Thursday, July 27, 2006

Disturbing realization

I just realized that all of my favorite singers/musicians have one thing in common: Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Chris Isaak, Brian Setzer, Lyle Lovett, Chet Baker...

all have a pompadour hairdo. How is it that my musical taste is defined by hairdo? That's just odd.

Bert's It

The classic Ernie and Bert routines are up on You Tube:

Kira nearly hyperventilated watching "Bert's It". I also recommend "Heeeer fishy fishy fishy!"

Kira's gonna love surfer boys

All four Lemkes are in the car, being quiet, a rarity for Lemke's, when Kira says...

Kira: I think Chet should have blonde hair.
Me: Oh really, why?
Kira: Because boys with blonde hair look good.
Me: Oh...?
Kira: Yeah, especially when it's kind of low, you know?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

On facing fears

A conversation had in the kitchen over a cantelope.

Kira: Mama, you can cut a whole cantelope now!
Me: Yes, I can
Kira: You faced your fears! And the knife didn't break.
Me: That's true, it didn't.
Kira: So we can get whole cantelopes now. That's good because the half cantelope was more expensive then the whole cantelope.
Me: Ok then (thinking that I still really hate cutting cantelope)
Kira: You know, sometimes I have to face my fears.
Me: Really, what are your fears?
Kira: Oh you know, getting the Cellar Ghost in Squeegie's (Luigi's) Mansion, or eating red peppers at dinner. When I grow up I'm never eating a red pepper again. Bleh!
Me: OK hon.
Kira (sighing in delight at the cantelope and walking off muttering): Mama cut a whole cantelope.

Clearly the key to impressing your kids is to set expectations very, very low....

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Fun links for the day

Set your coffee cup down before clicking - you've been warned. This lady reads POD's (publish on demand books) to find the diamond in the rough... needless to say it's mostly coal out there and here's her list of opening lines that make her close the book and not read any further.

This one may use some naughtly language, again, you've been warned. If you want to know what your web site would soung like in jive, just gizoogle it.

And, on a not so humorous note (although looking at them does make me chuckle) check out the wave of the future: I see these all over Seattle - seems like a great idea, although the idea of assembling a car does have me a little worried. A crib is one thing, but "honey, let's put together the car!" makes me twitch a little bit.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Film Noir podcast

For anyone who loves Film Noir, check out Out of the Past - a podcast that takes it's title from the 1947 film starring Robert Mitchum and Kirk Russel by the same title.

They have a fun academic banter going (complete with "academic humor") and seem really energertic about Film Noir. It's fun to listen to if you enjoy the genre or the cross over hard boiled detective stories of the same era.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Coffee *is* a drug!

This morning I managed to require only one half cup of coffee to stave off my usual caffeine headache. I haven't gotten by on this little coffee since I was trying to get pregnant with Kira (and I felt like a wreck). Even when I'm down with the flu or recovering from surgery I manage to get some coffee down my throat. So today, I was very proud of myself. So happy with myself, in fact, that I thought if I needed another half cup in the afternoon that would be fine. So I did have that second half cup. And I could *feel* it - not in that jittery over caffeinated way, but I could actually feel the blood vessels constricting through my temples, and feel my jaw tensing up.

I recently learned that the reason we addicts feel a caffeine headache is that caffeine restricts the blood vessels in our head, thereby letting through less blood. So, when we don't have coffee, the blood goes rushing through making our heads throb. Of course, better circulation is a good thing if you can handle it.

I feel like I just discovered my best friend has been robbing me blind while I had my back turned. How could my beloved coffee be doing this to me?! The very things I've complained about, tense jaws, pounding headaches, whacked out metabolism... seem to have some roots in coffee.

So, this week should be my last caffeinated week - after that, it's decaf all the way, baby!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

How to cut a key in half without breaking a sweat

First, open your trunk by inserting the key

Next, pull out your back breaking humpback producing laptop bag

Put said back very precariously on shoulder

Now (this part is important) slam the trunk shut by grabbing ahold of your keys and pulling

If done with enough force this should dislodge the laptop bag from your shoulder while your hand is still connected to the keys

The bag should then fall straight to the ground, separating your hand from the trunk.

Look closely, you know have a key in your hand, and the other half neatly lodged in the trunk.

*To make your morning extra fun, do this on a day when you experimented with a soy latte and the EMT's arrived at work, shutting off the elevators so you have to climb 6 flights of stairs with the above heavy bag. Also, you should have a key that needs programming and costs well over $100 to replace

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pet Peeve #386 (approximately)

When writers give their character a cell phone and then make said character's significant other #1 on speed dial. Does no one who writes actually own a cell phone? Number 1 is always voice mail, people!!!

I suppose there may be some carrier somewhere that doesn't preprogram their phones with #1 as voicemail, but for the rest of us in the country - how about you make "Sweetie" #2.

This is very closely followed by writers who think that their readership has never seen a computer and say things like "he moved his fingers across a black square in front of the keyboard" (that would be a touchpad) "he hit it twice over a little picture of a file and a list of documents appeared on the screen" (translation: he opened My Documents).

Probably your reader ordered your book from Amazon with her very own fingertips. Give us a little credit, please!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

T4, T3, T2, and other things my body isn't making correctly

So apparently my thyroid numbers are all pretty normal, but I'm getting worse. He surmised I may have Lupus (I don't think so), Rheumatoid Arthritis (I know I don't), Candida, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or who knows what else. Great. I was pretty discouraged till my darling husband whipped out his new book, Ultrametabolism. Apparently, I'm nowhere near alone in this phenomenon. Many, many woman have undiagnosed inflammation, infection, and underactive thyroid.

Starting Monday, I'm going on a detox plan to eliminate all the possible culprits from my diet (the most likely offender is evil gluten). Not even my beloved coffee is safe (it's a drug, Randy says, and I'm an addict - well, true). Next, relaxation techniques (which I've always thought were silly - who needs to relax when you can get a latte?), exercise is already in place, supplements, herbs, and a new thyroid medicine - Armour Thyroid.

And the Robin Renaissance continues!

Authors are wonderful people

On Thursday, I went to hear Susan Kandel talk about her new book, Shamus in the Green Room.

As it turns out, there were only a few people at the reading, and although I didn't intend to tip my hand, with my first question she asked if I was a writer. Well, yes, I'm working on it.... so she asked all about my book and was very encouraging. She spent a lot of time talking to me about her process and what worked and gave me some great advice.

Then Kira and I went up to have our book signed and she pulled out a picture of her youngest, Maud. Naturally I had to say what a fantastic name Maud is, which is when she asked Kira her name and lo and behold her oldest is Kyra. A connection over names is a true connection if ever there was on! So, she signed my book with very encouraging words and I left walking on air thinking that if she could do it, I could do it. I didn't even want to see which other writers were coming because how could I duplicate that.

Well... Saturday night we found ourselves back at Third Place Books and I noticed that the room was set up for another reading - in 15 minutes. Trevor Scott was coming and he wrote thrillers which are very similar to mysteries, so why not stay and listen. I did, and again, there were only a few people and again, he talked mostly to me about process and the business and all about writing for an hour.

Then came the book signing... at which point he pointed to his business card and said that if I sent him some pages he'd be happy to look at them and offer suggestions.

That's pretty much the equivilent of the book signing lottery. It NEVER happens. People try forever to make a connection with a published author and it just doesn't happen. I think my jaw is still on the floor of the bookstore.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mental Head Smack

Tonight I get to hear author Susan Kandel talk about her new book, Shamus and the Green Room.

Not a Girl Detective came out last year. I'm borrowing the synopsis from rather than link to it. This is one of those things that makes me smack my head and wish I'd thought of it. I would have so loved to have written this book. I'm a big, BIG Nancy Drew fan. At least I get to read it and hear the author:

Biographer and amateur sleuth Cece Caruso freely admits that she spent her youth idolizing girl detective Nancy Drew, a fantasy that undoubtedly influenced her grown-up job writing biographies of dead mystery writers. But as Cece will discover driving down the highway in her Jackie O. sunglasses and a borrowed baby-blue Cadillac, some fantasies die harder than others.

Researching the life of Carolyn Keene, the pseudonymous author of the Nancy Drew mysteries, Cece meets a flamboyant collector of Blue Nancys, the original books with blue covers. When he finds out that she is taking a road trip to Palm Springs to snoop around at the annual Nancy Drew fan convention, he offers her the use of his swanky vacation house. But the last thing Cece expects to find lying around the swimming pool is one very dead body.
In a race against time that takes her from a secret enclave of restored Victorians near downtown L.A. to the driest stretches of California desert, Cece will have to channel her former idol and then some to unmask a sly killer — before he comes after her. Of course, it helps to have a knockout collection of vintage clothing, though Cece prefers Azzedine Ala├» a semigloss knits and Halston silver sequined berets to Nancy's prim suits and gloves.
Filled with wit, energy, and clever twists, not to mention one smart, hip heroine, Not a Girl Detective is pure entertainment.

The new book is right up my alley also - it features a biography of Dashiell Hammett, allusions to The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man, and a leading man named Rafe. Oooooo....

A new Sister in Crime

Agent Kristin just recommended Sisters in Crime for mystery writers. Hm, I checked it out. Looks good - it's for published and unpublished female mystery writers. That's me! WOO! But, not only that, they have just one local chapter in Washington State and it happens to meet on my day off, five minutes from my house.

I'm doing a happy dance and signing up right now. WOO!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


According to Agent Kristin starting a novel on a plane is terribly overdone. Guess where my novel starts. ARGH!!!! Admittedly, there is no "place scene" like she talks about. I pick it up as the plane lands, still, I'd been thinking I needed to add a chapter zero, now I really think that.

I've had to take a mini-break from writing to read a book on plotting. I knew I was having trouble getting to the next scene and now I know why. Also, now I have to change the plane scene. I like to move forward, and quickly at that, so I'm not really enjoying this little break to analyze the plot, but hopefully the novel will be all the better for it.

OK, back to plotting...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Robin Renaissance...

has begun. Today marks day one with my new personal trainer, Kiel. The pantry is being emptied of all temptations. I've learned how I was doing the exercises all wrong. Let the games begin!!

(look for a ticker being added to the sidebar...)