Full Weekend

December 6, 1924 We had OMG a houseful this weekend. Five teenagers (including mine) on Saturday night, and that was just for starters. As a result, I’m wandering around like a ragged survivor, surveying the decorations that survived and mumbling things like got to get the dishwasher going, so many plates…wash the sheets, wash the sheeeeeeets… It was fun, and Those What Have March Birthdays Chez Nous were petted, filled with cake, and made much of.

Everything went well, for which I credit my sisters, who worked overtime with party prep and cleanup. Things get so much easier when everyone has worked together for years, and is capable of seeing something that needs to be done and just doing it without fuss. I’m going to have to find a couple of thank-you gifts. How exactly does one say “DEAR GOD YOU SAVED ME FROM HAIR LOSS AND SCREAMING” with a present?

Now, of course, the kids are off to school and the house is throbbing-empty. I keep going from room to room, wondering why it’s so quiet and realizing, oh yeah, it’s Monday, everyone went home. Time to catch up with both writing projects, see if I can get the copyedits turned around in the time required or if I need an extension, transcription work, and…

Christ. As usual, I need a couple days to recover from the weekend. I’d weep and gnash my teeth, but I don’t have time. First order of business is to get out the door for a run, and the second is figuring out how the smartmouth genie and his unwitting sidekick get out of the current imbroglio. Then I get to kill a few characters in the other book.

As plans go, it’s not a bad one.

Excelsior, and all that.

Coupon time!

Selene You can now buy some of my books directly through Payhip! It’s super easy.

Also, if you buy before March 1, 2016, and use the code “SHOELESS”, you can get 15% off. Sweet, huh?

Enjoy!

Today, Adulting

Escribano An incredibly productive day yesterday means I’m probably going to fail at adulting today, but them’s the breaks. If I manage to get to dinner without my head exploding, I’ll count it as a win. Especially for a Tuesday.

I’m liking transcription work. It exercises a different part of my brain, and doesn’t use up the emotional energy I need for writing. It’s a good palate-cleanser, and the best thing is, it’s really cheap dialogue training. Listening tot he rhythm of how people talk is great for one’s stories.

I’ve shelved the amulet-maker story, and am concentrating on the smartmouth genie and the rationalist insurance adjustor. (At least, I think she’s an insurance adjustor. She doesn’t want to talk about work right now, having many other things on her mind.) This story is fun, I’m mostly writing it for my writing partner. It’s also taking a pattern different than other books. Normally I write somewhat sequentially, but this book wants the arc for the two main characters mostly done before I go back and take a whack at the villains. (Who kind of aren’t villains at all, just selfish assholes who want shortcuts.) It’s very rarely that a book does this, demanding to be told somewhat out-of-order even though I know pretty much what happens in each scene.

The bulk of my effort, though, is reserved for the Rifters story, which is now titled Cormorant Run. My homage to Tarkovsky and the Strugatskys is growing into its own peculiar beast inside my head, and invading my dreams as well. I love this book, weird and brutal as it is, with the fierce love of a thousand fiery suns. It’s wanting to be written sequentially, unlike the genie book, and more excavated than written. Each day I brush away a little more dirt and debris and find the shape of a room underneath, a room needing to be emptied with a shovel or a spoon, depending. I love the books that are a whole organic thing under the surface of your brain, but the labor to excavate them is sometimes backbreaking.

I’ve written almost sixty full novels now, and each time, it’s different. Each damn book wants to be written in its own special little way, and will balk unless coaxed correctly. There are some commonalities, like the long slog in the middle with the BOOK THAT WILL NOT DIE NO MATTER HOW YOU STAB IT, but each novel teaches you how to write just-it, it alone, and nothing but it. A certain amount of submission to and trust in the process is necessary, as well as the discipline to sit down every goddamn day and get the writing done[1].

Right now my fingers are a bit chilled, so it’s time to stretch, get a cuppa–I’m trying turmeric tea right now, and with the addition of more ginger it’s actually quite palatable–and get back to the grindstone before the doldrums hit. I may fail at adulting later today, especially when t’s time for errands, but for now I have some shiny new willpower, and am going to use it.

*cracks knuckles* Tuesday? I’ll see you now…

[1] Yes, I know there are professional writers who don’t write every day. But you’re here on my blog, and I’m going to tell you the best way I know. ‘Nuff said.

Sugar and Toads

split infinitive The kids are home from school today, and this is the Monday I start the new habit of filing for ten minutes three times a week. Just filing paperwork, that’s all, from the gigantic stacks in my office. Because I am so very fond of putting things on a pile and thinking, yes, this is a good place for this to stay for A YEAR OR SO, sure!

I would like to say it’s the messiness of creativity, but it’s gone somewhat past that. When I’ve caught up with the filing there will be shredding to perform. I might even move my TBR pile–currently right behind my office chair–to a couple cleared shelves if I get really, truly ambitious. (No, I’m not holding my breath either.)

The sudden urge to clean and organize means I’ve hit a particular point in all three projects I’m working on. It’s past the “oooh, shiny!” but not quite in the “slog slog slog stabbity this book WILL NOT DIE” yet. I suspect the slog will be bearable this time, if only because of my time-honored habit of hitting a wall with one book and immediately shifting to another one to make the first jealous. (It works, I swear.)

So it is a rainy Monday on which I have to swallow a toad. I doubt I’ll do that first, though. Sweetening the amphibian with a bit of writing about a smartmouth genie and the spreadsheet-loving rationalist who just happens to own his “lamp” sounds like a much better deal. Plus there’s an entry into the Rift to write, and a werewolf attack in the third project. No shortage of sugar–or toads–this morning.

Over and out.

Wishing Hijinks

sixstringsamuraiicon This morning’s run was six kilometers, in the rain. Miss B about expired of satisfaction, since the rest of this week is tempo runs. She’s been aching to get all her fidgets worked out, and is currently sleepy-eyed and loose across the door to my office, enjoying well-earned exhaustion. A tired dog is a mannerly dog, after all.

I have revamped my Patreon tiers! If you’re interested, go on and take a look. The major new thing is recorded readings from some of my published works. If you’ve wondered what certain things sound like in my head, sign on up! I do reserve the right of choice, but I will entertain suggestions.

Right now I have three different projects on the boil. There’s a rather sweet (but a little bloody) romance about a smartmouth genie and the depressingly organized, rational, and very stick-in-the-mud woman (who loves spreadsheets, I believe she works in insurance) who just happened to get the ring he’s bound to. Secret societies and wishing hijinks abound!

Then there’s another, much darker story about a woman who makes amulets, and people who want them. This particular story had its genesis in a very vivid, unsettling dream I had not too long ago, and I’m pursuing it to see where it ends up. Purely for my own amusement, it will probably never see publication.

The third is, of course, the book I really want to work on, my homage to Stalker and Roadside Picnic. I am always curious about repercussions of large events at the local level, so I’m having to dig into this world one layer at a time, thinking out why certain things are certain ways. I am also staving off the inevitable request for a glossary with footnotes. I’m not sure anyone will buy this book, but if they do, dammit, I won’t have to make a glossary of neologisms. I have Personal Feelings about such things, and while they are strong I realize they are not exactly shared.

Odd Trundles has just risen from his midmorning nap and is sleepily blinking in my direction, smacking his lips to remind me it is almost lunchtime and hence, time for him to Do Some Business Outside before he settles in my office for his early afternoon, mid-afternoon, and late afternoon naps. It’s hard, living the Trundle life.

So, today is full of a barfight, two ambushes, and a little exposition. Not so much of the last, however–I really do love throwing the reader straight into the action and letting them swim, I love reading a book that assumes I can follow what the hell it’s talking about. But first, Trundles is right. A little lunch is in order.

Over and out.

Everything is Funny

WhatsOperaDoc *sings off-key* Oh, Bwunhilda, you’re so wuvely…”

Every once in a while a day comes along where everything is hilarious, almost without exception. Child wakes up late for school and his bedhead is truly epic? Laughter. Dog trips me going down the stairs and I almost fall to my death? Giggles. Squirrel on the deck taunting said dog (I believe I saw an obscene gesture or two)? Chuckles. Cavy keeps yelling about how he’d rather listen to Lana del Rey than Rossini? Well, not quite hilarious, but certainly amusing. (At least del Rey keeps him quiet. He’s taken over poor passed-on Critic’s role.)

I do not want to leave the house today. We are low on bread flour, but I am cogitating upon using whole-wheat and vital gluten to add to the poolish. I only hope the math involved does not cause my head to explode. Although, really, if it does, I shall no doubt find that funny as well.

In other news, Kevin Hearne has been saying some very nice things about Roadside Magic. (Apparently it made him forget a manspreader next to him on a plane. HIGH COMPLIMENT INDEED.) There’s nothing quite like hearing another author “getting” what you were trying to do with a book. It’s like when my agent said, “Well, you’re more of a writer’s writer,” and I actually choked with surprise before beaming all the rest of the day.

Well. There’s wordcount to be done, vital gluten to measure, a poolish to whisper into bread, cavy nails to clip, all the laundry I didn’t get done yesterday because the kids were doing theirs (not complaining) and various other bits and bobs to do. First, though, a run, during which I’m sure B will try to kill me. (HIJINKS WILL ENSUE.) Let’s hope I’m rolling 20s on my avoid-ass-over-teakettles.

Over and out.

Release Day: ROADSIDE MAGIC

RoadsideMagiclg That’s right, chickadees–Gallow and Ragged are back, and the stakes just keep getting higher.

Robin Ragged has revenge to wreak and redemption to steal. As for Jeremiah Gallow, the poison in his wound is slowly killing him, while old friends turn traitor and long-lost enemies return to haunt him.

In the dive bars and trailer parks, the sidhe are hunting. War looms, and on a rooftop in the heart of the city, the most dangerous sidhe of all is given new life. He has only one thought, this new hunter: Where is the Ragged?

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

This book was hard to write. Robin’s grief was a stone in my own throat, and Alastair Crenn is the sort of character where you’re writing him and constantly saying “oh, honey, NO…” Jeremiah, of course, is full of so much self-loathing it’s difficult to be inside his head.

The entire series was triggered by a dream (the Boy Scout, my writing partner’s husband, sat up in the middle of the night and said the elves are dying) and opened up inside my head, full-blown, in the space of a few seconds when the Selkie told me about said dream. It’s an odd feeling, that–a sort of vertigo, the outside world a faded irritant while the space inside my skull turns becomes the only world I’m interested in. I’m sure other writers have that moment, where everything about a book/series opens up.

Anyway, I hope you like it, dear Readers. I’ve noticed some people saying the language is difficult–“faux-Shakespearean” is my favourite–as if that’s a bad thing. I love words, I love to roll around in them, I love to build rhythmic sentences. And really, the sidhe have been alive so long, of course they sound archaic. Even Spenser might be too modern for them. I am comforted by the sheer number of Readers who have written me to say they love the language, and that the sidhe’s double-edged meanings and layers of recondite insult and compliment are pleasing indeed. Thank you, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of the second book’s adventures and betrayals.

Now I’m headed off to cower in a corner and nurse my release-day nerves, biting my nails and just generally being an anxiety-ridden nuisance to myself. As I do every time a book hits. You’d think it would become easier.

Over and out.