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Okay, so a bunch of stuff has happened since my last daylog.

The main bad thing was that our furnace died right when the weather got really cold. Braunbeck and I ended up going 5 days without decent heat, making do with space heaters, old wool sweaters and cats that huddled around us looking worried. Our Christmas miracle was that all 5 cats slept on the bed with us, but never squabbled over prime bed space (I did find myself wedged off my own pillow a couple of times, though).

But salvation arrived in the form of a repairman with a nice shiny new furnace which, according to various reviews, should be much more energy-efficient and quieter and probably even has a secret button that transforms it into Rubimus Prime, a backrub-giving autobot.

I probably won't be writing any love poetry to the new furnace or anything, but you never know with me.

A few weeks ago, I found that my collection Sparks and Shadows has been nominated for a Black Quill Award.

And last week, I signed a deal with a literary agent who will be representing my first novel, an urban fantasy entitled Spellbent, and its sequels. He told me something that would surely warm most any writer's heart: "This is a very fun book ... I see this as a very commercial book in today's market."

So, we'll see what happens. He's asked me to expand a couple of scenes and he's also asked for the story synopses for the 2nd and 3rd books in the proposed series. I got the synopsis for the 2nd book written last night -- I've found they're much easier to write before the actual book is written. Creating the synopsis for Spellbent after I'd finished it was no damn fun at all. It's easier to pull something new out of the air than to try to cram 50 pounds of existing book into a 10-ounce plot bag.

Also, I had gotten a lot of conflicting information on synopses from pretty much every quarter. Some web resources like Justine Larbalestier's blog and the OWW say, "It's a sales tool! The art department will get it! Make it sexy and descriptive!" Others, like Braunbeck (who's sold a couple dozen books on his own) told me it should be a just-the-facts-ma'am condensation of the main storyline.

So in the interest of having a short synopsis, I went the just-the-facts route, and based on my agent's reaction to it, that was the correct decision.

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