Jul 17

The Dun Mare’s Grandchild, Episode 4

Posted: under Background, Story.
Tags: ,  July 17th, 2016

When the storm passed, they rode on, over the melting lumps of ice and the wet grass.  Oktar’s sheepskin, sodden with rain, hung over his horse’s rump; he walked, leading his mount, his bare feet so cold from the ice he could not feel the bruises.  His grandfather rode ahead, not speaking to him, but muttering continually to the horses, who bobbed their heads as if they understood.

Home was too far behind to imagine, that cold night.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Jun 18

The Dun Mare’s Grandchild

Posted: under Excerpt, Story.
Tags: , , ,  June 18th, 2016

“Again?” Oktar’s mother glared at him. “Bloody nose, black eye, shirt torn, a complaint from the judicar–you’re a disgrace!”

“They said we were dirty stinking horse–” he paused; the word they’d used was forbidden. “–droppings,” he finished.

“You should ignore them,” his mother said. “They are ill-bred; you should not dirty your hands with them.” Read the rest of this entry »

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May 01

May First Already??

Posted: under snippet, Story, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  May 1st, 2014

How did that happen?   I keep combing Crown, looking for possible snippets  that aren’t spoilers, but…the last book in a group is more spoiler than anything else.    Especially for a group of readers who are as sharp as you folks, who seize on the slightest clue and go straight to intelligent speculation.  Even when you’re off the mark, you’re interestingly off the mark (and sometimes, I confess, make me wish the story itself had gone that way.)   Hence the shortage of snippets from Crown.

What I can offer, sort of, is snippets from stories that will turn up in the related short fiction collections and background information that might lead…anywhere.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Feb 03

New Story in Progress: snippet

Posted: under snippet, Story.
Tags: ,  February 3rd, 2014

There’s a new story barreling along this morning–not book-length, but it’s certainly alive and wiggling  in the writer’s hands, tossing off new ideas every few paragraphs.    Remember our discussion about top-down and toe-up sock knitters?   Thanks to that, I now know more about the great trade fairs at Fiveway, the craft guilds,  the pride of one particular sock-knitter, the jealousy and vindictiveness of one of her former suitors (she’s happily married to a wool merchant) ,  the duties of a Fair-warden, the duties of a Guildmaster in the Knitters’ Guild,  how booths are arranged (but not yet WHY there’s a saddler at the far end of the row in which Gralin has her booth.)     Read the rest of this entry »

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Oct 27

Structure: Making a Story Out of a Fragment

Posted: under Craft, Story.
Tags: ,  October 27th, 2013

The current story’s day or two in structural revision has made huge changes in its organization and now has it on an open track to completion as a story of approximately (after some cutting) the right length.    It’s an interesting example of the kinds of decisions writers make when something doesn’t run easily the first time.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Oct 23

On the Writing Side

Posted: under Background, Story.
Tags: , ,  October 23rd, 2013

I am still not happy with the Paksworld story written for the second anthology (and the deadline daily steps closer to my nose) so I started another one.   Actually I’ve started several that didn’t work at all, either because they instantly bulged and made it clear they would be too long,  or because fitting them to the anthology requirements would warp them too badly.   But this new one has retained its potential and is cantering along briskly.  It’s too long, but that’s because I had to work out background in the course of writing it–cuts shouldn’t be too difficult.  I hope. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mar 07

Your Birthday Present: Chapter 2

Posted: under Excerpt.
Tags: ,  March 7th, 2010

My birthday present to you is posting Chapter 2 of Oath of Fealty on the Paksworld website:


There’s also a link to Del Rey’s posting of Chapter 1, for those who are a bit behind.

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Feb 08

A Little Surprise

Posted: under Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  February 8th, 2010

This morning, Editor asked me to please write some posts for the Suvudu.com blogsite.    Sure, I said, and began fiddling, but was interrupted by a needed trip to an optician’s shop to order new glasses.  This afternoon, Editor asked me if I had any short fiction related to the new book.    Maybe something had been cut?  Maybe I could write a short-short?   Huh?  And I thought “O waily waily woe, I’m trying to write an essay (that wasn’t working well yet) and anyway I’m not good at short-shorts.”  (Yes, even experienced writers have self-defeating moments.)

And even as I thought that…up popped a notion of what might work.  Bing! Read the rest of this entry »

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Apr 04

Snippet–extended edition

Posted: under Background, Contents, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  April 4th, 2009

This snippet is from a passage that will not appear in the book–my choice, not an editor’s cut, so the scene was never fully fleshed out.  You have conversation, nothing else.   However, as a snippet, I don’t mind sharing it with you.  I believe, when the book comes out, you will agree that this and the extension of it (several more pages full of spoilers) were better left out.

Location:  Verella, the Verrakai house in town.  Time: 14 days after Kieri Phelan left Verella for Lyonya

Speakers:  Duke Haron Verrakai and his brother.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Jan 25

Snippet (very brief)

Posted: under Contents.
Tags: ,  January 25th, 2009

Location:  in Aarenis, within several days’ march of Cortes Vonja.  Situation: night after a frustrating day of marching, barely evading an ambush, more marching.


…his assailant lay dead on the ground.    He was a small, wiry man in short trousers, barefooted–his soles horny as goats’ hooves–his hair in a curious braid, stiff with something he’d smeared on it.  On a thong around his neck was a medallion with a design Arcolin did not recognize.


This is part of an incident added to the part cut off from what is now Oath of Fealty and will be in the second volume of the group.   It helps fill in what had been a sketchy way to cover some weeks.     Although the forward part of the plot of the second book is moving, there’s fill-in to be done, because I was compressing the last 55,000 words when I hoped to squeeze it all into that first volume.    It was packed tight–too tight, too much left out.  This is putting some juice back in.

It was also one of those surprises, a bit of plot-stuff I didn’t expect.   It was so unexpected I had to check with a couple of people to see if the whole situation was feasible.  And it is.

Of course, the really interesting thing is  not a sailor in a tree, but who put the sailor in the tree.

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