Gah. Where is the magic pill that makes me twenty years young and gives me back the energy I had then? I can't even begin to tell you how busy things are right now. It seems like I wake up, blink five or ten times, and the day is so long past over that all I can do is fall into bed so I can do it all over again the next day. I'd say there's a break coming up with the Thanksgiving holiday because I'm out of the office from noon on the Wednesday before and not going back until the first Monday in December, but alas. Because of what we have going on then (not telling, not yet), it would be less stressful and less work to be at the office (which is no picnic, I'm just saying). Not too long ago I advertised on my Facebook page for a clone but didn't get any takers, especially when The Husband got involved and added a whole list of his own demands. Yes, this is me looking at the ceiling because I rolled my eyes so hard they got freakin' stuck.
Anyway, I'll shuddup before someone asks if I want cheese with my whine (ha ha). But to keep you amused right now, here's an interview of Yours Truly (me) -- http://rowena-cory-daniells.com/2011/11/19/meet-yvonne-navarro/ -- done by the talented, best-selling Rowena Cory Daniells, author of the King Rolen's Kin trilogy.
Well, maybe that's not exactly the truth, but I actually love that saying anyway. Every time i think of it, I flash to the great Jerry Van Amerongen cartoon plaque hanging on my garage wall:
Most weekends that's kind of our life mantra, but I'm not complaining. It's the same today, with some packing up that needs to be done so we can donate some old furniture, a yard to be mowed, etc. Still we're going to find time to ride the motorcycles to Tombstone and have lunch, enjoy the fantastic Arizona fall weekend. I'm hammering away on a vampire story called "Epiphany" that is currently over 12,000 words long and still has a couple of good scenes to go before I wrap it up. The Husband (Weston Ochse) is working hard on Seal Team 666. BirdZilla is hanging out on the patio, enjoying the sun, and Goblin, Ghost and Ghoulie are doing the after-breakfast snooze. Life is pretty good, and then a Google Alert made it even better, reminding me that there are still folks out there enjoying Highborn. Check it out: Writing With Tequila gave me Four Tequila Shots and called it a "great book." All in all, a pretty darned good Saturday, even if there really are chores in sight!
Hey... wouldja look at that date down there! August 4th... wow! I admit I got pretty disgusted with Blogger for awhile when it wouldn't let me post anything (hence the extra long titles in a couple of posts). In the interest of honesty, however, I also have to admit I have been severely lax about posting anything at all here. Out of sight, out of mind sort of thing.
I have not, however, been sitting here eating King Leo's Lemon Sticks while playing on Facebook. (Not that I wouldn't do just that, if some kind soul out there cares to send me a case. Just saying.) I've manged to crank out a couple of blogs here and there and even finished a couple of short stories. Okay, one short story (called "Faceless") and one novelette (titled "Advanced Directive"). "Advanced Directive" is a departure for me, one of only six novelettes I've written in my entire career. Haven't formally heard back on either yet, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be able to make a good announcement pretty soon. Right now I'm poking at another novelette. This one is called "Epiphany" and is the bad boy that's taking up all my time right now because it's way overdue, thanks to some miscommunication and funky email issues. I also have a Halloween blog due in four days, so I have to get cracking on that.
Summer seems to be gone here in southeastern Arizona. Lots of folks are breathing a sigh of relief. Me? I want my 100 degree days back. The nights are dropping well into the fifties and the house is cold when we wake up. I feel like a little desert lizard desperate to find a patch of sunlight in which to warm my old bones. But hey-- life is good.
I've never had to shovel a pile of desert to get out of my driveway in the morning.
As self-punishment for my failure to keep up with what is actually a very easy to maintain blog, I'm going to have a contest. Well, it's kind of punishment, because that means I have to actually track stuff and get off my BUTT at a time when for some reason I've been feeling very languid. Maybe it's the post-Monument Fire energy drain, or the summer heat, or the monsoon humidity, or the way the moon glowed last night. For those who didn't catch it, we were mandatory evacuated twice, for five out of seven days. Packing 386 pounds of Great Danes and everything you think is important in your life in first a few hours, and then in 45 minutes, is no small feat. Imposing three family members and three Great Danes (i.e., mini-horses) on your in-laws a hundred miles away is another energy-drainer. We survived, obviously, but as life would have it, we've been faced with a lot of Murphy-Havin'-A-Grand-Old-Time-With-Us ever since. The end might be in sight, but none of that matters. The Husband, author Weston Ochse, still managed to keep all his stuff up to date; he wrote blogs, wrote pages of stories and books, tweeted, twooted, and probably twoodled. I, on the other hand, have felt pretty much like your basic Southern Arizona Lump. Around here that's generally known as a rock, although I prefer the prettier ones that are white quartz.
Anyhoo, time for a contest, so I'm giving away these three books:
LITTLE DEATHS, edited by Ellen Datlow (anthology). This great antho is out of print, and this copy is unread, with just a little ding or two from storage. Some of the authors in here include Clive Barker, Dan Simmons, Douglas Clegg, Kathe Koja and Pat Cadigan. Not for the faint of heart, it's an anthology of erotic horror.
THE MUSEUM OF HORRORS, edited by Dennis Etchison (anthology). Another great out of print antho, unread, with stories by people like Peter Straub, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Laymon, Ramsey Campbell, and others.
Going to take entries from now until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, July 30th. To enter, send an email to me here: contest @ yvonnenavarro. com. (I know everyone would like a simple clickable, but I just can't punish myself so much that I open myself up to endless spam-- sorry.) One entry per person, per contest. Duplicates will be deleted. I promise not to sell your email address on eBay or post it on the bathroom wall at the local bar. I also promise I won't add it to my mailing list. If you want to be on that, look to the right and click on the "Newsletter" link, but I warn you, I hardly ever get around to actually sending out a Newsletter. Seriously, are you actually surprised? Winner will be picked by a random number generator and will be notified by return email to send me a good mailing address; books will be sent via the cheapest possible mailing method. Yes, I will even send stuff overseas, but familiarize yourself with the term "Surface Mail" (which is kind of like "Slow boat to [insert your country here]" mail).
And since the secondary purpose of this is to spread the Yvonne Navarro Love, please Please spread the word about this on Twitter, Facebook, LJ, an email to your sweetie or your Mom, or by whatever other means you want. I need some exposure to bump up publishing interest, and wearing a skinny swimsuit at my age just ain't working!
Where? Hastings, Sierra Vista, AZ
When? 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.
I know I've been terribly lax in posting. Please forgive me. If you didn't catch it in the national news, we had the Monument Fire down here in Sierra Vista. We were evacuated twice in three days, for a total of five out of seven days. Moving three adults and three Great Danes 100 miles each time, to impose upon the patience and hospitality of our in-laws in Tucson, was a mean feat, indeed. After returning for the second time, we swore the flames would have to be at the back wall of the yard before we'd go again. Seeing as they came within 1 and 1/2 streets but that was all, we were pretty lucky. A number of businesses and 65 homes just outside of town were destroyed, so we were fortunate, indeed.
I promise I'll try to be better about posting! I always have so many good things I indeed to talk about, but darn it, I need more More MORE hours in the day!
When: TOMORROW. Yes, tomorrow -- Saturday, June 11th. Where: The Phoenix, Arizona Barnes and Noble Bookstore where Bill and Ed's Excellent Adventure was filmed. Why: Because Yvonne Her-Very-Own-Self will be signing not only HIGHBORN, but CONCRETE SAVIOR. Yes, it's out and available, and it's time to get your copy! Why Revisited: Because all the B&N employees are going to dress up like zombies and there will be contests and fun and shambling things for you to play with. You certainly don't want to miss that, right? Added Bonus: Yvonne's husband, author Weston Ochse, will also be there, signing his zombie novel, Empire of Salt. Note that she is not referring to him as a "Shambling Thing." No, really. She isn't.
... The Husband, Weston Ochse, for twenty-one years in the U.S. Army, and for continuing to serve our country afterward by working for Uncle Sam. He has given up decades of his life, time with his family, his wife, his children, and so many, many things he wanted to do, all to help keep us free and protect us. He would still give his life to do so. Thank you, Wes, for all that you've done and continue to do, and for the man you are. I love you.
Come visit me! Keep me amused! The Husband (Weston Ochse) has run off to Spain and Romania (I am not kidding) and left me completely UNSUPERVISED for the entire weekend. Actually almost two entire weeks, but who's counting? Anyway, here's my schedule. Six great panels, plus I'll be at Table #634 in between those times with books and all kinds of fun stuff. Stop by and say hi! Pester me! Please!
Rumor has it -- and it might be more than rumor -- that a few copies of CONCRETE SAVIOR might even be available...
Oh, and just in honor of ComiCon itself, I've posted a brand new zombie painting on my Facebook page. I call it "Pretty."
Why, it's the title of a guest blog over at Book'd Out. Zip over to http://bookdout.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/giveaway-guest-post-yvonne-navarro-author-of-dark-redemption-series/ and check it out. There's also a review of HIGHBORN and a (::gasp!::) book giveaway!
Come on over to the International Thriller Writers/THE BIG THRILL and join me in a roundtable discussion! Topic is "How do you separate yourself from the characters you write?" http://tinyurl.com/4rbhrxm It's happening right now, this week -- 3/21-27 -- RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND!!!!! Don't make me hear echoes!
Last night The Husband had one of those nights-- you know, the kind where no matter how many times or how hard I poked him in the side, nudged him in the foot, smacked him upside the head (okay, not really, at least this time), he wouldn't stop snoring. Generally, if I can get him to stop for just a few minutes, I'll fall asleep and just snooze right on through it. But sometimes, like last night, there's an interesting combination of him being loud enough and me being too tired to wake up. And this is what happened:
Ghoulie, our blind Great Dane, is an attention sponge. Her world is tactile and she wants to be touched, talked to, and played with constantly. When she isn't, or when she's forced to lie down and stay put (such as when we're trying to watch a movie on a weekend evening), she'll lie at our feet between the couch and the coffee table, and she'll growl. I am not kidding. The more frustrated she gets, the longer and louder she growls, until we literally can't hear the television and have to interject "Ghoulie, be quiet!"-- which is usually enough to stop her for about 40 seconds before we get to start all over again. At 3:18 a.m. I stopped myself just short of sitting up and yelling that very phrase into Wes's ear, because he sounded just like her-- long, loud and growly-- and I truly believed the dog was fussing for attention in the middle of the darned night.
Somewhere around 4:30 a.m., the volume, pitch and duration changed to something like a wheezing sort of... whistling. My dream-brain interpreted that sound as coming out of the mouth of a red-skinned velociraptor that was about the size of a Great Dane but had Rorschach-like black and white spots down the middle of its back. I was hiding under the bed and this extinct dinosaur was scrabbling its way underneath it, trying to get to me. I was trying to get away not because I was afraid of it, but because even though it was friendly (??!), it had three-inch teeth and about as much control over its jaw power as an eight-week-old Great Dane puppy, as in not much. It just wanted to play and kept getting tangled up in the bedcoverings as it tried to catch me. At the end of this debacle, during which I kept hollering to my mother (who's been gone for a number of years now), "Mom, make it stop!", it was on top of the bed, I was standing over it, and scratching its back.
Tonight: I'm putting duct tape over his nose. End of problem.
* Sitting here watching Ghoulie run in her sleep, her legs and paws twitching and moving. Today's Question of the Universe: Do blind dogs finally get to see the rabbit they chase in their dreams?
* On my Facebook page I posted a link to a YouTube video that shows a dog trainer giving CPR to a boxer that inexplicably collapsed and stopped breathing during a training session. It's difficult to watch but very educational, and the emotional devastation takes a turn at precisely 1:47 in the video.
* Today UPS brought me a book, "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferriss. My friend Liz Danforth posted about this book so I decided to check it out; like the awesome partner he is, The Husband saw it on my Amazon Wishlist and ordered it for me when he bought something for himself. I plan on having a 4-hour workwork by next Tuesday. We'll see how that works out, and if I'm living a life of leisure by then, I'll be sure to let everyone know. ::ahem::
* Be sure to check out the great review of HIGHBORN over at Hellnotes (link below). There's another fantastic review of HIGHBORN in the February issue of Locus Magazine, although, alas, that review is not available online.
"Author Yvonne Navarro leaps onto a popular theme, and rides it like a seasoned jockey on a thoroughbred."
Let just say I'm surprised, because frankly, horses have always intimidated me. Fourteen hundred pounds of muscle and flesh that never fails to simply want to get me OFF its back. I've had them try to rear, rub me off on trees, and just flat take off. I've never mastered the theory of "move-with-the-horse-rhythm," apparently preferring (without having been told this) to jar my brains out and bruise my butt by coming down when the horse's back goes up.
But hey, if someone wants to compare my writing to winning the Kentucky Derby (okay, so that might be a stretch...), that's great!
Yes, it's yet another Giveaway. Oh, okay... so there's an interview, too. But it's got a cool picture on it that hasn't been much used in awhile, so why not take a look, fill out the form, and maybe get a free copy of HIGHBORN? :o) Go here: My Bookish Ways
Gini Koch's Blah Blah Blah Blog on February 8th! I know, I know, I'm sooooo tardy. But the IMPORTANT part is that the winners (thanks to a random # picker on the Web) are [insert drum roll, please]: Lisa Lingenfelter Dovichi and JoAnna Halpin Becker!
It's the late 1920s. A tall and slender young woman with firey red hair and bright blue eyes wears a standard waitress uniform-- dress snug at the waist and a small white apron-- and wipes down the counter at a nameless diner in a southern Indiana town. Calvin Coolidge is President, and this is middle-class America, conservative, small and blue-collar. She's beautiful and cocky, and when the other woman working with her remarks on a good-looking man at the end of the counter and tells the redhead she doesn't stand a chance, the redhead arches an eyebrow and says...
"I'll bet you five dollars I can get him to marry me."
Three days later, the redhead and the man at the end of the counter are married. Two weeks later the marriage is annulled.
The redhead collects her five dollars and smiles. The Great Depression is on its way, bread is ten cents a loaf, and this five spot is a heck of a lot of money.
The redhead's name is Kate, although she'll ultimately be more comfortable with just Kay.
(Originally posted in Red Room by me February 23, 2011, 10:26 am)
There will be giveaways and a costume contest. There are zombies shambling around. There are zombie drinks such as the Zombie Blood, Graveyard Dirt, Ghostly Mist and The Cure, and a snack, the Zombie Heart, in the Cafe.
And in the midst of it all, authors Yvonne Navarro and Weston Ochse try desperately to do their part by signing books and passing zombie judgment.
Please, we beg you. Be there to help us save this small city.
Yes, it's happening , at this very same immediate SECOND! What? you ask (of course you did). Why, a very, uh, "telling" interview of The Husband (Weston Ochse) and myself over at Gini Koch's BLAH BLAH BLAH Blog. So check it out, then come back and leave a comment here. Why? you ask (of course you did). Well, there's a very good reason... but you'll have to read the interview over there to find out!
(And for those of you who left comments below, yes, the all-seeing Eye of Von is upon them and they have been noted!)
After all this time, my first novel, AfterAge, is available again from Crossroad Press. You can pick it up in Kindle format on Amazon, and there are other formats available here on the Crossroad site. Sadly most of the reviews have aged off of Amazon for some reason, but AfterAge was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Best First Novel award. There's a big ol' excerpt right here, which links to yet another excerpt, so you can try out a nice chunk first to see if you like it. :o)
We interrupt your regularly scheduled life with a little commercial for HIGHBORN, moi's latest novel. If you haven't picked up a copy yet (and why haven't you?!), take a gander over at The Deepening to see what one reviewer thinks you're missing!