Monday, September 29, 2014

Vintage Monday: Same Old, Same Old

I found this on Pinterest, and the best I can figure it must have been the poster for some propaganda movie about the evils of female sexuality. The kind that titillates and admonishes at once. Because, you know, a woman in charge of her own body and desires is the first sign of the end of civilization. After all, a woman should allow a penis penetrate the sanctity of her body only with disgust and within the confines of marriage.

Considering current conservative rhetorics and the the political disputes over whether birth control should be covered by health insurance, very little changes in the last half a century or so.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday Word: Salmagundi

salmagundi |ˌsalməˈgəndē|noun ( pl. -dis )dish of chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, onions, andseasoning.• a general mixture; a miscellaneous collection.ORIGIN from French salmigondis, of unknownorigin.

Just another word for mishmash.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Vintage Monday: Do you remember these?

I do. And I just recently realized what a relic it makes me.

Public libraries are one of the best inventions. Anyone who's against them should be shot. Out of a cannon and into a field of cacti.

Since the protagonists of my next Secrets book (fourth in the collection) will be a couple of bartenders, naturally I set out on research mission of everything mixology. My inquiries led to me to The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David A. Embury, a book that has been out of print for decades and copies of it sell for more than a pretty penny. Fortunately, the LA County Public Library system has several copies.

As I opened it I saw the familiar pocket, but there was no card in it, so I put my receipt there. At least, it's still a print book. Most days I mostly consume ebooks and audiobooks, both of which the Library has plenty. I love libraries.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday Word: Avuncular

avuncular |əˈvə ng kyələr|adjectiveof or relating to an uncle.• kind and friendly toward a younger or less experienced person an avuncular manner.Anthropology of or relating to the relationship between men and their siblings' children.ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from Latin avunculus‘maternal uncle,’ diminutive of avus grandfather.’

I would've never guessed this one.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Status Update – The Hot And Sticky Edition

I've been melting—it's been too effing hot in SoCal lately.  It's kinda hard to think when your brain is trying to turn into jello.

On the bright side, I managed to finish the first draft of Secrets and Bow Ties, the third book in the Secrets collection. The first one was Secrets and Ink and came out last December. The second one is Secrets and Charms and is slated for this December.

The one-year gap between book one and two is pretty big, but since Bow Ties is not a sequel but a spin off, I hope it doesn't matter too much. Bow Ties is supposed to come out in May 2015, and the fourth book, Secrets and High Spirits in October 2015, so those three will be pretty close together—assuming everything goes according to plans.

 It is often said that in a series the sales go down by every sequel. I wonder if this still applies if the stories are not actual sequels. Every Secrets book is a standalone, can be read in any order. Characters wander from one the other, but the protagonists of one story are bit players of the other.

Supporting characters from other books make appearances too. Bran's mother, Layla, (Dead Man books) plays a small role in Charms, and will probably return in High Spirits. Struggling actress, Sandy Baker first had a role in Hanging Loose, and was mentioned in Spirit Sanguine. In Charms she has a very big supporting role.

Before jumping on High Spirits, I plan to write another novella featuring Jon and Leander from Dead In L.A. and Dead In The Desert. I also have plans for another paranormal book or series, in the vein of the Dead Man books, but with different characters and set in LA. Hopefully my brain won't melt before I get to it.

(gratuitous cat picture)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday Word: Cryptid

Following the paw prints of Monday's Wolpertinger, I give you the phooka. What these creatures have common is that they are bot cryptids.

"In cryptozoology and sometimes in cryptobotany, a cryptid (from the Greek κρύπτω, krypto, meaning "hide") is a creature or plant whose existence has been suggested but has not been discovered or documented by the scientific community. Cryptids often appear in folklore and mythology, leading to stories and unfounded belief about their existence. Well-known examples include the Yeti in the Himalayas, the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland, Bigfoot in North America and the Chupacabra in Latin America." (Wikipedia)

"The púca (Irish for spirit/ghost), pooka, phouka, phooka, phooca, puca or púka, is primarily a creature of Irish folklore. Considered to be bringers both of good and bad fortune, they could either help or hinder rural and marine communities. The creatures were said to be shape changers which could take the appearance of black horses, goats and rabbits." (Wikipedia)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Vintage Monday: Wolpertinger

I was rummaging on Pinterest for mythical creatures this morning and came across this 16th century Albrecht Dürer illustration of the Wolpertinger. It's a creature of Bavarian folklore, composed from various animal parts--here seen as a rabbit with antlers and wings, although other formations are possible too.

I wonder if it can fly. The wings should at least help it to jump higher.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday Word: Restive

restive |ˈrestiv|adjective(of a person) unable to keep still or silent and becomingincreasingly difficult to control, esp. because ofimpatience, dissatisfaction, or boredom.• (of a horse) refusing to advance, stubbornly standing still or moving backward or sideways.DERIVATIVESrestively adverbrestiveness nounORIGIN late 16th cent.: from Old French restif, -ive, from Latin restare ‘remain.’ The original sense,[inclined to remain still, inert,] has undergone a reversal; the association with the refractory movements of a horse gave rise to the current sense [fidgety,restless.]

This word means exactly the opposite I would've guessed. I doubt restive is used much these days--I only became aware of it listening to Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon.

Oh, and I've fallen in love with Lord John. Diana Gabaldon's writing tend for the long-winded, and must admit my attention was flagging when I first starting to read the book. However, my experience much improved switching to the ebook. The narrator, Jeff Woodman, is top-notch, unfurling the lengthy prose with ease.