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Monday, October 11, 2010

When I’m not writing… with Carolyn Crane!




I discovered Carolyn not so long ago with her novel Mind Games (review here) and I’m glad I did! Her story is so unique, her characters so special, her series is definitely a must have! I haven’t had the chance to read her latest release, Double Cross, just yet, but I’m sure it’s gonna be great! I’m very honored to introduce you to Carolyn Crane, but beware she disillusion you! *winks*



Vignettes from my total slob life

When Tynga approached me with this “When I’m not Writing” idea (totally fun - I love reading all the posts!) I tried to think of stuff I’m into, but honestly, I’m hardly ever not writing! I write advertising for a living (I’m a freelancer, and way more Peggy than Dick Draper.) And of course, I fit novel writing in around that. Get a run in, dinner, and I’m done!

There are some things I’m vaguely into and don’t have time for anymore, but it didn’t feel real to talk about those things. The most real thing I can talk about with my life is my struggles with being a messy person. OMG I’m already like, am I going to regret this? But it’s the hugest thing right now for me, because I’m really trying to change. My husband Mark, luckily, is really messy too. We are both trying to change, but we are both busy writers, so it is really hard!


I have been a total slob all my life. My earliest memory of being a slob was in grade school, when I would dig up worms at recess and keep them in my desk as little pets, and being the conscientious child, I would of course put dirt in there for them to live in. Naturally, the worms would die, or I’d put them back outside, just leaving dirt, and the teacher would write home like, there’s dirt and rocks in Carolyn’s desk! Things have not exactly gone uphill from there.

We are like, the biggest slobs, actually. Sometimes when people invite us over, they apologize for being messy, we just laugh in their faces, like, dude, you aren’t even in the same ballpark. You aren’t in the same universe.

I always think there is some day coming where I won’t have jobs or deadlines, and I’ll get my office clean, and put up nice curtains and clean and make the place look totally beautiful, and I really want that, but that day never seems to come.


I mean, we’re not messy enough to be on a TV show, or even at the messy level you see on COPS, but it is a thing. We think it’s really funny, and we have lots of jokes about it. Like, when the place is really outrageously messy, and we’re stressing about it, sometimes one of us will do this English Oliver Twist accent, we’ll say, “We may have a humble home, but it’s a proud home, and by god, we keep it clean!” Or else we say to each other, “oh well, we’re artists.” I don’t know why I think that is so funny.

Sometimes, when guests come over, we clean forever, it seems like. Most of the time, we don’t get a chance to properly clean, so we’ll be cleaning really fast, we have this whole joke like, let’s just get the place out of the mental imbalance zone and into the slob zone. And then when the people arrive, we’ll be like, OMG, we didn’t have time to clean! But really, we’ve been cleaning. LOL.

Not to blame things on the cat, but it totally doesn’t help that we have Oblio. He loves to dig in plants and knock stuff off tables. Even books and water glasses—heavy stuff! As writers, we generate lots of paper, and we put it in bags for recycling. Oblio’s favorite thing in the

world is to dig in the bags of paper and other recycling and scatter stuff around. He does it in all the recycling. Especially the kitchen recycling, with its bags of bottles and cans.


What is totally funny is that our landlords live below us and they are TOTAL CRAZY clean freaks, and whenever they have to come in unexpectedly, it’s always when our home is at its worst, and right after Oblio has destroyed the recycling. One time they made this comment like, we throw trash on the kitchen floor, and we were like, what? Because we’re not quite that bad, but then we realized they’d seen the recycling corner after Oblio dug in it and assumed we just lob trash over there. Our landlords don’t recycle, so they totally don’t get the concept of a recycling corner. Naturally, we thought that was completely hilarious that they thought that.

One of the funniest things is that, when Mark and I were about 22 we were saving up money to go to Thailand and we decided we would make extra cash as housecleaners, so we put out fliers (with the slogan: We clean like you’ve never seen! ) but we had no real notion of how to clean properly—we would’ve had better success in jobs as nuclear physicists. We got some jobs with our brilliant slogan (which was of course true but not the in way people hoped), and we would just shine stuff up and think it looked clean. We thought we were doing a pretty good job. Needless to say, we didn’t have any repeat customers, except a French couple, who were as big of slobs as us.

I used to be in this book club of really wild girls, and we would meet at different houses, and drink lots of cocktails and not talk about the books and there was one time when this girl, we’ll call her Lou, hosted it and beforehand, my friend in the club warned me I might not want to eat any of the food Lou prepares, because her place is so gross. And I had this horrible idea that, what if people say that about our place? It gave me this whole complex, but then we went to her house, and her place really was gross! I was so relieved. She was way messier than I ever was!


Still, I don’t want to be like this. My mom used to say, a messy room is a messy mind. That is sort of extreme, but I do think a messy place adds to your baseline of stress. So I have been trying to add more cleaning to my routine. For example, every morning when I wash the dishes from the day before (that’s normal, I DO wash the dishes regularly) but lately, I have been choosing one extra thing to clean. Today, I cleaned the front of the refrigerator. Mark noticed right away. His new thing is to keep the foyer clean, and that has been really nice, and I have joined in on that project. I am thinking we can expand that program.

I think, something sort of has to give when you’re a writer with a day job, because there are only so many hours in a day, but I’m really serious about turning over this new leaf. I’m excited to have a clean house!

So, Tynga, to answer your question, what do I do when I’m not writing? Well, apparently I don’t clean, but it’s a big thing in my life that I’m trying to change.


Know what Carolyn? I’m glad I’m not the only one out there cleaning and then apologizing for the mess lol! And your kitteh is SO CUTE! It was such a pleasure to have you around Carolyn, thank you very much for stopping by and sharing a bit of your life with us!

Here’s a bit more about Carolyn’s books

Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.
Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness—only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.


Justine Jones has lived her life as a fearful hypochondriac until she's lured into the web of a mysterious mastermind named Packard. He gifts her with extraordinary mental powers-dooming her to fight Midcity's shadowy war on paranormal crime in order to find the peace she so desperately craves.

But now, serial killers with unheard-of skills are terrorizing the most powerful beings in Midcity, including mastermind Packard - and his oldest friend and worst enemy, Midcity's new mayor, who has the ability to bend matter itself to his will.

As the body count grows, Justine faces a crisis of conscience as she tests the limits of her new powers and faces an impossible choice between two flawed but brilliant men . . . one on a journey of redemption, and the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.


Enjoyed this post? There will be more “When I’m not writing…” posts in the future!

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Please email me at TyngaUF(a)gmail.com

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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10 People left their mark' :

  1. Carolyn this just makes you so much more endearing. I've been going through that whole concept, 'a clean environment relieves stress to write'. Are you laughing yet. I was too, until I found myself scrubbing fingerprints off light switches. I went way___ over the edge. When you find the real me, let me know.(Hugs) Indigo

  2. OK now I know why my house is such a mess I am an Artist. Well I am but I know that's not the real reason. I own to much stuff and I never pick it up. I have been getting better at this but I have a roommate that does not understand. She is moving out end of next month taking most of the STUFF with her. I am hoping that I can do better when she leaves. I will over come.

  3. love it when the authors include photos of their work space. There is an idea! Author's workspace pics!

  4. Indigo: that is surprising! OMG, the other side of the coin. How interesting!

    Rhyan: LOL. That's right! it's a great excuse. Ooh, sounds like your roommate moving out will be a new era in a clean house. Good luck.

  5. I love this post so much. Now I feel I can invite you over to my messy house and not feel so bad. Whew! Thanks.

  6. Hmm. Apparently I need to stop apologizing for my place being trashed, huh?

  7. it's very hard to change your basic nature. There are neat people, and then there are the rest of us. Once a slob, always a slob....I know from experience.
    there's different levels...but it's always an uphill struggle. I don't even try (much) anymore....

    LOL - you're slob tendencies don't appear to be that bad....just the cat. :)

  8. You don't even want to know what my bedroom looks like. Book hoarder here!

  9. I love this post! It reminds me how I really need to get going with the cleaning here in my house instead of sitting at the computer. I don't think I ever learn;-)