baby steps

July 16, 2021

This week, I’m reminded again that baby steps are important. Some is better than none.

15 minutes of yoga is better than no yoga.

“Weed the yard” is too big, but “weed just this section” is doable. (I haven’t weeded all summer. It’s a problem. So instead of “weed the yard” I’m now working on “spend half an hour weeding this section” and that seems to be the trick.)

500 crappy words written is better than no words.

So annoying that I seem to have to relearn this lesson every couple years or so.

state of the desk

July 5, 2021

I actually need to figure out the state of the desk and what I’m going to be working on for the rest of the year. Huh, weird.

I’ve just gave my agent the revision of the novel I started in March. That’s four months, from start to second draft. Not sure I’ve ever written a story this size that quickly.

In that time I didn’t work on much else — one short story, I think. Interesting to see what I can do if I just put my head down and go. I learned some things, writing this one.

Now to see if anyone likes it.

And maybe go for a walk to clear the mind.

June?

June 29, 2021

And… now June is almost finished. Like, after tomorrow, the year is halfway over.

I’m trying to remember that the measure of time is an arbitrary imposition of human patterning on the natural world.

It’s not working.

This last year is has really messed with my sense of time. I keep thinking, Oh yeah, QUESTLAND is coming out next summer!

Dude. Sweetie.

This is next summer. Right now. Use it or lose it.

In birding news: I found an oriole nest with babies in it. I didn’t see them but they were LOUD. So much joy.

happy Questland day!

June 22, 2021

QUESTLAND is out today! Finally! It feels like this one took a really long time to get to this point.

How long, you ask? Well.

I’ve mentioned in a couple of interviews that I’ve been thinking of this story for a very long time, and had an early novella version that I ended up trunking. And how weirdly enough, the story is much more topical and relevant than it ever was before, what with the mainstreaming of geek culture and the rise of the eccentric tech billionaire and so on, so it’s probably good it’s coming out now rather than then.

I got curious, so I dug into my archives to figure out just how long I’ve had this idea, and how long I’ve been working on it. Drum roll, please:

March 2003.

That’s the date of the file that has Addie as the main character, working with ex-special forces mercenaries to infiltrate a fantasy island. The story changed a lot in the interim, as most stories do. But the opening scene of that file is in QUESTLAND, rewritten at the prose level but pretty much the same in terms of plot.

Eighteen years. No wonder it doesn’t quite feel real, that this story is finally out in the wild.

Whew.

Questland – events!

June 18, 2021

QUESTLAND is due out real soon now! That link has ordering info.

I’ve got some events scheduled — all virtual, which has the benefit that anyone can attend from anywhere. We debated about trying an in person event, but decided the stress and uncertainty would make the whole thing less fun. So virtual it is.

Thursday, June 24, 6 pm MT, the Tattered Cover is hosting a livestream with me.

Monday, June 28, 6 pm MT, with Old Firehouse Books, we have a special event: I’ll be in conversation with Marjorie Liu, and talking about her new short story collection, The Tangleroot Palace. Marjorie and I go way back and I’m really looking forward to this.

Old Firehouse Books has a stack of signed bookplates, and I’m planning a trip to Tattered Cover to sign stock for them, so my signature will be available if you order directly from those stores.

Thank you!

My next novel, QUESTLAND, will be out in one month. Click here for preordering info.

It’s about a high-tech LARP that goes horribly, horribly wrong, and the literature professor who has to save everyone!

aka: How many Labyrinth references can I pack into one novel before someone tells me to stop?

I lost track.

I’m finally getting around to updating my sites and schedules to prep for the release of QUESTLAND on June 22, a novel about a high-tech LARP gone horribly horribly wrong and the literature professor who has to save everyone!

On June 28, 6 pm MT, Old Firehouse Books is hosting an online chat with me and Marjorie Liu, who also has a book coming out, her collection THE TANGLEROOT PALACE.

I’ve working on scheduling other events and even planning some in-person shindigs. Fingers crossed. Check the “Conventions & Signings” link for the latest info!

baby steps

May 7, 2021

This week, I’m reminding myself that 15 minutes of yoga is better than no yoga at all. (Also trying to decide when I’ll feel comfortable going back to the studio I used to go to. Maybe not quite yet, though outdoor yoga should be starting up soon and that might be really nice.)

And 10 minutes of cleaning is better than no cleaning.

And so on.

Have a happy weekend y’all. I figured out my plan for tomorrow’s birding Big Day and I’m excited. Will report back next week.

spring!

May 3, 2021

It’s t-shirt weather today, and I’m LOVING it. This is doing a lot to improve my mood. Mind you, this is Colorado and we’re due for another bout of chilly rain and weather next week. But contrast is good for the soul, I suppose.

Another thing I love about this time of year is watching bird migration. The ospreys are back, reclaiming their nests and laying eggs. All winter, the local ponds hosted big flocks of mergansers and goldeneyes. As of last week, the mergansers are gone, but western grebes and teals have arrived to replace them. The wrens and warblers and orioles should be back soon, as well.

Next week is the Global Big Day, when birders all over the world go out to ID and count birds. I’m looking forward to it, though I haven’t quite figured out my plan yet. I’m going to stay local, but at the same time try to see some old favorite spots in a new light.

state of the week

April 29, 2021

I’m having One of Those Weeks. I got to a point where too many people asked for too many things and I just started crying.

But here’s some insight I’ve taken from this week. This is going to sound goofy, but sometimes I think, “What would a Jedi do? Can I draw on a well of calm in order to move through this with Jedi levels of power and grace?”

The answer is: A real Jedi would have a protocol droid to deal with all this bureaucratic housekeeping bullshit. That’s where that well of calm comes from. I need a protocol droid.

Anyway, things feel like they’re getting back to normal because instead of this feeling like the 400th day of March 2020, we’re all back to, “Holy crap it’s almost May, how did that sneak up on me?”