lydamorehouse: (Bazz-B)
The reviewer today (another Rachel) didn't have a lot to say, but it's still a very nice review: http://rachelrennie.weebly.com/rachels-blog/song-of-secrets-by-tate-hallaway-and-rachel-calish-a-book-review

A lot of the reviewers are anxiously waiting for Book 2. I certainly hope that Rachel and Level Up Press will be able to give it to them. For myself, I've had to take a step back. I won't be involved in subsequent books in the School for Wayward Demons series.

As I have said many places, I really enjoyed the writing process with Rachel, particularly when we were collaborating on the plot-light web version of this story. I can not even tell you how much joy (and hope) that brought me.

But revising was a particular nightmare, in part because we were constrained by having to follow the structure of what we'd already published on the web. And, as happens with two strong personalities with very different writing styles, there were also creative differences... and I left that process feeling that Rachel and I had very different values when it came to storytelling. We're both award-winning authors. so it's impossible to say that one of us is right and the other wrong. In fact, I think the fact that we're both so passionate for our art is the reason we had so many difficulties.

This was not an easy decision for me to make, especially given that my current publishing prospects are fairly bleak and, as I said, the initial process of writing with Rachel was so tremendously fun and valuable for me.

On the other hand, I know there are plenty of you out there who might be just as happy at the idea that I plan to use this opportunity to focus more on my own writing. I have UnJust Cause to finish, and there are other novels and characters in my head who are dying to get out and onto the page.

So, while I am saying goodbye, I wish Rachel and Level Up Press the very best of luck in the future.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
So, Rachel and I are trying a thing. For part of this month and next, our book Song of Secrets is going on a blog tour/blog roll. There have been three reviews so far and each one comes with an opportunity to win an autographed copy of the book.

Here's where we've been featured so far (in reverse order):
Song of Secrets: How Fiction Helps us Cope
Natural Bri
Rocking out to Song of Secrets


Please note, that because the blog tour is called Calish Couple, the reviewers are giving all of the kudos and praise to Rachel. This was, however, a book we wrote TOGETHER (and it was wonderfully illustrated by Mandie Brasington and Alexis Cooke). If you feel so-inclined, I would deeply appreciate you going to one or two of these sites and letting them know how much you love my work and ask them to please edit their reviews to reflect that fact that the book they seem to enjoy so much was actually also written by me.

Anyway, it will be curious to see how this works out for us!
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Yes, that's right, I'm having an all-caps kind of day. First, Shawn woke up with a persistent stomach ache. She's had this pain so long, she started to worry that it was an ulcer and decided stay home from work and to go in to see the doctor. I, meanwhile, woke up feeling compelled to start a short story for an anthology notice I saw. They were looking for Angel & Demon erotic romances. An opening line hit me and I was off and writing.

Shawn, meanwhile, got an appointment at our clinic for 10 am. We got in and there was a lot of lab work, so I sat and worked on the story. I worked and worked quite happily, because it felt good to be world-building and such again, particularly in an area I have a lot of pre-research done. (Angel? Devils? Yeah, I think I know some stuff.) Shawn got lots of tests. The nurse practitioner fhought maybe gallstones, so she sent Shawn over to United Hospital to take the ultrasound there. I packed up and drove her there, found her and the right waiting room and started i writing again. Writing, writing, quite happily, except my battery was running low, so I saved everything and closed up shop. Still feeling petty...you know, productive. I waited for Shawn and played some games on her Kindle. The news? She's RIDDLED with gallstones. That might not be the issue still, but probably there is gallstone removal in her future.

We got home--Shawn feeling upset because no one fixed her pain and she did not want surgery at some future time. She wanted (and whocan blame her, the pain has kept her up nights) an easier fix.

I tucked her into bed and went to open my document... and it was GONE.

Like no trace of it anywhere. Finally, I tracked down a file, but I could NOT figure out how to get to it. At this point, given the day we'd just had, I will admit to throwing an A-Number #1 tantrum the likes of which I don't think I've done since I was, maybe, 10? It was epic. There was cursing, there was crying, there was a whole lot of "I SAVED IT, NOT FAIR, NOT FAIR!'

Finally, after being forced to give up trying to find the file with my feeble non-Mac skills, I went to pick up Mason and we took the laptop to the Genius Bar in Roseville.

Now I'm in love with a man named Chris, Apple Genius.

It's a beautiful romance in which he shows me that MAC FREAKING HIDES CERTAIN FOLDERS and showed me how to magically get inside these hidden folders. The file was not only found, but the very last version I worked on so I lost no words whatsoever.

(I still hate Macs though. Don't tell my Mac.)

Also, you can now buy Rachel & my book on Amazon (this is the book version, hopefully the e-book will be significantly cheaper): http://www.amazon.com/Song-Secrets-School-Wayward-Demons/dp/0986192503/
lydamorehouse: (chibi renji and zabi)
 I have some VERY AMAZING cover art design to share with you guys for the book that Rachel Calish/Gold and I have written.  This is the story that we've been publishing in serial form over at http://entertheunseen (and re-issuing, as it were, on WattPad as well).  The cover art was designed by Rachel's friend Kristin Smith, and I really love it:



 
 
This is, at the moment, a GIANT TEASE because we're still in the production phase.  The book, however, will (baring acts of god[s]) be available for purchase at MarCON (March 6 -8).  Kristin did an amazing job with the interior as well and there will be illustrations through out from our artists Alexis Cooke and Mandie Brasington.  There will be an ebook version, as well, but I have no idea when that will be available.  Of course, as soon as it is, I'll link it here.  I'm assuming we'll sell the print version via the usual e-bookstores, too.  (This is where, once again, I'm SUPER-GRATEFUL not to have to be the only one in charge of dealing with all this, because the dealing with Amazon.com, etc. is never fun.)

In other news, Happy Friday the 13th.

My day started out pretty crappy, but I think it's turning around (fingers crossed).  But, it was just that we had Wyrdsmiths last night, which is always great--though it's being made more awesome by the fact that we've successfully shifted the group so that it's working better for everyone involved (at least in my opinion). But, Wyrdsmiths keeps me out late.  I was out until after 10 pm, which isn't late for most people, but I have to get up and moving at 5:30 am in order to get everyone in the house off to where they need to be.  Honestly?  Shawn gets up at 5:30 and I lay there complaining about it until closer to 6:00 am, but it's still rough when you didn't manage to get to sleep until nearly midnight because you foolishly had a cup of coffee and thus needed a bath and a bit of reading to settle down.  

Speaking of reading, I finally got my hands on a copy of THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE by Meg Elison.  As I've said many times before, I'm trying to read my way through the books that were nominated for the Philip K. Dick award this year. This one will be number four, since I've already read MAPLECROFT: THE BORDEN DISPATCHES by Cherie Priest, THE BULLET-CATCHER'S DAUGHTER by Rod Duncan, and MEMORY OF WATER by Emmi Itäarnta.  The current book THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE is also science fiction (which MEMORY OF WATER was) and, like that book, is also an after-the-fall story, though BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE follows much closer on the fall of civilization.  It's also told in several "frames"--there's a bit at the beginning which is further in the future, where we see a school of scribes who's job it is to copy this book... and then we get the story that they're presumably copying, but both in journal entries and in storytelling, so that part is a bit odd, and takes some getting used to. But, despite the clunkiness of the device, I'm enjoying the story... in so much as one can "enjoy" a story that is basically every woman's worst nightmare for the end of the world ever--most of the women died of a mysterious plague and so what is left are roving bands of men who are basically looking to capture, rape, and own any woman they can find. Our hero is a cross dresser (another repeated theme---as the hero of THE BULLET-CATCHER'S DAUGHTER did the same, though for very different reasons.)  

So I don't know if that's affecting my mood, but it might be.  Because it's pretty intense.  

It probably doesn't help matters that I'm also watching a somewhat disturbing anime called Zenkyou no Terror, the "heroes" of which are actually terrorists bent on blowing things up.  

:-)

So, stay safe and well everyone!


lydamorehouse: (Default)
 I spent a lot of today practicing my Japanese.  Normally, I'd have my Intermediate Japanese class tonight, but it's caucus night so no community ed. classes will be held.  I'm still practicing my butt off, though.  I have a lot of words to memorize this week and Tetsuya-sensei's quizzes are often pretty hardcore.  Plus, it turns out, the unit we're learning: family members, involves a very Japanese concept I'm calling "inside/outside voice."  For instance, if I want to say, "Hey, dad," to him, inside my own family, I'd say, "Oi!  Otou-san!" But if I'm being polite and talking about him to someone else, I would call him, "Chichi."  Like if I want to introduce my father to you, I'd probably (if I got this right) say, "Kochira wa watashi no chichi desu."

So, you know, it's good to not only have one word for everything, but even better if there are two!  

:-)

I'm beginning to understand why people say that learning Japanese is very difficult.  

In the world of writing, I have a couple of new installments for you.  First, I have a new chapter of UnJust Cause:  Adulting like a Pro.  Then, I have our last installment for School of Wayward Demons (for a little while.... there are THINGS in the works):  Erin Unravels in Excitement.  So, if you're curious what OMINOUS note Rachel and I plan to leave our story on, go check it out.

And I think anyone reading regularly here can guess that the THINGS in the works for School of Wayward Demons is that there is going to be a book version of this available for MarsCON (print and e- versions, btw), with, potentially, a Kickstarter/Indegogo fundraiser to, well, fund the production costs of said things. I'm am a leet-le nervous about the idea of a kick starter of any kind, because from what I can tell even the really successful ones can eat your brain in terms of time and money and energy.  But, you know: nothing ventured nothing gained. And I'm at least not doing this alone.  

Okay, that's all I know right now!


lydamorehouse: (ichigo adorkable)
 Just when you think the editing process is over, it isn't.

Rachel and I are STILL going through the book version of School for Wayward Demons (now with help from a third beta reader, my friend Josey).  But, in the mean time, you can keep reading here:  "Broken but Strong."

On the flip side, I do think we'll get through it by the 30th, which is our deadline to get it off to the professional copy-editor as part of the whole trying to have a book-type thing before MarsCON 2015.  This is all very crazy, honestly.  But, it's been a ton of fun and... we'll call them "learning experiences."

In other news, I started Intermediate Japanese on Tuesday night.  It's being taught by the same instructor, Tetsuya-sensei.  It's pretty much all women, except this one guy (Mint, who I will forever think of as Mint-san), all of whom took it before.  Also, most of them have actual plans to go to Japan, Idyel-san is actually leaving for Tokyo before the class is over.  So it was kind of amazing that, when we were asked to introduce ourselves to the ONE new student, I was the only one to have practiced full introductions. I seemed to be the only one who studied at all during the break.  Which only underscores for me that 1) otaku rule and 2) learning something for fun is far better motivation that even NEEDING TO KNOW IT BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING THERE.

Yesterday I had a wicked headache.  It was so bad that even after medicine and a bath, I really didn't even feel up to reading, my eyes hurt that much, so I plugged into my JapanPOD101.com account and listened to several more Japanese language instruction podcasts. In fact, I learned an easier way to say "Please repeat."  Tetsuya-sensei taught us, "Mo ichido itte kudasai" which isn't terribly hard, but the podcast's version was shorter and had no real verb, which I appreciated: "Mo ichido onigaishimasu."  Which is basically the difference between, "Say it again, please." and "Again, if you would." And believe it or not, considering how often you are expected to say that super-long looking word, "onigaishimasu," it's actually much easier to say that than to verb, as the kids might say these days.  And just like in my English version, the second phrase more compact and feels less cumbersome.  So that was a cool revelation.

The only problem with listening to the podcasts right before bed is that the migraine relief aspirin stuff I took had a dose of caffeine, so I slept really fitfully for the first couple hours, and I kept drifting in and out of consciousness repeating these phrases and the more irritating one, "O-genki desuka?" over and over and over.

AND OVER.

Anyway, I'll be ready to ask someone how they are... :-)


lydamorehouse: (crazy eyed Renji)
 Today, (more like this evening at this point) I hope to get a new Tate bit posted on Wattpad, but I had to work today from 9 to 1 at Maplewood library.  It was really busy thanks to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.  Normally, Maplewood is my favorite library because the people are so awesome and they have the best ever graphic novel collection in Ramsey county, I swear.

In other writing related news, Rachel and I are also trying to see if we can build more of an audience for our School for Wayward Demons project by x-posting that at Wattpad too.  So, if you find it easier to read an comment on things over there, you should feel free to check it out: http://www.wattpad.com/96121914-song-of-secrets-book-1-of-the-school-for-wayward  (Also, if you want to, you can follow us on Tumblr, too: http://waywardschoolofdemons.tumblr.com).

If you're still following along at the entertheunseen.com website, the newest chapter is up "Bad Magic Puppies."

Meanwhile, Mason and I are recovering from our sledding excitement.  His face looks like he was attacked by Wolverine, and I keep finding new "old lady" bruises all over my body. You know what I mean by that, right? It's like those ones where you're, like, 'what? where'd this come from... oh, right.' accompanied by general stiffness, despite liberal application of aspirin.  Ah well.  'Twas fun.  
lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
 As you know, Bob, I'm attempting to get myself back on track this year.

The reason you haven't heard from me in the last few days is because I've been revising (maybe even, one could say "reshaping") the web serial that Rachel Gold/Calish and I wrote called "School for Wayward Demons" into book form.  We're planning on having it available for MarsCON 2015, where I will be a guest of honor.  If I dare say so?  After all that work (and knowing that it's not even done yet, that Rachel will be going over it again), I think it's pretty damn good.  

I'm little nervous about next steps.  We're talking about doing a Kickstarter for this series--something I've thought about a lot, but never dared. We're only just sitting down to figure out how we might do that, because... well, because it's a big undertaking.  Do we ask people to fund the production of this book in its print form?  Do we ask people to fund the next book(s) and use this one as a premium?  Both?  Something else entirely?  

If any of you out there have Kickstarter/Indigogo experience, advice, or even just strident opinions, please let me know. You can comment here, or email me (lyda.morehouse@gmail.com).  Rachel and I are meeting tomorrow, but we'll be gathering information for a little while, for sure.

I'll frank, too, the nervous part has to do with how much I worry that Kickstarters and Indigogo things are popularity contests to some extent, and the nerd in me fears that the only award I'd get in such a contest would be "least likely to succeed."  This fear of mine is currently being feed by the fact that I failed to reach critical mass for my Loft Fan Fiction class.  Now I have theories about why that class didn't go and at least one of them falls squarely on Rachel and my shoulders.  The title and the description were a little bland, not very snappy.  We were trying to figure out how to appeal to the type of Loft student who can afford in-house classes and, in doing that, I think we went a little broad.  If we were to offer this in the future, I think we shouldn't bother with that imaginary student and just try to hook the friendly neighborhood geek.  We pushed the class as kind of the: so you want to do that 50 Shades of Gray thing and turn your fic into pro work, eh? angle.  

The only problem with just embracing the geek is that I think the Loft's prices are a big stumbling block for a lot of people. (They would be for me.  Frankly, I just signed up for 8 weeks Japanese Intermediate at Community Ed. and I nearly baulked at the 60 bucks.  The Loft charges  $300 or more for 6 weeks.)

So maybe the lesson here (and for the Kickstarter?) might be: scale costs to your audience.

We'll have to see.  I'm a big proponent of the impulse buy, which is why I talked my editor/publisher at Wizard's Tower Press into such low costs for my e-books.  In my case (and which will be the case with School for Wayward Demons) a lot of people already owned my books.  With School... a  lot of content is on-line and free.  The book is significantly deeper and, in a few cases, different, but we're going to have to be sure to keep that in mind when we think about how we're going about this.

I don't know.

It's going to be interesting, if nothing else.

Meanwhile, did I say I signed up for Intermediate Japanese?  I'm so psyched!  It's going to be a blast (I hope.)  Same teacher: Tetsuya-sensei, whom I really grew to love, so that will be good.  I've been supplementing in the meantime by listening to JapanPod101.com.  All that really means is that I now remember how to introduce myself to someone for the first time!  (The most basic thing ever. Still. I am practicing, which is IMPORTANT.)

Also, I should do a blog post tomorrow about all my reading.  I finished MAPLECROFT: The Borden Dispatches by Cherie Priest.  I also got tapped to read and blurb a book by a new author who seems to be writing New Adult SF Dystopia--though I can't really say for sure, because so far, I only opened up the document long enough to make sure it came through all right.  I'm going to try to read through that this weekend, and then start up on the second of the Philip K. Dick award nominees, BULLET CATCHER'S DAUGHTER by Rod Duncan.  

At the library on Tuesday night, I noticed that Arden Hills had the third Hawkeye collection: HAWKEYE: L.A. WOMAN (Fraction/Wu, Pulido).  This one seems to follow Kate Bishop (aka Hawkeye--yes, folks, there are two) when she gets fed up with Clint and goes to Los Angeles.  She apparently takes the Dog, who is, BY FAR, the fan favorite if fic requests during Yuletide are any indication.

So that's me.  You?

Also, Wyrdsmiths has a new member, Theo Lorenz.  
lydamorehouse: (shield)
Today, I feel fairly accomplished (at least so far), despite not doing that much writing. I did work on a number of writing-related things, however.

First of all, I wrote the acknowledgements and a new bio for a short story in the AngeLINK universe that Cheryl Morgan at Wizard's Tower Press will be publishing. It's a story that was first published in, of all places, South Africa, in 2003, in a magazine called Simulacrum: The Magazine of Speculative Transformation. The short story is going to get cover art for the first time EVER, which I bought from the lovely and talented Theo Lorenz, who happens to be the author of the successful coloring book Unicorns Are Jerks (and others.)



 
 


What do you think?  I know it doesn't match Bruce Jensen's amazing cover art for the AngeLINK universe or even the cover of Resurrection Code, but... I don't know, maybe short stories are friendlier?  (Also, I didn't ask Bruce, because I'm sure I can't afford him.)

At any rate, I'm pretty excited to have this story come out and have a wider distribution.  Wizard's Tower Press has been very awesome to me.  I will let you know when this will be available for public consumption.  I believe that it's first going to be part of a giveaway for the Accessing the Future Anthology's successful fundraiser.  But, I suspect once the contributors have their copies, Wizard's Tower will make it available to the public.  And, yes, of course, as soon as I have those details, I'll post them here (and probably everywhere.  :-)

And, since we're talking writing, there are two new chapters up at the Enter The Unseen/School for Wayward Demons website, "The Cavalry Arrives with Donuts" and "Destroying the Dead." So, if you've continued along with the story, there's just so much extra goodness for you today.  

Speaking of the School for Wayward Demons, I got a very, very rough draft of the novel version off Naomi for beta-reading and probably some triage/first aid.  I feel like the novel has good bones but, because of the way Rachel and I wrote it, it's a kind of Franken-story, stitched together with very obvious stitches!  :-)  But, Naomi is a very smart reader and has always in the past found ways to make my books make sense, so I trust her to have good advice to smooth out the rough edges.  

And, to be fair, this is all work I'm doing before I'm even giving it back to my co-author, so it will get many subsequent passes.  I'm absolutely sure that by the time we're done, it will be one seriously amazing book.

Fingers crossed, 2015 will start with at least two publications!  So yay!  Go me!

My other resolution has to do with the blog post I made below in which I discussed some of my publishing "feels."  As I told one of the commenters, one of my problems is that I actually had a really good career with Penguin and so when the rug got yanked out from me, I was so stunned that I just sat there on the floor, not getting up, shouting to all passers-by "HEY, THERE WAS RUG HERE!  WHAT HAPPENED TO MY RUG?  WHY DO YOU STILL HAVE A RUG?  I WANT MY RUG BACK!"  

It's time to get up off the floor.  The rug is gone, my friends, and it's time to move on.

So, I'm going to finish up UnJust Cause, self-publish that, and then, with any luck at all, start on some new novel project.

I'm kind of excited to see what it will be.
lydamorehouse: (Default)
 Yeah, okay, I don't think 2015 has started off very... organized, given that today is the first day I thought to sit down to write to y'all.

I blame my dreams.  Had a nightmare that I just couldn't shake last night.  I woke up a couple time from it, thinking, "Damn, glad that's over," only to fall asleep and go right back to it.  It was a strange one.  You know that video that went viral several years ago about the woman who was supposedly living in some guy's cabinet?  A web cam supposedly caught her coming out at night to raid his fridge?

I think it's turned out that this is faked, but my dream was loosely based on something like this.  I dreamed my friend Naomi came over and showed me a picture she'd taken in one of her daughter's bedrooms.  It clearly showed someone lying under her daughter's bed.  The dream continued on where Naomi told me that they finally caught this guy and he'd been living with them, undetected for DECADES.  Okay, brain, here is where I should have stopped to consider the fact that Naomi hasn't even lived in their current house that long, but you know: dreams.  Anyway, it was super creepy, but I think because my subconscious decided this wasn't at MY house, but someone else's, it was OKAY TO KEEP GOING BACK.

No, brain, just NO.

Needless to say, I woke up a lot.

This was a bummer on many levels, not the least of which is that today is the day everyone goes back to school and work.  The alarm in our house went off at 5:30 A-f*cking-M and we all struggled awake, got lunches together, had breakfast, and bundled out the door into -22 degree F wind chills.

Damn you, Minnesota!

I will say, though, as I chatted up a storm on the way into school and work, the sky was beautiful. When I was a kid, I used to get up before the rest of the household on purpose.  I was a weird, emo kid, who happened to be a lark, so instead of being a normal teenager who stayed up too late, I got up too early and went for long walks while the coffee brewed.  The sky this morning was the color of those pre-dawn skies I loved.  It a "backlit" blue that so deep to be almost indigo.  It's that very odd, "the sun is about to rise" quality of the light that I adore most about it, I think, because its vaguely reminiscent of those deep blue Christmas lights shining in the dark.

Otherwise, I spent much of the day so far working the the Demon School novel.  I'm really making progress, though.  I've at least made one pass through the first 275 pages.  The book, currently, doesn't have many more pages than that, so there's actually still a lot to be written, alas.  BUT, I'm filling in some gaps and formatting everything to look the same.  I think, actually, I'll have a fairly decent draft at the end of this week to send out to my beta readers.  That'll give me next week to go through their comments, make corrections, additions and adjustments, before it goes back to my collaborator, Rachel, on the 15th.

This week I return to writing UnJust Cause, too.

It's going to be a busy 2015...

Now if I can just get more organized. 

lydamorehouse: (Bon being tired)
I've always been a lark.  I function best before normal people aren't even out of bed.  BUT, like most people, I have a natural biorhythm, one that usually does NOT involve getting up at 5:30 am.  Thanks to Mason's new school start time of 7:10 am, we all have to propel ourselves out of bed every day, just about (for me) a half-hour earlier than my body likes.

Here it is the weekend, and I'm up before 8:00 am.  The cats were concerned when no one started moving around 5:30 am.  I mean, I could be mad at them, but how are they to know it's Saturday? They're thinking something's wrong. On top of being a lark, I've been a light sleeper since Mason was born.  ANYTHING resembling a cry will bolt me awake.  So when Inky was all, "Hey, hey, guys? Aren't you late for stuff?" meowing, I was AWAKE for better or worse.  

The problem with Inky is that, while it DOES work to say to him once or twice, "Don't worry, it's Saturday" or "Gimme another 5," he's a persistent bugger who really, really thinks ROUTINES ARE BEST.  So, to save the rest of my family some sleep (because of course he's the type to be like, "Oh, okay, that monkey wants to sleep in.  I better alert the others!"), I dragged myself out of bed.

Now, of course, Inky is happy that things are as they should be and is perched on the back of the overstuffed chair SOUND ASLEEP.

The last few days I haven't been posting much here or anywhere else for a couple of reasons.  First, Yuletide deadline is today, so I had to finish up my assignments.  Secondly, Yuletide, the actual one, as in Solstice, is on Sunday.  My pagan family celebrates both Solstice and Christmas, because: presents. But, so I had to do a lot of last minute running around collecting various bits of holiday cheer yesterday.  On top of that, Inky's prozac prescription ran out and it turns out the type of pill we used to use is no longer available.  Or rather it is, but the price of it suddenly went through the roof and our vet no longer keeps any on hand.  So, we're switching him to a liquid version of the same thing that's apparently cheaper than the old pills.  I'm finding this hard to believe and we're going to have to talk to the vet, because, previously, his pills, which we cut in half to last us two months was $8.  This new liquid which will only last 30 days?  $38!  It stops him from peeing on things and, generally relaxes him (see above.  He love routines.  He gets VERY UPSET when they aren't followed.)  

But so that was an extra trip yesterday, all the way down to Richfield, that I could have done without.

Meanwhile, I've been working on restructuring the serial story that Rachel and I have been working on into a novel.  This has involved writing whole new chapters because, well: novel.  I'm doing this first pass myself and then will give it over to Rachel next.  We're hoping to have in shape for my MarsCON GoH gig, as I've said.

In the meantime, more chapters have come out.  "Pop Goes the Weasel" (which includes one of my all-time favorite lines that I have ever written) and "The Tensile Strength of Wood" (the final battle scene).

Even if you've been reading along as these have come out, the book will have lots of new content for you.  And, likewise, there are points of view and such that I've trimmed from the version of the book so far that will be only found on the web.  

Right-o, I should probably get back to that.

The only other thing we have today is meeting my folks at the Radisson Blu (the hotel attached to the MOA.)  We'd hoped to wander the Mall as part of their visit, but that'll be complicated by the protest that's scheduled there today. Black Lives Matter: Minneapolis Event: MOA  Of course,it feels really weird to be headed to the Mall to shop when people are trying to make an important statement I happen to believe really strongly in.  I feel a little like a scab, crossing a picket line.  So I'm really, really hoping that we get our visit over and done with before these folks move in.  I do NOT want to be part of the problem, as it were.

But that bridge when we come to it, I suppose.


lydamorehouse: (Default)
 Wayward is just a fun word, isn't it? 

Anyway, there's a new installment of the School for Wayward Demons up, called "Magical In-Take Exams."  Go check it out.  

As I think I MAY have mentioned here, I'm going to be one of the Guests of Honor at this next year (2015)'s MarsCON.  They're currently soliciting ideas, and I've been wracking my brains trying to come up with things I want to talk about.  It's weird, because this not usually an issue... me, having trouble rambling on about any old subject.  But, I guess the problem I'm having is, what do I know that's not just super-detailed fannish squee about the latest chapter of Bleach or whatever. I mean, I could totally talk about how awesome all the things I'm watching and reading are, but... do people really want an entire hour about Barakamon?  And is anyone else in the entire Twin Cities watching it?

So, you know, if you can think of anything I might be good at talking about, let me (or MarsCON) know.   


lydamorehouse: (Default)
 In case you're following the School for Wayward Demons as it comes to press, we had another installment yesterday  "The F.U. Cake":  



Art by Alexis Cooke
 

Things are starting to get interesting at the School, so you don't want to miss any installments.


In other news, my Japanese class had a dinner out at Tanpopo last night. I had the Age-Dashi Tofu appetizer, and, because it was a blustery winter night, the Nabeyaki Udon, which is a kind of hot-pot stew that comes in a clay pot with (in this case) fish cakes, chicken, mushrooms,  hrimp tempura, tamagoyaki (the rolled omelet thing I've only ever before written about!)  and, as advertised, udon noodles.  I had a weird kind of flush of pride when I realized that the instructor and I had ordered the same thing.  Made me feel like I was making good choices, you know?  I also had edamame mochi for desert, which was terrific, though not a lot of people liked it because it is green bean paste inside a kind of rubbery rice wrapping.  I'm a big fan of any kind of bean paste, though, so I was very happy.

The only bummer was that our friends the Jacksons had shown up about an hour before I had to take off for the dinner so I missed out on all the initial catching up.  Luckily, they'll be around for the whole Thanksgiving holiday, so I'm sure I'll hear all the news eventually.

The only other thing to report is that Mason has another date!  The young lady friend called up and asked him out to a movie, so he'll be headed out on Friday to go watch Mockingjay with her!  (So adorbs!)  
lydamorehouse: (crazy eyed Renji)
Rachel and I published our next episode last Thursday to the School of Wayward Demon's site:  "Aftershocks Run Deep."

Check it out.  We're pretty deep into the story now and a lot of the ensemble cast is really starting to show off their personalities and the world around them is deepening.  It's that part of the story that starts to feel lived in.

In other news, Shawn and I spent the day yesterday baking.  Shawn likes to get ahead of the holidays by baking cookies and freezing half of them. so we have lots of nosh around for our Thanksgiving guests, and stuff set aside for Christmas.  We made biscotti, honey caramels, and sand tarts (a kind of butter-sugar cookie cut-out, but with an egg-wash which makes them kind of chewy in a really yummy way.)  Then, because Mason is a fan of it, we made steak for dinner and I baked homemade bread.  So pretty much the oven was on and the kitchen was busting all day.

Today we're starting to do the holiday cleaning and all of that.

I'm finished with my Yuletide assignment, but I haven't posted it yet because I'm still not sure about the voice of it.  So, I'm letting it sit for a while and then I'll re-read to see how it "sounds."

I also did a really fun back-and-forth via email interview with Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith, the authors of a new YA dystopian novel called, Stranger that will eventually be published on Gay YA.  I'll post a link here when that happens.

Otherwise, I'm fighting off a headache which I blame on this really weird, warm weather we're having....


lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
 My birthday was phenomenal.  

It started out with presents.  As I later talked to Naomi about, we're a family of impatient larks, so we always (with the exception of Christmas Eve) open presents at the crack of dawn.  Because of Mason's ridiculous school start time this means I opened my presents at 5:15 am, which is technically pre-the crack of-dawn.

My family bought me a blank journal (one of the things you can NEVER SCREW UP by giving me.  That, and art supplies,) and manga.  Inside the cover of Blue Exorcist #1 was a gift certificate to B&N, which, in essence, was a gift certificate for MORE MANGA.

Then, after dropping everyone off at their respective places, I stopped by my favorite St. Paul coffee shop, Claddaugh, and the barista told me it was on the house because they knew it was my birthday (tbf, I was there the day before talking about it, because had to hang around for several hours to take Shawn to her MRI.)  But, hey, it really doesn't get much better for me to get a free fancy latte.  It was my favorite kind, a "Black and Tan" which is horrible for my personal Irish politics, but is actually what is, in most places, called a meil or a Vienna (a honeyed latte, Viennas will also have cinnimon.  I like them both equally well, and Mary, the barista, makes a mean Black and Tan.)

So, with that in hand, I headed home wrote up a chapter of Tate's WIP, "Mending Fences." (This came out, as well:  "Post-Apocalyptic Pizza") And, just as I was putting finishing touches on that, my friend Naomi called to ask if it was okay to drop-by.  She handed me an absolute PERFECT birthday card and ended up staying and chatting for a really long time about all the things.

We chatted until I had to leave for my lunch date with Shawn where we went out to one of my favorite Mexican buffets on the West Side, called Boca Chica.  It's cheap and is the kind of place where, to be grossly general, a lot of office ladies seem to go to have cocktails with their cheap buffet.  However, that's a huge part of its charm, IMHO.  Plus, it's owned by a Mexican family and the food is authentic and very, very yummy.

Plus, I've long loved food out.  Though I love to cook and probably, ultimately would prefer a home cooked meal, I really love the dinning out experience.  Maybe because we don't do it a lot and it's kind of luxury?  Anyway, it was fun and, of course, Shawn is excellent company and has been for the last 30 years.

After that we rolled home (having eaten one after dinner mint too much), I napped.  Then, we picked up the boy and headed out to B&N to cash in my gift card for manga.  I decided to fill out some of my blank spaces in Bleach, so I bought as many as my card would cover.  Then, I headed off to my very last Japanese class.  I bought a bunch of Japanese snacks/candy at the Mall, so I laid them out for everyone to enjoy as part of my birthday.  This worked out well because one of the projects we did was origami so we folded paper, chatted, and ate Every Burgers.

I was particularly pleased to introduce Tetsuya-sensei to Every Burgers, because not only are they delicious, they are one of those things you read about on-line as "weird Japanese candies" and, given that he was born and raised there, I was like, "Ha!  And they said anime would teach me nothing!" (which, btw, is a long standing joke in my class.)

Even though class is officially over, we're meeting at Tonpopo, next week which I'm really looking forward to.  Should be a blast.

So that was my day.  I came home to a hot bath and manga.  Life is good for the 47 year olds.

I mean, really, one of the things that occurred to me is that I've been living happily on coffee and comic books since I was about 15.  It's nice to know that some of the same things still give me so much pleasure.



lydamorehouse: (Default)
I managed NOT to get a Tate chapter out this week, BUT, for those of you reading the School for Wayward Demons, there is a new installment out today--and it's a doozie!  It's called Bad Jaguar! and it's up now.  It also comes with some AMAZING, knock your socks off art by Mandie Brasington.

Meanwhile, in the continuing Requires Hate debate, Daily Dot has written one of its exhaustive articles about the whole event: "Acclaimed Sci-Fi Writer Exposed as Notorious Internet Troll."

They ask a really troubling question, which is, is there a double-standard here?  Are there toxic personalities in the SF community who are more readily tolerated because they are (white) men? (I put the white part in parentheses because Chip Delany is mentioned.)  

I don't know what to make of that.  

I feel there are things I could say, but I won't.  I won't partly because I don't want to go on record saying anything that could be construed as being apologist for any of the behavior of the men cited--not because I secretly agree with any of it, but the opposite. I refuse to even *accidentally* seem like I would condone any of it.  

I also am backing away from an opinion about this because I think the issue of hate and who owns the right to be angry is, in this case in particular, ultimately an argument best spoken to by the communities of color who were hit hardest by RH.  As a lesbian, I get the usefulness of being the "angry lesbian" (or having one in your community), but I also think there is a REAL difference between writing a snarky, strident opinion piece and actively harassing someone/using hate-speech to silence opposing opinions, and internet stalking--all of which RH/winterfox/et al. has, according to many very reliable sources, actively engaged in.  It is problematic that she's a woman, PoC, and queer, but the hatefulness she's being accused of I would tolerate from no one.  It's completely inexcusable by race, creed, sexual orientation, or... really, anything.

So that's me... I have a lot more to say, but I'm going to make good on the backing away and leaving this for other people, particularly RH's victims and the communities she's been a part of, to argue.

If you want something happier, there is that chapter I posted!  :-)
lydamorehouse: (Default)
 There's a new chapter of School for Wayward Demons called "Devil in the Details."  This is a chapter that features Erin. It's short, but it features this AMAZING art by Alexis Cooke.


Which you really need to see the larger version of to appreciate, so go... check it out.

In other news, I finished painting the bathroom... kind of.  I need to go over the edges of the trim and, well, the blue is, erm, a little darker than I thought it was going to be.  I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with it, but I don't really want to repaint already again, you know?  *sigh*  Anyway, while I was in the middle of painting, I got a call from Roseville: could I come in?  I initially said no because I was in the middle of painting, but they called back when everyone else bailed and I, being that sort, said, Okay, I can, but I can't come in until 10:30 am.  So I ended up working from 10:30 to 2:30, which was just fine, except now I feel fairly dead on my feet and there's still a ton to do before my folks come tomorrow.

*sigh*

Ah well.  Money is a good thing.  Plus, I always have a great time working there.  I worked the front desk and had several fascinating conversations with various patrons.  I had one guy today who was very obviously quite autistic.  Functioning on his own, but very, almost stereotypically "Rain Man" like, in that he wanted to repeat the information he was checking a LOT.  The thing is, I have a massive amount of patience.  I was happy to just stand there discussing the fact that today was, in fact, Thursday, and it was the last day this week that this library would be open until 9 PM over and over. I mean, the only other thing I had to do was put a cart in order, so why not?  I think my lack of impatience put him at ease, too.  

On the other hand, I think I accidentally transferred someone on the phone to a reference desk AT ANOTHER BRANCH.

Oops.

You can't win them all.

Mason and I will be recording our podcast later tonight (or tomorrow, depending on how the homework histrionics go).  I'll probably post it at my various places tomorrow.  I tell you because I'm sure you're completely on tenterhooks wondering how the latest Bleach and Toriko chapters went, am I right?

Yeah, I didn't think so.  
lydamorehouse: (Default)
So, I've got some fiction for 'ya! Come get your pipping hot fiction!

First up is the continuing saga of UnJust Cause. This episode is called, "Why Did the Centaur Cross the Road?" The answer is: he didn't. He started to, but got hit by a car before he made it. Now, Jack and Alex (who, if you recall, were taken off the jumper/drop-victim case) are sent to investigate what happened.

After reading that, you can make your way over to the Enter the Unseen website and read: Theo Uncovers Secrets! with a lovely illustration by Mandie:


lydamorehouse: (chibi renji and zabi)
Let's see, I guess I have a lot to report.  First, link salad:  Mason and I did a Halloween podcast in which we did our usual reviews but also sang too much and put on bad "vampire" accents:  31st on the 31st.  Then, if you forgot to check out the Thursday installment of the School for Wayward Demons, it's up on the Enter The Unseen web site: "A New Home for How Long?"

Mason and I did our usual pumpkin carving/pumpkin seed roasting last night.  This year, for the first time, Mason did all the carving and scooping of his own pumpkins.  I'm going to get pictures of all of the pumpkins we did tonight when the candles are in them, but here are some "action" shots from last night:



The pumpkin above is going to have a bunch of knives sticking in its head when we're finished with it, which is why he looks a bit like he's wincing.  

Here's a shot of us in progress:




There will be more pictures, particularly once Mason is in full costume tonight.  He's decided to take up the long standing Morehouse tradition of preferring to stay home and hand out the candy.  As part of this, Mason has made a featureless black mask and plans to dress all in flowing shadowy robes in order to 'haunt' anyone who shows up to the door for Trick-or-Treat.  So you could say he's going as the Trick in Trick-or-Treat.

My only hope is that he doesn't make too many little kids cry.  But, you know, he's a good kid. I know that's not his intention.  In fact, it would break his heart if he made some little Elisa cry.  I'm pretty sure who he has in his sights are the neighbor boys and those late straggling teenagers.  

We've also been invited to a neighbor's costume party so I might struggle on my Renji cosplay and head over to try out their appetizers and such.  As a bonus,  I can bring along about six zillion roasted pumpkin seeds, because OMG we had so many this year.  They were big and juicy too, so they're delicious!

I have a few other announcement to pass on.  First and Foremost, I was invited to be the Guest of Honor at MarsCON again for 2015.  MarsCON is going to be held March 6 -8, 2015: MarsCON 2015: Heroes and Wizards & Fae--OHhh MYyy.  

Secondly, I'll be reading at this year's Minnesota Speculative Writers' Showcase.  It's Sunday, November 9th from noon to 3 PM at Acadia Cafe.  The Local Author Showcase has a Facebook Page with more information than you'll ever need!  But, if for some reason, you can't see that, the salient bit of information is that Acadia Cafe is located at 329 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis.  The event is FREE and open to the public. I was told I'd have only a very short period to read, so I think the idea is kind of like the Broad Universe Rapid Fire readings.  You'll get a tiny sample of everyone work.  It should be fun.  Hope to see some of you there.


lydamorehouse: (Default)
Because I forgot to come back and post our podcast link, "30: Still No Aizen" and my link to the Gangsta manga review: Gangsta by Kosuke, A Review, you are now inundated with the linky-links.

Also, today is a new Tate chapter. I'm rather proud of the opening line this time. It goes like this: "After being told I was off the case, I did what any well-adjusted grown-up would do: I sat at my desk and sulked." You can find this gem (and others) in Part 27: With a Little Help from Friends.

Later today, there will also be a new School for Wayward Demons chapter for you, but I think that Rachel has those set to go up around 1 pm. If you go there, be sure to check out all the little improvements we've been making around the site. We have a lovely new Table of Contents page, which you can go to to check out any chapters you may have missed (or want to re-read!) We also have link to our Patreon page, so you know, if you feel like supporting our work, you should go for it.

I support you supporting us.

In other news, I'm starting to get excited about Yuletide. I checked out the Sign-Up Summary and I found out that someone actually requested that funky little food manga I adored called, "Kinou Nani Tabeta?/What Did You Eat Yesterday?" and I'm super-duper hoping that I get assigned to write that one.  But, seriously, OMG, if I don't get this one, I'm SO writing someone a treat in that universe.  Because: food!  Because: gay men! Because: ridiculously boring slice-of-life.  IT IS ALL THE THINGS I LOVE.

Yesterday, as Mason and I were headed to school about a zillion police cars raced past us on Rice Street.  An ambulance raced up and then back down the street, faster than I have ever imagined an ambulance would go.  Police had blocked the road off near school, and a cop directed traffic.  It was crazy.  We speculated about what might have happened as we made our way to school.  Only once I was home an scouring the new sites did I find out that a boy, 11 years old, was hit by a car while walking to Mason's school.  I spent much of the day yesterday worrying that it was Mason's friend Donte, who I've written about on my LJ, because he's a frequent guest for sleepovers.  He walks to school every day, along that exact same route.  I was briefly relieved to find out it was not, but then I spent the rest of the day feeling sad about this recent Napali immigrant who has yet to regain consciousness and who wants to be a policeman when he grows up. (Please, goddess, let him grow up.  Because there but for the grace of fate... go we all.)

So, yeah, Monday kind of sucked.

Here's hoping today will be better for everyone.

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