One of the things I noticed when I first moved up North (North obviously being the opposite of South), was that a significantly higher percentage of cars on the road had personalized license plates. It’s kind of brilliant I think — if the price of personalized plates is low enough to entice folks to participate, that’s money in the pocket of the DoT. It *also* helps out the local police. What was the number of the car that hit you/sped by at 90 mph/was being driven by a drunk llama? BGRKING is a lot easier to remember than YJC 2249. Personalized license plates tell you a little bit about the driver you’re sharing the road with (MIZTHNG), or give you something to ponder at stoplights (HIHOAG*).

I’ve thought about what I’d get on a personalized license plate like I think about the tattoo I’ll never get. Tops on the list is THIRD…but South of the Mason-Dixon line, it was a whole lot less Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game and a whole lot more Dale Earnhardt. Besides, I kind of like the idea of being anonymous on the road singing showtunes…and in the parking lot with bags of all my Christmas shopping.

On the road trip to the coast this weekend, we passed an SUV with the license plate: MR B8R. I laughed and pointed and didn’t dive for my camera fast enough, so all I got was this fuzzy iPhone pic…but I promise, that’s what it said. Clever, right? The first thing one thinks is: Wow! How the heck did they get that through the License Plate Censor? That’s awesome!

And then the Reality Side of your Mini Wheat pipes up and says: Wow! What a freaking MORON. I mean…really? Are you going to lend your kid that car? Do you want that to be in your family photos, or on the CCTV when you speed through that next red light? Will you be able to apply for your parking pass with a straight face? And what do you tell the CEOs when you apply for the big job that comes with that assigned parking space? It’s something they’ll laugh about for five seconds…and then talk about at the water cooler forever. No matter how sweet your ride, no one is probably going to offer you up to take the Big Client out for drinks. Go ahead and offer to be the designated driver for a night out with the guys, ’cause you’re going to want to borrow your buddy’s Impala for your date with the hot chick that wrote on your napkin.

I wonder what was going through this guy’s head when he applied for the plate…and what goober at the DoT let it slip past. The possibilities are endless. But I can guarantee you the second he throws a Kleenex out the window, someobody’s mobile will have dialed the local PD.

Now I’m curious — what’s the most intriguing/interesting/idiotic personalized license plate you’ve seen?

(*Lone Ranger + periodic table of the elements: “Hi ho, silver”)

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So Full of It


Lee: So is “Chock Full o’Nuts” just nuts, or is it something with nuts?

Della: There are no nuts at all in it. It’s coffee.

Lee: Is it made with nuts?

Della: No.

Lee: Does it taste like nuts?

Della: Nope.

Lee: Then why is it “Chock Full?”

Della: I keep meaning to Google it and find out.

Lee: Hmm. I should blog about that.

Della: Yup.

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To My Mother, From The Child Who Is Not Dead

…I’m just really, REALLY busy working. I’m revising a book, copyediting another one…and guess what? I’m going to be reading stories for Apex, because Jason was so happy with Foiled. Awesome, huh?

The sun comes out sometimes here now, almost like it’s really Spring, and in a couple of weeks we’re going to see the cherry blossoms. I’ve always wanted to do that. Aunt Theda & Dave & Alex might come with us — fun!!

Hugs & Kisses to you & Dad — miss you & the ocean — wish U were here!

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Well, DUH…

….of COURSE I submitted the picture of Jack playing Uno to Stuff on my Cat.

He begged me not to, but come on…I couldn’t resist. Could you?

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Apex Birthday Sale!

Today is Jason Sizemore’s birthday, founder of Apex Publications and Best Boss Ever.

Today is also the five-year anniversary of Apex — my very first publication credit was the essay I wrote for issue 3 back in 2005. How time flies…

Jason’s posted a little thank you post over on his blog if you’re so inclined to hop over and read it. If not, you should be aware of this vital information:

To celebrate I’m giving out a $5.00 coupon for use in the Apex Shop good on any order until March 23rd. Just enter BIRTHDAY on checkout to receive your discount. (Hey, after five years, y’all know that I’m always hustling!)

Hop on over! Check it out! And if you don’t have a copy of Beauty and Dynamite or Harlan County Horrors yet, now would be the perfect time to pick one up!

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Fabulous First Friday

According to the York Dispatch, this month’s “Girl’s Night Out” First Friday was a rip-roaring success. Hooray!

Check back for an upcoming Genre Chick interview with local PA poetess Barbara Decesar! (Hint: If you go to her website, click on the stars below the quotes for more information. If you try to click on the bee, you’ll just sit there forever. Guess how I know.)

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When Darts Go Bad

It all started when Dickie told Della that he’d buy her a bottle of Kraken Rum (you should totally check out their website) if she shot Joe in the butt with a dart…

That’s my girl.

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Sneak Peek: A is for Alice

Sneak Peek!

Pages from A is for Alice — the picture book Janet (J.K.) Lee and I have been working on:

A is for Alice
Alice indeed was a curious girl
Who fell rather far through a hole in the world
She followed a clock-watching rabbit, you see,
To a land full of wonder…and madness…and tea.

M is for Mad Hatter
Mad Hatter, savior, so carefree

Turns our water into tea
Ever knowing there and thence
Much madness is divinest sense.

O is for Off:
Red Roses aren’t things to dread

Unless they’re white and you are dead.
No justice done, no tears to shed
The judgment’s in: Off with her head!

Want to see more? Click on over to Janet’s interview with Jules at Seven Impossible Things. There are more gorgeous pages and fun verses from A is for Alice, as well as scenes from Janet and Jim McCann’s new steampunk fairytale comic Return of the Dapper Men.


Gratuitous Cat Pics

Tux welcomes Spring to the Emerald City…by sleeping through it.

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My Biggest Fan

Yes, Mom, technically you and Dad are my biggest fans. Going into Books-a-Million and B&N and causing scenes when you discover that AlphaOops is sold out and toting signed copies to your class reunions ranks you right up there.

But Griffin Hall totally floored me.

Greg over at Funky Werepig told me during our infamous two-hour-long Valentine’s Day interview that his son Griffin LOVED the book I signed for him back at Horrorfind, so much so that he asked if he could donate another copy to his school library. He also announced that I was one of his Top Three Girlfriends. I was immensely flattered. When I mentioned Friday’s reading at The York Emporium, Greg told me that he was going to bring Griffin to meet me. I was very excited, but then, I’m always excited to meet the fabulous children of my fabulous friends — wouldn’t *you* be curious to know who’s going to take over the world?

But nothing prepared me for the dashing, wide-eyed gentleman in the bright orange jacket who bowed politely and said quite formally, “My good Princess, I am Prince Griffin.”

What does one do to that but blush and curtsy? So I did. “It is an honor to meet you, Prince Griffin. I’ve heard so much about you.”

“I would like to present you with my autograph.” He handed me a fabulous picture of himself, with AlphaOops, at his school library. He bade me turn it over and on the back, he had inscribed a personal message to me.

All you girls reading this take note: It is one thing to be called a Princess — it’s quite another to be treated like one.

Right then and there Griffin Hall stole my heart — though can a thing be stolen if wrapped in pretty bows and given freely? Griffin gave me confidence and made me smile all through my reading…and interview…and subsequent reading…and interview…that was televised and will be running on Channel 16 (? I think it’s 16. I’ll post more details when I have them). The picture of Griffin and me that Jim took has been on the front page of the York Daily Record site for three days now.

I felt fabulous and famous and cherished and special long after the event was over and all my friends and family (I love you Aunt Theda & Uncle Dave & Cousin Alex!) had parted ways for the evening.

This Princess thanks you again, Prince Griffin, for deigning to attend my humble gathering on Friday night, and for making me feel welcome…and wonderful. It is an honor to be one of your Top Three Girlfriends. I wish you lots of love & hugs & happiness.

And you be careful with that Charm. Remember to always use your powers for GOOD.