02 January, 2021

Happy New Year

 This winter break was especially short--just shy of two full weeks, which seems a lot until you realize there were two holidays in there, and all the website-building and asynchronous video recording and general class-prep stuffed into that same time. Then it's oh god, teaching starts when? and a cocktail. 

Of course I still found time to procrastinate the knitting of my cardigan and avoid making those videos a bit longer  to do something fun. Nous got the figure for me last fall ("that hat!" he said, "those boots! And the tiny skulls!"), and she's been languishing on my sewing table, daring me to find time to paint. So finally, I did. She took the last couple eps of S3 of The Repair Shop and the whole season of Bridgerton. 

front view of a painted miniature woman figure pointing a crossbow and brandishing a sword

back view of a painted miniature woman figure pointing a crossbow and brandishing a sword

The photo quality is Aging iPhone SE in the miserable winter afternoon light, which lets me say honestly that she does look better in person. I am by no means a pro painter, but my eyesight's holding up and my hands are steady and I'm improving. 

Also, I'm really proud of those tiny skulls on her braid and belt. 

Anyway, I thought she was a fine way to spend the waning week of 2020, and a good first creative accomplishment for 2021. 

16 December, 2020

I podcasted! And wrote some guest posts. And am late to all the parties.

Okay. Finally, now that my grading is done (though not finalized), and the quarter is mostly wrapped... the long delayed list of publicity and posts related to HOW THE MULTIVERSE GOT ITS REVENGE (which, for the record, would make a fantastic holiday gift. Audio book, ebook, paper. All three!)

And if you are tired of me, here are a lot of other people saying very nice things about REVENGE. 

  • Publishers Weekly: Review 
    • "This fantasy-space-opera hybrid provides no shortage of action, interstellar hijinks, and fuel for future installments. Series readers will be pleased."
  • Fresh Fiction:  "Most Anticipated New Releases: Fall-Winter 2020!"
  • Amazing Stories: "Science Fiction to Look for October 2020"
  • Smart Bitches Trashy Books: Review 
    • "Both the first and second book in this duology are excellent... I'd love to read more about Rory and her group of friends."
  • Tor.com: Exclusive Excerpt
  • The Quill to Live: Review
    • "...A fun fusion of different science fiction and fantasy concepts that kept me engaged the entire time... How the Multiverse Got Its Revenge is a fantastic book that checks all of my boxes for something I highly recommend."
  • Girl Who Reads: Review
    • "This is a fascinating mix of magic and space opera... A great story."

I am happy that this book seems to be delighting people, because my god we need some delight about now. Did I mention it'd make a great gift?

two cats sharing a pillow in the sun
The Patchwork Terror and Murdercat, BFFs
And because it is a lovely almost-winter day here, and the sun is warm, here are two house tigers, extra fluffy, catching a few rays.

03 December, 2020

[insert a title here]

 ...or as my students might do, "a new post", because many of them think a title is the same thing as the name of the assignment/the prompt. And I get it. Titles are hard. How the Multiverse Got Its Revenge began as something else entirely, as did How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse. Only Enemy, Outlaw, and Ally kept their titles.  The manuscript currently on my editor's desk began as Tin Can Fun Fur, which my agent suggested, because it's a genre mash-up. We gave it a more sedate title for my editor, who may or may not like it; since she's the one who prodded us to come up with How the Multiverse Got Its Revenge, I am inclined to trust her instincts. 

I don't blame my students, though. This quarter--which began in October--has seen a pandemic, fire, civil unrest and mass demonstrations, their first national election (and oh, what an election. Guns at polling stations. A president who won't concede and who continues being...I'd say a brat, but he's more dangerous than that. Astonishment at their relatives' voting choices, when it's so clear to them that this can't go on. I feel this last one, students, right there with ya.) And, now, another fucking fire in the area, here in December. 

More personally, I had How the Multiverse Got Its Revenge release in October, with attendant publicity posts (to follow in another post, once I've got 'em all collected), a reading an a panel at World Fantasy, and a merit review observation--which, oddly, is done on the quarter the review is due, which is not a quarter covered in the review. So the letter that recommends whether or not I should get a raise is based on different teaching than everything else in my file. It was also a) remote and b) a new course prep and c) a new curriculum for that course. 

I mean.

And through all that, incredible good fortune, to have a university employer that listens to science and prioritizes the health of students, faculty, and staff; and the ability to work from home; and our collective excellent health (except Murdercat, who has a cavity that must be removed next week, but who is otherwise 13 lbs of solid muscle fine). 

And my students, many of whom are in their first quarter of uni, having just seen their senior year meltdown, are reading, and writing, and showing up in synchronous classes and conferences despite less than ideal internet situations, or homes in which to get quiet time to attend class, or, in at least two cases, sixteen hours of time difference. They're pretty great. 

...this post ended up in a nicer place than I thought it would, so yay? Yay. And I better quit there, while I'm ahead. Besides. I made a pumpkin pie, and I think it's finally cool enough to eat, and I need something to put the whipped cream on.

27 October, 2020


 What happens when happily ever after...isn't?

This was not an easy book to write for a variety of reasons, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I hope that you like it, too.

23 October, 2020

Get a preview of REVENGE

 ...which is out on Oct. 27. Holy shit, that's next Tuesday. 

(No, I am not being a smart-ass. I just, you know, calendars and time and teaching and all this.)


Tor.com has an excerpt posted, if you're curious. 

I've also got a guest post up on Fresh Fiction about world-building and genre-blending.

 And...just in time for Halloween, a live-actor read of one of my short stories, "Increased Tolerance," which was published by Crossed Genres in 2009, and performed here by "Nobody Reads Short Stories." There's even an interview with me at the end, which honestly gives me the vapors to admit to in public, but HEY. It's the times we live in.

And if you've made it this far, I will be reading at World Fantasy next weekend, and also participating on a panel about fairies on Halloween. More details upcoming!

06 October, 2020

From the scraps...

It began as the "what do I do with leftover handspun?" project. Some leftovers of blue/purple silk blend (which wouldn't felt well) plus and then a lonely partial ball of a pale grey-pink gradient which was not silk, but a BFL blend (that would also not felt well)... 

...plus a skein of OMG PINK (silk blend? maybe?) and some beautiful sunset-colored Polwarth M. gave me for my birthday (which felts like a bad boy),  and then just knitting in a spiral until we get this. 

It's all M's dye-work. 

Obviously Murdercat approves, so what else does a rug need?


21 August, 2020

this year exhausts me

 As I am sure it exhausts most of us. And I recognize that to be exhausted, rather than, oh, evicted, unemployed, evacuated, homeless, sick, or dead is a privilege. I am privileged. I acknowledge that. 

But fuckssake.

This week, the exhaustion has been more physically literal, because it's been stupidly, dangerously hot in my state (which is also on fire). I am not one of those folks who functions well in heat. I can handle it, insofar as I don't get immediate migraines or pass out or sweat excessively. I do get more anxious and more irritable. We are privileged to have A/C, which we try and limit our use of, because the power grid and rolling blackouts and all that. We can survive here on the coast without it (we did, in graduate student housing, which is literally across the street). We turned it on this week, set to 80, and it felt good. Cool.

Climate change, y'all. This isn't weather. The middle of the country blew away with the derecho. (My cousin lost her home.) People are dying of COVID all the fuck over, while other people whine about their masks and their rights and send kids back to school so that... yes, they can get sick and put hundreds into quarantine. The post office is being dismantled.  My state is burning up. People are losing everything. The sky is red. The air up north is black; here it's not so bad, most of the time. But I am aware, with every beautiful, lurid sunrise, that things are burning.

My fall class is about the zombie apocalypse, which seems more applicable this year than it has in a long time. I used to teach zombies because they were trendy. Now, though? It resonates. The end of the fucking world, indeed. We're remote, at least. This university has sense.

The DNC happened. I didn't watch. I mean, they could run a half-eaten sandwich and some moldy cottage cheese and I'd vote for them. I am fine with Biden. I am delighted with Harris (I wanted her for president, or as Warren's VP, so...). Now I fret about whether we will be allowed free elections (post office!) or if we do have them, and we win, someone won't vacate the office. Or, if we win, the people who really do want everything to burn take steps to make it happen. So yeah, I have some hope. But I'm not at all complacent. I think you can't be, if hope means anything. Hope is uncertain, by its nature.

I don't have more profundity than that. Tinycat is demanding her lunch, which she gets now in an effort to get her weight up (which is working, though I don't think we've cleared 7 lbs. Her highest ever was 8. I'd be happy with somewhere around 7.5). So I am going to feed a cat.

tinycat in the window
le petit chat noir