Julie Dillon won the 2014 Hugo!

Congratulations to my spectactular cover artist on winning the Best Artist Hugo Award tonight. It’s about damned time, Hugo voters.

Book two, on sale now

The paperback is not yet available at Amazon, but it is via my CreateSpace store (you’ll have to pay for shipping). It should be on Amazon soon. Here’s where you can buy the book:
Update: The Amazon paperback link added to the top.

Darkness Ascendant: Book Two of The Catmage Chronicles (Volume 2)

Darkness Ascendant – trade paperback at CreateSpace store

Darkness Ascendant on Kindle

Darkness Ascendant – Nook version

Darkness Ascendant – Kobo version

Darkness Ascendant

Darkness Ascendant on sale soon

I spent many hours today tweaking and testing the electronic files of Darkness Ascendant. I’m waiting for the various publishing sites to okay the files. If all goes well, they should be available on Amazon, CreateSpace, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo either late tonight or tomorrow.

And ohmigod, I do not want to look at another book publishing screen for at least a week. Of course, I’ll be checking them all obsessively until the book goes on sale in all locations.

If you’re on the mailing list, expect an email soon.

Nearing the finish line

Just uploaded the second version of the cover for Darkness Ascendant. I knew the first one would fail, but I thought I would find out if it would fail for more than just an incorrect spine width. It did. So now both items are fixed–I hope–and I should wake up tomorrow morning and find out if it’s time to order the proofs.

Here’s hoping.

Monday, fun day!

(The title is a lie.)

The weekend went by far too quickly. And also with many swears. I was trying to put the finishing touches on the cover of Darkness Ascendant. I failed. I reached out to a couple people I know. I hope to have it done tomorrow, because the ebook is done now and I’m just waiting on the cover before I can get a proof and send the little fledgling out of the nest.

Just about everything that could go wrong went wrong. So I walked away from it.

The ebooks, both epub and mobi, look fine. Neil Clarke does them for me. If you like good SF, you should give Clarkesworld Magazine a try. Neil’s an old friend. He’s been advising me on the publishing end of things for a couple of years now.

And, wonder of wonders, I think I figured out how to fix the cover myself. I’m waiting to hear back from my Amazon review. I suspect the cover will fail, but I think I finally have the hang of what needs to be done. I should have a proof in my hands later this week. If that happens, book 2 will be on sale shortly thereafter.

Today’s pressing questions

The most crucial questions of the day, not counting anything involved with publishing book 2, were:

  • Where did I leave the banana peel?
  • Is there a Weinstein film in existence where one of the lovers does not die or get sent out of the country to prevent a wedding? (Miss Potter, if you’re interested.)
  • Where did Meimei hide Blue Stripey this time?

It was a brutal day.

A day after Caturday

Of course, every day is Caturday in my household. But here’s one of Meimei’s kitten pictures. It cheers me up.

Meimei as kitten

Busy lunch hour

Tonight is our annual hot dog and hamburger cookout at my synagogue. A couple of years ago, I volunteered my nifty Coleman gas grill because a) it’s kosher, b) it’s portable, and c) it’s gas. The grill was made for tailgating. The difference in warm-up time between a coal grill and a gas grill means a lot when you’re feeding 20 or 30 people.

My contribution (besides the grill) is a plate of oven-roasted potatoes. A friend of mine pointed me to the recipe on the box of Lipton Onion Soup mix when she was over for dinner one evening, and I was hooked. Except I forgot to buy it yesterday, so into the car, out on my lunch hour, back home, fix the potatoes, stick them in the oven, eat my own lunch, and back to work. (I telecommute four days a week, so work is upstairs in my office most days.)

The house smells delicious. I sampled the potatoes. They’re great. The grill is in my car, along with extra cans of gas. I’ll be out of here in a couple of hours and off to dinner and services. A good start to the weekend.

Your earworm for today

Jim Steinman is so shlocky, and yet I have both Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell albums and, well, I love Jim Steinman. This was my favorite Air Supply song. Can’t get it out of my head today. My gift to you all. (The video is SO awful.)

Everything old is new again

Thirteen years ago, I started blogging with a dual purpose: To keep up my HTML skills (I actually hand-coded everything in those days) and to keep writing every day. I figured hey, it may not be fiction, but it’s writing. I did write a little bit of fiction, actually, like The Diary of Iseema bin Laden, written in the style Mark Twain used in The Diary of Adam and Eve. I think I may even have stolen a line from Twain. It was fun, and it got my blog noticed by a few bigwigs, brought me more readers, and got me going up the ranks of the political blogosphere.

So I have to laugh when I read how-to articles about writing blogs. Look, either you’re going to like putting words on the screen, or you’re not. If you’re not, it’s going to sound forced and nobody’s going to care about it. The early posts on this blog feel pretty forced. I started a writing blog because it was de rigeur. Now? Well, I’m shuttering the political blog and moving here. Writing, cats, life–whatever topic comes into my head is what I’m going to post about. Meimei and Blue Stripey? Sure, why not? The aftermath of joining a gym eight weeks ago? Hell, yeah! (You should see my muscles. Here, look, I’m flexing. See those biceps? Woot! What? Pictures? Okay, after I lose about ten pounds, we’ll talk.)

Blog posts should have subtitles. I’m going to add one. Watch.

This is a subtitle

I know, I know. You’re in awe at the originality of my subtitle. Don’t worry, I won’t let it go to my head. (Pro tip: Subtitles are usually H4 and H5 in the CSS of your theme.)

It’s going to take me a while to get back into the swing of things. But I do feel a few essays bouncing around in my head. I expect they’ll come out sooner or later. They may even be funny. In other words: I’m going to start doing today what I was doing thirteen years ago. Hence, the title of this post: Everything old is new again.