Category Archives: Angela

Things I have done you probably haven’t

John Scalzi posted a second list of things he’s done that the rest of us probably haven’t, with a challenge to post our own lists there or elsewhere with a link. Angela Benedetti took up that challenge on her blog, thus providing me with another list of things that I A) haven’t done and B) really don’t want to do. (John was hit by a Pinto, Angie has con-related fiascos and a pet spider.)

captivemagic185I have, however, done something that John Scalzi possibly hasn’t, which is read Angela’s new book, Captive Magic, the third novel in the Sentinel universe, which is John’s loss, and yours too, if you don’t go get it.  Breck has a ton of trouble and the hots for  smart-ass Sentinel Manny, who might know something important for his quest. Good reading, and so are the other two novels in this series. (A Hidden Magic and Emerging Magic, both of which feature Paul and Rory, who have bit parts in this third book.) So, go get some books and outdo John Scalzi.

My list:

1) Played a concert at Carnegie Hall at 17.

2) And was rejected by the Eastman School of Music.

3)  Removed a drunk deer from the middle of the street before it got hit by a car.  (It had been dining on fermented windfall apples in my back yard, which made me the bartender and responsible, I suppose.)

4) Wrestled a skunk for a bag of marshmallows and won. Err, lost. There is a reason one is advised not to bring food into the tent on camping trips.

5) Locked myself out of a car while said vehicle was sitting in the center lane of a minor highway. And running.

6) Flew in a 1941 Stearman biplane at the Penn Yan Fly-in Breakfast.

7) Came this close to dying in a freak lemon meringue pie accident. I was not eating it at the time.

8) Did an unscheduled 70 foot free dive at Molokini Crater. I’d dropped my fish card.

9) Played backup for Tom T. Hall and an opera singer in the same day. I still find myself singing “Sneaky Snake,” but not Puccini.

10) Won enough money in Las Vegas to pay for a semester of college. I love roulette.

What have you done that most people probably haven’t?


Photoshop cookies

Angie Benedetti sends me the best links! And apparently the strains of editing were getting to her (there’s a new Hidden Magic novel in the not so distant future, how cool is that? Mannie’s story at last!) because she found the perfect mashup of computers and food. For those of you who get posts as emails,  the video probably won’t work, but come on over and poke the play button.

The way Photoshop and I get along, we might not eat very much if I cooked this way, but dang, what little I could manage would be consistent.

To Oregon with Angela Benedetti

A Hidden MagicYou may recall from other squeeful posts that I adore Angela Benedetti as PMSing women love chocolate. Her books A Hidden Magic and Emerging Magic are my definitions of kick-ass urban fantasy. Why yes, I adore me some Rory and Paul.

I also adore me some Manny, who doesn’t have his own story (yet), but plays a mean secondary role here, and Angie’s been working hard on getting his story told. I’m ready to read.

EmergingMagic185So… I am on my way to Portland, OR, where I will be spending some time with Angie, in Lincoln City on the coast, taking a course with Dean Wesley Smith, who is a guru of publishing and writing and all. I expect Angie and I will learn many things about writing and publishing, plus having a hellagood time. I haven’t seen Angie in meatspace since GayRomLit in New Orleans, so she needs to be prepared to get glomped. (Yes, I bear a curious resemblance to a happy St. Bernard. Hope I don’t knock her all the way over.)

The trouble with getting from Denver to Portland is that it requires an airplane. While being a miracle of planet shrinkage, and way faster than Conestoga wagons, air travel has its own set of pitfalls. I’m prepared to sit in a flying pilchard tin for a couple of hours, but I kind of expect the trip to be a lot like this.

Good thing I have a Kindle filled with superior m/m adventures like Angie’s Sentinel series.

Time is money, lunch is time

Angela Benedetti pointed me toward an interesting exercise in considering money as time, money as money, and how writers convert time into money by spending time. Camille LaGuire makes a point about the time spent doing something as mundane as making a brown-bag lunch costs writing time, and a meal purchased out can be a relative bargain. In part, she says:

But writers are in the business of creating assets.

We don’t have to buy them with money. We can buy them with time.

Therefore the time and effort involved in brown-bagging it to save a few bucks on lunch could cost you in terms of your ability to write a book. I did a calculation once that the time and effort that goes into making a bagged lunch — shopping, fixing and cleaning up — costs me about 500 finished words of writing time, and if I valued that book at $5000 in bonds (5k being an average advance I could expect to get for the book) the darned bagged lunch cost me $40.

We won’t even discuss the likelihood of a writer in my genre getting that sort of advance. We’ll stick with discussing time. The rest of Camille’s discussion is here.

I don’t know how she arrived at that figure in terms of time, because I’m not looking at the sandwich and fixings as the only time-consumers in the transaction. I think those are incremental costs on something I’m going to be doing anyway.

I have a family: they go through a substantial amount of milk, bread, and whatever else is going into the meals for the week. They are a hungry lot, so I’m in the store anyway, because no matter what my time may be worth in current or future earnings, my cash is limited and the Marital Unit inclined to buy five-gallon containers of things we will only eat in pint quantities, “because it’s a bargain, honey!”

How much time extra does it take to drop the packet of sliced turkey in the cart? Surely not enough time to write a paragraph. The bread is already on my list and I own the mayonnaise. Building the sandwich is a moment’s work at home.

The Locusts I Live With want dinner on a regular basis, I like to eat too, and cooking is a creative outlet for me. The time shouldn’t be counted against writing time. Besides, I fling a pan in the oven and the next thirty minutes are mine! Since neither the MU nor I are especially adept at portion control, there’s almost always a serving or two of dinner left, which goes to work with me the next day. Where’s the incremental time in that? Particularly since the Junior Locusts are the clean-up squad. This option isn’t available to all writers, but trust me, I’d rent them out real cheap some days.

There’s an argument to be made as well on cooking preserving one’s writing ability, if one reads The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. To sustain your creativity, she explains, you must replenish your artist’s soul with small treats and expressions of creativity. That’s a pretty good argument for a nice meal in itself, since cooking is edible art for me, and brownies maintain my soul, if not my waistline.

So, Camille, I will leave you to your lunch out, which you value differently than I do, and Julia and I will enjoy what’s in my brown bag some days, and a lunch out the other days, when it’s a treat. And we’ll save you a brownie.


I signed up for GayRomLit in New Orleans for October. I’m quite excited about that, since I haven’t been to a convention before, and there are all sorts of amazing people who are also going. Just think of what can happen when you get me, Eden Winters, Angela Benedetti, Marie Sexton, and Heidi Cullinan in one place.

This isn’t a bunch of writing workshops, this is hang out with readers and writers time, doing cool things in New Orleans. It’s going to be a blast! Plus, you’ll be able to see if my icon is accurate. 🙂

More details as they come available.