Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hot Fantasy Heroes

Lots of blogs bring you hot, shirtless guys on a regular basis and that's all well and good, but I thought it was high time we had some hot fantasy beefcake. To that end, I give you some sexy elves. Enjoy!

Night Bird

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's Getting Hot In Here

We've been talking about sexual tension on my chapter loop lately. Ah, sexual tension. That all important X factor that puts the sizzle in a story. What is it? How do you create it? What makes it work?

Several of our pubbed authors (Leslie Kelly and Roxanne St. Claire) posted excepts that left the loop smoking! Need an example of sexual tension? Pick up one of their books!

Here are some links to articles on the subject:

This is a podcast:

So how do you create sexual tension between your hero and heroine? Do you have a favorite way of doing it? Who are some authors that have mastered the technique? Talk to me!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

True Marketing Errors

Below are some funny examples of what happens when advertising translations miss the mark. Enjoy!

*Coors put its slogan, "Turn it loose," into Spanish, where it was read as "Suffer from diarrhea."

*Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick," a curling iron, into German only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the "manure stick".

*Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.

*The American slogan for Salem cigarettes, "Salem-Feeling Free", was translated into the Japanese market as "When smoking Salem, you will feel so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty."

*When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the beautiful baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what's inside, since most people can't read English.

*An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of "I saw the Pope" (el Papa), the shirts read "I saw the potato" (la papa).

*In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated the name into "Schweppes Toilet Water."

*Pepsi's "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave," in Chinese.

*When Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to say "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you." However, the company mistakenly thought the spanish word "embarazar" meant embarrass. Instead the ads said that "It wont leak in your pocket and make you pregnant."

*The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as Ke-kou-ke-la. Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means "bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax" depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 Chinese characters and found a close phonetic equivalent, "ko-kou-ko-le," which can be loosely translated as "happiness in the mouth."

*Also in Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan "finger-lickin' good" came out as "eat your fingers off."

*When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, it was apparently unaware that "no va" means "it won't go." After the company figured out why it wasn't selling any cars, it renamed the car in its Spanish markets to the Caribe.

*Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.
And with that, I'm off on two very important errands - voting and getting my legs waxed. Have a good one!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday To Do's

The start of a new week always puts me in a "to do list" state of mind. Not that I'll get it all done, because something always crops up. Here's what I've got on tap for today, for writing and life:

1. Work on Heart Of Fire layering in senses
2. Write 3 pages on YA short
3. Address some chapter website issues
4. 15 mins on elliptical
5. Fold laundry

What's on your agenda today?

Friday, January 25, 2008


A friend of mine and agency sistah, Maria Geraci, just sold! Her book, Church Of Bunco, is going to be a smash, I just know it! Way to go, Maria! (Deidre Knight, her agent, is pretty fab too!)

Stop by Maria's blog and say congrats, will ya?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Project 501

I haven't done a Project Runway wrap up in a while due to the holidays, but it's time to get back to it!

Last night's show was decent, if not a touch snooze-inducing. Just when you thought Chris (the hefty costume designing drag queen) and Christian (the little anime twit come to life) were going to get into it, they don't. Bo-ring! Although Chris's comment that someone needed to give Christian a bottle and put him to bed was classic! I like Chris more all the time, even when his designs are not so fabulous.

Last night's challenge was sponsor by Levi's. Let's recap the outfits, shall we?
Sweet P did this number originally as a wedding dress. I swear, that girl needs to get her head off the commune. A patchwork denim wedding dress? Yikes. Anyway, she wisely took Tim Gunn's advice and shortened it. Now? Very wearable. So cute for summer, don't you think?
This is Jillian's coat. Shocker, I know, since she just did a coat last week. That coat was crave-able, this coat? Looks like a bad 4-H sewing club project. (Not that my denim book bag looked anything like this coat, but it might have if my mother hadn't made me stick to the pattern.)
Christian can't stop calling the clothes he designs "fierce." Is this fierce? Well, I guess if making your crotch look square, your torso boxy and your shoulders Dynasty-licious is fierce, then it works. Otherwise, this is a no for me.
Chris was so close with this one. If only he'd done something different with that neck wrapping bit and fixed the frayed seams. Christian, take note - see those shoes? That's what fierce looks like.
Ricky won this week! Which of course meant we had to watch him cry about 12 times. I'm really over his tears and his hats. However, this outfit rocks. Hard. He even styled it well, channeling a little pre-crack Amy Winehouse with the hair and make-up. Nicely done, Mr. Tammie Faye of the fashion world.
Once again, Rami pulls off an impeccable garment. Actually, he could sew burlap sacks into bicycle shorts and I'd be happy so long as I got to look at him. He's a delicious dish, that Rami.
And, the snoozer - I mean, loser. Victoria made herself a coat to go home in, because that's exactly where this trench coat mess took her. Gosh, Victoria! I thought you had so much more potential. But this? Yuck.

Would you wear any of these? I would!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Not My Usual Subject

I'm in love with a candle. I know, this is kind of an odd topic for a writer's blog, but lately, I've been burning this vanilla lime Yankee jar candle while I work and I swear the scent of it helps me work better. Am I nuts?

It just smells so good - it's kind of a fresh scent because of the lime. I feel like it helps me focus. (Except, of course, when one of my cats has to jump up on my desk, sniff the burning candle and singes off a few whiskers.) I have edited a nearly 500 page book in about five days while burning this candle. Coinkydink? I think not.

Am I alone in this? Do you burn scented candles while you work? Have you ever tried it? Do you think it's possible scent can help you focus and be more productive?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fabulous Auction!

Charity Silent Auction on Romantic Inks
Did Santa leave you cold? Romantic Inks has just the thing to warm you up!

RI is going to help send some lucky aspiring author to the 2008 RWA Conference and we’re looking for your support! For our Silent Auction we’re offering fabulous books including books from many genres, critiques from authors who will make your toes curl, web designs and even promotional space. Take a look at the list we have…
Romantic Inks Auction

Bidding begins January 20th! Check it out, blog readers. There's some good stuff to be had for not a lot of cash.

Monday, Monday...

It's been chillyish in FL lately. And by chillyish, I mean I wore my fabulous (faux) fur to church last night. Yeah, that cold. Today I'm making soup - a lovely chicken & barley stew to get me through the week. I love soup (and chili)! Not only does the house smell great, but it's good for you. I could eat soup every day. Sometimes, I do.

Writing-wise, I'm hard at work editing the first book I ever wrote in hopes of giving it new life. I love the story, but I worry I'm too close to it. Fortunately, two fabulous divas volunteered to beta read it for me. My goal today is to edit 70 pages. It's doable, I just need to get on it.

Lastly, I need to get my booty back into exercise. My goal for that today is 15 minutes on the elliptical. Not much, I know, but still better than nothing. Maybe I'll throw in some abs and some push-ups. If it were warmer, I might go for a walk. Do you try to squeeze exercise into your day? What kind do you do?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

You Know You Want One

In case you can't read the shirt, it says "Ferret Out Plagiarim" - I know, it rocks hard. Get one here. Or browse the boutique for a few other styles. Looks like perfect conference-wear to me, don't you think? I bet Nora would even sign it.

Friday, January 18, 2008

What's Your Pleasure?

Today's burning question is for you, the blog reader. (Which is basically all of us.) What topics interest you most when you're blog hopping?

*personal anicdotes
*book reviews
*writing topics
*celebrity gossip
*pics of hot guys
*food-related topics
*fashion-related topics
*scandalous topics (ie: the recent plagiarism kerfluffle)

If you really want to be helpful, feel free to rank these in order of reading interest. Thanks!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Five Servings A Day

Since the start of the new year, Hotrod and I have been really trying to eat better. Yeah, I know a lot of people make that a resolution, but we've really been doing it. Of course, I'm doing all the cooking. Shocker.

We've been eating oatmeal and fresh fruit for breakfast every morning - something Hotrod really grumped about at first. Lunch is a big salad, or a veggie & bean soup, or like yesterday veggie-stuffed portabella mushrooms and brown basmati rice. Dinner is usually something similiar. Last night, for a treat, I made brown rice pudding with soy milk. Hotrod not only ate it, but liked it. Wow!

I'm doing my best to buy organic when I can, to make sure all our grain products are whole and to keep the fridge stocked with fruits and veggies for quick snacking. I'm also buying free-range and/or meats raised without antibiotics. Which basically means we're not eating that much meat any more, and when we do it eat it, it's chicken, shrimp and occasionally buffalo (I've found some safe beef but not that much). I do still buy fish, because I think for the most part the benefits outweigh the bad.

Anyway, it's been interesting. Hotrod and I both agree we feel better, although the weight loss has been a little less than I'd hoped for. Ah well. At least we'll be healthier. Have you kept up with your New Year's resolutions? What were they?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fun, Writerly, Stuff


Gemma Halliday is running a hot bachelor auction! Check it out here.

If you don't think MS Word is the perfect writing tool, maybe one of these is programs for you. Both have free trial downloads. I'd love to hear what you think if you try one of them out!
Scrivener - for Mac users
PageFour - for Windows users
Newsweek carries another take on the Cassie Edwards plagiarism scandal. (And for some really exciting news, Romance Divas will be interviewing the plagiarised author, Paul Tolme, in the very near future.)
Also, a friend and agency sister, Maureen McGowan, has finaled in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest!! Apparently, there were over 5,000 entries and there are 800 semi-finalists and Maureen is one of them! Woohoo!
Please consider voting for her FABULOUS entry here. Thanks!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Tag, I'm It

Maria tagged me, so here goes:

The rules:

Link to the person who tagged you;
Leave a comment on their blog so that their readers can visit yours;Post the rules on your blog;
Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog;
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post;
Include links to their blogs;Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

7 Random Facts About Kristen Painter:
1. Kristen Painter can start a fire using only water.
2. Kristen Painter knows Victoria's Secret but has promised not to tell.
3. Catwoman wears Kristen Painter pajamas.
4. Kristen Painter once won a game of Connect Four in three moves.
5. Kristen Painter is the leading cause of lesbianism.
6. Kristen Painter can divide by zero, but chooses not to.
7. If Kristen Painter was Santa, all good girls would get diamond-crusted shoes under the tree.
8. Kristen Painter is the reason Waldo is hiding.
9. If you spell Kristen Painter in Scrabble, you win. Forever.
10. When Kristen Painter was a baby, she took candy from adults.

I tag: Mel, Louisa, Deidre, Lucinda, Erica, Maria, Sela

A Writer's Work Is Never Done

How often have you discovered that even when you think you're done with a story, you're not?

For me, this seems like a constant. Guess I should just figure I'm never really done with a story. Recently I revised 115 pages in two different books, then edited a 29 page synopsis down to 8 pages. (The first version was a originally single-spaced, which is why it went to 29 pages when double-spaced.)

What have you worked on recently?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Dinner, Anyone?

In my defense, I had not been in the kitchen in some time when I walked in and found this beast on my range. I think Scooter has some secret weird desire to become dinner. Besides laying on the range, he also cries to get into the oven. We have a double oven, you can see it there on the side. He'll sit in front of the bottom one, pawing at it and mewling until you open the door and let him get in.

I love my furbaby, even if he is a little mental. And if you come for dinner, I promise to clean.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Madam President, Get Real

According to several sources, like the AP and this one, RWA president Sherry Lewis doesn't think Cassie Edward's plagiarism is "clear-cut" and that concerning the whole issue about whether or not CE's plagiarism is actually plagiarism, Ms. Lewis says, "...I’m not qualified to make that assertion.”

You look like a reasonably intelligent woman. I'd bet good money you can read just as well as I can. (It might even be a prerequisite for becoming an RWA president.) Try it. Read through the various posts on this subject available all over the web. See what you think then. And please, don't let RWA come out of this looking like a group of foolish, ignorant women. Please.

I don't normally get too involved with crap like this, but this has got my Sicilian up. How hard is it to say if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck it must be a duck? There is still time to make a statement and do the right thing.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Now That's An Author Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - With her dyed-brown long hair and tight designer jeans, Shoko Tendo looks like any other stylish young Japanese woman — until she removes her shirt to reveal the vivid tattoos covering her back and most of her body.

The author of “Yakuza Moon,” a best-selling memoir just out in English, the 39-year-old Tendo says that police efforts to eradicate the gangsters have merely made them harder to track.

“The more the police push, the more the yakuza are simply going underground, making their activities harder to follow than they ever were before,” she told Reuters in a recent interview.

Police say full-fledged membership in yakuza groups fell to 41,500 last year, down from 43,000 in 2005, a decline they attribute to tighter laws against organized crime.

“They’re being forced into a corner, their humanity taken away,” she said. “All the things they used to do for a living have been made illegal, so life has become very hard.”

Being a gang member is not illegal in Japan, and until recently the gangs were known for openness. Their offices even posted signs with their names and membership lists inside.

Gangs cooperated with police, handing over suspects in return for police turning a blind eye to yakuza misdemeanors, but this broke down after organized crime laws were toughened in 1992.
Has anyone read this book? I think I'm going to have to look for it now. Talk about ink! Wow, that's a major tattoo. How cool is it that she wrote the book and posed for the cover?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Blog Round Up

Another author gets tapped for plagiarism.

The ongoing debate about an agent also being an author, by a former Berkley editor.

An agent's take on what not to do in a query.

More from another agent on queries, email vs. snail mail.

Monday, January 07, 2008

2 Down, 48 To Go

I'm sick with a cold that doesn't want to leave, which sucks, but on the bright side, it's given me a lot of time to read. As a result, I've finished The Life of Pi and another book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, the follow-up book to The Kite Runner.

Both had a lot of similiarities. Both deal with oppressive circumstances that have no real escape. Both feature terrible tragedy, but end on a brighter note. Ultimately, I'd have to say The Life of Pi edged out A Thousand Splendid Suns by a few points. It's just a story unlike anything I've read before.

Next up, a change of pace. Cara Lockwood's The Scarlet Letterman, a YA. What are you reading?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Reading In The New Year

The holiday season brought me a grand total of approx. 22 new books. They weren't all presents - some were won in contests, some came from publishers seeking reviews, one was borrowed from my Dad.

The one I'm starting with was a gift from my brother and his wife - The Life of Pi. Has anyone read this? I've been wanting to read this book for the longest time so when I unwrapped it, I was thrilled! It's like my brother read my mind.

Some of my writer friends have the goal of reading 50 books this year. I think that's a good number. I'll let you know how #1 turns out. What are you reading or looking forward to read? Did you get books as gifts? Give them as gifts? Talk to me!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Back To Reality

Okay, it's official, the holidays are over.

Life - writing, blogging, dieting and such - begins again tomorrow morning.