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Showing posts from March, 2013

Peace which the world cannot give, I give to you

I give you a new commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you. By this the world shall know that you are my disciples, that you have love for one another.

Yeah, brace yourself. It's church talk.

Tonight was the beginning of the three-night observance leading up to Easter. Not everyone knows (or chooses to know) that Easter is not a day, it is a season. There are three nights of preparation leading up to Easter Sunday, and then forty days of celebration thereafter. Hey, that's a lot of chocolate.

Tonight was my favorite service of the entire year: Maundy Thursday. And for the first time in many years, I missed it. Alas, work. I tried to wiggle out of it, tried to switch places with my fellow reporters, but that isn't always possible. I missed the foot-washing for the first time, I think, since I was in college.

Maundy Thursday is the service that remembers the Last Supper. Everyone knows how the night ended, with betrayal and terror and people running into th…

Elizabeth Faces Life as a Competent Adult, Part 38

Apparently, in my bleary stumble to get to my morning exercise class this morning, I forgot something.
No, not my swimsuit. Not the towel or even the comb.

I realized as I was combing my hair after class that there weren't enough clothes in my gym bag. 

My water aerobics class means getting out of bed two hours earlier than standard. You'd think I would be able to remember this and go to bed before 1 a.m. the night before, but that would require practical application of intelligence. I get up, go to class, then shower and change for work at the YMCA before my shift starts.

Apparently, while blearily stumbling about the house this morning, I neglected to put a shirt in the gym bag. This poses something of a problem, as the Edwardsville Police Department and staff of the YMCA do not appreciate women wandering about in public without a shirt on.

There were helpful suggestions. I could wrap the towel around my shoulders like a cape, but that only solves half the problem. I cou…

Adventures in Family Texting, Episode 101

BOY: Home from Scouts and YOU NEED TO STICH THAT PATCH ON!!!
ME: Wash your uniform and leave it on my chair, Your Majesty. And learn to spell "stitch."
BOY: Ok but you need to do it tonight. I need it by next week.
ME: Need by next week /= tonight.
BOY: Yep.
ME: You might have missed that I am at a police standoff and on my fourth hour of overtime. Also that I haven't beaten you with sticks yet. Mind your manners and say PLEASE.
BOY: Please.
ME: Taken under advisement. Use shampoo when you shower.
BOY: Ok but pleeeeeaaaasssee do it tonight.
ME: Not happening. Tomorrow possible if you leave it on the chair. And if you are nice to me.
BOY: Ok.
MAN: We need milk. Or a cow.
ME: I love that you both are texting me simultaneously with stuff you need me to do. It's not like I'm busy or anything.
MAN: Sorry love.
ME: S'ok. I'll get a blog out of it.
MAN: Of course you will. I am a lowly wigglily worm
ME: Oh shut up. And learn to spell "wiggly."

Volunteerism

ME: Heh. I was just emailing SPJ about the regional conference and they were emailing me about my photo and a summary of my speech.
JIMMY: Hm.
ME: I told them I needed to get specifics to line up my volunteers for the book fair.
JIMMY: Hm.
ME: And by volunteers I mean...
JIMMY: ... oh.
ME: I love you?
JIMMY: Sure you do.
ME: Hey! I do too!
JIMMY: Suuure, you're real fond of my arms, for carrying books.
ME: Well, it is one of your finer characteristics. But you know what else you do real well?
JIMMY: What.
ME: Standing at the booth all day convincing people to buy books for charity.
JIMMY: Uh huh.
ME: I love you.

Yet he's still marrying me.

My secret other life

I dreamed that I was set up by an unnamed informant as a drug dealer.

No kidding. I dreamed that there was this big investigation at work, and then I was interrogated by corporate executives (because that's totally how drug investigations work). Apparently some woman had called up the police, confessed to multiple felony drug offenses and named me as her supplier/enforcer/kingpin.

My lavish lifestyle must have tipped them off, eh?

I told them the most sinister thing I do is sell books. Suuure, it's books you sell out of your trunk at coffee houses, they said. Uh, yeah, I replied, feeling the noose tighten.

But it was the next part that was really hilarious. The entire staff of the newsroom filed into a conference room for an intervention. I kid you not. They were all very kind about my "problem." It was weird - I felt defensive and embarrassed as hell even though I knew I was set up. The more strongly I protested, the more guilty it made me sound.

If I really were…

Special Delivery

I am donating a signed copy of Nocturne to a fundraiser for a local family whose home caught fire. Their dog was killed, and the family is living in a hotel for three months while repairs are made.

The fundraiser is being organized by my friend, Pam Moss. Pam and I tried all week to meet up so I could give her the book. Life happened. We failed. The fundraiser is this weekend, so time was running short.

I told Pam I would be at the Sacred Grounds coffeehouse on Main Street all Friday evening, as is my general habit. She said she would come by the coffeehouse and get the book.

I even remembered to dig out a copy of Nocturne from the warehouse section of the Tower before leaving. That's how organized I am this week, folks. Why, I might eventually be able to finish the profit-loss statements for Literary Underworld before the first quarter is over, but let's not get crazy.

I didn't sign the book right away, figuring I'd ask Pam what she wanted me to put when she came by. …

Advancing the discussion

My little post the other day about Random House and SFWA is the second most-read post ever on this blog.* Unfortunately, it looks like a lot of folks took the wrong message from it.

There's a lot of "screw SFWA" coming out of the Random House discussion here and on Facebook. I need to be clear: I think SFWA and HWA are fine institutions, and probably the only major organizations attempting to stand up for the rights of writers.

John Scalzi et al are making a lot of noise about these egregious contract terms, and we need to cheer them on. If we quietly ignore it when one press screws the authors, suddenly it will show up as boilerplate in all contracts. Just take a look at how it's going with cons.

My criticisms of SFWA were solely in the realm of practicality: by refusing membership to those who don't receive advances, they are hurting themselves, not the publishers. Scalzi addressed this issue head-on today, in which he detailed his reasons for insisting that pu…

Wikiworms

HIM: Hey, somebody updated your Wikipedia page.
ME: Oh good Christ. *runs to Wikipedia*
HIM: Yeah. Now it includes that you're engaged to author Jimmy Gillentine.
ME: Huh.
HIM: And that you're on the vestry for an Episcopal church.
ME: My spies are everywhere. *reads* 
HIM: Too bad it doesn't link to my website.
ME: Can't do that. Wikipedia is not supposed to be advertising. You can only put up a link to your page on your own Wikipedia page.
HIM: I don't have a Wikipedia page.
ME: Hey, I didn't create my own. Somebody put me on there.
HIM: I am too lowly to have a Wikipedia page.
ME: Oh whatever.
HIM: I am so honored to be on your Wikipedia page! You are the famous author Elizabeth Donald! I am so lucky that you can love a lowly worm like me!
ME: Oh for the love of God, shut up.
HIM: *smooch*
ME: Lowly worm?
HIM: Worm!

In which I piss off SFWA and Random House at the same time

It's a strange new world for us in the publishing biz, and apparently there is no depth to which Certain People will not sink to screw us.

Call me naive, but I was clinging to the hope that New York was this bastion of professionalism in which publishers act according to the rules they themselves set. Those who have wrangled with New York just fell out of their chairs, rolling on the floor in hysterical laughter before they click on to someone who isn't so goddamn stupid.

Or, y'know, they can go read this piece by John Scalzi, brilliant author/blogger and outgoing president of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, as he tears apart an allegedly professional contract offered by Random House imprint Hydra to new ebook authors. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Oh sweet fluffy Jesus - I am no lawyer and other than a handful of contracts in my filing cabinet, I have no real expertise in contract law. But that is by far the most disgusting example of screw the author I'…