Come back Monday for Peri Reed contest

I’m going to have a contest! Come back on Monday to find out what it is, and how you can participate. Up for grabs is bragging rights and a place on the Peri Reed Chronicle freebies. It actually starts on Tuesday, when the mass market of THE WITCH WITH NO NAME comes out.

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This is a long-running contest, so even if you forget, you won’t miss out, and it’s open to everyone, even out of the U.S.

Also, if you missed the short story SUDDEN BACKTRACK, you can pick it up in the mass market. I find myself a little embarrassed with this one. There is a big reveal in it, (which was why I was so excited about it at the time it first came out) and I don’t think anyone spotted it. I made the error of being too subtle. But sometimes, you write just for yourself, eh?

 

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Yep. That’s about right

I’ve been watching my Hosta closely these last few weeks. They’re old, and very close to the surface, so as soon as the ground starts to warm, they try to get going. And hey, I have lived most of my life in Michigan, and I know that at this latitude, we’re likely to get frost all the way to the last week of May.

As soon as they started poking up, I started dropping mulch on them to try to slow them down, and it’s working fairly well. We had another night below freezing last night, and though they are showing green, they look small and tight enough to take it. The ornamental cherry, which is flowering, doesn’t care, and most of the trees that have leafed out have enough sugar in them at this point to sort of act like antifreeze.

But the snow we got yesterday probably didn’t help. It’s gone now, but really? Totally unnecessary.

SnowDaffs

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Sometimes my office gets cold

My mother sewed, I knit, neither of us quilt, so I am always impressed when I see an expression of self done in cloth and needle, but when I opened the box that showed up in my PO box and found this yesterday, the world fell away and I lost myself for a good hour looking at the detail and remembering the books. Seriously, I lost an hour. It was very much like going to a family reunion with memories being retold and remembered, and it brought back home to me how much this series has meant to more than just me. Each panel is book related, and the close up below is of The Undead Pool. That’s my dog on it. She refused to get off because Tim and I had been all over it and it was clearly very important to her to be included in whatever we were doing. You can tell she didn’t know why it was important by the slant to her ears, but by gosh, she was going to be a part of it.

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Janice has told me she made two because two is almost as easy as one after piecing together what she wanted on each panel, (which is a feat of engineering and planning in itself) and the only reason I can accept something this extravagant is because she made it. Art is an extension of emotion, and when gifted, I can’t say no. It is far too precious. Thank you, again, Janice, for the beautiful quilt and your permission to post a picture of it so I could share my good feeling. It came at just the right time.

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Going crazy with the dirt

It must be spring. It’s Monday, and my hands hurt. I went to the home improvement store twice for mulch, and I’m out again. The yard is maybe a third of the way done, and I’m chasing the new growth just starting to come up, trying to cover the tender stuff at just the right moment so that it stays under wraps just a few more days to weather the cold snap headed our way. I’ve got tarps, but I’d rather not use them. Much of what’s poking up can take it, but not the Hosta, and I’ve got a lot of them.

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My big news for the weekend is that the compost pile has been turned, and I’ve got a bin of good black dirt (on the left side). Look at all that freakin’ dirt. We’ve been settled in our current house for about five years, and this is the third year for the compost pile. Last year was adequate, but this year, I’ve got dirt to just go crazy with. It’s best if you can have two or three bins because all that wonderful dirt was under two feet of stuff not yet composted. It’s now in the right hand bin, and it will be ready next year. That’s what “turning the compost pile” is. Being in the city, we can’t just make piles, but I think it looks nice in actual bins. Once I deplete the dirt from the one side, I’ll throw the top waste into it to get to the new dirt on the right, but that won’t be until next year. There’s ash in the black bucket, and the blue tub is full of ground up stump. I’m horribly pleased that I’ve got brown stuff to mix with the green grass this year. It’s going to make some hellacious dirt. I’ve never had brown stuff before until fall, so this might make the pile hotter.

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On the book news, I’m in page proofs, which means the ARCs are printed. Happy dance commencing! And even better, Tim had this pop up on his screen this morning while pursing MSN entertainment for his movie-fix news. Thank you, Gallery Books at Simon and Schuster. I know these spot are targeted, but wow, it’s good seeing THE DRAFTER there in an ad. Made my day.

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Busting out all over

Spring is busting out all over. No rain yesterday, but we’re not desperate yet for it, and a little slow down might be in order. My cherry tree looks about a week out, and the apple is not far behind. As for me, I’m pushing forward on Peri’s second book, and it’s going well. I’m starting to know Bill a little more. He’s . . . interesting–for a bad guy.

Someone in Hollywood could have fun with him.Daf

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Think it’s going to rain

I’ve been watching the weather the last couple of days, enjoying the cool spring, but wondering if we were going to get any rain. Today is my best chance of that for the week, and I’m hopeful after looking at the map. We kind of need it, with all the new growth sucking up what was left in the ground. You can see it in my Hepatica, kind of drooping a little from the cold and dryness. It will perk up even if it doesn’t rain, but it looks kind of dry. HepaticaThis is in my Michigan wild flower bed. (All planted from legal sources. I don’t wild collect.) I’m terribly pleased that it’s finally starting to propogate. See that green clump to the left? That’s brand new. Four years, it took. Next year it will probably have flowers.

I already have the hose out and running. It’s a bit early for me, but I was forced to move a bunch of plants for a construction project, and though it’s a good time to do it, their roots aren’t too happy about it. Took me three days, and I still have one more to go. They need the extra water to get settled in. This rain we might get will help.

WWNNhcCoverISOh, and I went in to Nicola’s to sign those first edition, blue butterfly copies of THE WITCH WITH NO NAME yesterday and found out they have more than thirty copies, more like a hundred, so if you want one of these, guaranteed to be first edition, here’s the site to order: http://www.nicolasbooks.com/kim-harrison Just get the hard cover, and you’re all set.

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