Ostara, Again

Due to reader demand, the Keeper books are back in print! I still get people asking me when Avatar will be finished; each time I have to say “when I can devote some writing time to it.” Paid projects come first, because Mama’s got a mortgage. I may bring out a few novellas as Anna Beguine, too, just to keep them separated from the rest of my work and to gauge the interest.

I hope your Ostara was full of good food and fun things. Mine was quietly spent catching up on housework I’d neglected while prepping the Beguine books for re-release and finishing a preliminary draft. Plus, I moved a butterfly bush. The last was not good for my back, but the shovelgloving and pushups have helped. Core strength FTW.

So today is all about taking a look at the four projects I have on the burners, deciding what to focus on for the next couple weeks before May hits and it’s Afterwar revision time. That book’s going to tear out my guts again, I’m sure, just in time for Cormorant Run to hit and the release-day nerves to fill me with nausea and the longing to crawl into a hole.

I finally feel like I’m firing on all cylinders, after the massive brain-scraping effort of finishing the Afterwar zero. Different books are difficult in different ways, but that one was a whole new ball of wax. I suppose it means I’m growing, attempting larger projects and telling more complex stories. Which is very good, it’s the whole point…and yet, sometimes the headache gets intense.

The clouds are thickening, spring rain approaches, and on my way out for a run I should hum to the butterfly bush and see it’s tucked in securely. Miss B is beside herself at the thought of six fast kilometers, and Odd Trundles has climbed among my pillows. I can hear him snoring from here.

And, if I get wordcount in, I will leave the house in search of Cadbury creme eggs on clearance. That will be a nice reward.

Over and out.

A Certain Promise

The plums have already bloomed, first off the mark like every year. Right behind them, the cherries are suddenly fleeced with pink. They hyacinths have made a good showing, and I’m hoping they naturalize. The poppies are green, prickly, and huge; even the kiwi is getting into the act, though the grapevines are still tightly furled. The hops, mulched twice over the winter, are outdistancing every other vine, and the lilacs are full of new green.

Winter is my favourite–and most productive–season, but every once in a while I like spring, too. There’s a certain promise in the earth waking up after a long sleep. Most of the time, spring makes me feel a little weary, but this year I’m actually a weensy bit hopeful. Juggling several projects at once at least guarantees I’m too busy to feel helpless.

Yesterday the werewolf novella took off, dumping out plenty of wordcount. I’ve reached the point on the Sekrit Projekt where I have to go back to the beginning and pick up the threads, re-weaving and expanding them so I don’t miss anything and can make sure the fabric hangs correctly. This means the push for the end is nigh, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m getting to the point where I want that book done so I can pick up Afterwar revisions, not to mention do a few chapters of a romantic suspense the agent wants to see. There’s also the Fifteen Wings story, still bubbling in the back of my head. I don’t know quite what it is yet, fish or fowl or good red meat, but it wants to be born sooner rather than later. So we’ll see.

I am also doing an experimental trial of Kindle Unlimited, so if you’ve been looking to try Rose & Thunder out, there you go. There will be a heavy discount in the near future, and the werewolf novella will go into KU to gauge the market for shorter, more explicit pieces.

Last but not least, I finally opened a story file that made me physically ill, and it just made me tired and shaky. So that’s progress, I guess. I keep circling, wanting to finish it for myself, if no-one else. We’ll see what happens.

Before everything, though, there’s a run to get in today. Perhaps I’ll take a route past some tulips, and see if they’ve burst out yet. It’s good to watch the small changes as one passes by on foot. Firmly rooted in one place, finally, I can see the small things, and it pleases me.

Run, Write, Knit

Peekaboo.
Rain, and rain, and more rain. With a side of rain, and rain sauce, and a dessert of rain, too.

I love it.

I’m at my most productive when there’s water falling from the sky. I’ve often said that the PNW specializes in caffeine, writers, and serial killers for one reason: the weather.

I’m playing with knitting a new shawl. It’s the same as the stripey-patterned one, only in Fishermen’s Wool; instead of the stripes being dyed into the fiber I’m doing blocks of garter and stockingette. I wanted wool, and texture, and lots of warmth. Probably, by the time I finish this beast, the weather will have warmed to the point I won’t need it. It’s meditative work, though, and I think it’s hauled me through a couple plot tangles. As a perseveration or a coping mechanism, it’s pretty good. I do need to stretch out my hands a lot more, though, and take care of my wrists.

Getting older sucks.

On the bright side, soon I’ll take Miss B out and run in the rain. I didn’t take her on my long run a couple days ago, and her fidgets are almost as bad as mine on days when I can’t get in as much writing as I want. (In short, just about unbearable.) On the bright side, the entire afternoon will be forging ahead on Afterwar, and if all goes well, I may even have an ugly, lumpy zero draft soon.

Won’t that be a relief. I know I’ll probably start crying as soon as I type finis.

Then the Veil Knights book will need detailed attention, and Roadtrip Z will need to get into the hills and several planned characters introduce. Poor Lee, he’s all mixed up, just when he most needs to be cool-headed. And Ginny is beginning to show her true grit; it’s about time, but she’s still at heart a very compassionate person. That’s a handicap in the types of situations she’s going to find herself in.

So I have my work cut out for me. Running. Stretching. Writing. Knitting another row on this shawl, which won’t end anytime soon because I want it larger than the others. I have one-and-half more skeins to go, and Imma use them all. Then, if I feel like it, I’ll do up the Menstrual Fury hats. I have three skeins of red just waaaaaiting, and the leftovers will probably make a fourth for some lucky person.

…yeah, I never do things by halves. It’s full speed ahead, or dead stop. I much prefer the former.

Over and out.

SHE WOLF AND CUB Preorders!

GUESS WHAT.

NO, GO ON, GUESS.

Oh, I can’t stand the suspense. I’ll tell you.

She Wolf and Cub, re-edited, is now a book you can preorder!

Ever since they gave her a new cyborg body and a steady stream of murderous work, she’s known the rules. Keep your head down, do your job, don’t get involved.

Then they sent her to assassinate a child.

Instead, she took him out of the City and into the Waste. Of course they’ll be coming for her, and for the strange, quiet, thirsty boy she’s rescued. Because he’s not just a child — he’s a profitable experiment. Bounty hunters. Fellow cyborgs. Cannibals. Monsters. They’re all after him. All she has on her side is an almost-invulnerable body, a lifetime’s worth of stubbornness, and the willingness to kill whoever she has to.

It’s going to have to be enough.

Ebook available for preorder from Kobo, iBooks, and Amazon; paperback and Nook will be added on Release Day, March 28.

Longtime readers will remember She-Wolf was originally a Fireside serial. (They’re committed to paying writers a working wage, so show them some love if you can.) I had a ton of fun writing it, and I love the heroine. She’s one of the few characters I actually like personally, for reasons probably best left unsaid. Longtime readers will also remember PACK, an e-short out through Orbit, that was one of my first attempts at writing the short story that eventually became She Wolf and Cub. Just in case you wanted to see how a story can change, and morph, and become something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

The Menstrual Fury Hat

BEHOLD, the Menstrual Fury Hat. It’s a Pussyhat Project hat off this pattern. I had a slight problem though: I loathe pink. I just…do. So I did a couple practice hats in a very dark red, almost burgundy acrylic–I called it “clotted menstrual blood color” on Facebook and was surprised when nobody unfriended me. The first one turned out comically large, so I’ll probably use it as a scrubbie or repurpose it as a bag, who knows? The second, done on size 8 needles instead of size 10, turned out beautifully, and the Little Prince claimed it. I explained what it was for and he said, “Oh, okay. Can I still have it?”

And I said, “Yes. Yes you may.”

Then I got some bright, bright crimson wool, and knitted another one. Which you may see above, and I wore to volunteering yesterday. (You can also see the circles I’m growing under my eyes. I’m proud of those.)

Since it’s not pink, I’m thinking it’s technically not a Pussyhat. So I called it the Menstrual Rage Hat. Then it occurred to me that “Fury” was better, because of the Erinyes. Several people have floated the idea of knitting a few more and putting them up in an Etsy shop. When I get supplies to make earrings I might do that, just for fun. Of course I’d probably have to charge something like $12-$15 and shipping, just to make it feasible, and who’s going to pay that for a hat that doesn’t have a feather? I mean, really.

Right now, though, I’m knitting a shawl. No, it’s not red. It’s gray and black, and I might even add fringe when I’m done with it. I do a couple rows in between achieving wordcount for each project I have going, and it’s growing at an exhilarating rate. I’d forgotten how much fun knitting is, when I’m not spitting with frustration at a pattern I don’t understand.

Go figure.

CORMORANT RUN Cover Reveal!

The nice folks over at Orbit have revealed the cover for my upcoming homage to Soviet sci-fi, Cormorant Run. Isn’t it shiny?

Aliens meets Under the Dome in this new post-apocalyptic novel from New York Times bestseller Lilith Saintcrow.

It could have been aliens, it could have been a trans-dimensional rift, nobody knows for sure. What’s known is that there was an Event, the Rifts opened up, and everyone caught inside died.

Since the Event certain people have gone into the drift… and come back, bearing priceless technology that’s almost magical in its advancement. When Ashe the Rat — the best Rifter of her generation — dies, the authorities offer her student, Svinga, a choice: go in and bring out the thing that killed her, or rot in jail.

But Svin, of course, has other plans…

On sale in June 2017, now available for preorder at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Brrrr

It’s pretty unheard of for us to get snow that doesn’t immediately melt. There was, of course, the Great Snow & Ice Storm of, hm, six-seven years back or more, before we moved here? Extreme weather has gotten more extreme. (Thanks, climate change!) To say this part of the country freaks out about snow is a massive understatement. We don’t really have the infrastructure to handle more than intermittent freezes, and during any freeze the only thing more dangerous than the roads are the people (unused to such things) driving upon them.

School canceled and the roads uncertain, and more snow/ice predicted for tomorrow. There’s only so much hot cocoa I can drink before I start getting itchy and wanting to run. Fortunately I have the treadmill, but getting my ass downstairs and on it is going to be a chore. I would much rather go back to bed and write in a trusty spiral-bound notebook instead, but that’s not an option. I gotta type if I’m gonna make wordcount.

No rest for the weary or the wicked, chickadees. Over and out.