Got the first pencils back to the artist yesterday with my comments, and had time to get my share of the taxes done, too.  I like doing my taxes.  Mind you, we have an accountant, so all I have to do it total up my receipts and let him have at it, but I like looking back at the year to see what I’ve done and how my spending habits change.

So now my desk is clear of graphic novel sketches and graphic sticker shock (I spent how much on boots?) and I am beginning the rewrite for book nine.  I’ve been doing a lot of lose, long-term planning for the series lately, and I have to start paying attention to building a careful network of concepts again to be sure that everything I want at the end, (be it physical, emotional, or locational) is easily available when I need it.  You won’t see it in book nine or ten as much, but by the time we get to 11, the vistas will again be expansive and I will be drawing from three to six different places for content to get to where I want to go.  I have to be sure to introduce the beginnings now so when I reach for them, it won’t seem “convenient.”

Think of it like a chef making a meal.  She puts all the ingredients out on the counter and then draws from them as she needs them.  I’m still putting things out as I adjust my long-term plans, but we’re at the tweaking stage, now.  What makes it fun for me is that I’m never sure what ingredients I’m going to use until my hand hovers over them, and my subconscious whispers, “yes,” so it might be a cluttered counter space for a while as things circle down to the end.  Mmmmm, I love this part.


Filed under Drama Box

81 responses to “Taxes

  1. David M


    I feel compelled to thank you for this post. I finished BMS, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and kept thinking to myself, “Please tell me this is a setup book. I can put up with the bad boyfriends (yes I’m looking at you, Kisten), Rachel’s crazy decisions, and the general gut wrenching wackiness I endure with this series if only I know it will all pay off in the end. I have questions that need answering, darn it!”

    I know book twelve or thirteen is a long way from here, but I can wait (albeit impatiently) until then now that I know my emotional distress was caused on purpose. Thanks again!

    • Hi, David.

      Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed Black Magic Sanction. And yes, we’re still ramping up for the next big story arc. If it helps, Rachel is starting to make better decisions. Somehow, she’s not staying out of trouble, though. I hope you enjoy the rest.

  2. Tee

    “everything I want at the end”
    Like having Kisten, I don’t know, somehow miraculously return from the dead?

    ::sigh:: A fangirl can only dream.

    But, you know what I love about this post? The part where you indicated that there will be and 11th Hollows book. Can I tell you that makes me a little more giddy than it should? I love that you are preparing. I love that you have a plan and you know where you’re going.

    I guess my biggest hope would be for Rachel to have a happy ending. Whatever that means is entirely in your hands and I trust your vision. Can’t wait to see where we’ll end up on the flip side.

    P.S. I WISH my taxes situation were that easy. 😛
    Happy editing,

    • Thanks, Tee! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the books, and thank you again for trusting the story teller. I know it can be hard sometimes.

      I’m working on that happy ending . . .

  3. Okay. Question. In the first book, I think the first night Ivy and Rachel together in teh church.
    They were in the livingroom and Ivy was getting sexy and vampy. Grrr 😉
    Rachel was full of desire when Ivy leaned forward. But she hadn’t a scar. Nothing. So the feelings have been real, right?

    After reading BMS I gave it up, hoping for them becoming a couple. So this is the only thing I can hold on.

  4. marsha

    Oh Kim I’m sorry to say you are in for some kind of rain. We have had seven inches down here! More in some places and along with flooding. Good day to let the puppies curl up by the desk and attack that keyboard.

  5. SeattleRobin

    It’s fun reading about how you do your ingredients planning for the series. I’ve always appreciated the weaving of details you do from book to book, but reading them straight through like I have been makes it even more apparent.

    Of course, it can also be frustrating because with a year between books I tend to forget an awful lot that would be helpful to remember when the new book comes out! For instance, I’m reading about Ford in ODW right now, but when I read WWBC last year I couldn’t remember anything about him. At least this time I will be fully prepped when April 6th rolls around and I read BMS! (Though it’s amazing what I can still manage to forget in a 3-4 week period. Yeesh.)

  6. Kat

    Geesh! My heart starts to race at the thought of taxes and being that organized! Definitely not one of my strengths. Mind you we also have an accountant and my DH handles most of it…but it still sends me into a panic LOL.

    Looking forward to books 9, 10, 11….Love the descriptions of your writing process.

    • Hi, Kat.

      Guy has been taking over more and more of the taxes every year, thank goodness. If it only takes me three hours, you know it’s not a lot. Poor Guy. I need to make him some cookies. . .

  7. Hey Ms. Harrison,
    I just have to say that the only thing that kept me sane tonight on the monster double shift from hell was the thought that if I went mad and killed my customers and co workers alike then I won’t be able to read the Drama Box.
    And that would’ve been tragic.
    Being paid cash in hand at this stage of my life, I don’ thave to worry about taxes. I keep thinking the tax man might come and get me but so far i’m safe. Now I’m reminded of a scene from Dead Man Walking (movie with Sean Penn and Susan Saradon) where a state trooper pulls the nun over for speeding. State trooper: “I never gave a ticket to a nun before. I gave a ticket to a guy from the IRS one time. Got audited the next year.” Pauses, seems to think about things for a bit. “I’ll tell you what, this time I’ll let this one slide, but keep your speed down, yeah?”
    Great film that. 🙂 *laughs* it’s late and i’m random so i’ll say my good night. Thank you for continuing to post. Good luck with all your work, I really envy you you know (in a good way! ;))

    • mudepoz

      I was looking over the gradually receding glacier in my back yard and realized my garden plans are like that. I have an idea, even draw out a plant. But once I’m out there it isn’t always mixed the same way. I may have purchased or grown something I prefer in a certain spot, or a bit of dapple makes it better to go brighter in another corner.

      Speaking of which. If you are looking for herbaceous perennials, don’t buy them. I have to divide perennial geraniums in a herd of colors, and growing out Hollyhock, Lavatera, some other things, prairie plants, hummingbird and finch plants, and gad zooks even my Freecycle planting parties can’t help me get rid of stuff!

    • Ah… Mud? Is this supposed to be Kim-san’s post?

    • mudepoz

      Yeah. I’d send YOU plants, but the CITES documents are such a pain. The longer the scroll, the more likely the eyes see the wrong thing.

    • Hi, Mud. Send me plants? Golly thanks, but no. I am FULL UP! -laugh-

    • Hi. Alyssa.

      -grin- Looks like your coworkers owe the Hollows their life, eh? -laugh-

      Don’t forget that all you’re seeing is the “now” of my experience, so don’t be envious. There’s a huge backstory of stuff that it took to get here. Just keep what helps you, and toss what doesn’t.

  8. Barb Shelby

    Love the series!! As soon as I picked up and started in on the first book, I was hooked. I entertain myself during the lulls after reading your latest books, untill another is available by creatiing my own versions of how the Hollows should go. So you know, in mine, the elves and the demons are actually related as a species that were warped into their existent selves during their “war to extinction’ waged in the ever-after. The “treatment” Rachel recieved by Trent’s father actually repaired her dna to that of the original species before the wars were ever after……a race I call The Denoms. I tend towards either Trent, or Ivy, becoming her Chosen Partner. Keep up the writing, and the cooking, and hopefully you’ll have enough after taxes to at lease buy the guy in leather a new outfit.

  9. Theda "Speedi"

    Afternoon, Kim! I’m glad that you have your taxes done. I finished mine last month. Thank goodness! Thanks to the refund, I can survive until my Unemployment kicks in. As far as boots are concerned, may I say that there is NO SUCH THING as too many boots (not that you actually believe that). I’ve been boot-shopping like crazy this winter. One good pair of Thigh Highs, and six good pair of Knee Highs. I’m loving it! Have a good week!

  10. nocturnalvixen

    I love your recipe for writing Kim.
    I may try it and see if I can actuall
    Finish something. 😀
    I just got my tax’s back but I
    Don’t get to play with it as it’s
    All spoken for.

    I can’t wait for the next book.
    It only saddens me that each new
    One brings us closer to the end.

    Anna, Ohio

    • Hi, Anna.
      I will be surprised if we get anything back. We usually have to pay. Sigh.

      I hear you on avoiding the ending, but the Hollows would never have happened if I had just kept on with the first series I wrote. Change is good. Trust the story teller. 😉

  11. Phil

    So cool that there are many hints of significant stuff to come all through the series. As SeattleRobin noticed in Tue’s post, when Ivy says Rachel’s name to bring her out of Piscary’s thrall. Significant!
    I love seeing you bring it all together. 🙂

    • SeattleRobin

      I love seeing it all come together too, Phil. I think that has a lot to do with why it’s my favorite Urban Fantasy series. There’s a lot of intricacy there that just doesn’t exist in other series, even good ones that are well-written.

    • Thanks, Phil! I like playing with it all.

  12. Hi Kim!

    A girl needs her boots. One can never overestimate the importance of quality footwear, so I can only hope they were vampire made 😉 I don’t know if you’re into the spiked heel boots or not, but I like my boots with a heel that’s the width of the whole shoe sole. Around here it’s so hard to find boots like that lately! All I can find is boots with stiletto heels – I’m just not a stiletto kind of girl unless I’m getting dressed up. Whenever I visit family back east I always go boot shopping – maybe it’s because people need to walk on snow and ice while they are looking fabulous back there, but it’s shoe shopping heaven for me 😉

    I know what you mean about the seasons – I can’t officially complain about the So Cal weather, but only one tree in my yard fully loses its leaves in the winter – and the weather today could really be a day from almost any non-summer month of the year. So yeah, I miss out on the poetic feeling that spring brings. But, speaking of taxes, I’m going to spend mine on the yard this year. Maybe specifically plan for more annuals.

    I love the way you described putting all the ingredients on the counter and then letting your subconscious do the cooking! Wow – that was such a cool and inspirational image! I can really see how all the thoughtful and deliberate preparation frees your creative mind to work without having to stop and hunt for the next ingredient or tool it needs to get where it wants to go.

    Enjoy your day!

    • Hi, Tiffany.

      I like a wide boot heel, myself, and you’re right. It’s hard to find in the southern climes.

      Oh, I have to give credit for the cooking analogy to Faith Hunter. That’s where I heard it first, and it fits so perfectly.

  13. suzannelazear

    So, BMS came yesterday. Finally. I finished it this morning. Wow. Amazing. Great job.

    I also enjoyed your bit on world building and about making sure everything is there for when you need it. (I do that to, lol–and not always consciously.)

    I’m off to go make soda bread with the tot’s class.

    Have a super day!
    ~Suzi and the tot, too

  14. Thomaas McNeill

    Kim,and all other readers of these blogs,I want to appoligise for the inadvertant spoiler a few days ago.I wasn’t thinking and was just still in shock.I won’t repeat what I said as I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone else,but I really wasn’t thinking,It didn’t occure to me that it would be news to anyone, I kinda thought everyone else had read it too,my bad,and once again,,,,,Ooooops.
    Now on to other topics,When is the grafic novel comming out?And
    even though I probably won’t like the answer,how long do you think we’ll have to wait for hollows book #9?
    Again everyone,it was an inadvertant spoiler.
    Thanks Kim,

    • Kat

      No worries Thomaas. 🙂 Book 9 should be out in Feb of 2011. Not sure about the graphic novel.

    • Hi, Thomaas. Graphic novel has a Summer 2011 release date, and the next Hollows is scheduled for late Feb again.

      I know how hard it is to watch what you say when you’re excited.

  15. Indy

    Hi Kim!!! Does that mean you know how the series will end? How many more Hollows books will there be? As excited as I am to see what happens, I’m completely sad at the thought of the series ending.~Indy

    • Hi, Indy. No worries. I’m planning a 12 to 13 book series to get to the end, so we have time! And yes, I’ve seen the last chapter in my head for years, now. Getting there is the hard part.

  16. Erin

    Hey Kim! So is there any chance this book will have some Trench in it?

  17. Chris

    Today is the day for #1 son as the high school baseball team is announced. Forty kids left for 16 slots and for the first time is his albeit short career he is worried. Kinda disconcerting seeing Mr. Confendence like this but all in life is a learning experience if you choose to look at it that way-but what 16 year old does? especially these days…lol

  18. Chris

    …and so the re-write begins**as the trumpet fanfare fades…the assembled multitude falls into a hushed silence as the master prepares**

  19. Kylie Ru

    I am NOT looking forward to my Bio Lab today. There will be spiders. I’ve asked Andy to not put them at my table so I can prepare myself. And I’ll probably examine the room on the other side of the glass before I walk in, trying to figure out where they are. If they ambush me, it’s all over. No way can I recover from that within three hours.

    I really want to do the contest, but I have no iPhone or iTouch. But I might do it anyway and just give my code to somebody else. Antonio’s doing that. No surpise on who I’ll vote for!

    I hopes you have fun today, Kim-san!

    • Antonio Rich

      “The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout…” — LOOK OUT! What’s that on your collar!

    • Kylie Ru

      *glares* Not funny.

    • I’m with you Kylie-chan! I’m ‘fraid of spiders as well, so we can run and scream together…

    • Chris

      Don’t worry Kylie-san…my daughter just LOVES creepy crawlies–she’s got your back.

    • Kylie Ru

      I love creepy crawlies, too. I just don’t like the spiders.

    • mudepoz

      I have a LOT of dessicated and preserved spiders in my cabinet. How many would you like, Kylie Ru?

    • marsha

      Mud are you a witch to need dried spiders? Got “eye of newt” too?

    • Marsha, actually I do have preserved newts, so they have eyes.
      And I think in many ways my job would be akin to witchcraft. I am, after all a biologist.

      Discovered, after looking at my receipts I ordered nearly all the plagues of Egypt. Go figure.

    • marsha

      You know when I had biology lab, eons ago, they were dissecting cats. I told my proff that I just could not do that. He gave me and the the other “tree huggers” in the class another project. Maybe yours will do the same? Of course collecting bugs out of cow Sh** wasn’t the most pleasant chore, but it beat filleting Fluffy.

    • You’re doing spiders today, Kylie-san? That would be a great opportunity for you to help get over your phobia. It’s dead, right?

  20. Bob J

    Dear Kim,

    I really love the way you put clues in the previous book. I enjoy following the strings and seeing if they lead to the places I predict. It is also fun to back track a string that I did not expect. So now I have to go over 7 books to tune up for book 8. Since I enjoy your books so much, it is fun to research for the next book a few weeks before. I really wish to see what the blue butterfly turns back into, after all caterpillars into butterfly. I am sure that Jenks and family will have a few words for AL, if it gets into the garden. ( Almost wish the butterfly was yellow instead of blue, then Jenks might have got a bulldozer. Opps, I am thinking a differant book.) Speaking of strings and the garden, will Jenks find a wingless fairy friend? That would cut out half of his vocabulary. I enjoyed meeting you and guy, hope I did not put my foot in my mouth. Congratulations on the success of BMS.

    Best Regards,

    Bob J.

    • Hi, Bob.

      I’m very curious to see what happens with that blue butterfly , too.

      You asked about Jenks and a friend? Time will tell.

      It was good to meet you, too. 🙂

  21. Antonio Rich

    It really seemed to me that you started this process of adding concepts for further “meals” back in WWBC. There was SO much on auras. I feel like everytime you mention auras, smut, and the soul, you’re giving us hints, laying out the ingredients…I don’t know what your “cooking” but it’s fun to watch… 😉

  22. Antonio Rich

    I love the contest question:”who is your favorite Hallow’s character and why?” I’ve been keeping track of the votes–although it’s not a race (please people–no wagering). It’s not easy, because some people pick more than one as their “favorite.” Anyway–thorough 153 replies:

    Far and away the leader with 43 votes: Jenks; with a slim lead, Al has second place with 26 votes to Rachel’s 25; Ivy is in fourth place with 19 votes; Trent–5th place with 15 votes; 12 people couldn’t be bothered to read the directions(I think there was 1 vote for Anita Blake) and/or just couldn’t decide (LOL); Kisten had 5 votes! ; Pierce had 4 votes; Ceri and Alice each had 3 votes; Bis and Newt had 2 votes each; and Keasley and David–one vote each.

    Jenks and Al were the early leaders, but Rachel and Ivy votes have been coming on strong of late. Alot of people say “I love Rachel and…(fill in name). 🙂

    • I love the stats! I did that after the BBB day – compile the comments people made about what is love, what is lust – just because I thought it was interesting to see the similarities and differences, what were the most common words used, etc. So some people voted for two? *cough* Who would do that? 😉 Just curious if you counted both votes in those cases?

    • Antonio Rich

      If they had 2 or 3 that were their favorites…yeah, i went ahead and counted the multiples, but if they just listed a bunch of people and didn’t “specify” that they were their favorites–no, didn’t count it–put it in the “i can’t make up my mind” category(LOL)…Alot of people were genuinely torn in trying to decide!

    • I almost made a comment that might just start a character war so I’ll refrain from doing so and rather just say that I’m slightly surprized that Ivy is BEHIND Jenks.

    • Antonio Rich

      I almost think it’s a case of people dividing their vote, meaning I think people love Rachel&Ivy&Jenks, but are being asked to choose between them. I think if Kim asked to give the top 5 characters and give them a numerical grade between 1 and 10, I think almost everyone would give those three a grade of 9 or 10, don’t you?

    • That I do, lol. Ivy gets 10! lol.

    • Ohhhh, thanks! That’s great data. Thank you, very much, Antonio!

  23. Oh, and on the small flying things note: The female peregrine is back. The male, Samson, broke a wing in Texas and will be kept there, he’s too crippled to be released. They are apparently serially monogamous, so if there is a worthy male, we should get babies again.

    They found a dead raptor today, the custodians thought it was a peregrine, but my boss says more likely a Cooper’s hawk. He’ll check the tag.

    Peregrine cam, for anyone interested:

  24. Patricia Chase

    Normally, I’m indifferent about tax time, but ever since I married a CPA… well, I’ll see him again on April 16th 🙂 Speaking of “seeing him again,” I watched the first episode of Merlin last night, and when I first glimpsed Prince Arthur, I thought of Kisten. I know, I know, no movie being made, etc., but have you seen him?? Good grief, Bradley James encompasses every quality of Kist – just a handsome rascal! Now I’m curious if you were to pair Rachel and Ivy and all the rest with their celebrity doppelgangers, who would you pick? It’s a fun process. And thank you for sharing all your thought processes with us; it makes the anticipation that much sweeter.

  25. I like going over the books to scope out foreshadowing after the fact. Like the comment about Ivy breaking Rachel’s thrall. I’ve fallen into a few series that I didn’t necessarily LOVE but was amazed at the structuring of the world, and the foreshadowing YEARS in advance. Can’t figure it out!

    Beautiful work. Your stuff has enough fun mixed with angst and sorrow and action to keep me wanting to turn the page. Hard when there is a time limit I have to follow in order to do everything I have to. I should have purchased the audio book.

    And ‘Guy’ can keep his sulfite sensitivity, and his jury duty, and any of the other synchronistic things that have occurred over the last two years. Poor Tall Dude had to learn how to cook Gluten free last year as we did an elimination diet for a totally different issue. Thank goodness it wasn’t that. *giggle*

    And Cera, the pup you met at Arcana, was Novice Obedience springer of the year. Though she wasn’t that well behaved when she jumped on you. Wups.

    • SeattleRobin

      You’re right on the money about the mix, Mud. I started reading the Weather Warden series a few years ago, but my god, the books just wore me out. Constant action with constant life or death and little down time. I finally gave up after four books. In my Hollows re-read one of my favorite scenes is Rachel learning how to move objects with ley line magic and the pixie kids bombarding her with splat balls. It was just good plain fun and it’s important to have those scenes or the action and sorrow doesn’t have nearly as much impact.

    • mudepoz

      I LOVE your avatar! Pricked eared pup!!!!

    • SeattleRobin

      Thanks, Mud! That was my precious boy, Jordan. He was a Canaan Dog. (He didn’t have the mask over his eyes so it’s not that obvious.)

    • -grin- Thanks, Mud. I like putting those little things in there, so I’m glad you appreciate it.

      Congrats on the win for Cera! That is fabulous!

  26. ..that´s what it´s all about – cooking and stuff. Without subconciousness the meal would taste like an instruction book…

  27. Jenn

    Morning Kim,

    Wow, sounds like you are going to have a great time pulling everything together! On one hand, I’m excited to see how things turn out in the hollows, but on the other, I don’t want it to end!
    I think we are all going to be looking for all the different changes & where you might be pulling things from.
    Did you hear? Kylie is making me a Chibi? I’m so excited…I can’t wait to see what it’ll look like!
    Hope your Wednesday was great & that your Thursday is even better!