I realize I’ve been a crappy, intermittent blogger as of late, but I’ve had a lot going on, and other priorities prevailed. Without going into too much detail, an old friend is in the midst of a (possibly life-threatening) crisis – and a different/mutual old friend came into town to lend a hand. So I’ve been distracted.
But now that situation is as sorted as it’s going to get, and it’s time for me to return to business.
Of course, over the last couple of days I’ve also had to deal with (what turned out to be) a most-of-the-day-eating doctor’s appointment (routine but aggravating), Christmas errands to run, and precious little sleep due to a flare-up of our kitty’s “senior feline cognitive disorder.”
Which is to say, she’s old and she’s getting senile.
Sometimes she gets lost and confused at night…whereupon the only thing that comforts her/quiets her is for you to wander around the pitch-dark house seeking a small black cat who IMMEDIATELY stops crying the moment she realizes you’re looking for her – making her even HARDER to find, especially when your vision is as catastrophically poor as mine. Ahem. Then you have to pick her up and bring her to bed with you. Lather, rinse, repeat – maybe half a dozen times a night.
She doesn’t do this All The Damn Time, but she goes through phases and this week has been a bad one. Therefore, my husband and I are exhausted, on top of everything else. [NOTE: We aren’t looking for suggestions. Believe me, we’ve consulted with our vet.]
Anyway, the cat has no trouble sleeping, so there’s that.
(Turn up your speakers.)
In other news, Maplecroft has made the LA Times Holiday Book Buying Guide! [:: throws confetti ::] [:: waves pompoms ::] So…many thanks to whoever compiles that list. I’m flattered to be included in such excellent company, of course!
And in OTHER book-related news – Locus Magazine gave Jacaranda a pretty kickass review. It’s not spoilery or anything, so I’ll just cut/paste it here for your reading pleasure:
In Jacaranda, set in Cherie Priest’s alternate version of late 1800s America – the one she set up in Boneshaker and has dipped back into successfully several times since – there is a hotel on Galveston Island that seems to be murdering its guests. Sister Eileen Callahan, who is not quite as human as she appears, asks for help from a padre and a Ranger, each of whom turns up on the Jacaranda’s doorstep a few days before a massive hurricane. What then unspools is a locked room horror mystery that has a little bit of The Shining and a little more Tarantino mixed in. Of course, it also has a lot of Priest herself, who is channeling her earlier Four and Twenty Blackbirds voice for a deliciously creepy turn in Jacaranda. Those who love a short spook or are Clockwork Century completists (or both, which might be a pretty big intersection on the Venn diagram) will love what Priest has done here.
Don’t forget, Publishers Weekly liked it, too. Check my Reviews page for details.
And now for a puppy break. This is the look I got when I wouldn’t let him rummage through the neighborhood’s discarded pizza boxes on recycling day. Clearly, I am The Meanest Ever.
And now, 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: 2633
Present total word count: 88,531
Things Accomplished in Fiction: Taking this big finale a little slower; I need to sit down and plot out exactly what happens in what order, and to whom. Maybe tonight.
Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunts with dog; another lunch with a different friend; post office; Walgreens; laundry; some writer business stuff; paid some bills; I don’t even remember what else, for I am very tired.
Other: This morning we had an impromptu dog party on Greyson’s walk.
Number of fiction words so far this year: 239,909