Diana Pharaoh Francis | Diana P. Francis | Diana Francis

Archive for November, 2013

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

I have to many things to be thankful for and I hope that I remember to be thankful for all the wonders of this life throughout the year. I am grateful for family, for love, for joy, for ongoing good health, for adventure, for challenges, for words, for stories, for friends, for dreams, for life.

May you have as much joy in your life as I have in mine and may your Thanksgiving day be wonderful, however you spend it.

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
Doodads and updates and snippet

I forgot to mention that I finished Trace of Magic a couple days ago. Go me! I talk about ending it over at Magical Words today. Specifically about ending creep. I’m pretty happy with the book so far, but only because it’s done and I haven’t reread it to find out what needs to be revised. I’m in that lovely state of denial.

My friend Christy Keyes has suffered some significant  brain injuries this last year and she and her husband are struggling. If you can donate to her cause or spread the word or both, please do. I set up a gofundme site for her today. It’s here.

Have you ever noticed that family can drive you to a level of anger that no one else seems to be able to do? My son is a teenager and he’s behaving as such. Perfectly normal, but apparently I need to adjust better. And maybe go sit in the jacuzzi tub for awhile.

I did go to the chiropractor today. I feel better, but I’ll have to probably go back again. As long as I get better soon, I’ll be happy.

I’m tired of Black Friday commercials. I won’t be shopping on Black Friday, either. Unless I run out chocolate, which is highly unlikely. I just made a batch of rolls with mashed potatoes in them. I didn’t mash the potatoes very well. Hope they turn out. Also didn’t use unsalted butter, and didn’t adjust the salt levels in the bread. It’s my first go round with this recipe. The dough was nice an elastic when I set it to rise the first time. Here’s hoping it all turns out. I plan to make cinnamon rolls later. I ground the wheat myself, so it makes for tastiness.

On Small Business Saturday, Devon Monk and I will be signing and possibly reading at Reader’s Guide Books in Salem, Oregon, from 11-1. So if anybody can make it, please do!

And a little snippet, with names redacted:

“I hurt you,” he said tonelessly.

“You didn’t mean to,” I said carefully. I couldn’t get a read on how he was feeling or what he was thinking.

“I could have killed you. I wanted to kill you.”

“You didn’t know it was me.”

He shook his head and looked down, anger and fear rippling across his tight expression. “I did.”

I could only stare. My stomach turned inside out. [redacted] made a growling noise and started forward. I thrust out my hand to stop him. “Why?” I could barely push the word out. I felt strangled.

“I wanted to be dead.”

“You thought I’d kill you?” I squeaked, incredulous.

“You should have killed me. I asked you to.”

Friday, November 22nd, 2013
writing endings and John Pitts

I finished a chapter today (the one I thought was the last chapter in this book) and promptly started the next last chapter. This ending is one that I’m discovering as I go. I’m feeling my way and it’s frustrating on the one hand because I don’t know where I’m going, and exciting on the other because when I know it’s going in the right direction, I can feel it. It’s a lot like walking through a maze with a blindfold on. I’m searching for the way by touch. I know when when I’m going in the right direction, even if I don’t know where I’m going to end up. I also know when I’m going in a wrong direction, almost immediately. It is frustrating that I don’t know what the ending is. I suppose I’ll know I’ve hit it when I get there. In this chapter. I’m sure of it. I think.

Went to listen to John (JA) Pitts read tonight. He’s awesome. Funny and sharp. You’ve got to read his books if you haven’t. Here’s a pic:


Thursday, November 21st, 2013
Gonna have to

I’m just going to have to give in to going to the bone-cracker. Luckily, I met a massage therapist at Orycon who works locally in a chiro office. Now I just have to make the appointment. I keep getting headaches and a hip ache and a neck ache. So pretty sure the back needs adjusting.

I am getting writing done. But I still don’t know what the ending is. Yeah. I’m right on top of it. As in, within 2 or 3 thousand words of the ending (pretty sure). Surely some revelation is at hand? (oops, Yeats just crept in). But surely some ending must be at handing? What rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Diamond City to be born? Oh dear. I really need to be drinking. Possibly writing. Possibly I could just crib totally from Yeats and no one would notice. Right? Hmmm. A thought.

Costco is carrying this kettle corn drizzled with dark chocolate. In my house this is known as Mom Crack. It is good stuff. I ran out of it, but was told today that going to Costco just to buy it was irresponsible. So I didn’t. Because I was going to be responsible. I know, who’d have thunk?

Been listening to Wicked Girls by Seanan McGuire. Love the album, love the song.

From the song:

        Dorothy, Alice and Wendy and Jane,
        Susan and Lucy, we're calling your names,
        All the Lost Girls who came out of the rain
        And chose to go back on the shelf.
        Tinker Bell says, and I find I agree
        You have to break rules if you want to break free.
        So do as you like -- we're determined to be
        Wicked girls saving ourselves.

I get to talk about Worldbuilding on Romantic Times Book Reviews Website. 
Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
dogs and mountainsand a snippet

Corgis are the cutest dogs ever. Here are mine, being spoiled and cute.


And then there’s this picture of Mount Shasta, near Weed, featured in Crimson Wind. If you don’t know about that, why not?


The man smashed his hand and finger today. I had to watch while he drilled two holes in the nail to release pressure. He wouldn’t let me do it. He didn’t trust me. Thought I might drill to the bone. He’s right.

I’ve been making progress on the end of Trace of Magic. Here’s a snippet (it’s rough and hasn’t even been proofed, so be kind):

We loaded up into a one ton SUV near the entrance. Price and Touray took the front and Josh and I got into the back. None of us spoke. Price was seething and Touray was icy. Josh had lapsed into total silence. I pushed him into his seat, bending his arms and legs like a stiff doll and buckled his seatbelt, more to keep him from freaking out and attacking the rest of us than anything else.

I hobbled around to my side and slid into my seat. I shut the door with a long sigh.

“I’m taking you to Maya,” Touray said to his brother as he keyed the engine over.

“We need a dreamer for Josh,” Price said. “The sooner the better. He’s in worse shape than I am.”

“He can wait. I want you looked after.”

“Go to Cass first. You can travel to fetch Maya.”

“Can I? My magic doesn’t seem to be working at the moment.”

Touray glanced over his shoulder at me. I shivered at the greed and speculation in the look. Like he was shopping and had just found a Picasso in a thrift store. Not that he’d be caught dead in a thrift store. But you get the point.

Sometime in the fight I’d swallowed the quarter. It was fast reaching its limits. Between sucking up the null field and the magic in the mountain, it was nearly overloaded. I shrugged at Touray because I had no idea when it would run out and when he’d get his powers back. I could deactivate it, but that would take a lot of energy and at the moment, I was fried. They could sort out what they wanted to do. I was just along for the ride at this point.

I leaned my head back against the headrest and closed my eyes. Mistake. I instantly became all too aware of my injuries. My entire body throbbed like Yosemite Sam’s thumb after Bugs Bunny wacks it with a hammer.  Fifty times the size it ought to be and pulsing like a pufferfish on crack.

Touray made a frustrated sound. “Fine. We’ll go to Cass. Where is she?”

“In a house on the top level.”

“Maya’s closer. I’ll travel for Cass. As soon as I can.”

I felt his eyes on me again.

“She won’t like that,” Price said.

His voice was a little louder. He’d turned his head to look at me, too. My fingers twitched and I clenched them together.

“Too damned bad,” Touray said. “I’m not wasting time driving in this mess if I don’t have to.”

They started talking about the attack the building and what they needed to do to head off their enemies and pretty quick I drifted off to sleep. No dreams, thank goodness. Apparently my mind needed to rest as much as my body.

I woke up awhile later. We were still driving—if you could call it that. We inched along. Snow whirled around us. The headlights showed nothing but a wall of white. I wondered how Touray was even staying on the road.

Maybe he’d drive over the edge of the caldera and solve all my problems in one quick fall.

“Finally,” Touray muttered. He started to glow around the edges and the rest of him thinned so I could see through him. He began to speed up, following some sort of path his magic opened up to him.

Monday, November 18th, 2013

We got home from my MILs funeral. It was sad, but funerals tend to have a component of catharsis and the renewal of connections to family and friends. So in that much it was a good experience.

I haven’t much else to say. Been trying to catch up. For Peeps in the Salem, Oregon, area, John Pitts will be signing books at Book Bin East (the old Borders), this Friday at 7:00.

We’ll be going to the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert on Sunday.

I’m feeling a bit awful today. Morning was great with raking leaves and running errands (where did all the milk go?) and then this afternoon I started feeling like garbage. Headachey and feverish. This pairs nicely with my sinus pain going over the mountains driving down to California and back. Owie.

In the meantime, I write this week so I can finish Trace of Magic and pain my office so I can put the rest of the shelves up so I can unpack books and my son can thereby find the books he wants that I haven’t found yet. Oh, and that would allow me to put some other stuff away. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
news and news

I had some really great news this week.  I’ve been nominated for an RT Reviewers Choice award for Best Urban Fantasy Worldbuilding for Blood Winter. There a lot of other fabulous nominees on the list. Check it out.

I was also invited to write a story for an urban fantasy/crime anthology, and I’m thinking of possibly doing a Tutresiel story. Excited about it.

And in other, less happy news, I’ll be heading out tomorrow for my MIL’s funeral. Not sure when I’ll be checking in.


Sunday, November 10th, 2013
Home and . . .

I’m home from Orycon. I had a lovely time, and will post more on it later. However, during the weekend, my mother-in-law passed. It is something of a blessing. When we saw her in September, she couldn’t remember any of her family. She thought she was 12 and lost and couldn’t find her way home. She was scared and she was staying scared because she couldn’t go home, and everyone she knew from then and everywhere she knew from then was gone. Changed beyond recognition or dead. I felt horrible for her, to be living in that constant state of fear. Now she’s free of that fear and hopefully all her good memories are intact.

I will be traveling soon for her services and may be sparse here.

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
Orycon schedule and Powells book signing

This weekend is Orycon! Here’s my schedule:

Moderator indicated by (*)
Diana Pharaoh Francis Reading
Grant                Fri Nov 8 5:00pm-5:30pm
Diana Pharaoh Francis reads from own works
Diana Pharaoh Francis

Autograph session 3
Art Show             Sat Nov 9 3:00pm-4:00pm
Get your books (or whatever) signed by your favorite authors!
Claude Lalumi�re, Alma Alexander, Lizzy Shannon, Daniel H. Wilson, Diana
Pharaoh Francis, Patricia Briggs, Nancy Kress, Jack Skillingstead

Minor Characters
Lincoln              Sat Nov 9 4:00pm-5:00pm
Do your minor characters take over the scene?  Or do you have the opposite
problem where they all seem the same or are faceless automatons?  Learn
the tricks of the trade that help writers populate  their fiction with
believable, interesting characters that don`t overwhelm the scene.
(*)Diana Pharaoh Francis, SD Perry, Karen Azinger, Bill Johnson, Leslie

Write what you don’t know
Roosevelt            Sun Nov 10 11:00am-12:00pm
How do you write about talking dragons, vampire detectives, alternate
history, and space travel? Research and common sense can give your just
enough background to really write what you don’t know.
Ann Gimpel, Adrian Phoenix, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Wendy N. Wagner,
(*)Jason Andrew


At 4:30-6 Sunday, 30 authors including me will be signing at Powells Beaverton. It’s a great time to get some Christmas gifts and stock up some great books. Follow the link for a list of authors.

If anyone can make it, I’d love to see you. Feel free to track me down at the con and hang out.

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
chili, Wile E. Coyote, shopping

I’ve been thinking about Christmas shopping. Mostly because I don’t have to do it right now. See in Montana, I’d have to really get in gear early and figure out ways (online and in person) to find things for the kids. I shopped a lot online. But now, I don’t have to do that. If I wanted, I could go shopping on Black Friday (note the big IF and no, I don’t want to, though a movie might be nice). I also realized yesterday that I don’t really mind gray skies and rain. It’s been rainy off and on the past few days–mostly drizzly–and gray. And warm. See that’s the key. I don’t have to bundle up in a parka or worry about slipping on ice. I the air isn’t cold knives in my lungs. I’m not numb by the time I walk two blocks. I raked leaves in my shirtsleeves yesterday. Shirtsleeves! Meanwhile a friend in MT cleared snow off her porch and shivered in the freezing temperatures. *chortle*

I understand I may get sick and tired of the gray, but right now, I’m reveling in the warmth and also the fact that there are roses blooming, along with other flowers, and that there’s still a lot of greenery. I even have a lavender blooming lightly again. This year, (again, if I wanted) I could have a Pointsettia plant. In MT, the leaves freeze between carrying them out to the car and then into the house. It’s really hard to keep them warm in between.  I don’t know if I want one, mind you. But I *could* have one.

Girlie is watching Wile E. Coyote before school. She is heartily amused.

Made white chicken chili a couple nights ago. Tasty stuff. Love it for this time of year especially. Tonight I think I might make lasagne. Boy has been sick. Some sort of stomach bug. Apparently it’s going around school and he’s very susceptible. I put him on probiotics and 7-Up and crackers. He’s not so bad I think I need to take him to a doctor, but on the other hand, he can’t go to school. Maybe I should take him to the doctor. I just don’t know. I think they’ll say take him home and give him liquids and rest him. I hate to pay for that. He is sleeping a lot.

Last night I had to try to get Norton Family protection to let my daughter use her school website. It kept saying it’s a social networking site and even though I put it on the allowed list, it refused to let it happen. Sometimes I hate computer programs. This is why I converted to Macs. Microsoft used to do this to me all the time. I hate the feeling of techno-helplessness I get when working with some of the computer programs. I haven’t had those issues with Macs. That isn’t to say I’m telling anyone to run out and buy one. I’m just saying that I don’t miss Microsoft.





Page 1 of 212