

He's not tall, dark, and handsome, so I can't use tall, dark, and handsome names. My dude is more like average height, somewhat dark, and mildly attractive. Average Joes need average names, methinks. No, I'm not using Joe. Or John. Or really anything that starts with a J.

I really have to tread carefully here. I don't want to pick a name I like, because I might use it for my own kiddo, but I don't want to resort to the number 354 most popular name of 2000-something or give him a cringe-worthy name like Deuteronomy. (Apologies for anyone who was gifted with this name or has a relative with this name. No offense, it's just... no.)

Age would probably help here. How old IS my dude? He's definitely out of college. He'd be out of graduate school too if he went, which I don't think he did. So... around 30, maybe? Hmm.

If you've got a spare name or three throw them my way!

Today's moment of zen:


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

His Dudeness, Part 2

Continuing on with my brainstorming session...

This guy, my future hero, is down to earth. He's realistic. I'm also thinking he's got a great work ethic, which makes me think perhaps he's from somewhere in the midwest, although he's definitely not a cowboy kthx. Kickass jeans and a nice shirt kind of guy. No metro skinny jeans, no I'm-stuck-in-the-90s baggy jeans, no look-at-my-ankles jeans... maybe a nice pair of bootcuts? (although he doesn't wear boots) ... and I'm thinkin' he needs a nice ass. Heroes just need nice asses, you know? Maybe he used to play soccer. And if he played soccer, you KNOW he's got some sexy calves, too. Mmmm.

Okay, getting distracted.

I just had this image of him talking to a girl with his arms crossed. That'll be his nervous habit. Crossed arms = nervous, unsure, anxious, out of his comfort zone. That would really be his only indicator, though, since his response to stress is to talk himself out of it (whether talking to himself or someone else). So he'd smile, he'd talk, and he'd appear relaxed. Only people who knew him better would know the crossed-arms thing (or someone good at reading body language, which is not a large percentage of the population).

And in case you're wondering, he's got gorgeous brown eyes, black [straight] hair, and a light olive complexion. Bet at least one of you thought he had blue eyes, am I right?

Still need to give him an occupation, though. Hmm.

Today's moment of zen:

"Anyone who takes himself too seriously always runs the risk of looking ridiculous; anyone who can consistently laugh at himself does not."


Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Appearance Standard

You'll have to read the previous section before this one makes sense. Go on, I'll wait.

*insert Jeopardy music here*

I asked you guys what images came to mind when you read over my brainstorming session. Now I'll ask you this -- what hair, eye, and skin color did you picture with those descriptions? Feel free to do a double-take on the previous post. Nowhere did I mention those details. I didn't omit the information on purpose, but then, when I was writing it, those minute details seemed obvious. Of course he's bleep-eyed and bleep-skinned. Didn't everyone picture him that way? And his bleep hair! He wouldn't look right if it wasn't bleep.

The question isn't as innocent as it seems.

Also, if I tell you he's going to be the hero of a romance novel, does that change your perception? What if I told you he would be in a mystery? Or an urban fantasy? Even I picture him a little differently in each genre.

So I'm curious -- what does my hero look like to you?

Today's moment of zen:


Friday, August 21, 2009


Since I can't seem to make myself sit down and write after work (or really do anything besides go into a coma in front of the TV), I'm going to take advantage of my mid-afternoon slump and brainstorm myself back to awakeness.

The goal here is to get something into preheat mode that will be properly warmed up for November. Obviously it doesn't have to be serious -- it just needs to exist. Feel free to pop in with suggestions or whimsical brain farts as you see fit.

I mentioned several months ago that I've never written from a guy's point of view. We'll start there, then. I have... a guy. This guy, I'm thinking, shouldn't be too tall. He needs to be closer to average size. Maybe 5'11" or an even six feet. This may seem tall to some of you but there are enough people in my family and people I work with that make six feet seem downright cute. Just for the sake of having a fun number I'll go with 5'11". He isn't overweight, but he wouldn't be featured in a calendar, either. I'll say he's got some nice arm muscle and abs that used to be a six pack.

Hmm. The abs aren't maintained but his arms are... what does he do for a living? Think I'll need to come back to that one.

Dude's got a bit of a nose. Not weirdly shaped, just not small. Larger than your average nose but it doesn't take over his face. Maybe some thick hair that just tends to lay flat. He doesn't use good shampoo or conditioner so it has no body. Thick eyebrows. Again, not weirdly shaped, just thick. I'm thinking the eyebrows and nose somehow amplify or accent his eyes. Nothing takes away from his face. Each of his features add to his character until his face is pleasantly expressive. He can wiggle his ears but he can't lift his eyebrows.

What are the teeth right next to the incisors? Those teeth face front in his mouth(they "stick out" even though they really don't). They don't conform to the shape braces would have given them. He's got one cap on a right molar. His smile is a hair shy of being too wide for his face, and he smiles often. It's infectious.

And he's single. He strikes me as a single guy. Dated a couple of bad eggs in the past and is now out of the college dating pool since he graduated like 5 years ago. Just never found that right girl. His friends haven't really set him up on any blind dates and he's had little luck on his own getting past a first or second date.

Our dude is sounding a little too nice. We need to give him some cahones. Something (or someone?) he's passionate about. He needs a button to push.

I'll think on it. In the mean time, let me know the images you got while I was describing His Dudeness.

Today's moment of zen:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Y Hallo Thar

Erm. I sort of fell off the face of the planet for a while.

*cue fidgety embarrassed-ness*

I took a break from everything writing related, and apparently I needed it. I haven't blogged, twittered, forum-trolled, or even emailed people unless absolutely necessary. What I have done is take a lot of vacation, get a lot of house stuff done, and watch a lot of TV.

And oh yeah, I got pregnant.


Teh Sass will pop sometime mid-March. In the mean time I'm starting up night classes again for the fall semester. I'll get 3 classes done by the time November rolls around and be finished for the semester, which I hope will leave me enough time to crank out something for NaNo. I succeeded for 2007, bombed 2008, and intend to fly past the finish line for 2009. I'm not even going to pretend that I'll have the energy to do that, but the actual time I can at least finesse out of my schedule. I'm a writer, damn it. I'm supposed to be writing.

There it is then. I'm not going to say Teh Sass is back in the bloggosphere, but I'm not going to say she's gone again, either.

*cue dramatic fade-out*

Your Moment of Zen: