Hairy, scary November, and a sneak peek at the latest work
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Sam sleeping in the sun

Murphy's working overtime

November has been quite the month.

First, there was the U.S. election, which is still generating rancor almost a month later, with no end in sight.

Then, our marvelous English cocker spaniel, Sam, got very sick. It turns out he had an ulcer inside his throat for quite a while, but other than the occasional coughing (which we usually put down to him eating something he wasn't supposed to and getting some of it caught in his throat), he showed no symptoms. That changed this month, as he went rapidly downhill. Last week, we made the hard decision to take him to the vet to be put to sleep.

After that, our water heater gave out, as in water sitting on the furnace room floor and leaking all over the garage. The best part about having to call the plumber and then get the replacement heater put in is that it was the day before Thanksgiving, not Thanksgiving itself.

There have been some bright spots during the month, too. One of my husband's colleagues got remarried and was selling his furniture for far less than we'd pay at a store to replace ours, so we now have couches we can sit on and not worry they're going to collapse under us. And both of our children participated in NaNoWriMo (our son in the full version, our daughter in the Young Writers Program) and wrote enough words to win!

So, a very full month.

You’re receiving this newsletter because you opted in on my website. It arrives twice a month, (usually) on the second and fourth Mondays. If you have any feedback or comments on the newsletter, feel free to let me know—I’ve included contact information at the bottom of the newsletter, or you can simply hit Reply. I love to answer questions, so if you have any, you can drop me a line, comment on my blog, or ask me something on GoodReads.

What I've Been Working On

NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month, the challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days. This year, my personal goal was to write at least 80,000 to have a complete first draft of the first book in this new urban fantasy series. Instead, what with life happening, I'm currently sitting at just over 25,000 words and hoping to break 30,000.

Here's a brief snippet from the first chapter (pre-edit, pre-completion, very rough, etc.):

If I’d thought that Jenny was done ranting about her landlord, I’d been wrong. “Did I tell you he hit on Missy last week? And the week before that, he pinched her ass in the elevator.” A trace of her usual good humor peeked through. “I’m the only one who gets to pinch Missy’s ass.”

And they couldn’t move, not easily, anyway. Sure, there were always places for rent, but those places weren’t always affordable. Life in the big city. Or, in their case, out the T line far enough to afford on their salaries but close enough to commute to work and Red Sox games.

Jenny kept going. “Not that she said anything. I sometimes think he only rents to us because he’s watched too much girl-on-girl porn and thinks that’s what our daily life is like, instead of laundry, bills, and dirty dishes like everyone else.”

I’d heard it all before, and her tone said she knew she’d said it all before, but underneath the tiredness was that sharp and bitter hurt, the pain that even though her landlord knew she had asthma, he didn’t care, didn’t care about doing anything but getting his rent check every month. And I was tired of hearing about it. Time to do something.

I dug my cellphone out of my front pocket and popped open Bitter, my home-rolled app that linked social media accounts for people I wasn’t happy with. Jenny’s landlord didn’t use a pic of himself as an avatar, although he had upgraded from default blank faces to chisel-faced cartoon characters, if you could call that an upgrade.

Sam in Louisville
Sam came on most of our vacations with us; this was taken at a park in Louisville, Kentucky.

What I've Been Reading

The latest book I finished was actually one I was reading with our daughter, The Name of This Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch. We're now working on the second book in the Secret Series, If You're Reading This, It's Too Late. Fun adventures (and a bit scary for the characters, of course) with survivalist Cassandra and would-be comedian Max-Ernest. I really like the way the book stretches our daughter's vocabulary.
...and now (finally!) for the next installment of the serial...

The Metal-Clad Airship

Episode 19

Miss Evers sat in our cabin, calmly reading a book whilst Felix and I clambered back in through the porthole. I tumbled to the floor, clumsy as always, and Felix chivvied me.

"Do get up, Owen. You make enough noise to alert the captains."

I struggled to my feet, doing my best to ignore the heat that surged to my face. Why must I make a fool of myself in front of Miss Evers?

"You've heard enough, then?" she asked Felix, ignoring my embarrassment.

"Indeed. I form a better picture of what goes on. Now I see that it was not chance which led my old friend Captain Murtoch across my path so soon after I found the map. I do wonder, though, how long he has been stalking this prize."

She shrugged, a delightful choreography displaying the grace of her form. "He it was who approached Pieter, months ago. You would have to ask him where he learned of it."

"I intend to." Felix's voice sounded as steely as though he already held a pistol with the barrel pointed at the good — or not so good — captain. "Just as I intend to ensure that he never profits from his knowledge."

"So long as Pieter and I go free."

My jaw dropped at this, but neither of them looked at me. How could Felix even contemplate letting Pieter Evers go free?

"I cannot fault you for playing your part in Murtoch's machinations. He clearly expected me to pursue the pair of you and warned you accordingly. You have dealt honorably with us, and shown us more than your brother expected, I think." He nodded. "For your sake, your brother goes free as well."


"Hsst. Someone's coming," Miss Evers said, pushing me toward the bunk. I took my cue and laid down with my back to the door to hide the abrasions I had taken on our little escapade.

What is Captain Murtoch's long game and where did he learn of this treasure? Who is coming? And what will Felix do next as a countermove? Stay tuned for the next installment!
If you have only recently subscribed to this newsletter and would like to receive previous episodes of this serial, simply hit Reply and tell me.

Thank you for reading! Questions or comments? Be sure to let me know!

Copyright © 2016 Eimarra Press, All rights reserved.

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