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Showing posts from September, 2013

Consider myself kicked

I've been thinking all day how I could possibly sum up the rollercoaster ride of the past ten days, and I simply don't have the words. Which is a little troubling for a writer.

Ten months ago, I was seriously considering quitting this whole writing thing. A project I'd been wrestling with for an ungodly long time was hanging me up, preventing me from moving on to other things. Sales were tanking, much of my published work was staggering toward going out of print, and worst of all, nobody seemed to notice that I hadn't put out much in the way of new work for a year or so.

If nobody reads what a writer puts down on paper, is she just talking to herself? They have doctors for that sort of thing.

Ten weeks ago, or thereabouts, I found out that I was going to be furloughed from my Daye Jobbe. Temporarily, but the loss of a week's salary was still daunting. Now, I love my job. I am truly blessed in that I have a job that I love, that I can do well, that makes a differenc…

Ow.

Dear blue coffee cup,

We've been through a lot together since I bought you and your brothers off the shelf at Pier 1 in 2003. I'm quite fond of your dark-blue china and funky pseudo-Oriental pattern, so I was disappointed that you went out of print, so to speak.

When your handle broke, I glued it. And lo these many years we've gotten along just fine. All those cups of coffee and tea, mugs of hot chocolate for the Boy. It's been a long row, you and I.

So I'm more than a little upset with you. Not just because you chose tonight to die. But the manner in which you went.

I was innocently sitting on my couch, a Grisham movie playing on the screen while I accomplished any number of Endless Tasks (tm Allan Gilbreath) on my laptop. I was looking forward to a nice mug of hot tea. Moroccan mint tea, to be exact, from my friends at Teavana. It's coffee by day, but when the sun goes down it's tea all the way.

I picked you up by your lovely dark-blue handle, and you cho…

Speechless

And you know that doesn't happen often.

As of this writing, the Kickstarter is at $1,195. My goal was $750, the bare minimum needed to get me from St. Louis to New York and back. We hit that goal in 28 hours, and since then we're well on the way to doubling it.

Wow.

I never heard of "stretch goals" before last night, which shows what a newb I am at this. I thought about an expanded print run for the novella, doing it myself instead of contracting the rights to a publisher as planned. I thought about a voice-only reading of some of my work if we pass $1,500.

But the point of this thing was to get me to places I can't usually go, meet the readers who want me to come to their city. Sure, it's good to sell books while I'm there... but how much better to meet people face to face, talk with them and get to know them? After all, they've been forking over their cash for my books for ten years now. I want to say thank you in person.

And so that seems the most …

Kickstarting the Furlough Tour

I don't think I've been more nervous about anything since I started this wacky writing thing! But here it is: the Kickstarter for the Furlough Tour.

You can read all the details at the site, but the shorthand is: I'm being furloughed. A week off unpaid isn't much compared to the trials some of my colleagues have had to endure; I'd rather a furlough than a layoff. But that doesn't mean my family can easily absorb losing a week of my salary.

But I'm going to turn this gut-punch into an advantage: I'm hitting the road for the Furlough Book Tour. I'm going to drive from St. Louis to New York and back. I'm going to stop in all those places that people have asked me to visit, and I've always had to say no because airfare isn't free and I couldn't be gone from the paper for more than a weekend. Suddenly I've got a lot of time on my hands.

This comes just as we are about to launch the reimagined edition of Dreadmire! If you're a rea…

Groupon this

You know, I love the Bevo Mill. It's a nifty restaurant with great food inside a windmill in St. Louis. 
And their Sunday brunch buffet is something to behold. All the omelet and carving stations you can imagine, plus unlimited mimosas and did I mention the Belgian waffles? I've been there a couple times... as someone's guest.
Because $30 a head is a tad out of my price range. I'm just a humble reporter with two other jobs. 
And I love Groupon. Whenever I'm flush I'll pick one up. We love restaurants, so Groupons let us indulge, try new independent restaurants around town and keep us from breaking the bank.
A $14 Groupon for the Bevo Mill brunch. Oh, that's awesome. We'll make a day of it. Brunch, then the Botanical Gardens on a clear fall Sunday. That's my vision of perfect.
Until you read the fine print. Limit one per person makes sense; duh, it's a buffet. Limit one per TABLE? So if I have the Groupon, I have to pay full price for Jimmy and Ian? O…

RIP Ann Crispin

I won't pretend we were close friends. I may have been on a panel with her once, but I unfortunately don't have the honor of having been close to her.

But I'd be lying if I said her passing left me untouched. Ann C. Crispin didn't have the fame of other popular science fiction authors, or presumably the vast riches poured onto the mega-bestsellers. What she had was the respect of nearly everyone in speculative fiction, not only for her own work, but her tireless efforts to improve the genre and the publishing business.

I encountered Crispin's work as a young girl, a freshly-minted Trekkie eagerly seeking books about this vast new world that had fascinated me. Her Star Trek tie-in novels were excellent, entry drugs into other science fiction. She wrote the Han Solo trilogy for Star Wars, novelizations for movies like V, Alien Resurrection and the backstory for Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as her original Starbridge series.

But she also founded "Writer Bewa…

In case anyone is wondering why I'm marrying him...

Him: Cleaning engineering tonight. Choo choo.
Me: I guess that means you're really on track.
Him: EWWW! SPIDERS!
Me: Enjoy your spiders.
Him: This place is a MESS! The whiteboards look worse than ours! Dust bunnies the size of Godzilla! Having to fight them off with my trusty broom!
Me: Defeat those dust bunnies!
Him: I will win this battle of man vs. dirt!
Me: Then you can attack our basement.
Him: Sure thing! I like cleaning.
Me: God, I love you.