Off to Betas

…So that happened. As of this morning, about 11:30.

What happens next? Draft 5 is a read through, out loud, of the printed Word Document. This is meant to put the best polish on the version as it exists now, while I wait on feedback for the next month.

Then there’s a query letter, gathering of agents, and some summaries of various sizes to crank out. We are well on track to the send off.

But yes, we’re rounding on it.


One-Legged Man

My absence? Registration + Novel + End of Semester = BUSY.

However, here’s an election day story from one week ago today, overheard by my husband in our actual town.


A wife and husband scout out downtown MY TOWN in search of a parking space. Apparently, the election is big doin’s, and it is hard to find a handicapped spot near the community center/voting site. This is important, because the husband has one leg.

The car parks down the block a bit, right next to Bryon’s car. The husband is disgruntled; the wife slightly dismayed. She heads down the sidewalk to the community center. The husband fumes for about fifteen minutes. During this time, Bryon goes to get our mail from our post office box and arrives back to our car before the wife gets back to her husband, although he can see her approach.

The wife returns to the car. She informs the husband that a couple of people will assist him from the car to the voting place so that he can caste his vote.

The husband growls, “I ain’t going. Mitt Romney doesn’t need my vote that bad.”

And the two of them both get in their car and leave.


I leave posterity to draw its own conclusions.

I’ll be back when Abigail Rath goes out to her betas, which will be tomorrow, so you will see me in these parts again perhaps once more this week.


Avoiding the Exits

Forge ahead.

Before I get too deeply into today’s topic, I should mention that I will be spending a large chunk of this summer in Viet Nam, from June 17-June 29. I will be leading 4 students from my college to and from Viet Nam, and working with the Global Education Network as the students undertake service learning. I’m not sure what the nature of our service will be yet. I will also be spending a little time in Singapore undergoing orientation.

Yup. Pretty excited on this end. Now what I need is a short course in Vietnamese, something like Vietnamese through osmosis or something.


Yesterday was a pretty rewarding day. I had an hour long reading, and I kept everyone entertained with the WiP. I am moving along toward the beta send out. I feel like I’ve come a long way on the road to completing this novel.

As a writer, it is SO tempting to be diverted from the road you are on. Lots of writers take lots of turn-offs and slip roads on the road to completing a longer journey. At the end of my road would be publication of my book via traditional means. What sorts of alternative routes have tempted me so far?

Continue reading “Avoiding the Exits”

Fried Like Zee Egg

Hi guys! I’m a little crispy. We’re decompressing after a weekend–a GREAT weekend–at Icon. As you know, we had our first Paradise Icon this time around, and it was really, really good. Friday the authors (all two of us!) workshopped and talked writing references. We had a great time bonding and I feel like I got some good input.

But Saturday, Saturday made it. We had 3 great hours: a discussion with Jim Hines about fantasy characters and avoiding stereotypes; an information packed lecture with Steven Erikson regarding the writers toolbox, and an instructive and entertaining hour with Sarah Prineas on protagonists, specifically in YA. Man, that was so good! I plan to start recruiting earlier next year, to get more writers in on this, because we had so much fun! While I know who the Icon guests are going to be next year, I won’t confirm Paradise Icon lecturers until I get them lined up for sure.

Next year, Icon will be November 15-17, with Paradise Icon being on the 15th and 16th. Just so’s you know.


Shout outs to lots of people. The coolness that is Jim Hines for toast mastering our con and just hanging out. Jim really made our Saturday night reception. Thanks to Josh, Lindsay, and Athena for making the whole gig happen. Thanks to Sarah Prineas, who makes writing in Iowa cool. Thanks to Steven Erikson, who lectured for us even though his throat was sore, and also thanks to Steven for being such an awesome fellow panelist on Sunday. The biggest shout out of all goes to fellow participant Shannon Ryan, for whom I only have two words: Wolfman! Wolfman!

Honestly, though, in spite of the babbling, the workshop was great and I’d like to see more great writers, both new and ones that I know, give it a whirl.


Random thoughts and then I’m winding down for the night:

1. Icon had 200 percent more cardboard submarines this year than in previous years.
2. The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists is a book you should read RIGHT NOW.
3. Bryon and I didn’t get into Harry Knowles’ BNAT film festival, but if there’s one thing being a writer does, it’s train you for rejection. 🙂
4. I had an hour long reading from Abigail Rath at the convention, and people are laughing in all the right places, so we must be doing something right.


Happy election week. It’s also registration week at Kirkwood, in which I am so busy I cannot see straight, even with the glasses on, so I will be scarce. I’ll pop in as I can.

Until then, vote well and vote often.