I wrote up Chris and Jesse talking about the ten most important songs in their lives circa the events in First Flight. You can click here or click the image above to read it.
Michelle Moore (of Ylendrian Empire and Enchanted Grounds fame) tagged me for the Writing Process blog hop.
The questions are:
1) What am I working on?
2) How does my work differ from that of others in the same genre?
3) Why do I write what I do?
4) How does my writing process work?
A note before you start, however: I’m going to use a LOT of parenthetical asides and probably some odd capitalization. Sorry?
Without further ado, the talking:
1) What am I working on?
I have a handful of projects in progress at any given time, some written because they won’t leave me alone otherwise and some inspired by calls for submission.
Currently, I’m still trying to slog my way to the end of A Reading From The Epistles, the semi-sequel to I Lift Up My Eyes To The Hills. (I say ‘semi-sequel’ because it’s set about a month or 6 weeks after the end of ILUMETTH and feels more like a continuation than an actual sequel. It’s probably Just Me.) Since I’m not making much progress at the moment, I’m really excited to write about writing instead.
I’ve also been poking at a revision of some of the elements in my Breton Farmer And His Former Welsh Pirate (former pirate; he continues to be Welsh) story, as well as the previously-mentioned Cyberpunk Thing (it lacks one vital element, namely a plot) and a more-or-less complete rewrite of a story I wrote way back in 2009 that was wisely rejected by the publisher to whom I sent it.
In terms of things I haven’t worked on but probably shoooould, there’s also this Dragon Thing, a couple of quasi-steampunk stories set in the same universe and sharing characters but the focuses are different, The One With The Hockey Players, a couple of Havothi-centered stories, The NOLA Thing (which is in almost-done limbo), the sequels to First Flight and Tobias’s Own Adventure, and a story that was supposed to feature a feral teenager but ended up being about an involuntary shapeshifter instead.
I also have a bunch of other stuff that’s mostly snips and drabbles, but the preceding paragraph mentions things that are more than a few pages long.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I generally work in the field of ‘romance’, in that a relationship between the protagonists is usually the focus of/driving element of the plot (or what there is of the plot). Where my work differs from that of other authors… I’ve never really mastered the art of writing characters that need to be hugged and whacked with a shoe at the same time, unlike Michelle and Reesa or Amy Lane. So there’s that.
Another, somewhat smaller difference is that I like writing magical realism and alternate histories—the world as we know it with a twist.
3) Why do I write what I do?
There are several reasons –
I write what I do because I believe that the more love and positivity in the world, the better.
I write what I do because sometimes I get an idea and it won’t leave me alone until I’ve written it down. This is not always a good thing, as I have a bunch of things I’ve started/written out and then nothing else comes of it. Well, I got to go to sleep, but otherwise…
Last but not least, I write what I do because I can’t write anything else. I’ve tried writing a standard Harlequin/Mills & Boon-type romance and I just…can’t do it. I don’t know how to write an “alpha male”, and based on the few parts of standard romance novels I’ve managed to read I don’t write heroines properly, either. I can’t say I’m terribly upset about that, however.
I just write my kind of romances, mixing it up with various genres, with characters all of whom have a different definition of romance, and I’m happy. Other people like them, too, so, y’know. It works.
4) How does your writing process work?
I am, for the most part, a complete pantser. If I know what happens next—at least in minute detail—then I’m bored and don’t want to write it. If I’m bored, I avoid writing it because it’s boring and feels like work. That’s not really much of an explanation, though.
Basically, it goes like this: I have an idea, whether it pops into my head while I’m minding my own business or I read a call for submission. I sit down and write whatever I can, which can be from one to thirty-five pages. Then, if that was all there was, I move on to something else; if it’s really eating my brain, I’ll keep going.
I don’t usually work from an outline or a summary or anything like that—it just works better for me if I find out what’s happening along with my characters. I will occasionally write notes about what I want (or need) to have happen, and I do have lists of things that I want to write about, but otherwise it’s all just a blank slate.
I also edit as I go, rereading what I’ve written so far and making the odd tweak here and there. With some things, I read them out loud to a willing audience and get feedback that way; with others I email them to Michelle and Reesa for their amusement.
When I’m done, I generally try to stay away from a story for a little while. It doesn’t always work, though… Then I run a last spell-check, look for missing words/punctuation, format it for submission, write the submission email, press send, and then freak out/collapse for a couple of days.
It’s not glamorous or all that exciting, really, but I generally enjoy it.
I’m going to tag Piper Vaughn and M. J. O’Shea for the next post—They also write stories with characters who need to be hugged and smacked with a shoe at the same time. (I have A Thing for those sorts of characters, can you tell?)
News first, because I’m going to pop otherwise: Ezekiel and Justinian have a home! I SIGNED THE CONTRACT TODAY! I Will Lift Up My Eyes To The Hills will be published by Dreamspinner in October/November! As soon as I have an actual date I’ll post it; in the mean time in-between time I’ll just be mooning about and trying to figure out what I want the cover to look like. (I already know who I want to illustrate the cover, if she’s still available. *Crosses fingers and toes*)
News second: I’ll have a post over at Scorching Reviews on Sunday, April 13th, as part of their LGBT month. Now all I have to do is figure out WHAT it is I’ll be posting. It’ll likely be Ezekiel/Justinian related, but beyond that, I don’t know what it’ll be.
Updates: Windows 8 and I are getting along much better, now. I updated to 8.1, which doesn’t seem to have made a huge difference (but I also doubt I’d used 8.0 long enough to notice any differences outside of the addition of the “start button” on the taskbar). I’m getting used to going to settings to turn off/reboot, even though it still makes no friggin’ sense whatsoever.
I discovered that I had entirely too many security-oriented programs running at once, which was causing all sorts of connecting-to-the-internet issues. I uninstalled two of them, made sure the third was off, and reinstalled one of them. Now my computer doesn’t complain about being not being protected and I can actually use the internet!
And now I’m going to go be gleeful and giddy at the people who know me and then I’m going to bed.
Title: So I think I’m calling The Semi-Sequel To ILUMETTH A Reading From The Epistles or maybe just Readings From The Epistles, because it’s pretty heavy on the letters. And because I like puns.
Tiles: I got a new computer, because my old one is…old. And because the mouse keys for the touchpad are dying. The sad bit is that my old one is still perfectly usable, just not as usable as it once was.
My new computer is beautiful: the screen is beautiful and the keyboard is beautiful (ooh, an O key with the letter still on it!) and the case is beautiful… It runs fast (you’d think that in the 4/5 years since I bought my old computer that processors in laptops would have gone up in speed and down in price. You would be WRONG. It’s extremely difficult to find a laptop with a processor running at 2 Ghz or faster without also adding about $100 to the price. I’m not paying $500 for something that’s NEWER AND SLOWER than my old computer, ta.)
That aside, what is not beautiful is Windows 8. I couldn’t understand why people hate hate hated Vista, because for me, outside of the UAC (which I turned off tout de suite) and not being able to find a driver for a 5-year-old scanner (which, you know, 5-year-old scanner), I never had any issues with it. Program wouldn’t run? Administrator mode, compatibility mode, boom.
So I went into W8 with the same kind of ‘I know it’ll be different but I’m going to give it a chance’ kind of cautious optimism.
I’m now cynical and jaded, wondering WTF they’re smoking in the user-experience testing labs at Microsoft, because this is seriously ridiculous. I am NOT stupid, and I’ve been using computers since, like, 1985. When I have to freakin’ GOOGLE how to turn off/restart my computer? THAT IS A BAD THING.
I think I would actually LIKE the Metro interface if it were laid out more like the XBox dashboard (because they share some similarities) — grouping things together under headings like ‘News and Social’, ‘Email and Productivity’, ‘Applications’. Instead it’s just kind of a random unintuitive mishmash. And don’t even get me started on how incredibly frustrating it is to click on something and then have NO WAY to get back to where you were. (Saw a sports headline that interested me. Clicked on it. Could NOT figure out how to return to the “start” menu/Metro environment, since pressing Escape only took me to a list of sports-related choices (overview, basketball, news, etc), as did clicking on the tiny little down-arrow in the bottom right corner. Finally resorted to restarting my computer to see if that would fix it. It did. NOT A FUN TIME.)
As soon as I get used to W8 and get things tweaked just the way I like them, I’ll be fine. It’s just annoying for right now.
Speaking of new things and annoying! I also bit the bullet and bought MS Office 2013. It’s distressingly ugly, for one thing (I guess I got spoiled by the rounded edges and glossy gradients of Vista? I mean, Word 2003 isn’t exactly a beauty, either, but it’s relatively nice to look at…). The other thing is that you cannot turn off the not-actually-smart quotes until and unless you uncheck the tick box not only in AutoFormat, but AutoFormat As You Type. Because everyone just LOVES those “smart” quotes that never ever EVER get initial apostrophes correct. (Among other things.)
On the positive side of the ledger, however, the ease with which I can see the Document Properties and the integrated wordcount are nice additions. In fact, according to the properties of Epistles, I’ve spent 13,329 minutes editing it.
That works out to 222.15 hours, or 9.25 DAYS. Pretty impressive, if you ask me. (I have no idea if that’s active editing, or if it also counts the time involved in opening the document, doing some work, closing the computer so that it’s in sleep mode/hibernation and going off to do other things for four hours, then coming back to it.)
Anyway, I should get back to work. I’m ALMOST DONE with Epistles, which is kind of amazing to me.
I know it was a long time ago, but wasn’t there an episode all about how a bunch of people on the internet created a Tibetan thought monster and the more page views it got the stronger it was?
Because clearly *someone* has.
Tom being disappointed about his result on Top Gear.
While I’m sorry about his results, I just had an epiphany thanks to that coat and the way his hair is styled (or not, as the case may be): Take about ten years off and add some lingering adolescent roundness to face and body and Mr Hiddleston becomes Justinian Clark.
The little lipless smile at the end of the second gif is particularly Justinian-like—it (and the collar of his coat/jacket) put me in mind of a picture I have of Justinian in my head, bundled up in a wool cloak and fresh from a walk on a beach in a strong on-shore wind so he’s all bright-eyed and pink-cheeked and the way Ezekiel is looking at him is making him smile in a confused but pleased way… (It’s better in my head, trust me. And this is why I often lament that I cannot draw to save my life.)