Where Personal and Professional Life Collide...

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

Devil's West Q&A
editor kitteh
Life is kinda crazy right now and I have no original content to share. So you guys need to generate it for me. Got Qs about SILVER ON THE ROAD, "Crossroads," "The Devil's Jack," or the world as a whole?

Now's the time and here's the place to ask!

I try things so you don't have to (unless you really want to)
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InnovAsian Cuisine General Tso's Chicken.

So yeah, I saw it in the supermarket and figured "hey, for when I have a craving, having something in the freezer won't be too bad, right?"

Last night was the trial.  There are two packets - the chicken, and the sauce.  You are supposed to defrost the sauce ina bowl of war mwater, whcih I did.  The chicken bits were of various sizes, some barely a bite, others like smallish chicken fingers. I threw away the directions that suggested baking it, and microwaved the chicken for 2 minutes to defrost, then cooked it in a skillet, adding shredded carrots and yellow pepper.  I only used half the sauce they supplied, adding just enough to coat the chicken in the final minutes of cooking.

It was spicy, which surprised me, in a good way, and the breading was actually lightly done, for frozen packaged chicken. I'll give them kudos for that. And it reheated well for lunch, too - not heavy or stucky.  Without the added vegetables, though, it would have been a lot more, eh - sauced protein.

Overall, I'll rate it Acceptable, but not to be preferred over a halfway competent take-out joint.  (sadly, currently, I have no halfway decent takeout joint. This should change soon, huzzah)
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Back in the Steady Writing Mode - 1K on the days when I have the side gig, ~2K other days. Running hot and fast over the outline, and well-aware that every bit of research I do tweaks things slightly, but with book 3 there's no chance to sit back and spend three months on nothing but research. *sob* So a-multitasking we go.

The advantage to writing outside your educational comfort zone is the shit you learn. The disadvantage is the shit you have to unlearn. Also, I now have an entire sideline story set just outside the Devil's West I need to write. Some day when I have time, or someone offers me money that buys that time...

And this weekend I am off to FOGcon in SanFrancisco, where I will be lightly scheduled but heavily socializing networking Friday through Sunday, and then Sunday night I shed my professional skin, slip into the weather-appropriate concert shirt, and head out with fellow fans to see Bruce Springsteen in Oakland.

And then home on Monday, and start the ride all again.

Meanwhile, with permission, I share with you evidence that yes, reviewing a book (on a retail site, via a book blogger, or even just a tweet) can make a difference...

Oh. Oh, hey. Lookit that! The 4th Sylvan Investigations novella, AN INTERRUPTED CRY, is up at Book View Cafe!

Danny Hendrickson — ex-cop turned PI — and his partner Ellen could be any low-rent private investigators trying to make a difference, and a living, in New York City.

Except Danny’s father was a faun, and Ellen is a storm-seer.

Which means that they bridge the line between human and fatae, between Talent and Null — and specialize in helping people who fall into the dangers between…

In “An Interrupted Cry,” a blackout hits New York City. Talent — cut off from the current that fuels their abilities — are at a disadvantage. Already reeling from one of her visions, Ellen discovers that her partner/mentor, Danny Hendrickson, has gone missing, leaving a violent scene behind…

…and the city is in the dark about what’s coming, in more ways than one.

And remember, not only are books at BVC DRM-free, so you can read them anywhere, on any device you like, but 95% of all monies go directly to the authors (5% goes to support BVC, which is _kind_ of like it all going to the authors).

(this edition has been slightly and carefully revised from the Kickstarter edition.)

Deleted Bits and Actual Bits...
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for the first time, I actually kept file of deleted bits from THE COLD EYE. Hey, waste not, want for something to post, not. Or something.

She was reminded suddenly of old Abraham, who had taught them how to find trouble at the table. “A player too focused on the game has too much to lose,” the old ex-slave had said, stern as a judge. “You be wary of anyone who won’t look up and meet your eyes.”

Gabriel had looked into her eyes, first off.

And now you can look at a snippet of what IS in the book...

State of the Meerkat: March
meerkat coffee
Another fabulous night at the SFWA Pacific Northwest Reading Series, with Fran Wilde, Susan Forrest, and Jason Gurley. It's always fun to hear three very different styles/voices, in one setting - good for the ear, good for the brain. And it was good to have a distraction from watching portions of the US fail their adulting test.


The state of the meerkat right now is that I have a book, a novella, and two short stories to write before the end of the year (9 months from now), four clients lined up for the next four months, a heavy batch of traveling, and we're going into the start of Tourist Season at the side gig.  So yeah, gonna be busy.

This is a goodness.  I am happy about this.  I am also going to be turning off the social medias more often, because y'all are distracting.

Done and (not quite) dusted in Atlanta....
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 Being a Guest this weekend at Anachracon was a blast - the people were great, the panels were lively, the costuming delightful, my fellow attendees were each and every one fascinating people, and at no point did I feel overworked or underappreciated.  :-)  Also, I got to sit in on a very lively game of Cards Against Humanity that apparently went on for another hour after I called it quit at 2:30 am....

I also seem to have agreed to write two new short stories, and possibly edit an anthology.  Um?  (and all this, on a minimal amount of booze!)

Anyway, this is a great-fun convention, and comes with the meerkat clawmark of approval.  *nods*

And now, having written 1500 words on one of those stories, I get to chill at the dead dog before an oh-god-early flight home tomorrow....

only a few hours late (and only because I'm currently on Eastern time)...
winsome boomer
Episode 2 of "The Case of the Tom In Trouble" is now live for my Patreons!

I love it when a reader 'gets' a book. Doubly so when that reader's a librarian....
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I seem to have a fan at the Peabody Institute Library:

"Silver on the Road: I’ve mentioned this book before in a different context, but, having just finished it myself, I can say that this book is absolutely worth your time, whether you were (are) a fan of the Oregon Trail, or a fan of magic in literature, or both..... Laura Anne Gilman has a remarkable talent for crafting a setting–I genuinely felt the dust of the trail on my skin while reading. Best of all, because none of the characters are fully aware of what is going on, the reader is kept somewhat in the dark, as well. Thus, though the pace of this book isn’t rapid-fire, the compulsion to keep reading, to explore, and to understand just what Isabelle is meant to do on her journey, is almost irresistible. I loved that, even in her darkest moments, Isabelle remained the strong, capable, and incredibly determined heroine that she was, and I cannot wait to see what happens in the next installment of this series, due out in October."

(italics mine)


36 hours left for the Women in Fantasy storybundle!
just sayin' - Nate
Which means

a) you'll probably see me mention it once more.

b) and then your chance to pick up these titles for cheap (and bring some good into the world via our affiliated charity) will be gone forever.


So unless you deeply enjoy regret...

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We provide... Leverage. (a Convention Guest's Promise)
peevy short chick
I will be a Guest at Anachrocon this weekend, and there’s something I want everyone there to know.

I may look about as tough as a toasted corn muffin, but I lived and worked in NYC for two decades. I take no shit, and I give no shits. If you are at the convention and feel unsafe or harassed, you can walk straight up to me, no matter who else I'm talking to, and tell me you need Leverage (term in this usage suggested by the awesome Seanan McGuire).

I will listen to you.
I will be your safe space.
I will walk you to the nearest security person you feel comfortable with, and stay with you until you're ok.
I will follow-up on what I know.

And if your harasser tries to interfere, I will, within the limits of our personal safety, be the blockade needed to get you to safety. And I will not hesitate to call down the rage of heaven (aka convention and hotel security) if I think it is warranted.

With luck and the better angels of human nature, this will never be needed, there or at any convention going forward. But if it is, you have Leverage.

and today I am Elsewhere...
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Specifically, at Kris Rusch's "Women in SF" blog, talking about... um, women in fantasy.

(yes, Kris knew I was going to do that. Yes, she asked me to do that. Sheesh, people I have SOME manners...)

This is all I have.
My Aunt Judy, my mother's younger sister, died earlier this week.

Her funeral is this morning, in New Jersey. I am in Washington. Time and available energy conspired against me, and discussion with family members made it obvious that flying 6 hours, then driving 2, and then turning around and doing it again twelve hours later back to the West Coast wasn't a logical thing to do. So I am 2500 miles away, saying my goodbyes.

If matter cannot be lost, only transformed, then nothing that matters can ever be lost, only transformed. What do we then become?

News of Judy's death came the morning I handed my current novel back to my editor. This is relevant. Judy and her husband were long-time fans, members of NESFA from its early years, and when my parents were bemused by their youngest child's fascination with this "sci-fi stuff," they stepped in, taking a then eleven-years-old me to my very first SF convention, and turning me loose for the weekend.

My life changed.

If you're here, reading this, because you read my work, Judy is part of the reason why that work exists.

When I speak of my mother's family, certain characteristics always come to the fore. Determined, certainly. Smart. Witty (some might even say wiseass). Loving. But Judy added another to the list: gentle. In a family of strong-minded individuals (that is to say: stubborn and opinionated), dealing with us couldn't have been easy. But she did her damnedest, and even when illness began to consume her mind, and her life, that gentleness remained.

And that is what I will remember.

What do we become, when we transform? I think, maybe, we become what others remember.

Things! Things!
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THE COLD EYE has gone back to my esteemed editor, wherein he will hopefully assure me that I did not break anything new in the fixing of previous breaking things, and ready it for production. Which is good, because we have a Pub Date! And a Pre-order page! (for Amazon US. Canadians click here. Australians! The UK only has the Kindle option up)

and we also have a pre-order page for the trade paper edition of SILVER ON THE ROAD, too. (Amazon US again - Canadians!  No UK option yet).

What's that, you say?  A cover for THE COLD EYE?  Excellent question.  I hand you over to my editor and art director for that.  guys?  Guys?  *echoes bounce back*  Right.  Updates as they happen, then.

Meanwhile, I am working on the second episode of The Case of the Tom in Trouble, and getting ready to post the Patrons-only vid. What's that? You're not following along yet? No fears, it's easy to get in: $1 a month gets you the story, more gets you more.

And in-between that? Still working at the tasting room - biking to work when weather permits (and in the PNW the weather mostly permits), so the meerkat is rebuilding her cardio, five and ten miles at a time. Also, I can now successfully bungee-tie a bottle of wine to my bike's rack and not worry about it slipping. Is there a Scout badge for that?

My AnachroCon Schedule!
sky dragon

Later this month I will be wending my way to Atlanta to be a Featured Guest at AnachroCon, which I am seriously jazzed about.  Looking over my schedule, you'll probably be able to guess why.  :-)

If you're attending, or just hanging around town wondering what to do that weekend, I'd love to see you guys!

(and, as promised (threatened?) on Twitter, if I see anyone cosplaying Isobel or Gabriel, I will probably burst out in tears and/or add you to the acknowledgements of the new book.  If anyone's cosplaying Flatfoot, I will adore you forever.)

Friday February 26th

2pm-3pm: Beginnings and Beyond: Horror Origins of the Weird Western

4pm-5pm: The Monsters of Horror

5pm-6-pm: Horror Television: Penny Dreadful, Sleepy Hollow, and Supernatural

7pm-8pm: Ghost Stories: Literary and Real Life

(at 8:01pm I collapse into the comfiest chair in the bar)

Saturday February 27th

12pm-1pm: The Weird in the West: Contemporary Treatments

1pm-2pm: Once Upon a Time in the Weird West: Myths, Legends, and Fairy Tales Reimagined

4pm-5pm: Diversity in the Weird West

7pm-8pm: Beyond Schoolmarms and Saloon Girls: Women of Steampunk and the Weird West

8pm: The AnachroCon Salon: In Which Many of Our Author Guests Will Be Reading From, Selling, and Signing Their Works

Sunday February 28th

11am-12pm: Fantasy as Alternate History

(all schedules subject to last minute changes and alterations as the concom and Fate see fit)


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