Friday, February 27, 2009

Another Wicked-Cool Cover

Here's to hoping that the God's War cover will be this awesome:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Kind of Jane Austen

I never really got the whole Jane Austen thing. They were amusing books, sure, and well written, but I could take or leave them.

I admit that I'd heard of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies several weeks ago. I thought it was a stupid joke. Then I thought it sounded silly. I mean, come on, what is that, a mashup of Jane Austen and Zombies? What the hell does that mean?

Today I found a sample of what it means, and I have to say it:

This is my kind of Jane Austen.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Writery Updatery

Now that GW line edits are back safely with my editor, I also have an official "first week of June" turn-in date for book 2, so it's time to polish it up.

Working on getting through the stalled line edits on Black Desert now so I can get it out to first readers by March 1st.

It's good to feel like there's progress again. Things had stalled out there for awhile. A good thing, since it meant I could concentrate on my day job and personal life for awhile, both of which are full of win.

I'll be moving into a new place - an amazing restored Victorian - in this neighborhood come March 20th. Big housewarming party is nigh! (check out some of the other rehabbed houses in the neighborhood here).

It's an amazing house, and it makes me feel old, respectable, and writerly.

Better yet? It's shaking up my life a bit for the better. I always do better work when I'm living my life just a little bit on the edge (like trying to figure out how I'll be paying for heat!).

Honestly, These Speeches Just Keep Getting Better

I haven't been proud to be an American in over 10 years. I'm still, not, particularly, but I have hope that someday soon I will be.

Friday, February 20, 2009


My God, James McAvoy is hot. The pictures just don't capture it. He's pretty and all, but he goes from nice-looking to hot really quickly on camera. The first few scenes I'm like, "Huh, yeah, generic lead." Then he starts warming up and I fall for him hard. He gets hotter every damn time I see him.

Also, why hasn't Reese Witherspoon played actual leading roles likes this? Please, somebody write me a film where we see more of her range like this. Awesome.

The rest?

I was holding out for her to keep the nose the whole way through. Reads too much like, "Love yourself and you'll magically transform into society's expectation of beauty," (tho the touch with the mother commenting on her looks after the nose vanish was brilliant) not "love yourself, and you'll be just the same - only happier."

Eh, parts of it seemed like progress? Other parts (wicked mother, evil witch, benevolent dad, aforementioned "beauty transformation" and I'm-really-not-buying-these-two-falling-in-love things) not so much.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What I'm Doing Tonight

Editor's line edits are done. There are a few all-over book edits from the editorial letter that I need to squeeze into the narrative now, and the best way to do that is to read what I've got currently and adjust accordingly. This is my last big chance to get everything into the book that needs to be in the book... and pull out all the extraneous bits.

Good times ahead.

And yes, that's my bug-tracking spreadsheet on top there. As you can see, I plan on filling out most of it during the read through.

The last two massive edits I did on this book prior to acceptance (for an editor at another publisher and for my agent, respectively), I added in a bunch of world building crap that I honestly have no memory of (magicians are allergic to gas lamps???).

I need a crash course in God's War.

Public Responses to Sexist Behavior

I love how absolutely dazed and perplexed he looks in this video, like he has no idea he did something completely rude and inappropriate.

This is what got me about the whole boobgate thing. I realize that we, as women, are taught to make nice. We're taught to just smile and take it. "Ha ha, yes, I'm just a squeeze toy." But the more people who publicly make it clear that this behavior is not OK, the less we'll see of it.

You'll note his response to the incident later, "The real scandal was that she slapped me - not my boob grabbing!" There's a whole subset of people who believe this is totally OK behavior.

I know we're taught to grin and bear it. But that's not the way you change the world.

Character Quote of the Day

From Babylon:

“We don’t get prizes in Nasheen for being pretty,” Nyx said.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


A first reader of God's War argued that there must be a better term for the wraps/cloth one uses to bind one's breasts other than, "breast binding."

I finally sat down and did some research tonight, and I'm telling you: I still can't find a better term.

The closest I came to finding a less clunky term for it is a "binder."

Bra, sports bra, breast wrap, wrap, binding, kimono, corset... but no actual term for a piece of clothing or wrap meant exclusively for the binding of the breasts.

Considering how many thousands of years women have been dressing up like men in order to gain more freedom in the world, I find it funny that I can't find an actual term for this.

Anybody else know of one?

Drinking the Kool-Aid

I'm watching Obama's Denver speech about the stimulus bill. I've read the pros and cons. I've listened to the GOP arguments (largely summed up by, "Soooooooooociiiaaaaaaaaliiiiiiiiiissssssssm!"). I understand everybody's fears.

Yet we happily invested trillions of dollars into foreign wars over the last eight years while our own country failed. Wars that killed tens of thousands of innocent people.

And we're not willing to invest in our own infrastructure? Our own country? Our own people? We'll spend billions to rebuild Iraq... but not our own country?

There's a great TED talk by Bill Gates where he points out that there are huge, important initiatives that will never be addressed by the free market. His example was malaria. Hundreds of thousands die of malaria in poor countries. There's no free market drive to prevent these deaths... because there's no money in it.

I was reminded of what Lyndon B. Johnson said when he desegregated schools. To paraphrase, "Sometimes we don't do things because they're popular. We do them because they're right."

(Also, why does the president have to sign the bill ten times? That was a neat bit of trivia)

Got Sex?

It's an indicator of how male-dominated our society is that the fact that women have diminishing libidos and don't seem to care that much about it is treated as the problem, when in fact it's merely the symptom of a larger problem--that women feel overworked, underpaid, underappreciated, understimulated, and shamed about their bodies. If we treated the actual problems that women face, higher libidos would be the happy result, I'm sure. But in order to do that, we'd have to treat male domination like a problem to be solved, and since few people really want to do that, instead we're left with articles that note women's lack of libido, but carefully resist asking why.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Good Things

Narrowing in on a house rental within the right price range. Didn't get the one we wanted, so we're looking at a bigger house at the top of our rent range. Also negotiated with my current apartment complex, and they're bringing the price down on a renovated 3 bedroom. Honestly, tho, I'd rather have a house. Another two or three showings next week and we'll hopefully be signing for something.

In other news, a liberal application of NewSkin prior to affixing my Omnipod seems to have done the trick. 24 hours and counting and no burning red itchiness around and under the adhesive. You don't realize how much stress minor discomfort puts you under until it goes away.

As noted previously, line edits for GW are here! I've made a little progress this week, but decided to take this Friday off to really dig into them. I've been preoccupied with peak season at work (this week is the last week of peak season), and with some of my job stress easing off a bit, I feel comfortable getting these in the bag. I want them back out the door by the 23rd.

Another reason for the Friday off is just general exhaustion and burnout. I'm trying to do too many things at once, and monitoring how we were doing this tax season in order to provide myself with a guestimate of whether or not I'd have my job come March was a lot more stressful than I thought it would be. Coordinating house hunting when you don't have a car is also a lot more stressful than you might think. Pair that with the adhesive allergy, and it's just been a wearing couple of weeks.

Looking forward to the day when I can actually take off more than a day or two at a time again. May end up taking unpaid time in August. My grandmother is renting a beach house, and my folks are keen on seeing me. I'd rather be going somewhere exotic, but I'll take whatever I can get at this point. Cancelled Wiscon this year already in favor of getting a car come April.

Bring on the book checks, yo.

Who's Being Served?

Can you spot the difference?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Insurance PTSD

Everytime somebody calls me and says the word, "Insurance," over the phone, my heart races, I get sick to my stomach, and I pull out a pad and paper. I also get that hardline note to my voice, the one that everybody always thinks is me being "angry." In fact, it's not me being angry, it's me going stone cold because I know that if I don't, I'm going to burst into tears. My "angry" voice helps me get through a potentially brutal emotionally frought conversation with cold logic and reason.

When I hang up the phone, then I'm allowed to feel something other than cold.

I've also developed a nasty allergy to medical adhesive. Yes, the kind that affixes an insulin pump to the skin. Apparently, this is a pretty common occurence, to show no allergy and then just develop it after a few months of affixing medical hardware to your skin. Thing is, you know, why the fuck haven't they made hypoallergenic medical adhesive if this is so fucking common? WTF?

My skin burns, itches, and eventually flakes and peels and turns a violent crimson color around the site of the Omnipod. I had to pull one off a day early because my arm burned like it was on fire. I still have red welts from two weeks ago on my stomach, and I have an actual peeling burn on my arm where I put two pods near the same site for 5 days.

First things first, I did some research in the t1 forums and found some possible solutions to the allergy problem (skin prep treatments first, barriers next if those don't work), ordered them (this is why I budget $30 a month in meds), and *then* went home and felt sorry for myself. I try very hard not to think too hard or feel too much about anything in the middle of a problem. I leave all that stuff for when the crisis has passed.

I'm getting weird about medical stuff and insurance the same way I was weird after I got out of the hospital. You just get a little extra jumpy. You have these massively over-the-top reactions to "little" things like allergies to medical adhesive and inquiries from your medical supplies company.

The thing is, after going through some kind of massive trauma experience - like I did in the hospital, or the terrible three days thinking I was going to go without care - well, your fight-or-flight response gets broken. So you overreact to everything. It reminds me of the stuff I'll hear about war veterans, or survivors of abuse. Little things like getting on the bus or somebody touching your arm can just totally set you off.

Now every time somebody associated with the medical industry calls me, I'm afraid they're going to tell me there's something wrong with me or they're going to take something away from me. I get this hair-trigger fighting response. I buckle down, dig in my heels, and get ready for the worst.

Mmmmmmm healthcare in America.

How to Write Novel

Your milage may vary.

But this is pretty much what it is (I consume fewer pastries, myself).

Friday, February 06, 2009

Urban Fantasy Vs. Brutal Women

Though often annoyed, I've been trying to resolve myself to getting a sex kitten urban fantasy cover for God's War (complete with moon, over the shoulder glance, and back tattoo). I wasn't sure how to sell "Brutal ass kicking woman" on the cover who isn't all sex-kittened up. They all want to draw a sex kitten.

Then, this morning, I saw this:

And I went, "Oh hells yes!"

I like what this cover does. It's gritty and dark and the main character isn't looking off to the side or over her shoulder in that stupidly flirty, useless way you see on the urban fantasy covers. You're not being invited to oogle her. She's not being presented as an object. She's staring straight at you, just the way somebody who can fuck some shit up would. Add in the blood with that full on stance and oh yeah... this isn't a half bad portrayal of a brutal woman.

Granted, I'd prefer my heroine a little more physically imposing, and less pretty (she's got the face and body of a runway model, not a warrior).

This is how I prefer my book heroines. I don't want her in skin tight clothes (they did go with leather here - you can't win em all), I don't want her to flirt with me. I have no interest in seeing her half-clothed and "vulnerable" to "make up" for her supposed toughness. I'm sorry, but showing a half-clothed woman on your cover doesn't convince me you've got a strong, complex heroine. I want her to be SCARY. I want to believe she's going to fuck shit up. Those are the heroines I'm interested in (and interested in writing).

If I see one more vampire fucking novel cover, I might die. I really have no interest in reading another novel about the protagonist's deep personal angst about whether she should go to bed with the vampire, the werewolf, or both.

I want higher stakes, more complex characters, and heroines that don't all read the same. And I want that reflected on book covers. Because let me tell you, there's a half ton of books out there on the SF/F shelves I'm just not picking up... based entirely on the cover. So sad.

For discussions about what led them to finally pick this cover (and oh yeah is this the best of the bunch), go here.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Arrival

I can haz line edits, baby.

Ohhhhhh yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

More Reasons to be a Good Diabetic

Klein said the findings support a new idea that Alzheimer's is a type of diabetes of the brain.

"In Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas isn't making insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, your tissues are insensitive to insulin because of problems in the insulin receptor. Type 3 is where that insulin receptor problem is localized in the brain," Klein said in a telephone interview.

In some people, this can occur with age, he said.

"As you get older, some individuals start to have less effective insulin signaling, including in the brain," he said, making the brain more vulnerable to toxins that cause Alzheimer's disease.


Several studies have found that diabetics have a higher risk of getting Alzheimer's than the general population.

Oh joy!

THIS is why I want my 5.9 A1C.

Monday, February 02, 2009

No matter how bad it gets...

Quote of the Day

"Strength does not come from winning.Your struggles develop your strength. When you go through hardship and decide not to surrender, that is strength."
- Arnold Schwarzenegger

An Inconvenient Truth

Last night, I watched An Inconvenient Truth.

This morning, I saw this and this, and finally had a place to put all the pieces.

I'm glad I don't have kids.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Don't You Wish You Lived in Ohio?

I Earned a Penny!

My $50 in savings earned a penny! Wow, this is exciting! No, seriously, do you have any idea how long it's been since I had a savings account (that wasn't a 401(k) subject to market madness)? Ten years at least.

A whole penny!

I just put another $50 in there. As life starts to move toward including more than just me, it's time I started actually building a future with the money I've got instead of blowing it on Turkish food.

Mmmmm Turkish food.