Cherie Priest

Tiny Godzilla since 1975

Get a little bit suburban and go crazy

6 days, 13 hours ago, mid-afternoon

Here’s today’s progress on my witchy art-deco horror novel about Lizzie Borden thirty years after her parents’ deaths – now featuring ghosts and non-ghosts alike, anti-Catholic conspiracy nuts, supernatural political shenanigans, the mafia, and a Bonus! space-worshiping murder cult hiding behind the KKK:


    Project: Chapelwood
    Deadline: October 1, 2014
    New words written: 3459 (good)
    Present total word count: 108,057



    Things accomplished in fiction: Well, some of us have escaped the castle. Sort of.

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunt with dog; visit from the pest-control guys that took all day; found cool old thing buried in the yard; some business email-type-stuff.

    Pest Control Other: So this is apparently a banner year for “Norway Rats.” The whole neighborhood seems overrun with them, and Mr. Stubbs is hard-pressed to keep up with them. Mind you, I have zero interest in trapping/poisoning them; I just don’t want them trying to chew their way through my walls. Wall-chewing violates the spirit of our original agreement, to wit: “You stay out of the house, and I’ll pretend you don’t exist.” So today we had a team of pest-control folks seal out our cellar/crawlspace (to the best of human ability), and treat the attic with a special insulation that will persuade them (and their squirrelly friends) to hang out elsewhere. Or so it is to be hoped.*

    Four-Footed Other: Greyson was bereft because I wouldn’t let him go hang out with the pest-control guys while they were working, so we had to temporarily deploy the baby gate. It’s a tiny baby gate; he could step over it without even stretching his legs. But bless his heart, he’s almost comically respectful of boundaries. And later on, the guys played chase with him in the yard, so all was forgiven.

    Assorted Other: While wandering the house’s exterior and getting general updates on the “exclusion” treatment … I spotted something tangled in the roots of a tree. This something was a 2-oz. bottle with a glass rod (and its rubber stopper) stuck inside. The maker’s mark on the bottom suggests that it was produced by the Obear-Nestor Glass Company – perhaps as early as 1915 or 1920.** It very likely held medicine (like iodine), or perfume.

    (Small coffee mug for scale.)

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 141,150




* I will only trap them as a matter of last resort, but I won’t poison them, period. There are too many other things that feed on them – not least of all Mr. Stubbs and Miss Kitty, some foxes, hawks, snakes, and so forth. Also, I don’t want dead rats in the walls any more than I want live rats in the walls. So there’s that.
** For the new readers: Our house was built sometime between 1895-1904. No, we don’t know any more precisely than that. Thanks, southern record-keeping [:: eyeroll ::].

They tell me I was born there, but I really don’t remember

1 week ago, in the early afternoon

Here’s recent progress on my witchy art-deco horror novel about Lizzie Borden thirty years after her parents’ deaths – now featuring ghosts and non-ghosts alike, anti-Catholic conspiracy nuts, supernatural political shenanigans, the mafia, and a Bonus! space-worshiping murder cult hiding behind the KKK:


    Project: Chapelwood
    Deadline: October 1, 2014
    New words written: 3040 (pretty good)
    Present total word count: 104,598



    Things accomplished in fiction: This castle sucks ass, y’all.

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunts with dog; dog play-date over at a friend/neighbor’s place; housework; yardwork; naps.

    Yardwork Other: I got the new growth from those old roses lifted off the ground and affixed to trellises, yay! I also edged most of the yard with the trimmer, and did some weeding. Weeding is never glamorous, but I do love the finished result.

    (The middle rose is heavily shaded by the dogwood in the front yard. Thus it hasn’t quite matched the progress of the other two. Still, it’s going strong! Those are 5-ft. trellises, for scale. [Minus the "feet" planted in the ground.])

    Four-footed Other: Greyson’s play-date with the wildly misnamed “Cujo” went well, except for how he totally got put in his place by an 18-year-old kitty who was NOT HAVING ANY OF HIS CRAP. Or his friendship. I keep telling him he’d have more feline company if he could keep his cool upon meeting them, but, yanno. He’s still young and enthusiastic, and big and clumsy. AND FULL OF LOVE, I assure you – but it’s hard to assure a 5-pound geriatric kitty of any such thing.

    Other than that (well deserved, frankly) cat paw upside the nose, he and The Kooj (as I’ve come to think of him) had a most excellent time. They received nibbles of cinnamon rolls, and got to root around under an old garage. For dog funsies :)

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 137,991

Flame colored paradise for you darling

1 week, 2 days ago, around lunchtime

I’m back!

Yes, I was gone for a week – I had company in town, an old friend who generally prefers that I not link her or post pictures of her, for privacy reasons. So, no pictures! No links! Just trust me that she’s awesome, and we had a lovely time. We goofed off quite a lot, did a bit of yardwork for funsies, went shopping, got pedicures, drank fruity summer beverages on the patio, and lunched all over town.

But now she’s gone home, and that means I must get back to work.

Oh, I definitely got some work done while she was here, yes – but it was all administrative-type stuff. Writer Business, if you will. (And plenty of it.) But answering emails re: convention appearances, fielding publicity requests, going back-and-forth with editors and my agent, and so forth, and so on…do nothing to contribute to Chapelwood‘s word count, so that’s where my attention shall be directed for the forthcoming week.

I need a Draft Zero of this one before I take off for New Mexico on the Tuesday after next, that’s the long and short of it. August is therefore dedicated to such diverse elements as the Princess X copyedits, ramp-up for DragonCon, publicity posts/arrangements/whatnot re: Maplecroft‘s debut, and probably some Jacaranda editorial, too.

Meanwhile, in the margins of those things, I need to get reacquainted with Godbothering – which I’m starting in earnest come September. (After DragonCon, basically.) I only have maybe 50 pages of content on that one (plus general synopsis), and I owe a draft back to Liz this coming January. This is totally doable, even with the other production stuff…but ONLY if I can stick to my schedule.

Sticking to schedules doesn’t come naturally to me.
But you do what you’ve gotta.

* * *

So here’s recent progress on my witchy art-deco horror novel about Lizzie Borden thirty years after her parents’ deaths – now featuring ghosts and non-ghosts alike, anti-Catholic conspiracy nuts, supernatural political shenanigans, the mafia, and a Bonus! space-worshiping murder cult hiding behind the KKK:


    Project: Chapelwood
    Deadline: October 1, 2014
    New words written: 3306 (pretty good, yay)
    Present total word count: 101,558



    Things accomplished in fiction: Stormed the castle. It was smelly, and very quiet…but things are about to get crazypants.

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunts with dog; writer business including all the things detailed above; friend business including likewise; and it’s been so long since I posted, I forget whatever else I might have put here.

    Other: We were visited by a giant leopard moth. He hung out on the front porch like a boss, and I wanted to pet him SO BAD. But I restrained myself.

    Yardwork Other: My friend and I picked up some tall trellises for the old roses out front, as they’re really starting to grow like gangbusters – and they seem to need the structure. But it’s been pouring down rain off and on (mostly on) since we bought them the other day, so they’re still lying on the porch for now, dammit. Oh well.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 134,951