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Archive for May, 2014

Friday, May 30th, 2014
so far so

I finished the re-issue edits for The Black Ship. Not a lot of changes overall, but fixing scan errors and some clunkiness. I still like this book a lot.

It looks like Trace of Magic will be available August 1. I’ll give you more info when the preorder stuff starts to show up on websites.

Boy is not better. He had his last antibiotic pill today and now it’s a wait and see (a side effect of Rifamaxin is nausea and vomiting). Here’s hoping that it worked. In the meantime, in case, he scheduled for his stomach CT for Tuesday.

I am working on the next Crosspointe book. It’s working title is The Blood Jewel. If you read The Cipher, you can guess what that is. If you haven’t, why not? Keros is currently the only POV character, though there’s another unknown-to-you character who may become a POV character. It’s questionable, because she’s very very different. Not spawn, but still quite other, in a very cool way. So I have to decide if I want her to be on the mysterious side (no POV) or get into her head.

While at Miscon, witty, well-dressed, and wise, Mark Teppo, helped me use Tarot cards to generate plot for this book. It really helped me. I know have a blurry shape for this book. I dug out my tarot cards (I have five decks, even though I don’t know how to use them much), and am planning to try to internalize some of the card meanings over time, so I can make better use of the cards as a writing tool. There are a lot of cool possibilities for it. He also gave me an outlining tool that I’m going to see if I can use to make one. Outlines have defeated me with great frequency of late, requiring me to totally pants a book. But when you’re in the fifth book of a series, you need to be weaving the ends together and it would be better if I figure out how to at least do a lot of that before I get too far in.

On my way home, I had some ideas on the book hit me. I texted them to myself while driving. This required a) voice activation, and b) not looking at the texts whatsoever. I want to share them with you:

1. Haystak to the dead my cord wood in the notch k rose wood burn them when it was school his contributions to the board do fighting off the inventors it was a pitiful thing indeed.

2. Nextbook tablet jewel she will ask him to destroy the altar of chiles and that’s the goddess free and I don’t know what else someone can tell him we’ll have to be killed.

3. Priest will also feature is it and carols was work with him to catch the Explorer big is that as we’re both my sacrifice.

I know, I just gave away the entire plot, right? Luckily I vaguely remember what they are supposed to mean, so hopefully I can work them in. Interesting how Keros became both k rose and carols

Finally, a word on Jay Lake. He is reaching the end of his time in this life. He has only a short time left and apparently his mind is fading quickly. I don’t know him well, though he shines sharp in my memory those times I have been in his orbit. One of the things that my beloved eighth grade teacher, Mr. Henry,  said to us (shortly before he passed of fucking cancer), was that he had always endeavored to live his life so that when he left a room, people would miss him. I didn’t know he was dying at the time. He succeeded in that endeavor and I have always wanted to do the same. Jay has exceeded that. He’s brought bright joy into the lives of so many and I will miss his presence in this world.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
recapping the weekend

There’s too much that happened to actually mention it all, so I shall attempt to sum up.

I went up to Seattle last Weds and spent the night with friends and then the next morning, we loaded up the party bus (a Dodge Caravan) and drove away. Much levity followed, including the repeated learning about half dozen being six in number. (when we picked up the van, we did have to explain that). We eventually arrived in Missoula, and then a blur followed.

I met tons of people and got to hang out with many friends, both new and old. I met Betsy Wollheim and Sheila Williams from DAW books, admired Mark Teppo’s penchant for cufflinks, watched a Ken Scholes concert, bought too much from the dealer’s room, sat in on a bunch of great panels, and ate a lot of food (both good and bad). Steven Erickson is incredibly nice and funny and I thoroughly enjoyed being on panels with him. I sold a few books and signed some, which is always fun.  Miscon is like coming home, and most everyone who goes agrees. It’s super well run, and I can’t wait to get back next year. I’ve already book my room.

Wow, that’s a really short recap. Everything seems like a blur now. A tremendously fun blur. Even the last panel–and by that I mean the very last panel of the con, which was the John Pitts and Di Pharaoh Francis show–was well attended. It was a big room and about 3/4 full. When does that ever happen? Oh, I also go to learn how to breach a room military style. I was number one in the stack.

Saturday, May 24th, 2014
Miscon thus far

Miscon so far has been a huge delight. Not that I’m surprised, but I love this con more and more. I left Weds. to travel to  Seattle to Andrea Howe’s place where several of us spent the night after eating at the AFK Tavern (for nerds and geeks and so fun), and then we jumped in our party bus (van) after a hearty breakfast, and headed for Missoula.

Since then I’ve had a couple of panels which were well-attended and fun, I have talked to so many old and new friends alike, I’ve toured the art room and the dealer’s room and will be heading back for purchasing, and I’ve had my dragon drawn. Rob Carlos, fabulous artist, drew my dragon last night. It’s amazing. AMAZING. I’m sharing it here for you because, it’s AMAZING!!!

Okay, the dragon isn’t showing up for you, even though it does on this post, so click here for the Facebook post, which will hopefully be visible.

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Updatery on a Tuesday

Wow, I thought it was Monday. We have a potential diagnosis on my son. I’m not convinced it’s the problem because I’ve had raised hopes before and I had them totally dashed. So I’m trying to not let that happen. He started his very expensive medication today for bacterial overgrowth in the lower gi. Basically he has the wrong bacteria in the wrong place. The antibiotic for it is serious. I’m hoping it won’t whack the hell out of his stomach. I put him back on a probiotic with the ingredients that the doc says are proven to help the condition, so let’s hope it will work. He’s been so very sick this last week it’s been breaking my heart.

I’ve been getting some work done. I’m pleased about that. The new veggie beds we installed this weekend are complete but need to be planted. I got in some starts, but I’ll have to put the seeds in when I get back from Miscon. I didn’t want to put them in because the dogs have been tromping through the beds. Darn pushy snotty corgis.

Haven’t been sleeping well. I’d like to get over that. Wouldn’t it be ironic if I did better at the con. Sigh.

Oh, and I got a wonderful fabulous and amazing blurb from Faith Hunter on Trace of Magic. More on that later, but she said she loved the book!!!! Squeee!


Thursday, May 15th, 2014
My Miscon schedule
  • Fri 5:00 – 5:50 PM, Writing Strong, Believable Women, Great Hall (Upstairs)
  • Fri 7:00 – 7:50 PM, Getting Into Character, Great Hall (Upstairs)
  • Sat 1:00 – 1:50 PM, Anti-Hero, Hero, or Villain?, Containment Room (Upstairs)
  • Sat 7:00 – 7:50 PM, Art of Swearing, Containment Room (Upstairs)
  • Sun 10:00 – 10:50 AM, Author Book Signing, Containment Room (Upstairs)
  • Sun 1:00 – 1:50 PM, Writing What You Don’t Know, Upstairs 3 (Upstairs Programming 3)
  • Sun 2:00 – 2:50 PM, Zombies Everywhere!, Great Hall (Upstairs)
  • Sun 5:00 – 5:50 PM, Reading: Diana Pharaoh Francis, Upstairs 3 (Upstairs Programming 3)
  • Mon 10:00 – 10:50 AM, Monday Morning Coffee Klatch (Hour 1), The Tent (2)
  • Mon Noon – 12:50 PM, Morality In The End Times, Great Hall (Upstairs)
  • Mon 2:00 – 2:50 PM, Transitioning Through Time: Scene vs Summary, Containment Room (Upstairs)


Thursday, May 15th, 2014

After a slight meltdown this week–an intersection of many difficult things–I have been trying to put in a lot more extra hours on the writing. It’s paying off. I finished the revision of Trace of Magic, finished the page proofs of The Cipher, and today will tackle the revision of The Black Ship (light–tightening for reissue). I’m also trying to sort out the plot for the next and nameless Crosspointe book. That’s more tough than it might seems since I have to do a lot of wrapping up of the story line. Hope I can do it in the space I’ve got. No panic here. I also drafted my syllabus for the summer teaching in Colorado. I still have to prepare my talk for the conference, but it’s based on one I gave at the writing retreat, so I should be golden.

I also got my bicycle. It’s a cruiser style and it gives me a way to sit up more and put less pressure on my hands, wrists, and shoulders. It has speeds, too, so maybe I’ll manage the hills around here. One can hope. The real question is can I manage not to fall off it, since I’m a clutz. We’ll see.

Next week is Miscon. I have my schedule, and I’ll post it shortly. I’ll be busy. It’s going to be fun.

Not sleeping well. Tossing and turning. Not sure if it’s the heat (we got a bit warm here but it’s supposed to cool off this week) or if it’s my mind’s inability to shut down. Dogs are mad at me for not spending more time with them. I’m managing to snitch in some reading as I sit in waiting rooms. I read a Jenn Bennet book and enjoyed it. Now reading a Darynda Jones book. So far it’s good. I expect I’ll finish it tomorrow in the waiting room at the hospital while boy undergoes the test he was supposed to have last week. It’s a long one. About three or four hours.

Saturday, May 10th, 2014
What day is it?

It’s been a rough week for the boy. The test we had scheduled got canceled because he has to be off one of his drugs for a week. So that is now rescheduled for next Friday. In the meantime, he’s been sick. I don’t know if that’s a consequence of being off the pill (probiotics if you’re asking) or not. He’s also getting a CT stomach scan and we’re going to try to wash all of his clothes and etc. at a laundromat. We fear that there is potentially a mold in the washer. So we try. We’ve already been using hypoallergenic detergent.

In the meantime, we have been getting mom and dad settled in the new house. That’s been really nice. I did get some work done this week and we have now got the herb beds built, and tomorrow we’ll get the veggie beds built. We won’t get the dirt in until later this week, but then we should get planting. We’ve had a bunch of rain and I need to do a bunch of weeding. My roses have begun blooming. I’m so excited. And of course the rhodies and the azaelias, the irises, the dogwood, and a bunch of other stuff is blooming. Primroses too. I just want to get the food stuff in the ground.

I also brushed the dogs tonight. Got a full dog off one of them. Had to stop because he got tired of it, so I will be brushing again tomorrow or the next day. The house is in desperate need of cleaning. I wish someone else would come do that. Sadly, no one ever does. I have a ton of other work to get done, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do about the cleaning. I do head to Miscon in a couple of weeks. That will be fun, but a long drive. The family isn’t coming. Usually they do, but sadly the boy being sick puts a kibosh on that. Wish I had a driving partner.

My dahlias are coming up. I never planted any before and am excited about it. i still haven’t got some bulbs in and it’s getting late. Need to get on that. Also I need to get my birdfeeders hung and the hummingbird feeder.

Don’t have any big plans for Mother’s Day. Going to go to Costco and pick up a script for the boy and maybe do some weeding. Yeah, fantabulous. Going to take my mom some flowers at some point.

Terribly interesting stuff going on. I read a couple of books this week. One was written by someone I know and so not a lot of open comments there. I enjoyed it. It was UF and a lot of fun, but thin in places. I could keep my mind from pushing against the weak spots while reading because it had some good stuff, but after, when I considered a review, I decided that I would have to dig into those places and it made the book worse for me. I’d rather remember it fondly.

The other book is by an author I don’t know. I enjoyed it. It’s the first in a long and popular series. It’s campy and rompy and fun, but tons of thing places and has a fair bit of Mary Sue going on. I’m trying to decide if I want to read the next one, or just have a fond memory of this one. I made the mistake of reading a few reviews on the next one, which were good, but have indicated some of the weaknesses continue. A lot of it was plot development, a lot of how the hell did that happen? and why are those people so stupid? And of course, the Mary Sue stuff. Anyhow, so while I had a lot of fun reading, after it left me unfulfilled. So we’ll see.

My next reads will be my own books on the editing/proofing/revising/planning bus. Buses. Several. Hopefully I’ll get a lot done soon, because I need to get started on the new Crosspointe book ASAP.


Thursday, May 8th, 2014
Trace of Magic Snippet

I finally FINALLY finished my revision of Trace of Magic and sent it back to my editor. I really like it and hope that I’m right. Anyhow, in honor of finishing, here’s a snippet for you.


A week later, I walked into the Diamond City Diner a little after two in the afternoon. I’d spent the night before following a carpet cleaner who was stealing supplies from his boss. I’d slept a few hours after tracking him to his storage unit, then turned in my report and collected my fee. I hadn’t eaten since lunch the day before and I was starving.

Patti glared at me when I walked in. “You look like shit.”

I had not grounds to argue. I hadn’t been sleeping well the last week. Nancy Jane and her mother had been rescued alive. I should have been over the moon. Instead I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was very wrong. I spent hours reinforcing my nulls and I’d taken to carrying my gun everywhere I went, along with the Chinese baton I hid in my sleeve. I usually kept one or the other on me, but tended to leave them behind when I went shopping or to going to visit my family. Not any more.

“Thanks. I spent hours on this look.” I was wearing my hair in a ponytail, with my usual uniform of jeans, hiking boots, a long sleeved shirt, a heavy jacket, a hat, and gloves.

“It’s cold out there. Got anything to eat?” I asked, unzipping my coat and stuffing my gloves and hat into a pocket before hanging it on a hook fastened to the bench of my usual booth. A snow storm had moved in, the first of several to come, all piled up like cars stuck on an LA freeway. By the time they were done with Diamond City, we’d be buried.

“Hold your horses, Laraby.” Patti glared at the dentist who was waving a check at her. “I’ll be there in a second.” She grabbed a clean coffee cup off the counter and set it down in front of me and filled it. “I’ll get you something to eat.”

Ten minutes later she returned carrying a white oval plate mounded with an omelet, hashbrowns, pancakes, and a half dozen slices of bacon. I didn’t want an omelet, but Patti tended to get me what she thought I needed, not what I wanted. It was loaded with vegetables and cheese. Tasty, but not the burger and fries I was craving. Arguing wasn’t going to do me any good. I’d eat what I was given and try to look happy about it.

“Give me a few minutes,” she said. “We should slow down soon and I’ll join you. People are trying to get home before the weather gets too heavy.”

I glanced through the front window. Snow was falling in a thick curtain of fat flakes. Already the ground was white. I was willing to be there’d be an inch or two on the ground by the time I finished eating. Giving lie to her promise, the door jingled and half a dozen people came in, stomping their feet and dusting the snow off their clothing.

Patti zipped off to help them. I cleared my plate and immediately wanted a nap. I considered heading upstairs. Patti kept a room for me in her apartment. I spent two or three nights a week at the diner, sometimes more, depending on the jobs I had. Right now I didn’t have anything lined up. I was planning to hit the grocery store and go home and hole up until the storms blew themselves out.

I took my dishes to the bus tub, waving at Ben, Patti’s partner in the diner, through the kitchen window. I grabbed a pot of coffee and topped off my cup before sliding back into my seat. I didn’t bother looking up with the bell on the door rang again. I was checking the weather radar on my phone.

A shape loomed over me suddenly and Clay Price slid into the seat opposite me. My mouth dropped open. As far as I knew, he’d never even set foot in the diner before.

“What do you want?”

He slid my coffee out of my hand and took a sip, then eyed it in surprise. “That’s good,” he said.

“Not to mention it’s mine,” I said, eyeing him balefully.

He set the cup down, then ran his fingers through his hair. He was he carefully controlled type, so his gesture startled me. I examined him. He didn’t look any better than I did. His eyes were sunken and grooves cut deeply around him nose and mouth.

“You know, if you’re hungry, there are other tables. Empty tables,” I pointed out.

He sipped my coffee again. “But you’re not sitting at the other tables.”

A frisson of foreboding rippled through me. I shivered. It had nothing to do with cold. “You came looking for me?”

“I knew you were a smart woman.”


He pulled a manila file from inside his leather jacket and set it on the table. “I want you to do a trace for me.”

Like I said before, my cardinal rule is not to be stupid. Taking a case working for Price—a cop and a Tyet enforcer–was the dictionary definition of stupid. Insane even. I didn’t even think before I said, “no.”