I’m so not here right now.

Can you see beyond the words,

to what’s going on beneath?

Have the stories all been told for you.

Is nothing more unique?

Checking off a list,

instead of checking what is there.

Are you so quick to judge,

you miss what is laid bare?

So sure that what’s before you,

can’t possibly reach within.

Judged from a singular.

Passed over by a whim.

Or can you see beyond the words.

Can you find yourself again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dude. Where did the day go?

 

Screen shot 2015-07-21 at 4.02.59 PMHoly cow, how did it get to be ten to four? I totally missed out on my usual morning internet, just getting my flower of the day posted and my email checked. That Silas/Peri short I’ve been working on took my entire day, but I just finished my second run through, added in a few things I know my editor will like, slapped myself with a wet noodle for cheating on the end of a chapter and went back and wrote it the way it should be, and then checked for continually errors. I know I missed some, and I feel very uneasy that someone taking a chance on my work for the first time is going to see a loved but rushed story instead of the 18 month labor of the first book, polished, pressed, and carefully structured.

But I like this short immensely, and I hope you guys do too when it drops into existence next month. If no one changes the name, it will be titled Sideswiped.

I’m already prepping this week for the dragon knit along starting Friday, trying to get some visual aids to go along with the directions. Because I don’t have enough to do, apparently. (Ug.) But really, I’d love to see some dragons while on tour. That would totally make my day. I pined for a firelizard, so much so that I made one. I know I’m not alone. To share them would make me feel good, and that’s reason enough.

And speaking of seeing things on tour, don’t forget that the tour T’s are available now and if you an’t make it to a signing that Nicolas is still taking orders for signed and personalized with a note copies of THE DRAFTER. They are going to try to send them out early so they land on the drop date.

Click to order

Click to order

 

 

Click to order a signed, personalized copy

 

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Kim Harrison’s dragon: Stuff you need

Elsa2

Elsa, my snow dragon. Or, ah, Blue Firelizard . . .

For you expert knitters, please have patience with me. I’m going to break this down to simple steps for the novice knitters because I know how bad it feels to want something and not have the skill–yet. Novice knitters, please have patience with me and yourself. This took me a year to figure out, and nothing worth having comes easy. I’ll show you some of my failures as we go. Holy cow. Ugly dragon.

I’m going to stretch this out over a month, so the instructions will come in bits and pieces. This is mostly because this is not my day-job, and I’m a little flaky on trying to explain how to do some of these things, and I don’t want to lose people when I throw down rInc or PYO when it’s not that hard once you know what I’m talking about. I’ll have videos when I can, and pictures. I recently found out there’s like four distinct ways to knit, so my rInc might look different from your rInc. I believe I knit like an American. (grin)

My gauge of 2 inches by 2 inches is 15 stitches and 20 rows of straight stitch. I used a  #1 size U.S. double pointed needle to get this, but if your gauge comes in smaller, you’ll get a smaller dragon.

Clearly the gauge isn’t critical, but if your dragon is too large, you’ll have to cobble pipe cleaners together for the wings, which is awkward.

StuffYouNeed

So . . .stuff you’re going to need:

3mm pipe cleaners the color you want your dragon’s nails to be. I like black, but white is easy to find. You’ll probably have to get these online, but I have seen them at Michaels upon occasion. 6mm pipe cleaners are much more common, but they are harder to work with, and your dragon’s fingers will be lumpy and bumpy. If you can, take the time to find them. You will be happier. Trust me.

yarnTwo skeins of Patons Grace yarn, one for the wings and breast, one for the body. You’ll need more if your gauge is coming in larger. It’s critical to have a yarn that holds its shape. Grace is a lightweight cotton yarn. Wool that has been half felted before skeined up is stiff enough, but stay away from soft yarn that will stretch or your dragon will be lumpy after all that work. I’ll be using Fiesta and Beeswax, or maybe a little white on the breast. I’d stay away from black for your first dragon simply because it’s hard to see the stitches, and I’ve got a bang-up way to sew together that doesn’t show, and it’s hard to learn if you can’t see.

Stuffing. I use polyester.

Tweezers and the back end of a pencil to help to stuff.

Stitch markers, 2 colors. One for right, one for left.

A tapestry needle whose eye is big enough to thread the pipe cleaner through. Seriously, check this. Most needles are too small.

DPN (double pointed needles) I find it useful to have two packages of these so I don’t have to keep putting my work on a stitch holder. Ten needles is good. I used U.S. size 1 to get my gauge.

Pliers are useful for pulling pipe cleaners when things get tight in the wings.

I’ll give you guys until Friday to find your stuff, and then we start on wings for the weekend. That way, we can use the excess pipe cleaner for the feet.

So, wing pattern and some explanation on rInc, LInc, and w/t on Friday!

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Sixty short minutes, and it will be over

I’ve watched a lot of authors around the panel tables over the years, and it never fails to set me back when I see one or more chortling over the prospect of throwing more trouble and woe against their characters–as if they enjoy it. A part of me agrees as watching your characters rise over the situation and emerge triumphant, or at least alive and kicking, is uplifting. But for the most part, these are the hardest pages for me to write. I procrastinate, I check my FB feed, I make a pot of tea, sharpen my pencils which I’m not even using at the moment. Anything. It’s a recognizable pattern.

SixtyToday, as I finish up the first rough draft of the Drafter teaser (hopefully to be released next month) I ache for my character, knowing what’s going to happen, that I’m the one that is putting it out there–something bad that rocks him to his foundation, that will color him for years, bring him pain, this wonderful man that I gave so many gifts to. And I’m going to have to deal with it for at least three more years.

Chortling with glee? No, I don’t think so.

Sixty minutes, I tell myself. It will take one hour to write, one hour to bring his world to an ugly place. Will he rise up? Of course he will. Will he find a new core? It wouldn’t be much of a story if it didn’t. But it still hurts. And it will, for three years because of sixty short minutes.

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Are you wanting a little snack?

There’s been a clear cold snap the last couple of days, bringing our daytime temps down to mid 70s and the night flirting with fifty. Fifty. In July. But I’m not complaining because it got rid of 90 percent of the mosquitos. I’m also not putting anything in my yard anymore that can’t take Canada winters, and the zone people just bumped my area into a warmer zone, saying I can plant stuff that grows in Kentucky. Ple-e-e-e-e-ese. Doesn’t anyone in that office actually, ya know, get out in the garden? Summers can be hotter, but the winters can be colder, and the storms are simply going to get more intense. You can’t push your CO2 levels back to the days of dinosaurs and not expect to get the weather they had then as well. Dinosaur weather. Yep, we got it.

SummerToad

But look at the little toad Tim found yesterday! Isn’t he sweet? I remember being inundated with them this time of year at my grandpa’s house, so thick you couldn’t walk without fear of stepping on one. He lived between a lake and a swamp, and I’m sure if I went back, it would be the same today.

Click to order

Click to order

I’ve gotten a few “hurray!” posts from people who have gotten their tour Ts, but no pictures yet on FB. That they are going out is a great feeling. If you want one to wear to a signing, or just show your book pride on release day, here’s the link. We’re going through a local guy, so he’s able to give you lots more options than we ever did.

If you’re as anxious as I am to get those copies of THE DRAFTER into your hands, I’ve got some good news. I’ve been quiet this week because I was given the chance to write a short that might come out before THE DRAFTER, sort of a prequel that introduces some of the characters and the accelerated science that’s integral to the story. Some of the ideas in it I won’t be touching upon again until that last final book, but by giving you this snack-sized bite now, I hope that you will see the threads as they are put down, not just in hindsight as happened a lot in the Hollows. I’m excited about it not just for the story, but the craft behind it. Shorts are different animals than novels, and I miss working with the precise needs they have.

If I get my way, it will be called either BACK DRAFT or SIDE SWIPED, and it nearly drove me sick last week when I confused finding the “idea” with finding the “voice.” It was a miserable weekend where I went over and over THREE first chapters, two of them complete and final, knowing all of them were false and dead ends–until I found the voice. And then . . . it began and I could tell the story. It’s still a lot of work to meet my deadline, but it is a joy again. You should have it in about a month? (And that, my readers, is what an accelerated schedule looks like.)

Copies are available at:

                                    

Barnes and Noble has a small supply of signed copies ofThe Drafter.

Nicola’s, my local store, is offering signed/personalized copies of The Drafter as well as signed copies of most of the books.

 

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I saw a monarch this morning

I saw a monarch this morning as I took a moment to deadhead my dallies while I circled my yard, looking for Tim and the stack of freebies he picked up from the PO box. It dropped down right in front of me, beautiful and unsullied by time and wind. I tried to get a photo, but it didn’t like me moving, and it flew away.

Milkseed2015

So no picture of my monarch. Instead, I’ve got a shot of the plant, and if you look close, you can see the pods of seeds starting to form at the base of the faded flowers. There’s a good chance that they will be ripe come September first, and if so, I’ll bring some to the signing at Nicola’s to give away. Last year, they flew out the door. It was very gratifying, and I’ve seen a few plants from you started from the seed in my garden.

Actually, since I’ll be bussing it, I can bring seed for every stop if the pods are ripe. Fingers crossed!

Places I’ll be going: More info: event’s page

September 1, 7:00 PM
Detroit, MI (Ann Arbor) 
Nicola’s Books

2513 Jackson Rd (Use Jackson Ave for your GPS)
734-662-0600

September 2, 7:00 PM
Cincinnati, OH
Joseph-Beth
Rookwood Pavilion
2692 Madison Rd
Cincinnati OH
513-396-8960

September 3, 7:00 PM
Lexington, KY
Joseph-Beth Booksellers 
161 Lexington Green Circle
859 273 2911

September 4, 7:30 PM
Raleigh, NC:
Quail Ridge Books
3522 Wade Avenue
1-800-627-6789

September 5, 12:00 noon
Charlotte, NC
Park Road Books
Park Road Shopping Center
4139 Park Road
704-525-9239

September 5, 7:00 PM
Atlanta GA
Barnes & Noble
Buckhead
2900 Peachtree Road NE Suite 310
404-261-7747

September 6, 12:00 noon
Birmingham, AL
Books-A-Million
No idea which one. I’ll let you know when I find out.

September 6, 7:00 PM
Nashville TN
Barnes & Noble
Cool Springs
1701 Mallory Lane
Brentwood, TN 37027
615-377-9979

 

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Detour

Not much of a post today because my first one came across as complaining, but I’m working on something that I hope to share with you guys sooner as apposed to later. We’ll see. It might just be an exercise in futility and “busy work.” But hey, it’s a job, and now I sound like I’m complaining again. And I’m not.

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