Supportive Like Wonderbra

Carriger_Prudence-HC I’m over at the Orbit blog today, interviewing Gail Carrier for her new release, Prudence. It’s my first interview ever–asking the questions, not answering them–and Ms Carriger was very gracious. I hope you like it!

I’m happy to report that the Certain Situation with That Certain Publisher has been…resolved…now. Thank you all for the messages of support. It was an extremely unpleasant set of circumstances, but it’s behind me now.

Also in the “good news” category: I got a surprise visit yesterday from my girl C, who is DONE WITH CHEMO and CANCER-FREE. *throws confetti* It was amazing to see her on the mend, hair reappearing, and her old wicked sense of humor still intact. (I may have misted up a little.) Best of all, the kids both have sniffles but she didn’t have to avoid us, because her blood counts are recovering. When you have kids and pets, immune-compromised friends can have a rough time just dropping by.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to her medical costs, and thank you for all the supportive messages for C, too. You guys are wonderful, as uplifting as sports brassieres but not nearly as pinch or rash-inducing. I have a lot to be grateful for.

Not least on the gratitude list is the fact that I’m going to finish Cal & Trinity, if not today then tomorrow. I can feel the book boiling under my skin, and the lunge for the end has begun. It will be nice to get the zero for that shoved into a mental drawer so I can revise Blood Call with a clear conscience.

Thank you, dear Readers. You’re a wonderful bunch.

Off I go to stumble for a finish line somewhere, anywhere…

Eating My Harmony

Windows The weekend was full of storms. Yesterday in particular, the wind made the cedars thrash, and the honeysuckle on the north side-fence narrowly missed being flattened by a fir bough. The noise made both dogs nervous, and the presence of punch balloons turned Odd Trundles into a ball of protective rage. (He was also bathed, so that probably had a little to do with his mood.) I had to put a couple balloons on the floor and pet them to make Trundles realize they weren’t enemies, and wouldn’t harm him. Poor little fellow.

This was also the weekend we discovered a lemon cake with chocolate frosting was not necessarily a good idea, though the kid who requested it loved it to stomach-burning distraction. I was glad to provide such joy, but really, lemon cakes belong with super-sour lemon glazes, in my humble opinion.

It was also (so much happened!) the weekend the Princess and I got addicted to Egg Baby. They’re cute! You tickle them! You feed them and bathe them and they hatch! There’s an achievement for letting an egg die, but neither of us can bear to do that. We’re bonding over fire eggs and ghost eggs and how long to let them sleep.

Hey, when you’ve got teenagers, you take every bit of commonality you can. I’m just thrilled both of them want to talk to me as often as they do. I gather it’s not normal for them to actually want to converse with a parental unit, so I’m glad to be bucking the trend.

Come Sunday, we were all in the living room. I was tending eggs and reading Che Guevara, the Prince was playing Fantasy Life, and the Princess alternating between egg-tending and Animal Crossing. The family that games together ends up not throttling each other, I guess.

I did finish the Guevara reader. It wasn’t until I got to the letters in Part IV that I realized Guevara had more than one child. Being left alone with multiple children to raise while a guy hares off to Bolivia isn’t my idea of a good time, but I guess Aleida March was okay with it. She wrote a book about the relationship, which I should add to my reading list just on general principle. I’m generally more interested in what those who actually raised the children have to say about revolutions.

What I didn’t get done over the weekend: finishing Cal & Trinity. I hoped I would, but last week the horrorshow of stress coming from a publisher’s extremely sloppy manner of business (yes, still waiting to be paid) put a dent in my productivity. I suspect I could work much more effectively if the worry over whether or not a contractually mandated cheque will arrive WEEKS AFTER it was supposed to wasn’t eating my harmony. This is another thing plenty of new authors aren’t told: employees of publishing houses generally don’t understand that for a writer, late cheques are like the salaried’s paycheck just not showing up. “Oh, we’ll fix paying you…eventually…” isn’t good enough for a salaried employee, but it’s expected to be good enough for a writer. It’s not fair, it’s pretty hideous, but it’s the way things are and one needs to be prepared for it. This is the sort of situation where having an agent is crucial, because, in Caitlin Kittredge’s immortal words, you can lose count of the many ways in which you’ll be screwed without one.

*looks back over preceding paragraphs* God. I feel like I need a nap just to recover from the weekend. But the kids are at school, the music is playing, and I’ve got work to catch up on. The proof copy of Rose & Thunder arrives today for my approval, and hopefully I’ll be able to approve it and have the paper version on sale early. We’ll see…

photo by: Exothermic

Bird

bird

This poor little fellow showed up in the yard the other day. Colorful, but very dead. It didn’t seem as though one of the neighborhood cats had been at it, and the location right under the garage window made me think she’d mistaken said window for a piece of clear sky. I carried her out of the backyard so the dogs didn’t get interested. If I interred every dead bird I found in the yard I’d quickly run out of room in the Pet Sematary the rose garden is becoming.

My altruism only extends so far. *sigh*

But she was a beautiful bird, and her compatriots are greeting the dawn as I write this, with a fullthroat serenade.

Rose & Thunder Cover Reveal!

Rose&Thunder-lg Your eyes do not deceive you, dear Reader. Ebooks of Rose & Thunder, my very own retelling of Beauty & the Beast, are now available for preorder at Smashwords, Amazon, and All Romance Ebooks! (Please note, this is only the ebook edition!)

I’m pretty thrilled; this is my favorite fairytale, and my own telling of it owes a great deal to Robin McKinley’s Beauty, as well as to a lovely Persian version that still gives me chills. Nods are given to Tanith Lee’s Estel, and the Brothers Grimm, of course.

Beauty…

Isabella Harpe, last in a long line of witches, drifts with the wind. Her tarot cards always ready to bring in enough to live on, and her instincts keep her mostly out of trouble. Unfortunately, bad boyfriends and even worse luck strand her near the most dangerous place for a witch to land—beside a cursed town, and an even more cursed man.

The roses…

Jeremy Tremont’s family built their house over an ancient place of power, turning it into an uneasy, rose-choked sanctuary for the weird and the dangerous alike. Scarred, quiet, and difficult, Tremont’s not Isabella’s idea of a prospective employer, no matter how badly she needs the money. He’s paying well, and there’s only one catch: she has to be home by dusk. Because in Tremont City, bad things happen after nightfall.

And the curse.

Secrets hide in every corner, an ancient curse cloaks itself in silence, and Isabella’s arrival has begun a deadly countdown. Despite that, she may have found a home—all she has to do is figure out how to break the curse.

Oh, and survive in the dark…

The paper edition is scheduled for a March 20 release, but in the meantime you can preorder the ebook, if that’s your thing. Thanks are due to Skyla Dawn Cameron, my own personal saint of layout, formatting, and cover design.

Legendary Stubbornness

| violin | That Bach polonaise I’ve been working on for months? I can finally find the notes with both hands, in some places slowly, in other places with more facility. It’s not the Turkish Rondo, but it’s a challenging enough piece that I suspect it was well beyond my capabilities and the danger was in me getting frustrated enough to just rage-quit.

Fortunately, though, my stubbornness has been honed by years of constant and consistent practice.

You know who else’s stubbornness is legendary? Odd Trundles. He’s grumbling at me right now because he wants ear-rubs, dammit, and he will keep moaning until he gets them. Between the seizures, his poor paw, the seasonal alopecia, and his facial pockets, he’s just a mess all the time, and requires much petting and ear-milking in order to cope. His other Perpetual Endeavor is trying to catch the Princess’s backpack as she heads out the door in the morning. He thinks that if he can just get his jaws on that and kill it, she’ll stay and won’t leeeeeeave him alooooooone. And if she can’t leave, then the Prince and I can’t either, and we’ll all be RIGHT WHERE PRINCE TRUNDLES WANTS US.

Sadly, this does not happen. But to be a Trundles is to be full of hope.

I hear there were a lot of people on a subreddit recommending my books yesterday. Thank you! It’s nice to know. It somewhat soothes the ache in my lower back from the hauling of boxes and bins of author’s copies.

Which reminds me, I have to find desiccant packs. The last thing I need is boxes of moldy copies. There’s also the foul matter (I love calling it that) to be sorted and archived.

For now, though, I should finish my coffee, give Trundles enough ear-scrubbing and attention to completely bewilder him, and get started on revisions for Blood Call. Later, of course, I’ll practice piano.

It might even be time to attempt a new Bach piece. Never rest on one’s laurels, you know, and all that.

photo by: arquera