July 2008

I wanted to wait until I had something good to say for my 100th post, and I definitely couldn’t talk about the weather! But today I can report that Dawnmaid has appeared on Fictionwise, here. Yaya!

Just went past the halfway point for Wintermoon Ice, and I’m feeling pretty good. Even though I got hardly anything done yesterday, what with life and all intervening! 🙂 I had to get the car repaired and then inspected, meet with my son’s teacher, answer about twenty phone calls, talk to my parents via Skype, and then have a meeting with our Japanese homestay’s coordinator. Not to mention, cleaning, cooking, helping with homework etc etc.

The snow is pouring down outside, the fire is lit, and I am trying to finish all the laundry. But it looks like a good day for writing a book called Wintermoon Ice! I’ve made a vow not to go anywhere and let the answering machine get all the calls today. Who knows? It might work out.

add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank

Still no joy on Fictionwise and due to a policy change it might be up to two more weeks before Dawnmaid appears.  Arg.  It is available from other retailers now, but I’d like to see it on Fictionwise too!  Writing is not a job for the impatient, I assure you.

I went to see Mamma Mia today with my lovely daughters, and it was brilliant!  Funny, heartwarming and so toe-tappingly entertaining.  Of course I grew up with the music of Abba, but they weren’t a favorite of mine.  My tastes, then and now, tend to run to harder rock.  But to see Meryl Streep and Co. performing all those familiar tunes gave them new life.  She has a marvelous voice, and Colin Firth didn’t do too badly either.  Pierce Brosnan’s singing made us all squeal, as did his obligatory shirtless shots!  Stellan Skarsgård was a revelation.  I have never knowingly seen him in a movie, but I understand he is quite a good character actor.  In Mamma Mia he was great as one of the three potential fathers of the bride.


What I am listening to:  Gold/Abba

What I am not reading: 😦 Thuvia/E R Burroughs

add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank

I just got done reading an entry on Vana Roth’s blog about the need to do research for fiction.  She doesn’t see it as a necessary thing, and while I respect her opinion, I have to say that in my kind of fiction anyway, research is pretty important.

I know it is all made up, if it is fiction.  Still I have to create settings, and that is where I think research makes a difference.  For example my WIP is set in the 1920’s in the mythical country of Severnessa.  Now some things about it are imaginary, like the animals, but others are familiar, like cars.  Only they call them caravelos instead.  So I had this scene in which the hero gets into a fight, and tells his companion to get the keys from his pocket and start the vehicle, so they could make a quick getaway.

So far so good, but then I got to thinking–did cars and trucks even have keyed ignition way back then?  A small point maybe, but one that would ruin the scene if it turned out that cars didn’t start with keys until the 50’s.  I did a little research on the internet.  Well actually, I had to do rather a lot, because I couldn’t come up with the appropriate search terms.  Car key gave me about 10 million non-relevant hits.  So did key history.  But I finally found what I was looking for.  And yes, it turns out that most cars and trucks by the 1920’s had keys.

School starts again tomorrow, hooray!  I’ll be back to writing.  We have had some great days at the beach this break though, so I am not complaining.  But now it is time to buckle down and get Wintermoon Ice finished.  I am already thinking about the sequel, called–what else–Summermoon Fire! 🙂

Right now Sons of the Mariner is looking like two books, and then I have an idea for another series based around the Firaithi, who are traveling peoples that figured in Song of the Arkafina.  I think they deserve a story of their own.  But again, some research, about the Romany, might be in order.  I am thinking of calling it Red Feather Fables.

What I am listening to: Kronos Quartet performs Philip Glass/Kronos Quartet

What I am reading: Thuvia (not making much progress…)/ ER Burroughs

add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank

My friends over at The Long and Short of it are celebrating their first anniversary.  Woot!  There will be lots of prizes and giveaways, including one from yours truly.

Here is the ad:

Link will be live 6/21

Link will be live 6/21

Dawnmaid has been released, but it won’t be available on Fictionwise until the 21st of June. But it can be purchased now from the other outlets listed on my sidebar.

Just back from a weekend visit to the Bay, and we were blessed with nice weather, even though it is the dead of winter here.  We counted eight sea lions on the beach, all young males.  One had a number shaved on its belly, and it looked pretty strange.

Last time we visited, in mid-June, someone had broken the lock off the shed door.  But nothing had been disturbed, even the small generator we keep in there.  Perhaps the thief was only after wood.  Even though the bay is surrounded by forest it is very, very wet, so campers have to bring firewood with them.   Drunk people will often go to extreme lengths to keep a fire going.

This time we replaced the rusty sliding bolt with a brand-new stainless steel one.  I hope it will keep curious people out of the shed.  But really we have been lucky.  Though the house is very isolated we have not had problems with vandalism, only rats.

We walked out to Long Point, which is close to the southernmost point on the South Island.  The wind felt like it came straight from Antarctica!


What I am listening to: Verdi Arias/Dmitri Hvorostovsky

What I am reading: Thuvia, Maid of Mars/ E R Burroughs

add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank

Progress continues on Dawnmaid.  After two more quick exchanges the editing is finished, and will probably appear on the virtual shelves next week sometime.

It is school holidays here in New Zealand.  Winter term break, so two weeks of playing in the snow, and  playing video games inside by the fire.  I expect my progress with Wintermoon Ice will slow as a result.

What I am listening to:  Niafunke/Ali Farka Touré

What I am reading: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ship and Boats/ Graham Blackburn

add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank

The first editing round of Dawnmaid is finished and I think it was pretty painless.  At least for me.  My editor at Mushroom Books might think differently!  I still have a bit of work to do on one passage, but I wasn’t sure what changes he wanted so I have written to ask for clarification.  Being able to work by e-mail and track changes on Microsoft Word makes all this very easy.

I hope the work will be finished soon.  Dawnmaid might be out before the end of the month, but I will have a firmer idea when we finish the next round of editing.

What I am listening to: Minor Earth, Major Sky/a-ha

What I am reading: Warlords of Mars/E R Burroughs

add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank

I added another snippet to the review tab, also for Heart of Hythea.  Dandelion, from the Long and Short website was kind enough to take a look at my work.  It is a good review, nicely balanced between positive comments and also a couple of criticisms, so I feel pretty happy with it.

Have a look here, if you want to read the review in its entirety.

Next Page »