Jean Marie Ward

fiction, nonfiction and all points in between

You are currently browsing the archives for May, 2007.

“Who Breaks a Butterfly on a Wheel?”

Thursday, May 31st, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

I returned to the computer this afternoon afire to weigh in on LJ’s misguided response to WFI.  I planned to tie 6Apart’s ham-fistedness to British law enforcement’s criminal persecution of the Rolling Stones forty years ago.  I ran down The Times editorial, “Who Breaks a Butterfly on a Wheel”, that marked the change in public opinion on the arrests of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.  Then I hunkered down to be scathing, scabrous and brilliant, ultimately comparing an LJ denuded of its fan posters and liberal fictionistas to a butterfly stripped of its wings.  IOW, a dead bug virtually indistinguishable from a cockroach.
Fortunately, I decided to check on the action before I started typing.  Go us!  The fierce, concerted viral reaction to LJ’s suspension of accounts resulted in a shambling apology and reinstatement of most of the wronged blogs, with promises of more to follow.  It isn’t enough.  I agree with one of the posters on

.  I want some guarantee that my rights will be protected.  In addition, despite being a lifetime LJ member, I will be looking to take my blog elsewhere as a result of this incident.  But I’m realist enough to know a mumbled apology is still a win for the forces of good.
So I picked up my research materials (I don’t know about you, but I sure can’t be brilliant without back-up) with the idea of actually reshelving them for a change.  Got to the last one, The Rolling Stones, an Illustrated Record by Roy Carr, and decided to reread The Times editorial from which I drew my title.  
Across all these years, the issues remain the same.  The editorial’s key point bears repeating in this context:

If we are going to make any case a symbol of the conflict between the sound traditional values of Britain and the new hedonism, then we must be sure that the sound traditional values include those of tolerence and equity.

Tolerence.  Equity.  I sincerely hope LJ won’t lose sight of them again.  But to quote a saw that applies to our First Amendment rights as much as to our national defense: “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
Thank you to the vigilant defenders of free speech on LJ.  I stand with you now and always.

Posted 11 years, 8 months ago at 7:07 pm.

Add a comment

Mrs. Giggles Review

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

Got back to Balticon to discover With Nine You Get Vanyr had been Giggled.  I’m alternating between squees of delight and “Ouchouchouchouchouch!”  Mrs. G’s darts are sharp!  LOL  But her aim is true.  She’s also the first and only reviewer so far to catch the book’s many Highlander homages.  Not to mention her stellar pull quote about Deryk. 
You can read the full text of the article here.  Seriously, I’m thrilled and very grateful Mrs. Giggles took the time to review Vanyr.  It’s great exposure for the book.  If you’ve got any doubts about the value of a review by Mrs. G, I humbly submit my Amazon numbers.  Last week the book’s ranking bounced between 400,000-600,000, dipping to a low of 700,000 over the holiday weekend.  May 28, the day after her review appeared, we shot up to 104,392–not bad at all for a small press book three months past release.
‘Course, it could’ve been my stellar performance at Balticon. .. Nah, not a chance.  I was too busy having fun.  I’ve got the pictures to prove it, too.  I plan to post the better ones later this week.  Until then, I’m open to bribes–er, gratuities and considerations.

Posted 11 years, 8 months ago at 6:54 pm.

Add a comment

Balticon and Fifteen Minutes of RWA Fame

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

I’ll be heading off to Balticon tomorrow morn–er, around noon.  I’m on the guest list, but I was added too late to make the posted program.  Don’t even know my panels yet, but hey, it’s all about the adventure.  :-)   If you’re in the area, hope you’ll check it out.
If you’re not, you might want to check out the June issue of Romance Writers Report.  My article, “Do-It-Yourself (Book) Surgery”, made the cover.  Squeee!  Of course, the article deals with RWA’s newest recognized publisher (Samhain) just as the organization is revving up for another round of Published Author Network madness.  But hey, the writer’s life is all about irony.
Happy Memorial Day, everybody!

Posted 11 years, 9 months ago at 8:00 pm.

Add a comment

Heroes & Villains

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

It’s Greek mythology day at the Fantasy & Enchantment Blog.  Trust me, you’ll never see Hercules and Orpheus quite the same way ever again…unless you had my warped view of the legends to start with.  Mwahahaha!

Posted 11 years, 9 months ago at 3:46 am.

Add a comment

The Magic In Between

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

That’s the subject of Dayna Hart’s blog today at the Fantasy and Enchantment Blog.  I love liminal places–or maybe I just love the word and the way it rolls around my mouth.  A wise old teacher once told me I became a writer because I was addicted to the sound of words.  She was right.  :-)

Posted 11 years, 9 months ago at 1:15 pm.

Add a comment

Diets Are Like That

Monday, May 21st, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

The dh is hiding in the basement.  He’s stowed the cream he uses in his coffee in the downstairs refrigerator.  He hopes Duzell the Wonder Cat won’t suspect it’s there.  He cringes at the prospect of the plaintive feline wail: “Meeeeeeeeeewlk!  Meeeeeeeeeewlk!”
Today Duzie saw the vet, and the vet plopped Duzie on the scale.  The last time we visited the vet, the vet said Duzie was getting too heavy.  The cat’s gained a pound and a half since then.  
“Didn’t you restrict his dry food like I told you?” the vet asked.
“Yeah.  There was one small problem, though.”
The vet waited.
“My husband felt so bad about Duzie being on a diet he introduced the cat to cream.”
The vet’s stared at me as if I’d grown an extra head.  
“My husband’s very softhearted,” I added.
“No more cream.”
Since Duzie grew accustomed to mooching a teaspoonful of cream every time the dh made himself a cup of coffee, the cat hustles himself into the upstairs kitchen every time he hears the dh pottering around.  Since the cat’s very vocal, he always makes his wants known.  And he knows how to press the dh’s guilt buttons–hence the hiding dh.
I’d probably be a lot more sympathetic to Wonder Cat if it hadn’t taken us a half hour to insert him into his carrier this morning.  Duzie’s faster than us.  He’s obviously smarter than us.  Can’t afford to have him get bigger than us too.  Can you say Palug’s Cat?  
At least, Duzie’s declawed.  ;-)

In other news, Gia Dawn is the latest blogger at the Fantasy and Enchantment Blog.  Her entry addresses the personal sources of enchantment.  
I’ll probably stop most of my blog bulletins later this week when everyone’s had the chance to read at least one blog from all of Fantasy and Enchantment’s contributors.  I’ll continue to post links to my efforts, though.  I’m evil that way.  *eg* 


Posted 11 years, 9 months ago at 11:08 pm.

Add a comment

Go me — my first Thursday Thirteen at Fantasy & Enchantment Blog

Thursday, May 17th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

My first effort at a Thursday Thirteen has been posted at the Fantasy & Enchantment Blog.  It’s all about girl power times three.
Which reminds me–dang!  I forgot the Powerpuff Girls!  Must do better on my next one.
Hugs and grins,
Jean Marie

Posted 11 years, 9 months ago at 6:04 pm.

Add a comment

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

In fact, if you aren’t in the mood for a little cranky, you might want to leave right now.
A little cranky.  I can’t complain about life in general.  Not when I’m wrestling with plot bunnies–or in this case, plot bonobos wearing baseball caps of invisibility–for My Big Fat Olympian Wedding From Hell.  But all the ducks Denny Crain hasn’t shot seem to be nibbling the parts not wrestling with over-sexed pygmy chimps.
First, I don’t know whether to be worried about Duzell the Wonder Cat.  In the way cats do, he’s just missed the litter box twice in three days–almost like a guy who overshoots the rim.  Since the litter box is downstairs, and he’s still burying his solids, I’m hoping he’s merely decided to get finicky about the litter.  Even so, it’s a nuisance, and I’ve called the vet, just in case.  Duzie never ate any of the contaminated pet foods, so the problem should be, um, general pissy-ness on his part.  But I’m a Virgo.  Worrying is part of the job description.
Second, I’m really disappointed in the Compton Crook Award.  I’d hoped to submit With Nine You Get Vanyr for consideration in the 2008 awards.  I thought it met the qualifications.  It was a first novel for both 

and me.  It should be just the ticket.
Just received word they don’t accept collaborations.  Wha?  I can understand that if the collaboration is between an experienced author and a newbie.  You wouldn’t want to judge a book written with Anne McCaffrey or John Ringo as a first effort.  But when the book was written by two newbies who planned to write as a unit indefinitely?  That’s just not fair.
I know, I probably should rejoice.  My first solo novel will be infinitely better than my first effort.  I know so much more than I did when qnotku and I wrote Vanyr–not only about writing but also about the peculiar prejudices of contest judges.  (Yes, I include myself in the peculiar part of that number.)  There is an art to contest submission, and the longer I work it, the better I’ll design my books to win.
But the ban against all collaborations is flat-out unfair.  It’s unfair to 

who will never have a book to call entirely her own.  With Nine You Get Vanyr and Highway from Hell were both written in collaboration.  Even if 

finishes They Shoot Fairy Godmothers Don’t They for her, it will still be a collaboration, which won’t qualify.  Under this scenario,

‘s freaking genius for comedy and dialogue will never, ever get the recognition it deserves.
It’s also unfair to the other submitting writers.  It’s like the bad old days before the better micro presses were recognized by Romance Writers of America.  For many years it was impossible for even the good small electronic and electronic-to-print publishers to meet RWA’s sales requirements.  That meant writers working for good small presses with professional editing were eligible to compete in the Golden Heart (RWA’s big unpublished writers contest) against people just starting out.  
With Nine You Get Vanyr has all the joy and love inherent in first novels, but I sincerely hope it’s not the best novel I ever write.  

and I never planned it to be.  It was merely the best book we could write at the time.  It should be allowed to rise or fall against others of its tribe, not dismissed on a quirk which sets up a less than level playing field for future competition.
*insert grim laughter here*  You know, the whole thing seems so very Red State–give the goods to them that has.  And I’m just ornery enough to object to something that gives me a leg up…to someone else’s detriment.

Posted 11 years, 9 months ago at 2:40 pm.

Add a comment

More dragons at the Fantasy and Enchantment Blog

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

Today Samhain author Rebecca Goings offers her introductory post on the dragons featured in her series, the Legends of Mynos.  Unless I miss my guess, this was one of the series 

 acquired for Samhain.  That alone would be grounds to check it out.  :-)
Jean Marie


Posted 11 years, 9 months ago at 1:46 pm.

Add a comment

Bianca D’Arc at Fantasy and Enchantment Blog

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007 | Author: jmward14 | Blog | Comments Off

Another quickie.  Eppie Award-winning fantasy author Bianca D’Arc talks about her dragon shapeshifters at the Fantasy and Enchantment Blog today.  If dragons are your thing, you won’t want to give it a miss.
Cheers and best Tuesday wishes,
Jean Marie
*disappearing down the plot hole, chasing bunnies, none of them named Joshua, alas*

Posted 11 years, 9 months ago at 1:06 pm.

Add a comment