My trip last weekend involved more research than actual words-on-paper but once I’d been home a couple days I was back to the 1K words daily pace. Will that get a draft done by July 27th? I’m not entirely sure I shouldn’t step it up to a daily goal of 1300 or so. What matters is I’m making my way through the plot and I’m happy with how it’s coming together.
I invited the people who came to my readings to pledge support and enter the contest, and I did get some takers. (Folks, I’ll be e-mailing you soon if I haven’t already.) The deal, if you haven’t already heard it, is this: whoever gives the most money gets to name one of the island nations of Stormwrack. Anyone who gives money gets a chance to name a ship, person, city, landmark or plant/animal species… whichever floats your boat.
Parrish’s voice carried across the plains. “On the island where I grew up, Bendi, we take in those slain by magic. Such murders are doubly tragic, because nothing lasts forever. It is a given that the scrip will be destroyed in time; that the spell will revert and the murdered person will live again. So the victims must be kept safe.”
The pulver was staring at Parrish’s lips.
“There was a young monk once, whose job was to bear corpses from the sea to the monastery of the sleeping dead. But he loved a woman whose farm lay on the route from the port. He’d stopped at her cottage, once, and a grass fire caught near his wagon. The coffin and the woman lying within were burned.”
Here’s a little snippet from one of The Gales, about the island nation of Erinth, a place inspired, more than a little, by Catania:
Sindria, capital of Erinth, was a city of black marble and volcanic glass, a dark architectural foundation layered in color and light. The carved urns and stone window boxes built into the structures all burst with bougainvillea and daisies. Fruit trees nodded along the avenues, laden with oranges, lemon trees and sun-burnished golden plums.
The title of the story this comes from is “The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti.”
As mentioned, I am posting these island snapshots because I’m giving away naming rights to one nation on the world of Stormwrack to the person who contributes the most to Clarion Westin my name this summer. I will also have a draw for naming rights to a landmark, animal species, sailing vessel or city on Stormwrack. It’s your choice. Anyone who wants to qualify for that one need only donate something, even if it’s the minimum.
And you can do it in person! Just show up either at my reading at Borderlands Bookstore on Saturday June 23rd at 3:00 p.m. or at the University Bookstore in Seattle on Monday the 25th at 7:00 p.m. Give me cash and a way to contact you, and you’re in the running.
To win, you need to 1) give money; 2) tell me so and 3) give me some contact info.
Finally, links: there’s a Buffy essay up now, called “Real Vampy Love Bitches of Sunnydale“. (This is the “Lovers Walk” essay and, yes, it’s out of order. My fault, I’m pretty sure. I wrote it, but then I was travelling and sick, and Something Ate It.)
I am very happy to say I’m going to be reading at Powell’s Books in Oregon (the Cedar Hills / Beaverton location) on Monday the 7th, at 7:00 p.m.
This is a genuine bucket list item for me: here in the Pacific Northwest, Powell’s is pretty much mecca for bibliophiles, and I’ve always wanted to read there. When I am out and about in my Powell’s shirt, strangers ask, often in hushed tones if I’ve been there, and when I brag that I’ve even been part of the big post-Orycon group author signings at the store. . . well, they’re impressed. You must be a real author after all, is the reaction: it’s serious cred.
I’ll be reading from the steamy and mildly hilarious “Wild Things,” and signing copies of Indigo Springs and Blue Magic, and perhaps even a few anthologies I’ve had stories in. If you’re in Portland, I hope you’ll stop by.
As prep for this first foray into BLUE book touring, I hauled out the little red suitcase Wednesday and started putting in things I’m afraid I might otherwise forget. The battery charger for the camera, par example, and a certain catnip-flavored item for an exalted Portland entity named Xerxes.
So maybe it’s the smell of the treat in the suitcase, or perhaps it’s just the obvious sign that I’m gonna be gone, but Rumble is unimpressed. He’s spent much of the past two days alternating between dragging the case around the house and rendering it inaccessible by means of passive resistance.
He was also extremely friendly on Wednesday night, and would not be deterred by the squirtgun, which means I spent more of the night awake than is optimal.
And, yes, shafuffa on the side.
Tomorrow I’m co-hosting Geekly Pleasures with Jules Sherred, whose review of Blue Magic contains one of those paragraphs that really does make the whole writing lifestyle seem like an endless round of hearts and ponies:
I have never been more thankful for a character than I am for the character of Ev Lethewood. Without going into extreme detail, Alyx did a superb job of illustrating what it like to be a trans man. It is always a wonderful thing when the LGBTQ community is represented in literature in a matter-of-fact fashion, instead of salaciously.
I wanted exactly this out of Ev’s storyline. To reach someone, in that way, on that level. Part of me was terrified I’d failed. Seeing this was a joy and a relief. Things of me: I’m in a bubble of unprecedented super-busy, all tied into the release of Blue Magic. My inbox is full of interesting and exciting things, including travel stuff: I will be in Portland, reading at Powell’s, on the evening of May 7th, and I will have other events to announce soon. There was FanExpo and my own launch and I’ve joined Pinterest and started a newsletter (join button’s on my site) and you’ve all seen the guest blog links. Plus fiction-writing, teaching, tax season stuff, and all the usual… it’s been a whirlwind.
I’m very happy to say I’ve gotten over a thousand words in on the current Gale and Parrish story this week, despite having a meeting at 6:30 OMG ayem Tuesday and being quite bloody-minded about going outside for a walk every single damned day.
Spring in Vancouver is not to be missed. It’s cool and rainy out as I write this, and the double-flowering plums are spectacular right now. They are brighter and more vivid in the gray; bright sunshine is lovely, but it washes them out a bit. In another week or so they’ll start to edge past their prime, and the slightest gust of wind will fill the air with pink confetti. The tulips are in bloom everywhere. The days are longer and noticeably warmer, the trees are leafing up, and the birds are bubbling over with song in the mornings. Soon there will be ducklings and baby Canada geese to coo over. And, if I’m lucky, baby herons. Here’s about two percent of the heronry in progress: