News, Events, And Links

Good morning, all. First, the news.

* There may be a 6-10K-word story dealing with Selene and Nikolai’s reunion in Saint City in the works. I’ll have details when everything firms up, but for right now, I thought I’d let you guys know.

* Events! I will be at the Ooligan Press Write To Publish event on May 23, 2010, at 2pm. I will also be signing in conjunction with Devon Monk and Ilona Andrews at the Cedar Hills Crossing Powell’s on May 25, and by my lonesome in the same location on August 19 to celebrate the release of Jealousy. Details of the Powell’s signings will be forthcoming; they’re usually around 7pm.

* Release news: Heaven’s Spite, the next Jill Kismet novel, is due for release in November 2010. I just confirmed this with my editor yesterday (or was it the day before?) Anyway, now I know, so now you know.

And, linkspam:

* Post-Healthcare Fatigue Syndrome. Don’t worry, the Republicans are still tirelessly working to make sure only the rich have healthcare. Oh, and stirring up their nutwing base to terrify the rest of us. It’s unsurprising, even if it is enough to make one sick enough to need that public option.

* A great Tor.com article on my very favorite fairy tale. Seriously. I collect versions of Beauty and the Beast. I even wrote my own take on it, as yet unpublished.

* Tim Burton might direct Maleficent’s story. OH PLEASE OH PLEASE. Maleficent is my very favorite villain in any Disney movie. The horns! The shapeshifting! The elegant black cape! The sneer! Oh, please, let this come to pass.

* If you’re not reading the Comics Curmudgeon, you’re missing out. I check in with Josh daily to see what the hell he’s come up with now. Comics snark is pure LOVE.

I think that’s about all. I’m on the last push to complete Dru 4, have a detail-round of revisions due for Kismet 5, and there’s a short story in there somewhere needing to be written. I bought a hat to cover up the fact that my hair is at an awkward length. I’ve stocked up on coffee, because the way things are going, it’s going to become one of my major food groups through the month of April.

Fasten your seatbelts, kiddos, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

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Book Must Flow

Linkspam, because I’m deep in it today. I’ve got the White Stripes on loud and like spice, BOOK MUST FLOW!

* So those deep meandering conversations about Life, the Universe, and Everything? They can actually help make you happier. I think I need to call my friends and get a couple bottles of wine.

* Oh, Luc Besson, you complete me. Lady adventurers and steampunk dragons? I’M SO THERE.

* Here, find out where earthquakes are happening.

* As I have often told my kids, the separate compartment for dessert in one’s stomach is AWESOME. (This is usually right before I’m called “best mum EVER!” for about five minutes, or however long the ice cream lasts…)

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Gotta run.

*dives back into showdown*

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A Weekend Refuel

I never, ever thought I’d be addicted to running. Of all the things to get addicted to, I never thought a physical effort that qualifies as exercise would be possible. I’ve had to take a couple days off because of hip and knee pain–looking back through my training log I see I jumped my mileage by five miles (or about 40%), which was WAY TOO MUCH. So it’s back down in duration for a while, then a reasonable mile-every-2-weeks increase for a month or two.

As long as the zombies don’t chase me for more than four miles, I think I’ll be all right.

The weekend was restful. On Saturday I took the kids to the community centre. We spent about four hours shooting pool (I taught the Princess how to rack, break, make a bridge, and sight) and playing table tennis. I was exhausted afterward. I mean, come on, table tennis? But apparently that burns a helluva lot of calories. We were all tired and cranky afterward, so it was Thai food and a retreat home to watch movies and fold laundry.

Sunday was equally uneventful. I didn’t leave the house all day, except for a spring amble between rainshowers down to the store to fetch necessaries for dinner. The Prince resented being pulled away from his video game, and we talked about how we might need to limit his time on the games if he keeps up stamping and sighing when he’s called away from them. After that discussion he was noticeably more sanguine about interruptions.

All weekend I could feel my emotional reserves being refilled. Now the next two scenes in the book are ready inside my head, which means ready to go out my fingers and onto the screen.

But first…I’ve got to run. As addictions go, I like this one. I think I’ll keep it.

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Audiobook Wow

My God, you guys. I just listened to the boathouse scene in Betrayals on audiobook. (Strange Angels is here.) A copy of it was just delivered today, and OH MY GOD, you GUYS, the woman reading it is spectacular. She just nails Christophe. It’s amazing. I finished listening to the scene and had cold chills.

It’s an exotic experience to hear words that you agonized over read professionally. I just about came out of my skin, I was jumping up and down and squealing so hard. This is the first time I’ve had the chance to listen to my own work in audiobook format. It’s so strange. But ZOMG, wow. I was blown away.

Little things like this totally make my day.

I have to zip, because I’m in a ticklish spot with the current book and I want to get a good handle on a showdown scene before everyone comes home for the day. But I just had to pop in and tell you that. Plus, stay tuned for an upcoming contest! I have a Reader Request for the mark Japhrimel put on Dante’s shoulder; I know what it looks like but I think I need an artist to draw it for me. I think this particular Reader is planning to do something with whatever I come up with, so that’s a consideration.

If you’re not an artist, don’t worry. There will be a contest for you to win something too!

Anyway, off I go. I am grinning foolishly and not at all calm right now.

Some days I love being me.

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If I Could Do That, I Can Do This

Yesterday I did my very first three-mile run. I’m informed that three miles is the breakover point–once you reach three miles, you can pretty much train for any distance effectively, or something like that. Everyone was cheering me on–funny, running is so solitary, and yet my Twitter and Facebook blew up with “Go Lili!” “You can do it!” “Those miles don’t stand a chance!”

I was so grateful for the cheering, you guys. It was like I had a whole crowd urging me for the finish line.

I did finish. I stood there, sweating and victorious, and actually yelled, “HA! I GOT THE KNIFE! NOW TURN ON THE GODDAMN LIGHTS!” (That is one of my favorite movies…)

Since I was doing this at home, the only thing I accomplished was scaring two cats and laughing like a loon while I folded up the treadmill. The cats eventually forgave me once I’d taken a shower and refilled their food bowls. (They’re like that.)

So. Three miles. When I started this a long time ago, I would walk for six minutes and run for one minute, and I dreaded those single minutes with a passion. I did that for two solid months. I took everything else in similar baby steps–walking for five and running for two, walking for four and running for three, all in two or three week (or even month-long) increments. Then came twenty-minute runs. Twenty-two minute runs. Adding a couple minutes every couple weeks. Then two-mile runs, upping speed; two and a half, two and three quarters.

And now, here I am. Running three miles. I did it again this morning.

There’s this list that I keep in my head. It’s a List Of Things I Never Thought I Could Do, But I’ve Done And Actually Kicked Ass At. I think everyone needs this sort of list. Most of the time, it’s filled with things that I never thought I could do and I did only because I bloody well had to, it was That Kind of situation. I do very well thrown into the snakepit, apparently.

Every time I think something’s going to knock me down or out, I mentally get out that list. “If I can _____,” I say grimly, “then I can do this.” It’s amazingly effective, at least for me.

Anyway. Also today I got a bunch of spiderwebs tattooed on my back, bringing together all the pieces I had before. The web are about three-quarters done. Soon I’ll be going in to get them finished. Grayscale work hurts, and the long lines the webs depend on, ouchie! So I spent a significant part of today clutching my hands together, breathing through it, and thinking if I can run three miles at a time, I can get through this.

It worked like a charm.

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A (small) Ramble On Synchronicity

The engine of synchronicity runs under the surface of my days. In order to feel the engine and see the connections, I have to be in a certain frame of mind. I can generally tell how OK I am by how well I can sense the engine running. Whether it only runs when I’m happy or I just don’t see it when I’m in the undertow is largely academic as far as I’m concerned.

So. I am reading Murakami. There’s a passage in Dance Dance Dance–Chapter 17, to be precise–where he talks about the phone, about connections, about the imperfection of communication. It resonated so strongly I set the book aside and sat thinking for a while, feeling the engine thrum under the surface of daily life.

I started reading Murakami because of a tragedy, and the first novel I picked–The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles–still resonates. I was climbing out of a well of my own when I read it; the tragedy was in a well of its own. For various reasons, it was gruesomely ironic that I started reading him at about that time. I can’t blame the author, but I think that has something to do with my liking the books.

The tragedy wasn’t mine, but it tore at me. My links under the surface of the world mean very little to anyone but me, but seeing them, the wheels and cogs sliding gently into place, meshing with the terrible convenience of coincidence–well, it’s important. Maybe I only see it when I’m happy because otherwise I couldn’t bear the tangled knots weaving everything and everyone I know together. I couldn’t bear to see the machinery going along with its own chaotic, fractal regularity and logic.

In any case, the world is sparkling with golden dust and thrumming with the knots and threads all bound together and pulling in their different directions. It’s marvelous to think that everyone I see is a node with their own net of knots and threads that sometimes touch mine briefly. Each touch is a fresh knot. If it’s a net, it’s one that keeps us from falling too far.

It’s good not to feel alone. The magic has come back. The tightrope act goes on.

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Kaleidoscope Weekend

Spin me right round, baby right round

I’ve gone from being barely able to run for two whole minutes without gasping and feeling like I was being tortured…to running for almost an hour at double the pace relatively easily. I’m glad I’ve looked back at the original contract I made with myself to exercise, because it reminds me of how far I’ve come in baby steps. Breaking up a goal into bite-size chunks and methodically working through those chunks isn’t glamorous, but you do eventually get to a place where you look around ad realize, holy crap I’m doing X when before I could barely do Y! It’s a great feeling.

I won’t be signing up for any marathons soon. For right now it’s enough that I know I can do these things, and feel the effects in my much-smaller-now body.

Anyway, today is President’s Day and the kids are home from school. We’re heading out to OMSI with our friend H. and her son. Another great thing about fighting my way back from the abyss–I have energy to do cool things now! I am fun again! *rolls eyes at self* But really, that’s how I feel. Like I’ve plugged back into the socket that is my awesomeness.

Tomorrow night, my awesome fellow Razorbill author Suzanne Young is signing out at Cedar Hills Crossing. The Princess loved her book, The Naughty List, and Suzanne is a ton of fun. If you can, go out and show some love! I don’t know if I’ll get out there, but I’ll be there in spirit cheering her on.

Oh, and my Valentine’s Day date-with-myself has been moved to Tuesday. It just worked out better that way. I’m going to go see The Wolfman. Yeah, it might suck. My expectations are pretty low, I’m just going for the escape, the costumes, and Benecio Del Toro’s lips. (The man pouts like Mae West and I LOVE IT.) Plus I’m going to buy myself popcorn, because I am a Good Date.

I can also say that I’ve finished the latest round of revisions on Heaven’s Spite and am flipping back to Dru 4 and a short story. No rest for the wicked, and I’m getting to like it that way. So I must bid you a civil adieu. Regular blogging will resume tomorrow.

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