Saturday, May 28, 2011

Some good news

Looks like I've got a short story accepted for the monster hunter anthology The Trigger Reflex.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Friday, May 06, 2011

Progress! ...?

So yeah, I've been working on that book I told you about earlier, the one that's at 35,186 words?
Yeah, It's not at 35,186 words anymore. After about eight hours of going over it again and again, trying to figure out what happens next and making a few small corrections and changes here and there, I've managed to somehow lose over a thousand words.

Yes, I've made the opening chapters tighter. Yes, I've gotten rid of a lot of blatheration.  BUT THAT ISN'T WHAT I'M SUPPOSED TO BE DOING RIGHT NOW. I'm supposed to be advancing the plot (and incidentally the word count).

I just. can't. stop myself.

Suggestions, oh ye writerly types?

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Very sleepy. Almost forgot WIP Wednesday (bad blogger!).

This Wednesday's WIP is The Blade That Whispers Hate. It is, as I've mentioned in other places, a prequel of sorts to Thagoth. Prequel in that it happens before the events of the other book, but not prequel in that the only connection the two books have are the two main characters and a bit of setting. The plots are not really connected. Does that make sense or is what I'm saying painfully obvious? Man, I need sleep.

Ok, it's like this: If you've read John D. McDonald's Travis McGee series you'll see the DNA for my Amra and Holgren tales. Different genre, setting, everything, but without Travis McGee, there would be no Amra Thetys. The closest you come in fantasy to what I'm doing with these characters is Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series.

So here's (another) excerpt from BWH, featuring Amra's insouciance:

***


I came in the back way, through the service entrance. Bollund, Locquewood’s muscle, sat whittling in the back room among packing crates and scattered straw. He glanced up when I came in, then fixed his attention back on his carving. I think it was supposed to be a pheckla, but mostly it looked like a turd.

“Bollund! Still twice the woman I am, I see. I need to talk to your boss.”

Bollund glanced up at me, fingered the smashed gristle of what presumably had once been his nose. He’d been a bare-knuckle fighter before becoming ensconced in Locquewood’s back room.

“You don’t see ‘im. ‘E sees you.”

“Well he needs to see me. Now.”

Bollund smirked. He was two heads taller and his bulk could make three of me. He wasn’t impressed and he wasn’t intimidated.

I pulled out the toad from my leather satchel, unwrapped its silk covering. The buttery glow of the gold drew his beady eye.

“He’s got five minutes, then I’m taking this to Daruvner.”

Bollund’s jaw clenched. He shifted his bulk up from the slat-back chair that somehow supported him. 

Locquewood was a fixer, not a fence, but Bollund knew enough not to make decisions for his employer where money was involved. The toad would fit in tolerably with the kinds of things Locquewood stocked his shop with. A little older, a little uglier, a little less precious, by appearances.

“Stay ‘ere. Don’t touch nothing.”

“Yes ma’am.”

He glared at me, then disappeared though an inner doorway.

***

So, um, yeah. Going to bed now.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Writing update

I've got too many unfinished stories. Far too many.

Now my normal style is to do a little on this one, do a little on that one as the mood strikes, but that just isn't working. More story ideas keep popping up, and nothing gets done. I need to finish something, at least to first draft status. So I'm limiting my writing to three WIPs; one novel and two short stories:


  • The Blade That Whispers Hate (BWH) is a prequel to Thagoth. I still have some plotting issues there and large portions of the middle of the book are terra incognita, but I know how it begins and I know how it ends, and it's somewhere between a third of the way and halfway done, so this is the novel I've decided to concentrate on.
  • 'The Sailor's Wife' is a rarity in that I knew from the beginning how it would end, and from a writing perspective, the whole story is just a setup for that ending. Knowing where I'm going makes the writing go faster, so this is short story #1 for when I need a break from BWH. 
  • 'All My Enemies' is a troublesome story, writing-wise. It is, as you might guess, a revenge tale. That's not the problem. The problem is, while I know the theme, and even the main character's arc, I'm having fits about what point of view to write it in.
I'm giving myself two months to finish these- in the case of BWH, to finish the 1st draft. This may be a little optimistic, considering my time constraints, but if I keep waking up before 5 am...

Monday, May 02, 2011

Who we were

The original entry was in 2005. It struck a chord. People still show up at this blog searching for it. I thought I'd do a brief  'where are they now'. Some were originally left as anonymous comments and so there is no way to follow them up.


***


I’m the one you said would end up a chain-smoking, loveless, alcoholic lawyer. I’m the guy who sometimes believes you. I’m the guy you once tried to teach ballet to after a couple of drinks. (aleej.com - gone from the intenet)


I’m the girl who squeezed your hand when they talked about boys. Who laughed when they asked you which guy you liked, and even more when they realized there was none. I’m the girl who didn’t believe a single word you said, during, before or after, and still don’t: yet I let you hold my hand on the way to the airport. (Popagandhi is alive and well!)


It was me, all of it; walking past dead animals and feeling sorry for the poor sods; being asked to collect donations and feeling like I was holding a tin of filthy greed... (halfcrazed.org - gone from the internet)


I’m the girl who stopped going to church, yet prays frantically whenever I’m scared out of my wits. I’m the girl that hates iced lemon tea and red bull (both together and separately). I am the girl who wrote you 17 letters in one day, yet never had the guts to send a single one.
I am the girl that’s scared of the dark. (Dubdew is alive and well!)



i'm that girl who has never told anyone about her past and yet wrote it down here for the whole world to see. (nadnut moved on in 2005 and left no forwarding address)


I'm the only girl who had no guidance for nine and a half weeks, and then I became the girl who had the last half week of her attachment in Hell instead of an accountancy firm. I'm also the one you gave a limp handshake to the first day of work. I'm now the girl who will shout FUCK YOU the next time I see you. (flutterby - gone from the internet)


I'm that guy who finally learn that thoughts are waves and i can relate to trees and plants. (petrogrosso is still around)


I am the girl who did not understand why barbie looked so "perfect", when there is a flaw in everyone. so I pulled out my magic marker and gave all my barbies birthmarks. EVERYONE has a flaw now. (starcrossedangel moved and left no forwarding address)


I’m the girl you called the sweetest girl around. I’m the one who told you that you need to meet more girls. (little miss random is alive and well!)


I'm the cheerleader who listens to Nine Inch Nails. I'm the debate team captain who goes to Detroit Red Wings hockey games. I'm the writer who just can't seem to make the words flow right. ( Vanity Spared moved to LA and has vanished. Her later blog is locked. I miss her writing.)


I am the guy who pushed when the sign said pull. (E@L is alive and well!)

i am the girl who procrastinates over my thesis, i am the girl who belts out sad emo love songs in honor of you when i am alone in my room. (brilliantcolorsthatyoubring.net is gone from the internet)

i am the girl who still thinks of you every single motherfucking day. (anonymous comment)

i am the girl whose hand you loved holding. i am the girl who grinned in the cab when you hung up the phone on her just to have supper with me. i am the girl who lied to you through my teeth. (anonymous comment)


I'm the guy who recently discovered that happiness is one part decision and two parts caffeine, the one who treats coffee like a drug, taking it once a day, after meal, when required. I'm the guy in the military who didn't greet you (at first) because I'm indignant about having to practice what is acutely incongruent - "mandatory respect", but is beginning to cave because fear outweighs principles. (http://bluedelusions.blogspot.com os gone from the internet)


I'm that boy who sat beside you, threw ants into your hair to get your attention. That boy who waited 7 years till he enlisted and you engaged. (http://9mmdesigns.blogspot.com/ is locked)


I'm that girl who once loved you. I'm that girl who erased you. (hungrybunny/one little twit - gone from the internet)

I'm the girl who once dreamt of marrying Neil Gaiman and now thinks she'll never get married at all. (adinahaes stopped blogging, at least there, in 2007)


I’m the boy who turned up three and a half hours late for our first official date. To this day I’m still amazed that you waited. (Xu Si Han is alive and well and living on facebook)



I am the baby you almost gave away. Why? Because you were too young to get married. (PC is alive and well and living on facebook)

i'm the one who has the excitement in her eyes. it was me that was feckless, the one that crashed your car and spent the rest of the day making up lies you could tell your mum so i could get away scot free. (the neurotic babe is gone from the internet)

I'm the girl you walked past once, but was just another face in the crowd. (http://www.idledays.net/ - gone from the internet. La Idler passed away in 2005)

I am nothing... (Jaschocolate is alive and well, and not nothing!)

I’m the guy who bought a pregnancy test kit, and stuffed it in his sidepocket (it stuck out conspicuosly), sat at a bar alone, and drank until he threw up. I’m the guy who likes rainy weather, and the smell of christmas. I am the guy who uses repeat-1 more often than any other mode in iTunes. I am the guy who lights incense cones when the evening is perfect. I am the guy who cuddles underneath the sheets. (gone from the internet)

I’m the guy who told the old man my name is Johnny when it’s not, because it came naturally to me. (anonymous comment)


And i'm that one who is walking around in circles, apparently love only lurks around corners... (sassyjan is alive and well... and sassy)


I’m the one who fed your dog ice cream. I am the girl can do handstands and backflips. I am the girl who laughs when she’s nervous. I’m the girl who broke your nose. (saltwater giggles is gone from the internet)


I am the girl you accused of being “not Asian enough”. (anonymous comment)

I’m the girl who always asks for more mayonnaise. I am the girl who fell asleep on your couch. I’m the girl who set fire to her towel by accident. (anonymous comment)


I'm the girl who sat up the whole night crying because I didn't know if you were okay and i couldn't reach you. I'm the girl who laughed so hard when you sang Green Eyes and then leaned over and kissed you for it. (anantya.blogspot.com is gone from the internet)

I'm the girl who waited till you woke up on the bus and then told you that you had the most beautiful eyes I'd ever seen. (anonymous comment)


I'm the girl who hates beer so gets drunk on other stuff. I'm the girl who passed out in front of Zouk and had to be carried around into the waiting car and woke up remembering none of it. I'm the girl who passed out on your couch once and puked into the pail you put at the side and that was before I fell so deeply in love with you. I'm the girl no one really takes seriously so she smiles and pretends that everything is fine so one no knows how much she truly hurts. (livejournal last updated 2009)


I am the boyfriend who stayed as late at your place as he possibly could, and ran after the very last Number 8 bus, so that he could take the very last Number 51, so that he did not have to take a cab or pay the midnight surcharge. (Mr Brown is alive and well!)


I am that guy that had crushes with you, you, you, you and you. (jasper the dummy is gone from the internet)


I'm the one who breaks my promises, but abides by those i've never mentioned to you before. I am the girl who thinks that relationships should have obituaries, so everyone knows what happened in a succinct line or two. (green apple delight is gone from the internet)


I’m the girl who sat on the window still and waved to passers-by below. I’m the girl who sat on the kitchen table as you held her close, picked her up and fell together in a heap onto a matteress on the floor. (upok.net - gone from the internet)

I'm the guy who thought it was so darn cool you are writing a play. Even if it was for the Hainanese clan. I'm the guy who took your money off your bag. I'm the guy who spends too much and still doesn't know how to spend less or save more. I'm the guy who deliberately left coins under the carpet so one day we will never be bankrupt. ( He Shuming hasn't blogged in a year, but is apparently alive and well on twitter)

I am the little girl who laughed excitedly and took the bus alone on the first day of school. I am the little girl who turned around and sobbed inconsolably into her mother’s arms on the second day of school when she realised that boarding the bus alone was not a one-off thing but for the rest of her life. (faithtoh.quackpolka.com - gone from the internet)


I’m the one who threw up in (near, around) your recliner, and I’m the one who chopped down the evergreen in your front lawn. I’m also the one who changes your diapers at four in the morning, and the guy who sits with you while you take your shower for a month after you watch a scary movie. (Michael McClung is alive and well and living in Joo Chiat. You might catch him at East Wind kopitiam of a morning)



***


There are more, in the comments. There are more in the comments of other blogs. Too many to find them all.


Six years later, I still wonder- who are you? 

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Moderation in all things

...including political correctness.

Has everyone seen the various iterations of the Hitler video meme? My new favourite is one sent to me by my good friend Christien about a particularly popular bbq restaurant in Austin. It takes a certain skill and wit to do one of these retellings in a funny, effective way.

Of course, some people will never, ever find anything to do with Hitler in any way funny at all. Ever. No matter what. Ever.

Ever.

Which is sad, really. Just as I believe that the best revenge holocaust survivors could have taken on the nazis was to live a full, joyous life, so too do I believe the best way to denounce the pit of evil in the human soul that makes such things as the holocaust possible is to lampoon, to parody, to laugh and repurpose what symbols we may of that evil. To be silly and lighthearted. And, yes, to be irreverent.

To be human.