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I have been working pretty hard on HIGHBORN for the past month. Most of that has not been on new writing, but on completing the outline. This was needed both for me-- I knew where I wanted the novel to go but I needed a sense of how it was going to get there-- and for an agent I'm hoping will take me on. So over last weekend, I finished the detailed outline, polished the first 60 pages of HIGHBORN to the highest shine I could, and finalized two one-page pitches for what could be books 2 and 3 if this was to be considered for a series. It all went out on Monday, said agent received it on Wednesday, and now we wait. My fingers are so tightly crossed they look like pretzels. I've brought the goal number down to something a little more realistic; anything above 100,000 is cream. Here's the progress meter:

On the not-good-news side, cancer has poked its despicable head out again. A couple of years ago a former coworker got married, had a baby and moved to the east coast. Yesterday I found out that the two-year-old baby, Jaina, was diagnosed with a Wilms tumor on her kidney. The tumor (a 2-pounder) has been removed and was a stage I malignancy; Jaina now faces 19 weeks of chemotherapy. She's in her first week, so even though you may not know this little girl, please keep her in your thoughts. By the way, it's not too late to add to the donation pool on my ACS page, which still exists here: http://main.acsevents.org/goto/yvonnenavarro.

Here's wishing everyone a great weekend and a fabulous Memorial Day. RIP to all the great men and women of the U.S. who have fought and died so that we can have the liberties and life we have today. We salute you, honor you, thank you, and remember you.

Fly By...

That's what I think I'll call months from now on-- "Fly Bys."  With everything that's going on, they all seem to do just that.  We've had lots of stressful challenges lately, with car issues, school things, family matters, home repairs, job stuff.  The cousin I moved up here in August is scheduled to go into assisted living on the first, which gives us 9 days to close up financial stuff and move her.  She is not amenable to, well, anything, but it's really not safe for her to live by herself anymore.  Nothing has changed about the job-- despite my best efforts to that end, and it's just more aggravating as days go by-- and precious little time has been devoted to writing, although I keep hoping.  The universe has not particularly smiled upon us so far this year, but again, I remain ever hopeful.  The wall is still not fixed, although someone finally came out today and looked at it.  Faced with this 9 day thing, I can't help but see (again) that every time I seem to catch up on stuff to do and get free time within my grasp that I might devote to Highborn, something thunders in to snatch it away.  My sweet Goblin also faces surgery a week from today to remove some skin tags and have a cyst on his side removed.  Keep your fingers crossed about that one.  He's been very apt to suddenly become scared of nothing lately, and I don't imagine being cut & sewn will help his trust issues.

Weather seems to be trying to warm up and we're seeing some green in the yard.  Okay, so they're weeds, but they are green.


In With the New...

My sweet Goblin boy came in second place in the Danes Online contest (no sense posting the URL, since they don't keep the winning pictures up there -- so sad). He was ousted by a snowball-attacking Dane named Quake. Fine -- we moved to Arizona to get away from snow. So there. ::grin:: I will say, however, that for some reason January was a short month-- I check this site every day and posted news of the contest on LJ as soon as it came up, which wasn't until January 17th. Normally they change the photos on or very close to the first. So we wuz robbed. Robbed, I say!

In other news, I have finally redesigned yvonnenavarro.com. It's way past due, with the old one being full of JavaScript rollovers and eye-popping bright colors and banners and on and on. This time around I've gone for a clean, mostly black & white look. It's easy on the eyes, easy to navigate, and looks, I think, pretty sharp and professional. Most of the book pages and whatnot still have old design stuff on them-- I just wasn't willing to hold off the upload until I finished with every danged one of them. So if you run across pages with pupil-blistering purple or red backgrounds... oops. I'll get to them eventually. I also whacked out the photo pages in favor of a Flickr account, so many of the old photos are kaput. I'll upload some more of 'em to the Flickr page as I go along. I'm hoping to get some visitors here and there so that more than just my own lonely little location shows up on the ClustrMap, a thingy I stole from The Husband's website because, well, I thought it was cool.

So... comments about the new website?


Okay, so I haven't managed that one hour a day thing, but I did manage an almost all day writing stint today. That pile-o-hours got me 6 pages, and it's been since October that I wrote more than 2 or 3 pages at a time, so I'm pretty pleased. The story is finally starting to move on its on, the characters are starting to think outside my box, and I think I mentioned before that I've finally decided on HIGHBORN as the title. Sweet.

Here, at last, is a current word count, which is pretty good improvement over the last posting of 22,457:

Lots going on. Tomorrow we're (finally) going to take down the Christmas decorations. Theoretically we'll actually put them where they belong in the garage as opposed to leaving stacks of boxes on the garage floor and wads of wrapping paper and empty tubes in the drawing room. Time will tell. The wall is still not fixed; already there are issues with the driver's insurance company, which after promising the adjuster would make an appointment when we could be here, had an adjuster come out for an appraisal when no one was home. I have yet to speak to said adjuster. I can see this has the potential to be an unpleasant thing.

I got a bunch of great books for Christmas, the last of which just came in because of a lost shipment. Good stuff, and I'm looking forward to reading... after I get some new reading glasses. I think the glasses being out of date (and that stupid dry eye thing) really contribute to me not reading as much for pleasure anymore. I miss it, and I have way too many great books waiting.

Dawgs are fine, The Husband (westonochse  ) is okay. Occasionally I have to pound on him to keep him straight. Family is as okay as they're going to be. Still working on the job thing. Some potentially interesting stuff there, but we'll see. In the meantime, plesae keep invisible fingers crossed on my behalf.

I'm working, very slowly, on a long overdue complete new web page for myself.  Only have a few pages done so far, but it's coming along.

Alex got her report card, which was pretty doggone good. We're all happy, and so sometime soon we're going out for steak to celebrate.

We have six dead or nearly dead plants to dig up and return to Home Depot and Lowe's for refunds. One would think these stores would learn not to sell (and guarantee) outdoor plants here that cannot survive the high desert (i.e., COLD) winter climate.

Guess that's about it. Happy New Year, all!

The Writers Strike...

Here's why:

Here's a free way to offer support.

Here's more info.


The Necon website has been updated with GOHs, nifty artwork, and the registration form.  Get over there, cuz we are already half sold out, and it isn't even 2008 yet!
Also, Necon has come to both Facebook and MySpace.  Yeah, I know neither spot looks very spiffy right now, but I'll get there.  I just snagged them within the last twelve hours, so things are pretty bare.  Get over there and sign up to get your quota of Necon info!  Plus I could use some activity here -- add friends, post entries, write on walls.  Chop chop!

Okay, must get ready for TusCon, at which The Husband has been asked to be Toastmaster.  How exciting!  Tomorrow we must run back home to attend the United States Marine Ball, so hopefully we will have spifty & fab pictures to post. 

Chop chop!


To The Library, I Say!

Yes, The Husband (westonochse) and I will be stepping out in public tomorrow, appearing at the Pima County Public Library with our very own  weezlgrrrl.  What are we doing, you ask.  (You did ask, right?  I heard you.)  We're taking party, er, part, in a Science Fiction Author Workshop which starts at Noon and goes until 4:00 p.m.  If any Arizonians would like to stop by, this fab event (all set up by the stupendously talented and organized cardigirl) takes place at 202 West Valencia Road, in Tucson, Arizona.  Drive on down.  Heck, fly on in, if you want.  We'll be just as happy to see you. 

You can see the library announcement here, on which page you'll also get a small glimpse of the excellent piece of art originally created by [info]cardigirl and used to illustrate the event.  Apparently attendance is limited to 80, and wouldn't it be grand to have so many people in the room for us to yap at? 
(I will not have stage fright. I will not be nervous. I will not have stage fright. I will not be nervous.)  So come on by!


Plugging the Dead...

One must always promote.  So...

My heart-tugging (and I mean that in only the most  gentle way-- really) little tale in here is called "Dad Brings a Deader Home."  It's a melting of horror and science fiction.  Click on the photo to get a readable view of all the fabulous company I was privileged to have in this book, and Tina's hysterical intro is not to be missed.  (Teaser: "So let the idiots die in a cadaverous, cannibalistic orgy...")  If you'd like to have more details, they can be found at TwilightTales.com.  I don't think purchase details are up on the site yet, but I'm sure they'll be there any day.  And there's always that "Contact" link at the top of the page.

Time Runneth Short

My old enemy, Time, has reared its horned and ugly head yet again, and it's unlikely I'll be able to post before The Husband (westonochse) and I leave for World Horror 2007.  There's way too much to do-- just getting the Danes situated (pre-measured medicines on pre-measured food and detailed instructions, blankets, toys, shot records, a weigh-in for heartworm prevents, etc., etc., etc.) is going to take a chunk of tomorrow afternoon/evening.  Then there's packing, writing stuff (A reading?  I'm doing a reading?  What should I read??!), last minute "Oh my Gawd -- she's going to be gone for two days!" work stuff .  Since I have feeds going to both the Amazon bloggy thing and my main web page, I'm just going to post where I'll be at WHC, should someone (stalkers, please abstain, thank you very much) come looking for me:

THURSDAY - 07:00pm – 08:00pm TWILIGHT TALES LAUNCH Simcoe
Launch for Twilight Tales' Book of Dead Things, hosted by Tina L. Jens and the Twilight Tales team.

FRIDAY (3/30) - HWA Signing - 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. - Yvonne Navarro (Buffy books, Mondo Zombie), Weston Ochse (Vampire Outlaw of the Milky Way, Recalled to Life)

08:00pm – 10:00pm MASS AUTOGRAPHING Ballrooms A/B

SATURDAY - 04:00pm – 05:00pm FEMME FATALES: WOMEN IN HORROR Ballroom C




11:30 -- 12:00am - Reading Slot

Noon – 01:30pm WHC CHARITY RAFFLE Ballroom D (attending depending on airline schedule, which I can't recall right now)

If anyone has any idea how to do an RSS feed from here to MySpace, I would be eternally grateful.  MySpace just keeps sending me form letters about how to upload pictures.  Sheesh.

Busy busy busy.  As I've always said, there's no rest for the wicked.  I must've been really, REALLY wicked in a previous life.

By the way, I finally got around to making a group thing for newsletters.  It's here, in case anyone wants to join.  Don't expect lots and lots of updates, although I should (note the should part) be better about that since the mailing list itself -- deletions, additions, etc. -- will be handled by Google's software.  Please join up.  It gives me warm fuzzies 'n' stuff.  :)


Oh, Woe is the Weekend So Soon Gone...

Well, it's 10:30 p.m. on Sunday night, and I wrote not a single word all weekend.  The Husband westonochse and I started off this weekend with Chicken Ranch Pizza (and oh woe to the diet, too!), added sushi to that on Saturday night, then BBQ chicken on Sunday.  It's really amazing how our lives center around food.  I actually baked a loaf of cheese jalapeno bread, from scratch, to go with the chicken.  It didn't come out half bad, quite edible if not a little on the dense side.  My loaf pan was a bit too small, and there's always the nearly mile-high altitude to futz with.  But still... not too shabby. 

I've gone all techno-geek (okay, so I read about it in the Amazon.com destructions, er, instructions, and just followed them) and added my LiveJournal as an RSS feed to my Amazon blog.  Thus endeth forever the days of the Amazon blog being sadly neglected-- everything that I post here goes there.  I don't think reply comments do, so folks who're reading the Amazon news and want to see the remarks (sometimes serious, sometimes sarcastic) will have to come to the LJ  to do it. 

For the folks right here, something I've already announced on Amazon is the release of The First Name Reverse Dictionary, Second Edition.  Yep, after all those months and months of work, the work is not only finished, the book is out.  And look -- it's purty!

It might not be as cool as faustfatale's Snakes on a Plane, but I can honestly say it has a sort of Snakes on a Book look  (ha ha).  The link above goes to Amazon, which has free shipping for it.  You can order it straight from McFarland if you like, although there you'll have to pay four bucks S&H.  Something worthy to note, however, is that McFarland has some of the absolutely coolest books on the planet, reference books about topics you'd never think about until you see it in writing.  Anyway, full info is HERE, with links that will take you to excerpts and, if you like, reviews.  This is the reference book I created for myself because I was tired of putting so much time into naming my characters.  Somewhere along the line, way back in the late 80s, I wondered if other writers might like it, too.  So it began, and it took years to get it all together.  Who knew it would someday even be a second edition with 44% more entries in it than the first? 

Okay, the weekend endeth.  So sad.