Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Release Day!

Today is the day Silver Phoenix officially hits shelves!

In honor of that, the author Cindy Pon is having a contest at her blog. (yes, my blog entry officially enters me in said contest, but I would have pimped Cindy's book anyway. She's awesome!) And she's giving away great prizes! (I'd kill for some of her artwork, but if that's not to your taste, there's also a $100 bookstore gift card)

So click here, and hie thee hence!

And for bonus coolness, check out Cindy's book trailer. I want one for mine!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Argh, even.

Ok, I admit it, I fail as a keeper of the blog. (or whatever the title should be) I would blame real life, but really it hasn't been any different than usual. I've just been easily distracted by shiny objects.

I haven't been writing much, which is bad, but I have been sorting out sticky places in my head, which is good. And just let me say that youtube is a researching writer's best friend. If some idiot ANYwhere has blown up a propane tank in their backyard, you can find it on youtube.

As punishment for my lack of blogging, I am skipping Teaser Tuesday tomorrow. But the upside means that I can have ALL day to celebrate the release of Cindy Pon's Silver Phoenix! Seriously folks, get this book. 'Cause I said so.

And I solemnly swear to do some more substantial blogging this week. Just as soon as I figure out what to write about.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Teaser Tuesday the Third

A scene from Project 3, Muse. Heracles goes hunting, and instead encounters a stranger in the dark. Or is he?


Heracles whirled at the sound of a voice behind him, and found a rather odd looking character lounging against the alley wall. The man might have been short and spry under the moth-eaten fur coat, but it was hard to tell. His face was mostly hidden by the wide brim of a garish fedora, but his snaggled teeth gleamed white as he grinned at the demigod.

Heracles frowned. “Who goes?”

“Who goes? Well, nearly everyone goes, sooner or later. Nearly, of course, not all, because there are always exceptions to prove any rule, wouldn’t you say?”

The hound growled softly, a barely audible rumble, and Heracles tightened his grip on the collar. Distantly, on Olympus Tower, the clock chimed first bell. “Curfew comes, you should be off toward home, citizen.”

The jaunty little fellow sauntered toward Heracles, twirling a thin cane in one hand, tapping out a subtle rhythm. “Home is where you lay your head, I say. That way, you’re never far from it.” Something about the tilt of his head, the pattern of his speech seemed familiar, but try as he might, Heracles could not place it. “Except you of course. You’re far from home and hearth, and into strange territory here.”

“All the city is my territory, at the Lady’s behest.” Still, the little man advanced on him, and he had to marvel at the nerve. Very few humans would face down one of the Lady’s hounds.

“And of course, when the Lady snaps, we all jump to, sharp as nails. Keeper of the world pillar, long may she reign and whatnot.” The strange man stopped within arm’s reach, and fished inside his mangy coat, finally emerging with a beaten grimy flask. “Have a belt?”

“No, thank you.” Heracles tried to keep the incredulity out of his voice. It had been a long time since anyone spoke to him thusly. Hells, it had been a long time since anyone outside the tower had spoken to him at all.

“Suit yourself.” He helped himself to a swig of whatever was in the flask, and the aroma of alcohol filled the alley. Up close, the scruffy man had a scruffy goatee to go with his scruffy coat. They were the same color too, apparently some shade of dun brown, though Heracles could see darker curls beneath the gaudy hat. “Never did appreciate the simpler pleasures in life.”

The world seemed slightly out of joint, Heracles realized, as if a lens had fallen a hairsbreadth askew. Perhaps it was simply the reverberations of the muse’s high emotional state, but the demigod felt a haze around his thoughts. They skittered out of reach like water beetles on a pond. “Do we know each other, sir?”

“Oh, I don’t think we do.” Again, the odd fellow flashed the toothy grin that at once seemed jovial, lecherous, and snide. “Sure you won’t have a belt, before you go?” He offered the flask again.

“Who says I’m leaving?”

With a weary sigh, the scruffy man shook his head. “Perhaps I’m not making this plain. Shall I use smaller words?” He tipped the brim of his hat up, and while his voice remained as jocular as ever, there was something dark and hard behind his watery eyes. “You are not welcome here.” He pocketed his flask and sauntered out of the alley, turning to look back once as he stood in the street. “This place….it’s for people who can appreciate it. Not for old soldiers who sold out their own kind.”

Perhaps he flinched, the stranger’s words echoing thoughts he had never voiced about himself. Perhaps there was a ratcatcher nearby that wanted chasing. Perhaps the hound just sensed his distraction. Either way, the great beast gave a lunge at his lead again, and it took a good while to get the dog under control again. The ebon hound growled, the muted sound promising to become a roar if he was truly provoked, but he finally yielded to the demigod’s superior strength.

When Heracles looked up, the strange man was gone.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

JimStalk '09 Accomplished!

Jim Butcher has now been sufficiently stalked, and I have the pictures to prove it!

First off, with a pork chop warning for the AWers, here is Kasey trying valiantly to adjust my JimStalk '09 button (complete with glitter, thanks to Kasey).

(It should be noted that, despite my best intentions, I walked out of the house without my camera, and these are courtesy of Bryn and her friend Sarah. Hopefully, both she and Kasey will have more to offer once they can get home)

And second is the obligatory group shot, where my kiddo shamelessly jumped in front of the camera along with the rest of us. (the rest of us being me and Kasey, 'cause Bryn refused to pose for the vile soul-stealing camera)

And for those who were wondering, I DID indeed introduce myself to him with a minimum of babbling, and he mentioned that he,his wife and I need to do joint appearances when my book is out. He really did! I have witnesses!

A great time was had by all, and I can't wait for the Purgatorians to get together again, with or without stalking Jim Butcher as an excuse.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

JimStalk '09

So tomorrow night, my author crush Jim Butcher is doing a reading (c'mon, we all know he doesn't really read, he just sits and chats which is AWESOME) and signing, and not only am I going (like we're surprised) but I'm dragging kiddo, and Gita, and Bryn and Kasey with me! It's JimStalk '09, courtesy of AW's Purgatory!


Seriously, I'm excited to get to see some of my fellow Purgatorians in the flesh. Maybe with them behind me (poking me with sharp sticks) I'll get up the nerve to introduce myself. (or maybe not)

I intend to post pictures of those who will allow it, and there will be much frivolity and stuffs.

Still waiting on my editor letter (nervously, I might add). I think part of my stalling on Son of DD is the fact that I want to see what changes are required in the first book before I get too deep into the second.

My teaser from Tuesday makes me want to go back to Project NaNo and polish it up all nice and pretty. Ah well, all in due time. From the responses I got, I think it would be a popular premise at the very least.

And if I get off my butt and write my own bio, The Intrepid Auggy will soon have my website up and functional. (or at least presentable, since technically it's already functional) Just one more thing on my long list of things to do.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Teaser Tuesday, pt. Deux

As usual, I'm posting early. I seem bound and determined not to grasp this "timed posting" thing of which you speak.

This is an excerpt from Chapter 3 of Project NaNo, titled Peacemaker at the moment. It was one of those scenes I didn't plan on; it kinda gave birth to itself out of no where, and I loved it. It still gives me chills.


A bird called somewhere above him, the first sound of forest life he’d heard since entering the trees. Another answered it, directly to the south. It dawned on Caleb that he’d left the homestead behind in his search, so much that he could no longer hear the men’s voices behind him. The bird called again, to his right this time. Two careful notes, low then high, as if the creature was questioning.

And he knew, suddenly, that it was questioning. It was a signal, asking what to do about him, the stupid white man all on his own in the wilderness. He froze, waiting for the answer. The forest was eerily silent and seemed to hold its breath along with Caleb.

They were watching him. He could feel their eyes on him, imagined he could hear the hum of bowstrings held taut. From the south, the bird called again, the same two notes. “Low-high?” The nearer one answered with a cheery trill, “High-low-high!”

The runes on his staff flared to life as he channeled into it, markings of blue glowing against the dark wood. They provided a path, forcing the chaotic power into patterns, logical forms that could be used with exquisitely fine control. “Schild,” he murmured.

Like the tumblers of a lock clicking into place, he could feel the air around him solidifying into a shield, crystal clear and impenetrable. Only the sight of a few bushes curling their branches against an unseen surface indicated where the boundaries of his bubble were. His breath sounded tinny, as if his head was inside a large jar, and he knew he had a limited amount of time before his air ran out. Impenetrable meant that nothing got in, not even air.

Something moved to his left, and he snapped his head in that direction.

She sat not ten yards distant on the back of a painted horse, the animal’s brown and white markings seeming to be more of a pattern cast by the leaf-dappled sunshine than anything meant to be seen on a living creature. Her raven hair was twined into twin braids, hanging forward on each side of her neck, and her garments were clearly of supple hides, decorated in subtle patterns with yellow and green quills. Her black eyes held no animosity as she stared at him, her head tilted slightly to one side.

Caleb stared at the Indian woman, the first one he’d ever seen in person. He could see her tanned legs, bare between her high moccasins and the hem of her dress, muscled and strong. Her hands were clenched in the horse’s mane, and the animal’s ears were perked forward, obviously waiting for some command from his rider. Where the sun touched her face, her skin glowed like warm honey.

They gazed at each other for long silent moments, two worlds touching for perhaps the first time. She didn’t seem angry, or even afraid, merely curious. And the longer he looked, the more a glint of humor crept into her dark eyes. She found him amusing.

Abruptly, her head jerked up, staring over Caleb’s head in the direction of the Anderson homestead. A heartbeat later, he heard the voices too.

“Peacemaker?” “Agent Marcus?” They had come looking for him, finally.

The southern bird called again, the question taking on an imperative tone. “Low-high??”

The Indian woman hesitated for one moment, glancing between Caleb and his would-be rescuers, and something in Caleb’s chest clenched. Go! Don’t let them find you here! Almost as if she heard him, she pursed her lips, whistling an answer. “High-low-low.” Nudging the horse with her knees, she backed him into the underbrush and disappeared.

Slacker, I is it.

Been woefully neglecting this poor thing, but there isn't a whole lot going on in my world.

I'm toying with posting another teaser for tomorrow, but I'm not sure what it'll be out of yet. I could pick something else out of Project 3, or totally go a new direction and post something out of Project NaNo. Sadly, that one hasn't been revised at all yet, so it may be lacking in some social niceties. Like that one cousin you just can't take out in public.

This Thursday, me and a couple Purgatorians are going to be getting together for the Jim Butcher book signing. I'm so excited! It's not often I get to stalk my favorite author en masse. And meeting my Purgies face to face is just icing on the cake. Now, the question is, do I get up the guts to actually introduce myself to the man? "Hi, you don't know me, but we have the same editor." Or do I continue to admire from afar. Tune in later in the week! Same bat time...ah, whatever.

There are dishes and laundry calling my name. It sounds kinda gurgly.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Unbreakable Child

I mentioned a few days ago about the release of Kim Richardson's book, The Unbreakable Child.

Now here, you can check out an interview with Kim, who is obviously a beautiful person inside and out.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Ok, I know that it isn't quite Tuesday yet, but I wanted to post this before I forgot in my rush to get to work in the morning. This is my first attempt at a "Teaser Tuesday" so be gentle. Here is a small snippet from chapter 1 of Project 3 (titled Muse at the moment):

A skittering noise in the corner drew her attention, and she caught a flash of white fur as one of the ratcatchers went about its deadly work. Mink. Once, they were called mink. There was a pained squeak, and the faint scent of blood reached her. A tiny life cut short under the sharp fangs of a predator. It made her smile softly. That was how things should be. The hunter always triumphed over the prey.

As if it felt her gaze, the white ratcatcher scampered out of the shadows, back arched playfully. A spot of bright red marred its fur beneath its black mask. Kneeling, Artemis scooped the animal into her arms where it curled contentedly. She stroked the fur, smelling the pungent musk it emitted. It brought back faded memories that drifted away like smoke when she tried to grasp them.

There was a forest once, the floor dappled with light filtering through the canopy. She remembered running, lithe as the deer she paced, remembered planting her feet and drawing her bow… A hiss of a shaft in the air, the thrum of a string… Blood on her hands… A dark-haired man with swarthy skin smiling down at her, and a blond man with her green eyes full of pain, asking her why… No sooner did she reach for it than it was gone, and try as she might, the lost days would not return to her.

She was not aware of the passing minutes until the clock atop her own tower chimed the final bell. Far below, the Factory groaned and clamored as a team of workers turned the wheel to shut the valves. Beginning at the outer walls, the yellow gaslights dimmed and extinguished, the wave of darkness moving inward. It sped toward the base of the tower, the blackness halted only by the shining Greenery. The greenhouses held the never-ending night at bay, and the tower would gleam throughout the long Dark. Any who might open their eyes would see it, Olympus shining through the night. And within it, their golden goddess, their Lady watching over all.

The ratcatcher was limp in her hands, its tiny neck snapped.

Imagination vs. The Real World

It’s strange how random and rampant silliness can lead to some really deep philosophical discussions on everything from social mores to writing themes.

Instigated by my own energetic Labyrinth promoting lately (yes, I listened to the soundtrack all day today again and sang until my co-workers started throwing pencils at me), and built upon by some other folks’ real life experiences, those of us in the AW Purgatory found ourselves discussing little girls and romance. My friend Bryn Greenwood has a superb post on the subject on her blog. I’ll wait while you read it and come back.

*whistles, thinks of David Bowie in tight pants*

Anyway, welcome back. I don’t have a lot to add to Bryn’s thoughts, except to say that I agree with them. You should also watch any and all movies that she mentioned that you haven’t seen. (Labyrinth and The City of Lost Children being two that I particularly enjoy)

It’s obvious that watching Labyrinth as a young girl marked me for life, and it still calls to my now-adult self as well. I think that’s probably the same part of me that actually enjoyed Twilight (regardless of what other faults the work may have had). I mean, what girl doesn’t wish for the dark, dangerous stranger to come and protect her, only her, because she’s special somehow?

Even now, all grown up, there’s a part of me that is still that little girl, and I admit a certain giddy pleasure when reading/watching those kinds of stories, be it a goblin king, a vegan vampire, a hard-boiled assassin, or what have you. It’s not about sex at all. It’s about romance, and magic, and the pounding of your heart in your ears when he calls your name… And if he sings? Oh I'm done for.

I have to wonder though, as the mother of a young girl, how I’ll feel about her and those kinds of stories. I mean, you can’t say “a grown man falling in love with a young girl” without generating all KINDS of squick. (even me, just typing this, I do the full body shudder) It can be done beautifully, and has been, but I don’t know a single parent out there who, if hearing this in real life, wouldn’t immediately jump to the most disgusting conclusion, including torches and pitchforks. (and I include myself in that raging mob) It’s that one area where real life is just NOT allowed to be like the movies (or books).

Sure, the kiddo has watched Labyrinth, but she’s six. I don’t think she’s really getting much more out of it than how cool the muppets are and how gross the Bog of Stench must smell. But when she’s older?

I want her to experience the giddiness, the breathlessness, the joy of falling in that magical kind of love, but I want her to do it safely within the confines of a book’s pages, or a movie’s opening and closing credits. I worry about the people she’ll encounter in the real world, those who prey on this exact desire of all little girls to be special and to have that one whirlwind and breathtaking romance.

I intend to make my living off of worlds of imagination, and yet I worry that I’ll somehow squash hers in an effort to protect her. “Yes, honey, that was beautiful, but the real world sucks and this never EVER happens.” I don’t know how to let her believe in that perfect and pure love with all the magic that entails, and still ward her against all the things in the world that aren’t so bright and shiny.

I’m sure there’s no right answer to this, like anything else with parenting. You just kinda muddle along, and twenty years down the line, if your kid still speaks to you and isn’t in prison, you might have done ok.

I think this is why I don’t write YA. My neuroses won’t take it.

Friday, April 3, 2009


I don't know why, but I have been inordinately cheerful and peppy today. I think it has something to do with listening to the Labyrinth soundtrack all day. It is IMPOSSIBLE to be down when listening to He-of-the-painted-on-trousers.

Found out today that A Devil in the Details has been slotted for July of 2010, so everybody start your countdowns now!

And I find myself entirely too hyper for a lengthy blog post tonight, but I hope to come up with something more profound and insightful tomorrow. (or the next day...or next week...whatever)

Thursday, April 2, 2009


My interview is up at The League of Reluctant Adults.

I shall now live in constant horror of the sexy diaper. Does anyone know a good therapist?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy Release Day!

Many happy congratulations to my friend Kim Michele Richardson upon the release of her book, The Unbreakable Child. She's getting some really awesome reviews, and we're all hoping for the best for her.

And in other writing-related news, I should have an interview coming up at The League of Reluctant Adults here soon. I'll keep you posted on an exact date. My very first interview! Having read a few of the other League interviews, I don't know if I should be excited or scared. Probably both.

The Intrepid Auggy is still fighting with the website, but fear not, it is coming.

And as a random aside, there is nothing more frustrating than having a good writing streak come to a screeching halt for lack of a good philosophical quote. The hero in my series often refers back to some very ancient (and very real) texts, and when I'm at work and away from all my reference books is NOT a good time to realize that I need to look something up in one of them. Argh.

Making progress on the Son of DD outline. I'm happier with it, The Agent seems happier with it. Yeah, it's still not fully rounded, but that's what the NOVEL is for. And I must constantly invoke the wisdom of Jim Butcher: "If it makes your character's day worse, put it in." I'm thinking of having that tattooed somewhere embarrassing. What, no? Bad idea? Yeah, maybe you're right.


I don't know why, but I have been inordinately cheerful and peppy today. I think it has something to do with listening to the Labyrinth soundtrack all day. It is IMPOSSIBLE to be down when listening to He-of-the-painted-on-trousers.

Found out today that A Devil in the Details has been slotted for July of 2010, so everybody start your countdowns now!

And I find myself entirely too hyper for a lengthy blog post tonight, but I hope to come up with something more profound and insightful tomorrow. (or the next day...or next week...whatever)