Monthly Archives: April 2014

What if money was no object?

One of my favorite posts from Zen Pencils:

Alan Watts: What if money was no object?

Even though I don’t necessarily agree with it. (What if the woman who wanted to ride horses hated teaching?) I sometimes envy people who have a passion for business oriented things like programming or marketing or user experience. How nice to do what you love *and* get a salary and benefits.

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Changing Gears

My revision work on the Pathfinder book is winding down, finally, and I’m just about to send it in. Which means it’s time to move on to the next project. Projects. I don’t have a list like Kelly’s yet, but perhaps I need one. Because right now I’m in the middle of changing gears, and I’m grinding them a bit.

After finishing the book, I thought I would take a break and just do a few short stories. Something different, something smaller. Smaller, yes, but not easier. Problem is that beginnings are hard, and short stories have a much higher beginning to everything else ratio than books. Once I get over the start and get rolling, they go fast. But that start is just a pain in the arse.

Well, the goal is to try to get three of them knocked out by the beginning of summer. A schedule which will probably be completely destroyed when Paizo gets back to me with editorial notes. But goals are just a handy way to generate guilt, which that one should accomplish nicely.

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On the to do List

In lieu of a real post I’m making a list of the upcoming projects I’m doing over the next few months.

  • Continue writing the WIP. Hopefully not forever.
  • Write a story for an anthology invite. For this, I’m reworking a story I wrote … sheesh … ten years ago or so? I decided to tackle this again several months ago, and so I ran in through my crit groups. “I want to make this a novella,” I said, “so crit it with that in mind.” The almost universal response was to keep it as a short story, and so I will.
  • Prepare for my reading at Wiscon at the end of May. I’d like to read a story I recently sold that has footnotes, which may require a helper. If I don’t read that I’ll read the first part of my story that appeared in Coins of Chaos. I usually make these type of decisions the day before. Someday I’m gonna get better at this shit.
  • Preparing for Origins in Columbus in June. Most of the prep work is done for this, but I still have to iron out some details.
  • Preparing for Gen Con in August. I’m going to be moderating a ton of panels and working the bookseller booth, so if you see me, I’ll probably require caffeine in order to make coherent conversation.

At some point in the past few years, I’ve developed an actual writing career. It doesn’t generate anywhere near enough money to live on–mostly, I get to buy more shoes and books–but still. I still aspire to make a living as a full time writer. Now, I just need to convince an agent who will convince a book publisher to do the same …


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It came from a dream

Stephenie Meyer has said that the Twilight series began with a dream. I get great ideas from dreams, too. Just the other day, I woke up from a dream about the perfect story idea. Actually, it was a dream in which my husband had dreamed something that would make a great story, and I was going to help him write it. As soon as I woke up, I wrote down the idea to make sure I wouldn’t forget it.

The idea? Dogs save the world from an alien invasion by lining up in front of the White House and wagging their tails in a synchronized pattern.

I expect my millions to start rolling in any minute now.

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Tax season is over!

And what a relief.

I’m off again this week for C2E2 and school visits up north.  You can see my schedule on my website (maybe with a few tweaks here and there as the week goes on).

Also, check out these great sites that are doing giveaways for THE MARK OF THE DRAGONFLY!

The Children’s Book Review

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club

Forever Young Adult – ending today; hurry!

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In space, no one can hear a peep…

Between revisions and Easter, it’s been a busy week. So I’ll just leave you all with this–


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Random notes about audiobooks and the library

My Audible account is on hold. I can only listen to so many audiobooks per month. Plus, I discovered that when I get an audiobook from the library–which I put off doing for a long time because I knew I wouldn’t finish it before I had to return it–it remembers approximately where I was when I check it out again. That makes it much much easier, since I don’t have to listen to random pieces until I find the right place.

Books that return themselves are awesome. No fines, no emergency trips to the library to get things back on time, no guilt.

Audiobook apps need better tables of contents. And by better I mean usable at all. I’d like to have a table of contents like in an ebook app where I can look at the whole thing (written down) and skip to the chapter I want to read/listen to. Nearly all of my audiobook listening is nonfiction. Being able to skip around more easily would make audio nonfiction books more useful as references.

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Picking Up Heavy Things

I ended up spending most of this winter cranking out the draft to my Pathfinder book. Which was good, but that was a lot of time sitting at a computer, typing. Which tends to encourage a certain kind of physical squalor which I’m not a big fan of. So exercise has been put back on the agenda. I’ve started running again, and practicing my martial arts forms with some vague attempt at regularity.

I also started lifting weights. It’s been five years since I’ve lifted– i.e. when we had kid duo. Not wanting to start with anything too complicated, I’ve decided to just do 2o rep deadlifts for now. That means I put a barbell on the floor, bend down (properly, this is very much a lift with your legs not your back type thing) and pick it up. Then I put it back down again. Simple.

Of course, the first time I did it, my body said Seriously? I thought we were done with this crap. I ignored it. The second time it mostly just said F*&% you man. F*&% you. This last time it mostly just sulked silently. It’s going well.

Except all the sore muscles are reminding me that I need a decent chair for my desk.

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So you’ve heard of the upcoming anthology Athena’s Daughters, right? No? Well, long story short, it’s an anthology full of stories written by women that feature strong female protagonists.  The first volume includes my story “The Destruction of Society by the Fairer Sex, Volume 2, Chapter 26: The Watership Incident.” As you may discern from the title, it’s written as a chapter in a textbook about–you guessed it–the ways women “destroy” society. It has footnotes and everything. It’s one of my favorite stories I’ve written in the last year, and I’m really proud it’s in this anthology.

As a bonus, all the stories are illustrated. As a double bonus, the artist totally kicked ass on my story’s picture. Judge for yourself:



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Lunch hour? What lunch hour?

Several years ago I read a blog post by a writer who talked about using writing as an escape from stress. When her real life got overwhelming, she could disappear into the book she was writing.


It would be so nice to work like that.


Lately, writing has often been feeling like just one more thing I have to do. My job has been busy, so I’ve been losing lunch hours or being too distracted to get much done when I do take a break.


When life gets like that, two things help me still get writing done: reshuffling my schedule so I’m doing easier writing tasks at certain times, like at lunch or on busy evenings, and keeping a careful balance between doing enough work to meeting my goals and not beating myself up for not doing enough. As much as I would like to have real writing deadlines, it’s nice to be able to do things at my own pace.

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