Licorice Stick World

In The News
music: BBC Books Podcast

We live in a Licorice Stick World. Ours is a generation of small squarish black objects (rapidly turning sliver -- which, I must say, I approve of far more). For example, our phone is the same size and shape as the remote controls (known as zappers in my family) for our TV/VCR/DVD/Radio(AM/FM)/CD/Tape/Speaker/AppleTVDevice/OCD/Rooba/ set-up. Remote controls of which - I might add - we have, oh I don't know 40 or so. Trying to instruct my parents in the art of zappers is harder then the twelve Herculean tasks. Convincing my mom that by putting the TV on Channel 3 and pressing a button she can now watch all channels through the DVD Player is like instructing a pigeon in the fine art of jet propulsion. Not to mention my dad’s huge carpenter hands + failing eyesight versus too small buttons. And yet a way must be found to live with these black licorice stick objects in harmony because there are so many of them, there, waiting to be used.

All in all it should not be surprising that one night, sitting in front of the TV doing my accounts and waiting for a phone call (because I can never just SIT in front of the TV), I kept picking up my graphing calculator, pointing it hopefully at the TV, and pressing the "=" button in a vain attempt to turn up the volume. Or I’d pick up the phone, try to change the channel, and find myself dialing Katmandu. It was at this point I realized how dominated my life is by small licorice stick devices with buttons on them. (Several of which, at my Dad's house, begin wearing masking-tape diapers designed to keep the batteries from falling out -- because, inevitably, the little-plastic-door-battery-keeper-inner is either lost, broken, or lose. Why must this be!?)

I console myself with the fact that I am not yet as bad as my father, whose hand remains attached to the Licorice Stick device at odd times, and then disassociates itself independent of his brain. This results in the zapper turning up in strange places, (like the bathroom counter, the outside picnic table, and in the case of one long distance phone call, the refrigerator). Phone call as follows:

Ringyringringy (phones in England do not go Ring Ring Ring they go ringyringringy)
Gail (bleary): Yerf?
Dad: Hello Daught!
Gail: Popster! Do you KNOW it's 5 am here?
Dad: Where's the zapper?
Gail: Have you lost the remote control again?
Dad: I haven't lost it. You put it somewhere.
Gail: Dad I've been in England for, like, six months.
Dad: So where's the zapper?
Gail (sighs): Kitchen counter?
Dad (much crashing and muttering): Nope.
Gail: The drain board?
Dad (more crashing): Grumble.
Gail (raises hands in air and makes face): Try the refrigerator.
Dad: Ah ha!

Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
MadMen stills for Season 3. Ah, the Clothing!

Your Tisane of Smart:
Victorian Dress Etiquette
Your Writerly Tinctures:
This podcast on a statistical analysis of readers in 2008 is fascinating, even for authors. Data Crunch: Books and Their Competition for Leisure Time Attention - How Do They Stack Up? Here's Bowker's website.

CAKE in Space: With agent.
Soulless: Oooo. Reviewed on i09 no less! "I was a tad embarrassed that I enjoyed this silly and original story so much." And "Soulless is a character-driven romp with great world-building and delicious rapier wit that recalls Austen and P.G. Wodehouse. Mystery and bloodshed abound, tea will be served, and there will be treacle tart!" I'm going out on a limb and speculating that this reviewer was of the masculine persuasion. (This, I knwo know to be the case.)
Changeless: Awaiting copyedit. Release date currently April 2010.
Blameless Gone off to betas.

Quote of the Day:
“Can you destroy the world?”
“Gee, I hope not. That’s where I keep all my stuff.”
~ The Tic