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Outer Alliance Pride Day Post

By on Sep 1, 2009 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

As a member of the Outer Alliance, I advocate for queer speculative fiction and those who create, publish and support it, whatever their sexual orientation and gender identity.  I make sure this is reflected in my actions and my work. Today is Outer Alliance Pride Day! Roughly (only!) two weeks ago, I posted about starting a group like this. Before I knew it, a remarkable group of people had banded together to form a true alliance of writers in the speculative fiction community dedicated to supporting (and celebrating!) queer contributions in a positive way. That, my friends, is what the Internet is for. I identify as straight, but, from a personal writing perspective, queer characters have always figured into my books. In The Aldersgate, Queen Maelys is a lesbian and her scorned lover is the High Counselor, Kaythra Bav. In the same book, an entire race of genderless people, the Sibs,...

The not so secret secret to writing a book.

By on Jul 21, 2009 in Uncategorized | 4 comments

About two and a half years ago, I saw an Oprah special on the Secret. Wait! Don’t go away. I know it’s bullshit, but bear with me a second here. I promise I’m not going to go all hormonal on you. So, I watched the episode. I was home with a baby, and contemplating Existence and Everything. I had yet to finish my MA, just a thesis away, and wasn’t sure if I should go on with a PhD in English, didn’t know if I should go into freelancing, had no idea what the future held. I knew one thing: I wanted to be a writer. But, on the whole, I’d done a pretty piss poor job of it. It’s not that I hadn’t finished writing a novel. I’d done that. It’s that I didn’t know where I fit. I felt embarrassed about being a fantasy/science-fiction writer, likely because very few people I knew actually cared about that sort of thing. In spite of...

Crowded house: writing a party

By on Jun 4, 2009 in fantasy, Uncategorized, WIP, writing | 1 comment

Nah, not the kind with ale and food and wenches, though that happens from time to time. More like a party of people. At the moment I’m struggling with some of my chapters, as there are just too many damned people there all the time. Up until this point most of what I’ve written has been fairly straight-forward, with a handful of people doing fairly straight-forward things. Two, maybe three people in conversation, nice tight little story arcs… It was particularly comfortable in The Aldersgate because, well, every chapter was a new point of view, and helped me keep things neat and in a row. Now, in Peter of Windbourne, all of the sudden there are at least five people in just about every single scene. Oh sure I can write it out. Sure I can finagle it. But that doesn’t give me many options. Not to mention that my inability to balance characters was one of the...

Ten Things I Want to See More of in Fantasy Literature

By on Jun 2, 2009 in fantasy, Uncategorized, writing | 13 comments

Consider this a call for suggestions. While I do my best to catch up on reading, covering both classics and new material, I can’t be everywhere at once. And between my own writing and editing I don’t have a lot of time to scour the internet… So: ten things I’d like to see more of in fantasy literature (some I’ve already mentioned but hey, if they’re still irking me, they’re worth mentioning again!). Gender bending. Why not? If I read one more fantasy novel with a deviant/evil homosexual character I might actually light it on fire. I mean, come on people. Fantasy is the most forgiving of all genres, and yet we’re still conforming to antiquated notions about sex, sexuality, and gender? Shame, shame! Women heroes that don’t suck. This is still an issue. Or if the women are heroes, they either resort to sex or violence to get what they...

Textual nightmares: or, some ways you can not suck at editing by learning from my mistakes

By on May 5, 2009 in aldersgate cycle, fantasy, publication, queen of none, Uncategorized, WIP, writing | 2 comments

Writing novels is not my problem. My output has only improved in the last few years, and I’ve finally moved beyond the whining about not having time, or making every excuse in the world not to write stage. Those were big hurdles for me, and I’m proud of the accomplishment. I generally make my 1K goal every day, with a few exceptions, and I love telling the stories. So what’s the problem, right? Unfortunately, what’s resulted is lots of first drafts, and not completed novels. As a writer who fumbles around in the dark putting pieces together, this is truly problematic as editing, the next step in the process, just opens up all sorts of new and strange writing problems and therefore, inevitably, leads me toward a complete creative freeze. I have approached editing three drastically different ways for the last three completed drafts. With The Aldersgate, I rewrote...

Falling apart at the seems: learning to write what you mean

By on Mar 31, 2009 in Uncategorized | 9 comments

Writing can be a never-ending process. I mean, theoretically, one could edit and re-edit until the very end, and still not be happy with the result (just ask Walt Whitman). It’s the nature of the beast. Words are malleable, changeable; they have multi-meanings, connotation, irony. You spend too much time fretting about words, and no matter how many drafts you complete, you may never have it ready. The key is to not get overwhelmed, and to have an approach. It’s always worth taking some time to weed out the big offenders, words that, if given too much leeway in the course of a novel can be absolutely poison to your description and intent in the plot. And in my humble opinion, there is no word so offending as the word seem. I love words, and word meanings, so to get to the bottom of this stinky little word, let’s start with etymology. According to the Online Etymology...