Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A very unhappy possumImage by State Library and Archives of Florida via Flickr"Miss Deford, your value to me just keeps increasing by the hour. That gentleman wanted to make a trade, all right. He wanted to trade for you."
"He wanted to trade the deer for me?"
Now Jack's grin looked like it would split his cheeks.
"No, he acknowledged you were too small to be worth a full deer. He wanted to trade two possums for you."
And with that he started laughing so hard he had to sit down in the sand. Sophia resisted the urge to kick him.
"Opossums? Aren't they some sort of rodent?"
"Oh, Miss Deford, I would not trade you for just any kind of rodent! Possums are ugly rodents!" And it set him off into a fresh round of laughter.
 --The Bride and the Buccaneer,  Darlene Marshall    

My elderly, but intrepid, dachshund treed a 'possum last night.  Well, OK, "treed" is an exaggeration.  She kept him at bay in the woodpile.  I recognized her "OMG, I've caught something!" bark and ran outside armed with a broom and flashlight.  The last time this happened she'd grabbed an armadillo in her powerful little jaws and was holding on for dear life.  Now, many years and fewer teeth later, I feared more for her than the 'possum.
But the critter dashed off of the woodpile and made his escape.  I praised my fierce little hunter (for that's what dachshunds are, hunting dogs) and gave her an anti-inflammatory pill so she'd sleep well and have dreams of good hunting.
Possums are a part of Florida life, and Cracker living.  In Smuggler's Bride I offer up recipes on how to cook your possum, should you be fortunate enough to have a hunting dachshund who brings you treasures.  Just don't send your possums my way, please.  I've got enough of my own, thank you.
Smuggler's Bride
The Bride And The Buccaneer

Monday, September 20, 2010

Joint color guard showing the organizational c...Image via Wikipedia
I was interviewed by the wonderful Kim Adams over at SOS Aloha for "International Talk Like a Pirate Day".  Kim is a SOS Military Liaison in Hawaii, helping families while their loved ones are serving our country.  Kim's a veteran and a military spouse herself, and knows how important this work is.

Hats off to Kim and all the other hard working men and women offering support to our armed forces and their families!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

 It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day!  My plans include pillaging some heavily laden merchant vessel and perhaps taking the handsome first mate captive.  But I have to wait until after the ACLD Library Foundation Annual meeting tonight, darn it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Here's a recap of what's been happening in my life these past weeks:

I returned only mildly jetlagged from an amazing trip to Australia.  Did the usual tourist things with my husband, but didn't see nearly enough of the country.  This was my second trip and it was wonderful to revisit.  I don't know when I'll return, but I'd love to go back again.

My panels at Aussiecon4 (World SF Convention) in Melbourne went quite well.  I was tapped to be moderator on both of them.  The first one was "Girl meets boy meets dragon: Romance in fantasy".  The other panelists were Tracey O’Hara, Fiona McIntosh and Nicole R. Murphy and part of the fun of attending a Worldcon outside North America is meeting writers who I might not otherwise get to spend time talking to.  This was a lively group to have discussing romance and fantasy, and the program item was well attended.  Plus, I have some new books on my "To Be Read" list, thanks to the other panelists.

My second panel was "Monster Mash-up" about the current trend toward publishing books like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Sense and Sensibility and Sea-Monsters and so on.  The other panelists were Scott Edelman, Chuck McKenzie, and Damien White.

This one was more of a stretch for me since it was the horror track of the program, and I don't write horror (though I do read it on occasion).  We talked about homage vs. parody, why certain books get picked for "mash-ups" (being a public domain book helps--a lot) and whether this is a brief blip on the publishing radar, or if it can still be mined for gold.  An interesting group to have discussing these trends, and again I picked up recommendations for new reading.

I have to say though that one of my favorite parts of Aussiecon4 was managing the Green Room.  I've been Green Room manager at other worldcons, and each one is different, presenting its own issues and joys.  This time I had the blessing of a capable and experienced staff, and an amazing coffee machine that churned out espresso, lattes, hot tea and more at the push of a button.  We all came away with enough barista skills to get another job if the writing isn't paying off for us.

Monday, September 13, 2010

From Sea Change, a work in progress:

            “I know that tune–I heard it in the inn where I waited to board the Lady Jane.  It is ‘To Anacreon in Heaven’, is it not?  I recall the people who attempted to navigate its melody often failed miserably.”
            “Maybe it’s a song best attempted while drinking for the full effect.  But I’m told it is now popular in Baltimore with lyrics based on Mr. Key’s poem–‘And the rockets’ red glare...’ .”
            Charley snickered as his voice strained through the notes. 
            “That tune will never catch on, Captain.  Certainly not the way you sing!  Best you stick to sailing your ship.”

Today is the anniversary of the bombardment of Ft. McHenry, during what some historians refer to as "The second war of American independence". Francis Scott Key was a lawyer who'd come to negotiate a prisoner's release, and saw the action from a nearby ship.

From Wikipedia:

"When Key saw the flag emerge intact in the dawn of September 14, he was so moved that he began that morning to compose the poem "The Defence of Fort McHenry" which would later be renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner" and become America's national anthem."

So raise a glass, struggle through the high notes, and remember how that poem helped rally a nation during a dark time.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

White Collar: Season One
I am so channeling Matt Bomer (White Collar) for my pirate hero in the next novel.  I don't like the TV show that much, but he's yummy!

Oh, and thanks to SBTB I've added "plot moppets" to my writer's vocabulary for (working title) The Hot Pirate's Secret Baby .

That is all.  Now, back to watching "White Collar" episodes on DVR.