Dec 26

Not so great with the daily posting, obviously…

Well, so much for the “post every day” portion of Holidailies..! But I’ve being moaning, whining, whimpering, sniffling, coughing, hacking, struggling-to-breathe with the worst cold that any human has ever been forced to endure. Seriously. I’m not being overly dramatic.

Okay, maybe a little. But, writing or being creative has been very low on my want-to-do list, and thus I’ve been saving my creativity for those markets that were, y’know, paying me. Sorry! I’ll do my best in the next few days to make it up to y’all. :-)

Anyway, I did manage to accomplish a fair amount of knitting. I’m definitely firmly in the “novice” category of knitter, though I’ve been around knitting most of my life. (My mother has been knitting for close to 70 years, and can knit ANYTHING.) However, it wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I decided to try it out as a hobby–the type of hobby that could be done when I couldn’t be writing (e.g. watching TV with the family, on car trips, that sort of thing.) And, I’ve become an instant addict. It’s exactly the kind of brain-refresh that I need after pounding away at the prose.

So, I started out with several minor little projects, then I moved on to stuff that required me to actually count and pay attention to rows and stitches and stuff. My latest project is an attempt to become comfortable with cabling and twists and other strange stuff like that.

Poncho in progress

It’s a bit hard to see the pattern, but it’s basically a k4 p4 ribbing, with baby cable on rows 4 and 8 and a real cable on row 12. (Sorry, still learning the pattern lingo. I hope that made sense to the real knitters among my readers..[g]) It’s going to be a poncho when it’s done. (I hope!) I probably should have done it on smaller needles, but, then again, I do live in south Louisiana, so I’ll probably have more use for something that isn’t super heavy.

I think that next I’ll try something that requires working on circular needles or something else that will most likely confuse the ever living shit out of me.


In other news, Christmas was as successful as one could hope for. The husband and I gave each other modest gifts and saved the majority of the gifting for The Kid. We managed to not go nuts in that department either, yet she seemed quite satisfied with her haul. I tried to take her to see Princess and the Frog today (which she’s already seen, but was willing to see again since I have yet to see it) however, through a comedy of errors, we were late to the 1pm show, and when we returned later to get tickets for the 3:45 show we were dismayed to find that it (and damn near every other show there) was sold out. Sooo, we went to Best Buy, bought Lego Star Wars for The Kid’s DS, and went home. She played with it for about an hour, then fell asleep on the couch. Woke up an hour later whining that she was tired and hungry. I helped her with the latter issue, after which she fell asleep again in the recliner, where she still remains at this time. (I’m kinda afraid that if I try and put her to bed, I’ll wake her. I prefer to let sleeping five-year-olds lie.)


In other other news, big congrats to Rachel Aaron and her husband on the birth of Nathan. You can read about her (extremely scary yet with happy ending!) experience with regards to that over at The Magic District.

Dec 20

Don’t mind me, I’m just a big fluffy ornament

Angel the cat is caught in the act!

Dec 19

Got belted

Ugh. Sick with a cold, but I still managed to drag The Kid and myself to kenpo for our belt tests. I functioned well enough to earn my blue belt, and The Kid kicked all the ass and now has her yellow belt. (This, by the way, was a Very Big Deal for her. She’s been taking kenpo for about a year and a half now, but up until about two months ago she was in the “kiddie kenpo” class, where the belts they earned were white with colored stripes down the middle. Now she’s in the “youth” kenpo, and earning real belts, and feeling Very Mature about the whole thing!!)

Diana and The Kid with our new belts

Dec 18

Frustrations abound

Today was a day of many frustrations. The Kid only had a half day of school today, and since there was no after-care, I drove down to the “lower school” campus to pick her up. She attends a private school that is split into two campuses–the Pre-K and Kindergarten are in one location, and the 1st through high school are at a campus that’s about 20 minutes away, with normal traffic. On regular school days she rides a shuttle to the upper campus after school for after-care.

So, since there was no after-care today, I had no reason to assume that she would be shuttled to the other campus. I was wrong, because after fighting through construction + holiday traffic which turned a 20 minute drive into a 45 minute drive, I was informed that she was at the other campus. (Where, it should be noted, I was half a mile away from when I began my slog through traffic.) This, of course, meant that I had to fight through holiday + construction traffic AGAIN for another 45 minutes. Finally made to The Kid’s location (by which time I had to pee so badly I thought I was going to DIE) and collected her. An hour and a half of traffic. *sob*

I then had plans to stop by a piano store and a nearby place that offers a variety of music lessons. The Kid has expressed a great deal of interest in learning how to play the piano (and the electric guitar..LOL), so I figured I’d start checking out prices of lessons and the cost of piano rental. Not only was the music lesson place closed, but the piano store had moved to Metairie (a 45 minute drive away which I have zero intention of making at any time in the near future.)

But, fortunately, things started picking up after that. The Kid had a Christmas party at her kenpo school this evening–the kind of party where parents were encouraged to drop the kids off (i.e. a present of three free hours for the parents! Woo!) After I dropped her off I met The Husband, and we had an honest-to-god Date. And we didn’t even have to pay a babysitter!

And, the Date with The Husband was fun enough that it more than made up for a day of frustration.

Dec 17

I welcome the puppy overlord

I tried to post this last night, but my internet was being wonky, plus I’ve been feeling a bit bleh and desperately wanted to do this very strange activity called Get To Bed Early. And, shockingly enough, I managed it! I was in bed by 8:45pm, and (thanks to little chemical help) was dead asleep by 9pm. I woke up at my usual 5:30 feeling–dare I say it–rested. I’m not really sure if that’s what I’m feeling. It’s been a while since I’ve felt this way. All I know is that it only took one cup of coffee this morning to make me feel semi-human. (Of course that doesn’t mean I’ll be stopping at one. I love me some caffeine buzz!!)

Anyway, these are the pics that I planned to post yesterday. The first is our Christmas tree.

The christmas tree after the kittehs have climbed it
It didn’t look like this when we finished decorating it. The angel on top was actually, well, on top. And the various garlands were in an arrangement that looked “decorative” rather than “post-apocalyptic.” And there were more ornaments as well. I think you can find the ornaments scattered around the house right now. Plus there wasn’t that big cat-shaped gap on the right side. You wouldn’t think my two big enormous boy kitties would be able to climb that far up the tree, but they do manage. (I know it’s my big boy kitties because I came out the other morning to find them very comfortably perched in the upper branches. Unfortunately I couldn’t grab the camera in time to get evidence.) Just so you have a point of reference, here are my big boy kitties: (The black and white one is Demon, and the orange one is Angel.)

Demon the cat

Angel the cat

But the other pic I wanted to share was one that The Kid took when she was entertaining herself with my camera. One of these days I’m going to do a photo-essay of the pictures I find on my camera, because it’s sometimes quite interesting to see what she deems worthy of immortalizing in pixels. However, she took this particular picture the other night of me trying to finish up someone’s Christmas present. The kitty perched on the pillow is our not-really-a-kitten-anymore, Seraphim, and between us is Wolf the Poodle. And, I promise, there was no photo-shopping of retouching of this pic in any way. But damn, this puppy obviously has some serious mojo working.

My demonic puppy

I just wish he would use some of his powers to let me know when he needs to go outside!

Dec 15

34 hour day, please!

I’m beginning to think that this is the busiest week I’ve ever had writing-wise. Not only am I slogging away at Demon # 3 (and I’m not sure slogging is the right word. Is there a word for wading through piranha-infested plot-stealing quicksand?), but I have a short piece to write for a friend who needs writing anecdotes for an article he’s working on, plus I have a short story that I’m already late on that I need to finish by the beginning of January, plus I was contacted yesterday and asked if I’d be interested in writing an article for [fairly prestigious magazine] and could I turn it in by the end of the week?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m elated on a thousand different levels to have so much work, and I’m deeply, viscerally aware of how lucky I am that things have worked out so well for me. But, holy crapoly, I really need about ten more hours in each day.

Plus, there’s this little holiday coming up called Klismouse… Kreesmas… something like that. I think I’m supposed to shop for it or some such thing?


My husband has begun reading Blood of the Demon. (I don’t let him read it until it is completely finished, edited, revised, and proofed.) This morning he asked me if it was too late to change the title of the book. “Yes, it’s definitely too late,” I replied. “Go ahead, get it off your chest,” I said, knowing that he was dying to give me some sort of smart-ass commentary. He smiled and said, “I just think that you’d sell a couple hundred thousand copies right here in Louisiana if you changed the title to Who Dat Say Dey Gonna Beat That Demon!”

Heehee! I think he’s right, too! Woo, Saints! 13-0!

Dec 14

Big Kitty

I went to Petsmart this afternoon to buy a proper dog-sized crate for Wolf The Poodle. (We’d been using our cat crate, but the dog has doubled in size in just three weeks, and the poor thing was getting a bit cramped in the old one.) After cringing at the price, I finally ended up picking out a Giant Crate that would be big enough to hold Wolf the Poodle after he’d reached full growth.

As it happened, I also needed cat food, but since I can usually get it cheaper at the grocery store I only got a small bag. The guy at the checkout scanned the cat food then went to scan the barcode on the crate, but since it was so big I had to manhandle it into position for him to use the wireless scanner. While holding it in place I joked, “I have a really big cat!”

Without missing a beat he replied, “Then you’ll probably need to buy a LOT more food.”

*dies laughing*

Dec 13

Ode To Lindsay

My Ode To Lindsay (my agent’s assistant)

L is for the love she gave my manuscript.
I is for her sheer intelligence!
N is for the not so insignificant amount of patience she has to have to put up with all of the neurotic clients.
D is for the damn fine job she does keeping track of a million different details.
S is for the slush she has to wade through.
A is for her total awesomeness.
Y is for yummy chocolate martinis!

Put them all together they spell LINDSAY!

(Seriously, she rocks. Ask any of Matt’s clients! :-) )

Dec 12

Party geeks

My Ode To Lindsay will have to wait one more day, because I am soooooo tired! I hosted my local critique group’s Christmaskah party, and since I’ve been working my ass off all week I put off the majority of the cleaning of my house until today. Not one of my more stellar decisions.

But, six hours of picking up/cleaning/dejunking the house paid off and by 3pm (the scheduled start time) the house and I were both ready.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t feeling as cooperative, with several nasty lines of thunderstorms moving across the area (and, more importantly, across Lake Pontchartrain and the 24-mile bridge that many of the members would need to drive across to reach the party.) It was 3:30 before the first people arrived, and close to 4 before anyone from the south shore (New Orleans area) made it. But, even though we were missing a few of our people, it was still a nice, fun group. I was shocked to discover that many of them had never seen Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog, and so I pulled out the DVD and rectified that situation immediately.

After that we talked geeky talk while my non-geek husband hid in the back of the house. [g] Overall the party was lots of fun and well worth the effort of cleaning the house (especially since that meant that I DIDN’T have to drive through thunderstorms!) But now I haz a big tired, and am going to fall into bed. :-)

Dec 11


Hey, cool! My Wolf the Poodle entry got picked as a Best of Holidailies!

Today is Unofficial Official Agent Appreciation Day, and anyone who’s been reading my blog for even just the past week will know that I have plenty of reason to be all about giving a shoutout to my fabulous agent, Matt Bialer, and his awesome assistant, Lindsay Ribar.

Matt has quite a few Big Name clients (who surely make him far more money than I do) but I’ve never once felt like a “small fry”. He’s done far more for me than just sell my books to publishers. He’s been my advocate, my cheerleader, and he’s talked me off of more ledges built of angst than I care to count. Mark of the Demon was on submission for six months before it sold to Bantam, and during that time Matt never once allowed me to think that the book wouldn’t sell. Even when he agreed that it might be a good idea to work on a different book just in case MotD didn’t sell, he still continued to insist that he believed it would. After the sale to Bantam he continued to earn his 15% and more by answering the million+ questions I asked, and by being my go-between whenever I had any sort of issue with the publisher. And, when we were faced with the decision to find another publisher for the Demon books, he focused so much time and attention on me and the state of my writing career that I felt as if I was his only client. He’s also not afraid to tell me what I need to hear, whether I want to hear it or not–a combination of critique partner and conscience.

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that I feel extraordinarily fortunate to have Matt as my agent. I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for all that he’s done for me and my career.

Tomorrow I’ll go on at great length about Lindsay, because she definitely deserves a blog entry of her own!

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