In Battalions

So last night’s fall at the bouldering wall seems to have no lasting soreness. It was just one of those sessions where I was clumsy all the way through, always fun. I went up to grab a hold from an undercling, missed it, and tumbled. Fortunately I was relaxed when I hit, I landed on a well-cushioned part of my anatomy (seriously, you’d think I would have no ass left with as much as I run, but OH NO) and I rolled. I stretched out after the session, came home, drank a bunch of water, took ibuprofen, and went to bed smelling of homemade Tiger Balm. (My writing partner has many, many talents.) This morning…no soreness, barely even a bruise. Which is good, because I’m climbing again today (I promised) and dealing with copyedits, which means a lot of sitting on that tender, much-abused buttock.

I know, I know, you really wanted to read about that.

Let’s see, what’s the news? I have a story, Gallow’s Rescue, in the just-release Courts of the Fey. Like Eleni, Wolf, and Tarquin, Gallow and Robin have a much longer history, and I wish I could write their story. Trailer-park fey and epidemic disease, who wouldn’t want that?

Also, I’m over at John Mierau’s place talking about Frank Herbert’s Dune, the Litany, and how I wanted to be a Bene Gesserit. And the winners of the belated release day prizes are up!

Other than that, I’m hip-deep in copyedits for the first Bannon & Clare, and the water is rising fast. Plus I’ve got to update the Books page, and that sound you hear? It’s the gears inside my head gummed up by snot. That’s right, I’m coming down with a cold.

Not in single spies, but in battalions. By the way, if you have a good smartphone app that can alert one to changes in barometric pressure, let me know? I’m tired of the pressure changing and half my head wadding up like agonized tinfoil.

Anyway, I’m going to climb, fill myself to the brim with fluids and vitamin C, and fillet more of these copyedits until they are bled dry. The crankiness of physical misery might even add something.

Over and out…

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PSA, Plus Win A Copy of Angel Town!

First, the serious: Jim C. Hines on reporting sexual harassment in the SFF community. The comments also mention Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear, which I also can’t recommend enough.

Then, the fun! Would you like to win a signed (in the US) or free (outside the US) copy of my just-released Angel Town? Or a copy of fellow Dame Keri Arthur’s Darkness Rising? Or would you, perchance, like a $15 Amazon gift certificate? Would you?

Well, you’re in luck! Just head over to the Deadline Dames’ latest Release Day Giveaway. All you have to do to get a chance to win is comment there. The Dames, we believe in making it easy to win.

We’re cool like that.

While you’re there, you can also find tons of other cool things, like the Readers on Deadline contests and helpful writing/publishing advice. And as soon as we figure out how to give out pie over the Internet, we’ll probably do that too.

Because we’re Dames. And Dames rock.

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The Best Fugue

There’s an interview with me and a giveaway over at My Bookish Ways; there’s also my Top Five Methods To Determine You’re A Zombie plus a giveaway of a one-of-a-kind Jill Kismet-inspired necklace over at CJ Redwine’s place. (The necklace, made by Tasha Falene especially for this giveaway, is so awesome, and it’s strictly a one-off. I wish I could enter to win it.) I think I’m going to be part of a Tor chat on Twitter sometime in the near future too, stay tuned for details.

In the category of Other Cool Internet Things, there’s Flavorwire’s How To Drink Like Your Favourite Authors and information about a stunning movie based on Diaghilev and Nijinksky. Which makes me wish I still had a VHS machine AND a copy of it. *sigh*

I spent pretty much all of yesterday in a fugue state, the story pouring out of my head and onto the screen. It’s weird to surface from a wholly different universe and find out that an hour has passed since you last shifted your weight of (seemingly) blinked. Of all the varied states of consciousness, that one has to be in my top five. It’s so bloody satisfying; it scratches some deep internal itch nothing else does.

Anyway, I am nervous and twitchy this morning. A good hard three-mile outside run with Miss B worked out some of the fidgets, but nothing will cure the rest but sinking into the story again. This is what I live for, really.

So it’s an espresso shooter followed by 500-Mile Chai (hell of a boilermaker, right?), my sword loose in its sheath and my eyes on the horizon.

Come on, story. Let’s tango.

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Were-Llama, WSJ’s Concern-Troll Fail, And See Me Climb

Too much to explain. Let me sum up.

* An interview with me, and a giveaway, over at CJ Redwine’s place. I am interviewed by a were-llama. Also, part 2 of the giveaway next week involves JEWELRY. Trust me, you want to be in on this.

* The Wall Street Journal went concern-trolling for pageviews again. Dame Jackie responds a lot more politely than I would have, Diane Duane hits it out of the park, the Guardian weighs in, and #YASaves hits trending. I thought of posting my own response to WSJ’s pearl-clutching idiocy, but in the end Jackie and Diane did it better than I ever could, and I don’t want to link and feed the troll more pageviews. So there it is.

* Kristen Lamb on training to be a career writer:

Athletes who compete in decathlons use a lot of different skills—speed, endurance, strength. They walk this fine balance of giving an event their all….without really giving it their all. They still must have energy left to effectively compete in the other events and outpace the competition.

We writers must learn to give it our all….without giving it our all. The better we get at balancing our duties, the more successful we will be in the long-run. Writers who fail to appreciate all this job entails won’t be around in a year or three. They are like a runner who sprints at the beginning of a marathon. They will fall by the side of the road, injured and broken.

So today when you have to squeeze in that 100 words on your break from work, think I’m training. When your kids hang off you as you write, picture that weighted sled. Play the soundtrack to Rocky if you must. (Kristen Lamb)

* Want to see me climb? We’re recording ourselves on routes so we can nitpick our performance. (By “we” I mean “me and ZenEllen, my bouldering partner.”) Here’s some from today: an inglorious failure at a bouldering route, then a second attempt where I stick the damn thing. I’ve been working this route for a few weeks now. You can also see some of my tats, and the Official Belt Of Urban Fantasy. (Long story. I had to buy one, after that.)

And now I’ve got to spend the first half of my writing day in alternate-Renaissance fantasy France, and the second half in contemporary paranormal YA. The braincramps are fun to watch–my face squinches up when I shift gears and go from one to the other. Good times, man. Good times.

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Powells Pwnage, May ’11 Edition

Holy moly, was last night intense. As usual, Peter H. and Milo and the rest of the crew at Cedar Hills Crossing Powell’s made everything run smoothly, and the crowd was amazing! (Special thanks to my inimitable writing partner, who did the driving for me.) Ilona and Gordon were Fabulous with a capital Fab, and Dame Devon was, as usual, gracious, prepared, supportive, and just all-around fantastic. I was not arrested or thrown out. Everyone wins!

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, Lili, shut up and get to the damn pictures. Okay.

Read the rest of this entry »

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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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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Just A Few Things

First, the shameless self-promotion: I think we can do better than 24 comments, darlings, don’t you? Plus, there’s that voting for Fourth Day Universe’s Best Horror Book of 2010. If the spirit moves you, hop on over and give a click or a comment. Also, you can hear in this interview how Cover to Cover Books is rising like a phoenix from the ashes, and how I’m to blame for a thing or two. My writing partner has a great interview voice, I’m just sayin’.

A couple of other links: almost-ten ways to tighten your copy, Michael Moore’s final thoughts on the death of Osama bin Laden, and aspiring writers, please LISTEN TO THE BROWN ONE. (Hat tip to Richelle Mead for that link.) Also, from the indomitable and always-hilarious Chuck Wendig, an expose on how writers get their ideas. (Beverage alert on that one. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

Back I go into the coils of revision. I wish I could announce the project I’m working on right now. My editor won’t let me yet, so I’ll just have to wriggle with frustration in my desk chair and wait.

Sorry for that mental image. Have a good weekend.

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From Here to There

I was out earlier today with my writing partner; we pillaged a local Powell’s. (We looked for Genevieve Valentine’s new book, didn’t find it, will have to order it.) I scored a book on the Beast of Gevaudan, which I actually happy-danced in the aisle over. So I’m late getting to the table today, so to speak, which is a shame because I have a veritable garden of Friday links for you.

* First, the shameless self-promotion: I’m over at SmartPop with an interview. There’s an excerpt from Defiance there too, and on Monday there will be a giveaway.

* Look, it’s not just me who has trouble with squirrels. I’m just sayin’. (Hat tip to Elaine Corvidae for the link.)

* A peek inside famous authors’ homes. Honestly, I expected the Hemingway one to have more booze. But I suppose Papa wouldn’t have left any behind, now would he. Also? Norman Mailer was freaky. But I guess we all knew that.

* The Rude Pundit (hint: don’t click if you can’t take adult language) is looking for stories. No, not that sort of stories. If you or your kids have been damaged by the public education system, he wants to hear about it. Go tell him.

* Speaking of damage by the public education system, gee. How about getting a whole town to beat up on a rape victim? That’s got to be some sort of record.

Just how lacking in compassion does somebody have to be to humiliate a teenage cheerleader in front of the community instead of speaking with her in private with an advocate present? A team of psychiatrists has done work with brain scans trying to determine whether psychopaths are physiologically different from normal people. One thing they note about psychopaths is that they understand right from wrong but have no empathy for their victims. Forget about Silsbee or the Hardin County criminal justice system ever holding any of the people who retaliated against the victim accountable.

I had an exchange with a reporter for The Silsbee Bee in which he was vigorously defensive about how the outside world had, in his view, so unfairly criticized Silsbee. He claimed to have seen the case file in its entirety, and also claimed that anybody who saw that file would stop criticizing Silsbee. I told him to publish the whole file on The Silsbee Bee site. He stopped responding. Do not hold your breath expecting residents of Silsbee to examine their consciences and then to clean out the stinking cesspools that make up their collective moral sense. (politicsusa.com)

…Yeah. If this makes you sick, it should. If this makes you angry, it should. It’s still not safe to be female pretty much anywhere on the globe. Half of humanity, the mothers and sisters and daughters all around you, have to deal with shit like this, even in fricking America. Just think about that for a little while, I dare you.

* And in case the above story makes you want to go postal, here’s some cute puppies. Get that blood pressure down before you decide what to do.

See you on Monday…

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