Cherie Priest

Tiny Godzilla since 1975

Heaven and hell were words to me

10 hours, 53 minutes 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

1 day, 11 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.

I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife

2 days, 11 hours ago, in the early afternoon

Today I took our resident Little Old Lady Cat to the vet for a checkup. Due to her age (about 15-16 years old) she goes every six months, and she raises hell about it every. damn. time.

Everything came up clean and healthy, as usual – her weight is steady, everything is normal, and she didn’t even get any boosters or blood drawn (that’s next visit). HOWEVER. The vet trimmed her nails and cleaned out her ears, so GREAT WAS HER TRAUMA. So great, in fact, that she even permitted the dog to give her a comforting smooch or two.

She’s actually quite tolerant of him, these days. Sometimes she even deigns to come rub up against him, in which case he holds VERY STILL…in case it’s some kind of trick.

* * *

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: 1682
    Present total word count: 7413



    Things accomplished in fiction: Arrived at the mansion and it is SPOOKY, y’all.

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunt with dog; inbox: zero; took kitty to the vet.

    Other Project: One step forward, two steps back. Realized I needed to cut a big fat chunk, and now I’m back down to 1600 words on it. I’ll probably need a good five thousand before it meets the sample chapters criteria. [:: sigh ::]

    Other in General: I’m taking TFP a little slowly, trying to pace myself like I did with Maplecroft – shooting for 1k/day, but make it a really solid, thoughtful 1k/day. As opposed to rushing forward and patting myself on the back for a hearty word count, I mean. Some projects work just fine that way. Maplecroft didn’t, and this one won’t, either.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 158,499


Speaking of Maplecroft…how about a brief links roundup? BUT OF COURSE:

    Felicia Day(!!!) – She’s kind enough to give Maplecroft a little plug, right around the 1:10 mark. Many thanks!

    Bookshelves of Doom – “SECRET BASEMENT LYE-FILLED MONSTER BODY DISPOSAL CABINET FTW.” Hey, I’ll take it :)

    The Girl Who Loved Zombies – “It was especially rewarding to see Priest experimenting with form–the epistolary works nearly perfectly–and returning to a darker, slower horror.”


And, as always, for those of you who might be tempted to order or leave reviews…here are the pertinent links!