The irritating thing about having finished “Kingspeaker” is, now that I’ve done so, I think I might be wrong about what story it is. Originally it was supposed to be one of a set I’d love to publish as a collection someday, under the title Blood and Flowers. In shorthand terms (that won’t spoil the stories), I have the GR, FW, and BG stories for that set done, and this was supposed to be the GT story, which would give me one hemisphere of the set.

But then I finished it, and I thought maybe it ought to be the GR story. Which would be irritating, since I already have a GR story, but that one isn’t great, so I wouldn’t mind replacing it (except that I still only have three of the eight, then). The more I think about it, though, the less I’m sure that works. Maybe it isn’t a Blood and Flowers story at all. Which would be really irritating. Unfortunately, that seems more and more likely to me. (There’s a thematic link to the eight, and thematically, this one doesn’t seem to want to be a part of that. Mind you, it would explain why I had a hard time putting in there the thing that was supposed to be in there. It wasn’t supposed to be in there at all.)

So now I have a Sahasraran story that maybe doesn’t belong in Blood and Flowers — grand. And if it isn’t the GT story, then it could have been a political story instead of a military one, though I suppose a war never hurt any story’s chances on the market.

But we’ll let it sit for a bitsy and age before I make any radical decisions.

two months down

Fortified by a variety of over-the-counter drugs, I have mustered the energy to finish “Kingspeaker,” my required story for the month. (“Schroedinger’s Crone” is officially disbarred, on the grounds that we’re pretty sure it’s supposed to be a poem instead.) I still feel like I kind of had to shoehorn in that one thing, but hey, that’s what revision is for: to make the shoehorning look natural. Right?

4600 words for this draft, more than half of them written today. So it often goes, with short stories.

I think next month’s story will be “Once a Goddess,” after a fruitful discussion earlier this week. The thing’s been cooling its heels for nearly six years; high time it went somewhere.

What does one have to do to get a different result?

Which Lymond Character Are You?

Congratulations, you’re Francis Crawford of Lymond, for a time the Master of Culter. You’re the hero and the focal point of everything. You’re the quintessential romantic hero: brooding, mysterious, witty, informed, gentle, sensitive and all the rest. You should, perhaps, consider doing the dishes once in a while and speak in your native tongue when possible. In other words, show off a bit less. It won’t kill you.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

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If I remember what it displayed correctly, 42% of us end up as Lymond. And I really, really wasn’t trying to skew that way. (I’m not sure I would want to skew that way. Lymond is not someone you necessarily want to emulate.) Maybe he’s so multi-talented, he covers most of the spectrum?

I disagree with their casting choice for the picture, though.

In other news, wow, I’ve spent most of today sleeping. No exaggeration. I guess I needed the rest?


Spent most of the day feeling like microwaved death. About the best thing I’ve managed to accomplish today is finishing one book and reading the entirety of two more — and two of those three are worthy of recommendations, so I’m set for a couple of months. (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold was also good, but not the kind of thing I include in the recommendations.)

I think the plan for tomorrow will consist of more sacking out on the couch and reading. It’s about all I’m good for at the moment. You know you’re not doing well when you don’t feel lively enough to attempt Kingdom Hearts.

odds and ends

First of all, Cat Rambo has done an interview with me over at Suite 101. She asks several nifty questions, both about my novels and my writing in general.

Also, Talebones #34 is available, containing “But Who Shall Lead the Dance? I haven’t had a chance yet to read the rest of the issue, but Talebones is good folks.

Regarding my default icon: the people have spoken. A custom icon leads the pack, but the Summer Queen is in second place with as many votes as all the other options got together. I will look into possibilities for something custom, and keep the Summer Queen until I find something I like better.

Finally, do please contribute to my recent post looking for suggested readings. I wish I had the time to assemble the list on my own by reading all the YBFH and YBSF anthologies out there, or the entire ouevre of the Hugo Award, but alas, I don’t. I need specific titles to choose from.

stories needed

I could use some assistance from the internets in putting the finishing touches on a certain project. I’m planning to pitch a course proposal on writing speculative fiction (encompassing sf, fantasy, and supernatural horror), but I need readings! Most particularly I need suggestions of short fiction, but I’d also be interested in how-to texts that might be relevant to these topics.

Week 1- Introduction to genre
Week 2- Language
Week 3- Outlining, critique, revision
[For these three weeks, I’d like one basic, accessible story from each of the genres I’m covering, just to get them warmed up.]

Week 4- Dialogue
Week 5- Point of view
Week 6- Description
Week 7- Exposition
Week 8- Style/Voice
Week 9- Character
Week 10- Setting
Week 11- Plot
[Here, of course, I want stories that particularly shine in the aspect du semaine.]

Week 12 – Gender
Week 13 – Race
Week 14- Morality
[I’m pretty sure Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” will be the story for week 14, but the others are up in the air. The general idea of this unit is, hey, spec fic can play interesting games with these topics.]

Week 15- How to submit stories
[Might or might not have a reading for this week. It’ll depend on whether I find a story I just really really love and want to end on.]

I would prefer short stories, though in a terrible pinch I might use a novel excerpt. Suggestions?

Schroedinger’s Story

Today in class I wrote something that may or may not be “Schroedinger’s Crone.” (Appropriate, no?) The reason for my uncertainty is that it’s 152 words long, and therefore consists entirely of “hey, look: idea.” I’m not sure if I want to try and come up with an actual plot to demonstrate the idea, or leave it as-is. My mistake may have been last night’s decision to observe the story, thus collapsing the wave form before I had come up with a plot.

Whether or not I count this as February’s story will depend on whether I can smack the second half of “Kingspeaker” into behaving itself.

the other half of Swan Tower

Oh, hell. It just occured to me that maybe this is what I should use as my icon for teaching my fairy-tale class next fall.

That doesn’t bode so well for my students. <g>

Anyway, I mustered enough energy to do some updates on the Bryn Neuenschwander half of Swan Tower, which have been sorely overdue for a long time. There’s nothing dramatic, but I finally got my C.V. posted in legible form and put a tiny bit more content into the areas about my research. The next big project for over there is a doozy: I want to gather up sources I’ve found useful on RPGs or fairy tales and make an online annotated bibliography. God only knows when that will happen, but I would like to do it someday. In the meantime, these minor updates will have to do.

And with that, I am done with my website for today.


A large amount of tinkering later, I think I have finally achieved something I’ve been aiming at for a while. You see, I didn’t just switch to a paid account so I could have more icons (though I admit that was icing on the decision); I did it so I could embed the journal on my website. Thanks to the inestimable sapphohestia, this is done. You can now read this journal at its LJ address, or at Swan Tower. I believe everything is working now, with a couple other minor fixes made to the site at the same time.

There’s other stuff I want to do over there, but I think I need a break from webpage coding.

However, I’ll try one more shiny new thing before I quit: a poll! It’s my first ever. The question at hand, dear readers, is what I should do about my default icon. At present, it is Michael Whelan’s Summer Queen, that woman in the gorgeous mask you can see on this post. This has been my default since I first got on LJ, in large part because at the time the default for my meaner half, kurayami_hime, is Whelan’s Snow Queen. But I am contemplating — though not decided on — a change. The options for switching are as follows:

My swan icon — the major selling point for this one is the whole Swan Tower/New Swan thing, it being a reasonably appropriate representation of me. Currently I don’t have a particular use for this one.

My Neuschwanstein iconSchloss Neuschwanstein literally translates to “New Swan Stone Castle,” and I have a childhood love for the place (though I’ve never been). Currently this is my icon for the rare post about domestic events involving our domicile, Castle N.

My writing icon — the only real selling point for this one is that I use it all the bloody time, since more of my posts are about writing than any other topic. Otherwise, it has nothing to recommend it in particular.

Some Swan Tower icon created for me by tooth_and_claw — I’ve been toying with the idea of getting her to design a logo for the website as a whole, which would then be an appropriate default for my journal.

It’s your turn to vote!