My very first present of the season has been delivered by Amazon’s robotic elves, and it is no disappointment.
There is nothing else to do with this note/ gift but to conclude that my friends are pretty great.
More words to follow once the trauma of 50K in 29 days has worn off.
Because I’m giving the whole NaNo thing a serious effort this year, I’ve wrestled my introverted hide over to the coffee shop at the end of the block for tonight’s scheduled write-in.
This is the face of an author plotting mischief against her characters. (It’s also the face of a person using Instagram filters to hide her lingering disfigurations from last month’s tumble.)
There are three young people sitting at the table next to mine. One of them is trying to draw while the other two keep asking him questions.
“What do you like to draw?” one of the girls said, peering over his sketchpad.
He sighed in that particular teenaged way we all know and replied, in a perfect deadpan, “What does a fisherman like to fish?”
Not only did that fluster the girl so much she had no idea how to keep pestering him, but it is also such an amazing response that I think I’ll be stealing it the next time I get frustrated because someone asks me what I like to write when they can see perfectly well that I’m trying to actually write.
“Alchemists tried for centuries to turn base metals into gold. Every time we sit down and put words on paper, we succeed where they failed. We’re conjuring something out of nothing.”
–Jonathan Stroud, 2008 NaNoWriMo pep talk
It’s November, which means it’s time for those so insanely inclined to churn out a 50,000-word novel in 30 days in the name of arting like a motherfucker. In years past, I learned that November is my own personal novel-less month and that signing up for NaNo is only ever a sure path to disappointment and self-loathing.
However, THIS YEAR is different. All of the things that have traditionally demanded my time and attention in November are no longer a factor. On top of that, I’ve got the full support of the people I live with, which is a new and exciting condition for me.
In other words, LET’S DO THIS.
As a novelist, I’m somewhere on the Pantser end of the writing style spectrum, with only very slight Architect tendencies. Which is to say, I’ll come up with a few ideas about the general structure, and hope that all of the details fill themselves in as I go. The fact that I’ve never hit 50K by November 30th might be related to this approach in some way, but I concede nothing. When I make too solid a plan, I find my creativity constrained by its boundaries to the point of immobility. There’s a sweet spot somewhere in the middle, and sometimes that boundary has to be renegotiated on a chapter-by-chapter basis. The real problem with NaNo is having only 30 days in which to perform these negotiations.
How do you novel?
The good news is that autumn is here and I got some incredible photos at the park this week, and I’m loving the hell out of getting to actually watch the season change.
The bad news is that I paid for those photos with a nasty fall resulting in some pretty severe road pizza.
So let’s look at these pretty photos of Pittsburgh in autumn while I gargle this hot salt water and apply a fresh coat of antiseptic to what used to be my face.
the last shot before I quite literally face-planted
Totally worth it.
The internet certainly has changed the world we live in. The rules of social engagement are different now and still shifting. It’s hard to navigate them at the best of times, especially when you’re autistic; throw social media into the mix and everything I think I know about the correct way to handle people and the delivery of news is… possibly wrong? Maybe? Or maybe I’m a trailblazer in the quest to open up new ways for us introverts to talk to people without having to actually talk to them?
Ahem. Getting off track.
This year has seen some massive changes in my life. Massive. Whom do you tell first? To whom must you speak privately before it’s a gaffe to talk about it on the Book of Face? Which things do you talk about? Which are none of the public’s business? How do you write publicly about private subjects that you nevertheless feel you should be open about for the greater good? (Pause while you echo, “The greater gooooooood.”)
Which is all to say that, finally having satisfied the (I believe) expected protocol of letting my private feed in on some of the massive things I’ve been working on this year, I think it is now acceptable to speak in public spaces as well.
As I stated some weeks ago, I finally escaped my own personal Hell in Arizona. To put it delicately, that Hell consisted of more than simply the location. It was ruled over by a particular person with whom I am no longer legally entangled, as of this month. Consider the suggestion box open as far as what type of cake is most appropriate for celebrating Sweet Sweet Freedom.
Big things happened on the road to that escape; it’s been a busy year. The upshot is that I am in a much better place, surrounded by good people, I’m safe and happy, and I’ve just finished editing the w-i-p – which is now no longer a w-i-p! This final draft is ready to be shopped, baby.
Onward and upward.
A while back, I made a post about my friend Jamie Wyman’s Kickstarter campaign to publish the sequel to her urban fantasy novel Wild Card. We got it done and the world has since been enriched by the existence of that sequel — Unveiled.
So guess what?
IT’S TIME FOR BOOK THREE.
Guys, I’m so excited about this series I can’t even tell you how excited I am. We’ve got trickster gods, we’ve got technomancy, we’ve got romance and good old UST. We’ve got explosions, break-ins, swordfights, smart-mouthed satyrs, female IT professionals with attitude, PLOT TWISTS, and we’ve got all of this happening in modern-day Las Vegas to the running narrative of a heroine with a snarky inner voice that just gets snarkier the more the gods decide to mess with her.
What I’m trying to say is I really want to read the next book. Will you help make that dream a reality?
UNINVITED: The Third Book in the Etudes in C# Series
These books are so good. You won’t regret it.
This is my hair.
This is my hair on Pittsburgh humidity.
I have lots of questions.
It occurs to me that I haven’t updated the blog in so long that people probably think I’ve abandoned it. Or that I’ve invented a one-way time machine, noped out of 2015 for a year when we’re finally not still debating over whether some kinds of people should be considered objectively and legally better than other kinds of people, and will never be heard from again. Or that every device with which I connect to the internet was eaten by giant bear-sharks.
Happily, none of these are the case.
I have, however, been having an extraordinarily busy and stressful few months. The busy is finally over and the stressful soon will be too. By the end of this month, I should be in a position to write an actual update and then get on with business as usual. By which I mean, poking the blog with a stick every few weeks (rather than months) when I realize I should probably remind people that I exist.
So consider this post a placeholder. More to come.
But in the interim, I can drop one piece of good news: I am now a resident of Pittsburgh, PA. The desert and I are no more.
Relevant to me as a female author, but also as a human being living on Earth.
Why don’t men read books by women?
We could decide, as a culture, that all stories matter, and that a life in which we only listen to the stories told by a tiny slice of society is impoverished and wasted. Or, I guess, we could read A Farewell to Arms yet again.