alfreda89: (Books and lovers)
(I don't think I shared this essay over here, either. Yes...still alive. It's been complicated. Maybe I can get a manuscript snip up here this month.

When I can see my way out of this, I will share part of what has been going on.

It occurs to me that I should mention that when I think of adding "romance" to my own novels, what I am really doing is giving characters, especially characters with less power in societies, agency. So that may be why in this case I think of Austen as giving us romance. Austen, of course, was writing out her own life observations. She wasn't aiming for HEA. For more on this, see where people have at the romantic discussion with Sherwood Smith occasionally riding herd. )

Where does ROMANCE fit as an element of modern storytelling?"

Writer Stephanie Osborn asked this question, and my immediate thought was “as a subtle puzzle piece.” I know that is not the usual response to the question. Half the fiction books published in this country every year by major New York publishers are romances, in almost every flavor you can imagine. (That is, if by flavor you are imagining one woman and one man who end up in a HEA--Happily Ever After--or, more recently, HFN--Happy For Now--relationship. Every other romantic relationship slides in from the shadows, makes a surprise appearance, or even has a small independent publishing line somewhere else.)

Where does romance spring from? I’m not asking in a technical sense, or a scientific sense. We know that chemistry and biology triggers the first flush of attraction, and we can research to find out where the modern Western concept of romance began. I always think of it as starting with Jane Austen—a woman choosing to reject offered security for the hope of at least liking and respecting her partner. That she ended up with a man whom she also loved, who was solvent enough to support her and their children, was a bonus. For most women, having it all was a fantasy, but a lovely dream. We can go back further, into legend—but most of those famous lovers did not end well.

Continued... )
alfreda89: (anime)
(I've been helping to close out and sell my parents' home, which as anyone who has done it can tell you takes a huge amount of time and effort. To let you know I'm alive, some writing neep. I've talked about this topic other places, but I don't think I've ever done it on my own blog. So...)

Writers think a lot about characters.

We think about them in the abstract, and we think about those individuals who rent an apartment in our subconscious and start rummaging around, looking for utility hookups and how to arrange forwarding on their mail. Sometimes they are just visiting for a few months or years.

Other times they move in and don’t check out until we do.
Read more... )

Examine your favorite books. Who wants what from whom? What happens if s/he doesn’t get it? Why now?
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Kindred Rites)

Allie was saying "like I was" in the current manuscript.  One of my first readers hates that, even as Allie learns a more gentile form of English.  (Not necessarily accurate for the Regency...this is a fantasy novel, and I don't want to bend over backward making some things understandable to modern readers.)  But if you change "like" to "as if" then suddenly we have the above question.

Here's one person's answer, from English Forums:

Read more... )
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Mascot)
And YOU could be sponsoring this endeavor over at Clarion West Writeathon! I write, Clarion West gets operating and scholarship money for women and minority SF writers, and if I can get my 10,000+ word Nuala short story "Fifth Child" done for this event, too, I will make it into an ebook first, and give copies of it to sponsors!

So--Allie is closer, you'll get to meet Makoto, and hey!

Writing, first!

You can sponsor me at the link above!

Next--how many colors of eggs do you think Allie is going to find in the school's hen house?
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
So often we talk about "X things you need to know about writing Y." I think we often forget that first, you must learn to listen to your own voice.

Verlyn Klinkenborg writes about how the medium doesn't matter -- we have everything we need:

I’m repeatedly asked how I write, what my “process” is. My answer is simple: I think patiently, trying out sentences in my head. That is the root of it. What happens on paper or at the keyboard is only distantly connected. The virtue of working this way is that circumstances — time, place, tools — make no difference whatsoever. All I need is my head. All I need is the moments I have.

It's the NY Times, so the link will expire.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
Well, cannot find my Japanese-English dictionary, and went to see what Babel fish would do with what I wanted. A Chinese translation would be acceptable, too.

Babel fish is now the Bing translator.

I got tiles. I know this is probably much more accurate for someone who is a native speaker trying to write an English concept, but I was kinda hoping for an actual word/metaphor I could use in a story.

Must find dictionary. Or perhaps use Sanskrit.

For now, I will stick with "reader of time."
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Boobies!)
Is THIS what this book is about?

I am speechless. I thought the book was merely derivative, mildly erotic, and poorly written. This is appalling.

At the least, this is a well thought-out analysis of FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY. So what do you think?
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Katy Rose Pink)
An interesting article about the largest grossing section of the publishing industry -- why do women read romance? What makes the 9% of men who read it curious, and what makes them stay?

Here's one writer's opinion.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Hidden Fires book cover #1)
I have written the first back cover blurb for the e-book HIDDEN FIRES. Now I have to go get ready for a birthday party. When I come back, I can decide if I'm going in the right direction. I need this by the end of the week, max, so I can get the ISBN from the appropriate BVC person, and get that info to our Library Thing connector.

Tomorrow, some writing must happen!
alfreda89: (Cat Magic)
Signs up until 10/31/10..
alfreda89: (Peppermint Peach Tree)
Now, I've lasted through 167 or so episodes of this shonen anime (see other anime posts for definitions) and unless I've missed it, no one from the Soul Society has ever asked the question: "Why does Ichigo Kurosaki have not only measurable spirit energy, enough to fight with -- but possibly astronomical spirit energy, yet-to-be-tapped energy, the type a captain of the Thirteen court guards has?"

We know that Ichigo's mother saw ghosts. That's where the series starts. So far there is one other possible reason for Ichigo and his sisters' ability to sense and see spirits -- tossed into the mix at one point, and then walked away from. It's an entire, unmapped place in the story, with a couple of signposts. I won't be specific and give anything away. But you'd think at least one captain would have started doing some research on the situation, other than expressing mere irritation with Ichigo, or friendly tolerance since Ichigo is the kind of person who might end up being reborn as a Soul Reaper. Or you'd think that we would see them avoiding the subject -- because they already know why, and aren't sure how they feel about it. It may be something they've been forbidden to discuss. The rules of the Soul Society are occasionally obscure, and often unjust -- they may just be letting Ichigo flounder around to see what happens.

And what will happen to the family dynamics when this point is revealed?

Quite possibly this has been dealt with in the manga, which is further ahead, I believe. (It's so popular the anime has a sub-plot the manga doesn't, to give the manga artist time to catch up with the monster he's created!)

As a writer, I'd be seeding that in somewhere. But the fighting and swords are the main things some people watch, so the family history and dynamics -- and how it effects Ichigo -- may not interest the artist nearly as much as it does me.

I need to find a site with icons from anime, or a place to take a DVD snapshot and make my own....

April 29, 2010:

Having caught up with the manga (skipping the anime detour for right now) I can say that I have caught almost everything up until now, although I am not sure about the validity of some sub-points of information at this time. They come from an unreliable source. But still, the story continues to be entertaining, and I can see why it is holding the attention of the young men it's written for, as well as a few others of us who occasionally yell at the screen for something to happen and it doesn't. But women look at things differently, and each artist has a goal of their own.

I anticipated the surprise of a certain arrancar, although not as big of a surprise as it turned out to be.

Still a recommended series!
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (BVC button)
In the last week or so, an essay from The New Yorker has made the rounds of various writers’ lists. Entitled Subject: Our Marketing Plan by Ellis Weiner, it is meant to be humorous, and indeed, there is a lot to laugh about in the body of the “Letter”, written from the last of the promotion department (a new intern) to one of several writers on the publishing house’s current promo list. The intern assures the writer that she has some excellent ideas for promotion, and then asks the writer: “Do you blog?”
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
By the way -- this is an R-rated title for a group, not quite clean for work, in my opinion. (I would not want a work associate to see this over my shoulder, unless it was a friend. I avoid using this word as a modifier, or in name-calling, but I accept that some people do.)

If NaNoWriMo never quite works out for you? Here is WriSomifu. It is quite silly -- they claim they are underachievers -- and although I know I won't finish a novel in a month (let me re-phrase that...I am furiously doing notes for several things. If Allie grabs me by the throat and says "MY TURN!" who knows what might happen....) I don't expect to finish in a month, but sometimes short time goals are good spurs to work. So -- If this is the monthly inspiration for you, you've got until the 31st to ask for an invite.

This may temporarily lift the journal rating to PG-13+. Kids, I do NOT advise this language at home! Think of it this way -- if you over-use a swear word, it loses its effect. Save it for NEED! (Although there was a recent study that said people who, when they swear, REALLY swear, get more relief out of it. Curious, eh?)

I am getting BVC posts done every Friday, plus my LeGuin post last Wednesday. I may start posting my anime reviews over here, and expanding on them. So y'all know why (other than enjoying the art form) I'm watching them. These things are the seed of DragonRain. Wrisomifu is to make sure actual fiction notes and writing takes place every day.

Now....the great transfer to the laptop in the chaise lounge!
alfreda89: (Winter)
I love this simple and not-so-simple poem by Jenna Felice. Jenna was a young editor at Tor Books when she died suddenly from, of all things, a severe asthma attack. Jenna'd had some very hard times growing up; her mother was an invalid fighting for her life. Jenna held the household together until her mother died, and then she raised her younger sister. I only met this funny, smart, talented woman in her last year, and of all the people I met in that daze of a convention, sitting on a bed at a party and talking with her remains bright and cheerful in my memory.

This site is a tribute to Jenna, but her name is not at the end of this poem. So if you share it, and the link, be sure to say Jenna Felice wrote this poem.

I read it several times, during winter.
alfreda89: (Winter)

"Without me the literary industry would not exist: the publishers, the agents,
the sub-agents, the sub-sub agents, the accountants, the libel lawyers, the
departments of literature, the professors, the theses, the books of criticism,
the reviewers, the book pages -- all this vast and proliferating edifice is
because of this small, patronised, put-down and underpaid person."

Doris Lessing (1919 - )

Thanks to writer Ashley McConnell, who sent this to one of my writer group lists.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
I notice in passing that we have new lurkers. (Some of you I actually know, I believe. Dear Universe where is ma brain....) Welcome! Life has been a tad weird lately, hence not much in the way of posts. But -- I am writing again, and will try to mention something at least once a week. Also getting together with 24 other writers (including Ursula K LeGuin and Vonda McIntyre, say on!) to create a new site with free and inexpensive old stuff and some new stuff for free or pay (tips always appreciated, of course. We are trying to live on our work....)

I won't mention URLs now, but we're trying for a WFC launch. I'll be posting free my in-the-dark-ages-since-first-published fantasy/romance/humor homage to the Arabian Nights stories, "Feather of the Phoenix". It will go up in six parts. I'll list the site when we go...beta? Better check on the status before hinting at dates.

I'll say while I'm up here -- I started LJ to try and write through a difficult time. Now that some writing is happening, I will probably make less silly posts, and more of substance. (Except for the I Can't Resist political posts.) By the way: If McCain and the Barbie doll win, I will probably go into seclusion and return with a sign that says: "End of the World, take the first right and have your tickets ready."
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
J.K.Rowling proves it was not just timing and luck -- the woman can write. I wish I had said it, because I've finally admitted that I have been living it.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
This law is a DONE DEAL, people. Indiana, always progressive in education, now wants to show everyone that they fight minors being exposed to porn. Note that "'Sexually explicit material' is defined as any product that is 'harmful to minors' under existing law." There goes my next two series, with this kind of definition.

The time to fight is NOW!

ABFFE spokesman Chris Finan said the law is the only one of its kind currently on the books in the country. Calling it "clearly unconstitutional," Finan said ABFFE will urge the Media Coalition to challenge the law at the organization's next meeting on April 9. H.B. 1042 does not go into effect until July, by which time Finan is hopeful the lawsuit will be filed and an injunction issued by the court.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
Okay --

I've put off writing because I can't risk going up to the Internet. New circumstances dictated new patterns and new coping mechanisms. Overall, things are good. It's just that they're balanced on a pinnacle, and I'm waiting for things to either level, or for the downhill ride. I hope for another climb, but I'll settle for some level time.
For those so inclined --  )
So I really am alive. Just trying not to walk in circles and avoiding LJ because I can't trust myself to read and not comment.

And I caught up with Torchwood, and I HATE BBC America, or Time Warner, because they don't end their shows on the hour, and my DVR has been cutting the last two minutes off the episodes! (Those of you caught up understand why I'm screaming.) Entirely too much important stuff happens in the last three minutes of that show. It's lunatic SF, but I like Jack, Tosh and Gwen, and Ianto and Owen are growing on me. We all have our vices. Torchwood is one of mine.

SALTATION is moving too slowly! I want more!

Writing --

Jan. 19th, 2008 04:55 pm
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
I was sorry not to go to the salt tasting last night, but I wrote 9 pages. (It was after the worst ADD day in a long time.)

I hope this means I'm forgiven.

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