What’s Up Wednesday


What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly hop/meme with four simple headings. Anyone can write a post and add the link to Jaime’s blog.

What I’m Reading

Still slowly making my way through The Winds of War. It really saddens me that thick historical sagas like this are no longer the norm, at least not in the U.S.

What I’m Writing

Up to a bit under 607,000 words in my WIP, and just starting Chapter 79, “Terror at Tarawa.” I’m going to have to do some more research before really diving into this chapter, which features my two Marines, Ipatiy (Patya) Siyanchuk and Rodion (Rodya) Duranichev. Rodya first appeared in the first book, created 2000 or 2001, and Patya first appeared in the second book. They both started out as kids in villain Boris’s religious school. (Father Spiridon finally found his balls near the end of the second book and fired this POS for good.)

Rodya and Patya didn’t have surnames or patronymics till the current third book, when I decided to bring back some of Boris’s former students as Tatyana and Nikolay’s co-counselors at Father Spiridon’s church camp. I also gave Patya to Vladlena Zyuganova and Rodya to Valentina Kuchma. Patya is the right guy for Vladka just as bashful, sweethearted Rodya is the perfect guy for sweet little Valya.

Regular readers might remember the majority soundtrack I wrote my second Russian novel to, and have continued mostly using for the third book. So when I was looking over a list of Russian surnames for Patya and Rodya, and saw the name Duranichev, I had to have it for Rodya. It was my humble way of saying thank you.

What Inspires Me

I spent a very nice late afternoon at Arlene’s Artist Materials on Tuesday, and ultimately got a 14 x 17 sketchbook, a set of woodless coloured pencils, an awesome graphite pencil, and a magnetic artist manikin. They have sales and discounts all the time, and a plethora of amazing art supplies in spite of their relatively small size. Their online catalogue is even bigger. The last time I remember going there was the Summer of ’96, shortly before we left New York, and it was so wonderful to see it was just the same as I remember it from long ago.

I’m seriously considering the idea of drawing the book cover for Little Ragdoll myself, since it was such a personal story for me, and never left my mind or heart in all those 16.5 years between the time I last worked on it and when I finally went back to recreate it from scratch and memory. I don’t pretend I’m the world’s greatest artist, but I really enjoy drawing. Maybe it’s time to stop downgrading myself as a mere amateur artist, and call myself what I really am, someone who creates simple, sweet, humble pictures with a lot of feeling and sincerity behind them.

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Jakob’s story released on 9 May, and is now available for purchase at Amazon. I haven’t yet gotten down to creating the print copies or setting up a Goodreads author page, and I won’t be able to release it by Nook or iBooks for 90 days. It would be nice if I’d had 20-30 bloggers doing cover reveals and helping with a contest, bloghop, or giveaway, but it is what it is. I am what I am, a dark horse who tries not to seek out extra attention or have a big fuss made over. I want to be remembered as a writer for all time, like Shakespeare, not someone who makes a huge immediate splash and is famous for only a little while.

My eczema outbreak finally seems to be mostly vanquished. My father thought it might’ve been exacerbated by my dust allergy, so my room, mattress, and bed linens were thoroughly cleaned and my stuffed animal buddies were banished to plastic bags in the closet. He thought I were having a reaction to their synthetic materials, though I think I’d know by now, given how long I’ve had the cats in particular! I had to have some comfort after my grandma died, and took Simon out of that sad bag in the closet. I almost immediately had a flare-up, but since it’s gone away quickly, it’s safe to say it was from the stress and shock, not my giant froggy friend.

It’s nice to have company in bed again, even if he’ll never turn into a prince. He’s seriously cute and cuddly.


8 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. I’m so happy for you and your book! If you’d like to promote it on my blog, I would gladly offer you a spot next month. Send me an email if you’re interested. ChrysFey(at)yahoo(dot)com 😀


  2. I think it’s great that you’re considering drawing your own book cover! That’s a really personal touch for a story that’s so important to you. Also, I get the whole stuffed animal issue. We have major allergies in my house and yet my son’s room was always full of stuffed animals. It’s so hard to do without things that you really love. Hope your eczema stays away!


  3. I love how you carry around these deep thoughts and memories with you–a mark of a true writer, I believe. You should definitely make some noise. I’d definitely host you for your book releases.


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