Monday, June 26, 2006

Just write the damned book

Elizabeth Bear had this entry today on her livejournal that cracked me up: Things to think about when facing incomplete novels. And after checking out the "Rocket Science" review link, I totally want to read that book now...

Sunday, June 25, 2006


I set aside everything I meant to work on this evening and wrote a large chunk of a new story tonight. Not a publishable story, sort of an off-the-wall fanfic story, but for some reason, I felt compelled to put it on paper. And it flowed so oddly easily, and not from the p.o.v. I meant to tell it from either. Which just shows me how consistent I am with the p.o.v.s. I'm most comfortable with. There's another one I want to write too, just for me, sort of a companion piece, but not. Wonder what p.o.v. that one will come out in?

Now earlier today, before the heat set in in earnest and knocked me out, I wrote three pages of notes on one story, hammering at and dissecting each scene until I understood what didn't work for me and came up with the only solution I can find at this moment. And I yanked 400 words out of another story. Sigh. Maybe I can use them elsewhere in the future. I don't mind losing them, but I do mind losing one line of dialogue that I really liked, that sort of made the whole scene work for me. I was going to work on both of these tonight, until the other story demanded some airtime.

Friday, June 23, 2006


So, I guess I'm still instinctively watching movies that match my mood. From the sheer desperate despair of "Ox-Bow" a few days ago, now modulated to the feeling unneeded, unable-to-fit-in depression of "The Best Years of Our Lives." Didn't realize that was where my mood had shifted until after I watched it and made the connection. But hey, as opposed to "Ox-Bow," "Best Years" at least ends on a note of hope. Things are improving around here, anyway. I'll work my way back up to "Swamp Water" yet.

And writing... is proceeding. One story goes well and has been easy to write. I've added over 2000 words to it already. The other... the one so close to completion, goes nowhere at all. I like the beginning, then it falls into a morass of unfocus. I think I just need to throw out the last half and start over. And the Garage Sale flash piece is just sitting in my brain, drumming its fingers impatiently.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

uncooperative story

Grumble. Grumble grumble, grrrrr, tank, grumble, grenade, grumble, grrrrrr, grumble.

Author stumbles off to bang her head into a wall.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The right music for the right story

Also, realized yesterday that I was writing next to nothing recently because the music I had been listening to was not condusive to the particular stories I wanted to work on. So, I sat down and ran through my CDs looking for the right flavor. Settled instantly on a James Horner score, "The Missing," which seemed a highly illogical thing to pick for working on a couple of WWII war stories (particularly as I associate that score heavily with my second novel), but it turned out to be perfect. I needed despair and desperateness and NOBODY puts those emotions into music quite like Mr. Horner. And with that music playing, I slipped right out of this world and got writing.


So, yesterday, my writing blues had magically vanished, I got over 1200 new words written, a bunch of ideas, and it was all I could do to force myself to quit and finally go to bed. I would have stayed up and written another 1000 words. I was cruising! Now, it wasn't good writing. The first part was all present tense, me telling the story to myself, which is always the best way for me to get going if I've been stuck, and then it gradually turned into actual writing as I pressed on.

I'm actually looking forward to tonight, to picking up where I left off.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Worse than unfocussed brain

Now, I have useless brain. It's forgotten how to put together a sentence and it's unwilling to work with me right now. Appeals to long-absent muses are going nowhere. I resorted to a movie.

Now, I was supposed to watch "Swamp Water," which is a HAPPY movie (well, mostly) and something to BREAK my mood. What ended up in the DVD player? "The Ox-Bow Incident." NOT a happy movie!! It didn't break my mood: it INTENSIFIED my mood. I haven't put that one on in several months, and I got the kicked-in-the-stomach reaction all over again. Now, I'm going to bed without a word written, more depressed than when I started.

I'm a bloody fool.

Friday, June 16, 2006

unfocussed brain

Hm, slumping into a non-productive writing phase. Grrr. This annoys me, but I just have no good words in my head right now. Part of this is because I know I'll be out and about this weekend with no possibility of writing, so I tend to start drifting in anticipation.

So, I'm opting to launch into full-on reading mode to recharge the language batteries. I've actually been reading quite a bit lately, but in small doses. I'm way behind in my F&SF and Realms of Fantasy magazine reading. Like several months behind, so there's tons of short stories to read... which will be good for that Garage Sale story coalescing in my brain. But, of course, last night I started a friend's novel first, and that was the end of any consideration towards those poor neglected shorts. :-D

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Now I just have to write it

Ah, the garage sale story flash fiction idea came yesterday. Gee. WWII inspired, like just about everything I've written lately from DTD to C! fiction. I was wondering a couple days ago, though, why everything I happened to be reading/watching right this particularly moment was about Italy and not France. It was starting to frustrate me, but then in the middle of it, there's my garage sale. So, all things really do seem to have a purpose.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Running hot, straight, and normal

So, I've been challenged to come up with an entry for Anotherealm's "Garage Sale" flash fiction contest... and what does my mind do? Goes off on submarines. "Why, yes, those are Mark 18 electric torpedoes in the racks over there in the back of the garage... did you need one? Moat defense, perhaps?" er... maybe not.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Interesting words

Ran into two new words in the past few days.

volplane - to glide in or as if in an airplane
defilade - to arrange (fortifications) so as to protect the lines from frontal or enfilading fire and the interior from fire from above or behind.

The latter, of course, forced me to also look up enfilade, which I have heard of, but couldn't have defined. It means gunfire directed from a flanking position along the length of an enemy battle line.

"Hell Interrupted"

Yay! AlienSkin Magazine's June/July issue is out and my short story is appearing in their featured fantasy fiction section!

This is the only short story I've submitted this year, and it was accepted, so I'm one for one, at least! I need to write some more shorts now that the novel is mostly done.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Fairly seasonal

Odd. Just realized that the last four novels I've worked on all take place in a different season.

"Darkland" - autumn
"Dreaming the Dead" - winter
"While Gods Lie Dreaming" - spring
"The Red-Flamed Mystic" - summer

Different seasons, though the first three still all feature snow. I seem to like icy, snowy weather, yes I do (though I never consciously chose those seasons -- the weather came with the stories). Dark, overcast, bitter, and bleak... characters bundled in coats off all varieties, freezing to death (in some cases, rather literally, because I'm mean that way).

And then the last book runs with the hot and dry weather and nary a coat or cloak or jacket in sight. And my two novellas are set in summer.