Mar. 12th, 2012 12:44 pm
Because Above is starting to get them, and I've been neglecting.

Several reviews are appearing all over the internets.

There are also some official-like reviews:

VOYA (under Editorial Reviews) says, among other things, that it's "a challenging book, and much of the onus is placed on the reader, but teens willing to invest the time will find themselves rewarded with a multilayered tale that speaks to universal needs and desires."

I've read the Kirkus review, which will be available right over there on Thursday.

And a starred review from Publishers Weekly, calling it "heartbreaking, romantic, complex, and magical".

But so far, this one? Is my favourite, because of this bit here: "I took this as a commentary on how we treat the homeless and the mentally ill – or just anyone who doesn't fit into our idea of what a good society should look like. This story really moved me and it really made me want to do something!"

That is what a book should be able to do.

So yes. Now we're all caught up, and I can go have my lunch.
leahbobet: (gardening)
February 20, 2012 Progress Notes:

On Roadstead Farm

Words today: 250.
Words total: 17,000.
Reason for stopping: I think I just found the plot tonight, and that means it's okay that I only hit a page.

Darling du Jour: "He didn't come back." And there it was: Didn't, not hasn't. Wouldn't. Wasn't. Gone.
Words Hallie Won't Admit to Knowing: venerable.
Mean Things: The plot I found? It's meeeean.

Research Roundup: How chickens sleep actually; prepping dairy goats for winter.
Books in progress: Dani Couture, Algoma.

Today was kind of a banner day for several reasons, only one of which was the duck breast I had for dinner and another of which was that I seriously think I may have found the plot here, and some other ones I can't tell you about yet until some things are more official but when I can, I will entirely.

Also I got a really nice review on Above.

So yes. This was one of the good ones. Going to grasp it on its way by.
December 18-19, 2011 Progress Notes:

"Hold Fast"

Words today: 175.
Words total: 175.
Reason for stopping: Draft.

Darling du Jour: It's a poem, and they don't darling well.
Mean Things: It's also a Tam Lin poem, and it's all mean things.

Research Roundup: N/A.
Books in progress: Nalo Hopkinson, The Chaos; Ryan Oakley, Technicolor Super Mall.

(Yes, I am reading Nalo's new book months ahead of release. Friends in medium-high places, loves; the right medium-high places.)

Medium-high silence here too: Lot of up and down on a couple things this month, and it's not turned out as the best of all possible worlds, really. I'm not the person who's going to have to do the hard pushing on any of it and my third accredited superpower is that I can cope, and so cope we shall, but if you have any internet-transmissible magic, a dear friend of mine could use all the help he can get. Prayers to the Patron Saint of Doing Hard Things appreciated.

Professionally, though, all's well and more: Lois Tilton's named "The Ground Whereon She Stands" the best story of Realms of Fantasy's final year in her Locus end-of-year roundup, and the Indigo Teen Blog has informed me they loved the hell out of Above, and somehow we were in the Huffington Post today. The Appearances page on the website will also be updated shortly, once I get to claim some vacation days on the dayjob calendar and can formalize where I'm going to be next year for your panty- or tomato-throwing pleasure.

More words and presence to come, hopefully. The dayjob's winding down for the end of the year, and I will be home, roasting chickens and being pajamaed and nudging my nose at words.
November 3, 2011 Progress Notes:

"Five Autopsies"

Words today: 300.
Words total: 1500.
Reason for stopping: Sleepy.

Books in progress: Charles Yu, How to Live Safely in a Science-Fictional Universe.

Not exactly the most kickass of writing nights, but I am strangely tired. And several author-duty things came up that needed immediate attention, so most of my evening went thataway.

Above is starting to get some more prepub reviews (yes, I am fiendishly tracking comment with the unstoppable power of...GoogleAlerts):

Here's one from A Million Words, which says very nice things.

It has been a while since I read a book this lyrical. Seeing through Matthew's eyes, thinking his thoughts--I could almost believe that Safe is real. The prose is lovely, round, and vivid; at times it felt like poetry. At other times it felt like a painting come to life.

And here's Britt Leigh using it as a jumping-off point for some thoughts on diversity in fiction. Which is calming, to see someone saying that you did it passably right.

I don't know if I'm going to reliably blog reviews for this book: I do it for short stories, yes, but that's a bit of a different beast -- a much less contentious one, in some respects! -- and the volumes are much different. I guess for now, while they're still thin on the ground, I'll note them? But we'll see how things go later on?

In any case, if you want to weigh in with preferences as to that, this is the place.
August 16, 2011 Progress Notes:

"Always Winter"

Words today: 525.
Words total: 525.
Reason for stopping: For such a simple little idea, this is terrifically slippery. I've been fussing at it, moving adjectives and commas and circling back, for hours.

Darling du Jour: The rain sheets down outside, rapping on the windows, bringing the garden stream to flood and matting down the woods.

Mean Things: Lost children. Leaving my sticky fingerprints on The Classics of Childhood Literature.
Research Roundup: Shell shock, some source text referencing.

Books in progress: Gregory Maguire, Wicked.
The glamour: Today I took the day off work to get poked with sharp metal things by medical professionals. I cannot say this is the best thing to do if you're taking a day off work.

I haven't blogged reviews in a while, and a couple have come in: mostly for "The Ground Whereon She Stands", which is still pretty recently out.

SFFWorld seems to like it, calling it "a nice little snapshot of a relationship wherein the two people have different ideas and goals for their relationship."

Aidan Fritz is likewise complimentary:
Sometimes, I find beginnings hard, and it may be I don't like the story itself, but sometimes, the story counters whatever it was in the beginning that kept me outside the story and I find the tale lingering, leaving a sensuousness, and consuming my thoughts. This is one such tale.

Chilling Tales gets a review from, mostly summarizing the pieces the reviewer liked, but "Stay" does get a mention.

Finally, the past few issues of Goblin Fruit are reviewed at new SFF poetry review site Versification, and that includes "Little Songs" in the Winter issue:
Leah Bobet’s “Little Songs” carries forth the thread of transformation and development; this Petrarchan sonnet is much like an interlocking puzzle box of references to musical composition, poetic forms, and the cadence of courtship and lascivious union. This sonnet is a jewel that tickles the brain and invites multiple readings.

And that's the word on the street for this week, all of it pretty pleasant. I'm sure a karmic piano is on its way to my head any second now.
leahbobet: (gardening)
June 27, 2011 Progress Notes:

"On Roadstead Farm"

Words today: 800.
Words total: 2400.
Reason for stopping: Just about tapped out for tonight.

Darling du Jour: We'd had veterans pass this way before, all manner of maimed and brokedown. I kept them, most times, from the house. The first one Marthe had seen, passing 'cross the lake to points unknown, bore a knee so twisted up his left foot walked horizontal to his right. Marthe shut herself in her room for two days after, and I knew what she was thinking: picturing it on Thom, that drag and bright-faced shame. I did her chores for two days running and held silent.
Words Hallie Won't Admit to Knowing: custodian, which is too Latinate. Broken, as she likes brokedown better. Likewise with barefoot and barefooted.

Mean Things: All the things that could have happened to the one stable person in your household, and not knowing which, or where. Crying and how it is embarrassing for all involved.
Research Roundup: Some words in German and Swedish; more on malting how-to, to refresh the memory; language of flowers; balsam firs, which are apparently the Christmas-tree tree; asphodels and mythology thereof.

Books in progress: Darren O'Donnell, Your Secrets Sleep With Me.
The glamour: Today I made a salad with romaine lettuce, spring mix, radishes, heritage cherry tomatoes, garlic scapes, snow peas, pine nuts, horseradish cheddar, and peach merlot vinagrette. And then Dr. My Roommate made a quichelike object with yogourt and eggs and Swiss cheese and all the broccoli in the known universe. And then we ate it. Good times!

A lot of this weekend has been about food. Starting the CSA Iron Chef thing has made me focus on it possibly even more than last year (by the way, pictures and general glory pending on Wednesday), and so it's food in, food out, food possibly pending. My parents' cherry tree is going to be ready to pick in a couple weeks. I'm thinking cherry thoughts, and duck thoughts.

There's something kind of soothing about having food and cooking be so much of the rhythm of one's day. Food in, food out. Food and words.

There are also a few reviews in:

Lois Tilton at Locus Online has "The Ground Whereon She Stands" as the recommended story of the issue, and says that "the images are wonderful".

Indrapramit Das at Tangent says it is his favourite story of the issue.

The story is grounded in a certain poeticism, with Bobet blending its fantastic elements into the narrative in the style of magic realism. The magic is essential—it shows us the nature of Alice’s relationship with Lizzy, and it represents the thorny tangle of emotions that brews inside a person when love is withheld. The story is open-ended, romantic without being cloying, and filled with beautiful, delicately crafted imagery and language that observes its own rhythm...

I don't yet know where I can find Realms of Fantasy locally now that the bookstore isn't carrying magazines anymore, but if and when I find out, I will let you all know. Or if you know, please let me know. And so forth.
The Autumn 2010 issue of Goblin Fruit is up, containing poetry by S. L. Vitale, Jacob Garbe, Theodora Goss, Carolee Sherwood, Jacqui Deighton, Lisa Bradley, Cassandra Phillips-Sears, [ profile] rose_lemberg, and mine own bad self.

It is lovely as usual, and [ profile] csecooney has already reviewed it.

In other news, this weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving and thus a three-day weekend. I have decided I will use it to finish revising Above. So by Monday night, I come with my novel draft or...well, just with it. There is no "on it" option.

Tea has been made, and Dr. My Roommate has graciously volunteered to give me, ahem, "book beats" if I don't do work. The possibility of Indian takeout for dinner tonight has been contemplated if I get through 50 pages. Feel free to make sure I'm working and shit. :p

Things have been busy, both at Dayjob and home (and abroad I'm sure, and socially, for that matter). All-night art festivals! Dance classes! Scavenger hunt dinners! Revising! Rush projects! Digging out from altogether too much e-mail!

There is much too much to do in this city in the fall, and this is a wonderful first-world problem to have.

Some stuff piled up while I was doing all that.

For one, I have an episode -- "The Closet Monster" live at Shadow Unit this week. About 13,000 words of ECR goodness!

For two, Horrorscope reviewed On Spec #80, and with it, "A Thousand".

For three, poem "For Pomegranates", the one I read at the Rhysling thing at Readercon this year, will be in this month's issue of Goblin Fruit when it goes live, which is sometime this weekend. Not yet. I let you know when.

For four, I'll be panelling at the first annual SFContario in mid-November, and here is my panel schedule:

Saturday 8:00PM, Gardenview
Best Books of 2010
Hugo and Aurora nominations open soon. What novels and stories caught your attention this year?
(Leah Bobet(M), Sandra Katsuri, Karin Lowachee, Michael Martineck)

Saturday 10:00PM, Ballroom BC
Short stories and Novellas: Where’s the Love?
Sure, we say we love reading shorter works, but it’s the novels that sell, and awards for shorter fiction tend to go to successful novelists. Why don’t short stories and novellas get more respect?
(Leah Bobet, Stephanie Bedwell-Grime(M), Gabrielle Harbowy, Michael Swanwick, Hayden Trenholm)

Sunday 12:00PM, Ballroom A
Review and Criticism in the SF Field
How is science fiction and fantasy being reviewed? Is it only amongst readers of SF or is it getting more mainstream attention. Are reviews helping or harming the genre, and where can the most reliable reviews be found? Are there things, aside from writing a brilliant story of course, that a writer can do to insure a positive review or should the writer ignore reviews altogether?
(Leah Bobet, Peter Halasz, Monica Pacheco, Tony Pi(M))

Otherwise I will be in other people's panels knitting and listening with intent. Or in the bar.
leahbobet: (milk?)
There is whole wheat almond bread in the machine, bolognese sauce on the stove, and gazpacho in a state of almost-finished (need more tomatoes), and so while that all works on itself, I bring you reviews:

I knew this was coming a while back, but I'm one of Patrick at Stomping on Yeti's 25 Authors Worth Watching for 2010. There's a spotlight behind the link, and links to the rest of the list so far. It's kind of hellaciously good company, and I agree that these are people you should be reading, if you weren't already.

Here's a quick review of the Mammoth Book of Extreme Fantasy from Colin Harvey.

Also, I got into the same room as a copy of the Gardner Dozois Year's Best the other week, and have two honourable mentions. One's for "Six"; I think the other is "Parable of the Shower," but it shames me to admit that I have forgot. This was Book News Day, and so hopefully you'll understand if my head got crowded full of other stuff.

Otherwise, saw a free Metric show at Union Station last night -- eight songs total, maybe, but pretty high-energy and fun and hey, free; hung out briefly with a friend from high school tonight despite feeling icky this morning and afternoon. The weekend is pretty free and clear and I'm hoping to get some serious revising done. Life, you know. She trundles on.

I must to finish the gazpacho. Excusez-moi.
--things have silted up into my inbox and accumulated.

One of them is my draft Ad Astra panel schedule, which is as follows:

Fri 8:00PM, Salon 241
Fairytale Inspiration: Leah Bobet (m), Ken Lillie-Paetz, Miriam Harrison, Marie Bilodeau
Why retell stories that many people already know, and likely grew up with? How do you use elements of fairytales effectively? What can they bring to your story?

Fri 10:00PM, Salon 241
Diversity Balance in SF/Fantasy Anthologies: Leah Bobet (m), Marc Mackay, Derwin Mak, Ryan McFadden, Gavin Stephens
Are women and racial minorities being given fair representation in anthologies? Is this an issue? What are the best ways for a publication to broaden its range of authors and to reach out beyond its "comfort zone"?

Sat 6:00PM, Salon 443
Reading: Leah Bobet, Sarah Jane Elliott

Sun 12:00PM, Salon 243
Not Your Bitch! - Entitlement: Leah Bobet, Gemma Files, Violette Malan (m), Marcy Italiano, J.M. Frey
What responsibilities, if any, do creators have to their fans? Are fans entitled to anything?

Sun 2:00PM, Salon 243
Business Basics of Writing: Leah Bobet (m), Karina Sumner-Smith, James Allan Gardner, Jana Paniccia

I am super excited about that last one, since it's my hobbyhorse suggestion, and I am super excited to be reading with Sarah. I'm also amused that this is the second year in a row where my panel schedule will reflect that I read the internet, but yanno. Someone's got to.

Some of the other things that washed up in the ol' inbox were the usual run of reviews and reviewlike objects:

Joe Sherry at Adventures in Reading has "Sugar" on his Hugo nomination ballot, as well as a bunch of stuff from Shadow Unit and assorted friends of.

(Incidentally, I did my own Hugo nominations while away, and nominated four writers for the Campbell, all of whom I think do good work and/or have the potential to do even better work. All of them happened to be writers of colour, three of whom are women, two of whom aren't US-based and one more of whom isn't US-raised. This was not consciously planned; it kinda just happened that way. So as an aside to the people for whom SFF is a really white, male, US-centric place? The new face of science fiction is up here. Srsly.)

Also, there's a double-barrelled review of the February 2010 Realms of Fantasy at Tangent Online, and both reviewers appear to have liked "Mister Oak".

Okay, that covers stuff I need to slap up on the blog for this working day. And it is nice and sunny out, if not as sunny as it was in Arizona, and I would like to make myself something vegetably for dinner while I still have the daylight. 'Scuse me.
leahbobet: (gardening)
1) The Sparkly Purple Girly Laptop arrived this evening, in plenty of time for me to load it up for the forthcoming trip to Arizona (aka CupcakeCon, aka the Tucson Festival of Books, aka Esteban Reyes's Birthday Bash). It's charging itself up on my floor as we speak:

(Yes, I also have a cobalt blue mouse. Girly girl girl!)

Her name is apparently Lillian Lovelace Gish. I don't know why. I think it's like puppies: you have to hold them in your arms before you know what they're really supposed to be called.

2) Three of the Nebula nominees polled for the SF Signal Mind Meld on what other works of fiction were also Nebula-worthy this year mentioned either my bad self or "The Parable of the Shower". I am tickled. I will now call myself a Writer's Writer for a week.

3) Two more quick reviews: One blogger likes "Bears", and another didn't like "Mister Oak".

And three things will have to make a post tonight, because I need to either do some quick laundry or fix a lunch for tomorrow. And then maybe, dare we hope, write words?
February 16, 2010 Progress Notes:

The Enchanted Generation

Words today: 250.
Words total: 1850.
Reason for stopping: I was going to push for 400 tonight, but according to this memo I just received, I'm really tired.

Darling du Jour: Silly child's nicknames; Emily Ellis-Bell, secret lady authoress. Edgar Tom-O'Bedlam, whirling rag-clad dervish of the blasted Oxfordshire heath, who disarmed his worse brother with branches fallen from the old oak tree.

Mean Things: People got old while you were away. Ouch.
Research Roundup: Edgar's role in King Lear, a decent summary of Wuthering Heights, whether "dervish" was in the English language in 1919.
Books in progress: Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl.
The glamour: Dayjob, some errands after, dutiful knitting on Gift Socks.

My base texts for this so far seem to be Testament of Youth, Sleeping Beauty, and King Lear. Make of that what you will. Also, my backbrain connects up the damnedest things in subtle-yet-blinding ways. It's nice when it lets me into the loop on that.

Other things!

[ profile] douglascohen is still doing his ROF Retrospectives, and he's hit the issue with "Lost Wax" in it. Small commentary behind the link.

This gentleman is apparently literary-boxing me. This could explain why I am tired. *g*

Apparently I am one of 25 Authors Worth Watching in 2010 and Beyond. Huh. Cool. I will attempt to be worth watching so as to not disappoint. It's good company, too, and I'm looking forward to seeing how his spotlight series goes.

Finally, I figured out what that laptop cost me in SFWA pro-rates wordcount. I give you: the Great 2010 Laptop Debt Kill!

1150 / 17000 words. 7% done!

Yes, that is entirely for my own amusement.

Goodnight, internet. This concludes our broadcasting day. :)
February 7, 2010 Progress Notes:

"Big Brothers and Sisters of the Greater Washington, D.C. Area"

Words today: 600.
Words total: 600.
Reason for stopping: Draft.

Books in progress: Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.
The glamour: Dishes, Ideo work (we're almost finished our new web design! La la la!), tidying about the place, although the Casa is already tidy enough that this really amounted to catwaxing. And I watched two episodes of Better Off Ted whilst knitting socks. And shortly I must put on Outside Clothes (tm) to meet The People for girly drinks.

Casually murdering more of my Shadow Unit DVD extra-load before heading out tonight. Speaking of Shadow Unit, the first episode of season three is live, and it's a novel-length one: The Unicorn Evils, by [ profile] matociquala and [ profile] coffeeem. It made something get in my eye when I was beta-reading it. 'Course I wasn't crying. Never.

Speaking of which yet more, a couple of the SU stories from last season made the Locus Recommended Reading List too: my very own "Sugar" and "Cuckoo", which I did a little pinch hitting on but was mostly [ profile] coffeeem and [ profile] matociquala again. Yes, everybody's already mentioned their Locus stuff, but I do try not to blog reviews unless I'm also showing up with candy wordcount, and I got a touch busy this week.

Okay. That's done. And now?

It's martini time.

Back in a few. *g*
January 30, 2010 Progress Notes:

Untitled Shadow Unit DVD Extra

Words today: 1250.
Words total: 1250.
Reason for stopping: Draft.

Books in progress: Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest.
The glamour: Redying my hair (aka: Bathtub Smurf Massacre), workshop work, Ideo work, a bit of groceries, and the making of a maple bread. Okay, and I played a lot of Beyond Good and Evil. Bite me. It's Saturday.

Not a lot to say this evening. I am torn between being unspeakably annoyed by the MacMillan/Amazon thing and its general needlessness, the General Winter Fatigue, and immense flattery over [ profile] kelljones's review-slash-discussion of "The Parable of the Shower". [ profile] kelljones is one of the more astute and careful readers I'm acquainted with. When she talks about a book, I listen. So I'm feeling kind of terrifically complimented about that.

All this adds up to a vague unbalancedness. Which I think I am going to take to bed, in hopes of knocking another of these DVD extras off my to do list tomorrow.
January 23, 2010 Progress Notes:


Words today: 1000.
Words total: 2650.
Reason for stopping: Twice what I was hoping for, and a good place to stop. Besides, I'm hungry.

Darling du Jour: This wasn't an old community; nobody here could point and say This is where my father's house sat. Sunrise had been built, deliberate and slow like a snow dune: people washed up in town on the highway between north Alberta and the city. The right ones stayed.

Mean Things: Wendigoes with a chance of wendigoes. The way grocery distribution lines and costs work in the Far North, basically meaning that some grown adults just got to eat their first fresh orange. Though I do have to fact-check that next draft.
Research Roundup: Tree species of the Arctic treeline; snow dunes; grocery distributors in the Northwest Territories; Dene male photo references; standard first aid for concussion; Inuit family names; prisons in NWT or northern Alberta.

Books in progress: Sheila Heti, Ticknor.
The glamour: Long, leisurely Indian buffet lunch with friend Lindsey (including two helpings of beautiful green garlicky kale with raita on it om nom nom nom), followed by tea. After which I failed to pick up my dry cleaning, having missed the closing time by five minutes. Ah well. And there was some apartment-tidying. And I should put away clean laundry here before bed.

Oof. Good solid night there. Although since Dayjob is going to conspire to keep me away from this tomorrow and Monday, that is for the best.

So, while I'm here:

"Mister Oak" is racking up a few reviews: Soyka at Black Gate says: "If, like me, you quickly start to tire with the whole fey talking tree and shrub conceit, hang in there for a considerably powerful ending," (pretty much the whole review) and it's the story recommendation of the week at Fantastic Reviews. Apparently I am only the fourth author to get two different recs on this blog; the others are Paolo Bacigalupi, [ profile] yuki_onna, and [ profile] aliettedb. Good company, that.

Also, someone considers me Authors to Watch Out For and/or Up and Coming on the Asimov's forum. I admit that some days, yes, I should be watched out for. Especially if you have that garlicky kale stuff. Nom.

Okay. Dinner, dishes, and then if I'm really good, laundry-folding. Endless glamour is the writer's life. *g*
leahbobet: (gardening)
Yeah, I've been quiet this week. It hasn't been a great one here at the Casa: two funerals to attend, ongoing water problems (nothing says "I love you" like stepping into the shower in the morning, turning the taps, and having nothing come out), no writing, and a resultant general malaise. Emo writer has been emo. Luckily, going out to Lesley Livingston's totally excellent book launch for Darklight last night -- and the prospect of some Winterlicious dinner reservations -- seems to have dealt with most of it. Heading out to the market for good cheese and pierogies should hopefully put paid to the rest. Regular service to resume shortly.

That means I'm going to unload on you all the bits and bobs of story news that piled up while I was off contemplating skinny jeans, long bangs, and mine own navel.

TTA Press, which publishes Interzone, is having their favourite stories and art of 2009 readers' poll. "Miles to Isengard" is available for voting if the spirit so moves you, as are other stories like [ profile] eugie's "Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast". Which I enjoyed, thankya.

Lois Tilton at IROSF (which appears to be closing next issue) reviews "Mister Oak": mostly a summary and "A fanciful fable." She also reviews the December Ideomancer, without complaint.

Last and maybe most interestingly, "The Parable of the Shower" appears to be getting Nebula recs, or so say my SFWA-member spies. I am bemused and interested by this! Beats the hell out of me! But if you're so moved to throw more of those on the pile, this appears to be a good time to do it.

(Yes, that is the most award-campaigning anyone will ever get out of me. Still Canadian here, people.)

And with that, I still have no pierogies or parmigiano reggiano (and learned A Lesson last night about trying to make alfredo sauce with inferior parmesan byproduct. Never do this) and need to take myself to St. Lawrence to rectify that shit. And buy some yeast. Because I'm out of bread too, and we can't be having that.
Now that we're mostly all in the land of the living here (sorry, Australians), it's time for for the reviews and Cool Announcement. Yes, more reviews. I've got to put them somewhere or they clog up the vents.

First off, Blog of the Fallen says some very nice things about Clockwork Phoenix 2, calling it the best original genre anthology they read this year. Which is nifty.

Moving into the main course, Hannah Strom-Martin, in the Strange Horizons 2009 in Review article, gives a shoutout to Realms of Fantasy and "Mister Oak":

In the last issue Harlan Ellison’s effortlessly brilliant "How Interesting: A Tiny Man" and Leah Bobet’s touching "Mister Oak" reminded me of the fabulous literary lights we possess. May they continue to burn into 2010 and beyond.

This is especially nice because I opened it up and ironically did a little search on my name, so I could find nothing and get on with my life. And then I found something. And felt bad for being such a terrible cynic like I am, but was crazy flattered that it turned out this way.

Next rock! The Twitter saying something nice about "Mister Oak" the other day has been located, mostly because he expanded it into a blog post: Pete Tzinski says some further nice things about that story, and likes the stats page as well. Which I need to do a little redesign on to handle those freaking tables. They are ugly.

There. That's reviews.

The Fun Cool Announcement of Import is that I, along with a bunch of the other Shadow Unit authors, will be appearing at the Tucson Festival of Books in Tucson, AZ on March 13 and 14. We'll be doing a panel and signing, and otherwise just roaming the festival in a pack formation, being festive.

There are a lot of authors already signed up for this thing -- I'm sort of personally boggled at the hugeness when I'm not doing little fangirl dances about various attendees -- so I'm really looking forward to this trip. If you're in the area, hope to see you there!
I understand that my tactic of staving you all off with reviews isn't really working. But I actually have had a crazy amount of social life obligations this week -- people in town and birthday parties and the like -- and sadly this makes me unfun for you. Yes, I am in fact saving all my fun for the in-person stuff. No fun left for the internet. Sob sob.

So...have some reviews? *g*

Joe Sherry gives some major love to Shadow Unit.

[ profile] benpayne at [ profile] lastshortstory posts their recommended reading list for 2009, which includes Sugar as one of four Shadow Unit stories to get a nod. I will mention that one because it is mine. Har.

Someone also said something nice about "Mister Oak" on Twitter, but damned if I can find that now.

Now I am off to [ profile] dolphin__girl's birthday do. Go say happy birthday to [ profile] dolphin__girl!
Is normality writer-announcements and sitting around at 4:00 in the afternoon on a Sunday knitting, watching Ghost Hunters, and eating bonbons*, all in pajamas? Why, yes. Yes it is.

Niall Harrison at Torque Control reviews "Miles to Isengard", continuing the tradition of American reviewers disliking this one and British reviewers liking it. Which I, of course, find to be a really interesting pattern and would love to pry into a bit.

Six months later, "The Parable of the Shower" continues to get some love: a rec from [ profile] raucousraven and one from [ profile] dsudis. I have given up on figuring this out. I think that present tense, second person in the language of the King James Bible is maybe just an inherently funny thing.

And finally, I have personal verification that the February issue of Realms of Fantasy is out, containing "Mister Oak", which is a Wildean fairy tale about a tree and the girl he loves. I saw it at the bookstore's Christmas party yesterday afternoon, and when we left there were at least two copies standing unclaimed. [ profile] slushmaster, who's now the art director, had assured me a few times that I was really going to love the art he got for it (from Gary Lippincott) I do indeed. It's kind of desperately, breathtakingly wonderful.

They're offering the February 2010 issue as a free pdf on the website, so if you are not near a bookseller of your choice or just want to take a peek, it's linked off there.

I'll hopefully further reestablish some normality with a big honking public accountability list and some regular wordcount this week, since the Dayjob exited the crazy busy season with fifteen bangs and a whimper (mine) on Friday afternoon, but now I am expected at my parents' house for holiday dinner, and I must lay down my pajamas and bonbons and trek up to the 'burbs.

*Okay, it's not technically bonbons, it's Green & Black's.
December 4, 2009 Progress Notes:


Words today: -200. Yes, that was progress.
Words total: 11,800.

Reason for stopping: It's late, I'm still exhausted, and I have to both do groceries and go to a thing at the Merrill tomorrow afternoon and can't just sleep until two.

Darling du Jour: N/A.

Things Yet to Cough Up Their Names: The band name Zeke and Gregory have been gigging under; the somewhat tragic singer of Gregory's old band; the name of Gregory's old band, for that matter; some song titles penned by Zeke.
Mean Things: N/A.

Books in progress: Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl.
The glamour: Finding out that next week at the Dayjob could possibly -- yes, inconceivable as it may sound -- be worse than this week. Oh lordy.

Luckily, I could dose myself with leftover Indian takeout and two hours of sustained knitting before I did harm to myself or others. Just think of it as reaching the antivenin on time.

So here's the reason why you read and keep the negative reviews too, not just the positive ones.

Sometimes the negative reviews accuse the story of something that you, when you look back on it (having vaguely not liked that story anymore for years anyway, but not having thought much of why) find to be not without merit. And then turning it over in bed while you're having your awful sinus-headache stress-induced insomnia like we did this week, you idly wonder how you'd treat the topic now, if you were coming at it again. And realize that you have a backburnered novel project that's dealing with that topic now. And some things start to make themselves clear, and then you have to hop out of bed, fumble for your glasses, and scribble a page of notes in the dark at two in the morning so you don't lose all that good stuff.

Or, short version? The damnedest things can be super valuable to building a stubborn, moody book.

So. The structure telescoped back in for me a little while back; the thing I thought was the end is very possibly the beginning of the middle. Come to think of it, this always happens. But it explains a lot about why I was having so much damn trouble shoveling enough dirt into that black hole where the plot was supposed to live.

With that information in mind, I think I found in earnest where I took the wrong turn here: basically, yeah, I still held the Royal Commission on the Plot, just under suppressed circumstances, and there's a lot of explaining things to myself in this chapter and consequently, going the wrong way in search of some plot. So once I got sufficiently over wanting to kill and eat people because of the Dayjob, I started trimming and moving stuff around and recasting and such.

I'm not going to say I'm officially working on this again. Frankly, I am still way too busy right now and I still like "When Your Number Isn't Up" more and I still have to finish "Closet Monster" and turn it in before I can really commit myself to anything else consistently. But I will noodle. And we will see.

November 2016

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