Friday, August 30, 2013

In the Queue 9

1. Coucou !
What's the haps.

Hello, everyone! Do you recognize the park in this picture? It's the Val-de-Marne in Paris. I have Paris on the brain lately. This morning I've been playing "J'ai Deux Amours" on a loop on my iTunes. I have two loves: my country and Paris. Maybe someday I'll move to Paris, you never know.

Can you believe summer's almost over? I hate fall. My birthday's coming up and I'm already wishing I could go into a coma and wake up when it's over, uhg. But that's still a few weeks off, so on to the queue!


Planning: The blog tour for The Sea Queen's Daughter is coming together nicely and I'm super excited about it!

Writing: Still working on the noir story. I'm wondering what to call it; the title when I initially abandoned it was Beefcake Special, because I had some vague idea of making the hero take his shirt off constantly for no reason. Which I can still do, of course, but it doesn't sound very noir-ish. Now I'm thinking maybe The Old Five and Dime? Stay tuned.

Reading: I FINALLY finished The Cold Dish this week and was like, "Yay, I can move on with my life!" After which I immediately picked up the next book in the series, Death Without Company. What can I say, I was feeling lonely without my guys. I'm also re-listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on audiobook. By pure coincidence, this weekend marks the 15th anniversary of its release.


Planning: I was contracted to write an essay about George Orwell. I'll admit right now that I have very little knowledge of Orwell and have never read any of his books. So that's going to take some research.

Editing: A press release about an artist. I enjoy writing these things, strangely.

Writing: Meh.

Reading: An art book called Take a Closer Look. It's set up to read like fake letters or conversations, so it has a socratic feel. Terribly clever.

That's all for this week! Do any of you have plans for the weekend?

Friday, August 23, 2013

In the Queue and Tim Gunn Should Be Batman

who's batman?

This week has been okay. Everything has felt a little blah lately, honestly. I might be getting bored. That's never good; when I get bored I start making unwise decisions.

As you may know, I've been watching Project Runway again this season, and I was sooo happy Tim Gunn saved Justin last night. Yay Tim Gunn Save! I was sobbing all over the place when he was eliminated and my mom was like, "You are NOT crying right now." But then Tim said he could stay in the competition! HUGS ALL AROUND YOU GUYS.

In other news, I'm finding it hard to imagine Ben Affleck (Batfleck!) as Batman. But then I probably won't see the movie either way, so my opinion's not worth much.

And now on to the queue...


Planning: A book tour for The Sea Queen's Daughter. I'm scheduling guest posts or author interviews for the week of September 23rd. If you have a blog and are interested in participating, please feel free to e-mail me or DM me on Twitter.

Writing: I'm still working on the bank heist noir. I have no idea what to call this book. It's very different from my other stories: for one, it's told in the third person present, which is not a typical tense for me at all, but the story just felt like it wanted to be told that way. Secondly, the tone is much darker than my usual light mystery fare. I hope people like it!

Reading: I've been slogging through A (The?) Cold Dish by Craig Johnson. It's not that bad of a book, it's just that it's the first in the series, so there's a lot of exposition about things I already know thanks to the Longmire TV show. I also started reading it when I was really busy, and as a result I now feel like I will NEVER EVER FINISH THIS STUPID BOOK. Seriously, I've been reading it for over a week and I'm barely halfway through. And it's 300 pages. I'd skim the rest but it's not really the type of book you can skim. UHG. I just want to move on with my life.


Planning: That post on the roots of the phrase "What's your poison." I think I've mentioned that before in the queue.

Editing: I just finished editing three short book reviews, and I need to finish an article on Albrecht Dürer today.

Writing: This!

Reading: This week I finished a really fun reprint of a 1930 cocktail book called Shake 'Em Up. The appetizer recipes are so bizarre I just HAVE to try them. This book might be a must-buy for me; I definitely recommend you hunt down a copy.

That's all for this week! What's have you been up to?

Friday, August 16, 2013

In the Queue 7

Queue - Kenzan GPO
I am so hungry right now, you guys.

I almost forgot to write my queue post today! I'm pet-sitting this week, which means I have two sets of demanding dogs to take care of, and less time to read and get things done. Except for watching Game of Thrones, of course. I'm almost finished with the second season. Have you noticed NO ONE on that show wears underwear?

Anyway, I still managed to have a few productive days this week. Not this day, though, so let's move on the queue...


Writing: I just started writing a story about a man who is unwittingly involved in a bank robbery. I have a feeling this one is going to be pretty short, and I'm planning on making it grittier than any of my other mysteries. You can read the first few paragraphs here.

Reading: I started The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson. It's the first book in his Longmire mystery series; Longmore is is a Wyoming sheriff. I don't really want to read the series in order but my mom's making me, haha (she is, though). I'm also still reading The Seven Sleuths' Club. I'm so into it I go days without reading it.


Planning: After struggling to write two food-related articles last month, this month I have TONS of ideas I'm planning to write about.

Editing: An article about painting styles and three artist profiles.

Writing: An article about photographs that impacted the world in some way.

Reading: Nothing, but I have some cocktail books at the library I'm looking forward to digging into.

What's in your queue this week?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wrong Place, Right Tie

ACPD surround bank robbery suspect

Waves of heat roll off the blacktop. Diego adjusts his tie, his cheap suit clinging to the skin of his back, and sits on the edge of a dried-up planter, dropping his briefcase between his feet.

He runs a hand through his hair and checks the clock on the bank sign. Thirty minutes late. Across the plaza, a small park beckons with the lure of shade.

In the distance, there’s a screech of tires and the wail of sirens. A white sedan shoots around the corner, nearly tilting onto two wheels. Diego jumps up as it speeds past him, staring at the license plate.

A second later he’s surrounded by cop cars, lights flashing. “Down on the ground! Down on the ground!” someone orders.

Before Diego has the chance to think about what he’s doing, he’s running, the briefcase clutched to his chest like a shield. He can hear shouts and the slap of combat boots on pavement behind him.

The roar of a shot fills the plaza. Diego doesn’t feel a thing: one moment he’s running, the next his cheek is pressing into hot concrete. With what seems agonizing slowness, he pushes himself up and sees blood. A boot kicks into his back, forcing him down.

Diego looks into the barrel of a shotgun, then the lined face of the old man holding it.

With a rush, his hearing comes back. The cops are shouting in the distance. Diego locks eyes with the old man, grabs the barrel hovering in front of his face, and tugs. When the man stumbles forward, Diego pushes back, smacking the old man's cheekbone with the butt of the rifle.

The guy who fancies himself a Clint Eastwood character lands on his ass on the sidewalk and Diego struggles to his feet, pulling the rifle out of the other man’s hands. A quick survey of the blindingly bright square reveals a 1985 Buick running, unoccupied, at the curb. Definitely and an old man car.

Keeping one hand pressed to his side, Diego limps to the Buick, tossing the rifle and briefcase into the passenger seat before sliding behind the wheel. He peels off just as the blue-clad arm of a police officer darts into the open window and grabs hold of his tie. The polyester slips from between the cop’s fingers as Diego stomps on the accelerator and pulls away in a burn of rubber.

Friday, August 9, 2013

In the Queue 6

Tutuki Splash long queue
This looks like a fun place to be...

Hello, readers! How has the week been treating you? I've been pretty depressed this whole week, honestly. I think I just really need a holiday; I find myself fantasizing about taking a WHOLE DAY OFF. What luxury! I even was tempted to apply for a grant to do research in Moscow, that's how bad it is. Moscow, the land of bad night clubs and vodka, the only alcohol I absolutely can't stand. Still, I might apply, why not?

Speaking of Russia, last night on Project Runway the hot-blooded Sergio left the show (or was kicked off? hard to say) because he wasn't being appreciated. *tiniest violin in the world* That means all the other horrible designers got to stay. Sometimes I wish they'd just cull the designers who are obviously not going to win, which at this point would be half of them. Oh, and Tim Gunn is starting to sound like Yoda: "Sad it may be; necessary it IS." Make it work, Luke!

And now on to the queue...


Editing: My main project this week has been editing The Real McGill. I'm almost done. It's going to need more editing after this first pass, for sure.

Planning: Once The Real McGill is done I plan to start thinking about publishing The Lonely Hipster.

Writing: Nothing, at the moment. I'm torn between starting the third and final book in the Hipstery series, editing another short story I want to polish up, or writing something completely different. I'll have to see where next week takes me.

Reading: This week I finished The Suicide Shop by Jean Teulé. If I had to describe it in one sentence, it would be The Addams Family meets Amélie (and personally I love The Addams Family, so). For the most part it was a really fun read, even though the story lost focus near the end and the conclusion didn't fit in with the theme of the book AT ALL.


Planning: To write a tribute to Barbara Mertz (also know as Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels), who died on Thursday. I'll probably sob all over it.

Editing: Nada.

Writing: I'm in the middle of an article about early 20th-century novels with more fully-realized/independent female characters than most 21st-century books. That's going pretty slowly.

Reading: Nothing, again. It's all I can do to read an hour's worth of novels these days. Sad.

What's on your plate this week?

Friday, August 2, 2013

In the Queue 5

Day 295
What's the haps for the week of August 2nd.

Bonjour, mes amis. Some big news this week: The Sea Queen's Daughter is now available on Amazon and has its own Goodreads page! If Venice, Carnevale, magic, and romance at all pique your interest... well. You should def check it out. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Okay, so what did you all think of Timothy's elimination from Project Runway last night? I mean, the guy was definitely the weakest designer of the bunch, but at least he was a genuinely good person, unlike SOME people. The drama was just so high school and awful *not overidentifying at all*.

Now on to the queue!


Planning: I'm thinking about revisiting a book that I plotted out but then decided wasn't working. It was meant to be a light-hearted caper romance, but maybe it will work better as a noir novel. I'll have to look over my notes and see.

Editing: I'm finally ready to start on initial edits for The Real McGill. These things can't be rushed, you know (well, they can be, but why?).

Writing: Still plotting out the final volume in my "hipstery" series. This one is taking more planning than the others because there are a lot more suspects.

Reading: I finished The Cuckoo's Calling by "Robert Galbraith," aka JK Rowling, yesterday. I have many FEELS about it. Basically, the beginning was great, but the middle dragged and the mystery was ridonkulous. But I think if you like JK Rowling it's worth reading. I also started a book called Lick by Kylie Scott. So far it's hot rock star goodness.


Planning: A lot of articles right now. I'd like to write about why we read books, the historical roots of the phrase "What's your poison," Manet's illustrations for The Raven, etc. Whether or not I'll get to all these articles by the end of next week is the question.

Editing: Entries for a gallery catalog I'm contributing to.

Writing: A PR release for an artist.

Reading: Zippo. I'm just not in the mood to read non-fiction right now, even foodie books. But if you've across a good cocktail book, let me know.

What's happening in your life this week?