Freddy Mercury, Painting, and Ennui

Because I’ve had an icky evening (READ: pregnancy is not for sissies), and I haven’t the fortitude for delving deeply into anything, here are a few thoughts on current events both local and not:

Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremonies

º I know I picked up on the meaning of many of the elements because I’ve spent most of my life in Europe.

º I had no clue of the meaning behind many of the other elements.

º This go-round wasn’t as moving as the Opening Ceremonies, but I still enjoyed watching.

º George Michael could tone down his vibrato a bit, but I was still disappointed that he didn’t sing more than one song.

º The members of the apparently newish boy band whose name I’d never heard of and now can’t recall all look like Justin Bieber.

º Whoever that girl was, she’s no Freddy Mercury.

º The giant puzzle-piece John Lennon face was pretty cramazing.

º Also, regarding the last Olympic event I watched this morning: Basketball players are quite tall.

Writing

º I didn’t work on the Rethana’s Surrender sequel this weekend.

º Friday night, I woke up at 4:30am and didn’t go back to sleep until 7:30am. (Yes, I still count that as Friday night. Hush.) At 5:30am, my brain delivered the first line of a new sci-fi short story: “The joke was sleek, fast, and deadly.” And in the next sentence, a woman dies a particularly bloody death.

Accordingly, with the little time I had Saturday morning, I started writing the story. I wrote more than a page. I’m still not sure just what The Story of the story is, but the title shall be “The Joke’s on Us.”

If I can’t figure out where it’s going, the joke will definitely be on me.

º I’m also feeling an urge toward poetry. It’s been a long time since I’ve written any, and I suspect I’m overdue. Once upon a time, I wrote 15-20 poems per year. Now, I might do two. That’s what happens when you turn yourself into a fulltime novelist, I guess. But I shouldn’t neglect the poetic aspect of writing. It affects the noveling in good ways. I shouldn’t forget that.

Politics

 

Media

º Multiple times per day, I check Twitter and Facebook.

º I don’t know if I’m just desensitized or dejected or what, but recently, my internal reaction to both media has been, “I’m bored.”

º Recently, my internal reaction to the intarwebz has been, “I’m bored.”

º Lest you think this were a reaction to my commitment to blogging every day — as in, I’m blogging every day and so am simply dazed with the amount of time I’m spending online — I’ve had ennui regarding the internet for quite awhile now. There just doesn’t seem to be much to do online.

º Maybe this is a feeling I need to follow. I would certainly get more writing done if I did.

Art

º I miss painting. I’ve had a concept in mind for a painting for over a year, and what with cover art and other projects, I haven’t had time to put that idea to canvas.

º Now, considering the 8-months-pregnant tummy, I can’t sit down to paint anymore. And I’m too tired to stand up to paint.

º So will I ever get to paint this picture I have in mind?

º Since I haven’t been able to paint, I’ve been playing with my phone camera and self-portraits. I leave you with one of my current favorites. Please do click to embiggen for the details!

Against the Grain

This Is Named “Rose,” Mr. Shakespeare

As many of you already know,
the husband and I recently moved into a cozy  
 

 
 

  

  

 
At the front of this  
  

  

  

 are several

 s.
 

  

  

  

 
And in one of these 
 

 s, to my utter delight and surprise,  

  

 
I have discovered a  

  

 

 It’s really nice to see such a beautiful little life flourishing in spite of the drought.

I am thankful. : )
 

  

  

 
P.S. Please forgive the iPhone photo washed-out-edness of the rose photo, as well as the unsightly purple in the house photo. We don’t really live in an encroaching purple fog; that was just my iPhone cover slipping inconveniently about. *sigh*

Demons, Daftness, and Deadlines — OH My

So, I’ve got two exciting things to tell you about. I’m gonna try to tell you these things coherently — but, alas and alack, the lovely storm that rolled in this evening has bequeathed upon me a vision-blurring, brain-mushing headache. Thus, if I don’t make sense or if everything I write comes out weird, I’ll have to ask you to bear with me.

But exciting things! The first one, my darlings, is that a few weeks back, Julie and Carlos Velez of Julie V. Photography shot the cover art photo for my SHADOWS AFTER MIDNIGHT (Demons of Saltmarch #2). And it was bonkers fabulous.

I know that after Book 1’s cover art shoot, I shared all manner of cool photos with you. Sorry to disappoint, but I won’t be doing that this time. For one thing, we shot our male model against a white backdrop, and the cool Saltmarch background will get Photoshopped in.

For another, I want to keep the appearance and identity of our male model a secret (though you already know who he is and what he looks like, if you’ve been paying attention on Twitter.) He’s gonna look cramazingly cool on the SHADOWS cover, and I want the whole thing to be a surprise.

In the meantime: MODEL! You know who you are! And I thank you once again for your fabulous work with our photographers!

I know so many cool, talented, and just plain nice people. : )

And that, my beloveds, was Exciting Thing One.

Exciting Thing Two is that I have officially completed my final draft of SHADOWS AFTER MIDNIGHT and have submitted it to my editor for official, editor-ish “nurturing.” And as I peruse my Google Document, I see by her notes that the nurturing is already well underway.

Which, if you hadn’t guessed, gets me all kinds of nervous as well as giddy. I actually love getting edited, because it’s an honest joy to find out stuff I can do to make my story better.

The story in question, of course, is the sequel to COLORS OF DECEPTION. If you haven’t read COLORS, I won’t spoil it for you here. But. I will say that in this second book…

  • Peter takes center stage as main character,
  • we get to meet his auguren (read: demon-hunter) family, including his arrogant big bro Daniel (sibling rivalry! woot!),
  • Holly’s got a botheration of explaining to do,
  • seductive, craven, hungry Dante Mullins is up to his old tricks,
  • somebody gets whisked away to Saltmarch,
  • and demon cartoon bunnies are rather inconvenient.

Me, I am bouncing hither and yon, alternating between breathless excitement to get this book into your hands, my loves — and breathless terror that you won’t like it once you’ve got it. Welcome back to my Author’s Mild Manic Episodes. They might become more frequent until the first week of October (read: release of Book 2).

I hope you enjoy your stay. ; )

I Like Photos. Let Me Show You It.

The One Where I Lost My Brain

This past weekend, I went oldskool.

I went on a photowalk Saturday night, and I used my “old” (ca. 2001) 35mm camera.

By Amy Nickerson Design. Amy makes me feel NOT old.

The idea first popped into my head when I realized that the digicam’s batteries were dead.

“Oh!” thinks I. “Instead of going to the battery store, I’ll just hop over to Walmart and pick up film for the 35mm! It’d be fun to work with that one again.”

As it turns out, the saga of getting film and then making an extra trip back to Walmart to get a deities-blasted battery for the 35mm was more epic than would’ve been the trip to the battery store. Murphy, you are SO not my fave, dude.

But, in spite of all the trips to The Evil WM Store and in spite of the 100+ºF heat of the summer afternoon, by Saturday evening I finally found myself in Guthrie, Oklahoma, with Amy, Becca, Ryan, Ann, and new acquaintance Kelsey.

We Be-ed Artsy

In case you’re new to the term, a photowalk is a walk on which you go in order to take photos.

Ba-dum ching*.

Amy organized the whole shindig. Kelsey wanted Amy to teach her some new-camera tricks, so Amy invited the rest of us to tag along and be artsy.

So we tagged along and be-ed artsy.

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that I can’t yet share any of my photos with you — since they’re on 35mm film and have yet to be developed and all. But Amy gave me the go-ahead to share a few of her shots, which just goes to show what a totally cramazing person she is.

THANK YOU, AMY!

Photos are click-to-embiggen-able.

Becca had the perfect look for this shot. And yes, this is Guthrie, OK. Not Hawaii. I promise (sadly).

Amy caught me taking pictures. Don't know how that happened. ; )

Apron. Tied to a fire escape. WHY IS THE APRON THERE?!? Nobody knows.

This is both sad and fabulous to me.

Becca, Kelsey, and Anne. Chillin'.

The artsiness plus that cramazing fan make this one of my favorite photos of me ever. My photog friends are great for my ego. ; )

Sorry for all the weird frame sizes. I pretend to know what I’m doing with this thing called Com Pewt Errr, but it doesn’t always work out.

Of Skunks, Trespassing, and Dapper Defiance of Death

In-between and all around this awesome artsiness, the following took place:

We wampished** about in alleys,

avoided a weaving sort of fellow in a cowboy hat outside a place called the “Blow Out Club,”

called “here, kitty, kitty” to some animals we belatedly recognized as skunks,

trespassed on private property to take shots on the hood of a fantabulous, ancient, orange Ford truck,

composed an awkward “all-the-girls-grab-each-other” shot,

leapt into the air screaming like banshees,

and ran shrieking toward an oncoming train***.

There were also quite a few that’s-what-she-saids.

That was fun, too. ; )

_______________________

*This is actually listed in Wiktionary. Oh, the times in which we live.

**I picked this word up I don’t know where, but my notes tell me it’s Scottish dialect for “to wave about or flop to and fro.” I am open to correction on this.

***No photographers were harmed in the making of this photowalk.

My 10-Hour Adrenaline Rush (Better Than Chocolate)

(Yes, I said that!)

So. Yesterday. Photographers, model, husband, and I drove 2 1/2 hours northwest of Oklahoma City to Great Salt Plains State Park.

Our goal: shooting the cover art for my novel Colors of Deception, due out in less than 4 weeks.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!!

We had adventure, rain, mud, sunshine, laughter, singing, goosebumps, oooh-aaaah moments, adrenaline, and pesto. I don’t have time to give a full report right now — and even if I had time, I’m not sure I’d have the words to convey how cramazing it is to watch a scene from my novel come to life in reality right in front of my eyes and tangible.

All I can say is that Julie and Carlos (read: photographers) got Morgan (read: model) into a pose; Julie and Carlos stepped back; and suddenly, Morgan was Holly (read: novel’s main character).

It was breathtaking.

The images I took with my little digital point-‘n’-shoot don’t do the day justice and certainly don’t compare to the Velezes’ pro photos! But still, here are a few of my shots for you to peruse. Maybe they’ll give you a little taste of the magic I was privileged to witness yesterday. Enjoy! : )

Morgan turns the Velezmobile into her dressing room

Carlos engages in primitive caveman ritual arranges rocks and a small tree for props

Getting to watch all the prep stuff was kinda fun. Carlos fought with that dumb tree — and finally ended up digging a hole and filling it with rocks to anchor the the stubborn shrubbery.

Carlos gives up the caveman stuff in favor of funky tech!

Julie starts making magic

Of course the vegetation would look dead in a demon world. ;o)

The wide open landscape of the Salt Plains is perfect for Saltmarch!

Presto Pesto! Julie made it, and it was deeeeelish.

Morgan poses for some non-book-related shots

I'm keeping the cover art shots a surprise until the book comes out...but I *can* share some images that hint at the desolation of Saltmarch.

My favorite of my Saltmarch shots. (And yes, I know there's not supposed to be any water.) ;o)

My most heartfelt thanks go out to Morgan, who was a fantastic and gorgeous model; Julie and Carlos for their professionalism and fabulous creative skills; to Ed, my husband, for his support and for schlepping trees all over Oklahoma; to Becca for scouting the Salt Plains with me; and to Aaron for getting us all together.

You are all amazing people, and I am so very blessed to have you in my life!

Watch this blog for news and information on Colors of Deception, due for release next month!