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Archive for the 'Crosspointe books' Category

Monday, March 2nd, 2015
Monday hits again

This Monday wasn’t seriously horrible, actually. Boy of size is still suffering a lot of pain. The MM helps for periods, but not for any sort of duration. He’s utterly miserable. The antibiotics don’t seem to be doing much yet, painwise.

I’m going to the Rainforest Writing Retreat on Weds. for five days. I’ve been working on my talk that I’ll be giving there and wondering what the hell I was thinking suggesting this topic. Here’s hoping I get it sorted out. I’ve already written up a bunch of stuff and I’m not at all sure it’s coherent. I suppose I shall make it so.

In the meantime, I’m developing what I can in preparation for a writing blitz and hoping I can find my head and creativity. I’ve got a short story I’m working on for the Weird Wild West anthology I’m a part of. I also have a third Diamond City Magic book to start drafting. A fifth Crosspointe book to think through some more, and a couple of novellas I’ve been toying with. So plenty to do, and maybe too much.

Over the weekend I read David Coe’s Spell Blind. Go read it. Very good. Magic, police procedure, mystery. Well written and I just loved it. Can’t wait for the second. I started reading Devon Monk’s House Immortal today. It’s really good and I can’t wait to read more of it.

We planted some bulbs today, and some pansies. We’ve a bunch more to plant, but I figure progress is good, and it was a bright sunshiny day. I took the dogs for a longish walk, which was also good. The trees on the street are all bursting into bloom, and there are daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, and azaleas everywhere. It’s such a difference from Montana. I feel a little like I’m in wonderland.





Saturday, January 3rd, 2015
Third day of the new year

Yep, made it three days in to the new year. Whoohoo!

Boy of size has been feeling mostly good, to the point of bounciness. It’s really nice to see him to happy. Course he just got up out of bed and I suspect vomiting. I suppose I’ll find out soon.

We did some cleaning and organizing today. Need to do so much more. But at least we did that much. And I made words. Here are some of them, good, bad, or indifferent (from Crossointe 5):

“You should stay here on the Root,” she announced. Her eyes had turned the color of wildfire, orange flames billowing hotly.

Shaye just smiled blandly. They’d had this conversation before, and no doubt they’d have it again. “No.”

“You can’t risk yourself. If you go back, Jutras majick will infect you—you’ll go insane or die.” Tears welled in her eyes and rolled down her cheeks. The silver drops sizzled on the wood when they fell.


Yep, boy got sick. I thought maybe he’d get through today without, but at least it’s only once. I’m clinging to that.

Tomorrow we hope to move some plants around to prepare for some yard work in the back yard, and go to Costco. Unless it rains. In which case there won’t be plant moving. Plus I plan to write.

I’ve been toying with this idea that wants to be written. But I am needing to research some military jargon and hierarchies. I’m likely to need some help. I’m going to have to do some research, apparently. Some is language, some is interactions, some is how systems function. Not that I have time to write this. But it may not wait.

I have been knitting and learning more. I am enjoying that, but I’d like to expand my knowledge and do some more. Socks are my biggest goal right now. And then bigger things. And color. Though frankly I lose count quickly and I’m a real beginner and don’t know a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff. Like how to fix my work when I screw up. At least I can do some things and my stitches are even.

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
It’s not as cold as Montana

And we don’t have six feet of snow. Or five. Or four. Or any. So I’m all about the happy on that front. It’s been cold here, but not as cold as Montana. Friend of mine sent me a card with the return address “Bitchin’ cold.”

Found out that they are rehiring my position at UMW. They’ll be hiring an assistant professor higher than what I made, and I’d been there 14 years with full prof. This is part of the problem with Academia: salary impaction. In order to get a raise, you have to get an offer somewhere else, and if they say no, you pretty much have to leave. On top of that, UMW pays some of the lowest salaries in the country for universities of comparable size.

Boy’s been sick again. Sicker. Hoping he improves for tomorrow.

I somehow forgot how much a sequel in a series has to recap what came before, and in the fifth book, that’s kind of a pain. Still, progress is being made. I hope. I think. I hope, again.

And, now, therefore, a Crosspointe snippet:

“Earthquake, or so it seems,” Keros replied mildly, breathing slowly as the majick swept over him. Did this happen to the Jutras priests? Did majick constantly assault them from all sides? He could lose himself in it, in the dreadful bliss of it. As good as it felt to hurt, he had not doubt he’d enjoy his own death. It was a sobering prospect.

“Why did you do this?” a woman accused, pointing a shaking finger at him. Her thin face was pale and exhausted bruised her eyes purple. “I told you we couldn’t trust the majicars anymore. He’s trying to kill us all. In our sleep!”

Someone grabbed his collar roughly and shoved him. Keros staggered. A grating caught his attention. It wasn’t so much a sound as a vibration in the air. He jerked back around, majick spinning around his hands.


So I’m not at all sure the characters are developing properly, but they are developing, and right now, that counts for a lot.

Also, I’ve decided to go to the Romantic Times Convention in Dallas. That means I’ll miss Miscon and Norwescon, this year. If you’re in the Dallas area, they have a big public signing. Feel free to come!

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
Pause in the rain

I spent a bunch of time today with Devon Monk talking writing, business, family, promotion, and all sorts of other things. It was lovely to get together and chat. We’ve both been swamped with work and life and haven’t had a chance to get together for awhile. It was quite fun.

Boy of size is sick again. Or rather, back to sicker, because he’s never achieved wellness. He’s missed the week of school. I hope he’ll make it back by Monday. I’ll get him up for tomorrow, but chances are he won’t be able to make it. But Monday he’s going to go no matter what, and call me if he needs to come home. We’re hoping just getting back into the routine will help.

I’ve been working on some plotting. I realized the problem I’m having with the current novel is that I don’t have a villain. I have a general–those people over there are bad ones, but I don’t have A Villain. Or even a couple of them. No one specific. This is a problem. I am working on solving this. I have a lot of threads to sort out and then weave together. It’s a super hard to figure out where the story is in this book and how to tell the personal story inside of telling the larger story. It’s the problem of epic, but worth doing. Just hard. I can do this. I will do this.

In the meantime, I’ll be signing books at The Reader’s Guide on Edgewater St. in Salem, Oregon, on Saturday, October 25th, from 1-3. We may do a little bit of a reading, but certainly we will be entertaining. Please come out if you can!!

I will also be at Orycon–more on that later.

Friday, June 27th, 2014
Must do a Giveaway!!!!

Look what I got in the mail today!!!

The book is gorgeous. You have no idea. I’ve updated the information page on it with the updated first chapter.  ciphercoverbox

So it seems to me I need to give some away. I’m going to. Let’s see, I need posts here or on my Mad Libs blog. And they should say . . . that you want a copy. And you should give me a color. Any color.

If you have any, I’d love recommendations for where I might send a copy to get reviewed. If you know a reviewer, point them out to me. I’d love to get noise on this. And I’d love to do some blog appearances or anything else. So if you can help me out, please do! Everyone from anywhere is free to enter. I’ll get the book to you.


Deadline to Enter is July 1 at Midnight!

Monday, June 9th, 2014
fish and barf

yeah, that’s a hell of a title, isn’t it? Why must blogs be titled? I suck at titles.

The man took the kids fishing this weekend while I worked. On Sunday, they caught 15 trout. I don’t like fish. Don’t like the smell (bad fish experience as a kid). So they cleaned and took the fish to those friends and relatives who appreciate such things and much gratitude rained down. The kids had fun, especially the boy, who seemed to be magic with the fishing pole.

Speaking of boy, he’s still barfing. It was a little better this weekend, then it went really wonky. I’m not sure, but it’s possible that sugar exacerbates the problem. Not fruit sugar, but ice cream and that sort of thing. Don’t know about other sugars. I am not yet certain, but I think it could be true. Tonight I forced him to eat against his will. Gave him corn on the cob, a piece of watermelon, and a hamburger. Actually I only required the first two (fiber being requisite for making sure there’s no backing up of the plumbing). I don’t think he barfed after. So I am going to try to keep him on plain, simple food for a bit and see what happens. If he cooperates.

I’m still plotting. Wrestling with making it work, but getting closer. The boy’s last tutoring was today, and we had a doc appointment. I got him to the park today to have a little walk, and I also had to do some stuff on a class I’m sitting in on later this week. Thanks to waiting at the doctor, I also read Mary Robinette Kowal’s Shades of Milk and Honey. I loved it. Course I love Jane Austen, and this is definitely in that style, but with magic. So good. So so good. Can’t wait to read the next book. Totally recommend.

Also out now, is Jamie Lee Moyer’s Barricade in Hell. I read it in ARC form a few months ago and I loved it as much or more than the first book, Delia’s Shadow. Do read this. Seriously. Wonderful book. Read both books. Don’t wait.

Tomorrow is the girlie’s talent show. Also I will have been married for 24 years. I’m still so in love with the man. Hard to believe it’s been so long. Not sure what we’ll do by way of celebration. Not sure we’ll be able to do much. Sadly, we never had a honeymoon and I’m beginning to feel like we should do a better job of celebrating, but with boy feeling so awful, I can’t think we can do anything much. So another one will slip by relatively unremarked. Sigh. Maybe next year. (I say that every year).

The Cipher is rereleased, at least as an ebook on Amazon, but not the full release yet. The cover is lovely, but I”ll post more later when it’s more widely available. And I’ll be begging for reviews and all that sort of thing. And of course I can send out arcs to reviewers. Let me know.

Saturday, June 7th, 2014
things that happen while plotting

Plotting next Crosspointe book. Again. Some things that have arisen, and yes, these were said out loud to me by me because I can talk out loud to myself. Why? Also, the plotting music started out as Mumford and Sons and then went to Guns and Roses. It seemed to work better. No alcohol yet. So this may all be just me without any extra modifications.

I have an extraneous god. Who has an extraneous god? What do I do with him?

. . . plus the genocide thing is bad. Yay Conflict!

Who will die? People must die, dammit.


—–Took a few minutes to start some tomato basic soup. Calls for chopped onions and diced carrots. Learned that my new knife is very very sharp. Cut the same finger twice, and thank goodness for the fingernail. Am still bleeding. Making an effort not to bleed on the keyboard. Now back to the plotting . . .

Die die die. Crap.

Thursday, June 5th, 2014
On Crosspointe

I had an ugly realization the other day that I’d forgotten some serious developments in The Hollow Crown and had neglected to account for them in plotting out the next Crosspointe book. Bad. Very bad. I’ve been rereading the past couple of days–both The Turning Tide and The Hollow Crown–and realize that I have to essentially toss out what I was going to do and totally rejigger everything. The worst part is that I did a really good job of building the intrigue and complexity and now I have to wind it up in one book. I want to do so as elegantly as all that happened in the previous books. I hope I can.

In rereading all four of the books, I realize that I’m a pretty good writer. This is not something that I remember very often or realize. Maybe it’s because my sales are nothing like the biggies in the field; maybe it’s because my name isn’t splattered all over the place; maybe it’s because it don’t get tons of reviews on Amazon. Maybe it’s just because I’m neurotic. I think most writers are. It’s probably part of the definition. Anyhow, in rereading, I realized that I built the relationships in a way that made me happy. I developed the complexities of the politics the way that I envisioned–they are difficult and twisty. I realized that ending this series won’t be easy because I did manage to capture those complexities and it won’t be easy to resolve them.

These are books I’m proud to have written. These are books that I like to read.

I left a fairly large cliffhanger in The Hollow Crown. I’ll endeavor to make the wait for the finish worth it. In the meantime, I should be able to post links to the reissue of The Cipher on Monday or so of next week.

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.

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.