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Sunday, February 5th, 2017
Food that was made

Tonight we made chow mein and fried rice. Didn’t turn out as well as I hoped, but was still really good. I figure I’ll change some things up next time. For one, I forgot to put oil in the water for the noodles so they stuck together before I could put them in the stirfry. The order on the fried rice was off so next time I”ll change that up. Plus I’ll try to cook the rice the day before instead of the day of to get it better dehydrated and really cold. The sauce I found was really good and I made a bunch extra and put it in the fridge for future use.

Tomorrow is leftovers. Yum.

 

 

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016
In which I pass along words of–

I’ve been asked to put together a promotional blog post for my publisher. I can’t think of what to write because of brain fry. Husband and son decide that this is what I should write:

Don’t be a Twit, Read my shit.

I don’t think this is as helpful as they seem to think. What about you?

Saturday, December 24th, 2016
Merry Christmas!

For those of you who celebrate, Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah for my Jewish friends and readers. For everybody else–actually, for all of us–I wish you a day of peace and joy with laughter and no room for anger and depression.

Today we went to see the  Cirque Dreams Holidaze show. It was stunning and so fun. It was so wonderful to be there with my family and just get to enjoy. It was so fun and the performers–so very very good.

Tomorrow we have an unconventional meal planned, with fun and laughter and hopefully a dog walk, because the boys would love it.

From my family to yours, have a lovely day!

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016
My holiday newsletter is out

Here’s a link to my newsletter with a short story for you to read.

Thursday, November 24th, 2016
Thanksgiving

It’s been a tough year all around. I’m deeply worried about the next four, and that’s a reason to look hard at what I have to be thankful for.

I’m thankful for my family. For laughter. For the dog-boys. For a house and a comfortable life. For good friends. Good books. The ability to do what I love to do. For joy. For the sunrises and sunsets, for growing things, for kindness. For fans who buy and read my books. For tasty food. For everyone who stands up to prejudice, bigotry, and racism. May we all reach out to each other in kindness, generosity, and hope.

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016
Cool stuff

Here Be Dragons talks about lesser known authors who she loves. I’m one! And I have to say I agree on the other authors. Check it out.

Friday, September 23rd, 2016
The North Carolina Shooting

I have a couple of comments/thoughts I want to write about. One is I have to mention how uncomfortable it makes me that the media has reduced Keith Scott to only a black man. Certainly he was and certainly that matters. But he was also a husband and a son. He had likes and dislikes and quirks and hopes and dreams. He was a man. A person. And it seems that he had a Traumatic Brain Injury, as well.

I don’t think he should have been shot. I wasn’t there, and so I could be wrong, but I think he was shot because there’s a problem in our police forces. There are a lot of good cops, who have empathy and generosity, bravery and honor. All things being equal, it’s possible that all cops would be that way. But danger, risks, dealing with the public, temptation of drugs/money/corruption, all make things not equal, and not easy. I don’t exactly know what I’m thinking, but this seems analogous to the Catholic priest pedophilia (I am not accusing cops of pedophilia). But the church created an atmosphere, deliberately or not, that protected and fostered those pedophiles.

It seems to me that the same thing is happening in the various police forces. The bad elements are being fostered. Shooting has become the primary solution. And I get that criminals are likely to shoot and waiting could be fatal. But apparently brown people are a lot more scary than white people and they are more likely to get shot. Is that because police care less about those lives? Is it because they believe brown people are more dangerous? Is it because their training skews them somehow to believe those things?

I don’t know what’s happening, but I do know it’s wrong. I do know that justice these days is not fair, not colorblind. I don’t know the solution.

When the IRA committed atrocities in the name of freedom, they were harshly condemned. But I’ve always wondered–when the only way you can be heard and potentially create change and gain freedom is violence, then why should anybody be surprised when rioting breaks out? How else will those in power look at themselves and the culture of law enforcement and try to make positive changes?

I admire cops. I admire soldiers and emergency responders of all kinds. They are some of the bravest people in existence and they put themselves in harm’s way to protect innocent people. Unfortunately, something’s gone wrong in the culture of law enforcement and it needs to be corrected.

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016
On the road again

I’m off to Miscon! It’s my favorite con. It’s in Missoula, MT, and it’s going to be lovely fun. I’ve decided. Plus they make my favorite beer around there–Coldsmoke Scotch Ale. I’m going to have swag, if anybody reading is going to be there. Find me and I shall give something to you.

My schedule is as follows, in case you want to know where to find me:

  • panel Fri 2:00 – 2:50 PM, Book Signing: General Session, Pavilion (2)
    Moderator: Justin Barba; Panelists: Carol Berg, Jim Butcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Robin Hobb, Todd Lockwood
    This signing is moderated, and we will maintain a STRICT 3 item maximum per person–zero exceptions. In order to keep the lines moving, Robin and Jim can only personalize one item per person per trip through the line.
  • Break Fri 2:50 – Fri 5:00
  • moderator Fri 5:00 – 5:50 PM, Beyond The Fangs, Ballroom B
    Moderator: Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di); Panelists: Jim Butcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Julie Frost, Rhiannon Held, Randy Henderson
    Urban Fantasy encompasses more than just vampires and werewolves, yet it seems that the fanged creatures of the night have captured the limelight. What other creatures, dangerous and ghastly, lurk around dark city corners?
  • Break Fri 5:50 – Sat 10:00
  • moderator Sat 10:00 – 10:50 AM, Desire in Fiction, Ballroom B
    Moderator: Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di); Panelists: Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Laurey Patten, Brian Rathbone, Joyce Reynolds-Ward
    Noir is, in part, about what people want, how badly they want it, and how far they’ll go to get it. In this panel we’ll talk about all your characters’ desires, their darkest needs, and how to translate that to the page, regardless of genre.
  • Break Sat 10:50 – Sat Noon
  • panel Sat Noon – 12:50 PM, Meet & Greet/Signing: DianaP Francis/Steve Diamond, Hotel Lobby of Doom
    Panelists: Steve Diamond, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di)
    Meet a few of our authors, get signatures, and see what they’re up to these days.
  • Break Sat 12:50 – Sat 4:00
  • panel Sat 4:00 – 4:50 PM, Crafting Unique Titles, Gallatin
    Moderator: Rhiannon Held; Panelists: Brenda Carre, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Rhiannon Held, Laurey Patten
    How much work do I put into a title for my book or short story? How do I chose one? What titles worked for you? Are the titles themselves becoming tropes?
  • panel Sat 5:00 – 5:50 PM, Keeping the Momentum, Glacier
    Moderator: Randy Henderson; Panelists: Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Julie Frost, Ann Gimpel, Randy Henderson
    Maybe you�re receiving some really great rejections, or perhaps you�ve got a couple short stories published–now what? How do you maintain that momentum? What�s the next step? This is for those writers who are on the cusp of professionalism and those who want to learn what it�s like.
  • Break Sat 5:50 – Sun 1:00
  • panel Sun 1:00 – 1:50 PM, The Grand Scheme, Ballroom B
    Panelists: Carol Berg, Jim Butcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Peter Orullian (Rock Lord), Brooke Stanley
    Every great villain needs a masterpiece scheme in order to realize their ambitions and force the hero to their knees, as well as to set themselves apart from every other nefarious criminal. Learn what elements make every grand scheme extraordinary and how to construct the plan that will give your mastermind their edge.
  • panel Sun 2:00 – 2:50 PM, Fiction Slam Readings, Tent By the Trees (1)
    Moderator: Brenda Carre; Panelists: Matt Buscemi, Brenda Carre, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di)
    Come hear your favorite pro read a selection of their work.
    1400: Diana Pharaoh Francis
    1420: Matt Buscemi
    1440: Brenda Carre
  • Break Sun 2:50 – Sun 4:00
  • panel Sun 4:00 – 4:50 PM, Horror Vs Urban Fantasy, Madison
    Moderator: Peter Orullian (Rock Lord); Panelists: Steve Diamond, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Peter Orullian (Rock Lord), J.A. Pitts
    There’s a lot of shared blood between the two genres, especially as urban fantasy grows darker and darker. What are the major differences? Similarities? How do you know which you’re writing? What are some of the points you must hit to designate one versus the other?
  • Break Sun 4:50 – Mon 11:00
  • panel Mon 11:00 – 11:50 AM, Write a Story on the Fly, Pavilion (2)
    Moderator: Krista Wallace; Panelists: Carol Berg, S. A. Bolich, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Krista Wallace
    In this panel, the panelists will improv a story on the fly, one sentence at a time. It will be written down as they go, and will be read aloud at the end. Promises to be a rolickin’ good time!
Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
Two Book reviews

Books courtesy of NetGalley.

The first book I’m talking about is Mad About Max by Holly Jacobs. The basic story is that Grace is a romantic fantasy writer whocover88517-medium writes fairy tale sorts of books involving three slightly inept fair godmothers. She’s driving home from New York, where she’s just signed a new three book deal, and suddenly the fairy godmothers start talking to her. Apparently they’ve become real. She thinks she’s going insane and decides to contact a psychiatrist. The two fall in love, of course, and face some challenges before a happy ever after.

I wasn’t really a fan of this book. I wanted to be. It was light and breezy, which is what I wanted. The problem was that it was too pat. Everything was pretty predictable and the relationship just wasn’t believable to me. Neither was the big conflict (no spoilers), and the finale just didn’t satisfy. I guess this was a whole lot like cotton candy–a little too sweet and totally unfilling.

cover89164-mediumThe next book is Murder Has Nine Lives by Laura Levine. In this book, Jaine Austen is a jingle writer and ad writer who meets an animal talent agent in her veterinarian’s office. The agent is wowed by Prozac, Jaine’s cat, and wants her to audition for a diet cat food commercial. Jaine takes prozac there, and one of the developers of the cat food is murdered. Later Jaine finds she is a suspect, and decides she must solve the murder so that she can leave town (cops said don’t) on her planned/booked vacation to Hawaii.

I wasn’t a fan of this one. It’s light, breezy and makes no real effort to develop any characters. Now this may be just what you’re looking for. The writing is really good and there’s a lot of humor and the mystery is pretty good. It’s just a little too shallow for me. I love light and breezy, but I want a little more meat to the characters.

 

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016
Time she flies

I’ve been not writing lately. Or rather, I’ve been unwriting and replotting. I’m working on the fourth Diamond City Magic book and it’s got a LOT of stuff going on. We meet Tyrell. And we meet some other bad guys. And we see an explosion of events that the first three books have been building up to. Don’t be thinking that things are resolved, though. This is a longer story than that. I am excited about the way the plot is redeveloping. I had planned things that no longer are viable, or no longer are as interesting or worthy of the story.

I just wish I could make the process go faster. That part is driving me nucking futs.

In other news, strawberries are getting ripe, I’ve got the tomatoes and all the peppers in, the peas and broccoli and cabbage *might* produce before the heat ends it (we’ve been having little tiny heat waves). I also need to plant cucumbers. I’m waiting on the melons til I can turn over the pea/broccoli bed. The thornless logan berry is going nuts and so are the blueberries. Hopefully we get more than the birds do.

Finished our first round of rock polishing (took about 8 weeks). Pretty happy with the results. I’ll have to take some pictures. Heading off to read and work. Oh, and my father-in-law is coming for a longer than expected visit (about 10 days).