Links of Import

And part of her thinks, why should I write something again, when so many other people can do it for me, and I can just link?

Clash of the Geeks now available to benefit the Lupus Alliance of America.

Jim Hines write a letter to Elizabeth Moon regarding her post on citizenship. I want you to go read Jim’s post. Mostly because these dangerous Muslims are students in my classrooms, and I’d prefer we talk about them civilly. Also, the melting pot is discarded by most sociologists these days.

Finally, Nate Bransford, keeping it real and in perspective. Yes, Virginia, I am for the most part a happy writer. Because angst just isn’t sexy.

Now I have to do some…math. Not very often we do math in English land, but there you go. It does happen sometimes.


Things to Attend To

Hello everyone. This is me, right now.

Someone’s getting a dye job on Thursday. I sort of like the luminescent glow of the computer screen, however.

I’ve been having another one of those relaxing weekends. I finished A Hat Full of Sky with Bryon. I’m not sure if Pratchett should write another one of those, as he’s wrapped things up quite nicely. I also indulged in an old Boondocks anthology, and I’m convinced that MacGruder may be the best comic strip artist of the last decade. Solid, solid work.

Announcements? This one.

You should probably pop over to Book View Cafe and pick up Breaking Waves before they’re all gone. All the money goes to relief in the Gulf Coast. Some of these writers, among them Tiffany Trent and Rachel Carson, actually know a thing or two about the environment, making it doubly interesting.

All right. Laundry, and then I’ve got to put in some writer time.


Nothing Up My Sleeves…

Today, the writer is working.

Thanks to archeologist/writer/VP XIIIer Miranda Suri, I have whacked my my 9 chapters of troll-y goodness into 22 smaller chapters. The theory being that my chapters were way too huge for teens.

I hope to repay Miranda by giving her good crit on her latest novel, of which I read two chapters last night. VERY Aztec.

Thanks to all you nice folks who have been helping me get perspective on the agent partial. I’ll have it ready to go soon.


Um…resuming the 4th draft. Things are both more ambiguous and less muddy. Clarifications are happening where they need to. Characters are no longer blurting out their motivations. The book is plumping up. We’re a little over 54K.

And I don’t mind telling you I’m heartily sick of this book. This, this is the slog I so well remember from my dissertation. It’s a much better book than it was even last draft. I’m satisfied, win, lose, or draw, that I’m putting my best effort into it. But yes, the romance is gone as I look at spelling, organization, and what would bore a reader at 15.

And just think! If I am lucky enough to get this book accepted somewhere, I probably get to do this rewrite thing several more times! Hurray!


Meanwhile, there is some stuff swirling around “O-Taga-San” which I will update you on ASAP.

Feh. I’ve got to have devil-possessed David try to beat Grant to a pulp, mark 4. Later, taters.


Naming the Novella

After I finish The Winter the Troll Danced with Old Nick, which really isn’t as far away as all that, I’ll be taking some time to work on a couple of costumes, and I’ll be working on a novella.

Let me tell you about the novella. I’ve been calling it my Southern Iowa werewolf novel, and it’s based in part, on two events from my childhood.

Continue reading “Naming the Novella”


It’s been a while.

First of all, Jon Gibbs on the Yes! moment, when you feel your writing.

Next up, Ferrett Steinmetz on submissions, setting the bar high, and working on your craft.

Finally, Maggie Stiefvater‘s good advice on the stance to take toward rejection.

Check out all of these sage writers as they utter yogic words of wisdom.


Yum-my Books n Junkie Other Stuff

I am pleased to say that I took Sunday for all intentional purposes off, and it made me a new woman.

In addition to hanging out with my wonderful husband, I did the following things, none of which I am ashamed.

1. We saw Machete. From the popular Grindhouse trailer, this movie about an ex-Federale is Mexploitative and Sexploitative. It was also a fire hydrant full of Cheese Whiz. Stick around for the scene with the intestines. Stay for the eye patch.

2. We saw two more episodes of The Kingdom. Okay, Lars, now you’re just getting freaky for its own sake. Gotta admire the toilet cam work.

3. We finished Throne of Jade. Bryon and I both think that Peter Jackson might want to spend a good chunk of his Temeraire movie here. He’s got an awesome villain. All he has in the first book is abstract Napoleon.

4. We began I Shall Wear Midnight. Sorry, Temeraire, but Tiffany Aching always gets priority. Really hooked, almost from the outset, we get to see what it is like to be a 16 year-old witch over a very large territory. It’s pretty dark right out of the shoot too.

5. I read several short stories from Bodies in Motion. It’s the other guest at Wiscon book I bought this year. There’s no fantasy to it, but each story is a tiny seed pearl on a giant tapestry of family, complicated and interlinked.

It was all I could do to keep myself from pigging down both 4 and 5 this weekend.

Thanks for all your kind words on Friday. Tiffany Trent was right. Sometimes you’ve just got to be fallow. It was a good move.

Have I mentioned how excited I am to get to my book, and to start reading the latest incarnation of Whore Lord Miranda’s VP manuscript?


Too Much Pie

I like to keep the whiny out of this journal. No one likes to read emo, unless it’s a laugh aloud cat parody. I need to get this out, and once it’s out, maybe it will fly away, and leave me alone, and let me get back to business.

I am so…very…tired. I’m not sure what to do about that at this point in time.

Like so many struggling writers, I have a full time job. That’s so I can struggle in one way, but not in all ways on my way to publication. I LOVE my job. To paraphrase Burt Lancaster from Field of Dreams: If I’d become a baseball player (writer) instead of a doctor (teacher), now that would have been a real tragedy. I like my job, but it uses up vast quantities of personal energy. They call it full-time for a reason. In addition to what I do on site, there’s always that stack of tests and papers and prep to take home. In addition, there’s the administrative side of things to organize and get up and running.

I am nearing the end of my troll book. Yes, really. I have 3 hours dedicated to just it on Tuesday, and 4 hours dedicated to it on Wednesdays. I add more as I can. It’s a good thing to be writing.

I have terrific friends. Two of them just got married in a big blow out. Several of us are getting together this weekend, and there’s another one at an art festival next weekend, and perhaps a trip to the winery the following weekend.

All this constant work and play is taking its toll. I’m pretty damned tired. I can’t even imagine life with children. There’s too much. I am too lucky. I have too many good things.

And I’m not sure what to do about it. I am prioritizing already. Maybe I need to start prioritizing rest, for just a little while.

Anyway, it becomes apparent why writers quit work. It is increasingly difficult for me to do it all. It would be nice if I could achieve more balance, rather than everything going at full tilt.

Okay, time, start slowing things down. Because I’m a little worn out.


VP Profile #2: Brandie Tarvin

Continuing the VP XIII series of profiles, Brandie Tarvin has graciously agreed to answer some questions. Brandie writes broadly in the areas of original fiction, media tie-in work, and database administration.

Welcome to the Tamago, Brandie! And thanks for the interview!

Tamago: How did you get started writing?

Brandie: I blame my father. He wrote in his spare time, and told so many wonderful horror stories, that I wanted to be just like him. Once I started writing, I just couldn’t stop.

Tamago: What would you consider your “genre,” if any?

Brandie: I’m willing to write almost anything. Fantasy comes easiest, though.

Tamago: You are a professional writer who publishes novels in existing media universes. How did you enter that profession?

Brandie: I wrote fan-fiction when I was in high school and college. Due to a friend’s prodding, I went searching for a publisher. I couldn’t get my fanfic published, but I impressed an editor so much that he invited me to write a short story for a Transformers anthology.

Continue reading “VP Profile #2: Brandie Tarvin”

Reminding Myself…

It seems important to me to reiterate to myself, so I will.

You write what you write. You can only make what you write better. You can’t write the way other people write. And you often don’t write what other people write.

What you write is probably not going to be as commercially successful as some writing is. It is, however, unique, and therein lies its strength. And the current popularity of zombies is probably luck of the draw, anyway. 😛

Don’t compare yourself to other writers. Don’t puzzle at the taste of others. You’ve always been a little off beat about what you’ve liked, anyway. It follows that you might not get the mainstream in taste, and that you won’t try to reproduce it in your own work.

Publish or not, popular or not, you write what you write. Just do that. Obscurity aside, your satisfaction lies in being true to the writer you are, for whatever values of career. Be satisfied that you are doing your best work for the moment, and keep ramping up your mad skillz with hard work.

Whatever the outcome of that is. Integrity is important, writer girl.

That’s all I have to say today about that.