1.29.2010

Tart Talk (Vol. 2): In Which Jane And Alexia Avoid the Stinky Bag

When last they met, Nicole Peeler's character, Jane True, and my character, Alexia Tarabotti, had a little difficulty communicating. Nicole thinks they’ll become fast friends once they learn to decipher each other’s language. I'm not so sure. But, as she says, "Until then, the shenanigans continue…"

Alexia: Well, my dear Miss True, how are you?

Jane: Hey lady! Yay! So happy to see you! After the “chafing” incident from last time, you looked a bit horrified, and I wasn’t sure if I’d hear from you again. . . Anyway, I’m great! And, um, I’ve brought you something.

*holds out a gift bag*

Alexia: What’s this? Tea? In little baggies? Remarkable, I have never seen the like. Ingenuous concept.

Jane: Yeah! I knew you were kind of disappointed when all I had was coffee and then you called me Italian. So I brought some tea with me . . . Most of it’s from the café at Read It And Weep. There’s some chamomile, and rooibos, and some mint . . . and my hippie nahual friend, Amy, gave me some “cannabis tea,” but I think it’s just pot. It’s in the stinky bag.

Alexia: Those are not tea, those are tisanes. There’s no tealeaf in them. I suspect they have some wonderful medical applications, however. Thank you my dear, very thoughtful. The way my life has been going recently, I shall surely need poultices and medicinal compounds in abundance. So, it has been some little time since our last conversation, how are you weathering your maiden voyage about the fated sea of interwebs?

Jane: Oh, I think I’m doing okay! It’s a lot of work, though, the blogging. Neither my author nor I had ever done any blogging before the book, so we’re both sort of learning as we go. Your site rocks, btw. I love how organized it is, around themes. Very nice!

Alexia: Oh, my dove, I hired People. You know what they say? Good staff is so hard to come by, but I got very lucky indeed. I got myself this fantastic girl, like for doing one’s hats, only she decorated the site instead of my latest bonnet. And then a man, very properly, did the actual construction. I like to think of him as my website’s custodial butler. Now, I hear from an acquaintance of mine that you have been caught fraternizing with vampires. Are you certain a young lady of your delicacy ought to do so unchaperoned?

Jane. Ha ha! Delicacy! Love that! Ummmm, I think young women of my “delicacy” should definitely fraternize with vampires. Ryu is awesome to fraternize with. Just please don’t mention the idea of “chaperoning” to him . . . I’m not having the threesome talk again!

Alexia: Vampires can be quite difficult. Lord Akeldama is always using strange words like that as well. Although I hear they are slightly different in the Americas. Are you finding this to be the case?

Jane: Oh, yeah, Nicole’s vamps are totally different than your vamps. But you shouldn’t really call her vamps vamps, either. . . everybody’s gotta be special in her world. *rolls her eyes* And yeah, they can be difficult. It’s hard being with someone who really has needs. Like when he says, “I have needs,” he means, “I have to nibble on women to survive,” not, “I’m making up a lame excuse about why I can’t corral my johnson.” There’s also the biting. It feels awesome, but can get messy. But I guess everything fun can be messy, wouldn’t you agree? You must have terrible problems with the shedding.

Alexia: Jane dear, remember, do, that I have People for that kind of thing. I could hardly be expected to clean up after Lord Maccon, now could I? You cannot possibly be implying that you must to, urm, tend to your little vampire friend? Can you? All on your lonesome, with no help? Shocking. Really, quite shocking. Speaking of which, I must admit I found the window dressing for your memoirs rather daring. Now that we have met in person, your eyes are simply not quite that big. Why did you allow your portrait artist to take such liberties?


Jane: Yeah, at the time I was like, “Nicole, dude, give me a sword!” and she’s all, “Jane, you’ll poke your eye out,” and I’m all, “Ohmigod this is like the freakin’ Christmas Story!” But I gotta admit that even though I felt super awkward standing there all naked for Sharon to paint me, it was the right thing to do. I’m not, like, a normal urban fantasy heroine, ya know? I mean, you at least have a parasol. My ancestors juggled shit on their noses. So I think the cover represents the tone of my book. Although I woulda rocked the hell out of a big ass broadsword . . .

Alexia: On their noses? You don’t say? What extraordinary behavior. Were they Irish? Your ancestors, I mean. I hear strange things about the Irish.

Jane: I don’t know if my mom was from the Irish side of the selkie family . . . unless the Irish are naturists? Cuz mommy dearest had a penchant for the nuditas . . . Not like you and all your underwear!

Alexia: Undergarments, please. And must we go back to that? You seem terribly terribly fascinated with my small clothes. Could we be a tad more civilized? Tell me about your Christmas, was it terribly exciting? I know you American types are rather racy in your approach to holiday cheer.

Jane: My family’s not really into the Christian aspects of Christmas. But I do believe in Santa. After everything I’ve seen, recently, I know he’s gotta be out there somewhere. Tracy and I always cook a big dinner, and this year we had quite a crowd with all the Rockabill supes attending. But it was super fun. And Ryu drove in. That was exciting. He brought mistletoe, but we found other places to hang it than from doorways.

How about you? Do you guys make one of those crazy British fruitcakes that you soak with booze for eons, then light it on fire?


Alexia: Oh, yes! I do love Christmas pudding. I find food so much more appetizing after it has been set on fire. Don’t you?

Jane: Totally. Nothing like a flaming skewer of meat to make my mouth water. *pauses* Sorry, that sounded wicked dirty. And one thing I don’t like is when people try to set me on fire, like they keep trying to do in my second book. In fact, going back to what you mentioned earlier, I know what we can talk about next time! We can talk about laundering/first aid tricks for the urban fantasy heroine!

Alexia: On, fire? You? How gauche. I have problems with werewolves in skirts, myself. All those knees. We must get together and commiserate.

[This is a repost of the original which appeared on the Orbit site, here.]

1.27.2010

In The Beginning There Was Confusion

I am beginning a number of projects right now, Gentle Reader. I'm not afraid of the blank page, in fact, I kind of like it. There are so many possibilities. But, that said, this is still an odd time for me as a writer, I always feel a little spacey and scattered when I'm starting projects. And beginning four projects at once? You can well imagine, the zombies have eaten my brains.


What the start looks like.

This absent-minded-professor-ness ends up trickling into my everyday life. I nearly left the house this morning in my fuzzy slippers, not a great look paired with a pencil skirt and pattern tights. I keep making tea, leaving it somewhere, and forgetting about it. Then I have to trail around the house looking for abandoned tea mugs, and spend long moments staring sadly down at the now undrinkable cold beverage. Terrible loss of perfectly good tea. I also wake up in the middle of the night with strokes of brilliance, which, upon assessment in the cold (gray, rainy) light of day, turn out to be rather less brilliant.

Normally this goes on for only a week or so, but with four new projects, I have a sinking feeling this period will last longer than usual. I wonder if I shall survive it? I'll certainly run out of tea at this rate. And I probably shouldn't be driving.

1.25.2010

Monday Ketchup Blog

I've been bopping about a few steampunk discussions recently, Gentle Reader. Over on Erotic Horizons I'm being quoted in a blog, and I had a blast participating in the Romance Diva's Steampunk Workshop forum. Some really great discussions got going there.


In conjunction, I've also done a massive overhaul on my steampunk reading list.

Also had a recent interview over on SFF Chat. Here's a sample:
SFF: After finishing Soulless, I went over to visit your website where I discovered that in addition to writing you are also an archeologist, a field that I have always been fascinated with. Can you tell me a bit about your archeological work? How has your background in archeology influenced your writing?
GC: I have an MS in materials archaeology with a focus on inorganics, and an MA in anthropology with a focus on ceramic artifact analysis. Which means that while I have some field experience I've spent most of my time in the laboratory sticking artifacts into very expensive instruments that go "beep." Read more...

The SF Examiner talks Alex Awards.

My agent gets interviewed.

I'm launching several new projects this month and preparing for the Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition, which is why I have been so scatty about blogging, and delayed in answering emails. I apologize, but it is necessary. I'm instituting a firm policy of no social media on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So, just FYI I will not be available at all online on those days (or on the weekends).

1.19.2010

Interview at The Book Whisperer

Being interviewed today, Gentle Reader, over on The Book Whisperer. Here is sample,

Always treacle tart or do other puddings get a look in?
Oh, other puddings, by all means. Particularly custard. I am a sucker of custard in all its many forms.

This is good, because I have a million things to do today and I am already behind.

1.18.2010

Alex Award

Just in a quick note, I was delighted to find out this morning that Soulless has appeared on the American Library Association's Alex Awards list. "The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18." Many of you know how near and dear YA is to my heart, so I am particularly honored by this recognition. (The weirdest part is that I started a story this morning with a main character named Alex ~ before I found out.)

And now on to your regularly scheduled blog...

1.15.2010

Gail's Top 10 Favorite Podcasts for Improving Your Life

In honor of the New Year and all those New Year's Resolutions that come with it, I am offering up some finds, Gentle Reader, that I am hoping might help you with your endeavors.

1. Make It Green Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for an Earth Friendly Life ~ Resolved to be more green? This podcast will help you out in under 10 minutes a pop. Sadly, now poddead, most of the information (from 2008) is still relevant and applicable. And, look on the bright side, at least you know you can start and finish it. I haven't made my way through them all yet, but she does answer such pressing questions as: Which is better, plastic or paper bags?

2. Classical Mythology podcast ~ Hoping to appreciate classical art more, visit museums, or improve your understanding of the ancient world? Give this podcast from Learn Out Loud a try. It is comprised of biographical information on the Greek pantheon, 15 mins long or less. That said, if you really want a good basic understanding of Greek mythology you can do no better than to read D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths.

3. The History of Rome ~ If you resolved to learn something new in 2010, how about the history of Rome in 20 minute bites? Mike Duncan goes in depth, covering extra details that neither High School nor colleges would have had the time to deal with. As an added bonus, he has a chocolate-smooth voice that is ridiculously easy to listen to. I suggest you spoil yourself by combining this with a marathon watching of the best historical series ever to hit the airways: Rome. Feel like you know enough abotu Rome? Why not try a podcast detailing the history empire that US schools seem to always skip over: 12 Byzantine Rulers: A History of the Byzantine Empire.

4. Friday Night Comedy podcast from BBC Radio 4 ~ Trying to stay abreast of current events but can't face the depression of actually listening to the news? Try this 30 minute British comedy show. It switches between The Now Show and The News Quiz. Information about world events disseminated through humor, for those who favor the Daily Show over CNN, this is your podcast. If not try . . .

5. Global News from the BBC ~ 25 minutes long, several times a day, it will fill your catcher up fast, but if you want to stay abreast of international news, there is no better podcast out there. Usually covering only three or four stories, you can easily fast forward through the ones that don't interest you. British reporters have no problem actually reporting on occurrences off their island, and no difficulty asking politicians the hard questions and expecting non-evasive answers. Who knew?

6. Money Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life ~ Whether or not you resolved to improve your finances this year, you should listen to this podcast. Everyone in the US should listen to this podcast. Like the others in the "Dirty Tips" series it presents information in under 10 minute bites. Laura Adams explains, simply and easily, such things as the difference between and Roth and a regular IRA, how to improve your credit scores, and home office dedications on your taxes. Being a west-coaster I must admit I found her accent a little annoying, but her information is entirely worth it.

7. NPR: Planet Money Podcast ~ One of the few NPR shows produced exclusively for the podcast world, and the only thing from NPR to make my top 10 list. They haven't quite got that part down yet, but they sure do have a high production values. 20 min or less, 2x a week, this podcast started as a means of explaining the US economic troubles using laymen's terms and simple analogies that everyone could understand but has become much more than that. No current event is too big, or too small, for these guys to tackle ~ from the recession, to a fruit stall in New York, to the Somalian pirates. The economy is not a topic I would generally follow, but there is something about this podcast I simply adore, and it is one of the first podcasts I listen too. And, most of the time, it isn't depressing either.

8. The Nutrition Diva's Quick and Dirty Tips for Eating Well and Feeling Fabulous ~ Are you one of the millions of people who resolved to lose weight this year, or get fit? This is your podcast. Weekly tips in under 8 minutes that are easy to understand and well researched. Monica goes into everything from the myths about coffee drinking, to how much vitamin D you should be taking, to overviews of the current fad diets. I love, love, love this podcast. She has a great voice and she talks nice and fast.

9. The Public Speaker's Quick and Dirty Tips for Improving Your Communication Skills ~ The Greeks and the Romans taught oration in school, and (like proper grammar) it is a lost art to the American education system. I teach university classes and the thing that frightens my students the most is not finals, but class presentations. Which is why I always make them present. Public speaking is a real art form that can only help you advance in life professionally or personally. I have used Lisa's 6 minute tips for class lectures, small talk at company parties, interviews, and discussion panels. No mater how good (or bad) you think you are and talking in front of an audience, this podcast can only help. Invaluable.

10. Savage Love Podcast ~ I dither over which relationship podcast is my favorite, but usually settle on Dan Savage because of his snarky no-holds-barred (literally) attitude. I don't always agree with him, but it sure is fun to listen to him rant. This is a calls-based advice show, so it is not the place to go if you are looking for specific answers to questions on sexual health, relationships, or sexuality. However, you will learn new things, run into someone with the same problems, and laugh a lot. He co-hosts with experts on occasion, to answer more complicated medical or D/S questions. Dan is gay and open/poly/kink friendly, so if you offend easily this is certainly not the podcast for you. I suggest the intermittent "Speaking of Sex" podcast from Planned Parenthood instead. I also recommend the Polyamory Weekly podcast, whether or not you are poly, for some good relationship and communication tips.

"Now Gail," I can hear you asking, "What if I resolved to be more fashionable? You, of all people, should be able to help me with this."

There, I am afraid, the podcasting world falls short. There were a number of excellent video podcasts covering the catwalk shows but they all seem to podfade within a year. You can catch my occasional segment on Brass Needles, but it only covers knitwear. If I were to do a podcast, I'd do a "Quick and Dirty Fashion Tips for Being More Stylish and Better Dressed." But I'm too busy to start a new project now, so I keep hoping someone else jumps in. The Product Girl faded two years ago, and I'm not interested in pods that focus on makeup. Also, they tend to be large file video, rather than small file audio tips, or they focus on some kind of product promotion and aren't objective. I'll keep looking and let you know if I find a good one.

1.14.2010

Housekeeping Blog ~ They Happen Sometimes

.
More pictures from the io9 Meetup.

Dan, Self, Mac, Nicole & Remnants of Tea (yay!)

And the lovely Nicole details her sojourn in our metropolis.

I have an interview up in . . . Arabic! No, I don't speak it, the reporter very kindly interviewed me in English first. I hope it's good. I have no idea. It's such fun to be globe-trotting from the comfort of ones own home.



Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Hats!
Your Tisane of Smart:
MAD architects. The genius behind:



Your Writerly Tinctures:
Clarifying queries.

Malena Lott has lovely things to say on Bookgasm.com. "Carriger knows how to world-build and suck us in to this delightful tale of a co-mingling proper society where things like the full moon and daylight matter, but only as much as serving delicious tarts at your party."
Super Secret Project X: notes stage, awaiting agent feedback
SPOILER ALERT! Amazon and Powell's have posted Changeless cover along with blurb. Blurb gives bits of Soulless away so don't read if you haven't read the first book.
Blameless: Done, happy dance.
Super Secret Project H: notes stage
CAKE in Space: Trunked for the moment.

Quote of the Day:
"If you are pointing out one of the things a story is about, then you are very probably right; if you are pointing out the only thing a story is about you are very probably wrong - even if you're the author."
~ Neil Gaiman

1.12.2010

Much Video ~ Book Launch Party

So Peter V. Brett and Brent Weeks were charging about World Fantasy, mildly drunk, with a video camera. Here are some of the results.

They pigeonholed me at the book launch.



And got a whole interview out of Blake.



1.11.2010

An Ode to the Survival Guide

At the dawn of podcasting (for me) I discovered Tee Morris's The Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy. I mainlined it the first 20 episodes while I was excavating in Peru. It was strange thing to hear Tee shouting at me while I contemplated child sacrifice, alpaca decorated bowls, and the consumption of guinea pig. This was just after I'd sold the first book in the Parasol Protectorate series and Tee taught me many, many things. He is single-handedly responsible for my general online presence, obsession with good headshots, and love of twitter. Tee's episode on book signings and presskits was my model for the presskit page of my website.

It is difficult to imagine where I would be now without this podcast, probably a lot more confused by the whole publication process, probably a lot les web savvy. Tee produced the Survival Guide out of altruism and love of writing, and I'm not sure how aware he is of how many he helped along the way. But he did.

So the Survival Guide has ended leaving me behind a better professional. I shall miss it sorely. But like some kind of (small, hairy) fairy godmother Tee was there for me when I needed him most, and has done his best to improve my career one barked command at a time.

If you are an aspiring or recently published writer I can't emphasize enough how valuable this podcast is. Go, listened to it now, before it goes entirely poddark.

Some of my other favorite writing podcasts

1.08.2010

io9 Meetup


The io9 thingy at the new Borderlands Cafe last night was a blast. There was a pretty massive turn out and general good will and conversation was had by all.

I got to meet the lovely Nicole Peeler in person, she slightly jetlagged and me slightly hyper. This resulted me unintentionally insulting her shoes, but it all worked out well in the end as we the proceeded to mutually mock (in no particular order) our editor, our students, and Shreveport. I got to meet her childhood friend, she got to meet two of my favorite people. I sampled some truly excellent tea: custom blend lose leaf, in a proper teapot. J. Daniel Sawyer pronounced his iced tea (plebeian beverage!) very nice indeed, before upending the bulk of his glass onto the coffee table. I leaped to save a most adorable green handbag (because I have priorities) and much hilarity ensued.

We left the party to wander about, and despite its new found hipster nature, Valencia seems to shut down around 10. We skulked into a fantastic vegetarian eatery just before it closed, Herbivore, and then wandered about aimlessly for a bit. I spent the drive home ruminating over gifting the new cafe with a mirror (for the bathroom) and a couple of tea cozies. (Do you think this might be considered autocratic of me?)

1.07.2010

Author Interview Today over at the Book Whisperer

Which are your favourite books and authors from that era and did any of them inspire you while writing Soulless?
I love Elisabeth Gaskell, so anything by her. I like Jane Eyre but can do without the other Bronte sisters. Of course, I lived and breathed Dickens for a very long time... Read the rest here.

1.06.2010

All About Steampunk Fashion

Gentle Reader, I have a busy day today getting caught up on all my correspondences and paperwork ~ which is terribly Victorian of me, when you think about it. (Except that the correspondences are all electronic.) I am getting a late start because I am a lazy so-and-so. However, The Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition is coming up (March 12-14, 2010 in Emeryville, CA) and in honor of that I am dropping this reboot of an interview about steampunk fashion that I did for the steampunk fanzine Exhibition Hall.

Please note that the post is image-heavy and that the accompanying images are ones ganked off the net. If you find one and it belongs to you I am happy to either take it down or provide appropriate direction/link/credit. Due to a computer snafu I have lost all of this information myself. Thanks for being understanding.

What defines Steampunk Fashion to you? How do (or do) you see fashion defining the Steampunk movement?
Steampunk fashion tends to be an amalgamation of Victorian fashion with metallic industrial detailing (usually brass) and modern gothic overtones. I've defined it in the past as the lovechild of Hot Topic and a BBC costume drama.
+ =

I do believe that the attire of steampunk is hugely relevant to the movement as a whole. It's one of the things that sets steampunk apart from other SFF subgenres. The fashion melds a clear aesthetic with an intrinsically steamkpunk sense of creativity and community. It's true that some people are more into the literature and others more into the craftsmanship side of steampunk, but even those folks usually nod in the fashion direction with a vest, or a pair of goggles, or a newsboy cap.


Where should one begin? With the Character or with the Clothing?
That is really up to the wearer. I began with the clothing, but that's because I'm not much of an actor and I simply enjoy the style above all else. Also I incorporate steampunk into my everyday life as well as wearing full on costumes to larger events. This means I like separates and small details, like jewelry, that I can mix with "normal" garb. Starting with a character might work better for those who are planning on attending a faire or convention, or those who aren't inveterate shoppers.

Character or Clothing also depends on ones approach to making a costume piece. I visit vintage, army surplus, and thrift stores where I find things and then modify them to become steampunk. Most of the time these pieces then dictate the finished outfit and character. But if you are the kind of person who can work from a pattern then you have the luxury of choosing where to go from the start and thus may want to have a character in mind.


What do you see as the relationship between Character and Costume?
This relationship often emerges in the kinetic or mechanical aspect of a costume. Someone will come up with an awesome motorized arm, or a great mad scientist doctor self-folding kit, and suddenly a character will emerge from that one detail.

I think it's important not to become too carried away by character when still in the planning stage. I've known people who look endlessly for the perfect piece of costuming, yet they could have something wonderful if they were more flexible. As much as the clothing should adapt to your character, it is possible for the character to adapt to a new clothing discovery as well.

What is your best advice for someone just getting started with Steampunk fashion and characterization?
Be open to the possibilities. One of my most commented upon pieces is a corset I tore apart and covered in buttons and brass spoons. Yes, spoons. People love to see the silly and the unexpected.

Shop in a different area of the thrift store. For example, women's vests sometimes also fit men and are usually more Victorian looking. The bric-a-brac section often has bendable bits of metal. Buttons can be changed, pockets can be added, sleeves removed. When you're costuming, try to train your mind to see what a piece of clothing could be, rather than what it is. Also keep your eyes open at places like Target, Kohls, or JC Penny. Steampunk turns up unexpectedly everywhere.

I also suggest watching a costume movie from the time period you are interested in, and then extrapolating. If you're fascinated by the Austen dandy driving a high flyer, how would that character dress to drive an ornithopter?
+ =

How would the engineer of a train differ from the engineer in a dirigible? How about Gaskell's doctor who has to treat steam burns instead of cholera? If the lady is cross-dressing, why is she doing so? Does she have a profession that requires greater mobility? Is she riding the latest and greatest steam powered bicycle? What would have had to carry about her person if she were?

Lastly, there are certainly elements not well represented yet in the steampunk world: minors, maids, footmen, drivers, hostlers, postmen, sailors, clerks, foreign dignitaries, cooks. Yet if we imagine a Victorian world where steam power dominates, these people are its cogs.

I recall you leading a panel at the California Steampunk Convention on Thrifting and Modding clothes for Steampunk - could you speak a bit about that?
I have a blog entry with detailed notes and pictures from the panel as well as some links and other tips on thrifting. Also you can check out the shop section of my webpage, it has a list of steampunk and Victorian vendors online. Even if you don't have the funds to buy, you can get some great ideas on what to look for while you're out thrifting.

Beyond the perhaps de rigeur goggles, what item or items, if any, do you see as quintessentially "Steampunk"?
Some kind of hat or hair ornament is pretty common, anything from an embellish band to a tiny top hat or a massive a modified eyepiece. Vests, corsets, kilted up skirts, knickerbockers, and boots tend to abound. Deconstructed clocks, gears, leather bands, metal buttons, and military detailing are common as well. The color template leans in favor of brass and brown, although goth wear is still there with it's black and silver. I always enjoy costumes that really adopt the Victorian delight in bright colors and the expansion of British trade that brought with it vibrant Indian muslins and patterned Chinese silks, but they remain comparatively rare.


What resources can you recommend to those wanting to become more involved with the fashion side of Steampunk?
The steampunk fashion group on flickr has over a thousand images that will certainly inspire. There are a number of thriving LiveJournal communities as well. I like [info]steamfashion best, the posts are monitored to prevent off-topic advertising, and it is comprised of a really helpful group of people, always supportive and willing to answer questions or concerns. I also suggest [info]lamodeillustree , which is wonderful for those of us interested in the actual attire of the day. Just going on to Google Images and typing in "steampunk fashion" yields up some amazing results. And in spring of 2008 Ralph Lauren put some seriously great turn of the century style starter pieces down the runway. It's definitely worth checking out. If you are still hungry for more steampunk check out the steampunk section of my website.

Quote of the Day:

"And this one's jusssst right..."
~ Rachel

1.04.2010

Gail's 13 New Year Goals

I prefer "goals" to "resolutions," don't you, Gentle Reader? Seems less formal.
So here are some thoughts/goals/and prospective appearances for 2010.

1. Books. I'd like to write a new book over the next few months. Something for me, that I really just want to play with.
2. Edits. I've got the revisions for CAKE from my agent. I need to go over those and see if I really want to break into that universe (YA SF) or not.
3. Shorts. I've had a few requests. It's been a while but I should dust of my brevity and see if I still have the chops for short story writing.
4. Email. I've been lax about responding to emails and interview requests and other things. I allowed myself too much slack over the holidays must be more diligent.
5. Website. See above. There are a few tedious changes I need to implement, like links to the books I recommend on the steampunk page and such.
6. Event. The Steampunk Expo is in March. I'll be on panels and I hope to have a few new outfits ready.
7. Changeless comes out in April. I have to make sure all my contest winners get their copies, and also do what I can to get books to the reviewers and individuals who have been so kind and helpful to me with Soulless.
8. I have readings, signings and conventions for April and May, some scheduled, some still to schedule.
9. I'm back on the excavation in August.
10. Event. I'm flying to Australia for WorldCon in September and staying there for a month or so.
11. Within that madness Blameless comes out. I won't be around to shepherd this third book as much, I'm hoping people enjoy Changeless enough to jump on Blameless in the same year.
12. October I'm hoping to go to Orycon.
13. Then it's right back around to the holidays.

2009 was a pretty good year for me, aside from some personal life wobbly bits. Here's hoping 2010 is just as much fun. It's starting out well so far.

Soulless is making the occasional appearance about the blogosphere on 2009 favorites lists. I am so excited and honored.