Every now and then I will be at a wine event with Kelly and someone will look down to the region below my chin, and say, “I know you, don’t I?” Or, perhaps, in a sort of questioning voice, they’ll go: “I’ve seen those, um, spots… before?”
To which I reply, “Oh, yes, they’ve been the guest cleavage on the Full Bodied Wine Blog a few times.” Because by they, you understand, the other party doesn’t actually mean the spots.
Anyway. My Sunburst Award arrived in the mail on Friday, to much excitement. I promptly threw on a nice top and went out on the deck for a photo shoot. Here’s me, unpacking the beautiful medallion with my usual ladylike delicacy, and then posing with it and the spots, in a more SFnal and less wine-soaked context.
A few announcements: First, I have tried to thank each and every person who wrote, commented, or DMed me to say congratulations on the Sunburst Award. If I missed you somehow, sorry, and thank you! Word is continuing to ripple out… I especially liked Megabest characterizing it as a “suburban thriller“. The Quill and Quire chose to note the presence of Robert Charles Wilson, Cory Doctorow and several other ‘name authors’ on the ballot. I get what they mean, but Hey, QQDudes! Not only do I have a name, it’s so long it doesn’t fit in the Revenue Canada computers. (Seriously. The full moniker is Alyxandra Margaret and it’s one character too long for their name fields. I have been filed as Dellamonic for years.)
Speaking of names, I also have been remiss in congratulating the brilliant Hiromi Goto, who got the Sunburst in the Young Adult category for Half World, as well as those other amazing folks on the short list: Cory, Robert, Charles de Lint, and Karl Schroeder, all, curiously enough, for books published by TOR. And, finally, the Sunburst jury itself: thank you, so much!
Moving on, I have one slot left in my next UCLA class, “Creating Universes, Building Worlds,” which focuses on short fiction in any of the fantastic genres. The syllabus is online, and previous students are, as always, welcome to join us again.
Work on The Rain Garden proceeds apace, pace being somewhere between 900-1200 words a day. I write longhand and transcribe as it’s convenient, and it hasn’t been for a couple days; when it is, I’ll catch you up. In the meantime, posting word counts in this fashion keeps me chugging along… so once again, I thank you.
And a warning: I posted a spider shot a couple days ago and there will be more. Kelly and I have taken up our autumn practice of noting all the orb weaver webs along our morning route–we don’t formally count them all that often, just admire. But we call it the Spidercount, we began really looking this morning, and they are huge, well fed and ambitious. By Halloween the 2010 spidery biomass bids fair to be immense. So, if you are in East Van and can deal with spiders at all, I recommend a stroll down the Central Valley Greenway. They are wonders of nature and the webs are amazing to behold.
But today I give you a pigeon who’s really got somewhere to be:
It’s possible you’ve noticed that over at Favorite Thing Ever, we really make a point of being partial. Hugely partial. Don’t believe me? Well, my “review” post this morning is on my very own wonderful first novel, Indigo Springs.
Cough. So, yes. I’d written the FtE entry quite a few days ago, to drive home the idea that we seriously are a site of shameless squee. The Sunburst folks contacted me on Saturday, and asked me to keep it quiet until they sent out press releases. I’ve been on a cloud ever since. Now, finally, I get to tell you.
(I feel I should be humble and grateful at this juncture, and I am very grateful and totally thrilled… but humility kinda goes against the shameless squeeing vein.)
My book. It’s my first baby. Really, really, it is my fave thing ever… at least until the next one comes out.
Speaking of skill-testing, I am embarking on a new novel this morning.
I had been thinking to write a couple more squid stories, to go with the three already published and the two that are about to hit the market. However, after a couple of weeks of thrashing around the Battle of Las Vegas, I’ve conclusively determined that my head’s not currently in the Proxy War. So, as an experiment, I switched over to detailed planning on THE RAIN GARDEN, my next mystery project. Things clicked immediately. Presto, plotto, kazam!–I have an outline.
My plan as of two weeks ago had been to blast through a very rough draft of this book in November, as a Nanowrimo thing. Barring fire, flood and the common cold, I find that two thousand words a day for thirty days (less a couple days off) is a pretty sustainable pace for me. But since I’m ready now I’m darnwell gonna start now, keeping the end-of-November finish date but moving at more of a 900-word daily target. That will leave time for days off, a visit to Alberta, and Orycon.
I like the sustained push-push-focus of Nanowrimo, but it does tend to leave me bug-eyed and gibbering well into December. And there’s no reason to hold off if I’m ready to write the book now.
So, hey! What are all of you working on this autumn?