USA Today Best of 2012

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fab Friday

Wow. I love dance videos--and this one is simply amazing. They called this guy "Matrix Man" because he has moves like Neo from The Matrix.

But what I love most is how happy he is when he finishes and finds out the judges love him. Very cute.

Happy Friday.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Anyone for some shut-eye?

It's silly week on Piper Patter.

This is a collection of some really funky beds.

I think the book is rad.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Review

Final comments on Sway, The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior....

Despite how long it took me to finish (a symptom of my busy life, not reflection on the text itself), I found this book engaging, educational, and sometimes entertaining (watching somebody make a trainwreck decision can be horrifyingly riveting). Learning why somebody would make that decision is useful to a writer, in that we make decisions--good and bad--for many characters all the time.

One particularly interesting bit toward the end of the book, was where 4 distinct personality types involved in any family dynamic or decision making process, were described:
  • The Initiator (think Ferris Bueller)
  • The Blocker (think his friend Cameron, trying to stop him)
  • The Supporter (can take either side)
  • The Observer (can you say passive?)
It's not a very long book, and worth the time for anybody who wants to know the why behind their characters' actions.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Skinny living, indeed

The houses in this slide show are not for the wide-of-butt.

It's a collection of the World's Narrowest Houses. Totally good for a laugh!

Ha. And you thought it was tough getting that sofa into your living room?

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Something to Talk About

Wow. I just got to see the lovely cover for this awesome book I edited for a very sweet author (not to discount any of "my" other books/authors--they're awesome and sweet too), so I had to share.

I still think Lyrical Press has some of the best cover art out there.

Now... isn't that a fun cover?

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Ebook-- er, Earth Day

I couldn't let Earth Day go by without pimping ebooks. We got some super-exciting news this week regarding the Grand Daddy, Cadillac, Supreme Kahuna of all ereaders, the Kindle: Kindle will soon be able to check out library books. Super cool! That was the one remaining "con" for Kindle, in my book. I think Amazon has once again secured their position as Top Dawg in the ebook biz.

Other exciting Earth news: hubby tells me Valvoline is now selling motor oil for cars which is 50% recycled motor oil. Go Valvoline NextGen!

Now, if we could just recycle flatulence from a certain species (not naming any names, but it starts with "m" and ends with "en") and use that to power our vehicles...


Happy Earth Day, everybody. Don't forget to hug your tree/houseplant/shrub/very tall, treelike man today.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another pictorial

Since I'm pressed for time this morning, and I did get a request yesterday for a photo of the new, lighter hair color...

Keep in mind, I snapped this one between showering and dressing, so please excuse the lackluster makeup...

Hope your Thursday goes great (not grate, as I first typed, thinking Freudingly ahead to a certain classroom of kids).

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Once you go black...

OK, so now that I've got your attention...

This post is about hair color.

Mine has been on the dark side (insert Vader-Voice) for the past several years, and though I've tried going a little lighter lately, piling hair color on top of hair color every 4 weeks pretty much results in... dark. So I finally gave up the ghost and decided to visit my friendly hair girl, to have her professional lighten the entire mess--which basically means stripping out the color I had, and then putting in a new color over the resulting orange (true story--hair is not clear if all color is removed--it's orange. Mine is Carrot-Top Orange). So now, after 3 hours in the chair, I'm finally back to my natural (previous, anyway--my natural color now falls somewhere between "tinsel" and "nickel") hair color. A very light golden brown, fastened to a rather tender scalp.

Lesson learned? Don't go to a really dark hair color unless you intend to stay that way... or have a really strange growing-out period.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

If it's not your thing, just... don't.

I keep hearing about people--friends of friends, relatives of friends, people I meet at book events--who've decided it'd be easy to make a pile of money by writing a book. People who "don't really read". Or perhaps shun a particular genre (usually romance), but seem to think they could write one and rake in the cash.


If you don't read it, you can't write it. Period. Does anybody out there think Chuck Lorre hasn't watched TV "since high school English class"? Or Cheryl Crow doesn't listen to music and know all about everybody in the business? A person who doesn't read, but thinks they can write a book is like a person who has never cooked anything but toast thinking they can put together a 5-course meal for a crowd--and make money at it. Someone who's never cooked won't know what tools to use or how to handle the ingredients. Not knowing the difference between simmer and saute is similar to not knowing the difference between backstory and information dumps. Just because a person gets an idea for a big dinner, doesn't mean he or she can prepare and serve it. Same goes for a book.

I hate to break it to some folks, but, the hard part is not coming up with the idea. The hard part is the weeks, months, years spent editing and improving the story to make it the best it can be.

Just because you can type, doesn't mean you can write.

JK Rowling didn't run into dumb luck. She wrote a damn good book, and if that publisher hadn't snapped it up, eventually someone else would have. Furthermore, writing that book took a lot of time. A hell of a lot more time than reading a book. And she's very talented. Authors of successful books are. They aren't smug, barely literate nobodies who think "if he/she can do it, so can I".

And that goes for romance, too. In order to write a good love story, you have to love a good love story. Period. Don't get any crazy ideas of taking your general fiction novel and popping in a story line about people who fall in love. Supposing you managed to somehow sell that book to a romance publisher (won't happen, but I'm throwing all the possibilities out here), you'd need to then market the book as romance. Ah, the horrors, right? Better be prepared--romance readers expect a lot from their books, and those authors who don't deliver are told about it.

For those who think, "Meh. I'll write my book my way and self-publish it."... Nobody's going to stop you. But please, for the love of all that is entertaining, don't upload an unedited, not-so-hot mess of a book. You wouldn't want to pay good money at a theater and sit down to a movie, only to discover the producers took the first cut of every scene and didn't bother to polish it or make it sellable.

But, really. If reading isn't your thing, if you don't love books, please, just save yourself and everybody else the time--don't try to write one.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another tax year, come and gone

For millions of Americans, today is "the big deadline"--since DC had some holiday, everybody
got a break in the form of an extra weekend to finish taxes, if they needed it. In honor of fried brains across the land, today's blog will be a pictorial.

Taxes make some people think of this guy

For those who owe, they probably think this is a better image

And for our friends with 5 kids (and a few others), income tax time is like this:

No matter who you are, whether you file yourself or go to a tax professional, doing taxes feels like this sometimes (unless you're terribly organized, and then I'm not sure if I like you that much anymore...):

And being done?

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy! (taxes are not)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Funny --offcolor

A bit of "colorful" humor for today. An oldie, but one of my favorites.

Two men--a white guy and a big dark guy with braids, walk into the men's restroom to use the urinal.

The Jamaican looks down at the other's "package" and remarks, "Hey, mon, what's that tattoo?"
All he can see is a "W" at one end, and a "Y" at the other.

The white guy nods. "Yep. It says Wendy. That's my wife." And, after looking at the Jamaican's junk, his eyebrows shoot up. "Do you have a wife named Wendy, too?"

Jamaican looks down, and grins--only a "W" and "Y" are visible on his, as well. "No, mon. It say, Welcome to Jamaica. Have a nice day!"

Have a nice day!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, April 14, 2011


The following are actual bits of conversation I heard from a nearby group of teenage girls at a baseball game (you decide whether they're funny or frightful):

Why is the moon out in the daytime??? That's just weird. (Kindergarten science, anyone? Thank God one of the girls was an IB student and could explain, or my sub-head might've imploded)

You're not actually broken up unless your Facebook says you're single. If it doesn't, then you're still togetherrrr. (Oh, so that's how you tell. I'll have to remember for my future novels.)

I'm H2O intolerant.

And that's what's going on in the minds of today's youth.

Autumn Piper
Got teens?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Whatcha readin' Wednesday

Still working my way through Sway: the Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior (had to renew it). I've learned some very interesting things so far.

Top of my list is a story about the French version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, where the contestant got flustered several questions in, and couldn't remember the answer to: What rotates around the Earth? A)The sun B)The moon C) Venus or D) None of the above.
Well, he had to use a lifeline. Which is laughable. But he asked the audience, and apparently so many of them were disgusted at his stupidity, they deliberately misled him and answered A) The sun. Dear Henri lost all his money.
On further discussion, we learn the audience in Russia's version of the show frequently misleads their contestants, because they don't like the idea of somebody else getting ahead. It's unfair. LOL. Only in the U.S. do we help our contestants unconditionally. Hmmm.

Another crumb for thought: When people hooked up to an MRI machine and offered money for winning rounds of a game something like Atari, or losing money for losing, and sometimes having no money on the line at all, researchers were able to determine the part of the brain that responds to offers of money is the same part--the pleasure center--which reacts to gambling, risk taking, and highs from drugs, ie cocaine. So the authors came to the conclusion that "monetary reward is--biologically speaking--is like a tiny line of cocaine". Heh. Probably too true, entirely. No wonder hubby keeps going to work...He should leave here SO happy every day!

Will keep reading.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yesterday I got to help judge a kids' writing contest--grades K-4--a first for me. Of course I see kids' writing all the time while working, in various drafts, but... wow. The writing curriculum at Highland Elementary rocks! It's amazing to me (an old-schooler, who learned how to sit still and raise my hand and color inside the lines in kindergarten) how many words kinders can phonetically spell now. Words like "favorite" and "ballerina". Very impressive, because they did a good enough job we could easily read them!

And for the older kids, we as adults take writing mechanics for granted, but there're so many rules involved in written communication. Spacing, spelling, grammar, capitalizing, punctuation, not to mention all the homonyms so many adults mix up (if that's a vague recollection but you're not sure what it means, think to, too, two). The kids whose work I read have a great handle on the mechanics. Which is an awesome start, let me tell ya. But, man... the voice. The details, flavor and personality the kids put into the project really impressed me. Put me right in my happy place. :) I'd bet my wireless mouse some mommies are going to be putting those pieces in scrapbooks.

Have a great Tuesday.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Moron

The name of this stupid criminal has been omitted, because I heard the story on the radio while driving, and, well... my memory isn't that good.

Our brainiac criminal took an SUV for test drive, and managed to swipe one of the keys to it. Went back later that night and stole the vehicle. Which worked out fine--5 months later, the SUV still hadn't been recovered. But then... it got towed because he parked it in a handicapped spot (so he's not just stupid, he's a creep). Which you'd think would be the end of the story. Except. He reported the vehicle stolen!!!!


Who says the world already has enough dumbasses? There's always room for one more.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, April 8, 2011


Do other authors have trouble keeping all their writing ideas together? I have 4-5 stories partially written at any given time--over the years, I've started several books, then gotten busy with other projects and not gone back to them. Sometimes I get back "into" a story for a while and jot some notes, and I usually scribble some stuff down when I'm first planning.

The book I'm working on now required quite a few pages of notes on certain characters, plus I've learned I do best if I write down at least the outline for a scene when I'm thinking about it, and then writing the events (by typing them) goes much smoother. So I've got all these papers, all over the place. Lists of goals, motivations, conflicts, events, time lines for a couple of the books... and they've kinda been scattered on a clipboard, in my laptop bag, a file in the file cabinet.

I really couldn't take it any more, because every time I got thinking about a story and wanted to go review what I had, I'd need to go digging in all 3 or 4 places to find those notes. So I created a "system" for myself. (looking at the photo, I'm sure it doesn't seem all that original, LOL) Each of the 5 sections in the notebook is for a different story, and each section has its own pocket for me to stick loose pages that belong with it.

The pen is very important, too. And when hubby swiped my other one in that color, I had to go buy a new pack of G2s just for that shade... I mean, it needed to match with what I'd been working on, right? Different color would just destroy the continuity of the whole book!

How do you keep your writing organized?

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Out of bed, but out of time

Got up early to blog this morning but had an EIC emergency, so now I'm running late and must get ready for work.

Have a great Thursday, wherever you are. Only 1 more day til the weekend.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wily Wednesday

Occasionally even a criminal can earn my admiration. I think this guy is the stuff movies are made of!

In a story from the AP, a 57-year-old man in Spain has been arrested, again, after twice having his wife fax phony (pun intended) release orders to the jails holding him--she even followed up with a phone call corroborating the faxes. And this worked twice!!! Once in October, and once on March 3. So in the meantime, he's rented several houses, including this "heavily fortified" one where police finally found him... but they had to work for it. He'd equipped the house with reinforced window protection and a secret entrance (yes, secret entrance, LOL--I bet he has magical, spinny bookcases leading to tunnels too). He'd avoided la policia by hiring men to drive him around while he pretended to be an Italian professor. Officers finally busted into the home through a skylight to search the house. And they finally found him....

hiding in a hollowed-out sofa.

Dang. This guy knows how to make a plan.

Perhaps his wife should send a text message this time to get him released.

Autumn Piper
Got romance?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

EIC-you there

It's the monthly "From the Desk of Piper Denna" post over on the LPI blog--this month, on Stats, an Irish hit, newsletters, and keeping The Business separate from Your Business.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Marooned Monday

Saw this little joke on somebody's Facebook page last week and it made me bust up.

Why is it, when asked, "What's the one thing you'd want with you on a deserted island?" nobody ever answers, "A boat"?

Hope your Monday doesn't suck.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bradley and Baseball... no foolin'!

OK. In lieu of some big April fool's joke, I thought I'd do a little tribute to baseball, whose season is officially OPEN now (God, I love anything indicative of summer).

So I went searching for photos of hot baseball players--dang, they're a modest bunch! Where's the Studs of Baseball Calendar?--and what did I turn up? (please pardon the italics. it's the next best thing to capitals, because I am shouting)

Bradley Cooper is going to play in a baseball movie. One that's part comedy.

Oh. My. Heart.

I just love baseball (I've got some coverage about that on my site), and I adore movies about baseball, and I live for comedy. Bradley Cooper... well. He's not so hard to look at, right?

Wow. All I can dig up is, it's a movie Disney is producing... and there's a new movie Bradley is working on with Anne Hathaway, but not much info on it (I love Anne Hathaway too!). Perhaps that one.

So. For lack of hottie baseball pics, here's a hottie Bradley pic to leave you with.
Happy April!

Autumn Piper
Got romance?