Black Friday Needs Good Omens

Black Friday being the clusterfuck it is, don’t leave the house. Settle in with Pratchett and Gaiman’s masterpiece Good Omens, one of the best books ever written by anybody anywhere anytime. (Well, you can’t read it on GOOD Friday, can you?)
And really good news for Brits (jealousy seeps into post), BBC radio will be doing doing a six-parter version which better show up on iTunes damn quick. I’m already upset I can’t get the Suzy Bakes pink Victoria sponge tin over here, and now you have this. Plus your chocolate is miles better than ours. If anybody over there will be listening to this while eating Maltesers and baking Suzy’s sponge, I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT.

(Actually, I can get the Malteser’s off the net. Ignore my whining.)

Happiness Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, Argh. Tell us what you’re thankful for, no matter how off the wall, so we can spread the warmth and gratitude, even if it’s just “I’m grateful Thanksgiving is over.”


I’ll get us started: I’m grateful for dogs, Diet Coke, and the people in this community. Also chocolate, my grandkids, the family-I-made, and yarn.

How’s about you?

Zo's First Story Retcon Collage

So I haven’t put any more words on paper, but I’ve figured out the major problem with the first story/chapter which was two-fold:
1. Zo wasn’t doing anything except trying to escape with the kids. I need a protagonist with a goal. And now I know how to do that in this story/chapter/whatever.
2. The mood was so grim, and I didn’t know how to lighten it because, hello, somebody’s trying to kill her. So I collaged with the elements I knew were in there, searching for period illustrations for the people, and by George, I think I’ve got it. All the people illustrations are Leyendecker except for one Mucha and one Coleman:
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Retconning a WIP

That title has to be the most jargon-y post heading in my history. A WIP is a work in progress; retconning means “the alteration of previously established facts in the continuity of a fictional work” (that’s Wikipedia). I am retconning like crazy, including that DSP (Damn Stupid Premise) we were talking about.

Here’s what’s going on (this is all about what I’m working on, so if you’d like to skip to something more interesting, there’s always good stuff on io9):

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Unforgettable Story Moments

I was thinking of Magnum PI today because I’ve just read that Glen Larson died. Magnum was only one of his many creations, but it sticks in my mind because of one moment that was so devastating, I even remember the name of the episode. And it makes me think about what makes a story moment so powerful, so iconic, that it stays with you forever. I think most examples probably come from film, but there have been moments in books when I sat up and gaped at the page, not just because they were such plot game-changers, but because their impact was so huge on my perception of that character.

If you haven’t watched “Did You See the Sunrise?” skip the next couple of paragraphs. Continue reading

In Heaven's Name, What Was I Thinking?


There’s an old Wile E. Coyote cartoon that I wish I could find again for one two-minute segment. Wile E. is in the desert, standing under a flat outcrop of rock with a stick. For some reason, he’s poking at it. Over and over and over. Then you hear a crack, and Wile E. looks at the viewer and pulls out a sign that says, “In heaven’s name, what was I thinking?” Then the rock collapses on him.

This isn’t the same one, but it’s very close . . . Continue reading

A Cast of Thousands . . .

We’re getting far enough along now that we’re looking at our cast of characters and trying to figure out who’s needed and who needs to go; who we’re missing and who we wouldn’t miss if they walked off the page and never came back. My theory of character casts is that you basically have four kinds of characters. This is not a rule, it’s not even a tool. It’s just the way I sort characters. Continue reading

And now back to work . . .

Krissie just left, Toni should be home in New Orleans by today, and I’m back in bed, which isn’t as slothful as it sounds because that’s actually a healthier way to write than sitting at a desk all day. Okay, and because I need more sleep, but still we worked hard this weekend, so no guilt. It’s amazing how much we accomplished, how many blanks we filled in, how much ground we covered, especially when you consider how much time we spent shopping and eating. So here’s what worked for us this weekend: Continue reading