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Archive for 'Diamond City Magic'

Friday, September 26th, 2014
Where’s the rubber ducky?

I’m hip deep in shit creek and no rubber duckies in sight. Book’s due soon, and I’m not done. I’m trying to make doneness, but progress is slower than I want. Also, a few days ago, the z, x,c, and v keys on my desktop keyboard ceased to work. I used a Kinesis keyboard. I called the company, and they are sending me a replacement part, and hopefully it arrives asap. But that means writing on my laptop and for whatever reason, that undercuts my creativity. Plus I’ve been having some weird sick stuff happening this week. Possibly as a result of stress, possibly as a result of not sleeping nearly enough, possibly as a result of total panic, or maybe I’m really coming down with something. My guess is the last one is unlikely.

So in an effort to procrastinate while still feeling productive, I’ve started a patchwork afghan. Which is to say, I’ve learned the patch pattern and am working them up. I started a couple days ago. It will take me a long time to complete the project. In the meantime, I realized I have got to start making stuff to get rid of some of my yarn horde. (Some of which was given to me by my mom, so it’s not *all* my fault.) The idiocy is that I saw a skein of cool yarn at the store, bought it, and came up with the patchwork idea for the afghan because I couldn’t think of anything else to make with it. Unfortunately, It’s not a good match with most of my yarn horde. I found one yarn that I can use with it, but may have to, ulp, buy more. This was not the plan.

More people should use shawls. I make this lovely and soft shawl (which a friend taught me to make–thanks Melissa M.!). Here’s the pattern. Only I make it in supersoft, jewel-toned yarns. I wonder who I could make some for? Hmmm. I also make afghans. I guess I could make one of those. I made a bunch to give away for Xmas a few years back. I sometimes make fingerless gloves and I learned a slouch hat last year. These things are nice to work on while watching TV or driving (as a passenger–I know you were wondering). I used to work on them at faculty senate meetings so I wouldn’t kill anyone, and so the meetings would have some sort of redeeming value. It’s not like we got anything accomplished otherwise.

Booklist likes Trace of Magic!

And here’s the usual please please please spread the word on Trace of Magic, post reviews, and otherwise blather about me as much as you’re willing!

All right, back to making fictional words. Oh, here’s a snippet, just because (and no context for you!):

“She’s the empath, correct?” Touray asked.

I rolled my eyes. “Should I assume you know everything about me? What deoderant I wear? The results of my last PAP smear?”

He smiled slowly, his eyes hooded. “I think it’s a safe enough assumption.”

Friday, September 19th, 2014
Author idiocy

Most writers know better than to read reviews. Good, bad, or indifferent, they just aren’t healthy for the writerly condition. It is a condition. A kind of mental disease, I sometimes think. Good reviews are wonderful and they stroke the ego for about two seconds, but then you start thinking–what if this next work can’t be as good? What if I fail? What if everyone pans it after setting such high expectations? There’s actually a long litany of how a good review can turn bad on a writer, but you get the point. Then the indifferent review is just as bad, because you think, mediocre? They gave me a mediocre meh! I thought it was so much better than that!! What if everything I write is meh and I don’t even know it? What if I’m one big pile of undifferentiated beige? And then there’s the bad reviews. These are always far more believable than the good reviews, because, writer–>mentally diseased with writerly neurosis. So you get a bad one, and it kicks you in the stomach because it confirms everything you suspected all along: you suck as a writer, your book is shit, and here are all the many ways that it sucks. Probably worst of all, it teaches you to distrust all your beta readers, your agent, and your editor, because obviously these people lied to you about your work. See? Writerly condition–>mental disease. I can say that right now, even as I’m lost in bad review wallowing land.

I shouldn’t read reviews. I mean, to some extent it’s my job to collect up those reviews and pass them along to the agent and editor and keep clips for promotional purposes, but at the same time, it’s idiotic because my writerly mental disease flares up whenever I read one. If I’m in the middle of tricky writing or slogging through a bout of “I suck as a writer” (more normal than not) then reading the reviews just makes things that much worse.

I read a review this morning. It slammed Trace of Magic, big time. So now I’m wallowing and trying to scrape my ego back together in order to be able to write. I want to make a declaration  that I will avoid reviews until at least the WIP is finished. If I do so declare, I’m not sure my willpower will aid my resolve. But . . . I need to try. So I declare that I WILL NOT look at any reviews at least until Edge of Dreams (Tracer #2’s working title) is turned in. And hopefully I won’t after that, either. It ain’t healthy.

Reaching the end of another school week. Boy has done pretty well overall, and the girlie has begun band. Both seem happy, which makes me happy. Well, except I haven’t been sleeping, but that’s a whole nother kettle of insomniac worms. And yes, I did just split another into two words.

I am working on getting Path of Honor back out at least as an ebook. Hopefully in the next month or so.

And now, to go get on the job. Oh, finished reading a cowboy romance by Kathleen Eagle called The Last True Cowboy. Wasn’t sure how I was going to like it, because yanno, no sf or fantasy elements, and not a regency, and no mystery . . . Basically not my usual story. I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was as much about the family relationships between a Grandmother, mother, and two daughters, as it was anything else. It was set in Wyoming on a ranch, which really brought memories back for me of growing up. The details were right and vivid. I’d recommend it.

And the theme music for today’s blog, as it seems appropriate:

Friday, September 12th, 2014
Friday and yay for that!

Boy made it through the whole week of school. Some sickness, but he has been decently cheery and he’s so welcomed by his teachers. Hopefully he’s making friends again. Girlie, in the meantime, has decided to play the clarinet in band. She also liked the oboe and the flute, but decided against them.

We’ve had lovely weather this week, and yet I’ve had horrible sleep. I’m not sure if I’m staying awake, or not sleeping deeply, or just tossing and turning and not sleeping well. I wake up exhausted. I’ve tried short naps, but can’t fall asleep. I’ve been out walking, not a lot of help. I did end up waking up soaked in sweat last night. Makes me wonder if I’m a little under the weather, though who knows. The annoying thing is that it slows my thinking for writing.

Speaking of writing, Trace of Magic has his #89 on the Kindle romance fantasy book list. Yay! I’m here to remind you again that I’d love a review anywhere if you’d be willing. Spreading the word for me would be fabulous.

And to encourage you, a snippet from the next Book:

“We are not done with this conversation,” he said. It sounded like he’d pushed the words through clenched teeth.
I laced my fingers through his as he wriggled his right arm under me and pulled me tight against his chest.

“Yeah, we are,” I said.

“Not a chance, Riley. We’re having it out.”

I smiled as I felt myself sinking into sleep. I yawned hard, my jaw cracking. It took all the effort I could muster to have the last word. “I know,” I said, loosening my fingers from his and patting his hand. “But when you find out the rest of the story, you’ll be far too pissed to come back to this.” Whatever this was. I wasn’t entirely clear.

Friday, August 29th, 2014
Book Birthday!!

Trace of Magic made it’s way into the wild today. I totally couldn’t scrape together a coherent thought. Could not write. I’m doing that thing where I stand in the middle of the room and go one way, then another, then another, and then start flapping my arms in curious spasticity as I spin in circles making sounds that aren’t quite human.

Instead of writing, I went to a “downsizing” sale. So a glorified garage sale. They had rocks. I like rocks. They had the prettiest cathedral amethyst geode I’d ever seen. Deep, deep purple. It was about 4.5 feet tall and about 18 inches wide at the bottom. No exaggeration. They wanted 7,000 for it. I drooled on it, but forced myself away. What I did end up getting was a piece of brilliant green obsidian, a Holly Blue agate, a piece of something green and cool with a lot of druzy quartz worked into it, and a piece of petrified wood with a wonderful knot and also two places where druzy crystals had worked into it. So basically I got a haul.

I then did some web surfing and tried to focus and did not succeed. I talked on the phone a bit, entertained children, did a little shopping, and took the girlie swimming. So basically, I dithered and flithered and got nothing done. Tomorrow I’ll do some stuff with my mom. It will be fun. Not word-productive, but fun.

I did get a great review on Amazon of Trace of Magic! This is very exciting. I need all the reviews I can get–good, bad, or indifferent. But I’m always pleased–more like ecstatic–when readers connect with a book. That sounds like a no duh! sort of statement, but the whole reason a writer writes is to entertain and hope the reader loves the book as much as you do. So I’m delighted. Hopefully many more happy reviews will follow.

On a really cool note, the man and I were driving home, and a great blue heron flew over us and landed on the top of a house. I stopped. I’ve never seen a blue heron perch that high before. I tried to take a picture, but it flew off before I could. It was like a blessing from Mother Nature on the day.

 

 

Thursday, July 31st, 2014
A snippet for your entertainment

As the title says, I wanted to give you some entertainment. Here’s hoping I succeeded. A snipped from the WIP:

 

“They split up,” I said. “Three of them went to the far right, two others went to the second left.”

“Which way did Trevor go?” Lauren asked. She sounded faintly winded and the last word trembled off her tongue.

“With the three,” I said. “We should split up.”

“And how do you expect to follow both trails? We only have one tracer,” Dalton said.

I could hear him sneering.

“Leo can ask the metal,” I said, before looking at my brother. “Can’t you?”

The light from the toe lamps hollowed at his face, making him look harsh and dangerous. “I don’t think it’s a good idea,” he said.

“We’ll follow the boy,” Dalton declared. “It’s too dangerous to split up.”

“What if the others are hurt? Maybe dying?” I dug my heels in. “We have the means to go after both. We should.”

“No,” Dalton said.

I ground my teeth together. I couldn’t make Dalton do anything he didn’t want to do. Unless of course I decided to run off my own into the mines. That was a spectacularly bad idea, so much so that even I understood it. I looked over my shoulder.

“Leo?”

He sighed heavily and shook his head. “I hate to, but I agree with Dalton. Better we stick together. We’ll come back and get the other two after we find the three.”

I flexed my fingers. I could grab the trace of the two and then I’d know if they were in danger. But then I’d have to put my hand back into the spirit dimension and that was enough to make me think twice. Plus I didn’t want Dalton or his crew to know I could do it. Basically there was no way I was going to argue myself into a win. I decided to give in gracefully.

“Fine,” I said. “I hope to hell they don’t die.” Or maybe not so gracefully.

Dalton strode out down the far right branch. Maggie followed quick on his heels. The two yanked me after them before I had a chance to think about moving. I stumbled forward, stepping on Maggie’s heels. She swore and twisted sideways.

“Walk on your own damned feet, would you?”

“But yours are so much more comfortable,” I said. “Hey, that reminds me. Where were you when I went down to the Bottoms earlier today?”

She scowled at me. “Fuck off.”

“Trying to, but damn if you and your buddies can’t take a hint.”

“Maggie,” Dalton said before she could retort, his voice cracking like a whip.

She flinched and spun away from me.