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Showing posts from September, 2008

a new level of psychosis

Some time ago, my son committed the Class B misdemeanor of playing with a Batman bounce ball in the apartment. His sentence, of course, was a scolding and confiscation of said bounce ball.

I was on the computer at the time - aren't I always? - and slid the ball under my desk to keep it from being unconfiscated by sneakiness, something His Majesty thinks I don't know he does.

I found that it made a great footrest. I'd prop my feet up on it, and when bored or working through a plot problem, I'd sort of roll the ball between my feet. My way of saying Om.

A couple of days ago, he found the ball. And unconfiscated it. I couldn't exactly protest. It had been confiscated for months, far beyond the scope of the Class B misdemeanor.

I can't seem to write.

It's been a struggle the last two days, after at least a week of smoothish sailing. I seriously spent the last ten minutes searching my house for the stupid bounce ball. Even now, my whole balance is off. I've got…

causing pain.

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Wow. That last scene in Dreadmire was possibly the most horrible thing I've ever written. Not just what happened; the confluence of emotions, the roles each person took... This book is turning very, very dark.

I used to think of myself as a science fiction writer who also wrote horror. At some point, I became a horror writer who also writes science fiction.

Crunching away. I need more hours in the day. It's going too fast and it's too short, but the rewrite will blow the skies apart.

37,710 / 50,000
(75.4%)

Abaddon teaser!

Want a little something to read as you wait for the weekend to start?

Download the first chapter of ABADDON!

Go on, it's okay. No one will bite you. Unless you WANT them to.

If you like what you read, you can order the book at booksales@elizabethdonald.com or get the non-autographed version direct from the publisher.

Better yet, come to the release event on Thursday, drink free booze AND get the book. Everybody wins.

Well, except my characters. They NEVER win. Muahahaha.

Random Thoughts While Writing Swamp Thing

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As in, "Things I'm Going To Forget to Blog About."

• Note to self: do not hum along with Dreadmire playlist at Starbucks. Everyone else is hearing different music, dumbass.
• Oh, this is just awful. Kancethedrus speaks "neutrally" twice in as many paragraphs. Were you conscious when you wrote this?
• How many times can Dreadmire be "horrifying," "horrid" or "dank"? We need a thesaurus. Also, is "driving rain" really necessary, Cliche Girl?
• Kancethedrus is too sappy. I suck at writing love.
• We can't say will-o-the-wisp. Dreadmire is not in Ireland. Spooklights?
• I need to make up an elvish word that means "brother of choice" or "family of choice."
• Emo boys are emo.
• My god, the dialogue sucks. The description ain't too hot either.
• But boy, did I just hurt him.

32,584 / 50,000
(65.2%)

in case anyone's clocking me...

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The book is aliiiiiiive and kicking. We've had some wonderful angst thus far. And themes are starting to develop - the nature as balance, love as sacrifice that I expected would emerge.

As discussed with dear friend, fellow author and official buttkicker Angelia Sparrow:

ME: This book is becoming very matriarchal.
ANGEL: Is that good or bad?
ME: I'm noticing that the lizardfolk are led by a shapeshifting queen, the elves are led by a woman, at times Alesia leads the questers... it's time for a male leader, but the next group we meet is evil... Tam and Kance are both blinded by romantic love. Angiss is weak when he's not casting spells. Ruebel is a dumbass and possibly monster fodder. Creeplow has been sulking for over a century... My women kick ass and my men are romantic weaklings.

(cuts)

ME: I wrote this last night, though I don't know where it goes yet, but it's quintessential Kance: "A paladin does not let a woman die for him. This he knew, without ever havi…

Abaddon release party!

Join us in Collinsville on the eve of Archon to celebrate the release of my new book!

WHAT: Book release party celebrating the release of ABADDON, the next installment in the Nocturnal Urges vampire series
WHO: Elizabeth Donald, author of the Nocturnal Urges vampire mystery series
WHEN: 7-10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2
WHERE: The Blum House, 408 W. Main St., Collinsville, Ill.
WHY: Fun for vampires and victims alike!

The event is open to the public. Music will be provided by the DJ Kiltman. Wine will be served free to those over 21.

If you come dressed in Nocturnal Urges apparel or disguised as a vampire, you get a $1 coupon off merchandise from the Literary Underworld booth at Archon that weekend!

You do NOT have to buy a book to attend! Just come and celebrate with us, in a terrific creepy kickoff to the Halloween season.

If you do want a book, it is strongly recommended you preorder your copy, as only limited numbers will be available. For $8, you will receive a signed first edition of ABADDON,…

Calling all writers!

Published or unpublished, whatever your genre, it is our obligation to support Ralan.com.

Ralan is a FREE site that does better than anyone, including Writer's Market, at finding good, solid markets for speculative fiction and weeding out the scams. Personally, I think a scam that targets unpublished, new writers is about as low as you can get without clubbing baby seals. If you're gonna steal, steal from somebody who actually HAS money.

Ralan is FREE. Did I mention that? You don't have to pay $29.95 a year to access his listings, which helpfully point out the semi- and pro markets, the paying markets and "for the luv," which is pretty much how we all got started. He tells us how long we'll have to wait for an answer and knows faster than anyone when a market goes dead, so you're not submitting to guidelines lingering on a site no one is reading.

RALAN IS FREE. Help keep it free. Without Ralan, I honestly don't know where we'd go for listings. Can yo…

no words today, only music

Just too tired to work tonight, so tomorrow will have to be a serious work day along with major housework. But I won't do the work any good trying to force myself to think when I'm so tired my stomach is upset.

In the meantime, for those few who care, the Dreadmire Playlist.

This playlist was heavily influenced by seeing HURRICANE ON THE BAYOU, an IMAX movie playing at the St. Louis Science Center. It's a terrific movie, filmed just before and after Hurricane Katrina in the wetlands. It was supposed to be a what-if about the impact of a major hurricane now that we've destroyed much of the natural protection for the mainland, and ended up being front-and-center for Katrina.

It also celebrates the marvelous musical heritage of the bayou, and I could not help but get the CD. As such, maybe half the list is from that soundtrack, which featured Amanda Shaw, Tab Benoit, Zachary Richard, Charles Brown, Zydeco Force and others. It gave a nice Louisiana flavor to the playlist, and…

go go gadget swamp

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23,424 / 50,000
(46.8%)

It's about frigging time.

Swamp Thing started rolling today. I finished the lizard battle and got on to the next drama, which is the dread fog that causes amnesia and oh, I was looking forward to THAT. Squee. I do so love tormenting characters.

But it feels so damn good for the work to be rolling again. I hate that pulling-teeth feeling when the book is slogging, because the work is never any good then. I know this book will require significant rewrites, but the foundation I'm laying now feels good and solid.

Best of all, I'm tormenting my characters. This is not a happy book. But it's turning into a good book. Thank goodness. I wouldn't feel right turning in something that didn't at least have the potential to be really fun.

Poor Tam. It so sucks to be him. Muahahaha.

Now to sleep.

Book orders!

Order your copy of ABADDON! You'll get a first-edition, first printing autographed copy to be picked up at the book premiere event on Thursday, Oct. 2 at a St. Louis-area location to be announced very soon. You'll also receive an autographed cover flat of NOCTURNE and two original Nocturnal Urges matchbooks with the Ellora's Cave imprint. These are older items and when they're gone, they're gone.

The price for this package is $8. Add $12 if you want an autographed copy of NOCTURNE as well. If you cannot attend the event, shipping cost is $5 book rate, $10 Priority Mail.

To order, email booksales@elizabethdonald.com. Be sure to include what you want, how you want it personalized and whether you intend to pick it up at the premiere. Katie will inform you how to pay for it.

SUPPLIES ARE LIMITED. I can only get so many copies from Cerridwen. Order right away to ensure your copy. The book will be in Borders eventually, of course, but it will be a while - and they may not c…

A little help from my friends.

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FRANK: While you're working on this, can I call YOU Swamp Thing?
ME: Not if you expect me to respond.

17,267 / 50,000
(34.5%)

Thanks to Angelia Sparrow, who is kicking my ass nightly to keep up my word count. Equal thanks to David Tyler, who reminded me what simple, quiet love is like. Recent events have made that part hard to write. Sometimes I have to shut off parts of me in order to keep moving, but a writer can't do that too often or we find ourselves unable to write. I'd expound on whether that's why Dreadmire is proving so damn hard, but I'm too damn tired for psychoanalysis.

One thing's for sure: if I do this right, there won't be a dry eye in the house as this book unfolds. It isn't a happy story, people. I'm not in a happy mood.

Swamp Thing!

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We're through the fairy scene. This is officially the hardest thing I've ever written. Why, God, why? It's not that it's bad - there's a bit too much head-hopping and passive tense, but that's stuff I can edit later in the process. It's not the characters - they're starting to take shape. It's not the plot, the structure or the worldbuilding.

All of it is good. I read the outline I put together and I'm just as fascinated and excited as I was when I decided to take the job.

I wanted to say things about respecting the balance of life and death in the natural world, about the balance of emotions between people... Dreadmire is about balance and the disaster that comes when that balance is disrespected. I was exploring the naturalist-environmentalist side of myself with this.

Character-wise, the entire concept comes from a song I heard once, a song that seemed to be about a woman in love with a man who doesn't even see her as a woman, a man seekin…

Dragoncon, cont.

• Frank Fradella has his DragonCon set up and they're beautiful. I don't know how his photos look so shiny! There's a handful with me in them, but don't let that stop you. Go look!

• Russ Matthews' photos are also here, with extra emphasis on the parade. I have never seen the parade. I mean to every year... No, I do not have Russ' author shots of me yet. Trust me, you'll be the eighth or ninth to see them when they're here.

• Gail Martin's video blog features a brief interview with me and John Everson, found at this link at the 4:40 counter mark. Listen to me be incredibly boring describing my books! With very, very bad hair!

The part what was cut:

ME: And you can find me at www.elizabethdonald.com, where you will find links to everything I've ever done.
JOHN: Everything?
ME: Well, almost everything.

I thought it was funny.

You can see the other two videoblogs Gail did at Day One and Day Two.

• What do I wish I'd gotten on film? The Shanes breakin…

Dragoncon, Day V

MONDAY

As always, the end of Dragoncon brings both pain and relief. It is sad to say farewell to the friends we see only once a year, to come down from the mountaintop where we can talk about the things we love with people who understand us. And to make money. Don't forget the money.

It is a relief, however, to know that soon we can return to regular meals and full nights of sleep.

In the meantime, it's the clusterfuck of trying to get out along with 47,000 of your closest friends. The Hilton gets an A-plus from the Dragon Ladies for its service this year, but the elevators were insane. There was a group on the 25th floor that waited more than two hours for an elevator. In my elevator, someone was singing "Hotel California" - you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

Speeding along, I went to my signing. As expected, there were 29481210 people in line for Laurell and four for me. At least there were that many! Jeff Pagliei delivered my errant money b…

Dragoncon, Day IV

SUNDAY

We all slept in a little except for Shane I, who had hit the sack at an unprecedented 1 a.m. We just can't keep up the pace like we used to, you know? Anne disappeared with the Colonial Fleet and Dana and I took the opportunity to grab a "real" meal in the food court. Then we hung out in the VIP consuite for a while, catching up with some familiar faces.

My megapanel came next, a handful of us scary folk headlined by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Laurell K. Hamilton. Laurell was running a little late, so she wasn't there when we did our introductions. So when they passed the mike to me and everyone is looking at the curly-haired brunette, I said, "I am not Laurell K. Hamilton." This got a huge laugh. Easy room. :) I explained who I was and what I do and buy ABADDON please so I can pay my hotel bill. I may have left some of that out.

I was supposed to do an interview next, but the reporter didn't show. So back to the consuite for me, munching a bit and chatti…

Dragoncon, Day III

SATURDAY

I hate the Shanes. Despite about ninety minutes of sleep, they woke us up with singing and dancing. Gentlemen, I was never in the Army. FOR A REASON. We threatened to kill them, duct-tape them into the shower or worse, exile them to the Pepto-Bismol Palace, our off-site home of our first year at DC. The fury fell on deaf ears. But rest assured, we got our own back. ;)

Saturday began with my reading, and I was pleased to see a handful of people. I wish I had been placed later in the day or even on Sunday, as I hadn't had the chance to talk up the reading much, and I would have loved to see more folks there. I read the zombies, and I think only one woman left - perhaps it was the shreds of armflesh dangling from Parish's mouth? Or maybe she had an appointment. The overall reaction was positive and I sold a few books.

Then came the signing at the Borders kiosk. Borders had an itty bitty booth, so I set up my chair beside them. As Frank said, I was signing in the back alley …

Dragoncon, Day II

FRIDAY

Shane I has the most horrifying ring tone. We discovered this when it rang about nine times Friday morning, as his friends and family back home all needed to report to him that his lost dog had been found. I think the entire town of Gillespie, Illinois was hunting for that dog.

Shane I claims not to be a morning person, but he lies. Because he was up, humming and being all cheerful, a scant five hours after we all passed out in sodden splendor. He opened the shades, people. I didn't kill him. I considered spiking his toothpaste with Anne's whiskey.

The Shanes departed for their booth and Anne went to join her BSG crew. I had a mission: find a Staples to pick up some needed supplies for the weekend's commerce, as well as replacing the flyers I had brilliantly left in my car back in St. Louis. Enter Panya and Michael, who were kind enough to give up a morning lying on lounge chairs by their hotel pool in order to drive me to Staples. They are good people. I would have to…

Dragoncon, Day I

It's time for the Ginormous Con Wrap-Up of Doooooom, and even then it won't be as long as the registration line for DragonCon.

THURSDAY

Traveling to and from Dragoncon this year was easier than it ever has been. Perhaps this is because I flew with Jason Gish this year. I fly alone 99 percent of the time, so it was a pleasant change of pace to fly with someone and keep me company through the crazy. We flew and MARTAed without incident, checked into the room without problems... how strange!

Thursday was very laid-back. Jason kept me company as I stood in a 45-minute line for VIP badges. I decline to complain about it, because the non-guest registration line was wrapped around the hotel every day. I look at that line every year and know that I just couldn't do it. Standing that long, in that muggy Georgia heat, I'm always amazed no one faints or God-forbid dies. I understand the wait was half as long as last year, for which I am grateful. Those poor people.

This year the Drag…