So, the lovely Likhain (who’s up for a Best Fan Artist Hugo, and whose art you’ve seen me publicise before), has had unexpected vet bills on top of a costly move, and could really use some help (in the “need money for groceries” context of help). I know she’s given an amazing amount for the community (if you want a few of the specifics I’m familiar with, she ran a lot of the fundraiser we did for Rochita Loenen-Ruiz a year ago, in spite of being tired and drained most of the time).
And should you donate above 7$/£5/€9, forward me the receipt using the form below, and I’ll send you an ecopy of Ships in Exile, which gathers three hard-to-find Xuya stories.
Cross-posted from Aliette de Bodard
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I am ALMOST DONE with revisions on BEWITCHING BENEDICT, my little Regency that’s the first of the Lovelorn Lads romance series. It’s a charming, funny little comedy of manners that I genuinely believe anybody who likes my stuff will really enjoy, even though it (*looks furitive, whispers*) hasn’t got any fantasy aspects to it.
The Lovelorn Lads are something of a cross between Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and PG Wodehouse conceptually, in that there are seven Lads who are close friends, and the central character amongst them has a valet who is not only adept at, but necessary to, steering them out of bad marriages and into good ones.
I have *rarely* had as much fun writing a first draft as I did with BEWITCHING BENEDICT, and that’s saying something, because I’m one of those writers who loves writing the first draft and thinks the rest of it is necessary tedium. I’m genuinely looking forward to writing more and I hope everybody’s going to like them as much as I do.
Anyway, with the revisions nearly done, and me with the cover art in my hot little hands, I decided I couldn’t stand to wait another minute and had to show it off. The cover is by Cora Graphics, and the book will be out in…soon! O.O (I want to say June, but that’s probably too ambitious. Probably.)
BEWITCHING BENEDICT will be available soon!
(x-posted from The Essential Kit)
Youtube'd up at the office, culprit is most likely the pre-tension in the cable. Only that with my cheap Shimano system there's no easy way to in-/decrase that, so I went by the shop. They had a quick look, and said that the problem is most likely with the cable pretension. Fixing that would mean quite some dismantling work, and wouldn't I want to have that done with the next service (in 2 weeks)?
Well, ok, it is still usable, if only barely.
Of course, today on the way to work it started to get worse. Much worse. Including a blocked chain (luckily freewheeling still worked, so it wasn't an "OMG accident" problem). So tomorrow the bike will go to the shop. And I'm somewhat lusting after something that needs less maintenance anyway, guess I'll ask about what installing, say, a Shimano Alfine (internal geared instead of a collection of pinion rings) would cost. Combined with 2 chainrings at the front that should (in my mind at least) cover my use case nicely. (And no, this 600-buck bike will not get a kilobuck Rohloff ;-) .)
I’m re-reading the Negotiator Trilogy, which I haven’t done since (before) they were published. I’m doing this so I can write KISS OF ANGELS, which is set (at least partially) after the trilogy, and in some ways I have only a vague idea of what the books are about. I mean, obviously I know what they’re about, but…
Some of you may know that the reason I haven’t written more book-length Old Races stories is that writing the Negotiator Trilogy was…awful. Just awful. Like, I had a small nervous breakdown, writing the third one. The Negotiator Trilogy is 375K long; I wrote well over a million words trying to get there. (For reference, the complete Walker Papers series, including “Banshee Cries” and the NO DOMINION collection, is just under 1.1 million words.)
The first book went through six major, massive revisions before publication.
The second book got an edit letter 6 months late that said “please insert a plot into this book” (that’s not really what it said at all, but that was the solution to what it DID say). It had to be torn apart and a plot forcibly inserted, which required throwing out and completely rewriting about 2/3rds of the book…during the time I was supposed to be writing the third book.
Because the revision letter for book 2 was so late, I’d started WRITING the third book, but because book 2 had no plot, and because there was a character I really desperately wanted to introduce in book 3 who it turned out didn’t belong there, I could not get book 3 written. I wrote between 200-300 pages six times before I got it right, and by that time I doubted myself so much I literally brought the manuscript, in tears, to my husband and said “please tell me if this works at all.”
On top of all that, the copy editor didn’t like my writing style and rewrote huge chunks of my sentences, leaving me to struggle with correcting them (this was before copy edits were done electronically) and leaving errors that remain in the books to this day.
It was an *awful* experience, and it’s why I’ve only ever written short stories and novellas in the world again. Even so it took me years to even consider that.
So! I know what happens in the books, but…not very clearly, because so many versions live in my head, and besides that, it’s been ten years. To write KISS OF ANGELS requires some revisiting of the old material.
I have never, ever (due to the reasons ennumerated above) wanted to re-read the Negotiator Trilogy. I’ve been hoping that they’d turn out to be good enough that, a decade after the fact, they could at least draw me in a little and make a re-read a modestly enjoyable task instead of a sisyphean one.
I’ve just finished HEART OF STONE, and it turns out they are!
In fact, there have been sentences and phrases that, if another author had written them, I would have been envious of the skill and wordcraft there! (That’s a real moment of cognitive dissonance, lemme tell you. :))
Nothing in the story has really *surprised* me, but there have been a number of times where I’ve gone, “Oh yes, this is the thing that happens here, I remember that,” and also, “OH I SEE WHAT I DID THERE, MAYBE NOBODY ELSE EVER SAW IT BUT I SEE WHAT I DID THERE I’M SO FUNNY AHAHAHAH” because I’m a great big dork. *laughs*
One of the things that is *particularly* interesting to me is that I had to work very hard to write Romancy Sensual Sexy Reactions stuff in that book, and I felt like, god, SO heavy-handed, SO awkward, SO awful. But re-reading it? It’s really not any of those things. Which is just fascinating. I mean, I was, like, embarrassed at the heavy-handedness of it all, when I wrote it. (Yes, yes, this from the same woman who wrote THE QUEEN’S BASTARD, but that book didn’t go through the evolution that HEART OF STONE did. TQB was (almost) always supposed to be full of smut. :))
Another thing that I kind of knew but which is much more obvious on re-reading is that holy cats, the short stories have different versions–sometimes MUCH different versions–of the backstory mentioned in the book. Like, there’s stuff in the book that’s just plain wrong, if the short stories are to be believed. Which, IMHO as the author, they are. :)
The nice thing is I’m totally okay with that. I figure two things: One, all of these characters are at least hundreds and often thousands upon thousands of years old, and one can hardly expect anybody to remember the truth accurately over that period of time.
Second, and much more importantly, many of these characters are inveterate liars anyway, and should never be assumed to ever be telling you the truth. (I mean, seriously. You wouldn’t trust Janx or Daisani, would you? You *shouldn’t*, anyway.) :)
Anyway, so now I’m on to reading HOUSE OF CARDS, and I’ll blog about that while I’m finishing it! <3 -Catie
(x-posted from The Essential Kit)
Wow, I'm faintly astonished by the amount of stuff being posted here on DW at the moment. I think I'm going to have to investigate reading on my phone rather than just in breaks at work or I'll never keep up :)
So since we got back from the peaks:
- The boiler broke, but was fixed within 24 hours with a £300 quid part. Thank goodness for the annual £160 service contract!
- Easter happened
- We had a visit from Rae and Adam and enjoyed the unexpected sunshine in the Botanic Gardens
- We went for a bike ride over to Whittlesford and Thriplow, with a picnic lunch, and back via Harston Red
- My phone came back from its holiday in Sheffield, safely in one piece
- Primary school place application results were announced (more on that below)
- The UK announced a snap general election
- Mike had a birthday
- We survived three lovely birthday parties for four four-year-olds in two days
- Ireland seem to be on the way to huge changes in abortion law
- The consultation phase on organisational change ends today
Many positive things there, but the organisational change and general election, on top of general brexit fears, are a bit tough. Still the hardest thing at the moment is probably the primary school results.( schools )
Finally, a meme: ( meme )
And now 8th June is a general election, and I have no time to campaign, and have to fight the guilt gremlins that think I should surely be able to carve some time out magically, somehow, and funnily enough being even more stressed does not increase my productivity, or help me sleep. This has not been the best week!
I've now logged out of Twitter and Facebook on my phone, so I can't take the stress with me everywhere. I've devoted the weekend to resting and sorting out money (thus removing some other stress). I'm behind on everything, but Facebook reminded me that I wrote this time last year about being behind on everything. While I'm still perpetually running too close to my limits, those limits have expanded in the last year. I'm routinely working a 5-day rather than a 4-day week, I'm studying at a higher level, and my fitness has improved a little.
So I'm going to trust that if I take care of myself, I can get through this. At least by 9th June some of my stressors are guaranteed to be gone.