Updates from the Sparrow Nest

First and foremost, thanks to any and all of you who are reading my Fay Morgan Chronicles. I am so pleased that I have flung these books out into the universe and they are being caught by you and you and you. I have just turned in book four “The Demon’s Revenge” to my official editor, the talented Erica Satifka as well as my unofficial editor and long suffering love, Elijah, who always and forever reads all my work. What a catch!

One thing I love about writing these books is they are set in my home town, Seattle, so whenever I go anywhere I am always collecting small, local details. Like, I have been taking my kids on long walks through our neighborhood and we have a game of pointing out all the signs of spring: crocuses, budding cherry trees, and the changing flora the local Buddhist Temple sets out as an offering to the huge, golden, Buddha statue. And, in the fourth book, do Lila and Morgan go on a walk through the city and notice such things? Indeed.

I am also crafting the fifth book of the series and trying to wrangle the disparate and disjointed threads and weave them together, and oh, I’m just realizing as I type this that that is the main metaphor for how Morgan makes spells. See what I mean? Real life influencing my writing, of course.

And last, in one other writing project, I am starting to put together a fledgling new young adult book that has all my heart and hopes in it. It’s called Always Falling Up, and is about the sadness of climate change, and the audacity of being able to feel hopeful and take action inside of the truth of our planet and species. Oh, I love it. Oh, I am very confused about how to write it. But my brain keeps picking away at it and I have all these sapling scenes and I think I know who the characters are, though they may shift and change.

What a job. What a life. All is good. Hope there’s lots of signs of spring in your neck of the woods.

It’s Alive!

The third book in the Fay Morgan Chronicles, The Witch’s Hunger, is alive and living in Amazon world! I’m so excited to get this story out into the world, and hope you love it. It’s a trickier book than the first two, in that some of the longer plot arcs get revealed, while other parts.
Book 3

The Witch’s Hunger? Is Morgan le Fay the witch who is hungry, you may be asking? Yes indeed, but the question is, hungry for what? Read the book and see.

On another note, apologies to anyone who pre-ordered the book. You probably got a pre-order cancellation not about it. Due to some misreading on my part of the uploading process to Amazon, things went quickly and terrible wrong. In fact, I believe I was heard muttering at 3 a.m. last night “I’m ready to be stressed out about something else.” I hated to have them cancelled, because I did have the book ready to go in time (hence its publication today), but so it goes.

And last, should you want to write a review on Amazon, please do! (And thanks.)

I’m reading a great book….

I’m sick, the kids are sick, and so we are watching too much Frozen (the movie), drinking lots of tea and warm water, and reading lots of books. The kids gravitate toward their all time favorites: anything with the heroic Lowly Worm, as well as bell hooks’ Homemade Love which we can basically read on repeat forever.

I’m reading a young adult book like usual (I’m on the Norton Award Jury for YA and MG science fiction and fantasy, so I read an ungodly amount of great teen fiction). At the moment I’m loving “Expiration Date” by William Campbell Powell. It’s a book that I’ve had on my shelf for a while, and it’s taken me a while to read it, for no good reason besides the title and the cover point to a certain type of dystopian near-future thriller that I’m a bit burnt out on. But, when I did start reading this book, I found something really unique and beautiful. It is an end of the world story about robot children when humans are no longer able to bear kids, and even better than that, it’s a meditation on humanity and personhood that I’m finding quite profound, as well as amusing and provocative. It’s a book that’s as much about being in a band and having an unrequited crush on a cute boy as it is about the end of the world. I highly recommend it.

Whenever I get books to read for award consideration, I never know how well they are doing out in the world. And yes, I suppose I could go look up some numbers and figure this out, but I don’t really want to. I want to take each book as it comes, and do a better job of not judging a book by its cover, and dive into it optimistically. And this book? I hope it is doing really well out in the world.

My Superbowl Sunday

I went for a walk with my toddler during the middle of the game today. It was spooky–no cars, no humans, anywhere, except for this other duo at the park who were twenty-somethings having a fight in that way of being in love with each other but being incompatible and so bone weary of their loops. They were lovely and vibrant, but I was glad to be on the other side of it all with my exuberant and laughing kid jumping in every puddle and giving me a hundred side glances of love.

There was a moment, when we were almost home again, when all of a sudden I heard screaming from every nearby houses. Even Monster, this asshole dog who lives down the street, started howling. Ten seconds later there was fireworks. My neighborhood is all about the illegal fireworks.

The Seahawks had just scored a touchdown seconds before half-time, and it was this moment where everyone was doing this same thing, in their separate spaces, but feeling the same joy and pride, and even me, not watching the game and being out of step with my city, even I felt something good.

The Dragon’s Secret…

the dragons secret

The Dragon’s Secret is not her perfect pancake recipe that happens to be vegan.
The Dragon’s Secret is not dabbing lilac essential oil on her wrists for that all day fresh feeling.
The Dragon’s Secret is not that she’s a giant fire-breathing lizard with a heart of gold.
The Dragon’s Secret is my second book in the Fay Morgan Chronicles, released today and flying around the internet ethers to be consumed by you and you.
The Dragon’s Secret continues the tale of a modern-day Morgan le Fay who has to fight and solve the mystery of the shadowy knights who have somehow managed to capture the world’s most powerful dragon. On top of that, she has to protect the only man she’s ever loved who seems set on throwing himself in harm’s way for the sake of that ancient dragon and the hidden history between them that has laid buried for eleven hundred years.
Link here.

Unwritten Kids Books I Want to Read This Week

AKA: I live in the banana world of toddlers, and oh the things they say.

“Bad News! The Asteroid is Using the Time Machine”
Which needs to be a cartoon book written by my friend Catherine Rzepniewski and her young son.

“My Poop Plan is Working Right Now but It’s a Secret” Which my Lyra can write and I will edit if she lets me read it.

“Try Not to Sit on the Guinea Pigs, They will Die ” A cautionary Sparrow tale.

“Pretend I’m not Real and Nothing is Real” an existential treatise on everything and nothing, or maybe just a tedious game that goes on and on.

My new writing manifesto, sort of.

I was at the MLK jr. march on Monday–which is one of my favorite Seattle events. It’s usually soggy and full of brass marching bands and excellent friends I don’t get to see very often. I was walking with a friend of mine who talked about how she was in a bit of a rut and wished she had some creativity in her life, and that she wished she could discipline herself to be a writer. She said it with this sad longing in her voice. I hear that kind of thing all the time from people. Like maybe they want to write someday when they have the time, or that they wrote fantasy when they were young, or that they have this book they want to write about a bank heist but it’s the World Bank and things get really complicated and political fast (I so want to read that book). Or they tell me that they think about writing and read about writers and don’t know how to start, but it seems like this thing that is missing from their hearts and lives. And has anyone else noticed that the internet is full of articles and inspirational quotes on how to become a writer? (Or maybe that’s just my internet.)

Anyway, writing. People are into it, and do I think it’s cool? Yeah, I do. I mean, I love it like nothing, but I don’t mean cool in the high school way of more popular than thou, or cool like wearing hip new jeans. It’s the opposite of that: it’s raggedy-ass jeans with holes in all the wrong places that you are wearing because you decided who cares but then everyone is looking at you funny. At least it’s that if you are writing about all the scary and true things you want to think about and want other people to think about. It’s cool in a way that means worthwhile, vulnerable, and badass all rolled together.

And I think that’s the reason why there’s this whole ocean of people who are pining to be writers because, well, if we only have one life to live, and then we are dead forever, we want to live worthwhile lives. And lives that effect other people and change the way people see the world, and how do you do that? I don’t know, nobody knows, but writing might do that, if we’re lucky. And on top of that it’s this daily practice where you get to be your fullest self and also use your brain cells to be tricky and smart about how to make story irresistable.

So the next time someone tells me they want to write, and have a story they want to publish, or whatever, I want to hear it in a different way. Not like they are failing to do what they want, but that they are on the edge of jumping in to something important. I want to tell them so loud that they should do it and that I will read it. I want to tell them, so loud! That they should write their beautiful hearts out, and also be activists for what they believe in, and also find work that at the minimum doesn’t make the world a more terrible place. And heck, if I’m being all bossy anyway, I want to tell them to fall in love with the world and be in it like it matters and they matter. I want to invite them to the dance, the big rowdy human dance where there’s a mosh pit in the middle and people are banging their heads together with their stories and all kinds of other body parts and things.

So, you got any stories you want to tell?

Pre-order the Dragon’s Secret?

the dragons secret

Pre-order the Dragon’s Secret! Soon to be launched in the world–it should be appearing in ebook-landia sometime next week. It is the sequel to The Magician’s Mistake, and friends, if you are wondering if all is going well in the life of Morgan le Fay, and if her days are pleasant and strife free, I am sad to tell you that they are not. Not only are there roving bands of tourists witches trying to take selfies with her, but there is a man, the man, who is being way too much of a gentleman, and, um, dragons?

Dragons.

And not just any dragons, but Y Ddraig Goch himself: the famed red dragon of Wales and I hate to tell you this but he is doing really bad. Like kidnapped bad. And that’s just the beginning of all the things going wrong for Morgan and her friends as they try to find the missing dragon and unravel the secrets that have been buried and kept hidden for the last eleven hundred years.