Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my Mom's birthday.  I will call her later and wish her a happy one.  I love her very much.

A part of me is considering wearing something funky to work, but it's a pretty conservative place, so I probably won't.  Sigh.

Depression is a very insidious thing.  It sneaks up on you, putting you to sleep, keeping you immobile, until you've lost touch with everything and don't even much care.  Life keeps moving on irregardless. 

I am trying hard to get back on track.  But I run out of energy and give-a-damn pretty quickly.

Still, I have to keep moving. 

So I will.

I have much to be grateful for. 

And I want to thank God that the devastation from hurricane Sandy wasn't worse.  Oh, it's terrible.  Don't get me wrong.  The pictures are humbling and hard to wrap your head around.  But it could have been so much worse.  Think back to the times when we didn't have the kind of technology to warn us that this sort of disaster was on the way, and that it really was that bad, so that people had warning to evacuate out of the storm's path.  How many more lives would have been lost?

I am so sorry for those families who lost members.  I am sorry for the people who died--for the animals who died.  (I do wonder about the zoos.  How did the animals there fare?)  Life will change for everyone in the areas devastated by the storm.  That is a hard fact we learned from Katrina and other major hurricanes. 

But people are strong.  They will rebuild.  And other people, whose lives weren't shattered, will help.  It's what we do.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


I pray.  A lot.

Tonight I'm praying for a number of things.  But among them are the people and animals in the path of what is probably going to be a horrific hurricane.  For my country, which is in the process of an election where I truly would rather vote "None of the above" for opposite reasons, and for which I am seriously worried on many many fronts.

I am praying for guidance, because I feel quite lost.

And I am saying thank you, because despite all of the above, I do appreciate that my life is far, far better than so much of the rest of the world.

Gratitude is important.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Venality vs. Banality


Had a REALLY rough week at the day job last week.  Spent the weekend recovering.  I bake when I am stressed.  On Sunday I made:  Chocolate cupcakes; carrot cake cupcakes; a casserole, and fresh bread (by hand, the breadmaker died and the replacement was crushed in delivery).  All are in the freezer to be doled out so that I don't go completely carb crazy over the next little bit.

I am thus feeling much better. 

Of course I am also fretting a bit.  I re-read the big knock-down fight scene in the book I turned in and it needs some revision.  UGH.  Contacted the editor, but she said wait until it's going through edits.  So I shall.  But I will fidget in the meantime hoping she likes the book as a whole.

In the meantime I started reading several fantasy works written in 3rd person.  My individual series coming up is a fantasy series, and the editor is hoping for third person.  (Not my favorite.  I can do it, but writing in 1st is MUCH more natural for me.)  I picked up the first 4 in a WILDLY popular series that is praised hugely by the critics, and pulled out my faithful classics from the storage boxes they were languishing in.

And I discovered something.

The new series is beautifully written, undeniably brilliant, compelling . . . and I really don't like it.  I can read it for a bit, then I have to put it down and look at something else.  But then it nags at me and I go back--but I can't keep reading because . . .


I mean, seriously!  I picked these books up because I wanted to read and study them to see what the guy did right.  So why can't I read them? But why can't I put them down?

My conclusion.  I can't put them down because they are beautifully written, brilliant, and the characters are compelling.

I can't keep reading it because they are also just incredibly venal, base, and really pretty disgusting.  Aside from the main characters nearly everyone in the book is just a hideous human being--power grubbing, manipulative, vicious.  Pick a vice, any vice, and it is brilliantly and meticulously portrayed. 


Okay, I know that incest, rape, murder, infidelity, and the like are common.  Laws and religion wouldn't be necessary if people didn't do heinous things.  BUT EVERY FREAKING CHARACTER except the heroes?  Really? 

Yes, there are those who help the heroes--but they are always serving their own agenda.

How depressing.

And the violence is staggering.  Yes, it is a barbarianesque set of cultures in a midieval-style world.  It's a dark setting.  I don't generally mind dark.  Hell, I've been accused of being pretty damned dark in my own writing. (Don't believe me?  Re-read Touch of Madness.)

I dislike the books pretty intensely.  And yet I am desperate to find out what FINALLY happens to the main leads.  (Other than the two that are already quite messily dead, and the one that has gone bug nuts mad.)

Brilliant.  The equivalent of book crack.  You know it's bad for you, but you can't stop.  When I read this stuff I am depressed.  But I can't seem to not read it. 

I doubt myself, wondering if I will ever create anything that compelling, if my talent can stretch that far.  I love writing, and I want to be brilliant.  But I wanted to be a brilliant visual artist as well.  And I just flat didn't have the chops.  I have the eye.  I can SEE what needs to be there (in my head), I can see what works and doesn't (although I can't always explain why).  But I couldn't execute what I saw.  I simply wasn't good enough.  And while you can learn techniques and craftsmanship, hard work will only take you so far.  It is the difference between an average college hoops player and Michael Jordan at his prime.

Writing is the same.  You can practice your craft.  But ultimately there is an element that is pure talent.  That indefinable "magic." The author of the new series (and the authors of the older ones too) absolutely have it.

I hope I do.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


The taxes went out with checks BEFORE THE EXTENSION DEADLINE.  I am checking the post office tracking today, but they should have ARRIVED!

THEN, on top of that, THE BATHROOM SINK IS FIXED.  Yes, to anyone else this is not a big deal.  Nor was it a big deal two years ago or so when I had to work on it.  But last weekend it was the (DAH DAH DUM) Sink FROM HELL that would NOT be fixed.  I don't know why.  It just WOULD NOT work.

But today it went together on the first try-slick and easy.  Go figure.  But this is WONDERFUL because now (a) I don't have to worry about it; (b) I can use the bucket for other things; and (c) I have time to actually relax this weekend and can go see ARGOS.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Just a Quick Moment

Spent the entire lunch hour running.  I'm feeling frazzled because of it.  BUT, the package to the IRS went.  (YAHOOO,  THEY ARE PAID!!!  IT IS *****DONE****!)  I AM going to get next year's filed by 4/15.  I do not want to deal with this crap ever again!

In other good news -- Got the French version of Blood Song  It is SO AWESOME to see the book in a foreign language.  WOOT!

Okay, gotta go.


Sunday, October 07, 2012

Status of THINGS

Okay, let's see.

1.  The book went in.  For good or for ill.  We'll find out which when the editor gets back to me.

2.  The check arrived.  (Sings the Hallelujah Chorus briefly.  Stops when dog starts howling.)

3.  The check will be going right back out to the IRS (who seem to feel that I earn more money than I think I do, but who "Have what it takes to take what I've got.").  I console myself with the knowledge that I LIKE roads, and PBS, and bridges, and airport security, etc.  I think the military need to get paid.  (They should probably get paid more, really, but I figure most people like me, think that the IRS thinks they make more money than they think they do.)  So paying taxes goes to many things I think need to happen and (sadly) some that I really don't.  But taken as a whole they are a necessary evil and I will send the $.

4.  I have started on the next book.  It will be written in 3rd person rather than first at the editor's request.  It is a fantasy/urban fantasy, and is hopefully going to be quite a lot of fun.  I had a whole slew of it previously written (for the proposal) in first person, so a lot of time will be spent on the old pages changing I and my to Brianna, she, and her, etc.  But that should be much quicker than actually doing a first pass on those pages.

I am happy.  I am excited.  And I will be even happier and more excited when I'm not quite so pooped.

I am also reading fantasy books in 3rd person to get my head back into writing in that form as opposed to the more-traditional-for-urban-fantasy 1st person (which I actually prefer).

5.  I have to do a newsletter.  I believe we haven't done one since something like JULY.  (Um, oops.)  I have also fallen off of the map on my website, social media, etc. because I quite frankly had a book that needed to be written that was fighting me tooth and nail.

6.  Since so few people actually commented on the previous post, all of those (5) who did will EVENTUALLY get a set of the audiobooks mailed out.  SO, if you're here again, please e-mail your snail mail address again with REALLY, AGAIN in the Re to  If not it will take longer because I have like a million and one e-mails that came in when I was avoiding the computer and I now have to weed through them all.  (UGH!)

Okay, off I go to do those things that need to be done.  Be well, be happy.  Keep reading.