Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Darn it! I just ate this liver yesterday!

Missed my blog yesterday because I was cleaning house. This was not a purposeful decision. Not the missing the blog, OR the cleaning of the house.

It started this way. I actually keep up with the kitchen and bathrooms, because... well, that should be obvious, right? (It should to anyone who knows me, anyway.) But I'm not great about the dusting. But I'm going to "Just" do a quick swiffering of the flat surfaces, and the floor (which had gotten a little embarrassing with the dust bunnies).

Only I have a hard time doing "just" part of something. I mean, once you clean one thing, it makes the rest seem dirtier by contrast. Plus, once you start looking for it, you actually SEE it. Like the dust on the blinds. I couldn't just LEAVE it. And once I did that, I had to do the ceiling fans, too. And that all drifts down, so you notice that the floorboards are not so much white as gray, and they all have to be gotten systematically... And then its six hours later. (It's a big house, which is how we avoid matricide with Mom living here and all.)

So, anyway. I've decided dusting is one of my least favorite job, because it settles so fast. It's like Prometheus's liver growing back every day. You know those vultures were all like: "Zeus damn it! We just ate this yesterday, and now it's back! Our work is never done!"

What's your least favorite housecleaning job? Should I even ask if you have a favorite?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Assorted tokens, totem and action figures

I wrote down where I got this meme, and then lost it. WORD for Teens, I THINK, *awesomely* has an interview with Todd McCaffery up today.

On your desk/workspace:

List at least 5 bookish things:
1) Stack of ARCS for The Splendor Falls
2) My favorite Baby Name book (for characters, not babies)
3) Writer’s Guide to Poisons
4) Word Menu
5) My Kindle, which counts for a LOT of books.

List at least 5 NON BOOK THINGS:
1) 3 empty coffee mugs
2) Tube of sunscreen
3) Jane Austen action figure
4) Tangle of ipod earphones (I count 7 earbuds, so that’s at least 4 sets, right?)
5) Assorted 10 sided dice

(Seriously, I could sum up this list with: paper, more paper, and assorted tokens and totems.)

Now I must finish packing for Houston. If you're going to ApolloCon, I'll see you there!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I like what I like....

I'm off to ApolloCon this weekend. (My schedule of panels is at the bottom. When not at one of the places listed, I can reliably be found in the bar.)

I get to panel on one of my favorite subjects: Soundtracks! I love a good movie soundtrack; I'm not sure I'm a connoisseur, but I like what I like. Actually, I know enough to parse out the technical craft of a piece, but that's actually of lesser importance to me than the emotional effectiveness of a score. Yes, this means I occasionally love a good, schmaltzy love theme, or a rousing, bass heavy, over-synthesized battle theme.

Like how I don't particularly care that many of Hans Zimmer's scores sound exactly alike, with too much synthesizer and the base jacked up to 13, and it doesn't matter because it's awesome monster-fighting, ass-kicking, demon-vanquishing music, and frankly I like the way it makes my speakers buzz. It's also a great cue for the family: Don't open the office door when the floor is vibrating; it means there's some serious slaying going on.

I don't even have to particularly like the movie, either. There are a couple of movies I didn't care for at all, but the soundtracks are on my regular rotation. Planet of the Apes, for example. (Actually, lots of Danny Elfman scores fall into this category, because I'm not a Tim Burton fan, but I love the music for his movies.)

Not everything has to be bombastic. I'm currently enamoured of the soundtrack to "Up" which has some delightfully engaging, sort of swinging and approrpiately retro melodies. It's a complete contrast to Star Trek (by the same composer) which is by turns dark and spacy and heroic. (Michael Giacchino is my current darling.)

So I guess for me, what works in a soundtrack is the story it tells, and the emotional journey it takes you on. In this way, a well crafted score is a lot like a tone poem of a classical composer, or a ballet score. I've heard John Williams' Star Wars scores arranged as a concert peice, and a good CD of a score does the same thing--arranges the music cues into a symphonic story.

Care to give me any material for my panel? What makes a good soundtrack for you? Do you like some good smchaltzy stuff? Lots of bombastic? Can you enjoy a soundtrack without having seen the movie?

ApolloCon Schedule
Fri 8:00PM - 9:00PM Raiders of the Lost Maguffin
Rosemary Clement-Moore, Gail Dayton, Tim Frayser, Joe McKinney
Discuss the appeal of action adventure novels.

Fri 10:00PM - 11:00PM Building the Perfect Soundtrack
Rie Sheridan, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Stina Leicht, Amy McNally (M)
Discuss the use of music in television and movies.

Sat 10:00AM - 11:00AM Readings
Martha Wells, Rosemary Clement-Moore

Sat 4:00PM - 5:00PM Southern Goth: Bayous, Mint Juleps, and the Grotesque
K. Hutson Price, Mel. White, Alexis Glynn Latner (M), Caroline Spector, Rosemary Clement-Moore
Panelists discuss why the South is such a ripe playground for the fantastic.

Sun 10:00AM - 11:00AM West Sidhe Story: Fairies in Urban Fantasy
Patrice Sarath, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Kimberly Frost, Rie Sheridan, Stina Leicht

ETA: It occurs to me, I'm repeating myself. I did a post about writing music not long ago. *sigh* I fail at the bloggernet.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Weekly Rose Report

So, I've managed to get myself to the Y all week for exercise, but oh my God, y'all would laugh if you could have seen me. Monday I did pilates, and I was a tad... overconfident. I actually survived the core stuff pretty well, but the class focused on the hips a lot. A LOT. So half the week I was walking around like Yosemite Sam. It was sad, very sad.

I finally spent my Christmas/Birthday money. This is also sad, I realize, but I've been supplementing my stash until I had enough to buy a Kindle. So I did. And I freaking love it. I can read much faster and I don't have to wear my computer glasses to use it. Of course, I'm going through the Kindle store, looking at what they have, and I keep coming across things that I already own in hard copy and having read yet. *guilt* The only thing is, there's not a huge saving off the paperback price, though there's a substantial difference if something's in hardcover. (FYI, you can buy my books in both Kindle format, and for other e-readers, like the Sony.) I'm all for saving trees, though, so price wasn't my main consideration. Being able to carry a library around in my purse was, though.

Discovered the new Mediterranean restaurant around the corner from me makes a scrumptious falafel. I'm ridiculously excited about this.

I watched Valkyrie. I'd wanted to see it in the movie theater, but I missed it. I was leery, because (a) I know it doesn't exactly have a happy ending and (b) I'm not a huge Tom Cruise. Both were non-issues, though. The movie did a great job of keeping the tension really high, even though I knew how it ended, I was all in knots. And Cruise disappeared into his character in a way I haven't seen him do since... Since he became Tom Cruise, I think.

(Okay, I just have to get this off my chest. I don't know what to think of the guy personally, but he's just damned handsome. I didn't used to think so, because I don't love that cheeky Risky Business grin. And if anyone mentions Tropic Thunder to me I will smack you. Possibly it was the uniform (why are the ranking minions of evil empires always such snappy dressers?), or his doomed but noble enterprise, but SeriousActor!Tom made me forget Crazy!Tom in this movie.)

Anyway. Valkyrie gets a recommend from me. It was taut, moved a a nice clip, and really fascinating.

That's my week. How was yours?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fried Brains on Ye Olde Menu

Okay, so I missed yesterday's post. So much for my MWF commitment. (Even if it was just to myself.) Unwell yesterday. Trying to catch up on too much stuff today. So I leave you with this...

fail owned pwned pictures
see more Fail Blog

Is there something wrong with me that I find this hysterically funny. (Though possibly not in the way it was intended by the wearer.)

Also, I live in Texas, and I have never been to a Renn Faire that wasn't blistering hot and/or humid. There ARE days, I'm told, but Ye Olde Weather Gods must conspire to make it Hot as Ye Olde Helle when I venture to one. When I saw this, my first thought wasn't: what a moron. It was what a moron for wearing WOOL on top of a costume that involves a black helmet that will soak in the sun's rays and fry your brains.

Or, you know. Fry them more.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hot as... well, you know

Summer has arrived in Texas.You can tell because:

1) The YMCA is packed! Packed with kids, packed with soccer moms, packed to the rafters.

2) The yahoos across the street are doing a booming business all day, instead of just after 3 PM. Which is not to say they don't have people stopping by during the day normally, since I guess if you're buying pot, truancy isn't really high on your concerns. But the coming and going has... gone up.

3) The Leaf Blower of Doom is now making weekly appearances. Unfortunately, the neighbor's lawn service hasn't picked a day and stuck with it this year. Usually I plan for their visits, and take that afternoon off, or do something that's not writing. Hopefully they'll get with the program soon.

4) I had to clean melted lip balm out of the cup holder in the Jeep because I left a stick of Burt's Bees in the car yesterday afternoon and it liquified.

5) My office is five hundred degrees until 1 pm, when the sun moves to the other side of the house, at which time...

6) I singed my hand on the handle of the back door. Youch.

But here's something cool:

Beside the Norm Paranormal book reviews has posted an interview with moi on their blog. You can also see their review of Prom Dates From Hell. The reviewer gave it 5 Ghosties! Check it out and leave some comments.

In the interview, I mention that you can follow and/or friend me on GoodReads. This is my new favorite networking site because it's built around books! Yay!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lost and confused

Oh. My. God. I got SO lost yesterday. I mean, in a completely surreal way that almost never happens to me. It wasn’t just a “I don’t know where this road goes” lost. It was a “I cannot tell up from down” kind of lost. Completely disorienting. There were tears involved.

The last time I remember being so lost, it was in Yorkshire, my first day--no, my first HOUR of driving on the left side of the road, where the first thing I did was turn right instead of left, and ended up in The Shambles. Here’s a hint. Medieval streets--not designed for even compact automobiles.

So, I take any street that will get me out of there, end up God knows where, because the English don’t believe in road signs, and I’m suddenly out in the country, heading for the Scottish border for all I knew. Finally I stop in this pub, which is awesomely like something out of James Herriot, only I can’t appreciate it, because I’m that lost. Even more awesome are these three old guys sitting at the bar having a pint. I walk in with my map, and the first guy says, in an accent that I simply cannot do justice in text, and an unholy twinkle of laughter in his eye: “Well, now, who’s lost, then.”

So these guys proceed to give me directions that also include no street names. “Go back, past the big field with the stone wall and two traffic circles, and after you pass the big Tesco (not the little one), turn right.” And the other guy: “No, are you daft, don’t send her that way, she’ll end up in Scotland.” And the publican: “Are you sure you don’t want to just sit down and have a pint.”

Tempting, very tempting. I wouldn’t have helped my problem (would have only made it worse, actually), but I would have felt better for awhile.

The only other time I was that lost was in college, on an orienteering exercise in Fort Sill, OK. I was actually pretty good at orienteering, I just wasn’t fast. (These legs don’t cover ground very quickly; when I worked in teams, on of my strides equaled half of anyone elses.) But this one time, I got so turned around that I didn’t know up from down. It’s actually rather terrifying, being THAT disorientated. Especially out in the wilderness of Oklahoma, with the sun going down, worrying about falling off a bluff, or artillery exercises, or maybe just the ghost of Geronimo.

Maybe it so upsetting to me because it doesn’t happen to me very often. I don’t have a perfect sense of cardinal directions (that’s what a compass is for) but usually I’m decent at seeing spatial relationships in my head. But when that breaks down, boy, it does it with a vengeance!

What about you guys? Could you get lost in your own house? Or are you one of those people who always knows where you are? Does it upset you to get lost, or is that all part of the journey for you?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Today's blog is brought to you by the letter lazy

Not going to lie. I wasted my blog time this morning playing Rock Band. So today's entry is brought to you by The Celebrity Cafe, who gave Highway to Hell a FANTASTIC review ("A devilish treat with lots of substance") and Graph Jam, because Wile E. Coyote jokes never get old. (Birdseed and tiny signs. Hee!)

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

Monday, June 8, 2009

"Up" up and away...

Okay, I'm late with this, because I actually saw this movie on it's opening weekend. It was kind of exciting, because I've never seen a 3D movie before. I was worried it would give me a headache or make me nauseated (which tends to happen to me in movies anyway, because yes, I'm THAT LAME). But it was actually really cool! I'm going to make it a point to see some more that way.

Technology aside... man, I really loved "UP". Just like Ratatouille, I didn't initially have any interest in seeing this movie. The character didn't look likable at all, but I should have known better, since Pixar takes unusual heroes and gives them a lot of heart. They made me connect with a fish and rat and a bunch of plastic toys, so a grouchy old man should be no big deal.

Here's an interesting NYC online article about the character design for the movie. It says better than I can how hard they world to make the characters awesome. But like all really good books and movies, none of that hard work is obvious as you're watching. They're just real and engaging.

Within the first ten minutes, I was-- well, I'd gone through a whole Kleenex --but I was completely invested. Carl wasn't immediately likable, but he was completely sympathetic. He really went on a journey (no pun intended) through the movie, and it was incredibly satisfactory. Russell, the Wilderness Scout, was resourceful and ingenuous and open-hearted and wonderful. He went right to my heart, so it was entirely believable that he would work his way into Carl's too.

The dogs were, of course, my favorite part. Doug won my heart right away, but all the dog humor was awesome and right on the money.

Despite the quite emotional story arc for Carl, there's also exciting visuals, action, and adventure. The movie is visually beautiful. Gorgeous colors, and I thought that, with so much of the action being on all three planes (i.e., vertical was a big deal in a movie called "Up.") I felt like the 3D format served the movie well. It wasn't just "because we can" special effects. It really enhanced the whole visual concept.

That's my way of saying, if you can get to see it in a 3D theater, it's totally worth it. And if you can only see it in a normal theater, it's still worth seeing on a big screen. But go see this movie. It's REALLY good.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Outfit Challenged

Okay, so I'm setting off for Oklahoma City in an hour and a half and I haven't packed yet. This is the complete antithesis of my usual packing modus operandi, which is plan everything to the last stitch so I have just what I need and nothing extra lugged along. I'm not sure if this is personal growth or not. Possible it's because I've been traveling so much this spring, I've sort of got my Standard Issue Clothing worked out. Jeans and favorite (i.e., reasonably flattering) tees for cons, skirt and jacket for signings, comfy cargo pants for long days... Chances are, if you've seen me anywhere the last few months, I will have been wearing one of three outfits. But you know, it DOES make packing easier.

For instance, this outfit...

Which, I guess you can't really see, but trust me, you probably HAVE seen... is going in the suitcase.

Maybe I shouldn't be blogging about this. Is it kosher to point out that you wear the same thing all the time? Because probably no one would have noticed otherwise. Or maybe they would. But seriously. Putting things together is not my strong suit. Probably the only thing I envy movie stars is having a stylist, someone to pick out their outfits for them.

(Picture, by the way, is courtesy of who snapped it at The Little Professor in Birmingham, AL. We had the best time at dinner. You should read her book Going Too Far. It is seriously awesome.)

Off to pack! Have a great weekend, and if you're at SoonerCon, stop me and say "Hi!"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Book review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
I LOVED this book. Let me count the ways.

1) It's an epistolary novel--that is, written as a series of letters. I don't know why I love this way of telling a story, but I do. It's deliciously like eavesdropping, and has such a cozy, familiar voice.

2) The characters are delightful and engaging. They make you want to visit them on Guernsey, and it definitely feels like you could. They seem very real, but with not much description. The best character sketches, I think, are like that iconic Picasso sketch of Don Quixote: the lines give you a perfect picture of the character, but there's no cluttering extraneous detail. Very clean, all show, no tell.

Anyway, the characters are the selling point on this one. I put down this book and felt like I could hop on a plane and go see them.

3) The vivid picture of a particular moment in time. The story is set just after WWII, and concerns the Nazi occupation of the Isle Guernsey. I knew that England was under constant threat of invasion, but I didn't realize that the channel islands had been occupied. They had a horrible time of it, and the story centers around how the characters survived with their sanity intact, and how they recover, and are still recovering, from this.

Books play a large part in this. An important theme is how literature helps us relate to the world, to know, when you read something, that someone has experienced what you have, and put it into words. This is a booklover's book. :)

4) This book made people look at me funny. I was reading this in a restaurant in Vicksburg, MS, and I laughed out loud, and then I cried, and tried to hide it behind my napkin, but the waitress asked me if I was okay anyway. These characters really got to me.

I do wonder if some of my connection with this book is my own family history. My mother was born in Holland, during the Nazi occupation, and some of the stories in this book remind me of some things my Oma has said. Which isn't much.

I loved this book, and it stayed with me long after I finished it. Highly recommended.

View all my reviews.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

SoonerCon Schedule

If you're going to be at SoonerCon in Oklahoma City this weekend, here's where I'll be and what I'll be blathering about. Can't promise any smackdowns, but there's always hope.

Oh, by the way. They've got me on the schedule as R.C. Moore. That's what I get for having a name longer than some rural routes. But that's me, in case you wonder. Because I know you'll be looking for me on the schedule.

Friday June, 5th

5 PM -- Autographs (Yes, very early in the con! Incentive to come early!)

6 PM -- Comedy in SF (with: L. Donahue, S. Dean, B. Denton, S. Satterfield, B. Allen)

7 PM -- Opening ceremonies

Saturday June 6th

9 AM (to 11AM) Koffee Klatche (with: A Whole Mess of People)

12 PM -- Reading (I'm debuting The Splendor Falls, folks. NEW BOOK!)

3 PM -- Romance in SF/F (with: J. Kenner, R. Caine, D. Chester. Cool!)

5 PM -- Reinventing Genre (with: C. Osborne, D. Wolverton, C. Wolf, L. Donahue)

6 PM -- The state of YA (with: R. Caine, J. Provine, B. Hale, D. Chester)

Sunday June 7th

1 PM -- Panel with Surprise topic (with: T. Morris, C. Osborne, B. Denton, K. Turski, S. Dean... boy, we are brave. ANYTHING could happen, folks!)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Home again, home again, jiggity jig

Woot! I'm home. I'm cuddling with my puppy who has had a WONDERFUL time staying with her grandmother, but MIGHT have missed me like I missed her.

I love to travel, but I don't like leaving my stuff behind. I think this is why I like driving trips--because I can bring more of my STUFF. This is a trend that has gotten worse over the years. I'm not sure if it's a product of my getting older, or just having more stuff. Because I don't mind leaving home. But I miss my stuff. My chair, my brand of tea, my brew of coffee, my brand of detergent... (I am, needless to say, not one of those people who can use whatever shampoo/soap/lotion they have at the hotel.)

So I was eager to get back home. All the same, I hate leaving people. I get this weird sinking sad nostalgia--I always have, ever since I was a kid. I would always cry when it was time to leave a fond place, even when I knew we'd be back eventually--the ranch, my grandmother's house, wherever. It wasn't that I didn't want to go home (because I've *always* been fond of my stuff). But there's always that weird feeling that it's going to change while you're gone, when you really want to keep everything in that magical stasis.

Question of the day: Did you guys have a favorite family vacation spot that you went back to on an annual, or at least regular, basis? We would go down to the ranch in Refugio county (where I ended up living, eventually), but we'd stay in Port Lavaca and go down to the beach at Port Aransas. Mr. RCM used to go to Red River with his family. What about you guys?