Vapor Lock

Busy week. Busy, busy, busy week. Patreon updates. Making sure In the Ruins is absolutely, positively, no-foolin’ ready for next week’s release. House-sitting and animal feeding. NaNo-ing. (Technically every month is a novel-writing month, but you know the drill.) Latin. French. Greek. Copyedits just landed. Kids both busy with their own lives, so arranging the clockwork of everyone’s schedules to run smoothly requires a bit of negotiation at the dinner table.

I just want to go back to bed.

But! I will be at the Powell’s Authorfest this Sunday, 3-7pm, signing books and blinking owlishly at people. Want your books signed? Come on out!

…I had a lot of other things planned for this blog post, but I just vapor-locked, sitting here staring at the screen while my fingers twitched uselessly. Which doesn’t bode well. Time to make a list and go down it, checking things off ruthlessly, and no knitting until I get at least half of it done.

I can’t promise everything will get done today, but by golly, I have caffeine and I’m going to damn well try. Except for the copyedits. Those can wait for next week.

Over and out.

Season 2 Preorders!

That’s right! Season 2 of Roadtrip Z is now up for preorder. Patreon “Serial Time” subscribers, of course, get access to the serial as it’s written, AND get ebooks of the draft and finished seasons for free.

Season 2 of Roadtrip Z!

Ginny Mills is a librarian with a mission. She’s determined to get to her family, and not even the crowds of shuffling, infected undead will stop her.

Lee Quartine’s spent his life making do and getting by. He knows how to survive, but now he has Ginny and a small band of survivors to care for.

The power is out. Winter has arrived. The infected roam in packs. Survivors are showing up in the strangest places. And Ginny and Lee haven’t even crossed the state line yet.

It’s gonna be a long trip…

Now available direct, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or (soon) independent bookstores.

I am so excited to be bringing you the continuing adventures of Ginny, Lee, & the gang. I hope you like it–Patreon subscribers are about to start Season 3, wherein more survivors show up, this very week.

Morpheus Skips Me

Some nights, not even warm socks or an extra blanket can keep insomnia at bay. About once a month, sleep decides it’s skipping me and heading for more congenial shores.

This isn’t as bad as it sounds, really. It used to be I couldn’t sleep at all–the anxiety lay in wait, a sharptooth creature with baleful eyes. Now, at least I can plan around that one day a month Morpheus decides to skip visiting. (Insert Matrix joke here.) And Miss B’s regular breathing, not to mention furry warmth, are far from the worst companions while I’m tossing and turning. Eventually I turned the light back on and wrote iterations of cover copy, then polished off The Vice-Consul.

I’m sure reading Duras wasn’t helping my mood. Her books provoke something very close to depression, kind of like listening to Jandek. Also like Jandek, they scratch a particular itch, and every once in a while I find myself scrubbing said itch until it bleeds.

So today is for the last proofing pass on In the Ruins, season 2 of Roadtrip Z. I’m just cranky enough to snag on details, but not too fatigued to say “fuck it, I don’t care.” It’s a good sweet-spot to hit, and after I get everything done, dusted, and uploaded, there’s a gentle run to shake my fidgets (and Miss B’s) out, with the bonus exhaustion factor to make sure I sleep tonight. I should probably also get the makings for red sauce into the crock pot–I wonder if I should do a roux for a base? Choices, choices.

*sits and stares for a moment* A roux might be over-enthusiastic of me. We’ll see.

Over and out.

Playing Hooky

There was a yarn sale and a houseguest yesterday (not in that order) so it was a day of hooky after I got in a bare minimum of wordcount. The day ended with good news, a bottle of syrah, and gumbo. I did not have to cook dinner, which made it a win all the way around. And now I have enough yarn for a second kimono sweater.

I also had time to curl up and read a couple graphic novels said houseguest was kind enough to bring me. Grendel was so-so, but Old Man Logan was a treat. I’ve been putting off seeing the Logan movie until I could read the latter, so now I have something for a knitting night. Something other than an opera, I mean.

That meant I’ve achieved my super loose goal of a book read each week this year. It’s a small goal, and I alternate between gigantic doorstop history tomes and smaller, shorter works, so it all balances out and I am feeling quite vindicated and victorious at once.

Yesterday’s bare minimum wordcount was worth more than it should have been, because I figured out a huge plot point AND how the space travel in that particular universe works. There are days when the heavy lifting is all internal, and one needs to do a certain amount of putting pieces together before anything can be written. And, of course, revisions on Season 2 of Roadtrip Z are slow going.

I also have a Silly Hat recording to get done for my Patreon subscribers. I was a bag of feverish flu when we hit that particular milestone, so my reading was not up to par. Also, the recording will mean locking the dogs out of my office, otherwise the only thing my subscribers will hear is Odd Trundles’s snoring. (He really does love it when I read to him, though.) I’m sure I could make a YouTube bundle off a recording of Odd doing what he loves best–snore-snuffling in his sleep, natch, or eating–but I’m often laughing too hard to hold a camera steady. Not to mention the pressures of celebrity wouldn’t be good for poor Odd.

So it’s back to work today, still feeling a slight dizziness from the syrah last night and almost shaking with relief at the good news–which I will announce as soon as is feasible. There’s a wind advisory today, and the double seashell-noise of bulldog snores and the remaining cedars along the back fence whispering is soothing in the extreme.

Over and out.

RELEASE DAY: Steelflower at Sea

After pitched battle, betrayal, and escape, Kaia Steelflower has enough gold to feed her troupe of outcasts through the winter. She can settle them in a small villa in Antai, that queen of maritime cities, and look forward to welcome boredom.

Unfortunately, there’s a pirate-infested sea to cross, her difficult new talents to corral, her traveling companions’ problems to solve, a princeling’s attentions to manage, and once in Antai, people keep trying to kill her. Or, more precisely, assassinate the barbarian Redfist, and Kaia keeps getting in the way.

Even the Steelflower can’t kill every assassin in the city. It’s going to take all her sharp wits—and sharper blades—to even try…

Now available at Amazon. Will be available at Barnes & Noble and indie bookstores as soon as the distribution propagates.

That’s right, my darling Readers! Kaia’s further adventures are now available. It’s been a long hard road to get here, indeed.

Please note that Steelflower at Sea will not be released in ebook for the foreseeable future. And yes, there’s a teaser for Book 3 at the end of this edition. I don’t have a projected date for Book 3–Steelflower in Snow–just yet, but I’m thinking maybe late 2018.

And now I’ll go soak my head in a bucket to calm the release day nerves…

Working Time

I’m waiting for the coffee to settle before I go on a longish run, and thinking about the day’s work. There’s Beast of Wonder to get decent wordcount in on; the book wants to be written piecemeal with a dialogue skeleton first. Which is my very most un-favourite way to write a book, but since this one probably won’t see publication, I can let it take the shape it wants over however-long. There’s also the YA my agent wants. Which makes two projects that will perhaps never see publication. It’s not a good use of my working time on the whole, but the next bit of Roadtrip Z needs some thought. I know what happens, I just need the proper entry into that phase of the story. Which requires thought.

I know what I’ll be thinking about for most of my run. Frustration will mount, and by the time I get home, I’ll be no closer to a solution but at least I’ll feel like I’ve taken action Later today, maybe in the shower or while cleaning in between writing sessions, the opening will appear to me and I’ll wander away from what I’m doing to write it down. (Hopefully not in the shower, it’s no longer summer.) Or maybe while knitting, which means I’ll drop my yarn and start typing furiously.

There are other projects waiting, like an attempt to go back to Deadroad and maybe resurrect that poor story. Not to mention Harmony, which needs another 30k. It’s a monster of a book, but since it’s only for one person, I suppose that doesn’t matter. Today, though, I’ll write to please myself. Especially since we’re coming up on the release of Steelflower at Sea. I’m excited for the new release, of course, but I’m also…well, the book has had a long hard road to publication. I still get stress nausea when I open the mostly-done third book (Steelflower in Snow) and go back into that world. A lot of writers don’t talk about the emotional cost of people outright stealing our work. It’s damn near crippling on some projects.

I’ve my work cut out for me, but first I need to get my coffee down and get out the door. The wind it up, so my eyes will be stinging and leaves will be flying. Of course I’ll return with my hair full of leaves, needles, and possibly bees. I do try not to carry the bees too far from their territories, but if they’re going to crawl into my hair, well, they get what they get. The other day I also had a beetle nestling in my braid, for what purpose I do not know. Maybe I’m just public transport for pollinators.

I also lost some writing time last week doing the website revamp. Do you like it, fair Readers? It should load far more quickly now.

That’s all the news for today. It’s the end of the witch’s year, and tomorrow the kids are home to celebrate Samhain with me. There will be food, and fun, and baking. And not a little sugar.

Over and out.

Different Speeds

A dream of trying to get to a petrol station with a janky old minibus told me it was definitely time to get up this morning. I’m not allowed to run today–stressing my flu-ridden body with easy 5km jogs for the past couple days was just enough to scratch the itching under my skin, but not enough to tip me back into mucus, coughing, and wishing I could just crawl under a rock. The dogs turned their noses up at breakfast, since it didn’t have bacon grease smeared on the bottom of the bowl.

They are spoiled little things. When they get hungry enough, they’ll eat.

Stories often follow the same principle. The surrealist book I’m attempting is a painful word-by-word slog, each one chipped out and deleted three or four times as its sentence is tweaked, honed, and settled like a jigsaw piece. On the other hand, I fall into Broken Profile for an hour or so, enjoying myself by just transcribing the movie in my head. And the nascent YA is somewhere between the two, a steady process of building. Each book is different, but when one reaches the point where they refuse, setting out the bowl of kibble and waiting is often the best (or only feasible) strategy.

You can’t bat if you’re not waiting at the plate. (There, that’s my one sports metaphor, now I can go for months without making another.)

In the meantime, I knit a few rows, tap a little on Abyssrium, think about the story, test words inside my head like testing a handhold while climbing. Fingertips first, the rest of my body clinging to the rock, then a decision–a slow transferring of weight, or a sudden lunge?

It’s the former more often than you’d think, though I prefer the latter.

Anyway, I’ve gotten my amnesiac narrator onto the city streets, and next comes the meeting with the bargain-basement psychopomp. Maybe I should write the bathtub scene, though–that’s what’s filling my head right now with a ripple of water and clumps of black-tar desperation.

It’s a sunny morning. Maybe, instead of fighting with this, I’ll walk Miss B around the block. By the time I get to the end of the street, the problem will be solved.

Over and out.