Thursday, March 29, 2012

In which we have shameless self-googling

In today's news, the internet has awesome things:

I really like it when people talk about my work. I also like talking about other people's work:

  • "My Dignity in Scars" by Cory Skerry: I read the demons in this fascinating story as a metaphor for cancer, maybe, an illness that takes people on a long journey away from the familiar. An illness that can become inseparable from a person's identity, and even a source of strength.
  • "Chorus of the Dead" by S.E. Gale: sorrowful and sweet, exploring the collision between a quotidian life and the enormous strangeness of death

And finally, congratulations to the winners of the Friends of the Merril Contest!

Monday, March 19, 2012

In which I digress


The day I finished the final polish of Scars of Kinship (aka New Moon's Giant Cock, etc) I also went to a gallery opening. The exhibit featured three artists who all think about people in places, which was incredibly appropriate for a fiction writer.

Laura St Pierre's art was the most affecting for me: not only were each of the pieces similar to short stories in their depiction of a person in a place with a problem, but the setting was Grande Prairie, a place where I spent a fair bit of time during my formative years--and the problem I had there was similar to the problem her character has.

Grande Prairie is a rich but very transient city. People move there for jobs: oil industry or forestry industry, for example. Jobs in these fields are very tough. Physically, they beat the crap out of you. Emotionally, they isolate you, and they make you depend on a tiny group of comrades, which means you can lose perspective pretty thoroughly. You can't stay connected to the wider culture when you're living in the bush and you see town one night in five weeks and the only place that will take your money is a peeler bar.

The protagonist in Laura St Pierre's installations is a transient person, constructing dwellings out of cloth and light, in liminal spaces, in a city where every space is liminal. I loved chatting with her about how character develops place, and how place develops character.

Her show is on until the end of the month, for any Torontonians interested: Gallery 44, 401 Richmond W.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Story Day!

"Nightfall in the Scent Garden" is up today.

This is one of several stories I've written about unrequited love: in this case, the love a teenaged lesbian feels for her best friend, who is straight. It's also about the Queen of Faerie, who you do not want to meet. And most of all, it's about bargains, and how we don't always know what we're giving up.

The scent garden is a real place which I visited as a child--I've been meaning to set a story there for ages, and I finally found the right one.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

In which I set'em up and knock'em down

Took a break from writing today because it is the weekend! Having only one job for this period is awesome.

Now I know the answer to the "how the hell do other people do it" question. Because today, my Saturday, I actually *felt like* doing some of the random crap that piled up through the week. Normally, this stuff is WAY at the bottom of my priority list, under a pile of hate and scorn and you-can't-make-me. Today, I just did it. You may be totally bored by this, but I am--kid you not--almost as proud of this day as I was of yesterday!

In which we get a bit off-colour

The working title for this book has been New Moon's Egg for the past week or so. On sharing this with friends last night, the response was a unanimous 'meh'.

Unpacking the response, both the moon and eggs are feminine concepts in our culture, and they are also round(ish) objects. This title doesn't suggest any of the violent or masculine elements of the book, which are substantial.

People had more or less helpful suggestions of how to introduce some testosterone into the title (I am not going with New Moon's Giant Cock, however). Conceptually, this makes total sense...and I am now back to square one.

Thematically, this book is about family damage; literally, it's about a witch who uses eggs in her magic, and a supernatural dude with a craving for bloody violence. "Witch" and "magic" both feel too light, as they're often used in YA fantasy titles; "egg" is hard to combine with anything violent. Anything with "blood" has already been done (especially now that the publishing world has been into paranormal romance for a decade). "Kin" is also a totally overused word, especially in fantasy.

O readers, suggestions are very welcome...

Friday, March 2, 2012

"I have seen the sunrise over the river"

DONE.

This book is so done.

Right on schedule.

*genius hands*

Now I've got a whole other week to do my agent queries, finish and submit the stories in the pipe, vote for the Nebulas, set up my con arrangements for the rest of the year and conduct other writerly business.

Whose life is this?

Mine, mine, mine.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Also...

...there is a new Ideomancer today! Three beautiful, creepy and accomplished stories from S.E. Gale, George Galuschak and Sofia Samatar, plus a selection of poetry and reviews for your delectation.

"these blood red eyes"

Today's progress: 72,000 words, tighter by the day; no new scenes, because we're past that now, and into the thread-tugging, word-tweaking phase.

I am also very well versed in the phases of the moon as related to the calendar in April through July, 2010.

Fetishes: wouldn't you like to know?

Soundtrack: Tori Amos, Black Keys

Sustenance: Ravi Soups

Nice news: I can't really say anything about it, but it will be nice when I can.

Next steps: tomorrow is the grand finale read-through, which I plan to do in a different font, in a different locale such as the coffee shop. Dialogue also needs to be read aloud (or at least mouthed, depending on who else is in the coffee shop!)