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Just got the rough cover art for Blood Engines. Yum. My good cover karma goes on. I'll post something when there's something I can post.


I got my tax info back, so I know how big a bite the IRS is taking. Not as good as I'd hoped, not as bad as I'd feared, and totally doable. I won't need novel money to pay taxes, which means the portion of the advance for delivery of Blood Engines is free and clear, and can go to paying down credit card debt. Whoo! After years of being crushed by the weight of credit cards -- I'm still carrying debt I racked up in college, y'all -- I'm finally starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. I could be out of this hole in a year or so, lord willing and the creek don't rise. Anyway, worrying about taxes was my major source of stress, and I feel kind of like a stone has been lifted from my chest. Everything seems more beautiful and bright. We're gonna be all right over here.


I got ahead on my freelance work a bit, so it only took an hour or so of work to finish what I needed to get done today. Which means it's only 10 a.m. and I’m free of writerly obligations! I'm tempted to just chill and relax for most of the day, since I don't feel like I got a real weekend (going to USC was cool, but not restful). But I know myself -- if I try to enforce relaxation, I'll just get bored and antsy. So I'll probably work on a little fiction, or mess with writing some book reviews that aren't due until the end of the month, or something. I'll keep you posted. I know you're all waiting with bated breath to find out what I'll do.


Oh, I guess I should go shopping. Hmm. I have yet to determine the perfect sweet spot for peaceful weekday shopping at the local megagrocery by the lake. Too late in the day -- say, after 3 p.m. -- and it begins to get crowded. From 5 to 7 it's pretty terrible. First thing in the morning, before 9 a.m., it's a bit crowded. At lunch time it's crowded. Maybe it's just always crowded. Hmm. I don't mind crowds intrinsically, but the store's layout is such that it's hard to get around when there are lots of people shopping, and the good people of Oakland -- gods bless 'em -- do have a tendency to stop in the middle of aisles to yell at their children for long stretches of time.


That book meme: (See what happens when I get my work done early?)

1. One book that changed your life

Carrie by Stephen King. First grown-up novel I read. Put me on the path to horror / contemporary fantasy. If I'd picked up a Dashiell Hammett book instead I might be writing PI novels these days.

2. One book you have read more than once

Watership Down. It meant a lot to me as a kid. Haven't read it in years, but am still immensely fond of it.

3. One book you would want on a desert island

Hmm, jokes about survival guides aside, maybe a big omnibus of Gene Wolfe's Torturer books. They'd give me something to mull over and think about besides survival.

4. One book that made you laugh

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett, first Discworld book I ever read.

5. One book that made you cry

The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub. What happens to Wolf... oof. Gets me again just thinking about it. (I was eleven when I read it the first time, which didn't hurt.)

6. One book you wish had been written

Titus Awakes by Mervyn Peake, which wasn't finished (it was barely started).

7. One book you wish had never had been written

Well, I mean, the world would've been better off without Mein Kampf, y'know? Or is that too serious an answer?

8. One book you are currently reading

The Grin of the Dark by Ramsey Campbell. Good stuff. It's a minor aspect of the book, but I'm impressed that he actually gets the internet, the nature of flame wars, etc., which is pretty rare for a writer of his generation. Campbell's better than anybody at finding the horror in the everyday.

9. One book you have been meaning to read

Air by Geoff Ryman. People keep recommending it to me, and there's a copy on the shelf, but I haven't gotten to it yet.


Shopping was uneventful. Got home and had a flurry of e-mails with my agent and (through her) my editor this morning about publishing stuff. Washed dishes. Cleaned house a bit. Steadfastly refused to open my short story in progress. It'll be impossible to avoid soon, though. Deep breath. Here I go.

Wait, I'm going to take the trash out first.

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