It’s August! We’re one step closer (or three weeks, whichever you prefer) to my beloved September! Those of you who have been around for more than a year or two will know I absolutely hate the warmer months of the year, and they’re my least productive. For those unfamiliar with my loathing, I have an entire tag dedicated to this, “living for September,” that you can enjoy at your leisure if you’re interested.
About that “least productive” thing. My creative endeavors may have slowed to a crawl, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been idle. I’ve been helping various people move things from one place to another in the former farm truck my brother towed out to me this past March. I’ve been wanting a little* work truck for a few years now, and my family back East had one they were willing to part with, but then COVID happened and plans to haul it my way were put on hold. This year things worked out and Little Farm Truck arrived. After a few visits to the mechanic and tire store, Truck was ready to truck along, and has been very busy these last couple months. Summer in Oregon is the time to get things moved and hauled and cleaned out, and Truck has earned her keep admirably of late. In return for the use of Truck (and if you own a truck, you’re no stranger to friends and even very loose acquaintances requesting to “borrow your truck” for one thing or another), friends have helped me make many runs to and fro to various places to get my studio renovation complete. Two weeks ago I put the finishing touches on the paint and trim and was able to start moving furniture into it. Quilt Studio is finally ready to serve its intended purpose as creation space and Occasional Guest House. (There are pics of the completed project up on my Patreon for those who support me there!)
(*I could absolutely rant about the size of trucks these days being absolutely fucking ridiculous, but there have been various social media threads, articles and news stories that cover this stupid-ass trend, and I’m very grateful my family had a twenty-year-old truck that is just the size I wanted. The amount of money I invested in my little truck is well worth the price versus buying a new “small” truck.)
Though the renovation/building process is complete, there are still some final touches (mostly furnishings and their arrangement) needed before the studio is set up the way I envision it, but that can all happen later. Right now it’s all about getting things back in shape and reorganizing the spaces that have served as temporary storage for all the things that were once stored in the former workshop the studio used to be. A lot of things can go back in it, but many others need a new place to be, and for a lot of things, that place is not with me, so there’s a lot of purging going on. Anyone who has cleaned out a garage or storage unit understands where I’m at right now. Little Truck is again an invaluable asset in this process, and a run to the dump is in the near future.
August on the Oregon Coast is a weird time. Tourist season is winding down with last minute trips and snowbirds beginning to pack up their RVs in preparation for pulling up stakes, and residents getting their properties ready for the returning rains. It’s these last few weeks of warmer weather that things get arranged, cleaned, and sorted. “Make hay while the sun shines” is very much the sentiment as Labor Day (here in the US/first weekend of September elsewhere) approaches.
Though most of my available time and energy (in very short supply in the summer months due to my annoying bitch of a disorder) is devoted to getting my house and studio in order, I do take some time to work on my creative projects. I have been working on a few quilts (MeMaw’s Quilt Along is still on the naughty step, but I’ll get back to it eventually), one of which was made in two hours with audience participation at 2AM for a local theater’s annual fundraiser. The finished top was brought home and is currently in the process of being backed, quilted, and bound, and once completed will be labeled and given to the theater to use as they desire, whether that’s to display for next year’s fundraiser or raffle off for funds.
I’m also making a quilt for a friend that I decline to give details on as it’s a gift, but I may post pictures once it’s given. As it’s one of the largest I’ve attempted (queen size vs my usual lap/throw), it will likely be January before it’s finished, but I’ll get there eventually. Fortunately there’s no gifting deadline I need to meet for it, so I can work on it when I have time between other projects.
Speaking of projects, we’ve arrived at the Current Project portion of this edition of Little Bitty Pretty One.
The Silverthorn Protocol draft is due to be returned by my editor in the next couple of weeks, which will then be time for me to go through and make any revisions needed before it goes for formatting and eventual release. If you haven’t yet seen the gorgeous cover for it, here it is:
For the folks just joining us (shout-out to the new kids!), Silverthorn is my first foray into science fiction, and I really enjoyed writing it. Here’s the blurb for you:
Lierah Orbe has been hunted all her life. Her homeworld declared planetary isolation when she was barely past puberty, and those of mixed ancestry like her were listed for termination, cleansing Acavar of alien blood and the galaxy of their presence.
Constantly changing her appearance and never staying in one place for long has kept her one or two steps ahead of Acavarian extermination teams and enterprising bounty hunters. Now on Elhor, she hides in plain sight at the largest hospital in the system working as a Conservator, helping the victims of the endless Sangue conflict recover from devastating injuries.
After one of her patients suddenly dies with no explanation, Lierah’s instincts get the better of her. Following his final hours, she enlists the help of Rorric Arian, a security officer for the health conglomerate, and together they find a hidden protocol written in the language of her forbidden homeworld, and with it a conspiracy of murder.
Determined to find out who killed her patient and why, Lierah will risk everything to end the deadly experiment and bring its perpetrator to justice – her identity, her freedom, her life…and her heart.
I’m promoting it as “Underworld meets Grey’s Anatomy. In space.” Because of course I have space vampires and space werewolves. Planned release is November 14, 2023. (Snippet available here!)
The ebook is up for pre-order wherever you purchase your electronic reading material. Paperback will be available once it’s published.
I have a few other things I’m poking at, but nothing you probably don’t already know about.
Last time I mentioned a livestreaming D&D game I play over on Twitch. It’s (currently) called Tal’Dorei South, and you can find us live every other Sunday at Border Kingdoms Adventures at 6PM Central/4PM Pacific. Shenanigans are afoot with our all-female game run by AD&D League Dungeonmaster Joe Alfano.
Our first game was on February 5, so if you want to see me mouth off to an evil baddie and pay the price, head over to Joe’s YouTube link and check us out. We made it to level 3 and I am now in possession of a Vestige of Divergence (a dagger) that gives me bad dreams, and I may have died again in our last session, but I’m fine now. Except for the “waking up to the smell of death” thing.
That’s about all for the current goings-on at the Lair. I post random snippets and other fun things every so often (I aim for once a month but it doesn’t always work out that way) on over at Patreon, so if you’re interested in those things and don’t already support me here, that might be something to think about.