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Thursday, October 30th, 2014
squid-crud

The crud I have has still got me wrapped up in serious tentacles. Gah! Everything from chills and sweats to headache, sore throat, stuffiness, sneezing, nausea, stomach pain . . .  Yeah. I’ve had it for coming up on two weeks now. I’m tired of it. Seriously tired of it. Oh, and it makes me killer tired while at the same time gives me insomnia and oh, yeah, let’s not talk about the intestinal stuff because why wouldn’t that be a part of it, too?

My plot thickens. Unfortunately, it’s a hot, sticky, thick gelatinous mess, that sort of looks like boiled phlegm. I hope I can turn it into something lovely, though how one might make boiled phlegm pretty is going to be a major question.

In the meantime, I was sick enough to be taking selfies with me in the dog cuddling on the couch today. I’m a sad sad person.

2014-10-30 14.13.50

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
say what now?

Girlie: Momma, you’re the best mom ever!

me: aw, thanks sweetie

Girlie: roughly speaking, you’re also kinda mean.

O.o

Friday, October 24th, 2014
Kindle sale!

Great news! The Cipher is on the Kindle Daily Deal today for $1.99! If you haven’t read it, if you know someone who might enjoy it, or want to give it as a gift, today is the day to get your copy! Please share the word!

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
Pause in the rain

I spent a bunch of time today with Devon Monk talking writing, business, family, promotion, and all sorts of other things. It was lovely to get together and chat. We’ve both been swamped with work and life and haven’t had a chance to get together for awhile. It was quite fun.

Boy of size is sick again. Or rather, back to sicker, because he’s never achieved wellness. He’s missed the week of school. I hope he’ll make it back by Monday. I’ll get him up for tomorrow, but chances are he won’t be able to make it. But Monday he’s going to go no matter what, and call me if he needs to come home. We’re hoping just getting back into the routine will help.

I’ve been working on some plotting. I realized the problem I’m having with the current novel is that I don’t have a villain. I have a general–those people over there are bad ones, but I don’t have A Villain. Or even a couple of them. No one specific. This is a problem. I am working on solving this. I have a lot of threads to sort out and then weave together. It’s a super hard to figure out where the story is in this book and how to tell the personal story inside of telling the larger story. It’s the problem of epic, but worth doing. Just hard. I can do this. I will do this.

In the meantime, I’ll be signing books at The Reader’s Guide on Edgewater St. in Salem, Oregon, on Saturday, October 25th, from 1-3. We may do a little bit of a reading, but certainly we will be entertaining. Please come out if you can!!

I will also be at Orycon–more on that later.

Saturday, October 18th, 2014
Saturday, in the park, and also in Costco

I slept late today. Totally lazy. Let the kids sleep in. Let the dogs sleep in. All were happy. Also, Voodoo managed to eat all his brother’s dinner tonight, for no good reason.

There had to be a Costco run today, to stock up on all those things that we’ve been running out of, but which seem important, particularly milk and toilet paper. Boy of size was very ill today (bad day for him) and so girlie and I headed of. The man went hunting, though fruitlessly. Sads for that. Would like some venison. So anyhow, on the way, stopped for some chai and got a text my friend that she’d stopped by at the Saturday market and that my pendant was ready, and should I not come soon, she’d make off with it. Ahem. So off we went there first.

A couple of years ago, I bought this really cool stone for a pendant. It had sort of a tigereye/flame look, all in blues. I loved it. It had a hole drilled in the top and I thought I’d try to get a setting made for it to wear. I love the work of this woman I met at the Saturday Market. She and her husband have a booth and have marvelous rocks. She does the jewelry side. Anyhow, Nadyra, who rarely does commissions, said she look at my rock. I brought it over and both Peter and Nadyra were just excited. Apparently I had a really nice piece of Namibian Pieterite, which is not that available in the US, and this rock is particularly fine. Also, the hole through it is hard to drill. Nadyra agreed to do the setting for me.

Here it is. Mind you, I took a crappy pic with my phone, but you see the idea. Isn’t GORGEOUS? She did a lovely job. So thrilled. I need to take a better picture. The stone is just amazing. It’s probably 2-3 inches long.

pendant1 pendant2Isn’t it ridiculously lovely? I can’t tell you how pleased I am with it. I have the perfect chain for it, too.

After mooning over it, we went to Costco where we overfilled the cart and I got a soundbar with surround speakers for the TV. I’m so hoping this fixes the fact that I simply can’t hear voices half the time. But getting it hooked up properly–that was a tiny, little bit aggravating. Still haven’t figured out how to configure the TV remote to run the speakers. I’d like to do that.

I also have been rereading Wen Spencer’s Tinker, a book I’ve loved for many years and continue to love. If you’ve not read it, you should. It mixes magic and science and Quantum Physics and elves. It’s amazing. Love it.

Monday, October 13th, 2014
Chop wood, carry water

Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

Which is to say, I finished Edge of Dreams, sequel to Trace of Magic, and now must begin the last Crosspointe book, which may or may not be called Blood Jewel. I think I’m happy with the way it turned out, as much as I hated a lot of it going through. I just wasn’t sure I could make it pull together to hit the right notes. But I think it did. I hope editor and agent agree, but if not, at least they’ll be able to tell me why not and how to solve the issues. But as there is no rest for the wicked, and no slowing the deadlines, I must start tomorrow on the last Crosspointe book. I am spending today with the boy, who has no school. We’ve done some shopping at Lowe’s and the grocery store, and now are settling in to be goofy and possibly watch a movie.

I also want to finish the book I’m reading, which is killing me because I can tell that it’s going to be one of those that knot me up and then make me wait for the next one and the next. Damn you Patricia Burroughs!!! But The Crumbling Pageant is a really, really good book. Unusual and well done. I’m halfway through and totally recommend it.

 

Friday, October 10th, 2014
Crazy, Toys in the Attic, Going Crazy

You might wonder where I’ve been. I’ve been knee-deep in the book. I’m almost done. Within a tantalizing couple of inches, but those inches are proving tangled and thorny. I persevere.

Boy of size is not feeling well. Having a significantly rough day. It was, however, a traumatic day, with vaccinations and a blood draw, so I hope this is what accounts for it. Anxiety does worsen things for him.

Other than that, been doing school stuff, cleaning stuff, yard stuff. Oh! And we got a new front security door/screen door. So we can leave it open and locked and it’s very safe and the doggies can see out and there’s a breeze and we love it. Doggies also love it.

The Black Ship has rereleased! I’ll post more on that soon, but it’s available on BN and Amazon and will soon be out in other venues, if it isn’t already.

Friday, September 26th, 2014
Where’s the rubber ducky?

I’m hip deep in shit creek and no rubber duckies in sight. Book’s due soon, and I’m not done. I’m trying to make doneness, but progress is slower than I want. Also, a few days ago, the z, x,c, and v keys on my desktop keyboard ceased to work. I used a Kinesis keyboard. I called the company, and they are sending me a replacement part, and hopefully it arrives asap. But that means writing on my laptop and for whatever reason, that undercuts my creativity. Plus I’ve been having some weird sick stuff happening this week. Possibly as a result of stress, possibly as a result of not sleeping nearly enough, possibly as a result of total panic, or maybe I’m really coming down with something. My guess is the last one is unlikely.

So in an effort to procrastinate while still feeling productive, I’ve started a patchwork afghan. Which is to say, I’ve learned the patch pattern and am working them up. I started a couple days ago. It will take me a long time to complete the project. In the meantime, I realized I have got to start making stuff to get rid of some of my yarn horde. (Some of which was given to me by my mom, so it’s not *all* my fault.) The idiocy is that I saw a skein of cool yarn at the store, bought it, and came up with the patchwork idea for the afghan because I couldn’t think of anything else to make with it. Unfortunately, It’s not a good match with most of my yarn horde. I found one yarn that I can use with it, but may have to, ulp, buy more. This was not the plan.

More people should use shawls. I make this lovely and soft shawl (which a friend taught me to make–thanks Melissa M.!). Here’s the pattern. Only I make it in supersoft, jewel-toned yarns. I wonder who I could make some for? Hmmm. I also make afghans. I guess I could make one of those. I made a bunch to give away for Xmas a few years back. I sometimes make fingerless gloves and I learned a slouch hat last year. These things are nice to work on while watching TV or driving (as a passenger–I know you were wondering). I used to work on them at faculty senate meetings so I wouldn’t kill anyone, and so the meetings would have some sort of redeeming value. It’s not like we got anything accomplished otherwise.

Booklist likes Trace of Magic!

And here’s the usual please please please spread the word on Trace of Magic, post reviews, and otherwise blather about me as much as you’re willing!

All right, back to making fictional words. Oh, here’s a snippet, just because (and no context for you!):

“She’s the empath, correct?” Touray asked.

I rolled my eyes. “Should I assume you know everything about me? What deoderant I wear? The results of my last PAP smear?”

He smiled slowly, his eyes hooded. “I think it’s a safe enough assumption.”

Friday, September 19th, 2014
Author idiocy

Most writers know better than to read reviews. Good, bad, or indifferent, they just aren’t healthy for the writerly condition. It is a condition. A kind of mental disease, I sometimes think. Good reviews are wonderful and they stroke the ego for about two seconds, but then you start thinking–what if this next work can’t be as good? What if I fail? What if everyone pans it after setting such high expectations? There’s actually a long litany of how a good review can turn bad on a writer, but you get the point. Then the indifferent review is just as bad, because you think, mediocre? They gave me a mediocre meh! I thought it was so much better than that!! What if everything I write is meh and I don’t even know it? What if I’m one big pile of undifferentiated beige? And then there’s the bad reviews. These are always far more believable than the good reviews, because, writer–>mentally diseased with writerly neurosis. So you get a bad one, and it kicks you in the stomach because it confirms everything you suspected all along: you suck as a writer, your book is shit, and here are all the many ways that it sucks. Probably worst of all, it teaches you to distrust all your beta readers, your agent, and your editor, because obviously these people lied to you about your work. See? Writerly condition–>mental disease. I can say that right now, even as I’m lost in bad review wallowing land.

I shouldn’t read reviews. I mean, to some extent it’s my job to collect up those reviews and pass them along to the agent and editor and keep clips for promotional purposes, but at the same time, it’s idiotic because my writerly mental disease flares up whenever I read one. If I’m in the middle of tricky writing or slogging through a bout of “I suck as a writer” (more normal than not) then reading the reviews just makes things that much worse.

I read a review this morning. It slammed Trace of Magic, big time. So now I’m wallowing and trying to scrape my ego back together in order to be able to write. I want to make a declaration  that I will avoid reviews until at least the WIP is finished. If I do so declare, I’m not sure my willpower will aid my resolve. But . . . I need to try. So I declare that I WILL NOT look at any reviews at least until Edge of Dreams (Tracer #2’s working title) is turned in. And hopefully I won’t after that, either. It ain’t healthy.

Reaching the end of another school week. Boy has done pretty well overall, and the girlie has begun band. Both seem happy, which makes me happy. Well, except I haven’t been sleeping, but that’s a whole nother kettle of insomniac worms. And yes, I did just split another into two words.

I am working on getting Path of Honor back out at least as an ebook. Hopefully in the next month or so.

And now, to go get on the job. Oh, finished reading a cowboy romance by Kathleen Eagle called The Last True Cowboy. Wasn’t sure how I was going to like it, because yanno, no sf or fantasy elements, and not a regency, and no mystery . . . Basically not my usual story. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was as much about the family relationships between a Grandmother, mother, and two daughters, as it was anything else. It was set in Wyoming on a ranch, which really brought memories back for me of growing up. The details were right and vivid. I’d recommend it.

And the theme music for today’s blog, as it seems appropriate:

Friday, September 12th, 2014
Friday and yay for that!

Boy made it through the whole week of school. Some sickness, but he has been decently cheery and he’s so welcomed by his teachers. Hopefully he’s making friends again. Girlie, in the meantime, has decided to play the clarinet in band. She also liked the oboe and the flute, but decided against them.

We’ve had lovely weather this week, and yet I’ve had horrible sleep. I’m not sure if I’m staying awake, or not sleeping deeply, or just tossing and turning and not sleeping well. I wake up exhausted. I’ve tried short naps, but can’t fall asleep. I’ve been out walking, not a lot of help. I did end up waking up soaked in sweat last night. Makes me wonder if I’m a little under the weather, though who knows. The annoying thing is that it slows my thinking for writing.

Speaking of writing, Trace of Magic has his #89 on the Kindle romance fantasy book list. Yay! I’m here to remind you again that I’d love a review anywhere if you’d be willing. Spreading the word for me would be fabulous.

And to encourage you, a snippet from the next Book:

“We are not done with this conversation,” he said. It sounded like he’d pushed the words through clenched teeth.
I laced my fingers through his as he wriggled his right arm under me and pulled me tight against his chest.

“Yeah, we are,” I said.

“Not a chance, Riley. We’re having it out.”

I smiled as I felt myself sinking into sleep. I yawned hard, my jaw cracking. It took all the effort I could muster to have the last word. “I know,” I said, loosening my fingers from his and patting his hand. “But when you find out the rest of the story, you’ll be far too pissed to come back to this.” Whatever this was. I wasn’t entirely clear.