A wonderful thing happened while I was distracted.

Controlled Descent has been chosen as a semi-finalist in a statewide indie author contest. I got an email a week or so ago telling me this, buuuuuut…the message didn’t sink in until yesterday.

I can think of no better example than this to illustrate how thoroughly my mind has been consumed by the million details of moving into a new house & preparing our old house for listing.  Just between you, me, and the lamp post, I’m pretty surprised it only took me a week to figure it out.  Now that I have connected all the dots, I’m giddy. 

I mean. SEMI-FINALIST.  W00T!

How could I not catch that the first time around? Glad you asked. Funny story.  I read the email, thought, “Cool, they’ve picked semi-finalists,” and  scrolled onward to the rest of the umpty-zillion house-related emails & messages awaiting my attention after my return from Dragon Con.

I’ve entered The Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Project every year since I first heard about it, so update emails are nothing new or rare. I filed this year’s entry way back in the spring, long before House Adventure began, and carried on with life. It’s a librarian-focused, library-centered contest, so of course I participate, but when I submit anything, I manage my expectations hard.

And I’ve been a wee bit distracted.

Things didn’t click even when I noticed print sales for Controlled Descent later in the week. I shrugged, thought, “Cool, go, l’il book, go!” and returned my attention to the to-do lists made of other to-do lists full of post-moving purchases & real estate listing items that still need to be completed.

It took until yesterday for the reality to belatedly hit me in a big, glittery gob of excitement.

See, I got a Google Alert about a newspaper article (Chicago Daily Herald) mentioning the semi-finalists by name & book title. And there it was.

So. Let me say this again, but WITH HAPPY DANCING AND EXCLAIMING IN SHOUTYCAPS, while throwing virtual celebration glitter all over the place:

CONTROLLED DESCENT IS A SEMI-FINALIST IN A STATEWIDE LIBRARY-RELATED CONTEST.

OMGOMGOMGOMG SOMEBODY LIKES MY BOOK!  EVEN  BETTER, LIBRARIANS LIKED MY BOOK!! MY NAME IS IN THE NEWSPAPER, EVEN!!!

Here’s the STBFIAP blog entry  if you like your news straight from the source: 2019 semi-finalist list

As a bonus,  have a couple of pics of today’s minor New House project: putting up pretty window clings. (the major project is gas fireplace installation, but I’m not doing that. Well-trained, highly competent professionals (Oskar & Robert from Hearth & Home) are in charge of that project. Anyway. PICS!

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Dining room. These also block UV & have a wee bit of insulating value. YAY.
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In my new nest.  These are just prism-y fun & privacy making. 

 

Now ‘scuse me, I gotta go check off a bunch of to-dos from yesterday. (I painted shutters, repaired a cabinet, and returned a cable modem, among other fun activities. If anyone wondered) …and then have a cup of tea and put up more pretty window decorations. Because HOUSE.

But I’ll do a little more validation happy-dancing while I work.

Until later!

 

 

 

 

Old floors made new again

I promised I would post before & after shots of our new-old house’s floors getting sanded & refinished. Below you’ll find a place by place breakdown.

First, the entryway. This was a last-minute addition to the project, once we realized how awful the old tile would look next to the refreshed hardwood. Plus Spouseman has a huge affection for woodwork, and this was the perfect reason to give our new place a lovely custom piece.

Next, the dining room. This area had the largest number of dark, worn spots, between old radiator locations & high traffic zones.

The den:

The hall & guest bedroom:

And the front room. This looked perfectly fine before anything was done. But after? So much lighter & brighter now.

And there they are. Rooms. Shiny, empty rooms. Many thanks to Darek, Max, and the rest of the crew from Chicagoland Flooring who did such beautiful work.

Bonus pic of my nest-in-progress up on the second floor:

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Closets. Plural. Room for bookcases. Natural light. This is a happy room.

Spouseman and I will continue moving books and other important belongings & buying some new furniture (BOOKCASES!) over next 2 weeks. (Technically, professional movers will be doing the heavy lifting part.)

The rest of the old furniture will move whenever the old house gets under contract or November, whichever comes first. (Really hoping the old house finds a new owner sooner rather than later.)

So. That’s the update. “Complications of Moving House” remains the #1 reason I haven’t been getting much writing done, and that won’t be changing any time soon. Arranging and following up on various work projects, juggling checklists & timelines, and organizing two households has swallowed all my time and energy.

But “not much” writing is better than zero writing, and I’m making slow but real progress. And life will settle down after Dragon Con. I’m really looking forward to a productive, quiet autumn.

Anyway. That’s all the all there is for now. Until later, folks.

I promised a character portrait post. Here it be.

This could also be titled My First Attempt At Photoshop. (see the end of the post for more on the how of it all) I’ll be using color copies of these as my Gen Con table backdrop, and if they aren’t a flop, I’ll do several more and get properly-printed versions or maybe even fabric-print them.

Art makes me happy.

First, I present to you the Rough Passages Gallery. I have enough art to do several more, but these are the only ones I’ve finished so far.

And below you can feast your eyes on the Restoration Gallery. I still need character art for Felicity, Pete, Neil and Dan to make this a complete set, but I’ll have to sell more books to justify it. Author goals!

Note: the images I used for these were all commissioned pieces I’ve collected over the years. The talent of all these artists never fails to amaze me. I credit them each individually on the character pages here on the website. I’ll try to add links in this post later this year when I have…ugh time and more brainpower to deal with website formatting.