Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Adventures of Auggy the Webmaster

As promised (threatened) I feel the need to post this conversation I just had with the Intrepid Auggy, who is not only one of my oldest friends and beta-readers, but is now the webmaster of my in-construction website (coming soon!)

And sadly...he has requested a theme song. I'll wait while you listen. *whistles, files nails* the conversation went like this:

Auggy: This kinda odd.
Kari: What is?
Auggy: Eh, nothing heavy - I'm looking at the sidebar thingy. It's behaving in erratic and annoying manner.
Kari: Kick its @ss!
Auggy: it's pissing me off. And going to work pissed is bad for the soul. I think I'm going to leave it alone and have some coffee.
Kari: That sounds prudent.
Auggy: Not going well because I didn't sing to it properly.
Kari: The coffee? You sing to your coffee?
Auggy: Not the coffee, whaddya crazy?! I sing to the website.
Auggy: Like that's somehow less crazy.

It should be noted that I do not advocate poking your pet code monkey with a stick, because they will inevitably get even. as I say, not as I do.

New Obsession

This may be the greatest comic EVAR!

Thanks to the great Miss JJ for pointing it out.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I think I have found the point where my brain is literally TOO full of stuff. I am thinking of SO many different things today.

I tried to work on Project 3 last night, only to realize that I didn't have any pretty colored pens, and apparently I canNOT edit without colorful pens. (Who knew?) So that had to wait until this morning, when I not only found colorful pens, but ones that the ink sparkles! (Lily of the Purgatorians already won the prize for first Twilight joke there) On my lunch break, I got through about 7 chapters, just re-reading it. And I still love it. That makes me happy.

HOWEVER, my main focus is Project 2 (I think I'll abbreviate it DD now that I have a title) and Son of DD. To that end, I talked briefly with my editor yesterday, and she'll have notes for me in a couple of weeks. I'm so looking forward to seeing what she wants me to do! It sounds like the changes will be mostly cosmetic (no rodeo clowns or space ninjas).

And I spent 45 minutes on the phone with The Agent today, hashing out things on the Son of DD. I told him the outline and chapters that I sent him were rough (as in, bare bones type of stuff). He brought up good points, I have ideas percolating... We'll see where it takes me.

It feels good to be creating again. There's a high in watching something unfold in my head that wasn't there before.

Oh, and Apple Chai Infusions from Starbucks may be the best things ever. Just sayin'...

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Dreaded Photo Shoot

Ok, so one of the necessities of being an author is having an author photo. And since the most recent picture of me is about two years old, I found myself in need of new ones. And oh, did I mention how much I loathe having my picture taken? There is something about a camera that automatically turns me into some kind of mutant with lumps and bumps where I'm pretty sure there weren't any before.

But, I bit the bullet, braved the storm, etc. etc. And here's what we came up with that wasn't totally hideous. I'd love to hear everyone's opinion on them. (Unless your opinion is "Oh my god, what is that THING!" in which case you can keep it to yourself)

And I am aware that not all of these would work for a traditional author photo, but they were too cool to pass up. Apparently, vanity's name!





5: (and my personal favorite)


Friday, March 20, 2009


Monday, March 16th was a rather nice day. It was an ordinary day, and I was simply driving home from a routine dentist appointment when my phone rang. It was The Agent. Now, I knew he might be calling “early next week”, but I didn’t think that meant Monday on the dot. First thing out of his mouth was “We have an offer.”

Um…what? Excuse me? ‘Cause I could have sworn you just said… Oh holy shit. At which point I’m trying desperately to remember how to follow all pertinent traffic laws. (yes, I know, driving + cel phone = bad)

The Agent gave me the details, and I managed to ask a few coherent (I think) questions. He said we were waiting to hear back from one more editor, and that he would be calling me again before the end of the day to let me know what the final result was.

I hung up the phone and proceeded to freak out, much to the concern of my daughter in the back seat. “Mommy, I think you need to calm down now.” When the six-year-old is the voice of reason, there may be a problem.

The second phone call came and went, and we still only had the one offer, but you only NEED one. And suddenly after being on submission for only six-ish weeks, in the space of a few hours, I am officially a professional author. I mean, someone is going to PAY me to do what I love anyway!

(I told The Agent at one point in the conversation that I would do this for a poke in the eye and a box of donuts. He told me he’d try to get me enough money that I could buy my own donuts. He’s just awesome.)

So here’s the official word on the subject:

I have accepted a three-book deal with Berkley/Roc (the imprint is still undecided) and my editor is Anne Sowards. For those not in the publishing industry, Anne also edits for Jim Butcher (permit me a small SQUEEEE!!!) and Anne Bishop among many, many others.

My first book (Project 2) will be out in stores in the summer of 2010, and I need to bust my butt working on the next two. We have some edits to do on Project 2 (shiny new title coming soon, hopefully) and I’ll be trying to chronicle the process as best I can.

I have to thank every single one of my beta readers. Without them, my book would be shite, my spirits would be low, and I probably would have given up years ago.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Good news coming, more when I can.

Naka-Kon 2009

Ok, a couple of days late, but here's my experience at the local anime convention, Naka-Kon.

First, I think it says a lot that this is one of the first signs I see:

Darn, two of my favorite pasttimes nipped in the bud.

It was an interesting day for me. My hubby is the anime afficianado, for starters. He quickly got tired of me asking "Who's that supposed to be? What's that out of?" There were people dressed up as characters from so many different cartoons.

Guys, girls, old young, it was an amazingly diverse crowd. I walked around gawking like a tourist, snapping pictures when I saw one I liked. A lot of them were even nice enough to strike a pose!

Even the ones who weren't dressed in costumes were simply dressed up in as fancy a getup as they could make/afford.

And I realize, dressed in my t-shirt and jeans, that I was actually the one out of place there. But no one seemed to notice. Everyone was having a good time (I saw two or three outbreaks of spontaneous dance routines) and just hanging out with like-minded individuals.

I admit, I spent most of my time in the vendor room. Maybe if I go next year, I'll actually get up the nerve to attend a few panels. There was one this year on girl gamers, and it might have been interesting.

At any rate, it was a good experience. Now I gotta figure out how to use that stuff in a book someday. Hmm....

Friday, March 13, 2009

To know, or not to know?

I had an e-mail from The Agent last night indicating that he may have a bigger update for me sometime next week. In publishing time, this means sometime before July. This is not to be construed as good news, however, because the update could just as easily be "they all laughed and mocked you."

I'm a little torn on the issue. I mean, I'm DYING to know what editors think about my work. But I'm also wary of being totally devastated if they hate me. Or, even worse, if I fall into that "soooo close but no cigar" category.

I told the Purgatorians today that I have an irrational fear that editors will want a rewrite involving a midget rodeo clown. A co-worker then suggested that if I did that, I should put it in space, because everything is better in space. And add ninjas. Space ninjas. Space ninja gas station attendants.

And the demented part of my mind is trying to figure out how to DO that.

I worked on the Son of Project 2 today, a little. 800-ish words, which is more than I've managed all the rest of the week. I promised myself that I'd start next revisions on Project 3 next week, addressing my beta-reader comments, but now I wonder if I shouldn't ride out this brief creativity spurt first.

Going childless this weekend, so hubby and I can attend Naka-Kon. This'll be my first anime convention (first convention of any kind, really) and I'm mostly going to keep hubby from buying EVERYthing in the vendor room. Wish me luck. First fangirl that whaps me with a glow stick is getting pummelled. I wonder if they let you blog from jail?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Thoughts on Relations

No, not THOSE kind of relations. I don't write that kinda stuff. (yet)

But Guy Gavriel Kay ponders the relationship between an author and their readers in this age of blogs and web presence.

Now, I blog. (dunno if anyone knows that, but..y'know, here we are) Mostly, I started this so that I could spew my neuroses without driving my beta readers/friends/family totally bonkers. But I always did it with an eye toward someday connecting with my readers. (when I have some)

I read several author blogs (more than I actually list in my sidebar, actually) and I really enjoy the insight it gives me into their personalities, and their everyday processes I like knowing that I'm not the only one who struggles with balancing writing life with real life.

The thing is, we all HAVE real lives. I mean, even Bizillion-Dollar-Earning Author has a real life. They have groceries to buy, they have a yard to mow. They have days when they wake up with a cold and alien creatures crawling out of their sinuses and they think "Oh gawd, I can't even sit up, let alone write."

Those are the things I learn from authors blogging. They are people. They're not super-human computerized creativity machines. They're people, and sometimes they have crappy days, and sometimes, those crappy days string into crappy weeks and months. It just HAPPENS.

Yeah, I get that some readers are ticked when their favorite author doesn't produce in what they deem a timely manner. But really, until every person out there squalling has tried to write through water main breaks, and chimneys in front yards, and depression, and child birth, and flat tires, and first days of school and ALL of that in the same month... They really don't have any room to throw stones.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ugly Shoes

So, I twittered about the gorgeous ugly shoes I bought today, and since so many people asked, here's the picture. (ignore the foot in them. It wasn't my good side)

And incidentally, it's much harder to take a picture of one's own feet than one might think.

Publishing Humor

This may be one of the greatest things I've read lately, courtesy of author Lynn Viehl:

Publishing 911

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Signs of the Apocalypse

Ok, these may not be on the OFFICIAL apocalyptic signs list, but I'm pretty sure they're at least in the footnotes.

In the last two days I:
Joined Twitter
Drank a latte (yes, it was a Hot Irishman latte, but the fact remains that it was a coffee drink of some variety, and that counts!)

Anyone who knows me knows that I hate coffee. Hate it hate it hate it. The very smell almost always gives me an instant migraine. (the Folgers plant downtown makes the whole area toxic to me sometimes) But I keep thinking that a million Seattle residents can't be wrong, and there has to be something to this coffee thing.

Now, having had my first latte (heavily laced with Irish cream and hazelnut), I can safely say that...well, they're not ENTIRELY wrong, but... Maybe I need to try a mocha sometime. Something to drown out the coffee flavor more. (or maybe just drink a hot chocolate, which is cheaper and probably tastier anyway)

I admit, nothing much is going on with my writing. Still fiddling with Son of Project 2 off and on. I'm about 1/3 of the way into the second chapter, and I think I've already spotted a few mistakes, thematically, that I need to correct sooner rather than later. I'm trying very hard to keep in mind the lessons of writing Project 2 in the first place, so I don't repeat the same mistakes. (no doubt, I will find a whole FLOCK of new mistakes to make with this one)

Project 3 is still out with a few betas. So far I'm getting a universal squee, so it seems to be well-received. When I can get my one hard copy back (ie: when my hubby quits loaning it out to people to read) I'll start writing out my revisions there. Then I'll at least feel like I'm doing something productive.

Other than that, I seem to be in a permanent state of holding. Luckily, spring is coming and I can hopefully get my butt in gear and get OUT of the house some in the nicer weather.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wherein I confess my dork-dom

It's no secret that I play WoW. What I rarely admit, though, is that I play on an RP server, and I do it because I LIKE to RP. When surrounded by a frothing mob of "lolwut zomg suxxors bbqftw!" cretins, it's hard to remember that fact, but I do. I like to RP.

And even more than that, I like to write stories for my characters, and my friends' characters. As far as writing goes, writing a novel is like a marathon in Death Valley in August, and writing for WoW is a nice refreshing jog around the block in the springtime. So it's a vacation of sorts, a pick-me-up.

This week, an old RP friend looked me up to say "Hey, I missed our stories together." And I went back and read the old stuff, and I missed it too! There's something comforting about sliding into these old characters, people I've known for years, lives that have gone on (in theory) quite contentedly in the time since I quit playing them.

I'm not sure really what this has to do with anything, except to say that sometimes, writing old things is just as pleasurable as writing new ones.