This Week’s Progress

There is something to report, anyway. This may well be the only writing session for the week, but we had one!

I’ve completed the rough drafts of chapters 5 and 6 in the troll story. I’m feeling pretty solid about the work two scenes into chapter 5. After that, things get sketchy and need polishing We also need to insert some ideas that came up as we were writing down the line and activate some conflict in a lot of stuff.

The goal for my next writing week, beginning October 12, will be to revise chapters 5 and 6 before moving on to chapter 7.


Into the Wild

In the words of Card Captor Sakura (how obscure *do* you like your references?) RELEASE!

There are a couple of books I’m interested in coming out today.

The recently pimped on this siteOn the Edge by the couple that bill themselves as Ilona Andrews.

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, which will be my first Priest tome, but which looks really good. As with On the Edge, the buzz drones huge.

Go out and get ’em! Well, if you trust my taste. And Publishers Weekly’s starred reviews.


Meanwhile, need more coffee. Big ole day yesterday. Big ole day today. Today, we get writing time, through some miracle of the paper checking gods. We’ll take it.


Groupie and Fight-o, Fight-o!

Bryon and I concluded our weekend with a lovely dim sum with our friend Kim (who was a terrific host!) and Caroline Stevermer. I hope I don’t over-groupie every time I see Caroline, but it still astounds me that I’m getting to know one of the writers of one of my favorite series of books. That’s a mythical thing, that someone you physically talk to took you to incredible places in your imagination.

While the conversation isn’t unprecedented in my experience (Bryon and I guest liaisoned for Peter Beagle, who is my favorite author across space, time, and dimension), what is unusual is that I actually am developing a friendship with such a person.

Part of you is trying to apply the normal brakes so you don’t appear to be a dork, and part of you wants to gush like a dork. It’s quite the tight rope. But I think I am getting better at walking it, and trying to talk to Caroline like she’s a person rather than a phenomena. 😀 Anyway, we had a good time.

Which brings me to next week, elbow to elbow with the likes of Elizabeth Bear, John Scalzi, James MacDonald, and Stephen Gould. I won’t drop all the names, but the firmament will be dotted with shiny stars of the publishing skies. I’ll be bringing along my anti-dork meds, and try to play it cool.


Viable Paradise looming on the horizon also means that I’m not sure how much writing I’ll get done this week. There are quite a few things to get in hand at work before I go. I don’t really want to take papers with me. I will have to check in with my students while I’m away, because they’ll be frantically writing midterms in one class, but I would like the week to be as much about writing as I can possible make it, so intensive prep.

Then, there’s housework. Bryon and I noticed we are pretty much up to our ankles in lint and dust, the universal signal of time to clean. Instead of going to the gym this week, it’ll be an hour of housework each night.

And of course, packing. Spending quality time with the Man (TM) before I am gone. Storing up love with the cats. Writing my squid prologue. (One of these things is not like the other!)

Will our heroine be able to get in some writing on the troll story so she doesn’t have to hang her head in shame over at JoNoWriMo? She’ll try. But since writing will be her ONLY priority next week, she will be forgiving of herself just this one time.

Finally, there are interesting clouds brewing on the writing horizon, but I still expect that while I’ve enjoyed a pleasant breeze, they will mostly blow over. I’ll keep you updated accordingly.

That work I should be doing? Yeah…


Flux Reading

So, where was I tonight?

At the Flux Author Event Extravaganza mostly to chat with Maggie Stiefvater and pick up my very own copy of Ballad which is now in my possession and I will tackle as soon as I am done with Territory. Authors Kirsten Cronn-Mills and Margaret Willey were also on hand to answer questions about their new books, which Bryon and I also picked up.

I had some unintentional fun at Maggie’s expense. I didn’t really introduce myself properly (oh the drama! the faux pas!) and so she didn’t know who the hell I was when she signed my book. There I was chatting around like I knew things–who she was, about her new book, where she was going after the signing, working on my dissertation–and slowly it dawned on her who I was. Well, sure. Why tell anyone who you are when you can mysteriously materialize behind the author and be a woman of mystery?

Maggie was kind enough to introduce me to Brian Farrey, who was the nice Flux editor kind enough to critique the first five pages of Substance. It was nice to put a face with a good deed.

We enjoyed the questions and answers. The audience asked a lot of good questions. I particularly enjoyed Maggie’s anecdote about Shiver, discussing how the editor wanted her to change Sam’s name, but instead she researched how many werewolves had been named Sam (a surprisingly high number). Maggie is right. Don’t name your kid Sam. The chances of him having teeth and claws are high. That, or I’m sure he’ll be a time traveler, as Quantum Leap and Life on Mars attest to.

There was pizza and soda. I headed out of there with four more books. Kim, Bryon, and I stopped for small sundaes on the way home. I couldn’t ask for a much better day. And I checked my measly stack of papers and read most of The Last Continent.

Also, Bryon found a cheesy Vampirella compilation at Dream Haven earlier, so he too couldn’t have asked for much more.

Tomorrow I get to spend some fun with Kim, Bryon, and Caroline Stevermer at dim sum, and I’m looking forward to it. Then it’s back home to begin a VERY busy week of teaching, cleaning, prepping for VP, paper checking, and (please god) writing. I need about two weeks, next week.

How are you all spending your weekends?


Needles and Bones: Where can I find it?

A couple more scenes tonight, and I figured out how to work Stan in, and consequently give Nick an entry wedge. Slow, but steady.

I’m sure you’ve often asked yourself, how hard is it to find Needles and Bones? Where could I possibly buy it? Good news! I’ve discovered at least 3 venues you can purchase it at.

Here’s the link to Needles and Bones at Amazon.

Here’s the link to Needles and Bones at Fictionwise eBooks.

Here’s the classic link for Needles and Bones at the Drollerie Site.

And finally, because it makes me jazzed, here’s my Goodreads author page with a picture of the Needles and Bones book cover on it.

Yes. My newbie-ness is showing again. I’ll put it away now.

Off to Minnapolis for Maggie’s signing and dim sum with Caroline.


Details of Current and Future Projects

This really is for me. I’ve got quite a list of projects I’d like to work on now and in the future, and I’d like to snapshot some synopses of them for my future reference.

You might find it interesting too, but if you don’t, under a cut they go. Follow along for more details.

Continue reading “Details of Current and Future Projects”

On the Edge


The buzz is loud. Giant killer bee from the 50s loud.

So, here’s the thing. I’ve heard On the Edge might be better than the Kate Daniels series. I remain skeptical, and would like to say different, not better, but you know, the only way you’re going to find out is to go out there and buy this book.

Or you could visit Bitten by Books, have a chance to win a Sony eReader, and have a blast.

They’ll let you choose the color of your Sony eReader. If you win. How groovy is that?

Be there, or as Pratchett would say, be a rectangular thing.


And a Quick Update on Craig

Just call me McSpamerston…

CAT scan reveals…nothing. Everything looks great. The going theory now is that when Craig had chest pain (left over from CPR and the Frankenstein treatment) he took a nitroglycerine pill (a wise precaution).

Since nothing was wrong, it caused him to pass out. They kept him overnight for observation and are supposed to turn him loose sometime today.

Thank you for all your well wishes. We’re all okay with it being minor. I think Craig’s just about had enough of all this.


Electronic Publicity and Writers

This topic comes about because of something I did as a professor today. I teach Elements of Writing students (students who need a little warm up before their first composition course) from a book called America Now, a textbook which visits periodicals every two years and plans units around contemporary issues vis a vis campus newspapers, editorial pages, websites and so on.

Since the book is revised every two years, the book remains happily current. We just finished a unit on the obesity epidemic and now we’re starting on one about social networking.

All my students were aware of, and the majority were on Facebook. I had one of the students demo their Facebook page to a couple of students not in the know, and then I proceeded to talk to them about other networking outlets.

Maybe it’s because we’re in Iowa (you know, one of the backwards states that legalized gay marriage), but my students for the most part are not on Twitter, are not bloggers, and don’t use message boards. In my class, Facebook is king.

Of course, that makes me once again consider what I’m doing to publicize myself as an author.

Continue reading “Electronic Publicity and Writers”

Mahabharata: Into the Woods

As in many cultures, India views going into the woods as a transformative experience for the heroic. The Pandavas, instead of having to serve as slaves, are given an alternative loss by the Kauravas, because of the intervention of Krsna. The Padavas go into the woods for twelve years, and then spend a thirteenth year in disguise. We’ll deal with that 13th year in the next entry.

In this section of the saga, the Pandavas experience individual stories of revelation and daring do. Arjuna meets his father and is blessed by him. Yudhisthira learns how to never lose at dice. Bhima has a son with a rakshasa. There is much philosophizing about revenge, with Yudhisthira always taking a more balanced view of karma and how the world works.

At the end of the 12 years, the 5 Pandavas and Draupadi are leaner and meaner, and ready to go off to work in the kingdom of Virata. In disguise.