August 20th, 2006

bear by san

Throwing the floor open to nominations

Say you were putting the headquarters of a national law enforcement organization whose sworn officers are all sorcerers somewhere in London, Westminster, or environs, circa 1600 or so. Moving forward to the present day (for this story, which is sort-of-1901), they're still in the same location. There are a couple of hundred of them, plus administrative staff, and they range pretty widely. Also, much as with Walsingham's intelligence service, they begin unofficially, but unlike Sir Francis' boys, they fairly quickly take on a formal rank and reporting hierarchy.

Where would you put this office, and what would you call it?

(My favorite answer will be swiped.)
bear by san

Four winds at the four winds bar / Two doors locked and windows barred

Progress notes for 20 August 2006:


New Words:  1,468
Total Words:  5,508
Pages: 27
Deadline: September 5
Reason for stopping: Sort of tired and stupid, and going to go read for a while.

Stimulants:  iced coffee, hefeweizen
Exercise: walked about 3.5 miles with ladegard in Glastonbury today
Mammalian assistance: Mebd is shunning me because I sent the good cat toys home.
Mail: nomail

Today's words Word don't know: wampyr, Fenian, teatime, thaumaturgic, Greyfriars, Newgate, Galicean, Asturian
Words I'm surprised Word do know: Vladimir

Mean Things: the succession
Tyop du jour: safely idolated over running water.
Darling du jour: Garrett poured more brandy. His had vanished as unaccountably as her own. "I'll have his finances checked."
Jury-rigging: Well, I have a complete outline. No get up and go, and I'm not sure it makes any sense, and I have one plot point to institute some sort of a logical resolution for, but there you have it.

There's always one more quirk in the character: Abby Irene drinks like a fish. Wait, we knew that already.

Other writing-related work: none
Books in progress: Hal Duncan, Vellum; John Lindow, Norse Mythology
The Internet is full of Things: Ellen Datlow posts more photos from the KGB reading of shunn & me.

coffeeem on the delicate art of panel participating/moderating.

The glamour!: The stress of the past eighteen months has taken its toll, and found outlet in physical symptoms, as these things will. (I've had lousy skin all my life, and there's nothing I love more than a little psoriasis in hot weather. Argh!)

It's the nexus of the crisis
The origin of storms
Just the place to hopelessly
Encounter time. And then came me--

Collapse )

Also, because writing that scene reminded me, we have flap copy for New Amsterdam, it looks like:

Abigail Irene Garrett drinks too much. She makes scandalous liaisons with inappropriate men, and if in her youth she was a famous beauty, now she is both formidable--and notorious. She is a forensic sorceress, and a dedicated officer of a Crown that does not deserve her loyalty.

She has nothing, but obligations.

Sebastien de Ulloa is the oldest creature he has ever known. He was no longer young at the Christian millennium, and that was nine hundred years ago. He has forgotten his birth-name, his birth-place, and even the year in which he was born, if he ever knew it. But he still remembers the woman who made him immortal.

He has everything, but a reason to live.

In a world where the sun never set on the British Empire, where Holland finally ceded New Amsterdam to the English only during the Napoleonic wars, and where the expansion of the American colonies was halted by the war magic of the Iroquois, they are exiles in the new world--and its only hope for justice.
bear by san

I got it one piece at a time...

In other news, my brain is trying to conflate Loki and Lucifer.

It works surprisingly well.

You get a complete narrative, as if each story is the missing half of the other one. Or each one explains the holes in the other one. (The Odin-Loki relationship and the Yahweh-Lucifer relationship have some great parallels, but they're different angles on the story, as it were. You still get the saga of a violent breakup and a war in heaven, and neither one really has a good explanation for the motives behind any of it, but somehow, when I jam them together in my head, they click.)

And this, of course, wouldn't fit into any of my working continuities, and I've already got two different Norse things going, and two hard riffs on Judeochristian myth. So really, I need another one.

I am in so much fucking trouble.

...I wonder if I can file the serial numbers off enough to get this into Dust. Since it's already going all Old Testament on me. Which is fun, for an SF novel.

Yup, that one might be starting to gel. Since truepenny gave me this today: 

For behold, the Lord comes forth from His place, and He shall descend and tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains shall melt under Him, and the valleys shall split-as wax before fire, as water poured down a steep place. All this is because of the transgression of Jacob, and because of the sins of the house of Israel. Who is the cause of the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And who causes the high places of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem?

And I will make Samaria into a heap in the field, into a place for planting vineyards; and I will cast its stones down into the valley, and its foundations I will uncover. And all its graven images shall be crushed, and all its hires shall be burnt with fire, and all its idols I will lay waste; for from the hire of a harlot it gathered, and to the hire of a harlot shall they return.

Concerning this I will lament and wail; I will go mad and be naked; I will make a wailing as jackals, and mourning as ostriches. For she is mortally ill from her wounds, for it has come up to Judah; it has reached the gate of My people up to Jerusalem. Do not declare it in Gath, do not weep; in the houses of Aphrah, wallow in the dust.

I can feel the kinds of inklings that tell me that the worldbuilding is coming together, and the book is starting to make sense.

But first, I have to write New Amsterdam.
bear by san

I been stepping on the Devil's tail.

Oi. There is a reason why truepenny is my writing partner. Partially, it's because she's willing to put up with me. (As previously noted, I am Difficult.) But another reason is because we have very different working and thinking styles--she's linear as hell, and I'm about as inductive as it's possible to be and still string together a coherent sentence--and so we complement each other. I tell her when she's so on the nose it hurts, and she tells me when my strings of broken dialogue make about as much sense as Pink Floyd lyrics.


truepenny: Meanwhile, I've started [book title redacted for frank discussion of author's craft], and [author redacted] just makes me want to weep with envy.

matociquala: Does sie now? I've only read sie short fiction, and found most of it heavy-handed, but that book is on my to-read pile.

truepenny: I haven't read anything else of sie's, so I can't say how this stacks up, but I really like what sie's doing so far.

matociquala: Excellent.

Also, I have discovered that what I find heavy-handed, others find opaque. :-P

truepenny: This probably goes with the nonlinear thing.  Since what you find clear as day tends to leave me going, do what now?

matociquala: Quite possibly.

I am not having any of the problems with Vellum that others seem to.

OTOH, I also grok myth pretty well, and it tends to contradict and overrun itself in many places.

truepenny: I suspect you just don't need much connective tissue between bits of story.

matociquala: God knows, it's the hardest thing for me to learn to do. That and, yanno, 'splaining stuff.

I wonder if it's because I started reading grownup books so young. And not understanding them. But then later on I would get more of them. If that makes any sense?

truepenny: Well, I think it makes a difference in how *patient* a reader is with not understanding things.

But I also think your brain just works differently.

matociquala: I am willing to believe it. I never realized it was going to be such a handicap. *g*

truepenny: I don't think it is one.  It's the rest of us that are dumb.
matociquala: Hmm. I'm not sure about that. Because to me it often feels as if there are things I am straining to put into words, or silences, or patterns of images, or something... that are not amenable to that.

truepenny: Dunno.

It may be a matter of verbal vs. nonverbal patterns.

matociquala: Maybe...

Weird, because I'm totally verbal. But there's this stuff in my head that only goes in between the words.

truepenny: Yeah, but you're also really kinesthetic.

matociquala: Well, yeah but there aren't....

...words for that.


truepenny: See!

matociquala: *facepalm*

And this is why some of my stuff makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE to some people. And feels wonderfully grounded and real to others, and nobody can figure out why there's a difference.

Because all the emotional tells are kinetic.

Can I blog this?

Okay, I'm going to go play some Zuma and quit spamming livejournal now.