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Tuesday, May 31st, 2016
Miscon and black eyes

Just got back from Montana. Specifically, went to Miscon, the absolutely best con in the world. Well run, and fun people. Love it. I had to miss last year and was so sad about that. Justin Barba–the Con chair–runs a hell of a show.

But let’s begin with the black eye. Because that’s where the con begins. I’m a clutz. Clodzilla is my nickname. So we arrive in Missoula, Montana, after a pleasant drive wherein which we saw deer, elk, and bald eagles. We get checked in and into the hotel room, and we head to the lobby to get our badges. On the way back, the man and kids and dogs were horseplaying and I decided to fast-walk and then run a bit to get to the room before they did. Only just before I got there, my Birkenstock stubbed on the carpet and I went down. Hard. My face bounced off the floor, which seemed to be concrete covered in a thin layer of very thin carpet.

I iced, then we went to the emergency room where it was determined that I did not have any breaks or a concussion, and my wrists were not broken. But they hurt a whole lot. Still do. I posted a progression of pictures on FB. Here are two so you can see. What was cool was that all the swelling and color started on the top side of the eyelid and then slid down below it and low onto the cheek.

Photo on 5-27-16 at 8.39 AMPhoto on 5-29-16 at 7.38 AM


And then my friend from Montana thought it was so funny that she made me a hat to go with it. Here it is:

Photo on 5-28-16 at 2.42 PMIsn’t it awesome? I’ve got good friends. And she whipped it up in about eight hours. I wore it all the time. Oh, and another thing about Miscon–everybody wanted to help me. Jim Butcher didn’t mind me blaming it on him. Justin Barba brought me arnica gel.

Anyhow, my panels at Miscon went really well. I got to hang out with wonderful friends and fans, meet new ones, and I passed out a lot of buttons for promo. Actually, I passed out a handful and the man and children passed out a ton of them. They were awesome. And this time they hung out at the con more and that was uber fun.

I attended a few panels, particularly those by Clay Cooper, who was doing panels on losing a tail and tracking and guns. I also ate a lot of good food with some fabulous people. The only bad thing was that I didn’t get to spend time with everyone I wanted to. Oh, and I had to skip out on a panel on Monday that was going to be too fun for words. I had to, though, because I couldn’t help drive and so we wanted to leave earlier to allow all the driving during the day and while the man was more awake. The Boy of Size did a bit of the driving, which helped.

Anyhow, I had a great time and tomorrow I have to drive and I’m hoping my wrists can handle it. Been slathering on arnica to help with the bruising. I think it’s helping quite a bit. Though let’s face it, it’s a pretty ugly eye. Oh! And at my reading, I read from the next Job book and even though it was drafty, it was a hit. Yay!

So how are all you doing?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016
On the road again

I’m off to Miscon! It’s my favorite con. It’s in Missoula, MT, and it’s going to be lovely fun. I’ve decided. Plus they make my favorite beer around there–Coldsmoke Scotch Ale. I’m going to have swag, if anybody reading is going to be there. Find me and I shall give something to you.

My schedule is as follows, in case you want to know where to find me:

  • panel Fri 2:00 – 2:50 PM, Book Signing: General Session, Pavilion (2)
    Moderator: Justin Barba; Panelists: Carol Berg, Jim Butcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Robin Hobb, Todd Lockwood
    This signing is moderated, and we will maintain a STRICT 3 item maximum per person–zero exceptions. In order to keep the lines moving, Robin and Jim can only personalize one item per person per trip through the line.
  • Break Fri 2:50 – Fri 5:00
  • moderator Fri 5:00 – 5:50 PM, Beyond The Fangs, Ballroom B
    Moderator: Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di); Panelists: Jim Butcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Julie Frost, Rhiannon Held, Randy Henderson
    Urban Fantasy encompasses more than just vampires and werewolves, yet it seems that the fanged creatures of the night have captured the limelight. What other creatures, dangerous and ghastly, lurk around dark city corners?
  • Break Fri 5:50 – Sat 10:00
  • moderator Sat 10:00 – 10:50 AM, Desire in Fiction, Ballroom B
    Moderator: Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di); Panelists: Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Laurey Patten, Brian Rathbone, Joyce Reynolds-Ward
    Noir is, in part, about what people want, how badly they want it, and how far they’ll go to get it. In this panel we’ll talk about all your characters’ desires, their darkest needs, and how to translate that to the page, regardless of genre.
  • Break Sat 10:50 – Sat Noon
  • panel Sat Noon – 12:50 PM, Meet & Greet/Signing: DianaP Francis/Steve Diamond, Hotel Lobby of Doom
    Panelists: Steve Diamond, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di)
    Meet a few of our authors, get signatures, and see what they’re up to these days.
  • Break Sat 12:50 – Sat 4:00
  • panel Sat 4:00 – 4:50 PM, Crafting Unique Titles, Gallatin
    Moderator: Rhiannon Held; Panelists: Brenda Carre, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Rhiannon Held, Laurey Patten
    How much work do I put into a title for my book or short story? How do I chose one? What titles worked for you? Are the titles themselves becoming tropes?
  • panel Sat 5:00 – 5:50 PM, Keeping the Momentum, Glacier
    Moderator: Randy Henderson; Panelists: Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Julie Frost, Ann Gimpel, Randy Henderson
    Maybe you�re receiving some really great rejections, or perhaps you�ve got a couple short stories published–now what? How do you maintain that momentum? What�s the next step? This is for those writers who are on the cusp of professionalism and those who want to learn what it�s like.
  • Break Sat 5:50 – Sun 1:00
  • panel Sun 1:00 – 1:50 PM, The Grand Scheme, Ballroom B
    Panelists: Carol Berg, Jim Butcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Peter Orullian (Rock Lord), Brooke Stanley
    Every great villain needs a masterpiece scheme in order to realize their ambitions and force the hero to their knees, as well as to set themselves apart from every other nefarious criminal. Learn what elements make every grand scheme extraordinary and how to construct the plan that will give your mastermind their edge.
  • panel Sun 2:00 – 2:50 PM, Fiction Slam Readings, Tent By the Trees (1)
    Moderator: Brenda Carre; Panelists: Matt Buscemi, Brenda Carre, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di)
    Come hear your favorite pro read a selection of their work.
    1400: Diana Pharaoh Francis
    1420: Matt Buscemi
    1440: Brenda Carre
  • Break Sun 2:50 – Sun 4:00
  • panel Sun 4:00 – 4:50 PM, Horror Vs Urban Fantasy, Madison
    Moderator: Peter Orullian (Rock Lord); Panelists: Steve Diamond, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Peter Orullian (Rock Lord), J.A. Pitts
    There’s a lot of shared blood between the two genres, especially as urban fantasy grows darker and darker. What are the major differences? Similarities? How do you know which you’re writing? What are some of the points you must hit to designate one versus the other?
  • Break Sun 4:50 – Mon 11:00
  • panel Mon 11:00 – 11:50 AM, Write a Story on the Fly, Pavilion (2)
    Moderator: Krista Wallace; Panelists: Carol Berg, S. A. Bolich, Diana Pharaoh Francis (Di), Krista Wallace
    In this panel, the panelists will improv a story on the fly, one sentence at a time. It will be written down as they go, and will be read aloud at the end. Promises to be a rolickin’ good time!
Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
recapping the weekend

There’s too much that happened to actually mention it all, so I shall attempt to sum up.

I went up to Seattle last Weds and spent the night with friends and then the next morning, we loaded up the party bus (a Dodge Caravan) and drove away. Much levity followed, including the repeated learning about half dozen being six in number. (when we picked up the van, we did have to explain that). We eventually arrived in Missoula, and then a blur followed.

I met tons of people and got to hang out with many friends, both new and old. I met Betsy Wollheim and Sheila Williams from DAW books, admired Mark Teppo’s penchant for cufflinks, watched a Ken Scholes concert, bought too much from the dealer’s room, sat in on a bunch of great panels, and ate a lot of food (both good and bad). Steven Erickson is incredibly nice and funny and I thoroughly enjoyed being on panels with him. I sold a few books and signed some, which is always fun.  Miscon is like coming home, and most everyone who goes agrees. It’s super well run, and I can’t wait to get back next year. I’ve already book my room.

Wow, that’s a really short recap. Everything seems like a blur now. A tremendously fun blur. Even the last panel–and by that I mean the very last panel of the con, which was the John Pitts and Di Pharaoh Francis show–was well attended. It was a big room and about 3/4 full. When does that ever happen? Oh, I also go to learn how to breach a room military style. I was number one in the stack.

Saturday, May 24th, 2014
Miscon thus far

Miscon so far has been a huge delight. Not that I’m surprised, but I love this con more and more. I left Weds. to travel to  Seattle to Andrea Howe’s place where several of us spent the night after eating at the AFK Tavern (for nerds and geeks and so fun), and then we jumped in our party bus (van) after a hearty breakfast, and headed for Missoula.

Since then I’ve had a couple of panels which were well-attended and fun, I have talked to so many old and new friends alike, I’ve toured the art room and the dealer’s room and will be heading back for purchasing, and I’ve had my dragon drawn. Rob Carlos, fabulous artist, drew my dragon last night. It’s amazing. AMAZING. I’m sharing it here for you because, it’s AMAZING!!!

Okay, the dragon isn’t showing up for you, even though it does on this post, so click here for the Facebook post, which will hopefully be visible.

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Updatery on a Tuesday

Wow, I thought it was Monday. We have a potential diagnosis on my son. I’m not convinced it’s the problem because I’ve had raised hopes before and I had them totally dashed. So I’m trying to not let that happen. He started his very expensive medication today for bacterial overgrowth in the lower gi. Basically he has the wrong bacteria in the wrong place. The antibiotic for it is serious. I’m hoping it won’t whack the hell out of his stomach. I put him back on a probiotic with the ingredients that the doc says are proven to help the condition, so let’s hope it will work. He’s been so very sick this last week it’s been breaking my heart.

I’ve been getting some work done. I’m pleased about that. The new veggie beds we installed this weekend are complete but need to be planted. I got in some starts, but I’ll have to put the seeds in when I get back from Miscon. I didn’t want to put them in because the dogs have been tromping through the beds. Darn pushy snotty corgis.

Haven’t been sleeping well. I’d like to get over that. Wouldn’t it be ironic if I did better at the con. Sigh.

Oh, and I got a wonderful fabulous and amazing blurb from Faith Hunter on Trace of Magic. More on that later, but she said she loved the book!!!! Squeee!


Thursday, May 15th, 2014
My Miscon schedule
  • Fri 5:00 – 5:50 PM, Writing Strong, Believable Women, Great Hall (Upstairs)
  • Fri 7:00 – 7:50 PM, Getting Into Character, Great Hall (Upstairs)
  • Sat 1:00 – 1:50 PM, Anti-Hero, Hero, or Villain?, Containment Room (Upstairs)
  • Sat 7:00 – 7:50 PM, Art of Swearing, Containment Room (Upstairs)
  • Sun 10:00 – 10:50 AM, Author Book Signing, Containment Room (Upstairs)
  • Sun 1:00 – 1:50 PM, Writing What You Don’t Know, Upstairs 3 (Upstairs Programming 3)
  • Sun 2:00 – 2:50 PM, Zombies Everywhere!, Great Hall (Upstairs)
  • Sun 5:00 – 5:50 PM, Reading: Diana Pharaoh Francis, Upstairs 3 (Upstairs Programming 3)
  • Mon 10:00 – 10:50 AM, Monday Morning Coffee Klatch (Hour 1), The Tent (2)
  • Mon Noon – 12:50 PM, Morality In The End Times, Great Hall (Upstairs)
  • Mon 2:00 – 2:50 PM, Transitioning Through Time: Scene vs Summary, Containment Room (Upstairs)


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.

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Tight as a tick

Stuffed myself tight as a tick for dinner. Last night of having my folks in town. Probably don’t need to eat for a few days now. But it was worth it.

My dog has a sore in his armpit (front leg). Every time it start to heal over, something happens and he starts licking and it becomes unhealed and open. I bought gauze and vetwrap today, and I can’t get it to stay on. I wrapped it multiple times. I can’t get it tight enough. Maybe if I shaved all the hair off, it could work, but don’t know that I want to do that (even if had clippers). I’m must not sure how to keep it covered so that I can keep neosporin on the wound. Suggestions? I’m going to keep him out of his harness and walk him off leash. Otherwise I think it adds to his discomfort. This has been going on awhile. The vet looked at it and shaved away the close-by hair. I thought it was healed, but apparently not.

I need cotton sheets. I’ve been using flannel for years, even through the summer, but I need cooler sheets. Time to go looking. I know very little about percale or sateen or thread-counts or whatever. I don’t suppose you do? I know, 14 years in Montana and it’s time to have summertime sheets. What am I thinking?

Got my hair cut today. Much of the purple got cut off, so I”m going to have to do some dyeing. Miscon is a week and a half away. Must look my purpley best, right?

Friday, June 8th, 2012
Queen of the Iron Throne

While at Miscon, I got to sit on the Iron Throne. Here are a couple of the pics. All Hail and Obey me!

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
Rolling Stone and me

Okay, it’s not exactly the cover, and my name isn’t there, and really the panel was not about the silver screen but about monsters. Still, I am on the Rolling Stone website with George R. R. Martin.