Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A writing soundtrack

(X-posted at the Tri Mu blog.)

I know I've posted on the topic of music before, but well, I'm a massive consumer of music so I'm going to talk about it again. I'm not a fan silence (unless I'm trying to sleep) so if you run into me, you'll probably find I have wires running from my ipod to my brain ears.

Now, as a musicwhore consumer of music, it is a bit of an understatement to say I have a large music library. My tastes are diverse and I can get a little itunes happy once in a while, so I'm pretty sure if you hit shuffle on my library the auditory experience will be the equivalent of living inside a schizophrenic's brain. (Side rant: Shake to shuffle is NOT a feature on the ipod nano--it's a menace. Anyone know how to turn it off? /rant)

Recently I've been on a Darkwave/Industrial kick. I have a manuscript due, uh, tomorrow, and I have a good power mix playing that has been great for this last push of revisions. Here are a list of the bands in the mix:

The Cruxshadows (of course)
The Birthday Massacre
Ayria
Emilie Autumn
I:Scintilla
One-eyed Doll

So what are you listening to? Do you have a 'soundtrack' for certain activities?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More News, More Books

So things have been really crazy recently, and the last week I've been rather quiet on twitter for fear I would get too excited and say too much, but I can finally release my news.

I am very happy to announce that I have signed with ROC/ACE for a brand new urban fantasy series!

The first book in the series (tentatively titled GRAVE WITCH) is about a broke magic-eye for hire whose case with a sexy reaper, a dark cop, and a ghost-silencing killer has more than her rent on the line - it may cost her soul.

I do not have information about release dates yet, but I promise to post more information as it comes available.

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

(Now to go bury myself in revisions again. I have an October 1st deadline I'm racing.)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Remember to move

This is a busy time for me. I have deadlines approaching and side writing projects popping up here and there. I've been skipping a lot of activities recently just to stay caught up. A typical day currently consists of spending eight hours at work and then going home and writing for another seven hours. That adds up to a lot of time in a chair.

Certain things should be self evident, but everyone needs reminding sometimes, and this week, my reminder came from fellow Tri Mu, Tori. She messaged me to see how the writing was going. It was only about nine o'clock, but I was tired and feeling rather worn down. Her question:

"Have you gotten any exercise recently?"

No. No I hadn't. I'd skipped hooping all week, and for the most part, I only stood up and stretched when body parts started falling asleep. Under her advice, I took a break, turned the music up loud, grabbed my hoop, and just let go.

I only left my desk for about fifteen minutes, but I returned energized and ready to write. It really is amazing what getting blood flowing to your brain can do. ^_^

So, here is my advice for the weekend. Remember to move once in a while. It really does help. ^_^

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Exciting News

I've dropped hints that I've had news of late, and as I now have a signed contract in my hands, I'm finally ready to share. It is my pleasure to announce that I am being represented by the amazing Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency! She is currently shopping a new series for me, so hopefully I will have more exciting news to share with you soon.

In other news, I will be speaking at a local high school tomorrow on the importance/joy of reading. This will be a first for me, and I'm very excited. Now to be girly and waste massive amounts of time fretting over what to wear. ^_^

Switching gears again, I already announced this on the Tri Mu site, but I some how neglected to mention it here (I know, I know, my blog readers are supposed to get news first! Forgive me.) The title for the second book in my Dark Haven series has been approved. It will be called TWICE DEAD and will be released in February 2010. I have seen a mock-up of the cover, and the book is going to be gorgeous. I don't have a cover image I can post yet, but I promise to release the image here first, as soon as I do!

Okay, that is all the news I have to share today. (Surely that was enough.) I just want to wrap up by saying thank you to everyone who emailed about getting a signed bookmark. They have now all been claimed, but look for more giveaways as the release date of Twice Dead approaches.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Want a signed bookmark?

I mentioned in an earlier post that if I had any bookmarks left after Dragon*con, I would give away several on the blog. I did hold a couple back, so here is your chance to get a signed bookmark. I'm giving away ten (10) in total, and I'm willing to mail internationally. If you are interested click on the contact link on my webpage and send me a message with who you'd like the bookmark made out to and the shipping address where you'd like it mailed. There are no special rules to this give away, it is just first come first serve until I run out.

Have a great weekend everyone!

UPDATE: All bookmarks have now been claimed. Thank you everyone who entered. Look for more giveaways as the release of TWICE DEAD approaches.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Celebrating World Hoop Day 2009

While I try to keep this blog focused primarily on my writing, I am diverging today to share my favorite hobby with you. If you follow my twitter feed, you probably know I started hoop dancing about eight months ago.

Well, today is World Hoop Day and the Columbia Hoop Troop gathered to draw attention to hooping. We had hoped to take hoops to the local children's home, but that plan fell through (and is in the process of being rescheduled on a weekend--World Hoop Day being on a Wednesday was the issue.) Instead, a group of about eight of us showed up at the State House in the middle of downtown, turned on some belly dancing music, and just had fun hooping on the green.

We got a lot of stares and a couple tourists snapping pictures of us, but we also talked some of the suits walking by to hoop with us. It brought a lot of smiles to faces, and there was a lot of laughter. All and all, it was a great way to spend my lunch hour.

If you are wondering about the draw of hooping, I can tell you that I hoop for several reasons. For starters, the number of calories you burn per hour is super high. It is a low impact cardio workout that also tones muscles. So Hooping is Healthy.

Secondly, hooping is a social activity for me. Writing is a time consuming job, but I also work full time and have family obligations. I don't have a lot of spare time to socialize, but I get to see and meet new friends while hooping. We meet for the drum circle once a week, and a second time to practice and learn new tricks, so for me, Hooping is Community.

This list could go on and on, but I'll wrap up with the fact hooping inspires a childlike joy. You are moving, you are dancing, you are laughing. Your endorphins get going. The hoop hits the ground a lot in the beginning, especially when learning new tricks, but you pick it back up, laugh at your mistake, and try again. You learn new things and cheer at your accomplishments. So, Hooping is Fun.

We celebrated all these things today and more. We also invited everyone to celebrate with us. As we were packing up, we got a crazy idea to decorate the statue of George Washington with hoops (who knows, when he was alive he might have enjoyed hoop dancing if he'd been given the opportunity.) We snapped a couple pictures, and then broke up, going our separate ways with hoops over our shoulders and smiles on our faces.


Happy World Hoop Day everyone!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Dragon*Con 2009 Highlights

I have returned from Dragon*Con. My suitcase is all but empty of bookmarks, but full of signed books (by some of the amazing other authors at the con, of course. And yes, despite returning last night, I have not yet unpacked.) If you've been following my twitter feed, you know I had an absolutely amazing time. For those of you who are not into 140 word micro blog posts, or for those who are interested in seeing pictures, here is a quick recap of the highlights of my convention experience:

--Sunday afternoon I was very privileged to have the honor of sitting on a panel with the amazingly talented Charlaine Harris. (Also on the panel, not to leave them out in the name dropping, were several other amazing authors in my genre [and a couple outside it] including Stacia Kane and Laura Anne Gilman.) The topic was about Strong Female Protagonists, and while we got sidetracked on a tangent at one point, I thought it was definitely an entertaining panel, and I hope it was also a little informative for the audience. Speaking of the audience, it was standing room only, so a very large crowd. I was nervous as could be, but I had a great time, and it was unreal being up there with all of those accomplished authors.

--Saturday night was The Cruxshadows concert. As everyone in the twittersphere probably realized this weekend, I am a huge Cruxshadows fan. The music is the type that seeps under the skin and quickens the soul, so getting to see them in concert is just amazing. But beyond seeing them, I ended up on stage during the final song (with about 30 other people, but still!) I also had a chance to talk to Rogue (the lead singer) and gush (read 'melt into a totally idiotic fangirl') about his music on Friday. As you can see by the photos, I snagged several with Rogue and a couple other band members.

--Patrick Stewart is hilarious. Unfortunately I didn't get the opportunity to see him speak live, but I did catch a couple of his panels when they aired on Dragon TV. Leonard Nimoy is also extremely funny, but Stewart was by far the most entertaining speaker of the Con. I did get the opportunity to see (and I literally mean 'lay eyes on but no more') Stewart, Nimoy, and Shatner, but I did not speak to any of them. It is amazing how much more approachable writers are than movie stars.

--To mention one more concert (Yes, Dragon is as much about music to me as it is about seeing writers) I also had the opportunity to see Voltaire live. His music is hysterical--I already knew that (it's macabre gothic satire and just plain horrific humor) but I had never seen him in concert before. Let me tell you, if you ever have the opportunity to see this man live, do it! He is an absolute riot. His interaction with the audience will have you in pain from laughing so hard.

Okay, I think that is a good set of highlights. Over all, the convention was amazing. It is like stepping into another world. If you have any type of geek or alternative bend, you should visit Dragon*Con some year (and hopefully next year I'll be an official guest, so you can come see me. ^_^)

Have a good Tuesday everyone. I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend!