happy birthday to my girlie-girl

My daughter is thirteen today.

Ten years ago I was writing in this space about the start of kidhood for her. Now we're moving on to teendom and edging ever closer to adulthood. I'm not terribly sentimental about my kids as babies or toddlers. I enjoy them as they are too much. But today I'm remembering I wrote a post a long time ago about finding glitter in her hair when I gave her a bath.

The sparkle of that glitter is still with her.

She's a remarkable person. She draws as well as a professional cartoonist, endlessly; she is articulate; she love stories, science class, animals, her big brother, her friends, My Little Pony, cosplay and cons. She has remarkable balance and physical ability. She has occasional bumps, of course, primarily her vision, which doesn't keep her from studying art but does make reading a chore she's never really warmed up to.

When she was little she loved the trees, even prickly pines, so much that she hugged them good night. She could walk like a ballerina on the tips of her toes. She could Houdini out of any diaper or outfit  you put her in, whine her way in or out of any situation, and by age two we left the side of the crib down so she could climb in and out. We still call her monkey.

She still climbs trees and she snowboards really well. She's taught herself to ice skate and she could ski, too, if she'd pick it back up.

She talked at ten months, drew in perspective before she was three. She loves stories. She went through a lying phase (who doesn't) in which she nearly convinced her very experienced first grade teacher that she spent the summer in Africa riding giraffes and taking care of tigers.

Now she goes to art school and takes two hours of visual art a day. Most of her drawings have a story to go with them. She still loves tigers. She would be a tiger if it were allowed. She's going to wear her tiger suit to her birthday party today.

She had crazy curly hobbit hair when she was little.

Now her hair is long and stick-straight and sometimes blue at the ends.

She has never known me as anything but a writer. I started writing again before she turned one.  I wrote my second (trunked) novel at the kitchen table with her playing on the floor nearby before she could walk.

My latest book, EMISSARY, is dedicated to her, and she even drew a picture of a dragon that my generous editors allowed me to include in its pages.

When she was three, we were all down and out with flu but her. We crawled (not kidding) out onto the balcony to watch her open her presents below, then crawled back to bed. She played intently, probably wondering where the hell we all were on this, her first birthday that she realized was a day just for her.

This morning we all got up, with her bff who slept over, to watch her open her presents. Then she disappeared back into her room with her bff to make art. One of her new shirts already has paint on it. /headdesk/

I won't post a current picture of her because even though she is beautiful, she requests privacy in my public life.

But I still couldn't help saying, right out loud, Happy birthday, my darling girl.

a delay

A quick post to let you know EMISSARY will be delayed by a couple of months. It's a decision made by Night Shade Books and one I wholeheartedly support.

The editing process was involved and ran a tad late, and a delay gives the book a real chance to get its feet under it rather than a rush job which usually means a book gets skipped over by reviewers and bloggers.

Right now we're looking at late spring. I have a date, but it's written in sand. When it's in stone, you'll be the next to know. :)

social media wishlist

In no certain order:

  • Screw you and all your weirdo spammers and creepers. Go away now.

  • Customized feed wherein I pick only the people I want to see. The ads don't bother me nearly as much as the algorithm that constantly tosses posts my way I have no interest in. It's always been shit for marketing and reach (I mean, server space doesn't cost that much... I've never understood why it's so poor) so I use it primarily to hang with friends and look at pretty pictures of houses. 
  • Reeling back on using PMing for business talk. (erg, I'm guilty of that today. Should have emailed. My bad.)
  • A feed that goes in order of appearance with zero backtracking just because someone posted a comment. I'll hit it up in my notifications if I'm interested, thanks. 

  • Just... just calm down. Chill pill, dude. You know I love you but settle the fuck down.
  • Posts that make sense. There's so much on there I don't get, like I'm jumping in the middle of a conversation, which sometimes I am but which sometimes I'm definitely not because Twitter encourages #randomnonsensicalthoughts  
  • Hashtags mostly as jokes. 
  • Closed groups or way to organize feed into different threads. Sure, I know, there are apps.
  • Apps that actually WORK in organizing my feed into different threads

  • Stop being so happy. At least have one frowny day a week. How about Monday?
  • MOAR NSFW PICTURES (hey, you promised!)

  • Um. Hello? Anybody there?
  • tsū ... Say again?
  • I'll bid 500 for a capital T, Alex.

facebook mehs

I took a bit of a hiatus (broken a couple of times for Important Announcement Stuff--yanno, like the Broncos beating the Raiders, tee hee) from Facebook over the holidays. I lurked some, liked some, but mostly I cut it way back. I cut the habit. I'm reading more. All good for me.

Despite having one of the more interesting Facebook feeds (my friends rock) it still gets on my nerves to read it. I want it to be about my friends--their kids, their pups and kittehs, their successes and struggles, their books, even the yummy thing you had for dinner. But despite my own constant adjustments and unfollows, the algorithm gives me news items, meh memes, incessant soundbitish socio-cultural analysis and commentary, and the holiday-de-jour (lately it's all resolutions, of course). It's not even giving me the decor pictures from the many pages I follow anymore. It's also not news that it's an absolutely terrible promotion tool.

To that end, I'm continuing to cut down on it this year. Though I'm available for contacting there, I greatly prefer email (listed on my contact page). I'll still follow my groups and pages (I wish there was a way to have a complete feed of ONLY groups and pages) and cross posting is still going happening.

In general, I expect to become more a user/poster on social media in the coming year and much less a consumer/follower, because I have books to write, EMISSARY to promote, thoughts to think, and teenagers to raise. :)

!!!! emissary cover reveal !!!!

I think of Emissary as three books in one: it's the story of Draken trying to build a new, stable life while making his country better, it's the story of how godsworn magic and rebellion and bloodshed (lots of bloodshed) nearly destroy the man he's trying to become, and it's the story of Draken facing down those who exiled him, the same who would now use him to forge war.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

February 3, 2015, people!! 

In the meantime, feast your eyes on Draken facing certain death as an Emissary to his old country.

newsity news

It's been a crazy fall with edits on EMISSARY. The book drops February 3 so keep an eye on my appearances page. I'm super excited for the book; the cover by John Stanko is amazeballs and it'll be interesting to see how this sequel/sophomoric effort of mine is received. ARCs are out to reviewers and as soon as I get the go-ahead I'll do a cover reveal. It's on my phone, so if you see me in person I can give you a sneak peak. My personal tagline for the book has been: Once a Exile, now a Prince, Draken must return home under threat of death as an Emissary.

The third title in the Seven Eyes series is ENEMY, on which I'm working from the rather cliche tagline Everything you thought you knew about the Enemy is wrong.  It's turning into a twisty-turny sort of book, which is fun. I'm not getting nearly enough words in though, so I'm going to get a bit hermatish over the winter.

My agent Sara Megibow has hung her own shingle! Megibow Literary Agency is launched; the website will be up and running soon. I couldn't be happier for her and of course I signed with MLA. I will miss my friends at Nelson Literary Agency. Their support has been invaluable, especially during the Night Shade sale, and I've met so many great authors through there. But really it's Sara who has nurtured my career and is so excited about my stories, and it's Sara who will continue to handle most of my business transactions. Her updated contact information is on my About page.

ARCHIVE OF FIRE is sadly going out of print at the end of the year. Right now the eBook is $4 on Kindle and similar prices elsewhere, and below is a passel of links. Get it while you still can. I adore Aidan and Kaelin, they are my first writing love. There will be more of their stories eventually, this I promise. Whether I find a press to take the series or self-publish has yet to be determined, but I will own full rights as of January 1, 2015, so if you have interest, let me or Sara know. I am also in "talks" with a couple folks and I'll let you know SENTINEL's future as soon as I know.

Here's where you buy through the end of 2014:

Trade Paperback and eBook

TOUR 2015 is under works but it will be full! full! full!! Keep an eye on my Tour page.

I just signed up for Ask the Author on Goodreads, too. I'm not around Goodreads much, so I'm hoping this will spur my interest in it more. So, yanno, ask!!

world fantasy schedule

World Fantasy Convention is this week, and while it's mostly a professional sort of event where I see lots of friends and do lots of business over drinks, some fans and newer writers do attend. It's a great spot to get a handle on the Fantasy genre as a whole, from story to selling.

My schedule is light so far (generally attendees get one spot of programming or a reading) but it tends to fill up. And if you're just in the DC area, feel free to look for me in the hotel bar. I'll be there when I'm not attending programming or other meetings. Mostly the evenings are about parties, but I have some readings I want to hit and we tend to slip in and out of the bar all night, too.

Wednesday late afternoon arrival. My first stop after getting settled is the bar and I might've agreed to dinner with someone but I've forgotten who so if it's you, find me there.

Thursday is blessedly free, though I'll go to some programming. I might find a buddy and sneak      away to the city. Never been to DC.

Friday Agency Dinner off-site
Friday 8ish MASS SIGNING
            My publisher says they'll have books for me to sell.
            Plus: swag
            Double Plus: ME!

Saturday 8:30-10 am SFWA meeting
Saturday 2-3 NIGHT SHADE TABLE signing/appearance

Sunday Home, but not until mid-afternoon so I'll be hanging out.
Sunday night collapse