Sometimes a story of any size starts…and then crumbles to dust, or lies down and refuses to move, or otherwise reveals itself as a failure. I’m not talking about stories completed that never find a market (that’s another kind of failure, which I’ll talk about another time) but stories that you want to write–at least when you start. Stories that are happy, gurgling, grinning infant stories, that may even get far enough to start crawling on their own–but develop what doctors call “failure to thrive” in spite of your best efforts.
No better sign of a really live book than plotbombs, annoying as they are when they arrive as I’m trying to go to sleep because I have to get up early in the morning to be ready for the 8 am plumber, because R- will be somewhere between here and there picking up M from his apartment in the city to take him to the dentist in a city between here and there. Why couldn’t the plotbombs have arrived at a decent hour, say 2 pm in the afternoon? (I hear the plot daemon’s wicked chuckle over there behind the boiler…followed by a headshake and “Ye should be thankin’ me, lass, not complainin'”)
…but the cleanup remains a work in progress. MOST of it was done (by sundown today) but the final packaging of leftovers for the freezer, not so much. I sort of fell over in mid-afternoon and slept for two hours. THUD. We had wonderful guests, who brought wonderful contributions to the feast, and several of whom helped a lot in the initial cleaning up, and good conversation, and a long walk on the land for most of us between the main meal and dessert, and then dessert and more conversation, until the light failed and people started for home.
Looks like the powers that be have approved a cover design, and I like it.
So, here ’tis. There might still be changes, but I suspect this is it.
1. I was informed today there’s an offer on the new Vatta book. Agent is on it–details will be hammered out…er…peaceful negotiations will result in a contract most pleasing and desirable for all parties.
2. Kirkus Reviews picked Crown of Renewal as one of the best fantasy novels of the year. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/issue/best-of-2014/section/fiction/?page=8
3. In this fascinating graphic of 62 different stories of the future, a lot of information is turned into one stunning timeline. And one of my books is on it. http://www.brainpickings.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/futureevents_giorgialupi_large.jpg
A lot, actually. Where we left off, the Mozart Requiem–it went well, even though I was beginning to feel off, and sure enough was sick the week following with a nasty sore throat. Got better, and was able to sing one service the next Sunday. We had a small birthday party for our son. Everything seemed to be moving well towards Thanksgiving but this past week, we had some bad medical news. My husband will need another cancer surgery–there’s a new tumor in his stomach.
As y’all know, there’s a little bit of Paksworld short fiction on the Paksworld website, some that was out in various online venues before, and “First Blood” is now officially out in Shattered Shields. So the discussion of Paksworld short fiction within this thread is fine. However, since some people object to spoilers for short fiction, please keep any discussion within a thread that starts with “Short Fiction”–like this one. And if spoilers bother you, don’t read in such threads unless you’ve read all the bits out so far.
Crown of Renewal has been out long enough now that it’s OK to discuss it–and the rest of the existing Paksworld books–without needing to use Spoiler Space.
However, a question for the group: Some of you have by now read the Paksworld story “First Blood” in Shattered Shields and others of you may not have…and yet you might want to discuss it in relation to the surrounding milieu. The same is/will be true of “Mercenary’s Honor” in the forthcoming Operation Arcana anthology, and the new (and maybe older) Paksworld short fiction in Deeds of Honor. So do we need a Spoiler Space specifically for short fiction? Does it bother you as much when a short piece is discussed before you’ve read it?
There’s a book in progress now (it’s over 100 pages–that makes it a book in progress) It is not (alas for Paksworld fans who don’t like my other stuff) a Paksworld book. What Robin McKinley calls her Story Council (determining what she can write next) I call my Plot Daemon. The Plot Daemon shot down several previous book starts in the past year, some Paksworld and some not, but finally got steam up in the old Inchcliffe Castle* when I quit handing him ideas and said (with all the ire of a frustrated writer) “Fine, then: What do YOU want to do for the next year?”
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