Solidity

rocks

I hate travel, but I like to hear stories from people who’ve gone elsewhere.

Friends often ask if they can bring anything back from a trip for me. I generally say no. Once in a while, though, I’ll ask for a rock, even a piece of gravel, from their wanderings. Holding a piece of earth’s solidity, I can taste where a friend walked, and their happiness while they traveled. (Or their irritation.) Each one comes with a story, too.

These are from my writing partner’s last trip to the ocean. She and her darling husband (we call him the Boy Scout) visited my favorite place on earth and brought these back. I put them on my dresser, where I can see them every morning.

It’s good to have friends.

Ramblin’ B

park

Since B is no longer capable of long runs, we ramble a lot. A ramble is at least an hour long, and we have several routes about and around. One of B’s favorites is this park that has a Little Free Library. I want very badly to put one in my front yard, but each time I mention it, someone tells me it’s a bad idea. (Sometimes I even tell myself that.) So I get my little free library fix during the rambles.

Today is the last day to get in on THE MARKED Indiegogo campaign! Remember, even if it doesn’t fully fund, you still get your perks, and the book will still be published. It will just take a little longer for the latter, and I built that time into the schedule for the book. If you like the idea, please spread the word.

And that’s it for this week, my dears. I’ll be huddling in my office for most of the weekend, ignoring the artillery fire outside. Some idiots have already started blowing up bits of native soil. My nerves are already raw, and Miss B’s are almost gone. It will be a relief when the Fourth is over.

Perfect Skull

No, really.
No, really.

Me: LOOK AT WHAT I’M TEMPTED TO BUY.[1]
The Princess: DO EET.
Sister 1: …I hope that’s not a real animal.
Me: Uh, no, it’s resin.
The Princess: We can put it on the front step.

If there is a more perfect explication of my, my daughter’s, and my middle sister’s personalities than this, I haven’t run across it yet.

(I had a fairytale post planned for today, but things didn’t work out. Next week!)

[1]No, I didn’t buy it. The urge to bludgeon someone with it would overwhelm me, and that would create paperwork. BUT I COULD HAVE BOUGHT IT.

Can’t Will Myself Better

Eeyore Ugh. Another one of those “everything is horrid and nothing helps” days. I know things are coming, they’ll be here soon, things will get better, la la la. It’s just hard to wait when you feel like everything around you is on fire and falling into a sea of relatively mild (for a chestburster) acid.

Of course, I could also have a teensy little lack of proportion due to two nights of uneven, restless, tossing sleep. The 3am Whatifs have been having a field day–or a series of field nights, so to speak–inside my skull.

Everything has always turned out all right before, I shouldn’t worry so much, there are plans in place.

Still.

Much of the problem is simply that I’ve been trying to dial back the anxiety meds. This is not helping, because whatever genetic disposition I had toward anxiety was triggered over and over again in the first thirty-odd years of my life and has become, as far as my body is concerned, the status quo. Generous soakings of adrenaline, cortisol, and the attendant chemicals are what my body and brain consider normal despite their bad effects on said body and brain. I can know, intellectually, that nothing is wrong and my body is simply doing something weird, but the physical sensations of terror are so strong it takes a lot of mental energy to keep reminding myself, over and over, that it’s FINE REALLY JUST CALM THE FUCK DOWN.

It irks me that I need medication in order to not have daily panic attacks. It upsets me that I can’t just will myself better, that I can’t just turn my reserves of stubbornness to the problem and force my body and brain to be closer to “normal.” Most other problems in my life have been solved by small (or not so small) and consistent applications of said stubbornness (for example, my career in publishing, ha ha) but this one…this one cannot be. It troubles me.

I’m off for my morning run now–another way to cope with and burn off all those damn stress chemicals. I’ve done a bunch of work already this morning, maybe, if I run hard enough, I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

Maybe.

Oh! Patreon folks, this month’s offerings are up! I hope you enjoy them. There will probably NOT be a reading this month, there’s just not enough interest and I am still struggling to catch up from Frau L’s visit and…several other things.

Okay. I really am heading out the door now. Maybe sweat will solve some of this. It will, at least, make Miss B stop nudging me with her nose whenever I shift in my chair. She can sense my worries, and they worry her, poor thing.

Over and out.

Growing Early

crocus

They’re coming up, gold and purple, everywhere I put bulbs in. I keep trying to tell them we may still have a cold snap, but they are optimistic. So are the daffodils; they are green swords ankle-high and stretching. Some favas have come up where the squirrels hid leftover beans from last year–I can almost forgive the fuzzy little bastards.

Almost.

The now there is rain on the roof, the street is a river, and I am certain every bulb below the surface is drinking deep and preparing to risk everything by growing early.

Seems like a dangerous spring has sprung.

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.

Bloodstone

bloodstone

Learning that high emotion can short out electrical equipment was an expensive lesson. Fortunately, chunks of bloodstone ameliorate the effect. This particular stone is courtesy of Dina James, my beloved Left Hoof of Darkness. It has its work cut out for it.

At least the light bulbs aren’t exploding anymore. That was always a bitch to clean up.