anthimeria: Open book, says "sometimes you reach what's realest by making believe" (Books)
WisCon was awesome, as usual!  The Romance in Spec-Fic/YA panel went really well, and even though I made a few missteps in the How to Ally panel, my fellow panelists saved the day.

I'm so glad I workshopped The Novel at WisCon this year--everyone seemed to like the book and had really good points.  Because the piece is so polished, most of the work I need to do now is big-concept stuff that either I just didn't pay enough attention to when I wrote it originally, or are things that didn't make it through all the changes I made in the last few Big Edits.

This means that while I do have fixes for most everything, there's a lot of time-consuming searching through the whole manuscript for every instance Thing A is mentioned, tweaking it or deciding it doesn't need to be tweaked, and then moving on to the same for Thing B, Thing C, etc.

There were also a few plot points I needed to work out that meant I spent several hours this afternoon yapping with my roommie-and-muse and then writing down my thoughts and counter-thoughts.  I oftentimes don't see good answers to problems until I talk them out with people or until I write down the solution and realize it wouldn't work/is too complicated.

There's a lot more to work on, but I do actually need to get up and go to work tomorrow, so I'm reluctantly putting aside the critiques for the night.

Book rec: finally read Karen Healey's The Shattering--loved it!  Great mystery with enough subtle terrible twists to keep me going.  I love the three main characters and the diverse cast as a whole.  Guardian of the Dead is still my favorite of her books, but I really enjoyed The Shattering.  Check it out if you like YA mystery!
anthimeria: Astro City superheroine Flying Fox (Flying Fox)
Three rejections and one full MS request for Skywatch, plus two more NRMN (no response means no) rejections.  I need to spend an afternoon sending out new queries, but I've been focused on some editing for others that I promised and on polishing the outline for Flying Machines (finished through Act Two, just need to get Act Three done).

I also read two awesome books, one YA and one grownup urban fantasy.

The YA is White Cat, by Holly Black.  This book is a few years old, but I avoided it because I barely got through Tithe.  It wasn't bad, just . . . meh.  But I really enjoyed White Cat and the questions about rights and agency and safety that are raised throughout the book, and also of identity--we find out as the book goes on that Cassel, the POV character, is beyond the definition of an unreliable narrator--he's unreliable even unto himself.  How that effects who he is and how he reacts to things is fascinating.  I started the sequel today, and I'm interested in seeing where the series goes.

The urban fantasy is, of course, Seanan McGuire's latest, Midnight Blue-Light Special!  McGuire is pretty much my favorite author for adults, and MBLS lives up to her standard.  It has all the cryptids we know and love from Discount Armageddon and a plot that moves like anything.  Plus the Aeslin Mice, perennial fan favorites, play a big role--I think they were sort of fun background in Discount Armageddon, but they have plot purposes and are integrated into Verity's life in MBLS, which I really appreciated.  HAIL THE SEQUEL!
anthimeria: Open book, says "sometimes you reach what's realest by making believe" (Books)
Got another chapter in--shortest one yet, under 1k, yay!

I'm celebrating because the chapter before this, which was a bitch to write, ended up almost 1800 words, which is 300 over my self-imposed max word count for a chapter for this book.  I may have to add the last scene from that chapter to the one I just finished, which would even out the word count, but it's an alternating POV and right now I really want that scene in Eva's POV.

We'll see.  That's what editing is for.

Also, the whole picture book thing is making me antsy.  I'm trying to stay away from it for at least a week, to give myself perspective, but it's hard.  Everything that reminds me that I wrote a picture book makes me want to poke at the MS again.

Must stay strong.  Must be able to accurately asses whether this is a possible thing.  I will only do more than cursory research into picture book publishing if it's worth it.  I have TWO novels and a short story ready to go, if I end up shopping around a third book, it will be worth it or I won't do it.  Dammit.

In Other News, I mentioned in my Thanksgiving post that I just finished Karen Healey's GUARDIAN OF THE DEAD, which was epically fantastic and everything I want out of YA (a heroine with sense, a kickass adventure story, real-life consequences, no punches pulled, girls working together, a myriad of races and mythologies, a romance story that wasn't the main part of the plot but did present a believable build-up and a solid subplot, and just--read it, okay?), and I just got my hands on the ARC for her new book, WHEN WE WAKE.  I follow her blog and am so excited about this I can't even tell y'all, especially after Guardian was so fantastic.  So excited!

anthimeria: Astro City superheroine Flying Fox (Flying Fox)

Through means cunning and clever, I have laid hands on an advance copy of Discount Armageddon, by Seanan McGuire. The official release date is March 6th, also known as next Tuesday.


I had a lot of fun with this book. I love the variety of cryptids, I love that Verity reacts to everything surprising with violence, I love the many, many questions (and terrifying suspicions) the book leaves us with at the end, and like everyone else, I love the Aeslin Mice. HAIL THE NEW SERIES!



Cryptid, noun: Any creature whose existence has not yet been proven by science. See also  )


anthimeria: Open book, says "sometimes you reach what's realest by making believe" (Books)
Completely aside from RL issues, I've not been feeling well, but today I dragged myself out after work to see Scott Westerfeld, YA author extraordinaire, at a local indie bookshop.  Due to traffic I came in a little late, but his talk was well worth the drag.  (Please not to be commenting on my terrible English; I is fuzzy-brained.)

My favorite of Westerfeld's books is Peeps, because it is a fascinating new take on scientific vampires, it does that thing I love where the author did so much research that it shines through magnificently in the book, and it provided a lot of small talk for me on the subject of interesting parasites (yes, really.  Parasite small talk).  He's most famous for his Uglies series, and he was talking/touring today because the final book in his steampunk trilogy recently released.  Unfortunately the book store did not have a copy of Peeps, so I bought Leviathan instead for him to sign (but he DID write "parasites rule!" in it when I fangirled at him about Peeps, so that was kinda awesome).  Leviathan, Behemoth and Goliath are the titles, in order, of his steampunk series.

Leviathan's the first book in his YA steampunk series, which I recommend.  His work is unfailingly awesome and well-research, and this triology comes with pictures, the coming about of which was the subject of his talk.  It was fascinating and interesting and hilarious and he's a great speaker; he kept everybody in the audience entertained and didn't talk down to his readers, no matter their age.

I'm not really doing this justice, but this is all I have the energy for.  Westerfeld is an engaging, hilarious speaker, and I learned things, and I rec all his books (well, I don't know about the rest of the Uglies series, but Uglies itself was good), especially Peeps.
anthimeria: A happy wolf pouncing on a packmate, reads "Triumph!" (Triumph!)
Likely as close as I'm going to get to an actual review, because frankly I suck at those.  They require a lot of thought that I'm not as good at articulating as I was when I graduated.

What I REALLY wish I could've done was write a running-reactions post as I read the book, because that would've been a lot more entertaining, if not a lot more coherent.  Thing is, I could not tear myself away from the book long enough to turn the laptop on.  We're lucky I made the drive home from the bookstore without crashing.


So that's Deadline.  A lot of fun, some zombies, a virus-related twist or three, and in the grand tradition of Feed, snark, blogging, and conspiracies.

I had great fun.  I'm rec'ing it.  Start with Feed, come along on Deadline, and then wait with the rest of us poor souls for Blackout to release next year.  It'll be a long wait, but at least this year I'll have two Newsflesh books to re-read instead of just one.

Alive or dead, the truth won't rest.  Rise up while you can.

anthimeria: Comic book panels (Sequential Art)
Still working on Skywatch dv, but my brain got hijacked by reading this weekend (the quite enjoyable October Daye series, by Seanan McGuire--just the first three!  I have to wait for the fourth to be returned to my library before I finish out the series as it exists so far.  A Local Habitation is my favorite of the first three).

In other Seanan McGuire-related news, DEADLINE COMES OUT TODAY!!

I am having so much trouble concentrating on the rest of my life right now, because as soon as I get out of work I will be high-tailing it to the bookstore and picking up my copy.  And then I will read it until there are no more pages.  And then likely I will fall asleep, because FEED was ~600 pages long and even if I manage my usual speedy 100 pages per hour, if DEADLINE is comparably long that's still 6 hours of reading.

Never before have I been this excited about a book coming out.  I mean, I wait with baited breath for the next Tamora Pierce, but FEED is just a horse of a different color, somehow.  It's a perfect storm of a book.

So, DEADLINE, by Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire's pseudonym for the Newsflesh series).  I can't actually recormmend it yet, but likely there will be a flaily review up here sometime soon, and I can rec FEED if you haven't read it yet!

Now I must return to my regularly-scheduled life, and keep glancing at the clock until I can run away to get my book.

Two Things

May. 15th, 2011 11:38 am
anthimeria: Gears, some magnified (Gears)
One: for FEED fans, Alpha-RC007 encounters Marburg Amberlee in Countdown!  When will you Rise?

Two: Working on Skywatch again, for it has been returned to me with many useful edits, and the werewolf book is stubborn.  I'm not actually having trouble writing it in the sit-and-stare-at-the-screen-for-hours sense, which is what happened with Skywatch, I just can't seem to get a hold of my main character's voice (as this is the only novel I've ever attempted to write in first person, that is kind of important).  So I'm going to leave my wolves alone a little longer and refocus on the City in the Sky.

Wish me luck!  It appears I have new scenes to write and new-ish scenes to delete, along with the constant destruction of typos.


May. 11th, 2011 10:37 pm
anthimeria: Mask of feathers (Feather Face)
So, if I haven't made it clear on this blog, I have been pretty much obsessed with the book FEED, by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire) since I read it last summer.  The sequel, DEADLINE, is coming out on May 31, and until that day, she's posting a snippit a day from the Newsflesh universe pre-Rising on her livejournal.

These snippits will make the most sense if you've read FEED (which, if you haven't, SHAME!  Go!), but you could probably read them without having read the book.  They've been the highlight of my days since she started posting them, so I thought I'd rec and link.

T-minus 29 days to DEADLINE

It's almost the summer of 2014.  When will you Rise?

anthimeria: unicorn rampant, first line of Kipling's "The Thousandth Man" (Default)
So, came down with a crazy mutant cold that won't go away and makes me fuzzy-brained.  I am completely unable to edit while sick--it requires too much brainpower.  You have to keep track of plot and character and what you're supposed to be fixing and . . . nope, too much.

After my last entry, I poked around my older posts and found an almost identical post about how hard it was to start writing Skywatch.  Now, I guess I'll only be able to test this theory when I start writing Sanctuary, but I wonder if the issue is Skywatch itself?  For a book that I thought was going to be easy, it's been a bear.  Not bad, just difficult.  It requires a lot more of my energy per word than The Novel ever did (okay, not ever, but on average it's the same amount of work and Skywatch is half as long.  Do the math).

Also, in between getting sick and editing middlegrade steampunk, I have been reading every Miles Vorkosigan book my library has.  I'm about to head out to other branches, because these books are awesome.  Mind you, most of the ones I've read have been with an older Miles--late twenties and early thirties.  The Baen Free Library has Warrior's Apprentice, one of the early Miles books, and I suspect that while I'll like the book I might not like Miles the character as much.  I like my heroes a more practical and less impulsive, which from Miles's internal monologue in Komarr is not at all how he behaved.  Still, I'm excited to read it, and I really enjoy the combination of genres Bujold handles seemingly effortlessly--adventure, sci-fi, mystery, romance--I sound like a 60s movie preview with less exclamation points.  Nevertheless, I like this lady's work and am going to head out to other libraries and track more down.

The best part for library-dependent me is that you don't have to read them in order!

Last bit of news is that I've collected an astonishing number of rejection letters for the two new short stories I started submitting in 2011.  Three each so far and the month isn't even half over yet.  I think that's kind of impressive.  At least it means I'm submitting again!

anthimeria: unicorn rampant, first line of Kipling's "The Thousandth Man" (Default)
So, I don't know whether I'm ever going ot talk about the interesting things, literary and life-wise, that have been happening to me in the last two months, because let's face it, it's been two months and going back over all of it would be boring for all involved.

So!  Abbreviated Two Months in My Life:

I went to APE (it was fun), I met Trina Robbins (OMG I fangirled at her so much, she is one of my heroes), I bought Feed (by Mira Grant, go read it, it's awesome!), my laptop died, I have a crazy landlady and want to move out but can't afford to yet, my new job is good, I have been hiking in places where the fog is so think it condensed and dripped off trees, I wrote a couple of short stories, I did a first re-through of Skywatch, I read Hunger Games, I dressed up as Supergirl for Halloween in a costume I made myself, the company I bought a new laptop from cancelled my order and I had to spent my lunch break making them un-cancel it, resulting in my shipping date being delayed to late November (ack!), I edited the beginning of a novel for a friend, and I've been watching way too many mid-ninties tv shows via Netflix.

The End.

anthimeria: Open book, says "sometimes you reach what's realest by making believe" (Books)
It's been a bit; I've been coming down from the awesomeness of WisCon and then I didn't get two jobs I really wanted, one right after the other . . . let's just say that forthcoming publication credit has been a bright light and leave it there.

Another bright light happened today--I picked up the first in a STACK of books loaned by my friend, Elena, while I was staying with her for WisCon (link to her site is off to the right).  I picked the book basically at random, and because it was so thick that I didn't think even I could finish it in a day--the plan was to read a hundred pages or so, and then write for the rest of the day.

Yeah, that happened.

Feed's a new book--came out May 1, by Mira Grant, who also writes as Seanan McGuire.

Also, it's deeply ironic that I'm blogging about this book, which stars a pair of sibling bloggers.

I got hooked by the action and the main character's voice right away.  George (Georgia properly, after George Romero, but her brother only calls her Georgia when they're in imminent danger of getting chomped by the living dead) has a great, solemn sarcasm and talent for comebacks that I envy.  Her brother (the Amazon description says "twin" which works, but isn't strictly accurate) is cheery and a great foil for her without ever being overbearing.

Feed is a post-zombie-apocalypse book, and I'm rec'ing it even though I don't, as a rule, like zombies.  They're sloppy, they're gross, they tend to be handled with a heavy hand and an eye to the grotesque that makes my stomach churn (I don't watch many horror movies, either).  Grant handles them extremely well, with an eye to the disease that makes the dead rise and the society that would arise when your loved ones can become infected with one bite--quarantine, blood testing, hazard zones, and the terrible emotional reality of having to shoot people you knew who aren't people any more.  Like "World War Z", the only other zombie book I can rec to date, Grant handles the realities of zombies and treads that all-important line between humor and horror.

That said, don't ever expect her to pull a punch.  This book took off from page one (er, well, there's an actual takeoff on page 14, but metaphorically) and didn't let go--I read all nearly-600-pages this afternoon and evening, unable to put it down.  There's plot out the wazoo: conspiracy theories, politics and zombie disease control, and characters who are real people from the moment they're introduced, every one of them.

One of the most important points about this book is that the zombies aren't the point.  It's the world the zombies have made, and what people do in that world: love, corruption, patriotism, betrayal, loyalty, determination.  It's a blogger-style journalistic exercise.  To borrow a phrase from the book, it's the watershed moment for George: her life and everything she works for.

Mira Grant handles the extensive and often complicated exposition extremely well.  Information is given when it becomes necessary for the story, and even though there are whole sections of the book that serve as a history of the world post-zombies, I never once got bored.  And I bore really easily.

My recommendation aside, this is NOT a book for the faint of heart.  I have a feeling that I'll be examining doors and windows for possible zombie-entrances for a while.  It is in no way a gore-fest, but it's a book with a zombie apocalypse, and as I said, Grant doesn't pull punches.  I think the bruises are worth it, but it's still going to take a while (and maybe a happy book or two) to scrub Feed out of my head.

Of course, I can't wait for the sequel, which is too bad for me since this one just came out!

anthimeria: Astro City superheroine Flying Fox (Flying Fox)
It's been a bit.  The primary reason for that is that I got sick.  Now, I'm not a person inclined to watch much TV (unless it's a geeky marathon--JLU, Firefly, Avatar: the Last Airbender, etc), but this thing put me on the couch for a week.  I could not get up.  I used up several boxes of kleenex.  My eyes crossed and watered if I tried to read.

So.  Wasn't fun.

But!  I survived, and I have an awesome story to tell!

Shiny things )

I know they say you should be prepared to be disappointed in your heroes, but I'm glad I wasn't.  And now my copy of Squire has her signature!

anthimeria: Gears, some magnified (Gears)
I haven't dived in yet, but the water looks fine.

My Skywatch outline has been returned to me, and I have been tweaking it for several days, mostly fixing the beginning and the end (I've noticed a trend).  I'm not entirely sure about either of the scenes I added, so I'm going to set the outline aside for a few days and then come back, see if time lends perspective.  Actually writing the book might be the best way to tell at this point.  I'm (still) almost there.

Writing that isn't steampunk )
Wandering back around to the subject of steampunk (I think this is my longest just-about-me post--some of the WindyCon posts might be longer, but I'm not sure), I've been reading and watching whatever I can get my hands on via libraries and netflix.  Cherie Priest's book Boneshaker was very good, though it took me a week and a half to get through the first two hundred pages, I read the second in about two hours.  Definitely a book worth sticking with.  The Otomo anime Steamboy was also rollicking fun, and the background art is gorgeous.    Reading the subtitles, watching the movie and oogling the background was kinda difficult at one in the morning, but worth the trouble.

I also found the '60s tv show The Wild, Wild West, which is black and white and ridiculous but pretty fun, too.  I also had a geek-out moment in the very first episode, because I'd seen Sherlock Holmes (which is kinda steampunk-y) that day and there's a shot in the movie that's identical to a shot in the pilot, down to the design of the sleeve-gun.
anthimeria: Open book, says "sometimes you reach what's realest by making believe" (Books)
Patricia Polacco, who writes and illustrates wonderful children's books, came to my local public library and gave a reading of sorts--she didn't just read from her book, actually, she stood in front of a few dozen schoolkids and a double handful of adults and told stories.  Stories from her books, her childhood, her family's history and her town's history.

This lady is a fantastic speaker, great with kids, and suits actions to her words.  I stayed behind afterward, and she talked about supporting her local library and helping open a safe space in her community.

I wanted to track down some of her books--my library owns quite a few--but (predictably) they were largely checked out today!  Maybe next time I go I'll check out a few.


anthimeria: unicorn rampant, first line of Kipling's "The Thousandth Man" (Default)
Lauren K. Moody

Positive Obsession

There is hope in error, but none at all in perfection.
--Ursula K. Le Guin

The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.
--Muriel Rukeyser

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr


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