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Trout Nation Posts

Great books that destroy my life.

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Do you ever have this really, really great idea, and you’re like, “Oh my God, this is so original, I’m so money for thinking this up and guess what? I’m the bomb. Memo to everyone else, you suck! I rock! For all times!” And then you spend most of your RWA chapter’s retreat working on your first scene, and you write the book, and it’s okay, but it’s like, the second book you’ve ever written and so there are obvious flaws? And then your publisher wants to buy it from you when you’ve got like, four books under your belt and you’re like, “Okay, but let me clean it up first,” and by clean it up you mean “Okay, but let me rewrite this, because you will set fire to my entire backlist if you read what I was writing like six years ago? And then, when you’re like, inches away from finishing the arduous marathon of rewriting a book you’ve already written once, you read another book and it’s got some of your awesome ideas in it, and you’re like, SON OF A BITCH, NEIL GAIMAN! HOW YOU GONNA PLAY ME LIKE THAT? HUH? HUH? YOU A BITCH ASS PUNK, NEIL GAIMAN! and you throw the book against the wall and scare your cats?

That’s what happened at my house this morning. See, I’m reading Neverwhere, which is a totally awesome book. In a nutshell, the premise is that there is an entirely different London, called London Below, existing in the spaces no longer occupied by, and sometimes on top of, the city of London, but the normal London never notices it. If they do, it’s not for long. Most of the book takes place in the sewers and tube stations of London Below.

I’m currently working on a series called Lightworld/Darkworld. The premise is much different than that of Neverwhere. While there are underground cities in my series, the people in the world are fully cognizant that they are there. The underground city is referred to as The Underground by the people above, and the people below call the word upstairs The Upworld. And son of a bitch if that isn’t a term Neil Gaiman already used in Neverwhere. I loved the idea of calling it Upworld. I’ll have to think of something else. But I was enraged when I read that this morning.

Another thing that enraged me in reading was a certain device that I thought I’d so cleverly thought up on my own. In writing fight scenes for the Lightworld/Darkworld series, I’ve employed, from the main character’s POV, use of the world flash, set out in italics just like that.

Flash
Something happens.
Flash
Something else happens.

I get to this point in Neverwhere this morning where he’d already used THE SAME THING to get the tension and urgency across in a scene. MOTHER FUCKER!

These are small changes, but I feel like, well, damn, I didn’t think up these awesome things on my own. Or, I did, but not FIRST.

In any case, I’ll stop my irrational rage at Neil Gaiman soon enough, and hopefully nothing else will pop out at me that I’ve somehow pre-plagiarized from a book I’ve never read before.

Now, I just need to get some idea faeries who aren’t so fucking lazy that they just recycle stuff they read ten years ago. In the first draft of the first book of the Blood Ties series, I had a whole bit with the fact Cyrus’s heart was removed. He kept it in a music box that played the tune, “I Left My Heart In San Francisco”, and it was like, the key to them figuring out that he didn’t have a heart in his chest, so they couldn’t kill him (in the first draft, Cyrus was the Big Bad. There was no Soul Eater or anything, and it was just a one-off book). I was happily nearing the end when I settled down to watch a new episode of Angel and SURPRISE, they had a vampire that had removed his heart and they figured it out when Lorne sang “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” at karaoke. It was then that I realized that ideas are evil, evil little blobs that seek to infect as many people as possible, and you must watch your back at every turn, because they will trick you just for fun.

If you haven’t already, go read Neverwhere. It’s really good.

FABIO

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Okay, dear readers, last night, something marvelous happened. I was sitting in the lobby lounge with Mr. Jen, Jill, Christina Radish and Bronwyn Green. Just after Bronwyn got up and left to go “chisel off these contacts”, and shortly after I became enraptured with watching Jurassic Park 3 on the bar TV that had no sound, someone, I don’t know who, says, “Oh my gosh, that is. That’s Fabio.”

I snap to instant Fabs alert. There he is, standing at the check-in. It’s him. Oh my God, that’s Fabio.

I grab my camcorder, used previously to record bits of Heather Graham’s amateur theatrics for posterity. Now, I put it to a more holy purpose: getting actual, video footage of Fabio checking into the hotel.

It’s like getting a video of the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot. You’ve always known in your heart that Fabio is real, but you’ve never imagined being this close, ducking behind fake foliage in a crappy hotel bar, filming the creature in his natural habitat.

At one point, he tossed his hair.

Then, with preternatural instinct, the beast spots me. Fabulousio turns his deliciously chiseled features in my direction. I slam the camera closed and duck, though by now he can clearly see me. But I do not care. I have seen the face of Fabio and lived.

The good news, dear readers, is that when I return and have proper USB connecting type thingeys (and way more time than I’ve had of late), I will show you this shining promised land, hair toss and all.

God Bless The USA

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I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free to watch male cover models lip sync to Lee Greenwood while making inappropriate pelvic thrust motions. I’m fairly certain my brains will never recover.

I’m about to head off to my panel on Romantic Suspense with Tara Taylor Quinn and Brenda Novak. I know, I don’t write Romantic Suspense, but that didn’t seem to matter.

Tonight is the Faery Ball. If I’d remembered my USB cable, I would promise pictures. But guess what? I suck and totally forgot it, so you’ll have to see pics when I return to the frozen north.

Live, Cranky Blogging From RT

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Okay, let me tell you about my day. We got almost to Indiana before having to turn around because we forgot shit. Important shit.

Then, we got to Pittsburgh and found out that the hotel doesn’t validate parking. I guess I shouldn’t have expected that, although I’ve never been somewhere that didn’t.

The hotel room was small, sucky, and in a hallway that was still under renovation. It was like if ‘The Shining’ was filmed in Tehran. Fuck that. Got a new room after much complaining.

Still, hotel NOT unsucky so far. Very destroyed and renovation-tastic. So, so going to try and get my money back after this week.

In other news, trying to find a better (read: cheaper) place to park with in-and-out privileges (read: someplace that isn’t going to charge me for a whole day when I leave the garage).

Off to improve my opinion of the city that is going to break me this weekend.

The Absolutely True Tale Of Harrison Ford Being Dead

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Okay, so here is the absolutely true tale of Harrison Ford being dead:

Once upon a time, I had a party. And my parties are epic bacchanals with drinking and lowered inhibitions. I used to have a life-sized replica of Han Solo frozen in carbonite, and it got hella molested at one of these parties.

So, anyway, during one party, I disappeared to my office to “check my email.” This should have been clue number 1 that I was up to something, because who checks their email during a party? But my drunken friends were too far gone to see this.

After an appropriate length of time, I go out of my office and go, “Oh my God, you guys! Harrison Ford died!”

And everyone goes, “WHAT? HOW? OMG!” And I was like, “I don’t know, it was a heart thing, apparently. He died like, three hours ago, it was on TMZ.”

Only one person in the room didn’t believe me. My husband goes, “Whatever. Shut up.”

It was the best party prank ever.