Inside me, there’s a thin woman trying to get out. But I can usually shut the cow up with chocolate

Inside me, there’s a thin woman trying to get out. But I can usually shut the cow up with chocolate

There nine subjects below. Respond to whatever interests you and ignore the rest.



Remember the Millenia Black/Penguin Books brouhaha? For those who don’t, Black, author of the self-published title, The Great Pretender, filed a civil rights lawsuit against Penguin Group U.S.A, a major book publisher. According to Black, after the publisher bought the rights to her self-published novel, they demanded she change her race-neutral characters into black characters because she, the author, was black. However, the public didn’t get to hear the case specifics because Black settled out of court, and one of the key stipulations was that she couldn’t discuss the details. IOW, she was gagged.

But her father wasn’t.

Timothy Aldred (Black’s dad) has penned a 60-page paperback book published by CreateSpace detailing his observations of what took place. Needless to say, I’ve been curious about Black’s ordeal even before she filed the lawsuit, so I’m definitely getting a copy of Aldred’s book.

Here’s an excerpt:

“My daughter first self-published THE GREAT PRETENDER (TGP) in 2002 with a race-neutral cover. There were no racial depictions on the cover at all. She did not even put her photo on the book. While it was still self-published she got dozens of emails from foreign publishers and movie people in Hollywood, wanting to know if the rights were available. (All of this was solid, documented evidence in her case.) It wasn’t picked up for a movie, but it did get picked up by some of the foreign publishers: Polish, Turkish, and Czech. Remember: this was a remarkable achievement for a self-published novel by an unknown author. Once Penguin Group U.S.A. acquired it back in 2004 and essentially black-washed it, there were no further foreign language sales, and no more movie inquiries. None. Now, how do you think this would have looked to a jury in court?”

You can get a copy on Amazon.



Nathan Bransford poses the most interesting questions. This week he asked, if you could live in the world of ONE novel, what would it be? Well, I’d like to take it one step further.

1. If you could live in the world of any novel YOU’VE written what would it be?

My current WIP. The hero is to die for. Literally.

2. If you could live in the world of any novel written by another writer, what would it be?

If you’d have asked me as a kid, I would’ve answered, Alice In Wonderland. Now I realize that would be akin to Hell for me at this point in my life. I think I’d have to chose Bid Time Return, by Richard Matheson.

3. If you could live in the world of any movie, what would it be?

Lost In Austen.



To the spammer who keeps sending me 50 emails a day asking if I want a bigger p*nis:

The answer is a resounding NO.

According to my darling husband, my p*nis is big enough already, but thanks for asking.



Each decade has a definite theme in publishing and film. You know how certain subject matters spring up and eventually get beaten to death? Witness the grave robbing in both publishing and cinema. Book-wise, we’ve got a never ending cascade of mashups and supernatural critters. On film, we’ve been inundated with all things 3D and an unending barrage of REBOOTS, REMAKES and REIMAGININGS.  :yawn:

Well, this is what’s going on in 2010. But what about other decades … like, say the 1970s? As a kid back then, I can remember two prevailing themes. 1. Cancer tearjerkers and 2. Slavery movies.  That’s all I remember about the decade. Oh, and disco, but that’s a whole ‘nother post.

First off, Alex Haley’s bestseller, Roots: The Saga of an American Family was made into a critically-acclaimed mini-series. This was followed by: Roots: The Next Generations and a followup mini-series in 1993 called Queen.  I enjoyed Haley’s first book and the movies that followed.  Other slavery-themed films of the 70s include Ashanti, Quadroon, Buck And The Preacher, and A Woman Called Moses. Of this last list, I’ve only seen the latter and it was good.  However, I recently rented Mandingo and couldn’t stop laughing.  It was THAT bad.  Slave porn is about the best way to describe that hot mess.  IOW, it didn’t age well. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s the WONDERFUL  Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines, which was also made into an EXCELLENT movie. Cicily Tyson won an Emmy for the title role. They’ve got the whole movie on YouTube if you haven’t seen it. Here’s part one if you’re interested.

Anyway, the other 70’s obsession in film and publication was The BIG C.  Cancer.  EVERYBODY seemed to have it. Books and movies with terminal characters came out of the woodwork.  There was (novel and movie) A Shining Season, and the movies Babe, Death Be Not Proud, Echoes of a Summer, First You Cry, Griffin and Phoenix: A Love Story, Promises in the Dark, The End, The River Niger and Message to My Daughter.

Some of them were really bad, but some were very good.   Most notably, Love Story by Erich Segal.  It was a national bestseller that was made into a blockbuster movie starring Ryan O’Neil and Ali MacGraw. Once Segal’s book took off, the formula was set. Guy and girl fall in love, girl gets cancer.  Two movies followed in this vein. One was called She Lives!. You won’t be able to find it anywhere because it disappeared off the face of the earth.  It starred Season Hubley and Desi Arnaz Jr. Interestingly, Jim Croce’s song, Time In A Bottle was part of the movie soundtrack and he died in a plane crash 8 days after the film aired. As for the movie plot, if memory serves me correctly, the ‘SHE LIVES‘ title telegraphs the outcome. Yeah, she lived, but the heroine in Sunshine starring Cristina Raines and Cliff De Young wasn’t as fortunate. Out of all the Big C movies, I think Sunshine is my all time favorite.

I managed to get a copy of the book off Amazon, but the movie isn’t even in print anymore.  Fortunately, a friend of mine managed to make a copy from an old VHS tape.  The film was based on a true story, taken from the journals of the late Jacquelyn Helton, who, upon learning she had terminal bone cancer, began keeping a diary for her then baby girl to read once she grew up. Author Norma Klein compiled the journal into a book titled, Sunshine, the movie’s namesake.  Here’s a movie clip from Youtube. Sorry, but the quality sucks, yet it’s one of my favorite scenes. It’s where Sam (the hero) tells the heroine that her divorce came through from her estranged husband. She’s in the hospital getting chemo and he proposes to her while playing the guitar and singing one of John Denver’s songs. Incidentally, Denver’s songs are part of the movie soundtrack.

What decade in your life stands out for you theme-wise? What do you most remember reading about and seeing on television?



1. If you are a smoker and you are selling (books, magazines, movies … etc) things online, or just mailing anything to other people, recognize that the odor clings to everything in your house, and WILL survive the trip in the mail. SOLUTION: Air your stuff out before its mailed. Your customer/friends will thank you.
2. If you live in the house with one or more people, DO NOT drink from the milk/orange juice/soda container. It’s nasty to do so.
3. If you’re a guy and you live with a woman, your aim isn’t always perfect, so put the seat up before you make number 1. Once you’re done, remember to put the seat back DOWN!
4. Speaking of toilets, if you see the paper is running low or BONE-BARE after you’ve gone potty, put another roll in the bathroom!
5. Don’t let the trash get to the point where you can’t close the bag. CHANGE IT!
6. If you’re a mom with small children, please exit the theater when the baby starts crying. Notice I didn’t say, leave the baby at home because I know how it is when you need to go out but can’t find a sitter. But you ladies who refuse to get up and let everyone else watch the movie in peace need to be arrested. It’s just rude.
7. And another thing about movies, can you people who like to wear hats remember to leave them at home? While you’re at it, turn the cellphones off too.
8. Regarding cellphones, please keep in mind that when you’re out in public, people DO NOT want to hear your entire conversation.

What are your pet peeves?



Here’s Nicole Scherzinger (lead singer, Pussy Cat Dolls) & professional dancer/cutie, Derek Hough doing the Argentine Tango on this week’s Dancing With The Stars. This is the best Argentine Tango I’ve ever seen.



More veggie porn….



Mia Taylor has an interesting post up titled The Ten Most Eccentric Artists Ever To Live. Here’s a few interesting excerpts:

1. Michelangelo “Notoriously foul-tempered, many a story abounds of his screaming at statues and slamming at their appendages in agony and ecstasy as if hoping for a response.”
3. Vincent van Gogh — Van Gogh at one point even stuck his hand in a flaming lamp when hoping with painful earnestness to see a woman he loved who had rejected his proposal of marriage. …. [Another time, he] took a razor blade to the lower left-hand lobe and handed the bit of flesh to a prostitute. After the incident, van Gogh ended up hospitalized again…”
7. Salvador Dalí — ” …. He would frequently refer to himself in the third person during interviews and even kept the pens of anyone who asked for an autograph. At one point he overtly praised genocidal Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, sending telegrams to compliment his death warrants and even painting a portrait of his granddaughter – however, nobody to this day knows if his intentions were earnest or entirely satirical as a means of sending an ironic statement.”

Do you know any strange or unusual facts about famous people of the past or present that you can share?



According to a recent press release, B and N will launch a digital publishing and distribution entity geared towards Independent Publishers and Self-Published Authors. Theresa Horner, director of Digital Products, said the following:

“As a company that has achieved much of its success by building mutually beneficial relationships with publishers and authors, Barnes & Noble’s new PubIt! service represents an exciting evolution and significant opportunity in the digital content arena … Barnes & Noble is uniquely positioned to support writers and publishers and bring their exciting digital works to the broadest audience of readers anywhere.”

Click HERE for more info.