Monday, December 19, 2011

Things she didn't hear

I got some said news today.  The daughter of a friend messaged me to tell me that her mom had died.  I promised never to get serious with this blog, But Constance Rose Johnson should be remembered.

I can't be miserable about it though, no one should be.  Connie left me a lot of memories to laugh about.

Even at 80 she was on the lookout for a good looking man, especially ones with great hair.  If I saw her attraction, and it was hard to miss, she would say  "Woo Woo" roll her eyes and give me the biggest of grins.

She loved to play BINGO but it was more therapy than a game and very slow.  I would sit with her and help her play.  Some days she was very sharp and played like a pro.  At other times her attention wandered and it was my job to remind her what she was doing.  I like to think that it was just that she was looking at something more interesting.  She often found it in a man with an abundance of wavy white hair.  She had good taste, it was spectacular hair.

Connie also had a tiny hearing problem.  She could hear just fine, but she often heard things that you didn't say.  One day our conversation involved another person.  The subject had something to do with and old kind of candy, but I don't remember much of it.  I do remember Connie looking at me in absolute shock and asking,  "When did you circumcise a cat?"  I couldn't breathe for a while for laughing and every time someone ask what happened, I exploded all over again!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hello Again

It is the 17th of December and I’m only now getting back to you.  I am an insensitive brute, a lowlife, a monster!  Feel free to add any thing you can think of to that list.  I deserve all of it.

The last time I posted was early November and I had just started Na No Wri Mo.  You will be happy to know that I won!  Actually, it’s more likely that you really don’t care.  That’s alright.  I didn’t expect you too, but it was important to me.

Now I had 50,091 words for a novel Titled Molly and the Demon Contractor.  I would probably need another 70,000 or so to complete the first draft.

Now, on with the topic for todays rant.

I used the speech to text program that comes with Windows 7 for the last 14 pages because I was in a panic about not being able to finish.  It sounded like a great idea.  I’m mean I can talk a whole heck of a lot faster than I can type.  Of course, I never could manage more than 27 words a minute.  I’ve gotten worse over time.  Yeah; that’s hard to believe, but true.  I have given up trying to type on my lap top.  Every time I do, the cursor starts a wild dance all over the page.  At times it disappeared altogether.  That’s only one of the reasons that I use a Wacom tablet to type.  Another neat thing about Windows 7 is the nifty little keyboard that pops up when you use a tablet instead of a mouse.

Anyway,  as I’ve said, speech to text sounded like a great idea.  Well; not so much.  It has become clear to me that my diction, that I had believed to be understandable, isn’t.  That is the only explanation for finding phrases like “how had your bloody hands for this!  Do you think you can preach the best way I’ll happen before the”  What?  I’m pretty sure that I intended, “Do you think you can” but I’ve got no idea what the rest of it should be.  The last time I tried the program I found that “Dan Rather bought tulips from the war being cold”.  No, I wasn’t even thinking about Dan Rather.  Or tulips for that matter.

I have read that Dragon speaking Naturally is a much better choice, probably written by the good people from Dragon.  A real live human told me the same thing.  But I’m not sure I can trust that particular real live human.  It would be useful about now because I’ve done something to my right shoulder and my hand keeps going to sleep.  If I sit with my head on my left shoulder it’s not as bad, but it does create problems for my neck.  I have to stop every 3 or 4 minutes to make adjustments.

Back to those 50,091 words; it’s now more like 45,300 and I’m finding more that I have to dump.  It doesn’t bother me much, and it should.  I think.  I keep writing myself into a corner. 

I think I’ll just dump the whole thing and start over.  How much worse could it get?

Stop laughing!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Today is the second day of NaNoWriMo and I’m already behind.

Ah; I hear many of you ask, “What is this NaNoWriMo?”

It is a month of sanctioned insanity.  All over the world  people have signed up to write a novel in the month of November.  Not a short story mind you; but 50,000 words of a NOVEL.  Actually, I have over 90,000 words in last year’s book The first draft, and it’s not even close to finished.

Although I now have nearly double the word count I didn’t complete the assignment.  But; I have an excuse, and it’s even a good one. 

I started late, it was at least 6 days before I reached 1000 words, but caught up and surged ahead.  I was a writing beast!  I typed away, one key at a time, pounding my story into submission.  I was winning!

Then I started throwing up.  I don’t mean my tummy was a little off.  Even the consumption of water caused painful bloating and finally I would loose everything including the water. 

They came to me and said “Come, for we must take you to yon hospital.”

I cried “Nay!  Verily I will not go to yon hospital for I am writing and can not stop.”

Again they assailed me saying “You must go to the hospital for your fever is most high and the fluid has left your body!”

“Nay!”  I exclaimed again.  “ can not go to yon hospital for I have written 47,362 words and I am very near my goal.”

Once more they came and

Well, I’m sure you get my point.  I did eventually end up in yon hospital, but I didn’t give up!  No, I took my computer with me.  It would have been great, they even had internet access.  The only problem was that my mind was so screwed up that the only thing I managed to do was loose the power cord for my laptop.  I was in the hospital for the last week of November and completely disgusted with my self for falling short.

But not this year!  I have vowed that I will reach my goal even if I die doing it.  That could actually work for me.  I understand that zombies are very popular right now.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A New excuse

I haven’t been writing again.  What?  You say that you have already noticed that?  At least I hope that’s what someone is saying.  It means that you’re reading it.

Okay smarty, can you guess the reason?

I would like to blame it all on the riverboat, but that would be a lie.  Are you asking ‘what riverboat’?  I knew you would because you are bright, inquisitive people.

Well the answer is... A friend of mine, Nan Hawthorne, writes historical fiction and her next novel is going to be a M/M romance set largely upon a riverboat that belongs to one of the hero’s.  They are also on different sides of the civil war.  Now I come to the part that I play, that being the one who ‘paints’ a picture of the hero owned riverboat as well as drawings of the two men.  It helps her think of them as real people if she can see them. 

I understand this because early on I had to do drawings of the guys in my story too.  Well... Maybe I didn’t have to, but it sure was fun.  And it did help me to see them standing around being gorgeous.  If I didn’t want to write I could sit and drool over them.

Sounds a little crazy right?  It is but, and this is the truly strange part, they tell me what their story is.  Yep, that’s right, they talk to me.  That may be why I’m having trouble with Claire and the Egotistical Rat Bastard, They have been quiet lately.  You’d think they would want to get on with it, I mean I left them in an uncomfortable place in the story.  If it was me I would want to get to that happy ending.  It is partly my fault; I got rid of the villain too early on and he wasn’t all that evil to begin with.  Maybe if I nasty him up some and give him a longer part, Claire and Sebastian will start talking again.

Any way; back to the riverboat not being to blame for my not writing this blog.  It took me about 4 days for the actual picture but you can add a couple more for trying to find a period perfect picture of a riverboat, and it had to be a side wheeler.  So that accounts for most of 6 days.  I’m also doing some other work for my friend, but none of it can account for my lack of posts.

Then there’s the whole Molly and the Vampire thing.  I had finished it, sent it off to Createspace, and because I was certain that it was perfect, (I was also stupid) I told them to go ahead and put it up for sale.  I didn’t need another proof copy, in fact I ordered 20 copies for myself.  Then they came And to my infinite surprise, at some point in fixing things I turned off the mirrored margins.  Maybe you never thought about how a book is put together, I confess that I hadn’t done much, thinking that is.  A mirrored margin means that the outside margin of every page is the same and every inside margin is the same, but wider than the outside ones.  It makes it easier to read the whole page.  Don’t get the picture?  Check it out the next time you love a book until it fall apart.

Anyway, it was really annoying and it made my baby look bad.  You can understand how I couldn’t have that, can’t you?

Meanwhile, my friend, the aforementioned Nan Hawthorne, said I should change the interior to bring the price down.  She was right of course.  That $17 print price was bothering me.  So, I changed to a different font that allowed me to bring down the size of the font (did you know that just because a font is ten pts. doesn’t mean that it is the same size as another font in 10 pt.?) and that brought the page count down by almost 100 pages.  That brought the price down to $15.  Of course that changed the size of the book so I had to redo the cover.

And again I ask myself; why did I want to write this book?  And again, I have no answer.  Maybe it has to do with all those people running around in my head insisting on telling me their stories.

If you don’t already think that I should be locked up in a rubber room; My fictional characters are going to an imaginary Halloween party at a nonexistent bar.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bright Idea (Yeah, Right)

So I had this bright idea; instead of building a web site I'll just add pages to my blog.  I can do everything that I need too on these pages, right?  Sure, you could but I can't.

I purchased software to teach me how to build a website, I've mentioned it before.  I still haven't figured out how it works, so the website isn't coming from that quarter.  I found a site that would allow me to customize to my hearts content.  (Wix) I don't think that I'm going to finish there either.

I do however own the name Crazy Vampire Lust and Dogs.com.  I just don't have anywhere to but it.

I hope you will take time to take the poll that you'll find on the right.  I'll tell you just what dark secrets your answers reveal about you later.

Meanwhile, I'll keep working on that website and making the pages work here.  I know, the pages work fine, I don't.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The book is out, almost & a Name change

Its a book!

I think.

At least I submitted it to Create Space to publish.

Then I got the second email from their  support department.  It appears that the mistake they mentioned in the first email and had decided wasnt real and something I didnt need to be concerned about turned out to be real after all.   Now they werent earth ending mistakes, but they were enough to have me panicked over the idea that my book, my sweet baby of a book, the pages that I had slaved over in an attempt to make perfect, the pages that tried to drive me to a stay in the padded palace, were going out into the great wide world in a flawed condition.  (Insert profanity of your choosing here)

Soooo... I submitted a file with the errors fixed and crossed my fingers.  Any finger crossing, finding of four leaf clovers, or throwing of change into a wishing well on my behalf will be gratefully accepted.  I need all the help I can get.

But remember, you dont have to wait for it to appear in print.  You can purchase a finished volume at Smashwords.com and with the coupon (I wont be mean and make you look it up, Ill give it to you again at the end of this) it is only two dollars!  Besides, its way too expensive on Amazon.  $17.00!

Oh, and by the way, you may have noticed my name change on this thing.  Sorry but this really is my name.  You probably liked Danu Adair better, it is certainly easier to pronounce.  I had to change it though; I chickened out on the book and used my real name.  I dont have a problem with my name, its only that its difficult for non Finnish  people to pronounce.  (If your Finnish, you are actually Soumi.  Now can someone explain that one to me?)  Not the Linda part, thats easy if a big mistake.  Its the Laaksonen part that people get creative with.  A surprising number insist on putting an R in it.  Others add extra syllables.  As if it didnt have enough already!   Others add an O and move the e around.

Anybody still wonder why I tried Adair?  Anybody wondering why I decided to use my real name? 

Yeah.  Me too.

and the coupon code is...AR66Y not case sensitive

Monday, September 19, 2011

Murphy/Rufus Magee

I did say that some day I would tell you about Rufus Magee, after seeing the picture of Butterscotch the Basset on today's puppy I figured this would be the day.

In Molly and the Vampire: A Sensible woman learns ect. (that title is too darn long) You meet a Basset Hound named Murphy.  He was created as a remembrance of My big old boy, Rufus Magee.  Now when I adopted him from the Sacramento SPCA he was already 8 years old and his name was Beau.  The name had to go.  It's not that I have anything against that name; it would be a fine name for a Basset.  Unfortunately, at that time my mother had a very small, very cute Beagle named Beau.  You can see how that could be a bit confusing. 

As I've said, Beau was small for a Beagle and really cute.  He had the darkest eyes and these little worry wrinkles between his eyes.  Yes, Beau was cute, he was also demented.  I have always suspected that he had escaped from a hospital for the enormously weird.

Rufus on the other hand, was not demented.  He had a great big heart and the gentlest soul I have ever known.  He was also a picture perfect Basset.  That means that he was a big dog with massively heavy bones, soft eyes, broad chest, triple the amount of skin needed to cover his body, pony sized feet,  and legs that were about 2 inches long.  Some people think that adds up to funny looking.  SOME PEOPLE NEED GLASSES.

You may have guessed that I am fond of the breed.  You would be right.  I've had four of them and they were wonderful.

If you have ever had one, then you already know, but for all you unfortunate people who have never been loved by a Basset you have to remember one important thing.  Do not under any circumstances let them out without a leash.  And I don't mean you can just hook one on your baby and let go.  Hold on to the other end of that sucker with everything you've got.  Remember, what's on the other end of that leash is a nose that is second only to a bloodhound and a focused determination the likes of which you've never known.  Remember the massively heavy bones I mentioned?  They are all wrapped up in muscle, and being as low to the ground as they are they aren't likely to tip over.  They will trip over their own ears, especially as puppies.  But come on, how cute is that?

Now Rufus would escape out the front door every now and then.  I never figured out how he did it.  Yes, he was short, but even taking that into account he was a whole lot of dog to miss seeing as he pusher past your ankle.  I was lucky because he was old and tired easily.  He always went in the same direction, and always stopped in the yard three houses down from ours.  He was tired and his nose had been satisfied.  It was a boring suburban neighborhood and nothing interesting was leaving a trail worth following.  The lady of that house would come knocking on my door to let me know that he was sitting on her lawn watching the cars go by and I would go down and fetch him home.  The first couple of times it scared me silly.  The thought of loosing him ... well, I didn't want to think about it.  After that, it became obvious that he had no intention of leaving me, he just enjoyed a little sight seeing.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Joys (HA!) of Editing

I know, I've been gone again, but I'm back know.  I'm even almost sane.  I have been working on the second proof copy of Molly and the Vampire, A Sensible Woman Learns About Love, Lust, & Things That Go Bump in the Night.  I really am bad at titles.

On the first page I missed a period.  It went down hill from there.  If the next proof isn't perfect I will have to give up and forget the whole thing!

Only kidding, I am way too stubborn to give up; but I just might be forced into a symbolic burning of the book.  It wouldn't help; but it would feel fabulous!

This time around I ordered 4 copies and gave one to each of three volunteers along with pens, highlighters, and a pad of sticky notes.

My first victim read three chapters and told me she was surprised at how well it was written; But it just wasn't her kind of story and she "couldn't get into it".

The second reader realllly like chapter one, but that was more than a week ago and I haven't heard another thing.

The third left on vacation yesterday and said she was taking it on the plain with her.

I also put another sample on Creatspace and asked if it was at all amusing.  I got one NO!  One person who liked one line, and one woman said that she found it funny and thought it very witty.

And I wanted to write this book why?  What's even harder for me to figure out is why I still want to write another.  That one is well under way, oh, and I have ideas for numbers three and four.  Yeah, I have officially lost what little was left of my mind.

I get this way when I'm painting as well.  There is always a point when whatever I'm working on is a disaster and it is never going to work.  It's usually right before I find that the whole thing is falling into place and I'm going to finish without screaming and throwing heavy objects around the room.

I am actually only 120 pages from finishing up the edit of Molly.  Most of the mistakes I'm finding are little bitty things like an extra period, an oddly miss typed word, not spelled wrong but showing up with a 9 in the middle.  I swear, I do not know how I managed that one.  And no, spell check didn't catch it either.

Now I'm trying to learn how to put together a web site.  If I would just settle for one of the premade ones that you just insert your own text into everything would be fine.  It would be finished.  It would be up and running.  But NOOOO.  That would be too easy.  That would make sense.  I have to design the whole thing from scratch.

Now the program I'm using insists that it is all very simple and all I have to do is follow their very clear instructions and I will be blissfully happy in no time at all.  They lied!  I'm certain that many or even most people would have no trouble at all.  Sadly; I am not most people and I'm doing everything wrong.  I must be; things keep disappearing on me.

Another thing, the company, Serif is located in England and they call me to "check on how I like the software" and of course try to sell me another program.  Last time the call came when I was sick with some kind of cold/virus thingy and in my weakened state I ended up with another program.  It wasn't all the fault of my illness.  It was his accent that did me in.  I couldn't understand half of what he was saying, but it was just so darn cute. 

The programs are actually great and if I ever figure out how to use them, I will be very happy. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Molly and the Vampire a sensible woman learns about Love, Lust, and Things That Go Bump in the Night/ finally!

Yes, I have said that I was going to tell you about "the book" before, but I really will this time.

Many smart women know that you don't need a man in your life to be happy.  Molly is about to find out that she was wrong.

Do you like it?  Does it make you want to read more?  Please say yes, if you don't I have to go back to work.  You see it's meant to be something called a hook.  Now I thought that a hook was something that you used to fasten your skirt or that a fish swallowed when they were contemplating suicide.

But noooo, it's this thing that you use to try to get people (read literary agents or publishers) to become interested in your book.

To get back to Molly, the title pretty much says it all.  There's a lot more to it of course.  Two vampires, four shape shifters, one crazy human, one demon, a pushy sister, sweet brother-in-law, artists, friends, drunken models, and a very special Basset Hound.  Now who I ask, wouldn't want to read about all of that?

You say that you wouldn't want to read it?  Did I mention the hot steamy sex?  I can tell that got your attention.

I have something else too, something that will make you happy.  I've got a coupon!

Can I get a YEAH COUPON!!!  If you sign on to be a follower of this blog, or what ever they call it, you can buy my book on Smash words for 50% off.  That's only $2.

It gets even better.  I'm going to give you the code now so that you can get away with not signing up for anything!  And the code is...AR66Y not case sensitive.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The god of spell check's revenge

I know, if you read my last post, that has been far too long ago, I'll get back to that next time, you have noticed that I didn't use spell check and was punished for my insult. The god of spell check sent his gremlins down to ensure that anyone reading the post would instantly exclaim "HA!, that is what come of such sacrilege!"
I personally prefer to believe that the deplorable condition of my prose was due to my consumption of illegal drugs. But I have been forced to admit that, yes, I still use the evil program. After many long hours of therapy I can even see all of those colorful squiggles and such without running screaming into the dark.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Molly and the Vampire

Sub titled: A sensible woman learns about Love, Lust, and Things That Go Bump in the Night
So, I decided to keep the title. Reason for that ridiculous decision? To be honest, I couldn't think of anything else. Pitiful I know, but it gets worse. I'm thinking about calling the next one Claire and the Self Centered, Egotistical, Rat Bastard. I can't wait to come up for a title for number three.
I have an excuse for not posting much on this blog lately; not a good one, but the only one I've come up with. If you would rather wait until I come up with a better one...
Okay! Stop yelling, sheese. It was only a suggestion.
The excuse has to do with the whole Molly novel thing. I have finished it. I think. No, I have definitely completed it. Probably, I'm almost certain it's done.
You see this isn't the first time I have finished it. It was done, I had edited it, formatted it, I had designed the perfect cover, and sent it off to be turned into a proof copy. Then I waited. The proof was only a formality. Nothing could be wrong with it, I had already read it a gazillion time looking for mistakes to fix.
I waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and, well I'm sure you get the picture. I was certain they had mailed it by carrier snail. But it did finally arrive and I held in my sweaty hands a real book that I had written. All 370 odd pages. Some of it very odd. I couldn't wait to get to my room to start reading. I did pull out a highlighter, I mean There might be some minuscule mistake that had managed to slip past my vigilance.
By the time I had finished reading those 370 odd pages I had used up two highlighters and a pad of sticky notes. It seems that my minuscule mistake had turned into a flotilla of great big mistakes floating all over my pages.
All of that was thirty edits, 27 formats, and 42 fantastic new covers ago. I am now waiting for new proofs. Yes thats plural, I have got to beg someone else to read it and tell me what they think.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

AHundred reasons to hate SpellCheck

You may notice by the title that this isn't going to be about MY NOVEL or Rufus Magee. At least, not all together.

I really did mean too; honestly. And I'll tell you all about Rufus someday. The novel will come up today because that's what started my feud with Spellcheck.

It isn't much of a feud seeing as how it's completely one sided. They don't know I exist! And do you know what else? They don't know that you exist either! AND THEY DON'T CARE!!!

Okay, that's note entirely true. If what you want to do is write a report on ability of mice to type the collected works of Robert Burns given enough time; or perhaps you need to tell the shipping department that the leprous nuns of Our Lady of Perpetual Angst have canceled their order for 20,000 boxes of heart shaped paper clips and they shouldn't be shipped. In either of these instances Spellcheck will perform to your highest expectation.

Now I'll tell you right up front that I don't care a fig about typing mice or leprous nuns. Well; maybe a little about leprous nuns.

What I do want to do is write about sensible women falling in love with vampires. (No, really, she is sensible.)


#1 It doesn't believe in contractions!

In 106,00 plus words, 100,000 of them must have been contractions. At every single one of them I got a little green squiggly line. When I clicked on the little green line a note popped up informing me that I was an idiot and no sane person would ever write can't when can not is obviously far superior.

#2 It torments me over passive voices.

I'll admit that I needed help with this one. Apparently in the first draft I all but rolled over and played dead i was so passive. So, okay, I fixed the sentence. It told me no, I was still wrong. I tried again, still passive. After 10 or 15 tries I usually gave up and removed the sentence there by changing the whole story and turning my hero into a villain. I mean; all it had to do was rewrite the sentence for me and I would not have been contemplating suicide every time I started writing.

#3 It cannot abide casual speech. (or at least writing.)

I never before realized how how much trouble and & but cause. The first few times I was told that I should not (not a contraction) I tried every way I could to rewrite the sentence it coming out sounding like someone who had ALMOST learned English as a second language.

#4 Spellcheck has gone politically correct.

Whats wrong with that you say. Nothing if you don't plan on using words like lady, gentleman, blond, woman, man, girl, boy, or bridesmaid. I was informed that I should refer to her as the brides house cleaner. For the others person seems to be the accepted choice. Have you ever tried to make "The tall person took the blond person into his arms and kissed it." sound romantic?

Yeah, I know. That's only 4, but I'm sure that there are at least 96 more. If you have tried to write a letter to a friend, you can probably come up with a couple yourself. I wonder if that should be yourperson?

I have to go now. Just thinking about this makes me want my medication.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Catchy title, right?

Okay then, you try to come up with something no one else has used and catches your eye.

Besides this is going to be about dogs, vampires, cats, lust, attempting to write a romance novel, art, and anything else that catches my interest.

Oh, and don't be shy. If you have something you want to ask me, go right ahead. I might even answer you truthfully. Or maybe not. It's going to depend on whats more fun.

Have you already figured out that this isn't going to be a serious discussion about anything? I don't know about you, but I get quite enough seriousness from the nightly news. Of course there are things that I'm very serious about, but I promise not to bring them up. You can always find another blog about spaying and neutering your pet. Yes, that's one of my serious things.

Now you may be asking yourself, exactly why is she writing a blog in the first place? Believe me, I've asked myself that very question. Well, the answer involves that romance novel I'm trying to write. It seems that if you ever hope to have a publisher look at your book you have to have a blog. Maybe things were easier when Jane Austin was writing.

Now don't go getting all crazy on me. I am in no way, shape, or form comparing myself to that godess of the quil. All I'm saying is that she only had to contend with the fact that proper young women were not allowed to write something as questionable as a novel. I have to deal with the internet and computers that die just because you spill a little hot chocolate on them. I mean really; it was sugar free, not even the good stuff. But then chasing down a goose when you needed a new pen couldn't have been much fun. Those birds can be vicious.

If I haven't scared you off, then please, stop by again. Perhaps next time I'll tell you about my novel, tentatively titled Molly's Story: How a Sensible Woman Learned About Love, Lust, and Things That Go Bump in the Night. Or I might tell you about Rufus Magee, the very real bassett hound that got written into the story.