Dirt under my nails

I had the chance to get some dirt under my nails this weekend, and though my fingers still ache from digging, I’m still riding the peace that came from putting something into the ground and knowing it’s going to be there for a long time.  As for the rewrite . . .  It has come to a halt of sorts.  My editor has had a few new thoughts after I told her what I want to do with the end.  Good thoughts, I hope . . .  -grin-

Oh!  And they had the cover conference.  This one’s going to be fantastic! Lots of very cool thoughts on color schemes, and outfits, and themes.  I don’t dare tell you what they’ve got perking in their brains.  It’s liable to change.


Filed under Drama Box

74 responses to “Dirt under my nails

  1. MoonDragn

    Guardening? I thought you were just burying your enemies 😉

  2. SeattleRobin

    I’m at the exact halfway point in BMS. I’m still chuckling out loud several hours later every time I think about “king of the world”. That and Pixie Princess. On to the second half!

  3. Jenn

    Morning Kim!

    I hope you had a fantastic day! Ideas from your editor huh? I bet your mind is going a mile a minute!

    My garden is finally starting to bloom. I have this big bush that has all kinds of yellow flowers on it. My grass is all growing, my tulips are starting to come up & all the buds are opening! It’s been great! We’ve also had non-stop rain for the past 3 days, so I’m waiting to see where the flooding is 🙂

    Well I hope you have a happy Thursday!

    • Thanks, Jenn. I hope you have a great weekend. Sounds like you might have a forsythia. I’ve got one that I’m going to cut way back this year. It’s gotten leggy.

  4. Glad to hear you got out in the fresh air and did some gardening I know I always enjoy it. Just can’t wait for my black iris’ to bloom. Will try to send you a picture of them when they do.

  5. Hey Ms. Harrison,
    When I worked in the UK last year my hands were permanently stained, either from dirt or antibiotic spray that I used on the livestock I tended to. It gave me comfort because I could see that I had actually done something with my day. 🙂 It was a good feeling.
    Hope you have a good day and that it was successful!

  6. Pamela Moss

    I’ve never tried gardening, but I have always wondered how it would feel. I definitely wouldn’t mind getting dirt in my nails. 🙂
    I’m super excited about the tour dates. I’m going to the San Diego one ^-^

  7. Cori


    I just wanted you to know that your post today really blessed me! I’ve been writing now for about a year and a half and have enough material for 3 books in a series, but I’m so tired of rewriting the first that I recently became discouraged. When I read your post today, I thought, “Okay, if my favorite writer–who I think is BRILLIANT–has to do it, then there is nothing inherently wrong with the process…or the book that needs it, for that matter. Just paying dues, I suppose.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your very insightful, honest, and encouraging words! I look forward to attending your signing in San Diego in June!

    Sincerely, Cori

    • OMGosh, Cori. Don’t ever be discouraged because of rewrites. They are half of what I do, if not more like two-thirds. My first manuscript was rewritten about seven times (over about four years) before it found a publishing house, and then I rewrote it about two more times before it was published. See you in San Diego!

    • Tiffany

      So you’re saying that it’s okay that my first manuscript is going through it’s third rewrite (well, maybe 2-1/4 rewrite), and i’m only a little over a year into it… That’s good to know, Kim. The little tidbits that you put out there about your experience as a writer are awesome. Thank you!

    • Absolutely, Tiffany. Learning how to rewrite your own work is a vital skill. Don’t cheat yourself trying to skip it.

    • Tiffany

      Definitely. My First Reader has been an absolute Godsend as well.
      She pointed out something last week that totally had me rewriting my first chapter – AGAIN – but it was well worth it, and took the beginning to the next level. Apparently writing is just like any other artistic medium, it’s a constant work in progress throughout the whole project.

  8. Tom


    I am in the slow process of opening my own Daylily nursery with online webpage. I am hybridizing my own varieties of Daylilies. Seeing you enjoy getting some dirt under your nails. Is there a problem with registering some of my new daylilies with names inspired from your novels which my wife and I love and buy as soon as they come out. Names like Tink’s Panties or Sleepy Time Potion would be examples. I would send you a fan of any daylily I hybridize and name with your novels as inspiration. But wanted to know it was okay with you before I did this (might be a year or 2 before I have one I think is worthy of registering).

  9. Phil

    Do you get all uh-oh when your editor says she’s got some thoughts, like am i gonna have to rewrite the whole darn thing?
    That’s exciting ’bout the cover art.

  10. Sue, Chicago

    Hey Kim! I have always loved gardening. It is always so relaxing. I have a little secret for keeping the dirt out from under your nails. Before heading out, sink your nails into a bar of soap (I prefer Ivory because it has no perfumes, dyes or deodorants). The soap prevents the dirt from getting under your nails and when you come in to wash up, the soap dissolves, leaving your nails clean.

  11. Tiffany

    Sounds great Kim. I’ve been digging things up and planting things as well…in my case, not literally though. I’m still waiting for that peaceful feeling though, LOL.

    So, just curious if this ending change is more significant than usual? In any case, wishing great things your way.

    Have a great day,

    • Hi, Tiffany. That peaceful feeling comes sometime after the aches subside and before the weekend shows up again. 😉

      I think this book is getting about the average amount of changes that I do during a editorial rewrite.

    • Tiffany

      Ha! You have no idea how well that fits ;-). Somehow I feel a little closer to the weekend already.

  12. Nikkie

    I think it’s amazing that you take the time to respond to all of these posts! It make me giddy to know that Kim Harrison actually read my post! If it’s someone else managing this site don’t tell me, somethings are better left unsaid!! Kiss kiss!

  13. dave

    Hello Kim.

    I just finished BMS, so now I have no Hollows books to read (I knocked them out in about 3 weeks). I’m new to this genre, having only read you and Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake books (until they turned into porn). What other authors / series in this genre do you recommend? I’m finding these books a welcome change to the Sci-Fi / Fantasy I usually read.


    • Jenn

      Dave, have you tried Kelley Armstrong? I really enjoy her books. Also, have you tried JD Robb?

    • Jenn

      Oh ya, James Rollins as well.

    • Hi, Dave. Thank you! I’m really glad you are enjoying the books so much. You’ve got some good suggestions already, but my faves are at the website in the links page.

    • Chris

      Dave, You might try Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series or Jim Butcher’s Dresden files series.

    • dave

      Thanks all. I got Kelley Armstrongs first book and I am enjoying it so far

    • JanisHarrison

      Dave, darlin’, first, welcome to the group! Next, you might find it even more delicious to reread the books. I have just begun to do this and am finding lots of things I missed the first time through — and having lots of little (aha!) moments at minutiae.

    • pinklilly

      I started rereading them too, I have noticed little clues and hints to things that Im like oh I see where thats going now too Love it 🙂

  14. Are they thinking red in the cover? That would be total awesomesauce! I hate getting dirt under my nails. But I refuse to wear gloves when I do yard work, so . . . . We’ve got some gorgeous weather, right now. Perfect for sun bathing! Poor demons. They cannot sun bathe. Well, I guess technically they could, but probably not a very good idea.

  15. suzannelazear

    Gardening sounds fun. The tot has been helping grandpa with his garden.
    Oooh, pretty covers! How fun.
    Maybe the tot and I can make it down to San Diego. 🙂 The tour sounds fab. 🙂

    Have a great day.


  16. lisa

    what do you plant? i started seeds and i already have radishes ready to go in the ground

  17. Christa

    Quick question: I noticed that you have books published under Dawn Cook also (which I didn’t know about until I was checking out the pics). Obviously on or both are pen names. I am just curious as to why?? Why the pen name or names? Are the Dawn Cook books a different genre?

    • Hi, Christa. Most of the Cook titles came out before the Hollows series started. I had to take a pen name for a couple of reasons, but the main one was because I changed publishing houses, and the legalities of that and keeping my name were daunting. That they are in different genres is another reason, (The Cook titles are traditional fantasy) and that book buyers will often buy more books from a new author, then an established one.

  18. Elizabeth Holmes

    Hi, my name is Elizabeth Holmes and I hale from Lubbock, Tx and I love your books. I have read all the hollow novels except the ones about Ivy, I didn’t know you had written them. I just recently got a freind of mine from Tennessee involved in reading your hollow novels and she read them within one months time. We were both wondering when your next book release will be for the sequel for ‘Black Magic Sanction’? Do you have any possible release date?
    Sincerely, Elizabeth Holmes

    • Thanks, Elizabeth. I’m really glad that you’re enjoying the books. And thank you for getting your friend hooked! The next Madison book will be out the last week in May, and the next Hollows will be Feb, 2011.

    • Karinne

      I know that all great things take time, but 2011 seems like a lifetime right now. I love to read and I’m picking up on other series right now, but nothing compare to the Hollows. I will be anxiously awaiting the new year 🙂

    • Thanks, Karinne. 😉 I really appreciate that!

  19. dear kim: glad to hear you have a garden! i so much miss planting my california carnations in illinois years ago! but the tulips are up and the dafodils too soom. but i ONLY LIKE california carnations!!!!!! thanks, ponyboy!

  20. Chris

    I am officially sequestering myself indoors today as much as possible after the mercury hit 88 here yesterday. Today we could break 90. Weather like this makes me sweat opening the front door. lol. ONLY 4 meetings today-feel like I’m goofing off. 🙂

    • Elizabeth Holmes

      I’ll put it this way when the weather is warm like this I definitely enjoy it. Especially since I have had two back surgeries, because when it gets cold that cold hits me where it hurts! Lol. Everytime people say when summer is here and they can’t wait for fall or winter I say no way let be summer all year round. Especially if it will stay between 75 to may 85 degress.

    • Chris

      I’m still a Seattle guy at heart so 65-72 is my temperature range. That and being able to gaze at Mt. Rainier…just majestic!

    • lizzy

      Serioiusly 88? That’s insane. I’d stay inside too.

    • I love when it’s 88!

    • JanisHarrison

      Holy Crackers, Chris! Where the heck do you live? I thought it was Pennsylvania. Eighty-some degrees? Ick!

    • Chris

      Janis-you nailed it…south cenral PA, about equal distant from Philly and Bulmur(Baltimore) and smack dab in AMISH country. The shooting of those Amish girls at the Nickel Mines school house a while back is about 5 miles from here as the crow flies.

    • Hi, Chris. We hit 90 last week, but then we got down to 30. -shrug- I like the heat, but Guy hates it.

    • Chris

      I don’t think I would mind the heat so much if I lived (and golfed) year round at Hilton Head, Kim.

  21. Chastity

    I’m glad to hear that you got to do some digging in the dirt…we all know you enjoy that and it’s good to lose yourself in the dirt from time to time. As for the cover stuff, well I have to agree with mudepoz…we forgive easily and we won’t tell anyone, so feel free to dish! Much Love!

  22. Greg

    Good morning, Ms. Harrison! As I mentioned, I finally got my paws on BMS and I can’t put it down! This book is by far pulling me in faster and deeper than the others. I’m about 33% done with it already, and all my friends are warning me that if I finish it quickly, it’ll be another year before I get another one…. and I don’t care.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing The Hollows (and the Ever-After, and Cincy, etc.) into my life.

  23. NickinColoma

    Miss Kim— the summer tour has a website!! http://www.supernaturalsummer.com/

    Cool or what—Nick

  24. NickinColoma

    Just saw the summer tour schedule. Very quick. No rest for you ladies. If I make it out Chicago in June can I wear the BMS Tour tee or should you do a Madison one?

  25. marsha

    It’s pretty hard to stand the outdoors in Alabama right now. The thick yellow pine pollen looks like smog it’s so bad. Eveyone you pass is sneezing and have eyes that look like they stayed up drinking all night. 🙂 I never thought I’d be glad to see rain in the forecast, but maybe it will give us some relief. On the possitive note, the wysteria is absolutely gorgeous draping over everything right now!

    • Yikes! Makes me glad I live where I do. We have Wysteria, too.

    • JanisHarrison

      Hey, Marsha, My bane is alder pollen, and the neighbor’s deodar (Asian conifer) does that blanket of pollen thing, plus sap. All over the car. Ugh. I’ve taken to using a neti pot to rinse my nasal passages when the pollen really gets to me — it helps immensely and I don’t have “antihistamine backlash” from it.

      And I love a mature, nicely trained wisteria! We renters don’t get to cultivate such things…

  26. mudepoz

    Dare! Dare! After all, we are a forgiving bunch. We won’t tell anyone. Promise.

    Oh, and a great trick for cleaning nails: Jet hose, place nails in full force spray.

    Viola, clean nails. Unless you are me. The soil is actually under the skin, a dirt tattoo.
    *Looks at nails*. Worse things I guess.
    You must not have planted annuals…