Where Personal and Professional Life Collide...

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

Are you in the Doghouse yet?
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Author copies! (Plus a curious Kitten)

doghouse copies

When Ginny Mallard and her sometimes-partner Teddy Tonica are asked to look into the situation of an old man about to be evicted, the part-time investigators think it’s just a matter of sorting out misunderstandings.  But this is no simple landlord-tenant spat, bringing them headfirst – and nose-deep in trouble – into the world of back-room fights and animal rights…

And this time, Ginny’s shar-pei, Georgie, and the bar cat Penny are the only ones who can get the truth out of their sole witness: a puppy named Parsifal!

DOGHOUSE will be in stores July 22nd.  But I am running out of shelf space, so I need to find good homes for some of these. Want one? Two randomly-chosen commenters will win!


Monday
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Fresh coffee, sleeping cats, and work to be done. There's my morning sorted, then.

Meanwhile, for you, I'm doing a guest stint this month at Magical Words....

State of the Meerkat: Holiday Weekending
NYC
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Short version: I spent one slightly rainy day and two very nice warm bright sunny days being Out! and Social! and Eating! (in some cases actually picnicking) and doing not a lick of work.

(unless you call some planning-Life-for-2015 work. Do we?)

All in all, a very pleasant break between deadline achieved and deadlines oncoming.

And then there was the Case of the Transit Worker Meltdown.

Last night, well after midnight, I heard a bus or truck idling outside. Okay, hrm. But the noise didn't go away. I thought maybe someone was getting towed, as occasionally happens.

But then I started to hear swearing. Loud, rather unimaginative swearing. And a mention of cops. So I staggered to the window to see a NYC transit bus pulled to the side, lights on, enging idling, and the driver swearing...at the driver of another bus that had pulled alongside (they were both driving the same route that goes past my building).

The second driver eventually pulls away, and the first driver stomps the length of his (empty) bus, then shuts off the light and (finally, blessedly) turns off the engine, and stomps out onto the sidewalk. No further swearing is heard, but he seems considerably agitated, to the point that I wondered if he was in fact having some kind of meltdown.

I - not being that good a Samaritan - went back to bed. At some point the engine started up again, but when I woke at 5:30, the bus was gone.

There is always an Unknown Drama in the City, every hour of every day....

And how was your holiday (or non-holiday for non-USAns) weekend?

Read in 2014
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* means it was on my #TBRin2014 list

frustratingly, I know I read another book in there, and I remember pulling the title page from the ARC so I could remember to write it down later and...do I remember the title/where I put the page?  No I do not. It was a BEA-acquisition, that's all I remember...

11. MEMORY OF WATER, Emmi Itärata
10. WATSON AND HOLMES: A STUDY IN BLACK, Karl Bollers, Rick Leonardi, Larry Stroman (graphic novel)
9. CLIENT MANUSCRIPT, Unidentified Client
8. *GARMENT OF SHADOWS, Laurie King
7. *THE LIVES OF TAO, Wes Chu
6. THE GOD OF THE HIVE, Laurie King (re-read)
5. SPIRAL PATH, Katharine Eliska Kimbriel (pre-pub)
4. CLIENT MANUSCRIPT, Unidentified Client
3. *EIFELHEIM, Michael Flynn
2. KNOWN DEVIL, Justin Gustainis
1. *INK, Amanda Sun
Tags:

oh brain...really?
the general warned me...
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So yeah, the first line of The Devil's West #2 came to me in the shower this morning.

Never mind that I'm not scheduled to START it until September. Never mind that I have two novellas and a short story to finish before then.

Damn it, children....

In case you missed the "open thread" posts...
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I've finally caved and flicked the "Ask LAG a Question" toggle over at Goodreads to "on." With the caveat, of course, that I make things up for a living.... *g*

https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard#ask_the_author

Three Things Make a Holiday-Foreshortened Post
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1. SILVER ON THE ROAD, being deemed readable by mine agent, is now with mine editor, as is GIN & TONIC #4 (different editor). I am thereby released from all - oh wait, I still have two novellas to finish by September. On it, boss.

2. I have copies in my own greedy little hands of DOGHOUSE (Gin & Tonic #3)!! There will be a contest, most likely next week when America's recovered from our three-day holiday weekend and picnic-a-thon. But you know, you can order your own copy now, too...

3. The new iPad mini has officially been named. We ran through a number of suggestions and ideas, including Dum-E, Loiosh, Bucky, Jeeves, etc, but I finally determined that the iPad Mini has just enough evil in its brilliance, just enough petulance in its helpfulness, and is just wee enough that it really needs to be…

Sterling.

sterling wave

new baby!
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Well, a replacement baby, really: after a year I caved and bought a new iPad Mini, with 2x the memory, and a 3G connection. Not because the old one wasn't working out but because it was working out too well.  I still use the laptop for writing and for digital editing and anything that really needs a larger screen and a mouse, but reading and social media and Scrabble and whatnot?  Tablet.  And email, lots and lots of email.

Oh, and Netflix.  :-)

So anyway, the point of this is... baby needs a name.

The Laptop is Archie.  The laptop will always be Archie, in any iteration.

iPad Mark 1 was Watson.  But... I dunno, I'm not feeling it for this one.

You may have noted a theme here: sidekicks.  More to the point, smart-on-their-own sidekicks.  So....suggestions?


(and before anyone asks: my mom has first dibs on the old one. If she doesn't want it, I'll let you know.)

If ever I had vanity, I've traded it for coffee and an extra hour of sleep...
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Ever wonder what a writer looks like at the end of a book* deadline?


photo-6

No makeup. No shower. Nowhere near enough sleep. All those things..tomorrow.

For now, enough to say "done" and tomorrow let it be m'editor's headache joy for a while.


(*technically it was TWO books, but let's just say a little under 200,000 words, a total of 6 drafts, in a little under 9 months)

Monday oh Monday hoist your colors and let me see....
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Both SILVER ON THE ROAD and Gin & Tonic #4 go to their respective editors this week. Yes, I had two book deadlines the same month. No, that wasn't ideal. Yes, I'm pretty much worn to a frazzle right now and because of that convinced that both are utter dreck and if I only had more time...
chuck's stressful day
And did I mention that both editors are new-to-me, work-wise? (I like 'em both, and obviously they like my work, but this ups the stress level considerably)

So yeah, becauseofstress my sense of competence is pretty low right now.  One of those days where all the patpats and theretheres in the world won't do fuck-all, but one unexpected positive review in the media would refill the well.  Not that I don't love y'all and I know you're passing fond of me, but this isn't about me it's about the work.

I guess there's a downside to being able to separate the two, huh?

this too shall pass.  this too shall pass.  this too shall pass.  this too shall pass.  this too shall pass. this too shall pass.  this too shall pass.  this too shall pass.  this too shall pass.  this too shall pass.

And did I mention that DOGHOUSE launches in three weeks?  I might be recovered enough by then to do more than kick it out of the house, but no guarantees.

that was the weekend that was: work-life balance
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Friday I postponed lunch plans and spent all day working on G&T #4, getting it ready for deadline on the 1st, then hied myself off to a friend's surprise birthday celebration (and we actually kept it a surprise! I knew the 11-year-old could do it but was less certain about the 45-year-old...)

Saturday I spent the early morning hours working, then hied off into Manhattan to meet up with neadods and Mo (who has an LJ I'm sure but I'm blanking on it), who were in to see a show.  There was lunch at Molyvos, where the conversation ranged from Adult Financial Stuff to discussions of technology and from there to AO3 pr0n (as one does), and then I went off to upgrade my tech while they saw their show (an off-Broadway performance that was reportedly quite wonderful), and then there was drinks in an outdoor atrium where conversation was wide-ranging again and may have involved some very long-term planning for 2016....  (and also the realization of how long we've all known each other, which is both wonderful and...kinda depressing.  I'm HOW old again?).
And then I aimed them at their bus, and went home to...well, I was supposed to get more work done.  I may have indulged in a few more episodes of the SPN summer rewatch.

Sunday I spent the morning working on G&T #4 again, then headed off to JFK to reclaim my brother-in-law and sister from where I'd left them three weeks ago.  Have I mentioned recently how much I hate JFK Airport?  Because OMFG the hate is legendary (and my sister's first words, on meeting up with the car, was "oh my god this airport is horrible!").  But they have been collected, and reclaimed their car, and I am once again a properly car-less New Yorker as god and the mayor intended.

[having a car is nice.  but when you use it once a week, at most, 'nice' doesn't offset the cost or the annoyances, IME]

And now I am going to feed the cats, make some dinner, and go back to work. Because the book's due on the 1st, and my brain's screaming "no we need to do one more pass!  Maybe two!"

S&S expands their ebook library program....
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Libraries across the United States can now access the entire catalog of ebooks published by Simon & Schuster. The announcement concludes a pilot program the publisher had conducted with twenty library systems.

Libraries can now purchase one-year licenses to lend individual ebooks to patrons. As with physical books, only one patron can borrow a title at a time, but the library can lend every ebook it acquires an unlimited number of times within that one-year period.

The program includes all of Simon & Schuster’s front-list and back-list titles, with new releases being made available to libraries upon their release.




This is very cool news. I am a HUGE supporter of libraries (my parents would have gone broke with three voraciously-reading kids, if we didn't have an excellent local library) and digital needs to be as widely available as print, IMO.

Okay, the fact that S&S publishes both my mysteries and the upcoming fantasy novels (as well as the Vineart War trilogy) makes this relevant to me as a writer, but I'm mostly squeeing as a reader.

And here's a nice in-your-eye to Amazon: "In addition, libraries participating in the program will be functioning as ebook retailers for Simon & Schuster. Patrons can now purchase titles through libraries’ Web portals, with the library receiving a cut of each sale."

A 1-2-3 Poll
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Answer 1 if you like the way the current website (lauraannegilman.net) is set up, with links up-front and the blog offset, rather than front page.

Answer 2 if you'd prefer to see the blog first, and have the other information off links.

Answer 3 if you never actually go to the website so don't know what I'm talking about.

Wednesday
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A still, humid morning. I'd welcome a raging thunderstorm, if it would get the air moving a little bit...

These are the days I find it hardest to work in: when the air is thick and heavy and anticipation is shivering just under the skin for something to HAPPEN and it never does...at that point I might as well drop a movie in and watch that, because my focus is shot.

But we're on the clock to hand in GIN & TONIC #4, and there are other projects with equally pressing deadlines that need attention too, so taking another day off isn't possible this week.  I've set up the fan to move air, made a fresh pitcher of iced tea, and onward we go.  Waiting for perfect conditions means you'll never do anything.

And so I'm on it.  Meanwhile, have a cat.
caswindow

Days Off
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Such a rare thing to the freelancer or writer, the day off. An actual day where you not only don't do any work (or billable hours) but you don't even THINK about it.

Okay, maybe that last was a bit too much to ask for. But I did manage to spend a lovely Saturday with thousands and thousands of my best neighbors, hanging out in Central Park, soaking up solstice sun, rehydrating frequently, and otherwise pretty much lazing about. I read a book [AN ENTIRE BOOK! START TO FINISH!] and started another, and got only slightly sunburnt, and rounded out the day with dinner with a friend, and was asleep silly-early, so I got a full 8 hours before the feline overlords woke me up.

The plan had been to make Sunday a repeat of Saturday, only in a different park, and I did in fact spend time under the vitamin-D-granting sun - but then I retreated back to the cool, dark cave, where I read some more, cleaned and sorted things, and, well, napped.  A lot.

It was nice, all things considered.  But now it's back to work, starting with a culling of the spam and answering of emails that arrived over the weekend.... silly people, don't YOU take days off?

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