Jul 31

On the writing/books/reading front

I finally got the chance to read HP#7 over the weekend. Yes, it was worth reading. Yes, I think she rushed the ending. ‘Nuff said about that since there still might be people who’ve not yet read it and still wish to remain unspoiled. I’m actually shocked that I managed to delay reading it for a week and still managed to not have it spoiled in any way.


And some of my friends have books coming out now! Daniel Abraham’s novel, A Shadow in Summer is out in mass market paperback. If you had the ill luck to miss reading this in the exquisite hardcover version, then you are now fortunate enough to be able to spend a mere $8 and read what I believe is one of the most elegantly written new fantasies of this century so far. The second book in the series, A Betrayal in Winter comes out in August, and it is one of the few books that I will have no problem buying in hardback.

Also, Tobias Buckell’s novel, Crystal Rain, is out in paperback, and the next book, Ragamuffin, is out in hardback. Caribbean Science Fiction! What’s not to love?

Jul 22


I called my sister late this morning to see what she was doing today. “I’m curled up in my chair and I’m on page 520,” she replied. I asked her if my 15-year-old niece was going to her dance class today. “Are you kidding?” was the gist of the reply. Apparently every teenager has turned off their cell phone!!

Now I have confession to make. I have Harry Potter #7 at home, sitting on my dining room table and I have yet to start reading it. In fact, I’m reluctant to start reading it right now, because I know that there’s absolutely no way that I’m going to have several uninterrupted hours for reading it, and I don’t want to have to put it down and pick it up several times during the reading. I’ve come to accept, in a fatalistic way, that I’m going to hear or read spoilers before I manage to make it to the end of the book. But I think I’d rather have the knowledge of how it turns out somewhat “spoiled” than have the reading enjoyment of it spoiled.

Jul 21

Getting productive

I attended my monthly writers group meeting last Tuesday, and as we were getting ready to leave a few of us lingered in the parking lot, continuing to converse etc. Andy Fox and I started talking about ideas we had for novels and series, and somewhere in the conversation Andy said something on the order of, “Well if I wrote as fast as you do, I’d jump into a new series too!” And it took me slightly aback, because I didn’t really think of myself as a fast writer. But once I started thinking about it, I realized that yes, I am. My biggest problem is that I have very short bursts of available time in which to write, so when I do get free, uninterrupted and fairly quiet time, I write my ass off.

But then last week my career took a big step forward, and now people in my life are making a bit of extra effort to allow me free time to write. Also, I don’t feel as guilty being glued to the computer when there are other people in the room now that I feel like maybe I do have a real shot at this. As a result, my writing time has darn near quintupled, and in the past 3 days I’ve put down 12k words. (I keep a spreadsheet that tracks my daily wordcount.) I also think my writing “process” helps me write fast. My first draft is barely coherent and extremely crappy and is full of bracketed sections that are notes to myself. I try and keep all of my notes in the document, because I’ve sure as heck had those times where I could NOT find the piece of paper or the email of the document that had the really brilliant idea for figuring out how they were going to keep the bad guy from doing whatever. Also, I’ve trained myself to just keep writing. Just keep writing. I don’t mean write 24/7. I mean, when you get stuck on something, or get stuck on how to phrase something, just make a note in the text [need to write how they got to the top of the stairs] and then keep going. The solution will come to you later, and then you can go back and fill in that blank spot. That way you can actually get to THE END. And sure, the completed draft is so far from publishable it’s laughable, but now there’s something tangible to work on.

THEN you can rip it apart and rewrite it.

Jul 21

The reason my daughter will remain an only child

Because I am desperately looking forward to that blissful future when I can go through my day without the theme song from Dora/Wiggles/Little Einsteins/Blues Clues running through my head. All. Day. Long.

DoraDoraDora the exploreeeeer…!


Jul 18

Imposter complex

I’m mind-crushingly busy again, but it’s all good. I’m ultra-motivated on the writing front now (gee, wonder why?), so I’ve been staying up late all week working on the revisions on my book, and today I emailed the revised MS to my agent. Heh. My Agent. I guess someday that will roll effortlessly off of my tongue without me feeling like a complete imposter.

And now I’m diving into Book 2. Actually Book 2 was already dove into (er.. dived? had doven? hmmm.. whatever) and I received the crits of the first three chapters at my monthly writers group last night. There are several changes that need to be made, but I’m just going to set them aside until I finish the whole thing. By the time I get done with the book I may end up chucking all of that work anyway. I know that the original first chapters of Mark of the Demon don’t exist anymore.

And then we’re also getting geared up for the big installation of the Big Software that I went to Phoenix last week to learn about. That’s going to be a helluva job, so the next couple of months are going to be slammin’.

But despite all of that, Jack and I are tentatively planning a weekend trip to New York in late September. I’ve only been to NY once and I luuuuuuved it, plus it would be kinda cool to meet my agent.


Nope, still feels weird to say it.

Jul 16

Da Big News

Astute readers who were paying attention might have noticed that one of the tags on my last entry was “writing,” and so might have realized that my big news is writing-related.

Not so astute readers who didn’t notice the tag will probably figure the same thing out since there’s not a whole lot going on in my life and I’d already said that it wasn’t house-related.

Anyway, I am utterly delighted to announce that Matt Bialer of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, Inc. has offered me representation. Yes, I’ve been walking on air for a few days.

But do you want to hear how silly and crazy I am? Do ya? DO YA?

Okay, I’ll admit it: I was reluctant to tell the world that I had landed the uber-agent of my dreams because I just couldn’t frickin’ believe it was was true. Surely there had been some sort of mistake? Had he read MY book? Was it all some form of elaborate hoax? Maybe he was only going to call me to get the exact spelling of my name for the restraining order?

Told you I was crazy. :)

Anyway, he called me late this afternoon and we had a really great talk about my novel and future novels and the publishing world in general, and so I am forced to accept the truth of it: Matt Bialer is obviously insane. I have landed the uber-agent of my dreams and am one gigantinormous step closer to becoming a published novelist.

Jul 13

Hell is for bunnies

I’ve been in Arizona all week long, where the temps are obscenely high and the humidity is achingly low. However, it’s been a balmy 72 degrees for me all week simply because I’ve stayed put in the hotel.

Okay, so I might have ventured out once or twice. It really is stinkin’ hot and dry. However, there are bunny rabbits all over the place!
Bunnies in Hell

Anyway, I’ve been in Arizona to learn more about a big horking piece of software that our lab is about to purchase, and I’m flying back tonight to return to a much more normal climate: 95 degrees, 95% humidity. Ah, bliss!


In other news, I have some really cool exciting news that has had me jumping up and down, buuuuuuuut you’re going to have to wait until Monday to find out details. (No, it’s not about the house.)

Jul 7

Anna knows the truth about cats and dogs

Anna was trying to pet the cat, Emma, just now, at a moment when Emma didn’t care to be petted. Emma is amazingly tolerant of the attentions of a three-year-old, but when she tires of it she will administer a token nip or very light tap with her claws which usually gets the message across (and has so far failed to draw any blood.) Emma batted at Anna’s hand, and so I tried to explain to Anna that you can’t make cats do anything, and that if they don’t want to be petted it was best to leave them alone.

Anna considered this information very seriously, then looked at me and said, “Then we should get a DOG.”

Jul 5

5th of July

I love the 5th of July because it means the %$!@ firecrackers will stop.

I have come to utterly despise firecrackers. Not fireworks. I love watching professional fireworks displays. But firecrackers are legal in these parts, which means that on New Years Eve and 4th of July (and usually the week leading up to each as well) are chock filled with far too many people setting the damn things off. I know that lots of people love them, but I think most people are in utter denial about how dangerous they are. Not only are they dangerous to living bodyparts, but they’re also quite dangerous to stuff that burns, e.g. collected leaves on roofs of houses. It rained most of the day yesterday, which delighted me since it pretty much killed the risk of fires.

But I admit it’s not just the danger that makes me hate them so. Call me a curmudgeon, but I can’t stand the noise (it scares Anna to death) and I especially can’t stand all of the trash that ends up all over the street and in our yard. And I guess it’s that last part that annoys me so much about firecrackers. The people who spend all of this money on firecrackers (at least the ones in our subdivision) and spend half the night setting them off, seem to be in blissful denial that all of this crap that they shoot up into the air has to come down somewhere. Today Jack and I pulled close to 20 spent firecrackers out of our yard (I’m talking about the big ones with the 2-foot wooden rod attached to them–like giant bottle rockets). Grrr.

Okay, rant over. You won’t have to read my bitching about firecrackers again until the end of December.


Another person came to see the house today. Woo! I was looking at other real estate listed in the area, and we’re definitely the most reasonably-priced house in this subdivision. And the house was actually spotless today, too!

Jul 3

My evil plan worked!

One of the biggest aggravations about having a house for sale is that it has to be in Pristine condition every single solitary time you leave the house. Which means that mornings that are already stretched thin and hectic become even more so when you have to factor in time for making sure all dishes are out of the sink and all laundry is out of sight and all floors are clean and all surfaces are wiped down and all toilets are flushed (yeesh) and all lights are on and all blinds are open and all beds are made… GAH!

This is in addition to making sure that kid is dressed and kid has pottied and kid drank all her milk and kid’s teeth are brushed and kid’s hair is brushed and kid’s bag is packed with the correct gear needed for that day at school (Dance day? Swim day?)

This morning I did my usual run-around-the-house making sure all was neat and tidy and pristine, and on my way out I noted that there was some grass that had been tracked into the kitchen. I scowled at the grass, and thought about the fact that the frickin’ broom was upstairs (I swear I will NEVER buy a 2-story house again if I can at all help it,) and then I scowled at the Sign-In sheet that realtors are supposed to use when the house is shown–the Sign-In sheet that has no frickin’ names on it at all so far, and I decided: Screw it. It’s not like anyone is beating our door down to see the place, and besides if I don’t sweep it, that will guarantee that someone will come to look at it today.

I just got a call from my realtor asking if it was all right if someone went to look at the house today.



I called my husband and said, “Hey! My evil plan worked!”

His reply: “Which one?”


Of course now I’m sitting here obsessing as to whether I did make sure all the toilets were flushed (Hey, I have a 3-year old!)


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