Authoring Update

Everything is good, which means everything is boring. I mean, too boring for me to describe to y’all here, or to my cousins or my hairdresser when they ask me how everything’s going. Who wants to hear “Hey, another awesome thing happened in my career,” or “Yeah, I’m working on another few projects” all the time? No one. I don’t even want to hear myself say it, you know? So I don’t say anything. I just go home and do work. Or do emails about work. Thankgodfully, I have a lot of projects going on now. I’m working like a mad man and am, in fact, about to go part-time at my day job in order to get more work done. If y’all know me in real life or have read this blog for a long time, you can probably imagine what a big deal that is to me and how happy I secretly am.

All that said… Let’s talk about the next project you’ll see. I have a new, real live novel, Lone Star Legend, coming out in January. Launch party is here in Houston, on January 28 at Brazos Bookstore. With wine -– they said I could bring some wine, and I definitely will.

I’ll also do a signing in Austin (at BookPeople) on February 5, I think the date is. And one in San Antonio, don’t know when yet. And I want to try to go to Dallas and then Los Angeles later in the year. But that’s about it, I think. As you’ve probably read by now, publishers have figured out that book tours don’t make as much money as they cost, and that’s why I never do them. So don’t hold out for signed copies, anybody. Instead, buy my book in January. Then, email me and tell me you bought it. Then, I will email you back, making the email say the words I would have written in your book if I’d flown to your town and met you at a bookstore table. And then you can print that email and Scotch-tape it to the inside cover of your book! Or, you know… you could always order a signed copy from Brazos Bookstore, and they’ll ship it to you. They’re nice like that.)

(It kills me to write all that, all presumptuous about the possibility of people screaming for signed copies. But I kind of obsess over signed copies, myself, so I’m typing all that for my fellow OCD’ers.)

What is the book about? you might ask, because I’ve never yet told you. Is it about lone star legends? A little, yes, but that’s not the only thing.

It’s about a woman named Sandy Saavedra who lives in Austin and is super happy and proud of herself because she’s putting her journalism degree to work for a site called LatinoNow. And she’s scored a handsome grad-school-poet boyfriend. And even though her mom doesn’t understand anything Sandy writes, or even what she does for a living, it’s okay because they still have a pretty decent relationship, considering, relatively, since her mom drove Sandy’s dad away.

And then… bom bom BOM… a gossip-blog conglomerate buys LatinoNow. And they ask Sandy to stay on, but as a gossip blogger of the “bitch, pleeeeease” sort and not a Real Journalist.

All that’s in, like, Chapter One. So what do you think Sandy does, at that moment and for the rest of the book? Oh, and also, what do you think would happen if Sandy had a blog on the side, all along, into which she spilled all her uncharitable, secret, anonymous thoughts? And also, what do you think professional bloggers think of their fans and the people who comment on their sites? And how does it feel to make fun of people online for money? You know that I know, because I used to do that years and years ago, back when people were first learning how. And what happens when people don’t want to expose themselves on the Internet, but suddenly find themselves there, exposed? And what’s up with people who don’t even have Internet connections, or even want them – how do they live? How is that fathomable? That part I had to imagine, since I’ve been on the Internet since cavemen first drew cybersex hieroglyphics on Usenet walls, and now I only eat e-food and drink virtual gin with virtual diet cranberry juice.

That’s what my next novel is about, and Publishers Weekly says Sandy is a smart, funny heroine that y’all will root for. So I hope y’all will consider picking it up in January, maybe with the gift certificates y’all will receive this month from people who love you.


Did y’all see how Heidi Klum took my grackle costume idea, before I could even get the chance to implement? My costume was going to be better than that, and I wasn’t going to paint my face black.

I said this on Twitter a while back, so I’m recycling it here, but it’s important and bears repeating. Y’all will be relieved to know that, whenever I get the time, I continue my grackle research on patios throughout Houston. And recent studies at La Madeleine on West Gray have yielded important results:

1. Female grackles will eat butter, not just bread. They dip their beaks into it and it stays on them for a while afterwards.

2. Even if you put the bread near the butter, though, they will not dip the bread into the butter. They do not instinctively know that it tastes best that way, like I do.

3. Some female grackles like La Madeleine’s red jam, and some don’t.

Future research will focus on grackles’ (of both sexes) reactions to La Madeleine purple jam and orange jam. I suspect that they might like the purple, since it contains seeds.

In Lieu of a Christmas Newsletter

My family is doing well, despite my semi-regular bitching at them. Dat is steadily composing music and has about an EP’s worth of synth pop completed now.

Rory is studying multiple musical instruments and has been collaborating with his stepdad (aka “Pep-Pep,” for you fans of Tim and Erik). Rory has also remained on the Almost Honor Roll all year.

Dallas, who still lives with his dad, made First Chair in his instrument, which is pretty good considering that his high school’s band is super hardcore and competitive. They subsequently demoted him to Second Chair as punishment for losing his sheet music, but I’m content to ignore that completely. Dallas is also on Almost Honor Roll, in all advanced-level academic classes, which is pretty freaking good, considering that he spent half of junior high in “alternative” classes because of “distractions” caused by his Asperger’s.

Josh is about to get his first car, y’all. First car! And a nicer one than I’ve ever owned (but not new), due to a rare collaboration of his dad’s campaigning and my fiscal cooperation. Josh is very good and quiet and tall in general, although he did rebel against me mightily this year by shaving his head. I was upset and took to my bed, yes. But, in the end, I came back into the living room with newfound respect for my child. Josh is not on Almost Honor Roll and never really has been, but he passed Physics last year, when he was a junior, and I never even took it, so I’m satisfied with his academic achievements. Send him good vibes for his SATs next month, y’all. He wants to go to the University of Houston or University of Texas.

Toby has moved into his own little apartment. You might think it’s just a bunch of moving-box lids that we brought home from my work, thrown on the floor in my office, but rest assured that it’s his apartment, with different rooms (lids) for different purposes. He has his Resting Room, his Brooding Room, his Watching Room and his Room of Violence. You can tell the difference by the way he’s marked up the corrugated cardboard in each.

Starbuck rapes our Christmas tree and steals its water.

See? Life is good. In the words of the immortal Joe Walsh: “I can’t complain but sometimes I still do.”

I hope y’all have the best December holidays you’ve ever had, peeps. I hope y’all are happy and warm.

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Posted in cats, domestic, writing on 12/10/2009 12:09 pm


  1. Christa M. Forster

    Rightonwaytogo! The heavenly beam of the part-time gods have answered your prayers. I'm so glad to hear it, and I hope you love it as much as part-time will love you.

    Can't wait to have lunch again in 2010.

    Happy Holidays to you and your familia.


  2. Christa M. Forster

    Rightonwaytogo! The heavenly beam of the part-time gods have answered your prayers. I'm so glad to hear it, and I hope you love it as much as part-time will love you.

    Can't wait to have lunch again in 2010.

    Happy Holidays to you and your familia.


  3. Christa M. Forster

    Rightonwaytogo! The heavenly beam of the part-time gods have answered your prayers. I'm so glad to hear it, and I hope you love it as much as part-time will love you.

    Can't wait to have lunch again in 2010.

    Happy Holidays to you and your familia.


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