About as good as it gets for free

I didn’t know what else to put here.

Since apparently I can’t have a sleek new skinny body for 2015 (at least not overnight), I settled on the next best thing and gave my blog a makeover and even turned it into a website! It’s not exactly what I have in mind for a final draft, but until I can shell out some money for a really professional banner and background, this is what it’s gonna be.

And it’s not too shabby, IMHO. Although I was ready to hang it all up after a couple hours messing around with WordPress and go back to Blogger, but I finally figured out the basics. I thought I knew how to work with WordPress and all, having posted to blogs with my job, but actually setting one up is a whole new can of crazy.

Anyway, go have a look at my other pages and all, and feel free to offer some constructive feedback. I know it’s nothing special yet, but it’s just the change I think it needed, after a few years with the old blog.


The Unveiling!

Okay y’all, I did promise to divulge Alyssa’s and my super-secret project today! We launched it a couple hours ago, and we couldn’t be more excited! So basically, you pretty much know by now that I won’t shut up about steampunk. I met Alyssa at an Abney Park concert, and a couple months ago she sent me an email along the lines of, “You write and have a cool blog. Wanna go in together and make a blog about steampunk music?” And then I did some kind of fangirl happy dance because the thing I freak out over the most, next to books, is music. Especially steampunk music!

So our plans for the blog are pretty simple: We interview musicians of the steampunk genre and put the podcasts up for our followers on Twitter (@BehindTheSteam). We’ll also post articles and reviews of music, cons, and other steampunk things we geek out over, and as we gain experience and learn new ways to make the blog shine, I think it’s just going to get better and better!

Our first podcast, a fun interview between just the two of us, is already up on Behind the Steam’s very first post! It’s available to everyone, not just Twitter followers. I have to apologize in advance for the audio on my end. I didn’t realize my laptop’s mike is so crappy. Half the time I’m bellowing, the other half my voice is just garbled. But it’s still a pretty cool interview, I think! I will be investing in a much better microphone before our next interview.

Something I think is really super geek-out-worthy is our opening music, written and recorded for us by none other than Nathaniel Johnstone! I love it; it’s kicky, fun, and goofy. (It’s also going to be my ringtone if I can figure out how to set ringtones on my phone.) And speaking of that guy who plays stringed instruments like some kind of weird, be-kilted angel, check back with our blog on Thursday, where we’ll unleash our interview with him upon the world! MUHAHAHAHAAA!!!

That’s right. This guy. Awesome, right?

So here is our site: Behind the Steam. Bookmark it. Share it with your friends who might be interested in steampunk music. Share it with your friends whom you’d like to scare with steampunk music. And heck, if you lose the bookmark, not to worry! Because I’ll freak out on this blog anytime we have something new coming up. There is no escape! (Unless, of course, you choose to un-follow me but please don’t do that!)

And there’s not much news on the writing front, other than that I’ve queried a few more small press publishers, and will probably stop my search after that and go indie if the answer’s no from all of them. I’ve been doing my research, I’ve looked at the covers from some of the best of these publishers, and I think, “I can do that.” I can also do the marketing and promoting on my own as well. I’m thinking this is shaping up to be a pretty exciting year, creatively!

Holy Crap! Awesome Stuff!

Oh dear, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. But I have a reason! Life got shaken up a bit this past week, like a snow globe, and it’s taken a few days for the flurries to settle back down. I have some okay news, and some super-awesome-exciting news, and a bit of random fandom silliness since I missed last Monday’s funny.

For the okay news: I’m now gainfully employed! I’m working at a nationally known craft store, but won’t name it in case I say something stupid online (highly likely) and they think I’m too much of a dork to work for them. :B Although it’s part-time, last week I worked almost 40 hours because we were having a visit from corporate and we had to get the store in shape. My two 18-year-old fellow hires and I (I call us the Noob Brigade) worked our booties off. Because we were so new and didn’t know anything about cashiering or the location of stuff on the floor, we spent most of the time cleaning, organizing, and stocking. It was harder than the Insanity Workout! I’ve had two days off and I’m still sore. But so far I like the job, and our manager is awesome.

But. I’ll probably squander my entire paycheck there anyway. They have a freaking steampunk section! Well, it’s more like a little kiosk stand, but. BUT. I got this stuff the other day, and I’m going to make something pretty out of it:

Now for the super-dee-duper announcement! My friend Alyssa (she’s an amazing poet so I linked to her blog) and I have been working on a secret project for the past couple of months, and we’re almost ready to go public with the news! On Tuesday, April 10th, we’ll launch our project, but until now you’ll just have to do with the following hints that you may or may not find in the pictures below. That’s Alyssa with my babies, when we all first met her!

Pay close attention to what she’s wearing and where we appear to be. These are hints as to things that will turn up in our super-secret project! And you can guess all you want, I’m still not saying anything else until Tuesday. So there! ๐Ÿ˜›

Okay, and this last bit you can skip over if you want, because it’s just me being fangirly again and not shutting up over something I never shut up about. If you’re my friend on Facebook, you’re probably rolling your eyes right about now. But you know me. I can’t help it! Actually, I’m just being really annoying about them because they also have tons of exciting stuff coming up, and they’re killing me with all their announcements on Facebook. They have a new DVD coming out and it looks like it’s going to be hysterical:

Oh, and on the writing front, I’m querying again. Small presses this time. So the waiting game has recommenced. Good luck vibes are appreciated!

Since you’ve stuck with this post for so long, here are a bunch of pictures of baby owls being freaking adorable. And don’t forget to check back here on Tuesday! I’ll be wigging out over our project then, and I’ll dig up some more funnies in the meantime. Maybe I’ll even get a bit of writing done over the weekend. I’m so close to being finished with Cobalt!

Happy Funny To Me!

Did I do Monday funnies the last week or two? I don’t think I did. Thanks a LOT, dead laptop! Well, guess what…

It’sss my birthday!

And I got a great present from God and Mother Nature. All winter long I’ve been complaining that we haven’t had enough snow, it’s been too warm, etc. etc. blah blah gripe. 1. I LOVE snow, and 2. When we have a dry winter, I worry that the upcoming summer is going to be hell on earth.

Anyway, it’s been snowing all day! Happy birthday to me!

Now, what I want most of all is a book deal, but since I’m not going to get that today – I haven’t been submitting to publishers because I need to print a hard copy of The Moongate for Shadow Mountain Publishing and I’ve been procrastinating on that out of fear – I think for today’s funny I’ll share the writing-related pics and stuff I’ve been collecting recently.

Or, for a slightly racier explanation of the Oxford comma that might get me in trouble. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ain’t that the truth!

I think you might need to click on this pic to read it (and a few others), but it’s so worth it.

Really? Really?? And agents didn’t want to touch The Moongate?

I was saying something like this, and then Lia sent the pic to me.

I should print this out and staple it to my face.

Oh my glarbl, can I do this?? Can I make this my front door, pleeease??!

Oh okay, and speaking of funny, Lia finally has a blog, here on Tumblr. I don’t get Tumblr, really. And she sticks up her nose at Blogger. Whatever, her page is funny anyway.

I know a while back I said I was going to do some kind of crazy fun thing for my 100th follower party, and I’m still going to! Just working out the difficulties that a dead laptop presents. And I’ve never done anything like this before, so I’m trying not to mess up. I have some ideas and stuff, so it’ll be sooooon

Now I guess I’m going to go do some housework and see if the kids catch on and make me get back on the computer! I’m not supposed to be doing any work today.

Multitasking Madness!

My laptop is still out of commission, so for the past couple of weeks I’ve had some serious computer withdrawals. I’ve been able to snag some time for Facebook now and then, but nothing that’ll really let me write, until today I saw my hubby’s laptop lying around and grabbed it! Thanks to the wonders of Dropbox (see my previous post on the subject), I’ve been able to catch up on some badly neglected writing. But, because I’m also a mom and a housekeeper, those little feelings of guilt over many other unfinished tasks start nagging at me anytime I sit down at the computer while the sun is still shining.

So this weekend I’ve been running around like a decapitated chicken, trying to get all the following tasks accomplished, among others I’m sure I’m forgetting but will remember around 2:00 am:


Homemade brownies! The girls had a few friends sleep over, so I made a quadruple-batch of these brownies, since Mother Hubbard’s cupboard is always bare and I didn’t want the poor girls to starve. (The recipe calls for ingredients that are already present in most pantries.) Then I sent the friends home all sugared up!

Gotta catch up with what my friends are doing! Always a top priority. ๐Ÿ˜‰

These are not my dishes, although they could be. Except I obsessively pile the dirty dishes into categories before I wash them, and I wash them in a certain order. OCD kinda sucks sometimes. (So does having a broken dishwasher, because dirty dishes are a constant affliction!)

I love homemade bread! But last night I forgot to take it out of the bread machine, so this afternoon I discovered the wasted dough and I cried over it. Now I have to make some all over again. (I only use the machine to knead, because I don’t like the shape of bread machine loaves.)

Not having regular access to a computer is seriously affecting a major addiction of mine! I haven’t been able to read and comment on my friends’ blogs like I usually do. So I don’t know what a lot of you are up to right now, but I’m trying to catch up.

This isn’t quite a realistic portrayal of a basket of laundry, for me at least. I have 30 times that amount. (Not an exaggeration.) And my worst habit is washing it all at once, then dumping it in the family room and putting off the folding! At least I have all the clean laundry sorted…

These little weirdos are always demanding my attention as well. Can’t I just lock them in the closet with a board game and some snacks?

I don’t want to think about what I’m going to cook tonight. It’s 5:30 and I haven’t even started. I know I could at least make some chicken stock. We have leftovers, right?

Oh yeah, I almost forgot:

My 13-year-old saved up her money to get bunnies (a neighbor gave us her huge hutch), and we let them out in the living room a couple times a day to get some exercise. While I’ve been working on this post, the cute little piggies have been bouncing off the keyboard, fighting over a carrot, and pooping on the couch. And they’ve just figured out how to escape the living room barricade. *groan*
Also, a guilty pleasure. I watch very little TV since it takes away from writing time, so I’ll give myself a guilt trip if I watch more than I should. Last night we decided to watch The River, which had intrigued me from the first time I saw the trailer at a movie theater – and we ended up staying awake all night to catch up with the entire show! Huge addiction now. The show is seriously creepy and exciting! This season it looks like I’ll be glued to the TV whenever The River or The Walking Dead are on.

And finally…

I love how being a writer comes with these images of fancy pens, candles burning in an inspirational manner on a gleaming desk, and stacks of gorgeous leather-bound reference tomes. I’d rip holes in paper with pens like that! And my handwriting has so gone downhill over the last decade, I get writer’s cramp after just a paragraph…

Anyway, I’ve been writing today too, bouncing between Cobalt and a project I should’ve finished a couple weeks ago, just before my laptop went ptooie. It’s been a lot of fun, but also brain-melting. I think I’ll end with a snip from the latest scene I’ve been working on:

Kate’s fingers scrabbled for a knot in a plank or a bit of broken rail, but closed over nothing but wet air as the ship bucked in the wind. The deck vanished beneath her. Her stomach jammed itself in her throat as she hung in the air for an instant before gravity took over. She could still hear the distant sounds of the fighting crew, somewhere on the other end of the ship. Closer, the sound of a whip crack split the air above her. Or maybe it had been a clap of thunder. Something slapped painfully against her bruised upper arm, jerking her descent to a stop. Her lower body slammed into the shipโ€™s aft end.

Kate shook soaking tendrils of hair out of her face and stared in horror at the rope that had saved her from falling into the Forest – which was not a rope at all but a cold, clinging tongue that wrapped around her arm at one end and disappeared into the wide open mouth of the monster glaring down at her from the broken window high above. Its rows of teeth glimmered white in a flash of lightning.
How often do you guys find yourselves muddling through days of multitasking insanity when you’d rather just sit and write?

Some Mushy Stuff, and 99 Followers?!

So I don’t normally blog this much in one week, but my friend Ranee’ S. Clark is doing a really fun blog countdown to V-Day, and yesterday she featured me! I got to share two of my favorite romantic scenes from literary sources – either from a book I’ve read, a movie based on a book, or a scene from any of my own books. The funny part is, I don’t consider myself a romance writer, but I did have something to share, and it wasn’t the kiss scene from Cobalt that I shared here a few days ago! Seems like I’m getting all kinds of mushy lately, but that’s okay. I need to get over all the blushing and squirming whenever I even think of writing something romantic, because there’ll probably be more kissing in Cobalt. I have another dark fantasy idea after this that will probably get a little mushy. And in the third book of the Moongate series, there will definitely be some faces smushing together – in first person narrative no less, instead of secondary characters like in Cobalt – so I’d better get all that blushing over with early!

Check out Ranee’s countdown on her blog, starting with her first post featuring romantic little moi! And have a look below at some of my favorite romantic pairings of all time. Only a couple are book-based though, because I need pictures for my blog, and the movies and TV shows are where that’s at. *Grammar Nazi shudder*ย And keep reading after the pics, because I have a few more tidbits at the end!

Really, does this surprise you at all?

Ron & Hermione’s romance was very sweet, and long-awaited.

The Doctor/Rose. Rip-your-heart-out, tear-inducing bittersweetness!
But their kiss scene was about 30 seconds way too short.

That’s the sound of my impatience in waiting for this movie.

I like cartoons, all right? And this was a dang good cartoon, so shut up.

Well, looky here. Who’s that cute girl, and the slightly effeminate but adorable guy with a huge chip on his shoulder? Might they be a couple of characters I mentioned in Ranee’s blog?

Artist: Simplydelightful

Well, earlier today I was poking about my dashboard and my butt fell off the chair when I realized I’d made it to 99 followers!!1! I said to Lia, “Holy crap, I’m at 99 followers! 99 followers I am at, crappy hole!” And then we both froze and kinda looked at each other, and I mumbled something about totally not intending for it to come out that way, and we never spoke to each other about it again.

But. 99 followers, holy crap! I should do some kind of thingy to push that number over 100, but I have no idea what. So here’s a poll. It’ll expire on V-Day, because I said so.

And that’s about enough nonsense for one post, I think. G’day lovelies!