Well Reimbursed

December 6, 1924 Hit a snag in a dinner scene in the Ruby book. It’s awkward, as interactions between teenagers and grandmothers sometimes are. So, in lieu of sitting and banging my head against it…

…I decided to move furniture.

The living room is now rearranged. It’s a fun thing, to have your fifteen-year-old come out and say “What are you doing? Ooooh, moving furniture. LET ME HELP.”(And she did, too. We even got chairs up and down the stairs, for lo we are Pumped Up.) I thought they were supposed to get sullen and distant the older they got, but instead they’re these amazing human beings I get to hang out with almost constantly. I choose to take it as a sign that I’m doing something about this motherhood thing right.

Here, have a pirate mash-up of a LOTR fanvid, courtesy of my writing partner. I think she’s paying me for the Sekrit-Agent-and-Waitress smut I’m writing her. I consider myself well reimbursed. (ETA: For those that are curious, she’s tweeting snippets under the #SekritAW hashtag.)

Last but not least, there’s a few hours left in the giveaway for one of my books over at My World’s place. I can’t wait to see which one the winner chooses!

Off I go to finish that dinner scene, walk Odd Trundles, meditate, shovelglove, and write some more Spy/Waitress porn.

Life is good.

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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RECKONING Winner! And Other Stuff.

It’s Friday! And Ilona Andrews has pictures up from our recent Powells Pwnage. You can see me looking slightly-less-terrified, and Devon is always beautiful. Also, I promised to announce the winner of the RECKONING contest. The winner is…

Reader Heidi F. from Eichenau, Bavaria, in Germany! Heidi, I will get your prize to you as soon as possible. (She gets to read a chapter of RECKONING before anyone else in the world, aside from my agent and editor. Lucky lady!)

Thank you to everyone who entered by pre-ordering signed books from Powell’s. And thanks to all the wonderful Readers who came to the event! We had a great time.

Today is nice and sunny, and I’m due out at the track for a couple miles before long. I even got a watch that’s supposed to help me track my times, but in order for it to do so I must:

1. Remember to wear said watch
2. Hope that the battery in it doesn’t give out within the week, like every other watch I’ve tried to wear
3. Remember to check the watch while running
4. Decode what the watch says while running
5. Do basic math to figure out my speed…while running

Needless to say, I am not sanguine about this. Normally, while hauling my silly ass along at anything faster than an amble, my higher-brain functions pretty much shut down in protest. So, there it is. I’ll report back next week. If I don’t trip over my feet and hurt myself trying to check the watch. Which would be embarrassing, but not exactly surprising.

Catch you later…

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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.

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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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Winners! Revisions! Worm-eaten brainmonkeys!

The winners for the DEFIANCE contest are posted here at Deadline Dames! Thanks for all the great trivia–I learned an incredible amount reading those comments. My Readers have a vast store of knowledge. When I take over the world, I shall be depending on each of you to advise me.

My weekend was long periods of intense work broken only by moments of reaching for the next batch of Easter candy to shove down my gullet. Yes, that’s right–I was revising. Or, if you want to be precise, doing the first revision after an editorial letter for a book I wrote three years ago or so. I kept looking at the screen in disbelief, shaking my head and tasting vomit because I’d written something that sucked so hugely. Which is a normal thing for me during revisions, really, but looking at any work more than six months old is an incredibly disheartening experience. I take comfort in the fact that, while I might not know if I’ve gotten better in the intervening time, at least I know my writing style has changed.

This particular book started out at about 100K words, and now stands at about 125K. This is, for me, an absolute doorstop of a book. My editor wanted more more more, so I obliged, and since the work had good bones…well, I guess I’ll find out what she thinks in a little bit. Since I’ve finished and sent it back early, pleading for her to be only as savage with it as she must.

Notice I don’t ask for kindness. Kindness, while it may save whatever tattered shards of ego I have left, will not make the book better.

Anyway. I am looking forward to announcing this project as soon as I get the official okay-go-ahead. In the meantime, here, have some Chuck Wendig: 25 things a writer should know. I’ll just point and say, what he said.

After the push to get the revisions done (steady progress yesterday was marred by a corrupted file and the loss of an hour’s worth of work, thank God it wasn’t more, but it was in the last twenty fricking pages and I almost wept like the little girl I pretend to be sometimes when luring my victims in, whole ‘nother story, tell you later), catching up (mostly) on correspondence, and finishing a review that had been languishing on my hard drive for two weeks, I don’t have a lot of usable gray matter left in my tiny little skull. If you need me, I’ll be over in the corner rocking back and forth and reading about the Ardennes offensive. *whimpers*

Over and out.

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