chickwriter: (Fangrrl)
 In a comment to a post about fanfic in Justing Larbalastier's blog:
"Fanfic is the equivalent of what musicians and visual artists are often encouraged to do, which is imitate the style of others on the way to developing their own. And no one thinks it’s weird or a waste of talent for someone who plays the saxophone or sings or plays the piano, to sit down at a party and play a song that someone else wrote, not for money but just to entertain the people around them or maybe just to please themselves."

This is awesome and succinctly captures exactly what I believe.  Go forth and read. All the comments are pretty decent (only one or two idjits).
chickwriter: (Blood Kin Cover Icon)
Over at [ profile] fangs_fur_fey , the topic of the month is Research. I posted my take on this over here.

Book 4 (BLOOD HEAT) is in progress, a steady drip of words, shaping into the story that will become a book. I had a wonderful epiphany yesterday while at our local Barnes & Noble, having lunch with a colleague. I'd gone there to buy maps--one of Texas and one of Wales. I've got a ton of online resources, but I wanted the visual of a road map that I could open up, scribble on and perhaps even cut up.

The Texas map is for BLOOD HEAT, which will take place back at the ranch (to steal a cliche) and in nearby Guadalupe County, at Canyon Lake.  The map of Wales is dual purpose: a future trip being planned by me, [profile] birki_lib  and my BIL and for a future book (assuming I sell more of this series).

As J and I were eating, I was discussing if/how I could have a particular scene happen on screen. Did it belong in the book? Should it have already happened? We were also discussing Texas high school football (which had come to mind, as my car audio book is currently Living Dead in Dallas, and I'd just gotten to the scene where Sookie goes to the local football game and sees Bill with Portia. That in turn, led me to think about Friday Night Lights, and how I could incorporate this icon of Texas tradition into one of my books. Even though Keira and the gang live in a small town whose school is too small to support a football team, it's highly unlikely they're not exposed to the insanity.

Then it struck me. I could set the character interaction I needed at a nearby HS football game, with added bonus of introducing a crucial plot point. SCORE! (or, I suppose I should say TOUCHDOWN!) I promptly grabbed the paper tray liner, borrowed J's pen, and scribbled down the essentials. Cracked me up, because this is the first time I've written down something like this on the proverbial nearby napkin (or equivalent). I *always* carry at least 2 notebooks and several my backpack. But, since we were just going to grab a quick lunch and do a map run, I only had my mini-bag with me, not wanting to haul around the backpack. ::g::

Now, I only have to figure out why there'd be a football game held in June (exhibition game? fundraiser for uniforms/band equipment?)...and I suppose that I'll have to do some more research. Despite my long-term Texanity, and my somewhat unwilling partitipation in pep squad at one of my schools, my knowledge of football is extremely limited. Thank goodness I have friends that are more interested in sports than I am. Thanks to J's help, I know that one of the characters I'm going to introduce in this scene will need to be a running back (based on his size/build).

Words scribbled for the day, so I'm going to watch a movie then take a nap. Damned rain came back so I'm totally lethargic and feeling lazy. SUN, PLEASE!

Hope everyone's having a great weekend!

chickwriter: (Default)
The following post contains many non sequitors. Consider yourselves forewarned.

My RL world keeps being busy, busy, busy. I've had some time to tweet, but little time to actually keep up with LJ, Twitter, Facebook, etc. I mostly just scan these days.

Hope you're all well--too many bad things happening to friends these days, with illness, death and the state of the U.S. economy - yikes. I'm mostly just trying to keep my head above water.

Just finished a guest blog entry for Lori Devoti's Full Moon of Werewolves, a month-long series over at her blog. I'd guested there before, for her 30 Days of Vampires (an interview). This time, I wrote an essay. It'll be posted on Saturday, April 18. There are loads of great essays and interviews already posted, so go on over there and read!

Starting work on book 4 (tentatively entitled: BLOOD HEAT). Mostly in the hunting and gathering phase (i.e., notes, thoughts, links, photos--my virtual corkboard).

I'm hoping I can work on a couple of proposals this weekend - new projects that C and I have been discussing. Really, really nifty and not in my usual to speak. ::g::

Looking forward to doing a little reading, something I can't do much of when under deadline. Just got the new Jim Butcher and Jaye Well's Redheaded Stepchild.

During the final stages of writing BLOOD KIN, and during copy edits, I tended to listen to all sorts of varied music - from my Child Ballad mix to 80s metal to all out just everything Freddie Mercury, to Sarah McLachlan and Regina Spektor. Now, that it's done, I've suddenly gotten the urge to re-listen to some audiobooks. Cued up on the iPod now (thanks to's ongoing re-reviews of Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series), I'm listening to the Vor Game. Funny how my listening tastes change. (I'm REALLY psyched that I'm a guest author at FenCon this year and LMB is the GOH!!)

Dreamwidth, where art thou? Sadly, I've not yet received an invite code, but am there under an OpenID. Once I do get a code, or, when Beta = open, I'll start up an account there and crosspost. I've no intention of leaving LJ, mostly because I've got a permanent account, and since this is my official "author" blog. I may just use the DW one for personal and fannish posts.

On that note, I have no idea how it got to be 10:00. I just finished dinner (mac/cheese from TJs, yum!) and at some point, need to go AFK, so I can spend some unwindy time reading.
chickwriter: (Default)
It was in Publisher's Marketplace today, and thanks to a couple of good friends, I found out that the word is now official:

Book deal the fourth:

Maria Lima's untitled fourth book in her Bloodlines series featuring a Texan born and bred whose relatives, an ancient clan of shapeshifters and other paranormals, entangle her in their affairs even as she's embarking on an affair of her own with a seductive vampire valiantly trying to curb his own taste for human blood, to Paula Guran at Juno, by Chris Lotts at Ralph M. Vicinanza (US).

No rest for the wicked...or witless. I spent the weekend working out plot and storylines for book the fourth, with the help of the ever splendid [ profile] beledibabe. Plus, we managed to (on our trip to and from VA Festival of the Book) come up with 2 new projects we want to pitch as well as a short story. Writers: they get together and words multiply.

I'll be guest blogging on April 18th over at Lori Devoti's Blog during her Full Moon of Werewolves month. It's already started, so don't miss the great posts!

Looking forward to seeing some of you in a week and a day at MJ! w00t!
chickwriter: (Will Shakespeare)
"THE END" - best words in ANY language for a writer.

I have now finished my draft of Blood Kin and have just now sent the file to my betas for review.


It doesn't suck...I think.

Now, to catch up on Supernatural, BSG, and all sorts of TV. AND I CAN READ BOOKS!!
chickwriter: (I write)
I just realized ::facepalm:: that I've not actually POSTED anything in DAYS! ::ignores tweets::

Well, I've kind of been writing...a LOT. I'm in the home stretch of BLOOD KIN, which I'm trying to finish this week. So, I'm basically here to say, I'm not really here.

Will pop back up in a few days. ::crosses fingers::

Stay safe, stay warm/cool, have fun!

Oh! And I scored tix today to Great Big Sea, August 21 @ Wolf Trap. Decided to go for the orchestra seats, b/c the Pit - OMG, $75. Just could not justify that. Going with [ profile] beledibabe, frriend Liz, Janna and Andy - the usual suspects. ::g::

Okay, back to the writing and figuring out what Faery looks like when accessed via a doorway in Vancouver...
chickwriter: (Default)
I spent today writing, napping, reading and writing some more. BLOOD KIN has broken 52,000 words and today's word count was just under 3,000. Yay for me!! I even like the new direction the story's taking. It was a tough writing week, but the mojo seems to have returned (Thanks, Toni!!)

I have to admit, I totally succumbed to the new Kindle2 shine. I ordered mine on Monday, before midnight, so it's supposed to arrive on 2/26 (2 day shipping). Even though there's no SD port, the 2GB storage is WAY more than enough. I just backed up all my files on my current SD card and Kindle, and 776 files later, I only had 253 MB. LOADS of more room on the new Kindle. Plus, it seems to be better designed. Yippee!!

Also of the good, thanks to a heads up from storm_grant, both my current books are on the fantasy bestseller list on Fictionwise.

Screenshot below )

Seems it's been on there more than a week, so w00t!!

How are all of you?
chickwriter: (Default)

I hadn't realized that my last post was a while ago, mostly, because I've been writing. Go me!

I have been Twittering my progress, but I figured I'd post it here. 6100 words in the last 3 days. w00t! I'm hoping to make 10K by then end of tomorrow (which is the end of my 4-day weekend).

I'm taking a mental break right now. My pattern these last couple of days has been:

  • Wake up early (before sunrise!)

  • Have something to eat while reading email.

  • Write for about 2-3 hours.

  • Take a break and watch Dead Zone TV show (which I'm watching for the first time, thanks to Netflix)

  • Read a while/surf/read LJ, etc.

  • Write some more.

  • Read more and then sleep

  • (A side note for SGA peeps: pretty funny to see the actress who played Katie Brown in an Dead Zone ep. Canadian actors FTW!)

    I totally missed the Inauguration concert yesterday b/c I didn't realize that HBO would open up for us mere mortals who don't have the channel. I have been trying to see it on, but it's only streaming at specific times, which really sucks. What's the point of streaming if you can't see it at your own time? :(

    I'm staying in for the Inauguration tomorrow, despite the many lovely invites I've gotten from several folks. I really want to make my word quota on Blood Kin and, although I'd love to share the glory with friends, I think I need to sequester myself or I won't make it.

chickwriter: (DW-Eleven)
I stayed up way late last night writing, then woke up way early this a.m. because groceries were being delivered between 7 and 9.

This totally meant that a nap was in order this afternoon and was accomplished marvelously. ::g::

Enjoying the rest of the evening watching Leverage.

Note to [ profile] theamusedone: you were so right. I love it!. Tim Hutton, Christian Kane and gang have fun playing modern day Robin Hoods. Especially enjoying Aldis Hodge as the geek. (I remember him best from Friday Night Lights).

Am fascinated by the new Doctor. He's not what I expected. Unusual and interesting looks and full of passion for the role. I think he'll be great. (Yes, I know of the arguments for someone older, someone of colour, but when it comes down to it, none of us know what went on in the auditions, or the selection process and can't second guess the decision).

Am still obsessively in love with [ profile] matociquala's Stratford Man duology, part of her Promethean series. I'm on reading #3 and still finding bits and bobs that I didn't notice before. I've bought yet another set of copies to give as a gift.

It's been a long time since a series has captured me so well, and over the past few weeks, I've discovered three of these:
-- Jenna Black's Morgan Kingsley series
-- Bear's Promethean Man series (see link above)
-- Maggie Stiefvater's [ profile] m_stiefvater Lament (which I'm now reading)

Another book rec, though non-series:
Jan Burke's The Messenger - just out and a fascinating premise. I was privileged enough to read an advance copy and was captivated by the concept.

I LOVE being this entranced by books. Contrary to some beliefs, I get energized by reading fabulous books in the genre, even while I'm writing my own. I don't know if this is because I have a very strong grounding in my own "voice", but I don't think that I'm influenced negatively by reading other fiction while in progress with my own book. I just get excited about writing all over again.

On a final note for the night, I'm very excited that AmberKatze's Book Blog listed Blood Bargain as one of the best reads of 2008!
chickwriter: (Season's Greetings)
Thanks to everyone who came to my book launch party on Tuesday night. It was a great success and I enjoyed meeting you new folks and getting to chat with old friends and fans. I should have some photos to post soon.

It's been a bit of a crazy week with projects due at work and holiday stuff, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the great cards I've received from [ profile] beledibabe, [ profile] brooklinegirl, [ profile] mrsronweasly, [ profile] doll_revolution, [ profile] aerye, [ profile] tex, [ profile] starrcat and [ profile] birkilib. If I missed listing you: I suck at lists. Please forgive. I LOVE getting cards. All the ones listed above are displayed in my office, on my shelf or on the walls. I love to share my dorkiness with my staff. :)

I sent all my cards out - the last batch went out in today's mail. w00t!! If you signed up to get one via my LJ post, those went out last week, so you should have them by now. If you *didn't* get one and were expecting one, please shoot me an email and I'll apologize profusely, blame my muddled brain and send one out immediately. ::g::

FYI - if you are on Facebook, I've created an author profile page, separate from my regular Facebook profile. My buddy J wanted to become my fan, and to do that, I needed to set up that page. So, I maneuvered the not-so-great UI and managed to figure it out. Go, me.

Been working on Blood Kin, the work in progress formerly known as Book 3. Loads of intrigue, plots and all sorts of fun going on. Whee!! It's eating my brain, so anytime said grey matter isn't occupied with work stuff, it's off in Keira's world, making things up and doing awful things to characters. I love it!

Hope everyone is staying warm and safe!!
chickwriter: (Default)
Amber of Amberakatze's Book Blog interviews me here. If you stop by, you can enter the contest to win a signed copy of Matters of the Blood.

In other news, I've been working on Book 3, now tentatively titled Blood Lines. Intrigue and all sorts of family and other kinds of plotting abound. This is going to be twisty and fun. Many thanks to [ profile] beledibabe who helped me brainstorm last weekend. She's always so brilliant at this.

Now, I think I'll go back to watch the Two Towers, extended edition.

Happy Sunday, all!
chickwriter: (Default)
Many people--okay, many writers--when faced with the overwhelming success of a fellow writer in their genre, can be heard to grumble discreetly (and often over drinks) on how *they* write better, or Successful!Author just got lucky.

Well, yeah, kind of. Luck is often a huge factor in someone's smashing success. But I always look at it this way, without a well-written work, no matter *how* much luck you have, the smashing part will end up being your career against the pavement, and not of it breaking through.

I bring this up today, because I am so over-the-top excited and happy about the overwhelming wonderful news that I keep hearing about one of my good friends, Charlaine Harris.

Today, in Locus Online, they report: This week, Harris achieves a record of some sort by ranking all seven titles on New York Times mass market paperback list in the same week -- ranks ranging from #3, for Dead Until Dark, to #19. All seven titles also rank today on; five of them rank today on Amazon Canada's list.

When I read this, I totally squeed...Out Loud. Like a fangrrl. Mostly, because I am.

I've known Charlaine for just over a decade, and met her when her 2nd series (the Lily Bard books) were just starting to hit the market. At the time, Charlaine was struggling to sell Dead Until Dark. No one, not even her agent thought it would sell. But, as luck (or something) would have it, Ace took a chance and the book took off, eventually going into multiple printings.

Now, because of luck (again), Alan Ball's HBO series True Blood has attracted new readers to the books. If it hadn't been for Ball picking up a copy of her book because he needed something to read, this may not have happened. Luck, combined with talent, combined to bring fame, and hopefully fortune, to one of the warmest, most wonderful people I know.

Am I jealous? Not in the slightest. This type of news just makes me want to hunker down and write. I get so stoked when I hear about a friend's success, I just want to keep writing and continue to be a part of this really cool group. Maybe it's because I love reading genre fiction so much. Maybe it's just because I look on this as a chance for all of us to shine--I don't know. In any case, my morning has started out with great news and I hope the rest of the month continues to bring wonderful news to all my writer friends.

So kudos and congratulations, Charlaine--you absolutely deserve this!
chickwriter: (Default)

Not only did I get the revisions/copy edits for Blood Bargain (yes, late) on Thursday, on Friday, I got the copy edits for my essay on the Trickster for Supernatural anthology.

I was determined to get them both done this weekend and still allow myself some time to relax.

After a long slog last night and a 12 hour slog today, I can finally put the cap on the metaphorical pen. Both are done. Both have been emailed to the respective editors.

I repeat: WHEW!

I think I shall go read for a bit and then sleep the sleep of the accomplished. :)

How's everyone else's weekend?
chickwriter: (Default)

So, book 3 (as yet untitled) is still in the thinky planning stages. Part of it is that I'm waiting for final editorial on Blood Bargain, which may or may not affect things in Book 3. Ah, the woes of an author. ::g::

I've updated my book page to include the cover and ISBN for In the Hunt: Unauthorized Essays on Supernatural, one of the fabulous SmartPop series by Benbella books. My essay, Another Roadside Attraction, The Role of the Trickster in Supernatural will be published in the book (due out March 2009).

I'm very excited about this, as those of you that know me, know how much I enjoy fannish meta. To be able to do this for Benbella was a dream of mine, ever since I read Seven Seasons of Buffy, several years ago. Now, it's coming true!

One update to my schedule: I am *not* going to be at Creatures 'n' Crooks on August 23. Seems I've overbooked myself and had to bow out. I will, however, definitely be at Bouchercon.

I'm hoping to figure out a way to make it to Calgary for World Fantasy this year. I enjoyed myself so much last year, I want to attend. However, 2 trips to Western Canada in as many months might just not work out. Keep your fingers crossed.

(xposted from website)
chickwriter: (Default)
Where I'm not:

(1) Comic-Con...but my teaser sampler books are thanks to [ profile] allaboutm_e, who graciously asked for 50 of the samplers to give away at the supernatural themed panel.

(2) Conestoga...but my teaser sampler books are thanks to [ profile] fangs_fur_fey (Particularly Jeaniene Frost and Rachel Vincent for volunteering to lug the loot) and the Con-within-a-Con. 10 samplers sent for stuffing bags/giveaways.

(3) Turkey/Greek Islands...where one of my clients will be starting Monday.

(4) Ireland...where my staffer Liz will be starting Monday.

(5) Vancouver...where I'll be starting August 30.

Which leaves me with: Home for now, on my way in to work in a few and then tonight: Dark Knight with JM, her hubby and roomy Tony, whose birthday it is.


Also fun: Namechecked on the company blog!
chickwriter: (Default)
Pinkeye is mostly gone (yay!).

I've spent the majority of today finishing my edits on the essay for BenBella books. The topic: The role of the Trickster in Supernatural. I sent the revision to the editor about thirty minutes ago. The book will be out in March 2009. Thanks to [personal profile] beledibabe  , [personal profile] sanj  , [profile] birki_lib  , [profile] allaboutm_e  and others who beta'd for me. :)

I did the Wordle thing with the essay - view the result after this cut.

Wordle me )

Off to read, because I can.

ETA: a;dlkajdflkadjfladkjf stupid LJ posting interface...does not work well with Macs, not even Firefox. :(
chickwriter: (Default)
I'm considering using the title of this post as a new tagline, because lately, that's kind of what I've been doing.

Literally: I got home tonight at 10ish, after a very long RL work day. (We had a huge site launch). When I got here, I thought, "hey, I'll make myself a sandwich, read a little LJ, then go to bed."


I do have bread--about half a loaf. Thing is, I thought I'd try out a new flavor. Turns out, it has raisins in it. I loathe raisins. I loathe sweet bread for sandwiches, especially if said sandwich is cheese and salami. The flavor combo is of the fail.

So, I improvised. Two slices of swiss cheese. Two slices salami. Instant pseudo-sandwich. A side of goldfish crackers for carbs. Tres yummy.

To make this post at all relevant to anything you all might want to read about, I will call your attention to the writing profession. A great deal of the time, I find myself making sandwiches without the right kind of bread. I toss a plot idea onto the screen, keep writing, and realize later--D'oh. It totally doesn't work. Or perhaps, part of it works, only if I add something else to frame it. Yeah, this causes me to rewrite, but that's the beauty of creating. It's not set in stone until we turn it over to the print vendor, after my editor puts on her seal of a approval.

As I'm creating, I'm reworking sandwiches all over the place and finding new flavors. It's a voyage of discovery and learning, and realizing that sometime, not having the right kind of bread leads to really cool stuff.

I'd be a lot more coherent if I wasn't so darned tired. ::g::

ETA: See, I did forget something! Huge congrats to fellow MWA writer Brent Hartinger who scored a Lambda Award win for his book, Split Screen. w00t!!
chickwriter: (Default)
Happy May Day all! It's raining and chilly here, so not so much with the "ooh, spring weather" but much with the drearies. Oh well, can't have it all, I suppose. ::g:: Not really sure how it got to be May as life has seemed so accelerated lately.

The meme/contest (sort of). I came back from Malice with a bunch of the teaser samplers. They contain the first 3 chapters of my upcoming book, Blood Bargain, plus the first 3 of Carole Nelson Douglas' new one, Brimstone Kiss. In the spirit of book pimps everywhere, I thought I'd do a contest. I couldn't really think of anything clever, so instead, I'm going to participate in the question meme that is going around and will send samplers to those of you that submit questions that amuse me. ::g::

Here you go:

If you would be so kind, ask me the seven questions below. Just copy and paste them into a comment, replace the blanks with anything you want--personal, silly, surreal (e.g. 3. Donkeys or sandcastles and why?), or deep--and I'll answer honestly as I can! Then post this in your own LJ and see what kind of things people want to ask you!

1. What do you think of _____________ ?
2. When did you last ____________?
3. __________ or ___________ and why?
4. What did you ______________?
5. What's your favorite ______________?
6. How would you ______________?
7. Who would you most like to ________ ?

Over at [ profile] fangs_fur_fey, check out the Thursday interview with Melissa Marr ([ profile] melissa_writing.

chickwriter: (Bliss)
Wow, fast week!

Work is great: busy, but good.

I finished the essay for the sekrit project and will be turning that in tomorrow. ::fingers crossed::

For the first time in five years, I have no writing deadlines looming. It's STRANGE! (although I have started compiling my notes & research for the as yet untitled Book 3).

Water aerobics tonight and I'm beat. Missing class for 2 weeks while finishing Blood Bargain made me realize how much I like it and how much I need it to stay sane.

This weekend: absolutely nothing planned. I am going to laze about and read.
chickwriter: (Default)
Melissa Marrs is hosting a Sentence Sunday over at her LJ.

Basically, you go to page 123 in a WIP, post a bit from it and tell why you like it.

I've played. Come on over and play and/or comment.

::goes back to working on essay::


chickwriter: (Default)

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