I didn’t really get a chance to announce this sale, as it happened all of a few days ago, but my latest article with Strange Horizons has gone live — “That Fairy-Tale Feel: A Folkloric Approach to Meredith Ann Pierce’s The Darkangel.” If it sounds familiar, yes, that is my paper from ICFA this spring. Warning: spoilers for the book, as tends to happen in critical articles of this sort.
Just ran the second session of “A Conspiracy of Cartographers” in Memento, wherein I merrily threw out everything I didn’t like about the merfolk and kept the bits I did like. This made me happy. High Seas Adventure! Or in this case, Underseas Adventure! Then I came upstairs and found that Talebones wants to buy “But Who Shall Lead the Dance?,” which I’d really, really been crossing my fingers for. It’s my second sale to them, and one of those submissions where I had a gut feeling that this was the place to send it. So, all in all, a very good evening.
My braid is fluffier than usual. As of bedtime last night, my rag curls had gone limp enough that I decided to forgo my usual habit of sticking my head into the shower to wet them down. Today my hair is mostly flat, but clings stubbornly to hints of fluffiness. It’s kind of weird.
For those who were asking yesterday, my dress came from Ravenswood Leather; specifically, it’s the Saberist Dress. I originally went to their site looking for a bodice (having decided, when Morwen walked out of the last High Court, that her next costume would be Adventurer!Morwen), but got sidetracked by the dress. The Kitsune is rather correct in saying that I have a writing career to support my costuming habit. But I highly recommend Ravenswood; they custom-cut the items to your measurements, and I was able to specify over the phone to them exactly how I wanted my dress to look. What’s more, their usual delivery time is about four weeks, but when I told them I would need it four weeks from when I ordered it, they sent it to me in about a week and a half. So they’re good people.
Gaming — oof. Three characters in three days. I love Sess just for being a low-maintenance character, compared to the two days of high costuming that followed. Getting to play the High Lord of Scathach was awesome, though I do wish the evening game had been longer, so I could have had more time to do things with her. (I wish even more that I’d gotten to flex her phenomenal badass-ness in the dragon fight, but alas, I was pulled out for a completely unrelated scene at the same time.) And then, of course, there was Morwen, who desperately wanted to Kill Something and never got the chance. But, as has always been the case with her, I was able to tell myself that whatever she did, she’d look good while she did it. ^_^
And now I’ve got just over a day to get my brain back in gear for my own game. As much as I’m loving Memento, man, there’s a part of me that’s looking forward to the day when it will stop eating my head.
I’m beginning to think I should impose a moratorium on my reading of Dorothy Dunnett’s novels. Some authors I can read and be inspired; she makes me despair for my ability to write at all. On every level I can think of, she induces a feeling of abject inferiority: her dialogue, her descriptions, her characters and her plotting . . . and hell, that’s just re-reading bits of The Game of Kings, also known as HER FIRST BLOODY NOVEL. I like Doppelganger and all, but it just doesn’t compare, and I know it.
It doesn’t even solve the problem to write some manner of fiction very different from hers. A first-person urban fantasy would sound odd indeed if written in her style, but that doesn’t quite let me shake the inescapable awareness that the awesomeness quotient of any given sentence isn’t up to snuff.
Sigh. I should go read some crappy fiction to get my spirits back up — but that wouldn’t be nearly so enjoyable in its own right, of course.
I enjoyed my first Readercon, though it’s the first time in a while I’ve gone to an sf/f con and not been on the programming, so I felt vaguely like I was slacking. That’s what I get for registering so late. Got to talk to some interesting people, though, and to learn some valuable lessons:
(1) Walking around the book room with a copy of Silverlock in one’s hands is a fantastic way to start conversations with total strangers. Everybody has their favorite bit. (Mine is the alliterative Norse rendition of the Battle of the Alamo.) And I am not, in fact, the only person convinced the book was written Just For Me.
(2) I do just fine picking up folksongs I’ve never heard before; in fact, sometimes I can predict the rhymes in advance, which is fun. If, however, I wish to attempt singing something I know, even for the purposes of a brief demonstration, I should take the time needed to coax my sense of pitch into providing me with the notes I need. Rushing this process will result in me sounding like I have no sense of pitch at all.
(3) Hanging out with fairy-tale-oriented friends and then going to the talk on quantum mechanics is either a recipe for brain meltdown or the Best Idea Ever. Or possibly both.
I didn’t get as much written on “The Last Wendy” as I wanted to while on this trip, but “Double Woman Dreamer” got unexpectedly resurrected from the dust-bin of story ideas (courtesy of one room-mate), and now I’ve got a notion for something calling itself “Schroedinger’s Crone” (courtesy of the other room-mate and Lesson Number Three). Cons always make ideas breed like flies in my head. Most of them are flashes in the pan, briefly shiny and forgotten before the con’s over, but usually there’s at least one keeper.
I’d prefer a keeper, though, which doesn’t involve someone e-mailing me a reading list in Lakota folklore, or self-lessons in quantum mechanics.
My god, is it that time already? I came home from lunch today to find a box on my doorstep, full of Advance Reader Copies of Warrior and Witch. Book ain’t coming out for three months, but apparently the ARCs are already in circulation. I shall have to think of something to do with them.
Then, about five minutes later, the doorbell rang. Found a box waiting on the porch, and in it — EEEEEE!!!!!! My costume for the second Concordia game is here. I cannot wait for that game. To hell with the plot; I just want to show off the pretty. ^_^
In other news, since I’m now registered and everything, I should mention that I’m going to be at Readercon next weekend. At present I’m not on the program (having decided way too late to go), but I’m going to e-mail them and volunteer to fill any holes they might find themselves with. Regardless, come say hi to me if you’re there.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to announce the latest development in my writing career: I have sold two more books to the Hachette Book Group (formerly Warner Books).
What two books are these, I hear you ask?
<g> The deal is open-ended: two novels, title and content of said novels to be determined later. I have ideas for what I’d like to do, but none of that is settled yet. The contracts, however, are drawn up and on their way to me, so it’s official. I’ll make further announcements when I know just what I’m going to be writing.
The server’s getting hammered, but it’s fun.