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Archive for the 'Crosspointe books' Category

Friday, April 25th, 2014
accumulation of stuff

That title isn’t all that accurate. I’m not talking about actual stuff, but stuff I wanted to talk about. And life.

The first thing is odd. I was driving home from Norwescon and saw a billboard that said “Jesus died for your sins.” Not an unfamiliar saying, but my storytelling mind went instantly into what really happened. That people hated him. That they wanted to be rid of him. That there was plotting and intrigue of a Shakespearean quality, and then Jesus was set up, tortured, and killed. That’s the simple telling. Take his name out of it, and you could really play with the story, couldn’t you? I’d have loved to see Shakespeare tell it.

Another thing I thought about is plot stuff for the next Crosspointe book and the next Tracer book. The Crosspointe book is starting to really firm up plotwise. Oh, and I was listening to a song and I got to Costco and spent fifteen minutes scribbling in a notebook on a new Horngate something. I don’t know if it will go into one of the new novels, or if it will go into its own story. The song was Live’s “Lightning Crashes,” which is one of my favorite songs.

The girlie’s birthday is tomorrow, so I’m fetching cupcakes for her class and because I’m revising, I ordered her a cake. Oh, and I’m also sick. Not sure what it is. Some sort of odd virus. Anyhow, cooking is kind of unpleasant. It should pass soon. In the meantime, there is wrapping and did I mention revising?

So far on the revising I’m doing a lot of trimming and pushing on clarity. So far I haven’t made any huge cuts, but I expect to cut some scenes and tighten up others. When I get to them. I’m really pleased with the revisions thus far. I really hope you like this book. It’s alternate history urban fantasy noir and it’s first person and it’s very different from Horngate. I can’t wait to hear how you like it. (I say I can’t wait, but really I could wait if you hate it.)

The dog was sick yesterday with me. Had to run him to the vet. He was bleeding from his bottom. He’s okay. No tumors or anything. Maybe colitis, or maybe that his glands were full and irritated. Anyhow, he had his glands expressed and is on antibiotics. He seems pretty chipper, so I’m not going to worry. Yanno, because it’s so easy to just not worry.

Boy is still sick. New meds this week. All tests still normal. Poor kid.

Next con is Miscon. It’s my favorite. Small and well-run and an an amazing crowd. The hotel is super welcoming and basically, it’s a homecoming. BTW, Norwescon responded to me and said they are working on fixing the book dealer situation. That’s wonderful and that will make them a nearly perfect con.

Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Digging through the work

I’ve got deadlines massing. Like when they talk about earthquakes swarming before a volcanic blast. Just like that. I’m working on Trace of Magic revisions, which are coming along nicely. I turned in an essay and expect revision notes soon. I received the next stage of The Cipher along with some other copy to read, and then I received The Black Ship to start revisions on. Plus I need to get then next Crosspointe under way. So pretty much, I’m trying to work and keep up and get stuff done.

Meanwhile, boy is still sick. No end in sight.

Meanwhile girlie is having trouble dealing with it. Trying to help her.

Plus trying to help my folks buy a house long distance. We’re hopefully going to get our vegetable beds built this weekend. Crossing my fingers.

I’m tired. Why am I tired? Going to go pass out now.


Sunday, February 9th, 2014
The Cipher

I finished my revision of The Cipher for reissue and sent it off to my editor. I feel like I made HUGE changes, and yet, most of the book is the same. The changes are minor, and yet I feel I’ve shifted things to make the book hugely better. I’m not entirely sure how to explain it, except if the characters make the book (and I believe they do) then this book is much better because I’ve deepened the characters and made them more three-dimensional and more interesting. I hope my editor agrees.

We had about a foot of snow in the last few days. A guess a lot of people got freezing rain too, but we lucked out. It warmed up today and it started melting. The streets are a mess. They’ve canceled school for tomorrow. It will keep warming up, though and I expect it will all be gone in a few days.

Tomorrow I want to dig into working on plotting some things and getting prep done on a coupe of talks I’ll be doing at a writers retreat in a couple of weeks. I need to work on taxes and finding bits of paper and receipts that I probably didn’t keep good track of while moving and long after. Can hardly wait to do that. Sigh. I really should be better throughout the year.

I’ve got a couple of stories trailing through my head that need development and thought. I need to work out elements of them to see what I want to do or what they might be. I’m not sure that they’ll be turned into stories. The key is that I need to dig into my characters and adore them. Get attached, then cause them pain and terror. Writers are such nice people, aren’t they?

I’m talking some more about The Cipher and characters over at Magical Words Monday. Come have a read.

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
shoring up

I’ve been shoring up the characterizations in The Cipher, as I’ve mentioned before. On thing that I noticed, in a happy way, is that the character of Edgar and the way I wrote him reminds me of Red Reddington on The Black List. This makes me very happy. He’s exactly the character I want him to be. And I wrote him long before The Black List ever came into being. I don’t want to say a lot about what I’m doing with Marten and Lucy as characters. I wanted to shore up Lucy’s independence, yet lend her a little more empathetic characteristics, and shore up her bravery. For Morgan, I wanted to similarly make him more empathetic to readers. To give him qualities that make him someone a reader can like and respect, even as the reader hates him for being an ass. Yeah, I’m not sure I pull it off either, but that’s what I love about this book.

Think about that though. In romances, you have male characters who are alpha and asses and still come out okay fairly frequently, but most of them aren’t asses in the way that Marten is. He does something really really bad. And then he compounds the issue and doesn’t learn his lesson. That totally makes sense given who he is and that he’s a gambling addict. He comes through in the end, but it isn’t quick or easy. It’s not so simple to a) learn your lesson, and b) quit your addiction, and c) take the consequences of what you’ve done.

This is one of my favorite books because these two characters seems so real and complex to me. I don’t know if anybody else likes them as much as I do. I’m having fun revisiting them. I hope I’m still doing them and the story justice.

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
Poking along

Today I took the dogs to the vet to get their shots and a well check. One needs to lose a pound or two, and both need to get some bones to chew the tartar off their teeth. Otherwise they are really healthy. That’s nice to hear. Took boy and dogs to the park for a little walk. It’s snowing, so very pleasant.

Speaking of the boy, he gets another test on Thursday. A HIDA test. We see the doc after that–gotta make the appt. He’s been a little bit sicker–more heaving with each event. I do not like this. Not one bit.

I made this stuff last night for dinner. I sweated some onions, added bell pepper and some already roasted meat, then put in red wine, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, worcester sauce, some garlic, adobo seasoning and some salt. Served it over some black beans and rice with some cheese, cilantro, and chopped up avocado. It was so good, I can’t begin to say. Not bad for just grabbing whatever’s in the fridge. Girlie devoured it, despite the onions.

I have recently become aware that I may be the most sane member of my parents’ children. Actually, there’s no real may about it. I never saw that coming. Whodathunk?

I did a post up on Magical Words talking about the reissue of The Cipher. Have a read and see what you think.

I now must do some phonecalling for appointments. Wish me luck. I must get the calendar nailed down too.


Thursday, January 30th, 2014
the news that is

I know, I’m not really posting much this week. The boy continues to be sick. I have been working on The Cipher for reissue. The weather has been very nice, and generally things have continued to plod along. We got some new furniture today, so now I need to get people over. The house is almost put together now. We still have some projects outside and some unboxing and putting away to do inside, but most of it is put away. What I can’t find is one of my sword display plaques for the long sword. Not sure where it’s gone to. I believe I’ve seen it since we’ve been here, but I have no idea where it is.

Tomorrow you should go over to Magical Words. I’ve been doing first page critiques there and two more will be posted. It makes for a good discussion to see other people’s comments. The first one was about a week ago. There will be links on the posting to it.

I also got a job offer to teach in a low residency MFA program. The contract isn’t signed yet, (it’s coming in the mail soon) and it’s a year to year contract, but I’m really excited and I’m really looking forward to it. I spend a couple of weeks on campus in the summer, and then work with students online during the year. I get to focus on genre fiction. I’ll give more details once I get the contract signed and returned. The regular paycheck won’t hurt my feelings either, specially as the bills roll in on the boy.

Thanks for the suggestions on the baby blanket and website! I’m checking out the one pattern to see if I like it. Not sure I want to do one with a lot of lacy holes, or go for a more solid one. But then again, I also found a cute little hat and now I’m pondering a hat, except I know babies’ heads are much smaller than I remember. I wonder if a grapefruit would make a good guide?


Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
What you can tell me

As you know, Belle Bridge books is reissuing the Crosspointe Chronicles. I’m in the process of going over The Cipher (I always liked this book–all the books, really) but I’m finding that I’m making some significant changes in some scenes so far. They don’t change the plot or the storyline, but they do unpack the characters some more. I think I’m making the book better. It’s rare to get a chance to do something like this on an already published book. At least for me. It’s possible I’ll add a scene somewhere for all I know. If it makes the book better, I don’t want to take it off the table.

But doing this comes with concerns for me. I don’t want to force my fans to go out and buy a new copy of the book. That’s not at all why I’m doing this and I’m a little worried I could anger some readers. I feel like there ought to be a warning on the book, but of course that won’t happen. I don’t want to ruin a good relationship with a publisher, either. I very much like the changes so far. I think Lucy and Marten are becoming more engaging characters.  I liked them both before, but I’ve learned so much since I wrote this book that I’m finding a lot of places to push and expand.

In the end, as a writer, I have to make the changes that improve the story and hope my readers don’t feel pressured to buy a new volume. There’s always the library, right?

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
checking in on life

I don’t have a lot of updates on the boy. Still barfing, though he is sleeping better.

I have several things to get done over the next six weeks. 1) make any updates/changes to The Cipher for reissue, 2) revise Trace of Magic, 3) plot out new Crosspointe book, 4) work on the historical YA. In six weeks, I’ll be going to the Rainforest Writers Retreat (I can’t wait!) and I’ll be hoping to get a serious amount of writing done during that retreat. I’ve decided my son will be well by then. I hope to hell he is. I’ll be a mess if he isn’t.

So the next seven weeks are pretty well planned, if I can get down to business. That’s a bit tougher. I’m distracted and having a hard time maintaining focus. Plus I seem to have errands dropping on me every five minutes.

Weirdly, our phones will randomly stop working during the day. I’m not sure why. I think it’s not the phones themselves, but our carrier. I’m going to have to check into it. But of course I’m going to end up with the issue of, if I can call in, then there’s no problem. If I can’t, I can’t call them. Gah.

Monday, November 4th, 2013
Crosspointe, Trace of Magic, Ticks, Pie!

I had a good weekend and busy. Lots of cooking and baking. Made hot apple cider, too, with sliced oranges, cranberries, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Tasty. It went well with the pumpkin pie and all the rest. Unfortunately, boy of size is sick today. Throwing up. Just don’t know what the trouble is. I suppose it’s okay. Last week at the end of school he twisted his ankle and staying home gives him another day to stay off it. That’s a good thing.

We’re getting a lot of rain here in the next couple of days. I’m eyeing the leaves on the lawn with baleful intent.

Am starting to read some of the books that have been languishing in boxes (it’s a bad idea to pack the To Be Read mountain because then you only form another one).

This next weekend is Orycon. I need to post up my schedule. I read on Friday at 5:30. I’m nervous about that. Not sure what to read. I only have a 1/2 hour, so I am going to have to figure it out.

Incidentally, it’s officially official: contracts are signed for the re-release of the Crosspointe books and the next in the series! I suppose I could have led with that . . . But anyhow, I’m really excited. The Cipher will re-release in February. Trace of Magic will be out in August, unless things shift to earlier. More on that later.

And just because this is crazy creepy and cool, this is an article on ticks and how they work, with really awesome video showing how they attach and do their work.

Thursday, September 19th, 2013
merrily we write

I had some great news this week, and that is The Hollow Crown finally reverted back to me. I have another publisher who wishes to reissue and finish the series. We’re working out details now, but hopefully I’ll have an announcement before too long.

Because of that, I begged out of my teaching job. I asked them to find another person to cover if they could–but promised I would not leave them high and dry if they couldn’t. I explained why–more books to write. They were fabulous and found another person quickly. Thank you Jeremy! That’s a lot of stress of my back.

The writing has been rocking this week. I’m working on Trace of Magic, the first of two books set in an alternative Colorado. It’s sensational fun.

Here’s a snippet:

He surveyed the room. “The FBI would have seized everything. I’m a little surprised they haven’t cleaned him out already.”

“Maybe the company was looking for evidence or sensitive documents. They had to know he was being investigated. If he was embezzling, presumably it was through work. Where else could he?”

“The question is, did they find what they were looking for?”

“Actually, the question is, what are we looking for?” I asked.  “And don’t go all Velma on me and say clues. Cause duh. What constitutes a clue?”

“We’ll know it when we see it.”

“Gee, thanks, Velma,” I said. I sat down at the desk. I was looking for whatever hadn’t been found. Josh has always been a straight arrow and not particularly imaginative, but he apparently had another side, which mean I should be looking for good hiding places.