Monday, February 29, 2016

Photos of the Moment

The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona is a magical place. Upstairs, each country on each continent is represented by their musical instruments.

Here are some Pacific Rim copies of European instruments. Since the Philippine Archipelago is low on metals, they recreated these instruments in bamboo.  What a way to make what you have work for you!

Monday, February 22, 2016

What's up in the new year?

Back in 2012, Kensington Publishing Corporation published my very first novel, Dracula's Secret.

And by Halloween 2016, I will re-release Dracula's Secret (and the rest of the Blood Wings trilogy, too), revised, re-edited, and resuscitated.

To get myself back in the mood for Valerie Tate and her wacky hi-jinks, here are some of the photos I used for character references.

The Coat.
Valerie and her dragon coat. I love her strong nose and her ability to admit her vanity.

I really enjoyed writing such a dark leading lady. I wonder what this revision will reveal about her.

Those lips could light my way any day.
Daniel Craig and his beautiful mouth were the inspirations for Lance Soleil.

I wanted a story where the hero was the light bringer to the heroine. She needed redemption and he was the one to show her the rest of the way.

Let us not forget The Car.

And of course, Ilona, Valerie's Shelby Mustang. What hot, dangerous woman doesn't own a bad-ass car? (by contrast, I own a Prius)

Monday, February 15, 2016

My new office.

Me, daunted.
When I found out that I had nerve damage, I felt pretty lousy. I had to completely tear down how I worked and start from scratch. It was a daunting task.

So first, I had to order a sit/stand desk. I went through the reviews and chose The Ergo Depot's Jarvis Bamboo desk. Dig it folks! A motorized sit/stand for under $1000 dollars. And some seriously fast delivery, too.
Isn't it pretty?!
Next, I had to completely tear down my office. That was a mess and a half. I got the desk assembled and then The Charming Man and I made our office space bright, spacious, and much more usable.
 Check out my fantastic new layout! The desk is smaller, but I have more usable room.

I even cleaned the walls and rehung pictures and two of my three collage diplomas (the third fell behind a book case).
A few days later, I found my Muse in an antique shop -

A Minoan snake goddess from Knossos, Crete.

All the Wikipedia goodness over here.
She looks very fierce, but also very patient.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Lessons in Ergonomics.

Not *my* elbow, though.
So, yeah. That bad ergo thing had really done a number on my body. In the past, I've had sore wrists, Olecranan Bursitis (aka Popeye Elbow. Very attractive.), and now, damage to the nerves descending from my sacrum.

So let's avoid all of this pain, irritation, and general slow-down. Here's what we do.

Grab a good image from the web with the all the proper angles for your joints.

Doesn't she look comfy and happy?

Here's a pro tip - don't try to adjust all these things on your own. Have someone else help you! There's no way you can tell if your knees are at a 90 degree angle by yourself. Not even with that beat up protractor you still have from high school Geometry. Make some other sucker use that horrible thing.

Can you tell I wasn't so great at geometry?

I just got a sit/stand desk. Here's the info for that.

A standing desk can be crazy comfy, but it will mess up your hand writing. Next week, what my desk looks like now!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Back in the saddle.

The last month has been rough on me. As a result of my push to finish Curse of the Spider Woman, I ignored my body's warning signals and ended up with nerve damage in my hip. Leg numbness and tingling has resulted. As a result of the chronic pain and discomfort, I'd fallen into a depression.

After several months of hoping it would go away, I finally went to a physical therapist. I'm slowly getting better, and that means I'm slowly feeling my mojo coming back. To kick start the whole process, I've taken a short retreat to the Oregon Coast.

Haystack Rock
 To the right is my view from my hotel room. The big monolith is Haystack Rock, the little guys are called (get this), The Needles. Oregonians are pretty funny, no?

Cool sand and oil patterns
Couldn't seem to prevent getting in the water.

World's comfiest pants from Kim Sakkara, natch.

Something about the waves and the wind help me find where my boundaries are broken.
Slowly finding my smile again.