Friday, November 11, 2005

Top Ten Things.....

Never to send your favourite writer......

I have spent most of today in my office, having for the most part, a truly delightful time, going thu boxes and bags, and backlogs of Things that have come in these last few months. I have been rather busy, to say the least, and things do pile up some. It's been wonderful fun finding delightful and interesting Things , people are so very cool, and sweet and just down to earth and neat. I love my Boss's readers.

I was, however reminded of an Essay I wrote a couple of years ago, and thought the time might have come to post it again, just for fun....


Top Ten Things Never to Send Your Favorite Writer

10. Food

Unless you are a proper Food Company, what you send will not arrive in anything like the condition you sent it out in. Writers, or anyone else for that matter, tend to become rather dubious upon viewing the crumpled remains of what once was no doubt ( or a lot of doubt ) cookies. Also, somewhere deep in our darkest recess of our past, all of us remember our Mother's Don't Take Candy From Strangers , I mean, sure, it's a million to one odds, that this is the final crazed fan who has coated the little goodies with arsenic, but hey, who wants to take chances?

Send wine. Or scotch. Single Malt. Old Single Malt.

9. Paw-paw's.

Yes, I know , they are food. Well they might be food, I don't know. I do know they don't ship. Even Fed-ex. People have tried. There are reasons we don't have them in the North. For all I know , they are local to a three mile square field down South somewhere , available only to folk singers and local residents with a 1/2 mile radius of said field. I repeat, they don't ship.

Now mangoes do ship. Via Fed Ex. If you want something very badly from your favorite writer , a half dozen mangoes to his or her assistant will often move that request right to the top of the list. Trust me.

8. Invitations for things happening next month

Now , writers tend to be busy, based on my experience. Unless you are signing yourself HRH Elizabeth R. or including the words " Beach house " " Maui" and
" business class airfare" , next month is probably not going to work. Writers write. It doesn't matter how great your Convention is, they need to plan for it. In advance. It takes writers a very long time to write a book ( no, I don't know why, it just DOES ) If you are reading their Blog and find out they are in town for a signing next week, dinner is also not going to work. Especially if you have never met, nice idea, but sorry. They don't even want to see their friends when on signing tours. ( Actually the friends know all about writers on tour and tend to flee that weekend )

Invitations coming in from Brazil are the exceptions to this. Brazilians tend to send out invites for next month. All the time. Nothing deters them. They will set up an art show based on the writers work, have an entire convention based on your writers books, a conference and country wide media complete with signings, declare it a national holiday in the town, and get the mayor lined up to present the keys to the city making it permanently " The Poor Writer " Day from here on out AND this will all be scheduled Next Month. In one notable instance, Next Week.

7. Handwritten Letters.

Ok, we have a little lee-way here. Say it is a simple card saying , in nice , neat readable handwriting , " Darn your last book was great! " this is most likely ok. If you want your writer to read your letter is has to be readable. Yes, I know, one would think this was a no brainer, but you'd be surprised at how many people take a lot of liberties with the word Legible . Typewritten is so much easier to read. You might even go all out and include your address at the top, along with a SASE.

Which brings us to another little point....

6. Letters more than ten pages long.

Whatever you have to say should not take that long. It might well be important, and if you have to, you have to. But consider keeping it short. Ten pages of your latest novel idea, film idea, dream you had last night, or just a newsy note bringing your writer up to date on your life is more than they want to know and they will not be with you much past page four. ( Alright, I lied, make that page two )

Or rather the writer's assistant will not be with you that long. If your writer is very popular they get a LOT of mail. They can't read all of it, tho in their defense I must say they do try. You might consider something truly sneaky and start your letter
" Hello, Oh great and wonderful Writer's Assistant, just bought your latest cd ( ) and ye gads! It is great! " Don't know why, but those sorts of letters do tend to get more attention paid to them.*

* Assistants are smart. very smart. Make sure you actually buy the thing.

5. Letters written on black paper with a silver pen.

Silver pen on black paper is not nearly as cool as you think it is.

4. Your latest novel

Writers write. And they read. They have a backlog of reading bigger than most home libraries. They don't 'have time to read your novel/short story film idea. They don't have time to read the things they want to . It is also never a good idea to send them letters saying " Boy, I can't believe you used my idea I sent you last year in your latest novel/short story/film. They didn't. Again, trust me. They didn't.

Send your stories to agents, editors, magazines , family, and friends. They want them, and in some cases are paid to want them. In some cases they may even pay you for them.

4. Things with blood on them.

'Nuff said. I don't care what they write, they don't want it.

3. Anything you want back.

I am not talking about the odd book here, to be signed and sent back, particularly if you have written the assistant first explaining the situation ( remember how we start those letters ? ) and sent the book with SASE. Most writers are happy to oblige. Even assistants don't mind, happy to help. I am talking about personal things you want back. Your one of a kind portfolio filled with the only copies of original art. The ten mirco cassettes with player you have recorded your dream journal on for the last year. Actually, any journal of any kind. This goes along with the only copy of your latest poems, the master copy of your cd or any family heirlooms.

Writers dread the sort of letter that starts out " I have sent you this, but please send it back when you are done" For some reason anything of the sort immediately sends the item off into some sort of alternate cosmic 5th dimension , and it will, I guarantee , never be seen again, no matter what good intentions the writer may have.

2. This is more of a Good Idea/ Bad Idea list of things you might send

Some Good Ideas: Small things, trinkets, cool jewelry, tiny statues, candles, small things that squeak ( not living ) one of a kind toys, weird barbie Dolls dressed as the Endless ( Sorry, I don't know why, but I have always liked those ) cool old books, reference books , blank books for writing, cd's , black socks ( don't care who they are, they'll need them ) mittens ( unless they live in Paw-paw country ) wind up Sushi, muppet puppets of said writer, Day of the Dead things , fountain pens and perhaps some truly useful items like Sharpie Pens and post it notes . The better the writer the less pens and paper they are going to have around.

Some Bad Ideas: Art larger than 3 x 5 feet ( I am being generous here ) , photo albums with more than 50 photos of one signing , things that squeak ( living ) anything fragile , ( it will be broken ) , live animals of any kind , anything weighing over 50 pounds, pictures of you and the writer blown up to poster size that your friend took at a signing , your ENTIRE collection of his/her work to be signed , anything you recorded while on drugs, more than one volume of original music you recorded on your computer , open liqueur bottles with hand done labels in a foreign language , and anything you have to preface with " I found this in a graveyard...." ( or your freezer )

Ok, I know what you are wondering. Yes, we have. All of them.

1. Sand

It gets Everywhere. Can I repeat that ? It Gets EVERYWHERE. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have sat sadly in my just-this-day-cleaned office , looking at my sand covered desk , which now resembles something very like a Zen garden gone bad. This may be a fairly one-writer-specific problem, but if you listen to one thing I have said here, Do not send Sand. Ever. You can't pack it so it stays in whatever container you have deemed appropriate. Send the container, include a note saying " FIll this with Sand " I will do it for you, no mangoes, no cd buying, I'll nip outside and get you some of the best sand going. Just don't try and send it yourself.

I know what I am talking about here. Trust me.

Lorraine Garland, 2004

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Filing and Birthdays with a little Rock to Come

Long day today with much work, none of it too exciting. ( unless you like hearing about filing hundreds of papers and sorting thru piles of yet more papers , heck if this sort of thing excites you, come on over , hee-hee ! ) Did a little work on the press release thingie, so that we can start sending out more review copies and talked to Malena about ways to become re-inspired in the relm of fitness and eating right. She sent me a drawing of an all leather outfit , skirt and top, she has designed for me. Colour me inspired!

I have to go and start getting ready for the gig tonight at Kieran's, but I wanted to take a quick minute and wish my Boss a Very Happy Birthday! And Many Happy Returns Of The Day! I am glad that you UK folks have been getting to see him on the tour, which he says has been going very well.

Ok, I am off to rock, hope to see some of you these next three nights at the club , and I'll see the rest of you here!

Love and music, Lorraine

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

More Malloys Gigs This Weekend!

I had SO much fun last night playing with the Tim Malloys! Those guys are so very good and I am finally starting to feel like I know the songs well enough to actually add something. It is wild playing with them , as I have done the songs, many of them, and know them, but the style is so different, and the key will be different that I spend the whole night learning and working and it is all seeming to come together.

Adam, whom I respect more than almost any other player going, said last night , after the gig, that he thought I had everything a fiddle player needed and I was wonderful and great to play with.

WOW! Thinks I, that is high praise! Thanks, I stammer....

Yes, he said, you stay out of the way, know when not to play, and you have a GREAT RACK!

Back to earth.

( those guys have mouths as foul as smokey peat whisky and hearts of angels , this was truly a compliment, and he meant the first two in the best possible way and was kidding on the last )

They have asked me to play with them Thursday , Friday and Saturday at Kieran's in Minneapolis, 9-1, this week and yes, of course, I have said yes. So, please, do come down and hang out, I will be there staying out of the way, and knowing when not to play. ( uh, yes, my " rack " will be there as well, hee-hee )

It was really lovely too hearing from all the Malloys fans who are loveing MIRROR MIRROR, many many thanks for telling me how much you liked the cd, it means so much!

I got a new cell phone yesterday, and it is a lovely thing, but it seems my phone book is not on my SIM card, only on the old phone memory, and the old phone seems to think it does not have bluetooth and will not talk to my new phone. Any ideas on how to get my phone # list over to the new one? You can enter #'s on the SIM card on the old phone, but not simply transfer them to it. I have a lot of #'s and would rather not re-enter them all.

I am going out for walk now, but between the wind , which seems bent on blowing everything , including houses and trees down, and the hunters, I may not get very far. Might be better to stay inseide and explore these Prius websites, and dream lovely thoghts about this new school girl skirt I am hearing of from Malena. ( I thought we were getting matching Green with Celtic knotwork corsets for St Pats Day, but , hey, I am up for anything! )

( easy access skirt indeed!!!!!! Between her and the Malloys.....)

Love and Leather, Lorraine

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Malena Collection

Wehooooooooooo! Good news LaMies! My fashion line will be coming out next spring. I am designing corsets, skirts and dresses like crazy. I spoke with Karolyn at Alter Ego tonight. She reminded me that some of my designs were so extreme that ONLY I would wear them! Wait, doesn't anyone else wear feather hats with veils, 6 inch thigh boots and dresses with slits up to the hipbone? Guess not. Poor Miles. He is always the one who has to say, "Take it down a thousand babe. Think REAL LIFE!" Where would I be without him? Standing in the grocery line at 12 midnight wearing an evening gown, that's where. Hey, it happens.

I'm also designing a line for "plus sizes" although I would never use those words. I've always hated that description. After all.. beauty doesn't stop at a size 14.
Anyway, I need to know what OUR LaMies want! Do you like short skirts or long skirts, corsets with or without sleeves? If you could have any piece of clothing, what would it be? I've always wanted to design clothing. I want to make clothes that FIT! Lorraine is my little guinea pig. I am designing her a zippered school girl skirt right now. It's part of the "Easy Access" collection. (JOKING!) No not really. Wehooooo! Now I can call her "Fly Girl"!
So, make a wish list and post it on the blog. Let me know what clothes you can't find and what you wish would fit better...and Malena will make it happen. Magic wand, crystal ball and ALL!
Your favorite Witchy

Bauhaus and Workouts

I went to town last night with Chris the Fop to see Bauhaus, ah, a blast from the past. (pulling up to a show in a shiny new black Prius wih your date, who happens to be a large gay man who looks like Tim Curry is a MIGHTY fine evening , felt like the coolest thing going I did!) I had a great time and it is always nice to see Bauhaus, but I was a little dissapointed this time around with them. They played an hour and a half set, including encores, but a huge part of my liking for Bauhaus is Peter Murphy's voice and the lyrics, neither of which you could hear. Very muddy . And the music wasn't enough with them to keep me excited. The crowd didn't hate them , but there was a lack of , hmmm...Frenzy? The last three songs got people going, being the standard last three they do, Telegram Sam, Ziggy and Bela, but for the rest of the night, not even the band seemed real into it, tho it is hard to tell with them, but not a lot of running around, no stage set, and NO LONG BLACK CAPES!

(what is Bauhaus with out capes? Lorraine a' Malena with out corsets?)

Lesson, if you are going to forgo the capes, your music had better be HOT!

They did have a little for the tour only EP which I played on the way home and thought: These guys can still rock! And isn't it nice when you can hear the vocals?????

Ok, I'll stop or you will get another few pages of me whinning at Sherpa about my monitor mix for the show tonight, hee-hee.....

I have been sliding lately with my eating right and working out ideals, and had a long talk with Malena about it this morning. When I get so busy and do so many gigs I tend to grab food on the run and think of the gig as a workout. Neither of which make for a getting fitter Lorraine. I went back and spent some time on Malena's website which is a very good place for inspiration and then went to the store and bought All The Good Food they had. Enough, I say with the laziness, this Wild and Wonderful Corset Convention is happening in six months and I am going to be fit for it.

( I know there will be other equally important bits to this Con, wonderful guests, much talk about literature, mighty fine music and such, but it is wearing the corset that is making me nervous. )

I don't seem to have a middle ground. Either I am eating really well and losing weight and getting fit, or I am on the Hell In A Bucket Plan, so now it is back to the gym, folks, for this girl!!!!!

Actually , I am going out and buying a Hunter Orange Vest to wear for the next couple of weeks, it being the country and hunting season here, and me liking long walks on back country roads, we shall forgo fashion ( and capes ) for safety.

Wish me Luck! If music be the food of love, play on! ( not sure how that fits, but it seemed inspiring! )

Music and Food, Lorraine

Monday, November 07, 2005

Gigging Tuesday!

Wheee-hoo! Just got a call from Johnny from the Tim Malloys ( who I call Big Sexy! ) and he confirmed I'll be playing with them tomorrow night ( Tuesday ) from 9:30 to 1:00am, at the Half Time Rec in St Paul.

I love playing with those guys, the other member is Adam Stemple, who you all know from Mirror Mirror, both producer and guitarist. He is seriously one of the best players I have ever worked with and I learn SO much every time we work together.
( mighty fine writer he is too....Singer Of Souls, people, pick up a copy)

Big Sexy, who you will get a chance to hear on the forthcoming LaM St Pats Day EP, is no mean player himself. I am really really happy for another chance to make some music with the originial Bad Boys of the Irish Scene. ( can you tell??? )

If you are in Minneapolis/ St Paul, come down and say Hi and have a pint or two. Anything, and I do mean anything, might and most likely will, happen.

Love and Music, Lorraine aka Rainbow Brite

Cars and Double K's

Good Morning All...

I think Car is getting about 50 miles to the gallon, and it does get higher with the eletric in town, i think. It has a neat screen too that tells you where the power is coming from. I want to look around on the net, I have heard there are sites out there that tell you all the secrets of Prius that are not covered in the book. I really want to know too how it handles in the winter...This week I take it back to the dealer for some detailing, which I think is like Scotch Gaurding the car so when I make a mess of it, it will not stain.

Sounds like the time might work pretty well for our talk , even for Scottish K And Bellydancing Girl. We went a couple of hours on Halloween as I recall. We'll stick around again if it is a Party. I'll try and get Birdchick back and maybe Big Sexy from the Tim Malloys and of course our Sexy Librarian!

I see on the comments that there are now two K's posting. Well, now, that certainly clears up a few things. Two K's posting and I am treating you as one. Only here, hee-hee! ( at the risk of being hit shall I say, maybe one of you could be OK? )

New photos on the photo page!

Ok, I am off to work, all very exciting today. I think I am playing with the Tim Malloys tomorrow night, I'll confirm that laster, and I am sitting in with St Domminics Trio on Wednesday for sure, and maybe Thursday.

Love and Magic, Lorraine

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Cars and Corsets

Many thanks to everyone for the wonderful comments and e-mails about the cd! I am so very glad you are liking it! We are already very excited about the next one, which will be out for St Pats, complete with new pics from Miss Kitty. It will be an EP this time with only four or five songs, the ones that didn't make it onto this cd , due to lack of space, but it ought to be fun.

And also many thanks for the gifties! The mango candle from Maureen and the whole pack of things from the nice young man whose names sadly, escapes me, but which did include a Rainbow Brite Watch!!!! ( who knew?? )

This has been a really busy week. Came back from LA, missing being with Malena, I do truly expect her at any moment to be here....It is truly hard to be apart. Sigh.

The nicest thing tho was coming back to find a new car waiting for me! One of the perks of my job is that it comes with a car, and every so often my Boss says we need to trade in for something newer, and this time , most likely due to the fact that gas prices have doubled and I am going back and forth from country to city many times a week, he decided on a Toyota Prius.

This is beyond the coolest car ever. It does get amazing milage, being a hybrid, and it looks like something out of the " how to look cool in a car " manual. It is a total sci-fi car, it even has no key! You walk up to it and it unlocks and push a button and there you have it. I am having way way to much fun with it.....

The aforementioned Boss if off in the UK on tour now, which I expect is going quite well for him. One woud think things might quite down here a little....Part of my busy week was making certain that all went well. And it will.

It has been suggested that Malena do an entire corset panel at Baltic Con in May. Why do I see attendence tripleing? ( Malena , corsets, my Boss , Gene Wolfe AND Lisa Snellings????? The world may rock yet )

What else? Gigs this week are going fine, loved seeing everyone at Charlies these last two nights. Stephanies daughter, whose name is very like mine, I THINK Laurel , gave me a much needed bandaid, complete with Skull and Crossbones. I know I called her the coolest 14 year old going, but just found out she is only 12. Which makes her even cooler. ( a 12 year old who carries Skull Bandaids??? We need this girl! )

Tonight is a benifit concert down at the Liffy and then back home for a much needed saunna.

Can't wait for the next online Talk/webcam thing. Let us know if the time is going to work out for most of you ( Sorry K!!!! ) Darn time zones! Paul , my bandmate in Folk UnderGround, is very much looking forward to being a part of this one , and he WILL be wearing his demon mask he says.....( if we wear corsets, have Paula adn the Birdchick are making comments, this will NOT be a dull time, folks! )

Ok, I am off for the Liffy...

Love and music, Lorraine