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Showing posts from April, 2008

holy crap, I wrote something.

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Not GETHSEMANE, and I haven't gotten started on Sekrit Projekt No. 2 yet. But I started fiddling with a short story I abandoned months ago, and I am suddenly very happy with the way it turned out.

6,134 / 6,134
(100.0%)

It's also pure science fiction with a touch of fantasy, a step away from the usual horror. It's been a while since I finished anything salable, and I'm quite happy. A few beta reads and judicious editing, and off it'll go. I'll decide about GETHSEMANE tomorrow.

because some conversations deserve to be immortalized...

My friend and fellow author Jay Smith absolutely kills me with his blog, a perfect example of facing life with a sense of humor. He is also king of geeks, as this entry will attest.

Here's Jay trying to get his car repaired.

Me: “I see smoke.”
Mech: (nods) Well, that’s probably a forest pixie stuck in your flux capacitor.
Me: Make it go with no smoke? How much and when?
Mech: Weeelllllll, about $515 and half a day.
Me: Okay. Make fixed, no smoke.
Mech: Got it. We’ll call your cell when we’re done.
(later)
Mech: Okay, Mr. Smith. We removed the pixie from the flux capacitor, tightened up the transmat conduits and flushed the transwarp antimatter feeds. You should be good to go.
Me: Okay. Make fixed? No smoke?
Mech: That’s the end result, yes, sir.
Me: Good. What if pixie come back?
Mech: Just keep an eye on the front panel every so often, make sure the halogen matrix indicators line up and have the same lamination. If they fire out of sequence and you’re under 88mph, just stop and check to see…

Gethsemene

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11,704 / 60,000
(19.5%)

Eh.

Not sure what's bugging me about this. The fact that it's clear first-draft stuff, barely sketches of what I need? That for the first time in ages I'm flying blind, working without an outline? Or the fact that it just doesn't feel very good?

It's like there are peeks through of the book it could be, but not enough. Not near enough. And I feel the time pressure hard. It deserves better. But then I think that of all my books.

I've never tried to write two books at once. Some of my fellow authors do it regularly. I wonder if I can?

One-star reviews

The inimitable John Scalzi has issued forth a challenge to all us writers: post your one-star Amazon reviews. Go on. Own the hate.

Other authors have already begun to do so. After all, if you can't take the heat, pull a J.D. Salinger and hide in the mountains for forty years. Or something like that. The rest of us live and work in a world with fans, and you're not always going to please them.

I hadn't checked my Amazon pages for some time, which is funny considering how obsessed I was with them when my first book came out. Oh, I checked my rankings constantly. I obsessed over every rating. I didn't realize then that my book's "ranking" was a largely meaningless number determined by random sales occurring all over the world. But when I reached Number 17,000 on the overall site, I was (for about a half hour) technically outselling Brian Keene!

And I made the mistake of blogging same in my personal journal. Somehow he found this and congratulated me. Said we s…

following the crowd

A number of writers, including Elizabeth Bear and Mary Robinette, have been posting the chronology of novel-writing. You can't ask a writer how long she's been a writer, because it's just something you are, like having brown eyes. But every writer knows the first time she finished a book.

It's been gratifying to see how many writers started something years ago that never went anywhere, but later, they dusted it off and made it into something salable. I guess we all do that. Though, as Robinette says, some stuff in the trunk deserves to stay there. I have a feeling that's where Delenn is going to stay.

Without further ado....


Novel 0: SANCTUARY. It was written in my senior year of high school, inspired by a dream about a woman leading a band of insurgents to rescue a captured comrade from an unseen enemy. Being an enormous science fiction geek, I of course determined that it was an alien occupying force. I wrote it by hand in a series of spiral notebooks, and it was li…

Midsouthcon, Part IV

SUNDAY

Oh, the morning-after regret. Sara was bemoaning her sprained groove thing. I'm not entirely sure where her groove thing is located on her body, but apparently she sprained it and we're not close enough that I'm gonna go looking. Me, I was regretting the lack of sleep. I am too old for this shit.

Still, we meandered downstairs to have breakfast, all four of us Memphis Belles. As always, the food in the Holiday Inn restaurant was a sad disappointment for the price, but in this particular case, the price was "free." Ah, the value of being a Priority Club member.

My anxiety was building again, so I volunteered to be the one to leave breakfast early and go open the booth. It was the Day of Holy Commerce, as everyone realizes they have twenty bucks left from the boozing and paying off the sucker who put the hotel room on his credit card, so why not blow it in the dealers' room?

My Belles relieved me in time to make my reading, which was maybe the highlight of …

Midsouthcon, Part III

SATURDAY

Somehow I had managed to piss off Carlin Stuart, because he put me on a 9 a.m. panel. At 9 a.m. on Saturday I am not conscious enough to speak coherently. I have the sneaking suspicion that panel was about strong women characters in the Harry Potter universe and I kept trying to drag us to other universes as well because strong women characters are my favorite rant, but there was no caffeine in my system and therefore I have no clear memory of it.

Then off to commit commerce, huckstering folks in the dealers' room. I'm happy to say we had absolutely no rude patrons. I've worked booths at conventions without number now, and it floors me how rude people can be. I could never work retail again, it's just too hard not to punch some asshole's lights out.

We came up with the quasi-brilliant idea for a raffle – tickets were 50 cents each or three for a dollar, and we sold quite a few. We also let people get free raffle tickets at the party. Future reference: ixnay…