Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis
Home About DianaBlogFree StoriesArticles & EssaysAppearancesFAQContact
Horngate WitchesCrosspointe Chronicles
Path BooksDiamond City Magic
Monday, September 1st, 2014
Contest  and Trace of Magic!

Bitten By Books is hosting me this Wednesday for a question and answer session and a contest. You can go now to start grabbing extra entries. You could win Amazon bucks!  Tell a friend!

Monday, September 1st, 2014
On laboring on labor day

The family seems to be developing a cold. I have not been immune. Stuffy head, scratchy throat, and worst of all, stuffy ears. Blech.

I slept poorly last night. Here’s the issue. We have an air-bed. Each side had two air sections–one for lumbar, the other supporting legs and torso. Mine has been going flat for awhile now. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. In an effort to figure out where the issue is, we’ve done a couple of different tests. The first one, we switched the air hoses on the mattresses to that mine were on the man’s, and his were on mine. Over the course of a couple weeks, I still was going flat. So–obviously it’s the bladder, right? So we take the bladder out and fill it up. Then the man lays on it and it stayed totally full. So now we have no idea where the issue is.  The problem is mostly in the lumbar area. And the man says that air seems to be filling up in his side. Is the problem inside the pump? Is it somehow in one of the valves in the bed? Uncertain. Not sure how to figure that out.

Got up this morning and felt like I’d been run over. All the same, labor must be done, right? So we had breakfast and I dug into weeding. Got nowhere near done, but filled up a five gallon bucked twice until it got too hot. Then came in and folded three loads of laundry and cleaned the bedroom. now to do more laundry. I also want to get some writing done. And classroom stuff.

I’m making a “honey-do” list. But really it’s not honey-do so much as crap we have to get done and we aren’t keeping track of so we never get around to doing it. List. Hopefully we’ll still get some more done today. Like finally hanging up some wind chimes. We have three sets that we’ve been meaning to hang for awhile.

We had a fish die. I think the sucker fish attacked it. Not sure why. It’s really huge. I’m wondering if I should try to give it away and get a smaller one. I do love that fish though. But I’m noticing it seems to be attaching the other gold fish too. They are looking sad in some ways. Pretty soon we may have nothing left but a sucker fish. A really big one. He’s about six or eight inches long.

I now have seven reviews on Amazon for Trace of Magic. I need more. And on other sites. Here’s the thing–the more reviews an author gets, good bad or indifferent–the more they get promoted on Amazon. So please, if you are feeling love or irritation, please post reviews. It’s a huge help.

Friday, August 29th, 2014
Book Birthday!!

Trace of Magic made it’s way into the wild today. I totally couldn’t scrape together a coherent thought. Could not write. I’m doing that thing where I stand in the middle of the room and go one way, then another, then another, and then start flapping my arms in curious spasticity as I spin in circles making sounds that aren’t quite human.

Instead of writing, I went to a “downsizing” sale. So a glorified garage sale. They had rocks. I like rocks. They had the prettiest cathedral amethyst geode I’d ever seen. Deep, deep purple. It was about 4.5 feet tall and about 18 inches wide at the bottom. No exaggeration. They wanted 7,000 for it. I drooled on it, but forced myself away. What I did end up getting was a piece of brilliant green obsidian, a Holly Blue agate, a piece of something green and cool with a lot of druzy quartz worked into it, and a piece of petrified wood with a wonderful knot and also two places where druzy crystals had worked into it. So basically I got a haul.

I then did some web surfing and tried to focus and did not succeed. I talked on the phone a bit, entertained children, did a little shopping, and took the girlie swimming. So basically, I dithered and flithered and got nothing done. Tomorrow I’ll do some stuff with my mom. It will be fun. Not word-productive, but fun.

I did get a great review on Amazon of Trace of Magic! This is very exciting. I need all the reviews I can get–good, bad, or indifferent. But I’m always pleased–more like ecstatic–when readers connect with a book. That sounds like a no duh! sort of statement, but the whole reason a writer writes is to entertain and hope the reader loves the book as much as you do. So I’m delighted. Hopefully many more happy reviews will follow.

On a really cool note, the man and I were driving home, and a great blue heron flew over us and landed on the top of a house. I stopped. I’ve never seen a blue heron perch that high before. I tried to take a picture, but it flew off before I could. It was like a blessing from Mother Nature on the day.

 

 

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Instead of ranting

I have things to rant on. Longmire is canceled, which pisses me off to no end. I hope someone else picks it up. The writing is too good, the acting too good, the show too damned good, to just let vanish. Also, I am irritated by something I happen to listen to today involving a Christian mother and grandmother condemning the son/grandson for being gay. It was an entirely recorded conversation of the event and let me just say– No. I won’t. So I’ll say this. Being gay isn’t a choice. I have more rantiness on the subject, but I don’t want my head to pop off. Also, on an unrelated note, science is. Deal with the facts.

Now, instead of ranting, I shall tell you what I bought today. I got an old butter churn of the turn-the-handle variety, and I got a typewriter. I’ve wanted one a long time. This has some cool bells and whistles. I’m not sure I know how it all works. I cleaned it up a little, but I need to do some more. It’s very dusty. But I really love it. I’ve wanted a cool old typewriter for a long time. I found it at an estate sale.

2014-08-28 11.19.44Tomorrow is the release of Trace of Magic. I’m nervous. And I really need some reviews in places, so again, let me plead for buying, reading, reviewing, shouting the news. You will have my undying gratitude. If you happen to be at DragonCon, check out the Bell Bridge books booth for print copies.

I’ve got a post and a tiny snippet on Literary Escapism today.

I leave you with an earworm. But with a purpose! First, thing get the BeeGees Nightfever in your head. Then change Nightfever to Light Saber. And then . . . come up with more words so someone can filk that baby. Let me start you off–

Gimme a light saber, light saber,

Obi wan can do it!

Swing that light saber, Light saber,

close your eyes and kill it!

 

now you. Go!

 

 

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
On the more disgusting side, and also happy news

I don’t brush my dogs’ teeth. Instead, I clean them by letting them chew on beef bones. This has never failed before.

*Cue last Saturday*

We were heading out to the state fair, so I decided it was a good time to give the doggies a bone. They could chew all day, and they’d have clean teeth when we got home. It was a good plan. Then . . .

I woke up in the middle of the night and had to go to the bathroom. It was a miracle I didn’t step into poop. I came back to bed and for whatever reason, I turned on the light. And there, a gift lay on the floor. I cleaned it up. What else could I do?

Then the next morning, what should my husband encounter right in front of the door, but another gift? He cleaned it up. He leaves for work. (that was a 4:45 a.m.). I go downstairs to let the dogs out around eight and found yet another gift from sometime the night before. I know almost when and which dog.

It gets better.

The next night, I let the dogs out and left them out for a couple hours before bed. Apparently they decided they’d go chew on their bones and not do any other business. You see where this is going. Yep, the next morning there was not one, not two, not three, but FOUR pee spots right near the door. These had either occurred after my husband departed, or he got amazingly lucky getting out the door.

That afternoon, we deep-cleaned the carpet up and downstairs. Then the dogs spent last night in a corral in the kitchen. They will be there tonight, as well. They made no house gifts today.

Either I must a) brush the dogs’ teeth, or b) cook the bones? Something? Yeah.

But wait! It gets better!

My son gets in the shower on Sunday. We have a tankless waterheater. This means that he can stay in there for a year and the water won’t get cold. He used to take short showers. They’ve been gradually lengthening. This one was probably a 1/2 hour long. Periodically we’d been finding damp spots downstairs in the laundry room. We thought it had something to do with the washer. Nope. The upstairs tub/shower. As my son’s shower goes on, water drips out of the vent fan in the laundry room. Drip splat! Drip splat!

The plumber came today and changed out a cartridge in the faucet. He believes this will solve the problem. I am hoping.

Also, the good news! Trace of Magic releases in just two days!!! You can preorder the print version from Amazon right now.

BN and other outlets will follow shortly. I’ve got a post up on Magical Words this week about it and where some of the ideas came from.

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014
The time–it flies!

In this last week, I’ve been trying to get caught up on so many things, get the kids prepped for school, and write. I’ve successfully built a large section of my class, bought school supplies for the kids, written some words, done a bunch of laundry, and slept poorly, for whatever reason.

We went to the state fair today. It wasn’t as fun as I’d have liked it, largely because barf boy had another bad day. I had hoped he would have a good one and he’d enjoy himself. Unfortunately, things went from bad to worse and then I took him home. I went back, and it was really hot. The girlie and the man had been riding a few rides. I joined them to watch (I really don’t do heights and most carnival rides involve going too high for me). We then played a few games and eventually found my parents and we then proceeded to go to Red Robin and eat bottomless root beer floats, as that seemed entirely appropriate. I was sad that I didn’t get to go look at all the things people had made or the working dog demonstrations.

When we got home, we watched Pterodactyl vs Sharktopus. My son kept trying to figure out the logic and I kept asking why he would expect any kind of logic at all? He seemed to think there ought to be some despite the title. I told him his expectations are far too high.

I hurt my knuckle weeks and weeks ago, and it still hurts. I sort of bent it to the side. It feels like I jammed it, but I didn’t. Wish I knew how to fix it.

Trace of magic releases in just six days! There will be a print copy available. I hardly know what to do to get the word out. I’m a bit frazzled.

 

Monday, August 18th, 2014
There and Back Again

We made the trip to Montana and to Spocon without terrible incident. And by that, I mean the boy was relatively okay most of the trip. Some nausea and vomiting, but he made it through. I was proud of him, because I knew he had to fight through it several times.

On the trip, I realized that I haven’t been exercising very much here this summer. I used to walk a lot. I walked a lot in MT and in WA. The comparison then is clear and the solution is that I just need to get out more. I will do that.

I got to see a lot of friends, and yet not all of them. So it was bittersweet. I had some moments of intense sadness and wondering if we’d made the right decision to move, especially seeing how much my family has missed some of the people and the places. Yet the reasons for moving still stand and they were to benefit for the whole for the whole family. I hate doubting.

The dogs were well spoiled. They slept on our beds every night and went everywhere with us. They couldn’t have been happier. Now that we’re home, they are feeling slightly let down. After all, the kids keep hogging the couch and our bed is too high to jump up on. Oh the woe! Right now one of the doggies is snuggling up tight to me.

I got no writing done, but I did get a lot of work done on my syllabus and teaching schedule for the fall. That was a good thing. I also finished reading the book that I mentioned previously that I’d had a hard time with the beginning. After the first few chapters, I found that I did enjoy it. It wasn’t cookie cutter, though I’m seeing a fair bit of predictability in one of the main male leads and also with the ultimate bad guy. It definitely leads into another book, and it’s possible that where I think it’s going isn’t where it’s really going. We’ll see.

Spocon was a bit of a disappointment. I had two good meaty panels, and the Diversity panel was particularly good, but sadly, no author readings or signings ended up on the printed schedule. That meant I had a tough time finding them and the attendance was very very poor–if anybody found it at all. I also had some of the self-pubbed authors hawking their books like carnies along one of the hallways. I hate that–chatting and visiting with people is one thing, but hollering at people to ask if they read or that sort of thing . . . not cool. Costumes were really terrific, though, and the riverwalk was lovely.

We were supposed to have sunblocking shade screens installed before we came back, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Apparently the frames are backordered so we have to wait a week or so.

Lots of stuff going on this week. We have appointments and school preparation and lots and lots of stuff. I will hopefully get some sleep. I’ve not been sleeping well for most of the trip or even on the home night. And weird dreams. May have those.

And you’ll notice that the website is slightly updated with Diamond City Magic on the menu bar.

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
You’d think it would be easier

Maybe it’s just that my life isn’t terribly exciting, but I can’t seem to find things to say to update my blog. Or maybe I’m busy. Sure. That’s it.

I’m busy writing the untitled second book of the Diamond City Magic series. And I have a cover for Trace of Magic! Let me show you . . .

Trace of Magic  Isn’t it pretty? Remember, you can preorder for Kindle, right now. There will be a trade paperback available on August 29th. I’m not entire sure why it is they can’t do print preorders, but the book itself will be lovely. Bell Bridge does a stunning job. So if you’d like to wait for a print copy, it will be available, and through all the major outlets.

In other news, we’re heading to Montana for a week, and then to Spocon. If you want to catch up with me, let me know. I plan to get into whatever local stores I can to sign books. But I’m happy to meet up with people at a coffee shop or at the con if you are interested. Let me know.

The boy of size is still barfing. He’s terrible low in Vitamin D, so he’s going to get a prescription for that. He was taking it OTC, but that’s not doing enough. Despite the barfing, he is determined to go to Montana to see friends. I worry he won’t manage, but here’s hoping he’s okay. Maybe it will be just what he needs. The dogs are coming with us. They get to be on a corgi panel at Spocon. The stars of the panel. Spoiled rotten little beasties.

I read J Kathleen Cheney’s The Golden City and Seat of Magic. Both are amazing books. If you haven’t seen them, have a look. They are historical, magical, police procedures, and just delightful.

I’m now reading a book I don’t like at all. I’ve got to decide if I’m going to fight through it or read something else. What do you do when you don’t like a book? I paid for it, so I figure I ought to read it. But then again, with so many books out there, do I waste valuable reading time by reading something that I dislike? The thing is, lots of people like this author. Is there something wrong with me?

Tomorrow I go in bright and stupid early for my yearly physical. There’s only one word for that: Blech. Don’t want to do it.

 

Thursday, July 31st, 2014
A snippet for your entertainment

As the title says, I wanted to give you some entertainment. Here’s hoping I succeeded. A snipped from the WIP:

 

“They split up,” I said. “Three of them went to the far right, two others went to the second left.”

“Which way did Trevor go?” Lauren asked. She sounded faintly winded and the last word trembled off her tongue.

“With the three,” I said. “We should split up.”

“And how do you expect to follow both trails? We only have one tracer,” Dalton said.

I could hear him sneering.

“Leo can ask the metal,” I said, before looking at my brother. “Can’t you?”

The light from the toe lamps hollowed at his face, making him look harsh and dangerous. “I don’t think it’s a good idea,” he said.

“We’ll follow the boy,” Dalton declared. “It’s too dangerous to split up.”

“What if the others are hurt? Maybe dying?” I dug my heels in. “We have the means to go after both. We should.”

“No,” Dalton said.

I ground my teeth together. I couldn’t make Dalton do anything he didn’t want to do. Unless of course I decided to run off my own into the mines. That was a spectacularly bad idea, so much so that even I understood it. I looked over my shoulder.

“Leo?”

He sighed heavily and shook his head. “I hate to, but I agree with Dalton. Better we stick together. We’ll come back and get the other two after we find the three.”

I flexed my fingers. I could grab the trace of the two and then I’d know if they were in danger. But then I’d have to put my hand back into the spirit dimension and that was enough to make me think twice. Plus I didn’t want Dalton or his crew to know I could do it. Basically there was no way I was going to argue myself into a win. I decided to give in gracefully.

“Fine,” I said. “I hope to hell they don’t die.” Or maybe not so gracefully.

Dalton strode out down the far right branch. Maggie followed quick on his heels. The two yanked me after them before I had a chance to think about moving. I stumbled forward, stepping on Maggie’s heels. She swore and twisted sideways.

“Walk on your own damned feet, would you?”

“But yours are so much more comfortable,” I said. “Hey, that reminds me. Where were you when I went down to the Bottoms earlier today?”

She scowled at me. “Fuck off.”

“Trying to, but damn if you and your buddies can’t take a hint.”

“Maggie,” Dalton said before she could retort, his voice cracking like a whip.

She flinched and spun away from me.

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
news of one sort or another

I made it home from Colorado. The teaching was a lot of fun, but exhausting with all that was going on. Sadly, a good friend died on the same day I came home. She’d been fighting cancer for some time, and she let me know when I was in CO that she was going into hospice. I had a chance to say those things you always wish you’d have a chance to say to someone you love before they are gone, which I’m glad I did. I’m heartbroken, for her family and myself. She was younger than I by several years, and her daughter is younger than mine. We are hoping to go to MT in a couple weeks. I’d hoped to see Laurie then, but it wasn’t to be. I’m hoping we can see her family.

That brings me to the next bit of news. We went to see the specialist for boy of size today. He’s had up and down days. He was feeling pretty good today. The doctor wants me to take him off most everything he’s on–herbal and not–except for omeprazole and Ondansetron–and she’d like me to wean him off the latter as much as possible. Just about everything he’s been taking either lose effectiveness after awhile, or begin to cause the problem you take them to prevent, ie. vomiting. Peppermint is one of these, so is ginger root. This means vomiting could increase, but hopefully it will subside. He’s supposed to avoid fructose, which can cause stomach upset in these circumstances. He can have fruit, but not fruit leather, juice, and that sort of thing. So things could gt really ugly. I hope my heart can take watching him suffer.

In the meantime, I’m trying to get caught up on life from being gone. I have to get my own blood drawn for my annual physical sometime soon. I need to call and arrange the blood draw. I’m also trying to get writing done. Lots and lots.

Trace of Magic is up for preorder on Amazon Kindle. Other formats will be coming soon, including print. I’ll let you know more. I’ll maybe nag you to pre-order. Tell your friends. All that sort of thing.

It’s food time now. Going to go put something together for the family. Also, I read Michaela Roessner’s Walkabout Woman. It’s phenomenal and like nothing you’ve read. Go read it. Seriously. And I’m currently reading The Golden City by J. Kathleen Cheney. I’m loving it. Definitely recommend it already.