Saturday, December 08, 2007

Which Lunatic Am I?

I came across this fun quiz on someone else's blog:

I'm Joshua Abraham Norton, the first and only Emperor of the United States of America!
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

Naturally, being the...um...eccentric person I am, I couldn't resist trying it out and getting the above result. I have to say, I definitely think that's who I was in another life. ;-) Here's the full description from their web page:

You are Joshua Abraham Norton, first and only Emperor of the United States of America!

Born in England sometime in the second decade of the nineteenth century, you carved a notable business career, in South Africa and later San Francisco, until an entry into the rice market wiped out your fortune in 1854. After this, you became quite different. The first sign of this came on September 17, 1859, when you expressed your dissatisfaction with the political situation in America by declaring yourself Norton I, Emperor of the USA. You remained as such, unchallenged, for twenty-one years.

Within a month you had decreed the dissolution of Congress. When this was largely ignored, you summoned all interested parties to discuss the matter in a music hall, and then summoned the army to quell the rebellious leaders in Washington. This did not work. Magnanimously, you decreed (eventually) that Congress could remain for the time being. However, you disbanded both major political parties in 1869, as well as instituting a fine of $25 for using the abominable nickname "Frisco" for your home city.

Your days consisted of parading around your domain - the San Francisco streets - in a uniform of royal blue with gold epaulettes. This was set off by a beaver hat and umbrella. You dispensed philosophy and inspected the state of sidewalks and the police with equal aplomb. You were a great ally of the maligned Chinese of the city, and once dispersed a riot by standing between the Chinese and their would-be assailants and reciting the Lord's Prayer quietly, head bowed.

Once arrested, you were swiftly pardoned by the Police Chief with all apologies, after which all policemen were ordered to salute you on the street. Your renown grew. Proprietors of respectable establishments fixed brass plaques to their walls proclaiming your patronage; musical and theatrical performances invariably reserved seats for you and your two dogs. (As an aside, you were a good friend of Mark Twain, who wrote an epitaph for one of your faithful hounds, Bummer.) The Census of 1870 listed your occupation as "Emperor."

The Board of Supervisors of San Francisco, upon noticing the slightly dilapidated state of your attire, replaced it at their own expense. You responded graciously by granting a patent of nobility to each member. Your death, collapsing on the street on January 8, 1880, made front page news under the headline "Le Roi est Mort". Aside from what you had on your person, your possessions amounted to a single sovereign, a collection of walking sticks, an old sabre, your correspondence with Queen Victoria and 1,098,235 shares of stock in a worthless gold mine. Your funeral cort├Ęge was of 30,000 people and over two miles long.

The burial was marked by a total eclipse of the sun.

~~~~~~~~~~

I noticed right away the day he proclaimed himself Emperor--September 17--is my birthday. So this is most definitely me. The only thing they forgot is, of course, I need an obelisk on my grave. We rulers of the world generally expect something spectacular!

Liz, Queen of the Universe

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Cover, and Release Date

First, I want to share the lovely new cover art with you for my upcoming release, ONE TOUCH BEYOND:



Perhaps "lovely" isn't the right word. Maybe spooky? I think it's amazing, and I'm only slightly prejudiced. ;-)

Second, I have the release date and ISBN for ONE TOUCH BEYOND:

Release Date: February 21, 2008

ISBN: 978 1419914812

Check here for the latest updates!

Now, on an unrelated topic: how many of you have websites? Of those who do, how many of you do your own website development?

Of those who do...what program do you use, and why would you recommend it?

I've been doing my own HTML coding for my website for forever, and since I've never learned a lot about HTML, that means my website rarely changes, and then only a bit at a time. I'd like to change that...I'd like it to be more dynamic and easier for me to do wonderful things with. So I suspect I'm going to have to go to some type of website development software. But it needs to be easy to figure out, and did I mention it needs to be cheap or free? ;-)

Any suggestions welcome!

Liz

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My Brush With Fame

Recently, I met and had my picture taken with someone famous. Someone who has girls swooning at his feet and has had for years. I'm thinking of saying, I'll never wash that cheek again (where he leaned against it for the picture). Or at the very least, I should have swooned. But what was I doing while we were having the picture snapped? Fainting? Giggling? Flirting? No. I was patting his back. Sheesh. I've been a mom too long, it was on auto-pilot.

Anyway, here's the photo and I'll give you a paragraph or two to see if you recognize him:



Any guesses?

Think 1960s...rock music...British Invasion.

Another clue: think Patrick Swayze in "Ghost" when he's trying to get Whoopie Goldberg to help him.

Yes!

It's Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits!

Feel free to swoon now. :-)

My two daughters bought me tickets to see him in concert for my birthday. They came with me of course, and we had a lovely time. We had great seats, second row right in front of the stage.

Early in the concert, he noticed my younger daughter Helen singing along to one of the songs. He said to her, "You're not old enough to be here. How old are you?"

She responded, "I'm twenty-one."

He said, "Did your mum drag you here?"

She laughed and said, "No, I brought her."

Then he turned to his band and said, "People are crazy here in New Hampshire!" :-)

A couple of minutes later, he said, "Where's that twenty-one year old girl? I want to throw her a CD." So he did. Then he asked her if she had a CD player...yes. Did she have a computer?...yes. "So," he said, "make copies of this for all your friends."

He did throw CDs and t-shirts to others in the audience, but Helen definitely got the lion's share of the attention.

After the concert, he signed autographs in the lobby, and that's when Helen took my picture with him. What a great guy! Helen will definitely remember that concert all her life, as will my other daughter Heather, and me too!

Am I too old to become a groupie? ;-)

Liz

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fun Way to Waste Time

I saw a fun game on a friend’s blog and thought I’d try it.

The game is SCATTERGORIES … and it’s harder than it looks! Here are the rules:

*Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the questions.
* They MUST be real places, names, things … NOTHING made up!
* If you can’t think of anything, skip it.
* You CAN’T use your name for the boy/girl name question.
* If your name happens to start with the same letter as mine, sorry, but you can’t use my answers!

My name: Liz

1. Famous Singer/Band: Led Zeppelin
2. Four letter word: leaf
3. Street: Lincoln
4. Color: Lilac
5. Gifts/Presents: Lamp
6. Vehicle: Lincoln Continental
7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: Lapel Pins
8. Boy Name: Leo
9. Girl Name: Leslie
10. Movie Title: Lost in Space
11. Drink: Lemonade
12. Occupation: Librarian
13. Celebrity: Lisa Marie Presley
14. Magazine: Life
15. U.S. City: Los Angeles
16. Pro Sports Teams: Lions
17. Fruit: Lemon
18. Reason for Being Late for Work: Left home without shoes
19. Something You Throw Away: Leftovers
20. Things You Shout: Leaping Lizards!
21. Cartoon Character: Linus the Lionhearted

Try it yourself and have fun!

Liz

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Liz Needs...

I've gotten pulled into a "meme," whatever that is. Basically, you type "(your name) needs" into Google and then list the top ten things that come up. Minus, of course, all the other people listing THEIR top ten things. So I typed in "Liz needs" and hit the "go" button and here's what I got:

1) Liz needs a man!

2) Liz needs one more taste of her oozing pastry

3) Elizabeth (Smart) needs protection

4) Liz needs help

5) Agent Liz needs catchy slogan

6) Liz needs a hip display name

7) Liz needs to devise a budget and stick to it

8) Liz needs her voice back

9) Liz needs to just SPILL the truth

10) Liz needs to cry more


Hmm. They all seem kind of depressing. I think this Liz needs a psychiatrist! I like the "hip display name" one, though. ;-)

So, try it out yourself and see what you come up with. Who knows...it might inspire you to try something new, just because!

Liz

Friday, June 08, 2007

Tarot Workshop

Only a few days left to register!

Celtic Hearts Romance Writers Academy is proud to announce an upcoming online workshop for June.

Workshop Title: I Predict A New Story In Your Future: Developing Your Story With The Tarot

Presenter: Elizabeth Delisi

Date: June 15 - 30

Description: Are you looking for new ways to breathe life into your outlining process, your plots, your characters? If so, have we got the course for you! Elizabeth Delisi, a.k.a. Madame Liz, will teach you how to use the ancient art of the Tarot to develop stories, plots and subplots, heroes, heroines and villains, and more. You'll learn the history of the Tarot, how to choose a deck, how to read the cards, and how to use those readings to develop and improve your writing. There will be four lectures, four assignments to be posted to the list for all to comment on, and naturally all questions will be answered.

Outline: Lecture One: History of the Tarot, and Choosing a Deck; Lecture Two: How to Read Tarot; Lecture Three: Using Tarot to Develop A Plot; Lecture Four: Creating Characters With Tarot

About the Presenter: Elizabeth Delisi has wanted to be a writer since she was in first grade, and probably would have written in the womb if she could have convinced her mother to swallow a pencil. But life hasn't always gone the way she planned, and on her road to publication she worked as a motel maid, waitress, secretary, administrative aide, substitute teacher, and newspaper reporter.

Elizabeth's novels include a FATAL FORTUNE, first in the Lottie Baldwin paranormal mystery series; LADY OF THE TWO LANDS, a time-travel romance; and SINCE ALL IS PASSING, a suspense. She's written contemporary and paranormal romance novellas for SHIVERS AND SCREAMS, VISIONS AND DREAMS; ENCHANTED HOLIDAYS; HOLIDAY HEARTS; HOLIDAY HEARTS 2; and CUPID'S CAPERS, and has also published two short story collections, MIRROR IMAGES and PENUMBRA. In addition to her writing, Elizabeth edits for several small publishers and individuals, and teaches online writing courses for Writer's Digest. Elizabeth lives in New Hampshire with her husband, dog and cat. She enjoys hearing from her readers at elizabeth@elizabethdelisi.com and invites everyone to visit her website at www.elizabethdelisi.com.

Fee: $10 CHRW members; $15 non-members. RWA Membership isn't required; anyone can take the courses. Celtic Hearts members receive 2 free workshops a year.

Where to sign up: http://www.celtichearts.org/chwksp.html
Please fill out the online form.

Deadline to sign up for this workshop: June 12

Liz

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Oh, The Benefits!

Whenever someone asks me what I do for a living and I say, "I'm a writer," they get all starry-eyed and excited. "Oh, I've never met a writer before!" they say as they crush my hand in theirs, and I try to keep my eyes from watering.

I guess being a writer sounds like a glamorous occupation, second only to being a rock star or Oscar-winning Hollywood actress, and I have to admit, there are bits of it that are really fun. Like oh, for instance, getting to say, "I'm a writer."

:-)

But like any other career, writing is hard work and primarily involves the less-than-glamorous application of your behind to the chair, your fingers to the keyboard, and your brain in gear for many hours a day in order to get anything done.

Writing involves creativity, which is the fun part of it, but also many hours of research, constant education and learning, a good business sense, and many other less-fun things.

"Ah, but the royalties!" you say. "What about those big royalty checks? Surely THAT at least is glamorous."

Let's just say, most royalty checks are closer to allowing me to live in the fabled garret of nineteenth century fame than in a crystal palace with a yacht moored in the private lake in the back yard.

Case in point. I received a royalty check today for...anyone wanna guess?

Time's up.

Sixty-two cents.

Yup. Sixty-two cents.

Now, admittedly that's for a six-author anthology, so the royalties have to be split six ways. And also admittedly, it's for a HOLIDAY anthology and we're at the start of summer, so sales at this point aren't expected to be high for this book.

But still...anyone see me retiring to the Riviera on sixty-two cents? ;-)

"Okay," you persist, "so why do you write for a living, then?"

Good question.

Like most things in life that are worth anything, writing grabs you by the throat and won't let you go. It sucks you in with siren promises of wealth, fame, changing the world through your immortal prose. And once you get in deep enough to realize the unlikeliness of those things occurring...well, you've seen your name on that book cover and you're hooked. You're committed. You're addicted.

So, you keep struggling away at your day job, and in your "free" time you keep putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), writing in the eternal hope that THIS book will be the one to crack the bestseller list and put your name on everyone's lips.

Off I go to cash my sixty-two cent check and get...um...one sixth a cup of coffee, one fifth a gallon of milk, or maybe an entire candy bar. Woo hoo! And then, it's back to work and back to writing. Because after all of the above, there's still no career I'd rather be in. And maybe THAT'S the glamour of writing, eh?

Liz

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

New Reviews

Just thought I'd share a couple of recent reviews with you all.

First, a new review on SINCE ALL IS PASSING:

"Author Elizabeth Delisi takes you on an unbelievable journey fraught with danger and mystery in Since All is Passing...The emotional side of this story was very heartfelt and had me feeling Marie's pain as she relived her tumultuous past and tried to come to grips with her future. I give Since All is Passing 4 Angels."
~~Tammy for Fallen Angels Reviews

To read an excerpt for SINCE ALL IS PASSING or to buy your own copy, go here: http://www.amberquill.com/SincePassing.html


And second, a new review for SHIVERS AND SCREAMS, VISIONS AND DREAMS:

"Each of the stories in the Shivers and Screams, Visions and Dreams anthology were based on a paranormal thread. The book is a showcase of the vivid imaginations of its authors, making this anthology a delightfully stimulating read. If you are the least bit interested in Science Fiction or the Paranormal, this is a must read...I highly recommend Shiver and Screams, Visions and Dreams. Four and a half hearts."
~~Karen H. for The Romance Studio

To snap up your own copy of SHIVERS AND SCREAMS, VISIONS AND DREAMS, go here: http://www.diskuspublishing.com/shiversandscreams.html

Hope you enjoy them both!

Liz

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Deadlines

I haven't posted recently...I've been busy writing, reading, editing, teaching, not to mention my "other" job, taking care of family and household. Heck, I have a deadline (tomorrow, and the story is not nearly done) breathing down my neck.

So why am I writing here?

I dunno. Procrastination, I guess. I've reached the point in the story where I don't want to write the next scene. It just makes me uneasy...too personal. And that begs the question, Do writers work out their personal issues in their writing?

I suppose writing can be very therapeutic. But if you write too closely to what you experience in your life, you're inviting lawsuits. ;-) So you skirt the issue, beat around the bush, changes names and places and a few of the salient details. And what comes out ends up being fiction...which, of course, is what you set out to write in the first place. And it all works out in the end, so that solves the emotional issue.

But that still leaves me with the deadline looming over me.

I think what I need to do is change my image of a deadline. Just say it to yourself: deadline. DEADLINE. DEAD...line. "Dead" does not provide a warm and fuzzy feeling, does it? It sort of hints, "You miss this date and you're dead, buster." Not exactly inspirational, especially when you're struggling to write, fast.

There's a similar word from a different area of my life. In knitting, when working on a complex lace pattern, it's easy to make a mistake, and very difficult to rip out a few rows back to the mistake without losing dozens of those tiny, precise stitches. So when knitting a complicated lace pattern, many expert knitters recommend weaving in a "lifeline" every few rows. This is a separate piece of yarn you weave through the stitches of one row, so if you have to rip it back, you know when you reach that point you can easily put the stitches back on the needle from said lifeline. Thus, you're never completely and totally "dead."

I think we writers need to think of "deadlines" as "lifelines" instead. Something to grab onto, something to shore us up, to help us keep writing. Something to help us keep track and not lose any stitches, and come out with that beautiful lace romance or mystery at the end of it all.

So I'm heading back to my writing, after giving one last tug on my "lifeline" to make sure it's secure. See you on the other side!

Liz

Monday, March 12, 2007

More Commonplace Book Quotes

I've added two more quotes to my Commonplace Book. They're just things that struck me as funny or endearing, not particularly deep, just fun. Here they are:

"It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from there."
~~Robin Williams

Okay, just about anything Robin Williams says is funny. But this just struck me as hilarious.

And quote number two:

"This was a delicious day."
~~My granddaughter on her fifth birthday

What can I say? She's clearly an amazing child. ;-) And as my husband responded to her, "All birthdays should be delicious days."

So, how about you? Have any of you started Commonplace Books of your own? If so, do you have any great quotes you can share with us? I'd love to hear them!

Liz

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Commonplace Book

For years now, I've been listening to "The Thomas Jefferson Hour" on public radio. Have you ever heard it? Check here for more info: The Thomas Jefferson Hour. As the website says, "Humanities scholar and author, Clay S. Jenkinson, adopts the persona of Jefferson each week to comment on current events and answer questions you may have about Jefferson's thoughts on any and all topics."

If you don't get The Thomas Jefferson Hour on your local public radio station, first thing you should do is write or call them and say, Why the heck not? :-) Then second, go here: High Plains Public Radio on Sunday afternoon at 6 p.m. eastern time to listen to it online. Jenkinson is terrific as Jefferson, and the hour is always intriguing, thought-provoking, and just plain fascinating. Trust me, you'll love it.

One of the things that's really stuck with me from listening to The Thomas Jefferson Hour is the mention of Jefferson's "commonplace books." Thomas Jefferson was a scholarly man, a renaissance man, always reading and always learning. In those days, of course, there was no Internet, and no easy way to track down information you'd once heard or read. For this reason, Jefferson and others of his day kept what they called "commonplace books," where they could write down interesting quotes from books they'd read, thought-provoking statements from speeches, etc. As MetaFilter.com says: "With the availability of relatively cheap paper beginning as early as the 14th century, people began to collect knowledge in commonplace books. Bits of quotes, reference materials, summaries of arguments, all contained in a handy bound volume."

Here's a more detailed description: The Lyceum.

I'd really like to start a commonplace book of my own. These days, it's old fashioned to hand-write anything when you could e-mail, but there's something to be said for the pleasure of opening a book, smoothing the blank page, choosing a favorite pen that gives sensual pleasure, and writing. So next time I'm out and about, I'll stop into the local bookstore, find a blank journal and begin.

I already have my first quote:

"I worry that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else."
~~Lily Tomlin

It's hilarious, but not terribly profound on first read. Yet, when you think about it...it hits you. How many "Muzak Inventers" are there for every "Rock and Roll Inventer"? Is it easier to come up with an amazing, unique idea, or easier to sanitize and ruin that original idea? I think we all know the answer, and it's scary!

So, go out there, get yourself a blank journal or book, and start commonplacing. And when you have time, on a Sunday afternoon, listen to Thomas Jefferson. A very wise man.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Contest: Any HTML Experts Out There?

You may have noticed I've changed the background on my blog. I like the new background, except...somehow it seems to have squashed the message area and the links area over to the left, with just empty space on the right. I followed the instructions exactly for installing it, so I'm at a loss for how to fix it.

Thus, I've decided to hold a contest! The first person who can tell me how to fix this problem...that actually results in me being able to fix it...will win a free download of one of my books, whichever one the winner chooses. You can read about my books at www.elizabethdelisi.com.

Sure hope someone comes up with an answer! Thanks!

Liz