Friday, January 18, 2013

Ten Thousand Shades of Romance

I'm baking chocolate-peanut butter chip cookies right now and contemplating my next freelance career move. Do I pursue an invitation to write a "sure-to-be-Hollywood-blockbuster," including an all-expenses paid trip to the Caribbean to meet with the client? Do I trust in those repeat clients who have proven themselves awesome beyond belief and thoroughly non-delusional? Or do I say "Pshaw! Who writes those Benjamin Moore paint color names? I want a gig like that!"

Don't laugh. I've always wanted to be the one who gets paid to come up with names for paint colors or nail polish shades. Someone does it, right? Why can't it be me?

They're not marketing to the right audience. When was the last time you witnessed a man standing at the paint sample cards for an hour? For longer than it took to belch up his last chili cheese dog? The same people picking out these shades are the same ones buying romance and beyond, which is my polite term for Fifty Shades. What woman wouldn't want to paint her office Cabana Boy Six Pack or Warrior's Kiss or Latte with McDreamy or Chest Hair at Dawn or A Sexy Brit's "Hello"? Seriously, I could go on all day.

On a not-entirely unrelated topic, these paint samples are great writing tools. I keep a stack of them in my drawer just in case my brain is selecting stale descriptors of color--but only when writing in a woman's point of view. My heroes can't differentiate sea-foam green from their own moldy bread, and I like them that way.

If you weren't busy being fabulous at your day job, what dream-job would you have?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Because It's What Miss Manners Would Do

I'm putting off the task of writing holiday thank you notes. While I am an extremely grateful and humble gift receiver, it is a necessary evil. There is the time involved in the handwritten task, which you'd think would appeal to a writer but doesn't. How to express that a gift is spectacular when I know it was the same re-gifted basket of women's bath lotions that has circulated the greater Fort Worth metro-plex for the past few years? I'd rather scroll through the latest crop of Walmartians in my email inbox. Then there's the expense of supporting the Postal Service for gift-givers over the age of sixty who can no more find their internet browser than their bifocals.

I thought I'd try something different this year: a public note of thanks.

To the microfiber hair towel gift-giver:
Thank you for helping me to get in touch with my inner turban-girl. Never mind that it fails to fulfill the promise of lightning-speed wet-hair wicking. I am a suburban goddess in my pink hair wrappie and bathrobe.

To the Betty Crocker Liquid Dispensing Scrubber gift-giver:
Wow. Just wow. Combining the laborious task of dish soap dispensing and scrubbing into one swift action has freed me to complete that great American novel with all the extra time. How much fun can one girl have? Hair turban and dish washing.

To the seventeen million notepad gift-givers:
Would that I could have so many story ideas that these scribbler pads burst at the thinly-glued seams, mostly they will just end up with things like toilet paper and coffee creamer scrolled across them.

To the Nora Roberts gift-pack gift-giver:
Thank you. Sincerely. I'll put them in my stack behind my next twenty under deadline for a book review. Though to be fair, Nora will still, most likely, be the reigning queen of them all.

To the dark chocolate cordial cherries gift-giver:
Although a sweet of last, desperate resort when the Reese's and Special Darks have vanished, there is no better sensory input for a writer than to feel one of these burst on the tongue.

To the family mine adopted:
Thank you. At a time of extreme sadness, there was no greater gift than to focus on making someone else's holiday special.

And to my Vortex readers:
Thank you for hanging around for six years. I can't imagine what this journey would be without you all. I only wish I could send you my final Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer lollipop-mostly to get it out of my kitchen-but because I adore you, too.

I'm starting a short, but intensive YA fantasy ghostwriting/edit project tomorrow, so I'll see you on the backside.