Monday, April 06, 2015

In process -- March 2015



First Draft
“Evening Glory”. 13000 words and draft? It’s a mess, and writing the last page I sort of felt like I’d written the first portion of a novel, rather than a short story. This might be a disappointment I’ll never look at again.
“The Top of the Volcano”. Short story, 3000 words of what was meant to be a 3000-word story, and it’s only half done. I need to accept perhaps that my writing process involves writing twice as much as I need (though some of that is really notes to my future self that I can take out once I know I’ve hit those points) and editing is all about carving away the excess to get to the good story underneath. I did write myself a lovely outline (at about 2500 words) so I can get to the end.

Editing
“Wind/Water/Salt”. Last edits for this draft to chapters 9 and 11, and then moved on to 14-17. Then things started picking up and I didn’t have to move so much and the process started being a bit more like I imagined it should be, going through deleting the boring, repetitive bits, the spots where I get all explain-y.

And then I realized that my POV rotation switched at Chapter 23, so I had to fix that, which I did by going back to the beginning again. But it was doable. And every time I move everything around, things get a bit better. I just finished tidying chapter 27.

“Lucky Kate”. For days when I’m not working on WWS, I pulled this out. There’s a good story here now I think.


Connecting
--

Circulating
2

Knitting
“Ceremonial Armour” (Kaffe Fassett, knit from a photo). Second sleeve done, started body. I made a pile of the nine balls of contrast that need a specific background, with the goal of getting all those nine balls put away. That would mean the body was half done. And I realized that there were 162 rows left in the body as I’d designed it, and if each row took 15 minutes, then that was 40 hours of knitting, on that project alone. Two of the nine balls are still sitting out.
“St. Anthony’s Ribbon” (self-designed). I set it aside for a couple of weeks to figure out what to do about the neckline and binged on Ceremonial Armour instead, and didn’t pick it up again. I think I need to delete a few rounds.
Vinterlys (Norsk Strikkedesign). First sleeve done. Second sleeve started.
Rust Damask Jacket (Takle & Kolstadt). Ignored, since I wasn’t supposed to start it anyway.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

What I Read -- March 2015



“The Brides of Rollrock Island” by Margo Lanagan. The first section was a challenge. You know sometimes you read something and you think “I wish I’d written that”, and other times you read something and you think “I could never write that”? This book was the second type. I have a hard time being mean to my characters. Margo does not have this problem. The sense of place was brilliant as well – so well drawn, and yet it could be Scotland, or Newfoundland, or Maine… This was a different way of coming at lovecraftian horror, really. Wow.

“Authority” by Jeff Vandermeer. So I read http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2015/01/from-annihilation-to-acceptance-a-writers-surreal-journey/384884/ and thought I should read on in the series. And then my library got flooded.

“Red Spikes” by Margo Lanagan. I needed some short stories, and she had some! Short stories are always a mixed bag, I never connect with everything in a book, but the one about the budgie was truly fantastic. I want to force that story on people. And the one about wandering around purgatory, so cool. Her voice is something I can't imagine pulling off, but I love the themes she tackles.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The Migratory Bird Act of 1918

The centennial anniversary (is that a redundancy? I don't know) of the Migratory Bird Act of 1918 is in three short years! This is the act that protects the odious Canada geese that live on the street where I work, and in the parking lot, year-round. My idea is that, in celebration of this anniversary, we remove the non-migratory (is it the greater or lesser?) Canada goose from this protection act, so that we can get rid of the nuisances.

I don't hate the birds, really I don't. They're really cool when they're flying. It's just that when they know about the protection act, and so they don't feel obligated to be, you know, scared when I walk up on them on the sidewalk or something. And they peck at my hands, nasty beasts, and hiss.

Let them be proper afraid animals again!

Friday, March 06, 2015

In process -- February 2015



First Draft
“Evening Glory”. There’s probably 8000 words here. As I feared, it’s getting away from being a short story. I also had an interesting idea of how to structure it when I had already written 5K…

Editing
“Wind/Water/Salt”. It’s a deleting frenzy now. I printed off the first 12 chapters to make sure I’ve got what I think I’ve got before I go farther. The goal was just to read through those quickly and take out things that no longer belonged, and flag things that did. That of course took much longer than I expected.

And I progressed through chapters 13 and 14. Moving along!

Connecting
--

Circulating
2

Knitting
“Ceremonial Armour” (Kaffe Fassett, knit from a photo). Did five inches of second sleeve while waiting for yarn to arrive for St. A.



“St. Anthony’s Ribbon” (self-designed). Waited forever for that emergency ball of yarn! Probably need to do two more rounds and then think of an edging.



Vinterlys (Norsk Strikkedesign). Lace and cable panel done to split for body. Almost finished first sleeve (fair isle). 
Rust-colored Damask Jacket (Takle and Kolstadt). I've had this kit forever. I needed something small, and all my projects aren't that right now, so I started this, did maybe a half inch of the bottom rib. 



I should mention I also repaired the elbows of two sweaters in Jan and one in Feb. And I sewed half a dress.




Monday, March 02, 2015

What I read -- February 2015



“All the Windwracked Stars” by Elizabeth Bear. In the comments section on some article about how to write female characters, someone said EB wrote crap male characters, and I wanted to see. The main male character here was a prostitute, so probably not a good gauge. For the first hundred pages or so, there was nothing wrong with this book, but I would have enjoyed it more if it had been what I’d wanted to read at the time. After that, I was totally engaged. The climax didn’t descend into confusion, which made me really happy.

“Blue Lily, Lily Blue” by Maggie Stiefvater. Yes, it was this that I wanted to be reading. I couldn’t request it since my library card had expired. What are they afraid of? Why does this only seem to happen to me? I love these books. Now I have to wait for the fourth? In the fall?

“California Bones” by Greg Van Eekhout. The magic system sounded fascinating in the reviews. I’d read Norse Code and thought it kind of collapsed into a frenzy at the end. This one held up better. A fun, quick read about cannibalism!

“Lavinia” by Ursula K. Le Guin. This was a delight. The ending was perfect. The main (POV) character is mentioned in passing really in the Aenead by Virgil, and she talks about “my poet” throughout, which really worked.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

In Process -- January 2015



First Draft
“Lucky Kate”. Finished a draft again.
“Succubus (Younger Men)”. Wrote a short story. Just got tired of it towards the end, though.
“Evening Glory”. Started, afraid it will get too long to be a short story.

Editing
“Wind/Water/Salt”. I’m up in the Chapter 12 range now. On the second draft I’d written in one of my action scenes, “needs more tension!” This was fun. I deleted huge chunks of exposition and added actual action. Win! To some extent I think all this editing is improving my first drafts, because I find myself avoiding writing down those “maybe he was…” sections in the first place, rather than deleting them later.

There was this article: http://www.kameronhurley.com/life-on-10000-words-a-day-how-im-hacking-my-writing-process/ which I found fascinating as a process. Not sure it would work for me, but I wonder if I need to rethink the page-a-day, since so many of those pages are crap.

Connecting
--

Circulating
2
It’s good to have this line item here, because it forces me to send things out when they come back.

Knitting
“Ceremonial Armour” (Kaffe Fassett, knit from a photo). Ignored.
“St. Anthony’s Ribbon” (self-designed). Ran out of yarn.  Ordered more.
Vinterlys (Norsk Strikkedesign). Lace and cable panel halfway to split for body. Nine inches of Fair isle pattern.