Cherie Priest

Tiny Godzilla since 1975

2011

2 years, 3 months ago, around lunchtime

I think 2011 will go down in history as the year I bit off more than I could chew – some by happenstance, and some by opportunistic optimism. At least it’s almost over now, and time for something new.

But first, a recap – with commentary.
Because I think that’s what you’re supposed to do in these year-end posts.

    Book Work

This year I had four major projects drop: Bloodshot, Fort Freak, Ganymede, and Hellbent. To be clear, I did not write all four last year; publishing schedules are arcane cycles, that’s all. And in fact, I did not write the entirety of Fort Freak – just the interstitial mystery.

Regardless, Fort Freak was single-handedly the greatest challenge and most work I’d ever undertaken at the time, and I’m glad it finally hit the streets. I am terribly proud of my contribution to that project, and absolutely honored/gobsmacked by the exceptional company I keep between those covers with George and the Wild Cards Consortium.

    Day Job Work

For 2009-10, my writing work happened while day-jobbing for the marvelous folks at Subterranean Press, juggling a part-time gig which I valued mightily, under the direction of one of the finest gents I know.

But I left that gig rather abruptly at the end of March, in order to take what appeared to be a dream assignment with another company. I hated to go, but my Subterranean boss was kind, understanding, and (as is typical) quite awesome.

He sent me off with love.

Alas, I couldn’t talk about the ensuing day job, and there’s a chance I might never talk about it. That’s how super-secret things go, sometimes.

These are the basic facts: It was a contract job. It ran from April, up until about a week ago.

The contract was the chance of a lifetime – and I’m both grateful for the opportunity, and glad I worked up the nerve to accept it. Now I can now cross it off my list of “things I want to do someday.” That having been said, it is also off my list of “things I plan to do again.”

And I think we’ll leave it at that.

    Travel

2011 held more travel than ever before. I met some amazing people, made new friends, saw new places, and got to play dress-up on someone else’s dime. I have nothing to complain about, except a little sleep deprivation.

In 2011 I visited Detroit, Houston, Tucson, San Francisco (multiple times), Oklahoma City, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Phoenix, Portland (multiple times), San Diego, Memphis, St. Louis, Denver, and Boise. Never mind the half dozen (or more) events in the Seattle area, and the half dozen trips down to California for the super-secret day-job. And now I’m tired all over again, just thinking about it.

I am pretty sure, to deploy an overused soundbyte from the 80s, that I am getting too old for this shit.

Regardless of how much I enjoy it, I’ve tried to rein in some of this work-related travel for next year – having vowed to give myself some semblance of a break. But because I am bad at math, this means I’m still scheduled for one out-of-state event every month from January through June.

Eh. It beats doing up to four per month.

    Big Business

And then there was the Boneshaker movie news.

For months, I’d been anxiously awaiting the go-ahead to share the press release – my first movie option, yay! – and then we’d all have a big giggle, and talk about how an option doesn’t mean much, and how 99% of optioned properties never turn into movies.

Instead, I got this press release. And now we’re having a different conversation entirely.

Sometimes I lie in bed at night, staring at the ceiling, not believing it. For someone who – barely two years ago – strongly considered changing her name to escape a dying career … it feels like deus ex machina.

I don’t know what it will mean for 2012. Not yet.

    Next up

Next in the most immediate sense: First thing in the morning I’m flying out to take care of some personal business back east – so I’ll ring in the new year like I spent so much of the old one: in a plane. But that’s okay. I’ll only be gone for a week, and it’s good business – not bad business.

I’m looking forward to the trip.

And you know what? I’m looking forward to 2012, too. What few resolutions I have are largely private for now, but in general you can expect that I’ll keep writing, and keep trying to sell books, and keep wondering about the movie, and keep drinking a little too much rum. That’s a 2012 I can embrace.

    Anyway

Thanks as always to all of you for following along with my weird, cryptic, dorky, frantic, boring, silly life. Thanks for swinging by. Thanks for reading.

Happy New Year!
May yours be everything you hope for, and then some.

Frivolity and Rum

2 years, 3 months ago, in the late afternoon

Today began with a sulk, for I discovered that due to the tolls of winter slothitude, I no longer fit into my favorite pants. But I will not throw them out or donate them. I will merely reinstate my (formerly) daily run/climb as soon as the weather permits.

And now a note on weather permitting my exercise routine.
Ahem.

It’s like this: I’m a whiny puss from the Gulf Coast. If it’s below 40 degrees, I won’t subject myself to the out-of-doors unless it’s an absolute necessity – and exercise is nothing of the sort. If it’s raining beyond the typical Seattle drizzle, I won’t do it. If it’s windy as hell, you can just about forget it then, too.

But for the last couple of months, it’s been raining, 40 degrees or less, and windy like whoa. So I have scarcely been outside, and I might have hypothetically developed an unhealthy habit of swilling hot butter rum every night – and did I mention that the sun starts going down around 4:00 p.m.? I don’t know how many calories are in hot butter rum, but anything with “butter” right there in the title is pretty much a challenge to pants everywhere, or so I am forced to assume.

Oh well. No one’s fault but my own.
And Seattle’s.

Anyway – inspired (or shamed) by my failure to successfully pantsify myself, I hiked down to the salon today and got my hair did, despite the nasty-ass weather. (Before you ask, yes, I wore pants. Different pants.) My roots are now touched up, my ends are snipped, and all is well on the personal grooming front.

For bonus girliness, tomorrow I’m getting a manicure with my friend Nova, for no reason other than the fact that I am a civilized grown-up, dammit, but you could not prove it by looking at my hands. And also because I found some adorable smoky/pearly gray polish that will look a hell of a lot better if somebody other than me applies it.

I may not visit the outdoors much this time of year, but by golly, I can match it!

Smells like nostalgia. And sexy babies.*

2 years, 3 months ago, in the early afternoon

Today I went to the bank, nabbed some lunch, got my glasses adjusted, and then lost my trusty travel umbrella to a gust of wind and an unexpectedly sharp tree branch.

No matter. I was only a block away from Walgreens, where they happen to carry travel umbrellas. Problem: meet solution.

However, I was not smart enough to stick to the umbrellas. I kept remembering other stupid little things I needed (face wash, toothpaste, envelopes, etc.), and as I hunted and gathered, I wandered through the cosmetics/personal care aisles.

Right past a boxed gift set of Love’s Baby Soft products.
And I did a double-take.

Not because I loved Love’s back in the 80s (I thought it was okay), but because I loved Love’s affiliate products – the Love’s renditions of jasmine, lavender, and “rain.” They smelled lovely, and far less “calling all beady-eyed pedophiles” than the original pink powder-scented stuff. And best of all, they were light.

When it comes to fragrances, light is important to me. You see, I have this mutant alien body chemistry that absolutely CLINGS to scent. Any scent. Good scents. Bad scents. Scents that most people don’t really worry about – like laundry detergent, dish soap, hand lotion, and so forth … anything with a molecule of odor works its way into my skin and stays there, whether I like it or not.

[As an aside, my mom says that when I was a baby, she'd make up excuses to keep little old ladies from holding me - lest I smell like mothballs, hard candy, and Aqua Net for a week. So this is not a new development.]

Anyway. When I was a teenager, I loved the Baby Soft scents (except the original so much, as noted) because I could spray them in the air, walk underneath, and smell faintly, pleasantly, like the appropriate cologne until bath-time – and no longer. And conveniently enough, I really love jasmine and lavender.

Alas, prior to this afternoon I had not seen the jasmine or lavender renditions of Love’s in twenty years. I didn’t think they still made it anymore, and I’ve long since moved on to other olfactory vices. But there it was – not the full set of alternates like I wore as a kid, but a box set that included one small bottle of my formerly prized jasmine cologne.

I am such a dumbass. The set was marked $9.99 – and was on a pile of merchandise that was half-off, due to the post-holiday purge.

I suppose you can see where this is going.

Gleefully, I tossed the box into my shopping basket. Merrily I traipsed up to the checkout counter.

And therefore, I bought myself five items: A bottle of the original Love’s Baby Soft cologne, pink and somewhat cloying; a tube of shimmery Love’s Baby Soft lotion, likewise eye-wateringly “fresh”; a tube of Love’s Rain Forest lotion, which smells oddly like Davidoff’s Cool Water for men, but whatever; a bottle of Love’s Soft Lemon perfume, which I find frankly perplexing; and the highly coveted bottle of Love’s Soft Jasmine perfume.

You will note that the photo above shows only four items.

Yes. Well. Upon opening the box, I was greeted by a wafting cloud of Love’s Baby Soft (original formula) – a cloud of such nose-prickling density that it now pervades my very soul.

And why did I not don gloves at this point in the story? Because I’m a dumbass, that’s why.

As I popped the items out of their plastic mold packaging, one doo-dad at a time, I realized that the Love’s Baby Soft cologne was half-empty, and the other half of its contents had either sloshed into the other mold compartments or gelled into a vivid pink goo at the bottom of its own housing.

Reader, is 1985 up in this-here Seattle apartment, and I will be exfoliating the undead daylights out of myself for the foreseeable future.

I can only thank God my husband isn’t home, and pray that the worst of the fragrance fog has dissipated before he returns. And also, that he isn’t deeply appalled by the prospect of his wife smelling like she’s twelve.



* Ahem.