2 Blondes, 1 Redhead & a Reviewer

Archive for the month “March, 2013”

My Cell phone etiquette rules…

Let me preface this with some facts. I am not glued to my cell phone and I am very careful of using it in public.  A cell is a tool, not my life line.  I’m a grown up and I have my priorities straight.

1.  No using a cell phone when it threatens lives.  As in while you are driving.   I want to ram the cars where I see someone driving erratically because they are trying to do it with a damn phone to their ear.  No text either.  Cars are 4 ton machines that need your complete attention.

2.  No using a cell phone while you are supposed to doing something else, like load your items on a store conveyor   It angers me that the rest of us have to wait on you because you can’t cut a call off when it’s your turn at the register.  And yes, I’m the bitch that calls you on it in public.  I get a cheer from fellow shoppers so I know I’m not alone in this)  Do the job, then go chat.  Did no one teach you how to be courteous to other human beings?

Which leads me to #3… if you don’t want anyone to hear your conversation, take it outside.  I will stop, stare you in the face and listen.  The person says, “Hey, this is private!”  I say, “And this is public.  Deal with it like an adult.”  I don’t want to hear your conversation.  Ever.  On the same vent, I won’t chat on a cell in public.

4.  No crass dirty monologue from a TV show as your voice mail. I won’t call you back nor will I leave a message.  Let’s be good and not vulgar.  Not everything on TV should be repeated ad nauseum.

5.  Do NOT answer a text or even check your phone during a conversation with me.  I’m a mom and old.   I’ll snatch that puppy out of your hand because you obviously don’t know how to hold a conversation and need to go back to grade school.

My advice, teach your children YOUR rules of using a cell phone and if you don’t have them, you should.   I will close my tirade with saying Jodi Arias Trial has proven that a cell and its camera should be used with caution.


No Talking


Cell phones are a real issue with me.  Yes, I have one.  A pretty one with voice recognition and everything.  I only use it when I’m out of the house or my landline is tied up.  Normally it’s on my bedside table (I use it as an alarm clock) or it’s in my car.  It isn’t tethered to me like oxygen tubing.  When, I wonder, did we all get so important that we have to carry a cell everywhere we go?  Are we all transplant surgeons or something?


So what are my pet peeves . . .


  1.  People who wander the aisles of the grocery store having boisterous conversations who give me a dirty look as I try to maneuver around them.  Either chat or shop.
  2. Cell yellers – It’s a cell phone not a megaphone.  If I’m in a restaurant I don’t want to hear your end of a conversation.  If you must yell into a cell, take it outside!
  3. Teenagers (And I own one) – no texting at the table or when amongst company.  I know you can do it with your eyes closed but the rest of us aren’t blind to your surface attention.
  4. Oh doctor!  Forget the sign that says ‘turn off cellphones’ just let yours ring away until you can work it out of your pants pocket or dig it out of the bottom of your purse.  And then, if it is an important call – GO OUTSIDE.
  5. At a function?  Turn the damned thing off.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been speaking to a group and a cell has chirped to life.  I didn’t prep and show up to be interrupted by your personal business.  And FYI, the last time was a group of mature women.  I actually had to stop speaking she was so loud.


Cell phones can be an important lifeline but that doesn’t give you carte blanche to interfere with the quiet enjoyment of others.  There’s a way to turn off the ringer, perhaps you should use it.  There’s always voicemail.  Again, unless you’re waiting for the call saying they found a kidney, waiting those 10-20 minutes to return a call won’t kill you.   But having to listen to loud, one-sided conversations makes me want to flush your cell down the closest toilet.


Would you like coffee with that conversation?

How to enforce politeness?? As hard as it is to believe, some people were not raised with a mom who had a quick hand and a “Do you want me to give you a reason to cry?” attitude, which shaped a generation.
A generation that knows better than to walk up to a counter to order, say, Starbucks, while still having a loud conversation with someone on the phone about a bad date. Proceed to ignore the person behind the register trying to help you, or even better, tell the person on the phone to hang on for a sec so you can get your coffee so the worker can stop intruding in your private life – then set the phone down, dig through your purse or pockets, acting like the line behind you doesn’t exist, just like the barista, who is magically supposed to read your mind about what you want – then once the money is found, the phone goes back to the ear, the person tosses cash/credit card while demanding their drink/food – usually in a mumble, much quieter than the conversation about the guy/gal the night before, then stalks off in a huff as if the people around them were the ones getting in the way of the all important Conversation.
Okay, so this has happened to me a time or ten, lol.
Or how about you are out with friends/kids, to dinner, sitting at a restaurant, and nobody is talking because they are all on the internet. We are going to lose the ability to have a face to face conversation, but that’s a topic for another day.
Cell phones have become so much more than a means of messaging one person to another – now you can skype, or facetime – which is so great! My brothers and I have been able to catch up, even though we are in completely different parts of the United States. I get to see my niece, who is beyond adorable. I’m going to get my mom set up one of these days, too. My kids got to see my new apartment via facetime and my ipad. Which can now make phone calls, lolol – it’s a crazy time for technology, which seems to drain even more of the limited free time I had. And would I Ieave the house without my cell phone? Yikes, that would be no. I’d be lost. No text? No checking email? What if someone needed me? And there it is – perhaps the cell phone, and the constant availability it demands, makes us feel worthwhile. Needed.
We used to rely on person to person relationships for that, without the intermediary of technology. Repeat after me “It is OKAY to put the cell phone down.” Say it ten times and – hang on. I gotta take this call 🙂

What goes around….

I must preface this Bad Editor moment with a few details.  At this point in my career I’d sold over a twenty books and had been writing for two publishers non-stop for several years already.  This was not my first rodeo.  I didn’t need a third publisher at that moment but I was open to writing a contemporary paranormal.  At the time paranormal was just breaking out of its shell.

I didn’t submit anything, this editor called me.  I don’t recall the conversation but I was flattered, and later emailed her a short synopsis.  Then I did some research on her.

This editor, I’ll call her Gi Gi, was very young in comparison to me and the people I’d been working with in the past few years.  She was new to publishing, yet was a buying editor of a major publisher then.  A well respected publisher.

I had never seen her in person.  When I did, I was unimpressed.  She was slovenly dressed, showing skin that shouldn’t be, and I must say, I do recall the body odor.  She offered intimate sexual details of her life to perfect strangers and drank excessively.  All this went on under the impressionable eyes of new writers at a conference.  I wanted to shout this was not acceptable, but my friends sponsored the conference and I’ll always be professional.  I kept my mouth shut.

When I returned home I’d received an email with a brief comments on the synopsis I’d sent. She’d sent it before the conference.  She said it was like a chess game, and that my work ‘pretty much sucked.’  Yes, she used those words.  Really.   How is it remotely respectful, you little twit.  This and Gi Gi’s behavior at a professional conference was just too much.  Its people like this woman who give writing romance a bad name.  I called her boss and in true Marine fashion, I went right to the top.  He was appalled.  Well respected, remember.  Within a week or two, she  no longer works for the publisher.  Not surprising, she’d earned a nasty reputation very quickly.  People heard.  You can thank the word spreading power of internet for that.   Gi Gi’s no longer in the business.

My work is done.

The moral: behave as a professional and or some righteous bitch like me will call you on it.


Agents? Editors? Talk about subjective!

One person’s frozen yogurt is another person’s ice cream. I think the writing business has got to be the most fickle business in the world. They love you, they hate you, they don’t want to buy you because they bought something similar six months ago.
My first agent, bless her heart, loved me as if I was the goddess of writing. Unfortunately, English was her second language and the relationship never translated into a sale. My second agent took me on right after my first sale. He loved me, loved me, love – and then the sale fell through. Good bye love affair.
My third agent I stalked with all of the stealth of a starving lioness eyeing a gazelle. I did my homework, I researched her, and I adored her. I thought we would see the Times list together, drinking champagne and eating those cute little toasts with stuff piled on top.We were so close to a sale, and it flopped. The bloom left my rose, and then she didn’t like my next project. It was time to say goodbye, though I still think of her fondly. My current agent is a go getter. Juggling a million things at one time. We’ve had a small sale together, and I’m waiting for the Big Kahuna. I know he will be great once the stars align and we finally get the go ahead on one of the many projects I’ve got in the fire. The truth is that nobody is going to love your book the way you do, nobody is going to have the passion to sell it, or market it. But unless you have the right agent/editor behind you, chances are, that book you worked so hard on might not see the light of day – in a good light, anyway, lol.
So, how many cliches did I put in this post, anyway? Made me laugh 🙂

Share your editor/agent story! I would love to commiserate

slapped by an agent

After 20 years in the business, it’s hard to pick the most outrageous thing an editor has ever said to me.  I’ve had 17 editors.  And no, I’m not difficult to deal with.  Most of them have had children and not returned to work.  I’m the fertility goddess of editors.

So I decided to pick the one that stung the most.  I was a newbie.  Sold only one book.  Wrote my second book and sent it in.  Those were the days when you sent in a hard copy and the editor wrote in the margins and sent it back along with a revision letter.  So you had to read the margin notes as well as the revision letter and often times they contradicted one another.  A tough way to do revisions.  Personally while I like Track Changes, I still miss having pages to flip through but I’ll get over myself.

Back to the topic at hand . . . there were hardly any notes in the margins so I thought I’d written a wonderful book.  My second time out of the gate and I’d hit a homerun.  My ego swelled.  Then I read the first line of the revision letter.  “Rhonda, this manuscript is simply subpar.  Please rework the plot and have it back to me in six weeks and we’ll consider publication.”  Um, ouch!  Not at all what I was expecting.  I did the natural thing.  I cried.  I got pissed.  Then I got humble.

I went to work rewriting the whole book.  I had a few margin notes that gave me a feel for what she didn’t like so I worked from there.  By the way, I got this letter the day before Thanksgiving; I had a real job and a small child.  I exhausted myself changing the story around and quite frankly, I thought the revision sucked, but I desperately wanted to please the editor.  I worked through Christmas, stopping only long enough to have 40 people at my house for Christmas Eve.  But I made it.  5 weeks after delivering the ‘subpar’ manuscript, I sent in my revised version.

One week goes by, then two, three and four.  Finally, after waiting nearly 6 weeks I hear from an editor.  A new editor.  Turns out my editor left the company to spend time with her children.  I’d been reassigned.  New editor introduced herself and in short order, she asked me why I’d sent in another manuscript.  Did these people not talk to one another???  I explained that editor number one wanted a full revision.  Editor number two said she’d read both versions and really liked the original version and wanted to go with that one.  She had a few comments and revisions, but nothing major.  She faxed me revision notes and there were maybe five things she wanted changed.  Knocked them out in one night.

That taught me some valuable lessons.  The most important being life is much easier when you have the right editor.  One person’s subpar is another person’s brilliant.



Stupid is as stupid does….

No, its not about Forrest Gump.  Our topic is moments with people that make you ask, “Are you really that dense?”

Lately, I’m on a mission to call people on the carpet for not doing their job.  I’m intolerant of attitude when I’m paying the bills.  I was raised to be polite  and always treat you as I want to be treated.

I want a revolution, for congress and senate to be held accountable for their lack of progress.  If I had the cash I’d be outside the senate protesting their plush pampered existence when all is wrong with this country and the citizens are paying the bills.

I’ve had several of these moments in the last couple months.   Some are with medical professionals who keep giving me massive doses of medication when I weigh 125 pounds and have reactions to all meds lately.  I’ve been known to ask, “Can I see your license to practice medicine?”  when I end up in the ER after taking their prescribed medications. This has happened 3 times in the last 6 months.

A recent one….  I was looking for a coffee maker in Wal-Mart.  They had it yet none on the shelves.  I ask an employee to go in the storage for another and she gives me attitude that it’s too much an effort, sulking away to do it.  Angry, I say loudly, don’t bother, it’s obviously too difficult to do your job.”

She snarls, “Do you want it or not?”  I replied, “yes, but I have no problem calling the manager down and pointing out your bad attitude, honey.”   She is now desperate to comply but I’m done.  I look at her name tag and go to the front and report her.  When I get the same attitude from her boss, I kept going up the ladder.  After 30 years with the Marine Corps, I have noooo problem going up the chain of command.   Don’t mess with a writer.  I have no problem writing an article about for the local paper either.

in recent days, the biggest has got to be Jodi Arias and her self-defense claim.  I know I know we’re getting into what I call Insane TV.  (Do I have to mention Casey Anthony, really?)  I swore after the Anthony trial I wasn’t going to pay a moment’s attention to that trial but when I saw the autopsy and crime scene photos, even an extreme lay person (Me) could figure out what happened.  The evidence speaks loudly to the “are you really that stupid?” moment?

Jodi Arias claiming she shot first when the evidence says without a doubt that he was shot after he was dead or near death.  That did it for me, I’m might be listening to her bullshit, but I followed the evidence and concluded guilty. What I don’t understand is why she can say horrible things about the victim, but where are the people who describe HER character?

Or do we all really know in our soul she is an evil skank who killed Travis Alexander?  God I wish I was one of those jurors.


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