Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sick Day

Today is a sick day. I am home sniffling and snuffling; sneezing and snorting. Bodily fluids abound and I stink.
I stink because, good reader, I did not feel well enough to trip and die in my shower. I could have tried but I didn't care enough about my own stenchieness to bother.

I hate that.

But I didn't let this stop me from being productive. *sniffle* Nay. I wrote three reviews, created an author interview, cleaned out my inbox and read a book.

It was a good book, by the way. *sniffle*

In addition to all of this I plotted out and began another book of my own. *snarfy snorty hawking noise* Sorry. As I was saying, Plot. Yes. Plot is good.

I also got to visit GoodReads. I don't think I will ever actually manage to tally what all I have ACTUALLY read on there. I just keep remembering random authors and plunking them on. So far, every one listed on Goodreads as read is not just read, I own them. *giggle* Not the authors. *Neat mental picture of an author farm in my backyard...then shakes off image when pictures trying to feed said farm* The books. I own those almost three hundred books. And those are just the ones I remember off hand. I do not have the time to pluck through my bookshelves and put all the books down one by one. Yeesh. That is a project for a more procrastinating author than even I.

I tweeted today when facebook crashed. I hadn't spent as much time on Twitter lately (Facebook has been dominating my time... sorry Twitter friends. I forgot how flipping cool you are. I won't be a stranger again...)

I also researched some plot stuff. Intelligence. Doesn't sound like a plot point but I am working it in. It should be cool but then again... it may be the fever talking...

So, all of this I got done and you may wonder....


Yeah. I looked at those. They are still there. I pulled them up three times and then immediately proceeded to close them again. It is going to be a biiiiiig project. Like changing the tense of the entire story project. It is going to be a sit-and-dedicate-a-day-of-computer-time-to-that-world kind of project.

My attention span was so not there today.


Maybe tomorrow.

Actually, realistically, we are looking at Sunday. If I muddle with it and only get part way through I am going to have to start back at the beginning anyway. So it is one of those I need to hit it and stay on it till it is done things.

Not today. It got Scarlett O'Hara-d. You know? I'll think about it tomorrow?


Oh, and I found another app for the droid, of course free which is why I think Google is taking the world over for fah-ree! It may even replace my obsession with retrocamera. (Probably not, but it might.) It is called FXCamera and it lets me do things like fisheye, double vision and my personal favorite, Andy Warholize the image...

I Andy Warhol-ed Ash.


Heh. That was cool.

Okay. I am off to do a zombie walk to my bed. I still stink. I will worry about that in the morning.

Oh, before I do, I declared war on the beehive.

Here were my facebook statuses from the war:

1. War With Evil Suicidal Stinging Arthropods Update: Today, I attacked them. Randomly noticing them buzzing happily, I nerf gunned them. When I ran out of darts, I threw the gun. When I ran out of Nerf guns, I whipped a couple of butter-knives. When they were thoroughly swarming, I hid. Note to self: Explain to lan...dlord later why there is cutlery and nerf stuff in yard.

The goal... make the stupid bugs kill themselves stinging nerf darts, butter knives and nerf guns. Since they are scent driven, I have no clue if this will work. I am hoping to at least take out the dumb ones...

after awhile...

They are back to their normal flying pattern... I am thinking of sending one of the kids to collect my weapons out of the yard. I cannot go that close to the hive and if the kids collect the evidence, I won't have to explain the war to the neighbors...

Who would probably laugh hysterically at the crazy lady in the barn.

Justice did a successful retrieval mission and collected the nerf gun. Unfortunately, it seems the nerf 'bullets' and the two butterknives are lost causes. Sadly, they are lost to the bees. RIP darts and knives... May you hive in peace.

Just thought I would update you on the suicidal bug issue...
Have a splendorific... *sniffle*

Sunday, September 19, 2010

20 Great Things About Dating a Writer

I first saw it on Robin McKinley's blog. Then Lisa Pietsch did it on her blog which you can view here :

But I can't let them be the only ones to do it. Here is my version of the now popular list...

1. Writers will romance you with words.

Well, since most of my hero's say romantic things like, "You reek," probably romance is sort of a stretch but I will barrage you with many words. Some of them may occasionally make sense. And if you have the somewhat questionable taste to date me I will leave you letters as to how I feel, at length, whether you care to hear it or not.

2. Writers will write about you.

Which isn't always to be desired. Usually, the bits I find bookworthy aren't the bits you think are bookworthy. But then, flipping through the pages of one of my books, you find your entrails dangling on the page. Sorry. You should not have cut me in line for donuts. Also, if we did that thing that time that seemed to be biologically impossible... yeah. Sorry. So using that in a plot.

3. Writers will take you to interesting events.

If your idea of interesting is sitting on my couch while I ignore you and listen to earbuds and click on my keyboard, baby, I got your back. Okay. I admit it. I do travel. But unless you are as nerdy as me, comic cons are not everyone's bag of tea.

4. Writers will remind you that money doesn’t matter so much.

But I will borrow yours. Because I like nice things. Very nice things. About as quick as I get money, it is gone. On really nice things. That I will share with you... if you are around so long as they last. Also, I will hand out money. Handfuls. When I have it. Because I frequently forget how much exactly I have. But I like good coffee. And I like good sushi. I love good chocolate. I like to travel and I like my tech fast and shiny. I also forget that I may want these things next week so I will be back to borrow more money...Because we can always get more money, but not always more coffee.

5. Writers will acknowledge you and dedicate things to you.

Especially the things I write that have you blinking and asking what on earth was she THINKING???

6. Writers will offer you an interesting perspective on things.

I have a tee shirt that says 'I'm not random. You just don't think as fast as me.' Actually, I am pretty sure I am random.

7. Writers are smart.

They left off the alec. Or a word ending in double s which was the first thing that came to mind...

8. Writers are really passionate.

What they mean is horny. Mostly this is because we have fantastic scenes happening on the page with dashingly handsome (insert beautiful for the male author) characters who we fall madly in love with but who cannot take the relationship to the physical realm. On the flip side of this, some days we are writing brutal murder scenes. This does not bode well for the nookie... Neither do fight scenes.

9. Writers can think through their feelings.

What they mean is we can tear our feelings (oh, and yours. We aren't circumspect.) into little tiny pieces and then take the little tiny shards and put them under a microscope. Then we process that data and every word you and we said (ever) and mush it all into a mess that generally has little recognizable form to the initial issue. So if he says I am pretty... I may hear and process any number of things. At length. For days. Then I write someone else dealing with it and let it fester in real life.

10. Writers enjoy their solitude.

True. I have a dream where I am a hermit... sadly, I am not. I love everyone. I just want them to go away for (sometimes days on end) awhile when I am midplot. Then when I crawl out of my cave, manuscript in my grubby palm, I want masses to swarm and tell me if it sounds okay. Nothing strange about that...

11. Writers are creative.

If by creative they mean can find a way to magically make coffee come to them when writing (train the kids) or fix things so they can avoid going shopping... yes. Creative. Very. Sure. I will take that. Not always a good thing. Some things were not meant to get creative with... Usually, I can find them.

12. Writers wear their hearts on their sleeves.

I am leaving Lisa Pietsch's answer because she summed it up beautifully. She said, "This can be a problem too since most of us are lunatics."

13. Writers will teach you cool new words.

I don't know if you want to learn them, nor do I care. But I used it so you should go look it up. And if I am blinking at you it is because I don't remember what I said. I am glad it was clever, though.

14. Writers may be able to adjust their schedules for you.

Especially if you offer to a. feed us b. buy alcohol c. read the latest thing we have written

15. Writers can find 1000 ways to tell you why they like you.

But we usually won't. Just thought I would mention that. Writers are notorious multitaskers, so we are also usually pretty double/triple booked. We are not, sadly, good schedulers as a whole.

16. Writers communicate in a bunch of different ways.

I am an Italian. Sometimes I even use hand gestures.

17. Writers can work from anywhere.

And do. Especially if you want me to be doing something else. Even more especially if the something involves manual labor...

18. Writers are surrounded by interesting people.

Sadly, most of them live in our head.

19. Writers are easy to buy gifts for.

Food is always good. While on a creative bender we tend to forget to eat and I for one like good food. I also love any good coffee, chocolate or alcohol as I said. And remember... I may need a loan.

20. Writers are sexy.

Okay. I don't get this one. Unless you find sarcasm sexy. If you do... oh, baby am I hot.

No, really? Did someone turn up the heater in here?


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sneek Peek WIP Wolf Bait

Here's whats on my desk today:

Inspired by a random conversation with bestselling author Lisa Pietsch, I am working on a short story for ARE All Romance Ebooks Just One Bite Contest.

Here is an excerpt of what I am working on...

I had been a shapeshifter for longer than I cared to remember. The duality of my nature never bothered me. Not one of those whining men, so popular by television and media these days, I wasn’t ever ashamed of what I was.

If you are a monster, you’re a monster. Get over yourself.

Raking a hand through my hair, I scanned the club. From the balcony, I could see everyone who dared come into my den. Foolish humans, scraps of clothing hanging negligently on their too skinny hides, slopped back drinks and tried to get laid nightly, filling my pockets in their desperation to find a mate.

I wasn’t looking for a mate. I had better things to do with my days. Money was power. Blood was power. Getting laid was something you did to fill a basic need, like eating. The rest of that garbled love crap that my pack had been spouting lately…

I rolled my eyes and was glad no one was near to see me.

Grown men, men who had been around hundreds of years, whipped by a good lay.

Thank whatever god watched over the furry that I wasn’t sucked into that nonsense.

And then she walked in.

I smelled her before I saw her.

Bacon, that scent like fresh fried breakfast, wafted to my overly sensitive nose. In a club, it was just odd to pick up the aroma of fried pork fat. But I trusted my nose more than I trusted any of my senses, and I smelled bacon.

Tantalized in a way that made my stomach growl, my eyes scanned the crowd. Did someone bring in food?

And then I saw her.

Hair glittering in the strobe like old gold and more clothes than anyone else in the crowd set her apart. She was dressed like a librarian. In a club.

I began to move toward the stairs before I had really thought it through.

Was she carrying bacon in her purse?

God knows, she could fit a small army in that horrendous bag.

Cutting through the crowd easily, I found her. From behind, she looked even less attractive. The skirt she wore was too long, falling to an unattractive length that made her legs look bigger than they probably were. Her shoes were… sensible. That was about the best adjective I could apply to the ugly brown things that covered what looked to be small feet.

Her hair caught my eye again from this angle. Hanging in waves nearly to her ass, it was a golden fall of waves far longer than was currently in style. It looked like she hadn’t bothered to get it cut rather than any artful womanly attempt at loveliness.

The hair and that gorgeous behind. Even with the worlds ugliest skirt wrapped around it, she had a rounded curves that begged you to dig your fingers into them.

And she reeked of bacon.

Lemme know what you think :)

Siren's Song gets its first review...

Siren's song, Book Two of the Odd Stuff Series, got its first review this morning!

And it was 5cups!! You can view the whole review here:

Excerpts :

"Virginia Nelson is rapidly becoming my newest favorite author. Janie Smith and her Odd crew are back in Sirens Song, the sequel to Odd Stuff. I must reiterate, if you are a fan of paranormal romance, you must read these books. Virginia Nelson is providing a new and unique voice, that dispels old stereotypes and creating a fun and exciting new world of sirens, witches, vampires, and all other things that go bump in the night."

"Virginia Nelson has created a world that draws you in and leaves you wanting more."

"Sirens Song is captivating from the very first line to the last. Complete with a rich cast of characters and an engaging story, Virginia Nelson's work is magic. Proving yet again, the best parts of life are made up of Odd Stuff. "


Off to do a happy dance!!
Virginia Nelson

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

New New New

August went by in a blast of activity. Aside from being crafty and making jewelry (mostly at work, admittedly)I also had the great pleasure of catching up with my 'barn' friends during derby season. I got to paint Santino's car and then spent a bunch of fair week hanging out with my artistic little friend getting her entries ready.

Then it was time to prepare for back to school. My daughter went off to junior high and the boys went back to elementary. After that all wrapped up, we had Ashton's birthday and then mine to contend with.

In the midst of all the chaos, Siren's Song released and I thank all of those who have so supported that second in the series coming out. Work had all sorts of chaos going on which still has not yet to see the dust settle...

Then I have been sick on and off for quite some time. Toss on top of that a silly bee sting and I was back in the hospital this past week.

Finally, and I know I shouldn't say this... but things seem to be calming back down.

Luckily, I have found the joys of retrocamera to fill my spare time...
Ha Ha.

Hope all of you are having as much fun as I am settling back into long, cool nights and trees colored with a rainbow of autumn shades :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Attack of the Death Swarm

Driving home I was surrounded by storms. I love storms. This is why Chance smells of storms. Lightning, power, life and that lovely wet smell. Beautiful.

I think that is why I was hit so unsuspecting by the attack…

I got home to find my house smelled like death. Or at the very least something rotten this way comes. So in search of rottenness I went… I traced the smell to my garbage can, which, since the garbage went out yesterday, looked like a clean, innocent bag.

That is, until you lifted out the shining white bag to find the pile of rotting food and Dorito’s bags the kids had hidden under the bag. Okay. Evil scent detected. Trash out the door. Time to scrub out the can. Don’t you wish everything, like your laundry, was made like Rubbermaid?

Filling it with bleach and scrubbing seemed the logical course of action. Also, a hose seemed a logical rinsing device…

When I grabbed up the hose and began to rinse, nothing seemed awry.

The burning fire in my shoulder quickly alerted me that I was horribly, stupidly wrong.

I glanced down to see the omen of death trying desperately to kill me. It’s yellow and black body was firmly embedded in my black and white work blouse and I started shrieking and dancing around the yard like a loon. My landlord and longtime friend later said he thought for a moment I was going to rip my shirt off and start dancing on it.

Still, the evil little whoremonger clung, stinging like crazy.

By the way, allergic to bees. Not my favorite critter. I get the whole we-need-them-to-pollinate jive. I also get that there has got to be a better way than evil stinging suicidal death bringing bugs. It is 2010. Come on.

Finally, my buddy got the evil little wretch off me and I flew into the house to guzzle Benadryl and pop a claritin. I am a firm believer in not dying. I also coated my arm in baking soda and water paste. Draw the infection out and pray for the healing powers of antihistamine.

Ripping off my clothes, I considered crisis averted and went outside to finish the can. More storms had rolled in and were making the world all lovely…

I came back in when my arm was burning to make more paste for my arm. When dribbling it on to the two (yes, either there was more than one or he was particularly evil…) another bee began to attack.


I started screaming again and ripped my tank top away from my body. Shoving the thing under the facet, I watched as he madly stung the tanktop. Luckily, the tanktop was not in contact with my body so it was less effective than the first attack.

My son came and shoved the stupid suicidal insect down the drain with a Croc. “Mom, are you going to die?”

At this rate???

I smiled, warmly, and told him I was fine. I then tried to determine where Bee #3 had come from. My clothes? I quickly stripped. My hair. I shoved my head under a water facet.

I then decided I no longer care if we are able to dispose of garbage ever again. I hope my house reeks. I am not getting that stupid garbage can. It can sit in the rain. I am not going outside again…


This could be great for the writing career. Hermits have plenty of time to write.

However, it may eventually change the way I smell…

Stuck in a house… please send chocolate.

*hums happy birthday sadly*

Yours, stingingly,

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Siren's Song Release and Contest Winner!

At 9pm EST I selected a winner from all correct contest entrants using

Congrats, Trina!!!

Trina won a free PDF copy of Odd Stuff, Book One in the Odd Stuff Series :)

So again, congrats go out to the lucky winner and thanks to everyone for entering!

I'll have another contest soon... details to come.

For now, off to play with my nephew.

Review of Marked Series

So, I listen to audiobooks on the way back and forth to work. Usually if I pick up part of a series, I will try to find another book of the series, if I can, whenever.

A few authors get my loyalty and have me running to the bookstore or eseller to pick up the next book after then next of their series. Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Robin McKinley... it doesn't matter what they write, I pick it up because I know it is good stuff.

So when I started hearing through websites, friends and through my loops, I was leery...For one, I have to admit although I had read all of the Stephanie Meyer books, I was frustrated with them. And they had gotten the kind of hype I was hearing about Marked.

I was so leery, I didn't fork out the money for Marked the first book of the series. I borrowed it from the Ohio Ebook project, an online library.

That was all it took.

Zoey Redbird is an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. That is until she is Marked to make the Change to Vampyre. Now she has to fight everything from those she trusts to the very powers of darkness. Not really a problem when she is given the power to control all four elements. Now, if she can get her boy issues under control, life is good.

Lines like, "I can't save the world. I'm seventeen! I can't even parallel park."
and, "His kiss was a gentle question mark and I answered it with an enthusiastic exclamation mark of my own," will leave the reader smiling. Zoey is charmingly seventeen however wise and likable. Her moral fiber, unlike another recent YA heroine, is in excellent condition. Now, that's not to say Zoey doesn't ever make bad choices but she tries, honestly tries to do the right thing for not just herself but for the people she cares about. She, unlike that other heroine, has lots of people (and I mean lots) that she could be dating or sleeping with but (unlike that other one who spent a large portion of three books trying to get in his pants) she tries to control her desires even though they are rooted in her bloodlust.

Neat stuff. Creative plotting. Clever dialogue.

Really, the series has it all.

I am eating through the series like a fat kid in a candy store with a handful of giftcards. I am currently on Hunted, the fifth book of the series and am close to the end. Soon I will jump to book six. My kids are trailing behind me, all of them on book one.

The series goes as follows:
House of Night

1. Marked, 2. Betrayed, 3. Chosen, 4. Untamed, 5. Hunted, 6. Tempted, 7. Burned, 8. Awakened

I admit I have cheated and read the blurbs of the remaining books. I have a feeling that really sad things are a comin' for Zoey and her pals.

But you can buy the books and merchandise at the authors' website here.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sneak Peek WIP Odd Christmas

I am currently working on the short story that happens in between Siren's Song, Book Two of the Odd Stuff Series and Odd Fate, Book Three.

The third book, or short as the case may be, is the actual Christmas at the Odd Stuff store but of course not even Christmas is normal when Janie is involved.

Here is a sneak peek at what is on my desk right now:

Odd Christmas

By Virginia Nelson, 2010

The brass bell lay in the snow and pool of blood looking defeated. The blood had melted the snow. As it cooled, and was freezing, it had left a red sheen on the bells handle. For some reason, I wasn’t able to get past the bell.

I know bell ringers are annoying. The free dose of guilt as you entered just about every shopping center was a sure sign the holidays were underway. It was one of those things like the lights and the music that, by now, just before Christmas, had been jammed down your throat long enough that it was beginning to grate on the nerves.

Not that I thought it made killing off the charity-seeking-Santa’s reasonable. Or that it was a valid motive. But I wasn’t able to take my eyes off that bell.

A hand touched my arm and my eyes lifted to meet those of Shawna Peirson, FBI agent, and my boss for the past few months. Her smooth mahogany face was marred by a line of stress between her eyes.

“I can’t believe someone would do this to Santa.”

My eyes went back to the blood bell. Yup. It was pretty wrong. Someone had been murdering Santa’s. The thing was… the someone had very little feet.

And this last murder had witnesses. Someone had seen Santa attacked by a pack of elves.

Yes, I said elves.

That was when I got called in. My name is Janie Smith and I am the last siren.