Monday, June 27, 2011

Leavin' on a jetplane...

[I scheduled this to go up this morning, but it didn't take. Silly Blogger.]

So, yeah. Not really here today.

I'm somewhere in the sky, on one of my least favorite modes of transportation: an airplane.

It's not so much the flying I mind. It's the being crammed into a big metal tube with so many other people, and not being able to leave it when I want. I'm a teeeensy bit claustrophobic, you see. And as it's a 6 a.m. flight, ordering a martini or three would likely get me some Looks. You know the kind I mean.

And apparently to get from DC to San Antonio, you have to stop in Denver for three hours. Who knew?

But one of my brothers told me to look out the window when we land in Denver, because the airport roof looks like boobs. So at least there's that to look forward to.

What profound occurrence has precipitated this event? My mom went and scared the living crap out of me by coming this >< close to having a heart attack.

So I'll be in sunny, too-damn-hot Texas all week, and likely won't be blogging for a while. Maybe I'll see you around Twitter, though, if that's one of your indulgences.

(Did I mention I really hate flying? I did? Um, yeah. Wheeee.....!)

UPDATE: I'm in the ICU with Mom. They've scheduled her for a quadruple bypass surgery tomorrow. Oh, and Tada! I survived the flight. I think. But I'm too tired to know for sure.

Friday, June 24, 2011

What are YOU rated? G? PG? R? OMG, XXX?? (Please, no!!)

I think most days my blog would get a PG-13. My, um, "colorful" language may sometimes put me over into R territory (how many F-bombs do you have to drop to get bumped up to an R these days, anyway?), and I've been known to do a sweetish PG post occasionally (maybe even a G, though offhand I can't recall one--not sure I'm ever that sweet), but mostly PG-13.

Heck, I even censored the Camel Balls pic on Wednesday, and that was bubble gum.

Also, I practically never discuss my sex life. (You're welcome.)

All in all, I think my blog is in keeping with the kind of books I write.Which is, I think, what a writer wants in her blog. I don't think people who visit here regularly will be shocked or appalled when they read my book someday.

(Er, if they read my book. I try not to take anything for granted.)

How about you? Do you censor yourself on your own blogs? If you're a writer, does your blogging style reflect you, The Writer, or is it more you, the person who just happens to write?

To throw in some controversy, do you think YA writers have a moral obligation to keep their blogs from crossing the line into strictly adult territory? (Nope, I'm not even going to attempt to define that line. There's a reason I don't don't write YA. I'm not sure where the damn line is!)

So, basically what I'm asking is, if your blog were a movie, what would it be rated?

If you don't have a blog, you can tell me what your mouth is rated, if you like. ;)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Special, Extra-Sour Hump Day Treat For You!

Still deep in my altered state (editing), so pardon the short post.

But it IS Wednesday -- HUMP DAY -- and I know how you like your camel fix, so I thought I'd share this:

Yes, there apparently is a bubble gum called Camel Balls. According the label, they're *cough* extra sour. One can only imagine...

I took the liberty of  doctoring up the picture a bit, just make sure it's safe for work. (Come on. Don't even pretend you don't surf your blog roll while you're at work.) Just Google "Camel Balls Gum" if you want to see the un-doctored version. But be prepared. It's quite ... um, impressive.

Anyway, my new goal in life it to get hold of some Camel Balls so I can chew them. If anyone knows where these things are sold, please share.

Happy Hump Day!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The WINNERS! AKA, Rocks, Fluorescent Jewelry, and Fluff, Oh My!

First, thanks to everyone who participated in the week long TRUTH OR BIG FAT LIE contest. If was fun--and, okay, slightly appalling--to see what you thought of me.

Before I announce the winners, let me tell you the correct answer to each "fact." You know, just to build the suspense. Yup, I'm all about the foreplay, baby!

On Monday I said:

I once had to ride a cow because all the horses where I took horseback-riding lessons were taken by the kids who got there on time. 

BIG FAT LIE. I have, in fact, never ridden a cow. The closest I've ever been to a cow was on my Great-Uncle Ed's farm when I seven, when a week-old calf sucked my fingers. It tickled.

There were no cows where I took riding lessons. Besides (as Karla Nellenbach correctly pointed out), me late to any kind of appointment? Ha! It is to laugh. Nevah! (Some might call this anal retentive. I prefer to think of it as just another one of my many charming quirks.)

On Wednesday I said:

I once spent a hot summer afternoon sitting in a giant beer cooler with two red-faced Irishmen. 

TRUTH. As so many of suspected. Though probably not in the way you suspected. 

See, John, our Irish friend who kindly drove TG and me all over his fair country when we were backpacking through Europe, paid us a visit one summer after we'd returned to the States. He brought an army buddy with him, and let's just say July in the DC metropolitan area was rather warmer than either of them were used to. Also, TG and I were newly settled in a house, and still recovering financially from our six-month sojourn overseas, so we couldn't afford extravagant entertaining.

What to do with two worn-out Irishmen, red-faced from the heat after sightseeing in downtown DC all day? 

Why, fill up a large-ish kiddie pool with water, add multiple bags of ice, throw in a case of beer, and invite one and all to crawl in afterward! (Fully clothed, let me add, for those of you with prurient imaginations.) Kind of the opposite of a hot tub, and quite refreshing. TG grilled burgers, and a good time was had by all.

On Friday I said:

Once, while attending a reception at one of those giant wedding mills, I crashed the party in the hall next door, because they had better food and an open bar. 

BIG FAT LIE. Not that I wasn't tempted, especially when they started doing the chicken dance at the wedding reception I was attending. 

If you're not familiar with the chicken dance, this will give you an idea of what it is. Just imagine 200 people in wedding finery doing it at once:

But when I heard strains of the Macarena wafting over from the other reception, I knew there wasn't much to gain by defecting. Especially since the reception I was at did have an open bar. Come on! How else are you going to get 200 people to do the chicken dance?

If you're not familiar with the Macarena (geez, where have you been hiding?), you can go search for it on YouTube, because I just can't bring myself to subject you to it after the chicken dance. (Go ahead. Thank me.)

So, three of you got all three right. (Which is cool, because three is my favorite number!)

*Ahem* Drum roll, please.

And the winners are...
Summer Frey, Karla Nellenback, and Steph Schmidt. Aww. You guys know me so well. 

All three of you will get this FABULOUS ASSORTMENT OF (dumb) PRIZES!!! 

Why, yes, those are pop rocks! Because you all rock. And glow-in-the-dark earrings! Because it gives me a warm glow that you know me so well. And, finally, Fluffy Stuff, because...well, because my contests are kind of fluffy. Life needs a little fluff, to help soften the rough edges.

If you'll email me your addresses (my addy is on the sidebar in the About Me section), I'll mail your prizes ASAP.

Once again, thanks to everyone who played along! Hope it was as fun for you as it was for me.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Contest: TRUTH OR BIG FAT LIE? (The final installment.)

Are you ready for it?

Your Friday "fact":

Once, while attending a reception at one of those giant wedding mills, I crashed the party in the hall next door, because they had better food and an open bar.

Find out the contest details, and judge the veracity of the first "fact," here. And see the second installment here. You have to pass judgment on all three statements to be eligible to win the contest.

True, we don't know what the prize will be. The only thing you can be sure of is that it will be dumb and/or valueless. Surely that's incentive, right?

You're almost there! Keep your eye on the prize! (Er, whatever it may be. Won't know until Monday, when the winner--and the prize--will be announced. Stay tuned.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Next installment of ...


I once spent a hot summer afternoon sitting in a giant beer cooler with two red-faced Irishmen. 

Since it's Hump Day, I feel compelled to mention camels. Er...there were no drunk camels involved. But here's a picture of a camel drinking, just so you don't leave disappointed:

For an explanation of the contest, check out Monday's post here.

(Seriously. Check it out. If you haven't entered there yet, do it. And then come back here and do it again. There will be a prize, people. A PRIZE!!)

Monday, June 13, 2011

CONTEST! Truth or Big Fat Lie? AKA, Editorial Letters and Riding Cows

I received my editorial letter for IN A FIX from the uber-fantastic Melissa Frain (@frain on Twitter), and it was brimming kind words and wonderful suggestions. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, like I'd just downed a cup of cocoa with a slug of Kahlua in it.

Honestly, the woman is a genius at pointing out the sucky parts of a book without making you feel like they were sucky at all, only that perhaps there are ways to make those parts even more brilliant than they already are. I told her that if she were a doctor, she'd be the kind who gave shots her patients couldn't even feel. Yes, she is that good.

Huh. One would almost think she has experience in dealing with writers and their notoriously fragile egos. *grin*

But, since it appears there is room for improvement in my manuscript (shocking, I know), I will be quite busy for the next few weeks. Posts here may be a bit scarcer, or at least shorter.

(Hey! *glares suspiciously* Is that applause I hear? Cut that out!)

So, I think this week we should play TRUTH OR BIG FAT LIE?  

Here's how it works: I will state a "fact" about myself. Something I haven't shared here before. And you get to decide whether I'm telling you the truth or just yanking your chain.

At the end of the week*, whoever has the most right answers will win one of my famous dumb and/or valueless prizes (to be determined later). In case of a tie, winner will be determined by random (silly) drawing.

Okay, Monday's "Fact":

I once had to ride a cow because all the horses where I took horseback-riding lessons were taken by the kids who got there on time.

* My, isn't that a cagey way to make you come back and leave a comment on my Wednesday and Friday posts, too? Yeah, I'm sneaky like that. But, come on--my dumb and/or valueless prizes are totally worth it. You know you want to play. So, TRUTH? Or BIG FAT LIE? You decide.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Traded my Boy Toy for a Sugar Daddy

Tomorrow is the theater god's birthday.

(Yes, he's a Gemini. Which means I get to sleep with twins every night. *waggles eyebrows*)

Of course, he'll be at work. Can't be helped -- summers are for opera, and operas don't stage themselves.

But that's okay. We're going out to dinner with his folks tonight, and that will be fun. And we'll celebrate more after this first summer opera is in the bag.

TG used to be a few months younger than me, but (I've arbitrarily decided) he's much older now that I've stopped counting my birthdays. Being a cougar was fun while it lasted, but why do it to death?

Besides, I'm sure TG would love to be my sugar daddy instead of my boy toy. Just to mix things up a bit. Gotta keep things sassy. ;)

Think I could get him to put this on for me?

 Yeah, me neither.

 Happy Birthday, Sweetie*! I love you, whatever your age.

P.S. No, I didn't bake that cake. Come on. Me? In the kitchen? Frankly, there are better rooms in the house to get things cookin'. ;)

*Get it? "Sweetie" -- because he's my sugar daddy. Ha! Sometimes I crack myself up.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

NO! You MUSTN'T!! Oh, what the heck...

Theirs was a forbidden love...

And so was theirs...

And especially theirs...

(Ha. You knew I'd sneak a camel in somewhere, didn't you? It's Hump Day, after all.)

The camel and the zedonk won't even let a fence keep them apart -- that's the power of love. Either that, or the magnetic pull of the forbidden. (And that zedonk...well, he was obviously the product of yet another forbidden love -- zebra and donkey.)

There's just something about a no-no that makes you want to scream, "Oh-yes-I-will!"

Contrariness has a lot to do with it, I suspect. If something isn't allowed, whether by society or our own bloody willpower, it must be fun, right?

So, what forbidden thing have you given in to lately?

What's that you say? Me first?

All righty. I'll 'fess up. Send the children out of the room, and cover your eyes if you're sensitive.
.  Spoiler Space

I had a cup of coffee. Which I'm not really supposed to drink anymore. Heartburn, caffeine can raise your blood pressure, yadda yadda yadda. Whatever.

AND I had whipped cream on it. It wasn't even the fat-free kind. So there! (But no sugar. There are limits to my daring.)


What? You're still reading? *sighs* You're disappointed, aren't you? You were hoping I was going to spill about some clandestine rendezvous, or a wild weekend bender, or an illicit relationship with a badger or something, weren't you?

Sorry. My wild side gets most of its forbidden jollies vicariously. 

But you are welcome to outdo me in the comments. You know, so I enjoy your forbidden jollies vicariously. Come on, don't be shy. I promise I won't tell a soul. ;)

Or you can totally dishearten me by telling me how strong your willpower is. Go ahead. I'm tough. I can take it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Bunny or Hamster -- which are you?

Are you a nibbler...

Or do you lean more toward...

...gorging yourself?

No, I'm not talking about food. I'm talking about reading.

I know, I know...but I couldn't find any pictures of cute little animals reading books, so I chose to go the metaphorical route with the illustrations. Besides, who can resist a cute little bunny or hamster? Those ears? Those tiny, twitchy noses? And the whiskers...OMG!

*Ahem* But back to the subject at hand...

To narrow the question down even further, what I really mean is, reading a particular author. Say you find a book you really enjoy. Do you immediately try to track down other books by the same writer, or do you spread out the enjoyment, only reading another here and there, interspersed with other books?

A related question: do you like to mix up your genres, or feast on one until you're good and sick of it before you switch to something else?

Me? Glad you asked.

I am a gorger. Man, when I find a new author I really like, I will stuff those books down like there's no tomorrow, and weep with frustration when I run out.

Right now I'm in the middle of a Kristan Higgins smorgasbord. In the past week I've read Just One of the Guys, Too Good to Be True, Fools Rush In, and am in the middle of Catch of the Day.

I blame Tawna Fenske, who got me going on Higgins with this post. I downloaded Just One of the Guys, planning to keep it in reserve for when I didn't have anything better to do. Didn't think any more of it until four or five days later, when I sat down to give my overworked typing fingers a break.

Honestly, I don't know how I haven't managed to read these books before. They are hilariously romantic, and I do love me some good romantic hilarity. It's going to be depressing as heck when I catch up to, and finish reading, Higgins' most recent novel, My One and Only, but at least my appetite for rom com should be sated for a while.

I did the same thing after I discovered Harlan Coben. Plowed through his Myron Bolitar books first (love-love-LOVE Myron, and his batshit-crazy sidekick Win), and then moved on to his others. Same for Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse books -- I practically inhaled them.

I would have done the same to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series if I hadn't discovered it so early that I was forced to wait -- in agony! -- for each new addition after the first one. I so envy the people starting now, who can read one right after the other without having to pull their hair out, wondering what will be happening to Jamie and Claire next. (I especially advise not reading book 2 (Dragonfly in Amber) until you have book 3 (Voyager) safely in hand, ready to begin immediately when you finish. Trust me on this.)

Are there any authors you find particularly Gorge Worthy? Or do you nibble your way through your To Be Read pile?

So...BUNNY or HAMSTER? Come on, tell. I wanna know if I'm in the majority or not.

Yeah. Bring it, baby. It's BUNNY v. HAMSTER SMACKDOWN time!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

How impolite! How impertinent! How rude!, true.

I've heard of it, but I've never actually run across it in the comments section of any of the blogs I read on a regular basis. Though, if I'm honest, some of them may have *cough* deserved it on occasion, mine included.

What, you may be asking yourself, could Linda be talking about?

The dreaded...

Yes, the old "tl;dr" in the comments. Shorthand for "too long; didn't read."

Ack. How impertinent. How rude.

How...*whispers* sometimes true.

Now, seeing the tl;dr in the comment stream doesn't mean a post is bad. It could be fantastic -- well-written, informative, witty. A true joy to read. But regular readers of blogs tend to read a lot of blogs. If one blog takes a long time to read, and you multiply that by ten or twenty, or more...well, a good chunk of your day can disappear real fast. Or else you have to stop commenting at all, and that's no fun.

Hearing about tl;dr got me thinking, though. Does the opposite hold true? Is there such a thing as "ts;wb" (too short; why bother)? (Hmm. That one might come in handy for situations other than blog reading...)

Or maybe "jr;tyfnbtlots" (just right; thank you for not being too long or too short)?

There probably is and ideal range for blog post length, though I confess I'm not sure what it is. Long enough to have some substance. Not so short nobody can think of anything to say about it in the comments.

What do you think? Do you like your posts long or short? (No, that is NOT a euphemism!) (Okay, maybe it is. But let's not go there.)

Also, can you come up with a good comments acronym? (STFU has already been taken, so don't use that one. No matter how tempted you are...)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

If it's Wednesday, it must be...CAMEL TIME!

Come on. You know you love it. You were probably just thinking, Gee, I sure hope Linda has camels on her blog on this fine Hump Day -- it wouldn't be Wednesday without camels from Linda!

Well, it's your lucky day, for I am NOT one to disappoint!

Today's camel:

Isn't he jolly? Doesn't he just look, not debonair, precisely...

Damn. What is the word I'm looking for?

Oh, yeah. Dumb.

*sighs* Okay, that was kind of mean. If I've offended any camel lovers out there, I apologize. It's not the camel's fault somebody dressed him (her?) up. Honestly, no one should do that to such a dignified creature. It's almost as bad as this one:

But not quite.

Maybe. It's a tossup, really. I know! Let's take a vote. Which camel looks dumber? Camel #1 (in the hat and tassels) or Camel #2 (in the clown makeup)? 

[I KNOW. This post is a dumber than the camels.  But it's summer now, and I think that excuses a lot. Just go vote, and try not to over-think it. ]