Saturday Selfie for the Hell of It


Me, on a random Saturday, which is to say: a few minutes ago

Me, on a random Saturday, which is to say: a few minutes ago

Twitter’s such a jerk to me when it comes to uploading pics taken on my camera. I mean, I reduce the image size, scale it down, and everything. TO NO AVAIL.

I probably should look into some Twitpiccy thingamahooey or something. But who has time??? There are chapters to write! Novels to complete! COFFEE TO BUY AND THAT’S THE ONLY REASON I’M EVEN DRESSED RIGHT NOW

And why a selfie? IDK…because I rarely take them? Because I have a dumbphone not a smartphone? Because, have I mentioned, TWITTER HATES MY CAMERA?

So, for whatever spur-of-the-moment reason, a Saturday selfie. Which could be a weekly thing, but what would be the point? Well, keeping track of my everchanging coiffure perhaps. Or touring the loft/studio/storefront maybe.

Well, let’s point out some things with this here pic, at least. Hair: hastily bound topknot to wrangle the mess. Broken arm pose to show off the Phreak Show tats. Oh, and that’s my Astrobracelet on my wrist. (Which, were I savvy, I would have twisted so the pair of stars smiled at the camera.) Setting: ‘Living Room’ area of the loft. I’m chilling on this amazing highback Victorian sofa we recovered in cowhide with nailhead trim.

So there you have it! A — for whatever it’s worth — selfie. (Which also conveniently took care of my need for a blog post. Thanks, jerky Twitter!)

And now: To brave the always curiously gawking, midwest townsfolk in order to BUY SOME FLIPPIN COFFEE WHILE CLOTHED ON A SATURDAY.

Confession: I’m self-conscious of this post. Not b/c of the pic. I’m more than cool with that. But b/c there’s a cussword in the title. Being a “YA Author” with industry eyes on me, I worry about things like that. I actually just edited to  change “DAMN” to “FLIPPIN” in that last line. But the title stays. Is that a weird thing to be weirded out over?

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Astrotalisman


Astro Bracelet 1 (2) (800x600)

Weird writer ritual confession time…
While drafting each novel, I have a talisman or totem of sorts specific to that novel.

While drafting Phreak Show, I wore this one particular sterling ring every day because it’s oval like the eye rings Phineas slips onto each phreak.

While drafting Epistle of Doff: The Most Blasphemous Monker, I changed all my shoelaces to red, because red thread is kind of important to the story.

Now, while drafting If Found, Return to Astropop, I’m wearing a ribbon around my wrist.

In the novel, a two-star ribbon binds a pair of journals together when Astro finds them.
The red star represents Astro’s red journal.
The black star represents Pip’s black journal.

Do these things actually DO anything when it comes to my drafting?
Who knows? But they mean something to me—keep the world and characters ever present in my mind—which certainly can’t hurt.

Teaching Skull Specimen


Reginald Crane

Reginald Crane says, “Hi.”

TEACHING SPECIMEN 
Late 19th-early 20th century.
Skull with cut away and hinged sections.
Original painted details.
In a glass and wood display case. 12.5″h. 9″w.

Isn’t Reginald rad? I just won him in an auction about 10 minutes ago. I know some folks think it’s weird/creepy/macabre to own, like, a human skull. But think about it: we all have one. And, once on display, skulls live on as art.

This specimen is hand-painted and was used to teach medical students. The cranial cap is completely removable. The lower half is bifurcated lengthwise and the halves split apart. There are other sweet cutaway sections held together with springs, hooks, pins, and hinges. Inside, there is more painting detailing the major arteries and veins.

This is the 5th skull I’ve temporarily owned long enough to sell. I’d gladly keep & display them all, but, believe it or not, they are highly sought after items. Reginald’s great condition, painting, movable parts, and display case means he’ll easily double my money (and possibly triple it.) Reginald is an investment.

He’ll go up Ebay this coming Monday or Tuesday.

So weird? Maybe.
But also cool as hell.
And ~cha-ching~ collectible.

Reginald Crane says, "Bye."

Reginald Crane says, “Bye.”

Astroplotting


A portion of the Astroplotting ridiculousness. My copper-clad desk totally helps things go smoother. Somehow?

A portion of the Astroplotting ridiculousness. My copper-clad desk totally helps things go smoother. Somehow?

With Pitch Slam behind me and CP duties complete, it’s almost time to draft my next novel:
If Found, Return to Astropop.

Let me give you the [rough] pitch before I prattle on about the plotting for this many-tentacled monster.

 

SHORT PITCH

Unaware of one another’s gender or appearance, two teens find themselves mutually smitten by reading each other’s journals.

 

FULL (Rough) PITCH

When sixteen-year-old Astropop finds his/her previously lost journal, Astro discovers the mystery person who returned it (known only as Pippopotamus)  read his/her innermost thoughts and traced Astro’s movements like a teenage P.I. This stranger believes s/he is smitten with Astropop—sight unseen. Astro knows this, because teenage Pip wrote a journal in response.

As Astro re-reads his/her own forgotten words, and those of Pip, Astro is amazed at how simple letters on paper can bond complete strangers. In fact, Astro is completely smitten with Pip, too. Using unintentional clues in Pip’s journal, Astro engages in a little P.I. work of his/her own to search for the anonymous Pippopotamus.

With the confessions and intimate stories in the pair of books tangling with Astro’s real life in uncanny ways, Astro reaches the end of both journals. On the last precious page, Pip left one final clue. Perhaps accidental, perhaps intentional. Astropop can finally meet this intriguing stranger face-to-face, but fears, if s/he does, their inexplicable connection will be broken.

 

If Found, Return to Astropop has been percolating for a while. I’m in the final stages of [ridiculous!] outlining. Not because the process is ridiculous. I love it; it’s essential for me. But because this story requires…more than any story I’ve attempted before it.

With 3 separate timelines overlapping: the present, Astro’s journal written 6 months earlier, and Pip’s response journal written 3 months earlier, it’s a beast to manage. Along with those interwoven timelines, I’m also juggling a calendar (noting meteor showers & moon phases important to Astro), a grid of the 3 interwoven arcs, and a complete outline packet for each of the 2 MCs. Plus a OneNote file with random scenes, dialogue lines, imagery. Oh, and extensive research on both arborsculpture and architecture (specifically Art Nouveau).

Confused? Yeah. I would be, too.

Thankfully all these tools help give order to the chaos I’m attempting to wrangle.

This story is rich, layered, insanely interwoven. The timelines wrap back on themselves (in a sense). Events in the present mirror the completely different stories in the 2 sets of journal entries. Yet, the happenings have a completely separate arc all their own. But align. But stand alone. (SEE WHAT I MEAN!?)

To add to the challenge (because this is apparently not enough…) I’m keeping Pip’s gender ambiguous. For reasons.

And, for just a little more personal push, this will be my first Contemporary YA. At least, it’s 97% Contemporary, with about 3% Magical Realism thrown in? I mean, I’m guessing here. It may be considered MR all around. I just don’t know which bucket it fits in. The setting is our world, 100%. Everything works as we know it. But the way the three layers align in uncanny ways, there is a hint that something more than mere chance is at work.

So is that actually 100% Magical Realism?

Hell if I know. But it’s a story I must absolutely tell.

Even if my brain Astropops in the process.