Where Personal and Professional Life Collide...

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

TBR and TBW, 2016
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I always start with good intentions and then by November totally forget to update my lists. Maybe 2016 will have more follow-through...

Movies Watched (new to me)

The Hundred Foot Journey  (Young Indian boy becomes a master chef and finds love, In France.  A veritable fairy tale in its events, but quite entertaining for those of us who like such things).

Books Read/Currently Reading

UNTITLED - Client Manuscript

Alan Rickman, 1956-2016

As legacies go, this week gave us strong ones. We need to remember that.

That said, this week can just fuck off now.

Alan Rickman, 1946-2016


In Which I Am Awful...
stop that
Off an article about finding cannabis residue in Shakespeare's (house) pipes, there was a call for relevant/related puns. I ...did not pun. I did something possibly worse.

Sonnet 139, the first draft

O, call not me to justify the bong
That thy unkindness offers me to smoke;
Pack me not dimebag trash but a gift more strong;
Use power with power and slay me not by toke.
Tell me thou buyest elsewhere, else in my sight,
Dear heart, forbear to claim thou art too broke:
What need'st thou wound with cunning when thy might
Is more than my o'er-press’d habit can bide?
Let me excuse thee: ah! my need well knows
Those tasty snacks have been mine enemies…

*loses all forward motion, orders a pizza instead.*

Not so much a rant as a through-gritted-teeth aside
do I look impressed to you?
Before you say “gee, your prices are kinda high” to a freelancer, consider that out of that money they have to:

a) pay living expenses (rent, food, utilities)

b) pay taxes

c) pay health insurance and all non-covered medical bills

d) put up with a client who doesn’t think they’re worth a living wage for a professional skillset the client has requested.

Bragging on the twinling's new book....
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Barbara Ferrer​'s new release, BETWEEN HERE AND GONE, is out today! If you enjoy women's fiction, modern period fiction, Cuba-US relations, or just damn fine writing, you need to check this out.

"Ferrer has created a story that’s breathtaking in its scope, and a heroine whose strength will leave readers in awe." -Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Beautiful, precise language is plentiful throughout Ferrer's latest. Her brilliant storytelling, with its vibrant description and dialogue, will touch the hearts of readers." - RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

Amazon / BN / Indiebound

Meanwhile, in honor of the day, I hereby preset in full, the Official Recitation (ok, read out loud at home) of

"Written on the Occasion Of a Book Birthday"

(with apologies and the offer of a drink to Master Shakespeare, who would have understood)

“To brace or not to brace; that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The inevitability of that Klausner review,
Or to take refuge against a poor store display,
And by ignoring deny them? To work: to weep;
No more; and by weeping to say we endure
The heart-ache and the thousand returned books
An author is prone to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To work, to weep;
To weep: perchance to go out of stock: aye, there’s the rub;
For in that work of bookstores what fears may come
When we have shuffled off this contractual coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of too little backlist;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of Locus,
The reviewers’s wrong, the disappointed reader’s spite,
The pangs of despised love, the payment’s delay,
The insolence of wannabes and the spurns
That patient merit of the unpublished takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a delete button? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of there being nothing after,
The remainder’d country from whose bourn
No author returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus publishing doth make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And manuscripts of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the pacing of action. – Soft you now!
The fair New York Times list! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my words remember’d.”

This work by Laura Anne Gilman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Oh, Monday...
citron presse
Like most of the world, I'm having trouble accepting that David Bowie has died. So I'm not going to. So there.

Denial: if it's not negatively or dangerously impacting your life, it's a totally acceptable life choice.

Another book blogger heard from
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The Qwillery lists SILVER ON THE ROAD in their Top Five of 2015!

(along with some guys named Wendig, Frohock, Newman, and Holm)

" The novel is at moments like the soft brush of gently swaying prairie grass and at times like the thunder of a herd of buffalo stampeding."

In case anyone was wondering if the number of people liking SILVER ON THE ROAD has made it difficult to work on THE COLD EYE, for fear of letting y'all down?

That would be a yes.

This, as they say, is a most excellent problem to have.  And now I go back to't....

I'm just gonna leave this here....
I rawk
from the January 2016 issue of Locus Magazine.

Picking Up Where We Left Off
helpful cas
Make coffee. Feed and shoot cats. Drink coffee. Have breakfast. Return emails. Check social media. Return returned emails. Turn off social media. Go to work. Deadlines: distant but visible.

2016 is officially underway.

(there is no truth to the rumor that I threw a New Year's Day party simply so that I would have leftovers to eat during the first week of revisions. No truth at all. Just a happy coincidence.)

2015 rolling out and 2016 rolling in...
2015 has been both one of the most... amazingly satisfying years of my life, and also one of the roughest. I suspect the blend is impossible to avoid, especially when you're not treading the same, familiar ground.  It was a year, and it will not come again.  But a new one always does.

And so, on this last day leading into First Night, I leave you not with a roundup or resolutions (those are personal, and so private) but my yearly wish for us all, that the very best of this year past is the worst that we will face in 2016.

*raises glass* To our health and our well-being, physical, mental, emotional and financial, from this house to yours.


Yankee love keeps you warm in the winter...
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Winding down the year, taking a few days off from work to bake and chill and read Other Peoples' Books, but I came across this today, and, well, maybe my birthplace library shows no love, but the place where my siblings spent their earliest years DOES...

The Peabody (MA) Institute Library says of SILVER ON THE ROAD, "Part western, part fantasy, part coming-of-age novel, Laura Anne Gilman’s newest release is a marvel of a book that draws you in, and keeps you on your toes....this book is like nothing I’ve read before, and I couldn’t be more excited about it."

Have I mentioned recently how much I adore librarians?

an editorial advisory....
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For those who were thinking about contacting me for an editing gig in the next 6 months....

Starting in 2016, my editing rates will be going up (slightly). But if you contact me before 2 January 2016, I'll lock you in at the 2015 rates.

Book early, pay less, later. :-)

Wasn't Expecting That....
winsome boomer
From the twitter feed of someone whose main interests seem to be...hockey. And, it seems, SF/F.

They also liked Linda Nagata's THE RED trilogy, and a trio of books from some guy named VanderMeer...

Finding Wonderland, and writer joy
I rawk
After the first month or so post-release, generally, the excitement over a new book dies down as the first wave of eager fans (bless them every one) get their hands on the book, read it, and then...move on to the next book they're eager about.

This is the natural life cycle. The writer will still check for new reviews, but you understand that they will become fewer and further between, as time goes on.

But when one does appear, your heart beats a little faster - a new blip! is it a positive blip? Oh please, let it be something new I can crow about!

This morning's discovery is a definite crow. Finding Wonderland says of SILVER ON THE ROAD, "I read it -- passed it along to Tech Boy who also read it and said, "Wow, it just... worked." What's harder to say is... why. And we aren't the only ones - NPR's book reviewer had the same reaction: wow, this is cool, wonder what makes it so? In some ways, it's a simple Hero(ine)'s Journey adventure... and in other ways, not so much...

Though this is the first novel in a series, it ends as if it's the entire story told - which is a lovely extra. Isobel is a confused, conflicted, resentful, hopeful, frightened girl who is just driven to do a good job, and teen readers will relate with her desperate desire to be seen as an adult and capable, and not one of the kids anymore. I am eager for the next book in this series....

This novel isn't marketed to YA, but can be considered another crossover for older readers not afraid of reading a book with big ideas and sturdy vocabulary, and who enjoy adventurous females who dream bigger for themselves than they imagined."

LAG again.  Is it immodest to admit that I love hearing people say "I don't know why this was so good?"  Because I do.  Because it means I made all the sweat and swearing and revisions disappear under a seamless exterior, and all you saw was Story.

(if you then felt the urge to check under the hood and see how the engine worked, that's fun too!)

Life in the Pacific NorthWet, an updatery
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It's strange, living outside a major city for the first time in over a decade.

But there are benefits, too. If I walk 15 minutes in one direction, I'm in the middle of a thriving small city, with all the conveniences thereof. And if I turn the other direction, just a few steps away, there's the North Creek trail.

It made me think of what the NJ meadowlands could have been, if they'd listened to conservationists before pouring everything over with concrete and turning it into The Meadowlands - ducks and coho thriving, and hikers/dogs-with-humans sharing the path, with office buildings on the other side and down an embankment (and not landscaped monstrosity corporate parks, thank ghu). And nice to see water levels looking healthier.

Best use of land? I don't know. But starting with a compromise is better than having to play fixit later.  And having this be my backyard does a lot to offset the annoyance at not having a supermarket within an easy walk (it's 3 miles away, which is a smidge beyond my defintion of a reasonable walk, carrying things).


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