Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Two books down, one to go!

This morning I just finished writing HEXED, the second book in my series. Right now it's 82,256 words, and I'm quite smug.

Of course, once my agent and editor take a look at it, it'll probably change significantly, and the revision process is like that, but it's also entirely enjoyable, just tinkering around the edges. What I'm grooving on is the fact that I managed to bang all of that out in less than five months while still holding down a day job. I didn't know I had it in me!

I'll probably start messing around with HAMMERED soon, but for now I'm going to take a couple weeks or so off from writing and enjoy the sense of completion while it lasts.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Skipping ahead

I just finished writing the epilogue to HEXED. It came to me just before I nodded off to sleep last night, and I wrote a quick, rough version before I forgot it. I polished it up this morning.

It's odd because I haven't finished the actual climax of the book yet. Sometimes I do that, though: I skip ahead in the sequence of events, then go back and fill in the gaps later. Chapter 18 was like that; I wrote chapter 17, then 19 and 20, and only then did I go back and write 18.

I'm at 74K now and I'm going to start the climactic Chapter 21 momentarily. Blood and guts, baby, blood and guts.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Progress Report 2

HOUNDED was formally accepted on Dec. 9, and now it's going to the copy editing stage. I'll be receiving the copy edited manuscript on Jan. 14, and I have to return it with my corrections/amendments by Jan. 27.

I'm at 70,000 words on HEXED, and I'm hoping to finish it up this week. Right now there is coffee to drink and presents to unwrap, and later there is Sherlock Holmes to enjoy. :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Red Elephant Bakery

I'm going to tell you all a secret.

There's a really cool little place in Payson that I visit every time I'm in town to visit my parents. It's called the Red Elephant Bakery (which you probably guessed from the post title) and it's a wee place that serves coffee in porcelain cups on saucers, with a wee spoon on the side and real cream to pour into it from a miniature carafe. Paintings of the African Savannah adorn the walls, and in a tiny room they have a gift shop full of handmade goodies. The handbags in particular are stunning—if you bought them in a department store they'd be $70 or $100 easy, but they're selling for under $20 because they're getting the material almost free from a local upholsterer who lets 'em have scraps of his most sumptuous fabrics.

They have a small menu—salads, eggs dishes, and grains, not much meat—and I'm here to tell you that the portobello mushroom sandwich is mighty fine.

Free wifi, my friends, free wifi.

The bakery/cafe is actually inside an old house, so it's very homey inside and it's utterly anti-corporate. The people who own and operate it are completely delightful and very welcoming. I truly dig it and spend some time writing there every chance I get. Discover it for yourself if you ever make it up to Payson!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Papyrus in Avatar

It is a sad, unavoidable fact that James Cameron's new movie, Avatar, not only uses Papyrus for its movie title logo, but also for its English subtitles when the natives of Pandora are speaking in their native language.

Clearly he failed to consult even a single graphic designer worth the name.

However, despite this screeching eyesore of a font, the rest of the movie is bloody brilliant. Go see it, because movies that can make me forget I'm staring at Papyrus are rare indeed.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The New Mustached Villain

My curiosity bids me ask, why do male Disney villains have acres of space between their noses and upper lips with razor thin mustaches resting on top of said lips? I'm actually just thinking of Jafar and the Shadow Man, the latter being the latest Disney villain in The Princess and the Frog.

In many ways, it seems that Disney just took Jafar and recycled him into this new setting. Like Jafar, the Shadow Man is very tall and skeletally thin; he wields a cane with a globe on top that's eerily similar to the scepter Jafar used in Aladdin; he has a tall, black hat like Jafar's monstrous headgear; and then there is the aforementioned mustache.

What can we conclude, then, about facial hair? A long, white, ZZ Top beard means you're wise and ready to save Middle Earth; thin, black, and trimmed means you want to rule over Agrabah or New Orleans; a brown, bristly beard suitable for sanding down petrified wood means you're Chuck Norris.

Gandalf can still take Chuck Norris any day of the week, by the way.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Vainamoinen is not a cleaning product. Nor is it a communicable disease. And to completely disappoint you on your third guess, it is not an exotic sauce to pour on your roasted animal flesh of choice.

Vainamoinen is a Finnish deity/culture hero who may or may not have been Tolkien's inspiration for Gandalf. He played an instrument called a ketele, which he invented himself, made out of materials he happened to have handy at the time: a giant pike's jawbone and the hair of a blond maiden who must have had particularly thick and resilient hair.

By using the power of his ketele and his voice, he could make magic happen. That's some serious shredding on the ketele. I'm going to have a good ol' time with him in HAMMERED; can't wait to see what kind of guy he turns out to be.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Editing is pretty darn fun

Today I finished my first round of edits on HOUNDED. I have no idea how many more rounds I have to go, but the first round was so much fun that I'm not concerned about it continuing for a while.

I also finished a pronunciation guide for the Irish names and words in the book, and in the opening explanatory paragraph I decided to substitute the cliche "rain on your parade" with "steal your marshmallows."

I think having your marshmallows stolen would be infinitely worse than having your parade graced with a little precipitation. If you can't watch the parade—or march in it, for that matter—then there are infinitely more entertaining things to do, because parades aren't all that swell, to be honest, and dang if Arizona can't use the rain. But if someone steals your marshmallows, then your day is ruined, period.

So say we all.