Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking back

At the end of every year, it's customary for people to do a retrospective of the past twelve months. Ordinarily, this means laying out the hilights and great things that have happened for that past span of time.

In my case, I haven't managed a heck of  a lot to crow about. There have been changes, yes, and personal growth and revelation, but not a -lot- that would make someone not related to me and/or inside my own head feel like cheering or slapping me on the back.

The major good thing that happened for me in 2013? We bought a new house, finally, after 2+ years of looking. I know the housing market has been and continues to be grim for some, but it felt especially bad out here in California. Probably because that's where we are, so it all felt very personal. We managed, though, and we now own a larger, more up-to-date home, with a pool and a lovely backyard in a quiet neighborhood, and we're pretty danged happy here. We have a garage! That alone is cause for celebration.

Next up? Surviving fifteen years of marriage to The Engineer with only a few bumps and bruises along the way. Those of you who are married understand why this is cause for celebration. :)

And, as I have most recently been going on about, I finally decided what to do with my writing career, pushed the publish button, and launched myself into a new take on my old writing love. Where this will lead me is pretty much impossible to predict at this point, but I'm looking forward to it anyway.

And that's really it. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't seem like much. Because:

We moved. Hi there stress and distraction and time suck and stress. No, really, it deserves to be mentioned twice.

I struggled through an extremely nasty infection that lasted from Februrary to, oh, June. A second, less nasty cousin moved in in October. Mostly healed now, but blugh.

As a result I didn't really write. My fiber business has been non-existent since February. I've basically been in this odd holding pattern of surviving for most of 2013.

I'm not at the point where I'd like to kick 2013 in the teeth for myself (though for the sake of some of my friends, I will don my shit kickers and gladly stomp on the year's remains), but it wasn't particularly eventful or uplifting or, well, fun.

So I'm looking forward to 2014. I have goals and hopes and dreams.

They'll be here on Wednesday. :)

Friday, December 27, 2013

This here writing life.

This here writing life is not for the weak or the lazy, folks. That's something I've known for a while and thought I understood, but now that I've flung myself into the virtual trenches, I really, really get it.

And yes, I still want it. In case you were wondering. :)

It's been nine days since I first hit publish on Immortal Lies, sending my beloved book out into the world. It was nerve-wracking and I wasn't sure I'd done the right thing initially, but I can say now (after, yes, a whopping nine days) that I absolutely made the right choice.

Have I made a million dollars overnight? Ha! Only in my dreams. Thing is, most of the other overnight successes you hear about didn't actually do it overnight, either, so I'm okay with taking my time. The tricky part is balancing out everything else in my life with checking sales and checking stats and doing promotion and making sure everything looks right and is in the right place and...

See? Hard work. And it's not going to end any time soon.

In addition to spreading the word about my first book, I'm taking a hard look at what I want to work on next. I thought I had a plan in place, but after talking to several people, reading a lot of opinions, and rifling through what I have available and close to ready to go, I think I'm going to have to change my Big Plans up a bit.

Not complaining. I'm actually more excited about writing and this whole endeavor than I've been for a while. I am putting new words on the page. I am looking at my schedule and figuring out what's reasonable and what's a crazy woman's pipe dream. (I hope I don't have those two mixed up.)

Mostly, as 2013 drifts to a close, I'm happy to be leaving a not-so-great year behind and expecting pretty great things for 2014 and the years ahead. Now back to the writing desk, and to post that promotion and talk to that cover artist and, oh yeah, the dishes...


(BTW? My friends are awesome. Just sayin'.)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

An evening present.

It's late, but I left you a present.  :)

Once upon a time, I was posting a serial here on the blog. I took a break to update you about Tybalt and then ... the serial never came back. Here is where I hang my head briefly in shame.

I honestly meant to bring the serial back. Life got wonky, things went crazy and it just didn't happen.

Until tonight. Witness a Christmas miracle! (...or something.)

I have migrated the serial webpage to a new location, cleaned up the files, and done my best to make sure that they can be read from wherever on whatever device you choose. No more funky formatting. No more traveling to random sites to catch up on your reading.

Even better? I will be continuing the series in 2014. Once a week, there will be a new installment until the story is completed. At that time, I will package the whole thing up and make it available as an ebook for anyone who'd like to read.

But that's in the future. For now, for tonight, for this particular Christmas Eve, I'm giving you the chance to catch up so you're ready to read again next Wednesday.

Words on Wednesday is back!

(click here for the serial website if you missed the link above)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays!

It's the day before Christmas Eve, which I guess makes it the day before the day before, but let's not get bogged down in technicalities. Soon, it will be Christmas! I hope that you're all either already surrounded by the friends and family you love, or soon to be surrounded for the next few days. Holidays can be hectic, but they should also be full of smiles and warmth and a lot of good food.

I'm in particularly high spirits and full of energy, given the last week. Immortal Lies, as I've boasted wherever I can, has gone live. As of today, it's available in electronic format on most of the major retailers. If you get a tablet or Kindle or nook or other sort of electronic device capable of reading ebooks, I've got a great gift-for-yourself suggestion... :)

I have added a couple of free reads to the website. I may add new things in the next day or so. We'll have to see. Sometimes Christmas surprises are good things, too!

In all honesty, I'm rambling my way around to saying: Happy holidays, whichever you may celebrate!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Immortal Lies lives!

It's finally here. The day that I have worked for ... too long to confess, really. *cough* It's taken me  a while, but I edited the book, formatted it, submitted it to the appropriate places and ...

Immortal Lives is out! On the virtual bookshelf! It liiiiives! :)

I was hoping to be able to get the book out by the end of the year. Actually accomplishing that is both the end and the beginning of what has been a long journey. There have been times when I honestly wondered whether I shouldn't just give up and do something else. Not, mind you, that I'd succeed at that. Frustrating as it can be, I always come back to writing. I love my words far too much to just give up on them.

So here I am. About to start the new leg of my career. About to start a new year entirely. I'm excited!

So on to the good stuff.

Immortal Lies is available in electronic format at:

12/22: Edited to add (since this doesn't really need a post of its own):


12.23: And another edit

for now. (And really, it's available at all Amazon outlets, so if you're in Canada or Japan or Mexico or... you can still get the book.) Kobo sells EPUB files, so if you don't have a Kindle, you can get a copy there. Barnes and Noble should be releasing the nook version shortly, and there are a couple more distribution places for me to check out.

So it's out there. Go and get it. Come and tell me about it if you do! I cannot wait to hear what you think about Tybalt, Violet and the shenanigans.

And hey, while you're checking things out? Check out the website, too. There's real, live content there. It's not just a placeholder anymore. :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

And so it begins.

Ladies and gentlemen, there -is- news this week!

And that news is: I have finished the edits on Tybalt's book (henceforward referred to as Immortal Lies)! I put in a final mad rush of effort and got through umpteenth reading, discovered that I quite liked the end of the book, and got started on the process of sending it out to various distribution places so you all can decide whether you like it too!

I then ate cookies because I deserved them. :)

Today I have started attempting to piece together my official website. There is nothing spectactular over there now. As a matter of fact, it's pretty kludged together, but it will get better, as these sorts of things do. When it's fit for true inspection I will, of course, announce it here. For the moment, it's a placeholder that would simply send you back here to the blog, rinse repeat.

If you're just visiting, hello! If you've been here before but have forgotten the project I've been babbling about that has me excited again, it's this one:

Can you blame me for letting go a little squeal of joy? First, I get to show off this gorgeous cover again. Secondly, it's done, it's done, it's DONE!


Happy Wednesday!

Friday, December 13, 2013

No news is ... no news.

I was hoping to have something more concrete to post about this week. Sadly, that's not the case, personally speaking.

But congratulations are due to Jen Christie, Avril Tremayne and Stephanie London for their sales from the SYTYCW contest!

 I have been madly editing away on Tybalt (see, I said it would come out, eventually, and it will). There are other books lined up behind it, in various states of readiness. It's my hope that 2014 is a productive year for yours truly. It'll be hard work, but I think it'll be worth it.

It's also my hope that you all have a great weekend. :)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Everyone's got a button.

I was going to update the blog a couple of days ago, but figured I would wait until the results of the SYTYCW2013 contest were in.  Well. They're now in!

Congratulations go to Tanya Wright, Andie Brock and DeeDee Elle for their wins this year! Congratulations to everyone who submitted, actually. It's no small feat, posting something you've written for public criticism. Particular congrats to the top 50, as well, who not only shared their chapters with the world, but also turned in completed manuscripts, an even bigger feat!

(I am awaiting feedback on my novel. We shall see how that goes. I'm not holding my breath at all. Nope. Not me!)

But now there's a discussion going on in the SF/F fandom world that is relevant to my particular interests, and I'm using my gefletheh* as impetus to finally post.

If you are not a fan of controversy, look away now. You've been warned.

The topic of encouraging and including more PoC -- people of color -- has been brought up in the fandom again. Personally, I think that's a good thing. Much like in movies and television shows, seeing people who look like the person in the mirror can be an amazing thing, particularly when they're not treated as the special unicorn in the room, but Just This Guy, Y'know? (Or Just This Gal, for that matter.)

There have been some logic gaffs lately, some statements made that sort of blow my mind and get my pulse kicking. A member of a mailing list, in part, made this comment regarding PoC in fandom:

"They need to know they'd probably be much more welcome here than they might be elsewhere. (After all, many of us would love to befriend extra terrestrials or anthromorphs.)"

Now. The comment was apologized for and the author probably didn't really meant to compare PoC to extra terrestrials or anthromorphs. Fair enough. It does point to a bigger problem, though.

As demonstrated by the response posted in answer to people reacting negatively to that quote, among other discussion:

"If you can cite any specific examples of a person of minority actually being discriminated against, do tell us. Aside from some hurt feelings, the above quotes damaged no one."

At which point my brain exploded.

As *I* responded (with my spelling and typos corrected):

Because we all know that the only damage done to someone is damage done in real time, real space with direct epithet-and-slur flinging. There must be documented proof that someone stood in front of a door and said, “You shall not pass!” (See what I did there? Har.)

Jesus. Really?

I’m against tokenism too. I don’t want to see PoC invited to cons just so someone can say, hey, we met our “Other” quota. I want to see fans, regardless of anything, invited to attend cons and workshops and whatnot, just like you do, Adrienne. That said, I can guarantee you that “some hurt feelings” being repeatedly “hurt” and then dismissed as no big deal? Will make PoC feel unsafe and excluded and -will- keep them away.

I sure as hell wouldn’t want to pay money to come spend a weekend with people who might insult me, intentionally or not, and then tell me to walk it off if I complain.

So that's my button. Now you know. (And knowing is half the battle...) 

What's yours?

(*gefletheh: A word I invented as a high schooler to explain a concept that -has- no adequate word in the English language and can only be conveyed with some hand-flailing and incoherent splutter.)