“Lucky” Cup

I almost, almost bought this. The only thing that stopped me was the prospect of a squirrel either deciding to pop out of the cup or that said cup would provide a beautiful home for its furry ass.

Still…it's just the right size to fit in the espresso maker.

I'm still tempted…

A Heckin Good Protec

The dogs want a run this morning. They won’t get one, mostly because my ankle is still tender. Maybe some walkies, if I can get enough coffee in me. As it is, I’m staring at the screen while sucking down as much caffeine as practicably possible, and wondering, as I perennially do after a release or a revision, why recovery takes so goddamn long. 

Even when I force myself into a couple days of doing absolutely nothing that can be considered work (I’m only allowed two hundred fresh words on such a day) it STILL takes longer than I think, and I inevitably try to go back to work, have a spasm of productivity, and then sit, staring and blinking, for about three days.

You’d think I’d have this down by now, but I don’t.

The dogs, meanwhile, are ecstatic. I cook a lot while in recovery, which means the kitchen is full of dropped scraps and lovely smells. There is much snuggling and rolling about on the floor, much playing with toys, and much repeating of “you are a GOOD dog, yes you are!”

The spasm of productivity was getting Atlanta Bound all prepped for preorder and the final chapters of Roadtrip Z prepped and scheduled for patrons and subscribers. That takes a significant load off my diminished capabilities until after the first of the year, which is welcome. It’d be nice to get the box set (all four Roadtrip Z seasons, paper costs may mean that comes out only in e-format, which would be a shame) all settled and ready to be put in the preorder pipe in January, but that’s a pretty high bar, especially if I want to re-edit the whole thing.

*sigh*

Sir Boxnoggin is letting out a series of chesty barks at short intervals, summoning me to come peer out windows at neighbors who are doing yard work. If he glimpses movement, or hears a car door slam/tree branch fall, he is ALL OVER THE BORKING. Which means, of course, that Miss B has to be all over the borking as well. After that, there’s nothing for it, Mum has to get up and investigate and make much of Boxnoggin for alerting and Doin A Heckin Good Doggo Protec. Then Miss B has to horn in and get some snuggles and pets because she did a good heckin protec too.

Consequently, I can’t finish a damn thought. Time to wrap this up and get the dogs leashed for walkies. After they stuff a great many scents into their snouts, they’ll have to come home and process, which means napping. Which means some quiet while I figure out omnibus paper costs.

Wish me luck.

RELEASE DAY: Rattlesnake Wind

That’s right, my darlings–finally, one of the books closest to my heart is out in the world and ready for your delectation. I always meant to go back to Wyoming, and I have; though perhaps not in the way anyone might have expected. Dez’s story is pretty brutal, and since she’s young, a lot of publishers wanted it as a YA–but only if they could take some of the blood and meat and gristle out of it.

You can guess my response to that.

It finally found a home with Fireside, the best place it could have landed. It’s one of the more marvelous feelings in the world to able to trust your editor and publisher, to know they’re behind you all the way.

So…I won’t say enjoy, because I’m not sure it’s an enjoyable book. It was necessary for me to write, and doubly necessary for me to send it out into the world unwatered, with colorless fumes smoking from its trembling surface. I offer it with both hands, my friends, and hope it finds you well.

Desiree Sarpe and her family–minus their domineering, abusive patriarch–have settled on the Wyoming plains, where the wind speaks, the grass whispers, and power comes in the strangest, most ordinary of forms. Unfortunately, the past and its terrors can’t be easily shaken, and Dez is about to find out how brutal, bloody, and costly magic really is…

Now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and independent retailers.

Safe Now

I just finished a monstrous revision, and my head is not quite my own at the moment. Regular blogging will resume shortly; in the meantime, here, have a picture of the business end (not the biggest end, alas) of a Very Large Branch that fell out of treetops less than a foot away from me and the dogs while we were engaged upon windy-day walkies.

Both of them sensed a threat and were primed for attack, but once it became clear the branch was no longer moving Sir Boxnoggin had to sidle up and pee on it. Miss B, of course, only wanted to sniff to verify it was dead and could no longer cause mischief.

I'm going to go try and get my head to stop spinning. Enjoy your weekend, my dears.

Prospective Jacket

Both dogs are exhausted by roughhousing after breakfast. Which is fine by me, it’ll make walking them easier. It’s also chilly today, with a brisk wind, which Sir Boxnoggin does not enjoy. Miss B, thanks to her wonderful Aussie undercoat, is an all-weather dog, but Boxnoggin may need a jacket if it gets much colder.

I have deep philosophical objections to pet costumes, but a little pink plaid jacket to make Boxnoggin feel like a warm boy sounds delightful. I’ll have to take a handful of treats and measure him up.

He will probably try to eat the tape measure, but such is life with canines.

I spent a good seven hours hunched over revisions yesterday, which was at once a vacation–because my work days are generally about ten hours long–and a torment, because my back has decided it doesn’t like the super-fancy office chair at the moment. Time for pillows and other such things until my back decides once more I and the chair can be trusted.

I almost, almost got to the point where I need to shoehorn another scene in. I think the bastard prince needs to be on a caravan heading into the capital city of his country’s greatest enemy, and seeing the sheer size and scope of said city will have a few effects on him. He’s very much a “go big or go home” character, and it’ll be interesting if he decides to do the former in the series.

As it is, though, I just want this goddamn revision over. The book’s crept past 185K, and if one more person says “but it needs more politics!” I am going to scream like a Munch painting. Since a certain game of thrones has become popular, everyone wants to shoehorn similar things into every damn fantasy, losing sight of the fact that it’s characters people care about that drive the whole thing. Publishers are always looking to force the Last Big Thing into the Next Big Thing, whether it wills or no. Fighting that tendency is exhausting sometimes.

All the same, I love my job, and I’m sure when this book achieves its final fighting form I’ll be proud of it. I’m just tired right now, that’s all.

Which means it’s time to get out the door with the dogs. If we keep moving the wind won’t trouble us much. At least, that’s the plan.

Over and out.

Boxnoggin’s Monday Morn

Lord Boxnoggin is a Very Curious Dog, in both senses of the word. He is ever ready to Do A Protec when a car door slams somewhere in the neighborhood, or when the doorbell rings, or even when it’s foggy outside and he just doesn’t like the way a certain fir tree is looking at him.

Right now he’s thrown himself dramatically to the floor in my office, since brekkie has been eaten and now he must endure Mum’s poking at a glowing box before getting to the real morning business: a run. My ankle is finally ready for light jogging, and he’s thrilled to bits. This morning has been Unsatisfactory to Boxnoggin for a variety of reasons, like:

Boxnoggin: BREAKFAST! WAIT, NO BACON GREASE?
Miss B: THERE’S PITA CHIPS! WOOHOO! *grabs one and trots away to eat it in secret*
Boxnoggin: WHAT? I DIDN’T GET ANY! MUM! NO FAIR!
Me: They’re right there, under your kibble.
Boxnoggin: HOOMINS ARE MAGIC! I CAN HAZ PITA CHIP! *trots away to eat it in secret*
Miss B: *returns, full of self-importance, and sticks her nose in Boxnoggin’s bowl* ANYTHING IN HERE FOR MEEEEE?
Boxnoggin: MUM! MUM! SHE’S IN MY BOOOOOWL!

Or, for example:

Boxnoggin: WHAT THE HELL?
Me: It’s fog, it’s fine. It’s just water vapor.
Boxnoggin: BUT NEW! DIFFERENT! CHANGE IS BAAAAD!
Miss B: GET OUT OF THE WAY, I’VE GOT TO PEE.
Boxnoggin: NOOOOO DON’T GO DOWN THERE, IT’S BAAAAD!
Miss B: WHAT THE HELL, DUDE, I’VE GOTTA PEE!
Boxnoggin: LET ME BACK INSIDE. I’LL PEE THERE.
Me: No. Go down the stairs.
Boxnoggin: BUT I CAAAAAAN’T!
Miss B: GET. OUT. OF. MY. WAY.
*fursplosion*
Me: STOP IT, BOTH OF YOU.
Both Dogs: EEEEE MUM’S BORKING, WE MUST BORK TOO! BORK BORK BORK!

But the biggest, most unsatisfactory event of the morning was the squirrel on the deck railing who laughed at Boxnoggin, while the latter damn near cleared the bloody thing and went sailing into the yard. The squirrel–I think it’s Batgirl, but it was moving too quickly to be absolutely sure–levitated aside to reach yet another fir tree, chittered a few nasty terms having to do with Boxnoggin’s mother wearing Army boots or some such, and vanished upwards, laughing all the while.

And Boxnoggin? While this was occurring he did his best to tear the railing off the deck, screaming about VENGEANCE and CHASE IT and MUUUUUM, so Miss B, not to be outdone, began to yell too.

At least it’s a Monday morning, and hence one I don’t have to worry about sleeping neighbors upon.

…The Princess just arose from her slumber, and of course both dogs have to supervise her morning routine. That’ll give me about five minutes of peace before they trot back to see if I’ve moved or taken the opportunity to tie my shoes, which means a run is coming closer.

I’d better act quickly. Over and out…

Solid Marble

Me: This is solid marble, how…?
The Princess: I dunno.
Me: I'm not mad or even annoyed, just curious as all get-out.
The Little Prince: Oh yeah. About that…

Apparently, it slid out of his hand and dropped just the right way onto granite countertop tile. Which is a shame, I liked this butter bell, but now I can use its parts as "planters" for the epiphytes I'm currently in love with and I can get a bell that matches the rest of the kitchen.

There's always a silver lining.