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Yes! I'm still writing.

In case you were wondering... =)

I've been somewhat ill with a couple of health problems that while not critical, are vexing and taking up a chunk of my mental and physical energy. They're both under a doctor's care, so not to worry! But I thought I'd mention them, since I haven't posted much on social networking lately. I expect I'll be on the mend fairly soon.

On the writing front, I'm putting together a short inclusion piece for a non-fiction book a friend is writing (not sure if I can mention the details on it, since it isn't my project). The dense, arty sci-fi story with alliterative poetry is nearly done, and I like what I've done with it a whole lot. I'm still gearing up to outline the rest of the PTTB series too, which I'll start doing in the next week or so. I've also got a story, a novel and a poem out on submission, and as they say in this business, no news is good news!

They Made Me An Honorary Member of the Tribe

As I've mentioned on social networking recently, I've been researching and outlining a set of short stories to write before I return to novel-length fiction. In some cases, the research has been fun (i.e. watching episodes of Dexter to learn how other writers have crafted sociopathic characters), some of it has been gruesome (i.e. reading on Aztec sacrificial practices) and now some of it has crossed a boundary for me, forcing me to reconsider the cultural backdrop of one of my stories.

Writing, Restoring, Empowering: A Post of Many Things

Today is for planning the next six weeks of my writing life. I've been fortunate enough to sell nearly all the stories and poems in my inventory, so while I'm waiting to hear back from agents about my novel, I thought I'd take a break and create some new things to share. One of the stories came to me whole cloth in a dream, and while the dream logic of it will likely need tweaking before it works as narrative, I'm still excited to finally be giving it some attention. The title came to me in the dream as well; Sing the Crumbling City. Another story is rooted in my distaste for the pseudo-philosophical concept of metanorms and my desire to write the evolution of a female anti-hero. It might be called Chachalmeca, but I'm not sold on the title yet. I also need to unearth a few unfinished poems from the journal I jotted them down in and polish them up.

Baaack to wooork!

After a six-week hiatus of the domestic goddess variety, I am officially back at the keyboard tomorrow, with business, blog entries and story outlines a-plenty to sort, and not necessarily in that order.

I've been looking for a Neverwinter Nights clip that expresses my feelings about this return to creative productivity, but I can't seem to find it online, and I don't have the game installed, so I can't pull it from the dialogue. At first I thought it was a Deekinism, but now I think it belongs to that goblin I rescued at the entrance to Undermountain, the one that gets hired to work at the inn and complains about it all the time. All I remember is this gravelly voice grumbling "Baaack to wooork!" every time I climbed up out of the dungeon and back into the inn's basement.

You know, if you have to explain a quip that thoroughly, it just isn't funny anymore.

The End (Again)

Twilight of the World Sea People is now a polished manuscript. I'll be reading the whole novel again from the beginning over the next couple of days to tweak a few systemic errors I can't tackle with Find/Replace, but they really are just word changes here and there. By Sunday night, I'll have done all I know how to do with this novel. It will be the best book I could have written with the skills I had when I wrote it. I will finally (since books are never really finished) abandon it, and any imperfections therein I will happily live with unless and until I am asked by an agent or editor to address them.

Writing and Gàidhlig Updates: Month of March

It's far too warm as I write this update, but the forecast for the weekend promises cooler temperatures and snow on Monday! Very strange, but I can't say I haven't enjoyed the sun.

I've already posted most of what follows in social networking feeds, but I thought I'd consolidate it here for the sake of a proper update. On the writing front, the big news is the Scheherazade's Facade Kickstarter campaign, which is three-quarters of the way funded after its first week. Mòran taing to all who have promoted and donated to bring this anthology to print. Your support has meant a lot to me.

Writing Updates: Week of February 27th

Novel edits are progressing slowly but surely. I'm working on the guts of the thing now, where the most important edits are happening, those having to do with plot changes and the like. Once I get past this hump, I expect the rest will be quite a bit easier.

I'm also settling into a blogging rhythm I like, now that I'm paying a little more attention to the thing. I've been trying to steer away from posts having solely to do with my writing by exploring issues I care about, which has the added benefit of giving me something new to write while I'm slogging through edits. I'm aiming for a weekly or bi-weekly activism update, a weekly or bi-weekly writing update, an occasional Gàidhlig update and the odd, interspersed note about whatever seems interesting to me.

Book II is beginning to take shape in my mind; I solved a major issue in the series yesterday, and I'm excited to find out how it will play out on the page.

No Long Moments Here

Stephanie Meyer has ruined me for long moments (Yes, I've read the Twilight series, and so has Sean. We did it for our niece, okay?!?). She writes about so many of them you would think all her moments were long; like the time that passes in a bank queue, or the last five minutes of a work day, or the half hour between taking two ibuprofen and the end of the headache. Patrick Rothfuss likes his long moments too, but not as much as Stephanie Meyer does, and his are far more interesting. Still, it's a crutch phrase for him.

I've been working on my own crutch words and phrases this evening; 'then', 'expression', 'a little', 'as well'. I'm also weeding out my looks, gazes, stares and other facial expressions (See? I love that word.) in favor of more interesting prose.

All in all, a good work day. Just a little farther to go, and then I'm done.

An Editing Process

I've been working on refining my editing process for some time now, and as I put another chapter to bed, I thought I'd lay it out for myself and for interested readers. This is a long-form process, but I've used an abbreviated version of it for short fiction. I think it strikes a balance between drafting huge chunks of prose before editing, which I simply cannot do, and micromanaging my fiction, which I have done.

Sick Of This Book!

I'm sick of this book. I already know what happens in it, and I have all sorts of cool notes for the next one, and I want to 'splore new places in my universe and make things up and stuff. Editing is boring when you're in the nitpick-finishing-up stage and all the characters are lined up and stamping their little character footies at you to get on with the next adventure. I'm just sayin'.

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