Tearin’ up the gravel, watch you unravel – now it’s a party

Okay, so…progress over the last couple of days has been crap, but in my defense there’s a very good reason: I tripped over a concrete step in my backyard while bringing in the dogs, and busted up my foot. Like, sprained the shit out of it and dislocated a couple of toes…that kind of busted up. I lost half a day when it happened, trying to convince myself that it didn’t hurt that bad and it would be fine – while simultaneously texting pictures of my increasingly gross foot to my dad and stepmom (a CRNA and RN, respectively) trying to get them to tell me I didn’t need X-rays. Then I lost half of yesterday surrendering to the fact that I did, in fact, need X-rays.

Anyway, it’s not technically broken. But it’s eaten up a great deal of my attention in the last 48 hours, as these things are wont to do.

Ergo, here’s progress on my rural gothic monster story about small-town secrets, old family lies, accidental legend-tripping, and a missing newlywed in the Okefenokee swamp – where you can drive SR 177 from west to east and cross six bridges…or take it from east to west, and you might hit seven. (But you’d better hope not.)


    Project: The Toll
    Deadline: January 1, 2016
    New words written: 1254
    Present total word count: 26,793



    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Successfully dragged self out of bed at an ungodly hour after a night of too much drinking, so as to meet a cop and a K9 unit and keep looking for the missing wife.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: [Today] No neighborhood jaunts with dogs – husband is on jaunt detail for at least the next week; no yoga, either, because I can’t place any real weight on the ball of my left foot or any of its toes; made a quick, limpy trip to the grocery store for milk; answered some business emails and so forth; tried to get back into the groove again.

    General Other: My foot hurts and everything is terrible.

    Pet Other: Quinnie-face is my everything.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 99,363


In closing, as per usual – please feel free leave reviews for any spooky books you might have hypothetically read recently. Amazon, Goodreads, you know. Wherever.

The Family Plot at Amazon.com
The Family Plot at Goodreads
The Family Plot at B&N

Legend of the fall took the year like a bandit

Things have been quiet here, I know. The truth is, I couldn’t write a word for awhile – not since well before election night. I was paralyzed with anxiety for a week or more before it, and I’ve been blocked with stunned horror ever since. Now there’s nothing to be done except fight like hell for damage control, and the fight will be uphill, both ways.

That’s all I have to say about that.

Today, finally, I was able to get some writing done. I don’t know when this book will ever be finished, but it’ll wrap up when it wraps up. Maybe it’ll even be on time. Or rather, late…but drafted in time for New Year’s. I feel like I’m not being fair to this story, to let it straggle so badly. I am very fond of this book, and its characters, and the gothic southern weirdness of it. I’m not dragging my feet because I don’t care, or it’s not compelling, or I can’t be bothered to noodle on it… I just haven’t had the focus to give it the attention it deserves.

But I think I’ve got it now. I think I’ve re-located the thread I’d been pulling.
Anyway. here goes nothing.

Here’s progress on my rural gothic monster story about small-town secrets, old family lies, accidental legend-tripping, and a missing newlywed in the Okefenokee swamp – where you can drive SR 177 from west to east and cross six bridges…or take it from east to west, and you might hit seven. (But you’d better hope not.)


    Project: The Toll
    Deadline: January 1, 2016
    New words written: 2109
    Present total word count: 25,539



    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Awkward conversation with a barfly who may or may not be delusional; followed the light to a dollhouse, and hid there until the danger passed. More or less.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: [Today] Neighborhood jaunt with dogs; a 16-minute yoga routine that I’m trying to make a habit again; went to lunch; did some housework.

    Pet Other: I don’t know what day of No Dog Crime our little Lucy is on…but it’s probably about the same as I last reported: a couple of weeks. (She did pee on a rug last time my husband was out of town, but that was a bit ago.) All in all, good progress. Here she is in the backseat of the car, on the way to the groomer – and not the gallows, I swear to God.

    In related news, Lucy and Quinnie are still good buddies.
    Ditto Greyson and Quinnie, but you could have guessed that.

    Bonus Pet Other: Lucy still loves sticks.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 98,109


In closing, once again – please feel free leave reviews for any spooky books you might have read recently. Amazon, Goodreads, you know. Wherever. The feedback on The Family Plot has been great, and I am tremendously grateful for all the support! But the algorithms must be fed.

The Family Plot at Amazon.com
The Family Plot at Goodreads
The Family Plot at B&N

Nobody saw it coming but the little red devil in me

Yes, it’s been awhile. I feel like I say that a lot, but during this particular lull I’ve had deadlines and book releases and a lingering antibiotic-resistant illness and Lucy to socialize/housebreak and several more in-person events and a couple of interviews and several Skype chats with school kids and also Halloween.

In short, I’ve been swamped. So swamped, that I’ve formally submitted notice that the first draft of my next book is going to be a bit late. It was originally slated for November 1, but I figured out a few weeks ago that it just wasn’t going to happen – so I gave my editor and agent a heads up, sucked it up, and now I’m shooting for New Year’s Day.

That said, I hope to post progress much more frequently than I’ve been blogging for the last couple of months but shit happens – so don’t hold me to it.

For now – here’s progress on my rural gothic monster story about small-town secrets, old family lies, accidental legend-tripping, and a missing newlywed in the Okefenokee swamp – where you can drive SR 177 from west to east and cross six bridges…or take it from east to west, and you might hit seven. (But you’d better hope not.)


    Project: The Toll
    Deadline: January 1, 2016
    New words written: n/a
    Present total word count: 23,430



    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Jesus, I don’t even remember.

    Other: Who even knows.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: [Today] Neighborhood jaunt with dogs; cleanup in the wake of last night’s kickass annual Halloween bash; took down all the Halloween decorations outside and most of the decorations inside, then convinced the husband to hoof it all up to the attic until next year; took a nap after meds made me sleepy.

    Dog Other: Lucy is on day 13 of No Dog Crime* – which is to say no inappropriate indoor pottying, no catfood sneaking, no pillow disemboweling, etc. This is the longest she’s ever gone in a single stretch, so our fingers are properly crossed! Mind you, once in a blue moon, she’ll disagree with Greyson about something and they’ll have a little spat – but it’s never serious. It’s just Lucy gaining confidence as she settles in here, and begins to behave more like a little sister than a nervous guest. 99 times out of 100 they are best buddies who hang out, play chase, and share toys. And one time out of a hundred, Lucy gets turfy about a treat. Greyson will have hurt feelings for half an hour, and then they’re off to play again.

    Cat Other: The eldercat continues to do well, and her vet says she’ll outlive us all. Quinnie had her 1-year checkup after the spay surgery, revealing that our little house leopard is up to 15 pounds. God help us. In other news, she’s decided that Lucy is pretty darn all right, so now she has TWO dogs to snuggle with.

    Bonus Pet Other: The eldercat is STILL the ruler of the roost. I love the pic below because she’s eating a sprinkle of cat treats, and the other 3 animals are hovering to see if she’ll leave any behind. That’s 15 pounds of cat and about 150 pounds worth of dog…all hanging back to let the 18-year-old, 8 pound cat finish her business. Even though that business is delicious.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 96,000


In closing, please don’t forget to go leave reviews for any spooky books you might have read recently. Amazon, Goodreads, you know. Wherever. The feedback on The Family Plot has been great, and I am tremendously grateful for all the support! But the algorithms must be fed, so I beg anyone who feels compelled to venture a public opinion, kindly consider stopping by the following and leaving a few stars and a few words. It helps put kibble in bowls and pay vet bills!

The Family Plot at Amazon.com
The Family Plot at Goodreads
The Family Plot at B&N



* She peed on the bedroom rug last night, but that’s our fault – we thought she wanted to go outside and woof at the trick-or-treaters. So we kept her inside too long. That one’s a mulligan.