21 June, 2010

And the winner is...


I've already contacted her asking for her snail mail address,  and I'd like to thank everyone who tackled the questions. You guys are awesome!

More manuscripts are stacked up in my sewing room, and I'll post another contest next week. Tonight, though, I'm getting ready to head into surgery tomorrow. Getting pretty nervous.


16 June, 2010

Big Threads Giveaway Details

Everyone loves winning things, and I have something to give away.

Here are the details!

I have a polished first-draft copy of Threads of Malice sitting on my ironing board, the same copy I sent to my editor in December 2004. It is 553 pages long and marked in red and blue inks with corrections, questions, notations, and other assorted edits from my editor, as well as some other notes, written by me, in green.

There’s also a 17-page letter from my editor that explains and expands upon the corrections as well as additional comments about the book, the series, and my writing. I’ve written a few additional notes on this letter, too.

Both documents have my address and direct contact information for my agent blacked out, but otherwise they are complete and un-altered. I will, on request, personalize and sign the manuscript, or leave it as is. I’ll also ship it anywhere in the world – outside of the US it may take several weeks so that I’m not paying the current crazy-expensive prices for fast international shipping.

Now, how to win it?

Just answer some questions. Seven of them to be exact, three from Threads of Malice, the others from the other books, the series, and the short story, Fire.  Entries close at 11:59 pm CST, Sunday June 20th. On Monday June 21, I will draw one name from all correct entrants. So that no one can copy someone else’s answers, please email all entries to tambowrites AT gmail DOT com. I will delete any answers that appear in blog or facebook comments.

So. The questions:

1. How many times were Lars, Jess, and Aly in the cemetery and why were they there each time?

2. How did Dubric find a clue in Braoin's painting?

3. Who does Dien threaten to feed to the hogs?

4. What snack do Dien and Lars share when Dien explains what working for Dubric really means?

5. How did Oriana die?

6. What disguise did Nella use to move through the castle with Bostra?

7. What was Lars' dog's name?

Again, send all entries to tambowrites AT gmail DOT com.

Good luck!

14 June, 2010

Giving away Threads

I need to clear out some space in my filing cabinets and I have a pile of manuscripts that are just sitting there. So, later this week, I will be giving away a signed first-draft manuscript for Threads of Malice, complete with my editor's comments letter, notes, and assorted markings. Also, this version should contain a deleted scene with the killer alone with Otlee.

This contest will run here and on facebook, and I'll post more details on Wednesday.

11 June, 2010


I just want to pass on a couple of links. First, here's a blog post on Unclutterer about the art of being still, something I definitely have to work on, that's about an artist who sits still, no speaking, no moving, and her audience can choose to sit with her for a time. It's fascinating to see.

Near the bottom of the post, there's a link to portraits of the people who sat with her and, frankly, I found them to be a lot more powerful, and moving, than the artist herself. Also, I know that a lot of writers use actors, actresses, and other famous people as inspiration for their characters and I personally think that regular people are much more interesting. There's an amazing assortment of folks in these portraits, surely something for any writer looking for inspiration.

10 June, 2010

Worshipping at the Altar of the Princess

Our cat, Malaysia, would like everyone to know that she is a princess.

She also just had five babies. Yesterday. And it was quite traumatic. Much more than it should have been. Because she's a princess. And all things should go smoothly for princesses.

Tonight her special 'I'm a princess with babies on the way' single-serve* canned food is stale. A bit dry and crusty. Just on the top and edges. But still.

She IS a princess.

I tell her, 'But it's our last tub, oh sweet princess. I shall buy you more tomorrow, on grocery day."

My pleas for understanding fall upon deaf ears.

Stale, slightly crusty food will not do for princesses, or their babies.

So guess who's making a trip to the store at 10pm on a Thursday.

The serf. ;)

*The cheap stuff tastes ucky and is not worthy of her princess-ness. Accept no substitute!

09 June, 2010

Getting nervous

Bill and I met with the eye surgeon back in May - the 14th, I think - and we decided to schedule my surgery for June 22nd. So it's been about three weeks, and I still have two weeks to go.

Maybe we scheduled too far out, because I'm getting nervous. I really hate my bifocals (progressives are easy to adjust to, like hell) and I still get headaches and eye strain and they just make me miserable, but... Surgery? Me?

Financing is all arranged, I've been perfect in my 'pre-op regimen', but... I still have two weeks to go. I'm really balking at spending the money. Since I'm getting the wavefront intralase (a completely laser-guided, laser-cutting procedure that's customized for my unique eye structures, patterns, and oddities) it comes to nearly $3,000 per eye. It'll total $5700. Spent on ME. It makes me super jittery just to think about that much money. We're going to an eye surgery center in South Dakota - they were recommended as the regional specialists who take the tougher cases (like severely nearsighted and astigmatic me) as well as folks other surgeons have messed up. Everyone there was super nice, and they did I-lost-track-how-many-tests-and-scans on my eyes. Swirly light things and bip-bip-bip flashing light things and lines and x's and side to side scan things and it was all very fascinating. They even glued little paper strips inside of my lower lid - quite itchy!! - and I had to sit with my eyes closed while they measured my eye moisture and tearing.

Everything looked great, other than I'm just about blind without my glasses.

Post-surgery, my vision is supposed to correct to 20/40 or better in both eyes, and there's an 84% chance that my night vision and dim light vision will be improved. I'll most likely still need reading glasses, available cheap at any drugstore. I have nice, thick corneas and my eyes are super healthy (other than mild dryness) so they're not expecting any problems. All that's fine.

But. Still. It's scary. And expensive. And June 22nd creeps closer and closer every day.

04 June, 2010

Hot Compress

I'm supposed to get my eyes lasered in a couple of weeks and my eye-surgeon has put me on a lubrication regimen to get my eyes ready. This includes liquid tears, ointments, antibiotics, an eyelid scrub and, twice a day, a hot compress.

That's five full minutes - I use a timer - of me sitting with a hot, damp roll of washcloth pressed to my face. Five minutes of dark and heat and not doing anything else but sitting with that dark, moist heat. Twice a day.

I'm finding it, well, difficult.

I never would have considered myself hyper-active until the first hot compress. That five minutes seemed like two hours. I bounce my knees, frustrated with the inactivity. I contemplate the black void before my eyes. It doesn't take very long before I'm wanting to get this thing off my face, and not because it's hot. Oh no, the hot isn't really a bother at all. It's the nothing. The absolute nothing that forces me to sit and do nothing, no distractions, no to-do lists, no supper to cook or errands to run or commercials to watch or pets to chase or laundry or anything.

Just me, my thoughts, and all that darkness.

So. On the one hand I'm frustrated and antsy. On the other I'm astounded at my own inability to just sit and do nothing. Even for just five minutes. Am I that reliant on technology and distraction? Am I really so busy that taking 5 minutes before my shower and before bed to sit in the bathroom silent and in the dark is too much of a burden?

I don't like either answer, so maybe I'd better make these compresses a priority.

02 June, 2010

A bit about racism

My friend Jean posted a facebook linky to a blog article about racism. I hope folks take a minute to read it. It certainly made me think.

Why does it still matter what color someone's skin is? I just don't understand.

Here, it's not so much blacks, but hispanics, especially immigrants, but any hispanic will do (when I was younger, the venom was directed at Asians). The venom against folks just trying to make a better life for their families shocks and astounds me. I simply do not understand. We ALL were immigrants, somewhere back in our family history, whether intentionally or by force, and, dammit, not every immigrant into our land was documented and cataloged at Ellis Island.

Paraphrased from MLK:

I have a dream that (we) will one day live in a nation where (people) will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I hope, I pray, that someday that dream will come true. For everyone.

Thanks, Jean, for posting the linky.  {{huggs}}