Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Brava Novella Contest--Please Vote!

My fellow critique partner, Liz Falkner, has finaled in the Reader's Choice portion of the Brava Novella Contest.

I’m so proud of Liz! She’s a fabulous author (not to mention an all-around great person), and I encourage you to support her by participating/voting in this contest.

Click HERE to access the Brava Forum. You can read the entries (there are 20 total) by clicking on the Brava Novella Reader's Choice Finalist Thread. Liz’s entry is #310, TREASURE’S PLEASURE. Then vote for your favorite three by clicking on the Official Voting Thread. Please note that you must register for the forum in order to vote.

Voting will be open--I believe--for approximately one more week.

Monday, January 28, 2008

January, Month of Empty Pockets!

"January, month of empty pockets! Let us endure this evil month, anxious as a theatrical producer's forehead." -- Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Sidonie Gabrielle Colette, she was a French novelist, who wrote, among other things, Gigi, which became a Broadway play. Click HERE to read more about her. This woman led a very interesting life.

But I’m getting sidetracked...

How many of you are suffering from 'empty pocket' syndrome?
*raising my hand high and waving it madly*

How many of you are dreading receiving your credit card bill?
*raising my hand high and waving it madly*

How many of you have a significant other who doesn’t know how much that credit card bill is going to be?
Thankfully, I don’t fall into that category this year, but only because I forced my husband to go Christmas shopping with me, which is not something he normally does.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

2007 Darwin Award Winner

For those who aren't familiar with the Darwin Awards: Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it.

Back in July, I blogged about one of the 2007 Darwin Award nominees. Click HERE to read the post. The couple that I blogged about won first runner up. So, who was the 2007 Darwin Award Winner? This brilliant guy from Texas...

Michael was an alcoholic. And not an ordinary alcoholic, but an alcoholic who liked to take his liquor...well, rectally. His wife said he was "addicted to enemas" and often used alcohol in this manner. The result was the same: inebriation. And tonight, Michael was in for one hell of a party.

Two 1.5 litre bottles of sherry, more than 100 fluid ounces, right up the old address!

When the rest of us have had enough, we either stop drinking or pass out. When Michael had had enough (and subsequently passed out) the alcohol remaining in his rectal cavity continued to be absorbed. The next morning, Michael was dead.

The 58-year-old did a pretty good job of embalming himself. Toxicology reports measured his blood alcohol level as 0.47%.

In order to qualify for a Darwin Award, a person must remove himself from the gene pool via an "astounding misapplication of judgment." Three litres of sherry up the butt can only be described as astounding. Unsurprisingly, his neighbors said they were surprised to learn of the incident.

If you'd like to read about the other Darwin Award nominees, click HERE.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Most Embarrassing First Date

A friend emailed this to me the other day. I actually saw this show when it aired years ago, and I’ve never forgotten this story because it was so hilarious.

On The Tonight Show, Jay Leno went into the audience to find the most embarrassing first date that a woman ever had. There was absolutely no question as to why this woman took the prize!

She said it was midwinter...snowing and quite cold...and the guy had taken her skiing in the mountains outside Salt Lake City, Utah. The outing was fun but relatively uneventful until they were headed home late that afternoon.

They were driving back down the mountain, when she gradually began to realize that she should not have had that extra latte. They were about an hour away from anywhere with a rest room. Her date suggested she try to hold it, which she did for a while.

Unfortunately, because of the heavy snow and slow going, there came a point where she told him that he had better stop and let her go beside the road, or it would be the front seat of his car. They stopped and she got out of the car, yanked her pants down and started. In the deep snow she didn't have good footing, so she let her butt rest against the rear fender to steady herself.

Her companion stood on the side of the car watching for traffic and indeed was a real gentleman and refrained from peeking. All she could think about was the relief she felt despite the rather embarrassing nature of the situation. Upon finishing however, she soon became aware of another sensation. As she bent to pull up her pants, the young lady discovered her buttocks were firmly glued against the car's fender.

Thoughts of tongues frozen to poles immediately came to mind as she attempted to disengage her flesh from the icy metal. It was quickly apparent that she had a brand new problem due to the extreme cold. Horrified by her plight and yet aware of the humor of the moment, she answered her date's concerns about 'what is taking so long' with a reply that indeed, she was 'freezing her butt off' and in need of some assistance!

He came around the car as she tried to cover herself with her sweater and then, as she looked into his eyes, he burst out laughing. She too, got the giggles and when they finally managed to compose themselves, they assessed her dilemma.

Obviously, as hysterical as the situation was, they also were faced with a real problem. Both agreed it would take something hot to free her chilly cheeks from the grip of the icy metal. Thinking about what had gotten her into the predicament in the first place; both quickly realized that there was only one way to get her free.

So, as she looked the other way, her first-time date proceeded to unzip his pants and pee her butt off the fender.

As the audience screamed in laughter, she took the Tonight Show prize hands down. Or perhaps that should be 'pants down'.

Jay Leno's comment: "This gives a whole new meaning to being pissed off."

Oh, and how did the first date turn out?

He became her husband and was sitting next to her on The Tonight Show.

Now I’ve had some embarrassing moments on dates, but they did not begin to compare to this. Had it been me, I doubt I would have ever seen this guy again, because I wouldn’t have been able to look him in the face after that.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Compliment Day

Today is Compliment Day. Compliments are a powerful thing. They have the power to brighten someone’s day...maybe even their entire week. They even have the power to soften feelings. Don’t believe me? Try paying a compliment to someone you’re normally at odds with and see if they don't warm up to you just a tad (after they get over the shock of it :) The only clincher is the compliment must be sincere and can’t be 'overdone' (don’t gush!), because people can spot a phony compliment a mile away.

So, hand out a few compliments today. It costs nothing. It makes the recipient feel good. And doesn’t it make you feel good also to know that you brought some happiness to someone with just a few simple words?

I suggest you start with your significant other--because too often we forget to compliment them/thank them--and go from there.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

National Handwriting Day

Today is National Handwriting Day. It’s celebrated on January 23rd because it’s the birthday of John Hancock. He was, as I’m sure you know, the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence and is famous for his large signature.

The purpose of the day is to "alert the public to the importance of handwriting". And frankly, I think we need something to remind people how important it is, because it’s becoming a lost art.

Years ago when I was in school, a huge emphasis was placed on handwriting. In elementary school, we received a handwriting grade. We practiced it every single day. Once we were taught to write in cursive, we were then required to write everything in cursive. If our handwriting was sloppy, it decreased our grade. If it was too sloppy, we had to re-do the paper.

Today, it’s a different story.

My kids spent very little time in school--in class or in the form of homework--practicing handwriting. They were taught cursive, but were never required to use it beyond the 'lessons'. Both of them, now 17 and 13, still print. Frankly, I doubt they even remember how to write in cursive, beyond writing their signature, and they’ll print that if they can get away with it. And sadly, even their print isn’t especially 'pretty'. In fact my oldest son’s handwriting boarders on illegible. But in his defense, he is left-handed and I think his teachers, who were right-handed, didn’t know how to teach a left-handed child to write (and I certainly didn’t know). But, I digress. That’s a subject for another time.

It’s not just my kids who are lacking in cursive ability and penmanship. I’ve talked to other parents about this. I’ve talked to teachers about this. It’s a growing trend.

According to this article in The Washington Post: When handwritten essays were introduced on the SAT exams for the class of 2006, just 15 percent of the almost 1.5 million students wrote their answers in cursive. The rest? They printed. Block letters.

So, why is this becoming a lost art? There are a lot of reasons. In the elementary schools, time that was previously spent on handwriting is now being gobbled up by other subjects, such as computer class, foreign language class (we didn’t take foreign language until high school), PE (we had PE in high school, but not in elementary school--we just played at recess--and yet, we were healthier than kids today are), etc. And let’s not forget the increased importance of year-end testing. The teachers are more concerned with other things. Legible handwriting is not 'tested' and required for a student to pass. What’s that you say? The teachers still have to be able to read the students' work? Sure they do, so the solution is simple--have them type their papers.

Obviously, computer usage/dependency plays a BIG part in this issue.

Even I rarely handwrite anything anymore. Given a choice, I prefer to type. It’s faster. When I write by hand, my hand can’t keep up with my brain. When you type, it’s easier to edit your work--to add passages, to delete passages, etc. The computer also offers me the convenience of spell-check.

These days, other than my signature, about the only things I handwrite are my grocery list and my checks, and with debit cards, electronic banking, and automatic draft, I rarely write checks anymore.

So, today I encourage you all to handwrite something!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger Dead At 28

Wow, what a shock.

I’m a big fan of Mr. Ledger’s work. I thought he was brillant in Brokeback Mountain and Monster’s Ball (which I actually found to be a very disturbing movie, but it was a good movie). I loved him in A Knight’s Tale, The Patriot, and Ten Things I Hate About You.

A tragic loss. It’s such a shame that his daughter will have to grow up without him in her life.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Winner Is...

Thanks to all who entered my January contest! I had my husband draw a name out of the hat, and the winner was...Anna M. from Ohio.

Congrats, Anna! You should receive your prize--a copy of Caine's Reckoning by Sarah McCarty--sometime in the next week. Happy Reading!

Please remember to check my website and blog the beginning of February for information about my next contest.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I Got Nominated For An Award--GO VOTE FOR ME :)

I just discovered that I was nominated for an award--Best Contemporary Author--at Rites of Romance Reviews! I was shocked and absolutely thrilled to get this news.

If you’d like to vote for me (and please do!)....

Voting is being held in the polls section of the RoRRChatters Yahoo group. You must be signed up with the group in order to vote. If you’re not yet a member of the group, just go HERE and then click Join This Group.

Thanks in advance for your support. I really appreciate it!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

January Contest (expires 01/20/08)

The winner of my January contest will receive a copy of Caine's Reckoning by Sarah McCarty (Harlequin Spice, November 2007). I chose this prize because one of the entrants in my December contest listed Caine as the person they’d like to meet under the mistletoe :)

If you’d like to meet Caine--or at least read his story--all you have to do is post a comment on this blog entry between now and January 20th stating that you want to be entered into the drawing. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on January 21, 2008.

Be aware that if you are the winner, your name and state (or country) of residency will be posted on my blog and website. I DO need your email address so I can contact you in the event that you win the drawing. If I can backtrack and locate an address for you (for example, an email address listed on blogger), then that’s wonderful. If not, then you need to send your email address, along with a copy of your post, to pamelatyner@hotmail.com The winner will be notified by email and will have one week to reply. If there's no reply after seven days a new winner will be drawn.

*Please note--due to the erotic nature of this book, you must be at least 18 to enter the contest.*

The Hell's Eight is the only family he's ever needed, until he meets the only woman he's ever wanted...

Caine Allen is a hardened Texas Ranger, definitely not the marrying kind. But when he rescues a kidnapped woman and returns her to town, the preacher calls in a favor. One Caine's honor won't let him refuse. From the moment he beds Desi, Caine knows turmoil will follow. Desi might have the face of a temptress, but she also has a will of iron and while she needs his protection, she's determined that no man will control her again. They establish an uneasy bond, but it isn't enough for Caine. He wants all Desi has to offer. He wants her screams, her moans, her demands…everything. Yet there's still a bounty on Desi's head, and keeping her sexually satisfied is proving easier than keeping her alive.