Friday, August 31, 2012

The Sci-Fi Book of Mystery! Cover! Title! SAMPLE!

Sample after the cut, info first. 

Starbleached will be released Monday 9/3 via Smashwords (I know, total change of plans. I be sorry). It will appear at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks and elsewhere sometime in the next couple of weeks (dependent upon Smashwords doing its thing). 

Saturday 9/8 we will have a coupon set up to get Starbleached for free. And just to make it fair, we're going to extend the coupon through Sunday, 9/9.

And you know what, guys? I am so excited about this. Above and beyond any ambitions, failed or otherwise, I really like this story. A lot. And I wouldn't have written it the way I did if I weren't flying on my own recognizance. 'Cause ain't nobody gonna publish a 30k book. 

Alright, enough of my ramblings. What you came for is after the cut. SAMPLE:

More Stuff

Okay, cover and sample to go live midnight, tonight and tomorrow morning.

I am SO freaking happy with this right now. It's the first time in a really long time that I've finished a project and been happy with it.

I still feel like an ass for choosing to self publish. Today I feel like less of one. Why? Well, as I will touch on again later tonight (oh, about midnight) there are things that you just...can't do for a commercially published book if you are an unpublished writer looking to become a professionally published one. So there are ideas about technique I've completely ignored because they're not viable options in the publishing world.

The most depressing thing in the world, to me, was that Fight Club only got a $5,000 advance. Because it was just that weird. I mean, I totally understand why! How the hell do you summarize that book? I assumed it was a bromance about punching for years, until I watched the movie. And it was life-alteringly awesome. But nobody had any confidence in it, because it was weird.

I am not comparing myself to Fight Club. I do not have a Fight Club in me. I am not that kind of writer, and I never will be. I tell bizzare little stories that have no social value, at all, and I'm happy with that. And I don't think that I know better than the publishing industry at large. I think they made the right choice telling me to get lost. I'm not a great writer, I'm not destined to be a great writer, and I've made some pretty good progress accepting that. That has been my goal through all this, by the way: To accept that being a professional author is out of my reach, that I'm not going to make it, and that I just need to get the fuck over it already and move on to my real life, whatever that might be. I can't spend my whole life pounding on a door when there is no evidence whatsoever that door will ever open.

And it's not so bad, here. There's light here--a distant, impossible to get to light, but there is light--and because self-publishing is a career killing, selfish thing to do...well, I'm not leaving here, so I might as well adjust the window dressing and make myself at home.

And that means doing the things that I wouldn't do if I were trying to get published. Like rip apart other people's books (It is so. Freaking. Fun) and movies, and complain and bitch about my life, and write short little things I can only sell for a dollar.

That turn out to be (to me, at least) FREAKING. AWESOME. I really, really, REALLY wish somebody else had written this story. I wish I didn't know what it was about, where it was going (there's going to be more FYI) and I wish I hadn't read it EIGHT MILLION TIMES until my brains started dribbling out my ears.

Ah, well. Enough depressing shit. BOOK! SAMPLE! TONIGHT!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Info hub for Sci-fi Book of Mystery+COVER!!!

Okay, I'm going to be spreading a lot of stuff around for the next couple of days, and it's all going to come back here. So first...

Cover art is done! Version with title will be posted on the first, and OMG It looks so kickass. I wish it weren't mine, so I wouldn't feel bad for thinking it looks good (or so that I could read this story without wanting to punt it across the room. Editing is clean, but I stopped enjoying it about two read-throughs ago)

Editing is done! WHOO! FREAKING! WHOO! It is probably not good enough, as I am on my lonesome with this, but it is nice to finally read through and go ten pages without needing to change something. THIS IS NOT BOASTING. This is feeling as if the train has finally stopped moving and I can get off now.

SO. INFO. Which ya'll are probably tired of hearing about!

We (being me) will now be working on the coding for the book. I will post a 4000+ word sample, the finished, titled cover and the title (of course) on September 1st. (LABOR DAY! IEEEEE!)

The book will go live on or around 9/7.

Also on 9/7, I will post a coupon code set up for the following day, Saturday 9/8. It will let ya'll get the Sci-Fi Book of Mystery for free. As I said earlier, you'll need a Smashwords account to make it work. If you don't have one already, go there, sign up, it's just like getting an Amazon account except they're a lot friendlier to authors and they only sell books.

The coupon will ONLY work for the 8th. First, because I am poor and I do need money. Second, because Amazon has bizzare policies about offering stuff for free on other sites and I'd like to duck dealing with that as long as I can.

Now, you don't have to get the book from Smashwords. It will be avaliable through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks, a couple other places about a week or so after it goes live on Smashwords. But the coupon won't work on those sites.

So if you remember nothing else from this post, remember: Saturday the 8th, Smashwords, coupon code, free book.

ALSO-ALSO! If you bought and read Silver Bullet, and liked the first story, there's a sample of the next Exiles story in the Sci-Fi book of mystery. Another reason to check it out!

Alright. I'm done. It's off to work I go...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My life is just not that interesting

Last month I said that I would update this thing every day. and I have, excepting weekends when I just want to die (why did I say I would post book stuff on the first? HAVE I MADE IT CLEAR HOW SCARED I AM OF THE FIRST YET???!?!) and in doing so I have come to the following realization.

I? Am not an interesting person.

HOPEFULLY my books are interesting. But I know that if they are, it is because I have taken all my not interesting stuff and shoveled it all into things that don't exist. The other part of my not being interesting is...well...I don't go out much.

Why don't I go out much?

I live in South Texas. In a small town. And my options are: Go out with friends (who do not read) and get drunk at techno club; go out with friends-who-do-not-read and get drunk at a bar listening to god awful country music; get drunk at work (My boss would totally allow this as long as I am not actively on the clock OR on call); stay home and read sci-fi book that is six times more awesome than anything in the little theater right now; or go on adventure involving aliens and space ships and medical missions and Space Needles and fairies and ghosts and romance something that bears a more than passing resemblance to Jareth the Goblin King AKA write something.

Which is not a very interesting thing to write about.

So yes. On the surface I am boring.

That said, book cover artwork is mostly done. I think I just need to let it cool off a little, do basic resizing for the artwork ratios, and then it'll start appearing in Places. Also why I am boring: you can make cool stuff or you can have a cool time, but doing both at once requires somebody doubly awesome.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Brand new Week!

Whee! Or...not so much, as this is Labor Day Week, Guys and Girls, and if you work retail, or restaurants, or any other industry that depends on large numbers of people having many days off, Labor day is less "Whee" and more "HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE COMING HERE???"

We already have reservations for Saturday. I. Am. Frightened.

In happier news, I have started Cover Art for the Sci-Fi Novel of Mystery. It is going so well I think I can promise to release the cover as well as the title and sample on the First. Which will be Labor Day Saturday.

Have I mentioned yet, that I bought whiskey today? I bought whiskey. Because this is Labor Day week and I am tired of giving my boss money back just because I want a whiskey sour. I should not drink quite as much as I have been (thank you, oh boss who hands me things with booze in them and says "finish that") but about the ninteenth time someone looks at the lovely goodness of Eggs Benedict WITH hollindaise sauce I made myself and says "Can I have some ketchup?" you realize, my dear and lovely blog-readers, you realize that there is not enough booze in the world.

BUT! Saturday is the first! And you shall get a taste of the Sci Fi Novel of Mystery! Which you lovely blog readers may have for free! REMEMBER THIS. IT IS THE PLAN.

Labor. Day. Weekend. Why did I think this first was going to be anything other than OH MY FUCKING HELL THERE ARE PEOPLE? There will be fancy doughnuts. There will be armies of fancy doughnuts. They shall dance through my dreams like soldiers. Square ones. With powdered sugar on them. Which I shall fry and fry and fry until--

BOOKS! Right. And I am confident in promising that the book itself WILL be live by weekend after next. Not only that, but you will get a sample of the next one after that, a continuation of one of the stories in Silver Bullet...

The liquor store is scared of this week. The fucking liquor store.

Be here on Saturday. Look at the Sci Fi Book of Mystery in all its mysterious goodness and shiny shiny artwork, and leave me comments. Not necessarily on the book. Just remind me that there is life after Labor Day.

P.S. No less than three purry incursions. I surrender. I will throw her out of the house before Mother and Stepfather return, but I know when to bow to the inevitable.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Calling it

The problem with editing stuff is, first I write the story that I want to read. And then I read it, and read it, and read it, and read it, until the words start spurting out of my ears. Most of what I've done the last couple of days has been purely cosmetic stuff.

I just wish there was a way to read this story without knowing how it ended. Because I really like this story. A lot.

But unless the test reader (read as: parental unit bribed with dish washing and sushi) finds something horrendously out of whack, I think I'm as close to done as I can get. Because, you know, you're never really done. You just get frustrated to death.

Artwork next. Which should be fun. I think I'm going to try a couple new techniques on this one, stuff I haven't really done much with before.

So remember, dudes and dudettes, title, sample, and (if I can do it that fast) cover art on the first, and the book will be posted either the first or second weekend (First if nothing goes wrong, second if something does) in September. I'm going to set things up so that the free book thing will be on a Saturday, and give you guys a lot of time to pick up a copy.

Have a good weekend, guys!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sci-Fi Book of Mystery Update

I've made a pretty important decision regarding this book. Namely...I know everybody who is buying my other book is either a blog reader or my mom. (Hi Mom! Have you read it yet?) which means that I can't exactly do promotions for the book (IE offer it for free, offer discounts, ect) without making it unfair to you guys. Because you are loyal and wonderful human beings and you gave me money for Silver Bullet.

So ya'll are going to get the Sci-Fi Book of Mystery for free.

Now, because I am poor (and also because Amazon is an overbearing monopoly and will screw with your pricing on its website if you do special stuff anywhere else, and requires you to publish there and only there if you want to do special stuff through them) it won't be for the entire world, and it'll only be for one day. It's a reward for you guys. Here's how it's going to work:

1. You will need a Smashwords account, if you don't already have one. Do it. Smashwords is a good company, they sell every format you can think of, including printable plain text, and I get a bigger royalty cut if you buy it through them.

2. The book will go live. Probably near the end of the first week of September. I do not know exactly when, as it usually takes a day for them to process the book itself.

3. Smashwords has a coupon system.  I will post the code here. It'll be for the first full day after the book goes live, from midnight to midnight. I'll give you lots of warning. If you want to read The Sci-Fi Book of Mystery (Title pending) you'll go to Smashwords, pick up the book, enter the coupon, and then start reading.

I'd do it through Amazon, but the number of hoops I have to jump through to offer a book for free are numerous and not fun.

Why do I want to do this? Well...the best way to do promotions is to put stuff on sale. Which I'm not going to do, when I know the people who've supported me the most have already bought the thing for full price. It's not fair to ya'll. You get a free book, I get a free conscience for later promotions. Everybody is happy. Right? Right.

So remember, kids. Read my blog. Get free stuff.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The battle continues

The incursions continue. This is Chloe. Exactly where she really shouldn't be. She deployed purrs and snuggles in a desperate attempt to hold the sofa hostage. It did not work, though I was sorely tempted to surrender.

Also, when I threw her out, she climbed straight up the door to get back in. I think we will not win.

In other news, I really do enjoy editing and discovering themes in the work that I didn't entirely intend to put there. It's a lot like artwork. We're almost ready, and I feel much more confident in meeting my (self-imposed) deadline next month. And remember: title and bigger sample goes up September 1st. We're almost there.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I think the thing that creeps me out the most at work is when people use my name. Total strangers whom I have never known before. I know it's better than "hey you", but call it a pet peeve of mine. If I don't know you outside that building and/or you haven't been in there more than once? Don't call me by name. You're not my friend. You're my customer. I am not going to be buddy-buddy with you.

A lot of people ask about naming characters, too. They don't ask me, of course (You gotta have chops for that) but in the forums I visit inevitably they'll ask "What about names? How do you come up with those?" and the inevitable come up: Baby books, fancy names, remember what you like. Ect. Ect. Names are surprisingly important. Just not the way we think of names as being.

People are more likely to be successful if they have a normal name. Jane. Bob. John. Edward. Ana (my reading tastes suck sometimes. Yes. I read Fifty Shades of Gray. Yes. I LIKED Fifty Shades, and yes, eventually I will blog about that series. Someday.) (also, dear readers, never ever ever write a book where ENTIRE E-MAIL CHAINS are reproduced IN THEIR ENTIRETY. It does not work out) It gives us the impression of being solid...and kind of makes it easier for us to exchange our name for theirs.

My favorite book heroine who is not Honor Harrington (Because we can't all be Honor) is named Jane. The only slightly scary vamp in Twilight? Jane. The most snuggable character in Firefly? Jayne, which is one Y away from being a girl's name.

You know when I get annoyed with books? It is when someone starts getting fancy with names. I hated the names of everyone in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy except for Arthur Dent. I made it about three pages into Old Doc Methusulah before L. Ron Hubbard's idea of a good name made my eyes cross, and we are not going to get into what Mission Earth did to me (actually, we will. Very soon. Jesus Christ was that a bad book. I can almost forgive LRH for Scientology. I can't forgive him ever for Jettero Heller)

There are books with non-normal names that I do like. The Belgariad, for example (FYI that stands for every David Eddings novel ever written. They are all the Belgariad, just with the names changed). But he hit on a naming game that kind of eases you into it. Garion is Garion, which looks close enough to normal, Belgarath is Mr. Wolf when you meet him, Polgara is Aunt Pol, Silk is Silk...and in all his other books it doesn't matter because you recognise that Serephrena/Aphrael/Emmy/Mother Goddess Person from Elder Gods is Polgara in a new hat. (I think that he gave up after The Belgariad and didn't bother recycling Garion. Sparhawk/Althalus is Belgarath) BUT! he plays games with the names, gives you something kind of normal (Pol, Wolf, Silk, Errand) to hang your hat on so when the real stuff shows up (Polgara, Belgarath, Kheldar) you're already in love with the character.

Point? There isn't really one. Just a nice rambling for your evening pleasure.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Restaurant HELL

Work tonight made me want to stick my head in an oven. The only way I can cope with working here is to have a rythem. Greet, drinks, order apps, provide chips N dip, order real food, provide apps, provide salads, provide food, remove plates, ask re: deserts, provide desserts if ordered, provide check, take money, bus table. Insert next table somewhere around "drinks" and we are good.

Whenever we have a party my boss decides to change this order. And then gets on to us for not making this transition flawless. As in screaming. As in tonight, I think she grabbed me so hard my arm got a bruise. Look, I have to behave myself on here because  I KNOW this woman checks blogs and facebooks and twitters and such, and the only mercy I have is she thinks I am so very vanilla and boring, she doesn't have to check mine. But this job? Is not a good place to be. And the only reason I haven't blown yet is I'm making 20K a year minimum. It's an insane amount of money given the town I live in, and it's more than I've ever made at any other job. And I know she knows when she crosses the line, because right when I start thinking "One more word and I am GONE" she starts being super uber nice to everyone. And then we check our tickets and realize we made a hundred bucks tonight, and everything is kind of okay. Except for the arm bruising part. That's not okay.

But nights like tonight? Are why I've begun to drink more than I ought to.


GODDAMN this story is so much fun. Brutal and a little on the uncomfortable side, but I really, really am hearting this thing. But it is being irksome to edit. I call the job done when I can read through the whole page and not put more than two-three red marks on the page (and only if one of those marks is that gee-do-I-want-this-word-or-this-one crap I tend to do a lot. Put the word in. Take the word back out. Put the word back in).

IT WILL BE DONE. BY THE END. OF THIS MONTH. SO. HELP. ME. GOD. I am going to keep this goal GOING. Which means what will eat my lunch come September 1st will be cover art and not book. I promise promise promise promise promise. And even if I have to use a blank placeholder you guys WILL be able to buy The Scifi Story Of Mystery by September 15th. This is my oath to you.

Now. I am going to take what I call a break from life...and CONTINUE editing...while watching Kingdom Hospital and drinking copious amounts of Moscato. It would be whiskey sour, but I have no whiskey. Cheap-ass Moscato is a good compromise. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kitty wars and pickle juice

At this point Chloe has made three incursions into Sofa territory. We have managed to turn her back each time, but our resolve is waning. It's all in those big eyes of hers. This war is doooooomed.

I am having so much freaking fun with this sci-fi story it is unbelievable. Originally I intended to keep it as a once off, but there are a lot of places I could take this. I kind of love this stuff, you know. Yes, dear friends, I am totally obsessed. ETA is still set for the first two weeks of September. Title and sample will be posted here and on DA 9/1.

I spent most of the last two days doing family stuff. I love my family, but sometimes the drama gets to be a little much. Jamming writing time in between work and family the last couple of weeks has felt a little bit like stuffing pages into a dam to keep it from bursting. I guess it's like that for everybody. Except I've noticed most of my friends and family tend to go dancing or party or something, whereas I spend an evening working out imaginary political problems and trying to balance a character's past with their current (traumatizing) events. Which is fun, but it usually means my outward life is boring. People ask "What did you do this weekend" and I can't exactly say, "fight dragons with other dragons, a cannon and a highschooler's understanding of physics" without looking like I've gone completely cracked. So I say "write" and they invite me to go to a dive and get drunk on whiskey sours that taste like pickle juice (Note to all bars everywhere: DO NOT KEEP YOUR SWEET AND SOUR NEXT TO PICKLE JUICE. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, ANGELS AND BAR FLIES DO NOT DO THIS THING. THIS TASTES TERRIBLE. YOU HAVE NO IDEA.) And I have to think up a way to bow out without looking boring because Lowest Common Denominator DJs cannot compete with dragons, and I have better sweet and sour at home.

Also: this is 2012. AC/DC is great and all, but if I hear "All my exes live in Texas" one more time I will begin to scream and never stop. My city needs a pool hall. Not a bar with a shitty coin fed pool table that tilts due south.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

State of the CW+Book stuff and SAMPLE!!!

The war of attrition with Chloe continues. She has not made another foray into the house today, but I think she's decided that victory needs time to settle. She did, however, spend a great deal of time on my lap earlier. You know it's hard to make decisive choices when your opponent purrs.

Thomas has not gone toad licking lately. I think because the rats have reproduced, Chloe has eaten all his real food, and it hasn't rained in three weeks, so the frogs are not coming out to be eaten. And my own baby-doll, Abbot, is sleeping on my face every night. Cat politics are fun.

Also, my goal of late has been to update this thing every day. So far, it's worked pretty well. :D

Summer is winding down. The summer people are going home. It feels rather nice to start getting our town back. And I am about one third of the way through a second draft of the next short. Though it's a really long short. More novellette, really. I have several potential titles, finally, and I'll shoot for release in the first week in September, though if something comes up it may get pushed back to the second. I'll post the title when things are a little more firm. Until then, it is The Sci Fi Novelette of Mystery. SFNM.

Now, because these things require a little priming, I am going to give you all a little taste of the SFNM. Not properly edited, of course, but one of the better passages so far. Consider what's after the cut your mid-month bonus:

I was wrong

So I woke up today, walk out of my bedroom and discover Chloe on the couch.

We are not adopting this cat. No. She is invading us. This is a cold war of attrition, fueled by soft purry goodness. Slowly this calico invader is worming her way into our hearts and lives and couches paw by fuzzy paw. Today she has claimed the living room. Soon we shall awaken to find a new feline overlord perched gently on our chests, looking down on us with expectation in those pretty green eyes. And her demand shall be FEED ME.

She has doomed us all.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Movie Bitch: Chronicles of Riddick

I've been sitting on this one for a while...but...

           Flashback. It’s 2000, the internet is still shiny enough for AOL to be a ISP option and not an allergic reaction, MP3 is what you get when you throw phone keys and scrabble tiles together into the same bag, and a movie called Pitch Black has just hit theaters. And it’s, you know, a pretty okay movie. I didn’t see it in the theaters and I don’t know anybody who did, but I did eventually see…half of it.

So “okay” I mean not actively broken. When I can’t sit through or read through all of whatever it is, that’s usually a bad sign. By combining what I remember of it with what I read on IMDB and Wikipedia, I know I probably would have been disappointed because I got attached to the kick ass girl captain, and…well…she didn’t make it.

 But one thing I remember was Vin Diesel. Not because he did a good job in Pitch Black—though he did—but because after that movie he was everywhere. The Fast and the Furious came out the next year and you could not walk into anything resembling a theater without seeing his face and hearing his deep, rich voice come over the speakers. Then he did xXx, and while that’s the laziest title I’ve seen in a while apparently it was a rousing box office success.

Anyway, Hollywood never being one to miss a chance to ruin a pretty good thing, they eventually decided to make The Chronicles of Riddick. Which I had to watch recently.

This is my therapy.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ideas--dime a bushel basket

So this one day I was on the bus, because, you know, no car, and I was trying to write. This was a couple years ago, so I had my nightshift damn-I-want-to-sleep hangover on, and there wasn't much I could do about it. This woman notices me, and starts talking.

First off, guys and girls? I don't want to meet you on a bus. and if you see me in public with headphones in? It means i don't want to talk. I want to listen to music.

So anyway, I was dumber back then, and I mentioned that I was working on a book.

The floodgates. fucking. open.

See she had this idea involving bigfoot. An idea that I think I read in a Frank Peretti book (there are two kinds of people who read Frank Peretti. Christians, and Fundamentalist crazies) with a couple of extra twists. And it was BORING and I just wanted to go HOME, and the thing that struck me the most? Was how when we started she was like, "Well, I guess you can steal this idea because God knows, I'll never do anything with it."

My former--THANK GOD!--stepfather was the same way. He was all like, "you need to stop working on that silly fairy shit and start WRITING STORIES FOR JESUS" and then he would lay out his Da Vinci Code rip off that also involved the antichrist and human cloning. So specifically, he wanted me to stop working on MY story and start working on HIS. Because his is something he actually wants to read.

Kids, a story is not an idea. An idea is not a story. An idea is the sperm it takes to get a story started. When it does its job, it goes away, and there are a lot of other little wriggly ideas that don't ever go anywhere. And an idea is easy to get. How easy?

"Angel Tractor". Go write a story involving those two words. Now. If you stare at a screen long enough, eventually you'll get an idea. Are you stuck? Here's two more words. "Glorious Pumpkin". Go back to writing.

If I were to go through the list of idea kernals in Silver Bullet, it would be: watching a true crime show about a sniper, a word prompt I got off Janet Reid's blog, a HORRIBLE horror movie that may or may not have had Kevin "I drink my own piss" Cosner in it, a boat named "No Compromise" sitting behind the restaurant that owns my life, and a chunk of my dead-yet-soon-to-be-ressurected novel, so "Winterlord" doesn't really count yet. Of those five stories, one, Silver Bullet, was written specifically to go into the collection, and it was the only one where I spent time desperate for ideas. And by "time" I mean half an hour. And I'm not saying there is anything special about my brain. Because there isn't. I just didn't waste time over thinking things.

The best thing you can do for yourself as a writer is to write. Not gather ideas, but rather force yourself into a position where you have to write, a lot, every day, for hours. If you do this long enough, eventually you'll learn how to make the ends of your brain rub together to create sparks. The next best thing, of course, is to edit what you've written into some form of coherance, of course, but to do that you need to have stuff to work with.

Do you have an idea? A little kernal of an idea that may or may not become a story?

Stop talking about it.

Stop outlining.

Stop researching.

Stop designing your alien race's anatomy.

And Go.



That is all.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Restaurant 'fo

Work has been...interesting the last couple of weeks. And by interesting I mean chinese curse, stick-your-finger-in-a-light-socket level interesting.

First off, let me identify the day NO ONE EVER GOES TO A RESTAURANT: Monday. If you have ever had a Monday off (and I don't mean Memorial Day Monday. We're open then) and you've had to find someplace to eat, you've probably noticed that your options are McDonalds and That Cheesy Diner Nobody Eats At Because God, It Sucks. The nice places? Closed. Why are they closed? Well, in a lot of cases, those nice places are staffed by the owner, the owner's family, and the handful of good help they managed to scrape out of all the other Good Places. FYI, good waitressing is hard. And I am not a good waitress. I am an okay waitress. I manage to get drink refills, shrimp ends and sugar packets off the table, and plates cleared in a reasonable amount of time, but if you screw up my pattern you will probably have to ask me for a couple extra lemons.

And NO ONE EATS OUT ON A MONDAY. So if you don't have the staff (or income flow) to stay open seven days a week? You're closed Monday. I remember reading my favorite book, Sunshine, and wondering why a coffee shop/restaurant would be closed on a Monday. Now I know! NOBODY EATS OUT ON A MONDAY.

But lately we've had Random Mondays. As in Tuesday I get called in when we have two other people on the floor because we got slammed. Wednesday I am the only person on the floor and it is DEAD. Today probably went well. Friday and Saturday we will want to kill ourselves because shit, we DO make the best Margaurita in town AND THAT IS NOT BRAGGING ON OUR PART, it's just a shit town if you want something complicated. (Marguarita is not complicated. One part tequila, half part triple sec, one part sweet&sour, which is a fancy way to say Lemon/lime syrup. Why is this so hard? WHY CAN NO ONE ELSE MAKE A GOOD MARGURITA IN THIS TOWN?) so the tourists and such show up on our doorstep and wonder why we don't let them decide how they want the Salmon cooked. (Because we are not your personal chef. If you want a medium rare Salmon, please hire the chef for your own household.) (No, really. Get her out of our hair)

And then we have Those People. They are the ones that THINK they know the owner. They don't know the owner, but they THINK they do. So they THINK that on a busy night, telling me "Oh, (the boss) can pick something for me" is a good idea. THIS MEANS I HAVE TO GO ASK THE BOSS WHAT TO FEED HER CUSTOMERS. Just in case the all caps screaming isn't a hint, THIS IS NOT A GOOD THING. Do you see the menu? Do you see the entry that is fish in blue cheese? Do you realize this is her default for when people come in and ask that? I have FIVE OTHER TABLES, dude. Pick out your food, pick out your wine, and stop being a patrionizing asshole because, for the love of GOD mister, you are not the center of the freaking universe. It's bad enough you want me to do a side substitution that is totally and utterly inapproprete for the food your wife is ordering. And by the way? let your wife order her own fucking food. 

And don't ask me if the wine is good. I hate wine (Unless it is Italian Bubbles, or a really high end Malbec). I will lie to your face because it means I get you to order something faster. Don't ask me if the food is good, either. The answer is yes. I am paid to tell you yes. I will sell you on my least favorite dish because, if you look like you want it, it means i get to go do refills on all my other tables. And yes, the fucking cabernet is from fucking California and I know there are other countries on this fucking planet but DO! YOU! NOT! REALIZE! That I am POOR! And will never get to SEE those countries? And you are wasting my time telling me about things that I cannot change, BECAUSE I DIDN'T WRITE THE FUCKING WINE LIST?!?!

 *sigh* Here's your lemon.

Guys and girls, the person deciding whether or not the salad dressing/cheese/puree for your drinks is spoiled is the same person you're lecturing on why Talapia Is A Bad Fish To Serve. Please adjust your behavior accordingly. The next person might not be nice.


I have finished the next Exiles story (Silver Bullet sequel. You know, the one with Casey Winter and Marco Creed. There's going to be a series of them and every series needs a name, right?) so I have begun editing the sci-fi story (tentative September release date...sometime) which puts the next Exiles story either LATE September or early October. Note that neither of these dates includes artwork and (cringe) ebook coding.

There will also be another story to pick up where Winterlord left off. So the plan for the next three months, or so, is as follows:

September: Untitled Sci-Fi story

October: Exiles story

November-December: Winterlord story.

Mark calendars and make plans accordingly.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A further complication of the flora and fauna around here is the pond.

My former stepfather (THANK YOU GOD) (sorry. I have issues) put the thing in the front yard. It holds about two buckets worth of water and has a non-functioning fountain. It breeds mosquetoes and frogs.

You know, the kind that Thomas eats.

Now, the smart thing to do is either 1. rip the pond out or 2. get the fountain working so the fucking vampire bugs can't breed in the water anymore. Instead, we leave it there and hope that the frogs will breed tadpoles and create more frogs.

Problem with this plan? Thomas. I swear to God that cat sits out there and waits for the frogs to show up. And they will show up because this is the only body of water for a hundred fifty feet or so in any direction. I can always tell when he's done the deed, because I find him sitting on the porch staring up at me with this vague, "I'm flying" look on his face. If cats had a theme song, his would be that M83 song about the magic frog that makes you fly (yes. There is a classy techno eighties style song about toad licking. And I like it to death, only it's about toad licking and I don't want to sing along with that.)

 One day that cat is going to grab something more dangerous than tree frogs and get into real trouble.

In other news--I'm about two thirds of the way through project two. It's going faster than I thought it would. It's going to have Faeries and ghosts in it, as well as a certain local landmark. Hey, you can't do a story in corpus without mentioning it at least once.

Sci-fi story does not have a title yet. It's got shades of Cain and Able to it, so I may wind up going in that direction. For the record? I hate naming these things. It always feels far too self-important and melodramatic.

Stay tuned for further updates guys and girls.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Life with a seasoning of sci-fi

Well, we are on, three? of the Great Experiment, and it's going...relatively kind of sort of well, I think. I am encouraged. (By the way I just discovered that I've misspelled the word experiment so badly that autocorrect thought I meant parliament. It takes dedication to fail that badly)

The plan on start was to release as many short stories as I possibly can over the next year, which is scary because I suck at short stories, and then see where I sit at the end of it. But it's going better than expected. I have the next short written out. It's a messy sci-fi story involving aliens and swamps and dissertations on Stockholm Syndrome, which means the editing is probably going to be a bitch. Bitch or not, editing will probably begin after I finish the next project--a continuation of the characters in Silver Bullet--and so I'm setting a really really tentative release date for sometime mid September, with an even more tentative release date for the next project in November.

The thing I can use the most right now is feedback. If you've bought the book and read it, ANY thoughts are welcome. Writing sucks? Let me know. Editing suck? Let me know. Artwork sucks? Let me know. Coding sucks? Let me know, but be aware that there probably isn't much of a solution for that until I learn how to tickle Kindle's coding right. (BTW if you do want to buy the better-coded version of the story, go get it from Smashwords, not Amazon. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to code a functioning TOC, and trust me I am still trying. When I'm satisfied with what I can do with Kindle on my own, I'll let you know. Until then, Smashwords has the better system and thus, the better looking book.) Did you like it? LET ME KNOW PLEASE please please please PLEASE because that will totally make my day.

And if you haven't bought it yet WHY HAVENT YOU!!??!!?

Jk jk. Just kidding. Mostly.

(Still: It's a dollar. You can't even buy a coffee for a dollar anymore.)

/self important self promotion

In other news, I seem to have adopted the neighbor's cat. Totally inadvertently, but I'm not sure how to undo it.

To clarify, we have two outdoor cats. Felix is a chicken James Bond, a smooth operator in a tuxedo who requires a great deal of loving care and kitty treats before he will agree to sit on your lap. Thomas is a orange marmalade who we used to think was a great, brave hunter who stuck with frogs because there wasn't anything bigger around. We have since discovered this is wrong. Thomas is not a hunter. Thomas is a stoner. He spends all day licking and/or eating frogs and then shows back up at the front door so he can take a nap.

Thomas will sleep inside. Felix will not. Felix rearguards the indoors as the scary place of claustrophobia and alien furniture, and while he will go inside he will go ballistic if you shut the door. And Thomas isn't all that fond of being inside when he's not stoned. So we feed them outside. And while this is a beneficial arrangement all around, it has certain unfortunate side-effects.

Two weeks ago my mother sent me a text message with a picture in it.

Her name, she told us, was Chloe. Which was frankly silly because she belonged to our neighbors and it wasn't our place to name her. Also, this tiny itty bitty kitten had hoovered the food intended for Felix and Thomas while the two older, male cats stared on in horror. Chloe is a svelt skinny kitty until you get to her tummy, which bulges out like the butt end of a pear. If you put her in front of a whale you would see those little eyes explode in emerald green joy, and then you would not have a whale.

Having conquered the outdoors, occupied the porch and deprived the other felines of dinner, she has decided to invade the kitchen, and the amazing thing is how good she is at it. I look down and I see that little thing looking back up at me, and I kick her out because 1. she is not my cat and 2. my cat will eat her when she finds her. But my heart weeps, because kitten.

the problem is that she is here all the time. I worry that her owners will eventually start missing her and lock her up, and I'll have to get my kitten fix by actually getting a kitten. Or that my mom and her current S/O will eventually grow tired of her. Mom doesn't mind, and all CSO does is block access to the outdoor cat food, which probably explains why we have the slow subversion of the indoors into kitten zone.

Still, every day I get to wake up and walk outside to this:

Life is good.