Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More on TxDot Versus Christie Craig

TxDOT is lke the dog with a chew toy that just won't let go. Discovery has started in Case No. 1:11-cv-726.  Apparently, Judge Sparks pointing out in his ruling on the TRO and permanent injunction that a romance writer can't really harm the state fell on deaf ears.

Nor did reality sink in when the state's attorney ADMITTED IN OPEN COURT that NONE of the state's trademark registrations APPLIED TO BOOKS.

In the original complaint, TxDOT's biggest objection was that Christie's book "contain numerous graphic references to sexual acts, state of arousal, etc."

Okay, TxDOT, if you're that worried about sex, why do you sell these?

Yes, this thong is available for sale by the great state of Texas.  And people wonder why I think the lawsuit against Christie is really an attack on women's rights.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Workin' for a Livin'

Since I'm waiting on the crit partners and beta reader to get back to me about Seasons of Magick: Summer, I've started writing Seasons of Magick: Autumn and editing Zombie Wedding.

I think the multi-tasking is the hardest thing for readers to understand. While I wish the writing life was like Joan Wilder's from Romancing the Stone, it's just not that glamorous.

So what about you readers?  What do you think the writing life is like?  I'd like to hear your questions.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy Mabon!

Today's Mabon, aka the Autumn Equinox, aka the first day of Fall.  I hope everyone has a brilliant, glorious day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mission Accomplished!

I'm making my second editing pass on Seasons of Magick: Summer before I hand it off to crit partners and beta readers.  It'l be on the virtual shelves soon.  Very soon.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Over the weekend, the skies over Houston turned gray. Then this strange liquid fell.

Rain! Wow!

It's been six months since we've seen any significant rainfall. The inch and a half doesn't make that much of a dent. But we're grateful.

Now if we can just get a little more.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Someone Please Shoot Me

Why is it that people with diseases feel the need to share them with the public? And what the fuck ever happened to simple manners?

In the last week, I've been coughed and sneezed on, not by little kids (who I could forgive for not knowing better), but by adults (who should). Not one of these people even tried to cover their mouth and nose. Disgusting doesn't begin to describe my feelings.

And being immuno-compromised, the odds were I would get sick.

Right now, I have the most awful sinus headache.  I really wish my eyeballs would just explode and get it over with.  Maybe I should go to Starbuck's and spread the wealth.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Guest Blog by Robin Badillo - Overcoming Obstacles

I'm a sucker for a vampire story, so I was ecstatic when I met fellow paranormal author Robin Badillo. Robin's one of the people that you can't help but be impressed with. Once you hear her story, you'll understand why. Take it away, Robin!

Thank you so much for inviting me for a visit, Suzan.

As an author in the public eye, I could talk about my books all day and probably never take a breath. But talk about myself? Uhh, not so much.

What is there to say?

Okay, I guess I could tell you about my three story mansion and latest whip, (that would be of the luxury “car” variety), or about my indoor pool and private bowling alley. I could also mention the tennis/basketball courts and private theater where I often preview new movie releases before their public premiers. (I usually invite Bobby Di Nero, George, Brad and Angelina over for popcorn on those nights)

I’m sure you would be dazzled by my state-of-the-art kitchen, personally designed by Martha Stewart or I could show you photos of my designer wardrobe…but if I did I would not only be a writer of fiction, but a magician as well.

Needless to say, I have none of that stuff… with the exception of Bobby and the Gang on speed dial… Yeah, right!

The truth of the matter is I’m just a country girl with a high school education and average intelligence at best. I’ve slung burgers, waited tables, changed diapers in a daycare or three, bussed tables, operated a drive-thru cash register and done just about any other blue-collar job one can think of.

I’ve worked in education and at one time was even trained to give parenting classes for our local school district. What were they thinking?

Along the way, I managed to get married, had a couple of kids, adopted a couple more, vacationed, paid bills, became a member of a typical two income household… all while trying to live the American dream.

Things were chugging along at an even pace until my husband of fifteen years had a massive coronary due to an undetected blood clot and passed away in his sleep. Forty-two years old, in the prime of his life and he was gone in the blink of an eye, leaving me behind with four kids, a stack of bills and not a freakin’ clue.

What did I do about it?

The only thing I could do. I pulled up my big girl panties and survived!

Writing had always been a therapeutic outlet since my teen years. What once had been a love of poetry and rhymes had soon morphed into journal entries and writing short stories. Most were written as personal reflections of day to day life and how I saw the world around me. More often than not, the entries were a bit on the cynical side with a smidgen of tongue-in-cheek humor.

In 2004, just two years before the loss of my husband, I penned my first full length novel, a cougar story, written in long hand because I had no typing skills and had no idea how to create a document on a computer. Sad but true.

Flash forward a few years and there I was with four kids, still no skills to speak of and fresh out of ideas of finding employment where I could still be a full time mother and keep a roof over our heads. It wasn’t long before a friend called saying that a few teachers I used to work with had suddenly found themselves without childcare and hoped I could give them a hand.

Poof, I was in the kid business once again, and still NOT back to writing.

In 2009, my daughter asked if I would rent a little movie called Twilight. The idea of a romance with vampires sounded interesting enough having always been a fan of the genre. I hadn’t read the books, but my son, who was in high school at the time, said all of the girls he knew were really into the saga.
I ran out, bought the first one and jumped right in. By the time I was on book two, New Moon, my daughter was all about Edward Cullen and ready to put an ad in the local newspaper seeking her very own sparkly vampire…not a good idea for a thirteen year old.

My best friend and I often discussed the books, not realizing the things we talked about were slowly but surely igniting my imagination in ways it had never been sparked before.

One afternoon, while driving home down our long, curvy road, my mind began to wander. It’s a miracle I didn’t crash as my thoughts drifted to a dark alley where a young woman in her early twenties had awoken confused, dirty, disheveled, without a hint of memory as to how she came to be there and not a clue that she was now… a vampire.

I couldn’t get home fast enough. I called my best friend, excited and out of breath and relayed my vision to her.

“Why are you on the phone, wasting time with me?” she asked.


That was all I needed to hear.

Sydney Chance was born and the rest is… well you know how that goes.

Paranormal romance is now a major element in our lives, complete with worlds where anything goes and if I can dream it, a story can be told. I’ve had so much fun learning and sharpening my writing skills and goodness has my craft improved, not to mention the heat levels have cranked up a degree or two. *insert gas here*

I now have two vampire trilogies under my belt, with a single title, Midnight Beckoning, due out in November. But if I have learned anything over the last few years, it would be not to limit myself or my potential.

On September 15th, my first ever contemporary romance will be released and let me warn readers…there isn’t a fang in sight!

Flesh Wounds will bring this writer back to her roots with some good old fashioned, down home, Texas lovin’. Now, that doesn’t mean the hero is a cowboy, but he’s definitely one hell of a good ol’ boy.
I hope you’ll follow me on this new journey of uncharted territory and stick around to see that the stars have in store for me next. Who knows, my sexy vampires just may get some competition from other fanged creatures.

Now wouldn’t that be something to howl at? *wink wink*

After five years away, Julia Benson has finally come home. Facing the painful memories awaiting her in the small Texas town is nothing compared the mess she’ll make when she gets there. Dealing with the ripple affect leaving caused the ones she loved is just as hard as dealing with being abandoned by a father who wasn’t everything she’d believed him to be.

Dylan Banks was the boy from across the street who’d loved Julia since they were twelve. She was the only girl for him and the only one he couldn’t have. Unable to repair that broken part of the girl he loved so much from afar, he now had a second chance to fill the void the only way he could… love her until she got it through her thick skull that not every man was like her father.

Can love really repair all that has gone wrong in Julia’s life or are some wounds just too deep to heal?

* * *
For more information about the raveshing Robin Badillo and her books:

Blog- Sealed with a Kiss:
eXtasy Books:

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Birthday Conundrum

Tomorrow is DH's birthday.  DH has a history of some really crappy bithdays.  Two girlfriends have dumped him on his special day. One year was spent in his oncologist's office with chemo drugs pumping through him.  One year at his favorite restaurant, a new waitress offered him the Senior Platter (the poor guy's been gray since eighteen). Then there's three years ago when Ike made landfall at Galveston. So needless to say, I try to make his birthdays something to remember.

Except this year, I'm running into some issues.

He already stole my Kindle, and the only other electronic toys he wants besides an e-reader are a large flatscreen TV and an iPhone, both of which are out of my price range. (Looking back, I shouldn't have given him the anthology that just came out with the new Harry Dresden story.)

I have to work tomorrow night, but the local theater has a special screening of the new Brad Pitt baseball movie. But no, he doesn't want to go without the whole family going.

What about lunch at his favorite restaurant? No, the only car running right now is the 'Vette and we can't cram the whole family into it.

What if I pick up a carry-out order from said favorite restaurant? No, he wants to sit down in the restaurant.


Any body have any ideas? I thought I had time before the grumpy middle-age shit started.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Remember

[This is the first post I wrote for 9/11 on my other blog. It runs every year on this date.]

On Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, I watched nearly 3,000 people die on live TV while sitting in the treatment chair at my dentist's office.

When I got home, there was a message from my friend, Lanelle. "Don't bother coming to the office. They're shutting down our building and the Galleria."

I called DH. "Get GK and come home now. It's bad."

The rest of the day we listened to fighters out of Ellington Field fly patrols over Houston. In between the passes, an eerie silence blanketed the city.

Have things gotten better? Yes and no. We heal, but we cannot forget.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Reality Sucks

Don't know if you've read my profile or watched the news, but I live in Texas, specificly the Houston Metro area. We're the green area of the state, just off the Gulf of Mexico, so usually there's high humidity in the summer.  Humidity so high we practically have thunderstorms every afternoon.

Not this year though.

This year the entire state is suffering form one of the hottest summers and the worst droughts on record. When you consider ninety-two degrees Fahrenheit to be cool, it's bad.

Wildfires are something that's normally a problem just in west Texas.

Right now there's a wildfire north of the city around the little town of Magnolia. We woke up to yesterday morning to what we thought was light fog. No such luck.

GK and I tried to walk the dog, but the smoke got so thick we had to turn back.  I just did laundry and you could still smell it on our clothes.

I'm not belittling the awfulness of losing a home, like a lot of folks in Magnolia have, or even more tragic, the city of Bastrop.  I'm scared that it'll happen to me too.

The possibility of a wildfire in the middle Houston is very real.  Half the trees in Memorial Park are dead thanks to the drought.  The Addicks Resevoir, which is normally a gigantic swamp, has already had one fire that burned approximately 700 acres.  Other parks and green areas around Harris County are in even worse shape. All it'll take is a spark in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I think I'd rather sit through Hurricane Ike again. Three years ago, I knew it would be over by morning.

There's no end for this disaster in sight now.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What Makes a Story a Classic

GK is reading C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe for his first week of school.  (He actually wants the next Rick Riordan Olympians novel, but that won't come out for another month.)

Last night, GK picked out The Empire Strikes Back for our movie night.

What makes these stories timeless?  Why do we get caught up having tea with Lucy and Mr. Tumnus sixty-one years after the book was first published?  Why do we feel Han's desperation in finding Luke before night falls on Hoth when they could both freeze to death thirty-one years after the movie's debut?

Maybe because there  is something inherently human in these stories.  Maybe because it doesn't matter what origins the story is based or what themes are presented.

Maybe because we're the same deep down, and these stories display that fundmental truth for all to see.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Most Horrible Time of the Year . . .

 . . . if you're a kid.

Yep, that's right.  GK starts back to school tomorrow.  For those who've just stumbled on my website or blog, I homeschool.

Not because I'm some religious freak, but for two reasons:

1)  My kid is literally a genius.

2)  The Texas public school system sucks.

Honestly, I wish I was one of those parents who thinks her kid is a 'speshul snoflake.'

Really. I do.

But DH and I had GK tested and everything.  (After people who "specialize in early childhood development" told us there was something wrong with him--everything from ADD to sociopathy.)  GK's IQ officially tested at 136, but the child psychologist is certain he fucked up a couple of the tests on purpose and is closer to 150-160.  Yep, that's right.  I've got my own little Sheldon Cooper.

(The only reason GK hasn't tried to buy yellow cake uranium online is because we threatened him that if he ever used any of our credit or debit cards without permission, he would NEVER touch the Corvette.  Never underestimate the power of a sports car.)

Now, put a kid like that in a school system that is totally irrational, illogical, and its only purpose is to teach children how to take standardized multi-choice exam.  (Before anyone jumps on my case, I blame the politicians and school boards, not the teachers whose hands are tied by a lot of stupid-ass rules.)

Calling the situation 'recipe for disaster' is like saying the Apollo 13 rescue was nothing more than a spring break vacation.

So, yes, I homeschool.

Please, excuse me while I go brush up on my calculus and quantum mechanics.

Friday, September 2, 2011

There's Hope As Long As You Worship the Same God I Do

I was curious at people's tastes in books in Wednesday's post question.  Do people prefer to read about someone just like them or would they take a chance on characters not quite like themselves?

I want to thank everyone who participated both by leaving comments or e-mailing me privately.

I think what surprised me most was how loose definitions had become on what's "different."  Race, ethnicity, national origin didn't matter as long as the characters were true and the story was entertaining.

Religion is another matter.  As a non-Christian, I'm very conscious of this particular predilection in the U.S.  I stayed in the broom closet for years, more for my clients' protection than mine.  Texas isn't exactly the most tolerant of states when it comes non-Christians.  I knew judges and juries would hold their bias concerning my beliefs against my clients.

Now that I'm no longer practicing law and openly wear my pentacles, I get a jerky comment about once a year.  For the most part, people either don't care or are smart enough to keep their bigotry to themselves.

Then there's the times that people seem to forget who they're talking to.

The most weirdly amusing comment came privately.  Let me make my stance perfectly clear, folks.  I'm not the least bit troubled by mixed-religion relationships.  I'm in one.  So don't expect me to agree this is a bad thing.  It ain't going to happen.

Besides, DH and I have a bet going on whether GK will become a Zen Buddhist or a Shi'ite Muslim.