Private by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Private came out earlier this year as the debut for a new series featuring the main character Jack Morgan. His father gives him the files for a private investigation firm named, you guessed it, Private.

There are three cases in this story: a serial killer, a friend’s murder, and an NFL game rigging, um, plot.

The book was pretty good. Like most Patterson books, it wasn’t Shakespeare but it was alright for a read. My only complaint was the rather large cast of characters. By the end of the story, I kind of adjusted but at first, I thought -holy crap I need a chart!

That’s all I have for this week. Have a lovely weekend and good night.

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book working and such

Agh! This week is just barely slogging along.

I finished transferring on-paper changes for the first edit on the novella yesterday. The quality of the story is approaching the level I’m aiming for, but it isn’t there quite yet.

There’s still something missing from the story, and I really want to take the time to figure out what it is. I never thought I would put so much effort into something I plan to give away for free (the digital version anyway).

I’m starting to think about the cover art too. It may involve at least one jackal.

I saw the other day where an author posted five versions of a cover for her upcoming novel and had readers vote which one they liked best. That was pretty cool. I might do that here if I can get motivated to create more than one version of the cover.

What else is going on?

Oh yeah, I have been on the Project Gutenberg website like crazy since getting the Kindle. They have SO many classics I want to read. I downloaded another round of them this evening.

Little kid me seriously would have loved that website. Hell, grown-up me loves it. Although, I am starting to feel like I owe them a donation.

I have to quit though. I’m quickly reading and writing myself closer to mental exhaustion. That usually means it’s time to draw something and watch Dr. Who reruns for a while.

In the spirit of Halloween, I’m posting a link to some truly awesome cemetery photograph slideshows. They really make me want to dress up like the ghost whisperer and lurk about the dead and snap photos.

Anybody I know wanna go with me? Hm? Hmmmmm???

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is really a lovely evening for a rant

I read a quote one day recently that might have been from Katy Perry. She said something along the lines of – there’s room for everyone (as in musical artists) on people’s ipods.

I thought of that today as I read this article written by a crusty dinosaur. He was lamenting the loss of the customized rejection letter in lieu of impersonal e-mail rejections. He goes on to lament other losses as well.

At one point he said the world needs fewer writers and ‘smarter’ readers. Um, excuse me? I am both a writer and a reader, so I take offense on two levels.

First off, no one I know who reads books on a regular basis is unintelligent, just the opposite in fact. They may not be pompous ‘intellectual’ jackasses, but they still have brains in their heads. They are perfectly capable of selecting their own reading material without the assistance of a corporation.

He thinks there are too many books. Maybe there are, so freaking what? I don’t apologize for wanting to express myself creatively in that way. I’m not sorry that your publication gatekeepers are losing their relevence.

Not that I would by any means count myself among them, but how many brilliant writers have been rejected into oblivion or worse, discouraged from writing altogether because some editor or agent or whoever didn’t find their book marketable?

Traditional publishing is only romanticized by people who suffered and overcame those obstacles. Good for them. Thankfully there are other options, which I plan to continue pursuing. Life is too short to waste my time knocking on firmly locked doors.

There’s room for all of us on everyone’s shelves, kindles, nooks, ipads or whatever.

Here’s the link to the article if you would also like to be offended by a crusty dinosaur.

I do not plan to read his books.
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technical difficulties

Whattup internets? Long time, no see, primarily due to the massive software failure on my beloved laptop.

I had a weekend that was filled with equal parts awesome and suck.

Awesome? My mimaw bought me a kindle for my birthday! Wooo! I am very excited. I read ebooks before but did so on my ipaq or my blackberry. Both have miniscule screens compared to the kindle. I already have like 15 books on the thing. Reading on it is way cool.

I had two large meals – one fried chicken and one steak!

Gifts included moola, wine, a book, espresso, pie, and a jacket and shoes and (sing it now) these are a few of my favorite thiiiiiings! I am an immensely spoiled girl.

My boy made several cards for me. He’s such a sweet pea. He also wrote a play, which he planned to act out with husband and daughter. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the participation he hoped for. He didn’t seem to mind too much though. He is the happiest little creature I’ve ever met. I hope he stays that way.

One interesting thing – a couple of the cards he made for me were decorated with stars of David. I’m not sure where he picked those up because we aren’t Jewish!

I did get birthday wishes from my girl too, although nothing as enthusiastic as what the boy did.

Now for the suck – I spent most of my three-day weekend working on the damned computers.

My laptop crashed. Boo. I managed to back up most (if not all) of my important files.

I did some research online and discovered the cause of my technical woes was a microsoft update. Thanks a fricking lot, microsoft.

So I located the software patch needed to fix it but my computer kept locking up before it could finish the installation. There was a lot of salty language thrown around.

I finally decided that I had to restore and start completely over. That was a drama in itself. I won’t get into it because that would probably be boring. Let’s just say it was a pain in the ass.

I also had to work on the boy’s computer and some on the desktop. Being the geek squad of the house is sometimes very trying and time consuming.

I didn’t get to work on anything I actually wanted to work on – no drawings, no writing. I should have finished the current round of edits on the novella on Saturday. I am now days behind! Argh.

But the good news is, I have fixed all computer issues and am up and running again. Everything seems to be functioning for the moment.

And I breathe.

I might not be on every day this week (obviously I missed monday) due to playing catch-up and various parental duties.

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birthday and other ramblings

My birthday is this weekend! Woooooo!

I await saturday with all the patience and restraint of a six year old.

I got early birthday gifts last weekend – a jacket and a pair of shoes that I’ve been stalking for like a year. Glorious times.

I have already made demands of my husband for this weekend which include (but are not limited to) a steak dinner with corn, potatoes and Hawaiian rolls. Dessert will likely be cheesecake, but I haven’t decided all of the way yet.

And my mimaw is going to buy me a fried chicken lunch! Wheeeeeeeee!!! I truly love fried chicken. It’s salty and greasy and kind of crunchy – all at the same time.

And my baby boy has some grand scheme he plans to execute. He has expressed a desire for me to get up super early on birthday morning. The scheme is not contingent on my early rising. He just really wants me to be awake when he’s awake. We’ll see how that goes.

As for the girl? She’s a teenager. I don’t think she has any grand mom birthday schemes. I do expect to at least receive a hug and positive birthday wishes.

Whiplash subject change. I don’t think I’m doing an October indie review. I have too much reading to do right now. I’m reading Private by James Patterson and then, if all goes according to plan, American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

I poked around for an indie title but didn’t see anything that struck my fancy. If anyone has a suggestion for a November indie title, please hit me up via e-mail, include synopsis.

Oh yeah, one more thing. I am going to start sending out release dates for novels and short stories to people who wish to receive them via e-mail. If you would like to receive such updates, please send a blank e-mail with the word ‘subscribe’ in the subject line to the e-mail address listed above. I promise not to bombard anyone. I really don’t write all that quickly.

Tomorrow – illustration plus, um, some words about something. Probably.

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short story talk and where is my winner?

I have a couple of short stories free for download on smashwords.

* if you haven’t read then, what the heck? They’re free! Links are on the fiction freebies tab at the top of the page *

Anyway, so sometimes I like the characters in my short stories more than just one story’s worth. I get other ideas for them and such. I have trouble deciding whether I can or want to try to make them dance for an entire novel. This morning, I think I found the answer. Episodic short fiction – basically several short stories about the same character or characters!

That solution seems so obvious now. I was stuck in this mode of thinking that was limited to novel, novella or short story. I didn’t even stop to consider something slightly more out of the ordinary. I’m going to have to have a talk with Brain.

Here is the link for the article I read in case you want to read it. This piece refers to a couple of authors who wrote episodic short stories, Hemmingway in particular.


Also on the subject of shorts, I want my freaking story back!

I entered the best short story I’ve ever written in a writing contest in July. In order to qualify, the story has to not be published. In other words, I can’t publish it until I know if it won or not!

So it just sits there on my laptop, staring at me like – why must my awesomeness be made to sit in a dark digital hole where no one can read me?

How annoying. At this point, I almost don’t care if I win the contest. I mean, a win would be nice, but it would have also been nice to release my horror story for halloween reading time!

Judge faster!

Also, I have a winner for the MacDowell Sisters and AnnaBeth drawing. I e-mailed the address provided and it didn’t go through!!! Nadine (only one Nadine entered), if you read this, please shoot me an e-mail: lea-ryan at I shall hold your name in winning status for the next fifteen days.

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