Tuesday, December 02, 2014

In Process - November, 2014

First Draft
Limering”. Around 104,000 words. I am so sick of this.

“Selkie Girls are Easy”. As promised, final proofread and sent out.
“Wind/Water/Salt”. I have all these notes for myself, like “there was an old woman who swallowed a fly -> Susannah’s motivation.” And “Use the pirates!” These notes aren’t that useful, really.

I have revised chapters 1 and 2 so much by now that when this gets published as a book, it might actually be interesting for people to look at the two original pieces of flash that I wrote that wound up leading to the rest of the novel. Some evenings I sit down with this thing and just despair. Can I ever chisel the good bits from all the crap?

Scott Westerfeld and Justine Larbalestiere were at a local Chapters.

I seem to have moved to that level where I get the nice rejections. A reader said there was a lot to like, which is pretty gratifying.

“Ceremonial Armour” (Kaffe Fassett, knit from a photo). Slogging away on second sleeve. 
“St. Anthony’s Ribbon” (self-designed).  Less than a strip from the armholes. I will get there before Christmas! Mostly because the sleeve will be great mindless knitting, and portable.
Angee Socks (Sock Innovation). Radically changed pattern so it’s an 80-stitch boy sock. First sock done.
Shorts by Joan McGowan Michael. Radically changed pattern to go top down so I won’t have a seam since I intend to wear these on hoop, and seams would suck.

Monday, December 01, 2014

What I read -- November 2014

“Afterworlds” by Scott Westerfeld. Gift from the boy for my birthday. After going to his event at Queensway Chapters, I finished up so the boy could read it. Both stories worked, and I liked how you could see the effects of  "real life" on the way the "novel" came out. The struggle with the ending was great, especially.

“American Slavery, American Freedom: the Ordeal of Colonial Virginia” by Edmund Morgan. Someone (I thought it was TNH but can’t find it now) linked to an article about how giving out parcels of land in Virginia colony had led eventually to slavery, and in the comments section people were arguing about whether this book (published in 1975) was a reliable source. I love listening to historians argue. Even their bickering is smart. If I was going to do a post-grad degree just for kicks I’d do a history one, so I can learn to think like them. Anyway, the book was available at the library, so I requested it. I was somewhat daunted by the 400+ pages, but then had no trouble reading 100 pages in a sitting. Not only was it all facty, but well-written too! 

It also provided needed background for Wind/Water/Salt, so it was like doing research!

“Sabriel” by Garth Nix (reread). Man, I like this book. She goes along for about 400 pages looking for her father and then finds him and he’s all like “okay, we don’t have much time, you need to do this, do that, do this, then I’m gone forever.” No hug, nothing. Awesome.

“Lirael” by Garth Nix (reread). The problem was, I read the first section and got to the part with Sam in Ancelstierre, and I was so like “I don’t care” because I just wanted to see what Lirael was up to next. I almost skipped the whole section out of frustration. But then I started really wanting to know what the heck was wrong with Sam, considering he seemed so together at the start of the section, and then fell apart, and that kept me going. Then the Lirael sections were the ones that were annoying, but shortly the two were together and it was no trouble finishing the book. he Disreputable Dog has got to be one of the best sidekicks in literature, though Mogget is pretty awesome too.

“Abhorsen” by Garth Nix (reread). I didn’t remember whole portions of this book, so I must have read it very quickly the first time. I did however remember the Disreputable Dog at the end. I know I enjoyed the book more this time. This is basically a series about zombies, though the word never comes up. I’m really glad Clariel came out, compelling me to revisit this series, which is one of my favorites.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014

I'm not doing it.

Having won it three times, with actual finished more than 50,000 word manuscripts. I have at least seven other novels lying around waiting to be edited, and probably 30 not unreasonably awful short stories, worth tidying u.First drafts are not the problem for me. I have them.

Second drafts, not so much.

This November, I commit myself to reading WWS all the way through, marking up along the way. I'd better get started, considering I've frittered away five days already.

Oh and apparently I say it wrong. This was the least thing I learned at Queensway Chapters, where Scott Westerfeld spoke and signed. Ed and the boy came with me, and thought he did a surprisingly good show. It really made the boy want to read "Afterworlds" to get the dirt on the other YA authors he's read. I'm halfway through, so he'll get it soon.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

What I read -- October 2014

“Jhereg” by Steven Brust. Yet another book I probably read because of Marie Brennan. It’s a caper, and very fast. The plotting reminded me of Diana Wynne Jones. The boy read the back (the scene were Vlad gets the jhereg egg) and thought it wasn’t a real bargain, but it’s one of the questions that kept me reading – what are the circumstances that make the little dragon want to make such a deal?

“Yendi” by Steven Brust. Having bought the omnibus, it only seemed logical to keep going and read the next novel. I always feel weird counting books separately when they’re in the same volume, but what do you do? I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the meaning of the title.

“Teckla” by Steven Brust. Book 3. Ed wanted to read the volume when I was done, so I guessed I should finish. I could see why he said in the intro that this would be a poor place to start. I found it rather stressful to read. In fact, I almost didn’t finish in fact. I really wanted one character in particular to just die already. I might have only finished because it was short. Which won’t necessarily preclude me from reading the next one. The ending was awesome, and the plotting as usual brilliant.

Monday, November 03, 2014

In process -- October 2014

First Draft
Limering”. Around 96,000 words? Seems like a lot.


“As light as a bird”. (short story) Finished and shipped. I only did that because Cath Schaff-Stump sent out a request for VP13 to do a 5-year update, and I needed to say I’d done something. On my final draft I thought I had done pretty much everything, and I was just copy editing, and I wound up deleting about half of the stuff I’d put in the last couple of drafts, which was odd.

“Selkie Girls are Easy”. Having seen seals in the wild, I did a draft where I bolstered the scenes and setting. I read this http://www.tor.com/stories/2014/10/this-chance-planet-elizabeth-bear and looked at how she handled time passage and transitions because it’s something I think I could work on. Then a couple of days later she tweeted that she sucked at writing transitions (probably not her exact words), which I thought was funny because it’s all relative. Hers seem better than mine. Though this whole concept of marking where my scenes start and end is really helpful in finding what sections of the story are absolute crap.

You know, the previous draft of this story was from Nov 2013. That’s way too long to let something sit almost finished. I may work a lot on these stories, but I don’t finish nearly enough of them. Anyway, I let Ed read this one, and he liked it. I’ll do a final proofread and send it out. 

Sent my VP13 5-year update to Cath. 


“Ceremonial Armour” (Kaffe Fassett, knit from a photo). Finished first sleeve, started second. 
“St. Anthony’s Ribbon” (self-designed). Did maybe half a row of the body (a row is 1.25 inches). 
Rick socks from Sock Innovation. Finished.
Reversible cable cuff socks (Lily Chin’s “Power Cables”). Finished.
Knotty but Nice Hat (knitty Winter 2009). Finished.
Socks. Started.