Archive for September, 2014
Friday, September 26th, 2014
I’m hip deep in shit creek and no rubber duckies in sight. Book’s due soon, and I’m not done. I’m trying to make doneness, but progress is slower than I want. Also, a few days ago, the z, x,c, and v keys on my desktop keyboard ceased to work. I used a Kinesis keyboard. I called the company, and they are sending me a replacement part, and hopefully it arrives asap. But that means writing on my laptop and for whatever reason, that undercuts my creativity. Plus I’ve been having some weird sick stuff happening this week. Possibly as a result of stress, possibly as a result of not sleeping nearly enough, possibly as a result of total panic, or maybe I’m really coming down with something. My guess is the last one is unlikely.
So in an effort to procrastinate while still feeling productive, I’ve started a patchwork afghan. Which is to say, I’ve learned the patch pattern and am working them up. I started a couple days ago. It will take me a long time to complete the project. In the meantime, I realized I have got to start making stuff to get rid of some of my yarn horde. (Some of which was given to me by my mom, so it’s not *all* my fault.) The idiocy is that I saw a skein of cool yarn at the store, bought it, and came up with the patchwork idea for the afghan because I couldn’t think of anything else to make with it. Unfortunately, It’s not a good match with most of my yarn horde. I found one yarn that I can use with it, but may have to, ulp, buy more. This was not the plan.
More people should use shawls. I make this lovely and soft shawl (which a friend taught me to make–thanks Melissa M.!). Here’s the pattern. Only I make it in supersoft, jewel-toned yarns. I wonder who I could make some for? Hmmm. I also make afghans. I guess I could make one of those. I made a bunch to give away for Xmas a few years back. I sometimes make fingerless gloves and I learned a slouch hat last year. These things are nice to work on while watching TV or driving (as a passenger–I know you were wondering). I used to work on them at faculty senate meetings so I wouldn’t kill anyone, and so the meetings would have some sort of redeeming value. It’s not like we got anything accomplished otherwise.
Booklist likes Trace of Magic!
And here’s the usual please please please spread the word on Trace of Magic, post reviews, and otherwise blather about me as much as you’re willing!
All right, back to making fictional words. Oh, here’s a snippet, just because (and no context for you!):
“She’s the empath, correct?” Touray asked.
I rolled my eyes. “Should I assume you know everything about me? What deoderant I wear? The results of my last PAP smear?”
He smiled slowly, his eyes hooded. “I think it’s a safe enough assumption.”
Friday, September 19th, 2014
Most writers know better than to read reviews. Good, bad, or indifferent, they just aren’t healthy for the writerly condition. It is a condition. A kind of mental disease, I sometimes think. Good reviews are wonderful and they stroke the ego for about two seconds, but then you start thinking–what if this next work can’t be as good? What if I fail? What if everyone pans it after setting such high expectations? There’s actually a long litany of how a good review can turn bad on a writer, but you get the point. Then the indifferent review is just as bad, because you think, mediocre? They gave me a mediocre meh! I thought it was so much better than that!! What if everything I write is meh and I don’t even know it? What if I’m one big pile of undifferentiated beige? And then there’s the bad reviews. These are always far more believable than the good reviews, because, writer–>mentally diseased with writerly neurosis. So you get a bad one, and it kicks you in the stomach because it confirms everything you suspected all along: you suck as a writer, your book is shit, and here are all the many ways that it sucks. Probably worst of all, it teaches you to distrust all your beta readers, your agent, and your editor, because obviously these people lied to you about your work. See? Writerly condition–>mental disease. I can say that right now, even as I’m lost in bad review wallowing land.
I shouldn’t read reviews. I mean, to some extent it’s my job to collect up those reviews and pass them along to the agent and editor and keep clips for promotional purposes, but at the same time, it’s idiotic because my writerly mental disease flares up whenever I read one. If I’m in the middle of tricky writing or slogging through a bout of “I suck as a writer” (more normal than not) then reading the reviews just makes things that much worse.
I read a review this morning. It slammed Trace of Magic, big time. So now I’m wallowing and trying to scrape my ego back together in order to be able to write. I want to make a declaration that I will avoid reviews until at least the WIP is finished. If I do so declare, I’m not sure my willpower will aid my resolve. But . . . I need to try. So I declare that I WILL NOT look at any reviews at least until Edge of Dreams (Tracer #2’s working title) is turned in. And hopefully I won’t after that, either. It ain’t healthy.
Reaching the end of another school week. Boy has done pretty well overall, and the girlie has begun band. Both seem happy, which makes me happy. Well, except I haven’t been sleeping, but that’s a whole nother kettle of insomniac worms. And yes, I did just split another into two words.
I am working on getting Path of Honor back out at least as an ebook. Hopefully in the next month or so.
And now, to go get on the job. Oh, finished reading a cowboy romance by Kathleen Eagle called The Last True Cowboy. Wasn’t sure how I was going to like it, because yanno, no sf or fantasy elements, and not a regency, and no mystery . . . Basically not my usual story. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was as much about the family relationships between a Grandmother, mother, and two daughters, as it was anything else. It was set in Wyoming on a ranch, which really brought memories back for me of growing up. The details were right and vivid. I’d recommend it.
And the theme music for today’s blog, as it seems appropriate:
Friday, September 12th, 2014
Boy made it through the whole week of school. Some sickness, but he has been decently cheery and he’s so welcomed by his teachers. Hopefully he’s making friends again. Girlie, in the meantime, has decided to play the clarinet in band. She also liked the oboe and the flute, but decided against them.
We’ve had lovely weather this week, and yet I’ve had horrible sleep. I’m not sure if I’m staying awake, or not sleeping deeply, or just tossing and turning and not sleeping well. I wake up exhausted. I’ve tried short naps, but can’t fall asleep. I’ve been out walking, not a lot of help. I did end up waking up soaked in sweat last night. Makes me wonder if I’m a little under the weather, though who knows. The annoying thing is that it slows my thinking for writing.
Speaking of writing, Trace of Magic has his #89 on the Kindle romance fantasy book list. Yay! I’m here to remind you again that I’d love a review anywhere if you’d be willing. Spreading the word for me would be fabulous.
And to encourage you, a snippet from the next Book:
“We are not done with this conversation,” he said. It sounded like he’d pushed the words through clenched teeth.
I laced my fingers through his as he wriggled his right arm under me and pulled me tight against his chest.
“Yeah, we are,” I said.
“Not a chance, Riley. We’re having it out.”
I smiled as I felt myself sinking into sleep. I yawned hard, my jaw cracking. It took all the effort I could muster to have the last word. “I know,” I said, loosening my fingers from his and patting his hand. “But when you find out the rest of the story, you’ll be far too pissed to come back to this.” Whatever this was. I wasn’t entirely clear.
Friday, September 5th, 2014
The boy’s birthday is tomorrow. I have wrapped things. Probably going to be buying a cake, mostly because I’ve no time to bake. That could change. We’ll see.
Boy and girl have also successfully gone to three days of school. For girlie, not a surprise. For boy, a milestone. He’s managing his illness as best he can and he’s been really chipper and upbeat when he comes home. He’s going to have to see about testing out of his math class. It’s advanced math, but last year he swooshed past it. He’s going to get bored if not. Girlie is making friends and she likes her teacher. She’s been a giggly thing all week.
I have been attempting to get into a work routine. I haven’t done as well as I wanted, but then I haven’t been sleeping and that does seem to take a toll. Today I cut out of work to go to a farmer’s market with my mom and get this dragon by Jessica Douglas framed. Mine is a copy, not the original. One day I hope to get one of her original dragons. She’s a phenomenal artist. (I also have a print of her Crap Fairy, which I love).
Trace of Magic continues to wander a bit in the wild. I’m hoping people are enjoying.
And finally, I’ll close with this: All About the Bass, by Meghan Trainor, Jimmy Fallon, and The Roots. Even though I love the song, I love it more with The Roots and Jimmy.
Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
Today only! Come on over to Bitten by Books and hang out with me, ask questions, and maybe Win money! Contest is all day today, September 3.
And while you’re at it, I’m at The Quillery talking about the magic in Trace of Magic. Please come by and say hello. She has a review, also. A very nice one. She finishes with: Bottom Line: Trace of Magic is a wonderful start to the Diamond City Magic series and Riley Hollis is one of new favorite Urban Fantasy heroines.
Waiting to see you!
Monday, September 1st, 2014
Bitten By Books is hosting me this Wednesday for a question and answer session and a contest. You can go now to start grabbing extra entries. You could win Amazon bucks! Tell a friend!
Monday, September 1st, 2014
The family seems to be developing a cold. I have not been immune. Stuffy head, scratchy throat, and worst of all, stuffy ears. Blech.
I slept poorly last night. Here’s the issue. We have an air-bed. Each side had two air sections–one for lumbar, the other supporting legs and torso. Mine has been going flat for awhile now. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. In an effort to figure out where the issue is, we’ve done a couple of different tests. The first one, we switched the air hoses on the mattresses to that mine were on the man’s, and his were on mine. Over the course of a couple weeks, I still was going flat. So–obviously it’s the bladder, right? So we take the bladder out and fill it up. Then the man lays on it and it stayed totally full. So now we have no idea where the issue is. The problem is mostly in the lumbar area. And the man says that air seems to be filling up in his side. Is the problem inside the pump? Is it somehow in one of the valves in the bed? Uncertain. Not sure how to figure that out.
Got up this morning and felt like I’d been run over. All the same, labor must be done, right? So we had breakfast and I dug into weeding. Got nowhere near done, but filled up a five gallon bucked twice until it got too hot. Then came in and folded three loads of laundry and cleaned the bedroom. now to do more laundry. I also want to get some writing done. And classroom stuff.
I’m making a “honey-do” list. But really it’s not honey-do so much as crap we have to get done and we aren’t keeping track of so we never get around to doing it. List. Hopefully we’ll still get some more done today. Like finally hanging up some wind chimes. We have three sets that we’ve been meaning to hang for awhile.
We had a fish die. I think the sucker fish attacked it. Not sure why. It’s really huge. I’m wondering if I should try to give it away and get a smaller one. I do love that fish though. But I’m noticing it seems to be attaching the other gold fish too. They are looking sad in some ways. Pretty soon we may have nothing left but a sucker fish. A really big one. He’s about six or eight inches long.
I now have seven reviews on Amazon for Trace of Magic. I need more. And on other sites. Here’s the thing–the more reviews an author gets, good bad or indifferent–the more they get promoted on Amazon. So please, if you are feeling love or irritation, please post reviews. It’s a huge help.