Falling in Love… With Birds

A few months ago, my husband and I were watching The Big Year. It has Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson (some of my favorite comedic actors) as three birders trying for a "big year", which is when birders try to see as many birds as they can between midnight January 1st and midnight December 31. Although these three comedians didn't exactly have HUGE comedic moments in the movie, we totally loved it. So a few weeks later, we were at the Tucson Festival of Books and stopped by the Audobon Read more [...]

The Actor’s Studio

Okay, who else here watches The Actor's Studio with James Lipton? Is it not the best? The actors are obviously a very different beast from writers, but I often find things in common with process there and it's entertaining as hell. My favorite part is always the end with Lipton asks his guest the ten questions made famous by French talk show host Bernard Pivot. I thought it would be fun to answer them, so here they are: What is your favorite word? Illuminate. What is your least favorite word? Read more [...]

Off to Warmer Waters

Christian Lambert Photography / Foter.com / CC BY-NDBy the time you read this, I will be on a plane to Miami so we can head out for our cruise tomorrow. Please cross your fingers that we don't: A)lose power B)float out to sea to be eaten by gulls C) have a zombie attack on board Assuming none of these tragedies befall us, I will be back live with pictures in a week or so. Until then, there are blogs scheduled Monday, Wednesday and Friday of next week. They will just be posted by robots. Also, Read more [...]

Comedy in Fiction

So I'm a bit of a multiple personality. Sybil might be my next pen name. I write dark, erotic historical romance as Jess Michaels... not funny. But in 2009, I had an idea for a different kind of story. With zombies. And it ended up being hilarious. But I also felt like the humor in Married With Zombies served a purpose beyond entertaining myself. Why? First, humor brings reality to a story. Most of us are not entirely angst-driven. We crack jokes, often inappropriate jokes, in our darkest moments. Read more [...]

Move Or Die: Changes in Publishing

publicenergy / Foter.com / CC BY-NC Did you know that there are certain breeds of cattle who will sit down when frightened or confused and just lay there until they die? Seriously, they will not listen to their internal cow voice that says, "shit, I better get up and eat or something". People are supposed to be smarter, I guess, but sometimes I wonder. We are so freaked out by change in our lives that I think some of us do that cow thing and just lay down and wait for something, someone to save Read more [...]

Happy Birthday to My Hero!

I met my husband in high school. We were in Debate Club together, we were even briefly debate partners. But mostly we were friends and then, suddenly, we were more than friends. We married in college, when we were both just twenty. In retrospect, far too young... except that it worked. We've been married for 16 years and honestly, he's totally my best friend. If you ever set up appearances or blog stuff with me, you'll talk to him. He signed on to be my assistant, so you'll see how nice he is. Read more [...]

My Relay For Life Raffle

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may know that in November 2012, I agreed to be the Event Chair for Oro Valley Relay For Life in Arizona. Relay is the main fundraiser for American Cancer Society and funds raised through it help provide 100% free programs for cancer patients and their families, as well as fund Cancer research all over the world. It's a great organization and I'm very proud to be a part of it. But with my Event Chairing, also comes fundraising (as I'm also a walker for Read more [...]

Tarantino Top to Bottom

There are a lot of screenwriters and directors who I have so much respect for. A good movie can just drag you through emotion and I'm a big "rewatcher" (there are movies in our collection that I've seen dozens of times). Now I realized Quentin Tarantino can be a somewhat polarizing figure as a director. He's very eccentric in interviews, his movies are ultra-violent and some people I guess just don't like him. But I adore Tarantino. I love his balance of humor and violence, I love the voice of Read more [...]

My Life as a High School Outsider (and YAY for that)

Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in Idaho in kind of the middle of nowhere. Kind of the middle of nowhere had a lot of advantages. It was really pretty, for one thing, with a beautiful mountain outside the window. But the girl did not fit in. Her geekitude was not appreciated. At. All. Okay, no more fairytales. It's a story I'm sure many of you can appreicate, as I'm sure many of you have the same start to your fairytale. I was an outcast for most of my growing up. I flitted from friend Read more [...]

Dear Future Me

Dear Future Me, So now that you are an old, old woman, New York Times Bestseller (right before they were bought out my that conglomerate of space aliens), wildly wealthy and successful, I thought I'd leave a letter for you to read. Or take in by osmosis or whatever it is we do now in the future. I'm sure it's awesome. Do we have hover cars? Because I feel like we've been waiting for that a long time. Anyway, sorry. I just really want to know about those hover cars. Write me back. You can do that, Read more [...]