July 13, 2015
I’m often asked about the chronology of the Kitty series — where all the short stories fit in relation to the novels. I’ve had a page up on my website about it, but it’s kind of buried. So here it is, a little more up front and including a couple of more recently published stories. All the Kitty shorts and novels, in chronological order:
“The Book of Daniel”
“A Princess of Spain”
“Conquistador de la Noche”
“The Beaux Wilde”
“The Temptation of Robin Green”
“Looking After Family”
“Winnowing the Herd”
Kitty and The Midnight Hour
“Kitty and the Mosh Pit of the Damned”
“Kitty’s Zombie New Year”
Kitty Goes to Washington
“Life is the Teacher”
“Il Est Ne”
Kitty Takes a Holiday
Kitty and the Silver Bullet
“Kitty Learns the Ropes”
“You’re on the Air”
“The Arcane Art of Misdirection”
Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand
Kitty Raises Hell
“Long Time Waiting”
“It’s Still the Same Old Story” (Although the flashbacks take place after “Unternehmen Werwolf” and before “The Temptation of Robin Green.”)
Kitty’s House of Horrors
Kitty Goes to War
Kitty’s Big Trouble
Kitty Steals the Show
Kitty Rocks the House
Kitty in the Underworld
Kitty Saves the World
Did I miss anything? Say, I think it might be time to see if I can put together a second collection…
July 10, 2015
Just a quick note. It’s been a wibbly wobbly week, sorting through the mess on my desk, contemplating the long-term to-do list, and looking forward to a few weeks at home with no travel. Bliss! I hadn’t thought I was traveling that much, then I realized I’ve been home one weekend out of the last seven. Yikes! I may work at home, but I still like those free weekends to remind me to kick back and relax a little bit.
I updated my appearances page! (The info can also be found on the link on the right-hand menu.) My next thing will be on August 5th at the Tattered Cover on Colfax in Denver — we’re having a release party for Kitty Saves the World. Yay!
Here’s the rest of my current scheduled appearances. Not too many, but what there are should be GREAT! And yes, I’m going to be bringing some costumes to DragonCon! Will I see you there?
August 5: We’ll be having a big party celebrating the release of KITTY SAVES THE WORLD at the Tattered Cover on Colfax. More info about times and such when I have it!
August 28-30: Bubonicon in Albuquerque.
September 4-7: DragonCon! This is the year! I’ll see you there!
September 27 or 28: Fall for the Book Festival in Fairfax, VA. Not sure which day I’m appearing yet but I’ll let you know.
October 23-25: MileHi Con in Denver.
And in 2016:
May 6- 8: Creative Ink Festival in Vancouver BC.
July 8, 2015
My latest story “Crazy Rhythm” is now up on Lightspeed! (It’s also crossposted on io9! I’m taking over!!!) This is my WWI tank in silent-era Hollywood story. Because I like smooshing things together that don’t normally go together. Fun things happen.
Here are a couple of videos that will add a bit of background info:
Here are the Hines Brothers performing the song where I got the title from in the movie The Cotton Club. (The movie’s okay, but all of the musical numbers in it are fantastic.) Anyway, this song was one of the first bits of 1920’s music I ever heard and I love just about every version of it.
And this one:
This is some pretty good period footage of the Mark V tank. It looks so rudimentary and primitive compared to modern tanks. But I keep imagining myself as a soldier in the trenches seeing one of these for the first time — or a whole line of them, creeping toward my position. And it’s pretty terrifying. It’s a strange and interesting machine.
July 3, 2015
I’ve been doing something kind of different lately. Different for me, anyway. I’ve been looking at some of my old writing — and fixing it. And it’s been kind of mind blowing, some of this stuff I put in the trunk because it never sold — I know how to fix it now. I have this novella I wrote 10 or 12 years ago. It never sold, but I’ve been working it over to turn it into a novel proposal. It’s actually nice, because I’m so clearly a much better writer now. Clearly. I’ve got the old draft sitting on my desk, and while I’m using it as a guide, I’m pretty much rewriting it as I type scenes into a new file.
Because I’m such a big advocate of revision, I thought I’d show you what that looks like.
The old version, from 10+ years ago:
Just two weeks ago, I was safe in my ivory tower. Assistant Professor of comparative literature, with nothing to worry about but when I had to be at my office for office hours. Well, publishing and getting tenure, but those were too big to worry about right now.
Technically, I didn’t really have to be at my office for office hours, since students never actually came to my office, not like they did in the old days. But they did call with all the usual questions and I had to be near my screen to answer them.
“Professor Cox?” said one of my Intro to Mythology students. I touched the screen to open a chat window and saw the face of a nineteen year old’s desperation looking back at me.
“I know I was supposed to turn in my paper yesterday, and I know I didn’t, but I was really hoping I could get an extension, just an extra day or two–”
I had a script for this. “You got the syllabus along with everyone else, you know my policy–no extensions.”
The anguish in the young man’s twisted face showed the pain of someone who’d never had to worry about anything worse than a late paper. “But Professor Cox, I really need this grade. . .”
I let him go on for a minute. It was part of the script. Finally, I let out a heavy sigh. “All right. Just this once. But I need it by the weekend and it had better be good.”
Just like that, he became the happiest person in the world. “Thank you, thank you so much.“
And the new version (still rough, I haven’t really proofread):
I really shouldn’t have been here. But here I was. I hadn’t decided yet if I was sorry. Give me a couple of days.
Just a week ago, I was safe in my ivory tower, nothing to worry about but camping in my office for office hours. Well, publishing and getting tenure, department politics, course loads. But those were too big to really worry about.
Not that students actually visited office hours anymore. It was all emails and messaging.
“PROF COX PLS NEED 2 MOR DAYS FOR ESSAY HELPP!!!!111!!!!!!”
I emailed back a file of the syllabus–that they’d gotten at the start of the term along with everyone else–with the due date highlighted. If that made me a terrible professor, so be it.
If any of them ever actually showed up in person, I would give them an extension.
In a word, the second version has more personality than the first. It’s punchier, with less exposition, it’s less mechanical. The exchange with the student? That’s basically irrelevant to the story and is mostly there for contrast, to show Addie’s normal life. I reduced from 10 paragraphs to 5, and it conveys all the same information, and it’s funnier now. At least I think it is.
The new section has voice. That’s what I was missing in my writing 10+ year ago.
July 1, 2015
KITTY SAVES THE WORLD is due out in one month! Squeee! It’s gonna be epic! We’re putting a calendar and some events together and stuff so stay tuned.
In the meantime, the July issue of Lightspeed Magazine has a brand-new story by me: “Crazy Rhythm,” which is about silent-era Hollywood and WWI tanks and all kinds of good stuff like that. You can buy the issue now, and the story goes live on the site next week.
Also announced today, the anthology Swords v. Cthulhu will include my story “The Lady of Shalott,” which is indeed my Lovecraftian retelling of the ultimate story about what happens when one gazes upon the forbidden. That’ll be out early 2016.
I was just thinking about a number of stories and projects I’ll have coming out over the next year. There’s quite a few! Of course I’ll let you know when they’re available.
But the big one: KITTY SAVES THE WORLD IS OUT IN A MONTH!
June 29, 2015
I’ve been in the SCA for just over 15 years and I finally acquired a period canvas tent for camping events. It was serendipity, as often happens with these things. Someone else was selling hers right when I was ready to start looking.
Isn’t it lovely? The beautiful forested site with the burbling creek nearby (not flooding, huzzah! But it was awfully close…) doesn’t hurt.