Nov 30

A morning made good

I was running a bit late this morning, so I skimped on breakfast and was a little harried as I got into the office.

And when I walked in I discovered that one of the guys had cooked biscuits and deer sausage for everyone.


Life is good.

Nov 24

Administer medication as directed

The Kid is sick. She’s had a high fever the past two nights and her nose is running like a faucet. After speaking to the sister-the-ped I decided to go ahead and take the Kid in to get her plague diagnosed in case it was the sort that needed antibiotics. Turns out that Anna has the flu, but since she had her flu shot two weeks ago we’re all hopeful that it’ll be a nice light fast case. (Which was the case last year. I swear that kid had the flu for a whole day. I’m not complaining!)

Anyway, during one of the high-fever nights I had to get up with her in the middle of the night, and took her downstairs to get some meds for her. Luckily she’s really good about taking her little chewables and muching them right down. So, I gave her a chewable Motrin, and then pulled out a chewable Dimetapp. “What’s that?” she asked. “It’s medicine for your nose,” I said. “It’ll make your nose feel better.”

You can see this coming, can’t you?

Yes, she took the little pill from me and promptly stuffed it up her nose. Fortunately I managed to grab it before it was irretrievable and managed to get her to self-administer it into the proper orifice on the second try.

I’m just glad it wasn’t diarrhea medicine.

Nov 20

Tess Gerritsen talks about why self-published books fail

Link here.

The rest of her blog is worth reading as well, especially her list of creepy biological facts! Unfortunately, I have yet to read any of her novels (time, dear god I need more time in my day!), but she’s definitely in my to-read pile.

Nov 18

Sun and Moon Data

Here’s a terrific site for writer types who might ever need to know the phase of the moon, or sunrise and sunset times for a particular day or location:

Nov 17


For months I’ve been telling people that they can go to my website and email me through it, and all this time I had somehow failed to have an email link anywhere on the site! [smack]

Anyway, that has now been rectified, and there is now a “Contact Me” link buried amidst all of the other links off to the right. One of these days I’m going to figure the Wordpress themes out so that I can make this site look the way I want it to look.


In other news, I’m doing a TV interview on the local ABC channel this Saturday. I have NO clue when it’s going to air.

Nov 15

Change of plans

For those adoring fans of mine who were planning to camp out all night in order to be in the front of the line for my signing that was scheduled for this Saturday at the Books a Million in Covington, LA: Put your camping gear away. The signing was cancelled. So terribly sorry to disappoint both of you.

The remainder of my signing schedule appears to be as follows:

Nov 25th, 3-6pm, B Dalton bookstore in Northshore Square Mall, Slidell, LA

Dec 9th, 12-2pm Books a Million in Seigan Lane Marketplace, Baton Rouge, LA
Dec 9th, 3-5pm Books a Million on Slide Road, Baton Rouge, LA

Dec 16th, 2-4pm, Barnes and Noble, Harvey, LA


In other news, the crappy first draft of the novel is finished, and I now realize that I need to write four more chapters at various points within the thing. So far so good, though. I think the final wordcount on it is going to be ~100K which seems to be about the average for this type of novel.

Nov 14

Pass the hairbrush

I’ve decided that revision is like combing your hair. You never get all of the tangles on the first pass. It requires several passes to make it smooth and pretty. But if you keep combing for too long, you end up pulling all of your hair out.

Nov 11

Game day

Today LSU played Alabama. At LSU.

Today was also the day that I was scheduled to do a signing at the LSU bookstore.

Oh. My. God. Can you say “fucking mob?”

Somehow, through some bizarre combination of miracles and my oh-so-sparkling personality, I managed to actually sell 7 books. For the first half of the signing I had the insanely long register line snaking right in front of my table, which made it pretty impossible to get much traffic past the table. You would think that having a captive audience of people who were forced to stand in front of you would make it easier to pitch the book, but it just didn’t work that way at all. First off, whenever I gave my little, “Hey, do you like SF?” pitch, the next six people in line could hear it too, so it was pretty darn silly to try to repeat it to the next person in line whenever the line inched forward. Moreover, most people gave me the perfunctory nod and smile (this is the south, so most people won’t snub you outright), but then would turn their attention forcibly Elsewhere. At least three times people turned away and actually perched their butts on the edge of my table. Gee, thanks, guys.

About halfway through, the manager came up and asked me if I wanted to move to the front of the store, since the person who was doing a signing up there had left. I leaped on the opportunity and gladly moved, but discovered that instead of people being stuck in front of the table, instead I had a mob of people pouring into the store, with little desire to stop and browse. Sigh. Oh well.

To be honest, this was really a very poor audience for this sort of book (and the manager agreed with me on this.) This was a football crowd, and if the book had had “Writers of the Future of LSU football” on the cover, I’d have sold fifty copies. It’s actually a very nice bookstore, and when the time comes that I have a book of my own I’ll definitely set up a signing there.

But it sure as hell won’t be on a game day, that’s for sure.

Nov 6

World Fantasy Con 2006

I was in Austin, TX this past weekend for the World Fantasy Convention, which was an exhaustingly good time. I didn’t really have much of any agenda in mind when I got there, but I sort of developed one as time went by, since it was pointed out to me that I was going to have a novel ready to shop in a few months, and maybe it would be smart to start feeling out the market and find out about agents and editors? Huh? Yeah? That would make sense?

So I’d say that 95% of my agenda this past weekend was to have fun, interact with other writers, remind myself why I love this genre so damn much, and get fired up about building a career again. Fortunately, that usually tied in perfectly to the other 5% of my agenda which was, as stated earlier, to feel out agents and editors. As far as the 5% side went, I think it was enormously successful. The type of novel I’m working on is apparently a very “hot” type right now (according to several industry heavy-hitters), so I may be hitting the market just perfectly. Tie that to my real-life experience in law enforcement and with the coroner’s office, and I managed to generate a significant amount of interest, with a decent-sized handful of agents and editors asking to see sample chapters and synopsis. It was nicely satisfying. I also felt successful at the other 95% of my agenda, which involved lots of sitting in the bar or the coffee area and chatting and catching up and meeting new people and that sort of thing.

Overall, I had a very good time. Definitely worth going to.

And now, the pictures!

Paolo Bacigalupi and Maureen McHugh
Paolo Bacigalupi and Maureen McHugh, holding a book by Howard Waldrop. More literary material here than you can shake a stick at!

Daniel Abraham
Daniel Abraham, looking very authorial and serious. Why, I have no idea.

Jae and Jay
The lovely Jae Brim and the lovelier Jay Lake.

Diana Rowland, Walter Jon Williams, Jae Brim
Walter and his Witches, 2006.

Blake Charlton
Blake Charlton looking composed and calm, before his slide into utter disgrace.

JJA and Blake
JJA lures Blake to the dark side.

Blake realizes that his career is in shambles due to his poor choice in companions.

Paolo Bacigalupi and Jae Brim
Jae does her best to keep Paolo in line.

Paolo Bacigalupi
My absolute favoritist picture of Paolo.

Paolo Bacigalupi
Paolo attempting to look respectable. Yeah, right.

Lunch at Cheesecake Factory
Daniel Abraham, Jae Brim, Karen Perry, me, L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

L.E. Modesitt, Jr and me. This guy is a total class act. Charming and nice, and incredibly willing to share his insights into the industry as well as giving hints and tips on marketing and publicity. Go buy his books.

JJA, Deanna Hoak, Jae Brim, Karen Perry
JJA, Deanna Hoak, Jae Brim, Karen Perry

Laura Anne Gilman, James Hartley, Serena Powers, Tim Powers
Laura Anne Gilman, James Hartley, Serena Powers, Tim Powers

John Picacio and Jae Brim
John Picacio and Jae Brim

Alethea Kontis and Jenny Rae Rappaport
Alethea Kontis and Jenny Rae Rappaport

Eric James Stone
Eric James Stone looks down on the little people

David Coe and James Hartley
David Coe and James Hartley

Diana Rowland and Daniel Abraham
Daniel Abrahma ignores me as he prays.

Jae Brim, Diana Rowland, Daniel Abraham
Daniel Abraham gives Jae Brim and me an odd look. I’m not quite sure why.

Deanna Hoak
The incredibly lovely and talented Deanna Hoak

Daniel Abraham, John Joseph Adams
Daniel contemplates sucking JJA’s brain out

Nov 6

The dread pirate Anna

Quick pic of Anna in her pirate costume on Halloween. She had an absolute blast going Trick or Treat, and in fact has bugged me darn near every night since then, wanting to go Trick or Treating again. I don’t think she quite grasps the concept that Halloween is only once a year.

The dread pirate Anna