Everything from:short stories

Red horseman passing

Recently Completed: Draft 2 of Hour of the Hag (still too short and missing something)Minor rewrite of “Bleaker Collegiate”Final draft of “Weathermakers” (yeah!) Now in progress:Oracle of the Dashboard (definitely needs a new title now that Stephen appended the word “Light” to it… Meatloaf is not the association I’m going for, here)“Alias Someone Older” (a sequel, of sorts, to “Natural Disasters”)“Railway Guns of the Northern Rockies” Three other half-stories await my attention when I’m next in the mood; I can see, though, that I am not likely to be in the right mood for a while. I’m honestly in a mood, period. I’ll be lucky if I make it through the next month without breaking any glassware. Why? Dunno. But if I’m coming over, bring out the plastic cups. […]

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State of the Clairification Nation

I’ve been rather delinquent since finishing the Not-a-Werewolf Book, which still doesn’t have a real title. I’ve had that horrible impotent feeling: I want to write, and I don’t want substitutes, but when I sit down to make words, they just don’t feel exciting. This does not stop me from making words. I don’t do writer’s block. I do, however, crave like a drug the ultimate exultation of making words that are really good. Hence my excitement today: finally getting somewhere excellent with “Railway Guns of the Northern Rockies”, which has been kicking around my brain for a few months. I am going to love this story. Other stories in progress: “Forty-Nine Days in the Intermediate States, with Extracts from the Great Liberation by Hearing”: needs attention, but it makes me sad to work on it. I think I’ll get back to it next month. “Rush Lane”: Almost done, and shaping up nicely now that I know what the hell it’s actually about. “Seven Postcards from the Garden of Earthly Delights”: About to be razed to the ground and rebuilt from scratch with the same floor plan yet a totally different architectural style. “Sovereign Cure for Pneumonia”: Advances on this […]

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In which I am no longer purely decorative

Yes, functionality has begun to return, and with it, all my most obnoxious tendencies, I’m sure. For all I know, the difference is invisible on my exterior, but it makes all the difference from within: it is now worth getting up in the morning again, as I begin to believe I’ll feel something of interest in my day. On the weekend I wrote something that didn’t suck. It’s not done yet, and it doesn’t have a title, but it has a person in a place with a problem. And the place is the World Electronic Music Festival of 2002 or thereabouts. It begins with this: “Severyn sent Rose down among the weather-makers.” […]

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Story Day: “Who in Mortal Chains” at Strange Horizons

“Who in Mortal Chains” is live today at Strange Horizons. This story marks the first appearance of Gus Hillyard. She is violent, undisciplined and very old, and she’s a hell of a lot of fun to write. I hope she’s as much fun to read… although “fun” is probably not the right word for something this bleak. Gus also appears in the novel I’ve just finished writing… the novel that is still kicking my brain’s ass, and making me do idiot things like try to pay for my lunch with American money. I hope this aftereffect diminishes quickly, because I have writing days booked later this week, and I would like to finish the next Gus story, so that those of you who enjoy it may have another treat (and those of you who don’t may begin avoiding me at cocktail parties). […]

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Progress Report

As the year draws to a close, I am, as always, disappointed with how far I’ve fallen short of the goals I set for myself. I wanted to write a short story for every month in 2009. Even counting the 2008 stories I revised, I only came up with half that; nor am I quite finished the Not-a-Werewolf book. I did, however, write some things of which I am very proud. Sold:“The Tongue of Bees”“Who in Mortal Chains” On submission:“The Oracle of the Dashboard”“The Compass of Chicago”“The Duellist, After Her Prime” Final revisions:“A Sovereign Cure for Pneumonia” In progress:“Rush Lane”“Seven Postcards from the Garden of Earthly Delights”“Book of the Dead” Broken:“King of Bramble Heights”“Bleaker Collegiate” Next things to write:#3 in the Gus series#3 in the Oracle series State of the Little Novel:2/3 complete, aiming for February State of the Big Novel:In pieces all over the floor… almost literally. This novel needs a chirurgeon. State of the Novelist:…in need of another cup of coffee. Red-letter day yesterday. I got a cheque in the mail. I am in a fortunate position–I have a day job which covers my living expenses, so I am free to spend this cheque on something symbolic. Because […]

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In which I get profitably lost

As often happens at the end of a business trip, I had a few hours of grace. I checked out of my hotel, got coffee, and began walking. I thought I was going to a market mentioned in my guidebook; I didn’t find the market, but I found a wide waste of tracks and warehouses, broken glass and razor wire. I went alone through vacant lots and beneath bridges, in the heat of the midday sun. It was exactly the thing I needed for my story. […]

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Writing the present

I’ve found, over the years, that I cannot usually write about things as they happen, except in an unvarnished journal. The things I collect must mature, or compost, or maybe age like cheese, in order to be useful to me. As I grow older, though, I find this less true–maybe because I’m not experiencing as many brand-new things, or maybe because the things that are new are not wholly new the way they were when I was very young. For example, I went climbing on Thursday for the first time, and although I had never climbed before, I still had a frame of reference: I’ve tried new sports before, I’ve joined new gyms, I’ve climbed to high places, and I’ve fallen off stuff, so combining those experiences didn’t feel shockingly strange. What I’m actually writing about now–in a story that has no title yet–is Chicago. I’ve been there a dozen times, or so, almost always in autumn; I know the colour of the sunshine and the breadth of the streets, and I’ve owned these memories long enough that there’s something I need to say about this place. The new thing, the thing I only experienced recently, is the feeling of […]

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Sale!

Yes, my temperamental heroine Gus Hillyard of “Who in Mortal Chains” will make her debut in Strange Horizons in the new year. (Since very few people read this journal, I shall confess here that when I read the acceptance letter, I cried out loud like a little child. No one was home but the cats. I got cat fur stuck to my face. It had been an amazingly awful day up to that point; and then it was something else.) This story, which I thought weaker than its predecessors, made the cut; goes to show that I’m not the best judge of my own work, I suppose. For the first time since I began this project, I have more than one completed story in the kitty, as well: I’m going to be in SFWA by Christmas, at this rate. And I’ve given myself a deadline to finish the somewhat related Not-a-Werewolf book, so that I’ll have something to show the agents who will doubtless come calling 😉 Good Lord, but I must work faster! Accepted for publication:“The Tongue of Bees”“Who in Mortal Chains” To submit:“The Duellist, After Her Prime”“The Oracle of the Dashboard” First drafts complete but in need of […]

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In which I am a superhero named Galvan

…fighting the forces of parental oversight with my friends Mercuria, Skew, Quiksilver, Spectaculo, and Princess Kicking-Ass. Much wine was consumed, once the parental oversight was vanquished. Yes, we’re in our thirties and even forties, and we still can’t get drunk in front of the fam. In important writing news, however… Accepted for publication:“The Tongue of Bees” On submission:“Who in Mortal Chains” To submit:“The Duellist, After Her Prime” First drafts complete but in need of more work:“Bleaker Collegiate Presents an All Female Production of Waiting for Godot““A Sovereign Cure for Pneumonia”“The Oracle of the Dashboard” First drafts in progress:“The King of Bramble Heights”“Forty-Nine Days in the Intermediate States, with Extracts from the Great Liberation by Hearing”“Seven Postcards from the Garden of Earthly Delights”“Rush Lane” Novel progress:Not-a-Werewolf: still on Chapter 5Dickensian Fantasy: Chapter 11 of Draft 4 (6 more chapters to go) Vexed questions of the day:Which thing to finish next? And will someone order my pizza for me? […]

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In which the night is sweet

It is, you know. Sweet and spicy and warmer than the day was. My cat won’t come inside. I will be meeting with my writing group in a couple of weeks. So that I don’t show up pantsless, I need to take an inventory: Short stories accepted for publication:“The Tongue of Bees” On submission:“The Duellist, After Her Prime” First drafts complete:“Who in Mortal Chains” Back to the drawing board:“Bleaker Collegiate Presents an All Female Production of Waiting for Godot“ First drafts in progress:“A Sovereign Cure for Pneumonia”“The King of Bramble Heights”“Forty-Nine Days in the Intermediate States, with Extracts from the Great Liberation by Hearing”The talking fish story“Seven Postcards from the Garden of Earthly Delights”“Rush Lane” Novel progress:Not-a-Werewolf: halfway through Chapter 5 of what I believe is partial draft 10Dickensian Fantasy: Chapter 10 of Draft 4 (7 more chapters to go) If only I felt more like writing. At the moment, after a rather grueling week of looking at the books of others, I only feel like masticating potato chips in front of some Criminal Minds. In other excellent news, though, I will shortly begin reading slush for Ideomancer. […]

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