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Mel's Procrastination Palace
Tuesday, February 21, 2006 Upstaged by the paperclip

Okay, that's a bit misleading, because my numero uno task after installing MS Word was to DELETE the office assistant. It's distracting, annoying and frankly, I felt like I was being watched. I write erotic romance. The bug eyes on that paperclip would have exploded before I finished my first manuscript had I not done this service.

However, I still think he's there... lurking. Who else takes a damn red pen and makes squiggles under my heroine's name? Well, of course you don't recognize it, you twisted piece of hairless pipecleaner, she's an elf. I highly doubt alternate dimensions submitted their most popular names to MSN prior to the cut off date of the latest edition. *eyeroll*

Well, I've gotten used to the red and green squiggles. I should shut the damn things off, but hey, it's always Christmas in my manuscripts. Lots of red and green garland decorating the paragraphs. And I'll admit, I rather like it when it fixes my tendancy to type "teh" instead of "the" or have the last letter of one word tag make really good friends with the wor din line behind it. (I'm leaving the example...)

I would show off some examples of the suggestions of grammar corrections the people at MSN have dreamed up (likely made up at the co. Christmas party after the third punch bowl had been consumed), but I'm gonna guess that anyone reading this blog has witnessed this...monstrosity first hand and doesn't need to see more of it.

Tonight, however, the little behind the scenes MS gremlins had another trick to show me. Granted, I'm sure there's tons of little goodies the MSN people think will benefit people. I just wanna type in my story. Tonight, I type a sentence that mentions the heroine walking quickly try to blend in with the foot traffic on Fifth Ave.

Suddenly, "Fifth Ave." is underlined (pink dotted line.. how neat!) and a cute little (i) icon appears. Who KNOWS what the next sentence was supposed to be because I was now enthralled with this new development. So of course, being curious, I click the (i) and am given options....

Display Map: Oooooh, map? You know where my heroine is? Wicked cool cuz I was going to have to research to find the nearest deli for her to eat lunch. Of course, within seconds common sense slapped me in the face. How does this program know WHICH Fifth Ave. I'm talking about? Isn't that a pretty damn common street name? *picture totally befuddled cocked headed stare at monitor*

Display Driving Directions: Um, no thanks. She's on foot, and I get desperate, she'll hail a cab.

Remove Smart Tag: does that mean the neato little pink dots will disappear? I was starting to like them!

Stop Recognizing Fifth Ave.: Nothing like blatant ignorance. Nope. Sorry, don't know you...

Smart Tag Options: Oh, hmmm, dare I click this? There are OPTIONS? I'm scared.

*I did click the display map option and was disappointed it went to a map site and THEN advised me the city and state were required. Tho I was kinda glad to see someone up in programming remembered to insert their braincell the day after this feisty idea was put into action.

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 8:11 PM :: 1 comments

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Thursday, February 16, 2006 It's not the Oscars, Emmy's or Grammy's, but....

It's sure a thrill for me.

First off, Alyssa nominated HOT ROD HEAVEN as her choice for "Most Hanky Read" in the AAR Reader Survey. Mucho thanks to Alyssa, cuz she made *ME* reach for the hankies...well, Kleenex anyway, by her vote. What a rush.

Then I got news the anthology, THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT, in which I partcipated, is up for a CAPA award. Shocking, but true. Thanks to those who nominated us! :)

Then today, I get an email that BRAND NAME DATES has been selected as a recipient of the 2005 Reviewer's Choice Award. That... THAT made me fall out of my chair.

I can't speak for others, but there's not much more motivating than this. :)
I love everybody today! I'm ready to glam it up on the red carpet. (Just humor me here, I'm riding a rush... Reality will strike and I'll be back to normal in about 20 minutes...)

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 5:35 PM :: 5 comments

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Saturday, February 11, 2006 Kickstart

A week ago, my husband and I joked around with the idea of going to the Collective Soul concert in Chicago. They've always been a band I liked--since at least the Shine days, but somehow I never had purchased their CD (I've bought myself MAYBE 5 CD's in the last decade, so this isn't surprising). If you want the truth, I hadn't noticed they'd been "missing" from the radio scene until I heard Better Now and dammit, I *knew* that voice!!!!!!!

Just after that, my husband called me into the living room to watch the second half of the concert they did (that was broadcast on cable) with the Atlanta Youth Orchestra. Even watching them on TV made me feel...energized. I knew I had found one of those "bands" I'd easily name one of my favorites for a long time to come--the combination of sound (gahd, I love Ed's voice), lyrics and emotion in their style hits my chord, if you know what I mean!

So, back to the tickets... [yeah, Angie, I hear you asking, "tangential much?"]. I found out they were free, and to get them, you more or less had to BE in Chicago. The online option seemed like it'd be impossible, simply because it was 1st 400 people. Okaaaaaay. The hubby even stayed up til after midnight but couldn't figure out what he was supposed to do. I considered the tickets gone. Ah well, that's okay. Another time.

But then I saw the online option wasn't "closed" yet. Hmmm, so I tried it, just for fun. Didn't get a response, nothing, nothing... Tuesday, DH goes home at lunch, and while he's there, DHL delivers. Yes, that's right, tickets to Collective Soul.
*did you hear the big thud? That was me. I.was.going.to.see.them!!!!)
Yeah, I get a bit fangirly. Why not, it's fun!
The show rocked. I couldn't have imagined it would be so...inspiring. Energizing. I'm not "so" into music--usually the only time I hear music is in the car, so yes, that surprises me. We had kick ass seats, and then toward the end, I went up toward the stage and got to stand just in front of the first row. There were still bodies at least 12 deep to get to the stage, but I was right there. The drums and bass thumped in my chest and I could SEE the light in the eyes of the guitarist and singer, Ed. Just like everyone around me, I raised my hands, jumped up and down (cuz we were packed so tight there was no side to side dancing thing... up and down, that was it...lol) and we screamed out the lyrics as Ed sang them.

And as he was up there, I thought. Here's a guy (okay, group of guys) who's just like me, or anyone else with a dream. He practiced, he planned, he wrote, played, probably got shot down a few times before finding success. Even then, he had to continue to write/sing/develop, work at perfecting those songs, deal with the crap life threw at him while maintaining a professional persona just to stay on top.

I don't see other people's success as something I'm envious of (okay, maybe just a little, but they earned it--I haven't yet)... I see it as inspiring. Thanks Ed and gang from Collective Soul, for giving this little author a kickstart. Now I'm outta here.. I've got a book to write, pitch and SELL!

Posted by Melani Blazer :: 1:06 PM :: 1 comments

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