Castles in the Air

…or, the blueprint.

To those who know me in real life, it comes as no surprise that I love to plan. Planning helps me sharpen my focus, and set my goals.

But before I begin, an FYI. I heard from Sonya, and it sounds like we’re moving Hulk Hercules back to April, so we can get reviewer copies out. ARCs, however, may be here as early as in two weeks. So there you go. She’s healing up from a recent surgery. More details than that I do not have, but I’m glad she’s okay.

Let’s talk about some writing goals. I cut for you because I care, and I know this is self-indulgent, mostly. I always read these kinds of posts because it’s fun for me to see what people are working on, but you might not be as voyeuristic as me.

Continue reading “Castles in the Air”

Concern: Curious about Cat’s Curious

Has anyone heard from Sonya Sipes lately?

I’ve tried reaching her in more conventional ways, and now the Cats Curious website appears to be gone. So I’m pulling out the searchlights. It’s not about the Hulk Hercules deadline, and she’s sometimes quiet for long periods of time. However, with the website gone, I am more than a little concerned. If you know anything, please feel free to contact me privately.

ETA: Sounds like those in the know (facebook people) say that Sonya is eight days out from recovering from surgery. I hope she is doing well, and thanks to all of you for letting me know.


Hitting the Wall

I’ve been thinking about this post all day, and finally I’m getting a chance to sit and write it. It’s been a very busy day.

Let’s start here. Jon Gibbs started my day with another of his excellent round up posts. Of particular relevance to me right now were these posts:

Gary Frank‘s post on Love to Write or Love the Idea of Being a Writer. Why? Because when you hit a period like I’m going through right now, the idea of can you walk away goes through your head. I’m pleased to say that the idea of walking away from my writing leaves me uncomfortable.

Ann Boyle‘s post about the characters living in my head, trying to get out. Why? It confirms, again, that writing is something I want to do.


This is very much a post for newbies, although perhaps there is some relevance to writers even as they contemplate changing the direction of their work.

That fateful Wiscon in 2007, when I decided that if people were going to ask me for my work I should get it to them was almost three years ago. At that time, I knew it would take a while to establish my career. I’ve been upbeat and Pollyanna-ish as much as I could. I have this little list of ground rules. I’m just a generally happy and upbeat person.

And, it’s been a good two years, with some publications, a book and acceptance into a writer’s workshop. I’m not exactly banging my head against a wall.

I didn’t count on the amount of no affecting the amount of yes.

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EBooks, Publishers, and the Brave New World

If you’re an author, you’ve been following the Amazon versus Macmillan strangeness. There’s no doubt that ebooks have gained more prominence with recent gadgetry, but recent calls that they mean the demise of publishing houses seem sort of naive. A great many more qualified people than I say things about this.

But if you missed it, here’s a succint blow-by-blow with Scott Westerfield.

And here’s Tobias Buckell editorializing.

Cat Valente discusses the need for publishers in our brave new world.

Jay Lake underscores what publishers do for you.

Sarah Monette shares the head of MacMillan’s response to the situation.

Joshua Bilmes, the founding agent of JABberwocky contemplates those changes.

As a tamago in publishing, it’s interesting to see the evolution that will be caused by new media. While electronic delivery has made things more democratic, certainly, there’s always going to be a system to try and get the good stuff out there.

I too want quality control. I’m not egotistical enough to think I’m the best quality control for my own work.


Happy Cat, YA Romance Link, and Violent Drama

Happy cat makes me smile. That’s all the justification I need.


Eugene Myers sends a really interesting link about sex and YA from Gayle Forman, which has spoilers for Twilight and Shiver. Makes me want to read Maggie’s book sooner than I have planned, but I have book club tomes before it.


And now for something completely different: a dramatization of the Amazon/MacMillan ebook debacle by John Scalzi, which has a surprise ending.


Well. In about 19 minutes, I need to be in the wild, writing, so I close for today.


YA and Romance: A Requirement?

Love…exciting and new. Woah. That was the 70’s, there for a moment.

FYI, Happy Hour of the Damned hits the stories today in mass market paper back format. Go get it. I liked it. Still do.


Here at the Tamago, I’ve talked before about how some of my best writing comes out of my subconscious, often when I’m dreaming. My recent situation is a little weird.

Let’s make this clear, kids. I’m not advocating drug use for any sort of creativity. Nope. Just say no.

That said, as you know, I’ve been ill, and I’ve been sleeping weird. I’ve been sleeping, but the dreams have been disjointed and fragmented weirdness trips, the kind you get when you fight germs. Yesterday morning Bryon drove me to work because my arrival alive didn’t look too promising. I dozed into a weird place, and what I needed to do to the troll story came dancing out.

Then I went right back to dreaming about alternative patterns for the American flag.

What happened might seem obvious to a lot of YA writers. The main character of the story was becoming dull and reactive to other characters. What he needed, said my subconscious, was a dynamic love interest. At the expense of a couple of other characters, but it’s going to work. I can see it clearly.

That makes me wonder. Do I have to have a love interest to make a book a YA book? Is it a requirement? My subconscious seems to think so.

Romance plot ruminations follow, as do spoilers.

Continue reading “YA and Romance: A Requirement?”


Working while you are this sick blows. There is a new faculty workshop tonight that only I can lead (as our administrative staff in ELA is exactly one), so here I am.

Today’s writer topic is something that a lot of newly published writers think about, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about as I’ve been splitting my time between rebooting my creativity and/or being high. Maybe Edgar Allen Poe had it right. Those two things compliment each other in lots of ways.

I’ve been surrounding myself with more than tea and cats. Over the last two days, I’ve devoured half of Scott Westerfield’s Uglies series, and the middle book of Megan Whalen Turner’s thief series. Nice, angsty, character driven books, even though they are very different.

I’ve been viewing the relatively recent Little Dorrit from BBC. I saw Avatar, which also turned out to be more character driven than I would have expected.

In each endeavor, I find myself thinking that’s where I want my characters to be. I want to be inside those characters, deep. I’m drawn to writing about history and folklore. I like the Edward Gorey kind of vibe. I’m happiest in angsty heroics and historical drama.

Which means I understand now what I’m not doing, and what I want to be doing.

Now, I need the plan. The day job isn’t going away. If anything, it’s becoming more intense, alas. I need to find a good way to write the kinds of things I want, and to stop feeling like my writing is an odd/end that I plan around the rest of my life.

For me, it’s not that I’m not writing. It’s that I come to writing tired and used up. I think what I need to do is find a way to save energy for my writing.

How do you all do it? I’d love to hear how I could do it, because I find I’m enthused about the writing now that I’ve let myself think about it. It’s the energy level I’m finding trouble with.

And yes, the steriods do end in three days, so drugs are not an option. What do you do to stay upbeat about your writing overall, especially if you work? Because I know some of you work. And go to school. And have kids. And even more obligations than me.

And you still write. So, how?

ETA: Carrie Ryan addresses this very topic! Thank you!