Writing Can Be Murder

February 28, 2007

Mechanical difficulties

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 9:27 am

My clothes dryer stopped putting out heat. It is fitting that it stopped producing heat in the middle of the winter when we’re wearing our heaviest clothes (the ones that will never dry without heat). It just spun in its endless cycle of circles without really accomplishing much (which I took to be a metaphor for my life).

After throwing the circuit breaker numerous times and banging on the damn machine a couple of times for good measure, I had a repairman in.

I tried to banish the memory of having my car towed a few months ago:

I was having my car towed to the dealer because it had been making a terrible thunking noise and I didn’t want to do any damage to it by driving it.

And the tow driver shows up and asks if the dealer is expecting it and I say, “Yes, John knows it’s coming” and he says “I don’t know who John is. I’m Charlie.” And I say “No, the service mangager’s name is John and he knows it’s coming.” and I’m thinking… Not too many bulbs lit in Charlie’s chandelier

Then he gets in the car and starts it and gets all flustered, starts looking around, and says, “What’s going ding-dong, ding-dong?”

And I say with the straightest face I can muster — “You started the car. It’s the seatbelt alert.”


So that memory is going through my head as the repairman starts working and he asks, “Do you have a flathead screwdriver?”

And I’m thinking, as I get said screwdriver, what kind of repairman doesn’t bring his own screwdriver? It ‘s not like it’s an unusual piece of equipment for somebody who works on machines all day to need.

And then he asks, “Do you have a flashlight?”

Again, why didn’t he have his own?

And I mutter under my breath, “Oh”


February 24, 2007

Finding feedback

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 3:51 pm

Yesterday a musician friend and I were discussing feedback and how important it can be for an artist.

I think it’s easier for a musician or painter to get feedback.  After all, how long does it take to listen to a song or look at a painting? (This isn’t to say that a composer or artist doesn’t slave over their masterpiece, they absolutely do.)

 As a writer you need someone to invest HOURS of time, to give you feedback on your work.

Who do you get feedback from?

February 19, 2007

Psychic discounts, etc.

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 10:26 am

I just read “Unwound” by Jonathan Baine (which has nothing to do with psychics or discounts). Kudos to the marketing genius who wrote the back cover copy. They did an excellent job. They hooked me. I read it.

I was pissed by the end of the book because the back cover copy barely resembled the book.  I was pissed because the “twist” at the end was a cheat. Needless to say, this is not going on my recommended read list. (Read Allison Brennan’s “Speak No Evil” for a good read.)

Now stick with me while I change subjects.

The other day I drove past a psychic’s office which had a huge sign out front offering, “15% Holiday Discount”. 

It cracked me up.

Maybe next time I should consult a psychic about what book I should read….

February 16, 2007

Lucky Stiff

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 11:15 am

Lisa Gardner is holding her annual Kill A Friend, Maim A Buddy contest.

You can nominate someone you love (or hate) to show up as a corpse in her next book.


February 14, 2007

The Number 1 Killer of U.S. Women

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 11:07 am

Happy Valentine’s Day.

You’re probably expecting me to blog about love or romance or to plug my book.

I’m not going to do any of those things.

I going to tell you that HEART DISEASE is the #1 Killer of Women.

I’m going to urge you to visit the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” website. 


 I’m going to ask that on this day filled with candy hearts, that you take care of the most important heart of all, your own.

Be well!

February 12, 2007

Speak No Evil

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 2:03 pm

I’m a difficult reader to please, but I’ve got to say that I was more than just pleased when I read “Speak No Evil” by Allison Brennan, I was overjoyed.

This thriller is so compelling that I picked it up telling myself I’d “just read the prologue” and I ended up reading the entire book! It’s evil! (in the best way possible)

A twisted serial killer (he glues the mouths of his victims shut before torturing them) is on the loose in San Diego and police detective Carina Kincaid teams with Sheriff Nick Thomas, the brother of the prime suspect in the first college student’s death, to stop the murders.

While the reader may not be able to “understand” the serial killer’s deranged behavior, Ms. Brennan does make a convincing argument for the reasons he does what he does. This accomplishes two things, the first being that she truly puts us in the killer’s head, and second, when the killer is finally revealed, he doesn’t come out of left field. (thank you! thank you! thank you!)

The hunting of the psychopath is interwoven with the stories of Nick and Carina and the attraction growing between them. Ms. Brennan has drawn two characters who have both been scarred by evil in the past. Their baggage does not keep them apart, instead it makes them each a worthy partner for the other.

“Speak No Evil” is a page turner worth picking up. Just be warned you may not be able to put it down!

You can read the first chapter of “Speak No Evil” at www.allisonbrennan.com

February 11, 2007

Originally born

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 12:55 pm

I’m pretty sure that “originally born” is the phrase that drives me battier than all others.

“Originally born in Chicago”

What? A person is born in Chicago and then gets shoved back into their mother’s womb so they can then be born somewhere else?

What phrase or word drives you nuts?

February 9, 2007

Psycho lady at the supermarket

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 10:51 am

So the other day I was at the supermarket. (A dangerous place for me, see why at this post https://jenniferelbaum.wordpress.com/2006/12/22/smack/).

I don’t actually mind food shopping. It’s the checkout line that kills me.

The short line was manned by the guy who drives me nuts if his meds aren’t properly calibrated (which is fairly often) by saying things like “God ordered us to spread our seed. I spread my seed every day.” TMI and just “ICK!”). No doubt his line was the shortest because anybody who shops there regularly doesn’t want to talk to him.

The longest line was manned by the nicest and most efficient cashier and I would have gotten on that line, but there was an old lady with blue hair (literally blue, sometimes it’s more of a violet shade, but this week it definitely had a blue tinge) who I know takes FOREVER.

 So, feeling a bit like Goldilocks, I picked the middle line, hoping that it was “just right”. Just in case I started telling myself. “You’re not in a hurry. There is no rush. You’re not in a hurry.”

I was in the middle of my mantra when this oh-so-perky woman standing behind me  shrieks, “OH! AREN’T THESE JUST THE MOST ADORABLE THINGS YOU’VE EVER SEEN?”

I dutifully turned around to see what she was talking about.


Tiny, little one bite cupcakes, topped with neon pink icing and candy hearts. (It’s almost Valentine’s Day you know.) Gooey and gross looking.

They were not adorable.

My disgust must have been plain to see because she quickly said, “But they’re probably too sweet right? With all that icing.”

“Probably.” I turned back around to watch the tortise in front of me unloading his cart onto the belt.

“I am SO sick of seeing them.”

I rolled my eyes before I turned around to see what she’s talking about this time.

She’s poking at a magazine cover featuring Brad and Angelina. She poking at Angelina’s face as though by doing so she can puncture her overblown lips.

“Uh huh,” is my brilliant response.

Thankfully Tortise Man has finished and I can start unloading my cart.

I start and immediately spill brown sugar everywhere. This is my life.

The bag of sugar has a hole in it. I wipe it up as best I can. I consider not telling psycho woman about it. After all, so what if her food gets sticky? She hasn’t seen the sugar spill because she’s so engrossed in studying the magazine covers. Do I really want to engage her in conversation?

Still, I would want someone to tell me.

“Be careful when you put your stuff down,” I tell her. “I tried to clean it up, but my sugar burst and it got everywhere.”

She stares at me like I’m speaking in an alien tongue. Then it registers, I can almost hear an audible click when she connects what I’m saying.

“What happened?” she asks.

I hold up my leaky bag of sugar.

“I’ll get you another,” she offers.

“Oh you don’t have to do that.”

“It’s no problem,” she tells me snatching the bag out of my hand and hurrying off.

And she did. Brought back the right thing and everything. Wasn’t that nice of her?

Didn’t I feel guilty for thinking she was a psychopath?

Um….not so much.

First Barbaro, now Anna Nicole Smith?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 12:26 am

I didn’t get the whole mourning over the dead horse thing.

 Now I really don’t get the whole “poor Anna Nicole” thing. I mean really, the woman was a celebrity train wreck.  A train wreck of her own making. Her claim to fame was that she continually made self-destructive choices. Why are people so distraught over her death?

 Can’t wait to see the books/movies/tv specials that come out of this.

I’m thinking about changing my take on the whole Barbaro thing because at least he accomplished something….

February 8, 2007

Things you shouldn’t do

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 9:17 am

 Angela James of Samhain Publishing has a great list of 13 Things You Shouldn’t Do as a writer. http://nicemommy-evileditor.com/blog/

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