I’m Out Until Monday, So, Here, Have Some Flowers

And on Valentine’s Day, too! Awwwwwww.

I’m out because I feel like it but also because I have a project to finish. So, unplugging from the Internet to get done. As one sometimes has to do. See you all next week.

Love Death & Robots Trailer

Why would I bring this trailer to your attention? Oh, no reason. No reason at all. Still, you might want to block out some time on March 15 to see the series. Just because.

(Note: the above trailer is very noisy and probably NSFW.)

Today In “I Regret Nothing”

Yesterday I reached 160,000 Twitter followers and polled my followership with how they wanted me to celebrate: A preview from an upcoming work, a song, a cat picture or a “burrito.” The burrito won. This is what followed.

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HUMANS OF TWITTER:

It is time.

Yesterday, having reached 160k Twitter followers, I promised one and all that I would make a VALENTINE BURRITO to mark this momentous occasion.

I have done so. And recorded its creation for you.

LET US BEGIN THIS BURRITO JOURNEY TOGETHER NOW.

STEP ONE: The raw ingredients are purchased and assembled.tortillas, cherry cordials, gummi worms, raspberry preserves, marshmallow creme, heart-shaped cakes, butter.
STEP TWO: The individual portions are measured out and prepared.One tortilla, one cake, two cordials, six gummi worms, and the marshmallow creme and raspberry preserves.
STEP THREE: A generous base of marshmallow creme is slathered onto the tortilla.Fun fact: Marshmallow creme is hella sticky.
STEP FOUR: The raspberry preserves are added to the marshmallow creme.Fun fact: This tortilla now looks like a crime scene.
STEP FIVE: The heart-shaped snack cake is torn to shreds and placed on the raspberry preserves. Not symbolic or anything!This is all pink and red and white and oh Jesus what have I done.
STEP SIX: The chocolate cherry cordials are sliced, poorly, and added to the pile.Seriously, chocolate cherry cordials have no structural integrity to speak of.
STEP SEVEN: Gummi worms added for color and texture. They have nothing to do with Valentine’s Day, but sometimes you just need that extra kick, you know?Fun fact: We will all die and worms will eat us, except the cremated people, who never think of the poor, hungry worms.
STEP EIGHT: Tortilla folded into a burrito shape, and slathered with butter.Fun fact: This burrito is, like, eighteen million calories, all of them empty, like my soul.
STEP NINE: The burrito commenceinates its fryination!Fun fact: This technically makes this burrito a chimichanga!

STEP TEN: The burrito is golden brown and now ready to eat.

And did I eat it? Well…From the outside, you would not imagine this to be a hideous hellscape of mish-mashed sugary flavors!

Here I am, eating the thing.

WARNING: You are not prepared.

Another look at the inside of the Valentine Burrito.Fun fact: It looks like a unicorn barfed into a flour tortilla.

Thank all 160k of you for following me here on Twitter. You made me make this burrito. I do not regret it, and yet I will never ever do this again, unless lots of money is involved.

The end.Hey, want a bite?

Followup tweet:

The Big Idea: Charlie N. Holmberg

Immortality has been done in fiction, many times. But has it been done like Charlie N. Holmberg does it in Smoke and Summons? Holmberg is here to explain why the immortality found here may be unique after all.

CHARLIE N. HOLMBERG:

Once upon a time, my agent and editor got together behind my back, schemed, and then called me demanding I stop this standalone nonsense and write another series. This was in the middle of my California vacation.

GREAT TIMES.

I am a prolific writer (having no other hobbies, I have to spend my time doing something). I jump from idea to idea, and my brain likes to work in short and sudden chunks, thus the streak of standalones. I’d written one series, one time, and it was honestly a fluke. It started with a standalone that had more story to tell, so two more books almost accidentally happened. But that series outsold my standalones ten to one. So I wasn’t surprised to get pressure to do it again.

Problem was, I didn’t have any ideas big enough to encompass multiple books. And I needed a good, big idea, because I don’t like staying in one world too long. I needed to create something that could suck up about 300,000 words, be interesting, and be especially interesting to me.

I started going through my Pinterest boards, phone notes, and idea folders, pulling out literally anything and everything that sounded interesting. I’d figure out how to tie it all together later, hopefully. It was during this Frankensteining of creativity that I came across THE THING. Something I had written down about a year earlier. Something I didn’t even remember writing down. It was just two words in its own Word document.

“Immorality switch.”

And I knew I had my big idea. I only needed to look down at my hands to determine how I was going to create this immortality switch: fidget spinner. I was going to make a magical fidget spinner that let my character be immortal, but only for one minute each day.

This opened up a world of possibilities. What could a person do with one minute of immortality, where consequences were nearly moot? It could be used for crime, for gain. To save oneself at the last moment, or kept on hand as a safety net. It could be used to cure the terminally ill or mortally wounded. And how it would be used would depend on who was holding it at the time. Who would know about it? Who would have access to it? What happened if someone snatched the device from someone else mid-spin?

So I made it. I gave it a history and a value. And I gave it to a poor sewage worker who could use it to turn his life around. In fact, his new life depends on it, so when a woman on the run steals it, he’ll do anything to get it back.

The device is rare, ancient, and more special than anyone realizes; I was able to connect it to a bigger magic system, the secrets of which carry across a whole series. Eureka! And I called it an amarinth. An amaranth is an imaginary, undying flower; an immortal thing. But then my vegetarian friend told me amaranth was also a fancy grain and was likely to be the next hot and popping thing for healthy people, so I changed one of the vowels in my term. Super creative, I know.

Ultimately, when readers dive into the Numina world and learn about this device, I want them to ask themselves one thing.

What would I do with my minute?

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Smoke and Summons: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Indiebound |Powell’s

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