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Blue Bloods
The Golden Bough. A Study in Magic and Religion: Volume 1
Get Lucky
Prince Joe
Buying Trouble
The Wicked West
Wolf Signs
Start Me Up
Talk Me Down
Blue-Eyed Devil
At Grave's End
One Foot in the Grave
Halfway to the Grave

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    In Other Spaces and Places



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    2011 Reading Challenge

    Fiendishly Bookish has read 3 books toward her goal of 250 books.



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    Because New Years’ Resolutions Take a While to Think up…..

    Thankfully none of my resolutions involve losing weight or trying to curb my wallet. Been there done that baby!

    As my close friends will tell you, if it comes down to a pair of Sigerson Morrison’s or a tasty treat of Irregular Choice shoes…then I am going to lose. I am going to hand over my wallet and say be done with it. The devil of shoes owns my soul and he’s not likely to let it go. ..

    The same can be said about losing weight and all that healthy crap. Life is about living, but enjoying things in moderation. I don’t do fast food, soda or crap. So I think that I have that covered.

    Hmmm, so what would be next to tackle? What would be the biggie?

    But what about the things I never acknowledge? What about fear? (gasp).

    I’m cutting the Gordian knot right here. 2011 is going to be about NO FEAR….yeah, it actually feels pretty cathartic saying it. That means embracing all the bad with the good. It means taking chances and not being safe. When you read this, just imagine Born to Lose or Pirate Love playing in the background…

    After such a craptastic 2010…I am pretty sure that things could not get much worse. Keeping that in mind, my mental arsenal will help combat the big monster under my bed: fear. 

    So what happened in 2010?

    My best friend was stricken with cancer, had to have a hysterectomy and when we thought we were out of the woods, found out the nasty suckers got into her lymph nodes. This is the person I grew up with, have known since I was 14, who is closer to me…than my own sister. She is my other half.

    My step-dads failing health. His pacemaker has become his new heart. After a mini-heart attack last April, he almost didn’t make it. And now he has to go back and get more jumper cables in there. 

    The return of my mom’s cancer. Yep she was in remission, and now she’s not. 

    Dare I even mention the insane coast-to-coast job search? The five East Coast/West Coast trips in August?...nah...compared to the people close to me and what they've suffered...its nothin'.

    So what’s a girl to do? Embrace it. Every bad thing and every good thing that happens. Turn it around and make it a Tim Gunn. Make it work. However I can. Keep the people I love close to me. Have no fear. Continue writing.  Be brave. Ask for help. Cuddle all the good things that happen and never take them for granted.

    And what about that persnickety fear of interviewing authors?

    Where the hell did that come from? What exactly am I afraid of? Being turned away? Being sneered at because I don’t have 1,000 followers or more? I don’t know…is it the age old dilemma of quantity versus quality?  I’m not letting it stand in my way anymore.

    There are so many authors whose minds I want to pick, so many questions that have been spooling in my mind for a long time. Influences, how characters are mapped, how they visualize settings, do they do a literary storyboard, how they conduct their research, do they write in spurts or for long periods of time, do they insanely rewrite while writing, did they see a guy or a girl on street that inspired them, did they get that idea for the flux capacitor sitting on the many dizzying questions that I have longed to ask, but kept silent.

    No more.

     Miz Fiendishly's New Years Resolutions. Belatedly.

    1. No Fear
    2. Be more true to myself with writing, but not sounding like a feeb either or Ms. Gushy
    3. Interview Authors (part of #1)
    4. Maintain life/work/blog balance in all shapes and sizes.
    5. Single finger goodbye salute to 2010 and don't look back
    6. Embrace all the bad and good equally for 2011
    7. Find my glasses and keys at the drop of a hat. (that could be a difficult one)



    The New York versus California Rant!

    Oy Vey.

    What a year, and it still isn't over!

    After most of 2010 living on the East and West Coast I am finally FINALLY back in California (thank you Jeezus!) I just about kissed the warm, sunshiney, ground once my plane landed! Trust me, I stopped before planting my lips on the asphalt.

    After a most brutal winter in New York, buried in snow, with a building super that sometimes decided NOT to turn on the heat and our apartment frequently hovering in the 30-40 degrees range, it was soooo nice to be back in the land of civilisation. Now I can say truthfully, we congregated by the meager heat of the stove to keep warm and yes, I trudged miles in the snow. Okay I lie. I trudged many city blocks in the snow. And what did I learn from all of this? Let's see (tapping finger to chin):

    1) Always wear waterproof mascara in a snow storm. 

    2) There ARE snow boots that are both beautiful and functional! 

    3) Avoid the Macy's Herald Square Boot Sale as if your life depended on it. If you go, bring a cattle prod for crowd control, hair pulling women, and cat fights over impractical fall boots.

    4) Never, ever, scrimp on an umbrella. Buy the strongest one you can find. Think GOLF umbrella.

    5) Before you leave your cramped overpriced slum apartment, be sure to have the Weather Channel handy on your PDA. Consult it several times a day. 

    6) Get a caribiner for your umbrella. Make it your new appendage.

    So what is it with New York, Manhattan and the boroughs that makes tourists gleefully hop on obnoxious open ceiling tour buses, cameras slung about their necks, begging to be ripped off by unscrupulous merchants and thieves? Sheesh I don't know.

    But what is strange is that now I've left, I kinda miss it...the dirt, the nasty subways, the rotting garbage, the cabbies who purposely target large pockets of street water to douse you in, the cobble-stoned streets of Soho which broke more than one pair of my beloved shoes. I can almost taste Balthazar's chocolate bread.

    Being a native New Yorker growing up in California does not make one a dyed in the wool New Yorker. Trust me. It can't be done. You can feel the quiver of New York's siren call in your veins, but if you've grown up in Cally there are certain life expectations you have.

    Like: non-yellowed water, garbage disposals, low flow toilets, the perpetual sunshine, real organic food markets, going to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's without a Disneyland like queue awaiting you, NO potholes, watching your car getting detailed while you sip your morning latte, real drivers who careen down the FREEWAY at 80 mph, Tommy's Chili Cheese Fries, wearing sun glasses all the time without people looking sideways at you. Yep, some things you just get used to. And expect.

    I will chalk it up to LOVE-HATE. I both love and hate New York. See I still couldn't get away from it. Just last Saturday I did a weekend trip there, the siren called and I obeyed. And yes I will be going back...but remembering that California will ALWAYS be my home.

    Long Live the Republic of California!


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