Thursday, April 28, 2005

Oh, my man...I love him so...

Well, things have been quite hectic here on the set of TMSS. After turning in my first few reviews, I had a lunch with my editor. She was quite impressed, I must say. My first review will run in tomorrow's edition. After that it will appear in the Sunday paper, every Sunday, space permitting. I even get a photo and a little by-line running every time I appear. She was so excited over how well this is going already, that she came up with a feature idea. I will be picking 6 books by local authors, and writing a brief description, review and a short interview with each author. This 'Local Writer Roundup' will run later this month. If it goes well, we will probably do it once or twice a year. She also encouraged me to save all of the clippings because she can put me in touch with magazines and other papers for freelance work after I have a little portfolio to show.

As exciting as that is, wait until you hear this:

Home Office has called and/or emailed once a day since I got back from Dallas. They are not taking 'no' for an answer. To get them to quit, I pulled out my tax return and Tom's from 2004 and told them X is what I have to make for Tom to want to close up shop and move to Amarillo. Surprisingly, the salary they came up with was closer than I thought.

Tom looked at me and said 'This is such a great opportunity for you, we should give it some thought.'

Now Tom is not what you would consider 'Romantic,' in the traditional sense. He's not big on flowers or little trinkets like that. Which is good for me, because I am not either. But just saying that was one of the most romantic things he has ever done.
So, in the next few weeks, we will be going to Amarillo. Tom will be job/house hunting, while I walk through home office and see what's up. It is still very possible that I will turn them down. At the end of the day, the money may not be enough, Tom may not find a job, anything can happen. But I am just excited by the possibility and my man, being so supportive.

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Bookseller of Kabul

I just finished this incredible book last night. What a read! I will be reviewing it for my paper, but I thought I would share some stuff with you that I know I won't have room for.

The most interesting thing I found was close to the end of the book. There are two warlords fighting in the southestern part of Afghanistan, each vying for a piece of a very small but strategic town. The interesting part is that one of the armies consists mainly of homo and bi-sexual soldiers. Apparently, homosexuality is 'widespread and tacitly accepted.' That's something you don't hear on the evening news. 'Many blood feuds have been fought over a young lover who divided his favors between two men. On one occasion two commanders launched a tank battle in the bazaar in a feud over a young lover. The result was several dozen killed.'

Another intresting aside is when Sultan Kahn's oldest son goes on a pilgrimage to the mosque believed to hold the remains of Ali, Muhammed's fouth in command. He sees it as a reason to start his life fresh and recommit himself to Islam. He fights with his father to be able to go, but once there, his religious recommitment only lasts through one prayer at dawn, and when he returns home, he has not changed one bit of his lifestyle.


Friday, April 22, 2005

Salute to the Men in Blue

I have a new favorite tv show, Rescue Warriors on the National Geographic Channel. It is a limited run series, following the 2004 class of trainees at Lackland Airforce Base as they try to become rescue paratroopers.
Now, I am not big on war movies, and I have never seen an episode of JAG, but My God, those boys are HOT!
These recruits are all between the ages of 18 and 26 at the most and are in top physical form. They deal mainly with 3 types of training: Indoor, Outdoor, and Water. I love the water excercises...they are in these tiny, tiny speedos and clingy grey tshirts. One of the excersizes involves wrestling with each other in the water. Sigh. I swoon.
The drama of the program is also very engaging (when I remember to turn the volume up). Every day at least one recruit is eliminated or quits. If they quit becuase of the strain, they must pick up a huge airhorn, fire it off, and announce in front of the entire class that they are quitting. It's heartbreaking. Out of a class of 60+, only 15 remain tonight.
Aside from the physical aspect, I have grown to have even more respect for our men in uniform...especially if that uniform is worn well.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot: When they get in trouble with the CO, they have to lie down on their backs and do scissor exercises with their oh-so-beautiful legs in the air! Is it wrong that I root for them to screw up?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Comedy of Errors

I'm back, and soooo excited. It was an incredible trip and I learned some incredible stuff. I made a good friend and a lot enemies. That is how you do the Business Trip.

It started out ok. The Book Manager from Midland and I flew out together. Now, anyone who's been on a business trip know that they like to have everything planned out to the minute, where you stay, what transport you have. So in my man-purse, I had out itinerary, and all the various memos generated in the weeks leading up to this. We got to Dallas Love Field, deplaned and I checked Memo #2: Transportation from the airport. It specifically stated that we were forbidden to take a taxi to the hotel. A shuttle would take us from the airport. As we went down the concourse, I called Tom to let him know I got there ok. We got to the shuttle area, and were told that our hotel only provides service from DFW. Everyone else in the conference was flying into DFW anyway. So there we are, unsure what to do. We said 'Fuck It' and got into a cab. I figured we needed to get to the hotel ASAP, there was a baseball game I was dying to not go to. Unbeknownst to us, someone at the hotel figured out the snafu and sent us a car. The car got there and we were gone. Panic ensued. My boss, his boss and his boss called the airline to see if we had made it. Our names were not on the manifest (a chilling security breach). So they call our homes. Tom is still at work so he misses the call. The other Book Manager's husband freaks out and starts calling the FFA, the Dallas Police, ect.
My traveling companion and I reach the hotel and are told that everyone has already left for the game. We decide to go eat next door. As we are drinking our chocolate martinis. her phone rings, it's her husband. I spend the next hour trying not to listen as she and her husband scream at each other. Our boss enters the Bennigans, feeling very bad that he screwed up, buys us another chocolate martini, hands us tickets to the game. It's all good for me, I don't get too mad too easily.
We get to the game in time for the seventh inning stretch. I am still not sure who won, as I didn't see any touchdowns, or any dribbling.

The conference itself was much better than our arrival. Not only did I learn a lot, but I had a lot to offer. I think it pissed off the more entrenched Book Managers, as they like doing things the old way. But the best part was the President of Book Operations. He searched me out at every break, and offered me a job in the home office on his team. It was so bittersweet. I would love to to it, but Tom can't pack in his business. And I can't go without Tom. But it was nice to know I was wanted...

Monday, April 18, 2005

On Tour

It's finally here. Today I am catching a plane bound for my Book Conference in Dallas. I am pretty damned excited (with the exception of our jaunt to a Texas Rangers baseball game, I mean, Come ON! What booksellers do you know who are avid baseball fans?)
I have spent a week writing copious amounts of notes of stuff I want to discuss. I am afraid I am going to be the Hermione of the group, always raising my hand, and always knowing the answer. It's a good thing Harry Potter is on the agenda. I am going to try to read all of 'Bookseller of Kabul' and write a review while I am there also. I know, pretty ambitious.
Wish me luck. See you when I get back!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Well, Boys and Girls...

I am now a working writer.

Beginning next week, I am submitting a book review every Friday for the Sunday Book Page, as well as a list of bestselling books from my store. In addition, I am encouraged to interview any authors who may have instore signing events, and phone interviews with local authors who have just published. Now, a book a week is actually ambitious, so I will be recruiting some local authors to review other local authors. This is so I can pad my backlog and have reviews to spare in cases of vacation, sick, ect.

To celebrate, Tom and I had a DINK day yesterday. For the uninitiated, DINK stands for Dual Income No Kids. We helped the economy to our disposable income; new shoes, new dvds, new Xbox game for Tom, new art for the living room, new bedsheets, new blankets. It was great. I knew the day was made when Fleetwood Mac was playing over the PA at Bed, Bath and Beyond (Thrown Down...for the curious).


Friday, April 15, 2005


So I am looking through everything I have on paper, and it all looks like crap. How is it that my writing looks good to me, unless I have to submit it?
The absolute worst thing is that I cannot find the book review I wrote for Wicked some years back. It was published in another paper, and I have always thought that it was a pretty decent review. (I know, it's not like I would actually be critical, but this is not the New York Times Book Review either.)
I have been thinking all night of what kind of a pitch to make. In a city this size, a book page should be used to showcase local talent. It wasn't until I got my present job that I realized how many local authors there are. Just by the law of averages, some have got to be good. And they are. Many have also expressed interest in reviewing other local talent. I mean, what better way to plug your book than to review another one? And you know the author who is on his third book will remember the agony of publishing your first work and be kinder to the author he is reviewing.
Do I sound confusing? I am in full panic mode right now...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

A little help from the audience

Ok, the time for no comment on my blog is past. I have been contacted by my local paper to contribute to a new Sunday Book Page. First I have to submit some writing. I have been asked to submit some reviews I have written, along with a couple other pieces.
I thought I would submit a couple of pieces from this blog as well as my other blog. (It's still up, I just don't post there anymore.)
I would like some input from my readers. What pieces did you like the best? You can pick from this blog or my other one. It doesn't matter.

Oh yeah, I have to have this done by tomorrow afternoon.

(Me, a professional writer! I just might have to change my name to Carrie Bradshaw...)

PS: I changed the settings, anyone can comment now, you don't have to be registered.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Snob is back...

50 pages into 'The Icon' and I don't really care. It is a Da Vinci Code knockoff, but with less interest and atrocious writing.
I feel that I must be seen reading a book at my Book Conference next week. My first thought was 'Wicked' but that's soooo predictable. If there is anyone out there that does not know how I feel about this book by now, they don't need to know. So I thought taking an ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy) would be good, but 'The Icon' is so bad. So today, I ran across 'The Bookseller of Kabul.' It is the story of a man who ran a bookshop in Afghanistan during the Soviet and Taliban occupations. He braved all kinds of trouble by bringing restricted materials to the masses.

Guess what I'll be reading.


Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Ok, Thanks PJS, for the interview questions (My they are good...)

- Who the heck is Mitchum Sinclaire, and why did you name your blog after him?

Mitchum Sinclaire was the first name my mom wanted for me when she was picking out baby names. Dad talked her out of it. I always think of a 50's crooner when I see that name in print. (See my first post). I used that name for the blog for that reason, like 'The Joey Bishop Show.' It just sounded good.

2- Try and explain your fascination with Stevie Nicks to a non-fan. Is it the voice? The songs themselves? The persona? She seems to be fairly important to you.

It's the voice, the clothes, the lyrics, Stevie is not just a singer/songwriter, she's a force of nature. I think it's because: A) She doesn't just write songs, she becomes the characters she writes about. B) The songs are so completely personal, and because many people don't 'Get It' I feel a personal connection because, I do.
Also, My father was a musician, a guitar player. Like PJS, I was dragged around to Country and Western dances where his band played. My mom was very supportive of this. They were both fans of Fleetwood Mac, and I remember Rumours being played in my house as a child. On my parent's 10 Wedding Anniversary, my mom wanted to surprise him by teaching my sister and I to sing 'Leather and Lace' a duet Stevie did with Don Henley off of Bella Donna, her first solo record. In any case, I was very disruptive to rehearsals, as I only wanted to sing Stevie's part.
Dad used to play his guitar at every family function, and invariably, I would end up singing as he played. As a kid, I had an ok voice. It's pretty good now, but Dad's gone, and I wonder what it would have been like to really collaborate on a Stevie song together...

3- To what degree does your sexual orientation influence your political opinions? Given your surroundings and upbringing, how do different do you think your political views might be (if at all) were you heterosexual? (Hope I haven’t just outed you.)

You have not outed me. I think my sexual orientation fuels my politics only to the degree that it fuels the rest of my life. I am Democrat more in reaction to the Religious Right. I mean that in regards to the fact that I am not a religious person at all. One thing Jesse Ventura and I agree on is that organized religion is a crutch IMO. I look at religion from afar. I don't see where religion should play any part in governing a country. Look waht it did to Afghanistan. I agree with many moderate principles, including limited government. But I am a Social Democrat, I feel very strongly about the need of government to help it's citizens.
My family is very GOP, except my middle sister. So we just avoid politics. I don't know about them, but for me it's a sore subject. I can't help but take it personally that most of the people I love would vote in a party that is supported by a Religious Political Machine breeding intolerance.

4- Do you know the secret to a happy relationship? If you do, will you tell us?

There is no secret formula, I am just one lucky guy.

5- What are the best and worst things about living in Odessa, Texas?

Best: My job, my man, the low cost of living. We are able to travel when we want to.
Worst: Red State

If you are interested in being interviewed by me, here are the rules:
1. Leave me a comment saying “interview me.”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions here. They will be different questions than the ones above.
3. You will update YOUR blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

I am blushing

Boi Test

Just scroll down a few pics...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Reformation Isle

After having read my comic book the other day, I have been anxious to read something else. But what? My snobiness would preclude so many books.
When I went back to work yesterday and began sifting through my inbox which had a week's worth of accumulation, I found 6 Reader's Copies of yet-to-be-published-material. For those who are not in the bookselling biz, getting a sneek peek at new books sounds exciting. However, most of these are from first time authors who's books are not up to snuff. ARC's (Advanced Reading Copies) are sent out to solicit good reviews. It's the law of averages, somebody is going to like it and the pulisher can use that review in marketing the book. See? I can get snobby about books that aren't even published yet.
I usually give these out to my staff, who love to get them and devour them. For some reason, I carefully looked over each and every one, and decided then and there that I would not be so picky, and I would take one home to read. I picked one called 'The Icon', to which I had the knee-jerk reaction that it was a 'Da Vinci Code' ripoff. It probably is, but that doesn't mean it can't be written well. So this week, I will read and update you on how it went.

Friday, April 08, 2005

A Muse-ing

If there is anyone out there reading, you may have noticed my posts have been very short and sweet. I have been very uninspired in the Writing Department lately. I have had no significant events to write about and nothing has really caught my eye. I have seen no movies I care to talk about, no 'Very Special Episodes' on TV, and most frightening of all, I have not had the desire to really read anything (With the exception of the novelization of Star Wars: Episode III, but that was just to get all the spoilers before the movie, I cheat like that). Perhaps I need a Muse; Olivia Newton John on rollerskates or something.
That was until I picked up this 80 page novella.
A Playboy billionaire and sometime adventurer (Think 003 filling in when 007 is on vacation) discovers someone siphoning money out of his company. He doesn't notice until he is almost bankrupt. All his friends think he has bankrupted himself and don't get involved, even after a few mysterious attacks. Our hero's life is torn apart bit by bit, until he is all alone and gets killed at the end by a former associate, the man responsible for his bankruptcy.
It doesn't sound like much when whittled away to the bare bones like that, and the plot is fairly predictable, but the writing was incredible, especially since it was a comic book.

Yes, you read that right, a comic book. Oh, the irony. The Book Nazi going on and on over a comic book. Many of you will scoff, but I tell you it was a delight to read.
In thhe past few years comics have gone from being for kids to being written much more for adults. I admit, the target demographic is usually straight males 18-25, but there are some very intelligent, well written titles out there. You can tell by the amount of established novelists and screenwriters who have taken to writing monthly titles. I challenge all of you to pick up one title and give it a shot, you won't be sorry.

BTW, the title I was talking about is 'Countdown to Infinite Crisis', it's only a buck. Well worth the read...


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I can talk!

Well, my voice appearsto have had enough wandering, and so today, I opened my mouth and out came something close to a voice. I guess the two days of bedrest, no talking and dvd's of Wonder Woman, Star Trek Voyager, and the West Wing helped.
I had totally forgotten that Charles Pierce was in an episode of Wonder Woman. It was entitled Death in Disguise and was the campiest of camp. He did his drag so well. My only regret was that the producers dubbed him with a female voice in his drag scenes...


Monday, April 04, 2005

I feel like Ariel

...I lost my voice. I thought I could go back to work and tough out the last of this damned cold. However, I forgot that I was training a Book Manager from another store, so spent an entire day talking over my huskiness, and well, my voice left me.
I have not spoken a word in two days, and anyone who knows me realizes what a feat this is. When I get sick, I usually go from 'Would-You-Stay-If-She-Promised-You-Heaven' to husky 'Do-Me-Right-Now.' I love how I sound at that point. But ths time it seems my voice just packed up and left. So I have left work for the next few days to recuperate and hope my voice brings me back a trinket of some sort from it's vacation...


Friday, April 01, 2005


So, I didn't have Auntie Mame to watch yesterday. It was fate. Instead, I watched The King and I, which is by far my favorite Rogers and Hammerstein musical. There is something to be said about unrequited love onscreen. (Offscreen it sucks) I have found that most of my favorite movies deal with this subject. None better than The King and I. Yes, I know Debbie Kerr didn't do her own singing (and that used to bother me until I heard what's-his-name sing the part of the Phantom in the movie. WHY didn't the dub in Michael Crawford?) but the acting is so wonderful, and it is so pretty to watch.
I even find Yul Brenner quite the hottie in this film. Running around barefoot with almost no shirt on, shouting out orders, very masculine.
I always thought The Crown Prince and Louie had something going on, you know. They were the gayest little kids ever.
But that movie is just magic to me. I love every song, every scene. It's got incredible costumes, incredible sets, incredible actors.
I am torn between my favorite scene: either 'Small House of Uncle Thomas' or 'The Parade of Childeren.' The parade gets me because so much is conveyed to the audience with nary a word spoken. It sometimes moves me to tears. And everyone loves the 'Uncle Thomas' part.