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bear by san

March 2017



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writing whiskey wicked faerie

if you can't dig on esther, you turn and leave town

First things first: I do not get a kickback for this, but--

For those of you who are, like me, wicked faerie apologists, F-Bod Studios offers new authorized Kelpie schwag. For the maneating pony in your life.

That's an old photo, from when Whiskey was still wearing the Black Stallion guise (by which he's better-known in folklore).

There's a nice thing about having this much of a manuscript written. Which is that, as long as I keep exceeding my quota by a little bit every day, every day the quota I need to exceed gets a little smaller.

It would be more thrilling if I weren't feeling quite so burned out on the whole process. Even characters I know and like--Tristen, Benedick, Caitlin, Gavin, Mallory--people who have been in my head for years--are turning in lackadaisical performances, and I'm having a hard time feeling them and just knowing what they would do or say in any given situation. And the words, right now, just lie there on the page, without insight or spark or beauty. Or tension.

Well, if I can't feel my way through it, I shall simply have to think my way through it. This is, after all, the reason why I've spent thirty years learning this craft: so I have it to work with when the art part is being recalcitrant.

It's no fun writing like this. It's work, and hard work.

The funny thing is, when you go back and read it six months or a year later, you can't tell the difference between the bits you slogged through, cursing every word, and the bits that came out as if Odin himself was feeding you the lines. (300 ccs Mead of Poetry P.O! STAT!)

I wonder what it is that my backbrain is working on so hard that it's got me flailing away without any sense of strength or balance or narrative control, and has been working on for so long? Usually, conscious incompetence a sign that the subconsious is preoccupied with working through some knotty problem of narrative or craftsmanship, and is making the conscious brain do all the heavy lifting that usually gets handled by the guys in the back room, while they stand around looking at the thing on the floor, cocking their heads, and saying, "Well, what do we do with that?"

Whatever it is, I'd like it to get on with it. This thrashing and hating is boring, and I am ready to start my long pathetic slide into complacency and mediocrity now. Especially if it means I might have fun with writing again.

(Well, I'm still having fun with Shadow Unit, mostly, although "Overkill" kicked my everloving ass and I'm still not sure I'm ready to face the revisions. But that's okay, because first I have to get a draft of this damned novel. Right? Right.)

In other news, the page proofs for Hell & Earth landed today. If you love me, and ever want to read Promethean Age #5, by the way, it wouldn't be a bad idea to pre-order Ink & Steel and its fraternal twin, because I'm out of contract and the early orders will of course have an influence on whether Roc picks up the fifth one in the series.

Also, I was paid for a short story I'm not allowed to talk about yet, which is nice, so I paid off my credit card. Life as a freelance artist is the opposite of how everybody else lives: instead of saving up for things, we put them off as long as possible, or buy them on credit and then pay it off all at once when the money finally comes in. The trick is, of course, to actually pay off the debt when the money comes in, rather than letting it pile up to the sky.

Getting paid in large chunks every six months or so is an interesting way to live.

Secrets to living by your wits #275: do not carry debt.

Well, I have student loans, but what are you gonna do about that? Fork over the cash every month, that's what.

And now, back to the unrelenting toil.


Thanks for the shirt link. Not that I need any more pony prodding, the Adapt a wild horse and/or burro group was at the county fair this weekend, I deliberately avoided their area.

As for the unrelenting toil bit? Hey, it worked out pretty well for Conan of Cimmeria, right? Right?
I think I meant "Adopt". There will be no gene tinkering here, thank you very much. *grin*
It's a hard life, here in my maneating-pony-free existence.
And somehow that managed to switch my mental TV over to a very twisted version of "It's a hard knock life" from Annie. I think you broke my brain. Again.
PA #5 has to happen. It HAS to. *runs to Amazon*
Well, it keeps me in kibble, so, yanno.... I think so.
Oof. I hear you about the life of the freelancer: Put it off till tomorrow, the interest incurred won't be that much more... and that 'interesting way to live' is the Chinese way. Meh. Deep down inside, the parental units still don't understand why I don't just get a Nice Steady Job somewhere. (Is anyone's job steady these days, I ask you? No.)

Scurrying off to pre-order PA#3 and 4. Pre-orders are love.

OTOH, I know I'm employed through 2010. And I make a better living at this than I did typing up microbiology manuals.
Knowing you have at least two years of work is more job security than many people of my acquaintance. (Including me, come to think of it. Hrm. Time to get cracking on proposals again. Selling partials is also love.) (Well, on the financial/employment side of things, anyhow. Not so much on the 'er, now what' front when the brain shuts down and the muse hangs a 'GON OUT BAKSON, BZY BAKSON' sign on her front door.)

And you're happier this way, yes? Slogging aside? And brain-drains, and page proofs (I want my own gone, gone, gone, I hates them), and CEMs aside too?
Beats working for somebody else.
I will do the pre-orders tonight. I wouldn't have thought of it so I'm glad you brought it up--I usually wait until things come out and then buy it from my local bookstore. BUT I always end up buying more than one copy of your stuff anyway, so the bookstore can wait for me to purchase presents for folks.

Also, I left my half-finished copy of Dust on the plane coming back from DC. So that needs to be replaced too.

Well, I hope somebody found and liked it...
Last time I was away on business I was in LA, and left my 3/4 finished copy of Melusine in the hotel room. Isn't that funny? I hoped the maid found it and liked it. And then I replaced that, too.

That Horse Whiskey!

Spotted at the used bookstore last week, albeit with a different cover:


The cover I saw was still neither a black nor piebald horse, though, which is a shame, because otherwise I could happily imagine it being a YA version of W&W, which appeals to my odd sense of humor for some reason.

(Amazon's tagging system suggests I might want to tag it "vampire romance" or "joss whedon." This also appeals.)
The shirts are great, although I sort of think they'd be cooler if the words "NOM NOM NOM" appeared somewhere.

LOLFairies. Just what the world needs, I think.
AW! Maneating pony! (I never really thought about kelpies, till I discovered that my bitty faerie prince in Lightning War likes to play with the one that lives on his mother's land.)


I'm trying to decide whether I'd get a letter sent home from school if I sent Emma (daughter) to kindergarten in a "maneating pony" hoodie....
I think it's worth trying! She would dig it.
Thanks for the link.
In fact, the pay off the debt impulse is so strong in me that I have an on-going urge to pay it off to a degree that leaves me with nothing to actually *live* on, when those big chunks of money come in.

This is a dumb-ass way to make a living. :)
It really is.

But what else are you gonna do with your life? Well, you and I could get a lot of haircuts. But that still leaves ~2000 science fiction writers adrift in the marketplace without useful skills....
Have to laugh about debt, but oh, otherwise, your words are so good. Especially about backbrain and consciousness.
Hee. It's an ideal often honored in the breach, I will admit it. :-P

The left-brain/right brain thing fascinates me. I'm sitting here right now surfing at livejournal because I can't get my head to give me an in to this scene I need to write. And I want to be writing it--I'm excited about it! It's a cool scene! I know what happens in it!--but my head will not give me the first sentence.

So here I am on lj, wasting writing time. :-P
Yeah...but you're not wasting time, really. Because on some blog you're going to see the word canteloup, say, and that will remind you of that incredibly intense conversation in New Orleans the hot summer of '98, which reminds you of the smell of Bourbon Street when the bakeries open their doors and suddenly you're hearing just the right conversation, so you switch windows, and the next thing you know your legs ache and you have to pee and your lunch in the oven has cooked to cinders, and it's seven hours later and how did that happen? But you've got 3500 awesome pages.

I'm trying to write a dream sequence.


But yeah, just like that.

Maybe it starts with the wind on his neck.
words, not pages. (That will be the second blink, when you discover three years have passed.)

I did that, actually. Four years of hypergraphia.

Still trying to lose the weight. ;-)