If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


I just got the statement from Trafford. Apparently three more copies of "The Dragon's Lady" sold last quarter! When I opened the envelope, my "Wouldn't it be nice if there was a check in here?" changed to "Holy crap! There's a check in here!" Of course I called Scott right away. I didn't tell him he can have his half when I get the battle. ;-)

It's OK. He never reads the blog.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007


The slam-fest against Chinese products continues. First it was poisoned pet food. Now it's toothpaste. I'm not saying it's not justified. The diethylene glycol (DEG) in the toothpaste is poison and is found in other products. In layman's terms, it's antifreeze. It's what kills neighborhood strays when they check out coolant leaks. Why the Chinese would think it's OK to put it in toothpaste and cold medicine is beyond me. Not only is there a chance of ingestion by swallowing, it can also be absorbed by the membranes under the tongue.

I've been systematically removing chemicals from my home for the last three or four years. I've been a compulsive label reader for nearly two decades and lately have been researching the ingredients with names I don't know. While it's wrong to put DEG and lead into products, the FDA's demonizing of China is hypocritical. You won't find DEG in products made in the USA, but you will find its kinder, gentler cousin, propylene glycol, which is also antifreeze (vegetable derived). You'll find things like sodium laureleth sulfate and sodium benzoate (which have been linked to cancer) in shampoo, toothpaste, and body lotion. The chemicals that American manufacturers use are "safe in small amounts." However, when you get a small amount from brushing your teeth, another small amount in the shower, and another moisturizing, you're not just getting "small amounts." One thing I have not been able to find is the length of time these chemicals stay in the body. If they have short half-lives, it's less of a problem. If they stay in the body for long periods of time, like heavy metals do, they could pose a real problem years from now. By then it will be too late.

Many people believe that the products in their home are screened by the FDA and are, therefore, safe. The FDA is just what's its name says it is: The Food and Drug Administration. Cosmetics and cleaning products are off their radar until they're proven to pose a major health risk. Do a little research. Go in your bathroom and read the labels of the products you use every day. It might be worth the effort in the long run to try something new. Even if you never change a thing, you'll be more aware of what you're putting in and on your body.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Zette Appreciation Day

Once upon a time, there was (and still is) a wonderful writers' site called Forward Motion. It was started by Holly Lisle, who turned it over to Lazette Gifford a couple years ago. Zette does a fabulous job and those of us who frequent Forward Motion are lucky she's willing to work so hard.

Zette is probably the most prolific writer I know of. She routinely puts in a million words a year. Every November, when us peons are pulling our hair out trying to do 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo, she does 150,000 without batting a eyelash. It boggles the mind. She also teaches on-line writing classes, puts together a monthly e-zine, and is the Associate Publisher for Dragon Tooth Fantasy. She does all of this while taking care of her husband and their herd of cats. She claims to sleep sometimes, but I don't know when. In short, she could very well be the writing Fairy Godmother.

Happy birthday, Zette, I hope it's purr-fect!

Forward Motion - www.fmwriters.com
Vision - http://www.lazette.net/Vision/
Zette’s website - www.lazette.net


Monday, June 04, 2007

Air brakes

I've posted before that writing Sword and Scabbard is like collecting maple sap. I think a better analogy would be riding the bus: stop and go. You might hit a decent speed for a while, and then it's time for the next stop. I'm so close to the end. I just have one last detail to tie up, and it's not cooperating. That generally means I'm doing it wrong, but I'll be durned if I know how else to do it.

All that positive energy I spread around Terre Haute must have been my store for the month because my brain has been largely non-functional since I got back. I miss thinking. If you've seen Walter the Muse, please send him home.