truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: fennec)
I should descend into the endless hell of revising The Goblin Emperor, and I may even do so this evening.

(Seriously. This book will not fix itself, especially not the big structural problems. And I know what to do; it's just the how that's beating me up.)

However, this afternoon, I have been making notes on projects that aren't ready to be written yet, because if I don't write things down, I will not remember them.
  • This AU-America novel is way more ambitious than I am. Which is a problem, since I actually don't like novels with as much scope as this one is trying to claim it needs (Salem! Mormon Utah! Airships! Lansford Hastings! Circuses! Helen Keller! Frankenstein! George Armstrong Custer! Mammoth Cave! Angels! Demons! Dogs and cats! Living together! Mass hysteria!)
  • otoh, the great thing about writing about Puritans is that you can name characters things like Dread Not Dawson; I don't know anything else about Dread Not yet, except that her older sister is named Remember, but the name is full of promise.
  • Mélusine's equivalent of Jack the Ripper is Jean-the-Knife.
  • Now I just have to figure out which district he preys on. (And approximately three thousand six hundred and fifty-two other things as well. I am terrified that by the time I get Yes, No, Always, Never worked out to the point that I can write it, I will have forgotten most of what I know about Mélusine.)
In acknowledgment and celebration of the fact that I'm working at all, here's that first line meme again.

click here )
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: virtu (Judy York))
So remember a while back, I said I had an awesome piece of bad news?

I can tell you about it now.

The bad news is, Mélusine and The Virtu are out of print.

The AWESOME news is, Ace has officially returned the rights to me.

Which means I can finally finally finally do something about getting them BACK in print.

Plan A is to find a small press that would be interested in publishing them, either separately or in an omnibus edition. (Although there is the whole second half of the series, I think the first two books actually stand together very nicely, so it's not as crazy as it sounds.)

If that fails, Plan B is to self-publish them, through lulu.com or some such POD service, so that at least people who want to read them can get ahold of them. Yes, obviously, I would vastly prefer it if there were a way for these books to continue to contribute to (a.) my career and (b.) my income, which is why we're going with Plan A first, but if Plan A fails, I'm not going to sit on them like a dragon with a very small hoard, but will find a way to make them available.

In any event, I've been frustrated and unhappy about the situation, particularly wrt The Virtu, for a long time, and I am extremely happy that I finally have the ability to do something constructive about it.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: melusine (Judy York))
As a New Year's present, here is the foreword I wrote for the forthcoming Chinese edition of Mélusine:



click here if interested )
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: melusine (Judy York))
The Chinese translator of Mélusine has joined LiveJournal as [livejournal.com profile] 214314 specifically in the hopes of being able to talk to readers and writers who are native English speakers. So, you know, go say hi! And if you have questions about the process of translating Mélusine, [livejournal.com profile] 214314 has expressed willingness to talk about it, which is very cool.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (mfu: ns-facepalm)
The Chinese translator of Mélusine, who I am very grateful to be working with, sent me a list of names from the book to get clarification on how they are pronounced.

This has led to the extremely embarrassing realization that in some cases I don't know the answer. Every way I try 'em, they sound wrong.

Behold, I am the centipede who has been asked to explain how it walks.

Q&A 18

Sep. 15th, 2008 10:54 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
One more Q: On page 18 of "The Mirador," Mildmay casually refers to someone as a eunuch. Is this slang for something or are there really eunuchs in Melusine? How do they fit into society?

And an A: click )
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: fennec-working)
[livejournal.com profile] icetome reviews Mélusine and The Virtu and generally thinks I don't know what I'm doing.

Lighthearted Librarian has some advice about reading The Doctrine of Labyrinths.

[livejournal.com profile] jess_ka thinks Bear and I together are greater than the sum of our parts (A Companion to Wolves).

[livejournal.com profile] 2ce also likes the wolf book. (Favorite line from the review: "you need to show up to the party prepared for the viking gang bang.")



I know, I promised to shut up, didn't I? But, see, something happened* this morning, and I need to give it time to settle.

"It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards," the Queen remarked.

I've had the experience more than once while writing these books of putting something in, basically because it seemed like a good idea at the time, and only much later, like a book or two later, finding out what it was for. Today that happened with something in the first book. In the first fifty pages of the first book, no less.

Yeah. Three books later, I know why I did that and what it means.

This is a completely unnerving thing to have happen, even while at the same time it is tremendously cool and shiny. Because it gives me the heebie-jeebies. What if I'd taken that thing in book one out? (I almost did take out something in book one that turned out to be incredibly important in book three and is going to come back again in book four. I needed to cut a hell of a lot of words, and my editor said, "This scene doesn't seem to be doing anything." And I stood my ground, even though at the time, she was completely right.) What about all the things I did take out (because they didn't seem to be doing anything)? In other words, this is a part of the creative process that not only does my rational mind not control, it doesn't even know about it except as a fait accompli.

I'm not at all a fan of mysticizing creativity--in fact, quite the reverse. I don't think the Romantics did any of us any favors in trying to divorce art from craft, or in suggesting that artists are like geese who lay golden eggs and any attempt on their part to examine what they do or think critically about how they do it will only kill the goose. But, honest to Pete, as far as I'm concerned, my mind has just done a magic trick. I don't know how it works. I don't know what just happened.

But here it is, a golden egg and a very startled goose.

And now that I know what I'm doing, I need to pause and think about how to do it better.


---
*Events that take place entirely in thought also "happen," even if it feels weird to describe them as such.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
More reviews of A Companion to Wolves: here, here, and here.

On the other hand, redzilla is sick to death of trilogies and wizards and thieves, with [livejournal.com profile] scott_lynch and myself as exhibits A and B.



Note to self: the maribou is the thing with the feathers; the caribou is the thing with the antlers. You only hurt yourself when you get the two confused.



UBC
Demos, John Putnam. Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983.
cut for those who would really rather not )


I have a theory about tip sheets. My theory is that once you start signing them, you enter an infinite loop. Thus the fact that no matter how many you sign, the stack never gets smaller.



I really want to see the Muppets do Tom Waits' song, "Don't Go Into That Barn." I am a little worried about what this says about me as a person.



Around about the twenty-second of this month, I am going to go hole up at [livejournal.com profile] heresluck's place in a kind of minimalist writer's retreat, and there will be radio silence on this blog until after Minicon, whereupon we will resume with, so help me blue fuzzy thing, a complete draft of Corambis which I am not ashamed to show the world. That, at any rate, is the Plan. I'm not sanguine, exactly, but I admit to some cautious optimism that this may work.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: fennec-working)
Paul Di Filippo reviews A Companion to Wolves (among others) for the Washington Post and thinks it's a soap opera for furries and yaoi readers. On the other hand, the ALA's Reading List Council thinks it's worth a mention.

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] myalexandria has a very thoughtful post about Isolfr and feminism. To which I can mostly say, yeah, that's what we meant.

[livejournal.com profile] wild_patience isn't real keen on me, but I can't argue with her raving about Bear.

More commentary on Mélusine from imani.



N.b., I collect links to reviews of my books for several reasons. One is that, as a writer, I'm curious about what people think. Another is that, as a long-time reader and a literary scholar, I'm fascinated by the different ways one book can be read and interpreted and reacted to. Now, I could chart reactions to any book, any author's body of work. But, you know, I've got my experimental sample right here. Also, collecting reviews of somebody else's work seems weird and creepy and even a little stalkerish. Also, although this may sound counter-intuitive, it's easier for me to be impartial about reactions to my work than it would be for me to be impartial to reactions about somebody else's book that I loved (or hated).

But here's the thing. Mélusine was published in 2005. The last time I even looked at it, except for fact-checking for The Virtu and The Mirador and Corambis, was sometime in 2004. Today, in 2008, my head is full of Corambis and, guiltily, the stories I want to write once Corambis is finished. I've moved on, in other words. Which is not to say that I don't still love Mélusine and that I'm not proud of it. Because I do and I am. But, to swerve for a moment into a possibly florid metaphor, my novels (I hope) are like a chambered nautilus marking my growth as a writer and as a person, and Mélusine is a chamber I've grown out of. This is, I think, the way it should be. You shouldn't get stuck on one novel, one moment in your writing life, one chamber of your nautilus. So, for me, Mélusine is a record of who I was and what I was thinking, rendered in fictional form, in the first few years of the new century. Whereas (to pick an example at random from books I read and loved last year) Peter Watts' Blindsight is something I'm thinking about right now. I'm engaged with it in a way I'm not engaged with my own work by the time it gets published. I'm far more likely to be upset with a hypothetical someone saying something wrong-headed about [livejournal.com profile] matociquala's Dust than I am with a hypothetical someone saying something wrong-headed about The Mirador, because I love Dust in a way you can only love books you didn't write yourself.

Which leads me to my further point: I do not post links to reviews so that people will defend my honor. My honor's fine, thanks. I post the links so that I can find them again and because I think they're interesting. Which, you know, is maybe just egocentrism. But hey. My sandbox. I can build my sandcastle any way I want.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Today's Accomplishment

My December post for Storytellers Unplugged is up.



That-Of-Which-We-Do-Not-Speak

My S.U. post will also tell you how revisions on Corambis are going.



1001 Uses for an Origami Crane, #679

They make the world's best cat toys. Even if Catzilla does insist on drowning them in his water bowl.



Review Roundup

imani is deeply unimpressed by the beginning of Mélusine. Jenny doesn't like it either.

[livejournal.com profile] gauroth likes A Companion to Wolves. [livejournal.com profile] drelmo doesn't.

We've also been nominated for the Romantic Times 2007 Reviewers' Choice Awards, in the Best Fantasy Novel category.



And One More Thing ...

I am so far behind on answering email that if it all fell on me, I would be dead.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: felix-degrading sex!)
If you want to know what a sf convention looks like from an editor's point of view, Jessica Wade has blogged WFC (including a shot of the Bear and Mole Traveling Show).

There's an interview with me in The Capital Times.

And have a couple blog posts about The Mirador.

But lest you think my ego is swelling beyond the bounds of my hat, here is a most displeased review of Mélusine, and here is another entry in the One Sentence Diss competition: The name is the coolest part of this book.

ping

Nov. 7th, 2007 12:10 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (tr: mole)
Um, yes, I am back from WFC. I had a fabulous time, almost none of which I actually remember. Three nights of five-or-less hours of sleep is almost definitional FAIL for Mole's higher cognitive functions. (Nine hours seems to be optimum, but is also incompatible with a con.) Perhaps if you have memories of me from this weekend, you could comment with them here?



[livejournal.com profile] rivka is getting miscued by The Mirador. spoiler ) Sorry about that!



I was rather startled to come home and find all these reviews scattered about the intarwebs.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: demon)
--FerretBrain enjoyed Mélusine more than they meant to. (Have I posted that link before? Mind like a steel wossname.)

--The Dragon Page is unimpressed by The Mirador.

--Curled Up with a Good Book reviews Best New Romantic Fantasy and likes "A Light in Troy."

--[livejournal.com profile] temporus has a lovely review of A Companion to Wolves.

--The Gaylactic Spectrum Awards have been announced. The Virtu made the Short List. As did Carnival. Vellum won--congratulations, Hal!
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: fox)
The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet is out; Badd Karma has a short interview with Gavin Grant.

Terri Windling reviews So Fey: Queer Fairy Fiction.

Phoenix Rising reviews Mélusine. I have to admit, the reviews that notice the intellectual stuff I'm trying to do make me happy. Largely, I suspect, because they reassure me that all that stuff is actually there, and I'm not just a poseur (poseuse?) deluding myself about my own genius. Which isn't to say I'm not a poseur deluding myself about my own genius, but at least the delusion is one further step out from crayon scribbles on wide-ruled notebook paper, if you know what I mean. Tiddely-pom.

Sara ex machina proposes appropriating one of my made-up words. My response is, w00t!

Among many other opinions about books, [livejournal.com profile] mrissa says I am mean mean mean for [spoiler] in The Mirador. Which, you know, fair cop.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: melusine (Judy York))
Part One of an interview with me is up at OF Blog of the Fallen.

Also there's a thoughtful and thought-provoking review of Mélusine at Cooling Pearls.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: fennec-working)
Deep in the throes of book hate. Have some links.

My second monthly essay for Storytellers Unplugged is up.

[livejournal.com profile] rivkat reviews Mélusine and The Virtu. (Also The Queen in Winter.)

[livejournal.com profile] strangecreature also reviews Mélusine and The Virtu.

The Time Traveler Show #20 is the podcast of the panel John Scalzi, Nick Sagan, and I did at Penguicon 5.0 about lost SF Grandmaster Godfrey Winton.

Speaking of John, he reminds us that the voting for the Hugo closes Midnight (2359 hours) Pacific Daylight Time, Tuesday, July 31, 2007. John's up for Best Fan Writer. I my own self, as you may recall, am in my second second year of eligibility for the Campbell.

Enough about me. How are you?
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (cats: problem)
Added 175 words to Chapter 12, in the finest tradition of the feline I meant to do that.

And a handful of reviews:

The MIT Science Fiction Society's review of Mélusine and The Virtu.

Poodlerat on Mélusine and The Virtu. (Poodlerat reads fast!)

[livejournal.com profile] dreamyraven really likes the Introduction to Mélusine.

As does, serendipitously enough, [livejournal.com profile] kate_nepveu. (Review of both Mélusine and The Virtu.)

[livejournal.com profile] selectedreading reviews Mélusine and then reviews reviews of Mélusine. (I'm not linking because I agree or disagree, but just because I love the fact that somebody's doing the metawork.)

And, on The Mirador front, Harriet strikes again.

(Good god, I've got a Wikipedia entry. Which is incorrect. Oooooops.)
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: felix-degrading sex!)
[livejournal.com profile] muneraven likes it.

So does [livejournal.com profile] bryi.

[livejournal.com profile] linaerys does not.

Honestly
Well, no one told me this book was good, they just told me it was slashy.

may be the best one-sentence diss EVAR.

(Also, for the record, I do in fact know that porphyria is a blood disease. Porphyria Levant is actually named after the unfortunate woman in Robert Browning's "Porphyria's Lover."* But a blood-wizard sharing a name with a blood disease ... bonus!)

[livejournal.com profile] llellewyn doesn't like it either.

---
*Scott McCloud rocks.



I have been silent and withdrawn recently because I am engaged in the life or death struggle with the other pantomime horse for the position in the merchant bank. Which is to say, page-proofs of The Mirador. As of this morning, I've cleared page 300 of 426, so normal service may be resuming shortly.

Or it may not. You never can tell with bees.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: melusine (Judy York))
My editor tells me that Mélusine is now available as an eBook. Also, ROC and Ace now have a website of their very own. (Or at least a websubsite.)

And to answer the most commonly asked questions in the recent getting-to-know-you post, The Mirador will be out August 7 (according to Amazon, which knows more than I do), and I am planning to torment you all mercilessly put the beginning up on my website. My editor and I are still discussing what "the beginning" consists of.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Good.

Bad.

(N.b., that's their opinion of me, not my opinion of them.)

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