Where Personal and Professional Life Collide...

My life in 8 words: Organized chaos, by preference. Exhausting, but never boring

Checking in...
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Someone with a large dog in my neighborhood has a collar for said dog that not only glows in the dark but shifts color. It's a #RavePup!

I know this because it is very dark and rainy outside. Oh well, blue skies, you were a nice reminder of what's coming in a few months. We'll wait.

Meanwhile, the next few days are split, about 30% winery stuff, 70% writer-stuff, and 20% activism. Wait, you say, that's more than 100%? Why yes, so it is. And I have a cold, too.

*Squints at sinuses. Sinuses squint back, then sneeze*

Coffee is required.

How be you?

Last Writerly Appearance for A While....
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The last appearance of the least-spotted meerkat will be at the Kitsap B&N in Silverdale, WA TOMORROW (Saturday) at 2pm, where I will be doing my Thang for THE COLD EYE.

After that, I dive back into my more reclusive writing phase, and getting anything signed will be far more difficult.

And yes, this is a B&N so you can probably have signed copies shipped to YOUR local B&N. You just have to ask (seriously, ask 'em today).

Seattle-area Appearance this Thursday!
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For the Seattle-area folk - I'll be at Third Place Seward Park this Thursday, February 9, 2017 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm!

And, in addition to signing books, someone there will go home with a wee Buffalo of their own!

I realize it's a school night, but it would be great to see everyone (especially since this is the newer branch of Third Place, and I want everyone to know where it is!) Spread the word and invite your friends...

Patreon Update
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Whoops, looks like I'm going to owe my patrons an audio this month - we hit the "have Auntie Meerkat read each episode of the serial" bonus level of the Patreon!

(thankfully, we've just started the newest serial, so I should be able to catch up easily enough.)

  • - "Author's notes" video updates, discussing each new episode and whatever else is on my alleged mind

  • - Monthly deleted excerpts from works that will never be seen elsewhere (warning: there may be spoilers!)

  • - Each complete serial you supported (in mobi or epub format), digitally "pawmarked" and numbered.

  • - An original flash fiction, every month.

Walking with Ents
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This afternoon I logged off and took two hours to hike in a nearby state forest, up and down narrow, winding dirt trails.  There will be a blogpost coming from that, as soon as I gather all my many thinky thoughts, but for now I just need to say

1. woodpeckers are ridiculous
2. people who dirtbike on rooted trails are probably nuts
3. I strongly suspect people who live without greenspaces are slightly more insane (and in a worse way) than the rest of us.
3a. by 'greenspace" I do not mean "never going anywhere with a population of more than 107," but "having access to places where you can be surrounded by greenery and dirt for a few hours."  So don't get cocky, isolationists. 
4. Hiking for two hours, even on non-mountain trails, is kinda exhausting.  Especially when it's under 50 degrees (layers keep you warm, but only so much).

And lo, there was the sound of contract in the land...
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So, we've been talking behind the scenes for a while (with breaks for holidays, illness, and pretty much every other interruption you could imagine), but I'm pleased to say that it's now official: I'll be writing two more historical fantasies for Saga Press/S&S!  (thereby covering your Gilman-related reading needs through 2019).

from Publishers Lunch: 

Bestselling author and Nebula Award finalist Laura Anne Gilman's untitled historical fantasy, described as a grown-up Johnny Tremaine meets The Blue Sword, in a two-book deal to Joe Monti at Saga Press, by Barry Goldblatt at Barry Goldblatt Literary. 

These books will be stand-alones - this was my request, as I've been writing series books for fourteen years now (!!), and wanted to play within self-contained stories for a while.

This does not mean the Devil's West is over.  With book 3, Isobel came to a natural pausing point, so I'm taking it.  However,  other characters in that universe have been asking for their time on the page  (details on THAT to come).  And I'm incredibly excited about these new books and new characters....

Many thanks to my agent, Barry Goldblatt, and my editor, Joe Monti, for listening, and making it all happen.  :-)


And yes, this means I will spend much of 2017 writing about rebels and royalists during the War for Independence.  Yes, my timing is either impeccable, or uncannily unnerving.

Today's Dismantling of Democracy Update
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(now-former) AG Sally Yates.  Remember the name. Fired for upholding her oath rather than obeying unlawful orders.  More courage in that woman than the entire GOP Senatorial roll call.

"I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter."

Nowhere in that oath does it reference obedience to the president. The AG does not serve the president.  The AG serves the Constitution, and the people for whom it was written.

Sally Q Yates is an American hero.

tempest-toss'd / standing on the shore
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Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

- Emma Lazarus

We either lift our lamp, or we shutter it and admit that we live in darkness.

I choose light.

Someone on Friday tried to tell me "this is about terrorism."  That person had never been directly impacted by terrorism (I asked).  Me?  I was in lower Manhattan on 9/11.  I saw the second plane hit the side of the Tower, staring out my office window. I smelled the air and heard the sirens, and the terrible silence after.  I read the newspaper lists, and found names I knew among the dead. 

You react to terrorism one of two ways.  You embrace anger because it makes you feel less afraid, or you accept your fear and work through it.  The former feeds the engine of terrorism.  The latter starves it.

I will not feed that engine.  Not with myself, and not with my neighbors.

Make no mistake, you're in history right now.
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This is a war. Some of us volunteered, some of us got drafted, and some of us got run over by the front. But we're all in it.

You just have to choose where you stand.

And today, before I go off to pour wine for folk, I'm writing a check to the ACLU, as promised: $2 for every hardcover and $1 for every trade paperback I signed this weekend at Mysterious Galaxy (and at Borderlands Books, just for the hell of it).

Because in this war, rangers and lawyers are our first line of defense.

I have so much to say...
truth to power
And I'm too exhausted to say it.

Discussing politics tonight with a co-worker.

Her: "Oh, well, I don't know much about X, but I'm sure it will be okay."
Me: *long stare*

She says her sister gives her the same long stare. Me, I'm thinking maybe there's a hint here she should be taking....?

History of two hundred-plus years rattling in my brain, the experience of generations that tell us "this is bad, this never works."  I'm trying to find something pithy to say, something wise, and tight, but all I can think is, "and this is how America fails." 

Dear World: if you are kind, remember us when you say your prayers, and send us strength for the fight.

Saying Goodbye to Good People, Reluctantly.
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Normally, I work Sundays at the Other Tasting Room, but I'd agreed to cover for a co-worker today and tomorrow, a month or so ago (before I got the promotion and gave notice).  Today I came in a little early, and got to spend some time talking with D (one of the owners) about politics.  He's even more liberal than I am, and with admittedly less of a filter, so he tries not to talk to Trumpers at all.  And he reported an exchange between L (the other boss) and a customer, paraphrased but accurate:

Customer: "I don't understand why those protesters were so angry."
Boss: "Sexism, bigotry, & the corruption of democracy, maybe?"

Later on, L showed up, and greeted me: "hello, short-timer!"  (L had previously responded to my resignation letter with "nope, not accepted").

I am seriously going to miss working with them.  If life is kind, we'll meet up again later in my career path...

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It’s Wednesday, which means a new #bookqw!  This week’s word is “order,” and I may have had something relevant to say….

“Acting under orders of your government will not save you,” Gabriel said from behind her, a caution that seemed to spark something ugly in the other man.”



Brief Greetings from the Road!
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Currently in San Francisco, after a signing (and a March!) in San Diego, and then another signing, and then going to hear other people reading at SF in SF, and now a day of relaxation - where relaxation means updating Patreon with a new serial episode, answering emails and calling my representatives - before heading home tomorrow morning.

It's been a great, if whirlwind trip, and much love to Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego and Borderlands Books in San Francisco for hosting me! 

(but despite host loaner cats, I miss my boys...)

Meanwhile, there are now signed copies of SILVER ON THE ROAD and THE COLD EYE at both those fine establishments, so even if you missed out on the buffalo and the cocoa and the gossip by not being there in person, you can still get a few author-defaced copies for your own....

Patreon Updatery
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And the next installment of Duchess, PI is about to go off to the beta-readers... are you signed up yet? Only $1 for the ongoing adventures of the best feline PI in the Alley! (plus much more!)

"I lifted my head to look around again, even as I felt my claws flex, digging into the sand like I was preparing to leap on something. The old hunting instinct isn’t as buried as civilized folk like to think, and a smart puss learns to listen to it when it growls."

Readings/Signings! This Weekend!
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Reminder that I'll be in California this weekend, January 21-22, reading from, and signing THE COLD EYE, at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego at 2pm Saturday (after the March, so bring your sore feet and coffee and hang out for a while!) and Sunday in San Francisco at Borderlands Books, at 3pm!

If you can't get there in person, you can order a signed book from both of those lovely outlets - and if you order it early, you can get it personalized!

Note: for every book signed at Mysterious Galaxy on Saturday, I will be donating $2 (for hardcovers) and $1 (for trade paperbacks) to the ACLU, in honor of the Women's March.
Also: I'm gonna have a Giveaway. Or possibly Two.... ;-)


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