Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A slight change of plans

Today was supposed to be the day of my "I-heart-Kim-Harrison" post, in which I talk about the woman herself, today's release of her new book, THE OUTLAW DEMON WAILS, and how fabulous it is, and essentially tell you all to go see her on her tour, also starting today.

And then I lost my morning's work.
As in, my computer ate it and spit it out in Sanskrit as I was saving it.
For the third time.
Needless to say, my mood plummeted from my fangirl high to this (you must click on the icon to experience the full breadth of my despair):

So I went to Sbux, got soothing chai and a sympathy slice of coffee cake which I will worry about running off later, and came home to pout, and of course, work. Leave it to my good friend Pam to make it all better with this. Note: there's a small time investment required here, and language, but all her caveats are in place on the post, and all I can add is: Pameladidah, thanks for the therapy.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Who needs Santa when you have the UPS guy?*

I smell another contest brewing in the near future.

Off for some snow play in the mountains now, so I wish you all a great weekend!

*I can't show the artwork until I'm sure sales has seen it. It's only polite, you know.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

More inspiration

This mines a totally different vein than the previous post, but as I'm a mother, I certainly find inspiration in my child, and the universal joys of motherhood. Such as the following:

And especially this:

Monday, February 18, 2008

One year later...

It occurred to me today as I was gardening that I've been a published author for almost one year now. In celebration (of the year, not of me actually remembering this {G}) I'm going to do some inspiration blogs. See, I don't believe in a "muse" per se, but I find inspiration in the strangest (and sometimes most obvious) of places. I'm like a neurotic magpie that way, hoarding shiny bits of information and getting excited about life's happy surprises.

Some of these are things that I'm not sure anyone else would get turned on about. The NY Times' science section, for example, is something I find unbelievably sexy. (It's all right. You can call me a geek. I don't mind.) Other things, like the Neon Boneyard here in Las Vegas -- which I'm hoping to return to sometime in the next couple of weeks -- have clearly resonated with readers as well. So I'm going to share some images and kernels of inspiration for the world of the Zodiac, and if there's anything you've been wondering about in either of the books, please let me know and I'll riff on that as well.

For now, I thought I'd share something that's playing a heavy role in the creation of book4 (though not in an obvious way). Here's a video of American tribal bellydancer Rachel Brice ... one of my current obsessions. She's a goddess, and a cool chick to boot. Dance is her passion, her religion, her meditation, and the way she expresses herself in this world. Rather like me with my writing. Gotta love that.

Here's her talking a bit about her dance, and her approach to it:

Tribal Style Belly Dance is so incredible on so many levels, the most important I think being community and self-acceptance. The movements themselves are based on body language that communicates strength and poise, and I think that's an amazing partner to femininity. I remember one man telling me after a show that he'd never seen sensuality paired with elegance before, and it transformed the way he saw women. Pretty cool.

One difficulty for me is that it is such a commercial venture, and we have to "sell" our show. I don't have control over a lot of the advertising, and I'm very particular about how the dance is portrayed. Some of the write-ups of our show are very "male": they focus on the skin and sensuality and miss the power, and that's difficult to take sometimes.

I think, however, my main struggle is that of growing as a dancer when there's no time to create. We're always performing, so that leaves very little time to go watch other dance forms, find new music, sneak into the underground for costuming ideas, practice yoga with new teachers, or make new dances ... newness is one of the things I require to feel passionate about my dancing

IOW, she's a kindred spirit.

Here's a video that shows her style and playfulness and power, though it can't relate her incredible skill in entirety. For that, I suggest you google Rachel Brice.

More soon!
(BTW, cover flats are winging the way to all the winners. Thank you all again for answering!)

Monday, February 11, 2008

The cover flat winner is...

Er ...
Everyone who answered the post. {BG}

Well geez, ya'll! I couldn't choose, okay? And I called up Madame Editor at Harper and - with a whine in my voice - said, "Could you choose from between these?" And she took one look and called up marketing and said, "Well, could you choose from between these?"

So, you know...
You're all winners.

Which was kinda the point of the post (not that I endorse beating someone over the head with The Theme or anything {ahem}).

So if you posted and you'd like a signed cover flat, send me your email at vickiATvickipetterssonDOTcom. (Using @ and .)

And I thank each of you for opening up to me like that. I love getting glimpses into other people's lives, and especially at the people and things that make those lives so worth living.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Cover Flat contest winner...

Actually, it's winners.

Unfortunately I need to hold off on posting who those winners are until next week, but I promise it will be worth the wait. Your patience is appreciated. {G}

Thanks, too, for all the support and good wishes re. my writing. It must be working because I'm scribbling away...and not taking one solid word for granted. So thank you.

And on the writing front...

So I'm tooling along in Zodiac-land, and I'm awed at the amount of material I have; and at the thoughts and hopes and 'maybes' I'm entertaining and interested in exploring throughout these remaining novels. I employ what I call the "kitchen-sink method" of writing: meaning save nothing, throw everything in there, especially your best ideas, because not only may you not get a chance to utilize them otherwise, but using them and yourself all the way up means there's room for more wonderful ideas to replace them. Ones that build on what came before. This is the same principle (phenomenon?) at work behind the 'writing begets writing' maxim. The more you do it, the more you can do.

Interesting, no?

Anyway, I think so...but I'd forgotten how sometimes a book is so chocked with ideas that not only do some of them get pushed to the last of the 400-500 pages, some get thrown into the next book. I'm seeing this happen now with book4 of the Zodiac series, and since I'm keeping a loose grip on my pen in this first draft, and observing what's going on mostly from my peripheral vision (The idea being to snea up on it so it doesn't spook and run) I can observe it dispassionately. If I need these ideas later, they'll be there. If not, I have faith that something better will come along to replace them. What's still mind-boggling, however, is that some of these shunted bits are things I'd thought would end up in the third book. Now it looks like book5 will be the earliest, though I'm certainly not going to hold my breath.

And the world just keeps on building...it's so awesome!

Talk soon,

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cover Flat contest

So I'm late with this contest.
Don't sue me.

Let me tell you a couple of lies, and then I'll tell you the truth.

We did finally hit the west coast for family fun.
I did drink the cocktail outlined in the previous post. And kept drinking.
Family drama, drama, drama.


Total crisis of confidence in myself and my writing.

Okay, so none of those are lies. But the last was, and is, a very hard truth.

I suspect I'm not the only writer to suffer thusly (though you wouldn't know it from most of the blogs I read), but it's an exceedingly hard thing to talk about. As a pubbed author, you don't really want to risk others losing confidence in you just because you temporarily (or you hope it's temporary) lose confidence in yourself. You'd love to project an image of the unflappable professional, who doesn't just hit her word count goal, but bitch slaps it into the next year. Someone who has happily put the confidence issues behind her, along with those pesky queries letters and the whole happy submission process. You certainly don't want to give emotional fodder to any of the people who don't like you, your picture, your haircut, your writing, or your mother. So you stay silent and suffer in silence.

This. Is. Not. Helpful.

For any pre-pubbed authors out there, I hate to be the one to say it, but this shit doesn't get any easier. Hopefully, though, you learn the lessons you need to in order to navigate all that difficulty. (In my case, relearn it.* Duh.) And hopefully you have trustworthy friends you can confide in. (I do, but I was too embarrassed to tag half of them. {great rolling of eyes})

Anyway, this isn't a pity post. The whole Ordeal is still rather raw, and I doubt I'll be able to talk about it in any great detail until I'm well through with this draft, but you can bet I'm using my working journal to detail in great length what is happening, what I've done, and what I could do better. This is just an FYI as to the cause for the latest bout of radio silence. (The next bout will come because I'm up and running again, mind and fingers moving across the keyboard at full throttle, so I hope you'll excuse that as well.**)

Anyway, I'm back, though understandably feeling pensive, so if you're interested in winning a signed cover flat - another awesome depiction of Jo and the Zodiac world by Christian McGrath - then you're going to have to share with me as well. On the 'About the Books' section of my website, I explained what drew me to writing this series. One of the questions I wanted answered upon its conception was "What makes a person truly super human?" Of course my answer is camped up and dramatized and drawn out through my series, but the gist of it is this: Living up to your potential.

So what about you? Think of the people in your life, and this world, who make it such an extraordinary place (for the rest of us mere mortals {G}), and tell me who they are, and why you admire them. Oh, and I'm all for nominating yourself. I think too many people shortchange their own accomplishments while lauding others', but working hard, going after what you want, and persevering is worth applauding. Personally, I'm rather proud of coming out of the other side of some debilitating thought processes to be able to keep doing what I love. Thinking too much: my own personal Kryptonite. {wry grin}

Okay, of those who answer, the winner will be drawn and announced Saturday.

Le best to you,

*One thing I had to relearn, or at least remember: Every book was this hard. It just seems easy now that I never have to write them again.
Another biggie: I don't friggin' outline. Dammit.
Ay-und: Writing begets writing. The more you write, the more you write.
Can't forget: I have damned good friends.
Oh: And I love this shit.
(There are more, but my brain is still smoking.)

**This is one reason I hesitated to start a blog at all. I know people expect regular posts, but there are very few things I can promise to do with any sort of regularity. Even my hair-brushing is spotty at best. (Shoot, that reminds me... {g})