Pubs (and Thanks!) to Drollerie Press

Deena Fisher of Drollerie Press was kind enough to put a notice up on the Drollerie blog about Blood is Thicker than Water, the novel I’m publishing for free at Las Habladoras. I only meant to share the information with the Drollerie authors, but this is really much nicer. 🙂

So, here’s a lovely bit of publicity for myself and (ultimately!) the other Las Habladoras.

Deena’s Write Up at Drollerie.

Thanks, Deena.

Back to works in progress.


Yesterday was an arm day. I took some time off to rest the broken limb.

Today, we worked some more. Here’s where we’re at.

Hulk Hercules

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
2 / 38

That represents 14 pages, and the first chapter. This has been sent off to Sonya for the Cats Curious party on October 4th at Fen Con.


The Substance of Shadows

The prologue will take longer to revise than thought, as I’m moving things around to test Erasmus’ wit less transparently. We’ll be stuck here for the next couple of days while I hammer this out.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
14 / 369


Notes from the Revision Cave

With apologies to Karen Mahoney, who probably should receive royalties from me every time I use the term Revision Cave.

From today on, the Herc-o-meter will be done by revised scenes. All told, there are 38 scenes in the novel that are key. Some of them are in great shape, others are exceedingly sketchy. There’s also a fair amount of gluing that must occur between some of them to smooth the path. However, the scenes will be my milestones for the meter.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
1 / 38


And, revision for Substance will be done by page count. My subconscious must come up with a test of wits for me to insert into the prologue, so that seemed like a good stopping point for today. Other highlights of revision include making my dialogue less stilted. Check!

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
6 / 368


Now, to have some lunch, take a small break, and put on my English teacher hat in order to check some papers.


Photo Meme

To be honest, this is what I look like at the end of the day. Note the lack of makeup and hairdo. Note the addition of stylish sling.

The Rules:
Take a picture of yourself right now.
Don’t change your clothes, don’t fix your hair…just take a picture.
Post that picture with NO editing.
Post these instructions with your picture.


Thanks to seeing it in many of your journals, I’ve decided to join JoNoWriMo, a month and a half of writers working on projects. See yesterday’s plan. It’ll be nice to have a support group.

If you add the work curriculum into that mix, it’s going to be a writerlicious month and a half.


The New Plan

Delusionally, I have determined to work on the rewrites of Hulk Hercules: Professional Wrestler and The Substance of Shadows at the same time. The plan I’ve sketched out for myself gives me a surprising amount of time in the remainder of September, October, and November to do both, with ample room for flex. It looks like all of November is flex.

Tomorrow, we’ll crank up those new meters. HH: PW goes first each day. Today we rest the arm.


Hulk Hercules First Draft: Fait Accompli

The first draft of Hulk Hercules: Professional Wrestler is done. It weighs in about 38K.

Zokutou word meter
38,118 / 38,118


What happens next? About everything. We’ve laid all the pipe, and have gotten a sense of the characters and plot. The only character who remained as planned was Tony. The rest of them went in interesting directions, Nonna in particular. I need to make sure I weave plot threads all the way through the story in both directions, and firm up sketchier scenes and subplots with important details and research. The revision will be a serious firming, with a conscious injection of edgy yet whimsical humor (oh my God! jacket coooppppyyyyyy!!!)

I expect an overall expansion of the wordage. How much we shall see.

The salient detail, however, is that we are done 12 days ahead of time in the month of the broken arm. Go me.

Hope you are all flourishing out there in writer land. It always feels good to get to this point. My rough drafts are really so crap usually. Now we can pull back and focus.


Book Group: Tanya Huff’s Valor’s Choice

Because of my arm hang ups, I didn’t get to blog live during the book group’s consideration of Tanya Huff’s Valor’s Choice. This is going to be a shorter version of the usual as well.

Readers who both liked the book and who didn’t like the book had the same main reason: the book was predictable. About half of our group appreciated the nods to the genre of paramilitary science fiction, and found the book to be a familiar roller coaster ride that they enjoyed. They relished the familiar. On the other hand, part of the group felt that the book should have broken away from what they felt was cliche and predictable. The English teacher (yours truly) suggested that the book was beloved genre to half the readers, and predictable cliche to the other half.

One reader suggested that the real story starts about chapter 5. Again, some of the readers suggested that they liked the back story of the characters and disagreed. Others wanted to get right into the action. Interestingly, we had two separate editions of the book, and they were marketed to different expectations. The older version, which focused on the action and the choices, frustrated readers who wanted the plot right now. The new version of the book focused on the main character and her growth, and those readers felt that the book delivered on its marketing promises. Certainly, the consensus of the book was that it was closer to the marketing blurbs of version 2.

Other things at random: last part of the book was strongest part. Someone felt there were too many characters. Some folks wanted more of support characters. Others thought that it was definitely Torin’s book and should remain that way. Many of us appreciated the nod to the Michael Caine film Zulu.

Overall, the book was touted as a fun ride, better for some than others.

NEXT MONTH: Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark Henry, just in time for Halloween. Get your questions for Mark to Cath by October 10th. Book talk, Monday, October 20th at 6pm at Coffee Talk Cafe. All are welcome. Do read the book.

Michelle is Fine

I think I overdid it a bit on Monday. I took yesterday off work completely and rested my arm, and things are much better today. Still, I will be cautious. I won’t write much here, because I need to save it for the first draft.

I do want you all to know that my friend Michelle’s lumps all came out BENIGN. I can’t be unhappy with any arm problems I’m having with that news.

See you with more writing, later.