annathepiper: Star Wars Procession (Star Wars Procession)
Two posts I've put up for those who might be interested:

A review of Blade Runner 2049, which, happily, doesn't suck!

Long overdue next post in the Bilingual Lord of the Rings Reread, in which I cover the French edition of Chapter 2 of Fellowship. Long post is long, and also extremely geeky, but as y'all know, that is indeed how I roll.

In other tidbits of random news:

I have ambitions of tackling Nanowrimo next month, because apparently I just need the external impetus to get any damn writing done this year. The overall plan will be to try to throw as many words at possible at the novellas, and see if I can drag those bastards closer to being done.

I've been fighting what appears to be a sinus infection, or possibly leftover irritation after the last smoke incident we had in these parts mid-September, or maybe a little of each. Went to my usual clinic this morning, and got authorized for a round of antibiotics, so hopefully this'll make things settle down. My nose has otherwise healed up pretty well from the surgery earlier this year.

[personal profile] solarbird and I joined the Planet Fitness gym down the hill from our house, and I've been doing weekend workouts there, in the name of trying to get my metabolism and weight back under control. Also because next year, Big Fish will be moving offices and this will directly impact my commute. I'll still be taking the same bus, but will have a much shorter distance to walk from where I need to get off to where the office will actually be. So I won't have the nice long walk anymore as daily exercise. Therefore a new exercise regime is called for.

And so far, Planet Fitness is nice. I have discovered I like working with the arc trainers and ellipticals, which makes me feel better about paying money to exercise at a gym as opposed to using the old treadmill we actually have in the house. Plus, after talking with their personal trainer on staff, I've started doing light work with lat pulldowns and low rows, to gently work the muscles on my back right around my shoulderblades. This, as those of you who are familiar with my medical history posts may recall, is the land of Reconstruction Surgery and to this day, those muscles still get a bit cranky at me in the cold or if I happen to turn the wrong way. I'm hoping that gentle weights work will give my lats more stability and limber my back up in general.

And oh yes: the trailer for The Last Jedi dropped, and what I have to say about that is YES BRING THIS MOVIE UNTO ME. :D
annathepiper: (Great Amurkian Novel 2)

If y’all follow more writers besides me, you’ve probably seen posts going around about the Writing Process Blog Tour, in which various writers discuss what they’re working on and how they do it. They tag the writer who talked them into it, and find other writers to participate! What’s in it for you? Getting to follow links and discover new writers.

In my case, I got tagged by Catherine Lundoff, who’s userinfocatherineldf, and the same on Dreamwidth! She’s got her own Writing Process post here on LJ and here on Dreamwidth.

Let’s get down to it, shall we?

What Am I Working On?

Priority one: Victory of the Hawk, book 3 of the Rebels of Adalonia trilogy. This will conclude my immediate obligations with Carina Press and free me up for more of my indie work.

Namely, finishing the edits for Bone Walker as well as the shorter pieces I promised my long-waiting Kickstarter backers!

After that? What’s most likely to pop off the queue will be Queen of Souls, my other currently finished manuscript, at least in rough draft form.

How Does My Work Differ From Others Of Its Genre?

My fantasy, currently represented by the Rebels of Adalonia books, is significantly less grim and gritty than a lot of the better-known and better-selling epic fantasy works these days. Which is not to say I don’t have violence or dark themes, or that I hold back from killing off characters as appropriate. Valor of the Healer and Vengeance of the Hunter–especially Vengeance, as y’all will see when it ships on the 28th–both have their share of violence and darkness. But I don’t do gratuitous darkness.

Stylistically, I hearken more back to the stuff I read when I was younger. So if you liked Esther Friesner’s early fantasy novels, or Tanya Huff’s, or Doranna Durgin’s, you might like mine.

In my urban fantasy, likewise, I’m a lot lighter-hearted than a lot of the grim grim grimmity grim OHNOEZ WE MUST SAVE THE WORLD novels out there. And if your tastes in urban fantasy slant more towards paranormal romance, you should also be aware that while I do have romantic subplots, I don’t base them on how enthusiastic the characters’ hormones get about each other. I do slow builds on romances, and if I have any on-camera sex at all, it will serve a very specific character development need. It won’t be there just out of obligation to have my characters shag. Also, I’m very likely to cut a discreet fade to black rather than spelling out the details for you.

See, ’cause here’s the thing–unlike a lot of readers, I don’t tend to put myself into the position of the heroine in whatever book I might be reading. Rather, I envision her as this awesome person whose adventure I’m following. If you’re an awesome person I know in real life, this doesn’t mean I want to actually watch you shag, you know? Same thing if you’re an awesome fictional person I’m reading about.

I feel the same way about the characters I’m writing. To be perfectly honest, the vast majority of sex scenes bore me to tears, and they’d bore me to write, too. And writing something that bores me is the last thing I want to do to a reader. I’d much rather write the things that excite me, and by extension, hopefully, excite you too.

Why Do I Write What I Do?

I often hear it said that a writer should write the things she wants to read. This applies to me, pretty much.

I write casts of characters that tend to slant heavily to having women in positions of power, because that’s what I want to see in the things I read. I write women who hold magical power, women who hold political power, and sometimes both at once. And I write casts that will have multiple female characters in play, which may in fact seem female-heavy to some readers–but I see a lot of LACK of representation of female characters elsewhere, and dammit, I want to do something about that.

Likewise, I’ll often have queer characters present in my cast. Because again, representation matters.

How Does Your Writing Process Work?

Basically, after finishing a few novels, I’ve come to realize that my writing process is pretty much “let the characters roleplay the story out in my head and transcribe what happens”.

I’ll have a rough idea of where I need to go, mind you. I’ll often take some rough outline notes, or notes on characters’ starting motivations. I definitely find sketching out a timeline of events to be useful.

But a good bit of this note taking actually happens throughout the writing of a book for me. I’ll write a few chapters, take more notes, write a few more chapters, lather, rinse, repeat. So far this seems to more or less work.

The tricky part? Doing this under deadline. I’m hoping to get faster as I get more books under my belt!

I write in Microsoft Word–specifically, Mac Office 2008. And for the longest time I was using old-school Courier New formatting, but I’ve started switching over to Times New Roman, trying to get used to following Carina Press’ style guides. I’m likely to keep the Times New Roman for working on my other stuff, too, since I just like the look of that better. What’s really tough, though? Breaking myself of the habit of indenting my paragraphs with tabs!

About the only other tool of note for me is Excel, which I use for word count spreadsheets. The vast majority of my notes are taken in nothing more complicated than TextEdit. Some day eventually I may explore something fancy like Scrivener, but honestly, simplicity seems to work for me here.

And that’s my process! If any of my fellow writers out there would like to be tagged, sing out and I’ll update this post!

ETA #1: First tag request is in! Folks, I commend to your attention Alex Conall, who lives here on Dreamwidth, here for zir official site, and right over here on Facebook. Genderqueer poet and artist and writer! (Speaking of how representation matters.)

ETA #2: Second tag request! This one goes to my pal M.M. Justus, who’s written time-travel SF with romantic elements, some historical, and even straight-up contemporary. Stick around because I’ll be featuring her on Boosting the Signal too!

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Aubrey and Maturin Duet)

When I put out a call on Facebook for possible post topics for my last Here Be Magic post, I got a couple other excellent questions that I thought would be excellent post fodder on their own. One of those was on what I’m sure y’all will agree is a topic near and dear to my heart, to wit:

“How does your music influence your writing and vice versa?”

Mad props to Kaye for this question, for lo, it is a good question.

How music influences my writing is pretty blatantly obvious to anybody who’s read Faerie Blood. I mean, I’ve got a male lead character who’s a bouzouki player from Newfoundland, f’r cryin’ out loud–though to my amusement, I have in fact actually surprised a person or two when I told them that Christopher is not in fact played in the Faerie Blood Movie in My Brain by Alan Doyle.

And of course there’s Elessir, my Unseelie Elvis impersonator, calling upon the other great musical fandom of my life. Pre-dating Great Big Sea by years and years and years, even. I’m basically throwing all the music I love into the Warder universe, and that meant that it was absolutely imperative that Elvis show up somehow. (For the record–Quebec trad will also be eventually showing up. Christopher’s young cousin Caitlin is getting a boyfriend. And that boy’s going to be from Quebec!)

But in a larger sense, Faerie Blood‘s just one example of how music winds up being critical to just about all of my characters. Over in Valor of the Healer, Kestar Vaarsen (who is played in the Movie in My Brain by Alan Doyle) is a mandolin player. And back in the day, when I was active on my various MUSHes, a whole hell of a lot of the characters I played were musically inclined to one degree or another. Faanshi’s original AetherMUSH incarnation could play the lyre, and she wrote a lament in honor of her lost first love. Rillwhisper, my primary alt on Two Moons MUSH, played the flute. So did F’hlan, my bronze rider on PernMUSH. Shenneret Veery, my primary alt on Star Wars MUSH, was my bard babe with a blaster and could play any instrument she got her hands on, and she headed up the band called the Womprats for several months of my roleplay of her.

Long story short, in pretty much anything I write, there’s going to be at least one character who makes music. Probably more. It may not even be immediately pertinent to the plot–I keep thinking of one of the things I love about the Aubrey-Maturin saga, wherein one of the defining characteristics of those books is how Jack and Stephen periodically just take time out and play the hell out of the violin and cello. Because they love music that much. I want the same for my characters in my books, because I don’t get enough of that in my personal, actual life.

There are reasons that the covers of Faerie Blood and Bone Walker feature the characters with their instruments as well as hints of magic–because the instruments are as vital to them as the magic is. (And when I finally get Kiri Moth to do Christopher on top of Signal Hill in St. John’s with his bouzouki, oh, that’s going to be good.)

How my writing influences my music is the tougher flip side of this question. I have been known to occasionally write music–that aforementioned song of AetherMUSH!Faanshi’s? I wrote actual, singable lyrics for that, and I’m going to eventually turn it into a reel that could in theory be playable at a session.

But writing music is a different skill than writing prose, and I’m not very practiced at it. It’s hard for me. That said? I often find myself wanting there to be music to accompany my books. This is, after all, why Dara’s still working on the Bone Walker soundtrack. My history with filk is a contributing factor to this–I’ve heard so much awesome filk that’s about various and sundry books or graphic novels (especially Elfquest) that a big part of me would squeal in delight at the prospect of Warder universe filk.

And I keep totally wanting to filk Great Big Sea’s “Ferryland Sealer” to “Faerieland Sealer”, which is absolutely and unequivocably a Warder universe song.

That about covers it, I think! Any questions on this, drop a comment! Or any further questions you want to fling me, to be addressed here or in future Here Be Magic posts, let me know!

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Great Just The Same)

I’ve been having an uptick lately on people coming to me for advice on how to go about self-publishing your work. This is simultaneously flattering and kind of startling.

Flattering, because, gosh, people seem to think I know what I’m doing. Startling, because wait, what, you people think I know what I’m doing? *^_^*;; When did that happen?

But, be that as it may, okay, yeah, I am starting to get asked questions often enough that I’m going to do a series of posts on the overall topic of self-publication, just so I can have something I can point people at in case they need advice. As y’all know I can blather with the best of ‘em, but it helps if I have to blather only once. So. Consider this an announcement of posts to come.

I’m thinking I’m going to break them down into these sub-topics:

  1. Write the book. No, seriously, write the book
  2. Get the book beta-read and edited
  3. How to build your own ebooks
  4. Where you should deploy your ebooks for sale
  5. What sites you can employ if you don’t have your own skills for building ebooks and/or who will deploy your ebooks for sale for you
  6. What to do if you want to self-pub in print
  7. Commissioning cover art
  8. Kickstarter and other crowdfunding services–should you use them?
  9. You’ve deployed the book for sale–how do you help readers find it?
  10. Should you also try to traditionally publish as well as self-publish?

Do also please keep in mind that I’m real small-fry in the overall publishing picture; I’m lucky if I sell a couple dozen copies of anything in a month. (By which I still mean, a couple dozen copies of Faerie Blood; Valor of the Healer is still too new to have any real, definable effect on my monthly sales yet.) So if you try to enact any of my advice, please understand that I am not going to hand you the path to fortune, glory, and becoming a Big-Time Author(TM). What works for me may not work for you. Or it may work way better for you. Or you may find something else that works way better for you. Your mileage may vary!

But all that said: does anybody have any general self-pub topics you’d like me to add to this list? Or any specific questions in any of these areas you’d like me to address in a forthcoming post? Please let me know!

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Great Just The Same)

I’ve been having an uptick lately on people coming to me for advice on how to go about self-publishing your work. This is simultaneously flattering and kind of startling.

Flattering, because, gosh, people seem to think I know what I’m doing. Startling, because wait, what, you people think I know what I’m doing? *^_^*;; When did that happen?

But, be that as it may, okay, yeah, I am starting to get asked questions often enough that I’m going to do a series of posts on the overall topic of self-publication, just so I can have something I can point people at in case they need advice. As y’all know I can blather with the best of ‘em, but it helps if I have to blather only once. So. Consider this an announcement of posts to come.

I’m thinking I’m going to break them down into these sub-topics:

  1. Write the book. No, seriously, write the book
  2. Get the book beta-read and edited
  3. How to build your own ebooks
  4. Where you should deploy your ebooks for sale
  5. What sites you can employ if you don’t have your own skills for building ebooks and/or who will deploy your ebooks for sale for you
  6. What to do if you want to self-pub in print
  7. Commissioning cover art
  8. Kickstarter and other crowdfunding services–should you use them?
  9. You’ve deployed the book for sale–how do you help readers find it?
  10. Should you also try to traditionally publish as well as self-publish?

Do also please keep in mind that I’m real small-fry in the overall publishing picture; I’m lucky if I sell a couple dozen copies of anything in a month. (By which I still mean, a couple dozen copies of Faerie Blood; Valor of the Healer is still too new to have any real, definable effect on my monthly sales yet.) So if you try to enact any of my advice, please understand that I am not going to hand you the path to fortune, glory, and becoming a Big-Time Author(TM). What works for me may not work for you. Or it may work way better for you. Or you may find something else that works way better for you. Your mileage may vary!

But all that said: does anybody have any general self-pub topics you’d like me to add to this list? Or any specific questions in any of these areas you’d like me to address in a forthcoming post? Please let me know!

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan YES!)

Tonight I found a message waiting for me on Facebook from someone who said she’d just finished reading Faerie Blood and really liked it–and that she was volunteering to jump in on beta reading Lament of the Dove for me. To which I had the following reactions:

One, holy crap, a complete stranger actually read my book and wrote in to say she liked it EEE!. This does not happen to me very often at all, people. Faerie Blood hasn’t sold more than a few hundred copies to the best of my knowledge, and believe me, I’m still totally double-taking at the thought that people I don’t actually know have actually read it!

But with that in mind, O Internets, I urge you: if you loved a book, take the time to write in and let the author know. It doesn’t have to be effusive or detailed. It can just be ‘I really enjoyed your book, thank you so much!’ Even hearing that much is music to an author’s ears. We’re putting our darlings out there in the hope that somebody will in fact read ‘em, so any proof that they’re getting read? Gold.

And two, holy crap this complete stranger wants to read more of my work! Sure, it’s work that hasn’t actually been published yet, but in some ways that’s even more awesome. That’s taking an active interest.

So I’ve flung back a Facebook note to the person in question, and we will see where this goes. In the meantime, public mad props to Ghislaine for taking the time to write in!

All the rest of you? If you loved an author’s work, thank them. And if you’re an author, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that your readers are made entirely of awesome. Or that your beta readers kick up the awesome another order of magnitude entirely. Hug your beta readers today!

Mirrored from angelakorrati.com.

annathepiper: (Alan YES!)

Tonight I found a message waiting for me on Facebook from someone who said she’d just finished reading Faerie Blood and really liked it–and that she was volunteering to jump in on beta reading Lament of the Dove for me. To which I had the following reactions:

One, holy crap, a complete stranger actually read my book and wrote in to say she liked it EEE!. This does not happen to me very often at all, people. Faerie Blood hasn’t sold more than a few hundred copies to the best of my knowledge, and believe me, I’m still totally double-taking at the thought that people I don’t actually know have actually read it!

But with that in mind, O Internets, I urge you: if you loved a book, take the time to write in and let the author know. It doesn’t have to be effusive or detailed. It can just be ‘I really enjoyed your book, thank you so much!’ Even hearing that much is music to an author’s ears. We’re putting our darlings out there in the hope that somebody will in fact read ‘em, so any proof that they’re getting read? Gold.

And two, holy crap this complete stranger wants to read more of my work! Sure, it’s work that hasn’t actually been published yet, but in some ways that’s even more awesome. That’s taking an active interest.

So I’ve flung back a Facebook note to the person in question, and we will see where this goes. In the meantime, public mad props to Ghislaine for taking the time to write in!

All the rest of you? If you loved an author’s work, thank them. And if you’re an author, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that your readers are made entirely of awesome. Or that your beta readers kick up the awesome another order of magnitude entirely. Hug your beta readers today!

Mirrored from angelakorrati.com.

annathepiper: (Great Amurkian Novel 2)

I don’t know who this character is yet, but she’s been lurking in my brain for a while now as I’ve thought about how to do an urban fantasy with an overweight woman as the heroine. I don’t even have a name for her, or any real idea yet of what her story is. But these words wanted out of my brain tonight nonetheless.

Right off the bat, the first thought that pops into someone’s head when they see me is oh god, a fat psychic. Not that anybody ever actually says that, but they don’t need to. I can see it in the way eyes go wide and then flick a glance up and down my frame, as if expecting that a woman of what we shall charitably refer to as “size”, a woman who also claims paranormal abilities, isn’t dressed more outrageously–as if perhaps I should be swathed in a leopard-print caftan, with an artfully arranged fruit basket on my head.

Also, hello? Psychic. In my case, that packs a double whammy. I get visions, but I get people’s thoughts too. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, those I meet don’t need to say a word to convey their doubts about me. I can pick them fresh and piping hot right out of their brains. I swear, it’s enough to drive a girl into the warm, loving company of the nearest chocolate cake.

All of which is why, when a man came into my shop on a Thursday afternoon and broadcast not the slightest hint of disdain for either my body type or what the colorfully painted sign by the door proclaimed I could do, I was absolutely thunderstruck.

I’ll see what else I can figure out about her later.

Mirrored from angelakorrati.com.

annathepiper: (Great Amurkian Novel 2)

I don’t know who this character is yet, but she’s been lurking in my brain for a while now as I’ve thought about how to do an urban fantasy with an overweight woman as the heroine. I don’t even have a name for her, or any real idea yet of what her story is. But these words wanted out of my brain tonight nonetheless.

Right off the bat, the first thought that pops into someone’s head when they see me is oh god, a fat psychic. Not that anybody ever actually says that, but they don’t need to. I can see it in the way eyes go wide and then flick a glance up and down my frame, as if expecting that a woman of what we shall charitably refer to as “size”, a woman who also claims paranormal abilities, isn’t dressed more outrageously–as if perhaps I should be swathed in a leopard-print caftan, with an artfully arranged fruit basket on my head.

Also, hello? Psychic. In my case, that packs a double whammy. I get visions, but I get people’s thoughts too. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, those I meet don’t need to say a word to convey their doubts about me. I can pick them fresh and piping hot right out of their brains. I swear, it’s enough to drive a girl into the warm, loving company of the nearest chocolate cake.

All of which is why, when a man came into my shop on a Thursday afternoon and broadcast not the slightest hint of disdain for either my body type or what the colorfully painted sign by the door proclaimed I could do, I was absolutely thunderstruck.

I’ll see what else I can figure out about her later.

Mirrored from angelakorrati.com.

annathepiper: (Great Amurkian Novel 2)

I woke up around 6ish or so this morning, conscious of having just interrupted a dream I was having. This happens a lot, but what was unusual about this one was that it didn’t seem to involve me in any way. Rather, it was a bit of what seemed like it was trying to be a story playing out in my head.

What I remember about it is that it involved a guy who had lost his memory for some reason and was living homeless on the streets. He’s found by a woman who clearly knows him and who was probably his love interest or potential love interest–and who had been convinced that he’d disappeared on purpose. But when she realizes the state he’s in, she takes pity on him and takes him home.

Random bits I remember from the dream:

  • The guy’s name was Alex or possibly Alec Chambers.
  • The woman’s name was possibly Rachel.
  • It wasn’t set in Seattle, or at the very least, the parts of Seattle I usually frequent. The place I remember Rachel finding Alex on was up on a hill and overlooking a lower area; the street was wide but lined with trees and seemed generally pretty. It’s possible that my brain might have been keying off of parts of West Seattle or maybe Capitol Hill, but I’m pretty sure not.
  • Whatever street Alex is on when Rachel finds him, it’s not Fourth Street. Rachel asked Alex why he was where he was, and he said something like “On Fourth Street, they find you.”
  • When Rachel takes Alex home, the place she takes him looks like a church and Alex comments to her, “You live in a church?” She explains that this is home. I remember them driving in under a walkway of some sort between two different parts of the building. I got the impression that part of the building had been converted to apartments, or something. There may be more story there as to why Rachel was actually living there.
  • There were children, two or three of them. But it was unclear to me whether they were actually Rachel’s children, either by Alex or by the other guy who showed up, or whether they were younger siblings or cousins or something. They were nonetheless pleased to see Alex but distressed at the state he was in, and took pity on him.
  • Another man shows up who was clearly a prior rival to Alex for Rachel’s affections. He has a lot of luggage with him and is clearly expecting to stay at Rachel’s place, and he snarks at her about where “he” (i.e., Alex) is going to sleep. Alex says mildly that that’s up to Rachel.
  • There’s a dinner scene where Alex catches himself handling dishes in a certain way and he realizes in wonder that he’s left-handed, which is something he hadn’t remembered about himself. (My brain then tried to play with this, I think, because I remember replays of the same bit in which he also noticed he was right-handed, and then that he was possibly ambidextrous.)
  • There’s a playground scene where the children are trying to get Alex to play hide and seek with them.

After that I think I was either waking up or dropping more heavily back into sleep, because I started getting more random dream-like bits such as Alex trying to fly, which made less sense. But I wonder if there’s a story here that I can play with. Maybe Alex is a Warder somewhere.

Mirrored from angelakorrati.com.

annathepiper: (Great Amurkian Novel 2)

I woke up around 6ish or so this morning, conscious of having just interrupted a dream I was having. This happens a lot, but what was unusual about this one was that it didn’t seem to involve me in any way. Rather, it was a bit of what seemed like it was trying to be a story playing out in my head.

What I remember about it is that it involved a guy who had lost his memory for some reason and was living homeless on the streets. He’s found by a woman who clearly knows him and who was probably his love interest or potential love interest–and who had been convinced that he’d disappeared on purpose. But when she realizes the state he’s in, she takes pity on him and takes him home.

Random bits I remember from the dream:

  • The guy’s name was Alex or possibly Alec Chambers.
  • The woman’s name was possibly Rachel.
  • It wasn’t set in Seattle, or at the very least, the parts of Seattle I usually frequent. The place I remember Rachel finding Alex on was up on a hill and overlooking a lower area; the street was wide but lined with trees and seemed generally pretty. It’s possible that my brain might have been keying off of parts of West Seattle or maybe Capitol Hill, but I’m pretty sure not.
  • Whatever street Alex is on when Rachel finds him, it’s not Fourth Street. Rachel asked Alex why he was where he was, and he said something like “On Fourth Street, they find you.”
  • When Rachel takes Alex home, the place she takes him looks like a church and Alex comments to her, “You live in a church?” She explains that this is home. I remember them driving in under a walkway of some sort between two different parts of the building. I got the impression that part of the building had been converted to apartments, or something. There may be more story there as to why Rachel was actually living there.
  • There were children, two or three of them. But it was unclear to me whether they were actually Rachel’s children, either by Alex or by the other guy who showed up, or whether they were younger siblings or cousins or something. They were nonetheless pleased to see Alex but distressed at the state he was in, and took pity on him.
  • Another man shows up who was clearly a prior rival to Alex for Rachel’s affections. He has a lot of luggage with him and is clearly expecting to stay at Rachel’s place, and he snarks at her about where “he” (i.e., Alex) is going to sleep. Alex says mildly that that’s up to Rachel.
  • There’s a dinner scene where Alex catches himself handling dishes in a certain way and he realizes in wonder that he’s left-handed, which is something he hadn’t remembered about himself. (My brain then tried to play with this, I think, because I remember replays of the same bit in which he also noticed he was right-handed, and then that he was possibly ambidextrous.)
  • There’s a playground scene where the children are trying to get Alex to play hide and seek with them.

After that I think I was either waking up or dropping more heavily back into sleep, because I started getting more random dream-like bits such as Alex trying to fly, which made less sense. But I wonder if there’s a story here that I can play with. Maybe Alex is a Warder somewhere.

Mirrored from angelakorrati.com.

annathepiper: (Alan Bouzouki)
Today has been a day of general awesome, in the following chronological order:
  1. Went to have me a nice chiro appointment, even though I was told by my chiropractor that my insurance had denied me coverage for the orthotics in my shoes
  2. Had a nice little breakfast at Caffe Ladro and started working on the Millicent character vignette I'll be doing for this month's Drollerie Blog Tour
  3. Had a nice massage
  4. Scampered downtown to meet [livejournal.com profile] mamishka and [livejournal.com profile] jennygriffee to see State of Play, the new Russell Crowe movie; more on this below
  5. After the movie, [livejournal.com profile] solarbird came to meet me so she could drive and I could have a pomegranate margarita with Jen, and we all had a pleasant hanging-out
  6. And after that: Dara and I went and got her a shiny, shiny new BOUZOUKI!

The movie was good. Very solidly acted all around; Russell was as usual quite competent, and he was nicely paired off against Ben Affleck and Helen Mirrin, and the girl playing his young partner at the newspaper was good as well. Nice understated sort of thriller, and if you have any connection to the newspaper industry at all, particularly timely.

I particularly liked the dynamic between Russell's disheveled, crufty print-side reporter character, and the bright-eyed young blogger girl who teamed up with him on the story. They had good professional chemistry and some decent potential romantic chemistry as well; nothing's ever stated outright, but there's one amusing bit at the end where he tells her not to tell him how old she is, because it'll make him sick. ;) Also, Helen Mirrin was suitably awesome as their editor, upholding the tradition of being a hardassed bastard (or in this case bitch) when playing the part of Editor at a Major Metropolitan Newspaper.

But all of that was really almost incidental for me given that in the very first scene, we see Russell's character Cal McCaffrey driving along in his beat-up car and singing along with... wait for it... Great Big Sea. Jen, Meems, and I all lost it when we heard "The Night Pat Murphy Died" and Russell singing along with Sean McCann! <3 I loved that. I loved that SO MUCH. And we hung out watching the credits roll after the movie was over, just so I could have the pleasure of seeing "The Night Pat Murphy Died" and the all-important words GREAT BIG SEA in the soundtrack credits.

Which ties in very nicely to the aforementioned bouzouki purchase, not to mention my icon. Dara's been very much in love with this Trinity College bouzouki that they've had at Trading Musician, and we finally went and got it for her tonight. It's the same maker of instrument as my octave mandolin, and in fact looks a lot like the instrument played by The Doyle in this icon. And while I have acknowledged that this instrument is Dara's, I've demanded visitation rights. Because BOUZOUKI.

So far our mutual impression of it is that LONG BOUZOUKI IS LONG, because dear god the neck on this thing. Dara's done a bit of Interneting and has read that Trinity College makes the longest-necked bouzoukis you can get without going to a luthier for a custom job. Also, LOUD BOUZOUKI IS LOUD. It's much louder than my octave mandolin. It'll be fun to find other differences, too!

Dara has named the bouzouki Kohaku. It seems appropriate, as it does have a bit of a River-Dragon-y feel about it.
annathepiper: (Great Amurkian Novel)
As I posted last night, my book just went into the editing stage. Which means I get to start thinking now about another fun aspect of putting a book together: blurbing.

Although Faerie Blood's initial release will be electronic, this won't rule out putting a blurb on the cover art. A couple of Drollerie's ebooks have them.

So this is going out to all the authors who read my journal: would any of you be interested in blurbing me? If so, can you drop me a comment letting me know how I may contact you to discuss it further and what I would need to do to make appropriate arrangements?

Thanks very, very much in advance. *squeak* Do I look nervous yet, folks?
annathepiper: (Great Amurkian Novel)
My old Pern fandom group that I used to be in, Telgar Weyr, a.k.a. Telgar 5, has had another burst of interest in resurrecting itself. It'll be interesting to see if this actually goes anywhere.

I've told the ladies who were my compatriots in the club that I'll be happy to provide them web space and tech support for said space, and I've set them up a Wordpress blog so that people who aren't me can all work together on building content for a new site. But I don't have the time to fully participate in a fandom group with regular deadlines anymore.

But some of my Telgar characters have the same sort of status in my brain that my old MUSH characters do: specifically, they haven't left me alone yet because I never did properly finish telling their stories. So I may see if I can finish up that lovely grand romance I was setting up between my main brownrider chick and the local Lord Holder. Maybe I can do that in little bits and pieces across several months. We'll see!

Meanwhile, if any of y'all on my Friends list might be interested in checking Telgar out if it does get its feet back under it, let me know. I'll spread the word once the group's ready to start taking any new members.
annathepiper: (Default)

The last several months have been shaky for me on getting new writing done, in no small part to all the medical crap I’ve had to deal with. So I’ve been focusing on getting editing done instead–and in particular, in carrying out the recommendation of two different agents to edit Lament of the Dove down hard.

Those of you who’ve followed the progress of this book on either of my LJs know that the first draft of this thing was a monster, weighing in around 167K in the word count. By the time I started seriously querying it to agents last year, I’d managed to beat the tally down to 137K.

Now, the target is 117K. If I get there, I’ll have killed 50,000 words out of it. That’s half a book right there. The whole process is teaching me a lot about how to make sure that every last word in a novel absolutely, irrefutably needs to be there–because in Lament, with three different POVs, I’ve got a lot going on. And I can’t waste words describing it.

As of this writing, I’m 4,500 words away from hitting the mark, and I’m finishing up Chapter 18 out of a total of 24 chapters and an epilogue. I think I can get there, hopefully by the time of my (hopefully final) surgery later this month.

Wish me luck.

Mirrored from angelakorrati.com.

annathepiper: (Great Amurkian Novel)
The full and official Drollerie Press blog tour post is now up! I invite you all to go check there for the list of links to all the posts by this round's participating authors. We're all introducing ourselves and what we write.

We've quite enjoyed doing this intro round and we'll definitely be doing it more. So please consider this your invitation to submit topics for what you'd like to see us blog about!
annathepiper: (Great Amurkian Novel)
So as promised, today is the day that Drollerie Press authors are coming around to each other's blogs to introduce themselves and their writing. I'll be putting up a full list of all the posts as soon as I have them, but in the meantime, I'd like to introduce y'all to my fellow author JA Howe. Y'all say hi!




Hi! I'm JA Howe, and soon you can read one of my stories in the anthology Stereo Opticon by Drollerie Press.

The story actually comes from one of the worlds I've written about, in this case the land of Kritter, a high fantasy land full of dragons, knights, elves, harpies and so on.

I love doing world-building when writing. I write up very in-depth notes about the worlds I'm creating, which include studies of the different cultures -- have you ever wondered what it's like in a harpy society, for instance? That's the kind of questions I ask when world-building. But it isn't only fairies and so on; I also love to do studies of different mythologies to see if they can fit into my own tales somewhere. And I study things such as microbiology, archaeology, puppetry, weaving and zoology. I'm not a professional scientist but I do try to make my worlds realistic as possible.

I've written since I was very young, and read for longer. I was published first about eleven years ago at Pablo Lennis, back then a print magazine which now has an internet version called Surprising Stories. Yes, I write for both no-pay and paying publications because I believe in as much readership as I can get. And it seems to also have helped me along the way, to practice my craft. Because there are now editors of paying pubs that take my work. (My first were at Nevermore and Beyond Centauri, for instance.)

Now, I don't make a lot from writing, no. I am disabled so that complicates things, and makes me get writing done more slowly than I might otherwise. However, it's also been a boon to me because although I lost the ability to work a 9-5 job several years ago, I've been able to keep on at writing. I've written in and out of hospitals, actually, and yes I'm proud of that fact: I have severe lupus which has really affected my central nervous system, but I am still here!

So look for my writing here and there, on the internet, and in print magazines. I also write for Helium.com. So far it's been stories and poetry, mostly fantasy but also some science fiction and horror. And I'm working on my first novel, which might be about Kritter. Though, there are other possibilities, believe me!




Watch this space, folks, for where to go to check out the rest of my fellow authors!
annathepiper: (Loving You Grin)
Y'all have already seen me mention the forthcoming first (and hopefully monthly) Drollerie Press authors blog tour.

Now I am pleased to say that I have been able to make my first actual post on drolleriepress.com about it! Click through over to there for a list of who all's participating in this month's round, and links off to their sites as well.

Another post will be forthcoming once we put all the posts up on the 31st. Hope y'all will read them all!
annathepiper: (Great Amurkian Novel)
It's official: I'm organizing an actual blog tour! Eleven of the authors at Drollerie Press, including myself, are joining forces to tour around each other's blogs. I'm hoping to make this a monthly event to promote not only my writing, but also that of the other writers of Drollerie as well.

This month we're doing intro posts about ourselves and what we write, and we're trading off posts to each other's blogs. We'll be having posts go live on January 31st, and I'll post a full list of links to the posts as soon as I have 'em.

I myself will be taking on a post from [livejournal.com profile] hyperbard, so watch this space for her post!
annathepiper: (Great Amurkian Novel)
Come by and say hi to folks if you're free. Go to drolleriepress.com/Interact, then scroll down and click on the Chat Room link. Hope to see some of y'all there.

ETA 8:37pm: Chat's all done! Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi and [livejournal.com profile] jesshartley for coming by. There'll be another one some time in January.

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