So my dog tried to kill me this morning.

Well, really, it wasn’t her fault. She saw a squirrel across the street and twitched, thinking to bolt in front of me to go get it. Unfortunately, this was right where I tripped and fell last time. So down I went with an odd sense of deja vu, tore up my hands nicely, jolted my shoulder and my right knee this time. Just to change it up.

We run with the leash wrapped around my waist; I thread her collar and the leash through the handle a few times to make a pretty secure knot. It keeps it short enough that she can’t get far enough away to hurt herself, but it also means that her darting in front of me is a hazard. She’s gotten a lot better about it, true–most of the time I run right through her, not to be mean but just to teach her that she is not to get in the alpha’s way. But every circuit in her little doggy head fuses when she sees one of the little tree-rodent bastards. It would be funny if it hadn’t ended with me bleeding and actually crying from frustration and pain while lying on the sidewalk.

Yes, you read that right. I burst into tears. The pain wasn’t really that bad, but I was running off some frustration from earlier in the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. It’s just…some days, a killing spree seems like a good idea just to get things all cleared up and moving. Especially when I get horrendous and frustrating career news and other silly, stupid, complex problems pile up on me before 9AM.

So we ran the rest of the day’s mileage and I limped home, still bleeding but drained of adrenaline. Which has been a boon today, honestly. Other than just one (totally justified, because hey, I was BLEEDING) crying fit, I could have had several and a psychotic break too! Big fun. As it is, I have just taken to calling Miss B “Killer of Joggers” to add to her other honorifics, and she doesn’t care because she enjoys the accompanying chest-skritches and pets and loves. In fact, she rolls over and grins, panting happily, while I scratch her belly and recite her long list of titles, including “Mighty Squirrel Chaser” and “She Who Will Not Eat Dry Kibble.”

And you know, as long as I can still raspberry her fuzzy little tummy, things can’t be all bad. Even if she did try to murder me.

But if you tell anyone I cried, I’ll have to hurt you. *wink*

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

So, I’m developing a girlcrush on Sarah Rees Brennan, for her Gothic Tuesdays. This week’s winner was Collie Wilkins’s Woman in White. (Project Gutenburg can hook you up too.)

LAURA: I’m going to tell Sir Percy Cruelpants that I will marry him, but I love another, so he won’t want to marry me.
MARIAN: Well, he will if he doesn’t give a crap about your feelings, though?
LAURA: Nonsense, I’m sure this will work out awesome. Sir Percy Blackheart, I love someone else and I don’t wanna marry you. Still want to marry me?
SIR PERCY RIDICULOUSLY EVIL: Still rich?
LAURA: Yes.
SIR PERCY THE PERFIDIOUS: Then yes.
LAURA: … That did not go the way it did in my head. (Sarah Rees Brennan)

The whole thing is pure gold. You should also look at her Jane Eyre one.

Also, here’s a free documentary on Haruki Murakami. I enjoy Murakami’s work–frex, I read his latest, 1Q84, in a few long gulps. (No, LONG gulps. Nearly a thousand pages, OMG.) Seriously, you don’t read Murakami for linear coherence just like you don’t watch a David Lynch film for it. They’re both harvesters of subconscious gas-bubbles. (Also, really fricking weird, and not too good with the portrayal of teenage girls, meh.)

And the Heart Attack Grill has its first moment of truth in advertising.

In other news, the first book of the new YA series is back with the editor for another revision pass. And the second Bannon & Clare book, The Red Plague Affair, is heating up inside my skull. Rest is overrated, don’t you think? Plus there’s martial arts for the kids, a four-year-old I’m watching for a few days, and a dog who thinks the Roomba is a demonspawn predator I need protecting from.

So…off I go. Be careful out there, Gothic Lady Sleuths!

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Yesterday was a just-plain-endurance sort of day. Take kids to school, a short run, climbing–but only a short session, since I’ve done something to my left arm, both the biceps and the deltoid are Unhappy With Me–and a return home to clean and look after a lovely little four-year-old, the Princess arriving home (half day for everyone! Oh dear!) and a blazing-quick trip out to Cover to Cover to sign a few books, home again and the extra children picked up by their mother, dropping off the Princess at her friend’s house, home again to pick up the Little Prince for his martial arts class, taking the Prince to dinner afterward, home for a brief instant to get the Prince settled and then a trip out to the Princess’s school to attend her choir’s winter concert. Where I stood far in the back and recorded eighth-graders singing on my phone.

The future, it is here.

This morning I took both kids to school again, and it was while dealing with the demolition derby at the middle school that I suddenly looked at the entitlement of the parents using their cars in a giant game of “MINE’S BIGGER!”, and realized why America is the way it is at the moment.

*shakes cane*

Anyway, with the arm the way it is, and my nerves the way they are, I doubt there will be a run today. I just can’t face it. I know I’ll be itchy and cranky by tomorrow, but my body needs the time off, and frankly it’s pretty raw out there.

I should mention that Squirrel Neo, the One-Eyed Scourge/King of the Backyard, is still out and about even though it is cold and raw. If tomorrow is good to me, I shall sing the Lay of the End of the Battle of Pelennor Sunroom, and afterward the Tale of Neo One-Eye and the Girlfriend of DOOOOM. But for today I have some zombie cowboy romance to write.

Over and out…

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Just a few quick things, since Monday is humping my leg like a sabretooth Chihuahua:

* To those of you asking for a Hedgewitch Queen/Bandit King spot in my fan forum, success! Here it is.

(See below)* I am informed there are some copies of Reckoning floating around out there with a printer error. As in:

Just finished reading Reckoning. Very confused. Book pages screwy? After p278 went to p215 with repeat through p246 then ended.– A fan on Twitter

There was a printer error, and they thought they caught all of them, but such is obviously not the case. My editor is asking around about how to solve the problem. So, hang in there–as soon as I know more, I’ll share it here.

* This last Saturday my friend Zen E. participated in the Portland Boulder Rally at the Circuit NE. I was on hand with the video camera, and it was a great event! I am constantly surprised by how supportive the climbing community here is. Out of all the people I’ve met since I started climbing, there’s only been one outright-nasty person. The rest of them have been kind, thoughtful, polite, cheering on everyone and just generally being good sports. It’s amazing. Anyway, Zen stuck her last route of the day, one she’d been working for a while during the competition, and it was great to see. (The video of the occasion holds audio of me whooping with you when she makes the last move and her hands stick at the top. I was Very Excited.) Thanks to everyone who made such a great event possible!

* I’m getting a lot of mail about Steelflower lately. Guys, even if I had time to write the second in the series, there are other considerations. I know you want to read about Kaia and her troupe heading off to Rainak Redfist’s homeland to take back his birthright, but it might not happen for a while, and being angry with me won’t help or solve anything. I have the last two books of the series in my head–the third book deals with Kaia and Darik’s return to G’maihallan. But like I said, it may be a while. I am looking at a number of different options. That’s all I can say.

Coming up this week: my thoughts on epub-only, the Pyrrhic Victory of Pelennor Sunroom, and possibly (if I can figure out how to meld the music into it) a podcast. Not sure about the podcast, though. It takes me a while, and much swearing, to get those right…

Over and out.

ETA: Heard back from the publisher–no more than 200 copies escaped with the error. If you received one of them, contact the publisher’s Customer Service directly. If you can’t take the book back to the bookstore from whence it came, they can send you a new copy. (Note the “IF.”) Thanks for letting me know about this, guys–I got six emails in a 20-minute span about it on Monday, and about had a heart attack. Whew.

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So I’ve been glassy-eyed with mild fever for a few days, aching all over, and with a nose not as full of snot as it could be. It took my writing partner saying, “Maybe it’s flu?” for me to figure out that perhaps, yes, some sort of virus. Great. Just wonderful.

What the hell? I hate being sick. I don’t have time. I have climbing to do, running to get out of the way six days a week, revisions packed tight for the next six months and oh yes, two books to write in the next six months too. (Well, six to ten months. STILL.) My immune system needs to get on the stick, for heaven’s sake.

Let’s see, what can I report? Copyedits for the first Bannon & Clare were finally bled dry and sent in a neat package back to the editor today. The Little Prince has expressed a desire to take karate classes. (This is going to be fun.) I am still addicted to Glitch. (Also fun.) It’s concert season for the Princess’s choir. (Oh God.) Plus, I am eying the upcoming holidays the way a mongoose eyes a cobra she’s not quite sure she’s big enough to bite to death. (I could write about why my childhood makes me view holidays as poisonous, but that would take more energy than I have today.) Oh, and one of those books I have to write? Deals with plague. OH, THE IRONY.

I know I should write the last half of the Battle of Pelennor Sunroom. It’s just…release hath followed upon release, and I went on an Internet semi-fast for a little bit. Just didn’t have the bandwidth, plus, it is my firm belief that a writer should not respond to reviews, and if one cannot keep one’s mouth shut it is best and easiest just not to look. This is the same principle I avoid watching television on.

On the other hand, the smell of autumn and falling leaves does not disturb me nearly as much as it has in years past. The Moon last night smiled down at me as I jaunted out to the rubbish bin, and it struck me that at this time two years ago, I was just barely afloat; a year ago I was healing but still fragile. The faith that time will heal a wound or two is a fragile thing, and cold comfort at best, but it kept me going during the dark times. (Along with a healthy dose of tough love from my Chosen Family.) It is always a shock to look back and see how far one has come.

Now if I could just kick this virus in its snot-soaked, irritating little nads and send it crying away, I’d be all set.

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The downside of a highly productive weekend is that Monday comes and one is exhausted, washed-out, and moaning softly while staring at the pile of accumulated work on one’s desk. On the upside, I got everything done, including laundry and the successful hunting, acquiring, and dragging back to the lair of Halloween costumes for the Little Prince and Princess. I did not even have to beat anyone over the head with a plastic gothic tchochke, because we were at the costume store before church ended on Sunday morning.

After church lets out, the crowds turn mean. You don’t believe me? Hang out in the grocery store down my street about 11:30-11:45 next Sunday. I triple-dog-dare you. You couldn’t pay me to be there, no thanks. I like my appendages all attached.

ANYWAY. Errands were run, costumes and a few decorations were acquired, the kids helped me clean up the yard and fill the bird feeders, kitchen and loos and laundry all addressed in their respective fashions, and winter thoroughly prepared for. So this morning, despite a hard run in the first real frosty-type conditions of the fall, I am blinking and feeling very much like I’ve been run over. I suspect another jolt of caffeine is in order before I can think about the copyedits, the revisions, the new wordcount I should produce on both the side project and the next book due…

…crap, my brain just froze. Like a rabbit sensing a coyote’s hungry attention. The problem, I have decided, is in choosing what beast to leap on and slay first.

*rolls up sleeves, grabs harpoon*

Here, little tiny copyedits! Come on over here! I’m waiting for you!

See you ’round.

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lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Sep. 14th, 2011 12:31 pm)

Over at the Deadline Dames today I talk about what I do when I’m not writing. Also, I told you guys I was going to get another tattoo, I did.

Unfortunately, the other news around here is that the Little Prince brought home a summer cold, and it’s one of those stupid ones that lingers in the back of the throat, tasting like Pine-Sol. Just enough snot to be icky, but not enough to really justify staying in bed, and feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck.

Yeah. Like that.

So, I’m going to go pour more hot tea and cool water down my throat, load up on vitamin C, and get back in the game tomorrow. Or, if not back in the game, at least within kicking distance of the board.

See you then.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Aug. 22nd, 2011 09:53 am)

As in, I have neither. I mean, dignity was pretty much shot during my first C-section; if it hadn’t been, motherhood would have finished it off right quick. There was that one time an almost-psychotically-sleep-deprived me mistook a tube of Desitin for toothpaste, and didn’t notice until I’d brushed my top teeth.

Yeah. Anyway.

You would think dance would have taught me grace. Nope. I am capable of amazing feats of dexterity while avoiding fists or when moving too quickly to really think about it, but grace? Nope. Not me. I’ll settle for not hurting myself nine times out of ten.

Those tenths, however, usually end up being doozies.

So, last Friday I was out with my climbing partner S. She talked me into cocktails. Not just any cocktails. We were going to have dress-up-like-real-ladies cocktails. It was the inaugural event for The Dress–wait, did I tell you guys about the Dress? I found it in the J Peterman catalog. First dress I’ve bought in YEARS. It fit (well, anything with a side zipper has a different value of “fit” than my usual “if I have to contort to get into it, it doesn’t fit” rule) so I couldn’t send it back. It’s a very light pink. With polka dots. And a bow. ANYWAY. I wore heels.

That was probably my mistake.

We met for lunch and a little shopping, and there was a very nice little boutique…where I proceeded to trip on a step and fall full-length.

Now, I know how to fall, so I only got a bruised knee. S had never seen me fall without a rope, so she was a little perturbed. I reassured her I hadn’t broken anything, blamed the heels (“if I would have been in my BOOTS–” I said, and she gave me an eyeroll that could have won at the Olympics and a stern “Don’t start, Lili,”) and we continued. The funny thing? The cocktails came afterward.

Yes, I managed to fall flat on my face while stone-cold sober.

Cut to this morning. Miss B and I are out for our usual five miles. Some of the sidewalks we run on are fairly cracked, the trees shading them have managed to heave up blocks of cement inch by inch. I know where all the bad cracks and edges are. We’re in front of the church, on a piece of pavement I’ve passed over easily five hundred times by now…

WHAM.

Yep, flat on my face again. Skinned my right palm and my right knee, bumped my shoulder (I went loose and rolled sideways to shed momentum), my left thumb got a bit battered (I do NOT know how, don’t ask) and I found myself staring at concrete right in front of my nose.

Miss B, of course, thought this was a new game. One she was not quite prepared for, but gamely ready to give a go at. “Alpha’s thrown herself on the ground! Should I too? What’s my role? What are my motivations? HALP SHOW ME WHAT TO DO!”

“Oh, fuck,” I muttered, which cheered me up immensely. If I’m cussing, I’m okay. It’s only when I get really quiet and say something like “Oh my goodness” or, more frightening, “Oh, fudgesicles,” that I know I’m really hurt and shit’s about to get ugly.

Miss B pranced, getting the leash wound around her front leg. I pushed myself up and took stock. Just a bit of skin lost and a little bruising. Nothing broken, sprained, torn, or pulled. Good deal. I untangled the dog, chirruped and gave her a treat, and we were off again.

For another four and a half miles.

The good thing about a bad fall is that the adrenaline tranquilizes me for the rest of a five-mile run. I got through the four-mile mark before I began to feel winded in the least. Miss B kept waiting for me to play the game again. I suspect she had some idea of her role the next time I went tumbling. I further suspect that self-appointed role will make it incredibly difficult for me to gain my feet again.

Oh, well. I am philosophical about my lack of grace or dignity. If I can’t have either of them, I will at least settle for persistence. And not wearing heels. Unless absolutely forced to. At least they were the Capezio character shoes. I can run in those, and I can even fight, if need be…

…but that’s another blog post.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Jul. 27th, 2011 10:27 am)

The Process Part II post about recovery is postponed until tomorrow. I was up all last night with a Little Prince whose stomach decided to paint everything in sight with half-digested blueberry waffle and bile. So…yeah. (You’re welcome for that mental image, by the way.) Today my tolerance for anything besides my little people is severely diminished, so it’s probably best I don’t post at length.

See you tomorrow!

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Just a couple of quick things:

* “Hippo Birdie” to the lovely and talented Miss L. D., otherwise known as the Martian Mooncrab. Research assistant, author helper, amanuensis, and organizer extraordinaire, she is a shining light. *throws confetti* You go, girl!

* I am trying to get another podcast together. So far I have a couple Reader Questions and a request to do my Hans & Franz impression. The next few weeks are hair-tearing busy, between writing, proofs, and various other things. But I’m working on it, guys.

* There’s a couple updates on yesterday’s plagiarism story. I won’t say more, because otherwise my head might asplode. The awards ceremony this year is going to be a dilly.

* Creepy Whistling Dude was at it again this morning. The new twist? A wooden train whistle. Maybe he thinks he just isn’t being overtly creepy enough?

And that’s about it for a while. I’ve got to plunge back into fresh wordcount. This book wants to be born. It’s dropped down and my brain’s dilated.

…yeah, bad metaphor. Sorry about that.

Over and out!

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Look out. The writer is cranky today. Yesterday she killed a protagonist. (You’d think they wouldn’t line up to have her tell their stories, the way she mows them down.)

That’s enough third-person, but you get the idea. Today’s like a perfect storm of Things That Piss Lili Off. If it’s not hormones it’s the short workout (Wednesday is my easy day, only three fast miles instead of the endurance-burn of five) or the appointment to talk about Financial Stuff (doesn’t piss me off, just stresses me out) or the fact that I’m on the last third of the current book (yep, the one I just killed the protag in, bastard had it coming like you wouldn’t believe) and everything that pulls me away from writing earns resentment. Or the Creepy Whistling Dude who thinks that a jogging woman in exercise gear with a working dog in saddlebags clearly has time to stop and pay attention to him. (Miss B. does not like him one little bit. Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t either.) Or it could be the weather (though actually, I like the cool and rainy summer we’re having), or a couple other things happening behind the curtain of my personal life. (Don’t ask.)

Every once in a while, one just has a day where the sharp edges are out. It’s time to throw away the scabbard and take no prisoners. Of course, I do have to play gentle today–there’s children, and I’ll be in public for a short time. But other than that? Just throw some choco through the bars and thank your gods I’m on this side.

Over and out.

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I’m under huge copyedit crunch, but it’s my day to post at the Deadline Dames. So, in honor of the occasion (if by “occasion” one means “feeling like my head is going to explode and that would be welcome because I would be DEAD and not worrying about these GODDAMN things”) here’s Five Bits of (Maybe Useless) Advice About Being a Working Writer:

5. No matter how much you love your book, be prepared to get sick of it. After at least two (sometimes as many as five or six or God forbid more) drafts, at least one (but likely more) revision letter(s), copyedits where some poor soul goes through and checks every damn comma, and proof pages where you search for typos, dropped words, and stets that didn’t make it through, you will become so fucking sick of this book you will want to stab it, pour petrol on it, light it, and stamp on it while singing a stabby-burny song and mutilating it afresh with your red-hot spurs of discontent. This is normal. If you can’t handle hating your own work or getting so sick of a project you literally want to put your fist through a brick wall (or someone’s head), this is not the career for you. Every goddamn job has aspects you won’t like. Finding the way to make them palatable is how we amuse the gods (and each other, most often on reality TV).

4. Your editor, your copyeditor, the Marketing folks, and the Production department are NOT your enemies. Your editor will tell you that parts of the work are weak and need to be fixed. Your copyeditor will make you feel like a goddamn fool by catching every punctuation error you ever thought of committing, plus a few you don’t even know how the hell happened. The Marketing folks will rub you the wrong way with cover copy, cover design, too much or too little publicity (or too much of the wrong publicity, or too little of the right publicity, or some other damn thing). Production will give you short turnaround dates, or piss you off in some way over something. This is normal. Working with other people is a goddamn hassle.

Get over it.

Editor, copyeditor, Marketing, Production–they have one goal. That is to make this book they’re working on right now the best book it can be. They are in the trenches at your side. They are your buddies, your comrades, your platoon. They may get on your nerves, but they are looking out for you the best way they know how, especially when the bullets come flying. It’s a feather in their caps when your book goes well. No matter how pissed off you are, remember they are not your enemies, that their priority is to make your book shine as much as it can, and they may see things you don’t. Don’t fire on them.

3. Sometimes you’ve got to turn the goddamn Internet off. Need I say more? I love Freedom. It was the best $10 I ever spent for my productivity.

What’s that? You in the back? What? But what if I need to research something while the Internet’s off? Mark it in the manuscript with a [[ thing I need to research ]] and move on. Get past it, and when you’re on the Net again, then look it up and search for [[ or ]] in your manuscript. Getting dragged into looking up the sex habits of Arctic flesh-eating bacteria is a slippery, slippery slope, my friends. You could lose days on that shit. (Or so I’ve heard.)

2. Decide on your stress tolerance early. Someone once told me that everyone has a certain tolerance for stress, and even if they arrange their lives to hit below that threshold, they will create shit to stress over until they hit the level they’re geared toward. “You don’t lower your stress,” he continued, staring into his bourbon. “You lower your tolerance.” Which was great advice, and I wish I’d thought to write down his phone number. Because he was pretty good-looking too, and he had a nice leather jacket.

Ahem. Anyway. Look not at your stress, young Padawans. Look at your tolerance, and see if you’re creating more stress for yourself by fretting over some aspects of your writing/writing career/whatever. Then start interrupting the stress-wave before it starts to build. Get up and dance, or something, scream at your computer, go for a skydive. Whatever works.

1. Give yourself some tiny rewards. I bargain with myself so often, it’s like I’m fricking Mephistopheles on crack trying to damn myself. “Set the timer. Ten minutes, and I can read the latest Girl Genius.” Or, “Fifteen more minutes, then you can roll on the floor with the dog and pretend you’re a poodle.” Or, “Another half-hour, and you can have a handful of Fritos.” Or, “Okay, Lili, if you get to 3K words, you can take the kids out for dinner so you don’t have to cook.” Or, “Get fifty pages of proofs out of the way and you can spend twenty minutes on Twitter making yourself look like an idiot.”

Hey, whatever works.

To consistently produce, I trick myself in a hundred little ways. I make it a game. I know my propensity for procrastination, but I don’t try to stop procrastinating–that’s impossible, and sets up a bound-to-fail diet mentality. Instead, I make the game all about rewarding myself for steady increments of work. I try to outwit myself. A certain amount of dragging my feet is necessary creative fuel, a sort of counterweight to my urge to go full speed ahead until I turn into a flaming wreck. Also, I enjoy the challenge of finding little ways to hoodwink myself, kind of like only focusing on the next three minutes on the treadmill. Each three-minute chunk adds up, and before I realize it I’ve run five miles.

So, give yourself teensy rewards. It really is all about tricking yourself into consistency.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve lingered long enough. I promised myself that if I could get this post written, I’d have earned a square of choco before I dive back into the copyedits. (See what I did there? SEE?)

Good luck, kids. Over and out.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

My first review for Spiral Rhythms is up. I’m excited to be reviewing for them; it’s a good way to stretch my capabilities, and the editor’s a sweetheart. Go check ‘em out, if you like.

I’ve just finished eyeballing the two books in copyedit, back to back. Looking over CEs requires an entirely different set of mental muscles than writing, I’m feeling a bit bruised and strained right now. Plus I keep mumbling “stet, dammit, stet,” at weird times while my head jerks sideways. It’s like a tic, only not so nice. I am currently listening to Aretha Franklin wailing gospel and trying to calm the hyperventilation. I’ve two interviews and wordcount left to do today.

*weeps*

Of course, I’ve run errands and paid bills today, as well as delivered a care package to my favourite local bookstore. I ran three miles, took the dog on a two-mile hike, and loaded and unloaded the dishwasher twice. (I am gratified to report that I did NOT unload dirty dishes, as I have sometimes done while under deadline crunch.) I feel productive, but also slightly battered.

So that’s it from me today. I wish I had something Amazingly Relevant and Entertaining to report, but I got nothin’. My only amusement today has come from looking at the dog while paying bills and saying, “They’re right, Miss B. You CAN feel the Matrix when you do this!” and watching a frisky young squirrel trying to muscle his way up the backyard hierarchy. Neo is taking a Very Dim View of the latter event, indeed.

More later. Gotta run. Ciao.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

The winners for the DEFIANCE contest are posted here at Deadline Dames! Thanks for all the great trivia–I learned an incredible amount reading those comments. My Readers have a vast store of knowledge. When I take over the world, I shall be depending on each of you to advise me.

My weekend was long periods of intense work broken only by moments of reaching for the next batch of Easter candy to shove down my gullet. Yes, that’s right–I was revising. Or, if you want to be precise, doing the first revision after an editorial letter for a book I wrote three years ago or so. I kept looking at the screen in disbelief, shaking my head and tasting vomit because I’d written something that sucked so hugely. Which is a normal thing for me during revisions, really, but looking at any work more than six months old is an incredibly disheartening experience. I take comfort in the fact that, while I might not know if I’ve gotten better in the intervening time, at least I know my writing style has changed.

This particular book started out at about 100K words, and now stands at about 125K. This is, for me, an absolute doorstop of a book. My editor wanted more more more, so I obliged, and since the work had good bones…well, I guess I’ll find out what she thinks in a little bit. Since I’ve finished and sent it back early, pleading for her to be only as savage with it as she must.

Notice I don’t ask for kindness. Kindness, while it may save whatever tattered shards of ego I have left, will not make the book better.

Anyway. I am looking forward to announcing this project as soon as I get the official okay-go-ahead. In the meantime, here, have some Chuck Wendig: 25 things a writer should know. I’ll just point and say, what he said.

After the push to get the revisions done (steady progress yesterday was marred by a corrupted file and the loss of an hour’s worth of work, thank God it wasn’t more, but it was in the last twenty fricking pages and I almost wept like the little girl I pretend to be sometimes when luring my victims in, whole ‘nother story, tell you later), catching up (mostly) on correspondence, and finishing a review that had been languishing on my hard drive for two weeks, I don’t have a lot of usable gray matter left in my tiny little skull. If you need me, I’ll be over in the corner rocking back and forth and reading about the Ardennes offensive. *whimpers*

Over and out.

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lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Mar. 14th, 2011 11:23 am)

I left the house without having coffee today. This was perhaps a mistake, but I was going so fast (long story, suffice to say I had shit to get done before 11AM) I didn’t have time. I chose a workout instead, which was probably a good thing. Anyway, I reached my last stop–a grocery store with a Starbucks–and decided to have someone else make me coffee.

I have rarely wished so hard for a taser in my LIFE.

When you’re got a line three people deep behind you at a Starbucks in a grocery store, you don’t start stacking sixteen different one-liter bottles of soda pop on the counter one. at. a. time. You especially don’t pause between each one to tell the poor girl behind the register what you like about the goddamn pop. You don’t insist that she ring them up in a specific order. And for Christ’s sake, when she’s trying to fix your bathtub of an iced drink, don’t lean your massive gut ON THE COUNTER and stuck your ass out while you root around in the pen cup by the register that’s clearly for employee use only. WTF, dude? Then, when she’s finished making your drink and clearly trying to call me over so I can get some goddamn caffeine in me, you should further not park in front of the register with your cart, attempting small talk with everyone, staring at her like you want to ask her out on a date. Here’s a clue: she’s not interested, neither am I, and a Starbucks line is possibly the most dangerous place on earth to pull these shenanigans. The people behind you are ADDICTED. You are between the junkies and their fix.

Hence, my wish for a taser. I kept muttering “No jury in the world would convict me.”

Of course, the fact that I was on semi-emergency footing, had a List of Things to Accomplish, and am a breath away from finishing a round of revisions on the last book in a series probably did not help. Today, my mantra is “Okay. Let’s get this bitch to Mount Doom.” (Which, by the way, is one more line to love Sarah Michelle Gellar for delivering so well.)

You don’t have to keep stepping backward. I’ve had some coffee. Really, I’m okay. *twitch* I’m not going to hurt anyone. *twitch twitch* Really, I’M ALL RIGHT.

Over and out.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

The snowman my kids built with the neighbors is a congealed lump this morning, since the rain is coming down in sheets. Rain, thank goodness, not snow or freezing stuff. I like snow, don’t get me wrong. But the people around here go mad the instant there’s a flake or two on the road, not to mention the fact that I get freaking cold when the mercury drops below zero. Plus I was cranky, cold, and nauseous yesterday. It was only a mild stomach bug, but still. Dry heaving takes an enormous amount of energy out of one.

My semi-hiatus from blogging did me a lot of good. I got a lot of work done and was able to breathe a bit. Now I’m back in the fight, and it’s a good thing too. Under revision for two books, another book boiling in my brain–the creative muscles are totally different than the revision muscles, thank heavens–a Sekrit Project shaping up, review books coming in the mail, all sorts of Neat Stuff is about to happen. Now that I’ve rested a bit, I’m excited instead of terrified.

Well, maybe excited and terrified is a better way to put it.

The current thing taking most of my brain capacity is a read-through on a series to make sure I’ve tied up the loose ends I want to tie up, and left the ends I want dangling, dangling. Whenever I do this, I am amazed at some details. I remember writing certain passages, and others seem like they just fell out of my head. It’s a weird double-or-triple-or-more-vision to see the final form of something I spent so long soaking in and tweaking. Sometimes my notes (because I do take notes every time I’m forced to do a read-through) hold a smiley face, or a “That day was horrid, but I got some good writing in”, or “I REMEMBER THAT, IT HURT”. (That last one happens more often than you’d think.)

So today while the world drowns itself outside, I’ll be making notes on a legal pad and wincing in sympathy with one of my heroines. This will in all likelihood involve gallons of hot tea and several small snacks, some of which will be left uneaten as I wander away from them because I Have An Idea. I suspect watching me work on these sorts of days would provide a lot of amusement. You’ll have to just imagine it, though, since I refuse to install a webcam.

Over and out.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Feb. 15th, 2011 12:32 pm)

Ankle: still hurts a little, though the swelling’s gone way down and the bruising is retreating. It’s interesting yellowy-green with livid spots of blue-black now, with maroon shadings. Colorful! I have been climbing easy 5.7s, and doing some bouldering–just traverses, no vertical problems. (Well, one easy-simple vertical problem I knew I could downclimb today.) Other than that, a lot of stretching, icing, and ibuprofen.

Work: my God, two books in revision, a third to get fresh wordcount in on, and several other little bits of things that keep adding themselves to my to-do list. I’ll just be over here in the corner banging my head softly on my desk in between spurts of productivity.

The rest of it: It’s a good thing I like rain, for we’re drenched so far and it’s still coming down. It’s a very good thing I like research, because the sheer amount I’ve got ahead of me is cheerfully obscene. I miss my morning runs, and I miss the resultant endorphin rush even more. So I’m twitchy and cranky.

I am still Mostly On Hiatus here, just checking in. See you in a bit.

Carry on.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

Have blown out three electrical appliances in the last two days. (Temper, my besetting sin.) And today I’m not going to be slowing down for anything until dinnertime (and maybe not even then) so here are some links in lieu of a post:

* The Return of the REAL King, a review of a new book on Elvis. I am pretty fascinated by the ongoing worship of all things Presley, and this book seems to focus on a little-mined subject: the actual making of the music instead of the messy personal life.

* A fascinating look at Russian television.

* Waterloo teeth. This is one of the reasons why I don’t get when people say history is boring. It’s juicy and fabulous and utterly weird.

* Chuck Wendig’s utterly hilarious take on why you don’t want to be a writer. I laughed until I cried, holding onto both sides of my desk, sides heaving and tears rolling down my cheeks.

* Monica Valentinelli on a writer’s hidden enemy.

And with that, I’m outie. Got to work while the iron’s hot, and there’s errands today besides. See you.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

Things I’ve said to myself this morning:

“Self, going out into the freezing wind with wet hair was a Bad Idea.”

“The last two miles are easiest. Keep running. *wheeze*” (They’re not easiest, they’re just there and I might as well do them once I’ve done the other five.)

“Oh, look. Another broken tea mug.” (No, I did not break it because it sassed me. I just put it down wrong. And it fell, and I thought of catching it on my foot, but that sent it careening…oh, hell, you don’t want to know the rest.)

“I probably shouldn’t have told that kid to watch her tone, but dammit, she deserved it.” (The bus stop is sometimes a madhouse in the mornings.)

“OW! Well, now we know THAT hurts.” (Said a couple times, actually–a few shocks of static electricity since the wind’s up and it’s dry, a stubbed toe, a banged-up knee, and fingers pinched in a drawer.)

“Driving in downtown Portland on a Tuesday won’t be that bad, right?” (The store out in the burbs doesn’t have what I want. *girds loins* Nos morituri, and all that…)

“Self, you just had to pick the one historical period you don’t know enough about. Welcome to research hell.” (I seriously need to get my Victoriana on.)

“Why does Indian food make me smell like buttered toast the next day?” (WEIRD, right?)

“You know, if I wasn’t walking in the middle of the road, they probably wouldn’t have tried to run me over.” (…Yeah. I was thinking about gaslamps.)

“Eh, why not. It can’t hurt.” (Famous last words.)

“Don’t you look at me like that. I have the opposable thumbs!” (Okay, so this was said to a squirrel who gave me a filthy look as I surprised her in my front yard. What she was doing with that stick I have no idea. Anyway. Also said to squirrels this morning: “Goddamn peeping Toms!” Look, they were trying to peer into my window! I CANNOT MAKE THIS SH!T UP.)

“Five more minutes…” (When my alarm went off this morning. You all know how THAT goes.)

“You know today is going to be one of those days where it’s fun to be you but nobody else will get it, right?” (Staring in mirror as I put my Kuan Yin earrings on, to remind myself to be gentle.)

Yeah.

Have fun out there, dear Reader. And stay warm. The wind is cold, and it tends to drive people a little crazy–what, me? What are you talking about? I’m sane.

Well, reasonably sane. Maybe. I guess. For a certain value of “sane.”

Over and out.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

I have a croak like a raven and a slight fever, so the Tale of the Squirrel Surfer will be put off until tomorrow. I just don’t think I can do it justice in my present condition. I keep wandering away from the computer to go lie down for a little bit and put together scenes of an alternate almost-Dickensian London inside my aching, stuffed-up head.

It’s weird being me.

Anyway, in lieu of the Tale, I shall instead present you with this: what happens when you put me and Captain Jack Sparrow in a room together. Hilarity abounds. (I had so much fun with this.) Also, there is a zombie cupcake. And there’s a three-book giveaway involved–I’ll be giving away a signed set of the first three Strange Angels books to a lucky US commenter. Go, read, hopefully be entertained, and possibly win some stuff.

Other than that, let’s see…oh yeah, the Selene & Nikolai reunion story will be in the upcoming Mammoth Book of Hot Romance, which I don’t have a link for yet. You guys seem to like that Nichtvren couple and are inundating me with email! Heavens. I had no idea Selene was so likable–I found her a bit difficult, albeit for some really good reasons. And Nikolai, well, I never liked him. But we all knew that.

Anyway, I’m going to go nurse this cold and see if I can’t get the next few scenes of the sorceress and the logic machine out of my head and onto the laptop. Peace out.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

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