Come See Me At Cedar Hills Crossing!

Just popping in for a quick reminder: Tuesday, May 31, I’ll be at the Cedar Hills Crossing Powell’s for a signing/reading event with Devon Monk and Ilona Andrews, at 7pm. You still have time to preorder a signed copy of Defiance–and when you do, you will be entered in the drawing to win a chapter of Reckoning, the last of the Strange Angels series. This means you will get to read a chapter of Reckoning MONTHS before it’s published. Ilona and Devon are running giveways too–it’s our little gambit to break the Powell’s shipping department. (They love us there.) Plus, there will be goodies!

ETA: Powell’s does ship these signed copies outside the US, as far as I know. And the chapter can be sent outside the US, too. This is one of the few contests I have where I can ship outside the US. Just mentioning…

Now I just have to figure out what to read at the event. Hmmmmm.

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Not Shell-Shocked, Just Looks That Way.

This is what the end of a zero draft looks like:

* Every piece of silverware in the house is either dirty or in the dishwasher, which I have not unloaded. The sink is piled high with dishes. Good thing tonight’s pizza night. Except we won’t have plates if I don’t deal with the kitchen.

* Three baskets of laundry are behind my writing chair. I don’t remember putting them there. I think the last time I did laundry was…Wednesday? No, it had to be before that. It was while I was writing the cave scene. In other words, who the f!ck knows?

* Just ate two slices of leftover cake. I NEEDED THEM. Now I feel slightly sick, but my brain is yelling MORE CAKE! I WORKED HARD, I NEED GLUCOSE! I am resisting valiantly. Plus there’s no cake left.

* Found myself bent over this morning, hairdryer in my hand, staring blankly at my toes while I forgot I was drying my hair. Thankfully, nothing was too scorched. Well, at least some of my hair covers the bad bits.

* There is a stabbing pain between my shoulderblades. Need to figure out the memory foam padding in the chair. Also, should stretch more. Yeah. Will get right on that.

* Was in bed before 8:20PM last night. Informed my darling children that I was tired, therefore THEY were turning in early too. They wisely did not quibble.

* Miss B. is shedding. Drifts of white undercoat everywhere. Even if I hoovered every day it would build up. I haven’t hoovered since last weekend. You’ll have to send in the Saint Bernard with the little cask of rum around his neck to find me in the White Wastes.

* My TBR pile looks like a tornado hit it, teetering dangerously on the small table next to the couch. The research books are scattered around, all open to different pages, dog-eared, underlined. The series bible is torn, coffee-stained, stepped on, and generally ragged.

* Only decided to go to post office and bank today once I figured out that due to automated tellers and the automated postage kiosk, I did not have to speak to a single living being.

* Forgot to put my shoes on twice this morning. Only realized it once I had taken a few steps outside. Okay, fine, half a block.

* Woke up this morning and was unsure if I had really finished the book or just dreamed it. Had to check. (This happens far more often than you’d think. I’ve never been wrong, but the idea that I MIGHT be makes me check each time. What? Neurotic? Me?)

* Bedroom is strewn with clothes, for the simple reason that I would be dressing and suddenly drop every article of clothing to run to the keyboard and vomit up another chunk of text. Then I would start shivering and try to figure out why I was cold, and realize I was just in a tank top and one sock. It’s a mercy I work from home, and that I have an alarm on my phone reminding me to be decent before everyone comes home from school.

* I had to ask my daughter what I’d made them for dinner last night. It was waffles. And bacon. Thank God. I’ve never forgotten to feed the children, but I worry.

* Realized yesterday that I could not remember showering at all for the past day or two. Leapt in the shower. Had the shampoo in my hand before I realized I had indeed tried to shower an hour and a half ago, but I had turned off the water and wandered out to get more of the book set down. At that point another chunk of text appeared, so I turned off the water and…yeah. Two hours later, wrapped in nothing but a towel, I wondered why my teeth were chattering.

* The inside of my skull feels like it’s been scraped clean by an enthusiastic Baskin-Robbins employee. With a really cold scoop.

I am proud to report, however, that the zero draft of the first Bannon & Clare book is finished, and buried on my hard drive to age a little bit before I polish it and turn it in. One down, two to go before the end of the year.

God help me.

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It’s not oatmeal. It’s my brains.

First, the obligatory self-pimpage: don’t forget the RECKONING contest! The May 31 event grows ever closer!

Things I did today include:

* Dropping off people at the airport without killing, maiming, or screaming at anyone. Banner occasion.
* Staring at a weird pale growth in the front yard until I realized it was a mushroom.
* Saying very loudly, “Jesus Christ, don’t eat that, what’s WRONG with you?” to my dog, then looking up and realizing a woman and her toddler were staring at me round-eyed.
* Wondering just where the J. Peterman Company got my address from. I mean, I’m not mad. I’m just curious.
* Realizing my current TBR stack includes five books on psychopathology, two books on forensic pathology, and six books on World War II.
* Admitting to myself that I find China Mieville‘s brain disturbingly hawt. (WHAT? I paid for Embassytown in HARDCOVER, thankyouverymuch.)
* Spending serious time while walking considering just how best to set up shots of Gilbert the Zombie Gnome at the May 31 event.

Things I looked up today include:

* Mining in the 1800s
* How to say “you magnificent bastard” in German
* Rapiers. RAPIERS ARE COOL. Actually, medieval fencing manuals are interesting too. I should totally get someone around here to put on a couple rapier fights for me…
* Prostitute slang in Victorian London. ^o.0^

Things I wrote today include:

* A mentath, an assassin, and a mad Bavarian go into a mine.
* A REALLY BAD joke. (If it ain’t baroque, donna fixit!)
* An entire email based on a sleeping tapir. (I love saying “TAPIR TOES!” at random moments.)
* A scorching letter to the Entitled Stalker Of The Week. Which I promptly deleted. Because I am an adult.
* An email beginning “Dear Mr. Jones,”. No lie.

And a couple of links to round things off:

* Jill Filipovic on accusing the accuser.
* And the BEST THING IN THE WORLD TODAY is this vlog, where a lovely young lady calls out Beyonce for being a liar-liar-pants-on-fire, and does it with such clarity and grace it leaves one breathless.

Over and out.

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Fun Stuff, & RECKONING Contest

The Gnomepocalypse yesterday tired me out. So it’s just a couple things today:

* Part 2 of the GraphicAudio recording of Working For The Devil is now available!

* On May 31 I’m going to be at Cedar Hills Crossing Powell’s, with Devon Monk and Ilona Andrews. You can preorder a signed copy of Defiance, the fourth in the Strange Angels series. Of course, Ilona and Gordon have challenged their readers to set a record for signed preorders. And Devon is running a giveaway, too.

Our honor is at stake.

So I’ll tell you what, dear Readers. From those who preorder a signed copy of Defiance, one winner will be drawn. This winner will get a chapter (chosen by me) from Reckoning, the last book in the series. That’s right–if you preorder a signed book from Powell’s before the May 31 event, you have a chance to read a chapter from Reckoning before anyone else in the world (other than my editor and agent).

I think we can give Ilona and Devon’s preorders a run for their money, can’t we? (PS: I believe Powell’s ships worldwide. Just sayin’.)

* Last but not least, Chuck Wendig on action scenes.

Good heavens, I’m exhausted. Time to buckle down and get some more of Bannon & Clare’s adventures written…

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Postapocalyptic Catering Future

Oh look, let’s get rid of federal funding for school libraries. Because we don’t want anyone other than the rich kids in private schools to be literate, right? It might give our middle and lower class kids ideas. Crazy ideas, like equality or the right to basic education or something.

You can hear me snarling, can’t you.

Speaking of kids, last night I was on Punch and Cake Duty for the Princess’s Honor Society shindig. Which basically meant I was In Charge of wrangling a dozen to fifteen kids, corralling them and keeping them contained with setup and preparation to feed over 60 people cake and punch. I have never been so glad of “that catering experience that almost killed me almost a decade and a half ago.” Seriously. Highlights of the occasion included:

* taking a butcher knife away from one kid and informing him that if there was going to be any stabbing, I was going to be the one doing it

* answering the “what will we do if the punch runs out” question about twenty times

* announcing we would NOT be spiking the punch with anthrax, booze, or spit, because we needed those items to take over the world after the upcoming Armageddon-Rapture-whatever-thingummy

* repeating “WE DO NOT RUN WITH THE CAKE TROLLEY, YOU BEASTLY LITTLE THING” at a volume high enough to penetrate a teenage boy’s skull

* showing a couple girls how to wipe a cake spatula clean. Seriously, they don’t teach this anymore? How can you be thirteen-fourteen and NOT KNOW?

* passing the teacher who nominated me for this duty and remarking, “There’s not enough booze in the world.” To which she replied, “Don’t I know it.”

* informing one particular gentleman that the cake table was not a pig trough, and he needed not to be standing in front of it shoveling multiple pieces into his gullet

* giving one teenage girl the gimlet eye and telling her she could have cake after the work was done, and if she gave me any more snot about it she could be on doorway greeting duty

* waving my arms and saying, “Then just make them look pretty for Mama, darlings.” Which is something I haven’t said since the last time I had a crew of big musclebound brutes doing yard work, years and years ago. Good times.

I could go on, but you get the picture. I got home and collapsed on the couch. The Princess loved it, and was pleased as punch (ha ha) that I was there to help out. “I’ve never seen those kids work so hard,” she told me. Apparently I’ve got a future in this sort of thing. A postapocalyptic sort of catering future, but a future nonetheless…

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