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Archive for 'Crosspointe'

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?

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.

Saturday, August 17th, 2013
Where does the time go?

I heard from a friend the other day that faculty meetings start this next week. I won’t be there. I wanted to drink some champagne. Because, you know, I always love me some faculty meetings and I wanted to drink my sorrows at missing them away.

Had a good crowd for the reading up in Portland. I was terribly nervous. Read from Trace of Magic. I think it went well. I hope so.

I started re-reading The Cipher today. I haven’t looked at it since I published it in 2007. It was a bit of a revelation. It’s good. Really.  It has good storytelling and worldbuilding and I like my characters. This is one of those moments of partial relief–wow! I really can write! and total fear–are my latest books as good? And then there’s that moment of, why the hell didn’t these books do better? Fantasy lovers should have been all over them.

BTW, this isn’t just dejavu or me having a walk down memory lane, I will be writing more Crosspointe world stuff. Seriously. I would love to write a novella or novel or more following what ever happen to Sarah and Lucy’s family. But more important is telling the rest of the story. I want to do that.

Laura Anne Gilman stayed with us for a couple of days. It was huge fun and the kids and doggies loved her. They want her to come back. Soon. Hear that Laura Anne? We also did something incredibly silly and funny for Gishwhes, which also appalled my son. There will hopefully be a picture sometime in the future once Laura Anne is free to reveal them.

And now, anon. Possibly there will be blackberry picking tomorrow. Possibly the hanging of pictures in the house. Possibly napping.


Friday, March 15th, 2013
The day that was/is

Remember that post I made with the saddle that reminded me of Sheri Tepper’s Grass? Today I got awesome spam mail wanting to buy it. Bwahahahaha! And if it *was* like the Grass device, they’d be so very sorry to get it, too.

I’m getting closer to getting the WIP in progress right. Got feedback from my agent today. I have some tweaks and a cool and interesting addition to make that I hadn’t thought of before and then, hopefully, I’ll be set.

Bon Jovi has a new album out. I want to get it. I remember seeing them for the Slippery When Wet Tour in Fresno with Cinderella opening.

My lovely and wonderful husband surprised me with flowers today. Terribly surprising, given he’s in Oregon. I cried. I admit it. Love that man. Miss him. Two weeks til I get to see him again.

All the Crosspointe books and two of the Path books (three will come soon), are available on Audible.com. I haven’t had a chance to listen yet, so if anyone has, how are they?

If you haven’t seen this, it’s hilarious. Poor sales guy.

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
Excellent news!

I am more than pleased to announce that Audible.com is going to be making audio books of the Path novels and the Crosspointe Chronicles. I’m so excited. I’m bouncing off the walls.

I don’t have much else for you today. I’m just a blathering idiot about this. Pardon me while I go dancing.

Monday, May 21st, 2012
Of chickens and revision

Today I got a call from a friend who’d been attacked by a wooden chicken while cleaning and ended up with two broken bones, a chipped bone, and some ligament issues in one of her hands. This same friend is going to have significant surgery on Thursday. She tells me that it’s my fault. That my clod genes are catching, sort of like the flu. I’d like to tell her she’s totally wrong. Sadly, she might be right. Did I pass my clod cooties to her? Or was it a sign from above (it fell from above)? Or, did she make the singular and unholy mistake of cleaning? Was that the issue? I think maybe so. Anyhow, went to see her after the hospital visit, I gave her a bag of ice, wished her happy birthday, and laughed uproariously at her. I’m that way.

In the meantime, I’ve been revising. This is what it’s like. I am doing things to the front of the book, which, like cracks in a windshield, spread out through the book. Then I make more corrections, attempt to fix more cracks, and more cracks happen, digging further into the book. Rinse and repeat. (Am I madly mixing the metaphors or what?)

Anyhow, the process is a bit terrifying, since I’m not entirely certain that I’ll catch all the inconsistencies and cracks, or that the fixes I’m making are causing irreparable faults later in the manuscript. So what now crops up is a clash between getting the revisions done and terror of doing them wrong. I’m trying not to freeze solid.

In the meantime, hopefully I won’t be attacked by any wooden chickens.

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
Hopeful news

It looks like there’s a publisher who may be interested in the Crosspointe books. If so, we’re looking at seeing an end to the series! Wahoo!

Monday, May 14th, 2012
of color

Kate Elliot posted an essay today called Decolonizing as an SF Writer by Rochita Loenen-Luiz. The subject is one that’s interesting to me because a lot of my dissertation and research has dealt with colonization/postcolonization/neocolonization. I think colonization is the most shaping force on all societies in the world.

But what it made me think about today was black people. You might ask why. The subject came up with my children. They were talking about the civil war, and then my son says, “I call black people African-Americans.” I said, that makes sense, but you realize that not all black people are African-American, nor do they wish to be called such. Then my daughter pipes up with “Anthony is black.” I said no, he’s Chinese. He’s racially different from white and black. Then my son pipes up with another kid who is black, and I explained no, he’s Mexican.

Now the thing is that this little town I live in is mostly white. Very white. There are a few black kids and Hawai’ian kids at the college, and then a Mexican migrant population and a fair number of Native Americans. But frankly, the day to day experience with people tends to be blindingly white. That skews the perception that all the world looks like this.

Which makes it difficult to start explaining to children about people of color and their cultural histories and the way that white people are implicated in a lot of terrible things in history. The fact is, it’s a complicated subject and I can’t do it all in a day or even a year. But it is something that I have to talk with them about now and throughout their lives. I don’t think that this history is taught in school, but it’s tremendously important. On the other hand, my kids learn a lot about the real Native American history here. The Big Hole Battlefield is not far, and neither is the Little Big Horn. I’ve been to The Big Hole Battlefield and you can feel the spirits still there. It’s an eerie, beautiful place.

You should read Loenen-Luiz’ essay. It’s well worth reading and it digs into the complexity in a very short space. What I really find important is the way she talks about the friendship/betrayal/colonizer element. That there is a real difficulty in negotiating the tangle of emotions involved in being friends with the people who are oppressing you.

When I finish my Crosspointe books, this is part of what I mean to explore, and what I’ve been setting up all along with the Jutras. I have the Crosspointe people seeing them as invaders and a sort of monolithic evil in the first book, and then slowly they learn that the Jutras are human and eventually they begin to learn that the Jutras have good reason for invading. That good and bad is not as simple as it looks.

And yes, I intend to finish them. While Roc has decided not to publish the last books, I’m looking for a publisher who will, and if not, I will do it myself. I love these books and I want to get them done.