Chat, Nom, Party!

1461_1535-classic-cinnamon-rollsRelease day for Season of Seduction and Five Golden Rings is tomorrow!

To celebrate, the five of us with stories in the anthology and sponsoring a chat and giveaway. Whee! Our prizes are copies of the anthology (OF COURSE), plus gift cards to Wolferman’s Gourmet Desserts – order online and they SEND YOU NOMS. It’s brilliant.

You can enter via the Rafflecopter below. Or just stop by the chat and say hi!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enforced Peace

003A bit of found art – or found cuteness. This is a neckwarmer bunny that I’d set aside. When I walked past later, it struck me just how serendipitously it had fallen, making a very peaceful tableau.

More peace is always good.

In the mornings, when I feed the kitties, I stay to watch them eat. If I don’t, Jackson – younger, faster, and more ravenous – will finish his and head over to Isabel’s bowl. He’ll nudge her out of the way and, remarkably, she’ll let him. I keep thinking this will change as he’s no longer a kitten, but he’s at a year and a half now and she still cuts him that baby slack. So I stay and watch, keeping him away until she’s done.

She’s a delicate eater, precise and unhurried. It can take a while for her to finish. I make my coffee, take my vitamins, but then I have to simply wait. Isabel is also our guard cat and she hates any disturbance while she eats. Kitchen chores like unloading the dishwasher or doing dishes are simply out of the question. Once clank of a plate and she’s out of there. One turn of my back, Jackson will dive in and she won’t come back.

Once I tried bringing my laptop in, so I could begin dealing with email for the day, but it diverted my attention too much and Jackson stole the moment.

Thus, I’m forced to be quiet and still. Sometimes I look out the kitchen window to the back garden – a view I rarely take in, because any other time I’m in the kitchen I’m on task. Though I begrudged the time to begin with, it’s become one of my few “doing nothing” moments of the day.

Something I probably need more of.


Screw the Writer’s Journey

003Screw this “Writer’s Journey” stuff already.

I mean, really.

Longtime readers know I have a pet peeve about the “my journey towards publication” thing. It’s not that I hold the effort to become a professional writer lightly – far from it – and I know it’s difficult when a writer is not yet published, but feels the pressure to start a social media presence. “You must have a blog!” they’re told. (I was.) But what the hell are they supposed to blog about? Reviewing other writers’ books is fraught. Few people have day jobs or lives interesting enough to make for a compelling blog – or they probably wouldn’t want to be a writer. Giving writing or publishing advice comes across as kind of fraudulent.

So I don’t blame them, all these people who title or subtitle their blogs “My Journey Towards Publication.”

(Even if I do roll my eyes a little every time I see it.)

But the metaphor is so cliché that it’s lost any meaning it once had.

That’s the problem with clichés. It’s not that they’re inherently evil – though to hear some advice-givers, you’d totally think so – it’s that they become placeholders, empty shells so weathered by overuse that our eyes pass right over them. They’re like plastic clowns outside the fun house at the old carnival on the pier. Once bright, fascinating, funny and unsettling, after years of sitting there, the colors have faded and they just look pitiful. Someone ought to fix them up, probably. After a while, you stop even noticing them.

I know, I know – this idea has been around for a while. A bit of slapdash research (i.e., two minutes of Googling) reveals that the well-known and oft-used screenwriting book by Christopher Vogler called – wait for it – The Writer’s Journey – was first published just over 20 years ago in 1992. And, yes, he based it on Joseph Campbell’s model of the hero’s journey, which was popularized around 5 years before that.

But, you know, there’s a lot of 80s stuff we’re not doing anymore. I do not stripe my eyeshadow, none of my clothes have 8-inch shoulder pads and I don’t even own a cassette deck. (I may have leg warmers tucked away – shh.)

Besides, “journey” does not give me a happy feeling. Is this just me?

I mean, a journey is a trial, right? Full of tests of character, dangerous situations and a hell of a lot of tromping along. Sure, we can think up how this parallels the endurance and persistence required to make it in publishing, but is this really how we WANT to model ourselves??

Why can’t we have the Writer’s Romp? “My Playful Path to Publication.

Or the Writer’s Rollercoaster. “I Rode Mister Twister 27 Times in a Row and Only Vomited Once.”
(A little nod in there for my Denver peeps – moment of silence for our stolen youth.)

Hey! There could be the Writer’s Grand Tour. “How I Wrote Nine Books in Ten Different Genres and Made Less than a Dollar a Day!”

SEE? Isn’t this already way more fun than the stinking “Writer’s Journey”?

Join the revolution, peoples! Re-envision your life as a writer. Hit me with your ideas!

As for myself, I’m totally working on the “Writer’s Beach Vacation.”

Bring on the cabana boys!

In Which I Geek Out Over Faerie Worldbuilding

Rogus_Pawn_final hand cropToday I’m over at the Paranormal Unbound blog, geeking out with sister scientist A.J. Larrieu over the world in my Covenant of Thorns series. She interviewed me and asked me some really great, insightful questions about my version of Faerie. She got me thinking about my early ideas for this series and how I got to the world I did. Very fun stuff!