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Showing posts from September, 2011

In process -- September 2011

First Draft
“Fairfax”. Started month with about 22,000 I think. Now I have about 28,000. I also have most of an outline of how the rest of it will flow together, including an ending! I’m so looking forward to it!

3 Chuck Wendig things you can find if you poke around a bit here.

“Cats”. Did one last draft after receiving the three crits, and then sent it away. Knitting

Morrigan (No Sheep for You/Frangipani). Finished the knitting over Labour Day weekend. Seamed it the following weekend, tied in the loose ends and blocked it. She is done, and took three weeks less than two years. Ugh.

Chasing Snakes socks (knitty/some divine merino in a color called Lead). Second done.

Loppem (Norah Gaughan). This is my anti-Morrigan, knit in fluffy white yarn on big needles. Two balls done.

Fair Isle Argyle socks. First started – KPPPM and some regia silk I had lying around.

Double Heelix socks. First started. I needed something small and simple, and after the heel is done, this meets that criteria.

Flash Fiction Challenge: One of the Ways I must have Died

The challenge (100 words max, and the story has to contain three of five words provided) is here. I found this one particularly tough, I don't know why.

Another vamp swung down from the ivy covering Bishop's tomb. I threw my weight at her like I'd learned in self-defense class.

It was the wrong move. I was within arm's reach now. She easily dodged my fists.

Her fingers wrapped around my throat. She tilted it sideways to press her teeth, her vampire enzymes, into my jugular.

A berserker rage came onto me. I kneed her in the groin. I elbowed her jaw.

She fell.

My shoe heel made a passable stake.

Because of the hands around my neck. Last life, that must have been how I died.

Flash Fiction Challenge: The Distiller's Daughter

Because "The Alchemist's Daughter" was taken, repeatedly. The challenge was here (it was a picture, you should go look). I'm clearly influenced by the book I'm reading about prohibition right now.

We burned the still with lots of people around. This way, it would be a story in itself, how it went up in a bonfire with all the eight families watching. On a hill above town, we'd spent the day making the pyre, and benches, and racks for casks, and torches to lead the way up.

Will's family showed up before the sun was properly down. None of them had even started drinking. They were here to drink ours, to keep their own for emergencies.

"What are you going to do, after?" I asked, handing him a mason jar with one of my father's exotic blends. They were brewed with rituals and herbs or animal bones, and I sometimes wondered how much he kept track of which family got what. I'd hoped he'd leave Will's family out of the experiments, so they wo…

Flash Fiction Challenge: Revenge Served Chilled

The challenge, and the other stories, can be found here. If you know where I got the idea for this story, remember, it's just a story. I'm told she's really very nice.

She wore hot pants, a midriff-bearing sweater, and ankle warmers, so we ignored her technique, put her with the beginners, and snickered behind our hands.

Weeks later when she asked where to get a uniform, we wondered if those were the only work-out clothes she had.

But she came to the next class in her new gi, and wore a black belt and gloves. She fought all the black belts, and won the dojo, without even glancing at the green and brown belts.

While she was fighting, we poisoned her water bottle.

In process -- August 2011

First Draft
“Fairfax”. Started month with about 14000 words (48 handwritten pages plus the two flash fics). Now I have about 22,000 I think. Editing

"The Rabbits". (short story) Draft 6 came in just shy of 7000 words (having gained 500), so I put it on OWW in two parts for the August Crit marathon.

“Chickpea”. (short story) I’d typed this (it came in just shy of 4000 words) back in July. I did a second draft to make the ending consistent with the beginning, and then wrote in a new character and added a proper ending, because it didn’t have one.

“Fairfax”. Typed Chapter 3. Something weird happened while I was doing this. I started to feel guilty that I was spending all my time writing, and none on “having a life”. It was a terrible moment.

The challenges

“Flea Market Finds”. As has become my pattern, I wrote the 1st draft on Monday (a holiday), then typed it up on Tuesday, edited Wednesday and Thursday and posted in the wee hours.

“Witch Trial”. Since I was going to Florida Wednesda…

Flash Fiction Challenge: Amelia Earhart is Completely Sane

Back after a couple weeks off, with another challenge (read the other entries here). I'd meant to write about Lord Simcoe, who named lots of places in Ontario. But driving back from our holiday, in the very edge of the former Hurricane Irene, we saw the weirdest clouds... Thanks to Ed for research help.

"I wouldn't even know what to call those," Amelia said to her trusty plane. Much like the Eskimos and snow, she had something like 56 different words for clouds. Nothing from stratus to cumulonimbus quite described these log-shaped formations scudding below the smooth silver overcast.

"Multiple layers of cumulus," the Electra said. Her navigator, Fred Noonan, couldn't hear, because in 1937 no one used intra-cockpit voice-activated communications systems.

As they had entered this strange region of sky, they had dropped altitude -- 6500 feet, 6000, 5500, and now they were at 2000 feet with no place to land. Fuel was a concern. Going up, through the cloud b…

What I read -- Aug 2011

“The King’s Peace by Jo Walton. I found this book harder to read than her others, mostly because of the sheer number of character names. I wished it had a map, because there were also copious unfamiliar place names. Also, parts of it were too subtle for my undiscriminating eye until the book was almost over – made it seem like there was no plot to speak of and no real bad guy until about 100 pages from the end. All this makes it sound like I didn’t like the book, and that’s not true, but it was more of a challenge than "Tooth and Claw" to get through. There were some really awesome scenes, really nicely worked.

“The Year of our War” by Steph Swainston.
I requested it from the library because an article on her decision to put her writing career aside to teach Chemistry created a lot of discussion on the places I frequent on the Internet. The boy read it first (he told me I wasn’t going to be satisfied with the ending, which was true). Seemed more along the lines of “Perdito S…