I have the blurgh

I’m somewhere between sick and not sick. As you probably know the feeling, it’s making it hard to do anything, like blog. I promise, there is more IWW coming…

In the meantime, blurgh.


If you’re looking for IWW, it’s below this one

You know you are. ^_^ I’m very happy that everyone’s liking them.

Guess who's engaged to whom

I’m going full steam on edits right now as well as freaking out that I’ll have to do author appearances and beg people to review my book before the year is out. You may think I’m funny, but I’m really a hollow shell of a person held together with caffeine and candy.

What have you dreaded lately? I’d love to hear a few stories of when you were sure you would fail but instead came through with flying colors. Go ahead, after-school-special me.

IWW: Gender Rolls (Yes, it’s intentional)

As a kid, I remember having to hunt for strong women in fiction, and not the long-suffering, taking care of my plague-infected children while my husband’s gone to war, strong. I wanted Red Sonja chopping heads in every story. Instead, I never wanted for a man with no neck.

Being ten and knowing everything, I had the answer. To be the hero, the heroine must cast off everything that makes her a girl, to be a dude with breasts! Hero Barbie had to dress like a dude, think like one, smoke like one and get such a bitchin’ tattoo as could only come from prison.


No tea parties! No shopping! No housewifery or skirted business suits! No pesky children! Pshaw, aprons! Go to hell, fairy princesses! She could only be the kind of man I saw in no-brainer adventure tales on television. If put in a dress, Hero Barbie should think she looks like this:

"I've never felt so free..."

None of that silly girl-shit, just straight ass-kickin’. How could she fail?

But then…something curious. For every headlock:

Seriously, this is as far as my arms bend?

For every backhander:

Since we can't actually punch

There came a sudden unexpected ending.

What goes up...

Hero Barbie started to lose.

...must end in cliche

Villain Barbie was just too awesome.

She could wear pink sparkles and still kick ass. She took whatever she wanted, including the initiative in my stories. She was free from whatever constraints society placed on her because she didn’t give a damn what society thought. SHE WAS THE VILLAIN. No talk of what girls or women or boys or men HAD to be affected her. She’d gleefully give anyone who told her what to do the little plastic finger.

Evil gets all the toys...and we're paid in pandas

Golly that sounded like fun! Hero Barbie couldn’t fight that. And why should she? Villain Barbie began seducing my hero as surely as she’d seduced me.

"Polish all my obscure knicknacks, and we want to be able to see our faces in this panda."

There was only one problem. The villain never really gives a shit about anyone, including her friends. She just uses them for what she needs at the moment. Alluring, yes, but I actually cared about people. I wanted to help them.

"You can feel guilty or....we can go get ice cream."

I had to find a way to merge the two, to make Frankenstein Barbie. Could the pink dress, the automatic rifle and the desire to help people rather than hurt them really go hand in hand in hand?

Accesories are everything

Were you more attracted to the hero or the villain in fiction? I must say I liked them both.

(Before anyone lists strong female heroines in the 80’s, please remember that my childhood stories are based on my experiences alone and aren’t an indictment or even an accurate reflection of the times. These are the memories that led to my writing characters the way I do. Thanks muchly. ^_^)

The trollest of them all

You guys, what bliss!

I almost had NOTHING to blog about today. My next IWW post won’t be ready until next week, but I felt the need to say something, as I do every Wednesday. I’m hip deep in edits and thought I would have to redirect you to more interesting things when lo, I get an email from Letty herself!

Quoth the Letty:

“You are the reason I joined another group…I doubt you REALLY HAVE A BOOK COMING OUT UNLESS IT IS SELF PUBLISHED.
You need to get an honest opinion of your writing. You already have mine.”

Oh, you darling flirt. What acts of charitable kindness did I do to deserve you? I despaired, oh Letty, and down you dropped like a troll-scented angel from Topic Heaven. (Which was next door to Hot Topic in the mall.)

Look how kind you are, trying to assuage my guilt for helping you get tossed from your group by hinting that you left of your own accord. And that you joined a group because of me!!! Did they remind you of me somehow, and you couldn’t stay away?

You’re still a teensy bit confused about the book, though. It’s coming September 18th from Bold Strokes Books. (I never just want to throw the link up, but since you asked so nicely…) And thank you for your honest opinion about my writing. I clearly remember you saying how much you loved it. You’re such a dear.

Ah, now I feel better. A topic and a lovely conversation with my dear Letty. Anyone else have a wonderful yet unexpected email today?

IWW: The Love Triangle

Action movies take three to tango, a wild dance of hero/villain/captive culminating in some serious high-wire fighting over pits of rabid crocodiles.

Am I right?

The villain has more style, loves a shiny, jagged knife (because she wants that shit up close and personal), and has a pet that’s cooler than yours. Not a dog or a cat, something more…MORE. Like a baby panda.

Also, she builds her lair beneath an active volcano

Nailed it.

The hero’s in black ops, which I assumed meant she wore lots of black. She’s ex-CIA, ex-military, ex-coast guard, and an ex-librarian because I like to read. She uses a gun because killing from a distance is somehow humane.

Doesn't need to see the light die in your eyes

But because we’re hard fucking core, we can’t use weapons to hurt each other. That shit’s for babies who don’t KUNG FU.

Ditch gun!

Lose knife!

Battle royale under an exploding volcano…full of crocodiles (not pictured, but trust me, they’re down there)!

Body slam with pithy comment!

Mind if I drop in?

Flying kick with lamer comment! (The villain is always cleverer than the hero. See: Schwarzenegger, Arnold.)

Sorry, I've got to take out the trash!

After several death defying jumps over lava crocs, the hero wins, saves the captive and either kills the villain or leads her away in cuffs.

Let's get this panda back where he belongs!


But…I’m disturbed. My three-way tango? Not so much. You see this?


That’s not a tango-er, that’s a helpless muppet. It’s more like a love…line, than a triangle. All the conflict, all the passion is between the hero and the villain. This thing hanging behind them could be a giant plastic pear for all the ways it drives the plot.

The villain may have tried to seduce him. The hero may have realized that she wanted to live/retire/random epiphany because of him, but in the end, he’s a tool, in more ways than one. He’s a plot device, not a character, as replaceable as they come.

Let's get this panda untaped from this pear

And in the movies, that was always a woman.

What the shit? I didn’t want to be hanging in the villain’s lair under the volcano. I wanted to be swinging by my whip and cutting fools with my light saber. I wanted to kick ass on my own time, my own way. I’d already started on the path to writing strong female leads, and Barbie was going to help.

Did you ever put yourself in movies or television? Which role did you covet? (It’s all right if you wanted to be rescued. ^_^)

Quickie part a million

Just a quick post to tell you I’m still here. I’m working on another IWW (I Write Women) post for Friday with more battlin’ Barbies.

In the meantime, I’ve heard from my troll again. Letty said, “Methinks Barbra has bo idea what she is talking about.”

Where do I begin? With who uses methinks? With the misspelling of not only my name (which is in the banner) but the word no? Seriously, Letty, I’m losin respect for ya here.

OMG, aren’t we all busy right now with one thing or another? I haven’t met one person who doesn’t feel run off her feet. And how many people think we’re absolutely going to die this summer because it’s so mild right now? Maybe we’ll freeze, instead.

You’re not so busy you can’t leave me a line or two of comments, right? Tell me what you’ve got going on.