Category Archives: My Novels

Posts about my published novels and book-length works in progress.

Words for birds

Posted on June 29, 2011 by

My Clarion West Write-a-Thon Word Counts so far…

Total= 6813 words
July 29 – 616 (revision on novel)
July 28 – 712 (novel)
June 27 – 987 (novel)

The 616 Wednesday were a bit of a surprise… it’s what got added to a rough draft of a chapter after I’d refined it a bit. I know my work tends to get longer as I go through it, but it had felt like I was cutting.

Snip:

Her private chamber was as luxuriously appointed as a five star hotel. A fresh plate of the bland food–mourning fare, the Conto had called it–sat on a low table in a little… sitting room? Or parlor? She tried to muddle through the difference, if there was one. Then she caught a whiff of humidity, and followed her nose to a steaming bath. The same servant who’d wrapped her in the long gray cloak before the burial was waiting to remove it.
*It’s as if she’s been here the whole time, just waiting*, Sophie thought.

I also shot a Northern Flicker last week–they’re a lot less camera-shy when they’ve dug into an ant hill–and got a pretty decent close-up, complete with bugs on the beak. There’s video of it peck-peck-pecking away, if you prefer action:

Northern Flicker

Thoughts falling like raindrops, in no especial order…

Posted on May 7, 2011 by

It’s pouring, which does not bode well for a Mother’s Day outing with Barb. We may be jostling for elbow room at a brunch place tomorrow if the rain doesn’t let up.

In the meantime, I have finished Josh Lanyon’s The Dark Farewell, which–when I take over the universe and am boss of you all–shall be retitled: “Ha Ha Ha, Bored Now! The End, Suckers!” until such time as Lanyon can be made to sit down and finish the thing properly. Or at all. Just as things were starting to get messy he solved the crime, wiped out the Romantic Obstacle, and finis! I am moving on to Wayne Arthurson, and Fall from Grace, in what might be described as a Profound Reader Snit.

(Which state I do expect Wayne to remedy. I already love how he writes about the Alberta landscape.)

Words, words, words: 1748 words since last time on the current novel.

I am working on a bunch of related shorts, though, and have just had a grand realization about the next entry in that batch. So once I fix up the chapters I drafted this week, I may defect from the novel to the shorties, which I’m calling The Gales, for 8500 words or so. Meanwhile, here’s a snippet from that book; I Tweeted it earlier this week:

At his feet, the gutted remains of the monster were soaking into Sophie’s second-best jeans.

And a sea star. Well, two:
Sea Star

Medici Money

Posted on April 29, 2011 by

Before I read Deathless, I read Medici Money: Banking, Metaphysics, and Art in Fifteenth-Century Florence

The raw info in this book was excellent. The intricacies of how bankers managed to profit from the exchange of money without charging interest (Christians were forbidden to practice usury at the time, on pain of excommunication) and the description of the backstabbing Florentine politics was great. I do love a little backstabbing political intrigue.

Something about Tim Parks’s style didn’t quite do it for me, though. He would slip into a dreamy narrative tone, meant to evoke the time and place, the mindset of the players. Usually I love that kind of thing, but somehow with this particular book I found it jarring and ineffective. I’m reading Basilica: The Splendor and the Scandal: Building St. Peter’s, by R.A. Scotti, and in terms of writing style I’m enjoying that a lot more.

My complaint about Parks is a matter of taste, though, not so much failure of execution. And it seems almost ungrateful to say so, because reading this book definitely enriched the story I was working on at the time.

On another note: the word count for Wednesday-Thursday’s writing session is: 2603, bringing the total to 23,328.

New delivery systems for my stuff…

Posted on February 4, 2011 by

Folks have told me that my East Van lesbian werewolf romance, “The Cage,” made the Locus Recommended Reading list for 2010–I haven’t confirmed this with my eyeballs, but I hear that M.K. Hobson and Cat Rambo are on it too. Anyway, it was nice to hear and I want to cyber-hug all my friends and acquaintances who also made the list. (And, really, all my other friends and acquaintances too.)

In other news, Indigo Springs and “The Cage” are both available in an electronic bookstore called Diesel. I’m not sure how this works, formatwise, but they can be had. And they are both in the Sony Ebookstore now, too. iTunes is supposed to have them, but continues to lag behind.

It’s boggling, really, how many things have just become ours for the clicking.

Edited to add: The list is up again, here.

2011 Fiction Plan

Posted on January 3, 2011 by

My 2011 fiction writing plan is vague in the same way last year’s was: it’s composed of a lot of “drop everything,” as in:

If X hits my desk, drop everything and do it. If Y comes in, ditto.

In other words, I still have a lot of stuff in progress and lines in the water.

In 2011 the priority will be on turning around completed works as they are given to me. BLUE MAGIC is scheduled for 2011, for example, so it’s certain to hit my desk three to four times before November. Meanwhile, I have three other big projects that might go forward soon, or later, or possibly not. In theory, three or even four drop-everything projects could land on me at once. How I will deal with that, if it happens, will be interesting.

What’s more likely (she said optimistically) is that the priority stuff will stutter in in dribs and drabs over the next two to three years, and I will have some downtime for working on other things. The goals for this hypothetical allotment of time are:

1. Finish either of the two novels drafted in 2010.
2. If 2010’s proposal is unsuccessful, write a 2011 Canada Council proposal and thirty sample pages of another new novel.
3. Finish the outstanding short stories from 2010.
4. Draft short fiction rather than novels in 2011 until some of the above projects shake out.

The upshot, if I’m not buried in drop-everything projects? Six stories drafted, three finished and to market, and a novel finished.