Things to Attend To

Hello everyone. This is me, right now.

Someone’s getting a dye job on Thursday. I sort of like the luminescent glow of the computer screen, however.

I’ve been having another one of those relaxing weekends. I finished A Hat Full of Sky with Bryon. I’m not sure if Pratchett should write another one of those, as he’s wrapped things up quite nicely. I also indulged in an old Boondocks anthology, and I’m convinced that MacGruder may be the best comic strip artist of the last decade. Solid, solid work.

Announcements? This one.

You should probably pop over to Book View Cafe and pick up Breaking Waves before they’re all gone. All the money goes to relief in the Gulf Coast. Some of these writers, among them Tiffany Trent and Rachel Carson, actually know a thing or two about the environment, making it doubly interesting.

All right. Laundry, and then I’ve got to put in some writer time.


Nothing Up My Sleeves…

Today, the writer is working.

Thanks to archeologist/writer/VP XIIIer Miranda Suri, I have whacked my my 9 chapters of troll-y goodness into 22 smaller chapters. The theory being that my chapters were way too huge for teens.

I hope to repay Miranda by giving her good crit on her latest novel, of which I read two chapters last night. VERY Aztec.

Thanks to all you nice folks who have been helping me get perspective on the agent partial. I’ll have it ready to go soon.


Um…resuming the 4th draft. Things are both more ambiguous and less muddy. Clarifications are happening where they need to. Characters are no longer blurting out their motivations. The book is plumping up. We’re a little over 54K.

And I don’t mind telling you I’m heartily sick of this book. This, this is the slog I so well remember from my dissertation. It’s a much better book than it was even last draft. I’m satisfied, win, lose, or draw, that I’m putting my best effort into it. But yes, the romance is gone as I look at spelling, organization, and what would bore a reader at 15.

And just think! If I am lucky enough to get this book accepted somewhere, I probably get to do this rewrite thing several more times! Hurray!


Meanwhile, there is some stuff swirling around “O-Taga-San” which I will update you on ASAP.

Feh. I’ve got to have devil-possessed David try to beat Grant to a pulp, mark 4. Later, taters.



I have returned from the Temple of Sacred Cake Dissection. Much happiness and felicitations to Aric and Kim upon the advent of their nuptials!

Um. An interview and a book review/interview out currently. As soon as they come home to roost, you will see them here!

And. I am working my way through rewrite 4 at a pretty rapid clip. My fantasy is to have chapters 6 and 7 modified by the end of the week. I’ve received some valuable input from a fellow VP’er about some rearranging, clipping, and chapter shortening that I thinks is spot on.

I’ve read Magic Bleeds. You know what I like about the Kate Daniels series? It’s sexy, but there’s much more than sex. That’s not the motor of the book. Nice work again, Ilona!

Right. I have 17 minutes to produce SOMETHING before I head back for a meeting with a couple of teachers. Perhaps in night class tonight I’ll be doing some writing.

How are you? These days I don’t seem to have time to read through a bunch of journals, which saddens me.


Random Bits of Randomness

I’m getting a lot of spam in my filter these days. The good news is that it’s going in my filter. But I’m going to have to get a big bushy tail, so, like a wildebeest, I can wave the spam away.

THAT was a weak analogy. Then again, it’s not every day you can sneak in a wildebeest reference. I’m going with it.


I am trashed today. Just totally trashed. I will grant you that we’ve been running non-stop day and night for about 3 days, and we’re not used to that after summer. It sure doesn’t make for being an awesome machine of efficient awesomeness.

There’s going to be another quiet weekend, although if I’m lucky tomorrow, I’ll get a post up (see above. The wildebeest isn’t getting much done in the office right now, so maybe not.) There’s a discussion about women and beauty in public, and I have…an angle. Or two.

I also want to talk about my stack of books, and how this is a growing, rather than diminishing problem, sometime.

This weekend, however, is the joy of nuptials for our good friends Aric and Kim in Minneapolis, so we’ll be running up there to sign a license. While we’re not doing that, I’ll be running around with old friends from my costume queen days.

Now, if only these rating scales for courses would do themselves, I’d be satisfied with what I’d done today. Oh look…a meeting. Guess they’ll be here tomorrow.

Project Runway tonight. Maybe a bomb will fall on Gretchen.

Disjointedly yours,


The Edge of the School Year

AnimeIowa went very well. I did a presentation with Bryon on Horror Anime before 2000. Maybe the scariest thing about the presentation was how hack-y Go Nagai’s 1970s Devilman was. We also did some cultural work, hosting a Japanese shrine and tea party Friday night. The convention was great. it was a good chance to see and spend some quality time with some old friends and catch up.

I did rewrite 3 scenes and discovered they weren’t quite so bad. That’s always gratifying.

The next two days will be spent working and getting ready for our Florida trip. We’ll be taking off with a bunch of friends for Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios for a few days. I’m looking forward to the final hurrah of my summer. Next week, starting on August 10th, we’re back in the professor saddle for fall.

There will be pictures. In the other journal, I’ll be putting up pictures of me and my fellow shrine maiden from the party. I’ll share vacation photos here.


Another thing about the school year beginning is that I will be making an effort to get out and visit libraries and schools with Hulk Hercules. I’ve been holding off until I could talk to the primary audience, kids, so I’ll be arranging that. I’ll see what I can do about throwing a party at an indie book store in the area as well. There’s a store in Fairfield that has indicated some interest. That’s interesting to me. Fairfield is our local new age town. And there will be some HH:PW contests. I imagine about 12 would be right.

In the upcoming months, I plan to continue my Viable Paradise XIII profiles. I’m also going to start a new feature, in which I read a book and interview the author like a lit teacher, so we talk about symbolism, depth, characterization, stuff like that. Yes, “stuff like that” is a literary criticism term.

Good to have a chance to say hello before I’m off on another junket. Soon, Ferrett will not be the only person with a picture of a mug of butter beer.


Writing Peeps and What You Learn from Them: The Genie Memories Edition

Then, there was the mother of all headaches. It kept Catherine home from work, it kept Catherine off the computer. At 2 o’clock, she stumbled into town, her husband driving, to pick up AV equipment for the convention tomorrow. She got on line tonight, and worked some, because it was a costly day she took off work, so she needed to make some of that up. She’s rachetted the headache back up some. Goodie…

While the headache was mostly under control, she took a look at Matt Hughes‘ revamped Genie Memories. AND she was very impressed.

I find it fascinating to look at other people’s writing. I find that I learn a lot.

Continue reading “Writing Peeps and What You Learn from Them: The Genie Memories Edition”

Breaking Silence

Sorry about the quiet. I’ve been working on, you know, the Write-a-thon. I’ve also had to sew a quick shrine maiden outfit for the anime convention I’m helping with this weekend. Yes, it has been a long time since I’ve sewn. I had forgotten how to thread the machine. In my defense, it was a fairly new machine when I stopped using it a couple of years ago.

It’s pretty roasty toasty here in the Midwest. We don’t air condition except a small bedroom unit at night. Argh.

I’m focused on finishing the troll novel. There will be a call for readers soon. I plan to revise chapters 8 and 9, and then wrap things up with chapter 10. It’ll come in at that nice YA size of about 55K. Once I’m done with the write-a-thon, I’ll go through with a serious eye on editing, continuity, and connection. Then, agent roulette begins again.

And I’ll be glad. Because I want to send something out.

So, I’m not dead, although nature is trying. Off to Florida to the Potter Park next week, so things may get quiet(er) for a while. Oddly enough, I seem to be more chatty when I’m at work all week. Go figure.


The Gentle Art of Long Car Trips

Please let me know if I’ve missed any very important events in the last 3 days or so. I’m surfacing for a moment to catch up, but don’t have time to read 5 days worth of stuff.

We took a trip up to the Decorah Nordic Fest on Saturday with our friends Mark and Michelle, and then Sunday we went to the 50th Wedding anniversary party for parents of friends, so we’ve been spending a lot of time in the car. There have been some cool things for writers.

1. I’ve learned a lot about thermite reactions and white phosphorous, because I’ve been studying clever ways to blow up…but that would be telling.

2. Matt Hughes has given me chapters of his book Genie Memories to read. I’m looking forward to it.

While I’m feeling smug about things I’ve seen that you yet haven’t, I should also mention George Galuschak’s On the Making of a Dead Man’s Hand, which truly should be snatched up by some wise and thinking editor.

It’s going to be a busy week, kids. In addition to keeping up with the Clarion Write-a-thon, I will be working on some sewing for Anime Iowa. Hey, the presentation’s done, but it would be nice to get the outfit done for Friday’s party too. And, there’s work Tuesday and Thursday.

It’s my hope to have a write up about Red Hood’s Revenge soon.

What have you been up to? What projects are you working on?


Writing…a Lot

Since I’ve been a domestic being this week, I’ve been cleaning and sorting some. The husband and I took about six bags of books out of our library yesterday, and the house has been thoroughly dusted. With my dust allergies, that does make for a sniffalicous good time.

However, I’m weighing in to mention that I am finished with this week’s chapter for the Write-a-thon. I am going back to chapter 3. I have to back weave a plot element in, and change Manuel’s mom’s job, so that the new plot movement makes sense in chapter 8. Then I’ll revise chapters six and seven.

I know this excites. It might be more exciting to mention that I’ve learned a lot about autoclaves and what they do in the last couple of days. Nope, you’re going to have to read the manuscript later to know why.

You can guess all you want, though.



I’m at work for a couple of hours this morning, trying to get a few things out of the way before I’m out of the office UNTIL THE 19TH OF JULY!!! Yeah, baybee!

A-hem. This is the time of year that two very important reunions are on my radar screen.

1. Readercon. It’s my first reader con, but I’m going to see, lessee, Miranda, Kat, George, Julia, and Lisa. There will be SIX VP XIII’ers there. That’s damned close to a quorum. There will be MUCH cavorting, I assure you.

Add to the mix several author friends, a chance to meet more VP alums, the VP reading on Sunday, some of the Codex Writers, and a programming schedule that looks really relevant. Also, I get to see one of my oldest costuming friends and my best friend from school in Japan on Thursday night.

The only thing that will be lacking is the husband.

2. Cath’s Family Reunion. I am concerned about our park being flooded, given the constant rain, but we’ll be watching that carefully. If all else fails, it’ll be at our home.

About 40 “relatives” will join us Saturday, July 17th, in a celebration of all things that a family should be. All of these wonderful people, and I get to spend an afternoon feeding them and hanging out.

Everyone should look this forward to their reunions.

So. Tomorrow I may not get here. I have packing, and some advanced writing to do. If I don’t, I will happily see you on the other side, with some Readercon reporting.