Well, join me in a Dance of Joy, because Publishers Weekly gave Stillbright a STARRED review!. They even specifically said that it doesn't really suffer from middle-book-of-a-trilogy syndrome, and complimented the characters and...and...WHEE! You have three more days to win an advance copy here on Goodreads, and it's available for preorder now, with an official release date of June 1, 2017.

Today was a good day, we went and did a wine and cheese tasting with friends. Tomorrow will be a good day, Aveline and I will (please, Lord) close out the cases of two clients, one to whom I wish all joy and happiness, and one whom I will be happy never to speak to or think of ever again. And we will also snag two friends who are traveling through our area for dinner.

And Monday night into Tuesday morning, we are forecast to get between six and fourteen inches of snow. Noooooo, spring, come baaaaack.

Friday, I will hop a plane down South, and my mom and I will commence a Lady Road Trip. To Georgia, to visit Geek Brother and Sil and Z and Abs! To Florida, to see my grandmother and at least one aunt! To South Carolina, time permitting, to visit another aunt! Then back to Tennessee, to catch a plane back here, be picked up at the airport by Yeats, and go straight to GriffinCon. It's not going to be a restful vacation, but it's going to be fun.

Reading Log: King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard; Someone to Hold by Mary Balogh; In Calabria by Peter S. Beagle; Looking for Betty MacDonald by Paula Becker; Dead Presidents by Brady Carlson; A Daughter of No Nation by A.M. Dellamonica; Why Mermaids Sing by C.S. Harris; Dead Man's Reach by D.B. Jackson; Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas; Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty; The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald; The Darkest Hour by Caroline Tung Richmond; Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn; I Hate Fairyland: Fluff My Life by Skottie Young
Aw, man, why does the espresso-and-desserts food truck have to be parked near the office on Ash Wednesday? My hummus-and-cheese sandwich with accompanying orange seems even blander now.

In more cheerful news, There's a Goodreads giveaway for Stillbright starting today! Go enter, and tell your friends! The book's not out 'till June 1st, so you have plenty of time to go read (or reread) Ordination, have the story fresh in your mind when you read the sequel, then go out and buy copies of both for all your fantasy-fan friends. Also, if you would like a signed bookplate (I promise you can make out at least two letters of his name), drop me a line and your name and mailing address and I will cozy up to the author.
Dear clients, let me explain you a thing for what I swear is the eighty-fifth time. You are not Aveline's only client. She currently has over 80 cases, three of which have major all-day hearings coming up in the next three weeks, and she is working her tail off trying to get everything done while keeping up with a myriad of other details. Demanding spur-of-the-moment meetings, setting time limits on how long you'll wait to talk to her before "taking action myself" (that was a threat, sir, and I read it as such), and whining that you wanted more support from your attorney will avail you nothing.

Dear one client in particular, do you know when the best time to suddenly discover a hundred extra pages of documentation and records that you want to enter into evidence is? Hint, it's NOT the night before your big hearing.

And, dear ex-client, you have the right to representation of your choosing. You have the right to decide Aveline is not the attorney for you, and the right to terminate your agreement with her and seek a new lawyer. You also have the right to bitch about what you didn't like about her representation. However, when you vaguebook rude things about her and another attorney on your case on public social media platforms, you deserve whatever wrath falls down on you. Every single other attorney in your case has worked with Aveline in the past, likes her, and knows she's good. And now, they know you're vindictive and fault-finding, and will treat you accordingly as your case progresses.

I need more coffee. And to sleep for a solid 24 hours. And to go to TN right now.

Reading Log: Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman; The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst; Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman; The Abandoned by Paul Gallico; Nothing Between Us by Roni Loren; Maid of Wonder by Jennifer McGowan; White Trash Zombie Gone Wild by Diana Rowland; A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith; Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff; I Hate Fairyland: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young
Firiel has come and gone, and now has her very first tattoo (in my handwriting! I'm flabbergasted and honored!) inscribed on her skin. We did not get as much activity done as we had hoped, due to nasty cramps on her part and the untimely return of the Creeping Death Cold on mine, but we got tasty beers at the local pub, and watched all 13 episodes of The Good Place, and sighed over Crimson Peak, and she tried her best to make me love Twenty One Pilots as much as she does (not my type of music, but boy, Josh the Drummer, those are good arms to have), and Yeats cooked for us and Hector decided she was his snugglebuddy. It was a good weekend all told.

And now she is gone and I am back at work and ugh.

Next things to plan for--Bubbly's 40th birthday party this weekend. Catching up on Critical Role. Tea with MiL and Kel and Queen Liz in a couple of weeks. And my trip down South to see parents and Grandmother and Geek Brother and Sil and Z and Abs and various other people in one month!

Reading Log: Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher Barzak; Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey; Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson; My Fair Temptress by Christina Dodd; Time Travel by James Gleick; Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin; Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra; Exo by Fonda Lee; Once Was a Time by Leila Sales; Behind the Throne by K.B. Wagers
Had a nice little bachelorette weekend while Yeats went to AWP, as I couldn't get out of work to accompany him and (technically) his publisher didn't actually invite me. No worries, I got delicious stuff from the Indian food truck, binged on season 2 of Outlander (OMG THE CLOTHES!), and cuddled Westley and Hector, both of whom subscribe to the "love the one you're with" belief when it comes to available laps. Thankfully, we have both recovered from the Martian Death Cold and were able to respectively enjoy ourselves.

Firiel will be here on Friday! I am looking forward to seeing her more than I can say, especially since, if I do go down South for the visiting of aunties and Grandmother next month, that will probably mean Yeats and I can't do our usual TN summer trip. I mean, we could, I will still have one week of vacation days left post-March, but that would be all of my vacation time gone by mid-July, which would mean no extra days off around our anniversary, no spare days here and there if Yeats gets con invites, no relaxation days when Christmas comes around again. So maybe it will just be me with my folks next month, rather than both of us in June/July. Yeats says he is fine whichever way it goes, although I believe that in his heart of hearts, he does not want to spend two days this summer driving to and from TN.

Work is such fun. Our first sex-trafficking case, and my first (although not Aveline's) case involving Munchausen's Syndrome by proxy! *cries quietly*

Reading Log: The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch; Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo; Remnants of Trust by Elizabeth Bonesteel; Kindred by Octavia Butler and Damian Duffy; The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman; Postcards from the Edge by Carrie Fisher; The Forever War by Joe Haldeman; Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace; Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb; A List of Cages by Robin Roe; Scythe by Neal Shusterman; Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh; And I Darken by Kiersten White; Ms. Marvel: Civil War II by G. Willow Wilson, and an attempt to read Connie Willis' Crosstalk that ended when I slammed the book shut hating every single character.
In the interest of not crying myself to sleep every night or succumbing to howling panic, I have gone off 99% of social media. I have barely glanced at Facebook or tumblr for the last three days. Granted, this is also partially because I have a Creeping Martian Death Cold and have spent two of the last three days swaddled in blankets on the couch making pitiful honking noises and watching feel-good TV like "Parks and Rec" and "Pit Bulls and Parolees" and "Critical Role". I feel...a little guilty that I'm not immediately informed and up to date, but the guilt is mitigated by the part where I sleep through the night and am no longer scaring Yeats.

Firiel is coming to visit in 2 weeks! We will have BFF time and bake things and she will get her first tattoo! Now there's something to look forward to.

Reading Log: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden; Otherworld Chills by Kelley Armstrong; Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown; The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill; Seven Years to Sin by Sylvia Day; Worldshaker by Richard Harland; A Taste for Monsters by Matthew Kirby; Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier; Mind Games by Heather Petty; One Hot Christmas by Tiffany Reisz; Iron Kin by M.J. Scott; Resurrection Man by Sean Stewart; Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear
I do not want periodic crying fits and stray suicidal urges, yet this seems to be the new normal. I want to stay informed, but reading or hearing the news sends me into a full-fledged howling panic attack. I want to be strong, but I am not strong. I am so afraid.

I hate this so much. I can't do this for four years. I want to beat my head against something until it all stops.
To everyone who is at a march, supporting a march, or (like me) not able to participate in one due to various reasons, but watching coverage with amazement, hope, and some tears:

I love you.

Stronger together.

Reading Log: Elisha Rex by E.C. Ambrose; Guardian's Mate by Jennifer Ashley; The Creation of Anne Boleyn by Susan Bordo; Seriously Shifted by Tina Connolly; Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott; Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff; How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back by Diana Rowland; Libby on Wednesday by Zilpha Keatley Snyder; Blood Vow by J.R. Ward
I can't believe I forgot to mention this until today, but:

1) Goodreads is doing a giveaway of Ordination (5 copies!) for another six days. Here's where you enter. Watch this space, and also Goodreads, for a giveaway of an ARC of book 2, Stillbright, in the near future!

2) Or, if you'd like to support the author in a slightly more fiscal sense, Ordination is currently $1.99 on Kindle and (I think) on Kobo as well. Think of the poor author, slogging his way through copyedits of book 3 while Editor Cat Hector tries to assist, and help cheer him up a bit! Here's the Amazon link.

I keep telling you all, it's dark without being grim, there's a POC swordswoman, a used-car-salesman dwarf, and bad guys get their faces punched in. And more cool stuff incoming in book 2 that I'm not allowed to talk about yet...
Rolled up my first new D&D character in about 18 months tonight! Yeats' homebrew campaign finished with...well, astonishingly, without a bang last week. Given that we left three separate cities in a state of rebellion and/or flaming ruin, he fully expected us to end the campaign on that note as well. But when the ancient blue dragon explained that he was protecting our plane from invasion by other planes, and needed a crew to travel the planes and find new worlds to befriend and new resources to help bolster our defenses, our motley group (Viranka the dwarf ranger and gunsmith, Con the half-orc gladiator-fighter, Ivlisaar the barbarian slave-freeing elf, Jack the rogue ship captain, Vroz the assassin orc, and Chaac the dragonborn cookie-baking cleric) all said "That sounds awesome!". And so the last action in the campaign, until such time as Yeats feels like DMing again, was to argue whether the planes-traveling ship we were to use would be named the Emerald Horizon, or the Con, NO!

A is DMing this time around, and has adapted 5th-edition D&D rules to the world of the Witcher video game/novels--in this case, about 250 years after the events of The Witcher 3. Yeats is playing a Skellige witcher with some points in bard. I am playing a sorceress named Dagmara who sets things on fire. I have almost exclusively played chaotic good characters who serve as the party's conscience before this, so as Yeats and I were penciling in details...

Yeats: So what's your alignment?
Me: Well, I mean, she'll help people. As long as she gets helped first.
Yeats: Okay.
Me: I mean, she wouldn't just set...um...
Yeats: What?
Me: I was about to say "she wouldn't just set things on fire to watch them burn". But she might.
Yeats: ...ooookay.
Me: Hey, when has that member of the Order of the Flaming Rose ever done anything to benefit her?
Yeats: ...chaotic neutral, then.

This is going to be delightful. And Yeats painted me a mini, which is lovely. Also, the dice were kind, and Dagmara has a 20 in Charisma, an 18 in Dexterity (fits in with the Urchin background I'm coloring in for her) and at the lowest, a 12 in Wisdom. Whatever monsters, human or otherwise, we find will not know what hit them.
1) Why did it take me so long to watch Critical Role?

2) How many Perc'ahlia moments/scenes/meta/artwork can I find and devour?

3) How f***ing long is it going to take me to watch all the important bits (halfway through Ep 68 now, am reading the TV Tropes page with care for further backstory)?

4) Can I make time on Thursday nights to watch it once I'm caught up?

5) How adorable are Laura and Travis?

6) Why, out of all of them, am I developing an enormous adolescent squeeing crush on Taliesin? I blame Percy's accent.

Of all the times to no longer have my "CAPSLOCK CANNOT CONTAIN MY FANGIRL JOY" icon...

Reading Log: The Girl in a Swing by Richard Adams; Impact by Rob Boffard; Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur; Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Must find userpics again. The concept of myself as a blank space is disquieting.

Back to the daily work, after a two-week period in which I worked a grand total of three days. It was nice and I miss it. Especially in the post-holiday period when a lot of people are realizing that they hate their spouse/former spouse/current custody arrangement and are ready to change that. And worse, the sudden influx of people who "got into a tiny fight at Christmas, it wasn't that serious, really, and anyway I need someone to represent me tomorrow or there'll be a restraining order against me!" Here's a handy-dandy list of ways to keep yourself from talking to your--or indeed, any--attorney.

--Demand an attorney with less than 24 hours' notice. I'll hang up even faster if you mention that you have no money, or whine that no one's willing to hear your side of the story.

--Call asking questions that were answered in detail and at length in the letter we sent you before Christmas.

--Call every day leading up to your attorney's meeting with the Judge asking if we're sure you don't need to be there, is anything major going to be decided, should you show up just in case...

--Demand immediate visitation with your precious children, then flee downstate in a huff when visitation is not granted on your specific terms and at times convenient to you, and refuse to communicate with Family Services at all. You're definitely not getting any visitation now, you twit.

--Whine that you've already paid soooooooo muuuuuuch money, why does the office keep charging for services?

I'm trying to find good in the world (New Red Dwarf! New church that Yeats and I have found to attend that we both like! Ordination audiobook recording to commence shortly!), but it's grey and cold, and I can barely look at social media because politics makes me literally ill, and I'm dreaming about nuclear apocalypse again. I spent ten years convincing myself that was an irrational fear, and now...I don't know. I don't know what's going to happen, and I'm scared.

Reading Log: A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet; Forevermore by Kristen Callihan; Babylon's Ashes by James S.A. Corey; A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray; H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald; Burning Paradise by Robert Charles Wilson
This is just to say, I'm here.
So after nigh-on months of stagnation writing-wise, a prompt on the Dragon Age kinkmeme spurred me into action. Yeats will affirm that I spent most of the day on the sofa with adjacent cats, writing, and just posted this. The prompt was that post-game, members of the Inquisition attend a play about themselves, in the style of the "Avatar: the Last Airbender" episode "The Ember Island Players".

It was fun to write, and I REGRET NOTHING! Also, I love feedback? Just in case anyone feels like leaving any?

Reading Log: Wicked As They Come by Delilah Dawson; Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson; The Year of Reading Dangerously by Andy Miller; The Mirk and Midnight Hour by Jane Nickerson; The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn; A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd; The Just City by [livejournal.com profile] papersky
Argh argh argh argh. Cut for detailed argh )

Think of calm, comforting things. The awesome ARC I am currently reading. The wedding Yeats and I attended last weekend. Hector purring with his chin on my knee. The Orioles in first place. The cupcake waiting for me once I make these calls.

Reading Log: Half a King by Joe Abercrombie; Steles of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear; The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey; Gilded Lily by Delphine Dryden; Soul of Fire by Laura Gilman; Blood Red by Mercedes Lackey; Take Me On by Katie McGarry; The Forever Watch by David Ramirez; The Memory Garden by Mary Rickert; Landline by Rainbow Rowell
There are exciting doings transpiring at Casa Yeats-Grey! Remember how I mentioned a while back that Yeats is writing a fantasy trilogy, and was making plans to send out query letters to agents and such? After many query letters, and some very encouraging (but ultimately frustrating) rejections, someone has expressed interest! It is, according to Yeats, a small publisher who's looking to get behind a new author and fantasy series in the Martin/Abercrombie/Rothfuss vein. This gentleman has read Yeats' revised drafts of Book One and Two and an outline of the entire trilogy, has spoken of them in glowing terms, and has been in touch with Yeats discussing things like projected publication dates and schedules, a copyediting timetable, and what sort of marketing (this being, as I said, a small publisher without the PR machines of big places like Daw and Tor) could be arranged to promote the book/series.

Now comes a question for you, o Internet, and I would really, really appreciate your thoughts and knowledge on the matter. Yeats wants these books to sell. He wants them to be popular. He's conscious of how awesome it is to get published, period, but his goal is to be able to write for a living--if not to flat-out quit his day job, perhaps merely to teach part-time (I of course am willing to keep working for Aveline and let him be a writerly house-husband, but this is his dream), and to do that, the books need to be in stores and visible on Amazon and Goodreads and the like. He is wondering whether it would be worthwhile to let this small publisher have the trilogy and do his best for it, or to continue shopping around for an agent or a chance with one of the big names, in the hope that it would make it big. I know that there are authors out there who started with a small publisher, or self-pub, and were later picked up by the larger market and gained a bigger audience. And branching off from that, he wonders if it would somehow hurt the series if his initial stories didn't reach a large audience. He has two ancillary series and a possible prequel novel already nascent, and given the importance in fantasy series of reading things in order and knowing the backstory, he's concerned about the aforementioned popularity if the first three books aren't readily available.

In short, does publishing with a small press help or hinder the future potential of this sort of worldbuilding, potentially long-running fantasy series?

Advice, clues, tips, and coded messages leading to the Secret Published Writer Cabal Club are welcome. I thank you, and Yeats thanks you.
This came about due to [livejournal.com profile] oxoniensis' latest Porn Battle, as well as my very definite fondness for naked Dyson, witty Kenzi, and affectionate Bo. *grins* It got too long for comment-fic, so I've posted it here. I highly recommend the entire Battle, LJ and DW, for good, hot writing all around. Smut under the cut, never say I didn't warn you. Needs Looking After )
I'm currently reading A Hat Full of Sky, by Terry Pratchett. Anyone who has never read Terry Pratchett, go read him now. Now, I say! Fantasy by way of Monty Python, making fun of all the usual fantasy cliches, and with some truly unforgettable characters. "A Hat Full of Sky" has the Nac Mac Feegle (the Wee Free Men), also known as pictsies. Pictsies are small people who are red-haired, mostly blue due to woad tattoos, and fight all the time. And talk in a Scottish brogue that the characters from Trainspotting would have trouble with. Utterly hilarious.

I've been reading [livejournal.com profile] celli's "Conversations with Fictional People" dialogues and giggling hysterically. So *that's* why I can't write plausible Weiss or Lex to save my life--they're tormenting her! The only fictional character who talks to me on a regular basis is Sark, and that's only to offer to assassinate annoying library patrons. Which brightens my day a bit, but doesn't inspire fic.

And speaking of which, here is the fic I threatened you with last night, an Alias/Kill Bill crossover. I've only seen part one, so if anything is contradictory to the complete film, blame it on my ignorance. Just don't send the Bride after me?
Loyalties )
You know that urban legend that all the crazy people come out around a full moon and make your life miserable? It's not an urban legend, I'm here to tell you. Today at my library, we had:

1)--A woman with 666 written on her forehead in ink, who spent most of the day laying out her tarot cards in the cafe while crooning to a small baby doll she carried in her arms.

2)--The girl who couldn't remember where she'd lived six months ago, or why she had a CD checked out in her name (and never returned).

3)--The woman who almost hyperventilated when I couldn't find her reserved copy of "The Da Vinci Code". When I explained that the book was no longer reserved for her because she'd taken more than a week to claim it, she insisted that it was because "her brother was driving too fast, and wouldn't stop at the library". When she left, my supervisor mentioned that her brother is one of the invisible kind. The ones people have loud conversations with on street corners.

And don't get me started on Smelly Bearded Man, or the Dancing Queen, or the Military Gay Duo. Anyone who thinks librarians lead quiet, peaceful lives has never actually been to a library.

Of course, I got to stop by my parents' for dinner, pet the cat, tease my dad, and then walk to Borders on a glorious summer evening for a mocha. So it was a good day after all. Any day with coffee in it is good.

Am polishing up a small fic, an Alias/Kill Bill pt 1 crossover which I'll likely post tomorrow. I still have this unnerving feeling that O-Ren and Gogo don't approve of being ficced.

Thanks to everyone who's left comments! Knowing that one is being read is a heady feeling. *grins and dances off to edit*
Okay, here's my day.

At my library, we were first visited by a horde of small day camp children, all of whom were checking out upwards of 20 books, half of whom had their library cards, and none of whom could carry a plastic bag without shredding it. Then came the fellow who informed us that charging fifteen cents per color copy is profiting some cruel copier-maker who no doubt enslaves women and children in his copier sweatshops. Also, that our coffee machine is contributing to the downfall of society. Then we learned (from the morning radio news, not from our boss) that the funding that we're counting on so we can make plans for a new, larger building may not come through. Grrrrrr.

Then I talk to one of my dearest friends and find out that instead of coming back and finishing her last semester of college (double major), she feels like she wants to stay in her small town and open a coffee shop. This from someone whom I love and adore, but who has never been known to get up before noon, has *no* experience running a business, and whose studies have been in psychology and history. And she sounds determined. Gah.

And finally, as I was rewatching "So It Begins" (Alias S1 ep2), a plotbunny bit. A large one, with fangs. Fortunately, writing fic works out some rage. So, please feedback! Five 'Happy' Endings That Never Were )
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