Katie MacAlister

Katie Cast

Adrian, Christian, and Raphael

Today is the day that the first three Dark Ones books comes out in audio format, hoobah! If you haven’t yet seen the newsletter with links and information, trot over to it at http://mad.ly/62bb73. I can’t wait to hear how the narrators did with the books!

That Which Does Not Kill Us…

Man, is everyone else overwhelmed with stuff right now? Is it coming off the holidays, or the start of a new year, or just all sorts of projects and work and responsibilities ‘n stuff like that hitting at the same time?

I have books to write, tax info to start organizing for Mr. Tax Dude, classes to watch videos, do homework, and take quizzes, crafty projects spread out all over the dining room table, and a HUGE stack of books just waiting to lure me away from everything else. Did I mention the books to be written?

I know you guys must be just as swamped, and most likely more so, because I live a fairly boring life. At least we’re never bored, right?

Happy Tuesday!

Why I’m Not Allowed to Pick Out Books in the Middle of the Night

I received a metric butt-ton of books for Christmas, most of which were from me (I am highly self-indulgent when it comes to books at Christmas), and some from family members. And this is a good thing, because one can never have too many books. I arranged all of my new books on a bookshelf next to my bed, and have happily been slowly working my way down the shelf, savoring each one, and enjoying greatly the wide variety of subjects covered by the books. For the curious, they included a Mary Stewart (Moonspinners), an Elizabeth Daly mystery (Murder in the Second Volume), a book of micro-pictures of sand, several books on the history of England and London (two of my favorite subjects), the second set of Griffin and Sabine trilogy (I had NO idea there was a second trilogy), the latest Wondermark book, two poetry books, and two books on code-breaking during WWII. Yes, I have eclectic reading tastes. We know this.

Before I fell asleep last night, I finished the Daly mystery, and pulled out at random a collage-story book to read (i.e., a book that was made up of collaged pages, throughout which a story was scattered–it was created to look like you’d picked up someone’s journal and were snooping into her life), but didn’t actually start it. I also didn’t closely look at the cover; I just tucked it into bed next to me, and promptly fell asleep.

Fast forward to about 4am, when I woke up. It was too early to get up and start the day, but look! There was a pretty collage book sitting right there on the bed next to me. What better thing is there than a few illicit hours spent reading with no distractions (and while snuggled comfy-warm in bed)? So I happily dove into the book, and an hour later (it was a collage book, remember, so not a lot of reading to be done) I was bolt upright in the bed, and staring in horror at the book. Somehow, I’d missed the subtitle on the cover that said it was the journal of the short life and mysterious death of the journaler. Now, clearly, that tells you right off the bat that SOMETHING BAD is going to happen to the narrator, and most people would have noticed that.

But not me. Not at 4am. Nooo, I got sucked into the tale of this journaling woman, and then whammo! Death, just like it said on the cover.

And this, my dumplings, is why I am no longer allowed to pick up a book in the middle of the night and start reading it. Now I have a rule: I must start a book when I have my wits about me and can notice things like BIG LETTERS ON THE COVER OF THE BOOK.

This does, however, lead me to a question: have you ever picked up a book and been unhappy with how it turned out? Not unhappy with the book on the whole (we’ve all read books that haven’t met our expectations), but more, you’re expecting a happy ending, and it just doesn’t happen? I won’t ask for a show of hands of people who, like me, totally missed something on the cover of the book that warns you things aren’t going to be warm and fuzzy at the end, but I am curious to know how many people were sucked into a book only to be disturbed by the ending.

2013

It’s almost upon us, and I hope that every one of you has a delightful, wickedly wonderful 2013. The kind of 2013 where you make everyone pea-green with jealousy because you’re having SO MUCH FUN. A 2013 filled with adventure and excitement and really fabulous sex (assuming you want really fabulous sex). And puppies. Lots of puppies, kittens, and manatees. Because 2013 isn’t a groovy year unless you have your full quota of puppies, kittens, and manatees. BABY manatees.

I wish you all that sort of 2013. Go forth and make it so!

[Kittens sitting on baby manatees are for 2014. Don’t even think of going there for a year]

Those Wacky Mayans

Happy apocalypse!

Let’s all imagine what sort of mutant survivor we will be if we manage to outlive the Mayans’ prediction.

Dibs being the frisky girl with the open head wound who wants to get it on with everyone regardless of their number of limbs.

Wait…am I thinking of zombies rather than mutant survivors of the
apocalypse? Must go review my end-of-society movie collection…

Making a list and checking it twice

  • Shopping: done (except for my darling Michelle. Am still braining what to get her, other than evidently a new finger to replace the one she broke).
  • Cards: sent!
  • Tree: up and decorated
  • Short story to lead into second book of new series: um…yeah. Moving on…
  • Catering for Christmas party: ordered!
  • Newsletter: um again. OK, must work on that today. Can’t have everyone spending their holiday without a picture of festive hunky manflesh, now can I?

Newsletter and short story aside, I think I’m officially ready for Christmas.

Star of Wonder

I’m listening to some Christmas music while packaging up some things to be sent out, including yet more books for the Book For You and a Friend contest. Yup, that’s still going on, and will continue until I run out of excess books to give away.

Now, I love Christmas music. I may not hold with the religious details of the holiday, but man, do I love belting out Oh Holy Night, and any song with the word “hallelujah” in it. And every year, I have a new favorite song. Last year it was Lenka’s All My Bells Are Ringing. This year, it’s Barenaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlan’s rendition of God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings. I could sing it all day, interspersed with my second favorite, the old Eartha Kitt version of Santa Baby.

So what’s your favorite Christmas/holiday song this year?

Why I love the Interwebs

Book from hell (AKA book written after my husband's death–and truly, I have nothing but massive respect for people who can work during times of adversity, because I sure sucked at it) is now revised, and back with Editor Kate for a pedicure, gentle massage, and aromatherapy. Or at least, that's how I think of the manuscript production process.

And that means that once again I have time to roam unfettered around the Internet, and what did one of my wanderings find but a fabulous repository of very cool stuff over at the National Library of Scotland. My favorite bit of digital fun is the Broadsides collection, which cover everything from popular verses, scandalous happenings of the day, and interesting tidbits (like the mermaid who spoke to a young man, which can be seen here).

You can search the collection, and save the broadsides as PDFs, which is very cool. And now you know what I'll be doing when I should be answering e-mails and such…

Happy Friday!

It’s Friday, and I have the house to myself today. Which means yay, I may finish the edits on the book due on Monday.

I’ve ordered a treat for myself ahead of time–a Christmas cookie cookbook. And I think I’m going to have to break the piggy bank and get a Kitchenmaid mixer, because I’ve always wanted one, and I hear nothing but good things about them. Except how heavy they are.

Happy Friday, my dumplings!

Waiting…

The painting dudes were supposed to be working today in the attempt to finish the interior of my house (the exterior was painted this summer), but alas, they won't be here until tomorrow. Which means I will continue to live out of boxes that contain all the stuff that's been packed up so the painting could be done.

You do NOT realize how much stuff you have until you have to move it, let me tell you! I've decluttered quite a bit in the last year, but man alive–I still have a ton of things that made the pruning cut. Many of them are books–to the point where I'm dreading the painting of my craft room, which holds my bookcases of research books. That's just going to be painful packing up all of those.

Since I have a reprieve for today, I wanted to point out that I've updated the Dark Ones Connections page. Did you know that there was such a thing? There is, and it shows not only what order the vamp books are in, but who is in each one, and how they interconnect (if they do). Peruse at will.

I mentioned this in the most recent newsletter, but I also wanted to point it out here–the Light Dragons are now accepting applications for honorary membership, should you be interested in joining.

And now I'm off to start mulling over some edits I need to make on the new book

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