Posts Tagged ‘novel’

Catherynne M. Valente: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland

If you are looking for a YA novel, or something rich and plummy to read on your own, may I recommend, Catherynne M. Valente’s new online novel, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland.

Chapter 1: Exeunt, on a Leopard

Once upon a time, a girl named September grew very tired indeed of her father’s house, where she washed the same pink and yellow teacups and matching gravy boats every day, slept on the same embroidered pillow, and played with the same small and amiable dog. Because she had been born in May, and because she had a mole on her left cheek, and because her feet were very large and ungainly, the Green Wind took pity on her, and flew to her window one evening just after her eleventh birthday. He was dressed in a green smoking jacket, and a green carriage-driver’s cloak, and green jodhpurs, and green snowshoes. It is very cold above the clouds, in the shanty-towns where the Six Winds live.

One of the things that I love about the sf community is the way it rallies around a member in need.  When Cat posted about financial troubles last week she said, “I didn’t want charity, or something for nothing. I wanted to work, and support my family. I decided that in the world of new media and online literature, I could try to do what I do best: write a novel. I could offer up a book to the world, and try to feed us with it. I wanted it to be free, so that everyone could read it, not locked behind a password. But we needed money—so I posted to my blog and asked my readers to pay whatever they thought it was worth.”

Even without the warm glow you get from helping someone out, this novel looks to be well worth making a contribution.  I’d made a contribution last week and opened chapter one today, just to see. I immediately got sucked in. It’s like Rudyard Kipling decided to write Raggedy Ann in Oz, with Amelia Earhardt thrown in for fun.

Happy Green day!

greenMy dear friend and literary grandfather, Jay Lake, is celebrating the release of his new novel Green.  There are contests and links to free fiction over on his site.

I’ve been looking forward to this coming out since he first started talking about it.  And hey, there’s a bookstore near me.  Handy, that.

Happy Release Day, Ken Scholes!

lamentationMy literary dad, Ken Scholes, introduced me to my wonder-agent, Jennifer Jackson. Today is the release of his debut novel, Lamentation from Tor.

Ken is one of my dearest friends and he’s also one of my favorite authors, which is a handy combination.  If you’re in the Seattle area, you can head over the the U-bookstore for his signing.   But if that’s too far away and you want a sampling of Scholes, Tor.com has one of his short stories up.

A Weeping Czar Beholds the Fallen Moon by Ken Scholes.

Frederico leaned close to smell the poison on his thirteenth wife’s cold, dead lips. It tickled his nose and he resisted the strong desire to kiss her that suddenly overcame him.

That you might lose yourself from sadness by my lips, my husband and Czar, her open, glassy eyes promised him. He looked away, uncomfortable with her empty, inviting stare.

Behind him, the Minister of the Interior cleared his voice and spoke. “The cabinet feels it would be more stabilizing to consider this an assassination. Jazrel was a most popular wife.”

As a bonus, they have an audio version available as well, read by me.

Twitters for 2-10-08

  • 10:43 You can tell you’ve been gone for a week when breakfast = birthday cake. #
  • 12:01 Heading out for lunch with @scalzi now. Truly, the fun, it never ends. #
  • 13:22 Novel + sold = Best Birthday present EVER. Short form: to @2muchexposition of Tor by @arcaedia Long form: tinyurl.com/bnkenp #
  • 17:22 Thank you all for the good wishes about my novel sale! I’m now off to the theater because you know, the day job still calls. Er…night job? #
  • 21:13 Having a cheese flight with @scalzi @paul_cornell and his lovely wife Caroline. Rob is selecting wines for us. #

Novel + Sold = Best Birthday present EVER

I’ll start with the important stuff. Shades of Milk and Honey, my Jane Austen with magic novel, has sold to Liz Gorinsky at Tor in a two-book deal. My fabulous agent, Jennifer Jackson, and I have been sitting on this news for a little over a week while we worked out details. Hardest thing ever. It was like having a birthday present that I could pick up and shake but not open.

So today, I was sitting in a Thai restaurant with John Scalzi when the phone rang. Normally, I ignore it when I’m on social time, but I had it out because I was on call for the theater. Needless to say, I’m glad that I picked the phone up because Jenn told me the amazing, amazing news that we’ve sold not just one book, but two books. John immediately turned and announced it to everyone in the restaurant and they all clapped. I’m still blushing.

Last week, Jenn called with the initial news while I was frantically mixing disappearing blood for the theater. So I was squealing with excitement while measuring ingredients into a beaker. Then had to run down there without being able to tell anyone. Well… I called my parents, clearly. Here’s what I wrote on the subway after the call.

I’m writing this on the subway on my way to the theater. It’ll be a week or more before you get to read it, but I’m simply bursting. I just got off the phone with my wonderful agent, Jennifer Jackson, who let me know that Liz Gorinsky, at Tor, has made an offer for Shades of Milk and Honey.

!!!!!!

There are all these people on the train and I’m surprised that they can’t tell that I’ve just SOLD A NOVEL because I’m glowing. Since it’s still in the offer stage, it’s a secret beyond telling a few friends and family but I want to turn to the man sitting next to me on the train and say, “Excuse me. You don’t know me, but I just found out that I’ve sold my first novel and I had to tell someone.” Heck, I want to tell EVERYBODY.

I’ve called my parents, of course, but Rob doesn’t know yet, because he’s at work. Tonight is a late night for him, he won’t get off work until three. How in the world am I going to contain myself until he gets home?

ooo… Weeping with joy on the subway would probably be a bad plan. But I’m so thrilled. So very thrilled that I don’t think my vocabulary is large enough to express it. On the other hand, it can be summed up as, “I sold my first novel!”

Scalzi Chaucer’d (Listen!) : Michael Livingston

Old Mannes Werre Michael Livingston, in addition to being one of my favorite people, also happens to be a scholar of Middle English. I have just finished listening, twice, to his Chaucer’d excerpt of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War.

In a fit of rage against working on my syllabi for the coming term, I took a snippet from John Scalzi’s novel Old Man’s War (chapter 9 for those playing at home) and, well, Chaucer’d it. That is, I took Scalzi’s text and translated it into Chaucer’s dialect. Details follow the audio.

That’s right–audio in Middle English. Tee-hee, quod she. I mean, look at this.

“I can take a shot,” Watson said, sighting over his boulder. “Let me drill one of those things.”

“I kan tak a shote,” quod Watson, lookynge right over his rokke. “Graunte me striken oon.”

Edging out of the computer woes.

Whew. Already I feel better. I just dropped my computer off with Karl Swan, who not only promised to have it back to me within 48 hours, but also pulled some files off for me right then. Though I’d done a backup on the 27th, I’d also done a significant amount of work between then and when the computer imploded on the 29th.

So, I now have the current draft of my novel, current drafts of the two short stories I had been working on, and the logo design that had just been approved when things went pfffht. Everything else, I have on the backup.

Such relief.

We decided to go with a system wipe and restore. He made me feel like I was not an idiot, which was nice. When I get my computer back, it will be clean and with my documents already loaded on. So, I will not have to continue going crazy trying to fix it.

Wax by Elizabeth Bear, read by me

I read Wax, the second standalone story/chapter in the mosaic novel New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear for Subterranean. They’ve just posted the audio files at Subterranean Online

Abigail Irene Garrett drinks too much. She makes scandalous liaisons with inappropriate men, and if in her youth she was a famous beauty, now she is both formidable–and notorious. She is a forensic sorceress, and a dedicated officer of a Crown that does not deserve her loyalty.

She has nothing, but obligations.

Sebastien de Ulloa is the oldest creature she has ever known. He was no longer young at the Christian millennium, and that was nine hundred years ago. He has forgotten his birth-name, his birth-place, and even the year in which he was born, if he ever knew it. But he still remembers the woman who made him immortal.

He has everything, but a reason to live.

In a world where the sun never set on the British Empire, where Holland finally ceded New Amsterdam to the English only during the Napoleonic wars, and where the expansion of the American colonies was halted by the war magic of the Iroquois, they are exiles in the new world–and its only hope for justice.

Basement? Feh.

Now, why would I spend today down in our dark basement when it was gorgeous outside? That would be sheer folly. So I painted the front porch and did some weeding.

I also worked on “The Bride Replete,” which is the first non-novel thing I’ve touched in ages. It feels very good. I’m not ignoring Shades, I’m just still in the resting and rereading period with it.

Christmas shopping

Okay. This was the coolest thing in the world, for me. I went to the bookstore to pick up Christmas gifts for my family to save me the cost and hassle shipping them to Chattanooga. With one exception, I wound up selecting books written by people I know. I like all of these people, and have been very happy for their success, but I turned into the total fan-girl in the books store. Two years ago, I don’t think I knew any novelists.

Sadly, I can’t tell you which books they were because my family reads the blog and I’ve already tipped my hand that most of them/you are getting books this year.

Novel Progress report

View my progress report for Shades of Milk and Honey. As of this posting I have to write 8,953 words in two days to “win” NaNo. I think I have another 20,000 words after that to finish this draft of the novel.

Disaster! (almost)

I’ve been having trouble with my internet in the room and complained multiple times to the hotel. They sent their engineer up–who announced as he came into the room, “I’m not particularly computer savvy.” Oh, how true that was. He poked at buttons on the computer and said, “I’ll have to close these windows,” and generally pretended to do something.

I continued to have no internet and to complain vigorously. They finally agreed to move me to another room. So during all of that, I didn’t do much blogging or work on my NaNo. Today, I got up and opened my novel for the first time, since he came in, so I could do some NaNoWriMo.

It consisted of the title page.

He had deleted the novel.

I hyperventilated for a second and then realized that I back up on a regular basis. Which means that I only lost half a page. I was ready to kill though. To their credit, the hotel recognized that this was a huge deal and that, even though it all turned out all right, they had really screwed up. They gave us one night for free.

Moral of this story: Auto-backup is your friend.

Happy Birthday, Steve!

InheritanceToday is Steven Savile’s birthday. To celebrate, I am reading his novel Inheritance. So far, it is grim and horrific. Those aren’t normally compliments but are completely appropriate for a vampire novel. He also has managed to get humor in there too, which is astounding in a book with the undead rising all around. I’m looking forward to seeing how this one ends, although, I’ll have to give up my habit of reading at meals with this one.

Steve, next time we’re in the same place, I’ll buy you a pint.

Good Housekeeping again

I edited two stories and submitted them yesterday. My requested rewrite went off to the editor last week, so now it’s just a waiting game. I finished proofing the Autumn issue of Shimmer, which goes to the printer on Tuesday. In short, no more writing reasons to put off Good Housekeeping, so I pulled it out last night and started working.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
41,609 / 50,000
(83.0%)

608 words, fifteen minutes.

I should have worked longer, but Rob had rented De-Lovely so we watched that.

First:

God, he was still gorgeous.


Last:

Her dark eyes under the tangle of her hair gave Cassandra a half-fey look.

Extension and rewrite request

I got a rewrite request for one of my stories so I’m going to take a break from the Good Housekeeping novel. I’m giving myself today and tomorrow off, which will push my self-imposed deadline from the 20th to the 22nd.