The Absence of Vampires and other stories

Congratulations to my friend and fellow writers' group member Annie O'Connor, whose children's book Going to See the King is now available on Amazon! This is just the sweetest, most beautiful little story. Hang around my blog next week, and you might well win a free copy. :)

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After a year and more of working at it, I feel like I'm starting to understand what goes into making a job out of writing. This week's to-do list, in retrospect:
  • Finish NaNoWriMo. Toss the manuscript and start over again.
  • Be overwhelmed with gratitude toward gamma readers, and spend hours thinking about their suggestions.
  • Make trips to Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, and the library, in the name of market research
  • Organize Google Reader and subscribe to more book-related blogs and Publisher's Lunch
  • Remember that even in an office job, it sometimes took me a focused hour and a half to write an email
  • Organize My Documents folder and set up a special folder for the NaNoWriMo manuscript
  • Remember that my website still needs designing. Think about it. Waste twenty minutes in Paint.net relearning why a past idea didn't work.
  • ...and write. Blog-posts. Novel. Even a few Tweets.
It's a good life.

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I keep breaking a promise to myself. I'd sworn not to respond to my siblings' anecdotes about what their small fry did with the words "The other day, Maia..."

The problem is that she does all these toddler-like things. Giving me a naughty look and then deliberately doing what I just told her not to. Getting into things she shouldn't and leaving disaster for me to find. Attacking my feet with her teeth and claws out... okay, maybe that one is cat-specific. But still. How can I help it?

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Writers' link of the week: Natalie Whipple's What Happens When It IS You. Because it's good to have realistic expectations. And as someone who put neither vampires nor outright sex in her novel, who writes the old-fashioned way (third person perspective, past tense), who could base her life memoir around the theme of waiting (but I'll spare you)—it could totally be me someday.

Natalie Whipple, I hope very much that you get published soon. I love your blog. I can't wait to read your books.

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Cheer-worthy article of the week: This pope plays it right. Okay, this is a couple of weeks old. But many thanks to Jonah Goldberg, not only for rising above the media's usual epic-disaster response to any suggestion of a conflict between church and sex, but for writing a beautiful, sensible, respectful piece. Three cheers, sir.

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Music of the week: Eva Cassidy's Songbird. How has this song been out for years without me knowing it?

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Funny of the week: Eric Pazdziora calls it the "Best. Paper. Ever." From experience, I can tell you that it's medically accurate.

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Victory: Today, I cleaned my house before blogging. (Blogging is one of those projects that expands to fill all available time.) I'm going to go write other things for awhile.

Happy weekend, everyone.

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