Archive for December, 2012


On Christmas day I was munching on turkey and heard a loud crunch… and spit out a tooth. Not really a tooth, a but crown. #6 by dental terms, which means my right canine. My fang, people. MY FANG. I managed to shove that sucker back up in there and made it through the night, only to get to the dentist the next morning and find the root had shattered and I needed oral surgery. Right then. Not the let’s numb her up and yank it kind, it was the let’s pop in an IV and DIG kind.

Holy balls, I look like a goober with this huge gap in my face. I have no desire for anymore drilling in my head, so I’m opting for a bridge. Which means the hole has to heal and I’ll continue to look like a goober for at least two months. Needless to say, I’ve been high as a kite for three days–and still am. I managed to go to work for a little while yesterday, but that was only because I do payroll and my co-workers might have rebelled had I not shown up. Lucky for them, I managed to be able get their checks right through the haze of painkillers. I think. No one’s called to bitch, so I guess I got it right.

But in my dazed and confused state I’ve been practicing my skillz on the husband because he didn’t go get that poor dog the other day. He’s gotten me anything mushy I want to eat, whatever I want to drink, and just generally fretting like crazy, but I did not get the dog. *hrumph*

Playing with Lily this morning, we decided to go get her new toys–he drove, don’t worry. In the store he says, “There’s only thing better than the Kong toys for her.”

“And that is?”

“Another dog.”

*ting* went my non-existent tooth when I smiled. “And we’ll name him Bentley.” Because I can rock the Southern accent when I say Bentley like that chick on Teen Mom, which he’s apparently noticed.

“This ain’t no episode of Teen Mom. He needs a manly name. Like Zeus or Thor.”

“I like Loki. Loki is a bad-ass name.”

“Or even… wait. It’s reverse psychology is what this is. You wanna make me pick out a name and then we’ll end up with another dog. I have you figured out, you know.”

*ting* went my non-existent tooth when I smiled… again. “YOU brought it up! NOT ME!”

So he changes the subject and says, “if you feel better tomorrow, I’ll take you to see The Hobbit. How’s that?”

“I’d love to see The Hobbit.”

“On one condition?”

“That I not name the dog Bentley?”

“That you not pick the movie apart, and you stop working your super powers on me.”


Bentley, people. BENTLEY. How cute would that be?




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Astrea! The readers of Horse and Hound would like to know why you never post any pictures of yourself? 

Easy enough. Because I’m always the one behind the camera, not in front of it. And when I am in front of one, I notoriously flip a bird right in front of my face and block the shot. Why? I dunno, I’m just not a fan of having my picture taken (IT STEALS YOUR SOUL, PEOPLE!) and it became a game with my friends. I could sense a camera aimed my way at fifty feet. *WHOOSH* up would come the one finger salute.

*BOOYAH* Shot-blocked, biotch.

Now… well, it’s vanity–older age, double-chin, little pudgey around the middle these days. The only time I willingly allow someone to take my picture is in the case of my husband or my child, and those pictures you’ll have to dig around to find.

But because it’s Christmas Eve and I had to get up and get dressed to go get my own damned Santa Cookies this year, *GRUMBLE*, because the hubs is working and my daughter has the stomach flu–stayawayfromme–I decided to play a game with Lily and the timer on my camera.

Because, yanno, the readers of Horse and Hound are the shit and getting Lily to hold still is just so fucking easy.

It went like this.

Lily, don't lick. DON'T LICK!  *snap*

Lily, don’t lick. DON’T LICK! *click*

Lookit the camera! LOOK! *click* Shit, I had my glasses on. Try again.

Lookit the camera! LOOK! *click* Shit, I had my glasses on AND it’s out of focus. Try again. DO NOT…

.....*click*.... Lick. *SIGH*

…*click*… Lick. *SIGH*

Lily, seriously... don't.... *click*

Lily, seriously… don’t… *click*


*click* Dammit!

*click* Dammit!


Holy balls. That only took forever. Off center, half my head missing, but that’s as good as it gets, people.

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve, y’all.

I’ll be adding to the pudge by eating ALL THE COOKIES MYSELF.




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Skillz… I have them.

Me: The vet says it’s time to spay Lily.

Hubs: Then do it.

Me: I thought so, just wanted to confirm it with you first.

Hubs: Why? Do you want puppies? That would mean she’d need a boyfriend.

Me: I know, and no, I don’t want another one. I don’t want to go through the howling puppy phase again.

Hubs: There was one on Craig’s List with colors the opposite of Lily’s. He’s mostly black, but has a white streak down his face and around his cheeks.

Me: What? What were you doing looking at Pit’s on Craig’s List?

Hubs: It was just there. They want to “barter” for him.

Me, wincing, because that tugs at my heart strings: How old is he? And barter what?

Hubs: Six-seven months, same as Lily. I can’t remember what they wanted. Lemme show you. *click-clack*

Me: Oh, he’s so cute. And they want to barter… an Xbox? Or ‘anything of comparable value’. Really?? That’s… sad.

Hubs: I know.

He sighs, shakes his head, then turns and looks up at me.

Hubs: Why the hell am I showing you a dog on Craig’s List? Am I stupid? What have you done to me?

Me–smiling wide and imagining a *ting* of light flashing off a tooth–says not a word.

I have left him to his Craig’s List browsing. He will be going out shopping later. If he brings this dog home, I promise only to use my powers for good from now on.

Pinky swear.


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So, what was on that ceiling?  This.


At one time my daughter’s bed sat where my desk sits now. That little hole? She had a tulle bed canopy that hung from a hook and through that canopy she could see these glow-in-the-dark stars as she slept. She was eleven, only my height at the time, so we played a bit of hell getting the stars on the ceiling. We’d jump on the mattress and push the stars when we touched the ceiling, and just hoped they’d stick. It took a few tries–a few piles of bodies when we’d both jump at the same time and crumble to the bed, dissolving into laughter–and the pattern turned out really odd, but who cared? Not us. No, we didn’t have a ladder, and we–you and I–have had the discussion that I have to do things the hard way. Besides, it was fun to jump on the bed.

*brow flick*

Cue my daughter again–I’ve come to realize only lately just how much of an influence she has on my life.


Last month, she sat at our kitchen table and painted this as her gift to me on my birthday. “Laughs” got a little messed up and she tried to correct it. Somehow, the camera is picking up the original blue that she painted over with black, because I don’t see that blue when I look at the painting. I don’t see the error at all, really. All I see is that my daughter can free-hand a fleur pretty damned well, and she knows how to pick what I need to hear, when I need to hear it. All I needed to do was stare at the ceiling/walls for a few days to hear it.

Lesson learned this week from staring at the ceiling? Who cares how hard it is as long as you’re laughing. 

*brow flick*


Housekeeping: totally relevant to this week’s lesson learned.

#Pitchwars was a bust. I was given the advice to simplify my query because it was confusing. To me, it wasn’t; to my beta readers, it wasn’t. Well, that’s because we know the story and can do the needed math, #duh. I’m still burning brain cells over my first chapter–remember, I was told, and admit, it moves too slow?— and I think I have a plan. But! Being that I’m predisposed to doing things the hard way, I’m not touching the MS, or the query, or anything else to do with book one, until I am certain. Which translates into at least a month for reasons. Lots of them. Which is hard because I’m not the ‘fix it later’ type. It’s hard for me to work on book two–or anything else–when book one is not gold. Really hard, but I’m gonna do it. There is no try.

For starters, I think I’m hanging out in the wrong places online for my sub-genre niche. I kick and scream that I write UF, but really it may/could be ParaRo just further niched into LGBT because of the sexuality of my MC’s. I saw this, here:

The best litmus test to determine if a story is urban fantasy or paranormal romance is to ask the following question: ‘If the romance between Character A and Character B were removed, would the plot still stand as a viable storyline?’ If the answer is ‘yes,’ chances are good it’s urban fantasy. If the answer is ‘no,’ it’s most likely paranormal romance.

I think it can stand without the romance, but I’m not sure. Bottom line, I need a professional opinion because I may be querying in the wrong places, too. *sigh*

While I was staring at the ceiling… dammit, man! I had to do it! No matter what computer I use, here or at work, I am the FIRST person to come up in a Google search for sperm whale cheese. (I tested on other computers just because you never know what data parameters Google collects off your browsing habits to filter search results.) Page after page of results came up and I still cannot for the life of me figure out why anyone would type those words in that order into Google. It’s not a thing–I don’t get it. Maybe I can run with this, somehow? How someone who writes UF would use that to their advantage, I dunno. Hell, how anyone would use that, I dunno, and if it really is a thing, do I want to be associated with it? Gods know what fucked up shit is out there, anymore. Just wow. This is gonna drive me nuts.

But you can tell… I’m laughing.

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*staring at the ceiling*


I’m wearing a jacket instead of a knit sweater, but for most of the day this is about right.

Staring up there like the answers to the issues with my query, among other things, are written on the ceiling.  

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I’m kidding. Mostly.

Damn, I hate cleaning.


In case you didn’t know, cleaning and I are not friends and never have been, but the use of my hoodie sleeve to dust the other day told me I needed to clean this weekend. That and I’m alone in the house and my mind is running too fast to write. The hubs has that day job at The Mill ™ now and I no longer have the luxury of his OCD keeping the house clean–because he was working from home before that and, bless him, he cleaned every day. Now, I have to let loose my own OCD, which comes in bursts when it comes to cleaning. I either have to be mad or manic, and alone. Nothing to be mad about. Alone–check. Manic–check.


I have hardwood floors, so the dust bunnies under the couch are the size of buffalo. My day job affords me the luxury of making sure every bug within fifty feet of my house is dead. I never see spiders, so… where in the hell do the cobwebs come from? How can two people generate so much laundry? How in the hell is there this splashed stuff on the wall and what is it, exactly? What is wrong with this mop and why is there no cleaner with which to mop the floors?

You shouldn’t break into a sweat cleaning.

I think the hubs set me up.









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So, here’s the thing…

“________* genre is super hot right now and we’re taking submissions for only that genre…”

*insert whatever genre, because for the purposes of this blog, it doesn’t matter which.


I’ve been told that a few times, lately.

So, *blank* is hot right now. Well, okay, I’ll give you that much. *Blank* is hot. Right now. I’m drowning in it every time I look at The Zon and own no less than five books in this one really hot genre, myself. So, that made me think about new acquisitions. Let’s do the math.

In new acquisitions, it’ll take how long for 1) an agent sell the book, 2) go through publisher’s edits, cover design, etc., and 3) finally be released? I’ve done the math by watching debut writers and how long  takes to go from the word go to gold and it’s an average of 1.5 years. (If you’re established and one of the cool kids with mega-mad-skills–which I hope to one day be–it seems to take only six months from “Chapter One” to publication, but that’s another brain-boggling subject.) This is by no means a scientific study with any real data, just my observation, but let’s go with that time frame.

So… If you, today, sell a book to Apex Publisher, that book will not be out for about 1.5 years.

Hmm. Hold that thought for later and let’s get back to *blank*.

Someone sold *blank* and agents popped a brow and dug in their client list for *blank* and *blank* suddenly gets sold for sick money in an auction and the market goes nuts and gets flooded with *blank* in 1.5 years, for however many years to follow, leaving writer’s of *not blank* totally screwed for however many years to follow until *blank* is no longer hot.

#run-onsentenceonpurpose #deepbreath #sigh #headdesk

It feels like that, to me, right now; that my genre is screwed six ways from Sunday because of a glut of *blank* for a few years now, and there’s no end in sight because that’s about all I see still being acquired. I find myself wondering who are the publishing industry’s “speculators”? Agents? Editors? Readers? Who is “Patient Zero” in all that? And how to they predict the market 1.5 years in advance? When will *blank* step aside?

I don’t know. I wish I did, because while *blank* is hot right now, adult Urban Fantasy feels like it isn’t. And for those readers who love the genre, it’s about to take an even harder blow.

Kim Harrison’s Hollows will come to an end next year. Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries will do the same. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, after twenty years, has got to be winding down soon. They are some of the “cool kids”, the big names, the heavy-hitters that everyone recognizes, and their worlds will be leaving us. For fans of adult Urban Fantasy, this is both a tragedy and a blessing. We’re losing those worlds we love, but now we get to explore new worlds when those are gone in a year’s time, leaving a hole in the genre–do the math— and, just maybe, if one of the “speculators” would take a chance, someone out there has some of those new worlds on their hard drive waiting to take their places.

I’m one of those people.

Is my work good? I think it might be, otherwise I wouldn’t willingly be neck deep in alligators, trying to prove that it is.


So, here’s the thing… I don’t write *blank*, I write adult Urban Fantasy. It’s not “hot” right now, but it will be again.

“To everything, turn-turn-turn, there is a season, turn-turn-turn.”

And I’ll be right here, waiting for the turn.



Seriously? Sperm Whale Cheese is still the top post? ‘Screaming Mandrake’ and ‘Sperm Whale Cheese’ are the blog’s top search engine terms? Do I wanna know why people type “sperm whale cheese” into Google? I’m so fucking tempted….

#PitchWars is a thing on Twitter. I entered it. I find out on Dec 12th just how much I suck… or don’t… in a contest full of *blank*. We’ll see. I adore the mentors to whom I subbed. They seem very genuine, really cool people, and I promise not to “unfollow” them when they kick me to the curb. I gave one a pinky-swear that I’d buy her a shot one day and, no matter what, I’ll keep that promise. Follow me for the #nailbiting. ETA: it’s been announced that emails could start going out on the 10th. ETA2: False information, as nothing goes out until the 12th.

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