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Archive for August, 2013

Friday, August 30th, 2013
On the Road

We are visiting family. It’s been both wonderful and really hard. The man’s mom has lost most of her memory. I don’t know if it’s Alzheimers or dementia. But she doesn’t know anyone and it’s just damned sad. We visited her and it was so very hard. On the other hand, we’ve been able to see other family and there’s been a horde of corgis. That’s been truly fun. Went swimming today. I hate goggles, but might have to figure out how to wear them comfortably because my eyes are blurry after opening my eyes under water. The pool was a saltwater pool. Anyhow, I hope they unblur soon.

Oh, cut my legs shaving. Yeah. I’m a goof.

The drive her was good and I got some ideas for the WIP. Some of them vanished before I could write them down, dammit. I’ll have to try to recapture.

I am now snuggling corgis.

Monday, August 26th, 2013
hairy questions

Since moving here, my hair has developed more curl, thanks to having some humidity. My hair is overly long in the front and yet it’s just now getting to be the length where I can put it up. It looks fairly awful, and I’m a wash and wear sort. Here is me with hair.

meI’m trying to decide if I let it grow longer and maybe decide what to do then, or get it cut and stop being  shaggy. Here’s me looking quite goofy. Notice how long the bangs are and often drift down in the eyes. (trust me with your chocolate. Doooo eeeet!) me againObviously, the bangs in the eyes thing could get annoying. At the same time, I don’t really like the kewpie doll look ( was going to put in a picture, but OMG! Those things are freaking scary! Worse than clowns! Why are there no horror movies about them?) But to clarify, kewpie hair is when you put a little pony tail tuft right on top of your head like so: (clearly I have no sense of pride here) kewpieSo what to do? I used to perm my hair, but that means money and also redoing it regularly and I kinda like wash and wear and that sort of thing. I’m not overly concerned with chopping it in a bad cut. Hair grows. But I really need to be able to put it up because I am a heat wimp and getting it off my neck really helps. I think if I get the front cut, I’ll end up with a mullet. And wow, my face is really red. A reason I don’t wear makeup much. The power of my natural blush defeats most foundations. Or I have to slather it on like mortar. What’s the point? I’ll just look merrily drunk.

Sunday, August 25th, 2013
The Busy, It Hurts

Well, not really painful. The only major pain is we had to cross some stuff off the fun things to do list, which was sad. Yesterday I took the kids to the state fair while my husband worked OT. He met us up at noon thirty, and we wandered about and rode some rides and then we went to his company picnic. It was at the fair. They’d reserved this oak picnic grove and catered it. Pretty good. They also paid our way into the fair and gave us some ride tix. I then abandoned the man and children and ran to my signing with Devon Monk. It was absolutely wonderful. We did a Q and A session and people were so lovely.

Today we dragged ourselves out of bed and went shopping. We went to an estate sale, where we bought nothing. Then off to the Mac Store to ask questions and come away with a new iPad. Then lunch and Costco, where we bought about 5 things, and got new phones. The phones took FOREVER. We now have new numbers that I have to remember. And tell people about. I’m sure I will forget people. I will try not to. Trouble is, when I want to go in and do a mass text, the phone (Samsung Galaxy 3S) brings a lot of stuff from my gmail. Including email addresses of anybody I may have ever had email from or sent to. Um. WTF? So I haven’t been able to do that.

I have spent many hours goofing on the iPad and trying to figure out the phone. It is very smart. More so than I. Dammit.

I have to find somewhere to cut the kids’ hair. Tomorrow. I also need to do about a billion other things and hopefully I will also get some writing done. That’s the most important thing. We are going to visit family for a few days later this week. So I also have to pack and roust children and dogs.

Friday, August 23rd, 2013
Book signing and other updatery

Today the kidlets and I met our friend Joyce at Champoeg State Park. It’s lovely. I wish we’d had bikes with us to take advantage of the trails. We took a good walk and got to make twine out of cedar bark and also made a rose. The woman teaching it is a multi-generation baketweaver and is part native American, though I can’t remember which tribe.

After we did that, we toured through some of the historical areas including a lovely kitchen garden. And then we went to the general store for ice cream. It was a lovely day. The weather was cool. The oak grove was gorgeous.

Tomorrow we go to the state fair. Sadly, the man will have to join us late as he has to work. The company picnic is at the fair, so the company bought us tickets. It will be nice, but he’s going to be exhausted when he get there, not to mention sore. He’s already put in 48 hours this week. I’ll be snitching out in the afternoon to go sign books (info on that below). But the bad thing is that I’ll be all disheveled, dusty, sweaty, and otherwise not in the best of shape after wandering the fair. So I hope it goes okay. And that brings me to:

Tomorrow (Saturday) at 4:00, Devon Monk and I will be signing books at Escape Fiction Books in Salem, Oregon. I hope to see some of you there!

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
Writing post

Because yes.

How to Publish Your Book

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
Thinky thoughts

I interviewed for teaching as an adjunct at the local community college last week. I wasn’t nervous. Part of the reason why is that I hadn’t planned on getting a job (and this is one class–not full time or anything). Because I wasn’t nervous and because I didn’t feel like I had to get this, I just decided to go with who I am and what I know and my skills and experience. What a concept, right? It turns out when I’m not under pressure, I’m perfectly confident in myself. I know I’m good at teaching. I love talking about it, and so I was able to talk with my interviewer with comfort and ease and just enjoy the conversation.

I got the job.

I was thinking about how this experience translates into writing. Most writers I know have imposter syndrome. We’re sure we suck. On one level, we know we are good, because we are getting published. But on another level, publishing is such a heartbreaking and vicious business that you can lose a publisher quickly. Your numbers aren’t good enough, so you’re done. But then, the new world of publishing is self/indie publishing, where you can reach readers more directly. You invest in yourself and you find out directly how readers are like or don’t like your writing. Either they are buying and reading, or they are not. Unless of course they don’t know about you and you have trouble getting the word out. But that’s another issue altogether.

Okay, so what happens when you don’t have the pressure of wondering about your abilities? Of those constant nerves? If you feel confident? Well hell if I know. But I wonder if it would be like the interview where you just relax into being yourself and enjoying the writing and the work.

Actually, that happens to me when I’m deep in a scene and I don’t let myself get distracted. Lately that only happens for a few minutes at a time. But when I’m in the groove and keeping a schedule, I can get lost for much longer stretches. Even when I come up for air–to walk around or get food or drink–I sink right back down very easily. I am looking forward to finding that zone again.

The key is to enjoy. As Neil Gaiman said in his speech, enjoy the ride. I used to have that hung on a sign next to my writing chair. It’s down for now, but I expect it will be returning once I get thoroughly unpacked. Here’s the speech again, since it’s worth re-watching. Frequently.

Monday, August 19th, 2013
If you wanted to see it

As I said, I helped a on Laura Anne Gilman’s Gishwhes team. Here is what they did.  My telegraph video is there, and if you scroll down more, you’ll see a dragon and a bear dressed in Kale at a stripper club. I was part of that, too. You really should go look at some of the awesomeness.

Saturday, August 17th, 2013
Where does the time go?

I heard from a friend the other day that faculty meetings start this next week. I won’t be there. I wanted to drink some champagne. Because, you know, I always love me some faculty meetings and I wanted to drink my sorrows at missing them away.

Had a good crowd for the reading up in Portland. I was terribly nervous. Read from Trace of Magic. I think it went well. I hope so.

I started re-reading The Cipher today. I haven’t looked at it since I published it in 2007. It was a bit of a revelation. It’s good. Really.  It has good storytelling and worldbuilding and I like my characters. This is one of those moments of partial relief–wow! I really can write! and total fear–are my latest books as good? And then there’s that moment of, why the hell didn’t these books do better? Fantasy lovers should have been all over them.

BTW, this isn’t just dejavu or me having a walk down memory lane, I will be writing more Crosspointe world stuff. Seriously. I would love to write a novella or novel or more following what ever happen to Sarah and Lucy’s family. But more important is telling the rest of the story. I want to do that.

Laura Anne Gilman stayed with us for a couple of days. It was huge fun and the kids and doggies loved her. They want her to come back. Soon. Hear that Laura Anne? We also did something incredibly silly and funny for Gishwhes, which also appalled my son. There will hopefully be a picture sometime in the future once Laura Anne is free to reveal them.

And now, anon. Possibly there will be blackberry picking tomorrow. Possibly the hanging of pictures in the house. Possibly napping.


Tuesday, August 13th, 2013
Some announcements

First, please remember that I’m taking part in the SFWA reading series. Laura Ann Gilman is hosting the program, Phyllis Irene Bradford will also be reading. To register, go here. That’s tomorrow (Weds., 14th) in Portland.

Mindy Klasky has a new book out today! SINGLE WITCH’S SURVIVAL GUIDE, the first volume in my Jane Madison Academy Series  is in stores today!

You can read the first chapter here:


Congratulations to all who made the World Fantasy Awards ballot.

It looks like we sold our travel trailer. We had it on consignment for all of a couple weeks. Amazing it went so quick. Good news though. We are trimming down on the bills and this was one of them. No more insurance or storage on it. That’s a good thing. We’ll miss it, but possibly we’ll downsize to a smaller trailer or go with a boat (I know nothing about them, but I’d like to be able to get out on rivers and lakes more).

And if anybody knows the answer to this–cordite is no longer used in the making of bullets. What exactly does one smell when a gun goes off? Obviously gunpowder, but what’s the smell from exactly?

Monday, August 12th, 2013
The telegraph

Thank you all for your lovely suggestions on my telegraph argument. I have filmed myself and perhaps one day you will get to see that, but in the meantime, here’s the essential script for your enjoyment and tears.

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