~~ "She has so many aliases, you'd think she was a spy!" ~~

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Braced for the insane fun

Ken and I just spent a few minutes going over calendars and plotting and planning for the busy month ahead. We’ll be away from home for about 13 days total, and will have company for 2 days. Add in packing, unpacking, cleaning, and other projects (curtains for the kitchen, trip to the garment district, new heraldic tabard [that’s really Ken’s project, though], putting my seat back on the bike [also Ken’s project, obviously]), and it’s going to be…fun!

So with all that in mind, I’ve also been putting together my writing calendar for the month. It won’t be quite as aggressive as last month, obviously, although I’m going to a 4-day Mystery Structure Workshop in Oregon that will have me writing like a fiend.

Let’s see. Next weekend is CP Prize, which is down in San Diego. We’re heading down the day before (because we are Very Not Morning People). Not sure if we’ll leave early enough to do anything down there, though. And I can always take the laptop and work in the hotel room Friday night. We’ll get home late Saturday night.

Then, on Monday, we hop on the bike and start heading to Oregon. We’ll stay one night with my sister in Monterey, and arrive in Portland sometime late-ish on Wednesday, with plans to stay with our friends Lev and Gayle on Wednesday and Thursday nights. I’m trying to arrange a joint reading/signing up there with fabulous writer Shanna Germain, but I’m hampered by the distance, unfamiliarity with all the bookshops up there (Lev and Shanna have given me some ideas), and lack of time.

Friday I head off to Lincoln City; the workshop starts that night. Ken is planning to give his BMW talk in Portland and Seattle over the weekend, after working at his client up there on Thursday and Friday. My workshop ends on Monday, and Ken will pick me up in Lincoln City and we’ll start heading south, staying again at my sister’s on Tuesday night.

We’ll get home Wednesday evening and then Thursday head down to Anaheim for Queensr├┐che’s Cabaret show, which I am anticipating with an unholy glee. Then a day off to recover, then maybe Lyondemere Anniversary (right now we’re thinking not, because of work and everything, but it’s on the calendar just in case), and then my darling Meglet visits for two days.

Only then do we have a few days “off,” which of course are “Ack! So much work to do!” days. Along with a  hair appt and a dentist appt. The final Saturday of the month is our local Shire’s Pirate Tournament, hurrah! but of course the official premiere of Hard Miles 2, the DVD about the 2009 Iron Butt Rally, is that night in Santa Ana, so we’ll have to leave early, throw on bike gear, and dash down there. Because Ken’s in that DVD, don’tcha know!

Thankfully, August will be a bit quieter. Two Styx shows, including a trip up to Saratoga for my 100th show (!!!!  *\o/*  !!!!) and a visit from Sara R (she’s going to teach me how to make origami boxes, and we’re going to watch The Breakfast Club, and and and…!).

Other than that, Ken may run a rally or two, and Crown Tournament is in there, too, but it’s not that far away. So August will be back to an aggressive writing schedule.

I’ll ramble about July’s goals later, because now I have to post this and go dig around the sewing room for a few things! and then get back to work.  :-)

What are your plans for the weekend, and the coming month?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Poll results revealed, with commentary and prizes!

The results of my little poll are in, and they’re…as clear as mud.  O.o  At least on the cover side of things.

8 people preferred Photo A and 10 preferred Photo B, and 1 person said neither sucked. 2 people for each A and B would prefer the photo with modifications.

I appreciate that comment, but…wow. I have no Photoshop skills, and a limited amount of time, especially when it comes to putting a bunch of my work up for sale. (I mean, one cover, sure, but 10? 20? Obviously I shouldn’t have divorced the photographer…)  ;-)

I confess I was surprised that so many folks preferred Photo B, because it’s what I hear most people complain about—the clich├ęd, headless torso that says nothing about the book. Then again, the people I most hear complain about that are other writers…and yet 6 out of 12 writers who took the poll chose it. (5 chose A. 1, as mentioned above, chose neither.)

I think Photo A is incredibly sexy. (And yet I hate the movie Ghost. Go figure.) Plus it looks like she’s sculpting the very body part the main character happens to be sculpting in the award-winning excerpt that opens the novella. But I’m not the buyer of this novel…yet almost half of you liked it.

I have no idea what I’m going to do there. Except maybe give up sleep in order to have the time to learn Photoshop.  O.o


As for cost, most folks said $2.99 or above, which is a good thing, because after I posted the poll I learned that Amazon gives the better royalty rate at $2.99 or above. If the vast majority had voted for less, I’d’ve had a dilemma on my hands, so well done, ya’ll.  ;-)


I’ll revisit this project after I get past a few other deadlines. The most important thing is, a humongous thank you to everyone who took the time to comment! You all rock like major rocking things!

To properly thank you, I used a random number generator to pick three comment numbers, and those three people each win a prize! Ghislaine, Tanya, and Morgaine: you each get to pick a promo postcard autographed by me. Your choices are Cat Scratch Fever (UK cover, which of course I can’t find a picture of online), Where the Girls Are, or Fast Girls. Ghislaine, please send me your mailing address, too. Morgaine, will you be at CP Prize or would you like me to mail your card? Tanya, when are we getting together to write again?!)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Guest blogging at Beth Wylde's Yahoogroup

I’m guest blogging/chatting today over at Beth Wylde's Yahoo group, as part of a group chat about Where the Girls Are and whatever other trouble we can get ourselves into.  :-)

Please join me, fellow authors (so far we have Kathleen Bradean, Roxy Katt, Jacqueline Applebee, and Sommer Marsden awake enough to be coherent), and editor D.L. King as we share excerpts from the LAMBDA Award-nominated Where the Girls Are and chat about all manner of things.

Click here to join the group. Warning: the blog is NSFW.

Hope to see you there!

Edited to add: One lucky commenter will win a free copy of Where the Girls Are!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Making the world a smaller and cozier place

You know what makes me happy? Having friends all over the world, and being able to connect with them—and connect them with each other—because of this wondrous modern technology called the Internet.

Example #1: There’s a chewable antacid that’s available only in Britain. I contacted a friend there and asked if she could send me some. The first time, in exchange I bought and shipped some shampoo for her father that’s available here but not in Britain. This time, she noted that the kind he really needs is a combination of the two kinds that are available here…and the combo kind is available in Australia. So I contacted a friend in Australia and asked if she could buy and ship the shampoo to my friend in Britain, and I’d pay her. My friend in Australia countered with the request that I pick up some perfume for her, which is only available in the US. Isn’t this the coolest thing? We all get the item we want, that we can’t get in our home country. We all get to help each other out.

Example #2: A friend commented (on Facebook, maybe? I can’t remember now) that she’d found a great knitting pattern for socks but the site was in Finnish. And I said, yo, I used to live in Drachenwald. Let me ping some SCA folks there and see if they know anyone who (a) speaks Finnish and (b) knits. (I’m sure I met some lovely Finns when we lived over there, but I didn’t keep in touch with any of them.) And then, voila! I got an e-mail from a lovely woman (whose name does sound very familiar) who also happens to be on Ravelry, which my friend is on…so I pointed the two of them at each other.

When it works, it works. I love how it’s made the world a smaller and cozier place. I miss my friends in Britain and Australia as well as all over the US (and other parts of the world), but I don’t feel like they’re quite as far away.