Jean Marie Ward

fiction, nonfiction and all points in between

You are currently browsing the archives for January, 2007.

A big shout out

Sunday, January 21st, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

To Jim Butcher on the broadcast premiere of The Dresden Files on the SciFi Channel.  WTG, Jim!  Major congratulations to you and Shannon–you’re an inspiration to us all.  Three cheers and a round of cyber-champagne for everybody at McAnally’s.  May the show run long enough to earn you residuals…and then run even longer.  :-)

Posted 12 years, 2 months ago at 10:14 pm.

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Bloody Awful!

Friday, January 19th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

I was minding my own business, reading “Tacky”, Charlaine Harris’s story in My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding, when a sensory memory I’d repressed for nearly 24 hours bit me on the nose.  Literally.  The smell of blood flooded my mind.  The air seemed to reek of it.

The night before my mom made the mistake of taking a half-strength aspirin on top of her blood thinner.  The result: instant Romanov. 

To paraphrase Lady Macbeth, who knew the old woman had so much blood in her?  She didn’t have a nosebleed; she had a nose geyser.  Blood, thin as red ink, painted the floor from the bathroom to the kitchen and back again.  Red soaked her pajamas, and there was a lot more to come, pouring out of her nose, hawked out of her mouth. 

At the ER, she ran through all the kidney basins in her cubicle.  It took the physician’s assistant three tries to pack her nose.  He’d push the gauze in, and the blood would push it right back out again.  But persistence and repeated applications of Afrin finally paid off.  By dawn, the worst had passed, the flow had been staunched, and Mom was on her way home, no more anemic than usual.

I stood next to her the whole time, holding basin after basin to her lips, trying not to look away when the PA couldn’t help but hurt her.  But the smell didn’t hit until I read about the blood fountain at the vamp/werewolf wedding in Charlaine’s story.

Blood stinks.  Not just old blood, which I knew, to the point of asking my husband to stay behind and mop up Mom’s apartment before joining us at the hospital.  But new blood, even thinned by medications, saliva and mucus.  Iron filings, rust, meat turning bad–that’s what blood smells like.

Then my brain caught up with the remembered stench.  I thought about how bloody awful the blood fountain at the wedding in Charlaine’s story would smell.  And how funny it was that nobody in the current crop of paranormal romance and urban fantasy writers seems to have noticed how very bad the smell is.  But they weren’t the only ones.  Putting our heads together, the only literary reference my husband and I could come up with was one allusion in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. 

How odd.  Given how human beings react to odors–and how we’re wired to react to odors to survive–you’d think it would be front and center in every writer’s mind.

Sure gave me a new perspective on some of Dracula’s lines.  There are worse things than death  No kidding.  A steady diet of O-Negative would certainly top my list.  No wonder so many vamps these days need serious anti-depressants.  If it were me, I wouldn’t go anywhere without a sealed plasma bag and a really long straw. 

Set one of my stiletto-heeled pumps in a vampire club?  Not on your life.  After a decade or two fermenting in the bottle, the only thing that would smell worse than vintage blood would be the breath of the guys who drank it.  Ugh.  I don’t care how sensuous the sucker’s mouth is, how could you French something that rank?  In one of her novels Laurell K. Hamilton suggested breath mints.  Sorry, in this reality, you couldn’t make a breath mint that strong.

Would lurve be enough to make a person overlook it?  Speaking as a Virgo, I don’t know if I could get close enough to anybody who smelled like that to find out.  Which gives me a whole new reason not to write a vampire story.  Perversely, it also makes my writer brain itch to try.  

I’m so predictable.  LOL

Posted 12 years, 2 months ago at 1:57 am.

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Thank you for voting!

Thursday, January 18th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

The results aren’t final, but they’re still sweet.  With Nine You Get Vanyr made it to #2 in the 2006 Preditors & Editors Readers Poll.  WooHoo!  Somewhere out there qnotku is grinning her face off.  Thank you!

Posted 12 years, 2 months ago at 11:42 pm.

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It’s not a bad habit. It’s an added feature.

Saturday, January 13th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

Duzell, the amazing rescue cat, continues to surprise us.  In all the time we’ve known him, he’s exhibited only two bad habits.  He scratches one particular ottoman when he’s mad–which is kind of funny because he was declawed long before we met him.  (Don’t tell him I said that.  I have to reprimand him every time he tries.  It’s the principle of the thing.)  And whenever you pull something aromatic from the frig, he tries convince you, with every vocalization in his extensive repertoire, your portion is the only thing standing between him and imminent death from starvation.  
At least that’s what we thought he was doing.  Earlier this week, when Duzie launched into his usual dinnertime whinge, on a whim
I said, “You really know how to sing for your supper, cat.”
Damned if Duzie didn’t sit back on his haunches and give me an aria.  “Sing, Duzie,” I said.  
Again, he did.
Greg and I have been checking out this unexpected added feature of the little guy in the fur suit ever since.  In addition to singing for his supper, Duzie will also sing on command–or rather, on request.  He is a cat, after all.  He’ll sing if you show him a dish, even a dish he knows is empty.  Hope apparently springs eternal in the feline breast too.

Today Greg persuaded Duzie to join him in a duet.  The cat went along with it, despite his obvious doubts about Greg’s ability to hold a tune.  You know, maybe I do need to get headphones for my Ipod after all… 

Meanwhile, I can’t help wondering what else we don’t know about our cat.  Wish I could’ve met his original human.  Duzie consistently shows himself to be smarter than the people around him.  It’s a humbling experience to live with an alien intelligence and know you lack the wits to plumb the extent of his knowledge.
But I think it’s going to be fun trying.  :-)

Posted 12 years, 2 months ago at 10:26 pm.

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Somebody out there likes the book

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

Enough to nominate With Nine You Get Vanyr for the 2006 Preditors and Editors Readers Poll.  If you’ve read the book and like it enough, please, vote for it.  I’ll make it easy with a link to the polling site:-)   But even if you choose not to vote for our book, please, vote for a deserving title in any of the categories.  This is truly an awards program where everybody wins.
Of course, I’m hoping Samhain and my fellow Samhellions do really well.  (Ann Vremont’s Reluctant Muse is listed among the Romance titles too.)  But it’s all good.  
Except for the difficulty in identifying just one title to vote for.  Fortunately for my inner reader (if not for the polling process) this year I could happily nominate and vote for three or four titles in every category.  I’m such a magpie!  LOL

Posted 12 years, 2 months ago at 8:35 pm.

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Freaky Warm

Saturday, January 6th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

I know, I know.  Usually, this is the weekend I usually start to howl about the weather–how I hate cold, how I hate gray, how I hate wind, and how there aren’t enough kids with shovels for miles to dig out our driveway.  But it’s scary to be in the middle of the first big weekend of the snow season wandering around in sandals.  It’s seventy degrees out there!  That’s just wrong.
And scary.  No kidding.

Posted 12 years, 2 months ago at 11:26 am.

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Highlander/Harry Potter/Monty Python Crossover, Anyone?

Friday, January 5th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

That got your attention.  Mwahahahaha!  
As I mentined a few posts ago, Samhain Publishing has established a blog for its writers.  Through no fault of the editor in charge, I snagged the Twelfth Night slot.  I was thrilled.  Twelfth Night was one of the first of the Bard’s comedies I read as a wee lass.  To escape doing the dishes, I used to hide out in the bathroom of our quarters, my dad’s Army manual on Shakespeare across my knees.  (Yes, Virginia, the Army used to have a manual containing the complete text of Shakespeare’s greatest hits.  It was a kinder, gentler, hell of a lot more erudite time.)  I planned to explore how Shakespeare fed my love of fantasy, how his tropes and heroes remain my models to this day…
Nah, way too soppy.  Besides, who cares?  Well, maybe somebody does, but not enough to justify reading 500-1000 words.
Then I got enchanted by “The Annotated Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter” blog that made the rounds on LJ earlier this week.  Laughed so hard I spewed iced tea out of my nose.  Agreed with every one of Chris’s words and howled at his selected pics.  As an opening salvo on a possible blog on good writers gone sloppy, I shared the link with a couple of lists.  The subject looked like a real winner until a couple writers on one of the Samhain lists took extreme umbrage at the comments (not the blog, mind you, the comments!) posted after the blog.  Found the “author bashing” offensive.  Okay…unless I wanted to get into a rant on the difference between libel, slander and making free speech hay with the personal details LKH herself posts on her blog, that was out.
Fortunately, just as Rick and Ilsa always have Paris, I always have fan fiction.  And that crossover I mentioned?  It’s in there.
Now that we’ve got the pimpage out of the way, am I the only person who thinks a Highlander anime movie signals the End of Days?
Hugs and shudders,
Jean Marie

There can be only one–and he has to be Methos, because Methos has the best Kronos flashbacks.

Posted 12 years, 2 months ago at 2:49 am.

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Happy 2007!

Monday, January 1st, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

Wishing everyone, myself included, a much better year than 2006.  May you and your loved ones stay healthy, happy and read lots and lots of good books.
And blogs.  *g*  Don’t forget to check out the Samhain blog, live every day except Sunday…and New Year’s.  LOL  The schedule starts again on Tuesday.  And on Friday, Twelfth Night (trumpet fanfare, please), yours truly will try to come up with something amusing.  
While you’re waiting, you can rev up with some of those good books I was talking about.  Kate Johnson’s “The Twelve Lies of Christmas” is already available for download at My Bookstore and More.  On January 2, yaoi fans can revel in Soul of the Night by Ann Cain and Barbara Sheridan, and on January 16, Ann Vremont’s luscious erotic historical novel Sacred Heart Diaries hits the electronic stands.  Enjoy!

Posted 12 years, 2 months ago at 2:06 am.

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