It must be January!
School’s started, the students are back in droves, and so I’m busy busy busy. Or as busy as I ever get, since after all, still part time.
Still, a dog show’s coming up Jan 29 and 30. Naturally it’s insane to enter dog shows in January when you have so very excellent a chance of being snowed out. The shows don’t get canceled if there’s a ice storm: you just stay home and lose your entry fees.
So naturally I’ve entered two youngsters both in the breed ring — it’ll be a small show, but any points will do for either of them, they’re not looking for majors yet — and in the Rally Novice ring. If we actually make it to the show, they should both be able to finish their Novice titles! Eve got her second qualification at six months and two days old, with a score of 97 and a first place ribbon. That’ll be hard to top, but we’ll try.
Now she’s eight months — how time flies. I think she could qualify tomorrow with no extra training, but probably I should remind her about the fast heel and slow heel and left turns and that she can stay lying down while I walk around her in a circle. Kenya’s more challenging to show, but she’ll do fine. I’m pretty sure.
I am writing, too, but sort of casually. I’ve started a new book — the setting is loosely based on sixteenth-century Istanbul (my city is called Kamehaji) and also on Cappadocia Turkey. It’s an extraordinarily neat setting, because I’m using the (real) underground cities of Cappadocia as a jumping-off point for my version.
The main character, Sakami, is a young woman who has the gift of tongues and who, as a child, was used by her uncle as a spy. When the story opens, she’s in Kamehaji, not exactly willingly, and her childhood skills are about to become very useful to her.
Maybe I’ll post an excerpt later. But, see, before deciding what to work on seriously, I’ll work out the beginnings for a couple of new books, see what I can do in the way of outlines (nothing too firm, generally), and send them to my wonderful agent. She can pick one and we’ll go from there. I should have a new project picked out by, say February sometime, and then I’ll post an except of whatever I’ll actually be working on.
Also, yes, I have finished Black Dog, my first venture into Urban. It was pretty quick and easy to write, it’s a fun world. Caitlin said she found it “claustrophobically intense” which is a great term and sounds promising! I think it’s come out pretty well, so now we’ll see if it finds a home immediately. That’d get the new year off to a fine start! It’d also influence my plans, ’cause I have a sequel in mind for it and it’d be nice to have to put that first.
In the meantime, since I’m not too involved with big projects, I do have time to read a book or two.
First book of the year: The Lightning Thief. It was kind of disappointment. (Sorry!) The main character was kind of an idiot (Sorry! It’s true!). In fact, all of the main characters were pretty dim, including the daughter of Athena, whom you’d think . . . well, never mind. I know it’s a Middle Grade book, but I thought too many of the supposed plot twists were way too obvious. And there was nothing particularly thrilling about the writing or the story or, well, I guess it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
One I liked much better: The Warded Man, by Peter Brett. Very nice! Excellent writing, great story, great characters. If you like Brent Weeks, you’d probably like this. If Brent Weeks is a touch too dark for you (I personally just glided lightly over some of the torture scenes), then you’ll probably like Peter Brett better. His characters don’t have it too easy, but the things that happen to them aren’t as graphic and horrible as the things that happen to Weeks’ characters. I’ll definitely pick up the sequel.
Next up for me: The Bards of Bone Plain. The year’s off to a great start, with a new Patricia McKillip waiting for me . . .