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19 July 2015 @ 10:56 am
New Stories About Old Friends: for those who don't know, I continue to write short stories and novelettes about the characters of my old Del Rey fantasy serieses. These are available on Smashwords (smashwords.com) and on Amazon Kindle Direct. Most are $4.99. Smashwords supports all the major platforms (epub, kobo, mobi, pdf, etc), and I believe markets to sites for Nook, ePub, etc. Kindle Direct is - well, for Kindle.

So far, there are 5 Antryg and Joanna novelettes, 3 tales about Sun Wolf and Starhawk, 4 stories about Benjamin January (actually, two of these are about what Rose does while Ben is out of town), 2 each concerning John and Jenny in the Winterlands, and the gang at the Keep of Dare. Also available are the 4 stories that I wrote, over the years, for Sherlock Holmes anthologies, two of which are fantasy and two of which are "straight" Holmes stories: two are narrated by Watson, two by Mrs. Watson. Lastly, there is the vampire-on-the-Titanic novelette, "Sunrise on Running Water," in which Don Simon Ysidro from my vampire series has a very brief cameo (he has FAR too much sense to be on the Titanic himself).

I used to sell these stories on my personal website - I no longer do.

But, I will continue to write new stories about old friends, and post them on Smashwords and Kindle Direct (and announce them on LJ and FB... Twitter just makes me crazy).

I hope you all enjoy them!
31 January 2016 @ 07:58 am
Classes begin next week.

I've accomplished pretty much all I set out to accomplish over the winter break, despite being sick for much of it: the relapse of the chronic bronchitis was light, and the sinus infection that triggered it responded well to antibiotics. I finished the last page-proofs of Drinking Gourd - Ben January #16, with which I am extremely pleased - and have made a good start on the next vampire book; I sent off outlines for the next two books in both series (fingers crossed!) and have made good progress on the fantasy I've been working on (on spec - publishers seldom take books on outline anymore unless you're a best-seller, I'm told) and have put together outlines for the next two Further Adventures shorts. I've put together paintings to show - and prints to sell - at the Gallifrey One Dr. Who convention early next month, and will spend this week fluffing and buffing material for my upcoming classes.

I've slept a lot.

I'll be at the Gallifrey One Dr. Who convention, Feb. 12-14 at the LAX Marriott, doing signings Friday and Sunday and a "kaffeeklatsch" Friday evening; April 3 I'll be signing at the Paperback Book Show at the Glendale Civic Auditorium.
25 January 2016 @ 01:25 pm
Sadness here, with the death of another close friend. Robin was a talented costumer, a prolific writer of fanfic (until on-line flaming forced her to retreat - shame on them!), an enthusiastic birder, a faithful friend, a lover of her family and a loving bird-mommie to her pets; I will miss her deeply.

A day of working on school-prep, mechanical and painstaking, a good distraction in sadness.
16 January 2016 @ 09:30 am
I feel like I'm turning into one of those characters in a Regency novel who's always so paranoid about coming down with "an inflammation of the lungs" that they demand all the windows be closed and whine for people to bring them mustard foot-baths and blancmanges. I'm here to tell you, once you get chronic bronchitis an "inflammation of the lungs" can be touched off very quickly, and I really, REALLY don't want to end up teaching my Spring Semester classes with walking pneumonia like I did last year. Antibiotics has cleared up the cold, but I'm still twitchy - and very, very tired.

On other fronts, work on the vampire book is proceeding well, and they tell me I should be getting page-proofs of Drinking Gourd (Ben January # 16!) this week. I finished the Dr. Who paintings I was doing for Gallifrey (paintings NFS, but selling prints) (which is okay, they tell me, at the con, but the BBC licensing department would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I started hawking them on-line); also finished a set of Time Lord robes to wear to the con itself (including that frakking collar). I'll try to get pictures of that to post. I've returned to my usual practice paintings, of sloppy covers for romances that never existed, and blood-and-thunder posters of movies that never were made. One of my teachers is instructing me in how to do model-shoots: opening new doors.

I'll also be appearing (NOT in Time Lord robes) at the Paperback Book Collectors show in Glendale on April 3, at the Glendale Civic Auditorium (a VERY nice venue where I used to dance at bellydance festivals). I'll be signing 10-11.

Now it's time for me to go make a mustard foot-bath.
06 January 2016 @ 11:50 am
Twelfth Night afternoon, and pouring rain. Taking down the Christmas Decorations (as tradition dictates) and listening to the BBC recording of Antony and Cleopatra - Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston, phenomenal! Worlds better than the only film I've seen of it.

The holiday season is officiall Over as of tonight. Four weeks of writing and painting (and sleeping) ahead. I'm down again with a slight sinus infection - nothing serious, except that (I'm sure because of my illness most of last year) I get very tired, very quickly: I suspect I'm going to blow off Anime LA, which is now a long drive in the rain. (And I think it's supposed to be raining again by the weekend). Many small tasks to do before Gallifrey in February.
30 December 2015 @ 02:03 pm
The nice folks at Open Road tell me that downloads of Silent Tower will be on sale, New Year's Day only, for $1.99 - this is allegedly the location: http://www.earlybirdbooks.com/.

A very quiet Christmas, and what will be I think (and hope) a quiet New Year's Eve... I generally leave the New Year's Party at 11, rather than deal with traffic going home. Today is wall-to-wall laundry: By all means, let's start 2016 with clean socks.

Finals and grading is done. Winter Break will be taken up mostly with sleep and putting together as much of the first draft of the next vampire book as I possibly can (since Spring Quarter will be a little rough). Also with prepping for the Gallifrey One Dr. Who convention here in LA. I'm entering stuff in the Art Show for the first time - all of it NFS (it takes me WAY too long to finish a painting, to be able to part with it), but all of it with prints to sell. (Paintings of Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Tenth Doctors, the War Doctor, the Master, and a very silly slushy-romantic book-cover for a non-existant slushy romance about Romana). Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and John Hurt are going to be headliner guests (along with Michelle Gomez, but I didn't do a painting of her because there was no time).

I also made a serious Classic Series Time Lord outfit, worked on mostly last winter when I was so sick. (When you are of a Certain Age and stature, nobody wants to see you dressed as Sailor Moon).

And did I mention I'm going to spend most of the next six weeks sleeping?
03 November 2015 @ 10:21 am
Good LORD, I can't believe it's November already! And, it's finally turned a little bit cool. And I've gotten through the very tiring, two-condensed-classes-get-up-at-4-am portion of the semester, and it's amazing how much work one can get done when one has had enough sleep.

Just to let everyone know, I will be appearing on a panel "Writing Then and Now" with Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and John Dechancie at the Palms/Rancho Park Public Library on Saturday, November 21, at 2:30 - I think there will be "gang-dinner with the authors" afterwards. Considering I'll be teaching that morning in Woodland Hills, that'll be a damn long day!

I think I've mentioned I'll be at Gallifrey One, the LA Dr. Who convention, in February. Since I spent the whole time in my Illustration class a couple of years ago practicing with various Dr. Who photographs as subjects, I'll be showing some of that side of my work in the Art Show, and - I hope - selling prints. (The paintings themselves take WAY too long for me to want to part with them). (Other students in the same class used stills from old movies - I think there were three Vincent Prices and two Orson Wellses going, plus a very nice Lyndon Johnson - LBJ had an amazingly interesting face).
27 October 2015 @ 07:57 am
The first half - the heavy half - of the semester is over; until Christmas I'll be teaching two days a week instead of four. It's not the teaching that drags me down but the drive, I think, and the schedule itself: coming home very late Wednesday nights and then having to get up very early Thursday mornings to get to the 8 a.m. class. It's truly amazing how much better I feel when I'm getting enough sleep and enough rest.

I've gone back to working on a fantasy while doing the preliminary reading for the next vampire book - slow going, because the fantasy has to be entirely done on spec (very few publishers are taking things off outlines anymore, even from known writers). A new series, one I've had kicking around in my mind for years (to my Antryg fans,very few publishers are going to pick up old series - hence, The Further Adventures in the first place). I'm enjoying myself very much, but find I get tired very quickly, something friends who've had pneumonia warned me about. It can take over a year to recover one's energy. After a gruesomely hot summer, the cooling weather helps.

A quiet day of laundry and tea.
22 October 2015 @ 03:28 pm
New Further Adventures tales - "And Pretty Maids All in a Row," (Antryg & Joanna), and "Damselblossom," (John & Jenny) are turned in to Smashwords and Amazon Kindle Direct, at $4.99 apiece. It should probably take a day or two for the stories to appear. "Pretty Maids" has the additional tidbit of a picture (albeit a sketchy one) of Antryg & Joanna on the cover.

I will keep an eye on both sites, and if anything goes awry (or if I get a kick-back message), I will keep you posted. But, so far, so good.
21 October 2015 @ 10:39 am
Lectured on the Cold War yesterday, to my History 2 class. Even weirder than speaking about what I remembered (boy, did that picture of Nikita Kruschev bring back memories!) was the realization that NOT ONE SINGLE ONE OF THEM had been alive during the Cold War. The Berlin Wall came down in 1991. That was 25 years ago. There are days when I actually do feel like a time traveler.

HOWEVER, I have finally finished - and had appropriately formatted (I hope!) TWO NEW FURTHER ADVENTURE TALES. (And about damn time!).

Antryg & Joanna - "...And Pretty Maids All in a Row." An LA drug-dealer seeks out a wizard for advice with his love-life, and Antryg is pretty sure that there's more going on than meets the eye.

Winterlands (John & Jenny) - "Damselblossom." A visiting wizard arrives at the Hold with a warning of the imminent arrival of a horrendous monster from the sea, and John and Jenny are much less upset about the news than the Silver Mage thinks they should be.

Additionally, I finally made the time (and time is at a premium around here due to months of illness which put me way behind in all my work) to do a little thumbnail sketch of Antryg and Joanna for the cover of Pretty Maids, thus proving conclusively that yes, I would cast Tom Baker as Antryg. I hope eventually to do illos for the covers of most of the Further Adventures, but that will take time.

I will get these posted, I hope, by the end of the week, on both Smashwords and Amazon Kindle Direct, at $4.99 apiece.