As it says: I am not doing Nanowrimo this year; I have books to rewrite, and stories on the go. There’s no discrete 50K chunk of wordage I need to generate, and so many things to finish.
The finishing is pleasant, though I do love the mad plunge through a draft. And the November part of Nanowrimo usually appeals to me. I sometimes struggle to get writing done after Halloween, and having a huge deadline and braggable goal has sorted that challenge rather handily for me in the past.
What I am doing, now that the Child of a Hidden Sea* copy-edits are on their way back to New York, is skimming through book two, currently titled Daughter of No Nation, as preparation for buckling down to really polishing number three, Nature of a Pirate. I am also considering what I may set as my 2014 writing goals: what I want to do, and what I need to do. Glancing up from the project at hand, in other words, to look at the work and career as a whole. If there’s a short story you wish I’d tackle, or a universe you want me to return to, now might be the time to put in a request.
*Yes, the book’s already available in ebookstores for pre-order, even though its release date is June. The above link is for Amazon – here’s Chapters Indigo. Cool, huh?
I am trying to increase the functionality of my web site’s “Shop Planetalyx” page. Upgrade here would mean any improvement from the site’s previous state of “not all that useful, thanks very much.” So I’m updating the links to the various versions of my books and e-books, and also seeing which of my various short stories are still available for free online.
There are three of my “Proxy War” stories, for example. The Sweet Spot is the most recent to appear and yet the earliest, in chronological terms, of the squid stories. In it, a teenaged girl named Ruthie Gerrickle and her brother Matt try to survive the Battle of Kauai. Five Good Things about Meghan Sheedy falls quite a bit later. This time the fight is the Siege of Seattle. It’s one of two published by Strange Horizons. The third, of course, is “The Town on Blighted Sea.” The girl who was Ruthie has long since become Ruthless, but the war is over. Her side did not win. But life, strangely enough, goes on.
You may have also noticed I have figured out how to generate Pinterest memes. This may or may not be a phase I’m going through.
I began this blog entry in Cafe Calabria at about 7:30 this morning, having had an amazing brainstorming session. I’ve decided I will have a draft of the new novel, the third set in Stormwrack (where “Among the Silvering Herd” takes place), by June 28th. The idea is to have it Frankensteined by the time Kelly and I go to San Francisco for, among other things, Les Contes d’Hoffmann featuring deitylike tenor Matthew Polenzani.
There was an incredible sunrise pouring over the roofs of the buildings across Commercial Drive, but I wasn’t positioned to take advantage of it, photographically. So, since I can’t share today’s dawn with you, here’s Matthew:
That’s right–I’ve reached S5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Here’s my essay on the best Riley episode ever.
In other news, I am building a not-safe-for-work Grammar Cop board on Pinterest. I’m hoping this will use up the energy I spend thinking, “Its, not it’s!”
Finally, author Lynette Aspey has written a lovely essay about my Books of Chantment, Indigo Springs and Blue Magic, as well as the tie-in novelette “Wild Things.”
Janni Simner continued the conversation about portal fantasy that’s been bubbling along online, and one of the things she touches on in the process of discussing real-world consequences for a visit to Somewhere Else (something I hadn’t really ) is the question of why a character would go through the portal at all.
My baseline assumption in life had always been: OMG, why not go through the portal?
This is perhaps silly. I’d love to imagine I was a look before you leap person, but I am a looker. I look hard. In the real world, I’d hope the portal could wait awhile so I could invite my wife, pack the medicine cabinet, load up on food, coats, undergarments, tights, more tights, a fully-charged e-reader and a solar recharging panel.
I’d arrange cat care and send a few e-mails. There would be waffling about boots and which coat. That would have to be one patient portal, friends.
It’s not that I don’t want to go. I just don’t want to go without antihistamines, if you know what I mean. I don’t want to assume I’ll be back before the kibble runs out. Nobody really wants to be Rose Tyler, do they, showing up a year later and coming face to face with their own Missing poster and a freaked out mom? (Oh, I know there are lots of good reasons to be Rose Tyler. Rowr and all that. But you see what I’m saying.)
Does that mean the protagonist of my new series goes blithely leaping into another world without sober consideration and a pile of supplies? Actually, no. The first time–and I think this happens in a lot of portal fantasies–Sophie Hansa ends up on Stormwrack without warning or any kind of plan. It’s a deeply unplanned voyage to a magical realm.
And the second time, she knows full well what to expect, and she packs accordingly.
Uno: I sent DAUGHTER OF NO NATION (a.k.a. the second Stormwrack novel) off to my first readers and my agent on Monday, only three days late on the self-imposed deadline. I did it in the dark, by candle and gadgetlight–the power went off in our neighborhood and the cafe where I work was plunged into blackness.
This is me, last week, during the final push. Yes, I’ve grown an extra head.
Due: For the next three weeks, my fiction time will be less structured; I’ll write whatever pleases me most. I had a major plot bunny stabbing at me the whole of last week. The interior monologue went like this:
Bunny: Me, me, me. Here I am with the answer to that unresolved setting question that’s kept you from writing me!
Me: I am finishing a frickin’ book, shut up.
Bunny: Me me me! Shiny! Sexy! New!
… so that’s what’s pleasing me now.
Tre: I am spending the holidays in Reno, with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. This is the first time Kelly and I have been to Nevada in the entire quarter-century that we’ve known each other. Barb’s coming, too, and I’m very excited.
Well, no. Jonathan’s a superstar. And here’s my weekly essay: “Slaying is Hard! Let’s Go Shopping!”
I have enjoyed rewatching S4. It’s been long enough that I forgot a lot of the nuances and hilarious lines, and frankly it’s easier to gently mock the episodes that are, oh, let’s say a little shaky. This may mean that after S5 the rewatches will get funnier and funnier; that’s my hope, anyway.
And while I’m all me, me, me, link!, ’tis the season to remind some of you that I have Nebula eligible fiction. There’s my novel, Blue Magic, which was out in April, my novelettes “Among the Silvering Herd” and “Wild Things,” on Tor.com, and a new squid story, “The Sweet Spot,” about the Fiend invasion of Hawaii, on Lightspeed.
A couple weeks ago I told you all that this novelette, which is set in the same universe as my books INDIGO SPRINGS and BLUE MAGIC, was available for pre-order at the usual big e-retailers. Today it’s officially out, and you can read it on the Tor site.
“Wild Things” takes place between the events of the two novels, but is mostly set here in British Columbia rather than in Oregon. It’s a little picture of the mystical outbreak as it plays out in Canada, in other words. Here’s the opening.
My swamp man wasn’t what you’d call a sexy beast, though I found his skin strangely beautiful. It was birch bark: tender, onion-thin, chalk white in color, with hints of almond and apricot. He was easily bruised, attracted lichens, and when he got too dry, he peeled.
And the thoroughly gorgeous Allen Williams cover:
My novelette “Wild Things” will be up on the Tor site soon where every any anybody can read it, but the eBook version is available for preorder today on the MacMillan site, on Amazon, on iBooks and at Google too. (All versions are DRM-free, and the prices aren’t identical so do shop around). Eee!
“Wild Things” is set in the same universe as my first novel, Indigo Springs, and its sequel, Blue Magic. Timewise, it happens between the events of the two novels, and it’s set here in the Lower Mainland of B.C. and in the wine country around Oliver and Osoyoos.
Here’s the cover:
Here’s what Tor says about it:
Ah, love. A many splendored thing. Here is a rather unusual love story, sweet and strange as could only happen in the post-magical reality of the Indigo Springs “event.” Read More…