Sunday, May 25, 2008


After a good sixteen pages of writing this weekend, I'm delighted to say the first draft of Dead Harvest is complete. I'm pretty sure it's the best thing that I've ever written, and I've been revising as I go, so I hope the process of polishing it up won't take too long. At 75,000 words, it's a little slight, but there's a B-story to be added that should put me over the top, so I'm not too worried.

So yeah. Two books down. Only thirty or forty more to go...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Last, but not least...

Okay, I have a confession to make: I'm not really one for memes. Sure, I've done a couple, and they've been fun enough, but they can kind of be a time-suck. So I think I'm gonna take a break from memes for a while... right after this.

See, Stuart had himself an idea. He created a meme in which writers post photos of their workplaces, and say a few words about them. I happen to think that's a pretty good idea, so I decided I'd join him in this-here reindeer game of his. Besides, folks can't seem to get enough of trilogies these days, so this, my third meme, seems an appropriate swan song. Here's the rules:

1) You must take a photo of your workspace and post it to your blog.
2) You must provide a few words about it.
3) You must NOT tidy, clean or otherwise stage the workspace - it must be EXACTLY as it usually is (you can see that I followed this rule religiously).
4) (Optional) You can nominate as many or as few others as you wish.

So here goes. My workspace. A far cry from the dark corner of our basement apartment, which is where I wrote the first book, this one is airy and full of light; I wonder if it'll show up in my writing? Somehow, I don't think so...
There it is, in all its glory. You'll notice it's tucked into a nook, facing away from any windows. Believe me, not an accident. Oh, and unlike Stuart's, there's nary a guitar to be found. I keep my distractions far, far away, so as to force me to actually, you know, write every once and a while. And since the picture resists embiggening, I'll point out a few details: first, the pile of Post-its in the middle of the desk, which if arranged end-to-end would pretty much be my WIP. Second, the movie posters above the desk are Psycho (mine), and The Shock by Shock Confessions of a Sorority Girl (Katrina's, and no, she never was). Oh, and since I'm all kinds of psyched about our new digs, here's the other half of the room:
Yeah, I know, it's that most collegiate of chairs, the papasan. Gimme a break - it's an office. Besides, look at all the pretty books! So there you have it. As for tagging? Not gonna. But this is kind of a cool idea, so c'mon, writer-types, pony up! And if you do, drop a comment to let me know...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I must be the slowest kid on the playground...

...'cause I've been tagged again, this time by the lovely Ms. Ruttan. The rules are as follows:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read the player’s blog.
4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

Okay, on to the questions:

What were you doing ten years ago?

Bonfires and jug wine. Calculus and chemistry. Dancing. Ferrying people to and fro for money. Coffee. Cigarettes. Making friends. Losing friends. Falling completely and utterly in love. Did I mention I was in college?

What are five things on your to-do list for today (not in any particular order)?

Writing. Brunch. Cleaning. Hockey (damn Penguins.) Making dinner.

What are some snacks you enjoy?

Beef jerky. Cheese. Toast (wildly underrated, in my opinion.) Cheese. Baba ghanoush. Cheese. Cereal, but never for breakfast. Oh, and cheese.

What would you do if you were a billionaire?

Besides controlling my evil army of solid gold robots from the safety of my moon base? Hmmm...

Travel. Eat. Drink. Write. Pretty much everything I do right now, only more of it, and maybe in a bigger house. Oh, and I'd donate like mad to help them hippie pinko lefties take over the country and enact their secret plan to make all the neocons gay-marry a Prius.

What are five places where you have lived?

Central Square, New York (don't worry; nobody else has heard of it either). Charlottesville, Virgina. The lower village in Kennebunk. A basement apartment in Portland (that's Portland, Maine, the first, best Portland in all the land). And my shiny new house, a world and a few blocks away from said basement apartment.

What are five jobs you have had?

Burger flipper. Dishwasher. Shuttle van driver. Drill-press operator in a forklift factory. Infectious disease research specialist (tell folks that one at parties and watch them slowly back away!)

What were the last five books you read?

Right now, I'm reading Brighton Rock, by Graham Greene, but I guess that's not the question. Last five? Hit List, by Lawrence Block. The Amber Spyglass, by Philip Pullman. Farewell, My Lovely, by Raymond Chandler. The Dain Curse, by Dashiell Hammett (which I put down and never got back to, for reasons which now escape me. Oh, well, perhaps I'll read it next.) And either Who is Conrad Hirst?, by Kevin Wignall, The Thin Man, by Dashiell Hammett, or Time to Murder and Create, by Lawrence Block (I can't remember what I read when.)

What are five web sites you visit daily (in no particular order)?

This blog (I know, it makes me sound like a narcissistic dork, but it's the quickest way to all my friends' sites.) Crimespot. Arcaedia. Ain't It Cool. The A.V. Club.

Tag 5 People

Okay, normally I'm of the position that the meme stops here, and this time's no exception. However, if Lyman, Sophie, Christa, Brenda, and David feel like playing along, well good on them...

POSTSCRIPT: Yeah, I know, I broke the rules. I e-mailed my taggees to notify them, rather than commenting on their blogs. I'm a loner, Dottie, a rebel.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Why should a novelist work on selling shorts?

This is why.

Congrats, Stuart. If the book's half as good as the story of its path toward publication, I'd say you've got no worries.

(Oh, and because I've been ignoring the blogging of late while I concentrate on finishing DH, a long-overdue congrats to Sophie on securing an agent as well. And to Sandra, whose novel What Burns Within is currently snazzing up bookstores the world over. And to Lyman as well, who, with a little rest and relaxation, may just manage to avoid himself a painful, painful surgery. The question, Lyman, is does a baby weigh more or less than a gallon of milk?)