November 10th, 2009

writing dust bible 'house of dust"

with one fist raised in anger. with one foot in the fire.

2184 words on Grail since 7 am, and I'm calling it a good day's work. If I can keep up an average rate of at least six pages a day, I will be done by early January. Which gives me time to revise the horrid steaming mess that is The White City, and then, once truepenny wraps up her current extravaganza, get pushing on A Reckoning of Men in time to have it done for the summer deadline--which leaves me some time to write The Steles of the Sky.

Oh, yeah, and there's all that Shadow Unit due between now and then.

If I seem like I'm not around much on the internets or for social obligations, that would be why.

Grail is persisting in being sort of interesting to write. Today, it pitched a fit at me and drew a line in the sand structurally, telling me (in essence) that I can't make it skip ahead in the narrative to kill some time for sub-lightspeed-travel, thank you very much, and I can just suck it up and write that part of the book. Which part of the book doesn't currently seem to have much bearing on what I thought was the main plot arc, but I am pretty sure than when my right-brain plants its feet like this, it's usually on to something, and all the left-brain can do is go along with the program and quit whining about why?

So today was nine pages of backstory I hadn't been expecting to write. But it's wordcount, and go me.

I think I've sort of learned to go with the flow and stop trying to microsteer so much. Maybe I'm actually learning to write! Stranger things have happened.

Mean things: loneliness of command, nobody wants to believe that Tristen isn't a war criminal any more, Daddy issues, privation, Balkanization, civil war, religious baggage.


8206 / 100000 words. 8% done!



Oh, yeah, incidentally, I know elizabethbear.com and shadowunit.org are hosed. It seems to be an ISP problem. Hopefully it will be fixed before too long.
writing rengeek magpie mind

when goths discover brown

So the thing about the steampunk aesthetic that everybody's talking about: it's weird to me, like watching a band you've loved for years get popular.

Maybe I've just been writing steampunky stuff for too long now (I think I started AtWS in 1993 or 1994, and the idea for the city of Eiledon dates back way before that), but it seems to me that the aesthetic roots here have been around for a long time. Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, of course, but we've been mining that field for a long, long time. Castle Falkenstein and Brisco County, not to mention the venerable The Wild Wild West. (Non-Will-Smith edition, although I am a Giant Spider In The Third Act apologist.)

There's a whole world of Beyond Thunderdome postapocalyptica in the grunginess of it, but the color scheme is different, resulting in brown leather and brass fittings instead of black leather and tattered chainmail. (Seriously, run Master Blaster through a couple of filters and see what you get...)

Which is not to say the steampunk thing isn't cool. I've been playing with technofantasy since I was in high school. I'm pleased to see it finally becoming an overnight success, after twenty or thirty years of obscurity. And besides, it's nifty looking.

...Maybe it's just what happens when kids who grew up on Krull and Labyrinth get jobs and money and a little bit of time on their hands.

Or maybe we just finally figured out how to run the 80s through Photoshop to achieve a sepia tone

I do think it's interesting how trends and fashions work. They're a way of skinning reality, of creating an aesthetic that reflects a worldview and vice versa. Time periods look like themselves, and there are all sorts of visual cues there as to what's important and what's the focus in any given era. I find it all intensely cool...
criminal minds boom

(no subject)

While I was melting butter for the muffins (Chaz's blueberry muffin recipe, modified for orange-cranberry-walnut whole wheat muffins (1) (2)) the microwave attempted to immolate itself.

This is not a tragedy, as said microwave was left behind by the last inhabitants of this residence, and it's old enough that it has rotary dials and wood-grain.

But I am glad I didn't bother cleaning it today.



(1)If it's good with orange extract, it will be REALLY good with orange extract, Cointreau, orange juice, and bitter orange peel. Right?

(2) Yuppie wand blender is good for pulverising the cranberries into the yogurt. I thought they would be a bit much, whole.
writing shadow unit chaz gravity

(no subject)

I decided to hurl myself off overhangs today, on the theory that if I not getting lighter, I had bloody better well start getting stronger. So, two attempts at a 5.8 on the 45-foot wall (second time I made about 30 feet of it, but you know, the damned thing is so overhung that when you come off you don't get back on) and then I sent an overhung 5.7 I've done before. As a reward, I decided I was going to do something I had never tried, which I thought was probably too hard for me. A 5.8 in the front corner, with a little roof over it.

Reader, I sent it.

I expected it to be brutal and crimpy and awful at the bottom, but really it was lovely--all balance and technique, and moving your feet around, and your hands are mostly just there to give you things to balance on. Apparently, I climb better than I realized, because I just floated up it.

I fell off scads trying to get over the roof, though. Don't worry. *g*

Going back tomorrow. We'll see if I have any juice.