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Archive for June, 2012

Saturday, June 30th, 2012
It’s hot

Sticky, sweaty, and nasty hot. Okay, not as hot as many other people, but I’m a heat wimp. W.I.M.P.

Yesterday a friend from Salem drove all the way out here to surprise me. I was! It’s so very nice to have her here. Tomorrow we go dig crystals at Crystal Park. It’s a lot of fun and quite a treasure hunt for the kids. Adults too. Taking a ton of water and some gatorade, so hopefully won’t pass out. But it is a dirty dirty trip.

I will tell you how the treasure hunt goes.

More later.

Thursday, June 28th, 2012
Progress is Progressing

The past few days I’ve been herding cats, er, kids. I’ve had a spare one over and we’ve been playing a fair bit and swimming and now there’s peace and quiet. For now. Because mine are asleep. It’s been hot too, and the winds have been blowing hard, and we’ve had fires not far from here. Not as bad as Colorado, but bad enough. We came close to getting some rain today, but it didn’t get here. Sadly.

As I mentioned before, I’m working on a new book, epic fantasy, and have been putting together the preliminary outline and character descriptions. Most of that is done as far as I can go for now, but now I have to start doing the writing. That’s a bit tough, mostly because picking out a starting point is really tough sometimes. I have quite a few characters in this one, and a spectrum of things that are going on. This is a book that might take a lot of trial and error to make work.

This one is going to be a challenge to write and that’s always terrifying. It is going to stretch me for sure. I like that. I learn and grow as a writer when I really push myself. I usually push myself in all my books in different ways. But this one is going to be pushing on a number of levels. I’m really excited about the story and looking forward to writing. And getting it right.

On the subject of so called Obamacare, I’m just not sure how I feel. Mostly that’s because I really don’t know how it’s going to pan out. I had a lot of high hopes when they actually began to tackle healthcare reform and the point of federal fraud in the health care industry, but I feel that the real problems weren’t addresses, like torte reform, and issues with costs of malpractice insurance and the need to perform excess tests so they don’t get sued. Anyhow, I had hopes, and I just don’t know if this reform package will actually help. The hype on either side is all jockeying for votes, and so worthless. I’m going to continue to hope it’s helpful rather than destructive, because I can do little else. And I’m going to try hard not to get sick.

Oh, and Viggo, one of the corgis, killed a robin this morning. The bird didn’t fly away and the dog, while somewhat quick, shouldn’t have been able to catch it. Anyhow, afterwards he was insufferably proud of himself and strutting around like he was tough (he’s a chicken). Now he’s curled up on the couch resting on his laurels.

Monday, June 25th, 2012
Being Fair

Since I did a post yesterday on my son and washing dishes, I figure I should be fair on what happened this morning.

Kids did the following:

emptied dishwasher
Closed the windows
fed the dogs
fed themselves
scooped dog poop in the yard
mowed the lawn
picked up pinecones from the front yard (wind drops hundreds a week)

So they can be super helpful.

Sunday, June 24th, 2012
No. Dishes do not magically wash themselves

Boy: Mom, we’re all out of clean spoons.
Me: So wash some.
Boy: Could we use forks?
Me: Use spoons. Wash them.
Boy: *confused*
Me: take the sponge, put soap on it, wash.
Boy: But they’re all in the dishwasher
Me: And?
Boy: This is disgusting
Me: *rolls eyes*

Friday, June 22nd, 2012
Things I didn’t know

So I’m waatching American Pickers and I’m learning something. First, I didn’t realize that they had to use head clamps on people in early photos on account of how long it took to take the photo–15-30 minutes. Now I knew the photos took awhile, but hadn’t realized headclamps were used. Can you imagine getting that picture taken? Explains why so many people didn’t smile. It would be hard to hold it for long enough without moving.

Then they said that since people couldn’t really afford pictures, a lot of the only pics they had were taken postmortem. Those people were often photographed braced up also (braces hidden). Now I’m looking at those old pics wondering is the people are dead. I expect the truth is in the eyes.

I used to go to auctions and antique stores just see the stuff and learn about history. I miss it. When I was in Oregon, I went into one and learned a whole lot about some different things. It’s so cool. I love that stuff. In Montana, there aren’t as many shops or old stuff like that. I think it’s because people coming here had to dump everything but what was absolutely necessary and so there just isn’t as much stuff. Not like in the midwest, or in even in Oregon where ships could bring more things for people.

I also love old buildings and old architecture. It’s one of the reasons I love my house. It’s a 1917 Crafstman bungalow and has a lot of interesting woodwork and built ins.

Thursday, June 21st, 2012
A good cause

A really good cause. If you can’t donate, then please boost the signal.

Thursday, June 21st, 2012
Writering angst

I’m working on another project, working title Soul Mage. It’s traditional fantasy. Here’s the Pinterest board on it if you’re interested. Anyhow, I had the entire thing plotted and was starting to write the initial chapters, when another character stepped onto the stage, bringing a whole lot of other baggage and interesting complications. So right now I’m going through my character descriptions and developing each of them in specific.

What I’ve run into is that the character who stepped onto the stage turns out to be extremely fascinating, complex, and I’m not sure I’m going to be able to like him. He did something very bad. Very. I get why, but I’ll tell you what. When I wrote that bit I wanted to backtrack and change it. No, he didn’t really know what he was doing. But then I realized that it’s far more powerful if he did. If he knowingly made that choice. I gotta say, though, this takes me out of my comfort zone. I’ve also got some other bad stuff happening with characters. Tough things.

One of the things that I know as a writer is that whenever something makes you uncomfortable, that’s the time to press harder on it and make it hurt. That’s where the power is and that’s where a lot of interesting things happen. It’s much easier to shy away from it and shift it so that it isn’t as bad, but that robs you as the writer and it robs the readers and it robs the story. Pursue the painful. Don’t duck it.

That said, this is going to be hard to write. Not just subject-wise, but to keep myself pushing at that element and not ducking it, and also to do it justice.

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
I’m still alive. Really.

I know, not a lot of stuff here lately. That’s because I’ve been trying to revise the book. And once that was done and I crawled out of my cave, apparently people wanted to see me. Who knew? I got to go to Agate Beach on the Oregon coast to see the Japanese dock that had washed up. They had burned off all the vegetation because there was concern about invasive species. It was pretty cool. I took a ton of pictures, but haven’t downloaded any yet.

Did a lot of walking and went to a bunch of parks. BIG parks. I accidentally took the kids and dogs on a 5 mile walk one day. We had no idea that trail would be that long. It was lovely, but I did wish for some water. No, I didn’t take any. I thought I was going for a quick walk. oops.

Then I drove back from Salem to Missoula (600 miles) in one day, with the kids and dogs, and then the rest of the way today. I’m tired. Like someone swatted me with a fly swatter. Oh, snuck into Costco too. Got berries and veggies. Love blueberries!!! After I got home, had to go grocery shopping. Now I want to tip over.

I will now find my groove again and maybe get some writing done. Oh, yeah, do all the other stuff that needs doing.

What have you been up to lately?

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012
The cutting room floor

I finished the revisions of Blood Winter. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your perspective, I cut a whole lot and added a whole lot. At least half of the book is new. There’s a whole other blog post to be written about that. For now, I wanted to post a scene that I loved and could not save. It just didn’t fit, along with many others. I hope you enjoy:

Alexander’s teeth clamped on the spoon and he felt the metal bend and perforate. Slowly he pulled it out of his mouth. “Yes,” he said. What did Oz know? What had she told him? Giselle did not actually like Alexander much either. She was willing to use him, mostly because she had no choice, but because she had won him from another witch, and because she could not control him the way she could Oz, she did not trust him.

“Get out of the way, you mountain of testosterone,” came Lise’s voice from behind Oz.

Alexander grinned as Oz staggered forward and then whipped around. Lise stood behind him, unfazed by the violence rippling through his body. She stood five foot nine with a delicate face and a slender body. Her burnished walnut hair fell about her shoulders in rich waves.

Not long ago, she had been turned into something resembling hamburger by a rising Fury. Alexander could not look at her now without the memory of her mangled form filling his mind. It put him more on edge. He should have protected her, not that he could have.

Logic did not matter. He should have done better.

She glared at the three men, her eyes brilliant blue. “Holy shit, how can you three breathe with all that male hormones flying around in here?” She waved a hand in front of her face to disperse invisible fumes.

Thor chuckled. “Don’t look at me. I don’t have a rooster in this fight.”

“Cock,” she corrected. “And I’ve not yet met a man who doesn’t have his in every fight,” she said. “Don’t feel bad that yours is just smaller than the other cocks on the playground,” she said with syrupy sweetness, patting his shoulder in mock sympathy.

Thor snorted and choked on his peanut butter.

Alexander grinned despite himself and Oz chuckled as Thor bent double, great coughs bellowing his ribs.

“Someday that mouth of yours is going to get you in real trouble,” Oz said to Lise, reaching out to take a power bar from the cupboard.

“What else is new?” she said. “Is someone going to give him mouth to mouth or something? Before he dies?”

“Not me,” Oz said, biting into the bar. “I’m not kissing him.”

“Nor I,” Alexander said, licking peanut butter off the spoon, forcing his tense muscles relax.

“Well don’t look at me,” she said, brushing imaginary lint off the front of her shirt. “I don’t kiss men. Women taste better, smell better, and they are soft in all the right places.”

“Can’t argue with that,” Oz said with a wolfish grin.

“Nor can I,” Alexander said, humor rising up through the shroud of worry that encased him.

Thor at last straightened, his voice raspy. “I wouldn’t want any of you kissing me anyhow. Specially Lise. She’d probably bite off my tongue.”

She patted his butt. “No probablies about it, Tex. Now, aren’t you two supposed to be getting into bed? Dawn is just about to break. If you fry inside the RV, we’ll never get it clean.”

“You’re concern for us is overwhelming,” Thor said, grabbing a jug of lemonade and sweeping up the rest of his food hoard into his arms.

“Somebody has to care,” Lise said with a pirate smile. “Where are we?”

Alexander explained. “Do try to hurry,” he added. Then as an afterthought, “but do not drive us into trouble.”

“Can’t have it both ways,” she said airily as she pulled a hunk of cheese out of the small refrigerator. She whipped out one of her knives and sliced off a piece, as she headed to the driver’s seat. “Either you want to go fast or you want to go safe. Which will it be?”

Friday, June 8th, 2012
Queen of the Iron Throne

While at Miscon, I got to sit on the Iron Throne. Here are a couple of the pics. All Hail and Obey me!

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