Friday, June 29, 2012

Food Friday!--The 50 Shades of Grey Drinking Game

I would have posted this earlier today, but, well, I fell asleep. Apparently I was really fucking tired. Whatever.

So, there are two different levels/phases to this thing. Because when there's something huge like this, you need to break it down. Otherwise you're just going to get fucked up twice as fast.

So, Level One--The Drink Level

Take a sip any time one of the following occurs:

--stammers, stutters, or is otherwise incapable of normal speech
--is clumsy beyond words
--refers to someone by their full name
--uses more than two descriptors for anything
--flushes, reddnes, or otherwise can't control the flow of blood to her face
--says anything along the lines of golly/gosh/oh my/jeez

Level Two--The Shot Level

Do a shot anytime one of the following occurs

--there's an obvious relationship red flag
--there's an obvious attitude of hatred toward a woman
--there's an obvious Twilight similarity
     (by this I mean even someone who has only seen the movies could spot the similarities)

Okay, that's it for now. There may be additions or deletions at some point once I figure out how fucked up this is going to make people. Anybody who tries it, let me know.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Random Thursday!

Randomness coming your way starting....NOW!

Today, I have to go renew my tag and stuff. I've never had to do this, because I've never own a car in my name, so this is new and interesting. And possibly expensive. Yuck.

I'm also actually looking at a car for me.The current car is like a family, all purpose car. I want something for me, so life can be a little easier all around. And what do I want? A Mustang. Yes, I know, so cliched and obvious and so on, but I'm pretty much at the point in my life where I'm only going to get something if it's something I really, really want, so there you go.

What else? I'm working on a drinking game for 50 Shades of Grey. Not because I have an overwhelming desire to read it, but because we're reading it as a "book club" thing at work. Which means we meet once a week and read aloud for a few hours because most of the people I work with don't read. Yes, my heart breaks as well. Since I refuse to read the book without alcohol, a drinking game is required. That way everybody can be schonkered.

Oh--you know how some people are drunk dialers or drunk texters? I'm more of a drunk Tweet-er. I just use the damn thing to say anything and everything when I'm sitting at the bar. So if you're following me on Twitter and see random nonsense on a Wednesday--that would be why.

Tomorrow--I post the rules for the drinking game! How's that for a food post?
(I know, I've been horribly negligent in that area. Someone slap me now.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Buildup--We're Almost There!

That's right, folks! We're almost at the release date for Shades of Blood! Right now, I'm just waiting for the ISBN from the head of my publishing company, who is off being her fabulous author self on the Vamps at Sea event offered by Holland America. I'm jealous, because it's a cruise and unless I'm mistaken she gets to meet Nelsan Ellis of True Blood. Yes, you can be jealous, too.

So, I'll keep everyone posted via Facebook, Twitter, and of course, here. Like all the other previous Jude books, Shades of Blood will be only $0.99! Should I raise the prices? Probably, at some point. But right now, I really want people to experience the books. I'll ask some input at a different point.

In the meantime, get ready for Tuesdays to be devoted to the Russian Mafia, money laundering, the Fae, and other seemingly random things. That's right--I'm working on BORROWED, the next Frankie Post novel. And it's off to a (haha) bang already. While Jude and company have a special place in my heart, and Cari and company are more of a from the soul thing, Frankie and company are where I can really play. My degree is in criminal justice and criminology and my family has been in law enforcement for generations, so I'm very at home with crime fiction.

And I love, really, really love, the idea of a character with the characteristics of both the hard-boiled detective and the femme fatale.

In other news, I'm going to squeeze some work out on Winged. I think I'm finally where I need to be in order to get it done. I know some people like to say that you don't need to be in a mood or a place and I'd like to agree with them, but I think that if  you try and force something out, you usually just end up going back and scraping it. So I'd rather wait patiently for the right moment so when the words come they're what's needed and not just something to put a "daily word count". And since I usually wind up spending that time plotting in my head, it's not a total waste.

So there you go! A look at the immediate and kind of distant future. Tomorrow, I should have the first guest post for Writer Wednesday, this one from the lovely Shea MacLeod. And Friday, I'm sharing my 50 Shades of Grey drinking game. Oh, yes. I'm going there. I'm pretty sure my liver can handle it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Media Monday--THE NEWSROOM

Originally, I was going to review True Blood again since it was even more awesome than last week (I think I'm developing a serious crush on Christopher Meloni). And then I remembered it was being followed by the premiere of a new series, The Newsroom, and I said to myself, "Self, hold on. Let's take a look at it, because you like things like this."

As usual, I--or Self, it's hard to keep the talking to yourself things straight--was right.

I was hooked from the get-go. Jeff Bridges reminds me of Bill Mahr which can be both good and bad depending on whether or not you care for Mahr. I don't mind him, so I was onboard. But really, and if this doesn't draw a ton of response from reviewers I'll be shocked, what instantly put me on the side of Will McAvoy was his response to a question about America being the greatest country in the world.

America is not the greatest country in the world anymore. But it could be.

I love this, and the preceeding rant, because I think McAvoy says what so many people feel and are scared to say. We hold on to the nostalgic view of a country that could and would conquer anything to prove we could but because we believed it to be the right thing to do. Now this viewpoint has gotten us in trouble more often than not (anybody thinking Vietnam War right now?) and it can also be considered just an excuse to go and be all big brother and condescending toward other nations. But I've always been a person who believes that the attitude or intent behind an action is just as important as an action itself. Or maybe that's just my criminal justice degree sprouting it's ugly head.

I digress. As usual.

The series is actually set in the not-too distant past, most likely to take advantage of the numerous stories to be rehashed and exploited. Case in point--the first episode deals with the BP explosion in the Gulf, which happened in April 2010. It was amazing, honestly, to find out all these things that, I'll be honest, I didn't have a damn clue about before. This is shameful, considering I live in Florida only about an hour from the coast of the Gulf. Most of the blame falls on my hand, but one of the things I took away from the show last night keeps going through and through my head.

I'm paraphrasing, so I may not have it down correctly, but McAvoy's new executive producer says something close to--"The point of the news is to inform so people can partcipate in the debates that shape the world."

Like I said, paraphrasing, but the sentiment is essentially the same.

I'll admit, I don't watch the news. I read the paper for headlines, the crossword, and the Limelight section. Why? Because I know my local paper is biased as hell. The reporting on the local channels is a joke at the best of times and throw-a-remote-at-the-television inanae at the worst. I don't have any respect for the industry anymore.

But I remember growing up, watching the News with Peter Jennings Monday through Friday because my grandfather did. Even if I had no clue what was going on, I still watched. For one, it was the only thing on the television and for two, I believed if my grandfather thought it was important, than obviously it had to be. Ah, youth.

The disintegration of the news industry into an arena more prone to rattling on about which star wore it best on the red carpet or the drug problems of some starlet to absolute sensationalistic crap has turned me off just as much as the overly biased opinions of commentators and reporters. I don't care if you're a Democrat or a Republican. I care about how you present the picture, if you can look beyond your own personal biases to the facts of a story.

All this being said (and good Lord, where the hell did that come from?), The Newsroom will make you think. Since I love shows that make me think (and yes, I'm aware I also love shows that don't--whatever), this is a go for me.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ranty Thursday: What's Wrong With Us?

Men say quite often they could never be women. And funnily enough, the reason they usually list has nothing to do with physical properties (although it should be noted that, obviously, we'd have to reconstruct our notion of "sex" in order to make that kind of switch).

Nine out of ten random guys will say they couldn't be female because of the drama. The seemingly never-ending, pointless, useless drama.

Sadly, they have a point.

It's a horrible cliche that women are loaded down with drama. The problem with a cliche is it tends to have a root in truth, which makes it easy for people to accept said cliche. Take a minute and think about some of the conversations you've had concerning women, their emotions, and how said emotions get played out. The word "drama" most likely comes up in the conversation.

This isn't to say there isn't male drama. Because there is. It just seems, at least to me, that men seem better able to work through their personal issues--which also seems to be the opposite of what society likes to tell us. Women, or at least those I know or have known, will go out of their way to escalate a situation, especially if they're in the wrong.

(Note: This doesn't apply to all women. I'm absolutely sure there are women in the world who lead either minimal drama or drama free lives. And I really wish I could meet them and ask them their secret and beg them to let me learn at their feet. But I digress. And I've already done that a lot.)

I work with a lot of women. I've worked with lots of women. It's part of the nature of my half of the service industry--front of the house tends to be loaded down with females. Everybody tries to get along and usually we do. But there will always be a situation where people disagree. There's nothing wrong with a difference of opinion--it can provide for healthy debate and discussion.

It can also provide for people getting offended very easily. This is what I have a problem with.

Maybe it's a by-product of also working in what could be called "entertainment", but I expect anything I put out to be a possible topic of discussion. As a result, I don't say or do anything that I have a problem with other people criticizing, whether that's in my personal or public life. I'll be the first to admit that I can be fairly bitchy. Consequently, when people call me a bitch, I'm not offended. I know it's the truth. I know I presented them the opportunity and reason to make that statement. If I talk about my sex life (or at the moment the lack thereof), then people are free to comment. I just made a personal topic public.

Some of the people I work with (and probably at this point could be considered ex-friends with) don't feel the same. They labor under the idea that while they're allowed to say and act any which way, no one is allowed to comment on it. No one is allowed to express an opinion that differs in any way, shape or form.

And God forbid if you do.

So this is my question--what is wrong with us? Why is it seemingly impossible for women to be able to disagree and still be respectful about it? Don't hand me the crap about hormones, because that's all it is--crap. Is it societal expectations? Have we simply fallen into the habit of letting exchanges with fellow women become potential landmines of disaster?

I really don't have a single damn clue. I do know it needs to stop.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Media Monday--TRUE BLOOD

Last night's episode of True Blood was not nearly as dramatic and all over the place as the premeire. Which was both good and a little bad. Unlike some people, I don't have a problem with the storylines going all over the place--maybe that's a holdover from my misspent teenage summers watching soap operas such as Passions. Whatever the reason, I actually like all the different view points going on.

What elso do I like? Not Christopher Meloni as Roman. Oh, no--I LOVE HIM. Back when I had the time to watch more than a few hours of tv a week (oh, youth), I ate up Law & Order SVU like it was freakin' candy. As responsibilities, which include waking up at the butt crack of dawn, mounted and grew, I had to give up on Law & Order but still love Meloni. And Meloni as Roman? Oh. My. God. I could not have imagined a better Authority--cold, violent...authoritative. I am not going to lie, that shit was downright fucking sexy.

What was creepy? The little boy vampire. Tara on her first night as a vampire. Terry and his flashback moments (PTSD is just as big of a bitch as I've always imagined)...and Luna. Okay, okay, I might get some flack for this, but what the hell? Really? A man you, I'm assuming anyway, have feelings for, just got the shit beat out of him protecting you and a child he has no blood tie to, and you get pissy because he's trying to NOT fly off the handle and is attempting to be an adult about a situation? Wow, way to be thankful and understanding. Really, nice job there, sweetcheeks.

The Pam flashbacks are proving to be interesting. I'm actually very curious to see the rest of her story and how she wound up tied to Eric. It's a little different from how the books portray things, but it's not neccessarily a bad one. It actually makes her a bit more intriguing. Although the accent is still a little nuts. I'm not sure what's going on with that.

Sookie took a back seat this week, which is something I didn't have a problem with. The moments between her and Lafayette were real and touching. Just like the one moment with the newly awakened, newly aware Tara facing down her cousin and her best friend over something that amounted to a massive betrayal. As much as I agree with the desire to keep someone you love around, I also agree with Tara's viewpoint. They turned her into the thing that she hates the most, and it was for an entirely selfish reason. I'd be pretty pissed, too.

Eric and Bill. Oh, it's like the new version of Cheech and Chong without the drugs. Or Starsky and Hutch without the cop parts. Or The Dukes of Hazard without the car and the moonshine. You get the point. They've set up the partnership for the rest of the season, which should be extraordinarily entertaining.

All in all, a great episode. Definitely looking forward to next week.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday--I Give Up On Recaps.

I should have posted this on Wednesday. I should have posted this at any point in the last week, really.

I can't keep doing these recaps. I'm not going to be so dramatic as to say reading and recapping Guilty Pleasures makes me physically ill, but it's pretty damn close. I'm not big on procastinating--I'd love to say it's that stupid Puritanical work ethic but I'm far from a Puritan--but I honestly go out of my way to find something else to do to NOT read the next chapter.

And I put it off. And put it off. And put it off.

Because reading the old Anita Blake books and knowing what the series becomes makes me depressed. Honest, down to the ground, depressed.

I thought--naively, it seems--that I would be able to recap the books in a vacuum. That I would be able to read them and not think about how everything goes wrong. That I would be able to divorce myself from everything I've learned about the writer, her attitude toward her characters and her attitude toward her readers and critics. I can't do any of those things.

Since I can't, I'm not going to continue the recaps. I don't feel like I can give any person reading them an unbiased, objective view. And while I understand that in essence nothing is unbiased, I also know that I can't give a fair, balanced recap.

So I won't. Instead, I'm going to see about devoting Wednesdays to guest posts and author interviews. I'm sorry to anybody who was eagerly looking forward to more chapter breakdowns, but I can recommend an excellant site:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Tuesday Buildup: Excerpt Time!

Yes! More drama! I LIVE for it! Not really, but some characters do--take a peek.

“Sorry bout the mud. I did my best to get the boots clean, but sometimes shit just sticks no matter what you do. Beg your pardon on the language, ma’am.” The first man took off a weathered cowboy hat, slicking his hand over his dark brown hair in an effort to make it lay flat. His accent was nowhere I could place, which left a lot of places. In contrast to the faded and worn hat his face was smooth and unlined. Light brown eyes twinkled under a set of bushy brows. “Been a while since I was in the presence of a lady.”
  “Thank you for having us in your house.” The second man’s accent was softer, more rounded. More educated, or at least it seemed to me. Like his brother, he had dark brown hair and light brown eyes, but there the similarities ended. While the first man was the very image of a die-hard cowboy, the second man put me in the mind of some old-time cattle baron. He even had a bolero that perfectly matched his suit. “I am Wayne Carter. The lout tracking mud on your floors is my brother John.”
                 Wayne Carter crossed the room, extending his hand to me. I took it automatically, charmed in spite of myself when he lifted my hand, brushing a kiss over my knuckles. His lips quirked, the handlebar mustache he wore echoing the movement. “We are pleased to make your acquaintance, Ms. Henries.”

                  “Uh, thanks.” I tugged my hand free, taking a step back. Theo’s hand closed over my elbow, drawing me further out of Wayne Carter’s reach. I let out a breath I hadn’t been aware of holding. “So. What can we help you with Mr. Carter?”

                   “Please, call me Wayne. If you address us as Mr. Carter, we’ll spend the evening attempting to discern which of us you’re directing your statement at.” He smiled genially, not bothering to hide his fangs. “It can get very confusing when we’re both in the same room.”
                     “You’re forgetting your manners, Wayne.” St. Germaine seemed to take extraordinary glee in his words. “And after you worked so hard to rid yourself of the ditch digger image.”
                  The air in the library dropped at least ten degrees. Wayne stared at the Comte for long moments while everybody in the room capable of holding their breath did so. Finally, Wayne inclined his head slightly, the tension level in the room dropping to a somewhat more comfortable level. “Of course. The formalities must be observed.”

                  He beckoned his brother forward with a curl of his fingers. John shuffled further into the room, rolling and unrolling the brim of his hat, keeping his head down. Something about the little tick had me changing my assessment of who was more dangerous. I don’t know if I made a sound or if he just sensed my stare, but he glanced up from studying his boots.

                 His eyes were no longer brown. Only a depthless, pitiless black.

                He lowered his lashes again and I remembered to breathe. The bumps—excuse me, Anne and the unnamed child—were kicking up a storm and it was a struggle to hide my discomfort. I tuned back into the conversation just in time to hear Williams acknowledge the Carter Brothers and welcome them back to the city.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Media Monday: So. Much. Stuff!

Holy crap! I don't blog for two weeks and the entire media wolrd expodes in a frenzy! Okay, massive exaggeration, but you get the point.

First things first, who was excited about the season premeire of True Blood last night? Oh yeah, baby--that's how you kickstart a season! Seriously, I can't remember the last time I watched an hour of television from start to finish without once looking at a clock. There have been some who have said that the show is suffering from an overabundunce of story lines--I disagree. The series may center around Sookie, but what the writers have remembers is that no person lives in a vacuum. We all have connections which have connections which have further connections--like some crazy kind of spiderweb. Besides, if the writers didn't bring in outside characters we wouldn't have gotten this amazing quote from Pan:

I am wearing a Wal-Mart sweatshirt for ya'll--if that's not demonstration of team spirit than I don't know what is.

Next, there have been the release of movies such as Snow White and the Huntsman and Prometheus. I haven't seen the latter, but I have seen the former and was pleasantly surprised. It was wonderfully atmospheric and I feel like it did a great job of showing the dark side of a fairy tale. Being a sappy sap, I would have been happy for Snow White to find out that it was the Huntsmen who woke her from the sleep of death and for them to get their happily ever after, but I also realize it would have been kind of a cop-out. Still, there's always a hope they'll do a sequel and they'll get their happily ever after then. Who knows. Prometheus is on my list of movies to watch, which is interesting since the first time I saw the trailer I shook my head and went, "Uh, no." funny how seeing the trailer like a dozen times can change your mind.

Mira Grant's Blackout was the amazing thrill ride I hoped it would be. I laughed, I cried, I went, "Holy shit!"--basically, I experienced almost the entire range of human emotions. Not love or lust, because that would have been a little creepy, but those may be the only two. And what I found--and I may be in the minority--is that under the ick and horror and conspiracy and medical and political details, this is a story about two people living their lives the best way they can and always, always, striving to get back to each other. It's kind of heart breaking and beautiful all at the same time. Or maybe I'm just a sap. It could be both.

Tomorrow--an excerpt from Shades of Blood and Wednesday, we're back to recaps! I don't know how much longer I can do them, since they make my heart hurt, but I'll carry on for a while longer.