Thursday, December 9, 2010


I'm a hardcore re-reader and re-watcher and 99.9% of the time order exactly the same thing at restaurants and coffee shops and ice-cream parlors because I like repeating fantastic experiences. Well-loved books and movies (and sandwiches) are like old friends. You can always count on them to look and feel (and taste) the same, to move you in the same ways.

I've been re-reading Megan Whalen Turner's Attolia series over the last week or so, and while, admittedly, nothing is quite like the first time through, with all those wonderful startling revelations and aha! moments, I still very, very much enjoyed them. In fact they were still eliciting audible reactions from me, to the point where my roommate looked up from her important doctoral studies to remark, "You do realize you've read that before." :-)

Another reason I re-read is that if I don't read a book at least twice, details tend to fade, and I'm left only with vague impressions of I liked it or didn't like it, which isn't ultimately very useful. And some books stand up to multiple readings more than others; some I find kind of "meh" on a second read, some I find as amazing as I remembered, and some—like, for example, the Attolia series—you almost have to read more than once to soak up all the awesome and intricate things that are going on.

And then there's mood to consider. As much as I love them, sometimes I'm simply not in the mood to adventure into a brand new book and unknown territory. There's a certain amount of comfort in knowing exactly what's coming and looking forward to parts I already have completely memorized and revisiting beloved characters and just experiencing the story again.

Man, now I want to go re-read Lord of the Rings. It's been a few years…

What about you? Are you a habitual re-reader?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mysteries of the Universe: Sleep

So sometimes I ponder the mysteries of the universe (because, really, somebody has to). Today I spent the better part of my 25 minute drive to and from lessons pondering how people ever got out of bed before alarm clocks were invented. Did they just wake up with the sun or what? I finally had the sense to google it this evening, and happened upon an enlightening article.

Really interesting stuff, and it makes me want to write a novel featuring water clocks. But now I have more questions.

How did the church bell ringers and the knockers-up know when to wake up? Did they always have to employ the bladder-control method (which struck me as completely hilarious)? If they overslept mightn't they throw off the equilibrium of an entire town?? Would anyone even notice? How did they know what time to ring the church bells anyway?

Also, does anyone else ever feel bad for fictional characters' sleeping conditions? Maybe it's just because I'm a light sleeper and always have a horrible time nodding off in unfamiliar or less-than-ideal surroundings, but I'm always in awe of characters who can fall right to sleep in the woods or a cave or a prison cell and wake refreshed and ready to conquer the world. I can't even fall asleep on a comfortable couch unless I'm deathly ill, and if I'm running on less than six (but preferably eight or nine!!) hours of sleep I can barely function. I think I would be pretty much useless on an actual adventure—characters in novels don't seem to have these problems.

They don't have chapstick, either, which is one reason I'm happy to be living in this lovely modern era. I mean, I read once that pioneers put axle grease on their lips to keep them from getting chapped, but that's just gross.

And there you have it.

(Apologies for the glimpse into my peculiar brain. This is what happens when I'm not actively working on a novel.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Video Monday!

Happy Monday, intrepid readers! In lieu of any actual news (I'm writing a synopsis; not exactly riveting, is it?), I thought I would share some vids:

First up, How To Be a Secret Agent (Scarecrow and Mrs. King)

"I feel like I'm lying and sneaking."
"You are lying and sneaking. You're working for the government."

Next up, Everybody Loves Me (Merlin)

And last but not least, a Sherlock/Doctor Who crossover? If only it were true!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Book Reviews: Starcrossed and Plain Kate

Reading a really, really, really good book is pretty much my favorite thing in the whole world—it's right up there with rainstorms and purring cats and Chopin Ballades. The only thing better is reading TWO really, really really good books right in a row.

Enter Starcrossed, by Elizabeth C. Bunce, and Plain Kate, by Erin Bow, both of which I had the pleasure of nabbing at the library a week and a half ago. Seriously, WOW.

Starcrossed follows the story of Digger, a thief-turned-lady's-maid who's being blackmailed to spy on a bunch of nobles in a snowbound castle. Set in a Renaissance-inspired fantasy world awash with religious persecution, magic and secrets abound…

I adored this book. It's like the Attolia series and Crown Duel meets BBC's Merlin, which is all kinds of amazing. Fabulous character development, fantastic writing, lots of interesting-and-unexpected-plot-developments, and an all around beautiful and compelling story. I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel, Liar's Moon, due out next fall (I think?).

Plain Kate is an exquisite gem of a novel that captured my heart and then proceeded to wrench it thoroughly. It's the story of Kate, a skilled wood carver accused of witchcraft, who trades her shadow for the means to escape her town. It's Russian in flavor, and filled with color and heart; the prose is deceptively simple and as gorgeous as it is unusual. The story itself just about made me break down sobbing in several places; it has real resonance and depth. I finished it last Thursday and still can't quite stop thinking about it. Also, there is an amazing and adorable TALKING CAT, for whom I fell completely head over heels. (Heart you, Taggle!!) A really, really wonderful book.

Both are HIGHLY recommended, and are for sure going on my "Best Reads of 2010" list.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pacing, or, What I Learned Whilst Revising My Novel

So my second draft has been complete for a whole week now, and while trusty people are reading it for me, I'm busy working on a query letter and synopsis and researching agents. I read through draft #2 myself last Monday and Tuesday, and after trimming scattered unnecessary verbiage and deleting a scene from chapter three, I successfully wrangled  it down to 80,055 words, which was my hoped-for word count from the beginning. So that's pretty awesome!

At any rate, I thought I would do a sort of follow-up to my post back in March about experimenting with revision techniques, when I was first figuring out how I wanted to tackle this second draft.

Probably my biggest focus during Draft #2 was fixing the PACING. As the shrunken manuscript pointed out at the very beginning, this was a HUGE problem area for this novel, and something I wrestled with a lot when creating my handy-dandy revision-battle-plan spreadsheet outline. That outline was THE BOMB. It really helped me work on the big-picture plot-and-pacing issues without getting bogged down in the prose, and even when I was entrenched in the actual slog of re-writing, it kept me on track. There were a few times where what I'd decided to do on the outline and what worked in the actual manuscript were two different things (most notably in a handful of the ending chapters when I tumbled down that GAPING PLOT HOLE). But for the most part it was invaluable, and I don't think any outline should ever be so rigid that you can't take the story in a slightly different direction if the narrative demands it.

Reading through the second draft, I was excited to see how much the pacing really had improved. All the scenes were there for specific reasons (except for that scene in chapter three, which is why it got axed), and the arc of the narrative felt more natural than before. I'm still vaguely uncertain about a few things that happen towards the end, especially whether or not I successfully filled that plot hole (that's what my intrepid readers are for :-)), but overall I'm really pleased. I'm almost beginning to think that revising is more rewarding than first drafting, even though it's more painful (and takes a heck of a lot longer)…

In any case, I've learned a ton about my revising process over the last ten months, and I feel more equipped to tackle revisions in the future (which is good, because I have a lot of them looming).

Without further ado, I give you Things I Learned Whilst Revising My Novel (a list):

  1. The spreadsheet outline is THE BEST.
  2. Numbering all the scenes on the hard copy of my manuscript is excessively helpful.
  3. Rewriting takes longer than first drafting, it just does. My subconscious needs time to work through problems.
  4. Actually fixing things in the manuscript is harder than figuring out how to fix them on the outline.
  5. Deleting unnecessary passages and scenes—even if I like them—is very, very freeing, especially if I stash them in a could-salvage-later-if-I-need-to folder.
  6. Finishing a second draft feels GOOD.
And there you have it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I FINISHED!!! + Novel Stats

As of 2:19 this afternoon, I typed the final words of the second draft of Seer and I am DONE! Took me months longer than I'd hoped and I still have to do a read-through to make sure I made it better and not worse, but the important thing is that I FINISHED IT!! If you couldn't tell by all the caps and exclamation points, I'm EXCITED!! :-)

And in a long-standing tradition, I thought I'd give you some STATS:

Initial idea: December 23rd, 2009
Outlining: 10 days (January 7th—17th)
First draft: 7 weeks (January 18th—March 7th)
Word count: 70,018
Revision outline: 3ish weeks (March 25th—April 18th)
Second draft: 6 months and 3 weeks (April 19th—November 8th)
Word count: 81,937

So from initial idea to completed second draft took me about ten and a half months, and from draft one to draft two I gained nearly 12k, which still makes this the second shortest book I have ever written.


Thursday, November 4, 2010


So whilst revising this week I was thinking about libraries, because my main character was sitting in one, pulling books off the shelf and searching for ANSWERS. And then I realized this happens a lot in my novels.

Of my six completed manuscripts (which are set in four completely different universe-systems), all have libraries—some just minor settings, some crucial to the plot, all backdrops for Important Scenes. There's even an underground library in that not-so-short-story I wrote last fall.

I don't know that this is especially significant, but I thought it was interesting. I wonder if all the libraries could get a trans-dimensional-cross-universe-interlibrary-loan thing going on. That would be pretty cool.

Monday, November 1, 2010

On Plot Holes, and Falling Into Them

Soooooooooo, as you know, today is November 1st. (I haven't a CLUE how in the world there's only two months left in 2010—this year has lasted approximately a week and a half.)

I am sorry to report that I did not finish draft two of Seer by last night. I still have four chapters left to get through. I was bookin' along, churning out two or three chapters a day, and I really really thought I was going to make it and then


I was aware of the problem area before I got there, but I'd thought that some simple rearranging and minor revisions would fix it.

It very definitely did not.

After the initial horror at my poor novel's predicament, my brain went into creative over-drive. There was much head-scratching, late-night pondering, and, of course, running-around-in-circles-in-despair. As of yesterday morning (I was paying attention in church—I swear), my brain presented me with a solution. I think it's going to work. I think it might even be a little bit brilliant. It certainly makes more SENSE than before.

Yesterday afternoon I went to the park and spread a blanket under a tree and studiously re-revised two chapters in preparation for the Big Plot Hole Fix. Today I have to actually fix the plot hole.

Which might be why I just spent an hour and a half cleaning my entire downstairs and writing this blog.

Here's to climbing out of the hole!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Still boogie-ing through my revisions. I actually think I'm gonna make it by my self-imposed deadline of Sunday night, which rocks like nobody's business. I'm feelin' GOOOOOD about this thing!!

And in other news, I've run across a spattering of Awesome Things on ye olde internet this week that I just have to share. So here goes.

First up, the most awesome NaNoWriMo song ever set to the tune of "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General" from Pirates of Penzance:

Next up, the good ol' BBC gets some love:

Next up, a special NaNoWriMo preview version of Scrivener 2.0 is being offered for FREE through December 7 (for Mac AND Windows) here. I've fallen in love all over again! Trust me, it's AMAZING. GET IT YOU WILL LOVE IT!!!

Next up, a review of the fantastic Sufjan Stevens concert I had the privilege to go to last Friday. Me and the roommate got to sit ten feet from the stage which was AWESOME, and I tried to take some video but it didn't work out because I accidentally pointed the camera at the ceiling, which was NOT awesome. But you'll have that. This gives you a small and rather inadequate taste (we had much better seats than this person!!) of the awesome.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Revision Ponderings

I'm sitting in my living room, waiting for pot pies to finish baking (store bought—I'm not that domestic yet), and listening to the cars on the road and the sounds of yet another football game emitting from the elementary school across the street. (Before I moved here I didn't know that they had football games at elementary schools. But that's really beside the point.)

As of earlier this evening, I've made it through Chapter Eighteen of ye olde revision, and despite the fact that I've eleven chapters still to go and only six days left in the month, I'm feeling pretty good about it. Who knows, maybe it's possible to revise eleven chapters in six days. I'm going to find out.

I also have a mini confession to make:

In spite of my bellyaching about how much I HATE revising, I've come to realize that I sort of like it. Okay, "like" might be too strong of a word, but there's something satisfying about making one's writing better. Having enough distance and presence of mind to recognize the inherent crappiness of certain sections and then proceeding to fix them is all kinds of wonderful. It's really quite nifty to be able to reshape a story so that it more closely adheres to the original vision. It's hard and frustrating and sometimes makes you just want to run off screaming and become a botanist, but ultimately I think it's  even more rewarding than finishing a rough draft.

At least I hope so. So far I know Draft #2 is vastly superior to Draft #1, and that's a really, really awesome feeling.

Pot pies are done. Time for a late dinner!

Monday, October 18, 2010



It's been giving me all kinds of trouble, and this is an immense accomplishment. Plopped myself in Starbucks (last non-free-wireless zone known to man) this afternoon and plowed (wow—just spelled that "ploughed"; I've clearly been reading British fiction again) on through. YAYYY!! Now it's on to the really good stuff: true love! eeeevil! revelation of dark secrets! KISSING! :-D

Erm. Anyhoo.
Guess I'd better get back at it if I expect to have this thing wrangled into shape by the end of the month…

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fifteen Books

So over on the Blueboards everyone's posting fifteen books that they'll never forget.

Here's my list:
  1. The Lord of the Rings (especially Return of the King), by J.R.R. Tolkien—as much as I love the movies, the books will always be better, if not least because book-Faramir/Eowyn are vastly more amazing than their movie counterparts. Frodo lives! :-)
  2. Middlemarch, by George Elliot—an immensely great novel (and oh my gosh WILL LADISLAW!!).
  3. Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky—intriguing both for its subject matter and the way Dostoevsky makes you sympathize with a guy who killed two old ladies with an axe.
  4. Beauty, by Robin McKinley—a gorgeous little novel I've loved and re-read for years. Poetic and stirring and just really special.
  5. The Space Trilogy, C.S. Lewis—deep and haunting and disturbing in places; I'll never forget the time I stayed up late to finish the ending of Perelandra. Still gives me the shivers (in a good way).
  6. Villette, by Charlotte Bronte—I both loved and hated this book. It was lyrical and beautiful and immensely frustrating.
  7. Persuasion (well, everything), by Jane Austen—I didn't really appreciate this novel the first time I read it because I found it so frustrating, but a re-read illuminated just how brilliant and beautiful it really is.
  8. The Far Pavilions, by M.M. Kaye—haunting, gorgeous, epic: this is the novel that nearly made me break down sobbing in the middle of Panda Express.
  9. The King of Attolia (well all of the Attolia books), by Megan Whalen Turner—I know I always talk about these books, but they're really that good. Really.
  10. Fire and Hemlock, by Diana Wynne Jones—so not what I expected, but gripping and fascinating and just all around awesome.
  11. Crown Duel, by Sherwood Smith—I've read this so many times I'm pretty sure I could quote the entire thing from beginning to end.
  12. The Bartimaeus Trilogy, by Jonathan Stroud—still in awe of these.
  13. East, by Edith Pattou—gorgeous fairy tale retelling, with fascinating multiple POVs.
  14. The Winter Prince, by Elizabeth E. Wein—haunting.
  15. Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine—another one I've loved for years. Vastly better than the movie.
And I've gotta give an honorable mention to Brian Jacques's Redwall series, most especially Mattimeo. I devoured those when I was younger and absolutely adored them.

So that's my list. What's yours?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Currently reading…

Finished Linger yesterday (sniffle!) and am partway into The Shining Company (can you tell I'm on a Rosemary Sutcliff kick lately?).

What are you reading?

Monday, October 4, 2010

From the Mixed-Up Archives of a Youthful Novelist with Aspirations of Grandeur

So I have a box in my closet that looks like this:

It's stuffed with miscellaneous writing projects, the earliest of which date back to when I was short and little and didn't need to wear glasses to see things more than six inches away from my face. Yes, folks. We're talkin' THE EARLY NINETIES (oh, the horror!).

Today, I thought I would inflict you with the first story I ever wrote, complete with illustrations. This dates to second grade, that illustrious time when I was reading a ton of Bobsey Twins. Here goes:

And with the immortal line "The four mystery solvers
walked down the road," a career was born.

As you can see, this was before the day the
concept of spacing meant anything to me.
Or capitalization, for that matter.

Because everybody wants a shed!

 Not really sure what the big deal is about the chalkboard…

"The four grils" heeheehee

 Gotta love the Bad Man's evil laughter. :-D

I love that I misspelled "right" as "wright."
Who DOES that? :-)

Things I love about this page:
1. The Bad Man is wearing an ape suit.
2. The Bad Man is giving out balloons.
3. Anna wants a balloon even though
they're being handed out by the Bad Man

There's a lot of note passing in this story.
Also, glad to know our heroines could take the time
from mystery-solving to eat some ice cream!

For obvious reasons, I never finished this story.
I like how I managed to rhyme the last couple of lines.

And now I will demonstrate why I gave up on illustration:

The Bad Man in the infamous ape suit.

Clearly there is LOTS of happiness. And food.

So there you have it. The very first (unfinished) story I ever wrote. I like to think I've come a long way since then… :-)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thoughts on NaNoWriMo 2010

So I have this thing about first drafts.


I love brainstorming and outlining them. I love writing them. I wish I could write first drafts every single month of the year!!! They're so SHINY! So INSPIRING! So EXCITING!

The only problem being first drafts aren't perfect. They need revising. And revising takes a lot of effort, and isn't as much fun, and is really really HARD.

After a while, those first drafts really start to pile up.

Let's review.

Summer 2005:
I discover the existence of NaNoWriMo, and am inspired to push through to the end of a floundering draft and actually FINISH my very first full-length novel, On Journeys Bound.

NaNo 2005:
I discover that it is possible to write an entire first draft in a month, and complete my very first fantasy novel, The Rose Queen.

Spring/Summer 2006:
I wrestle with revisions of The Rose Queen, and manage to wring out a second draft. I also start Draft 2 of On Journeys Bound somewhere in there.

NaNo 2006:
I discover that it is possible to write 100k in a month, and complete Draft 1 of The Whale and the Tree.

Spring/Summer 2007:
Third draft of Rose Queen, more work on Journeys, and possibly a bit on Whale. 

NaNo 2007:
I discover that I have Very Big Ideas, and write only half of the 209k tome later to become Draft 1 of The Fire in the Glass.

Summer 2008:
Second draft of Whale.

NaNo 2008:
I don't really discover anything groundbreaking, but I do write over half of the 190k tome later to become Draft 1 of The Silver Crane.

Summer 2009:
Attempt at revising Fire. More revision on Whale. Queries sent out. A pitiful attempt at another revision of Rose Queen. A bit done on Journeys. First draft of a not-all-that-short-story (18k), Seraphine.

NaNo 2009:
I discover that sometimes my ideas are not as great as I thought, and write 40k of the as-yet-unfinished The Last Garden, and 50k of the as-yet-unfinished The Blind King, which is a sequel to On Journeys Bound.

Spring 2010:
First draft of Seer, completed early March. Revisions commencing a few weeks later. Much procrastination.

Summer/Fall 2010:
Still floundering in revisions for Seer, poking at Journeys 'cause it won't leave me alone.

Which brings me to some Stats:

Completed first drafts—6
Completed revisions—2, (but they're not REALLY completed—both Rose Queen and Whale need re-drafting. Again.)
Revisions in progress—2 (though Journeys is more a rewrite than a revision)
Incomplete drafts—2
Unrevised novels—2

All that to say, and the data is pretty clear—I have yet to successfully figure out HOW TO REVISE. Or at least how to FINISH a revision. Kind of frustrating.

Which leads me to my point (I do actually have one):
I don't think I have any business starting a Brand New Novel for NaNo when I have SO many more projects to work on that I feel are more important to furthering the Hope of being able to hop back on the submission wagon again sometime this century. I know I can write a book in a month—it's super fun and I adore doing it, but I need to prove to myself that I can FINISH a revision, not just a first draft, which leads me to the conclusion that I should sit out NaNoWriMo this year. :-( :-( :-( :-(


If I finish my second draft of Seer by the end of October, I have decided to issue myself the following challenge (reward??) :

To write the second half of On Journeys Bound AND the second half of The Blind King during the month of November, thereby joining the frenzy that is NaNo (albeit as a self-declared rebel), and finishing two projects I've been meaning to get to for YEARS.

And those are my long, rambling, and conflicting thoughts on participating in NaNoWriMo this year.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why I Hate Revising (a poem)

It started out so perfect,
Inspiration in the night,
I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat,
Compelled to write and write and write,
And then I reached the climax,
And then I typed "The End"
And then I found the awful truth—
The REAL work had yet to begin…

I realized that my plotline
didn't make a lick of sense,
my characters were too cliché
my adjectives too dense,
The beginning truly terrible,
The ending really cheap,
The middle pretty awful too
(But there was a paragraph—it's true—
on page one hundred thirty-two,
Quite beautiful and deep.)

First I took the pages
And shuffled them around,
Then I tore my heart out,
And trod it on the ground.
Then I ate some chocolate
and stared blankly at the wall,
Pondering the reason
I had started this at all.

Then I watched some Netflix
to forget about my woes,
Then I baked some cookies
and put polish on my toes,
Then I did some laundry
and made a cup of tea,
And sat staring at my MacBook screen
and wrote a word (or two, or three).

I deleted a whole chapter,
I wrote a brand new scene,
I went to wash the dishes
'cause I saw that they weren't clean,
I visited the Blueboards,
in search of inspiration,
then killed the MC's mother
(to give him motivation).

I moved a scene from chapter one
into chapter four,
I really didn't think
I liked this novel anymore.
Frustration quickly settled in
and morphed into despair,
There was no way in the whole world
This horrid thing could be made GOOD
I didn't even care!
I was a hack, I was a fraud,
I'd never find a way—
and then I had a brilliant thought
and plowed on through my problem spot,
and finished for the day.

So maybe after all there's hope
And this isn't just some cruel, cruel joke
And this book will finally be The One—
But this really isn't any fun
And why on earth am I not DONE?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A long bank of cloud

So I guess I did sorta drop off the face of the planet. Or at least the blog-o-sphere. Or something.

I have been writing. Okay, not so much this last week, but I've definitely made progress since the last post, and I did pen two whole scenes today. I'm currently in the middle of Chapter Thirteen, and am struggling to get the middle bits of my novel to make some sort of coherent sense. The last two chapters I've found myself straying from my revision outline because the novel seemed to demand it, so that's thrown me off a bit. But I think it's for the best. Hopefully. Currently Draft #2 stands at 82,256 words, which is 12k longer than Draft #1. I'm kind of thinking it's not going to get a LOT longer than that, as I'll be deleting as well as adding material in future chapters… But as always, I really have no idea. I just want it to be over already. Did I mention how much I hate revising? 'Cause I do.

… Which is why every once in a while I sneak off to work on On Journeys Bound, which I still really, really want to finish. I'm all the way through Chapter Twelve now, and up to 55,796 words. Long ways to go yet, but I'm definitely flirting with the middle now.

On the reading front, I recently finished Rosemary Sutcliff's Dawn Wind, which is a gorgeous historical fiction set in Britain in the Sixth Century AD. I really love her storytelling and characters and her talent of letting you hear and see and feel the things in her books. Her prose is quiet and lyrical and compelling, as shown by the opening paragraph:
The moon drifted clear of a long bank of cloud, and the cool slippery light hung for a moment on the crest of the high ground, and then spilled down the gentle bush-grown slope to the river. Between the darkness under the banks the water which had been leaden gray woke into moving ripple-patterns, and a crinkled skin of silver light marked where the paved ford carried across the road from Corinium to Aquae Sulis. Somewhere among the matted islands of rushes and water crowfoot, a moorhen cucked and was still. On the high ground in the loop of the river nothing moved at all, save the little wind that ran shivering through the hawthorn bushes.
 Lovely, lovely stuff. The kind of writing I aspire to!

I'm also about halfway through Heroes of the Valley, by Jonathan Stroud (author of The Bartimaeus Trilogy), which I like a lot so far. It's kind of about Vikings, which is awesome.

Let's see, in other news, BBC's Merlin is back for Series Three, the first two episodes of which were Epic and Awesome and Lord of the Rings-esque. I can't wait to see how the storylines and characters are going to develop over the rest of the series! Going to be interesting, for sure.

And that will about do it for now. I think I'll go work on my novel… or read… or goof off on the internet… one of those. :-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Girl Who Was On Fire

I know, I know, haven't blogged all week! But don't worry, I'm not about to drop off the face of the planet again. :-)

Finished reading Mockingjay last night at midnight, but didn't go to bed until one-thirty, as I found I needed some processing time. I'm still processing. Not going to say anymore because I refuse to spoil it for anyone, but look for a review sometime soon-ish.

On a side note, I'm never pre-ordering anything again. My Mockingjays weren't in at Borders on Tuesday like they were supposed to be, so I ended up buying two different copies so's me and the roomie could actually read them on release day! The other copies still aren't in yet, and I'm not looking forward to the fun ordeal of returning them when they do show up. *sigh*

You'll be shocked to hear that in amongst devouring Mockingjay, I actually did some writing! About halfway through Chapter Seven, and it's going well. So far I've added nearly 9,500 words to the novel in Draft #2. This is frightening. I feel like Draft #3 is going to be all about finding things to cut cut cut cut cut. And here I was all excited that I finally wrote a short novel!!

I will leave you with a couple pictures taken in the new abode's LIBRARY. Yes. It's okay to be jealous. :-)

My bookshelf against the freshly painted walls!

Tea in the library! And yes, that's a TARDIS teapot. :-)

Hanging in my comfy green chair, about to get some noveling done!

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's Frrriiiidayyyy!!

And to celebrate you get a smorgasbord of random links:

First up, the YA Fantasy Showdown, where characters from YA fiction are being pitted against each other in fictional battles, the outcomes of which are decided via voting. Currently about to delve into round four, my beloved Eugenides (from the Attolia books) and Howl (from Howl's Moving Castle) are still in the game!! I will be awash with glee if they both make it into the final round, although I'll have no idea which one to vote for…

Next up, the plural of "octopus" is explained.

Next up, I was invited by the lovely Irene Pynn to write a guest blog, and after some deliberation penned my heartfelt—albeit entirely unscientific—thoughts on How a Book is Like a Piano.

Next up, Nathan Bransford's excellent How to Write a Query Letter.

Next up, Gail Carson Levine discusses POV shifts in her latest blog.

And last but not least, author Maggie Stiefvater noodles on a childhood that shaped her as a reader and writer.

Have a good weekend everybody!!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In Progress

Look at me, three posts in a row! :-)

Yesterday I:
  • Worked a bunch on the elusive Chapter Six of my novel—it's soooooo close to being done now! SO CLOSE! Ideas are spilling out, and words too, and it feels absolutely marvelous to be back working on it again!
  • Finished The Silver Branch which I quite liked, though it wasn't quite as inspiring as Eagle of the Ninth. I want to read the third book in the loosely-connected series (The Lantern Bearers), but the library doesn't have it, so I see special ordering in my future.
  • Started re-reading The Hunger Games in anticipation of Mockingjay next week. I find that when you read two books in the space of four days, not-quite-a-year later some of the details tend to fade, so I intend to remedy that. I'm just about to start Chapter 6.
Today I will hopefully:
  • FINISH Chapter Six of Seer.
  • Read more Hunger Games.
  • Drink lots of tea.
I've already gotten one cup in on that last item.

Happy Wednesday everyone, and keep up the good work!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Just One Week Left…

…till Mockingjay (third and final installment in the wildly popular Hunger Games trilogy) is released!!

Have you pre-ordered your copy?

And Peeta? or Gale?


Monday, August 16, 2010

There's a Viking in the Building!

I've been out of college for five years, but I still feel like the year really begins in late August, not January. Fall semester! New stuff to learn! Autumn! Jeans and converse and long sleeves and socks!

…That is if you happen to live in a state where you have autumn and can wear the aforementioned jeans and converse and long sleeves and socks before the end of November. But I'm quibbling. Hopefully us poor Arizonians will get out of the 100s sometime soon and at least down into the 90s. Hopefully.

But that's really beside the point. What I'm saying is, life has been completely crazy this summer. I've moved across town, nearly tore the bumper off my poor car by backing into a pole, painted a room, learned how to cook chicken, watched all seven seasons of Buffy, spent a week in Georgia eating ridiculously amazing watermelon, continued staunchly refusing to eat raw tomatoes (because I don't like them, okay??), and got a grand total of absolutely nothing done on that novel revision I started back in March. Not to mention I haven't been blogging, either.

What I'm saying is, it's time for the fall semester, which means a new year and a new beginning and a new chance to dive back into noveling and blogging and getting stuff done. I don't have to wait for January! The time is now!! I am novelist, hear me RAWRRRRR!!!!

**puts on a horned helmet brandishes a battle-axe, and hollers like a viking**

Erm. Anyways. Guess I'd better get to it then, right?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I am, in fact, still breathing

Just a quick note to assure any readers still out there that I have not fallen of the face of the planet! I'm moving across town this weekend and as my world has thus been in a terrible state of upheaval, I haven't had the chance to do any noveling—let alone blogging—for the last several weeks. But never fear, faithful ones! I shall return soon with a vengeance, gracing the blogosphere with my much-missed witticisms.

Until then, I had better go find some lunch. And keep packing.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Will Write for Motivation

So I have a bad case of the blahs and have been procrastinating like a bandit on that revision lately. I've written exactly one scene and a couple of sentences this week and that is IT. I still haven't finished chapter five, even though I'm really close!! I've got pages upon pages left to get through of my Revision Check-list, and even though it's laid out in lovely color-coded order, it all seems like such an overwhelming amount of work and I'm feeling like I'll never get it done and if I do it won't matter anyway. At the same time, of course, I know very well that this novel is Important and might actually be The One and I just can't give up!!!

I clearly need some motivation beyond the someday-maybe-it'll-be-all-shiny-and-published variety. Any suggestions? Threats? Bribery? Horrifying ninja monkeys of doom?

What do you do to stay motivated???

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Better late than never

So this post is shamefully overdue. Sadly this is not because of werewolf attacks or dimension-transporting tornadoes or anything remotely interesting. I've mostly just been feeling lazy and didn't have anything to blog about. True facts. But in any case, it's time for some UPDATES!

I'm still working on revisions for Seer, and at this rate will probably be working on them until the end of time. I'm in chapter five. Of twenty-nine. Needless to say it's going SLOWLY, and I will in no way be finished by the end of June. On the plus side, though, I'm happy with the changes so far. I'm focusing mainly on fixing my structure/pacing, and it seems to be working. Hopefully it'll start going faster sometime soon.

I also keep poking at On Journeys Bound, the novel that refuses to leave me alone; I've written at least a couple thousand new words on this thing but am still floundering in the depths of the Dreaded Middle. I really need to finish. I've been working on this draft for a grand total of four years—not steadily, of course, but still.

I just read through the 41k of my failed Nano novel from last November, and you know what? It wasn't that bad. Bits of it were actually pretty interesting. I get why I abandoned it and it does need some restructuring, but I think there's definitely hope. Not that I know when I'll ever have time to get back to it, but you'll have that.

I'm way too lazy to properly review the fabulous books I've read lately, so you just get a couple of sentences each:

When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead—this year's Newberry Award winner is set in the late seventies and follows the adventures of a twelve-year-old girl who starts receiving mysterious notes from the future. It's kinda like Fire and Hemlock meets Doctor Who. Really lovely writing.

The Curse of Chalion, by Lois McMaster Bujold—an adult fantasy filled with well-drawn characters, fascinating settings, and intriguing philosophical ponderings. It's hard to explain. But quite good.

The Eagle of the Ninth, by Rosemary Sutcliff—I read this back in high school and though I remembered liking it didn't actually remember that much about it, so I re-read it. LOVELY book. Its style is a little old-fashioned (it was written in the fifties), but I really liked that about it—makes a nice change from more modern in-your-face-nonstop-explosions types of books (not that those don't have their place, too :-)). The story takes place in Roman-occupied Britain and is about young Centurion Marcus traveling to Scotland to reclaim the eagle of his father's lost legion. They're making it into a movie starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell, due out in February—hopefully they do it justice!!

The Sunbird and The Lion Hunter, by Elizabeth E. Wein—these books are the next installments of Wein's Arthurian/Aksum sequence, continuing on from The Winter Prince and A Coalition of Lions. Really, really lovely books, in an intriguing setting—ancient Ethiopia. These two books (and the last in the sequence, The Empty Kingdom, which I have on hold for myself at the library and I very much hope is waiting for me today!), are more connected than the first two, and follow Telemakos, the son of Medraut (who, at least in The Sunbird, is still working through everything that happened in Winter Prince). Gorgeous writing and wonderful characters, these books are small but incredibly moving.

And that's all for now, folks. Enjoy the rest of your week! Go read some books!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Revision Woes and Linger

Funny thing about revision. I finally finished the horrendously problematic chapter two (and am pretty happy with the changes!) and promptly ran into an even bigger snag in chapter three. I happened to realize that I'm missing some crucial backstory—not for the novel, really, but for my own personal understanding—and am now finding myself chronicling (read: making up) the entire history of my fictional world from the beginning of time. It's rather exhausting and plenty confusing and has ground revisions to a halt. *sigh*

Today, to be honest, I didn't even open the novel file. I was busy wrestling with the ending of a short story I wrote for a contest (deadline: Friday). I never have trouble with endings. Endings are my specialty. Most of the stories I write excite me because of the endings. But this one just eludes me. I've written three different versions of the ending and none of them feel right. Argh!!!

At any rate, I finally got around to reading Sun Tzu's The Art of War, which I found fascinating and informative. I am now slightly-less-clueless about military campaigns than I was before, and I know exactly what kind of generals to hire for my next fictional battles! :-)

Also, the lovely Jaclyn Dolamore, author of Magic Under Glass, has compiled a fantastic list of 10 Awesome Books for Fantasy Worldbuilding that I've been drooling over. I actually ordered a used copy of The Courts of Europe from Amazon yesterday and am looking forward to getting into it when it arrives!

Also also, the lovely Maggie Stiefvater, author of the poetically sniffle-inducing (and NYT bestselling) Shiver, is having a contest to promote her gorgeous stop-animation book trailer for the sequel, Linger:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This post is alive with the sound of music!!

In lieu of anything interesting to report (still revising, in chapter two, having difficulties), I thought I'd share a smorgasbord of music I find beautiful and inspiring for your listening pleasure. So here goes!

First up, my favorite singer/songwriter of all time, the lovely Loreena McKennitt, with her adaptation of The Highwayman. I first heard this song over ten years ago and it still gives me goosebumps:

Next up, British indie rock band Keane with Atlantic:

Next up, British rock band Muse with the epic Butterflies and Hurricanes, complete with rad Rachmaninoff piano stylin' in the middle:

Next up, the lovely Vienna Teng with My Medea (which was the main inspiration for that not-really-very-short-story I wrote last fall):

Next up, British indie rock band (are you seeing a pattern here?) Snow Patrol, with the heart-wrenching Make This Go On Forever (with bonus Doctor Who video :-)):

Next up, the banjo-playin' Sufjan Stevens, with Casimir Pulaski Day, one of the saddest/most beautiful songs I've ever heard:

Next up, the champions of esoteric-yet-beautiful lyrics, The Shins, with Pink Bullets:

Next up, obsessed-with-gorgeous-but-melodramatic-things The Decemberists, with The Hazards of Love 4, final track of their latest album:

Next up, recent favorite Laura Veirs, with the gorgeously mellow Wrecking:

And finally the weirdly-addictive M. Ward, with Chinese Translation, which has pretty much been going round in my head for the last week or two:

Hope you enjoyed at least a few of those! What are your favorites?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Revision Update, Reading List, and Some Links

So I'm still in Chapter One. Ugh. I always forget how looooooooong it takes me to revise. Not that I've exactly been faithfully plugging away at Draft #2 of Seer… I keep getting distracted. On Journeys Bound is niggling away in my brain again and a deep philosophical conversation with the BFF about Whale and the Tree has gotten me thinking about another revision… which is a pretty clear sign I'm done querying it for now… which is sad but kind of okay I think… maybe? (Don't worry. I'm gonna stop with the ellipses now.)

But I do quite like the revisions I've gotten in thus far, and I am almost finished with Chapter One and am completely determined to plow through this second draft. Just have to step up my game a bit is all. I can dooooo it! There are six check marks on tRLoHLA so far but there will soon be many more. Many more!! Raawwwwwwr!


On a semi-related note, my cold-hearted villain scrounged up a spark of humanity in the scene I finished rewriting today. Made me kinda like him. Aw.

Also, after a horrible dearth of reading material during which I discovered that the Phoenix Public Library system has drastically cut back their hours (the branch near me isn't even open on Mondays anymore :-( ), I am happy to announce that my TBR pile is stacking up nicely. Just finished Diana Wynne Jones's Dogsbody, which was lovely even though I wasn't *quite* satisfied with the ending, and am partway into The Curse of Chalion, by Lois McMaster Bujold. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, The Sunbird by Elizabeth Wein, When You Reach Me (this year's Newberry award winner) by Rebecca Stead, and Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken are waiting in the wings. I know virtually nothing about any of these books—they're all mostly recs from reliable internet sources—but it's almost more fun that way. Excited to get into them!

And now for some links:

The controlled schizophrenia of writers (via inkygirl)
An interesting article on the theory of mind as applied to creating believable characters.

Hunger Mountain
The VCFA Journal of the Arts—I subbed a short story to them a while back and haven't gotten a response yet (though I'm expecting one soon). I'm thinking of entering one of their writing contests, just have to figure out if I can tweak a story I've already got or if I need to write a new one! I have until June 30th to get my submission ready.

A thoroughly fascinating guide to the languages and writing systems of the world.

 And that will about do it for today's Blog Post of Random Disconnected Stuff (BPoRDS).

Until next time!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Take Two!

I officially started Draft #2 of Seer today!! Whooooooooo!

I finished working through the scene outline on Saturday, and have dubbed it The Revision List of Hi-Lighted Awesome to make it sound like loads of fun. (But it is hi-lighted. And hopefully awesome.)

I only made it through three scenes.

You see I was suddenly inspired to write a query letter, so I worked on that most of the afternoon in lieu of revisions. Queries, in case you were wondering, are still really, REALLY hard. Boiling down plot + character + voice into one or two paragraphs is no easy task! I think this one actually turned out pretty good, though. Too bad I can't exactly use it yet!!

So anyway. Revisions. The Revision List of Hi-Lighted Awesome (tRLoHLA) is nearly six pages total, and gives me a lovely breakdown of all the scenes that will be included in Draft #2, some new, some moved, some facing complete and total rewrites, and a few (a very few) that will get mostly left alone. Draft #1 had twenty-six chapters and Draft #2 will have twenty-nine, so even though I'm deleting a number of scenes (and the entirety of chapter three), I'm guesstimating I'll gain 5-10k by the end of it. My novels always get longer when I revise them. I'm really glad this one began life at only 70k. Gives me lots of wiggle room. :-)

I'm hope hope hoping to have Draft #2 completed sometime in June so's I can hand it off to a few trusted souls who'll tell me if it's any good or not (hopefully gently, if it's the latter :-)).

This revision train is off and running!

… as long as I don't get too distracted tweaking that query letter.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Revision Science (sort of)

Been pretty quiet on the ol' blog lately. Sorry about that.

I am hard(ish) at work on getting my revisions for Seer sorted out, and am pleased with the results so far, even though I haven't made any actual changes to the manuscript yet. I'm working exclusively with the scene-list outline I compiled during my read through a couple weeks ago, and am loving this method—it's forcing me to focus on the big picture instead of getting hung up on the details of the prose, which is helping a proverbial ton with my pacing issues.

There's a heck of a lot of new scenes getting added in (mostly having to do with developing a character barely mentioned in Draft #1), lots of rearrangement, and of course some inevitable deletion. What's great about doing all this revision on the outline is there's no risk of accidentally messing something up in the manuscript, plus it saves you from reading the novel so many times you haven't a clue after a while if you're helping it or hurting it.

I'm pretty excited about all these changes! The novel is going to be sooooo much better (and stronger! and actually coherent!) when I'm done with it. Kinda makes you wonder why on earth I couldn't have come up with all this stuff the first time around, but I think sometimes you have to do something one way in order to figure out that's not the way you wanted to do it at all. First drafts are like science experiments—you don't know what's gonna happen until you try. Revisions clean up the inevitable mess, lay everything out in an orderly fashion, and calmly put it back together right.

Or something.

At any rate, I'm in Chapter Fifteen on the outline, so I'm a little over halfway there. Can't wait to finish so I can actually get these changes made.

Onwards and upwards!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Queen's Thief Series, by Megan Whalen Turner

I've now read A Conspiracy of Kings (twice!), and felt compelled by its awesomeness to write a review, which is impossible without at least mentioning the previous three books in the series.

So I'm going to attempt reviewing the entire series.

With as few spoilers as possible.

Which will be a trick. :-)

Here goes.

Book #1: The Thief

After bragging that he can steal anything—and flaunting the pilfered king's seal in a tavern to prove it—Gen winds up in prison. Fortunately, the king's adviser, the magus, needs him, and Gen finds himself bundled along on a cross-country trek in pursuit of the mythical Hamiathes' Gift, an object which can only be retrieved by a thief.

But this isn't just a straightforward adventure story. Set in the three countries of Sounis, Eddis, and Attolia, MWT gives us a wonderfully-drawn world inspired by the landscape and culture of ancient Greece, complete with her own pantheon of gods. She's so exact in her story-telling, so deft with her characterization and so careful with every single word, that you don't notice the subtleties of her impossibly tight plot until it whacks you up top the head at the end and you find your jaw sitting involuntarily on the floor.

This would be why The Thief garnered a Newberry Honor.

Book #2: The Queen of Attolia

In many respects, The Queen of Attolia feels completely different from The Thief. It reads more like a YA novel, and is told in third person instead of first. Gen—or Eugenides as he's referred to in this book—is still the main character, but the third person POV changes things a bit.

In Queen, Eugenides is forced to deal with a terrible loss, and the third person POV gives a certain amount of needed distance from this loss. We learn as much or more about Eugenides's character than we did in The Thief, but the focus is slightly different. He's vulnerable in a way he wasn't in the first book, and as we mourn for him we wonder if he can go back to the way he was, we wonder if that's even possible.

And while we're worrying about Eugenides, MWT is busy with her careful descriptions and meticulous character studies and oh-so-subtle-and-understated plot threads. There's war, political machinations, a new threat to our trio of countries in the form of Nahusersh, the oily ambassador from the Mede empire, and last—but certainly not least—one of the most intriguing romances ever to grace the boundaries of fiction.

Oh, and I started reading this series because of Queen's cover. Intriguing, no?

Book #3: The King of Attolia

This is the book I can say the least about without completely giving everything away. It's narrated in third person by a young soldier named Costis, but is still very much about Eugenides—we get an even further wide-angled view of him than we did in Queen. It's a great, great book, filled with all the MWT surprises and subtleties and complexities and heart we've come to expect.

And that's really all I can say. :-)

Book #4: A Conspiracy of Kings

Narrated largely in first person by Sophos, a character from The Thief, this, again, is a different book entirely from the other three in the series. Eugenides is important but even more distant than before, and for once this isn't his story—it's Sophos's. We find out what he's been up to since the first book, and follow his journey from timid, insecure boy, to mature, hardened-yet-vulnerable king.

Sophos is a great character, albeit very different from Eugenides (whom he sort of hero-worships, which is adorable), and I really enjoyed getting to know him. I read Conpsiracy last Wednesday and again over the weekend because I couldn't stop thinking about it.

You really almost have to read these books multiple times to understand/appreciate all the subtleties and motivations; MWT is a careful, meticulous writer, which is why rereading her books is so rewarding—you inevitably find things you missed the first (or second, or third) time around.
There's a definite sense in Conspiracy of things-being-set-in-motion-for-epic-ness-to-come (there's two more books planned in the series), which left me feeling a ttiiiiiiny bit unsatisfied, because I know there's going to be a long wait to find out what happens next.

But only a tiny bit. :-)


That was hard. I started this post on Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Revision, Stage No. 1 (with pictures!!)

So I've decided (realized?) that revision, with any method you use, comes in three basic stages: Identifying Problems, Figuring out what to Do with those Problems, and, finally, Fixing those Problems. Last night I successfully completed my initial read-through of Seer, hi-lighters, spreadsheet, and shrunken manuscript in tow, and have identified a heck of a lot of problems (though thankfully I found as much cause for hope as despair).

I really found the hi-lighter method, the shrunken manuscript, and the scene-list-spreadsheet to be immensely useful in assessing what I've got to work with and in pointing out my problem areas (of which there are many), and found myself jotting down notes for each chapter and ideas of how to fix/change/rework things. Hopefully this will make the transition to the much harder and not-quite-as-much-fun revision stages two and three. I'll let you know.

And without further ado, I give you my 70,000 word novel in glorious shrunken form:

Close up:
I marked POV (green for Braise and purple for Iria), Parts that were Interesting and Awesome (orange stripes), and any scene I really really really liked got a heart sticker (or two or three). As you can see, there are LOTS of spots missing orange stripes and hearts. This is, of course, Not Good, and one of the main things I'll be working on fixing!!

Here's a closer-up on one of the pages (I had to do the dual column thing to make everything fit):

Here's a manuscript page, complete with hi-lighting and scribbled notes:

 I was getting into quite a little system: orange to keep track of any world-building/room description/character description details; blue for anything having to do with the enigmatic Ethereal Plane; yellow for repetitious type stuff; pink for anything that was either not working or was inconsistent; and purple and green, respectively, for tracking certain phrases in my two MCs' voices. Quite an excellent way of gathering information! Here's hoping I can make good use of it...

On to Stage Two!!

 Me 'n the Shrunken Manuscript

Monday, March 29, 2010

Book Review: Incarceron

Incarceron, by Catherine Fisher, is about a prison—vast, sentient, and possibly malicious—and two people desperate to unlock its mysteries: Finn, a prisoner who believes he came from Outside and longs to Escape; and Claudia, the Warden's daughter, who's doomed to an arranged marriage and life in the stifling falseness of the Queen's court. Connected by identical copies of a mysterious crystal Key, both Claudia and Finn begin to dream that Escape is actually possible...

There were a number of things that impressed me about this book. One was Ms. Fisher's deft handling of POV changes and snappy scene divisions; the two main voices are Claudia's and Finn's, but occasional viewpoints of other key characters are woven in seamlessly. Her pacing is extremely impressive, as are her settings: the dark menacing weirdness of the prison and the glittering facade of the Outside world. Though the first part of the book didn't suck me in quite as quickly as I'd anticipated, I was pleasantly surprised by the plot twists and unexpected revelations in the last hundred pages or so and accidentally stayed up until 1:30AM the other night finishing it. I'm not at all sure I can wait until December for the American version of the sequel, Sapphique, to be released, so might have to dig up a British copy online. We'll see. :-)

One other thing: I'm curious as to how people are labeling this, genre-wise. To me it comes off firmly in my pet genre, science-fantasy; I really don't feel like it's one or the other. What do you think?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

And so it begins...

So, so, so: I plunged into Stage #1 of revisions for Seer today. Pretty sure it's the shortest amount of time that's ever passed between rough draft and edits for me, but I just couldn't bear to wait any longer. The story wouldn't leave me alone, and that's a good thing, right? It's been several weeks, at least. That's something. :-)

Anyways. I wanted to try a slightly different tack than my normal scribble-on-my-manuscript-with-colored-ink-and-make-lots-of-notes-and-get-lost-in-overwhelming-bouts-of-wallowing-despair revision process, and through various tweets and links and Google searches, am attempting a combination of the Shrunken Manuscript Technique, a spreadsheet outline, and working through Anita Nolan's wonderful-looking revision checklist. We'll see what sticks and what doesn't.

So far today I printed out a shrunken manuscript and marked the different POVs, then began working through my regular-sized manuscript page by page, making notes and hi-lighting things I want to keep track of (like world-building and character details), and marking things I realize aren't working (like much of chapter three). If I find a scene that's Interesting, Intriguing, and Filled With Wonderful Tension, I get to mark it on the shrunken manuscript. So far only one scene has made the cut. o_0 As I'm reading through the scenes, I'm also filling out my spreadsheet, which thus far includes the categories Voice, Location, Time, Synopsis, Point of Scene, Notes, and # of pages.

By the time I finish my first read-through, I'll hopefully have identified all the problem areas and have three different ways to look at the novel (shrunken, spreadsheet, scribbled-upon-manuscript) and figure out how to fix it.


I'll keep you posted. :-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Conspiracy of Bookstores

So today is March 23rd, a day I have been looking forward to for some months, as it is the day that the fourth book in Megan Whalen Turner's ridiculously-amazing-but-I-can't-really-tell-you-much-about-them-for-fear-of-spoiling-the-awesome Attolia series, A Conspiracy of Kings, was released.

Too bad none of the Borders or Barnes & Nobles in the greater Phoenix area seemed to notice. >:(

Oh glorious A Conspiracy of Kings. What lies between your pages? Will I ever know???

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Oregon Trail!

A few pics from the Oregon trip, highlights including a trip to Mount Hood, the coast, and—of course—Powell's Books. :-) Your regularly scheduled novelistic blogging will resume shortly. :-)

Oh my gosh! Snow!

My faithful traveling buddy!!

Gorgeous mountainy-cloudy view through the car window

SUCH a gorgeous vista—and sooooo cold!

We found a whale after all! :-)

Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach

Shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day!

Apparently huge weird mushrooms make me deathly pale.

The Oregon coast from Indian Beach

So beautiful!

A weeeeee bit windblown!

I've got some serious reading to do!!