The whooshing sound…

…of deadlines going by at high speed, ergh.

I finally tallied up all the comments from the blog tour – 71 of them, dang! I don’t know what to do with attention, it seems. But that was what I needed to do the drawing, even if I’m still struggling to find the social oomph to make all the replies I should.

Untitled Chickie434, you’ll be getting an email from me shortly!

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it never rains but it pours

And it’s Seattle in November, so I don’t know what else I expected.

In addition to my first novel releasing last week, I also had jury duty for the first time, so suddenly I was out of the loop a lot more than I expected. I still need to go back through and respond to blog tour posts! And draw a winner from the commenters for the prize, too. Commenting should re-start tonight (once I’m not at the day job anymore) and I’m planning to have a winner picked by this weekend.

I don’t suppose anyone would like to sponsor me so I could quit the day job and keep up with everything else I’m supposed to be doing? No? Worth a shot.

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At last!

Release day at along last! Gabriel’s City is now available at all your favorite online retailers.


Summary, excerpt, and 20% or more off list prices on paperback and all ebook formats at Riptide’s site.

There will also be a blog tour all this week — full list of stops here! Today I have a post at Prism Book Alliance talking about telling the dragon’s tale and an interview at Smoocher’s Voice. Commenting on posts during the tour gets you entered in a drawing to win a full set of the perfume oils my friends at ZOMG Smells have made for the characters. Come stop by!

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a good yarn

I’ve taken up knitting again recently. People had tried to teach me a few times in the past, and it never stuck beyond the most basic stitch, but this year I’ve decided I want to get good at it. I’ve done my first simple cables. I’m figuring out the concepts behind lace. I need to pick up stitches for the sleeves of my first cardigan.

Partly it’s really exciting to have a visual art that makes me feel competent (I’ve never had the fortitude to train myself to draw tolerably; I have so much respect for people who do), but partly it’s really soothing. It comforts the same part of my brain that likes level grinding in video games: do this process. Keep doing it. Do it some more. Watch the incremental progress happen. The major difference is that when I’m done knitting, I have an actual item to show for it! So THAT’s rewarding.

Well, okay, there’s a second difference, too; video games tend to have more story going for them (though some people manage to put an awful lot of meaning into their lace). But I’m less drawn to the stories video games tell lately. It might be partly the violent backlash of the Angry Straight White Gamer Boy who tries to pee all over the territory hard enough that nobody else can have fun, but that’s not the major issue. The problem is that I’m losing interest in Lone Warrior and/or Ragtag Band of Misfits doing the Save the World gig. I don’t care about shooter guy.

It comes out in the stories I want to write, too, which is tough in spec fic; sci fi and fantasy novels handed a lot of those tropes to video games in the first place, after all. But I don’t want to tackle “saving the world” as a theme. I’m not sure I can suspend my disbelief enough for it at this point, when the real world’s threats are so multivalent and amorphous. Drake and Gabriel don’t save anything but each other. Erik and Jacob probably won’t manage any better. Jennie and Kane? “Each other and a hotrod spaceship,” maybe. Kit and Elias might manage to save a small community.

But mostly I like the smaller scale better, honestly. I want to write stories that happen at the level of individual emotions and destinies; the world doesn’t have to be scoured of all evil for people to find happiness. I want to take that one little thread and follow it as far as it goes.

Sometimes that’s all it takes to make something beautiful.

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music wishlist time

If I could make one wish for new musical releases and the world would have to bend to my will, I would wish for Tracy Grammer and New Model Army to release a split record where they covered each other’s songs. They would do such a fantastic job amping up both the bitter cynicism of “Hey Ho” and the epic mysticism of “The Mountain.” And I would love to hear what she did with the quiet, furious grief of “Someone Like Jesus” or the defiant anthem of “Ballad of Bodmin Pill.” I would wind up sitting in a dark room just listening to the whole thing and having capital-F Feelings all over the place. Like being a teenager again, except beautiful instead of sunk in pathetic misery.

If you’re listening, universe, please get on this.

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on my mind

I’ve had post-apocalyptic themes on my mind constantly lately, and seeing things that remind me of them everywhere, as you do when you’re a pattern-finding animal. Yesterday’s instance, though, was absolutely perfect:

Stopped at a street corner, waiting for the light to change, and on the far sidewalk two young women were walking by, their hair in thick dreads and piled up high, their ratty shorts and midriff tops baring sun-browned skin and spidery black tattoos. And one of them was barefoot, unconcerned, on the pavement. Her steps flashed dirt-blackened soles, and I can’t get that image out of my head. I’m reminded of Caravaggio scandalizing his patrons by painting saints with dirty feet. He was on to something, I’m sure.

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Gabriel’s City: A Tale of Fables and Fortunes


My first novel is available for preorder: Gabriel’s City: A Tale of Fables and Fortunes, a story about growing up, a story about losing everything but finding yourself, a story about how much stories matter, a story about faith and love and stabbing. I’m so happy to have brought it this far, and so grateful to Riptide and Rachel Haimowitz for giving me a chance (and a fantastic cover), and I can’t wait to be able to share these guys with you. November 17 can’t come soon enough. :)

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Flash fiction: “Crossing the Scars”

Chuck Wendig’s Friday flash fiction challenge this past Friday was for *punk pieces, and one of the suggestions he listed—bloodpunk—pinged me in all of my writing places. This wants to be something larger (the file in my dropbox is called “airship circus demons.doc”) but for now have a 900-word glimpse into this world:

Continue reading

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a quick post to say

…that Chuck Wendig speaks the pure terrifying truth (often, but particularly today) — The Varied Emotional Stages of Writing a Book. Everything Is Nuclear Dogshit. I Should Not Be a Writer and My Soul Is Forfeit. The Blank Page Is a Terrifying Polar Expanse Where I Will Die.

But the alternative is not trying anymore, and that’s… no. Not an option.

So send a Saint Bernard with some good whiskey; I’m going to brave the slopes.

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Okay then! I’m in the house, the jonquils are blooming outside the front door, and I have a big pile of seed packets to start planting. (Also a brand-new shovel to dig out holes for fruit trees.) PROGRESS.

In an attempt to get progress going again in my creative life, I’ve signed up for the Goodreads M/M Romance group’s writing event again. I’m a spec fic writer, so finding a good prompt among their offerings always takes a bit of hunting—I just don’t have any idea where I’d start with childhood best friends who played high school football together and now they’re detectives and there’s gay for you and also they’re adopting a baby. (To be fair that’s a mashup of a lot of common themes; most of the prompters don’t ask for that many things at once.) The sci-fi and fantasy ones are thin on the ground, is what I’m saying.

BUT. Augusta Li put in a wonderful prompt involving a nonhuman, morally ambiguous protagonist, worldbuilding, and action scenes, and that is right in my wheelhouse. So I’ll be teasing out an assassin’s world and adventures while my garden wakes up and starts to stretch. It’s a good balance of life and death, I think.

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