Friday, December 30, 2005

Guten Tag

Guten Tag and an early HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Today is a "clear the decks" kind of day so that I can get started on the next things. See, I can't move forward until I have a fresh start, so I'm cleaning off my desk and filing all the research and notes from Cat, and all the miscellaneous crap that multiplies in an office. (Never leave two papers alone in a dark office, they breed faster than rabbits!) Organizing my music, figuring out my bills, starting the new files for the new book, etc. Both the office and the rest of the house have to be in relatively good shape before I can concentrate. That's why I get SOOOOOOOO frustrated when I can't keep things up to my minimum standard. I literally CAN'T concentrate enough to start writing when things are a disaster. Now, once I've BEEN rolling on a story, and it's flowing NOTHING is going to distract me. I mean, a nuclear blast might go off and I'd just kind of look up, blink and go "James, did you hear that?" before going back to the manuscript.

Weird note -- did you know that the people who survived Hiroshima best, with the least injuries and radiation poisoning were IN THE LIBRARY!! That's right. The books not only cushioned the shock, the paper absorbed the radiation. I've read this in a couple of places. It may be apocryphal, but I DON'T THINK SO. If it is true, my house has SOOOOOOOOO much insulation! Because books breed almost (but not quite) as fast as loose papers, which are only a short bit behind junk mail!

Well, gotta run. Work calls.



From Which of my pets are you:

Which one of my pets are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

You're kiwi, your one mean green, fighitng machine. You take over the cage and terrorize it much like a mobster would.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

HI JIM!!!!!!!

Hi Jim! Are you feeling better? How's your Dad doing? I hope all is well at your end of the world and that you had a lovely holiday.



OUCH! Stupid accident this morning. Large heavy lamp fell from a height onto the top of my head. I have a lump approximately the size of a pterydactyl egg on the top of my head but it doesn't appear I have a concussion. Feel like an idiot though.


OK on a totally unrelated subject. Have you ever had a time in your life when you just couldn't seem to manage NOT to annoy people?

I am in one of those spells. It's reached a point where I'm tempted to crawl in a hole and just not interact with people for a while. I probably WON'T, but I admit to the temptation. The thing is, I can't seem to help it. UGH.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Looking Forward/Looking Back

Hi Guys! Hope you had a very merry holiday.

A couple of things:

First, thank you everybody!

Why, you ask? Because I have an acquaintance who is a VFA (very famous author). Now we're not close, but we've met and talked. I admire her greatly. I think she is a spectacular person, and a terrific writer -- even when I don't agree with where a story goes. But she is a kind and generous soul who has frequently been picked on brutally both with regard to her art and with regard to her personal life (which is none of anybody's blasted business.) I am thanking all of you who have come here since day one because nobody has been a jerk. Not once. No negative comments, despite my having confided more than a few vulnerabilities AND having gotten on my liberal soap box. I am grateful. Because no matter how secure you are being picked on HURTS.

So thank you for coming by, and playing nice, and buying our books... and well... pretty much for just being terrific.

OK thanks to Yo I am a Quizilla addict. (Sigh -- oh well, there are worse things). This is today's result.

You reflect the journey of the spirit. The journey of life as we grow, learn, face our everyday trials. You strive to accomplish tasks and rise above. This is where your spirit finds its strengths. Your journey is sure to have a happy ending, in whatever small form it my come.

On a completely different note (B flat minor) (For those of you who need a map, we have now turned left and are headed into the Twilight Zone). I'm excited, scared, nervous, and happy. Cat has been shipped to the editor. There are things I think are great about it, and things that I'm VERY nervous about. It was a HARD book to write for a lot of reasons, and I completely exhausted myself doing it. I hope Anna will like it, but I'm terrified that she'll absolutely hate it. A part of me realizes that this is part of the process. But oh Lord it just doesn't get any easier. I want people to love our work. I really do.

AND RANT OF THE DAY (IF you don't want to hear it STOP HERE!!)


Went and saw King Kong yesterday. Good movie. I, however, being seriously unfond of arachnids skipped the spider and slug scene. Thank you very much, but no thank you.

Two things that drove me nuts.

(1) YOU, YEAH YOU, the one who brought the cell phone into the theater. TURN THAT **@#R$* THING OFF!!!! RUDE doesn't begin to cover that.

(2) In the "WHAT were they thinking?" category. This is an intense movie. A very intense movie rated PG13 with people getting killed and animal battle scenes that were previewed everywhere. There are things in that movie that I didn't want to see as a grown up. SO WHY THE @#$@ were people bringing in their 4 and 5 year olds and itty bitties that needed booster seats? And of course most of them only made it as far as the REALLY scary stuff before leaving so the kids stopped right where they were most likely to get nightmares.

I'm sorry if you disagree. But I think there are movies that aren't meant for kids. I'm sorry if people need a night out and can't get a babysitter. (Believe me, it happened to me more than once.) But if they can't, I believe they should either pick a movie that is more suitable for the kids or do something else. And before they go to a movie with the kiddies, they should check out the previews and reviews to make sure there's nothing too intense. Having the kiddies screaming and crying through the film doesn't improve my moviegoing experience OR THEIRS. Just my opinion.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

NOW THAT is a compliment!!!

© The Weinstein Co.
'Mrs. Henderson' Is Dench In Her Prime

By David Germain, Associated Press

Judi Dench could sit motionless on an overturned bucket surrounded by dancing emus, bodybuilders juggling small kitchen appliances and a tableau of naked nymphs, and she still would be the most interesting ....

Just saw this and couldn't resist. What an image! And I DO love Judy Dench. I think she may be who I want to be when I grow up.

Holly Happy Days



(SOMEBODY got into the eggnog!)

Seriously Cie here -- Happy Holidays of whatever your inclination. I personally celebrate Christmas, but I have friends who celebrate Yule and Hannakah (sp?), etc. So Merry Merry everything!

I was looking for a particular old post to reprint and wound up going through a bunch of my old blogs. WOW. I can certainly tell which ones are from when I'm tired. They have no "spark" to them at all. The one I was looking for was the one asking "When Did Nice Become a Perjorative?" Took a while to find it. I've been doing this longer than I thought!

I also saw my posts from when Onyx was dying. I cried. I still miss him. Don't get me wrong. The cats I have are all wonderful animals. I know I love them just as much. But like people, they are individuals. You can't "replace" one with another.

I got the presents mailed before Christmas, but they will probably wind up being "New Years" gifts. I was just too sick and pooped to get it done earlier. I was talking to my sister on the phone and complained that I just always seem to get sick this time of year. She pointed out (gently, without even resorting to sarcasm) that I end up pushing myself too hard and trying to do too much, and my health just won't support it. SOOOOO A goal for this year is to start the whole holiday thing early and pick things up during the year so that I don't have that last minute rush.

I'm here right now pulling out an old project I started. It's called "Letters to My Son" (When I collaborated with my siblings on it and was thinking of getting it published, it became "Letters to My Child". Basically it's all the "wit and wisdom" (Yeah, right) I have tried to pass on to him distilled into nuggets. Going through it, I find I really do have a philosophy of life. It involves being open minded, tolerant, and kind. It respects hard work, honesty and integrity. It accepts that success should be judged individually rather than in some breakneck competition and that the most important things in life aren't really things. Free will is important, but so is personal responsibility for your actions and their consequences. I know I've told him all these things, and he even agrees with most of it. But I'm a writer. It's not just what I do, it's a big part of who I AM. So I put it down. Even if it never sees print, it's important to me that he has it and it is THERE. Not particularly sensible probably. But true nonetheless.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Fun Opinion Questions

What do YOU think the 3 worst casting decisions ever were:


John Wayne as Ghengis Khan in "The Conqueror."
Denise Richards as a NUCLEAR PHYSICIST? in the Bond movie (I think it's "The World is Not Enough.")
Tia Carrera as a green eyed redhead in "Kull."

3 worst movies ever. Good bad (i.e., "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" or just plain BAD.)



OK, good news first. Last night for the first time in a while I was able to sleep without resorting to cough medicine!!! WHOO HOO!!! Yes, the asthma is still bugging me, BUT I BELIEVE (knock on wood, pray to heaven) that the bronchitis is OVER!!!! I'd shout for joy but it would probably trigger the asthma, so we will settle for a soft, but heartfelt, WHOO HOO. (grin).

HOLLY HAPPYDAYS AND MERRY MERRY!!!! Everybody be safe and enjoy as much as you can. Jim, I hope you're healthy again by now, but if not, take it easy!

Let's see, I got tagged by Yolanda so here goes:

Seven things to do before I die (Note, I have a 100 things list, but here's seven)
1) Parasailing
2) Traveling the world. (Particularly Alaska, Europe, Australia and New Zealand)
3) Make at least one bestseller's list.
4) Actually, truly be completely out of debt!
5) Keep writing and being published until I can write full time and actually support myself in the manner to which I want to become accustomed. (BUY OUR BOOKS) (HMNNN Maybe I should get a subliminal message thing going and write *BUY OUR BOOKS* every few lines)
6) Get my health back.
7) Play in a natural waterfall

Seven things I cannot do.
1) Bowl well. *BUY OUR BOOKS*
2) Deal with bigots.
3) Conform. (God knows I've tried. I just don't have it in me.)
4) Deal with class/status situations. (Part of that conforming thing)
5) Auto mechanics. I used to be able to do a little bit, but no more.
6) Remember names. (SIGH. It really is a necessary skill, and people get insulted as hell, but I've had a few head injuries and I literally CAN'T keep names in my short term memory.)
7) Wear high heels. *BUY OUR BOOKS*

Seven things I say/write most often.
2) LOL
3) Thoughts?
4) Hi Guys!
5) Well....
6) Anyway,...
7) Take Care

Seven books or series I love.
1) Laurell K. Hamilton
2) Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden Series
4) Dick Francis (Most of them)
5) Robert B. Parker (Spenser series)
6) The Far Side
7) Calvin & Hobbes

Movies I would watch over and over.
1) The Big Chill
2) It's a Wonderful Life
3) Love Actually

Just a Fun Thing if You Get the Chance

Flanders & Swann, "At the Drop of a Hat"
Some of the most funny things I've ever heard. It's from before I was even born!

OK, I have to ask, did the subliminal thing help? Are you going to: BUY OUR BOOKS????!!! LOL


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Hi Guys!

I have led a colorful life. Not lurid... (not QUITE) but colorful. I have a few regrets (but then again, like Sinatra, too few to mention). I was discussing that with a friend who has known me since high school. She indicated that all of the "mistakes" have made me who I am and have given me the fodder to be a novelist. It actually did make me feel better about some of my mistakes.

I do like where my life is now, and who I have become. If I changed anything, I would lose the lessons and be a different person. But there were people I hurt or who would be hurt by who I was and what I did, and I do regret that. But the one thing that is and always has been true. You can't change the past. All you can do is learn from it and move on.

I have, and I am.

Quote of the Day (not from a movie, but I like it):

I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was
not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed,
but fine up against a wall.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, December 19, 2005

Welcome to Monday

What Is Your Calling? (Dark And Amazing Pictures!!!)

brought to you by Quizilla

Hey kids -- welcome to the last week before Christmas. Am I ready. NOPE. Am I in a panic -- not QUITE yet, but soon, very soon. (LOL).

Spent most of the weekend asleep. The bronchitis and meds have just been dragging me down. I'm doing better, but I'm still not well yet. Mostly, I think it's down to the bronchitis having kicked in my asthma so that anything and everything is triggering coughing and wheezing. UGH. Probably another week or two of that before I start feeling normal again. (I hope).

I'm gearing up to start writing and also trying to get my goals set again. As I said before, I've achieved most of the goals I had before, and that means I need to get a new set. Exciting and scary. Requires some major thinking too. It's funny how things change. I was looking at the goals from my 20s and comparing them to my goals from the past couple of years. I'm actually glad I didn't get some of the stuff from my 20s. Sort of a "be careful what you ask for" thing.

Can't think of a lot to say. Hope that you are all having a happy holiday season.

Take care of yourselves.

Can't think of a good quote today, so I'll put up my vote for BEST MOVIE ENTRANCE --

Captain Jack Sparrow, riding in to port on the mast of his sinking ship and stepping onto the wharf.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Wednesday Morning


Kandi -- thanks for the post! I have to tell you, I really needed the encouragement! Don't worry Tony and Sue are doing fine. ;)

My mind is still foggy. Trying to think creatively is like wading in quicksand. Every time I try I feel like I'm sinking fast. I'm hoping that when I'm off all the Rx I'll get back to normal. While I know that part of this is just post-book funk, and another part is being sick, it's really weird and a little scary for me not to have my mind racing along after some story or another.

I was thinking... always dangerous in my current frame of mind. But I remember a girl from my neighborhood when I was a kid. Whenever we played games, if she started to lose she'd change the rules. I think one of the reasons I've been so frustrated is that the same thing happens in adulthood. Every time you start to get a grip, somebody moves the bar.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a big believer in progress. But changing the job description without changing the money just sucks. (That's metaphorically, not literally about my day job). If they keep moving the finish line, you never get to celebrate a victory. I'm the type that I NEED those celebrations to motivate me to push to the next level. I also need the occasional REST.

Once upon a time, back in the dark ages when God was a baby and dirt was new you were allowed a bit of a slower pace. When you weren't at work you were OFF (GASP). You weren't expected to have a phone with you at all times, check your voicemail, email, and everything from home. Turn around time for a project was measured in weeks or (if urgent) days rather than MINUTES. I love technology, but the fax machine and e-mail have made people have amazingly unreasonable expectations of how much you're supposed to get done how fast. And the stress is killing us. Stress eating, obesity, lack of down time to do things that might qualify as exercise. More and more people are adrenaline junkies. They can't BEAR NOT TO BE HOOKED UP AND A PART OF THINGS. Keep moving. Gotta run.

I'm POOPED. I hereby announce to all and sundry that I am going to try not to play that game regardless of their expectations. Wish me luck with that.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Hi Guys!

Hello. Let's see, a quick update on everything going on.

Copy edits are in on Captive Moon.

Howliday Moon is off to Tor (and we are crossing our collective fingers that she likes it)

Got the royalty statements, it's totally incomprehensible to me, but Cathy gets it and translated, and our agent understands it, so that's cool.

Touch of Evil comes out in March. The ads are out and pre-orders are good. The reviews are either glowing (YIPPEEE) or neutral. But that's not really a surprise to me as this is a very different take on both vampires and werewolves and many people like for writers to color within the lines.

We are in negotiations for the next contract. Looks good so far.

I am officially sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I also need to sit down and really plan out my goals and straighten out my head. If you don't know where you want to go, it's very hard to get there. I also need to figure out where I stand on some issues that have come up in my life.

I am also having some social issues. Probably made more obvious because of the holiday season. Wish me luck working through it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Bronchitis AGAIN


As usual when I've pushed myself too far, I'm sick. Again. It sucketh big pond scum covered rocks. I have prescriptions out the wazoo and am a veritable crankypants. It will get better, but until it does you probably don't want to listen to what I have to say, so I will adjourn until I am a more civilized human being.

Take care all.


Sunday, December 04, 2005


I have discovered a couple of things in the past few days. They're interesting to me, although they may bore the pants off of you guys. (Just in case, you may want to read this at home to prevent embarrassing moments. Otherwise, it's strictly at your own risk).

(1) There are only so many hours in a day. I know. It's obvious. But the fact is, I keep TRYING to manage more than is even remotely humanly possible and then beating myself up because I can't. I have a full time job. I have a home life. I have friends and family. Oh, yeah, and I have this budding career in writing that takes huge whomping chunks of time on top of it. There is no WAY I can do everything perfectly to everyone's satisfaction (especially mine) all the time. When I'm up against a deadline, for example, ALL my correspondence falls by the wayside. My visits to online friends disappear. The blog gets one entry a week if that. I'm not available by telephone. AND I usually get sick besides. Some of my friends understand. Some really DON'T. They keep thinking "It'd just take five minutes" but multiply that five minutes times several people and the time just isn't there. I hate it, but it's a fact. So I have to forgive myself and move on. It's hard. I'm not particularly good at forgiving myself.

(2) I have to do a new list of goals. You know why? Really good news. I've achieved all but one of them. WOW... Had to stop and stare at that for a few moments in utter awe. I FRIGGING DID IT! Things I've wanted to achieve my whole life are happening. I'd do the happy dance, but I'm too blasted tired. (See (1) above -- and remember that we had a deadline for Cat for Monday). I heard and read that putting your goals in writing makes you 90% more likely to achieve them. Well folks, wasn't sure I believed it, but it's been working for me. SOOOOOOO the first free time I have (Monday night, I think, after I've sent Cat to Anna at Tor)I'm sitting down and plotting out the next group of goals. Wish me luck!

(3) I can't please everybody all the time. Hell, I can't please MOST of the people most of the time. Which leads to

(4) The best I can do is the best I can do. If I am truly trying my hardest and doing the best work I can, that's all I can ask of myself. Despite the trend of people saying "I gave it 110%" the fact is, 100% is it. That's all she wrote. The rest is hype and bullshit. And frankly, if you're in it for the long term, you need to spend most of your life at 80-90% so that when the real push comes and it's balls to the wall you've GOT 100% to give. Because once you've given everything, it takes a while to recharge.

For example, Cathy asked me an intelligent question yesterday. It required actual thought. My brain acted like a car with a dead battery on a sub-zero morning. It TRIED to turn over, but it sure as **** didn't WANT to start. Eventually I dragged a coherent concept out, but it took a while and it WASN'T pretty. That is because between work, home life and the Cat book, I was at 100% for a long damned time and the bod and the mind have now got to recharge.

So I need a couple of days where I take bubble baths and eat chocolate, read a few good books and play mindless computer games. Maybe I'll haul out the canvases and paints and finally do the paintings I've been wanting to work on. Whatever it takes to recover. Because I NEED to recover.

SO, I apologize here and now to anybody who was offended by the fact that I lost track of them completely over the past few weeks. I really am sorry. I truly couldn't help it. I'll try to do better (and will succeed up until the defacational matter hits the rotary oscillator again). I apologize that the blog has been both sporadic and boring. And if there's any other way in which I've screwed up -- I apologize for it too!

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.



Friday, December 02, 2005


Cie is doing the happy dance. Actually, not quite. Too tired. But MENTALLY I am doing the happy dance.

First, I'm taking a quick break from the physical labor of hauling closed file boxes. But I'm actually getting things in order, which makes me happy.



In case you're wondering why the fuss -- this is the book that was originally the original Sazi book, the one that created the whole world (about a decade or more ago!). But circumstances conspired against it, and it didn't get up for publication until now. Unfortunately, since so many of the things that happen in the other books interact with this, it made writing the timeline REALLY TRICKY as the books overlapped. I think it is a really good book. I'm very proud of it. But OY VEY! So, if there are any mistakes, please be gentle with us. We tried REALLY hard.

And of course there are always the doubts. I am RIDDLED with self-doubt about the writing. What if they hate it? What if it doesn't sell? What if, what if, what if. I tell my inner doubts to shut the h*** up, but they don't listen.

Oh, this weekend also (assuming the second pass of edits doesn't take forever) I am going to pick up all the DC photos. This is a good thing as the stand alone (well, it COULD be the first of a series, but we're not looking at it as one) is going to be partially set there.

I liked DC a lot. I particularly liked the Hamilton Crowne Plaza. GREAT service. Nice folks. It was absolutely worth it to me! I'm not used to traveling and they made me very comfortable!

Well, life awaits. Break is over. Back to the old heave ho of vile (OOPS FILE) boxes.

Have a great weekend.