19 October, 2021

Nightwatch on the Hinterlands is here!

Nightwatch on the Hinterlands is loose in the world.  You can acquire it in all the usual places, and you should, because Tinycat said so. Do you want to argue with Tinycat? 

(Spoiler: you do not. She is more obstinate than either of the kaiju boy-cats. She will wear you down.) 

=

As many times as this happens--and this is #6--a book release day is a rush. So much goes into producing a novel--I wrote it, yeah, but my amazing agent, Lisa Rodgers, and the incredible team at DAW, are the ones who make sure the story is dressed polished and ready to go outside. So thanks to all of them for getting the story to you. 

I had fun writing this one (which is not always the case), and I hope you enjoy reading it, too. 


09 August, 2021

The Golden Cowbell

a large golden cowbell on a leather strap
Back in June I received notice from a librarian at the K. Weldon Library (International School of Geneva, La Ch√Ętaigneraie Campus) that How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse was the winner of a Golden Cowbell award. Which--cool! I am delighted to win awards, and delighted that Rory is a hit with a) kids at all and b) kids who don't necessarily speak English as a first language. So yay! 

After a very long journey, with a stop off at JABberwocky, it arrived. 

I was expecting a cute little tourist-sized cowbell, the kind my mother has hanging on her wall from the trip we took to Switzerland was I was...10? I think. This, however, is not that cowbell. 

On that trip to Switzerland, I remember waking up in the hotel to the sound of cows being driven up the actual street outside to their mountain pastures. They wore bells, and those bells were very loud and distinctive. Functional bells

This is one of those bells. It is also quite lovely. I smelled the leather strap when I opened the box. The bell itself is heavy and shiny. The brass fittings on the strap are very shiny (the astute observer may see me reflected in the cow as I took this photo). I was delighted to receive the award and now I am doubly, triply, extremely delighted to receive the bell itself. 

Thank you, students who voted for Rory!




30 June, 2021

New Book Announcement: NIGHTWATCH ON THE HINTERLANDS

 Y'all! I am super excited to announce, reveal, shout from the rooftops my new, upcoming novel, Nightwatch on the Hinterlandscoming October 19, 2021.

LOOK AT THIS COVER. 

white title on a background of red and black wires that still manage to look a little bit organic

I pitched this book to my agent as "HALO meets D&D meets a mystery".  Its working title was Tin Can Fun Fur. And it was a blast to write. 

While it's set in the same world (multiverse?) as THE THORNE CHRONICLES, it has a different narrative vibe (and it's, like, 100 years in the future).  No princesses here. This is dirtside, street-level mystery-solving, with a cast of xenos and plenty of small-p politics.

If you're a fan of arithmancy in action, or want to see more tenju, alwar, and/or vakari, or just think OMG this cover! Is the inside as cool as the outside? (yes)--well you are in luck, because...

Preorders are happening now at all the usual places. 

See you in October... 

12 May, 2021

mended


When there is absolutely no way to invisible repair the clapotis, repair it boldly. The patch keeps the same pattern, but sets it at an angle, and adds an extra corner at the bottom because why not

And! Nearly a year after tearing a hamstring, I'm back road-running. The healing period was spent running laps up, around, and down the 7 flights of parking structure, which kept the cardio and let things heal and made other things stronger. (Of course I did not rest.)

I also changed my gait completely, a mix of necessity and intent, which I'm given to understand one shouldn't do? Or something. Whatever. I am far happier than I thought I'd be to be running again. I look forward to it, even.

And! It doesn't hurt. I had forgotten what that's like.

I came late to running--in my 30s--because I'd always believed I wasn't built for it. I pronate pretty badly on a heelstrike, which is my "natural" stride, and end up pulling my body weight forward, rather than pushing off from the ball of the foot. Turns out I could, and did, muscle my way through for a while, with a scattering of IT and piraformis injuries (treated with months on an elliptical). But the hamstring, boy howdy. There was ouch and then there was ouch and then there was literally unable to touch my toes. Like, could not. Pain override.

It was the yoga that clued me in, hard. I couldn't do things I'd always done. A quick search told me what this was. Torn hamstring! Tendon?! I had to let that heal. And that meant I was going to have to stop running.

I was terrified. There was no gym access! Walking isn't enough! I'd get...well...fat.

And here let it be said: this is not about fat-shaming. This is about body dysmorphia and eating disorders.

11 April, 2021

belated

( ...originally typo-titled "bleated," which might be kinda appropriate too)

I was going to write about getting the vaccine when I got the second dose two weeks ago (Pfizer). I had imagined--based on my unexpected emotional reaction to the first dose--that I would have Feelings. First shot, we'd gotten a spot unexpectedly, because a coworker posted on Facebook that a nearby vaccine site was accepting appointments right now for educators and we jumped on that. After that jab, I realized how much stress I'd been under, and how even one shot made me feel like...not that things would return to normal, not that everything was okay now, but...like there had been a pressure, a discomfort to which I had become so accustomed I no longer noticed it, and now it was gone. I noticed the negative space of it, the place it had carved out in my psyche. I thought that the second shot would herald a return of that feeling, but it didn't. I was just relieved. 

That was two weeks ago. If there is such a thing as officially vaccinated, all the immunities as in place as they will be... we're there. Our region is coming out of restrictions, things are reopening, and great! But I am in no real hurry to go back to the restaurants I haven't been to in over a year. I've grown accustomed to the take-out sandwiches on Friday "date night." It feels weird to think about removing a mask in public. And eat in public? Egad. Visiting a zoo might be nice. Or a museum. Or a store that isn't faithful Trader Joe's. But be around people? No, thank you. My latent agoraphobia has taken root this last year, hard.

(I better get over that before classes start in the fall. Because barring a new pandemic, they will. We've been super lucky here--the UCs have shut the fuck down and stayed that way for in-person instruction. How delightful to have official policy dictated by science and public health, instead of political toadshit.)

And I wasn't going to write about any of this, sweartogod. I was going to write about The Patchwork Terror and how, in his quest to eat all of Tinycat's scarfed-and-barfed breakfast, he chewed a big chunk out of the first clapotis I ever knitted. And how I did not quite freak out because he's not Idris: he shreds and gnaws whatever he eats to tiny pieces, even wee bits of kibble-treats, so I was pretty sure he hadn't swallowed long strands. (He never did throw up a damn bit of it. Where has it gone? The obvious answer--through him--has not manifested. He either reduced that wool to tiny pieces and digested it along with his food or it's still sitting in his gut, making itself into the grandmother of hairballs.) 

But also, ferfuckssake, I was upset, too, at the destruction. The loss. That clapotis--hours and hours of knitting, out of a indie-dyed colorway--is irreparable and irreplaceable. Of course PT was, is, more important, and I would set fire to the clapotis myself to keep him safe, but he's also fine, and fortunately not inclined to chew on textiles unless someone has thrown up on them first. This is a one-time catastrophe. 

But then, as I began writing, I realized--the worry, the fear, the anger, the guilt about being angry over a ruined thing on which much work had been spent, the grief over what was destroyed--felt familiar. This was a fresh wave of it, sure, but that's why I noticed it, after so long being numb to it. It's what I felt last spring. 

Anger. Fear. Guilt. That sinking, sick feeling of knowing something is irreparably mangled, and there is nothing to be done for it except figure out a way to salvage what's left: make it, if not beautiful, at least defiantly functional. Somehow. Wabi sabi. (And even if it's not beautiful again, ever--the clapotis will be warm. It will be of use. And it will be a story). 

I wish I could say that I think the world, post-pandemic, post the 45th president, will be like this clapotis. I don't think it will, though. We can't wabi sabi what's happened. We won't be past BLM because we're not past white supremacy. We can't get past anti-science insurrectionists because they're still crawling all over the Capitol. We can't even get people to take the fucking vaccines. I don't know how that sort of damage becomes functional again, that it can be patched. I hope I'm wrong. I don't know what happens if I'm not.

In the meantime, I have a clapotis to mend. 


03 March, 2021

15 February, 2021

happy slightly belated birthday, tinycat

small black cat looking annoyed
Tinycat on the eve of her 13th birthday

Technically, her birthday was yesterday (we think. One does not know with rescues, but why not choose Valentine's Day when the date is "sometime in the middle of February"?). She resembles here a small, disgruntled owl for two reasons: one, she hates to be photographed, and she always knows when that is happening, and two, because Murdercat is closer to the food dishes than she is, and even though no one will be fed while I am playing paparazzi, she resents even the possibility that he might eat first. The Patchwork Terror is out of frame, which is why that ear is cocked, but she's not mad at him. 

I note here that typically before dinner, it's PT who will straddle her body--while they are both standing, because she is that small--and tug her ears while they're waiting for me to put down their bowls. (She forgives him for it, and goes to hit Murdercat in the face. Things are not fair among cats.)

She is very sweet to people, however--guaranteed purring, all about laps, responsive and alarmingly clever. She is also demanding and particular and stubborn and we love her. 

I leave you with Tinycat, still annoyed by the paparazzi, but in possession of her pillow, and so not about to be moved.