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Should I follow you into the shadows

Here's today's progress on my subtropical (art)deco mystery about a young medium in a historic spiritualist community teaming up with a shell-shocked haberdasher who's receiving love notes from hell ... as inspired by a real place and a real set of bizarre (otherworldly?) incidents:

    Project: Brimstone
    Deadline: March 1, 2016
    New words written: 2016 (haha)
    Present total word count: 34,669



    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Had the world's worst nightmare and woke up to find that something bad happened while we were asleep.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunt with the dog; lunch with a friend; went to grocery store; went to Walgreens to grab a prescription; found out we are officially going to be a Nielsen ratings household (woot woot!); swung by the bank to deposit a check.

    Other: When in doubt, bring in a man with a gun. Or a dream-dude with a gun. Maybe it's a flame-thrower. Close enough.

    Dog Other: Quinnie helped me unpack from my trip to Michigan the other day.



    Number of fiction words so far this year: 21,456
In case you missed it over the weekend, Briley has gone off to his new home. Thanks again to everyone who helped spread the word.

* * *


Here's recent progress on my subtropical (art)deco mystery about a young medium in a historic spiritualist community teaming up with a shell-shocked haberdasher who's receiving love notes from hell ... as inspired by a real place and a real set of bizarre (otherworldly?) incidents:

    Project: Brimstone
    Deadline: March 1, 2016
    New words written: 3646
    Present total word count: 32,653



    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Set some stuff on fire. Mostly by accident. Also ate some sandwiches and maybe had too much bourbon.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunts with the dog; too much eating of take-out food; helped re-home Briley; went to lunch with a friend; went to supper with a different friend, because it was her birthday; did some housework; hosted a marvelous dog party.

    Other: Onward. Upward. Forward.

    Dog Other: Greyson and Luna, BFFs 4EVR.



    Number of fiction words so far this year: 19,440
This morning, my old neighbor Cathy brought Briley to my house - to meet his new family, a lovely couple who live on the other side of town. And now, this darling fluffy wild fellow with the amazing smile ... belongs to an animal trainer and education worker at the Tennessee Aquarium. I couldn't have imagined a better fit with nicer folks - and I do believe that it will all work out beautifully.*



Of course, this was very hard for Cathy. She put on a brave face until after Briley rode off with his new people, and then lost it. I felt just awful for her, but she knows (I know she knows, and I reminded her) that she did the right thing for her beloved friend; he's going to have a great life and a glorious time going running every day, hiking/camping on the weekends, and napping on his new comfy bed in the downtime.

I know, because his people sent this pic along this evening, with a note saying, "He seems to be settling in nicely :)"



Still, my heart goes out to Cathy. She did a brave thing, and I wish her the very best for her future. May she find better times ahead.



* If for some reason it doesn't, Cathy and I made very clear that we will take him back - no questions asked.

Jamming good with Weird and Gilly

Guess how much work I got done while I was in Michigan. Just guess. If you guessed "none at all" then DING DING DING you are a winner. I spent most of my (not-so-copious) downtime at ConFusion on the phone trying to make arrangements for Briley the Dog, wrangling an interview or two via email, and conducting other assorted bits of Writer Business.

So, like. Oh well.

But before I get to today's word metrics, I wanted to offer another quick update on Briley: On Saturday morning, he's meeting a wonderful couple who sound like they could be his perfect forever-home. If all goes well, then I'll inform the world and quit yammering about it. If not, I have another interested party or two that I can try as a fallback, but I really do hope this works out. I seriously couldn't have designed a better fit if you asked me to.

[:: fingers crossed ::]

At any rate, I want to thank every single person who RT'd, shared, and otherwise passed around my post about Briley and his plight. The lovely couple in question are not friends of mine, and are not in any of my immediate circles. They got wind of him through the internet. They got wind of him through you.

Now let's all hope and pray that everything works out, because I love this dog and I want him to have the structure, exercise, joy, and stability that he deserves. I'll let you know how it goes.

* * *


Here's today's progress on my subtropical (art)deco mystery about a young medium in a historic spiritualist community teaming up with a shell-shocked haberdasher who's receiving love notes from hell ... as inspired by a real place and a real set of bizarre (otherworldly?) incidents:

    Project: Brimstone
    Deadline: March 1, 2016
    New words written: 2007 (onward and upward)
    Present total word count: 29,007



    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Considered a Bible verse; listened to the radio; heard more than we expected; maybe got some communique from a ghost.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunts with the dog; unpacked; did about five loads of laundry; cleaned house; cooked; went grocery shopping; went to Walgreen's; went to eye doctor to pick up contacts; lunch with husband; all the fiddly catching-up bits that form a backlog when you're out of town for a few days.

    Other: I am so far behind that it feels almost surreal, but I can still do this. I'm starting to find the groove of this thing - I've found its "center" so to speak, and I have high hopes that things will be easier going forward.

    Random Pet Other: My recent favorite picture of Quinnie, who sleeps like the dead.



    Number of fiction words so far this year: 15,794

Dog Updates and Convention Non-Recaps

First - thank you so much to everyone who helped spread the word about Briley (see previous post). He is a wonderful dog, and I want the best for him; and you are all wonderful people for caring and sharing re: this pooch that most of you have never met.

So to give you the latest news: I have a pretty solid lead on a very good home for the fluffy-bottomed stinker. I've been texting/emailing back and forth with a lovely woman who sounds like the perfect match! And if she and Cathy can successfully phone-tag their way to an agreement, everyone will meet up this weekend for the hand-off.

I am crossing EVERYTHING over here.
And I will let you know how it goes.
[:: crosses all the things ::]

IN OTHER NEWS. I am back from ConFusion in Michigan - and it was a hell of a time. I learned a long time ago to refrain from convention write-ups because I inevitably forget somebody or something amazing and then I feel stupid and bad about it. So suffice it to say, everything was amazing! I met some new people and did a lot of socializing, played some laser tag, played some tabletop, got some books from the great folks at Subterranean Press, and did some marvelous panels with outstanding panelists.

Basically, ConFusion is one of my favorite weekends of the year - and I always look forward to it. This was another fine example of another fine show. Many thanks to everyone who made it possible, and who made it wonderful :)

Briley needs a home

It hurts my soul to share this, but one of Greyson's dog-friends is in a bad spot: To make a long story short, his owner (very suddenly) became homeless a few months ago. After weeks of couch-surfing and scrambling to make-do, she has finally come to the conclusion that "Briley" needs a new family. She simply is not in a position to take care of him anymore - and she is not likely to be in such a position anytime soon. (I am leaving out some details for the sake of her privacy.)

To frontload the obvious, we are not in a position to take him.
Keep reading. I'll explain.

You guys have seen me post about Briley a lot over the last 2-3 years. He is a handsome-as-hell Australian Shepherd (purebred, with all his papers) with a smile that will light up a room. He and Greyson used to have dog play-dates pretty regularly, up until his owner - Cathy - was forced out of her house this past fall.

That's him on the right, all orange and white and full of joy.



As I mentioned in my last post, Briley turned up recently, having run away from his temporary crash-pad. At the time, we had high hopes that Cathy's most recent living situation might pan out as a place they could be together ... but it didn't.

So I'm putting this out there, with a plea from the bottom of my heart: Is there anyone in or around the Chattanooga, TN, area (or anyone who might be willing to drive here) ... who has any interest in this gorgeous, friendly, lovable guy?



He is about seven years old, and good with ... everything. Everywhere. And everybody. He loves all people, all kids, all other dogs (natch), all goats (we are assured), and as far as we can tell, all cats, too.


He is heartworm negative, neutered, and up-to-date on all his shots.

So, you may be asking yourself, what's the catch? Well, there's not one, really. Not if you know anything about Australian shepherds, for the thing that makes him impractical for our household might make him absolutely *perfect* for yours. Long story short, he's a big ball of energy. He needs someone who is very active, or who has an active household. He'd be thrilled to have the company of other dogs, or dog-loving kids. Failing that, he needs a fenced yard of a decent size.*

Briley is a fluffy bundle of HELLO I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU.

In truth, he is not terribly well trained. He is housebroken - and he knows how to sit and be good for treats...but he's a bouncer and a leash-yanker. I honestly hate to add that bit, but it's a fact - and I don't want to mislead anyone. He is a very bright dog and he's highly trainable, but Cathy has not been able to give him that training.

So ... that's Briley. We love him, though we cannot take him for ourselves - but I am desperate to help find him a great and loving person (or family) of his own. If you are within a few hours of Chattanooga - or are willing to meet within a few hours - for the right situation, either Cathy or I can probably be persuaded to meet you somewhere.

So please, if you are interested, drop me an email at cherie.priest@gmail.com. I will ask you a bunch of questions, and if you seem like a good match, I will give you Cathy's phone number so you can talk.

This is him (on the right, in orange and white). He is a doll. I promise you will fall in love with him.



Thanks for reading.
cherie.priest@gmail.com



*Note: Our yard is quite small and we have only a four-foot chain link fence. He has demonstrated that he can escape from a fence of this type.
This is just a quick post to say that if the weather holds, tomorrow I'm heading out for ConFusion in Michigan. I say "if the weather holds" because it's been sleeting and freezing and spitting around here - and it's supposed to warm up between now and tomorrow morning (more or less); but then again, it was supposed to have snowed a couple of inches already this afternoon. And that clearly hasn't happened...so...I guess we'll see?

Assuming it all works out - if you're in the area this coming weekend, come out and say hello! Even if you don't make the convention, you can catch me and a bunch of other authors at the Livonia Barnes & Noble (click the link for details).

At any rate, I certainly hope that the travel gods smile upon me - and if you're curious to follow my adventures (getting there, and being there), add me over on Twitter. I'll try to keep you posted.

But for now...I must log off and finish laundry/sorting/packing and all that jazz.
Wish me luck!
Here's recent progress on my subtropical (art)deco mystery about a young medium in a historic spiritualist community teaming up with a shell-shocked haberdasher who's receiving love notes from hell ... as inspired by a real place and a real set of bizarre (otherworldly?) incidents:

    Project: Brimstone
    Deadline: March 1, 2016
    New words written: 2912 (crap for a 2-day total, but better than nothing)
    Present total word count: 27,000



    Things Accomplished in Fiction: The open reading turned sinister; aftermath of sinister happenings; pimento cheese sandwiches.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunts with the dog; went to bank; went to post office (twice, because I forgot it would be closed yesterday, oops); went to Walgreens; assembled a kickass exercise bike; sorted and added up tax receipts; did laundry; did some housework.

    Other: I will probably get a little more writing done tonight, but my afternoon was interrupted by our neighbor - who'd found a dog running loose and nabbed him. She thought she knew where he belonged, but she also thought that the owner had moved, and she wondered if I had any contact info for the owner in question. End result: Between us, we spent about 2 hours (when all was said and done) hosting a marvelous playdate and trying to scare up the owner, who had - in fact - moved away. Long story. Anyway, I wanted to get this posted before I break for supper.

    Dog Other: You guys may remember Greyson's friend Briley. Bless his fluffy little heart, when he got loose and went walkabout, he just came on "home" to see his pal.

    Click here to view on my website, since LJ won't support Vines for crap.


    Resolution to Dog Other: Briley's mom was eventually tracked down, and she collected him a few minutes ago. All's well that ends well!

    Cat Other: Kittenzilla is up to eleven pounds of fluff and fury. God help us. (She's only seven months old. Oof.)



    Dog Other BONUS: Briley is always such a happy bastard. It was good to see him again, and I'm glad he is safe.



    Number of fiction words so far this year: 13,787

Your silhouette is so stationary

Yikes. It's been a bit, hasn't it? My apologies, everyone - it's been a busy couple of weeks, and a frustrating couple of weeks, and basically just a couple of weeks where I've struggled to get my writing act together with minimal success.

I don't know why this one's been such a struggle. I love the story, the characters, etc. ... but something just hasn't been gelling. So I took the whole thing apart and put it back together, lost a few thousand words, and gained a few thousand words - and I think I've FINALLY found my footing.

God, I hope so.

So anyway, here's [the net gain when it comes to] recent progress on my subtropical (art)deco mystery about a young medium in a historic spiritualist community teaming up with a shell-shocked haberdasher who's receiving love notes from hell ... as inspired by a real place and a real set of bizarre (otherworldly?) incidents:

    Project: Brimstone
    Deadline: March 1, 2016
    New words written: 6859 (crap for two weeks, but better than nothing)
    Present total word count: 24088



    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Talked to the nice priest; learned some things that may or may not be useful, but at least got taken seriously; learned a lot about a new church; a first public channeling that went better than expected.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunts with the dog; a number of dog play-dates; went to lunch and shopping with my cousin; went to lunch and shopping with my friend Vanessa; an unexpected vet visit for the dog, who licked a bald spot on his fanny for what could best be described as Dog Reasons; visited a workshop for young writers at Chattanooga State; Lord, I don't even know what else.

    Other: I have six weeks to wrap this bad-boy up. Here goes nothin'.

    Dog Other: The quick brown Luna jumped over the lazy Greyson, and I got a lucky shot.



    Cat Other: Cat fairness: One gets the comfy seat, one gets the sunbeam. Peace in our time.



    Book Other: Did you know that you can vote for I Am Princess X in the Teen Choice Awards? It's true! And it's muchly appreciated! Just click the image below.



    Hair Other: I've been eyeballs deep in 1920s fashion for months, not least of all because one of my Brimstone protagonists is a tailor ... and I wanted a change. So a couple of days ago, I said, "Screw it. Let's go FULL PHRYNE." And lo, I went Full Phryne. And it was awesome.




    Number of fiction words so far this year: 10,875
Here's recent progress on my subtropical (art)deco mystery about a friendly medium in a historic spiritualist community teaming up with a WWI shell-shocked haberdasher who's receiving love notes from hell ... as inspired by a real place and a real set of bizarre (otherworldly?) incidents:

    Project: Brimstone
    Deadline: March 1, 2016
    New words written: 2105
    Present total word count: 17,229



    Things Accomplished in Fiction: Went back to Ybor City and to a very nice haberdashery; called an electrician and got nowhere at all; decided that a priest might be more useful, considering how weird the problem has turned out to be.

    Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunt with the dog; went to post office; grabbed lunch; answered some emails and achieved Inbox Zero; did some research.

    Other: The count should've really been higher, but I went down a research rabbit hole. Tomorrow's might not be too high either - because I have a doctor's appointment in the morning, and a dog party lined up in the afternoon. But I'll see what I can do.

    Dog Other: [Christmas throwback] Greyson survived the car-ride home from Kentucky without puking, but he was pretty pitiful all the same.



    Cat Other: Cats are weird.



    Number of fiction words so far this year: 4016