Monthly Archives: May 2017

Writerly Wednesday

The book is done. One (or seventeen) last proofreads, and then it’s ready for prime time.

The cover is pretty much done. The cover reveal will happen right here in this space in two weeks. (If you’re a newsletter subscriber, you’ll get it next week.)

If you’re getting an ARC, those will go out by the end of this week.

There’s really one major step left before the pain of formatting and uploading and stuff like that.

The blurb. I hate this. I’d rather write 100,000 words than 150.

Current working draft – I’m open to feedback.

Eleanor is the awesomesauciest. Her taste in men is occasionally questionable. BUT, at least she likes sexy dudes. There is a lot of fighting. Her kill count is good. There is an impending apocalypse, too! Some sex. Much fighting.

Thoughts? Yes?

Good.

****

In other news, I’ve started a new series and got a few thousand words down on that over the long weekend. Because starting a third series is obviously the best idea I’ve ever had.

However, while I was writing, guess who popped in the coffee shop? It was overcast on the coast, so there wasn’t any sun to keep my 1000-year-old vamp indoors.

Seriously – hot dude, dead ringer for how Raj looks in my head. I stared. I took a sneak picture over my shoulder. I appreciated the endorsement from the secret vampire contingent from the Pacific Northwest. It was a good morning.

****

I’m pretty scattered right now. Between the day job, and the upcoming release, and having a new series in my brain and the 3rd book in front of me, and the other series, and apparently I still have this small creature I’m raising, and partner I enjoy spending time with, and running I’d like to do again someday.

Coffee and words on the Oregon Coast

Three Things Thursday: mental health as told by Dean Winchester .gifs

  1. I’ve been at the new job for a month. Although there are some things I don’t like about the job (98% of those things are “having a job;” I’d prefer to be independently wealthy), I feel like a completely different person than I did two months ago. It’s kind of amazing how much self-worth is attached to “earning money” and “receiving the respect and appreciation of your colleagues.”
  2. Other good news on the mental health front: I’ve had two panic attacks in the last week. How is this good news, you might ask? I’ll tell you.There was a time when I was having panic attacks on a nearly daily basis. Starting about four months after Bean was born until almost a year ago, panic attacks were a part of my daily life. My only hope at that time was that I wouldn’t get one while driving over the Marquam Bridge. I tried a wide variety of medications to quell the panic attacks and get the anxiety under control. Nothing really worked, but I did get to take a lot of extremely addictive drugs and then wean myself off of them. (Aside: the other night, the Beer Guy and I were watching a comedy special and the guy was talking about being prescribed the same drug and how not fun the coming off it was. Psycho solidarity is a real thing.)ANYWAY – back to panic attacks. About a year ago, they mostly disappeared. There were times when my anxiety was higher than others, but the chest-crushing, can’t breathe, probably hyperventilating, maybe passing out, am I sure that it’s really just a panic attack and not a cardiac event this time? episodes were mostly gone. (Instead, I got a fun uptick in the number of aural migraines!) So why am I asserting that the panic attacks are good things (well, at least not awful things)? I think I’ve finally gotten back to a place where my general anxiety is low enough that my body can actually have a panic attack. Like for real-I was too anxious during the last year to have a panic attack because my body legitimately couldn’t work up any more adrenaline because it was all in use. (OMG, maybe I had adrenal fatigue. That’s a real thing, right Cat?) (Heh. She hates it when I say that. #science #psm)So, in short (’cause I am not a tall woman.), my mental health progression over the last year or so has been like:

Fake it ’til you make it…

 

And maybe someday, I’ll get here…

 

  1. One last piece of good news. I wear a fitbit that not only tracks my steps, but also my heart rate. I spent a number of years as a fairly physically fit person. I ran a marathon, did several sprint triathlons, more 5Ks than I can count, and thought nothing of heading up to Forest Park to run 10-15 miles on the trails. The last two years have not been good for my physical fitness. Stress and single parenting took a huge toll on my fitness levels (and my weight, obviously). My resting heart rate, which two years ago was about 54, was up to an average of 74 a month ago.  One month on the job (with the requisite leaving the house, walking about, and lowered stress), and now I’m here:

 

So much win! (Ha! I typed “so much wine” on my first go. SELF! It’s 8:30 in the morning. No wine for you!)

It’s a small step, but an important one for my overall mental and physical well-being. (Now, I just need to make it through my imaging appointment tomorrow without needing a paper bag, and it’ll be clear sailing…)

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, Americans! (And a great regular weekend, everyone else.)

There was no way I wasn’t sharing this once I saw it. I care about each of you too much.

 

 

Writerly Wednesday: Newsletter Day!

Heya readers! Today is the third issue of the newsletter. If you are a lucky subscriber, you’ll get the third chapter of Raj’s story, Eleanor’s first brew review–a beer Isaac picked up in Wyoming, and the super secret exciting reveal of the title of the 3rd book in the Eleanor Morgan series. (Ooooooh!)

The Waning Moon is headed off to the editor for one last look by Friday…we’re just over a month away from publication. It’s only slightly less terrifying this time.

That was a lie. It is equally as terrifying.

It’s super hard to drink my wine while in a straight jacket, but I’m no quitter.

Confidential to newsletter subscribers – there’ll be a special issue out in about 10 days with the full cover reveal! As of yet, I haven’t even seen the final version, so I’m pretty excited about that.

Along with the cover reveal, I’ll have an updated kill count for The Waning Moon…gotta stay competitive with killer extraordinaire Colleen Vanderlinden.

 

Happy hump day, y’all! (Spoiler: the newsletter has some strong adult content. Raj is a good man.)

Book Review: Chapter Book with the Bean

Over the weekend, Alvie Bean declared that he was a big boy and wanted to have his fancy bed flipped over so he could sleep on the top bunk. One of the things we did after flipping the bed is move all the books from the shelf above his bed and fill the shelf with his books. (For the time being, he doesn’t need access to the manga and beer books that had previously filled those shelves.)

I swear the book next to “The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex” is “The Art of the Cocktail.”

After we filled the shelves with Bean’s books – both the ones we read regularly and the ones that have been waiting for him to be old enough/responsible enough, etc. – he started asking questions about some of the books he’d not seen before.

And that’s how, when Sunday night bedtime story came around, we ended up reading “The Little House in the Big Woods.”

I have such fond memories of this series. I devoured it in 2nd & 3rd grade. I was pretty sure that our reading of this book (“It’s a chapter book, Mothah.” [He has taken to calling me “Mother” with a wildly affected accent…]) would be over almost before I got anywhere. There’s a lot of words and not very many pictures.

(I was also a little worried about what I was going to have to censor while reading. I don’t mind reading about butchering and killing bears and using a pig’s bladder as a balloon, but there are some distinctly racist things in The Little House on the Prairie, and I don’t remember if there’s anything like that in LHitBW.)

We read half of Chapter 1 Sunday evening – until it was past Mr. Bean’s bedtime. We finished the chapter last night – because that’s what he decided on again. We’ll see what happens (after tonight, he’s at his dad’s for six nights, so he might forget by then), but he’s into it.

We do a lot of segues to explain hunting, and butchering, and what a bear trap is and why people don’t really use them anymore, and he’s enjoying the story and asking really good questions.

 

We talked about headcheese and pate and how sausage was made, and he’s expressed a desire to have some headcheese at the next available opportunity. I was thrilled (he’s already a connoisseur of paté and fancy cheeses…), especially since I just had headcheese for the first time a couple weeks ago! (His diet is still more limited than I’d like, but so much better than it was a year ago. He’ll eat pasta now, and mashed potatoes, and will usually try just about any vegetable, declare he loves it, and then not eat any more of it.)

Ever since he was born, I’ve looked forward to the day that I could start sharing my favorite books with him. For as much as I don’t want him to grow up too quickly, I also can’t wait for him to experience The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for the first time. And to be there when he reads A Wrinkle in Time or The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Prydain or…

I’m not sure yet if this book will stand up to the test of time (other than the forthcoming racist bits that I’ve not yet decided how to handle), but I do know that this is an amazing experience.

Every parent thinks their kid is something special. And of course, all children are something special. It’s weird, though, looking at someone that I created (with an assist, obviously) and listening to his questions. His vocabulary astounds me sometimes, and he always wants to learn more, more, more. His “whys” are no longer purposeless (I’m sure that toddler whys have purpose…I’m equally sure that purpose is to annoy the fuck out of their parents), but instead looking for actual answers.

If I succeed at one thing while parenting, I hope that one thing is instilling my love of reading in Alvie Bean.

 

The daystar! It burns ussssssss!

Portland is well-known for being gray and rainy. It’s part of its charm. I’ve lived here for almost eleven years. It is not a surprise that the winter months are overcast and moist.

This year, though…this year was miserable. (Even the Weather Channel agreed. By 2/1, Portland was named the most winter-fatigued city.) Between the ridiculous snow and ice in December and January and the fact that it’s rained a lot (A LOT), most people I know who live here were getting ready for the shitty weather to be over.

(Aside…the caption in this photo. If Astoria had record-breaking prrcipitation, does that mean it was raining cats and dogs? hahaha ha ha. I slay me.) 

We’ve had a couple teaser days here & there. Days when the sun would shine and the temperatures would sneak into the 70s. Days when we could have “drinks on the patio” with the Bean.

 

After a day or two, though, the sky would again become overcast and the rain would fall. So when the forecast promised well over a week of sunny skies and warm weather, I was cautiously optimistic.

The temperatures got a little warmer each day last week and the sun peeked out for longer and longer. By the time the beer guy picked Bean up from school on Friday, we were definitely warm enough for drinks on the patio again.

Saturday was beautiful. Mid-70s. Sunny. Perfect weather for practicing bike riding skills on one’s brand-new bike.

He did great until he found out I was no longer holding on to the bike.

(We also spent a significant portion of time indoors in the morning, flipping Alvie’s bed from a regular bed to his big boy bed.)

Learning about bats while wearing his batman pajamas

Yesterday was the annual neighborhood street fair. Food vendors, live music, booths with many goods and services for sale. It was such a nice day! We ate in the sunshine and wandered the booths. BUT! It was crowded! Everyone in general vicinity was there taking advantage of the nice weather.

We ate some lunch, grabbed some iced coffee, got L’s face painted, and then headed out.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in our much less crowded back yard, sipping rosé (me), Radler (the beer guy), and water (Bean).

Today’s supposed to be in the 90s, and I’m almost glad that I’ll spend most of it in my windowless basement office, protected from the burning harshness of the daystar.

Almost. (I’d rather spend every nice day in the shady backyard, reading and sipping rosé, but alas! I’ve eaten too much avocado toast and purchased too many iPhones, and I am not independently wealthy.)