Archive for May, 2007

May 28, 2007

OUR NOT SO HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY

May 28, 2007.

More American Soldiers dead.

More flags draped over caskets we’re not supposed to see or know about.

More flowers laid on their graves.

More hearts and families broken beyond repair.

More excuses. More reasons why.

All unfathomable. All unbelievable.

I fully understand about the terrorists wanting to come here.

I also understand that they’re already here.

So why are we still THERE?

Just thought I’d ask. Seemed like a good day to ask it.

Love y’all.

Hotclue, grieving today for all of our fallen heroes.

Happy Holiday | 1 Comment  

May 19, 2007

REVIEWERS CHOICE, SCRIBESWORLD

A while back, SECOND GENERATION, one of my Amber Quill books, was a Reviewers Choice at ScribesWorld. That was wonderful to re-visit, since I was planning on telling y’all about this book anyway (you can read the first chapter here on my website) because of all the hoo-ha going on lately about whether or not a woman can, or even should, be elected President or Vice President of the US. Even women, who should definitely know better, sometimes oppose it, but then it’s always been my contention that we women are all too often our own worst enemies.

I think it’s more than possible, even desireable, and so did Leigh, my heroine, even way back in the eighties and in fact, earlier. She had thoughts about it as a very young girl. This book, which took me a long time to write because of all the historical events intertwined with Leigh’s personal life, was also one of the most fun, although definitely the most difficult to write to date, although I’ve just started writing a much more difficult new one.

Basically, Second Generation is about a woman with high political ambition and what all she had to go through to achieve success. On the way to her success she made a lot of serious personal mistakes, some of which come back to haunt her when she looks as though she might succeed all the way, and she finally has to make a choice.

Women today, as in the eighties, face a tremendous challenge when they try to break through that invisible ceiling called the Presidency of the United States. It’s difficult to overcome any of the challenges, much less all of them, and so these women become misunderstood and maligned–although to be honest, not much more maligned than men who enter politics today. It’s just harder for women because to rise to that level, women have to have a certain degree of toughness that woman are generally not expected to have.

In other words, they can’t act like women.

Aside from all the other negative things the media dreams up, how they dress seems to be fair game. We’ve seen Hillary Clinton ridiculed for wearing pants suits (sort of understandable, having seen some of them), Nancy Pilosi is constantly maligned because of her couture suits (which are actually quite beautiful and her jewelry always matches the outfit), and of course there was Condi Rice and her so-called dominatrix outfit, which was simply a slick black suit and black spike heeled f*** me boots, perfect, I thought, for a political conference trip to Russia.

I’m wondering just what the detractors want. A dress and an apron, maybe, and carrying a potholder? We rarely if ever see male politicians made fun of because of their clothes, with the possible exception of John Kerry and his water-ski outfit, but cheesh. Striped spandex?

We’ve fought long and hard for equality for a long, long time. Second Generation goes into the problems Leigh had to even graduate with a law degree back in the Sixties, when women were less than six percent of law school graduates in the US. We’ve come a long, long way, baby, and women of today shouldn’t forget the power struggles others before us had, to get
us where we are now. It was, and still is, tough.

Second Generation is the story of a woman who had to be tough. She was one of the first strugglers.

Here’s the full review I was telling you about:

“SECOND GENERATION by Beth Anderson is a riveting read. The story is multi-layered and Leigh Shaunnessy, the focus character, is a fascinating, strong and determined woman.

Twenty-three emeralds, Leigh Shaunnessy’s legacy from her murdered father and stored in a safety deposit box, provide Leigh with security and allow her to reach for her dream of a career in politics. Leigh doesn’t know the story behind the gems. They represent her father’s revenge against the father of the boy he believes raped his daughter.

“Twenty-three emeralds — a curse or a blessing?

“Three men, each Leigh’s lover and the father of one of her children. Girardo, her schoolgirl friend and crush and the father of the daughter born in secrecy and given up for adoption. Ted Montagne, her real love and father of the daughter who dances to her own music. Ted is an astute politician who loves Leigh, but is unable to make a commitment. Jason Montagne, the man Leigh marries, Ted’s younger brother and the father of her son. Three men who impact her life.

“As Leigh reaches for a political plum, a vice-presidential nomination, her world is threatened. Girardo, now a Colombian drug lord, wants the emeralds, which he believes belonged to his
father. He starts a campaign to ruin Leigh’s children. She is faced with the loss of her dreams and a choice.

“SECOND GENERATION is an excellent read. The writing flows smoothly. Beth Anderson weaves politics and love with accents of history deftly.” —J.L. Walters, ScribesWorld

I thank you, Janet, for this honor. I hope the rest of you will give this book a try.

On another note, we’ve seen, over this weekend, the demise of Miss Snark’s blog as she disappears into the ether, never to return, with no real reason given, alas. I’m going to miss her. I usually checked her blog once a week just to see what was going on, because it was fun to read and she often gave a lot of dynamite, astute advice to newbies. I’ve mentioned it in my blog a couple of times.

I’ve always had a secret theory about Miss Snark, though. Being the suspicious cuss I am anyhow (I can and often do invent conspiracies out of the most minor events), I have never believed Miss Snark was really a female agent. I’ve always thought that whole thing was the invention of a very brilliant male writer, just having fun with the torrents of mainly female new writer fans.

Whoever he/she is, I got a kick out of it anyway. I’m going to miss her/him.

Love you all, you KNOW I do, and I do hope you’ll forgive me for indulging in my little spurt of Blatant Self-Promotion. I promise not to do it often. (Until I sell my next book.) (Which, my GOD, I hope is soon) 😉 Please come back again soon, y’all hear me? I’ll leave the porch light on for you.

Beth, sitting in for Hotclue this week. I had to lock her in the closet so I could do it, but hey, it was for a good cause, right?

The Writing World | Comments  

May 12, 2007

HOTCLUE’S B-A-A-CK FROM ST. MORITZ!

Hey, y’all, IT’S ME, Hotclue! YEAH! Did you miss me? I have to apologize for leaving all the blogwork to Beth for a while, although I see she semi-replaced me with her pesky cat Sarge, who is probably at this moment sneaking one more bite from Beth’s Mother’s Day flowers. (Oh, before I forget, Happy Mother’s Day, y’all!)

I keep thinking Sarge is going to start upchucking on the dining room table, where the flowers are sitting, any minute now but so far no go. The little devil has toughened her stomach to an unbelievable degree over the past couple of years by garbaging down copious amounts of sofa stuffing, curtain threads, paint flakes from the dining room wall, Beemer’s food, and God knows what all else.

I wish she had eaten my skis, but more about that in a minute.

Sorry about my absence, but I had to get away. Beth has this terrible habit of every morning reading the NY Times and the Washington Post. I wish she’d quit that. She reads all that stuff, including letters to the editors and all the comments readers can post on WA PO (hello again to afraidofme, the literary lunatic), and the more she reads, the less I feel like writing anything even halfway fun or uplifting. In fact, the world news lately is so bad that while she sits there reading, I just want to go soak my head in a bucket of kerosene or something. I’m gonna have to find a way to make her stop that. I’m not fond of the smell of kerosene and it might dry out my hair.

I have to make one social comment though, before I tell you about my ski trip to St. Moritz, which was, I gotta tell you, a disaster of international proportions.

PARIS HILTON, GET OVER YOURSELF. Here’s the answer to your current drunk driving problems, you irresponsible, narcissistic idiot. Have your equally idiotic rich mother buy you your own country, where you can drive drunk, run over people at will, bitch about cops hitting on you, hey, whatever you want. THEN, and ONLY then, you get to make up your own laws and break them whenever you feel like it.

Meantime, you’re living in the USA, doing God knows what, and We Have Laws. One of them is, if you drive while you’re drunk you get tossed in the slammer no matter what your name is. SURPRISE! YES! That’s really, truly the way it works! Our laws don’t care how cute you are or which designer duds you’re wearing today. You do the crime, you do the time. So shut up and enjoy your time with your cellmate.

Personally, I hope she weighs at least four hundred pounds, has a Black Belt in Karate, sings Country Western as well as Rap 24/7, and has a huge halitosis and underarm odor problem. 45 days of that MIGHT wake you up.

Okay, enough of Paris. On to more important personalities’ pecadillos. Mine.

First off, I had fibbed a little and told Count Babbalallapaloozo I knew how to ski. Well, I’d read about it and seen people skiing, and after all, how hard could it be? You start off at the top of a hill, which guarantees you’re going to wind up at the bottom, due to mathematics or physics something like that. You’re standing ON two long boards which are curved at the front so you can’t stub your toe, or it looks that way in the movies. And you have a couple of sticks to hold in your hands and prop you up so you can’t fall sideways. So like I said, how hard can it be?

Well, first, due to my little indescretionary fib (move over, Paris), the Count said we could skip the bunny hill and try Mogul Skiing. I agreed because I have a real thing about bunnies. I love them, and the idea of skiing over one really turns me off. So I was happy. Mogul it would be.

I was all set with my new ski outfit, which I’d bought in Chicago before I left. Leopardskin pants, hot pink jacket with white fur around the hood. Sorta kinda matched one of my nightie sets, how cute is that! We checked in, got dressed, and headed for the ski slopes and the instructor the Count had hired, just in case.

Now here’s the first thing they tell you: To make a turn over a bump, start with a good traverse stance and begin skiing.

Really?

I look down at the sticks I’m holding. They don’t look like traverse rods to me. But I figure that’s what they’re telling me anyhow, so figuring I don’t need more instruction, I grab a good hold onto my traverse rods and off I go. I hear screaming in the background but hey, I’m still standing, sort of. Still moving downhill anyway. I’m doing fine, right? I ignore the Count’s shreiks. I figure he’s just jealous because I caught on so fast.

I see a bump ahead. Many bumps. Many, many, many bumps.

Everywhere.

Oh, God.

No, I’m not having an orgasm. I just don’t know where to go next.

There is no place to go next. Except straight toward many, many, many bumps.

I hit the first bump. I go straight into it. The damn curves on these skis don’t work. I go over it, sort of, but not how I think I’m supposed to. I go head first. My traverse rods go somewhere else. I don’t know where my skis are.

Two minutes later I hear the instructor, now standing over me, giving me the next part of the instructions. To wit: “Hots, when you get near the bump, you’re supposed to bend your hips and apply pressure on your outside ski. At the time when you’re passing over the top of the bump, you plant your ski pole on the bump’s edge in order to give support as you extend your legs, direct your skis in the new path and turning over the bump. At this point, you are already on the other side of the bump. You finish the turn by shifting your weight and applying pressure on your downhill ski.”

All that, while I’m lying, face still IN the snow, wondering what the hell happened. He repeats his instructions. I hear the Count laughing and saying something about having to go back to the lodge and change his pants. I pull my head out of the snow, try to get up and while I’m doing all that, not so successfully, I’m muttering under my breath. “Bend my hips which way? Which ski is my outside ski?”

More laughter. Oh, yeah, guys. I’m almost upside down in this godforsaken place and you’re laughing. Good job.

“And why are you telling me NOW that I was supposed to go OVER the bump? How the hell was I supposed to do THAT?” You can tell when I’m upset, I start speaking in capital letters.

The Count is still doubled over, giggling. “Mi amore, is anything broken? Tee hee.”

“Extend my legs WHERE, dammit? Direct my skis in WHAT new path?” I’m highly pissed now.

“Well, you see, my dear…” This is the instructor speaking now. The Count seems to be out of breath or something. His face is purple and tears are running down his cheeks.

“I heard what you said! Finish the turn by shifting WHICH way?” I scream. “Can you at least tell me THAT, since you left so much out?”

Naturally, I’ve completely forgotten I left before he could finish. Not that it would have helped much.

“And WHICH ski is my damn DOWNHILL ski? I thought they were BOTH downhill skis! How could I GO any other way than DOWN?”

At least I got that part right.

Sigh.

It didn’t take long to get back to the lodge. As if I weren’t humiliated enough, I had only gone eight feet. I crawled back up while they did some cute little X-mark things with their skis and poles, showing off like the clods they were, but to give them credit, they did it beside me, not ahead of me, as I crawled. The Count always maintains such impeccable manners.

We spent the rest of the trip watching the skiiers from the comfort and safety of the bar, which sits directly behind a huge floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, which sits directly in front of a wall-sized picture window. At least I know for sure what a picture window is.

When I opened my suitcase back here at home this morning I found a book on skiing, with many pictures. Many, many, many pictures.

I’m not sure whether the Count slipped it in there, or the ski lodge management team, all of whom manned the doors to the ski slopes to make sure I didn’t get out the rest of the time we were there.

Hey, it’s good to be back. Come back again soon, you hear me? We all love YOU, you KNOW we do!

Hotclue Herself, with a little help occasionally from Beth Anderson and Sarge the Terrible.

What's Happenin | 9 Comments  

May 5, 2007

SARGE: THREE FURBALLS AND A TAIL CURL

I sit on Beth’s lap a lot when she’s watching television and I swear, if she didn’t turn the sound off on some of those commercials I’d have to hurl some really nasty FURBALL(S) at the TV. I’ve been saving them up though, for a couple of ads that REALLY get my fur flying.

To be fair, I’ll also tell you about one that makes me laugh (well, sort of) and curl my tail around Beth’s leg, which is a major compliment and shows my undying devotion–until the next leg comes along, anyway. I’ll call the good one my TAIL CURL, the highest honor I can ever bestow on anyone. I especially love to give tail curls to people who don’t like cats.

My first FURBALL is for the ad that has annoyed just about everyone in the US for months now, and wouldn’t you know it, those sneaky, clever, sadistic advertising mavens decided to follow up the first ones with commercials talking about how bad the first ones were. Yeah, you know the one I’m talking about. Head-On.

How can it be possible that the ads they’re running now are AT LEAST as annoying as the first ads WHILE they’re bashing the first ads? Now they’re twice as obnoxious! Beth, who does all the shopping while Hots runs around all over the world having fun, swears she’ll never buy the first one JUST because of those ads.

She better not. I’m saving some of my most lethal furballs for whoever brings it in the house first, and I’m working on perfecting my aim.

So Head-On gets my first FURBALL this month.

The second FURBALL is for an ad that gets ALL our blood boiling because their supposed logic, their whole reason why we should buy this product, is just flat out dumb.

Well, it IS!

Now catch this: We have Sally Fields, our own Flying Nun, who has always been loved in America and probably everywhere else. Those ads she’s been doing are JUST RIDICULOUS! Not because of anything she can help, the ad people put her up to it, I just know they did. My Sally fields would never do this on her own.

First place, she’s really a beautiful, intelligent woman. THEY put her in this dreggy outfit that looks like something even I wouldn’t drag in, then they leave her hair hanging in strings so she looks even more dreggy no matter what she’s wearing. THEN they have her wearing NO makeup at all while she’s sniffing hothouse tomatoes in a grocery store as though they were Tom Cruise’s unblemished armpit. THEN to add insult to injury, they have her saying, “My girlfriend told me she has to set aside time four times a month to take her pill, but I only have to take one Boniva.”

How CAN her girlfriend BEAR it?

Now. Let me see if I’ve got this right. It takes, what, five seconds to swallow a pill? Although to be honest, when Beth gives ME a pill it takes at least an hour for her to find me first, then another hour and a whole lot of carnage to the surrounding area to even get me to swallow it. But I digress.

FIVE SECONDS, and Sally’s friend has to SET ASIDE THE TIME to swallow FOUR PILLS a MONTH? WTF??? (Don’t tell Beth I said WTF or I won’t get any treats for a month.)

Please. Gimme a break. Those ad sharks are making women look stupid and lazy. Hey, I’m a woman too. Well, kind of, and I totally resent an ad like that.

Ladies, it only takes FIVE SECONDS! Why would ANYONE have to actually ‘set aside’ FIVE SECONDS to take a damn PILL? (Don’t tell Beth I said ‘damn’ either, although that’s only good for a one-week ban on treats.)

Anyhow, I just figured it all out mathematically on Hotclue’s calculator, which I saw her using one day to add up the value of all those handmade Italian shoes Count Babbalallapaloozo buys her.

If you take one pill a week for fifty-two weeks, how many seconds is that? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s two hundred sixty seconds, or FOUR-POINT-THIRTY-THREE minutes a year. Four and one third lousy minutes A YEAR!

Luckily, Sally Fields only has to spend one minute a year total to take her Boniva. That would be five seconds times one every month for 12 months.

What I’m bitching about is, we’re supposed to swallow the fairy tale the ad mavens come up with, that four point thirty-three minutes a year is far, far too much time for anyone to have to spend taking a pill.

Well, I’m not swallowing THAT!

Cheesh!

For that dumb ad, I’m coughing up TWO Furballs.

So there, Boniva! You may have the world’s best pill, but you’ve got the world’s most unrealistic ad. And it’s not Sally Fields’ fault, so don’t try blaming it on her!

Now for my TAIL CURL, my highest honor, for the ad I really love. The ad that makes me stretch and smile and lick my paws every time I see it.

Have you seen it? Comcast’s ad with the two turtles? The Slowskis. OMIGOD it’s hilarious! It makes all of us laugh every time we see it, and we watch every second of it. The turtles, in case you haven’t seen it, are husband and wife, and in almost every ad, one of them says something suggestive about the other. They’re SO ADORABLE! I’m tellin’ ya, if we didn’t already owe our souls to that Company Store, we’d run out and buy everything Comcast sells because of those funny ads.

Actually, now that I think about it, we did.

So, a HUGE, HUGE TAIL CURL to Comcast for their sexy Slowski turtle ads.

See? I can be nice. I don’t complain about everything, do I!

In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m Beth and Hotclue’s girl cat, Sarge. They named me Sarge because I have stripes on my arms. But I’m the most ass-kickin’, boot stompin’ cat you’ve ever seen. If you don’t believe me, check out my photo, which they took the first week I was here while I was terrorizing their male cat, Beemer. Beemer’s the big black one. I’m the teeny brown streak you see holding him down while he was trying to get away.

gotcha

Hey, GLAD to meet ya! Come back again often, ’cause you never know when I’ll be coughing up another FURBALL.

WE love y’all, you KNOW we do!
Sarge The Terrible, Beth Anderson, and Hotclue

Furball of the Month | 4 Comments  

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