Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis

Archive for March, 2012

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Saturday, March 31st, 2012
Saturday fades into the dust

I’m sick. Last night the man was puking and chills/shakes/sweats/aches. Now I’ve got them, except not puking. Yet. Bad aches though. Joints, head, and I slept about half the day away. Been reading some, but not much else. I’m not terribly functional. I do not want to feel this way.

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
painting and cat-dogs

Today we have been prepping our front room for painting. We moved furniture and pictures, spackled, sanded, put down paint cloths, plastic and etc, and then primered. We also went and got paint. Tomorrow it’s full scale painting. You have to understand that our front room stretches across the full length of the front of our house.

So all that took some time. But. We also got to meet with Nicole and her husband Tim who wanted to meet for me to sign books and hang out for a bit. They were coming up on a Spring Break vacation. They are very cool people, and they are rock hounds, so I will be stalking to them to teach me about it.

We also went to the movies. I took my son to see The Hunger Games and the man took girlie to see The Lorax. Much enjoyment was had all around.

Tonight we are upstairs in our spare room. There is a dog between us, one downstairs, and one on the back of the couch behind my head. My husband has often accused one of the dogs of being a cat-dog. Which is to say, he has a lot of cat personality traits, like flomping across my hands when he doesn’t want me to type anymore, or stretching out on the arm of the couch and that sort of thing. But now the rescue corgi, Guster, stretched out on the back of the couch acting like my headrest. Total cat behavior.

I also have a post up on Magical Words today on writing a book.

Sunday, March 25th, 2012
The weekend

The update on Guster goes like this. It looks like he’s had a rib broken before. He shies significantly from fast movements and feet. I frequently pet my dogs with my feet. I tried to do that with him and he about broke himself trying to get away. I think it’s clear that he’s been grabbed by the scruff of the neck and yanked around a lot. Most definitely he’s been kicked. I would love to do some kicking of my own on the people who hurt him.

On the other hand, he’s all about love and climbing up on laps. We took him for a leash walk today. Oh dear. That didn’t go well. He was afraid of the leash. Afraid of the harness. He pulled a lot and tried to get far away from the end of the leash (I used a retractable one) and so I may need to switch to a regular one, except I think he’s more comfortable on a longer leash. But eventually he settled into the idea for the most part and started to relax. But I think tomorrow it will be a shorter walk just to keep him less nervous. You know, because that last phrase was all grammatically correct and made sense. Right?

The rest of the weekend involved having guests over, sending children over to other people’s houses and vice versa, and weird things getting into my eyes and hurting like hell. I got precious little writing done, but I was frequently mounded with children and dogs. I apparently am very comfortable to sleep on. Must be all that fat. Sigh.

I also made babyback ribs for dinner guests on Friday night. Okay, they were endpieces and odd bits. I cooked them in the crockpot in beer and hickory smoke flavoring. Then I pulled them out and put them in baking dishes with BBQ sauce and covered them with foil and put them in the oven on a low heat. After a couple hours I put on more sauce and they went another hour. They were fabulous. Tender and amazing. I served them with a cantelope and strawberry salad, corn, and fresh bread. It was really good. I was really glad about how the ribs turned out and I will definitely cook them that way again.

Friday, March 23rd, 2012
Dog rescue, the signing, and a request

First, the signing was fun. Not a lot of traffic, but then again, there was a lot of stuff going on in town last night and I knew there would be some limitations. But books were sold, fun was had, and I laughed quite a bit.

Then we got home and around 10 p.m., we got a rescue dog. His name is Guster, and he’s a littermate for our boys. Apparently the people who had him moved and couldn’t keep him, and took him back to the breeder. Her dogs were picking on him something fierce, so we took him in. He will be leaving in 6 weeks to go live with my parents who had one of their dogs die of age last year and they’ve been looking for another corgi. They wanted an adult and not a puppy. I think Guster will make them happy.

He showed up with a distinctive skunk smell. We washed him in hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap, but it didn’t work. I either got the mix wrong, or the baking soda was too old. So this a.m. we called the local groomer and she got him in at 8:30 this morning. He probably had never been brushed. She said he essentially had doggie dreadlocks. He also has a ton of little scabs all over him from being bitten and it looks like he’s got a little notch out of one ear from an attack or who knows what.

He’s very sweet and loving, but is scared of collars. It’s almost like they dragged him by the collar or that they grabbed his neck a lot. He wants to please and he does like the couch. My dogs were a bit suspicious of him, but they haven’t picked on him at all and in fact are trying to coax him into playing. Guster doesn’t know how to play. He also doesn’t know what the leash is for and is terrified of it. We got him a harness and we’re going to be working with him.

Here’s a picture, if I can get it uploaded.

And now for the request. If you happen to be shopping on Amazon, will you use one of my links to click through? The reason I ask is that I earn money back from that and I want to give away books and gift cards to you. I figure that if I can collect enough money, then I could do a giveaway once a month. With a gift card, the winner could get whatever they wanted. Anyhow, I would appreciate it if you thought of that if you happen to have something to buy on Amazon.

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012
Reading

It occurred to me, in a rather belated way, that I am supposed to read tonight. So I thought, I should pick something out. I suck at this. I never know what to read. I have opted to simply read from the beginning of Shadow City. But it made me think about what you like to hear when you go to a reading? Do you like a long passage? Several shorter ones? Do you like to hear what you’ve already read? or maybe a work in progress, even if it is rough? A short story?

For tonight, I’m not sure how many real fantasy fans will be there. It might be more like friends who are supporting me. And it may be dead, because this is a small town and there is a ton of stuff going on tonight. Bad scheduling all around.

I opted for the opening of Shadow City, since that’s the focus of the signing overall, and it’s got some action and some snark and hopefully people don’t need to know much about previous books to get into it.

So readers, what do you like to hear? Writers, what do you like to read? How do you choose?

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Wednesday

Today we got a new washer. Our old one died and the repair costs were as much as a new one, so . . .

It required a 2 hour drive to Bozeman (and 2 back). Costco had none. They always have them. They did not. The Home Depot in Bozo doesn’t have a local warehouse, so we were out of luck there. So to Lowe’s. Got it, came home, installed it, tried it out. It works. Yay. I will not stink.

Tomorrow I’m doing a booksigning here in Dillon from 6-8, so any of you in the area, come on down to The Bookstore.

We took the dogs with us on this long drive. In the past three weeks we’ve taken them in the truck to a number o f places. They’ll be going to Bozo again next week for Voodoo’s 8 week post-surgery checkup. I think they are starting to like the concept of car rides, especially if the kids aren’t with us.

On the drive, I tried to work on a map for the country and world I’m creating. It didn’t go well. Here’s the thing. I’m working outward from the center, which is odd. I’ve got an idea of what the terrain is like, but how it fits together into a system of countries and the world is what I’m not sure about. Part of it is I know the politics of some of it and I have to make the terrain and the landscape coincide with the economics of the world and how it functions. Does that make sense? I need to make the landscape work with what I know has happened in the history of the place. Drawing it is giving me fits though. It’s going to take some time.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
Where I’m at Now

I started working on a novel idea a few months ago. I have the plot down. At least the basic plot. That came through to me really strongly when the idea snuck up on me. At the time, it felt like the world and characters were vivid and that I could start writing.

Well, guess what? I started writing. And you know what? I didn’t know anything. It was like looking at a picture of a city from far away and being able to pick out landmarks. Oh look, there’s the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, or the Space Needle and Pike’s Market. And then assuming because you have a handful of landmarks identified, that you can navigate and live in the city and never get lost.

Um. No.

So I’ve been noodling. I started with the geography and thinking about exactly what the lacy of the land was like. And that meant looking at weather, food, commerce, economy, gods, religion, magic, and so on. Each thing leads to another and raises a ton of questions and answers only a few. But the world is starting to really feel vibrant real. There’s much more to noodle with of course, and I continue to do that. I’ll reach a critical mass soon where I’ll know the characters enough to actually start writing.

I also need a map. I need to get a visual of just what this place looks like. I also want to do an interview with some of the characters. I’ve done some collecting of images on Pinterest for it. So I’m hoping to get some chapters nailed down pretty quick as I explore. It’s a really dark fantasy and I like it. Not a darkness of slavery and cruelty, but of something else. It’s a difficult novel to work with because the concept is hard for me to pin down, even in my head. But I think it will be really cool.

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
Book signing

If you’re in the Dillon area:

I’d like to invite you down to The Bookstore on Thursday night, March 22, between 6-8 for a booksigning and reading. I’ll be signing my latest book titled Shadow City. It’s a modern fantasy with a lot of action and adventure.

I’d love to see you there if you feel so inclined and have the time. There will be refreshments.

Saturday, March 17th, 2012
It’s possible I’m nuts

I switched to Macs because I didn’t want a massive learning curve, I hate setting up MS when I first get a computer, and it seems to take forever to be able to get started with a PC. So what did I do? I got one for my kids. This is on the one hand, insane because of the MS stuff, and again because I’m getting a computer for children. That flabbergasts me. On the other hand, both need some work with skills like typing, math and language, and there are some great games out there for all of the above.

So now I’m setting it up. This is extra hard because of the fact that they are kids and I don’t really want them out on the net without permission and when they are, they are limited to only a few sites. I’ve not sorted out parental controls enough on MS to figure all that out. And I’m doing the backup disks, which take forever, so haven’t installed the antivirus which also might have some controls. But probably I have to buy something specifically for it, and I’m not sure which one will be best. I really don’t want to pay a yearly fee. And I mostly want to be able to approve if they go to any website but the approved ones. At this point, I don’t want them on much of anything. Hoodamath is a good site and there are a couple of others, but yeah, that’s about it. Occasionally they may be able to watch something off of Amazon Prime or youtube, since there are a lot of instructional videos on Youtube and boy is working on playing the clarinet.

But I want veto power before he actually (or she, since both) goes anywhere. Basically I want to block everything and be able to approve site by site. Got suggestions for that?

In the meantime, it’s raining. I actually have bulbs coming up in the yard and grass. Oops, just remembered I’ll have to download adblock plus. Yeah, randomosity.

I’ve not written anything today and that is a pain. But I did get my tax system organized for keeping track of things–not high tech, so not a database or anything–and so that’s an accomplishment. I’m always scrambling this time of year. Not because I’m totally not organized, but just not enough. I always think I’ll do better, but this year I”m actually making the effort. Damn, ANOTHER recover disk. Shit.

Puppies took a long drive with us today. They weren’t sure they wanted to go, but then again, they got to come along. So they weren’t quite sure what the point was, but then again, they got to be with us.

Friday, March 16th, 2012
A day in which I did not write

I meant to write today. I did, really. But it turns out when all you do is write for a couple of weeks and before that write and do jobbery, life stuff piles up. So today I made with the life stuff.

I started by getting children up and on bus. Oh, and a shower. Then I met with a job candidate and had breakfast. After which, I went to my office and:

cleaned my folders on my computer so I could find stuff
cleaned my desk off so I could find stuff
prepared stuff for sending that I’d been neglecting
Made a list of stuff I have to get done
Went through and organized a bunch of stuff for taxes
loaded up the Photoshop suite that had been sitting there for months waiting for such an occurrence (took forever too)
vacuumed the house
folded clothes
emptied the garbage upstairs
went to post office
went to bank
walked dogs

and oh, yeah, checked email and all that sort of thing.

I should be able to do some writing next week. I don’t anticipate a lot this weekend. We have some house stuff to do and apparently my family wants to spend time with me. Who knew? Doesn’t really feel like I got much done, though.

I’m now having a girlie look over my shoulder wanting me to read to her. I spose I will do that. Next post I will say something coherent about Blood Winter.



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