The Eyes Have It

Hello my darlings! “I’m not much of a crier.” I say this to people when the topic of crying comes up. And it was true. I’ve never been much of a tear shedding type. When I was a kid, if I got in trouble, I wouldn’t cry. I’d turn into a stormy-faced robot, back up to a wall, and attempt to bore holes into the floor with my laser scowl. Even as an adult, if I get really pissed, or into a feels-heavy argument, you could count on me to turn into this bizarre, calm, lawyer-esque creature which actually kind of terrified me a lot. I like feelings. It makes little sense that I will legit shut down over sadness. A very confusing situation. So, a year or so ago, I was relaying my cold dead heart concerns to my husband and I honestly couldn’t think of a time I’d been so sad I’d cried tears. Seriously, other than my cat getting hit by a car in the second grade, I never get sad enough to cry. I get angry. Upset. Hurt. Scared. Not so much sad. At funerals, I’m the weirdo making inappropriate jokes because I don’t like to see other people sad and I figure any smile is a good smile? Or I’m just awkward as ass and my verbal filter is on back-order. When my kids were born? I teared up, but no tears fell. And those were happy tears, so. But still. No crying. Maybe it’s because I brought it into focus, but ever since we had that conversation, it takes basically nothing to turn me into a sniveling idiot. I have a friend, and every time we’ve talked on the phone, maybe three or four times in the last year, I have cried. And...

Read More

Can’t Remember to Forget You

Hello my loves! I received some unusual news this week. My life since August has been a mess of doctors and medical contraptions and what have you, and I met with a new neurologist yesterday. I’ve had migraines since the age of twelve and have seen my share of brain docs, but this one was brought on by a need to get me away from scary heart attack causing migraine meds, and also because I don’t remember most of August. I knew I’d been having some issues, brainily speaking, but I chalked it up to stress, medications, and hell, even age at this point. The good doc sat me down and we did some tests. Things like he would list four words and I’d have to repeat them back. Except I couldn’t. IT WAS SUPER WEIRD. I could hear him. I could hear the words he was saying. I knew the words. But I couldn’t get them to come back out of my mouth. I couldn’t get my brain to form the words in my mind. It was so freaking frustrating. It was also really freaking fascinating. And oh my god freaking terrifying. I can’t remember all four of the words, hardy har, but one of them was raccoon. I heard him say it, I wanted to say it, but I couldn’t form it. I was getting really scared and annoyed by the process and in a burst of frustration, I sort of shouted, “ROCKET!” at him. The good news is that since my brain made the connection to Rocket the Raccoon, the doc says my brain isn’t broken. The bad news is that after all our tests he says there is “evidence of damage” to my brain. I’m going to go ahead and put “Told I have brain...

Read More

War of the Words

Hello my darlings! When I was a kid, my parents would tell me the tale of the first radio broadcast of Orson Welle’s WAR OF THE WORLDS. The story went something like this: On October 30th, 1938, the radio program aired and was so believable, so terrifying, it sent the country, millions of people, into mass hysteria. People genuinely thought the planet was being attacked by aliens, and chaos ensued. I didn’t just hear the story from my parents. All my older relatives told the harrowing tale. Our history classes taught about it. We learned about the power of fiction, the pull of a well told story. Here’s the thing though; it’s a lie. There was no mass hysteria. There weren’t people flailing in the streets ready to surrender to or do battle with their assumed alien overlords. So where did the story come from? How has it been “common knowledge” for decades that the country fell to it’s knees in front of radios right before World War 2? Somebody lied. That’s it. Somebody lied. The general idea is this; newspapers were super pissy that this new fangled radio contraption was lowering the amount of adertisers buying space in their papers. And so, someone had the brilliant idea of discrediting this hateful electronic devilry by posting on front pages that the radio program had caused actual mass hysteria. Surely no one would ever want to be fooled by such an untrustworthy medium and the radio would crumble, falling beneath the reliable feet of the trusted newspaper. Seriously. Someone thought it would be a good way to solidify trust in the printed word by effectively lying to millions. Check out this article from Slate.com. A lot of research went into discovering the root of this myth. Here’s a more detailed...

Read More

I Can’t Hair You

Hello my dears! This last weekend, my brother was in the process of buying a new car and came across the most cartoonishly bad car salesmen this side of my own car selling days. He’d spent two days working through the deal only to have a wave of attempted swindling bring it all crashing down. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a shitty sales pitch, you know how frustrating it can all be. If you’re a nice, quiet lad my like brother, you might also discover yourself being run around in circles and finding it really hard to get anyone to listen to your “No.” So, I was called in as the muscle. Or the mouth. Either way, I was recruited to go with him and make sure these dudes understood NO MEANS NO and could he please just have the keys to his car back, please. I’m super good at being tough for other people, while still firmly unable to stand up for myself. I’m an enigma. Or something. Anyway, while we were standing in the dealership waiting for the sales dude to secretly fetch another manager to woo my bro, someone wrapped their arm around my waist. My first thought was someone I knew was in the room and had come over to say hi. I turned and saw a dude I have never seen in my life. And his arm was around my waist. With his hand curled right around my ribs the way my husband holds me when we walk in a cuddly mood. The dude I don’t know but is still holding me gives me this leery smile and says, “I just really love your hair.” I wriggled away, said, “Uh, thanks.” and then whipped around to hiss, “That. Dude. Just....

Read More

Fizzy Fangirling – An Interview with Jenny Bent

Hello my loves! Today, it is my genuine pleasure to bring you a chat with the incomparable Jenny Bent of…wait for it…The Bent Agency! Jenny Bent is one of those agents that everyone knows and when she’s discussed it’s with the awed tones of, “It’s Jenny freaking BENT.” The honor is well earned. Aside from being a brilliant literary agent, she runs an agency full of other brilliant literary agents. All the while being known for her friendliness and knowledge on social media. Dude. The skills. I mean, damn. Let’s get to know her better, shall we? 1. Let’s start with the basics: How long have you been an agent, and what made you dive into this wacky business in the first place, and compelled you to start your own agency? Well, I knew even before college that I wanted to work in publishing because I was always such a reader, to the exclusion of almost anything else, really. I started working as an assistant to a literary agent in 1992 and then started repping my own titles in about 1996. The goal was always to one day have my name on the door, so in 2009, when I felt that I had established myself enough, I left my position at Trident Media to found TBA. 2. What genres do you rep? I rep women’s fiction, crime/suspense, romance, YA, a tiny bit of literary fiction, memoir, very occasionally lifestyle if it has a fun or girly twist to it. 3. What sort of story do you pray to the literary gods will land on your desk? Oh gosh, so many different kinds of stories make me happy. Right now I would love some really compelling suspense with an amazing hook, like the book THINK OF A NUMBER by John Verdon....

Read More