It’s almost Yule!

Yes, Christmas is almost here. Traffic is bad. Shoppers are running over people. Kids are out of school. It’s not safe to leave the house. The most wonderful time of year, right?

This year has been rough for a lot of reasons. We have had a turbulent political scene with a hotly contested presidential election as well as many highly contested state elections. There are still several major issues in the news as well. We have also lost many well-known icons of pop culture this year, most recently Zsa Zsa Gabor who passed yesterday. But we still made it this far.

We can still celebrate the simple fact that we made it this far. We have passed the halfway point in the last month of the year! Yay! It’s less than a week until presents and turkey and ham dinners with family. We get to eat too much and watch more parades and football and sappy movies. We can slow down for a few hours and forget about work and deadlines and bills. We can be nice to each other. Maybe it should be Christmas all year long.

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Welcome to Fall

The weather in my native North Carolina is finally starting to feel like fall. We routinely have very warm nights in October all the way to Halloween but this year we are already getting low temperatures in the 50’s and 40’s. The leaves are turning and the mountains are even starting to get frost warnings. I love the fall.

I rearranged all of my furniture and stuff a few days ago. It had been over a year. I didn’t realize it had been so long. When we don’t change things up we get stuck in a rut. We may not realize it but we start to stagnate in our own stench. Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?

Our energy, our chi, flows around us and moves with us. When we don’t let it have some room to breathe it becomes stale. It needs fresh air now and then to re-energize it. That includes our spaces and how we arrange the things around us. Yes, the way you stack the magazines on the coffee table can actually be important. Did you know that the principles of feng shui say not to store anything under your bed? It blocks energy flow at night when you are the weakest. Now, ask me how much stuff I had to relocate from under my bed after a whole year…

Turn off the news. Ignore the politics for awhile. Get outside and enjoy the sunshine and the cooler breeze. Appreciate the leaves turning red, orange, and gold. Decorate your porch with pumpkins and scarecrows and mums. Recharge your energy before winter gets here.

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Karina’s Back!

Okay, we finally have the Audible link for Karina Fabian’s book, I Left My Brains in San Francisco. This is the second book in the Neeta Lyffe series. If you like your zombies on the funny side, you need to read/listen to these books.

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Interview with Karina Fabian

I’m on vacation this week and giving myself a birthday present. I’m interviewing my NeetaLyffe_ILeftMyBrainsinSanFrancisco_audio_MEDfriend and fellow writer Karina Fabian. She has a new audio book that should be dropping this week.

Do zombies take vacations?

Zombies are dead people whose hind brains haven’t clued into the fact yet. While they sometimes keep enough brain function to do things like return home, shamble through a drive-thru or try to vote, they aren’t really making conscious decisions. So, if one dies while on vacation and was really, really invested in doing something while on that vacation, its soulless corpse may return to hang out on the beach or go skydiving – likely what may have killed it in the first place, but zombies don’t really learn from their mistakes, either. However, it would not take a vacation.

What’s been you experience with audio books? Do you like it or not? Will you do it again?

I’ve had a great experience working with Becky Parker on the audiobooks. She has a good narrative style, fun voices and has fantastic special effects. It puts a new spin on the story. I’d love to do it again. In fact, I suggested to my publisher we just jump right to producing Shambling in a Winter Wonderland in audio, too, and have the print and audio come out together.

Do you have a bazillion notes on Neeta like J.K. Rowling has on Harry?

Nope. Neeta tells me what I need to know as I write the story.

What’s next for Neeta?

Neeta and Ted are heading to Utah. Neeta is showing off her exterminator’s van as part of the publicity agreement she made with HumVans, and they’re hoping to enjoy a zombie-free vacation snowboarding.  (Yeah…guess how that turns out.)

NeetaLyffe_ZombieExterminator_300dpi_eBook - CopyHow has writing Neeta Lyffe impacted your other writing universes?

My universes stay separate. I don’t see them crossing over, ever. They each have their own histories and population, and I enjoy moving from one to the other. Each book I write does teach me lessons I can apply to other novels, however. I’d say Neeta’s books help me remember to keep in mind how the wider world affects the doings of my characters.

I know you’re teaching a world building class. How did you build Neeta’s universe? Actually, the worldbuilding class was in August. This month, I’m teaching monster creation. You can learn more and register at https://www.anymeeting.com/AccountManager/RegEv.aspx?PIID=EB59D786854E39.

Neeta’s universe was the easiest one to build, since it’s ours 30 years in the future. I took current social and political trends, projected them to ridiculous extremes (or what I hope would be ridiculous), and then added the zombies. I took a different approach to zombies. I have a hard time believing in the overwhelming apocalypse model, especially as we were in the middle of the H1N1 scare at the time I started the series, and while some people were sure we’d wipe out a significant amount of the population, strong controls made it a tempest in a teapot.

I figured the same thing would happen with zombieism. Even if we didn’t figure out what caused it or how to cure it, we would put controls in place to contain it. Thus, zombies as pests, not pestilence.

If you could ask Neeta a question, what would you ask her?

Why was it so hard for you and Ted to just admit you loved each other? It was the hardest part of the book to write.

Slider-ilmbiSF-audio-tour Karina

I always enjoy having Karina on the blog. You can find her and all of her universes at Fabian Space.