Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Forward

As we head into the last weekend of the Dragon Undone kickstarter, I thought I'd take a little time and give a shout out to projects that will continue beyond my time on the site, and things I thought some of you might find intriguing.

Quickly, before I launch in: We've passed my personal hopeful goal of $1K! I would be tickled beyond all tickling if it went higher than that, but time is short, so thanks for all you guys gave in the effort!

Now: Currently one of the most active projects on the site, I think. The Dinocalypse Trilogy, being hosted by EvilHat Productions, which is a gaming publisher co-founded by people I have RPed with and know vaguely myself and better by association. They're currently pushing for $20K, at which point my pal C.E. Murphy will write book #5 of the bundle. 5 books for a $10 donation? Can't beat that!

Judith Tarr has already met her funding goal, but she continues to add more cool things to the Living in Threes project. She's got 10 days to go and there's already talk of Ponies in Space and master classes and acupuncture treats for pretty boy Pooka. Go check it out!

If you're a fan of Laura Anne Gilman's Cosa Nostradamus series, she's got a project to publish the stories of a secondary character. Half human, half faun, which just sounds like fun. And only $9 for both of her projected stories. A great deal! Again!

And a cute Percy Jackson-esque idea, but with a reader-chosen option that makes it a little different: Camp Myth. This is not a friend or a friend-of-a. Just someone I tripped over who caught my attention. Right now, I'm the sole backer. Does that seem fair to you?

Needless to say, as Kickstarter continues to grow, there will be a lot more projects popping up. Will Kickstarter eventually get old and tired? Well, those of us trying to do the indie/small/different thing certainly hope not, but I suppose time will tell.

Until then, go rummage around over there, even if you don't like any of the links I've shown you. You're bound to find something that interests you. As a matter of fact, tell me, if you don't. I will put on my best shocked face.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Living with Lists -and- Words on Wednesday: And The Skies Fell #3

I have a confession to make: I am not a big fan of lists. I am a Pisces, which sounds like a copout, but really means that I have a magpie brain. If it's shiny, I like it. I am easily distracted/flakey/insert your favorite label here. So lists don't work for me, usually, because either I can't be bothered to make them or I forget to check things off.

But for the last ten days or so, I have been writing myself to-do lists and checking things off. And you know what?

It works!

Now, granted, I do not always do all the things on my list in one day, but, I am allowing myself a couple days of wiggle room, as long as I do -something- off the list and make progress on other things. It's helping with my urges to procrastinate. It's getting me off my butt. (Oh, the joys of working from home.)

So I may be becoming a list-lover. It's as shocking to me as it is to those who know me well. I will hope that I have not just jinxed myself by sharing this with you lovely people. For the moment, the list survives, post-it noted to the side of my monitor.

Whoda thunk?

In other news, the Dragon Undone proceeds apace. There are only four days left, and right now, I'm just hoping to make it to a personal goal of $1K before then. Magic could still happen, though. I am by no means adverse to that!

I did a podcast interview with Richard Bliss of Funding the Dream. Ordinarily, he talks about gaming projects on Kickstarter, but I met him at the gaming convention I talked about earlier. He invited me to come on the show, I did, and you can hear it here. Bonus: you get to hear me read my sonnet live!

Bonus #2: Free fiction under the jump!

Monday, March 26, 2012


Monday is back. I thought we had this thing licked. Maybe not.

I apologize for the somewhat tardy post today. I try to aim for earlier updates, but today I've been distracted by a few things.

I saw the Hunger Games movie over the weekend, and enjoyed it for the most part. I read the books before I went, so I feel I had some extra insight into main character's feelings and rationales that the Engineer did not, since he hasn't read the books yet. That means that I had to explain some things to him and defend a couple of choices, but all in all, we had a good time.

And then I find out that there are people who were upset by the casting of Rue and Thresh in the movie. People who do not read character descriptions very clearly, which is both amusing, since I was talking about character descriptions not that long ago, and infuriating because, here were are in 2012, and people are still upset that black people exist and occasionally populate movies? Aigh.

At some point, I really will write that race and fiction post that's bubbling at the back of my brain. I will try not to froth. No guarantees. You've been warned.

You were spared in part today because I got a new spinning wheel. It's electric. It is kicking my butt as I attempt to learn how to use it, but it's pretty darned cool. It means I can spin at the computer, which is where I spend an awful lot of time, and I'm hoping that means it will help me be more spinning productive. We shall see.

I can report, however, that I was productive for certain in working on the Not-So-Sekrit project. I edited/wrote some -and- I got some laundry done. Who's a superwoman? Yep. That's me.

This is the last week for the Dragon Undone kickstarter, btw. Have you thought about backing me yet? :) There are still cool things to be had. Check it out!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Finally Friday

One of our now-defunct local radio stations used to play this weird mashup of cartoons and music at 5:00 PM on Friday and they would follow it up with a snippet of a country song called Finally Friday. That's what I think of every time I type those words.

/random tangent

Hey! It's Friday! If you work a M-F work week, it's the weekend. If you don't, been there, done that, feel your pain. Celebrate F-day anyway. :)

I, like a lot of other people on the planet, am anticipating my chance to see the big screen adaptation of the Hunger Games trilogy. I am taking the Engineer, who has not read the books, so it'll be interesting to see what he thinks. He's been told they're a thinly veiled commentary on the US government by some of his peers at work. I have attempted to correct that, but we'll see.

I am planning to attend an RWA meeting in the morning, first. There is also a gaming store having a free-play event tomorrow, so no matter how the day shakes out, there will be something for us to do.

But it's mostly about the movie, for me, at least.

The Dragon Undone kickstarter has 9 days left to go. There are plans for my amazing Kickstarter comeback. It may not be June. It will involve C. E. Murphy. And angels. And bad-assery.

Are you tantalized yet? You should be!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Words on Wednesday: And The Skies Fell #2

It's Wednesday, which means it's free fiction day here on the blog.

Which means I don't have to be witty today, right? This is a good thing. I am short on wit and will be making a run to the market shortly, but for now, I'll let my writing stand in for me.

I have been busily creating with other parts of my brain (I run a fiber-dyeing business, too, over here, and I am spinning up something I dyed for the first time ever. It's a good exercise. Sort of like re-reading old manuscripts and seeing just how far you've come.

The Dragon Undone is winding down, though there are still 11 days left to pledge at this point. We're still aiming for the $1K mark, which is only 1/3 of funded, but it's a milestone I'd like to see. If we don't make it this time, I'll be rethinking and repackaging and giving it another shot later this year. I'm thinking of June.

But I haven't given up yet. :)

And now for the good stuff:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Geeks just want to have fun.

And lo, much fun was had.

Yep, I'm a geek. I admit it. I'm not even particularly ashamed about it. I must not be, since I am many flavors of geek: writing, theatre, Shakespeare...

This weekend just past, I wore my gaming geek panties and spent the weekend with the Engineer (my husband) playing board games and RPGs (including old school WoD -- I played Killian, LA, you'd be proud!) and whatnot at ConQuest 2012. We live about ten minutes from where it was held, they were talking about it our local gaming store, the boy asked if I wanted to go and ... here I am telling you about it. Go figure.

There was not, as a result, much revising this weekend, but I'm back on track and working through it. There was not much sleep, either, so you wouldn't have wanted me to write. The story would suddenly take all sorts of weird twists and turns. For the bad. Just trust me.

But the fun is over and the games have been put away and the chores and errands and business stuff begins again.  Many errands have already been slain today, but not all of them. O no, my friends, there are many more to be conquered before the week is out.

What did you all do for the weekend? Was it fun? Is the week a drag or a much-needed-break from excitement overload? I hope there was some good sprinkled in there, whatever it involved.

(Did I mention I got a Hunger Games board game? Or that I may have squealed like a twelve-year-old fangirl? No? I still haven't! We shall not speak of this again!)


(( And yes, the Dragon Undone kickstarter is still running. More on that later in the week, no doubt.)

Friday, March 16, 2012

But what does he look like?

As I was rambling about over on Twitter today, I have a problem with descriptions.

If you are familiar with older romance novels, you've probably come across a scene where the heroine looks into a mirror while she brushes her hair or does her makeup, or perhaps takes a moment to consider her reflection in a shop window. She will linger over the color of her hair or her clothing or how her eyes are remarkably blue but she always looks at the ground and no one sees them ...etc. etc.

I have always found those scenes strange. I know they're there so the reader knows what the heroine looks like, but they have always felt uncomfortable and forced to me. Maybe because I've never sat in front of a mirror and described myself to myself. More likely, because unless a character is a complete standout in a crowd, I'm not all that concerned about what they look like.

I  prefer to build characters from what they say and do and how they act. I put pieces together in my mind as I read along. Unless it's mentioned repeatedly, I probably don't know for sure what color a character's eyes are. If it is mentioned repeatedly, I hope it's important to some part of the story.

The point is, I'm not great at making sure that people know what my characters look like. Especially the men.

And on a day like to day, when I'm trying to fill out a cover art sheet for The Dragon Undone (so that it can be used if and when the Kickstarter project funds), that is problematic.

Do you want the author to tell you what a character looks like? Does it matter to you? Enquiring minds want to know.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Words on Wednesday: And The Skies Fell

I had a thought. It happens. No, really.

Since the majority of the success of an author relies on his or her readership, it's tough to be successful if people aren't reading what he or she writes.

Makes sense, yes?

So. I figured, I've got a lot of stuff written that is simply sitting and waiting for a shot at the spotlight, but that I'm not actively pursuing. I also have things that I wrote for specific publishers that closed their doors before my stories were ever told.

So I have potential readers with no stories and stories that have never been read.

I can fix this.

Starting today, and every Wednesday at least until this story is told, I will post a chapter of a fantasy novel I wrote called And The Skies Fell. It's a mix between epic and high fantasy with a somewhat Russian flavor. There are gods in disguise, a young emperor on the rise, and a plot to take over the world and cast it into darkness. Fun stuff!

(And if you like what you read, maybe you'll take a gander at the Dragon Undone kickstarter. Almost at $1K!)

So without further ado (fiction after the jump):


Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekends are for fun!

It is Monday again. Somehow, despite the many campaigns against its continued existence, Monday continues to rear its head once a week.  My Monday involved another visit from the friendly stove repair guy, to see if we could actually get ours to, you know. Work. After last week's visit, it did not want to enhotten.


But the stove failure was forgotten in the face of company coming to visit to help me celebrate getting older during the weekend. There was yummy sushi consumed, there were Girl Scout cookies and alcohol purchased and sampled, and we went to see John Carter.

Which was, in short, thoroughly entertaining. Not perfect, not breath-taking, but it was fun. I really enjoyed it, though I still question how it was enhanced by 3-D, but that is me being grumpy about everything being 3-D now. We had the option of seeing the movie in D-Box seats, which are apparently the next stage of entertainment. They vibrate and lean or something, as you watch the movie. Like an amusement park ride. Smellovision can't be far behind now.

I taught my guests the very basics of knitting, too, which makes me feel pretty good. These are the first people I have personally taught and they were so enthusiastic and so happy to learn, that I just grinned a lot. Matter of fact I'm still grinning.

And with 20 days left to go in the Dragon Undone Kickstarter, we're still aiming for $1K and a short story on top of the novel itself. Check it out if you haven't, already. Spread the word if you have.

And happy Monday!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Old -and- graceful? Unpossible!

If I had to turn 40, at least I managed a pretty good day. :)

Yesterday I got all of my hairs cut for the first time in about five years. I know, I know, scold me if you will, but it took courage to go and tell a hair stylist that my self-esteem had kept me from letting anyone look at the sad state of my hair. I did it, though, and I am now sleek, smooth and tidy and I feel much better about myself. +1

I then took cupcakes to my knitting group. +1

And met my husband afterward at the gaming store to watch him finish up the last of the evening's board games. +1

Then home to relax and order the electric spinning wheel I've been wanting for a while. +1

And to discover that you, my lovely people, had indeed pushed me to, and then past, my $500 benchmark on the Dragon Undone kickstarter. Just shy of one-week post launch! +eleventyjillion!

So not at all a bad day.

Today I have company incoming for more birthday weekend shenanigans. We may see John Carter. We will most likely eat amazing sushi.

And I have another benchmark for us to reach.

In going through my writing folders, I discovered a short story I wrote for an anthology last year. It was not picked up, but I'm still pretty fond of it, and so I'm going to offer it to you.

When the Ravens Came Ashore is about 3,500 words. It's a different take on the Morrigan, the triple-aspected Celtic goddess of battle. And it starts like this:

     Stena knew the Romans were coming. Not by reading patterns in water or pulling out the insides of birds to  murmur over. That was her brother, OlĂ­ndico's, gift. Stena never saw portents in the clouds or heard omens on the wind. She didn't rely on an itching in her elbows or a pricking beneath her skin.
     But Stena knew the Romans were coming when the ravens came ashore. 

If the Kickstarter reaches $1000, I will send this short story to all of my backers in electronic version when the project is funded, in addition to anything else promised as incentives.

Sound good? Interested? Help me spread the word.
 And thanks for an amazing birthday.  :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mark up your books!

Or, you know, use bookmarks.

Yes, I think I'm very clever. Sometimes, anyway. Other times, like today, I'm just a goof.

I have continued to work on the beading so that I can show examples of what the bookmarks offered as part of my  Kickstarter project for The Dragon Undone. Everyone who pledges $100 or more to the project will get one of these hand-designed, hand-beaded bookmarks of their very own, as well as digital and print copies of the book and a copy of the cover art. It's going to be an awesome package of stuff, if I do say so myself.

I mean, I think my bookmarks are pretty cute.

I have a couple more colors planned for examples. Gotta have a silver dragon, after all.

All in all, the project is doing pretty well. Chugging right along and nearing the $500 mark. I would dearly love to see it reach that number this weekend, at least.

Okay, I won't be modest. It's my birthday tomorrow. Having the whole project funded this weekend would be amazing.

A girl can dream. :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Now with that fresh cover artist smell!

It's Monday! (How did that happen again?) How was your weekend?

Mine was laid back and calm, just the way I like it. I spent some time playing board games with my husband and a group of like-minded individuals, and then I settled in for some domestic-type chores. In between those things, I played a mad game of F5 with my web browser, hoping to stay on top of my Kickstarter project for  The Dragon Undone. I launched on Friday, and I am not at all disappointed with where it's gone since then.

Onward and upward, though. That's the perpetual hope.

The first update has gone out to backers, and while I won't share the entire letter, I can share some pretty exciting news: I have a cover artist!

Yes, I hinted before, but I wanted to be sure our schedules would mesh somewhat before I put either one of us on the spot. I think I can do that now, though, so without further ado, the cover artist for <u>The Dragon Undone</u> is Anne Cain!

Go check out her website. Take a look at her portfolio to get a glimpse of the awesome that is to come, and do a little dance with me. One step further along the road to A Book.

Friday, March 2, 2012

It's that time! *drumroll* The Kickstarter is Live!

Technology and I kissed and made up. It was tough, but we're on speaking terms again. We may even get married some day. The long and the short of it is:

The Kickstarter is live!

From now until Sunday, April 1st, the drive to fund the revision and release of The Dragon Undone, as well as set up the next two books in the series, will consume my life. Which is not a bad thing, at all.

What does that mean for you? It means that you have a standing invitation to go check the page out. Watch the video, tap out a rhythm to the sonnet, enjoy the music, and if you have a little money to spare, consider backing what I consider a very worthy cause.

I will be sharing snippets of the project, pictures of some of the incentives, the cover art and other things that come to mind, as it does so. Want to see something? Ask. Want to suggest something? Feel free.

And spread the word, if you would. I'm hoping this will be a grand success. Crowdfunding thrills me more than text on a screen can really express, so I can't wait to see what comes of it!

Oh, and one last thing: Thank you so much, for all the support so far, and in days to come. :)