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Archive for 'Horngate'

Thursday, November 17th, 2016
The Cutting Room Floor

I’m working on a Horngate story for an anthology. It is a Giselle/Shoftiel story–no Max. I cut this today and figured you might like to see it:

Salt Lake City still looked like itself, though now the sulfurous stench of the lake was replaced by fumes of tar. Shoftiel rolled down his window, sucking in deep breaths as his deprived senses rejoiced.

The closer they came to the city, the more he realized that in fact, it had changed. One of the biggest changes came in the shape of jewel-colored drakes circling above, some carrying riders. Vines climbed up every building and dripped in curtains. Other plants clung to whatever surface they could find. Trees grew sideways with leaves from every color of the rainbow.

Many of the building had turned into giant trees or tall pillars of salt. Others look like melted candles, some of which had molded together. While he watched, a squat brick lump of a building got up on seven thick yellow elephant-like legs and walked off toward the shimmering rainbow mountains, settling down on top of a broad, flat-topped place covered in brilliant scarlet fur. Or perhaps it was some kind of fairy grass.

On the right, the tar bog spread out like a great, black quagmire. Heat waves rose from it, distorting the air. Hummocks and islands scattered thickly over its gleaming surface and boats poled through the tarways between.
They continued south, passing the former airport. This was now a field of bushes. They were heavy with long, fuzzy pink fruits. Or vegetables.

“What are those?” he asked, no expecting an answer.

“They call ‘em pinktails. Pretty good. Tart. Green on the inside like kiwis but with big red seeds running down the middle. The fuzz is used to make cloth. It’s a lot like cotton.”

Giselle continued to play tour guide. Shoftiel’s curiosity was insatiable and he peppered her with questions.

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014
Book Pricing

It’s come to my attention that the paper versions of Shadow City and Blood Winter have now become much more expensive. As in, around $22 dollars. I feel like I need to address this. First, you should know that I don’t have any say in pricing. I never had and doubt I ever will, unless I self-publish. It’s all up to the publisher. You might be wondering why, if the books originally priced at $7.99, why are they suddenly now almost three times that? To be honest, I’m not entirely certain. They will be available using Print on Demand (or POD) technology. I’m not sure what the costs involved in that are compared to the mass market price. It does seem strangely high to me, but again, I don’t know the ins and outs. I am just sorry that readers will be asked to pay such a high price. The price of ebooks remains quite reasonable, so that’s a positive. Unfortunately, the cost is higher to you, and also to me, insomuch as I can’t imagine a lot of these pricey books will sell.

Trade paper is obviously more expensive. These will be of a trade paper size, I believe.

I’m told that this is happening to a lot of books across the board, so a lot of writers are stuck with this pricing, though it’s the first time it’s happened to me. It also means that in time it could happen to more of my books. Anyhow, I wanted all of you to be aware of this, and also that authors have absolutely no say whatsoever in the matter. It’s entirely the publisher’s choice.

I thank each and every one of you who spend your precious money and time on my books. I endeavor to the best job I now how to do so that it’s worth it.

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 5th, 2014
A Horngate Witches Announcement

I’m super pleased and over the moon to be able to tell you that Samhain Publishing has contracted to publish two more books in the Horngate Witches series! The titles will be Bone Dreams and Stone Thaw. I’ll be writing them in 2015, and I’m not sure when the release will be. But so excited!!!! I hope you are too.

In other news, boy is still sick. More tests in the offing. He’s also trying a new drug.

We went to the first day of the Saturday market today. It was lovely. Lots of starts for the garden and a lot of greens and radishes and that sort of thing. A little bit overcast, but very nice. We need to make beds before we can start planting, so we went to the lumber store to check the cost. I really want to try this thing out, but it’s expensive: The Garden Tower Project.  Anybody have opinions? I like the idea of the composting and worms. The other idea for strawberries we are considering is something like this: raingutters.


Monday, January 27th, 2014
at the end of the weekend

Technically today is the end of the weekend, because there was no school today for the kids. Well, the boy hasn’t been having any school anyhow. We are working on getting him qualified for a special medical accommodations program, and that’s in the works. Anyhow, we did some errands to get the boy outside and to get some things done. I’m getting some pictures framed, including the crap fairy by Jessica Douglas. This is the fairy who sits there and tells you your work is crap  and you should stop and find a new line of work. I totally wish I could own the original, but I did get a little print of it and so she will be framed. I also framed this really old print by a guy whose name is escaping me, but I will tell you when I get it back. I think it’s a print. Heck, it could be original for all I know. I just like it. I also got a print of Wicked Girls (the song) by Seanan McGuire.  I totally love the print, and it’s going to be lovely framed.

Then we got home and boy was somewhat okay but had some bouts of throwing up. I think he threw up about 3 or 4 times today. We’re trying out another medicine, and if that doesn’t work, we’ll be doing some more tests.

I totally forgot what happened to Giselle’s parents and I need help remembering. Anybody? Help?

We sold our futon, for which I’m very happy. They will pick it up tomorrow. We will then clean the carpet and we’ll be getting a couple of new couches in on Thursday. We also got some used chairs this weekend, which pretty much rounds out our furniture needs. Now to do a little painting and finish hanging up pictures, and the place is starting to feel more like we live here. Amazing what getting pictures up will do.

I need to get on the elliptical tomorrow. I need to get it all cleaned up. I’ve been out walking and not using it, but now the rain is setting in and I want to get more aerobic exercise (lately I’ve been walking slow on account of kids and dogs). So hopefully I’ll get more going there. Also hopefully, I’ll get a bunch of writing related stuff done tomorrow.

I need to find a baby blanket crochet pattern to make. I want to find one I like. I tend to want to make one solid color in a cool pattern, but not sure what I want that pattern to be. I’m so so at reading patterns. Anybody have ideas?

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.

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
Story plans and life implosion

You all have not made it at all easy to make a choice about what story to write. You know that don’t you? Is that on purpose? Are you trying to drive me crazy? That is, crazier? I think what I will do is make a plan to write several Horngate stories/novellas this year. Without knowing what will be happening in my life, it’s tough to plan, and not knowing what I will have to be working on as far as deadlines makes that worse. Plus I’m working on another novel proposal. All the same, I want to keep busy and do some more exploring of the Horngate world. What will I work on first? I don’t know.

On the life implosion front, my dad has an arrhythmia. According to the doc he has a valve issue. They are going to do an angiogram to see what’s causing it and to also look at the bypasses he had in 1995. It was a six way bypass. If there are no problems with those, then they will take measurements and later go back and install a new valve through the artery (an angio procedure). If the bypasses are problematic, they will do open heart surgery and fix things. Or so the plan is now without having an inside look. My dad is 83 with a pacemaker. So I’m just a little bit concerned. As in, freaking out and trying not to because really, none of this will happen until late in May or into June. Hard to sustain panic for that long, so I guess I’ll have to nurse it. Sigh.

Don’t forget we’re having our Turn of Light Discussion this Saturday. Have you been reading????

Monday, April 8th, 2013
Horngate question

So my friends, if you were going to read a Horngate story, what would you want it to be about? I want to write one, but I can’t seem to settle on one choice. It’s like a box full of shinies and I keep thinking this one, but wait! What about–? And Oh, Oh! What about–? In response to such, I come to you to ask. Who would you like me to write about? Here are some I’ve thought of:

  • An early Xaphan Story
  • An early Tutresiel story
  • An early Niko, Tyler, Oz, Max, Alexander . . . story
  • A Giselle story
  • What happens after Blood Winter.
  • Something with Scooter or Ilanion.

See what I mean? And you probably have others. Maybe you have something really specific. Ready? Go!

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012
A cutting from Blood Winter

This is is the epilogue that got cut from Blood Winter. I don’t believe there are any spoilers, since this never happened. But I’d love for it to happen down the road.

She woke hungry. She sat up. She was on top of a stone table. The room around her was round. Around her were shapes on the floor. She was at the center of a triangle within a triangle within a circle. The points of the interior held fat black candles and the circle outside was lined with red ones. Her brows drew together. She knew what that was. Why couldn’t she remember?

She wrinkled her nose. So many smells. They crowded in her, overwhelming her senses. Her head throbbed. She rubbed a hand over her leg and then looked down at herself in surprise. She was naked. For a fleeting moment she felt the urge to cover herself. Then she tossed her hair back and squared her shoulders. She had no reason to be embarrassed. She was hot and she knew it.

Not that anybody was watching. The room was empty but for her. She hopped down off the stone slab and started across the room. At the edge of the triangle she ran into an invisible wall and staggered back.

“What the fuck?” she said and her voice seemed loud in the chamber.

She knotted her hand into a fist and bounced it off the air before it. She was imprisoned. She walked around the triangle, trailing her fingers along the invisible wall. There was no door, no window.

“Hey! Let me out of here!”

No on answered.

Fury burst into flames inside her. She kicked at the wall. She felt her leg break. She hopped away with a screech of pain. Then wonder grew as the pain vanished and she healed. She walked back and forth, testing her leg.

“Holy shit. Holy fucking shit,” she murmured.

She sat back down on the table, thinking. Memory stirred and came flooding back. She remembered who she was. She remembered Sterling and the angel. They had done things to her . . .

Tory looked around at the chamber. Where were they? She glanced down again at the floor. She was back at Horngate; she was sure of it. Why did they have her locked up?

Her anger rose again, made worse by the hunger chewing on her backbone. She leaped down, striding at the invisible wall.
“Let me out! I’m hungry! I’m not a fucking prisoner!”

She pounded against the wall.

Heat ignited along her hand. Pain ate down into the bones of her hand and she screamed. Anger roared into rage.
She was not going to let some stupid bitch of a witch keep her locked up. She hit harder, no longer caring about or feeling the pain.

The wall exploded.

The concussion flung Tory backward across the table. Agony unwound through her back. She couldn’t breath. Tears cascaded down her cheeks as she fought for breath. Then she lifted her hand. It was wreathed in red smoke. It coiled around her fingers. She sat up slowly and set her hand on the table.

Nothing happened.

She frowned. Then she had another idea. “Burn,” she told it softly.

The red smoke outlined her hand and sank down into the table. Instantly her palm heated and flamed flickered upward. It didn’t hurt.
Tory pulled her hand away and watched the flames flicker and then die, leaving behind a blackened handprint pushed half and inch into the rock. She touched her finger to the ash residue inside. It crumbled away.

She smiled slowly.

No one would ever push her around again.