Children learn subtext even as they read
those first few sentences of family.
They're angry, there is something wrong with me.
Shoelace I can't quite tie; door-knobs that need
grasping in some way I don't know. I talk
too soft, too loud, too musical. My chair
rocks when I giggle. Hold my teddy bear
as if it were a doll. Learn to stick a cork
in everything I like. And when they burn
a book for telling lies that were half-true,
I watch the flames too hard. The things that grew
in me were all a subtext in their turn
I learned to hide, lie better. Found in shame
home more myself than face or given name.
I finished Draft 1.0 of Princess X and handed it off to the editor. Right now, I'm powering through the Maplecroft rewrites, for I'm set to hand those in by the end of the week - before I fly to Florida, come Monday. When I get back from Florida, I have to pack up for a trip to Houston; and then I get a week home before I pack up again for Detroit. And of course, I want a draft of Jacaranda* done by the end of January, because I need to start on Maplecroft's followup.
So I hope you'll forgive me if I'm a little quiet, over here. I hope to come up for air this weekend, perhaps - and produce a proper post, with actual content and stuff. Then again, I might just crash and sleep for a couple of days. Hard to say.
ANYWAY. Happy holidays, whichever ones you celebrate - if in fact you celebrate anything at all. Happy December, if that's the case, and a fabulous New Year to all!
* I've added a few thousand words, but I set it aside temporarily - in favor of finishing the Maplecroft rewrites. This way, I might get to do some work on Jacaranda in Florida, in the hotel that inspired the story.
So I duly laid in suppplies of string when we moved here - and meh, not so much, really. He played in a desultory fashion for a while, and hasn't been seen at bedtime for months now. As I say, I thought he'd grown bored.
Not so! It was the quality of my string that disappointed!
Last week we fetched home a Christmas tree, that was all bound up with string. A length of which has made its way into the house, and - oh, joy! String!
He is so enamoured, he will play by himself, without mortal hand at the other end to tug it. So that's all right.
In more Barry-related news, my closet is snoring.
*(It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the paws beneath.)
It's been a pretty good year for me, productivity-wise. I've published four short stories, a novella, a novelette, a piece of flash fiction, and a novel. And I've written and delivered a whole bunch of stuff that's not coming out until next year...
...and my dance card for 2014 is officially full. That's a pretty nice feeling right there.
If you want to find any of my work from the past year, here's your handy year-end list for doing so.
Shattered Pillars, the second Eternal Sky novel, came out in March. This central-Asian epic fantasy has been pulling in great reviews and reader response. I also made an intemperate blog post about being the first writer of an epic fantasy trilogy in history to deliver the third book on time. And I did it, albeit by the skin of my teeth. Steles of the Sky is scheduled for April of next year, and the ARCs are already in the hands of reviewers.
My other stand-alone book of the year was Book of Iron, a novella from Subterranean Press, the prequel to Bone and Jewel Creatures. These stories are also in the Eternal Sky universe, set about four hundred years later and in a different part of the world. In this one, Bijou and her friends race through poison Erem in order to stop a foreign Wizard from making a very, very bad mistake.
The flash fiction was an untitled piece for Popular Science, published in the July 2013 issue, dealing with interstellar travel and the way space smells.
The novelette was audio-only, in METAtropolis III: Green Space. It's called "Green and Dying," because everything is improved by Dylan Thomas, and it's a caper story about an attempt to liberate some IP from a seastead. Of course, something goes... really, really wrong.
And then there's the short stories!
From Fireside III, "Form and Void," a science fiction story about mean girls and hurt girls and space exploration and Io. I'm awfully proud of this one, and you can read it for free here. (I think this one is technically a 2012 publication, but it happened very late in the year, and you can actually read it online now.)
From Dark Faerie Tales, "Samarkar's Tale of the Three Genjia," in which one of the Eternal Sky protagonists retells a fairy tale. You can read this one for free as well. Obviously, this too is an Eternal Sky story.
There's a second Eternal Sky story out this year: "The Ghost Makers," in Fearsome Journeys. It's about a Gage and a Dead Man who discover they have an enemy in common, and what they do about with that knowledge.
My last story for 2013 is "The Governess," which was published in Queen Victoria's Book of Spells. It's about an unlikely alliance between two very different women... and some other things.
- Current Mood: productive
A hand that's stuffed with straw won't wave or flop
around when I am talking. Changeling hair
that I can't flick. They stole me, left me there
in my own place. I think there was a shop
they bought me in, one with a changing room
lost me in mirrors reached out pulled me back
love that withdraws you.Somewhere there's a crack
left in my soul. We weave self on a loom
made of the stories that our parents tell
yet we don't hear. The mistress of my soul
harshes the changeling. Yet I can't be whole
until I save his straw and weave it well
I cannot be unjust. I must shed tears
That wizened thing protected me for years.
I sometimes think I am my sisters' ghost
wings out of limbo undead since unborn
we jigsaw pieces out of half lives torn
the edges fit to join. I think I'm most
of a real person. If I tell the tale
over and over I will get it right.
And sometimes cry a small child in the night
must get the puzzle done. I will not fail
Lovers watch over me. Find bits of sky
fragments of carousel. Take them aside
and link them up. In gratitude I've cried
whole buckets. These solutions that we try
in every trial these are our best defense
optative mood and future perfect tense.
I should be quite glad, therefore, if some wise soul - Sod, I believe, is his name - would explain to me just how it is that I cannot find the one book that today I most desire.
(To be fair, it's not easily categorisable, which is why I have looked in any of the several places it might have been set. And all the other places as well. I am back to scanning every single bloody shelf, and still can't find it.)
Still: the takeaway from this (as we Americans say) is not that I am an incompetent shelver, though that may be the case. It is that, for someone with as little self-confidence as I have, I am become positively cavalier in my charcuterie. Can't find the recipe you're looking for? Pfft on recipes! Scatter with a liberal hand!
I have rubbed my belly pork with basic dry cure, folded it around crushed garlic and bay leaves and peppercorns, and it will make yummy bacon. Sans receipt. (The good news buried here is that I did indeed find my peppercorns. After searching the kitchen three times, more thoroughly even than I have searched my bookshelves. It felt like becoming one of those days, but I stymied it.)
Also, I have cured my first ham this morning. Well, it's actually a shoulder, because pork leg on the bone is almost as hard to find in this peculiar land as belly pork. If it works, though, I shall be spectacularly happy. Because I can't find gammon at all, nor uncooked hams.
Now I shall set a dish of olives before m'wife, and our day will be complete. At lunchtime, yet...
Content note: It is impossible to discuss this series without talking about war, violence and rape.
( I made a listCollapse )
I hope that answers any questions about what the Tomorrow series meant and means to me!
- Current Mood: contemplative