Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Buenos Nuevo Anos (Correct as needed including tilde)

Happy New Year!

Wow, the year went faster than I can even begin to convey. I mean . . . WOW.

The reason the greeting in the heading is in my abyssimal version of Spanish is that I am, at the moment, indulging in a Margarita. This is because I promised the folks at Waldenbooks I'd raise a glass in toast to them.

You see, as of 1/24 their store is closing, and as of 1/31 the merchandise unsold will be boxed and sent back.

It is a serious bummer and the end of an era.

This is the Waldenbooks that was the first to acknowledge us in the area, to treat us like real "authors" and not red-headed-step-children because of what we write. They took phone orders. They did up very nice signings. They actually kept our books in stock as local authors and presented us to people buying paranormal books.

So I am raising one or two glasses in their honor in the safety of my own home, in the company of my puppydog and pussycats.

Also, in toast to the folks at the local IGA whose store closed ABRUPTLY on the night of the 27th of December. I don't think they even got any warning.

And to everyone else who has lost their job. The economy sucks. I am sorry. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

But enough gloom and doom. I do not want to start the year with weeping and wailing.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Good Job Folks.

Good job on the limerick. I'm not even going to contemplate what's in that bucket! LOL

Let's see. The holiday weekend is winding down. Will be headed back to the day job tomorrow. Got Cathy the website. Of course she's going to make changes, but that's part of the process.

My new photo is copyrighted to Timothy Klein and I purchased rights for use on our website. It's absolutely gorgeous and I'm only showing it off here for a couple days with acknowledgement to him because I (a) love it; and (b) am hoping it will bring me good luck as to getting back to Denver.

I fixed the back fence, so that Lucky the Wonder Dog can get more exercise. She's been MUCH happier since. :)

Periodically people ask for a list of the books, thus far. Since the website is currently under revision (but OHHHHHH so close to finished -- I hope) . . .

Road to Riches: The Great Railroad Race to Aspen, Western Reflections Publishing.

THE SAZI BOOKS (All through Tor/Forge Publishing):
Hunter's Moon
Moon's Web
Captive Moon
Howling Moon
Moon's Fury
Timeless Moon
And, COMING IN AUGUST, 2009, the return of Tony Giodone in Cold Moon Rising.

THE THRALL/KATE REILLY SERIES (All through Tor/Forge Publishing):
Touch of Evil
Touch of Madness
Touch of Darkness

There are also lots of short stories in anthologies, and articles and such, but you'll have to wait for the webpage for those, because I don't have the patience to list them here. ADD strikes again (OOOOOH SHINY!!!)

OKAY, a bit of useless trivia for those of you who are into such things. This is also known as Cie being . . . well . . . Cie.

FIRST -- Much to Cathy's frustration, until an appropriate title was come up with for the third Thrall book, Cie privately referred to it as . . . "Touch of Oregano."

A friend called down to the bookstore and asked us to autograph books for him (which we are always glad to do), he told the clerk to have me "Write something really cool." Swear to you, the first (and only thing) that came to mind was "Ice Cube."

And now we're off and running for another day. Thinking about Jim made me remember that I haven't heard from him in forever. I think I'll pop back by The Werewolf Cafe and check up on him.



Friday, December 26, 2008

Let's Play!

Okay guys, I'm feeling playful. I also want to see if anyone is stopping by. (And thank you to all those who have commented so far). Here's the game I suggest. It's called build me a limerick. I start. Then one comment after another you add on until we have at least the semblance of a bad joke.

We'll start with the traditional. . . .

There once was a man from Nantucket . . .

Thursday, December 25, 2008



It's Christmas day and I am very happy. For one, I've actually had time to unwind today. Talked to a bunch of people I love on the telephone, but generally had a nice, quiet day. I know there are folks that think that's pathetic. So be it. Their loss. I spend so much of my time running around in high gear that I truly love getting the chance to just BE for a little bit.

The animals are all well and happy. The elder cats are old enough now that I know I don't have too much more time with them, so I am very glad to have another holiday. How old? Best I can calculate, Algonquin is something close to 20. For a cat that's past ancient. Bacchus is not as old, but we got him as an adult, and I'm not sure how old he was then. And he's male, which gives him a shorter life span. But while I'm having to go get them the special cat food periodically (for anorexic cats -- did you know there WERE anorexic cats? I didn't, but there you go.), they're hanging in there.

Lucky the Wonder Dog is well and feeling frisky enough to be demanding my attention when I'm trying to type. I've fixed the hole in the fence, so for the past two days she's been able to run in the back yard. I'm really glad, because she's needed the exercise. I've been in too much pain to give her the twice daily walks that she really needs.

Widget the kitten is old enough to need to have his "BIG" vet appointment. Had it scheduled, but he wouldn't cooperate. You have no idea how elusive a formerly feral kitten can be in a house filled with nooks and crannies. Since I didn't have all day to wait him out (I had to be at the day job that day) he got a temporary reprieve. Only temporary though.

James is doing well. The website is revised and on a jump drive to take to Cathy (who I hope will like it!), and I have put all of my deadlines for book stuff into the calendar.

THAT was scary. If next year goes as fast as this one did I'm going to be frantic with all the stuff that's due. But frantic in a good way. After all, a writing career has been my dream since I first picked up a picture book. How cool is it that I actually GET to? VERY cool.

Well, gotta run.

I hope you all have/had the holiday you dreamed of.



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Not-Quite Christmas

Happy holiday, of whatever your flavor. Since I'm a Catholic, mine's Merry Christmas!

I got off early from the day job today and came home and have been working to fix the issues with the website. I THINK it's done. I THINK. WOOT!! I will give the jump drive to Cathy on Friday to see if she can get it to upload, or if we're going to have to try to translate softwares. Keep your toes crossed. Fingers are for typing!

Tomorrow is going to be quiet for me. I'm not going to visit any of the relatives. I've spent my travel wad by job interviewing and visiting my mum when she was sick. Just as well. I need to rest. Symptoms have been acting up. Besides, there's writing to be done.

Anyway, today I am happy. I'm not going to question that too much. Just enjoy it.

Everybody take care.


Sunday, December 21, 2008


I got it done. I did. And it looked GOOD. ALL of it. From the main page to the sub pages to the SUB SUB pages it worked. The links worked. Everything.

Then I loaded it onto the jump drive and was going to take it to Cathy. Exhausted, but doing the happy dance (VERY slowly).

THEN I did something dumb.

I decided to check it.



It didn't work properly. Somehow or another it lost all of the cute little things we paid Calaban for (which I will now have to recreate so that they DO translate) and there were font weirdnesses (which is actually a fairly easy fix, but @#*$#$@ IT ANYWAY).

THIS is why I don't learn and do tech routinely. This right here. The frustration. YES I can learn it. I'm even pretty good at it. But it takes time I don't have and leads to the kind of frustration that drives my blood pressure into the red zone.

But I am stubborn/determined. It needs to be done. Needs to be done NOW. So I will take my Sunday off that I earned, then I will get up obscenely early and I will fix it. And I will check it to make sure it STAYS fixed, then I will give it to my business partner who WILL like it (I hope), and we will get the @#$*&@#$ thing LOADED where it WILL work and not need to be re-done because of some freaking software glitch. SO THERE! RAWR!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Okay, I'm pooped. Really, seriously, oh BOOOOOOY am I pooped.

BUT, the draft of the website is done. There will be tweaking. Of course there will be tweaking. I mean, I didn't have a list of all of our short stories and anthologies in front of me and I KNOW there are more of them. I know we want to add some just for the website short stories as well. And I didn't have on hand the first chapter of either the upcoming book in February for the sample chapter, or for the Tony book coming out in August. Oh, and if we're going to use the new covers on the Sazi books I need to add those too. But the pages, and the subpages and the links are DONE. I worked my fuzzy little TAIL off. The animals are being raging pains in the patootie because all I've done all day is sit at the computer and not pay attention to them. But it is DONE.

I'd done a lot of it before, had the basic format done. BUT there was a lot more left than I thought, and it became a sequential vortex as I went along. But, I am NOT going to give myself a hard time. I am just going to put the silly files onto a jump drive so that Cathy can look at them and make changes. (Her internet provider is down AGAIN). Then I am going to my well deserved rest. I will clean my drains, my house, and color my hair in the morning. For tonight I'm SOOOOOOOO done.

Let's just hope the whole thing uploads properly and I don't have to convert it to another kind of software.

No. I won't think of that. THAT is the stuff of nightmares.



Stuff to Do

Hi all!

Just taking a minute out to update the blog. Thing is, there isn't all that much to say. Need to write. Need to get the house clean (it's disgusting). Need to get my budget balanced and all of my paperwork sorted. Need to get the revised website to Cathy so we can make revisions and get the @&#$*$@# thing up.

Ah, the website. If you've been following the blog for about a YEAR now, you know that it is an ongoing issue. You see, like virtually every other author we know who has tried to get their website worked by an outside source, we got burned a bit. Not a LOT, and I'm not even sure it was the guy's fault. His life fell apart. And YES I know there are LOTS of reputable people who do that sort of thing, but they're hard to find, and they're BUSY. It's time consuming. And, more likely than not, more expensive than I can afford right now. And now it needs to happen NOW. So I'm going to try again.

Wish me luck.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thanks to All

Thanks to all who responded to the post -- and HI YO!!!

Okay, with that said, I am not really ready for Christmas. Yes, I've done my shopping (but no wrapping or mailing, which I've GOT to do). But the real thing is that I'm NOT READY for it to BE Christmas. As in, "Holy CRAP, it's DECEMBER, I mean MID-DECEMBER? What happened to summer, and fall and all those months since, I dunno MARCH?"

Panic. Utter panic. I must be over the hill because I'm definitely gaining momentum!

Today the animals have been a pain in the patootie. I love 'em, but they are SERIOUSLY getting into mischief, causing messes, interfering with anything even remotely resembling work. UGH.

Speaking of which. Lucky the Wonder Dog wants back in. NOW.

Gotta run.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Business as Unusual

Hi Guys! Thanks for stopping by and please keep posting comments.

I'm very slowly getting back up to strength and speed. Starting to be able to think creatively again. Staying up past 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. (Yeah, you read that right. When I've got symptoms I sleep. When it was bad a few years ago I wound up out for 18-20 hours and couldn't work. It isn't that bad any more [Thank God -- REALLY], but part of that is because I know the lead-in symptoms now and try to nip it in the bud.)

This is a VERY good thing. Aside from the obvious (I mean, who really wants to be sick, right?), I'm able to get back to doing more than just the day job. Since we just got offered a wonderful deal that involves me -- well -- um -- actually WRITING BOOKS this is a very good thing indeed.

I made a somewhat momentous decision (I think. But understand that I could always change my mind.) If I'm going to get everything I need to get done, done, and Cathy is going to get everything SHE needs to get done, done (which wouldn't happen if she was trying to cover for me because I'm not completely back up to speed), we are going to need some part-time help. So I contacted someone I know and trust, who was in search of a little bit of part-time work, and tentatively hired him on as my personal assistant. I told him on the phone the job description involved "shovelling all of the crap that keeps me from being able to actually write." In follow up e-mails (two, because Inkspot the Infamous decided he wanted to lay on the keyboard and send the first before I was done.) I explained in more detail.

I'm nervous as heck about this. It's a big commitment. But we've got good money coming up next year, and a little bit of it is coming for the on-pub payment for "Magic's Design" in January/February. Yes, there's LOTS of stuff I could spend it on, (and will, including going to RT for those of you who are interested.) but he's working for a VERY reasonable rate, and . . . well, I made the decision damn it, I need to let it go. I'll put a chunk of the money into a new bank account for payroll (enough for his estimated pay for the year and a couple of bonuses, which I can only do because he's being VERY reasonable) and that will be that.

Cathy and I are, indeed going to RT again. I've not been travelling much other than to try to move to Denver and for a family emergency. That has got to change. We need to get out there and actually SEE people. Besides, we're nominated for a couple of BIG awards, and I want to go and show my support. (I also hope we'll win. Keep your toes crossed, fingers are for typing.)

I'm a little bummed about a couple of personal things. First, I'm still in Texas. Texas is lovely country, but I am not cut out for small town living. But the economy does, indeed, sucketh pond scum covered rocks. I'm not giving up, but it's harder than I'd like.

Second, I've lost track of a number of friends. I've tried contacting them and they're not getting back to me. Which means they are probably truly lost. Always sad, that. But true friendship is a bond between two people where they BOTH want it. So there it is. And no, generally speaking, absence does not make the heart grow fonder (at least not if it goes on for very long at all). It tends to make the heart go find somebody to make it feel better. And life truly does go on. It was designed that way so that we could survive death of loved ones and other heartache. My life has gone on too --- which was why I neglected to stay in touch like I should.

Third, I've kind of lost myself. Okay, this is personal stuff, and maybe I shouldn't post it out here at all, but I don't think many people are reading this anyway, and I think at one point or another everybody's been here, or at least will be.

See, when you are in a new place and you obviously DON'T fit, you kind of hide the rough edges. It's the same sort of thing you do on a first date. Yeah, you're "you" but you're not the same "you" you usually are. Maybe you're language is a little better. You're certainly dressed a little better, or have your hair and/or make-up done in a more flattering (and time-consuming) manner. But after a while you start "letting your hair down" and being yourself. Only I haven't. Not really. And the times I've tried haven't gone all that well.

"You have a TATTOO?!!!" (expression of utter horror/disgust).
"Yeah, I got it for my 40th birthday." (which means it wasn't even a youthful indiscretion! Oh, the horror!)

Or the time I wore my leather biker jacket to walk the dog, and the little old man down the street nearly drove his truck into a tree.

Or the sweet, truly lovely and well-meaning, people who have come up to me to say that they are seriously concerned about the state of my soul because of the type of books I write.

Okay guys. It's been almost five years. I'm done. Toasty. Crispy critters done. I've made a few (emphasis on the FEW) friends, but even those I have to be careful around. For me, part of friendship is NOT having to always be so careful any more.

I wanna stop being on my first date. I wanna go home and be ME. ALL of me. I don't always want to be NICE and acceptable. I don't WANT to iron my jeans, and ALWAYS wear make-up. If I want to blast AC/DC "Highway to Hell" on my stereo I want to do it and NOT worry about somebody being mortally offended. I've lost track of big chunks of who I am and I want them back.

Cathy says I should just do it. Be who I am, and to hell with it. But there are consequences to that. And the point is that I want to be ACCEPTED for who I am. I want to RELAX, not have to be watching my back. Which I would. Carefully. Because I'm just a wee bit paranoid by nature.

So I hang on. But I'm REALLY hoping to move back to the city. Sooner is better.

NOTE TO THE WISE -- I just about deleted the rant part of this post. Sanitized it. Because, I don't want to offend anyone who might stop by.

But I'm not going to. Like I said. Crispy critters.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Hi Yolanda! (Waves vigorously)


Thanks for popping by. I never hear from anybody any more. My own fault. I've not been online as much and kept in touch. Basically because of deadlines, depression and various other d words. BAAAAAD Cie! Bad girl!

I am back from visiting Denver. The news is, as usual mixed. The semi-bad news is, I turned down the job before it was even offered. It was a "career" not a job. The kind of career that routinely takes 12-14 hour days. If that career is your goal in life, you go for it, because it's a great opportunity. But my writing is my career. So I need a good, solid 8-hour a day job with benefits. With the commute it ends up being between 10-11. Which still gives me a little time to write. 12-14 with commute would be 13-16 hours. I'd be too pooped to even sit at the keyboard. So while the employer was lovely, I had to say no. Which was harder than it sounds because I WANT TO GO BACK TO DENVER!

The good news is that Tor made us a lovely contract offer. We are accepting it. And I need to get started. Deadlines loom, etc. The money is such that I am feeling actually fairly secure. A very good thing.

I would write more, but Inkspot the infamous is doing his "oooh, it clicks" thing about the keyboard along with the "PET me, you KNOW you love me, PURRRRRR." It makes typing . . . awkward. So I'll move on. Best always. Please stop by again, and leave comments. I get lonely.