The End of the World

FRIDAY!

And while I am always happy to see the work week come to an end, I am more than a little daunted by what is facing me this weekend: a lot of fucking work. I have some writing to do for a website; the Secret Project; another project; and I want to finish writing the first draft of “Falling Bullets” and “Condos for Sale and Rent.” That’s a lot of fucking writing, Constant Reader, and that doesn’t take into consideration how much filing and organizing and cleaning I also have to do. Heavy heaving sigh. I also need to run errands, and am debating whether to wait until Saturday to do them, or do it tonight on the way home from work. That would probably be easiest, and let’s be honest: if I go straight home from work tonight, am I going to actually do any work? I tend not to; and there are always 2019 LSU football games to play in the background while I either clean or read. No matter how much I think all day about how much work I’m going to get done after I get home from work, every Friday I wind up doing not a damned thing because I’m so glad it’s Friday and I don’t have to work the next morning.

Yeah, I should probably go to the grocery store when I get off work and be done with it. They are open till eight and I get off work at five, so I might as well just get it over with.

And that, Constant Reader, is how the decisions get made around here.

I was tired most of yesterday; I never went into a deep sleep on Wednesday night and so didn’t feel rested. I’m trying to wean myself off the prescription medication that helps me sleep at night–I’m truly terrified of becoming addicted or dependent on anything; I can’t afford to go to rehab–and so periodically I like to stop taking it and try to sleep without it. I was actually functional yesterday, if tired, and so that has to count as a win, right? I always tend to the extremes–I’m rarely in the middle, which would be lovely; rather, I am always swinging from one extreme to the other without a stop–so there’s that, I suppose. I did get some work done on “Falling Bullets” yesterday; it’s weird, though. I’ve several ideas for stories centering Venus Casanova–the police homicide detective who is in both the Chanse and Scotty series–and as she is a woman of color, it’s a bit outside my comfort zone. I do love the character; always have, ever since I first thought her up way back in 1997, when I started writing Murder in the Rue Dauphine, and have even considered giving her a book all to herself (the idea is still simmering in my brain, Stations of the Cross; but if I ever do write it, that one probably won’t be a Venus story), and I have a really great idea for a case for her to solve without Chanse or Scotty around (her partner, Blaine, is gay, and that way I can still shoehorn in a gay character), but she also appeared in my first story to ever sell to Ellery Queen, “Acts of Contrition,” and I have two other short story ideas for Venus–this one, and “A Little More Jazz for the Axeman.” I wonder if I should be writing stories about a black female cop–after all, I am neither black nor female, and I do worry that I won’t get things about her right; not to mention the fact that if I sell the story, I might be taking a slot away from an author of color, male or female.

It’s not enough to just say I want to write about a black woman and I’m a writer and no one can tell me what I can or can’t write about. It’s not enough to say “well, sure, I’m not black or a woman, but I’ve written about vampires and ghosts and supernatural creatures, so why can’t I write a black female character?” (That defense against “own voices” is the one that pushes my blood pressure into the danger zone; there’s nothing like denying someone’s humanity to excuse writing about that person–and make no mistake, comparing writing any marginalized character to writing about creatures that don’t exist? You’re a bigot, period–making that statement disqualifies you automatically from any defense)

It’s something to think about, anyway. The other funny thing is how, this morning, reviewing what I wrote last night–I originally wrote about five hundred words, and wrote another fifteen hundred last night–doesn’t match the original paragraphs because I didn’t reread what I’d already written, just dove right in, and I’ll have to go back and fix that before I move forward with the story any further.

And last night, thanks to the magic of the Interwebs, I did a live reading for Tubby and Coo’s Bookshop; the first time I’ve done such a thing, and it was, indeed, a thing. It was remarkably easy and I went through no anxiety at any point in the proceedings, which was absolutely lovely–readings and panels and so forth always make me incredibly anxious and stressed; and that’s not gotten any easier since I first started doing them. But this was absolutely lovely; stress free other than the occasional stumble over words as I read them, and I honestly think, going forward from the pandemic, that this methodology of meeting readers is going to continue and tours are slowly but surely going to go away, unless you’re an enormous name.

And I slept well last night. I did wake up a few times during the night, but was always able to go back to sleep and I feel definitely rested this morning.

Huzzah!

And now, back to the spice mines. Happy Friday!

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Breakdance

Another cold morning in New Orleans, but it is helping me sleep. I went to bed early last night (before eleven) and woke up at nine thirty this morning. Of course, the cold isn’t nearly as awful here as it is in other places, but still. It ain’t supposed to be this cold south of I-10, yo.

But I am living through it, persevering as it were, and as I said the other day, the cold spell is supposed to snap this weekend. I am, of course, going to be at Comic Con this weekend at the New Orleans Convention Center:

PANEL: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller and Suspense Storytelling
DAY: Friday
TIME: 6:00-6:45pm
ROOM: 288
SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, THRILLER AND SUSPENSE STORYTELLING
What does it take to create stories and worlds in the science fiction, fantasy, or thriller genres and what do we hope to see in the future for these genres as well? Join Genese Davis (The Holder’s Dominion), Lilian Oake (Nahtaia: A Jaydürian Adventure), Bill Loehfelm (The Devil’s Muse: A Maureen Coughlin Novel) and Greg Herren (Garden District Gothic) as they unlock their writing process and experiences as creatives. The stories and worlds behind sci-fi, fantasy and thrillers will be revealed in this panel and hopefully any hinderances standing between you and your sci-fi saga, epic fantasy, or that heart-pounding thriller will disappear!
PANEL: Start Your Creativity Engines
DAY: Sunday
TIME: 2:30-3:15pm
ROOM: 291
START YOUR CREATIVITY ENGINES
Having trouble revving up your creativity engine? Writer’s block and general creator’s block often succeeds in stalling every type of artist at one time or another, but thankfully, there are creative solutions that can bulldoze those standstill challenges! With the right tools and inspiration, the wonderful world of art, writing, and creativity becomes your oasis. Join Genese Davis (The Holder’s Dominion), Tom Cook (Saturday Morning Cartoons) and Greg Herren (Garden District Gothic) as they divulge their experience when creating worlds and storytelling. Discover the routine, environment, and even networking and collaborative solutions that can bolster creativity and help you complete your artistic endeavors during this fantastic discussion!

I am signing at the Tubby and Coo’s Bookshop booth on Sunday before (starting at 1) and after the above panel (ending at 4). If you’re there, stop by and say hello, buy a book, and check out the merchandise. Candice always has lots of cool stuff in the booth, and the store is pretty awesome too–it’s on Carrollton, just up the street from Five Guys. I mean, you can go buy some books, and then wander over and have a fantastic burger and Cajun-style fries. How awesome is that?

I went over some edits on a short story this morning; there will be more info on that particular anthology as it develops.

And now, back to the spice mines. Here’s a hunk for your Humpday viewing pleasure:

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