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Archive for May, 2012

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
Oh Hell Yeah

The Blood Winter Cover:

Have you preordered yet? how can you not?

Monday, May 28th, 2012
Home again

I’m so tired. Tired tired tired.

But I had a great time at Miscon.

Taking up where I left off, the Urban Fantasy Noir panel went better than I thought. One panelist didn’t show, so it was just me and Kevin Noel Olson. Even though I was afraid we’d run out of stuff to say, it turned out really well and we had standing room only. Then I was off to a panel on the nature of Monsters with GRRM, Peter Orullian (my first time meeting him and he has gorgeous long black hair. Wow). Anyhow, there was also Bob Davis, a historian. I got to be moderator, and I thought that panel turned out really well. it was outside on a little stage and there were a lot of people.

From there, a bunch of us went to eat at the Montana club and I got to know Jon Pitts and Anne Gimble a fair bit more. Then back to the hotel where the corgis attracted a lot of attention and learned of a book of great amusement and great competition for Eye of Argon. We read it with much amusement. And with great emotion. Fun.

Eventually I ended up in bed and got up early Sunday. That day wasn’t as busy. I managed to attend a reading but Sue Bolich, Brenda Carre, and Anne Gimble. I also did a reading of my own (which was well attended, thank you so much!) and then I did a panel on the art of revision, which again was packed. After that, we went out with Sue and stuffed ourselves silly and drank too much Cold Smoke (one of the best beers ever). That was followed by attending Sue’s book launch party, then returning to the dining area in order to hang out. We were quite silly and I laughed a lot.

Eventually I went to bed again and up stupid early this morning. Got packed, got the truck loaded, went to breakfast, then I picked up this gorgeous piece I bought at the art show by Tiffany Toland-Scott. Here’s an image of it. I love it. Had to have it. Oh, and there was a book signing in there too, with a whole bunch of us.

I then signed stock for Lady Jayne of Lady Jayne’s books, and was off to my panel on Urban Fantasy with Jon Pitts. That was followed by the last panel of the day, the lore of swords, with GRRM, Ruth Frey, Jon Pitts, and me. I learned things and believe it or not, there was some sunshine.

This is us:

At that point, I gathered up the family and dogs and headed home, and I tried very hard not to fall asleep. That would be bad. Next year the writing guests will be Jim and Shannon Butcher, plus Carol Berg. It’s going to be terrific. You might want to think of attending, and getting your memberships and hotel reservations very soon.

Also, I will have pictures later. And I got a picture of me in the iron throne (Game of Swords) but I have to wait to get those back from the con photographer.

So now I’m home. I have to get my revision finished and I have to get the trailer all ready for travel out to Oregon and I have to get the house ready for us to be away, which means getting the housewatcher up to speed and make arrangements for mowing and for watering. Sleep may not come any time soon.

Saturday, May 26th, 2012
Greetings from Miscon


I’m currently attending Miscon and it’s slightly overcase, a bit sprinkly, and tons of fun.

It’s also very crowded. This is what happens when GRRM attends a con. The unhappy news is that Patty and Mike Briggs both came down with a nasty bug and aren’t able to attend. So I’m missing seeing them. However there are a ton of other old and new friends that I’m getting to see and that’s hugely enjoyable.

I got here yesterday with the kids and set about getting ensconced in the hotel and getting registered. Then I went to the writers workshop meet and greet, followed by a panel on Mystery crossing over into Genre. On that panel was Maggie Bonham, Steve Fahnestalk, JA Pitts, and me. It was a good panel, though it felt a bit meandery. Then we went to dinner with a bunch of friends at the Irish place a couple of parkinglots away. It was excellent food and conversation and I got to see S.A. Bolich and Andrea and Jeff How, all of which I haven’t seen in at least a year, and Brenda Carre, who I haven’t seen since . . . well, it’s been a few years. I tried to absorbe some house selling vibes from her, since she just sold hers.

Then it was back to the hotel room where the kids, the man, the dogs and I goofed off and eventually slept. Both dogs and the girlie ended up in bed with me. How does that happen? So I’m dragging.

Then up early for breakfast and for the writers workshop. It was a really good group. And then I snuck out for a bite and came back and did a panel on writing realistic languages in fantasy and sf with George RR Martin, and Jim Glass. That was fun. George is very funny. Next up is a panel on Urban Fantasy Noir, and then the next is on Monsters, both of which will be very very cool. I’m doing my level best to stay out of the dealer’s room, but I hear things calling my name. I’m so trying not to answer.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

I finished doing all the critiques for the Writers Workshop at Miscon. The workshop is free for writers and most of the attending pros do critiques. So if you went to Miscon, you could get critiqued by me, or Patty Briggs, among many others, or I think this year GRRM will be participating. Not sure though. Anyhow, I like to be detailed, so I spend a fair bit of time on each. I type out my comments and they usually are 3-4 single space pages long. It’s all content oriented–I’m not interested in talking grammar at this point, unless is seriously egregious (I didn’t get any stuff like that). I don’t think writers want to hear about grammar either.

I also made my head purple. Very purple. More purple than I planned for. Now I have to pack me, the kids, the dogs, and get on the road in the morning. In the meantime, I’m revising.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
Blood Winter snippet

“Just because you’re winning don’t mean you’re the lucky one.” Guns N Roses

Now the snippet:

“Let’s get these bodies in the ground. Simon, go bring back the backhoe.”

As the others obeyed, she and Alexander wandered around, accompanied by Beyul and Spike. They came to the spot where the red-haired preacher had suddenly appeared. Max stared at the broad circle of red dust on the dirt road, then squatted and touched it, rubbing it between her fingers. Where it touched, it didn’t come off.

Beyul sniffed it and padded through it. None of it clung to him. Spike sneezed and edged carefully around the circle.
Slowly Max stood and looked up at Alexander. Her expression was troubled. “This stuff is all over Horngate. It’s all over us. Somehow he got inside the mountain. Before the wards broke. He got in without tripping any alarms.”

“How is that possible?” Alexander asked, unease prickling along his neck.

Max shook her head. “That’s just it, Slick. It isn’t.” She looked back down at her fingers. “What the fuck are we dealing with?”

Monday, May 21st, 2012
Of chickens and revision

Today I got a call from a friend who’d been attacked by a wooden chicken while cleaning and ended up with two broken bones, a chipped bone, and some ligament issues in one of her hands. This same friend is going to have significant surgery on Thursday. She tells me that it’s my fault. That my clod genes are catching, sort of like the flu. I’d like to tell her she’s totally wrong. Sadly, she might be right. Did I pass my clod cooties to her? Or was it a sign from above (it fell from above)? Or, did she make the singular and unholy mistake of cleaning? Was that the issue? I think maybe so. Anyhow, went to see her after the hospital visit, I gave her a bag of ice, wished her happy birthday, and laughed uproariously at her. I’m that way.

In the meantime, I’ve been revising. This is what it’s like. I am doing things to the front of the book, which, like cracks in a windshield, spread out through the book. Then I make more corrections, attempt to fix more cracks, and more cracks happen, digging further into the book. Rinse and repeat. (Am I madly mixing the metaphors or what?)

Anyhow, the process is a bit terrifying, since I’m not entirely certain that I’ll catch all the inconsistencies and cracks, or that the fixes I’m making are causing irreparable faults later in the manuscript. So what now crops up is a clash between getting the revisions done and terror of doing them wrong. I’m trying not to freeze solid.

In the meantime, hopefully I won’t be attacked by any wooden chickens.

Friday, May 18th, 2012
What is True

I’m linking this to Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. It’s brilliant. It’s inspiring. And as I’m working on this revision, it reminds me what the writing is and should be about. Today, I needed this.

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
Hopeful news

It looks like there’s a publisher who may be interested in the Crosspointe books. If so, we’re looking at seeing an end to the series! Wahoo!

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
How a book is born

This is an infographic on how a book is born. Beverage warning.

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
manners and lack thereof

Guster, the rescue corgi, has now gone on to his home with my parents. He will hopefully be very happy. He’s a loving dog, but really scared after all the clear abuse he must have had from his former people. I’d really like to kick them around a little. But anyhow. Back to the subject.

Gus is a really athletic corgi and he was willing to jump on any furniture at any time. And now . . . Voodoo is doing the same. He no longer cares if he asked. He just bounces up and then rolls around on the couch with evident delight. Or jumps up and walks across my laptop keyboard and lays down, covering one or all of the following: one arm, both arms, half the keyboard, all the keyboard, the touchpad, and the screen.

Is it bad manners if he’s so cute that you can’t stop him?

Now that’s bad enough, but Viggo has begun shoving the kids off my lap if he wants to lay there. He jumps up and lumps on top of them and licks until they have to retreat.

I believe both dogs have begun calling my laptop: The Interloper. Or possibly: The Invader. Both seem to hurry to get to my lap before it can get there.

In other news, I could probably make a dozen pillows from the hair they are losing. These are small dogs. Where the heck is it all coming from?

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