We’re Going to MileHiCon!

Howdy, Turtleduck friends! It’s my birthday! ::twirls around a little flag::

But beyond that, I’m pleased to announce that if you are in the Colorado or generally Colorado area, you can come and see me at MileHiCon the last weekend of October. I shall be there with the full complement of Turtleduck titles, including new ones such as City of Hope and Ruin, and I will also have bookmarks for our anthology coming out mid-November, which is titled To Rule the Stars.

(It’s awesome.)

I’m excited for the convention! I learned a lot at the first one we did two years ago, and I’ve got some new displays and stuff that I’m itching to try out. Plus it’s always fun to network with other authors and publishers and see all the neat stuff that goes on at the con.

(Here’s a funny story, though. If you buy a three-day pass … Continue reading

Mental Health Breaks and Mini-Staycations

Have you ever come back from a vacation and immediately felt like you needed another one? Or has it been a while since you’ve had one?

If you’re anything like me, you fall into habit during your non-vacationing life. Maybe you have a favourite coffee shop, or a park or a restaurant you love. Returning over and over again to places you enjoy is comforting, for sure. I do it a lot. But don’t underestimate the power of novelty for R&R.

Last weekend was my wedding anniversary. We took the opportunity to go on a mini-staycation, just the two of us. It was a lot of fun, and it wasn’t particularly expensive. We had dinner at a new-to-us steakhouse chain, went home instead of staying at a hotel, then the next morning, ventured into a trendy neighbourhood we don’t usually frequent, and wandered down the street and picked a restaurant … Continue reading

New Horizons

Did you hear about Elon Musk’s plans, outlined yesterday at the 67th annual International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico?

He wants to go to Mars. Not just a billionaire taking a jaunt, but he wants to build a colony there. Put a bunch of stuff up there, engineer reuseable ships so they don’t have to build them again and again, send out teams every time Earth and Mars are close… He believes with SpaceX’s new rockets, they can make the trip take three months.

Musk isn’t the only one. Mars One had 78,000 hopefuls in the first two weeks they were accepting applications. Mars One, I should point out, doesn’t plan to bring its people back from Mars. Their idea to cut costs is to make it a one-way trip. They plan to raise the money doing reality-tv stuff, as their astronauts train and learn to live … Continue reading

107,000 words written on Ever Touched – and Deep Thoughts

So, since I’ve hit the 100k milestone on Ever Touched and went beyond it, I thought I’d talk about some things I’ve discovered or learned or just plain thought about with this novel.

#1 The first draft is not done yet. Technically, I have till the end of the month, but as that is fast approaching, I may not make it. I have at least 15-20k more to go minimum. I may do what I did with both Fey Touched and Grave Touched. Start the revision anyway, and write the ending once I get there.

#2 The good news is that I have a comprehensive plan for the ending. The bad news is, I had to replot it twice. I’m not ruling out a third or fourth time.

#3 Usually, a book’s theme song comes to me while planning. And I usually listen to it as I write the book. … Continue reading

Too Many Awesome Things To Do

Well, friends, if you’re interested in the continuing saga of my sewing project, I have cut out two pieces of my shirt. That was a few weeks ago. I was hoping to at least be able to report that I’d cut all pieces out, or, even more optimistically, had at least gotten the sewing machine out, but alas.

In fact, I keep coming up with new awesome and fun things I want to do, but…I’ve come to a realization. I’ve been spreading myself too thin. Too many projects, too many things to do. This is a bad habit of mine, especially recently. I think it comes down to having less time in which to do things these days. Back when I was young and beautiful, I could meander home from work, get in a couple hours of something fun, throw together something for dinner, and then spend a couple more … Continue reading

7 Lessons from the Garden

What I have learned about life gardening this year:

1. Some things take a lot longer than you think; be patient. Other things happen so quickly they’ll surprise you; be ready.

We planted radishes for the first time this spring. They were ready to harvest within a month, and went to flower (meaning no good for eating) just a few short weeks after that. Conversely, we waited and waited for last year’s snapdragons and this year’s wildflower seed mix. After we’d given up, both kinds of flowers emerged and were blooming by mid-June.

2. Novelty is always more exciting, but reliability is invaluable.

Every year we try a few new vegetables. This year: parsnips (very few came up), beets (yum), red onions (they stopped growing while still small), snap peas (double yum), and cucumber (it died in the summer drought). Every year we also fall back on our favourites: three sizes … Continue reading

Serendipity

Almost fifteen years ago now, I was a brand-new attendance technician/registrar at a middle school. There was a young lady, early in those middle school years, who wasn’t very good at getting her backside to school. As was my job, I stuck my nose in and tried to help. I remember I cajoled, I bribed, I threatened sternly with “you need an education to get anywhere!” We talked. She would tell me her problems, I would point out boys were not worth missing out on school and she was already beautiful so she didn’t need to be late because of her hair. She would blush and thank me and try a little harder. I’d tell her she was smart, and she just needed to show up to see a change in her school life, and such things. When I did see her in school, I made sure to say hi … Continue reading

I Think I Need A Planner – Or Something

Wanna hear something scary? I went through my entire day, oblivious to the fact that it was my turn to post a blog here. Normally, I’m plan it in advance, and I get it written early in the evening. Nope. It’s after 10:30pm, and I am now just sitting down to write this.

I spaced on a recent TDP meeting. Just…forgot.

The other scary thing is that I have a planner. It’s called Commit30, and I thought it would be fun to try. But please note that the last time someone asked me to use a planner (teacher in high school), I did all my planning in my head and then wrote it all up the day it was due.

Because I usually plan in my head, and for years, it has worked. I was younger then, and I had a better memory.

Now? It seems that I need something more. The planner is … Continue reading

So, How About That Plan From Last Month?

Last month I regaled you lot with my sewing plans. (And I realized I never linked you to my sewing Pinterest board, which is here, and which you can see is still getting healthy usage.) And I said I’d check back this month and let you know if I’d actually gotten on the actual sewing part of this madness.

The answer is no! But it’s more complicated than me just being lazy (or actually working on writing things, like I was supposed to, though I did do that).

I picked out two patterns to do. I cut out the pieces (which was harder than necessary because said patterns are in books and you cannot cut up library books). And then I hit the problem.

The average American woman is 5’4″. I believe they make patterns for people who are 5’7″. I am 6’1”. So I cut out my patterns … Continue reading

Mountain Memories

Two weeks ago, I blogged about my magical fantasy dream castle retreat, where I wished I was instead of plowing through a difficult month at work.

Last week, I got to spend some time in a place that happened to resemble it more than a little.

I spent the week in the Canadian Rockies, reconnecting with my siblings while hiking. (But not camping. Beds, showers, and easy meals are too much of a draw when you’ve spent the day walking.) I didn’t grow up there, but I did spend at least a week in the Rockies every summer, and they’re still one of my favourite places on the planet.

Here, then, are just some of the things I want to remember, like talismans against the sometimes-grind of daily life…

The way my siblings and I can still communicate with a look or half a sentence, or all acquire identical … Continue reading