Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fun With Anagrams

I've been playing with the Internet Anagram Server and thought "ain't words just magic things?" So I typed some of your blog names into the thing and this is what I got. Can you find yours on the list? For the record, The Party Pony turns out as "Nay, Pet Trophy!" or "Thy Rapt Peony" or "An Hyper Potty" or maybe "Ya! Pert Python!"

Anyone else gearing up for NaNoWriMo and gadding about like I am?

A Mandated Illness Quits

Dairy Grew Toe

Reek I Riot Or

Mange Owner

A Cab Disconnected Hidden Trekker

A Dauntless Flaming, A Engagement Unloosens Tit

Refine Reprint A Writs Wort

Ad Feeds A Huge Monsoons

Shattering Vine Volts

The Linen Jug

Relent, Wino!

A Berried Linty Prissy

A Starling Razor Climb

Accede, A Intestine, Thy Iris

Slithering, Why Wilt?

Uneasy Zen Nap

Try, Vacant Seer

Slimy, Stern Linens

A Marmot's Hue

Hie, Jolly Nuts!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Toffee and Brittle Confections of Sheer Unrivaled Deliciousness

Friends! Do you like sweets? Yes, you do. You crave the deliciousness of sugary treats. You defy your dentist at every opportunity! You like to fill your pockets with smackerels of goodness and mouthwatering crunch (wrapped in pretty packaging, of course, so as not to collide with the lint and old pennies and Barbie doll shoes and bits of stale "Veggie Booty" that also occupy said pockets. Or maybe that's just my pockets).

You deserve to eat these most amazing toffees and brittles. My dear friend Michele makes them, and she is a gifted artist. A trained chef!

They are all tasty. And get this...I don't even like sweets. I would rather eat a bag of Cheez Doodles any day, and yet I cannot resist the lure of the fascinating toffees and brittles at La Petite Occasion.

This one is my particular favorite: The Dark Chocolate Toffee Wafers. I need say no more. Look upon them, ye mighty dieters, and despair!


Friday, October 21, 2011

7x7 Link Award (plus 7 lies!)

Lisa Ann, our fabulous resident animal trainer (and writer who recently secured an agent for her book, Below the Surface!) has kindly bequeathed to me the 7 x 7 link award. If you need a dolphin wrangled, a lion tamed, or a squid manhandled, you must visit her at Kicked, Cornered, Bitten, and Chased (one of my favorite blog names, by the way).

The purpose of this award is to breathe new life into some oldies but goodies by asking bloggers to identify some of their favorites in various categories. I have done so!

1. Most Beautiful Post: I am rather partial to this one, about The Great North Woods. I wrote it a long time ago.

2. Most Popular Post: I have checked my "most popular" list and this post is ALWAYS there. It's about my search, in the year 2008, for a DJ Lance Rock costume. DJ Lance is the star of the kiddie TV show Yo Gabba Gabba and I was obsessed with him. I wanted to BE him. (This year I have a crazy new costume planned. I was born on Halloween so I am a little bit touched. Photos will appear.)

3. Most Controversial Post: Back when I lived in New Rochelle, NY, I used to blog about my neighborhood. I also did regular posts for our "hyperlocal" news service at The Loop. The editrix picked up this story about SoNo New Ro and it caused a firestorm! Here is a typical piece of hate mail I received: "I was completely offended by your rude comments pertaining to Craft Form apparel. That store offers a valuable service for ladies who have had mastectomies. It is clear that you hate women, especially women who have had mastectomies. You must hate people with cancer. You also hate black people and all minorities. You are a terrible person. New Rochelle is a lovely town."

4. Most Helpful: After spending some time on Query Tracker and sympathizing with the lovely writers who were getting rejections, I wrote this post about Rejectozolonaxil, my new miracle pill to deal with the hideous emotions that come when you hear "no" from a stranger. Many people sent their thanks for this bit of levity.

5. Most Surprisingly Successful: I was so used to being a "funny" blogger for so long that, sometimes, writing something that wasn't really intended to be funny was strange and scary. I learned that I don't always have to be tap-dancing while wearing a wig made out of brussels sprouts. Here is Why Do We Write?

6. Post That Didn't Get The Attention It Deserved: There are so many of these, because I wrote this blog almost in the darkness for so long, when it was read by only a few friends who didn't even know how to leave a comment that wasn't "anonymous." I wrote on and on and it was like tossing bottles onto the sea. I picked this one out of that batch: Don't Cry Silly, You're Not Dead Yet.

 7. Post I Am Most Proud Of: I'm not sure why, but I just love this post, The Houses Have Eyes. It's snarky and sad at the same time, which is what all my best posts have in common.

I am late to this party (just like I will be late to the #rapture party happening today around cocktail hour, because I've got to get to the liquor store and put on a pretty frock and stuff), so some of my pals already have this award. But I have sought among the valiant, the deserving, and the just plain crazy and I have found these 7 worthy bloggers who may not yet have the award. Go forth, 7x7 Masters!

Because I like to break the rules I have told lies about all these people. Only one statement is true. Can you find the fact among the fiction?

Tracey's Tavern
Tracey has never touched alcohol.

Suzanne Payne
Suzanne used to be a rodeo cowgirl.

Angela V. Cook
Angela would not like panties made out of fish.

Justin Holley
Justin has a unicorn tattoo.

Kalen O'Donnell
Kalen eats butterflies.

Mary Baader Kaley
Mary owns her own Egg Emporium.

Riley Redgate
Riley is 78 years old.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A story of bladders, pee, and an errant strawberry

Last week, I had surgery on my innards! Most specifically on an organ that I shall call my blah-dére. Which had gone askew, drifted free of its moorings, and was eventually (maybe when I hit the age of 90) going to lead me into the Depends aisle if the doctor didn’t fix it. Three eight-pound babies sitting atop it might have caused it to slip from its accustomed position and go on a strange peregrination, saying hello to the colon and sidling up to the spleen. (The blah-dére is a known sidler, and should be given Tic-Tacs to carry.) It was on its way somewhere. It needed to be harnessed.

Organs that wander need stern discipline. I was embarrassed about this business, because blah-déres ain't the stuff of polite society, but now I'm posting it on my blog. Go figure. (People would rather talk about butts or boobs or even colons.)  But suppose your heart wandered, or your duodenum? Or your liver just up and hid somewhere in the cavity of your chest, cringing from your nightly devotionals to the Lords of Booze? You wouldn't put up with it, not for a minute.

I was not interested in shopping for “Poise” brand products (although I hear they make a fine and worthy product). Neither should you be, one in three like me! Go to the hospital and get that sonofabitch hoisted back on deck like a drunken sailor. Ashamed? Pfah! It’s more embarrassing to tinkle while doing jumping jacks or while doing ballet leaps to “Moves Like Jagger.” I’m going to become one of those “hot trampoline girls” now. Not a droplet of pee shall 'scape my nethers. I'm going to drink lots and lots of iced tea and beer and then go on the trampoline. 

I share this hideously embarrassing story so that others may seek the same path as I have. Because I'm cool like that. Although Whoopi, the spokeswoman for Poise, is very righteous for speaking about her "spritz" in a public forum, I don't like the thought of her wearing a "pad." I can't even say "pad" without using quote marks because it's such a horrible word, rather like "panty." Do we like "pads" for our periods? The last time I wore a blasted "pad" was after birthing my third child, and it was like wearing a couch cushion between my legs. No grown woman ought to submit to this injustice! (There is a school of thought, by the way, that suggests that wearing diapers is insulting and wrongful for babies. No baby ought to submit to this injustice!)

Blah-dére surgery is covered by insurance, although you will need to check with your own health care provider.

Whilst in hospital, I had the delight of sharing my room with an 87-year-old Italian lady named Philomena. She’d had surgery on her back that morning. As I was eating my “clear” dinner of chicken broth and lime jello (my second such miserable meal of the day), I could smell her dinner of chicken breast with gravy and mashed potatoes from the other side of the curtain.

“I no eat!” said Philomena. Those were about her only words of English.

As soon as her extended family left the premises, she began moaning and groaning like the star of a tragic opera.

“Oh, mamma mia! Lo sono nel dolore terribile!” she cried. I could hear her writhing about, chewing on the scenery a bit for good measure. "Come ho fatto a finire que? Non mi piace questo posto!"

Then she started to gawp up great gobs of phlegm and then swallow ‘em down again. She did this all evening long. It sounded something like this:

“Schllurfkgkgkk…gulp. SHNMMJKKlllffp…gulp.”

After each series of wrenching, barftastic noises, she started to call out for me.

“Miss. Missuz! Missiz! Heeeeelp me! Heeeelp me! Aiuto!”

I could tell the poor old dear was in pain so I’d ring the nurse on her behalf. The nurse would come running in with a Percocet for me.

“No, not me! Her!”

“But we can’t understand a word of Italian!” said all the nurses.

“Um, I think she is in PAIN. Show her the sad-face pain chart,” I suggested.

They rolled old Philomena around on the bed and asked her lots of questions and she babbled at them in Italian. I think they may have given her a Tylenol, but nothing stronger—for she never went to sleep!

After the third incident I accepted the Percocet for myself, and drifted off into a blissful slumber. An hour or so passed, and then:

“Miss! Missuz! Oh, Missuz! Heeeeeelp me! Snlurklegurklrsmskfkg….gulp.”

I rang the nurse and told her I needed another Percocet. She asked where the pain was.

“In my head!” I said.

Finally, morning came. Philomena was moaning and thrashing about in a frenzy. I called the nurse again.

“You gotta help this lady!” I said.

Finally, they gave her a Percocet while she was in the midst of poking at her breakfast, which included a fruit salad.

It wasn’t long before she zonked out, and I was finally able to read my book without disruption. But soon, Philomena’s daughter showed up.

“Mamma!” she said. “Mamma! Wake up! Open your eyes, Mamma! What’s a-wrong with you, Mamma? Mamma!”

The daughter started slapping and tugging at the mother, and crying out for the nurses. Oh Lord, I thought, what if the old lady corked off?

Then the daughter screamed: “Oh Mamma mia! She got a strawberry inside her mouth! She’s a-gonna choke! You kill-a my mamma!”

There was much activity to remove the strawberry while the daughter wailed things like, “You drug-a my mother! You drug-a her and feed her strawberry! Questo e molto male!”

The strawberry was finally extracted and Philomena gave a gentle snort of pleasure, lost in her Percocet-induced dream. I wondered what she’d been like in her youth, and decided that she probably screamed and carried on just as wildly when, as a girl, a boy dropped a newt down her shirt. No, she’d lost none of her spunk. Hopefully not any of her spritz, either. Bring out a trampoline for Philomena, for she wishes to bounce as high as the darkening sky.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mind the Gap!

Please do not feed sugar cubes to the rats on the subway. It causes them to smoke and play loud music.

If you step into the gap, you will be sucked quickly to Hell while the grey-faced people look on. Your tummy is unbecoming for a man your age and professional assignation.

Do not vomit hot dogs at the robotic device whilst prodding it in the duodenum with your finger in a rude and aggressive manner.

What about ponies? They do not poo in the streets!
If you do any of these bad things in this playground your head will immediately pop off like a spiked volleyball. You will also lose your feet, which are really ugly and have an oversized big toe, kind of like Uma Thurman's in Kill Bill.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

When Rejection Makes Us Young Again

For the writers among us who want to be published (and for everyone who has ever been spurned, or loved):

A request for a full manuscript offers the same giddy anticipation of Christmas morning—a package waiting to be opened. Will it contain coal, poo, or something shiny? It is hovering, an energy waiting to be born. A stone on a hillside waiting to be pushed. A request feels like the lurch of sighting the admired boy in the lunch line, seeing oneself in window glass and wondering "Am I pretty today?" And then he turns to look at you.

The loveliness of that request, that look, can carry one through the day, like those lazy afternoons in high school when the boys streamed out across the playing fields and the sun fell low. There's a crispness in the air and everything is possible and melodious.

It's all longing, and all your youth is longing.

Then the rejection, sudden, which feels inevitable when it arrives. Always, there's a heat within it. It feels like a slap, but one devoid of any true anger and love. It's a slap that shouldn't sting, but it does—every time. There is an immediate urge to cover the screen or the paper with your arms, and you wish that they were swan's wings. Your heart is beating in your face.

The sting fades faster each time, but it's still a sting. Suddenly you don't want to look your children in the eyes. The day is beautiful, but you feel a bit faint and lifeless, like someone abandoned you at the dance. All that possibility. The lovely things that might have come to pass. Is there a fine place to hide?

You remember what the boy said. He is your oldest son. He reads everything.

He says: "When is your book going to be published?"

"Not yet," you say. "Not yet."

"Well, you'd better be writing the next one in the trilogy. You'd better start tonight."


He turns in the doorway and adds, "I don't want you to write the next one. I need you to write it."

Your arms feel like the wings of birds at your side, this time not for shame.

The longing never goes. You are young, and want everything. People will say "no," and you still want. You have the recklessness of the toddler who smacks his head on the stairs in his efforts to climb. You continue to pet the dog that snaps at you.

Fool child, who keeps climbing trees and falling out, falling with tarry hands and brambles in your hair and the taste of the moon. Good for you. Someone should still be climbing trees on this earth.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Hark! Hark! I Have Free ARCs!

Ok, Book Sluts! I have now officially (and oh-so-randomly) chosen winners! I was going to choose two but I am too much of a softie so I chose THREE. The post office needs the money, right? Here they are:

Beverly Diehl:
Born Wicked
My Family for the War

Kathy Coleman:
Grave Mercy
The Fine Art of Truth of Dare


I will contact you all personally to let you know. Congratulations! For those of you who didn't win, don't despair: There will be more giveaways just like this. Come back again, fair book sluts. Giving away books warms the cockles of my heart, and also my duodenum.

Please review and let us know how you enjoyed these titles!


Let's not meddle around here. You know what you want, and why you are here. Free books!


But that's OK, because I like to feed your addiction.

Better yet, these YA books are unpublished and as yet untouched by human hands! Except mine. I groped them a little bit. (But you would too, if you came across a book called BORN WICKED. And that woman on BLOODROSE looks like she don't wear nothing under her clothes. Just saying. Damn it, did I learn nothing from NYC's Slutwalk '11?)

If you get them you can gloat and think something along the lines of the sign I once saw in a Brooklyn storefront: OUR STUFF IS CHEAPER THAN IF IT FELL OFF THE BACK OF A TRUCK.

So are these books.

The rules are simple for this giveaway:
1. Leave me a comment with a way to contact you should you win (if certain titles appeal to you, say so!)
2. Follow my blog
3. Tweet at least once about this giveaway, and please tag me @feralpony so I see it
4. If you don't tweet do something else nice, like help a young lady across the street without fondling her just because she's dressed like a slut.

I will pick 2 winners a couple of days. Good luck!

Cate Cahill and her sisters are witches! If their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood,
it will mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

See the blood drizzling from the "O"? Yeekers! There is a wolf, too.

A 17-year-old fleeing from an arranged marriage will be trained as an assassin...and a handmaiden to Death.

Plagued by waking visions and nightmares, her only comfort the bones of dead animals, sixteen-year-old Faye thinks she's going crazy. [These books sound awesome; why am I giving them away? I am a dope.]

Funny kissy cute!

At the start of WWII, Franziska is torn from her family to escape the Nazis via the kindertransport train. Being German in London and piecing together a new life isn't easy.