jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

The scene on the bridge

Eddie on the bridge...with Luftwaffe. Art by Edd Coutts.

Most of the summer has been spent writing and prepping for Dragon Con. But tonight I decided to take a break and add a couple new Pinterest Boards.

The first new board, Glass Transit, celebrates the latest adventure of Eddie Woodhouse and Ducky Orr. Our hapless sorcerers were last sighted being sucked into a bottle on the dance floor of Ducky’s club. “Glass Transit” recounts what happens next. Yes, the Hindenburg is involved. As you can see on the sidebar, the story will appear in Hellfire Lounge 4: Reflections of Evil sometime this fall.

“The Wizard of Woodward Park” is the tentative title of the story I’ll be working on when I return from Dragon Con. Here’s hoping it makes the cut for The Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens. I admit, I’m doing my best to stack the deck. The editors have this thing for Daniel Craig. Okay, I can write that–and enjoy the description while I’m at it.

Already on the page are my pins for “The Clockwork Nightingale”, the story for Gaslight and Grimm. Today I finally finished revisions on the draft–the 16,000-word draft. Oops! Now I have perfect faith my critique partner will slash it to ribbons, but that won’t make it shorter. Here’s hoping Danielle Ackley McPhail, the editor on the anthology wasn’t kidding when she said there was “No such thing as too long.”

Finally, you may have noticed that the Twitter widget in the sidebar isn’t working as advertised. I am tweeting several times a day at @Jean_Marie_Ward, and all the tweets are public, but the widget refuses to register the fact. I think it’s time for Twitter Widget and I to have a little talk.

We’ll see how that works out. Meanwhile, happy August!

Stop CISPA

Apr. 21st, 2013 11:55 pm
jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

Yeah, I know it’s usually cheating to post about how you’re not going to post for a while, but this is important. Thanks to so many reasons I refuse to rant about here, our personal privacy is being constantly eroded. I happen to think our Fourth Amendment rights are just as important as all the rest. So like many folks, I’m stepping away from the Internet on April 22. Just wanted everyone to know, and to say there will be pictures when I return–RavenCon photos and your first peek at Hellfire Lounge 4. Meanwhile, good luck on #StopCISPA Monday.

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

Between deadlines and conventions, 2013 is shaping up as a wonderfully busy year.
For those of you who missed it, I was one of the guests of honor at James Madison University’s Madicon the first weekend in March. I had a great time with old friends and new, and as usual, I have the pictures to prove it.
This weekend will find me in Richmond at RavenCon. This year’s writing guests of honor are Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta. The artist guest of honor is The Devil’s Panties creator Jennie Breeden. I’m looking forward to all their panels, but I confess, I’m especially looking forward to Jennie’s. Her web videos are laugh-so-loud-you-scare-the-cat funny, even when she’s hawking merchandise.
I can only hope to compete on my five panels. Yeah, you know what’s coming–my RavenCon schedule:

Friday

3 p.m., Room F
Steampowered–the Rage of the New Victorians
From werewolves to anti-zombie airship pilots, the Empire has struck back. What is it about this genre and time period that is so appealing. Is it the machinery? The celebration of intellect? Or is it the clothes?
Carl Cipra (Moderator), Laura Anne Hill, Jean Marie Ward, Susan Zee

11 p.m., York Room
Yes, But is it Funny? Comedy in Science Fiction
…And presumably everything else. This is the late night panel. You really think we’re going to stay on topic? Mwahahaha!
Jim Bernheimer, Bud Sparhawk, Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), Joan Wendland

Saturday

2 p.m., Anna Room
Judging a Book by its Cover
What are the latest trends in science fiction, fantasy and horror covers? What do you love–and hate–about book covers? And what are the latest trends?
Betty Cross, Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), J. Andrew World

4 p.m., Room E
Beyond Steampunk
Gaslight fantasy. Weird west. Dieselpunk. Cyberpunk. Explore the punked-out fictions that are not set in a British Victorian or Edwardian past.
Betty Cross, Laura Anne Hill, Jean Marie Ward (Moderator), Susan Zee

Sunday

1 p.m., Room E
The Discreet Charm of the Historical Fantasy
What prompts otherwise sane writers to spend years researching Imperial Japan, the Silk Road, or the Ripper’s London. How do they know when they’ve gotten it right?
Day Al-Mohamed, Maggie Allen, KT Pinto, Jean Marie Ward (Moderator)

Hope to see you there!

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

You just can’t make this stuff up.
Last week, Diane Whiteside received a letter from a fan of her novel, The Shadow Guard. The fan was seeking the grave of Col. John Fitzgerald, aide-de-camp to George Washington at Valley Forge and prominent Alexandria cit mentioned in Diane’s book. When the usual sources (Wiki, Google, etc.) came up empty, Diane asked me if any of my friends at Alexandria’s historic Carlyle House might know. I promised to ask the next time I volunteer (sometime after Dragon*Con). In the meantime, I started rooting around in my local library.
Fitzgerald was the driving force behind Old Town Alexandria’s first Catholic Church, St. Mary’s, so I started with the records for St. Mary’s Cemetery, copies which are conveniently located in every Alexandria branch library. From there I went to compilations of The Alexandria Gazette obituaries and the records of the Hustings Court. (Fitzgerald was a big wheeler dealer on the local real estate front.) I confirmed his town home was located on the corner of King and Fairfax Streets, where the main branch of Burke and Herbert Bank now stands, but hey, that’s a no brainer. They’ve even got a plaque to that effect on the bank.
Today Diane and I met for lunch. By some odd quirk of timing, we drove into the Market Square parking garage in Old Town at the same time. We planned to lunch at O’Connell’s but power was off on that side of the street, so I asked, “Would you like to eat Italian? There’s Landini Brothers and Il Porto across the street. Which one would you prefer?”
“Landini Brothers–you mentioned it first.”
After lunch we headed for the Queen Street branch of the Alexandria library, home of the local history collection. Julia, the librarian on duty, wasn’t quite sure where to look. I’d already searched the St. Mary’s records. So we rooted around in the transcriptions of Alexandria tombstones. Nada.
Then Julia pulled out Ethelyn Cox’s Historic Alexandria Virginia Street by Street. It contained a page on Fitzgerald’s King Street warehouse which noted his burial site as Warburton Plantation, the present site of Fort Washington.
Oh, and the warehouse? It’s the same building where we ate lunch.
I love Alexandria.

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

Madicon 22

You may have noticed a new con in the sidebar. Madicon 22 has invited me to be a guest along with longtime buds (and great writers!) Jana Oliver, Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine, as well as friends-to-be Jonah Knight, Megan Amberly and R.S. Belcher. The dates to remember are March 8-10, 2013. The place is James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

For the here and now–or the hear and now, if you insist–I read a selection from “Lord Bai and the Magic Pirate” in this month’s BroadPod, the Rapid Fire Reading of the air sponsored by Broad Universe. I’ve read bits and pieces from this story before, but never this section.

I’ve also posted the opening of “Burning Down the House”, my story in Hellfire Lounge 3: Jinn Rummy. If you put it together with the excerpt here, you can get a real taste of the tale. Yes, that was another bad pun, but you’ll have to read the excerpts to find out why. Enjoy!

#

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

Let’s see if I can squeak in under the Six Sentence Sunday wire with the first six sentences of my ongoing WIP, Highway From Hell–the story of Orpheus from Eurydice’s POV. Enjoy!

Snakes. Why did Orpheus have to collect snakes?

“It slithered right past me. It’s a miracle I’m not dead!” Our housekeeper was screeching so loud my phone couldn’t handle it. Her distorted voice hooted in my ear like she’d pushed it through a wah-wah pedal.

#
jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

“Wagner’s music isn’t as bad as it sounds.” :D
Just got home from the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD production of Siegfried. Greg is the Wagner fan. I confess, I’m meh on opera, but from the music to the singers, the performances were glorious. I don’t think I’ve ever heard or seen a more perfect Siegfried–the boy who doesn’t know fear–than Jay Hunter Morris, and Greg has 78s, LPs, CDs and DVDs of every production ever. Even better, off-stage Morris sounds just like Owen Wilson. Hee!

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

Cat-assisted writer. (Photo by Greg Uchrin)

The iconic Duzell, born we don’t know, entered our lives in September 2006 and left as considerately as he did everything sometime around eleven this morning. He got me through some of the worst times of my life, always gentle, always the gentleman. I wasn’t ready for him to go. I don’t think I would’ve ever been ready. Sometimes you are blessed with a friend, human or animal, too good for just one life. I wish my sweet boy many such lives, all of them filled with the love he deserves.

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

It’s getting closer and closer. The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity goes on sale March 6. To whet your appetite, here’s another Six Sentence Sunday snippet from my cat shifter story, “Fixed”. Enjoy!

He feinted right. With a triumphant woof and the crackle of dead weeds, his pursuer plunged into the brush. Jack veered left, gaze locked on the outdoor balance beam. If he could run the dog into the log . . .
“Look out!” a female voice screamed.
He turned just in time to see a bicycle twice his height tearing up the center of the path.

#

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

This will be my last Six Sentence Sunday excerpt from “Hoodoo Cupid”–at least until next year. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the excerpts as much as I’ve enjoyed revisiting the story.

Spacer

No matter how hard or how loud her inner paranoid told her he couldn’t be trusted, the rest of her wasn’t listening. Her respiration slowed, lulled by hints of scents which had no place in a sickroom—sandalwood and ginger and the faintest trace of sweat. The longer she stood there and watched him breathe, waiting for her to act, accepting it…

Something fluttered, soft as feathered wings, inside her belly.

“Maggie?” he whispered.

Why did he have to say her name like it mattered?

#

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

Hoodoo Cupid Cover Image

As promised, February’s first three Six Sentence Sunday entries are all from my short contemporary romance, “Hoodoo Cupid”, available wherever fine ebooks are sold.

Today’s scene takes place in the ER after Maggie Scanlan’s hoodoo has done it’s work on her professional rival and new boss, Dan Constantine:

When [Dan's] eyes focused on a person—the way they focused on her now—it was like being targeted by a pair of lasers. The fan of creases deepening at the corners of his eyes and his slowly widening smile only made it worse.

“My ride.” His voice had a husky quality—a subtle roughness like vintage mohair upholstery, which inspired almost as much thigh wriggling and skirt palming among the agency power groupies as his eyes. “Talk about answered prayers. Please tell me it’s going to be a long one.”

#

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

Hoodoo Cupid Cover Image

In honor of February’s big day, I plan three Six Sentence Sunday excerpts from my Valentine’s Day romance, “Hoodoo Cupid”, a short romance published by Red Rose and available wherever fine ebooks are sold. As the blurb says:

Maggie Scanlan’s voodoo was a bust until she took her scissors to a poppet on Valentine’s Day. She never expected professional rival—and voodoo victim—Dan Constantine to break his leg, much less sweep the rug out from under her in an Emergency Room. Her brain says, “Run!” Her heart…

“Hoodoo Cupid”

The tattered rag doll flopped on the brushed metal table as Maggie Scanlan wrapped a thread thrice around its stubby legs.

“Let’s see how you like being cut off at the knees, Daniel Curtiss Constantine!” she shouted into the doll’s expressionless face.

A raw, exhaust-scented wind skittered under her hair, raising goose bumps across the back of her neck. She paid the goose bumps no mind. She wasn’t scared. It was just the cold.

#

More next week!

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

Welcome to my first Six Sentence Sunday (you have no idea how many times I’ve written that “Six Second Sunday” lol) Today’s excerpt is from a little story called “Burning Down the House” commissioned for Hellfire Lounge 3: Jinn Rummy. Take a New York nightclub, combine with two feuding sorcerers and one large jinni–and get the hell out of the way.

“Look, Eddie, I wasn’t born yesterday, or yester-century, for that matter. You’ve got another bottle hidden in that bundle of fabric you’re holding. You want me to show you how I fit into a bottle ‘no bigger than…’ by turning myself into smoke and popping down in there so you can slap one of those extra Seals of Solomon you brought with you over the top. The beer bottle or whatever you scrounged on your way over here won’t hold me as well as a charmed number, but you figure it’ll last until you can get it enchanted. Like I’m gonna give you the chance.”
“But it always works in the stories.”

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

Christnas Eve Pies
Since I was evil enough to post a picture of Annette’s Apple Pie, it seems only fair that I provide the recipe. This is taken from an old Samhain fantasy blog that’s still out there, somewhere… Consider it my little holiday present. May Christmas find you warm, happy and healthy with all your loved ones around you.

Apple Magic

Forbidden fruit and food of the gods, the apple has a hell of a rep to live up to.
I can see why the Greeks and the Norse made golden apples part of the minimum daily requirement for immortality. People have been talking about the health benefits of apples ever since there have been people talking. Plus, in a climate cold enough to grow them, properly stored apples will last longer than almost any other fruit. Dried apples last even longer.
The whole forbidden fruit gig, however, seemed way off-base. The Bible never specified the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Why decided it was an apple? Apples are hard. Why not something fleshy and sensual like a peach or a nectarine? Or that eternal naughty, the cherry?
Some scholars think the Romans are to blame. The Latin word for apple (malus) is very close to the Latin word for evil (malum). The sources for the two words are completely different. But medieval and Renaissance painters of the Garden of Eden didn’t know malus came from the Hittite word for branch and malum from someplace else entirely. The mythological connections probably didn’t help either. If a Greek nymph used it to keep her girlish figure, it had to be bad for your soul. Look what Eris did with her golden apple. One little beauty contest later and Troy was history. From there it was only a little step to wicked stepmothers and Disney dwarves.
Much as I’d like to think an apple a day would keep me young forever, I can’t see it happening. But I do think the fruit is magical, especially at this time of the year when farmers markets and roadside stands offer them by the bushel. Especially in a pie.
With that in mind, I offer Mom’s Apple Pie. No really. This recipe comes from my husband’s mother, and it’s the surest way I know to make bushels of apples vanish. The rectangular pan specified in the recipe became a family tradition because the standard-sized, round version of the pie never lasted long enough for leftovers.

Annette’s Slovak Apple Pie

Ingredients:
(Recipe amounts based on a rectangular pan, roughly 12 by 8 by 2 inches.)

Crust

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
½ lb butter
1/3 – ½ cup cold milk (or more, as needed)
Additional flour for rolling dough

Filling

6 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced (or enough to fill the pan with a little mound in the center)
½ cup unseasoned cracker or bread crumbs
1 – 1 ¼ cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of the apples)
2 tbsp butter
Cinnamon
1 – 2 tbsp flour (only if the apples are very juicy)

Directions:

Start the crust by sifting the measured flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and sugar together. Add the butter. Mix together with a pastry cutter or two knives (one held in each hand) until the mixture is reduced to even bits of dough about the size of peas. Sprinkle the milk over the dough until you can pat the dough into a large ball. (This part can be done with your hands if you work fast.) Wrap the dough in wax paper or plastic wrap and chill for at least a half hour before rolling the crust on a generously floured surface. Use about 5/8 of the dough for the bottom crust, and don’t be afraid of pushing and patching it in the corners. Return the rolled top crust to the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Begin filling the pie by sprinkling the breadcrumbs on the bottom of the crust. Starting with a layer of apples, fill the crust with alternate layers of apples, sugar and cinnamon. Add a light dusting of flour if the apples are very juicy. Dot the final layer of sugar and cinnamon with butter. Cover with the top crust and seal the edges. Vent the crust by slashing or pricking it in a decorative pattern. Bake at 350 degrees until the apples are tender and the crust is brown, usually between 45 minutes and an hour. Let cool as long as you can stand it before cutting. Enjoy!

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

Tonight my darling spouse learned exactly how good the Captain Blood costume I made for him twenty-five years ago really was. He’ll be at AnimeUSA tonight, cosplaying at the con ball, dressed as Fuhrer King Bradley from Full Metal Alchemist in a quite spiffy costume made by a friend–a costume with no elastic secreted in the waistband to accommodate (ahem) changes in manly girth, no pockets.
No fly.
Tee Hee.

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

I had to shoot through glass (they close off that entrance after 11 p.m.–go figure!) so you can’t read it, but the shield with “Harris Teeter salutes the Wounded Warrior Project” is on the front to the lower left.

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

The Pentagon Row Harris Teeter, the one across I-395 from the Pentagon has a 1280-pound sculpture celebrating the Wounded Warrior Program.
In cheese.
I saw it today. All unsuspecting, I went into the store to pick up a few things for dinner. The doors whooshed open, My first thought was: What is that odor? It smells like Greg left something out of the refrigerator too long. Then I realized there were an awful lot of balloons in the display area to my left. Slowly, I turned… Yes, I do know that old Burles-Que routine, and no, the trigger has nothing to do with falls.
It's all about the cheese.
Orange. Glassy. Ripe. Carved into a replica of a famous statue embellished with a big shield proclaiming, "Harris Teeter Salutes the Wounded Warrior Project."
In cheese.
According to this article, the sculpture's been around since at least Veterans Day. Based on personal observation, it's starting to separate in places. (See it while you can!) Store management tells me it's going to be taken away to the local homeless shelter any day now.
Words fail. My mouth opens. It closes. Somebody, somewhere thought it was a really cool idea to honor our veterans' service and sacrifice by memorializing it–
In cheese.
A half ton of cheese, people.  With little packages of Harris Teeter cheddar, the artist's chosen medium, artistically displayed around the base of the sculpture to let customers know that they, too, can buy a piece of (say it with me!)…
CHEESE!
I apologize in advance, but somebody's got to say it: This gives a whole new meaning to the word "cheesy".
And people wonder where I get my ideas. No way, NO FRACKING WAY could I make this stuff up.  *headdesk*headdesk*headdesk*

jmward14: (Default)
For those of you who view clicking through picture galleries with the same horror our parents reserved for slide shows of Aunt Ermintrude's trip to the Catskills, today's post at Beyond the Veil is for you.  I've cherry-picked some of my best photos of Dragon*Con 2011 and wrapped them in the lightest of all possible con reports.  And there isn't a panel table anywhere in sight.  Enjoy!
jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

Broad Pod Image

Like everybody else, I’m stricken by the news that Borders, which for years served as my happy place for books, will be no more. I can’t offer enough sympathy and good wishes to its employees–or rain enough curses on the heads of its inept and wrong-headed management.

My mom used to say laughter cures all ills. As far as I know, it doesn’t do beans for a job hunt. But in the hopes that it might make the evenings afterward more bearable, I offer you two BroadPods. I really should’ve mentioned Lord Bai and I were in the April episode, which also features Jody Lynn Nye’s reading from her new comic space opera and K.A. Laity’s meditation on Mad Hatter economics, as well as novel excerpts from from Shauna Roberts and Lynda Williams.

But the real news in this post is the unveiling of the July BroadPod, just in time for bookstore relief. Jody hosts this one, which features Jaleta Clegg’s new take on “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, Tracy S. Morris’s Bubba vacation tale and Justine Graykin’s job security-seeking spies. And, oh yeah, a little passage of mine about sirens and strudel. You know the one. Mwahahahaha!

(P.S., Yes, I did consider this important enough to say it twice. I originally posted this on my News page, but I felt it needed wider play. After all, how often does a girl get introduced by Jody Lynn Nye? :-) )

jmward14: (Default)

Originally published at Jean Marie Ward. You can comment here or there.

I flatter myself to think some of you wondered where I disappeared to after announcing my return from New York. I planned to spread my usual nonsense on Facebook and Twitter after I finished my docent shift at Alexandria’s Carlyle House yesterday. Instead, Greg and I attended the after hours viewing of a friend who shouldn’t have died.

We say that a lot when someone dies, especially if we don’t want them to leave us behind. In this case it was the bald truth. Brian was healthy and happy, a top stagehand with a wife who loved him and a teenaged daughter who, by her own description, didn’t know the sun didn’t rise and set on him until she was somewhere around thirteen. But last Thursday, when he was heading home on his motorcycle after an evening show, he was struck and killed by a drunk driver.

His family, his wife’s family, the extended family of his union local and all the people like Greg who’d been his friends from college made the viewing a crowded, loving affair. It would’ve been even livelier if we could’ve lifted our glasses as befitted his Irish heritage. Unfortunately, U.S. funeral homes don’t have liquor licenses–a terrible, terrible oversight on their part.

As a stagehand, Brian wore black nearly every day of his life, and he hated it. So black was banned from the proceedings. His daughter and I wore pink. Greg donned peacock blue. The dress code for the packed funeral mass was Hawaiian shirts. I never thought I’d wear a Hawaiian shirt to a funeral. Yet it fit on so many levels. There was a great band–playing liturgical music, but you can’t have everything. Even better, the soloist “didn’t step on the cat” during “Ave Maria”. The priest and the folks delivering the eulogies made us laugh and cry in equal measure. The priest, in particular, seemed determined to talk about “the life of Brian”. He must’ve been a Monty Python fan, too.

After it was over, Brian’s daughter gathered friends and family to sing “Piano Man”, because he’d turned her on to Billy Joel when she was seven. His college buds lined up beside the hearse to give him a Benny Hill salute and vowed, whichever one of them was next, to make sure “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” was played at the ceremony.

It was as good a send-off as it gets. But that doesn’t change the fact that he shouldn’t have been in that box. It doesn’t change the fact that his wife has lost her best friend, or that his daughter will never have him applauding at her high school graduation, moaning about college costs or giving her away at her wedding. They were robbed of his presence and his love for no reason at all.

I try not to inject too much of the personal into my posts. I keep politics off my Fan page and the inevitable writer whining to a minimum. But this needs to be said, and I don’t think anybody will disagree when I say it. When you’re driving in your car, your truck or whatever kind of wheeled carton you take on the highway, look out for motorcyclists and bicyclists and pedestrians. There’s nothing between them and the pavement except you.

And for the sake of Whomever or Whatever you consider holy in DON’T. DRIVE. DRUNK.

Profile

jmward14: (Default)
Jean Marie Ward

May 2017

S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
212223 24252627
28293031   

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:22 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios