My mom died yesterday, quite suddenly in the end, after a long illness that had been the focus of her and our lives for most of the last year. In her own inimitable fashion she absolutely refused to let us tell people what was going on, and if you knew her, you know we didn’t dare cross her wishes. *wry smile*

My son, upon hearing Grandma had died, said, “Does that mean she’s with the gods now?”

I said, “I guess it might. And she’s probably telling them how to get everything sorted out.”

He paused and said, “But they’re gods. Shouldn’t they already have that taken care of?”

Not according to Mom’s satisfaction, kiddo. That’s for damn sure.


there are a lot of things i’d like to get done this year. too many to be realistic. and i have, y’know, a whole to do list about it, but sometimes i apparently just need to sit down and mumble to myself in a longer format as if it will somehow make a difference.

the must-finishes are doable: august needs to see the redeemer notes finished (going pretty well, those; i *might* finish by monday), benedict revisions, year of miracles copy edits. i can probably get all that done. probably. we’ll see.

beyond that it gets muddier because i want to be writing something new but also will have to do redeemer revisions and benedict line edits, and those things always always throw a spanner in the works.

first thing i need to write, tho, is the 4th & final YA epic fantasy novel for my nephew, a series which i will be kickstarting next year.

the next three things i want to write after that are sequels to benedict, atlantis fallen and magic & manners, and perhaps a couple more murphy lawless novellas in between.

these are grimly pragmatic writing choices: they’re all self published and are therefore the fastest route to income that i’ve got. there’s no way i can finish all of them by the end of the year, even if i was writing full time and with no other edits to deal with. (…okay, there’s a very faint chance i could finish them all by the end of the year, but it’s not very likely.) it’s more likely they’ll take me through the end of first quarter next year in terms of writing/editing/producing (altho ted will be doing as much of the production side as is humanly possible, YAY!).

i would *like* to then spend a few months writing some things for sending out to the trad market, before doing another round of heartstrike/austen/lovelorn lads rough drafts.

none of this will go as planned, of course, but it’s what i’d like to do over the next 18 months…


I’m starting a pseudonym to write shapeshifting billionaire paranormal romances under. (Believe it or not, shapeshifting billionaire paranormal romances are a thing. A very popular thing! And SO MUCH FUN to write, OMG!!!)

For early access to the Murphy Lawless novellas, you can subscribe to my Patreon page! I’ll be posting about them when they’re released, but they’ll come straight to your inbox this way.

And for today, a teaser chapter from RAVEN HEART, the first Alaskan Totems paranormal romance by Murphy Lawless! :)

A surveyor’s mark, hot glowing orange, cut a line across an arm’s length of mountain stone. The paint splashed a few pieces of loose rock, but not enough to wipe it out if Elena knocked them away. Farther down the mountain, where grey stone turned to loose scree, another mark could be overturned entirely, but it wouldn’t make any difference. The surveys were done, and the development rights for the land had been put up for lease.

The federal government had given Alaskan natives more of their land back than any other Native American tribes—and that was a problem right there, given their land back—but this whole swath of mountain, traditional Tlingit hunting and gathering territory, still fell under federal lands, all the way out into the bay, and it turned out there was oil in them thar waters.

Elena Peratrovich’s mother, and her mother before her, had been fighting to get the land recognized as Tlingit territory for decades, long before anybody discovered oil, and today, they’d lost for good. No one in the tribe had the money to buy up the resource rights, and that meant the profits from oil and fishing development would benefit…well, someone else. As always.

So Elena had come to the mountain to say goodbye, to look out over the bay and the forests before oil platforms and cruise ships became eyesores on the glacier blue waters. She’d hiked up with the sunset around ten o’clock the evening before, and sat on the mountain through the long dusk and the few, hours of night. The horizon, never truly dark, began to brighten with grey again before three, and by four, soft gold light turned the sky pale behind the mountains. Shafts of brightness threw color on the mountainside, gradually illuminating scraggly brown and green moss, and stretching for the spruce forest that made up the range’s tree line. Farther down the stubborn spruce gave way to leafy trees and fern-filled undergrowth, Alaska’s all-but-unknown rain forests providing trees of massive size, even up to the cedars that had once made up the southeastern tribes’ traditional houses.



Picoreview: Ghostbusters: Honestly I thought it was pretty bad. By about 2/3rds of the way through I was wishing I’d gone to see Jason Bourne. I mean, there were a few laughs and stuff, but I wasn’t enthralled by Holtzmann, which, after the buildup I expected to be, and just…yeah. I mean, it was okay, but mostly meh.

Then the whole climactic battle came and I felt it finally all pulled together into something I wanted to watch.

More comments behind the cut but it’s I feel it very important to mention up front that I didn’t know until now that I needed a Chris Hemsworth dance movie. :)



I wish everybody who believes that voting for a third party in a two-party presidental election is a protest vote would go out and run for office themselves under a third party and work their way up through the system and create a situation where a third party was a viable option instead of taking away a vote for the party which, like it or lump it, their values most closely align, and potentially giving what is still arguably the most powerful political position in the world to someone who has no business holding that position.

Because if you want to change the political stalemate in the US, if you really want to change it, you’re going to have to start at the bottom, not the top. It requires hundreds of individuals dedicated to the third party platform to run for office. To get those politicians into place requires the support of hundreds and thousands of people willing to canvass, financially back, and actually vote for those politicians until the party is widely recognized and represented in local and state governments. Only with that kind of on-the-ground support is there any chance of building a platform in which a third party candidate is a realistic option for the Presidential seat.

And let’s be frank: it will probably still take decades, at that point, to get a third party candidate into the White House. As people have been fervently pointing out, women have been running for President since the 1880s, but it’s taken until the early 21st century for one to become a viable option. The habit of voting for Democrats or Republicans is entrenched; building a legitimate base for a third party candidate has that to surmount too, and even if one should get as far as the presidential elections, entropy is hard to overcome.

I can hear people shouting, “That’s why we’re voting for one now! Break the cycle!” And I get that impulse, I do. I even get that people opting to vote for a third party in the upcoming election *don’t expect to win*, that they are in fact registering a protest vote.

But many thousands of people just voted protest votes in Britain and are horrified to find themselves in a situation where Britain has made a public international statement that as a people they want to leave the EU, and there appears to be no politically viable way out of that. It was a binary vote. There is no safe protest ground in a binary vote: it is either yes or no, on or off, in or out.

Like it or not, at this stage in the political arena of the United States of America, a presidential vote is a binary vote. Voting for a third party does not, in the USA, cause the dominant parties to say “We had better adopt some of this third party’s platform because 5% of the voters clearly feel strongly about it and we want to reflect their passions so they’ll vote for us.”

Well, it would be *nice* if it worked that way, but it would also be nice if I woke up a NYT Bestseller tomorrow morning because that’s what I *want* to have happen with my career. Just because I think it would be nice, or indeed, because I think it’s how it Should Be, doesn’t have any bearing on how it actually is.

To make our presidential elections anything other than a binary choice requires, as I’ve said above, a movement that starts on the ground with the passion of all the people who are unhappy about the binary choices putting their lives and activities where their mouths are and getting into office. This is a much, much, much harder proposition than simply casting a vote for a third party in the presidential election. It requires time and dedication and determination and obstinancy and conviction.

It’s also the only thing that stands a chance of working.

I don’t, incidentally, think voting for a third party is throwing away your vote. I do think, however, that it may be throwing away the country’s future: all too often, third party candidates split the vote and hand the presidential position to the party the third parties have _less_ in common with.

I believe presidential elections are too important to risk that with, and I believe this one in particular is much, much too dangerous to play that game with. The next president will almost certainly be appointing several Supreme Court justices, who will be guiding the United States through the next twenty to forty, even fifty, years of social change and law development. I believe the collective futures of women, people of color, queer people, immigrants–anyone who is not, in essence, a straight white man–should be considered in the balance against the weight of a protest vote.

From where I stand, protecting the safety of those people and the lives of children being born into this world is a vastly more powerful and significant action than the casting of a vote for a third party candidate at the presidential level. From where I stand, running for office as a third party candidate and building the necessary groundwork–a proposition which I realize would be likely to take longer than the lifespan of most people reading this–is taking powerful action. But those options are as far as powerful actions go right now, as far as I’m concerned, because like it or not, this is how the system works.