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Hunters, Crossroads, and Sketches for Cowry Catchers Book 4

Well, November is over, and I didn’t get through 50,000 words of Hunters. I got through 25,900, and I shortened the manuscript by about 3,000.

I can see why people usually do first drafts for NaNo. In that case, just laying down words is a useful activity. When you’re working on a near-final draft, they have to be the right words or it’s counter-productive. Still, I got back into the habit of writing everyday, which I haven’t done since anesthesia school. 1,000 words a day is a good speed for me and not stressful. I had a lot of stuff going on this month as I deal with an unexpected health problem, have early holidays with my family, try to help my brother and sister-in-law with a new baby, prepare to transition to a new travel assignment in Maryland, and try to spend time with my friends in Portland before I leave. I didn’t put too much priority on NaNo, and I’m happy with what I still managed to get done. You will continue to see updates to Hunters on this site until it’s finished.

Over the last few days, I stopped working on Hunters to focus on something that I’ve been trying to get off my plate all year—the audio version of Crossroads, the Panamindorah short story collection. I *finally* got it done. This will be a exclusive. It includes 2 stories that have only ever been paid content until now (Night in the Crystal City and Professionals). The version of Professionals in the free audiobook will be my solo read. The fullcast version is still in my online store, but I’ve lowered the price to $2. The audio for Crystal City has not been available anywhere since Feb. All the files have been uploaded to Libsyn, and all related info is with Evo. He’ll schedule the book whenever he gets time, probably in the next couple of weeks.

You’d think that Crossroads would not be a big project, since all the stories were already recorded. And it wasn’t a *big* project, but it did require about 10 hours of focused attention. It needed overall book-ends of audio from me, and the individual stories needed intros and outros with an author’s note, giving some context and background. I want people unfamiliar with my books to be able to enjoy them. Most of the stories were also tangled up with other audio, which had to be clipped and spliced. The overall sound quality varies a lot, but I think they’re still enjoyable. I’ll make another announcement when the book is actually up at

In addition, I spent several days this week with Rah Cloutier (who lives in Portland), working on sketches for Cowry Catchers Book 4. They go a lot faster when I’m there in person to throw out ideas and say “this and not that.” CC4 is going to have some beautiful artwork! Here’s a teaser:

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Reader Comments (5)

Hi Abbie,
I have to comment on part two of your interview with Norm Sherman. He's a great natural comic, and you did a great job casting him as Sylvio, who is my favorite Cowry Catcher character.
Specifically, Norm's comment about dirty words and innuendo being acceptable as long as it's cleverly said. Weird as it may seem, that is and has been my rule with my children regarding profanity and the like. They both know that if they can make me laugh, they get a free pass on the off color remarks.
Whoever thought anyone would look to Norm for child rearing advice!
I love it!

I'm totally cool with the 'gay' scenes in the podcast. Cowry Catchers may be fantasy, but this type of interaction represents what happens in real life. It is unfortunate that there are those who are frightened and/or angry about the ways of the world and choose to razz you for showing a small part of it. I could write an essay for you on the subject, but it must suffice for me to say to you, "Write what you want, tell the story, and I agree it makes for a much better tale."
Go Abbie!

December 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary Laura

That's one heck of a busy life you have. But man, you still got the time to sketch this one. Very cool.

December 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHugh Samuel

Hugh - My artist is Sarah Cloutier. I've worked with half a dozen artists on my projects, but she's the main one. These aren't my sketches!

September 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterAbbie

Mary - aw, thank you! And it sounds like you've got some awesome kids! Humor really is social lubricant. And there are all kinds of things one can say, including gentle criticism, that is well accepted if applied with humor. So agree - slather it on.

For the other stuff - I truly believe that homophobia against gay or bisexual men is just another face of misogyny. I could write an essay about that, but it boils down to the idea that a man acting "like a woman" is degrading himself. Women "acting like men" get less flack or a different kind of flack...or they're just not taken seriously enough to even be considered offensive. Books have been written about this stuff, and I'm sure you know what I'm talking mean. An author told me just this week at Dragon Con that I'd sell more books if I used a man's name. He's probably right.

September 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterAbbie

PS - I'm sorry these comments didn't post until now. I did not know that moderation was turned on. Anything you post in future should go up quickly. :-z

September 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterAbbie

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