Friday, June 26, 2009

Magic Mojo

My hypochondriac daughter inspired this bit of creativity. Take the largest bottle of chewable Vitamin C you can find, and replace the label with this... and allow the child to self-medicate. :)

Magic MoJo Medicine

Cause I'm the Mom

This is going on my kids' bedroom walls, framed. The Cafe Press poster reads:


Place all dirty dishes in the kitchen sink before going to bed each night. (Bonus points for rinsing.)

Place all dirty laundry down the chute before going to bed each night.

Ensure all dirty laundry is right-side-out and, if necessary, spot treated.

Do not use upholstery or bedding as a tissue. Boogers & snot-glaze do not belong on the arms of the sofa or the sides of your mattress.

Do not use upholstery or bedding as a napkin, either. Wipe greasy fingers on a napkin or even on shirt! (See above re spot treating.)


Don't create environments ripe for spilling stuff. Leaving glasses of juice on the table for the cats to knock over during the night is just. plain. stupid.

If stuff is spilled, fetch someone who knows what the hell they're doing to aid in its clean-up IMMEDIATELY -- not three days later, after the nail polish has become a permanent part of the decor.

Wipe the kitchen counter (and NOT onto the floor, either) after preparing food.

Don't give the cats people food unless you're prepared to have your nose rubbed in cat puke the next day.

Turn off lights & televisions when you're the last person leaving a room.

Learn how to thoroughly wipe your ass (without clogging the commode). No one wants their clothing laundered with underwear that look as if they were used as toilet tissue. It's just too damned gross.

REPLACE THE TOILET TISSUE if you use the last of the roll. (Don't know where it is? ASK! It's NOT hidden, and it's not a secret.)

Speaking of the toilet, should you take a Black Sunday dump, please wipe the underside of the seat so that it doesn't dry craptacularly speckled. (See below re microwave and splatters.)

If you make a mess, CLEAN IT UP! Leaving it for someone else is rude and inconsiderate, no matter how old you are. Period.

A good example: the microwave. It takes all of 30 seconds to wipe away the Beefaroni splatters if done while they're still wet. Two hours later, a power tool is required. Popcorn grease? Same thing.

If I step on a Lego in my bare feet again, everyone will be punished. It will be brutal and likely involve forced consumption of dead bugs. Lesson? PICK UP YOUR TOYS!

Thanks. Your cooperation will make life so much more pleasant for everyone. I'll be happier, and you won't have to sleep on a park bench.

Love, Mom

Sunday, June 21, 2009

And I'll cry...

The words I wrote for his funeral card:

In your every deed,
Husband, father, friend,
Thank you for teaching us,
The true meaning of the word
The true spirit of the word
The true power of the word
From a journal entry...

March 21, 2006

Yesterday, I did my yoga stretches in a different room. Don't ask me why 'cause I have no clue what possessed me to vary my routine. Anyway, I was on the floor in front of the recliner where I typically sit while writing. It's a second hand La-Z-Boy that I inherited when my mother redecorated her living room several years ago. It was my dad's chair, and if I stare at it for a minute & then close my eyes, I can still see him sitting in it -- like the visual echo of a camera's flash.

From my vantage on the floor, I caught sight of something under the chair -- a piece of paper. I knew what it was before I wormed my hand through the skirting to fetch it, but I was surprised by the force with which the memories flooded my mind. It was a football parlay -- dad's favorite illicit pastime.

December 15, 1996. His choices were circled and the margins bore random notes in his hand. New England (given 7) over Dallas. Detroit (given 11) over Green Bay. Minnesota (by 7) over Tampa Bay.

It's been almost seven years since he died, and I miss him today as much as ever. The man defined the word "generous." In fact, those football parlays were the only thing I can recall him doing solely for his own enjoyment. I'll save my memento. Later this morning, I'll pull that box from the top of my closet and I'll add one tattered piece of white paper to his favorite ball cap, pocket knife, and chambray shirt -- and I'll cry.
Happy Father's Day, all you Dads out there!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


If you're a writer of romance or erotic romance, you're probably well aware of the kerfuffle about RWA's stance on epublishing and epublishers (a/k/a "author mills"). It's the same tired song, but--thanks to Kristen Painter and ESPAN, a new-ish RWA chapter for epublished authors--there appears to be more (and more organized) energy pushing for change. (There is also a Yahoo!Group for those interested.)

When the RWAchange [at] account was established to coordinate a ribbon campaign for next month's conference, I offered to design an e-ribbon for use on blogs & such ('cause grassroots advocacy just turns me on). Deidre Knight said "Go!" and the results are below. There are also T-shirts, buttons, stickers, etc. in Coming Together's Cafe Press shop.*


Images are also hosted here: Change e-ribbon 1a.jpg Change e-ribbon 2a.jpg Change e-ribbon 3a.jpg

Folks are welcome to link directly to the images if they wish. (Oh, and follow the madness on Twitter with the #rwachange hashtag.)

peace & passion,

* If there are any other products you'd like to see there, just leave a comment. I primarily focused on buttons, stickers, and summer apparel/T-shirts, but Cafe Press has many more options.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pimpin' My Flash

Flash Fiction 40 ContestStory Voting Rules
Voting begins at 9 a.m. EST today (June 15).
Voting will take place from June 15-June 26 (midnight EST on June 26).
You must be a registered forum member to participate in story ranking.

Here's how to vote (for ME):

  1. We're using the star ranking system (examples: 1 = terrible, 5 = excellent) to rank stories.
  2. To rank a story after you've read it, click on "Rate Thread" in the upper-right hand corner. Choose a ranking for that story (1-5)
  3. You may read and vote on as many stories as you want. But please only vote on the stories you've read.
  4. Only one vote per forum members per story.
  5. No lobbying for votes on this forum, although you're welcome to ask for votes elsewhere.
  6. No replies to stories or other forum discussion about individual stories until the contest is over!
Your support is most appreciated (i.e., the check is in the mail)!

peace & passion,

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The ePublishing Restaurant

I've read (or, rather, attempted to slog through) some pretty lousy books published by big, New York houses. You know, the type you want to fling across the room? The type you'd throw away if you hadn't plunked down cash to buy them?

I've seen some hideously lame and/or puerile movies released by major studios where the only thing keeping me from stomping out of the theater was the fact that I paid money for the seat.

Name your entertainment industry, and I can give a comparable experience. In no instance, however, have I painted the entire publishing house or movie studio with the awfulness of one of its author's/actor's performances or editor's/director's skills. Have you? Are you even AWARE who published that book you hated? Who released that movie you hated? Who directed it?

Why, then, do consumers tend to do so with ebooks? An epublisher farts, and suddenly the entire house is judged by one book, its stable of authors blog-tarred and Twitter-feathered. WTF?

The latest debacle is a fine example. I've never read a book from Siren-BookStrand, but I'd bet money they're not all examples of poor judgment or lax editing. Hell, even if no editing was done at all, some books will be better than others simply because some authors submit cleaner work.

Instead, online communities treat epublishers like most people treat restaurants. Bad meal? Don't go back. It's all the chef's fault, after all, and nothing on the menu can be trusted.


peace & passion,

~ Alessia

Monday, June 01, 2009

Airing Tonight (June 1st)

Catch me live (okay, recorded live) at the Romantic Times BookLovers Convention. The interview airs tonight at 9:30pm Eastern on All Romance's What's Hot in Romance. The MP3 will be archived on the Blog Talk Radio site and downloadable in case you can't catch the show live... erm, played back live from the live recording.

I had a great time chatting with Cat Johnson, and I even read a bit of my story "Double Decker" from Sapphistocated.