Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis

Archive for December, 2013

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Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
Planning for the New Year

This is actually a very strange thing to do for me. Usually, my plans revolved around teaching and surviving through the year and the New Year always came mid-academic year, so planning just didn’t seem timely. But now I’m a full time writer. I should be making goals. Trouble is, I’m not having much luck there. But let’s start with the basics:

Complete a new Crosspointe Novel by September 1

Complete a new Tracer novel by December 15th

Write four short stories (or 2 novellas)

get a contract on a one of the book proposals I have going on

Work on Southern Novel

Self pub something (ie. figure out how to do it and do it–probably something shorter).

The first two are already contracted. Well, my deadline for the Tracer book is out a bit further than that, but that’s when I’d like to be done. I’m actually hoping to finish the Crosspointe book by mid-May, providing I can get it all laid out and ready to go. That will be what I’m working on starting next week. It will involve rereading all four books and making notes.

I don’t know if this is a realistic list or not. I don’t know if it’s undershooting what I can do or overshooting. I’m also planning to attend the Rainforest Writers Workshop, Norwescon, Miscon, Spocon and Orycon. Hopefully I’ll hit all these targets.

Monday, December 30th, 2013
What to do?

I started a new thing last night. It’s going to be shorter (stop laughing). Either a short story or a novella. I think. I love the opening, but I’m trying to decide if it is going to be a Horngate piece. It would be set in the world of, but it won’t include any of the people, except possibly Xathan or Tutresiel. It’s a female angel. Deformed. I don’t know what call to make. Sigh. Help me Obi Wan! Feel free to voice a thought.

Here’s the so far for you to peruse:

Why would the gods give her wings and make them too puny for flight? She is doomed everymore to watching her brothers and sisters soar in the diamond reach, their wings limned in the glory of the light falling from above. Ever will she be tied to the land and the seas, never to know the sweet loft of the wind, the swoop and the fall, or the curl in the stomach that follows. She will be chained among the mud-trudgers, the wave-runners, the wood-crawlers, with no purpose, no reason for being. Her wings should be cut. Let her believe she was never one of us. Let her believe she was shaped from mud, salt, and sticks, not light. It’s a mercy.

And will cutting her wings teach her a lie? Can we alter her eyes? Her bones? Her hair? Her skin? Can we alter a heart pierced by quills? She is what she is. She is what the gods have intended. Are we to question their gifts? Their wisdom? It cannot be so. It must not be so.

Never has one of us walked among them as an equal. They will forget themselves. They will forget what we are and think us weak. There will be war.

If it must be, then we will fight.

This is a mistake.

This is life.

Sunday, December 29th, 2013
The to-do list

Another day without barfing! whoohoo! We’re on a roll now.

My to-do list is huge. First off, I need to clean the house from top to bottom. I started today, after running some errands. More will come tomorrow. I need to start taking down decorations as well. I also need to I also promised to play a rather lengthy board game with the kids. One that none of us know how to play. Sigh. I hope it’s fun and not heartburn-inducing.

I want to get some writing done this week also, despite the fact that I have kids home. Maybe I should abandon the idea of getting writing done. Hmmm. I don’t want to, though. I’d like to write a story, though I don’t know what. Maybe I should give myself a writing prompt and see what happens. I have an image in my head but I’m not sure what it’s trying to be. Not sure if it wants to be UF or a Horngate story or an epic sort of tale. I suppose I’ll find out if I can carve out some time away from the kidlets.

I started reading a book tonight and failed utterly when attacked by small (relatively speaking) people who wanted snuggles and hugs. And of course, the dog. We also watched Despicable Me 2 tonight. That was fun.

I also plan to get outside. Gotta get some walking in.

I really don’t want to clean, though. Not my favorite thing to do. But necessary. I figure I’ll get the rest of the downstairs done. Or at least mostly done.We’ll see. Depends on how much energy I muster. I accidentally suggested taking the kids to get something for their dad. They seem excited about it.

Friday, December 27th, 2013
the fingers be crossed

Boy has only barfed once in the past three days. I am hoping he’s really improving.

I’ve been eating and cooking and playing cards and having a great time this week. My folks will be leaving in a few days. Then I’ll have to get back to writing. That will be a good thing, but first I’ll want to figure out what the hell I want to write. I have plenty to do. Plus I can always hope I’ll hear on my two outstanding proposals. That would be a lovely New Year’s Gift.

I also want to get back to walking and moving. Just getting my body going. This last month has been stressful, especially with the boy, so I haven’t been doing much for myself. I’d like to do that.

The doggies have hated the change in schedule. They’ve been completely woe-ful. Full of woe. Wooooooeeeee. And sadness. Much sadness. My mom’s dogs are staying with us (we currently have a bit of a corgi horde. A school of corgi sharks.

I still want to get out and see a movie with the kids. If only the boy-of-size feels well enough. I hope I can get outside for awhile. I have some gardening things I want to do. Some leaves to get rakes up. That sort of thing.

Rewatching some Bones. I still have trouble believing that Zach ever worked with the Gormogon. Was never believable.

Monday, December 23rd, 2013
Eat all the things!

In the past few days I’ve eaten a lot. Enough to make my stomach hurt. I made potato soup last night and I didn’t know I could stuff myself so much with soup. And sourdough garlic french bread. Oh, and yeah, the apple crisp. I didn’t even have any sugar cookies or persimmon cookies.

The girlie baked with her grandma today and had tons of fun. Tomorrow we bake bread and pies. One will be a blackberry and one will be a chocolate pecan bourbon pie. Yumm. In the meantime, while the cookie baking happened, I did a lot of work to clean up my office. It’s still not all the way put away, but progress happened. Progress is really good. I just want to get everything put away so our space is functional.

I also need to do more wrapping of things. I love wrapping and then having the chance to watch people open their presents. I really hope they like them! I hope the gifts that I sent arrive on time. Possibly tomorrow.

I find Christmas to be a bittersweet holiday. I’m not sure why. Maybe because it signals endings and beginnings. Maybe because it goes so fast. For sure, I know I miss those friends and family I want to be with and can’t be, for whatever reason. So yeah. Can you believe that 2014 is almost here?

I spent some time listening to holiday music today. My favorite carol is the Carol of the Bells followed closely by Oh Holy Night. But I can’t help loving Feed the World. And I have a deep love of Happy Christmas by John Lennon and I Believe in Christmas by Greg Lake (ELP), both of which aren’t terrible happy Christmas songs. Oh, and I love The Closing of the Year by Wendy and Lisa. I’m trying to embed it. Let’s see if it takes.

I’m not sure if I’ll be posting again before Christmas, so if not, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate. May it be a day of joy and peace and love and light and laughter.

 

Saturday, December 21st, 2013
In which a book is completed

Trace of Magic is done and sent off to my editor and agent. I’m sure there will be comments and revisions to come, but for now, it’s a done book. Finally. I had it drafted weeks ago, but with all that’s been happening with the boy and getting my office painted, I was seriously slow on the revisions. I finished early this morning on the Solstice. Very auspicious.

Happy Solstice!!! I love this day. This is the rebirth of the year for me, when the days start getting longer and somewhere deep in the ground, roots are thinking green thoughts. Tonight is also the night the moon holds sway longest. I’m named for the moon goddess. She’s out hunting evil tonight and make sure that the white light shines over the world.

The boy continues on no better. The earliest appointment I’ve been able to get so far is January 21st. I hope to hell we can get in earlier than that.

And a snippet from Trace of Magic:

He looked back at us. Something moved across his expression as the overhead light faded slowly. He deliberately set his gun on the console. The threat was clear.

“One more thing. I want to know what you aren’t telling me. Right now.” But he looked at me, not at Taylor.

I didn’t blink. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I didn’t either. I mean, I was hiding everything I could from him. How was I supposed to know what exactly had set off his radar?

“The haunters.”

“Oh. Them.”

“Yeah, them.” He pointed at me. “If I’m going to help you, you can’t lie to me.”

“Who says you’re going to help me?” I tossed back, knowing full well I should just shut the fuck up before he put a bomb in my shoes.  Don’t get me wrong. I won’t pretend that I really cared that he’d killed the guys who were chasing us. After all, they shot at me. But Price had blown them up like they were as disposable as Kleenex. I knew I was, too.

“I did,” he snapped.

“You’re a Tyet man,” I accused, sudden anger getting the better of me.  Taylor clutched my hand warningly. I ignored her. “Now that you know there are haunters involved, your incentive for finding Josh disappears. Since someone in the Tyet is clearly behind his kidnapping, I’m betting you’ll probably jump in to help cover it up, or do whatever dirty work they need you to do. You know Josh cares about Taylor, I’m guessing the Tyet will want you to use her for leverage. You know the drill: cut her, make her hurt, make him talk. We’ll be lucky if anybody finds our bodies.”

Taylor gasped and I put my arm around her, my stomach clenching. I hadn’t meant to put it so baldly, but here we were in the back seat of an enforcer’s car with nowhere to go and a gun aimed at us. Mincing words seemed pointless. My chin jutted. “Am I wrong?”

His face worked and then he twisted around and slammed the car into gear. The wheels spun and the rear fishtailed as he jumped on the gas. I had no idea where he was taking us. But at the rate he was driving, we might be headed straight for hell.

Thursday, December 19th, 2013
and another day bites the dust

Boy is still not getting better. Trying all I can to get him into a gastroenterologist sooner rather than later. Holidays make this tougher, as is the need for a pediatric gastroenterologist. Cuts the number of docs that he can see considerably. Anyhow, trying really hard not to start freaking out.

Ran errands today. Seems every day is full of them, and yet not getting anything done. But got those nailed down, plus talked to various doctor offices, and wrangled kids. Tomorrow will be more of the same, including going to Costco to stand in line at the pharmacy. Sigh. But they are significantly cheaper on the prescription than Walgreens. As in, about a fourth of the price. I will also pick up the stuff I forgot the other day.

With all that’s going on with the holidays, the boy, life, and being sick myself, I haven’t yet finished my revision on Trace of Magic. I am near the end, but I just need a few hours to knock it out. Unless of course I find something really wrong, in which case, I’m not sure how long it will take.

I finished reading Ilona Andrews’ Clean Sweep. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I expected to, but I hadn’t read the serial version (they posted it online as they wrote it), and I was surprised about the fantasy/sf sort of crossover. It’s not really super sf, actually, but a little bit. Most of the time the big publishers would probably say no one would buy it and so wouldn’t take a risk on it. I think a lot of good books probably have fallen through the cracks that way. I’m so glad that they published Clean Sweep on their own and did it the way they wanted to. It’s tremendous fun and I really look forward to the next installment. If you haven’t read it, do. You’ll enjoy.

Monday, December 16th, 2013
boy updatery

So the boy is not better. Still throwing up as much today as a week ago.  Took him to the doc again today. The upshot is head scratching and a referral to a gastro specialist, plus some bloodwork. He was taken off the Zantac since it’s having no effect. He’s been prescribed anti-nausea medicine. I’m hoping we’ll get into the gastro specialist sooner rather than later. The doc also mentioned that scoping him might be a good idea. He doesn’t think it’s an ulcer or gastritis. Maybe the bloodwork will show an infection. I would sure like to get him well. He’s missing so much school.

We did put up the tree today, and my parents arrived. We’re happy about those things. Tomorrow is girlie’s school concert. That will be fun. I still have tons of holiday preparations to make. One of these days I’ll get on that. Sigh.

Sunday, December 15th, 2013
Book buying promo post

It’s coming up on Christmas. Are you getting gifts for people? If so, let me suggest my books. If you can’t find them (the Crosspointe are temporarily hard to come by), just email me and I’ll sell them to you and sign them and send them. Any of my books, really. Or you can get them at most fine book establishments. So introduce your friends to my books. Introduce your family. Introduce total strangers!

For emailing me, you can go to my contact link and just send me an email and we’ll set it up.

Saturday, December 14th, 2013
It’s all in the stomach

We have all been sick this week. Well, except the man. But the boy has had it worse and it doesn’t seem to be clearing up. I took him to the doctor earlier in the week, but nothing seems to have changed. I’m a little worried. He isn’t throwing up nonstop, but more like every few hours. But he’s throwing up as much now as he was last Monday. I guess if he’s not better next week, I’ll be taking him back. I hope they can get this figured out. I put a heating pad on his stomach and it seems to help some

We made progress in the house today. Cleared a spot for the tree, carried furniture upstairs and downstairs. I am hopeful that we will have the house somewhat put together by the time my parents get here on Monday. Yeah, right. We did, however, get our tree. We will get it put up tomorrow. Girlie is determined. I have some snowbaby decorations I haven’t seen in maybe 15 or 20 years. Nice to be able to get out some of this stuff. They painted the house in significantly neutral colors. They are fine, but I’d like something much more colorful. But the ceilings are high and I really don’t want to take on more jobs. So that will have to wait. A long time I’m afraid.

We went to a little Christmas tree farm to cut down the tree with a friend. It was a fun trip and part of the sales are donated to the Wounded Warriors. Let’s hope it smells lovely. It’s a fir, and sometimes those aren’t as fragrant.

My head is killing me. This is part of the illness of the week I think. Hopefully it goes away soon. I hate headaches.

 

 



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