Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis

Archive for February, 2012

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Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
point of view

I’ve got a post up on Magical Words talking about Point of View and how to choose which one might work best for you.

I typically write in third person point of view for my novels, which, in the case of the Horngate books, is slightly unusual, because a lot of urban fantasy, or contemporary fantasy, is written in first person. What do you think of viewpoints? I know people who absolutely won’t read first person. Or they will read it in contemporary fantasy, but not in more traditional fantasy (btw, Carol Berg writes AMAZING first person traditional fantasy). Do you even care? Are there point of view problems that throw you out of the story?

Saturday, February 25th, 2012
Saturday, in the house, you’d think it was the middle of winter

Windy and cold here today. Frigid really. Not that the temps were all that low, but the wind. Oh it brings temperatures down to miserable. The fire doesn’t seem to be doing enough.

Girlie has been drinking juice and eating crackers and napping and generally feeling not so good with the strep. But she does love the popsicles. I’m beginning to wonder if my cough is something more than a cough. If it’s not better next week, I’m going to have to see the doc.

Have you heard of the exploding pig farms? There’s foaming manure that explodes and we’re apparently talking major explosions. Enough to destroy barns, kill pigs and injure people. There has to be a story in there somewhere.

And then there’s this South African company offering naked maids and other services like plumbing. Now, here’s the thing. How does that possibly appeal? They say that they hire out of work actors and models. So okay, these are reasonably attractive people. Do I want to see them naked? Not so much. I mean, think about the twists and turns that plumbers go through when working. That could result in some unattractive poses. And as for maids, same thing. Plus there’s the whole sanitary thing.

And then this is really cool. It shows a dingo using tools. It’s totally awesome.

Next week the house goes back on the market. Let’s hope it sells.

Monday, February 20th, 2012
anybody seen my lungs?

I’m in the land of the hack/cough so hard it makes me want to throw up and I swear I keep losing my lungs. They just fly out of my head and get all lint and dog-hair covered, which is the source of my terrible coughing. Oh, and when I cough so hard, my head explodes and brain matter splatters everywhere. It’s a good day.

But, I have somewhat cleaned the bathroom. We are regrouting some tiles this holiday day. I know. You’re thinking you wish you were me with my glamorous life. If you want to come regrout my bathroom and live my glamorous hacky, coughy, regrouty life, please do. I will share.

You know that snippet I posted the other day? It was a draft of course. But I’ve gone back and poked at it and it’s significantly different now. And probably will be even more different in the final product. Mostly what is different is the small details that make it feel more real, more tense. Mostly everything still happens as it did.

The Nebula Award nominations have been posted. There’s some really good stuff on this list. But that said, I wonder who you’d put on the list of best novel for the year? Or best short story? Or best movie? No, I’m not looking for my books here. What did you read that you think belongs on a list like this?

Sunday, February 19th, 2012
I shall visit upon them plagues and horrors

Isn’t it funny how when you’re sick, you want to make everybody else miserable? And since the only people I can make miserable without compunction are my characters, guess what? Yep, a rheumatic fever outbreak. Not at Horngate, but nearby. It’s rather a nasty little disease. Did you know that? Anyhow, the problem is, they need witches to cure it since there are precious few antibiotics, but let’s face it, nobody’s all that thrilled about witches. As in, thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Now all this starts right when there’s a couple of kidnappings, a hostile magical being has moved in, some action on the angel front, a bizarre attack, some demon outbreaks, and oh, yeah, that startling thing I can’t tell you about. Because really, if you can’t stir in a little disease to a perfectly good apocalypse, when can you stir it in?

Saturday, February 18th, 2012
I had a plan

Today I had the plan of going to Missoula to do some location research on Blood Winter. Sadly I have now come down with the kid crap. Illness rarely keeps me awake unless it’s significant, and unless I am coughing. So I’m asleep last night and I wak up to terrible nausea and a sinus headache (that last from the storm moving in). And then I didn’t sleep. I also had some other issues along the TMI line of things. So today I spent a lot of time sitting and sleeping and drinking sprite and eating crackers. Here’s the weird thing. As nauseous as I am, I still want a double cheeseburger. Mind you, I’d probably throw it up, but I want it anyhow.

And random snippet:

The four guards started forward to pull him away, but Thor and Alexander turned deadly looks on them.

“Let the sawbones work,” Thor drawled, falling heavy into his Texas accent.

“He’s not a doctor, he’s a fucking sorcerer,” one growled.

“Actually, I’m a witch,” Gregory said mildly, not letting go of his new patient. “Sorcerers are much more powerful than I’ll ever be, and frequently they are mentally impaired. You really don’t want to mess around with the likes of them.”

“We don’t want to mess around with the likes of you,” sneered another guard, the muzzle of his gun rising to fix on Gregory’s chest.
Alexander made a hissing noise. “Do not even think about it.”

“Or what? I’ll kill you, too? Sounds like a pretty good plan to me.”

Alexander smiled a slow, crocodile smile. “Do you want to try?”

The other man blanched.

“All of you shut up and back off,” Gregory snapped. “it’s okay,” he told the woman gently. She looked scared half to death. “I will fix you up. Your kids too. You don’t have to be afraid.”

Friday, February 17th, 2012
Making contact

Dear character:
After that shocking thing happened, you appear way too happy about it. Stop it. You really aren’t. In fact, one of these days you’re going to find out how really unhappy you are and then, well, guess what? Things are going to get ugly. So prepare now.
Signed,
Author

Dear other character:
you are way too amused about the whole situation. I mean, talk about gallows humor.
Signed,
Author

Dear Max:
What the hell do you think you’re doing?
Signed,
Me

Friday, February 17th, 2012
the days keep coming

I’ve just discovered something that probably everybody else already knew. But I’m sharing anyhow. For the past couple weeks, I’ve paused on the white Chuck Lorre Productions page that pops up after The Big Bang Theory, and I’ve read the little screed that’s there. Mostly very funny. Who knew? And it isn’t the only show. I found another one (though I forget which) that does the same thing. I totally love it.

I think this weekend we’ll be going to Missoula for a research trip. I’ve been using Google Earth and other maps to get the areas down, plus help from awesome friends, but I need to go see for myself. And take pictures. And hopefully not get arrested. Thinking of staying in a hotel with pretty big water slide. Kids would love it. They also take dogs. I think.

This has been a tough week. Girlie is lots better, but she was down for three days with the fever. I’ve been rehab walking the dog and he is improving, but there is still another six weeks before we go back for his checkup and another four after that before he’s done rehabbing, and that’s if everything goes well. The hard part is keeping him from playing. He’s no longer on the hard drugs that make him really slow and sleepy.

And now, time to go to get the kids on the bus and get to work. Have a terrific Friday!

Monday, February 13th, 2012
the day before heart day

I think people should use Valentine’s day to get their heart checked out. I know, it’s been said before, but really, you can’t be in love if you’re dead.

Today the girlie is sick. Bad fever and a bad cough. She’s running around 102.

I’m making this recipe of bubble enchiladas tonight. I added stuff though. Like spices. And onions, bell peppers, black beans and chopped olives. Oh, and I took out the tomato sauce. And I made it with ground beef because, well, I had it. It’s baking right now. Hoping it turns out. I also totally ignored the listed measurements and eyeballed it. Smells good anyhow. First time I make a recipe I usually make an effort to follow it. But I couldn’t resist making a few alterations.

I didn’t see the Grammy’s, but I am a fan of Adele and was glad to see she did well. I did, this a.m., see a small outtake of her interview on 60 Minutes. I adore her accent. And I adore her attitude. OMG. Andersen Cooper asked her about if she felt pressured to look thinner like other pop stars. She said, oh no. I like to listen to them, but I don’t watch their videos. Who wants to look like a singing slut? (or something to that effect, but I’m fairly certain she used the word slut.) She’s clearly outspoken. I wish I’d seen the whole interview.

I did something in Blood Winter. It . . . startled me. I’m not sure what will happen as a result. I’m not sure readers won’t kill me if I leave it as is.

Wandering off to check dinner now.

Saturday, February 11th, 2012
household conversations

Boy: Girl is taking forever to get dressed.

Me: Well, it’s not forever. I mean, forever is infinite, so you can’t really know it’s forever until forever is over, unless she shows up first.

Boy: It’s a metaphor.

Man: I’ve never met a four.

Me: I’ve met twos, though.

Boy: It’s a figure of speech. And an idiom.

Boy wins.

Friday, February 10th, 2012
Whew.

Bad things at work today. That’s all I can say. A bad week all around for work. If I could smite, I would be smiting.

Then barfboy calls to get picked up after lunch. Only he didn’t eat lunch. I don’t know if he’s got a lowgrade virus or if it’s an allergy or something out. Keeping a food diary. The thing is, he goes for ages without a problem, and then this will happen for a short period. He gets no other symptoms. No diarrhea, no cramps, or anything like that. He had some pills left on a prescription for anti-nausea medicine, so I picked that up today and now he’s in bed. Probiotics help so giving him those too. He’s an emotional kid and both bad and good stress can have a significant affect on him. he’s not had much to stress out about, except getting his clarinet. So I’m just not sure what’s what.

On a better note, the dogboy had his staples out today. One did not want to come out at all, but we finally got it. Whatever happened the other day doesn’t seem to be anything significant and he’s walking again on it, so I’ll now resume the rehab walking. Also, the diet is working and he’s lost 2 lbs. This is really good because he normally exercises a ton and now it’s extremely limited. Plus he needs to be lighter in general for his overall joints. He’s not at all fat. But he could lose weight. I think another pound or two would be about perfect. That’s speaking from someone who’s used to keeping the other dog on the really light side (because of his hip surgeries). So while corgis are often overweight, I’m used to them being very very trim. In fact the other dog has gained a bit and now is following the same diet, since he’s not running around as much either.

I’m hoping to do some writing, reading and cleaning this weekend. Pus do a lot of dog walking. I’d like to do some cooking too. Bake bread. That sounds lovely.

What are you planning for this weekend?



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