Come write on a train with me! You are cordially invited to the inaugural spring train write-in.Read More
It’s been a little bit since I last updated you all on my novel. Draft 1 is complete! It’s also enormous, a whopping 190,000 words. That’s the length of two standard fantasy novels—possibly even three. I’ve been slowly cutting things down to size in draft 2. I’ve also changed some major plot elements.
Because the story has changed, I’m posting a new snippet of chapter 1 *and* a snippet of chapter 2.
Meet Lia and Damian. She’s hiding from the angels who destroyed everything she cared about. He’s a suspicious angel detective who believes she’s a threat to his city. Together they have the clues to stop a group of vicious killers—if they can learn to trust each other.
I’m writing a novel. It’s a contemporary fantasy featuring angels, vampires, salmon, miniature red robots, mutilated corpses, and other things a newly minted Seattleite stumbles across as she pretends to be human—and tries to avoid one tenacious angel detective.
Here is an excerpt from the current beginning of chapter 1. Read More
The last few months have been busy. I closed down my legal business, opened my editing business, finished my copyediting program, edited a slew of stories, proudly watched a self-published book I edited rack up glowing reviews, and started revising an unfinished novel I wrote and set aside a year ago. I also found out that the pain in my hips comes from a skeletal deformity that will require surgery, went through a ton of physical therapy, traveled to San Francisco to see one side of my family, decided not to fly to New York to see more of my family, and ate a whole bunch of tasty food. Somewhere in there, sleep happened, too. I think.
I’ve written about many of those things, but I never quite managed to post them. Much of my recent writing deals with my struggle to come to terms with my disability–typing those two words still makes me feel like I’ve been punched in the gut–and the best pieces are also the darkest. Sometimes sharing my writing scares me, and part of the reason why is below. I know I need to get over that. One day, when I’m feeling brave, I’ll publish some of those dark pieces.
I’ve also written–and not posted–about editing. Back in November I promised to explain why I’m starting up an editing business, and the short answer is because I love editing stories of all sorts. The long answer stretches back ten years and involves an unpleasant incident that many writers may, unfortunately, recognize. Read More
As it turns out, I never wrote about The Good Ship Whimsy. I never got that tattoo, either. Shortly after my last post, I discovered that the two editing classes I’d signed up for were, in fact, quite serious classes. They came with quite serious workloads. I realized I had a choice: get serious or fall seriously behind.
I set out this morning to write a post about monsters. I make up weird creatures all the time as part of my writing, and I thought it would be fun to turn some of them loose here on my blog. Then a friend pointed me to this post, where Lauren Fleshman, a professional runner, tells the story of how she published unflattering photos of herself to give context to her “fantasy” pictures from a NY Fashion Week runway show. Her story made me think about fear and courage. It also made me think about how the real monsters in our lives aren’t always easy to spot.
There can be any number of villains in a story, but most good stories have one real monster. This monster is the primary entity that keeps the hero from getting to her goal. For me, one of the hardest parts about writing a story is figuring out whether I’m focusing on the correct monster. I’ll start detailing a man’s terrible hobby of encasing live frogs in melted glass only to realize that I’ve blamed the wrong bad guy; my protagonist is actually fighting against the ghost of her father. Read More
Seattle is a fertile environment. Plants will grow on anything that stays still for too long. I’ve cleaned sprouts out from the crevices around the trunk of my car, and I have a friend who found a small carpet of moss growing under his windshield wipers.
The upsides of this include the lush greenery everywhere and the vegetable garden that delivers buckets of yummy tomatoes despite my black thumb. The downsides include things like mold, which is a real issue in many buildings. Today, I learned it is a problem in my home. Read More