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B is for Broken Cover Reveal

"C is for Change"

"Three nights, maybe less," I told the man; a grandchild clinging to his neck, another clutching a trouser leg, and watched his mouth fall slack with fear. "And we can only make ten trips up the mountain a day, for people and supplies both, so the Qandunar warmaster wants you to run, if you can."

Three broken people; a monk bearing a terrible scar, a warrior facing a terrible sorrow, a woman hiding a terrible past face a relentless army so hard to defeat it might as well be invincible. Find out whether or not they survive in "C is for Change." Forthcoming in the B is for Broken anthology.

Puffin Benefit Recap & A New Novel Begins

Friday evening's Puffin Awards Benefit went really well. Bill Conall, Mona Anderson and I read from our various work, Kate Oland and Bill Conall performed two of Kate's songs, and Gary Walsh was our emcee. The picture is from our improv story circle, which was hella fun (I love improv stuff). I wish the Puffin Awards every good thing and hope it continues to encourage young writers for a long time to come.

In the Service of the Creative: Thoughts on the Hugos and Other Things

I've been struggling with this blog entry for over a week now, but in the wake of Mary Robinette Kowal's excellent post, I decided it was finally time to collect my own thoughts and write about the controversy around this year's Hugo awards. I'm not terribly certain how all of those thoughts will come together here, so I hope you'll be patient with me as I muddle through.

"Sing the Crumbling City" Coming Soon in Mythic Delirium!

"What. We who raise the warning cry -
summon the sleight of your seiðr-kenning!
Mímir's well, might of the Maddener beckons;
drink and know Níðhöggr gnaws at the root."

- From my new story "Sing the Crumbling City", available in Issue 1.4 of Mythic Delirium, coming in April 2015.

Lo! The cover and contents for the next issue of Mythic Delirium are up, and here is artist Elena de’ Grimani's gorgeous cover. You can read the official announcement here, and you can subscribe to the magazine here.

Serialization, and a Note on the Gaelic Thing

I wrote the other day about the possibility that I might serialize Twilight of the World Sea People, and I've decided to hold off on that a while, for a few important reasons. First, it would be much harder to build a readership entirely from self-publishing now than it would be later as a traditionally-published writer with one or two novels under my belt. This is a well-known downside to self-publishing; that no matter how good a book is, finding readers for it is harder for people without the reach of a traditional publisher. Second, the book I have outlined and ready to write now (Motherland I) might genuinely be a better first book in the series, and it would represent a second opportunity to introduce a traditional publisher to this universe. Third, I would have the opportunity to revise TWSP in light of further storytelling in the series and present it as a possible Book III (Motherland is a duology).

2014 Writing in Review and Awards Eligibility

2014 was a good year for my writing. I had the opportunity to read my work at the Baddeck Public Library and the World Fantasy Convention, was accepted to the council of the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia, was interviewed for Jolene Dawe's Celebrating Pagan Fiction series and received positive reviews for "The Daemons of Tairdean Town" and "N is for Nanomachine", which also garnered a Pushcart nomination. I also had several pieces appear in print:

Flow Charting a Magic System

As part of my final edits for "C is for Change" (yeah, I let the title slip the other day in social networking, ah well *grin*), I needed an easy-to-follow means of revisiting the story's magic system to make certain it was consistent throughout. So I flow charted it. I probably should have created something like this closer to the beginning of the drafting process, but I did find it helpful in edits, and I'll likely create a similar flow chart for future storytelling processes of this kind.

There aren't any spoilers in the chart, so I thought I'd share it with you in the hope you might find it helpful to your own writing. I used an online service called Gliffy and found it helpful, but I'll likely look for a Linux or MacOS solution going forward.

State of the Writer

As is our custom here, Boxing Day is a work day, so I'll be polishing up edits for "C is for Change". Next week, I'll be writing the final three posts in "The Vegan Pagan" series and editing web site content for a gorgeous project Sean has been working on for some months. In January-February, I'll finally be re-releasing The Ruin of Beltany Ring in paperback, ebook and audio, and I'll be releasing "Grandmother Mælkevejen's Belly" ebook and audio as well. I have some tentative plans to write a one-act play or two in 2015, and I'd also like to finish the script for my short-run comic series if I can find a new artist for the project, but the big work for the year will be writing the first novel in what I'm tentatively calling The Motherland Duology.

The B Beast, Winter and Good Reviews

Working hard on the words lately. I'm in that place where I don't know whether I have 12,000 words of awesome or 12,000 words of what-the-hell-were-you-thinking (and yes, the B Beast is going to top out at 12,000 words, twice my original word count limit and thank you, Rhonda). I've been running my language through the sifter, again and again, turning words into art, or trying, anyway, because that's what I was hired to do. Come to think of it, this gig is teaching me about art, about story, about making a beautiful thing because beauty. Each time Rhonda has asked me to write for her, I've taken the work as a challenge to myself, a way to practice some new piece of craft.