Archive for the 'WIP' Category
Tuesday, October 13th, 2020
I’m typing away on The Elf Job. It’s the second Mission: Magic book. It’s going to be really fun (I’m nearly done), but I’m converting it from 1st person to 3rd person and that makes for a bit of a slodge because I’m constantly fearing I’m overlooking an I, me, my, myself, our, we, etc.
I thought I’d go ahead and share a little snippet from what I’m working on today. Here you go. Enjoy:
The new elf stood well above six feet tall, which was about average elf height. Her hair hung to her knees. Mal had never seen an elf with black hair, though even in the moonlight she could pick out hints of blue, green, and purple. Strands of gems and gold wove through the long tresses. Maybe all that weight gave her a constant migraine.
Her clothes were white on white on white. She wore gossamer-thin layers that floated up at her slightest movement. A train flagged in the breeze. The thing that caught Mal’s attention, though, was the circlet on top of her head. It was made of a bright blue metal inlaid with intricate designs. In the middle was a star sapphire the size of a plum.
Crowns on elves could only mean court royalty or a high priestess. Both of which were on Mal’s bucket list of ‘don’t do this ever.’
She continued to look and after a minute it occurred to Mal that she was waiting for some kind of obeisance. A curtsy or maybe groveling in the dirt. Not a snowball’s chance in hell.
“Why am I here?”
“I summoned you.”
Fucking elves. They even evaded direct questions. Mal bit back the urge to tell Lady Enigmatic Asshole to fuck off. She’d thought LeeAnne was obnoxious.
“Are you going to tell me why?”
“I wished to speak to you, of course.”
“Then can you say what you want to say? I’ve got things to do and not a lot of time to get them done.”
“Yes. The talisman of Cat Barf. You seek it.”
Once again name of the talisman was impossible to make out. “Like I told Merrow, I don’t know.”
Her brows lifted. “You don’t know?”
“I’m after a talisman. I have no idea what it’s called, and to tell the truth, I don’t really give a fuck.”
Just that and nothing else. She continued to stare. Unlike Paeteric, she had mastered the art of the bland expression. She also had the elven appreciation of time in spades. The concept of hurry was totally alien to her.
“Why do you care whether or not I’m after this talisman?”
“I don’t care if you are after it.”
Now it was Mal’s turn to be confused. “Then why do you keep asking about it?”
“It matters not if you seek it.”
Crap. Elf double-talk again. “Okay, if I find the damned thing. Then you’re interested, correct? Why?”
“It is not for Paeteric of House Yonnarlistral to possess.”
“He doesn’t seem to agree with you on that.”
“The Talisman of Cat Barf may not be used in this war.”
The smart ass part of Mal wanted to ask which war it could be used in, but she clamped her teeth on the comment and swallowed it back down. This elf just might answer and they’d end up so far off on a tangent she’d never get back to work.
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*
Thursday, April 2nd, 2020
How are all of you holding up with the coronavirus? Got fun stuff going on at all? Want to kill family members?
I get out every day to walk the dogs, though a lot of the time I just want to hide under the covers. I have zero writing discipline. Both kids are home and the girlie really doesn’t like me homeschooling her. Sigh. I’ve accomplished things like grading for my class, writing a letter of recommendation, cooking food, and not really doing well at writing. Trying to give myself a break because all of this coronavirus thing is getting to me. I need to avoid the news and especially news from the Whitehouse, but I can’t seem to do that very well. At least in Oregon, the social distancing is helping. Right now we should have enough ventilators for w
hen the peak gets here. This makes me happy because my husband has asthma. I’ve been making my family wear cloth masks out in public, especially at the grocery stores. It may not help us not get the disease, but it will help us not spread it, especially cashiers.
I kind of want to go for a drive up into the mountains or out to the coast, but I know there aren’t any bathrooms open, so . . . Staying home like we’re supposed to.
I have been trying my hand at amigarumi. My first project has its problems, but it looks reasonably like what it’s supposed to. It’s crochet, so that’s a little easier on my weird shoulder/elbow tendonitis thing. That’s my little dude, there. He’s a flat mouse, because it’s supposed to be a bookmark. I need to iron it a little, I think. But at least it’s looking kinda like what it’s supposed to. I’m going to make a cat next, though I have to wait for yarn to get here, unless I can find some smaller cotton yarn in my stash.
My writing is almost nonexistent this week. I’ve got to find a way to get back on task. I’d like to get outside and do some gardening, but we’ve had rain. So I’ll have to wait. I need to call an order in to the garden store so I can go pick up some things like sawdust for my blueberries, and a trough and various other things to be a planter for my cool weather veggies. It’s tough because I’m trying to work out a schedule that will work for my kids and me. You know, the me who doesn’t want to do anything right now.
I have been doing some reading. I have been reading some romantic suspense, and have a billion other books to read, so I’m going to have plenty to choose from. I just finished a book by Laura Griffin, one of my favorite writers. This one was a stand alone, except there were cameo moments from her Wolfe Security and Tracers books, which I appreciated. None of her books have to be read in order, so I’m going to dip into the series again here and there. I’m reading some Netgalley books, so I may be bringing you a review or several. I don’t review what I don’t like. I don’t want to tear authors down.
So what have you all been up to to pass the time? Been able to find all the things you need? Flour? Yeast? Toilet Paper? Cleaners? Dish Soap? (that one floors me that it’s been running out).
Monday, May 6th, 2019
From the second Mission Magic book, a little chopped out snippet:
“So when Arcadia decides you’re a threat and starts lobbing magic bombs at you, you’ll what?”
He gave a knife smile. “I will open up the heavens and rain hell down on earth.”
I stared, trying to figure out if that was a euphemism or not. “What does that mean?”
“It means that no matter what happens, people are going to die. I can push the hatchlings toward Arcadia, but when they attack me, the hatchlings will go wild. I’ll be killing anyone who comes at me. The hatchlings will run wild and all these innocents will become the banquet the elves destined them to be.”
For a few minutes I’d had a slender hope that with So’la’s help, things wouldn’t go worst case scenario. Now I had to wonder if anybody could be saved at all. It was too much to hope that So’la would be willing to sacrifice himself for anybody else. He wasn’t the type.
“Do you have a point?”
“Get to it then,” I said curtly. I shoved my hands deep into my pockets, my body rigid with tension. What the hell was I going to do? How was I going to keep all these innocent people alive? And all the Arcadia personnel?
Tuesday, March 6th, 2018
No context, but it’s still fun–if a whole lot rough:
Ray boiled as he strode behind Kayla. He wanted to shake answers out of her. His hands clenched and unclenched and magic sluiced through him in a hot torrent. It built inside him like steam in a kettle. He couldn’t let it blow. Normally when this happened, he found a way to discharge a bolt of the energy–into the ground or the river or an asphalt parking lot.
But here? In his current mood? He’d be almost guaranteed to kill trees, and the dryads would most definitely take offense at that. The myths that said they were gentle beings lied. The best you’d get was live and let live. Fuck with them, and they’d come after you with a vengeance. He’d heard stories of them reaching out through uninhabited trees and plants and dragging people under the dirt and burying them alive. The rest of the time they fought dirty.
He dragged in a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to make himself relax. An almost impossible task with Kayla in front of him. Half of him wanted to shove her up against a tree and kiss the living shit out of her, and the other half wanted to throttle her until she finally gave up the truth. The fucking dryads knew more about her than he did.
He had no idea what to make of her claim she could handle magic. She wasn’t suicidal, and yet she was acting like it, thinking she could go up against this killer alone. Not that he’d let her.
A voice in Ray’s head jeered at that. Like he could stop her. What was he going to do? Handcuff her when he wasn’t around? Maybe if he handcuffed himself to her she might not go off on her own, but he wouldn’t bet the farm. On the other hand, he’d have to sleep with her . . .
His entire body flushed hot as he imagined her curled up against him, his arms around her. How far gone was he that neither of them were naked in his little daydream? How far gone was he that just the idea of cuddling her made his dick hard?
God, but he was fucked up. The last thing he wanted to do was start something up with any woman, but with Kayla least of all–even if she’d cooperate, which was highly unlikely. Besides, if he did manage to get her in bed, it couldn’t end well, and he’d lose her all over again.
Talk about a dose of frigid reality. The possibility froze his body and cooled his magic. Fear stalked across his soul. He wouldn’t let it happen. Whatever had taken her away, he’d fix it, no matter how much anger and hurt he had to swallow. He didn’t need his pride; he needed her.
Sunday, June 11th, 2017
I’ve been actively attempting to be, oh, active. I’m starting smaller with just making sure I get so many steps each day with no breaks. I set the count a little low (5K) to make sure I can hit it fairly easily. Working a sedentary job means that I often forget to get up and move. My main goal is to do this every day with no breaking the chain. I’m up to 18 days. My feet and calves and shins are a little bit sore. I need to work on stretching. I keep not doing that. But I’ve been feeling fairly energetic. Pretty pleased with that. I’ve had a few days where I’ve pushed the workout a little bit more, but the main importance is to a) get in the minimum and b) every day. Once I’m not hurting so much and feeling pretty good about it, I’ll push the minimum up.
I got to meet a Swedish Vallhund puppy today. So cute. It’s pretty much a wolf-colored corgi. And so sweet. He was four months old. I didn’t have my boys with me. Wish I had. I took pictures, but they didn’t turn out so well, but here’s a quick picture. I’ve heard of them before but never seen one in the fur, so to speak. He was adorable and so very sweet.
In the meantime, I’m revising books. I’m hoping to have announcements soon. Oh! but I do have one. I’ve a Horngate short story coming out in August in an anthology. It’s got stories by Seanan Mcguire, Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Faith Hunter, and lots more. The anthology is called Urban Enemies, and I’m going to have a copy to give away soon (of an ARC). Keep an eye on this blog and my newsletter for details. If you want to preorder, click here or on the cover:
We’ve also been out digging for petrified wood and finding some really great pieces. Going to be going out and doing more of it soon. The last time we went, a guy found a piece of carnelian limb cast. It was amazingly clear carnelian and it was shaped like a slice of wood. I can’t wait to go back and see what we can find. My husband found this one cool piece that was a little round piece of a limb. It had rotted in little columns through the wood and then those holes filled with agate. The outside is petrified wood. I’m really excited about seeing it polished. That’s something we hope to learn to do this summer. There’s a local rock and gem club we’ve been meaning to join and they offer access to equipment at a low price.
I also want to go hiking around Silver Falls State Park, and to the Tamolitch blue pool on the Mackenzie river. It’s beautiful.
Basically I want to get outside and get moving more. I like to, but I can’t seem to get over entropy sometimes. Which is completely annoying about me. Sigh.
Saturday, February 25th, 2017
I did that. Ran away from home and to the Rainforest Writers Village where I got less work done than I wanted, but I did finish the fourth Diamond City Magic book (Yay!!!) and did some work on the second Mission Magic book. I also got to meet a lot of people I didn’t know, and spend time with others I do, and it was a good time. Patrick Swenson is so amazing for organizing and running this. He’s just fabulous.
I came back to aid the husband who had had his wisdom teeth out right before I left and developed dry sockets, which were very bad. Painful bad. He’s improved, but is still having some pain. In other news, the girlie is quickly becoming a teenager and I’m quickly losing my mind. My stress level is up and I’ve got a raging headache at this moment. I’ve got to seriously figure out some way to get through these next five years or so. Ten? Shit.
I need to learn to meditate. And maybe yoga. And exercise myself into the ground. This might get me through the hateful hormones.
Now I’m watching this very odd movie that is alternately bizarre and funny. I’m very amused. It’s called Mr. Right with Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell. Tim Roth has always been a good actor, but in this, he’s awesome. He does southern accent like nobody’s business. Plus he’s a really a fabulous actor.
Today was lovely sunny. Tomorrow the rain returns. Damn. I was looking forward to another walk in the sun with the dogs tomorrow. Maybe it will be a rainy walk. Or I’ll do some reading. I’ve been managing to enjoy some lately. Hoping for more.
Friday, February 3rd, 2017
Because it’s Friday and because I can!
From book 4 of DCM (which is yet title-less)
I pulled back my wandering mind to focus on the task at hand. The difficulty in this situation was me. Null magic in particular. It didn’t want to weave together with other magics. It wanted to kill them dead. Suck all the juice out of them and leave them dried husks of nothingness. That wouldn’t be all that bad, except that the result was a little bit like setting off a nuclear bomb. I don’t know why. It’s like the magics went to war, though it would have made more sense if the null power just sucked up the other one.
That’s the reason why you didn’t get a lot of null magic crossovers. I probably should have mentioned that to Price, but what he didn’t know couldn’t stop me from trying. The good news was that if things went wrong, the backlash would come at me, not him.
Wednesday, February 1st, 2017
I had this image pop into my head: A glass army. I thought about the fact that though the blood would run off them, it would still cling and dry and then I wondered how impervious they would be, if at all. Seems to me they would have magical qualities.
I want to write another traditional fantasy and this may be the first seed. Hard to say. But then I had another image so I started a poem out of nowhere and here it is, even though it’s awful, it does get at one really cool image:
The sun shone bright over the glass army
shed rainbows in a halo
flickered and dulled under the clouds
drifted and bunched across
the sun smothering it into the darkness
couldn’t be seen through
the clear glass in their hearts
And then just a little bit of Price and Riley:
“How the hell am I going to help you if you won’t even stay in the same room with me?”
I was yelling. I don’t know if it was more from fear, frustration, or fury. With incredible restraint, I did not pick up the chunk of petrified wood sitting on the shelf beside me, and I did not sling the hunk of rock at Price’s head. Though I stayed in reach to keep it an option.
“If I stay in the same room with you, I’m going to kill you. Is that what you want? What will you do then? Haunt me?”
Price’s voice emerged through clenched teeth. He faced me from the doorway thirty feet away. Running away as soon as I came in the room. Every muscle in his body looked to be clenched tight.
“You can kill me from a football field away,” I pointed out. “Probably a lot farther. Your logic is completely stupid.”
“God dammit, Riley. This isn’t a fucking joke,” he said, plowing shaking fingers through his shaggy black hair.
Sunday, January 15th, 2017
The past couple weeks have proven to be a whirlwind. Already. I’m almost done writing two different books. I plan to be done by the end of January. One is DCM 4, the other is this book that came out of nowhere and is huge fun. For me, anyhow. The writing has gone fast on the second book. Crazy fast. DCM 4 is complex and digs more into the the Tyet stuff and has some really cool twists. A couple are even shocking, I think. I can’t wait to see what my editor thinks.
Am in the mood to go digging rocks, which of course is not possible given that a) there’s snow everywhere, and b) the ground is frozen.
I have to confess I have yet to take down the Christmas tree. Part of that is sheer laziness. Part is the fact that we got it up late and I’m still enjoying it. But it has to come down, so I think since the kids have the day off tomorrow, I’ll make them help me do that.
We have a deep love of rocks, not that I know much about them. We sometimes go rockhounding to look for different things. We’re just getting started figuring out what we’re doing. We also go to estate sales and that sort of thing to look for rocks. This weekend, we went to an estate sale and had some great luck. Found a bunch of rocks and many were very cool. Some were already cut, some were rough. Hampton Butte petrified wood, tiger iron, lots of agate, lots of jasper, some other stuff I have no idea what it is. But very pretty.
Makes me want to go out and dig holes. We’re going to try to get to look for some limb cast as soon as the snows go. We figure the runoff this year will expose some good stuff. Or so we hope.