Jun 3 2016

Random updates not all about me

Rosemary

I had a few delays this week due to general life-type chores.  I’ve missed my walks in the woods for several days (which I have discovered makes me sorta cranky).   But I’m back in the saddle, and typing away… and the weekend is nearly upon us.

Current fleurs on desk

Current fleurs on desk

I had the fun of sending out a serious chunk of prose to the Fabulous Genrettes, my writer’s group, for analysis and dissection at our next meeting.  Naturally, I just want them to tell me how brilliant I am!  But, being a pro, I’m willing to be told that I’m only mostly brilliant, and that the prose (ahem) desperately needs some loving care, attention, and bringing-to-heel (AKA rewrites).

Other than that there is, at the moment, little to report on the writing front — largely because I don’t generally blog about the content of what I’m working on, and I don’t post  word counts (as explained in this ancient entry from before I had an office and while I still had a day job).  But I am at it, and looking forward to the weekend, which is prime writing time for me, when I have the entire building to myself.

I’m still currently reading Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning, but I always do have trouble reading fiction when I’m also writing fiction, so I have paused for the moment.  Ada’s book both deserves and requires attention; I don’t want to read it sloppily, and I realized that I was doing so — so I stopped.  I’ll get back to it in a bit, when I’m at a good pause-for-a-breather point in my own work.

I’ve also picked up Neil Gaiman’s The View from the Cheap Seats,  which, being non-fiction, doesn’t hijack my fiction-processing faculties.  It includes the text to the famous “Make Good Art” speech, always an inspiration to me.

Meanwhile, Google alerted me that E.C.Ambrose mentioned the Steerswoman series in a blog post on maps… and that reminded me of Ambrose’s own books, and the fact that that her blog is great resource for people interested in the writing process.   There’s all sorts of excellent advice on many subjects relating to writing, like: The uses of location, of detail, suspense, and more.  She knows whereof she speaks and expresses it well.  And she’s taught at the Odyssey Writing Workshop.  All good reasons to check out both her blog and her books.

Lastly: Do not forget about the Con or Bust fundraising auction!    Bidding closes on Sunday at 4PM Eastern time, and there are lots of SF/F- related books objects and memorabilia available, and jewelry and handicrafts. Like a steampunk guitar pick-guard!  Seriously, where else are you going to find one of those?

Photo May 24, 6 40 21 AM

 


May 16 2016

Not a time warp.

Rosemary

But it feels like one.

I'm not still here. I'm just back here.

I’m not still here. I’m just back here.

I lost a lot of time this week to various household responsibilities, and preparations for this and that.  I feel like I got little done, when in fact I got plenty done — just with a lesser proportion of writing in the mix.   So, I rather feel like I’m back where I started… I’ll make up for the lack of prose this week; if possible I’m going to do all my larger non-writing tasks on Monday, giving me the rest of the week for the real work.

Meanwhile, in the grand tradition of “Let’s put the band back together!”, my writer’s group, The Fabulous Genrettes, is reactivating!  It’s been, what — four years?   We agreed that we missed us and wanted us back.   Happy days!   I volunteered to be first in the hot seat, and I have to decide what is presentable enough to be presented for feedback.

I did manage to get my walks and/or gym time in this week.  The gym is much more strenuous, and gives me a better overall workout — but I absolutely cannot work on anything creative while exercising.  It’s largely the environment: noisy, busy, filled with other human beings, dozens of screens with different moving images, and idiotic repetitive music piped in at high volume.  I can read a book on the treadmill or stationary bike, but not for very long before the surroundings overwhelm me, and earbuds can’t sufficiently block the music.   I can do an audiobook, but that doesn’t help with the visual chaos.

What works, alas, is TV on my iPad.

Yep.  A couple of TV shows, and I’m  an hour, sometimes two hours, working up a sweat.   I get all grumpy when the gym’s wifi is on the fritz, as it sometimes is.    And when I use the machines, I switch to an audiobook  (currently finishing up Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson, which I’m enjoying a lot).

However, when I’m just walking in the woods, I can think about the story — or stories in general, or other artistic ideas.  So,  I’m going to put more woods into the mix.

Mysterious ruins in the forest...

Mysterious ruins in the forest…

In other news: live music!  Sabine and I went to a performance by the Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut, one member of which is a pal of ours.   The program included two excerpts from James Whitbourn’s Luminosity: “Lux in tenebris” and “Silence”.  It was a bit of a departure for this choir,  but I’m so glad they did it.   They introduced me to a new work, and a new composer.

Thanks to YouTube, you can hear it, too (performed by a different choir, that is).   (If you don’t have great speakers, use headphones for this.)  I haven’t yet listened to Luminosity in its entirety yet, but I will, soon —  and I love “Lux in tenebris” and “Silence.”

And lastly: Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer’s debut novel, is out and on my Kindle.  I won’t go into detail, as I haven’t finished it yet, but I will say that so far, it’s definitely living up to its advance press.   It is remarkable.  I really think you should read it.

In fact, there are free excerpts on Tor.com.   There you go.  Take it out for a test drive.  First four chapters, no commitments.

But here’s the Amazon link, because I think you’ll want it.