If you are in Vancouver and would like to attend, please consider yourself invited. It’ll be at 7:30 p.m. at the UBC Bookstore DOWNTOWN, OMG, please don’t go to Point Grey! at 800 Robson Street. There will be cookies and teas and a surprise guest artist too, and I will read something shiny and new that nobody’s ever heard before.
If you’re out of town and want to join the online party instead, I have continued to do some guest blogging this week:
Joshua Palmatier interviews me about the book, here.
Starmetaloak asked me about the First Nations storyline, so I wrote Raising the Roused for her.
Did I already tell you about The Magic of the Pacific Northwest
Finally, I will be at the Fan Expo Vancouver this weekend, selling, signing books and, I’m thinking, maybe doing a little stuntwriting. In other words, I might sit in the crowded Convention center amid a massive hubbub and see if I can crank words on the latest of The Gales, which is called “Island of the Giants.” Tweeting could ensue.
(The Gales? What Gales? The first is “Among the Silvering Herd.”)
The working title is “The Boy who would not be Enchanted”
I had seen a wood-cut of the Moscasipay harbour once, and there is an old painting of the lighthouse in one of my cousin’s shops. Neither picture prepared me for the size of that porcelain man, for the shock of meeting his glazed, lake-blue eyes and feeling the Worldclock beneath him, the resonant tick-tock-tick blanketed in the normal sound of sea and wind, a rhythm, not really heard, that nevertheless came up through the timbers of Nightjar and seemed to find fault with the speed of my pulse.
Happy Autumn, everyone… welcome to my favorite time of year. Here’s what late September looks like today, in Vancouver, at some spiffy pricey homes near Granville Island:
In August, I made an arbitrary decision to finish drafting the current novel in progress. By mid-month, though, it was obvious I needed a little more time. I mentioned this to a fellow writer at Kelly’s office picnic and she pointed out that September 21st was the official first day of fall, so I reset the deadline accordingly.
And it is done! It’s Frankensteined and far from beautiful, but I’ve done this enough times now to know that beauty will come. (And, actually, it’s more polished than my usual finished drafts.)
Next up: a short story revision, looking over Blue Magic page proofs, possibly a new short story draft, then polishing, polishing, polishing. I also need to decide if I’m gonna do something akin to NanoWrimo—Spike is, I believe, and I’m tempted to join her. Who else might be in for some November word-crunching?
My write-a-thon count as of Tuesday was 17,139… I forgot to do any kind of count on Monday, and there was a day of switching projects and rereading and making tweaks to a long file, the better to crank out the next set of pages. The plan is to start drafting again asap.
Here’s some of the reread-and-tweak content:
Keeping her camera fixed on the ring, Sophie followed his gaze. The boy watching the mock duel from across the piazza was maybe eighteen, with curling auburn hair and a face right out of a Dante Gabriel Rosetti painting–big eyes, expressive mouth, skin like sun-burnished brass. He was surrounded by a bevy of expensively-dressed teens who were chattering and exchanging ribbons–more bets, Sophie guessed–but he was raptly watching the blow-by-blow between Acacia and the flaming man.
A drafty snippet from the current story in progress:
It was splinters, driven into the burns. They were lined up like little dominos, bristles that ran along the lines of my hand, life line, heart line, brain line… all the things palm readers find so much meaning in. Tiny little fenceposts of bristling birch, embedded in both hands, and each filament barely aglow with the blue that had come to mean magic.
“Go to jail,” I whispered. “Go directly to jail. Do not pass go.”
And behind me, someone answered, in a deep bass voice: “Ma’am? May I have some clothes, please?”
Between writing words for the Clarion Write-a-thon (up to 16,411 words out of 20,000 as of Thursday!) and teaching “Creating Universes, Building Worlds”–which is focused on short speculative fiction–I have been trying to read a few new short stories.
So far there have been four:
1) “Crazy Me,” James Patrick Kelly – http://www.tor.com/stories/2011/05/crazy-me It’s creepy, it has great build-up, and it ends abruptly. Like many of the people who commented on it at Tor.com, I’m not sure I got the whole point; I may need to reread it. But it has been a fair while since I read anything by Kelly, and I like his style. I enjoyed this a lot.
“The Guy With The Eyes,” Spider Robinson. From BEFORE THEY WERE GIANTS, which is an anthology edited by James Sutcliffe, of first-ever stories by some well-known SF writers. I was surprised that Spider’s first published story was a Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon piece, though I’m not sure why that surprised me.
I want to pick a piece from BEFORE THEY WERE GIANTS to add to the reading list for CUBW… not this time, so much, but in the future. I love the idea of the anthology, and the right newbie story by someone who’s indisputably regarded as Genre Awesome just seems like a terrific thing to include my course reader.
(Anyone read the whole thing yet? Got any faves?)
“Down where the Best Lilies Grow,” Camille Alexa. Jessica Reisman recommended this a few days ago, and it’s a lovely little short-short–moody, self-contained, with memorable images.
And, yesterday, Michael Swanwick’s “The Dala Horse”, (http://www.tor.com/stories/2011/07/the-dala-horse) which has a “Little Red Riding Hood” feel but is so much more. I currently have Tanith Lee’s “Snow Drop” assigned as a fairy tale variation in CUBW; I might add this in as an optional reading, or swap them. Michael was one of my Clarion West instructors, a last-minute addition to the teaching roster after someone (I can’t remember who) had to bow out. He was, I might add, awesome.
Also on the topic of short fiction, Kris Rusch says that the prospects for writing them are better than ever, thanks to the growth of online magazines and e-books. (http://kriswrites.com/2011/06/22/the-business-rusch-short-stories/) What’s your take?