Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Plants

EDIT: Guess what comes out tomorrow!!! www.dalyway.blogspot.com

I have two window boxes of pansies outside, three tomato plants and ten houseplants in front of the double living room window across from where I often sit and write. None are dead. I have to say, that’s a bloody miracle.

I have a black thumb—at least I did until recently. Every time I’ve gotten plants over the past twenty years or so, I’ve killed them. I’d try. I’d try really hard, but I’d kill them. Literally, it was “welcome to death row, muchacha.”

When I worked in student exchange, I did actually have a dieffenbachia that lived awhile but that was only because Bronwyn watered it when ever she came to visit. It was a gorgeous plant and it was the only thing that thrived in that office. When I left there, I brought it home with me.
It lasted a few years.

All other plants…RIP.

So you can see that it’s a miracle that these plants are alive—and thriving!—while I’m their sole caregiver. I swear, raising kids is easier than raising plants.

But somehow, I’ve managed to keep these alive for months—well, the inside ones anyway.
Maybe my black thumb is turning green again…

Friday, May 27, 2011

For Real???

My son and I had this giggle-worthy exchange last night...

A: Hey mom. Whatcha doin'? Are you going to sleep?
Me: No, I'm reading a book.
A comes closer and asks in shock: A paper book?!

Yes, a paper book. I actually buy quite a few eBooks from Harlequin but I still have a weakness for paper-bound Harlequin Presents. They're like like comfort food for my soul. While eBooks are storming the market (for which I'm thrilled), that moment, the bit of relaxation with paper in my hands, brought home that there will always be paper books, at least for a long time to come. Ereaders are awesome, but there are times that being able to hold a plain old-fashioned book just can't be beat.

Hey, I'm over at Writer's Evolution today discussing whether I'm in or out of the closet as a writer. Stop by!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Brynn Talks Back

I usually try not to be political (and not all of what I'm mentioning today, is political) but there are a few things I'm bringing up today that affect us all. Even though two are specifically Michigan and Kansas, they could affect you too.

So, in watching the news, I have a few things to say…

1. In local news, Michigan’s governor is planning, in bare terms, to take money from school, impose new taxes on retirees, and put more taxes on the poor.

I’ll save the foul language I have for this. My words for Governor Schneider… Take a step outside your mansion for a few weeks and get a whiff of real life. Michigan is a dying state (barely inches from death in fact) and you’re penalizing the people who can least afford it.

Furthermore, with people so poor, more souls than ever are purchasing lottery tickets. If that money is going to fund schools, why are you taking money away? Why are more programs than ever cut? Why can a kid have no hope of classes like shop, mechanical drawing, art and, in some cases, music? Why do kids have to pay to play sports—sports which are known to be factors in students having a well-rounded foundation and learning how to function well in grown-up life (as well as getting them out and away from video games and TV for a bit)???? So where is that money going?

2. Newt Gingrich… He bought $500,000 in jewels from Tiffany’s. As do many places, they gave him interest free financing.

He could afford it. He paid off his bills. News media, why are we making a state case over this?

Who cares!!!


If he can manage his money to be able to do that and still live in his budget, maybe he can do something about that revenue gobbling monster we call the deficit. Maybe you should stop attacking every viable presidential candidate that comes down the pike. Pretty soon, all we’ll have left is Cletus that Slack-jawed yokel—the only one who won’t care that you rake over his whole life.

Frankly, I’d be terrified to run for president. The Today Show would be airing my secret love letters to Joe C from 7th grade. Horrors! (NOTE: This isn’t a political endorsement)

3. Elizabeth Smart: You go girl!!! I'm so glad to see how she's healing and moving past this.

4. Arnold Schwarzenegger: The man had an affair. If my husband had an affair, it wouldn’t be newsworthy. It wouldn’t be fodder for the news for weeks. The world wouldn’t get every detail of three people’s very personal lives. And the world shouldn't be privy to it in nauseating minutia, no matter who the persons involved are. And today, though I was already disgusted, News Media, you've crossed the line. Harassing the teenage daughter of the mistress. Untenable.

Note: okay, it might be newsworthy if my husband had an affair, but not because of the affair if you get my meaning.

5. Attention ladies!!! Start carrying around your spare vaginas!!! You should be prepared for being raped.

The Kansas state legislature has voted to ban insurance companies from paying for abortions. Rep. Peter DeGraaf wants to ban it even those for pregnancies resulting from rape. Rep. Barbara Bollier called him on the issue. Shouldn’t women who’ve been raped have this option.

Rep. DeGraaf told her, “We do need to plan ahead, don’t we, in life.” Bollier replied, ““And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with pregnancy?” To which DeGraaf responded, “I have a spare tire on my car. I also have life insurance. I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for.”

WTF. I. Have. No. Words.

Well, not any I can post here.

And I’ll leave you with that horrific view.

Discuss? Thoughts?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Supernatural Season Six - The Year of Missed Opportunities

Let me preface by saying three things.

1. I am a huge Supernatural fan. It’s always been my favorite show.

2. I have watched every episode of seasons 1-5 several times.

3. Do not read further if you haven’t watched season six. Unapologetic spoilers throughout.

What can I say? I was really excited for this season. I had complete faith that the remaining team could keep it great. They didn’t. They failed. We were promised more monsters; more a show like season one. It didn’t happen.

The first couple episodes lacked life. It wasn’t until Dean was kicked back to the road that it at least got back some decent music. Little very little. If I’d watched only the first episodes and didn’t know the series, I never would have watched any more of it. They were that lifeless.

Truly, it was as if the actors and directors were working with the writers’ first draft outline. It was never fleshed out. Let’s dissect:

Lisa, Ben and Dean: Use Lisa and Ben or kill them, okay? Seriously, it was okay at the beginning, although I wanted Lisa to fall off a cliff about fifteen minutes into the first show. But then it was as if the two were just randomly tossed in to give Dean some personal tension. It was so widespread it was nothing but an über-convenient plot device. C’mon writers. Dean was a complex character before this. Whatever layer you were trying to add should have been peeled away quickly like a sunburn. Instead, you muffled his personality with unnecessary detritus.

That said about the early episodes, let me just say, that the beginning of the season was far better than the rest of the season. It showed great promise in some of the episodes I’ll mention below. But back to the suck…

Sam: Really? Pick a storyline for him. I hate the phrase “hot mess” but dude! There’s no other way to describe this. He’s hot and the rest was a mess! And the mysterious he’s been back a year and he’s changed stuff. A little less ambiguity and a little more detail please. Also, Jared Padalecki is a capable actor. He was failed with his constantly shifting story this year. Pick a trauma and let him go with it. He should have gotten his soul back earlier or not gotten it back until the end. Though…let me say I breathed a sigh of relief when he got it back because OMG Sam without his soul trashed the core relationships that held the show together.

The Campbell family: This was a place where use them or kill them didn’t apply. This was one of the opportunities. They could have been an awesome addition to the show. Instead they were all jerks and ended up killed off. Giving them some likability would have at least made it better when they were killed. And you really liked jerkface Grandpa? Really? Looking back, it’s as if the writers thought “oh this is a good idea then realized it was a monumental mistake.” One episode then death would have been okay. As much as they were given…FAIL.

The Djinn: They have a vendetta. Opportunity missed.

The Changelings and the Changeling children: Interesting. Lots of options. Opportunity missed.

God’s weapons being stolen: right…this was cool. Then dropped. This would have been an excellent story to follow. But no…the purgatory thing. The writers didn’t think hell for the past two years was enough?

And Purgatory, since I brought it up: If you’re going to make a big deal about it, at least use it for God’s sake. This was perhaps the most monumental fail. Monsters being released? Not so much. It was more singular and temporary. And the obtaining of souls? We didn’t even get to see it. It was more, “Oh yeah, I’m back. Guess what? I tricked you and now I have the souls. You suck. I’m God. Ptttttttb.”

Crowley: I love him. I love his character and other than being occasionally annoying, I mostly thought he was one of the only redeeming factors this year. EXCEPT…the writers tried to make him all über-evil in places. That’s not the character he was in season five and not how he was portrayed for most of six. He’s a slimy worm and dryly funny. His evil is amusing. Yes, he tortures monsters, but even his reason for that isn’t as dark as all that. But again, the writers waffled all over the place with him. Mark Sheppard is awesome in his element if the writers will let him have it, unfortunately, they seem to like the game keep away.

The Twilight episode: This was one I loved. It was good.

The Dragons: could have been great. Missed opportunity. I liked some of the episode, but the premise and follow-through was a fail. But then, it ended with the lame opening purgatory stuff. That whole line washed out everything.

The Goddess of Truth: Good episode.

The werewolf/family dog episode: Actually, that was one of my favorites. I cried.

The UFO/Fairy episode: Meh. It had some good parts, but it wasn’t great.

The Unforgiven Episode: Round two of Meh. Could have been better.

The One with the Mannequins: Creepy! This one was good. Classic Supernatural. Classic awesome!

And that demon Meg: Can she just stay in Hell already? Please?

Appointment in Samarra (which I like to call Death Takes a Holiday): Was another classic Supernatural episode. Definitely good and I love the character of the female reaper in that show. I’ve always enjoyed her episodes.

The Unforgiven episode: I would have forgiven the writers had they skipped it. (apparently, I really didn’t like this one since I mentioned it twice — another failed idea)

The TV Show episode: One of the BEST episodes of the season. It was good. While I don’t want all the shows to be funny, more of this caliber would have been great.

The Fate episode with Ellen and Bobby as a couple: Pretty good. I liked it. It was sad too. It would have been stronger though if the shows would have had a bigger connection this year.

And that’s where it all went awry. I should have stopped watching for the season at that point, but you know how it is where you keep hoping it will get better, that it will return to its former glory? That’s why I kept at it. I kept hoping. I wasn’t gripped by the show, just by the hope.

The episode with the introduction on the Mother of All was a fail. By itself, it could have been okay, but it was part of the underdeveloped purgatory story line. It wasn’t given enough attention and everything was shoved into a small little package. When you have a small space, things can get left out. There’s just no room. To me, it seemed the writers decided to do a story arc too late in the season then didn’t have the room for development. I keep saying that, but development is a big deal for me. I was further irritated by the anticlimactic end of the Mother of All line. BIG HUGE BUILD UP, then snap! Done.

The Wild West: This episode relied heavily on one-liners. By that point, the season had spun so far out of control that the quips came off cheesy. I laughed, but I wouldn’t call the show particularly good. And the phoenix thread? Completely missed opportunity. This would have been a great monster to go against for something other than fighting the Mother of All. Perhaps the writers were hoping to resurrect a story out of the ashes? I think by that point, the story arc didn’t have the will to live — and the back to the future nod at the end? Really cheesy. Super triple, deluxe cheesy.

Let’s forget the Mommie Dearest episode. It was mostly forgettable. Oh yeah, the Mother of All offing happened here, I guess. It was lame. The entire point of the episode was handled in one line “Crowley’s alive.” Save me an hour, okay? Have a demon spout it while the boys are fighting real monsters.

And here’s where Castiel’s story line picked up. Look, I love Misha Collins. He’s great. Whoever allowed this drek for him? Not so much. Castiel’s character, which has developed so nicely over the past two seasons, was utterly and systematically destroyed. There is no other way to put it. Castiel’s character was sometimes the best character in past shows. This year, the writers… The only word I have is “destroyed”. They destroyed all the good that had been made there.

And Cas aligning with a demon? Who thought of that? A first year intern who hasn’t watched the rest of the shows?

Which brings me to the finale. Let me say, when someone yells “what the hell” at the TV when a show ends, you want it to be because they’ve been left at an earth shattering cliffhanger. You don’t want it to be because of the utter suckage of the past 2 hours. The season finale brought home with a missile point the whole of the disjointedness that over arched the entire season. First off… If you’re going to do a 2 hour finale, do one show, not two back to back. Second, you might want to think about continuity, believability and answering a few questions.

Ben and Lisa…glad to see them go. Sam fighting his memories? Could we buy a few clues? Really? The whole dream world thing was confusing, neglected and again, a missed opportunity. His showing up to try to save the day? Convenient don’t you think? It was a lot like the eagles flying in at the end of the Lord of the Rings movies. What the heck?

And for all the expression the characters had in that episode, they could have phoned in the performances. I’m being harsh. I don’t hold the actors responsible. It was the scripting and development that failed.

My opinion of the ending is, well, I already said it. What the hell.

Season Six, Supernatural F minus minus minus.

Friday, May 20, 2011

More Cygnets

I'm blogging at Writer's Evolution today, but I took some new pics of cygnets yesterday. It was a rainy, dreary day, but the pics are clear.



Thursday, May 19, 2011

Brynn Celebrates Her Anniversary

Or “Brynn proves she’s a wine lightweight”

Yeah…lightweight. This week was my nineteenth anniversary and my wonderful husband and I went out for a few hours to celebrate on Monday. When I say wonderful, I’m not being sarcastic. He really is (most days) and as I’ve mentioned, he’s definitely the more romantic of our pairing.

So Monday night rolled around and I got ready for out date—it was a great day. It was also when I managed to write 7000 words on my manuscript. It had rained for days but not Monday, so he mowed the lawn while I ran out to get food for the kids.

I love having teenagers—most of the time. Today was one of them. The man and I were able to go for our date without worry for babysitters or much carnage from unattended children. Once he was ready, off we went…

Olive Garden. It’s one of my favorite places. Our waiter was Tyler A. At least that was his name at the beginning of the evening. My husband was sure his name was Steve and I was sure it was Dylan. Okay, right, we suck. Anyway, he comes over with the red wine he’s trying to sell and asks if we’d like to try it. No, I tell him, but we’ll sample the Chateau Ste. Michelle Reisling.

I’d like to point out that a sample wasn’t really necessary. It’s my favorite wine. I KNOW what it tastes like. That’s beside the point.

Tyler liked us so we got half glass samples. And then my husband decided we’d order some. A whole bottle of some. Did you know that Olive Garden will put a lovely wine bucket on your table? It’s cool. And the waiter will also keep filling your glass.

It doesn’t take much for my inhibitions to wane. He asks as he opens the bottle “do we save corks?” And I replied. “I’m not sure if we do. I don’t. Do you?”

He didn’t get it. Anyway, we ordered. I got my favs: Chicken Marsala, Garlic mashed potatoes, bread sticks and zuppa tuscana. My husband ordered something he’d never tried because he’s more adventurous than I am. I like to stick with what I know.

Dinner was lovely. Lots of inconsequential talk. Discussion of the cruise we’d like to take next year. Tyler filling my wine glass.

I was done halfway through my dinner. And Tyler asked if we were full. I told him “we” were taking the rest home because “we” were having dessert.

I have priorities.

I had the black tie cake thingy. I don’t know the actual name but it was sooooooo good. My husband and I also finished the wine. Please note this was a prolonged dinner. We were taking our time. About then, my head was feeling kinda swimmy. Look, I got a drink at Logan’s the other day and could only do half before I handed it to my husband. Me and alcohol…not fast friends.

Soooooo, we chat, we talk, Tyler (an excellent waiter) put the bill way over on the other side of the table. Quite the stretch. My husband and I had had some discussion over Tyler’s name. It wasn’t that we weren’t looking. His name tag was dark green with black print. I know he was Tyler from the bill. At least he was when we got the bill. When I paid and wrote in the tip, I changed his name to TYLER A+.

He did a good job.

He told us when we were leaving to ask for him when we came back again. Miss Lack of Inhibition said, “We will. Is your name really Tyler A plus?”

Ooooooh… it goes on. Thankfully, my husband has a sense of humor. My skirt twisted all around me getting in the car. I wasn’t dexterous enough to fix it. When I came home, I tripped over my feet and fell on the couch. My husband, I would like to point out, did this on purpose. He thinks it’s funny when I get dumb.

I decided I wasn’t waiting for the kids to go to bed. After I got on my pajamas—inside out and almost caught in the ceiling fan—I fell into bed.

It was immediately evident that my nightgown didn’t fit. At least in my opinion. It was all twisty and stuff. I decided my husband was BRILLIANT because he suggested I just take it off. In hindsight, I think he was just tired.

I slept like a rock. And got up twenty minutes late.

And this my friends, this is why Brynn rarely drinks. However…guess what? I have a lovely bottle of the Chateau Ste Michelle on my shelf. On Friday, Bronwyn and I are going to get dumb during the Supernatural season finale. Bronwyn is a notable lightweight as well.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Daly Way Post

Hey everyone! I have a post today on my new Daly Way blog. You can find it here: http://dalyway.blogspot.com/

I will be posting several places over the coming months. Whenever I post on one of my series blogs, I'll put the link here too. This blog will be primarily for non-specific writing posts, overlap posts, and personal posts.

The sites are still in development, but there are also blogs for my other series: Taboo Wishes, Cruentus Dragons and Zed Force.

~~Brynn

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Fav Pics Since October

I'm a little bit of a shutterbug, and one of the things I love doing is taking pictures of my backyard. I have a special backyard...well look below and see:

These are in chronological order from when we moved in to today.



















Friday, May 13, 2011

Always - Severus Snape Tribute

Another video. This one is amazing. All Snape drawings. I love the song too. Off to Zune to look it up. Okay... last video for awhile. Promise. And news! My Dragon books and Taboo Wishes books will be in print anthologies in July!! ~~Brynn

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Snape Rulzzz

Yeah, I know... another video, but this one is so worth it. I love Snape. I think you'll enjoy this mash-up of Harry Potter clips. ~~Brynn

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Catching Up and Such…


Part 1: What has Brown Done For You?


Well…in my case, UPS hit my car and crunched up the front right quarter panel, headlight, grille and hood. Guh! 100% their fault too. The kicker? I just got the car fixed in the same place from a similar accident. Just. Fixed. In March. And because it’s ten years old and we don’t owe on it, we carry the lowest, legal insurance coverage. So the car was just fixed again. You should have seen the look on the guy’s face when we had to bring it back in. But hey, he’s adorable and has the cutest dreds… Not worth the price of the damage, but definitely a plus side.


Part 2: Schedule Overwhelmed


You might have noticed slower releases this year. I’ve pulled all my planned books from the schedules and am writing a little slower. My last “prescheduled” book will be out this month. I feel it’s important to produce quality books, not quantity books. I hope you understand. I’m finding I need more thinking time between books in order to develop them. I actually took nearly a month off between mid-January and mid-February just to refresh. Kinda like a sabbatical. My sabbatical included 5 seasons of Bones. Don’t judge.
But I feel really good about my upcoming work. I’m also able to put out some longer books now without getting an ulcer.


Part 3: What Was That Giant Thud?


It might have been me falling over, lol. Last night was the All Romance eBook Awards for 2010. I feel like The King’s Speech at the academy awards! I was given awards for the 2nd and 8th Bestselling Books for 2010. I was also the 2nd Bestselling Author of 2010. My bestie, Bronwyn Green had the 3rd and 7th bestselling books. How much better than that does it get. Oh wait! It does get better! My good friend Carol Lynne was the #1 bestselling author last year. It was like a group party. I’m thrilled to have 4 awards on my bookshelf now.


Part 4: Wanna See Some New Covers?