Archive for July, 2015

Puit D’argent

I’ve been trying to come up with a name for my big dollhouse because all cool real houses have cool names. They just do. It’s a rule.

I put out a call to the Facebook Hive Mind and asked for the French translation of “money pit” because trusting Google translate is like trusting the guy at the tattoo parlor when he says that Chinese character he’s gonna tattoo on your butt really does mean ‘rebel’ when in actuality it means prostitute. Or something.

My buddy, Laurie, came back with advice from her friend in Belgium. Puit d’argent could mean ‘pit of silver,’ but puit can also mean a well, as in throwing money down a well. Without the benefit of wishes, Laurie added.




Thing about this house is I’ve based a lot of the rooms and items on characters in my books. There’s a picture of Nita framed for a wall; my friend, Gail, gifted me with mini guitars which Javier and Celestino argue over daily.The master bed I have yet to find, must be similar to old world Spanish design because Esteban won’t stand for anything else. He thinks it’s his house, so why the French name and not Spanish? “Because we are in New Orleans, reina. When in Rome?”

Who wants to argue with a five-hundred-plus year-old vampire?

The only thing I wish he’d remember is that I don’t have his wallet.

I wanted to figure out a name because I’m looking to order a custom made sign to hang in the garden–as a lot of Nola houses have–when this is finished. The sound you can’t hear is my hysterical laughter over having typed the word finished. Just when I think I have something figured out–like building lights for the kitchen–they’re not good enough and this house does it’s damnedest to pick my pocket. My other houses? They’re good; they’re patient. And they’re not as persnickety about what goes in them.

It’s all Esteban’s fault. If you knew him, you’d know he’s reading a good old fashioned print-copy of the Times Picayune and acting as if he’s ignoring me.

At least now I know exactly what that sign in the garden will say.


Say hello to my Princess Anne house, saved from Craig’s List.

Top right, in PURPLE!  Ignore the cob webs.

Top right, in PURPLE! Ignore the cob webs, I’m too short to reach up there.


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Add three more.


That took three days simply because of dry time.


I just sort of stuck it up there to see what was what.


Not too shabby.


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I’m kinda glad I missed a few hours on Facebook today. One of my favorite authors is scaling back his presence and culling his herd because assholes and that sucks.


So, I got this brilliant idea that I wanted a similar ceiling in the kitchen.

So, I got this brilliant idea that I wanted a similar ceiling in the dollhouse kitchen.

And I wanted the beams the same color as the floor, and with this embossed paper on the ceiling.

And I wanted the beams the same color as the floor, and with this embossed paper on the ceiling.


I may add cross beams tomorrow. I say tomorrow because I want to get it all flat, glued, and dry before I start mucking with cross beams.

While I'm doing this, I sprayed a couple coats of poly on my floors.

While I’m doing this, I went back and forth and sprayed a couple coats of poly on my floors.

And put up wallpaper.

And put up wallpaper.

In two rooms.

In two rooms.

Glued the embossed paper to the template.

Glued the embossed paper to the template and smushed it. It’s still drying. Too damned humid.


Went outside and got the floors and, lo, they did warp. And speckle. Which means sanding. And smushing.



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Hi. Long time no see. What have I been doing lately?


That’s the basic structure for a “screamer” I’m entering in a paper mache challenge this Halloween. That’s all I can share because challenge. My daughter and I are also working on a super secret dollhouse project that I’m not at all allowed to share. You’ll just have to wait on that one. My Painted Lady is at a standstill because I’ve reached the point where money is the issue. I tell you, I have the wrong day job. I should be selling dollhouse miniatures because O M G they cost a fortune. It’s raining like crazy right now, and the roof in my sunroom is made of metal. Can you say loud? My nerves can’t take it. I’ll pass on working in there today until it stops.

So, here’s the deal, and why I decided to finally get back to the blog: Delilah Dawson wrote this blog post the other day and it gave me that nudge, and the itch started; niggling in the back of my brain until I read my query and sort of blinked. It’s been forever since I read it, and the damned thing ain’t bad. Open the MS file, and yanno? It doesn’t suck. It really doesn’t. When did that happen, me not sucking? Because I was convinced that no matter how many people tell me otherwise, that book sucks because nobody wanted it, or me, back when I was sending agent queries. So, I stopped.

I took a year-plus off writing, as if you couldn’t tell by the growing list of hobbies. The thing was, my own health issues aside, I was disheartened. The small breather I intended to take got bigger and bigger, and longer and longer, because WOW. Publishing was tough twenty years ago, and it’s even tougher now. If you’re at all keeping up with the chatter, you know how crazy insane it is lately. Between Amazon’s .983495394583094583 cents a page in the KU program, Sad Puppies, and #AskELJames… good lord.

I wonder sometimes if the Internet hasn’t done quite a bit of damage to publishing, and I don’t mean the advent of self-publishing. I mean to authors directly. So much dirty laundry gets aired that should be hidden in the bowels of Mordor forever, villagers and pitch forks chase down well meaning authors for no good reason, and down right mean ass people hide behind the anonymity of the Web and fling arrows for their own amusement. We creatives are sensitive by nature, no matter how thick a skin we’ve grown, and those damned arrows suck. There is so much good we can do with the platforms we have, and yet when we do try to signal boost something worthy, it gets twisted and misconstrued, and here come the pitch forks again. And, sometimes, it’s friendly fire. Christ on a bicycle, rock and a hard place doesn’t even begin to cover it. Writers are a tribe, and we should defend our own when they deserve it, but when the tribe is attacked from inside AND outside? That’s just unbelievable.

You know who is on the outside, too? I mean the people standing back behind the people with arrows and pitch forks, looking over their shoulders and wondering what the actual fuck is going on. Readers. The ones we want to read the blood and sweat of our labors, and readers are seeing a cluster fuck right now. Writers are expected to have a Web presence these days, and sometimes it goes sideways, bigger than shit. The arrows fly and readers’ bubbles are in danger of bursting like firecrackers.

Well, we only have ourselves–publishing as a whole, I will clarify–to blame because we’re putting it out there in the first place. And I say we because, even though I haven’t said jack shit on writing in months, I’m still one of the tribe. Maybe not one of the cool kids, but still a member of the tribe. And I’m not exempt from arrow-ducking, so I guess I’ll buy some kevlar and hope for the best.

I remember Stephen King doing an American Express commercial back in the day and thinking, “Oh, that’s what he looks like.” I think he even commented in an interview something along the lines of if he’d never done that commercial, no one would have recognized him for years. Now, authors are front and center, and I could pick any dozen out of a con crowd without even blinking because I ‘see’ them online so much. So, what do we do? Keep our mouths shut, post pictures of puppies and kittens, dollhouses and paper mache, and walk a fine line? If so, where is that line? How many steps until we get there? Will it crumble under our feet, or be sturdy enough to stand on?

Walk softly, my friends. Maybe make that line a salt circle.

OW–An Ordinary World–is about to come back to life and get flung out into the publishing world like spaghetti tossed at a wall to see if it sticks. WB–The World Below–will be a first draft in less time than it took to write OW because I stepped back, and lived, and learned.

And it’s scary. It’s scary as fuck.

Why would anyone want to jump back into this?

Because writers are nuts by nature. Obviously.

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