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Archive for 'Crosspointe'

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!

Monday, October 13th, 2014
Chop wood, carry water

Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

Which is to say, I finished Edge of Dreams, sequel to Trace of Magic, and now must begin the last Crosspointe book, which may or may not be called Blood Jewel. I think I’m happy with the way it turned out, as much as I hated a lot of it going through. I just wasn’t sure I could make it pull together to hit the right notes. But I think it did. I hope editor and agent agree, but if not, at least they’ll be able to tell me why not and how to solve the issues. But as there is no rest for the wicked, and no slowing the deadlines, I must start tomorrow on the last Crosspointe book. I am spending today with the boy, who has no school. We’ve done some shopping at Lowe’s and the grocery store, and now are settling in to be goofy and possibly watch a movie.

I also want to finish the book I’m reading, which is killing me because I can tell that it’s going to be one of those that knot me up and then make me wait for the next one and the next. Damn you Patricia Burroughs!!! But The Crumbling Pageant is a really, really good book. Unusual and well done. I’m halfway through and totally recommend it.


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, 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.

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.