Monday Morning Stepback: Stupidly Happy Edition

The weekly links, opinion, and personal updates post

1. Personal

Do you ever listen to XTC? One of my favorite albums of theirs is Wasp Star [Apple Venus Volume 2] and the song Stupidly Happy has been a constant refrain the past few days:

I’m stupidly happy
Everything’s fine
I’m stupidly happy
My heart pumping wine
I’m stupidly happy
With idiot grin
I’m stupidly happy
You won’t catch me in

Why? Well, the academic year is basically over. I have some thesis defenses and grading, but the wind is very much at my back. All of the things I was worried about have not come to pass (and yes, that should give you a good sense of my typically anxious and pessimistic state of being. For me, “good times” means “nothing really awful is happening right now”!). My department seems safe from the cuts, and my friends kept their jobs. I had my first post-tenure review and it went swimmingly. Research and teaching are both going really well. A senior colleague’s retirement means I get to move into his gigantic corner office (although the loss of that colleague will be huge. He is not being replaced). I am picking out the wall paint today.

The long Maine winter is over and I spent the warm, sunny weekend in our flower gardens and at my sons’ soccer games. I have a new Hospice friend who is an avid mystery and Western reader, and a dear. Everyone in my family is healthy and reasonably happy. I am looking forward to attending RomCon in July [saving RWA for NYC in 2011]. Oh, and I turn 41 today. :)

2. Romantic Times Roundup

I did not attend (and have no plans to, ever), but it has been fun to follow along with the Tweets and posts:

Romantic Times Blog (several posts, scroll down for an amazing shot of an incredibly crowded signing)

Lisabea (author LB Gregg) of Nose in a Book has a fun pic post with shots of Sarah McCarty, Lauren Dane, Tessa Dare and others.

The Deadline Dames have a lot of fun pics (scroll down).

Barbara Vey’s Beyond Her Book blog at PW with lots of pics, including Barbara Taylor Bradford, Harlequin CEO Donna Hayes, Heather Graham as a Mad Hatter that would put Jonny Depp to shame, and some mashed potato martinis, a trend I first heard about maybe 7 or 8 years ago, and that I had hoped would be long gone by now.

WickedJungleOnline has a neat slideshow video featuring UF and paranormal authors including Carolyn Crane, SJ Day, MJ Davidson, and others.

Jill D., of Romance Rookie, has a Day One post. I am sure she will have more to come.

Amy C, of Romance Book Wyrm has a post with lots of pics.

Also check out Jane of Dear Author‘s post, which has gotten a two three and counting very heated comments from one of the Mr. Romance contestants who felt dissed by the post and also, apparently, subject to sexual harassment by a “very popular author” and her friends in their suite. A second contestant chimed in ot complain that he was not invited to said orgy.

KristieJ’s post on RT at Reader’s Gab.

Sarah of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books has a post up.

Sarah’s Tweet stream also had loads of great pictures.

Some other RT tweets of note:

Fun picture tweets:

@Zoe_Archer The red hot dance team of me, @carrielofty, @sherrythomas and RT’s Morgan at the Ellora’s Cave #RT10 party.

KristieJ being a terrific sport by wearing a Mullet wig!

Blind Item Tweet:

@Ethiopiansiren Authors: Nearly all in attendence @ Sat’s bookfair were amazing and kind. But those who give bitchface then leave early? Readers talk. #RT10

Creepiest Tweeter:


TheCreepyDoll @SevickBrown Wasn’t I awesome? Didn’t you like me? I sure did like you. I’m so sad that you didn’t like me. I bet I can make you like me.#rt10

Never underestimate continued popularity of JR Ward: @AlannaCoca Stalking JR Ward at the book signing. Check out the crowd there! #RT10

And a great shot of author Tracy Cooper-Posey and (her husband?) Mark, complete with red leather, dog collar and leash! (thanks to @CaitMiller)

Tweeter Most Likely to Make Mr. Romance [aka “the mangeant”] Contestants Cry:

Tor Books editor @HeatherOsborn I feel a little sad for Mr. Romance’s body image issues. #getoveritpussy #mangeant #rt10

@HeatherOsborn Judges choice! And the winner is… Jamie. This is only the beginning Jamie. THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER. #mangeant #rt10

@ HeatherOsborn These ballroom dancers have the sexual heat of a vomit crusted sink. #mangeant #rt10

3. Links of Interest

The NYT reports on growing numbers of Twitter grammar and spelling police (thanks to @keirasoleore)

Provoking an irate reaction seems to be largely the point. GrammarCop, one of several people who seem to exist on Twitter solely to copy-edit others, recently received a beatdown from the actress Kirstie Alley, to whom he had recommended the use of a plural verb form instead of a singular. “Are you high?” Ms. Alley wrote back. “You really just linger around waiting for people to use incorrect grammer? you needs a life.” (One of Ms. Alley’s people said that the actress was too busy to comment for this article.)

Think anyone pointed out to her that she misspelled “grammar”?

Niall Alexander at Walker of Worlds on SF Fatigue — why he had it and what books got him out of it. (From @Milerama)

For all that science fiction purports to be a genre in which boundless imagination roams the narrative wilds untamed by such dullard concerns as reality and mere mortality, towards the end of my reading spree those words, so often spoken to champion the genre, felt somewhat hollow. Rather than freeing, sci-fi seemed to me a storytelling medium as constricting as any real-world space.

Kindle now has “collections” capacity. Yay! But it is a royal PITA to get it to work. Boo! Karen at Books on the Knob tells you all you need to know.

Most of us know by now that AAR and Ramblings on Romance were plagiarized. Jane of Dear Author has written a post detailing the recourse a blogger has if she is “scraped”.

May 1 was Blogging Against Disablism Day. I was puzzled at first by the use of the word “disablism”, until I realized that is the preferred term in the UK, while folks in the US use “ableism”.

Here are a few good posts:

Form the F Word, a guest post by Amy Clare On Being a Disabled Blogger

…every disability is invisible on the internet – meaning, blog posts do not come with a report detailing all the difficulties its author experienced while writing and moderating it. Fighting disablism in the blogosphere, then, necessitates awareness, in the mind of the able-bodied reader or fellow blogger, that the post they are reading may have come from a disabled writer, that this writer may have any number of the problems described above, and that ultimately, a person’s disability may require more attention than the internet does.

Also at the F Word, What is Disablism?

From Feministe, a post on Addressing Ableist Language

Switchin to Glide has a post up questioning the feminist emphasis on “independence” :

What if instead of deriving so much pride from our independence, we took pride in our networks and community memberships? This is not to say that we cannot be proud of both, however, the exaggerated emphasis on independence, emancipation, and liberation in privileged Western feminisms bars important members of our feminist communities from participating fully.

And a wide ranging roundup of links to posts on topics such as education, technology, sex and love, access, and other issues from a disabilities perspective from Diary of A Goldfish.

4. Upcoming on this here blog…


I’ve got reviews of Jo Beverly, Jo Goodman, Barbara Dunlop (Silhouette Desire), and Cheryl St. John (SuperWendy’s blogger bundle) to write. Also part 2 of my summary of the PCA paper on ethical criticism of genre fiction.

I’m pushing the Romance Roots Readalong of Jane Eyre back to Tuesday May 25. Sunday May 23 (in deference to BEA).

I’ll write a post with some observations to get discussion going, and folks should feel free to comment here or write their own post and put a link in the comments. Whatever works for you. I will leave the post open for as long as people want to comment: this will not be a scheduled discussion.

I am thinking of doing some theme weeks this summer, such as a mystery week, a nonfiction week, and a blue collar hero week (for our driving trip in August to a Tigers game). Also, the long awaited Penis Week Member Week Cucumber Week is coming soon. I promise.

Finally, I now have some time to work on a RRR logo image and decent banner. Hopefully things will look better around here soon.


15 responses

  1. Urp. I will have to still do my JANE EYRE post on the 14th – on the 25th, I will be at BEA, so not around to comment.

    I’ll send you the link, though.

    I’m up to the houseguests section, and have a bunch of notes!


  2. I feel you. Happiness is this semester at my back. Maybe I’ll actually be able to participate in Romancelandia again. That would be nice.


  3. Good Lord. Where did you get that edition of Jane Eyre? She’s got an empire-waist dress, 1960s hair & makeup, and something very strange going on with her pinky finger.


  4. Happy Birthday!!! I kept meaning to write that, but then I kept following links out of this post. Wow! Action packed!

    So glad you’re stupidly happy. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving person. Have a great day!


  5. That song has long been a family favorite at our house.

    Happy Birthday!

    I hate the couple of weeks AFTER the semester ends (which I’m in) the most–no routine, and everyone is trying to do all the stuff they’ve been putting off for weeks and get it approved ASAP.


  6. @Victoria Janssen: Yes, send the link, and happy hosting!

    @Laura Vivanco: Thank you!

    @Angela/Lazaraspaste: Do I hear an offer for another guest blog? When shall I pencil you in? ;)

    @Cecilia Grant: I am so glad you appreciated the awfulness of that cover. I wish I knew just where it came from. but the fires of hell tell no stories.

    @Carolyn Crane: thanks!

    @Chris: Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the links. RT is something I enjoy a lot … from a distance of about 1000 miles.

    @Liz: I know, I am crazy busy actually with those loose ends, too, but just the change in routine — to a NEW kind of busy — is refreshing.

    And so glad to find another XTC fan in the house!

    @Janet W: Sure. So far we have Valdez, Crane, and Beverley. Any other cucumbers in romance novels that anyone can think of (the word that is)?


  7. Oh, give me a topic and I will give you a guest blog . . . after this Sunday, I mean. ;)


  8. Big cheers for Jessica’s birthday (you’re still a decade younger than me, my friend) and a corner office. I’m jealous of your end of semester, though: I have two more weeks plus finals still, and I’m dragging.

    RomCon is going to be so much fun! And I’m looking forward to Cucumber Week and Jane Eyre.


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