USA Today Best of 2012

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Truth in clothing

Yesterday I got to spend some time shopping. And standing in the middle of Kohl's laughing.

I'd just happened upon a tag reading "Instant slimming effect!" on a--not naming any sizes here, and we all have our own perceptions regarding big and little, but these were definitely beyond the casually overweight size--quite large pair of jeans. And okay, sure, I understand the concept of a tummy-control panel. But from where I stand, once you reach a certain size (in all honesty, I've reached that size), nothing you wear is going to make you appear slim. I'm out to find things I can wear with the fewest bulges possible these days. Not proud of it, but neither am I going to kid myself into believing if I put on the right pair of pants, people will behold me and think, "Ohh. Look how willowy and thin she is! Like a tender reed, swaying." Barring some sort of apparatus made up of those distorted midway-mirrors and a hologram projector, nobody's eyes are going to be fooled into believing you're skinny, once you reach a certain size.

Which brings me to another trend in clothing labels. "Skinny Jeans." All too often, this is a terrible misnomer, no? Pardon my bluntness, but if the ass they're cut for is not, in fact, skinny, then the jeans style name should not include "skinny". So pretty much anything above a size 8 should have a different style name, such as "Skin Hugging High Lycra Content Jeans." Or how about, "Mostly Stretchy, Ass-Smashing Jeans." "Completely Unflattering, Tight-to-the-Ankle Jeans." Or maybe even "Denim Leggings." But for the love of Levi's, do not mislead people into thinking when they shimmy and squirm into those tight pants, they look skinny!

If clothing manufacturers really want to deliver a slimming effect, new jeans should come with a coupon for a salad. Or a copy of Dr. Phil's Ultimate Weight Loss Solutions book.

Autumn Piper

Got Lycra?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Don't go there.

Inside every one of us is a certain "code"--a mental list of rights and wrongs. Of course this list is different for everybody, but when you see or hear something you feel is wrong, there's no doubt about it.

In literature, I understand what somebody feels is morally wrong might be okay fodder for someone else to include in a story. Heck, I wrote 2 books about women whose husbands had cheated, and each of them reacted differently in response. Even the one who didn't retaliate (though she yearned to) offended a few old biddies in a certain writing group. Well, whatever. My point in that book was to demonstrate the black/white/gray in all of us, and that it varies from person to person. Sometimes watching a movie/reading a book where the characters do something controversial can really get you thinking about how you'd handle a particular situation (thinking of a movie here, can't remember the title--where the rich guy offers the couple a cool million if he can spend a night with the wife). These stories get the wheels turning, and make you see different sides of the coin. Maybe even the edges!

But there are lines we don't want to cross.

I recently reviewed a submission where the heroine cheats on her fiance while she's out of town. And gets in a huff when he shows up on her trip and suspects something. And never tells him! Yeah, wasn't liking that character very much. That's one of those "lines" in my mind. Now, if the character's actions are led up to with sympathetic actions and feelings, and there's a reason behind what they do, I can still read something like this. Doesn't mean I'll condone the actions, but it might be worth a read. However, if she does this just because she "can"? Big no from me, and I can't see reviewers liking it either.

Got another submission where the hero murders people who get in the way of what he wants. Thanks to synopses, I never cracked that one open.

Someone else might like those stories--I don't know. Both of them are so far across my "lines" that I don't really care how good the writing is.

Have you seen a movie or read a book where the main characters did something too "bad" for you?

Piper Denna

Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ah, I needed to hear that!

So now I see I'm not the only one who has this issue. This is an entry from the Urban Dictionary, about the auto correct feature on iPhones:

Auto Incorrect: When the auto-correct feature on your iPod Touch or iPhone tries to correct your spelling, but instead changes it to words that just don't make sense with what you're typing.

Oh yeah. I really love my iPhone, but I suspect my pal eA gets more laughs from my auto incorrect foibles than she does from my intentionally humorous texts. At least in my new software update, it now allows me to nix the correction (if I notice in time). The old program would keep correcting as many times as I'd keep typing. And sometimes the words it substitutes are so freaking outlandish, I have to wonder who is behind the program! Some of our more frequently subbed-in words are now standard lingo:
  • "hell" becomes "he'll". Without fail. Sometimes I'll keep resending and it'll keep correcting until I end up dropping the f-bomb
  • "shit" becomes "shut". Which we usually just type now for fun. "Sick of so much shut in my mailbox! Junkmail. WTF?"
  • "eww" becomes "ewe". This one really puzzles me. How common is it in text lingo to use the word "ewe"? No, seriously. It accepts all the common text abbreviations, no problem. And I know "eww" is not an official word, but... ewe? Do we have lots of sheep-related texting happening? My guess is AT&T doesn't have outstanding coverage in most sheepranch areas. But that could just be a guess. Sometimes I use "ewe" on purpose now. Other times I just drop the f-bomb.
  • "Oy" becomes "it". Don't ask me why. But if I don't catch it before I send it, eA usually ends up with a "he'll" also. Or the f-bomb.
Interestingly enough, all derivatives of the f-bomb (past, present, participle, gerund, verb, noun) are left completely alone by iPhone's auto incorrect feature. At least somebody at Apple knew what they were doing the day they put this program together!

Piper Denna

Romance is sexy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Destiny Chimes

A few years ago, I bought a rag-tag, rusty windchime from a yard sale somewhere. It had farm animals on it, and seemed cute.

Never mind the fact that its cows are the same size as its was
quaint. It always hung kinda weird though--it has 2 chains at the top, and something seemed, well... missing.

Flash forward to last month when we chose a new place to live. Out front under the spruce tree was part of a windchime. Rusty, with the same types of little bells. Only it was obvious this was only part of a set. Just one lone kitty.

So in the process of moving in (taking a break from the boring inside office/desk part of unpacking... I'm still on that break, by the way...) I decided to go hang up my outside stuff on the back deck.

And guess what? My old chimes had been missing the top all this time. The top has one bigger chain to hang it by... and it's a kitty. Which connects to my cows and such. This top piece appears to be the missing part of the set I've had for several years. (insert Twilight Zone theme)

So here's the finished product (expertly re-united using floral wire).

I like the kitty at the top, too... cats love to be up high. Still, every time I look at it, I can't help thinking how the parts came to be together. Some things are just meant to be, right?

Have a great day.

Autumn Piper

Got romance?

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Revelation

Call it a lightbulb moment, call it an "aha moment" as my friend Oprah--who still emails me several times a week--does. Either way, it was a Revelation in Parenting.

As I was leaving the middle school office yesterday and chatting with two other moms of both boys and girls, we were wondering which are tougher to raise through adolescence. None of us could decide, but as we discussed mood swings, hormone surges, and behavior shifts, I recognized the difference in the sexes. So here it is:

Boys get moody just as often as girls, but when something is bothering them, you have no idea what it is (I think a cranky teen boy could withstand Chinese water torture when "clammed up"). But girls? When something has upset a girl (small or big), everybody within a 5 mile radius hears about it (see drama).

So that's it. Most of the rest of it is the same, except girls do have lots more little stuff (see accessories) they need to pack up or apply before leaving the house, causing dads to blow gaskets.

Have a great weekend,

Autumn Piper
Got Clearasil?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Sweetest Things

Our new house came with a bonus: fruit trees. We got here at the tail-end of the apricots, as most of them had already fallen. And the plum tree isn't looking so good. However, the peaches were almost ready. Something I've never had before is fall-off-the-tree-ripe peaches. YUM! (you can't get them this ripe at the store, or even a fruit-stand or orchard)(note how I whipped out the fanciest bowl ever for the photo-shoot)

The tree truly is small still, so this is all we got (plus just a few which fell and the roly-poly bugs were quick to start eating). Actually, it's just the right amount. Maybe next year with some loving care, the tree will produce more. Then I could tree slicing and freezing some.

Think I'll go get all sticky and have one now.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New writer's dictionary entry

Came up with an entry for my dictionary the other night when every time I tried to type "compose" it came out "compost":

compos-ting: v: compose-ting; writing new bits of a manuscript which are, in essence, complete crap suitable as fertilizer

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Onstage at the Big Blue Pencil

Feelin' all famousy, because in honor of Fallen Star Trouble's release, my fantastic editor featured me on her blog, The Big Blue Pencil.

It's a pretty cool blog page!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Release and interview

Release day is finally here for Fallen Star Trouble.

This is my story of second chances for a washed-up rockstar and the woman who unwittingly sparked his career flame-out..

In honor of my release, I've been interviewed by Susan Palmquist at her blog

Hope you have a great Monday.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Friday, September 17, 2010

The just-in-time topic

We spent some time with an old acquaintance today, and the conversation inspired this post.

He did something so out of the ordinary, it really rated some thought.

When he was dating his (now) wife, he had her credit checked before he'd propose. Now, this might not sound too good, especially since he did it without her consent at the time, and I kinda thought he was out of line when he first told me.
But. Not only did he want to make sure her credit wouldn't mess up his (he's fastidious about money), but he told us it'd be a way to find out if she'd been married, or any number of other personal things. Probably even info about jobs she'd had, vs what she may have told him. (And sordid as it may sound, I related to this, because I know someone who married a guy and didn't tell him about her first marriage. At all. Or that some of her kids were from that first marriage, not all from the next one. So hey, yeah, people really can keep that kind of info back.)

That sounds mighty distrusting and suspicious of him, doesn't it? Yes... Because he then admitted he'd been "burned" by lots of women before her who'd lied to him. So now I just think it's sad. And his wife doesn't have a problem with it. Says she'd have done the same to him if she'd thought of it.

So hey. They're sympatico. And at the top of the credit score chart no doubt, LOL.

And that's all I got today. Friday funny in a more "unusual" funny sense.

Have a great weekend.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Most memorable

I've been answering some interview questions and one of them pertains to memorable characters.
Which got me thinking...

Who is the most memorable character you've ever read? Why?

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Wow, I finally read something I can review! (as opposed to author submissions I can't talk about until they are released, that is...)

Today's review is for Say It Again, by Jasmine Black.

This is a m/m romance (m/m means it's 2 dudes, so if that's not your cuppa tea, then, well... this might not be your cuppa tea) about a fireman --yum--who has just come out, and his first romance as a gay guy. Gay factor aside, we can all relate to the conflict: he's been totally crushing on someone for ages, someone who he imagines is completely out of his reach (the crush is crazy-rich). And of course, that someone has no idea he's crushing on him. This is a well-written novella--an hour of reading, max, with characters who have realistic conflicts and some deep emotional issues. The guys both do some totally frustrating, totally guy-like things, which made it seem all the more real to me, and also made me wonder how two dudes ever communicate well enough to have a lasting relationship. LOL Huge kudos to guys in longterm relationships with other guys. They've clearly overcome a lot!

I rate this novella a Keeper (see legend at lower right). It's a fun, fast read with a rewardingly happy ending.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Say what?

This is my kurmudgeonly "I don't get it" feature...
  • So I had to buy a tube of sunless tanner yesterday because, well, that's pretty much how I disguise the pastey white legs. Can't find my "usual" kind, or even the last brand I purchased. I found one which promised an immediate "glow", which sounded nice...the one I used to get had that, just shimmery, enough to detract from the eyescalding cold glow of my skin color, and perhaps mirage the eyes into believing the legs are young and smooth. Anyway... I put some of that lotion on last night, and there are ginormous glitter flakes in it! My legs looked like a friggin New Years Eve party! (which means whenever I use this product, I'll inevitably end up with glitter on my forehead, cheeks, or's just what happens with me and glitter. I think there's a polarity between those little metal flakes and my face) So I have to say the words... I don't get it. (even though I did, in fact, get it, and will probably continue to use it in the name of traffic safety to prevent blinding innocent drivers whilst I'm out on my morning walks) My family will think I've been out shopping for greeting cards, since I'll always have glitter on the face.
  • A few days ago, before I'd really turned life upside down and shoved every item made of paper into a plastic tote or box, then moved it to another house where I'd sure like to assemble the desk and put life back to rights, but one particular Ziploc bag holding the screws for said desk continues to elude me and my inquiries as to its whereabouts meet with nonchalant shrugs from those other beings known as my family, I sat reading a magazine one morning while eating breakfast. (haha, take that neverending sentence, literary shmucks!) All You magazine had a neat feature on how to cover blemishes, age spots, dark undereye circles and the like. Mostly old-hat makeup application, but I read it anyway because it was a good mindbreak. And then I got to the section on How to Disguise a Tattoo for a Job Interview. Huh? Say what? It was a multi-step, multi-layer process which required dry time between layers. All I could think was, why? Why would you go interview, cover the tatt, get the job, and then show up with this tatt out in the open? What would you say to the boss? "Oh, I celebrated landing this job by going out and getting inked"? This still really puzzles me. And kinda worries me on behalf of lots of young people who really don't "get" that they should think long and hard on the placement of their body art. Because, let's face it: if you get the wrong tatt, or have it in the wrong place, it really can cost you opportunities in the future. Hiding a tatt for a party or particular event, I can see. But for a job interview? I don't get it.
That's enough griping for one day, no?

Autumn Piper

Got romance?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Some things are fine to leave behind!

OK, so it's been a week since I blogged. Well, let me just say, it took til Thursday to get internet and, well... the internet guy is coming back today because the darn connection won't keep. Weak signal or some such. It's tough to be online right now.

Anyway. Finished cleaning out at the "old" house yesterday, and aside from the improvements we made while there, we aren't leaving much behind... except this one item, which I ditched with relish:
Yep, that's ye olde dish drainer. Which I no longer need because I'm back in the land o' the dishwasher. Woohoo! (You'll note from the photo, I never did get around to stripping off that dated wallpaper in the kitchen and painting either... but what can I say? The wallpaper pretty much goes with the rest of the decor in that house. yeek.) My kids are also ecstatic we no longer need the dish drainer. They've always been good about rinsing and putting dishes directly into the dishwasher, but they are even more conscious about it now, after having done dish duty for the last year of our residence at the farm house.

I'd better post before the connection fails again.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Relocating on Labor Day

I'm hoping this will be my last post from the old address... and I won't have internet access at the new one for a few more days, so I'll be parking outside the library and crashing Mom's house for WiFi until Thursday.

Been a long, long time since I moved over Labor Day weekend (I generally avoid moving if school is in session, but my kids are big enough now they've actually been a great help, and it's not like we have to change schools this time), and I have to say, this one has definitely gone the smoothest (at least to this point when I'm writing, which is actually on Friday, ). All this week, I've made 2 trips from the old house to the new with my pickup loaded down--mostly carrying plastic totes full of our stuff, which I then unpack and put away, and haul back "home" again. It's working out great. Not too much packing or unpacking all at once, and no messing with folding boxes or taping. Got all the seldom-used stuff earlier in the week, and now I'm down to the necessities, which will hopefully be easy to finish up this weekend when we move furniture. If you can afford to have both places available to you for a week or so, I'd highly recommend this method!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Jas's interview

This is one of the best author interviews I've read! It was done by Lori at Coffee Time Romance, and her questions are so interesting, including responses she has to the book. Jasmine did a great job with her responses, and the book, in case you haven't read it, is great. Check it out:

Jasmine Black interview

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Grass roots promo... forward motion

Blogged at Lyrical Press today about a new promo plan.

Piper Denna

Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Big Shot

Still just working on packing and moving today... and then this afternoon I'll conduct an editors' meeting online for the very first time. Woohoo.

Gotta drum up some VIPs (Very Important Points)... or something, for the agenda. LOL.

Will think about that while shoving Ace bandages and craft stuff into boxes (hopefully not the same boxes though).

Have a great one.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!