Coffin Hop Blog Tour

The last week of October I’ll be participating in the Coffin Hop Blog Tour facilitated and organized by Axel Howerton and RL Treadway. The Facebook group is here if you want to jump on this crazy train. I’m still not entirely sure what I’m supposed to do, but it will involve some sort of giveaway as part of a contest. This is my first time participating in one of these so right now I’m a little fuzzy on the details. The most likely prize will be a copy of my book, Revenants Abroad, which (if all goes according to plan) should release right around October 31. More details as I get them. Watch this space, and all that.

The Definition of Stress

Remember that old joke:

Stress – (n.) The confusion created when the mind overrides the body’s basic desire to choke the living shit out of some asshole who desperately needs it.

 

Well, my stress is partly that, but partly this:

When the desire to live on your own terms is subsumed by the demands of society to conform. When in your heart you’re a Bohemian gypsy

BohemianWhen you’d rather be this:

bohemian girl

But you’re forced to be this:

b0032sa__ayahoda_women_business_suits_handmade_zena_manazerka_kostymy

How did this become the desirable norm?

We can’t all succeed at being her. And yet that is what I go to work and try to pretend to be every day.

There may yet be hope for my inner wild child

tumblr_lj4ehjX4CE1qfjayro7_400

Fire

These are pictures of what’s being called the Scoggins Creek Fire, in Newberg by Hagg Lake. Hagg is a popular man-made lake used for recreation–fishing, swimming, boating, water-skiing, etc. Lots of picnic grounds. I rode my bike out there last summer.

Mandatory evacuations are underway, it’s burned well over 150 acres now. I got these pics on my way home from work today (I did stop to take most of these). I sure hope they get this under control quickly. It’s supposed to be near 90º tomorrow and Sunday which won’t help.

Fire 2 Fire 3 Fire 4

Fire 5 Fire 6

Fire 7

Mount St Helens Outing

I haven’t done any kind of road trip in ages, so it felt really good to get out and head up to Mount St. Helens in Washington today. Do not believe Google Maps when it tells you it’s only a 90-minute drive. It took about three hours to get to the Johnston Ridge Observatory. I did make a couple of quick stops along the way, but not another 90 minutes worth. Anyway, herewith, a few of the better shots:

This one I left uncompressed, embiggen at your peril.

Mount St Helens

remains

path of destruction

Castle Lake

Information

Matchsticks

Close-up

Mount St Helens portrait

wildflower

Mt Adams

This is Mt. Adams seen from Johnston Ridge Observatory

It was hot, but the wind up at Johnston Ridge made it feel quite comfortable. It’s a breathtaking drive on 504. The surrounding countryside is lush and thick with trees. I tried to get pictures of Silver Lake as I drove past but they didn’t turn out. It had been a long time since I’d been up there, and I’d forgotten how spectacular it is. The pictures don’t really give a sense of how enormous the mountain is. I heard someone say the rangers had spotted some elk below in the valley, but I couldn’t see them.

Driving Home

Just a few shots from the drive home. I took the old camera with me. I’m still nervous about bringing the new one to work but I guess there’s no point in having it if I don’t take it out, right? My photography mentor at work can probably give me tips on it, anyway.

going home

Looming clouds

pretty drive

rain in the hills

Timmins

September Sunshine

Just posting this so in the dark, gloomy days ahead I can look back and remember there really was sun and warmth here.

September sunshine

This is a “painting effect” that the camera does. Kind of fun to play with.

sun effects

 

Morning clouds

Sept 1 morning

Leaves, painted and unpainted

Painted leavesunpainted leaves

Moving Forward

 

So it looks like it’s really going to happen, I’m really going to unleash Andrej, Neko, and Anne-Marie on the world, probably late this summer. This is, quite frankly, terrifying. Honest to dog, I don’t know how I’m going to make myself do all the obligatory marketing and selling. I don’t want to become “that author” who endlessly tweets nothing but ‘buy my book!’ tweets.

But first, I have to get something, some kind of descriptors or keywords to my cover artist so he can get started on the painting (yes, not CGI. I’ve seen some really dreadful covers done in CGI). :::chews nails::: This is much harder than I thought it would be. There are the obvious things: vampires, Prague, the three main characters. I really have no clear vision of what I want on the cover so I’ll wait and see what he comes up with. I’m still not entirely sure what all he’s going to do as far as creating the digital version of the painting. So many details still to work out. I hope to have a contract in the next day or two.

I’m rethinking how/where I’m going to release the book. I had initially figured I’d go KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) but now I’m thinking Smashwords who can distribute to iTunes and loads of others, including Kobo (since that’s the kind of ereader I have).

Oh god I feel like Kermit.