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Mel's Procrastination Palace
Wednesday, March 30, 2005 Deep cleansing breath

Today was gorgeous. It hit 78* today and we had baby blue skies and tufts of white clouds lazily floating along, enjoying the weather as much as we were--or tried to be. Even now, at 6:30 and with twilight turning the sky from blue to gray and casting deep shadows in the neighborhood, it's a gorgous 70*. The winds pick up now and again, grabbing my hair and pulling it across my face, temporarily blinding me from seeing the computer screen. I can only imagine mother nature is tugging at those loose strands, demanding, "Look at me, feel me, listen to me."

And of course, I listen, I look. I feel.
The birds are celebrating. Children are still pleading with their parents to stay outside, even just on the porch, because they've spent months cooped up in their stagnent rooms.

There's a wild streak in all of us, even the most citified folk. We crave the sunshine, the fresh air, the crisp breeze. I relish it, like now, sitting on my back steps with my laptop propped up on my legs. I can smell the electricity in the air, as severe storms are on the horizon. Right now they're not visible, but soon there'll come marching a dark line, tiny soldiers marching with thunderous steps. We'll see the crack of their rifles light up the night sky.
(And then the analogy that comes to mind is the tears falling.... how sad for such a moment. I don't want sadness here.)

I lament there are no fireflies. But soon, and with them, mosquitos. The rites of summer, tho, and each has its purpose.

Out here, I feel full. I feel the energy of the world in each breath. There are stories here, all around me, and I hate that I'll never catch them as they spirit past me on the wind.

I came outside cuz I got to thinking about today. Started in the supermarket when I rushed in to get something to make for dinner (which I should be cooking instead of blogging, but what the hey...). I walked past the card aisle and remembered that tomorrow is my--our anniversary. Fifteen years. Wow. We were very young and impulsive, and I'm proud that we made such a good decision so early in our lives. It's worth celebrating. So I picked out a sappy card (I write romance here, gimme a break) and then came home. Then I realized just how the weather was 15yrs ago. It was beautiful for March, easily in the 70* with nary a cloud in sight. Truly a blessed day.

But since tomorrow threatens rain and storms, I figured I'd better take my deep breath tonight and remember that scared girl who walked down the aisle to a life that she never expected, but one she'll never regret.

So here's to mother nature, yes, ma, I'm paying attention. And here's to love.

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 6:24 PM :: 2 comments

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Saturday, March 26, 2005 The muse is at it again

For those of you who've suffered through my previous blogs (hey, it's not like it's Shannon's place or something with all these insightful tidbits...) (that blog is like my homepage) anyway....

Remember the post about the muse demanding I get up and write down ideas? Yeah, you guessed it, she's at it again. Actually, it's kinda cool cuz I finally *can* explore this new idea. Vamps are...well, where they are right now. If I had Microsoft Outlook and used the tasks, I'd snooze them and put there status "waiting on something else" [my coworker uses these tasks and man, are they great...]

Over the last couple of weeks I've tossed the muse a doggie bone or two by pulling out the old pencil/notepad and jotting down some character quirks and interesting tidbits that will turn them from ideas into living, breathing characters. One thing I found odd about this story, at least so far. No matter what I do, think, try, brainstorm or babble, I still can't figure what character flaws/emotional baggage/motivation [i.e. character arc] my hero has/wants/needs.

Usually the guys are easy. (yeah, aren't they?)
This book seems to be really heroine driven. I'm wondering if it's begging to be witch-lit erotica.

With that, my eyes crossed and rolled back in my head and the groan prolly generated a 6.0 on the Richter scale. I didn't just say that, did I?
That puts a whole new meaning to this book. And ya know. Damn, this could be ALOT of freaking (and the other "F" word) fun!

~Mel

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 10:06 AM :: 2 comments

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005 Incomplete thoughts

I've started the blog several times, only to fade from topic to topic without saying one important thing. I think it's a direct correlation to how much is zinging through my head at any moment.

The blog topic in the circle I visit has been very interesting and stimulating. No... not that way. But being a very opinionated person--and well aware of it--I have decided to listen as opposed to jump in with carbon copy thoughts or well worn rationale. And yes, by the time I get there, usually someone has already voiced what I would have said, at least close, and so I feel my side of the argument has been posted. And then I close it going, Geesh, Mel, say SOMETHING.

:/
Moi?

And then there's been the topics like book prices and review ethics and conference behavior that all begs to be addressed. But since everyone else seems to be addressing them, I'll just smile and stay serenly silent. It's amazing what you learn, about topics AND people by reading blogs and comments. (Ya'll prolly think I'm a dead, boring, spineless fish, eh?)

Okay, that's digressing pretty far and no, I don't need comments reassuring me that I'm more of a timid doormouse than a large mouth bass, so don't leave 'em. ;)

On a good note, my muse has gotten a sniff of the smelling salts I've been shoving up her nose and she's popped out an idea--okay, revitalized an old idea that has me rather excited about writing. However, being Such the disciplined lass that I am (hold on now, don't laugh too hard) I'm trying to get both of these vamp stories off my desk and out of my life. At least for awhile. I've been teased by a new ending to an old story, tempted by Spring solstice to pull out the Gaelic themed paranormal/historical/contemp I wrote before I knew the rules and of course, wooed by the prospect of starting a story fresh and learn about these interesting and funny characters and create mayhem in their lives.

Books are an escape. An alternate reality. I write my way into fantasy land. Damn shame I can't stay there. :P

Since this thought is wrapping up, incomplete as it is, I'm done here.

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 11:05 AM :: 4 comments

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Sunday, March 13, 2005 Yep, playing again...

I couldn't help myself, really. I've been blog hopping this weekend, trying to shake the last few germies that are holding on like... oh, who cares about those...

Anyway, I noticed that my blog looked rather...well, too uh, busy-like. So I just simplified a bit. Housecleaning. Less is more. And that applies to just about everything... except sex and money, cuz well, does that even need to be said?

The naughtiest thing I did today was eat about half a bag of those Speck-tacular M&Ms. Ya know... the ones that are the size of peanut M&Ms but are pure milk chocolate (hear me moaning?). The nicest thing I did was rub hubby's feet which were achy. He's got that flu, poor guy. It's inevitable, considering he hogs *my* pillow. *eye roll*

More I think about it, that's the naughtiest thing I did all weekend, unless you count the guilty pleasures of giggling at the blogs that tell the DAMN truth about some snarky clothes, hideous book covers and "meh" books. I take that back, that wasn't a guilty pleasure. That was research, and it was fun... (Tho' not as fun as that OTHER kind of research. Darn shame DH's sick...)

Anyway, since the ellipses are running away from me and I've got comments to make on Jaci's latest chapters in her Storm series... I'm sashaying into the sunset for another blog. Have a chocolately one!

~Mel

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 4:45 PM :: 2 comments

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Friday, March 11, 2005 Where did it go?

I've come to the conclusion that the body has a wonderful defense mechanism when one is sick. Well, okay, two... the first is a) forgetfulness. What HAPPENED to this week? Last I knew it was Sunday, then I faintly remember Monday cuz I went to the eye doctor and it all got REAL fuzzy after that. I no likey. Clearly, the fever scorched a few necessary brain cells. I sure hope I didn't do anything stupid....The other defense, if you will, is that while being sick, I'm a bitch, but that's good for anyone who'd want to communicate with me, cuz well, they don't stick around long enough to catch the germies that are flying around my head at twice the density of pigpen's dust cloud.

That said, ignorance is bliss. I made money without effort. I just pray autopilot knew where it was going. :) On the flipside--no, never mind. I tend NOT to turn over rocks in the garden cuz there's all kinds of unmentionable creepies underneath.

But alas, there was no writing for me.
Instead, I laughed/coughed/choked/wheezed through my friend's renditions of each other created via South Park characters. Yes, there was one of me. (Thanks Shan) and No I'm not posting it here. Cavewoman. Ha! Not sophisticated, intelligent..... aw, who am I kidding... At least give me a club to defend myself from those furry, smelly, gigantuans of cavemen who might get an inkling to grab me by my hair and pull me into their lair..... just ew, okay?

I became a cyber auntie a couple of days ago. Just learned today :) and am rather thrilled with the prospect. I've already starting thinking of how to spoil the child from what, 800+ miles away, if not more! (No, I barely passed Geography, thanks)

Anyway, there's been a ton of great blogs about the acceptance and respect of readers of romance novels--and the debate on what constitutes a great novel. Regarding the classics...some are okay, others aren't...I found myself much more tolerant as a teenager than I am as an adult, that's for sure. And yes, I read em and enjoyed them then... would probably NOT enjoy them now...heck, there are several authors I used to enjoy that I am burnt out on today, but will I go back and read them in 10 more years? who's to say... But I'm real good at quoting (who I'm quoting, I've no clue)... "If we all liked the same thing, it'd be a pretty bland world." I'm not ashamed of my copy of Knight in Shining Armor, and I've cherished my Tolkien books since I was 13. I did trade Nora Roberts for Janet Evanovich on the gotta-hafta-stand-in-line-the-day-its-released (but do those really count as romance? nah.... it's better.. Stephanie gets Joe AND Ranger... swooooooooon)

OKay, dammit, now you got me thinking about Ranger's Sexy shower gel and I can't rememeber what track my mind was on....
*Guess this means I left the railway and are now flying tangent airway?*

I should go before I embarrass myself. Me and Advil cold and flu are armed and dangerous with a lack of ....everything!

Tomorrow, really, I'll go back to sulking in the edit cave. Let me live in detached bliss, just one more day......

~Mel

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 9:30 PM :: 1 comments

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Monday, March 07, 2005 I'm blind!

okay, so I'm not *really* blind, but omg, I couldn't ever imagine losing my sight. Talk about frustrating! Guess that means I am a visual person, eh?

I went to eye doc today. Won't bore you with the details, but it wasn't nearly as bad as my twisted intestines imagined. Well, other than I'm STILL seeing spots from all those bright lights in my eyes and what WAS that purple/blue light thing that they stuck INTO my eye? The eye doc has officially become more frightening than a haunted house. The good news is that they make contacts for people as blind as me (yes, this was an issue) and I get new glasses. Some sapphire blue wire rims. If I look dorky, blame Steven. He helped, no, rather, he picked them out. I was blind from the conglomerate of drops they put in the eyeballs to make the pupil eat the iris. Steven said I looked like a demon. I felt like one had taken over my body cuz I couldn't see ANYTHING. okay, so I saw light and color and silhouettes, but read? You want me to sign my credit card authorization where?

Now...several hours later, my vision has returned to me. Sorta.
I know what cockeyed means. One eye focuses, the other doesn't. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaawd is this frustrating. Didn't stop me from going to Meijer with the husband and buying myself two books. One as a reward cuz I finished my vampire book for the second time. (Nothing like having two versions, just in case) and the other cuz I called, made the appointment and then went to the eye doc.

The moral of the story?
There isn't one. Other than one should be prepared with books on tape after one goes to evil eye doctor man who has fetish with eye drops....

~Mel, bugeyed and lopsided.

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 5:27 PM :: 1 comments

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Wednesday, March 02, 2005 Darn Delete Key and review hysteria

I keep writing out these really long blogs, then using that oversize delete key to bat em into the stratosphere.

What I wanted to tell you about was my recent battle with reviewitis. or was it reviewphobia? Whatever it was, my anxiety was acting like a nervous bride over the release of Hot Rod Heaven.

Lemme toss some thoughts at you. Strictly my opinions...
1) Based on unscientifically collected data on several occasions, I've accepted the thought that readers are buying books based on blurbs and excerpts and author name as opposed to review ranking. In my own life, I've never bought a book because it got 5 stars (or whatever icon that review site is using). I have, however, found books I might not have otherwise given a second glance by information found in the body of a review--not in the reviewer's comments about it, but in the quick synopsis that usually preludes the opinion portion.

2) I've also heard that readers don't look at reviews because alot of reviewers associate with authors on various message boards and groups and they feel that many reviews are skewed by personal feelings. Could be true, could be not, but I think I can speak for many authors and say that an honest review is better than having hot air blown up your.... (okay... I don't want a 2 star review either, I'm not that stupid. but don't shoot me five stars cuz we're friends....)

3) Some authors have recently voiced an displeasure with reviews that give away too much of the story in their synopsis. Honestly, I think a review that has either incorrect data (I had one for Legend of the Leopard that made me wonder what she was drinking when she read the book, hello!) or doesn't seem to care that it's a romantic suspense and giving away the secret really does ruin the story for alot of people is worse than low stars. This is my opinion: If a book got like 1.5 stars and the written review didn't tell me WHY the low stars, I'd die of curiosity and have to buy the book to figure it out for myself. Could be an awesome story, but the hero was named for the reviewer's cheating, lying sack of poop exhusband and wham... low rating.

4) There's no competition. I've never, and will never, think of reviews as one person comparing my book against another. It's not about who got the most 5 star reviews or special honors, tho sure, a consistency there means an author's worth a read, eh? This isn't the Olympic figure skating meet where the best book wins. I certainly hope my opinion on this is point is the norm.

See? I'm logical, I know all this. And still, I sweated the email that listed the reviews of the day.
And I was a dork for all of it, cuz I've gotten several very nice responses. Thanks to those who took the time to read my book, speak honestly and NOT give away the ending :)

The best review so far isn't the 5 star (tho that does look good in print)... it's the one who used the terms unique and different and distinctive to describe the story. Now that's a good review.

Does that mean I'm perfectly calm, cool and collected... wait. I never am that. hmmm. Does that mean I'm leaning forward in my chair waiting for that little blue envelope in the corner of my monitor to tell me I'm receiving mail? Uh...that'd be a no. I still open them slowly, scan the list with my knees knocking under the desk.

After all, that book out there is my baby. When I put it in that perspective, the whole bit of trepidation on my part makes perfect sense. I've just sent my kid off to their first day at school. I want them to make friends, be accepted and liked. I want them to come home with good grades. Even more, I want them to be themselves and be accepted for who and what they are.

~Mel, who's feeling Soooooooo much better now :)

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 6:13 PM :: 3 comments

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