Last night was the next-to-the-last hurrah of this frelling birthday. I cooked a big pot of chili, made guacamole, and Jim and Jennifer (it gets really confusing, that we have two Jennifers) came over. Spooky made me a yummy German chocolate cake for my birthday cake. She also made margaritas, which is a part of why I feel like dren this morning. There's a picture below, and yes, I'm smiling, but remember, I was kind of drunk:
Yesterday...it's in here somewhere...just a second. Oh, there it is. Yesterday, I polished "Alabaster," and now I'm 99% pleased with it. Then I sent the ms. off to Bill Schafer and Ted Naifeh. I attended to e-mails. I finally opened the Big White Envelope containing the returned galleys for Murder of Angels. And, late in the day, my editor called to say that my agent had called him about this whole mess, to remind him that there's a clause in my contract that states that if the changes I make to galley pages exceed 10% of the original cost of composition (read typesetting, and remember that production began with an electronic copy I'd sent them, so it's not like they ever had to actually type this in or anything), I'll be billed for everything over that 10%. Apparently, production hadn't bothered to actually calculate this amount, and the whole $1 a comma thing may have been someone's disgruntled whim. My editor told me that, in the end, this probably won't make much of a difference (maybe .90 a comma, instead), but at least we're making them do it by the letter of the contract. Also, my editor was able to extend the deadline on getting the ms. back to NYC to June 3rd, which helps.
We take our little victories, hollow though they may be.
I think that, once this business with the MoA galleys is over and done, I'm not immediately launching into another story. The next one I have to do is for a dark sf anthology, but I have a couple of months. I've been writing non-stop for months, and, on "Albaster," I could feel it. It's time to step back and clear my head. Recharge, as Christa says. And begin reading and making notes for Daughter of Hounds. I am determined that this will be my best book, and that it will expand my readership. But we're supposed to head for New York, Rhode Island, and parts northeast in only a few weeks, and then it'll be time to start writing the novel as soon as we get back. And I don't want to be caught unprepared.
Though I'm not entirely sure what constitutes preparation (I never have been).
A lot of notes.
And to those who've asked, I have no appearances planned for this New England trip. This is strictly research, and visiting Spooky's parents and packing some of her belongings that have to be shipped back south, and time is at a premium. Maybe next trip up.
I am not even a little bit awake, am I? Ugh.
Apologies that the new Nar'eth manga didn't go up last night, as I'd said it would. I wanted some tweaking to the art, and Leh'agvoi, dear thing that he is, was very agreeable. But by the time I got the new pages last night, well, the margaritas had had their way with me. But I'm getting the new pages up early this afternoon, and then, kiddos, I'm leaving this place for a few hours. I'll deal with Murder of Angels tomorrow. I just can't face it today.
Oh, and the thank-you list for all the wonderful gifts is coming, soon. I'm waiting on the stragglers, as it were.