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Since you still have four days to wait until Within the Sanctuary of Wings is released, now is a splendid time to try out the Wilders series, if you haven’t already. The illustrated edition of the first book, Lies and Prophecy, is currently 30% off at Kobo; enter the promo code APR30 at checkout to get the discount. That ends April 24th, so get it while the getting is good!

And speaking of things available only for a limited time, I’ve put up a gallery for the photos currently being exhibited at Borderlands Cafe in San Francisco. If any of them look like something you’d want on your own wall, drop me a line!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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I have a favor to ask of y’all!

I recently began posting some of my photography at Dreamstime, one of those stock image sites. I’ve put up a decent-sized batch as my test case — but I suspect their visibility in searches is influenced by how many views each of them already has. Ergo, I’d love it if those of you with a moment to spare could check out my gallery and click through to some (or all!) of the pictures there.

(And if you happen to go “wow, that’s perfect for X purpose of mine!,” they are of course available for licensing!)

Also, don’t forget, my winter black-and-white sets are for sale through my site, in any print medium or size you might want.

Two black and white photos side by side, one of arches, the other of a gondola ferro.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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No power on the ‘verse could compel me out into the Hunger Games maelstrom of Black Friday shopping, but the nice thing about the internet is that I can set this particular thing up from the comfort of my laptop. 🙂

I’ve got two new limited-time galleries up on my site: Black-and-White Architecture and Black-and-White Objects. (That counts as a winter theme, right?)

Two black and white photos side by side, one of arches, the other of a gondola ferro.

These will be on sale from now until January 1st. If you would like to order a print (they make lovely holiday gifts!), contact me. I can arrange pretty much any size you want, and possible media include paper, acrylic, metal, glass, canvas, and wood. The photos are also available for digital licensing.

Happy Holidays to you all, whichever aspect of them you choose to celebrate!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (*writing)

cover for IN LONDON'S SHADOW: AN ONYX COURT OMNIBUS

For centuries a faerie court has lain hidden beneath London: a place of shadows and intrigue, where the city’s immortal inhabitants can watch and manipulate the mortals above. Through two royal dynasties, through rebellions and plots, through war and plague and fire, the Onyx Court endures.

Now the court’s first two centuries are collected in a single book. This omnibus contains the novels Midnight Never Come and In Ashes Lie, as well as the novella Deeds of Men, the novelette “And Blow Them at the Moon,” and the short story “Two Pretenders.”

This is my latest (or rather, next) project with Book View Cafe: an omnibus of the first half of the Onyx Court series, short fiction as well as long. It will be out next Tuesday, at which point you’ll be able to obtain it from BVC or Barnes and Noble; right now you can pre-order it from Amazon (or Amazon UK), Google Play, iTunes, or Kobo.

And I have to be smug for just a moment . . . because that cover image? That’s a photo I took, when I was in Switzerland earlier this year. So hey, this particular hobby has a practical side!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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Pseudopod (Escape Artists’ horror-themed short fiction podcast) is running a Kickstarter to raise the funds to pay their narrators. I am not wholly a disinterested party in this, as I’ve narrated for them several times (without pay); but I will say that I wholeheartedly support the notion that the people who read you the stories in a podcast deserve to be paid for their work. They already compensate their authors well, so this is the next step, and I applaud them for taking it.

Also, don’t forget that you only have until the end of this month to purchase prints from my Autumn and Halloween galleries:

Paired photos of a single autumn leaf and an angel on a cross

You can get them in practically any medium (paper, acrylic, metal, canvas, glass, wood) and any size, or a digital license for use as book covers etc.

Finally, I’m over at Unbound Worlds talking about the most influential book I’ve ever read. You have to know the book in question or the things it’s based on to understand why it’s Halloween-themed, but trust me, it is.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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This is something of a long shot, but let’s give it a try anyway.

unidentified bust in Oberammergau

The above picture is one my parents took in the Bavarian town of Oberammergau. My father uses it in a class he teaches, and I’m told that every time he does, somebody asks, “who’s that?” Who the statue depicts is irrelevant to the subject matter of the class, but people want to know anyway.

Problem is, my parents didn’t take a picture of the plaque below the statue (they didn’t expect it to be relevant), so they have no idea. Attempts to pop the shot into Google Image Search have helpfully informed them that it’s a picture of a statue; attempts to Google “bust in Oberammergau” and similar phrases have turned up nothing useful, even when attempted in German. So our last-ditch option is to post it here and see whether anybody can tell us who we’re looking at — possibly somebody equipped with more than Google Translate, who can conduct a more nuanced German-language search.

(No, they don’t remember where they were in Oberammergau when they took the picture, either. Otherwise I could attempt some magic with Google Street View.)

Any takers?

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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In honor of the season, I’ve created two new limited-time galleries on my site: Autumn and Halloween.

Paired photos of a single autumn leaf and an angel on a cross

(There is a known glitch where sometimes the photos in a gallery will not display properly. If you see them stacked up on top of each other, reload and that should fix the problem.)

These galleries will only be available through the end of the month. If you would like to order a print of one or more of the photos, or to license them for commercial use, please contact me. I can make prints on paper, acrylic, metal, glass, canvas, or wood — pretty much any substance that doesn’t run away fast enough. 🙂 Sizes range from 4×6 up. For electronic use, I’m willing to do a small amount of image manipulation, e.g. cropping to a detail or darkening part of the shot so you can place text over it more readably.

A happy autumnal season to all! Except those of you in the southern hemisphere, to whom I wish a delightful spring.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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So, this just happened:

SOLD sign on our new house

Got the keys Friday, an hour after my return from Europe. Whee! ^_^

And now, of course, we come to the next bit, which is relocating from our current abode to our shiny new one. As many of you know, moving house is a daunting task. I’m sure you’ve all been sitting around thinking, “How can I help Marie out in this most tiring of times?”

I’m so glad you asked!

The answer is the Great Swan Tower Moving Day Sale. I have a pile of author copies of my books; every one you buy is a book I don’t have to move to the new house. (Plus, given the O_O expense of house-buying, every bit of income right now is exceedingly welcome.) All you have to do is email me or leave a message here calling dibs on something and giving me your mailing address; I’ll respond to let you know whether it’s still available, and we’ll arrange payment. Here’s the list of what’s available, kept updated as promptly as I can manage:

All books will be signed to the person of your choice. Prices include domestic shipping; for international shipping, there will be a small addition. And of course purchases of any of my books in any format from other outlets are also good. 🙂

But what about those of you who for one reason or another are not interested in buying a book? I’m so glad you asked!

I also have a handful of photo prints left over from my Borderlands exhibition, which I will have to move if nobody takes them off my hands. The prints available can be seen in this gallery, and are all roughly the size of a sheet of paper, on French cleats for hanging. They are $65 apiece, except for the sunset tree; that one is $75, due to technical considerations that required me to print it on a more expensive backing. As with the books, email or drop me a line if you’re interested in one of those.

. . . and now I go back to packing.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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At long last, I’ve finished going through my photos from our European trip last year. There are new galleries up: Adriatic Coast, Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia, Montserrat, Florence, and Venice, plus my pictures from Rome separated out, and additions to the Italy and Other galleries.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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Not that you can really make out the details in this picture (I took it with my phone), but: you are looking at the very first public exhibition of my photography.

Borderlands exhibit

That’s the café at Borderlands Books, with eight of my photos on the wall. Last year it occurred to me that, hey, they regularly have local artists hanging their work in the café — and I count as a local artist. I talked to the store’s owners, and we agreed that it would make sense for me to do a small exhibition that coincides with the release of In the Labyrinth of Drakes. I hung the pictures on Monday night; they’ll be there through the end of May.

There’s no thematic connection between the photos and the book; I haven’t traveled enough in the Middle East to put together a decent collection of Labyrinth-appropriate shots. (Israel and Turkey are the closest I’ve gotten, and most of my Israeli pictures are of Neolithic archaeological sites. Which is to say: dirt. And the occasional rock.) Instead it’s just eight photos I happen to really like, grouped in four pairs. If you’re curious which ones I chose, I’ve made a Flickr set of them here — or you can go to Borderlands and see them in person. :-) In fact, why not come to Borderlands on April 9th? I’m doing a reading and signing there at 3 p.m. that Saturday. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then between the photos and the reading, that’s like ten thousand words for your effort. It’s a bargain, I’m tellin’ ya.

And should you happen to like one or more of the pictures especially well, they’re for sale! The precise size varies depending on the proportions of the photo in question, but they’re all in the ballpark of a sheet of paper (U.S. 8.5″x11″/U.K. A4), printed full-frame on acrylic panels, with French cleats. Individual prices also vary, but they’re less than a hundred dollars, plus shipping costs. The photos will all remain on display at Borderlands until the show ends, but I’ll mail them out as soon as I can when that’s done.

It feels a little odd, doing this. I think that publicly displaying my pictures and putting them up for sale means I can officially refer to myself not just as a writer, but as a photographer. Somehow, when I wasn’t looking, I acquired a second artistic pastime. But seeing them hanging on the wall of the café . . . it feels a little odd, but also cool. :-)

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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I came home from my trip with a broken toe and then promptly went down with a cold, so things have not been very exciting around here. Also I have page proofs to deal with. Page proofing while one’s head is filled with glue is fun times, lemme tell ya.

I have this vague ambition to post about all the ports of call on my trip, maybe with pictures. We’ll see if it happens. There’s no way on god’s green earth I’m going to get all my pictures edited in time for that to happen (I averaged 308 per day of sightseeing, which after an initial cull drops to a mere 191. Of which more will get deleted, I’m sure. But still); on the other hand, I might be able to pick out a couple of representative pics to clean up and post. None of that is happening while my head remains filled with glue, though. I mostly just want to nap. And stare vacantly at the TV. It’s very nearly all I’m good for right now.

Exciting news is en route, though. The sort of exciting news where I don’t quite know what it’ll be when I announce it, because right now multiple possibilities are up in the air. It makes my life complicated, but it’s a good kind of complication to have.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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It took me a while, but I finally have all the photos from A Year in Pictures up in a set on Flickr. Complete with tags! So if you want an easier way to browse through them all than paging back through my blog archives, now you have it.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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St. Paul's at Sunset
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This is almost certainly the best photo of St. Paul’s Cathedral I’ve ever taken, and it’s mostly because of luck: I was coming home from research during the Midnight Never Come trip, and the sky had cleared just enough in the west to let the sunset light through. But the air behind the dome was still filled with clouds, and this brilliant contrast was the result.

It seems a fitting note to end this series on. :-) I missed a single day in the Year in Pictures project — November 10th, because I failed to schedule something ahead of time for the day I’d be traveling back from World Fantasy — so you get one extra today to make up for it. I’m proud of myself for missing only one (though frustrated that I didn’t have a perfect record); this turned out to be, well, precisely as big of an undertaking as I expected it to be. I’m glad I did it, though: several of you have commented repeatedly to let me know you enjoyed certain pictures, which reassured me that I would not be the only person interested in a public series of my photos.

Stats in the end: 260 five-star pictures posted, 172 not posted. (Not counting my shots from New York and DC, which haven’t been edited yet on account of Lightroom needing to update for my new camera model.) That latter number is . . . ye gods. A goodly way toward being able to do a second round of this, though boy howdy no I am not doing that any time soon. Maybe in a few years, when I’ve traveled to other places and gotten more fresh material — many of the 172 unposted are very similar to ones I did post. Though really, travel isn’t as necessary as it used to be: one effect of getting more serious about my photography is that I see more opportunities for it right in my own back yard. Even so, there’s nothing like visiting a foreign country to give me an itchy shutter finger. ^_^

I hope you all enjoyed this, and many thanks to everyone who commented along the way!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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Shrine Lights
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To close out the year, another light in the darkness: this time, it’s lanterns at Yasaka Jinja in Kyoto.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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Fragments in the Forum
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Sometimes my favorite bits are not the big, coherent, famous ones, but the unimportant little details off to the side. I don’t know what this inscription in the Roman Forum belongs to, or what its significance might be; I don’t need to. The thing itself is enough.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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Red Sails off Arainn
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I don’t know why this sloop has red sails, but it made for a different “ship on the water” photo than most of the others I’ve taken — and I do like me some “ship on the water” shots.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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Tower Crossbowman
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Since the last time I visited the Tower of London, they’ve added a bunch of sculptures: mesh statues of the kinds of animals that used to be kept in the menagerie, and these steel-band figures of soldiers on the walls. This crossbowman is cranking his weapon on the wall walk along (I believe) the eastern side.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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St. Mary of the Salt
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One last shot from the Wieliczka Salt Mine. I’m not positive that this is the Virgin Mary, but given how heavily Catholic the area is, that’s my bet. (It’s her or St. Kinga, in all likelihood; there’s a legend associating St. Kinga with the mine.) She is, of course, carved out of salt, and the lighting makes the most of the translucent quality.

Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate it, and I hope the rest of you have a splendid day, too.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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Edaville Lights
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I am fudging ever so slightly: while I like this shot, I don’t consider it to be one of my absolute best. But it’s from a display of Christmas lights at Edaville in Massachusetts, and is the most fitting thing I could post for Christmas Eve.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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Sage on the Bridge
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A final shot from the incredibly photogenic Fukushu-en in Naha. The little bridge over this stream had statues of sages on each of its posts, each one unique in design.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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