No Post for this Week

I’ve been recovering from a cold.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to my cover refreshes soon.

Next week Part IV of World Building

I’m sorry for the delay, but the final part of the world building workshop will be next Tuesday.

On Hiatus this week and next

I’m going to be on hiatus from the blog this week and next–but it’s for a good reason I’m going to post here later.

Interview for Here Be Merfolk Bundle

A.L. Butcher just posted up an interview with me on her blog.  I used to watch actor David Hedison do interviews (his were always in person) and it was pretty cool to see, so it’s fun for me to think about what I want to say.  Anyway, drop in and have a loook.

Here Be Merfolk

Cover for Dark From the Sea pulled out from the bundle


The call of the deep rings ever in our ears, from myth and legend to crime and mystery. Sea-people, mer and monster, immortals and reluctant heroes feature in this sea-worthy bundle.

Table of Contents
1. “The Women of Whale Rock” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
2. “We, the Ocean” by Alexandra Brandt
3. “Oshenerth” by Alan Dean Foster
4. “Deep Dreaming” by Debbie Mumford
5. “Dolphin Knight” by Robert Jeschonek
6. “On Desperate Seas” by Kate MacLeod
7. “Fate’s Door” by J.M. Ney-Grimm
8. “The Murky Depths” by Linda Jordan
9. “Dark, From the Sea” by Linda Maye Adams
10. “Ondine” by Brenda Carre

Available from your favorite booksellers.

The Lost Hour

What if a murder occurred in the lost hour from daylight savings?  From Kristen Lamb.

The Curse of Perfection

November marks NanoWrite, which is is when many writers try to write 50K in 30 days.  Nano, perhaps curiously, reminds me of the cooking competitions on Food Network.  They just finished up the Halloween Baking Championship and are about to start the Holiday Baking Championship.  There’s all the cake competitions too.

Particularly with the cake competitions, we sometimes get a cake decorator who proudly boasts up front that their standard is perfection.

Then they make contact with the timed challenge of the competition.

There’s no time to be perfect.

But some of them try to hang onto the perfection, and the time crunch pulls them apart.  They start making careless mistakes that put them behind.  Because they’re still focusing on perfection, they fall further and further behind, refusing to abandon part of piece that’s too complicated or try something else.

Others quickly toss out the perfection, but veer in another just as bad direction.  They go sloppy.  Their focus becomes laser focused on finishing, without regard to quality.

Suddenly they hear “One hour left” and it’s a mad rush to try to pull everything together.  Only it’s really too late to play catch up, and the piece either ends up a mess or on the floor.

Which sounds a lot like Nano.  The purpose is to drive out the perfectionist, because if you stop to perfect each sentence, you’ll never get 50K by the end of the month.   Yet, it’s hard for writers to let go of needing to be perfect and they end up not even getting close to their goals.  Or they write sloppy.   Imagine writing a story and leaving out all the punctuation.  Now imagine having to fix that during a revision.


Perfect is a curse, because it is anything but perfect.


Favorite Halloween Monster?

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year.  I remember from the original (and horribly dated now) Beauty and the Beast when Vincent said that Halloween was when “the walls between the worlds grow thin and spirits roam the Earth.”  The holiday is delightfully spooky with ghosts, spiderwebs, and other ghoulish things.

My local Thai restaurant had bobbing ghosts in the entry way–cloth draped over balloons.  Simple and very effective.  There’s also a house down the street with a giant inflatable dragon.

My favorite ghoul of the season is the skeleton.  There’s something really fun about skeletons.  The image below reminded me of a Buck Rogers second season episode where Mark Lenard was an alien being who could remove his head.

What’s your favorite Halloween ghoul?


Skeleton lift its head up

Escaping the World

It’s not been a good two weeks because of all the hysteria and nastiness in the media.  And it’s toxic, especially for my creativity.  After reading the book Your Happiness is Hacked (and highly recommended!), it was very eye opening to how we’re being manipulated by social media.

But the book also mentions that people spend their time on their SmartPhones and don’t get out in nature much any more.  So I thought a trip out to have some fun was in order.  Nature is one of the greatest things for refreshing me.

I found Occuquan Regional Park.  It’s a  park with boating ramps and some nice paths following along the Occuquan River.

This is a view of the river.   Though it looks like it’s about to storm, it never did.  I’m still waiting for some rain.  And it’s humid!

View of Occuquan River from Occuquan Regional Park

Some fall colors.  We’re still about a month off from all the trees turning, so these are some early birds.  I think these are oaks.

Some of the trees are turning orange!

And a historical sighting.  This is called the Beehive Kiln.  Some of the history is here.

Round brick kiln and brick smoke stack





Rain is a Fascinating Thing

I woke up to rain this morning.  Since I grew up in Los Angeles where the sky is clear most of the time and rain an infrequent thing, it’s fun watching, or listening to the rain.

Especially at night, watching it spill over the street in the halos of the street lights.  I sat at the widow seat as we flew over thunderclouds and watched the lightning flash below (flying through thunderclouds…not so much).

Still I had business at hand, so it was off to the farmer’s market for fruit and vegetables.  It was raining enough that I had to be careful not to have water dumped down my back at the edges of the tents the vendors set up.

Me in a rain coat against a rainy street background