Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Little Auction Fun for CONCRETE SAVIOR!

To make things fun in writing CONCRETE SAVIOR, I will be running at least one eBay auction in the near future for someone to have their name used for a character of my choosing in the book. I'll likely do two auctions, one male and one female. The proceeds of the auction(s) will benefit my favorite Deaf Dane rescue. There's no firm date for the auctions yet, but the date will probably be pretty soon. I'll keep everyone posted.

CONCRETE SAVIOR is the second book in the DARK REDEMPTION Series. The first book, HIGHBORN, is the story of a powerful fallen angel who must tread the human world to find redemption and regain everything she lost before the fall.


Happy New Year, everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Good News, Good Tidings!

The Good News: Juno Books has picked up HIGHBORN and its sequel, CONCRETE SAVIOR. HIGHBORN will be published in September 2010, at the same time CONCRETE SAVIOR is due to be completed and submitted. My long-time friend Paula Guran will be the editor for both books. Yay! HIGHBORN is the story of a fallen angel who has escaped from Hell and is determined to find forgiveness and a way back into Heaven. Its main character is a kick-butt female trying to understand and reconnect with humankind, and it's non-stop action.

The Good Tidings: Here's wishing everyone out there a great holiday season and a Merry Christmas! As we set aside our differences during this time of year, my hope is that each and every one of us decides to leave those differences aside permanently. Wherever you are, whatever you believe, may you find peace, happiness, health, and a season filled with love and light. May you also always be warm, have a good meal to fill your belly, and a loving hand to hold.

Yvonne

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. No matter where you are in the world, I hope you're happy, healthy, your belly is pleasantly full, and you're with people you love.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Off to TusCon 36!

Where The Husband -- Weston Ochse -- is Guest of Honor! We expect to have a fine and fun time, and hope to see everyone there. Check out his LJ link above for his schedule. Here's mine:

Saturday @ 5:00 - Psychological Horror vs. Viscera. Knowles, McMillan, Ochse, Navarro. (St. Augustine Room)

Sunday @ 10:00 - How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse. Ochse, Edwards, Navarro, Bryant, Billick. (Gold Ballroom)

Sunday @ 3:00 - Creative Partners who live and/or work together. Hammer, Simner, Ochse, Navarro, Shetterly, Bull. (St Augustine Room)

Short and sweet, so I can hang around The Husband all weekend and bask in his Guest of Honorness. :-)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

What's Up, World?

Nope, haven't forgotten about Blogger-land. Just busy busy busy, and something has to give. That something has to be computer time, because I'm finally realizing that if you let it, the Internet will take over your freaking LIFE and you won't get anything else accomplished. It's like electronic crack, and guess what? I ain't buying. :)

So, a post once in awhile. Right now I'm unsupervised as The Husband is TDY -- Temporary Duty (elsewhere). Yee ha! To keep me busy I have a geology test on Monday and painting classes going on, in addition to the writing. Plus my company was bought out by a HUGE corporation, and we're just now starting to see the effects of it. This is going to involve some pain in my position, because I fairly certain I'm going to get stuck with making sure everyone else does what they're supposed to do. Nope, not happy about that, not at all.

But life goes on. In the meantime...

I'm waiting for news. Keep your fingers crossed. :)

Cheerio!

von

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ghost & Her Shot at Fame! (or maybe a new bed pad)

Hi Everyone!

We got word that our beloved blue-eyed girl, Ghost, is one of the contestants in Kuranda's Dog of the Week contest. If she wins, she gets a nifty, soft pad to go on top of her bed. If you have a few seconds, please go on over and vote for our sweet little deaf girl!

http://kuranda.com/blog/dog-of-the-week/

Thank you. :)

Von, Wes, Ghost, Goblin,
Edwina Alan Poe & BirdZilla

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

HIGHBORN!

is officially FINISHED. 100,649 words. Now it's off to the agent with the full outline and proposals for two follow-up books. Fingers crossed!

Monday, August 03, 2009

HIGHBORN..!

... is officially finished in first draft as of yesterday, August 2nd. Now to the read-through. Ta-Da!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

BLAZE OF GLORY!

The Husband's new novel, Blaze of Glory, went up for pre-order this morning. It has a fantastic vintage-type cover, and it's going fast. It's called BLAZE OF GLORY.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Few Words for My Fav Guy!

Today is The Husband's ([info]westonochse) Birthday. I love him lots and here's a few words Of The Day to roll around in his head, courtesy of Neil Himself:

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness.
I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who
thinks you're wonderful, and don't to forget make some art --
write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can.
And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
-Neil Gaiman, 2001

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I've Been Quoted!

And right smackity at the beginning, too!

http://bit.ly/oW8c4

Question: Anyone reading this? There've been zip for comments, and frankly, I'm considering letting this blog go dead. If no one's reading it anyway, why waste time that I could spend writing?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Okay, for those folks who couldn't get over to see the paper (and those I sent the pdf to but it was wonky or something), here it is... ta da!


My birthday yesterday was pretty good, except at the end, when The Husband's () PT Cruiser, which he was driving on the way home, shredded its timing belt, which then destroyed the engine. I'm not kidding. I'm not exaggerating. But we had it towed and then went to dinner anyway, and left the stressing out about this particular Very Dead Car for today. (And boy, are we good at that stressing out part.)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Goblin's on the Front Page of the Sunday Paper!

Yes, it's true. Our Goblin became famous in the Army-sponsored Mutt March yesterday morning:
(He is not scared. No, he's not. He's a big, tough, 140-pound Great Dane and he is NOT scared of that lamb. Really.)

I'm posting the pdf because the paper image will change with the next issue, and they didn't put the same stuff n the website. The website url is www.svherald.com.

Later yesterday, The Evil Husband () and a bunch of friends from work COMPLETELY fooled me into thinking I was going to a small party for some folks up from Tucson at friend Scott's house. When we walked in, The Husband suddenly shoves me in front of him and pushes me forward (picture him hiding from a sniper and using me as a shield). I stumble into the kitchen and everyone yells "SURPRISE!!!" at the top of their lungs.

Early birthday party. I cannot believe I completely, utterly, without-any-reservations fell for the story they fed me all week long. Sheesh.

Cake. Presents. Friends. Family. White Zin. Three Jello shots (yes, 3). Watermelon shot (just one -- wowza.). Some kind of store-bought spinach dip that was incredibly yummy for some reason. Crunchy potatoes, burgers, sausages, chips, dips, veggies.

Gosh. The Evil Husband and those guys are just great, aren't they? :)

Friday, May 01, 2009

Remembering Lily - January 14, 2003 - May 1, 2006




"The Fifth Season"

Walk with me a little while.

We will walk together in Spring, with new life bursting around us.

Summertime, side by side we will lie in the sun together, our hearts warm with the good company of best friends.

We will traverse fields in Autumn, with golden leaves soft under our feet, brisk wind at our backs.

Winter brings us to the cozy hearth, dozing by the fire, flickers of embers reflected in our eyes.

There is a fifth season, unnamed, unfathomable, when the leash must be hung on the wall, no longer making the visible connection we have to one another.

Yet the invisible one remains.

Always I will be a part of you as you are of me.

My friend, my heart, my Great Dane.

(March 23, 2004) --Lyn Hamer Cook
 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Meter of Progress Moves Slowly...





Last look at the meter was 11/19, when it was 66666 words. Really.

-- and --

I did this Personality Report awhile ago and meant to post it. It's way past time, or I'll forget forever.
It's fun and very visual, with pictures of all the things in the world I find yummy and must-have. When
it first came out, it had the code to embed so you could see the images on LJ. Now, alas, you must
follow the link. That's what I get for procrastinating!

Gawd. Pteradactyls flying around outside. They're common on Sunday mornings, you know.
(Note to Self: Remember umbrella if going outside.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Double Stuff

First, a posting for The Husband, who did a (slightly risque) interview with Metal Crypt on April 20th. You can listen to it for free right here, but you might want to watch your tender ears. His Famousness is Global-Galavanting in Romania right now, but still checking his email and whatnot. I'm sure he'd love to see some comments.

From Me: Once again I am going to walk in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. This takes place on May 8th, and of course, our Relay is in our little part of the Arizona world, in Veterans' Memorial Park in Sierra Vista. I'm dedicating this year's efforts to our LJ friend Richard, who died from a brain tumor in the wee hours of the morning on March 7, 2007. Richard was younger than I am, and while I never knew him personally, I also haven't forgotten him. Please support me if you can spare a little. Everything helps, even just a dollar. the "just a dollar"s all add up to Effort with a capital "E." My page (where you can see a neato picture of me with a ginormous snake wrapped around me -- I'm not kidding) is right HERE.

Thanks for reading this!

//von//

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Hey, Say, 18 Today

Okay, not precisely today, but on Thursday, which was when my pretty little stepdaughter, Alex, turned 18. The Husband posted a picture on his LJ of her on her way to her Senior Prom last Saturday. This is when life shifts into second gear and the time really starts flying fast. I think the saying "It's all downhill from here" has more to do with the speed at which time passes rather than what happens being good or bad.

Let's see. Life goes on, work goes on, HIGHBORN is still not finished. The Husband has been traveling a lot, but there's been a lot of prep work happening for the prom and the Turning Of Age 18 rather than writing. In fact, we currently have a dozen or more giggling teenagers downstairs having the actual party celebration thereof. The Husband and I are confined to the upstairs, with the dogs. Such is what our life has come to... Gone to the Dawgs. ::grin::

The Tucson Festival of Books was lots of fun, notwithstanding the utterly useless campus map on the U of A website. I ask you: What possible good is a pdf map that is 60 INCHES WIDE? It's not like you can print it out and take it with you to find your way around the place. Sheesh.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thumb Surgery Today

We said our final goodbyes to Nick yesterday at a Military Honors funeral at the Old Post Cemetery on Fort Huachuca. It was a little windy but the sun was out, low 60s, and a beautiful day as a result. Full six-gun salute, folding and presenting of the flag. Lots of people turned out, and if there's a place to be buried in the desert, this was it. Higher up in the Huachucas, the Old Post Cemetery has lots of trees, animals (including bears and mountain lions), and beautiful, restful views all around. And sadly, lots of company.

I have thumb surgery at 10:45 today, where for some reason, they've decided to go with a general anesthetic. No one likes general anesthesia-- there's too much unpredictability about it. Remember Oliva Goldsmith, best-selling author of the First Wives' Club, in the prime of her life and career? She had a minor plastic surgery procedure... and died on the table. I also remember my friend Dorothy Harrington, who in the mid-90s, went under for a biopsy on a tumor in her brain and never woke up. Yes, I'm having morbid thoughts, which aren't helped by all the morbid dreams I had last night. So.

And of course, since I can't have any, I want a big glass of ice water!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Farewell to Nick...

Another friend went to eternity very early yesterday morning. Nicholas Paraskevas was a coworker, and one of the nicest people with whom I've ever had the honor of working. He was easy-going, pleasant, unfailingly honest, and spoke with a heavy Mexican accent... but would insist it was you who had the accent, not him. I worked with him for the last six years, and The Husband ( ) knew him for over twenty, having first encountered him in one of the military courses on Fort Huachuca, where Nick was the instructor and The Husband was the brand new student. The students where we currently work always remembered him and were impressed by how much they learned from him. If you asked him (in English or in Spanish) how he was, he would always answer (in English or Spanish), "I don't know." But occasionally, you could catch him off guard and he'd say "Good!" He always had a smile, and he was always friendly. His leaving took everyone by surprise, and he was only 6 years older than me. This is not the best photo of him, but it's the only one I have on the computer at home. It's cropped from a larger one taken in December 2006.

Sleep well, Nick. We really, really miss you.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Judged and Found Wanting...

Well, we're back from Naples (yes, Italy) and the household has returned to normal (as normal as it gets around here, anyway) in less than two days. The trip to Italy was iffy right up until 2 or 3 days beforehand, so I never posted about it; then, when the threat of cancellation finally went away, it was coming up too fast for me to do anything but scramble to pack, get mondo important stuff done at work, finish some deadlined writing, take care of dogs, birds, teenager issues, on and on and on.

The Italy Trip - 5 Days in January 2009
A Retrospect from Von's POV

Naples was interesting as far as culture and people, but redundant after Day 2. We got to go to the Naples underground, which was originally tunnels and cisterns built thousands of years ago by the Greeks. Eventually drained because of cholera contamination then filled with debris, the debris was compressed and the tunnels used as hiding places during WWII. The National Museum is filled with ancient wonders, statues carved by masters in times BC that a person can walk right up to and touch. We saw Castle Nuovo and lots of medieval churches. The architecture is just jaw-dropping. I loved the old buildings, but in my opinion the Italians don't appreciate what's right under their noses. They've let the city get overrun with graffiti and people drop trash right on the sidewalks. All their storefronts (the stores are in every building, no matter how old) start with pull down metal doors; the result is a city that looks like its first level is nothing but garages (and again, most are covered with graffiti). The graffiti is literally EVERYwhere, even on churches. It's a shame. They should live in a town with developer housing and that celebrated it's 50th anniversary a couple of years ago. Then perhaps they would look at their stunning, ancient buildings with a new perspective. When I was a teenager in Chicago, a local ordinance was enacted and suddenly you had to be 18 to buy a can of spraypaint, and yes, IDs were checked even by the hardware stores. Something like this would do wonders over there. The food was good but not varied, but the people are pretty danged healthy-- they consume very little fried food or red meat. There's a lesson to be learned in that while in this million-plus person city, we saw only two or three people who could be considered even "chunky." One thing to note: while in Italy, do NOT try Chinese food, even if it is the only place open late on a weeknight, your spouse is ill, it's raining, and you're desperate. I swear to you: it's better to just go hungry.
Back Here on Arizona Soil

It's warming up a bit, no longer in the freezing zone at night. On the good front, before leaving for Italy I was invited to submit to an anthology if I could do it quickly. The Husband ( ) helped me to come up with a fast idea and then I ran with it. The story was done, submitted, and accepted in three weeks. On the many airplane rides I finished the first draft of another story I've been plucking at for quite some time. Once that's edited (which won't take long -- I'm much faster at that) I can turn my attention fully to HIGHBORN. And I'd better, because my agent emailed and says he's going to start submitting it next week. Chop chop to My Ownself now!

And Finally...

On a less happier front, earlier in the month we applied to adopt another special needs Great Dane, a sweet-faced female named Annie. After much emailing back and forth and references and answering questions, I was told it came down to between us and one other family (in Florida). I felt we were the better choice and could give her the extra attention and training she would need, because the other applicant had 8 dogs and 3 kids already. In the end, however, I discovered via Petfinder that Annie has been adopted, and since the rescue organization's last email to me was on January 14th (and I checked in regularly since then), I have to assume Annie went to the other family. Logic tells me this choice was based on distance-- Florida is much closer to the organization than is Arizona, and one of the major dog-related references I gave said he was never contacted. I know that people often shy away from giving bad news, but without an email from the rescue organization, my heart wonders if for some reason we were judged as potential parents and somehow found wanting. :(

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lily...

... would have been six years old today. :(



There is an Indian legend which says when a human dies there is a bridge they must cross to enter into heaven. At the head of that bridge waits every animal that human encountered during their lifetime. The animals, based upon what they know of this person, decide which humans may cross the bridge.... and which are turned away..."  Unknown

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.  You are his life, his love, his leader.  He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.  You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.  -- unknown --

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Women Get Another Chance for Equal Pay... Be Heard by January 8th!

Okay, Ladies and Gentlemen, listen up:

If you are a woman, open your mouth via your keyboard and be heard on the issue of being equally paid for equal work. Do NOT wait. The new session of Congress is ready to listen NOW -- this chance will disappear all too quickly, literally in a matter of a couple of days. If you care about a woman-- a friend, a lover, a wife, a sister, a mother, a daughter, use the link below to SPEAK UP on her behalf. This is a land founded on justice and equality. Let's show our government that we mean to have them enforce those principals.

Go to
http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/support_ledbetter/?r=2556&id=2087-1843603-xkWKcfx&amp=&amp= (the CREDO Action site) and put your name on this petition. It takes literally about 30 seconds. Spread the word. We are intelligent people. We know what is right. We know what is fair. Let's stop putting it off and making excuses and DO SOMETHING TO MAKE EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK A REALITY in this great country.

All the wonderful women in the world and in your life, who work so hard each and every day by your side and out of sight, will thank you.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

The First of 2009

Yes, the holiday season, work and family matters got me good at the end of 2008. I had a huge party to arrange at work, so that added a bunch to the shopping, wrapping, travel, family stuff, etc. The good news was that the party was a big success, and Christmas around here was also a big success. Some great gifts, including an Alphasmart NEO, which is going to be my way of getting back to undistracted basics in writing when I travel and sometimes when I'm not. I did not finish the novel as planned, so I have lots to do-- 2 stories plus the novel. There was an extension on one story, but the other is due mid-January, and of course, I had promised my agent I'd have HIGHBORN finished by the end of the year. Now, unfortunately, all the great time I had off from work is just about gone. All in all, a good holiday season, although it was capped by sadness at the end.









Nora Peterson
1/31/1917 - 12/30/2008
Rest In Peace

Nora, with Von
Christmas Day, 2008

My cousin (my grandmother's sister's daughter), Nora, passed away peacefully in her sleep sometime during the early morning hours of December 30th. I had hoped she would make it into 2009 and see her 92nd birthday on the 31st, but Fate apparently decreed otherwise. She was a feisty little lady who was victimized terribly by Alzheimer's at the end of her life. It's difficult because there just aren't that many people left in my family, especially on my mother's side. My mother should have lived as long as Nora and the other women in my family, but heavy smoking changed that. Anyway, I'll miss her.


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