Monday, September 25, 2006


One Week Left!

One week left to Buy a Friend a Book Week!, and that means that this week is your last chance to enter the West of Mars Buy a Groupie a Book Contest (if that link doesn't work, check out the first post in the August archives).

What are you waiting for? Enter today! I've got good books to share!

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Saturday, September 23, 2006


Fiction Outtake: Flags (the early days)

It was one of those autumn days that made everyone love being in Riverview, even Trevor. The air was so clear, it seemed every vein in every leaf stood out and could be seen from miles away. It was the sort of day when you believed that nothing bad could happen and when you spent the day laying down by the river with your best friend and daydreaming, nothing bad could happen.

"A flag," Trevor said, his head nestled comfortably in his hands, his feet crossed at the ankle. A cigarette clung to his lip, comfortably, like being with the idiot felt.

"What the fuck?" Mitchell asked, pulling his one ankle underneath his opposite leg. Fucker could sit like that for hours, all knotted up, especially if he had a guitar with him. Which he didn't; too afraid of dropping it in the river and watching it get swept to God-knew-where.

"A flag," he repeated. "A ShapeShifter flag. For our fans to pledge their love and shit to. You know… one nation, all for one, buy even our shitty records and defend them to the fans who can think… a flag."

Mitchell eyed him. Trevor shrugged and uncrossed one arm, peeling his cigarette off his lip. "A flag?" the big idiot repeated. "Why not something easier, like t-shirts? I bet they cost less to make and we'd sell more."

At that, Trevor had to sit up. "I'm not talking of something for them. This is about us."

"It's all about us," Mitchell reminded him, reaching for Trevor's cigarette.

Trevor pulled it away. "Get your own, fucker."

"I'm out."

Trev grinned. "What? Spend all your allowance money again?"

"No," Mitchell answered in the same taunting voice that Trevor had just used. "That girl last night ripped my last pack off and I haven't had time to get more."

Trevor nodded. "You have lousy taste in girls."

"I bet she'd stand naked under that flag of yours."

"Okay, not so lousy." He handed the cigarette over. "But a flag." He let his eyes unfocus. "United Fans of ShapeShifter. I like it."

"You're a dork," Mitchell said.

Trevor glanced at him, unsurprised to see the wheels in the idiot's own brain turning.

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Friday, September 22, 2006


Ignore this post!

We're doing another historical swap over at Book Relay, and since I'm headed to bed, here are my moves, should they be needed:

Steal: The Italian Secretary
Steal: Brigid's Charge

Don't worry if anything gets revealed between now and a move I might need to make. I'll deal with it later.

Happy swapping. And the rest of you... more fiction to come from me, as always.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Susan Says: Trevor's Song update

Just taking two seconds here as the printer runs to say that I've finished this draft of Trevor's Song and am mailing it out to one of my readers tomorrow, assuming I've got an envelope big enough for it. I cut a bunch of chapters and still managed to add 7,000 words, give or take.

Let's see what she says, but if she gives me the go-ahead, we'll be hitting the market again.

Not that there's any pressure on her. *wink*

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Friday, September 15, 2006


One of Trevor's Favorite Comebacks

Trevor usually walks into a meet-and-greet to hear something along the lines of, "Oh my God, it's Trevor Wolff! He came!"

To which he always smiles lazily, licks his lips, and wishes he could smoke here, just so he could dramatically put it out. And then he says, "Wouldn't you rather if we came together?"

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Thursday, September 14, 2006


Two more great reads

While you're waiting for me to finish revising Trevor's Song, market it, find it a publisher, and get it on the shelves, here are two more goodies for you, in order.

First is Sleep Toward Heaven, by Amanda Eyre Ward. One of the best, most powerful and moving books I've read in a VERY long time.

Next up is A Certain Slant of Light, by Cynthia Thayer.

Check 'em out. Let me know when you agree that yeah, these books ARE worth the delays until Trevor is in your hands. And as always, if you'd like to buy them, I suggest checking BookSense for an independent bookseller near you.

Happy reading! I'm off to ... *sigh* edit.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Jock La Feet --Byline: Chelle La Fleur

New Orleans club fixtures Jock La Feet played The Ninth Street Dive tonight to a packed house. Nothing new there; Jock La Feet is a band that, with a better name, oughta be out there on a bigger scale, sorta like Rat Catcher. I may have only been around this scene for a few short months and may have spent zero time on the far side of the levees, but I gotta tell you, if you don't think that Jock La Feet can compete nationally, you haven't heard Jock La Feet. Which makes me wonder if you're realy dumb enough to think you can read this review and feel like you were there.

After a write-up like that, what I got to say next will make you wonder. And that's 'cause at their record release party last night, Jock La Feet got showed up by this little band from somewhere West of the Mississippi, four dudes who rolled into town in their lead singer's dad's Ford Bronco, with the equally bad name of ShapeShifter and an even worse gimmick, where each band member identifies with an animal.

It's their music that makes these four guys -- two who seem to like their leather pants a little bit too much (was that dinner on them?), and two who seem even more bland than that -- stand out. Nothing could have made New Orleans ready for this band, and as you know, this is a city that's seen and weathered an awful lot.

Opening with "Take the Stage," ShapeShifter erupts with speed and sound, sort of like a meteor if it was racing toward the planet, bound and determined to make contact. And like flying space junk, you can't get away. Believe me, there were a few in the packed club who were dumb enough to try.

From that -- again, horribly titled -- song, ShapeShifter delivered a half-hour's worth of music, almost ten songs in all, and all available on the band's first record. Which, no surprise, they were selling out of the back of Daddy's Ford Bronco until the cops tried to arrest them for not having a permit. (They escaped by skipping town.)

I'm telling you here and now, this is a band you're gonna wanna watch. They got a lot of growing to do before they're half the band that Jock La Feet is, which means they have a ways yet before they're ready to tour like this again. Doesn't matter, though, 'cause they blew Jock and the boys two parishes over.

Remember the name: Chelle La Fleur. I told you here, and I told you first.

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Thursday, September 07, 2006


Fiction Outtake: Smoke Break

Trevor almost ran smack into Val when she stopped in the doorway. "But … it's raining," she pouted.

Trevor sighed and itched for the smoke they were heading outside for. Val was always pouting anymore. He wondered how Daniel could put up with her. He wanted to know why Daniel put up with her.

"So?" he asked, raising his eyebrows like he was expecting the back of her head to see his imitation of her own perfect bored-by-the-drama-queen airs. "You're hardly about to melt," he sneered, shaking his head and itching even harder for that cigarette.

"Says you," she shot back, not looking at him. That didn't surprise Trevor in the least. He knew he was an ugly motherfucker. He didn't blame Val for not looking. Shit, he went for days without looking. Good thing his beard grew in so fucking slow, or he'd have to do it more often. Look that was, not blame Val. Trevor Wolff did not blame others for his own issues. Not that being ugly was an issue; issues, you could fix somehow. Ugly, you were just stuck with.

"Yeah, well, look at it this way," he said, changing his stance to a more comfortable once since he had the feeling they wouldn't be going anywhere so fast. "The Wicked Witch of the West is the only person we've ever known who's melted, right?"

"Right," Val said warily, turning her entire body sideways, but letting her head turn to look at him.

Trevor was half-surprised that she didn't shudder. But then again, this was Val. She'd been around with Daniel since the drummer had joined the band. That meant she'd had a whole year now to get used to his face.

"And you're in that snobby-assed chef's school," he continued as conversationally as he could. The itch for the smoke gnawed at him; he told it to take a hike.

"So?" She arched her perfectly-plucked eyebrows at him.

"Wicked Witches can't cook. It's part of the job description." He took a deep breath and plowed on. Anything if it'd get her out the door so he could get his fucking smoke already… "I mean, they can cook gruel and brussels sprouts and beets and shit like that that nobody likes. But anything that'd get them into snobby-assed chef's schools?" He shook his head as slowly and dramatically as he could, making himself count to five as his head moved from one end of its arc to the other.

"You're not going to melt," he told her again, wishing she'd listen and go outside already. He needed that smoke and here was Val, plugging up the door and stopping him from getting his nicotine high. Bitch.

Yeah, I guess you're right," she said and took that first step into the drizzle.

Behind him, Mitchell came up and gave him a companionable slap to the back of the head.

"What was that for?" Trevor asked, giving him a reproachful look. He hadn't needed it. Hadn't particularly wanted it, either.

"One good deed deserves another," Mitchell said with a shrug, reaching for his own cigarettes as he followed Val outside and left Trevor standing there, gaping.

Don't forget about the Buy a Friend a Book Week contest! View it here or the extended version here!

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Sunday, September 03, 2006


Susan's Inside Writing: Good riddance!

Two paragraphs I just cut out of Trevor... can YOU tell why I did it?

She was dying to fall into bed with Mitchell and screw him crazy. She hadn't believed him when he'd said that it would feel like they'd been gone forever, especially because she'd actually been looking forward to a little bit of space while he was gone. She'd expected to just fall back into her life, the one she'd had before she'd met some shy musician type -- so she'd thought -- in the produce section of the grocery store.

But some of her friends had gotten weirded out by the fact that she was dating Mitchell Voss. An ambitious few had tried to shove their art under his nose and get themselves on the radar the easy way; Mitchell had been as gracious as anyone could be under those circumstances, but those friends had scrammed as soon as he'd given them the polite brush-off. And then there was the subset who were jealous of Kerri's good fortune at finding herself a gravy train. "You'll never have to pick up a brush again!" one of them had been dumb enough to say. As if she could ever put it down in the first place.

Yeah, it made ME groan, too, and I'm the one who wrote it. This is why they say writing is a craft, folks...

But reading isn't, and if you'd like something free to read, check out the contest I'm hosting (just scroll on down for both my contest and the list of others). Yes, I'm asking you to write something, but I'm not judging you on the quality of the writing (I can't! Not when I have to edit out drek like what's above!), but on the content. Go for it; you never know when my LD will flare up and I'll forget how to count to seven.

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Saturday, September 02, 2006


Upping the BAFAB ante!

The good folks at Front Street Reviews are joining me and bringing you yet another chance to be a friend for whom a book is bought!

Check out my original contest and then head on over to Front Street for even more Buy A Friend a Book Week fun!

And if you haven't had enough of THAT, be sure to check out the other BAFAB participants, listed down at the bottom of this page of my blog. There's some fun stuff taking shape, all to entice YOU to buy a friend a book.

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A somber moment

I just wanted to take a minute and wish condolences to Judy O'Connor and her family on the passing of Pittsburgh Mayor Bob O'Connor. I'm the rare Pittsburgher without ties to the Mayor, but that doesn't mean I'm not sad for losing him, especially when he'd gotten off to such a great start with moving this city forward.

I hope that everyone in the city will support new Mayor Ravenstahl (and I hope I spelled that right) the same way they supported Mayor O'Connor. Ravenstahl may be young, but that doesn't mean he can't get the job done. Let's give him a chance.