Kim Harrison's Blog, page 84
April 4, 2011
April 1, 2011
I was woken this morning by an aggressive robin singing outside at the top of a roofline. He was full-force into his territory song, which I hadn't heard until now, so I'm calling it. It's officially spring in lower Michigan. We might still get some cold weather, but it's spring, damn it, and that's all I'm saying about it.
My bird station with its running water/bird bath and food has seen more action in the last two weeks than the entire winter months combined. The goldfinches, especially, have enjoyed the seed since their food supply is at its lowest point right now. I'm delighted. I don't just stick a feeder into the ground and hope they come. From the ten yards of dirt, to the new red-twig dogwoods you see in the photo, to the stone wall you can't see holding the earth back from the sidewalk, the 6 by 18 ft area was designed with birds in mind. I've got to put in a few small evergreens before I call it done, but that's for when the ground can be worked. It's too wet right now, and most of the nurseries in the area are not ready.
The deer, too, are coming out onto the golf courses to snack on the new grass. I saw a good dozen of them last night about dusk when I went on an ink run. ( I could have sworn I bought another cartridge two weeks ago . . .)
I think I'm going to add the sound of a printer running smoothly to my list of favorite things to hear besides robins in the spring. :-)
March 31, 2011
I'm getting tired of waiting for spring. The maples are ready, with their flower bud reddening, but that's about it. Nothing on my dogwoods or Crocus. I hear the pollen is blooming down South, so every place has its tradeoffs. (And until you go out in the morning and brush pollen off your car, you just can't comprehend.) But inside, my plants are being springy. I was sure that this little guy was going to flower when I was on tour, but he waited as did another orchid I've got blooming right now. Orchids and I get along pretty well. We both like morning sun, and we do well when ignored for short periods of time.
As I understand it, most of the Maple sugaring places have already had their fling, which I think is odd since we're still in the tapping stage. Warm days, below freezing nights. Poor Trent. I think he lives just south of the narrow band where it's feasible to tap for sap. Must go google it.
March 30, 2011
Vampy remarked yesterday that I seem cheerful lately, and though some of that comes from it being spring, most of it's coming from about six things floating around in my head as I finish up the HOLLOWS INSIDER.
I'm not happy with book ten, but I'm excited about some possible changes. I don't think my editor gets it, why I'm cheerful about having to make some huge changes to the text. First, I'm cheerful because she was seeing the exact same things that was bothering me, meaning she reaffirmed my belief that I'm good at crafting a story, I just have to trust myself a bit more. Second, I don't mind rewriting chunks because that's my favorite part, as in seeing what happens when you miss the train and have to walk. Third, I'm very competitive, but I don't like beating out my friends, and in rewriting, I can be as ruthless as I want to be. – let me explain.
There are days that Guy goes "lurking", where he goes to Amazon or websites to check out both my reviews and reviews of other authors in the genre. Sometimes I'm interested, such a knowing if they go to the same places I do on tour, but for the most part, I try very hard to ignore him as he checks everything/one out. I'm glad he's doing it, but I don't want to know how I'm stacking up against everyone else on that particular day. It all changes so fast, that the only clear barometer I have is measuring myself over my last book, and today, I'm just kicking myself. Book nine rocked my personal socks, addressing several issues I'd been building to. In its current form, book ten doesn't stack up to its older sibling. It's a good story, but it doesn't accomplish as much.
That will never do.
So today I am cheerful in that I've given myself a very high bar to strive for. You might like what is coming in book ten. You might hate it. But I'm going to make it a cracker-jack story in the telling of it, and the crafting of that is going to be intense.
I can't wait.
March 29, 2011
It's supposed to get in the mid 40′s today, and I'm thoroughly excited about it. I've not seen mid 40′s since I got back from tour, and all my bulbs are at an arrested development. (ha!) There's stuff coming up in my yard I don't recognize. I know I put them in the ground, but the area I'm watching has about three species that I've not grown before, and I don't know what's coming up yet. Should be fun.
Had a great chat with my editor yesterday, and I'm all fired up about book ten rewrite. Turn and face the strange, ch-cha-changes . . . My writing schedule has closed in, though. This is a good job if you like being busy, and I like being busy. I'm now kicking around the idea of perhaps moving a book forward in my schedule a year or two down the way, ideally making for two hefty volumes released in one year. We'll see. I have to get through this summer first.
I'm just glad that it's considering warming up. If I don't get into the dirt soon, I'm going to have to do something ugly with my sewing machine. (That didn't come out quite right . . .)
March 28, 2011
Guy took a look up in his cupboard and found that we have an outrageous 150 hardcover copies of ONCE DEAD, TWICE SHY, which we would now like to give away for shipping and handling. Madison is not Rachel in high school, but her own person, with her own issues. It is not set in the Hollows, and you won't find any vampires or werewolves. What you will find are fallen angels and reapers on earth. Though I wrote this for the YA market, Madison is in a lot of ways more grown up than Rachel, and her world is very much like our own.
If you would like a copy, please email Guy at [books are gone. Thank you!] for a S&H paypal invoice with MADISON HARDCOVER in the subject line. If you don't put MADISON HARDCOVER in the subject line, he won't see your email. Please check your paypal address to make sure it's correct. If you are one of the first 150 people, he will email you the paypal invoice by Tuesday noon, EST. If you don't get an invoice, you didn't win, but I will be having more of these give aways.
I will let you know here at this very post when they are gone, and when I do, they are gone. Seriously. Please don't email Guy asking if they are, because if I edit this post saying they are, then they are. (laugh) Books are gone. Thank you, Guys!
In the interests of time, we can only accept shipping and handling payment through paypal. They will come US mail. Domestic shipping will be $5.48. Canada is $7.48. International is $14.48. Don't send money until you get an invoice.
I had a great weekend, with a little bit of crafty stuff, a little bit of baking, and a little bit of family. Ahhhhh, relaxing. Spent Saturday going out and using a coupon from a fabric place to get about 6 yards of very nice fabric, 50% off, to make a scarf for my kitchen window. It turned out pretty good, but I wasn't happy with the hem, so I took it down Sunday and reworked it. Much better. Baking went well, too, and I branched out a bit and made bean soup. It wasn't ready by lunch, and Guy had already promised to make me waffles and bacon for dinner, so I have it sitting in the fridge for tonight. It should be all the tastier for having waited. (And now you know why Trent likes waffles . . .)
Today is a Manic Monday, delayed until noon so the west coast has a chance at 'em. Up for grabs is quite a handful of ONCE DEAD, TWICE SHY. Hard cover, signed, and shipped to you for the price of shipping and handling. ;-) Don't email Guy now, even if you know his address. Wait until I post with more information, noon, EST.
March 25, 2011
It's cold this morning, and ice formed on my bird bath/water fall outside my window. I turned the heater off last week because of the algae growth, and now it's got a skim of ice apart from where the water runs fast. I'm sure it will be gone by noon, but the birds are kind of miffed right now. Angry robins chirping at me!
I don't even care how cold it is, because we managed to get through this latest winter storm without getting any snow. Yay!
I know it's kind of soon to start promoting the next YA release, but I can't help myself. -grin- The last Madison book SOMETHING DEADLY THIS WAY COMES, is scheduled for May 24th, and I want to give some new readers a chance to catch up, so I'm going to make Madison the focus of my next Manic Monday. I'll be having another one next week, starting at noon EST, and I'm going to give away 150 hard cover copies of ONCE DEAD, TWICE SHY for the cost of shipping and handling. (5.48 domestic, 14.48 international) I'll be signing them this weekend.
So if you have someone who is a bit too young yet for the Hollows, or you are young at heart yourself, or you just like stories about angels and reapers on earth, set your alarm clock for noon, EST on Monday. They will go fast!
March 24, 2011
A while back, I showed you what my desk looked like when I was doing a rewrite for I think one of the regular books. This is what it looks like for the rewrite for the world book. (Phew. A lot messier. It has a title now, if you've missed it. THE HOLLOWS INSIDER )
The picture really doesn't do the chaos justice. The wad with the blue sticky notes is my character sheets. The calendar is the month that one of the books takes place in. Cards are for info on the characters and institutions that I've had to create for the world book (phone numbers, etc.) Sunrise/set, moon rise/set tables on my mouse pad. Dog treats to keep 'em quiet when the mailman comes. I've got the plot spread sheets out of sight on my open file drawer, and if I have to look anything up (like the phase of the moon on October 3rd 2007 or if there really is an address in Cincy that matches Rachel's mother's) I have to shift everything to get to my internet computer. There's a timeline in there somewhere. And the Easy Button for when I'm done with it. -laugh-
I'm looking to be done with this by next week, and then I think I'm starting the editorial rewrite for book ten. So-o-o-o-o-o many ideas. It's been a long time since I've had to work with the discipline of gathering every thread I can find and weave them to a satisfying close. Good thing I've got 3-4 books to do it. ;-) Writing an open-ended series is far easier than creating a solid ending. Anyone who is stuck in the middle of their novel, and drops it to start another knows exactly what I'm talking about. How do I get through it? Data. He who has the most data wins. (snort)
March 23, 2011
It's a soggy mix of rain and sleet today, so of course I want to go out into it. No snow yet, and I hope it stays that way. Work went pretty well yesterday, with me writing out a bit of Kalamack family history. Trent's dad used to work for the Saladan family, making the cross-country trek from Sacramento to Cincinnati in search of a non-govenmnent run radio station during the high point of the plague. Huh. I didn't know that. -laugh- Now I understand the rivalry and forced friendship between their two boys.
I also spent about two hours staring at my ceiling last night, figuring about three things out for the next book, which is why I woke up humming Frank Sinatra. (grin) Progress, progress, My thoughts are huffing like a big diesel engine, cold, but feeling the energies starting to get the momentum going until it can't be stopped. Must call editor and talk to her before she gives me the next edit letter. I see changes.
I've got a bit of a treat for you today in the form of a fabulous, non-spoiler review of Pale Demon, brought to you by the bestdamnwritingblog people. I've got a Q&A with them too, which had more than the usual questions, so if you're curious, take a peek! I really enjoyed this one. It made me think about my answers.
. . . dum-de-dum, de-dum . . . exchanging glances, wondering in the night, what were the chances . . .