Set your clocks ahead one hour on Sunday. It's Daylight Saving (no 'S') Time. You lose an hour in most parts of the country. Tough nuts.
Afternoon update.

Next Book news: At last. My agent is really, sincerely, submitting Novel 3 to editors in May. And that's definite.

(Again, Novel 3 is not the same as the Pilby sequel/novella, tentatively titled 'Carrie Pilby's New Year's Resolution', which is coming out in November in a book of three Red Dress Ink novellas for the holidays). I have no idea when Novel 3 will come out, because it hasn't been sold yet. The fun doesn't begin until we try. And it has a male protagonist. So it's not chick lit. It's still mainstream, though.

In other news...

The local Lubavitcher rabbi comes into our office on some Fridays to give a gift of challah to certain Jewish folks here. But now the non-Jews have sampled it and they like it. One of my co-workers just asked me where the 'jewish bread' is.
NEWSFLASH: George Bush says something interesting and heartwarming:

"The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak. In cases where there are serious doubts and questions, the presumption should be in favor of life."— President George W. Bush, from the statement he just made about Terri Schiavo's death.

I got this off Dawn's Blog.

As I wrote to her, I know several breeds of Republican who would spit on a statement like that. (Particularly the Rand fans.)

When it comes to providing a safety net for the absolute poorest of the poor in the world, and most ill of the ill, I'd rather err on the side of life as well and make sure there is gov't funding there for those who apply and REALLY need it to get on their feet or stop suffering (not for cheaters, of course, who are weeded out by the touch gov't application process anyway).

You can call hypocrisy on both sides using Bush's statement, if you want. Does "life" apply to unborn children, Terri Schiavo, murderers on death row, and the homeless? Certainly the last one. What is the extent of our obligation? Your basic liberal and conservative would debate all of these.

But in essence, I agree with one part of Bush's statement: If you're not sure, you have to err on the side of not hurting someone. This is the argument I have often used when conservative friends have said that they don't like gov't benefits because they might benefit "Welfare mothers with 13 kids" or cheaters, or alcoholics. But what about the 13 kids? Who speaks for them? Yes, these programs have to be kept in control, and not work AGAINST people getting off the dole. But liberals are for positive social programs that "teach a man to fish" as much as conservatives are. Wasn't Welfare to Work pursued during Clinton? No party is for laziness or cheating. But really, it's not as if being on gov't benefits or being homeless is so attractive that an otherwise able-bodied person would choose it over sitting in front of a computer as you are right now.

Socialists are a different breed, as are anarchists and libertarians and Randians (I know of one who would hate the Bush quote above. ;)


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Newsflash: Johnnie Cochran has passed away. I predict odd variations for trivia team names: "If the glove doesn't fit..."


I keep meaning to mention author Robyn Schneider's "Correspondences with young-adult agents" because she posts all the e-mails she exchanged in the past few years trying to get her young-adult novels published, and the agents' responses. It's a good look at how people make it in publishing, after lots of rejections. She finally got an agent last fall and just sold her first novel (this isn't a secret, as she mentions it on the site). So if you want to learn more about submitting your work, especially to agents, take a look here. If you never read my much less-well-laid-out advice, it's there.
Today's AOL headline is:

A new face for a new term
Bush seems more relaxed, fun.

Huh. Maybe I'll invite him out for some fondue.
Will later wake up, put on clothes, and do laundry.

Thanks to the person who sent me this:

>>Climax, Kentucky (KY) HTL Profile includes Climax, KY 40456 census, demographic and income data, parks, schools, libraries, hospitals, airports, environmental conditions, local newspapers, media outlets, weather forecast, employment, maps and aerial photos of Climax, KY 40456, .

Good. I now officially declare this joke over.


Tomorrow it's going to rain a really lot.

Thanks to all who enjoyed my little joke. Actually, it has a precedent. In the first Saturday Night Live episode after Bill Clinton won in 1992, Wayne said, "Isn't it great how Bill Clinton was born in Hope and he brings us hope? Imagine if he was from Intercourse, Pennsylvania." Interestingly, that was the episode where they made fun of Chelsea Clinton by saying "puberty has been unkind," then erased the sound on that joke in reruns because the president was offended.
Woke up, put on clothes, didn't go to work.

I was 2 busy 2 blog 2day. Part of that busy-ness involved attending a gathering of some bloggers, and there were some really interesting people there.

Before that I went to the soup kitchen, because they often need extra volunteers on holiday weekends. There was a church youth group there from Hershey, Pennsylvania.

One of the adult leaders of that group sat next to me and told me that they were from Hershey and had brought Hershey's candy to give out. So I said, "Why didn't you bring anything from Intercourse?"

He looked at me blankly.

Then I realized maybe it wasn't the nicest joke to make to a church youth group leader. But it was funny, right?

After a few minutes of silence, he said, "Oh, you mean, Dutch Country."

"Yes," I said. "Like, Shoefly pie or something."

There, I'd saved myself. But come on. It was funny. And at least I didn't blurt out my first thought, which was, "It's lucky you weren't from Bl*eball, eh?"

Happy Easter.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Was quite busy today.


And now, the news...

Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.


Will later wake up, put on clothes, go to work.

My agent sez she likes the revisions to Novel 3. So we're going to do lunch in mid-April to talk about where to send it. See, told ya this takes a long time.

Meanwhile, I'll be doing more tinkering to make it better. Revise, revise, revise...

Is the past tense of cat-sit cat-sat?


Municipal politics are/is fun...here's a blog called crookedschoolboard. It's based in Maryland.
Farewell to John DeLorean. Despite what happened in the end, he was a true innovator. Flashy maybe, but smart.
Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

American graffiti...

In the PATH and subway stations, there are some clever ads for Dove shampoo. Each one shows a "before" and "after" drawing of a cartoon character. The "before" drawing will have someone like Marge Simpson with her blue hair up in a stiff beehive as usual, and the "after" will be her hair long, wild and down.

In the 14th Street PATH station, someone has added word balloons to the ads with Jane Jetson. In the first panel, Jane Jetson is now saying, "Here Astro, come lick my cl*t." In the second one, she is smiling and her hair is down, and she now has a word balloon saying, "Good boy."

A few feet away, there is another ad, this one with Wilma Flintstone. In the first panel, the person made her saying, "Hey Dino want" and then it ends. I guess someone came down the stairs so the "artist" couldn't finish.


Woke up, put on clothes, didn't go to work.

I thought of a title for Mary Kay Letourneau's autobiography: Vili fied.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

I got two pro-cat anti-dog e-mails, and one pro-dog anti-cat.

It's time to settle this. I will leave you with these words from Triumph the Insult Comic Dog:

Dogs aren’t clever
they eat their own dung
they whine like babies
and sweat through their tongue
The big ones are stupid
the small are high strung
but cats are c*nts

You know..Dogs are filthy
they get ticks and fleas
they drag their asses
and give Lyme disease
you have to train them,
pick up crap on your knees
but cats are c*nts

1, 2, 3..cats are c*nts
c*nts are cats
cats are c*nts
c*nts are cats
it’s easy to learn
so let’s all say that
cats are c*nts


A friend writes:

Sorry, cats rool and dogs drool. I don't understand why you have to watch the cat eat. Cats will eat. Also sleep. That takes up the vast majority of their days, given that their brains are the size of walnuts.


Here's a link to the local shelter, with many adoptable cats and dogs: www.snipurl.com/shelter/
Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

I'm cat-sitting this week. I've never taken care of cats before. I though it would be quick, but I have to stay to make sure they eat, and cats eat soooo slowly. Well, actually, I guess it's not that they eat slowly, but that their mouths are small. I'm used to dogs. When I had my dog, Meg (1985-1999), she would take three gulps from her bowl, make some pig noises, and it would be gone. Cats sit there and nip, nip, nip and a half hour later, the food is still there. So, in the battle of dog vs. cat, let's put some points on the board...



Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.


Will soon wake up, put on clothes, go to work.

Back despite popular demand: Bucolic New Jersey 2 (the sequel.)


Woke up, put on clothes, didn't go to work.

I got a very nice e-mail that also shows the benefits of authors blogging:

CNN had a segment on blogs and how they affect politics. I became intrigued after watching this segment and did a search on the web. That led me to ... blogs and came across yours. I just wanted to let you know that I found your blog to be interesting, sometime humorous and always real. Your blog in turn, pointed me to your home page and your previous works. I just ordered Carrie Pilby. I hope that your third novel does well, it seems like you put a lot into it.

Thanks! That was a nice e-mail.


It's almost too easy

Yesterday I was driving (rental car) and "Changes" by David Bowie came on. I was happy to hear it, as I haven't heard it in a while. Then I thought, "I could download this for 99 cents at iTunes." But I don't want to. Why? I don't want it to be that easy. I will get sick of the song if I listen to it too much. There are certain songs that I want to still be treats and surprises.

There are perils of things becoming too easy. I have tapes from high school that contain some songs that I waited for literally years to come on the radio so I could tape them. Sometimes I had heard them once on the radio and didn't even know who sang them; I just wanted to hear them again. I couldn't just put the lyrics into the internet.

A friend from college told me she doesn't get sick of songs, like I do. I don't know...everything loses its newness in time. The songs on my iPod are there mainly to run on the treadmill to. I purposely didn't put my favorite songs on there. I don't want them to become like chewing gum that lost its flavor.


Still waiting to hear back from my agent regarding what other revisions need to be done to my book. Good agents take a while because they are busy. But I also wanna get the thing out there, as you can imagine. Sigh.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

I got my college alumni magazine. An article about sharing music starts off, "Free music. Free movies. Free software, games, and TV shows. These are temptations too great for many students to resist. Like Mephistopheles enticing Faust..."

What? Who do they think they are, Harvard? I can't read articles with those big names. They should have said, "Like a donut to Homer" and I would have understood.


I was on the bus coming home and the woman sitting next to me actually asked if I minded if she called someone on her cell phone. Isn't that the nicest thing?

I ate dinner with my mom tonight and as she was eating, she started this conversation:

MOM: Somebody, in a bottle of ketchup, found a penis.
ME: What? Where did you hear this?
MOM: It was in the newspaper.
ME: How did a penis fit in a bottle of ketchup?
MOM: Didn't your brother tell you about it? I told him.
ME: Is this real?
MOM: It was in Sweden.
ME: How did it fit in?
MOM: I think they built it around it. That's what I think.
ME: I don't see how it would fit.
MOM: Do you remember how I told you when I was little, a friend of mine found a finger in a can of peaches? I don't think the penis got there by accident, though. Someone would have to put it there on purpose.

She must have imagined it, right?
Update below...

Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

I decided to look at novel 3 again. I got really bored. I doodled on it. I changed and changed them back. I have no objectivity anymore so there's really nothing more I can do for it until I hear critiques from other sources. I just have to face that. Yawwwn.

Yesterday may have brought a nasty storm, but it was a record for my barometer. We're very proud.

It will snow again Friday.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Did same thing yesterday.


Woke up, put on clothes, didn't go to work.

I bought an iPod yesterday for $199. Someday they will be as cheap as Walkmans/Walkmen, but not quite yet. Also someday, kids will laugh at us for ever having bought things as primitive as CD's.

My editor is supposed to look at my new version of the Pilby sequel this weekend. Hopefully she won't think it needs much more work. Still waiting to hear from my agent if Novel 3 is salable yet...I will do a little more revising to it first anyway. For now, I'm in limbo, not knowing how much work is still ahead. But there's always going to be some. Revising only ends when the book is out.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

Do bees be? Do bears bare? There's good news:

Moonlighting: Seasons 1 & 2 is now available for pre-order.

There is joy throughout the land.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work. I do that a lot.

Every two years, the NJ Council on the Arts has a competition where they give out fellowships to writers. If you fail to win (generally a good chance, since they only choose about 1 in 8 applicants), they will still send you the judges' written comments if you request them, which is pretty helpful. I wonder if there's anyone who DOESN'T want the feedback...

I requested mine. They were on a screenplay. Three judges gave scores ranging from 1 to 5, 1 being the lowest, 5 being the highest. Their comments, in a nutshell:

JUDGE 1: 2.5 "The kids are fun at times and real, but there really isn't a distinction...voices are very similar"

JUDGE 2: 3.5 "Many of the childhood and adolescent incidents have been seen often in recent TV shows and movies...After a while, the momentum builds."

JUDGE 3: 4 "A little heavy-handed. Some obvious moments but an interesting time capsule...well-written."

It's all very helpful. The range of scores shows how readers diverge, but they're all valid points and I'll take them to heart.

In other news, too bad NY Press didn't go with this cover.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.

A writer in Men's Health takes to heart some advice that men should read chick lit and romance to understand what women want.

He notes: "The chick-lit writers seem to be running out of chicks. It's not enough to be pining in a castle while wearing hot lingerie. Spunky private eyes, sassy bounty hunters, thonged profilers, and buns-of-forensic-steel psychologists are popping up all over the place, so chick-lit writers are desperate to identify some new professions to write about."

True. That's why I've turned to writing about dudes.


Woke up, put on clothes, went to work.


Newsweek has a little interview with Keri Russell of "Felicity." It ends like this:

N: Are you dating anyone now?
K: Nothing serious, but I'm not lonely. I'm kind of in a phase right now where I'm in love with my girlfriends. I'll literally be sitting across the table from them and I'll think, Your eyes are so pretty.
N: Keri, that's called being a lesbian.
K: [Laughs] I might be. I love them so much.

Update: She was only kidding around, according to a reliable source.
Alex, an Italian reader of "The Strange World of Carrie Pilby," writes:

how Are you? I saw that finally you finished your third book, the Carriesequel! I look forward to!I hope that now you will rest and will take a little time for you and yourfans (also)!A best Alex regard. (we can say it So?)

Fans? You mean Me, Myself and I? All of us are going to finally have the time to change the lightbulbs tonight.
This is coming late, but Dawn is co-hosting trivia tonight at the Baggott Inn. Also, even though I'm sick of the Gates, some beautiful photos in the snow are here.
Will soon wake up, put on clothes, and go to work.

It's 2 a.m. I just fiiiinally finished the latest round of revisions of the Carrie Pilby sequel/novella, weighing in at 131 pages. Now I can send it off to my book editor. I sort of want to dance and cheer now that both big writing projects have been revised. However, my editor may read this version and want yet more changes. I hope not. Anyway, it's scheduled to come out in November.

Saturday I have to buy one of those random-playing mini iPods so I can listen to tunes more easily now that I have time to return to the treadmill.