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08 September 2016 @ 03:23 pm

I’m suffering from that start-of-school-year feeling that I should run out and Improve Myself! Study Spanish! Learn sign language! Take a photography class! Do yoga! Take an art class! Start swimming! Get an anthropology degree! Find voice classes!

me: instead of trying ALL THE THINGS i should, idk, do one and actually stick with it?

brain: you’re not being creative enuf
me: i’ve pubished 2 books & started a new pseudonym this year

seriously, my brain is trying to kill me.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

07 September 2016 @ 03:15 pm

I have, through no particular effort of my own, lost somewhere between 20-25 pounds in the past year. Mostly it’s just that I’ve been eating less. Not well, certainly, just less. Not exercising more, either. Just eating less. Basically for the first time in my life I’ve been stress not-eating instead of stress eating.

Anyway, so I’ve lost a fair amount of weight, and my bras have not been fitting well at all.

So a week or two ago I bought new bras, and people suddenly started saying, “Wow, you’ve lost so much weight!” Which, well, yes, that’s true, but since it didn’t all drop off at once, it’s clear that what they’re actually reacting to is the fact that my boobs are a lot higher than they were before, and the overall effect that has.

I thought that was pretty funny. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)


I’d told everybody I didn’t want to run a Kickstarter for the ATLANTIS FALLEN print edition until I at *least* had REDEEMER off to the editor, to whom it went a couple of weeks ago. Then it turned out that both my cover artist and book designer were free to turn a project around quickly, so I have launched a SUDDEN ATTACK KICKSTARTER!!!

It’s a super low-key Kickstarter by my standards: it’s got one simple goal, which is financing the ATLANTIS FALLEN print edition.

Why Kickstarter? Because I’ve found out the hard way that a print edition isn’t worth financing on my own, not until and unless I can really ramp up the marketing game and get the books into major chains reliably. For independent publishing, e-books are where the money is at; print is a sinkhole.

But I love print books, you love print books, we all, let’s not kid ourselves, love print books, so Kickstarter is the best way to make it happen right now!

Most of the costs for ATLANTIS FALLEN have already been dealt in; all I’m going for here is covering paying my book designer and cover artist so ATLANTIS FALLEN is as gorgeous as any of my other books, and shipping the books worldwide (a cost I’ve folded in to the basic buy-in price, to make it easier for all of us).

If it goes beyond the basic funding goal, extra funds will go into a kitty toward future print book editions of other things I write. That will be exciting!

(Actually, I think this is exciting anyway, because this is going to be such a pretty book! Yay! <3 <3 <3!)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

31 August 2016 @ 10:41 am

Yesterday was actually Deirdre’s birthday, so we had a party for her. I’d just arrived in Dublin when Ted got a call saying our wretched escape artist dog was loose, which seemed goddamned impossible because he’d been IN THE HOUSE but no, no, he was loose, he’d figured out how to open the back door ane made his escape, so I had to come tearing back from Dublin to get him and bring him home and lock him in more thoroughly and then go rushing back in to Dublin. I have never made the walk from the train station (where the lads who’d found the damn dog brought him to me) to the house so fast.

I called a taxi to meet me there to get me back to the train station, figuring there was no chance at all with 5 o’clock traffic that I’d make the express train that would get me back to Dublin in a vaguely reasonable time frame, but to my sheer astonishment I made it with about six minutes to spare and got to the party.

Ted, at Deirdre’s request, cooked a vegetarian Mexican feast of nachoes and enchiladas and rice, all of which was incredibly good. Wow so good. I made Stacked Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes (recipe forthcoming at the patreon page next month!), which were also a hit.


And I gave Deirdre her birthday present, which was one of the Elfquest coloring books I’d gotten from last year’s Kickstarter.

There’s context to that gift: when she was about 9, she colored in one of my original black and white Elfquest comics, which utterly enraged me and although she apologized she really couldn’t, at the time, understand why I was SO. ANGRY. (About two years ago the topic came up and she winced and said, “Yeaaaah, I’m really sorry about that,” which was a much more sincere and therefore much funnier apology, given that thirty years had passed, than the original. :))

Anyway, so that was the context of the coloring book, so I gave it to her and she immediately BURST out laughing, which was just what I hoped she would do, and we were both terribly pleased with ourselves. :) She asked where I’d gotten it and I explained about the Kickstarter last year and she was like “Oh wow have you been holding on to it all this time then?” and I was like “yeah basically,” which she thought was great. :)

(Ted said, “Did you color in the first page?” to me, which made us burst out laughing again. I WOULD have, too, if I’d thought of it!)

And lastly, during the party we were explaining the word “schlep” to my 13 year old nephew, and how it meant getting oneself (or something) from one place to another, but connotated effort, plodding, weariness, a heaviness of soul.

I said to Ted, “What’s the…that word where…” and despite these words being almost entirely incoherent and certainly failing to reference any point which would clarify them, Ted, without missing a beat, said, “Trudge,” as he fully understood that I was thinking of Paul Bettany’s naked Chaucer scene in A Knight’s Tale. :) :) :)

So it was a good little party and I’m really glad I made it.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

30 August 2016 @ 11:19 am

I’m completely delighted to announce that my so-fun-to-write little billionaire shapeshifter novella RAVEN HEART launches into the big brave world today!

RAVEN HEART on Amazon!

RAVEN HEART on Barnes & Noble (Nook)!

RAVEN HEART on iTunes!



A curvy woman determined to protect her town, a raven shifter protector with secrets to keep, and a beast out for his own profit add up to an action-packed romance!

Curvy political activist Elena Peratrovitch has only one passion: keeping her small Alaskan town of Shkalnik free of business developments that would ruin its remote beauty. But when the government puts neighboring land up for lease, Elena must face down the billionaires who come to invest in the territory. She thinks nothing can change her opposition to developing Shkalnik…

…until gorgeous, sensual Richard Yale arrives on the scene. He’s like no man Elena has ever met–and not just because he’s richer than Midas. Richard’s life as a shapeshifter and a protector of the Tlingit people must remain a secret–until the price of keeping secrets could be the life of the woman he falls in love with at first sight.

Caught between passion and politics, Richard and Elena must fight to find common ground, and to keep Shkalnik out of the hands of those who would truly do it harm…

Here’s a bit of information you’ll only find on this page: Shkalnik is taken from the Tlingit word shkalneek, which means ‘story’. So Shkalnik is my Alaskan billionaire shifters story town. It took me like five days to come up with that name and I’m so happy with it. :)

I’m planning to write at least four Alaskan Totem novellas, and when I’ve got them all done I’ll be doing a print edition because I think that would be way fun. :) In an ideal world that’ll be around this time next year because I’d like to release Murphy Lawless novellas quarterly. :)

Murphy Lawless has a Facebook page, a Twitter account (which will be more useful when I find a client that lets me manage more than one freaking Twitter account at once), and will soon have a website as soon as I get hosting for it. Oh, and a mailing list!

I hope you enjoy reading RAVEN HEART as much as I enjoyed writing it!

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

28 August 2016 @ 08:35 pm

My sister had her birthday party planned for last night, and after a bit of angsting decided to go ahead with it despite the circumstances. I think that was absolutely the right choice, and it was a busy, loving gathering…

…even if Deirdre did show up two hours later for her own party. It was worth it, actually, because it was a costume party, themed Cyborgs, Angels, Fairies and Superheroes, and she came as a cyborg (we’re half cyborg now, you know, since Dad had his brain surgery. that’s how it works, right?) and her costume was AMAAAAAAAAAAAZING.


I my own self went as my own comic book character, Chance, which is either really lame or really awesome or really meta, possibly all three.


Superhero and cyborg sisters (this has to be one of my favourite pictures ever taken of us):


Bunch more pictures behind the cut.

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(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

22 August 2016 @ 10:17 am

My mom died yesterday, quite suddenly in the end, after a long illness that had been the focus of her and our lives for most of the last year. In her own inimitable fashion she absolutely refused to let us tell people what was going on, and if you knew her, you know we didn’t dare cross her wishes. *wry smile*

My son, upon hearing Grandma had died, said, “Does that mean she’s with the gods now?”

I said, “I guess it might. And she’s probably telling them how to get everything sorted out.”

He paused and said, “But they’re gods. Shouldn’t they already have that taken care of?”

Not according to Mom’s satisfaction, kiddo. That’s for damn sure.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

12 August 2016 @ 10:02 am

there are a lot of things i’d like to get done this year. too many to be realistic. and i have, y’know, a whole to do list about it, but sometimes i apparently just need to sit down and mumble to myself in a longer format as if it will somehow make a difference.

the must-finishes are doable: august needs to see the redeemer notes finished (going pretty well, those; i *might* finish by monday), benedict revisions, year of miracles copy edits. i can probably get all that done. probably. we’ll see.

beyond that it gets muddier because i want to be writing something new but also will have to do redeemer revisions and benedict line edits, and those things always always throw a spanner in the works.

first thing i need to write, tho, is the 4th & final YA epic fantasy novel for my nephew, a series which i will be kickstarting next year.

the next three things i want to write after that are sequels to benedict, atlantis fallen and magic & manners, and perhaps a couple more murphy lawless novellas in between.

these are grimly pragmatic writing choices: they’re all self published and are therefore the fastest route to income that i’ve got. there’s no way i can finish all of them by the end of the year, even if i was writing full time and with no other edits to deal with. (…okay, there’s a very faint chance i could finish them all by the end of the year, but it’s not very likely.) it’s more likely they’ll take me through the end of first quarter next year in terms of writing/editing/producing (altho ted will be doing as much of the production side as is humanly possible, YAY!).

i would *like* to then spend a few months writing some things for sending out to the trad market, before doing another round of heartstrike/austen/lovelorn lads rough drafts.

none of this will go as planned, of course, but it’s what i’d like to do over the next 18 months…

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

08 August 2016 @ 04:46 pm

I’m starting a pseudonym to write shapeshifting billionaire paranormal romances under. (Believe it or not, shapeshifting billionaire paranormal romances are a thing. A very popular thing! And SO MUCH FUN to write, OMG!!!)

For early access to the Murphy Lawless novellas, you can subscribe to my Patreon page! I’ll be posting about them when they’re released, but they’ll come straight to your inbox this way.

And for today, a teaser chapter from RAVEN HEART, the first Alaskan Totems paranormal romance by Murphy Lawless! :)

A surveyor’s mark, hot glowing orange, cut a line across an arm’s length of mountain stone. The paint splashed a few pieces of loose rock, but not enough to wipe it out if Elena knocked them away. Farther down the mountain, where grey stone turned to loose scree, another mark could be overturned entirely, but it wouldn’t make any difference. The surveys were done, and the development rights for the land had been put up for lease.

The federal government had given Alaskan natives more of their land back than any other Native American tribes—and that was a problem right there, given their land back—but this whole swath of mountain, traditional Tlingit hunting and gathering territory, still fell under federal lands, all the way out into the bay, and it turned out there was oil in them thar waters.

Elena Peratrovich’s mother, and her mother before her, had been fighting to get the land recognized as Tlingit territory for decades, long before anybody discovered oil, and today, they’d lost for good. No one in the tribe had the money to buy up the resource rights, and that meant the profits from oil and fishing development would benefit…well, someone else. As always.

So Elena had come to the mountain to say goodbye, to look out over the bay and the forests before oil platforms and cruise ships became eyesores on the glacier blue waters. She’d hiked up with the sunset around ten o’clock the evening before, and sat on the mountain through the long dusk and the few, hours of night. The horizon, never truly dark, began to brighten with grey again before three, and by four, soft gold light turned the sky pale behind the mountains. Shafts of brightness threw color on the mountainside, gradually illuminating scraggly brown and green moss, and stretching for the spruce forest that made up the range’s tree line. Farther down the stubborn spruce gave way to leafy trees and fern-filled undergrowth, Alaska’s all-but-unknown rain forests providing trees of massive size, even up to the cedars that had once made up the southeastern tribes’ traditional houses.

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(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

02 August 2016 @ 11:01 pm

Picoreview: Ghostbusters: Honestly I thought it was pretty bad. By about 2/3rds of the way through I was wishing I’d gone to see Jason Bourne. I mean, there were a few laughs and stuff, but I wasn’t enthralled by Holtzmann, which, after the buildup I expected to be, and just…yeah. I mean, it was okay, but mostly meh.

Then the whole climactic battle came and I felt it finally all pulled together into something I wanted to watch.

More comments behind the cut but it’s I feel it very important to mention up front that I didn’t know until now that I needed a Chris Hemsworth dance movie. :)

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(x-posted from The Essential Kit)