Today, in passing, a fellow author said I win the Steamy Merit Badge. I thought that sounded awesome, so I made myself one. I think I’ll make it into a sticker for all my books. What do you think?
Hard experience has taught me to keep a spare keyboard around because I am an optimist. Despite knowing full well that water and keyboards don’t mix, I routinely keep a glass of water by my computer. THIS time and forever more I will be CAREFUL and not spill any water on my keyboard.
Last year I went through three keyboards, and the last time I spilled water … on Christmas Eve, I made it to the store in time to buy a keyboard of the sort that is kind to my hands and wrists. I didn’t have a spare because the Christmas Eve incident took out keyboard No. 2. Then, and I kid you not, shortly after that, I spilled water again. I ended up finding and having to use a spare Apple keyboard of the sort that looks awesome but functions as a torture device.
It’s a bluetooth keyboard. As soon as I had money and time, I went off to the store and bought two more keyboards. For about a month everything was fine. And then all of a sudden, my new keyboard was typing all by itself. I watched in horror as random strings began to overwrite part of my chapter. MY WORDS!!!!!!! I got things shut down keyboard-wise and swapped in the spare. Again, for some time, everything was fine.
Then, again, the keyboard had a life and a mind of its own. Again, I watched as nothing I did stopped the magical appearance of strings of text, spaces and characters overwriting portions of my chapter.
I did what every good tech person does when something bizarre happens. I rebooted. Things were fine. But hmmm. This was strange and odd and inexplicable when actually, in tech, nothing is really random like that. I was often afraid to type. What if my keyboard went all wacky again and had to reconstruct, AGAIN, a paragraph of text?
Then, not too long after that, a “low battery” notice popped up on the iMac. Low battery? For a keyboard? What keyboard—
The bluetooth keyboard that I had apparently left on a side table three feet from my computer. Powered on.
The bluetooth keyboard that my cat would occasionally jump on and even sit on.
Allow me to represent to you that my cat is not a good typist.
My cousin David was born eight years before me. His family lived in Oregon, mine lived in California, but we got to Oregon often enough that I knew I liked him. He was happy and always smiling. When I published my first novel, he wrote me a lovely letter of congratulations and excitement. He wrote me other letters over the years, and they were always funny and heartfelt, and sometimes he just wrote to tell me how much he admired my writing. One time, when Northern California was in the national news for rain and flooding, he sent me a letter with an expandable sponge in it, in case we needed it to mop up. I laughed hard when I read his letter and saw the sponge. I shared it with family, and they laughed, too. Because it was funny.
When I lived in San Francisco, he contacted me because his daughter was going to be in the city and he wanted to make sure she would be all right. I was happy to help. Not just happy, but grateful to have the opportunity. She wanted to see the Haight so while she was visiting, we went to the Haight and walked around. San Francisco is a great walking around city, and the Haight is fun.
Today, I read that the customers in the store where he worked part-time for 25 years remembered him as a happy, generous, helpful man. One person recalled that David had once given him his own paper because the store was sold out. That sounds like David. There was a video with the article, but I couldn’t bring myself to watch it.
I always thought one of these days I’d get to Salt Lake City and visit him, and now I can’t.
He was killed in a robbery, and I will miss him forever.
Update: Last week and today (Apr-20-2015) there were arrests in his murder.
Some of you may recall the great Shoe Off of 2013. No? You can read about it here.
Basically, I challenged Megan Frampton to a Shoe Off. Despite my best efforts to cheat, I lost. I have no idea why. But here’s the 2013 Shoe Off Photos.
It took some time, but I’ve recovered from my defeat and now I want a rematch. Obviously we would have to submit new shoe photos. 2013 is done. Those shoes are history.
I’m waiting to see if Megan says it’s on.
I’ve been making good progress on My Immortals Book 7. It’s coming together well, which is good news. I’ve told my cover artist to consider My Demon Warlord the final title so there you go. I should have a final cover soon.
Shortly though, I’ll be writing a novella for the anthology Dancing in the Duke’s Arms. I’m hoping to have My Demon Warlord to some trusted readers while I’m doing that.
I’ve changed my mind about the project after that. I was going to start on the Dark Elf series but I have decided I should write Sinclair Sisters Series Book 3, THEN start the new series.
Here’s a picture of some of the tulips coming up in the garden. It looks a little better close up but hey! Spring is coming!
Could An Overdependence on Data Hurt The Book Industry?
Well, sure. But first you have to be dependent on actual data. Which the book industry famously does not have.
Here you go, gentle readers: A sneak peek at the 97% sure cover for My Demon Warlord, My Immortals Series Book 7. This is not the final cover, as in there are still some tweaks to do.
I’ve hit critical mass for My Immortals Books 7. I’m over 50,000 words now which means mostly the story is there and now I just need to write it better. I’m mostly pretty sure that the title will be My Demon Warlord. Final word count will be around 95,000.
I’m doing my first paper read through and I have already completely re-written chapter 1 three times. This is good news, actually, as dire as that sounds. I am revising using a fountain pen with copper ink. This is fun.
The chapter I thought might be chapter 1 is currently chapter 22.
I love doing the first paper read through. It’s when magic happens. I see themes I didn’t know where there, and that will be interesting to follow through with, and I get to see where things really work and where they don’t, and knowing that matters a lot.
And now, back to it.
Today, I went with friends to see Fifty Shades of Grey. I actually enjoyed the movie. To be brutally honest, if not for Jamie Dornan’s terrible performance, this would be an A+ movie.
I’ll be even more brutally honest: all the nuance of the power negotiations that are buried/absent in the books because the author clearly did not understand the subject matter, come front and center in the movie. Johnson was the only one on screen who got that, and she absolutely nailed it. The movie is worth seeing just for that nuanced portrayal of an inexperienced young woman navigating issues of desire and consent. Really, really good.
Jamie Dornan’s contempt for his role was painfully evident everywhere it mattered. In every scene that should have crackled with tension and played off Anastasia Steele navigating those deep waters, Dornan was phoning it in. In every other scene where he should have been smoking up the screen he was meh.
At one point I whispered to one of my companions that I was still Team Jacob. He was that terrible.
They should have cast Alexander Skarsgaard as Christian. He’s smoking hot, and even if he, personally, feels contempt for BDSM (I have no such information, by the way) he’s a good enough actor to have convinced us he wasn’t. Dornan isn’t.