Two posts in one, more or less!
Black Wolf, the novel
Wow, I can’t believe I didn’t do a post here when Black Wolf was officially released on Smashwords!!! Of course, I spent a large part of that day re-uploading it, trying to make the inexplicably cranky formatting behave itself, and I desperately hope that it’s now doing so for readers. I have to admit to walking away that evening not wanting to think about it any more for a day or two. So, belatedly:
Black Wolf is officially released, as of Hallowe’en!!! For info on how to get a copy for yourself, drop by here: http://prysmcat.com/black-wolf/
Now Yin-Yang isn’t sitting out there all by itself! And there’ll be a third sibling for them this spring, if all goes as planned – an other-world fantasy, rather than another urban one.
Moonblood, the serial
Now, finishing a novel leaves a hole, a space that’s full only of potential: what shall I work on next? The fastest way I know to sabotage myself is to choose based on what I can complete the most quickly, because I’ll lose interest in it rapidly. However, there are a few projects that were previously released here and have been removed for revision before official publication, and they do have some claim on being near the top of the list. With Lamia still in limbo (I seem to find more that I’m unhappy with every time I open the file, even though I adore the characters and it has several of my favourite scenes I’ve ever written), that pretty much leaves Moonblood.
Moonblood‘s a bit of an odd one, though. It’s not really a novel. It’s a set of characters having adventures in another world, each of which is largely complete in itself, though the first few do have an overall loose arc. Some of those adventures are fairly substantial at 20k+ words. Some are much shorter. It was intended to be open-ended, potentially able to go on indefinitely, swapping through the characters that part ways, have separate adventures, and recombine in varying combinations as time (quite a lot of time) passes. I have considered turning the part that encompasses the arc into a collection, in ebook and print-on-demand forms, and I still probably will. But… between now and then, I think I’m going to try something different.
Really, what is there to say?
Yin-Yang started as an odd idea that got shelved for a long time but kept creeping back, despite my certainty that it was just too strange to bother finishing because no one else would ever want to read it. The characters kept nagging at me, and I finally decided to try turning the rough material into an actual novel. I hung up on the climactic scene for over two years, coming back to it periodically and then giving up again, but this past spring at long last it came together. Several volunteer readers took the time to give me their thoughts, for which I’m deeply grateful because it’s a far stronger novel for it. Life happened, distractions happened, but… after all that… it’s done!
I hope my test readers are pleased with what I did with their comments and that their unanswered questions can now be resolved.
Meanwhile, I’m going to go be deliriously happy and also take some ibuprofen for the headache from wrestling with the epub formatting…
PS, sorry, I don’t do covers. I’m a writer, not a graphic designer.
I’m very big on diversity in writing, particularly when it comes to fantasy and science-fiction.
Our dominant, mass-media-driven culture is keen on portraying “normal” (=”good and right”) in very restrictive terms. (I’ve talked about this elsewhere.) With humanity still struggling with our tragic history of hatred and bigotry and many of us trying our best to get past that (unfortunately, far too many seem quite content to wallow in it), value judgements disguised as entertainment only undermine the slow climb towards equality.
That said… “political correctness” kills creativity.
Before you lynch me or stop reading, please understand. I’m not advocating that you portray prejudice and bigotry and hatred and all the countless “isms” as good things. In fact, our job as writers is to challenge the “isms” and show what the alternatives can be. Writing should show and celebrate the amazing and endless variety that occurs within humanity – and explore what can lie outside of that, when we’re playing with the supernatural or extra-terrestrial or otherwise non-human. Read the rest of this entry
One of my personal biggest obstacles when it comes to writing urban fantasy might be just a personal limitation, but I doubt I’m the only one.
Technology changes with mindboggling speed in the modern world. Thanks to that technology, trends change just as rapidly, propagating through the entire globe and being forgotten in spans of time that not so long ago would have been unthinkably brief. I am, personally, rather fond of various kinds of technology, although I confess to resenting being forced into constant upgrades that often complicate without necessarily improving things. Much of my time is spent online; I’ve found more friends I can relate to and trust that way than I ever have in person, including people I deeply care about from all over the world. The Internet offers a research resource that I could never have dreamed of years ago when forced to dig through often outdated books at the local library.
That said… I was born in the 70s, grew up in the 80s, graduated from high school in the 90s. I grew up in the country, not even in a village most of the time but usually outside of it on a farm; I saw peers at school but rarely had contact with them outside and then only the few friends that I felt I had anything in common with; much of my free time was spent alone with pets, although I had a limited choice of kids of similar age not too far away. My first computer had no hard drive, only two 5-1/4″ floppies, and MS-DOS, no Windows, and certainly no Internet; my brother used it for games now considered primitive, I used it for homework and writing. Read the rest of this entry
Everyone has basic assumptions about the world around us. We have to; they’re a part of how we keep functioning.
When you’re writing, however, and especially if you’re writing speculative fiction of any sort (speculative fiction is an umbrella term for fantasy, science fiction, and anything else that doesn’t fit precisely into either but is nonetheless outside “normal reality”), it’s a good time to take a look at your own assumptions. Speculative fiction is, after all, about transgressing the normal rules. I’m not going to try to give specific instances of these, mainly because there are so many I’ve long since lost count and I’d rather not single out individual works from a long list.
A personal pet peeve is the assignment of gender to absolutely everything. Beings of kinds that have no sexual reproduction nonetheless are treated as intrinsically either males or females, no reason for this offered, and Western society being what it is, that tends to then colour everything else associated with that being. Read the rest of this entry