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Archive for the 'revision' Category



Thursday, July 20th, 2017
Running fast

If I did run, which I don’t, I’d be running fast. Still revising, still helping the folks with rebuilding stuff, still driving kids around.

But! Been reading good books. Having a good time with Helen Harper’s Slouch Witch and the second book Star Witch. Both are a lot of fun. I also read a cozy mystery with a corgi. I’ll be reviewing that one soon. In fact, I have several reviews to get posted.

Bitter Night is on sale right now for $1.99. Also, I’ll have a Horngate short story coming out in an anthology soon. I plan to do a give away of an arc shortly. I’ll put a note here and send out info in my newsletter.

My parents are doing okay, though dad fell last week and ended up with a bunch of stitches in his lip and some serious bruising and lacerations. But he’s going to be okay.

I’m actually posting this a day after I wrote the first bit because I’m totally fried. I have some cut bits that I want to post here. Stuff I couldn’t keep in the book but still love with all my heart.

I’m dead tired now and so I shall go knit before bed.

 

 

Thursday, September 29th, 2016
Wind blows, fire burns

Finished revisions on a short story set in Faith Hunter’s Rogue Mage world. I’m pretty happy with it. At least until I find out if Faith likes it. Been doing more writing on Diamond City Magic 4. You know, it really needs a title. I should think of one of those. It progresses, but it will be much much much longer than the previous books. I’m also working on plotting a Horngate story for an upcoming anthology. It will star Giselle and Shoftiel.

Here’s an anthology I wish I’d written story for. I couldn’t come up with a good idea to submit. I’d still like to write a story though. I really like the idea.

I’m trying to come up with a good knitting project. I think I want to do socks, though I’d like to do another shawl. I also want to get some purple into my hair. I got my Orycon schedule today. It looks fun. I’ll also be doing the big Powell’s author signing that weekend.

Bought my husband a Keurig coffee maker, but he wanted one that could be programmed to brew into his travel cup. We don’t think we can with this one. It also may not take fill-your-own pods, even though one came with it. We’re still trying to figure it out.

 

 

 

 

Monday, December 14th, 2015
Wahoo!

Whisper of Shadows went back to my editor today. At long last. It took me forever to revise. It’s lucky my editor is patient with me. I do like it and I hope you will, too. There’s a lot that happens. We start right where Edge of Dreams left off and then run forward. You’ll get to see more of Riley’s dad, her family, Touray and of course Price. And then Arnow and Dalton were back. I can’t wait for you to see it!

Finishing also means that I can and *need* to dig into holiday preparations. So tomorrow I have to hit the ground running. We still have to decorate the tree and I have wrapping and baking to do. Plus I have to send some things and still shop for kidlets. I didn’t get the knitting done I’d wanted to. I just couldn’t pull it together.

I am annoyed. I tried to make an order from Teavana. They were doing a big discount, and then if you bought so much bulk tea, you got an additional discount. Only for me, the additional discount wouldn’t come through properly. So I emailed customer service with the explanation. After several days, the reply was, hey, sorry, but you should call us. We have people who can help you. Um. I emailed you because your website said you could help me. And I couldn’t seem to manage to remember to call during their open hours. I was, afterall, working. Sigh. So I was screwed out of that discount and I’m irritated. Both at the so-called customer service, and the crappy website.

 

 

 

Friday, September 25th, 2015
Title Announcement

The new title for the third Diamond City Book is . . . Are you ready?

Whisper of Shadows

The release will happen sometime in January, maybe February. More on that when things get definite.

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on a side project. I’ve been working on it for a long time in my “spare time.” I totally love it. I’m going to be self-publishing it. It’s called The Ghost Job and here’s a little bit (rough–not been revised yet) of the beginning:

 

I got the fish-eye stare from the concierge when I walked past him into the lobby. I passed through the security net, feeling it ripple across my skin like seeking fingers. My lips tightened smugly. I could go out and come back again and totally change my aural signature. It might remember this version of me forever—and it probably would—but it wouldn’t do it a damned bit of good if it never saw this me again.

Effrayant was a mashup of the Bellagio and the Bates Motel, with a little dash of old school English castle for flair. The outside was brick and tile with a few thousand windows and a mansard roof that went up six or eight stories on top. The rooms up there were probably long-term residences. The central tower was a good forty stories high, with the four wings sprouting like spokes from its shoulders. Their rooftops boasted pools, clubs, restaurants, and helipads.

I wasn’t there for the entertainment; I was on a job.

Inside was dark wood, modern furniture, soft lights, and museum quality art. Muted opera music wandered through the cavernous lobby. The staff all wore Italian wool uniforms in gray, burgundy, and navy, while customers dressed in designer glitz and blue-collar chic.

I couldn’t blame the bellman for looking at me sideways. Wearing Levi’s, a longsleeved cotton shirt from the Goodwill, a pair of knee-high leather boots that had seen better days, and a blue ball-cap, I definitely didn’t look glitzy or chic.

Add in the fact that my luggage was nothing more than a ratty backpack, I was a little surprised that the security guards inside didn’t stop me. With force. Given how obcenely expensive it was to stay at the exclusive and highly discriminating Effrayant, I figured these guys should have been all over me. Sure, the ghosts make people want to turn and head the other way and let me be someone else’s problem. Security guards ought to be better trained. They shouldn’t let the heebie-jeebies get the better of them. I get that it’s not every day that you get the ghost push-off from someone made of flesh and blood, but Effrayant liked to brag their security was the best of the best.

I walked in and all six of thick-necked best of the best got busy picking lint off their coats, making me the check-in clerk’s problem.

Poor thing. I could tell she wanted to be anywhere else. That’s Tabitha’s fault. She can put the fear of Jesus into just about anyone without hardly trying.

Tonight she was trying.

She didn’t want to come into Effrayant. She thought it was too dangerous. She was right, but that didn’t change the job. I wanted to tell her to suck it up and settle down, but she was only a thirteen year old girl and dead or not, her hormones were raging. She wasn’t going to listen to me, of all people. Plus she still had a lot of PTSD issues from how she got killed. Or so I assumed. I had no idea how it had actually gone down. I only knew she was pissed as hell and she had nightmares that occasionally leaked into my dreams. If any of what happened in those nightmares had actually happened to her, she had a right to her attitude. Hell, she had a right to have gone right over the edge into insanity-land. I didn’t think she had, but it’s not like she talked to me. Another issue she had going on was that she didn’t trust anybody and when she got scared, she killed first and asked questions later.

Friday, September 18th, 2015
Friday of the week

Another week of school down. That’s two weeks. And it’s wonderful. I think I’m getting closer to a title on book 3. I’m excited! More when it’s finalized. I’ve also started planning out book 4. Hoping I can write it much more quickly than this last book. I’d like to get back into my groove and not be doing so much medical junk. Wouldn’t that be fab?

I spent a lot of time at the end of this book cutting stuff. I found that I’d inserted some funny stuff that just didn’t fit. Sadly I did the cutting without keeping anything really amusing to share. How’s that for an obnoxious tease? Sometimes I get asked how do you know what to cut. I look for redundancies–as in, beating the dead horse. Saying the same thing over and over. Repeating myself. See what I did there? Uh huh. I’m in one of those moods.

I look for things that simply don’t fit the scene. They don’t forward the plot, add to character, raise tension, and so on. Sometimes there are little bits that actually do one of those things, but actively undercut one of the others, and I’ll cut it for that reason. Like a little snarky aside that loses tension or pacing at a moment when I need to sustain or build it.

I look for wordiness. Places where I’ve used three words where I might use one, or more likely, ten words where I can get away with one. I want to speed the reading process. In that same sweep, I’m looking for repeated language and echoes–I want to get rid of as many of those as I can. I also happen to like using There is or There was constructions. Like: There was a bookshelf near the fireplace. Instead of something like: A bookcase loomed near the fireplace. It’s both more active, and less wordy, and more to the point, which makes for a better book.

I look for things that are out of place. Stuff I tossed in that doesn’t fit. It seems to, but then the more I look at it, it doesn’t. Or there’s backstory that doesn’t need to be there.

I comb through pretty carefully and it’s a balance between keeping the flavor that I want while revving up the story and making a good reading experience.

And now, I’m thinking about a demon divorce story. I’m going to go poke at it.

Sunday, January 18th, 2015
multiple things make a post. One hopes.

I do my twittering through Hootsuite. Hootsuite remembers my password. I, however, do not. So I was trying to go on to Twitter for some reason I no longer remember–it’s been hours, already–anyhow, Hootsuite may remember my password, but I don’t. I had to decide if I should reset the password, which would mean resetting Hootsuite, or just say forget it and worry about it another time. I went the lazy route.

I really sympathize with Charlie Hebdo and I really believe in Freedom of Speech. I even understand the “nuanced” argument of the editor that they go after religions which make political statements. Wouldn’t matter if I didn’t, though, because I do believe in freedom of speech, no matter how ugly. But at the same time, I really don’t like the way US culture and clearly other cultures all over the world, are willing to be deliberately hateful and offensive to other groups. The way we tend to go after each other as if we have a right to tell anyone else what to do. And yet . . . shouldn’t some things be stopped? Like genocide? Like child abuse? Like human rights abuses? Even if those things are legal and morally acceptable in other parts of the world?

Obviously I have no answers. I’m terribly torn. I hate knowing that if you’re black or Muslim and you’re walking down the street, everybody is a potential threat these days. I hate the way you can’t send kids out to play without worrying they’ll be accosted by a pedophile, a rapist, a killer, a gangmember, an idiot texting, a bully . . . I hate the rape culture. I wonder with all our progress in this world, how have we become so dangerous to each other? Yet I support the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution. I support freedom of religion and of speech and life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I also believe in the social contract, that supporting our neighbors supports ourselves and leads to a healthy nation.

These are the things I’ve been thinking about today.

I’ve been knitting and learning new things. Posted a new picture up on facebook. Unfortunately the picture is too big to post here until I shrink it. But I”m working on something new and will likely post it. It’s remarkable how well I’m doing (ie that I am satisfied with what I’ve made) in such a short time. I’ve only been knitting a month. Thanks to Devon Monk, I’ve recently learned to knit with double points in order to make mitts in the round, and I’ve managed to make a new pattern. I also read it and followed it accurately, even though it left out a key direction and I figured that out, too. I’m very proud of myself for that.

I’ve been revising Edge of Dreams. I’m planning to send it back to my editor a week from tomorrow (Jan 19th). I *think* I can get it done satisfactorily by then. Kids are out of school tomorrow, so I do have doubts about how much work I’ll manage to get done tomorrow. And then there’s the dentist appointment tomorrow for the girlie . . . .

I lulled myself into thinking that it’s almost time for spring here. It actually is, compared to the fact that Montana spring is about five months away. I expect to see the camelias starting to bloom within the next few weeks. My primroses are actually blooming. All the same, it’s not going to be spring for at least a couple of months. Of course it’s very green and warm here, so it’s not like it’s ever been the twiggy, sere wasteland of winter that happens in Montana. Which is lovely, but I prefer the green.

The boy went four days without getting sick, then he threw up for two, and today he’s not yet barfed. I’m trying to figure out what might have set him off. If anxiety somehow got to him (but on the weekend didn’t make a lot of sense), if he ate something different (didn’t figure out what), or if it could be just a normal part of healing from an ulcer (I can’t find a lot of that info on the net). Still haven’t figure it out.

Laura Anne Gilman blogged about bagels in Seattle the other day. The result was me craving bagels. I am no New Yorker, and I like fruit bagels with cream cheese. I do like a chewier bagel, but I got some at Costco and while they were not chewy really, they were tasty and hit the spot. Yum. I’ll be bageling my lunch this week, methinks. I can’t even remember the last time I ate one.

I keep thinking that I’m doing nothing very interesting, nor thinking anything very interesting, and so I’ve not been posting. I’ve got to work on that. Maybe just thinking more. Perhaps that would be a useful thing. Where on the web is the best source of world news? And US news? I tend to skip around and try to catch the evening news, but not find anything that I really like for a regular source of news. Suggestions?

 

 

 

Saturday, January 10th, 2015
the mucous recedes . . . ish

The cold is a lot better. I’m still coughing and my head is thick, but at least things are improving. I would like to be completely well, though. Just in case the cold germs want to just get the heck out of Dodge.

Boy of size got tons worse last night and today. Why? He snitched food he shouldn’t eat. He now regrets it. Hopefully the lesson is well learned.

I get to see several writer friends this week. Looking forward to that. I got the revision letter for Edge of Reason, yesterday. I’m looking forward to digging in. Hoping the revisions aren’t too horrible.

Been reading Alex Gordon’s Gideon. This the pseudonym of SF writer Kris Smith. She is more than a little bit talented. Her SF is some of the best I’ve ever read and this book is just engrossing. It’s amazing. Trust me. Pick it up. You won’t be sorry. Then tell all your friends.

Watched The Rock today, uncut. I love that movie. I especially love the song that plays at the end when they go to the church.

Hopefully that shows up so you can hear it. Though there are spoilers if you’ve never seen it.

And here’s a snippet from what I’ve been tinkering with:

Blaze halted before the door at the end of the corridor. He hated this place with all his being and he hated dealing with the man on the opposite side of the door even more. His body clenched and he forced himself to relax, aware of the cameras watching him from a half-dozen angles. Hagen always made him feel like a twelve year old boy caught with his hand in his pants. You’d think a diamond-ranked mage would have bigger balls than this. He scowled, wishing for a whiskey. Better yet, he wished he was back in Damascus where at least the torture was honest, and enemies didn’t pretend to be anything else.

 

 

Thursday, May 8th, 2014
Trace of Magic Snippet

I finally FINALLY finished my revision of Trace of Magic and sent it back to my editor. I really like it and hope that I’m right. Anyhow, in honor of finishing, here’s a snippet for you.

 

A week later, I walked into the Diamond City Diner a little after two in the afternoon. I’d spent the night before following a carpet cleaner who was stealing supplies from his boss. I’d slept a few hours after tracking him to his storage unit, then turned in my report and collected my fee. I hadn’t eaten since lunch the day before and I was starving.

Patti glared at me when I walked in. “You look like shit.”

I had not grounds to argue. I hadn’t been sleeping well the last week. Nancy Jane and her mother had been rescued alive. I should have been over the moon. Instead I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was very wrong. I spent hours reinforcing my nulls and I’d taken to carrying my gun everywhere I went, along with the Chinese baton I hid in my sleeve. I usually kept one or the other on me, but tended to leave them behind when I went shopping or to going to visit my family. Not any more.

“Thanks. I spent hours on this look.” I was wearing my hair in a ponytail, with my usual uniform of jeans, hiking boots, a long sleeved shirt, a heavy jacket, a hat, and gloves.

“It’s cold out there. Got anything to eat?” I asked, unzipping my coat and stuffing my gloves and hat into a pocket before hanging it on a hook fastened to the bench of my usual booth. A snow storm had moved in, the first of several to come, all piled up like cars stuck on an LA freeway. By the time they were done with Diamond City, we’d be buried.

“Hold your horses, Laraby.” Patti glared at the dentist who was waving a check at her. “I’ll be there in a second.” She grabbed a clean coffee cup off the counter and set it down in front of me and filled it. “I’ll get you something to eat.”

Ten minutes later she returned carrying a white oval plate mounded with an omelet, hashbrowns, pancakes, and a half dozen slices of bacon. I didn’t want an omelet, but Patti tended to get me what she thought I needed, not what I wanted. It was loaded with vegetables and cheese. Tasty, but not the burger and fries I was craving. Arguing wasn’t going to do me any good. I’d eat what I was given and try to look happy about it.

“Give me a few minutes,” she said. “We should slow down soon and I’ll join you. People are trying to get home before the weather gets too heavy.”

I glanced through the front window. Snow was falling in a thick curtain of fat flakes. Already the ground was white. I was willing to be there’d be an inch or two on the ground by the time I finished eating. Giving lie to her promise, the door jingled and half a dozen people came in, stomping their feet and dusting the snow off their clothing.

Patti zipped off to help them. I cleared my plate and immediately wanted a nap. I considered heading upstairs. Patti kept a room for me in her apartment. I spent two or three nights a week at the diner, sometimes more, depending on the jobs I had. Right now I didn’t have anything lined up. I was planning to hit the grocery store and go home and hole up until the storms blew themselves out.

I took my dishes to the bus tub, waving at Ben, Patti’s partner in the diner, through the kitchen window. I grabbed a pot of coffee and topped off my cup before sliding back into my seat. I didn’t bother looking up with the bell on the door rang again. I was checking the weather radar on my phone.

A shape loomed over me suddenly and Clay Price slid into the seat opposite me. My mouth dropped open. As far as I knew, he’d never even set foot in the diner before.

“What do you want?”

He slid my coffee out of my hand and took a sip, then eyed it in surprise. “That’s good,” he said.

“Not to mention it’s mine,” I said, eyeing him balefully.

He set the cup down, then ran his fingers through his hair. He was he carefully controlled type, so his gesture startled me. I examined him. He didn’t look any better than I did. His eyes were sunken and grooves cut deeply around him nose and mouth.

“You know, if you’re hungry, there are other tables. Empty tables,” I pointed out.

He sipped my coffee again. “But you’re not sitting at the other tables.”

A frisson of foreboding rippled through me. I shivered. It had nothing to do with cold. “You came looking for me?”

“I knew you were a smart woman.”

“Why?

He pulled a manila file from inside his leather jacket and set it on the table. “I want you to do a trace for me.”

Like I said before, my cardinal rule is not to be stupid. Taking a case working for Price—a cop and a Tyet enforcer–was the dictionary definition of stupid. Insane even. I didn’t even think before I said, “no.”

 

Friday, April 25th, 2014
accumulation of stuff

That title isn’t all that accurate. I’m not talking about actual stuff, but stuff I wanted to talk about. And life.

The first thing is odd. I was driving home from Norwescon and saw a billboard that said “Jesus died for your sins.” Not an unfamiliar saying, but my storytelling mind went instantly into what really happened. That people hated him. That they wanted to be rid of him. That there was plotting and intrigue of a Shakespearean quality, and then Jesus was set up, tortured, and killed. That’s the simple telling. Take his name out of it, and you could really play with the story, couldn’t you? I’d have loved to see Shakespeare tell it.

Another thing I thought about is plot stuff for the next Crosspointe book and the next Tracer book. The Crosspointe book is starting to really firm up plotwise. Oh, and I was listening to a song and I got to Costco and spent fifteen minutes scribbling in a notebook on a new Horngate something. I don’t know if it will go into one of the new novels, or if it will go into its own story. The song was Live’s “Lightning Crashes,” which is one of my favorite songs.

The girlie’s birthday is tomorrow, so I’m fetching cupcakes for her class and because I’m revising, I ordered her a cake. Oh, and I’m also sick. Not sure what it is. Some sort of odd virus. Anyhow, cooking is kind of unpleasant. It should pass soon. In the meantime, there is wrapping and did I mention revising?

So far on the revising I’m doing a lot of trimming and pushing on clarity. So far I haven’t made any huge cuts, but I expect to cut some scenes and tighten up others. When I get to them. I’m really pleased with the revisions thus far. I really hope you like this book. It’s alternate history urban fantasy noir and it’s first person and it’s very different from Horngate. I can’t wait to hear how you like it. (I say I can’t wait, but really I could wait if you hate it.)

The dog was sick yesterday with me. Had to run him to the vet. He was bleeding from his bottom. He’s okay. No tumors or anything. Maybe colitis, or maybe that his glands were full and irritated. Anyhow, he had his glands expressed and is on antibiotics. He seems pretty chipper, so I’m not going to worry. Yanno, because it’s so easy to just not worry.

Boy is still sick. New meds this week. All tests still normal. Poor kid.

Next con is Miscon. It’s my favorite. Small and well-run and an an amazing crowd. The hotel is super welcoming and basically, it’s a homecoming. BTW, Norwescon responded to me and said they are working on fixing the book dealer situation. That’s wonderful and that will make them a nearly perfect con.

Saturday, April 12th, 2014
Bad movie watching

Watched Pitch Perfect. Far more bad language than anticipated, but the girlie loved the music and dancing and there were some moments of fun. Watching Battleship now. Same thing. Moments of fun, lots of action, and humor. Good cast. Not a great movie. But fun on a Saturday night if you don’t look too closely at the plot. The chompy whirley wheel things are awesome. I kind of want the Taylor Kitsch character to morph into Gambit. That would be pretty awesome, wouldn’t it?

Tried to do some clothes shopping this morning for Norwescon. I didn’t like anything I was able to find, but I did come home with some stuff for an upcoming child birthday and also some very bright and pretty couch pillows. They are also comfortable to nap on, as I was forced to take one today. Am not feeling that great. Not sure if it’s stress or something else. Not horrible, but tired and my intestines are a little unfriendly.

The Boy of size continues to be very very sick. He’s getting a test on Tuesday at stupid early thirty, but I’ll take it. Anything to help him. The doc increased the dose of the new medicine, but still no real effect. It takes time to build in the system, so I hold out hope.j

We cut down birch trees in the back today. Three of them. The next thing will be to get the rest of the bushes taken out, the vegetable and herb beds built, and then plant some fruiting things. Maybe an apple tree, some blueberry bushes, maybe raspberries. Girlie really wants raspberries and I would love the blueberries. Also, a friend knows about grafting and has some lovely plums, and so I’m hoping he’ll graft a plum onto our tree. He also gave me some corkscrew willow cuttings so I’m going to see about getting one into a pot. I would like to keep it dwarf sized. Bonsai sort of thing. But not super tiny like an actual bonsai.

Yesterday I did some good walking, less today. Dogs were exhausted but happy. I am going to have to go “tennising” with my girlie tomorrow. She’s eager. Mostly it will involve some short volleys, but we’ll have fun.

Plus I will be revising. Somewhere in there. Along with hugging barfy boy who is miserable.