A Sunny Day

I didn’t write today. I wandered around the book shop, the coffee shops, the manicurists, and I felt myself refreshed and renewed. Some days are like that.

As I looked in the bookstores, and thought about all those books, who was selling, who was published, my profound thought of the day is almost always the one I return to.

I can only be myself. That will take me where it takes me. I’ll let it take me where it takes me as well.

Off to handout candy and, you guessed it, write.



Yesterday was a crummy day. I didn’t write because I had to deliver disheartening news at work, and felt depressed about that. My office looked very much like a villain in my eyes, but if things don’t pan out, the real villain will be the economic recession. I was operating on 2.5 hours of sleep given that Bryon had trouble sleeping without the fan, the first in our unsuccessful night of dust allergy management. (BTW, Wednesday’s test revealed that I am allergic to dust. I can never read Phil Pullman’s Compass books again. )

But today is better. Bryon went to bed at 8 upstairs with his fan. I spent my night downstairs on the couch. We have a plan to de-allergize our main bedroom, so it doesn’t look like we have to go Victorian with the whole separate bedroom thing after all. I’ve decided to get allergy shots to see if I can improve my condition for the future.

Today my head is in a good space. I like having a plan.


As you know, I’ve been putting together another plan, my research plan for Hulk Hercules. It’s a good thing that we authors are used to getting rejected.

I contacted the Chicago Schools three times, and I’ve been pretty much blown off. That’s not a big deal, as I can create a fictional school, place it somewhere in Chicago, and go with it. I like the touch of authenticity, but I have more flexibility this way, so I’m okay with not using Jane Addams.

I just got off the phone with the Brookfield Zoo. My contact there was very nice and very apologetic, but I was told in clear terms that the Brookfield Zoo name is trademarked and can not be used in the the novel. Further, their keepers are much too busy to be interviewed. I could go to the zoo and visit their designated keeper chats. After their educational chats about the animals, I might be able to snag them for some questions. I think not. I don’t want to nosily interject myself into their work day, especially after being told how busy they are. We tried this the professional way, and the zoo wasn’t interested, so I think I will cobble together an imaginary zoo as well, and we won’t worry about them.

THE BEST of the batch are the wrestlers. Windy City Pro Wrestling, I love you! There was no awkwardness, no levels of bureaucracy, real interest in the project and being helpful with the project–in short, being decent and pleasant like we Iowans are used to.

So, at this point, my only objective in going to Chicago is to talk to the wrestlers. I am still a great believer in doing research for my work, but I perceive that maybe Chicago institutions don’t care about my work as much as I do. Who’d have thought it?

How about you? Have you done much primary research for your work? How are you usually perceived as you try to find out what you need to know?


Mythological Spies

Today’s Hercules stats:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
32 / 44

WORD CUT!!! (Finally let go of the food fight orphan scene. At this point, it will not be in the story. Combined a couple of other scenes that were repetitive.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
41,825 / 45,000


In the realm of Jackal’s First Hunt,

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
8 / 24


And here’s one of my favorite bits:

“Wait a second!” Drew popped between them. “What does this have to do with my sister?”
Alan pulled the shade down a tiny bit more. “Drew, right?”
“Spill it, Uncle Alan.”
“Chas, what’s Zoey’s cover?”
“Your sister is a model. And she’s a spy.”
“And you two are spies?”
“Good guess.”
Drew nodded. “I could see that. You look like James Bond. But you,” he eyed Chas, “you don’t look like a spy.”
“Yup,” Chas said. “Guess that makes me the best spy of all.”
“Well, not the best,” said Alan. “That’s reserved for us guys that look like James bond. Chas is pretty good though. He’s our resident weapons expert. If you give him the contents of your lunch box, he can make your Jello pudding into a high powered explosion.” Lynx stood up. “Maybe they didn’t follow me. They would have done some shooting by now.”

See you tomorrow!

Herc-o-meter; Spy-o-meter!

Although the Savage Dogs scene will be revised, still, here’s a couple more scenes tonight. We’re moving into the mythological part of the story, so the action is going to get more magical.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
31 / 45


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
42,640 / 45,000

And the new project–Jackal’s First Hunt, the last of the salvageable old fiction. I gotta say I love the spies from the Agency. Zoey, Chas, and Alan are some of my favorite characters, and I’ve missed them.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
4 / 24

Support Your Local Genre Magazine

First of all, around the internet, Elizabeth Chadwick‘s soundtrack is up!


And then…

I want to encourage you to support Drops of Crimson because it’s a cool new magazine for Urban Fantacists. Other reasons?

Ilona Andrews is interviewed.

Karen Mahoney has a story there, and I know her!

I have a story there as well, if you like YA vampire killers. There may well be a future series with these two, and you can say you read them when.

Have a spooky week, getting ready for Halloween!


Reading Choice

Icon let me know that this year’s theme is spooktacular, given Halloween and all, so I decided to read from Substance. However, since I’ve read the beginning at a couple of other venues, I’ll read the curse reveal, the four corners conversation, and as much of Esme’s Trial as I can get through.

I’m sneaking out for a while now to write and edit, as I have to come back tonight to observe a teacher.


Herc-o-meter; Vamp-o-meter

Another revised scene in Hulk Hercules, and a new one that I must polish. Next session will be polishing, and the Savage Dog wrestling match with Hera interference.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
27 / 44

Word count is growing. I expect some cutting soon, though.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
41,866 / 45,000


Two Vampires and a Panel Discussion first draft is done. It weighs in at 2513 words. Teeny! Next up for it, a final read and polish before it begins its life as a circulating story.

Zokutou word meter
13 / 13

That’s it for tonight.


Pluggity Plug: Faery Taile Project

The first Faery Taile Project is available on Amazon now. It’s another fine product bought to you by Sonya Sipes’ company Cat’s Curious.

Of course, you gotta think that since Cat’s Curious is publishing Hulk Hercules: Professional Wrestler (and with luck and sales more MYTHtery Kids books!) my interest in publicizing in self-interested. Sure, in part.

However, I’ve had the good fortune to read the stories therein, and both Christopher Kastensmidt and Jim Hines have had a lot of fun writing the stories. I had a lot of fun reading them, and I think you will too.

Order this puppy then, and start your collection!