Diapers and Destiny

This weekend I went shopping for diapers.

Along the way, I stopped into the Borders and found Enemy Within cozied up with the Iron Duke. In broad daylight, even.

I started reading Enemy Within, too, and *love* it. No, I hadn’t read it before. I read a draft of Marcella’s second book and my comments resulted in her gutting it, rewriting and missing her deadline by, oh, a couple months. She says I shouldn’t feel guilty.

Now I don’t because if Enemy Within is what she’s capable of producing, then I’m glad I held her to a high standard. I realize I haven’t read any classic sci fi in a while. I know I’ve never read a post where the main character has been imprisoned and tortured by insectoid aliens. The latent psychological trauma is gritty, moving and incredibly well done. Romance-wise, I’m all about the hero getting through to trauma-girl where no one else can.

(Currently plotting time away from work today to read more, more, more!)

Anyway – I went shopping for diapers for little Aerro. I mention this here because everyone seems to forget I have grandchildren. I bought a few cute things, too, but for a tiny baby she has lots of stuff already. My stepdaughter and son-in-law are doing cloth diapers this time around and they do need more of those. Lauren told us the brand they planned to use, which I ought to be able to buy in Target.

So, I went to Target, I went to the cute baby stuff section. Nope. Several burgeoning couples were there with the baby-registry scanners having a grand old time, but no sign of diapers anywhere. I went wandering forlornly, expanding my circles outward through the various stages of clothing for kids, teens, adults, fat adults, cars. Finally a worker in the automotive section spotted me for what I was, completely at a loss. I hesitated to say I was looking for diapers – of course, he immediately laughed at me. I wanted to explain that I figured they didn’t keep diapers in automotive (being clever like that) but that I was on my way to somewhere else where they might more logically keep it.

The baby section, right? No no no.

He says “see this big wall right here?” Yes, even I can spot that big wall. “Go to the opposite wall on the other side of the store.”

Right. Paper towels, cotton balls, Q-Tips, tampons, depends and…diapers! Organization by function. All absorbent materials must be shelved together.

Then they didn’t have the kind Lauren said. So, I’m the woman on her cell phone getting the man at home to look them up. Turns out Target sells them in Colorado, but not New Mexico. Not in Wyoming, either, David discovered. Why? It’s a mystery. Emptier landfills in Wyoming and New Mexico, perhaps.

So, we’ll order online. I bounced off to the bookstore and to get a pedicure like the light-hearted non-diaper buyer I normally am.

I’m not quite sure at what point in my life I became the non-maternal type. When I was younger, I babysat all the time. I didn’t have much social life, so I babysat pretty much every weekend and on weeknights, too. I cared for newborns, even, which was the big money in those days. I could change any diaper in a flash.

A friend of mine has a daughter who just started her sophomore year at a prestigious Ivy League college. She’s always been a startlingly intelligent and talented girl. However, she has never had a job. Last summer, strongly encourage by her parents to start getting a feel for the earning money thing, she babysat for a friend’s baby. When the baby’s mother returned home, she saw a Google page up for “how to diaper a baby.”

I love this story.

But I was not that girl. I always had the idea, as most girls do, I think, that I’d have babies someday. Somewhere in the sweep of graduate school, acquiring stepchildren, and trying on careers, I never got really excited about having babies. Once, when I was 36, a woman I knew asked me if I’d regretted never having children. I replied that I didn’t know I’d never had them yet.

Yeah, it was a bitchy thing for her to say.

I did think, though, for a very long time, that I might wake up one day and have the overwhelming urge to have a baby. That clock that women talk about would suddenly tick-tock in my head and I wouldn’t be able to hear anything else until I had a baby in my belly.

Didn’t happen.

Instead I became completely obsessed with writing and becoming one of the great writers of my generation. Or possibly just supporting myself as a writer. Both of which have the added bonus of never requiring diaper-shopping.

People talk about being childless-by-choice. I’m not that. I helped raise Mike and Lauren from the time they were five and seven years old. And I never really decided not to have children of my own. Instead, I never decided to have babies. Kind of like I never decided to move to Thailand. It’s just that, most people never decide to move to Thailand.

It could be pointed out that a lot of people don’t necessarily decide to have babies either, but fall into parenthood, as it were.

I suppose I’m just on the opposite wall from everyone else. On the other side of the store, wondering why anyone would dress up their car in zebra print.

Today is Tuesday! You Know What That Means?!?

Today is Release Day for Marcella Burnard’s Enemy Within!!

Let the dancing, rejoicing and the running out to bookstores (or your favorite online ordering venue) begin!

I believe Marcella is planning to run a contest today for people to post their pics with a copy of the book, which should be on her blog. It wasn’t when I wrote this, but it’s only 6:30 at her house, so we’ll cut her a little slack. Maybe the interwebs aren’t awake yet. But my understanding is that if you post a pic of yourself with the book, you’ll receive your heart’s desire.

Or pretty damn close, anyway.

Regardless, here’s my copy just arrived on the Kindle, with a little Dia de los Muertos action. See? Even the dead love Marcella’s book!

This book is so awesome, in fact, that it’s already one of the five nominees for RT’s Best SciFi Romance of 2010! I kid you not. They already gave her a top pick review.

The only complaints I’ve seen about the book from reviewers is that there’s TOO much science for some of the readers who prefer a lighter story. Which says to me, all the better for us sci fi/fantasy lovers!

Go embroil yourselves in someone else’s politics, in a civil-war in totally different star systems. I’m pretty sure Health Care never comes up and I know that blowing things up is a perfectly reasonable solution to most problems.

Have at it!

Best Seller Within

The countdown has begun.

Marcella Burnard‘s first book Enemy Within comes out November 2! What’s more, she’s already has her first review.

RT Book Reviews gave Enemy Within 4.5 stars and called the book a top pick. Unfortunately they won’t let you look at the review itself unless you have a subscription.

But let me liberally quote from the text:

“…smoking-hot new talent Burnard.”

“Burnard does a stellar job with the action and pacing…”

“[the genre] just got a major infusion of talent!”

Pretty fab, yes?

Marcella is laboring under a deadline to finish revisions to the sequel, Enemy Games, so I get to be the bearer of this great news today. Since Marcella’s not available, I can provide some little-known trivia:

No, the plot is not the same as the Star Trek episode where Kirk gets split in the transporter. This was actually the first question I asked Marcella when she told me the title of her book. She frantically looked up the episode and reported back in relief that her novel was nothing like that. She’d had no idea the title had been used before. Apparently not everyone memorized all the titles of the episodes in the original Star Trek series.

Go figure.

Instead it’s about this:

After a stint in an alien prison torpedoes her military career, Captain Ari Idylle has to wonder why she even bothered to survive. Stripped of her command and banished to her father’s scientific expedition to finish a PhD she doesn’t want, Ari never planned to languish quietly behind a desk. But when pirates commandeer her father’s ship, Ari once again becomes a prisoner.

Pirate leader Cullin Seaghdh may not be who he pretends to be but as far as Cullin is concerned, the same goes for Ari. Her past imprisonment puts her dead center in Cullin’s sights and if she hasn’t been brainwashed and returned as a spy, then he’s convinced she must be part of a traitorous alliance endangering billions of lives. Cullin can’t afford the desire she fires within him and he’ll stop at nothing, including destroying her, to uncover the truth.

Finally, Marcella said I could confirm the rumors that she posed for the cover. I’ve actually seen that outfit, as she wears it on her sailboat from time to time. She keeps the blasters locked up, however, so the cats won’t get into them.

And yes, she really is that stacked.

Here’s the draft cover from her modeling session before they retouched it.

Congrats Marcella!