Monday, October 31, 2005
Re: writing and publishing If what I overheard is true, my book outsold Dianetics at the St. Pete Times Festival of Reading. Their booth was in the same tent as mine (along with Healed by Jesus and another company with religious books). Of course that's not saying much. I wasn't the only vendor who was disappointed by the lack of foot traffic. I can't speak to the event as a whole because I was stuck peddling my novel at my Hoyden Press booth but it looked like there was a pretty good turnout. The book signing lines for Carl Hiaasen and R.L. Stine were tremendous. But the crowds were not funneled in any way throught the vendor tents. Considering how much money we had to contribute to be there, they'll need to fix that for next year. Of course next year I will be among the featured authors!
Friday, October 28, 2005
I gave my Girlie some old business cards that had outdated phone numbers, etc. They say, "Wendy Boucher, Author." Girlie took a whole bunch of them and made them say, "Wendy Boucher, Author and Mommy." Ahhh. Then she went and asked Dad why I hadn't made them correctly in the first place.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Re: writing and publishing Saturday is the St. Pete Times Festival of Reading. I just found out that my company, Hoyden Press, which published my novel, PARVENUE THROWS A PARTY, will be sharing a tent with Healed by Jesus, Hubbard's Dianetics et al., and JNC Publishing (cultural, religious, children). I'm thinking of wearing a devil costume.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Re: writing and publishing Anybody who knows me knows about Tampa Book Buzz. Now I'm starting to find some other great book blogs such as Myki After Dark. I'm always on the lookout for great book related blogs so feel free to make suggestions!
Re: writing and publishing I'm very excited about this weekend's Festival of Reading in St. Petersburg at the USF campus. I'll be there in the vendor plaza. It's a great event for the whole family. I'm bringing my six year old. Next year -- if it kills me -- I'm going to be one of the featured authors. There are many but I was not even permitted to apply because I own Hoyden Press, the publisher of my novel, Parvenue Throws A Party. Funny how that works. If my mom owned the company, or if it was any one of the other small publishers in the US, no problem (I could at least apply). The Festival has automatically weeded out anybody who is self-published. Now before you jump on the bandwagon and say that you can't blame them -- I ask you how often you have picked up a paperback at the airport and it turned out to be the lousiest book you ever read? Did you know that a lot of well-regarded books started out like mine? Why would a newspaper, of all sponsors, decide to let other publishing houses decide who is worthy to even consider? It's not sour grapes. My book is doing very well. You'll find it in a lot of stores where you don't normally find many self-published books: Borders and Barnes & Noble for example. It doesn't look self-published (whatever that means -- I just hear it a lot). In fact my printer, United Graphics, is probably going to pick up some extra business thanks to all the people who have asked me who did the printing. It's exciting to be part of this business and as I open my eyes about publishing, I want to share what I find with all of you.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Cloying. I'll be sharing a more developed review with my Tampa Book Buzz online book club on Monday, October 31. If you like to read, consider contacting the wonderful Ms. Lisa Ciurro at Tampa Book Buzz about joining the site's online club. Next month we are reading The Historian.
My little girlie recently visited MOSI's exhibit called "Bodies." For those of you who don't live in Tampa, MOSI is a hands-on science museum and the Bodies exhibit is just what it sounds like; an exhibit of people's bodies and parts thereof, including demonstrations about how various internal operations work. Real bodies, scientifically preserved. Girlie loved the exhibit BUT there were a few preserved fetuses on display and one of the fetuses had a cleft palate. The fetuses didn't bother her. Just that hole where the undeveloped baby's mouth should be. Yesterday, we received a request for a charitable donation to a foundation that helps babies born with cleft palates receive corrective surgery. Girlie jumped right on it and decided to donate six dollars (a whopping sum for a six year old). I told her I was proud and she was happy but then she explained: "Those babies freak me out. I donated the money so that they can fix all those babies' mouths." So she made a nice donation for totally selfish reasons. I'm always being reminded that she's six.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
I just have to give my hearty thanks to singer/guitar player Matt Winter -- a regular at the original Green Iguana on S. Westshore on Sundays where we are regular eaters. He's an awesome singer and a great sport. Little Missy loves to request Jimmy Buffet tunes and tonight, Matt invited her up to sing a song into the microphone. She picked "Home on the Range" and did a bang-up job, with Matt's accompaniment. Thanks, Matt, very much!
Friday, October 21, 2005
Little Missy takes swimming lessons at this great place that everybody in South Tampa seems to patronize. At her last lesson, she got mad when one of the male instructors lifted her out of the water during play time and spun her around. I couldn't hear her but I could see her get out of the water and shake her finger at the instructor. When she was released to me at the end of class, I asked what she'd said. They told me she was upset with the instructor and had told him: "You're going down." Such a tough little 6 year old. She likes Dora and The Little Einsteins but somehow I suspect her favorite show, Spongebob, is the culprit here.
I'd like to think it's one of those "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen" phenomenons but really it's one of those, "wow, you have a really loud voice" kind of situations. I go to writer's conferences and the like since I am, in fact, a writer. Invariably, I'll introduce myself to someone at one of those nice receptions that they have in the evening and that person will say, "I know who you are, I heard you talking at lunch." Huh? I don't know why I'm always surprised. I think I just get even more wound up than usual when I'm in a crowd. I am attending a conference this weekend in Tampa and already it's been pointed out to me that I have a lot of energy. An interesting comment subject to several interpretations, I know. I choose to take it as a compliment. I love what I do and that makes me both good at it and loud about it. But I promise to keep it down after 11:00 pm.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
A first for me in ten years. I bought refundable airline tix for me and my family in case Hurricane Wilma heads to Tampa as a Cat 4 or worse. I also bought stuff at Sam's Club in case Hurricane Wilma heads to Tampa as a Cat 3 or less. The upshot? We are now hurricane proof here in Tampa now that I'm so prepared. You can thank me later (I hope).
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Re: writing Yes, regarding writing -- as in, I can now relax and write. After asking my daughter if she thought that yelling and screaming was a good way to get what she wants ("Nooooo....") I got her to agree to go to sleep with a glass of milk (she wanted another 3-course meal) but first I had to figure out something: Her: "Oh no, now I'm worried about Santa!!!" Me: (thinking that somehow the man in the red suit has been identified as a stranger): "What about Santa?" Her: "I've been mean and he won't bring me any presents!" Bawling, sobbing, etc. Me (suckered as usual): "Santa knows that you are a good girl almost all of the time. He'll just say, 'Gee that Little Missy was in a bad mood on Tuesday, October 18.' and he'll chuckle and plan to bring you lots of what you want." Her: "Ahh, I love you Mommy." Me: "I know that even when you're being a Bambaloo, you love me. Don't you worry about that. I love you more than anything." Hugs, kisses, and in the end, yes, she got her way for the most part because she was demanding food and I gave her drink and really, what's the diff? But now I can write.
RE: writing I do not have writer's block. I have writer's ... incontinence. I'm well into the sequel to my first novel and it's better, funnier, yadda yadda. I'm also well into several travel articles, blog posts, website updates and agent pitches. I want to write, write, write. But what am I doing instead? I'm planning my daughter's Salvadore Dali costume for her class's Halloween presentation; planning her snake costume for Halloween trick-0r-treating (we are going to add in the alligator legs sticking out); helping her with plans for both a class retreat and Brownie camp-out; helping her with her travel journal from our trip to Texas; and right at this moment, I'm trying to ignore her yelling from her bedroom that I don't like her anymore and that she's surely going to die of hunger and that I don't have a good attitude. Wait... she says she is starting to starve ... she's warning me -- I'm not a good mommy... she doesn't love me or like me (this is real time folks)... I'm not her mommy anymore... I'm a bad, bad, bad mommy... I don't follow the mommy law that says that mommy's always give their children what they want. Oops, now she's threatening to hit me in the head if I don't follow the mommy law. OR ELSE!!! The creative juices will have to stay in the bottle a little bit longer. Bye folks.
RE: writing I do not have writer's block. I have writer's ... incontinence. I'm well into the sequel to my first novel and it's better, funnier, yadda yadda. I'm also well into several travel articles, blog posts, website updates and agent pitches. I want to write, write, write. But what am I doing instead? I'm planning my daughter's Salvadore Dali costume for her class's Halloween presentation; planning her snake costume for Halloween trick-0r-treating (we are going to add in the alligator legs sticking out); helping her with plans for both a class retreat and Brownie camp-out; helping her with her travel journal from our trip to Texas; and right at this momen, I'm trying to ignore her yelling from her bedroom that I don't like her anymore and that she's surely going to die of hunger and that I don't have a good attitude. Wait... she says she is starting to starve ... she's warning me -- I'm not a good mommy... she doesn't love me or like me (this is real time folks)... I'm not her mommy anymore... I'm a bad, bad, bad mommy... I don't follow the mommy law that says that mommy's always give their children what they want. Oops, now she's threatening to hit me in the head if I don't follow the mommy law. OR ELSE!!! The creative juices will have to stay in the bottle a little bit longer. Bye folks.
I posted about ethanol today at Sticks of Fire. Yawn. Just kidding. I was interested to see that there was (at least a year ago) a look-see into making ethanol out of orange peels here in Fla. What a great idea. I hope it works and is ecologically sound and cheap and all that important stuff. Then maybe when I finally get a Prius, it will run on electricity, gas, and/or ethanol. Now if I could only fuel a car by stuffing the tank with the leftover cookies I bought when I had a sweet tooth at the store and then regretted later having them around the kitchen.
Friday, October 14, 2005
I've been in San Antonio, TX this week. I really enjoyed the history talk at the Alamo. I confess I always thought that it was a bunch of hard-headed fools who held out there for no good reason. But history seems to indicate that they were a bunch of hard-headed fools who held out there for very good reason: they had little other choice. As for the rest of San Antonio -- I'm a little underwhelmed. It's so geared towards tourists that the entire downtown seems to be comprised of hotels and restaurants blaring country western music and serving Mexican food. There's a store selling "jackalopes" at every corner. I think that the over-the-top, this-is-Texas approach is unnecessary. Our resort blares country western music from hidden speakers all over the property. You can't float around the lazy river without being reminded that you're in Texas, darn it. I'm looking forward to my return to Florida where we wouldn't dream of overplaying our image (yeah right).
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
At the San Antonio Museum of Art: Little Missy to cashier at gift shop: "How much are these?" (holding up a small package of stretchy snakes) Cashier: "I don't know why don't we look it up?" Little Missy: "Because if it isn't $1.00, I ain't buying it."
Friday, October 07, 2005
In another installment of our ongoing discussion about religion, my daughter has decided that she is a Globulist (stay tuned for change -- last week she was a "Traditionalist" meaning that she didn't want to have any religion but she did want to celebrate family traditions like, uhm, Christmas). I'll explain globulism in a second. But first a little background. Around our house, religion doesn't play much of a role except for these existential conversations that I have with Little Missy (age 6, by the way). I think that it is up to Little Missy to choose what she believes and so we discuss all kinds of religion possibilities at our house. Yesterday, she asked me if there couldn't be both God and evolution too. (I swear she reads the news.) Her reasoning was that something must have created the cells from which evolution spun out. So God made cells and evolution took it from there. She's a thinker (yay). When we revisited the topic today, I asked her who made God. "He just formed." "So why couldn't the cells just form?" "You just want me to only believe in evolution." She's a thinker (yay). "No," I said, "you know I what I think. You get to believe what you want to believe." "Well, God was made from globs of air that kept getting pressed together until they formed a body and a head and that was God." "So you're a Globulist?" "Yes. Now let me tell you about ghosts." But I think I'll save that topic for closer to Halloween.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Did I really see that? Heading south on I-275 from USF to downtown, there is a billboard sign for a funeral home with a tag line that says something like, Celebrate Life. All good. But the image is of a way too happy woman laughing at ... You tell me?
Last night I attended the monthly meeting of Tampa Writers' Alliance. It meets on the first Wednesday of each month at the downtown Tampa library (German something). Warner Conarton gave a great talk about using the Karpman triangle (victim, rescuer, persecutor), a psychotherapy theory, when plotting. I guess you had to be there. And really, you ought to be there if you are a writer in the Tampa area. It's a great, eclectic group of writers supporting writers. Next month the topic will be science fiction writing. Look for the Tampa Writers' Alliance booth (and the Hoyden Press/Parvenue Throws A Party booth) at the St. Pete Times Festival of Reading on October 29.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Re: Travel In Trafalgar Square in London, there now resides a beautiful, controversial, powerful, moving piece of art: Alison Lapper Pregnant. It sits on the Fourth Plinth and will be there until sometime in 2007. It was just unveiled a couple of weeks ago. For more about the artist and the real-life subject of the sculpture, check out this article. For my snapshot, see the last post. It really is amazing.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Monday, October 03, 2005
Hi to those of you who popped over to pay me a visit today after Tommy made my introduction on his site. I'm sending him a post tomorrow for Sticks of Fire from my London trip (which technically I'm still on because I'm still in transit as we speak). I'm delighted to collaberate with the Sticks of Fire gang because I too love all things Tampa. Chat with you soon. Wendy
Re: me I'm sitting in the Detroit airport on my way home to Tampa from London. Can I just say that London is my favorite city? Yes I can. London is my favorite city. On this trip I did some research for my next novel and I got to see Ewen McGregor in Guys and Dolls. He really is not a great singer but he looks good and his rendition of Luck Be A Lady had me swooning. My hotel was a bit dodgy, to say the least. As you opened the door it smacked into the bed. When you sat on the toilet, your left foot was in the shower. High on one wall was a hole that looked suspiciously like a bullet hole. Oh, and my door had a very flimsy little handle lock so I felt compelled to lodge a chair in front of it so that the three sozzled blokes who overheard me asking for my room key couldn't try to pay me a visit. And London is still my favorite city. Next time, however, I may not jump at the too-good-to-be-true bargain package offered on Travelocity. The upside to having paid next to nothing for my hotel? I could afford high tea at the Savoy, two shows, one tour bus, shopping at Harrod's, and a bunch of other stuff on my whirlwind weekend abroad. Life is good.