Ruthless Day

I am ruthless today, my friends. Or at least, I feel that way. My tongue is sharpened on both sides and I have absolutely no patience or time for “polite” obscurantism.

It could be a symptom of finishing a zero. I’m still not recovered, though I took a whole day off.

I know. A whole day, and I am still not fit for anything but staring at some bullshit before verbally skewering it. That, or crawling back into bed with a sippy cup of warm broth (or better, coffee) and consigning the entire world to whatever it chooses to do without me.

What I’ll probably end up doing is walking the dogs, puttering through a bit of housework, and poking at a story that pleases me and only me. Like Wangsty Dracula, maybe, or the gunslinger.

…oh, that’s right, yesterday was my midweek break from blogging! So you might not know I finished the zero draft of Sons of Ymre. It’s much more romance-y than I wanted it to be; I was going more for horror. But at the same time, Erik is very much a verray parfit gentil knight; one would have to be to fight such monsters. At least, that’s one way. I could have made him a right bastard, but I was tired of writing those.

For a change.

Anyway, I finished in a blaze of work, irritable because I’d forgotten to eat and resenting that I had to do such a mundane thing as feed my meatsack. I get into that mood every so often, where anything (except the kids) that takes me away from the writing–sleeping, eating, exercise, anything–drives me to vexation. I swear I’d get irritable at having to breathe if it wasn’t a semi-autonomous function.

Remember that theory that humans had acres and acres of brain they weren’t using, and if we could somehow unlock it we’d become superpeople? It’s far more likely all that acreage is used for breathing, making the heart beat, and screening out the pain of digestion. I mean, think about it–your digestive tract is some of the most richly enervated bits of the body, indeed rivaling the brain. And think about what one puts it through daily.

If you shuddered at the notion, you’re not alone–and sorry about that; these are things I think about, especially between books.

I plan on getting back into the swing soon with HOOD‘s Season Three and The Bloody Throne1. My attempt to work simply and solely on one project at a time is going to founder on the rocks of Actually Making A Damn Living In This Fucked-Up Industry, I can just tell. Fortunately I’m happiest when I’m switching between a few things, since I can use one project to make the other one envious and get them both to cooperate.

So much of adulthood (not to mention a creative career) is learning how to game yourself.

With that said, I should probably haul my carcass up and walk the dogs. They’re bright and bouncy this morning, having slept much better than Your Ob’t Narrator. Boxnoggin in particular spent a luxurious night spread over the bottom two-thirds of the bed, and I wondered why I woke with a crick in my back, neck, and both legs.

Dogs, man. Big furry toddlers, except with (mostly) more control over bodily functions.

Anyway, I’m trying to keep all my sharp edges to myself today, and I suspect I’ll fail miserably before the day is out. I just have no patience for bullshit right now. I’ll be back to my usual (relatively) sweet and (my God, you have no idea) restrained temper. I suspect if people know how often I want to run amok, they’d either scream and flee or solemnly, internally swear not to piss that bitch off.

Either would work. And now, away I go.


Oh, hey! It’s the last day for the Free Agent February giveaway, so enter while you can! And it’s also Subscription Day–Crow’s Nest, Nest Egg, and Serial Time subscribers get fresh fiction in their inboxes around 2pm PST, not to mention Haggard Feathers folks get the Open Thread.

Which Habits to Toss

It’s the last week of February, so I’m changing things around a bit. By now I know which of the habits I fondly imagined starting in January are going to work, which need a little more tweaking in order to work–and which I can merrily throw out the window, happy that I gave them a good old try and even more satisfied that I can toss ’em.

With extreme prejudice, sometimes.

There’s a full day ahead. I long to be done with Sons of Ymre, and I think I have a shot at it. There’s the Tuesday writing post for Haggard Feathers to get finished and edited–it’ll be on proofreading, part of the “getting your book ready to debut” series. I want to do a series on marketing in March, but honestly most of my advice on that is “don’t, most advertised marketing services exist only to remove money from your pockets.”

So maybe I’ll ask subscribers what they’d like to see in March. Hm.

I’m seeing some people come to my site by searching for my name and “e-piracy,” so let me just put my statement out there: Don’t steal/torrent books. I’m not even going to add a please, I shouldn’t have to beg people not to fucking steal.

Miss B is draped over her memory foam, microfiber-covered office bed, signing heavily each time I shift in my chair. She wants her walkies, having had breakfast–and helped herself to no little part of Boxnoggin’s as well. They tend to switch bowls halfway through a meal, as if they aren’t given pretty much the same thing. B gets a little more wet food in deference to her age and dental status, and Boxnoggin gets more dry crunchies because he enjoys slavering and cracking them, chewing as loudly as possible.

But halfway through breakfast or dinner they mosey to each other’s bowls with the precision of Ziegfield girls switching marks on a brightly lit stage, and all the pleading or scolding in the world won’t stop them. I suppose the grass is always greener and the other bowl always more attractive.

That’s my Monday. I’ve recently had the kind of good news that, while enjoyable, upsets a number of other plans, so I need to spend serious time thinking about the fallout today. Which is going to be just as pleasant as peeling my own fingernails off, I suppose, but at least it’s for a net good.

Some more coffee would also do me a world of good, I suspect. I’m cranky enough this morning to crack the world in half with a sharp word or two.

The Free Agent February giveaway is still going on; there are three days left and you can enter daily. It will be nice to alert the winners once they’re drawn, and brace myself for next month.

Leap years. They never quite sit comfortably, and this one’s no exception. At least after the 29th we’ll feel more synchronized, right?

Don’t tell me if I’m wrong. I’d rather have a little hope.

See you around, Readers.

Giveaway, and Other Monday

Good morning, chickadees! It was a long weekend, and one I’m not quite sure I made it through intact. But I did get to settle on the couch with a book on contesting orthodoxy in the medieval and early modern era, so there’s that.

And we have a new giveaway! This month it’s for two signed, personalized Strange Angels/Betrayals bind-ups, copies of which I have signed I can count on one hand. It’s also out of print, which makes it even more rare. There will be two winners, and of course, newsletter subscribers got first crack at it. But now you, too, can enter–and multiple times to up your chances, too. It is worldwide, but media mail–I can’t afford quicker postage, so it will take a wee bit for your book to get to you.

It’s been warmer than usual for the past couple days, which the dogs have liked. At least, Boxnoggin, being a slick-coated fellow, has liked it; Miss B doesn’t mind since she’s got her lovely undercoat to keep her warm or cool as the situation demands.

It’s a holiday, so I’m moving rather slowly. Said dogs need their walkies, and I should probably stretch out a bit and get ready for a week that will be full of yet more revision madness. I’m prepping Season Two of HOOD for eventual publication, and I have a couple new tools to do it with. This time around I’m going to try proofing in PDF instead of on paper, which I’m sure will be a barrel of fun for all involved. I have the iPad, the pencil, and the app for doing it; I’m hoping it will be enough like paper that I can actually see the errors.

Proofing on something in my lap, with a pencil clutched firmly in hand, is vastly different than proofing on my desktop screen. Each way I see different errors; I’m pretty sure it engages vastly different parts of the brain. If this particular strategy works, trad publishers will be overjoyed at not having to send me paper proofs; if it doesn’t, well, at least I tried.

I suspect I’m going to say “at least I tried” a lot this year. There are worse fates.

And now it’s time for said walkies with said canines. They’ve been very patient, but Miss B has her nose on my knee, so I suspect her remaining patience is of short duration.

I suspect that will be a theme for this year as well. Looking forward to it. Happy Monday, my friends!

Monday, Always Behind

Well, I’m awake, though I didn’t get the one damn thing I wanted to this weekend. I have a book hanging fire and waiting for feedback, but the amount of cooking that had to be done (mostly by the Princess, who was attending a couple different events this weekend that required culinary offerings) meant more than the usual cleaning, and I got a wild hare yesterday about making chile verde con cerdo from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe.

Consequently, I had no time to settle on the couch with some pleasurable reading, by far my favorite part of any weekend. Which means I’m going to take a couple hours this afternoon, turn off the wireless, and dive in.

But before that, I have the morning run and wordcount to get handled. I may not be able to play hooky with Wangsty Dracula today; HOOD needs some attention. The gala fête is about to begin, Marah’s got to get dressed, Giz needs to make some preparations, Bookman Trick needs a gentle goose to activate his long-dormant courage (well, he is brave, he just doesn’t think so) and, as a cowardly prince once said, there’s Guilder to frame for it.

I’m swamped.

The Valentine giveaway is still going strong! Once it ends there will be a private giveaway for newsletter subscribers. (If you haven’t signed up, here’s a link.) Plus I need to get the subscription stuff for the week ready.

*sigh* It was really tasty chile verde, but it’s set me far behind. At least it’s a Monday; I’m always behind on a Monday. Never could quite get the hang of them.

I wish you better luck, dear Reader. Onwards and upwards we go.

Price for Acuity

My nose was out of commission for a couple days, thanks to the flu; this morning, however, I cleared it with a honk into a somewhat overstrained tissue and can finally smell again. It’s a bloody relief to have that primary sense fully back instead of only dimly usable when something like a dog’s excited digestive system emits a pungent dambreaker. (So to speak.)

Of course, now that it’s back, I’m sure the house will be full of unpleasant corners. But if that’s the price I pay for acuity, so be it.

I went to bed super early last night, just after my second Inktober drawing–I’m not following any prompts, I’m just doing whatever I feel like. The kids like bringing their own sketchpads into my office in the evening, and we listen to Forensic Files cases while sharpening pencils and sharing pens. They used to draw while I knitted, but now that I’m drawing too they’re extremely pleased. One couldn’t ask for a more supportive audience; I’m no good at visual arts but they gravely remind me that it’s having fun that matters.

Youth is wise, indeed.

I’m pretty sure it was the flu; I still ache all over. Not like I was beaten with a truncheon anymore, which is a relief, and the fever’s receded though it didn’t break in a gush of sweat and clarity as it usually does. But I’ll take it. I can probably even start jogging again, very gently and on the treadmill. I don’t care if my plantar fascia gets upset, I’ve got to move and get some of this itching out.

The October Valentine Test Giveaway is still going strong, and don’t forget you can get more entries by clicking in daily. So far the response has exceeded my wildest expectations, and I’m already thinking of what to give away next month. Maybe a Gallow & Ragged set, or a couple Kismet omnibuses. (Omnibi?) It depends on what I’ve the postage for.

I should also get the monthly newsletter out the door, as well. But first there’s the rest of my coffee to absorb, and a little bit of deep breathing before I hit the damn treadmill. It’s always something, and I can’t wait to write some more Wangsty Dracula Reboot. The only thing I’m not doing is making it an epistolary novel, because I frankly don’t have the patience. I love reading epistolary, but writing it is a whole different ballgame.

Good gods. How did we arrive at Thursday without me knowing? I suppose I’d best get started.

Over and out.

The Valentine Test Giveaway

Dante Valentine

The fever is still hanging around and I’m hacking into tissues like a consumptive heroine in a Victorian novel. Of course, this means I have all sorts of ideas that may or may not be good ones, so here we go:

I’m trying something new this month, dear Readers: a giveaway!

I’m testing a giveaway process for signed, personalized author’s copies. Since I don’t sell said copies, and since I don’t do signings anymore (except for the Powell’s Authorfest. which sadly I have to miss this year due to a punishing publication schedule), the copies are piling up. I only need a very few of them for my brag shelf and associated personal uses, so what to do with the rest?

Well, give them away, I guess.

So. From now until October 15, you can enter to win one of two (2) signed, personalized copies of the Dante Valentine UK omnibus. Winners will be chosen on the 18th. I’ll personalize and sign your copy, then send it anywhere in the world. Future giveaways might be restricted to the US or the US, UK, & Canada, depending on what kind of cash I have for postage that month. I may even do a dedicated giveaway page on the ol’ website, I’m not sure yet.

Time will tell if this is a great idea or a terrible one, but if it gets the boxes out of my garage and maybe makes a few Readers happy, I’m down with it.

I may even do giveaways of less-physical objects in the future, though probably not ARCs due to piracy concerns. But, for example, a manuscript critique or a free cover copy revise? That’s do-able.

Anyway, if you’re interested, scroll on down and enter. We’ll see how it goes.