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August 2009

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Aug. 1st, 2009

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

www.loisgresh.com

Just overhauled www.loisgresh.com

At long last, I have a mini-website rather than a one-page web mess!

I even added a tiny blog there. (For me, that's a huge commitment. I'm not known for spending vast amounts of time blogging anywhere or hanging out in net groups.)

Feb. 20th, 2009

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

new interview posted

The "Teens Read Too" site just posted a nice interview with me here:

http://authorsunleashed.blogspot.com/2009/02/interview-with-lois-h-gresh.html

Jan. 22nd, 2009

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New York Times Best Seller for 5 Weeks

I just learned that the book will be a New York Times Best Seller for its 5th week on 020109.

Publishing is a very strange business, as we all know ("we" being the writers who hang out here in LJ-land). When I heard the news this morning, a tremble of excitement hit me and my mind buzzed -- but only for a few seconds.

By contrast, about a million years ago (exaggeration, yeah yeah) when I signed the contract for Termination Node, I was on a mental high and trembling with excitement for two weeks.

That was BEFORE I knew much about the publishing business. -g

Jan. 16th, 2009

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

chaos theory - frame of mind

Have you ever felt that the stars are aligned in some crooked way at a particular moment, and hence, if you move a half-inch in one direction, all sorts of things will slip out of place? I don't know why this notion just flashed into my mind.

Or imagine being caught in a strait jacket. The guard has fallen asleep, leaving your cell wide open. You try to unleash yourself but while squirming, you accidentally entangle yourself further and the jacket becomes caught on a rusty nail by the door.

Things are actually going very well, so I don't know why I'm suddenly in a

CHAOS FRAME OF MIND
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creationism in high schools

Discovery's #36 top science story of 2008 is "Quiet Creationism in Public High Schools." According to the magazine, "as many as one in eight high school biology teachers presents creationism or intelligent design as a viable scientific alternative to evolution." This is a surprisingly high percentage.
sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

top 2008 science stories

Discovery lists the top story as:

The Post-Oil Era Begins

The #2 story is:

Physicists Launch Search for the God Particle

I'd switch the two stories in rank. Certainly, the supposed completion of the LHC was one of the biggest events of the entire decade. (For now, let's forget that a helium leak shut it down for awhile.)

Sure, other sources of energy are essential, but the #1 story should be about a solid breakthrough of some kind.

Btw, the #3 story is "FDA Tackles Tainted Drugs from China" followed by #4, "The Rise of Slime." I hadn't heard about the slime story, so this surprised me. I do know, of course, about overall problems in the ocean, such as the destruction of coral reefs and fish. But slime? Interesting.

Jan. 8th, 2009

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

German edition of James Bond book - arrived today

(just keeping track of things)

Dec. 23rd, 2008

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

#6 on The New York Times Best Seller List

Sunday, 122808 - The Twilight Companion is #6 on The New York Times Best Seller List - cool!

Dec. 13th, 2008

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

Help Vera!

I finally caught up slightly here at LJ and discovered I'd been missing the helpvera auction.

So I just posted a few auction items, and I encourage everyone to pitch in and do whatever you can.

Please, folks: bid on items, donate cash, and/or post items for auction. Vera's been an integral part of the sff community for a very long time.

Dec. 11th, 2008

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19th book - #8 of top 67 best-selling YA books, Dec 2008

Anne Bishop popped me a note that The Twilight Companion is in the Science Fiction Book Club this month. I checked online and discovered that the book is:

#8 of the Top 67 Best-Selling YA Books, Science Fiction Book Club, December 2008

Woohoo.

And now, I'll slink off again and get back to work. So much to do, so little time.

Dec. 8th, 2008

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

Nice YA book review

My books have been reviewed a few times on the "Teens Read, Too" website, and the girl who runs the site sends me wonderful emails. She just posted a review of book #19 (what I refer to as the "vampire fan guide"):

--------------
Just like the title says, this is a companion to Stephenie Meyer's TWILIGHT series.

If you are not already a fan, then this obviously won't be for you. It's wise to have read all four books, as well, or you might find that some key points will be spoiled for you as you read along.

However, THE TWILIGHT COMPANION is a fun, interesting read. The author is very much a fan and allows you to easily relate to her and her writing. This is not a novel that analyzes or delves into everything Twilight. It's more about relating the Twilight world to other novels and films, as well as the myths surrounding vampires and werewolves throughout the ages.

Overall, it is a fast and interesting read. Although I wasn't as interested in the quizzes included throughout the book, I highly enjoyed the history and facts.

Reviewed by: Lauren Ashley
http://www.teensreadtoo.com/TwilightCompanion.html

Dec. 5th, 2008

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Cory's "Little Brother" - PDF "and" buy as a marketing strategy

Cory's YA novel from Tor has risen to great heights - a notable 100 NYTimes book, wow. Of course, Cory allows readers to download the novel rather than buy the print version. The idea is to spread his name and his books across the e-realm, and hence, boost his print sales (the more people know about him and his books, the more people will buy the print versions).

I downloaded the PDF and read it. I loved the book. Yes, I may suggest that other people read the PDF version. Will I buy a print version? No.

How many people will buy it? And does his strategy make sense for most writers? Were he not the boy wonder, the last hope of male techie sf, would the strategy work?
sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

another publishing industry 'crash'

I'm wondering how we're supposed to survive yet another crash in the publishing industry. It may be a curse to be born with the urge to write fiction or create speculative non-fiction. The odds are 99.99999% stacked against a writer being paid even poverty-level wages to use his/her only skill.

Without editors, agents, and writers, what will rise to the top as we move into the e-age? Will the next 'big name" author be the random chicklet on Facebook who has 10,000 "friends" (hence, an "audience")?

Nov. 22nd, 2008

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

Finnish version of James Bond book showed up today

Nice looking book - I wonder what will happen next in this strange world of publishing.

Nov. 19th, 2008

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New York Times Bestselling Author - #12 - moi?

My editor called about 10 days ago and gave me the news. He asked that I keep it private for awhile, but I see that the news is now on the internet, so...woohoo, the vampire guide was #12 on the New York Times Best Seller List on Nov 16.

Years ago, when The Termination Node (my first novel) was reviewed in the New York Times Book Review, I was stunned and thrilled. I'd been reading the Review for as long as I could remember, jotting down books I wanted to read, keeping my "books to read" list with me at all times, trying to find the books in libraries.

(I was pretty durned amazed that Node was on the USA Today Best Seller List, too, btw.)

I am now stunned and thrilled to be on the NYTimes Best Seller List.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/books/bestseller/bestpaperadvice.html?scp=1&sq=Best%20Sellers%20Advice%20November%2016,%202008&st=cse

Nov. 5th, 2008

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Excellent review in School Library Journal

School Library Journal -- review of my 19th book

In the meantime, fans may enjoy sampling Lois H. Gresh’s The Twilight Companion: The Unauthorized Guide to the Series (Gr 9 Up) from St. Martin’s Press. Written “from one Twilight fan to another,” the chatty first-person text muses about characters and events from the first three books; spotlights vampire- and werewolf-related folklore, literary references, and pop-culture sightings; tackles some tricky scientific questions (e.g., How many people does a vampire need to drink to stay alive?); and contemplates issues such as vampire-human relationship challenges and the (not necessarily rosy) realities of immortality. Amusing multiple choice quizzes appear throughout, so readers can test their knowledge of the series, rate their suitability to the vampire lifestyle, or determine if Edward is their ultimate mate. Jam-packed with the author’s personal opinions and humorous rambles, this entertaining, often irreverent book makes for fun browsing.

http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6611027.html?nid=2413&rid=reg_visitor_id&source=link&

Nov. 4th, 2008

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NY Daily News - interview

Yesterday, the NY Daily News interviewed me about James Bond.
I don't yet know when the article will be in the newspaper.

Oct. 31st, 2008

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

RUSSIAN Edition of Indiana Jones Book

Oct. 30th, 2008

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

Aida - Franco Zeffirelli - La Scala: at the movie theater

Saw a movie version of the on-stage opera, Verdi's Aida, that was filmed at La Scala last year. It was marvelous.

Franco Zeffirelli produced the show, which perhaps explains the exquisite and lavish stage settings, costumes, dancing, and acting.

Lithuanian mezzo-soprano Violeta Urmana sang/played Aida and tenor Roberto Alagana was Radames. In the final scene, their duet was perfect: low, lush, with the tone and beauty demanded by the scene. Alagana was excellent.

I should also mention the "greek god" male ballet dancer with his luminous green eyes, perfectly chiseled face, and amazing physique. This guy didn't look real: he was that "perfect."

An amazing show, if you get to see it - movie theaters are showing not only the live HD Met Opera broadcasts, but they're also starting to show La Scala DVDs from the last two seasons.
sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

scifiweekly reviews

I'm anxiously awaiting my next Sci Fi Weekly novel to review:

Fools' Experiments by Edward M. Lerner

I hope it shows up in tomorrow's mail so I can spend the weekend reading it.
sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

Another James Bond interview / NYC newspaper

I'm scheduled to do another James Bond interview sometime today or tomorrow. I'll post details later - when I know when the interview is appearing, etc. It's for a NYC newspaper.

(I always hesitate to say anything about interviews until they actually appear or air.)
sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

German edition of Indiana Jones book - arrived today

Today's mail brought a box of German Indiana Jones books. Nice! My favorite foreign edition of Indy, of course, is still the Russian because it has such a gorgeous cover.

As soon as I can dig my way from beneath stacks of writing-related work and day-job-related work, I'll be posting the Russian cover here.
sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

Dr. Pain - done yesterday

Yesterday morning, Dr. Pain (as I call him though he's actually very nice and is supposed to RELIEVE pain) gave me the first spinal injection. Hooboy. Today, I'm working from home, where I can wear super-comfy clothes, otherwise known as pajamas.-g

Supposedly, the left leg and lower back pain will diminish within 5-6 days - hope so.

I'll swim again on Friday, if all goes well. Or... maybe I should wait until next week to swim !

Oct. 17th, 2008

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

What's worse? Spinal injections of Palin as President?

The answer is obvious. Palin is worse than a spinal injection.

Signed,
Spinal Tap
LIfetime Member



Do you guys remember the movie, SPINAL TAP ?
sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

spinal injections

As it turns out, two bones have "slipped" in my back, which is why I have chronic back and leg pains, as well as the (now minor but daily) leg seizures. Oh joy! Apparently, the bones slipped when I fell in May.

I will have the spinal injections to try and reduce the pain and leg seizures, will start taking anti-inflammatory medicine again, and will start physical therapy in hopes of building strength in my back.

On days like this, when I get such super news, I'm reminded that I can STILL SWIM - 70 laps every day. It's amazing that swimming feels so good when walking feels so...not good.

Oct. 13th, 2008

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

"Honey Crisp" Apples

We went for a little adventure yesterday - into the Fall countryside, where we sampled apples, enjoyed some samples (too many!) at a great winery, and hiked through various forests to see the GORGEOUS leaves. My favorite apple of about six varieties was the "honey crisp." It looks similar to a Gala apple, which is fairly common, but tastes like HONEY. We bought a little bag of 'em, and last night, we each ate one honey crisp apple smeared in --

get ready to drool --

soft caramel!

(yum)
sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

German edition of Pullman book

Bonus surprise - today's mail brought 3 copies of the German edition of my Pullman book. I didn't know (or remember) that I'd sold this particular book to Germany. I have to keep better track of things.

Oct. 10th, 2008

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

Russian & Spanish editions of Indiana Jones book (#18)

Okay, this is cool.

The Russian edition is hardcover with an absolutely awesome cover. It also includes tons of new b&w pictures. This is a gorgeous book.

The Spanish edition is trade with a much more ordinary cover, and this version of the book also includes tons of b&w pictures, just different ones from the Russian version.

The Spanish version mentions "y la novela Superhackers" -- heh, the Spanish version of The Termination Node novel.
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Russian versions of book #18 show up

Okay, this is getting weird. (but nice)
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Spanish copies arrive of book #18

Yesterday's mail brought Spanish copies of my 18th book. It's as if things are rolling along in a normal manner -

I haven't opened the box of books yet.

I wonder if Spanish anthologies of short-shorts are called tapas.

Oct. 9th, 2008

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Huge Italian and German Sales

A short time ago, my 19th book (St. Martin's Press) sold to Germany for a substantial amount. Today, St. Martin's indicated that the book also sold to Italy for an equal amount.

These two foreign sales are huge.

In poor economic times like this, some hefty sales come in handy - I'm very pleased.

Oct. 5th, 2008

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

angel cake recipe - regular; chocolate

This is for Tricia and anyone else who would like to cut back on butter and eggs -
I've memorized the recipe at this point - made another one yesterday -

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sift together 5 times:
1 cup cake flour (or 3/4 cup cake flour + 4 tbn cocoa)
3/4 cup sugar

Beat until you can lift into peaks:
12 egg whites
dash of salt
1-1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1-1/2 tsp vanilla

Now sift another 3/4 sugar into the egg white mixture 2 tbn at a time. Beat constantly while adding sugar.

Finally, sift flour mixture into the egg mixture in small amounts, carefully folding each addition into egg mixture. (I do this step by sifting approx 1/6 of flour mixture into egg mixture at a time.)

Gently pour into ungreased bundt pan. Bake 35 minutes. Cool. Presto - delicious every time, like eating sugary clouds. No sodium, no fat, no egg yolks, approx 750 calories in the entire cake.

Oct. 2nd, 2008

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

Rats identify specific cats

Anyone with a cat probably knows that squirrels and dogs are smarter than felines. But mice and rats?

(New Scientist, Sept 20-26, 2008, print issue, p 14)

Summary in my own words:

Rats recognize the odors of individual cats. According to the article, this is the first time that scientists have observed prey reacting to individual predators.

The smell of a new cat is enough to send rats screeching back into the walls of your house.

The more familiar a rat is with a particular cat smell, the less active the rat becomes.

My old cat, Schnooky, rarely caught mice. She would sit by the garage door, half asleep, while mice literally skittered past her into the house. They knew she was always half asleep and that they could do whatever they wanted. I bet they were terrified when we moved, and the new owner's cat took control of the place.
sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

Bird flu - 2008 update

So whatever happened to the bird flu of 2004? The Sept 20-26, 2008 issue of New Scientist supplies the answer (on p8 of the print issue). Here's a summary in my own words:

Officially, the 2004 bird flu -- aka the H5N1 virus -- killed 245 people worldwide. Last month, the UK stated that the bird flu is still its biggest threat (not terrorism, not economic issues), and Portugal is now hosting a bird flu conference with 1200 scientists.

H5N1 has been mutating and evolving into a more dangerous form. The bird version of the virus binds to sugar molecules in the throat, but if the virus now mutates in two specific areas, it could transform and bind to mammalian sugar molecules. So far, we're safe, and authorities doubt that the two mutations will occur anytime soon.

Their real concerns are bird flus known as H9 and H2. Pigs were killed in 2006 by a strain of H2, which hasn't been seen in humans since 1968.

Much prettier than chickens:

Oct. 1st, 2008

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

Palin in Swimsuit & Talent Competitions

This just showed up from my daughter:

Sarah Palin in Swimsuit Competition


http://gawker.com/5055483/sarah-palin-in-non+photoshopped-swimsuit


"What could possibly distract people from how terrible Sarah Palin was on CBS? How about a clip of Sarah Palin looking so... poised in a sexy swimsuit! Someone in Alaska claims this is a legit video of the Alaska governor in her Sarah Heath, Beauty Pageant Contestant days. Grainy old VHS digitized and uploaded to YouTube means this could very well be Dick Cheney in a swimsuit but, you know, it does look a bit like her."

Sarah Palin Plays the Flute in Beauty Pageant


http://gawker.com/5057512/sarah-palins-got-talent?autoplay=true


"As everyone in America knows, there is so much more to beauty pageants than prancing around in high heels, nude control top pantyhose and a specially engineered swimsuit! They are college scholarship programs, for Chrissakes, otherwise why would noted college enthusiast Sarah Palin have even bothered? So you knew there was more to the Republican vice presidential nominee's 1983 Miss Alaska appearance than that thought-provoking swimsuit competition we saw last week. Yes America, it is time for the talent competition! Watch Sarah perform a lovely James Galway song on her recorder flute and enjoy her Renaissance womanhood."
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Adam-Troy Castro's Emissaries from the Dead

A few weekends ago, I read Adam-Troy Castro's Emissaries from the Dead. As expected, Adam's creativity is in full force in his first original novel, which is set in an artificial ecosystem of hammocks, sloth-like violent creatures, and acid poisons. Loner Andrea Cort must finger someone as a murderer -- anyone, anything other than the AI that controls the universe. Along the way, she might find human companionship in the form of the Porrinyards, a couple truly bound as one.

I'm looking forward to the second novel in the series.

If you want an unusual ride, buy a copy of Emissaries from the Dead and prepare to do nothing but read all weekend.

Bravo, ATC! What a fun book!

Sep. 30th, 2008

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

computer-generated Palin interviews

from boingboing:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/boingboing/iBag/~3/407371019/computergenerated-sa.html

"Here's a program that'll generate realistic Palin-style answers for different questions.
Q: What is your foreign policy experience?
I think if you ask that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the people of America are not fully satisfied with all the answers. It's going to be considered also. But again, it's got to put government and it's about putting government back on the verbiage that Senator McCain chose to use them. So we have opportunities for good in the war. You can't blink. You have to be allowed in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be provided the hope that all Americans have, instilled in us, because we're a democratic, we are today with so much collapse on Wall Street, affecting Main Street."

Go here for additional program-generated Palin interviews:
http://interviewpalin.com/

such as:

"Q: What is the role of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Afghanistan will lead to war and it doesn't have to lead to war and it doesn't have to lead, as I said, to a position like we are a free-thinking society. As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the earth. It is obvious to me that confirmation of the United States. I want you to not lose sight of the grade of problem that America has to be all about job creation too, shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to get that gas line built, so pray for that."

AND

"Q: How will you fix the economy?

The economy and putting it back on the world. And as Ronald Reagan used to talk about, America being the beacon of light and hope for those who were predator lenders also. That's, you know, first, Fannie and Freddie, different because quasi-government agencies there where government had to step in there. I was able to use them. So we have got to show the support, in this one and who the good guys in this, the leaders of Israel and her friends, her allies, including us, all of our economy. Helping the it's got to look at that as more opportunity. He's also known as the maverick though."
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Recipes needed - sweet tooth requires cavities

If you have any favorite cake or cookie recipes, please post them here.

On Saturday, I baked an extraordinary chocolate angel food cake that was so good it was like eating sugar-spun clouds. (I will post the recipe later - promise.)

The pool is closed for four days, so I cannot swim off my stress until next week.

This morning, I ate cookies for breakfast. I never even EAT breakfast. I've been on a healthy diet for at least a year now. But lately, with so many scares and pains (my back, leg seizures, my guy's heart problem, my mom, the economy, various writing-related oddities), I find that I am consuming absurd amounts of sugar.

So --

If you have any favorite cake or cookie recipes, please post them here. Because of my guy's health, I am limited to baking items that do not require butter, oil, margarine, or whole eggs.

Sep. 29th, 2008

sciobiscuit_thermal_eyes

Wall Street Woes

The nation's fourth largest bank (Wachovia) almost collapsed today. The stock market sank 700 points.

Are you worried? (dumb question, huh?)

My mother wonders what to do because she fears that another Great Depression is imminent. I remain hopeful only because the thought of everyone (including me, of course) losing their life savings is too painful and horrifying to contemplate. If things don't turn around, more businesses will close, people will have nowhere to live.

McCain blames the mess on "Wall Street." Sure, but aren't the government policies of the last 8 years to blame, as well? And isn't McCain in the same party -- Republican -- as Dubya?

When will a so-called leader say something of substance? That the President tells us, "now, now, children, everything will be okay," doesn't work. Our leaders need to tell us HOW they intend to fix the economy.
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(no subject)

New York Times, 092908, reporter Michael Cooper quotes Palin commenting about the upcoming debate:

“He’s a great debater, and he looks pretty doggone confident,” Gov. Sarah Palin said of her opponent.


Make sure to google for the Katie Couric/Palin interview clips from last week.

VOTE FOR OBAMA.

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