Hope, Despair, Work

I attended the Cedar Hills Crossing Powell’s yearly Authorfest on Sunday right after Orycon, and got to see a lot of lovely people, from fellow authors to regular Authorfest readers. It was nice, and the drive out there and back settled some plot points inside my head.

Driving’s good for that. Tires on paving and the hum of the engine shake all sorts of things loose.

Now I’m back home with no event looming on the horizon, but I think Orycon con-crud hitchhiked on a bunch of people and found a congenial home in my sinuses. Hydration, ginger, and vitamin C are all called for.

Season One of HOOD proceeds apace for NaNo, and there’s revisions on The Maiden’s Blade to get done before the end of the month too. Plus, there’s Thanksgiving, which means I’ll throw a ham in the oven, make some mashed taters, and call it good. At least the Little Prince will be home from school and the Princess has some holiday time off work, so that’s nice.

I’m just…drained, and fighting off the crud is exhausting. It’s a good thing I only do the one event a year. Otherwise the loss of working time would be a bigger problem. Plus I’m recovering from the midterms. Hope is almost as exhausting as despair.

The cure for both is work, I guess. Which means it’s time to get out the door with the dogs, then come home and settle into a long day of revisions and grinding. If I do well, I may get to play hooky with the storm-king-and-witch book, which I’m using to make other projects jealous so they behave.

It’s a fine juggling act, and if I can just fight off this hitchhiking crud I might even pull it off.

Over and out.

Vapor Lock

Busy week. Busy, busy, busy week. Patreon updates. Making sure In the Ruins is absolutely, positively, no-foolin’ ready for next week’s release. House-sitting and animal feeding. NaNo-ing. (Technically every month is a novel-writing month, but you know the drill.) Latin. French. Greek. Copyedits just landed. Kids both busy with their own lives, so arranging the clockwork of everyone’s schedules to run smoothly requires a bit of negotiation at the dinner table.

I just want to go back to bed.

But! I will be at the Powell’s Authorfest this Sunday, 3-7pm, signing books and blinking owlishly at people. Want your books signed? Come on out!

…I had a lot of other things planned for this blog post, but I just vapor-locked, sitting here staring at the screen while my fingers twitched uselessly. Which doesn’t bode well. Time to make a list and go down it, checking things off ruthlessly, and no knitting until I get at least half of it done.

I can’t promise everything will get done today, but by golly, I have caffeine and I’m going to damn well try. Except for the copyedits. Those can wait for next week.

Over and out.

Official Old Lady

Pomegranate I resurrected later than usual this morning, and am still exhausted. I love meeting readers and signing for them, it was just so busy. The time passed in a blur of old friends, new faces, books I’d almost forgotten I wrote, and my hands shaking just a little with the fear that I was going to mess up and say something strange or dissolve into a puddle of nerves.

Social anxiety is a bitch.

I met Annie Bellet, and Curtis Chen who I believe I already knew slightly from Cover to Cover’s old Writer’s Mixers. My fellow Dame Devon Monk was in attendance, as well as the lovely and gracious Diana Pharaoh Francis. There were many others, but it was so busy I didn’t get much of a chance to say hello. Thank you to everyone who came out (especially Mecca of the lovely hair and the Armadillo, who is three weeks away from finishing her own personal marathon) and, as well, a gigantic thanks to the Powell’s employees who made everything go so smoothly, especially Peter H.

There was bad traffic on the way home–two accidents, and many snarls. Consequently, I arrived chez Saintcrow utterly exhausted, and could barely drag myself out of bed this morning. Coffee is helping, but not nearly as much as I’d like. I’m hoping the deep, chesty coughs I’m having occasionally are just bodily housekeeping instead of incipient trouble.

And that is it for today’s post, my friends. I’ve some administrivia to get through, wordcount on Afterwar, some posting for my Patreon peeps, and perhaps, if I get really wild and crazy this afternoon, a nap!

…that’s it, you know, I have officially become an old lady. It’s about damn time.

THE MARKED, and a Workshop

Markedcover2 The Indiegogo campaign for THE MARKED is now live! There are all sorts of perks, and if you have a suggestion for one, please let me know.

Awful things happen. Sometimes you’re left alive, but it leaves a Mark. They aren’t tattoos, and they express your hidden powers—and your hidden desires. They grow as you use them. And someone wants them very, very badly…

A winding road, a freak storm, and a lightning strike. Jude Altfall’s life, just beginning to coalesce after her divorce, is shattered afresh. Dazed with grief, she’s not sure if the weird things happening around her are hallucinations…or something more. And there’s the mark on her hip—a tattoo she can’t for the life of her remember getting.

Preston Marlock left a shadowy government agency two years ago, to hunt a killer. Each time the bastard strikes the trail goes cold, and not even Marlock’s more-than-natural abilities are helping. Now the killer’s taken one of his very few friends, and there’s a surviving witness. The Altfall woman is now that most precious and fragile of targets, newly Marked. All Marlock has to do is dangle her like bait, and the killer will eventually show up.

The Skinner knows some people are different. Special. He has a collection of stretched skin and pretty pictures, each harvested with care. The trick is to take them while the victim is still struggling, still alive, otherwise their power is lost. He is careful, methodical, and precise, but chance robs him of a prize. Once he realizes Jude Altfall has what he covets, and has possibly seen his face, her fate is sealed. And just to be cautious, the Skinner might swat at the annoying fly who has buzzed along his trail for two years.

Sometimes you survive, and you bear a Mark.

And some things are worse than death.

Not only that, but I’ll be running a workshop for young authors this upcoming Sunday.

BN Bookfair Flyer (PDF version for downloading.)

I don’t normally do events, but the local Barnes & Noble has supported me over the years, and I love them deeply. So I’ll be practicing my own inimitable form of writing kung-fu this Sunday. Even if you’re not a teen writer, you can help out by printing out and using the vouchers to make a purchase that weekend. Please do, because it benefits the regional library system.

And that’s all the news for today, my dears. Tomorrow I’ll tell you all about the SquirrelThings Five, and why I still have a bruise on my tuchus.

Chipping, Incognito

come n say 'hello' to my new friend Chipping the words out, one by one. Yesterday was difficult–the scene I had to stitch into the first Gallow book took a different direction, and though I wanted to make it a neat little package it refused, point-blank, to do what I wanted. Just like coaxing a small animal out of hiding–you have to work on the animal’s schedule and comfort level, not your own.

That goddamn Muse, people. I’m telling you. Today she had better not give me any shite at all.

In better news, Ann Aguirre is signing at Book Bin East in Salem this evening. I’ll probably be there incognito. Come on out and show some Northwest love, if you can. It’ll be fun!

But first, back to the revisions. If I can wring another scene out of my head today and get a chunk of already-finished scenes eyeballed and tweaked, I’ll count it a win.

All Aboard The Pliny Train

Can anyone guess what this is?

What's "choo choo, motherfuckas" in Latin?
What’s “choo choo, motherfuckas” in Latin?


You’re looking at Loeb Classical Library’s ten-volume set of Pliny the Elder‘s Natural History. Which I’m going to do a read-along of, right here on this very blog.

Lest you think this will be boring, oh my chickadees, let me school you.

Pliny the Elder was a BAMF. This was a guy so committed to science he saw Vesuvius erupting and didn’t thing “fuck me, let’s get away from that.” Oh no. Instead, this guy grabs a ship to take him closer, because he’s gotta find out what happens. He’s gotta see for himself, because that would make an awesome addition to his wide-ranging studies on the natural world.

Of course, the volcanic gases killed him. You guys, he DIED FOR SCIENCE.

I like the Loeb books because they’re Latin on one side, English on the other. The Natural History is a big ol’ whale full of detail, and frankly I need to get back into studying my Latin. SO. If you want, read along with me. I plan on finishing Book I in March, quite possibly sooner.

The Pliny Train is now boarding. Come along for the ride. I promise it’ll be fun.