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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Okay, I promise I’ll stop posting soon.

Want to read Doppelganger right now?

You can buy it on eBay.

Seriously, it’s just a little bit surreal to find an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) of your very first novel floating around the internet. And then disappointing to realize nobody’s bid on it yet. <g> I mean, I knew there was a secondhand market for these books — they get sent out to generate advance buzz and get reviews circulating — so I knew that yes, someday, there would be ARCs of my own work out there. Somehow, though, I just wasn’t expecting it so soon.

(Yes, I was Googling myself. Don’t ask me why Doppelganger got mentioned on a romance forum, but the person there said it was excellent. Woot!)

So I think I’ve entered two new realms of writer-hood today. This review business is one of them. The other, I was reflecting on this morning, as the reports start to come in of the lineups for Year’s Best anthologies.

In 2004, I published precisely one story: “White Shadow”. Other than a brief, wistful bit of dreaming when I heard there was going to be a Year’s Best YA Fantasy anthology, I didn’t give it much thought.

In 2005, I had five stories hit print: “The Princess and the . . .,” “Silence, Before the Horn,” “Shadows’ Bride,” “The Twa Corbies,” and “For the Fairest.” Now, mind you, of those all, only “The Twa Corbies” is more than five hundred words long — I published a lot of flash this year. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have hopes, though; I have a writer’s ego, which is to say volatile and capable of great delusions of grandeur along with pits of blackest despair. We’ll see if it comes to anything; I know Ellen Datlow was eyeing some stories from Jabberwocky, though I don’t know which ones. (I love all my creative children, of course, but some have special places in my heart, and “Silence, Before the Horn” is one of them.)

But the point is that I’m moving into a realm I’ve never been in before, namely, one where Year’s Best anthologies mean something to me as something other than just a reader. I might end up in one. I’m following their construction for the first time in my life, paying attention to who edits what, when they make their decisions, when they get published. I’ve
got seven more stories in the publication pipeline; they may not all make it out next year, but I might also sell more. I’m playing a new game now, and it’s kind of fascinating.

But that’s enough writerly procrastination for the night. I need to take the IRB test, which means getting into anthropologist-head.

I must be a REALLY real author!

Just got a heads-up for the Tangent Online review of Talebones #31, which contains my short story “The Twa Corbies”. Once again, some plot spoilers (some day I shall learn to stop being surprised by their presence), but I can’t complain too much when the reviewer is saying nice things:

I enjoyed Brennan’s characterization of a narrator who regrets the choices he made that enabled him to understand birds. The author’s experience as a folklorist allows her to give this story extra verisimilitude. While I haven’t heard the ballad this story is based on, I have heard many similar pieces in the Celtic tradition, and “The Twa Corbies” does a good job of capturing the feel of those.

So all in all, some nice ego-boosting today (to balance out two rejections, one of which had me scratching my head, the other of which had me politely saying “okay, but I disagree” with regards to what the editor would have preferred the story to be).

I must be a real author!

Harriet Klausner has reviewed Doppelganger.

DOPPELGANGER is a spellbinding, fantastic and unique fantasy due to the cast. Both Mirage and Miryo are two sides of the same coin except that one is a witch and the other a warrior. Although this is Marie Brennan’s first book, she proves she is a talented storyteller and a creative worldbuilder. Although there is a lot of action in this novel, the characters are fully developed and readers understand them because they have similar feelings and concerns as the readers do.

So, who is Harriet Klausner? She’s a woman who’s managed, in a fairly short span of time, to gain a substantial amount of clout in the reviewing world, by dint of the fact that she reads an enormous number of books. You know that challenge, where you’re supposed to read fifty-two books in a year? This woman probably reads fifty-two books a week. Maybe more. And she reviews them all. She’s achieved enough status that publishing companies deliberately send her review copies. Devi told me some time ago that yes, they were sending Doppelganger to her, so it was neat to see this go up.

If you want to read more of her reviews, she has a website, but a word of caution: one gripe I’ve heard against her style is that she tends to give plot spoilers in her reviews. I can vouch for the truth of that with her Doppelganger piece; she doesn’t describe the whole plot of the book, but she does mention something that I would consider to be a spoiler. So if you go browsing her archive, do so with care.

On a related note, the cover for Warrior and Witch is FRICKIN’ AWESOME. Devi and Rachel and I are drooling over it. You’d better believe I’ll post it the instant I get the go-ahead.

A Variety of Updates

If you have not yet seen it, I can give no better description of Casanova than to say that it is a Shakespearean comedy. It has disguises, mistaken identities, cross-dressing, lower-class clowns, and it ends with a wedding (in the sense of characters achieving romantic resolution; that matters more than ending with an actual wedding ceremony). The plot reaches ludicrous proportions of convolutedness at various points, but that happened in Shakespeare too. Very fun, very silly, very much worth watching if that’s a genre you like.

As far as the rest of my weekend is concerned, I should probably (from a practical standpoint) not have spent nearly the entirety of it gaming. But the gaming was fun, and isn’t that what counts? (Okay, look. Once the semester sinks its teeth properly into me, I won’t have much time for gaming at all. I decided to enjoy it while I could.)

In other gaming news, the Parliament is 99% cast, and the boy and I thought up a plot the other day that had me racing to the bookcase to pull out a variety of references and then giggling madly at how wonderfully perfect the idea is. If the rest of the planning for this game goes half so well, then I daresay it might turn out a success.

In other other gaming news, my Concordia costuming proceeds apace. Today I spent a disgusting amount of time working on something that in the end doesn’t look like much at all (finishing touches on the bodice), but I’m glad to have that out of the way. Now I just need to completely redesign the skirt, and I’ll be nearly done. (We’ll pretend that redesigning isn’t such a giant hurdle to leap as it truly is.)

Writing news: the current project is revising Warrior and Witch. Once that’s bounced off to Devi, then I can turn my attention to the pile of unrevised short stories, and also to playing around with the Novel That May Finally Have A Better Title. Which I’m looking forward to. It’s hard to overcome the tendency to be more excited about whatever’s next than whatever’s now; it happens to me in academia, too. I always get excited about next semester’s classes about halfway through the current term, when my enthusiasm for the classes at hand has run out. (And I haven’t even gotten to the endless copy-edit/page proofs stage yet.)

I’ve been going through a drought on the short-story front, not of sales — well, okay, that too; any stretch of time longer than a few weeks has a tendency to start masquerading as a drought, regardless of how silly that is — but rather a drought of responses. I’m waiting to hear back from so many places. At least when I’m getting rejections, I can sling the stories back out into the ether and feel like I’m getting somthing done.

Well, the sooner I get Warrior and Witch done, the sooner I can get fresh stories into the system, which will help. So I guess I should get back to work on, well, everything.