Friday, September 30, 2011

A Friday Afternoon Maimed Dog Toy Giggle...Yes, That's Right

I don't have much blogging energy today--it was a rough one in the office--but I saw this featured on the and had to share the giggles:

Any dog or cat owner will speak of a favored toy that, in the course of being gnawed, shredded, punctured, torn, eviscerated, has become an indispensable companion to their pet. They will recount with wonder their pet's specific manner of ravaging this toy, or even try to convince you that a deliberate pattern of transformation is at work. But do they ever really see this bedraggled object of their beloved pet's desire?

For our new photo book "Chewed," we decided to take a close look at these comically distorted creatures. We began by coaxing these casualties of tough love from pet-owning friends. Soon we were swamped with boxes containing plush animals, rubber squeakies and unidentifiable bits and pieces. We photographed these slobbery victims in a formal yet humorous style as seen through the eyes of the adoring pet.

Below are excerpts from delightful and poignant short stories by contributors who were inspired by their favorite "Chewed" photograph: visit

Though Bunny is now missing the upper half of its body, one can easily imagine the lack of hesitation Dog displayed as it plucked Bunny's black button eyes from its face, the satisfying snap of thread as the flat discs popped from the soft skull.

The entire head was obviously devoured. And no matter how cute those floppy, bent-at-the-tip ears may have been, they were not cute enough to stop Dog from seizing and pulverizing them with his wolf-powered, drooling, gaping maw.

Bunny's throat was gleefully sawed open with inch-long front incisors, esophagus stuffing flying through the room as Dog shook his head violently, rabidly from side to side.

Torso? Gone. Belly? Gone...

Never get divorced in California. When they say you split everything down the middle, they mean everything. What hurt most is that I was there from the beginning - a corny Hollywood story you've heard a million times, but I really thought they were different. I'd been a prize in the free throw game at the Santa Monica pier for almost a year; it's not that nobody wanted me, they all did, but I was always just out of reach (10 in a row), til he came along, Johnny Nesbitt...

Q. *Gracie. What happened?

A. I can't remember the details. I blanked out. But I'll be honest I loved every minute of it. We'd been polite for years and then one day *Georgie just lost it and he started going for it.

Q. Is there any part of it you regret?

A. In my line of work it's what you expect. You come off the assembly line fresh and fluffy and you pray for this to happen. I don't know how I can explain it to you except to say it's what I'm created for.

Q. But from the looks of things there was violence.

A. Violence? Are you kidding? Try Ecstasy!

Q. Did you learn anything?

A. I learned to surrender. To live my life. I faced my worst fears and was delighted with the outcome. Okay maybe I'm not as beautiful as I was ten years ago but who is? I considered plastic surgery but I hate it. It's so obvious and desperate. Better to look your age...

See the original post HERE


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Amazon Announces "Fire" Tablet

So, it's official: Amazon has released a tablet to compete with the iPad. And at a surpisingly low price point of $199.

Here's what Amazon had to say in their press release (courtesy of
Millions of people are already reading on Kindles and Kindle is the bestselling e-reader in the world for four years running. Today, Amazon is excited to introduce an all-new Kindle family: three all-new Kindle e-readers that are smaller, lighter, and more affordable than ever before, and Kindle Fire - a new class of Kindle that brings the same ease-of-use and deep integration of content that helped Kindle re-invent reading - to movies, TV shows, music, magazines, apps, books, games, and more.

"We've now reached the magical two-digit price point for Kindle - twice: the new Kindle and Kindle Touch are only $79 and $99. Kindle Touch 3G is the new top of the line e-reader with free 3G - no monthly fees or annual contracts - and is only $149," said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO. "Kindle Fire brings together all of the things we've been working on at Amazon for over 15 years into a single, fully-integrated service for customers. With Kindle Fire, you have instant access to all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, the convenience of Amazon Whispersync, our revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser, the speed and power of a state-of-the-art dual-core processor, a vibrant touch display with 16 million colors in high resolution, and a light 14.6 ounce design that's easy to hold with one hand - all for only $199. We're offering premium products, and we're doing it at non-premium prices."


The all-new Kindle Fire - with all the content, Amazon's revolutionary cloud-accelerated browser, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, 14.6 ounce design that's easy to hold with one hand, brilliant color touchscreen, and a fast and powerful dual core processor - is only $199. Customers in the U.S. can pre-order Kindle Fire starting today at and it ships November 15.

See the press release HERE
The press release also details the specific content-related features of the Fire, which managing editor, Darren Murph, points out seems to be Amazon's focus:
It's also quite clear that Amazon's hoping to make a bigger splash on the content side of things than has been made already by Apple, and with the deals flowing like wine, we wouldn't be shocked if it does just that.
I'm not sure how I feel about this whole "Amazon Fire" thing. The name in itself makes me crazy--I keep thinking of e-bookcases being set aflame! And while I feel like Amazon is slowly taking over the world, it is nice to see more than just the iPad out there and at a more reasonable price.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A New Kind of Reading Rainbow

A little over two years ago, PBS announced the ending of the beloved television show Reading Rainbow. Now, host LeVar Burton is bringing it back in a new medium, according to GalleyCat:
Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton has raised funds for a follow-up to his beloved public television show, a series of smartphone and tablet enhanced eBooks for kids. His new company is called RRKidz.

The new website includes Burton’s trademark slogan from the show: “Coming Soon … but you don’t have to take my word for it.” Burton summarized the show with a twitter hashtag: “Reading Rainbow for today’s connected kids.”

Here’s more from FishbowlLA: “Fifteen months after indicating to New York Times columnist David Pogue at a Macworld event that he was raising money for a start-up, actor LeVar Burton is fully focused on the twain of education and enhanced children’s e-books. He tells Venture Beat that his company RRKidz has got $3 million in seed funding and is compiling a library of 300 iPad and Smartphone titles, with roughly 50 of those to be voiced by Burton himself. The actor is partnered on the project with Buffalo’s WNED-TV, rights-holder to the 1983-2006 PBS series Reading Rainbow.”

See the original post HERE

I'm impressed and excited by Burton's initiative here. It makes me happy to see that he's so much more than just a host and really invested in Reading Rainbow's goals and mission statement.

Yay for reading!

Unfair Judgment of PNR Get Under My Skin

Earlier this year when book reviewer Paul Goat Allen posted an article on about the worst sex scenes in paranormal romance I tried to brush it off. Allen's ignorance about the genre was clear to me in the fact that he'd even write such a piece in the first place, taking one of the best-selling commercial fiction categories and mocking it publicly. PNR fans certainly wouldn't find it as amusing as he.

It was also seemingly apparent that he just flipped through some books, found some lines he found funny, and just wrote them down to make fun of them. Yes, some of the excerpts he pulls might make you cringe and giggle, but he's taken them out of context and completely disregarded the fact that some of the authors may not have even meant those lines seriously. I know more than one author who landed on that list and it's not uncommon in some snarky and spunky PNR for sex scenes to be written tongue-in-cheek, with the purpose of taking a common convention and pushing it beyond its limits intentionally for a laugh of its own. In addition, some of the quotes Allen pulls here aren't even from sex scenes. For example, Nicole Peeler's quote about "seaweed pubes" (yes, gross sounding haha) was actually describing an underwater character's hair. It had nothing to do with sex.

All that to say that Allen was not winning any points in my book. Even when confronted by an author about his misuse of her work, he recognized that he took it out of context and shrugged it off, not caring that he's characterizing her in an unfair negative light knowingly. For that, my respect for him dwindled even further.

Then, last week, I see that his oh-so-hilarious (*insert sarcasm here*) article has made it into the Huffington Post. Good, just what we need--his obnoxious opinion to be put in front of more viewers. Yay.

I was upset, to say the least. Not only for my friends, whose talent is immense, but for how this man was being made out to be a credible source for this kind of thing when he surely doesn't deserve the role. It did offer some solace to know that any PNR fan probably doesn't take his opinions to heart, that anyone with a head on her shoulders would see that you can't judge a book, or even a sex scene, by a sentence or two. The only people who would really find this amusing in the first place are the ones who don't read the genre, so at least it wasn't deterring sales for readers who actually are interested. In fact, for me, it made me more curious to read these books he highlights, to see for myself if he's just being an unfair jerk (I know. I'm *awesome* with the insults haha) or if there is truth in his commentary. I'll admit that I know there are instances of both on this list. And I will also say that, in general, Allen makes some good and accurate points about writing a sex scene in general. But my opinion definitely isn't stemming from what Allen chooses is "a cheesy sex scene." I'll be using my own legitimate judgment, thankyouverymuch. I hope you will too!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Blogging over at Book Country Today

Head on over to Book Country to check out my post on the experience of revising my own writing--eek!

Scary, but it had to be done.

Read it HERE

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Book to Commemmorates 9/11

In the middle of a particularly bad day at work yesterday, my friend Alex and I decided to escape and head out to lunch. We sat down, ordered a beer with our food (yes, it was one of those days), and each ranted for a few minutes. Then our conversation drifted in an unexpected direction. But when you're already struggling to get through each hour, what better topic to discuss than terrorism? (*Insert sarcasm here*)

With the upcoming 10-year anniversary of 9/11, it was naturally the main focus of our chat. The heroism of those on the planes, the hatred of those orchestrating the acts, the fear and pain that settled over the nation, that still pierces so many people with just the thought of the sunshine-filled nightmare of a day.

It changed all of our lives forever. Whether we were 43 (like my parents), 17 (like me), 12 (like my friend), or 7 (like, I don't know who), it affected every one of us.

And now, a decade later, Assouline Publishing is honoring the subtle and not-so-subtle ways it's turned our world upside-down with a new book, Art for Heart: Remember 9/11. This compilation not only commemorates September 11, 2001 but also will support the museum and memorials devoted to the event, according to GalleyCat:
The book features a collection of drawings created by young children shortly after the terrorist attacks.

All of the proceeds will be donated to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, a not-for-profit organization that operates the memorial and museum at Ground Zero. Museum director Alice M. Greenwald wrote the introduction and political journalist Christy Ferer wrote the forward.

Here’s more from the release: “In Art for Heart, the innocence so profoundly disrupted that day is nowhere better demonstrated than in the words and drawings created by children following the attacks. Straightforward and heartfelt, these works reveal the human instinct to bear witness, provide comfort, and attempt to make sense out of the unthinkable.”

Read the original post HERE

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Morning Excitement

So, apparently Lionsgate has released a trailer preview for THE HUNGER GAMES film adaptation!!!!!

Can. Not. Wait.