partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (read)
After a conversation with a buddy (which took place only online, don't get excited, I still don't have friends), in which he declared that he no longer reads multiple books at a time—only one!—I decided to take a personal inventory. But, seriously, one book at a time? One?

One book at a time! What is this madness?

He declared that it took him too long to read a bunch of books over time than it did for him to read one book.

Valid point. Check!


Am I stretching myself too thin, over books?

But back to the first question: How many books am I reading?

The answer? Nine. A staggering NINE books. Well, not simultaneously, but I'll pick one up whenever I feel like reading that particular style of prose, or swim in that particular story for a little while. The books are pretty varied. Really varied... 

Muddle earth ... Paul Stewart, Chris Riddell (illustrator)
The Sea, the Sea ... Iris Murdoch
The Wings of the Dove ... Henry James
The Reverberator ... Henry James
The Little Minister ... J.M. Barrie
Rogue One ... Alexander Freed
The Templar Legacy ... Steve Barry
Down the Garden Path ... Beverley Nichols
Blonde ... Joyce Carol Oates

There are two Henry James titles on here, you're not just seeing double. The Wings of the Dove is one of his "epics," and the Reverberator is a short novel that he wrote after two of his books, The Princess Casamassima and The Bostonians were critically, er, devalued. That's a tad weird, because The Bostonians has gone on to classic status (from which we've gathered our modern day phrase "Boston Marriage"). The Reverberator (incidentally, one of those "difficult" words to type on type-timing quizzes) is fairly light-hearted, and I am a titch more than halfway through it. And I don't know what those critics were talking about, The Princess Casamassima was fantastic. I read it in three days! 

I started reading BLONDE yesterday, after I knew that I wanted to get through this list and finish all the titles before I started something else. I simply couldn't help it. And I'm not sure if The Little Minister counts, it's more like A Study in Doric than entertainment, and Doric does make for an interesting read, when you're part Scottish and some of your favorite book creations are Scottish. The Templar Legacy could be good if I would just get into it a little more. I've started reading it twice. Down the Garden Path is delightful, but it's more a literary adventure best taken when the gardens are withered and brumal, and not when you're out frolicking about in your own flower patches. 

No doubt the first one to be struck from this list, marked as FINISHED, will be The Reverberator. As for the last, well, either The Wings of the Dove or The Little Minister. 


I'm still working on The Buried Cellar. I've become one of those people that I never thought I'd be, ever: someone who writes while in public, in notebooks, on the tablet, whatever... I hardly write at home now, only second drafts of initial public-typed writings. It's very strange. Since it took me so long to write again, I will take it however it wishes to come to me. 

I wrote the first part of the next book, with plots set out for two more books that are attached to the characters of The Buried Cellar (and also found in four previous books). One book is waiting to be finished, since I've worked out the plot kinks I'm sure I can finish it up in a few months. One book is waiting for an entire rewrite. Several more just want to be written. I don't know what I'll do with all of them when they're done. 

Donation time.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017 07:53
partlyopenbook: a raccoon looks like it's clapping (yay)
A little while ago, I received payment from my books sold at Smashwords. It was $4.25, if you want to know. If you don't make enough money (I think it's $10) a quarter, they send you your earnings every couple of years, or something like that. 

But, as promised, I will make a donation to the local Animal Humane Society. Probably in the amount of $10, though the minimum is $5, I believe.

I got a new cat from them on December 27th, too, along with purchasing a few items (like kitty toys), so I've been a patron of theirs for a while. Even going back to when I got my other kitty in November of 2015.

The significant other and I also donated a stack of old bath towels, and they were happy to have those! 

Thank you to everyone who purchased my stories and made the donation possible!


I'm working on a new novel. It just passed 40,000 words yesterday! As of now, it's called The Buried Cellar, and it's a continuance of a previous manuscript originally finished in, I don't know, 2010 maybe. 

I'm still looking for submission calls that interest me, but mostly just want to work on The Buried Cellar... Someone asked me the other day how many books I'd written, and I honestly don't know at this point. Eleven? Twelve? Two of them I want to rewrite, at least one of them entirely, and the other one needs a new opening (at the very least). There's another one that I want to finish, that I put on hold when I encountered a plot-point issue that has been resolved. 

Over the course of the last two years, it's taken me a long time to feel like a writer again. While I wrote a bunch of short stories for submission calls in the summer of 2015, none was accepted (at least one came very close). Then I didn't write much of anything for over a year. I think I wrote two short stories for submission calls in the spring of 2016, but never sent them in. Both of them I would like to turn into short(!) novels that could probably be written pretty quickly. (Both are set in Canada: one in Ontario, one in Alberta. Again continuing the tradition that I can't write anything unless it's set in Canada or Ohio. The one that is set in Alberta I could easily move to another location.) Writing was always a part of my life, though (since I was seven), and eventually it'd squeeze it's way back into my everyday life. 

The importance of writing started its strong resurgence after I settled into my new place in November [2016]. I had my own office, and I thought that would be helpful, but it's actually really cold and uncomfortable down there so I started scouting for another location. It wound up being the back part of the kitchen, and an old aluminium camp table that belonged to my SO's grandparents. I'm next to a window, with a fine view of the side of the neighbor's house, and another window to the front of me that looks at the garage and the fence where the little sparrows conglomerate on cold Minnesota mornings... I'm also surrounded by plants. There's a jug plant, a giant peace lily, a variegated palm of some sort, donkey tails and other succulents, another peace lily, a spider plant, something that we're trying to root (it's doing very well actually), and, of course, the rhododendron that I brought from my former home. It's doing far better than I thought it would, with plenty of new growth after it sprouted three sets of flowers. I'm still typing on an old Dell (they're not even made anymore), because the keyboard is the best for pounding out thousands of words a day. I have a mug-warmer, a magazine rack that holds notebooks (full notes), my headphones, and a container with miscellaneous office-like items in it. I'm using a rectangular space roughly 4 ft by 3 ft, which includes the space for my chair. 

Ah, my chair. My chair goes with the old 1950's table, and while it is not the most comfortable of chairs (the back is low), it keeps me awake and keeps my legs comfortable. 

But with three cats and a dog, sometimes it's really hard to sit still for hours on end while writing: there's always something going on. 

At the moment, it's quiet. The dog is outside. The cats are sleeping. And, traditionally, plants don't make much noise. 

I've also taken up writing by hand, which I can do while I'm not at home. When I first started on the mission of "Okay, I can write by hand when it's slow at work," I really thought it'd be ridiculous and it wouldn't take at all. Quite the opposite. Writing by hand, with your favorite pen in a nice, old notebook already littered and wrinkly with notes, definitely has its appeals, and it's very calming. There's no stress when you write by hand. I can stop, do some work if necessary, and go back to it without feeling the jam of any creative flow, even without caring whether there is such a thing as "creative flow." I just pick up the pen and go. The only time I have trouble is when I'm tired, and, of course, when it's really busy. Even yesterday, on a day off from work, I thought about writing by hand rather than typing what I've written in the notebook. If you have trouble keeping on task when composing at a computer, writing by hand would be a really good option--at least give it a shot. 

Someday, I'd like to create a new dot-com, but not just yet. I'm still getting used to writing again, and I don't want to take on too much. I've thought of taking my stories off Smashwords entirely and just starting over. I don't receive very many downloads for my free books, about one a month, and no one's paid for my two .99-cent books in ages. Then again, it's hard to just discard all the work that went into creating those ebooks--and it is a lot of work. All you have to do is breeze through the Smashwords Style Guide to know it's a lot of work. So, for now, they're still available. I don't even know if anyone reads this journal. By this entry, you know that I was pretty sure, at that point, that I really wouldn't write commercially again, or have any kind of writing life on the internet. I'm not really interested in marketing myself at the moment, but I still have my goodreads account, and I've started looking at submission calls again. I've thought about throwing together another book of short stories (rejects or unsent stories through the years), but I think I'd like to release it through Amazon instead, probably under a different pseudonym. Using Amazon would be an interesting challenge for me. I've already done the Smashwords thing. Mostly, though, I'm all right with staying off the internet except for research, and just keep writing books even if no one ever reads them or they never get published. 

It's a tough world out there, which is exactly why I started writing again in the first place. I've borrowed my life from Nietzsche:

We have art so that we shall not die of reality. 

Make no secret.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015 13:47
partlyopenbook: Fairy-winged child and gray wolf. (friendship)
 I've been rewriting a short story first completed last year. It's called Kat's Tower. Originally a BDSM kind of tale, I quickly realized that this is a genre that I am not meant to encounter in the writing world — at least not right now! I transformed the story into something more adventurous, romantic, with elements of the gothic. And pirates. Because my writing soul has created some serious catenations with pirates the last fifteen years. 

It's unknown at this point how long Kat's Tower will wind up being. I'm hoping it won't be too long, since I'd decided to rewrite it with the hopes of including it in a new set of short stories.

Kat's Tower is divided into small chapters. Each chapter has possessive noun in it. The Fisherman's Inn... Winter's Garden... Crawley's Books... Kat's Tower... 

Here's the opening paragraph (subject to change):

Once upon a time, in the long past of the world, there lived a young woman, named Kat, who believed, with all her heart, that gratefulness held the key to fulfillment. She knew that if she were truly thankful for all that she had, it would not be taken from her, neither disappearing from her grasp nor falling from her sight. She brandished the winning thought every hour of the day. Nothing could deter her from it. 
The thought of being grateful enough for what you have that it won't be taken from you is lifted from my own life. It isn't true, of course, ergo the fairy-tale opening. We want to believe it's true. 

Big Toronto.

Friday, 2 January 2015 15:18
partlyopenbook: pinkie pie pony leaps into frame (happy)
 I've spent the last couple of days working hard on The Pickled Pirate. It's coming along nicely. How relieving it is to a person's conscience when she knows she can achieve what she wants with a bit of hard work. It is so easy to fall into the dreamless patterns of laziness and indolence. Not this time, though. 

The Pickled Pirate takes place in Toronto, circa 1930. I've found a couple of lovely old Toronto maps on the Internwebs, which I have cherished and have used as a desktop wallpaper to keep me inspired (as if this is tricky to do). As I mentioned in a previous entry, The Pickled Pirate is closely associated with The Information Man, another novella of mine released last summer. Oswald and Rex Malin, the Malin brothers, are in The Pickled Pirate, though chiefly that role is reserved for Oswald. His superpower-infused brother makes a cameo later on. 

Spending all this time in the Toronto of my head, it is quite lovely that I am attending the Toronto Maple Leafs and Minnesota Wild Game this evening! By 1930, the Leafs were already an established team in the NHL (formerly of the OPHL, 1906-1909). They wouldn't move into old Maple Leaf Gardens until the following year, November of 1931. 

[Sidebar] I've never heard anyone talk about Maple Leaf Gardens without first adding "old" in front of it, like it's an article, a title, a prefix... like those granted to tribal leaders of ancient days. [/Sidebar]

But, er... I won't be rooting for the Leafs tonight. Unless the game is hopelessly one-sided, in favor of the Wild, then I will root for them, as I would root for competition and fair play no matter what. 

The Pickled Pirate, if it continues to go well and the Muses keep feasting, will be completed sooner than I thought, though it appears as though it is going to be much longer than first supposed. It's already 18,100 words.
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
I don't know about anyone else (no, really, I don't), but I'll be happy to see the last minutes of this year.

Granted, I realize that every moment contains its own RESET button. But 2014 wasn't very good to me, and at times it was hard to remember the RESET button existed.

There were a few good things about 2014. I released three "books" on Smashwords: The Information Man... Zandry of Bonewood... and my newest one, The Hero and the Holly.

I met some interesting people. Of course, now none of that really matters, since I moved back to The North Hole and left those interesting people behind. Which didn't seem to bother those people that much. C'est la vie!

I got a new (used) car. That in itself has been a mixed blessing. I love, love, love driving my car... but I hate that I've had to put $1400 into it since I bought it. In May. I hope it doesn't cost me nearly that much in repairs and maintenance in 2015.

I got away from some very bad people that were in my life. And it hurts to think that they're thinking the same about me....

Despite having only a couple of stories accepted and published by the professional writing world in 2014, I am still writing. During the upcoming year, my focus will stay on what I can accomplish. The last two years, I honed in on challenging myself as a writer. Whereas my inability to have erotica published might have seemed like a failure, to me it isn't quite so. I did write a lot of erotic tales, and I had a very good time doing it, too! That isn't a failure. Am I going to try again to have an erotic tale published? Probably not... I'm not closed-off to the idea altogether. Simply, there are other avenues to explore.

I have a few things that I want to finish up in 2015... like The Pickled Pirate.... and After Dan & Steve Saved the World. After that, my intention is to clean up my novel manuscripts and send them out to publishers using Ye Old Query Letter and Submission process. This upcoming year will be about that, and if I work on anything at all, I mean for it to be this sweeping, gargantuan epic that I've wanted to work on for years... Or (sigh) perhaps a couple of sequels. I have three ideas for sequels to stories I've already finished. At the very least, I could block them out, chapter by chapter, which is handy to have if a publisher is interested in Book The First, so I hear.

Largely, however, I've found that blocking books out doesn't work very well for me... I tend to get a bit tangential when I write. Or another idea hits me that makes the book more exciting for me to write! And that, that I like better than trying to stick to a pattern. Patterns tend to dull the senses after a while. Good some of the time, but not, for goodness sake, all of the time!

So, in 2015, I intend to finish my outstanding projects... The Pickled Pirate will probably be out sometime in February... depending on the amount of editing the volume requires. The titular tale isn't finished yet. The accompanying four short stories are in splendid shape and form, as far as I can tell, and the editing there will be minor, if it exists at all. But the release date depends on how quickly I can actualize the book itself, seeing as how I plan to release it using a different site. There will be new formatting rules to grasp. Always an adventure!

I plan to read more in 2015 than I did this year. Of course, this year was dangerous with dips into devilry, beleaguered by bandits and beasts of the metaphorical and allegorical sort—and I didn't have much time for reading. Since returning to The North Hole, I've felt relaxed enough to sink into books... now, of course, that all of my books were left behind me. Thank goodness for digital libraries and electronic reading devices (and my brother's personal library)...

In the upcoming days, I intend to start charging the minuscule fee of ¢0.99 for my books, except The Hero and the Holly. This includes all others, though: The Information Man, The Carols of Holly House, and Zandry of Bonewood (which is already listed for a price). I would like to try and make some money (please reread Paragraph 5), and, of course, free samples of those works will be available to read prior to purchasing. A lot of people don't want to pay for art, I know. If you don't want to pay for my books, there are plenty of other good stories that you can find for free, either on Smashwords, Project Gutenberg, Fiction Press, Archive of Our Own, or your local library... But a nice book, for less than a dollar? If I found a book at the thrift store that I really wanted, it would be ninety-nine cents there, too. Comparatively, my books are bargains, even if they're not very long. Please consider buying books for authors you like, whether it's me or Meg Cabot or Chris Colfer!

The upcoming year is far from mapped out. (See my sidebar on blocking books.) There are things I want to do, sure... Mostly, I just want to have a good time, have some fun, earn a bit of money from my stories, from hard work in the less fictionalized world (Real Life), and maintain an interest in my art without falling into crevices of heartache. Basically, I want to stick to my oldest of old new year's resolutions: Be happy, and try not to die.

Happy 2015 to everyone!

partlyopenbook: (hullo)
I had a lovely, busy weekend attending a retreat, and met new people, had wonderful insights into religion and the human condition.

I used to keep a paper journal, in which I wrote quotidian events. However, I've encountered a lot of problems writing in it lately. It seems to trigger PTSD stuff, and I'm not sure why... Instead of writing the mundane, now I keep it strictly for religion and writing. Using these subjects for journaling seems to be going well. I'm able to write without bursting into tears! So—success!

I've been studying religion intensely the last few weeks, which might be related to the events of the past year (or past two-plus years), or some other unknown, undiscovered reason. It's nice to have a place to pen my thoughts and—dare I say—insights into my labyrinthine religious paths, both Druidry and a more conventional monotheism. Druidry "allows" you to have another religion. Not sure if other religions allow you to have Druidry.

At the retreat, we studied and practiced silence. This is definitely a theme I'd like to explore in my writing, and I hope to do it in the more theological and Christian (Lutheran) story I started last month. It's intended to be a novel, and I hope I can finish it... I hope I can finish all the little projects I've started! But I found Silence an inspiring attribute, and it made me want to work on the story again.

Though I haven't gone back to it yet, I have been working (slowly) on the short story which will complete the upcoming collection of short stories, a collection titled The Pickled Pirate. From circumstances that I won't get into, I wound up writing a plethora of pirate parables (okay, not parables, but points for alliteration, right?) during the summer. Since none was used for the project, I'm going to release them myself. There are four, and they are...

1) Arthur Nobody
2) Out of the Blue
3) Captain Storm's Revenge
4) Seth

All I need is this last story...

Interestingly, this titular tale (ah-haaa!), "The Pickled Pirate," uses Rex Malin! He's The Information Man, the hero of, uh, The Information Man. Malin is in the plot's background, but I expect that he'll show up for dialogue eventually. So, if you haven't read The Information Man yet, you might want to. Like my other titles (currently), it's free. The Pickled Pirate takes place in Toronto (hi, Canada, ILU!) in 1929, more than a year after The Information Man.

I still have a long way to go before The Pickled Pirate is finished. Cheer me on, if you'd like, with tweets or emails or comments! I could always use the extra support, and it's nice to know that people appreciate what you're writing.

Also, since I'm in the mood to sell my work, I've posted an opening chapter of a novel I started but am not going to finish—posted at the community I run, [community profile] erotic_bubbles . It's a members-only community, so to read it you'll have to have a dreamwidth account. It's free, too (like my three books). I had great plans for my DW Community, but, like most things this year, it's had to be put on hold.

As we come towards Samhain, the end of the Wheel of the Year, I grow more and more confident that things will begin to turn around for me. I'm really looking forward to celebrating Samhain, even if, as usual, I have to do some quiet rituals on my own! But it will mean quite a lot to me, more than it has in the past, as I have spirits to acknowledge and the beginning of a new life cycle to celebrate. It's time my life went forward. I hope your futures are bright, too.


partlyopenbook: (stache)
Finally got around to updating and editing the main site. And fixed a typo. Trust me, when you're a writer who prides herself on editing skills, a typo on your web site is embarrassment times twenty... But I can't remember when I last updated, though it was likely this past summer, when R + M = LOVE was released on Hyacinth Noir. I doubt I had my editing and writing cap on very securely through a summer that would've made Carroll's Mad Hatter worry. Considering what's happened the last couple of years, I'm surprised I've managed to accomplish one impossible thing before breakfast! Forget six!

Hyacinth Noir is having a photography contest, called The Samhain Wild Hunt! I can't wait to see the photos sent in! I won't be participating, alas. I may have the opportunity to offer my own Halloween/Samhain gift, however, so be on the lookout!

By the way, stories still FREE.

Which leads me to mention why I decided not to remove Zandry of Bonewood, after all... I moved its Category—again! I think that'll make me feel better, and I think it's less erotic than other erotic tales out there... but it's sexy enough that Adult Content is still required! I remain bewildered as to what makes a novel fall under the category of "erotic". Is it personal opinion? For me, I tend to think of erotic stories as anything that contains more than 50% SSS — Significant Sexual Substance! But I guess the Personal Opinion part is what matters.

I'm planning to release another set of short stories in the upcoming future. It'd like its title to be "The Pickled Head and Other Tales" ... but we'll see. This new compilation might be released somewhere NOT Smashwords, and probably under another name, although I'll talk about it plenty on this site... So, under another name, but still me. If released elsewhere, it'll have to be purchased rather than downloaded for free. I have the cover art planned, just haven't started creating it yet. And I'd like to write a fifth story to add to the four already finished. I wish we had 36-hour days. Who's with me?

If I start feeling a little better today (do I have a sinus infection or what? IDK), perhaps I can sit and write for a few hours! It'd be lovely to get a story written, what would be my first completed anything since early August! Wish me luck! 

partlyopenbook: a raccoon looks like it's clapping (yay)

Zandry of Bonewood and Other Stories
Five short fantasy romances
ยข0.99 at Smashwords.
25% Free Sample

edited 9/13/14 to most up-to-date book info
partlyopenbook: (hullo)
I've returned to the cottage after an unanticipated and extended hiatus. If I'd had more time to consider options, instead of just bolting out the door as I'd done in April, I would've spent a lovely month in Canada. Ah, well... Maybe next time!

Not much here at BDC (Breezy Day Cottage) has changed. The garden is ENORMOUS. If anyone wants any tomatoes, look no further...

Between exceptional heat and trying to get my writing life back on track, there has begun a great purge of every garret nook and every basement cranny. I'm not entirely sure how I wound up with so many clothes... or what half of this stuff actually is, besides junk. Perhaps useful to others, but, for myself, it's become junk. The sentimentality I often feel towards objects, once holding some significant or profound memory, has been forced into a cold oubliette.

Another purge was my from-seed, homegrown lavender plant. She was put in a place where she would be looked after, and received attention enough, where she'd been talked to and watered. Alas, she was neglected in the way of proper sunbeams: she'd been left in a place with inadequate light. I've cut off the dead stems and set her back in sunlight. It's possible that the roots might form new shoots with good attention. It's also possible that the new batch of seeds I planted will sprout. It's possible that neither of these things will happen.

Future posts will update you on this most interesting story!

I started writing a new novel the other day... then dutifully recalled that I'd left my Summervale rewrite hanging in the ether of Unfinished Projects. Yesterday morning, I wrote quite a bit in the rewrite. Originally, in the upcoming release of Zandry of Bonewood, I was going to have Summervale as the first story... I'll probably switch things up a bit, though. I still believe the rewrite is worth the time, but I also think it doesn't make a great opening story in a collection of short stories.

I've decided to devote September entirely to my writing. I say this as if I don't devote every month and every day to my writing... But last month was rather lost in the way of writing, aside from a five-day flurry of short story production. This month, I mean to get a lot more done, I mean to do what I can to reach a few goals, finish a few tasks.

Later edit... I have Last Time in Summervale put together in its entirety, minus sufficient editing. It looks as though it's going to top off around 13,000 words! Yikes! The original was about 9500 words! That's a difference of 3500 words!

Four Stories

Tuesday, 5 August 2014 16:20
partlyopenbook: (bird)
Four short stories since Thursday!

A new personal best for me!

I'm tired, and my fingers are tired from all that typing (about 25,000 words). My brain is tired from cramming in so much research over a brief period of time. And my back is tired from sitting in this chair. I'm now rather glad I'm not taking this chair with me the next time I move...

Now the editing begins!

As soon as I take a nap and forget words for a while... After writing 7,000+ words in one day, you too would flee from words, typeset, fonts, space bars, italics and what-have-you...

Sometimes I think my propensity to stare at black text on a white screen might be the reason I still dream in color.

Also, for Lughnasadh, Hyacinth Noir published my story, R + M = Love. It pairs a grumpy Robin Hood with his wild and wily spouse, Merlin. It's magic and love and midsummer madness, so go read it!

Oh dear... I don't have HTML formatted entries turned on, so I have to enter all the HTML by hand. I had to put that link in by hand! All the more reason to click on it, right?

So tired... I have no icon to express the depth of my exhaustion!


Tuesday, 24 June 2014 11:17
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
I  picked up a paring knife and took it to one of my three longest manuscripts. Of course, I've edited stuff before, but not with the intention of taking out as many words as possible and still keep the book from sounding disjointed.

Originally, this book that I just finished paring was 235,000 words. The version I started paring down was 221,850 words.

Today, after the work, it's down to 181,200 words. From the original finished story, that's a difference of 53,800 words!!

* * *

I finished a submission call that's cutting the due date really close, but I had a hard time deciding what story to write.

I have one more submission call that I know for sure I want to work on (already have something for), then I think I'm done with submission calls for a while. It's time to work on something else. I want to finish a novel again. And figure out the rest of my life.

* * *


The Information Man

A 1920's fantasy-mystery, free at Smashwords.


Tuesday, 10 June 2014 19:23
partlyopenbook: pinkie pie pony leaps into frame (happy)
I've been working all day...

This morning, I edited the first fifty pages of a novel that's to be part of a spontaneous query letter. Haven't written the query letter yet, but I will do that tomorrow, as long as I'm able.

Throughout the afternoon and evening, I've been editing The Information Man, and performing the rigorous duty of formatting it for its final upload. I hope to have it released ASAP, partly to coincide with the query letter, and partly because I'm tired of having it hanging over my head! I've finished the majority of the formatting, and since I'm running low on energy, I may save the rest of it for tomorrow.

Still, the final countdown has begun! 

Not as epic a countdown as, say, this, but it's epic for me!

ETA 20:08
I finished formatting The Information Man for its release! Now I have to check the cover to make sure it's the proper size. Should be able to release it soon! All I can hope is that it's relatively typo-free...

Oh mon dieu, how the house does smell of roasted garlic tonight. In theory, that seems quite pleasant. In practice, it's hard on the nostrils after a while.

partlyopenbook: (hullo)
A look at the opening of The House that Cain Built, available in an anthology by the New Town Writers.


The House That Cain Built
by Lore Lippincott


Since her childhood years in the greenish haze of Ireland, Flair McLaglen had penned stories to relieve an inner conflict. The trick had been taught to young Flair by her grandmother. Though she'd forgotten whether Nanna's eyes were blue like the sky or blue like the sea, Flair remembered fat pencils against paper scraps, notebooks full of silly stories and mad characters. Years removed from idyllic days, and Irish haze replaced with American fog, the 1960s lost to the 1980s, Flair still relieved an inner conflict through stories.

In college, she'd finished a whole novel that had achieved acclaim. In her head remained a contradictory argument: "Write a sequel! No, don't write a sequel!" and "One book was good enough for Harper Lee and Margaret Mitchell. Why not for you?" She had a crowded box of ideas, however, that would not be silenced. The more her personal frustrations deepened, stronger now and more realistic than a child's perspective of prosaic betrayals, the longer she sat before the vintage typewriter at nights. The more Josie gave her tea and fed her small, cold meals on a tray. The more Flair ripped out sheet after sheet, crumpled them, threw them into the fireplace.

Another ignominious ball of gibberish landed among soot and flames. A cool night in late September had warranted a fire. Rain dripped sonorously, unhurriedly, from leaves and whispered through gutters of that house paid for by hard work, by a novel without a sequel and a character Flair couldn't erase from her brain.

Flair huffed and slumped. Her office was a drey of sorts set upon the floor, between sofa and coffee table, partly in her real world but mostly in another. Josie looped behind her: the sofa springs rustled with the shift of weight. Warm hands nestled upon Flair's shoulders, left to massage away tension there.

"If Agent Bernadine calls," Josie kept a lace of acrimony in her voice strictly applied to Flair's literary business pro, "I'll say that you've gone out. I usually say you've gone out and it won't be a big deal to do it again."

A gurgle of dread escaped from the back of Flair's throat. Josie closed the noisy maw. The playfulness sent them into erratic laughter, hair-pulling, accidental caresses of forbidden zones. Flair pushed Josie, breaking their tender wrestling match.

"I'll always be out when Bernadine calls," said Flair, feeling hopeless against the onslaught of commercial success. She was a speech therapist, a linguist, a part-time philologist—she wrote only to trample into submission those sensations her mind was consciously too weak to handle. The writing had stopped when she ran into Josie, literally, on the college campus three years before. They'd studied and lived together. Their friendship roamed into the boundaries of psychic phenomenon. It forced them to talk about the relevance, power and likelihood of soul mates. For two years their peace was inexplicable. Every happiness obeyed them.

Then there came upon their paradisal scene a shadow: irregular, problematic, male-shaped. Its name was Josh. He wanted Josie. She became tinted by his penumbra. She wore a ring from him on an important finger and her rosiness darkened.

Josie's eyes danced. Their pixie-green hue and iridescent risibility contained the depth of her unusual love for Flair. She swung their united hands between them. "Josh will be here later. He wants to take me to dinner at that new restaurant close to where he works. Maybe if I explain—"

In an instant, Flair was riled and away. "Oh, no, I won't have your pity wrecking my nice quite Friday evening at home! Thanks," she threw another paper on the fire, "but I'll stay right here. You go and have fun with Josh."

At the sound of his approaching car, the linguist, like a frightened hare, turned and ran upstairs. From a window, Flair watched him stride the sidewalk's length. What did he want with Josie? Flair sunk back to her bed, heart in a vice at the voices downstairs, and imagined a more romantic tableau there than those she'd painted in her head for three years—that Josie had helped hew.


Continued in the book....

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Saturday, 1 February 2014 19:08
partlyopenbook: pinkie pie pony leaps into frame (happy)

An update!

Yesterday, 31 Jan -- Finished a short story submission!
Today, 1 Feb -- Finished a novella!

Two things finished in that many days, hooray! I've really been lacking focus lately, so completing anything is cause for celebration.


Short story submissions are not really that hard, though. It's not like writing a novella. For a short story, usually I read the submission and an idea starts to slosh around in my mind. The idea is incubated anywhere from two to seven days. I write down any notes, character names or plot twists that the story might have (but I don't always use what I'd written down). Then, whenever I feel that I'm ready to tackle it, I sit down in the morning and start the story! Almost always, they're finished in the same day. The one I just completed was mostly written in one day, but I missed typing the last 500 words or so, adding them yesterday morning.

The editing process still needs to be completed. I'll read it three to five times, depending on how much work it needs. The shorty story doesn't need much work, maybe a couple more adjectives, typo fixes, and so forth... But there's not much room for me to add anything. Submissions often have word-count limits.

The novella was supposed to be a submission, but, liking the story I'd come up with and knowing it was incredibly removed from what they wanted, I decided not to send it in. This has freed me up to make it as long as I like (more than 30,000 words: 5,000 more than they wanted) to do with the characters what I wished without worrying about the pirate code any sort of guidelines. It needs editing, too. A few scenes are missing, and it'll have to be edited for errors and typos, and the all-important "Isn't there a better word for this?" (My favorite.)

So... "Finished." Not a definite word. The bulk of the story is complete, but there are still paragraphs of words to go before I sleep....

The cover to the novella is in a prelim stage. Hope to have it complete soon and providing a sneak peek! 
But the title of the novella is....
The Information Man

It's about a man. That gathers information.

Really. I know, you're surprised by this, given the title and all.

It takes place in Toronto in 1928. (I think 1928, but I will double-check that during the editing process.)

The story combines fantasy and reality, a lot like The Carols of Holly House. I don't know how funny it is, but it has some okay characters, a breath of mystery and romance. Don't let my crummy synopsis derail your interest! I'll have a better summary soon!

Also, unrelated to writing... I have a whole Wish List now of My Little Pony things. I suppose this makes me an official Brony. Or Pegasister. Or both. I try not to engender hypocoristic appellations when they involve fanatic activities.

Right... I need to find a sporting event to watch.

End Hiatus.

Saturday, 25 January 2014 16:49
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
H'mm, I appear to be listening to a version of Ghost & Writer's song "From Hell" that I'm somewhat unfamiliar with. iTunes has been about as nutty and spastic today as our weather. We've had it all here at the cottage. White-out conditions. Wind with gusts to 40 mph. Snow. Sunshine. It was 32F... and now the temperature's tanked all the way to 21F.

I forgot what I was going to say...

Oh, yes. It seems that I have at last been able to write a little, after a long, long, LONG hiatus... It wasn't writer's block—I've never had this—I had a case of Life Getting In The Way. A lot of little stresses have been plaguing me, and waiting to deal with them is about as bad as actually dealing with them. Today, I managed to push everything aside that had nothing to do with writing. I was able to add almost 7,000 words to the novella, which is now almost done! Another day like today's productivity, and it will be finished!

What else is there to do on a day with weather like this? Bake cookies? Do laundry? — Ah, but I did those things as well.

Thursday, 27 June 2013 16:20
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)
Ah, the rewrite was better... I felt more at home, like I was me, writing as me, and not trying to emulate someone else's prose. A daily total of 4,000+ words, but that's not so bad...

Downloaded the new [hackoldhack] iTunes.... v. 11.0.4. Oh, it's so much better than the previous one! Thank you for bringing back my progress bar and volume control! You can keep your tiny display of cover art...

Now off to find comestibles, and if I'm a very good girl later, I can study...

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