Friday, June 28, 2013

The Mermaid and the Unicorn Stuff

I push forwards with the writing. It's tricky, because I'm running my custom sewing business and that takes up a lot of time. It is also really distracting - I can't write at home without feeling that I am supposed to be sewing or at the very least cleaning up! Of course I am terribly thankful to have a reliable source of income doing something I love. Most writers have to manage multiple jobs, at least in the beginning.

However I am still plugging away at "The Mermaid and the Unicorn." And I say plugging in the sense that it is difficult to make time to write - but it is not difficult to write. I am having so much fun writing this story! I get to spend time with some really awesome characters in one of my favorite cities (well, at least in my head!) and I get to write about mermaids and unicorns and nuns...

...okay, I'll admit, the nun part is the most challenging. I'm not Catholic, although I have many many many dear Catholic friends, and Matt of course is Catholic. I spend a lot of time asking Matt questions. I did also recently make the acquaintance of a nun who has agreed to answer more specific questions I might have. I just have to pull myself away from writing long enough to e-mail her!

Writing is happening though. Last week I made a writing date with a friend and got over 2000 words done in one sitting. Super excited. I've also got a fun new thing to share... I've set up a Pinterest board that I'm pinning inspirational images on. It's spoiler free, but might give you some further ideas of what this book is about... 

Also, search/track "Ruahim" or "Chesterton Press" if you'd rather follow news/see relevant pictures on tumblr.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hello Internet-land

Well, my baby sister is all graduated, and we finally got through the adventure Midwesterners insist on having called a "grad party." for those of you who don't live in the middle of North America, a grad party is an open house to which any and all people who have been involved in the life of the high school graduate are invited to come. They bring cards and/or gifts. They are fed, usually buffet style, either in the whole house or in a very cleaned up garage. There are displays of the grad's accomplishments. Nowadays there is often a slideshow playing on a laptop. There are balloons and streamers and sometimes cake. Sloppy Joes, Taco Salads, Hot Dogs... these are all favorite staples.

Of course the lawn, house, outbuildings, gardens, driveway, etc, must all be perfect. It takes a good month of the whole family and usually extended relations and or friends helping out to pull it together. Different families choose different scales of intensity, but sometimes it can feel very much like throwing a wedding. Blogs rather have to get neglected.

On the upside, my head wound is no longer in danger of randomly bleeding and I can even do creative stuff with my hair to hide it... I do enjoy referring to the Grand Canyon on my head though. ;)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Tweet Length Book Reviews, as modeled by Amanda

I read far more than I could ever review on this blog. I've tried to think of a way for awhile to better cover all of these titles than just... well... not doing anything. Today Amanda put up her link-up post for "a Modern Mrs. Darcy"'s Tweet Length Book Reviews. I'm intrigued enough to give it a try... let me know how it works for you and if you'd like me to do this on a regular basis!

Brilliant sequel to “Gone With the Wind” takes Scarlett across the ocean to discover her roots and the meaning of selfless love in turbulent Ireland. #AdultReading #Historical Fiction

What is the price of a fairy tale when the hero messes up? Hermes and Raphaela find out in this heartwrenching but beautiful modern-retelling. #AdultReading #FairyTaleNovels #Cute Babies

Sometimes you just have to wait for love, but when Rose Brier falls into a coma, Fish wonders if he’ll ever be able to wake her up. #MyFavoriteBookEver #SleepingBeautyRetold

What if Anne Boleyn had had a son? Explores a “what-if” Tudor Court in the 1550’s. Surprisingly well done, captivating characters. #Historical Fiction #Romance #SaysATudorNerd

So what do you think? I found the short synopsises on Amanda's blog intriguing enough to request three of the titles from the library, and since I know Amanda has good taste, I don't need much more of a recommendation. If you agree, let me know and I'll keep writing these! (also, let me know if you'd like them once or twice a month.)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

OUAT Season 3 and other things

Suddenly it's been 6 days since I last posted and I'm not entirely sure how that happened.

Oh yeah. I had this mole taken out of my head and there were stitches and I've been too woozy to type much ever since.

(Yeah, "mole" sounds gross, but if even I say "minor medical procedure" people still freak out. Anyhow.)


Article of note at the moment is Leaky's perspective on some Once Upon a Time Season 3 teasers. Everything looks pretty good to me except the split season. Really? I honestly don't think that's the best marketing angle, ABC. Just when you get folks hyped up... "oh yeah I want to watch that! When's it on? Sunday? Right!" three days later... "It wasn't on." "Oh yeah," you inform them. "It's on hiatus for two weeks." Or three. Or eleven. Just brilliant.

At least we get eleven episodes per half season, and not six like Doctor Who.


Last night I was awake for a bit and somehow tried to figure out why the perfectly healthy Mother in Swiss Family Robinson didn't have any more kids after Franz. I mean sure you don't want to have more babies after you get abandoned on a deserted island, but perfect family planning for 10+ years in the early 1800's? (Mama couldn't have been more than 38 or so when they arrived, and would have been fertile for at least three years on the island, if not more if she were actually younger, not counting the decade that had already passed since Franz's birth).

Sure it's not something that a conservative Swiss pastor is going to think about when plotting his book, and don't get me wrong, I adore the story. I'd just never thought about this before... my theory is she had some sort of problem with Franz that kept her from getting pregnant again. Something that was probably really hard to accept at the time, but they later realized was a blessing. I mean, four capable sons are all assets when carving out a new life on a lonely island... but having to feed and keep track of a toddler (or two)? No thank you...

It's possible the hole in my head is making my thoughts weirder than usual...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I Almost Agree with Neil Gaiman

Regarding the casting of the 12th Doctor, I agree with Neil Gaiman...


The Doctor shouldn't be anyone famous. It definitely won't be Benedict Cumberbatch (who has said that he wouldn't play the Doctor, although it sounds as though he'd be open to the Master). It won't be someone high profile like Helen Mirran. And while I do think Ben Whishaw would be fantastic, I wouldn't necessarily cast him either.

I do think the Doctor should be an unknown. Like Eccleston, Tennant and Smith, he should win us over as the Time Traveler from Gallifrey, not as a famous personality. 

(okay, side note, I started watching Doctor Who partially because I'd thought Tennant was cute in Harry Potter and wanted to see more of him.)

Except... there is someone I really, really, really want to play the Doctor, and that is Bill Nighy. He was actually in consideration, although I don't know the specifics of how serious that was. He did get an uncredited cameo in "Vincent and the Doctor" which shows he is supportive of the show. And he likes doing smaller, funky projects. And it's high time we had an older Doctor again.

Seriously. This man was born to play the Doctor. Forget the CGI performance of "Pirates of the Caribbean" and go watch him in "Wild Target" (Netflix) and "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel." He is brilliant. Quirky, full of hidden depths of emotion, serious yet able to show the joy of life... I might seriously cry if I never get to see him play the Doctor during my lifetime. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Regina Doman and "The Chronicles of the Ruahim"

Five years ago I began a cross-country friendship that would become one of the most pivotal relationships in my life. This was, of course, my friendship with Regina Doman, who also became my writing mentor and (in various capacities) my boss, and soon to be my publisher. I usually manage to see her and her family at least once a year, sometimes twice. And if I'm very lucky, she makes it out to Minnesota.

This year she was invited as a speaker at the Minnesota Catholic Home Educators Conference, and she and her husband Andrew arrived early so that they could spend some time with their Minnesota fans. This meant that I got to take them out to dinner and introduce them to my boyfriend, attend a Fairy Tale Novel Tea Party and hear the very first public reading from Regina's new Biblical Fantasy series, assist them in running the Chesterton Press booth at the conference, and then have them out for brunch at my house and dig through my fabric stash with Regina. It was pretty awesome.

My Susan of Narnia costume was featured at our booth!
I've run the CP booth at a couple of conferences before, but this was definitely the most fun I've had as a seller. Matt Bowman wrote up a short vignette as a prequel to our upcoming YA Fantasy Series, the Chronicles of the Ruahim, which we handed out for free at the conference (you can read it on the FTN forum if you're a member, otherwise check out some of the other conferences CP will be at this year). This was particularly cool for me, as I'm working on the second book in this series and was able to give out some teasers. 

"Nuns. Unicorns. Mermaids," I said.

"WHERE CAN I BUY IT?" cried the girls I was talking to. 

For more details on the Chronicles of the Ruahim, take a look at what Matt has to say: 

The Chronicles of the Ruahim is a new YA Catholic fantasy series Chesterton Press is publishing soon, run by our editor and sciencey-fantasy expert Matthew Bowman, and created by him and Regina Doman. Right now we're looking at publishing two books simultaneously, since they take place at the same time (and so we have both a male and a female main character available for those who like that sort of thing). 

The male main character is Templar Hart, a high school student who finds out there are creatures in his town that no one else can see except for his parish priest. That book is The Sword and the Dragon, by Matthew Bowman and Regina Doman. 

The female main character is Daphne Woodhouse, a college-age friend of Templar's, who is taking a semester in Paris and discovers a unicorn living in a convent's garden and mermaids running a nightclub. That's The Mermaid and the Unicorn, by Matthew Bowman and Elizabeth Hausladen. 

Yes folks, it's now looking like my book is getting bumped up from #3 to #2 in the series, and will be released at the same time as #1. It's something I'd been hoping would happen so I am super psyched about this development!

Anyhow, the conference was fantastic. We sold out of over half the titles, and had only 1-3 copies of the titles that remained. This includes 50 copies of "Rapunzel Let Down" which, though the newest Fairy Tale Novel, is also the most expensive so that was quite awesome! (Yes, I finally got my own hard copy of Rapunzel and it is BEAUTIFUL!) We also sold the copies of the Shadow of the Bear DVD we had with us... but don't worry, Andrew still has a couple dozen more, so go ahead and send him an e-mail if you'd like to own one yourself!