Tonight At Barnes & Noble…

I’ll be at the Vancouver Plaza Barnes & Noble from 4-6pm today, for the Educator Appreciation Night.

We celebrate all sixth through 12th grade educators with prizes, goodie bags, treats, special deals and popular teen author Lili St. Crow and graphic novel creator and publisher Darren Davis! Homeschoolers welcome.

I’ll be giving (as far as I know) a short talk, then doing a Q & A. I believe Mr. Davis will be doing the same, and I’m looking forward to it. Come out and see us, if you like!

There’s more to be entered into the annals of SquirrelTerror, but not until next week, because tomorrow is the Friday Writing post and today I’m already behind and flying low to catch up. Plus I’ve got six miles to run, especially since I’m going to be engaging in public speaking tonight. The terror at such a prospect is wonderful fuel for physical fitness, let me tell you.

Catch you later…

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Heaven’s Spite Teaser

I know I promised another in the ongoing series about my writing process, but the Deadline Dames are running a snippet extravaganza this week! So, I’ll be writing more about process next Friday.

Today, you’re going to get a peek at an upcoming book. I went back and forth for a long time wondering which book I should excerpt here. Generally I don’t give excerpts, because I don’t like spoiling books. I prefer to have the story whole, laid out in front of the reader in its complete form as much as possible. Plus, I feel very strongly that each event in a novel, each scene, each piece of dialogue, is integral to every other piece. Taking one out is akin to playing a very dangerous game of Jenga and risking a collapse of the work as a whole.

I take these things too seriously. But then, that’s my job. Anyway.

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Short Story Madness, and Updates!

Yesterday was pretty productive. I know what happens in the entire rest of Dru 5 now, all that remains is to buckle down and see how it shifts in the actual writing.

I posted an excerpt of Dame Devon’s Magic At The Gate. I encourage you to go take a gander, it’s pretty awesome. Dame Devon posted the only excerpt of Jealousy I will be giving before the book comes out. You can also read the first chapter of Jealousy on the official Strange Angels website; there will be quizzes and lots more cool stuff showing up on that site before long, so stay tuned. And please, if you want to know about excerpts, read this.

I also updated my FAQ (new stuff about Selene and Nikolai, the Kismet series, and Strange Angels) and updated the fan forum. If you want spoilers, the place to look is the forum; I often give tidbits there. Plus, there’s now preorder information for Heaven’s Spite on the Kismet page.

True to form, once I updated everything about Selene and Nikolai, new news came in. I am pleased and proud to announce that the Selene and Nikolai short story Just Ask has been accepted for the upcoming Mammoth Book of Hot Romance. I don’t know exactly when it will be released but the official acceptance has arrived. Just Ask deals with Selene’s return to Saint City, and as soon as I have more information I’ll share. I can also share that I’ll have a story in the upcoming Dark & Stormy Knights, titled Rookwood & Mrs. King. I am also proud as punch to announce that a YA short story, titled Say Yes, has been accepted for the upcoming Eternal: More Love Stories With Bite, also featuring the awesome PC Cast.

I’ve been sitting on the news about the short stories for so long, it’s just about killed me. You just don’t know. There’s yet more news that I can’t share just yet (oh, how I tease) but it’s so totally exiting I can barely sit still. Anyway, once I get all the details, you’ll hear more.

Now, it’s raining and I have a dead body and a burned-down Schola, not to mention a kidnapping and an epic battle, to commence. Sorry to throw the links and run, but that’s what I’ve gotta do.

Over and out!

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My Excitement, It Is…Not So Exciting

Today is an overcoming-dragons type of day.

I hate driving in Portland. It’s really not Portland’s fault, even though I swear to God the streets change, especially at night. No, most of my stress comes from the fact that I rarely have access to a reliable car, so on top of the navigational stress (which I handle with the GPS that came with my cell phone, thank you God) there’s also the will-my-vehicle-blow-up-on-me stress.

Today, however, I had a reliable car (thanks to Subaru Shawn, who rocks) and the GPS, and plenty of time. So I made it out to the Cedar Hills Crossing Powell’s–remember, I’m going to be there on May 25th, signing with Ilona Andrews and Devon Monk–and, to put whipped cream and a cherry on the whole day, I navigated successfully to Deek & Bryan’s Next Adventure for climbing gear.

It was worth trying to find parking around Grand Avenue in the middle of the day, because the staff are so helpful and nice. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone having a bad experience there. Once I found the climbing section and actually opened my mouth to ask questions (sports supply stores always make me feel lazy and underachieving and shy) I got the help of a very nice young man who took me patiently through buying my first pair of climbing shoes and my very first harness. (My one moment of caviling? “No flowers on the harness, please. Just…no flowers. I’m not a flower type of girl. Unless it’s a flesh-eating monster flower…oh my God, did I just say that out loud?”) I didn’t catch the young man’s name, but his mother must be very proud of him.

Now I’m home and I’ve bolted lunch and I have to get dear, sweet, stubborn Dru in more trouble. I feel refreshed and renewed, instead of wrung-out and panicked. Which is a big change. A reliable vehicle does indeed make all the difference. I know, it sounds boring and pedestrian. But little by little I’m doing things I’ve never done before, and my life is getting so much better. The process of breaking out of the chrysalis proceeds apace, and it’s nice out here. It’s like all the work of the past year, and especially all the very intense work of the last six months, has suddenly started to pay off. Where before it was just a slog, now I’m seeing actual results.

I like that. I’ll keep it.

And now for chaos, panic, and vampire attacks. Catch you later, gator.

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Lucky Day

Just had a surprise visit from a very nice young man from the cable company. He found the source of the persistent problem I’ve been having, and fixed it in under twenty minutes. That was nice. Between that and the absolutely fantastic run I had this morning, today is apparently going to be lucky. Maybe I should buy a lotto ticket. *snort* Nah, I’ll just settle for getting my wordcount and errands all done in today.

Here, have a link: Ilona Andrews explains further about ebook pricing and distribution.

I have to admit I was naughty yesterday after I finished wordcount. I watched Dracula 2000 again–mostly because my hairdresser friend texted me about Gerard Butler and once I started thinking about it I was helpless and HAD to watch that movie. They don’t let him talk much, which is a good thing. He’s so pretty and brooding. Then I actually picked up smoke and reread it. I don’t do that often, and of course I see glaring errors in the book and Rose irritates me almost to tears, and I want to absolutely strangle Michael every time. But I think it’s time for me to schedule in some work on avatar.

So, yes, naughty. But I got my wordcount in, and it felt good to relax a little bit. I am slowly relearning the skill of actual relaxation. I haven’t had much call to practice it in the last twenty-eight years or so, and my fumbling attempts at taking a chill or two are probably hilarious to watch. That’s okay. At least I do it at home, where looking ridiculous is sort of expected.

That being said, I’ve got more words and appointments today. So it’s back into the fray, dear ones, where I shall harvest what luck I may. Catch you later.

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A Ramble About Shelves

When Monday morning is a relief, you know your weekend was borked.

It wasn’t all bad. I did, for example, get three bookcases put together. Now I have a whole reference bookcase, instead of my reference books scattered all over the house in uneven lumps. A book collection is like oatmeal–you want some clumps, but easy ones. Anyway, my Tanith Lee collection is sharing a much bigger case with my Latin books now, and my working metaphysical library has been taken from my altar and placed in my bedroom. Now I have to organize it instead of finding the book I want by a type of intuitive leap. *snort* Ah, maybe I should leave the metaphysical ones jumbled to keep my intuition sharp.

I was amazed to find out just how much poetry I have, too. I should set aside a shelf for that. It’s odd, because there aren’t many poets I truly like. Blake, Shelley, Keats, all right, some Byron when I can forget what he was like in real life. Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Dowson–of course, and I shelve them together because I’m That Way. Sexton, Plath, Auden, most e.e. cummings, Marge Piercy, some (not all) Kerouac; then there’s the shelf with Yehuda Amichai, Neruda, Yeats, and Dylan Thomas. The Beat Reader, for some reason, goes there instead of with Kerouac. Plus, Mira and Rumi go together, but with a reasonable, respectful distance between their physical selves. Some other poets–Sappho, Propertius, Ovid–go with Greek and Latin books instead of in poetry per se. Just like I shelve Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther books with the WWII history books. Still, there is one Ovid and one Sappho that go with the poetry just because the translations are so beautiful.

My bookshelves are organized, it just might not look that way to the innocent bystander. I can generally find any book I own in seconds, unless (this is a big thing) someone else who lives here has moved it. I HATE that, because I can’t rest until I find a particular book, if I’m wanting to loan it to someone or just cross-check something in it. I don’t mind people reading the damn books, that’s what they’re for, but I DO like them being put back where you found them. Otherwise I get all messed up. Some people who have lived with me have even hid books from me just to make me crazy.

I always hated that.

Anyway. My weekend was long, complex, draining, but also productive. I put all my Nabokov in my bedroom (a dangerous place, I know) and it’s sharing a small bookshelf with my French and (very small) Russian Revolution collections. This amuses me every time I pass it, though it probably would not amuse him.

Of course, the dust is still settling and small leftover bits are still being sorted into their proper places. But the bulk of the work is done, all that needs to happen now is tiny little shifts in adjustment. A book collection (I hesitate to use the word library in connection with my crowd of well-loved, dusty, ill-behaved and eclectic books, both “working” and leisurely) is like a creative brain. There’s enough order to make things reasonable, and a little disorder to open the door to magic.

So now that I’ve completely bored you talking about my bookshelves, off I go to the rest of my day. I have a little slice of time where I can work only on writing the things I want to write, and there’s a certain self-hating, murderous fae who would like some of my attention.

See you in a bit, dear Reader…

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