Harvest Season

autumn falls... It smells like autumn this morning. Leaf mold, rain-wet, and the brass-colored note of harvest season.

And SquirrelTerror is funded! I am still blown away by the response. There are still perks left, so you can still get in on those before the end of the month. Anything over the initial funding amount will go toward extending SquirrelTerror’s reach (a paper book is going to come out now!) and anything over that will go to similar projects–namely, getting re-edited Selene into ebook form, and getting together my old writing posts, and maybe re-editing smoke and mirror

But in the meantime, well…you can pre-order SquirrelTerror in ebook form. Note that I’ll be sending out the free ones for perks before the release date. So if you picked a free SquirrelTerror as your Indiegogo perk, you’re going to get it, for free, before anyone else.

If you’re doing anything similar, and looking for cover art etc., I can recommend Skyla Dawn Cameron without reservation. She also does freelance formatting and editing work for a very reasonable price. So if you’re wondering who I’d turn to for help with all these projects, it would be Skyla–who, incidentally, is the one who found out about the SquirrelTerror plagiarism. (Basically, she’s the reason we have SquirrelTerror now.) I cannot recommend her highly enough.

Let’s see, what else is going on? A company creates a toy meth lab for Breaking Bad fans. Also, American football may have helped kill Jack Kerouac. I have also decided that when I hit menopause I am going to quit all hair removal efforts, and use the time I’ll save to become a t’ai chi master.

That last one isn’t quite news, but it’s a fact.

Happy Monday, you guys.

photo by: paul bica

Time To Wake Up

marilynwall Diplomacy is difficult. Especially when you’re explaining to a giant forest full of pixies and Miyazaki-esque kodama that a nuclear winter is going to happen. I mean, I get what the kodama said–their home is the trees, and the trees can’t exactly run away, but…

…yeah, with dreams like that, it was definitely time to wake up.

Dreams are good for writing. It’s not so much that I get story ideas from them (though that definitely happens), it’s more that they seem to sweep up and organize the huge jumble of daily sensory intake. Some of it goes into cupboards below the floor of consciousness, where it will mate in the dark with other interesting things of its own kind and produce grotesqueries and fantasticos to feed the writing. Some goes into little shiny bits that hang in mental branches, sending small sharp darts of free-association light into other mental branches. Some goes into the compost pile at the very bottom, to provide food for other ideas. And then there’s the strengthening aspect–when I’m actively dreaming a lot, it makes triggering the state of focused hallucination that produces the internal movie for a book tons easier.

I’ve also been playing with brainwave entrainment stuff lately. It’s interesting to see what state of consciousness goes with which frequency. I sometimes wish it was possible to have an EEG while I’m in the zone writing, just so I could see what the skull-meat is doing.

Anyway, here, have Tobias Buckell on e- and hardcover royalties.

And I finally bit the bullet and signed up for Pinterest. I’m building boards for Bannon & Clare and Ruby’s story, it’s nice to have visual food organized like that.

Speaking of Ruby, I finally found my way into her story. The sensation of a key turning in a lock to open up the beginning of a story never gets old. What if Little Red Riding Hood is the wolf? Double identities–the fairytale books are full of doubles and reflections. Then there’s the collar. Hm. Collar, collar, collar…

*wanders off, muttering*




I often take pictures of owls and send them to a friend. This one got a full 10 minutes of silence before my phone buzzed. “Is it just me or are they kind of creepy?”

To which I replied, “It’s not just you. They’re creepy as fuck.”

“Oh. Good. I wasn’t sure.”


Perception, Memory, Attention, Habit

Three friends You stop smelling violets after a while; the receptors in your nose get tired.

Which makes me think about perception–the things we get tired of seeing and so ignore, or the things that numb us into acceptance. Sharp moments of recognition and absurdity that open doors, and how fleeting they are.

I’ve begun to be able to walk around the new house in the dark. It takes a while for proprioception to kick in, for me to relax into a new space. It used to be almost instantaneous, but living in the old house for a decade probably blunted that skill. Before then, I never stayed in any one place too long, so I had to learn it quickly and forget it just as quickly. Except one never really forgets, right?

Memory is a funny thing. There can be trauma-induced gaps side by side with vividly-recalled moments; a memory can come rushing at one like a hungry lion or creep up, softly, nosing about and ignoring you as you sit and wait. Sometimes, thinking about my childhood, an adult realization colors the memory in slightly less painful hues. It can’t draw the sting completely, but understanding things about the experience from an adult’s point of view mitigates.

Dogs are in the eternal now, but they paradoxically love habit and routine. Just like kids, they need to know that some things are the same. I vary our running routes, and Miss B is sometimes quite put out that I’ve decided to go a different way, especially when there are dogs in backyards she is accustomed to hailing with perked ears and lolling tongue. I wonder sometimes what our different routes feel like to her–the layers of scent she no doubt catches, the sounds she hears, the brief polite conversations with other dogs as we run past. Odd Trundles, of course, has to smash his face against anything to smell it, so he spends a great deal of his life lipping and snuffling everything in reach, hungry for sensation.

We see through lattices: perception, memory, attention, and habit form a kaleidoscope. Ever-changing patterns, even the most solid intersections can suddenly turn ninety degrees and crumble.

Which is, I suppose, a good reason to keep moving. If one crumbles, another one has solidified. Moving from handhold to handhold, dancing in a kaleidoscope, we are all athletes of perception.

It’s so funny that many of us don’t know…

To Cure A Cold

Dried up, dessicated, exhausted. Yep, I’m fighting off a cold. I hate it when my nose fills up; it’s like being blind. I rely on my sense of smell to tell me so much about the world, losing it makes everything colorless.

Here, have a bit about how Elvis is Orpheus, Dionysis, and Hercules all rolled into one. And about Boccaccio’s famous women, featuring Tamsyn the Kickass.Oh, and Mount Doom is really about to blow up. Geology is awesome.

Today the wind is up and we’re supposed to get loads of rain, always my favourite thing. This morning’s run (I want to cook the incipient cold out of me, if I can) was full of those sharp but warm rain-laden gusts that sometimes happen in autumn, dancing leaves and spattering drops as trees toss their arms in their sleep and birds float in the sky. I’ve wondered what a bird feels on days like today, what they think of wind, if sometimes they just fly because it feels good.

I am trying to get back into blogging more. Retreating like a crushed anemone is all very well, but really, I’ve got this nice shiny website and I should really pay attention to it.

Today is for writing a logician’s descent into madness and a sorceress’s going against her better judgment. Then to shift gears and get the trailer-park fae into some more trouble. If that doesn’t cure a cold I don’t know what will.

photo by: Gonzo Carles

Subconscious Gas Bubbles

So, I’m developing a girlcrush on Sarah Rees Brennan, for her Gothic Tuesdays. This week’s winner was Collie Wilkins’s Woman in White. (Project Gutenburg can hook you up too.)

LAURA: I’m going to tell Sir Percy Cruelpants that I will marry him, but I love another, so he won’t want to marry me.
MARIAN: Well, he will if he doesn’t give a crap about your feelings, though?
LAURA: Nonsense, I’m sure this will work out awesome. Sir Percy Blackheart, I love someone else and I don’t wanna marry you. Still want to marry me?
LAURA: … That did not go the way it did in my head. (Sarah Rees Brennan)

The whole thing is pure gold. You should also look at her Jane Eyre one.

Also, here’s a free documentary on Haruki Murakami. I enjoy Murakami’s work–frex, I read his latest, 1Q84, in a few long gulps. (No, LONG gulps. Nearly a thousand pages, OMG.) Seriously, you don’t read Murakami for linear coherence just like you don’t watch a David Lynch film for it. They’re both harvesters of subconscious gas-bubbles. (Also, really fricking weird, and not too good with the portrayal of teenage girls, meh.)

And the Heart Attack Grill has its first moment of truth in advertising.

In other news, the first book of the new YA series is back with the editor for another revision pass. And the second Bannon & Clare book, The Red Plague Affair, is heating up inside my skull. Rest is overrated, don’t you think? Plus there’s martial arts for the kids, a four-year-old I’m watching for a few days, and a dog who thinks the Roomba is a demonspawn predator I need protecting from.

So…off I go. Be careful out there, Gothic Lady Sleuths!

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