Tag Archives: re-writing

Blatant Self-Marketing

I realized I could add a link for my book to the side of the page, which doesn’t blend in very nicely.

Now, I linked to the Kindle version because I think the price for the paperback is outrageous ($18.50). I wrote it and if I hadn’t and was looking at it to check it out, I don’t know if I’d buy the paperback. The Kindle version I’d chance. (As I have been chancing way too many Kindle books considering the fact I’m not working and shouldn’t be buying any).

I do have to admit that I am torn right now. I am in the process of revising the current edition (slowly, it’s not happening at the speed of lightning or anything). I’m having trouble with the second book because the first one doesn’t fit right in some places (I had never intended to write a sequel, then there were several, and now Aithin is sort of a precarious foundation). I have people telling me they like the first edition (because, really, I have hundreds and hundreds of people swamping me about this. Not.)

I’ve taken a side step into another project for a bit, since I finished the story for the other project. I used to think that once you’d finished something, it was set in stone. In this age of electronic publishing, it isn’t. I still don’t think that should be taken advantage of unless absolutely necessary, simply for ethical reasons–I don’t think it’s fair to readers. I think I would still offer the first one (the original) for free, and allow the new one for free for a while as well–I would definitely want anyone who had bought the first one to have a copy without having to pay for it. That seems fair, doesn’t it?

OK, very sorry, Edith (Piaf) I need to change you off from iTunes. Now it’s Mozart. I simply can’t settle on anything today. Maybe I should just play the sound machine. Mozart isn’t doing it either. Sound machine it is. Better.

I can’t even remember if I’m supposed to sell anything from my page. Officially, I’m not. I’m have to link to amazon so they can sell it. Or lend it. Anyway, nothing is anywhere near being done on that front yet. so no need to worry for a long time yet. That would be the last edit for that one, though, unless I miraculously picked up a publisher, in which case I imagine it would be subjected ruthlessly to the delete key. I’m reading the in-house rules for editing and finding out I’ve been formatting some things wrong all this time. I’m glad I at least know that now!

Sorry for such a boring post. It’s been an odd day. This morning the internet, my mail, everything was completely messed up. I was tired so took a nap. Woke up, and it was like the Elves and the Shoemaker–everything worked. Except for my ‘My Y!’ page, which I’m a little afraid to mess around with, with the though it might have been part of the problem, and maybe I should find an interesting page somewhere and make that my homepage. Hmmm.

What? Explain this please.

APNewsBreak: Flaws found in US missile shield

I know, another deviation. But I do write about espionage, when I remember to, and honestly, did we just announce this to the world? As a breaking event?

“WASHINGTON (AP) — Secret Defense Department studies cast doubt on whether a multibillion-dollar missile defense system planned for Europe can ever protect the U.S. from Iranian missiles as intended, congressional investigators say.

Military officials say they believe they can overcome the problems and are moving forward with plans. But proposed fixes could prove difficult. One possibility has been ruled out as technically unfeasible. A second, relocating missile interceptors planned for Poland and possibly Romania to ships on the North Sea, could be diplomatically troublesome.

The studies are the latest to highlight serious problems for a plan that has been criticized on several fronts.

Republicans claim it was developed hastily in an attempt to appease Russia, which had opposed an earlier system. But Russia is also critical of the plan, which it believes is really intended to counter its missiles. A series of governmental and scientific reports has raised questions about whether it would ever work as planned.”

No, it will never work as planned. People can point at me and laugh if it does, and call me a great naysayer. Just look at the places listed here that we’re trying to place missile interceptors. Yes, it could prove diplomatically troublesome. Or should that be with a capital T? And I don’t quite blame Russia for being critical, but why would they say they believe it’s really intended to counter its missiles? ARE they planning on launching missiles at us? Should that be a cause for concern? I’d be more worried about them than Iran, personally. I think bears are stronger than eagles. But, to prove their point, why WOULD we set up a missile defense system solely for the purpose of keeping Iranian missiles out? There are plenty of other countries upset with us who are developing the technology.

But to return to Russia. I’m sure they are thinking about Russia’s comments in Washington. It’s the whole thing about Russia’s believing the shield is really intended to counter its missiles. For them to mention it means they’ve thought about it. Or at least for us to believe that’s their concern means we think they’ve considered it. Don’t poke big bears with sticks. It makes them grumpy and they don’t like it. I just wish we could get along with Russia without so much suspicion, but I could tell that was ending when they cut off all US adoptions a few months ago–that seemed a pretty telling sign, a little worrisome. After all, you don’t want to be sending your children to a country you might attack, right? Other than major things like that, I haven’t been following them too closely, which I probably should be (just following all the important developments in the news is a full-time job in itself). I am guessing, however, they do not announce every military setback to their version of AP news. Secrets are secrets.

But back to this whole missile system. Why don’t we have a tea party (a real one, not the political party), invite the whole world, and have a powerpoint presentation just telling everyone exactly what the weaknesses are, just to save everyone the trouble of trying to find out later. But oh, wait. We’re already announcing it on the news. Why bother having the tea party. And who is the Mat Hatter at this tea party? I think we’ve fallen down another hole. Good grief. It’s like letting people know there is no film in the cameras at spotlights to take pictures of the speeders (thank you, Register Guard). There are some things people can safely live without knowing, they’re still deterrents. The military can say “Oh, we’re thinking of redesigning it,” without saying “OHMYGODTHRY’REGOINGTOKILLUS.” I loved one of the comments. “Patton and Eisenhower would have loved to see this.” Doesn’t anyone know what a SECRET is anymore? Someone else had a comment very similar to mine, “Why don’t we just tell North Korea, etc. etc.” Unless they’re trying reverse psychology. Which I personally don’t think they’d do. I don’t think they need a shield, well, a shield of sorts, but it could cause a lot of problems if they didn’t have very accurate technology. They need a bouncy shield that will lob missiles back where they came from, following it’s original coordinates to the US–sort of like GoogleMaps reverse directions. But they need to be more accurate than GoogleMaps (I would hope the military has the technology. Geez. Idiots. They need Scotland’s most powerful wizards). We wouldn’t want to accidentally send an Iranian missile back to hit Buckingham palace or something like that. Of course they would keep calm and carry on, but I think it might strain relations a little. An invisible bungee cord. Now _that_ would surprise them, especially if no one actually talked to the press. The military needs to talk to bouncy castle makers. Now. And discuss making them out of tensile steel and kevlar. Those could do well in openly warring countries. I’m tired of hearing people dying when parties are attacked, especially weddings. At least the children would be safe in super teched up bouncy castles.

At this point, the children, always our future to start with, are rapidly becoming our future sooner than we thought they’d be. The adults are killing each other off at an astounding rate, and a lot of innocent people are dying. Um, Russia, Syria? Just telling them to stop didn’t seem to work, and neither did sending them to their rooms. Peace talks didn’t work–it’s not a good sign when guns start to go off in the middle of them. I recognize your reluctance to get involved, probably for many more reasons than I comprehend. But look at the US (I know, it’s painful)–we launch ourselves with full gusto into situations that are based on “saving democracy” (read in any natural resource we need) but are suddenly deaf when it comes to humanitarian issues. Be the better country and help for the right reasons with the recognition that none of the greater amount of fighting is going to stop until Assad is out of power. He’s delusional. Maybe he’s the Mad Hatter. No one is used to you doing that, and it looks like you’re taking an isolationist approach, except for the possibility of the thought of launching missiles at us.

I’m so bloody sick of missiles, firearms of any type. I would love a day that they suddenly just stopped working. No guns would fire, no grenades would go off, no missiles would launch.

Speaking of firearms. There is a man (forgive me for not knowing exactly who or what position he holds, but it’s a higher up position in the state government, I believe) who is wanting to give more funding to help the mentally ill. Being one of these, I can say “yay” at the idea. Mental illness is an invisible disability–you can’t see it or touch it, so therefore it must not exist. Trust me, it does. His motivations behind this altruistic gesture of more funding to help the mentally ill? School shootings. I will agree that some sort of mental illness probably factors into the equation. School shootings are a tragedy, and I don’t mean to make light of that. But how many people in the general population suffer from mental illness who are not school shooters? I think we’d prefer not to be lumped in or identified with violence (my apologies if that isn’t the case and I’ve misunderstood, but my skimming of the articles is probably as much as most people who have bothered to look at them–other than the people following it more closely, so if that’s the impression I have, I’m not sure what other people think). It was suggested by the man that money be raised to fund this project (?) by placing a tax on beer and wine. For once, I have to defend the beer and wine industry, here. There are many, many alcoholics, and many of them are self-medicating due to mental illness. I would hesitantly say that in general they might act frightening but would hopefully not actually harm anyone, because from my experience, their goal is to drink until they pass out. My idea was to put a tax on firearms. They’re at least more directly related to the situation. And if people go nuts over that idea, (guns don’t kill people, people kill people), should we tax or fine the shooter? If they were mentally ill, we’d be taxing the mentally ill to collect the money to fund programs for the mentally ill. That sounds…absolutely insane. I know the above scenario is absurd, but I am glad that attention is being given to the mentally ill. We have been put in the “Don’t know what to do with” folder for long enough. If our illness is severe enough that we are a danger to others or ourselves, the answer’s clear, hospitalize us. But after that, everything’s grey. I have gone most of my life not even thinking of myself as mentally ill, falling into the “you can’t see it, you can’t touch it” trap, and because of working with individuals with sometimes very severe physical disabilities and mental impairments. I had my own ways of coping with what I considered “problems” I had. I wish the idea that I was had hit me earlier, because then I might have learned to take care of myself better so I could protect myself better, keep myself from reaching a stage where I would fall apart. People don’t talk about it because of the stigma attached to it. I know about the stigma, which is why I tell the people I work with about it, so they’ll know and realize that wow, they didn’t even notice. People fight labels for just that reason, they are labels and often others don’t look past them. I think the best way to get past labels is to use them and break them, the concept behind the disability rights group People First. I think it’s especially important for mental illness and learning disorders–just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. We’re not going to go off our meds to prove to you they are there. Just try to have a more open mind (ha ha) about it, have faith in things you can’t see. But, now back to our regularly scheduled program.

I was reading about the development of the way battles were fought–first as sort of unorganized mobs, eventually leading to more organization as the military leaders grey more skilled at strategy, turning to trench warfare in WWI. It was no wonder it was called The Great War, the War to End All Wars, because that was a hellish war (not that the ones after weren’t). It was the first war the machine gun was used in (I believe early Howitzers were around during the Boer War, it just wasn’t the environment to use them). No wonder people hoped that would be the last war. It killed off generations of young men on both sides. But they ended it badly–I can’t help but wonder if they hadn’t humiliated Germany so badly if the circumstances leading to WWII would have unfolded differently. If Hitler would have been able to rise to power, or if Hellboy could have stopped him. My imaginary world is crossing with the real one again, isn’t it? I was also reading about the naming of battles (that was how I got started). Only actual battles were names, the others that were deemed actions, skirmishes, or other small fights weren’t given names. Gallipoli actually had another name given by the Turkish on their side. King Henry V would meet with a French chronicler after a battle so they would have the same name on both side, hence the Battle of Agincourt had the same name on the English and the French sides. The Battle of Waterloo was so confused some of the officers weren’t even sure it would be deemed a battle or not, yet it turned the whole course of Napoleon’s war efforts, defeated him as an emperor, and yes, later was counted as a battle. They were often named after places, rarely after years, often after landmarks, but named after the action had taken place to determine it’s status.

Anyway, not so sure anyone wanted to know that, I just thought it was interesting. I never learned anything about how battles were named in school, it just came up because of some of Helena’s homework, which I think I possibly had more fun researching (when I was supposed to simply be editing a journal entry written from the perspective of a woman who was a nurse during the American Revolution, then I’d find a word and look it up to see if it was being used them…I got a little carried away. I think she appreciated it?) than she did.

Her assignment, however, reminded me of a series of books that were made into a miniseries by the BBC based on Vera Brittain’s experiences as a nurse during WWI (I am sort of drawn to that war in particular, possibly because I’m interested in the time period as well). Her brother, her fiance, and her brother’s best friend all joined up, so she became a nurse. I won’t say much about it here other than it’s very good but sad. Chronicle of Youth is the diary that the more popular Testament of Youth is based on. Chronicle of Youth is from the years 1913-1917.

Switching subjects again and returning to Hellboy, in Hellboy II, at the auction near the beginning of the movie, there is a box the tooth fairies are in, with a circular mechanism opening the door to let them out. I don’t know how many people looked closely at the design on the circle, but I did and I fell in love with it. Frank got me the book of the art of Hellboy II so I could have a good picture of it (I had photocopied some from the library’s copy) because I had the idea I wanted to get a tattoo of it at some point. I am very particular about my tattoos. I only have three, and I have considered each one for a time before even having them done. These are going to be with me the rest of my life, and I want to make sure they have meaning for me. I may be impulsive about some things, but not tattoos. Not that there’s anything wrong that, I’m just cautious. Then I have to pick out where I’m going to have it done. Then I actually have to have the money to have it done. I was doing an image search trying to find it, because the photocopies flew away somewhere, and the only thing I found was the same pattern, only reversed (it’s a black and white pattern–in the movie it’s deep red and gold) and I think I actually like the reversed pattern better:  (for one thing, less tattooing–imagine this reversed, that’s a lot of black ink–Frank has no tattoos, and I started to explain the process, but he stopped me. This is why I have the medical reference books I can use to get information for the Healers in my books, and he sees me looking at them and won’t come over).

Tattoo pattern

Tattoo pattern

Anyway, I think it’s a very nice pattern, and it would go on the back of my left shoulder. I haven’t put anything on my back before, because I like to be able to see what is there. It also makes it harder to hide, not that I would go around in spaghetti straps at work, but a tank top–no, probably not that, either. I take pretty good care of them–the black one I have on my ankle still looks good and doesn’t need retouching after about ten years. The shoulder would be harder since it’s in the sun more–heavy duty sun block.

I had both ankles done in Santa Rosa, CA at Inky Cells Tattoo–very good artist, Dana, there. I would highly recommend her. http://inkycellstattooco.com/  

She works with you if you have a design you want, and she doesn’t do gang tattoos. Every person I have referred to her, if they’ve gotten another tattoo, has gone back to her.

My cat on my wrist I had done in Eugene at Black Lotus, but the artist who did it, Joy, is gone now, I think. I was looking a little at online portfolios–what I really would like to find is someone who does tribal and celtic, I think, because I want the strong black, but this doesn’t have the strong lines tribal usually has, it’s more delicate, but not as twisty as celtic–sort of celtic meets art nouveau meets arabian. I find I tend to get tattoos when there has been some upheaval in my life and I feel things are changing. (That’s why I have to be selective and pick the changes, otherwise I’d be covered from head to foot), and I want someone sensitive to that. See, I have very few demands. LOL

Being unemployed at the moment makes getting it right now a little frivolous, although I do feel strongly about it and will eventually get it. And I have no idea who flipped the pattern and made the reverse, but it was an excellent idea, and thank you. It’s not like I’m a wuss, but I’m not a masochist, either. I don’t get the big endorphin rush people talk about when they’re getting a tattoo. I just sit there and try not to twitch. Which is much harder to do when you’re consciously trying not to do it.

I didn’t mean to go into that at all. I think a lot of my paragraphs start that way. BTW, I was not diagnosed with ADD, just a little high in some areas. Which means the way my brain jumps around is just normal for me. I am slowly going forward in book 2, which has a new name. Did I say that? It’s now Roumouth Rising, because the Cael’an aren’t going to be in it at all, that’s book 3. So now instead of editing the last half, I’m going to have to write it. I have a lot of things churning around, so I don’t think it will be too hard. I hope. I am going to try to stick to a reasonable plot that I won’t throw out in horror. There are a lot of possibilities open for plotlines right now.

If there are any Scrivener people out there, I have a pressing question: I copied the last edit into a new project and am completely re-editing it. It’s saving what I’m writing, because that’s what it’s opening up when I open it up. But when I compile it and export it, it’s the old document, and when I hover the mouse over the chapter numbers in the bar on the left, it’s giving me the beginning of the old edit, not the new one. Why is it doing this? I haven’t visited the forums yet–this is my first plea for help, which I am always reluctant to do because I’m stubborn and determined to figure things out on my own. As I’m getting older I’m realizing that’s a waste of time and I should just ask for help, because someone probably has the answer already, and I don’t need to try to figure out for hours what someone else already knows. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. I just need to know what I did wrong, and I admit Scrivener is smarter than me and I did watch the tutorials (another thing I never used to do).

I’ve also started asking where things are in stores, another big step. I think it’s because I either don’t have as much time as I used to, or I have more to do and need to just get on with it. Plus, it’s dangerous to just let me wander in an office supply store, say. I can quickly find all sorts of things I don’t need. I don’t think I’m a normal woman–I don’t go crazy in clothes departments or jewelry departments, but leave me with paperclips with patterns on them (patterns are big with me) and accordion sticky notes in fascinating colors and I could stand there for a good amount of time. And desk organizers. I don’t have room on my desk for a desk organizer, but I do love a well made desk organizer. Wooden, not the meshy ones.

And lately–longer than lately, I’ve just never looked into it seriously, and I mentioned it and Frank spent the rest of the evening looking at them online–I have been interested in throwing knives. Madeleine and Geoffrey both can do it. Shouldn’t I at least try? Hopefully not at the risk of small creatures outdoors. Or neighbors. I need something like a horse’s stall to put the target in. Run a red flag up a pole so they’ll know I’m outside and armed. Someone would probably call 911. I don’t want ninja knives, I’m not a ninja. There are some like playing cards, so I could pretend to be Gambit (the more sharp edges the better). A conversation ensued after that with me arguing that he didn’t use metal cards, he used regular cards and he was just using his superpowers. I guess I was really the only one arguing, because Frank didn’t disagree. Helena had no idea what we were talking about so she just kept reading. Frank doesn’t particularly like Gambit. I do, because he’s sort of a rogue (no pun intended) and a little unpredictable. Like Wolverine, in some ways, other than the fact that Wolverine is much more indestructible and has much better comebacks.

Alright, this is just getting silly now.

The Speed of Stuck

I think I’ve mentioned in a couple of posts that I’ve been stuck at this one particular point in my writing. I’ll look at it, go back a few chapters and change a little, then go back to where I am, clean that up a little, but no forward progression whatsoever except for maybe a sentence or two. I haven’t actually been stuck quite this badly for a while.

Then my attention turned to the fact that I was extremely behind in my reading–I was doing the Goodreads Challenge thing and decided at the beginning of the year to read 143 books. I’d been fine until I started writing a lot again, then the reading sort of fell by the wayside. I know it isn’t a huge thing, the world isn’t going to end (I think we’ve had enough of that for one year, thank you) if I don’t finish reading the number of books I said I was going to. But it bugged me. So far I haven’t really accomplished much this year, for various reasons which don’t need to be discussed, and I just latched onto the necessity of finishing the books for the challenge. I was about 27 books behind in the second week of December, and didn’t think I’d make it.

Being stuck in my writing and not being distracted by that, suddenly a lot of time opened up for reading and I’ve been on a mad reading marathon for the past two and a half weeks or so. I can read pretty quickly if I’m engrossed in the story, and luckily the books I had around from the library and that I’d bought but hadn’t had time to read were, for the most part, really good and interesting. (Just don’t ask me questions about details of a book I read last week). I read quickly, but my retention isn’t all that great. I read for the story, and often don’t pay attention to little details (that’s what second readings are for <g>) and get caught up in it, so I can read about 2 books a day if I really try, well, more of a read one, finish it, start another, finish it the next day… it depends on how thick the book is. I did not deliberately choose books that were small, by the way <g>. I can’t help it if City of Lost Souls has the equivalent of  14 or 15 point font in it. I think I possibly could have read that one without my glasses. I read a lot of last books in trilogies, some which ended satisfactorily but a little open-ended, so I could put characters together in a relationship in my head without feeling guilty if that was what the author intended or not. It’s the last book, after all. It’s open to interpretation, right?

On a side note here, I just have to make a couple of comments on City of Lost Souls, because I’m becoming sadly annoyed with the Mortal Instruments series. When Cassandra Clare first started writing this series, I stuck up for her and said it didn’t matter what she’d done in her fan fiction, because I didn’t see anything that she’d taken from anywhere in the first books, I thought they were pretty well written, and they were interesting. I expected the Mortal Instruments to end at the first trilogy, and was actually pretty annoyed when it turned out there were going to be three more books. I do have to say I like the Infernal Devices series better. I don’t know why. Maybe because it’s a time period I like, and it’s also different enough from the Mortal Instruments that you don’t have to read one series with the other. I was OK with City of Fallen Angels–I didn’t think it was great, didn’t think it was awful, but while reading City of Lost Souls, I really, really wanted to tell Ms. Clare to stop. It’s too late to go back and undo the damage COLS did–not to mention that it’s beginning to sound a lot like Twilight, which was really disappointing, but the characters were all doing things that didn’t seem like things they would do. We’re five books in, here. This whole Clary/ Jace thing is really beginning to grate on my nerves. I know I’m not the only one who feels that way–I read some of the reviews afterward and about half of them felt the way I did. That now it’s for the money and not in the interest of writing good books. COLS was getting sloppy toward the end, and it was beginning to get genuinely weird. I don’t mind weird if it’s conducive to the plot, but when it’s weird in the sense of drawing out a very thin plot, I do mind. I also mind, and this is where the Twilight thing comes in, so there are *****spoilers here if you haven’t read COLS and plan to, when the book starts to echo some themes I didn’t particularly like in the original book, in this case, Twilight.  (I’ve made arguments in defense of and against Twilight, just to play devil’s advocate). Yes, Jace is being controlled by Sebastian, but does that make his treatment of Clary forgivable? He’s been nasty to her at various points in the whole series, but it was worse in this one, to the point of being abusive, yet she just takes it and goes on about how much she loves him and she has to save him, enough that she’d make a deal with the Seelie Queen and start making extremely stupid decisions in general. It was getting to the point where I didn’t care if they destroyed the world as they knew it and took over. They deserved it. Alec became this paranoid, insecure boyfriend who was overly worried about his mortality, a theme that shows up all the time  when there’s a romance involving someone who’s immortal and someone who isn’t. He is still obsessed with Magnus’ past lovers (honestly, how many hundreds of years has he been around? Alec expects him to have taken a purity vow or something and wear a ring for all that time?). It’s normal to be curious about former lovers, and possibly jealous to an extent if they are still friends or if you feel your partner isn’t being completely honest with you. Their relationship was one of the more interesting things in this trilogy, and Clare has Alec ruin the whole thing. In the other four books he wasn’t so whiny or snivelly. And I think the things he does in this book are out of character–he becomes more and more insecure until he makes a very stupid choice. People do that all the time, I suppose. But most people aren’t involved with 800 year old or so (sorry if I didn’t get the age right) warlock, either. Most likely, they have a lot of baggage. At least too much for carry-on. So that part sucked for me. And I know that coincidences happen when you’re writing and someone else has a very similar idea that you’ve been working on and you think “Damn, now they’re going to think I copied them!” but I don’t know if this falls into that category. In order to separate Jace’s link from Sebastian, Clary kills Jace with an angelic sword that burns all the evil out of him–if there’s enough good left, he’ll survive. But meanwhile, as someone in another review put it, he’s basically the Human Torch for a bit, and then (jarring, horrific jolt back to Twilight) he glows. Yes, he glows now. No one is sure why, not even the Silent Brothers. Sound familiar? Maybe a little…sparkly? And then–personal statement injectment here: I do not condone having sex before a person is emotionally and physically ready to do so. It should be something valuable, hopefully, and meaningful. But let’s face it, it happens all the time in YA novels. We’re five books in and Jace and Clary have only gotten to third base, so to speak–something always happens to stop them. It’s clearly obvious that Jace isn’t a virgin, but Clary is, so in that respect we’re back to the “it’s ok for boys but not for girls” scenario. And now, ta da, due to Jace’s current state of glowiness, he says they probably shouldn’t do anything because of it (presumably until they know what it is). Does that sound familiar?  Through the whole course of the book everyone is terrified of saying anything to the Clave regarding anything they know about Jace because they will probably consider it treason and kill him. Serious, serious stuff. But when he’s back? Clary can’t see him for days until she finally just goes and does it, everything seems fine with the Clave, and suddenly the book is populated by paper dolls. Truthfully, I’m mostly sad about this. I probably will get the next one, just because I feel sort of committed at this point (or should be committed for continuing to read them) and am hoping the last one will redeem this one. Enough of that.*******

I didn’t mean to go on about that for so long, it’s just that I finished a few series and was really satisfied with the way they ended–the Matched trilogy: Reached was far, far better than I thought it would be. I wasn’t so sure about the first two, they seemed a little hollowish to me but I thought they were alright, but Reached, I thought, was good enough that it didn’t matter–things made sense in the first two now that hadn’t, the characters were growing (some more than others, but still). The final book of the Seven Realms books, The Crimson Crown, was awesome. The Far West, concluding that series, was good. Quintana of the Charyn, and especially, although I know people are somewhat divided about this one as well, Bitterblue–both of those, but especially Bitterblue, I just sat there for a while after I finished it trying to soak it all in. I love Kristen Cashore’s writing style and her characters, and I loved how everything came together here. I didn’t want it to end. There were also some pretty amazing first books in trilogies (although it would be nice to get some stand-alones just so you don’t have to wait three years to finish a story): The Dark UnwindingGrave Mercy, Shadowfell, Defiance, Throne of Glass–I know I’m leaving some out, but there are plenty of books to look forward to next year. And I do recommend For Darkness Shows the Stars very highly. I started reading the unicorn series and didn’t like it so was hesitant about this one, but when I found out it was loosely based on Persuasion I was curious. Now I need to read Persuasion again.

Again, I’m straying from the original point. While reading all of these books in such rapid succession, the back of my mind was still thinking about where I was stuck, sort of poking it with a stick and trying to annoy into something workable. It was amazingly exhilarating to go through all those books so quickly–it was like being inundated with marvelousness. But I realized that’s what’s wrong with my book. I’m rushing it. Things happen before they should, I get impatient so I’ve rearranged things to happen when they originally didn’t, so not enough time has passed before important things happen. In my rush to get to the end of my book, I’m not paying attention to the details and things that I sometimes don’t pay attention to in other books because I’m so engrossed in the story, and read too fast when I should slow down and be more patient. So I’ve gone back (in my head, I just finished my last book for the challenge last night) to where I think I need to start slowing the story down a little, or at least letting things progress at a more natural pace. Yes, Madeleine can do such and such, she just needs to wait. She and Geoff are not particularly patient people, and he’s become more central than he was before, so I have two impatient characters telling each other not to be so impatient while I keep rushing them along, and now it’s turned into a log jam. So I’m curious, now that I think that’s what the problem might be, to see if it really is. Yes, the story does need to flow, but not run headfirst into a dam at full tilt. Plus, that would hurt.

Naked Mouse?

Did I mention at any point that if I could pick a superpower, it would be to understand everyone? No language barriers, communication barriers for any reasons at all. I could talk to animals, etc. etc. I have always been interested in communicating.

Well, maybe I have always been interested in talking. My middle sister once said, I think it was when I said I had a sore throat and it hurt too much to talk, that she actually got to say something. I was talking on my way out of the dentist’s office after having my three remaining wisdom teeth pulled (hm) and my mouth stuffed full of cotton balls and I was talking–I think I was arguing that I had never been out for forty-five minutes having my teeth pulled. The evidence was sort of stacked against me on that one. Yes, three empty sockets in my gums and bloody cotton were pretty good circumstantial evidence. I will talk until I just about lose my voice and I sound squeaky and my voice breaks. One time I was complaining about having a sore throat and my SO said, “Well, you could stop talking,” and I looked at him as if he’d grown another head. I talk to my plants, when I’m not killing them from forgetting to water them, I talk to my car, I talk to my computer, and of course I talk to my cat. He even answers back. He’s the perfect cat to ask “Kitty say what?” because he’ll meow at you right on cue.

I thought about this for two reasons. One, I got together with a friend today and we talked non-stop for over two hours. Two, there’s a little guy in my class who also likes to talk, only it’s very hard for me to understand him sometimes. I truly do try. Today he was standing a little way away from me telling me “Naked mouse.” At least, this is what my brain heard. I asked him if he could please repeat it, because I didn’t understand and I wanted to. “Naked mouse.” Sequels to Naked Lunch aside, I could not for the life of me figure out what it was, until suddenly it struck me that one of the words was the name of one of our other students, just the way he says it. I never got the second word. But he was happy I got the one word, and didn’t say anything else about it. How would I feel if I went around and felt like people only understood me fifty percent of the time? There’s always the possibility that’s true, because i have been a little on the incomprehensible side lately, putting wrong words in sentences, calling students by the name of the last student I looked at instead of the one I am looking at. But that’s just me being in the state of mind I’m in, or my synapses misfiring, or melting. This little guy tries very hard. My teacher in the class had a great strategy when he first started–she’d ask him questions she knew he knew the answers for, so she could find out what sounds he made for what letters, etc. I think it’s awesome, that she took the time to do that. But now that phrase is indelibly marked on my brain. Naked mouse.

In a way, this does segue over to writing (I really did want to write something about writing–my SO and I have discussions about interrupting each other–mostly him interrupting me, but I do it too. He said what really drives him crazy is when I interrupt myself and jump to a completely different topic. I can’t help it. My mind jumps. It may leap and bound as well. The rest of me is a bit too sedentary.)

I am in a bit of a conundrum. I put out Aithin, people have read it that I don’t know and have liked it enough to ask when the second one is coming out, because they actually want to read more. This has really happened. From someone I don’t know. On their own, they weren’t prodded by hot irons by my friend who recommended the book to ask the question.

At the moment I’m in the middle of completely vivesecting the first one to make it flow better with the rest of them. However many of them there are. I use that term because in a way I do feel like it’s alive. It’s fluid. I’ve ripped it apart and changed things, some drastically, some not at all. I don’t like the way I wrote some parts of it. It seems fake, and some of the explanations for things don’t make any sense. I started the “revised” edition a week or so ago. Two weeks ago, I suppose, but I really didn’t stop to think about the fact that there are people who liked it the way it was. Ultimately, who do I want to make happy, me or them? Maybe they’d be happy with the new version. They’ll still have the old one. Maybe it’s like a Choose Your own Adventure book except it’s choosing the beginning, not the end. Will this cause problems for me later on? To have different versions floating around?

I feel like my writing style has changed since I wrote it. I’m not sure if it’s a better writing style or just different. I know authors evolve over time. I’d sort of like to have at least the one series sound the same. Not sound the same, just have the same sort of flow to it. I’m getting deeper into the characters earlier–other people seem to think there’s character development in the first one but I don’t see it. Of course it’s going to need to be edited, and there will be parts that are just plain stupid that will have to be taken out. Or parts that just drag. But am I doing it a favor by doing this to it? Should I just leave well enough alone and chalk it up to the fact that it’s the first one and there are going to be differences, they’ll get better as I go along?

I’ve always felt a little like once things are down on the page and “published,” they are somewhat sacred and should be left alone, no director’s cuts, unedited versions, versions with words changed because they might be offensive (not that I have any, just saying), turned into 3D novels or anything like that. It’s done, committed to the page. If you don’t like it completely, well, it’s sort of too bad. Move along, folks, nothing to see here (just a vivsected novel lying in the middle of the floor gasping as it’s creator tries to figure out what to do with it).

So, maybe what I should do with it is let it lie. Just not work on it for a bit, and see if I still think it’s a good idea when I come back to it. If people like what the original is, and want more, shouldn’t I be happy with that, and look to improving the next one? Not rip the first one apart? Yes, there are parts that make me cringe, and parts that make no sense. My friend still thinks it’s better than a lot of the things she’s seen out there when she looks for something to read. Am I trying to talk myself into leaving it alone? RIP, Aithin, you are what you are, in your strange green and purple cover, overpriced because you’re too long (talking too much).

This has given me more to think about, now. Are you pondering what I’m pondering? Nah, probably not. Narf.

Naked mouse.