We don’t need to know the way home

Things are still good – just a bit busy. Since last I posted, I made a couple of deadlines, gained another one, and did a LOT of yardwork and garage restoration. Also, I’ve acquired one fluffy-eared and wildly misnamed houseguest, so we’re having a good old time over here.

By “wildly misnamed houseguest” you regular readers will know that I mean “Cujo,” the super-sweet gent with three legs, a heart condition, and the greatest smile ever.

His people are out of town for a couple of days, so he’s hanging out here with us and kicking around with Greyson – getting some real good woofing done, indoors and out. Tomorrow will probably be a very loud day for the pair of them; the neighborhood is throwing a big yard sale, so it will be CRAWLING with people who just MIGHT stop at the gate and pet them…

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Holy cow! I Am Princess X is one of Publishers Weekly‘s picks of the week! And it comes out THIS TUESDAY at OMG LONG LAST! But you can still preorder, if you’re so inclined!

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So like I said, I’ve been busy. After fixing the patio from the flood damage and tackling the front yard’s ridiculous overgrowth, I moved on to the garage.

(I couldn’t find my safety glasses – but I was just spray-painting by this point, so cheap sunglasses sufficed.)

Our garage was added in 1930. It’s kind of gross, but we are still lucky to have it – for this is a historic district, and very few people have garages at all. (Since ours was built before 1950, it’s safely grandfathered in, despite its semi-deplorable condition.) Anyway, I’d been meaning to do something about it for awhile, so I cleaned the living daylights out of it and reworked the grody old cabinets.

We have five sets of cabinets in there, none of them matching. Two sets are metal, and are more rust than metal…or they were, until I spent two days sanding the crap out of them and spraying them down with SIX CANS of industrial grade Rustoleum. They won’t win any beauty contests, but now they aren’t flaking to pieces. And they match.

They went from this unfortunate state:

To this!

(Photo taken before they were entirely dry.)

I also painted the wooden cabinets so that THEY all match, too. I used the same latex exterior paint that’s on our house’s trim (because I have scads of it) – so they’re white, but I figure we can just hose them off if they get filthy.

Most of my restoration work was produced by plain old elbow grease, but the only tricky bit was actually these stupid wood cabinets. They’ve been uneven for so long that all the hinges have warped and the doors won’t shut right – making it look like we had a poltergeist hanging out in there.

Basically, I could either (a). pull off the cabinet doors and replace their hinges, then re-hang them all, OR (b). I could go to ACE and buy a bunch of hardcore magnetic fasteners, because they don’t have to line up perfectly to work just fine.


Exorcism: accomplished.

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Right! Well. Now I’m settled in with a drink and a fistful of Advil, because I ache all over the place. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone – and a very fine holiday to you all. Here, I’ll close with another dog picture. For goodwill reasons, that’s why.

Princess Previews with Artwork and Everything

Guess what! Over on Scribd YOU yes YOU can read a preview of I Am Princess X right this very moment! Just click the big fat image below for an excerpt of the book, complete with all its groovy webcomic artwork and everything.

No, for real – go click it. Read it. I hope you like it.
[:: shuffles feet ::]

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And, as per usual – don’t forget, pre-ordering is important for authors!
Please do that!

I Am Princess X at Amazon.com – and for Kindle
I Am Princess X at Barnes & Noble – and for Nook
I Am Princess X at an independent bookseller near you

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Yesterday I grabbed a bag of gravel, a bag of masonry sand, and a mallet. It took me a few hours, but I eventually fixed the (approx.) 6 sq. ft. of patio pavers that washed down the hill and/or buckled last month. I am frankly proud of the results; it’s like the flooding never happened.

[:: flexes muscles ::]
[:: strikes a pose ::]

Note: Because everyone always asks, no – that thing on the right isn’t a Tardis. It’s the base of an outdoor heater.

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As often as not, at least one or two of the neighborhood kids come by the gate in the afternoons/early evenings – asking if they can play with Greyson in the yard. The arm in this photo belongs to one such kid. As you can see, this tradition absolutely breaks the dog’s heart.

Poor thing. Suffering through all those tummy rubs.
I tell ya, there oughta be a law.

I’m sure in her you’ll find the sanctuary

I’m still here, and the house is almost back to normal! All I need now is to fix some damage to the patio, and then get the concrete landing regraded – but these things are relatively simple, and they can wait. Everything inside has been returned to its proper place. And that’s the important bit for now.

Anyway, order restoration aside – it’s been a busy week…but most of the stuff that’s occupying my time is stuff I can’t talk about. To be nice and vague about it: ‘Tis the pitch and proposal season. Likewise, I’m still working on publicity/marketing stuff for I Am Princess X – which debuts at the end of this month. [:: waves pompoms ::] [:: fires tee-shirt cannon ::]

Word on this one is really getting around – and in addition to the three starred reviews it earned from the trades (PW, Booklist, and School Library Review) … real-life reader reviews are filtering out onto the net. At first I was worried about the early reader reviews, because the ARC of this book was missing about 90% of the artwork for the webcomic that threads through it; and I’d been a little concerned that the pacing felt weird without the illustrations.

But lucky for me, the early chatter is actually pretty great :)
[:: throws confetti ::]

    Shelf Awareness – “In a clever innovation, Priest effortlessly integrates the comics within the prose narrative. Each new episode of Princess X reveals further clues and a terrifying reality for whomever is behind them.”

    Booklist Reader – “Looking for a smart, hip mystery to hand to teens who want something a little different? Cherie Priest’s I Am Princess X (May 2015) is just what the librarian ordered!…Part prose, part comic, this will lure in readers and trust me, once started, this a book that can’t be put down.”

    Bustle.com – (Named it one of May’s best YA books.) “I Am Princess X makes full use of the hybrid novel-comic form, which is just amazing, and its meditations of Internet culture push it even further over the edge of coolness.”

    PopCrush.com – (Also named it one of May’s best YAs.) “Speaking of nerdy YA, this one’s getting down with its dorky side too, as well as feeding into the Missing BFF mystery theme that’s been cropping up in YA lit lately…This YA debut from a seasoned science-fiction author is definitely going to be a home run for the genre this month.”

* * *

Don’t forget, pre-orders are important for authors! We appreciate them tremendously! Please consider pre-ordering!

I Am Princess X at Amazon.com – and for Kindle
I Am Princess X at Barnes & Noble – and for Nook at
I Am Princess X at an independent bookseller near you

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Right! So. Enough shilling from me, for now. I always feel weird doing it – which doesn’t stop me, no, because it’s part of my job – but I also figure that this blog is about me and my life and what’s going on. Well … this is what’s going on: drainage problems and book promotion.

So for the sake of symmetry, here’s a picture of the formerly soaked/ruined den, returned to its former glory. During the freak flash flood, we had water all the way up to those windows behind the couch. It was awful. Half the floor had to come out.

(Note: Our home backs up to a mountain; the front of the house is probably 15-20 feet above street level, but the back is set into the slope. Usually, water just runs off the hill and parts around the house…but we got a deluge, and combined with some bad DIY gutters from ages past, we got soaked.)

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Hmm…what else? The pets are just fine. The pooch is coming up due for his annual summer haircut, which reminds me, when I’m finished here I’m going to call the groomer. The days are heating up, and so is he. My poor fluffy black snow-dog, bless his heart. He’s so much happier this time of year when he’s virtually naked.

As for the little old cat, she’s also doing well. The anti-anxiety meds, the pheromone collar, and the change of kibble have really worked wonders – much to everyone’s relief. She’s back to her queenly old self. Did I say “queenly”? I might’ve also used the words “adorably obnoxious.”

So that’s all for now. I’m not sure when I’ll get back to the daily wordcount grind, as this week has me running around doing other writer-business-errands; but I’ll do my best to get back to The Toll sooner, rather than later.

Have a good one, folks – and thanks for reading!