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Archive for September, 2013

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Monday, September 30th, 2013
politics

Ignore away if you want. I won’t be offended.

Right now I’m really offended by the GOP. I don’t have a lot of political leanings. I’m an independent. I have issues with both sides of the aisle, but what bothers me at this point is that the GOP is holding the country hostage right now. It means people are going to not get paychecks. People are not going to have a lot of services. They might go bankrupt; they might lose houses. I get that the GOP does not like Obamacare. But I feel that they ought to work within the system in such a way that doesn’t harm Americans. Apparently the president just signed an order that said soldiers would get paid, but up until today, if a shutdown happened, soldiers (who get paid crap anyhow) wouldn’t be paid.

I just find it disgusting how willing the politicians are to ruin lives. They claim it’s on account of Obamacare being bad for America, but they don’t seem to notice how much worse the damage is that a shutdown and then banging on the debt ceiling would be at this point. I get that there are a lot of problems with Obamacare. I get that it might not be the best implementation of making sure everyone gets affordable healthcare. Nevertheless, using the nation’s welfare as a way to manipulate others into doing what you want is plain wrong.

Over the last few years, I’ve lost a lot of respect for all things Republican. I don’t like the way they go after women, after LGBTs, after unions, after ordinary people. You may disagree and you are entitled to. But I’m just writing this to say I’m angry. Really angry. These politicians are utterly despicable.

Sunday, September 29th, 2013
Blustery weekend

The remnants of a Typhoon has been hitting this side of the US this weekend, bringing lots of wind and rain. This has meant hiding out inside, snuggling under blankets, drinking hot drinks, and reading. With a little bit of filling a few sandbags and helping a friend put them around to keep water out from under her house. I made chili and baked some rosemary rolls with freshly ground wheat. They are yummy.

The wind is howling. I hear there’s snow in MT. You know what? We’ve had over 2 inches of rain in the last weekend, and I haven’t had to shovel any of it. Nor have I had to scrape windows. I’m okay with it. Actually it sounds like we’re over 3 inches.

Tomorrow back to work on Trace of Magic. I really need to study to take my driver’s test. Forgot to do that this weekend. I really hate having to go do that. I only get test anxiety at the DMV. Explain that.

I wanted to nap. I did not.

Apparently people have been turning on their heat. We haven’t. I mean, it’s not really that cold, is it?

Friday, September 27th, 2013
choices

I’m working on something that’s period young adult. To be specific, it’s set in 1788 England. If I were going to do it right, I’d have a lot of language that isn’t understandable to a modern YA audience. It would probably also sound much older. Putting my scholar hat on for a moment, I can tell you that at that time, there wasn’t really a concept of children as children–going through developmental stages. They were perceived as small adults and should, therefore, behave as such. So to us, they would speak in a very adult way.

I’m trying to balance capturing the world and having the YA voice that’s accessible to a contemporary reader. It means deliberately sacrificing historical accuracy. It’s an odd sort of thing to be writing because I don’t know exactly what I’m doing. It’s all by touch and feel and hoping it’s successful.

In other news, I’m awake. Oh, and I finished that evil synopsis.

Also, did I mention I’m upright and breathing and awake?

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
Trace of Magic

It’s coming along quite nicely thus far. Though I’m heading for the potential middle slump. I hope not.

Here is the word count thus far

35995 / 90000 words. 40% done!
and a snippet, with errors, but I’m tired and I have to go pick up the girlie at school:

He gave me a sharp look and then finished removing the lid. Nestled inside was a long, thin piece of metal. It was covered in silver whiskers. They shifted and moved like they were underwater.

I brushed the fringe softly with my finger. The fine strands combed through my skin and blood welled and dripped. The metal piece convulsed and strands of silver shot out to capture my hand. I jerked back, barely in time. The box shook violently. Price grabbed the lid and pressed it down, holding it in place until the shaking stopped. Quickly he slid it back into the grooves and clicked it closed.

Blood was running pretty freely down my finger. I grabbed the washcloth he’d used to clean me up earlier and pressed it hard against my finger.

“That was unexpected,” I said. “Wonder what would have happened if it grabbed me?”

“I expect it would have torn you up like a wood chipper,” Price said. “I was wondering why you kept a blood null with you. Now I’m wondering why you don’t have more of them.” His eyes were hooded and grooves dug deep into the side of his nose and lips.

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
Pathetique

Am I all kinds of pathetic for being irritated that on Amazon, Shadow City has 29 reviews and it can’t get just one more to break even? And why am I even obsessing about this?

Lots of new great books out today. Laura Anne Gilman has Soul of Fire out, sequel to Heart of Briar. Anton Strout, Yasmine Galenorn, Martha Wells, and Elizabeth Bear have new books out, too. Go forth and read good stuff!

Remember that synopsis? It still won’t die. Or get done. But I keep writing on it. I think there’s progress, but I am still narrowing things down.

I want this.

chair

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013
Making home a home

When we moved in here, there were some priorities to get done quickly. We needed to unpack certain rooms for living purposes. Those priorities were the kitchen, the bedrooms, the bathrooms, and the rec room. Mostly those were done quickly, though the rec room was also a storage space. At least we could use it for family stuff. The rest of the house was still full of unpacked stuff waiting upon shelves and getting furniture situated and so forth. LIke I’ve said before, The house looked a lot like I was starting to hoard. Does look like it.

One of the things we hadn’t done was unpack any pictures. Nothing. Walls have been bare. Since the house is painted in neutral colors, very neutral, and because we aren’t going to paint anytime soon, blandness has ruled the day. Today that changed. A little bit anyhow.

I unpacked a bunch of pictures and paintings. Some I haven’t seen since we lived in Muncie, 14 years ago. Yeah, bad. We hung up four pictures in the rec room. This is a bit of a feet because the ceilings are really really high and even a sixteen foot ladder doesn’t get you close to where you want to be unless you’re on the top rung. Still, we managed. It’s amazing what a change some pictures can make. Also hung up some kid pictures in my bedroom and put some stuff away in a curio cabinet that we finally got fixed and put back together. Can’t wait to get more stuff up in the house. And more stuff unpacked and boxes moved out. Still we wait for shelves. It’s going to be awhile yet. Dammit.

We have a ton more to hang up, and the worst part is figuring out where we want them to go. Today’s were fairly easy. For one of them, we needed a huge wall. It’s about a 5 foot by 4 foot painting by a friend. It’s of the Missouri breaks and you should see how it changes when the light moves across it. Gorgeous colors. Wish you could see it. Another friend painted a picture of our dog Dusty, whom we lost six years or so ago. I finally got it framed this year and we hung it with his collar.

Now I have to figure where to hang the rest of the stuff. That is getting tougher and tougher.

Saturday, September 21st, 2013
Tasty books

I just read Delia’s Shadow by Jamie Lee Moyer. It is so freaking good. It’s set in post earthquake/fire San Francisco. There are ghosts and a serial killer and I loved it.

In other news, I’m writing up a storm and trying to sort out life in the house. So the usual.

How are all of you doing? What’s going on in your lives? Read anything fabulous lately? I’m now reading Alifair Burke’s Long Gone. It’s a suspense murder.

Tomorrow is the fall equinox. That’s always a mystical day.

Thursday, September 19th, 2013
merrily we write

I had some great news this week, and that is The Hollow Crown finally reverted back to me. I have another publisher who wishes to reissue and finish the series. We’re working out details now, but hopefully I’ll have an announcement before too long.

Because of that, I begged out of my teaching job. I asked them to find another person to cover if they could–but promised I would not leave them high and dry if they couldn’t. I explained why–more books to write. They were fabulous and found another person quickly. Thank you Jeremy! That’s a lot of stress of my back.

The writing has been rocking this week. I’m working on Trace of Magic, the first of two books set in an alternative Colorado. It’s sensational fun.

Here’s a snippet:

He surveyed the room. “The FBI would have seized everything. I’m a little surprised they haven’t cleaned him out already.”

“Maybe the company was looking for evidence or sensitive documents. They had to know he was being investigated. If he was embezzling, presumably it was through work. Where else could he?”

“The question is, did they find what they were looking for?”

“Actually, the question is, what are we looking for?” I asked.  “And don’t go all Velma on me and say clues. Cause duh. What constitutes a clue?”

“We’ll know it when we see it.”

“Gee, thanks, Velma,” I said. I sat down at the desk. I was looking for whatever hadn’t been found. Josh has always been a straight arrow and not particularly imaginative, but he apparently had another side, which mean I should be looking for good hiding places.

Saturday, September 14th, 2013
more on writing a synopsis

As you know if you’ve been watching this space, I’m working on a synopsis for the WIP. Like many writers, I hate it. I hate more than I used to because over the years I’ve become more of a pantser sort of writer than a plotter. But I still need a synopsis. With details. These details are the problem.

I figured out a good 3/4 of what should happen yesterday, got that written up, and then realized in the middle of the night (waking up just for this) that it simply won’t work as it stands. Not that I’d sorted out the key end 1/4, but that’s what made me realize it won’t work as stands. So I have to change something, probably a lot of somethings.

To give a little more detail, one of the problems is that there will be light romance in this story. The initial hero type is introduced, but seems interested in someone else. The initial bad boy/mean bully type, is introduced and is pretty awful. Later in the story, we are to learn that mean bully did what he did for her own good and then help her out and maybe there’s a romantic connection. So far I can’t figure out a motivation that will mollify anyone including me about why he’s so obnoxious to her and I can’t sell the idea to someone else if I can’t sell it to myself. I’ve been turning it over in my head and either I can make him less of an ass, or find a damned good reason why he behaves as he does.

So far I’ve figured out one vague possibility for why he behaves that way that *might* work. Might, but only if I can flesh it out more and really make people sympathetic when they learn it. So that he’s really a tortured soul. I like that idea, in so much I like a good tortured soul as part of a romance. On the other hand, maybe he’s not meant to be a good guy at all. Maybe he’s just destined to be an asshat and be a reluctant ‘hero’ without a lot of heroic qualities.

The other thing that makes this difficult is that the initial hero is put in a position to do the wrong thing because he pretty much has to, which will betray my main girl character. Unless they can find a way to solve the problem without betraying her and without harming all the other people who stand to be harmed.

It’s a bit of a convoluted story. I think I really *need* to map it out in order to write it properly since there’s a fair bit going on and I need to layer things in properly. Which means I’m going to have to map out a variety of possibilities and see where they go. On the other hand, I’ve come up with some main events that will work for either kind of story, but just the wherefore and howsabout changes.

It feels a lot like trying to play Battleship. Sigh.

So off to work on that.

Friday, September 13th, 2013
In which life happens

Dad had heart valve replacement surgery on Thursday. This is done through an angio procedure and apparently is a very very delicate thing to do. Four doctors have to do it and there’s only a 52% chance of success. It appears to have worked. The valve is leaking a little, but apparently that’s normal. He’s still in ICU, but should be moved to a normal room tomorrow. I haven’t had a chance to talk to him, yet. Really hoping so tomorrow.

My father-in-law will be visiting this weekend. That should be fun. Hopefully we’ll be able to find things to entertain him.

Still working on my synopsis. Making progress, but having some motivational issues for a character and then figuring out the resolution plan for the characters. But I have made progress. Or not. Depending on whether or not I like what I’ve done. Won’t know until I finish, and if not, back to the drawing board. Plus I don’t have anything resembling a title.

Did read The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams. Really enjoyed it. I recommend it. I also finished Heart of Briar by Laura Anne Gilman. Hoping to have her here on the blog soon to talk about it, but it’s another good read. And the best part is the second book (it’s a duology) will be out in just a couple of weeks. I’ve preordered my copy.

We are supposed to cool off soon. We’ve been in the 90s. I prefer the 70s.



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