If It’s Not One Thing, It’s a Bunch of Things

Lord, how did I let another whole month escape me without a blog post?



I’ll tell you how. The RT Convention is in less than a week and we’ve had so much last minute drama…hoo boy. I ran out of time and money and didn’t get as much swag as I’d initially planned, but that’s okay, because the table we were supposed to have?  We aren’t. We wouldn’t have anyplace to put all that swag anyway.  I had to drop everything (again) to do some “paycheck” work, so The Land of the Beautiful Dead didn’t get finished in time, but that’s okay too, because apparently, I had to sign up in order to put my books in the Freebie Room (???) and I missed the sign up date. No problem. Moving on. Just gives me more time to edit anyway.

Oh, and on the subject of TLotBD, it went from being a 45,000 word novella to 85,000 and climbing. Still not done yet! Hopefully, it will be published by the end of the summer, but don’t get your hopes too far up because–

I’m moving. Yup, buying a home, putting my huge collection of skulls in boxes, driving them three hours away and putting them in a whole new house. Yay. This is a good move for a lot of reasons, prime among them getting the (expletive deleted) away from this town, which consists of a train station, an oil refinery, and a stockyard, and our house is less than two blocks from all of them. My brother in law, who picked this house, swears none of them were noticeable when he bought it. He lived here alone for well over two months while we sold the last house. I was here less than ten seconds before I noticed them and I haven’t stopped noticing them in the five years I’ve been living here.

But now we are moving. The new house is comfortably rural and tree-y, nary a refinery or a train in sight, although there are a few cows. I can live with cows. I’m quite excited about the move, actually, but it is a royal pain to do the moving part, particularly when it intersects with a ten-day excursion to New Orleans for the RT Convention. And when the convention is over, I will find myself temporarily homeless as the present home is packed up and the future home is not yet ours to inhabit. I will be staying with my father and other sister for about two weeks and then I’ll be moved up to the new house, where I will live without internet or a washing machine for another two weeks, all alone, until the rest of the family joins me. They may well find me dressed in animal hides, crouching on my haunches around a carved stone idol of a laptop, offering human sacrifices for wifi.

deep thought

Don’t panic.


I swear I will be better about posting on this blog when things settle down and yes, I know you’ve heard that out of me before. I mean it this time. I promise. I will even try to post about interesting things instead of string of excuses about why I haven’t been posting.  In the meantime, here is a small piece of the bit I just wrote for The Land of the Beautiful Dead, which you will NOT find in the Freebie Room at the RT Convention in New Orleans, nor will you find it on my (non-existant) table in the swag hall, but which will be available later this year, I swear. I mean it this time. I promise.

* * *

Of all the rooms in Azrael’s palace, or at least those where Lan had been, if she had to choose a favorite, it could only be the library. The sheer size of it, reaching up and up on every side, marvelously open and yet lavishly closed in. Every surface was in some way beautiful, from the rich carpets over the polished floors to the elaborate tiles and cornices on the ceiling and everything in-between. She could stare at just the windows all day, imagining stories to go with the pictures that had been set so colorfully inside them, and if she ever got bored doing that, she could always ride the ladders.

The library was the only place that made Lan glad Haven existed, because it meant that room had been spared when all the rest of the world had fallen down. It made her happy, a little, to think it might survive even if humanity did not, and at the same time, it made her sad for the same reason, because no one else would ever look at those windows the same way, with the same wonder.

So it should have been a good thing that Lan had to go to the library every day, except that the reason she had to go was to meet with her tutor. It wasn’t really that either, because the tutor wasn’t so bad, for a dead man. It was just that Lan hated reading. She could see the sense of it, but only in the same way she could see the sense of glazing or smithing; it was a useful skill for a community to possess, not an individual, much less many individuals in the same community. The very fact that there was someone whose sole function was to teach reading made it completely unnecessary for anyone else to learn.

She said as much, but her tutor simply told her all complaints had to be submitted in writing.

* * *



20 responses to “If It’s Not One Thing, It’s a Bunch of Things

  1. Yay, she’s back, she’s back. Figured it was the RT convention & the pressure of writing to a deadline. I’m not one for deadline pressures of any kind. Moving is exciting and exhausting. Wish you well with that. I’m not a fan of the novella and am happy to hear that it’s turning into an RLee Smith length novel. 🙂 What a treat, a mid year RLee Smith read. Have you been told you are a T.E.A.S.E. with your snippets. Could you ‘tease’ your devoted readers a little more — give a high level synopsis on the book? Pleassssssse.

    • The real trouble is, I just have a terrible sense of time. I always have and it’s only gotten worse since I started writing for a living and setting my own hours. I genuinely had no idea it had been over a month since my last post. I thought two weeks at the most. Weirdly enough, punctuality was among my best qualities when I was in the mundane workforce.

      I will try to have that synopsis for you after I get back from New Orleans, along with some more snippets.

    • Thanks! I left out the bit about my father moving in with us. This makes three households coming together…my sister and her husband downstairs, my father in the basement, and me spread out over the second floor with the cats, only one of which is actually mine. How did I inherit three households full of cats? Good question. My feelings on cats are pretty well expressed in the first two Arcadia books, to wit, cats are evil.

    • Why do I suudenly have the urge to watch the Bill and Ted movies?

      But thanks. I really am going to try to live life less and blog more. One must have one’s priorities straight.

  2. Welcome back, R. Lee. We have missed your posts but I did see your interview on Smart Girls Love Scifi. It was great. Good luck on the move. I agree with you. Moves can be exciting and horrible all at the same time. So, tell me. Which will horrify you the most? Going with Internet for two weeks or the washing machine?

    • Hahaha, I wish that was even a choice.

      I won’t have a washing machine until either my sister’s house or my father’s sells…which, as you know if you’ve ever sold a house, is not a quick process even in the best of timelines. I will be sending laundry off with Cris during her weekly visits for a while. And seeing as how Cris tends not to prioritize housekeeping when there are greater issues, like repairs, at stake, it is very likely I will be dressed in Halloween costumes most of the summer.

  3. Good luck with your move and the RT convention. I’m bursting at the seams here with giddy excitement over your snippet! It seems as though after reading your books I’m just now in a state of anticipation for your next! Good luck with editing and writing also. I’ll be ready to one click whenever you post!

  4. *waves* A friend just mentioned to me that she had just seen this post, as she knows I’m going to be hitting up the book fair on Saturday (I’m technically only in town due to other dealings but it coincided with RT so how could I not sneak away just for a little bit?! 😉 I didn’t see your name on the authors attending list though, will you be at the signing? I love your books and I’d LOVE to meet you!!!!!

    • I will not be at the signing, sadly. In fact, Saturday we will be touring the cemetary and the shops, so we won’t even be at the convention, but I will be there all day Friday, at least until 4pm. And frankly, if you wanted to hook up at the French Market Saturday morningish, I’d be down with that. Café au lait and beignets ftw!

      • OMG!! I’d love to catch up with you!!! Honestly, I’m only dashing into the signing for a few authors I love and have yet to meet, then plan on spending the rest of the day getting as much NOLA experience in as possible!! I’m only going to be in town for the one day (am technically going to Mississippi to visit family!) I’ll be around town all day Saturday, so whatever works best for you, I’d love to make a meet happen!! I’ve never been to NOLA before so I’ve no idea what I’m in for but I’ve only heard good things! 😀

      • K, let me get through Friday and talk to the rest of the group. I’ll be able to give you a place and time by Friday evening. Looking forward to meeting you!

      • I’ll be at the hotel from 10 to 11 (am), in the 3rd floor foyer, so if you want to attend the book fair, we can meet and chat without losing your place in line.

      • Squeee! I’ll be there! How shall I find you? I don’t want to sound stalkerish and ask what you’ll be wearing but I’ve no idea what you look like! lol Will you be in a certain spot/have a name badge on?

      • Scratch that, I just saw your latest blog post! I’ll be on the look out for a gator hat and Dad! LOL

      • I am so so so bummed I missed you today. We tried to get to the 3rd floor foyer but they had it closed off to everyone without full convention badges. =( If you ever hit up a con on the east coast (I drove from NY!) I’ll definitely try to make that one! Hope you had a blast in NOLA!

      • Sorry I missed you too, Nikki. I tried sitting conspicuously on the second floor by the book fair line, but even in an alligator hat, there were a LOT of people to get lost in.

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