Month: December 2010

Happy New Year!

Today the husband and I buckled down and cleaned the ever living hell out of our apartment – even going so far as to empty, vacuum, sort, and clean both the hall closet and the coat closet. Tomorrow we’ll tackle our bedroom closet, for it is the last un-scrubbified frontier in this-here residence.

I even moved the couch and vacuumed underneath it, which is more of a chore than it sounds like. Particularly when one considers that we have a cat, and this cat has more toys than some small department stores, and this cat likes nothing better than to slap-shoot her toys under the couch – where she can retrieve them with ease, but we cannot.

I recovered more than two dozen bouncy balls, furry mice, rattly assorted doo-dads, and feather-thingamajigs. They are now in her basket, where they will remain for approximately the next hour … or until whenever she wakes up from her nap.

Anyway. At the moment, I’m waiting for the last load of towels to come out of the dryer, so I felt like I could take a few minutes and update. Might as well, right? It’s my last chance all year! Of course, now I have no idea what to say.

There’s a meme going around – “Ten Things I’ve Done That You (Probably) Haven’t.” Maybe I’ll take a stab at that. I’ll try to leave out book-specific stuff, since (a). I know a lot of writers, and (b). I feel like it’s kind of cheating.

Otherwise, here goes – Ten Things I’ve Done That You (Probably) Haven’t:

  • Got my braces from an orthodontist who’d once been an Olympic medalist.

  • Took comprehensive exams to receive my master’s degree in writing, and failed the “Fiction” section.*

  • Spent a summer petitioning to legalize gambling – in order to raise the entry fee I needed to attend a private Christian university.

  • Barfed all over the escalator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. (Because I refused to admit – until it was entirely too late – that I was too sick to see the Ramses II exhibit.)

  • Beat five out of six guys (a groom and four members of his wedding party) at Soul Calibur. The sixth guy refused to play me. That chickenshit.

  • Bought (and still use) a giant wicker parrot umbrella holder at an estate sale, and refused to sell it for twice what I paid for it when a dude tried to poach it off me as I carried it to my car.

  • Went on NPR to talk about zombies.

  • Dressed up like a Bozo’s little sister as part of a “Christian Clown Ministry,” and went handing out Jesus Loves You pamphlets at a housing project. In my defense, I was in high school and I had a huge crush on one of the other clowns. It’s been twenty years, and I still feel embarrassed and weird about that whole experience.

  • Dated two guys who had been (independently, years apart, long before I knew them) struck by lightning.

  • Had eleven teeth pulled. At once.

Okay. The towels should be dry by now. I’d better go check.
Everyone have a great evening!

* Retook it. Passed it on the second try for the academic win, but irony fail.


For the sake of convention, or vanity, or whatever … I feel the need to do a year-end wrap-up post. Perhaps I should hold off until tomorrow, but tomorrow I might not have time. In addition to the day-job work, I plan to clean this apartment from top to bottom, because I absolutely refuse to begin the new year with a dirty bathroom; it sets a bad precedent.

Therefore, any 2010 retrospective of mine needs to happen today.
And I’m not entirely sure what to say.

In 2010, my seventh novel sort of … well … took off. And everything changed.

With the help of an epic team of fabulous editors, a great boss, and my amazing agent … I had two more books published (Dreadnought and Clementine), sold two more (Ganymede and Inexplicable), either completed – or essentially completed – four (Bloodshot, Hellbent, Ganymede, and my segments of Fort Freak), sold a couple of short stories, sold reprint rights on a couple others, sold foreign rights for three books in nine countries, and maintained a part-time day-job working as an associate editor for Subterranean.

I did conferences/conventions/events/signings in San Francisco, Portland (Oregon), Troy (Michigan), Victoria B.C., New York City, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Vancouver (Canada not Washington), Denver, Madison (Wisconsin), Richmond … plus a whole host of them in the greater Seattle/Tacoma/Olympia area.

I am completely freaking exhausted.
I am also grateful beyond words.

2010 has been worth every minute. Even the jet-lag.

* * * * *

So what about 2011?
Well, let’s see.

This year I will get better about saying “No.” I don’t like saying it, but for the sake of my sanity, I need to deploy that syllable more often. Note to self: Am only human.

Likewise, I will get a death grip on my finances. Not altogether unrelated: The husband and I are saving up to buy a house – a goal which is actually within hypothetical reach this year, (a). barring unforeseen catastrophe, and (b). if we are careful. My shopping refrain for 2011 re: everything from groceries to tee shirts shall be, “Do I want this, or do I want a house?”

I will spend less time on the internet. I fart around online far too much; I use it as filler for all the in-between moments in my day – and some days, those in-between moments accumulate into hours. As a side benefit, it’s amazing how much drama, bullshit, and butt-hurt I miss when I skip certain feeds. Amazing, I tell you! Not sure why it’s taken me so long to figure out I don’t need it, but really. I don’t.

However, I will make a point to maintain this blog in a fashion that does NOT devolve into daily stats reports or lists of links for weeks at a time. Blogging isn’t really that time-consuming, and I enjoy it. I also enjoy tweeting and posting kitty pictures, and lurking in a digital clubhouse or two. These are not Problem Time-Suck Areas with regards to my internet experience.

I will write the sequel to Ganymede (of course), and I will propose/pitch/pull together material for at least three other books, which I very much hope will sell. The first partial/proposal is almost finished; the other two I’ll begin in the next week. I might throw in a fourth, but I want to talk to my agent about it before I do any fiddling on that one.

I will write. A lot.
And I will read. A lot.

I will hope for the best.

December 29, 2010

Today I trawled the internet for information about 19th-century industrial-capacity pressure cookers, and how long it takes to dissolve a corpse in lye (respectively). God help me if I’m ever suspected of murder. I’ll be tried and convicted on my browser history alone.

I also did laundry. And I wrote.

Project: Steamhorror Sample
Word Count at Present: 15,055 words
New Words: 2505 words
Goal: 20K, or two more sections, whichever comes first