Blackhawk!

Corrina Lawson

Thoughts on Writing, Comics, Reading and Pop Culture

Fun Times For Me, Quiet on Live Journal
Blackhawk!
corrinalaw
I know I've basically let this blog lie fallow in the last six months or so. Most of my creative blog posts were going over to the GeekDad blog on Wired.com and, now, for the GeekMom Blog which is now over on Wired.com

I wish ter369 were still here to see this because I've basically move from Lois Lane to Arianna Huffington, albeit on a much smaller scale. A paid blogger plus a book deal --the GeekMom Book from Potter Craft is coming out in October--and I'm about to have my fifth fiction book released from Samhain Publishing. Luminous, which is an urban crimefighter superhero story

And the thing that made me utterly SQUEE! is that the some of the backstory from Phoenix Rising, my first superhero tale from Samhain, is now a published four-page comic book story

It won't be the only one either. I have an erotica story scheduled for next spring featuring the as-yet unpublished Trisha & Grayson from Above the Fold. And a spy story last that year feature Dinah from Dinah of Seneca

None of these things I can share with Ter. I selfishly miss her terribly And meeting the wonderful rachelcaine last month at the Romantic Times conference in Chicago only reminded me of how much. And that reminded me I should catch up at least once in a while here. If you're ever looking for me, though, my website is www.corrina-lawson.com.

So in an attempt to catch up a bit, I'm going to post the draft of something I wrote in February when I was part of a parenting blogger junket sponsored by Universal about The Lorax:
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I'm sitting here in my room at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills as part of a press junket for the Lorax. And things will go fine with that but after a night spend in what I can only call pampering, I tried to sort out what makes a luxury hotel. 

1. Customer service. Well, d'uh. But I've stayed at a Ritz Carlton and not had great service. This people are friendly and competent and lovely. It's sort of like Disney for rich people. (Or those pretending to be rich for a bit.) 

2. The bathroom. OMIGOD. I took a photo. It's one of those glass enclosed deep tubs with all the hot water you could want, plus robes to wear after washing, plus so many mirrors and, well, I know what i want my bathroom to be now. 

3. Atmosphere. At the continental breakfast poolside, some great jazz standards played quietly in the background. Service was friendly and attentive. 

I could have cheerfully sat there all day reading my LA Times. 

4. My Sunday LA Times was delivered in a loved "Four Seasons" cloth bag. My toothpaste (I forgot it!) was delivered in a fancy dental kit. 

5. When I ordered a Guinness for a late snack last night, it was a bottled Guinness from Ireland. NOT the stuff you buy in the grocery store. Napkins were all arranged, etc. Details, details. 

6. The room had a lovely scene when I walked in.

7. BALCONY.  With a view of the Hollywood sign. I know, those jaded won't care. But..DUDE. :) 

8. Location I would guess is key, mainly meaning the weather being lovely. 

9. Big Screen TV. Extra pillows. comfortable chairs. Free internet....

Ghost Cat
Blackhawk!
corrinalaw
The short story: we trapped a stray kitty and now he's with us but still very, very worried about *bad things* happening. He's healthy and allowing small pettings, however.
 There he is, still looking very worried. One thing I only realized when I got him into the open is what a big cat he is. He'd been all hunched into himself until recently. 

The long story:
The youngest daughter had been feeding a stray in hopes of getting him to trust us. When the weather hit near zero, I agreed to borrow a humane trap from the local animal shelter. Two days later, he was inside and not happy about it. 

However, he was in such good shape, I worried he was someone's pet so I stupidly--I can't believe how dumb this way--tried to touch him. He bit me. 

Which meant quarantine at the local animal shelter for two weeks for a rabies watch. 

He turned out healthy, I found a vet recommend by my local rescue organization that did all the blood work, tests, and neutering at a discount. Verdict: he's about a year old, tests all came back that he's healthy, and now he's not a tom cat any longer. 

I'm not sure if he was a feral from the start or abused. He spent two weeks after his operation hiding behind my washing machine. I had to take him back to the vet for a booster shot yesterday and while he'll tolerate touching, try to pick him up and you get bitten. Which I did. At least no rabies watch this time and I took him to the vet in a carrier where the top pops off. 

We popped off the top, the vet gave him a shot, he stayed hunched in the carrier, and back home he came. He's in my bathroom now so he can't hide and has some small, regular contact with people on a daily basis. But no picking up. :) 

As I said, he's LARGE. We think he might have some Maine Coon cat in him. If he manages to sneak out of my bathroom, then I'll just let him hide to his content but I'll stop feeding him separately. I figure he'll eventually come out for food. 

His name is Jacob Marley's Ghost because he came at Christmas. The kids call him Jacob. I'm calling him Ghost. 

He's really very sweet, not aggressive at all unless you pick him up, and completely quiet. No meows. At all. 

What I've Learned By Watching the Big Valley
Blackhawk!
corrinalaw

Insp Channel have been running The Big Valley, a television western from 1965-69 that holds up extremely well despite it's age. I wrote a longer story about why you should love the show for Sequential Tart but I've been learning new things every day from the show and wanted to list them.

1. Do Not Make the Matriarch Angry.

Victoria Barkley, the matriarch of the clan, is played by Barbara Stanwyck and she's awesome. But in the episodes I've seen, Victoria has been a mean shot with a rifle (her body count must be in the double digits at least), driven a rig cross-country to deliver medical supplies to the Indian reservation, protected a group of women being pursued by bad guys, took down two murderers chasing her and her daughter while unarmed, got involved in a sex scandal with a politician, fought her way out of an underground cave.

For good measure, she's a mean cook too. I think she and Cordelia Naismith would get along very well.

2. Fighting is the Best Way to Make Friends

I learned this from Nick, the hot-tempered middle brother. There are conditions. One, you have to fight with someone the first time you meet them, thus allowing time to make friends later. Nick does this at least four times in the episodes I've watched so far, including the first time he meets his new brother, Heath, and with Pernell Roberts, doing a very bad Irish accent.

3. Good Lawyers Can Get Guilty Clients Freed

Jarrod, the eldest, is the smart one and he's so smart that twice he's defended guilty clients and created enough doubt in the minds of a jury to have them believing his client is innocent. On the bad side, both clients were actually murderers and Jarrod had to kill one of them. Maybe the lesson should be that when the whole community thinks someone is guilty, including your brother and the Sheriff, believe them.

4. Illegitimate Younger Sons Must Be Sexy

Heath, played by Lee Majors, is definitely the most purely sexy of the brothers. I think this is why he's often in situations when his shirt is removed or unbuttoned.

5. Gunshot Wounds to the Head Don't Cause Long-term Problems.

It's very interesting what kinds of shots kill people in The Big Valley. Jarrod has been hit in the head twice by bullets that only "creased" the skull. Not much blood loss, either, though Jarrod once did have amnesia for a week or two. The Sheriff was hit the same way and survived with no ill effects. Not much blood loss either.

6. Some Horses are Very Patient.

I say this with no irony. The horses on the show had to be some of the most well-trained animals in Hollywood. They're often standing around in a scene, being very quiet, or sometimes ridden up cliffs or what looks like treacherous ground or around when the fake guns are being used. Despite the loud noises, they hardly ever flinch. Except when it's plot-required.

7. Great Theme Music Always Helps

I present the theme song to the Big Valley.

Anne McCaffrey, Who Made Me Want to Fly
Blackhawk!
corrinalaw
This is how I know I have the right friends list because I clicked on it and saw four tributes to Anne McCaffrey on top. 

I wrote my own for Wired/GeekDad tonight. 

The White Dragon contains so many favorite scenes but the ones with MasterHarper Robinton nearly broke my heart. 



The SnowStorm that Canceled Halloween
Blackhawk!
corrinalaw
My youngest son says that should be the title of a book. He's absolutely right.

I know I've been absent on and off here as I pour my blogging energies into GeekMom and GeekDad and my personal updates at my new website but some things don't belong there. They belong here. :) 

Such as my tale of woe about the October snowstorm, being without power with the kids for ten days, a journey which included a stay at my mother's in Boston, a hotel one night, a different hotel the next night and finally back home when power returned at 2 a.m. 

As you can see from the photo, even the kid's playset got taken out.  There used to be a nice canvas canopy for their little clubhouse.

Luckily, the house was not damaged, though we have a lot of big branches broken on the tall trees that are dangling still. We have tree guys coming this week for that. 

And in appears that our insurance check will cover it as well. This is good.

Two things I have learned:

1. I need more underwear. We ran out of clean underwear for the kids too fast as well. And there are no laudromats near me. This is not good. Clearly, I need to save a google search for them and keep it handy. 

2. Cats get cuddlier when it's colder. Our newest kitty, likes us, but she follows us around and is not a lap cat. She turned into one when the temperature dropped. She sat on my lap in front of the fire, as cats should do, I think. 

I could see the wheels turning in her brain. "Ah, hu-mans, you are definitely good for something after all besides feeding and providing amusement." 

She's back to avoiding laps now. 

Now, if only I'd had the hero of my new release, Phoenix Rising, around. Firestarters definitely would come in handy for providing warmth. At least the power returned in time for me to celebrate my release day last Tuesday. And I appear to have a hit on my hands, as the book made the Samhain Publishing bestseller list.

Yes, I was a dork and screen-capped that. :) 

So...I got THE CALL But Not the One I Was Expecting
Blackhawk!
corrinalaw
GeekMom editors Natania Barron, Kathy Ceceri, Corrina Lawson, and Jenny Williams are thrilled to announce that their book GEEKMOM: Projects, Tips, and Adventures for Moms and Their 21st Century Families is going to be published by the Potter Craft division of Crown Publishing! The book explores the many fun and interesting ways that moms and kids can get their geek on.

Spanning everything from superheroes to science, the GeekMom book will contain a variety of projects and activities that moms and kids will enjoy working on together, activities designed for the whole family, and even projects for moms to try when they get a few precious minutes alone. Every project will be designed with an eye toward learning and discovery, and infused with geeky flavor, be it through pop culture, music, science, or crafts.

It is currently scheduled to be out for the 2012 holiday season.

Get ready, world. We're coming.
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So that's the official announcement. :) 

Those of you who have read this journal for a long time know the journey I've taken to get my fiction published. Mostly, my non-fiction work was just flat-out fun and gave me a chance to flex my journalism muscles. I certainly never anticipated this!

I started with Sequential Tart, added GeekDad, and then we started GeekMom last year. It was a ton of work and not much pay in return but, again, I had a blast doing it.  The GeekMom editors had been working on the book before we started the blog then we finally got the proposal just right last spring and, publishing moving as slowly as it does, this just happened last week. I had no big expectations as I've got a lot of rejection slips in my file (and in email form), so this has a certain sense of unreality about it. 

It's a good enough advance that I'm certain we're going to get a big push from their marketing department. I selfishly hope this means I'll be at more comic cons and especially Geek Girl Con in Seattle next fall. And SDCC this summer. Well, I'm already planning on that but The Great Road Trip (tm) is worth a post all by itself. 

In the meantime, our deadline is pretty tight, so I'm rushing to get a fiction submission done, edits on the  superhero novella, Luminous, that I sold to Samhain just about six weeks ago, and, Phoenix Rising is due out from Samhain Publishing next month. Well, chaos is my natural state so I'm sure I'll be harried but having fun. 

It's not like I didn't spend time writing anyway. But this time, I'm getting paid. 

Wee!!

And one of the first things that crossed my mind after the deal was done for The GeekMom book, was Ter talking about "blogger book deals." We both wondered how those things happened. 

So know I know. 

Phoenix Rising Book Cover
Blackhawk!
corrinalaw
It occurs to me I should add in the blurb and tagline:

The blurb elves at Samhain Publishing outdid themselves with this one.

Tagline: He was born to be a weapon. For her, he must learn to be a hero.

Blurb: Since birth, Alec Farley has been trained to be a living weapon. His firestarter and telekinetic abilities have been honed to deadly perfection by the Resource, a shadowy anti-terrorist organization—the only family he has ever known.

What the Resource didn’t teach him, though, is how to play well with others. When psychologist Beth Nakamora meets Alec to help him work on his people skills, she’s hit with a double-barreled first impression. He’s hot in more ways than one. And her first instinct is to rescue him from his insular existence. Her plan to kidnap and deprogram him goes awry when her latent telepathic ability flares, turning Alec’s powers off.

Hoping close proximity will reignite his flame, she leads him by the hand through a world he’s never known. And something else flares: Alec’s anger over everything he’s been denied. Especially the passion that melds his mind and body with hers. The Resource, however, isn’t going to let anything—or anyone—steal its prime investment. Alec needs to be reminded where his loyalties lie…starting with breaking his trust in the woman he’s come to love.

Warning: Contains telekinetic sex, nuclear explosion sex hot enough to melt steel, and various and sundry swear words. Phoenix Rising will be released November 5. Yay! P.S. I love writing the warnings for Samhain. So much fun.  


It's due out in November from Samhain. 



Back in Touch--Summer, Kids, Six Flags & Football
Blackhawk!
corrinalaw
 Sadly, I've been so out of posting that I didn't even realize there was a great livejournal tech issue until popping in today. 

I've been busy with some stuff that's good---going to RWA National, doing lots of stuff w/GeekMom, spending time with my kids. 

And lots of stuff that's frustrating, like spending time with my kids. :) 

Summer is like that. 

Got three big events planned for August.

First is a trip to Six Flags New England. Scored some media passes for us. It's about 15 minutes away but we haven't gone in years because six people times $30 or so each--is, well, enough to pay my cable bill for the month. 

Second is a trip on a press junket set up by Rawlings, the equipment manufacturer. They're doing a big push on their new safety helmets for football and invited me and said I could take one of my kids, if they loved football. So the youngest son is going. Rawlings is picking up the tab for the flight to St. Louis and I'm really interested in seeing the science behind these helmets. Not just so I know the pro game is safe but because injuries can happen to kids playing the game. The son is also pretty psyched. I don't know if I'll have Friday evening free in St. Louis or not. We'll see.

The third is my new nephew's christening. Ciaran John. I'm the godmother. That'll be in Boston and will be good. 

I guess the fourth big thing is helping my eldest move into her college dorm. She's excited about it. Given that she has far too much energy this summer and is in the house too much, I'm excited too. I suppose I'll miss her at some point....hah! About the same amount she'll miss me, maybe. :) 

Oh, and I got the blurb for my new book coming out in November, Phoenix Rising: 

Tagline:

He was born to be a weapon. For her, he must learn to be a hero.

Blurb:

Since birth, Alec Farley has been trained to be a living weapon. His firestarter and telekinetic abilities have been honed to deadly perfection by the Resource, a shadowy anti-terrorist organization—the only family he has ever known. What the Resource didn’t teach him, though, is how to play well with others.

When psychologist Beth Nakamora meets Alec to help him work on his people skills, she’s hit with a double-barreled first impression. He’s hot in more ways than one. And her first instinct is to rescue him from his insular existence.

Her plan to kidnap and deprogram him goes awry when her latent telepathic ability flares, turning Alec’s powers off. Hoping close proximity will reignite his flame, she leads him by the hand through a world he’s never known. And something else flares: Alec’s anger over everything he’s been denied. Especially the passion that melds his mind and body with hers.

The Resource, however, isn’t going to let anything—or anyone—steal its prime investment. Alec needs to be reminded where his loyalties lie…starting with breaking his trust in the woman he’s come to love.

Warning: Contains telekinetic sex, nuclear explosion sex hot enough to melt steel, and various and sundry swear words.

Phoenix Rising will be released November 5. Yay! The people over at Samhain did an awesome job on the blurb. 

Funniest Book Trailer I've Seen
Blackhawk!
corrinalaw
 It's not so much a book trailer as it is making fun of book trailers....

And, natch, lots of geeky references...Chris writes some of the best regencies but my favorite book of hers is self-pubbed, featuring a modern-day librarian with the dewey decimal number of "The Right Stuff" tattooed on her ass. Said librarian gets into trouble when she runs into a spy named Bob. 



Rambling Musings....
Blackhawk!
corrinalaw
 I saw something in the NY Times book review about Barbara Eden writing a book about "I Dream of Jeannie" and it finally occurred to me what a sick premise that was. Man finds bottle with beautiful, scantily-clad woman who then calls him "master." 

Hijinks ensure, though apparently not the kind one would expect, since I didn't get that part of it as a kid.

Tony was the nice guy. Roger was the one who saw the *real* possibilities inherent in the arrangement. 

Thinking of Tony aka Larry Hagman made me think of "Dallas" which I never liked much and then to "Dynasty" which I absolutely adored. 

And that made me think of Steven Carrington.

That character never seems to get any credit for being a gay male on television when there were no gay men. I think he's the very first I encountered who was openly gay. Steven was genuinely a good guy and emotionally torn up by his father's failure to accept that he was gay. On the other hand, both Steven's sister Fallon and his mother, Alexis were fine with him being gay. (Though Alexis might have done that just to be contrary to Blake.) 

But Steven was the one character on the show you wanted to have a happy ending and you wanted it to be with a guy because that's absolutely what he wanted, despite his marriage to Sammy Jo. 

That made me wonder just how many impressionable young male minds Steven Carrington affected to the good. Because there were a LOT of teenage boys watching that show in the second season. Why? Young Heather Locklear. In skimpy costumes. I realized this when my older brother (then 16) started watching the show every week.

I wonder if anyone subconsciously connected the dots about being gay such as "wow, he's married to Heather Locklear and doesn't want her? So *that's* what gay really means. Huh." I don't think many objected because those teenage boys were no doubt happy to take Sammy Jo right off Steven's hands. 

There's a geek connection to Steven Carrington. The second actor to play the character was Jack Coleman aka HRG on "Heroes," In "Heroes," 

Al Corley, the first actor to play the role, left the show, however because he didn't like what he termed Steven's "shifting" sexual identity. At the time, watching, I thought it was clear that Steven really was gay but wanted to please his family. But I have no doubt there were some valid objections to the way his sexual identity was written. 

Here's Jack Coleman on the role:
http://youtu.be/T2huaLHjXY0

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