Friday, September 30, 2011

Halloween Preparedness

Cassandra *Sharktooth* sitting near her newly decorated booth
at the Book Fayre on Awen, Bookstacks Island.

The other day I popped into SL (Second Life) to decorate our home away from home, the virtual version of The Midnight Moon Cafe. It's much easier to decorate in SL, and costs less money. Plus I don't have to worry about the plastic spiders coming to life on our fireplace mantel.

Tomorrow, I'll be back in SL doing tarot readings at the Café with my writing critique partner and bestest friend evah, Cora Zane. The last time it was standing room only, and since it is first come first served, you may want to pop into SL a little ahead of time so you're first in line.

The event starts at 10am SLT (which is 10am Pacific Time, 1pm Eastern, or Noon Central time) and will last for about 2 hours. I say about, because I tend to expand on the readings in case there is any confusion and I want, or the visitor wants clarification on the reading/interpretation. :-)

The event is open to the public,
to anyone with a Second Life acct.
We hope to see you there!

Saturday, October 1, 2011
10am - noon SLT
The Midnight Moon Cafe, Awen Bookstacks SIM

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Yes, It's True, I was a Ginger

This was pretty much me growing up. The picture has faded a little over the course of decades, but trust me, that was honest to God ginger hair. It wasn't until I was in grade school that I learned being a ginger was supposed to be a bad thing. I know it made me the object of some seriously mean pranks. But I got over it and grew up somewhat normal. Okay, partially normal.

Earlier today, a friend posted a topic thread on a writers forum about "what's weird about you" and I realized reading through the thread that I may be more normal than I realized, since everyone has at least one weird thing they say, or do, or think.

Here are my four things:

1) When I was a little girl, people would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I told them a manatee. lol

2) I talk to plants and trees. Just waiting for them to answer back. :-)

3) I love scary movies, even though I watch 80% of them with my hands and fingers laced over my eyes. lol

4.) I can't drink a margarita like a normal person. I have to lick all the salt off the rim first. On the upside, I used to get a lot of dates that way. rofl

What are your four things that you think are weird about yourself?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Where Are the Furry-chested Male Models?

There is a trend I can't stand and it's been going on too damn long! I'm talking about the de-nuded chests of the male romance cover models. OMG! Please, please stop shaving their chests!

I and other women want to run our fingers through sexy chest haired imaginary heroes. Having a little chest hair doesn't make a guy a Neanderthal. I want to see publishers and stock photo companies bring out the man fur. Oh and while you're at it, please stop injecting these poor guys with plasticine. I swear, the last few books I read, the cover model's faces looked like they'd had more plastic surgery and botox than Jocelyn Wildenstein!

Can't men just be men for a while? Please?

Even some of my own book covers sport guys with hairless chests, and while I stand by my stories, I wish the male models used on my covers matched the hairy-chested heroes in my books. Notice the slide flash at the top of my right sidebar and you'll see the lusty, hairy chest of my hero Javier Lopez from my book The Midnight Effect. Now, tell me he's not sexy!

Ooh, yes indeedy, that is what I'm talkin' about! *wink*

So, New York, with book sales dwindling, will you please give this a try? Give us alpha heroes with hair on their chests as well as hair on their heads. Thank you.

Until next time...
~Cass out

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Search For The Chipmunk Girl and AGT

My ears may never be the same, and it's all Cora's fault. Her very innocent (yeah, right) question on Facebook has driven me round the bend and forced me to listen to the worst ca-ca-poo-poo music on the planet. Maybe in the universe. Ohmigawd! I cannot sleep, peoples! I am doing exhaustive searches on the internet and wading through the worst freakin' music videos in existence, trying to find one simple thing...
Cora Zane: Okay, I'm trying to remember the name and artist of a song. I remember the video had a young woman no older than 22 with dark hair sitting on a carousel - it could have been at a county fair or maybe Coney Island at night. The song was either 90s, early 2000's pop/dance song and appeared on a compilation album that was advertised on TV. The singer had a ridiculously babyish voice. Anyone know who this is?
Gaaa! I cannot rest now until I know the answer and it's driving me bonkers. For criminey's sake, I have had to listen to high pitched, squeaky voiced baby-girl voiced neo-pop wannabes in the hopes of finding the proverbial needle in the haystack of ca-ca singers. ::bangs head and not in a good way::
If I have to watch another NOW THIS IS WHAT I CALL MUSIC TV ad on You Tube, I may spontaneously combust! Stop, you say? How? How can I stop the churning in my brain as I mentally run through every single breathless, high pitched female singer since 1997?

And it's not Nelly Furtado, Leigh Nash, or anyone else with a modicum of talent and a few hits under their belt. Oh no, it's a one hit wonder type of singer, and the one hit wasn't that big of a chart topper. ::pulls hair out::

I can't let this rest and cannot leave it go. Just not in my nature, so until I find the carousel baby girl warbler, I will slowly go insane a la Monk. Wahhhh!

In the meanwhile, my favorite talent show came to a close last night, and what a finale it was! AGT's season ender was perhaps the best I've ever watched. For me, the height of the show was watching one of my personal fav all time bands, Def Leopard, rock and wail on stage, showing after all these years, they haven't forgotten how to bring the house down and rawk out.

Also seeing Leann Rhymes with Silhouettes, and PopLyfe with Stevie Wonder was incredible. I actually missed the first fifteen minutes because my sister called, so I didn't get to see Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. with Patti LaBelle, but I'm sure there is a video somewhere floating around, so I can see a replay. I'd never heard of Cobra Starship (?) but I did think their music fit the Team iLuminate dance routine quite well.

The voting was a nail biter and I admit I was conflicted on who to vote for. From the very beginning I picked PopLyfe to make it to the final four, but I really thought they'd come in second, however, after their rendition of Queen's We Are The Champions on Tuesday night, I was less sure. You could tell Kalani really wanted it so bad, but no matter how good they were, how professional-seeming, you have to remember they are just kids and they are only learning how to be professionals. I cringed for them inside when she missed several notes and went off key. I really wish they'd picked a different band to take on instead of Queen. There was only one person in this world who could successfully sing a Queen song, and that was Freddie Mercury. I've never heard anyone else (except possibly David Bowie) do a passably good job.

When Kalani told the judges their finale would be "epic" I looked over at hubby and said, "Oh god, I sure hope they don't overreach and go for something like Bohemian Rhapsody."

But it was worse, because they did Queen's cheerleader game song (my least fav song of Queen's) We Are The Champions. Ugh. #MassiveOverreachingFail#

In contrast, the winner, Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. sang the real epic song and performance with Ol' Blue eyes biggest hit, My Way. I felt goosebumps and chills and was so very happy for him. He nailed it and deserved to win.

So what happened to what we kept hearing from the judges all season about it being the year of the dance? Both of the top dance acts finished two and three. I loved them both and was happy to see them make the final four, but I knew in the end it would come down to a singer or singers. It always does. America loves variety, but we cherish our voices.

In my opinion, all of the top ten acts will make great deals from their appearance on AGT and get awesome paying gigs. So really they're all winners.

Congrats to Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., Silhouettes, Team iLuminate, and PopLyfe. You've done your home states and America proud!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Computer Farts and Other Oddities

Today has been a lesson is patience. I woke up this a.m. with a single goal in mind, and my day spiraled out of control from that point on. It all started when I was enjoying my morning routine of coffee and blood. No, I'm not a vampire or into the red stuff, but I am diabetic, so I test every morning fasting.

But, instead of my test strip going into my cute little biohazard bin after I did my glucose test, it flipped into my coffee. No problem, I'll just dump it out. Except that was the last cup left in the pot, so I had to make more. While the happy little coffeemaker did it's thing, I decided to read my emails. I even managed to get through about 67 of them (23 of which were about my saggy boobs needing a genie bra—how did they know? lol) when a pop up alert flashed onto my screen, saying I needed to upgrade my browser.

Seems simple enough. I clicked yes and installed the update. Then I got a pop-up telling me my java script was too old. Fine. I'll update it too. When I came back with my coffee in hand (new cup sans blood strip) I saw another notification on the screen, telling me that my OS should also be updated. Man, is my computer feeling its age. Everything on it is out of date, I thought. So sure, it's free, why not update it. So I clicked OK.

Then it said, I must restart for all my changes to take effect. Sure, go for it. And boy did I! OhMiGawd. I knew I shouldn't have trusted those happy little prompt windows! They lied, because when my computer came back on and I tried to launch my browser, all hell broke loose. The little progress icon I coined, 'the spinning beach ball of death' popped onto my screen and stayed there for about thirty minutes. I would get up, do laundry, come back and check the screen, nope. So then I did dishes and mopped the floor. Surely by now the bloody thing should be finished doing whatever it is that little spinning beach balls do.

Riight. So then I vacuumed and dusted and balanced my checkbook (very scary moment there, btw), and came back to see a COMPLETELY BLACK SCREEN! Yep, and it wasn't a time out. The beach ball had left the building, so to speak. I had ten minutes of panic and then unplugged, replugged and restarted the machine. After what sounded (I swear) like a ginormous farting sound, it came back on and I quickly tried to launch my browser. I went to the main site and reinstalled the old browser I used to use and restarted.
This time it worked.

I thought all was right with my little space in the computer world, but then had to try three times to leave a comment on bff Cora Zane's blog. So I may have to get a fart extinguisher before all is said and done. Eeps!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Edits, Pork Rinds, AGT, Zombies, and Tarot

These days, it seems all I do are edits. But it makes sense in a way.

I'm in edits on two different projects: Naughty Little Secrets and Mr. Hawtness. Both are contemporaries and I think that's why the edits are kicking my ass. Before now, my only contemporary story was Compulsion, and I recall that story kicked my ass as well. My brain flows best when I'm knee deep in the woo-woo, I guess. lol. I'm hard-wired for paranormal.

Which is fine, except some ideas come to me full-blown in virtual color without a drop of the para in them. Knowing in advance my struggle with contemporaries, I usually shove the ideas in a binder and let them simmer until I can no longer ignore them. lol.

As a treat between rounds of edits, I'm writing a few scenes here and there on the sequel to my novella Shimmer, entitled Heart of Dixie. The other night while I'm flipping channels, I see an ad for a new show this fall, called Hart of Dixie, and I can only hope no shapeshifting aliens are involved. lol.

I'm on day three of my Countdown to Conference diet and having snack attacks. Usually the bad thing about snacking on a diet is I can't snack or I blow the diet and have to start from scratch again. But thanks to my critique partner and friend, author Cora Zane, on this diet, I can snack and be a good girl even while feeling like I'm cheating. My whole life I lived with the assumption that pork rinds were terribly bad for you and you were going off your diet in a big way if you ate them. So imagine my surprise when I learned that pork rinds are on the Atkin's diet and are a big fat O carbs! Wooyah!

Another happy discovery is that my favorite yummy spice mix tastes great sprinkled on them and I went through almost half a bag of pork rinds last night free of guilt. Now that is a great feeling! If you like chipotle, this stuff is amazing:

My favorite TV variety show was on last night—America's Got Talent. I was really excited to see my top four all made it into the next round. If I have to pick it from this point on, I'd have to say it's going to come down to PopLyfe and Silhouettes. When I listen to PopLyfe, it's like they are already recording artists and are on the show promoting their next album, not competing for a spot in the finals—which they won. And Silhouettes never fail to fill me with this incredible surge of emotions. How often can you say that about a dance troupe? But that's just it. They're more than dance, they are also storytellers. It's going to be tough for me to choose which one to vote for as I love both acts. But it could come down to Team iLuminate and Silhouettes and that would be a difficult vote as well, because I also love the energy they bring to the stage.

The only one of my favorites that I don't see making it to the finals is Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., and that's only because I think more of the audience of voters are young people who will cast their votes for PopLyfe over Landau. Personally, I think Landau is already worthy of a Vegas show and could start his own new version of The Rat Pack. I know I'd pay to see him in Vegas.

Actually, each of the final four acts in this season's AGT are Vegas ready acts I'd pay to see. Who will win the ultimate prize? I don't know, but like millions, I'll be tuning in to see who is chosen the winner. Good luck to all four remaining contestants!

Speaking of favorite television shows, I'm excited about the new season of The Walking Dead. The promo trailer shown at Comic-Con looked amazing! I can't wait to see what happens next! Hoping Sophia makes it okay. Whew. That show is tense! The season premiere is October 16th on AMC channel.

Last but not least, I wanted to give everyone a *heads-up* alert that Cora and I will be in Second Life this Saturday, Sept. 10th for two separate sessions of free to the public tarot readings! I sure hope you can join us!

Free readings by the ladies of the Midnight Moon Cafe

Join RL authors Cassandra Curtis and Cora Zane for a fun, free tarot reading! Ask the cards a question, reveal past lives, gain insights on present issues, or take a glimpse at your future! * Event is in voice and/or private chat as per querant's discretion. Hope to see you there!
*For entertainment purposes only.

Date: Saturday, September 10, 2011

Time: 11am- 1pm SLT
Location: The Midnight Moon Cafe, Awen

Time: 9:00-10:00pm SLT
Location: The Midnight Moon Cafe, Witches Island

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day One: Countdown to Conference

I am giving up my membership in Heifer's Anonymous and giving losing weight one more try, starting day one of yet another diet. My goal is to lose 65lbs. before the Written In The Stars Conference next March. I'm not trying for svelte. I left sexy behind when I hit 40, so this is more about wanting to fit into my clothes better and overall feel better.

This time I'm taking a three prong attack.
1.) more consistent exercise
2.) no carbs for two weeks, then slowly adding carbs back into diet in smaller amounts
3.) no weighing. This time I am getting out the tape measure as my barometer. Weighing only depresses me, which in turn makes me eat things I shouldn't.

I also have a secret weapon this time around. I am not going on this journey alone. I am gathering up a team of fellow authors who also want to fit into slinkier dresses in time for their next conference. Together we can do this. We can make our goal. It's time we took control.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thank God It's Finally Friday!

I can almost taste Labor Day weekend. Looking forward to our annual family cookout and maybe talking someone into going with me to the casino **cough cough** I mean, bra shopping, over the weekend. Any takers? Ahh well, I guess I'll have to go it alone.

The other thing I love about this last big weekend of summer, is that it kicks off the fall festival season and art fairs. There is something so neat about getting up early in the morning, sun just breaking the sky into a dazzling lemon yellow and watching the booths with all their creative and innovative items, set up and display the beautiful things from all their hard work.

The dew is on the grass, a mist is in the air along with the aroma of fresh brewed coffee and pastries, why—it's positively invigorating!

As I stroll paths around the booths, I'm always on the hunt for two things: anything with angels on it, especially jewelry pins (my oldest sister collects them) or anything with mermaids or manatees (which I collect). It's a rare day that I find anything for me, but I've been very lucky in the past, finding angel pins.

My other watch-item is a booth selling handmade potpourri by the scoop. I love the stuff, even though the booths usually make me sneeze. lol.

If you're sitting around on the weekends this fall season, wondering what to do, check out some of these neat art fairs that may be in your area. If you find any manatees or mermaids, let me know! :-)

Have fun!

~ Cass