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Happy birthday to me!

For my birthday I got a massage, some flowers, a bunch of delicious tea, and a bedbug infestation, so that tea and massage came in really handy. *facepalm*

So first we had to pack ALL THE BOOKS:

There has since been intensive anti-bedbug action, before which I packed up the baby and decamped to my office one block away. I have never gotten around to putting curtains on the west-facing windows. Guess who melts down if she doesn't have a quiet dark room to hang out in before bedtime?

So after one harrowing bedtime I sprang into action. I now have truly awesome curtains for my office:

(Trash bags, duct tape, and velcro. Oh and they are tastefully tied back with those little garbage twist-ties.)

Poor baby is completely confused anyway as she has gone from closet in my mom's house (for Passover/Easter celebration) to her own bedroom to OUR bedroom (since the bedbug was found in her room) to the office and now is back in our bedroom. Oh, and last night she woke up wailing at 10pm with what seems to have been a night terror.

Five minutes ago my editor called and asked me to write an intro letter for tomorrow (for a special promo edition of His Majesty's Dragon that will be given away at RWA and San Diego Comic-Con).

*crawls under bed*

*except no because there might be a BEDBUG there*
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Temeraire Fanart Contest Results!

So, projects I successfully completed last year included pretty much just the one:

Evidence and her dragon

Her name is Evidence Novik Ardai, and she is exactly four months old today. \o/

Sadly, the projects that *needed* to get completed last year included book 7 of Temeraire and the fanart contest, for which I make giant apologies to all of you and especially to the artists, BUT, I am happy to report that as of Tuesday, the draft of Crucible of Gold has been fired off to my editor, and I am now busily digging out of the hole and finally have an update!

More than 100 submissions were received for the contest, and honestly, I would love to write stories for each and every one of them. It was horribly painful to choose only five winners and ten runners-up -- in fact it was so horribly painful that I didn't. :P

Instead, I decided I was going to see just how badly having shiny new baby around was going to torpedo my writing pace -- the happy news is, not too badly! -- and now that book 7 is getting close to the finish line, I have revised the book plan with Bill Schafer of Subterranean Press.

Instead of a black and white chapbook with color cover, the contest book is going to be a small hardcover with a 16-page full color gallery, and it will include a total of 32 pieces, with about 20,000 words total of new fiction included (I will probably end up combining and writing slightly longer stories for more than one piece, but each one will at least get a drabble's-worth to its name!)

There will be a limited edition of 400 leatherbound copies signed by me (probably around $45), and somewhere between 1000-2000 hardcovers (around $20-25). (And I will eventually be putting up the stories themselves online at least once the book sells out, so if these are out of your range, do not fear! You will get to read the stories!) The book should *hopefully* be out before the end of this year, but we'll see. :)

Even at this higher number, it was still really hard to make the final cut, but at least I was able to *do* it. (And yes, the X-rated piece is in fact among them, although it will be tastefully cropped into PG-rated form for publication. ;)

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All these works are going to be featured online at my website, one a week (along with my preliminary notes on what the story is probably going to be for those of you who like spoilers).

PS: artists, you should also have gotten an email from the fanart contest email -- it's using a bcc list, so please check your spam folder if you don't see it -- with important questions for you! Please read!

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Continuing my trend of last-second posting -- er hi! I am going to be at New York Comic-Con tonight! :D I'll be signing at the Del Rey booth from 6-7, and then on a neat fantasy panel at 7:30 moderated by none other than my awesome editor Betsy.

Stop by if you are there! :D
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Zombies vs. Unicorns!

Very belated heads-up here, I know, but for any of you in NYC and looking for something to entertain you this fine Thursday evening, a bunch of us will be putting on THE MOST EXTREMELY CRUCIAL POLITICAL DEBATE OF ALL TIME.



Thalia Kids' Book Club: Zombies vs. Unicorns
Thu, Sep 23 at 6 pm
Leonard Nimoy Thalia (at Symphony Space, Broadway and 95th)
$15; Members $12

I am of course arguing for Team Unicorn, along with the awesome blackholly (Holly Black) and utsusemia (Alaya Johnson), the latter of whom has seen the error of her former Team Zombie ways and joined us to debate against justinelavaworm (Justine Larbalestier), Maureen Johnson, and Libba Bray.

Possibly I, uh, have gone a little overboard in my preparations for this debate. *looks at paper wreckage and sparkles all over apartment*

If you can't make it, you can still be overwhelmed by the incontrovertible force of Team Unicorn in the fabulous book, of course, which has just come out. For any of you who came out to the book tour, my story Purity Test is the one I was reading on tour. :D

(PS: fanart contest results coming soon! watch this space! but omg this is going to be very hard to decide.)
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Procrastination, alive and well!

So having given it a good long safety zone, that is a wrap for the Temeraire fanart contest! Hee, the number of entries doubled in the final twenty-four hours (and there were already a lot before)! As someone who frequently tortures my poor editor by saying "I'll get it in on Wednesday!" and then actually sending the draft at 3:27 am Thursday, I feel many of you out there are kindred spirits.

Everyone who submitted a piece should by now have gotten a little form-letter response confirming that it was received -- if not, please drop a line to temerairefanart@gmail.com to make sure your submission didn't go astray! I am so excited to go over all the pieces with Betsy Mitchell (the aforementioned longsuffering editor!) and Del Rey art director David Stevenson -- and bunches of them are already inspiring story ideas. :D

Several of you have asked about getting to see all the submissions -- the artists will of course be able to put their art up separately, but I will also see what we can do either with Subterranean Press or on my website to showcase all of these, because seriously, they are utterly amazing. ♥
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The Internet Is For...

ahahahaha, so yes, I have in fact gotten an (awesome!) porny Temeraire fanart for the contest. *is dying of laughter* I love fandom. \o/

Speaking of which, this is a reminder! There's a little more than a week left in the Temeraire fanart contest: the deadline is August 31! (If you are an inveterate procrastinator, not that I resemble this remark or anything, as long as it is August 31 anywhere in the world it's fine). I hope you're all having fun working on art for the contest, and I am loving seeing what everyone is coming up with. :D

If you missed this earlier, here are all the contest details!

Also, to answer one more question that has arisen: if you have a piece that illustrates an existing scene from the books, yes, that *IS* welcome in the contest! I can always write a story that shows the scene from a different character's POV, or an alternate-universe retelling.

Meanwhile, I am settled in at home at last after much journeying and alas, a round of getting sick, bah. :P I have still to post one more drabble from San Diego prompts, and also pictures of many awesome Temeraire-related things acquired on my travels, and they will come! but this week has been all about a last round of edits on my manga, now finally complete with title: Will Supervillains Be On The Final? (Liberty Vocational volume 1) and getting a super-belated (in fact, despaired-of) short story done, in the same universe.
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facebook chat tonight!

Quick heads-up for any of you facebook users out there, I'm doing a chat via Barnes & Noble tonight at 6:30pm Eastern time (ie, in an hour and a half)!

You can RSVP here:


And the chat will take place here (er, I *think* -- I am not 100% clear on how this is going to work to be totally honest, but this is the url they have given me! *g*)

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Tour drabble from Seattle!

In Seattle, Tristan totally got her drabble prompt to the head of the line by bringing me awesome Temeraire loot -- it is super-cool and I cannot wait to show it off, but my iphone photos are inadequate, so you are going to have to wait until I get home for pictures. :D *is a tease*

Her prompt was "Tharkay and name":
His father called him George, determinedly; his mother made no demur, but she did not need to: the weight of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents were ranged with her, and all their society. At the age of five, Tenzing thought the other only a pet name, and English a private language for two; he was conscious of the greatest indignation when the British envoy visited and with his loud voice intruded.

She died, two years later, and his world was altered; but the change ensured her victory: he could not resist being taken away, but he refused to answer to George.

Sniffle. :(

Day two of Comic-Con was, uh, mostly spent by the pool watching other people stand in very very long lines </bad fan>. Sadly, I have acquired a brilliantly red nose despite carefully staying under an umbrella ALL DAY, which does not seem fair, so I now have a cheap and ugly pink San Diego baseball cap on. :P There were also fun interviews with Annalee Newitz of io9.com (in awesome Jaenelle Monae cosplay) and Adam Rogers of wired.com, and the day ended in a lovely dinner with whitearrow and awesome writers Gillian Horvath, Melinda Snodgrass, and Nancy Holder. \o/

Today is my Del Rey booth signing at 4, and then I may wander around the dealer's room a little more if I am feeling adventurous and the floor does not appear to be a life-threateningly-solid mass of humanity.

And tomorrow, home! \o/
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first day of comic-con and tour drabble from Portland!

I unashamedly played hooky from posting in Seattle to hang out with friends and eat Molly Moon's ice cream (Cherry Chunk, omnomnom) and yesterday to wander the floor at San Diego Comic-Con on the (well, comparatively) uncrowded Thursday. I am kind of scared of venturing there again. D:

Had a fun panel yesterday with a slew of other sf writers about Twisting Genres, in which China Mieville uttered heresies against the UNQUESTIONED AWESOMENESS of Reeses Peanut Butter cups, and Scott Westerfeld and artist Keith Thompson totally cheated by showing off the enormously spiffy steampunk art from Leviathan. We then all tromped over to sign books and subsequently migrated over to the most excellent Random House party over at Jolt'n Joes, where I got to see Yishan Li, my awesome artist on the Liberty Vocational manga coming out next summer -- which, er, is now no longer Liberty Vocational but whose new name is TOP SECRET (read: we haven't decided on it yet), and also met up again with karenhealey and ali_wilgus from the Fandom-Trained Writers panel at Infinitus, among many other fab people. :D

And now, next drabble! I am sorry to say I forgot to get the prompter's name for this one from Portland, so wave if you are the one who suggested, heee, "Temeraire vs the zombie cows":

It was a hideous waste, all of it; Temeraire could hardly keep his countenance when he first understood that the cows had not only to be killed but also all burnt up, and not eaten, although the smell which rose from the carcasses shortly reconciled him to the necessity of this measure.

It did not greatly shore up his equanimity to find that he was not even to be of much use in this dreadful operation, and the Longwings and Iskierka to take the lead, but the divine wind had a distressing tendency to cause the diseased cattle to explode.

Tune in tomorrow for the Seattle drabble and (if my phone cooperates) pictures of awesome Temeraire loot. And if you're at Comic-Con, I'll be doing one more signing at the Del Rey booth on Saturday at 4pm! Stop by!