The Now Familiar Feeling of Walking On Glass

I will be moving tomorrow.  I've written a list of last-minute things which need doing, but even with that I feel a little dazed and detached from it all.  I think I am immune to caffeine now...  There are still some crucial aspects to our house which need finishing before we can procure a certificate of occupancy, and those things aren't scheduled to happen until next week, so for a few days Abigail will be returning the favour and bunking us.  Because of that, and because I am not sure of the internet status at our new home, I have decided to post a handful of snippets early.  It gives me something pleasant to do, and you something sensational to read.
With the now familiar feeling of walking on glass, Raymond remarked passively, “I only saw him that one moment, but I thought you kept him well in hand.”

I wonder that he chose to come out at all. Beside him, Raymond was dimly aware of the little iron gate swinging toward his arm and he put out his hand, mechanically, to stay it. He is not wanted and would not be missed. He is not Talldogs. He need not have come.

Avery said softly, “Don’t lie. Everyone knows girls are dying to talk punt-horses. I have a very good story about one particular river-pony and a slight misunderstanding with a Nonpareil. The pony was just a common farm teaser, you see.”

Jasper de Lacey was in the armchair, sitting it as if it were a throne, and he was watching me steadfastly as I watched him—for the instant I entered the room I took in all its large particulars as one takes them in a dream: my gaze did not leave my employer from the outset.

I chuffed, amused. "My dear Raymond, you know I do not remember monetary transactions."

"Well, not quite all," the sleepy Devil purred. "I am at the top: I have no one to envy. The other points—you could make a case for them."
"An imperfect devil, then," she sneered.
He looked away, his mouth twitching. "I know. A craftsman's integrity is a thing of the past."

Her hand flashed out, one finger yelling with the light of a golden ring. “No, let you be quiet,” she snapped impatiently, and turned at once upon the surgeon again. “Let me be level with you,” she said in the tone of one shoving her heel across a slug. “Do you or do you not wish to keep your precious Commander inside his precious skin?”

"It was not her womb which bore me, nor her breast which nursed me, but she has been ever a mother to me. And I love her," he turned from the casing, eyes smouldering and defiant in his face, "as ever Goddgofang or Badger or Bruin have loved her."

She dropped her hands soundlessly onto the arms of the chair and pushed herself upright, coming to her feet. She was not tall, but she looked down on him with a crushing height, almost as if she enjoyed herself. “On a scale of one to ten,” she murmured honeyily, “how much more will you hate me for this?”

Let it be quick. Merciful God, let it be quick.

Plenilune // Gingerune // Adamantine

i get the impression that everyone is now stalking my plenilune pinterest board
Due to life, I have been unable to make another video for you.  That being said, I do want to address some of the questions you asked in my last video post
are plenilune, gingerune, and adamantine related?
Short answer: yes.  The long answer ought to be similarly uncomplicated, but somehow it never works out that way when I try to explain.  In brief, the three stories are separate plots linked only by one or two characters who happen to make cameo appearances in the other novels.  One character manages to make an appearance in all three; two other characters are only mentioned or seen briefly in the other's novel.  You can see how the explanation begins to grow confusing.  I like to think I'm doing rather well... 
A lot of people ask me what happened to this novel, as I was working on it so well this time last year.  (Actually, I was freaking out and going to Scotland this time last year.  Damnation.  That was a year ago?)  There is nothing wrong with Gingerune.  On the contrary, I'm very pleased with the plot.  But because Plenilune has exploded into so many satellite novels, I feel compelled to follow the Plenilunar system while the motions of the heavenly bodies are yet young in my sky.  I will return to Gingerune when the time is right.  I also have a lot of varying aspects to study and research for Gingerune, so I am in no hurry. 
People who know me from my pre-Penslayer days ask me what happened to Adamantine.  Whenever I answer this question, I am invariably met with passive-aggressive to aggressive disagreement, which has made me reticent to bring up the topic.  The fact of the matter is, Adamantine was my first serious novel.  Not my first full-Jenny-length novel, but my first serious novel which I could entertain the thought of publishing.  However, looking back across several novels now, I can easily see so many aspects of Adamantine which want improvement that at this point I don't believe I can simply patch it up through revision and editing.  It needs rewriting.  And about this point in the conversation is when I am met with disagreement.  I am also in no hurry to begin the rewrite, since I am knee-deep in my Plenilunar novels, so this is not a disagreement which has been stoked to hammers and tongs.  But I like to think that I know what is best for the story, and for the story I feel a total rewrite would be best.  Some time when I am a billion years old, look for a release announcement here on The Penslayer for Adamantine.  Meanwhile I keep an open mind (by dint of my mind being a complete untutored wash of latent energy) and occasionally bits and pieces of the rewrite come washing up to shore. 
Who needs no introduction.  I have been thoroughly impressed and encouraged by the enthusiasm of my advance readers and by everyone else who has been waiting for this novel seemingly forever.  I know it has been a long time, but one thing I have learned along the way is that I love how confident I feel in this novel, and I want to take all the time I need to make sure I can feel this confident for each one of my novels when I go to release them.  I want to do my best and give you my best.  It might take a lot of time, but you will thank me in the end.


life doesn't get simpler - that's just a fact

Compared to other people's lives, my life is pretty simple.  For me, however, it's a bit and a half to handle, not least because I don't handle it well.  One always seems to have a billion and one things to do, and one can never seem to finish half of them, let alone get to the other half at all.  There are a couple of points, however, which I have picked up that do help when one is tackling life.
do eat breakfast
Yes, everyone says it.  Yes, everyone is right.  For the better part of forever I didn't do the breakfast thing on a regular basis.  I'm just lazy, and once I get going, I don't want to stop to make myself food.  So breakfast (and I) would suffer.  Now?  Well, now I have a baby to feed as well, and the baby is teaching me a lot about staying on schedule and taking care of myself.  As soon as I get up, it's into the kitchen (which I have to pass through to get to my computer), straight to the oatmeal and the milk.  While the oatmeal is heating, I'll make myself a cup of coffee (French press kept conveniently on the counter).  Usually, by the time I am done scarfing my oatmeal, the coffee is through brewing and I've got myself a nice cup to drink while I peruse the interwebs.
there is such a thing as zen
I don't know about you, but I have a nagging, emotional discomfort if I have not put myself together.  While I'm writing this, I have a cat-eye going, but no curled or mascara'd eyelashes, and it's kind of annoying.  I need to fix that, finish my face, and yank a brush through my hair.  Then I know I am ready for the day.  This is an important thing to do.

I have not finished my face, but I have cleaned my desk.  My two favourite friends are a bottle of 409 and a roll of paper towels.  When I move, I'm going to get myself a huge jug of the stuff and distribute it in little spray bottles strategically throughout the house.  Because I'm lazy, and if I have to go get the 409, it won't happen: if the cleaner is on hand, I'm going to have a polished desk, a clean kitchen counter, and a vanity that isn't powdered in loose eyeshadow with remarkably little inconvenience to myself.  Zen is real.  Do what you must to cheat your inner couch-potato to achieve a tidy life!
make a list, prioritize, and stick to it
Have a billion things to do, it seems like you're always trying to do them all at once, and nothing ever gets done?  You can't do everything all at once, no matter how important everything seems to be.  If you try to pack too much into a day, and do everything, always jumping from one task to the next without ever accomplishing anything, you are in for a world of frustration.

Make a master list.  I use a monthly calendar and put everything on that calender.  (Baby hormones literally make me forget things, so I must write things down.  It's a life-saver.)  This is my big list of "all the stuff that has to get done" which you guys keep hearing about.  Life is real, people.

Make daily lists.  Based off of your master list, write out a list of things you can do in a day.  Inasmuch as you can, do those things.  Don't add to them, try not to subtract from them.  Just do them. 

You can also make weekly lists, such as
MONDAY: find the counter area around the sink again
TUESDAY: work on Plenilune line-edits
WEDNESDAY: sit and stare at Talldogs manuscript, pretending to write
THURSDAY: plan wedding
FRIDAY: murder wife
SATURDAY: frame Guilder for it

Very few things are as much of an emergency as you might think.  The older you get, the more responsibility you are going to have, and if you don't front fate's blows with a steady attitude, they are going to send you spinning.  Things like a plumbing fiasco on a job we thought we had closed two months ago, a total lack of clean underwear in any land under heaven, and the existence and attributes of supper, are big deals.  These things need to be taken care of. Other things are allowed to wait.

Finish the job.  Even if a bunch of things come at you, sporting relatively equal value, you cannot freak out with each new thing and leave off whatever you were doing, leaving the last task undone.  If you want to NOT get stuff done, this is the perfect method to employ.  Got emails to reply to?  Finish them.  Got a block of time marked out in which to revise a story?  Go to the end of the time limit.  Whatever you do, finish the job.

Stay healthy.  I don't mean just exercise and drinking water and juice.  (Juice is good.  Good sugars.)  I mean, say, an example from my own life: I spent about thirty minutes on Pinterest just browsing for inspiration.  I haven't really wanted to write, much less had anything to write about.  With a little visual stimulation, I now feel like pulling out Talldogs and typing away again. 

but, you know, don't overdo it, because you do have to get off Pinterest eventually and go do the work

Make it a habit.  Unless you are already like this, this sort of regularity will take time to implement.  Give yourself a month at minimum to make a habit of eating breakfast consistently, making to-do lists, accomplishing the items on the lists, staying inspired and productive.  Do a bad job?  Try again tomorrow, with a little more oomph if you must.  Sometimes you just have to push yourself a little harder, but the pushing isn't going to get you anywhere if you don't have a road-map.  Make sure you have both.  It's totally worth it.
good luck!

Half Baked

not surprisingly, i have the ill

I do not think it is a very bad ill, but there are flutterings in my throat and sneezings in my nose, and I am definitely in no condition to accept an invitation from the Coles.  One of my cats is also a little under the weather, so since my husband has to work (like anyone would and should), it is up to my most skittish feline to take care of the sick stay-at-homes.  Poor 'Quila.  He had the perfect expression of a teenager who has been shoved off with more responsibility than usual when we informed him.

a new little blog debut

The real purpose of this post is to inform you of a new blog opening up on the block.  Anne-girl of Scribblings of My Pen & Tappings of My Keyboard will be starting up a new blog venture on September 1st. 
HALF BAKED is a blog dedicated to the art of writing and exploring what goes into a solid story. The blog operates on the principal that most stories are like cake, delicious and scrumptious and all the other cake words that are out there. But just like cake, a story can come out gooey and shaky in the middle, half baked. This blog is meant to help turn awesome ideas into solid, fully baked novels. Stop by on September 1st to join in the release party. There will be contests and a giveaway and of course virtual cake. 
Anne-girl has been following the progress of Plenilune for some time, and she posed a question about the magic of my novels in an email a few weeks ago.  I highly recommend reading her post with my answer and her critique.  Meanwhile, mark September 1st on your calendars for the launch of her new writing blog, Half Baked.

Jester-Eyed & Mocking

it is august and i am ready for autumn
I seem to be less of a presence here on Blogger now that I am so busy with...everything.  Moving, self-publishing, babying.  When my mind is not totally shattered by stuff that has to be done, I write a little.  Talldogs is at 90,496 words (for whatever that is worth), and my line-edits for Plenilune are over halfway completed. 

info-dump done, now for some snippets

Watching him, Raymond noticed for the first time that the crown of the man’s head was beginning to thin like the flanks of an old toy buckskin horse.

The tarot card of the conversation flashed up brilliantly in the morning light, jester-eyed and mocking...

Raymond watched her sob as she had learned to sob: wretchedly, soundlessly, her body shaking. Something in his chest felt heavy and dead. “Go to the washroom and wash your face,” he said when a hollow silence had glanced from face to face between them for some time, “and then come down to supper.”

Avery flashed him a quick smile, half apologetic, half in angry earnest. “I learned that trick, oh, long ago. It takes only a moment for a man to wrap a woman around his finger, if he knows his business. I have her under my thumb now."

If they let you into heaven—” he began, fighting the strained thickness in his throat.
She brushed his words aside. “You will be surprised, I know.”

"Sensationalism has always fascinated the vulgar."

"The graves of my people were old among the Lakes," said the Scandinavian, "when the foot of William the Bastard was young upon our thresholds."

"Did you think he was not serious when he said 'Rend the heavens and come down'?" 

Plenilune Cover Reveal Date Announcement

The long-anticipated cover of Plenilune now has a reveal date!  
October 6th
If you would like to participate in the blog-wide cover reveal, and you have not already received an email from me asking as much, please email me at! 
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