Cherie Priest

Tiny Godzilla since 1975

All you have is your fire

17 hours, 13 minutes ago, mid-afternoon

No word metrics tonight, folks – it just hasn’t been that kind of day. Instead, the husband and I tackled the weekly housework…and then we moved on to the yard. We moved on to it hard.

Our front yard is always a little bit of a mess, really. It’s quite small, and although the husband and I often have a drink on the front porch (especially when it’s raining), there’s just not much in the way of “outdoor living space.” So quite frankly, we tend to sort of forget about it and let it go to hell – concentrating most of our energy on the back yard, where we spend a lot more time.

Once in awhile I’ll make a wee herculean effort and spend a couple of full days on it, which is bullshit, I know. I really ought to give it an hour a week, and then not have to perform these marathon shenanigans – but oh well.

Today I had the husband’s help, so it wasn’t quite the epic undertaking it would’ve been, were this a solo mission.

Recently, we’ve been clearing out underbrush and vines around the two main front beds and/or the old roses. But today we made a final massive push – adding both (a). 10 bags of mulch, and (b). an actual border to both the beds, in the form of the excess pavers I’ve had sitting in the garage for almost two years.

The time had come. I was never going to do my half-assed plan for a walkway in the backyard anyhow. They were just taking up space…and now they make it look like civilized adults live in this-here house. Really, I’m very pleased with how it came out. Two thumbs up, to me and the hubs.

Now I just have to finish cleaning out under HollyHenge (tomorrow? maybe Sunday?) and start work on the back yard, where things have gone from forest to jungle. With any luck, this will be the last big project-type work I’ll have to perform this year.

We shall see.

* * *

Look what I found, while watering plants yesterday!

Don’t worry, I didn’t lick or otherwise molest him – though I did use a Tupperware container to gently relocate him, when Greyson showed excessive interest in the surprise green interloper. My pooch probably wouldn’t have hurt him on purpose, but he’s big and clumsy, and prone to snorfling things (whether they want snorfling or not).

It was best for everyone if the little dude returned to the nearby hedges.

* * *

Maplecroft Madness! Can’t stop the signal, baby. Here are a couple of new reviews that landed overnight, presented for your consideration:


    Fantasy Faction – (Where it’s rated 9/10 stars) “The story likes to highlight the dysfunctions of its players and makes one wonder how any of these people can stand to be in a room together. Their pasts hover over them like drippy coastal fog…”

    Happy birthday to the Errant Weasel! – “I ordered it for myself months ago as I knew it would drop on my birthday. As it happened, I was home in bed with a fever the day it arrived so I got to devote my undivided attention to it. And finished it within 48 hours, wholly unwilling to put it down for more than a few hours of sleep.”


And just because, for your convenience – the usual links roundup:

Heaven and hell were words to me

1 day, 17 hours ago, mid-afternoon

Just a quickie tonight, folks – for I probably won’t get any writing done tomorrow. And because it’s still very much Maplecroft Madness, I’m just gonna leave these links right here…in case oh, say, anyone wanted to order a copy…or perhaps leave a review someplace. [:: cough cough ::]

So here’s recent progress on my modern gothic ghost story about a salvage crew trapped in a doomed southern mansion – now with a crunchy murder ballad center and Bonus! clandestine cemetery where the stones don’t match the bodies (and were never meant to). As inspired by a (semi)true local legend:


    Project: The Family Plot
    Deadline: January 15, 2015
    New words written: 1652
    Present total word count: 11,114



    Things accomplished in fiction: Had a “moment” with the house, all to ourselves. Did some more exploring. May have heard voices.

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunt with dog; finished up laundry; exchanged some business-type emails; took a phone call; whole buncha yardwork.

    Yardwork Other: Dug weeds, vines, and small trees(!!!) out of the front-facing hedges, in preparation for their newer, cleaner beds come this weekend (give or take); the husband and I are going to line the (presently unmarked) beds with old brick, and fill everything in with some good mulch. Also: de-vined the climbing hydrangea; weeded around the side bed with the rhododendron/Japanese anemones/regular oversized hydrangea; cleaned out the lead-in walkway for the cellar, which had accumulated almost 3-4 inches of dirt/plant detritus/weeds actively growing; cleaned out part of the garage; threw a bunch of shit away. Literally. Found a stash of rat shit, so…yeah.

    Other Project: More progress! Only about 600 words, but I found the beginning of the other character’s arc – which was the tricky bit. Onward! Upward!

    Other in General:

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 162,195


BONUS: Here’s an adorable, mostly grown puppy-friend of Greyson’s. She’s alleged to be of bulldog ancestry … but I suspect an indiscretion between a rolled up sock-ball and an orc.*





* I say that with love, of course. She’s as sweet as they make ‘em. [:: smooches her smooshy little face ::]

Calling to join them the wretched and joyful

2 days, 17 hours ago, mid-afternoon

Arms. Like. Noodles. But that’s what the edger/trimmer does to me, man. If I took it for a spin more often, I’d have the upper body strength of a superhero. OOF.

So yes, there’s been a little more yardwork – not as much as I would’ve liked, but I got a late start today. On the upshot, the husband joined in for some of the dirty work, so we got quite a bit done. Not everything, mind you. We’ll never truly finish; we’ll only surrender.

Quoth a lovely friend via twitter: Sisyphus was a gardener.

But I finished edging/trimming the front yard, pulled some weeds, and got the old roses pruned and de-vined – which was frankly an epic undertaking, resulting in many ridiculous scratches. The vines around here are INSANE, I tell you. We’ve got a whole cocktail of them, always doing their best to take over the yard: English, Persian, Virginia creeper, birdsfoot, morning glories…never mind the ubiquitous Kudzu World Order.

Jesus H., man. It’s a mess out there.

It’s been a hell of a nice day, though. Breezy and cooler, with a hint of fall. I suppose that’s one reason to look forward to winter: the end of yardwork season. The place will look like hell for awhile, but at least there won’t be anything I can or should do about it.

* * *

Here, have a picture of Greyson and Watson. It’s always a delight when this marvelous cat joins us on our walks in the morning. He runs up to Greyson to greet him, then demands petting from me, and then we stroll for a block or so until the kitty loses interest and goes back home.

But his company is super cute while it lasts.

* * *

So here’s recent progress on my modern gothic ghost story about a salvage crew trapped in a doomed southern mansion – now with a crunchy murder ballad center and Bonus! clandestine cemetery where the stones don’t match the bodies (and were never meant to). As inspired by a (semi)true local legend:


    Project: The Family Plot
    Deadline: January 15, 2015
    New words written: 2045
    Present total word count: 9462



    Things accomplished in fiction: Started checking out the digs and taking inventory.

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunt with dog; inbox: zero; de-vined the roses; de-vined some other shrubby-type thing, the name of which I do not know; finished edging/trimming the yard; pulled weeds, etc.

    Other Project: Progress! I pushed through (another 1000+ words) and actually finished a draft of the first chapter. (I need two, one from each POV character, to serve as the requested sample). Tomorrow I’ll start the other one.

    Other in General: I am proud of this-here productive day.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 160,546

* * *

And now it’s time for Maplecroft Mayhem, you guys. I am grateful and thrilled by all the kind folks who’ve taken the time to talk about the book – believe me! – especially in these early weeks of its release. Publishers determine all kinds of things from preorders and initial sales, so your support is MASSIVELY important, and I can’t thank you enough.