This & That

A long time ago, I read that Barbra Streisand made some environmentally friendly suggestions to her fans on her website, one of which was asking them to line-dry their laundry. Some people demanded to know whether she line-dried her own clothes and there was a small-scale to-do over it.

I am not going to ask anyone to line-dry their wash. But, but, but, in honor of Earth Day, which came and went without my awareness, since at the Thomas household, everyday is Earth Day, much to the dismay of DH–I keep turning off the water when he’s doing dishes…Okay, where was I? Oh, my solar-powered dryer, let me show you it.

Everyone had laundry lines when I was growing up in China. Shirts and pants fluttered from balconies and yards and sidewalks. I didn’t realize how much I missed that sight until I passed through Hong Kong, after my first six years in the States, and could not get enough of all the “flags of ten thousand nations”–as we used to call colorful washing on a line.

There is something exuberant about a city district of apartment buildings all festooned with jeans and sweaters and sheets and pillowcases. My washing hanging in my backyard looks rather insipid in comparison. Suburban laundry. 🙂

It takes me about half an hour to put everything out–sock-sorting included. I think of it as my weekly meditation, a time when it’s just me, a sunny day, and my very ordinary backyard that for some reason is at its prettiest when I’m hanging up the washing.

In other news, book 3 (book 1 of my new contract) now has a title. I drew a complete blank on this one, so I pulled a title that had been suggested for Private Arrangements: Not Quite a Husband. Since the marriage between the H/H had been annulled, I figured it was accurate enough.

My editor replied that Not Quite a Husband had been put into the list over her strenuous objection. So I said no problem, we’ll figure another one–the last thing one should be attached to in publishing is titles.

The title I really wanted was Untie My Heart, which is a Judith Ivory title. So DH, being methodical, suggested that I look up synonyms for “untie.” We had a few good laughs over the exercise. “Oh look, how about Disembroil My Heart?” “How about Unclog My Heart?”

And then we came upon “unlock”. Oooh. Unlock My Heart. I immediately e-mailed my editor and my agent. My editor loves it right away. My agent likes it and also suggests Unchain My Heart, name of an old song.

I like Unchain My Heart even better than Unlock My Heart. But in discussion with my friend Janine, she pointed out that “unchain” might have a slightly different connotation than “unlock.” Untie My Heart had a scene where the heroine was literally tied to an upside-down chair while the hero had his way with her–an awesome scene by the way, though I still haven’t quite figured out exactly how the physics aspect of that scene worked.

We then had a discussion about those messages certain words convey in titles. A dark book would often have “shadow” in it, like Shadow Heart and The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale, and the more recent The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran. And then I realized that omg, “arrangements” means sex is exchanged for something else. 😛

What to do? Unchain or unlock? Turns out neither. Marketing overrode my editor again and chose Not Quite a Husband. (I imagine my poor editor somewhere in a ditch, depleted from her valiant but ultimately doomed fight.) And so Not Quite a Husband it shall be, my most romance-y title yet.

And now, last but most certainly not least, I have put an ARC of Delicious up for bid in Brenda Novak’s 4th Annual Online Auction to Benefit Diabetes Research. But how can you put up a title called Delicious without having some goodies to go with it? So after a lot of strenuous research, I settled on a box of graphic print chocolate truffles from Viva Chocolato.

Isn’t it gorgeous? And costly too. That little box set me back more than $20. So please be generous and bid at least my chocolate’s worth! The bidding starts on May 1, 2008, at And as I’ve realized again, recently, karma can be a very nice doggy when you help others. But that’s another post for another day.

8 thoughts on “This & That

  1. That is some very beautiful chocolate! The idea seems very well suited to Delicious. Maybe Viva Chocolato could be convinced to do a tie-in for the book release. Or maybe not 😉 Anyway, I’m sure your offering will fetch a generous donation at auction.

    Intriguing title!

  2. Poor editor.

    My roommate and I do some “solar” drying, by which I mean we hang stuff that isn’t supposed to go in the dryer from our shower rods. Not very festive at all.

  3. OK,

    enough is enough,

    using our solar system as your drier is quite a show of disrespect

    what is next !?

    are you going to let heavens wash your car through rainfalls !?

  4. The solar dryer works fine, unless you have pollen allergies, then you are setting yourself up for reactions when the pollen blows into your clothes!

    BTW your ARC and truffles are up to $115 on Brenda’s auction, and I love your book trailer!

  5. Lexi,

    Thanks. And I love that pic of you– in the Highlands, I assume.

    Mia Serene,

    You know, doing an event at Viva Chocolato would probably be a no-brainer for a more go-getter person. A wine-and-chocolate party for the book launch, yum. Alas, a go-getter I ain’t.

    Katy Budget Books (which sells both new and used books) had made PA their romance book club selection for May. We stopped there last weekend, as it was on the way to Houston, where the in-laws live, and I would have walked in and out without speaking to anyone if Hubby hadn’t forced me to talk to a bookseller. Turned out they were quite happy to have me sign stock and leave bookmarks.

    So who knows, maybe Viva Chocolato will be hearing from me. 🙂


    My editor assured me she was picking her battles–she probably was writing to me from her convalescence bed though.


    I also don’t find shower-rod solar drying festive. But outside, yes. And hi to all your wonderful friends. 🙂

    Dear Anon,

    Have you seen my car? I not only let the Heavens wash it, I park it under a tree so that it enjoys a flower-and-leaf body wrap every time it rains.


    Holy @#$%. $115 is very generous indeed. Thanks for letting me know.

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