I’ve shed my tears in bitter drops until the thorn trees bloomed

Goodbye, 2017. Don’t let the door hit your ass, etc. etc. etc. My husband and I rang in the new year by drinking and bingeing TV shows. Then we hugged our dogs and gave them cheese, because fireworks are scary. We would’ve hugged the cats, too – but Quinnie was under the bed, and the ElderCat is mostly deaf. ElderCat could not have cared less, and would’ve been annoyed had I awakened her for hugs or anything else that wasn’t a fistful of treats.

* * *

I didn’t get that much more writing done on Cinderwich, what with the holidays and all. I did, however, scare up a proposal for it – and clean up the first five chapters. I sent all that to my agent this afternoon, and we’ll see what she says. I’ve had fun playing with this and I really like it, but I have no idea if it’s the kind of thing anybody will want to publish.

I am literally the worst judge of my own material. Some of the projects I’ve loved the best have been the worst reviewed or least read. I have no idea.

Anyway, here’s recent progress on my modern gothic about two lady academics investigating the case of a mystery woman who was murdered and stuffed in a tree forty years ago – with Bonus! lovely ghosts, sinister messages from beyond, creepy small town shenanigans, and a New Southern Weird vibe (as inspired by a true story that happened way the hell elsewhere):


    Project: Cinderwich
    Deadline: None!
    New words written: 5140
    Present total word count: 32,619


    Number of fiction words so far this year: 96,619


* * *

Right. Well. Here we are in the future, and the year is wide open. I’ve got another couple of projects I’d like to develop, and I will make a concerted effort to do so. Maybe I’ll sell a new book or two for publication this year, maybe I won’t. I’ll definitely have a couple coming out: The Agony House from Scholastic this fall, The Toll from Tor (tbd), and maybe another Wild Cards project, too (also tbd). I keep talking about trying to take a break and get my mojo in order, but apparently I’m kind of shit at that.

Procrastinating, I can do. Taking a break, not so much.

Well, I never promised anybody that the first post of 2018 would make any sense.

In other news,I can’t be bothered to do a 2017 recap. I’d just as soon forget it ever happened, with a few notable exceptions. We’re settling in to our house in Seattle, we’ve got happy animals to love, and the world hasn’t exploded yet. Knock on wood. So here goes nothing, eh? Good luck, everybody. We’re going to need it.

I let the seasons change my mind

Here’s recent progress on my modern gothic about two lady academics investigating the case of a mystery woman who was murdered and stuffed in a tree forty years ago – with Bonus! lovely ghosts, sinister messages from beyond, creepy small town shenanigans, and a New Southern Weird* vibe (as inspired by a true story):


    Project: Cinderwich
    Deadline: None! Mwoohahahahaha etc.
    New words written: 6955
    Present total word count: 27,479



    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Discovered that a fire road is not made of fire and doesn’t lead to fire, either; found an old tree where a body once was stashed; sat for a spot of tea with a lovely woman who told them stories about finding that body, back when she was a little girl.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunts with the dogs; an epic amount of laundry; hosted a friend for a couple of days; cleaned the whole house; filled the car up with gas and cleaned it out; went grocery shopping; went to the liquor store; did some Christmas shopping; wrapped some presents.

    Other: I know it’s not the world’s most lightning-quick progress, but I’m getting a bit written every day – a habit I need to nurture and restore. I’ve let things slide too much, too far this year. I really need to get my shit together.

    Pet Other: We have a new chair in the living room. It is cat-approved.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: Let’s say 91,479. That’s about right.

The fabulous freaks are leaving town

Not that I’m going to crack 50k on this project – or even the 30k I expressed a wish for yesterday – but what the hell. Might as well go ahead and start a running blog count…at least, until production on something else gets in the way. I’m sure I’ll have to put this down before I get a full draft, but that’s no excuse not to take a swing at it, right?

So until progress is interrupted….

Here’s recent progress on my modern gothic about two lady academics investigating the case of a mystery woman who was murdered and stuffed in a tree forty years ago – with Bonus! lovely ghosts, sinister messages from beyond, creepy small town shenanigans, and a New Southern Weird* vibe (as inspired by a true story):


    Project: Cinderwich
    Deadline: None! Mwoohahahahaha etc.
    New words written: 1802
    Present total word count: 20,524



    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Successfully located a tree that may or may not be (but probably is) the spot where a woman’s body was stashed in the late 1970s. Argued with friend/mentor about it, and very nearly left her there.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunt with the dogs; cooked and then cleaned kitchen; answered some emails; did some research reading; cleaned/did a half-water-change on the fish tank.

    Other: I was poking around on my website, trying to find the progress bar I use in these posts…when I came across this picture of Greyson and Quinnie, and it is perfect. It needs to be shared again.

    Pet Other: I only just cleaned Fancy’s tank a week or so ago, but he had some uneaten food that was getting gross in the gravel – and a plant that was dying in a slimy fashion. (Usually Fancy just gets a regular tiny amount of fish-food, but sometimes the current from the filter sucks it away from him, and he loses it in the weeds.) I read an article a few months ago about how fish get depressed if their environment isn’t engaging, anyway – and although he’s none too keen on the actual process of having the tank tidied, he seems to very much appreciate the result. He spends ages swimming around, checking everything out and blowing bubbles. #nodepressedfishin2017

    Number of fiction words so far this year: Approximately 85k, by my best count. (Spread across several projects, largely in production/editorial processes.) Frankly, not my strongest year. I’ll try to do better in 2018.




* I made that “category” up…to explain what the forthcoming project The Toll is meant to feel like. It suits this one, too.