Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Characters and Personality

I've been trying to figure something out about Armani from the CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN series.

The semi-psychic has been in seven stories, but I couldn't get a handle on something about her. (Could I be any more vague?)  

Finally, pretending to be her, I answered a bunch of questions for the Jung Typology test which can be found here.

Armani, it would seem, is an ENFP ( Extraverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving).  You can read the whole description of her personality type here. (But I found this description easier to read.) Here's just a bit of it:

The Inspirer

As an ENFP, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you take things in primarily via your intuition. Your secondary mode is internal, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit in with your personal value system.
ENFPs are warm, enthusiastic people, typically very bright and full of potential. They live in the world of possibilities, and can become very passionate and excited about things. Their enthusiasm lends them the ability to inspire and motivate others, more so than we see in other types. They can talk their way in or out of anything. They love life, seeing it as a special gift, and strive to make the most out of it.

Sure some people might think this is as accurate as reading tea leaves (or Scrabble tiles) but it did the trick for me. I figured out what I needed to know about Armani based on something on this description.

The method might be a bit unorthodox, but I thought some of you might find it to be an interesting experiment. You could play with it for a character or for yourself. Or maybe for someone you're pissed off at, so that you can better understand them….

Tell me Killer Friends: Have you taken a Personality Test? Do you believe in them? Or do you use/believe in horoscopes, numerology, or psychics??

I've taken a few of these tests and I always get the same answer for myself. I'm an INFJ. Yeah, most of the description is pretty much me in a nutshell. **eye roll**  Go ahead, take it and let me know what YOU are.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Teaser Tuesday…with an extra tease

This scene is from the upcoming: THE HITWOMAN & THE 7 COPS:

Spinning around, I saw DeeDee bounding up the driveway. “Hungry. Hungry Maggie.”
“DeeDee,” I dropped to my knees to envelope her in a big hug, but she didn’t slow down her run.
 I ended up flat on my back with seventy-five pounds of dog panting in my face, “Hungry. Hungry. Hungry.”
Needing to breathe, I shoved her off of me. “Where were you? Where did you go? Bad dog. You scared me to death.”
She cocked her head to the side and whined softly, “Bad?”
Stumbling to my feet, I shook a finger at her. “Yes. Bad dog. We’ve talked about this. You can’t go running off. Bad, bad dog.”
“Sorry?” She lay down and rolled over on her back in supplication, begging my forgiveness.
Putting my hands on my hips, I frowned at her, unswayed by her apology.
“Chill, Chiquita. She was with me.”
Turning slowly, I saw Armani Vasquez limping up the driveway toward us. Her eyes sparkled mischievously.
“What do you mean she was with you?” My tone was deceptively quiet.
“I borrowed her.”
“You borrowed her?” My voice cracked on the last word. “You borrowed her?” I marched toward Armani, all the worry and frustrations of the past couple of hours ready to spew out like a soda bottle that had just been opened after being vigorously shaken.
As though they anticipated I might do the other woman harm, the marshal and the detective stepped between us.
“You can’t take something without asking and then call it borrowing,” I yelled.
Mike held up his hands to hold off my attack. “Miss Lee, maybe you need to take a breath.”
“Maybe you need to call me Maggie.”
“Fine,” he soothed. “Maggie. I understand you’re upset.”
Peering around the two men, Armani stared at me worriedly. “Your aura is all screwed up. Is something wrong?”
“You’re the psychic,” I spat. “Shouldn’t you know that?”
Brian hung his head. “Oh god, a psychic on top of everything else.”
“She’s a terrible psychic. She only gets things half right,” I told him.
“Hey,” Armani protested. “I’m just learning how to interpret my gift.”

So here's the extra tease: This is somehow connected to an upcoming secret project that I'm really excited about!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Reviews - Your Mileage May Vary

Nowadays, it seems like everyone's got an opportunity to review just about any old thing - from the pet steps you bought at Amazon to the guy who installed your toilet to the books you read and the music you listen to.  In fact, I was just reviewing our new sheets and comforter last night - after a little prompting from Walmart itself.

And as I was typing my reviews - both five-stars, btw (I love my new bed clothes) - I was tempted to add at the end - your mileage may vary.  Because, really, it might. 

Take the sheets, for instance.  They're jersey material and I LURVE them.  They're so soft and so light and infinitely warm.  They're perfect for me.  But jersey material is kinda stretchy, so I do notice when I wake up that the sheets got bunchy somewhere in the middle of the night.  (I'm a mover when I sleep.)  A fact which might irritate the whole bejeezus out of other people.

But my opinion is that they are the most awesome and wonderful sheets I've bought for spring/summer/fall.  (Sorry.  Nothing beats a good set of flannel sheets for cold weather.  Again, my opinion.) 

That's the thing about opinions, though, isn't it?  They're one person's view of how they like or don't like a given thing.  My opinion is that brussels sprouts taste like used armpit guards.  My mother loves brussels sprouts.  I would never offer her my opinion - although if she remembers my childhood, she already knows - because she doesn't need to hear exactly how gross I think her beloved veggies are.  On the other hand, I love blueberries and she thinks they're gross.  (Even after all the blueberry pies she slaved over throughout raising her kids. After she told me, I realized I'd never actually seen her eat a piece.)

So, when you leave a review, be kind enough to remember that what you're offering the general public is your opinion.  And when you read a review, remember that the person writing it has offered theirs.  Neither your opinion or mine or the man on the street is infallible - and often what is trash to one person is freakin' awesome to another.

(And yes, sometimes I need to remember this myself.  Even I've left book reviews that weren't necessarily as thoughtful as they should have been.)

Friday, April 11, 2014

I'd like to see a Weeping Angels Peeps Diorama

This time of year I become a bit obsessed with Peeps dioramas. So I went in search of one with Weeping Angels.

I couldn't find one.  :-(

So if YOU come across one, please point it out to me.

Tell me Killer Friends: Do you like Peeps dioramas??

My gratitude to whoever made and shot this one!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tell us what we shouldn't miss!

Recommend a book, tv series, movie, recipe, food, music, candle, household cleaner, or anything else that brightens/enriches your day/life.

JB:  Here's a random list of what I'm enjoying:

Since right now I'm reading GET REAL by Donald Westlake, I'll recommend his entire Dortmunder series.

JUSTIFIED got its mojo back! Now I have to rematch the entire run of the show before next season and the series finale. I could write a whole post about this…in fact, I may.

Lately I can't get enough of the ILLUMINATION CD by Jennifer Thomas.

I'm also slightly obsessed with a Yankee candle, Moonlit Ocean.

Also, if things continue to go well, I may soon add "my running group" to this list.  ;-)

B.E.: Wow.  Tough category for me this week.  I'm embroiled in home repairs, gardening, etc.  To that end, you shouldn't miss Spring Hill Nursery.  They're having some awesome sales right now. 

I'm also really enjoying the show Rehab Addict on HGTV.  Nicole Curtis finds old homes that are about to be demolished and restores them to their original beauty.

Another thing that's making me happy is all the birds beginning to sing around here.  It's like a symphony in the mornings.  When we first moved here, we weren't used to it and it was beautiful, but so LOUD.  Heh.  It's still pretty loud, but it doesn't wake me up at the crack of 'too damn early' anymore.

As for music, I'm really groovin' on Bastille's Pompeii right now.  And American Authors.  And Imagine Dragons.  of course, as soon as I told my Kid I loved Bastille, she sent me this link to their song Poet - because, in her words, it's writery.  ;o)

Tell us Killer Friends: What are you loving?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What makes you nervous?

I was invited by the lovely Maureen A. Miller,  to participate in a release party for DANGEROUS DOZEN (a collection of romantic suspense novels by twelve authors…amazing how that works out, isn't it?).

During my segment we tackled the question: What makes you nervous?

There were some common answers: spiders, heights, crowds.

And some uncommon answers: football??????

Here's a quick list of things that make me nervous:

     Creepy crawlies of any kind

     Heights (a "height" is defined as anything as high, or higher than, the first step of my step stool)

     Running out of coffee (Duh!!!)

     Gunfire (a neurosis I've developed since moving to Florida -- a neighbor a couple of blocks away indulges in regular target practice)

    When my dog barks at absolutely nothing late at night (is my place haunted?)

I realized that Maggie Lee from the CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN series isn't nervous about any of those things (except maybe the coffee thing…and even if she did run out of coffee, you know a certain red head would bring her some).

While I think anole lizards are cute to look at, you'll never catch me picking one up.

Maggie enjoys climbing. (She IS crazy!)

Gunfire doesn't bother her.

She understands what her dog is saying. (Assuming she's got someone around to translate the horrendous grammar.)

Tell me Killer Friends: What makes you nervous? Will you read/write/watch books or movies that contain subject matter that explore your phobias?  (I won't watch spiders!)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Teaser Tuesday - Sym's Stories

Today I'm honored to bring you a bit of The Jane Project by Sym Murray.  It's a serial story written by my friend, and it's a whole lot of fun.  I hope after reading this, you head on over to her site and become as addicted to the story as I am.

The Jonesville Journal had been so thoroughly crammed into Jane Greene's apartment mailbox that she had spent ten minutes trying to dislodge the thing without tearing it to bits. In hindsight, she should have yanked the thing until it resembled confetti then she wouldn't be standing in her kitchen gaping at the picture of her ex-husband and his secretary under the heading "Marriage Announcements". At least they were decent. The last time she had seen them Ex-husband had been in the middle of a strange form of dictation where Secretary straddled his lap wearing nothing but hot pink Victoria Secret bra and panties.
Jane opened the refrigerator. The can of Rediwhip caught her eye. A couple of shots later she was ready to move onto something more substantial in order to kill the pain. While digging out the leftover pizza from the night before, she calculated the total amount of time she had been single. 452 days, 18 hours, 37 minutes! Funny, it seemed like only yesterday she had stood on the threshold of Ex's office and watched Secretary arch her back and grind her hips further down into Jane's husband's groin.

She tore off a chunk of pizza and washed it down with another shot. The newspaper drew her back like a bad reality show; it was bad, but you couldn't not watch and then have nothing to contribute at the water cooler the next day. Yep, they were still there, smiling pretty and looking like a black and white version of Ken and Barbie. Jane stuffed more pizza in her mouth and read the announcement:

Mary and Todd Richardson are pleased to announce the upcoming marriage of their eldest son, Todd Richardson to Rachel Penhold, daughter of Cynthia and Robert Penhold of Chicago, Illinois, on July 17. Ceremony to take place at the Garrison Inn with reception to follow.
Mary and Todd had been pleased to announce the previous marriage of their eldest son, Todd Junior, to Jane Greene at the same bloody Garrison Inn. Jane shot some Rediwhip onto the pizza crust before popping it into her mouth. She licked her fingers, giving extra attention to her middle one as she positioned herself correctly before the newspaper picture.

Then, reality set in. Her ex-husband had moved on with his life and she had moved into a one-room apartment and gorged herself on crappy food to try to forget. She sank to the floor, luckily, right next to the cracker cupboard. A sleeve of crackers may not dry the sting of tears threatening to spill onto her cheeks, but it would keep the accompanying snot at bay. She couldn’t believe the amount of tears still available for Todd.

The phone rang. Jane's pain deepened. If she was reading the weekly edition of the Journal, then so was her mother. She let the answering machine pick up the call.

"Jane? Jane, I know you're there." There was a pause, but Jane only curled into a fetal position and waited for her mother's words of wisdom.

"Well, I don't know where you are, but if you get the paper, don't read it."

Too late! She swiped at her eyes and fished for another cracker.

"Just throw it out. Don't read it. I'm serious. I'll call you later and explain. I love you, Honey."

The click echoed in the small apartment. If Jane had received that message before she had opened the paper, she would have thought someone from home had died and she hadn't been notified. Her mother's "I'm serious." was not to be taken lightly. And, like the dutiful daughter she was, she would have placed the paper on her the table and phoned her mother to get the dreadful news accompanied by a dose of love and platitudes that everything was going to be fine.

The phone rang again. Jane crammed two crackers in her mouth and waited for the answering machine to click into action. No question as to the caller being her best friend, Kate. Pity call, anyone?

“Jane? It’s me, Kate. Did you get the paper?”

Cracker crumbs fell to the floor as Jane nodded her head.

“Can you believe this? This is so exciting.”

Jane’s stopped chewing.

“Are you going? I’m going to get a new dress. I haven’t had a new dress since before Danny was born. Ooh, maybe I'll come to Chicago first and we can have a spa day”

Kate was a pretty upbeat person, but unless she was attempting reverse psychology, Jane couldn’t believe what she was hearing. There was an actual singsong quality to her friend’s voice. She swallowed the lump of cracker goo and lunged for the phone.

“Ooh, I hope there’s a dance – ”

“You’re kidding right?”

“Jane! Were you in the bathroom?”

“I was on the floor. Crying.”

“What? Why?”

“I got the paper.” She glanced at the offending picture again and shoved the whole thing off the counter.

“I’m confused. Why were you crying? Oh, you think you’re going to need a date. Don’t worry, I’m leaving Mike at home. I’ll be your date.”

“Kate! I hate to disappoint you, you sound like you have your heart set on going, but I don’t think either one of us will get an invite.”

“Why wouldn’t we?”

“Well, I don’t think Mary and Todd want me at their son’s wedding. First time was good, I was the bride, but the second time being the ex-wife might be...”

“Todd’s getting married?” Paper rustled in Jane’s ear.

 “Yes. What are you talking about?”

“The reunion.”


Like I said, this is the beginning.  So far there are 13 installments (give or take) and she tries to put one out every week.  I hope you enjoy!