People, people, whatever floats this joker’s boat

I am officially the world’s worst blogger, but what can I say? I’ve been busy, and regular updates have taken a back seat. On the upshot, I finally finished the pass proof edits for The Family Plot, I’m mostly done with a Draft Zero for “Black Water” (Wild Cards), and my front/back yards are actually in pretty good shape.

I also had my first short story published in ages – via Out of Tune II (Jonathan Maberry, editor). It’s based loosely on the old murder ballad “The Knoxville Girl,” (which is also the name of the story, natch) and it’s… kind of a departure for me, but I’m pretty happy with how it came out. Pick up that anthology, if you get a chance. I’m in some excellent company, and it’s a fantastic theme for a collection.

Meanwhile, I have big/fat editorial letters breathing down my neck for both Brimstone and The Agony House, both of which need some pretty in-depth rewrites (which is fine). But today I’m taking a tiny breather to do some yard detailing and drawer-sorting. And maybe a smidge more work on “Black Water.” I don’t know yet. I’m kind of wiped out.

In other news, Greyson developed a lump on his chest, and he had a vet appointment this morning to check it out. I was pretty sure it was just a little fatty lipoma and I was right. No big deal, but he’s definitely gotten fat. I’ll have to have a word with the mailman (only one piece of that enormous cookie for the dog, thanks), the UPS guy (the dog is not a slot machine into which you feed biscuits; half of one Milkbone will suffice), the neighbor kids, and so forth, and so on. El Chubbulente is going on a diet.

As for the cats – they are also doing well. Quinnie is up to 13 pounds, and she’s not quite 11 months old … so my theory that she’s a house leopard is holding up nicely. She’s a little tubby herself, but not too bad – and I can’t stop her from eating the eldercat’s prescription food, so oh well. And just the other day, the eldercat woke me up in the middle of the night by playing slap-hockey with a ping-pong ball, so she’s not that put out by it.

Anyway. I’m burning daylight, here – so it’s time to log off and get back to something productive. Thanks for reading, and my apologies for the general internet silence. I’m just navigating some deadlines, that’s all. I’ll be back around soon.

I’ve seen the future and it works

Here’s recent progress on my wacky mystery romp that’s a little bit The Thin Man, with a splash of Haunted Honeymoon, and a dusting of Scared Stiff – featuring a pair of 60+ year old newlyweds who are playing Nick and Nora on a ghost-plagued riverboat:


    Project: “Black Water” (working title)
    Deadline: July 1, 2016
    New words written: 1657
    Present total word count: 5867



    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Did some investigating; asked some questions; took a nooner after breakfast.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunt with the dog; a little bit of yardwork today; lots of cleanup re: yesterday’s content; answered a bunch of emails; went to lunch.

    Yardwork Other: Behold some of my irises. No, I don’t know what kind they are. I forget. I sort of grab-bagged a bunch of different bulbs when they were on sale at the nursery awhile back.

    Pet Other: I got curious yesterday and weighed this little monster: She’s exactly 13 pounds. Some of that size is pure chub, yes – because she helps herself to the eldercat’s prescription food, and there’s nothing we can do about that. (Can’t put it anyplace where old kitty can reach it, but young kitty cannot – and it *has* to be available to the old kitty.) Anyway, she’s fat and glorious.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 99,674

All is well in Gotham-town – this is where she wants to be

Here’s recent progress on my wacky mystery romp that’s a little bit The Thin Man, with a splash of Haunted Honeymoon, and a dusting of Scared Stiff – featuring a pair of 60+ year old newlyweds who are playing Nick and Nora on a ghost-plagued riverboat:


    Project: “Black Water” (working title)
    Deadline: July 1, 2016
    New words written: 3003
    Present total word count: 4210



    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Got breakfast with a new “friend” who is super-enthusiastic and very annoying to Leo, personally; explained via chit-chat and bloody Marys the basic facts of the mystery.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunts with the dog; PAID OFF MY STUDENT LOANS, BABY; dragged out my refrigerator manual and did some repairs (long story); cleaned the house; did laundry; did some yard work; hauled out a bunch of trash.

    Other: I still had another six years on those student loans, but a better-than-expected royalty check for I Am Princess X made the pay-off possible. MY EDUCATION IS FINALLY MINE. It’s about damn time. And now I am broke again, but I am broke for a very good and grown-up reason.

    Pet Other: Crittergram. It has been suggested that – in this exceedingly dignified shot – Greyson is blowing up Quinnie like a balloon.

    (No, I don’t know what Quinnie weighs right now. I do know that the dog weighs 90 pounds. Yes, she is a house-leopard. No, she is not finished growing yet – she’s only 10 months old. God help us. Hey, remember when she weighed one pound, and fit in the palm of my hand?)

    Bonus Pet Other: Quinnie saw a squirrel.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 98,017