aithne: (Default)
 I have been making like a duck and paddling my very hardest under the surface.  I am currently about 32k words into The Phoenix Crown, which is a book that I came up with the idea for late last year and that involves a lot of very complicated worldbuilding.  I am having such fun with this book--I have no idea if it's any good, but I am having a really really good time.  I'm doing most of the writing in 1k word chunks, attempting to keep myself from binge writing and keep myself able to do some other writing, like doing revisions on some short stories.

When a mysterious woman named Nonehle comes to Ceris Royenne and asks her to help take the throne of Matinne, Ceris says no. Then the rebel company she leads is nearly wiped out, leaving only a handful of survivors behind. With the life she's built in ashes and pursued by the most vicious of the six great mercenary companies of Matinne, Ceris's only refuge is in audacity--and the throne.

Between Nonehle and the Phoenix Crown are mercenaries, courtiers, the arcane politics of Matinne, and a king who gained his throne by subterfuge and murder. Their allies are few, but Ceris and Nonehle are both in possession of vast and troubling magical talents. They will both have to come to grips with those talents--for Nonehle the ability to to show people the deepest secret fears of their hearts, for Ceris the warmaga talent that is a deadly inheritance from her mother. In a country where hidden blades are everywhere and not even the strongest of allies is what they seem, this pair will take power--no matter the cost.

Erm...

Feb. 3rd, 2011 03:56 pm
aithne: (squee!)
http://www.locusmag.com/Magazine/2011/Issue02_RecommendedReading.html

That's me, about halfway down the short story list.  For those of you who don't follow the SF/fantasy world: 1. Locus is one of a handful of trade rags of note in our corner of the universe, and 2: I am in some completely, insanely illuminated company.  Like [livejournal.com profile] jaylake  and [livejournal.com profile] catrambo and Neil Gaiman and [livejournal.com profile] yuki_onna  and Garth freaking Nix and Holly Black and Peter Beagle and lots and lots of other people you may have heard of.

(Now.  Must get on publishing other crazy awesome stories in 2011.)
aithne: (writing)
 Offered without comment.

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2010/11/22/the-writers-prayer-the-penmonkey-paean/
This book is not the boss of my shit.

These characters dance when I tell them to dance. They leap, cackle, fuck and punch because I jolly well told them to and if they don’t do as I say I will have them nibbled to death by marmots.

This plot is knotted tight in the configuration I demand. With it I shall tie a noose, and with that noose I shall hang my fears and uncertainties by the neck until they void their bowels and their legs quit kickin’.

These words march in the order I choose. They are my little bitches, cobbled together of letters and made to carry heavy notions and lofty ideas and character motivations and bad-ass non-stop mad ninja action. In this way they are like ants, carrying more than they should rightfully be able to carry.


aithne: (hat looking down)
Wrote about 1600 words on the creepy doll story, wherein I figured out what it's about and who the protagonist is. I think I'll be adding another 500 or so words to bring in the story at about 4300 words. The story is still untitled; it's currently called "Doll Parts" but that is by no means the final title.

Have also, over the last few days, done about 7500 words on the Wrong Project.



Excerpt from the doll story:

I come to the first of the thirty-two coordinates. It’s a pullout at the side of a road which clings to a mountain, valley falling away on the other side. The air bites at my hands and I blow on my fingers, then rub them together. Eve Jimenez. She’s here somewhere.

Glancing to either side, I cross the road with her doll to the rocky verge on the other side. I put one hand on the metal guard rail, then pull back; it’s nearly rusted through. Could I get tetanus? I’m not sure. Just in case, I balance without touching the guardrail, and peer down the slope. Grey-green shrubs cluing to the dirt visible between rocks and scree. About fifty feet down, I see a scrap of dull material, some sort of camouflage drab. The bundle is smaller than I expected.

The human skeleton, devoid of flesh, packs down into a space about the size of a small suitcase. I’ve found Eve.

I place her doll by a splintered post, wedge one foot into a crack. I gave her one of the clenched fists I have in my stock of spare parts. I didn’t know why at the time, but now she shakes that fist at the sky, deep brown eyes staring up at one of the many things taken from her untimely.

You don’t end up with your bones tossed over an embankment in the middle of nowhere if you died of natural causes.

Then I hurry on.
aithne: (synchronized panicking)
 I have gnawed on Chapter Six of Taker of Souls until it finally came off and decided to be an actual chapter rather than a collection of "stuff goes here".  I've got some work to do on it (including renaming a character), but it should be on its way to the usual suspects on Thursday or Friday.  I got a little way into Chapter Seven, and next thing is cozying up to what may or may not turn out to be a sex scene.  Jumana is being awfully coy about it.   

I'm going to have to put the book aside for a couple of weeks to work on some short stories; I have two I need to write and two to revise.  Three of those already have homes; the fourth is some social SF that I wrote the first draft of about a year ago, decided I hated, and now have decided I sort of like.  Except for the ending.  I hate the ending.

Anyway, I've semi-sort of decided that one of the two new stories is going to be the bone woman story that I've had in the back of my head for a few years now.  The other one I haven't quite figured out yet.  I'll get there.

I was walking to work from the transit center this morning, and marveling at how intensely green everything is right now.  The cloudy sky was casting a diffuse light, and it had just stopped raining so all of the greenery was wet and shiny.  I love spring here.  I slept with my window open last night, listening to the rain.  I could almost hear the plants growing through the drops.

I really do live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
aithne: (sleepyhead (by Kris Dresden))
 A thousand words even on Word of the Chosen last night; I think I am coming up on a chapter break.  We'll see; after a chapter made largely of backstory and scene-setting and the audience catching its breath, we'll see if it feels right to end on the duhn duhn DUHN that I am likely to get to tonight (if I don't go clothes shopping instead of writing).  At this point, I'm telling myself I can do a thousand words a night and then quit and play Petville for a bit.  It's progress, even if it's progress that's a lot slower than I'm used to.  

So.  Friday.  It's a very Friday-ish Friday, at least so far.  I drove in to work this morning; I may regret that tonight, since Friday night traffic is consistently completely horrible, but it was an easy drive in so perhaps I should not complain.  Thing Wot I Do at work is complete and we have one credible RC and two more in testing.  I am thinking about repainting my bedroom and office, and have sent away for color samples from Devine Color, which is rumored to have developed their paints specifically for the quality of Northwest light.  The paint is also rumored to be far less stinky than regular paint, which would also be a plus.  

I think i could have used a little more sleep.  I am a bit dumb this morning. 
aithne: (all fun and games)
I am ever so slowly digging myself out from under a pile of Things Wot Must Be Done. Yesterday was an errand day, as I'd gotten some money for selling a story and was bound and determined to spend at leat some of it. I popped up to Seattle and went to Camera Techs, where I had my camera cleaned (cleaning a CCD, the camera's sensor, is not for the faint of heart, and I vastly prefer to let the professionals handle it) and bought a new filter for my main lens. The guy who sold me the lens was a brusque charmer with an accent I couldn't quite identify (Galway by way of Boston, perhaps?) who minced no words telling me that my filter was crap. I told him I knew, and would he please sell me a new one?

So! Nice new filter. Multi-coated, weather-resistant, all that good stuff.

I stopped by U Village while I was waiting for my camera to be finished. Sony declared my ebook reader obsolete a few months ago, and my choice was to either send it in for refurbishing or trade it in for a discount on a new one. So I am now the owner of a Sony Reader Pocket Edition. I was totally the easiest commission that the guy who waited on me made all day. I came in and knew what I wanted, what color I wanted it in, and I even bought the extended warranty. (wise, for a piece of electronics that goes everywhere with me.) The Reader is shiny and silver and even smaller than my previous one, so it'll fit into smaller purses.

And U Village now has a Trohpy Cupcakes outlet, so I had to stop and have a cupcake.

I tried to find a quiet place to work on the crits I'd brought with me, but there is one thing that U Village is lacking on a Saturday morning, and that is quiet spots in which to do a bit of work. I bagged the attempt, collected my camera, and came home.

This morning, I'm finishing crits for this afternoon, since I kind of ran out of steam last night, and then perhaps there will be some coffee and a shower and more wrestling with Word of the Chosen. I had forgotten how much trouble the protagonist of this book is. She is a very difficult character for me to really empathize with in the beginning, which makes being inside her head duly uncomfortable. She gets better eventually, but the first four chapters at least are going to be a bit of a slog because of it. (And a slog now pays off in dividends later, because this character has echoes through all of the rest of the books in the series.)

Perhaps I'll take my new, clean camera for a test spin and think about writing some more.
aithne: (plotting)
I write better/more quickly when I have an audience. That's why I've released books as serials for years--if I kinow I have an audience of people who are waiting for the next chapter of the story I'm writing, I write more, and more quickly.

Problem: this is a form of self-publishing, and it really limits future publishability of the work. I would love to post the Newfoundland book rough draft as I finish chapters, but I honestly think that book has publication potential once I finish it. Of course, the problem is...will I finish it if I don't have that immediate feedback?

I don't know. I'm considering writing a couple of things that will just be online serials--a few other people are doing that, and actually making some money off of it.

Thoughts, anyone?
aithne: (sarcastic good)
I'm going to have to say that the first draft of Spot and Whisk is done. Yay!

(Please don't ask what the heck I'm going to do with a 13k-word kid's talking animals book written in my normal voice. That's too long for a short story and too short for anything except maybe a chapter book. And a chapter book this is most definitely not--too much vocabulary and I'm up to my usual tricks with sentence structure.

But! It's done and now I have to decide what book to write next. Perhaps I will do a poll.)
aithne: (boone nine months)
Tried to go for a run this morning; I'm getting back into my routines at last, and getting out on a regular basis. Unfortunately, Spotty Dog was fully awake by the time I started putting my clothes on, and he started making eyes at me when he saw me get out my running shoes. "Pleeeeeaase, lady, can I go with you? Please? Please? I want a walk!" I relented and decided to take him out for a run with me. One of Red Dog's superpowers is to be able to tell whenever anyone takes a leash out of the cupboard, and she appeared just as I was finishing putting on Boone's harness.

Okay, okay, obviously it's going to be a dog workout this morning.

I was going to do a short run anyway, and when we got out to the trail Spotty Dog said that he was a bit sore this morning and he'd like to walk instead of run, thank you. So we went for a mile, and then I turned the dogs loose in the dog park so Red Dog could run and Spotty Dog could stick close to me and occasionally worry a bit about the other dogs in the park. Came back, did some work with them on weave poles and the booja board while Laura dealt with the city inspector for our new furnace installation, went and got coffee for Laura.

I'm getting ready for a wedding shoot this weekend and working on another edit pass on Shadows and Silk (aka "magic ninjas"). I've dealt with one major problem (it needed a new beginning scene) and I have a couple more major problems to deal with. One is a bunch of little cultural details that add up to one large problem, and the other one is that the fantasy element still doesn't come in until the middle of the third chapter, and I really need to find a way to introduce it in the first few pages. It's kind of rough because of how the plot is structured, but I think I can work in some background information that will clue the reader in that there is stuff going on that my protagonist doesn't necessarily know about yet.

Oh, yes, and I have [livejournal.com profile] catrambo's Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Midnight on the desk next to me and I am putting off some reading that ought to be done in favor of this book, which is what I really want to read right now. Take that, responsibility! *sticks out tongue*
aithne: (last fire of sunset)
1. I am doing an experiment! Most of you may remember that Storm and I wrote a Western for his friend Howard at the end of last year/the beginning of this year. I'd originally thought I'd just post it for folks to read, but I've been persuaded to give this whole "placing value on my work" thing a try.

So! Last Fire of Sunset is available as a hardcover, a paperback, and a PDF. If you would like to read it in another format, drop me an email (address on my profile works), and I can arrange something. Electronic format is immediately available and $5; for another few dollars and some patience, you can have a lovely paperback.

Thomas and Leta Howard are, on the surface, typical new homesteaders in the Dakota Territory in 1863—a young couple with a baby, just starting out in the world. That surface hides a deeper secret. Leta is half black, her mother a former slave, and her marriage to Thomas is illegal. The Civil War is raging, but hundreds of miles away. Leta and Thomas think they're safe to raise their son in peace and isolation.

But when neighboring landowners discover their secret, their safety is revealed as an illusion. Thomas dies to the bullets of a posse, and Leta and her son John are badly wounded. All Leta has left is her life and her son—and vengeance. With the help of a Sioux man outcast from his own tribe, she will hunt down the posse, one by one...

She will kill every one of them, or lose her life trying.



*****

2. I've just finished setting up a new blog on my site, which replaces my old professional blog. At LJ, the personal is mixed in with the professional; at Warden of Where the River Went, it's going to be all about writing and the experience of getting geared up for Clarion. Except for the first post (which is a version of a post here), I will be reposting entries here, so you don't have to add it to your RSS reader if you prefer not to.

I'll also have a photography blog eventually, when i finish getting my photography site up. (I am currently cursing at Flash. Grrmph.)

*****

3. I am starting to relax. A little.
aithne: (booth)
My major project for the first part of 2009 will be a Western-with-a-twist.  (It's a bit of a long story why I'm doing this particular project; just suffice it to say that this will make someone very, very happy.)

However.  I know just about zero about Westerns and the conventions therof, and without that knowledge I can't do this right.  So, LJ Brain Trust, I need your help!

I need examples of good Westerns (spaghetti and otherwise), both movies and books.  I'm going to be re-reading Emma Bull's Territory as a starting point, since I know she bends the genre but good in that one.  I know I must have some Western fans in my audience--someone throw me a rope here.
aithne: (hat looking down)
The plan of record for the next month or so:

I'll be posting the last chapter of Stone Sky tomorrow, I think. There's one book left to go in Imryne, but before I start on it, I have a couple of projects I need to finish. I need to put together an application for a workshop, and I need to finish editing Shadows and Silk so I have a real live final manuscript ready to go next year.

My best guess is that I'll start posting Imryne chapters again sometime in December. I think the last book is going to be 10-11 chapters long, the longest book in the series. I am so looking forward to getting it written out. This has been in my and Storm's head for almost a year now. Time to put it in other people's heads.
aithne: (Default)
I'm not writing this week, instead concentrating on editing Shadows and Silk. (I'm in the stage where I hate the book desperately; it will pass.) I'll write up a Grainne story next week, once I've finished with my editing, and there should be an Imryne chapter the week after.

Those of you who read me for the writing can safely ignore this LJ for a week or so. :)

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