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bear by san

March 2017



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sf farscape d'argo's your daddy

i hung up and i fell back to sleep

Progress notes for 25 March 2008

I despair of this book. It has no plot, no character arcs, and not even a ghost of thematic resonance. I think part of the problem is that I have no idea what its argument is, and so I am just writing stuff and hoping my right brain knows what the fuck it's doing, because it's sure as hell not telling the left brain.

I just keep reminding myself, I didn't know what One-Eyed Jack & The Suicide King was about until the third draft, and that came out okay.

Oh book, what are you about?


Stupid book. Why can't you be more like your brother?


New words: 2362
Microsoft wordcount: 42563
Manuscript wordcount: 50,000 
Deadline: May 1
Mammalian assistance: Mostly, these days, I work with a cat curled up against my thigh. Or draped over it. This suits us both, mostly. Except when I want to work on the desktop, and she pitches a fit. 
Reason for stopping: 13 hours is enough work for one day

Darling du jour: The mammoth was still screaming.
Tyop du jour: gradonflies
Jury-rigging: What the hell am I doing with this mammoth? Oh, look, a cobra!

Today's words Word don't know:  bioweapon, handsfuls, vambrace, debriding, coatsleeve, planetside, terraforming,
Words I'm Surprised Word Do Know: cambric
Sustenance: English muffins, nachos, lots of water
Other writing-related work: read Will's SU story.

Exercise: Climbing yesterday. Burned out on two 5.7s (One of which I have done before, but hey) and sent three 5.6s.
Miles to Lothlorien: 245.2
Guitar practice: cursory, but we made the attempt
Mail: I hear a rumor that the ARCs for Ink & Steel are out, though I have not yet seen one myself.


So how's that book coming, anyway?

Indigo Girls reference FTW!

(I'm right, right?)

I stumbled upon this blog completely by accident, not knowing whose blog it was, saw your name on the first post, and thought, I've heard of this person!

My wife really loves your novels. I haven't read any yet--I'm sure I will before too long--but I'm pretty sure I've read and enjoyed short fiction of yours.

Anyway, I saw the title of this post and I just needed to comment. IG are my favorite band.

Good luck on your current novel! :)

Re: Indigo Girls reference FTW!

You are right.

One of my current characters overidentifies with "Starkville."

Nice to meet you!
I want to take the time to thank you very sincerely. You have no idea how much reading your blog has helped me.

As a struggling writer, one of my greatest problems was suffering from the misperception that if the writing wasn't coming to me easily, and if the words weren't literally flowing off the page, then I must not be cut out for the writing gig. Even after I knew that wasn't true, I couldn't make it sink into my brain.

It's people like you, Gaiman, Lingen, Hines and many, many others who have put yourselves out here on display and have been unafraid to talk about your own struggles and frustrations that have made it finally real for me - that writing really IS hard, and that even published writers struggle, and write crap, and don't know what the book is about.

I've no doubt that your rough drafts are a thousand times more polished than mine - but the fact that you struggle and moreover, that you tell us about it - there aren't words to thank you enough for that.
You are very welcome.

Writing is hard.


it's me

hi you don't know me and i don't think i know you either my name is morgan hemmingson rick hemmingsons eldest daughter please tell me who you are and if you are related to me P.S PLEASE

Re: it's me

I'm Elizabeth Bear. I write science fiction.

I don't think we're related.
*ahem* You mean "sister"?

Anywho, it *does* sound like you're just working it out this draft and all the other things you'll be able to sort out later! Just focus on filling it with cool things, then coming up with an excuse for the mammoth later! ^_^
Beg, borrow and steal the plot from somewhere else?
Joan D'Arc comes to mind...no nevermind, that's my brain talking not yours.
I was kind of hoping that as a writer gets more experienced that the Right Brain's relationship with the Left Brain would reach that comfortable groove that relationships get into after 25 years of not killing each other.
The part where you never speak, except when you mutter "fuck you" as you pass each other in the hall?


Exactly like that.
*feels bad for the mammoth*
Gradonflies sound like something that could have evolved under some very specific conditions.
At your age, your *brother* had a character arc that won prizes. Shame on you.

*g* Take care.
*cheers* Half-way point! It's all downhill from here! Wait, that could be bad... *snicker* (:
I despair of this book. It has no plot, no character arcs, and not even a ghost of thematic resonance.

Isn't that the trend in creative writing these days? :)

Good luck!
I hear a rumor that the ARCs for Ink & Steel are out, though I have not yet seen one myself.</>

I heard that rumour, too. I don't suppose I'll see one, either... *grumble* ;)


another appreciative fan

Hello Ms. Bear,

I just found out that my husband discovered your blog last night due to an Indigo Girls reference. I love them too, by the way. Went with him to their concert last year. Second row seats. Got autographs afterward.

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the Hammered trilogy. I would very very much like to see further books about that character, perhaps in her younger days? Do you have any plans for doing that?

I am working on my second attempt at publishing a novel. (The first got lots of interest among agents but no takers). I'm also about halfway through writing it. I believe a friend of yours/acquaintance of mine is in my critique group.

I wish you the best in your Hugo award nomination. You definitely have my vote.

Lisa Iriarte (nickname Cor)

Re: another appreciative fan

Hi! And thank you. It's nice to meet you.

I haven't any plans to revisit Jenny any time soon, I'm afraid, but there are two short stories out there dealing with her in younger days--"War Stories," which is available on the Baen's Universe website, by subscription, and "Gone to Flowers," which is in my collection, The Chains that You Refuse, which you might be able to get on interlibrary loan.
Manuscript word count is based on the page count, yes? And therefore on a particular format, too?