What Happens Next

Every week I ship a query off to five agents I like, until I run out of agents I like. And yes, not all agents are created equal. At any rate, I just spent an hour writing a synopsis and querying 4 agents in addition to the patient saint waiting agent, so that’s 5 for this week.

During tomorrow’s writing time, I begin to research 1973 for The Were-Humans, which is the novella I intend to write to enter into the Writers of the Future contest. Damn their dirty scientology eyes!

During the times I’m at home near a sewing machine, I start sewing the Wicked Queen from Snow White. I have a hankering to make something pretty.


Pandora’s Box

My, aren’t all these bullying posts cathartic? Necessary? Sure.

Michelle Sagara

Seanan McGuire

Jim Hines

Kate Harding

Catherynne Valente

Similarly, a wave of anti-bullying sentiment went around the YA writing community a few months ago. Notable stories surfaced there as well, stories that made my soul ache for the children who underwent the horrible things that happened to them.

But you know the most notable post for me in this recent rash of posts?

Diana Francis stands up to a bully

And I’ll talk about that, but first I’ve got to get to the point where it makes sense, the comments that I make.


These posts about bullies are important. They serve to show solidarity and identification, and show that there’s a problem out there, and that it hasn’t gone away. They point out to young people being bullied (although I’m not sure how many of them are reading our exploits in the blog-o-sphere), that lives can get better, or that there is a tribe for the geeks.

All this has its purpose.

This is the point where I have to talk about myself a little bit. And these days, that makes me uncomfortable.

You have to understand that I am Angry Writer (TM). Not at you. At blaming myself for a wide variety of ills and hurts that were done to me in my early life, and repressing those hurts so I could get on. The mantra, yes, I had a bad past, but I am the poster child for recovery, applies.

The good news is that my counselor thinks my righteous anger is healthy for me. I just had a lot of it stored up, you see, so sometimes it feels like an endless supply.

We’ll call this next part of the essay, so you’ve been bullied and you know what that’s like. What happens next?

Don’t go under here. There’s some self indulgence under here. It goes to a point, but we’re in the really dark part of the forest and you may not want to go there.

Continue reading “Pandora’s Box”

Turtles Do Win

The neglect here is because I am proofreading. I also have a grammar retreat at work next week, and believe me, you haven’t lived until you’ve done all the preliminary work for a grammar retreat.

The good news? The sample chapters are off to the agent who asked to see my new project, based on the strength of the old project. I’m proofing so much because there is also a publishing company who wants to see the entire manuscript based on the strength of the old project as well.

This? Is nothing. I mean, it’s cool, and I’m happy, but nothing happens in publishing until it happens, if you know what I’m getting at. So no cause for jumping up and down and going squee just yet.


Um…I did mention that there was probably a post in here somewhere about plodding. Guys, it took me QUITE SOME TIME to finish The Winter the Troll Danced with Old Nick. I have a very full professional life, and a somewhat demanding social life. I had some set backs this year. (For example, I learned what tracheitis was this year!).

What I did was spend time writing, as much as I could. I planned times to write, and I stuck to them. I wrote when I didn’t feel like it, and sometimes I had to throw crap out, but sometimes I was given the gift of awesome prose. I looked at things with a critical eye, and I backcombed that story. Characters lived. Characters died. Characters went into limbo. I waited for feedback. And sometimes, I even felt like I was in limbo with those characters.

Sometimes it seemed like I was moving backward. But EVERY SINGLE STEP I took, EVERY SINGLE MOMENT WRITING was a step forward.

The process wasn’t fast, and it wasn’t pretty this time. It was steady. I made it. And believe me, you can totally do this. There is just one secret, one magic bullet that will help you get to the end of the novel.

Write it.

That’s the entire secret of the writing universe. It’s the only thing you can control. The more you write and practice and study, the better your writing gets. But no dreams of glory can even come close to being true if you want to write, but you don’t.


And the other thing? I’m so happy to have something to send out again! I feel a little fake if I’m not circulating something. I want to send the best story I can, but I think at some point, you have to commit to sending it out, if you want to publish. If it doesn’t work out, you can always write another one, or you can morph the old one (see Substance of Shadows, coming again to a writer near you.) No dreams of glory can come close to being true if you keep your story on your hard drive.

So. That was my break. Here I come, chapter 12. Let’s do this thing.


ps More cool interviews forthcoming. Just as soon as I get this sucker proofread, I have questions to send to a couple of authors. Until then, hang out, and be inspired. Or write. Fish gotta swim, bird gotta fly, turtle gotta move in slow and frustratin’ increments.

VP Profile #4: Chia Evers

The multi-talented Chia Evers was my roommate at Viable Paradise XIII. This Renaissance woman not only writes, but also knits, belly dances, and practices law.

Tamago: Do you see yourself as a short story writer or a novel writer? Why?

Chia: Both. I actually envy writers who know when they start a project how long it’s going to want to be – I’ve got stories that want to spiral out to tens of thousands of words, and stories that I thought were much longer that decide they’re very compact. (And I have trouble finishing both kinds of stories, but that’s an entirely different issue.)

Tamago: What kind of genre do you like to write in best? Why does that work for you?

Chia: One way or another, I’m a fantasy writer. Even when I try to write “mainstream” fiction, it ends up with a magical edge, even if it’s only implied.

Tamago: Who are your creative influences?

Chia: My very earliest influences were fairy tales and myths. I didn’t make a distinction – for years I thought that Greece was a fantasy realm, like Narnia or Oz. I read a lot of fantasy, and a little sci-fi, and I’ve got a weakness for historical romance and trashy thrillers, especially if they’re well-written. I read quite a bit of non-fiction, too, and stow away bits and pieces of biography and history to thread into stories later. I’m a bit of a magpie that way.

Continue reading “VP Profile #4: Chia Evers”

Jon Gibbs Interviews Me about Hulk Hercules

I’d like to thank everyone for their congratulations about finishing. There’s a post in there somewhere about persistence, but there’s also a grammar retreat in two weeks, so today I’d better get crackin’ on my day job. What I’d really rather do is be at home proofing and finishing.


you might remember Jon Gibbs, the awesome writer whose book Fur-Face was reviewed here last month? You know, Jon?

whom you could now pick out of a line-up?

Jon does great work at his blog. He writes thought-provoking questions. Every Friday he does a little digest about the writing posts for the week that he thinks are exceptional. You should visit Jon’s blog.

Another reason you should visit Jon’s blog is that today Jon has interviewed me about Hulk Hercules. I appreciate it. I still think cavemen would win, but you can feel free to continue the discussion over there.

Jon makes me look good.

Grammar. Yeah. Grammar.


After 18 months, and 4 Rewrites

Well. That’s it. The troll book is done.

I mean really done. The fourth rewrite is finished. Everything makes sense. I do have to proofread and chop a bit. But it’s done. Comes in at 56.5K, a respectable YA length.

Seems like that took a long time. This one didn’t come easy. I will get it to the people who want it right now. Finally.

As I now ascribe to the Patrick Rothfuss school of revision, it’s going out there, but the feedback loop will be ongoing until I either trunk it or an editor gets in touch with it.

And that’s pretty much all I feel the need to say today. Because I’m done.


Waxing Barnes and Noble’s Cat

Ow, right tricep. What is up with you anyway? We haven’t done strength training in a few. Maybe you’re jealous. I’m thinking a freak sleeping accident.


The Carl Brandon Society comments cohesively on the Elizabeth Moon debacle. Bloggers clap, everyone.


Looks like I’ll be ripping out all the stuff I wrote last Wednesday. I really hate that. Why can’t every word out of my mind be golden? Golden, damn it!!!

All right. Solidarity, fellow writers. Better get down to it.


Publicity and the Single Writer

Caveat: This author is married, and loving it, but the title sounded cooler as it is written.


Recently, several writers have been talking about the uses of the internet for publicity.

Note Sarah Prineas here.

And Sarah Prineas here.

And Cat Valente here.

What can I say? They’re both right.

And here’s why.

Continue reading “Publicity and the Single Writer”