Tuesday, February 27, 2007

She Doesn't Watch TV

One of the things I’m thankful for about Sandy Lender is that she doesn’t watch television. Since I show up and make demands of her for Choices Meant for Gods, I can typically find her at her computer (or at least near one of her notebooks with a pen either in her hand or nearby) and willing to jot down whatever I’m saying to her. But there’s someone in her household that goes into the living room (you people don’t call it a parlor or a sitting room in this society) and turns on the device that brings stories to life on the screen in there. Years ago, Sandy told me it was a television, and then she crinkled up her nose as if it was something disgusting. The only time I find her in front of it is when a show called Stargate is on. And then I have a devil of a time getting her to write anything down. I have to wait for “a commercial break”.

From time to time, though, she’ll say there’s something special “on TV” and I’ll have to fight to get her attention away from it. Sporting events tend to fall into the category of special. I will assume you all know what a World Series is. She seemed ecstatic over the fact that the St. Louis Cardinals (I’ve just been informed that everyone is a St. Louis Cardinals fan because of something called K M O X and its far-reaching signal during the 1900s. I have no idea what any of that means.) went through the playoffs and over the World Series. (Forgive me.) They went to the playoffs and won the World Series.

Then she had to watch something called the Superbowl, also a sporting event, because some king’s son played in the middle of it. Then there was an award show for grandmothers that she had to watch because a variety of musical artists were playing. She’s very fond of the musical artists.

But that’s the extent of her television viewing. And I’m thankful. She has enough distractions in her life without the TV taking her from the end of my bride’s story.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

She's Got This New Job

Sandy Lender has been in the publishing industry in one form or another for almost fifteen years now, so it should come as no surprise to me that she's taken a job at a magazine. The position she's in (managing editor) is a few rungs down the ladder from what she could be doing, but she seems overly thankful for the lack of responsibility. After the treatment she received at her last place of employment, I, too, am thankful to see her taking on fewer tasks and less stress in the workplace so she can get home to write my stories and not get taken advantage of again.

I'm testy with her, though. This new job entails at least forty hours a week. That's forty hours she's not working on the story of my bride. And this new job is located downtown, which is an hour from here (in "good" traffic), which means another ten-plus hours a week she's not working on the story of my bride. I find myself sitting here in her house waiting for the weekend, only to discover she's scheduled to work some insane shift at the part-time job she's taken to help pay the bills. I'd give my eye teeth to bring some of my treasury from Arcana to this society/world to ease the struggle she's in right now, but that sort of thing doesn't work...

For now, though, I'm pleased to announce that she's got a good job with friendly people who seem genuinely interested in each other's well-being. I'm thankful to see it in her life.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

She Went to a Writing Conference

Sandy went to the Naples Press Club’s Writer’s Conference today to help her publisher move books. I’m pretty sure that’s another way of saying she was helping him sell books. Choices Meant for Gods won’t be out until March or April so she was disappointed to be going when she left, but she came back all excited because the conference was so productive. A few books “moved,” and she met up with old friends. Better than that, she networked.

For someone from another society, as I am, it’s difficult to understand all of this, but she explained that the Naples Press Club offers her opportunities to network with other members of the media in this part of Florida, and, at this particular annual conference, offers her the chance to sit around talking about all-things-writing with other writers and authors. (Don’t ask me what the difference is. I didn’t get to interrupt her long enough to get that question in. )

So Sandy is back but she’s organizing her notes from all the networking.

And I’ll write again tomorrow about my crazy author.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

More on Obsessions

In my last entry, I said that one of Sandy’s obsessions is writing. I may have understated that.

Sandy Lender currently has the novel Choices Meant for Gods at the publisher/in production set to be released this spring, but that’s not her only work. The second book in that trilogy is complete. The third book is nearing completion.

She’s already completed a paranormal romance novel. That stunned me. As one of her best characters, I nearly came unglued when she spent almost two weeks writing the thing and ignoring my bride’s story. But she told me I could pretend the two main characters were Amanda and myself… I still wasn’t pleased, but I at least read over her shoulder with a little more interest.

She’s also working on a vampire trilogy that, again, she told me to pretend featured Amanda and me. It doesn’t. She’s merely trying to placate me. Once I figured out what a vampire was, I was offended. Amanda might tolerate dragons, but I don’t think she’d tolerate vampires...

Sandy also has a speculative fiction/thriller serial novel that she’s posting online at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sandysvampiresunrise/join as she composes it. I only allow this travesty because… (What? It is a travesty because it’s not my bride’s story at all.) I only allow this travesty because it keeps her happy and she’s building an audience to read my bride’s story in Choices Meant for Gods.

But one of the two works she has in progress that I am delighted with is the prequel to Choices Meant for Gods. The prequel includes some history and information about my family, but the bulk of it concerns Amanda’s family. It details the history of Amanda’s most important ancestor. I’ve never seen a story so moving in my life—well—other than Amanda’s story, of course. The other work in progress that I’m pleased with is a collection of short stories that she’ll never get anyone to publish because no one publishes short story collections…and that’s a shame. It’s a collection of stories from the continent of Onweald and the histories/pasts of some of the characters who appear in the Choices trilogy. There’s a particularly randy story from my past in there that I’m trying to convince her to leave out. It’s not something Amanda needs to see…

There are probably other works in progress that I don’t know about, but it’s difficult for Sandy to hide things from me these days. I’m in her head.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Some of Sandy's Obsessions

Sandy said I could share the fact that she has a few obsessions in her life. This will give visitors and potential readers of Choices Meant for Gods a view of her as an author because her obsessions help define her as a person. This is something I can relate to.

First, Sandy is a writer. She keeps notebooks of various sizes everywhere with at least one pen beside each one. The bedside table has one notebook with two pens, just in case I wake her in the middle of the night (I think I admitted in the last entry that I’m the character most often guilty of waking her with story ideas and dialogue). She has a small notebook for her purse, a small notebook in her car with several pens (the kind that write when you click the end—because she doesn’t want the distraction of removing a pen cap while driving), a warped notebook by the bathing tub, and then a plethora of notebooks in the writing den. That room…

Part of the obsession with writing includes spending hours at the computer. And hovering when I’m typing…

Second, Sandy is a Duran Duran fan. I can’t even begin to express… Some of the best moments in her life have been meeting a particular band member. You’ll have to ask her about it through the comments section here because I don’t understand how you can be that obsessed with someone you rarely see. I recognize that I’m obsessed with Amanda Chariss, but, that’s different.

Third, Sandy loves turtles. She has kept them as pets. She also volunteers with Turtle Time, which is a group that helps track sea turtles and works toward their conservation. One of the greatest moments of her life was saving a baby that had strayed from its nest when it became disoriented by condominium lights along the beach. The turtle had ended up on a basketball court across a street from the beach, dehydrated and exhausted. She has a poem about it somewhere, but she promises not to regale you with it. (She says, “Dangit, Nigel, I’m a novelist, not a poet.” Why is she laughing about that?)

It’s her love of turtles that began the fascination with reptiles and dragons. She used to have a pet bearded dragon (whatever that is) and wishes to get another some day when things in her personal life settle down. I’m not sure where one goes to get dragons in this society as everything I’ve seen suggests people don’t believe they actually exist. Well…aren’t you all in for a surprise having me around?

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sandy Lender’s Introduction Cont.

While Sandy is away this evening, let me share, sincerely, that she is not just my author, but she has become a friend of mine. You don’t live with someone for twenty years without becoming the best of friends. (Or the worst of enemies—which I think is what this society uses divorce for. In the society from which I hail, we call it “denouncing,” and it’s usually a heart-wrenching ceremony. No one goes into it lightly.)

But I wished to introduce her by describing the writing style of the author of Choices Meant for Gods, which will be released from ArcheBooks Publishing this spring (possibly as early as March, probably in April). First of all, I’ve watched Sandy go through the trials and tribulations of seeking out a literary agent (which she quit doing when she figured out that agents are the gatekeepers set in place to keep aspiring authors out of the publishing world). I’ve watched her write and edit and re-write and re-edit this book until she had something she was proud of. I’ve watched her prepare for a pitch session with a publisher when everyone told her she “couldn’t” go straight to a publisher and “couldn’t” pitch a novel as long as the one she had in hand. My point here is I know she’s determined and not afraid to take risks if it means getting what she wants out of life.

I’ve watched her scribble notes on envelopes, napkins, scraps of paper, index cards, paper towels, whatever was handy when some bit of dialogue or some new concept came to her. I have to admit that I’m one of the worst of us characters for waking her up in the morning demanding she write something down so she doesn’t forget it. And I will freely admit now that I’m proud of her for not grumbling at me (or Henry or Rohne or Mother or my beautiful Amanda or anyone else when we do this to her). And that’s her writing process in a nutshell. We wake her up or walk up to her when she’s in line at the grocery store making demands of her and she has no choice but to write down what we’re telling her or we’ll all forget it by the time she gets to the computer. It’s why I’ve learned to steer her car for her…

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Introducing Sandy Lender

This evening I have the honor of introducing my author and the author of Choices Meant for Gods, Sandy Lender. She’s particular about how much personal information we share here, and I intend to keep her in good spirits as she works on the vital scenes that complete the Choices trilogy—vital in that they concern my bride.

You’ll be able to read Sandy’s bio... (Let me make sure that’s what the paragraph is called.)

You’ll be able to read Sandy’s bio on the dust jacket (It’s called a jacket? Like a coat?). This is insane.

You’ll be able to read Sandy’s bio on the dust jacket of Choices Meant for Gods, but, to save you from waiting until March or April for the release date, let me tell you a little about her. First, she started writing in first grade when her class put together a newspaper for the students’ parents. Then she wrote stories that her great grandmother, to whom Choices Meant for Gods is dedicated, used to share around the apartment community in which she lived. (What’s wrong with that language? I’m to run the school at Arcana; I’m supposed to write fluently.) These days, Sandy has a propensity for reading over her characters’ shoulders and interrupting them when they’re trying to promote her and her book.

Perhaps I’ll write more when she’s not antagonizing me.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

An Explanation from Nigel

Tomorrow evening I’ll introduce Sandy Lender

I’m not Sandy. I’m Nigel Taiman, a 28-year-old gentleman who once lived just south of Arcana City in the southeast corner of Onweald. I’ll be “representing” Sandy. After much deliberation, I decided to join the blogosphere... (Let me make sure that’s what this electronic world is called.)

All right, then.

After much deliberation, I decided to join the blogosphere. Much deliberation—and my author twisted my arm. You see, Sandy Lender knows the end of my story. She knows the end of my bride’s story. She said she’d make it “easier” for Amanda if I helped her market the new novel Choices Meant for Gods. As ominous as that sounds, I’m willing to do whatever it takes to keep Amanda safe…if this will even work to keep her safe…

So I’m Sandy’s spokesperson. Of course, she has her own blog... (Let me make sure that’s what these journals are called.)

Got it now. Of course, Sandy Lender has her own blog where she’s not only promoting Choices Meant for Gods, but she’s offering writing and grammar tips (for free, if you can believe that—in this society, I didn’t think people gave away information they’d learned over a 14-year career like that, but she’s doing it). If you type in http://www.todaythedragonwins.blogspot.com/, you can visit Sandy’s site. The very name of it makes me shudder, given what I know of The Dragon.

But this site, SandyLender.blogspot.com, will be devoted to the author herself. Why? Because she needs me to promote Choices Meant for Gods.

As much as I need her to protect Amanda.

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