So, I’m developing a girlcrush on Sarah Rees Brennan, for her Gothic Tuesdays. This week’s winner was Collie Wilkins’s Woman in White. (Project Gutenburg can hook you up too.)

LAURA: I’m going to tell Sir Percy Cruelpants that I will marry him, but I love another, so he won’t want to marry me.
MARIAN: Well, he will if he doesn’t give a crap about your feelings, though?
LAURA: Nonsense, I’m sure this will work out awesome. Sir Percy Blackheart, I love someone else and I don’t wanna marry you. Still want to marry me?
SIR PERCY RIDICULOUSLY EVIL: Still rich?
LAURA: Yes.
SIR PERCY THE PERFIDIOUS: Then yes.
LAURA: … That did not go the way it did in my head. (Sarah Rees Brennan)

The whole thing is pure gold. You should also look at her Jane Eyre one.

Also, here’s a free documentary on Haruki Murakami. I enjoy Murakami’s work–frex, I read his latest, 1Q84, in a few long gulps. (No, LONG gulps. Nearly a thousand pages, OMG.) Seriously, you don’t read Murakami for linear coherence just like you don’t watch a David Lynch film for it. They’re both harvesters of subconscious gas-bubbles. (Also, really fricking weird, and not too good with the portrayal of teenage girls, meh.)

And the Heart Attack Grill has its first moment of truth in advertising.

In other news, the first book of the new YA series is back with the editor for another revision pass. And the second Bannon & Clare book, The Red Plague Affair, is heating up inside my skull. Rest is overrated, don’t you think? Plus there’s martial arts for the kids, a four-year-old I’m watching for a few days, and a dog who thinks the Roomba is a demonspawn predator I need protecting from.

So…off I go. Be careful out there, Gothic Lady Sleuths!

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

You guys. Let me tell you what my brain is like.

I dreamed I was an intern in a museum. In my dream it was called “the Metropolitan” but I am very sure, having visited the Met once, that it was nothing like this shambling pile of secret passages and crammed-together dusty antiques. (Well, at least, not the parts I visited.) Anyway, that wasn’t the important thing. The important thing was the chili.

You see, there was a mummy-zombie thing roaming the back halls. The top front third of his head was gone and his teeth were stumps; there was just a hole and the hindbrain left, plus the ruined caverns of his sinuses. Which probably explained why he was shambling around with his hand-things in front of him, spindly fingers waving. He could smell the chili, but he couldn’t find it.

You see, it was the interns’ (I was one of a crew of six) job to find the mummy and feed him the chili so he would stop roaming, so he would settle down and wouldn’t upset the patrons with his fleshless self. The trouble was, we were new interns, and nobody had bothered to tell us. So we had to figure it out, which we did, but somehow the security guys were new too and hadn’t gotten the memo. So we had to save the poor mummy from the rent-a-cops in order to feed him his chili so he would quiet down. The problem was, we had to catch him first.

So I woke up, with a cat snoring in my ear and a dog snoring near my feet, and I thought it was the mummy. There was this moist breathing on my ear, and all I could think was, where’s the damn chili? Followed by, dammit, I can’t make this a book, there’s not enough tension structurally to build it. Maybe a short?

So, yeah. Here. Go read Chuck Wendig on why writers are bugfuck nuts. I’ll, um, just be locked up in my house. Alone.

Looking for the chili to feed to the museum mummy.

Yeah.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

Crossposted to the Deadline Dames, who you should really be reading. Because we’re awesome.

Instead of the Snowpocalypse we feared (and that Seattle is currently suffering under the spike heel of) we’ve got rain. Lots of rain. Well, this is the Pacific Northwest, and I happen to like rain, but I wish the weather would make up its mind. Heavy wet snow yesterday, melt and easily an inch of rain today, branches down everywhere and my morning run more like a swim–oh, I know I could have used the treadmill, but Miss B was inside all day yesterday, which meant it was either get her out for a run or go to the dog park and stand in mud up to my knees. An appetizing choice, indeed.

Plus, the Little Prince became, once more, Sir Pewksalot last night. All of which is a roundabout way of saying my temper and nerves are equally frayed, and I decided on a Three Things post because if I start on a rant or two now there will be nothing but a smoking crater left where my computer used to be. (Expensive.) Not to mention with all the biting and snarling going on all over the Internet about Authors Daring To Speak, so to speak, and a rant doesn’t seem like a good idea. For lo, if I strap on my armor now and go all Don Quixote after Idiot Entitled Jerks On The Internet, I may never stop. And I’ve writing to do, so…yeah. Three things. Let’s see.

* Kickass is not a prerequisite. It’s not even a requisite. I swear to God, someday I am going to write about Milquetoast von Constipated, a potbellied, balding vampire with bowel issues who lives in Minnesota and, whenever there is an incident of violence, he *gasp* alerts the authorities! Together with his werecow buddy, Milton Morton (who is not only vegan but gets tipped every full moon), they do not fight crime willingly. Rather, they sort of bumble through and the police take care of things on their own. (As to why he has bowel issues when he’s on a liquid diet, I’ll just say, have you ever tried to live on protein shakes? HAVE YOU?)

Sounds amusing, doesn’t it? But it’s sparked by a frustration of mine: where is it written that I can’t write anything other than kickass leather-clad wiseacres? I mean, I’m very glad people connect with my kickass heroes and heroines, but that isn’t all I write, it isn’t all I am. It isn’t all the world consists of. I dislike it intensely when I write a character whose strength is internal and am immediately subjected to a “but your fans won’t recognize…” Screw that. They will recognize, and those who send me venomous screeds about how I should just stick to writing kickass chicks even though I don’t do so very well (seriously, it’s like the writers of these things all got together in a room somewhere) can just go…fly kites. Yes. fly kites.

The point of this is: If you’re used to writing one thing, and you want to write another thing, go ahead and do it. You may have to attempt a couple times before you get a salable piece, but it will teach you things about writing that staying in your comfort zone will not. I’m fairly okay at writing angst and violence, but you know what I would really love? I would love to be talented at writing comedy. Comedy is hard effing work, it doesn’t come naturally to me. (Unless it’s bleak black macabre humor. Heh.) It doesn’t stop me from wanting and trying, and from seeking other types of characters and stories to play with. What you’re good at writing and what you want to write may be two different things, but you should try them both.

* The Levenger catalog is pure crack. I mean, their 3X5 cards are incredibly useful while revising or making grocery lists, both things I do at my computer. My bag lust is inflamed every time I see their briefcases. And, oh my God, the desk sets. The desk sets. It’s nice to reward myself with some lovely tools after slogging through a zero draft. I nerd all over their paper, and one day, one day, I will have a Levenger desk. I’ll save my pennies, by God, and I will have it.

Other things I keep within easy reaching distance while I’m writing: a statue of Ganesh writing, some Climb On creme, cell phone, tarot cards (Rider-Waites, for those curious), Moleskine notebook, a couple pads of paper both legal and Levenger, scissors, pens and sharpened pencils, rubber bands, a Keep Calm and Carry On paperweight, two pink plastic flamingos, six dictionaries, two thesauri, two visual dictionaries, assorted other reference works from encyclopedias of military arms to herbals and Jack the Ripper books. Also, two copies of Jane Eyre, plus six or seven DVDs of different treatments of Jane Eyre, and a few Wuthering Heights. (Don’t ask.) Also, tissues, ibuprofen, and Carmex. Because you never can tell.

The flamingos are for practicing dialogue with. (But that’s another blog post.)

* Beware of great ideas. “A million cat clocks! That’s a GREAT idea!” Then some of them started looking a little odd because their tails weren’t moving. And I had to find more batteries. This just goes to show you, great ideas are only great until one gets to the care, feeding, and administrivia involved. (Note: I have six cat clocks, all on my living-room wall. And I want more.)

What does this have to do with writing? Simple. Beware of great ideas. Sometimes they happen halfway through a zero draft, and you either have to go back and alter what you’ve already written to account for the Great Idea, or you just go ahead and write as if the Great Idea has been there all the time, which means the first half of revising the zero draft is likely to send you to the booze cabinet sooner rather than later. Sometimes the Great Ideas happen during revision, and one should be careful because they are like pebbles thrown into a quiet pond. (BOOT TO THE HEAD!) The ripples spread throughout the entire book, which may mean you have to go back and deal with tweaking everything before and after in subtle and overt ways. Rippling tweakage is another thing that will send you to the booze cabinet during revisions. Or to banging your head against a brick wall, whichever is handier. (Also, Rippling Tweakage is my new indie band name.)

Great ideas are great, but there is no Great Idea that fixes everything without a lot of work. If the Idea is Great Enough, the work, while frustrating, is also a process of simplification. If it’s a Mediocre Idea masquerading as Great, or even just a Garden-Variety Idea Of Some Magnitude But Hardly Greatness, well, booze cabinets and brick walls, or whatever coping mechanism works for you, STAT. It doesn’t make the Rippling Tweakage any easier, but it can dull the gnawing pain between your temples somewhat.

…I just looked at that last sentence and cannot believe I typed that. Some days, I really love my job.

Over and out!

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

Oh, Friday, I’m not in love. But I will consider letting you buy me dinner.

* Want to chat me up and maybe get some books signed? Come to the First Annual Author Faire at Cover to Cover Books! I’ll be there Saturday, December 10, from 11AM to 3PM, along with other great authors like Bill Cameron and Lisa Nowak. I plan on drinking tons of coffee so I’m bright-eyed and manic. Should be lots of fun.

* Today I’m over at the Orbit Books blog, talking about the Hedgewitch Experiment. Any day I can use the phrase “suppository supposition” is a good day.

* Oooh, they dug up a Pendle witch house!

* Big happy doings on the YA front. I can’t say much yet, but it involves a new series. I hate sitting on secrets like this, so rest assured, as soon as I can give more details, I will.

* A certain Squirrel Wonder scared the bejesus out of some guys in my front yard the other day. Which reminds me, I really have to tell you guys how that convalescence of Neo’s turned out. It involves me barefoot and screaming in the backyard again. It’s nice to know I’m consistent…but I’m amazed you guys aren’t bored yet.

* I am starting a project. It involves wine and livetweeting my reading of Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour. I did the first 25 pages the other night and had a blast. My favourite? “Hi, I’m Aaron Lightner/Rod Serling. For the next 965 pages, I’ll be showing you through Anne Rice’s id.” I kill me sometimes, I really do.

* To the skeezy guy trying to chat up the young girl with her dog near the middle-school’s soccer field this morning: my earphones weren’t playing music. I just don’t want to talk to people while I’m running. Consequently, I heard every word you said. And yes, I was looking at you. Because YOU ARE CREEPY. I’m glad the girl fled, and I took that extra lap around the track just to make sure you didn’t follow her. I’m surprised my gaze didn’t burn a hole in you. NEXT TIME IT WILL.

Yeah, Friday. It’s turning out to be a doozy. Let’s skip dinner and go straight to the drinks…

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Oct. 4th, 2011 09:26 am)

It’s another edition of Random Things Lili Thinks About, For She Does Not Have An Idea Worthy Of A Long Blog Post.

* Why the hell is Glitch so addictive? You’d think a game where you squeeze chickens, nibble and pet pigs, and make gardens would be boring. Instead, I can’t stay away. It gives me a glow of accomplishment. Man, I’m boring.

* Boring isn’t so bad. I’ve had enough excitement in my life that I can stand a LOT of boring. Like, until I croak. Because boring is safe, boring is predictable, and boring does not lead to bleeding, screaming, or pain. Well, at least, not my kind of boring. I’m pretty sure there’s tortuous boredom out there that will make one scream and bleed. I am happy to avoid that.

* On the other hand, I am rarely bored. Apparently I am easily amused, and can amuse myself for long periods of time. This is not a bad thing.

* When I run, music often plays in my head. I don’t use my IPod unless I’m on the treadmill; it’s just too much of a hazard. My brain, however, apparently requires music, so it gives me a selection of hits. This morning it was Phantom of the Opera (in particular, Prima Donna and Notes; God, I love Minnie Driver even though the singing in that version is…meh, I mean, really, Gerard, did you have bad dental work? The lisp, my man, it’s gotta go) and, of all things, AC/DC’s Back in Black. (Which happens to be Graves’s theme music near the end of the Strange Angels; he starts out with Chris Isaak’s Let Me Down Easy and AC/DC’s Highway to Hell.) I’m pleased to report Andrew Lloyd Webber and AC/DC go together rather well while I’m running in the dark.

* Oh, look, a Sekrit Hideout has been discovered. The story possibilities are endless.

* I’m told (hi, TP!) I must have a very sharp sense of smell, because of how I write. I don’t think I do, but I do think I pay a great deal of attention to olfactory input. I am constantly aware of the smellscape around me. (When one has kids, it’s always best, don’t you think?) If I come down with a cold and a stuffed nose, I feel half-blind. There’s also the funny things I call “misfires” or “auras”–that’s when my brain doesn’t know quite how to handle the input it’s getting, so it gives me a smell/sound/taste/sight that cannot possibly be. Usually this shocks me into paying attention to something I wouldn’t normally have taken a second look at; it seems to mostly be a way for my subconscious to warn me of possible danger. Most of the synesthesia I suffer is of this sort. (The rest of it seems to be excess energy in my neurons just slopping around.)

* I can finally listen to music with words again. Recently, finishing three zero drafts basically at once, I had retreated into classical and ambient music. Lyrics just scraped the inside of my head raw and irritated me right between the shoulderblades. Thankfully, the sensitivity retreated as it always does. It’s funny, when I’m writing something dire I want bright pop music, when I’m writing something mannered and precise and historical I want punk or hard rock, when I’m writing romance I want angry music. It’s as if the aural stim needs to be a balance to the weight on a certain set of creative muscles.

* I might–might, mind you–be reaching the end of my reading on the Eastern Front of WWII. If this is so I’m going to have to find another historical oddity to stripmine, since my tastes in fiction have also retreated like bruised anemones . I’m beginning to be unable to read in the genre I’m writing, or at least, not comfortably. It’s hard to read for joy anymore, I’m so used to revision-reading. The nonfiction gives my brain a chance to spool down. Plus, it’s a relief to read something I won’t ever write about, almost (dare I say it) restful. Since rest is always in short supply, it’s nice to find a few moments of it here and there.

Eh. I, I, I, me, me, me. Booooor-ing. I’d write the next chapter of the Squirrel!Terror saga, but all my focus is taken up with revising. Eh.

Over and out.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

I’m in Revision Hell at the moment, chopping up and messing with the first Bannon & Clare book to get it from zero to first draft status. So I have the map of Dickens’s London out, a sneezing cat on my shoulder, a dog flopped at my feet with several long-suffering sighs whenever I move in the slightest, and a head stuffed full of story structure, plot arc, character cross-references, and things to look for in the zero draft.

As you might suspect, this makes for some exotic thoughts when I’m not actively revising. Like the peculiar, highly-colored, anxiety-ridden dreams I’ve come to expect during revisions. They rarely involve the story; instead, they’re some version or another of the old “here I am in class, naked and missing my homework” dreams. Last night’s featured Martians.

Seriously, you don’t want to know. In any case, here’s a selection of Things I Think While Revising, different than the normal oddness inside my head only in that the anxiety makes them much more vivid than usual ho-hum “how would I do a shootout in this stairwell” thoughts.

* “I have a tumor. I’m going to die.” This morning while running I had an amazing bolt of pain lance through my head. Wednesdays are my easy days, only three miles and no double in the afternoon. So there I was, trucking along at about two miles, and I had to stop and screw my eyes shut. The dog was confused, and as soon as the bolt passed I wondered if I had a brain tumor and I was going to be felled by it in a matter of weeks. Then I realized I was being ridiculous, and started running again.

* “Pancakes and watermelon are an acceptable dinner, right?” The kids agreed enthusiastically. However, I don’t really like watermelon, so it was grapes, pita chips, and Brie for me. That was when I realized I had grabbed “light” Brie. Let me tell you, such a thing is an abomination unto the gods, and shall ever be, world without end, amen.

* “A hansom only needs one clockhorse, thanks.” Said to the nice lady checking my groceries at the supermarket. She knows me–I’ve been shopping there for a decade now–so she just said, “Another book, huh? I’m gonna give you this coupon, honey. Go home and get some rest.”

* “Armored squirrels. With red eyes. Can I fit them into this draft?” Sadly, I could not. Altered rats, sure. But not squirrels. I’m sure there were squirrels in Victorian London, but I don’t want to dig them up. Let them rest in peace, for Chrissake.

* “I can climb tha–THUD.” It’s not that I overestimate my abilities. It’s that I throw myself at the wall and see what sticks, and while I’m in revision I’m tempted to do the craziest things because they sound good at the time.

* “Oh, God, if I just had a submachine gun right now…” Pretty standard, right? But when in revision hell, the ensuing mental dwelling upon the likely consequences are Technicolor vivid. I…won’t say more.

* “Could I teach the dog to bring me a glass of wine?” I actually spent a good ten minutes contemplating this. Then I ran up against the fact that Miss B doesn’t have thumbs. And decided it was time to go to bed, for I was getting silly.

* “What if it was an alien driving that car…?” One of the things about revision is that new stories start crowding the brain, the what-if muscle working overtime, begging to be used. I have not decided if this is a method of procrastination or a natural result of the creative faculties chewing on the bone and gristle of a zero draft, looking for something a little more tender. Who knows? In any case, I lose myself in little what-ifs like this an awful lot during revision. Even more than I normally do, which is saying something.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Here, have a trailer for a movie about the invention of the vibrator. Hat tip to the Selkie for that one. See, there’s a taste of the random that happens when it’s revision time.

Speaking of which, I’ve got to go back. I’m trying to find chapter names that don’t sound like coffee brands. *headdesk*

Over and out.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

Just a couple of quick things:

* “Hippo Birdie” to the lovely and talented Miss L. D., otherwise known as the Martian Mooncrab. Research assistant, author helper, amanuensis, and organizer extraordinaire, she is a shining light. *throws confetti* You go, girl!

* I am trying to get another podcast together. So far I have a couple Reader Questions and a request to do my Hans & Franz impression. The next few weeks are hair-tearing busy, between writing, proofs, and various other things. But I’m working on it, guys.

* There’s a couple updates on yesterday’s plagiarism story. I won’t say more, because otherwise my head might asplode. The awards ceremony this year is going to be a dilly.

* Creepy Whistling Dude was at it again this morning. The new twist? A wooden train whistle. Maybe he thinks he just isn’t being overtly creepy enough?

And that’s about it for a while. I’ve got to plunge back into fresh wordcount. This book wants to be born. It’s dropped down and my brain’s dilated.

…yeah, bad metaphor. Sorry about that.

Over and out!

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lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Jun. 24th, 2011 09:56 am)

I finally finished the copyedits last night. My brain is porridge, but I go straight into Book 2 of the duology I just finished edits on book 1 for. *headdesk* So it’s six random things this Friday while I recuperate. Sort of. I guess. Maybe.

* James “Whitey” Bulger’s finally been caught. (He was in Santa Monica for 14 years.) I heard about him years ago on America’s Most Wanted (I used to watch that show religiously, you just don’t know) and always wondered, off and on, if he was ever going to be caught. Kind of like Ira Einhorn. (Einhorn was gone for 17 years. Justice grinding slow but fine, anyone?)

* What was Shakespeare smoking? They want to dig him up and find out. Seriously. No, really. The words “crack pipe” are used. I AM SERIOUS.

* Oh, what happens to a state’s economy when the expected quasi-slave labor pool is driven away? Any guesses?

* For heaven’s sake, just let people get married and spend their lives together. The world is cold and cruel enough. Quit trying to make it harder.

* My new cell phone (the one I had to teach how to curse, remember?) has Google Tracks. Which means I can run with Miss B., and have my distance, speed, elevation, and quite probably what I had for breakfast, the state of the cartilage in my knees, and the number of hairs on Miss B. right front foot tracked. Already it’s been thought-provoking; I’ve found out that my pace outside is a lot quicker than I thought possible, as well as a number of other things. The future is here. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with it, but it’s mighty convenient.

* I am told that in my next podcast I have to do my Hans and Franz impersonation. So, that’s coming up in the near future. I’m also taking questions for that same podcast. Drop me a line if you have a podcast question for me!

And that’s about it for Friday six. Off I go to force my porridge-brain through another sieve. It’s about as fun as it sounds…

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lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Jun. 21st, 2011 09:02 am)

Three miles on the track with Miss B. this morning. There were a couple other dogs, so of course she went mad. She wants to be friendly sooooo badly, but her manners are atrocious. We’re working on it.

Also, my darling 40-pound dog tried to kill me this morning. The track is at the local middle school, and they were testing and repairing the sprinklers for summer. When some of the sprinklers turned on near us, she headed for the safest place around–right between my feet. While I was running. I didn’t break anything, but it was damn close. I haven’t made an amazing leap like that since…well, ballet, really, or my last barfight. Of course, since the leash is wrapped around my waist, she came with me. it was an interesting fifteen seconds or so.

Also in the Cat and Dog Follies this morning: Tuxedo Kitty is in another bolt-and-bounce phase, which means Miss B. views him as a magical food-producing machine she can’t get too close to, but must watch carefully in case the jackpot occurs.The kibble isn’t even chewed when he horks it up–just moistened a bit. Miss B. thinks this is a glorious snack. Tuxedo Kitty goes right back to the bowl after every hork. It’s a Circle of Life I just don’t need to be involved in. Though I have found that catnip spray will disrupt Tuxedo Kitty from staggering back to the bowl.

You read that right. I got my cat high to stop his binge-and-purge. Hey, whatever works.

Also, I found out that Miss B. will never starve. Not as long as the squirrels keep burying peanuts in the backyard. It’s like she’s a peanut-hunting machine. The squirrels are less amused than I am.

Time to load up on choco donettes and head back into the wilds of the copyedits. Submerging in 3…2…1…

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

Things that happened this weekend:

* I found sweet, dumb, silly Tuxedo Kitty trying to spray on my canvas map of Dickensian London. Again. My cry of horror brought everyone in the house running. I don’t know what that cat has against the West India Docks, but it’s apparently severe. I tossed the offender outside to ruminate on his sins, but he was distracted by a butterfly.

* A friend sent me the link to this…well, I guess “fan art” is what you could call it. Before I give you the link, though, just be warned that it’s not safe for work OR sanity. It is hysterically funny–as long as you don’t mind your 80s childhood weeping at the same time. Okay, that’s all the disclaimers. If you’re sure you still want to know…here it is.

* Got a new waffle iron. The old one was just…well, it’s tired. I guess we eat a lot of waffles. I can’t bring myself to be ashamed of this.

* I found out I have almost a bookcase-worth of World War II (Eastern Front and Dictators) books. My writing partner commented, “Well, you have enough WWII stuff to qualify for a Military History Specialty. Why not organize it?” I just didn’t think I had that much. I read that sort of stuff to give my brain a break, since I’m likely never going to write a story set in that era. I am…not sure what this says about me.

* The kitchen reorganized itself. It started out with moving a single crock of cooking utensils to the other side of the stove. Then I had to move another crock so the first one wouldn’t feel lonely, then I realized I could get some space if I just switched something else around…and two hours later, nobody could even find the forks. (Okay, I lie. I left the forks where they were. But that’s ALL I left.) As procrastinations go, this was a good one. Very useful.

* Panic-stricken, I realized there was a HUGE PLOT HOLE in the book now in copyedits. I dug through pages and pages…until I found out I’d fixed the plot hole two drafts ago, and that’s why I couldn’t find it in the CEs. *headdesk*

* Got a frantic call from a friend. “mumblemumbleRAN OFF THE ROADmumblemumbleTIRESmumbleOMGHALP.” So I bolted out to Hazel Dell (pretty name, right? It’s misleading.) and arrived at a tire-repair place ready for blood, screaming, or what-have-you. Turns out I didn’t need to kill anyone, just pay for a new wheel and new tires, because she doesn’t get paid until later in the week. That was my cardio for the day. I was so discombobulated that when she said, “I am calling the Pope and having you nominated for sainthood,” I actually replied, “Nah, I did too many Catholic boys.” The man behind the counter about choked on a laugh. He tried really hard to stay professional. Poor guy. I’m sure it didn’t help when I looked up at him and blurted, “Oh, hell, I just said that out loud, didn’t I.”

* Found out that Miss B. can, in fact, leap five feet straight up. If she’s motivated enough. (Like, say, by Steerpike!Squirrel. Who almost lost his tail.) It’s a good thing the fence has her fooled, for now. *sigh*

* Witnessed a duel between Squirrel!Neo and Steerpike!Squirrel. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE. (Yes, there is more SquirrelTerror. When I’m done with CEs I’ll write them up.)

There were other things, but they’re either too embarrassing or boring to relate. So, that was my weekend. Now it’s time to dive back into those copyedits.

500 pages of them.

*weeps*

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

First, the obligatory self-pimpage: don’t forget the RECKONING contest! The May 31 event grows ever closer!

Things I did today include:

* Dropping off people at the airport without killing, maiming, or screaming at anyone. Banner occasion.
* Staring at a weird pale growth in the front yard until I realized it was a mushroom.
* Saying very loudly, “Jesus Christ, don’t eat that, what’s WRONG with you?” to my dog, then looking up and realizing a woman and her toddler were staring at me round-eyed.
* Wondering just where the J. Peterman Company got my address from. I mean, I’m not mad. I’m just curious.
* Realizing my current TBR stack includes five books on psychopathology, two books on forensic pathology, and six books on World War II.
* Admitting to myself that I find China Mieville‘s brain disturbingly hawt. (WHAT? I paid for Embassytown in HARDCOVER, thankyouverymuch.)
* Spending serious time while walking considering just how best to set up shots of Gilbert the Zombie Gnome at the May 31 event.

Things I looked up today include:

* Mining in the 1800s
* How to say “you magnificent bastard” in German
* Rapiers. RAPIERS ARE COOL. Actually, medieval fencing manuals are interesting too. I should totally get someone around here to put on a couple rapier fights for me…
* Prostitute slang in Victorian London. ^o.0^

Things I wrote today include:

* A mentath, an assassin, and a mad Bavarian go into a mine.
* A REALLY BAD joke. (If it ain’t baroque, donna fixit!)
* An entire email based on a sleeping tapir. (I love saying “TAPIR TOES!” at random moments.)
* A scorching letter to the Entitled Stalker Of The Week. Which I promptly deleted. Because I am an adult.
* An email beginning “Dear Mr. Jones,”. No lie.

And a couple of links to round things off:

* Jill Filipovic on accusing the accuser.
* And the BEST THING IN THE WORLD TODAY is this vlog, where a lovely young lady calls out Beyonce for being a liar-liar-pants-on-fire, and does it with such clarity and grace it leaves one breathless.

Over and out.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( May. 13th, 2011 10:55 am)

First, the shameless self-promotion: I think we can do better than 24 comments, darlings, don’t you? Plus, there’s that voting for Fourth Day Universe’s Best Horror Book of 2010. If the spirit moves you, hop on over and give a click or a comment. Also, you can hear in this interview how Cover to Cover Books is rising like a phoenix from the ashes, and how I’m to blame for a thing or two. My writing partner has a great interview voice, I’m just sayin’.

A couple of other links: almost-ten ways to tighten your copy, Michael Moore’s final thoughts on the death of Osama bin Laden, and aspiring writers, please LISTEN TO THE BROWN ONE. (Hat tip to Richelle Mead for that link.) Also, from the indomitable and always-hilarious Chuck Wendig, an expose on how writers get their ideas. (Beverage alert on that one. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

Back I go into the coils of revision. I wish I could announce the project I’m working on right now. My editor won’t let me yet, so I’ll just have to wriggle with frustration in my desk chair and wait.

Sorry for that mental image. Have a good weekend.

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My first review for Spiral Rhythms is up. I’m excited to be reviewing for them; it’s a good way to stretch my capabilities, and the editor’s a sweetheart. Go check ‘em out, if you like.

I’ve just finished eyeballing the two books in copyedit, back to back. Looking over CEs requires an entirely different set of mental muscles than writing, I’m feeling a bit bruised and strained right now. Plus I keep mumbling “stet, dammit, stet,” at weird times while my head jerks sideways. It’s like a tic, only not so nice. I am currently listening to Aretha Franklin wailing gospel and trying to calm the hyperventilation. I’ve two interviews and wordcount left to do today.

*weeps*

Of course, I’ve run errands and paid bills today, as well as delivered a care package to my favourite local bookstore. I ran three miles, took the dog on a two-mile hike, and loaded and unloaded the dishwasher twice. (I am gratified to report that I did NOT unload dirty dishes, as I have sometimes done while under deadline crunch.) I feel productive, but also slightly battered.

So that’s it from me today. I wish I had something Amazingly Relevant and Entertaining to report, but I got nothin’. My only amusement today has come from looking at the dog while paying bills and saying, “They’re right, Miss B. You CAN feel the Matrix when you do this!” and watching a frisky young squirrel trying to muscle his way up the backyard hierarchy. Neo is taking a Very Dim View of the latter event, indeed.

More later. Gotta run. Ciao.

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The winners for the DEFIANCE contest are posted here at Deadline Dames! Thanks for all the great trivia–I learned an incredible amount reading those comments. My Readers have a vast store of knowledge. When I take over the world, I shall be depending on each of you to advise me.

My weekend was long periods of intense work broken only by moments of reaching for the next batch of Easter candy to shove down my gullet. Yes, that’s right–I was revising. Or, if you want to be precise, doing the first revision after an editorial letter for a book I wrote three years ago or so. I kept looking at the screen in disbelief, shaking my head and tasting vomit because I’d written something that sucked so hugely. Which is a normal thing for me during revisions, really, but looking at any work more than six months old is an incredibly disheartening experience. I take comfort in the fact that, while I might not know if I’ve gotten better in the intervening time, at least I know my writing style has changed.

This particular book started out at about 100K words, and now stands at about 125K. This is, for me, an absolute doorstop of a book. My editor wanted more more more, so I obliged, and since the work had good bones…well, I guess I’ll find out what she thinks in a little bit. Since I’ve finished and sent it back early, pleading for her to be only as savage with it as she must.

Notice I don’t ask for kindness. Kindness, while it may save whatever tattered shards of ego I have left, will not make the book better.

Anyway. I am looking forward to announcing this project as soon as I get the official okay-go-ahead. In the meantime, here, have some Chuck Wendig: 25 things a writer should know. I’ll just point and say, what he said.

After the push to get the revisions done (steady progress yesterday was marred by a corrupted file and the loss of an hour’s worth of work, thank God it wasn’t more, but it was in the last twenty fricking pages and I almost wept like the little girl I pretend to be sometimes when luring my victims in, whole ‘nother story, tell you later), catching up (mostly) on correspondence, and finishing a review that had been languishing on my hard drive for two weeks, I don’t have a lot of usable gray matter left in my tiny little skull. If you need me, I’ll be over in the corner rocking back and forth and reading about the Ardennes offensive. *whimpers*

Over and out.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Apr. 11th, 2011 09:36 am)

Morning walk was a treat. Sometimes when the wind is just right, you can even smell the sea, which scratches that itch quite nicely. I don’t feel like myself if I don’t see crashing waves every now and again, but I don’t get out to the beach nearly as often as I should. That may change this summer, with a dog and a decent car. We’ll see.

Unfortunately, I’d have to clear three months’ worth of work before I could afford to take a weekend off. No pain, no gain.

Miss B. is sacked out at my feet–I worked her hard this morning. I’m even wearing out a mini-Aussie, for heaven’s sake. I didn’t think it was possible. Oh well, a tired dog is a well-behaved dog, and all that.

Spring Break is over, the house is quiet because the kidlings are back at school, and I’m settling in. Before I turn off the wireless and get cracking writing the destruction of a whole Londinium shipyard, though, here’s some linkage!

* This is why I’m not letting Miss B. go outside alone. Also, when you have to use baby strollers as bait to catch squirrels…yeah.

* Courtesy of the lovely Mazoku, a little cautionary tale about caffeine. Well, maybe not cautionary. Maybe more like, I’d try this at home just to see the dude in the Matrix coat.

* This morning’s musecrack from my writing partner: a Laura Marling video. There’s a selkie story just begging to be written there.

* Just a note: the Reckoning cover that’s making the rounds on Goodreads? It’s not the final one, guys.

And now I need to plan that shipyard rumble with the assassin, the mad Bavarian genius, the mentath Clare, and a couple of prematurely-awakened mecha. This afternoon will be given over to revising a certain Sekrit Project I hope to announce soon. Let’s just say that if you like the way I write fantasy, you’re in for a treat.

Over and out.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Mar. 11th, 2011 10:08 am)

* First off, a collection of links on how to help after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Plus, emergency numbers and live reports.

* This week’s writing post (Habit and Ritual) was on Wednesday. I am putting together ideas for a new podcast episode. Now’s the time to get your questions in!

* Interesting article on Ayn Rand. I always wonder, when reading about Rand, how coverage or criticism would be different if she was male. But that’s a question/rant for another day.

* Let’s not forget that Governor Scott Walker and the Republicans in Wisconsin have basically given the finger to working families with a series of shenanigans. The cynic in me says that now that the bill is signed, the mainstream media will move on and shove more Charlie Sheen and disaster pr0n down our throats and hope we forget all about it. Let’s hope I’m wrong. Also, Peter King’s hypocritical McCarthyite witch hunt, America isn’t broke, and Murder City just over our border.

Today I have to get some work done, so I’m signing off and turning off the Internet connection. I just can’t handle any more. Have a safe weekend out there, dear Readers.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

I am currently stamping on some flaming revisions at the moment, hoping I can put them out in time to make deadline. So just a few things today:

* Yes, I’ve started a podcast! I can treat you all to long rambling rants about nothing in my screechy caw, not to mention try to get over my fear of speaking into a microphone.

* Chuck Wendig on how not to starve and die as a writer, and on what dopamine is and why writers need it. I should just steal all his writing posts and pass them off as mine.

* Holly Black on the (nonexistent) YA mafia. John Scalzi on the (nonexistent) YA mafia. For Christ’s sake, there is no YA mafia. This is just the latest iteration of the “gatekeeper” myth–the idea that there is a secret cabal somewhere that you have to kiss up to or figure out the secret handshake for in order to break into publishing. There is none. There is quality control and business practices, but no fricking gatekeepers, keymasters, Zuuls, Viggo the Carpathians, or Stay-Puft Marshmallow men.

Okay, so there is a Stay-Puft Man, but like I said earlier on Twitter, you have to be drunker than Hemingway to see him. So, yeah.

* Slacktivist has moved! But he promises to keep doing the Left Behind rundowns. So I suppose I’ll adjust.

Writing posts will resume when I have some mental and emotional energy to pour into them, which frankly isn’t at the moment. I’m too busy trying to put out the bonfire of the revisions. (They burn longer than vanities, I’m told…)

Over and out.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

lilithsaintcrow: (Default)
( Mar. 2nd, 2011 08:01 pm)

Well, my first attempt at a podcast is up. The first bit of it was recorded in mono, the last quarter or so managed to make it to stereo. I’ve finally fixed the problem, and if this turns out to be something you guys like, why then, I’ll do more of them, and they will turn into something a little more finished. (Now that I’ve made a bunch of mistakes with it.)

Oh, you say you want the feed link? I see. Here it is, twelve whole minutes of me blathering away like a big blathering thing. I have horrid stage fright and was terrified during the entire recording process, but the editing was actually kind of fun. I can even see putting my Write Like You Mean It lectures on the Web this way; assuming, that is, that this stirs any interest.

I spent a lot of time today doing some patient advocacy, so I’m wiped out emotionally and physically. I do have good news, though–tomorrow, if my ankle holds up, I am allowed to take my first run in three weeks. I can’t wait. Attempting to just get by with walking has so not cut it. I need my endorphin rush! I am literally fiending for a run.

I wish I could come up with something witty to say, but revisions are eating my head and I can’t wait to finally crawl into bed tonight. So, off I go.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

It’s Monday again. I am blinking blearily at the clock and wondering why the weekend couldn’t last longer. Of course, I spent the weekend moving furniture and cleaning, and it’s not like I want more of that. But I like the idea of sleeping in some more. That would be okay.

Why was I moving furniture, you ask? First there was the fact that the Princess needed a desk to do her homework at. Things had Reached That Point. Which wasn’t so bad. At least, I could do that during the day. It was hauling furniture around at midnight that–well, let me back up.

The Little Prince saw a video game at a friend’s house. This video game featured zombies. Apparently, while the Prince is cuddled up next to me watching a movie, zombies don’t bother him. But over at his friend’s house, they terrify him and he comes home still scared. The upshot of this is, midnight last night found me dragging his bed away from the window. Because the zombies would “peel the glass off and come in,” otherwise.

Every kid hits that thing they’re scared of when they’re about eight or so. Mine? Clowns. I can’t regard a clown with any equanimity. My response to greasepaint, bright colors, and a wide smile is to run like hell. The seal upon this was Tim Curry’s Pennywise. IT was scary enough when I was eleven; but Curry just blew the doors off in the television series.

So, there I was, moving furniture at midnight because of the zombies. Do other people do this? I’m just wondering. Anyway, there was a limit to what I could do during the night. This morning we finished rearranging his room completely. Now he feels safer.

It’s the little things.

What else, let me see…I may have convention news to report soon. There are a limited number of events/conventions I can do, being a single mother and all, but it’s looking like I’ll make one this year. Further bulletins as soon as everything’s smoothed out and official. Plus, we’re working out an April signing. Again, further bulletins when it’s all official.

The ankle is healing slowly but surely. I went climbing today without a brace for the first time. I’m only allowed one 5.9 per session; the rest of the time it has to be easier climbs. So far, so good–the ankle’s strengthening and stretching nicely. I’m using my arms a little more, but that’s to be expected. The only thing not to like about this is that I still can’t run. I can walk on the treadmill, sure. But no running. Which annoys the hell out of me. I NEED THAT ENDORPHIN RUSH, OKAY?

The strange thing is, top-roping doesn’t bother me at all. But bouldering–easy traverses, never more than a foot or so off the ground–makes my body freak out. My heart starts hammering and my palms slick up, the buzzing starts in my ears again. The body remembers silly things you’ve done to it, and it does its level best to warn you.

Me: Calm down. We’re not even a foot off the ground. We’re not doing any vertical problems. Just traverses. We can’t get hurt doing this, okay?
Body: NO NO NO! I REMEMBER THIS! STOP IT! FIRE! FLOOD! ASSASSINS! HIGH FOOD PRICES! APOCALYPSE!
Me: Cut it out, you’re making this harder!
Body: THEN STOP. IT’S THAT SIMPLE.
Me: Look, I’m in charge–
Body: OH YEAH? *stops breathing*
Me: ACK!

Something like that. So the problem becomes gently coaxing the body into seeing that it’s not so bad. I mean, when one’s active, one’s going to get injured occasionally. If I can just reach a detente with my body, we’ll be rocking the vertical problems again. That detente will become easier once my body doesn’t suspect me of lying to it.

That’s all the news that’s fit to report, I guess. Or maybe somewhat more than what’s fit to print.

Over and out.

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

My semi-hiatus from blogging proceeds apace. Here’s a couple links:

* I linked to my “The Hard Sell Doesn’t Work” post on Twitter yesterday, and Becca Fitzpatrick has further thoughts.

* An underground village in France, continuously inhabited for thousands of years.

* The Wishery Snow White remix, just because it’s been too long since I’ve linked to it.

* Larissa Ione on thickening skin and review scars.

I am also breaking the semi-hiatus to announce something. It’s that time. I’ve been given official permission to announce the project I’ll be working on after (sadly) finishing up Jill Kismet, Bannon & Clare:

Emma Bannon, Prime sorceress in the service of Britannia, has a mission: to protect Archibald Clare, a failed, unregistered mentath. His skills of deduction are legendary, and her own sorcery is not inconsiderable. It doesn’t much help that they dislike each other, or that Bannon’s Shield, Mikal, might just be a traitor himself. Or that the conspiracy killing registered mentaths and sorcerers alike will just as likely kill them as seduce them into treachery toward their Queen. In an alternate Londonium where illogical magic has turned the Industrial Revolution on its head, Bannon and Clare now face hostility, treason, cannon fire, black sorcery, and the problem of reliably finding hansom cabs. The game is afoot…

I am so ridiculously excited about this. Clockwork horses. Charm and charter. Gryphons. Cannon fire. Logic engines. GIGANTIC CLOCKWORK MECHA RUN BY LOGIC. *does squealing Kermit arm-wavey dance* This is why I’ve been diving up to my eyeballs into Victoriana. I am having a ball with creating Bannon & Clare’s world, and I can’t wait to invite you, dear Reader, into it.

And now, back I go to the semi-hiatus…

Posted from A Fire of Reason. You can also comment there.

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