Publisher’s Giveaway

WRITING 02I didn’t do it this time. Prime Books has arranged for a giveaway for two Prime Books editions: The War God’s Son, but also Word Puppets by Mary Robinette Kowal. Go here to enter. Deadline is November 24th for Word Puppets and November 25th for The War God’s Son.

I may be scarce for a few days. I’m back in Mississippi to help finish packing for the move, and then to transport the rest of our household back to Upstate. I’ll try to get back on something as close to an even keel as I ever manage once we’re settled. However long that takes.

Words have power. You can tell, because in the wake of the tragedies in Paris and Beirut and Baghdad, so many people are misusing them. Sad and angry as I might be at the moment, I want to think about that for a bit before I say anything.

There and Back Again

IMG_0402I apologize for missing last Monday’s post, but I was on the road to our new home to take care of some prep before we take full possession. The house itself is that white edifice to the left of your screen, After thirty-three years the place where I made my living (and enabled my writing) closed down, putting me “quite at my leisure,” as Mr. Bennet might say,

So here’s the thing–we decided to leave. Most of my immediate family had moved out of state already, and with few ties to hold us, we decided to do the same, on the theory that I can be unemployed anywhere, so we might as well be somewhere we want to be. We chose upstate New York, trading brutal summers for brutal winters. I never said it was the smart thing to do. It probably wasn’t. It was, however, the necessary thing to do for reasons I won’t bore you with. We’re going to make it work.

View from Rte 167

View from Rte 167


View from our back patio.

View of the Mohawk From Downtown.

View of the Mohawk From Downtown.

I did manage to get a little writing done on the new book. All this has been quite a disruption, as you can imagine, but I’ll get it done. In the meantime, here’s some comment from Publisher’s Weekly on The War God’s Son:

“… With a refreshingly conversational narrative, Parks captures the different facets of Japanese mythology and visions of the supernatural. Lord Yamada is a complex and entertaining protagonist, and his personal battles, whether with demons or his relationships with women, are compelling. Parks creates a rich world, further proving that in this series, nothing is as it seems. Suspenseful and often thought-provoking, Parks’s work is a delight to read. (Oct.)”

New York on My Mind

Snow-Jan-2014Probably the worst thing about moving is trying to be two places at once. Physically I’m still in Mississippi. Most of the packing is done, most of the painting is done. The last thirty+ years of our lives reside in boxes in storage, just waiting. If nothing odd happens, in less than two weeks I’ll be making the trip up to New York to close on the new house. Mentally, at least half the time I’m already there. There’s a lot to do before we can move in and part of the reason I’ll be there is so I can be be working on that, but that’s later. Mentally I go over and over it all, trying to plan the best strategies for getting it all done as quickly as possible.

And all that is just half the battle. The rest is realizing that neither of us has much clue as to how to survive a winter—a real winter, as opposed to the cooling-off period we’re more familiar with– and have we taken leave of our senses? Probably, but still going. Helpful people have been helpful—snow boots, yes, warm overcoats, yes. Gloves. Snow tires. What a concept. Oil furnaces. Pellet stoves. Clearing the ice berms. How to shovel snow. Where to shovel it to. What has to be shoveled. What doesn’t.

Factor in that Yamada Monogatari: The War God’s Son will be hitting the stores right around the time I’ll be hitting the road.

Zen says “Be Here Now,” and I ain’t. A good bit of the time I’m a thousand miles away. Which is unfortunate, since there’s still a good bit to do here before I’ll even get a chance to work on everything there. It’s disrupting and stressful and I’m not sure how much longer I can keep it up. If all goes well, the time will run out before I do. Here’s hoping.

Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls-2Since most of our direct ties to this area are either gone or in the process of being gone, Carol and I are trying to decide where we want to live. So we took a trip to upstate New York to scout the area.

Here’s a shot of Taughannock Falls at Taughannock State Park. 215 feet high, cutting through cliffs 400 feet high. We’d already seen Ithaca Falls near Cornell University in Ithaca. Lot of waterfalls in upstate New York, we’ve found. We stayed in Syracuse and fanned out in most directions in the time we had: Syracuse, Ithaca, Utica, Alexandria Bay, Oswego, Rome, Herkimer(next time we dig for diamonds), Little Falls. Didn’t get everywhere, but did get a lot of wheres.

No decisions yet, but it’s in the running. And yes, we know it gets cold there. Everyone told us that.