Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Morning Trivia

Wow, I REMEMBERED. I know, I know, this shouldn't be a big thing. But I've driven myself past the point of exhaustion on this book. Second pass is close to finished, but NOT DONE. ARGH!!! My body is not liking me, and it's taking it out on the memory functions.But it's going to be over soon. ALMOST done.

ANYWAY, on to trivia. What was Carlton's nickname for Tom in the Thrall books Touch of Madness and Touch of Darkness?E-mail answers to .

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial

We arrived just as they were opening the doors to the reception, and filed in with everybody else. I'd chosen my dress very carefully. It was an electric blue number that I'd bought back when I thought I might actually get a partner I could do things like go clubbing with. It was really too . . . well just too . . . for a wedding, cut down to here and slit up to there as it was. But it was perfect for hiding a knife sheath a la Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and I really did hope to do some dancing.

I was drawing a lot of attention. Women were gasping. Men were staring. Georgie was very quietly beaming. He liked the dress. Blue is his favorite color. My phone told me so.

Did Georgie dance? An excellent question. I'd have to ask him when we got to our table.

We chose a table right up front where everyone at the head table could see me. The groom goggled. The bride choked badly enough that the grooms mother had to pat her on the back and they were dabbing champagne off of her dress. Aw darn. Being a gentleman, Georgie held and then scooted in my chair for me, and he didn't even peek down at my cleavage when he did. I hung the little blue bag with my cell phone in it off of the back of my chair, and set about making polite conversation while shifts of uniformed waiters began moving among the tables pouring water, delivering bread and then the meal.

I turned at the sound of a polite cough. My boss was standing just behind Georgie. Her expression unreadable.

"Would either of you happen to know where my assistant might be? Man by the name of Cail. He can be dreadfully annoying, but he is somewhat indespensible, and quite efficient."

"Oh, I'm sure he'll be along . . . " I smiled, and hoped it wasn't too predatory. This was, after all, the boss. ". . . eventually. He wasn't feeling all that well when I saw him last."

"Oh, how unfortunate." Her eyes darkened and there was a dangerous purring quality to her voice. "But he will recover?"

Georgie fielded that one. "It'll take a few days, but he should be fine."

She turned, actually looking at him for the first time. Her eyes widened. She glanced from him, to me, and back to him, her expression growing more thoughtful with each look.

"I'm afraid we haven't met. I'm Jo's boss, I run the Academy."

"I know."

"And you?"

"This is Georgie. He's my friend, and my escort." It was polite and the truth, but it didn't tell her what she wanted to know. I watched her eyes narrow slightly, and her smile widen.

"Jo," she turned to me and paused, phrasing the next question very carefully. "How has your cell phone been working since Georgie has been around. Getting good reception?"

Even if Georgie knew about earth and various other things he might not know about that. But she was underestimating him. People do.

I thought about her question before I answered. Actually I'd been getting very good reception. Instead of coded garbage, she'd been giving me straightforward, honest, input. That would only happen if the mage I was partnered with was actually cooperating. Cerise obviously wasn't.

The implications hit me, and I turned to Georgie, who was actually beaming.

"George, are you a mage?" She asked it flat out.

He grinned, eyes sparkling. "Yes ma'am."

"Do you, by any chance know anything about earth?"

He nodded sagely.

"George has been studying pop culture." I provided.

"And weapons." He added.

I thought about the explosives and gave a small shudder. Yes, definitely weapons.

"Really?" She smiled then fired a pop reference at him -- "Beverly Hills . . ."

"That's where I wanna be. Gimme Gimme. Living in Beverly Hills. Weezer."

She blinked, it wasn't the reference she'd been looking for, but it was absolutely accurate. I was thrilled. He'd been listening to Weezer. I LOVE Weezer. Woot.

"The Glock 9 millimeter. . ."

"Is actually my favorite of the handguns." George started to reach beneath his jacket, stopping at my slight shake of the head. We wanted to shock people. We didn't want to terrify them. George with a gun, pretty terrifying, even under the best circumstances. Still, he was getting ready to tell her everything there was to know about it when the groom stood behind the main table and began tapping the champagne glass with a knife to make it ring like a bell, getting everyone's attention.

"Hello everyone. Thank you for coming and helping us celebrate. Before we get started, there's an announcement I'd like to make. Jo, I'm particularly glad you're here,"

Really, his wife wasn't. I was absolutely sure of that. If looks could kill, I'd have been incinerated as slowly and painfully as she could manage. I must really look good.

"I've been offered an embassy job on the far fringes. I've asked Cerise to give up her job so that we can be together." He gave her a smitten look. She smiled over at him. "She's agreed. So, Jo, I'm afraid you're out a partner."

I did not cheer. I didn't. It took great strength of wil not to dance in the aisles for sheer joy, but training and willpower won out. My "cell phone," however, showed no such restraint. It wiggled out of my purse, dropped to the floor and began transforming, into a huge shaggy Golden Retriever.

Smiling, I rose to my feet. Raising the glass of excellent champagne we'd been provided I looked from George, to my boss, to the bigwigs at the main table. "I'd like to propose a toast."

Everyone lifted their glasses, waiting to hear what I had to say. My boss shot me a warning look. Cerise squirmed, wondering what I would do; knowing I was capable of saying pretty much anything.

"To the future." I smiled at George. At my feet I felt the thump of a fringed tail, the warmth of a furry body leaning into my legs.

"The future."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

3 Minutes and Counting

3 Minutes and Counting

I have precisely 3 minutes before I'm due back at the day job. I'm having a crappy day and am utterly exhausted. OY.BUT I WILL PREVAIL. The book is progressing. It actually IS a book. And there has been good news I can't talk about going on in the background. So I just have to hang in there.

Take care everyone. Don't be surprised if you don't hear much from me. Of course I often say that and then manage to squeeze in a quick post.



Tuesday, August 25, 2009


To show you how deep I am in this book. Yesterday was Monday. I didn't even notice. My head was so far in the re-write that I spent the entire day (except for lunch, which was a business meeting) writing. I'd write 'til I was exhausted, take a short nap, and write some more. So, um, oops. No trivia this week. Sorry!

If it makes you feel any better, the book gets turned in soon and life should come closer to normal.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Second Pass

Okay, different writers have different ways of doing things.

I draft.

My first draft is rough. It's where I find out what the plot is going to be, where the characters are going development wise, and generally just "gets me there." It is the skeleton of the story. This is why I fret so much about the Serial. Without a second pass and edits, it's a little rough around the edges and I don't get to go back and "fix" things, insert clues and generally polish.

On the other hand, it does give you (a) a story; and (b) a feel for what pre-edit work can look like. At least that's what I tell myself. LOL.

The second pass is where the "meat" gets added, descriptions, backstory, clues for foreshadowing, etc. A lot of the "tone" comes in on this pass. Books I'm primary on typically gain a third to half their length in the second pass. That's how much gets added. Cathy, on the other hand, is a "one pass" kind of gal. She puts it all in the first time. Wish I could. There are times during the first draft and even in the second pass that I despair of it ever becoming a book and have what my son refers to as "STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER" moments---moments when I think it's all dreck and I am tempted to just hit the delete key. He could always tell when he lived here just when I was about to hit that wall and he'd say the above and convince me to take a day off. It always helped. The book was never as bad as I thought it looked in those dark moments.

Edits are the "skin and hair." They make it look like a real book.

Copy edits are the make-up, clothes, and accessories. They get the novel "ready for an evening out."

So Book 2 of the Blood Singer series is going in for the second pass over the next few days. I usually like to let a book sit for a few days before I do a second pass, let my head clear so I see it fresh. But we're already on an extension and there just isn't time. But I've been around this block a fair few times now. I won't hit the delete key.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Well Done to Toasty

First -- Jim085, hope you're hanging in there. I'm thinking of you.

Second -- THE FIRST DRAFT OF THE BOOK IS DONE!! Yeah, it's really rough, and short. But they always are. I'm taking a little (very little) time off so that I can look at it with fresh eyes and do the second pass before sending it off to Cathy in the middle of next week. OY I'm TIRED.

But it's DONE. And I'm POOPED.

And thanks to everybody for the nice comments thus far on the various sites for the Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial. Lots of answers and possible wrap up of this story next Saturday.

And I like Georgie.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial

Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial

Good Morning --I will have you know that I'm having a seriously hard time trying to "switch gears" away from Celia and to Jo this morning. I'm right at the climax of the book. This is one of those times when "writing without a net" is really tricky. Usually, in a book or short story you've got several edit passes to catch problems. Here, there's just me and my admittedly faulty first run.But here goes.


Georgie set explosives with a timer on the gate. It blew after we were through, and before any pursuers could get to us. It was more than a little alarming, him running around with explosives in his pocket. Useful as hell. But still alarming.

The gate didn't dump us in the yard next to my rooming house this time. Instead, we came out by the doors of a 24 hour drug store a couple of miles away. Which is how Georgie got the opportunity to experience public transportation.

He liked it.

Go figure.

"So, tell me about this partner of yours." Georgie reclined on the worn vinyl of the back seat of the bus. He was taking up enough room for several people, but no one complained. They took one look at him, shifted nervously, and kept their distance--casting the occasional covert glance, to be safe. Not that he'd done anything. He hadn't. And he was dressed well, too. It was a nice suit. Off the rack, but not cheap, it fit him well. He hadn't bothered with a tie. Probably just as well. I'm not sure the collar of his shirt was big enough to fasten around his neck without choking him. Still, even in a nice suit, he just had this presence of contained menace. Truth in advertising.

I told him. His reaction was predictable. "An' you put up with this shit?"

"It was better than going back to the Snake."

"Good point." We weren't speaking English, which earned us a couple of long looks. Until Georgie looked back. At which point we were pointedly ignored.

"So, what's the plan?"

"I take you back to my place."

That earned me a speculative look---which I immediately quashed with a look of my own. Still, he was smiling, his eyes sparkling with mischief.

"I'm supposed to be going to a wedding today." I looked out the bus window, and tried to figure the time based on the sun's angle. "Oh crap. I think I missed it."

"From what you were saying, doesn't sound like you missed much."

"Not really. But there's going to be political blowback for it." I sighed. "Maybe I can make it to the reception."

"Wasn't like you had a choice."

True. But that wasn't going to score me points with the political bigwigs. They didn't like that I had a past. They certainly wouldn't appreciate its coming back to bite me. I didn't tell him that, though. He'd get insulted, think I was ashamed of my past. I'm not. Which is one of the big reasons I get in so much trouble with the brass. They think I should be. I figure they're asses to think it and move on.

We reached our stop and disembarked. Georgie thanked the driver with a cheery wave. I could actually see the collective sigh of relief as we stepped to the curb. People.

It was a short walk to the boarding house, and a long three flights of stairs up to my apartment. I didn't mind. I'm in good shape, and my bedroom has a turret that gives me a panoramic view of the city. Nice.I knew there was somebody waiting for me long before I made it to the top of the stairs. So did Georgie. Being even more paranoid (and prepared) than I, he pulled a 9mm Glock from under the suit jacket, holding it discreetly against his pant leg, but with the safety switched off.

I nodded to George to cover me, and stepped out into the open to be greeted by my boss's assistant, Cail, dressed to the nines and feeling pissy. "Where have you been? I cannot believe you have the gall to miss the wedding. Have you no sense of propriety at all. Are you trying to annoy the heads of all three families? Because if you are, you're doing a fine job of it." I signalled that I was okay, and Georgie switched on the safety and put away his gun, stepping out of the shadows of the stairwell and into the hall.

"Who is this bozo?" Georgie asked.

"Who are you is a better question." Then to me. "Tell me you aren't stupid enough to have continued your association with . . ." he gave Georgie a look of distaste, "the criminal elements."

He wasn't frightened in the slightest. Which goes to show just how much of an idiot he could be. "You are going into that apartment, getting yourself presentable, and with me to the reception right now."


"Excuse me. Did that sound like a question to you? Because I assure you it wasn't."

Georgie was beginning to glower. I don't do a good glower. But I was losing my patience. Rapidly. It'd been a rough couple of days, and snobs like Cail just irritate the hell out of me.

"You are not going to humiliate your partner and tarnish her stellar reputation in a fit of pique."

That ticked me off. "Oh, so it's fine for her to humiliate me every chance she gets, but I'm supposed to play nice because she's got a 'reputation' to protect."

He gave me a smug look. "Precisely. I'm glad you finally understand the implications."

George hit him. Hard and fast, three times in rapid succession. Cail was down and out faster than you could say prissy asshole.

"Thank you Georgie."

"My pleasure. Really." He imitated Cail's voice perfectly on the last word, and it made me laugh.

Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out my apartment key. Stepping over Cail's unconscious form without so much as a glance, George walked into my apartment and started taking a good look around. I stepped aside, waiting for the verdict.

"Nice. I like it. And with enough of a view you can see most trouble before it gets too close."

I smiled. I'd honestly found myself hoping he liked it.

"So, you gonna go to the reception or blow it off?"

I gave him a wicked grin. "That would depend."

His eyebrows shot up. "On?"

"Mostly on you. Do you feel up to irritating the hell out of a couple hundred snobs?"

He gave me a bland smile and a deadpan reply. "You do know how to show a guy a good time."

Friday, August 21, 2009

I'm THIS Close . . .

I'm THIS close . . .
Okay, I got to blow up a plane today in the book. Tomorrow I should be able to finish the first draft. Monday beefing up and checking up revisions before it goes to Cathy for her edit pass. YAY. Tired, but it's a good tired.

DUMB observation -- Do you ever see these folks wearing the high fashion stuff and wonder if they actually feel like idiots in it, and they're pulling a 'tude to compensate or so everybody doesn't guess?

I'm serious. Saw the picture of the female rapper in skin tight pleather underwear and a kind of cross between a bustier and a jacket with big fluffy faux fur lapels and I'm going. Okay -- is she going to be freezing in winter because she goes out in the underwear, or roasting in summer with the faux fur, or is she just trying to dress for any eventuality? And ohmiGOD would you look at the shoes? Can anyone actually WALK in those? Particularly when they're wearing black mirrored shades (possibly at night?)?

I don't have the body to pull that sort of thing off, but even if I did. No. Just, so, no.

Same with some of the stuff on the catwalks. I look at it and go, You have GOT to be kidding me. And you want me to pay WHAT? Unh unh. Nowaybaby.

So, I guess I've gotten old, and am a stick in the mud. I used to wear the 3 and 4 inch heels when I was young. It's how I got my bunions.

Up Before the Birds

Up before the birds again. I know this because the pair on my porch look up when I go out in the dark before dawn then look at each other as if saying "She's nuts" before going back to sleep.

Stress sucks, but I am SOOOOOOO close to the end now. Starting to get that adrenaline rush that gives you that last push to finish. Then, like the distance runners they show on TV, you just flat collapse.


Cie/C.T. Adams

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Shannon? Wherefore art Thou Shannon?

1) I hope your little one's fine after her fall at the firehouse.

2) I need your address to send you your fedora. Please e-mail it to me at with JOHNNY DEPP AND THE ORDER OF THE FEDORA in the RE.



Up and at 'em

4:16 a.m. Up and at em. So close to the end of the draft. So CLOSE. And dammit, last night my mouse died. By the time I went to the store and got another I was pooped and had to go to bed. (See insomnia from yesterday). But the pages don't write themselves. The deadline is LOOMING and there are other things I need to move on to. So I'm up before the birds trying to accomplish something.



Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Insomnia Strikes Again

Insomnia strikes again. I know I'll be sorry for it later today. But sleep is a distant memory. So I'm going to go ahead and do my walking and my writing.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Up and at it.

Okay, up and at it.

Book is rolling inexorably to its conclusion. Made real progress yesterday but had to quit because exhaustion made my mind go blank. Went backward to plant a clue in the early book. A lot of times that happens. As the book unwinds you get new ideas, have to beef up things drop clues so that it all makes sense in the end and the reader gets that "AHA!" moment. The trick of course is not to drop such OBVIOUS hints that everybody knows the whole thing and it's predictable.

Balance, balance, balance.

Okay, back at it.Ellece, hope you liked the anipix I sent you. They have a LOLcat thread on Jim Butcher's forum and I saw them there and thought of you. :)


Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Morning Trivia

Okay guys. Gotta get writing. SO, short and sweet.

In Moon's Web what did Aspen Monier do to humiliate Ahmad?

And for a bonus point:

What did Lucas do to celebrate?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial

Good morning. I'm tired, I'm grumpy. But I'm ready to roll. Hope you are :) .

WHEN LAST WE LEFT OUR INTREPID HEROINE she was fleeing with Georgie down the long, narrow hall leading to the Snake's lair. Snake was dead. Luke was the father of Laura's child. (Any GH fans here?). And Laura would be taking over the mob and "cleaning house," starting with Georgie and Jo. IF they got caught.

And now I present -- The Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial


I stopped, listening to hear how far behind us they were. Georgie, on the other hand, stopped for practical reasons. Reaching into his jacket he pulled what looked suspiciously like detcord and a timer from his pocket.

"You just carry that crap around with you?"

He grinned, and for an instant he looked positively boyish. "Yeah. I do."

OOOOOOOkay then. "Snake's been . . . odd . . . for a while." He set up the cord across the hallway and put the timer on it. Never having set up explosives, I had no idea if he was doing it right. It looked right, based on what I've read. But that was in fiction, for my cultural assimilation studies. "It kept getting worse the closer we got to the 10 year mark." He finished what he was doing and took off at a trot. I followed. Quickly. "He'd pick fights with people. Kill 'em slow with a knife. Have 'em dragged out of their sleep to be tortured for no reason at all. Since I've never been the most popular boy in the class I started making sure I was the good boy scout and was always prepared."

"Boy scout? What do you know about the Boy Scouts?" I joked. Before he could answer, the explosion hit. It rocked the building, slamming me against the wall. I tasted blood, smoke and brick dust. "OW."

"Guess we weren't far enough away." He observed, picking himself up off of the floor.

I shook my head in disbelief. "You'd never used it before.""Never needed to. Works like a champ though. Just like the directions said." He started jogging again, setting a good pace, but I was able to keep up.

"It comes with directions?"

"Most things do. And stupid warning labels. What's with that? Are the people on that damned planet really that stupid?"

"Some of them." I admitted. "But why . . ."

He spared me another grin, and this one was bright enough to make my heart go pitty patt -- although maybe that was the jog. I was out of practice.

"You're living there. We've always got along pretty good. I figured as long as I was leaving, maybe I'd check it out. See how I fit in."

I blinked rapidly a few times. He liked me. I didn't know what I thought about that. I mean, I've always liked Georgie. But I never thought of him that way. Maybe I should've.

He laughed, just a low chuckle, but it hinted at naughty things, and I found myself reacting. Now was so not the time, but I was definitely going to be thinking about this.

"Whaddaya think?" He slowed to a stop. The portal was up ahead. But it was unguarded. That wasn't right. No way. Something valuable like that would have a double guard. Because one guy might deside to use it to try to find greener pastures. Both though. Not likely. Unless, of course, they knew Snake was dead. They might not want to work under Laura. I wouldn't.

"There should be guards." We slowed to a stop, and I began examining it carefully. I've never bought a portal. Only used them a few times. The Academy has a few really high-end permanent ones that they use to send us to our assignments. This was smaller, and not nearly as sturdy. No special options, just the base compact model.

"Maybe they bugged out."


"Or maybe it's a trap."

I reached into my jacket pocket and pulled out my 'cell phone.' "You got anything for me."

Earth -- 90210.

Whoever had set up the destination key had a sense of humor.


I like Georgie, it volunteered. Looking over my shoulder he saw that, and grinned again.

"Like you too. Too bad you're not a dog though. Always wanted a dog."

"My partner's allergic." I grumbled. I moved over, checking out the machine, phone still in my hand. When I finally found the destination controls it had a different set of numbers on it entirely. 84318.


You don't want to go there. You REALLY don't want to go there.

So, that was the trap. Finding it made me feel better. "Fine, how do I change the setting?"

"Partner?" Georgie used an inflection. He also had this really odd expression on his face.

It was my turn to grin. "Not that kind! Even if I was, which I'm not. HER? So no. Besides, she's allergic."

"Oh." Relief. He was relieved. Which was just flattering as hell, even if I did hear sounds of people digging through the rubble in the distance.The phone in my hands shocked me a little. Just enough to get my attention.

We don't have time for that now. They're almost here. Pay attention!

"Yes Ma'am." And the directions on how to set the portal destination flashed onto the screen.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fair to Partly Cloudy/Rant

Life is not "fair." Anyone who told you it is, lied.

But that is not necessarily a bad thing. If we all got what we deserved it would be really spectacularly horrible. Because even the best people in the world have their "moments." Times when they are selfish, harsh, judgmental or whiny, stupid and aggressive, or, well you get my drift.

When my son was young I told him: (1) Nobody's good at everything. You're terrific at A, but someone else is better at B or C and it takes all kinds to keep the world running. (2) One skill is not necessarily"better" than the other, even though society may value it more. For example, I may not want to be a plumber, but I am damned fond of indoor plumbing. Ditto for garbage collection.

Why is this coming up? Because I read a spectacular book until late. Because I looked at the portfolio of an artist who did the cover work for our Thrall series (I used to be an art major. I quit because I'm not in the league of folks like him. I've always wanted to be. But I have a hard-working "B" talent at art at best, when I am in practice and have plenty of time. Neither of which is happening now. My talent for that is never gonna be an "A" let alone an "A+". Wish it would. Isn't going to happen.)

BUT I have creativity. I can make things up in my mind and bring them to the real world. Whether it's designing clothes. (Tried that. Would give it a C.) Building things like furniture (Design A-, execution D), or writing. (JACKPOT!)

I am not as good of a writer as I will be in the future. But I am a MUCH better writer than I was when I started. You practice. You read. You listen to the professionals and figure out why they are saying what they are. You learn what works and what doesn't. But I have a talent for it AND I am willing to work my ass off.

Because that's what they don't tell you. (I did, by the way, inform my son.) All the talent in the world is useless if you're not willing to DO THE FREAKING WORK. Learn the techniques. Pay attention. Get off of the internet (oops. Should I stop in mid-sentence?) and get the words on the page. Study the market, send out the queries, collect the rejections, AND KEEP GOING. There's a place for stubborn persistence. THIS IS IT.

And ultimately, it IS a DO IT YOURSELF. Other people can make suggestions. They can partner with you, discuss the ideas, help you with connections and all of the business and non-artistic bullshitor edit the hell out of it when you've got it down. They can make it workable and possible. But in the end, with painting, designing clothes, writing, whatever, YOU have to DO it. Not just talk about it. DO it.

AND one more thing. There is always "the fun part" and the "not such fun part" to every career. There will be things you love. And things you don't. The things you don't still have to get done. Sorry. (Really, trust me. You should see the sh** I have to get done.) I was whining about my day job once a long time ago and my mother said something both irritating (at the time) and profound.

"That's why they call it WORK and they pay YOU. Otherwise they'd call it FUN and YOU'd pay THEM."

I will never have an A talent in the visual arts. So, I could myself the best B I possibly can and work my ass off at it, and probably never get employed professionally because there are other, more talented folks out there. OR I can play to my strengths and go with the writing. I love the writing, so that's a no brainer, no hardship question.

But it makes me sad because I know (because I've seen it) that there are an untold number of people who desperately want to be professional authors. A lot of them have the talent too. But unless they're willing to put in the work (and not just the butt in chair get words on the damned pages work either), it isn't going to happen for them. And worse, there are the others who want it, who desperately work at it, but it isn't going to happen because the gift just isn't there, or not in enough quantity for them to make it professionally. That's HARSH. And it is NOT FAIR. And I am very very sorry about it. But each individual has to decide every time if they're going to keep trying, keep learning, or give up.

I had a profesional agent tell me flat out that I did not have what it takes. I would NEVER be a professional writer. "Don't give up your day job." I quit for a while. But I couldn't give up. Just COULDN'T. And I discovered that (a) writing is SO subjective; (b) that was one person's opinion, and not the end of the world; (c) I needed to work on my craft; and eventually, (d) HE WAS FREAKING WRONG--SO THERE NAH, NAH, NAH. If I could remember his name and address, I'd send him an autographed copy of every single freaking book we've published. (NOT that I'm a hag or bitter or anything.) If I'd listened to him there would be no Sazi, no Thrall, no new series that I'm loving.

Only you can prevent forest fires.

Only YOU can decide whether or not you want to do this enough to put in the work and try to do this with no guarantees of success. Even people who get published once, don't necessarily have more books in them.

It's up to you.

The ball is in your court.

And that's the way it should be.

But don't ever, ever, expect the process to be "fair."

Again, LIFE IS NOT FAIR. According to KS a very good friend of mine, "It's only slightly fairer than the other alternative."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Le Sigh and Stiletto Spy School

Le sigh. Power went off last night right after my entry. Couldn't write. Read a little. Rested mostly, and cursed the 100(ish) degree high humidity heat when I couldn't even use a fan. UGH. Pity for the animals with FUR. Of course they don't get hot flashes, so maybe that evens it out. I wouldn't know.

I think I've figured out what I'm doing for my 50th birthday. I read an article online about the "Stiletto Spy School." It sounds really, truly, fun. I mean, I SOOOOOOOO want to connect with my inner Bond Villainess. I need to get in better shape, but I'm exercising, and I now have a goal.

SO, while I'm working on that. I have been debating appropriate Bond Villainesque names. Things like E. Z. Rider, and Hun E. Pott come to mind.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Trying to Transition

Trying to transition from day job thinking to creative writing type thinking. Not too successfully. Maybe a drink and dinner will help.

The good news is that I am actually starting to have creative ideas again. I can always tell when the bod is on the fritz, because the idea factory shuts down. Normally I have book and short story ideas pop in my head at a rate of several a day. When they don't, I know the brain is TIRED and the body is sick. I'm still going to have to take it easy for a while, but at least I know that I'm getting better.

Book is selling well. But we could use more. COME ON FOLKS, buy for your friends, your family, strangers on street corners. COME ON, you KNOW you want to. (LOL)

Put in application for a Denver day job I really want, but am not to sure I'm even in the ballpark for. Sad. Bummer. Oh well. Things work out the way they do for a reason. I really do believe that.But keep me in your prayers (assuming you pray. And if you don't, send me good vibes, it can't hurt.).


Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Morning Trivia & Status

Okay, first, I'm better. Not perfect, but better than I was. I'll have to be careful for a bit, because once I've had a bad spell it's easy to keep having them. So I'll be careful. Dammit.

Now for trivia.

For two points -- Name the lead character in the Weather Warden Series. Bonus point if you name the Big High Muckity Muck Djinn.

For FIVE points -- for those of you who've had a chance/couldn't wait with your copy of Cold Moon Rising. Type out the first line that appears on page 98.

As always, send your answers to And don't forget to list all of your aliases. :) (I am particularly partial to the not-to-insulting nicknames.)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Stupid, Stupid and Stubborn

Okay, I have a chronic fatiguing illness. And thyroid problems that feed into it (and vice versa). Stress is not kind to me. So I KNOW better than to push myself. I had already been having symptoms. Getting angry the other day didn't help. (It was useful, but not helpful if that makes any sense). Seeing that someone had stolen my metal glider (antiquish lawn furniture) last night did not help. And then, rather than taking it easy. I decide to drive out of town and look for the book in all the various stores, run errands, and generally work my ass off in 100+ degree heat in a non-air conditioned vehicle.

Now I am so exhausted I can barely move my arms, my tongue isn't working right (I sound drunk when I'm like this). My body is giving out, but my mind is still rushing.


I'm going to lay down with a good book. Hopefully I'll get enough rest tonight and tomorrow to be okay, and that I didn't push my self so much to far that it takes longer. Stupid illness.

Stupid me for being so damned stubborn about ignoring it.


Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial and Stuff

First, the stuff:

Found some boxes mixed in with my moving stuff. It was Rosie Hughes prizes. ARGH!! I thought I mailed those. SO, winners have been notified, received apologies, and I will be heading to the post office this weekend to do some shipping.

Got notified by a posse member that I'd done an OOPS. Those of you who received the iron on transfers will figure it out if you try to use them. I forgot that in ironing them on it comes out backwards if you don't "flip" the image. So your gorgeous Tony Giodone transfers are . . . well, bass ackwards. SORRY! Obviously I'm new to this sort of thing. And here I was so proud of myself.

As long as I'm headed to the post office, I'll probably go ahead and ship out the fedoras. :) Hope you like them.

As I've probably said (ad nauseum) I will be going to FenCon. It looks as though I'm going to Mile Hi Con too. Look for me in the gray fedora with a peacock feather. :) Hat on--approachable. Hat off--strictly business catch me later. ;)

I've hit my stride on the book. (Bout damned time!) So today's installment may be a little short. I've got to get back to it.


When last we left our intrepid (anti?)heroine she was facing down "Snake" a mob boss who's long on cunning and a little short in the sanity department. The floor had cleared, and a fight to the death was about to commence.


Snake was armed. I wasn't. He had me in reach, and maybe even had an edge when it came to speed and experience. But I had him on a couple things too. First, I'm a seer. And while I don't even come close to having perfect control of my gift, under stress it kicks in big time. And you don't get much more stressful than this.

Another advantage to me---training. The Academy trains us in infighting, weapons fighting, and just about everything else they can think of. Because we're going up against infested people who are quite literally "bug nuts," strong as hell, and we need to be able to put them down, and do it quickly. My instructor also told me that we were an investment in time and money, and while they didn't LIKE to lose us personally, they couldn't afford to lose us institutionally.

I knew he was going to lunge before he did it. Waiting until the last instant, I spun out of the way. Using my momentum, I did a high spinning kick, my heel slamming into the area above his left kidney with all the force I could manage behind it.

He went flying forward, grunting from the pain of it. But he hadn't made it to the top of the organization by flipping pancakes. He recovered, and came at me again. But I'd had time to slip off my jacket. The fabric draped loosely down from my grasp as the two of us shuffled in circles, testing each other, looking for the perfect opening.

My back was to the doorway, but I couldn't have bolted, even if I wanted to. Georgie and Lucas stood on either side of the exit. No, I'd have to finish this and take my chances. Still, it was important to know where everybody was, and keep myself as close to the exit as I could manage. If I was good, lucky, or both maybe I'd make it out in the confusion. Probably not. But it was my best shot.

I must have looked distracted, because he came at me again, knife slicing at an upward diagonal that would be hard to block. But I didn't want to block it. That would make me close with him, and I wasn't ready for that quite yet. This time I stepped aside, but I didn't spin. Instead, I flipped the fabric over his arm, grabbed the loose end, twisted and pulled. With his arm trapped and extended, I brought my knee up, hard and sharp, breaking his elbow like a dry twig.

He screamed in pain and rage, and I got a hard cross to the jar from his good arm for my efforts. But his knife arm was useless, and I still had it trapped. In a move my instructor would've been proud of I twisted his arm behind him and gave him a good, hard, shove---right into Georgie and Lucas.

They tried to step out of the way, held out their arms both to catch him and protect themselves.

And it killed him. Because Georgie was wearing my ring.

The poison was nasty. It took time taking effect. And the whole time he was writhing and foaming at the mouth. He lost control of his bowels at the end, too. Typical, but unpleasant. The kid went to get the doc. But he wasn't hurrying. In fact, everybody was weirdly . . . calm. Nobody charged me. No fight for the brass ring. They just watched him die. Very, very strange. Creepy strange.

I decided to pretend it didn't bother me, to act just as calm as they were. "So, now what?"

Lucas gave me calm eyes. "Now Laura's in charge." He turned to Georgie. "You'd better go with Jo. Wasn't your fault, but she's gotta blame somebody. Otherwise people are gonna think she's soft. I'll be okay 'cause of the baby. But you . . . you'd better get movin'. All I can give you is a head start."

Georgie nodded. Bending down, he unwrapped my jacket from where it was still tangled around Snake's arm, stepping over the mess, he gestured to me. I followed as he led me down the hall and back to the gate.

We were halfway there before there were sounds of pursuit.



Thursday, August 06, 2009



Better mood finally. Basically I sat down and figured out what the underlying problem was and tried to address it. May have pissed off other people in turn, but sometimes you have to take action about what is bothering you, or lose all sense of self-worth. There may wind up being negative consequences. But there you go.

I'm not perfect.I will never be perfect.

All I can do is the best I can do.

Temper, Temper

I have a bad temper.

I don't lose it often. It generally takes a while. But I DO have one. Push me far enough and it (and I) get ugly.

I don't want to go there. I try to be nice. I really work at it.

But right at this moment I'm THIS CLOSE to getting really pissed.

So I'm not going to post any more today, and maybe for a couple days after. Because I don't want to go all overkill and say something I'll regret.

Be well. Be happy. I'll get over it eventually. It doesn't have anything to do with any of you.


PS -- I posted this, and an anger management ad popped up on the right side of the screen. Targeted marketing at its finest. Still, it did make me laugh, which is something right now.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa

Okay, first, an apology to LatinLady/Suzette/Miney Moe.

Alas, I am a dufus. I am PARTICULARLY inclined toward dufidity when I am exhausted and/or on deadline. Which I am. SO, I hereby apologize for not making clear that I know who you are. Because I do.


On to other not-as-important things.

I am a blonde again.

Yes, I colored my hair AGAIN. I will be lucky if it doesn't all break off at the roots leaving me looking seriously odd. But there you go. When I'm depressed I color my hair, then cut it, get self-indulgent items (can you say Emily the Strange cat purses, slippers, and so forth? I knew you could.). And then, when I am to the point that my friends start to worry I get one of those professional manicures in deep burgundy red, which is totally self-destructive because while I love it, I can't TYPE with those things on my fingers. Which kind of brings book production to a grinding halt. Now don't panic. I also get manicures when I'm going to a big flashy event that I want to be really dressed up for. So, I'll probably get 'em done for say, the Fairy Ball at RT. May or may not for FenCon, I like it a lot, but it isn't formal, and I'm on deadline.



I LOVE me some Quantum. I really do. SO cool.


Okay, the cats are telling me that life is seriously unfair. I've already fed the dog and NOT them? EXCUSE ME? I don't THINK so! And I should fix dinner. And write. Definitely write.

So toodles.


And I'm really, really sorry Miney.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009



I'm very excited. Really hoping this one does well.


Tammy 13
Charlotte 11
Suzette 4
LatinLady 2
Mindy 1
Toadie 1
Dawnie 3

Mostly the lower totals are because people joined late -- but WELCOME!!! First one to 100 wins the bigger prize, but I'm sure I'll come up with something for others for playing. A disclaimer was posted on the start day that says I'm not responsible for the vaguaries of e-mail, computer, math-errors and whatnot as this is supposed to be fun and I'm posting at o-dark-thirty in the morning. LOL :)

5 points - trivia about our books
2 points - trivia from other books
1 point - general trivia/pop culture.

Everybody is doing very well! Attapeople! Also, be sure to put your name in your post with your answer so that I can credit points accordingly. Most of us seem to have several web aliases and e-mail handles so that it gets a little confusing for those of us with frequent SENIOR MOMENTS. LOL

Okay, gotta go. The books, alas, do not write themselves.


Monday, August 03, 2009


Cold Moon Rising is out tomorrow. If you can buy it the first day/week, please do. The spike in first week sales determines whether or not an author makes the bestseller lists. :)

As to Monday Morning Trivia, I had a question all lined up, and promptly forgot it. OOPS. Senior Moment Strikes Again. So I've made up a new (and regrettably easy) one. Mail your responses to

What is the full name of Wes from both the Buffy and Angel series? (And yes, spelling counts. ;) )

My todo list is a seriously frightening thing this morning, so I'm off and running.

Be good. Be happy.

Cie/C.T. Adams

Saturday, August 01, 2009


Picture 1 -- a very bad pic of the quilt my sister made with a friend of hers in honor of COLD MOON RISING that doesn't come close to doing it justice

Picture 2 the cover of the next Sazi release SERPENT MOON.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Serial

Bowl? Milk? Here we go:

Chapter 3
Never Reason With a Crazy Man

"Hello Jo."

"Snake." I did my best not to stare. The man looked terrible. I mean, he's never been a looker, and the scars that drag from just below his right eye down his throat from the business end of a broken bottle don't exactly enhance, but he always managed to pull off enough of a menacing bad-ass vibe to pull it off.

Now he didn't.

He was emaciated, frail looking, with a fey glint in his dark eyes that spoke of a kind of madness that might actually make him more dangerous. As if he needed it. Had he been eating at all? Maybe not. Most people think poison, they start watching what they eat and drink. But while it's certainly the most obvious means, it's not the only one.

He was sitting at a table in the middle of the room, staring down at something. It took me a minute to realize what it was. A Ouija board. A freaking ouija board? Wow. Okay. He'd lost it. I mean, the Ouija boards aren't really considered to work reliably back on earth. What in the hell made him think it would do any better here where nobody believes in ghosts at all?
"Bout time you got here." He scooted his chair away from the table, turning to face me.

I didn't answer. There wasn't anything I could say.

"Laura's pregnant."

Laura was his mistress. She was as beautiful as he was ugly, and just as lethal. The fact that the two of them had actually bred was seriously terrifying, but I smiled and said "Congratulations," like a good little lackey.

"I want to live to raise my kid. You're going to tell me how to do that."

He was serious. Great.

"Give up the life, get off planet, live in a monastery?"

He growled, a gutteral, menacing sound that made all of his "boys" come on alert, their hands hovering close to their various weapons.

I tried to make him see reason "Seriously snake, I don't make the future, I just see it. You knew when you got into this line of work that none of us live to see old age."

He smiled, and it sent shivers down spine.

"True. But if I'm going, you're going first." The boys must have been expecting that. Or maybe they'd been through this before, because as a unit they began shifting furniture out of the way, and moving to stand along the walls, giving us fighting room. Bizarre. What in the hell had been going on around here since I left?

"I don't want to fight you Snake." I really didn't. Because even if I won, I'd lose. If he didn't kill me, his men would. I'd be the first person they'd take out in the scramble to take over the business.

He smiled, and it was pure evil. "Then tell me what I want to hear."

"I can't do that."

"Then we dance."