Friday, August 5, 2011


Stressed at work, stressed about starting the new job, stressed about money, stressed about NaNo. Hard to be creative when there's so much going on. Hoping to catch up on some word counts this weekend, but it's always hard to predict how productive I can be when I'm staying with my family. We'll see.

NaNoWriMo is hard.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

One of the best things I've ever read. Ever.

"Sugar" writes an advice column over on The Daily Rumpus, and I've been going through the archive. This column, "Write Like a Motherfucker", is...well, it's true, and it's inspiring, and it's devastating, all at the same time.

Direct quote from the column:

"Writing is hard for every last one of us—straight white men included. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig."

I hope I'm able to write as well as her someday. That woman is amazing.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Time theft, sensitivity, and ass-in-gearedness.

Okay. Haven't gotten much writing done in the past week. Not much of a surprise there - I was full time at the bank, and then we had a holiday weekend. I haven't had three days off in a row in...a few months, so it was pretty much a given that I was just going to clean, hang out by the river with my boys, and play video games.

I think, though, that I'm way too specific about the circumstances I need in order to be able to write. On the one hand, it's fine to know that you need a certain level of organization, quiet, or whatever, but on the other hand, using the fact that EVERYTHING IS NOT PERFECT AND I CANNOT ART UNDER THESE CONDITIONS as an excuse is just sad. And it's totally what I do. So once I get a work area put together at home (right now I have no desk, no special area, no nothing, really, and woe is me), this business of not writing has got to stop. I mean, when I was using my work desk (not, ahem, the best thing to do, just so you know) as my Special Writing Place, I was getting a shit ton of writing done. It was great. I'd go home at the end of the day raving about how productive I was. Not at, you know, working, which is what I should have been doing, but at writing.

But those days are over. I've never gotten in trouble for writing at work, but now I have enough [work] projects going simultaneously that I just don't have time - and once I get going with writing at work, I really seem to get going, and it always eats up more time than I was planning on giving it. So now I have time for occasional blogging, which is maybe okay, but that's it. Technically, I probably shouldn't even do that. I don't know. I'll have to think about it.

Current projects:

1. The Story. We're still in major brainstorming mode, but this one is always ongoing, and therefore always top priority.

2. My small zombeh story.

3. The Fullmoon adaptation, which I have not properly started, but damn, has it been percolating in my brain for ages.

4. I'd like to dust off the Lighthouse story soon and start a proper rewrite.

5. The random fairytale-Tanith-Lee-ish story that I started somehow started planning in my sleep a few nights ago. Not sure if that one has any potential.

So...yep. Those are my projects.

Oh, and one last thing: there is a guy at the teller line with hair down to his waist. It's terribly impressive.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ingredients of Magic

The ingredients of magic are:


-David Petersen

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Well, I've lost my writing momentum. Due to a variety of things, I haven't done any writing for the last five days. It sucks, but...that's how it goes, I guess. What makes it strange is that I stopped writing right after having a period where tons of ideas were coming really quickly, so maybe I burned myself out for a little bit? Being sick didn't help, of course, but...five days. That's a lot of catching up to do.

I think I'm going to try. Later, when I'm off work and the dog's all exercised and chill.

Best and most difficult words of writerly advice:

"Writers write."

I just have to remember this.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Brief update.

Okay, I posted those two scenes by accident - thought I was posting on the 'Writing' blog, but I'm going to leave them there because one, I can't edit posts on this computer, and two, eh, why not.

Yesterday was pretty much a bust as far as writing is concerned - the dog's been getting into the trash again, so he's been sick, and it's been 100F or above for the past three days, so my brain was just fried. So we spent yesterday's writing time on planning, which was a really good move even though we didn't get a terrible amount done. We had a bit of a "Wait a second...OH NO" moment when we realized how much planning we had yet to do, considering that we're writing a goddamn epic fantasy.

Yeah. I hadn't realized. This story is...much bigger than I thought. Which is kind of overwhelming, but I think that once we get all of our characters really nailed down and we have a much better sense of the scope of our world, the writing is going to come much more easily.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more relieved I am. When we weren't working on it so much, The Story was kind of this vague, amorphous blob that sat in the back of my mind. It was like, Yeah, this is the big thing that I want to write. It's going to be finished someday. Of course it is. Yeah.

And then I'd go watch some TV or pick up another book and not work on it.

But now I have this relief because I'm not sitting on my ass anymore just waiting for a writing career to fall into my lap. I'm sitting on my ass working on my writing career.

And that is a good feeling.

Two scenes.

Okay, I'm just playing with this, but I had this idea that maybe the medium that Tarn and Lisanna went to is actually a siren in Ethri form, and she's doing a little bit of reconnaisance for them because the Caisharad have found ways to block the sirens from seeing what they're doing. I don't know. Obviously nothing is set in stone - I just wanted to get some writing done for the day, and this was what occurred to me, lol.

594 words.


Sisters, attend.

Soft hisses, echoing through the distance that separated them. A taste of a gentle wind over sea that made her ache for her home. But no awareness of her call, not yet.

Sisters, ATTEND.

Suddenly their presences were there in her mind, recognizable only by the flavors of their various annoyances at being called away from their own work.

Wwhhaaat issss it, sssister? Their many voices blended into one.

I have news. The Queen’s consort came to see me.

Sibilant laughter verging on dismissive. Wwhhaat did he want?

He brought a girl with him. She came from Tyrra, an escaped slave. He wanted me to channel her voice so he could know her story.

Now there was an undercurrent of fear and anger to their hisses. You did not comply. It was not a question.

She felt her own first stirrings of fear, and hesitated.

I did.

There was something melodious about even their screams of rage, though she flinched as their voices banded together once more. EXPLAIN YOURSSSELF.

She took a deep breath and reminded herself that she had had a reason for handling the consort the way she had. A good reason. Her sisters could tear her apart in this frail Ethri shell if they chose, but they would have to have their Queen’s approval to do it.

She just wasn’t sure how forthcoming that approval would be.

I channeled the girl’s voice, but had time to meld a small controlling spell into her trance.

She could feel her sisters’ disapproval all around her, tinged now with a slight flavor of curiosity.

She told the consort her story, but I was able to change a few of the more important details. It is my hope that he, in turn, will bring this story to his queen.

There were soft murmurings, with a few sharp hisses of dissent. The sounds of their discussions swirled around her, and she let herself drift, not interested in trying to focus on one argument or another. She had expected them to disagree on her actions; her sisters were all aggressively opinionated, and she had never seen them all reach the same conclusion on anything at the same time.

Finally, there was silence. She waited, not wanting to be the one to break it. Some decision had been made, and way the quiet stretched on made her tense.

Then one voice reached across the divide and gently touched her mind. She recognized it as belonging to one of her oldest sisters, one who had sung the tides for so long that her voice was now more wind and sand than siren.

We will speak to the Queen.


Elydra bolted upright in bed, gasping for breath and grabbing at the Queen’s Stone. It was like a burning coal in her hand, the surface so hot she was unable to touch it long enough to pull it away from her chest. The light that was coming from within it bathed the bed in a sickly, pulsing red glow. One more heartbeat and Tarn was also sitting up, his arm supporting her as she cried from the pain of the stone against her chest.

“Elydra? Elydra!”

She wanted to respond to the panic in his voice, but the pain was beating at both her body and her mind, distracting her while something else tried to suck her down into unconsciousness. So she did the only thing she could do: she ignored him while she tried desperately to remember her name-song and protect her mind.