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?