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

Friday, July 09, 2010

A dream here, a dash there

So last night I had a stress dream about CP Prize: I showed up hideously late (like, 1 p.m.).

Then I had semi-stressy/mostly weird dreams about the upcoming OWN workshop.

Then I dreamt about my family/upstate NY, not stressy, but weird because I was explaining the geography of Lake Champlain and Valcour Island to someone who should’ve known better, and then I woke up sad because my dad had been alive and healthy in the dream. Although, in hindsight, that’s how I’m happier remembering him.

Now I’m dashing about trying to get a million last-minute things done before we leave for San Diego. Ken, being a god among men, is mending my leine. (Great job, Dayle, remembering your leine needed mending when you went to pack it, as opposed to, oh, three days ago.) On the way down we’re stopping at the garment district to buy the awesome fabric we found for our antique Morris chair (we brought a swatch home yesterday to hold it up to the living room curtain fabric) and somewhere so Ken can buy a GPS. Once we’re in the hotel, I have to work on a soon-due short story (it’s funny! it’s sexy! it’s paranormal!) and read more Agatha Christie and PD James for the upcoming workshop.

Aieeee. Okay, time to resume dashing about!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Welcome to the grand illusion!

I said I was going to talk about this month’s writing goals, didn’t I? And here it is, already the 7th. (Also known as the 33rd anniversary of the release of one of Styx’s best-known and best-loved albums, The Grand Illusion. But I digress.)

First, last month:
  • get an overdue story to the editor (who kindly allowed me a few grace days)decided, reluctantly, to let this one go. Among other reasons, the story was insisting on becoming a novella. So now I have an erotic steampunk novella to write at some point!
  • get everything done for Out of the Frying Pan and back to TeresaDONE! Of course, then she got it back to me, and I did more work on it, and we have another confab in an hour…
  • do the edits/rewrites for Waking the Witch and get them to the editor who requested themDONE!
  • write Chapter 3 of Seasoned With Danger and submit it to the first wave of publishers – Nope. Never got to this. It’s now scheduled for the end of this month.
  • do a brief polish through What Beck’ning Ghost (because I wrote it 20 years ago (holy crap!) and I want to make sure nothing’s extremely dated in it), write a fresh proposal, and submit it to the first wave of publishers – Polish done. Proposal written and sent to a couple reviewers, who sent back the exact feedback I needed, so now I have to rewrite it and get the package out to editors.
  • write a story for the Mountain Magic anthologyAlas, no go on this one. Something had to give, and I needed to focus on novels.
  • write a story for the Crossed Genres anthologyafter some consideration, decided to let this one go, too. A balance of research time vs potential payment…and in the end, novel work won out.
  • write a story for Alison’s Bondage anthology – In progress.
  • write (or at least start) a story for Kristina’s Dream Lovers anthology – In progress.
  • pitch rose beads article to Renaissance Magazine (if time) – Not yet.
  • prep “In Her Hands” for Kindle, etc. (if time) – I decided on a cover photograph (with help from some folks), and the file itself should be good to go. I have to design the cover, sign up at Amazon as a publisher, etc.

As I mentioned, we’re doing a fair amount of traveling this month, so my goals are not quite as crazy:
  • keep working on Out of the Frying Pan revisions
  • finish “’Golf’ Spelled Backwards” for Alison’s bondage anthology (this week)
  • finish story for Dream Lover anthology (this week)
  • revise What Beck’ning Ghost synopsis (ideally this week)
  • finish market list for What Beck’ning Ghost and get the proposal circulating
  • write Chapter 3 of Seasoned With Danger and do market research (to mail in Aug)
  • write story for Lesbian Cops anthology
  • write story for Indecent anthology

I know I’m not going to have time to work on the “In Her Hands” cover or the rose beads article pitch, so they’re officially bumped to August.

Okay, back to work with me!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

An embarrassment of reading riches

I have been a reading fiend lately, in large part because I have a list of books to read for the upcoming Mystery Structure Workshop. So far, I’ve read… 
  • The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith
  • The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler
  • Hark!, Ed McBain
  • Black Echo, Michael Connelly
  • “The Simple Art of Murder,” Raymond Chandler
  • The Moving Finger, Agatha Christie
  • The Guards, Ken Bruen (on the “if you have time” list)

 …and I still have to read… 
  • A Caribbean Mystery, Agatha Christie (because the assignment was to read a Miss Marple novel, and Miss Marple didn’t show up ‘til the end of The Moving Finger, so I feel like I should read another one)
  • Talking About Detective Fiction, PD James
  • Tunnel Vision, Sara Paretsky (on the “if you have time” list)
  • Death Du Jour, Kathy Reichs (on the “if you have time” list)

 …thankfully I’d already read…
  •  A Dangerous Road, Kris Nelscott (although I wish I had time to re-read it)

 …but I’m not going to get to… 
  • L.A. Requiem, Robert Crais (because I didn’t realize a different library branch had it, and I don’t have time to wait for the transfer)

 …meanwhile, I’m chomping at the bit to read several other books that are in my hot little hands, but I just don’t have time for yet…
  • Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay (I usually buy and read his books the millisecond they come out, so argh argh argh!)
  • Arcadia Falls, Carol Goodman (I had it on hold at the library, but it’s a 14-day checkout, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to read it before I left for the workshop. So I asked if I could be put next on the list, and the lovely man checking me out [er, checking my books out for me] said nobody else was on the list, so he let me have an extended checkout, sssshhhh, don’t tell anybody, and I’ll hammer through it once I get home because Carol Goodman’s books are like crack to me and what I really want is to curl up with it and have someone bring me food and not bother me until I’m done.)

Oh, and I also have four other books on hold at the library. And about 200 books on my To Read bookcase. And I know I’ll be going to Powells while I’m in Portland (and then shipping the books home, because they won’t fit on the bike).

I’m comfortable in the knowledge that I won’t die for a very, very long time, because I have so many books left to read.  :-)

Monday, July 05, 2010

My work in a college textbook!

Somehow I missed this the first time it came ‘round (February), and then another writer/friend blogged about it and I tagged it to follow up (June), and now I’m getting around to actually posting the news…

The anthology Frenzy: 60 Stories of Sudden Sex, containing my story “The Heist,” was chosen as a textbook for a college class! Alison Tyler, the editor, posts about it here. Apparently it’s being used at Binghamton University, which is part of the SUNY system (as is Plattsburgh State, where I graduated). Alas, I don’t know what course it’s for…I’m dying to find out!

And I wonder what the students think of my double-crossing bank robbers?  :-)