A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine sent me a fat quarter (an 18" X 22" piece of fabric) of what looked like an Asian golden floral silk brocade. I was delighted as I unrolled it, at least until I saw the wrong side and then started swearing.
It wasn't silk brocade. It was satin brocade.
You cannot know the true demon from hell satin brocade is until you try cutting, sewing or tailoring it. This fabric won't stay put; it moves like it's alive. Sometimes, I swear, it moves on its own. It also frays like crazy; just turning an untreated seam can reduce it into a fistful of dandelion fluff. Pinking doesn't help; you have to burn it (which turns it into synthetic sludge) or use a gallon of fray blocker. Sewing machines like to eat it. When you work on it by hand, you have to use silk thread and the tiniest of quilters' between needles or it snags and puckers and begins to look diseased.
"Don't sweat it," my friend said when I called her to ask why she was tormenting me with this evil, evil material. "Just cut it up for your next Victorian."
Cut it up? I wanted to burn it. But she was right: it would be more manageable if I reduced it to some fill-in patches for a crazy quilt. The problem is I've never been one to take the easy road. "If I make this into something on its own," I warned her, "you have to buy me three yards of silk brocade."
"Two," she said, "and I want pictures."
As with sewing satin brocade, returning to the Darkyn universe wasn't an instant or simple process. Whenever I stop writing in a universe I mentally pack up and store away all the things I actively thought about while working on it; this keeps my mind-clutter to a minimum. Thanks to the Kyndred books I hadn't completely disengaged myself from the Darkyn, but I still had to do a lot of rereading and reviewing. It's a bit odd, too, when you have to research your own books for details you can't recall or have doubts on. I'm also glad I kept all my old Darkyn novel notebooks. I wrote down tons of important info in them, none of which appeared in the books.
Another author making a different leap this month is Patricia Briggs, whose Alpha and Omega series is moving from paperback into hardcover with the release of her latest book Fair Game. I haven't read this one yet; I've been saving it as my reward for surviving Nightborn's release week. That's not been easy, either; I really love this series and can't wait to read the latest edition. As popular as it is no doubt many of you feel the same way.
To celebrate Patricia's move to hardcover I have an extra copy of Fair Game to give away. If you'd like to win it, in comments to this post name something you do to reward yourself for hard work (or if you can't think of anything, just toss your name in the hat) by midnight EST on Monday, March 12, 2012. I'll draw one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner and unsigned hardcover copy of Patricia Brigg's Fair Game, a signed copy of my novel Dark Need, a "Little Calm" mini-kit, a font mug from Author Outfitters, a BookLoop with a miniature of Gustav Klimpt's "The Kiss" along with some other goodies, all neatly stowed in this lovely crystal-beaded tote* handmade by yours truly (please note that the bowl of apples on the table are not included; they're for my kids.) This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something at PBW in the past.
*Remember that wretched satin brocade? That's what I used to make the tote for this giveaway.