Writer Working Report 2/4/21

One. I have been invited to be the featured reader at the Oak Park Public Library’s No Shush Salon this month. Feb 25, 6:30-9:00 CST. It’s a FREE event held safely via Zoom. I ill present exciting snippets from The Sharp Edge of Yesterday and other writings, and there is an open mic too. Online registration is required but free. Link? Of course link! https://oppl.evanced.info/signup/EventDetails?EventId=51023

Two. Sharp Edge is on target for March 23 release. It’s getting a final copy/proofing pass, and then pre-orders will go live. This will be my first pre-publication release with Ingramspark, so I’m not sure how pre-orders will work outside the Piranha Platform, but hey, LEARNING EXPERIENCE! I polished and trimmed and tightened up this tale, but it’s still a big, juicy novel about life, death, superpowers, perseverance, and the power of friendship. (I would say the power of love, but it is NOT a kissing book and people get the wrong idea.) But I digress.

Three. I can make Advance Proof ebook copies of Sharp Edge available to interested bloggers, reviewers, book buyers….really, to anyone interested in a sneak peek & maybe posting a release day review somewhere. There’s a way to contact me right here on the site: Contact Form

Four. I will have new character art to show off VERY SOON NOW. Also BOOKPLATES. I am super excited about this. It means you can order Sharp Edge paperbacks from your favorite retailer and still get them personalized by me even though we’re in pandemic times because I CAN MAIL BOOKPLATES ON REQUEST. The design will have a phoenix on it because the phoenix is my personal emblem and also the series logo for the Rough Passages series. I can’t wait to show it off.

Five. I haven’t stopped writing just because I finished one book. I’m making solid progress on Ghost Town, which is the working title of a book I’m working on with a partner author. Brand-new police chief of a small Illinois river town solving mysteries with the help of her great-great-great grandpa, who was mayor there in the 1800’s. I love the main character of this story, and my biggest lesson with this book is that I need to write moreprotagonists who have pets because writing animals is SUPER-FUN.

Six/Last. May I ask a favor of those who’ve read this far who also make purchases from Piranha aka Amazon? Could you take a peek at the existing positive reviews for Flight Plan and cast a “this is helpful” vote on any one that DOESN’T begin with the words, “I was very disappointed…?” I ask this because the current Top Review for Flight Plan begins with those words, so it’s sending a really bad message to prospective readers despite it being a 4-star happy take. Easy clicks on other positive reviews would be a huge help.

Huh. Look at all those cheerful things. No rant today, I guess. Maybe a rant next time. (There’s always a next time.)

Anyway, that’s all for now until later, kthxbai.

cute tortie kitten hiding under an overturned hardcover book on a white tabletop.
Cat with a book. BECAUSE WHY NOT?
Image by Алексей Боярских from Pixabay

I will not look away.

I’m really trying to stay off Twitter, Facebook & news sites until I get to work late on November 4. It’s dipping my brain in pure stress for no gain. Nothing I read can affect my vote. I voted last week. Nothing I see will make me think better or worse of anyone supporting candidates whose explicit political goal is to make me an un-person.

(I am willing to discuss incendiary topics calmly and rationally. Honestly, when it comes to support of Trump, I have QUESTIONS. But the chances of online or on-screen hyperbole and insult changing my mind? Not high.)

There’s no reason to watch the process unfold from here to the finish.

But I keep peeking, like a little kid watching a scary movie with her hands over her eyes. it’s like watching a really big, dangerous weather front move in. Like a derecho, or a sandstorm, or a blizzard. The disaster is so huge it’s visible from far off, so huge it seems motionless until you look away, and then BAM it’s crept up on you, the horror is there, it’s blowing down your walls, toppling your castle, burying you alive.

The socio-political scene in the United States is as bad as it’s ever been in my lifetime, and I don’t expect it to get better. I mean that not in a “I don’t expect it to get better soon,” kind of way, but in a fundamental “something big is gonna break and a lot more blood will be spilled before things improve” kind of way.

I can’t say, “before blood is spilled,” because that’s already happened. It’s been happening for as long as this country has existed. And no, I don’t expect the country to erupt in flaming chaos overnight everywhere no matter who wins.

In fact what worries me most is not that the current outbreaks of violence are organized or that they’re extremist right OR extremist left. What’s terrifying is that much of the violence is NOT extremist. It’s violence BY the state, normalized, supported and encouraged by vocal supporters OF the state. Who vote.

All the false equivalencies and “both sides-ism” being thrown around are signs that this time, things are a little different. It pains me to see so many intelligent people I know so focused on the basketball game of “regular politics” that they are failing to see the great big gorilla waltzing through the game while people on the sidelines loot the box office and kill the staff.

Sorry. That analogy kinda got away from me. ANYway.

To all my acquaintances who fear we are doing a replay of Russia in 1917, that if Democrats win majorities that they’ll be stripped of their fortunes by a leeching leftist state, dragged out of their dachas by leftist antifa, and hauled off to re-education camps if they dare to voice conservative ideas…

I submit that we are actually in a rerun of Germany in the 30’s

Hitler was elected. He was all about law and order and bringing back prosperity. To some of the people. The right people. Good, everyday, law-abiding people who believed that

I really hope I won’t be living in 1930’s Germany after this election. I hope that at least one more time, the system creaks along towards correction.

Free and open elections are one of the few things the USA got more or less right, back at the beginning. In most ways we have never lived up to the democratic ideals we hold to be self-evident. I mean, it’s right in the Declaration of Independence that only all MEN are created equal, and on top of that insult we committed the injury of engraving in our Constitution that idea not all men were, in fact, men, that some were only worth 3/5ths of others.

But we got elections more or less right in concept. (Our execution has not been good, and since 1929, it’s gotten progressively unprepresentative, but that’s not what this post is about.) Then along came television, and the internet, and now somehow we’ve managed to forget how the basic process of having a bunch of people cast ballots and then counting those ballots even WORKS, to the point where people can believe that not knowing the results instantly means the result is wrong.

FFS, THINK about it. Why do we wait until late January to inaugurate the new President if we know who it is back in early November? Sure, orderly transition and all, but 12 WEEKS just to prepare?

Nuh-uh. There’s that long delay because it took time to count ballots and declare official winners. Every. Time. There are rules about when and who and how ballot counting happens. It can’t be rushed. Now imagine how long it took to collect and collate it all before computers. How long it took to transmit those results from place to place BEFORE telecommunications.

Yeah. Elections ain’t over until they’re over, and this time, no matter who wins, it’ll just be the beginning of a long next act.

I’mma go work on a stories with protagonists who are good and gentle folk who want to do better even after they’ve been beaten down and done bad things, stories where they achieve victory through cooperation and kindness in a world where none of those things are valued.

So, yeah. See y’all on the other side of this bit of history.

Cute panda included for de-stress purposes
Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

A Monday List

In no particular order, what’s going on in my head:

  1. I’m through Late Eclipses in my reread of the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire, and I need to say (once again, this isn’t the first time) this author is a genius and if you love fae stories or urban fantasy or both, you really, REALLY should give this series a try. It’s immensely complex but totally accessible, and there are rich layers of story and history that build and build, but the hints and foreshadoing are all there from the very beginning. Absofucklutely amazing.
  2. My Twitter feed now provides me with a cat, a bird, a possum, a wholesome meme, and a fox every hour, plus one Aziraphale meme and a silly gender description per day. This makes the rest of my online life in 2020 more bearable.
  3. Black lives matter, trans lives matter, the United States Postal Service deserves to be freed from its obscenely punitive business restrictions, the US presidential election is 77 days away, and Covid-19 is running rampant through the American population.
  4. #3 is the reason I need my hourly fox fix and visit from BirdBot. Yeah. I should add a few more happybots to dilute the doom.
  5. 2020 is the kind of year when Iowa can essentially get hit by a hurricane and not make the headlines anywhere else.
  6. I am 1/3 of the way through the final revisions on Sharp Edge of Yesterday by chapter count, but it’s closer to halfway through by pages. (87 of ~210 pages) I should probably take a closer look at that. The shit has hit the fan (AKA I’ve hit the first rising action) and the plot complications are piling up. Good times.
  7. Our new old house is getting a shiny new skin REALLY soon now. Fingers crossed the last 3 windows to get finished & the weather holds. Then it will take 2 weeks(ish) to replace the upstairs windows, add eaves & adequate ventilation to the roof, do a redesign on the gutter & downspout system, and button it up with pretty new siding. ALSO VERY EXCITING. YES.

That’s all for now. More when I think of it. Until later!

Say buh-bye to the worn black shingles and faded yellow metal siding. Riviera Dusk vinyl coming in, with a nice Barkwood shingle roof.