Oct 27, 2013

joy in the small things

This past week hasn't been all blood, sweat and revisions. Mostly.

Sometimes I think my work habits slide into the territory of "workaholic." Taking time to relax and unwind can be a challenge that's even more murky as a full-time writer working from home. Especially when faced with deadlines.

But relaxation and down time is crucial for me, even in the tightest of deadlines. I often find I become less productive when I work without taking a break. Days off give my brain time to breathe and collect itself and give me some perspective on the words I spend hours and hours trying to perfect.

This weekend my day off consisted of a bluegrass festival on a saltmarsh. Complete with boiled peanuts:


There's just something about the Lowcountry salt marsh that feeds the soul and pours the words back in. It was so, so good. (I'm at the 2/3rds way point with this revision. Which basically feels like it will never ever end. Only one of us can survive, and right now the manuscript seems very vicious...)

I've also been detoxing with other forms of art. I love drawing, because for me I don't feel any stress to be good at it. I don't have to be. I can just draw and enjoy it. This week I've been working on a Sharpie whale tail.

I'm not quite finished with it, but when I am I'll show you the final product.

Mkay. Off to the revision cave until next Sunday. I have to get these edits done in time for YALLfest! Will I see you there this year??

Oct 23, 2013

being a tease

Guys, I just saw cover mock-ups for THE WALLED CITY and oh-my-goodness if they're not wicked gorgeous!!!

So far glimpsing covers for the first time has been my absolute favorite part of being an author. I've been super lucky in that department. It's really amazing and surreal to see something from your head expressed in a visual art form. The Walled City is also an incredibly rich, visual novel, so the cover artists had a lot to draw from.

BUT... I can't show you yet. :( Secrets must be kept. Anticipation must be built. All that jazz.

Rest assured, as soon as I can share I'll be plastering it over the rooftops.

I am now just over the halfway point with ALL THAT GLOWS 2 edits. So far it has involved a lot of loud techno music, munching on mallowpumpkins, researching Arthurian legend and trying to find someone who speaks Manx. But the beastie MS keeps growing. Every time I cut words I add about double. Like that monster Hercules had to fight that keeps growing heads.

And, baby-squirrel update, Phil has thrived at his new wolf-hybrid-less house! In his short squirrel life he has traveled to Virginia AND been to church. Needless to say, I'm quite glad I decided to pick him up from the side of the road and give him a fighting chance.

Oct 16, 2013

the wolf among us.

So I tried really hard this year to be festive and fall-y. And by this I mean that I bought a pumpkin and put it on my porch. I was slightly apprehensive about it being smashed by some middle-schoolers. But it wasn't the rowdy neighborhood children that led to the pumpkin's poor demise...

I came home last night to find wolf-pup happily doing some freelance pumpkin carving with his teeth.

He's taking commissions if you want your own custom wolf-gnawed gourd.

Oct 13, 2013

I'm taking a day off of revisions (All That Glows sequel!), so instead of cleaning my house I've decided to slink back to this blog with a life update.

Where have you been the past one and a half months, Ryan? What have you been doing all this time when you could have been typing letters into the white blog box?

Good questions, interwebs. Good questions.

Writing wise I've been juggling projects (which is hardly new, I might add). THE WALLED CITY has been sent off to copyedits, I added about 15,000 words to sekrit novel (with the help of one of the best pumpkin spice lattes I've ever had*), and dove into revisions for my second Faery novel.

I can smell autumn from here...

As for the rest of the non-writing time:

The husband and I photographed an engagement shoot with a couple who pilots Black Hawks! Ridiculously cool!

 After five years of eating on the couch, we bought a dining room table!**

I rescued a baby squirrel and named him Rackety Sam. I gave him to another foster mama who does not own a wolf-hybrid who named him Phil.

The other reason I passed Rackety Sam/Phil off to a foster mama is because we went to Turks and Caicos for a scuba diving trip! I'd never been diving before, so I had to get scuba certified while I was down there.

All you see is blue...

Some of the prettiest waters I've ever seen.

Of course, when you're a writer, you never really leave work behind. I had one last round of THE WALLED CITY edits to get through in my temporary office.

The dives themselves were amazing! I saw sea turtles, reef sharks, stingrays. I also got stung by fire coral, which was substantially less awesome. On the flight home we had another unexpected surprise. Our layover in Miami was not two hours long, but twenty-four hours long. We made the best of it by going out for Cuban food:

Seafood Paella
We got home from the trip and I found a package from my editing team at Little, Brown by the door. This beauty was inside:

It's a nautilus necklace! This particular seashell plays an awfully big role in THE WALLED CITY. So this is an incredibly thoughtful gift! I've pretty much been wearing it every day!

And I can tell you up front that these next few months will be just as busy. YALLfest is coming up!!! Yay!

Also! If you want to enter for a chance to win an ALL THAT GLOWS ARC, there's a giveaway going on at Goodreads right now.

*legit. If you're ever in Charleston in the fall, visit the Orange Spot Coffee Shop. They'll hook you up.
** We're real adults now. If you couldn't tell.