Category Archives: Uncategorized

Where I’ve Been

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When last I left you, dear readers (Are any of you still here? Did I lose you all with yet another prolonged absence?), back in April, I was hopefully getting ready to dive back into the world of querying. I’d gotten my query letter together and sent one out to the agent whom my previous agent had recommended as a good fit for me, but alas, querying was not to be for later that day, one of my writing partners got back to me saying that she thought Child of Mischief needed one more rewrite.

As much as I internally screamed and raged and swore, I knew she was right, so after a nice long discussion with both of my writing partners, I figured out what needed to be fixed. These last four months have been spent completely tearing CoM apart and putting it back together again. I cut out a character I’d thought was important, but as I was deleting his parts, I realized that it didn’t change the storyline a single bit (except for a couple of chapters at the end which turned out to only need a few tweaks to make work without him). And that is one of the key signs that a character doesn’t need to be in the story, btw. I also rearranged a few scenes, wrote some new ones, and basically buffed the hell out of all of it.

I am beyond happy with the way it came out and, barring any major goofs my writing partners might catch, I’m confident enough in it to start sending it out as soon as I finish getting my agent list together.

And speaking of agents! Sheesh… I haven’t paid much attention to the agent scene since early 2010 and boy oh boy has it changed. So many of the agents I’d queried for Where Demons Fear to Tread are now out of the business and dozens of new ones have cropped up. And now there’s a Twitter hashtag where agents can request certain types of books (#MSWL)! Where was this five years ago when I was first querying WDFTT?

I finished the rewrite at the beginning of last week then promptly took the rest of the week off to let my brain air out a bit. Today, I resume working on the fantasy novel I’ve been working on off and on for several years now. It features an asexual, aromantic exiled princess, her trans best friend, and a group of rogues working together to find the king who was kidnapped. I’m really excited about this project because it’s not based on Western Europe (or anywhere on our Earth) and the characters are fun and diverse. I’m working title is The Once and Future Princess, but I’m pretty sure I’ll have to change it.

So, now that you know what I’ve been up to these last few months, tell me what you all have been up to. While you do that, I’m going to go get Emereth and Trip into some trouble.

Manic Monday

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I finished the final read-through of Child of Mischief and sent it off to my wonderful critique partners, Katy and Lisa, back on the 19th and then promptly collapsed in a ball of mental exhaustion. Hopefully they send it back to me with a clean bill of health so I can once again jump into the wild waters of querying.

Yes, you all read that right. My former agent and I amicably parted ways this past autumn. She didn’t feel enthusiastic enough about Child of Mischief to properly represent it and I want an agent who loves my work as much as I do. The good news is that I feel like I’ve grown so much as a writer these last few years and my writing is so much clearer and stronger than it was when I started querying for Where Demons Fear to Tread, so I’m hoping it won’t take me quite as long to find an agent this time around.

So, I spent last week luxuriating in doing nothing. Or almost nothing. I cleaned my house and played video games. Played LOTS of video games. And caught up on most of the TV shows I watch. And, thanks to all of the snow and cold New England has been subjected to this past month, I decided that the theme for the next few weeks is going to be FIRE! I started that theme off by dying my hair a deep coppery orange-red.

Fiery Ana

But as much fun as last week was, this week it’s back in the saddle as I poke at ideas for my next book and start writing up a query letter for Child of Mischief.

Thinkety Thoughts

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I’ve missed posting the next two chapters of Where Demons Fear to Tread and for that I apologize; events conspired against me and kept me completely away from the computer these last two Fridays. However, I’m not sure if I want to continue posting chapters. It’s been a little over three years since I last read WDFTT (Holy WOW! Has it really been that long? Yup, it really has. WDFTT went out on submission to publishers as Lost Souls at the end of 2011… My how time flies!) and as I’m reading through each one before I post it, I find myself cringing quite a bit. I still love Alex and her story, but I’ve grown so much as a writer these last few years and it’s now extremely obvious rough the writing is. It needs a massive overhaul which I don’t currently have the time for since I’m in the process of rewriting Child of Mischief.

So, question for all you lovely readers: Continue posting up chapters each week as they are or preserve what dignity Alex and the rest of the Vamyraset have left?

Manic Monday

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The top search result(s) that leads people to my blog revolve around my posts about my adventures with Splat Lusty Lavender hair dye, so in the interest of helping those people out, I should post an update about my hair. The last time I used the Splat Lusty Lavender was way back at the end of 2013 and I STILL have a pink tinge to my hair after several attempts at bleaching it (both at home and professionally) and coloring over it with my normal go-to dye of reddish-blonde. At this point, I’m going to just have to let it grow out and gradually cut it away each time I trim my hair.

I loved having purple hair — Absolutely loved it! — but the Splat took several weeks of almost daily washing before it finally stopped bleeding on everything and by then the color had paled to more of a magenta. I can’t speak for anybody whose hair composition differs too much from mine, but I can say that if you have blonde/dirty-blonde hair that is very fine think long and hard about using Splat because it will be a decision that sticks with you for a very long time.

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My hair after bleaching.

 

I Can Now Speak Like A Dragon

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Well… sort of.

One of my best friends got me Dragon Naturally Speaking for Yule this year because she knows I’m starting to have issues with my wrists and I’d like to minimize the damage I do to them before it progresses to carpal tunnel. I installed the software and began using it today.

My initial review is that I like it, but it’s odd. When I’m typing, I don’t have to actively think about what I’m going to type as long as I have a rough idea of how the scene should play out. I simply let my fingers fly free and watch the scene unfold in words. With Dragon, because I’m not used to speaking so much, I have to stop and think over every single word I say to make sure it sounds right. I’m hoping this will fade over time and allow me to “write” in a smoother manner.

It’s also odd for me to talk so much and, as a result, I’ve been drinking more tea today to help ease the discomfort in my throat. As you might imagine, my bladder isn’t quite so happy with this arrangement. And it’s going to take my poor husband a bit of getting used to since even when I’m talking softly my voice carries through the house. It freaked him out a bit since I don’t normally talk to myself… when he’s home at least.

Ah well… learning a new skill for the New Year. I hope this trend continues. :-)

Office Space

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My office is finally done! Okay, it’s not 100% done – my curtains still need to be made and I’ll probably be decorating it in dribs and drabs for a long time to come, but all of my stuff is moved in and I am now working in here instead of in the living room.

This was honestly one pain in the ass of a project. Mostly because it was the first room we renovated and we had absolutely no idea what we were doing. Everything we did took five times longer than we’d planned on it taking (and we weren’t being unrealistic with our time frames to begin with) and every time we thought we were done, some new issue reared its ugly head.

My gorgeous new desk.

My gorgeous new desk.

My desktop.

My desktop.

View from by the window

View from by the window

View from the doorway

View from the doorway

Creative altar

Creative altar

Bookshelf for research books with chair.

Bookshelf for research books with chair.

 

And, just to give you an idea of before and after, this is what the room looked like before we tore the walls down:

The '70's orange and brown plaid porn-set wallpaper.

The ’70’s orange and brown plaid porn-set wallpaper.

And this is what that same wall looks like now:

The curved wall looks so much better in burgundy than in brown and orange plaid.

The curved wall looks so much better in burgundy than in brown and orange plaid.