It’s not a good omen that I’ve gotten off to such a delayed start on this year’s recommendations, but I shall persevere nonetheless. We’re starting off with an old childhood favorite of mine: Dealing with Dragons, by Patricia C. Wrede.
I’ve posted a third scene to the Doppelganger excerpt. Someone asked me about this recently, so I’ll clarify: all of the scenes are contiguous, and they start from the beginning of the novel, so you needn’t worry about spoilers. I should and will put in anchor tags at some point, so I can link people directly to the new material each week, but that’s not happening tonight.
Hark, all ye commitment-shy types, to my tale, and learn ye from my example, that ye not cause yourselves the problems I did.
Kyle and I started dating in February of 1999. (On the 12th, perhaps, or the 16th. “Averaging” these two dates to make our anniversary Valentine’s Day is not correct, no matter what he says — especially when he deliberately avoided asking me out on Valentine’s Day at the time.) Within about three years or so, he made it clear that he was happy with me and more or less ready to propose. I, on the other hand, being twitchy and commitment-shy, made it clear that I was not ready to be proposed to. Thus began a half-unspoken agreement wherein he would not propose until I was ready for it.
This went on for about four years.
I realized some months ago that I’d put myself in a bind. Assuming I was ready — which I wasn’t sure of — then telling him so would be tantamount to telling him to propose. Telling him to propose would (assuming I wasn’t a truly sadistic bitch) be tantamount to telling him my answer. So the minute I said I was ready, whether I passed it through intermediaries or not (as was suggested to me), I would feel like I had a target painted on my forehead, waiting for him to ask.
This was awkward.
So then I got it into my head that I could circumvent the problem by proposing to him myself, thereby avoiding the “sitting duck” stage of the process.
Which I did. On Thursday. (The 16th.)
Let the record show that he spent about three minutes laughing hysterically before he got around to answering me. (He accepted.) He then asked me if I had a ring for him, so I took off the one I was wearing (which he gave to me several years ago) and put it on his pinkie finger (the only one it would fit on). He has also pointed out to me repeatedly that he hasn’t proposed to me, so I haven’t technically agreed to marry him. There might be a proposal in my future yet. But any way you slice it, we are now engaged.
It amuses me that it’s apparently family tradition on both sides: my mother proposed to my father, and so did Kyle’s mother to his father. Of couse, he’s just vexed that I ruined all of his plans, since he’d pretty much decided to propose to me in the next six months whether I wanted him to or not.
The delay in posting this came about because, halfway through telling people, Kyle decided that he wanted to wait to tell people here in town until Saturday night, when there would be a party at which we could announce the news. I agreed that this would be preferable to letting all our local friends find out via LJ, hence the delay. But now it’s as public as it gets: I am engaged, after seven years of dating.
And no, we haven’t set a date yet. If people keep asking me that, I may just have to deck somebody.
Given that I had about zero enthusiasm for yesterday’s game going into it, I had a pleasingly good time. Started off by chatting with Eleanor-Elise about nobility, segued to convincing Mantokele not to flip out and kill people (well, certain people, anyway — he can kill others), then got sucked into the vortex of “did we mention the world’s coming to an end?” chaoticness. Enjoyed the Areopagos trial (did I even spell that right?), since it gave Ree a chance to express certain aspects of herself that haven’t really been given much of a workout since she came back.
Now I have papers to grade, e-mails to answer, short stories to write, a game to prep — all that fun stuff. (Okay, so only some of it is fun.) I just hope I’m not coming down with the cold/flu-thing that seemed to be plaguing a couple of people at the game (and yes, I use that word deliberately). Because I don’t need that right now.
The boy is watching a movie I have no particular interest in seeing, and I’d rather stab myself through the hands than grade today, so instead I’m writing.
“A Mask of Flesh”
I’m experimenting with a word meter to see if a visual indication of my progress helps promote a feeling of accomplishment. Of course, I haven’t the faintest clue how long the story’s really going to be — I believe the Zokutou meter was created for NaNoWriMo writers aiming for a set goal — so that 6000 is totally a guess. I know that Neniza is cooling her heels in the petitioners’ plaza, and the lord is about to show up, so I might be more like halfway through.
Or not, depending on how much description I find myself indulging in. This is a lush-description kind of story, and I haven’t even gotten to the lord.
Anyway, time to break, since I haven’t yet decided by which of two routes Neniza’s going to get to her goal. And besides, I’m hungry.
In honor of the impending publication of Doppelganger (goodgodsit’scomingoutsoon), I’ve posted a second scene from the novel on my site. (Didn’t know I’d posted a first scene? That’s because I was busy and did a very bad job of mentioning it anywhere.) My intent is to go on posting a scene every week until I hit the limit of what I’m allowed to put online, which should happen around the time that the novel itself hits the shelves.
(And yes, that would be a new icon, there. I counteract my embarrassment about having an icon of my own novel cover by telling myself I’ll only use it for posts specifically related to said novel. It just barely works.)
Now, if you’ll pardon me, I think it’s time for me to go twitch and hide under the bed some more.
I sent in Warrior and Witch today, following a marathon of revision that turned my brain to mush. (It would have been nice if my brain had had all those good ideas about how to rewrite it earlier than the last minute — though I suppose it’s nicer than not having any good ideas at all.) My plan for the next few days involves lying around like a dead thing and doing as little work as I can get away with, but after that, what next?
First of all, I have five stories or so that have been awaiting revision — some of them for more than a year. I’ll probably ramble about them more in another post, but for posterity’s sake, on this list are “The Memories Rise to Hunt,” “Sciatha Reborn,” “On the Feast of the Firewife,” “Games in the Dark,” and “Apply Now,” which really needs a better title. I should do something with those.
I should also do something with the stories sitting around in various states of progress. “A Mask of Flesh” is probably the most likely to get itself finished soon, at which point I can think about turning the abortive mess of “Ink, Like Blood” into a related story for that one. There’s also “Even in Decline,” if I can figure out just where it’s going, though I refuse to work on that one until I get “Sciatha Reborn” out there (again, a related story — I like working in a setting multiple times). Then I blame for getting my brain back onto “The Deaths of Christopher Marlowe,” though that will certainly have to wait until I can do some reasearch for it. Similarly research-intensive will be “Hannibal of the Rockies” — I need to get back in touch with the relevant people on that one. (Hi, .) The Goddess Triumphant story to go along with “On the Feast of the Firewife” and its friends has a title now (“Kingspeaker”), but I’m not sure what exactly it thinks it’s about. Then there are older bits: “Once a Goddess” (I refuse to give up on that one), two different Driftwood story openings, another Twilight story, the “faerie trouble” story . . . .
Here’s the plan. Every two weeks, I’ll aim to get one of my completed stories revised and out the door. (Discussion of just what kind of effort that will take can wait for that other post.) Also, every week, I’ll aim to finish writing something. Not necessarily a short story; I know I don’t have the kind of time for that at the moment. It can be an essay for my website, or my ICFA paper, or my Pushing Boundaries paper if it gets accepted. But something. Every week.
And, in the meantime — yes, I’m delusional; why do you ask? — playing around with the next novel project. Which means revision of SotS-that-needs-a-new-title, and noodling with its sequel, which frankly I can’t wait to get started on. We’ll see what kind of schedule I put myself on for those.
But first, lying around like a dead thing. I feel I’ve earned it.
Criminy. The last time I flexed my mythology muscles this much was . . . .
. . . um . . .
Let’s start that one over.
Criminy, I’ve never flexed my mythology muscles that much before. From trying to dredge up enough underworld/death/destruction/evil gods to cast a 40-person LARP, to remembering what all their stories are, to figuring out what kinds of plot they might have with each other, and then crowning it all by gear-shifting continuously throughout the game itself — do you have any idea how brain-breaking it is to explain Sumerian me to someone, turn around, decide what to do about Odin’s eyeball getting passed to a mortal, turn around, and answer a question on Hindu metaphysics? (Hindu metaphysics can melt your brain all on their own; they don’t need help.)
But the Parliament of the Apocalypse game appears to have gone well. At least, everybody who came to Chili’s seemed reasonably happy ranging up to giddy with residual glee. Costuming was fan-frickin-tastic — as usual, which is one of the reasons I love LARPing with this group. With the high-dress Concordia game just two weeks ago, people still managed to show up with some truly phenomenal stuff. I was pleased by such depictions as the Thoroughly Modern Morrigan (think Irish war goddess as IRA extremist), but I gotta admit, my anthropological snobbery pretty much drooled itself into oblivion over tour de forces like our seaweedy Sedna, Mictlantecuhtli’s regalia, the 11-layer Heian-period junihitoe of Izanami, and more.
What, you want pictures? You may find some here and some here. The former are more posed shots that show costumes clearly, while many of the latter are in-game shots that show the atmosphere of the game. Oh yeah, and though you can’t see it clearly, set crew blew us away, turning the IMU Kiva into our cavern setting, with black tablecloths covering the walls and roots dangling from the ceiling. It’s just a pity that I don’t think anyone got a photo of the anchor of reality that was sitting in the middle.
I’ll stop burbling now. It was my Very First LARP that I’ve co-run, and while putting it together in what functionally speaking was about three weeks was really not the smartest thing I’ve ever agreed to, it was too tempting of a mythology challenge to turn down.