Sittin’, and typing, and wishing, and hoping

. . . and printing, and praying. I hate that song, but it’s what’s in my head right now as I’m getting ready to print out Peri’s first installment. The praying is that I have enough toner. I usually have a spare in my closet, but I’ve been using my good submission-copy printer more than usual this year, and I’ve not gotten into the office store to pick up a new one.

“Printing?!” you might ask? and yes, I’m going to have the unique pleasure of hand delivering my manuscript this time as I’m headed to NY this week, and well . . . why not?

I’ve been asked before when I knew I’d made it as a writer. Was it when I signed that first contract? Cashed the check? Held my book for the first time? Saw it in the wild being enjoyed by someone who wasn’t a relative? I’ve done all those things, and each one was a flash of satisfaction, but even now I don’t feel like I’ve “made it.” I’m always “making it,” always challenging myself for the next step, but there is a moment I can point to where I found a level of peace. Those still trying to get published know exactly what I’m talking about, because the longing to be published is an ache and a thorn, and I remember it.

The peace came after I signed, after the toasting and the celebratory dinner out. It came softly, unexpectedly, while I was doing something I’d done a hundred times before, alone as a writer usually is: standing in line at the post office to mail out a manuscript. Back then, you didn’t email your work because you’d clog up your editor’s inbox. Even a copy on a disk was unusual. You mailed a ream of paper through the US postal service, and it struck me that day as I sent off the manuscript for First Truth to my NY editor that this was the first time I was sending my work off to someone who was actually, you know, waiting for it, wanting it, willing to spend time and invest energy into making it a success, eager to see just how far we could push this new thing, not just for the money, but for the satisfaction of seeing someone new pick it up and . . . enjoy it.

I’ve got that feeling again today. Ready? Set? Go!



Filed under Drama Box

Trying to be normal

I’m trying to be normal, trying to fit myself back in the pattern of seasons and tasks that September and October bring, but it’s not going so well right now. Even my body is rebelling, throwing on the weight that I can usually keep off while on tour. Too much corn syrup and starch and not enough normal food, I’m guessing, since I’ve been really good about avoiding deserts, and touring has me moving around a lot more than sitting at my desk does.

I’ve got a few days in my office before going back out again for Comic Con NY, Dallas, and Tulsa, and I’m torn between wanting to work on Peri and trying to fit back into the schedule of what needs to be done in the house/garden. The leaves turned while I was gone, leaving me scrambling to put a few more things in the basement before it gets really cold. Leaf raking isn’t required quite yet, but putting a garden to bed is more than raking leaves, and I’m planning out how to do this more efficiently this year. Most times, I can get into the garden on the good days so it’s always a pleasure to be working. This year? Probably not so much. Still, any day you can be in the earth is a good one.


But as I said, it’s too early to rake, and most of the perennials aren’t ready to cut back yet, so I had some time to work up a tea cozy for my favorite teapot this weekend. Making something new every year to decorate with is also a tradition of mine, but it feels rushed like everything else, even if I’m very happy with it. Even wrote down the pattern in my Kim/Dawn shorthand. I think it will go in my knitting pattern book along with my dragons, gallant steeds, and blue butterflies. (Someday . . .) I might add a face to make it more obvious what it is.


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George RR Martin and his lovely theater

Yep, that’s me and Mr. George RR Martin as he warms up the crowd at his theater in Santa Fe, the Jean Cocteau Cinema. It is an intimate theater, with a live bar and attention on the details. Just beautiful. It’s encouraging when something loved is restored and honored, and that’s exactly what happened here. If you get the chance to catch a flick at the theater, do so! But there was no film that night, and George and I chatted for a while before we opened up the floor for Q&A and then the signing in the lobby.

It was one of the more pleasant places I’ve signed at, and yes, I left signed stock! They have a great selection of signed stock from a lot of authors who have passed through before, so if you’re in the area, drop the address into your GPS and check it out.

And I had roadies! Everyone with a Hollows tour shirt waited until the end so we could get that all-important shot. Just click the image to get to the high res one for yourself. Thanks for waiting, guys!

It wasn’t advertised as a tomato donation spot, but George assures me that they will get to the local food bank. Thank you for bringing them out!


Bunny cam photos! These are the shots you take for me while you are waiting in line. I love seeing all those smiling faces. :-) Thanks, guys! I hope I can come back when Peri comes out. We’ll do the tomato thing up right!

I’ve got lots more photos at the website, here.


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Phoenix, Poison Pen

So, I’m home this morning, and as I’m writing this, I’m watching Guy ride off in his black and orange kit. (Kit is what they call that skin-tight outfit you sometimes see bikers wearing). It’s the first time in a week we’ve not been together, and it struck me.

The leaves here are turning, some making the change from the trees to my yard, and it’s pretty. I’m wondering if I’m going to get a “yellow” day this year, where there is an equal number of leaves on my lawn as in my tree, and the entire world is yellow. The conditions have to be perfect and they didn’t mesh last year. Maybe this time. It feels close.

I still have the pictures from the George RR Martin theater (in Santa Fe) to process, but I’ll get them up tomorrow, certinally. Today, though, I have the pictures from Poison Pen in Phonix. I have to say I was delighted in the number of readers who attended. We filled one side of the store, and then the other! There are a few photos here, but to see them all, jump on over to the website. :-)

My Poison Pen roadies! I was shocked at the number of t-shirts. You guys never fail to amaze me. I’d never been to Poison Pen before, and that usually translates into a smaller crowd, but apparently Phoenix is a great place to visit because you came from all over. Richard Kadrey was signing with me as well, and that never hurts! :-) Both Richard and I left lots of signed stock, so if you missed the signing and want one of those first-editon, blue butterfly books, they’ve got ‘em!

PP3I had the chance to meet Barbara, the owner of Poison Pen. That’s a real treat!


Unfortunately the picture of the tomatoes didn’t turn out well as it was already in the trunk and on the way to the food bank before I knew it, but you guys came out in a wonderful fashion, and I heard there was over a hundred pounds of food that we were able to give to the local food bank. Your generosity never fails to amaze me. Thank you, guys. You rock!



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Copperfield Books, Petaluma (San Francisco)

I’d never been to the Copperfield books in Petaluma, just outside of San Francisco. Apparently you guys are known for your chickens and arm wrestling. A strange combination, but somehow . . . comforting to my midwestern sensibilities. Here I am with my roadies! Even a few from past tours! Just click the photo to go to the high resolution copy for yourself. :-)


Richard Kadrey and I shared a stage again, and the Q&A was heavy on the writing questions. I like doing joint events for just this reason. You can tell people that everyone writes different and what works for you might not work for them, but having two authors contrasting their methods really brings it home.


Both Richard and I left some signed stock behind, but there wasn’t that much! The event was that well-attended.


Which was reflected in the tomatoes that you left behind. Thank you again for the wonderful outflowing of generosity. These will be going to a local foodbank, which will probably be scratching their heads over all the tomatoes, but hey! It’s a Hollows thing. Just click for the rest of the event photos!




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Tattered Cover, Denver

Getting back to Denver was a real treat–especially when it was in the high 80s, and not a blizzard. I left lots of signed stock, so if you want one of these bad boys, They have them! (Just click for the high res copy.)


Richard Kadrey (The Gateway God) was signing with me again, and we had a great time contrasting our writing styles.

Lisa, Richard, Me, and Michael, who helped keep the line moving smoothly. Thanks, everyone, for a great signing. I hope to come back again–when there’s no snow. I like that part.

And again, you blew me away with your generocity. The canned goods will be going to the Highland Ranch food bank. Thank you so much. I wish I had thought of this years ago. You guys are the best.

TCtomatoesI have the rest of the photos over at the website. Tomorrow we’re headed for Petaluma, or more specifically, Copperfield books. They are also taking part of the tomato drive now, so bring ‘em on! Hope to see some of you there.



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Portland, OR: Powell’s!

My Portland roadies! Or more specifically, Powell’s in Beaverton. We had a wonderful crowd despite the agonizing traffic due to 23 being shut down. Both Richard Kadrey and I were late, but everyone was so patient and all the books were signed. (Just click the pictured to get to the higher res copy.)


The crowd, showing off their copies. We’re a few weeks out from the drop date now, and everyone is being really good about no spoilers in the Q&A, but I’m fielding more at my table when I sign. (And that’s ok!)


Richard Kadrey (The Getaway God) and I in the Q&A. Someone asked why were we doing events together when we could both hold events on our own, and we kind of looked at each other and shrugged. It’s all about widening our respective demographics. :-)

I remember this family from my previous visits to Portland. And yes, they read the books. :-)

We got tomatoes! Even Pre-turn tomatoes!


Peter, Me, Richard, and Renee. If you’re even in the Beaverton store, they’ll help you find what you need. They run a fabulous event. I left lots of signed stock, so if the traffic killed your plans, they do have a signed book, first edition!


Thank you so much for your generosity. These will be going to a local food bank. It is amazing the smiles I see when you are dropping them off. You guys are truly the best.


For the rest of the bunny cam photos, check out the website



Filed under Drama Box