Sunday, July 24, 2016

Fire in the twilight

This was the sky in Marina del Rey yesterday, late afternoon. This was taken from my balcony, looking northeast. The smoke from the Sand Fire made its way all over Southern California yesterday. People on social media were posting all kinds of apocalyptic photos from all over the Southland. Keep in mind this fire is about forty miles away from me. I can't imagine what it must be like in Santa Clarita.

The skies are clear now, so hopefully that's a sign our awesome firefighters have this bad boy under control. Last I saw, the fire had consumed 22,000 acres, was only 10% contained and had destroyed almost twenty homes.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

South Park turns 20

I love South Park. This show is what happens when a network leaves its creatives alone to do what they do best. I hope Matt and Trey do this show forever.

We went there and didn't even get sued.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Writerly memes

Part of my collection that I've amassed in my journey through the internets. If you see your work here, let me know. Happy to give credit where credit is due!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

This is actually pretty brilliant. As in I wish I'd thought of it first.

Courtney and Liza are the brains behind the inaptly named Delicate Estates. Their slogan is "Cards are better when they're attached to alcohol". 

The really genius part is, they're not a winery. They just sell the labels. You attach them to the wine of your (or the recipient's) choice and voila - instant awesome message on a bottle.

And because the front of the labels aren't awesome enough, check out a couple of the backs:

Like I said, genius. Now all they have to do is print up labels. I hope they make bank.

H/T to Tasting Table for the heads-up. Images snicked from the Delicate Estates website.

Friday, July 15, 2016

It's research!!! Honest!!!

In case you were wondering why I use a search engine that doesn't track me.

No really officer, my editor said I have to actually show my character stabbing a guy in self defense, rather than just inferring it. Honest. See: Stab Wounds. Told ya.

I think one of my neighbors is unhappy with our new internet provider

Spotted this on the drop-down menu for local networks:

Unfortunately, our previous provider (Bel Air Internet) sucked donkey balls, so a change had to be made.

CSI: Potato

Too bad there aren't any CSI's left to rip from this headline:

Arraignment In Case Involving DNA Found On Potato Scheduled For Wednesday

A Naugatuck woman charged with setting fire to a Prospect masonry company after, police said, she was tripped up by a potato she stuffed into a van tailpipe will face a judge Wednesday.
Willow Martin, 19, of Naugatuck, was charged Tuesday with second-degree arson, third-degree burglary, possession of burglar's tools, first-degree criminal mischief, attempted first-degree criminal mischief and five counts of conspiracy. She was held on $110,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday at Superior Court in Waterbury.
Martin and Breonna Constantino, who were the best of friends while dancers at the Hollywood Connecticut Strip Club in Southington, had a falling out over money, according to an arrest warrant.
Martin and Constantino traveled to Wildwood, N.J., last summer and Martin loaned her friend $1,200, according to the warrant. Constantino was slow to repay the debt and that angered Martin so much that she set fire to MTM Masonry on Waterbury Road in Prospect, a business owned by Constantino's stepfather, according to the warrant.
The big break in the case? A potato stuffed into the tailpipe of a van belonging to MTM Masonry's owner. When he was notified of the fire at his business about 5 a.m. Sept. 15, and prepared to drive over, he found the tuber in the van's tailpipe, pulled it out and brought it along. He gave it to police, who had it analyzed for DNA.

The DNA actually belonged to Martin's then-boyfriend, who ratted her out. Do read the whole thing, it's hilarious. I can say that because no one was injured.

The sad part is that she's facing ten criminal counts over $300-$400 left on a personal loan of $1,200. I hope it's worth it.

Criminals are so dumb.

H/T to DP Lyle on FB.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

When you need to feed a small army

That's a lot of pancakes. Time to man up.

You shouldn't be eating that Bisquick crap anyway.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


I've had to sit on this news for a couple of weeks at the request of Sisters in Crime Los Angeles until they made the official announcement: My short story "Crime Drama/Do Not Cross" was among those accepted for SinC LA's next anthology, LAst Resort. I got the news on my birthday. Best birthday present EVER. This will be my first time being published and I'm still pinching myself that it's happening.

The anthology is scheduled for release in April 2017. Of course I'll keep you posted on its progress and of course, where to order your copy.

Here's how I got the glorious news:

From: SinCLA President
Sent: Friday, June 24, 2016 5:25 PM

Dear Melinda,

Bravo! Your short story, “Crime Drama/Do Not Cross” was chosen for inclusion in the 2017 SinC/LA Anthology LAst Resort.

Terms for inclusion in the anthology include your agreement to make reasonable revisions that may be requested by the editors or the publisher. You will be contacted soon by an anthology editor to begin the editing and polishing process preceding final submission to our publisher this Fall.

This may be tough, but we ask that you keep your good news a secret from print and social media until July 10 as we plan to announce the names of our editors and the complete list of contributing authors at our chapter meeting. I hope to see you there so we can celebrate together!

LAst Resort release is scheduled for April 2017.

Thank you for your submission!


Rochelle Staab
President, Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles

They made the official announcement at their meeting in South Pasadena Sunday. Out of sixty entries, sixteen were chosen for inclusion. My editor is award-winning writer Matt Coyle. You can find more information about LAst Resort here.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The end of Food Network Star recaps

After going back and forth the past week about whether or not I wanted to continue to recap Food Network Star, I've decided that as much as I hate to flake out on a project this show has just become too aggravating to continue. With the results of the past couple weeks and how annoying some of the remaining contestant(s) are, I've decided that continuing would be a waste of my time. I've got a project now that is much more important and worthy of my time, which I'll address in a future post.

The recaps take hours to do, sometimes a large chunk of the day, which I hadn't anticipated. I just have too many other projects I could be working on to justify wasting that kind of time on a show I've come to loathe. I guess I just needed a big fat reminder why I've only watched the show once or twice out of twelve seasons. Considering how few Food Network "stars" the series has actually produced, apparently I was expecting too much in terms of the quality and watchability of the contestants.

So now on to bigger and better things!