Most of what I know of New York and New Jersey comes from movies or television. Sure, I know trivia about the place. I can pick out the skyline in a lineup. But everything I know about New York City comes through someone else's lens with other connotations to it.
Okay, so I haven't posted here in 7 months. I'm sorry. Bad writer, no biscuit. But! Stuff has been going on in my personal life with health and such that I just have been dealing with. Head down, figuring out a new normal all that stuff. I'm going to try to be better about posting here, on Patreon and being a writer in general. I had a very good weekend at the Cirque Du Livre writers' conference. Got to speak with some great colleagues, and hear some awesome ideas. I will not be at Phoenix Comic Con this year. Sadly that wasn't to be. However, I will be at WesterCon in July. My schedule is still firming up, but I will post it here.
So, what brings me back to the blog after such a long time? Well, this is a happening that is just too long for Facebook or Twitter.
At approximately 3am, your Pajamazon was sleeping soundly when a dull bang roused her from slumber. My husband hurried into the bedroom and I asked, "Are you okay?"
"The house across the street is on fire."
Holy shit! He had parked on the street, so he went to move his car into the driveway so that emergency services (already on site) could have unimpeded access to the blaze. I staggered out into the living room and saw blue and red lights. When I went outside, a fire truck was between me and the house, but I could see flames above the truck. There were other trucks up and down the street, and a few police cars. Sirens signaled more incoming vehicles. Our avenue was blocked off from every direction. Fire fighters silently paced the area, some holding axes, while others prepared the hoses. Emergency workers were making sure the neighbors were safe and surrounding the burning house.
Not long after this, my neighbor came over and told us her account of what she saw and when she saw it. Had the homeowner set it himself? On purpose? Had he fallen asleep smoking? She had seen someone sitting on the curb at the corner and she assumed it was him. Had he been handcuffed? She thought so.
The situation, for all the lights and loud engines, was freakishly calm. These first responders turned what could have been utter chaos into order, and handled it like seasoned professionals should. My daughter woke up, saw the lights and heard voices/radios and got scared. My cat was hiding in the doorway of the closet, ready to dart in should the need to hide arise.
The blaze was contained quickly, and within about 30 minutes the firefighters were shedding their gear on our driveway. They packed up within about an hour of that and I was asleep again by the time they left.
This morning, an officer came knocking before 7:30 asking for witness accounts and cellphone video if we had any. Honestly, I didn't take any. I thought about it, but worried that would be morbid or something. The blue and red lights in the smoky night was lovely even though the situation was serious. But I didn't get my phone. Neither did Sean. But I filled out a report about what I saw. (First time I've ever filled out a police report. So I've done something new today!) I asked the officers if the homeowner was okay. They said he was fine, but in the hospital for minor smoke inhalation.
The house today looks...better than I thought it would? The carport is a charred mess, and the truck inside it is a heap of Chevy-shaped melted glass, plastic and warped metal. As I drove K to school this morning, I saw more damage in the back yard. The house itself appears largely untouched from outside. There's a small portion of blackened roof and a window that's out, but otherwise it looks only a little worse for wear. There's caution tape. There are police cars. There's a pair of glasses on the sidewalk in front of my house, lenses broken, earpieces bent. They look like they belong to the guy who lives in the house across the street. There is ash and char on the sidewalk.
It's a strange scene.
I'm glad he's okay. I hope this was an unfortunate accident and that he can pick up the pieces and rebuild.
I know that police departments get bad reps. I know that some people don't think emergency services are that important. What I saw last night was a dance of cool-headed precision. They kept everyone safe and did the job. Today they're still doing the job to make sure that this was just an accident. Frankly, these responders are fucking badass. Are there problems with individuals? Is there systemic racism? Are certain communities worse off? Yes to all. But these jobs matter. These people matter. And they're doing amazing things that the rest of us can't possibly shoulder.
So yeah. That was some excitement for my day. When I finally got back to sleep at like 5am, my dreams were messed up. Some of them had me standing outside watching the house burn. One of my cats was on a cactus (like a bobcat...even though that cactus was removed last year), and there was a huge raven. In the dream, I got the sense that the raven belonged to the guy across the street, and that it was now homeless. I stretched out my hand and offered it a place to sit. It jumped on my shoulder and made itself comfortable. So the rest of my dreams featured my raven friend.
It's so quiet today. My cat is sitting beside me, almost like she wants the comfort of being nearby. The kiddo is at school. The husband is at work. It's a normal day.
How weird is that?
Hullo, doves! I'm writing to you on this, the first day of school! My daughter started 4th grade today and I'm still trying to figure that out! I understand that this means I have the house to myself again and that's awesome, right? So what did I do this morning? Plucked my eyebrows and binge-watched British tele on YouTube. Fucking glamorous! But this means I have more time to write, tweet and keep tabs with you delightful people.
The summer has been good. I'll be getting the next round of edits for UNVEILED any day now. I've spoken with Nathalia Suellen, the glorious artist who will be doing the cover art for UNVEILED, and I'm very excited to see what she comes up with. Reviews for TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-ONE BAKER STREETS are coming in and so far everyone has glorious things to say about not just the anthology but also my story in it: "A Scandal in Hobohemia".
The next few months are going to be exciting with BAKER STREETS and UNVEILED launching into the world. On top of that, I'm working on a new project. This one is a departure from my usual urban fantasy or carniepunk joy, and yet, it is still totally ME. Speculative fiction/alternate history. I've been doing research and development work on it for the past three weeks and have more than 30 pages of notes AND a cork board full of post-its. My research has had me looking into the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, NASA and Snow White. I'm not ready to reveal all the details about it, this new project has obsessed me. My husband is a tolerant, wonderful man. Anyway, I've put together a loose synopsis of the project and am just about ready to "break ground" and open up the word file. I'm hoping that between this and all the other projects on the table, I'll have a complete rough draft by Christmas.
Also hoping to have some good news for you on a few different fronts soon. So, stay tuned.
OH! I saw Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend. SO GOOD!!! See it in the theater if you can. It's so worth it. I might to do a full on review sometime soon, but I don't know that I want to. Honestly, GoTG was the epitome of what going to the movies is supposed to be. Funny writing, convincing and engaging characters, glorious cinematics and more than a few badass moments. Oh, and the soundtrack/score are phenomenal. SEE IT! As an aside, I want Gamora's hair. My daughter's clear favorite was Groot. She's been going around saying, "I am Groot."
Alright, this is enough for today. I've got to get back to work on the WiP.
Thank you for hanging around, guys. More soon.
I know it's been a while, kids. I've been working my tail off over the past month on various iterations of edits on WILD CARD. Release day is coming up quickly, and as things gel it seems they just send everything careening forward to the end of November. It feels like I'm running at light speed. Hyperdrive engaged. No time for love, Doctor Jones. It's been weird. With each passing edit, the story gets tighter and tighter. Better. I got my galley proofs last week and I have an actual ISBNumber. I just sat and stared at it for a few minutes. This is really happening. It's not a dream, a cosmic joke or an elaborate episode of Punk'd. I've really got a book coming out next month.
I've had conversations with my agent and publicist...and the only thing crazier to me than saying that sentence is that in said conversation I sound like I know what I'm talking about.
I'm working on the early outlines of new projects. One is a comic collaboration with artist Emma Lysyk. Another is a book that is WAY out of several comfort zones, but should prove to be hilarious.
Then there's life. Went on a family vacation to Sedona, Arizona last month and spent some time in a disco-lit bathtub. (I will be using that in a story some time. It was amusing.) I've been sick with one thing or another for most of the past month. The past 3 days or so are the first since mid-September that I feel human. And my kiddo is on Fall Break, so no work is really getting done.
Her birthday is coming up. So my brain is engaged planning parties and presents and stuff on top of the book and story seeds. I've also been battling some thought demons. Stupid mood swings and hormonal shifts and chemical imbalances that fill my head with drivel I *know* is utter bullshit...and yet, it can lay me low for weeks. Only now am I coming out of the funk and realizing that I was in it at all. Hooray for chemical issues. *rolls eyes*
Family is coming into town next month--right around the time of the book release. My dad and step-mom will be in town, and I can't wait to see them. This is the part that sucks about living 2000 miles away from half of your parents. *kicks dirt* Where's my teleporter?! Also, I found out that my mother-in-law is coming out in the nebulous area of somewhen. No idea when. Not sure for how long. But I've never met the woman. This is awkward. The good news is that my daughter will finally get to meet the one grandparent she's never seen. So, yeah. It looks like the end of November is a Convergence of All Things, so I won't be surprised if the MiL shows up then, too.
Amazing things are happening in the lives of my Ohana. Crazy changes. Growing babies (one of whom I've been babysitting once a week) and expanding families. One of my dearest is getting married in February. I had hoped to be in the wedding but with all the obligations on me right now and the travel/financial voodoo required to be a bridesmaid...yeah, I don't know if that's feasible. Hoping to make it, though, so I can cry and hug her to pieces.
Yeah... and on top of it all is this crazy world we live in. Syria. Government shut down. Debt ceiling looming. Agents of SHIELD. Thor 2 next month.
I just haven't felt like I had anything of value to say here--or on Twitter, really. I could whine about self-image, or ramble about progress on the book. I could tell you how much I love chai or get your hopes up for projects that might ultimately languish in the dark corners of my brainspace. Really, though, I've just been in an odd meditative silence as far as this blog and some online presences have been concerned. Just a few years ago that was the norm, and now it feels unnatural. Silence is forbidden fruit.
Anyway, kids, I've not forsaken you. I'm still here. And there will be a flurry of activity here in the coming months. Perhaps that's what my silence is... the deep breath before the plunge.
For now, though, it's enough for me to say I'm still here.
How are you?
Kiddo is home on summer vacation for another few weeks and both of us are getting a little stir crazy.
Also, one of my bestest had a baby last month. That baby came to the world 6 weeks sooner than anticipated. (And thus, she and I form a club. We're a group. A partnership of Early-But-Awesome.) Well, Baby LemmyB finally got to go home a little more than a week ago. So, I spent some of last week helping her and her mom adjust to this new version of life. Albeit, most of that was spent snuggling a very tiny bebe, but dude. Baby snuggles. I'll be doing that once or twice a week for the next 6 weeks or so. Have laptop, will travel. And that's a good thing becaaaaaause....
I got my long awaited edits on TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES and my proofs for WHEN THE HERO COMES HOME 2 (the anthology I'm a part of coming soon from Dragon Moon Press). AND, I'm preparing for Copper Con next month.
Did I mention that? I don't know. I'm going to be a guest at Copper Con in Mesa, AZ running August 8-11. I'll be giving panels discussing Mythology and Urban Fantasy, Author Resources in the Digital Age, and Writers and Social Media.
So yeah, it's been pretty busy around these parts. I'm going into my writing/editing cave of solitude...well, it's more of a desk really. And there's not exactly solitude. There are headphones. And glares if I'm disturbed.
Things aren't going to slow down any for a while, either. I'm going to be working pretty hard for the next month on these edits for Entangled. It's odd. I wrote the book 2 years ago (next month) and while its seen it's fair share of edits, it's hard to think of it as something malleable. That and I haven't really touched it for...wow. A while. I've been working on the other books in the series. Book 3 (most recent work in that universe) takes place nearly 2 years after the events in TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, so it's also odd doing a time warp... and if I change things here, it might change things there and AHHHH! *brain asplodes!*
So yeah. Forgive me if the blog gets neglected for a bit. I'm working on making this book specfuckinggoddamntacular for you.
Until next time, have a Hiddloki picture: