Thursday, March 29, 2007

Zombie Romance

Already done:

Source: IMDB :From the land that spawned probably the most zombie films to this date, ranging in quality from excellent to exremely dull, comes one film that rises above nearly all the rest. DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE (aka CEMETERY MAN) is that film, and if you haven't seen it yet, you are seriously missing out. The story is about lonely cemetery attendant Francesco (Rupert Everett (!?) in one of his very early roles)and his mute, Igor-like assistant Gnaghi. Every seven days, the dead rise from their graves (for no real apparent reason...) and it is Francesco and Gnaghi's job to dispatch them. The 2 live a pretty solitary existence until a mysterious woman comes along and into Francesco's life. Cut to the chase- Francesco and the woman have sex on her newly buried husband's grave, and when he returns from the dead, everything goes haywire from there...

DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE is several films rolled into one...zombie gore film, dark comedy, romance story - similar in some ways to perhaps DEADALIVE (not nearly as silly or gory), but this is a hard film to make a comparison on. It really is it's own unique experience and should definitely be viewed by anyone into horror/zombie films. Again, one of my all-time zombie favorites...Highly Recommended 9/10

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Small smile today

It sounds silly, but I get a thrill when I receive an e-mail from someone who wants me to 'professionally rewrite' their text. Even better when I dig into the details, Google their credentials, and discover that it's a genuine, interesting project.

This is what it's all about.

: )

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Finite vs Infinite

I seem to be struggling with the concept that there really only are so many hours in the day, and only so many hours in which a person can do the same thing. I ended up on writing strike Saturday, opting to clean the fish tank for 3 hours. The tank is depressing and dank when dirty, and truly beautiful and a pleasure to look at when it's clean and sparkling.

Then we had the winner of the Alex contest over for dinner. E and I ended up drinking quite a bit of Rioja and ice wine and staying up too late considering we were doing a 10K race Sunday morning. DOH. The race went well, especially considering the alcohol loading and sleep deprivation the night before. E finished in 44 min, I finished in 1h04, which is faster than my 10K time at the end of last year - bodes well for breaking the 1h barrier this year.

In writing news, I'm a bit overextended right now, and mildly frazzled. Compound that with trying desperately to find tax deductions for '06, preparing for this weekend's novel writing conference and trying to find time to visit ksl and the gang, and I feel like I need 3 of me to keep going. I'm sure it will all magically work itself out.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Don't Tell my Visor I'm Blogging

Of all the things I expected to struggle with in my freelancing career, time management wasn't one of them. I have ALWAYS been able to get more done than was expected of me at any job, and I figured I'd keep using the same system to get things done in my home office.

No can do.

No, I do not sleep in or watch soaps. I am showered and at my desk by 8 a.m. every morning. The only time I ever watched t.v. during the day was after I had root canal. I am putting in the hours, but the blocks of time are disappearing and I'm not 100% happy with the net results. I do run 'home' errands during the day: grocery shopping, laundry, post office, etc. and I work out during the day about twice per week. I do this because it takes up much less time during the day and is overall more efficient. Still, I need to be aware of those hours and plan for those hours.

The plan was to do freelance work when that work was available and to do book work when there was no freelance work available. Excellent plan, except for the fact that I PANIC if I go for a week without anyone calling me. I can't relax and take advantage of the downtime to work on my book. Instead, I scramble making phone calls, working on promotional post cards, putting in 'face time' at various client offices. Invariably the following week I'll be inundated with calls, but still the next time famine hits I re-panic.

Time for some serious time management. One of the members of a networking group I belong to (see panic above) is a professional organizer. He came in to my home office and helped me set it up so I can function more efficiently. He is pro-Covey, but he didn't insist on that system - he allowed me to dust off the Handspring Visor my mother (way more technologically advanced than I am!) gave me years ago and start using it to plan my time according to my goals. In the first week of following his system I managed to carve out 5 hours of book time. I slept better, felt less anxiety and was 100% happier about my day. This week I fell off the wagon a little - I kept moving my 'book' time. Still, I have hope for this process. Seeing my time blocks spelled out is making a huge difference. If I want to blog more often, I need to schedule some time to do it. Simple as that.

Having the entire day available to self-manage in order to meet monetary and personal goals is an incredible opportunity, but also an incredible responsibility. There is no corporation to blame for wasting your time. If my time gets wasted, the spotlight of blame goes on me and I don't like it.

Uh-oh - I am 12 minutes into my next time block. Maybe I should rig the Visor to a stun gun and shock myself every time I'm working on the wrong thing...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Confessions of a Bookaholic

I waited in line from 6:30 p.m. until 8:15 p.m. last night so that Sophie Kinsella could sign my copies of Can You Keep a Secret? and Undomestic Goddess. Chapters was pushing for sales of Shopaholic & Baby, but I stopped reading Shopaholic after the &Sister book.

Since the lineup was so insane, SK didn't have time to do any kind of talk, which was a bit disappointing. I think I would have rather heard her say something than get my books signed. Standing in line wasn't all bad, though. Chick lit fans central! The consensus was that the Shopaholic & Sister book was an aberration - no one is sure what she was thinking with that one.

For me the whole experience was motivating -- like meeting someone who just climbed Everest when your goal is to climb Everest. Not sure it's necessary to have that person sign your crmpons though...

Where was E during all of this? Chatting about chick lit while waiting in line of course.
Or he was taking a martial arts class from Peter the florist/martial arts instructor. Leave it to E to find a florist who also sells martial arts weapons and gives classes. Peter has the whole relationship covered: the early days - flowers galore, then post-living together when both people start stockpiling weapons he really makes a profit.

So I am inspired and motivated from meeting the Shopaholic creator. She actually seemed human - no special writer headgear or wiring. I need to get a picture of the event and PhotoShop my head on her body sitting next to a table of books. I also need to not lounge around reading Undomestic Goddess, but focus on writing my friggin book. Hopefully Sophie Kinsella will soon be putting off writing Shopaholic on Vacation because she's lounging around reading my book.

: )

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Go Alex!

Here he is. Hopefully he is training other squirrels to do the same.

Exploiting E

He has no problem with it. In fact, he almost seemed to have fun with it.

Unfortunately, the E/Zombie fans are not really my target chick lit women's fiction audience. Unless... A zombie romance? Paranormal romance is huge right now, but vampires are on the verge of being overdone. Hmm zombie romance... zombie romance... all I can come up with is a scenario where all the guys turn into zombies and the chicks don't even notice. Not enough there for a plot. Must work on it.

I like Mac's rant on the "powerful woman" myth. I didn't realize the extent of the Ripley effect until I read this:

"A little bit of history for you: The "powerful woman" myth was born in pop culture in 1986, in the persona of Ellen Ripley. I make that 21 years. Our species has stood in it's present form for roughly 35,000 years. (NOT counting Neanderthal, and Cro Magnon before that) So I make this out to be .06% of the time. For the remaining 99.94% of our existence, men have been taking care of business just fine.

Mysteriously, up until the night before "Aliens" made it's theatrical debut in 1986 women still seemed to trip and fall while fleeing monsters, or zombies. However, the next morning, the myth of the strong female character was born, and they were able singly-handedly defeat a colony of horrible aliens, while men cowered, and whimpered in corners. (Hey, what's that whirring sound? Sounds like...Charles Darwin, spinning in his grave!)

Naw, dude... Chicks don't think about how to defend the homestead against zombies. They're still too busy gathering."

For the record, I receive TONS of zombie-related e-mail. There must be a reason... zombie romance... zombie romance....

Friday, March 02, 2007

Fecalmatter wins!

Winning entry:
Squirrels are like water, they'll take the path of least resistance. I would have created a corridor of obstacles leading to the nearest exit to the outdoors, opened the outside door, then the fireplace door.

Mac almost won, which is scary, considering his psychotic rant about Alex causing a nuclear holocaust.

Plan A was for E to throw a pillowcase over Alex, grab him and chuck him out the front door. When E opened the fireplace door, Alex jumped up onto an interior ledge in the fireplace, forcing us to move on to plan B.

Plan B (which was the backup plan in case plan A went haywire): set up barricades using old political posters on corrugated cardboard (good to know they have some use), making a path straight from the fireplace to the front door.

So, E got behind the barricade, opened the fireplace door and used a fireplace poker to 'encourage' Alex to get off the ledge and out of the fireplace.

This is when Plan B almost went to plan C - Mayhem:
Alex ran out of the fireplace and jumped on top of the fireplace poker stand, preparing to leap up on to the mantle or on my head. Luckily, E grabbed a long box of matches from the mantle and used it to 'encourage' Alex to jump off the poker stand, into the barricaded hallway and out the door. Alex bolted outside and so far hasn't caused nuclear meltdown, but might have been run over by a car within minutes.

I prefer to think that I saw him hopping along the back fence, happily looking for birdseed in the feeder.

Thanks to everyone for participating.

Fecalmatter, I'll be contacting you to arrange a time to award you your prize.