Saturday, March 31, 2007

She Stunned the Lady at the Grocery Store

I couldn’t get her attention away from the fish counter to write down this fabulous idea I had earlier this afternoon. Now, I know Sandy has a variety of idiosyncrasies when it comes to what she eats because the people in your society are fishing various species into extinction and decimating other species with irresponsible bycatch practices. (She refuses to eat shrimp because some shrimpers refuse to use Turtle Excluder Devices* on their nets. She’d rather be safe than sorry…)

So today I’m struggling to get her attention. She’s staring at the labels on the fish in the little ice-chest area of the grocery store. The lady behind the counter is trying to tell her about trans-fats or something that Sandy doesn’t need to worry about. (You should see her. There are no traces of fat on this woman.) And she pipes up with “I’m not worried about that. I just don’t want to perpetuate the rape of our oceans.”

The lady behind the counter and I both stared at her as if she were insane. So the woman gave her farm-raised tilapia, and I quietly escorted her to another area of the store. Do I need to state that I forgot the great idea I wanted her to write down?

*She told me that if I insist on embarrassing her with my blog posts, then I should at least counter such negativity with positive information. Her suggestion was that I ingratiate myself to her by explaining the sea turtles’ plight. Because she has regaled me with this at least a dozen times, I’ve got it down pretty well.

Sea turtles eat shrimp so they are, naturally, in the way when shrimpers drag their nets across the ocean floor, tearing up fragile ecosystems to scoop up shrimp and whatever else is in their path. The shrimpers haul the nets up on the decks of their boats to discover they’ve caught any number of extra species, including sea turtles. (Turtles are heavy and crush and bruise the shrimp, so shrimpers get pretty upset about this bycatch.) Now, a couple things can happen to a turtle caught in a shrimper’s net. She can drown because the stress has sped up her metabolism while the net was drug along destroying the ocean floor and the lives on it. She can merely weaken while in the net and find herself compromised and confused once on the boat. When the shrimpers get angry and toss the heavy turtle overboard, she sinks like a rock and, again, likely drowns. She could end up in a soup pot if the shrimpers can hide the evidence of an endangered species on their deck. One way conservationists came up with to protect both the shrimpers’ catch (read: profits) and the turtles is to place a trap door on the net. This is the Turtle Excluder Device, also known as a TED. It’s a wedge-like doorway that remains closed until something heavy (like a turtle) bumps against it and forces it open. It sounds like a fabulous fix for both parties. The problem is that not all shrimpers are highly intelligent folks. They look at this doorway and think, “Woah, that’s like putting a hole in my net.” (It’s not, but that’s how someone who hasn’t had the concept explained to them properly might view it.) So more education on the topic is needed and better enforcement of the law is necessary. If Sandy were queen of the world, commercial fishing would be banned anyway and the turtles wouldn’t have to worry about nets at all. But she’s not. And until she is, she’s just not eating shrimp. She just chimed in with “Fish are friends, not food,” but I don’t know why that makes her giggle.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

She Nearly Drove Off the Road Laughing

Sandy tells me that posting the following article will make her appear “less than fully sane.” To which I wholeheartedly laugh and respond, “It’s not the article, Darling, but the fact that I’m posting it that discredits your grasp on lucidity.” She agrees and goes for the vodka. I assume that means I’m free to post away…

So as she was driving home from work this evening, she was writing down little tidbits that I didn’t want her to forget—when she suddenly busted out laughing. Out loud. In the car. In full view of all the other drivers on Everglades Boulevard. She nearly drove us into the ditch, which calmed her enough to explain.

It had just occurred to her that she’d slaved for seven years at writing, editing, re-editing, querying, pitching, re-editing, and publishing a story that’s been forming in her head since 1985 (or earlier—Jamieson Drake actually visited her prior to ’85—the bastard) to complete Choices Meant for Gods, and in less than half an hour late one evening after two weeks of severe sleep deprivation…

…she added two scenes to the ending of the first book and sent it to the publisher, who sent it to the printer a day or two later. Done. No re-thinking. No editing. Those last-minute additions are just there and done and nothing can change them now. She says, “I guess we’ll know on Monday if those scenes sound okay or not!” (Monday is when her copies arrive.)

She’s giggling into her martini glass. I think she won’t be getting much writing done tonight…

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

She's Censoring Me

I learned a new word today. Censorship. She won’t let me post the blog I wanted to write, and that’s called censorship in your society. (Excuse me a moment, I need to argue with her about this post.)

All right then. I can’t even reference the other blog I had spent a very great deal of time writing. (No, I’m not whining, I’m just telling everyone…)

Fine. Let me just state that I intended to say something very nice about my author and now I would rather stuff her in the closet and lock the door. If only she had one of those laptop computers that you don’t have to plug into the wall to operate—then I could stuff her in the closet and she could still work on my bride’s story in the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy. I wonder if I could invest in one of these things while she’s at work during the day. The idiot she’s divorcing has access to money and I could… (What? Why can’t I call him that? What does it matter that this is a public forum?). The fellow that she currently lives with has access to money and I could probably get at that because I’m sure coins from Onweald won’t trade in this society.

So, while she’s just wandered into another room, let me tell you what she said today:

“A candle loses none of its light by lighting another candle.”

I think she was quoting someone else, but I don’t know who. I just felt very pleased with her when she said it because of something she had done. Now I have to post this quickly before she comes in here and censors me again, but it’s a quote I think she’d share with others. It’s one of those pleasant things she likes passing along…

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

She Reads While Driving

This makes me crazy. She's going to end up in the hospital and they won't let her have a computer there to work on the ending of the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy and I'll have to sit there watching her bones mend wondering when she'll ever get around to finishing the story...


So she was sitting in traffic (which she has to do every day, so why was today any less tolerable than usual?) when I had this idea for her to write down, but when I popped in to tell her about it, pow, there she is scooting along this six-lane road in the thick of all these trucks and nasty-looking vehicles with a book propped up against the steering wheel. She tells me it intimidates the other drivers into staying out of her lane.

The good news out of this day is Choices Meant for Gods is at the printer and you can see the cover and read a couple testimonials about it at the publisher's website. Go to It's right there on the front. You can't miss it unless your computer screen is turned off.

Now I'm going to locate her again and get her to write this idea down before I forget it...

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

She Has a Lot of Anger Toward This University

I can't believe she's going to let me post this, but Sandy used to work at a place called Ave Maria University. Her friends not-so-affectionately refer to it as "Crazy Park" and usually use swear words to describe it. I find it amusing until Sandy starts to look sad about the things they say, and then I try to get her to think of something else. It turns out the man in charge of Ave Maria University, a certain Mr. Tom Monaghan, fired their Provost, Father Joseph Fessio, today. Now, I know a lot about educational institutions because I run the school at Arcana, and I can tell you, it's not wise to fire the one person at the helm who knows how to run the educational institution.

It's also not wise to fire the one person who is single-handedly drawing teachers, students, Cardinals from Rome for speaking/fund raising opportunities... I have to wonder, now that Father Fessio is gone, who will accompany Professor Joseph Pierce on the fund raising opportunity retreat to England this summer. That's only three months away. I also wonder who will lead the Annunciation Mass at the new campus/town location. I also wonder who will speak at all the Founders events. Who will mentor the students who were standing in clumps of pathos crying on the interim AMU campus today? Sandy pointed out to me that Ave Maria University faces a lot of opposition for poor decisions and poor handling of business in the past. This looks like they're just keeping up their track record, to me.

I'll learn from what I've seen today and not repeat Ave Maria University's mistake when Sandy lets me complete my marketing efforts for Choices Meant for Gods and return to Arcana to teach by my bride's side. In the meantime, I think I'll see if she needs anything to return her to good spirits. She's worried for her colleague and waiting for him to return her page.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

She Watched the Same Video Five Times

Now, I’ve mentioned on here before that Sandy has this obsession with Duran Duran. Let me just state that yesterday, there was a new moon. And yesterday was Monday. I should have realized something wasn’t going to be “right” with the day when one of her friends from Kansas City called late Sunday night singing New Moon on Monday to her on the telephone. I didn’t know it was an epidemic with these people.

So she put the Duran Duran CD titled “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” (and don’t ask me what that means because I’ve no idea) in the CD player, and started calling people to either sing the song to them, or play it for their voice mail systems. What I find most inconceivable about this is the fact that she assures me these people are going to be thrilled with these messages.

Then she got home from work, had me set up the DVD player with Duran Duran’s Greatest disc…and proceeded to watch the video for New Moon on Monday five times. In a row! Her saving grace here is that each showing of the video had subtle differences, until the final version, which was at least twenty minutes long. (Oh, she says I should explain that she has taught me how to work the DVD player in the past. But, to be honest, I merely watched her once and figured it out on my own. These electronic devices in this society are not that difficult to master. I operate this computer just fine. What does “wait until you have to trouble-shoot” it mean?)

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

She Gave Away a Copy of my Brother's Sword

I guess I should start by saying congratulations to the lovely Christina Montana. I was lurking at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival yesterday and didn't introduce myself to anyone, so Christina doesn't know I watched as she filled out her lavender entry index card - lavender like Amanda's eyes, Sandy pointed out. (Do you think I need that drawn to my attention?)

Anyway, Sandy wanted me to point out on my blog that the box was from my treasury and to say (what? oh for pity's sake)... Sandy wanted me to point out on my blog that the box was from Arcana's treasury and to say that she thanks me for letting her borrow it. (That is the most convoluted crap I've ever written. How is anyone going to understand it?)

Hold on. I think Sandy should just write this herself if she's so bent on dictating the blog.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Sandy thanks me for letting her borrow a box from Arcana's treasury and announces that Christina Montana won the replica of Jorin's sword at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival yesterday. Congratulations to Christina. The novel, Choices Meant for Gods, from which Jorin and his training sword hail, is due out from ArcheBooks Publishing in the next two to three weeks. Everyone can order copies then, and Sandy and I will both be announcing how, as soon as it's time. Now, I think Sandy needs to get some more sleep. She's far too testy this afternoon... (Yes, you are.)

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

She's Got This Fear of Spiders

Now here’s something I don’t understand. Sandy will actually scream when she sees a spider in her house. The first time she let out one of those shrieks, I appeared with the sword ready to take on something akin to a ryfel (you’ll have to read Choices Meant for Gods to understand that reference) to find her on her hands and knees chasing this furry little creature around banging a shoe against the floor behind it, shrieking with every strike. It took us both a good fifteen minutes to recover after she splattered it.

Now, keep in mind, I’ve never seen a spider that size so I wasn’t clear on what we were up against, and her reaction was…well…let’s just say I figured we had something magical in the house that was about to cast a spell on one or both of us.


Wolf spiders merely jump around a lot and run fast. That’s it. So she was shrieking out of some crazy fear of spiders that she has. I couldn’t believe it. She’s not afraid of anything (other than black panthers) like that. She had a scorpion sting her this summer and she merely smashed the thing and went on with activities as if it wasn’t venomous and swelling up a wound on her arm that had me concerned for a couple of days. The last thing I need is for my author to collapse and die before she finishes my bride’s story.

Anyway, I’m on wolf spider detail this evening. And I guess that’s fine if it lets her get some sleep. You wouldn't believe the week she's had...and I want her in front of this computer writing tomorrow...

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

She's Writing this Vampire Story

As much as it perturbs me to support this, Sandy Lender has a fun, light, not-epic, and downright vampiric (at times) serial novel she’s posting online for your reading enjoyment. Personally, it drives me nuts because it takes her time from writing my bride’s story, but, what can I do about it?

Go to and sign up to join the free group that’s reading Saving a Vampire from the Summer Sunrise. (I think it’s a strange title for something, but she says it’s to depict “a fun little romp through a Florida setting.”) From the way she describes vampires, I can’t imagine one settling in Naples, Florida, but that’s one more example of her strange mind at work. And I don’t think the creature in this story acts like a vampire very often. The creature stalking him does, as far as I can tell, but who am I to judge? I’m not from your world.

The next scene goes online tonight when she takes a break from proofing the galleys for Choices Meant for Gods. I'm stunned at how long that's taking her.

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Thursday, March 8, 2007

She's Got This Black Book

While sitting here waiting for Sandy to get around to (excuse me, I wasn’t being impatient, I was just waiting) writing this evening. (Give me just a minute, she’s arguing with me. Seems I need to define “author” for her.)

While waiting for Sandy to get around to writing this evening, after waiting for her to get home from working late, after being ignored while she was at work all day (and, yes, despite whatever she may tell you on her blog, she does ignore me when she’s at work, and it makes me crazy), I picked up this black book she keeps on the desk here in the writing den. As much as I hated to interrupt her (thus making me wait longer to get her to writing), I wanted to ask questions. It turns out this book is a Bible and it tells the history of your society’s god. Now, in the society from whence I come, we have many gods and goddesses and lesser gods and goddesses, and nobles who serve them in their city in the northeastern region of Onweald. And that’s where my bride comes in. She’s supposed to protect the most annoying of these gods, Master Rothahn, my grandfather. Because he’s family, I can’t very well just put a sword through him when he antagonizes Mandy, but there are times when I’d sure like to.

Sigh. And there are times, like right now, when I’d sure like to at least stuff Sandy in a closet and shut the door. She’s telling me no one cares about my polytheistic society.

So what do you people want me to write about here? I’m not allowed to give you deep, dark, personal secrets about Sandy Lender or she’ll probably kill off my bride in some horrific battle and marry me off to some vacuous, conniving woman from Bellan. Anyone have any ideas or requests?

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

A Choices Meant for Gods Testimonial

Sandy is ecstatic over the latest testimonial she’s received for Choices Meant for Gods. She has a few of these now from other authors, which I guess is what you’re supposed to have for the back cover of a new book, but now she has one from a fellow who is not only an author, but also a reviewer for a magazine. This means something in your society. I can tell because she’s very excited about it.

Choices Meant for Gods is without a doubt the freshest most engaging high fantasy novel to come out in years and breathes new life into a tired genre. The characters leap off the page and the plot is lightning quick and deftly written with many layers that tease the mind and imagination. Choices Meant for Gods is not a mere novel; it is a gorgeous piece of written art. I can hardly wait for the second book!”

Jamieson Wolf, Linear Reflections
Author of Hope Falls, Electric Pink, Electric Blue, and Garden City

I’ll post (it is “post,” isn’t it?) some of these others she has over the next few weeks.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

She Let This Guy Put Needles All Over Her!

I just about drew a sword this evening, but Sandy stopped me. She’s told me I can’t kill the man she’s divorcing (which is a shame because I need to put a sword through that one), because people in this society don’t solve their issues by killing each other. Now, I’ve seen the news channel on the television that the other person in her household watches, and I know for a fact that people kill each other all the time here, but she refuses to let me do it.

But I digress.

This evening, she went to an acupuncturist. I knew she was going to this appointment, and I knew the person was some form of doctor that she believed was going to help release some of her pent up anger and pain she’s been storing in her muscles. Fine. I don’t understand all of that, but I’ll trust her. I went along because I’ve been worried about her as of late, and I need my author back in top form so she can write this weekend (that, and I care about her). Imagine my surprise when this guy opens up this little package and tries to put a needle in her shoulder. (That’s when I went for the sword.)

So I had to wait out in the lobby.

Because the point of the excursion was to release her pent-up anger, and she actually looked much more peaceful than I’ve seen her in months when she came out to the lobby afterward, I didn’t think it would be appropriate to argue about it all the way home, but I’m not going to let her go back there again. I’ve found that this method works well with Amanda, so I’m going to try it with our author. I drew her a bath of Epsom salt when we got home because she’s supposed to soak in that now. In other words, she’s not working on the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy. She’s soaking. I’m fuming. She’s going to end up with a migraine from this and she won’t be able to write for days.

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Monday, March 5, 2007

She's Not Working on Book III

I have to complain about something. Now, I know I shouldn't because Sandy's very busy, but it's making me crazy watching her run around doing everything except complete the story of my bride. I know she wants to be writing the end of the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy, and she's nearly completed it, but a few things have come up.

These few things (some of which I don't fully understand in your society) include, but are not limited to, the foreclosure on her house, driving for more than two hours a day in obstreperous traffic to the new job she's started with another magazine, the divorce, managing a few blogs to promote Choices Meant for Gods' release, building a website from a software program she's been trying to get someone to order with something called a staff discount since November, and a variety of health issues that stem from the stress I'm watching her deal with. It's very odd. I'll probably get in trouble for writing this, but, you know, this is supposed to be a journal about an author, and this is what starving authors deal with.

I think she'd relax and be more at peace with the events swirling around her if she made the time one evening to work on Book III, and I'm going to shackle her to the computer desk to make that happen one of these nights. I think she has this weekend free of work and other commitments (she said something about saving the whole weekend for herself so she could work on selling the house and building the website). I intend to capture her and tie her to this desk. If anyone would like to assist me in keeping her off the internet/e-mail, just let me know how to make that happen...

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Sunday, March 4, 2007

Her First Book is in Editing Now

Sandy Lender’s Choices Meant for Gods is now with the copy editor at ArcheBooks Publishing. She tells me this bodes well for getting a novel published soon. The next step she’ll see should be the galleys arriving (please keep in mind I’m just typing the random and rapid-fire statements she makes) for her final proofreading and approval.

That sounds like progress to me.

So you should be able to pre-order Choices Meant for Gods soon. Have I listed its ISBN here before? If I haven’t, let me do so now.


That’s the 13-digit code that lets bookstores and websites that sell such fine works of art as Harry Potter from J.K. Rowling, the Sword of Truth series from Terry Goodkind and The Children of Hurin from J.R.R. Tolkein (please keep in mind that Sandy rattles these things off and I have no idea what she’s talking about) find your book easily and quickly. I think Sandy is ready to visit every store in Florida to get them to stock a copy of my story…and I certainly wouldn’t dissuade that.

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Saturday, March 3, 2007

Movie Poster of Choices Meant for Gods

Sandy assures me that movies are all the rage in this society. Because I’ve only seen her attend a handful of movies, I’ll just have to trust her on that. But here you can see an image she created on a web site… (Wait. Let me find out why it’s a web site and not a blog site.)

All right. Here you can see an image Sandy Lender created on a web site of the upcoming novel Choices Meant for Gods. She has the release date of March on there for lack of a better month. Personally, I think she should have used a picture of Amanda instead of the compass rose she’s chosen for the artwork, but she’s very proud of the work her friend Megan Kissinger, a local artist here in Southwest Florida (let me make sure that’s where we are), has created, and she wants to display it for the world to see. You see, Megan Kissinger created the map of Onweald (the world where I typically live) for the book and her artwork will appear in the pages once it’s published.

I’m actually quite impressed. I’ve not met Megan yet, but I understand Sandy is going to interview her and display more of her work over at before the release of Choices Meant for Gods. That is something worth keeping your eyes open for. The sketches Megan started with are wonderful, and, of course, anytime someone produces something on one of these blasted computers I’m flabbergasted by it. Electricity and technology, Sandy calls it all. Personally, I’m looking forward to getting back to Arcana where there are no computers, no electricity, and the only technology I have to worry about is the lantern that bathes my bride in golden light.

What? You thought this blog would be about Sandy all the time? Ha. Not when I’m the one at the typewriter. Oh. Sandy says it’s a keyboard. Not when I’m the one at the keyboard. (But, then, she also told me a keyboard was something musical…something about Duran Duran having a keyboardist…)


Thursday, March 1, 2007

Her Strength Reminds Me of Amanda

I’m not allowed to tell you much of Sandy’s personal life. She’d draw back a bow and fire an arrow at me, I’m sure. And this blog is all about keeping her happy, as I’ve explained before. The happier Sandy is, the safer my bride remains in the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy.

But I feel compelled to write tonight to say, given the horrid events taking place in Sandy’s life, I can’t help thinking how her fortitude mirrors that of my Amanda. It’s inspiring to see her get up each morning and post real and useful information to her blog over at before she sprints off to work. She actually has more than one job, you see. There’s the fulltime position at the magazine. Then there’s the part-time job at a bar on the weekends that is as degrading as it sounds. Then there’s the job of selling her house, which is actually the home she wanted to live in the rest of her life (it’s a darling little place she has here, but, given other circumstances in her life, she must get “out from under the mortgage” as she puts it – whatever that means). Then there’s the job of pre-promoting Choices Meant for Gods.

That’s where I come in.

At first, I was offended that she approached me to do something so self-serving. She told me that my constant badgering over the years and my constant suggestions on the plot and dialogue of Choices Meant for Gods and its sequel in the trilogy entitled her to some help in promotion, but I still balked at the idea. And then she threatened me. She told me things would go “badly” for Amanda if I didn’t do my part to assist. You can bet I signed on to help then.

And now I’m ashamed that it took such tactics to get my help. I should have stopped to look at what was taking place in my author’s life. If I hadn’t been so absorbed in my courting of Amanda, I might have realized Sandy was in dire straights. I might have noticed that my author needed my help.

So let me state, for the record, that I’m pleased to manage this blog. And I encourage everyone to contact your local bookstore to ask them when they’ll have Choices Meant for Gods by Sandy Lender in stock. The book will be released from ArcheBooks Publishing this spring, probably in March. The ISBN (whatever that is) is 978-1-59507-165-1.

In my next post, I’ll tell you all about this incredible review she’s gotten from Linear Reflections.

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