Archive for the 'Diamond City Magic' Category
Friday, September 11th, 2020
Yes, I’ve not been here for a long time. Why is that? Well, Covid for one. It’s been tough with the family and helping out my elderly parents. We helped them sell their house and move. Well, basically we had them take what they wanted and then leave everything else and we cleaned their house out and cleaned their house and turned it over to the new owner.
I finished a draft of the fifth Diamond City Magic book, but oh, it was such a struggle. It’s super long, and now I have to revise and add a point of view, so I’m still working on that. I also don’t have a title for it yet, which is totally silly of me, and yet the title isn’t really coming together. I finished The Pixie Job, which will be out in early January in an anthology with novellas by R.J. Blain, Faith Hunter, and Devon Monk. The anthology is titled Dirty Deeds and I think you’re going to love these stories. They are so very fun.
Now what’s interesting is that The Pixie Job is the third in the Mission: Magic books, with The Incubus Job being the first. But wait, you say. Where’s the second? There is no second! But in fact, there is. It’s not quite done, but it will be out sometime before Dirty Deeds. I’m shooting for the end of October or middle of November. I’ll let you know more when I have more. It’s titled The Elf Job and it’s so much fun, I can’t even begin to tell you. Actually, both of them are.
I’m in Oregon and of course there are fires raging here. We’ve not been in any evacuation zones, but we’re really near the Beachie Creek/Lionshead/Riverside complex of fires. We’re across the river and the interstate, not to mention a lot of city, so we’re not concerned about ourselves, but I’m so concerned for some friends who have evacuated, and others who’ve lost homes. It’s just awful and I can’t seem to stop watching the news constantly for updates. On the positive side, it distracts me from the pandemic. That’s good, right?
Sadly, west of us on the coast where I wanted to go this weekend is also on fire and evacuated. But one of my friends who had to evacuate has learned their house is still standing. Hallelujah.
Dogs are doing great. Merlin (formerly bitey boy) has become super lovey and all three of them are lap hogs. My son returns to college in a week. His apartment, anyway. His classes will be online. My daughter will be doing her classes from home. She’s so thrilled (not). My husband will be losing his job soon. They are closing the machine shop where he works. We just don’t know when he will be laid off. They plan to close by the end of the year, but whether they lay him off before that is unclear. He’s taking some online classes to help boost his cnc programming skills.
In the meantime, I’m struggling with all the 2020 crap. Oh, we are remodeling our kitchen and it’s going slowly. Sigh. But progress is happening. Incredibly slowly.
With the smoke, I’ve been inside all week and have been going a little bit nuts. I really need to get on my elliptical. I’m drinking a lot of water to try to stay hydrated because it’s been so dry and hot. Some of my plants are getting really crispy. My tomatoes are going nuts and so are my cucumbers and squash and it looks like I’ve got some good peppers going on. Excited about that.
I promise to check in more. I stopped because I had this feeling that no one was paying attention. Mostly that was because I was doing the thing where everything is so overwhelming that I just sort of crawl into a cave and try to deal triage-fashion. But I’ve missed this part of connecting with people so I’m going to keep blogging here, even if it is into a void.
*waves hi to the void monkeys*
Friday, March 20th, 2020
I haven’t posted in a long while and I don’t know why. It’s crazy. Updates seem silly given the coronavirus, but yanno, life has to go on to.
But let me ask you how you’re doing? I’m in Oregon and right now we are okay in the house. Moved my college-going son home because all his classes are going online and it’s safer to have him home not going to the dining centers on campus for his meals. My high-school-aged daughter is out until April 28th, but I think it will be the rest of the school year so I’m trying to come up with some homeschool plans. My husband has asthma, so I’m deeply concerned about him, but at least he works in a machine shop and so social distancing isn’t a thing there because everybody’s distanced by their machines, so they are all very far apart. All the same, I wish I had some masks for when I go shopping so that I don’t bring it home.
In the meantime, we’ve had a seriously sick little corgi, but he’s a lot better now. Last week we were in the vet several times and I was really worried. We’re getting out to walk the dogs and I plan to get out gardening, but otherwise staying away from people.
I’m working on DCM 5 and it’s Loooooong already and getting longer. I’d hoped to be all done well before now, but I’m not, so I’m plugging away.
I’m trying to find some TV shows I want to watch, but can’t find anything I like right now. I like romantic suspense, but more in books. I like funny and light, but I’ve seen a lot of those, and some that a lot of people like, I don’t. Documentaries are my next go-to. Actually I’ve been watching some YouTube stuff where experts talk about how things are portrayed in movies and TV shows. Like a spy disguise specialist talking about spy disguises, or a jewel thief talking about stealing, and so on. I’m hoping to write some romantic suspense, so watching these are useful and also really fascinating.
I think I want to watch some how-to stuff and get some knitting projects finished. I keep stopping halfway. Cuz I’m a dork. Yes, I am.
Merlin, the bitey puppy, is a lot better and hasn’t bitten us in a really long time. He’s still working out some issues with the older dog, but he’s learned he really loves attention and doesn’t like hurting us. It’s funny because when he makes his groaning noise that could mean he’s happy or that he wants us to stop, we all do a hands up sort of thing to show him we’re stopping and we’re backing off and giving him his space. He’s finding that he doesn’t like us stopping. We don’t want to tell him not to growl because we need the warning, but we also don’t want to get bitten. But he’s figuring out that he’s in control and doesn’t have to be afraid, since a lot of his aggression was fear-based.
I hope to be reporting in here a little more often. I hope you are all doing very well and your are staying healthy. Please do that.
Friday, November 8th, 2019
Here’s the thing about Dalton: he’s the tall, dark, and handsome type who rarely talks. Think Clint Eastwood in all the Spaghetti Westerns. Or even John Wick. But this book he’s got to be more talkative. Because it’s important. So I know his backstory and how Vernon came to help him and therefore why Dalton feels he owes him, but all of a sudden I want to hear your ideas about all that.
So . . .
In the comments, tell me what you think Dalton’s backstory might be and/or how Vernon might have helped him. Answer as many times as you want. Your idea may end up in Diamond City 5! With your name in the acknowledgements.
I’ll just share my inspiration picture for Dalton to help you with your thinking.
Entries close on November 13th, so hurry!
If you’re reading this on a mirror site, come to my blog: https://www.dianapfrancis.com/2019/11/08/dalton/
Thursday, November 7th, 2019
It appears Josh (Taylor’s ex-fiance and kidnap victim from Book 1) has returned. His first meeting with Taylor (and Dalton) doesn’t go so well. There appears to be some friction. Wonder why that is. Hmmm. *grin*
This scene is a lot of fun. A lot of fury and angst and a lot of character building.
This book isn’t going quite as I expected. Not sure whether it’s going to come together the way that I want. This is a complicated book with a lot of threads, and I haven’t even gotten to some of the really big characters yet. I don’t want to skimp on any of the stories/plot lines, so this will either be a very long book, or two books. Gack.
In the meantime, I’m finding myself having a tough time structuring my day so that I get everything done. I don’t know how people do this and I have friends who are so freaking organized and on top of things that it’s almost miraculous. I have no idea how they do it.
So I’ve started watching the Amazon Jack Ryan series and I think one of the most wrenching scenes is watching a man pray with his kid, visit with the grandfather and do really ordinary family things, then sling on his Automatic rifle on his shoulder, hug his kid goodbye, get on his scooter and ride off. It’s that slinging on the weapon that really kicks you in the stomach. So normal in such an awful way. And then he passes burned out bombed places. Just wrenching and this is how so many people live. Not just in what we think of as war zones, but also places where drug cartels are everywhere.
As a writer, these are the sorts of scenes that we value as we write. The ones that juxtapose two powerful images and then make them part of the deeper narrative.
These are the things that I strive for
Now I’m thinking of a character who gets neck deep in some dangerous life and then just decides to stop. But will that life let him stop. Will his own feelings and loyalties let him stop?What will happen? Will he go back? Get dragged back? Or find himself falling into a place he never wanted to be.
Another character who is fascinating is the one who kills from a distance, using a drone. He clearly struggles with his job and what that turns him into.
Saturday, August 31st, 2019
Hello everyone! I’m sorry I’ve been off the radar. I’ve been getting my son ready for college, running around with my daughter for band, dealing with a very sick dog, going to the emergency room with my son who dislocated his knee, minor car accidents, and various other things. So I’ve done a piss poor job of visiting here. I’m going to try to be much better.
I’ve become a fan of Midsomer Murders. I enjoy the mysteries quite a bit and the characters. I also want to go bike riding in some English villages. Though I suspect there will be many places where I’d bap my head on the doorways and other low ceiling type of areas.
But I’m posting because I’ve had a number of questions about DCM5. Yes there is a fifth book! And I’m writing it now. It’s come along a little bit slowly because while I know what needs to happen, I’ve had trouble braiding the strands together. It’s become complicated and I’m working on sorting out the best way to tell the story. That means a few false starts and a number of backtrackings to throw out a bunch of stuff and rewrite. Plus the plans I had all along for one plot thread have become a problem for the turns I’ve taken and so now I have to come up with a better explanation for that.
But it’s definitely in process and I hope to start sharing some snippets very soon.
Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
It’s been a difficult couple of weeks. My husband’s uncle fell and ended up in the hospital. Over the course of the following weeks, he’s had surgery and complications and then things looked promising and hopeful, and then bleak, then promising, then bleak. Now he’s going into hospice, though it’s not really clear to me exactly what is wrong. That’s mostly because he’s been very private about his health and now the doctors are discovering things we didn’t know about. The word cancer has arisen, and apparently he’s had multiple small strokes. Anyhow, my husband has gone to help his dad manage things and get his uncle settled somewhere comfortable and where he can get cared for. He fractured a vertebrae when he fell, and broke his nose, and he’s diabetic, so he’s going to need assistance. I wish I could have gone to help too, but the kids have school, I have Orycon and a signing at Powells, and a couple of can’t-miss appointments, and then there are the parent-teacher meetings. So. We’ll be apart for Thanksgiving. At least he’ll be with family.
That’s the bullet we didn’t dodge. On the positive, my husband’s powersteering unit exploded. Okay, that’s not terribly positive, but it happened in the driveway, so he wasn’t out on the road, and my son wasn’t driving it somewhere. I count those as positives.
We also dodged a bullet insomuch as my husband has time he can take off from work.
In the meantime, I’m trying to get people to read my books, as you do when you have a new release and make a living from writing books. So if you’re feeling kind, please consider reviewing my books and telling others about them. Even better, tell me how you like them because I do like to know. And if you have questions, feel free to ask.
In the meantime, a corgi face:
Monday, November 6th, 2017
In honor of the release of Shades of Memory, my publisher is giving away an audiobook from the first three books. All you have to do to win is click through and sign up!
Also, Trace of Magic is on sale for $1.99 for just a few more days, and Edge of Dreams is on sale for $4.99.
Sunday, October 1st, 2017
I’ve been still trying to deal with so much this summer I haven’t been here much. Primarily, my parents had a house fire and we’ve been trying to get things taken care of, but a major problem is that the insurance company has been a pain in the ass. They want to underpay and have been dragging their heels on paying. It sucks. It’s also time consuming and draining.
But! Things continue apace for Shades of Memory‘s release is just about a month now. I’m really excited for you to read it.In the meantime, I’m working on plotting out some new things which I can’t discuss yet, but soon there will be a signed contract and I can make revelations to you!
I’m going to be at Fan Nexus in Spokane next weekend. Here’s my schedule. I hope to see some of you there! I will have some giveaways.
In other news, I’ve been trying to knit, and making some headway, but frankly, I’m much better at making random knots and tangles. I’ve torn out the heel of my sock project about four times now. For some reason, I can’t seem to get the hang of this heel. Ug. Anyhow, I put a heel in and it’s seriously ugly. I hope the heel of the mate goes better.
I didn’t do well keeping up with my garden this year. I was too focused on other stuff and ended up just not taking care of it. Had some lovely tomatoes, but should have had a lot more. Oh, and we had an ant invasion in the house. Finally had to call a pest company. Yellowjackets and ants this summer. What fun. Sigh.
I feel like asking that perennial freshman essay question: What did you do last summer?
Thursday, May 18th, 2017
I have some book reviews to do, so I will do those soon. Right now I’m working on revising a couple different things, primarily Shades of Memory, the fourth Diamond City Magic book. I’m also working on finishing writing the second Job book. I had gone down a wrong path and I had to chop out ten thousand words, which sucked, but I’ve mostly caught back up and I think the road is better.
I also signed up to be a Chegg Tutor. If you need tutoring or anybody you know does, look for me.
My daughter has strep and has been staying home most of this week. She’s getting better, though, now she’s on antibiotics.
My shoulders and neck are bothering me. Feels muscular, but could be disk. I’m just taking it easy and trying to find comfortable ways to sleep. I’m icing and heating, too, so we’ll see how that goes. Right now I feel better than last night. I want to go out and walk since the weather is so lovely, but feel guilty that I can’t walk the puppies since I don’t want to have them pulling on me at all with my neck and shoulder acting up.
Maybe I should just go hang myself upside down in the closet and see if I can stretch my back and neck that way. I’d probably break myself if I did that, though. Sigh. It’s hard being a klutz.
My peas are covered with blooms and no sign of peas yet. I am sad.
Thursday, March 16th, 2017
First this announcement. Path of Fate has been included in a Humble Bundle with some amazing company. Octavia Butler, Kate Eliot, Elizabeth Hand, Robin McKinley, among others. It’s an amazing bundle and you should definitely have a look.
Shades of Memory is the name of the fourth Diamond City Magic Book. Here’s a snippet in honor of the fact that the revision is nearly done:
“How do we do this?” Price asked, doubt threading his voice.
“A lot of talents work together to make a single spell,” I said again, trying to be reassuring.
“Don’t they usually practice together for years, too?”
“You said you’ve done this before.”
“Sort of. I’ve done it where one of us laid down a spell and the other one laid another on top. If done right, it’s supposed to work.”
“Did you do it right?”
“The second time.”
“And the first?”
I made a face. “A sort of spectacular failure.”
“Define sort of spectacular.”
“Some pretty fireworks. A broken leg. Maybe a small concussion.”
Price sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. “By fireworks, I trust you mean you lit half the city on fire. Dare I ask what you were trying to do?”
“So Robbie had this obnoxious girlfriend,” I began.
“Oh God. This cannot end well,” Price said.
“I already told you that.”
“But now I realize how much worse it’s going to be than I thought. Anything that beings with, So Robbie had this obnoxious girlfriend, must by definition
always end in the worst possible way.”
“I don’t know. Everybody survived.”
Price rubbed his eyes like they wanted to pop out.“Why don’t we move on to getting this blizzard started.”
“I apologize. I shouldn’t have.”
I shrugged. “Suit yourself.”
“But let’s make this turn out better than it did with Robbie, shall we? You don’t really need another concussion.”
“What makes you think I was the one who ended up with a concussion?”
“Experience and your track record. Am I wrong? Don’t tell me you broke your leg and your head.”
“Why don’t we move on to getting this blizzard started?” I said.
“You go first,” I said. “I’ll jump on top.”
He slid a sideways glance at me. “Out here? In the cold? You could get some serious frostbite.”
I hit him on the shoulder. “Behave yourself.”
“You’re the one who wants to jump on top. Not that I’m complaining. I’m easy. I’d go for on top, behind, underneath–”
“Can you just get to work?” I asked, jabbing him with my elbow as inappropriate tingles started up in places they had no business being at the moment.
And that’s all for now, folks!