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I ran so far away

On Sunday, matociquala and I ran* the Galveston Half Marathon. The astute reader may note that I am still alive. This comes as a surprise to us all.

We appear to be doing it again next year.

* I ran 3/4ths of it, in intervals, because I'm still taking it easy on my IT bands.


I am, I swear. I even survived Run For Your Lives with matociquala on Saturday, despite it being 28 degrees (F) out, and me having a raging sinus infection.

I will have News soon, on both the writing and personal fronts, but for now I am biding my time and VagueBooking. I was going to haul out the first lines meme tonight, but I am le tired, and must open a bookstore in the morning.

Another Readercon survived

Readercon was lovely, as usual. I read from The Poison Court and no one threw produce at me. I listened to other people read things. I drank an intemperate number of cocktails on Saturday night and got five hours of sleep before my 9:00 A.M. panel Sunday morning. I am forever grateful for Neil Clarke for being present and awake and talking about publishing while all I could manage was to sit very still and pray the room didn't capsize. Eventually the hotel stopped its ominous sway and I had breakfast and made it to my panels, where I hope I managed some small degree of coherence. After the last panel, a group of us adjourned to see Pacific Rim, which was...entertaining. The next day we returned to Boston for still more cocktails and dancing.

Today I'm slumped on matociquala's couch until it's time to go to airport, staring at the internet and wondering if I should try to write a synopsis for Poison Court yet.

Recorded for posterity, and nightmare fuel

stillsostrange: I get to have a pelvic ultrasound.
matociquala: Eeee. Why?
stillsostrange: My ob/gyn likes to make sure one's uterus is not oddly shaped, oddly sized, or full of bees before she does IUDs.
matociquala: I suppose that makes sense. If it's bees... Awesome?
stillsostrange: Better bees than daddy long-legs*.
matociquala: That's a Cure song.

* Last time I went climbing outside, one of my friends disturbed a daddy long-legs nest while looking for a toehold. They came boiling out of the rock, down the cliff, and tried to swarm our bags. At least it was a toehold and not a handhold...

Run, run, her kiss is a vampire grin

Behold, a post!

Valkyrie Report:

Thursday - An hour at the gym, mostly doing bodyweight and core exercises. My trainer gives me homework now.
Friday - A half day at the dayjob, but mostly a rest day.
Saturday - Bouldering, 3 miles walk/running. A brief dancing interlude that night.
Sunday - 8 hours dayjob, dancing.
Monday - Yoga, climbing. I cleanly sent a 5.10 that I'd struggled up before Christmas.
Tuesday - Gym. Pull-ups and push-ups and deadlifts, oh my. My deadlifts are now in the triple digits, an increase of at least 20 lbs since I started training. I've lost 20 lbs on my pull-up assist, too. Muscles move in my arms when I comb my hair*.
Wednesday - Running. ~1.9 miles in 21:30. Wind chill was 23, and I only survived because of my fuzzy bear hat with ear flaps. So far my best time is a mile in 11:30. Which is definitely an improvement, but only a small one.

I'm considering running a half marathon with matociquala in March. A week after Warrior Dash. I can totally do that, right? It will make my trainer sad, since I'd probably slack off on weights, but if I keep up my protein intake I probably won't lose any muscle.

Having run, I am now camped out at a coffee shop**, where I will poke dejectedly at several projects and try to find some traction on one of them.

I have completely lost track, so I'm going to say that I'm now 65 miles out of Hobbiton, and go from there.

* I need to take pictures.

** They play the best music, but every time Joy Division comes on, I want to shove tables out of the way and start dancing. I'm not sure they'd approve.

"Dream a little bigger, darling."

And now a brief excerpt from writer-chat. Names redacted to protect the guilty and avoid spoilers:

Writer X: "If this write-ahead scene is correct, I am going to defeat the high fantasy threat in this high fantasy book by shooting it with a lot of bullets."

Writer Y: "That could work."

Writer X: "It'll totally work."

"I'm an asshole, though, for doing it."

Writer Z: "Better bullets than fuzzy colored lights."

Writer X: "This is true."

"Or the power of love."

Writer Y: "Just what I was going to say."

This week's Valkyrie Report is truncated due to illness.

Friday: Dayjob.
Saturday: Kayaking and surprise dayjob shift.
Sunday: Dayjob.
Monday: Yoga & climbing.
Tuesday: Hour with trainer.
Wednesday: sick
Thursday: sick
Friday: sick

Everything else this week has been truncated by illness as well. I had just started coloring my last sketch, but now I would rather not sneeze on it. All I've done for the past two days is lie in bed and read The Crown of Embers. And poke the internet, waiting for it to grow something interesting.
Another con survived, and this time without "Hotel California."

ArmadilloCon is over, and I had a lovely time. I missed the waterfall in the lobby on Friday, but I was out for dinner and drinks with the Bat City Novelocracy at the time, so it wasn't as disappointing as it might have been. My reading went well, I gave away two ARCs of A Fantasy Medley 2, and my panels were smart, fun, and contained no slut-shaming at all*. The writing workshop also went smoothly. We even got to blindfold the workshop students and do terrible things to them.

And did I mention I have ARCs for A Fantasy Medley 2? I drew names out of a bowl at the reading, so I should probably use a slightly more sophisticated system of placing the next two. Suggestions?

* Sadly, I'm told that wasn't the case in other panels. Panels, I am disappoint.

Not dead yet

My latest New England adventure is winding down. I parted ways with matociquala at the T station, and now I'm safely holed up in an airport hotel. Beacon Hill is as gorgeous as it was the last time I was here, and I'm stuffed to the gills with dumplings and scallion pancakes and nasi lemak. The signing at Pandemonium was a lot of fun, if slightly blurry from all the pre-signing cocktails we consumed at Drink.

Providence was also as lovely as last time, and this time we found the right yellow house on Benefit Street. So of course my camera seems to have devoured those photos.

Where the viaduct looms like a bird of doom

Chapter 3 of Kingdoms is now up on my website. And keep an eye on the Necromancer blog, as I hope to have another character study posted before the release date.

3. Throne of the Crescent Moon - Saladin Ahmed

I actually read this last year, but forgot to add it to the book list. Ghouls! Crotchety ghoul hunters! Lion girls! Creepy jackal spirits! Cardamom tea! I do not read enough books with cardamom tea.

4. Infidel - Kameron Hurley

I continue to love the Bel Dame Apocrypha, brutal and bittersweet and veined with the impossible hope of redemption. My only nit with this book is Sweet Holy Mother of Fishes, the word rep! I cannot not see it, and it burns us, precious.

And now I should have lunch and put on non-yardwork clothing, for tonight I'm crashing jmeadows' signing, with cupcakes.
Today was not as productive as I might have liked in wordcount, but I did also manage to take my car to the shop (cracked ignition coil), buy jmeadows' brand new book, meet commodorified & co. for coffee and mutually assured corgi destruction, and spend some time chatting with a strange and tiny new cat in my driveway.

Dreams of Shreds & Tatters

70105 / 80000 words. 88% done!

I have five chapters left to revise from the old-old file, or around 13,000 terrible awful nogood words. I'm not sure what that will become in new words. On the one hand, the old stuff was overwritten and repetitive sentence-wise, so things will shrink. On the other hand, I'm adding more useful bits in this draft, and have two new plot points I want to squeeze in. And the original denouement was atrocious, and needs to become completely different. I would guess the final product will turn into 85k, but I've been wrong before.

Tomorrow I have dayjobbery and climbing, but Thursday through Saturday shall be a bookmarch of epic proportions.

Also, Publishers Weekly has nice things to say about Kingdoms.

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