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Grayling Cross by Gayleen Froese

  is being launched today in Edmonton.  the reading is at The ARTery (9535  Jasper Avenue).  it starts at 7ish tonight.

See Gayleen’s site for awesome directions.

I repeat, if you like genre fiction, and you want Canadian publishers to pick it up, support your locals.

That is all.

Revision

So, these days I’m dividing my leisure time into three categories:

1) Fucking around–  This includes eating, watching TV or movies, reading, socializing etc.  I don’t neglect this as I find it messes with my creativity.  Down time matters.

2) Helping Miss Polymath with the publicity for her new book.  This is always complicated, terrifying and frustrating.  It’s hard to put so much time and effort into something with no real knowledge of what will work or not.  We’re looking forward to her small book tour though.  We’ve not had a good road trip in ages.

Once again G’s launch is happening in Edmonton on April 5th at The Artery (9535 Jasper Avenue).  Festivites start at 7.

I implore you to come out.  I don’t care if you hate her guts like poison and want her to die in a fire.  Come out to support the idea that Canadian publishers should print genre fiction…or any fiction people would want to read.  Key to this message is to BUY the book at the launch.  Sales talk.

All that said, I think that her new book is really excellent.  I was a fan of Touch.  I think Grayling Cross is the work of a much more mature and confident writer.  There’s real growth here, and as a friend and a fan it’s cool to see.  The book is both funny and very very dark.  you need to buy it.

3) I’m revising my big Sel Souris book.  The book has been a massive thorn in my side for years because I’ve known that the last third of the book or so has some serious issues.

When it comes to revision, what can I say that hasn’t already been said about the death march of Bataan.

I don’t care for it.

I recognize it’s the most important part of the craft of writing, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it, okay?

I’m still doing it.  When the revision is done I will need some people to have a new look at it.  let me know if you’d like to, either by comment or email.

I’ll keep you updated on further dates on Miss Polymath’s book tour.  I’m hoping to catch up with a lot of friends on the way.

My Advice to You

Use stronger passwords on your blogs.  I will from now on.

That is all.

In other news, Miss Polymath‘s book Grayling Cross is hitting bookshelves on March 15.

Check out her website for a list of readings coming up.

For those of you in Edmonton, keep your eye on her page and this one.  I’ve made it sort of a mission to try and pack the house for her book launch.

Her launch is taking place at The ARTery in Edmonton (9535 Jasper Avenue) on April 5th.  Not only is Miss Polymath my good friend, but she writes genre fiction which does not suck.

The Canadian publishing industry gets very shirty about genre, and so we need to show them that if they publish it we will SUPPORT it.  I want to show the gang at NEWest Press that it’s worth their while to buy and print genre fiction made in Canada.

So, pretty please, not just for her, but for me-for all the rest of the people out there who like mysteries, science-fiction, horror, urban fantasy, regular old fantasy, and basically anything that isn’t about people starving to death physically and emotionally in the prairie winter- come and make your voice heard.

My Girl

Tonight our dog Lily got out of the yard, ran straight into traffic and was killed.  I feel like most of me did too.

I adored her.  She was the first person I said hello to each morning and I kissed her good night every night.  When I would stay up late, she would snooze on the living room couch.  When it was time for me to go to bed, I would pick her up and carry her upstairs, and she would snuggle into me tight and give my nose a little lick as she went back to sleep.

I love Spenser deeply, and he is the all around best dog I’ve ever known, but Lily was my little girl.

I was dead set against bringing her home at the time.  I had just lost Rai, and didn’t think I could bear to have a new dog again so soon.  The moment she was placed in my arms, she owned me.  You didn’t have to spend much time in our home to see that I loved her like crazy.

I like to think she loved me back with equal fervor.  Certainly, I feel she had a very good life, but it was too short.  I had hoped to have her with me for so many more years.

I am grateful that we have Dash, who we adopted just a few days ago, because he helps maake the house feel more full, and because he will help keep Spenser company as he adjusts.

G and I have decided to get another Papillon as soon as we can.  The new dog will never replace Lily for me, but life’s too short not to have dogs.  I hope we can find another dog as funny and loving as she was.

If I don’t respond to comments or emails for awhile, I’m sorry.  This entry is pretty much all I’ve got in me.

Can anyone recommend…

a good book dealing with the Roman customs of slavery?

Strange request, but such is the life of a writer.

Road Trip

So, late last night I started writing a story about a couple of brothers driving cross country to kill a guy.  I have no idea exactly where it came from.  I was ill last night, and I don’t want to spill TMI all over you , but let’s just say I was up and down a lot. Upon one return from the salle de bain, I sat down at the laptop and wrote about 1500 words that came out of nowhere.

I’d like to hope it turns into something.  If it does, I think it’ll be something very different to what I’ve written before.  I certainly hadn’t planned on it, but they showed up in my head kind of out of nowhere.

So there’s that.

In other news, I am working on revising both Now England Sees and Silver BulletsNow England continues to frustrate me past the point of tolerance.  I know, pretty much for sure, that the last third of the book isn’t working, but I don’t know what to do to fix it.  Every attempt ends in my banging my head on the keys like this guy, and putting it away for a while.

Bullets, happily, is slow going, but much easier to work on.

Now that I’m settled in, more or less at the new day job, I am hoping I can get myself adjusted to a more normal creative cycle.  Stress and uncertainty are not my friends creatively. They seem to be, for some people.  I envy those people.

I’ve been, for the last few weeks, in one of those states of moping and self pity that plague most artists from time to time, and which are universally unattractive to read about.  So I stayed away.

Does everybody consider pitching the whole craft from time to time, or is it just me?

I’d like to think it’s everyone.  Don’t dissuade me.

And then something happens like what happened last night, and I realize that I will keep at it anyway.  Not so much for the hope of being published, that’s a dream that seems ever more distant, but because the act of writing seems to be a part of me that will have it’s expression for better or worse.

Well, that’s a project off my list….

Since November of 2008 I’ve been working on a book called The Murder at the End of this Book.

It’s a mystery novel, a hard-boiled noir set in a a world where puppets co-exist with humans.  The protagonist was a former NYPD officer, and puppet, who became a PI after the death of his partner.

Puppets are considered a lower class form of life.  It’s not a judgment call or anything, as we created them.  It’s sort of humainty’s job to mentor puppets into a full equal form of life.

Today I saw this.

Sometimes life kicks you square in the balls.

Good Bones

    Very rarely do I look back on anything I’ve written with any satisfaction.  I think that’s fairly normal.  Ideas have a fullness in our heads that never quite reach fruition on the page.  It’s hard not to be frustrated and annoyed by the shortfall.  Also, as our skills increase, we look back on earlier work with some regret as well.

   I’m pleased to say that Silver Bullets, while certainly having some rough edges, has good bones.  There’s a structure there, and a clear plot line.  The characters are vivid and it’s basically sound.

   That’s good news, as I’m spending a lot of my time expanding it from a work of 32,000 words to something more like 80,000.   This is not much less weird than writing a whole new book.  It would be awful if the book didn’t have good structure as it stands.

    I’m fleshing out certain parts of the early history of the main character right now, and tightening things up.  By the time November rolls around, I will be expanding the ending.

   For purposes of the three day novel, I chose to end the story at a certain point, alluding to further adventures and a long journey.  I will now write those adventures, and the story of that long journey.

   That’s the part I’m REALLY looking forward to.

   After that, I look at the next two years worth of work and see if I can amalgamate them into a single novel.  I am less confident there.  I need some time before I can even consider that, though.  Both of them are still too fresh.

Not Dead

Okay, so I’ve gotten a few emails, and then today a comment asking if things are okay.

They are.

I apologize for the flakery.  Here’s the deal:  It’s been a few things.

1)  The 3-Day novel contest.  I finished, though it was the closest I’ve come to quitting, and I really don’t know what can be saved from the attempt this year.  That’s frustrating.  Every year when it’s over I have a few weeks where I just don’t feel like sitting at a keyboard.  This year, it was even worse because I just don’t think I did a good job.

2)  I left my job at the high-end bath boutique on what I hope are basically good terms.  I will admit that I haven’t been happy there in some time.

3)  I began, on Monday, a new job with the WCB.  I will not be discussing that here at all except to say that so far I am very pleased, and I hope to be there for many many years.

I’ll try to get back to posting at least twice a week, but I have had a fair amount on my mind lately, and most of it wasn’t something I could really discuss publicly.

My plan for the next two months is to go back to Silver Bullets and expand it to a full length novel.  Then, I hope to do the same with my last two three days, if I can find a way to make that happen.

With this in mind, if you have read Silver Bullets, or have a copy but have not read it yet, now is the time for specific feedback.  My thanks to those who have so provided.

If you have not read the book, I would like to invite you to do so, if you have the time, and are interested in providing feedback on what’s working, what isn’t, what needs expansion, and what should be left compressed.

I would be very grateful for the eyes, and I promise I’m not one of those sensitive wounded poets that will cry or throw a tantrum at real criticism.  Having someone take the time to comment is gold.  Even if I don’t agree with the criticism, it provides useful information, and I’m grateful.

I’d rather receive brutal honesty than nothing at all.  Seriously.  It might sting, but you learn from one of those things, and the other is like a missing persons case.  You just keep waking up in the middle of the night and wondering.

So, what I’m saying is this:  if you say you want to read it, please tell me something.  Anything.  :)

But yes, folks, I’m fine.  Better than fine, in fact.

During the week between my old job and the new job I did a couple of interactive murder mysteries set during a live radio broadcast in the 40s.  I had a ridiculous amount of fun.  For several days I sported a completely ridiculous mustache.  I’m glad it’s gone now, and I eagerly await the return of my normal facial hair.

And how have YOU all been, anyhow.

I know that Miss Polymath and the BinaryKitten both got older.  For me, time stands still.

Tuesday Morning

   I probably should have booked the day off work, as I am damned near useless today.

  So, I finished.  I have no idea if I wrote a good thing or a bad thing, but I wrote a thing.

  I don’t think I’ll do this again next year.  Who knows.  I now have three short novels I originally thought I could turn into one big one.  That won’t work.  The last two maybe.

  So I need to expand Silver Bullets to a full length novel, and then find a way to smoosh the other two together for sales purposes.

  My brain hurts.  I don’t think I’m going to probably do any writing for at least a week.  I sprained my imagination.

  If you want to read the book and give me notes, please drop me a line.

  It’s called Wonderland.