Monday, November 30, 2015

Can November be over now? What about now?

It's a good thing I've taken up meditation, because there are a lot of things this week that are harshing my zen. Some of them I can fix, some of them I can endure, some I can ignore. So I'm working on that, too.

But there will be good things, I believe, and in fact I'm going to bring some joy your way. I'll be participating in Rhonda Parrish's Giftmas Blog Tour this year, and if you follow along, you'll have the chance to win some cool prizes and meet some of my fellow authors. I'm working on my share of the posts now, and hopefully I can figure out how to work the magic links for you fine folks.

In the meantime, check out my poetry book, and the cool new anthology that's coming out soon:

Ruins Excavation, which includes my short story "Cover Her Ghost with a Feathered Cape"

The First Bite of the Apple, my Elgin Award-nominated poetry collection

Monday, November 23, 2015

Poem: Winter Birds

I wrote a little thing today, for a friend of mine, and thought I would share. In honor of friends and good writing news, which I will also share when I can.

Winter Birds

Even in winter’s coldest depths, when lavender shadows stretch
so far, and the sun seems to hang over the horizon even at noon—
even then, birds like a smudge of blood or a shattered piece of sky
dart through the bare branches, or rest for a moment
among deep green boughs. Or gray, black and white,
they flash and whistle, kin to the storm clouds boiling above the hills.
Like us, they wait out the cold, the grim short days. Like us,
they find sheltered corners, and call each other, and share seeds
and warmth. Spring will come: that is the secret they know,
the one they will tell us if we listen. Spring will come, sure as snowmelt,

and heat will seep to our bones, and our feathers will flash in the light.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

New story! Ruins Excavation available for pre-order.

Ruins Excavation from Hadley Rille Books

An anthology of stories featuring archaeologists who are women of color. Here's a brief snippet from my story, "Cover Her Ghost with a Feathered Cape":

            “This is my place,” she murmured. The broken bits of pottery kept her attention until evening crept in. As shadows stretched across the site, she packed up her tools and trudged back to her camp. Late in the day, after hours stooping, the aches grew fierce. Something degenerative, the doctor told her. Genetics and environment, working together to kill her slowly. Experimental drugs slowed the progression down, but the side effects dulled her thoughts. At last she decided to make the most of what time she had. So long as she had strength, she meant to reach into the past and shake free some secrets. Too much had been lost already.
            Lucia rubbed at her shoulder, where a bone-deep ache settled. She was pondering what she hoped to accomplish on the morrow when a light sparkling on the canyon rim above caught her attention. A faint tang of wood smoke hung in the air. Curiosity and concern together sent her in search of the source. As night closed in, she pulled a lantern from her pack and wound the crank that powered it.
            Even with light, the path was treacherous, loose gravel slipping underfoot and branches scratching at her face. She skidded once, then again. But by then she’d passed the halfway point of the climb, so she decided to keep going rather than try to descend. Rich-scented sage and pungent, stunted creosote brush provided handholds, and at last she pulled herself over the brink. The muscles in her legs trembled, so she lay for a time on stone that still radiated the day’s heat.
            No storm had rolled through, no lightning strike could have sparked that blaze. Lucia held the lantern high and trudged forward. Anger crawled in the pit of her stomach at the halting pace that was the most she could manage. Somehow she’d convinced herself she’d have the rest of the summer and fall to work. It seemed her body had other plans.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sunday snippet: Vulture's Roost

Enough wallowing. Time to get back to work. So here's a little bit of a scene from the novel I'm revising. The Shadowsouled necromancer, Vaeth, finds herself on the plane where her ancestors dwell. The keeper of the Hall of Bitter Wisdom, Sagesse, has advice for her:

            Sagesse turned and gave Vaeth a shake. “I have something for you. It’s called wisdom.  And generations of wisdom suggests you’ll have a far happier life if you walk away from the fight. Typhon won. He may not deserve to, but there it is. Let it go. Find a nice, quiet backwater, marry a nice man with lots of muscles, have babies. Write it all down, so I can pass on your good advice to whatever fool next arrives on my doorstep.”
            “I can’t do that!”
            “Of course not.  If mortals were sensible, I wouldn’t have any stories.” Sagesse smiled, a little sadly, and patted Vaeth’s shoulder. “So I’ll send you back to the world, and you’ll do what you feel is necessary. There’s no shame in it.”
            Vaeth gusted a sigh. “Then help me.”

Of course, the assistance of the ancestors is never what you'd hope it would be. (I love Sagesse. She's such an ornery horder of an ancestor.)