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Bienvenidos A Mis Baño

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So, it’s official. I’m probably going to die. Oh, the people at the doctor’s office acted like it was no big thing. Just bronchitis. But I know the truth. I have some creeping lung disease. I may not have spent much time in a coal mine, but I know what this cough means. Certain doom.

Also, I have a real stuffy nose. The above few lines, when read out loud, sound something like this: “I bay not hab spend much dime in a coal bine, bud I know wud tis cough means. Cerdin doob.”

Yes, cerdin doob, my friends. Your brave hero might not survive this one.

I have found a temporary way to alleviate the insidious symptoms of my disease. I can sit in the bathroom with the hot water running in the shower, and make a little rain forest for myself in there. It’s giving me Robert Plant hair, and I’m sweating, but I’m pretty sure that what I’m also doing is breathing. I haven’t done it in so long, it’s hard to tell, but I’m confident that this is what people are referring to when they talk about it.

So, this is my view, today:

I like the bathroom, because it has a natural place to sit. Also, it is convenient for when I start sneezing and coughing and hacking and wheezing and peeing at the same time. But notice how shiny the walls are. That’s a combination of being slick with moisture from the tropical climate I’ve introduced, and the fact that the guy who “helped” me at Lowes was like, “Get high gloss for your bathroom and kitchen!” Well, I don’t know what he thought I was going to be doing in those rooms that I would need vinyl-like paint that was highly susceptible to peeling (like, what, did he think I was going to make a homemade sweat lodge in there or something? Well, I DID), but holy cow, is it annoying. I hate my paint.

Check out my awesome bathroom reading, yo. I like to leave books in the bathroom, because I think it tells people, “I am a good time manager. I use every moment available in the day to broaden my mind and experience. Even when I am pooping.”

Okay, this is my shower curtain. I bought it because I thought it was so cool. Like, Enchanted Tiki Room cool. I brought it home, took down our old one, which was just plain white, and hung this one up, thinking it looked so awesome and that I was just the bestest, most funnest decorator ever.

And everyone makes fun of it.

My enthusiasm for it has not waned, but now there is an edge of spite to its presence. It’s me saying, “Screw you, world. I love my shower curtain. If you don’t like it, go to hell!”

Me and my shower curtain, against the world.

My husband complains that I have to much stuff on the bathroom counter. I say, “What the hell do you need so much space on the counter for? Are you going to do an autopsy in there or something? Shut up!”

The bathroom is an enormous source of marital tension, really, once you factor in the shower curtain and the counter space issue. I’m sure if we ever get a divorce, right next to “Reason for petition” it will say “Bathroom.”

Dime mas! you’re all saying. Okay. I will. These are the lights in my bathroom. They annoy me, because I bought the wrong light bulbs when two burned out, and they don’t match. I tried to make it look intentional by alternating them, or putting two of the same on the outside and the other two in the middle, but it’s just not working out. This is the best I can do.

So, that’s what I’m doing today. I’m sitting in my bathroom/steam room and pretending to be alive, when what I really want to do is curl up into a ball and die. But don’t worry, somehow, I shall soldier on, I’m sure. I always do. For I am tough.

Also, look at this turtle:

Is that not the happiest turtle you’ve ever seen? Look how thrilled he looks! No matter what awesome thing happens to you today (maybe an author you really like doesn’t die of lung collapse in her bathroom), your day is not going to be in anyway as good as that turtle’s day is going, I guarantee it.

So, I’m Pretty Sure I’m Going To Die.

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I think I have pneumonia. I’m not a doctor, despite the appearance of my shiny white lab coat (I just wear that to protect my clothes from spills), but I’m thinking the sloshing sounds coming from the vicinity of my lungs, making me sound like a human water bed whenever I move, might be an indicator. Also, the fact that I woke up this morning going, “Is someone making boiling water? Where is that tea kettle noise coming from? Oh, it’s me. Breathing. That sucks.”

Today, I’ll be giving a presentation at GRRRWA, after which time I will drive myself directly to the funeral home in anticipation of impending demise.

Shut up, I’ve been busy.

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I have been really busy, y’all. Let me tell you the latest development in this awesome life of mine.

I found a Tuba.

In the trash.

Oh yes.

My friend Jill and I had just dropped a friend off at her apartment after a rousing day of doing the stupid shit that we always do when we get together, like buying a bunch of pairs of flip-flops at Target and so on and so forth. Now, because this apartment complex was designed by rocket scientists and brain surgeons, they have one, count em, one dumpster for a complex with like, nine buildings, and the buildings have like, sixteen units a piece in them, so I don’t know, you do the math, but that’s a lot of garbage. So, we’re driving past the trash heap that the chronically full dumpster hides underneath, and Jill goes, “Wait… did somebody throw out a tuba?”

I pulled a full on, tire screeching U-turn and busted ass back to the dumpster, where we found… Trash Tuba. It was totally in working order, apart from a few isolated dents and bangs.

So, right now, Trash Tuba is at the music instrument fixing place, getting all patched up. They said it would take about a week, and that was, like, last Tuesday, so I’m getting antsy. I want my Trash Tuba right now! I want to lovingly cradle it in my arms and play lots of brassy, fart-sounding slow jams. I WANT MY TRASH TUBA!

Okay, so I lied, I haven’t been busy. But wasn’t my absence worth it for a story like that?

Okay, Time For A Business Post…

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Since I so rarely make book flog posts, and that is actually the point of keeping up a blog, or so the experts tell me, here is some awesome stuff going on:

All this week at, “Carrie” will be answering your questions about the Blood Ties series. Now, “Carrie” is going to be pretty embarrassed if no one shows up to ask her questions, so someone, for the love of all that is good and holy, GO HERE and ask “Carrie” some questions, so that “Carrie” doesn’t feel like her week was wasted checking that post over and over and over again for questions to answer.

In other news, I will be venturing to the thumb side of the state on Saturday, June 21, for a signing at TLC Used Books in Deckerville, Michigan from 1pm to 4pm, and afterwards there will be a reception of some kind at Champions restaurant. Because I am nothing if not a Champion.

If you can’t make it to Deckerville, but still want to party down, you can always attend the book release party that eHarlequin is throwing for book four in Second Life. That’s right, all you Second Lifers can attend an awesome vampire party, in your costumed avatars, and party down to celebrate the release of book four on June 21st. I have no idea how you get an invite, though. I’d ask around the eHarlequin boards and find someone in the know.

Great books that destroy my life.

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Do you ever have this really, really great idea, and you’re like, “Oh my God, this is so original, I’m so money for thinking this up and guess what? I’m the bomb. Memo to everyone else, you suck! I rock! For all times!” And then you spend most of your RWA chapter’s retreat working on your first scene, and you write the book, and it’s okay, but it’s like, the second book you’ve ever written and so there are obvious flaws? And then your publisher wants to buy it from you when you’ve got like, four books under your belt and you’re like, “Okay, but let me clean it up first,” and by clean it up you mean “Okay, but let me rewrite this, because you will set fire to my entire backlist if you read what I was writing like six years ago? And then, when you’re like, inches away from finishing the arduous marathon of rewriting a book you’ve already written once, you read another book and it’s got some of your awesome ideas in it, and you’re like, SON OF A BITCH, NEIL GAIMAN! HOW YOU GONNA PLAY ME LIKE THAT? HUH? HUH? YOU A BITCH ASS PUNK, NEIL GAIMAN! and you throw the book against the wall and scare your cats?

That’s what happened at my house this morning. See, I’m reading Neverwhere, which is a totally awesome book. In a nutshell, the premise is that there is an entirely different London, called London Below, existing in the spaces no longer occupied by, and sometimes on top of, the city of London, but the normal London never notices it. If they do, it’s not for long. Most of the book takes place in the sewers and tube stations of London Below.

I’m currently working on a series called Lightworld/Darkworld. The premise is much different than that of Neverwhere. While there are underground cities in my series, the people in the world are fully cognizant that they are there. The underground city is referred to as The Underground by the people above, and the people below call the word upstairs The Upworld. And son of a bitch if that isn’t a term Neil Gaiman already used in Neverwhere. I loved the idea of calling it Upworld. I’ll have to think of something else. But I was enraged when I read that this morning.

Another thing that enraged me in reading was a certain device that I thought I’d so cleverly thought up on my own. In writing fight scenes for the Lightworld/Darkworld series, I’ve employed, from the main character’s POV, use of the world flash, set out in italics just like that.

Something happens.
Something else happens.

I get to this point in Neverwhere this morning where he’d already used THE SAME THING to get the tension and urgency across in a scene. MOTHER FUCKER!

These are small changes, but I feel like, well, damn, I didn’t think up these awesome things on my own. Or, I did, but not FIRST.

In any case, I’ll stop my irrational rage at Neil Gaiman soon enough, and hopefully nothing else will pop out at me that I’ve somehow pre-plagiarized from a book I’ve never read before.

Now, I just need to get some idea faeries who aren’t so fucking lazy that they just recycle stuff they read ten years ago. In the first draft of the first book of the Blood Ties series, I had a whole bit with the fact Cyrus’s heart was removed. He kept it in a music box that played the tune, “I Left My Heart In San Francisco”, and it was like, the key to them figuring out that he didn’t have a heart in his chest, so they couldn’t kill him (in the first draft, Cyrus was the Big Bad. There was no Soul Eater or anything, and it was just a one-off book). I was happily nearing the end when I settled down to watch a new episode of Angel and SURPRISE, they had a vampire that had removed his heart and they figured it out when Lorne sang “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” at karaoke. It was then that I realized that ideas are evil, evil little blobs that seek to infect as many people as possible, and you must watch your back at every turn, because they will trick you just for fun.

If you haven’t already, go read Neverwhere. It’s really good.