Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Notes from the (re)Writing Cave, and an Orc Saga Teaser

I'm back in the saddle, going through my manuscript for some extensive reworking and rewriting -- I've already cut 13,500 words or so and added back in about the same amount, and I'll be rewriting the last 100 pages more or less entirely. These next two months are going to be a whirlwind of writing, rewriting and revising, punctuated by my trip to Denver for the HNS conference, which means it's time for the annual summer hiatus!

Fear not loyal friends and followers -- with any luck, I'll be back mid-August, and I'm tentatively planning for a new game of #NAMEthatBUTT in the fall, (assuming I can relocate the lost butts required!)

Enjoy your summer festivities and be sure to check back in when I return, because I'm hoping with fingers crossed times a million to maybe possibly hopefully perchance have some authory news, for all you wonderful readers and fans who have been waiting oh-so-patiently for me to talk about what might actually be coming next in some kind of firm manner. (Oh, Publishing!)

In the meantime I'll leave you with this small teaser of Orc Saga: Book Two, because I can't make any promises at all quite yet --

“What are you?” Ragnar demanded.

Bolvarr forced himself to relax, forced his limbs to assume more of a lounge against the stone at his back, than the miserable crouch he’d suffered since moonset. “What do I look like?”

Ragnar grunted, pacing slowly around him, as if to get a better look. “Seithr, by the marks on your face, but you’re strange even for their kind. And everyone knows no Seithr woman would teach a man her arts.”

“Maybe my mother made an exception.” Bolvarr shrugged, causing the chains to clank together. He had no idea what the Seithr were, but he could only assume they were witches of some kind.

“That green skin is something else. You’re too pretty to be orc or dragonkin, so I suppose you’ll tell me it was the work of some potion.”

“Not at all,” Bolvarr said, pretending boredom.


“Cursed.” He tipped his head back against the wall and closed his eyes. Men or elves, it always came back to the shade of his skin. The imperfections of his form. He was the closest the Hrimthursar had come to redemption, and it wasn’t anything near good enough. How he’d believed for a moment they’d think him human in the dark was a question that was likely to mock him until the end of his days. Which, it turned out, might well end up being far sooner than he’d anticipated. “By the Ancestors.”

Ragnar snorted. “Cursed or not, you’ll make a fine gift for the king. And if the Ancestors smite him for holding you, all the better.”

“And why’s that?” Bolvarr asked, lifting one eyelid to watch him make his way back to the door. A handspan thick, and reinforced with iron bands, not that he could reach it, chained as he was.

“Because he’s standing in my way.” And then the door swung shut with a thump, taking the torchlight and Ragnar with it.

Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3)
Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) * Postcards from Asgard * Helen of Sparta
Buy Now:
Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Ode to an Action Figure Base

Little did you know, O Lowly Styrofoam Packing Piece, when you were formed to cradle and cushion a halogen lamp, that upon unpacking, you would be called to serve a higher purpose! How could you have dreamed that once revealed and emptied of your precious cargo, you might fall into the hands of a small girl in need.

And there was no greater need in those days, than the need for a most excellent base. What are action figures without the shelter of a base? Without wall behind which they might hunker and defend themselves from marauding jungle animals three times their size? Without pressure and vacuum formed rises and dips to be seated upon as improvised couches? Without the canvas of styrofoam upon which computer terminals and monitors might be drawn, to spy upon thine enemies and receive communiques?

O Lowly Styrofoam Packing Piece, how finely you served! With a hole in the center, perfectly created to imprison and punish our enemies, and neat rows to prop those figures which could not quite stand on their own feet, or to be treated as benches in a make-shift briefing. Your thin corners easily broke to become escape hatches, at just the right height and size for the tiger figurine allies to stick their heads inside and converse with our heroes.

Truly, there was no awesomer Base to be had. And so many hours we spent together, in play! Somehow, you survived the garbage bag sweeps in which so many green plastic berry pint elevator/prison cells lost their lives, and we played on through the years, traveled on from the house of our childhood, to the home of our teen years, and even hid those long years while I was away at college, until you returned to me again, here, now.

But alas, there are no games left to play, O Lowly Styrofoam Packing Piece. Your destiny has been fulfilled, and after all these long years, it is time to set you free. To free myself from the clutter of your presence in the back of my closet where you merely waste away, beginning at long last to disintegrate, suffering only neglect, as my play has become words on pages and pages bound into books.

And so I say goodbye, friend Styrofoam Packing Piece. Goodbye, and thank you for all the good times, all the memories, all the stories we shared.

May you return to the great Styrofoam farm in the sky, where the children never grow up, and the action figures always need a base. They will find no greater base than you!

Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3)
Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) * Postcards from Asgard * Helen of Sparta
Buy Now:
Amazon | Barnes&Noble

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Life, The Universe, Everything (V)

I have come to the conclusion that She's All That was a fluke, because I've yet to watch another Freddie Prinze Jr movie (Netflix is suffering from a rash of them) in which he is remotely compelling as a character or actor.
Our friendly neighborhood Milk Snake, not to be confused with
the garage-dwelling snake who refuses to have his picture taken.

These are the kinds of things I learn when I am not actively engaging in disciplined writing. But the vacation is about over -- starting today, I'm back on a regimented daily word count 5 days a week. I'm starting light and ramping up, but I know there's going to be some serious editing and revision work in my too-near future, so exercising those writing muscles is the best way to prepare.

I can't say I feel particularly refreshed after my time away from daily writing. Mostly I just feel kind of anxious, sleep-deprived, and cranky. When I'm not writing I'm far more likely to slip into negative thought patterns and I'm generally not nearly as fun to be around. Sometimes I *do* need a break from the pressure of all the words, but breaking from the actual writing itself for too long is asking for trouble -- part of the reason I choose to be a writer is because writing helps keep me generally healthy and happy.

Which isn't to say that being a writer doesn't have its detractions. Anyone who says it's all flowers and kittens is a liar. But I wouldn't really know what else to do with myself at this point -- maybe go back to bookselling instead, somewhere.

For good or ill, I'm an author now. And an author's gotta write.

Well, and occasionally conference. Which is what I'll be doing at the end of this month at the Historical Novel Society Conference in Denver. Give a shout in the comments if I'll see you there!

Forged by Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1) Tempting Fate (Fate of the Gods, #1.5) Fate Forgotten (Fate of the Gods, #2) Taming Fate (Fate of the Gods, #2.5) Beyond Fate (Fate of the Gods, #3)
Honor Among Orcs (Orc Saga, #1) * Postcards from Asgard * Helen of Sparta
Buy Now:
Amazon | Barnes&Noble