Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Love Dress-Up (or, This Is How You MacGyver a Bustle)

So last evening, many of our author crew attended the Dances of Vice 1700's meets the 70's party at the inimitable Montauk Club as seen here.

A big thank you to my fine photographic sources the Rebels, Marianne Mancusi (and often guest photographer Jacob) and Liz Maverick

I tried my hybrid best between 1700's and 70's.
But somehow everything I do is a little Victorian.
I can't help it. It's who I am, and what I do.
The purple velvet pants and the Lennon glasses were my 70's nod. However those glasses are strikingly like the ones Gary Oldman wore as Dracula. Back to Victorian. I can't escape from the love-affair.

Note: MacGyvered Bustle, created by a simple length of Tulle clumped together and threaded through the back bottom lace of my corset just so to affect the bustling layer over the longer length of the train. Genius.

People were serious about costumes. That's what I love about these Dances of Vice events, they are to-the-nines on costumes, and the beautiful venue maximized the effect.

We take costuming seriously too.
(Hope Tarr, me, Elizabeth K. Mahon, Jacob)
And we seriously discuss costuming.

No. Seriously.

I mean, DEAD serious...

Of course not even my feathered up-do could distract from the dauntingly brilliant Alisa Kwitney

(L to R, Hope Tarr, me, Alisa Kwitney, Marianne Mancusi (sometimes she's blonde!), Megan Frampton, Elizabeth K. Mahon, Liz Maverick)

Much, much dress-up-licious fun. And I'm sure we'll do it again, whenever the Dress-up Lords call their minions forth. We'll be there.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dark Nest is up at the Covey Awards! I'd love your vote!

Cover Time!
It's up at the COVEY AWARDS! Voting only happens the month of November so be sure to vote, and vote often! Great things can happen when people vote! I really do enjoy this cover, so thanks in advance for your vote!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Guest Blogging! When Para is your Normal...

Today I am guest blogging at We Write Romance in celebration of their Paranormal feature month!
"When Para is your Normal..."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yes. We. Did.

I'm usually not political here on the blog.  Well, save for that Obama graphic to my right...

Okay, so to say I didn't care about what happened on election night would be a big FAT LIE.  I cared very much.  

So after pulling the big red lever (Liz Maverick hearts the big red lever and you can see it, and great coverage of our eve...) myself, I flitted about the City, feeling nervous, excited, leery, hopeful, jaded, all at the same time.  There was an electricity in New York City, beyond that of the usual rat-race.  Walking across Times Square, the crowds gathered for the CNN broadcast drove it home that it was really happening.  And then there was a random float of people dressed up in elaborate pirate costumes promoting Captain Morgan's rum and an element of surreality added to the mix.

Sharing the evening with friends was definitely in order. I needed people near me, because I was an emotional/physical space-cadet. I almost walked on to the entirely wrong train had Hope Tarr not gently grabbed my elbow to steer me towards an alternate train towards Brooklyn, where our hostess awaited. Thanks for the party, Megan!

I do have my own photos of the evening, but alas, due to technical difficulties, I cannot upload them because my laptop is currently possessed by the Devil.

Here's a little personal play by play.

I had my eye on a few key states of emotional significance, many of which were battleground. Pennsylvania, since I campaigned in Philadelphia, Minnesota, since I lived there for a few years, Florida, lived there too, and lastly... Ohio.  Home state. 

We saw Pennsylvania.  Blue.  Happy Dancing abounded.  (Really, there was authentic Happy Dancing).  Then I heard Minnesota went for our team, and Wisconsin (Marcos' home state where he'd been campaigning all week.  Good job, love!).  Every state win was like a world series ending home run.  More kicks and Molly Shannon cheerleader poses.  Then Ohio was called by Fox. (We were switching back and forth to see the excitement or the frown lines, depending on the network)  I freaked out a little, but wasn't going to really Happy Dance until CNN called it, just for good measure.  They soon did.  I was enraptured with the maps as they turned colors (thank you, New York Times):


In my voting career, no one I had ever voted for in Ohio had ever won.  Seeing my home state, a state that has struggled and wrested over huge problems and job losses, a state with a sometimes conflicting identity and incredibly gifted people- seeing my Ohio turn "that beautiful shade of blue" was overwhelming.  I didn't realize how moved I would be until it happened.  Was on the phone with Mom & Dad, to whom I credit every ideal I've ever had, and we all tearfully shared in the Ohio victory.  Sent excited texts to my lil' Sis, who cast her first ever vote. And I called Marcos, who attended a huge election party in Wisconsin, where I heard "Yes We Did!" chanted in the background. 

And so as the electoral votes kept ticking upwards, there was much dancing and much sobbing, particularly during Obama's pitch-perfect acceptance speech.  Critics have slammed his idea of  "HOPE". But that's the thing about Hope, it's very hard to suffocate.  It wants to live, and help us live better.

As the hours waned late, still reeling from the adrenaline and emotion, we encountered what the dear and utterly un-ironically named Hope mentioned;  the impromptu drum circle on newspaper bins at Union Square.  Awesome.  (Until the cops gently said the time had drawn nigh for the loud noise and the people dancing on the telephone booths.  It was, after all, after 4am.)  But jumping and clapping and high-fiving with complete strangers for a common cause really has its thrill.

And then the next day... I was still feeling the high, and I wasn't alone.  I kept running into strangers on the street who said "It's a great day, isn't it?" to which I said "Amen."

My favorite moment came when I passed a group of grade-school kids in Upper West Side Manhattan who were on recess.  They were all in a huge group, facing the sidewalk and screaming, grinning, jumping, clapping, and chanting:  "Yes, we can..." for all the city to hear and appreciate.  A young girl held up a newspaper with Obama's picture on it and was pointing, screaming "That's my President!" - Yep.  There I went, all choked up again. (After having cheered with the kids as I walked by).

Since Marcos wasn't back yet from the campaign trail, it was my duty to collect all the daily papers.  So I wandered the city trying to find a New York Times.  Every single stand. Sold out.

I decided to try the shiny new New York Times building itself, on 8th Avenue. 

When in doubt, go to the source. I saw a loooong line stretching up the entire block.  I approached the security guard, gestured towards the line, opening my mouth when he immediately replied, "Yes, that's the line to get a paper."  Okay, then.  The NYT editorial board had to mention this phenomena in a brief, encouraged blog post.  The line was not irritating or inconvenient, it was exciting.  

We were all there for the same thing, and in the end, that's what this is all about.   

We all wanted a tactile piece of history.

And we made it, HOPE intact.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Awareness Month Concludes With... Halloween!

Um.... How COOL is this?

SUPER Cool, I say!

So October was a very busy month. Between edits, plotting, projects, work, conferences - The New Jersey RWA conference was really wonderful and fun - campaigning and costuming... I'm exhausted! But it's a good tired. Here are a few Halloween Awareness Month Highlights!

THE GREAT PUMPKIN BLAZE! Every year at the historic Van Cortlandt Manor thousands of pumpkins are carved and the outdoor display is just amazing. Marcos and I have made it our October tradition. It is SO cool. The pumpkins are beautifully elaborate!

Then came the New Jersey RWA Conference, where I met up with a bunch of friends, made new ones, schmoozed and signed Crescent Moon Press's bestseller DARK NEST - check out Kate at Babbling About Books for her take and thanks for that lovely picture of me at the signing, Kate!

Then immediately after the conference, it was on to Philadelphia where my awesome other half Marcos and I went campaigning for Obama for a couple of days to try and do our part. What struck me most about the City of Brotherly Love, a place I'd never been before, was the generosity of our hosts, the excitement of the campaign volunteers, and the gorgeous murals all over the city, in both the nice downtown areas of the city and the economically harder hit outer areas.

Two of the countless treasures.

Viva Puerto Rico!

And soon... before I could catch my breath, it was Halloween day itself...

The day being spectacular, and the day being Halloween, the lovely and talented Hope Tarr and I, always up for a little outer-borough adventure, headed up north into beauteous Bronx territory to the Woodlawn Cemetery.

It was magical weather. The trees were turning gorgeous shades, the sky was a brilliant blue...

The stained glass glimpsed while peeking inside the mausoleums were all breathtaking. (I have a stained glass and an angel obsession, put them together; heaven). I'm particularly moved by the weeping angel.

And then... HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!

Most of my camera's pictures didn't come out so well, but here's Marianne Mancusi and I, her as Little Dead Riding Hood, me as Little Dead Muffit, replete with spider. The Rebels of Romance will have more pictures of our evening's adventure, INCLUDING my Muffitt Halloween Jig (tm), and the impeccable camera-wielding hostess Morgan has great pictures HERE.

The Halloween Parade is my annual tradition.

The huge skeleton puppets are always worth the wait!

After the parade, on to Morgan and Nick's studio where hilarity abounded.

This picture of Nick says it all. What, exactly, I'm not sure, other than hilarity.