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May 2010:
20th Detective Jones...
18th Watcher Reviews
17th The warrior...
16th Heading for the...
14th Work in progress
12th Look behind you...
11th First Glimpse
10th Biggie...
7th Final days in DC
6th How wonderful is...
5th Shakespeare and...
4th Trusty reporter...
3rd DC sure is pretty
1st Oldest thing...
Detective Jones reopens cold case file
Posted by JVJ @ 7:55 pm
May 20th : 2010
In an attempt to breath new light into the untimely death of Eggplant #1, Detective JV Jones returned to the crime scene this morning. No one has ever been apprehended for the 2008 murder--a fact that has made authorities and the public increasingly nervous. “It’s chilling,” Jones said as she knelt by the abandoned vegetable bed where Eggplant #1 grew to perfect but tiny perfection in the Summer of 2008. “I mean, look at all those weeds.”

Asked whether she had a statement for the public, Detective Jones responded soberly. “I can’t stop anyone from growing eggplant this year, but I would ask anyone who’s considering it to plant tomatoes instead.”

The crowd gathered for the press conference grew restive. “Are you saying you can’t guarantee the safety of eggplant with a killer still on a lose?” barked one reporter, demanding clarification.

“No,” Jones shot back. “I’m saying tomatoes make a better sandwich.”

Watcher Reviews
Posted by JVJ @ 5:03 pm
May 18th : 2010
Reviews for Watcher of the Dead have been coming in. Here are links to a few of them.
  • Fantasy Literature: Watcher of the Dead reinforces my belief that this series should be getting as much notoriety as George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice or Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen.
  • Suite 101: There are few authors today who can match Jones' ability. Her peers are authors like Steven Erikson (and Ian Esslemont), Robert Jordan, and George R.R. Martin.
  • SFRevu: I have enjoyed the other Jones novels, but this is her best work to date.
  • I Am Currently Reading: “Relentless” isn’t a word I use a lot, especially in a 400 page novel, but it really is suitable in this instance.
The warrior with no name
Posted by JVJ @ 4:26 pm
May 17th : 2010
Here’s a detail from Marc Simonetti’s wonderful illustration for A Sword From Red Ice. The Raven Lord’s armored corpse, trapped in ice for thousands of years, is finally free. History has not recorded his name, just the name and provenance of his sword. Below is the text from the book that accompanies the scene.

        Who was he, this warrior who had ridden into a battle and single-handedly changed its course? The lamb brothers had not known his name.

        Raif thought about that. He owned many names now, but fewer and fewer people knew his real name, the one he shared with Effie and Drey. Was that how it had happened for the Raven Lord? Had he started out as a young man with a normal name and normal prospects, and as his life altered and darkened had people called him by other names? And had those new names created him?

        Mor Drakka. Watcher of the Dead. Twelve Kill.

        Raif thrust his hand through chunks of crumbling ice and grasped the hilt of the sword. The Raven Lord’s frozen fingers cleaved to his and for a moment they were joined. In that instant Raif knew things. He saw the Endlords, massive forces compressed into forms that could be comprehended by man. He felt their perfect and unearthly coldness, and the absolute singularity of their purpose. They were coming to destroy the world.

        Soon. They promised, their bleak and glittering gazes meeting Raif’s through the dead man’s flesh.


Heading for the woods
Posted by JVJ @ 2:51 pm
May 16th : 2010
Here I am this morning, heading for the woods. As you can see it’s a beautiful day here, gently warm and green. Walking in the woods is good for writing. It rests your mind, and you never know what you might see.
Work in progress
Posted by JVJ @ 12:23 pm
May 14th : 2010
Here’s what my work surface (aka “the couch”) looks like this morning. I’m working on Book V, which doesn’t have a title yet but may--if the evidence is to be believed--feature ships. You know the drill by now. Say anything more and I would be in breech of the Author’s Code of Conduct and have to go to jail. However, I may not be alone there. One or two characters might be chilling in the big house right alongside me...if you get my drift.
Look behind you, South African kitteh
Posted by Biggie @ 4:15 pm
May 12th : 2010
First Glimpse
Posted by JVJ @ 2:48 pm
May 11th : 2010
I’m a huge fan of Marc Simonetti and consider myself lucky to have such a wonderful artist illustrating the French edition of Sword of Shadows. Here’s a first look at the fantastic cover art for A Sword From Red Ice. Marc has posted an interesting article about the making of the cover, complete with videos and his original concept over here. Head over there to see how an artist refines his ideas.
Biggie contemplates her 3rd state in 3 weeks
Posted by Biggie @ 1:22 pm
May 10th : 2010
Final days in DC
Posted by JVJ @ 4:53 pm
May 7th : 2010
My trip to DC is winding down. I’ve really enjoyed the couple of weeks I spent here. There wasn’t enough time to see all the sights, walk past all the monuments, visit all the galleries and museums, and play spot your favorite politician. Here’s a couple of things I did see and photograph. Bye, DC. Hope I’ll be back soon.
How wonderful is the National Portrait Gallery?
Posted by JVJ @ 4:48 pm
May 6th : 2010
I’m glad you asked. As you can see from these two paintings, the answer is: Pretty darn amazing. First off, like many of the museums and art galleries in DC it’s free. Second, it’s really two galleries in one. American art and America portraiture. Amongst its many treasures, you can view portraits of the presidents, a Marilyn Monroe by Warhol, and this truly splendid rendering of the King. As I saw it across the room my first thought was, I hope it’s painted on velvet. Alas, it was not to be. It’s so awesome though I instantly forgave Ralph Wolfe Cowan, the artist.
Shakespeare and World Domination
Posted by JVJ @ 6:20 pm
May 5th : 2010
Yesterday I visited the Folger Shakespeare Library here in Washington DC. The library is famous for having the most copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio. Out of 228 still in existence, Folger has 79. Quite amazing considering that, depending on condition, each one is worth three to fifteen million. Here’s one in beautiful condition, the first ever printing of Shakespeare’s collected works (1623).

Meanwhile back at base camp, our Secret Plan for World Domination is coming along nicely. Watcher has successfully entered Canada and has been scouted landing in South Africa. If you spot it let us know and we’ll pin you on the map.
Trusty reporter follows the news
Posted by JVJ @ 6:19 pm
May 4th : 2010
Here’s what the Supreme Court looked like today as I walked past on my way to the Folger’s Library. No lawyers or tourists bustling on the steps, just a lone security guard standing in the sun. This is the first day that new security measures went into effect. Now, instead of climbing the historic steps and entering past six-ton bronze doors, visitors must enter through a side door into “a secure, reinforced area to screen for weapons, explosives, and chemical and biological hazards.”

It’s necessary but sad. Even the Supreme Court justices themselves don’t like it. Justice Breyer issued a statement supported by Justice Ginsburg. “Writers and artists regularly use the steps to represent the ideal that anyone in this country may obtain meaningful justice through application to this court,” Breyer wrote. “And the steps appear in countless photographs commemorating famous arguments or other moments of historical importance.”
DC sure is pretty
Posted by JVJ @ 11:33 am
May 3rd : 2010
I took this photograph yesterday as I walked between the White House and the National Mall. People were out and about in the parks, visiting the war memorials and the monuments. No one was near this little duck pond though and I had the entire place to myself.
Oldest thing on the planet?
Posted by JVJ @ 7:09 am
May 1st : 2010
You’re looking at a tiny, magnified glass vial containing minuscule diamonds suspended in alcohol. I took this photograph yesterday at the Natural History Museum. Just a few meters away in the next room, dozens upon dozens of people were crowded around the glass case containing the Hope Diamond. So many camera flashes were going off the diamond's facets bounced the light around like a disco ball. No one seemed especially interested in these diamonds though. I was the only one looking at them, and mine was the sole flash going off as I attempted to take a photograph through the magnifying lens in front of the vial.

So what’s so special about these diamonds? They were formed in a supernova billions of years earlier in deep space. Embedded in rock, they eventually fell to earth in the form of a meteorite. The diamond crystals are so tiny trillions could fit on the head of a pin. They’re old. Really, really, really old. And they came from a solar system that no longer exists. Makes the Hope Diamond look kind of young...and distinctly earthbound.
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