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pegkerr July 26 2014, 14:24

Lovely evening and new Soulcollage card

I had a perfectly lovely evening last night with minnehaha K. We took a walk through her neighborhood, admiring the gardens, had a delicious dinner at an Italian trattoria (the scallops were especially exquisite) and then came back to her house and worked on collage. I had already assembled and had with me the elements I wanted to make this card, which has been much on my mind lately.

The Empty Nest - Council Suit
I am the One who is left behind, in pride and grief, when the babies are grown and launched into the world.

I wittered a bit over the card, wondering if I was missing something, and hunted through my various images, looking for something I could put on the little roof overhang on the nest. I also considered the idea of putting a mama duck looking out of the nest hole, and I did have a picture that would fit.

But I wanted the card to encapsulate the mixed feelings I have about it: both pride (the people in the crowd below are both cheering and have their hands up to provide support) and sadness. So I put in the watchful eye (with the teardrop) instead.

The ducks, by the way, are golden-eye ducks. They do that: fling themselves out of the nest, and with luck, they'll land on a bed of soft leaves or into the water.

As I've mentioned, Fiona moves out August 1 and Delia will be leaving for college the last week of August.

This entry was originally posted at http://pegkerr.dreamwidth.org/1709894.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on the post.
cmpriest July 24 2014, 20:39

Eight miles outta Memphis and I got no spare

Here's today's progress on my witchy art-deco horror novel about Lizzie Borden thirty years after her parents' deaths - now featuring ghosts and non-ghosts alike, anti-Catholic conspiracy nuts, supernatural political shenanigans, the mafia, and a Bonus! space-worshiping murder cult hiding behind the KKK:

    Project: Chapelwood
    Deadline: October 1, 2014
    New words written: 6745 (Hot DAMN.)
    Present total word count: 118,093

    Things accomplished in fiction: Draft Zero, ya'll!

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunt with dog; grocery shopping; went to Walgreens to pick up a prescription.

    Other: This is not a personal word-count record, but it's damn close. I think my highest daily output was way the hell back in 2002, and it was over 7k. But this? This is very, very nice. (I always work faster toward the end, as the story picks up speed toward the finale.)

    EXTRA Other: I think this is actually the longest Draft Zero I've ever produced. Previously, it was Boneshaker ... but I think that one was around 115k. Can't remember off the top of my head.

    BONUS Other: Today I also passed 150k words for the year so far. A GOOD WORK DAY, yes. But now? Now I am absolutely BEAT. And I need a DRINK. And also I need to charge up my laptop before it craps out on me.

    [:: vanishes in a poof of wifi ::]

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 151,086
pegkerr July 24 2014, 01:19

Catching people up with Rob's news

It's been a year now since diagnosis (geez). Athena, the head tumor is showing signs of growing back (yet again). We meet with the oncologist August 7 after several days of scans to learn the next step.

I have scheduled a request on our planner: would anyone be willing to help spare my wrenched back and help with some yardwork?

CaringBridge post here.

This entry was originally posted at http://pegkerr.dreamwidth.org/1709574.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on the post.
cmpriest July 23 2014, 22:46

I'd walk away like a movie star

Here's today's progress on my witchy art-deco horror novel about Lizzie Borden thirty years after her parents' deaths - now featuring ghosts and non-ghosts alike, anti-Catholic conspiracy nuts, supernatural political shenanigans, the mafia, and a Bonus! space-worshiping murder cult hiding behind the KKK:

    Project: Chapelwood
    Deadline: October 1, 2014
    New words written: 3191 (good)
    Present total word count: 111,348

    Things accomplished in fiction: Part one of a two-part climax. That's all you need to know. MWOOHAHAHAHA.

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunt with dog; several rounds of laundry, including bedding; various assorted bits of housework; Writer Business emails and so forth. Really, I'm just trying to power through and get to the end of this thing before the week's out.

    Other: I suppose it goes without saying that this draft is going to run longer than 110,000 words. I'm guessing it'll be more like 115,000 , so I'm adjusting the bar accordingly.

    Critter-Related Other: Today I discovered a new finch nest! Or rather...it's not half so new as I thought, because it has at least one half-grown fluffy baby bird in it (two, I think - but I'm not sure). And this nest is right under the kitchen window, sitting in the holly shrub just a couple of feet from where I wash dishes. I have no earthly idea how I'm only just now noticing it, but it's very cute and I'm glad that the little one(s) seem(s) to be doing well. No pictures, alas. I can't snap one without disturbing them, and I'm not willing to do that.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 144,341
cmpriest July 22 2014, 23:07

Get a little bit suburban and go crazy

Here's today's progress on my witchy art-deco horror novel about Lizzie Borden thirty years after her parents' deaths - now featuring ghosts and non-ghosts alike, anti-Catholic conspiracy nuts, supernatural political shenanigans, the mafia, and a Bonus! space-worshiping murder cult hiding behind the KKK:

    Project: Chapelwood
    Deadline: October 1, 2014
    New words written: 3459 (good)
    Present total word count: 108,057

    Things accomplished in fiction: Well, some of us have escaped the castle. Sort of.

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunt with dog; visit from the pest-control guys that took all day; found cool old thing buried in the yard; some business email-type-stuff.

    Pest Control Other: So this is apparently a banner year for "Norway Rats." The whole neighborhood seems overrun with them, and Mr. Stubbs is hard-pressed to keep up with them. Mind you, I have zero interest in trapping/poisoning them; I just don't want them trying to chew their way through my walls. Wall-chewing violates the spirit of our original agreement, to wit: "You stay out of the house, and I'll pretend you don't exist." So today we had a team of pest-control folks seal out our cellar/crawlspace (to the best of human ability), and treat the attic with a special insulation that will persuade them (and their squirrelly friends) to hang out elsewhere. Or so it is to be hoped.*

    Four-Footed Other: Greyson was bereft because I wouldn't let him go hang out with the pest-control guys while they were working, so we had to temporarily deploy the baby gate. It's a tiny baby gate; he could step over it without even stretching his legs. But bless his heart, he's almost comically respectful of boundaries. And later on, the guys played chase with him in the yard, so all was forgiven.

    Assorted Other: While wandering the house's exterior and getting general updates on the "exclusion" treatment ... I spotted something tangled in the roots of a tree. This something was a 2-oz. bottle with a glass rod (and its rubber stopper) stuck inside. The maker's mark on the bottom suggests that it was produced by the Obear-Nestor Glass Company - perhaps as early as 1915 or 1920.** It very likely held medicine (like iodine), or perfume.

    (Small coffee mug for scale.)

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 141,150

* I will only trap them as a matter of last resort, but I won't poison them, period. There are too many other things that feed on them - not least of all Mr. Stubbs and Miss Kitty, some foxes, hawks, snakes, and so forth. Also, I don't want dead rats in the walls any more than I want live rats in the walls. So there's that.
** For the new readers: Our house was built sometime between 1895-1904. No, we don't know any more precisely than that. Thanks, southern record-keeping [:: eyeroll ::].

xnikki118x posted to craftgrrl July 22 2014, 19:41

help find supplies online

When I was little my godmother made me this awesome Easter basket that I loved. (It was kind of like this.) She's gotten into crafting again and crochets a lot, so I told her she should make those baskets again. She said she used to use loopy chenille and buy it by the yard but she hasn't seen it in craft stores like that for a long time, she's only seen it sold in bags in very limited colors. Does anyone know where I can buy loopy chenille online by the yard? The sites I normally buy ribbon and tulle from don't seem to carry it, and I found some somewhere else, but they only had black, white, or brown. I'm looking specifically for yellow and purple or lavender.
grrm July 21 2014, 21:47

Master Class

For those of you who were unable to travel to Switzerland for NIFFF, Livestream has uploaded my "Master Class" interview and Q&A.

NIFFF was great fun, all in all, though they kept me so busy that I was only able to see one film of the ninety-plus shown at the festival.  Most of the interviews covered the same old ground... but the masterclass got into some areas a bit more substantially, and you may find it interesting.

I had fun doing it, anyway.

If you would like to check it out, go to:



cmpriest July 21 2014, 21:07

They tell me I was born there, but I really don't remember

Here's recent progress on my witchy art-deco horror novel about Lizzie Borden thirty years after her parents' deaths - now featuring ghosts and non-ghosts alike, anti-Catholic conspiracy nuts, supernatural political shenanigans, the mafia, and a Bonus! space-worshiping murder cult hiding behind the KKK:

    Project: Chapelwood
    Deadline: October 1, 2014
    New words written: 3040 (pretty good)
    Present total word count: 104,598

    Things accomplished in fiction: This castle sucks ass, y'all.

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunts with dog; dog play-date over at a friend/neighbor's place; housework; yardwork; naps.

    Yardwork Other: I got the new growth from those old roses lifted off the ground and affixed to trellises, yay! I also edged most of the yard with the trimmer, and did some weeding. Weeding is never glamorous, but I do love the finished result.

    (The middle rose is heavily shaded by the dogwood in the front yard. Thus it hasn't quite matched the progress of the other two. Still, it's going strong! Those are 5-ft. trellises, for scale. [Minus the "feet" planted in the ground.])

    Four-footed Other: Greyson's play-date with the wildly misnamed "Cujo" went well, except for how he totally got put in his place by an 18-year-old kitty who was NOT HAVING ANY OF HIS CRAP. Or his friendship. I keep telling him he'd have more feline company if he could keep his cool upon meeting them, but, yanno. He's still young and enthusiastic, and big and clumsy. AND FULL OF LOVE, I assure you - but it's hard to assure a 5-pound geriatric kitty of any such thing.

    Other than that (well deserved, frankly) cat paw upside the nose, he and The Kooj (as I've come to think of him) had a most excellent time. They received nibbles of cinnamon rolls, and got to root around under an old garage. For dog funsies :)

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 137,991
grrm July 21 2014, 16:43

Comicon Is Coming

It seems like I just got back from France and Switzerland... maybe because I just did... and now San Diego Comicon is on top of us.

I'll be there for the whole weekend, doing promotion for HBO, Bantam Spectra, and my various other publishers.  Flying in Wednesday, departing on the following Monday, so if you're going to comicon, you should have plenty of chances to see me, hear me, and get me to scrawl illegibly on your book, graphic novel, Blu-Rays, or body parts.

My schedule:

Wednesday evening, 6pm to 7pm, I will be doing a signing at the AVATAR PRESS booth, autographing copies of the SKIN TRADE graphic novel and IN THE HOUSE OF THE WORM comic.  (Only those, please.  There will be other places and times to get my other stuff signined).

Thursday, 2:30 to 3:30, I will be appearing in the main autograph area (the Sails) at Table 3, with DONATO GIANCOLA.  The two of us will be signing copies of the 2015 Ice & Fire calendar, which will be making its debut at the convention.

Thursday, 4:00 to 5:00 pm, you can catch me in the Indigo Room, where I'll be joining William Christensen of Avatar to talk about THE SKIN TRADE and IN THE HOUSE OF THE WORM.  (No signing here, this is just a talk).

Friday, we have the GAME OF THRONES panel in Hall H.  I'll be there, with showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss and various members of our cast.  This year CRAIG FERGUSON will be moderating.  Hall H seats 7,000 people... but of course 150,000 people attend comicon, so if you want to see the panel, best get in line... ah... now.  Afterward I will join the cast for interviews and a poster signing and more interviews.

Saturday, 11:00 am to 12 noon, I return to the Sails for a Random House autograph session.  This time I will be at Table 7.  This is the time and place to get your books signed.  Copies will be on sale in the autograph area, if you don't want to drag your old ones to San Diego.

Saturday, 4:15 pm to 5:15 pm, I'll be in Room 6A for a panel on epic fantasy, part of an all-star lineup of panelists with Patrick Rothfuss, Joe Abercrombie, and others.

Sunday, 12:30 to 1:30, back to the floor for another signing.  This time I will be signing copies of the HEDGE KNIGHT and SWORN SWORD graphic novels at the ComiXology booth, on behalf of Jet City Comics.

Sunday, 2:00pm to 4:00pm, I will be judging a costume contest sponsored by Courtyard Marriott.

Monday I go home.

Given the sheer numbers of people in San Diego for comicon, I regret to say that I sign autographs ONLY at the designated signings.  There are, you will note, five of them, which means I'll be scrawling my name for five hours at various points through the weekend.  That's about all I can manage.  So if you should happen to see me walking the floor, riding a pedicab through the GasLamp, having a drink or eating my dinner, feel free to smile or wave or say hi, but PLEASE do not ask me to sign anything.  I can only do so much, and I do need some time just to enjoy the con and chill with friends.


See you in San Diego.
cmpriest July 19 2014, 20:03

Flame colored paradise for you darling

I'm back!

Yes, I was gone for a week - I had company in town, an old friend who generally prefers that I not link her or post pictures of her, for privacy reasons. So, no pictures! No links! Just trust me that she's awesome, and we had a lovely time. We goofed off quite a lot, did a bit of yardwork for funsies, went shopping, got pedicures, drank fruity summer beverages on the patio, and lunched all over town.

But now she's gone home, and that means I must get back to work.

Oh, I definitely got some work done while she was here, yes - but it was all administrative-type stuff. Writer Business, if you will. (And plenty of it.) But answering emails re: convention appearances, fielding publicity requests, going back-and-forth with editors and my agent, and so forth, and so on...do nothing to contribute to Chapelwood's word count, so that's where my attention shall be directed for the forthcoming week.

I need a Draft Zero of this one before I take off for New Mexico on the Tuesday after next, that's the long and short of it. August is therefore dedicated to such diverse elements as the Princess X copyedits, ramp-up for DragonCon, publicity posts/arrangements/whatnot re: Maplecroft's debut, and probably some Jacaranda editorial, too.

Meanwhile, in the margins of those things, I need to get reacquainted with Godbothering - which I'm starting in earnest come September. (After DragonCon, basically.) I only have maybe 50 pages of content on that one (plus general synopsis), and I owe a draft back to Liz this coming January. This is totally doable, even with the other production stuff...but ONLY if I can stick to my schedule.

Sticking to schedules doesn't come naturally to me.
But you do what you've gotta.

* * *

So here's recent progress on my witchy art-deco horror novel about Lizzie Borden thirty years after her parents' deaths - now featuring ghosts and non-ghosts alike, anti-Catholic conspiracy nuts, supernatural political shenanigans, the mafia, and a Bonus! space-worshiping murder cult hiding behind the KKK:

    Project: Chapelwood
    Deadline: October 1, 2014
    New words written: 3306 (pretty good, yay)
    Present total word count: 101,558

    Things accomplished in fiction: Stormed the castle. It was smelly, and very quiet...but things are about to get crazypants.

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunts with dog; writer business including all the things detailed above; friend business including likewise; and it's been so long since I posted, I forget whatever else I might have put here.

    Other: We were visited by a giant leopard moth. He hung out on the front porch like a boss, and I wanted to pet him SO BAD. But I restrained myself.

    Yardwork Other: My friend and I picked up some tall trellises for the old roses out front, as they're really starting to grow like gangbusters - and they seem to need the structure. But it's been pouring down rain off and on (mostly on) since we bought them the other day, so they're still lying on the porch for now, dammit. Oh well.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 134,951
grrm July 19 2014, 17:46

Six Days Left

Only six days remain on my big Prizeo fundraiser on behalf of the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and the Food Depot of Santa Fe.  We've raised some $459,000 as I write, but we're still short of our half-million dollar goal.  So if you have some spare change and/or folding green in your pocket, come help push us over the top with a late surge!


Many of the special incentive prizes have been snapped up... but some remain.

You can still book a brunch with me at San Diego Comicon, a week from Sunday.  (Hand at the Table).

You can still buy my red flame suspenders... yes, the pair I am wearing in the avatar pic above.  (Khaleesi).  They're worn, but they have done good service, and I am sure many of you would look better in 'em than I do.

Also.. some of you may recall that Bantam Spectra changed the cover design of A FEAST FOR CROWS before the book was released, and never used the beautiful Jaime Lannister artwork that Stephen Youll had painted.  But we have some copies of the never-used original covers, and we're offering those as well.   (Stag)


These cover flats have never been used.  A rare collectible, a few of them have turned up on ebay in recent years, sometimes with minimum bids in the thousands of dollars.  And those are unsigned.  Buy one for the wolves, and I'll autograph/ deface it (or not), as you please.  And the money will go to feed the homeless and shelter the wolves... plus buying you more tickets for the grand prize.

The grand prize, of course, remains the same: a trip to Santa Fe from anywhere in the world, a day with me, and a helicopter visit down to Candy Kitchen, New Mexico to see Wild Spirit and visit the wolves.

So join in... and do watch the site closely.  We plan to add a few more last minute incentive prizes on Wednesday, before the fundraiser closes down on Friday.

pegkerr July 19 2014, 04:37


I have been spending too much time by myself.

Back pain reoccurred today--I innocently picked up a towel this morning and was right back at the ow ow ow state I was last weekend (spent 3 days flat on my back from wrenching it while mowing the hill in front of our house.)

Work has been....(deep breath) let's not talk about work.

I've suddenly realized that I'm grieving the incipient empty nest stage which will happen when Fiona moves out August 1 and Delia goes to college at the end of August. I've been too busy dealing with work and the cancer stuff that it's snuck up on me.

Am not cooking because of the Open Arms meals in the freezer. Not eating well or sleeping well either. Have been skipping church.

Have stopped studying French.

My Nook is dying.

The house is really getting to me.

Rob's hours have been cut so much I'm pretty much supporting the family now.

I feel really alone.

I keep trying to go on, like a brave little toaster, but the bone marrow transplant is looming and...yeah.

but the truth is I'm crying almost every day. I'm dreadfully depressed.

Oh, god, did I actually say that? (Will I actually post this?)

My therapist says that ANYONE going through what I'm dealing with would be depressed.

This comes to mind, for some reason.

*takes another deep breath.*

*posts, and picks up stick*

This entry was originally posted at http://pegkerr.dreamwidth.org/1709448.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on the post.
grrm July 17 2014, 23:05

Martians and Women and Rogues, Oh My

Hey, lots of good news on the anthology front while I was traipsing around France and Switzerland these past couple of weeks.

OLD MARS led the way, winning the annual Locus Award as the Best Anthology of 2013:

Old Mars cvr rev

You can check out the details at http://www.locusmag.com/News/2014/06/2014-locus-awards-winners-2/    And congratulations to my pals Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck as well.  As James S.A. Corey, they won the Locus Award for Best SF Novel of the year.  (Would that ABADDON'S GATE was on the Hugo ballot as well).  And of course, congrats to my co-editor Gardner Dozois, and our amazing lineup of writers, who made the anthology the delight that it is.  If you haven't checked out OLD MARS yet, you missed at lot.

((And for what it's worth, OLD VENUS will be even better)).

Next thing, the nominees for this year's World Fantasy Award were announced.  OLD MARS wasn't eligible, being science fiction and all... but DANGEROUS WOMEN, the big crossgenre anthology that Gardner and I released last summer, is one of the finalists for Best Anthology (against some mighty stiff competition, I might add).


You can check out the full list of Wold Fantasy Award nominees here:

To round out the triptych, in the midst of all this recognition for the books that Gargy and I did last year, our newest anthology, ROGUES, hit the shelves from coast and coast... and debuted at #7 on the NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller List.  No, not the anthology bestseller list, or the SF/ fantasy bestseller list, but the bestseller list for ALL HARDCOVER FICTION.  Which is pretty damned extraordinary for an anthology.


Rogues comp A March 17 lo res

So, all in all, it was a hell of a month.

My thanks to the LOCUS voters, the World Fantasy Con members and judges, and all the readers who snatched up ROGUES.

I love doing anthologies, and introducing great stories and new writers to my fans.  It's great to see the books being so well received.

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